How many minutes you should rest between sets?

Many people often ask me how many minutes they should rest between sets. This is a good question and I think there is lot of confusion when people are doing their workouts. I don’t blame them because even I was confused when I started working out.

Initially when I started I used to rest for 1 minute between the sets. This was something that I read in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s encyclopaedia of modern bodybuilding. I followed this advice and I got some incredible pumps in the gym. The one that will make your arms explode

Then later I read some bodybuilding magazines and I read lot of conflicting information. Some said you should rest for 2 minutes and some said we should rest for 3 minutes.

I was confused what to do because of all this conflicting information.

So what is the right time to rest between the sets?

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you will realize that I am an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan and I like to follow his advice. So i would suggest resting for 1 minute for small body parts and for compound exercises like bench presses, dead lifts and squats, I would recommend you to rest for 2 minutes. This is something you should do when you are working to build muscle.

Your goal when building muscle is to lift heavier weights and you can accomplish that when you are resting more between sets.

When you are working on losing weight, then you can rest less between the sets. At this time, your goal is to lose as much fat as possible. This will be attained when you are not resting a lot in your sets.

So these are simple two things you have to keep in your mind when you are doing your workouts.

You can also try something different from time to time. This is resting between 2 to 3 minutes. This is when your goal is to lift more weights and you are thinking of doing some heavy power training workouts. Sometimes you should go for 1 repetition maximum and challenge yourself and see who much weight you can lift in three basic exercises. Of course, you have to do this when you are thinking of gaining muscle.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you can always ask a question by commenting on this blog.

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Reverse barbell curls for big forearms

In this post, I will explain how you can build big forearms by doing reverse barbell curls.

You can build big forearms like Popeye if you do this exercise right 🙂

Reverse barbell curls is one of my best exercise for forearms. If you are in bodybuilding, this exercise can help you a lot. You know why? The reason is that this exercise helps you in making big forearms and when you have big forearm, it is beneficial to you.

When you have big forearms, you will be able to grip better and you can also do many of other exercises easily. This will help you in building muscle mass quickly because you can lift heavier weights. Lifting heavy weights is key to making big muscles.

So reverse barbell curls can be boon for your bodybuilding efforts.

So let’s find out which muscles are worked when you do reverse barbell curl? This exercise is primarily used to build your upper forearms and your outer biceps. It builds your outer biceps also whenever you do this exercise.

So let’s learn to do reverse barbell curls?

You do this movement the same way you will do barbell curls however you will hold the barbell in a ‘reverse way’. You will lift the bar with your knuckles faced away from the body. Lift the barbell with your palms facing inwards.  After picking up the bar, lift the bar in a curling motion unless it reaches your shoulder. When it reaches your shoulder, you have to flex your forearm and your bicep muscle. This is called as ‘peak contraction’ principle. The weight should be brought down slowly in a controlled fashion until it touches your thighs again.

When you are doing this movement, you have to make sure that your elbows are near your body and they move outside. This ensures that your target muscle is doing the work.

Only your forearms should move in this exercise.

I have generally felt that whenever I do this exercise I am able to lift around 20 to 30 pounds lighter than what I would ideally lift while I am doing barbell curls. I think this exercise will build big forearms for you and you can do this exercise on your biceps day.

You can do 4 sets of this exercise and you can do 8 to 12 repetitions if you are trying to lose weight and you can 4 to 6 repetitions if you are trying to build your muscle mass. It all depends on your goal.

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Doing Standing and Sitting Dumbbell curls the right way.

If you have read my blog for a while, you must have figured out that I love biceps workout. In this blog post, I will be explaining how to do dumbbell curls that right way.

Doing the proper bicep curl to build your biceps is necessary because it helps to build your biceps that you have always dreamed of.

In this blog post, I will explain how you can do dumbbell curls the right way. My last post was about alternate dumbbell curls and let me be honest, I am not a fan of that exercise because I think when you are alternating the dumbbell curl movement, you are giving some time to rest your biceps.

This takes the tension off the biceps and this is something that you don’t want. You always should be building continuous tension to your biceps or any other muscle you are building.

So what is the right way to do dumbbell curls?

You can do dumbbell curls standing, sitting or on an incline bench.

Let’s talk about how you can do this movement when you are standing. To do this movement standing, you should pick up the dumbbells that you can lift and your dumbbells should be facing the mirror whenever you are doing this. In a curling motion, lift the weight up until they reach your shoulder.

