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The best of strength and muscle growth March 2014

best of hypertrophy

This is the first post in the series which shares all our favourite strength and muscle growth blog posts from around the internet.

There is an awful lot of junk to sort through every month so here are the most interesting bits according to me! Read more ›

Posted in Miscellaneous

How do bench press and overhead press maxes relate?

I’m super-excited to say that this is our first article that included us branching out to you guys and asking you to help us out. It’s our first piece of original research on lifting.

We all know that the bench press and overhead press lifts are related – they’re both pressing movements. But they’re in different movement planes, and therefore involve different limb movements. This means that certain muscles are typically used more than others.

But I was interested in how these lifts were related for individuals in the general lifting population. So I carried out a small survey with SurveyMonkey, and the results were insightful. Read more ›

Posted in Workouts and fitness

TP Hulk & Mike Rashid demonstrate ‘time under tension’ at work

Take two bodybuilders at an equal level. The bodybuilder who places a muscle under the longest time under tension will come out on top.

That’s for sure an oversimplification (you need the right food and rest) but it’s a useful rule of thumb for anyone who wants to build bigger muscles.

I watched this video today on bodybuilder Mike Rashid’s YouTube channel and I knew straight away I wanted to share it on this site.

They don’t get full range of motion on all the lifts, but for bodybuilders that’s not an issue. For professional muscle builders, what matters most is putting a muscle under constant tension for long periods of time.

Posted in Workouts and fitness

The Olympic Lifting Myth: Why power cleans won’t make you powerful… in anything except the power clean

As a sprinter, I see a lot of funny things go on in other athletes’ training regimes. Without wanting to offend too many folks, a lot of sprinting coaches in the UK simply don’t have a clue what they’re doing when it comes to strength training in the gym.

In particular, I see far too many professional sports coaches prescribe the Olympic lifts to their athletes – the power clean and the power snatch – in an effort to make them more powerful on the track or on the playing field.

Here I’m going to explain why that’s not only a waste of time, but even worse – a waste of central nervous system reserves that could be used for their sports-specific training. Read more ›

Posted in Workouts and fitness

The Hypertrophy Guide v2.0

Sean Bean meme

I wanted to make a new version of the guide I wrote last year about muscle growth, because looking back on it, I think there are too many things I want to add to merely make a load of updates to the article.

In addition, I think I really needed to improve on the quality of the guide. Not that it was necessarily bad, but I want you guys to have the best information at your disposal to grow your muscles, and hopefully this article provides it.

There won’t be any specific workouts here for you to adopt, because my desire with this article is to equip you with the basic knowledge you need to make your own workouts, which I believe is a far more powerful idea.

The truth is, achieving muscle growth doesn’t need to be too difficult or complex, and in this article I’m giving you the exact same advice here that I would give to a personal training client whose main goal was muscle growth. Read more ›

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Posted in Guides, Nutrition and diet, Workouts and fitness

Glycemic index food list

A food’s glycemic index (GI) is the measure by which it raises the level of glucose in your blood stream. If you’re trying to lose bodyfat while trying to maintain as much lean body mass as possible, it’s generally best to limit your intake of medium and high GI foods.

This is because continually eating high GI foods will overall lower your body’s insulin sensitivity, making it harder for your body to avoid storing digested foods as fat in your body. You could then loosely say that high GI foods are more “fattening”, although this is not strictly true.

If you want to get leaner, and you exercise regularly and lift weights in the gym, then I recommend that you eat low GI foods and foods with very low to zero carbohydrates most of the time. You can, however, eat high GI foods up to (roughly, this isn’t exact) 30 minutes to an hour after your workouts, as your body will have a higher insulin sensitivity, and your muscles will gobble up the carbs and nutrients.

It might be beneficial to aim to get 70% of your daily total carbs in that post-workout window, and the other 30% the rest of the time. The carbs in the post-workout period can be of a higher glycemic index variety, as the insulin spike that comes along will actually benefit your muscle gains.

Low glycemic index foods

Roasted and salted peanuts 14
Low-fat yoghurt 14
Cherries 22
Whole milk 27
Dried apricots 31
Skimmed milk 32
Apples 38
Pears 38
Apple juice 40
Noodles 40
Porridge made with water 42
Oranges 44
Pasta 45
Green grapes 46
Orange juice 46
Baked beans in tomato sauce 48
Milk chocolate 49
Crisps 54
Banana 55

Medium glycemic index foods

Muesli 56
Boiled potatoes 56
Basmati rice 58
Honey 58
Digestive biscuits 59
Pizza (cheese and tomato) 60
Ice cream (most flavours) 61
Raisins 64
Shortbread 64
Croissant 67
Chocolate bar with caramel 68
Wholemeal bread 69

High glycemic index foods

Mashed potato 70
Bagel 72
Breakfast cereal 74-82
Jacket potato 85
Baguette 95
Boiled parsnips 97
White rice 98
Posted in Guides, Nutrition and diet

How to lose bodyfat (and achieve any result you want) automatically

Bruce Lee

Alright guys, I know that some of you probably have New Year’s resolutions. And I’ll bet that more than a few of those resolutions involve getting leaner and getting that awesome ripped body you always wanted.

So I decided to help you guys out, by giving you the methods that I personally use to stay lean year-round, for free. Read more ›

Posted in Nutrition and diet

How to break plateaus in your bench press and overhead press (and pretty much any other lift you want)

I used to have a real hard time improving my upper body strength in the last year up until this October. My bench press was stuck at a pitiful 85kg one rep max, and I’m not even going to tell you what my overhead press maximum was – it was just embarrassingly small.

While my deadlift went up and up on a consistent basis due to my naturally strong hips, my upper body pressing strength came to a really frustrating sticking point.

I know for a fact that I wasn’t alone in this, and I also know that the majority of you reading this have experienced a bench press sticking point at some point in your lifting career, if you’re not already experiencing it right now. Read more ›

Posted in Workouts and fitness

The true secret to ongoing gains

Doctor applying bandage to a patient's calf
People often ask what the secret to success is, what the secret ingredients to amazing performance gains are in sport and bodybuilding. There are only two secrets to my knowledge: hard work and not getting injured!

These are both things completely under your control, although the latter may seem more up to chance than it really is. You can’t predict or always avoid that dangerous bone-crunching football tackle, or that hidden pot-hole that makes you twist your ankle. But there are several ways we can actively work to minimise any risk of injury.

Most people and trainers are walking injuries waiting to happen, and anyone, top-flight athletes or top-flight athletes-to-be, can benefit from taking a few simple steps. Read more ›

Posted in Miscellaneous

The real way to train your core

Franco Columbu deadlift

What is ‘core training’? It’s a fluidly-defined yet often-touted form of exercise preached as gospel by personal trainers and among the online community.

It refers mainly to strengthening the stability of the abdominal region, and it usually involves one-legged planks, balancing on big bouncy balls, and other gimmicky nonsense. Read more ›

Posted in Workouts and fitness

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