Scientific basics and clarifications.
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”
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, 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.
Continue reading “About Exercise Variety”
Don’t get lost in the exercise jungle, make an informed decision.
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?”
Outdated but still usefull.
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”
Will rounding your back kill you?
Posture and form for everyday movements and during exercise got a lot of attention over the last years. Depending on whom you listen, you get a wide array of statements. From “it doesn’t matter” to “don’t do this, you will die” you will find someone from each camp defending his beliefs almost religiously. I want to give you a quick and easy understandable summary of what science has to say about the controversial topic of flexing your lumbar spine.
Continue reading “To Flex Or Not To Flex: Keeping Your Spine Healthy”
A case for being ego-centered.
I got into the iron game through Crossfit training and I enjoyed the atmosphere of competition and community for a long time to come. However, I can remember many unpleasant situations where I would compare myself to others. In fact this is even encouraged in Crossfit as almost every box has a white board where members document the kilos they lifted or the time they needed to complete a workout. Nevertheless, staring at the white board and only wondering if you will ever be that strong, will not make you stronger.
Continue reading “Stop Comparing Yourself To Others”
What makes a repetition stimulating?
Perhaps you have already heard something like “effective repetitions”, “stimulating reps” or “junk reps”. They all refer to the fact that not every repetition of a set is equally efficient to stimulate muscle hypertrophy. To force a muscle to grow, certain key factors have to be met.
Continue reading “Five Is The Magic Number”
A minimalistic approach to training.
First of all, I hope you have at least some kind of training plan. If you go to the gym to just get onto some machines you like or that are unoccupied at the moment, that would not be training, that’s just “working out” and as efficient as eating soup with a fork. You need a plan that leads you to your goals and that plan doesn’t have to be fancy! So let’s take a closer look of what every good training plan should include.
Continue reading “Your Training Plan – The Bare Bones”
Sounds too good to be true? Nope, It’s just good programing.
Doing paired sets might give you better results over time by increasing total work volume done. And it also decreases the time you have to dedicate to working out. A classic win-win situation! Read on to learn how it works and how you can implement this strategy in you own training.
Continue reading “Paired Sets For Better Results In Less Time”
Questions to ask yourself when setting up your training.
“Conan, what is most important in training?” I think Arnold would put his sword aside, take a deep look into your eyes and answer with: “Sustainability!” Not very exciting, right? Perhaps it helps if you play the Conan soundtrack while reading this. But still, the ability to work out week after week, month over month, year after year without having to pause or suffering any set backs, is of great importance. It allows you to build constant forward momentum and this is where the magic happens. So, how do you achieve this?
Continue reading “The Most Important Factor In Training”