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Barbell Equipment

Barbell Exercises for Beginners

    The aim for beginners to weight training must be to establish a foundation for the later more intensive workouts. Successful bodybuilding involves bringing together different elements such as nutrition and rest--but choosing the right exercises is crucial.

    Initially beginners should aim to complete two sets of ten to twelve reps. After a few weeks, when you have developed sufficient control and basic strength, experiment with one set of six to eight reps to failure. This will maximize your muscle growth and give you the impetus to move on to the next stage of development. Before long you'll find the use of this single piece of equipment restricting, so later in this series of articles we'll pull together a muscle boosting program that utilizes other equipment to take you to the intermediate level. In the meantime, get to work with these exercises in order to get used to working your muscles. An overview of barbell exercises here.


Start off training four days per week and work body parts on the following basis not forgetting to incorporate rest days:
Day 1 - Biceps, Back, Abs
Day 2- Hamstrings, Shoulders, Abs
Day 3 - Quads, Forearms, Calves
Day 4 - Triceps, Chest, Abs

The exercises recommended for beginners are as follows:

CHEST: Bench press
SHOULDERS: Upright row, military press, front shrug
TRICEPS: Lying triceps extension, lying triceps extension with a curl bar
BICEPS: Standing curl, EZ standing curl
LOWER BODY: Squat, reverse lunge, calf raise  


Barbell Exercises

   There are many different types of barbell exercises you can do to help strengthen muscles. The barbell exercises below are standard barbell exercises you would learn to perform at a gym or from a personal instructor. If you are going to try these barbell exercises at home, please remember to be safe.

TWO ARM BENCH PRESS - (Use a spotter) (A) On a bench with barbell at chest, hands about shoulder width apart, (B) press above chest until arms are completely extended then return to position (A) and repeat. (1 set of 10 repetitions) For chest, back of upper arms and shoulders.  
TWO ARM CURL (A) Feet shoulder width apart with palms facing forward. Keep back and legs straight. (B) Curl barbell upward. (C) Lower barbell to position (A) and repeat. (2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions) For biceps and forearms.  
SEATED MILITARY PRESS - Raise the barbell to shoulders. Sit on a bench or flat solid chair. Feet a comfortable distance apart and back straight. Slowly press the barbell overhead to arms length. Slowly lower it to starting position. Inhale up, exhale down. (2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions)  
UPRIGHT ROW -  (A) With feet shoulder width apart, grip the barbell near the center, (hands about 6 inches apart), palms facing the rear. Lift the barbell up towards your chin, keeping elbows higher than arms and shoulders. (2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions)  
TOE RAISES - (Use a spotter) (A) With feet shoulder width apart, lift barbell to the shoulders in one movement. Press the bar upward until arms are completely extended. (B) Lower bar slowly onto shoulders behind neck. Raise up on toes as far as possibe and hold for two counts then return to floor and repeat. (2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions) For calf muscles.  
SHOULDER SHRUGS - With feet shoulder width apart, arms extended, hold barbell across upper thighs, knuckles forward. (A) Exhale while shrugging shoulders up, back then down as far as possible. (B) Lower shoulders to starting position then repeat. Variation: Use a circular motion shrugging shoulders up, back then forward. (2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions) For shoulders  
DEEP KNEE BENDS - (Use a spotter) (A) With feet shoulder width apart. Lift bar from floor to chest then press overhead. Lower bar slowly onto shoulders behind neck. (B) Lower into squatting position and repeat. (2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions) For upper thighs and more muscle groups than any other single exercise.  
FRENCH CURL (Use a spotter) (A) With feet comfortably apart, back and legs straight, hands about 10 inches apart, knuckles facing forward. Raise barbell to shoulders (B) Press bar to arms length overhead (C) Lower bar behind with elbows pointed up and out. Return to position (B) then back to (C) and repeat. (2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions) For back of upper arms.



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