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I Get Why You Want a Shortcut to A Big Lift

by EricTEricT on 05 Aug 2016 00:45

I would not try to mislead you with an article title, so I want to start by qualifying the title of this one. I do not claim to understand all the reasons why someone would be attracted to shortcut methods for getting a big deadlift or squat, and then end up wasting a lot of time on magic bullets that don't work. But, if your goal is a big lift, then I GET YOU! And I while I have labored, preached, cajoled, and done everything else I could think of on these pages to dissuade people from taking such blind alleys, one thing I've never done is judged my readers. We want the same things. I'd rather take you out for a few beers than judge you for your mistakes. I've been misguided in the past, much more so than I'd like to admit. One other thing I know which lots of other folks don't understand is that the fact that you don't want to spend countless hours of hard work on a lift does not automatically mean you are lazy and don't want to work hard! Many members of the fitness industry equate any failure to follow their methods as a general lack of commitment or what they call 'work ethic.' I've had some choice words to say about fitness trainers' statements about people not working...

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Was the Trap Bar Originally Designed Just for Training Traps?

by EricTEricT on 02 Aug 2016 22:09

The trap bar really is good for shrugs, so it's a great way to train your traps. But, was the bar designed in the first place just for shrugs and trap training? Many sources say yes, the trap bar was meant to train the traps, and later on lifters accidentally discovered its use for deadlifts and other lifts. Nothing could be further from the truth. The trap bar actually gets its name from its shape, a trapezoid. You'll notice that there are never generations of such bars and some of them are referred to as hex bars. These are hexagon, six sided instead of four sided like the original trap bar. Many modern bars that actually are hexagonal we still call trap bars. What's the original trap bar? The original trap bar was designed by champion deadlifter, Al Gerard. He held a deadlift record in the mid 180's in the ADFPA in the south. He also had lower back problems (I know the feeling!). An engineer, he designed his diamond shaped bar as a way to train the deadlift without aggravating his back. It is claimed that the Gerard Trap Bar, which he patented, not only helped his back, but increased his deadlifts significantly. The bar was advertised for deadlifting extensively. The first...

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Is Getting Stronger All About How Much Weight You're Lifting?

by EricTEricT on 01 Aug 2016 22:42

Why, yes! The popular entertainment site Buzzfeed loves to feature list articles where various 'experts' are asked questions. This probably actually means that the author simply features isolated quotes from their online articles, and pretends they interviewed a dozen people for one list article. In one such article, '18 Fitness Myths That Need To Be Stopped Immediately' I came across a gem. One of the supposed myths was getting stronger is all about how much you're lifting. In response to this, the article used a statement by one Cody Rigsby, coach at PelotonCycle: When gaining muscle, people worry about how much weight they’re lifting. Worry about form and properly training your body, then you can gradually add the weight. Now, wait! I'm not criticizing Rigsby's statement, per se. I agree, people do worry too much about the weight their lifting sometimes. But as a statement to support the notion that getting stronger is not all about how much weight you're lifting? NAH! Getting stronger is by definition about how much weight you lift, or move, etc. Inherent in Rigsby's statement is the notion that you will add weight. How aggressive you should be, how fast or slow you should...

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Are Cleansing and Detox Diets Just Fancy Anorexia?

by EricTEricT on 25 Jul 2016 18:54

By Eric Troy I've seen a quote about cleanse diets and detoxing being shared on Facebook quite a lot lately. Each time it shows up, it gets hundreds to thousands of likes and hundreds of shares. Amazing the power of a superficially logical statement that is actually based on a fallacy. This is one I would call a false analogy. I decided I'd like to write a few things about it. First, the quote. It is by someone named Jessica Goldstein. I didn't know who she was or where the quote originated, but I tracked it down to a website called ThinkProgress, for which Jessica Goldstein is the culture editor and, obviously, a writer. Let's start with the quote, and then I'll get to the context of the quote: I have this theory that the reason cleansing and detoxing have taken off is because it’s this socially acceptable way to have an eating disorder, basically, for a finite period of time. No one would ever say, “Oh, you should definitely just not eat for the entire month before your wedding.” But you can say, “You should do this lemon and cayenne pepper cleanse, you’ll feel amazing,” and somehow that’s okay. But it’s just fancy anorexia. This quote is actually from an interview that...

