Training


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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From FitNitChick: Overview of Muscle Fatigue Versus DOMS Versus Strain

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.

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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.

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

Some People think that Bodyweight Exercise and Martial Arts makes you Lean and Toned, While Weight Training Makes You Big and Bulky. Is This True?

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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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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