The Playbook For The Modern Man

Tiny Workout Changes That Can Give You Huge Results

Maximise your gains.

Everyone at the gym is looking to maximise their results, whether it is through new proteins, a new PT or even a new workout. But sometimes its the little things like how to lift that can make a difference and the best part is that it doesn’t even require a change of workout.

Fitness trainer and founder of The Training Manual Peter O’Reilly regularly posts on his instagram ways that lifters can make minor changes to their workouts in order to maximise results. These tips involve things like, switching the type of barbell, changing up grip and even changing your stance. They are tiny changes but can go a long way particularly if you’re trying to get ready for the upcoming Silly Season.

His latest advice was for people looking to build their biceps, a favourite amongst males because curls get the girls. There is often debate over whether to use a barbell to curl or an EZ bar with different trainers giving out different advice. Some advocate for the straight bar as it maximises engagement through the entire range of motion. Others, like Peter argue for the EZ bar given it reduces the risk of common injuries that people develop over time using a straight bar. What good is a slightly bigger bicep if you’ve injured yourself? Peter also argues that its the greatest overall muscle activity, even over a dumbbell curl.


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A post shared by Peter O Reilly FRCms P.T. 🇮🇪 (@p.t.pete) on

One of Peter’s biggest warnings is to lifters that do behind the neck exercises, so think Lat Pull Downs and Shoulder Press. Peter is firmly of the belief that lifters should stop doing exercises that put stress on that area of the neck and puts the body in a high five position. The behind the neck shoulder press in particular causes stress to the neck and has potential to strain ligaments. Lifters instead should press the bar to the front which is safer due to the bar being positioned at the center of gravity and has more sport-specific applications. The Lat Pull Down Peter suggests lifters stop doing entirely due to the risk and stress it can cause to the body.


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A post shared by Peter O Reilly FRCms P.T. 🇮🇪 (@p.t.pete) on

The grip is the other thing that Peter discusses on his Instagram but of course, it is not one with a simple solution. Various exercises have different advice. For instance, an overhand grip on a tricep pushdown will let lifters put on more weight whilst an underhand grip will activate the muscles more but will limit the lift. Meanwhile, an overhand grip on a deadlift will limit the weight that’s able to be lifted and a mixed grip will allow more weight to be added but could result in a bicep tear.

It may seem like small stuff but if it helps take our biceps and muscles from zero to hero then sign us up.

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