Optimal Training Volume Made Simple

“Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.” Lee Haney

Determining optimal training volume is not a straight forward proposition. There is no one size fits all solution. I will simplify the process and provide some parameters, but you will have to discover what is optimal for YOU. Scientific studies should guide our training, but ultimately, we must decide what works best for us through trial and error. The primary factor to consider is your ability to recover.

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Rest Between Set – What You Need to Know

Forget those 1-minute rest intervals in the muscle magazines. Your performance from set to set will decline quickly. Short rest intervals and training to failure repeatedly will increase human growth hormone levels, but I have not found any studies that correlate it with long-term increases in muscle mass. I have found studies that have concluded just the opposite. [i] [ii]Countless studies have demonstrated that progressive overload is the key to muscle and strength gains.

If you want to build strength and muscle, it is best done naturally by resting 3 to 5 minutes between working sets. The only time I recommend one-minute rest intervals are between low-intensity warm-up sets.  A study conducted by the Kennesaw State University found that subjects that rested 2.5 minutes between sets made substantially greater gains in muscle mass than the subject that only rested 1-minute between sets.[iii]

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Why Your Calves are Not Growing

 

Calves are the most difficult muscle to grow, but they are capable of growth. The most common mistakes I see in the gym are:

1) Improper form; bouncing the weight at the bottom of the movement.

2) Poor mind-muscle connection.

3) Training too light.

4) Not performing enough volume.

1) Improper form; bouncing the weight at the bottom of the movement.

The most common mistake people make is bouncing the weight, which puts the load on your tendons and ligaments instead of the calf muscle. You will achieve a pump, but you are not working the muscle in a meaningful way. You want to work the calf, not your tendons. You want to go all the way down, get a strong stretch in the muscle, pause for a second or two, then use the calf to lift your heel as high as it will go, then hold the contraction a second before descending under control.

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The Effective Program Litmus Test – Does your Program Pass

 “Greatness is a lot of small things done well. Day after day, workout after workout, obedience after obedience, day after day.” Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis _image by Shea Huening .pngImage by Shea Huening

Today we are drowning in information, but starving for wisdom. Most of us have the knowledge of the world available to us in the palm of our hand. A lack of information isn’t the problem. A lack of common sense is the problem. Nowhere is this truer than in the fitness industry.

You might be reading this with the hopes of validating your current program. You want to know if it meets a scientific litmus test for determining its effectiveness. You might be reading this to discover the five characteristics of an effective program. I am sure you could find an article like that, but this isn’t it. I conducted a Google search and wasn’t disappointed.

The litmus test for determining if a program is effective is simple. Is your diet and exercise program sustainable? That’s it. If your program is sustainable, then it is effective. So many people fall into the trap of doing a program. The whole mentality of “doing a diet” or workout program is flawed. It implies a task that has a beginning and end. Staying fit is a journey, not a destination. Fitness isn’t something you do, it is something you live. Continue reading “The Effective Program Litmus Test – Does your Program Pass”

90-DAY BOOK PROMOTION (20% off Paperback & FREE DOWNLOAD PROMOTION 19-23 March 2018)

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I want to thank everyone for their support and positive feedback. The purpose of the promotion is to show my appreciation and ask for your continued support (BOOK REVIEWS).

I want to show my appreciation by reducing the price of the PAPERBACK by 20%, offer the KINDLE version for $2.99 (with a FREE Download Promotion beginning Monday, March 19, 2018, through Friday, March 23, 2018. The price of the Audible audiobook is set by Amazon.

You can DOWNLOAD the book’s 20-WEEK PROGRAM, LIST OF EXERCISES (with Video Demonstrations), STARTER GUIDE HERE. Continue reading “90-DAY BOOK PROMOTION (20% off Paperback & FREE DOWNLOAD PROMOTION 19-23 March 2018)”