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Tip of the week Tip: Train your gluteus while you brush your teeth

Tipps der Woche Tipp: Trainiere Deinen Gluteus, während Du Dir die Zähne putzt

Sleepy gluteus, flat butt

Glutes all over the world have fallen asleep. You see it in men, you see it in women. Instead of contracting when called upon during lower body exercises, the gluteus ignores these people. At some point, their butt gets soft and misshapen. Then it becomes flat. Soon, these men and women begin to stumble when they run because their pants begin to slip.

Test your gluteus as follows

There is an easy way to find out if your gluteus is contracting adequately. Simply try to stand on one leg for 60 seconds with your eyes closed. If you can't do this, then you've either had too much tequila or your gluteus is on a permanent siesta.

The test is also the cure

Most of us have a set of fitness things we should be doing every day. We start with the best intentions, but soon forget to stretch, work with the foam roller, train the rotator cuff, do extra pull-ups or work our abs.

The solution to this fitness mindlessness is to integrate these daily tasks into our daily activities. Stretching and/or ab workouts can be pushed to commercial breaks while watching TV.

To perform additional pull-ups, you can hang a bar in the room you enter most often and not allow yourself to enter or leave the room without performing one or more pull-ups.

For an improperly contracting or dormant gluteus, you can simply stand on one leg with your eyes closed while brushing your teeth before going to bed. Spend at least 2 or 3 minutes in total doing this. You will be fighting tooth decay problems and gluteus problems at the same time.

Tip: Challenge yourself with a changeup

Baseball pitchers use a changeup to confuse and challenge the batter. Use the same strategy in your training and make the basics more brutal.

By Martin Rooney


Interrupting the routine

Have you ever heard of the "changeup pitch" in baseball? This is designed to confuse the batter by changing the throwing pattern. Here, the pitcher uses the same type of pitch for a fastball, but changes the speed. And it is this speed that confuses the batter, which is exactly what the pitcher is trying to do.

Why not use a changeup like this in the gym? Instead of boring yourself with the same 5 sets of 8 reps, or doing a complete change of workout with single leg balance exercises on a vibration board, use what you know works and simply change the rest intervals and tempo.

When you have reached a plateau, don't abandon your basic exercises, but simply change their execution. Add a pause to your front squats or push-ups. Pull and push the weight sled. Use a lateral pull direction in pulling exercises instead of pulling straight forward. These types of changes will make familiar exercises harder and stress your motor units in a whole new way. Here are a few ways to do this.

Three-phase front squats and push-ups challenge

  • The change: Take the classic exercises and add some rests. This will allow you to increase the time under tension, lengthen the duration of the eccentric phase and learn what the term pudding legs means.
  • Instructions: For front squats and push-ups, go down and pause for a second at the lowest point of the movement. Then go halfway up, pause again, then move back down and pause again before moving all the way back up. This three pause sequence is one repetition. Do 5 sets of 5 repetitions per exercise. If you can do this in under 6 minutes, your confidence will grow almost as much as your quadriceps and triceps.

Push-pull sprint challenge

  • The change: weight sleds are no longer just for pushing heavy weights. Instead of seeing how much weight you can load up, use this change to work your core and back. All you need is a weight sled and a rope.
  • Instructions: Tie a rope 30 meters long to a weight sled. Start by pulling the sled the entire 30 meters back towards you. You can alternate between an overhand and underhand grip if you wish. Then push the sled back to the starting position and repeat. This is more about speed than weight. Keep the sled light depending on the surface of the floor and remember that the rope will make it harder if you are further away from the sled. Perform 8 sets in 10 minutes or less.
  • Safety note: As there are different types of weight sleds and surfaces, it is important to choose an appropriate weight that you can move for the entire 10 minutes. The sled should feel relatively light to start with, but don't worry, it will feel heavier once you have been exercising for a few minutes.

Tip: Make progress without increasing the weight

These alternative ways to monitor progress provide variety, insight and results.

By Charles Staley


Progression is misunderstood

"Progression" is both the most necessary component and the most misunderstood. Many people believe that progression in strength training can be achieved solely by adding weight to the bar. They forget that there are numerous ways to increase the difficulty of a training session.

The more experienced we become, the more important it is to use as many of these methods as possible. The idea of "do more and do it harder" will only get a strength athlete so far before they reach a plateau that takes extra time and energy to overcome. Instead of putting more weight on the bar, use these other results-producing tactics.

Other progression tactics

  • Rest shorter between sets
  • Use a wider range of motion
  • Add short pauses at or near the heaviest points of the movement
  • Use better, stricter technique
  • Use less supportive equipment (belts, bandages, grip aids)
  • Train alone or without music
  • Use fewer warm-up sets than usual
  • Work harder than usual during the warm-up sets (pre-fatigue)

Of course, you shouldn't combine too many methods in one training session, but choose a few new ways to progress, work on them for a few weeks and then move on to something else. Even if you focus on just one unfamiliar approach for a period of time, this can help you achieve new results.

Tip: Train twice a day for maximum results

If you can find the time, two training sessions in one day can lead to very good results...if you plan it right.

