Training


Curing The Buttwink During Squats

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:

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Why Is Strength Training Obsessed With Failure?

There is an entire series of posts, here at the GUS Blog, that are centered on failure. However, they are not about failing, but about how failure seems to be built in to so many methods and theories of strength training. The strength training culture often seems to place more emphasis on failure than success. You may wonder why I would go to the trouble of placing primary focus on it myself, to the extent of writing a bunch of articles around it. Well, you are going to fail, but failing should not be built into your training! Success should be built into it.

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Train Smart; Not Hard - Does Intelligence Mean Less Effort is Required?

Train Smart; Not Hard. This is one of those aphorisms I'm not sure about. It sounds good, doesn't it? On one hand, I've said it myself in regards to strength training. When I said it, I had a fairly specific idea of what I meant. I meant to say that you should ignore the macho caveman bullshit that is such a part of messages about strength training, where people say things like "Just shut up and lift heavy. Work hard. Beast mode!" I meant that you should THINK, PLAN, ASSESS, and, you know, just generally behave like you have something between your ears. Don't live up to the meathead view of strength training. It really does take some smarts to get very, very strong.

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'Gym Rescue' Reminded Me Of Fitness BS I Hate

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?

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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Quality Volume Deadlifts

I've been following a "volume" oriented approach to Deadlifts for many months now. This blog post is meant to explain this quality based volume approach to training heavy on Deadlifts.

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Quality Volume Training (QVT) - Lift BIG Video and Article

I am going to be making a series of videos regarding various progression schemes Eric has made me use to get stronger. The method I am going to discuss today is called Quality Volume Training or QVT.

This particular method of training, like a lot of GUS methods, has generated a lot of confusion. It is actually very simple, but also very flexible. Quality Volume Training is about adding quality repetitions in a weight range close to your max. QVT is not about simply building up from light to heavy as possible weights using one to three rep sets. It is about gathering as much volume in the 80% or ABOVE range while maintaining quality (within reason). Watch the video below, and then read the clarifying notes and points that come afterwards.

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Are Strength Training Stalls or Plateaus Inevitable?

The standard definition of a stall is a temporary stop in progression. When most people talk about a stall or plateau they are talking about failure to progress on one or two exercises.

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Strength and Exercise Myth: Skills are Always Developed in a Sequence

Each exercise or strength related thing that you do is an individual skill. They, in and of themselves, are not "strength" but are a display of skill which shows specific strength. You put a bunch of these diverse skills together and you have something that can be called overall strength.

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Being A Maximal Strength Trainee

I've been thinking about this and I don't usually go about talking about my numbers but several things have unfolded recently both on my Facebook page and unrelated to this page on other fitness pages. I don't like to toot my own horn as they say but I've found that every so often you have to take a stand even if it means praising yourself.

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Performing the Powerlifting Squat for Raw Lifters

I was browsing through some videos on YouTube and I came across some very important questions regarding squats. A lot of people are getting into powerlifting and training for maximal strength and one of the exercises that all powerlifting clubs and fitness fad programs tries to push is the back squat. This is why everybody is very obsessed with squatting. For all the powerlifters out there, the number one important exercise is the back squat because their entire meet begins with this exercise and they are able to use their gear to make the most of it.

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Choosing Exercises For Aggressive Progression

One of the biggest taboos in mainstream fitness and strength training is when a trainee wants to specialize on just one or two lifts. This is a huge deal on online forums and anyone who questions this is usually bullied and made to follow whatever program the forum elite are endorsing at the time. The good news is that strength specialization through prioritizing lifts is totally possible and should be advocated for. The bad news is that all the famous e-gurus and e-strength coaches that are pumping out routines and cookie cutters are being hypocritical about this topic. The bottom line is that it is crucial to prioritize the lifts in order to aggressively train them.

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How To Choose A Weight Training Routine

I originally started writing this little blog post as a status update for Facebook just to share observations about the happenings on various strength forums of the internet. However, while developing my points, I realized I want to provide some practical solutions regarding strength training. So, what I want to do with this article is put forth a way to go about selecting weight training programs and then provide some unconventional yet practical templates for those of you interested in getting strong.

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