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…
It is as simple as this: Clients expect a certain amount of confidentiality and professionalism when they hire a personal trainer. Most will assume that a fitness trainer will not make their personal business a source of water-cooler gossip, and certainly, they will not expect to be made fun of on social media posts. In fact, some people go so far as to have personal trainers sign confidentiality agreements. With so many trainers not having a clue about professional behavior, and being quite immature, this may be something that is needed, at times.
Continue Reading » My Trainer Makes Fun of Me on Social Media - Should I Find a New Trainer?
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.
Continue Reading » Why Is Strength Training Obsessed With Failure?
A trainer named Tamara Grand has a blog called fitnitchick and today I commented on her nice overview of muscle fatigue versus muscle soreness (DOMs) versus muscle strain. A lot of people new to strength training or resistance training might have a hard time knowing what kind of discomfort is "good" and what means they have gone too far or even hurt themselves. In fact, I know many people have this question because I've been asked many times.
Continue Reading » From FitNitChick: Overview of Muscle Fatigue Versus DOMS Versus Strain
The subject of today's blog post is an old pet peeve of mine. Of course it is about deadlifts. That shouldn't be a big surprise. Specifically it is about the amount of deadlifts you can do, or, as some would have it, that you should be allowed to do. I've already been complaining a lot about the idea that nobody except competitors "should" ever lift max weights. I think you know why I put the word should in quotes: Because it speaks of values. What you can do is much different than what you should do. Should overlay's a set of values on what you do. You CAN do many things that perhaps you should not do, according to this set of values. On the other hand, some people's values should be kept to themselves. The prevailing opinions about how many deadlifts you can do per week, or per day have everything to do with values!
Continue Reading » Can't Do More Than 1 X 5 for Deadlifts?
I got on the topic of using muscle rubs for pre-workout on our Facebook page a while ago, dropping a few tips here and there. Some exercisers, and especially lifters, may think that it's not okay to occasionally use a muscle rub to help with aches and pains before a workout, or to help deal with stubborn joints. It is. You just have to use your best judgment and not try to use muscle rubs to cover up the pain of an acute injury so that you can work through it at the wrong intensity and volume. A pre-workout muscle rub is great for a stubborn joint that needs a little help now and again, but it should never be used to work around an active injury. I thought for today's letter I'd go over some basics on how muscle rubs work.
Continue Reading » Are Muscle Rubs Useful For Pre-Workout?
Strength training is actually simpler than you thought. The majority of basic articles on strength training do not bother to define strength training at all. When it is defined, the word "strength" is used in the explanation. The most typical type of definition looks something like this: "Strength training is using resistance to build your physical (or muscular) strength."
Usually, however, explanations focus on the benefits of strength training: Strength training builds muscle, decreases injury risk, makes bones stronger, etc.
Continue Reading » What Is Strength Training?
If You are Not Going to Compete, The Only Reason to Strength Train is For Fitness and Health: Stop Saying That!
I am going to have an aneurysm. There is a little vein in my forehead that is just pulsing. It's getting bigger and bigger and I'm afraid its getting ready to pop. Why? Because yet again I read someone saying that unless you plan to compete, your goal in strength training should not be to get stronger or to achieve a big lift. It infuriates me. Plain and simple. I am sick of hearing it and sick of reading it. It's bullshit. Stop saying it.
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.
Continue Reading » Train Smart; Not Hard - Does Intelligence Mean Less Effort is Required?
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.
Continue Reading » 'Gym Rescue' Reminded Me Of Fitness BS I Hate
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 Strength 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
Page Tree Navigation
- A Bit About Specificity and Transfer Of Training Effect
- Are Machines Safer Than Free Weights?
- Are Muscle Rubs Useful For Pre-Workout?
- 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
- Can't Do More Than 1 X 5 for Deadlifts?
- 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
- From FitNitChick: Overview of Muscle Fatigue Versus DOMS Versus Strain
- 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
- 'Gym Rescue' Reminded Me Of Fitness BS I Hate
- 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 are Not Going to Compete, The Only Reason to Strength Train is For Fitness and Health: Stop Saying That!
- If you Don't Train to Failure, You'll Never Need a Spotter
- If You Don't Use Too Much Weight and Have Perfect Lifting Form, You'll Never Get Hurt
- 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 Martial Arts or 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?
- My Trainer Makes Fun of Me on Social Media - Should I Find a New Trainer?
- 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?
- What Is Strength Training?
- Why Do Some Lifters GRIND on Maximum Lifts When Others Don't - I.E. Grinders Versus NonGrinders
- Why Is Strength Training Obsessed With Failure?
- Wobble Boards, Bosu Balls, or Foam: What's The Difference?