When it comes to building strength in the gym, most guys tend to think about the main 4 powerlifting movements: squats, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press. Being able to move lots of weight safely and efficiently in these movements means you're strong, but that doesn't mean other exercises aren't vital for strength gains, too. These other exercises are called "assistance lifts" or "accessory exercises". Click and watch the video below for my thoughts and demonstration of a few of these.
"What exactly is training to failure? For example, if I can successfully get out that last rep, even if my face is purple, have I trained to failure or not? I could try a subsequent rep which would NOT be completed, which would be absolute failure I suppose."
A reader asks "I’m 56 and in pretty good shape for my age. I don’t do barbell training, but I jog three times a week and eat healthy. Why should I bother with pumping iron since I’m doing fine without it?"
With any pursuit in life, managing details is important. This is just as true of muscle and strength building as anything else. As everyone serious about getting strong knows, there are many products on the market that promise to improve your results. The vast majority of these claims are hogwash, but there are a few products that really do help. I use three such products which come in the form of powders. Click and watch the video to learn what these products are and how
A Man Factory reader asks: "I’m having trouble gaining muscular size. I’ve been lifting weights for about six months, and although I see more muscle definition now than when I started, I’m still skinny. Is there anything I can do about this? I’m worried I might just be cursed with poor muscle gaining genetics."
A reader asks: "I just started training a couple months ago, and although my other lifts are going fine, my knees really hurt during squats, even if I use light weight. Is this something I can fix, or could it be that I’m simply not built for squatting?"
"I’ve been lifting weights for a while now, and have been making good progress in the squat and deadlift. I was always weakest in bench press though, and it’s still my slowest progressing lift. Why is this, and is there anything I can do about it?"
Recently I was reminded of a workout truth that I’ve known for a long time, but pushed into the back of my mind. What truth? That a good training partner can vastly improve your strength training performance.
The majority of guys I advise on strength and fitness start off overweight. Sometimes seriously so. Although I’ve coached a few skinny guys, for most, losing serious amounts of body fat is the first step to improving their bodies, strength, and confidence.
If strength is your goal, squatting with just your bodyweight only takes you so far. That’s where a barbell comes in. In this article I’ll lay out all steps involved in the high bar barbell back squat. High bar refers to the barbell’s position on top of your traps, just below your neck. This version is easier to learn and master than the low bar variety, and is the preferred squatting style of nearly all Olympic weightlifters. Let’s get started.