Category Archives: Strength Training

3 Tips for Faster Strength Gains

It’s funny how a big PR can immediately turn an average or lousy day into an amazing day. Showing up to the gym is easy. Going through the motions is easy. But consistently getting stronger month in and month out is very challenging. It requires intelligent training, sound nutrition, and ideal levels of sleep and stress. However, even when we seemingly do everything right, we sometimes spin our wheels. This is why it’s important to pay close attention when training. Here are 5 tips that can expedite your progress.

1. Manage Fatigue and Regulate Effort

You don’t always have to train balls-to-the-wall in order to see results. When I was a teenager reading bodybuilding magazines, I recall countless articles urging lifters to take every set to failure. In fact, I distinctly remember reading an article by professional bodybuilder Tom Prince, who claimed to take every set he ever performed to momentary muscular failure. I remember wondering how in the hell these bodybuilders could pull this off, knowing that they performed high volume training and probably busted out at least 20 sets per training session. I felt insecure about my own training and assumed that I wasn’t nearly as manly as these guys since I wasn’t able to do so. Well, let me clarify. I could indeed take every set to failure, but I didn’t feel that it was the optimal way to train.

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Decline Pressing From the Floor

jay-cutler-decline-barbell-press

Some of you might already be aware of this, but I never realized that one could perform decline presses from the floor just by bridging at the hips. I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to achieve a full ROM, but this wasn’t the case.

I’ve always loved me some decline pressing, but I don’t have a decline bench in my garage gym (or at Gold’s Gym in Phoenix or Revolution Training in Tempe for that matter). My friend on Facebook, Simon Headland, suggested that I give these a try, and I loved them.

On Friday I did two sets of bench press, two sets of incline press, and two sets of decline press (shown below) for a nice little upper body pressing workout. Give these a try if you enjoy decline pressing but don’t have access to a decline bench.

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10 Training Tips for the Ladies

It’s no secret that I primarily train women. At the new Glute Lab, there are around 10 ladies who regularly train with me throughout the week, and only 4 men (I try very hard to resist taking on new clients at the moment so I can focus on my PhD). Since I focus on women, I tend to see a lot of things that other trainers might not see. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone out there who pays closer attention to the nuances between gender differences in strength training. Many of the tips below can apply to either sex, but they’re generally more suited for women than men. Here are ten training tips for the ladies, in no particular order of importance.

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How to Make Your Rehab, Deloading, and Peaking More Effective

I want to alert my readers to an exciting new study that was recently published in the Journal of Neurophysiology. The study deals with mental imagery, also known in the literature as imagined contractions. I briefly mentioned this phenomenon in a T-Nation article I wrote three years ago with my colleague Brad Schoenfeld titled Why Bodybuilders Are More Jacked Than Powerlifters. I actually used mental imagery during my deloading the week prior to my last powerlifting meet, and I truly believe that it helped me achieve my goal of deadlifting 600 lbs. I also used mental imagery when I first pulled 585 lbs two years ago, which I mentioned HERE.

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