When the dumbbells reach the shoulder, you should flex your biceps and then drop the dumbbells slowly. You have to do the movement slowly and you have to feel the tension in your biceps all the time when you are doing this movement.

When you are doing this movement standing you can cheat a little which helps when you are working on building muscle mass.

If you want to do some perfect movement and you don’t want to cheat, then I would advise you to do this movement sitting on a bench. This provides some extra isolation and it will be good for your biceps when you do this movement.

When you are doing dumbbell curls sitting or a seated bicep curl, you do the movement the same I have explained above. Only difference will be that you will be doing this movement when you are sitting on the bench.

So when you are thinking of defining your bicep muscle, you can always do dumbbell curls sitting and when you want to build your muscle and expand it, you can then do this exercise when you are standing.

Other alternative way to do this exercise is that you can do incline dumbbell curls. For doing this you will need a inclined bench that you use for exercising your upper chest. You will lie down on the incline bench and your dumbbells will be on the side. This exercise will train the muscle fibers which were not possible when you do the standard dumbbell curls movement. The reason is that you are using a longer range of motion when you are doing incline dumbbell curls.

 

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Alternate dumbbell curls for big biceps

If you want to know how to do alternate dumbbell curls, you have come to the right place. Alternate dumbbell curls isolate your biceps muscle and you can do it as an ending movement for building your biceps. You can replace it with one exercise like concentration curls for one or two workouts. However I want to state that I like concentration curls more than this exercise. I have explained how to do concentration curls in other post so I won’t get into exact details about it.

It is always good to start with barbell curls because it is a good basic compound exercise which is necessary. You can finish by doing isolation exercises.  

So let’s get into how to do alternate dumbbell curls. To do this exercise, you have to get some dumbbells that you are comfortable with and stand with them. When you lift the dumbbells at that time, they will at the side of your thighs. In a twisting motion, you should lift the dumbbells until they are ahead of your thighs. When they are ahead of your thighs, your grip will be facing forward and you have to lift the dumbbells in a curling motion.

Do this in a controlled fashion and lift it till the dumbbell reaches the shoulder. Flex your biceps over the top of the movement and then drop the weight down slowly. Do the same movement with your other arm.

The point is that you have to do this movement using an alternative movement, so that you don’t have to lift the dumbbells together like you would do in a dumbbell curls movement.

This exercise will bring definition to your biceps and you can incorporate this routine in your biceps workout.

Some things to remember whenever you are doing alternate dumbbell curls

You have to make sure that you don’t rock your body while doing this movement. You have to keep your back straight while doing this movement.

Another thing that you can do while doing this movement is you can sit on your bench and then perform this movement. This will ensure that you don’t cheat and focus will be on the right muscle.

As this is an isolation movement, you can use high repetitions for this exercise.

You can do 4 sets between 8 to 12 repetitions. These are lot but you will feel an awesome pump whenever you are doing this.

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Standing Barbell Curl Benefits

There are many benefits of standing barbell curl. I will be sharing those benefits in this post. This is one of my favorite exercises. And l like it because biceps are one of favorite body part. I always wanted to make big arms and did achieve my goal of 18 inch arms. My arms measure now 16 and ½ inches. Well, that’s a different story and I don’t want to talk about me in this post. But my goal is to build them again.

Okay, I won’t waste your time with my goals. Let’s get right into how standing barbell curls can help you. Because that is what is this post is all about.

So how can Standing Barbell Curls help you and why should you do it?

Standing Barbell Curl is a basic compound exercise that is good for your biceps. If your goal is to shape your biceps or if you want to build mass of your biceps, this exercise is the best exercise for your biceps. There are many isolation exercises also, but this is the king of all biceps exercises.

If your goal is to build muscle, load the weight you are comfortable with and load the barbell. The heavier the weight the more your muscle will grow. You have to be sure that you are following the right technique when you are doing barbell curls. Only by following the right technique, you will get the results you want.

So how do you do standard barbell curl and which muscles work when you do this exercise?

You can do barbell curls with a straight bar or you can also use an ez bar curl. I have got good results with a straight bar. When you have a wide grip, it will build your inner biceps and when you have close grip it will work on your outer biceps.

So this way, you can work your biceps muscle when and target outer biceps or inner biceps depending upon what is weak point of your biceps.

