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If you aren’t doing these five underrated exercises, you better start now.
By Nick Nilsson
You want to build serious mass. You want to get “forklift” strong. But are you doing the right exercises you should be performing in order to maximize your results?
We all can get stuck in a rut doing our favorite exercises: the ones we’re strong at and the ones that feel good. However, staying too focused on just a selection of favorite exercises is holding you back from achieving your true physique. These five exercises will help unlock that potential.
Heavy Lockout Bench Presses
The lockout bench press, when done properly and for the right reasons, is not just an ego lift; it has a real purpose and provides amazing benefits. Partial training (i.e., lifting a heavier-than-normal weight in a short range of motion) can substantially increase both connective tissue strength (tendons and ligaments) and high-threshold motor unit activation. Your body doesn’t function in terms of “full” range of motion. All it knows is load, and it specifically adapts to the loads you place on it.
When you get stuck in a plateau with your bench press, you might naturally think it’s your muscles that have hit their limit. That’s not always the case. If your connective tissue has not been strengthened at the same rate relative to your muscle strength, your body will actively put the brakes on your strength gains in an attempt to avoid injury to the connective tissue, which is now the weak link in the chain.
Then we have your nervous system. Submaximal loads will not fully activate all your high-threshold motor units. It’s the reason why a one-rep max bench press is a very different lift than a 10-rep max bench press. Supramaximal loading over a partial range of motion will train those high-threshold motor units.
To

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The Hybrid Week

A simple and effective program for the athlete interested in well-rounded strength and conditioning.
 By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC
 
You’re a hybrid athlete. You lift heavy things, run long distances, and do just about everything else in between. Given the broad range of physical demands required, it’s sometimes difficult to determine which exercises are worth our valuable time in the gym.
I would never deem any exercise a “waste of time,” but there definitely are some movements that elicit far more benefit and carryover than others: squats, deadlifts, and other primal functional movements that incorporate the whole body. As nice as it would be to cap off our delts and blow up our calves, our goal is not to isolate every single muscle.
So how does a hybrid athlete train during his/her weekly program that ensures progress in both the strength and conditioning attributes without spending all day in there like a hamster on a wheel?
This is a very simple yet effective weekly program designed to aid both strength and conditioning. The program is on a weekly cycle that involves six days of work, followed by one day of rest. It alternates between a day of strength training, followed by a day of conditioning. Active recovery is included, but almost every day you will be doing something. Afraid of the lack of rest? You’re a hybrid athlete. Toughen up, buttercup.
Let’s begin by dissecting the strength aspect of this weekly program. Strength days fall on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each strength day will repeat three main functional lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. On each day, only one of the three lifts will be maximal (2 to 3 sets of 1 to 3 reps at 95 to 100 percent). The other two remain submaximal (4 sets of 7 to 10 reps at approximately

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Fueling The Hybrid Athlete

Eating for optimal performance is easier than it sounds.
By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC
 
First and foremost, this is not the most effective method of building mass and size, nor is it the best diet for losing crazy amounts of body fat. What this is, is a diet plan for someone looking to fuel their level of performance. That is, to intake the proper nutrition in the right quantity so that you can repair what’s been torn down, rest what has been exhausted, and continue to perform at the same, if not higher, level of output. So, in short, this is a “my body’s a machine and I need to fuel it properly” diet.
I once read this quote and it really stuck with me: “Food is fuel and nothing more.” Sad but true, isn’t it, foodies?
As a performance athlete, nutrition is an essential part of the game. But nutrition changes depending on activity, degree of intensity, and even timing around an event. And it’s important to fuel yourself properly, along with the correct timing and proportions in order to achieve ideal results. For example, fat is best utilized before activity, whereas protein is best consumed after. Carbohydrates, however, remain relatively consistent throughout both eating cycles. But let’s take a deeper look at when someone should intake protein, carbs, and fat.
(Percentages shown as protein/carbs/fat unless noted otherwise)
A) Morning Training Schedule
– Morning (breakfast): 33/33/33
– Late morning (snack): 30/70 (carbs/fat)
— AM workout —
– Post-workout (lunch): 40/60 (protein/carbs)
– Late afternoon (snack): 40/40/20
– Evening (dinner): 40/30/30
– Late evening (snack/dessert): 40/60 (protein/fat)
 
