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Total Body Training With Only A Barbell.

This is total body training. The nice thing about this is you can do it all with just a barbell. This in-depth article explains the program and exercises in detail. Learn more ...

By: Rudy Sleiman

Remember that barbell gathering dust in the corner of your room? Still don't know what to do with it? Read on, and we'll take you through a plethora of drills that are easy to perform, in the comfort of your home. Follow the instructions closely, and you will start benefiting in a short period of time.

You will gain lean body mass, lose fat, lower your overall weight and improve your general fitness level and health condition. Last but not least, you will improve your look and get a proportional boost of self-esteem.

The program is easy to perform, does not require a large space at home, and can be performed at your own comfort any time of the day. It is also affordable, since it only requires that barbell we mentioned earlier on, which you may already possess, and is not an expensive item anyway. You can buy starting sets of plates, and then add larger ones as you progress.

The program is a perfect tool for persons who can not subscribe to a gym, because there is none located near them or they're too expensive. The ability to perform the program at any time of the day does away with the "busy schedule" excuse as well.

Now read on ...

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Exercises

1. Squat

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart; place the barbell straight on your trapezius and posterior part of your shoulders. Flex at the hip and then bend your knees and go all the way down as if sitting on a chair until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

    Lean your torso forward if you feel that your heels are unstable on the ground. Then get back to the initial position without locking your knees at the end of the movement. Remember that you must keep your back straight at all times.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

2. Stiff-Leg Deadlift

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart holding the barbell in your lowered arms, in front of you. Bend forward at the waist by flexing the hip. Keep your back flat and your head looking up.

    Tighten your buttocks and lock your knees while bending forward. Stop going down the moment you feel your hamstrings fully stretched and go back to the starting position.

3. Lunges

    Place the barbell straight on your trapezius and posterior part of your shoulders. Place one foot in front of the other. Bend your rear knee and direct it toward the floor. Do not force your front knee to go forward. Repeat the movement without moving your legs.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

4. Calf Raise

    Put the barbell on the rear part of your shoulders and start lifting up and down with your toes while keeping your back straight and your knees slightly bent.

5. Lying Press

    Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell above your chest with palms facing forward and elbows bent. Push the load upward to the full range of motion, keeping it in the same plane at all times.

    Don't hyperextend, nor lift your body at the end of the movement. This exercise can also be performed with a Wide Grip on the bar, which will increase the effort on the external parts of the pectorals.

    The Close Grip version targets the triceps and the inside parts of the pectorals; the difference is that you must place your hands around 8 inches apart on the barbell then lower it to your chest with your elbows pointing outward.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

6. Pullover

    Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell above your chest with palms facing forward, hands shoulder width apart, and arms extended up toward the ceiling.

    Slowly lower the barbell behind your head while bending your arms slightly, and then slowly return to the starting position.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

7. Bent-Over Rows

    Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, bend your torso forward and kept it at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Pull the barbell to the sternum while flexing your elbows and pulling your shoulder blades in toward your spine then get back to the initial position.

    You can also perform the exercise in a reverse grip by following the same principles. Another option is to hold the barbell in a reverse close-grip manner so you focus more on the outer parts of your upper back. Make sure your back is kept straight throughout the movement.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

8. Military Press

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell in front of your shoulders, palms forward, and slowly push it upward without reaching the end of the motion to prevent lifting your shoulder blades. Then get back to the starting position in a controlled manner.

9. Front Raise

    Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell with the hands shoulder-width apart. Lift forward with the arms straight until you reach eye level, than return slowly to the starting position. Do not bounce the barbell up and never use your back to cheat because it's a concentration movement. (Editor's Note: images shown below with two dumbbells instead of a barbell.)

10. Shrugs

    Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell shoulder width apart. Lift your shoulders straight upward toward the ears in the frontal plane without bending the elbows then slowly lower down the weight.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

11. Upright Rows

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell shoulder width apart. Lift through your shoulder joint straight upward while bending the elbows and bringing the barbell up to your chin and then slowly lower down the weight.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

12. Biceps Curls

    Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell shoulder width apart in front of you, palms facing forward. Lift the barbell up by flexing at the elbow joint until you reach a full biceps contraction then lower it down slowly.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

13. Bent over Concentration Curls

    Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend your chest forward until it is parallel to the floor. Lift the barbell up by flexing at the elbow joint until it reaches your shoulders level then lower it down slowly. If your lower back is unable to support this position, you can do the movement while seated on a chair. (Editor's Note: photos below shown in this alternate seated configuration.)

14. Lying Triceps Extensions

    Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell above your head. Your arms must be perpendicular to your body and the floor. Flex at the elbow and lower the barbell backward to crane level without moving your shoulder joint. Return slowly to the starting position.

15. Standing Overhead Extensions

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell shoulder width apart and straight up to your head with your arms extended. Flex at the elbow and lower the barbell behind your neck and then slowly lift it back.

