How to Perform the Pallof Press

The problem with most rotational movements is that they produce shearing forces on your lumbar spine. One of the foundations of biomechanics is that you don’t place your spine into a simultaneous state of rotation, flexion, and side bending, and you especially don’t add an external load.

Pallof Press

This eliminates a number of popular abdominal exercises such as dumbbell side bends and the twisting abdominal machine. Exercises like the Russian twist should be performed with care, making sure that the trunk is flexed rather than the spine.

There is a quick and easy solution to the inherent problems with twisting exercises – don’t twist.

Enter: The Pallof Press!

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules of Success

A wonderful, inspirational video by Arnold Schwarzenegger – powerlifter, bodybuilder, actor, ‘governator’, and millionaire. This is the man who walked the walk well before he ever started talking the talk.

“Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”

The original purpose of this video was as a graduation speech at USC. Someone took 5 of the most important minutes of this speech and added subtitles, which you can view below.

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Six Rules on How to Be Successful

  1. Trust yourself
  2. Break some rules
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail
  4. Ignore the naysayers
  5. Work like hell
  6. Give something back

You can also view the full 25 minute video and video transcript here: 6 Rules for Success

Max Effort Training: 2RM is the new 1RM

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

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

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Introducing JackedPack

Deciding which nutritional supplements to take is a challenge for most people. The sports nutrition market is currently so over saturated in most categories that it makes it very difficult to discern which products actually work, which ones taste good, and/or provide the best value for money. It’s silly to go out uninformed and drop $50+ dollars on a single product and get a nasty surprise if the quality isn’t up to par.

Jacked Pack

JackedPack solves this problem by taking guesswork out of the equation. For under $10/month, subscribers receive a monthly box of new samples from the best brands in sports nutrition delivered right to their door. This way members can test a wide variety of products ranging from standard supplement categories like pre-workouts, protein powders, fat burners etc. to unique items like protein cookies and breads. As they like to say,

“It’s like Christmas for meatheads every month!”

If members enjoy the samples, they can buy the full size items through JackedPack at a great discount.

The guys at JackedPack are also building a likable brand with a great sense of humor that comes through on their online content, workout articles, and monthly product descriptions.

Team JackedPack will be contributing some content to Project Swole in the coming months so check them out at and use the promo code SWOLE to get 50% off your first month.

Connect with JackedPack on Facebook and Twitter, but always place your order through the links here at Project Swole so JackedPack will know that Swole sent you!

I received my first JackedPack the other day. Took some pictures. I’ll post a review shortly when I have a chance to go through it and try a couple things.

Top 6 Arm Training Mistakes

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

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How to Gain Lean Muscle Fast

Are you in the market to gain muscle?
Lean Muscle Chick
Building some hardcore muscle—without gaining fat along with it—is easier than you might think.

Here are some tips to start building muscle today.

Pump Up With Protein

Because muscle fibers are made up of many different proteins, protein is the #1 necessary ingredient to build muscle.

One study found participants who ate 20 grams protein every 3 hours significantly increased muscle building potential, compared with those who ate 40 g every 6 hours. [1] So, eating good amounts of protein throughout the day feeds muscles and keeps them raring to go.

The ideal daily protein intake is about 1 g protein per pound body weight. [2] So, a 200-pound man should eat about 200 g protein a day. Of course, this differs depending on individual needs.

The best high protein foods to eat are chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, eggs, beans, nuts, milk, and cheese. [2]

Many bodybuilders also use protein supplements, which provide a heavy dose of pure protein. Whey protein powder is generally the best choice because it has high protein content and lots of muscle-building branched chain amino acids. [3]

Be careful, though. Protein shouldn’t make up more than 30% of your caloric intake. Too much protein increases risk of kidney problems, dehydration, and other issues. [4]

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5 Tips for Building Muscle With Hypertrophy Training

hypertrophyIn the eternal quest to perfect your body, a lot of methods and training regimens will only let you down. However, if you want to build muscle like a pro, hypertrophy training is one of the most effective methods.

When it comes to building muscle mass and strength fast, hypertrophy training can give you results in almost half the time that other strength training regimens take.

This kind of efficiency is what makes hypertrophy training so popular among body builders, but it is important know a few tips and tricks first.

Here are five tips for building muscle with hypertrophy training.

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B Vitamins Enhance Muscle Building

Take Your B’s to Build Huge Bis

Few people know the 8 B vitamins by name, but were you aware that they all contribute to the body’s ability to build muscle? They are often referred to as the vitamins that provide immune support and while this is helpful when training hard which can place a stress on the immune system, their role extends far beyond this.

Each plays a role in the metabolism, which is the processing of the foods we eat to ensure the release of energy needed to power muscle function, but also helps to support the nervous system to make co-ordinated movement possible. Here we take a look at each in turn, considering their importance and where they can be sourced from the diet, as well as how else you might be able to top up your intake of these essential nutrients.

Vitamin B1Vitamin B1

Also known as thiamine, this vitamin is needed for the production of ATP, the substance which the body uses for energy release to enable muscle contraction to occur during weight training. It’s therefore no surprise that tiredness can be a sign that you aren’t getting enough of this micronutrient, which can interfere with the effort you are able to put into training.

Thiamine also controls the movement of electrolytes across cell membranes, which is needed for the nerves and the muscles that they control to function. The richest sources of this B vitamin are meats, brewer’s yeast, whole grains or cereals that have been fortified with b vitamins; in many countries it is mandatory that refined flour and white rice have thiamine added to them, as the processing removes the majority of this vitamin.

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Top 6 Shoulder Training Mistakes

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

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