Deadlift Session: Heavy Paused Singles

 

 

 

 

 

Deadlift day is one of my favorites, but also one of my most nervous days because I know it is going to be hard. I’m going to give you my most recent deadlift workout, and what a typical session looks like for me.

Without further or do, here we go.

Deadlift Session

(sets x reps x weight)

Warm-up Circuit:

  • Stairs: 10 total times (~16 total steps)
    • First 5 ran every step
    • Second 5 ran every other step
  • Kettlebell swings
    • 3 x 12 x 52.9lbs
  • Lunges
    • 3 x 10/10 x BW
  • Back extensions
    • 3 x 15/12/10 x BW
  • Barbell Row
    • 2 x 10 x 135
  • Stretch
    • Cat/camel, and stretched primarily back, legs, and hips

Deadlift Workout (conventional with no belt and no straps)

  • Warm-up sets
    • 2 x 3/1 x 135
    • 2 x 3/1 x 225
    • 2 x 3/1 x 315
  • Working Sets
    • 3 x 1 x 365 (paused)
    • 3 x 1 x 385 (paused)
    • 3 x 1 x 405 (paused)
      • 3 x 3 x 405 (last set ~20 second hold after last rep)

Deadlift Variation

  • 5 x 3 to 5 x 315 (RDLs)
  • 5 x 5 x 225 (snatch grip RDLs)

Power Clean to Front Squats:

  • 5 x 1 or 10 x 135 (tempo to paused reps, to normal reps)

Lat Pull-down:

  • 2 x 8 x 120 and 2 x 8 x 160

Core Circuit (3 rounds, 90 second rest b/w rounds)

  • Wind Shield wipers (on ground and hands on side)
    • x 10
  • V-up (with knees bent)
    • x 10
  • Flutter kicks
    • x 10 (counted one, two, three, 1, one, two, three, 2…)

Stretching

  • Full body with emphasis on hips, back, legs, and shoulder complex

That’s it!

My emphasis on this day was variation, and I took it as heavy as I could within the limits of my programming.

(Click HERE to learn more about my current programming).

I focused on the conventional deadlift today as opposed to the sumo, which is my dominant style. Adding the paused variation was a good challenge, but it felt really good. My primary goal in lifting is to become as proficient as possible in the lift, and that is why I was doing heavy paused singles. This way I can ensure the best technique possible minimizing breakdown and injury, while building the strength effect I am aiming for to get closer to my goal of deadlifting 500 raw.

In case you are wondering, I like to do some sort of circuit to warm-up my body, regardless of what lift I’m doing for the day. This way I get my body temperature up and blood flowing fast, and I think it primes my body better to lift, in addition at being more efficient with my time. I’ve been doing this for the past couple months, and it really has helped jump-start my workouts and get me ready like I need to be.

This made the workout feel great, and then after I added variation to my working deadlift sets to mix things up, and train certain muscles and parts of the deadlift further (i.e. the hamstrings and glutes to better lock out at the top — a sticking point in the lift).

Following this, I did some minor accessory movements as the end, with a core circuit to finish things off good.

I tried not to push it too hard, since I tweaked my right shoulder earlier in the week after benching. It has been giving me some trouble since Tuesday, but that said, it felt pretty good during this session last Thursday. All-in-all good progress and I felt strong, especially since my sleeping schedule was thrown off earlier in the week.

That said, let me know what you think about my training, and what you are focusing on with your lifting and what programming you are doing.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and if not a subscriber please subscribe.

Until next time, be strong and be you!

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Re-thinking the “No Pain, No Gain” Notion for Strength: A Case for Sub-maximal Training

Image result for no pain no gain

NO PAIN, NO GAIN.

An expression that perpetuates the fitness industry, and the attitudes and philosophy of many gym-goers, and even professionals.

Believe it or not, one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, coined this terms by stating “There are no gains without pains” (source). More recently, Jane Fonda made the “No pain, no gain” attitude popular in the 1980’s, thanks to her workout videos stating “Feel the burn” (source).

Regardless of the source’s origin, this “no pain, no gain” doctrine is no more prevalent than in the lifting community and those hoping to get “BIG” and “STRONG.”

Under this attitude of training, exercises are often taken to failure, pushing beyond the pain response of muscle and the body, in order to make “GAINS.” Whether it is trying to do as many reps as possible (AMRAP) to failure, or trying to break a PR every-time someone hits the gym, this “no pain, no gain” attitude perpetuates lifting.