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You Can't Isolate a Muscle, But Does it Matter?

by EricTEricT on 24 Jul 2016 19:37

A favorite phrase of well-informed personal trainers, when asked how to isolate a certain muscle, is you can't isolate a muscle. Technically, it is true. Muscles never truly work in isolation. For instance, even during an exercise like preacher curls, which seems like it completely isolates the biceps, there are other muscles at work. The primary movement in any biceps curl is elbow flexion. Although you may focus on the biceps brachii, there are two other muscles at work with the biceps to flex the elbow, the brachialis and brachioradialis. In fact, some folks may inform you that the brachialis is the prime mover and not the biceps, since the brachialis is the only one which is a pure elbow flexor. Then, there is the antagonist, the triceps, the muscle opposite the biceps that must either relax or contract, to allow the movement or to put on the brakes. Then there are neutralizers, and fixators, all of which help to control unwanted movement. Funnily enough, the muscles active during elbow flexion that are not directly involved in the movement, are involved in, more or less, 'isolating the joint.' In other words, if all you want to do is bend your elbow without moving your...

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Humans Were not Meant to Run Long Distances?

by EricTEricT on 19 Jul 2016 00:01

Whenever you hear a fitness professional talk about what humans were meant to do, your bullshit meter should be pinging. Online fitness gurus love to vomit forth all sorts of hypotheses about what the human body was designed to do. And, when I say hypotheses, I mean uneducated, ignorant guesses. Those who place a lot of emphasis on lifting weights love to tell people that running is bad for you and will ruin your joints. One of their arguments tends to be that we were not designed for long-distance running. For example, an article in Breaking Muscle, supposedly busting fitness myths, quotes none other than Charles Poliquin, saying Humans are meant to either sprint or walk long distances. You can dismiss such statements without even studying up on evolutionary theory. Simply put, if were were not designed to do it, we wouldn't be able to! On the contrary, human beings are very good at adapting to the demands of long-distance slow running and we have evolved those adaptive mechanisms through thousands of years of design work. It is true that some people are more able to sustain long-distance running than others, and not everybody can become an ultra-marathoner. But, most of...

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Frequency is Not the Key to Success in Muscle Gaining?

by EricTEricT on 10 Jun 2016 19:38

On Quora recently, a fellow asked that most typical question what is the best way for me to gain muscle without becoming a gym rat. What this fellow wanted to know was, basically, what was the minimum he'd need to do. He didn't want to be married to the gym. You can't really give a once size fits all answer to this question but one Quora responder did: Contrary to popular belief, frequency is not the key to results. This can have tremendous effect on the seeming credibility of the recommendations to follow. The author has told you that most people think this wrong thing and you'll naturally assume this to mean that this one mistake is why most people don't get results. And it is attractive! Being told that all those gym rats, despite their muscles and seeming success, didn't even need to go to the gym so often! They wasted time, in fact. It was something they did, sure, but it had nothing to do with how often they did it. The fact is that nobody who DOES get results thinks that frequency is the KEY. They know it is but one variable in a long list. If you think of a reader as a fish you're trying to real in, you're not going to hook em with a long list of variables. You...

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15 Habits Habits of (Successful) Internet Fitness Personalities

by EricTEricT on 02 Jun 2016 19:29

By Eric Troy and Joe Weir If you've found this article, you are probably trying to figure out how to be a successful internet fitness professional. You want the followers, the eBook sales, the successful blog, all of it. Most of all you want the A gift to sweaty-palmed people everywhere.bro-fists (virtual or otherwise) with the other highly successful internet fitness personalities. What you are about to read will help you establish a winning mindset. You will learn about the habits that lead to success for the most famous fitness pros on the internet! Incorporating even one or two of these will make a huge difference in your career! So let's get right to it! 1. Overreactionize If you want to be a successful internet fit pro, you've got to learn to over-react. A lot. Over-react to everything. You don't even have to overreact in a negative way. JUST OVER-REACT. A new study comes out? Get fucking excited. Tell everyone, holy shit, THIS! A study was done and NOW we KNOW! Or, you know, you could do something like Chocolate is not a fucking health food! It's fucking chocolate! So stop acting like chocolate is a Goddamn health food for crying out loud! To be clear, it doesn't really...

