Training


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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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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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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Can't Do More Than 1 X 5 for Deadlifts?

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!

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Are Muscle Rubs Useful For Pre-Workout?

Most of us know what to do with muscle rubs. We rub them on when something is sore, whether it be a sore knee or a sore muscle. This usually happens after we work out. A common question, however, is whether sports rubs or muscle rubs can be used before we weight train or exercise.

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What Is Strength Training?

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.

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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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