Home Posts tagged "Weight Training" (Page 3)

Maximum Strength: The Personal Trainer’s Perspective

Here's a "Guest Blog" of sorts from Personal Trainer Kaiser Serajuddin, who recently read Maximum Strength: "Writing a testimonial for Maximum Strength is a great way to get your name on a blog read by thousands of people, but I wanted to give my views on the book to deliver the personal trainer’s point of view. I know a lot of other trainers besides me follow Eric’s work for principles and ideas to apply to our clients. And beyond that, I’m an athlete myself constantly looking to improve my performance. In both areas, I found this book valuable. "What we have here is a no-nonsense plan to get straight-up results. Most people today are looking for the appearance of outstanding fitness and health without the reality; for ripped abs or bulging shoulders, and every book is written for this sometimes gullible audience. That’s traditional bodybuilding, which won’t necessarily work for everyone. Here we have a different point of view, where the iron is our measure of success. Incidentally, it’s probably a much more sound system to gaining mass than what most others are following. "I have to count myself in the boat of disillusioned weightlifters. It’s something Eric talks about in the book, which describes me and I’m sure a lot of other people: guys endlessly yo-yoing between bulking and cutting, and ending up right back where they started. That’s why it’s time to implement a different plan. "Talk about the right information at the right time! In the past few months I switched over to a lower volume powerlifting model, and have been achieving excellent results. Now, enter Maximum Strength to help me focus it. If you read that new-age stuff, this is the “law of attraction” at work. If you’re experiencing some of the same frustrations – for example, your strength, size, or performance hasn’t improved in a while – it’s probably time for you to open up to something new too. "Like all of Eric’s writing, this book is based around sound science and principles proven to work in Eric’s practice, not just gym rhetoric. This is especially important from a trainer’s perspective. First off we have an ethical responsibility to deliver proven systems to achieve results with our clients; and for those of your clients to whom it applies, Maximum Strength is such a plan. A solid method to follow and tracking system with principles to back it up is important. You’ll get that here. "Another thing to keep in mind for a trainer is a comprehensive approach. Beyond just strength, Eric keeps an eye on flexibility and joint health here. The description of soft-tissue work prior to exercise with the use of a foam roller is one area I found valuable. I already knew about the importance of pre-competitive soft-tissue preparation, but it took this book for it to sink in. "It’s true that Maximum Strength isn’t as sexy as some of the other books out there. Eric chose not to hire a fitness model and instead demonstrated all the exercises himself. And he inexplicably decided to keep his shirt on, and didn’t tan, shave, or oil up for the photo shoot. We’ve all read all of those books. What you have here is a way to achieve measurable results, which is what I’m sure most people are going for. "It’s also very readable, and not overly detailed. Knowing Eric’s work, there’s a lot of reasoning behind the progressions and choice of exercises he’s laid out, but he chose to save us all eye-strain and kept the plan simple. "You’re not used to getting info of this quality in the general fitness section of the bookstore (maybe it was misplaced?). However, it’s an excellent book that, as an athlete, I’ll be using for performance; and, as a trainer, I’ll be using the principles and exercises with my clients. Thanks, Eric." You can pick up Maximum Strength HERE.
Read more

The Dumbest Bodybuilding Move of All Time?

This one has been all over the news here in Boston this past week. And you thought doing curls in the squat rack was a bad move!
Read more

Dynamic vs. Repetition

Q: I've heard about people using a "repetition day - upper body" instead of the "dynamic effort day - upper body." What are the differences? How come you use the dynamic effort day instead of a repetition day in your Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual? Is a repetition day more CNS-intensive? A: Who says you can't do both? Throw a medicine ball, and then do rep work on the bench. Or, do jump squats before you deadlift. Oh no! Heresy! Most inexperienced athletes need both. Dynamic work usually encompasses drills that help teach deceleration/landing, change-of-direction, and acceleration while improving reactive ability. Repetition work helps strengthen connective tissue and groove appropriate movement patterns. You can do both! I'd generally say that the dynamic stuff is more CNS intensive, particularly when it involves a lot of jumping/sprinting (due to ground reaction forces, or GRF). For instance, with sprinting, ground reaction forces can anywhere from 4-6 times an athlete’s body weight; the better the technique, the lower the stress from the GRF. Conversely, if you’re a 1,000 pound squatter who is doing “speed” work with six plates a side, it’s still going to be considerably easier than jumping in and doing four sets of six reps at 750 pounds or so. The point is that there really isn’t a right answer. It’s influenced by your training age, overall strength, the stimuli to which your body has already been exposed – and the areas in which you need to improve the most. The Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual
Read more

