How To Be Dense While You Build Muscle The Smart Way
By: Jeremy Markum
Are you looking for another way to
progress that doesnít require adding
more weight to the bar? Are you stuck
and stagnate? Well give Density
Training a try. If you don't, I
guarantee you will hit a plateau.
Density, as it pertains to resistanct
training, is the amount of Work
performed per unit time. And yes,
ďtimeĒ is critical here, because it's
the variable we're going to manipulate
to ensure Progression, and a simple
one at that.
(By the way, Work equals Force X's
Distance, and when we're talking
engines and sports cars, it's called
"Horsepower." I mention this, because
everyone knows that, a bigger engine
with more cylinders produces more
Horsepower, all else equal. Same with
I wonít go into why Density Training
works, other than to say it
preferentially targets Intermediate
Twitch Muscle Fibers, and also the
nutrient delivery / waste removal
systems associated with these fibers,
which means that these fibers and
these systems will hypertrophy in
response (sorry for the science
speak!). If youíre more curious about
the mechanism than that, you can buy
my Advanced Training & Nutrition
Guide, where I do go into a little
more detail, while at the same time,
keeping it in laymen's terms. For now,
hereís the workout:
Letís pretend itís your day to train
biceps. Hereís what you do:
You will perform Standing Curls (I
like doing these with an Elastic Band
rather than a dumbbell).
1) Select a load (or a color with the
bands) such that you think you can
perform about 15 reps on your first
set before reaching failure (where
failure means that your form isnít
PERFECT anymore, not what you can
cheat up with a backward lean to shame
the tower in Pisa). The exact number
of reps you get isnít important
anyway, only that itís over 8 reps at
2) Do as many reps as you can in good
form, and then write down the load
used (or the color of the elastic
band) and the number of reps.
3) Rest EXACTLY 20 seconds.
4) Do another set of as many reps as
you can. Obviously, you wonít get as
many reps this set as you did on your
first, provided you challenged
yourself on the first set, and
assuming you're not some sort of
genetic Density freak. 5) Rest
EXACTLY 20 seconds. 6) Repeat steps
3-6 using the same load each set until
you get to a total of 50 reps.
7) Once youíve achieved 50 reps (or
even up to 100 if youíre an advanced
trainee who knows they respond better
to higher volume), youíre done!
8) On your subsequent workout, youíll
do everything exactly the same,
EXCEPT, youíll cut your rest periods
by 5 seconds to 15 seconds.
9) Once youíre down to 5 second rest
periods, you can move on to something
different (ideally a routine that
stresses progression by Load or
Acceleration), or you can repeat this
routine for one more cycle using
slightly heavier loads.
This is only one variant of Density
Training you could employ, but itís
one of the simplest, and thatís why I
like it so much!
The Fitness Sage always favors the
Simple, Balanced, and Profound
approach to building a better body.
About the Author
Jeremy (aka The Fitness Sage) is the author of the upcoming guide: "The Tao of Functional Fitness." He has recently appeared on the "Pat Croce: Moving In" TV show, and has appeared on the cover of Men's Workout Magazine twice. You can learn more about his Profound approach to health and fitness at http://www.JeremyMarkum.com or his members-only site at http://www.JeremyMarkumInnerCircle.com.
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The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.
A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.
The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.
Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy
know there are plenty of other benefits.
Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.
Here is some good
instructional material on stretching:
If you enjoyed 'The Power of Stretching' article, consider
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