Posted on 26 Aug 2009 01:14

This blog category is a general category. Many of these posts will also be found under more specific categories.

'Gym Rescue' Reminded Me Of Fitness BS I Hate

by EricTEricT 11 Aug 2014 19:11

So, I watched a few minutes of the first episode of the new show Gym Rescue, where Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock try to rescue a floundering gym. It is pretty much the same premise of Bar Rescue, which makes sense because it is a spinoff of that show, airing on Spike TV. I would have done better to have a drink while watching it.

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What Can the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) Tell Us About Strength Training?

by EricTEricT 27 Jun 2014 22:11

Critical thinking, like "evidence based training" is all the rage these days. That's great, if it was anything more than a couple of buzz-words. However, it seems that people in the fitness industry want to talk about good thinking, rather than do it. It's hard work. It's never-ending. It's kind of like deadlifts. There are those who do them, and there are those who shout "Booyah, arrrgh, deadlifts, BEASTMODE! Hardcore!" One of my main reasons for not believing that critical thinking is really something the fitness industry, at large, cares about, is that too many of its members do it selectively. In other words, they think about things they have a negative reaction to, and criticize those things, but when something happens to coincide with their general views, the thinking stops, even if it doesn't represent a credible "scientific" stance. One of these instances is anecdotal evidence, and "this works for me" prescriptions given by individual trainees, or better yet, celebrities who strength train or stay fit for movies, or what have you.

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The Problem with Reactive Training

by EricTEricT 21 Jul 2013 22:14

I would love to be able to just do what I do and let others do what they do. Problem is, what others do often requires me to patiently explain to a trainee why a certain thing is not appropriate and why I am not going to "coach" them on some program or other that they are convinced they should be doing for no other reason than it being very popular on the internet. If you're a trainer then you've been there and you know what I am talking about. Start a strength training forum and see how much worse it gets. What do you think of this? What do you think of that?

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What are Cheating Reps (aka Cheating Method, Cheating System)?

by EricTEricT 31 Jan 2013 14:45

There are two kinds of "cheating" in the strength training and bodybuilding world. On one hand, there is sloppy, desperate, and out of control exercise technique done when it is not necessary. And there is cheating which is controlled and purposeful. The former is obviously bad and dangerous. The latter, however, is more akin to "forced reps." This can and will be done occasionally in order to force the muscles to work a bit harder in their strongest range of motion than they otherwise would with strict technique.

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If you Don't Train to Failure, You'll Never Need a Spotter

by EricTEricT 13 Apr 2012 16:08

Oh my, so very, very, wrong. And yet it is a commonly stated idea. If you never need a spotter then it is fair to say you never truly train for strength. Strength training involves lifting very heavy weights and sometimes weights that exceed those you've lifted before. This isn't rocket surgery. You want to get strong you have to venture into uncharted territory and you can never be sure.

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Deadlifts and Muscle Mass: Myths that Sell

by EricTEricT 11 Feb 2012 19:20

Somebody recently implied that I try to sell pure strength training to everybody. The idea being, I suppose, that I want to convince everybody to engage in maximum strength training and think it is "bad" if they don't, or, by extension, fail to follow my advice. Well, those who have read my blog extensively, of course, know better, since the "selling of strength" training is something I adamantly oppose and often complain about.

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Want to Increase Strength without Adding Muscle?

by EricTEricT 29 Jan 2012 20:14

Why? I've always wondered about this. Are you such an Adonis but at the same time so weak that you need to work your butt off so that you can become as strong as you look? Even pro bodybuilders are pretty darn strong compared to the average Joe. But let's just stick with the average Joe, not the pro. Let me ask again, why would you want to get strong without adding any muscle?

I wonder this because at least once a month I see a new article explaining how to do this. Why is this concept so popular? Is it because:

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What Is Force?

by EricTEricT 27 Jan 2012 22:05

Training for maximal strength is essentially training to exert maximum muscular force. So what is force? The easiest way to think of a force is as a simple push or pull. When you push or pull on a barbell or other implement you are exerting a force. The pull of the Earth's gravity on an object is a force. Friction is a force. To be more precise, then, a force is something that causes or tends to cause a change in the motion or the shape of an object.

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Strength Training Performance Versus Numbers

by EricTEricT 06 Jul 2011 23:16

Quantitative Measurements and Quality Evaluations: The Difference Between Numbers and Performance

My post on rest periods for strength training makes fun of that old bodybuilding forum question "what's your stats?" You know the one when you ask any question and you always get the same response asking you your weight and how much you can squat, deadlift, and bench press? The idea is that the respondent is doing some quick and dirty calculations based on your "stats" and this will lead them to the correct answer to your particular question. In reality they don't know what the hell they are doing and are just trying to sound like they are about to give you 'individualized' answers.

