May 222016
 

More great information from Brad Schoenfeld on the best way to train for increased muscle mass and the best way to implement it into your training.
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Ramp up training volume if your main goal is size. Here’s the smart way to do it.

Back in the 1970’s, Arthur Jones popularized the so-called high-intensity training (HIT, not to be confused with HIIT – high intensity interval training) approach to building muscle. HIT is based on the premise that only a single set of an exercise is necessary to stimulate growth, provided you train to the point of momentary concentric muscular failure.

According to HIT dogma, performing additional sets beyond this first set is superfluous and perhaps even counterproductive to muscle development. Other prominent industry leaders such as Mike Mentzer and Ellington Darden subsequently followed Jones’s lead and embraced the HIT philosophy, resulting in a surge in its popularity. To this day, HIT continues to enjoy an ardent following.

Now before I get accused of being anti-HIT, I’ll readily admit that it’s a viable training strategy. There’s no denying that it can help build appreciable muscle. And if you’re time-pressed, it can provide an efficient and effective workout.

That said, if your goal is to maximize muscle development, HIT simply doesn’t do the trick. You need a higher training volume. Substantially higher than just one set per exercise.

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May 152016
 

Jay from A Workout Routine writes a terrific article on Superfoods which I hope enjoy as much as I did.
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Ever see one of those extremely useful lists of superfoods? Of course you have. A new one pops up somewhere every 8 minutes or so, thus making it pretty impossible to avoid.

But, if you somehow haven’t seen this before, let me fill you in on what you’ve been missing.

“Superfood” is a term given to a select few extra special foods that are considered to be infinitely better for you than all other foods. From improved health and disease prevention to burning fat and helping you lose weight faster, these superfoods are clearly THE KEY to every beneficial physical improvement we want to make to our bodies and should therefore be a part of our diets.

With this scientifically proven fact in mind, I’ve spent the last 6 months rigorously reviewing hundreds of these types of lists and carefully researching every single food and their countless benefits.

Why? To provide you with the ultimate compilation of lists containing the absolute best, most amazing, most beneficial, most effective, most important, most healthy and of course most super superfoods in the entire history of the planet.

So, without any further ado, here are those lists…

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May 152016
 

Interesting article by Bret on how much training is necessary to maintain strength and muscle? It seems us older guys and gals need a bit more volume than younger people but not by a huge margin. One question that does come to mind from reading this is, could one cut back on training volume and just maintain while dieting without negatively impacting the muscle you gained? In my past preps the volume and frequency for the most part was kept the same during prep as in the off season, the logic being that what is best for building muscle is the best for maintaining it. I would love to see a study comparing maintaining off season volume & frequency during prep versus reducing volume to more of a maintenance level and the impact on muscle retention.
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We all get busy from time to time. Many of us find ourselves getting swamped during various times throughout the year and we feel like we’re drowning. Normally, strength training serves to reduce stress and increase our sense of well-being, but during times of extreme business, it can do the opposite. When we are buried up to our noses with work and responsibilities, training 3-5 times per week for 60-120 minutes can feel overwhelming and add more stress to the plate. For optimal progress, we want to be in eustress and not distress, so it’s advisable to reduce training frequency and volume during these times.

This picture was taken when I was training once every 5 days, performing 1 set to failure with around 8 exercises.

This picture was taken when I was training once every 5 days, performing 1 set to failure with around 8 exercises.

But how low can we go to still keep our gains? Six years ago, I wrote a really good article on this exact topic. Rather than just link to the article, I’m going to copy and paste it as it’s a short article:

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May 142016
 

Episode 2 in a new series by Eric Helm’s of 3DMJ. As people are becoming more evidence based, when it comes to their approach to nutrition and training, its important to have a good understanding of how to properly evaluate and weigh evidence. As always, Eric does a tremendous job in explaining how we should approach this.
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May 092016
 

Lifting weights with proper form is important for injury prevention as well as ensuring you effectively target the correct muscles during the movement. Dr. Joel Seedman breaks down 5 common mistakes he sees people making in the gym.
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Fix These Upper-Body Training Mistakes to Grow

Maybe you were coached incorrectly. Or maybe these common form mistakes are just too subtle to recognize. Whatever the case, it’s time to start lifting right, not just to avoid injuries, but to get better results from your workouts.

Both beginners and advanced lifters alike try to pull too far and too high on vertical pulling motions such as pull-ups and lat pulldowns. Rather than trying to touch the bar to your chest or reaching your chin over the bar (both of which can produce dysfunctional mechanics), the goal should be to achieve proper upper back and lat activation. This requires several components.

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May 092016
 

strengtheory Greg Nuckols over at Strengtheory hits the nail on the head with this article saying we need hero’s and larger than life examples to inspire us to be better.
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I’ve been seeing more and more people talk about the dangers of having unrealistic expectations.

“Oh, if we don’t tell new lifters what’s ‘reasonable’ from the very start, they’re going to be disappointed and stop lifting.”

Nope. I’m not buying it. Not for one second. If anything, I think that mindset does more harm than good.

Do kids start playing basketball because they want to be as good as some guy who plays pick-up games at the local YMCA?

Nope.

They start playing because they want to be Michael Jordan or Lebron James or Steph Curry.

Do kids start playing football because they admire the second-string slot receiver at their local high school?

Nope.

They want to be Cam Newton or Ray Lewis or Rob Gronkowski.

Hell, who made bodybuilding a THING in the first place?

Arnold. The definition of a larger-than-life character. He’s likely inspired literally millions of people to start working out. But since most of those people will never look like Arnold, that’s a bad thing, right?

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