Nowadays, this philosophy continues on through the likes of popular fitness voices, such as CT Fletcher, and his no excuses and tough-nosed training philosophy.

Watch his “I Command You to Grow” videos, and you will see the intensity of his training, and where “no pain, no gain” fits in.

I love his intensity and my stance is not to discredit CT Fletcher, or others, and their hard work, and everything they have gone through and what they necessarily preach. I think CT Fletcher is great, but let’s be honest…there is only one CT Fletcher. If you watched his documentary on Netflix, entitled My Magnificent Obsession, you’ll understand and probably feel inspired and motivated to kick some ass in the gym and throw away any excuses, including any pain.

That said, to believe the “no pain, no gain” philosophy is the ONLY way to build muscle, increase strength, and improve performance is a fallacy.

If you want to break your body then this is a good philosophy to have.

However, if you want to be efficient with your gains, and minimize injuries, participating in the sub-maximal training philosophy is a great training method solution.

This is why I’d like you to have an open mind and reconsider the notion of the “NO PAIN, NO GAIN” attitude of training to failure and having to “HURT” yourself to build strength and add lean muscle mass to your frame.

This is not the case. That is why I am going to advocate the idea of SUB-MAXIMAL TRAINING to increase strength and add muscle, as superior to brute force ALONE.

What is SUB-MAXIMAL training?

In short, sub-maximal training is working in a moderate, or medium, percentage of your one-rep max (1RM) in an exercise, most often the squat, deadlift, bench press, or overhead press, to add strength and muscle by focusing on technique, while minimizing injury.

Simple as that.

What are the parameters?

  • The intensity, or WEIGHT, is typically within the neighborhood of 60% to 85% of your 1RM in a lift.
  • Reps are between 1 to 5, or even up to 6 or 8, depending on the percentage and focus (i.e. strength, power, hypertrophy, etc.).
  • Sets are usually between 5 to 10 working sets; meaning: the sets that matter and really count lie within the range you are working at (60% to 85%). These are your “working sets”. 
  • Each rep of every set should be done with the best technique and form you can possibly use to build efficiency.
    • THINK: “PERFECT REPS”.
  • Your working sets should not be “GRINDERS.”
    • This means that the successful completion of a repetition in a lift should not be so exhaustive to the point where you might fail, like any wobbling, shaking, instability, etc., that causes excessive breakdown in your technique.
    • If this is the case, you need to modify the intensity (weight), reps, or sets to avoid grinders.

      This thought — not having excessive grinders — is extremely important because one of the biggest tenets of sub-maximal training is injury prevention, and “grinders” do not fit this training style.

Again, the GOAL of sub-maximal training is to get a desired strength and muscle building effect without breaking your body for more than what is required by using an effective dosage weight (60% to 85% of 1RM).

For example, let’s say you can bench press 225 pounds for your 1RM. Based on this number, you would work in the neighborhood of 135 pounds and 185 pounds (~60-85%). Based on this example, your working sets might consist of doing 5 sets of 5 at 155 pounds. Your goal here, and every-time, is to do PERFECT REPS by focusing on technique and using as much muscle that should be involved. This includes any variation you might do, like a paused bench press.

This allows a stimulus to build strength and improve performance while minimizing the chance for injury, like those “grinders”.

Is Sub-maximal training too easy?

No.

Sub-maximal training is not easier.

In fact, it is probably harder than going in the gym and trying to break your 1RM every-time.

Why?

Because thought is given on technique first, which requires great concentration and the development of proper movement patterns to do so. This helps you think about using all the muscles that you should be using, and if not, you are actively working on it by training at a moderate load to improve and overcome any deficiencies. Eventually, you progress and go up from there.

During this process, you will improve your neuromuscular control (how well you are able to move in an exercise, or movement) which helps increase strength. This is because the better your central nervous system (CNS) can work, in theory, the more potential you have at using, and working on, as much muscle as available. This leads to strength and hypertrophy gains, aiding in the pursuit of adding lean muscle mass to your frame.

In addition, sub-maximal training is essentially the meat and potatoes of your training. It will be the bulk of your training that is going give you the most of your desired results: building strength, muscle, athleticism, aesthetics, etc. If you are consistently going in the gym to break a PR, I can guarantee you that you will break first. No question.