Feedback on Maximum Strength

"Hi Eric, I just wanted to let you know that your new strength manual is amazing. I am doing the program with two other guys. Before the program, one of them could not even back squat because his shoulders would be in too much pain holding the bar. After two weeks of foam rolling and the mobility work, he was amazed to see that he could back squat with zero pain. Also, I had shoulder pain from benching before starting the workout, and ever since then the pain is gone and we are all improving quite nicely on all our lifts. Just wanted to thank your for the great book. I recommend it to everyone; the dynamic warm-up alone is worth the price. THANKS!" Daniel Pfohl West Seneca, NY To find out for yourself, check out Maximum Strength.
Read more

Add 300 Pounds to Your Deadlift

Q: What BASIC methodology did you use to get your deadlift up over 600? Did you deadlift heavy, do similar exercises like pulls from different heights, or use different exercises like good mornings and rows? A: I have used a lot of different ones - and things changed as I got stronger and stronger. Early on, like everyone, my deadlift went up no matter what I did. I actually laugh at some of the silly stuff that I used to get my pull up to the 300-350 range. I was training six days a week, doing sets of 20, 5x5 workouts, lots of leg curls, you name it. Not the brightest stuff in the world, but when you’re untrained, it all works. Pushing things to 400 took a lot more dedicated work in lower rep ranges (3-5) – and without a bunch of goofy accessory work. This got me to a 430-ish deadlift by the time I got to graduate school in the fall of 2003. In that first year of grad school, I played around with a ton of stuff – everything from clusters to wave-loading (which I don’t think did anything) to straight sets, to 8x3 type-stuff. I hit 484 in the gym around March of 2004, and in my first meet (June 2004), I pulled 510 on a fourth attempt at a body weight of 163. So, I guess you could say that in my first dedicated nine months of powerlifting, I put about 80 pounds on my deadlift. I flat-out blew the “conventional” strength-training induced gains from previous years out of the water at a time when progress was supposed to be slowing. It was about this time that my buddy Steve turned me on more to the Westside school of thought – and I also made some great friends at the meets I did. The summer of 2004 – when I was on campus in Storrs just working with athletes, reading a ton, and training – was a great summer for information exchange and trial and error. Over the 2004-05 school year, I really started hitting max effort days and dynamic effort days. In July of 2005, I pulled 567.5 at a body weight of 161. So, there’s another 57.5 pounds in a year. After graduate school, I started training at South Side Gym in Stratford, CT alongside some great lifters. Every session was a mix of crazy efforts and information exchange in an awesome environment. It’s when I really started pulling more frequently: twice a week, in most case. It was without a doubt the best training year of my life, and I detailed some of the training ideas I implemented in an article called Frequent Pulling for Faster Progress. Speed deadlifts made a huge difference for me not only because my bar speed off the floor increased, but also because they allowed me to practice technique without always pulling heavy and, in the process, breaking down. By the time I left South Side at the end of July 2006 (moved to Boston), I had hit a 628 deadlift. Now, I’ve pulled 650 (although it isn’t really the main focus anymore).

