Book of Techniques

00 – Lift Classifications

Lift Classifications: Primary: A primary exercise is the main lift you will perform for this muscle group, or this lift patter. For example, the squat is your primary lift for your quads and the bench press is your primary lift for your pectorals. Alternate Primary: An effective training program will include enough variety in the […] read more...

Back Training – Barbell Row

The barbell row is one of the most effective upper back exercises there is. Build power and size in your upper back using rows. read more...

Back Training – Bodyweight Hanging Row

The hanging row is a great bodyweight exercise for building muscle in your upper back. Similar to the pull-up, it is a great addition to your home workout routine. The Purpose of this Exercise The hanging row is a great bodyweight exercise for your latissimus dorsi (lats or upper back) and biceps. With respect to your body, […] read more...

Back Training – Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbell rows are an effective compound exercise used to work out your lat muscles (Latissimus Dorsi). Here is a short, concise article describing how to perform dumbbell rows. Muscles Exercised Dumbbell rows are an effective compound exercise for your lats. As with other rowing exercises, dumbbell rows hammer your biceps as well. Exercise Technique Dumbbell rows […] read more...

Back Training – Pull-ups and Chin-ups

Pull-ups and chin-ups are effective compound exercises used to exercise your lat muscles (Latissimus Dorsi). Here is a short, concise article describing how to perform pull-ups and chin-ups. Muscles Exercised Pull-ups and chin-ups are effective multi-joint compound exercises that primarily work your lats. They should anchor to your lat routine. As with other lat exercises, pull-ups and chin-ups […] read more...

Back Training – Cable Rows

Cable rows are a good supplemental lift to finish off your back training. A great back workout finisher, cable rows allow you to exhaust muscle groups that may not be fully engaged in the bigger primary back exercises. For maximum effect, really squeeze your shoulder blades together at the end of the lift. Muscles Used […] read more...

Back Training – Dead Stop Barbell Rows

Dead stop barbell rows removes the use of upper body momentum to assist with your rows. It helps you isolate and emphasize your upper back. Muscles Used for this Exercised Primary Muscle Groups: Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Trapezius (upper back), Posterior Delts Secondary Muscle Groups: Biceps Stabilizers: Spinal Erectors (lower back) Exercise Classification Alternate Primary Compound […] read more...

Back Training – Dumbbell Rows, Unsupported

Muscles Trained Unsupported dumbbell rows train the muscles in your upper back, primarily your lats (Latissimus Dorsi). They also work your biceps. When done correctly they also hit your rhomboids and traps (Trapezius) to some degree at the end of the pull. Why would you do your dumbbell rows unsupported? Without the obstruction of the […] read more...

Bicep Training – Bicep Curls

Biceps are an important assistance muscle for back training, and a key stabilizer muscle in the bench press. Bicep curls are an important isolation exercise for direct bicep training. Muscles Exercised As the name implies, bicep curls are an isolation exercise for your biceps. The goal of this exercise is to focus exclusively on your […] read more...

Bicep Training – Preacher Curls

Preacher curls are a good supplemental isolation exercise that focuses directly on your bicep muscles. This bicep curl technique eliminates some “cheating” and can increase the effectiveness of the bicep curl exercises in your training program. Purpose of this Exercise The preacher curl is an isolation exercise for your biceps. The goal of this exercise […] read more...

Chest Training – Bench Press

The bench press is your core upper body lift for building pressing strength. Correct technique will lead to a bigger bench press, you should be performing an exercise this important correctly. Muscles Exercised The bench press is one of your big three compound exercises (the other two being the squat and the deadlift). The bench press primarily works your chest. […] read more...

Chest Training – Bench Press Lockout

Bench press lockouts are crucial to building a big bench press. This exercise will prepare you to move some big iron. Exercise Purpose Bench press lockouts help you build significant strength and stability at the top end of your bench press. For the competitive powerlifter, this exercise provides a number of benefits: Builds significant stability at the handoff of the […] read more...

Chest Training – Bench Press Tips

You can increase the weight on your bench press today! You don’t need to create a whole new strength training program to break through your weight lifting plateau. Improving your bench press technique will result in significant, immediate results. The technique described here is based on form with proven results in powerlifting bench press competition. […] read more...