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Risk Aversion and Fear Avoidance in the Fitness Industry

by EricTEricT on 14 Apr 2016 23:22

I was reading a long and engaging article the other day by a fitness trainer who was reacting to what she saw as hypocrisy in the fitness industry. I very much appreciate the article and I let her know as much in my comments. But as much as I appreciated the central statements being made about the specific instance of hypocrisy the article was discussing, I was equally dismayed by the hard-line and quite judgmental stance on any fitness goal that was not absolutely moderate, with no emphasis that could be remotely seen as seeking validation from others. I saw this as ironic since this author was complaining about judging others for their appearance, while actually judging others because they chose to change their body-shape more than an amount the author would approve and see as healthy. Along the way, in the discussion that took place in the comments, I found out that she was quite entrenched in this viewpoint, to the point of seeing any and all 'non-moderate' goals as destructive and unhealthy: A slippery slope. This would include training for strength and training for anything other than losing a few pounds or something to that effect. I tried to explain that there are...

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What is a Good Quality Affordable Barbell for Home Workouts?

by EricTEricT on 04 Mar 2016 19:11

If you are in the market for an Olympic barbell at a price you can afford, a great quality choice is the Body Solid 7 foot Olympic barbell. I have always found Body Solid products to be well-made and very sturdy for home use. There barbells are just fine for an individual wanting to do pure strength training and will serve for your deadlifting or anything else you want to do. Although there are companies itching to sell very expensive commercial quality barbells for use at home, there is no need for a single individual to pay exorbitant prices for a barbell that was meant to be used by dozens of people a day and withstand unreasonable abuse. You'll need plenty of money to buy all the plates you're going to need! Keep this in mind for any equipment you buy for use at home. Commercial quality equipment is called commercial quality for a reason. I would not recommend using these types of cheaper barbells for Olympic lifts if you plan on using bumber plates and dropping the bar. As any seasoned home lifter will attest, one of the best ways to get weight plates is garage sells or yard sells. Lots of people give up on lifting after buying home exercise equipment, and end up with their...

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Thigh Muscle Videos - Origins, Insertions, and Actions

by EricTEricT on 03 Mar 2016 21:16

The videos and information in this article provide an overview of the muscles of upper leg, which is known as the thigh. This first video presents the muscles of the front part or anterior compartment of the thigh. Quadriceps and Illiopsoas Muscles Anterior Thigh Muscles Video Sartorius Muscle Origin: Anterior superior iliac spine. Insertion: anterior medial condyle of tibia. Action: flexion of hip, flexion of knee, external rotation of thigh during, flexion of hip and knee Rectus Femoris Muscle The rectus femoris is the only two-joint quadriceps muscle which crosses the knee and hip joint thus being able to both extend the knee and flex the hip. Origin: anterior inferior iliac spine. Insertion: superior aspect of patella and patellar tendon to tibial tuberosity. Action: extension of knee, flexion of hip Vastus Lateralis Muscle Origin: intertrochanteric lin, anterior and inferior borders of greater trochanter, gluteal tuberosity, upper half of linea aspera and lateral intermuscular septum. Insertion: lateral border of patella and petellar tendon to tibial tuberosity. Action: extension of knee. Vastus Medialis Muscle Origin: entire length of linea aspera and medial condyloid...

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What is Bulletproof, Fitness Industry?

by EricTEricT on 09 Jan 2016 21:57

Sorry, fitness peeps, I'm not buying your bulletproof promises. I want a fitness expert, strength coach, or anyone who knows, to define the word bulletproof for me. I know we can define what bulletproof means in regards to actual physical bullets fired from a gun, but I want to know what it means in regards to fitness, strength training, or health. Go ahead, the comment field is below. I'll wait Wow, that was a long wait and I don't see any definitions forthcoming. Do you realize that I can say anything about fitness or strength training as long as I use words like bulletproof? It's just one of the latest in a huge shit-pile of meaningless terms that have become in-vogue in the fitness industry. You can have bulletproof abs, of course. You can have bulletproof coffee, probably the swill that got this ball rolling, although it was not the first use of the term. As well, you can have a bulletproof attitude, bulletproof training program, and a pair of bulletproof knickerbockers. You can even have a bulletproof brain. As for bulletproof coffee, I would bet you that many of the same fitness professionals who have talked about how stupid it is will have no problem jumping onto the...