I really never did much good morning work until I was already pulling mid-to-high 400s. For me, the good morning wasn’t nearly as effective as deadlifting or squatting; I guess specificity holds true again, as I got really good at good mornings. That said, it likely has to do with my body type, as I’m a long-limbed, short-torso guy who already is very strong in the lower back relative to the legs. Guys who have more squat/bench-friendly builds (short limbs, long torsos) generally respond really well to good mornings. I am a huge believer that lots of rows not only kept my shoulder healthy, but helped my deadlift along. Chest-supported rows seemed to have the best carryover, in my experience. Yes, I have done my fair share of rack pulls. I don't think that they directly help the deadlift as much as people seem to think, but they are a fantastic way to make lifters comfortable with heavy weights. Here's a photo from back in 2005 of a 705x5 rack pull from just above the knees. It's certainly not for the beginners in the crowd, but pushing the envelope is necessary sometimes for getting to the next level. I wouldn't recommend this for the overwhelming majority of lifters and weekend warriors - so don't be stupid and try it at home. They're also great for building up the upper back - particularly when performed with a snatch grip. A lot of these experiences shaped the way that I wrote up the program in my new book, Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better. Effectively, I touch a bit on everything that took me from 350 to 650 over the course of the four phases in the program.

Read more

EC on the Fitness Buff Show

Hey Gang, Last Friday, I was a guest on Pete Williams' "Fitness Buff Show." You can listen to the interview HERE. We went into quite a bit of detail on the rhyme and reasons for my new Maximum Strength program.
Read more

Maximum Strength Feedback from the Medical Community

Eric Cressey is a go-getter par excellence and his book Maximum Strength falls nothing short of the standard he has set for the industry. Throughout the text, Cressey details all of the necessary ingredients to getting stronger, improving mobility, enhancing stability, optimizing muscle balance, and improving body composition. He has been there and done it, and gives us his vast knowledge in both a motivational and enjoyable tone. I found myself enthusiastically turning page after page. If one is looking for a big bang for their buck - and getting the most out of their training time and effort - Cressey's Maximum Strength is the source! Josh Renkens, DC, CSCS Nashville, TN For more information, check out Maximum Strength.
Read more

Random Friday Thoughts

Hey Gang, No transitional material this week; I'm a little scatterbrained. 1. Jeremy Frisch and company are running a great event for charity in Acton, MA on June 21. For more information, head HERE. Even if you can't make it, these charities could really use a donation. 2. Maximum Strength isn't just for men! "Maximum Strength is the book where brain meets brawn in an all-inclusive guide to getting strong and in shape. Eric manages to take the sissy out of salad and add the steak. It's a must have for busy lifters who need to make the most of their time while still getting optimum results." -Juliet Deane CSCS, RKC, USAW Check it out for yourself HERE. 3. Assess, don't assume. Still, if you're in the strength and conditioning field and dealing with teams, it's important to understand trends in the sports with which you work so that you can program to avoid the most common injuries. 4. On a related note, yesterday, in the time it took me to write an email, we had a kid come in with a cast up to his upper arm for a wrist injury from diving, and another guy tell me that he's having hip surgery in July for a chronic problem. This just goes to show you that if you work with athletes - no matter how young - you need to understand injuries. 5. I'm heading to my first optometrist appointment in WAY too long this morning - and I'm kind of hoping that they find something wrong with me to justify me wearing an eye patch. At the very least, it'll scare some of our athletes into lifting heavy stuff. I'm working on my pirate accent right now. 6. Stretching the anterior capsule in baseball players is just a bad idea. 7. There are a lot of blog readers who might not realize that I also have a newsletter that goes into far more depth on various topics each week. If you aren't already subscribed, don't miss out! You can sign up with the subscription set-up to the right of this screen. 8. Cadaver grafts for ACL reconstructions seem to work well if you're older and have no aspirations of really doing anything too athletic - especially change-of-direction and jumping. If you're younger, though, the chance of re-rupture is a lot higher, in my experience. The patellar tendon graft is pretty nice simply because the limitations of the graft site work hand-in-hand with the limitations of the ACL from a rehabilitations standpoint. 9. Great win for the Celtics last night. Waaahooooo. 10. If you want to look at the hip and knee in a non-traditional, outside-the-box way, I highly recommend Gray Cook and Brett Jones' Secrets of the Hip and Knee DVD. It's fantastic. Have a great weekend!
Read more

EC on Superhuman Radio

Hey Gang, Just a heads-up on a free interview with me that you can download at Superhuman Radio. It's episode #168 - and we discussed Maximum Strength in detail. Enjoy!
Read more

You Know You’re a Powerlifter When…

...you can't even put your energy drink down long enough to warm up!
Read more
Page 1 2 3 4 5 10
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series