Chest Training – Bench Press Tips: Arching Your Back

You don’t need to create a whole new strength training program to break through your weight lifting plateau. Improving your bench press technique will result in significant, immediate results. Arching your back during bench press is a very effective technique to give your bench press more raw power. Done correctly this bench press technique will […] read more...

Chest Training – Bench Pressing with Chains

Bench pressing with chains is a powerlifting technique, however it can be used by any weightlifter to strengthen your bench press. Since you will be lifting greater weight, you will also be stacking muscle mass to your frame. read more...

Chest Training – Decline Bench Press

The decline bench press is a great exercise to build your chest mass and strength. Although lifting technique is very similar to flat bench press, you can find here the basic technique for a strong decline bench press. Muscles Exercised: The decline bench press focuses on your chest, and as with the flat bench press, it also exercises your triceps […] read more...

Chest Training – Decline Dumbbell Press

The decline dumbbell press is a highly effective exercise to build bench press power and chest muscle size. Using dumbbells versus a barbell forces you to stabilize the weight taxing your muscles to a greater degree. Adding this exercise to your training program will make a difference in your pressing power. Purpose of this Exercise […] read more...

Chest Training – Dumbbell Press

The dumbbell press is highly effective chest exercise for your workout program. Using dumbbells instead of a barbell forces you to stabilize the weights, therefor taxing your muscles to a greater degree than the barbell bench press. Learn the correct exercise technique and lift heavy! Muscles Exercised The dumbbell press focuses on your chest, and […] read more...

Chest Training – Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press is a great exercise to build your upper chest and shoulders. Lifting technique is very similar to flat bench press. Described here is basic techniques for a strong incline bench press. Muscles Exercised: The incline bench press focuses on the upper portion of your chest. It also taps your shoulders (anterior delts) and, as […] read more...

Chest Training – Incline Dumbbell Press

Incline dumbbell presses are an exceptional exercise for building bench press power and chest muscle size. Using dumbbells for the exercise forces you to stabilize the weight and taxes your muscles to a greater degree. Adding this exercise to your training program will make a difference in your bench pressing power. Purpose of this Exercise […] read more...

Chest Training – Board Presses

Board presses are a partial range of motion (ROM) version of the bench press that can be used to overload the weight used on the bench press. This overload effect trains the lifter to work with greater bar weights. read more...

Chest Training – Dead Bench Press

The Dead Bench Press is designed to build power off the chest. Because you begin the lift from the chest with no eccentric portion, you have no stretch reflex to help you initiate the drive upward. This lift requires much greater work out of your pectorals to start the lift from a dead stop. Muscles […] read more...

Chest Training – Decline Wide Grip Bench Press

The decline wide grip bench press helps to isolate your pectorals, shifting emphasis from your triceps and delts. You can use this lift to improve your pectoral strength. Decline wide grips also have a shorter range of motion (ROM) than the bench press and standard grip decline press potentially increasing the weight you can push. […] read more...

Chest Training – Floor Press

The floor press is a supplemental exercise to help build your bench press. It is a partial range of motion (ROM) lift that will help strengthen the midrange and lockout of your bench. A number of factors make floor presses an effective lift. It: removes leg drive from the press, forcing your pectorals and triceps […] read more...

Chest Training – Speed Bench Press

The speed bench is a variation of the bench press designed to increase the explosiveness in your upper body pushing lifts. Since power is a function of both strength and speed, speed benches allow you to train the speed side of that equation. Muscles Used for this Exercise Primary Muscle Groups: Pectorals Secondary Muscle Groups: […] read more...

Chest Training – Swiss Ball Dumbbell Press

Swiss Ball Dumbbell Presses are a supplemental exercise that emphasizes pectoral strength. Because of the instability created by the dumbbells and the stability ball, your pecs and stabilizers are forced to work much harder than with a standard dumbbell press. Muscles Used for this Exercise Primary Muscle Groups: Pectorals Secondary Muscle Groups: Deltoids (anterior), Triceps […] read more...

Chest Training – Upper Body Box Jumps

Just like box jumps can create lower body explosiveness, you can use upper body box jumps to generate upper body explosiveness. This exercise can help you train your chest to engage all of your pectoral muscles instantly creating much more bench press power off your chest. Muscles Used for this Exercised Primary Muscle Groups: Pectorals […] read more...