I hate saying absolutes, but if you want to fight the weight every-time you workout and break a PR, you will lose…EVERY-TIME.

Where you win is being smart and that is why sub-maximal training is so beneficial to building strength and muscle because you avoid unnecessary damage to your body. This increases the longevity of your lifting career because it makes it more sustainable long-term. This will aid your pursuit of trying to get as strong as possible because a more healthy body can lift more weight.

Period.

Is There Value to No Pain, No Gain?

Short answer, yes.

Butttt…there’s a limit.

The issue is that many take it to far and push and push and push, leading to a breaking point — literally.

At the end of the day, progress is what matters, especially if you plan on increasing your strength, and overall fitness. Trying to have the best workout ever or beat your previous 1RM every-time you go in the gym does not lead to good and efficient progress, especially in the long-term. This is where sub-maximal training comes into the picture, and the “no pain, no gain” dogma stops.

Sub-maximal training gives you efficient progress by building your body up with control and not chaos. The notion of having to “feel” sore the next day is the absolute worst measurement of progress and if you are getting stronger.

A much better way to measure strength is how your body feels week-to-week and comparing numbers from one training cycle to the next.

This, however, does not excuse you from working hard and lifting with intensity when you workout. This is a must, and a given. Let’s not confuse that thought. What is important, however, is that you balance and temper your intensity and not let it consume you to the  point of breaking — what no pain, no gain is about.

Will you never feel pain when you lift?

Of course, not. Let’s not be naive.

You’re going to bang your body up no matter what…shit just happens.

However, working beyond minor aches and pains is one thing, but working through excessive pain where you feel it during your workout even though you have adrenaline and other fight or flight hormones running through your body is another thing. If that is the case stop or you will cause more damage to whatever is hurting, and further break your body.

The point is to not have serious injury and that is where no pain, no gain fails.

Conclusion

There is a time to be aggressive and fired-up and lift the bar and weight with no holds bar. That is one thing I like about “no pain, no gain” because it teaches you not to be a “pussy.” You need that because you are not in the gym to feel pampered and comforted. The gym is not a spa. The gym is a place to abuse your body in a controlled fashion that makes you stronger than when you came in.

But, let’s be smart about it and not take it to extremes.

That is why sub-maximal training is so effective in leading to strength and muscle gains, and improving your overall fitness during the process because it is a measured approach fueled with intensity to lift your best.

It is really that simple.

It provides balance in your training leading to tremendous results.

Even the boys from Westside Barbell understood the need for a balanced approach by incorporating measured resting periods of de-load for the body to recover throughout their training cycles.

Point is to be balanced.

Remember, those times that call for the type of aggression of “no pain, no gain” come up only once in awhile. For example, a powerlifting meet, or some sort of competition, or just to find out where you stand for your general strength training. What is important, is that most of the time, let’s say 80 to 90% of the time, you are going to be working in sub-maximal ranges to build your base strength, and put on lean muscle mass.

If you do not believe me just look at bodybuilders. They are jacked and they really do not lift heavy often. They focus on the contraction of the muscles in lighter loads to get a hypertrophic effect at building muscle using the mind-muscle connection. Why would that be different when building strength?

It is not too far off, and you only need to change certain parameters and exercises to focus on to do so.

Control your aggression for no pain, no gain in the sub-maximal philosophy and it will take you far.

Let me know what you think.

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading. If not a subscriber subscribe.

Until next time, be strong and be you!

Extra

For more resources on sub-maximal training click the links below:

Submaximal loads for Maximal Results

Juggernaut Training Systems

Submaximal training experimented on collegiate football players

(Photo Credit)

Success Factors for Fitness and Health: Free Download

Hey everyone!!

I’m excited to announce that I’m offering my health guide, Success Factors of Health, as FREE to DOWNLOAD for anyone looking to improve their health and performance, both inside and out of the gym.

In the guide, you will find the four success factors you need to optimize daily to better achieve the health and fitness you are looking to reach.

They are simple, yet difficult in practice to accomplish, so I’ll go in detail through each one and present facts about each factor, and methods to better achieve reaching each one adequately.

To download my SUCCESS FACTORS of HEALTH guide, click HERE.

As always, thank you for stopping by, and if not a subscriber please subscribe.

Until next time be strong and be you!

