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.

Continue Reading » Why Is Strength Training Obsessed With Failure?



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.

Continue Reading » From FitNitChick: Overview of Muscle Fatigue Versus DOMS Versus Strain



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.

Continue Reading » If You are Not Going to Compete, The Only Reason to Strength Train is For Fitness and Health: Stop Saying That!



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.

Continue Reading » Train Smart; Not Hard - Does Intelligence Mean Less Effort is Required?



'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.

Continue Reading » 'Gym Rescue' Reminded Me Of Fitness BS I Hate



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.

Continue Reading » What Can the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) Tell Us About Strength Training?



Is Exercise Subjective? The Personal Training Industry and Demand Creation

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



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.

Continue Reading » Quality Volume Deadlifts



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.

Continue Reading » Are Strength Training Stalls or Plateaus Inevitable?



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.

Continue Reading » Strength and Exercise Myth: Skills are Always Developed in a Sequence



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

The term that fans of Starting Strength and certain 5x5 programs hang their hat on is linear progression. In reality, the term is meaningless semantic babble. These programs do use something that could be called linear loading, although even this is just throwing a little gild on the lily. Here, I'll look at so-called linear progression and explain why this vogue term in the strength training world is so meaningless.

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



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).

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



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.

Continue Reading » Being A Maximal Strength Trainee



© 2019 by Eric Troy and Ground Up Strength. All Rights Reserved. Please contact for permissions.