The gym is a playground for sports lovers. However, you should also know how to train properly with the equipment. For example with different iron. FITBOOK explains what types of iron there are, how to use them, and the muscles to use with them.
If you want to build muscle in weight training, you should focus on variety. As the muscles get used to the movement patterns, growth slows down quickly if you do the same exercises over and over with the same weight. However, a well-equipped fitness studio offers many devices and options for continually stimulating muscles. Of course, you need to know how to properly train with equipment. For example with iron. These are available in different versions. But how do you use it correctly? And what muscles did you train with? FITBOOK has the answers.
Olympic bar (220 cm)
The classic barbell is the Olympic bar. It is 220 centimeters tall and weighs 20 kilograms. Due to the high weight, warm-up exercises can be done initially without additional weight plates. This bulky barbell is ideal for heavy weight training and of course for Olympic weightlifting disciplines (snatch, clean and jerk).
The Olympic bar is great for working out large muscle groups and for performing most compound exercises. This includes strength exercises such as the squat and the deadlift. It is especially effective because it targets multiple muscles at the same time.
Also interesting: typical mistakes many people make when doing squats
Obsessive athletes often use the Olympic tape for the following exercises:
- squat; Trained muscles: back, thighs, calves, buttocks and abdomen
- deadlifts Muscles trained: back, thighs and buttocks
- Bench press trained muscles: chest and triceps
- Curved Rowing Trained muscles: back and biceps
- grab the iron, clean it and press it; Muscles trained: shoulders, back and legs
Also interesting: What are the effects of standing position and dumbbells on squatting?
Iron (120-180 cm)
This barbell is often used by beginners when starting strength training. Depending on the height and design, it weighs from 7 to 15 kg. Since it is much easier than the Olympic tape, it is suitable for many exercises and is also often used in CrossFit. However, one must note that it is not as flexible as Olympic tape. So, if you plan to lift more than 100 kg, then you should do it with the most powerful 220 cm bar.
These are the common barbell exercises:
- Lunges. Muscles trained: legs and buttocks
- curls; Muscles trained: Biceps
- Wrist curls trained muscle: forearms
- Shoulder pressure trained muscle: shoulders
Also interesting: the lunge – the perfect exercise for a well-trained bottom
SZ . rod
Traditional dumbbells offer only two grip options: you can either hold them with the back of your hand up or down. This is why the slightly shorter, curved SZ bar is practical because it offers more grip options. In this way, biceps and triceps can be trained effectively. It is also considered gentler on the wrists, for example when performing biceps exercises.
The following exercises are most often performed with the SZ bar:
- bicep curls; Muscles trained: biceps isolated
- forehead press (French press); Muscles trained: triceps
Also interesting: Do biceps exercises with dumbbells correctly
Ladder Bar / Triceps Trainer
The ladder bar is the shortest rod and is practically the most extreme alternative to the EZ bar. As the name suggests, it looks like a small two-step ladder in the middle. These steps act as handles of very narrow width.
The ladder bar is mostly used as the SZ bar for front presses to train the triceps – which also gave it the name of a triceps trainer. But it can also be used for bicep curls. Therefore, the range of exercises is similar to that of the SZ bar (see above).
Also interesting: typical mistakes that many make when pressing the triceps
Earthquick Bar / Bandple Bar
If you want more variety in your training and have enough regular bars, you should try Earthquake or Bandbell Bar. This is a special rod made of very strong yet flexible ash wood with a composite resin core. According to the manufacturer, this ensures maximum stretch and flexibility.
Earthquake tape is weighted with weights suspended from both ends. The point behind it: it’s supposed to create an unstable (wobbly) load that the body has to balance and control with more effort. The exercises are more demanding and stimulate more muscles than doing the same exercises with a regular bar. Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, for example, swears by it, as FITBOOK has already reported.
Also interesting: Fitness icon Mark Lauren: “If you want to get stronger, you must do one thing above all else.”
In fact, Earthquake or Bandbell Bar can improve muscle activation, a study showed.1 Here’s how to use the elastic band with hanging weights for exercises similar to the Olympic band:
- Squats (train the back, thighs, calves, buttocks and abdominal muscles)
- Deadlifts (back, thighs, buttocks)
- Bench press (chest and triceps training)
- Bend rows (back and bicep exercises)
- Lunges / lunges (trains the legs and buttocks)