The Fit 5: Train for a Personal Record


For all of our fans who shoot us questions on our Facebook page, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen. This week, Sean Hyson C.S.C.S., Group Training Director for Muscle & Fitness and Men’s Fitness magazines, answers questions about breaking new lift records. Be sure to read up on all of Sean’s articles here on or in Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness magazines each month. You can also catch Sean on Twitter

1) Weak Bench— asked by Matt T My flat bench continues to increase, but not my dumbbell press. How do I fix this?
“You probably just need to do more direct dumbbell pressing. You may also have trouble stabilizing the weights, which isn’t as much of a factor with a barbell. Try some push-ups on a TRX or medicine ball as well, which really brings the rotator cuff into it.”
2) Weak Leg Press — asked by Thomas J Pagano I can squat 315 for 8 reps, but my leg press strength is minimal. Are there other exercises I can perform to increase my leg press lift?
“It’s possible your hamstrings and glutes are doing most of the work on the squat and your quads, which the leg press isolates more directly, are underdeveloped. Prioritize leg pressing and do more quad work like lunges, hack squats and leg extensions.”
3) Bicep/Tricep Balance — asked by Christopher Mezey I want my arms to grow, but should I be using the same set/rep ratio for both biceps and triceps?
“You can do a little more work for your biceps. I assume you’re training shoulders and chest and back with equal attention, so that’s two muscle groups that are also involving the triceps (any pressing motion) and one that works the biceps (any pull). Both the biceps and triceps are small muscles and recover quickly, so training them more frequently rather than increasing the volume of your work is a good strategy.”
4) Long Distance Rut — asked by Jonathan Roberstson I love running long distances, but I continue to get really tired at the three-mile mark. Any suggestions?
“Check your nutrition. That isn’t a very long distance, so you may just be running out of fuel.”
5) Lagging Shoulders — asked by Aaron Grobern My shoulders lag behind all my other body parts, I tried using 5×5, but it’s not working… Help!
“Train shoulders directly twice a week with two or three exercises and do them first in each workout. Have the first day be a heavy workout (5×5 could work) and the second be light (say, 3×15).”