Author: joelsnape

Hypertrophy

Arm finishers that add size fast

Tom Coleman is a Bulk Powders sponsored athlete. He won his pro card in 2014, came third in his first competition in 2015 and then returned his card in 2016 to focus on coaching and his career while competing at the highest level as an amateur. Mostly, you’ll build big arms by focusing on the basics: focusing on good form when you lift, maximising time under tension and keeping a strong mind-muscle connection when you lift. However, there are times when four sets of curls won’t cut it, or when you want a little something extra to finish your session…

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Hypertrophy Recovery

What does training to failure actually achieve?

Chris Beardsley is the author of The S&C Research Review, which features cutting-edge analysis of the latest strength training, athletic performance, and biomechanics research. Over the last few years, researchers have discovered that it’s possible to achieve meaningful muscle growth when lifting light weights, so long as sets are performed to muscular failure. Meanwhile, a few studies indicate that training to failure may lead to more hypertrophy than avoiding failure. On the face of it, this might seem to simply confirm what bodybuilders have known for decades: that it isn’t always necessary to use the biggest weights in the gym to build muscle.…

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Hypertrophy Strength

Dan John: My Life in Lifts

Dan John is a lifelong lifter who has competed at the elite levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, and authored some books you really ought to read. Here’s what he’s learned. You probably already know Dan John: if not from his books or his lifting career, then from the movements and programmes he’s invented or brought back into the public eye. A staunch advocate of loaded carries since long before everyone else was doing them, he’s also responsible for the goblet squat, the 10,000 kettlebell swing programme and the idea of Tabata front squats. You don’t…

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Strength

Why and how you should test your RPE max

Tom Hamilton was the World Drug Free Powerlifting Federation champion in 2016, with a 665kg total in the 82.5kg weight category. He works out of W10 Performance in London In any strength training programme, it’s natural to want to know where you are from week to week, and it can be tempting to throw down in every single session to better what you’ve done before. But there’s a problem – even if you aren’t doing singles (which typically aren’t the best way to build strength), even doing ‘rep’ maxes can leave you feeling fatigued and contribute to burnout if you’re…

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Hypertrophy

Use iso-contractions to build the mind-muscle connection

Ben Mudge is a Reflex-sponsored athlete and physique competitor. He trains in Belfast, Northern Ireland. One of the biggest problems I see among even some of the most experienced lifters I work with is their lack of mind-muscle connection. Look at it this way: if you can’t contract your muscles on command, with zero weight, why would you be able to work them at optimal efficiency when you start adding load? That’s why I like to include bodyweight isometric contractions in my programming. By holding and squeezing key movements, you’ll not only further exhaust your muscles after your main sets,…

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Hypertrophy Strength

Dave Tate: My Life In Lifts

Dave Tate is an Elite status powerlifter who’s spent his life under the bar. Here’s what it’s taught him. Dave Tate has done it all. He was training at Westside before anyone had heard of conjugate periodisation, setting records in powerlifting after recovering from injuries that would have ended other men’s careers. The founder and CEO of EliteFTS, he’s spent thousands of hours helping coaches, athletes and regular people get stronger, fitter and better at life. Here’s what he wants you to know. What’s been your proudest ever moment in the gym – or on a platform? There was a…

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Fat Loss Hypertrophy Nutrition Strength

Phil Learney: My Life In Lifts

Phil Learney is a lifter and coach with more than 20 years’ experience, having competed in bodybuilding shows and powerlifting and strongman events. He’s the founder of the Advanced Coaching Academy, which aims to improve standards for everyone from general gymgoers to elite athletes.  Since he first started training as an overweight teenager, Phil Learney’s gone on to deadlift more than 300kg, build a reputation as one of the most sought-after trainers in the world, and convince The Rock that he might be stalking him. Here’s what he’s learned from a life of lifting. What’s been your proudest ever moment…

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Nutrition Supps

How much does peri-workout nutrition matter?

Michael Hull is a researcher at Examine.com, the research-based resource on supplementation and nutrition, and a CISSN-certified MS(c) at McGill University. How important is peri-workout nutrition, really? It’s dependent on your fitness goals and workout routine. Obviously, peri-workout nutrition will be less critical for the casual gym-goer than for an elite athlete. But there are a few other factors to consider: Workout duration  Workout intensity Time between workouts Personal fitness goals/preferences Peri-workout nutrition becomes more important in helping to sustain performance levels and recovery when workouts are longer, more intense, or when rest periods between workouts are short. Athletes will…

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Recovery Strength

How does ‘recovery’ actually work?

Chris Beardsley is the author of The S&C Research Review, which features cutting-edge analysis of the latest strength training, athletic performance, and biomechanics research. In every strength training program, there is a period of time between workouts in which we ‘recover’ from the workout. Some workouts don’t cause any detrimental effects that we need to ‘recover’ from – and some, in fact, produce a temporary ‘potentiating’ effect where performance is improved for a short time afterwards. Yet, other workouts (especially those involving high volumes of eccentric contractions in exercises the lifter is unused to), cause a sudden and prolonged reduction in our ability…

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Hypertrophy Strength

Paul Carter: My Life In Lifts

Paul Carter is a strength and hypertrophy coach, life enthusiast and founder of Lift-Run-Bang. Here’s what he’s learned from powerlifting, bodybuilding and being a proud dad. Apart from authoring some of the most in-your-face, insightful blog posts (and books) on the pursuit of strength and muscle, Paul Carter’s a coach with years of experience and a wealth of programming available, gratis, online. Here, he tells us why he wishes he’d started focusing on bodybuilding movements earlier, why he doesn’t do mobility – and why he’s full of joy, not rage, when he lifts big. What’s been your proudest ever moment…

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