Getting Stronger 20th Anniversary Edition

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Getting Back in Shape
by Bill Pearl
and
Bob Anderson
author of
Stretching

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Barbell Training
from Getting Stronger by Bill Pearl

This is page 317 from our book Getting Stronger, by Bill Pearl. Scroll down for written instructions for each exercise. Click the illustration for a printable Adobe PDF file.

dumbbell training chart


Directions

One plate-loading barbells with a selection of plates and a flat bench are the only pieces of equipment needed for this training program. Use enough weight so that the last rep of each exercise is fairly difficult. Perform the exercises in the order shown. Do 1, 2, or 3 sets of each exercise, depending on how long and hard a workout you want.

Days per week: M-W-F or T-Th-Sat.


1.
Barbell Good Morning
Lower Back and Abdominals
  • Stand erect, feet 16" apart.
  • Place light barbell on shoulders.
  • Keep back straight, head up.
  • Bend forward until upper body is parallel to floor.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Keep knees locked.
  • Inhale down, exhale up.

Barbell Good Morning

2.
Heel-High Sit-Ups
Upper Abdominals
  • Lie on floor with lower legs on top of bench.
  • Position body so thighs are at a 45 angle.
  • With hands behind head, pull up as far as possible.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Do not swing body up and down but concentrate on abdominal muscles.
  • Exhale up, inhale down.
  • To make harder, hold light weight on chest.

Heel-High Sit-Ups

3.
Seated Barbell Twist
Obliques
  • Place light barbell on shoulders.
  • Sit at end of bench, feet firmly on floor.
  • Twist torso to right, then to left by twisting at waist only.
  • Do not move head from side to side.
  • Keep back straight, head up.
  • Inhale to right, exhale to left.
  • Can also be done standing.
  • Can also be done holding dumbbell next to chest.

Seated Barbell Twist

4.
Seated Blat Bench Leg Tuck
Lower Abdominals
  • Sit on flat bench.
  • Place hands behind buttocks and hold sides of bench.
  • Sit back slightly and raise feet about 6" off floor.
  • Bend knees, bringing torso slightly forward until upper thighs and chest touch.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Keep tension on abdominals.
  • Inhale up, exhale down.

Seated Blat Bench Leg Tuck

5.
Medium-Grip Barbell Bench Press
Outer Pectorals
  • Lie on bench, feet flat on floor.
  • Hold barbell about 6" wider than shoulder width.
  • Lower bar to chest about 1" below nipples.
  • Raise bar to arms' length.
  • Keep elbows out, chest high.
  • Lower weight with complete control, making definite pause at chest.
  • Keep head on bench, do not arch back too sharply.
  • Do not raise hips off bench.
  • Inhale down, exhale up.


Medium-Grip Barbell Bench Press

6.
Medium Grip Barbell Upright Rowing
Front Deltoids and Trapezious
  • Hold barbell, palms down, hands 18" apart.
  • Start with bar at arms' length.
  • Pull bar straight up until nearly under chin.
  • Keep elbows out to side, as high as ears.
  • Keep bar close to body.
  • Pause momentarily at top before lowering to starting position.
  • Inhale up, exhale down.
  • Concentrate on deltoids as you lower weight.
  • Can also be done with wide grip.


Medium Grip Barbell Upright Rowing

7.
Medium-Grip Straight-Arm Barbell Pullover
Pectorals and Rib Cage
  • Lie on bench, head at end, feet flat on floor.
  • Hold barbell above shoulders, hands 24" apart.
  • Lower bar in semicircular motion over head as far as possible without pain.
  • Return bar to starting position, elbows locked.
  • Inhale down, exhale up.
  • Breathe heavily, keep head down, chest high, hips on bench.


Medium-Grip Straight-Arm Barbell Pullover

8.
Standing Military Press
Front and Outer Deltoids
  • Raise barbell to chest, hands shoulder width apart.
  • Lock legs and hips solidly.
  • Keep elbows in, slightly under bar.
  • Press bar to arms' length overhead.
  • Lower to upper chest.
  • Be sure bar rests on chest and is not supported by arms between reps.
  • Hold chest high.
  • Inhale up, exhale down.