The best technique is to keep the grip that is shoulder level. Same goes with standing barbell curl with ez bar curls.

When you do barbell curls, it will work your biceps but it will also work on your forearms muscles. You will feel some kind of stretch in your forearms also. So it helps to build your forearm muscles to some degree also.

So let me explain how you can do this exercise by yourself. Pick up the barbell and load the weights you are comfortable with. Then aim for five sets of this exercise. Use a straight bar and a shoulder width when you are doing this exercise.  Curl the weight up by standing straight. When you do this movement you have to be sure that you are keeping your wrists steady and you should not twist your wrists outside or inward. If you do this, you will take the pressure off the biceps and you will be working your forearms.

Also, your elbows should not go to the side and your upper arms should be steady when you do this exercise.  Only your forearms should move in this exercise. The biceps should do the majority of work when you are doing this exercise.

When you are doing this exercise, there are many times when you will get carried away with people doing this exercise with more weights. Don’t copy them and do the exercise with the weights you are comfortable with.

There are many show offs in the gym who will be doing this exercise with weights loaded that they cannot handle. I feel they are bunch of phonies who will hurt themselves. So don’t be like them.

So now you know the standing barbell curl form, make sure that you follow it.

Do the exercise in a correct text book form. Text book form will give the correct results.

Another few things that are important when you are doing this exercise is that you should not drop the weight when you are doing the negative part. The negative part of the movement is when the weight is coming down with gravity. That is the time you need to control the weight and not just drop it.

This is an important thing. The other thing that you need to do is make sure that you flex your muscle when you reach the top of the movement.  This will build the peak of your muscle.

Another thing you have to do when doing this exercise is that you should build continuous tension when you are doing this exercise this means when you are at the bottom of the movement when you are doing this exercise, you should not rest and keep going on until your biceps are crying for mercy. Don’t stop and keep on going. Pain means growth. Always remember, No pain, No gain. This is a motivational quote that I read in Arnold’s encyclopedia of bodybuilding.

As you are aiming for 5 sets of these exercises, there are two things you can do. The first set is always for warm up and it can be for 20 repetitions.

In the following sets, the repetitions will reduce and you will increase the weights on the barbells. So you can do next repetitions in the range of 8 to 12 repetitions. This should be done if you are looking to shape the muscle. This will also increase your endurance.

If your goal is opposite and you want to do build muscles mass, then I would recommend doing repetitions in 6 to 8 repetitions range. This will build muscle mass.

On occasions, I would even suggest doing repetitions as low as 6 repetitions, 4 repetitions and even 2 repetitions. This is kind of performing barbell curls with power training method. It has worked for me and it should work for you also.

You should do this if you are aiming for building big biceps like your favorite bodybuilders and actors.

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Learn to do T bar rows

T bar rows are an amazing exercise for upper back and you should do it to build your upper back. You can build the width of your back with lat pull downs and pull ups. But if you want to build your thick upper back, then you should do T bar rows.

Bent over rows is another exercise to build your upper back. When you do both of these exercises, you will be sure that you have build good workout routine for your back. 

So the question is how do you do T bars rows?

If you are in a good gym, usually you have T bar rows machine. You can just load the plates you are comfortable with and start doing repetitions. I was lucky to have T bar machine in a gym I used to workout in. However most of the gyms don’t have a T bar row machine but there is a good alternative.

If you don’t have a T bar rows machine, then I will explain how you can do T bar rows without a standard machine. This just has few extra steps and you can use same instructions if you have T bar rows machine in your gym.

To do T bar rows, you need a barbell and a corner of a room. Fit the barbell in the corner of room. Keep a heavy dumbbell or some heavy plates on it. This will make sure that the barbell doesn’t move when you are performing the exercise. This is a safety precaution you have to take.

Load the plates you are comfortable and stand with the bar between your legs.

You will need a v grip handle that you also use when you are doing seated cable rows. When you have this v grip handle, hook it under the bar with both your hands. When you are in this position, you have to keep your back straight and it should not be arched.

In this position, pull the bar up until it touches your body and then drop the weight down again. This is the right movement and make sure that the weights don’t touch the floor. You need a good range of motion but you also have to build continuous tension when you are doing this exercise.

Aim for 5 sets of 6 to 10 repetitions. You can also do 1 warm up set of 10 to 20 repetitions. This is advisable on most of the exercises you do. It is always good to do a warm up exercise of more repetitions in the same movement.

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