It’s time-efficient too

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When it comes to training for strength or muscle mass, most people structure their workout’s in terms of sets and reps.

For example, a person may choose to perform an exercise, like the bench press, for 3 sets of 6 repetitions with a given load.

This suggests you do the following:

1) Perform 6 repetitions

2) Rest for some duration (typically 1–3 minutes)

3) Perform 6 more repetitions

4) Rest for some duration again

5) Perform the final 6 repetitions

We’ll call this the “classical” method.

However, I recently came across a different method that has been explored in the…

An evidence-based guide to building muscle strength in individuals above the age of 50

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A decrease in strength and muscle mass is a common feature of aging.

For instance, the graph below depicts a hypothetical trajectory of muscle and strength levels as sedentary individuals age (from this study).

An evidence-based comparison between light and heavy loads for building muscle at all ages

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For anyone that’s ever committed to lifting weights, the question of whether to lift heavy or light loads has likely come up.

When it comes to building muscle, it’s not hard to find conflicting thoughts on the topic. Some believe heavy weights are optimal, while others contend lights weights are the way to go.

In this article, through evaluating the scientific research, we aim to find out if you should be using light or heavy weights to build muscle.

Furthermore, we’ll also independently assess the research done on younger and older subjects, as the optimal way to build muscle may…

Less time working out but similar gains

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When it comes to building muscle or strength, circuit training is probably far from the first training method that comes to mind.

Generally, circuit training involves performing multiple different exercises with short rest periods between them.

One circuit round is when you finish performing all of your chosen exercises once. Individuals typically perform multiple circuit rounds in a workout.

The design of performing many exercises with minimal rest periods makes circuit training unsurprisingly attractive for those wishing to develop muscular endurance or expend a good amount of calories to aid fat loss.

For strength or muscle gain, the idea of…

An examination of the evidence

Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Today, we probably have access to more information than ever before. Much of this information comes in written form. From articles to comics to textbooks, there are numerous resources out there for people to read for pleasure and/or education.

This abundance of information can be overwhelming. Sometimes, it may feel like there just isn’t enough time to read all the things we wish to. Unsurprisingly then, the idea of speeding up the rate at which you read is extremely appealing to many.

Through some searching online, it’s not hard to find speed reading courses out there claiming to double, triple…

All illustrations by the author.

The push-up is a popular, simple, and convenient exercise that can produce positive strength, muscle, and endurance adaptations.

Moreover, the push-up is versatile. By modifying the position of your hands or feet, you can vary the stimulus created.

In this brief article, we’ll explore an interesting study by Ebben et al. that experimentally calculated how much weight you press during push-up variations.

How Much Weight You Push

In essence, the researchers had young adults (14 men and 9 women) perform a few push-up variations while their hands were on a force platform.

Peak ground reaction forces were measured from the force platform and expressed relative…

A few cups of coffee = lifting heavier weights?

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Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed ingredients in the world. Fascinatingly, around 80% of the world’s population consumes a caffeinated product every day.

Caffeine consumption is not uncommon in elite sports either, with approximately 76% of elite athletes’ post-competition urine containing this ingredient.

Research surrounding the potential ergogenic benefits of caffeine dates back to 1893.

Much research has explored caffeine’s influence on aerobic exercise. But, in more recent times, studies exploring caffeine’s impact on anaerobic exercise (such as muscle strength) have developed.

In this article, we’ll be overviewing the current research with the aim of finding out if…

A novel way to increase your work capacity and long-term strength gains

Illustration by author.

Heat is often an under-considered component that plays a role in muscle performance.

Excessively hot muscles have an impaired ability to produce force.

One of the primary ways the body can reduce muscle heat is through circulating blood to the muscle, drawing out the heat, and then dispersing it throughout the body.

But, this process is limited. As the body temperature rises, the circulating blood itself becomes hot. As a result, it is no longer effective at removing heat from the muscle.

There are regions in the body with unique vascular structures that make them an effective area to regulate…

The evidence appears to conflict with current thought

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When it comes to building muscle, it’s not uncommon to hear that free weights are superior to machine-based exercises.

As a note, free weights simply refer to exercises performed with a load that can be moved completely freely, like a barbell or dumbbell.

Conversely, machine exercises are performed with a machine that does not permit completely free movement of a load.

One argument often put forth supporting the notion free weights are optimal is that the increased stabilization requirements provided by them result in greater muscle activation and consequently muscle growth.

Indeed, there is research showing that barbell back squats…

Dhimant Indrayan

Passion for lifting weights. I primarily write articles about muscle hypertrophy. See more detailed content here:

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