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Hard Gainer: Barbell Workout

If you only have access to a barbell and weights, try this routine

Perform three workouts per week (I, II, and III), resting at least a day between each session.

Workout I

1 Front Squat
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Start with the barbell on the supports of a power rack at about shoulder height. Grab the bar overhand and raise your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Now lift the bar off the rack, letting it roll toward your fingers-this is where it should rest throughout the exercise (as long as you keep your elbows raised, you won't have trouble balancing the bar) [1]. Squat as low as you can [2], and then drive with your legs to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

2 Snatch
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Place a barbell on the floor and grab it with an overhand grip, hands twice shoulder-width apart. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, crouch down behind it as if you were going to perform a deadlift [1]. Now explosively stand up and raise the bar straight up in front of your torso. When the bar reaches chest level, flip your wrists to face the ceiling and allow the momentum to help you press the bar straight overhead [2]. Reverse the motion to return the bar to the floor. That's one rep.

3 Barbell Shoulder Press
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower and grab the bar with a slightly wider-than-shoulder- width grip (wrap your thumbs around the bar). To get the bar into position, you can either explosively heave it up off the floor and up to your shoulders, or set the bar at shoulder level on the supports of a power rack. If the bar is on the rack, nudge it off and let it rest against the front of your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and push your chest out [1]. Begin pressing the bar overhead, retracting your head as the bar rises to keep it out of the way. When the bar passes your head, press it up and slightly backward so that it ends up in line with the back of your head [2]. Hold for a moment, then lower the bar back to your shoulders. That's one rep.

 

Workout II

1 Deadlift
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, your toes facing straight ahead. Squat down and grab the bar with an outside-shoulder-width, palms-down grip [1]. Keep your lower back in its natural arch and drive your heels into the floor and push your hips forward, lifting the bar as you rise until it's in front of your thighs [2]. Reverse the motion and return the bar to the floor. That's one rep.

2 Sleeve Press
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Wedge the end of a barbell into a corner and load the opposite end with a weight plate. Hold the tip of the bar (the sleeve) in your right hand and get into a lunge position with your left leg forward [1].From there, stand up and press the bar straight overhead, twisting your torso to the left as you rise [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. Complete all your reps on that side and then repeat on the opposite side.

3 Barbell Curl
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Hold a straight bar with hands shoulder width apart [1]. Keeping your elbows braced against your sides, curl the bar as high as you can [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

 

Workout III

1 Clean and Push Press
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Grab a barbell with a shoulder-width, overhand grip, and bend forward at the hips so that the bar hangs at about knee level [1]. Explosively shrug your shoulders and pull the weight straight up in front of your body until it reaches chest level. At that point, bend your elbows and flip your wrists so that they face the ceiling-your upper arms should end up parallel to the floor [2]. Now quickly dip your knees as if you were going to jump and then explosively drive with your legs and press the bar straight overhead [3]. Lower the bar back down to the starting position. That's one rep.

2 Single-Leg Squat
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and then raise one leg in front of you as high as you can [1]. Bend your hips and the knee of the support leg and lower your body as far as you can [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. Complete all your reps, and then repeat on the opposite leg.

3 Underhand-Grip Bentover Row
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.

Hold a barbell with an underhand grip (note: the picture above shows an overhand grip, but grip the bar as if you were doing a curl). Let the bar hang at hip level and, keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend at the hips and lower your torso until it's parallel to the floor. Bend your knees a bit to take tension off your hamstrings. Let the bar hang straight down [1]. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the weight straight up until it touches your sternum [2]. Lower the weight to the starting position. That's one rep.

Jason Ferruggia is MF's chief training adviser and the owner of musclegainingsecrets.com.

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