By Charles Poliquin


If you're looking for the fastest and most effective way to build muscle mass and strength, then two workouts a day is the best plan. Do the following to plan it right:

  1. Perform the heavier "neural" workout in the morning. In the evening, do a bodybuilding-style workout with more time under tension. For example, do most sets of 6 repetitions in the morning and work with 15 to 20 repetitions in the evening. Or you can do regular training in the morning and focus on eccentric training (negative reps only) in the evening.
  2. The same muscle groups should be trained in both workouts. Train them heavy first and then lighter in the next training session.
  3. If strength is your primary goal, use the same exercises for both workouts. If you are more focused on muscle hypertrophy, you should use different variations of the exercises, but continue to train the same muscle groups in both workouts. Powerlifters could train classic squats twice a day, while bodybuilders could train barbell bench presses in the morning and dumbbell incline bench presses in the afternoon.
  4. There must be at least four to six hours between the two training sessions. This time gap is crucial. If the gap is less - like two or three hours - then you won't be able to recover sufficiently and cumulative fatigue will prevent progress.
  5. Don't immediately switch to doing two of your normal workouts on the same day. Start with 20 minutes of exercise in the morning and 20 minutes of exercise in the afternoon. From here, gradually work your way up from training session to training session until you reach one hour per training session. You should give yourself about 11 weeks until you reach two full one-hour training sessions per day.
  6. To prevent burn out, after every 10 day block of two daily workouts, you should do 5 days of standard once daily workouts to give your body a break. I recommend exercising for about 40 minutes in the morning on these days. After five days, you can go back to two daily workouts.
  7. Don't forget that more training means that nutrition becomes even more important. In particular, without proper training nutrition, it is impossible to recover from this type of training.

Tip: How to achieve rapid strength gains in 4 weeks

Combine these two strength training methods and you'll consistently set new personal bests.

By John Fawkes


If you really want to get strong, then you need to go beyond 5 x 5 and start finding new ways to overload your muscles and nervous system to force further adaptations. You will also need gains in muscle mass even if strength is your primary goal.

Cluster sets and contrast training are two advanced training techniques you can use to give new muscle growth a boost. And by combining the two, even experienced exercisers can achieve massive strength gains in just a few weeks.

Cluster sets

Normally, training for strength means using heavy weights and low repetitions. However, if you're past the beginner stage, this means you'll build strength but not much muscle mass. Cluster sets allow you to train with heavy weights while working in a higher repetition range by incorporating short rest intervals in the middle of the set - a sort of pre-planned rest/pause.

For example, an exerciser primarily focused on strength would use a weight in the 90% range of their 1RM weight for 2 reps, place the weight on the rack, pause for 15 to 20 seconds, perform two more reps, pause for another 15 to 20 seconds, and finally perform one or two final reps. That's a total of 5 to 6 repetitions.

A trainee whose focus is more on muscle hypertrophy could use 80% of their 1RM weight, shorten their pauses to 10 seconds and perform three reps on each subset.

Contrast training

In contrast training, the exerciser performs a slow speed, high weight exercise followed by an explosive, light weight exercise, both training the same muscle and movement pattern.

For example, you could combine bench presses with plyometric push-ups. Or classic squats with jump squats. Typically, 4 to 6 repetitions of the heavy exercise and 8 to 12 repetitions of the explosive exercise are performed.

Contrasting training works according to the principle of post-activation potentiation. The first exercise briefly increases your strength by preparing your nervous system, allowing it to develop more power during the explosive exercise.

Let's put the two together

To push you to new heights, we'll use supersets like contrast training, but use a high weight cluster set as the first exercise of the superset. The whole thing will look like this:






Bench press (20 sec. rest after every 2 repetitions)



90% 1RM


Plyometric push-ups



Body weight

3 min.

For the legs, you could use front squats or classic squats plus jump squats and keep the sets, repetitions, rest and intensity the same. For the back, you could combine deadlifts with light dumbbell rowing.

Training program design

These ten sets will exhaust you completely and you would be well advised to make them a full training session. If you want, you can add some supportive training for smaller muscle groups, but limit this to 2 to 3 exercises with 2 to 3 sets each. If you want to add cardio training at the end, limit this to 15 minutes.

Since this program is only done three days a week and only focuses on 3 exercises, you should add one more training session during which you perform a few other multi-joint exercises to round out your body development and make sure you work every muscle group.

On this fourth day, forget about cluster sets and contrast training and just train as you normally would. This training session should be relatively light, as your body's ability to recover is already heavily challenged by the other three training sessions.

Example of a training split

  • Monday: Bench press + plyometric push-ups. Then calves, abs and 15 minutes of jumping rope.
  • Tuesday: classic squats + jump squats. Then biceps and forearms plus 10 minutes of cycling.
  • Wednesday: No training
  • Thursday: deadlift + dumbbell rowing bent over. Then shoulders, triceps and abs.
  • Friday: No training
  • Saturday: Barbell shoulder presses, pull-ups and other supportive training as required plus 15 minutes of cardio.
  • Sunday: No training

This training split can produce rapid strength gains even in experienced exercisers. We're talking about 20 kilos in your powerlifting total within a month. However, this workout is also extremely demanding and most people should only follow it for 4 to 6 weeks.

For maximum long-term results, you should follow this training program for 4 weeks and then take an off-load week and then follow a less demanding program for 4 to 8 weeks. Repeat as often as necessary until you are a member of the 1000 Pound Club or your training goals change.

Tip: Use a so-called "false" grip when pressing overhead

The conventional grip ruins your exercise form and prevents you from developing real strength when overhead pressing.

By Lee Boyce


Many exercisers make the mistake of placing the barbell too low in the palm of their hand during pressing exercises like overhead presses. What happens is that the bar rests too far back in the hand, often causing the wrist to bend so that the repetition is performed without the bar being supported by the rest of the arm.

With a conventional grip (where the thumbs are "wrapped" around the bar), it is difficult to correct this positioning and place the bar where it should be, especially when the training weight increases.

A so-called "false" grip (where you place your thumbs on the same side of the bar as your fingers) allows you to clutch the bar and place the weight over your wrist and forearm from the start.

False vs. conventional grip

The false grip is best reserved for slightly advanced to advanced exercisers, as they are strong and experienced enough not to drop the bar.


From TC Luoma

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