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.
Continue Reading » What Can the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) Tell Us About Training?
Of the following items, which do you feel you absolutely need: Food, water, clothing, shelter, microwave oven, cell phone, and personal training? A bit of a daft question, perhaps. We know, as humans, that our absolute necessities of survival do not include microwave ovens, cell phones, and personal training. We can say that we must have food, water, clothing, and shelter. We might also include healthcare and education in that list. Other things, no matter how much we love them, are luxuries. However, what we don't always realize is that before the microwave oven was invented, there was no demand for it. And for years, when our rotary phone was attached to the kitchen wall and we had to stretch the coiled cord of the handset over to the broom closet so our parents wouldn't hear our private conversation, there was no demand for cell phones. So, just because a product or service is useful and even though it changes our lives, the demand for these things does not exist until they arrive on the scene. But, often, it takes more than usefulness to create demand for a product.
Continue Reading » Is Exercise Subjective? The Personal Training Industry and Demand Creation
For a couple of years now I have been giving away a free PDF book entitled "Strength Training and Bodybuilding: How Different Are They?" This book explains, to my way of thinking and in no uncertain terms, how bodybuilding is a practice that is distinct from strength training. This was not a book that I ever hyped and certainly not something I thought would set the strength training world on fire. In fact, I doubted it would make a difference at all, no pun intended.
Although many hundreds of people received the book, only a few ever expressed any views on it and there are several people who absolutely loved it, to the point that they insisted I should be selling this book. If I sold it, they told me, people would take it more seriously and I would therefore reach more people, besides making money, etc. Well, I know that all this is true. If I promoted my books, and myself, I'd be more successful!
Continue Reading » Strength Training v. Bodybuilding Part 1: The eBook Expanded
In the Powerlifting community — and this has become synonymous with "Strength Training" — the new unspoken set of rules for economic success is to train hard, compete, set at least one World Record in some federation (there are about a hundred of those so pick something legit), write an eBook workout program, claim you use it for your "many" trainees and sell the hell out of it.
Continue Reading » Double Standards in the Strength Training Community
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.
Continue Reading » Quality Volume Deadlifts
Continue Reading » Quality Volume Training (QVT) - Lift BIG Video and Article
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.
Continue Reading » Are Strength Training Stalls or Plateaus Inevitable?
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.
Continue Reading » Strength and Exercise Myth: Skills are Always Developed in a Sequence
There are many ways of looking at linear progression. The term itself is just a bit of meaningless babble that has somehow become vogue in the strength training world. All progression is linear. It's just not all a straight line. But this is not what people mean by linear progression, what they really mean is linear loading. However, a huge misunderstanding in strength is that your training will continue to be a simple journey from point A to point B and there will always be a straight line between those points.
Continue Reading » In Strength Training, Do You Always Progress in a Linear Fashion?
There are two parts of this title and both contain a common misconception. However, the source of the misconceptions may not be what you think. I'll get into the weight training (strength training) part first. Strength trainees come in all shapes and sizes. Clear? You've got tall and lanky ones, short and fireplug shaped ones. Big ones with huge guts. Little guys with lean and wiry bodies. Little guys who are stronger than they look. Big guys who are not defined and look a bit flabby but are unnervingly strong. And of course, I don't mean to leave out the females, I just know better than to talk about female body shapes! You look good. Honest! What else? Oh, guys that have blocky waists and are very strong. Guys who have tapered and thin waists but are also very strong (another myth don't ya know).
This article and video has been moved to the new LiftBig site! http://www.liftbignow.com/training:how-to-make-a-bad-workout-good
Continue Reading » How To Make a Bad Workout a Good Workout - Lift BIG
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 this 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.
Continue Reading » Being A Maximal Strength Trainee
This is one of those patently absurd statements that shouldn't even have come close to being a part of strength training dogma. To keep your muscles from adapting, is to keep them from getting stronger (if we are talking about positive adaptations). When we achieve a new level of fitness, it is because of an adaptation to the imposed demands on our bodies. To seek to "block" this process is nonsense.
Continue Reading » Should You Switch Exercises to Keep Your Muscles from Adapting?
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?
Continue Reading » The Problem with Reactive Training
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.
