Thursday, March 31, 2016

7 Lies About Women's Fitness & Diet | T Nation

7 Lies About Women's Fitness and Diet

What follows is an article from T Nation about some of the most pervasive lies regarding women and fitness that every woman should read. Avoid the scams and the promises of a "majic pill".

Just click on the link.

7 Lies About Women's Fitness & Diet | T Nation

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Are You Ready for Your Next Challenge?


Challenges are not just for the fun of it. They serve a purpose. Actually, they can serve more than one purpose.  

1.     They can help you break through the plateaus that everyone hits more often than we’d like.
2.     Challenges can shake things up a bit when you start to get bored with your current program. They add some energy and a little excitement when you get into a rut. They raise your interest again.
3.     A major change like a 4 to 6 week challenge can often give you a huge burst of growth or strength when you system needs it move forward. Often after a short challenge the body gets “re-primed” and will continue to move forward after the challenge even if you just go back to your old program.
4.     It’s fun for me to watch you squirm! On the other hand, I’m squirming right along with you. If I haven’t tried it I don’t ask you to.

You should be finishing your last challenge (100 rep challenge) in a week or so and be ready for another jolt. Even if you don’t start this new one right away, save it and come back to it later.

This challenge was developed by Dave Tate, CEO of Elite Fitness Systems. Dave is a power lifting champion in three different weight classes. He has a 935 squat, 740 pound dead lift, and 610 pound bench press for 2205 total pounds in the big 3. And he has over 20 years coaching experience.
Coach Dave Tate

Although Dave is best known as a power lifter this challenge is all about hypertrophy (muscle growth).

The challenge doesn’t really have a name. Let’s just call it “The Longest 30 Seconds of My Life”. If you have suggestions for a name after you try it let me know. I’ll pass your suggestions on to Dave.

Dave Tate got the idea after a conversation with Dr. Eric Serrano regarding a study he did that indicated that maximum muscle hypertrophy occurred between 30 and 45 seconds of time under tension (TUT).

The average time to complete a set for most “average” lifters is only about 10-12 seconds.

“The Longest 30 Seconds of My Life” works like this:

·        Length-Follow the program for 4 weeks
·        The split you chose to use is up to you but Tate suggests 4 workouts per 7 day week with an “active rest day” between each workout but it’s really your choice.
·        3 muscle groups per workout
·        2 exercises for each muscle group. 3 sets for each exercise
·        Work each muscle group 2x per week. Use a different exercise for each muscle group every other workout.
·        Weight-Suggested load is your 12-15 RM for the first 2 sets. (60-65% of your 1 RM for most people) On the third set, lower the weight by 50%. Use the same weight for the entire 4 weeks. The 3rd set is a high rep “pump set” designed to increase blood flow to the muscle.
·        TUT- There are no rep guidelines but each set must be for a timed 30 seconds for the first week. Increase the time each week by 5 seconds for each set. On the third set rep to failure. Adding additional time on each set will take care of the progression without changing the weight.
·        Rest-Use a 3:1 work-to-rest ratio. (30 second set=90 second rest)

You’ll want to skip squats and heavy barbell exercises during this challenge unless you have a very good spotter. You need to be able to bail without hurting yourself! Go with dumbbells instead.

If you hit more than 15 reps on the first two sets you’re lifting too light or reping too fast.

You’ll need to be able to see a clock. Or you can use a timer. I use an Everlast Round timer set to the allotted time. It has a vibration mode so you can turn off the bell.

Use any of several methods to keep the set going the allotted time without going over 15 reps on sets one and two;
·        Slow the eccentric motion on each rep
·        Use static holds
·        Partial reps
·        Static stretches
·        Pause Reps (pause half way up for one second and pause again half way down)

Note: You actually want to be using these to extend the set

 Or, use all of the above to keep the set going for the full time.

Does it work? The first day I ran it I was sore before sundown!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Escalating Density Training Revisited


After using Charles Staley’s Escalating Density Training for a couple of weeks, I have a suggestion or two for some small modifications.

I don’t like making many modifications to programs unless they become absolutely necessary. But for some of you, these little tweaks may help.

First, if you are able to schedule your workouts during slow periods at you gym, have a complete home gym or work out in a smaller private gym where most people there will understand how programs like this work, I wouldn’t change a thing.  This program will work. So stick with it.

