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Callum's First Annual Exercise Selection!

Good evening and welcome to the first ever Callum Mahoney Exercise Selection Awards. These awards are given to the number one exercise for each body part.

Good evening and welcome to the first ever Callum Mahoney Exercise Selection Awards. These awards are given to, what I feel is, the number one exercise for each body part. The exercise that if you were on a desert island you would want to take. There will be some walkovers and there will be some controversies however a good time should be had by all. So without further ado, let's begin with the first award for the night.

The Fire-up your forearms award
Nominees: Wrist curl, behind the back wrist curl, hammer curl and reverse barbell curl. The Winner is...
The Hammer curl
The reasons: A tough category. The decision can be put simply to overall effectiveness. Both wrist curls work the backside (palm side) of the forearms while the reverse barbell curl works the top of the forearms. I feel the hammer curl provides a great overall workout and also will get you bigger guns.

The calves become cows award
Nominees: Standing calf raise, seated calf raise, donkey calf raise and leg press calf raise. The Winner is...
A tie between the donkey calf raise and the leg press calf raise
The reasons: The first controversial result of the night. I feel there was a clear winner in the donkey raise but why was the leg press raise even given a look in. Well it make a great replacement for donkeys if you don't have the facilities to perform them. It allows for a great stretch and should be included in your routine if donkeys are not an option.

The hamsteaks award
Nominees: Stiff-legged deadlifts, seated leg curls, standing leg curls and lying leg curls. The Winner is...
Seated Leg Curls
The reasons: There is no doubt the 'stiffies' got robbed in this catergory. The main concern in the judging is the poor form displayed by many and the incorrect technique working the lower back on most occasions more than the hammies. The seated leg curl however, provided the seat is set to the right position, is hard to misperform and is a great hamstring builder. Providing isolation to really attack your hamstrings.

The you-don't-need-an-abdoer award
Nominees: Crunch, hanging leg raise, hanging knee raise and cable crunch The Winner is...
The Hanging Leg Raise
The reasons: The hanging leg raise is the hardest of these to perform, but like others it won this category for overall effectiveness. The crunch is good for the upper abs but not great for the lower abs. The hanging movements attack both upper and lower abs as well as providing a great stretch to really carve deep abs.

The terrific triceps award
Nominees: Dips, decline extensions, pressdowns and close grip bench press. The Winner is...
The reasons: Possibly the hardest category to judge, because they all are effective. Decline extensions have the best EMG analysis as the hit all three heads. Pushdowns are legendary as as the saying goes 'they are like sex and pizza. Even if they are bad they are still good". While close grips and dips are real mass builders. It is this reason I have gone with dips, strictly a personal choice. Dips give me a great pump in my tris and I feel they are valuable either in your triceps or chest workouts.

The no-more-crap-trap award
Nominees: Barbell shrugs, dumbbell shrugs, upright rows and deadlift lockouts. The Winner is...
Deadlift lockouts
The reasons: A close battle with barbell shrugs coming in second place. EMG analysis shows barbell shrugs are more effective than the others but deadlift lockouts allow you to really pile on the weight and work the traps really hard as well as most other back muscles.

The nobody has big enough bis award
Nominees: Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, incline curls and preacher curls. The Winner is...
Incline Curls
The reasons: Ok, most of you have probably left this page by now thinking this guy must be high or something. We have been told fo what seems to be eternity that barbell curls are the best bi builder. They are very effective, if performed right. As far as I'm concerned I agree with Vince Gironda that most people perform barbell curls for their front delts rather than the bis. Incline curls are regarded by many successful bodybuilders as far and away the best bi builder. When performed right only the bis are worked and there is a slight stretch at the start of the movement leading to more fiber recruitment and bigger guns. By no means dispose of barbell curls but you won't get the guns you desire without incline dumbbell curls.