Continue Reading » Performing the Powerlifting Squat for Raw Lifters
Page Tree Navigation
- A Bit About Specificity and Transfer Of Training Effect
- Are Machines Safer Than Free Weights?
- Are Strength Training Stalls or Plateaus Inevitable?
- Asinine Expectations in Strength Training
- Being A Maximal Strength Trainee
- Bodyweight Exercises: The Wide Eyed Effect
- Bruce Lee Strength Training Myths
- Choosing Exercises For Aggressive Progression
- Core Strength And Stability
- Corrective Exercise: What I'm Really Tired Of
- Crossfit Training
- Dangerous Strongman Circuits for Women (or Men!)
- Detraining and Deconditioning
- Double Progressive System
- Double Standards in the Strength Training Community
- Easily Convert Kg to Pounds (Lbs) in Your Head
- Elite Athletes
- Banded Deadlifts
- Bench Press
- Biceps Tears from Deadlifts?
- Clean Style Deadlift versus Powerlifting Deadlift
- Deadlifts and Muscle Mass: Myths that Sell
- Hook Grip Versus Alternated Grip for Deadlifts
- How to Deadlift with Standard Plates
- How to do Deadlifts: Hips Too High, Too Low, or Just Right
- One Legged Deadlift? What is That? And What Does it Do for your Strength Training?
- Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
- Romanian Versus Stiff Legged Deadlifts
- Should I Push or Pull for Deadlifts?
- Slow Versus Fast Pulls: Why is the Deadlift a Slow Pull and the Olympic Lifts Fast Pulls?
- Snatch Grip Deadlifts
- Suitcase Deadlifts
- The Deadlift is not a Deadlift and Other Infectious Aphorisms
- Top 10 Rules For Deadlift Training
- What Muscle Should I Feel Working When I Do Deadlifts and Why Do I Feel It Mostly in My Back?
- Do Not Have a Huge List of Absolutely Essential Exercises
- Deadlifts: Don't Jerk the Weight off The Floor - Well Meaning But Confusing Advice
- Having Trouble Breathing and Bracing Your Core During Overhead Press?
- Little Tweaks for Big Lifts? Another Strength Training Myth Goes Down, plus the Big Deadlift and Squat Tweaks
- Overhead Squat Do's
- Performing the Powerlifting Squat for Raw Lifters
- The Deadlift is an Anything-Goes Lift? Plus, Were the Old Time Strongmen Really Stronger?
- Front Planks
- How to Perform the Military Press (Standing Overhead Barbell Press)
- Olympic Lifts
- Overhead Press And Weighted Pull-Ups
- Pull-Throughs (Hip Pulls) Exercise
- Single Leg Exercises
- Anderson Half Squat
- Anderson Squats
- Can I Squat without a Squat Rack?
- Fixing the Buttwink on Squats
- Front Squats
- Front Squats and Back Squats
- Front Squats Versus Back Squats
- Impressive Overhead Squat
- Kneeling Squats
- The Four Squat Workout
- The 'Wrong' Way To Squat
- Tweaking the Overhead Squat: Dislocates, Reaching Back, Grip Width and Mobility Drills
- The Cook Hip Lift
- The Dynamic Barbell Row: A Semantic Exercise
- The Functional Big Three
- Exercise Selection and Workload
- Five Tips for a Better Strength Training Workout
- Giant Sets
Grip and Hand Strength Training
- Beginner Grip Training
- Gripper Info and Gripper Training
- Gripping the Bar for Deadlifts: Correct Grip, Supporting Strength, and Calluses
- Grip Strength Training Equipment: Using A Blob For Pinch Strength
- Hands Like Vise Grips
- If You Can't Grip It, You Can't Rip It
- Pinch Grip Dumbbell Deadlifts
- Rubber Band Hand Extensions
- The Crosswise Brick Exercise
- Homemade Equipment
- How To Choose A Weight Training Routine
- How To Deload - Some Practical Suggestions
- How to Perform Your Specific Exercise Warm Ups
- If you Don't Train to Failure, You'll Never Need a Spotter
- In Strength Training, Do You Always Progress in a Linear Fashion?
- Is Exercise Subjective? The Personal Training Industry and Demand Creation
- Is Michael Phelps the Greatest Athlete Ever? How Do We Compare This to Lifting?