However, if you are stuck with working out in a big box gym along with a lot of newbies and little old ladies (and gentlemen), the other members might not understand. Or, if like me, you work out in more than one gym, you’re going to run into some logistics problems.

One of the benefits of Coach Staley’s program is called “reciprocal innervation”.
That simply means that by doing supersets with antagonistic pairs the muscle not being worked at the time is actually recovering faster than it would if you were simply resting. That’s because the inactive muscle is forced to totally relax while the opposing muscle is being worked.

You don’t want to lose the benefits of reciprocal innervation. But you also don’t want to get stressed because you feel like an equipment hog and have a line of people staring at you with arms crossed and feet tapping while you’re on piece of equipment for20 minutes.

Rather than scrapping a very good protocol, I’d rather see you make some minor modifications.

One suggestion; Stick to the program as described when possible. When necessary, switch to 8-10 minutes doing maximum reps for one of the exercises then switch to the antagonist muscle for 8-10 minutes Instead of supersets. Not as effective as supersets but gets the job done.

Let me hear from you in the comments below or email me if come up with other suggestions.

Monday, March 28, 2016

So, You can't work out Because you have Bad Knees?

So, you can't work out because you have ba knees?
Tell that to Edgard John Augustin.

Training the Transverse Abdominis

(But you still need to lose the fat)

In an article last week about the V-TAPER/SIX-PACK CONUNDRUM See it here I mentioned there is one muscle that you can train hard and not have to worry about ending up with a “blocky” waist.

That muscle is the Transverse Abdominis (TVA).  The TVA lies directly behind your Rectus Abdominis (what we normally call the 6 pack) and runs across your abdomen from left to right. It’s the deepest of the abdominal muscles and is not visible externally. It's the muscle that you use to "suck it in".

The TVA is very unique in that it doesn’t connect and move bones like most muscles. When the TVA contracts it increases intra-abdominal pressure and stiffens the spine protecting the internal organs as well as the spine. In fact, a strong TVA has a major influence on reducing low back pain and improving your posture.

Somewhere, somehow and for some reason we got away from training the TVA. So don’t expect to see a modern day body builder with a small waist.  On the other hand look at Arnold in the 1970’s at a weight of 250 pounds (6ft, 1.5 in)

Training the TVA

Training the TVA is simple and requires no weights at all. I’ll start with the easiest and progress. You should be able to progress fairly quickly. Do them every day if you like. The TVA can take daily training.
I suggest you do them in the morning before eating. You’ll get a better contraction with an empty stomach.

1.     Sublime vacuum- Lie on your back on the floor (or in bed)
·        Raise your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor.
·        Exhale completely
·        Pull you abdomen in toward your spine as far as possible and hold it there
·        Start with a count of 15 seconds for 3 sets. Then progress to 30 seconds, then 60 seconds.
This is the easiest simply because gravity is assisting while lying on your back

You can breathe during the set but take shallow breaths trying not to release the contraction.

2.     Quadruped vacuum. (On your hands and knees)
·        Drop back to a 30 second count for 3 sets and progress to 60 seconds for 3 sets
·        Be sure to keep you head/neck in a neutral position

3.     Seated Vacuum.
·        Sit on a stable surface without leaning on anything
·        Again drop back to 3 sets for 30 seconds. You’d think seated would be easier than Quadruped but because other stabilizing muscles come into play, it’s actually a little more difficult.
·        You can increase the intensity a bit by doing this seated on an unstable surface like a Bosu ball.

You want to get into the position where you are strengthening your TVA all day long. Driving, seated at your desk, standing, walking.

Make it a habit!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The V-Taper/Six Pack Conundrum


Everyone, male and female, wants a “6- pack”. Many people already have a 6-pack. The abdominal muscles are simply hidden by an excess layer of fat. On the other extreme, skinny dudes with 12 inch biceps may have a 6-pack but no one cares if skinny dudes have a 6-pack. Another group are “skinny-fat”. They appear skinny in clothes but still have a layer of subcutaneous fat (fat just under the skin) hiding their 6-pack.

 What they really want is a v-taper waist with visible abdominal muscle.

V-taper is the difference in apparent width between the shoulders and the waist.

Below are old pictures of Steve "Hercules" Reeves. Remember those old Hercules movies? I used his pics because he is usually used as and example having near "perfect proportions"  based on the "golden ratio".  No one has perfect proportions but you get the idea.