Chest Training – Wide Grip Bench Press

The wide grip bench press helps to isolate your pectorals, shifting emphasis from the secondary bench press muscle group – your triceps. You can use this lift to improve your pectoral strength. The wider grip used also reduces the range of motion (ROM) of the lift, potentially increasing the weight you can press. Muscles Used […] read more...

Intensity Training – 21s

21s are a volume intensity approach that you may have heard of for biceps training. This technique is also a very effective volume technique for other key lifts: When used with squats, the first and second rounds thoroughly exhaust your quads, leaving the third round to depend largely on your glutes and hamstrings. When used […] read more...

Leg Training – Body Weight Squats

Don’t neglect the squat just because you workout from home. Even without a great deal of expensive home gym equipment, you can add this exceptional leg exercise to your home training program to burn fat and build muscle and strength. Muscles Exercised Bodyweight squats, as with barbell squats, are intended to work your legs – […] read more...

Leg Training – Deadlift

The deadlift is a lower body exercise, but it taxes your entire body. It is one of your core strength building exercises and should be added to every strength training program. Behind the squat, the deadlift is the most important exercise in your training program. Muscles Used for this Exercise: Primary Muscle Groups: Glutes, Hamstrings […] read more...

Leg Training – Deadlift Rack Pulls

Deadlift rack pulls help you train the finishing movement for your deadlift. They allow you to pull a significantly higher weight to lockout than you would use for your full range of motion deadlifts. Rack pulls can read more...

Leg Training – Front Squats

The front squat is an incredibly effective muscle building exercise for your legs. It’s a great tool for teaching new weight lifters how to squat, a very good compound exercise for your legs, and is highly useful for core training. Front squats should be part of your training program. Muscles Exercised As is the back […] read more...

Leg Training – Glute Ham Raises

The glute ham raise is one of the most powerful hamstring exercises you can add to your training program. If your goal is to build mighty hamstrings, update your workout routine to replace much less effective leg curls with glute ham raises. Muscles Exercised As the name implies, the glute ham raise exercises the glutes and the […] read more...

Leg Training – Good Mornings

Good mornings are a handy back exercise for your workout routine. Because of the load this exercise places on your lower back muscles, performing it with proper technique is crucial. Muscles Exercised Good mornings are primarily used to strengthen your lower back, glutes and hamstrings. Exercise Technique You can use good mornings to increase your […] read more...

Leg Training – Leg Press

Leg press technique is simple, but cheating on it greatly reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Although the leg press is no replacement for the squat, leg presses are a great supplemental leg exercise for your training program if done correctly. Using proper leg press technique, you can hammer wheels you’ve already pumped with your […] read more...

Leg Training – Lunge

Lunges are an effective bodyweight exercise for your strength training program. Because it takes little or no equipment, it is a very good leg exercise for your home workout program. Muscles Exercised Lunges are an effective body weight exercise for your quadriceps. Lunges also work your glutes and hamstrings, and make a great supplemental leg […] read more...

Leg Training – Reverse Hyperextensions

Leg and Lower Back Training: Reverse hyperextensions (reverse hypers) are a great lower back exercise. A strong lower is an essential element to big lifts such as squats and deadlifts. Reverse hypers can be a highly effective supplemental exercise in your strength training program. Exercise Purpose: Reverse hypers primarily target your lower back; they also […] read more...

Leg Training – Squats

Learn how to perform the squat with proper technique for maximum power. The squat anchors your strength training program, this leg exercise taxes nearly every major muscle in your body. No workout program is complete without the squat. read more...

Leg Training – Stiff Leg Deadlifts

Stiff leg deadlifts build strong glutes and hamstrings which in turn drive power into your big lifts – the squat and deadlift. Gain muscle in your posterior chain using the stiff-leg deadlift. This effective leg exercise is a must for your strength training program. Muscles Exercised Stiff leg deadlifts, sometimes called straight leg deadlifts, are […] read more...

Leg Training – Sumo Deadlifts

The deadlift is a lower body exercise, but it taxes your entire body. It is one of your core strength building exercises and should be added to every strength training program. Behind the squat, the deadlift is the most important exercise in your training program. Because you can get lower and closer to the bar, […] read more...

Leg Training – Barbell Hip Thrusters

The hip thruster is the best glute exercise there is. Although not an isolation exercise, when done right the glutes do the bulk of the work, this fact is unmistakably clear at the end of each set. Muscles Used for this Exercise Primary Muscle Group: Glutes Secondary Muscle Group: Hamstrings Stabilizers: Core, Spinal Erectors Exercise […] read more...

