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.
Today I would like to share my thoughts on the ultimate upper body strength training implement. What do you think it is? Barbell? It is cool and effective, but it requires lots of additional equipment like plates, squat stands, and possibly a power rack and a bench, as well as it is not quite mobile. What’s else? Sandbag? While it definitely does the trick, you are limited to the size of your bag and the amount of filler you need. Kettlebell? Not really. Again, it is mobile only if you have a car, and it is definitely limited to the heaviest one you have (unless you know this).
So what is it? Is it your bodyweight? Close enough. In my opinion, gymnastic rings are the ultimate upper body strength developer. How come? Let’s find out. Continue reading →
It is the 100th post here on Rough Strength, so I decided to make it special. Not long time ago I managed to set up a pulley system at home destroying neither the walls, nor the ceiling (more on this later), and I am truly amazed with the results of my experimentation with it. I will go further and state that the pulley system invention is possibly the best thing that happened to heavy calisthenics. If you strive to learn advanced skills like Planche or One-Arm Chin-Up, then this can be your lucky ticket.
Rough Strength is all about getting more with less – getting stronger with anything you have at hand, getting a good diet with less money investment, being smarter about your training and nutrition, etc. It is a minimalist approach that shows you how to become a better version of you starting right now, not in some distant future that depends on whether you will be able to attend a gym or not. It is excuse-proof and excuse-free. That is why I like it so much.
However, what to do if you have been implementing the Rough Strength Method for a decent period of time, have some extra money, and crave some equipment variety? It is not really necessary, but if you add right tools to your training arsenal, you can benefit big time. And the sweetest thing is that some of them will not cost you a lot of money.
So I created the Rough Strength chart of the possibly useful additional equipment. I am assuming that you are already familiar with the Rough Strength Triad: calisthenics, sandbags, and kettlebells. Still I will devote a couple of paragraphs to these bad boys. Furthermore, I have put the tools in a specific order. The more effective/versatile/cheap implements will be higher, the less effective/versatile/the more expensive – lower.
So I have not been releasing new articles for quite some time. You may think: “Ah… He just gets drunk every night and is so hungover that cannot even type”. There is no fucking way for this to be true. I was busy with some useful things, which I will reveal at the end.
And now I would like to kick some ass with an article about the training approach that I consider the one of the most effective out there. Enter the Reverse Pyramid Training.
What Is Reverse Pyramid Training [RPT]?
It all started in my early training days. I experimented a bit with an approach that everybody called “Reverse Pyramid Training”. There was no information on it, and I had no access to the internet at that time. It was a pure assumption that if you can ramp the weight up every set, you should be able to do it other way around. Due to the lack of expertise and the moronic race to increase the working weight every session I was not able to get any meaningful results. As a consequence, I dropped the approach and considered it ineffective for some time.
Several years ago I was introduced to a reasonable version of Reverse Pyramid Training by this article. Martin Berkhan claimed it to be “the most successful” for him and his clients. The photos and videos proved his words. After that, I have seen lots of people all over the internet who used this approach with success.
Lots of people requested an article on Rough Strength mindset for a long time. It is quite interesting fact, because I don’t consider myself the most confident man out there. Far from that. I may appear tough, but inside it is not that simple. I still have that nervousness when I approach complete strangers, even after a job, where I met LOTS of new people daily (it made its impact though, I’m WAY less nervous). I know that haters are going to hate, but I still get somewhat frustrated and pissed off when my work is misunderstood for some reason. Reject still leaves bitter taste. It is still hard to cope with bad days. I still have doubts every day about literally everything. I think these feelings are essential for every person. Only ignorant and stupid people never felt this way. On the other hand, the feeling of success and creation kicks ass of any doubt and frustration easily and really hard. It is that unstoppable energy that fuels you to move forward.
All in all, confidence is always work in progress and the wall of mental toughness improves brick by brick. In this article I will try to help you with what I know works for me.
People often ask me different variations of the same question: “How can I substitute this exercise for something else?”. You may also be in such situation (and, additionally, I get really bored to type the same thing over and over), that is why I decided to address this problem with whole article. Besides, I have couple of interesting things to tell (or not).
Who Is This Article for?
This information is for people that fall into one of the following categories:
You travel and often find yourself in sub-optimal environment for strength training (gyms with 2 kg dumbbells);
You want to use certain training implement, but don’t want to screw your program up;
You want to try certain program, but don’t have all the necessary implements;