16. Reverse Grip Curls

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart in front of you, palms facing backward. Lift the barbell up by flexing at the elbow joint until it reaches your chest then lower it down slowly.

17. Wrist Curls

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart in front of you palms facing backward. Curl your wrist up and then slowly release, rolling it to your fingers. (Editor's Note: photos shown below are seated instead of standing.)

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

18. Good Morning

    Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart; place the barbell straight on your shoulders. Bend forward at the waist until your chest becomes approximately parallel to the floor while keeping your back straight then slowly get back to the starting position.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

19. Twists

    Stand up, feet shoulder width apart; place the barbell straight on your shoulders. Slowly rotate your upper body from side to side while keeping your pelvis stable. (Editor's Note: photos below are seated instead of standing.)

20. Crunches

    Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell on your chest with both hands. Straighten your arms and point with them to the ceiling.

    Slowly raise your shoulders and upper back, concentrating on your upper abdominals. Then return to the starting position while controlling the movement.

21. Side Crunches

    Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell on your chest with both hands. Straighten your arms toward the ceiling. Slowly raise one side of your shoulders and upper back, concentrating on your obliques and slowly return to the starting position. Then switch sides.


The Program

Exercise Targeted
Area
Working
Muscles*
Weight** Position
1. Squat Front and Rear Thighs,
Glutes.
Quadriceps Femoris,
Gluteus Maximus.
Standing
2. Stiff-Leg
Deadlift
Hamstrings,
Glutes,
Lower Back.
Gluteus Maximus,
Biceps Femoris,
Semitendinosus,
Semimembranosus,
Erectores Spinale.
Standing
3. Lunges Front and Rear Thighs,
Glutes.
Quadriceps Femoris,
Gluteus Maximus.
Standing
4. Calf Raise Calves. Gastrocnemius,
Soleus.
Standing
Seated
5. Lying Press Chest. Pectoralis Major,
Serratus Anterior,
Deltoideus anterior part,
Triceps Brachii.
Lying
6. Pullovers Chest,
Upper Back.
Pectoralis Major,
Serratus Anterior,
Latissimus Dorsi,
Teres Major,
Triceps Brachii long head.
Lying
7. Bent-over
Rows
Upper Back. Deltoideus posterior part,
Tapezius,
Latissimus Dorsi,
Teres Minor,
Teres Major,
Rhomboideus,
Infraspinatus,
Brachialis,
Biceps Brachii.
Standing
8. Military
Press
Shoulders. Deltoideus anterior and middle parts,
Triceps Brachii long and medial heads,
Pectoralis Major clavicular part,
Serratus Anterior.
Sitting
Standing
9. Front Raise Shoulders. Deltoideus,
Clavicular part of Pectoralis Major.
Sitting
Standing
10. Shrugs Trapezius. Trapezius superior part. Sitting
Standing
11. Upright
Rows
Trapezius and Anterior Deltoides. Trapezius,
Deltoideus,
Brachialis.
Standing
12. Biceps
Curls
Biceps. Biceps Brachii long and short heads,
Brachialis.
Standing
13. Bent-over
Concentration
Curls
Biceps. Biceps Brachii,
Brachialis.
Standing
Seated
14. Close-Grip
Lying
Press
Triceps. Triceps Brachii,
Pectoralis Major.
Lying
15. Lying Triceps
Extensions
Triceps. Triceps Brachii medial and long heads. Lying
16. Standing
Overhead
Extensions
Triceps. Triceps Brachii lateral,
long and medial heads.
Seated
Standing
17. Reverse Grip
Curls
Forearms,
Biceps.
Brachialis,
Biceps Brachii,
Brachioradialis,
Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus and Brevis,
Extensor Digitorum,
Extensor Digiti Minimi,
Extensor Carpi Ulnaris.
Standing
18. Wrist Curls Forearms. Flexor Digitorum Superficialis and Profundus,
Flexor Carpi Ulnaris and Radialis,
Palmaris Longus.
Seated
Standing
19. Twists Abdominals,
Obliques.
Rectus Abdominis,
Obliquus Externus Abdominis,
Obliquus Internus Abdominis.
Lying
20. Good Morning Lower Back. Erectores Spinale,
Gluteus Maximus,
Biceps Femoris,
Semitendinosus,
Semimembranosus.
Standing
21. Crunches Abdominals. Rectus Abdominis. Lying
22. Side
Crunches
Abdominals,
Obliques.
Rectus Abdominis,
Obliquus Externus Abdominis.
Lying

    * Reference of working muscles is from Strength Training Anatomy by Frederic Delavier, Human Kinetics 2001.

    ** The weight column in the table is left blank. It's up to you to fill it with the weight that you feel comfortable with. If you are a beginner, typically start with an empty barbell and gradually increase the load each time you feel the improvement.

Reps & Sets

    Rest time between sets and exercises must be 30-90 seconds depending on your conditioning level.

