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Tips of the week deadlift challenge

Tipps der Woche Kreuzheben Herausforderung

Replace one of your training sessions per week with this deadlift challenge. Simply load the bar with 145 kilos and see if you can do 60 repetitions within 30 minutes.

There are two strategies you can use here:

  1. Do two reps every full minute
  2. Perform one repetition every 30 seconds

If you have the right equipment available, I would recommend dropping the bar at the highest position of each repetition to reduce muscle soreness the next day. It should go without saying that you should maintain good posture. The benefit of this challenge is that your technique will improve over time and your work capacity will increase.

This challenge was developed by Gary John, a 61 year old thrower. He can do 60 repetitions with 150 kilos on the bar. Adjust the weight to your needs. Use a trap bar or a straight bar and a sumo stand or a conventional stand. Whatever you choose, it's going to be brutal.

Make face pulls one of your basic exercises

Do you have bad posture or are you always sitting hunched over? Practice face pulls.

By Dr. John Rusin


Face pulls( are one of the most versatile training tools in your arsenal for correcting poor shoulder and chest posture. This exercise provides the exact opposite movements that we continuously perform on a daily basis - namely sitting bent over and looking at the computer, our phone and our TV.

This exercise involves horizontal abduction of the upper arm and external rotation of the shoulder and retraction of the shoulder blades - all of which help to reduce the effects of the forward bent, continuously adducted, inwardly rotated and protracted posture. If you're hunched over a cell phone or computer reading this, that's exactly the position we're talking about.

Don't be fooled into thinking that face pulls are just another fancy corrective exercise. Sure, it can be incorporated well into any successful dynamic warm-up or used as an activation technique to prepare the shoulders and rotator cuff, but you can also use this movement pattern with heavier weights for results-producing training effects.

If you use heavier weights, then the externally rotated position of the shoulder will be lost for the most part due to the load, but that's okay. Pull back hard, hitting the muscles of your posterior shoulder girdle in the strength and hypertrophy range. When it comes to increasing metabolic stress, extremely high repetition ranges with increasing tension will set your shoulder muscles on fire.

Use caffeine before your training sessions for fat loss

Pre-workout caffeine promotes fat loss in two different ways

By Clay Hyght, DC


Caffeine promotes lipolysis (another word for fat burning) and inhibits glycolysis (carbohydrate burning). Type "caffeine" into PubMed and you'll get nearly 30,000 results and a consistent trend in the field of research is an increase in the amount of free fatty acids in the bloodstream, suggesting that fat is being broken down.

But now that the fat is shed, it's up to you to make sure it's burned. This is where exercise comes into play. It's a good idea to always have some caffeine before your workout as this makes physiological and biochemical sense. Not only will this most likely aid lipolysis, but it will also indirectly help with fat burning as you will be more energized and therefore ultimately do more work.

On a side note, there is evidence that yohimbine does pretty much the same thing, albeit via a slightly different mechanism. Therefore, a combined intake of caffeine and yohimbine before exercise can deliver a double whammy for fat burning.

Use stretching during the set to stimulate muscle growth

Warning: This will hurt - but stretching a pumped-up muscle under load builds muscle fast

By Dr. John Rusin


How it works

Perform a long set to muscle failure and let the weight stretch the muscle for 30 seconds while trying not to cry. Stretching during the set is not only one of the best ways to improve mobility under load, but it's also damn effective when it comes to stimulating hypertrophy through metabolic stress. Techniques for stretching during sets can easily be incorporated into your training. Here's an example:

Flying movements on the machine with stretching during the set

After performing a set to muscle failure in an ultra-high repetition range, simply let the weight stretch you passively for about 30 seconds or as long as you can tolerate the pain. Aggressively stretching a fully inflated muscle is the perfect mechanism for muscle growth. You increase overall muscle tension while maximizing the swelling response for maximum muscle damage.

The key is to perform your set to absolute mechanical muscle failure - meaning you can't perform another repetition even with maximum effort - before letting the weight stretch your muscles. When it comes time to hold that stretch, you better be ready for some mental warfare.

Be careful not to compensate for your joint positioning during the stretching phase and put your body at increased risk of injury. You will feel some pain here, but don't change your position - which is especially true under load. Use clean form and good technique.

Perform this 5-minute pull-up training session twice a week

Set a timer for 5 minutes and do as many pull-ups as you can

By Chris Shugart


Pull-ups are the ultimate test. They'll quickly tell you if your upper body is weak or if you're too fat - something the lat pull-up machine can't do. Are you bad at pull-ups? That's a wake-up call you should respond to. Here's one way to do it.

Do this workout twice a week on non-consecutive days:

  1. Set a timer for 5 minutes
  2. Perform as many pull-ups with different variations but strict form as you can within this time window. Pause if necessary, but remember that the clock is ticking.
  3. Write down the number of repetitions you manage - and try to beat this number in the next training session.

