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The Hormonal Response to Squats and Muscle Growth

For literally decades, the idea that the hormonal response to squats is important for overall growth has been around.  It came up again recently in my Facebook group and I wanted to address (and ultimately dismiss it) yet again.  First,  Consider the following two statements:

  1. You have to squat (or more generally train lower body) to get big.
  2.  What’s up with all those guys in the gym with big upper bodies and no legs?

I’ve seen the same person make both statements without realizing that they inherently contradict one another.  If you need to train legs to get big overall, you can’t have guys with big upper bodies who don’t train legs.  It’s not difficult to see why this is wrong.  And yet many continue to repeat both statements.

Squats vs. Leg Press for Big Legs

Years ago I wrote an article arguing that, for some people, the leg press will be a superior exercise choice in terms of building legs than the squat. … Keep Reading

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Let’s Examine Bret Contreras’ PhD Thesis

So this is going to be a weird post.  Originally it was a continuation of a post examining Barbalho et al’s study on the hip thrust versus the squat.  Specifically it contained Bret’s (still) pathetic ad hominem attack on Barbalho along with an examination of Bret’s original thesis on the topic.  I compared that thesis to the (apparently) strong methodology of Barbalho’s paper at the end.

However, there is a problem.  Roughly a week ago, a paper was released pointing out inconsistencies (or rather extreme similarity) of the data in a number of Barbalho’s papers, raising the question of their validity.  Their study on training volume in men was already retracted  and it’s entirely possible that more of their studies will be as well. For that reason, a comparison of the Barbalho et al. paper to Bret’s thesis is no longer appropriate.

Bret’s PhD Thesis is Still Crap

However, however, the fact that Barbalho’s work is no in question doesn’t change a rather simple fact: Bret’s thesis is, at it’s core, a pathetic piece of work. … Keep Reading

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Is the Hip Thrust Better than the Back Squat for Glutes?

Finger Guns

This post previously contained an analysis of a paper by Barbalho et al. comparing the hip thrust to the squat.     I have taken that analysis down for the time being.

Roughly a week ago, a paper was released pointing out inconsistencies (or rather extreme similarity) of the data in a number of Barbalho’s papers, raising the question of their validity.  Their study on training volume in men was already retracted  and it’s entirely possible that more of their studies will be as well.  Until such time as the situation has been resolved, it seems most prudent to remove the analysis of their paper.

However, I have chosen not to fully depublish this post since I feel that is more honest to leave it up with an explanation of why the analysis is no longer here.  If the Barbalho et al. data turns out to be valid and the papers are not retracted, I will republish the text.… Keep Reading

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The Facts About Supercompensation of Training

Even so often in my Facebook group, the topic of supercompensation of training comes up in one context or another.  And I invariably dump on the idea, pointing out that it is neither an accurate or correct model of the training process.  Now I want to explain in detail why I believe that.  Along with supercompensation, I also want to look at the fitness-fatigue model of training and General Adaptation Syndrome.

A Note about This Article

As I mentioned in the video, a great deal of the ideas I will discuss come from a paper titled The Basics of Training for Muscle Size and Strength: A Brief Review on the Theory. by Buckner et. al.    I’d point out two things about this paper.

First, one of the authors (Jeremy Loenneke) puts out work from a lab that seems to have a bit of a HIT bias.    I’m not trying to dismiss the paper so much as put some perspective on the author’s direction.   … Keep Reading

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Sweep Dojo

Today, I want to run a weird little video/article I did called Sweep Dojo.  For those not familiar with the term, I shall explain shortly but it’s a little bit of a weird piece Esoteric isn’t the right word although I might call it philosophical.  By that I don’t mean the pointless navel gazing that most philosophy seems to represent.  Rather it represents part of my philosophical approach to training and coaching.

So let’s find out what it means to sweep dojo.

What Does Sweep Dojo Even Mean?

Anyone with a martial arts background probably recognizes the phrase Sweep Dojo.  Even without the background, you might know what it means if you watched Kung-Fu movies.  For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain.

In the most literal sense, the idea of sweep dojo is something that comes out of very classical martial arts training.  By this I mean the type you might see in Buddhist monasteries.… Keep Reading