January 29, 2012

Neglect Nothing - Tips For When To Train Smaller Bodyparts

A Chain Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link

Failure to develop any muscle, regardless of the goal, is a mistake that will likely catch up with anyone at some point, and negatively affect future progress, or worse yet, contribute to injury. Among the most common neglected muscle groups are the abs, calves, and forearms. Actually, in regards to the abs, some people completely overtrain their abs, while the rest seemingly forget about them.

As it relates to strength training, every single muscle has a purpose, whether it be to propel the body into motion, lift weight, or provide stability so other muscles can generate force to propel the body, or lift weight. Generally the muscles responsible for providing stability so that other muscles can lift weight are neglected, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that if stability is compromised in anyway, so is force production.

January 22, 2012

The Smolov Jr. Cycle

The Smolov Jr. program is a high volume, three week strength cycle, in which the primary lift – which can be any compound extension-oriented movement (ex. deadlift, squat, bench press, overhead press), is performed four times each week. All accessory, or maintenance work, is performed after the main lift, or on a separate day, at a reduced volume to avoid overworking the body’s capacity to recover. Below is an example of the parameters of the lift that is being specialized.

January 15, 2012

Planned Overtraining - Twice A Day, Twice A Week Specialization

Planned Overtraining For Maximum Supercompensation

Planned overtraining is designed to take advantage of the supercompensation effect which takes place in the acute recovery period following a training session.

By strategically increasing the workload placed upon the body, while concurrently preventing it from fully recovering, the body begins to anticipate the increased demand and understands that it must work extra hard to keep up. Then, by strategically reducing the workload at just the right time, the supercompensation effect is maximized.

The workload must be increased for long enough to allow the supercompensation effect to be maximized, but not so long that the body cannot overcome the demand being placed on it.

January 8, 2012

Bench Press Specialization

How much do you bench?

Regardless of what the actual answer is to that dreaded question, deep down it’s never really enough, is it? But what a lot of people fail to acknowledge is that an overreliance on bench pressing in attempt to increase their bench can, and likely will, result in adhesions in the trained muscles, or a shortening of the subscapularis muscles, both of which can decrease their contractile ability while also limit the available range of motion at the shoulder joint, thus increasing the risk of injury. Because of the negative effects that high volumes of flat angle pressing can have, it is ideal to limit the amount of presses performed on a flat angle to roughly one-fifth of all pressing that is done, and the other 80% of presses being made up of incline, decline, and overhead presses, to promote long term shoulder health.

Who Cares?

People generally don’t take well to their sacred cows being butchered, so without further ado, here’s a bunch of bench press specialization programs aimed at providing a more satisfactory, but truthful, answer to the dreaded question of, ‘how much do you bench?’.

January 1, 2012

Ya Do What Ya Can - The Benefits Of Machines, And How To Work Around Injuries

Out With The Old, In With The New

Injuries are a part of life, and any serious lifter who has been faced with having to work around them at one point or another can attest that injuries are not as much of a setback as they initially appear to be (unless they are career threatening of course). In fact, injuries are often an opportunity for newfound growth, both mentally and physically. Mentally, because an injury forces a lifter to use their creativity to come up with new ways to subject their body to the tension needed to build upon, or at least maintain, their previous gains, and physically, because the new methods and techniques that are thought of introduce a brand new stimulus to which the body has not had a chance to adapt.