When it comes to building muscle and losing bodyfat and improving your body composition, there are so many factors that decide it. You might remember the first day when you stepped foot inside a gym you had no idea how to start off your session. But gradually the trainers in the gym might have offered to help plus you have access to internet now and some of the most popular fitness related content online involves big bodybuilders with lot of muscles which might appeal the majority. While there is nothing wrong with following bodybuilders for fitness advice, but we should always remember that they are professionals who use performance enhancing drugs as a aid to achieve that look.
I am a huge promoter of natural bodybuilding and fitness and I love doing things optimally. I will also be telling you why the word OPTIMAL is so important. The word optimal means best or most favourable; optimum.
If you watch a lot of bodybuilders talk, you might have heard then saying – I LOVE THIS EXERCISE AND IT REALLY HELPED ME. This is a bodybuilder who has 200 + pounds of lean muscle mass already and the room for improvement is very less. Yes, a particular exercise could have worked for him, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best for you. That is why we need to select exercises that go in line with the function of our muscles.
The 4 main factors that affect muscle building are:
- Progressive Overload
- Training Intensity
- EXERCISE SELECTION
Today we are going to talk about exercise selection. Exercise selection is very important because there will be a handful of movements you won’t be able to do comfortably because of your physical structure, but I can assure you that there will be a few exercises you are doing currently for which there are better alternatives.
The 3 most important things you need to worry about when selecting an exercise:
- Are you performing the function of the muscle?
- Are you performing the exercise with full range of motion with constant tension throughout?
- Is the exercise safe for you to perform while also increasing weight gradually over time?
HERE ARE THE TOP 5 EXERCISES YOU NEED TO STOP DOING WITH DUMBBELLS
DUMBBELL TRICEP KICKBACKS WITH TRICEP CABLE KICKBAKS
In my 6 year experience of training people, I have never seen people being so attached to one exercise as they did with dumbbell kickbacks. I will tell you why it might not be better than cable tricep kickbacks. One of the bigger reasons is TENSION ON THE MUSCLE. You might tell me that you can feel the muscle. Yes you can feel the muscle because there is tension on the muscle only at the final part of the range of motion (when your elbows are completely extended). You are performing the function of your triceps which is elbow extension but not throughout the range of motion, but with cables you are performing the function on the muscle which keeping tension on it throughout the range of motion.
FLAT BENCH DUMBBELL FLYES WITH CABLE CROSSOVERS
With this exercise its more about safety than anything else. The range of motion with dumbbell flyes is more than requires and it can put a lot of stress on your shoulders along with the chest. Another thing with dumbbell flyes is that at the top of your range of motion (when you bring both dumbbells closer to each other), the tension on the muscles reduces drastically. That is exactly the reason why you should switch over to cables. With cables you can control the weights and keep the tension on your muscles throughout the range of motion.
INCLINE DUMBBELL FLYES WITH INCLINE CABLE FLYES
Nothing to discover here. The same rules apply for incline dumbbell flyes and flat bench dumbbell flyes.
DUMBBELL PULLOVERS WITH CABLE PULLOVERS
I don’t know where to start with dumbbell pullovers. Some say with increases the width of your upper torso, some say with will widen the chest, some say it will give you wings better than red bull. But in reality all it does is makes on uncomfortable and people who watch it uncomfortable. I can tell you that it doesn’t do anything mentioned above. Does it target your lats? Yes of course, but not to the degree people claim it does. In the case of standing cable pullovers, you are totally isolating your lats while keeping constant tension on the muscle pus it is much easier for you to set up for the exercise.
OVERHEAD DUMBBELL TRICEP EXTENSIONS WITH OVERHEAD CABLE EXTENSIONS
I won’t lie, up until 2014 I used to love this exercise because I was told that this is a tricep mass builder, but I soon realized that it was not the best thing I was doing. The overhead tricep extensions are great for the long head of your tricep (the head of the triceps that you can see from the front when you do front double biceps). Your shoulders are in a flexed position. With dumbbells, you might not have tension throughout the range of motion plus lifting very heavyweights with dumbbells might be problem because getting the dumbbells over your head might be an issue. The simple solution is overhead tricep cable extension. I also recommend you do it one hand at a time as you can focus on one side and prevent muscular imbalances in the future.
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