Combining Metabolic and Tension Training – Q&A

Ok, the above is a little bit all over the place so let me see if I can de-all over the place it. The question is sort of jumping from mass gains and dieting which aren’t the same. Let me get dieting out of the way. In these two articles I looked at tension and metabolic training, roughly heavy work in the 6-12 repetition range vs. high reps in terms of what should be done on a diet. Basically I was addressing a very old (and mainly steroid-driven) idea that switching exclusively to high reps and short rests on a diet is not optimal for a natural lifter.

Are Upright Rows Safe – Q&A

As a final note, I would suggest doing the movement either with a rope handle (off a cable stack) or with dumbbells. The wrists tend to get a bit cocked using a barbell so even if the movement doesn’t bug your shoulder, it can jack up your wrists. And, of course, if doing upright rows even in the above fashion still bugs your shoulders, drop the movement. As I said up above, movements can only generally be rated as safe or unsafe for a given individual under a given set of circumstances. If a movement causes pain, it’s not a good one for you.

Isolation Exercise to Fix a Compound Exercise Stall – Q&A

There are a couple of different ways to look at this. On the one hand, it does make a certain logical sense that the failing muscle group is getting the largest training stimulus and that extra work would be overkill. By that argument, your suggestion of doing more pec work seems logical at first glance since, in premise, it is your triceps limiting the training effect to the pecs during compound movements. And certainly systems such as pre- or post-exhaustion have been used based on that logic.

What’s the Proper Way to Squat – Q&A

The high-bar/Olympic squat is done with the bar held high on the traps and the goal is generally to keep the torso as vertical as possible; this is usually facilitated by wearing shoes with a slight ‘heel’ on them as this lets the lifter get the knees further forward. The focus is generally more on squatting ‘down’ than ‘back’ in this style of squat and it’s critical to push the knees way out and squat ‘between the knees’ (as Dan John puts it so simply). A slightly narrower stance is also usually used (as this tends to have more carryover to pulling and the jerk in Olympic lifting).

Bodypart Frequency and Soreness – Q&A

You have discussed training frequency on your site and suggest that training a body part twice a week to every 5th day, what would you say if on that fifth day my legs are still sore and I’m generally fatigued, would you recommend waiting an additional day or so? Or just work through the soreness?

Moving to Morning Training – Q&A

For reasons beyond my control, I have to change my lifting to mornings, rather than evenings. Not really pumped about it, but it’s either change, or don’t lift at all. I’ve been looking on the Internet for credible information about morning lifitng (what to do, what not to do, in terms of nutrtion, supplements, volume, etc). It’s one of those subject where I FEEL like I know what would/wouldn’t inhibit my progress; but there’s a reason I’ve not chosen to do it in the past and it had nothing to do with the alarm – I just wasn’t getting anything out of it. Do you have any recommendations for my situation?

Bench Squat Deadlift, 300, 400, 500 – Q&A

Question: I’ve seen it suggested that good lifts for a natural lifter are a 300 pound bench, 400 pound squat and 500 pound deadlift and that these types of numbers will take someone pretty close to their genetic maximum. But I have a question, whenever I look at powerlifting results, it always seems that the squat is higher than the deadlift. Of course, most guys in my gym can bench more than they squat or deadlift. What’s going on, are the numbers above wrong or is it something else?

Correcting a Strength Imbalance – Q&A

Imbalances across the body (e.g. left vs. right leg or right vs. left arm or what have you) are fairly common and can be caused by a number of things. You mention one, many jobs involve moving in a repetitive fashion in one direction only. For example, grocery store checkers typically rotate one direction (from the register to the belt) repeatedly with no shift. Many labor jobs are similar with the same asymmetrical pattern being repeated for hours, days, weeks, months or years on end.

Back-Cycling Weights – Q&A

I was just wondering, why does this work? How much should you back cycle weights? Should you back-cycle everything at the same time or only lifts that are stalled? Can you do this indefinitely (back-cycle and build back up and just keep repeating, passing your maxes with each cycle)? Also it’d be nice to hear some of your random thoughts
about this concept, and plateauing in general. Thanks!

Training when Sick – Q&A

Ok, with that out of the way, some commentary on training when sick. This seems especially relevant now that’s it’s winter and people are often carrying around various bugs that they can pass to one another (and I’m not just talking about drunken make out sessions at the office Christmas party that makes everybody uncomfortable the next day).

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