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2024 Oklahoma Pro Bodybuilding Results

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Robert Timms was victorious during the 2024 Oklahoma Pro!

The 2024 Oklahoma Pro took place on Saturday in Tulsa, OK. The Classic Physique division was on display with the winner punching his ticket to the 2024 Olympia. In the end, it was Robert Timms who qualified and will return to the biggest show of the year.

Timms will be returning to the Olympia for the first time since 2021. He made an appearance in four competitions (2016-18, 2021) headlined by a sixth place finish in 2016. In recent years, Timms has victorious during the 2021 Texas Pro and Lou Ferrigno Legacy Pro in 2016 and 2017.

The full results from the show have been announced. Below, check out the full breakdown, along with an official scorecard. 

2024 Oklahoma Pro Breakdown

Classic Physique

  • First Place – Robert Timms
  • Second Place – Lamar Shaw
  • Third Place – Matt Orchard
  • Fourth Place – Adam Thomas
  • Fifth Place – Sonny O’Brien
  • Sixth Place – Barry Irving
  • Seventh Place – Travis Hester
  • Eighth Place – Antonio Cummings
  • Ninth Place – Jorge Tabet
  • Tenth Place – Harold Bright

2024 Oklahoma Pro Official Scorecard

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2024 Omaha Pro Bodybuilding Results

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Here are the full results from the 2024 Omaha Pro!

The 2024 Omaha Pro took place on Saturday with the Women’s Physique division taking the stage hoping to earn a spot in the 2024 OlympiaSusan Graham proved superior and will compete at the biggest show in the world.

Graham will make her Olympia debut after making big improvements this year. She finished as the runner-up during the Optimum Classic Pro in May. Last year, she was second during the Legion Sport Fest and finished in the top five during the return of the Masters Olympia. Now, she will compete against the best in the world come October.

The full results from the show have been announced. Below, check out the full breakdown, along with an official scorecard. 

2024 Omaha Pro Breakdown

Women’s Physique

  • First Place – Susan Graham
  • Second Place – Natalia Bystrova
  • Third Place – Winsome White
  • Fourth Place – Hayley Perry
  • Fifth Place – Calli Prell Cihal
  • Sixth Place – Katie Nyland
  • Seventh Place – Nadia Henriquez
  • Eighth Place – Justina Threadgill
  • Ninth Place – Carrie Hughes
  • Tenth Place – Stacey Lewis

2024 Omaha Pro Official Scorecard

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2024 Mile High Pro Bodybuilding Results

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Here are the full results from the 2024 Mile High Pro!

The 2024 Mile High Pro took place on Saturday in Denver. The Men’s Physique and Bikini divisions took the stage looking to earn qualification to the 2024 Olympia.

Ashley Kaltwasser continued to roll in 2024, earning her 47th career victory. She is already qualified for the Olympia and will look to remain in the top three, where she finished in 2023. Rhyan Clark will make his debut at the Olympia after earning this victory in Men’s Physique. He competed five times last year, headlined by a runner-up finish during the Phoenix Pro. Now, he will be able to test himself against the best in the world.

The full results from the show have been announced. Below, check out the full breakdown, along with an official scorecard. 

2024 Mile High Pro: All Division Winners

  • Men’s Physique: Rhyan Clark
  • Bikini: Ashley Kaltwasser

2024 Mile High Pro Breakdown

Men’s Physique

  • First Place – Rhyan Clark
  • Second Place – Darnell Dean
  • Third Place – Dallas Botchway
  • Fourth Place – Wilfred Harris
  • Fifth Place – Franky Yan
  • Sixth Place – Ricardo Cenat
  • Seventh Place – Abrahan Sanchez
  • Eighth Place – Raphael Souza
  • Ninth Place – Tony Chinakwe
  • Tenth Place – Damar Turner

Bikini

  • First Place – Ashley Kaltwasser
  • Second Place – Kate Carroll
  • Third Place – Su Aramayo
  • Fourth Place – Elisangela Angell
  • Fifth Place – Amanda Rivas
  • Sixth Place – Ashley Humiston
  • Seventh Place – Madison Thomas
  • Eighth Place – Alexander Leeper
  • Ninth Place – Julia Wohlschlegel
  • Tenth Place – Chrissy Rodriguez

 

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2024 Mile High Pro Official Scorecards

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Jay Cutler Shares The One Supplement He Would Chose To Build Muscle

jay cutler dumbbell biceps exercises

Jay Cutler sticks to the basics with creatine as his best supplement.

Bodybuilding legend Jay Cutler’s influence extends to social media, where he has amassed a large following by sharing insights into proper nutrition and effective muscle-building exercises. Recently, he answered a question about the No. 1 product to build muscle and he chose creatine.

“Creatine. Okay, like I said, this is the longest researched and most effective product. Male or female, this product is great.”

Cutler was part of one of the greatest bodybuilding rivalries in history with Ronnie Coleman. He ended Coleman’s streak of eight consecutive Olympia victories in 2006. He would win back-to-back titles before losing to Dexter Jackson in 2008. Cutler would rebound with two more victories in 2009-10.

