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47

Your goals and your current level of progress determine the number of sets and reps. Possible Goals Training for strength, power, endurance and hypertrophy all require a different number of sets and reps: Strength (how much your muscle can move) is best developed with 5 or less reps. Strength is expressed in how much you can lift one time, so the closer ...


27

Age and genetics are the major factors in testosterone generation. It peaks in your 30s and drops steadily thereafter. There are some things you can actively do to increase testosterone level, but the effects will be miniscule compared to what your age and genetics have already given you. Kraemer et al, 1991; Kraemer et al 1990: High volume, multiple ...


27

Stop Making Excuses "I have six [to] eight years of trial-and-error evidence to show that I am incapable of building strength to any measurable degree from any form of exercise." Either you have a serious medical issue or I call bullshit. I bet the reason you're not getting results is that you "have [never] been satisfied with results from any workout ...


18

Starting Strength Because it's the best introduction to the most productive yet neglected aspect of fitness: strength. Bring up weights to most people, and they think of machines and curls and bodybuilding. Starting Strength lays out a cogent alternative, closer to many people's goals. Many people still think of "fitness" as synonymous with "cardio" or ...


16

Probably not. Training for powerlifting (completely strength-oriented) involves avoiding failure, keeping the number of reps low, and resting a lot between sets, none of which are really conducive to "burn" during a workout or soreness afterwards. Pavel Tsatsouline gave this answer to a similar question during an interview: One thing is for sure, you ...


16

Certainly there is a correlation between muscle mass and strength, but there is more to the story. Two reasons why muscle mass and strength may not be completely congruous are: Muscle fiber density Muscle utilization Density: Your muscles are composed of four different types of fibers (slow-twitch, and three forms of fast-twitch). These fibers have ...


16

Unless you are already strong, this is the wrong plan. Putting bodybuilding before strength training does not make any sense. Strength Then Bodybuilding Virtually everyone in the strength and bodybuilding community agrees: one becomes a bodybuilder by developing a base of strength and mass first, then targeting specific muscles and body-composition work. ...


15

I suggest you read this article from the Australian Institute of Sports. About halfway down the page it has a section titled: Protein – are vegetarian diets adequate? There is too much info to quote there so I'll put it in point form, but I suggest you read the whole article: Although most vegetarian athletes meet or exceed recommendations for total ...


15

Another key point is this is largely a hamstring exercise as much as it is a lower back exercise. With proper form your lower back is not the only muscle group working to help you stand up. Another thing to think about: your lower back is just another muscle group, that through strength training will become stronger and greatly reduce the likelihood of ...


15

Practical Programming's Answer: 1-3RM For Strength From page 79: Strength, a basic objective of training and an important component of power performance, is gained using lower repetitions (1 to 3) with heavier weights (90 to 100% of 1RM). Notice that in this context, Rippetoe is using a narrow definition of strength that does not include power, ...


14

Many muscle groups are involved, including hand, arm, chest, shoulder, back strength... it really depends on where your weak link happens to be. I would suggest first making sure that you can do regular flat-hand pushups with good form. Once you can do that, then try raising up onto all five fingers. Once you have those down, you can start taking fingers ...


14

From the most stable to the least stable, you have: Machine Barbell Cable Dumbbell Machines are the most stable. They work a major muscle and neglect the the small stabilizer muscles. On the other end of the spectrum, you have dumbbells which require a fair amount of stabilizer muscles. One is not better than the other. It all depends on what your goals ...


14

There is a difference, in that you are changing the load on your core. Squats are not "just a leg exercise" as many people assume that it is. There are several variations of squats, and they each have their place. If you choose to do dumbbell squats, I highly recommend Goblet Squats. Instead of the weight at your sides, it is in front of you. This ...


14

Max push-ups, Max plank, Max pull-ups The no-equipment requirement is forcing the measurements towards strength-endurance tasks instead of true strength. Push-ups require some strength as a prerequisite, and strength definitely affects ones ability to do more push-ups in a limited amount of time, but a maximum number of push-ups is a test of strength, ...


