Serious Glute Development for Serious Lifters

yoga pants

On Thanksgiving, I posted a blog that contained the picture below.

It’s one of my favorite pictures. I didn’t know who the woman in the picture was at the time, but she and her husband actually commented on my Facebook page, and she shared the article herself on her page. Her name is Kristina Krstic, and her husband Nemanja Krstic snapped the picture. They are personal trainers in Abu Dhabi, which is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Guess what she was thankful for?

Kristina (click HERE for her Instagram) was thankful for the hip thrust. I should have known that she loved her hip thrusts! Below is a picture of her hip thrusting.

read more

Why I Lift, and Why You Should Too

exercising happiness

Lifting weights is good for you. You don’t need me to tell you that, it’s common sense. Most people intuitively understand that sedentarism is not a good idea, and that exercise (especially resistance training) will do their bodies a lot of good. Below, I’ve compiled 30 great reasons why you should adhere to an exercise regimen. Each of these reasons has at least one published paper supporting the claim. Aerobic and resistance exercise can help:

  1. Maintain functional ability
  2. Prevent osteoporosis
  3. Prevent sarcopenia
  4. Increase insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin resistance
  5. Increase metabolic rate
  6. Improve glucose metabolism
  7. Decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure and arterial stiffness
  8. Decrease body fat and central adiposity
  9. Improve gastrointestinal transit time
  10. Reduce the risk of diabetes
  11. Reduce the risk of heart disease
  12. Reduce the risk of cancer
  13. Reduce the risk of falls, fractures and disabilities
  14. Decrease cardiovascular demands of exercise
  15. Decrease triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels
  16. Increase HDL cholesterol levels
  17. Increase muscle and connective tissue strength and hypertrophy
  18. Increase mobility and flexibility
  19. Increase joint stability
  20. Improve balance and coordination
  21. Improve posture
  22. Increase brain/cognitive function
  23. Increase confidence, self-esteem, and happiness
  24. Combat depression and anxiety
  25. Combat metabolic syndrome
  26. Combat frailty syndrome
  27. Improve function in people with cancer, dementia, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, post-stroke disability, lupus, asthma, diabetes, ADHD, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, autism, bipolar disorder, COPD, epilepsy, low back pain, neck pain, chronic headache, and erectile dysfunction
  28. Increase strength, power, speed, and endurance
  29. Prevent ACL, hamstring strain, lumbar, ankle sprain, and shoulder injuries
  30. Improve quality of life

See? Exercising makes you happy!

It took me many hours of researching to compile this list, and this list provides compelling reasons why everyone should exercise. But let’s not kid ourselves. Though we all like being healthier and fitter, many of us primarily train for physique purposes. In fact, the primary reason why women exercise is for weight control (87.5% of women), and the primary reason why men exercise is for muscular definition (84.7% of men).

read more

You Should Definitely Avoid this Movement

If there’s one movement that I absolutely loathe, it’s the “movement” that attempts to convince readers to avoid certain exercises altogether. I’ve gone to great lengths in past articles to explain how unique lifters are in terms of anatomy and goals. I’ve filmed videos showing people how to gauge how deep they should go in a squat. I’ve written endless articles on exercise variations. I’ve discussed the biomechanical ramifications and pros and cons of certain exercises. And I’ve advised people on how to train around pain or injury. One thing I have never done is written an article telling lifters to never do a particular exercise (well, I wrote an article to mock these types of articles, which I’ll post below, but it was entirely sarcastic).

read more

December Research Round-Up: Foam Rolling Edition

foam roll

Every month, Chris and I write the S&C Research review service. In this article, Chris has written a preview of the December 2014 edition. This edition comes out on Monday and covers a range of brand-new research but has a special theme of foam rolling.

Does self-myofascial release reduce physical stress?

The study: Effect of self-myofascial release on reduction of physical stress: a pilot study, by Kim, Park, Goo, and Choiin, in Journal of Physical Therapy Science (2014)

What did the researchers do?

The researchers set out to perform an intervention involving self-myofascial release with a foam roller in female student subjects following completion of a physically stressful task and to observe the resulting changes in levels of stress hormones by reference to serum concentrations of cortisol. The physically stressful task involved walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes at a normal walking speed of 1.2m/s, while wearing high-heeled shoes, at 8:30am. Post-walk, the intervention group carried out a 30-minute period of foam rolling, while the control group rested in a supine position.

read more