Guidelines and tips

  • Start your 5-minute training session with the pull-up variation that you are weakest at. For most people, these are pull-ups with a wide overhand grip - your palms facing away from you. When you start to get tired, move your hands closer together. As soon as you become exhausted in this position too, switch to an underhand grip - your palms facing towards you. Finish the set with a neutral grip - your palms facing each other - which is the strongest position for most exercisers.
  • Do not go to muscle failure during the first 4 minutes. Do 7 to 8 pull-ups in a row when you can normally do 10 in a set.
  • By the 4 minute mark you may be doing single reps. That's #completelyokay. Pause, do one repetition, pause again, do another repetition, etc.
  • Do not use grip aids. Chalk is fine.
  • Don't forget to write down your total number of repetitions during the 5 minutes. Do this workout again a few days later and try to beat that number. If you can do 40 reps, try to do 45 next time.
  • If you're damn good at pull-ups, use a belt with extra weights, a weight vest or a dumbbell held between your feet.
  • Don't be surprised if you have sore abs the next day.

Train from different angles to build big shoulder muscles

The big basic exercises are essential, but isolation and time under tension are also crucial for shoulder mass

By Christian Thibaudeau


Perform this side lift complex

This medley isolates and destroys your shoulder muscles. It hits them from different angles, which is important for full development. Four different variations are used, all performed back-to-back without rest to increase time under tension. Perform 3 sets with 90 seconds rest between sets.

  1. Front raise from parallel to the floor to overhead: 4 to 6 repetitions
  2. Side raises: 4 to 6 repetitions
  3. "Y" side raise with thumbs pointing upwards( 4 to 6 repetitions
  4. Front raise starting at the side of the body, upwards and inwards: 4 to 6 repetitions

But what about the heavy basic exercises?

Sure, if you increase your weight by 50 kilos on the heavy basic exercises, you will definitely have more muscle mass. But this is not necessarily the fastest way - especially when it comes to muscles like the shoulders.

The shoulders are fragile. The shoulder joint is the most unstable joint in the whole body and is also very complex. There are more than 10 muscles that directly influence the way the shoulders move and this joint can move in pretty much any direction.

It is therefore very easy to develop imbalances and annoying, persistent shoulder pain. The problem with relying solely on the basic heavy exercises is that you have a much greater chance of developing strength imbalances that will affect your performance and ultimately your mass gain.

In addition, many strong muscles support the shoulder muscles. So it can be difficult to fully stimulate the shoulder muscles with just the basic exercises. Sure, the shoulders will take some load, but other muscles can contribute disproportionately to the movement and grow faster - and as they grow faster than the shoulders, the shoulders become disproportionately weaker and it becomes harder to engage them - the body will use the stronger muscles to get the job done. Injuries are then more likely.

This is the reason I like to use time under tension as well as multiple angles to develop the shoulders. I use as many angles as possible when I train the shoulders directly. Not only does this make the shoulders more functional and less prone to injury, but it will also maximize muscle mass.

Women, build muscle to get leaner

Move weights to lose fat. Use these 4 workout tools for a stunning body.

By Dani Shugart


Never sacrifice muscle

Even though fat loss is a priority, you should do your best to minimize catabolism (muscle loss). Why? Because muscles look good and because they are metabolically expensive. Why would you want to destroy something that burns calories and makes your body look harder and more toned? And if you think your legs (or any other area) are too bulky, the worst thing you can do is atrophy them.

Don't go so crazy trying to lose weight or shrink certain parts of your body that you make yourself weak, skinny, flabby and metabolically inefficient. This is exactly what happens when your muscles go to waste. Train with the goal of building muscle with weights - not with the goal of losing fat. Fat loss will come easily and inevitably if you fanatically try to build muscle and make that muscle visible.

Four muscle building tools:

Speed strength

If you always move your weights in a slow and controlled manner, then you should look for opportunities to add more power exercises to your training. Make explosive movements essential. Try Olympic weightlifting exercises, kettlebell swings, depth jumps and anything else that forces you to use all the speed you have at your disposal.

Time under tension

If the way you train is always a variation of a power exercise, increase the time under tension by slowing down the eccentric (negative phase) of the movement and controlling the weight. Try back-off sets, partial repetitions and descending sets when you have exhausted yourself with full range of motion movements. Being able to move a heavy weight for one or two repetitions will not automatically give you huge muscle mass. You have to earn it with increased time under tension.


If you're obsessed with feeling a muscle burn and ache over countless repetitions that prevent you from increasing the weight, then you need to reprioritize. Strength is essential. Reach a new maximum weight. Test yourself and set new records. Take the time to leave your comfort zone with high weights and low repetitions.


Focus on muscle groups that will improve the appearance of your body: Shoulder muscles, latissimus and gluteus are key areas for women. Other areas will automatically become strong and attractive through the big basic exercises. Through isolation, however, you can achieve even curvier curves where you want them.

Shape your body with a workout using weights. You have all the tools you need.

Perform a kettlebell workout

Improve your fitness with just a kettlebell and your body weight

By Dan John


This small workout covers all the basic human movements. You only need one kettlebell and can customize the workout for everyone with reps, sets and load. Don't be fooled by the simplicity:

  • 15 kettlebell swings
  • 5 goblet squats
  • 3 push-ups (any variation)

Test this program first by doing 5 reps without resting between exercises. Work your way up to 20 rounds. 20 rounds equals 300 swings, 100 squats and 60 push-ups. That's a respectable workout.

To make it harder, first increase the number of push-ups and then use a heavier kettlebell. This is a great workout for anywhere, anytime and for any purpose.


From Dan John

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