Posts Tagged ‘strength’

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.

Beginners

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.
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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

Hold On With A Bulldog Grip

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Working Grip Training Into Your Workouts

Improve your grip strength

Josh Hanagarne recently sent me a great piece of work. Enjoy. BTW, the quote in title is from Abraham Lincoln.

I got into grip training for two reasons:

Number one, it looked fun and people I liked were doing it. Monkey see monkey do.

Second, I was getting strong enough that my hands were starting to become my limiting factor. This was a sobering realization which took place at the intersection of Lame and Weak.

Like most things I like right off, once I jumped in, I jumped in all the way. Grip training was addictive for me. Better yet, it gave me one more way to make progress, which is usually the major ingredient in how happy I am. I could either set aside dedicated days for grip work, or, the more I learned, I could squeeze it in to my normal workouts without much of a headache.

Before I tell you how I work grip training in, I just want to give you a quick look at four different types of hand strength so that you don’t overemphasize anything or neglect anything that could be useful to you.

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5 Ways for Swimmers to Build Upper Body Strength

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Swimming and Strength

Female Swimmers
If you want long, lean muscles, swimming is one activity that is almost certain to deliver, especially if you like doing laps rather than, say, water aerobics. But you’re going to have a much harder time bulking and building upper body strength beyond a certain point if you rely solely on aquatic sports for your physical fitness.

If you’re into competitive swimming (like triathlons or swimming the English Channel) or you simply want to improve your performance for your own benefit, building upper body strength is a good way to accomplish your goals.

A regimen that includes a variety of cross-training options is likely to provide the best solution.

Here are just a few extra exercises that are sure to deliver the upper body strength you need to take your water-based fitness to the next level.

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Best Workout Routines: How Does It Help You Keep Your Body Healthy and Fit?

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Muscle Ups ChickOne of the best things that you should consider when you want to stay healthy and fit is your workout routines. You should not only focus in the food that you are consuming because the body needs some activities that can help regulate the blood and strengthen the muscles.

Being fit means having the ability to perform different things without getting tired easily. On the other side, being healthy means being able to live everyday with the absence of different sicknesses. Many people are living without knowing that they are no longer healthy because they do not have active lifestyles.

If you try to get away from the daily routine and try to engage yourself in different activities that requires strength and agility, you will notice that you are not fitted for such activities because you lack the needed strength for such activities.

Simple Exercises for Conditioning

With the scenario given above, you will realize that being healthy is not just about being able to survive. In order for you to know that you are truly healthy, you should be able to function well no matter what type of activity you face.

In order to make sure that you are healthy and fit, you should look for the exercises that you can do regularly. Here are two of the best workout routines that you can choose from:

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Are You a Beginner? What the Seasoned Lifting Pro Knows That You Don’t

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Epic Quads ChickWe all have someone that we envy. You know what I mean — the lifter with the toned abs and softball-sized biceps you can’t help but covet.

If you’re a beginner, getting from point A to point Bodybuilding Pro is just as hard as learning to ride a bike blindfolded. Fortunately, there are many successful weightlifters willing to share the tricks of the trade.

Here are a few tips from the pros to get you started on creating your own envy-worthy body.

If You Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

“Lack of planning” is among the top 10 reasons beginner bodybuilders fail to achieve their goals. Planning daily workouts takes time, dedication, and some exercise research. It’s definitely not the most exciting part of training. But you won’t build bulging biceps and washboard abs by sporadically visiting the gym and dinking around on random equipment.

A good plan — like those experienced builders follow — doesn’t have to be elaborate.

Here are 4 basic elements to get you started:
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5 Tips for Improving Your Strength and Balance

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Strength and Balance Conditioning

Sezy Balance
When it comes to exercise, people often find one type of workout they like and focus on it almost exclusively. For some people this means jogging until they can run a marathon. Others engage in weight training in order to build muscles, bulk up, or bench press their own body weight. Still others rely on yoga and Pilates to help them increase flexibility and muscle tone while restoring a mind-body connection or adding a spiritual element to their workout routine.

The point is that it’s easy to get stuck in a rut with one type of exercise. Sometimes we’re seeking specific results, but more often than not we simply end up doing what we like. But this may not be the best way to increase your overall fitness since the practice tends to focus on only one benefit of exercise at the expense of others.

So if you’re looking to improve both your strength and balance, here are a few tips that can help you to reach your fitness goals.

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7 Forms of Yoga for Strength Athletes

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Think you are too Swole to do yoga? Think again fool!

Mr T

Studies indicate that yoga combats common ailments of modern man such as depression, osteoarthritis, and stress. By fighting off these diseases, we have a better chance of recovering from intense workouts and illness.

The practice of yoga involves the union of the mind, body, and spirit. It is a combination of breathing, flowing movements, stretching, endurance, balance, and even strength training. Most of the commercial yoga you find in western culture tends to prioritize the physical benefits, although the best instructors will teach you how to maximize the mental and spiritual benefits as well.

My favorite yoga forms are those that stretch my back, legs, and abs; as well as those that help to strengthen my legs and improve unilateral balance. Any weight lifter knows how tight the shoulders and hips can get, and yoga is a huge flexibility tool.

Yoga’s benefits were realized by many eastern civilizations hundreds and even thousands of years ago. The hardest part is knowing which style of yoga to choose, so here are 7 common forms of yoga. Choose the one that best fits your lifestyle, or try them all.
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The Benefits of MaxiRaw Creatine

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

What Creatine Is and How It Works

Creatine Bodybuilder

Creatine is a substance that is naturally manufactured by the body. It is a nitrogenous organic acid that is considered to be the energy source for muscles. Identified in 1832, creatine is now one of the most commonly used supplements by those who practice sports, especially bodybuilding. Creatine supplements are especially appreciated for their positive effects in increasing performance for intensive training sports, maximizing workouts in general and offering an advantage in anaerobic athletic contests.

How It Works

Creatine stimulates the formation of adenosine triphosphate, which is popularly known as ATP. ATP is needed for muscles to contract. The more intense the exercise is, the more contractions you require. Therefore, creatine supplements become indispensable for most athletes. This happens because no matter how much you take in from your diet, it will not be enough for high intensity sport activities.

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Strength is the Product of Struggle

Monday, October 17th, 2011

First a quote, then an excerpt from Henry Rollins’ The Iron

“Strength is the product of struggle, you must do what others don’t to achieve what others won’t.”

Henry Rollins

“Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.”

Henry Rollins – a legend