Exercise of the Day: One-Arm Rows

Today let’s take a look at a great compound exercise for your upper body; the one-arm row. There are many different ways to do row exercises for strength training. Seated rows, bent-over rows, upright rows, t-bar rows, and probably more. However, the one-arm row is particularly great for those working out at home rather than at a fully equipped gym. Also, these rows tend to employ more of your full range of motion, which gives your back and arms an awesome challenge.

To do one-arm rows (sometimes refereed to as chainsaws since the motion is similar to pulling the cord to start one), you’ll need some sort of bench or raised surface (I’ve been known to use the couch or my bed) and a dumbbell, weight plate, ankle weight, or exercise band for resistance. Household items with handles such as laundry detergent or milk jugs can work well too, and I’ve even used my American Council on Exercise personal training text book as a weight for one-arm rows in a pinch.

To start, position yourself with your left hand and left knee up on the bench so that your back is parallel to the bench and the floor. Keep your right foot on the floor and hold your weight in your right hand. Really let your right arm hang down to the side of the bench, let your shoulder dip down slightly. Complete your rows by bending your right arm as you lift your elbow straight up towards the ceiling until your elbow is all the way back and your right hand is level with your chest. As you do so, be sure to keep your back flat and parallel to the floor. You should be using your bicep, shoulder, and back muscles to lift the weight in a slow, controlled motion. Pause briefly at the top of the row, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions, then switch arms and legs to complete the same number of rows to complete the set. Do 3-4 sets of this exercise.

One-arm rows are an excellent way to work your latissimus dorsi (the muscles in your upper back that give you that “V” shape) or lats, without a weight machine and without a pull-up bar. As one of the largest muscles in your body, creating strong lats makes a huge difference in your physique and posture. Doing one-arm rows will help you to prevent injuries from picking up heavy objects and strain from slouching. This exercise also helps strengthen your biceps and shoulders, helping create a strong, balanced and attractive upper body for men and women alike.


Getting the correct quantity of superior good quality sleep will aid in determining your overall good results in the fitness center when creating the body and taking it to an additional level. Poor sleeping patterns and not being consistent with your sleeping schedule will short circuit any progress you hope to produce.

Receiving between 7-9 hours of sleep is what exactly is generally suggested for many weight education and bodybuilding enthusiasts. There are plenty of persons even so that come across they can make gains and see progress with 6-8 hours at the same time. For anyone who is just beginning out in natural bodybuilding and weight instruction try and shoot for the 7-9 hour mark.

The value of obtaining a lot more sleep is required for the body to replenish its reserves that had been removed through the weight education approach. The body is constantly under reconstruction through sleep. Sleep is when the body produces the hormones which are needed to develop muscle and also aid keep our immune systems strong. Lack of top quality sleep is robbing your body of the recuperative powers by accelerating the production of cortisol that is a hormone that destroys muscle mass and weakens the immune technique.

Cortisol which can be developed by various varieties of pressure to the body including weight education, is counterproductive to testosterone production that is needed to develop muscle.Testosterone that is made by the testes is began and produced by various hormonal events that take spot inside the brain that are active when we’re sleeping.

For the duration of sleep you also create growth hormone. The majority of it truly is created at night. It is also developed with heavy compound movements that you simply may use inside the gym. Thus receiving the suitable production of growth hormone to build muscle and preserve your body from breaking down prematurely is needed from sound sleep.

Sound sleep is also necessary to help in maintaining alertness and also the high power levels that are necessary in the gym to allow you to lift the superior of weight necessary to build muscle and develop strength.

Sleep is viewed as an anabolic event if used effectively. In other words in case you are making a concerted effort to get the 7-9 hours of sleep, you will assist assure which you are finding the full benefit with the whole cascade of neurotransmitters that happen to be developed immediately after falling into a deep sleep.

Avoiding stimulants life caffeine, going to bed the identical time each and every night and, sleeping in an atmosphere which is cool and protected from the sunlight will aid in acquiring the top quality of sleep you’ll want to construct and strengthen the body.

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Building Muscles by Lifting Heavy

If you are looking to try and figure out how to build muscle, you must lift heavy weights for lower reps. The results you will get is depending on it, specially if you’re a hardgainer. Besides receiving dense muscles, properly lifting heavy weights will also build a cornerstone of strength, adding to the hardness of your bones, tendon and ligament strength, and explosive muscular power.

Now that you understand that, it is essential to realize that there are two forms of hypertrophy training. That is to say two different ways to cause your muscles to get bigger: Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy and Myofibrillar Hypertrophy.

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy is used all the time by body builders and it’s accomplished by moving iron in the higher rep range and lifting fairly heavy weights. Eight to twelve (8-12) repetitions, normally. Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy involves the growth of sarcoplasm, which is a fluid like substance inside the cell. This type of growth causes the muscle to appear larger. Although, this higher volume training does little for maximum strength, it does aid with ATP (energy) production and strength endurance. Many consider this non-functional muscle growth, however sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is still important when you are wanting to gain mass and change how a muscle looks.

