The Problem with Periodization Research

Periodization has been the subject of a great deal of controversy lately.

While the majority of research has shown that periodized training programs result in greater maximal strength gains versus non-periodized programs (1, 2), many papers have criticized these findings (3-5). [Read more…]

Go Heavy or Go Home?

One of the biggest nuisances I encounter in training circles is the belief that you must lift heavy to get big.

Many personal trainers who don’t do their research will prescribe very heavy sets (reps in the 3 – 5 range) to their clients who wish to maximize muscle growth. [Read more…]

New Study on Periodization and Muscle Growth

A new review has just been published ahead of print on the effects of periodized resistance training (RT) on muscle hypertrophy (1).

As a brief overview, periodization can be defined as a cyclic training structure designed to maximize performance, manage fatigue, and minimize plateaus (2). [Read more…]

Addressing the Argument Against High-Volume Training

Many advocates of low-volume training state time inefficiency as a point against high-volume training.

A good way to view this is through a term we may call the ‘cost-to-benefit ratio’ of training. [Read more…]

How Much Volume is Needed to Maximize Strength Gains?

A new meta-analysis by Ralston and colleagues has come out investigating the effects of training volume and strength gains (1).

While I have discussed in other articles the impact of volume on muscle growth, I figured I would provide a brief rundown of this meta-analysis as it pertains to strength, while providing some of my thoughts on the findings. [Read more…]

Linear Periodization versus Undulating Periodization

Periodization is a cyclic structure of training designed to maximize performance, manage fatigue, and minimize plateaus (1).

It can be implemented in many forms, however, at its most basic level it incorporates planned variation in loading and volume over the course of a training cycle. [Read more…]

Can Bodyweight Exercises Build Muscle?

One of the biggest misconceptions in the fitness community is the notion that bodyweight training is useless for muscle growth.

Given my affinity for bodyweight training (or ‘calisthenics’) over the years, I have constantly been told by others that it is a waste of time, and that I would be better off solely focusing on weight training. [Read more…]

3 x 3 versus 3 x 10: A Study

Since I took my hiatus from posting articles to finish The Science of Weight Training, I have been meaning to do a write-up on a study by Schoenfeld and colleagues (1), which compared the effects of a 3 x 3 training protocol to a 3 x 10 protocol. [Read more…]

Are BCAAs Worth It?

While I was putting the final touches onto the supplement chapter of my new book, The Science of Weight Training, it hit me just how controversial and misunderstood the topic I was revising truly is.

Specifically, I am referring the issue of BCAAs and their effectiveness (or lack thereof) for muscle and strength gains. [Read more…]

Should You Decrease Your Training Volume When Cutting?

Lifters who understand fat loss will understand that you must impose a caloric deficit to lose body fat.

This means taking in fewer calories than you burn.

To accomplish this, intelligent lifters will reduce their calorie intake while either maintaining or increasing their training output. [Read more…]