The Overhead Shoulder Rotation Quandary

The Overhead Shoulder Rotation Quandary
by Derrick Blanton

One thing I noticed very early on in my training journey is that people move and lift stuff differently. Even the top lifters in the world rarely do it exactly the same way. I find myself constantly making mental notes on different lifting strategies.

As you might imagine, I also spend a ton of time studying the coaching techniques, rationales, and cues of the most prominent names in S&C; and then trying to tie it all together with my “in the trenches” observations and firsthand experiences.

Every now and again, I see a disconnect between the “right way” to do a lift, and effective “real world” expressions of loaded movement. Of course, then I obsessively go about trying to figure out the root of the discrepancy!

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Random Thoughts


How’s it going fitness peeps? I’ve got some great articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just keeping you in the know!

Good Articles

Here are some great recent articles to read, written by various colleagues.

Scientific Articles

Chris Beardsley

Chris has written some great scientific articles in the past month. Several months ago he focused on hypertrophy, then he moved on to strength, and now he’s examining power. Here are the last six blogposts:

  1. Resistance Training and Power
  2. Ballistics and Power
  3. Injury Rates in Strength Sports
  4. Range of Motion on Strength Gains
  5. Rest Periods on Strength Gains
  6. Training to Failure on Strength Gains

Other Scientific Articles

We’re getting fatter due to less exercise, not more calories. See HERE.

Are you tired of pseudoscience? HERE are 10 claims that the authors would like to see go away forever.

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Pre-Party/Backstage Glute Pump


Attention Ladies:

For many years, men have been using trickery in order to instantly appear more muscular and immediately boost sex-appeal. Our secret weapon is da pump (in Arnold’s voice). Before we hit the beach, or a pool party, or even a night-club in a tight-fitting shirt, you can bet your bottom dollar that we’ll be cranking out 50 push-ups behind-the-scenes prior to making our grand entrance. Women are no strangers to trickery – many ladies have utilized push-up/padded bras, corsets, and various other means for many years in order to boost your looks and self-confidence at a special event. However, what if you must make an appearance in a bikini? This is where men held the advantage with our pumping strategies – we discovered how to look good when we had to strip down. The most savvy males have certain exercises they use to pump the pecs, tri’s, bi’s, delts, and lats prior to a big event or a photoshoot. Now, most women aren’t concerned about pumping up their upper body muscles; they simply want their glutes to appear full and plumped. Well, the time has finally arrived. Ladies, you too can now utilize the pump for your benefit. 

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A Simple System for Progression: 3 Set Total Reps


We all want to be making progress in the gym, but unfortunately, many lifters remain stagnant. In general, you want to make sure you’re getting stronger over time. Getting stronger means using more load or achieving more repetitions with the same weight. This is the essence of progressive overload, which I discussed in great detail HERE. While there are a million ways to progressively overload, I’m going to outline a very simple system I use in my own training and with my clients.

3 Set Total Reps

When I prescribe an exercise, quite often I will use the same load with all 3 sets, and I’ll simply note the total number of reps they achieve (this is in contrast to pyramids, which I wrote about HERE). Once they reach a particular total, I’ll increase the load. I first learned about this method from a Joe DeFranco DVD that I purchased many years ago, and it’s something that I’ve consistently sprinkled into my training since then. With this method, you want to keep the rest periods fairly consistent, say around 90-120 seconds. Let me give a specific example.

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