Nov 192014

Another great podcast from Guru Performance!

Episode 21 of the Guru Performance ‘We Do Science’ podcast! In this episode Laurent Bannock discusses ‘The Placebo Effect’ with Dr Mayur Ranchordas, Senior Lecturer & Performance Nutritionist at the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield University, UK. In this session they get into:

  • What is a ‘placebo’ effect
  • The power of placebo
  • Nocebo effect
  • Placebo effects in sports & exercise nutrition
  • Practical implications in applied practice

[ Android ]

Nov 182014

Really good article from Charles Staley over at T Nation.


Here’s what you need to know…

  • Don’t just focus on setting new 1RMs. Volume is crucial too. Strive to set new 8RM records as well.
  • Increase your training frequency. Break your weekly workload into smaller chunks and you’ll recover better and be able to do more total work.
  • For maximum growth, you need tension and stress. So while adding more and more weight to the bar increases muscular tension, increasing trainingdensity leads to greater metabolic stress.
  • For three weeks, only perform exercises you’ve never done before.


Becoming More Badass

For anyone interested in getting bigger, stronger, or just more badass in general, the concept of progressive overload must be embraced. The simple act of adding weight to the bar each workout is a valid approach whenever you can pull it off. For newbies, that strategy usually works very well.

But the time will come when it stops working. And when that day comes, you’re no longer a beginner and you’ll need new tools to stay on the path to progress. Like these:

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Nov 152014

Another great article by Greg Nuckols over at his blog Strength & Science.

What you’re getting yourself into:

~3400 words.

10-15 minute read time.

Key points

1) Having useful conceptual frameworks can help you reason through problems as they arise, rather than having to invest a ton of time to seek out each individual answer. This is especially useful if you need to make decisions on the fly or if you’re really busy.

2) Factors that fall under the umbrella of “recovery” tend to follow a power law distribution – you get the most bang for your buck from initial increases, with further increases making less and less of a difference.

3) Factors that fall under the umbrella of “stressors” tend to follow a parabolic distribution – more is better, until you overwhelm your body’s ability to adapt.

4) “Recovery” factors, and things such as training status, drugs, and genetics can shift the stress curve, increasing or decreasing the amount of stress you can handle.

This article isn’t anything groundbreaking. For half of you, you’ll probably read along thinking “I’d had similar thoughts before, but I wasn’t quite sure how to express it.” For the other half, you’ll read along thinking, “I already know this, but it’s nice to have all of this in one place so I can link it and save myself the typing when I see one of these arguments on Facebook or in a forum somewhere.”

Of late, it’s come into vogue to attack just about every piece of practical gym wisdom, decrying it as “broscience,” with the implication being that if it’s “broscience,” it’s automatically ineffective. Now, I’m all for science (look at the site’s name or the linked article, for example), but I think people are taking things a step too far.

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Nov 142014

Another great podcast from Guru Performance!

Episode 20 of the Guru Performance ‘We Do Science’ podcast! In this episode Laurent Bannock discusses ‘Unleashing The Power of Food’ with Dr Kevin Currell, Head of Performance Nutrition at the English Institute of Sport ( In this session they get into:

  • The difference between winning and losing in elite sport
  • The Power of food in performance
  • Elite athletes as ‘outliers’
  • Performance Nutritionists as ‘Scientists’ or ‘Engineers’?
  • Key knowledge and skills required to work as a nutritionist in elite sport
  • Scope of practice for performance nutritionists

[ Android ]

Nov 142014

Another great podcast from Guru Performance!

Episode 19 of the Guru Performance ‘We Do Science’ podcast! In this episode Laurent Bannock introduces the new forthcoming special ‘EPIC Summit’ edition episodes with EPIC SUMMIT organiser Richard Lovatt ( which will be featuring the following speakers:

Gary Taubes, Alan Aragon, Brad Schoenfeld, Fredrick Hahn, Tony Strudwick, Greg Nuckols, Jose Antonio, Specer Nadolsky, Menno Henselmans, Alberto Nunez, Martin Macdonald, Bret Contreras, Kamal Patel, Bojan Kostevski, Evelyn Kocur, James Krieger, Joseph Agu, Layne Norton, and The Strength Guys.

[ Android ]

Nov 132014

One of the biggest shows in Natural Bodybuilding is going down this weekend in Boston. Many 3DMJ athletes will be there competing including Jeff “The Godfather” Alberts (see vlog below). Jeff is one of the 3DMJ coaches and he is wrapping up his own 2014 contest season with this show. I hope all the athletes enjoy the weekend and wish everyone the best of luck!

Nov 122014

I can really relate to this article from Christian Thibaudeau at T Nation this week. I did not train at all last week and am really feeling it today.


Here’s what you need to know…

  • Getting really sore after lifting weights doesn’t necessarily mean that you had a good workout that will lead to gains.
  • You can stimulate muscle growth without experiencing extreme soreness. That said, you should feel something after a tough workout.
  • Most people experience more soreness when dieting, but that doesn’t mean they’re gaining more muscle.
  • To reduce soreness and build/retain muscle optimally when dieting, reduce calories for most of the day but increase your pre, intra and post-workout nutrition.


A Love/Hate Relationship

Should you train a muscle group or lift when you’re still sore from your last workout? If so, should that training be different?

If you’re not sore from a workout, does that mean the workout sucked? Or is soreness a bad sign, as some coaches have suggested?

As lifters and athletes, getting sore is something we’ve learned to love because we associate soreness with a productive workout. But it’s also something we hate because soreness can hinder our training.

I could write a super scientific piece detailing the specific physiological phenomenon occurring to get you sore, but let’s keep this “trenches-based.” Here’s my opinion based on my experiences and those of my athletes and bodybuilders.

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Nov 102014

Part two in this series by Brian Minor over at Juggernaut. I have to say I am really enjoying and learning lots from this series and looking forward to more from Brian.

In Part 1 we discussed some of the pros and cons for physique athletes building the foundation of their programming around the “Big 3,” and for some, competing in the sport of powerlifting.

Many of the recommendations within this article series will be built upon the foundational principle of managing and progressing training volume long term. Therefore, it’s important to understand its role in stimulating training adaptations. However, before we can discuss the role of training volume, let’s define what it is, and what other variables contribute to it.


What is training volume? In its simplest form, volume is simply the amount of total work completed. This can be quantified within a set, an exercise, a training session, a mesocycle, a macrocyle, etc.

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