Beyond his athletic achievements, Cutler has also made a name for himself in the business world as the founder of Cutler Nutrition. His contributions to the sport were honored with the 2024 Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was inducted into the Bodybuilding Hall of Fame, cementing his legacy.

Jay Cutler Instagram

Jay Cutler Talks Benefits Of Creatine

Jay Cutler chose creatine as his best muscle-building substance and backed it up with the well-researched nature of it. There are certain negative connotations that come with creatine and Cutler touched on those as well.

“Of course, you hear about ‘does it dehydrate you? Does it make you retain water?’ You should stay active with your drinking anyway. With creatine, as long as your diets in check, it’s a great product.”

 

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Creatine is great for recovery and gives weightlifters more strength in the gym as well.

“It’s going to make you more swell to the muscles. It’s going to give you more strength and recovery. There’s so many benefits.”

What is a Good Creatine Supplement?

A good creatine supplement is Nutricost Creatine. It contains the purest form of monohydrate on the market.

Get all of the benefits of micronized creatine without breaking the bank and activate muscle building quickly.

Nutricost Creatine is a pure creatine monohydrate supplement that aims to provide users with a convenient and high-quality source of this essential compound for a great price. With third party testing, you know that you are getting straight creatine monohydrate, unflavored so you can mix it with other supplements, and is only $21.15 for 100 servings. This is a creatine supplement that truly cannot be beat.

Nutricost Creatine Review

With that price and the ingredients that are in this, you cannot go wrong with this option to add to your supplement shelf. Check out our full review on Nutricost Creatine here!

Full Name: Jay Cutler
Weight  Height Date of Birth
265-275 lbs 5’9” 08/03/1975
Division Era Nationality
Men’s Open 2000s — 2010s American

Jay Cutler’s Top 3 Dumbbell Biceps Exercises

Jay Cutler has been known to give out plenty of fitness advice for gym goers. He shared his best dumbbell exercises for building biceps. Check them out below: 

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Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise – Exercise Guide

Generation Iron Exercise Guide Calves

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise (Calves) – Exercise Guide

Calves are one of the toughest muscles to grow, and this leads many people to giving up on them. However, they are a crucial part to the overall aesthetic of your physique, especially your legs. That being said, standing calf raises are one of our favorite exercises to hammer these muscles.

Let’s dive into how to do these standing calf raises.

Muscles worked: Calves

Equipment needed: Dumbbells


Step-by-Step Guide to Standing Calf Raises

  1. Setup and Starting Position:

    • Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand, letting your arms hang naturally at your sides.
    • Find a sturdy platform or step that is about 2-3 inches high. Position the balls of your feet on the edge of the platform, allowing your heels to extend off and touch the floor. This position ensures a full range of motion during the exercise.
    • Keep your torso upright, engage your core, and ensure your knees are slightly bent but stable.
  2. Execution:

    • Raise the Heels: Exhale as you contract your calf muscles to lift your heels off the ground. Focus on using your calves to perform this movement rather than relying on momentum. Lift as high as possible onto the balls of your feet, achieving maximum contraction in your calves.
    • Hold the Contraction: At the top of the movement, pause and hold the contraction for a moment. This hold increases the intensity of the exercise and promotes muscle engagement.
  3. Return to Starting Position:

    • Inhale as you slowly lower your heels back to the starting position. This controlled descent is crucial for muscle growth and injury prevention.
    • Allow your heels to slightly touch the ground before starting the next repetition. This ensures a complete stretch of the calf muscles.
  4. Repetition:

    • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions based on your fitness level and training goals. Beginners may start with 10-15 reps, while more experienced individuals can aim for higher reps or additional sets.

Variations and Targeting Different Calf Heads

The calves are composed of three heads: the medial (inner), lateral (outer), and soleus muscles. Adjusting your foot placement can help target these different areas more effectively.

Parallel Feet Placement

  • Primary Target: Medial Calves
  • Execution: Stand with your feet parallel to each other, hip-width apart. This standard position emphasizes the medial heads of the calves, promoting balanced development.

Toes Together, Heels Apart (“A” Shape)

  • Primary Target: Outer Calf Heads
  • Execution: Stand with your toes together and heels apart, forming an “A” shape. This position shifts the focus to the outer heads of the calves, enhancing the width and overall shape of the lower legs.

Heels Together, Toes Apart (“V” Shape)

  • Primary Target: Inner Calf Heads
  • Execution: Stand with your heels together and toes apart, creating a “V” shape. This variation targets the inner heads of the calves, contributing to the thickness and inner definition of the muscles.

