Sep 082016
 

Episode six of Science and Application (SAWEH, pronounced “saaaywhaaa!?”) with Eric Helm’s of 3DMJ.  In part one of this episode Eric interviews James Krieger, Nick Tumminello and Alan Aragon who where all guest speakers at the AFTP 2016 Convention in Oslo, Norway.
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Aug 252016
 

In this episode Alberto Nunez, Brad Loomis, and Andrea Valdez discuss social media, is it doing more harm than good? This is the crux of today’s podcast. Andrea, Alberto and Brad work their way through the positives, as well as the negatives, of how the rise in social media over recent years has impacted both athletes and coaches.
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Aug 242016
 

Most physique athletes lift weights to not only look good but to be healthy so in this video Dr. Mike Israetel talks about GMOs and why people don’t need to be afraid of them. I personally have never had an issue with GMOs, sugar, or processed foods that people get freaked out about and I plan on living to at least a 100 as a strong health person.
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Aug 232016
 

Alberto Nunez of 3DMJ is featured in a video on Omarlsuf’s YouTube channel explaining how you can get better quad development. The longer I train the more I find it’s the little details that can make a big difference on getting better results from your training.
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Aug 222016
 

body_recomposition An interesting article by Lyle McDonald answering the question, “Does the number of fast/slow twitch muscle fiber types in your body actually change in response to strength or endurance stimulus? Or just the volume, and you’re stuck with what your genetics dictate?”
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I received the following question in the mailbag and, for a fairly short question I’m going to give a fairly long answer since it gives me something to write about today.

Question: Does the number of fast/slow twitch muscle fiber types in your body actually change in response to strength or endurance stimulus? Or just the volume, and you’re stuck with what your genetics dictate?

The short answer is yes-ish. Here’s the long answer.

Let me make one clarification here. Well, two. The first is that I am talking about skeletal muscle. Cardiac muscle acts a little bit differently in how it grows with stress and we don’t lift weights for a bigger heart (perhaps if we did there would be more love in the world).

Also, I’m talking about training induced growth. You can cause some goofy stuff to occur when you ablate a muscle (i.e. cut a muscle in a larger group and you see the other muscles grow like crazy) or with other distinctly non-physiological types of research methods. Here we’re talking about moving iron (the original question asked about endurance training but there’s no reason to begin to suspect that hyperplasia occurs from that type of training in my mind).

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Aug 182016
 

In this episode Eric Helms, Brad Loomis, and Andrea Valdez discuss experience vs. science, which one is better? This is a highly debated topic amongst both athletes and coaches alike. These two concepts shouldn’t be viewed as one versus the other, but rather as two fundamentally different, yet equally important skill sets.
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Aug 172016
 

Interview by Juma Iraki of Iraki Nutrition with Eric Helms who discuss pre-contest dieting. Some of the topics they discuss are:

1. What are the biggest mistakes you see people do pre-contest? Being a natural bodybuilder yourself, what are the biggest mistakes you did in your career and what have you changed with your approach?

2. Do you feel that athletes often underestimate how much weight they have to loss to get stage ready? Is it possible for everyone to get that “stage lean”?

3. Does your approach for training and cardio change during the pre contest diet? Do you incorporate diet breaks and refeeds?

4. If you where do give your 3 best tips for a successful pre-contest diet, what would they be?

5. What are your general guidelines when taking an athlete from a pre-contest diet and transitioning them over to an off season diet?

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Aug 162016
 

New article by Peter Fitschen, PhD over at MuscleMonsters.com on reasons why you are not gaining muscle.
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Building muscle mass is one of the main goals of lifters in any given gym.  Despite this, many individuals in the gym look pretty much the same from year to year.  Many are confused as to why they are not making progress and as a result one of the most common questions I am asked is what to do to build muscle and why an individual is not progressing.

There are many potential culprits blunting an individual’s gains.  Below are 7 potential reasons why you are not making the gains you had hoped.

1. Not Eating Enough

When someone mentions to me that they cannot gain weight, the first thing I ask them is how many calories per day they are eating.  In most circumstances, the individual has no idea and will throw out some ungodly high number (e.g. 10,000kcal/day).  As someone who has a relatively quick metabolism myself, (in my late teens/early 20’s I required 5000+ kcal/day to gain weight) I am usually pretty quick to sniff out this over-exaggeration.

My general advice to those who are struggling to gain weight is to track everything you eat for 7 days while eating normally and also monitor your weight during this time.  If your average daily caloric intake while eating normally is around 3000kcal/day and you are not gaining, try increasing to 3300-3500kcal/day and see if that is enough to gain.  If that is enough, increase further.  Eventually you will hit a caloric intake where you will start to gain.  At that point, adjust your rate of gain based upon your progress and goals.

In addition, I would make sure you are consuming an adequate protein intake.  An intake of roughly 1g protein / lb bodyweight is going to be more than sufficient for building muscle.  If you find that your caloric intake is getting extremely high, I would consider increasing protein intake to ensure that you are able to eat at least some compete sources of protein throughout the day and do not get all of it from incomplete sources as a result of your high carbohydrate and fat intake.

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Aug 152016
 

Guest post by Boston-based strength coach and trainer, Ryan Wood over at Tony Gentilcore’s website. Today he discusses lessons learned and myths he avoided in losing 25 lbs. and dropping down to 10% body fat. Like a boss.
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Today I’m going to outline five fitness myths I avoided to lose 25lbs. (I previously wrote a post talking about seven things I learned dropping to 10% body fat which you can read HERE.)

Fitness myths run rampant, and, unfortunately, steer many people in the wrong direction. If fat loss is your goal then follow along closely as I discuss five of the most common fitness myths killing your fat loss progress.

Myth 1- You’ll Lose Strength

A lot of people fear losing strength when they begin a fat loss diet. Common belief says if you cut calories your strength has to suffer. While you shouldn’t be too concerned about hitting one rep max personal records, you certainly don’t want to risk losing strength.

So what should you do?

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Aug 132016
 

Guest article by Jesse Irizarry over at Strengtheory. I personally think that some people spend to much time and effort on their warm ups. Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone needs to warm up to a point just not as crazy and extreme as some get. Jesse covers this subject after reviewing over 70 peer-reviewed articles. Check it out!
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Note on source material: A couple of years back, I reviewed over 70 peer-reviewed articles on warming up for Bret Contreras. He posted my notes to his site here. If you’re interested in going through everything I did to reach the conclusions I’m going to share in this article, you can check that out.
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Any discussion of warm-ups usually includes opinions on three basic topics:

  1. How to figure out the objective of the warm-up, and what qualities we’re trying to address and possibly improve.
  2. The use of static stretching versus dynamic stretching techniques.
  3. How to include methods that increase performance in the following training or competition through means such as post-activation potentiation (usually referred to as PAP).

Most recommendations on warm-ups are based on the opinions of coaches or on anecdotal evidence – both of which can be fine. But I wanted to see if there was concrete evidence in the research regarding best practices, so I would have more than my biased opinion and experience to share. That’s not to say all conclusions taken from research are clear or applicable to elite lifters and athletes; subjects are often untrained or have limited training history. And, of course, training age and history play a huge role in what warm-up practices will be most appropriate.

Rather than prescribing a specific practice, my purpose for this article is to provide a clear picture of what a useful warm-up does not look like, according to the majority of research done on the subject. I’ll also discuss some practical takeaways based on my personal experience as a coach dealing with real, breathing human beings with varying levels of ability and training experience.

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