Fitness

Bigger, Stronger, Leaner, Healthier- At The Same Time?

By Eric Cressey I’ve loved reading Jason’s stuff ever since we first connected back around 2003 because his roots – like mine – are in training athletes.  Getting guys bigger and leaner was always great, but at the end of the day, it was about improving performance and keeping guys on the field, ice, or court. That’s not to say that athletes can’t have their cake and eat it, too, though. In other words, gaining muscle mass, dropping body fat, improving performance, and staying healthy aren’t mutually exclusive goals.  We do it every single winter when dozens… continue reading.

Fat Loss for Advanced Lifters

Question: Jay, I know we have touched on this in the past (the optimal way to lose fat, while holding onto as much muscle as possible). However, lately I have had a chance to look at some different fat loss programs and wanted to get your feedback. From past forum discussions in the past it seems like the main components of a solid program for fat loss while maintaining muscle are: 1. Diet 2. Conditioning Short intense -(Hill Sprints, Jump Rope) and Walking in the morning 3. Lifting heavy with basic compound… continue reading.

Gaining Muscle & Losing Fat at the Same Time: Is it Possible

By Tom Venuto “How can I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?” That’s right up there with “How do I get six pack abs” as one of the most frequently asked fitness questions of all time. The problem is, when you ask it, you get all kinds of conflicting answers – even from experts who are supposed to know these things. So what’s the deal? Is it really possible to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously? Short answer: Yes it’s possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Long answer: It’s difficult… continue reading.

Accumulation and Intensification: How to Build Muscle Like Clockwork with CONTROLLED Overtraining

By Nick Nilsson Overtraining is NOT evil. In fact, overtraining can be exactly what you need to achieve continuous and rapid results in your training and breakthrough muscle-building plateaus! So first, what IS overtraining? Overtraining is, most simply, training too much. Your body is unable to recover from the volume or frequency of training and begins to break down. You not only lose motivation to train, you become more susceptible to injury and illness, and you may even start to go backwards in your training, getting smaller and weaker on almost a daily basis. So how can overtraining possibly be… continue reading.

How to Deload Properly… And Why It’s So Important

Once you’ve been training more than a few years the need to deload on a somewhat regular basis becomes more and more prevalent. How often you do so depends on your training age, strength levels and injury history. Countless  successful lifters have had great results by training hard for three weeks and deloading on the fourth week. It’s a pretty widely accepted formula and has been proven time and time again. So there’s really no need to try and reinvent the wheel. Three weeks hard, one week deload is my standard go-to-recommendation. There are other options, however, and if you… continue reading.

Build Muscle to Burn Fat

Guest Post by Scott Sonnon of Tactfit Commando We’ve known for years that muscle tissue is highly active metabolically, and it helps us burn more calories during the day. So more muscle equals better fat burn, right? Unfortunately that’s only partly true — and not to the extent we once believed. A pound of muscle is now thought to burn an extra 6 calories per hour (as opposed to the 25 or more per hour we once believed). You’d have to pack on an awful lot of beef to make much difference. But that’s only one side of the… continue reading.

Hill Sprints For Fat Loss

Aside from proper nutrition, there’s nothing more effective than hill sprints for fat loss. And if you’re not doing them you’re missing out on huge benefits. Don’t waste your time on cardio machines. They suck. Get outside and find a hill instead. If you are new to sprinting you need to take it easy when getting started. I mean reeeeaaaally easy. If the last time you ran a sprint was the week before senior prom you need to be very cautious or you’ll probably get hurt. Hill sprints place your body in a safer position than flat ground sprints because… continue reading.

Do These Exercises to Get Jacked

All too often I walk into public gyms and see skinny guys plugging away, doing set after set of the worst, time wasting exercises possible. That’s why, today, I’m going to show you the most effective exercises per body part starting from the traps and working our way down to the calves. Remember that the most important factor in all of strength training is progressive overload. So forget about all the other confusing nonsense and work to get brutally strong on these exercises. When you can move head turning weights for ten reps you will be big. continue reading.

How to End Anabolic Slow Down

I got back late Tuesday night from an awesome four day trip to Chicago (the home of my two favorite athletes of all time, Michael Jordan and Walter Payton). For those who have never been I highly recommend going to the Windy City during the summer months. It’s definitely one of my favorite places. Although I wouldn’t want to visit in the winter. We hit North Street and Oak Street Beaches, where strangely you are only allowed to swim out til the waters at mid chest level and then some guys in row boats stop you. Weird. continue reading.

Why Grip Strength Is So Important

Probably my biggest weakness is my grip strength. That’s why I always check out anything Jedd Johnson has to say on the subject. He is the master when it comes to this topic and today I have an awesome guest post from the man, himself. Check it out… Grip and Forearm Strength is an important aspect for anyone who trains with weights or competes in sports.  This is true for many reasons. Grip Strength helps your other lifts go up, in turn improving your weights lifted.  The way this happens is by a concept called Radiant Tension. To demonstrate… continue reading.

Summer Football Training

Long before I kinda “went mainstream” and had the Hardgainer column every month in Men’s Fitness and became known for my ability to help skinny guys get bigger and stronger there was a smaller, hardcore audience that knew me only as the guy who trained football players and combat athletes in a dungeon gym in New Jersey. As much as I love getting guys bigger and stronger, when you throw in the element of speed, conditioning and overall improved athleticism I get REALLY excited. That’s my true passion. If I could only train one type of client it would… continue reading.

Big Calves & Athletic Ability

In between sets of box jumps recently one of my athletes asked me why we don’t train calves. “You wanna train calves?” I asked. “Well, I’d like to have some bigger calves. I mean, mine look kinda silly, being so small and all.” “Have you seen mine? Not exactly what you’d call huge. More like tomato cans.” “There not as small as mine, though.” “Yeah, but I’m 30 plus pounds bigger than you. Proportionately they’re the same.” “So, you don’t train your calves?” “Nope.” “Why not?” “Well, first of all, I hate training calves. I hate all… continue reading.

Why Some Skinny Guys Will Always Stay Skinny

It’s funny, but these days, with all the advances in science and technology that have been made over the last few decades, an average skinny guy has far less of a chance of ever getting significantly bigger, stronger and faster than he did twenty or thirty years ago. Why? Because there is far too much information out there and society as a whole has developed an incurable case of ADD. The Baltimore Colts won Super Bowl V while training under the watchful eye of legendary strength coach, Bill Starr. You know what their program consisted of? Bench, squat, clean-… continue reading.

7 Ways to Fix Your Shoulders

As you may know by now I suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum that required surgery. The injury was a long time in the making and the destruction of my shoulder began many years ago when I was doing stupid things like isometronic training in the power rack and other high risk, low reward methods. Before surgery I was sitting at about 227 pounds. After several months of being incapacitated and eating like a normal human I was down to 179! Like I’ve always said, my hardgainer genetics are freakishly bad. Hell, my wrists don’t even measure seven inches… continue reading.

3 Ways to Build Muscle Fast

To build muscle fast you need to present the body with a stimulus that it isn’t used to. This stress will cause the body to adapt by building itself up bigger and stronger. Where most people go wrong is that they think they need to annihilate the muscle in order to elicit any type of response. This is counterproductive. When you annihilate the muscle with tons of sets, reps and constantly train to failure and beyon you drastically increase your recovery time. The problem with that is that training frequency is very important. So when you increase your recovery… continue reading.