B) Afternoon Training Schedule
– Morning (breakfast): 33/33/33
– Late morning (snack): 30/70 (carbs/fat)
– Afternoon (lunch): 30/40/30
– Late afternoon (snack): 10/30/60
— PM workout —
– Evening (dinner): 60/40 (protein/carbs)
– Late evening: 40/20/40
Along with determining when and how much to eat, I think it’s just as important to identify

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Immensity Through Intensity

Use these unique training techniques to put your hypertrophy into hyperdrive.
By Eric Broser
 
If there is one essential lesson that I have learned in my 25-plus years as a competitive bodybuilder, trainer, and contest prep coach, it is that the human body is an incredibly adaptable machine and will rapidly cease to respond to stimuli it is exposed to time and again. This is something that is just built into our physiology and has far greater implications to our very survival than the pursuit of a better physique.
Most people tend to fall into one specific method of training early on and then rarely break this pattern as the years (and workouts) go by. As long as trainees are progressive with the weights and use proper form, this approach will usually manifest some success, at least for the first few of years of training. However, as more time elapses, this one-dimensional system will eventually bring about progressively diminishing returns as far as hypertrophy is concerned and increased levels of frustration. You see, too many misguided lifters use the same exercises, in the same order, with the same tempo, rest between sets, training techniques, and rep ranges, month after month. One of the biggest roadblocks to progress (in anything that we do) often comes down to doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.
In future articles, I will touch upon several different methods of training that I have developed over the years, all of which are meant to keep the body from plateauing and tap into all of the various physiological mechanisms we possess to positively affect muscle growth. In this particular piece I wish to focus my attention on the use of three specific intensity techniques that will provide a powerful stimulus to the target muscle to

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Defining Hybrid Training

Try this six-week program to get bigger, stronger, and all-around better.
By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC
 
I love hybrid training. My three favorite sports are powerlifting, mixed martial arts, and endurance racing (triathlon/obstacle course racing). Talk about extreme anaerobic to extreme aerobic. Almost by definition, hybrid training taxes the three metabolic energy systems: 1) Phosphagen—zero to 30 seconds in duration (powerlifting lifts usually take about two seconds); 2) Anaerobic glycolysis—30 seconds to three minutes (MMA being a perfect example. Of course, with five-minute rounds, we are slightly favoring the cardio side of things); and 3) Aerobic glycolysis: over three minutes in duration (endurance racing being the perfect example for this energy system as races exceed three, 12, and even 24 hours).
I’m often writing strength and conditioning programs for clients who adhere to hybrid-style training. Some programs I write are as short as three weeks, while others extend as long as six months, depending on the athlete, their goals, projected competition date, and any injuries. Here, I am going to lay out a solid six-week strength and conditioning program in the hybrid style.

 
WEEK 1
Monday
Strength:This is the stuff that makes you stronger and more powerful. It’s necessary for muscle growth and even fat loss. It keeps your testosterone naturally elevated and promotes tendon growth.
A) Back squats (3×3): After a sufficient warm-up, work up to weight on the bar that allows for three maximal-effort reps. Rest as needed between sets and attack the three reps again (adding weight each set is encouraged).
B) Back squats (2×12): Back off the weight to complete two down-sets (higher reps at lighter weight). This is to promote blood flow and help increase hypertrophy. Rest as needed between each set of 12 reps.
Assistance Work: This is for hypertrophy that is necessary for gains in strength
C) Leg presses (5×15)
D) Gute

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