Let’s start with the visible abdominal muscle part. Abdominal muscle is, for the most part, just like any other muscle.  They can hypertrophy (grow) or atrophy (shrink).Like calves and traps they can take a lot of training because they are subjected to loads and movements most of every day. You may actually have a developed 6-pack that is simply hidden by a layer of fat.

Unfortunately, most still believe that “spot reduction” works. They think they can get a visible 6-pack by doing hundreds of crunches or other abdominal exercises.
Spot Reduction does not work. It’s a myth!

If you have defined abdominal muscles they only become visible by losing the layer of fat hiding them and that only happens by losing fat over the entire body.
Whether you are fat or “skinny-fat” the cure is the same.

“Abs begin in the kitchen”

The belief that spot reduction works may lead to another problem. You may actually over develop you abdominals. You may lose the weight needed to show off your 6-pack but still end up with a “blocky” waist (a thick straight up and down appearance) with little or no taper and even some abdominal distention. This is especially common with people who perform too many “Side Bends” overdeveloping the oblique muscles located on either side of your waist.

So there is the conundrum. If you want the coveted V-taper and 6-pack you have to lose the fat covering your abdominal muscle, you have to actually have some developed abdominal muscle to show off after you lose the fat but you can’t overdevelop the abdominal muscle. 

So What Should You Do?

 Hint: Lose the fat first! Until you do, you don’t know if you have any well developed abdominals to show off or if you have overdeveloped abs that make you look stocky.

1.     Focus on diet and overall strength
2.     If you do find you over developed your mid section, STOP. I’ve seen people atrophy their abs by 4 to 6 inches.
3.     If you need to development your abs,do a few sets for abs but don’t go to complete failure, don’t focus on progressive overload and don’t do them every day
4.     Do compound lifts that stabilize your core without causing over development-squats, dead lifts, pull ups (in whatever variation works best for you), prowler pulls and pushes and weighted carries.

     There is one muscle related to the abdominal complex that you should continue to train. And one that almost no one actually trains anymore. Most don't even know where it is. But it's the one ab muscle that, when trained hard, won't make you look "blocky" and will make you look appreciably thinner. We'll discuss training that muscle next week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

but there's Cake....

Try? You've already "Pre-quit"

Yoda was a smart little Jedi. It’s a good thing he was smart ’cause he certainly doesn’t have looks going for him. He’s attributed with several good quotes but the one above is my favorite.

 If you tell another person you’ll “try” you may be just being polite by not saying “No way in Hell I’m going to do that with you”. Or maybe you really will try to make it to his barn raising or his dog's birthday party or whatever.

But if you’re having a conversation with yourself and you say “I’ll try”, there is an almost 100% chance that you’re lying. If you say to yourself “I’ll try to get in shape this year” you have already “pre-quit”.

Even worse is saying “I’m going to try to make it to the gym”. Now you’re not even going to try right away. Now you’re maybe, kinda, sorta going to try- but not right now.

Reverse the situation. If your lawyer tells you he’ll “try to keep you out of jail” you aren’t going to feel all fuzzy inside. Are you? You already know you’d better start begging Aunt Sally for bail money.

It’s even been studied by scientists. The conclusion in a nut shell; “Trying is lying”

So cut the crap about “trying”.  “Do or do not, there is no try”

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How to Use Escalating Density Training


I published a couple of articles last week about Coach Charles Staley’s Escalating Density Training (EDT) Here and Here  and promised to follow up with complete details of the protocol and a sample workout. I needed the time to get at least one week of using the protocol myself and work out any bugs I found before passing it on to you.

One week is not a proper trial for a program I’ve never used but it is long enough for me to say I’m comfortable the program will get results. It also exposed some minor issues with following the program and gave me time towork out ways to work around those issues.

You’ll remember the quote by Albert Einstein: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

 And Coach Staley’s quote; “When a biological system experiences a challenge, it modifies itself in order to be able to more easily meet similar challenges in the future." 

Those two statements are the basis of the EDT program.

There are no predetermined exercises, weights, sets, reps or rest periods. The only fixed benchmark is the clock.

Here are the parameters: Much of what follows comes from my experience of doing the program for the last several days. This section makes it sound complicated but it's not. Most of this is just to make it easier for you to get started.

