Training

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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In Strength Training, Do You Always Progress in a Linear Fashion?

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.

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Lean And Toned from Bodyweight Training but Big and Bulky from Weight Training?

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).

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How To Make a Bad Workout a Good Workout - Lift BIG

This is the first of my new series of blog posts that will highlight and include episodes from my new Youtube channel Lift Big.

This is the first episode of Lift Big. The subject of this one is what you can do when your lifting session is not going how you planned. Sometimes, for all of us, the weights just don't move the way we expect them to. Is the right approach to just give up and go home, hoping that the next session will go better? That is what many people will tell you to do. They call this reactive training and they say that your body is telling you what it needs and what it is capable of. This advice is dead wrong.

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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 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.

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Should You Switch Exercises to Keep Your Muscles from Adapting?

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.

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The Problem with Reactive Training

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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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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Exposing the Dirty Little Secret in Strength Training and Coaching: Expert Intuition

Strength training and fitness in general brings on reams of discussion as to what it means to be an expert. They also bring on droves of people who play at being an expert on the internet and, increasingly, on television. Recognize that I cannot hope to define expertize without it tending to align with my own interests and biases. However, I do think that the non-expert may be distinctly recognizable!

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

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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The Reality of Using Lifting Videos for Exercise Form Checks

Not many strength trainees have personal trainers or strength coaches to check up on them when they are lifting. I actually think that most people who do strength training have never had any formal help of any kind. Probably, if you did a survey or something, you'd find the number of trainees with this kind of luxury so small it is insignificant. This means that most trainees are on their own and get no advice whatsoever, or they get their advice from the internet. Most training advice on the internet seems to come back to exercise form. Everybody seems to be an expert on “form.” Also, there are a lot of technique experts. I doubt that most of these internet-experts even know what the word form means. And since the word form and technique are used interchangeably, they must not know what technique means either. It's not easy to explain, so I asked Eric how he would go about explaining it, and here is what he had to say:

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