Friday, March 21, 2014

Fitness Friday - Fitness News and Information You Can Use

Another Friday, and another installment of Fitness Friday - a collection of the week's best training information.

To start this week, here is some good information from T-Nation, featuring two of the smartest guys in the business, Dan John and Charles Staley:

10 Secrets to Building Mass

by Dan John   

Here's what you need to know...
•  If you have 14-inch arms and want to start a mass building program, don't worry about your stupid abs (for a while.)

•  The best movements for mass building make up a very short list and you need to do them every time you train, as mastery of the movements is a key to mass building.

•  There's something magical about mass gains around the 5-10 rep range and the last century of strength enthusiasts will bear this out, too.
So you want to put on mass, fast. I have a program that will do just that, but first, some guidelines . . . .
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Training Hard vs. Training Smart

by Charles Staley

Here's what you need to know...
•  What better describes your training personality? Are you a detail-oriented training geek who's read all the studies? Or are you an intensity-focused, leave-blood-on-the-bar meathead?

•  Ideally, a combination of both is best, and the key is to find your sweet spot.

•  If you've never been injured you could be a really smart lifter... or you could be just not working hard enough.

•  If you fall too far on one end of the spectrum, answer a few questions honestly and you can trend toward your ideal sweet spot for making progress.
There are a number of ways you might break down the various elements that result in a successful training program, but let's look at a hypothetical "sweet spot" that resides on a continuum between two of these elements. Namely, training smart and training hard.
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Front Squat vs. Goblet Squat

by Dan Blewett

Here's what you need to know...
•  The goblet squat is great for teaching technique to beginners and for major squat movements where weight isn't the focus. It's a great warm-up and good for when you're focusing on time under tension and higher reps. It's tough to progress though once you're ready to go heavy.

•  The front squat requires significant coordination, core strength, back rigidity, and overall leg strength. A more quad-dominant squat variation, the front squat typically allows for the best depth, even south of the goblet squat. But bar placement can be tough for many lifters.
Anteriorly loaded squat variations require significant core, quad, and upper back strength. We're mainly talking about the front squat and a relative newcomer, the goblet squat. Which is best for you? Let's match them up, grade them, and see which variation reigns supreme.
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This excellent article comes from Eric Cressey High Performance Training blog.

5 Characteristics of Successful Metabolic Resistance Training Programs

Written on March 18, 2014, by Eric Cressey
Metabolic resistance training (MRT) has been all the rage in the fitness industry over the past few years. And, while people have started to appreciate that interval training is a better option for fat loss than steady-state aerobic activity, that doesn't mean that they've learned to effectively program this interval training – especially when it involves appreciable resistance, as with MRT. In other words, it's much easier to program intervals on the recumbent bike than it is to include kettlebell swings, as one obviously has to be much more cognizant of perfect technique with the swing. With that in mind, with today's post, I'll highlight five characteristics of safe and effective metabolic resistance training programs. 
Here are the five points he makes about well-constructed metabolic resistance training programs.
1. The must include self-limiting exercises.
2. There has to be sufficient total work to achieve a training effect.
3. The work intervals must be short enough to preserve a high effort level and good technique.
4. The programming must appreciate the influence of "other" stress.
5. There must be adequate equipment and sufficient space available.
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Finally, for this week, here are five tips from Charles Poliquin on getting ripped for summer.

How To Get Your Body Ready For Summer: Five Steps To A Killer Physique

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Want to lose a few pounds of body fat so you have a lean, strong physique come summer?

Or are you planning on packing on some muscle, while simultaneously cutting excess flab so you finally have that killer body you’ve always dreamed of?

Here are five simple tips for making it happen. The good news: These five strategies will improve your metabolic health instead of killing your metabolism so that you’ll be able to keep the body fat off FOREVER.
Here are Poliquin's five tips - read the post for more information.
#1: Do Metabolically Stressful Training To Lose Body Fat Fast
#2: To Put on Muscle, Focus on “Stressing Out” Your Muscles
#3: Favor Sprints Over Steady-State Cardio
#4: Focus on Food Quality and Up Your Protein
#5: Reduce Stress with Diet—Focus On Recovery

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