Using Thick Bar Training to Increase your Size and Strength
Have you reached a point where you don’t appear to be able to gain weight like you used to? The reason for this could be that you are only using a regular bar for weight training. The human body is programmed to prevent imbalance and injury so if you are lacking grip strength then your entire body’s strength development could be held back as a result. An easy way to improve the strength of your grip is by switching to a thick bar. Research suggests that it could help you to gain muscle and strength at a quicker rate.
Thick Bars Means Thick Arms
When women are training, they sometimes focus upon toning up a specific part of the body but where men’s fitness is concerned, gym enthusiasts usually wish to increase the size of every muscle there is. Most people who take part in weight training want the optimum levels of size and strength, which is perhaps why thick bars are becoming increasingly popular. According to an article published last year by a male health magazine, using thicker bars for chin-ups and rowing exercises can also be beneficial. A study that appeared in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics examined the effect of three different bar diameters upon neuromuscular strength. The researchers concluded that bars with a smaller diameter elicit the lowest neuromuscular activation and the greatest maximal voluntary contraction as assessed by a test for electromyographic activity. Bars with the largest diameter were found to elicit the smallest maximal voluntary contraction and the greatest neuromuscular response. This supports the idea that thick bars are the best size of bar to use when training.
Rotating Thick Bars
An article published in Iron Man magazine states that it is important to avoid opting for cheap, low quality thick-handled weights when doing thick bar weight training. The magazine warns that several companies offer thick-handled barbells with bars that don’t rotate so essentially all that the purchaser is getting is a large, metal pipe. Without rotation, it is possible to put considerable stress upon the wrists and elbows. It is therefore important to spend a little bit more money upon thick bars that rotate.
Oversized Soft-Handle Dumbbells
Winner of numerous world-class grip contests Richard Sorin recommends using oversized soft-handle dumbbells due to the fact that they demand that the hands are open to a greater extent. In an interview with the Strength and Conditioning Journal, he said that when grasping these dumbbells, lifters are holding onto a semi-dynamic fixture as if they are grabbing an opponent in football or grappling in wrestling. The load is shifting, which requires more stabilization in the forearms and hands. Sorin is a strong advocate of thick bar training.
Not Just Mumbo Jumbo
Thick bar training isn’t just a wishy-washy training technique that has been put forward by scientists but has no basis in reality; it is practiced by world-class weightlifters. Brooks Kubik, who is the holder of over twelve United States and world bench press records, says that it is one of the best methods for developing maximum muscle strength and size. He has stated that it is capable of developing levels of upper body power that are virtually incomprehensible to people who only train using regular bars. Editor of Hardgainer magazine Stuart McRobert also recommends training with a thicker bar, as does weight training expert Will Brink, who has written for Muscular Development, Body International, MuscleMag International and Exercise for Men Only.
Ultimately the body is only as strong as its weakest part. In order to avoid reaching a point where it is difficult for your strength and weight to increase at a satisfactory rate, it is essential to take part in this form of training. Lifters who do not have access to weights can opt for thick handgrips instead, which replicate the effect of a thick bar. This is a cheaper method for achieving the same result. Whether you choose to go for weights with thick bars or thick hand grips, perseverance with this technique will ensure that nothing can hold you back from achieving your true potential with regards to building muscle and increasing your fitness. You will be able to lift more and put on more weight as a result.
author: Christine Redpath