Saturday, January 25, 2014

8 Ways to Spice Up Your Training

Tired of the same old 3 sets of 10 reps with a 2/0/2 tempo, resting a minute between sets? Spice up your gym experience with a change in sets/reps, tempo, range of motion, exercise order, or exercise selection. You'll be glad you did.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Movement Competency Checklist for Young Athletes

Kids don't move nearly as much as they used to. These days, time spent couch surfing far exceeds time spent running, jumping, climbing, and monkeying around the playground. As a result, kids nowadays don't move nearly as well as they used to, either. The good news is that with great coaching, the damage can be undone. The bad news? The real-world outcomes are all too often quite the opposite.


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Friday, January 17, 2014 Weird Workouts That Really Work

As my faithful readers know (and new readers will come to find), I'm a big proponent of keeping it simple in the weight room. Push, pull, legs, and core. But sometimes you just have to shake things up.

Check out my article on T-Nation, titled 'Weird Workouts That Really Work,' which details six of my favorite ways to do just that:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Structuring Workouts for Maximum Gains: Concurrent Periodization

Unless you’re strictly a powerlifter, bodybuilder, or endurance athlete, you likely want to make gains in all of the following domains: strength, body composition, and stamina. 

You could spend a few weeks doing specialized training for each quality individually. But if possible, wouldn’t you rather develop all three at once? This is the essence of "concurrent periodization," in which a block of time is allotted every training session for every adaptation.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

3 Programming Principles You Must Not Neglect

Resistance training may seem incredibly complex to the uninitiated, but it’s actually pretty simple. It can all be boiled down to five fundamental elements: push, pull, knee, hip, and core. As long as you have a good assortment of each of these elements in your weekly routine, you're probably doing all right.

To do even better, though, there are three additional variables that we often forget about but that demand our careful consideration. They are (1) planes of motion, (2) "jointedness," and (3) "sidedness." In this post, I describe how best to manipulate these variables to create a complete and well-rounded program. Included is a sample week of training.


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Sunday, January 5, 2014

7 Squat Faults and Quick Fixes

Let's face it: most average gym-goers don't know how to squat. It could be that they're simply unaware of what the proper depth should be. Or maybe they lack the mind-muscle connection to keep their knees from caving in and their pelvis from tucking under. Perhaps they just let their egos get in the way, causing them to put more weight on the bar than they can handle.

The thing is, everyone is born with a perfect squat. Just watch young children at play. Somewhere along the line, though, many of us lose the mobility, stability, and coordination necessary to perform a proper squat. You're safe if you plan to sit on the couch for the rest of your life, but if you lack the aforementioned qualities and routinely load up sets of heavy squats, poor form will almost inevitably lead to injury.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Recover Like No Other

Perhaps you're after bigger numbers in the major lifts, or maybe a better physique. How about improved athletic performance and injury reduction, or even faster times in your CrossFit conditioners? No matter your fitness goal, in order to achieve that goal you must be at your best each and every training session. In other words, you have to have recovered from your previous workouts in order to maximize your performance on subsequent ones.

Just as fatigue takes many forms (muscular, neurological, and psychological), so must recovery. Below, we take a three-pronged approach to the recovery process: (1) post-workout cool-down, (2) program design, and (3) general refueling. Attending to these matters will keep us feeling our best and performing at our highest level workout after workout.

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