Once again, I’m reading Pavel Tsatsouline. I can’t help it. I like the Mad Russian.
Right now, I’m readingÂ The Naked Warrior,Â his book on calisthenics. Mostly, it focuses on just two exercises, which doesn’t do much for me, but it does talk a great deal about the concept of “greasing the groove.”
I’m sure Tsatsouline isn’t the originator of the idea, and I know I’ve heard it for years, but the basic idea is that you do a submaximal lift with a lowish number of reps and before you realize it, you’re stronger than you realized.
It’s made me wonder if it’s the key to being “farmboy strong.”
Continue reading “Is ‘Greasing The Groove’ The Secret To ‘Farmboy Strong’?”
Is it the king of overhead pressing, or just a pretender?
The overhead press is one of the most important movements in resistance training. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a barbell, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or a big old rock. It’s important.
Once upon a time, the measure of strength wasn’t the bench press, but the overhead press.
While it’s prominence has fallen in many ways, the overhead press is still pretty damn important. Even while focusing on the kettlebell snatch, I’m still making it a point to press with a kettlebell too.
There are a lot of people who claim that pressing with a kettlebell is the bee’s knees.
But is it?
Continue reading “The Kettlebell Overhead Press”
Everyone needs to train. In my not so humble opinion, everyone needs to get off their butts and do some kind of training.
But the problem is that there are a lot of different ways to train, and most people don’t really have a clue how to deal with the plethora of options. Especially when there are so many scams floating around in the fitness world.
So what do you do? Luckily, I’ve done some thinking on the topic.
Continue reading “What To Look For In Training Modalities”
When I started down this rabbit hole of looking for evidence backing up kettlebell training, I figured it wouldn’t be that hard. After all, the blasted things have been around for centuries. There are pictures of old-time strongmen like Eugene Sandow hoisting the things.
Anything that old and that linked to historic physical culture should have a lot of research behind it by now, right?
Eh…not so much.
Continue reading “The Difficulties Of Evidence-Based Kettlebell Training”
What does science actually say about strength training with kettlebells?
If you’re going to look at any kind of training such as kettlebell training, you need to know if it’ll do what you want it to do. While I do think that your enjoyment should play a factor, as previously noted, I also think you need to understand what will happen if you engage in a given training modality.
With barbells and dumbbells, even with calisthenics, people already generally know what to expect. If you lift weights, you’ll get stronger and can get bigger muscles. Similarly with calisthenics.
But kettlebells are different animals. Despite having been around for centuries, few people really understand what they can really do.
That includes me.
So, as part of this ongoing quest to figure them out, let’s look and see if they can really make you stronger.
Continue reading “Do Kettlebells Actually Make You Stronger?”
I’ve been talking a bit about kettlebells lately. Before that, it was barbells and dumbbells.
However, I’ve never laid out the primary reason you should pick any exercise modality out there. After all, there are plenty. They range from an afternoon walk before you cook supper to Crossfit. There is an insane number of choices.
Yet, with all the discussion about why you should do this or that, we all–myself included–tend to forget the primary reason you should pick any method, modality, or outlet.
Today, I’m going to remind you.
Continue reading “The Number One Reason You Should Pick Any Excercise Modality”
For the last while now, I’ve been working toward something. I’ve been working toward making myself into something. I’ve written about my thoughts and a bit about why I’m not the only one who should work toward this something, even.
But I haven’t even really defined precisely what this something is. I’ve touched on it, but I haven’t really defined what it is that this Modern Barbarian really is.
Today, I’m going to try and do that. I may add to some of this at a later date, but this is where the entire concept stands as of this moment.
Continue reading “The Ideal Person”
For months now, I’ve been using my home gym exclusively. I’ve enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine while I train. I’ve liked stepping just outside my home to get my training in. I’ve loved how so little has to work around my training schedule.
And, for the time being, it’s over.
Continue reading “Time To Head Back To The Gym”
Tell someone you life weights and they’re going to ask you one question above all others, most likely. “How much do you bench?”
The bench press is considered by many to be the gold standard in strength. The NFL Combine actually tests the bench press, so you know it has to mean something, right?
When you look at training, even my own training program, it’s clear that the bench press is one of the most vital lifts out there.
Of course, the question we don’t ask but probably should is, “Is the bench press overrated?”
Continue reading “Is The Bench Press Overrated?”
Back in the day, it seemed like everyone who trained did bodybuilding-like training. I know when I was in high school, college, and the Navy, all of my training was bodybuilding training because, well, I didn’t know any better.
Those were the days before the internet.
That meant if you wanted to train, you tended to grab books like Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding or magazines like Flex or Muscular Development.
Not only that but the public’s perception of “strong” generally meant looking like Arnold or Stallone. It was the way we thought of people who were strong and tough.
Why else do you think Dolph Lundgren or Jean Claude Van Damme came to prominence?
But today, we know a whole lot more. We have access to information we couldn’t imagine back then. Hell, I didn’t even know “powerlifting” was a thing in those days.
Which leads me to ponder: Should new athletes focus on looking good or just being strong?
Continue reading “Looks Versus Lifts: Thoughts On Strength Versus Aesthetic”