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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who Needs Equipment?

A bar and a wall. That's plenty!



Rowing on the dip bar is especially cool. Via Straight to the Bar.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How To Increase Your Strength - Instantly!

In this clip, Andy Bolton warms up for his world record deadlift attempt. Notice that every rep he performs is at a very fast velocity. The bar almost flies out of his hands on that first rep!

Don't be fooled by those super-slow training philosophies. The only way to increase your strength is to train maximally (+90% 1RM) and at high velocity.

If you're worried about "momentum," don't be. Very heavy loads will never move fast enough for you to loose control of the weight. Merely thinking about moving the bar fast is all you need to produce a training effect, even if in reality the bar takes quite a while to complete the repetition. If your not moving your training loads fast, making this small mental adjustment will instantly give you more power and will let you lift more.

When your muscles grow, so does your strength. So train heavy and train fast!

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References

Hatfield DL, et al. The impact of velocity of movement on performance factors in resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Nov;20(4):760-6.

Rana SR, et al. Comparison of early phase adaptations for traditional strength and endurance, and low velocity resistance training programs in college-aged women. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Jan;22(1):119-27.

Bompa, T. (1993). Periodizaion of Strength: The New Wave In Strength Training. Toronto: Veritas Publishing Inc.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Look: Captains of Crush Gripper #T

video

My Captains of Crush #T gripper arrived in the mail today. Out of the box you get the gripper, instructions, a CoC card and an optional Ironmind cataloge.

UPDATE:
Since incorporating the gripper into my regular routine I have seen a lot of improvement accross the board on all my major lifts! I suspect I will need to purchase the CoC #1 very soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fix Your Body with a Foam Roller: The Basics

My first ever guest post on Straight to the Bar! I teach you the fundamental foam rolling techniques you need to start doing right now to get bigger and stronger. Enjoy.

Fix Your Body with a Foam Roller: The Basics

Thanks, Scott, for inviting me to write the article. I am honored by the opportunity.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Did you call her yet…?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Getting Serious About Grip Strength

My grip sucks. There, I said it.

To combat this problem I have instituted grip training days into my weekly routine. My new grip program is performed on the same day as my neck and core training. Thank you Jedd Johnson for the inspiration.


DAY 1
General Warmup = 10 min

Ball Toss
= 3kg x 12
Ball Toss w/ Spin = 3kg x 8

Vertical Lever to the Nose = 9# x10 x8 x4 x4 x4 + negatives to failure
Horizontal Lever to the Front = 9# x10 x8 x4 x4 x4 + negatives to failure

1-Finger Lift
= 55# x1 x1 x1 x1

DAY 2
General Warmup = 10 min

Ball Toss = 3kg x 12
Ball Toss w/ Spin = 3kg x 8

Hammer Twist = 9# x10 x8 x4 x4 x4 + negatives to failure
Hammer Rotations = 9# x10 x8 x4 x4 x4 + negatives to failure

1-Finger Lift = 55# x1 x1 x1 x1



I feel this program is incomplete and I would like to add plate pinching and gripper work (preferably Captains of Crush).

My girlfriend enjoys rock climbing so I've been training on the rock wall at my gym once a week in addition to the program above. I find the rock wall not only great for grip, but also a great full body conditioning workout.

If you have suggestions for improving my grip routine, please leave a comment below.