Tips for Effective Standing Calf Raises

  • Full Range of Motion: Ensure you use the full range of motion in each rep, from a complete stretch at the bottom to a full contraction at the top. This approach maximizes muscle activation and growth.
  • Controlled Movements: Avoid using momentum to lift your heels. Perform each rep with controlled and deliberate movements to engage the calves fully.
  • Progressive Overload: Gradually increase the weight or the number of repetitions as you become stronger. Progressive overload is key to muscle growth and strength development.
  • Consistency: Incorporate calf raises regularly into your workout routine. Calves are used daily in activities like walking and standing, so they can often handle more frequent training.

Benefits of Standing Calf Raises

  1. Muscle Hypertrophy: Regular calf raises lead to muscle growth and hypertrophy, resulting in more defined and muscular calves.
  2. Strength and Endurance: Strengthening the calf muscles improves overall lower leg strength and endurance, enhancing performance in various physical activities.
  3. Improved Balance and Stability: Strong calves contribute to better balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
  4. Enhanced Athletic Performance: For athletes, powerful calves are crucial for explosive movements like jumping, sprinting, and changing directions quickly.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Using Too Much Weight: Using excessive weight can lead to improper form and potential injury. Start with a manageable weight and gradually increase it.
  • Inadequate Range of Motion: Failing to achieve a full stretch and contraction limits the effectiveness of the exercise. Focus on moving through the complete range of motion.
  • Rushing the Reps: Performing reps too quickly reduces the time under tension, which is essential for muscle growth. Slow and controlled reps yield better results.
  • Neglecting Warm-Up: Warm up your calves with light stretches or dynamic movements before performing calf raises to prevent injury.

Integrating Standing Calf Raises into Your Routine

standing calf raises

  • Warm-Up: Start with a warm-up set using body weight or light dumbbells to prepare your muscles.
  • Workout Split: Include calf raises in your lower body or leg day workouts. Pair them with exercises like squats, lunges, or leg presses for a comprehensive leg routine.
  • Frequency: Train your calves 2-3 times per week to allow for adequate recovery and muscle growth.

Calf Raises Conclusion

Standing calf raises are a simple yet highly effective exercise for building and strengthening the calf muscles. By mastering proper form and incorporating variations, you can target different parts of your calves, leading to balanced and well-defined lower legs. Consistency and progressive overload are key to achieving optimal results, making standing calf raises a valuable addition to any fitness regimen.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

How To Perform the Stiff Leg Deadlifts

pause deadlifts

Learn the stiff leg deadlifts for increased athletic ability and explosive lower body strength. 

Developing a strong posterior chainhamstrings and back muscles–are imperative to build a robust and athletic physique that not only looks good, but also functions well. Your posterior chain is responsible for hip flexion and extension, which is the foundation of explosive movements such as sprinting and jumping. Hip flexion and extension also play a crucial role in squats and deadlifts. Therefore, increasing your hip flexion and extension strength will increase your strength on two of the most important lifts for a strong physique (squats and deadlifts). The stiff leg deadlifts are one of the best movements you can do to strengthen your posterior chain and develop powerful hip flexion and extension (1).

Of course, it’s essential that you use the proper form to fully target the desired muscles and prevent injury. And any movement that hits your lower back (stiff leg deadlifts do), it’s even more important to nail your form to keep your back healthy. To build a solid athletic physique, continue reading to learn how to do them.  

Stiff Leg Deadlifts Technique and Muscles Worked 

The stiff-leg deadlifts are similar to conventional deadlifts, except, as the name suggests, with straight legs. Keeping your knees from bending during a deadlift will engage more of your hamstrings and challenge your hip flexors and extensors more (2). 

The following steps will help you master them to strengthen your hip flexors, extensors, and hamstrings. 

Starting Position

The first step in performing this exercise is to get into your starting position. Grab a barbell with a shoulder-width grip and stance, using a conventional deadlift form to pull the barbell from the ground and let it hang below your hips. This is your starting position. 

Hip Flexion 

Next, you’ll flex your hips while keeping a slight static bend in your knees (to protect your knee joints) and lower the barbell past your knees until your back is parallel with the ground and you feel your hamstrings stretch. Keeping the barbell as close to your body as possible will allow you to lift more weight and protect your lower back

Hip Extension 

You’ll then extend your hips to pull the weight back to the starting position. Keeping your back straight and legs straight through the full range of motion is essential to engage your muscles properly and prevent back injury. 

Benefits of Stiff Leg Deadlifts

stiff leg deadlift

This movement strengthens your lower body, improves athletic performance, and prevents leg injuries. 

Stronger Lower Body 

Since this exercise target the muscles in your posterior chain, it will increase your strength in movements that require your back and hamstrings, such as deadlifts and squats. 

Furthermore, the stiff leg deadlifts strengthen your hip extensors and flexor muscles, and flexion and extension are vital for deadlifts and squats. And since the deadlifts and squats are considered “the king of all exercises,” improving your strength on stiff leg deadlifts will make you stronger overall. 

Improve Athletic Performance

Of course, a more muscular lower body will increase your athletic performance since strengthening your squats and deadlifts can make you faster and improve your jumping ability. And jumping and spriting play a crucial role in many sports. Furthermore, your hip flexor, extensor muscles, and glutes are essential for sprinting and jumping (3). 

