Beyond Sets and Reps: Density Training (Including an Interview With Its Developer)

In progressive strength training, focusing on sets and reps is absolutely essential. And sets and reps could not be more important. When I first started chasing muscle as a young twenty-something back in the early 80’s, I did what the muscle magazines said that the bodybuilders did. On bench press, for example, they recommended aContinue reading “Beyond Sets and Reps: Density Training (Including an Interview With Its Developer)”

How to Get Your First Pull-Up

EquipmentAn adjustable-height pull-up bar, suspension trainers or gymnastics rings. Alternatively, if you can find a bar that is roughly waist-high and another that is chest-high you will be able to perform the exercises here. If you have a full-height pull-up bar (about head-high or higher), you can use a long towel, two dog leashes, orContinue reading “How to Get Your First Pull-Up”

Volume, Intensity and Frequency in Muscle and Strength Building: Some Personal Data

Three fundamental concepts in muscle and strength building are volume, intensity and frequency. Volume is the total amount of work that you do, the number of sets and reps for a given period of time. Intensity refers to how hard you work in each set, or how close you come to “failure” – the pointContinue reading “Volume, Intensity and Frequency in Muscle and Strength Building: Some Personal Data”

Which Diet Is Best? Vegan? Paleo? Keto? Mediterranean? (Just Ask Your Great Grandmother)

Another article about optimal diet is just what you need right now, right? Well yes, actually. And there is a very specific reason why. There is perhaps nothing more rife with BS, politics, and misinformation than talk of proper diet. Most of the diet and nutrition space resembles identity politics. And that’s precisely why it’sContinue reading “Which Diet Is Best? Vegan? Paleo? Keto? Mediterranean? (Just Ask Your Great Grandmother)”

You Should Try Mechanical Drop Sets

Drop sets are exquisite.  Drop sets are brutal.  Drop sets are so efficient, they are a way for you to get an entire workout from just one set!  They are also a way for you to include ALL rep ranges in a single set!   Rep ranges are a hot topic in strength training circles.  IfContinue reading “You Should Try Mechanical Drop Sets”

Single Leg Squat Progression

Body-weight squats are a fantastic exercise for so many reasons. The squat is a natural human movement pattern that serves many functions. Once you have the mobility and flexibility to master the correct form, you can quickly build up a great deal of leg strength so that body-weight squats eventually become as much a conditioningContinue reading “Single Leg Squat Progression”

“Comfort Wants You Dead”: An Interview with Brian Hunter of Coastal Calisthenics

IntroductionI met Brian Hunter at the Progressive Calisthenics Clinic in NYC in October 2019. While most of us were quite challenged by this rigorous two-day instructor certification course, Brian was one of a select few “standout students”, for whom the whole thing seemed like a casual weekend retreat. At the clinic I learned that BrianContinue reading ““Comfort Wants You Dead”: An Interview with Brian Hunter of Coastal Calisthenics”

Form Is Everything “Fit Over 40” Interview: Orlando Ortiz

IntroductionNot long ago I was trying, and failing, to complete my first 5MD. The 5MD is the “five minute drill”, and although it has many faces these days, the original 5MD is 50 pull-ups and 100 push-ups in 5 minutes or less. If you have been doing these exercises for as many years as IContinue reading “Form Is Everything “Fit Over 40” Interview: Orlando Ortiz”

Form Is Everything “Fit Over 50” Interview: Chris James

Steve: Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Your name, age, where you live, and what health and fitness activities you currently participate in.  Have you won any awards or set any records?  If so, please tell us about those.   Chris James: I’m Chris James. Currently 52 and living in the UK with my partner,Continue reading “Form Is Everything “Fit Over 50” Interview: Chris James”