Alex Zinchenko is a strength addict, coach and the author of the Rough Strength blog, where he shares his crazy ideas regarding training and nutrition. He is honest to toothache, straightforward like a train, and too daring to believe that heavy calisthenics, kettlebell and sandbag training along with intermittent fasting can deliver all the results you want.
In a previous article, I have mentioned that I got interested in martial arts. Any martial art besides being an ‘art’ is definitely a solid collection of cool and useful skills. I realized that strength training and martial arts compliment each other very well, and by ignoring one or another, you are missing the whole package. Perseverance in both of these forms of training will most likely turn you into an unstoppable machine physically and mentally.
[NOTE: Of course, you should mix both strength training and martial arts to a preferred degree. For example, there is no point in 6 strength training workouts and only 2 martial art sessions per week if your goal is to become a fighting champion]
So what have I learned from the world of martial arts so far?
So this title may sound somewhat misleading and rather close to sacrilege taking into account that Rough Strength‘s primary theme of interest is strength and everything related to it, but there is a reason behind this wording. Anyway, let me explain myself a little bit before you start throwing rotten food at me. First of all, I assume that you are one of the people who are dedicated to strength training, not an excuse-making lard-ass. You have been training for a while, and your body may have sent you subtle signals that you train too much or too hard. You know, pains here and there, injuries, etc. You may have interpreted these signals right, but you may be scared to do less strength training because you fear to lose your precious gains. Well, the information below should provide you with a possible solution. But before we dig into the cool stuff, you should refresh this article in your memory, because this is kind of a sequel.
If you are “blessed” with an average-to-slow metabolism like me and the majority of the Earth’s population, then you probably thought about getting ripped at least once in your life. Luckily, you can easily find copious volumes of information on fat loss out there. Several mouse clicks and a simple Google-search separate you from myriads of books and articles that will teach you how to eat right, how to count calories and macros, etc. The whole gamut of YouTube gurus will eagerly explain in detail the principles of fat loss basically repeating the good old rules:
If you eat more calories than you spend, then you gain weight
If you eat less than maintenance, you lose it
Your body composition is highly dependent on your macronutrient ratios
However, what if you have already reached your fat loss goal? Or what if your metabolism have slowed down due to aggressive dieting? The trick that can solve these issues is called reverse dieting. I haven’t found a simple and comprehensive article on this subject, so here is my attempt to create it.
Have you noticed the domination of scientific research in modern strength training? It is trendy and dandy (and more importantly, marketable) to be ‘scientifically proven’ or ‘backed up by research’ nowadays. The general reading public readily accepts this, and everybody seems to feel the need to get scientific. However, despite the initially positive character of the trend, there might be a downside to it.
First of all, I absolutely love science and the scientific approach. People obviously wouldn’t be where we are if there were no science. To put it straight, let me quote Richard Dawkins: Continue reading →
There is a whole gamut of ideas fighting in my head every day. So, I decided to pick the best ones I came up with lately and to write an article about them. Everybody loves ideas and lists, right? Let’s go.
1. Confidence Sets
If you are not wasting your training time on useless crap and have worked up to some heavy ass weights in your compound exercises, then you should have been scared to lift that amount of weight at least once. Self-doubt is normal at this point. This is our brain’s self-defense function. Anyway, this is when confidence sets come really handy. Continue reading →
According to the latest research, training with cool music can give you up to 42% performance boost. Well, OK, I made this up, but in my experience, this statement is true. Training with proper music makes all exercises ridiculously easier. You just feel pumped up and can do much more than usual. With right music, you can achieve that state of being unstoppable.
Of course, if you are some kind of a monk and you despise anything but training in silence, then you will find nothing useful in this article. However, if you like to train with music but struggling to find a proper soundtrack to your diesel gains, then you are in a right place, my friend. Let me give you some options (in no particular order).
Have you ever wondered how professional athletes can train almost daily for SEVERAL hours per day? Well, according to this correlation, it is possible only in one case: they are so strong and conditioned that their sport training is not that intense for them anymore. It is skill work for them rather than strength.
[NOTE: The higher your training frequency and volume, the lower your training intensity should be. Otherwise, you will overtrain]
So, what if you could take this idea and somehow implement it in your own training for more results and fun? Check out what I came up with.