Refresher Course: Barbell

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The barbell is the basic tool of strength training — a straight metal bar with weight plates secured on each side. An Olympic barbell is what you’ll see in most gyms, with a wider-circumference sleeve that spins on the shaft, offering smooth action throughout an exercise. Barbells are super versatile and can be used to hit every major bodypart. In fact, with nothing more than a bar, some plates and a bench, you can easily assemble an effective full-body program — no gym required.

Technique — TnG (touch and go)

With this technique, there is no pausing between reps, amping both your pace and your intensity. It’s often used with Olympic-style lifts, such as a power clean or a clean-and-jerk, during which you continuously complete repetitions versus doing a series of single reps. This burns mega-calories and trains muscular endurance and strength.

Complete all reps of each move without breaking to rest, and complete five total rounds of the workout. You can put the barbell down in between moves, but for an added challenge, try not to put it down until it’s time for the run.

Note: For this workout, you’ll be using the same barbell for all three moves, so defer to the max weight you can use on your weakest lift.

5 Power Cleans

5 Front Squats

5 Overhead Presses

400-Meter Run

Barbell Front Squat

Barbell Front Squat

Barbell Front Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and turned out slightly from your hips. Hold the bar across your shoulders and clavicle in the racked position — elbows lifted underneath the bar, fingertips holding lightly on either side of your shoulders. Keeping your chest lifted and elbows high, kick your hips back and bend your knees to squat as low as you can comfortably go. Drive through your heels to return to standing.

Barbell Front Squat

Barbell Overhead Press

Barbell Overhead Press

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell across your shoulders and clavicle outside shoulder width in the front rack position. Keep your core tight and your chest lifted as you extend your arms to press the weight overhead to full extension without using momentum, then slowly lower to the start.

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