Category: Training

Can Cardio Cause Growth?

A recent review by Konopka and Harber (2014) stated that aerobic training can cause similar muscle growth as resistance training. If you read between the lines, however, this benefit is only true for older (65+) or very sedentary individuals. Young, healthy, and active people will get much better growth effects from resistance training. Always make […]

Squats and Knee Health

A common thought in the health and fitness industry is that deep squats are bad for your knees. However, virtually no research supports this theory. The anatomy of the knee joint helps stabilize the knee during deep squats and the connective tissue of the knee is rarely challenged past 50% of its peak tensile strength. […]

What Deadlift Style is Best for You?

Use your natural build for a deadlift advantage. Lifters with longer legs and shorter torsos will usually be able to lift more weight in a sumo stance – this is why women are typically better sumo deadlifters than conventional deadlifters. If you have a long torso and shorter legs, stick to conventional deadlifts. If you’re […]

Fixing Mid-Pull Weakness in the Deadlift

The researchers in this study found that well-trained powerlifters had deadlift sticking points around 95-degrees of hip flexion – this is typically where the mechanical advantage in the deadlift is the smallest. This means that you need to train movements like block pulls, rack pulls, and RDLs to improve strength in this position and increase […]

Improving Floor Weakness in the Deadlift

This study found that powerlifters performing deadlifts produced significantly less force in the starting position compared to other positions. Train exercises like deficit deadlifts and speed deadlifts to improve your strength and power off the floor to overcome this weak position. Mobility work may also be necessary for novice lifters to be able to safely […]

Lifting Tempo

Many trainers advocate for using slow and controlled lifting tempos as they believe this will lead to greater growth. However, this review found that lifting tempo has no effect on muscle growth. Furthermore, extremely slow tempos were actually less effective for growth than fast tempos. Let the weight, fatigue level, and lifting form dictate your […]

Eccentric vs Concentric Training

Many trainers and coaches preach the importance of the lowering portion during lifting as they believe it to be more important for growth. The reality is that many of the studies that show this to be the case used greater loads during eccentric-only training compared to concentric-only training. Since normal training involves the same weight […]

High Load vs Low Load Training

This study found that performing 3 sets to failure at 30% 1RM and 80% 1RM lead to similar growth. Light weights can cause just as much hypertrophy as heavy weights as long as you perform sets to failure! However, if gaining strength is your goal, you should stick to heavier weights as this study found […]

Wide vs Narrow Stance Squats

Another classic gym theory was proven by this study – wide stance squats cause more glute activation while narrow stance squats cause more inner quad activation. Use both squat stances in your training to maximize leg development and squat strength. Source: Paoli, A., Marcolin, G., & Petrone, N. (2009). The effect of stance width on […]

Wide Grip vs Close Grip Bench

This study confirmed the classic theory that a wide grip bench will activate the lower chest more while a close grip bench will hit the triceps harder. Utilize both grip widths in your training to maximize upper body development and bench press strength! Source: Lehman, G. J. (2005). The influence of grip width and forearm […]

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