Leg Training – Box Jumps

Box jumps are a great approach to building explosive power in your lower body. The more power you generate in the limited distance you have (leg height) the higher you will jump. This power translates into more bar weight in your squats and deadlifts. Muscles Used for this Exercise Primary Muscle Groups: Hamstrings Secondary Muscle […] read more...

Leg Training – Box Squats

Box squats are an alternate version of the squat with several key benefits: They can help train the squat’s lifting pattern to new lifters learning the technique. They can teach the lifter how to comfortably sit into their squat. For experienced lifters, box squats can increase explosive power out of the bottom of the squat. […] read more...

Leg Training – Deficit Deadlifts

The deadlift is a lower body exercise, but it taxes your entire body. It is one of your core strength building exercises and deficits are a variation on the deadlift that increases the range of motion of the deadlift. Since you are forced to start your pull from a deeper starting position, the initiation of […] read more...

Leg Training – Good Mornings, Dead Stop

Good mornings are a very good supplemental exercise for your posterior chain – glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors. Performing them with a dead stop increases the effectiveness by forcing stricter technique and reducing rebound from the stretch reflex. read more...

Leg Training – High Bar Squats

Nearly all the techniques described in Brute Force Strength’s Book of Techniques are designed primarily to increase your power. High bar squats, conversely, are a technique used to maximize quadriceps hypertrophy and build muscle. Muscles Used for this Exercise Primary Muscle Groups: Quadriceps Secondary Muscle Groups: Glutes, Hamstrings Stabilizers: Abdominals/Core, Upper Back (Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, […] read more...

Leg Training – Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are a great way to build explosive power in your glutes and hamstrings. read more...

Leg Training – Pause Deadlift

Pause deadlifts can be used to build power at the weak point in your deadlift: Low Pause: Can help build power off the floor High Pause: Can help build lockout power Muscles Used for this Exercised Primary Muscle Groups: Glutes, Hamstrings Secondary Muscle Groups: Spinal Erectors (lower back), Quadriceps Stabilizers: Forearms/Grip, Trapezius, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi […] read more...

Leg Training – Pause Squats

As with squats, pause squats are among the best exercises there are for building quad, glute and hamstring strength and size. Pause squats will help you build explosiveness out of the bottom of your squat and off the floor with your deadlift resulting in bigger lifts. Muscles Used for this Exercised Primary Muscle Groups: Quadriceps, […] read more...

Leg Training – Pin Squats

Pin squats are a supplemental variation of the squat that can help you build power and fine tune your technique. Pin Squats have a number of potential benefits: Increase power out of the bottom of the squat by starting the concentric portion of the lift from a dead stop By squatting to pins at a […] read more...

Leg Training – Pull Through

Pull throughs are a very effective glute and hamstring isolation exercise. These are a great way to finish off your leg or posterior chain workout. Muscles Used for this Exercised Primary Muscle Groups: Glutes, Hamstrings (Posterior Chain) Secondary Muscle Groups: Spinal Erectors/Lower Back Stabilizers: Latissimus Dorsi/Upper Back Exercise Classification Supplemental Isolation Exercise Technique Equipment: Use […] read more...

Leg Training – Squats with Bands

The squat is one of the two major lower body exercises, the other being the deadlift. Squatting with bands allows you to overload the weight at the top of the lift, while driving out of the bottom of the squat where the weight is lighter. Since the band tension decreases as you descend, the weight […] read more...

Leg Training – Squats with Chains

The squat is one of the two major lower body exercises, the other being the deadlift. Squatting with chains allows you to overload the weight at the top of the lift, while lightening the weight at the bottom which allows you to drive out of the bottom of the squat much more explosively.  Since the […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Barbell Seated Military Press

The military press, also known as the shoulder press, is your core compound exercise for increasing your shoulder strength, size and mass. This is the basic technique for the military press. Muscles Exercised Also referred to as the shoulder press, the military press focuses on your shoulders. It also exercises your triceps to a degree. […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Dumbbell Front Raises

The dumbbell front arm raise exercises your shoulder and chest muscles. It focuses on the anterior delt. This article describes the basic strength training technique for this exercise. Muscles Exercised The dumbbell front arm raise focuses on your delts. The emphasis of this exercise is on the anterior delt. It also exercises your pecs and biceps to a degree. […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Dumbbell Lateral Raise

