Chad Howse Build Lean Muscle

Building Lean Muscle & Athletic Power (video)

Last week I did an article called “Tricking Your Muscles: 3 Tips to Maximum Muscle Growth.” In it I go over a few tips to help you break through plateau‘s a continue your optimal gains.

This week I figured I’d take this concept one step further and give you a few visual examples as well, in the form of 2 videos. The first video is an example of pushing exercises you can implement into your routine for some variation, the second is a pulling workout I did this past week.

Pushes

Pushing exercises are any exercises that involve the pushing muscles. For example, your deltoids, pecs, triceps, quads and calves are all worked through pushing motions, like the bench press, squat, military press, and dips.

Pulls

Are any exercise that involves the pulling muscles. Muscles like your lats, traps, biceps, forearms, and the muscles that surround your hips. They’re worked through pulling movements like biceps curls, chin-ups, and deadlifts.

Lean Muscle Building Supersets: Pushes Workout

the Exercises

Floor press

If you struggle with improving your bench press – especially the mid-portion of the lift – try this exercise. Add more weight that you would with the traditional bench press as you’re only completing half the motion. It’s also a great exercise for power, and for your triceps (try converting it to a close-grip floor press if you’re focusing on your triceps).

Slow on the way down, when your elbows or triceps touch the floor, explode with the press motion of the lift.

Lateral Plate Raise

When you see guys doing this exercise in the gym they’ll more often than not be using dumbbells – but try using plates to mix things up. You’ll find it provides greater stress to the lower portion of the lateral deltoid. It’ll also seem harder compared to the same exercise using dumbbells.

A Tough Superset

Arny’s supersetted with inclined dumbbell bench press. Arny’s primarily work your anterior deltoid while inclined press primarily focuses the upper pectoral muscle. Both muscles are very close in proximity, making this superset a pretty tough one.

Each exercise is also a compound exercise; working more than one muscle group at a time. For example, when you’re doing the inclined dumbbell press, you are also working the anterior (front) deltoid as well.

Try making one exercise a lower rep count, and the second a higher rep count – by using heavier and lighter weight.

Building and Explosive Lower Body

Bench squats are one of my favorite quads-focused exercises because there’s a definitive mid-point to the lift. As soon as your arse hits that bench, explode driving the weight through your heels and hips. In the video you’ll see the weight almost jumps off of my back.

Although I’m not a fan of using machines in my training, they do have their place from time to time, like the smith machine squat on the back end of a quads superset. The explosive part of the lift was the bench squat, which I like to pair with a lighter exercise to act like a burnout for my quads.

Aim for a high rep count of 15-20 reps with the smith-machine.

Bonus Tip:

Rotate dumbbells and barbells

Rotate the use of dumbbells and barbells within your workouts. In the video I do inclined dumbbell press, but next week I’ll use a barbell for the same exercises. What this does is hit your muscles in a different way each week.

Stay tuned for the second video later this week.

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What’s another unique pushing exercise that you’ve recently added into your routine?

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  • http://twitter.com/dgritz08 @dgritz08

    Great article Chad….with me bein a collegiate fball player (mentioned to you on facebook) we do a ton of bench presses. I've seen a lot of guys hit their plateaus. It'd be interesting to add in those floor presses and see if they can fight through it than and make some gains. Keep the articles comin man!

    -Dan