13

Here's a few links to some great body-weight exercises that I use regularly: Beginner Body Weight Workout Advanced Body Weight Workout Prison Workout


13

Work on strengthening your core muscles and back. Arm strength won't help you much if your core starts tipping over. You need to push yourself up with you core and lower back and hold it there. One way to work on balance is to spread your weight by separating your legs and feet outwards (like a center split) when you hold your lower body up. It's a similar ...


13

It sounds like you've been focusing too much on high repetitions. 15-20 is an extremely high rep range for weightlifting. High reps don't increase strength. You need to do much more weight at lower reps to increase strength. After doing a low rep routine for several months, you should be able to have enough strength to do more than 15 bicep curls. Here are ...


12

This is absolutely a good approach. You get to build up some muscle, and you don't damage your metabolism the way you would with severe calorie restriction. I think it is worth doing a little myth-busting. A pound of muscle will burn more calories per day, but only about 6 more calories and you'll likely eat a little more to compensate. However, the ...


12

The Four Hour Body examines a couple "protocols" for increasing testosterone, albeit with the goal for increased sexual performance rather than muscle development: Protocol 1: Long-term and Sustained Fermented cod liver oil + vitamin-rich butter fat - 2 capsules upon waking and before bed. Vitamin D3 - 3,000-5,000 IU upon waking and before ...


12

There are 4 types of muscular development: strength - exerting maximum possible force power - exerting maximum possible force over the shortest duration possible mass - increasing the size of the muscle endurance - ability of cardiovascular system to supply oxygen to muscle Don't Developing strength won't help the clap push-up, because you usually want ...


12

You don't need to lift weights every day. Your muscles need recovery time. If you do want to lift every day, you'd rotate so that you're exercising different muscle groups on different days. You should let any specific muscle group recover for 2-3 days after working it. If you're exercising your whole body at each workout (which is more normal for ...


12

I cannot provide a link to an official analysis of the training/instruction program of an elite military facility. What I can do is tell you of my own personal experience with it. You mentioned the lack of regeneration and rest, and you are absolutely right. The idea behind the selection process is to completely maim you psychologically and put you to the ...


11

The importance of rest cannot be overstated. Your case is the perfect example of why rest is needed. In the beginning of the book, I believe the author stated that, even though the book is called "Starting Strength", he expected the reader to be in good physical condition. Even if you are in good condition, perhaps your body is not use to the types of ...


10

Unless you've been using steroids and/or have a history of heart conditions in your family, I don't believe that having a lot of muscles is a risk factor for heart problems. You gain muscles by working out, so while you were building up your muscles, you also built up your heart! Simply put, unless you notice any limiting factors during working out (like ...


10

I have to disagree with Christopher Bibbs assertion that you are limited to the same weight by performing bodyweight only exercises. It is not how much weight in total that you have at your disposal but rather how much force you are able exert on particularly groups of muscles that will determine how close to maximal a loading you can apply to them. There ...


10

As an absolute beginner, I highly recommend reading Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength book. It outlines 5 basic lifts that will exercise just about every muscle in your body. Those exercises will make you very strong. The book itself breaks down the lift step by step, and also provides some troubleshooting to help you get it right. I've written an intro ...


10

Weight training has been going on for well over 100 years using basic tools like barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells (originally cannonballs with handles attached). The reason you don't see much active research on the matter is a combination of the following factors: What works has been handed down from coach to student over the years. Research is only ...


10

What Compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses and chin-ups are better than isolation or machine exercises like curls or leg extensions for building useful strength. You might also have success with gymnastic strength training, like Coach Sommer's Building the Gymnastic Body. How If using weights, lift heavy with fewer repetitions will build the ...


10

Good form is for safety. Deviating from good form means that you think that the situation is so high-stakes that it warrants risking your safety. So armed with knowledge, you can choose your own adventure. You need to be careful with taking cues from YouTube. It's possible that the people you watch have different goals than you, like hypertrophy rather than ...


10

It's good that you do deadlifts, but the next best size builder are straight up free weight squats. Please do not be overconfident the first time you do free weight squats to full depth. Get used to the movement with an empty bar and the work up to it. I was able to do machine squats at over 400lbs, but when it came to free weight squats I couldn't even ...



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