The Waning Power Of Genetics

A deeper insight on the role of genetics and the new trend of genetic testing.

In the evidence-based natural bodybuilding scene it is currently very popular to make genetics responsible for all the good results (mostly of someone else) or blame genetics for not achieving goals (mostly the own ones). Compaired to the 90’s and the early 2000’s, now genetics is very tangible as genetic tests are sold as a solution to fix diet and training. Long-time reader of the blog know my opinion on it, but I’ll repeat it again: you should rather invest your money in healthy food and a good coach than on expensive DNA testing since their validity is still very questionable. Nevertheless, genes do play a huge role, especially in elite sports, but a lot of us do focus a bit too much on it and limit themselves by blaming genetics and resigning too soon.

Continue reading “The Waning Power Of Genetics”

Training Volume

Finding the sweet spot for your training volume.

Recently training volume inspired a lot of discussion in the evidence based fitness scene. People started fighting each other over the seemingly simple question: How much should I train? High volume zealots and low volume purists collided, leaving no definite answer behind. So let’s take a look at the data and figure out ourselves how much to do at the gym!

Continue reading “Training Volume”

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.

Continue reading “Be Boring, Get Shredded – Part 2”

The Hypertrophy Range Myth

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”

Five Is The Magic Number

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”