Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Condense Your Workouts by Clustering

Back in the stone ages of resistance training (and still to this day in some people's programming), you'd walk into the gym, load up the barbell, and do 3 sets of squats. Then you'd head over to the bench press and do another 3 sets there. After that, you'd mosey on over to the pull-up bar and do your sets. Then reverse crunches. You get the idea.

There's nothing wrong with this method of training -– as long as you don't mind spending two hours per day in the gym, that is. But if you could do the exact same amount of work in three-fourths the time, wouldn't you?

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Top 8

I recently conducted a poll of fitness experts (read: I asked my trainer friends on Facebook) to determine the 8 best exercises. I phrased the question in this way: If you could do only 8 exercises, what would they be?

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Polling is now complete, and the results are in. The composite list goes like this...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Down and Dirty With Pull-ups and Periodization

When it comes to pull-ups, which is better: 5 unassisted or 12 assisted?


Monday, September 9, 2013

Treadmill + Stretching ≠ Warm-up

How many times have you raced into the gym amped up for a workout, forgone any type of warm-up whatsoever, hit the heavy weights, and then tweaked something? 

Whether we're pressed for time, lazy, or just plain don't think we need it, we're all guilty of inadequate warm-up from time to time. As a matter of fact, those of us who warm up with five minutes of static stretching and walking on the treadmill are guilty of inadequate warm-up every time.

Resistance training is inherently risky business. In order to reduce that risk, mobility, stability, and reactivity are obligatory before we get anywhere near a squat rack. Sure, walking and stretching increase core temperature and passive joint range of motion. However, an effective warm-up must include much more.

Pre-workout stretching does not constitute warm-up!Photo courtesy:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Harder, Better, Faster, and Stronger All At Once

Want to put on lean body mass, get stronger, and improve your endurance all at once?

Traditional training wisdom says that you can't -- that to achieve each adaptation, you must concentrate on them one at a time. Such is the premise of the linear periodization model, which calls for spending a few weeks training for each adaptation individually (muscular endurance, hypertrophy, and strength).

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