    If you are a beginner, how can you progress to a more advanced level? It's simple; you need to increase the intensity of training by doing one of the following:

    • Increase the number of repetitions.
    • Add sets.
    • Increase or extensively decrease the speed of the movement.
    • Decrease time of rest between sets and exercises.
    • Add weights to the barbell.
    • Use advanced training techniques such as:
    • Drop Sets: place many plates on each side of the barbell (as much as you can lift for 6-10 repetitions). Perform repetitions till concentric failure then immediately remove one plate from each side and without rest continue the exercise to failure and again remove one more plate from each side.

stripvid.htm
Drop Set Video Guide:

    Continue this procedure till you're out of plates.

    • Exhaustion-Set System: perform as many repetitions as possible with good technique until concentric failure occurs.

    • Burn System: perform a set till concentric failure, then proceed with half or partial repetitions.

    • Pyramids: start with a set of 10-to-12 repetitions with a light resistance, which is increased over several sets so fewer and fewer repetitions can be performed, until reaching 1 repetition maximum. Then repeat the same sets and resistances in reverse order, with the last set consisting of 10-to-12 repetitions.

    • Super Slow System: perform very slow repetitions ranging from 20-to-60 seconds per repetition.

    • Super Setting Systems: in the first type, you use several sets of two exercises for the agonist and antagonist muscles of the body part. In the second type use one set of several exercises in rapid succession for the same muscle group or body part.
supervid.htm
Super Set Video Guide:

Training Program

Once A Week Total Body Training Program:
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat
Stiff-Leg Deadlift
Lying Press
Bent-over Rows
Military Press
Shrugs
Biceps Curls
Lying Triceps Extensions
Good Morning
Twists
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Routine

Twice A Week Total Body Training Program
(Take Two-Three Days Rest After Each Session):

Day 1:
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat
Stiff-Leg Deadlift
Lying Press
Bent-over Rows
Military Press
Shrugs
Biceps Curls
Close Grip Lying Press
Twists
Crunches
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
12-15
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1
Day 2:
Exercise Sets Reps
Lunges
Calf Raise
Wide Grip Lying Press
Pullovers
Reverse Close Grip Bent-over Rows
Front Raise
Upright Rows
Reverse Grip Curls
Lying Triceps Extensions
Good Morning
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
12-15
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 2

Three Times A Week Total Body Training Program
(Take One Day Rest After Each Session):
Day 1:
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat
Lying Press
Military Press
Bent-over Rows
Biceps Curls
Lying Triceps Extensions
Good Morning
Crunches
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
12-15
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1
Day 2:
Exercise Sets Reps
Lunges
Calf Raise
Wide Grip Lying Press
Reverse Grip Bent-over Rows
Front Raise
Shrugs
Reverse Grip Curls
Close Grip Bench Press
Twists
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
8-12
12-15
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 2
Day 3:
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff-Leg Deadlift
Pullovers
Reverse Close Grip Bent-over Rows
Upright Rows
Standing Overhead Extensions
Bent-over Concentration Curls
Wrist Curls
Side Crunches
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
2-3
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
8-12
12-15
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 3

Advanced Barbell Training Program:

Program 1:
Exercise Sets Reps
Superset 1:
  • Squat
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift
  • 3 8-12
    Superset 2:
  • Lying Press
  • Bent-Over Rows
  • 3 8-12
    Superset 3:
  • Military Press
  • Shrugs
  • 3 8-12
    Superset 4:
  • Lying Triceps Extensions
  • Biceps Curls
  • 3 8-12
    Superset 5:
  • Good Morning
  • Crunches
  • 3 12-15
    Click Here For A Printable Log Of Program 1
    Program 2:
    Exercise Sets Reps
    Superset 1:
  • Squat
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift
  • Lunges
  • Calf Raise
  • 2 8-12
    Superset 2:
  • Lying Press
  • Wide Grip Lying Press
  • Pullovers
  • 2 8-12
    Superset 3:
  • Wide Grip Bent-Over Rows
  • Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows
  • Narrow Grip Bent-Over Rows
  • 2 8-12
    Superset 4:
  • Military Press
  • Front Raise
  • Upright Rows
  • 2 8-12
    Superset 5:
  • Lying Triceps Extensions
  • Biceps Curls
  • Overhead Extensions
  • Bent Over Curls
  • Wrist Curls
  • 2 8-12
    Superset 6:
  • Good Morning
  • Crunches
  • Twists
  • 2 12-15
    Click Here For A Printable Log Of Program 2
    Stretching:
    Upper Body Stretch
    Abdominals Stretch
    Quadriceps Stretch
    Hamstrings Stretch

    Click Here To Learn More About Stretching.

    Total Body Training With Only A Barbell.
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    You can get a great workout from only a barbell. Was in Tahiti for 6 weeks and thats all i had. Great article!

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