Two muscle groups that are overlooked in training
How many people are looking to maximize his or her squat and bench? I think that’s about every single person out there. Let me explain to you two of the most important muscle groups that are overlooked in training: legs and back. I promise there’s a correlation here.
Let’s start with our legs. I’m sure you’ve heard of the principal sport specificity: in order to get better at your sport you need to play your sport. The same theory goes with weight lifting. If you want to get a stronger bench press, then you need to do more presses! It’s not rocket science, but then again, it kind of is. Follow me for a second. Have you ever seen a gigantic Redwood tree with a teensy, weensy trunk for its support base? I don’t think so. Redwood trees have bases that are thick, strong, and sturdy. The same biological principal takes place with the human body. Do you think your body will naturally support a larger upper frame if the lower frame is small and too fragile? Exactly, no way, Jose! You’ll be setting yourself up for compensation injuries. In other words, in order to get a stronger upper body, you need to train your lower body more. I suggest for all my athletes at ShowUp Fitness to train their legs twice as much as their upper body. Remember, the wider and stronger the base is, the stronger and bigger the whole entire body will become. This translates into a bigger and better bench press.
Now, let’s take a look at the back, aka, latissimus dorsi (lats). We are a nation that’s obsessed with the bench press; I agree, it’s a staple for sports performance, but the average person isn’t taking a holistic approach when it comes to training the chest. We think like cavemen, “Me want stronger chest, me bench press lots of weight.” Yes, this idea would fall into the category of sport specificity, but when we take the example of the Redwood tree and a strong support base, what is our support base during the bench press? The back! If we strengthen the lats and add some size to our backside, it will transfer into anterior pressing strength and power. Additionally, if you are benching properly (elbows at 8 and 4 and squeezing your middle back on the way down) you’ll be engaging the back during your benching exercises. Here’s an easy to understand this: think about how you would push a bully. Your elbows would not be flared up with your arms parallel to the ground because that’s weaksauce. Instead, your elbows would be tucked in, strong and stable, right by your side, awesomesauce.
Here’s the bottom line: If you want to become a functionally strong and powerful athlete, you need to train your legs and back. Try this program for the next month and watch your size and bench press shoot through the roof! Add in another chest and shoulder workout to make it complete.
Day 1: Legs and Back
Day 2: Chest & Shoulders
Day 3: Legs and Back
Day 4: Chest & Shoulders
Day 5: Legs and Back
Day 6 & 7: Rest / Cardio / Flexibility
Legs and Back workout:
Super Set 1: Squats & Pull-ups. 3 sets of 6 reps (heavier weight), resting 90 seconds between each SS
Super Set 2: Deadlifts & Cable Rows. 3 sets of 8 reps (moderate weight), resting 1 minute
Super Set 3: Bulgarian Split Squat & Bent over rows. 3 sets of 10 (light weight) resting 30 seconds
End with 1 set of 30 total lunges and max pull-ups.
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