Tag: back

Hypertrophy Strength

Which muscles are fast-twitch and which are slow?

Chris Beardsley is a biomechanics researcher. He is also the editor of Strength and Conditioning Research. He is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire. Most people associate slow-twitch muscle fibres (or type I) with marathon runners and Tour de France cyclists and fast-twitch muscle fibres (or type II) with Olympic sprinters and weightlifters. But like most aspects of the human body, things are never that black or white, and muscle fibre type actually varies a lot more between muscles than between individuals training for different sports. A long-accepted and widely-believed training theory is that focusing on developing the type II muscle fibres,…

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Hypertrophy

The muscle fibre growth formula

Chris Beardsley is a biomechanics researcher. He is also the editor of Strength and Conditioning Research. He is based in Loughborough, Leicestershire. If you know which upper-body muscles are predominately made up of either fast-twitch or slow-twitch muscles fibres you are better able to train your chest, shoulders, arms and lats to elicit maximum gains. First, here’s a brief recap on fibre types. Muscles with large proportions of type I (or slow twitch) fibres are highly resistant to fatigue and respond best to sets of higher repetitions. Muscles with a large proportion of type II (or fast twitch) fibres fatigue…

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Hypertrophy

Add size to your hamstrings

Mark Coles is a physique coach and owner of M10, a private personal training and performance gym based in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. In all my years as a physique coach, I’ve never had a typical person ask me to help them develop their hamstrings. I’ve had athletes ask me to help them improve their speed and strength, of which the hamstrings play a huge part. I’ve also had many male and female physique competitors desperate to grow a great set of hamstrings. But rarely do average people want to focus on hamstrings development alone. In fact, many people very often leave…

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Hypertrophy Strength

Squat deeper to get bigger and stronger

Mike Causer is a former international Olympic weightlifter and the founder of the London Olympic Weightlifting Academy. He is based in London. When you squat deeper you’ll get stronger through a bigger range of motion and you’ll properly recruit key muscle groups, such as the glutes. If you’re struggling to go deep, it’s likely that you’re focusing on correcting the wrong element of the move. In my experience as a weightlifting coach, people focus too much on having a straight back rather than actually getting into a squat. They’ve forgotten what a squat is. Essentially it’s about being able to…

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Hypertrophy Nutrition

Build a thicker, wider back

If the big and basic lifts aren’t working then you need to find new and innovative moves to coax your muscles into growth, says John Meadows John Meadows is a national champion bodybuilder and works with many of the best physique athletes in the world. He is based in Columbus, Ohio. Iron Insights Back basics You’re often told to stick to the big compound lifts to build a big back, but they never really worked for me. In my 20s my legs, chest, arms and shoulders were growing well, but my back was really stubborn and simply refused to grow…

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Hypertrophy

A new approach to building a bigger back

Most people have under-developed backs and need to adopt a more advanced approach to build thickness and width, says John Meadows John Meadows is a national champion bodybuilder and works with many of the best physique athletes in the world. He is based in Columbus, Ohio. Iron Insights The right grip The underhand lat pull-down is a fantastic exercise for building a wider and thicker back, which is an area I’ve also had to work on. But to make every rep count you need to forget that you have arms and focus everything on driving your elbows backwards. Think about…

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Hypertrophy

Build a thick, wide and balanced back

Mark Coles is a physique coach and owner of M10, a private personal training and performance gym based in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. When I ask people which muscles they want to build and improve, hardly anyone ever replies their back. It doesn’t take a genius to know why: it’s one of those body parts that you can’t see when you’re training. Along with big legs, I can really tell if someone knows what they’re doing in the gym if they have a well-developed back. If you compete or have any aspirations of competing, a thick, balanced and wide back is essential.…

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Strength

Exclusive: Eddie Hall on how to get strong

Eddie Hall has deadlifted 500kg – 40 kilos more than his closest competitor – and came third in last year’s World’s Strongest Man competition. He’s a Protein Dynamix sponsored athlete, and lives in Stoke In July 2016, Eddie Hall took to the stage at the World Deadlift Championships and hoisted 500kg off the deck: a competition PB by 35kg. He’s now got his sights on his first World’s Strongest Man win. Here’s what he’s learned. 1 Use speed reps as well as maximal weights I got stuck on a plateau three or four years ago, and I realise that you…

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