Still Alive & Progressing Into the Intermediate Stage

March 14th, 2008

Hey everyone, I’m still here and alive. I have been training non-stop and enjoying every minute of it. I have now progressed into the Intermediate stage of strength training, as Rippetoe’s Starting Strength routine was no longer effective (I have been following it for over a year and a half mind you). The gains I have achieved with the beginner program were phenomenal, and I have been grateful for finding about the routine at the right time. I have been reading Practical Programming for Strength Training for a while now and it’s great stuff. I am learning way too much to list about it in this small post, so I encourage everyone to grab a copy and check it out for themselves instead of waiting for me to spill the beans. 🙂 I recently found out that Mark Rippetoe released another book back in November, titled Strong Enough? Thoughts from Thirty Years of Barbell Training. I will be ordering it very soon alongside my fractional plates for micro-loading.

For those who are curious, I am following Bill Starr’s 5×5 program, featured on Madcow’s site.

This Book Makes a Great Holiday Gift

December 15th, 2007

For those who don’t know what to get for their siblings or friends as a holiday gift, I recommend the book best strength training book out there. If you think about it, it’s one of those gifts that “keep on giving” when they really start getting serious about their training. Maybe when they start the routine and compare their physique with before and after pictures, they’ll thank you tremendously for putting them on the right path. Of course, it can be a bit awkward and they may take it as an insult especially if they don’t lift any weights or train in the first place, so watch out for those situations. 🙂 Just a thought!

Book Reviews: Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training

November 6th, 2007

A few people wrote in asking what “Basic Barbell Training” is and if it’s a new book by Mark Rippetoe (they noticed the new white cover on it). The answer is “yes and no”: it’s pretty much a revised edition of the original Starting Strength book, with more illustrations and a new chapter on assistance exercises. It also has more detailed analysis of the five core exercises that are taught in the first edition. If you already own the Starting Strength book, I would say you don’t need to get this book just yet. Stick with what you have learned in the original and if needed, perhaps rent the second edition at your library to save a few dollars if you want to know what’s new in Basic Barbell Training. Of course, if you haven’t already purchased either copy, I highly recommend you do so now for your own sake in getting the best out of your workouts (if you’re a beginner to weight training).

The second book by Mark Rippetoe is Practical Programming for Strength Training, targeted towards people who are moving onwards from the beginner’s strength training routine (and entering the intermediate stage). It features chapters on periodization and advance techniques on strength training for people who can no longer move up in strength on the original routine. I will be writing a few articles on the intermediate book as soon as I finish reading it and putting it to use.

Please note that the above is a review and is considered an opinion. This site and its reviews and opinions have nothing to do with Mark Rippetoe, Lon Kilgore or The Aasgard Company.

A Little Update

November 5th, 2007

Hello everyone, just letting you all know that I’m not dead yet. 🙂 The site will be updated with more articles very soon (they’re drafts now waiting to be looked over). I have been training non-stop and noticed a few things about my workouts that I would like to share with you all within a few days. I might be moving onto the intermediate stage of Mark Rippetoe’s routine very soon (Practical Programming for Strength Training) but I would like to make sure that I have milked this program entirely before I move on. Stay tuned for updates!

How To Motivate Yourself

August 29th, 2007

Some people out there lack motivation when it comes to working out. Usually, they would love to get into the habit of working out on a weekly basis, but they can’t seem to motivate themselves to do so, or more specifically, they bring up a lot of excuses such as “I don’t have time” (that’s a good one) or “I don’t have the money to go to the gym” or “I don’t know where to start”. While the latter one is a decent excuse, it still doesn’t cut it. Below, I have compiled a list of the top excuses and what you can do about it.

Not enough time: My solution to this problem is to simply organize your day around your training time. It may not work for everybody, but if you prioritize your training above everything else, you’ll manage just fine. Students should excel at organizing their daily schedules, so inserting 3-4 hours of training per week can work. People with day jobs can also manage; just hit the gym before or after your job. I would say from experience that the best time to train would be in the morning right before work or school, or during noon (around 1-2 PM) but your mileage may vary. I have noticed that training beforehand makes your day go by much quicker.

Not enough money for a gym membership: Maybe I’m spoiled with the extremely low membership fees at my local gym, but this shouldn’t be an excuse. Let’s say a yearly gym membership costs 4 to 6 hundred dollars (USD). For teenagers and students, this may seem expensive, but for the working-class people out there, it shouldn’t. Instead of dining out every week, put the money in a jar and save it for the gym membership. Having too many parties? Spending too much on gadgets? You get the drift. Remember, the gym (and training) is an investment for your health: if you much rather sit at home and watch movies on your spiffy new Blu-ray player, then perhaps it’s time to change your ways and get off your ass.

No clue on where to start: this is a valid excuse for most people, but if you’re reading this site, it no longer is. Just do yourself a favor and buy a strength training book and learn from a professional coach with visuals. You’ll thank me later.