Taking A Closer Look At Prilepin’s Chart

What we can (and cannot) learn from a Russian coach.

Prilepin may sound like a Russian potato stew, but actually was a coach and researcher who observed hundreds of athletes and compiled their training data into a handy chart that helps finding an appropriate set and rep scheme. Later this chart went viral due to Luie Simmon’s Westside Barbell system that used it extensively. Let’s take a look at it and explore if it is still a viable tool.

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Injury Management

How to deal with injuries.

Well, sooner or later, it happens to most of us: you will be injured. But let’s stay calm and manage that little misfortune like a rational human being. Even though some injuries happen during training, training per se is rarely the cause. Most likely there already was a problem brewing up and training just brought it to the light. So let’s take a look of what actually helps you recover and heal faster!

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Strength Training For Women – Part II

Practical applications.

Welcome back to my Strength Training For Women series. This time we will take a closer look on how to apply the gender differences I discussed in Part I of this series. I am happy you came back to learn how to build muscles. It’s a great decision to get stronger, build up, improve and stop the mindset of “becoming less”: eating less, exercising in a less “manly” way, exhausting yourself less. Now it’s time to grow! Continue reading “Strength Training For Women – Part II”

Strength Training For Women – Part 1

In this part of my Strength Training For Women series, I will cover the scientific basics of muscle building for women, make some clarifications on the role of testosterone and discuss the main differences between men and women when it comes to strength improvements and muscle building. Why? Because I have enough of weak, frail women. I want women to be healthy and strong! Continue reading “Strength Training For Women – Part 1”

Be Boring, Get Shredded – Part 2

Why Exercise Variation Isn’t Always Optimal

During our long flight from Vienna to Tokyo I’ve got a bunch of downloadable magazines for free. Of course I’ve taken some of the fitness related ones even if they are often full of bro-science (=not evidence based crap), but they are a good inspiration for writing blog posts though. One of them was looking really nice: it had a really strong looking woman on the cover, instead of just one of the pretty & skinny girls. I started reading the training and coaching philosophy of this apparently “evidence-based” lady and my jaw dropped as the words “muscle confusion” (=constantly changing the exercises in your  training plan) as driver for muscle growth were used. Well -spoiler alert- the opposite of muscle confusion is rather a driver for hypertrophy. Let’s see why and where variation may or may not make sense.

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What Makes A Good Exercise?

If you step into a good gym, it is quite possible to get overwhelmed by countless possibilities to train. Different machines, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, there is much to choose from and you have to select an exercise for your training program. What makes a good exercise? What is “the best” exercise to grow your chest/booty/biceps? Read on to make an informed decision the next time you hit the gym! Continue reading “What Makes A Good Exercise?”

The Hypertrophy Range Myth

The idea of repetition ranges is pretty old, dating back at least to the ’50s. It’s the concept that training with certain weights and therefore repetitions elicits different adaptations like strength, muscle building and endurance. And on the first glance this makes perfect sense, as you get better at what you train. But if you followed the fitness industry for some time, you find conflicting ideas of what makes muscle grow the fastest. So grab a protein shake, put on the “Conan” soundtrack and let’s have a closer look. Continue reading “The Hypertrophy Range Myth”