Dexter Jackson, former Mr. Olympia and winner of 5 Arnold Classics.
Here are some muscle building tips from Dexter Jackson. Follow his advice and you’ll be on your way to looking like an Olympian ready to compete. Adding muscle building supplements promote muscle growth and strength-pushing you through to the next level.
Machine T-Bar Rows, or Real T-Bars?
Dexter does not like that machine with the pad on your chest. Nothing against machines, but if you’re going to do T-bar rows, do T-bar rows. Preferring the bar in the corner over the T-bar setups with the platform. Standing on the hinge on the back end. With corner T-bar rows, more freedom of movement as far as where that bar goes. With the platform T-bar, it’s locked into one movement track. Making it more like a machine than free weights. The only drawback with corner rows is that you always need to either put a heavy dumbbell on the back end once you get over say three plates. Or else, somebody will stand on it. Other than that, though, no other variation on T-bars gives me the same feeling in my lats.
Train Arms with Other Body Parts, or Alone?
If training entire back, your biceps are going to be pretty fatigued. Most guys unable to pull off a decent workout at that point. The same could be said about hitting triceps after chest. Personally, Dexter would much rather have an arm day all on its own. If training chest as hard as you should be, going double for the back. You won’t have the energy left to give the biceps or the triceps a productive workout. Better off doing them another day all on their own.
Behind-Neck Presses: NO!
Dexter used to do presses behind the neck, but he stopped that about 10 years ago due to issues with rotator cuffs. He agrees that they do activate more of the whole shoulder complex as opposed to pressing to the front. But it is not a natural movement. Dumbbell presses have been his go-to shoulder pressing movement for a long time. He recommends them to anyone. Once you get the feel for them, they are even better than behind-neck presses at hitting every last fiber in your delts. Building big muscles and looking like a bodybuilder in beastmode!
Leg Extensions: Don’t Go Heavy!
When Dexter was younger, he treated every exercise like a mass builder, including leg extensions. A lot of times, he used so much weight that he could only get 10 reps. Depending on he machine, that was either the stack or the stack with a plate or even two pinned on! After a while, his knees started bothering him. He figured it was from squats or hack squats. It took some time to narrow things down by going a little lighter on everything one at a time to realize the leg extensions caused the knee pain.
For a long time now, using leg extensions as a way to warm up the knees and pump blood into the quads before doing any presses or squats. Doing as many as six sets of them and the reps are never lower than 20. Understanding that it’s a single-joint isolation movement. Never meant to be done heavy as you would go for a compound movement. For example, maybe you can press 130 pound dumbbells for your chest, but you wouldn’t do flyes with that amount. Same with lateral raises. Single-joint movements are suppose to be done lighter. If you try to use a ton of weight, problems will follow.