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The Eight Most Essential Exercises You Need to To Do (Or Not!)

by EricTEricT on 06 Jan 2016 22:50

Here we go again. If you've read this blog a couple of times, you know good and well I would never pen an article about anything essential or that you need to know. Most things you do not need to know and no exercise is essential. It's funny, I just saw an article pop up from Redbook with a similar title, 8 Essential Whiskey Drinks You Need to Know How to Make. And, people love it! They share it, like it, pin it, etc. How many people absolutely NEED to know how to make a bunch of whiskey drinks? Are there more bartenders out there than I thought? Why would a drink be essential unless you actually like it? How could anyone tell you then what drinks are essential to you? You may think that exercise and fitness is a different matter. I would disagree. However, regardless of whether you think that there are essential exercises, or things you absolutely need to do, I am writing this post to inform you about how some bloggers or content creators work and why they write such articles. You can be sure that there are hundreds of fitness articles with titles similar to this one, and hardly any of them are actually concerned about whether the information is correct or useful. Instead,...

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The ONE Problem That Will Keep You From Squatting Heavy

by EricTEricT on 05 Jan 2016 18:57

By Eric Troy You want a heavy squat but you just can't seem to add any weight to the bar. I can guarantee that it is because of one common problem that almost all squatters have. Once you fix this one problem you will be on your way to multiple squat PR's in no time! Don't worry, I'll put in an anatomical diagram to prove I know what I am talking about. But let me explain how this one problem affects your squat, and why you need me to help you solve it. The problem with your squat, most likely, is that you have no problem. What's more, you don't need me to solve your problem that you don't have. Did I subvert your expectations? I just did the opposite of effective marketing. I told you that you didn't have a burning problem to solve and that I didn't have a solution to the burning problem you do not have. The majority of strength training or fitness articles by fitness professionals that aim to explain to you your big problem are made up or imagined by said professionals. Why do they do it? Because if there is no problem to solve, there is no demand for their services. If everybody came to the conclusion that there was not some single but obscure problem that was holding back...

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The Shoulder Muscles - Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Major and Minor

by EricTEricT on 27 Oct 2015 19:17

The shoulder muscle videos and information in this article provide information about muscles of the shoulder girdle and of the shoulder joint. This distinction is frequently misunderstood. For more information of this subject see The Shoulder Complex: Demystifying the Shoulder with Eric Beard. Also see more information about particular muscles presented on this page. Deltoid Muscle and Its Trigger Points Teres Major and Its Trigger Points Infraspinatus Muscle and Its Trigger Points What follows are two videos giving a presentation of each muscle using an anatomical model, and then written information about the origin, insertions, and actions of each muscle discussed. Shoulder Muscles Video 1: Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Major and Minor Deltoid Muscle For indepth information on the deltoid muscle, including its origins, insertions, and actions, see link, as above. Supraspinatus Muscle Origin: medial two-thirds of suprispinatus fossa of scapula Insertion: greater tubercle of humerus Action: weak abduction of arm (initiates abduction) and stabilization of humeral head in glenoid fossa Infraspinatus Muscle Origin: medial two-thirds of infraspinatus fossa just...

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One Good Anatomy and Physiology Text - Books Trainers Need

by EricTEricT on 26 Oct 2015 16:16

I am a firm advocate of basic texts for everyone interested in learning about training, nutrition, physiology, exercise science, etc. So much confusion could be saved if the average trainer and trainee didn't get all his or her information from the popular press . Sure, popular press cannot be a good a place to find information, but people lack a firm foundation from which to think critically and assess the quality of the information presented. A thorough grounding from more scholarly sources can help tremendously, although this is not the only requirement! Although these are not the only books you need, two of the primary sources you should have are an anatomy text book and an exercise physiology text book. Now, not all textbooks should be considered to contain truth but you get a much more reliable distillation of knowledge from many of them. I think it is very difficult for most trainers and/or trainees to fork out money for books like these when they see books promising the moon with the latest new training methods. Once you begin to buy your textbooks, however, you will see that the amount of information you are getting for your money versus the promises' from other...