The dumbbell lateral arm raise exercises your shoulder muscles. It focuses on the middle delt. This article describes the basic strength training technique for this exercise. Muscles Exercised The dumbbell lateral arm raise focuses on your delts. The emphasis of this exercise is on the middle delt. It also exercises your traps to a degree. Exercise Technique Stand with […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Dumbbell Military Press

The dumbbell military press is one of the key compound exercises for your shoulders. Read on for exercise tips and add this important exercise to your strength training program. Muscles Exercised: The dumbbell military press focuses on your delts. The emphasis of this exercise is on the middle delt. It also exercises your triceps and traps to […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise

The dumbbell rear lateral arm raise exercises your shoulder muscles. It focuses on the posterior delt. This article describes the basic strength training technique for this exercise. Muscles Exercised The dumbbell rear lateral arm raise focuses on your delts. The emphasis of this exercise is on the posterior delt. It also exercises your traps and […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder shrugs are arguably the best exercise there is to build trapezius (trap) muscle mass and strength. Using the proper technique will allow you to work them most effectively into your strength training routine. Muscles Exercised Shoulder shrugs, despite the name, focus on your traps, not your delts. Exercise Technique Stand with your feet about […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Upright Rows

The upright row is an effective exercise that targets both your delts and your traps. This article describes the basic strength training technique for this exercise. Muscles Exercised Upright rows focus on your delts and traps. It also exercises your biceps to a degree. Exercise Technique Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, and […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Dumbbell Shoulder Flyes

Shoulder flyes allow you to isolate your deltoids, particularly your middle delts. Muscles Used for this Exercised Primary Muscle Groups: Deltoids (shoulders) Secondary Muscle Groups: Trapezius Exercise Classification: Assistance Isolation Exercise Technique Equipment: Perform shoulder flyes seated on an upright bench with your back supported. Hand Position: Grip the dumbbells in both hands, with hands […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Push Press

Push press is on overhead pushing exercise that can help build overhead strength. It will help you train the jerk portion of the clean and jerk. By using explosive leg drive you create momentum to initiate the push. By doing so, you are able to overload with weights you would not be able to lift with a strict […] read more...

Shoulder Training – Standing Overhead Press

The overhead press is one of the most important pushing exercises you can perform for upper body strength. Muscles Used for this Exercise Primary Muscles Used: Deltoids/Shoulders Secondary Muscles Used: Triceps, Pectorals Stabilizer: Upper back, core Exercise Classification Primary Compound Upper/Push Exercise Technique Hand placement: Slightly outside shoulder width. Forearm Alignment: Forearms should remain perpendicular […] read more...

Triceps Training – Close Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press is one of the most effective exercises there is to build your triceps muscles. The close grip bench press shifts the emphasis from the chest, which is focused on when benching with a wider, to the triceps. This multi-joint, compound lift should be the cornerstone of your triceps routine. Exercise […] read more...

Triceps Training – Dips

Dips are an effective exercise to build your triceps muscles. Here is a quick description of how to perform dips. Muscles Exercised Dips are a highly effective multi-joint, compound lift for your triceps muscles. Dips should be a key exercise in your tricep routine. Exercise Technique Dips are typically performed from a station with a set of […] read more...

Triceps Training – Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Dumbbell triceps extensions are one of the best isolation exercises you can add to your training program for your triceps. Purpose of this Exercise The dumbbell triceps extension is an isolation exercise to work your triceps. Because it is an isolation exercise, it focuses directly on your triceps without the involvement of any other major […] read more...

Triceps Training – Skull Crushers

Skull crushers (tricep extensions) are an effective isolation exercise for your tricep muscles. Here is a quick description of how to perform skull crushers. Muscles Exercised Skull crushers are an isolation exercise for your tricep muscles. The goal of this exercise is to focus directly on the tricep. Exercise Technique Isolation exercises should be performed after you’ve completed the compound exercise for the […] read more...

Triceps Training – Triceps Cable Extensions

Triceps cable extensions are a relatively low impact isolation exercise for your triceps muscles. Here is a quick description of how to perform cable extensions. Purpose of this Exercise The triceps cable extension is an isolation exercise for your triceps muscles. The goal of this exercise is to focus directly on building the triceps without the assistance of other muscle […] read more...