🏋️ how to use compound lifts for epic gains
Your Thanksgiving Eve edition of The BarBend Newsletter is here and as dependable as a can of cranberry sauce (the kind with the ridges, of course). So read on for all the workout tips and fitness news you need over the holiday break.
From rows to deadlifts and everything in between, compound exercises are the backbone of a strength-building workout routine. Learn to use these classic lifts properly and you'll enjoy some serious results.
This December's Dubai Fitness Championship features a field of up-and-coming women primed to make a statement. We break down all the athletes in our extensive preview.
We want you to enjoy all the protein, starches, and sweets on deck this Thanksgiving — but we also have a few tips on making the spread a little healthier.
To reach your fitness goals (whatever they may be), you need the right tools to get the job done. Some tasks require a delicate touch and a deft hand — there’s a reason why countless bodybuilders craft their world-class arms through isolation curls, after all. However, if you really want to up your strength and pack in the most work in the shortest amount of time, you’ll want to opt for compound exercises.
Compound lifts — think squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, rows, and the bench press — are how you develop broad, functional, long-lasting strength. These moves typically involve motion and (usually) load across more than one joint at a time. And, to put it simply, they give you a lot of bang for your buck.
To help you understand why these exercises are the crème de la crème of the iron world, we’ve whipped up a guide that goes over the extensive benefits of compound exercises and picks which ones you should add to your routine.
Dubai Fitness Championship Preview
The Women Take Center Stage
The Dubai Fitness Championship (DFC) takes place from December 2-4 at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This three-day contest pits some of the fittest folks on Earth against each other for bragging rights and a pretty sizeable cash prize. (In 2021, the total purse was an eye-watering $330,000.)
The contest features 20 men and 20 women who all earned a spot through an online qualifier. While there are a handful of proven names on the women's side, only five of the competitors have previous experience in Dubai, meaning the time is right for some new blood to rise to the top and score a career-defining win. You can familiarize yourself with the field in our comprehensive preview below.
More Like "Gainsgiving"
Thanksgiving is often seen as the first snowball in an avalanche of holiday parties, each one making it more and more difficult to stick to a rigid training schedule, let alone keep some semblance of dietary discipline. But, take a breath.
When you’re dialed in on a fitness plan the majority of the time, you can indulge in (and potentially benefit from) what researchers tantalizingly call “planned hedonic deviations,” or cheat days. When you spend that day being de-stressed, not distressed, around friends and family, then it’s all the more worthwhile.
But if you're still worried about how the mounds of turkey, piles of mashed potatoes, and liters of gravy will impact your hard-earned progress in the gym, we've rounded up some tips on enjoying an indulgent holiday without sacrificing results.
Another World Record Falls
If you need some extra motivation to power through the last day of a holiday workweek, look to powerlifter Daria Rusanenko’s 607-pound squat PR for inspiration.
Strongman phenom Mitchell Hooper reflected on seven lessons he learned during a historic rookie year.
Want to deadlift more weight without deadlifting more often? Use cable pullovers to develop bigger lats and stronger pulls.