Tag Archive: back


Lisa and I went on a long bike ride yesterday to Delray Beach and back.  By long, I mean 9 miles each way.  I’m not absolutely sure why this was hard for me.  We used to do 30-mile bike rides fairly easily.

I think it had something to do with the wind in our faces, the backpack full of glass tupperware on my back, the high heat, the excessive humidity, my uncomfortable seat (if you’re a dude, you know what I mean), and the fact that the backpack straps are positioned in such a way that my hands would go numb after about two miles.

It was hard.  We had fun once at Delray Beach, but the ride back especially was not fun for me.  Lisa had fun, though.  She wasn’t even tired… Cardio freak.  🙂

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How to Lift Weights

For building Muscle Mass:

When you’re trying to build muscle mass, you have to find ways to stabilize your body so that you’re only working a select set of muscles at once.  You can think of this in a bench press exercise where your legs and core are minimally involved because they’re resting on a bench.  Your pushing muscles are the only muscles being stressed to a great extent.

This is the type of exercise you have to do if you want to gain muscle mass.  You have to use exercises where specific muscles are targeted.  Full-body exercises just don’t work as well for muscle growth. Continue reading

For the last three weeks, I’ve been refining my own version of Layne Norton‘s PHAT (Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training) lifting methodology.  Essentially, it has you doing two days of heavy (around 5 rep) lifting and then three days of hypertrophy (around 10-15 rep) lifting per week.

My only tweaks were to make it slightly more applicable to real-life movements and put a stronger emphasis on single-legged movements.  Also, I’m not a fan of 15-20 rep sets, so I try not to go over 14.  I’ll do a later write-up explaining this in more detail.

The results from the last three weeks?  0.38lbs of muscle gain and 1.78lbs of fat loss.  At least that’s what the 7-site body fat caliper protocol says.

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Well, despite the regression on the cleans, I’d have to say this was a good session.  Everything else went up.

Also, I think the regression on the cleans was largely due to my back still being sore.  Oh well.  Life goes on.
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Well, 25 sets of ten reps later, I can feel the soreness coming tomorrow.  At the same time, it felt good to get out some of my frustration at recently losing muscle mass.

The decision to do this was largely based on a recent article in one of the journals that we receive from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  My NSCA certified friends may have read it.   Basically, a couple Exercise Science PhDs from Taiwan wrote about how to create muscle growth.  While sharing everything they said in its entirety is beyond the scope of this blog, they proposed a new theory on how muscle grows. Continue reading

A good day.  I added a couple extra exercises to what I did last week.  Also, I hit each goal I set for each exercise.  That’s always nice.  🙂 Continue reading

How To Beat Lower Back Pain

Regardless of who you are, you probably know someone with lower back pain.  While the causes are numerous, one of the major contributors is a weak core.  This is something I’ve learned the hard way myself.  I’ve had minor lower back pain from heavy lifting, and I watched my best friend end up with a permanent injury from a herniated disc.  Thankfully, although he can’t do some exercises, he can still fully function in everyday life because he has been training his core strength.

Keep in mind that what I’m about to say is only an exercise science perspective.  I’m not in a position to prescribe exercise for someone with a serious injury.  If you have a serious injury, call your physical therapist.  I am, however, in a position to tell you how to make your core strong so that you can prevent future or alleviate current non-specific lower back pain. Continue reading