Best,

Cody

Stop Making EXCUSES! JUST SHOW UP! (RANT)

Image result for excuses meme working out

“EXCUSES EQUALS NON-PERFORMANCE.”

That is what my Mom told me when I was a kid when I didn’t do my homework.

That same principle applies to working out and eating right to be in the shape you want.

EXCUSES = NON-PERFORMANCE

Simple.

Excuses kill your progress and they will only stop your fitness goals from happening: losing weight, gaining muscle, building endurance, improving aesthetics, increasing body mobility and functionality, etc.

This is why you have to be real with yourself about things by setting clear priorities, being self-disciplined, and honest with yourself and the effort that you are putting in.

I’m not here to be Tony Robins and give you the motivational “pep talk” to get you off your ass and in the gym.

What I am saying is that EXCUSES KILL the shape and level of health you want to be in.

Period.

Saying things like…

  • I’m too tried
  • I had to work late
  • I had to do this thing for my friend
  • I’m too sore
  • I had to run errands
  • I haven’t ate today

…are all excuses that lead to no progress and no results.

And, look. I get it. Sometimes things do come up that take precedent over working out or training, and you can’t go to the gym and get your work in. I’m not talking about those things because most of those things that do take precedent, like a family emergency, a car breaking down, an injury, the storm of the century, etc., rarely come up.

What I am talking about are your EVERYDAY EXCUSES that you tell yourself to make you believe that it is “OKAY” not to go to the gym or just be physically active.

THIS IS THE PROBLEM.

This “PUTTING THINGS OFF” because of A, B, or C only leads to more and more of not doing instead of doing.

THIS LEADS TO POOR HABITS AND DISCIPLINE THAT MAKE CONSISTENCY – THE NUMBER 1 INGREDIENT FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS – ELUSIVE.

This results in no positive change and progress to achieve the health and fitness you want.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TIME MAKE TIME.

Cut the goofing off, looking at social media, watching TV, or whatever else you do that makes you procrastinate, and not workout and get the work that you need to get in done.

Structure your day better by organizing and prioritizing what matters and what doesn’t. Block out a specific time that you need to work out. If you’re really busy change your workout routine to circuits to be more efficient with your time instead of having 3 hour long workouts. Begin prepping your meals for the day, or week, to stop you from eating-out several times a week to avoid poor decisions and decision fatigue.

You have got to PRIORITIZE things in your life that lead to GOOD LIFESTYLE HABITS that make decisions like working out or eating healthy a “NO-BRAINER” decision because it’s built into your everyday lifestyle.

Ultimately, if our bodies do not function like they should everything in our life starts to break down. If you have a job that makes you work 12 hour days and exhausts you maybe that is not for you. Or, maybe you need to be more disciplined with your time and cut out the nonsense so you have time to workout and eat healthy. Again, prioritizing and organizing is what matters, and it starts by cutting out the excuses.

We only have one body, so why not optimize our body to the best of our abilities to be in good health and shape that we want? There is no reason not to, so you have got to MAKE HEALTH A PRIORITY.

This will help our day-to-day energy levels, maintaining a healthy weight and metabolism, and decrease our risk of developing chronic diseases when we make OUR HEALTH a priority instead of an afterthought.

Do what you need to do, and get it done.

You can make all the excuses in the world, but, at the end of the day, if you do not put in the work that you need to do no results and progress will come.

  • The weight you want to lose will not happen.
  • The muscle you want to put on will not be there.
  • The level of shape and health that you are seeking will not be there.

To perform at our best our body demands good physical health. Pulling all-nighters and sacrificing sleep does not equal optimal performance. Neither does choosing fast-food because it is convenient.

And, listen…

I’m not saying you cannot get the work that you need to get in when you are tired or if you’re surviving on a Ramen noodle diet. Based on the society we live in and lifestyles most of us have — fast-paced with a short attention span causing poor sleep, high stress, and unhealthy food — things like that become “normal”. What I am saying, however, is that being consistently tired, not eating right and not being physically active is going to catch up to you eventually, and your body will suffer for it (me included).

For example, you may notice when your health starts to break-down you begin to experience abnormal things, such as brain fog, digestive issues, poor complexion, frequent colds/runny nose, weight-gain, muscle atrophy, and a host of other minor ailments. If not addressed and action taken to resolve or mitigate these issues, it will likely lead to significant chronic diseases, such as Type II diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, etc., quicker.