Prevent Injury 

Often, it’s easier to pull your hamstrings than your quads. That’s because many people spend hours a day sitting, which overactive your quad muscles and under-activates your glutes and hamstrings. In addition, your hamstrings only contain three muscles, while your quads are composed of four muscles. And since your quads and hamstrings are antagonistic pairs–as one muscle contracts, the other lengthens–you’re more likely to injure your hamstrings with a weak posterior chain.

Stiff Leg Deadlifts Alternatives 

Although the barbell stiff leg deadlifts are the most effective since they allow you to use the most weight, there are other alternatives that can place less strain on your back and provide other benefits. Below are a few different options you can try. 

Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts 

Firstly, you can perform dumbbell stiff leg deadlifts instead of barbell stiff leg deadlifts. This alternative will be the most similar. The movement is the same, except it will be done with dumbbells. Using dumbbells instead of a barbell will place less strain on your lower back. Moreover, you can turn dumbbell stiff leg deadlifts into single leg stiff leg deadlifts to improve your mind-muscle connection. And improve your balance and knee, hip, and core stability. 

Cable Pull-Through

The cable pull-through is a great movement that engages your glutes and hamstrings and strengthens your hip flexion and extension. This exercise is done with a cable machine set at its lowest point with a cable-rope attachment. 

Hip Thrusts

Hip thrusts are performed on a bench with a dumbbell or barbell positioned on your hips. This movement strengthens your hip flexors, extensors, glutes, and hamstring muscles. 

Kettlebell Swings 

Kettlebell swings are another alternative to stiff leg deadlifts. Kettlebells allow for great posterior chain movement that increases your endurance

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions to remember when performing the stiff leg deadlift.

  • Should you keep your legs straight? 

For the most part, you should keep your legs straight while performing this exercise to target your hamstrings the most. However, you should keep your legs slightly bent to protect your knees.

  • Should I use a barbell?

Although we recommend that you use a barbell since that will allow you to use the most weight, you can also perform this movement with dumbbells. Dumbbells (see alternative section above) will place less stress on your back and isolate each hamstring more efficiently.

  • Is this exercise bad for my back? 

If you use the correct form and aren’t using a heavy weight, you will keep your back safe. It’s important to keep your back straight, though. But if you’re worried about your back, you can try one of the alternatives above. However, we recommend you avoid this exercise if you have back pain issues.

Final Word

The stiff leg deadlifts are an excellent exercise for strengthening your lower body and athletic ability. They target your posterior chain and dramatically improve hip flexion and extension power. Just be wary of your lower back; if you’re worried about lower back pain, try one alternative exercise that places less strain on your back. 

References 

  1. Coratella, G., Tornatore, G., Longo, S., Esposito, F., & Cè, E. (2022). An Electromyographic Analysis of Romanian, Step-Romanian, and Stiff-Leg Deadlift: Implication for Resistance Training. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(3), 1903. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031903
  2. Kawama, R., Takahashi, K., & Wakahara, T. (2021). Effect of Hip Joint Position on Electromyographic Activity of the Individual Hamstring Muscles During Stiff-Leg Deadlift. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 35(Suppl 1), S38–S43. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003442
  3. Tottori, N., Suga, T., Miyake, Y., Tsuchikane, R., Tanaka, T., Terada, M., Otsuka, M., Nagano, A., Fujita, S., & Isaka, T. (2021). Trunk and lower limb muscularity in sprinters: what are the specific muscles for superior sprint performance? BMC research notes, 14(1), 74. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-021-05487-x

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Stiff Arm Pulldowns Exercise Guide — How to, Muscles Worked, & Alternatives

45-degree back extension

Stiff arm pulldowns isolate your lat muscles. 

A robust, muscular back lets you easily manage heavy loads and enhances your posture. The stiff arm pulldown stands out among many exercises targeting the back. When performed with fully extended arms, this particular exercise fortifies the back muscles, with a special focus on the lats. 

This article delves into the stiff arm pulldown, highlighting its effectiveness in back muscle development. It provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to mastering the exercise, ensuring you reap its full benefits. Moreover, it discusses the key advantages of incorporating this routine into your workout and suggests alternative exercises for similar muscle group development.

Dana Linn Bailey Performing Stiff Arm Pulldowns

Below is a clip of the 2013 Women’s Physique Olympia champ Dana Linn Bailey performing straight arm pulldowns with a rope attachment.

@danalinnbaileyDo it right! The straight arm pulldown.♬ midnight city (slowed reverb) (feat. kadirhho) – ciaffa & fedo DJ

Techniques & Muscles Worked

Stiff arm pulldowns are isolation exercises that use a full range of motion to target your lats. They also work other secondary muscles like the triceps and shoulders. During this exercise, core muscles, including the abs and obliques, also help stabilize your body.

This exercise uses a cable machine or a resistance band. Remember to maintain proper form, keeping your elbows locked throughout the movement. The mechanics of the cable machine keep your target muscles under constant tension, which induces muscle hypertrophy (1).

