Some Simple And Effective Accessories For Strength And Size Gains

Accessory movements are often overlooked or made too complicated, this article outlines some of the basics for the squat, bench and deadlift.

Summary

  1. Accessories are key for a programme aimed at building strength and muscle
  2. Accessories are particularly useful for compound movements to improve all aspects
  3. Accessory movements are often something that is neglected or performed lazily
  4. A lot of accessories are made too different from the main lift
  5. This article outlines some useful and effective accessories for the squat, bench and deadlift

Continue reading “Some Simple And Effective Accessories For Strength And Size Gains”

Row Your Way To A Bigger Total (And Posterior Chain!)

Rows and building the posterior chain go hand in hand. Get the information you need in this article!

Overview

Whether it is to increase your total in powerlifting, get bigger and/or stronger, develop as an athlete or sportsperson and also for health reasons, chances are a BIG and STRONG back/posterior chain will benefit you.

The posterior chain comprises of all the muscles on the rear of the body including the upper, mid and lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. These muscles are the prime movers for a huge amount of exercises and also have a massive influence on things like posture and back health.

Considering these points, it is wise to put emphasis on strengthening these areas. The main movements (squat, bench press and deadlift – for powerlifting anyway – overhead pressing and pull-ups can also be included) will only do so much to develop the posterior chain!

This is where ROWS come into play; one of the best back builders and an exercise with an enormous amount of variety. Continue reading “Row Your Way To A Bigger Total (And Posterior Chain!)”

The Benefits Of Submaximal Training

Submaximal training should be the basis of any solid training programme, but is often neglected. See the benefits here!

  • 10 minutes read
  • Learn why training at lower percentages is beneficial
  • Beneficial for beginners all the way to advanced lifters

Summary

  1. Submaximal training is working with intensities well below your 1 rep maximum
  2. Bar speed and technique are two of the most important components to getting stronger
  3. It enables a lifter to produce better reps overall
  4. Better reps equals better technique and potential for faster strength gains
  5. It allows technique to be refined and for reps to be consistent
  6. There is more room for error with submaximal training
  7. Regular high intensity training has its place such as near to competition or max testing

Continue reading “The Benefits Of Submaximal Training”

Deadlifts – Getting Full Benefit, Preventing Injury And General Tips!

Some bitesize information covering the basics and benefits of deadlifting with plenty of resources provided!

 

  • 15 minutes read
  • Deadlift basics
  • Learn how to deadlift safely and optimally!

Summary

  1. The deadlift and its varations (providing an individual is able to do them) should be a staple in any strength training/muscle building/fat loss programme
  2. The deadlift is one of the top compound movements, meaning it uses a huge amount of muscle in order to be performed and is hugely beneficial
  3. Unfortunately, with such a big, complex movement comes a lot of basics that need covering before progressing accordingly
  4. Areas that are prone to injury in the deadlift (most common) are around the lower back – this is where BRACING is absolutely key
  5. The internet is rife with tips for the deadlift, YouTube is a fantastic resource for visual demonstrations however some crucial ones will be listed further down in this article

Continue reading “Deadlifts – Getting Full Benefit, Preventing Injury And General Tips!”

Deadlift Accessories – Which Ones And Why?

There are so many different ways to deadlift, this article should help break it down and give you a better idea for your training programme.

  • 20-30 minute read
  • Helps pair accessory movements to individual weaknesses
  • Covers conventional versus sumo and relevant accessories

 

Summary

  1. Most people cannot make optimal progress by just deadlifting on its own (after a certain experience level)
  2. Deadlift accessories should be specific to individual weaknesses, not just randomly thrown into a programme
  3. Deadlift accessories should not stray too far from the main competition lift, whether for bodybuilding or powerlifting
  4. Main deadlift accessories are deficit deadlifts, block pulls, paused deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts and deadlifts with accommodating resistance
  5. Each movement has a specific purpose, whether that be to aid speed and control off the floor, maintain position throughout, benefit the commonly difficult lockout or add overall muscle mass
  6. As a competition or 1RM attempt approaches, deadlift accessories will take a backseat, volume will drop and intensity of the competition style will increase unless peaking a specific accessory too

Continue reading “Deadlift Accessories – Which Ones And Why?”

Breaking Down The Squat – Important Points And General Cues

Do you want a bigger squat? If so, this article covers all bases for you to apply to your training.