- Lean And Toned from Bodyweight Training but Big and Bulky from Weight Training?
- Learning The Lifts
- Maxing Out Every Day
Mobility and Flexibility
- Dynamic Mobility Videos
- Mobility and Flexibility
Mobility Exercises and Drills
- 4-Point Thoracic Mobilization
- Bird Dog Exercise (4-point to 2-point Kneeling Spinal Stability Exercise)
- Cat Stretch (aka Cat Camel)
- Cook Deep Squat Mobility Progression with Video Demonstration
- Scapular Push-Up (Push-Up Plus)
- Scapular Wall Slides Exercise
- Side Lying Thoracic Rotations
- Static Spiderman Stretch (Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch)
- Supine Bridge Exercise for Glute Activation and Dynamic Warm Up
- Thoracic Extensions on Foam Roller
- Warrior Lunge
- Static Stretching Effects On Force Production and Performance
- The Stretching Handbook
- The Stretching Handbook 2
- The Stretching Handbook 3
- The Stretching Handbook 4
- The Stretching Handbook 5
- The Stretching Handbook 7
- The Stretching Handbook 8
- The Stretching Handbook 9
- What Is Dynamic Mobility?
- Overtraining Doesn't Always Produce a Decline in Maximum Strength
- Personal Trainers and Personal Training
- Pistols: What have you done for me lately?
- Planks: Fitness Fad or Truth?
- Andrey Malanichev
- Bad Attitude Gym
- Big Iron Gym
- Bob Gaynor: 63 Year Old Deadlifts 672 Pounds
- Brad Gillingham
- Brad Gillingham 400 kg Deadlift Record
- Chase Kiser Prepares for APF Senior Nationals
- Crazy Deadlifting by Konstantine Konstantinovs and Andy Bolton
- Dave Tate Talking Trash
- Donnie Thompson Squat Record
- George Leggett Deadlifts 396 @ 165
- Ian Bell Breaks Three American Records
- John Bostick Deadlifts 710
- Konstantine Konstantinovs Interview
- Lance Karabel 1008 Lbs Squat
- Mike Ross Deadlifts 730 @ 218
- Mike Tuchscherer
- Shane Hammock Breaks APF Jr Record!!!!
- Stan Efferding
- Super Cup Of The Titans 2011
- Tom Martin 350 kg Deadlift Record
- Vincent Urbank 846 Deadlift
- Programs and Methods Versus Principles: Wave Loading and Interval Training
- Quality Volume Training (QVT) - Lift BIG Video and Article
- Quantitative Measurements and Quality Evaluations: The Difference Between Numbers and Performance
- Rest Periods
- Should I Lift Fast or Slow? Training to Failure, Single Sets versus Multiple Sets, Non Sequitors and False Dilemmas
- Should You Switch Exercises to Keep Your Muscles from Adapting?
- Single Double Triple Progression: SDT FAQ
- Speed Training (Speed Work, Dynamic Effort, DE)
- Strength and Exercise Myth: Skills are Always Developed in a Sequence
- Strength Consolidation: An Example
- Strength Consolidation For Deadlifts
- Strength: Simple But Difficult?
- Strength Training Rep And Set Range
- Strength Training v. Bodybuilding Part 1: The eBook Expanded
- Strength Training with Single, Double and Triple Progression
- The Perfect Strength Training Program
- The Problem with Reactive Training
- The Reality of Using Lifting Videos for Exercise Form Checks
- The Singles Scene - Your Guide to Single Rep Strength Training
- Training Equipment
Training To Fail Series
- Training to Fail Part 2: Intensity Cycling and High Intensity Overtraining
- Training to Fail Part 3: The Failure of Intensity Cycling
- Training to Fail Part 4: Optimal Training
- Training to Fail Part 5: Focus and Pick A Program
- Training to Fail Part 6: Biomechanics, Injury Prevention, and Performance
- Training To Fail: The Failurists
- Valsalva Maneuver
- Want to Increase Strength without Adding Muscle?
- What are Cheating Reps (aka Cheating Method, Cheating System)?
- What is Fitness-Fatigue?
- Why Do Some Lifters GRIND on Maximum Lifts When Others Don't - I.E. Grinders Versus NonGrinders
- Wobble Boards, Bosu Balls, or Foam: What's The Difference?