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Anabolic Steroids and Muscle Growth

Ok, let me start this with a disclaimer: I am not a steroid guy. I know enough to be a little bit dangerous and can throw around big words like leutinizing hormone and steroidogenesis but that’s about it. I’ve read most of the major books (and I have both Duchaine’s Ultimate Steroid Handbook and USHII so nyahh) because it interests me on some level but that’s it. I’m not a steroid expert, I don’t claim to be; despite endless people telling me to write about this there are guys out there who have forgotten more than I will ever know about the topic and I leave the topic to them. So why am I writing about steroids?

I got out of college in 1993, where in addition to my studies (UCLA, kinesiology), I had made it part of my obsession to read all of the muscle magazines every month. What if one of them held the true true secret, I couldn’t afford not to read them.… Keep Reading

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Beginning Weight Training Part 4

In Beginning Weight Training Part 1 I examined some of what defines a beginner in terms of entering the weight room along with examining some of the different reasons (e.g. appearance, performance, health/fitness) that people choose to start lifting weights.

In Beginning Weight Training 2, I examined in some detail what some of the primary goals of beginner weight training are including developing an overall base of strength (and/or muscularity), developing work capacity, learning how to perform the lifts, etc.

Finally, in Beginning Weight Training Part 3, I looked at some of the research (and experience) dealing with the loading parameters that are appropriate for beginners.  I’ve summarized them below as a launching off part for today’s final article where I’ll lay out three different basic weight training programs and talk about things like progression, when to change things, etc.

  1. Intensity (percentage of 1 rep. maximum): 60% or a weight that could be done for ~20 repetitions to failure
  2. Volume (# of sets): 1-3 sets per exercise/muscle group.
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Beginning Weight Training Part 3

In Beginning Weight Training Part 1, I looked at some basic concepts related to beginning weight training programs along with defining who was a beginner.  In Beginning Weight Training Part 2, I took a rather detailed look at some of the primary goals of beginner weight training which included neural adaptations, learning proper technique, conditioning connective tissues, improving work capacity, etc.  since those goals guide how to best set up a beginning weight training program.  I’d mention again that, fairly regardless of ultimate goal (e.g. physique sports, strength/power performance, athletic performance or general health), beginning programs shouldn’t and won’t vary too much.  I will note places where they might vary to some degree below.

I’d make the point again that one huge assumption that is going into what I’m going to write is that the individual has no underlying issues (such as muscular imbalances or injury) that are oh so common in the modern world.  … Keep Reading

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Beginning Weight Training Part 2

In Beginning Weight Training Part 1, I looked at some basic issues relating to beginning weight training including some commentary about different goals of weight training (and why a trainee’s ultimate goal sort of doesn’t matter in the very beginning stages) as well as looking at what defines a beginner trainee.

Today I want to continue by looking at what the specific goals of beginner training are, that is what specific adaptations and things are trying to be accomplished when setting up a beginning routine in the weight room.  As I’ll come back to when I finish up next Tuesday in Part 3, those goals desired, along with some science I’m going to bore you with go a long way towards helping to design a good basic beginning weight training program.

Now, as I mentioned in Beginning Weight Training Part 1, people have varying and myriad goals for why they get into the weight room. … Keep Reading

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Beginning Weight Training Part 1

I don’t even remember when I first ran this article but I’ve probably run it annually since then.  And since it IS that time of the year again (and I wanted something a bit lighter than my last piece), it seemed appropriate to talk about beginning weight training.   It’s 4 parts which I’ll run two per week (so it doesn’t take forever to get to the point) and if you know anybody just getting started out, share it with them.

For the most part, articles about beginner’s training aren’t terribly popular.  This is because, with literally no exception I have ever run into in nearly 20 years of doing this, everybody thinks that they are more advanced than they are.  It’s simply human nature, nobody wants to think of themselves as a beginner or noob.  In the world of training and dieting the consequence of this is that folks tend to jump into advanced training or diet interpretations long before they are either needed or useful or they have developed the necessary fundamentals.… Keep Reading