If you read this post, then you should be aware that I simplified my training as much as I could lately. I lift conventional weights. You know, barbells, dumbbells, etc. I still do calisthenics, but way less than before. This is the path of endurable resistance for me at the moment of writing this article.
So, what have I been able to learn (or relearn) during this time. Well, lots of things. Let me share some of them with you.
Conclusion #1: Simple Exercises Are Better for Building Muscle
It may be hard to accept, but the simplest exercises are the best for muscle-building. Barbell bench presses are superior to one-arm or planche push-ups. Barbell squats are superior to pistols.
Let me be an example. Continue reading
I was a little nervous before the set. Still it was an increase in working weight, unknown ground. Heavy sandbag was lying silently in front of me, challenging to lift it up with all its appearance. Set was going to be filmed, so I had no chance to screw up. I stood above the bag showing my domination and closed my eyes to visualize inevitable victory. I quietly squatted down and grabbed the sides of the enemy. Next thing I deadlifted the bag with rage and jumped explosively to catch it in Zercher position. My goal was at least 3 reps. It’s all probably because of adrenaline running my veins, but when I reached the goal I still felt energy and nailed 2 more. It was really hard to put this bastard down quietly but I made my best and finally got the feeling of euphoria of new PR mixed with faintness. My goal of 90 kg Sandbag Zercher Squat was one step closer.
As you probably noticed, today I’d like to talk a little bit about sandbag strength training, specifically Sandbag Zercher Squat. Above you have read my (pathetic) literature attempt to explain how I was able to nail 85 kg for 5 reps in this exercise. It was filmed and you can watch the video here: Continue reading
“How to build muscle?” It’s probably the most common question I get. Oh, actually it’s number two. The first one is how to lose this (and the person asking the question is ALWAYS shaking his/her/its big fat belly during the question)? Anyway, people today are very concerned about getting fit (or insert any trendy word like “toned up” or “functional”). Most of them should loose fat. Some of them should add slabs of muscle to their frame (I just couldn’t resist using this combination of words). And all of them need to get much stronger than they are. They need to stop looking in the mirror every free moment and start training and eating right. That’s what they need. But back to the theme of the post, what to do if their goal is to build muscle? Well, it all depends on the training experience of the trainee. If it’s beginner-to-intermediate then he/she should concentrate on basics. Period. You can read more about it here. If he/she is on intermediate-to-advanced level then it is possible to take advantage of the technique I’m about to share with you here. Continue reading
If you remember, approximately 1.5 years ago I wrote a two-part article on why full-body workouts are superior to splits. If you missed them:
Here’s part 1.
And here’s part 2.
So 1.5 years are gone. Many things were learnt during this time, many things were tried (and not only on me but on my clients too). And here’s the question: have I changed my stance on this? So are splits better? Or full-body workouts are still superior? Let’s analyze and find out. Continue reading
Here’s the second part of Rough Strength Basics series of articles. In case you missed part 1, it explored the theme of how to gain strength and you can read it here. So today’s post is going to be, as you probably already found out, on how to build muscle. Muscle building is an interesting topic by itself. I’ll try to cover just the basics of it in this post.
What Is Muscle Building?
Muscle building or, as geeks say, hypertrophy is an increase in the size of a muscle through an increase in the size of its component cells. It occurs due to the principle of supercompensation. This principle states that muscle increases its size as reaction to stress and microtrauma induced by exercise. In simpler words, we exercise, we totally blast our muscles, our body thinks “what the fuck? I better be bigger next time this asshole will torture me like that” and grows.
There are several stages of muscle building process: microtrauma, compensation and supercompensation. Continue reading