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Lift Your Best



Push past your sticking points in classic muscle-building exercises with this 3-day-a-week routine. (If your workout has stopped working, try these five fixes to bust through a fitness plateau and start building muscle again.) You'll move the weight from a standstill every repetition, which ensures that every rep is equally challenging. What's more, you'll strengthen the weakest parts of your lifts—so when you return to your standard exercises, you'll see a big improvement. Complete the sets of one exercise before proceeding to the next. Do 3 sets of 4 or 5 repetitions and rest 90 seconds between sets.

1. DEADLIFT
A. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a loaded barbell on the floor in front of you. Bend at the knees and grab the bar with an overhand grip, just outside your legs.

B. Keeping your back straight, stand up with the bar, driving your hips and glutes forward. Now lower the bar to the floor and stand up without it. Then repeat the move so that for each rep, you start with the bar on the floor.

Deadlifts are one of the best strength-building moves. Learn eight other secrets for bigger, more powerful muscles.


2. BENCH PRESS OFF SUPPORTS
A. Position a bench between the uprights of a squat rack, and set the bar on the supports at a height level with your chin when you're lying on the bench. Use an overhand grip. (Your elbows should be bent and the bar just over your chest.)

B. Press the bar up until your arms are straight, then lower it and rest it on the supports for 1 or 2 seconds before repeating.


3. SQUAT OFF SUPPORTS
A. Place a barbell on the supports of a squat rack, at the level where your shoulders will be when you're squatting with your thighs parallel to the floor. Lower your body under the bar with your back slightly arched and your chest up, and grab the bar.

B. Drive the weight up until you're in a standing position, then lower it back onto the supports. Pause for at least 2 seconds before repeating.


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