HOW DO WE STOP THAT?

We stop these things from happening by doing our best to minimize things that take away from our health as much as possible, and do things that build us up as much as possible.

It all begins by leaving the excuses behind.

Don’t get me wrong. I have been there myself, and like everyone, struggle with issues that claw away at my health everyday. At one time, being severely overweight, I know it even more. I made all the excuses, and avoided anything fitness or diet related for the longest time. Mostly, because I was intimidated by the process of change, causing great resistance. But, once I started to be honest with myself and take small steps forward and accept the situation I was in things began to get better.

It did not happen overnight, but the more and more I showed up and cut the excuses the more successful I became at losing weight, gaining muscle, and improving my overall physical health.

It’s cliché, but half the battle is showing up.

You have JUST got to show-up and good things will happen. If you know you need to go to the gym and do not feel like it do it anyway. Once you get your body warmed-up and going you will start to feel good.

I can say confidently that the best workouts I have had have been times where I did not feel like working out. What I did do is show up, and once I got started I hit my flow and crushed what I needed to do. That is why you need to stop making excuses.

In my opinion, you do not need motivation, especially to get started.

What you need is ACTION and the motivation will come after, and carry you far forward thereafter, breeding motivation to go harder and do better.

JUST SHOW UP and STOP THE EXCUSES.

Done.

(Photo Credit)

Strength Programming Update: 2017 Quarter 1

Hey guys!

I’ve completed my first programming cycle of the year and it feels great!

I hit new PRs for every lift, and the best part is that my body is healthy and not too beat up. I’ve put in a lot of work inside and outside of the gym for that to happen and it’s paying dividends.

To recap, below is a table chart of where I started 2017 and where I stand right now after my first training cycle of 2017.

First Quarter Programming Recap (Jan-Feb 2017)
Lift Starting Max (lbs.) Ending Max (lbs.) Total Increase (lbs.)
1.      Squat 355 385 30
2.      Bench Press 275 295 20
3.      Deadlift 445 465 20
4.      Overhead Press 185 195 10
Totals 1260 1340 100
BODY WEIGHT 187 188 ~1-1.5

To illustrate this training cycle I’m in right now reference the table below.Now, that I have my first quarter out of the way (yes, I know I ended my first training cycle early – 8 weeks instead of 12), but I’m already in the next cycle, and so far it is a grind, but going good.

Mar – May 2017 Training Cycle (total weeks: 12)
Week Focus
Weeks 1-2 – March Hypertrophy
Weeks 3-4 – March Traditional 5×5, Variation
Weeks 5-6 – April Triples, Variation
Weeks 7-8 – April Mix
Weeks 9-10 – May Doubles, Variation
Weeks 11-12 – May Peak
 

As you can see from the table above, this training cycle will be 12 weeks, or 3 months, instead of 8 weeks (or 2 months). I’ve broken the cycle into segments each having its own focus. That said, like with anything, I will modify it on an as-need basis if anything comes up or I think it is better to change things up (i.e. getting sick, switching focus for a particular time period, etc.).

It will be interesting to see how this training cycle goes as opposed to the first one of the year, since this cycle will be 12 weeks instead of 8.

Also, this training cycle I will try a better job at tightening my focus for each particular week making things a bit more consistent. This week I am doing the traditional 5×5 style and next week I will focus on variation of the 5×5 model. For example, in the squat I may choose a front squat or pause squat as variation instead of trying to go heavier in the normal 5×5 style in each lift. This way I feel I can keep things consistent, and do a better job at challenging my body and progressing more and more each week (even if it is just a baby step forward).

At the end of the day, progress is all that matters to me, so as long as I am moving forward and getting stronger in some way that is all I care about.

I believe progression is number 1, no matter what the goal, so I encourage you to do the same and keep getting stronger.

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading, and if not a subscriber please subscribe.

If you are interested in learning more about my training style, have a question, or interested in working with me please comment below or email me at builtfromstrength@gmail.com, and I will get back to you right away.

If you have not already, click HERE to download my LEAN MUSCLE BUILDING program free. This is the base program I’m using right now for my training cycles, and if you are knew to lifting and getting stronger, it is a great place to start.

Until next time, be strong and be you!

Should You Workout Fasted…MY EXPERIENCE

Image result for fasted

Working out or training fasted.