·        You’ll do no more than 4 or 6 exercises per workout. (I suggest you start with 4 but you should be able to quickly progress to 6)

·        You will pick two opposing (antagonistic) muscles or muscle groups (for example; biceps and triceps or pecs and lats) to be done as a superset. (More on exercise selection later).Alternating the exercises without rest between (except for the time needed to go from one exercise to the other). You will find that your rest periods between exercises will lengthen as time increases-that’s OK.

·        Rest 5 to 10 minutes between supersets.

·        Continue the superset for a timed 15 minute period. (20 minutes after you become accustomed to the density, if you like)

·        Your only goal is to complete more reps on this workout than on your last workout.

·        Use any weight you like but I suggest beginning with your 12 RM- usually about 60% -65% of your 1RM. But the actual weight really doesn’t matter. (If you are concentrating on building more strength use your 6 RM instead of 12 RM. More stamina? Use your 15 RM)
(While there is no wrong number of reps or wrong weight, I found the standard 12RM at 60%-65% of 1RM to feel too easy on some exercises. Experiment over the course of the first week to find what you think is the best fit for you.) 

·        To begin the superset, reps for each exercise should be about 50% of your chosen RM (For example; if you begin with a weight equal to your 12 RM, start with 6 reps). You’ll find the 6 reps will seem far too easy at first. But you will find the number of reps dropping as time increases. Don’t attempt to go to failure on any of your sets. But as you near your deadline you’ll find yourself getting closer and closer to failure in an attempt to top your last workout. By the end of 15 minutes you’ll be trying to get singles!

·        Maintain strict form. You’ll find yourself beginning to cheat on form after a while. Try to resist breaking form.

·        Shy away from compound lifts at first. Except possibly dips and pull-ups. You’ll find yourself rushing (even panicking) and breaking form as the end of the time period nears. Not a good idea when doing heavy compound movements like squats, dead lifts, or power cleans. Consider leg press’ or machine Hack squats instead.

·        Don’t increase the weight until your rep count is 20% higher than when you started. For example, If you did 60 reps per exercise on your first workout, increase the weight by 5 pounds or 5% (whichever is less) when you can do 72 reps. Increase it again when you can do 86 reps.

·        The total number of reps you hit in 15 minutes doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that you beat it next time. Beat it by as much or as little as you like-just beat it. That’s your only goal.

Exercise Selection

There are a few limitations on exercise selection. The exercise parings will depend somewhat on what’s available in you gym, where the various apparatus are located in relation to one another and how busy your gym is during your workout time.

You don’t want to tie up 2 pieces of equipment for 15 minutes while you go back and forth if your gym is busy. Nor do you want to have to trek across an 18,000 square foot gym during a superset if the equipment is on opposite ends of the gym.

Try to pair exercises where you can use the same or similar weight for both exercises when possible.

If you have a choice, use "stack" machines as opposed to plate loaded machines. Just because it saves time.

Use dumbbells whenever possible-you can take one set with you to another station or machine if your gym has several sets of the same weight.

Some muscles don’t have an obvious antagonistic paring as simple as bicep/tricep. Calves and Traps come to mind. Use that type of pairing when you need to.

Also use less obvious parings if apparatus availability dictates. Just don’t use the same muscle group in the paring. For example, don’t pair up 2 pushing exercises or 2 pulling exercises.

Using antagonistic muscles has a physiological purpose. I'll explain why in another article.

To sum it all up

·        Pick two antagonistic muscles and superset for as many reps as you can get in 15 minutes.You'll do only 2 or 3 supersets per workout.
·        Don’t increase the weight until you can get 20% more reps in the 15 minutes than you did before.
·        The weight doesn’t matter. The sets don’t matter. The rest periods don’t matter. The time under tension doesn’t matter. The number of reps doesn’t matter.
·        The only thing that matters is that every workout you do more reps in those 15 minutes than you did last time.

