Weekly Tip – There Is Nothing Wrong With Strengthening Your Strengths

For constant improvement, focus on your strengths just like you do your weaknesses!

There is nothing wrong with strengthening your strengths. Keep your strong, strong. Don’t neglect your strong points. Get strong, stay strong. A strength is never a weakness.

You get the point.

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Weekly Tip – Competitions Are Not Training

Your performance at competitions does not always reflect what you have done in training. Understanding the variables involved can prevent this.

Powerlifting is a sport that presents a large number of variables. These variables are more prevalent in a competition setting due to the nature of the sport.

Training should be treated as a separate entity from competitions and this is something I wish I had realised sooner, as it has definitely affected how I have performed at almost every competition I’ve done.

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5 Tips To Improve Recovery (It’s Not Supplements!)

Training hard is great but recovery is important too! These 5 tips might be what your programme needs!

Recovery from training is easily one of the most important aspects when it comes to reaching your goals whether it be strength, muscle growth or a blend of both. This also applies to physical fitness and sports performance.

Training hard is one thing, but applying some recovery methods or at least having knowledge about them is important for longevity, injury prevention and optimal training performance.

Let’s get into it.

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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

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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

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Creatine – A Quick Breakdown

Creatine is one of the most misunderstood supplements on the market – this article covers everything you need to know.

  • 10 minutes read
  • Short and concise breakdown of creatine
  • Find out the facts and the truth

 

Summary

  1. Creatine is the most researched sports supplement
  2. Creatine is a naturally occurring substance
  3. It aids anaerobic energy systems (shorter, higher intensity energy production)
  4. There is no need for a creatine “loading phase”
  5. Creatine monohydrate is the most common form and is perfectly sufficient, don’t believe all the fancy marketing!
  6. 5 grams per day is the recommended and effective dose for creatine
  7. Creatine is NOT a steroid, it is perfectly fine for athletes who are drug-tested
  8. There have been some minor noted side-effects of creatine, such as cramping, which can be solved by staying well hydrated

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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

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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

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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.

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