  • Does it work for fat lost?
  • Does it hinder your strength and burn your muscle?
  • Is it even safe?

I’m sure if you’ve been working out for awhile you have probably heard some talk regarding this subject and these questions.

With that said, I am not here to present a body of evidence for or against fasted exercise, although I do advocate it. All I will do is give you my honest experience training fasted, and the results from it, giving you a new perspective allowing you to determine whether or not it is worth trying for you.

Yes, my experience is anecdotal evidence, but that does not make it useless.

At one time, or another, everything that has been studied in the fitness arena has been anecdotal. That’s why there are studies because someone says this or that works and it is then studied. That said, use my experience for what it’s worth: my experience.

My Fasted Training

Over the last 4 years, I have worked out in a fasted state regularly.

What exactly is considered a fasted state?

To me, fasting is not eating anything for 8 hours or more.

For example, if you stopped eating at 9:00pm and had breakfast the next day at 7:00am, then you would have fasted for 10 hours.

With that said, I have trained fasted for as much as 3 to 4 times per week (currently, I am training twice a week fasted) for approximately the last 4 years. These fasted workouts are the same type of workouts I do if I wasn’t fasting. I’m lifting heavy weights, pushing myself as hard as I can, and not going light.

What has my experience been like?

It’s been great.

How do I measure that?

I measure that based on my level of strength week-to-week, my body composition (weight and body fat percentage), and just how I feel overall the rest of the day compared to other days I do not work out fasted.

I know some of that measure is subjective, but measure nonetheless. During my time training fasted, I’ve kept my level of strength, improved it, and increased my lean muscle mass, as well as endurance.

How do I do I train fasted?

Typically, the night before I exercise fasted, I stop eating anywhere from 8 to 10pm, based upon my current schedule. I typically wake around 7am, and arrive at the gym from 8:30 to 9am. Between that time, I hydrate as soon as I wake by drinking lots of water, usually 32 to 50 ounces, and do some light stretching and mobility exercises before the gym. Next, I drink a branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement before I leave.

Once I arrive to the gym, I do my warm-up routine and start my workout. During my workout, I’ll drink plenty of fluids and take more BCAAs to keep going hard until the end. After my workout, I might take more BCAAs or, finally, break my fast and eat a protein bar or my post workout meal (it all depends).

Importance of BCAAs

Image result for bcaa scivation

Now, let me explain to you why I take BCAAs while training fasted.

I’m sure many of you have your own opinion on them, but I do believe they are a supplement worth taking, especially if you are going to work out fasted.

BCAAs are the amino acids that first break down when you start to workout once your muscle begins to break down. They are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and are essential amino acids. This means they must be obtained through the diet (virtually in all major sources of protein, like any meat, eggs, etc.) and/or supplementation. BCAAs have been heavily studied and have shown to have positive influence on protein synthesis, adding lean muscle mass, and in some instances fighting fatigue during a workout.

(Click HERE  and HERE to learn more about BCAAs and studies on them).

From working out fasted and not taking them, to working out fasted and taking them, I do 100% feel a difference.

For example, if I do not take them I notice that I cannot train with as much as intensity. I feel weaker, have less endurance, and do not get as good of a pump if I skip out on them while training fasted. In contrast, when I take them fasted and workout I feel much more alive, energetic, my endurance and strength are at expected levels, and I get a better pump. A noticeable difference.

How do I know?

Lots of experimentation with myself.

Keyword: MYSELF.

This is what works out for me, and taking BCAAs helps me maximize my fasted workouts. I cannot feel weak and not get the work in that I need to, especially if I am going to lift heavy. I do not want any excuses holding me back. I have repeatedly got new PRs training fasted, and BCAAs are a critical factor in that.

The video below is me hitting a new all-time squat PR last week at 385 pounds around 188 pounds body weight (and beltless!).

The squat felt great, even though I had to grind it out. No issues with my back, and all while training fasted with BCAAs.

Fasted Training Benefits

The reason why I train fasted are many, but below are the main reasons why:

  • I want to stimulate fat loss.
  • I want to challenge my body to perform at different times.
  • It is more convenient for me.
  • I think it helps increase glucose sensitivity, and elevate testosterone and growth hormone production.
  • It helps boosts my metabolism, and maintain a healthy weight for me.