The Ricky Deltora Delt award
Nominees: Dumbbell press, behind the neck barbell press, lateral raise and upright row. The Winner is...
Dumbbell Press
The reasons: Safety played a large role in this decision as well as versatility. All these exercises form part of a huge set of delts. Gironda's favorite was upright rows and said nothing would make a pair of delts wider. Lat raises, either with dumbbells or a cable are also vital but the winner really had to be a press. Dumbbells won for two reasons. Firstly, the risk of a rotator cuff tear is slightly less with dumbbells and although I have never torn my rotator cuff I have felt twinges in my shoulders and that scared the crap out of me enough. Also the ability to move each arm independently and alternate each are provides equal stimulation to each delt and also a great workout.

The pulldown/ pull up award
Nominees: Chin-ups, lat pulldowns, reverse grip pulldowns and close grip pulldowns. The Winner is...
Chin ups
The reasons: This category was almost as easy as quads but with one slight problem. Not everyone can chin at first. So to those people start with pulldowns and chins even if you can only get 2 or 3 eventually you will build up. It is quite simple though, if you want a good back you must chin, and I'm not talking about warming up. If you can do 20+ strap on the weight and go lower. People can lift double their bodyweight on pulldowns but add 10lbs to themselves and chin and they are hopeless. Chins are a hard exercise if you do them right, not quite as bad a squats but up there. The bottom line: You must chin.

The row and grow award
Nominees: Bent over barbell rows, cable rows, supported 45 degree row & one-arm db row. The Winner is...
Bent over barbell rows
The reasons: I wasn't sure who to give this to so I decided to disregard safety and hope that people can perform these exercises correctly. Bent over rows are the best mass builder of the lot, but also the most dangerous. Most experts these days demand beginners and experienced lifters do supported rows and that is good advice. Currently the majority of my rows are supported 45 degree rows but I throw others in to spice things up. Get someone to show you how to do this if you don't know, make sure you don't round your back and start off light.

The Quadzilla award
Nominees: Squat, Squat, Squat and Squat. The Winner is...
The reasons: A walkover. Simple. You want big legs, SQUAT. Simple. People complain the can't squat. That is bullshit. I am a flexible as a concrete brick and my lower back is shot to bits like you wouldn't believe but I squat. The problem most of the time is technique. Some people squat with boards under their feet and I used to do it too. You are squatting wrong. Read a lot or get someone to show you how to do them you shouldn't need a board. Fix you problem or give the weights away.

The Johnny Pectover Pec award
Nominees: Flat DB press, Incline DB press, bench press, flyes. The Winner is...
Flat DB press
The reasons: Inclines were destined to lose because we want overall size and strength for our whole chest. Flyes are gone as they are isolation exercises. So we are down to two with the choice dumbbells or barbells. Barbells allow you to go heavier but that is not always good. Dumbbells allow greater range of motion and each arm to work independently. Ronnie Coleman isn't wrong when he says that DB press are the best.

The award for the most underrated exercise
Nominees: Pullovers, behind the back cable lateral raises & dips. The Winner is...
The reasons: All these exercises are very underrated. The raises give you big delts. Dips are not used anywhere near enough for the chest (try supersetting dips and flat flyes, excellent combo). But pullovers win. George Turner rates them as the best upper body exercise and why not. The work the back, the pecs, the delts and the arms. Forget that expanding the rib cage crap but they are great all the same.

The award for the most over rated exercise
Nominees: Squat, Bench press, & Deadlift. The Winner is...
Bench press
The reasons: Anybody who knows anything about bodybuilding knows the bench is overated. If you wanna be a powerlifter that's fine but this is about building your body not ripping rotator cuffs when you ty and max out. I'm not saying never do benches but it is extremely overrated. And as Gironda suggested probably more of a front delt exercise.

The award for the best upper body exercise
Nominees: Deadlifts, db bench, military press & squats. The Winner is...
The reasons: Whoa, typo. No sorry its not. Squats build a big upper body, a big bench, abig everything. Tom Platz said that you will never reach you upper body potential until you squat. How true it is.

The award for the best lower body exercise
Nominees: Deadlifts, lunges & squats. The Winner is...
The reasons: See a pattern emerging.

The award for the best overall exercise
Nominees: Deadlifts & squats. The Winner is...
The reasons: Most GH, easiest way to gain mass what more could you want.

So there you have it folks. The night is over, there were some surprises and controversies but a good time was had by all. So until next year we say goodbye and goodnight.