Training




Why Can You Lift More On Flat Bench Press Than On Incline?

Although you may come across a lifter, once in a while, who is stronger on incline bench press than flat bench, most of the time the regular flat bench press is stronger. Why is this?

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I Get Why You Want a Shortcut to A Big Lift

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.

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

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.

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Humans Were not Meant to Run Long Distances?

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."

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Frequency is Not the Key to Success in Muscle Gaining?

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:

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What is a Good Quality Affordable Barbell for Home Workouts?

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.

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The ONE Problem That Will Keep You From Squatting Heavy

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.

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

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.

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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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Cut The Relative Strength Bullshit in Fat Loss

I have a dream. I dream of a world where strength training experts train people for strength and fat loss experts help people lose weight. In this fantasy world, neither pretends that the other is a primary goal. In other words, my strength experts will not claim that fat loss will make you stronger, and my fat loss experts will not claim that strength training will make you lose weight and therefore make you stronger.

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Does a Cool Down Period Help You Recover from Training?

Answer: It probably does, though of course it depends on the level and type of training.

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Were The Old-Time Strongmen Really Stronger?

In my article Is the Deadlift an Anything Goes Lift?, I brought up old time strength training culture, I wanted to make it clear that I was using it as an illustration of how the lifts came about, and not as a suggestion that we should emulate the way they trained.

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Happy Thoughts and A Barbell

I don't know if you've noticed, but in strength training, there seems to be two opposite groups along the emotional barometer.

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Why Don't My Workouts Become Any Easier?

This is a question I am surprised I've never mentioned, since it is asked so frequently. I decided to look around for answers to this question by personal trainers, and I must say I was disgusted at the results.

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If You Don't Use Too Much Weight and Have Perfect Lifting Form, You'll Never Get Hurt

I'm currently reading a novel where the main character needs to put on muscle. Well, at least he thinks he needs to put on muscle. The author is confused. The character really needs to get as strong as possible as quickly as possible, which isn't necessarily the same thing at all. I won't tell you what book this is since you don't need to know just how much of a geek I am. OK, you forced me, it's sort of a time travel book about a guy who needs to fight an incoming wave of inter-dimensional monsters. See, I told you…

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