You can also do this exercise with free weights like barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells. Below is a step-by-step guide on performing the stiff arm pulldown with the proper form using a cable machine.

  1. Attach a wide grip bar to the high end of the cable machine.
  2. Stand straight with your head facing forward, chest out, knees slightly bent, and shoulder blades pulled back and squeezed.
  3. Extend your arms and grab the bar at shoulder-width length with a pronated grip (make sure you feel the tension on the cable). This is your starting position.
  4. Next, brace your core and keep your elbows locked. Slowly, in a controlled manner, pull the bar towards the floor until it reaches the side of your legs.
  5. Pause for two to four seconds and slowly reverse the movement back to the starting position, completing one rep.
  6. Perform for as many reps as you desire.

Benefits

Stiff arm pulldowns are strength training exercises that build and strengthen the muscles in your back, arms, and posterior delts. Incorporating this exercise into your workout regime can provide some benefits.

Builds & Strengthens the Upper Body

The stiff arm pulldown primarily targets the lat muscles, the largest back muscle. The constant stretch and contraction of the lats give the back that winged-like physique and increase its width. It also strengthens and builds other upper body muscles, like the arms and shoulders.

Increased Range of Motion

Stiff arm pulldowns focus more on targeted muscles than traditional pulldowns, targeting them uniquely. It increases the flexion and extension of the lats, which induces muscle hypertrophy.

Better Mind-Muscle Connection

Bodybuilders looking to develop their overall back and target specific muscles should try the stiff arm pulldown. Keeping the arms straight and fully extended stops some other back muscles and biceps from taking over, solely focusing on the lat muscles. It allows you to feel the stretch and contraction in your lats, thereby creating a better mind-muscle connection, which can foster growth.

Carryover to Other Exercises

The stiff arm pulldowns target the back and upper body muscles, building and strengthening them. This makes it easier for athletes to transition to other exercises with proper form and strength, such as deadlifts, pull-ups, and rows.

Activates Core Muscles

This exercise stresses your core muscles, providing proper body coordination, balance, and stability. This helps you hit targeted muscles better and reduce the chances of injuries. It also gives you better posture

Stiff Arm Pulldowns Alternatives

Stiff arm pulldowns are excellent exercises for building upper body muscles, particularly the back. However, as effective as this exercise is, professionals have advised incorporating other exercises that build similar muscles. This helps you get the most from your workouts and avoid training plateaus (2). Below is a list of alternate exercises for building similar upper-body muscles.

Dumbbell Pullovers

The dumbbell pullover is a weight training and strength-building exercise that targets your chest, triceps, posterior delts, and lats. 

Wide Grip Pull-Ups

Wide grip pull-ups are bodyweight exercises that target the lats and shoulders. It recruits other muscle groups like the biceps and core muscles. For more resistance, you can use weighted vests or resistance bands for more gains.

Bent-Over Rows

Bent-over row is a weight training exercise that works your lats, rhomboids, traps, and posterior delts. It’s effective for building muscle mass in your back. You can perform this exercise using a barbell or other free weights like kettlebells and dumbbells.

FAQs

What does a stiff arm pulldown work?

The stiff arm pulldown is an isolation exercise that works your lats, the largest muscles in your back. It also works other secondary muscles like the triceps and shoulders. Core muscles, like the abs and obliques, also play a role in stabilizing your body during this exercise.

How do you do an arm pulldown?

Ensure you feel the cables’ tension and keep your elbows locked throughout the movement. The exercise guide above provides instructions on how to do this exercise with the proper form. 

What is the purpose of the pulldown exercise?

A pulldown exercise aims to strengthen and build muscles in your back and other upper body muscles. It also improves your grip strength and ability to lift heavier loads with a strong back. 

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more exercise guides! 

References

  1. Burd, N. A., Andrews, R. J., West, D. W., Little, J. P., Cochran, A. J., Hector, A. J., Cashaback, J. G., Gibala, M. J., Potvin, J. R., Baker, S. K., & Phillips, S. M. (2012). Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. The Journal of physiology, 590(2), 351–362. https://doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2011.221200
  2. Krzysztofik, M., Wilk, M., Wojdała, G., & Gołaś, A. (2019). Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(24), 4897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244897

The Ultimate Light vs. Heavy Lifting Showdown with Mike O’Hearn and Diamond Dallas Page | The Mike O’Hearn Show

Diamond Dallas Page talks the benefits of altitude training and occlusion training for those who cannot lift heavy weight

In the latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, Mike O’Hearn welcomes back the legendary wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) to discuss the perennial debate in the fitness world: lifting light versus lifting heavy. This episode delves into the nuances of weightlifting and explores innovative training techniques that cater to different fitness goals and physical conditions.

Diamond Dallas Page returns in part two of his long form conversation with Mike O’Hearn. In the previous episode, DDP discussed the “dark side” of wrestling and how he used positivity to help make a difference (and even save lives) of fellow wrestlers struggling with addiction.

