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Periodize Your Diet

In this article I'll detail how my training, nutrition, and supplementation are all closely interrelated. This program serves as a starting point for athletes in the off-season and anyone who simply wants to improve relative strength to avoid the "all show and no go" phenomenon that plagues the world's gyms today. Continue Reading...
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10 Uses for a Smith Machine

The Smith machine is the equipment parallel to High Intensity Training. On one hand, it's been called more dirty names than Madonna on a trip to the Vatican. On the other hand, there are those who vehemently adhere to it in spite of the fact that it's an inferior way to train. I'm about as anti-machine a guy as you'll ever meet, but I'm also open-minded enough to realize that as is the case with most things in life, the answer rests somewhere in the middle. Continue Reading
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Overcoming Lousy Leverages: Part II

In Part I, we discussed how your body type can hinder you on certain lifts while making you an absolute stud on others. We also covered how your body type can influence the way you should be training to maximize your performance in the squat. Here in Part II, our goal is to take the guesswork out of bench and deadlift training and, in the process, take your total to an all-time high! Continue Reading...
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Overcoming Lousy Leverages: Part I

"I suck at squatting because I'm too skinny!" "My bench is weak because of my long arms!" "My deadlift will never go up. I'm just not built to pull heavy!" Ever hear a training partner utter one of these lines? Or, worse yet, have you ever said these things yourself? If so, we're here to give you a fresh outlook on ways to improve your lifts. Biomechanics buffs like us are always looking for scientifically applicable ways to improve our lifting. In this article, we're going to give you some new insights as to possible areas of weakness, as well as ways to address these weaknesses to take you to newfound levels of strength and performance!
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5 Relative Strength Myths

Just being strong isn't enough; you need to be strong for your size, too. Make no mistake about it, training for strength without markedly increasing body weight is a lot more challenging than just focusing on absolute strength. Continue Reading... Sign up for our FREE Newsletter today and and receive this deadlift technique video!
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Meet the Press: An Interview with Strength Coach Eric Cressey

Ten years ago, most people who trained with weights had never heard of a "strength coach." Oh sure, there were sports coaches who worked with athletes on performance. And there were famous bodybuilders who theorized on hypertrophy methods in the magazines. There were even personal trainers and fitness instructors, but a strength coach? An expert who specialized in all things iron? A guy who could help you increase your vertical, build your biceps, and add 50 pounds to your bench press? Not many gym-goers had heard of such an animal. Then along came Charles Poliquin, one of the first notable gurus that appealed to a broad spectrum of athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness freaks. Poliquin is still at the top of his game, but a whole new crop of strength coaches have sprung from the seeds he planted way back when TC first introduced him to the Muscle Media 2000 audience. These new guys are young, hyper-educated and viciously smart. We know because most of them are already writing for T-Nation! Eric Cressey is one of those young guns. We caught up with 23-year old Cressey just days after he got his master's degree. We think you'll agree that the future of strength and conditioning is bright. Continue Reading...
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28 Synergistic Factors for Success

There's no such thing as isolation in training or in life. Everything you do, have done, and will do, affects everything else. Success is a synergistic — not additive — phenomenon. To illustrate this synergism, I’ve come up with 28 factors that warrant consideration if you want to be as successful as you can possibly be. Not that nobody will ever attain perfect synergism and, in turn, optimal performance. This list should only serve as a guide to determine where you can improve when your physique or performance improvements stop dead in their tracks. The factors are divided into three categories: those over which you have no control, moderate control, and complete control. Continue Reading...
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Debunking Exercise Myths, Part II

In Part I, our first five adages focused predominantly on the lower body. Now, in Part 2, we’ll look closely at some commonly maligned upper body exercises. Continue Reading...
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Debunking Exercise Myths: Part 1

We live in a society that doesn't want gray areas. People want right or wrong, up or down, and left or right. This mindset carries over to the gym, too; lifters want to be able to say that Exercise A is evil, and Exercise B is safe. Unfortunately, it's not that simple, so with that in mind, I'm devoting this article to killing off some myths, establishing some more well-defined gray areas, and making recommendations on who can do what. I'm going to come right out and say it: in the absence of musculoskeletal pathology, no movement is fundamentally bad. Sure, there are exercises like kickbacks and leg extensions that don't give you as much bang for your buck as their multi-joint counterparts (e.g. dips and squats), but that's not to say that these pansy exercises are "bad" for you. Likewise, it's rare that I write any sort of machine lift into my programming, but there are rehabilitation patients that benefit greatly from certain machine training. In my opinion, there are only five scenarios in which exercise is ever truly bad for you from a health standpoint: 1. When that exercise is performed in excessive volume. 2. When that exercise is performed with poor technique. 3. When that exercise is performed in a manner that puts it out of balance with the rest of the programming that is in place. 4. When that exercise irritates an existing injury or condition. 5. When that exercise is performed with excessive loading (relative to the lifter's capabilities). Now, it's not feasible for me to outline every specific instance where every exercise is safe or unsafe, but I can address some common adages we frequently hear in our gyms. Continue Reading...
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Deadlift Diagnosis

Hi. My name is Eric and I have a problem. I never expected it and I didn't plan for it. It just happened. And now, I'll never be the same. Hardly a minute passes when I don't think about it, salivate, and get the shivers. My own grandmother cringes in fright when she even hears about "it." Yes, folks, I'm a deadlift-aholic. I don't just want to pull; I want to pull every minute of every day for the rest of my life. I dream about grinding out heavy pulls where the bar seemingly bends in half, and I jump at the opportunity to do speed pulls so quickly that I nearly castrate myself with the bar. This passion has led me to a ranking in the Powerlifting USA Top 100 for my weight class, and the brink of a 1RM of 3.5 times my body weight. Continue Reading...
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  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series