Here’s how my parings worked out based on apparatus proximity and personal preference:

-Hammer Strength High row machine/ Hammer Strength Decline Bench Machine
-Hammer Strength seated leg Extension/ Hammer Strength seated leg curl
-2 arm cable curl/Reverse cable pull down

- Weighted Sled Push/Farmer’s Walk (Kettle Bells)
-Vertical leg press/Romanian Dead lift

-Dumbbell overhead tricep extension/dumbbell incline curl
-Donkey calf raise/Hammer Strength Barbell Shrug machine
-Vertical leg press/Romanian Dead lift

-Dumbbell Shrug/dumbbell rear delt raise
-Hammer Strength seated Leg Extension/Lying leg curl
-Barbell tri extension (Skull Crushers)/Preacher Curl

-Cable Crunch/Dumbbell Medial delt raise
-Hyperextension (10 sec hold)/Standing calf raise
-Farmer’s walk/Weighted Sled pull

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Everything Should be Made as Simple as Possible, but not simpler"

This should include fitness. But, as more and more science comes in, fitness seems to get more and more complicated. Scientists don’t always agree, coaches and trainers often disagree. Protocols that seem to have worked for decades are being called into question. What works for me may or may not work for you.

Earlier this week I published an article entitled “All You Ever Need to Know about Fitness Training” Read it Here In that article was a quote by Coach Charles Staley:

 "When a biological system experiences a challenge, it modifies itself in order to be able to more easily meet similar challenges in the future." Charles Staley

The adjective most used when talking about Coach Staley is “iconic”. You can see his bio HERE

In 2002 Coach Staley published a protocol called “Escalating Density Training” (EDT). EDT simply takes the axiom quoted above and boils it down to the simplest structure and lowest common denominator. You determine the amount of work that can be performed in a given time period and simply add a little more work each time.
No percentages, No predetermined number of sets, no predetermined number of reps per set, no preset rest intervals.

Go in. Do the work. Go home.

On your next workout you have one goal; do more work than you did last time. Eat, Rest, and Repeat. That’s it!

Follow that simple goal and you’ll get stronger, build muscle, improve your metabolism, lose fat and improve stamina. Don’t follow that one goal and you won’t.  

Any questions?

Next week we’ll outline the complete EDT protocol and the sample program I’ve been using.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

3 Days Only




All You Ever Need to Know about Fitness Training


Different training systems suggest an endless array of often conflicting recommendations regarding exercise selection, number of sets and reps, length of rest periods. One system says 3 sets of 10 reps; another says one set to failure. One system recommends resting 1 minute between sets another says 3 minutes. One system employs a partial range of motion, another a full range of motion. And on and on…

Here's all you really need to know;

 "When a biological system experiences a challenge, it modifies itself in order to be able to more easily meet similar challenges in the future." Charles Staley

That's it. That's the whole story. No matter which training protocol you choose, out of the thousands available, if it will accomplish the above requirements it will work.

Now, some protocols are more efficient than others. Some are more complicated than others. Some may fit your genetic makeup or your physical circumstances better than others. But if they meet the above requirement they will work. If they don’t meet those requirements, scrap them.

But for any protocol to work, it’s up to you to make sure the biological system is challenged - forced to do something it hasn’t had to do before.

Every day, every workout, every set has to be a challenge. One more rep, one more set, one more plate on the bar, one more 40 yard sprint.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Forced to sit Between a Crossfitter and a Vegan




The misconception that you must experience muscle soreness to have an effective workout comes from the fact that your muscles grow because the workout inflicts micro-tears in the muscle fibers forcing them to repair. Another factor that contributes to the assumption you had an effective workout is the fact that the muscles feel tighter and harder. Maybe even a little larger.
Sounds logical, right?

Sorry. It’s not that simple. There has been no direct relationship found between muscle soreness and hypertrophy. The repair of muscle damage is only one of the reasons your workout makes muscle grow. And the feeling of harder, slightly larger muscle is simply swelling and is going to go away in a couple of days.

As your training age (how long you’ve been training) increases you’ll experience less and less muscle soreness. Your muscles adapt, they recover faster and your pain threshold increases. If you do get extremely sore after every workout there’s a chance you may have an electrolyte deficiency, a nutrition problem or you’re not getting enough sleep or recovery time.

DOMS may still occur if you make major changes in you program or take more than a couple of weeks off from your workouts. But major soreness or lack of soreness doesn’t mean one workout is any better or worse-just different.

Being sore is not a bad thing but don’t expect it all the time. Not being sore doesn’t mean your workout was ineffective.

There is no proven relationship between muscle soreness and muscle growth



If you are a beginner or if you have reached an age where you naturally require more recovery time this may be a valid rule to follow and not concentrate on the same muscle group 2 days in a row. Only you can make that determination.