This week, Diamond Dallas Page focuses more on functional training tips and techniques – specifically for those over 50 that may struggle with lifting heavy due to deteriorating joints or previous injuries. For those who love to lift and value being strong, these alternative options can end up being paramount towards continuing the bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle despite setbacks. Let’s dive in.

 

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A post shared by Mike O’Hearn (@mikeohearn)

The Great Debate: Light vs. Heavy Lifting

Mike O’Hearn kicks off the episode by addressing the ongoing controversy over lifting light versus lifting heavy. He argues that the debate often creates unnecessary confusion for both aspiring and amateur lifters. According to Mike, the concept of “lifting light” can be misleading. He emphasizes that all lifting should impose sufficient stress on the muscles to stimulate recovery, repair, and growth. Without this crucial stress, muscle development is not possible.

Mike acknowledges that “lifting light” is a relative term, typically meaning lifting lighter weights compared to hardcore heavy lifters. However, he believes that the discourse has misled some gym-goers into thinking that they can achieve significant results with minimal effort and stress. He stresses that regardless of the weight, the key is to challenge the muscles adequately.

Diamond Dallas Page’s Perspective

Diamond Dallas Page shares Mike’s concerns but also brings a unique perspective to the discussion. DDP highlights the importance of promoting training programs that help build muscle and strength while minimizing stress on injured areas or connective tissues, especially as we age. Drawing from his extensive wrestling career and the toll it took on his body, DDP emphasizes the need for adaptable workout strategies.

Innovative Training Techniques

Altitude Training

One of the standout tactics that DDP discusses is altitude training. This method involves using an oxygen mask to limit oxygen intake during workouts, simulating high-altitude conditions. DDP describes his intense training regimen known as “the Gauntlet,” which starts with a cold plunge, followed by incline backwards jogging at 6% oxygen. He then switches to regular breathing for ten minutes on a bike, and finishes with short sprints.

This approach has significantly reduced the pressure and stress on his knees, allowing him to achieve a fulfilling workout without pain. DDP also highlights the broader benefits of altitude training, such as improved focus, sharper mental acuity, and overall health enhancement.

Blood Occlusion Training

Diamond Dallas Page also introduces the concept of blood occlusion training, a technique that involves restricting blood flow to the muscles during exercise. This method, though not new, has been enhanced by DDP’s co-created technology called power cuffs. These cuffs are loosely fitted bands around the arms or legs, which can be tightened to the desired level using a dial.

Blood occlusion training works by disrupting blood flow to the working limbs, causing blood to pool in the muscles and inducing hypertrophy. This swelling triggers a cascade of processes leading to muscle growth and strengthening. DDP notes that this technique has given him a level of muscle hardness comparable to what he experienced during his steroid-using days.

The Benefits of Blood Occlusion Training

Diamond Dallas Page explains that the primary benefit of blood occlusion training is its ability to promote muscle growth with minimal weight. He often trains without any weight and still feels the effects as if he had done a traditional weightlifting session. This makes occlusion training an excellent option for those who need to avoid heavy lifting due to injuries or other limitations.

Furthermore, DDP clarifies that blood occlusion training does not have to replace traditional weightlifting. It can be used in conjunction with regular weightlifting routines, depending on the individual’s goals and physical condition. For DDP, this technique has significantly enhanced his overall workout, strength, health, and physique.

Bridging the Gap

The conversation between Mike O’Hearn and Diamond Dallas Page effectively bridges the gap between traditional and innovative training methods. While Mike underscores the importance of challenging the muscles to stimulate growth, DDP highlights the need for adaptable and less stressful workout techniques, especially for those dealing with injuries or aging bodies.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, this episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show provides valuable insights into the light vs. heavy lifting debate and introduces innovative training methods that can cater to a wide range of fitness enthusiasts. Whether you’re an aspiring lifter looking to challenge your muscles or someone seeking to maintain fitness while managing physical limitations, the strategies discussed by Mike and DDP offer a comprehensive approach to achieving your fitness goals.

By incorporating techniques like altitude training and blood occlusion training, individuals can tailor their workouts to their specific needs, ensuring both safety and effectiveness. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in optimizing their workout routines and understanding the science behind muscle growth and recovery.

You can watch the full episode above. And don’t forget to check back every week for new episodes of The Mike O’Hearn Show on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

Michal Krizo Hits Chest & Delt Workout During Prep For 2024 Empro Classic Pro

Michal Krizo YouTube

Michal Krizo is looking to put on a show during the 2024 Empro Classic Pro!

Michal Krizo continues to grow as one of the most popular bodybuilders in the world right now. He made a big jump in his second Olympia and will be looking to do the same once again. First, he is preparing to take the stage during the 2024 Empro Classic Pro. He shared his latest chest and delt workout to prepare for the show.

