Increase your strength and pack on lean mass all over with this powerlifting-inspired workout.
HOW TO DO IT:
Replace one of your workouts each week with this routine for a month. Perform straight sets of each exercise in the order shown, using the heaviest weight that allows you to complete your reps and sets. Your ultimate goal is to maximize your relative strength (that is, how strong you are for your height and weight).
1. Straight Set x3
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your lower back should be naturally arched. Brace your core.
Hold the bar across your upper back with an overhand grip. Pull your shoulders back so that the bar can rest comfortably on the shelf created by your shoulder blades.
Keeping your lower back arched, lower your body as deep as you can. Initiate the movement by first pushing your hips back, then bend your knees. Your torso should stay as upright as possible.
Pause, then reverse the movement back to the starting position.
2. Straight Set x4
Lie on your back on a flat bench and hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight and palms facing forward.
Before you begin, pull your shoulder blades down and together, and hold them as tight as you can throughout the entire exercise.
Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest, pause, and then push them back up to the starting position. Straighten your arms completely at the top of each repetition.
3. Straight Set x5
Load a barbell and roll it against your shins. Bend at your hips and knees and grab the bar with an overhand grip, your hands just beyond shoulder width.
Keeping your lower back naturally arched, pull your torso up and thrust your hips forward as you stand up with the barbell. As you lift the bar, keep it as close to your body as possible. Lower the bar to the floor. That’s 1 rep.
4. Straight Set x3
Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and your heels on the floor.
Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
Dip your hips and then explosively thrust your hips upwards, allowing your feet to leave the floor.
Land with control, allowing your hips to dip again before your next rep.
5. Straight Set x3
Assume a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your forearms on the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles.
Now tighten your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Maintain this contraction. Breathe deeply.
By editors of Men’s Health