But the insinuation that you will “over train” the muscle is overblown. While it is prudent to give a muscle 48 hours to recover if it is worked to its absolute limit it is also prudent to not to train to absolute limits all the time.

In addition, all compound exercises, by definition, work several muscle groups and joints simultaneously. Dead lifts, for example, are going to work forearms, upper back, hamstrings, quads, core and traps at the same time. All compound pushing exercises such as the bench press are going to work anterior deltoids, triceps and pecs.

As you progress your body will adapt to almost any frequency within reason.
In fact, increasing the frequency of workouts for a particular muscle group is one of the most effective methods of progression.( 2x per week instead of 1x, for example)  Working some muscles every day can even become necessary for some hard to train muscles. Calves and Traps come to mind.


Friday, March 11, 2016

I Know Way Too Many People Who Think This Way...

I know way too people who think this way...

Fact or Myth: Muscle Recovery(Rest Day) Means Little or No Physical Activity


Some people’s idea of “rest day” means no activity at all.
The truth is, light cardio and even light lifting can actually speed up muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness by increasing circulation to the affected area. Call it "Active Rest".
You don’t need to over do it but activity will keep the healing blood flowing and keep the muscle loose. Even stretching or foam rolling will help your muscles heal and recover faster than total inactivity.
Don’t push the muscles to anywhere near muscle failure but engage in some physical activity to keep the blood flowing and the muscle loose.

"Rest Day" means no physical activity at all: MYTH

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Reasons You Are Still Skinny

(and How to Fix Them)

You eat like a bird

Skinny guys who can’t seem to gain muscle (or weight in any form) think they eat a lot. They usually don’t. If you aren’t gaining weight you are not eating enough. You must put yourself in a calorie surplus.

1.     How much should you eat? Start with at least 16 to 18 calories per pound of body weight. If you start gaining somewhere around one pound per week you’re on the right track. If you’re not gaining after two weeks eat more.

2.     Include lots of carbs. Carbs are mandatory if you are trying to gain weight and muscle. Your carbs should be 50% of your calorie intake at a minimum. Carbs are easily broken down into glucose which is your body’s primary source of energy. Carbs contain 4 calories per gram.

  Afraid of losing your visible abs? Under nourished people in some third                  world countries have visible abs. Is that the look you’re going for?   

Frankly, if you have biceps the same size as my ten year old granddaughter, nobody is really going to care if you have visible abs.

3.     Never skip breakfast. You have been “fasting” all night. Your “fuel” (glucose/glycogen)is depleted. Calories eaten when you first get up are used most efficiently to refuel your muscle cells with glycogen.

4.     Eat a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Protein also contains 4 calories per gram.

5.     Don’t worry too much about fats in the beginning. If you feel like you are gaining too much fat cut back on the fat (9 calories per gram) to about 20% of your total calories and increase the carbs and protein.

6.     Track you macro’s. How are you going to know if you’re eating enough if you don’t keep track. It’s much easier than it used to be. I suggest . It’s free, it’s easy and their database of foods is huge. There are others but seems to work best for most people. 

You’re doing the wrong workout

1.     Cut out or minimize the cardio. There’s nothing wrong with cardio. But this is not the time. It burns energy and calories that can be put to better use to increase the intensity on your resistance training.

2.     Stop with the barbell curls, already! If you’re skinny your whole body is weak. You have bigger problems than small arms.
Every workout in the beginning should consist of compound lifts. Squats, dead lifts, bench press, overhead press, pull ups, dips, rows and weighted carries, in some of their many variations, should make up almost your entire program.
Here are your priorities:

1.     AIG (Ass in Gym)-Be consistent

2.     Form- Don’t try to go too heavy at first. Leave your ego at the door and work on proper form in the beginning. It will pay huge dividends down the road. Lifting too heavy with bad form doesn’t get you stronger. It gets you on the injured list.

3.     Progression-As a relative beginner (a Newbie) you will see faster gains in the first few months than you will see for the rest of your life. Take advantage of that and don’t waste the opportunity. You should be able to progress (add weight) almost daily at this stage.

Other Related articles and useful calculators:

Using a Workout Log

The Process of Building Muscle

Several useful calculators are located in the Calculators/Resources tab at the top of the page.