Hard, solid muscles (a.k.a Muscle Density) are the result of the second form of muscle growth- Myofibrillar Hypertrophy. the only way to get this muscle density you must be in the lower rep ranges and be pumping some heavy iron. Generally one to five (1-5) reps. Myofibrillar Hypertrophy is well known amongst the powerlifting community and also the individuals that are lifting eighty to ninety percent of their 1 rep max. This form of growth develops advances in maximal strength, explosiveness, in addition to, increasing the size of the muscle. Fully functional muscle development is achieved by raisingthe number of myosin/actin filaments (sarcomeres) inside the cell.

If you want the best of both worlds you should focus on building a foundation of strength by bringing your attention to myofibrillar development and becoming stronger in the squat, deadlift, bench press, rows, overhead press and pull-ups. You will want to work the middle ground by working in the 5-8 reps range. Then sporadically throw in some singles, doubles and triples from time to time as you become more skilled at these exercises.

These technical compound multi joint exercises can be extremely technical exercises. All of them require some skill and practice to perform correctly, but I would pay special attention to the squats and deadlifts especially. Make sure you start off light and learn proper form and execution before gradually increasing the weight or reps from week to week. This is very important to understand, you can get really hurt if you do not follow proper form and safety for these exercises.

For assistance exercises you can use exercises with higher rep ranges like lunges, step-ups, split-squats, push-ups, dumbbell presses, chin-ups, dips, ab wheel, hanging knee raises, glute bridges, curls etc. Doing this will help build mass in the muscles, therefore improving your appearance and sarcoplasmic growth.

Working with a variety of different rep ranges, you can benefit from the growth of both sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy. But you want to make sure that you save the heavy lifting exercises as the main core of your training program so you can be sure your growth is function muscles.

Two to three (2-3) heavy work sets ought to be more than enough. However, when doing an exercise like squats, deadlifts, bench press or any other MAIN exercise, always start out by doing numerous warm up sets. Especially when you are aiming to lift that real heavy weight and working in the 5-8 rep range.

For example say you are going to go up to a 5 rep max in squats with 315lbs. Most likely to be safe you will want to do anywhere from 5-10 escalating warm-up sets. The number of warm-up sets to include will depend on the amount of weight you are going to be lifting. The heavier you keep raising the weight, the more you keep throwing in additional warm up sets.

Use the following as a template and adjust the total sets and weight increments according to your own strength level:

Set 1: the bar for 10 reps

Set 2: 95lbs for 5 reps

Set 3: 135lbs for 5 reps

Set 4: 185lbs for 5 reps

Set 5: 225lbs for 3 reps

Set 6: 255lbs for 2 reps

Set 7: 275lbs for 1 rep

Set 8: 295lbs for 1 rep

Set 9: 315lbs for 5 reps <=== WORK Set #1.

Set 10: 315lbs for 5 reps <=== WORK Set #2

Set 11: 275lbs for 10 reps <=== WORK Set #3 (Back off set)

This may seem tedious but it will build up your nervous system and completely warm up your muscles for the heavy lifting you are about to embark on, while reducing the chance of injury. If you go right into lifting the heavy weight without a proper warm-up, then you will most likely end up badly injured. Becoming badly injured can possibly keep you skinny and weak forever, so I would advise not to take any chances.

Now say you were going to do another lower body exercise after that. Then warming up is really not required at this point due to the fact that you are completely warmed up from the previous squat exercise. Simply move right into the following exercise, of course that is after you have rested properly. However, if you plan on doing an upper body exercise, I would advise going ahead and doing a few warm-up sets before you start lifting heavy.


If you would like to build maximal power and size you should focus on lifting heavy weights under eight reps to create Myofibrillar Hypertrophy and increase your muscle density. Compound multi-joint exercises should be the main focus of your training program. To round out and improve your muscles size and visual aspects you should also incorporate higher volume training every once in a while. By using the 8-12 rep range on your assistance and isolation exercises you will cause Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy inside the muscle. This allows you to achieve both types of hypertrophy and reap the best of both.

Talk to you later!

Brandon Cook

Author’s Bio: 

Brandon Cook is creator of The Awakened Warrior Blog, and co-creator of HardgainerMuscleBuilding.com, a website specifically configured to teach the hardgainer the laws and scientific principles for building a classic, muscular and functional body.

HargainerMuscleBuilding.com features a free email class covering the basic principles of training naturally, eating a nutritious, muscle-building diet, and understanding the truth about supplements. The website is filled with free articles, videos, and the programs you need to create your ideal body.

Please visit us at hardgainermusclebuilding


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