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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 weight your muscle can move) is best developed by lifting as much weight as possible. This is probably best achieved with 5 or less ...


33

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 ...


22

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. ...


22

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 ...


20

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 ...


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, ...


15

While muscle strength and muscle mass do not have a direct one to one relationship, there is definitely a connection between the two. To understand exactly what that connection is, and how big a role it plays, it helps to have a little background on the fundamentals of muscle physiology... Muscles are composed of connected bundles of muscle fibers, of which ...


15

Hypertrophy is not the same as strength. We can train differently to attain different results. Some forms of training build mass, others add strength, others improve endurance. A larger muscle is, all other things being equal, stronger than a smaller one. However, a smaller muscle can be more neurologically efficient and/or dense, and therefore be stronger ...


15

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, ...


15

There are several methods of increasing grip strength, and some of the principles that work the best you should already be familiar with due to the bodybuilding background. First, let's look at what causes grip to fail: Sweat. The sweatier your hands, the more the bar wants to slip out of them. Effective bar thickness. The thicker your bar, the tougher it ...


15

Being able to touch the toes depends mainly on two things: hamstring flexibility body proportions (relative length of legs, torso, and arms) It is not possible to change body proportions, so, to reach the toes, someone with longer legs and shorter torso/arms will need to have more flexibility in the hamstrings. It is possible for anyone to reach that level ...


15

Your problem A passive way of working out sounds like a paradox. If you want to become stronger, you need to exert your muscles. And exertion of the muscles is an "activity", which is an antonym to "passivity". If you want to get in shape by lying in your bed, you'll be disappointed. In the end, the problem isn't that you're lazy. Most of us are. But we ...


15

I think you've heard the right idea, but you're misinterpreting it. Of course high reps builds some strength, but certainly not a whole lot. It's going to take a lot more effort (in terms of joules spent) to increase your 5RM by doing 15-rep sets, than it would to increase it by actually doing 5-rep sets. Don't think of it as "it does, or it doesn't". Most ...


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 ...


12

I want to mention that I am in no way opposed to Starting Strength. As Dave mentioned, it has a lot of useful tips for beginners. In that it stresses form and core movements it should be commended. However it is highly regarded because there is a press and advertising behind it. They are smart even down to the name... Starting Strength. Meaning no ...


12

Most people have misconceptions what 'tone', what it is, and how to achieve it. Being toned is a combination of two things - having muscle mass, and having a low enough amount of body fat to show the definition between the aforementioned muscles. A six pack is simply satisfying these conditions in a specific area - the stomach. Lifting If you're 6'1 152, ...


12

Don't Confuse Size with Genetics and Training My former coach won the genetic lottery as someone who can just naturally get beastly strong. An example of that genetic pool, he took his mother to the weight room and she squatted over 300 lbs on her first day with no prior training. I'm pretty sure she was sore after that. There are several power lifters ...


11

That is one formula that will make a good estimate, but it's important to remember that it is just an estimate and individual milage will vary. The only way to know for sure is to try it. These formulae are generally targeted towards experienced strength athletes; novices are unlikely to be able to lift the predicted 1RM because they haven't trained their ...


11

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 ...


11

The main factor holding one back is the fear response. Our bodies are trying to keep us safe so we should listen. This article describes the effect you speak of: Under acute stress, the body's sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for sustained, vigorous action. The adrenal gland dumps cortisol and adrenaline into the blood stream. Blood pressure ...


11

You want to look muscled without being big. The good news is, it's hard to get too many muscles. The solution is to lift a little and get your body fat down. "Toned" The word "toned" means different things to different people. It's not a technical term, like "strong" or "powerful" or even "big". Most people use "toned" to communicate their desire to look ...


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

I have heard of the One Lift a Day method, described here by bodyweight/movement/gymnastics expert Ido Portal: after their technical judo workout, the coach will name one exercise and one exercise only, and the trainees will go on to perform 7-12 sets of this exercise. One day it will be squat (5 rep range is optimal here), the next pull ups hanging from ...


10

Here is an excellent excerpt regarding rest from the Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding written by the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger: It is important to pace yourself properly through a workout. If you try to train too fast, you risk cardiovascular failure before you have worked the muscles enough. Also, you may have tendency to get sloppy and start ...


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 ...


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