Archive for the ‘Weight Training’ Category

The Swole 3×5 Approach to Strength Training

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

The Swole 3×5 Workout Routine

What's your strength goal?If you have been reading weightlifting materials for any length of time, you have probably heard of 5×5 training. It has definitely worked for many trainees. I even made excellent progress on a 5×5 program. But with all this 5×5 hype, has anyone stopped to think that there might be an even more efficient way to train?

In my experience, at least for experienced athletes, there is.

The Goals of Swole 3×5

This can be a powerlifting routine, a bodybuilding routine, or a conditioning routine. Sports athletes can use it, aspiring weight lifters can do it, beginners, novice, and advanced trainers can use it.

Swole 3×5 approach to strength training is a free weight routine designed to get you back into shape, to give you a break from a more mundane routine, or to blast you through a plateau.


Learn how to put together an exercise program the right way. Learn all the basic compound exercises, as well as some variations there of. Start to build a foundation for future sports or weightlifting success.

The Top 5 Best Neck Exercises

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Next to forearm training in muscles being neglected, neck training is next in line. Actually, I would say that people neglect neck training more than anything else. Many people have never even heard of it or would even know what to do.

The neck really is an important muscle. Think about it; unless you are wearing a turtle neck, everyone will see your neck. It can distinguish you from a bodybuilder to just a normal person.

Muscular neck

How to Get a Muscular Neck

Although doing traps exercises such as shrugs and deadlifts will assist you in getting a more muscular neck, there are some other exercises that you can perform that help. Everyone is different, so I suggest that you experiment with all of these to see what makes you grow the most. From there, you should be able to change up your training to whatever suits you the best.


How to do Barbell Rows

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Back MusclesLike pull ups, heavy rows are one of the best exercises to train your back. The king of rowing exercises is the standing barbell row, but the problem is that too few people perform them properly.

You might see the following common technique flaws in people executing barbell rows:

  • momentum – using the posterior chain to generate momentum, instead of using the muscles of the back and arms
  • rounded back – weakness in the lower back or hip tightness can cause your lower back to round, which is bad for the spine
  • standing upright – you have to bend over nearly parallel to the floor in order to work the upper back properly

As I mentioned last week, you can fix all of these issues by switching from barbell rows to inverted rows, or you can learn how to perform barbell rows correctly.

Let’s talk about how we can best use barbell rows in our training routines.


Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Don’t Waste Time Training Legs the Wrong Way!

Leg Training Mistakes
Your legs are the foundation of your physique. With their bulging tear drops, incision-like cuts, and shredded striations, prize leg development can win you a contest. Lagging leg development can also lose you a contest. Additionally, having strong legs makes it that much easier to develop a strong upper body. Here are 6 mistakes most athletes make when training their legs. These tips apply both to active bodybuilders and newbies, so pay attention!

The Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes

  1. Not Training Legs At All

    A lot of people completely avoid leg training. Why? Personally, I find it hard to understand. But there’s obviously a reason why they do; theories are they already have some preconceived notion that their legs are developed beyond what they are in actuality, or they see leg training as “hard”.

    It’s true that leg training can be painful, and you generally are sore afterwards, but many bodybuilders grow to love that soreness, as with other muscles. Avoiding leg training is a critical mistake, and you can’t build a house without a foundation.


How to Deadlift

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

How to Deadlift

How to DeadliftDeadlifts are one of the primary, fundamental exercises for all serious weight training programs. Deadlifts work 100% of your legs and they require functional stability from 95% of the rest of the muscles on your body. Using proper form, deadlifts will help you get stronger, gain more muscle, and burn more calories than any other single exercise after the squat.

Deadlifts build lower back and hamstring strength, and they teach you to keep your lower back tight against a heavy load, which is critical to avoid injuries when lifting objects from the ground or floor. Unfortunately, this is also why deadlifts have gained a bad reputation of causing a variety of injuries, including spinal injuries and hernias.


