Another episode of the B&B Connection. In this episode Brad Schoenfeld and Brett Contreras discuss bodybuilding vs. powerlifting training, hamstring subdivisions, plank variations, rest intervals, and the size principle.

Good analysis by Brad Schoenfeld with regards to the recent meta-analysis of low-carb versus balance-diet.

The primary take-home message here is that there is no universal “best” diet. There is compelling evidence that higher protein intakes (at least 1.5 g/kg and generally higher in those who are lifting weights) are beneficial for optimizing body composition and enhancing satiety. A certain amount of dietary lipid is also essential for proper health, particularly with respect to polyunsaturated fats. Otherwise your approach to nutrition is largely an individual choice that, within fairly wide limits, should be based on preference, goals and lifestyle. Most importantly, calories do count!

I have always been impress with Ryan Doris due to the fact he approaches bodybuilding a bit differently, from an intellectual perspective, than anyone I know. I wanted to share Ryan’s latest vlog because it really struck a chord with me especially after this season’s competitions.

Great to see Dr. Layne Norton coming out with his own podcast called Physique Science Radio.  Co-hosting with Layne is Sohee Lee and it looks to be a really cool program so be sure to bookmark this and tune into all future episodes.

So many interesting ways to modify your training to build muscle and strength.  Nate Palmer discusses using loaded isometrics for size and strength at T Nation.
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Here’s what you need to know…

•  Loaded isometrics teach irradiated tension, which increases strength gains in almost every exercise.

•  These moves can be done to increase either muscle size or strength, depending on the load used and the time under tension.

•  These exercises will teach you to use your entire body as one unit, test your mettle, and build strength in several key areas. Perform these after your main lift for the day, as a finisher, or just to test your willpower and see how strong you really are.

  Keep the entire body tight to build total body strength. Keep your mental focus on the muscle you’re working. Build your mental focus and you will get stronger!

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Loaded isometrics can teach you a great number of things. The lesson I always learn is that I’m not as strong or as tough as I think I am. It’s always a humbling experience to feel a whole new level of pain from a familiar exercise and it’s a good check to see if you’re actually working on your weak areas or just on the exercises you like.

Loaded isometrics are also fantastic for teaching the concept of irradiated tension, which, when properly performed, can increase strength gains in almost every exercise. The basic premise of irradiated tension is the idea that the body does not function in single units, but that the entire structure is important for even the smallest isolation move. In other words, when you create tension through your whole body, a dumbbell curl is more than just a dumbbell curl.

To create this next-level type of tension through your whole body, assume an athletic stance, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and starting with your core, begin to tighten your abs and then your glutes to create a foundation. Then squeeze the quads, pull the shoulder blades down and back, engage the lats, and lastly, tighten both fists.

Make sure you’re taking small shallow breaths and then take inventory of your body. You should feel like an immovable object. If you need more proof that this technique will allow you to lift more, do a single arm dumbbell press with your weaker arm. Try it once without the tension, and try it once with it. Make up your own mind.

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A very well written article by Brian St. Pierre of PrecisionNutrition who examines the pros and cons of the Paleo Diet.
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Unless you’ve been living in an actual cave, you’ve probably heard all about the Paleo – or “caveman” – diet. Maybe you’ve even tried it. A little meat here, some fresh veggies there. Perhaps going grain- or processed-food-free. It’s a cool idea that captures the imagination. But is it healthy? And does it work? That’s what we’ll explore in this article.

What we’ll cover

In this article, we’ll give you a definitive guide to the Paleo diet.

First:

  • We’ll define just what “Paleo” refers to.
  • We’ll explain what’s so special about hunter-gatherers.
  • We’ll review how and what ancestral-style eaters actually do.

Then, we’ll explore the ideas and evidence critically.

  • What does Paleo promise?
  • What evidence supports ancestral-style eating?
  • What might cause our chronic 21st century health problems?
  • Is the Paleo diet truly primal?
  • What does our GI tract tell us?

Finally, we’ll give you the all-important conclusion:

  • What should YOU do with all of this?

“Paleo” defined

The Paleo, or primal, diet is based on two central ideas.

  1. We adapted to eat particular kinds of foods.
  2. To stay healthy, strong, and fit — and avoid the chronic diseases of modernity — we need to eat like our ancestors.

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Very interesting article at the NSCA from 3DMJ’s Eric Helms on practical methods to implement “Auto Regulatory” training based on available literature and current practice.
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Introduction

Periodization is the strategic organization of training to optimize progress while avoiding setbacks and injuries (1). This method of organizing training elicits superior results when compared to non-periodized training (2). However, even the best planning cannot account for all variables that affect athletes’ acute readiness.

Sleep, emotional stress, illness, and diet all significantly influence training. Furthermore, professionals who work with teams train groups of athletes. In this case, not only must they account for individual variability, but also they must try to apply training strategies to many athletes each potentially at a different level of readiness.

Elite athletes have extraordinary abilities of perception, intuition, split-decision making, and anticipation (3).

This mind and body awareness manifests from innate talent and years of experience, allowing them to train near optimal capacity, if self-regulation is encouraged. The question becomes, how can a coach transfer this ability to athletes without this innate talent or experience?

One method that attempts to achieve these ends by matching training stress to athlete-readiness is Auto-Regulatory Training (AT) (4, 5). This approach to training is designed to adapt to individual changing needs to allow optimal training more frequently. Sometimes a workout intended to be hard can be easy if the athlete is particularly well recovered or energetic.

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The next installment of the Q&A series with Alberto Nunez of 3DMJ from Brandon Wells

Some interesting finishing workouts to get your arms growing by Scott Thom over at T Nation!
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Here’s what you need to know…

  Stubborn “Hollywood” muscles like biceps and triceps need increased volume, frequency, and variability, hence the extreme and brutal nature of these arm finishers.

•  The effect of these grueling finishers is increased time under tension, increased growth hormone release, and pumping the muscle full of blood and oxygen – all the ingredients needed for growth.

•  Do a different arm finisher every fourth day of training.

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The goal of these five different arm finishers is insanely high volume with limited to zero rest. They’re a definite improvement to the boring and virtually useless 3 sets of 10 reps of preacher curls that are so pervasive in gyms across the country. The effect of these grueling finishers is increased time under tension, increased growth hormone release, and pumping the muscle full of blood and oxygen – everything needed for fast growth.

I’ve used these on myself and my clients for quite some time now, and as the new strength coach for the Washington State basketball team, I’m definitely going to have my players doing these too, especially those that need some size on their arms so they can feel more confident in their jerseys. The idea is to do a different arm finisher every fourth day of training. Remember, these are finishers, so do them at the end of your workout. You won’t need to do any additional arm training.

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Some midweek motivation to help get you through the rest of the week!

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