September 29, 2011

How To Calculate Your One Rep Max Without Lifting Your Max

When designing a program, one of the most crucial variables that needs to be known by whoever is constructing the program is the lifters one rep max for all the primary lifts in which the program is built around, so that the most appropriate amount of weight can be selected to get the desired result.

September 25, 2011

The Lazy Lateral Head Of The Tricep Which Refuses To Grow, Unless You Force It To

The head that refuses to grow

The lateral head of the triceps is commonly referred to as the “lazy” head of the triceps, because it is the last of the three heads to be recruited during arm extension. As a result, many have a hard time developing this muscle to a satisfactory level due to ineffective loading patterns, as in they just don’t lift heavy enough to force this muscle to be recruited enough to be fatigued/trained.

You have 2 options

When it comes to recruiting a muscle, there are 2 primary ways to go about it. One is to force the muscle into action by simply overloading it, which is best accomplished with compound movements that incorporate an assortment of muscles, and the other is to mechanically place the muscle in an advantageous position to take on the greatest percentage of the load.

Generally you can’t maximize both at the same time, although you can get as close to this as possible with the use of advanced methods like supersets, tri-sets, and giant sets by recruiting and then fatiguing the targeted musculature. In case there’s any question, this means that overload methods should be performed first, since that’s when you’ll be able to handle the greatest loads which are needed to ‘overload’, and followed by movements which place the targeted musculature in a position of mechanical advantage.

September 20, 2011

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

Intermittent fasting is an approach to fat loss that supposedly enables you to shed bodyfat without necessarily reducing calories, or sacrificing strength and muscle gains, which is why it has gained popularity as an effective way of “dieting” in recent years. While fasting may sound somewhat unconventional by most standards, it can actually be a very effective way to promote your body to burn “stubborn bodyfat”.

Stubborn bodyfat generally refers to the most common areas that people have the hardest time getting lean. For men it is usually the lower torso (abs, erectors), and for women it is usually the thighs and butt. If you are a male and above 10% bodyfat, or a female and above 15% bodyfat, then stubborn bodyfat should not be your concern as it is likely that your overall bodyfat is too high to be focusing on getting “ripped”, as is.

September 18, 2011

How Tri-Sets/Giant Sets Provide The Best Of Both Worlds (Size And Strength!)

Training to build muscle is all about recruiting and fatiguing as many motor units as possible, which is best accomplished by lifting as much weight as possible (to recruit), for as long as possible (to further recruit and fatigue), and repeating that over and over again within reason (to further fatigue). One of the best methods to accomplish all of this (in the least amount of time) is to chain multiple exercises together in the form of a tri-set, or giant set (4 or more exercises chained together). Doing so ensures that the muscles are exhausted from multiple angles, which contributes to maximal fiber recruitment and stimulation to promote optimal growth.

A large contributing factor to the results that come from training are credited to the hormonal response that is invoked from your training methods. The two most anabolic (muscle building) hormones are growth hormone and testosterone, both of which are spiked in response to varying degrees based on the stimulus placed upon the body. Heavier weights combined with greater rest intervals are generally responsible for the greatest testosterone spikes in response to training, while lighter weights combined with incomplete rest intervals are generally responsible for the greatest growth hormone spikes. The degree to which these hormones are spiked in response to training is debatable and varies, but at the end of the day even the slightest increase will have nothing but positive benefits when it comes to building muscle.

September 11, 2011

Progressions Of Exercises To Strengthen The Posterior Chain And Increase Your Vertical Jump And Sprint Performance

The major muscles that run along the backside of the body are collectively referred to as the posterior chain by kinesiologists. What they’re referred to as is irrelevant in comparison to the overall impact they can have on sport performance (ex. jumping, sprinting).

The glutes and hamstrings are estimated to respectively contribute roughly 40% and 25% to the overall height achieved in one’s vertical jump and sprint performance. Therefore, those focused on improving athletic performance should devote a relatively greater amount of training time to performing lifts that best develop this collection of muscles. (The remaining percentage contributing to vertical jump performance coming from the shoulder girdle, the quads, and the calves – roughly 15%, 20%, and 5% respectively, give or take a few percentage points)

September 4, 2011

Wave-Like Loading Pattern Periodization

What Is Wave Loading?
Wave loading is traditionally referred to as a specific pattern in which the weight lifted is inversely related to the reps performed, and is especially effective at ramping up the nervous system to maximize performance.

An example of such a pattern looks like this:

Set 1 – 3 reps @ 87.5% of 1RM

Set 2 – 2 reps @ 92.5% of 1RM

Set 3 – 1 reps @ 97.5% of 1RM

At the completion of a wave (which only consists of 3 increasingly heavier sets), you start over with slightly more weight (5-10 lbs, up to 20 more lbs if using over 400 lbs) for each set than you did the first time, and continue performing waves until you can no longer hit your weight/reps goal.

September 1, 2011

Ronnie Coleman - An In Depth Look At The Training, Of The Most Dominant Bodybuilder Of All Time, In His Prime

Ronnie Coleman is arguably the greatest bodybuilder to ever live. He won the Mr. Olympia competition a record 8 times (tied with Lee Haney), and displayed one of the most impressive physiques the world has ever seen while doing it.

In 1998, after reigning champ Dorian Yates had announced retirement, the Mr. Olympia crown was up for grabs. The favorite going into the show was a perennial top finisher, Flex Wheeler. But it was Ronnie Coleman that seemingly came out of nowhere to take the title (one he would hold onto for almost a decade).