How to Squat

Monday, July 20th, 2015

How to Perform Squats

SquattingThere are many different lifts that a weightlifter can do to increase their strength, speed, and power. All kind of weightlifting is great for your body, but I prefer to not waste time in the gym lifting with tunnel vision, going from machine to machine and seeing little results from my hard work.

Instead, I would rather do 3-4 exercises with maximal intensity to wipe out my whole body in order to reap a maximal anabolic effect. The most well known and most dreaded of these exercises is the squat.

Rules to remember when squatting:

  • Keep the lower back straight and mostly flat; do not round your back!
  • Keep knees pointing out slightly, do not let them creep inwards as you push yourself up.
  • The bar should rest on upper trap muscles and the rear heads of the shoulders.
  • Push from your glutes (butt), not your knees; your hips should raise first and everything else should raise with them.
  • Fill your stomach with air before descending and keep it tight with your chest out while pushing up.
  • Push up with your eyes focused 30-45 degrees above normal eye level.
  • Try to keep your knees behind your toes to avoid injury.


Max Effort Training: 2RM is the new 1RM

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Max Effort TrainingWhether you are a body builder, powerlifter, Olympic lifter, or recreational athlete, you’ll probably get a kick out of seeing just how much you can lift (or in some cases, it’s your job). While some weight lifters try to hit a new 1 repetition maximum (1RM) on the main lift every single workout, this is usually not a good idea. The potential for injury and over training increases with every max effort lift you attempt. Instead, a better philosophy is to ramp up to testing your 1RM using several 3-4 week micro-cycles. However, that is a discussion for another day.

Today I want to address the 1RM test itself, or more accurately the max effort test. If you are not in a competition at that exact moment, there is really no need to attempt a true 1RM. As long as you have a stable frame of reference for your max effort attempt, you will be able to quantify your progress. I would like to suggest using 2RM for your max effort attempt. The reasons for this are several – safety, psychological, CNS activation, and time under tension.

Strength coach Christian Thibaudeau explained it best throughout a series of 6 tweets titled “2RM better than 1RM for max effort.”

2RM better than 1RM for max effort

In case you are not subscribed to Christian’s Twitter feed or Facebook page, allow me to re-print his thoughts below:

  • REASON 1: puts you in a better mindset for success; implies that you will succeed on the first rep
  • REASON 2: safer as you can always stop after the first rep if you don’t feel the second
  • REASON 3: more practice with near-maximal weights, better development of strength-skill and CNS
  • REASON 4: MUCH less negative impact on CNS (measured by HVT monitor) with a 2RM vs. a 1RM.
  • REASON 5: have a much lesser psychological strain than 1RM and don’t require being in the zone as much
  • REASON 6: more fatigue (stimulation) imposed on the recruited FT fibers = more growth stimulation

Connect with Christian on Twitter

Top 6 Ab Training Mistakes

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Want thick, dense abs that stand out like a washboard? Want a ripped midsection with veins and shredded striations? No? How about this: Want to look good naked?

Well, you will never achieve any of those goals if you train your abs once a week with three sets of crunches for 100 reps, or if you eat like a horse. Avoid these 6 common abdominal training mistakes and your abs will dial in. Whether you are a bodybuilder, an athlete, or a novice, chances are you are making several of these mistakes in your training right now. Take heed!

Female and Male Abs
A great example of male and female abs gone right.

The Top 6 Abdominal Training Mistakes


Top 6 Arm Training Mistakes

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Want big arms? Want lean, shredded arms? Then don’t make any of these arm training mistakes. Here are 6 great arm training tips for bodybuilders, fitness athletes, sports athletes, and newbies alike. Forget the myths, stop the mistakes, and train your arms proper!

Arm Training Mistakes

The Top 6 Arm Training Mistakes


Top 6 Shoulder Training Mistakes

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Having great shoulders really makes you appear sleek and powerful. However, chest and back training does not suffice when attempting to build spectacular shoulders. You must train the shoulders directly, intensely, and often. Be attentive of these 6 common mistakes that people make when training shoulders.

Shoulder Training Mistakes

The Top 6 Shoulder Training Mistakes