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All About Time: Ideas for Manipulating Rest Periods in Strength Training for Force Potential (not Bodybuilding)

by EricTEricT 20 May 2011 22:17

Most people know two things about interset rest periods for strength training: you can rest shorter or you can rest longer. If you rest shorter you are training for endurance and if you rest longer you are training for strength.

That is a fairly simplistic way of viewing it and yet that is just about the level of sophistication that most trainees bring to thinking about rest periods. But wait! It makes sense on some level. To keep things simple, for our purposes we can define strength and endurance in the following way:

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Where Should I Feel Deadlifts?

by EricTEricT 20 Apr 2011 19:46

One of the most common questions about deadlifts is what muscle group you should predominantly feel working during the deadlift. Also related to this is where you should expect to get DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after you deadlift. First, find out what muscle groups deadlifts work.

These questions occur because many trainees have been told, rightly, that the deadlift is not a "back exercise" but more of a hip dominant exercise that utilizes the entire posterior chain. So, when trainees feel that most of the work seems to be centered in the lower back, they become concerned that they are not performing the lift correctly.

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Amplitude Of Movement, Law of Repetitive Motion, and Plyometrics

by EricTEricT 13 Aug 2010 00:02

You may have heard trainers and coaches talk about movement amplitude. I often talk about amplitude as being one of those performance characteristics that determine the outcome of a training regimen and one of the factors indicating reductions or improvement in performance.

Amplitude is also part of the "law of repetitive motion" equation developed by Dr. Michael P. Leahy, who is the founder of Active Release Techniques (ART). This "law" is an equation describing the interaction between various parameters of human motion: I=NF/AR where:

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Wave Loading and Interval Training: Programs and Methods Versus Principles:

by EricTEricT 08 Aug 2010 20:46

When is a program a program and when is it programming methodology? Easy. A program is a program when you are doing it exactly as it has been written or planned. And it is "programming methodology" when somebody spins it into one. Always realize that the underlying principles that drive a "program" are more important than the program itself.

The question to ask about principles versus programs is which came first. We can use our experience with training to make many observations. While making those observations we may be using programs, or routines. We can then take these observations and derive philosophies and principles. If the observations are sound and the conclusions we make from them are sound they will apply regardless of the programming methodology. In other words they will have a good chance of being generally true rather than true only if we use a particular way of programming.

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Defining Stress as Stress and Rest Between Sets

by EricTEricT 03 May 2010 13:40

Semantics. That's what I'm thinking about. Language can be so subtle it's downright frustrating. So frustrating in fact that there comes a point where we just don't want to be bothered by its nuances. We want broad, sweeping definitions. Hence, the origin of such phrases as "that's just semantics", or "you're arguing semantics".

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A Strength Training Fallacy: The False Compromise

by EricTEricT 30 Mar 2010 19:52

Did your mom ever tell you that when you have a disagreement with a friend you have to learn to compromise? Not to disrespect your mom but the idea that we always must reach a compromise is nonsense and is a common fallacy of thought.

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Bodyweight Exercises: The Wide Eyed-Effect

by EricTEricT 13 Feb 2010 18:51

The body weight boom is on. To hear people talk you'd think that calisthenics and body weight exercises, in general, had just been invented last year and were the best thing since the campfire.

Gymnastics skills have been joined to the traditional and well-known exercises to create a very popular market. A perfect example is the handstand pushup. A Google search will reveal countless articles and also a great many very expensive products supposed to teach you to achieve one.

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BASIC Progression and Bulgarian Split Squats

by EricTEricT 06 Sep 2009 17:53

I am always bringing up, obsessively you might say, how there are many different ways to progress in strength training. And, in fact, how many different things we do and achieve represent progression that we don't even recognize.

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Olympic Deadlift, Clean Style, or Powerlifting Deadlift?

by EricTEricT 06 Sep 2009 04:16

What is the difference between an Olympic deadlift or clean style and powerlifting style deadlift?

There is no such distinction. There never was. I am sure that many powerlifters think that they have a style of deadlifting that should be called a "powerlifting style deadlift" but the deadlift is not a derivative of the clean and jerk. It is not a part of the Olympics, and there is no style that distinguishes such.

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Ninety Second Rest Periods For Strength? Are You Kidding Me?

by EricTEricT 25 Aug 2009 04:06

Ok, you are at your favorite forum or you are talking to one of the trainers in the gym and you want to know about rest periods.

"How long should I rest between sets?" you ask.

Here is the typical first response you will get from the forum:

"What's your stats?"

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Comments: 3

Strength: Simple But Difficult?

by EricTEricT 05 Jul 2009 22:32


That is a very important word. A reason I avoid using terse, oversimplified statements, which I refer to as aphorisms, is because for them to be useful they usually need to be qualified. That is, a set of conditions and explanation have to be put in place so that they fit a general audience. So that they are not taken too far.

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