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.
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 →
As far as I know, a lot of people to the West believe that we have secret training methodologies here in Eastern Europe. It is understandable. “The Iron Curtain” provoked this type of thinking and it was successfully sustained by clever marketers. Sometimes it seems that western people think that trainees here can gain strength and build muscle with the power of their sheer thought (how awesome would that be?).
Well, I don’t want to disappoint you, but most of the stuff you hear or read that is tagged “Soviet” and “Top Secret” is just a hype. All the info you need to succeed in your strength training quest is already out there. I am sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no East European training conspiracy. It may seem that people here guard all kinds of secrets, but the reality is WAY simpler. If you still do not believe me, let’s take a look at where these “secrets” can possibly be applied. Continue reading →
As you can see, it is another article with completely illogical combination of subjects. What can I say? I’m just good at this stuff. In all seriousness, these two topics are the result of my recent experimentation. And while the first one is somewhat predictable, the second one may surprise you.
With no further ado, let us get to the first part.
Time Under Tension
I was introduced to the principle of time under tension [TUT] by the works of Charles Poliquin. As I understand, he is the biggest proponent of using this variable in strength training.
Sometimes it takes only one tip from another person (usually the person with well-developed common sense) to turn on the switch in your head. Have you ever been in such situation? You struggle to find the best solution to your problem, you read all the available literature, you make your head aching bad (notice the intentional Breaking Bad analogy), your eyes fall out of sockets, but everything in vain. Suddenly it takes only one word from the right person and everything gets into its right place in your head.
Just like with this article. I was analyzing all possible ways to make my own weighted vest filled with sand, while simultaneously driving myself crazy with all the ideas. Then in one conversation on this subject my friend told me the simplest thing: “Hey! Why don’t you take the backpack?” I was like: “But it won’t work for this and that”. However, a bit later I came to conclusion that backpack will do the trick for almost every exercise that I need. Read the article for more details.
As you can see, any tip can give you some enlightenment. Therefore, here are my 13 random tips on rough strength training: Continue reading →
Several years passed, but Convict Conditioning [CC] still challenges minds of fitness enthusiasts all over the world. Despite the fact that it was written and published at perfect time to become a bestseller, CC is as evergreen now, as it was at release date. If you haven’t read this book yet, I’m really jealous. You haven’t got those sleepless nights of obsessive reading yet. You haven’t experienced that feeling of exploration and touching the history of physical training. You might not have that “A-ha!” moment regarding heavy calisthenics yet (if you are reading Rough Strength regularly, then you probably had). Anyway, I think, I gave you enough reasons at least to take a look at this piece. You can find it here.
As for today’s article, what is its goal? Although CC is a full, all-sufficient training system, I just can’t leave it ‘as is’. My aim is to show you how to make it better and perhaps more suitable for your training. But first of all, let’s talk about CC system at its purest.