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5x5 Texas Method eBook? Don't Waste Your Money!

by EricTEricT on 26 Oct 2015 00:02

Quite a while ago, probably around 2006 or 2007, when Practical Training by Rippetoe was all the buzz, many people were wondering how to actually go about using the Texas Method 5x5 as mentioned in the book. There was no actual written program, only a loose explanation. Someone asked me how to do it, and I interpreted it. This version of the Texas Method found its way onto bodybuilding boards other than the board it originally was posted to. Not many people ever knew I wrote it down. I wish I hadn't. Now there are other versions of this program around, and hopefully, since then it has died the death it deserved in the first place. I doubt it, though. However, the purpose of this article is to make a point about how simple such a program is, and how it is limited in scope. A 5x5, when it works, only works for a little while. Unfortunately, most trainees want to find one program they can use, seemingly, for the rest of their lives. When they hit the inevitable wall in such a program as the TM, instead of determining that it is time to move on, they hit the bodybuilding gurus up for how to make it work. And there is not shortage of such gurus willing to tell them about all...

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Forearm Extensor Muscles - Origins, Insertions, and Actions, with Video Presentation

by EricTEricT on 25 Oct 2015 22:49

See also Forearm Flexor Muscles - Origins, Insertions, and Actions, with Video Presentation. The following is information on the extensor muscles of the forearms. These videos were produced to help students of human anatomy at Modesto Junior College study their anatomical models. They are done with models showing the muscular structure of the arm. The following two videos present an overview of the major flexor muscles of the forearm, which are the muscles of the posterior compartment. Each video is followed by information on the origin, insertion, and actions of each muscle covered in the video. Forearm - Extensors Muscles Part 1 Brachioradialis Origin: distal two-thirds of lateral condyloid ridge of humerus Insertion: distal end of radius at styloid process Action: flexion of elbow, pronation: supinated to neutral, supination: pronated to neutral Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Origin: lateral epicondyle of humerus Insertion: base of third metacarpal Action extension of wrist, abduction of wrist, weak extension of elbow Extensor Carpi Radialus Longus Origin: lower third of lateral supracondylar ridge of humerus and epicondyle of humerus Insertion: base of second metacarpal...

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Forearm Flexor Muscles - Origins, Insertions, and Actions, with Video Presentation

by EricTEricT on 25 Oct 2015 22:12

These videos were produced to help students of human anatomy at Modesto Junior College study their anatomical models. They are done with models showing the muscular structure of the arm. The following two videos present an overview of the major flexor muscles of the forearm, which are the muscles of the anterior compartment. These muscles not only are responsible for flexion of the wrist, but are also the extrinsic muscles of the hand, responsible for much its gripping strength. Each video is followed by information on the origin, insertion, and actions of each muscle covered in the video. Forearm Flexor Muscles Video Part 1 Pronator Teres muscle Origin: humeral head: medial epicondyle of humerus (common flexor tendon), ulnar head: coronoid process of ulna Insertion: radius Action: pronation of forearm, flexion of elbow Flexor Carpi Radialis Origin: medial epicondyle of the humerus Insertion: Base of the second and third metacarpals, anterior palmar surface Action: Flexion of wrist, Abduction of Wrist, flexion of elbow (weak) Palmarus Longus Origin: medial epicondyle of the humerus Insertion: palmar aponneurosis of the second, third, fourth, and fifth metacarpals...

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Curing The Buttwink During Squats

by EricTEricT on 25 Oct 2015 21:24

By Eric Troy This information originally appeared as a forum thread here on GUS. In an effort to preserve the most popular (or perhaps important) information, before shutting down the forum, it will not appear as an article, permanently. Regarding some questions about the infamous buttwink during the squat were posted on the Facebook page. I am going to answer them here as best I can. First things first, though: What is a 'Buttwink' Buttwink is a crude slang used to describe the problem of hips going into posterior tilt and the butt seeming to roll under the spine at the bottom of the squat exercise. This causes the lower spine to be in a supposedly vulnerable loaded position and causes getting out of the hole to be less than efficient. The biggest reason I am presenting this is because having a buttwink (or 'rollunder?') makes it tougher to get out of the hole, especially during very heavy squats. The idea that the buttwink is an automatic ticket to injury or pain in the sacroiliac region is not grounded in much direct evidence and having your hips roll under once in a while is not really a disaster. Curing the buttwink, however, will in the long run give you a much more...

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