Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
21

The row is the exercise that best antagonizes the push-up. It's an easy conclusion to make just by considering the force vector of the push-up. The direction of force is outward and perpendicular to the body. If you reverse that vector, you have a row. To clarify further, imagine only the upper arm and the chest when doing a push-up (imagine you just ...


17

We get a lot of this type of question: "we know X, but can we scientifically prove X?" The answer, almost invariably in the field of strength training, is no. Science is dead; long live science There's an enormous number of variables in strength training: nutrition, hormones, time of year, mood, prior training, genetics, exercise selection, proper form, ...


16

You can gain muscle while losing weight, but really only in specific circumstances, which you most likely don't fall into. You need to be fairly obese to start with, and eating the correct nutrients to support the lifting that you are doing. However, you are most likely not in that category, since you have been training regularly already. If you are in a ...


15

In a sense, yes it does. It's not a permanent increase, you simply keep on burning more calories than your resting rate until your body returns to baseline. The type of exercise (the shorter, higher intensity workouts are better) also influences how long this occurs. In this study : http://www.mendeley.com/research/postexercise-energy-expenditure-response-...


14

Ways To Get Less Information The first edition of the book is much more coach-focused than the second. Perhaps you have the wrong edition for your situation? (The rest of my answer assumes that you have the second edition.) If you're looking for less information as you get started, you could try StrongLifts 5x5 instead, or look through the Starting ...


14

If you are on StrongLifts 5x5, a beginner program, then the problems associated with endurance training and max effort training won't be severe enough to worry about. First, a 5K takes less than an hour to complete. Second, you haven't gotten to the place in your training where you really have to choose which way you need to go. Now, to keep your 5K ...


14

"Feeling a burn" during a workout just means that you're working endurance instead of strength or power. From my layman's understanding, which may be wrong, it's because you're no longer producing force anaerobically. Notice that you'll rarely experience that sensation on the first few reps, which is when (if you're using a challenging weight) you're doing ...


13

The problem with body weight exercises In the world of free weights, you have something called a one-rep max (ORM) which defines the maximum amount of weight you can lift at your current level of strength. Using the ORM you can calculate the intensity of any workout with a simple formula, which if I recall correctly is (reps * weight) / orm. What's ...


12

The most important thing with getting people started lifting is to help them to like lifting. The worst thing you can do is to overwhelm them with details. The dirty little secret for newbies is they can do just about anything and make some relatively quick increases (with few exceptions). That means it matter less what they do and more that they do ...


11

This is a complex question, and no one has the complete answer, but a recent study compared the metabolic rate of a hunter gatherer culture still in existence with the metabolism of sedentary westerners and found that "daily energy expenditure of traditional Hadza foragers was no different than that of Westerners". Similarly, a study found that the ...


11

Optimal Jump Training Without Restrictions "Arioch" recommends squats, plyometrics, and speed work with submaximal weights to improve jumping height: An athlete wishing to improve his vertical jump should not only squat, but perform a variety of assistance work specific to both improving squatting strength as well as specifically improving jumping skill. ...


11

I wrote a rather big post about pull-ups vs. chin-ups where I also discuss the issue of grip width. I did it based on a few scientific papers whose links you can find there. Those papers study the grip width in percentage of your shoulder width. In other words, if your shoulder-to-shoulder distance is 40 cm, then 100% grip width corresponds to a 40 cm ...


11

I've asked this implicitly of two qualified personal trainers. (One of the two usually trains Olympic athletes, so I trust his judgement.) Each time I said that I was interested in weight training to balance out the extra workout that my quads get (not just in the lower body, but to bring up my upper body strength too). Both of them said it was a reasonable ...


11

I'm already squatting (80% my bodyweight) and deadlifting (little more than my bodyweight) as part of Starting Strength program. What else should I do? Absolutely nothing. Keep squatting until you're squatting 150% of your bodyweight. Keep deadlifting until you're lifting twice your bodyweight. Once you reach those goals it would be reasonable to consider ...


11

The very quick answer is that Powerlifting is more about standing in one place and moving a heavy weight through a range of motion (be it deadlift, squat or bench press). There is a certain technique element to these lifts that can yield large jumps in weight (i.e. arching your back more on a bench press so the range of motion / distance you move the bar ...


10

Properly performed full squats are not unbalanced. (Also, I doubt that a medicine ball is heavy enough to produce any muscular imbalance anyway.) I worry somewhat that the 90 degree angle you describe is not deep enough, so I advise you to read this history of squat depth recommendations. Squat deep, with the crease of the hip getting lower than the top of ...


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

Getting out of bed is a muscle-building exercise for someone recovering from a coma. Tabatas and other High Intensity Interval Training, or jogging, or walking, or anything can build muscle, if the person doing it is unadapted to the activity. So yes, "cardio" exercise is an effective muscle builder, for a limited amount of time, in some circumstances. 1. ...


10

This tip won't help for getting the first plate on, but for subsequent plates you can roll the bar-with-first-plate onto another plate (even a 5 or 10 will work) that's laying flat on the ground. This will give you just enough clearance to load on more plates without having to lift the bar. As for that first plate, you might be able to just rest the plate ...


10

Deload Deload. Significantly. 10% at a minimum, more likely 20% for such a significant break. I tried to start back where I had left off after a one-week break, and it messed up my progress significantly in the short and long term. Think of it this way: say you started with a 1RM of 135, and squatted, say, 95x5x5. By squatting increasingly heavy weights ...


9

Holding your breath is common, standard, well-accepted powerlifting practice. Hold your breath throughout each rep of squatting, deadlifting, and pressing. Holding your breath helps keep your chest locked. Breathing during the rep encourages you to move your chest, meaning you lose the tightness in your abs, upper and lower back. This invites injury. For ...


9

My son asked me to take a look at this question. I'm a second-generation phlebologist, myself the son of the man who coined the word "Sclerotherapy" (=injection treatment of varicose veins) in 1939, and who founded the organization currently called the "American College of Phlebology" (it started as the "Phlebology Society of America", which I ran for about ...


9

Any training can cause injury I am wary of bodyweight training just as much as I am wary of barbell training. Both have their risks, including tendonitis, shoulder trouble, and back problems. Overtraining is an issue under any overzealous progression. What you are looking for is not marked by any particular tool, but by cautious progression. Workout ...


9

If you can't increase the weight on the bar, then you have to settle for moving the bar faster (good for strength and power), reducing rest periods between sets (good for conditioning, hypertrophy (sometimes), and endurance), increasing the number of reps per set (good for endurance, conditioning, and hypertrophy), increasing the number of sets (good for ...


8

Body-building is an individual pursuit that requires specific understanding of the individual in question. A general beginner's course would be so simple as to be useless - there is no sense in writing a body-building guide for average height adult males under 60 kg; they have much more fundamental problems. Likewise, 120 kg average height females should not ...


8

Pick a goal Why do you want to lift? To look good, to be healthy, to improve athletic performance, to win a bodybuilding competition, to challenge yourself? Your goals determine the kind of lifting you'll want to focus on. I'll assume that you want a basic combination of health, fitness, and looking good. Beginner weightlifting Any beginner program should ...


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