Krizo made the jump from the IFBB Elite Pro League and NPC in hopes of becoming a the Olympia champion. He quickly earned his Pro Card during the Amateur Olympia Italy before winning the 2022 EVLS Prague Pro, which was his first show and allowed him to punch his ticket to the biggest competition of the year. Krizo finished 12th at his first Olympia in 2022.

RELATED: Michal Krizo’s Ultimate Bulking Diet & Supplement Plan

Krizo improved Mr. Olympia’s standing from 12th to 7th place in his second appearance at the 2023 Olympia. He continues to be active on social media, showing fans his physique updates and workouts used to build a championship physique.

“It’s about three weeks out of Empro show in Spain. We’re training chest and delts right now, switching between the two.”

Krizo alternated exercises between chest and delts to hit both areas hard during the session.

Empro

Michal Krizo Chest & Delt Workout

The full workout consisted of six exercises:

Michal Krizo shared his pre-workout meal, which was just a gainer.

“I just have a gainer and go train so my stomach isn’t too full.

Then about one and a half or two hours after I drink it, I go workout. But the way I do it is, I have a gainer, 100 grams of it which is 40 grams carbs and 40 grams or protein and I add another 40 grams of protein powder.”

Michal Krizo is preparing to take the Empro Classic Pro by storm in 2024. If he is able to qualify for the Olympia, Krizo will hit prep looking to improve upon his standing once again.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

The Pendlay Row vs The Barbell Row

traps

Develop Back Strength and Size With The Pendlay Row and The Barbell Row Exercises

For working the muscles of the back, there is no exercise that compares to the row. There are a number of variations that can be used to develop the lats, rhomboids, and traps. Two commonly used rowing variations are the pendlay row and the conventional barbell row.

Although similar in movement and muscle activation, there are small differences between the two that change the dynamic of the exercise.

This article will explain how to perform both the pendlay and conventional barbell row and will detail the three of the biggest benefits associated with both rowing variations.

The Pendlay Row

Glenn Pendlay is the strength and conditioning coach who is attributed with creating the pendlay row. Pendlay believes that this variation of the row is how the row should be performed and will lead to optimal back development.

The pendlay row involves starting with the bar on the floor, pulling it tight to the body before returning it to the floor.

Because the bar starts from the floor, it requires you to significantly hinge the hips so that the back is approximately parallel with the floor.

Glenn Pendlay was a huge advocate of this variation as returning the bar to the floor with each rep requires strict form and negates the use of momentum that is sometimes seen in other rowing exercises.

Be aware that because of the trunk position, it may be necessary to use a lighter weight than you normally would with a conventional barbell row. To perform the pendlay row, use the following five steps:

  • Step One: Start by placing a loaded barbell directly in front of you on the floor. Place your feet directly under the bar at approximately hip-width.
  • Step Two: To assume the correct position, focus on driving the hips back while keeping the knees slightly bent so that the trunk of the body tips forwards and the back stays flat. Reach down and grip the bar using an overhand grip with the hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Step Three: Before lifting the weight from the floor, pull your shoulders back and down and squeeze your core muscles.
  • Step Four: Powerfully lift the weight from the floor by squeezing the shoulder blades together and hinging the elbows. Pull the bar into the abdomen keeping the elbows as tight to the body as possible.
  • Step Five: Lower the bar back to the floor by extending at the elbows. Keep the core braced throughout to stabilize the movement and prevent the back from moving or rounding.

pendlay row vs barbell row

The Barbell Row

The barbell row may refer to a range of barbell rowing exercises – for example, wide grip, narrow grip, underhand, and overhand row.

The biggest difference between the pendlay row and the conventional bent barbell row is the back angle.

As the pendlay row takes place from the floor, the back is parallel to the floor. With the bent row, the angle may vary – however, typically, the back angle is typically 45-degrees.

Unlike the pendlay row where the bar returns to the floor with each rep, with the conventional row, the bar is suspended just in front, in-line or above the knees depending on the back angle.

To perform the conventional barbell row, work through the following steps:

  • Step One: Start with the feet under the hips, grip the bar with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width. Pick the bar up and stand up tall with the bar in hand.
  • Step Two: Push the chest high, pull the shoulders back and down, and engage the core muscles.
  • Step Three: While keeping the knees soft, drive the hips back so that the trunk begins to tip forward. Keep the bar tight to the legs and continue pushing the hips back until the back is at a 45-degree angle.
  • Step Four: Pull the shoulder blades together and hinge the elbows to bring the bar into the trunk while preventing the elbows from excessively flaring out.
  • Step Five: Maintain a core brace and lower the bar in a controlled fashion back to the starting position.

barbell vs pendlay row

The Benefits of Both Rowing Exercises

This section will highlight the benefits of regularly performing these two rowing variations.

Because the movements are similar there are some benefits that apply to both the pendlay and barbell row. However, the slight variation between the two exercises does means that there are also some unique benefits.

1) Building Muscle Size

For those who wish to improve their aesthetics or performance, it may be necessary to increase muscle size.

Rows have the potential to build a significant amount of muscle. This is because rows are compound movements that recruit many muscles across a number of joints.

