TRAIN TO GAIN

Shoulder-Width Squat Stance Not Best for All

Ron Harris

Some bits of training wisdom are universally accepted as gospel, mainly because experience has proved them true for most people. When it comes to foot stance on barbell squats, we're told from day one that shoulder width is best for bodybuilders. That directs more stress to the quads than a wider stance, which invariably involves glutes and inner thighs more. IFBB pro Evan Centopani certainly subscribed to that maxim.

The problem is, some people actually could stand to have a lot more mass in those areas. Evan was one, though he didn't realize it until he lost his first bid at the Nationals to Desmond Miller, a man with truly freaky wheels.

"I started training with a guy named Justin Miller twice a month for legs," Evan said. "Justin had me open up my stance on squats, and almost right away I could feel I was on to something."

A year later-sporting much btter legs-Evan won the Nationals. Then he took an entire year to grow and improve before making his pro debut. Now his legs match his immense upper body-no easy feat, considering the massive shoulders, arms and back he's known for. He now knows that even the most commonly accepted tenets of training aren't written in stone. When it comes to something as basic as squats, we all need to find what works best for us.

"Shoulder width is what you always hear, but a lot of guys would be better off opening up their stance a little more, especially taller bodybuilders," he says.

www.RonHarrisMuscle.com


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Less Drag, More Cuts

Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Less Drag, More Cuts

Cable and machine exercises are great, and often there is no substitute-as with leg extensions-but some techniques are best suited to free weights.

In the e-book The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout we explain how using negative-accentuated sets can set the stage for more fat burning. By raising the weight in 1.5 seconds and lowering in six, you emphasize the negative stroke and cause more muscle damage. During the postworkout repair process, your metabolism is higher, and bodyfat is the preferred fuel for muscle-tear repair. Using cables and machines, however, can make those negative-accentuated sets less effective.

Dieting, Aging and Muscle Mass

Paul Burke

Dieting, Aging and Muscle Mass

Q: Your article [in the May '09 issue] about getting bigger on a limited diet was very interesting, but how is it possible in physiological terms? Do other bodybuilders also believe this? Is there evidence, or were you just talking about your body?

A: I thought that it was just my body that reacted that way. Turns out, after we hit our late 40s to early 50s, we all have to deal with pretty much the same problems. Drug-free bodybuilder Dave Goodin told me that he never gets more than six to eight pounds away from competition weight.

Bi's Twice the Size

Ron Harris

Bi's Twice the Size

If you've been paying attention to the IRON MAN Pro over the past few years, you know about the rapidly improving Hidetada Yamagishi from Japan. At his first two outings at the event, in Southern California, Hide didn't even place. He did, however, earn his second trip to the Mr. Olympia contest by taking fourth at the '09 edition of the show.

At the Gym This Week

Stuart McRobert

At the Gym This Week

At the gym this week was a young man whose excellent progress Ive observed for a couple of years. Because Id kept an eye on Tassos, he hadnt done much wrong over that time, and hed always been receptive to my input. A couple of months ago his wife gave birth to their first child, and he told me his progress was totally shot.

Kneecap Pain and Squat Depth

Joseph M. Horrigan

Kneecap Pain and Squat Depth

The squat has received much praise and much criticism over the past 50 years. Leaders in the iron game, including Peary Rader, Bob Hoffman, Joe Weider, Joe Gold, John Balik, Steve Holman, countless Olympic weightlifting coaches and champions and champion bodybuilders have recommended squats in the the quest for strength, power and size.