Standing Military Press

9.
Standard Bent-Over Two-Arm Long Bar Rowing
Upper Back and Lower Lats
  • Place empty barbell bar in a corner or against something.
  • Put weights on other end of bar.
  • Straddle bar and bend forward until torso is parallel to floor.
  • Keep knees slightly bent.
  • Hold bar just behind plates with both hands.
  • Pull bar straight up, elbows in, until plates touch chest.
  • Lower bar to starting position.
  • Inhale up, exhale down.
  • Do not let plates touch floor during exercise.
  • Keep back straight


Standard Bent-Over Two-Arm Long Bar Rowing

10.
Barbell Dead Lift
Buttocks, Thighs, Lower Back
  • Place barbell on floor in front of you.
  • Keep feet 16" apart.
  • Bend down and hold bar just outside of knees.
  • Keep knees bent, back straight, head up.
  • Using thighs and back, stand erect, arms locked.
  • Inhale up, exhale down.
  • Can also be done with dumbbells.

Barbell Dead Lift

11. Lying Floor Close-Grip Barbell Triceps Curl to Forehead
Triceps
  • Lie on back on floor.
  • Hold barbell with hands 6" apart, palms up.
  • Press bar to arms' length above shoulders.
  • Lower bar in semicircular motion to forehead, bending arms at elbows, keeping upper arms vertical.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Inhale down, exhale up.
  • Can also be done with medium grip, or 2 dumbbells, palms facing in.


Lying Floor Close-Grip Barbell Triceps Curl to Forehead

12.
Standing Medium-Grip Barbell Curl
Biceps
  • Hold barbell with both hands, palms up, 18" apart.
  • Stand erect, back straight, head up, feet 16" apart.
  • Start with bar at arms' length against upper thighs.
  • Curl bar up in semicircular motion until forearms touch biceps.
  • Keep upper arms close to sides.
  • Lower to starting position using same path.
  • Do not swing back and forth to help lift bar.
  • Inhale up, exhale down.
  • Can also be done with wide grip.


Standing Medium-Grip Barbell Curl

13.
Lying-Supine Close-Grip Barbell Triceps Kick Back
Triceps

  • Hold barbell with hands 8" apart, palms down.
  • Lie on back with head close to end of bench.
  • Position bar behind head.
  • Keep upper arms close to head and parallel to floor, lower arms vertical to floor.
  • Push bar up in semicircular motion until lower arms are parallel to floor.
  • Hold bar at top momentarily.
  • Lower slowly to starting position.
  • Inhale up, exhale down.
  • Can also be done with medium grip.


Lying-Supine Close-Grip Barbell Triceps Kick Back

14.
Seated Close-Grip Concentrated Barbell Curl
Outer Biceps
  • Place barbell on floor near end of bench.
  • Sit at end of bench, feet about 24" apart.
  • Bend forward at waist.
  • Hold bar with both hands, palms up, 6" apart.
  • Rest elbows against inner thighs about 4" up from knees.
  • Curl bar up in semicircular motion until forearms touch biceps.
  • Lower bar to starting position using same path.
  • Inhale up, exhale down.


Seated Close-Grip Concentrated Barbell Curl

15.
Flat-Footed Wide-Stance Barbell Back Squat
Inner Thighs
  • Hold barbell behind you at arms' length.
  • Keep bar tucked against buttocks and upper thighs.
  • Palms up, facing back, hands as wide as hips.
  • Turn wrists up to lock bar solidly.
  • Bar stays this way at all times.
  • Head up, eyes up at 450 angle.
  • Feet firmly on floor, about 22" apart.
  • Squat until upper thighs are parallel to floor.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Inhale down, exhale up.
  • Can also be done with medium (16" apart) stance.


Flat-Footed Wide-Stance Barbell Back Squat

16.

Barbell Front Lunge
Thighs, Hamstrings, Buttocks
  • Place barbell on upper back.
  • Use comfortable hand grip.
  • Keep head up, back straight, feet about 6" apart.
  • Step forward as far as possible with left leg until upper left thigh is almost parallel to floor.
  • Keep right leg as straight possible.
  • Step back to starting position.
  • Inhale out, exhale back.
  • Repeat with right leg.

Barbell Front Lunge