Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Irradiation: How Your Fist Can Instantly Make You Stronger [Muscle & Strength]

About a year ago, I was working out with my buddy Tom DeVietro. Before my first set of 1-arm dumbbell bench press, he handed me an empty shaker bottle.

"What's this for?" I asked him.

"Squeeze it," he said.

So I did (with the hand of my non-working arm). And what do you know, I felt stronger and more stable than I ever had before when performing the exercise. I was hooked.

The science behind the squeeze is a principle called "irradiation." Curious about how it worked, I delved deeper into the research and experimented with it over the next few months.

Read all about my findings, including which exercises to irradiate on -- and which exercise not to -- in my new article for Muscle & Strength, 'Irradiation: How Your Fist Can Instantly Make You Stronger:'


Sunday, March 27, 2016

PSI Unscripted Podcast

Last week I joined my friend Chris Price for the inaugural episode of his podcast, PSI Unscripted, where -- as you can guess from the name of the podcast -- our 30-minute conversation was completely impromptu.

I was a little apprehensive about not knowing the conversation topics ahead of time, but fortunately, Chris didn't stump me with any tough questions.

Over the course of the podcast, we dug into
  • My background as an athlete, trainer, and student
  • The meaning of biomechanics and basic applications to training
  • "Cheating" (an advanced technique to add extra reps to the end of a set)
  • "HIT" (high intensity training)
  • Not having enough time to exercise
  • Hammering the basics, especially bodyweight exercise, as a beginner
  • The pros and cons of Planet Fitness
  • My weekly #FormCheckFriday videos on Facebook
  • Regressing and progressing the deadlift via a dowel rod hip hinge and/or rack pull
  • My e-book

I had a great time chatting with Chris. I hope you'll give the show a listen:


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Can You Bench Press Every Day?

Conventional wisdom says you can’t bench press every day. Your shoulders and elbows just can’t take it. You can squat every day. You can eat an apple every day. But you can’t bench press every day.

A few weeks ago, I set out to test that hypothesis. I had a hunch that there were two basic reasons lifters got hurt from benching too frequently:
  1. They lacked balance between their pushing and pulling strength.
  2. They didn’t have a plan, or at least not a good one.
Because my one-rep max pull-up is actually 25 pounds heavier than my best bench press — and I had what I thought was a flawless plan — I was confident I could bench every day for a month. After that, I’d rest for a few days, then PR my bench by 10-20 pounds.

Here was my plan:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Podcast Ep. 12: Movement Resilience with Matt Ibrahim

Welcome back for Episode 12 of the Fitness Pollenator Podcast. On this episode, I have on my first repeat guest, Matt Ibrahim. I had Matt about a year ago for Episode 4. If you haven’t listened to that one yet, do it!

Matt is the founder of Movement Resilience (formerly Mobility 101), which has a specific mission of helping people build resilient movement and resilient strength to continue doing what they love most: move.

He's a part of the sports medicine team at Boston Physical Therapy & Wellness, where he serves as a strength & conditioning coach and physio rehab coach. This July, he will receive his license in massage therapy. 

He's also a provider for ClinicalAthlete through founder, Quinn Henoch, which is a team of healthcare professionals bridging the gap from rehab to performance for athletes.

Over the course of the episode, we talk shop on the following points: