"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."
This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.
To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.
I'm beginning HIT with the quick start plan. With barbell curls is it there anything wrong with using an ez-curl bar?
I also workout at home and do not have a spotter. I do have a medium sized rack and extra catches but I'm thinking I cant go to complete failure for safety reasons on such things as the bench press or squats. Any suggestions to increase the intensity safely?
On the bench press, you can set your safety bars just above chest level so that it catches the bar just above your chest when you hit failure. This will shorten your range of motion a little, but it won't make a significant difference.
The reason that a straight bar is preferred over an EZ curl bar is because one of the functions of the biceps brachii is supination of the hand (rotating the hand from a palms down to palms up position).
Supination of the hand during curls allows a more complete contraction of the biceps. However, if the use of a straight bar irritates your wrists, you should substitute the EZ curl bar.
When performing the barbell curl, stand with your back flat against a wall or post, tuck your elbows into your abdomen and slump your shoulders forward slightly. If for some reason it's not possible to stand against a wall or post (you might be in people's way if in a gym) then just try to keep your posture still. NO swaying of the torso or leaning back whatsoever.
In the top position, your upper arms should still be straight up and your elbows still tucked in your abs below your rib cage. If you do this properly, your forearms will never be vertical, and will still be loaded in the top position. Pause at the top and squeeze for a moment before starting the negative.
Do not lean back as you get towards the top of the rep, keep the upper arms and torso perfectly still. The only thing that should be moving during this exercise is your forearms.
Do not rest at the bottom. As soon as you get to the bottom, slowly squeeze out of the starting position. Focus on the contraction over the entire range of motion, lifting and lowering under strict control.
You will probably have to reduce the weight you use considerably to be able to perform curls in this strict fashion, but you will get much better results from them.
If you work out at home you should have a power rack. My fiancee and I are planning to move into a house in the fall and it is the first thing we'll be purchasing for our home gym.
You can get one from New York Barbells at http://www.newyorkbarbells.tv/... for only $280, which is an extremely good deal. The safety pins and J-hooks can hold over 1,000 lbs, which, unless you're a world class powerlifter, is far more than you'll ever be using in it.
This will allow you to bench, squat, overhead press, etc. safely. It also has a bar for chins, and you can purchase all sorts of rack mounts for performing dips and other exercises on it through http://www.fractionalplates.co...
As for squats, these can be performed safely without a spotter, provided that you have a rack with safety catches that can be adjusted to just slightly below the height of the bar in the bottom position.
You do not want it to touch in the bottom position, but you do not want to have to go down more than another inch or so to be able to set down the bar if you are unable to get out of the bottom, which is most likely where you will fail during squats.
Whether they are safe or not depends on the individual and how they perform the exercise. Some people are not well suited to perform squats, typically those with longer legs relative to their torsos. In those instances, leg presses or deadlifts are a good substitute.
If they are performed in a ballistic manner, with lots of bouncing, firing out of the bottom position, and slamming into lockout at the top, they will eventually cause an injury.