After reading part one (Consistent Peaking – Part One) you’ll know I’m not a believer in magical peak weeks, but I do believe in the ground work in the weeks preceding it. It’s there where the magic truly happens, and in those weeks your priority should be on getting in true contest shape before you even enter your peak week. If you’re not in contest shape a week out from your show and you’re relying on voodoo tactics (refer to part one), then you’ll most likely fall short of your true potential no matter how your peak week is set up. Based on my 30+ years of experience, I’ve never seen anyone get in true contest shape where they relied heavily on peak week to make up for what they lacked in the weeks prior. [Read more…]
In part 1 of this article I cover the why, as I went through the pertinent information as to when higher volumes might be necessary, and I hinted that logistically specialization cycles might be the best way to safely achieve them. As a brief recap, plateaued poor responders and plateaued advanced lifters might want to consider a higher volume approach (in opinion, defined as 20 sets per muscle group or higher) if everything else is in order (nutrition, technique, effort, exercise selection, sleep, stress etc.). Also, since I wrote Part 1, the soon-to-be-published study exploring very high volumes in trained lifters lead by Schoenfeld and colleagues that I referenced is now published for those interested. This article is all about the how: the process of constructing these cycles. [Read more…]
We’re fortunate to live in an era where folks like Dr Brad Schoenfeld and other researchers are consistently working on practical research to answer specific questions that lifters want to know. We’re also fortunate that folks like Greg Nuckols and James Krieger are doing analyses outside of the peer reviewed research to keep the community on the cutting edge of data-informed training. [Read more…]
It’s been crazy to watch the change from “brick and mortar” shopping, to WiFi and mouse clicks. I purchased stock in Amazon a few years back, and what an excellent decision that was. But this goes beyond buying things online. Our industry, the fitness industry, has gone electronic as well. From the way we dispense information, to all the discount codes flashing across your screen. Oh, and Flex magazine is no longer around? When did that happen?
Many of the e-mails and social media private messages that we get are regarding time off from training. Even many of our competition prep athletes write us during some level of panic, asking us what they should do for their training during a vacation, family emergency, injury, medical restricted period, hardship etc. etc. It’s as if the end of the world is coming and even so much as a hiccup in their training schedule will de-rail their gains, and they are only a week or two away from turning into terrible bodybuilder/athlete, or fat slobs with no muscle. It almost seems like they believe they will never be training or lifting weights again.
Systems are the cornerstones of effective coaching. Actually, they are the cornerstone of almost any effective professional service. However, for the purpose of this article I’m going to discuss why and how systems are critical for coaching athletes, or for managing your own athletic career. With that said, to even begin to discuss systems, we have to first understand the principles these systems are built on. [Read more…]
As I mentioned in part one of this blog, knowing the context in all aspects of an athletes’ life is important in order to succeed when training them. This is especially true when it comes to a sport that relies on multiple components of athleticism to achieve high performance, as it requires sufficiently complex training to address many aspects of physical fitness. With these athletes, weight training is only piece of the whole training pie. What better way to learn all the available context than to live with an athlete right? It just so happens this is the specific circumstance I have with my son Xander. [Read more…]
Stay in your lane! Professing to be an expert in any niche that you either have not already done at a high level or have a ton of experience in is never right. You are only fooling yourself and hurting those who you are telling your lies to. That being said, it never hurts to learn, experience or expand your horizons and knowledge base. As long as you know your limitations. [Read more…]
There are a number of reasons as to why specific body parts for specific people don’t grow as well as others. Many of you completely understand why things work out this way. But many of you out there don’t, and too often I see less informed lifters go out and hunt down the people who have the best versions of the body parts they long for and adopt their philosophies overnight. Some of you are chuckling, but a few of you are wondering why this is not an approach I would ever recommend. [Read more…]