I couldn’t believe it when I saw it bros.
Flashbacks from the late 1990s, worse than Sportscenter’s Not Top 10, played through my mind.
I thought humanity had evolved and advanced past this. But standing in front of me at a gas station recently was a dude wearing Jnco Jeans.
Fashion is the one area of life where trends tend to recycle themselves every 15-20 years. Which only makes the cliche saying, “what’s old is new again,” even more accurate.
The fitness world also loves to recycle old ideas or training methods. Claiming their new and exciting discoveries.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge interest in Olympic Lifting, thanks in part to Crossfit. Lifts that were long forgotten are now performed day in and day out now in gyms across the world.
If you dig into the history of bodybuilding and weightlifting, though, you’ll find that there are a ton of “forgotten” exercises that can help you level-up your strength and build more muscle.
The Pinch Grip Deadlift
Deadlifts rule. If you think otherwise, you’re wrong.
There are a dozen or so variations of deadlifts: conventional, sumo, Jefferson, stiff-legged, snatch grip, deficit, etc.
One forgotten version of the deadlift, invented by Steve Reeves the winner of Mr. Universe in 1950, will help you build a wider, stronger, and more badass back. It will also improve your grip strength as well.
If your gym doesn’t have bumper plates, this won’t be very easy to attempt.
Load the bar with 10-15 pound bumper plates, grasped the rim of the plates rather than the barbell, hinge your hips and bend your knees.
Driving through your lower body, making sure to maintain the integrity of your lower back, pull the weight off the ground until you come to a standing position. Then lower the weight by hinging at the hips until the weights return to the ground.
If you want to build a Herculean physique, and grow a wide back, this is the move for you.
Curl and Press
There is no feeling better than walking out of the gym with a massive upper body pump.
Your chest sticks out, your shoulders are the size of boulders, and your arms are so swole they’d make Captain America feel small.
Most of us will hammer away at set after set for nearly an hour to get a pump this good.
What if you could get that massive upper body pump in half the time?
Enter the curl and press.
Sitting on a bench, or standing if you prefer, slowly curl the weights up until they’re even with your armpits. Then twist the dumbbells and press the weight above your head.
This is a great way to warm-up before a heavy upper body day or when you can’t commit to a long training session but want to feel that “pump.”
You don’t need to go heavy here either. Keep the weight light to moderate and perform 3-4 sets of 10 reps.
Vince Gironda aka “The Iron Guru” revolunized bodybuilding. He is the man who trained Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, James Garner, and Erik Estrada.
He also invented a ton of exercises that bros like you and I do every day in the gym.
One that has long been forgotten, but will turn your biceps from mole hills into mountain peaks, is the drag curl.
This movement targets the bicep brachii, the long head of your bicep.
Grab a barbell and hold it slightly outside of shoulder width. The key to this exercise is to keep the barbell as close to your body as possible. To do this make sure to push your elbows as far back as you can.
Drag the bar up and over your chest until the barbell reaches your neck. Squeeze your biceps at the top as hard as you can and then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
You’ll cut out any activation of your front delts with this exercise and be able to build larger and more impressive bicep peaks.
The Old is New Again
To advance in life, sometimes we need to take a look back at our past. Except Jnco Jeans, that era in time needs to be completely forgotten.
If you’re looking to increase your strength and make gains in the gym, it might be time to reacquaint yourself with some old school techniques. It worked in the past and it will work now in 2016.