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Exercise

25

Apr'18

The Long Read on Muscle Fibers: Types, Strength, Hypertrophy and Training Optimization

Have you ever thought about your muscles? Have you considered how muscle contracts, how some people can lift an impressive amount of weight but only a few times, others unable to lift as much are able to endure a moderate load for much longer? Some have muscles that appear to rapidly grow in response to training, for others there is less obvious external change (yet still much of benefit happening internally). The different types of muscle fiber and their proportional representation in your muscles play a crucial role in your physical expression. To get the most out of exercise: Do …

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13

Apr'18

HIT and Running: An in-depth conversation with Skyler Tanner about Resistance Training and Cardio

Skyler Tanner is an exercise physiologist based in Austin, Texas where he operates Smart Strength, a HIT-focused, evidence-based, strength training studio. Skyler also regularly brings a fascinating perspective to all things exercise, through insights on his blog, skylertanner.com. I have been intrigued by his recent writing on combining resistance training or HIT with running, an interest that he has developed over the last 5 years. Before any die-hard HITers choke on their coffee at the mere mention of running, Skyler still communicates that by far the most important thing that you can do for your physiology exercise-wise, is to apply …

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21

Mar'18

Attentional Focus: Internal vs external Visualization during Resistance Training

Today I want to look at where attention should be placed during resistance training: is it best to focus on simply lifting the weight or is it better to focus on the contraction of the targeted muscle tissue? A research paper was recently published covering this very topic so we will delve into this paper as well.   What is attentional focus? This term simply refers to what is it that are you focused on or thinking about, whilst you are engaged in an activity. During High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT) you can perform exercises with an external attentional focus …

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15

Mar'18

Do multi-joint exercises alone provide enough of a stimulus for optimal strength and hypertrophy?

In this post, I want to look at the two types of exercises that make up all resistance training workouts: multi-joint (MJ) and single-joint (SJ) exercises. What is the difference between them, is one type superior to the other, and when should we be doing both? Let’s begin by defining our terms and giving examples.   Definition and example of a single-joint exercise A single joint is exposed to a resistance that provides a significant stimulus intended for the muscles responsible for one joint action. For example, there are four possible joint actions at the knee: flexion, extension, internal rotation …

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08

Mar'18

HIT vs HIIT, Sprints vs Resistance Training: What’s the Difference?

Is there a physiological difference in response between sprinting all-out (on a bike, treadmill, rowing machine etc) until you are unable to maintain a peak cadence level versus performing a high effort resistance training (RT) exercise? Due to a perceived dichotomy between cardiovascular exercise and resistance training, this is not a question that has been significantly explored in the scientific literature. A recent research paper published in PeerJ, titled “Similar acute physiological responses from effort and duration matched leg press and recumbent cycling tasks” and authored by James Steele, Andrew Butler, Zoe Comerford, Jason Dyer, Nathan Lloyd, Joshua Ward, James …

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21

Feb'18

Getting the most out of Advanced Training Techniques

Popular strength training and resistance exercise is packed with examples of “advanced training techniques”. This is largely due to performance variations of exercises being limited only by imagination. It is however reasonable to query whether or not these techniques stimulate any more in the way of positive physical results beyond normal resistance training. By normal resistance training, I mean exercise that incorporates appropriate movements taken to momentary muscular failure (MMF). As for a definition of MMF, I like the combination of these two: …when trainees reach the point where despite attempting to do so they cannot complete the concentric portion …

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08

Dec'17

How much do you lift? A guide to selecting the right weight

If you are just beginning HIT, one of the practical questions you are most likely looking to answer is How much weight should I use? Keen to get started with the intensity aspect and enthusiastic to lift as much as possible, many new HITers end up short changing themselves. Focusing foremost on intensity at the very outset of the journey and equating high loads with intensity is double trouble and a case of putting the cart before the horse. Or dangerous and inefficient, up goes the likelihood of injury along with a side order of dilution of the stimulus. It …

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27

Nov'17

High Intensity Training with Resistance Bands

In this post, I want to look at resistance bands: how useful are they, who can benefit from them, and can be used for HIT? Outside of simple equipment such as chin bars and push up handles, another piece of home exercise kit that people tend to consider for strength training are resistance bands. The idea of resistance bands is appealing: a potential gym’s worth of exercises promised in a portable pouch the size of a typical handbag. What’s not to like?   Watch Simon explain three key points about resistance bands   Different types of resistance band Resistance bands …

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08

Nov'17

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT): Adapting the protocol to your circumstances and needs (part 4)

In this fourth and final part of the Complete Beginner’s Guide to HIT, I am going to cover some final points and address the circumstances in which adaptations or tweaks may need to be made to the protocol I have outlined in the preceding posts. Understanding the circumstances in which changes may be required or of benefit will help you to get the most out of HIT.

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31

Oct'17

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT): Recommended routine, order of exercises, tempo, time under load, rest between exercises and frequency of training (part 3)

Here it is, the post I have been building up to over the previous two articles. Having laid the foundations in part 1 and part 2 of the beginner's guide to High Intensity Resistance Training, I am going to dive into revealing the workout routine that I consider a great introduction and solid foundation to your HIT journey.

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