Aaron Clark’s Wheels of Fortune
At just 23, Virginia’s Aaron Clark accomplished a dream that many amateurs never realize: earning an IFBB pro card. Here’s how he went from punk to powerhouse, building some of the sickest legs in the biz.
Start: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart in the center of the platform. Settle into the machine so your back is fully supported and unhook the machine stops. Keep your back pressed into the pad at all times.
Execution: Bend your knees and slowly squat down, tracking your knees over your toes and maintaining whole-foot contact with the platform (don’t let your heels rise). When your knees form 90-degree angles, drive up out of the bottom to return to the start, stopping short of locking out.
Aaron’s Advice: “I like to spread my feet a little wider than normal and turn my toes out, which I feel allows me to better develop my upper quad detail. I also like to pause for a full count of one at the bottom, which effectively eliminates the stretch reflex and makes the drive even more difficult, tearing up the muscle fibers even more.”
Power Pointer: Placing your feet higher on the platform better targets the glutes and hamstrings, especially if you go deep. A lower foot placement hits the quads more, but be careful about your knees extending too far past your toes, which puts added stress on the knees.
Start: Stand erect with your feet hip-width apart and take an overhand grip on the barbell just outside your thighs. Keep your chest out and shoulders back, holding the arch in your lower back. Look directly forward.
Execution: Keeping your back straight and knees soft (not locked), fold forward from the waist, slowly lowering the weight while keeping the bar close to your shins. Your glutes should shift back as you lean forward. When the bar reaches knee level or slightly below, reverse the move and slowly rise back to the start, pressing your hips forward at the top as you squeeze your glutes and hamstrings.
Aaron’s Advice: “I always think ‘sit back’ when I do this move. This keeps my weight over my heels and helps prevent me from rounding my lower back. This allows me to better focus on using my hamstrings, not my back, to lift the weight.”
Power Pointer: Everyone’s range of motion is different because it’s determined, in part, by your flexibility. Lower the bar as far as you can but stop before your back rounds; many lifters mistakenly go for extra distance at the expense of spinal safety.