If I had a list of things that were of greatest interest to me, a strong posterior chain and a swole belly would hover somewhere in the top ten every time.
For those who don’t know, a posterior chain is defined as “a group of muscles, tendons and ligaments on the posterior kinetic chain of the body. Examples of these muscles include the biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, erector spinae muscle group, trapezius, posterior deltoids, and so on”.
As for a swole belly, that is simply defined as eating quickly, so quickly that your meal is already settled in your gut before your brain says “please stop”, then continuing to eat at least two more servings of whatever was previously on your plate. A swole belly is best enjoyed after a heavy lifting session, preferably squats.
You will need a swole belly and a strong posterior chain to ride in the bear cavalry.
A wise man named Zeb (he is more of a hard-ass than his hard-ass name, with traps the size of Egyptian pyramids, do NOT cross him) once told me the muscles most useful for lifting are the ones your opponent sees while he is on the ground and you are walking away from him. Zeb was talking, of course, about the posterior chain. This would be in direct contrast to what 85% of what muscles most of the lifting community focuses on, which are usually the muscles people see the most, like biceps, calves, etc… Lets not forget about the 6-pack that everyone wants, “but most men don’t have an ice chest to put it in”. (Rippetoe)
The posterior chain is only useful in a few specific lifts, these lifts would be EVERY SINGLE LIFT. I can not think of a time when I wasn’t using my hamstrings, lower back, etc… on any of my lifts, even the bench press can use the lower back and hamstrings if your feet are positioned correctly, flat on the ground, driving that weight into the ground and giving you a solid position to get that weight up.
I have recently started incorporating more posterior chain specific movements into my programming in order to increase my numbers, I have made the GHD, glute-ham raise, and good mornings my new best friends. These exercises will help me get the barbell to break the crest of my knee without hitching on the deadlift, and drive out of the hole on a squat. Do you really need any more reasons to work your PC? If so, leave a message in the comments.
Important to remember that a big, strong posterior chain will not allow you to wear your old jeans, and you will be forced to wear lululemon pants, shorts, and boxers belong to a titan.
On to other important things, such as a swole belly. I try to achieve a swole belly at least twice a week, having a wife that loves to cook makes this easily attainable. You will know that you have achieved swole belly status when the thought of taking a deep breath sounds too difficult. If you are trying to put on weight, a swole belly is necessary at least 3 times a week, paired with a metric butt-ton of squats. I did GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk A Day) for one month combined with epic meals and I put on about 20 pounds, bringing my total weight gain to 46 pounds. I am 6′ 5″, so I consider this a bit of a feat, considering how many calories it takes for me to simply break even. You will have reached a whole other level if you achieve a swole belly and feel like you will explode and break your chair, only to be hungry and ready for another round 30 minutes later. Welcome to my level.
I leave you with some swole inducing photos, if you have some photos, leave them in the comments.
Keep a pack of these in your back pocket at all times.
Four fried avocados. Bully for me.
7 courses, all containing beef.
This burrito was literally the size of my forearm. It comes with an optional stretcher to carry you out of the restaurant.
This is what your fridge should look like in an ideal week, enough food for 4 or 5 days.