Best Way to Do It: Perform these as you would normal barbell curls, with the difference being the chains added to the bar. As with close-grip bench press with chains, sets the chains on the bar so that the 5/8” chains are completely on the floor in the bottom position and half off in the top position. When curling the weight up, keep your elbows in tight to your sides; however, feel free to cheat the weight up just slightly by putting your lower back into the movement.

Best Weight: Use a weight on the bar that’s equal to 40%-70% of your estimated 1RM on barbell curls; the rest of the weight will come from the chains. You’ll have about 30 pounds of additional chain weight in the top position.

Best Set/Rep Range: 3 sets, 3-8 reps

Best Time to Do It: As the first exercise in your biceps workout
Why It’s the Best: Just as with any exercise where chains are implemented (namely, close-grip bench press on the previous page), the LVR provided won’t force you to slow the weight down at the top of the range of motion, which will help maximize muscular power.

Best For Traps and Calves: POWER SHRUG

Best Way to Do It: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and grasp a barbell with an overhand grip in front of your thighs. With a push from your lower body, and without bending your arms, shrug your traps toward your ears, rising up onto your toes briefly. Settle yourself after coming back down, then repeat.
Best Weight: 50%-80% of your estimated 1RM power shrugs
Best Set/Rep Range: 3 sets, 3-8 reps

Best Time to Do It: As the first exercise in your traps workout (typically after training delts)

Why It’s the Best: Due to the assistance from the legs, the power shrug lets you drive up more weight than you’d be able to do with just your traps alone. Plus, the calves come into play, especially at the top of the motion, where you should aim to extend ankles (flex your calves) as much as possible.


Best Way to Do It: Lie down on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Your feet should be about two feet away from a sturdy wall. With your back flat on the floor, hold a medicine ball in your hands with your arms outstretched overhead. Perform an explosive sit-up and forcefully throw the ball against the wall as you reach the top position. Catch the ball as it bounces back and return the start position. Immediately go into the next rep.

Best Weight: 4-20-pound medicine ball; start at the low end and gradually work up in weight.

Best Set/Rep Range: 3 sets, 6-12 reps

Best Time to Do It: As the first exercise in your ab workout

Why It’s the Best: Because you catch the ball on the rebound, you’re essentially performing a plyometric sit-up. This type of exercise involves the lengthening of the muscle while it’s contracting. It also takes advantage of the elastic energy stored within the muscle fibers at the end of the negative (eccentric) portion of the movement by applying it to the positive (concentric) portion, resulting in a much stronger contraction than normal.

Best For Full Body: POWER CLEAN

Best Way to Do It: Stand over a loaded barbell resting on the floor with your shins about an inch from the bar and your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down to grab the bar with an overhand grip. Your torso should be bent at 45 degrees over the bar with your arms tensed and pulling on the bar and your thighs just above parallel with the floor. With your abs pulled in tight and your entire body tensed, perform the following sequence in one fluid motion: Drive explosively through your heels to straighten your knees and bring your hips forward until the bar is at hip height, then immediately pull the bar up to your shoulders and squat under the bar as you catch it on your shoulders with your elbows pointing forward. Extend at the hips and knees to stand straight up with a slight bend in the knees and the bar resting on your upper chest and front delts. Lower the bar back to the floor and repeat.
Best Weight: 50%-80% of your power clean 1RM
Best Set/Rep Range: 3 sets, 3-8 reps

Best Time to Do It: As the first exercise in either a back or full body workout

Why It’s the Best: The power clean utilizes the majority of the lower and upper body muscle groups – calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, back, traps, shoulders and biceps – and it forces them to contract explosively and collectively, thus building power in all of these muscle groups.