  • 20 mins read
  • Useful for beginner to advanced
  • Covers important aspects for better squatting
  • Resource list at the bottom of the article

Summary

  1. The squat is a complex movement and can be broken down into different important parts
  2. Hand and head position is often neglected and when improved can add further stability and balance within the movement
  3. Upper back tightness is key to remain upright, add stability, allow for effective bracing and prevent hyperextension
  4. Unracking a squat should include remaining upright by getting the hips under the bar and maintaining back tightness
  5. The core needs to be braced for good squats, bracing will stabilise the spine and prevent injury amongst other benefits.
  6. The glutes play an important role in the squat; they have influence over knee tracking and knee cave and must be addressed in warmup routines.
  7. Strong quads will lead to a bigger squat. Period.
  8. Ankles play an important role in the squat; appropriate dorsiflexion (anke mobility) should be striven towards.

Continue reading “Breaking Down The Squat – Important Points And General Cues”

How To Fix Knee Cave In The Squat

If you face knee cave issues every workout or simply want some advice for better squatting, then have a read!

  • 15 minute read
  • Easy to understand and apply
  • Will aid beginners to advanced

 

Summary

  • Knee cave can be a complex issue, and may not necessarily be a bad thing for some people
  • A small degree of knee cave is expected under heavy load or when carrying fatigue
  • Technique is incredibly important, so scaling back the weight and working on perfect movement is advised
  • Glute activation is also another massive aspect in reducing knee cave, so this should be addressed before squat and deadlift work

Continue reading “How To Fix Knee Cave In The Squat”

The World Of Variation – What Works For You?

  • About a 25 minute read
  • May need some experience in training to understand fully
  • Topic applicable to both people making progression or at a plateau
  • Resources at bottom of article

Summary

  1. It is important to a degree to consider variety within training and programming however if what you are doing currently is working and progress is being made, DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING
  2. Experimenting with different stances for your feet and grips/grip widths in the squat, bench, deadlift and other exercises may help become more comfortable, stronger, faster and/or help identify weaknesses to correct
  3. Using different sets and rep ranges within training may have benefits for size and strength as people and different body parts respond to a varied set and rep scheme
  4. Implementing variations and accessories of and for the main movements will increase muscle size, correct imbalances and improve form provided the right technique is used
  5. Frequency, volume and intensity are all things to consider varying as they can determine the successes of different movements and exercises as well as other benefits
  6. Diet, sleep and stress also have an impact upon training and progression so choosing to vary these positively may carry over to training
  7. Everyone is individual genetically, physically, mentally and how they want to/can train therefore it is important to apply what is relevant to yourself and to build on your own weaknesses in ways that work for you

 
Continue reading “The World Of Variation – What Works For You?”

Simple and Brutally Effective Way to Plan your Powerlifting Training (Bench programme included!)

In this article I am going to outline what I believe is a simple and effective system for anyone who wants to get bigger and stronger for powerlifting. A moderate base of experience of exercise execution and general strength training is recommended.

The vast majority of these principles and guidelines have been taken from team JTS (jtsstrength.com)as put forward by Chad Wesley Smith and Mike Israetel and Greg Nuckols of strengtheory.com whom are experts within the industry and some of which are the strongest powerlifters on the planet in their respective divisions. I highly suggest you seek out information from their websites and YouTube channels as these guys are infinitely more knowledgeable, experienced and stronger than myself.

Firstly I am going to explain why the system is structured the way it is, then explain how to implement it and finally I will provide a sample bench template to illustrate the ideas of this article, so lets get into it.
Continue reading “Simple and Brutally Effective Way to Plan your Powerlifting Training (Bench programme included!)”

Mobility For Size, Strength And General Performance – Good To Know, Better To Do

  • About a 25 minute read
  • Easy to understand
  • Topic applicable to all people who lift regularly
  • Useful links and resources at bottom of article

Summary: 

  1. Mobility is generally individual, some people’s demands are higher due to many factors and how they train
  2. Mobility for size and strength cross over, shortened and tight muscles will not be optimal for muscular growth paired with the fact that they may not be able to activate or go through a full range of motion which will impair both strength and size
  3. Chances are, anyone who lifts regularly and lives life (sitting/driving/working) is going to develop some imbalances or muscular tightness and shortening, so mobility work can aid all of these things in becoming less of an issue
  4. Too much can affect performance, it is about learning your body and knowing which areas need more work
  5. Some tools for mobility are not enough, there is a difference between lack of mobility and actual injury so a professional may be needed

Continue reading “Mobility For Size, Strength And General Performance – Good To Know, Better To Do”