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Intensity Audit

Do you go hard enough in the weight room? Most of us think we do, but it’s not always the case. A recent study published in The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research described two groups of trained subjects who participated in three separate workouts. The first was 10 reps of a leg press, bench press, leg extension, and arm curl. The next workout was a one-rep max of those four exercises, and the third was 10-rep max of the same movements.
One group worked out by themselves, and the other group was under the supervision of a personal trainer. The group under the auspices of a trainer chose significantly heavier loads in all of the lifts. The largest difference was in the lower-body exercises. Interestingly, even the group who had the trainer chose weight that was quite a bit lighter than their 10-rep max indicated.

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Hitting Below The Belt

The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research recently published research indicating that specific training programs focused on lower-body muscle hypertrophy and upper-body maximal strength can result in greater strength and power gains in the upper body. For six weeks, a group of resistance-trained young men were instructed to perform either a high-weight low-rep program for both upper and lower body (four to five reps at 88 to 90 percent of their maximum effort), or a high-weight low-rep program for just the upper body and a more hypertrophy-focused workout for the lower body (10 to 12 reps at 65 to 70 percent of max effort).
At the end of the experiment, the group who used the high-rep range for their legs saw greater increases in strength and power gains in the upper body and lost more body fat than the group who did low reps for their whole body.

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Do More Work

Initiate growth by jamming more reps into fewer minutes in the gym.
By Team Iron Man
 
PQ: This program takes advantage of the body’s overriding mandate: Adapt or die. When you put stress on a muscle, millions of years or evolutionary biology will force it to change so it can better handle that stress.
If your growth is stalled out and you’re at that frustrating point where you think something’s wrong with you, it’s time to try escalating density training. EDT is a system that’s specifically designed to put size on stubborn muscle groups by subjecting them to a novel form of stress. This program takes advantage of the body’s overriding mandate: Adapt or die. When you put stress on a muscle, millions of years or evolutionary biology will force it to change so it can better handle that stress. That’s why lifting weights makes your muscles grow.
Your muscles don’t know to get bigger. They only know whether they’re under stress or not—and if they’re repeatedly subjected to mechanical resistance, and being broken down, they’ll adapt in order to not break down so readily. Getting bigger and stronger are simply side effects of this adaptation, and building muscle size is dependent on the volume and intensity of the stress that your muscles are capable of handling.
By subjecting your muscles to as many reps and as intense a pump as they can tolerate, EDT will introduce your muscles to a new kind of stress. With adequate recovery, they’ll adapt and grow at an increased rate.
The main reason for the change will be the fact that you’re performing greater overall reps and volume. EDT subjects your muscle to increased overall stimulus through mechanical tension. The greater the stimulus, the greater the necessary adaptation. You’ll damage fibers during training, then repair them afterward, causing them

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Training For Mental Toughness

By Eddie Avakoff
 
Sure, muscles look great. And isn’t it nice to be the one at the squat rack with more weight on the bar than anyone else? Well, as great as those tangible feats are, there are also some not-so-tangible qualities that many strive to achieve in the gym. And the one I’d like to talk about today is mental toughness.
Mental toughness is something that’s difficult to directly test. Of course, there are endurance events like a triathlon or the famous World’s Toughest Mudder, but I think strength sports such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, strongman, et cetera all require mental toughness of their own unique caliber.
Mental toughness shows itself in many different styles: A powerlifter needs to psych himself out into knowing he’s going to lift that PR, just as a young lady needs it to grind her way though 75 miles of a 24-hour mud obstacle race. And it’s no different than a bodybuilder having the fortitude to walk onstage in front of thousands of critical eyes and flex his muscles for others to judge—talk about mental toughness!
In order to build mental toughness, one must first embody the following characteristics:
PERSISTENCE
The thought of doing something over and over again does not scare you. Even in the result of failure, you try to improve and test yourself again. Get knocked down? You get back up and fight!
DRIVE
You are ambitious. Mediocrity is not an option—in fact, it scares you. You hold a constant desire to improve until you are the best. Drive best shows itself when you achieve a hard-earned goal. Instead of complacency, you raise the bar and begin to work for a bigger and greater goal.
FOCUS
When there’s a task at hand, everything else is blocked out. Distractions don’t exist to someone extremely focused. You simply plow right through the

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To-Do List

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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