(Click HERE to learn more about fasted training benefits and how to start, and HERE for an interesting insulin study comparing fasted and non-fasted workouts).

For me, all these benefits are great, and the number one reason why I do fasted workouts is to help stimulate fat-loss and control my weight. The difference is astounding to me, and I love it. I feel leaner afterwards, and I notice that I can keep my weight under control a lot more when I do consistent fasted workouts.

The one thing you and I must do, however, is keep your fasted workouts and the routine you do to prepare for them consistent.

This way, I think, you will have more success in maximizing the benefits of training fasted, while progressing like you want during your training.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of your experience with fasted workouts, I suggest you re-evaluate your thoughts and give it a shot.

Again, the worst thing you could do is be scared of training fasted. Keep your preparation routines consistent, and prioritize and/or schedule your days to where it fits your calendar. For example, trying intermittent fasting (or feasting, depending how you look at it) will aid in your pursuit of training fasted.

Is it a one-all solution to exponentially improve muscle building, strength, endurance, etc.?

No, but I DO THINK you can feel a significant and positive difference if you do it right.

That is why I highly recommend giving it a shot. It may feel draining at first, but if you make sure to hydrate, take a solid BCAA supplement (I take a brand called Scviation), and do it earlyish in the morning, I think you will really come to like it.

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading. If it calls you please comment down below, and if not a subscriber please subscribe.

Until next time, be strong and be you!

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Breaking Strength Plateaus: The Mental

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There’s a saying in the Navy Seals that you can do 20 times what you think you think your body can do. From the BUDs training they go through it upholds its truth.

Now, lifting heavy weights and becoming a Navy Seal are two totally completely different things (becoming a Navy Seal is by FAR much more intense and difficult to do, I understand!), BUT…the one transfer to lifting is the mindset of pushing through of what you think your body can do, as you start to progress and seek to lift heavier weight.

For example, lifting heavier weights, from my experience, has had more mental plateaus and turmoil than my body. Yes, I have had some significant injuries, which probably play a factor in that mindset to lift heavier weights, but for the most part, during my lifting career, many of the plateaus I experienced were more mental than physical.

For example, I remember when I first wanted to squat 315, and I put those three 45 pound plates on the barbell my attitude changed. First, I was confident, then when I saw the barbell loaded up I got nervous. I was anxious and had self-doubt if I could even do it, even when 275 and 295 before went up like nothing.

This has been a common experience for me in my lifting career, especially when I set a new PR goal in any lift. What happens is that there is some emotional barrier in my subconscious regarding that PR goal that makes it hard when I start to train, and especially when it is time to lift it.

I know if I do an okay job at programming, do my best to train with intensity, and do all things to be consistent when training at and away from the gym I know I can get there. The issue, for me, is believing I can, and pushing through that mental plateau of what I think I can do.

There is no doubt that you have to have your body prepared, in good shape, and technique down to lift heavy weight. But, if that mental baggage of whether you think  you can do it or not is with you, you are going to have a lot of trouble getting there, if at all. This is especially true if you’ve been a the same weights for what seems like the longest time. You have to turn that switch, and get comfortable at being uncomfortable.

For example, one of my goals is to deadlift 500 pounds, and I just recently sumo deadlifted 465 beltless. That success is great, but I really have to get after it every time now because I am going to start to train at weights I thought were really heavy, but are now not heavy like they once were.

Essentially, I, and you, have to get more comfortable at lifting heavier weights as the “NEW NORMAL”.

It is important to understand that in our progression weights will not feel so monumental anymore, and that is normal. That is a good thing. That means you and I are getting stronger, and progressing like we hope and should, given the effort and investment put in.

What I believe we have to do is attack the weight. Attack the weight and give it your all, and leave the excuses behind. If you are truly injured then wait another day. BUT, if you are good attack those damn weights, and when it’s your time to do a maximal lift, lift that shit or die trying (Elliott Hulse reference)!

Own the weight, and go for it. Whether you succeed or you fail is not the point. You have just got to attack.

In this process, you will be in a better position to break down your own mental barriers if you are on the attack. As you start to do so, you’ll gain confidence in future lifts, and be in a better position to succeed. It will take time, but if you attack the weight and visualize yourself performing it with success you will make lifting heavier a reality and break plateaus.

Let’s break ’em!

 

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading. Comment below and subscribe if not already.

Until next time, be strong and be you.

 

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