Compound exercises have been shown to be highly effective for building muscle size. This is primarily because a relatively large amount of weight can be lifted with compound exercises.

Lifting heavy weight will apply mechanical tension, increase metabolic stress, and cause a substantial amount of muscle damage – these three are all critical components of muscle growth (1).

Rowing exercises have been found to activate the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, traps, and biceps (2). Therefore, regularly performing these exercises can lead to muscle growth in these areas.

Studies have suggested that targetting muscles from multiple angles may enhance the rate of muscle growth (3).

Consequently, it may be beneficial to incorporate a number of rowing variations, such as the pendlay row, in order to hit the back muscles from different angles to maximize muscle growth.

2) Strength Development

In a similar vein to muscle growth, heavy compound exercises are excellent for increasing strength capacity (4).

Therefore, the barbell row and its variations can be considered effective for strength development.

If you are unsure which variation would be best for optimizing strength, consider your goals, needs, and limitations.

If you are having issues with positional strength, it may be an idea to use the pendlay row as this places a greater demand on mobility and static strength.

For example, many individuals find that they cannot keep the back flat during the deadlift. Therefore, by incorporating the pendlay row into their training, they can develop this ability.

However, if your goal is to maximally build muscular strength, focus on heavy barbell rows.

While a substantial amount of weight can still be lifted with the pendlay row, the barbell row will typically allow you to lift a heavier amount of weight and may, therefore, be superior for gaining strength.

3) Specific to Powerlifting and Weightlifting

It is clear that both rowing variations are highly beneficial for building general strength and size.

Some may argue that barbell rows are superior to the pendlay row in terms of raw strength development, however, there are specific strength benefits associated with the pendlay row. For any lifter who struggles with back, core, and hamstring strength, it may be wise to select the pendlay row over the conventional barbell row.

For powerlifters and weightlifters, the pendlay row may also serve a greater purpose than the barbell row. As mentioned, the pendlay row is particularly useful for developing static as well as concentric strength.

Therefore, for weightlifters, developing strength in this fashion can help to enhance snatch and clean performance while also allowing you to move beyond any sticking points.

For powerlifters, enhancing full-body static and concentric strength can facilitate a better squat and deadlift performance.

Therefore, although it is likely that a heavier weight can be lifted during the barbell row, the weight on the bar is not always the most important factor worth considering.

Row Programming Considerations

The row has significant potential to build muscle strength and size and, therefore, some form of rowing variation should be included in your training program.

However, be aware that the training volume that you use will have a substantial impact on the rate of development.

For maximizing strength improvements, heavy weight should be prioritized. It is recommended to exceed no more than five reps per set.

Although the traditional understanding dictates that six to twelve reps is best for maximizing hypertrophy, more recent research has shown that hypertrophy occurs throughout a range of reps (5).

Therefore, if your goal is to improve muscular size, your focus must be on increasing total training volume.

Barbell vs. Pendlay Row Final Word

While there are minor differences between the setup of the pendlay and conventional barbell row, the movement patterns are relatively similar and therefore, both can significantly build full-body strength and size.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato

References:

1 – Schoenfeld, Brad J. (2010-10). “The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training”. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 24 (10): 2857–2872. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e840f3. ISSN 1533-4287. PMID 20847704.

2 – Lehman, Gregory J; Buchan, Day Deans; Lundy, Angela; Myers, Nicole; Nalborczyk, Andrea (June 30, 2004). “Variations in muscle activation levels during traditional latissimus dorsi weight training exercises: An experimental study”. Dynamic medicine : DM. 3: 4. doi:10.1186/1476-5918-3-4. ISSN 1476-5918. PMID 15228624.

3 – Barakat, Christopher; Barroso, Renato; Alvarez, Michael; Rauch, Jacob; Miller, Nicholas; Bou-Sliman, Anton; De Souza, Eduardo O. (September 4, 2019). “The Effects of Varying Glenohumeral Joint Angle on Acute Volume Load, Muscle Activation, Swelling, and Echo-Intensity on the Biceps Brachii in Resistance-Trained Individuals”. Sports (Basel, Switzerland). 7 (9). doi:10.3390/sports7090204. ISSN 2075-4663. PMC 6783981. PMID 31487841.

4 – Paoli, Antonio; Gentil, Paulo; Moro, Tatiana; Marcolin, Giuseppe; Bianco, Antonino (December 22, 2017). “Resistance Training with Single vs. Multi-joint Exercises at Equal Total Load Volume: Effects on Body Composition, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Muscle Strength”. Frontiers in Physiology. 8. doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.01105. ISSN 1664-042X. PMC 5744434. PMID 29312007.

5 – Schoenfeld, Brad J.; Grgic, Jozo; Ogborn, Dan; Krieger, James W. (2017-12). “Strength and Hypertrophy Adaptations Between Low- vs. High-Load Resistance Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 31 (12): 3508–3523. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002200. ISSN 1533-4287. PMID 28834797

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