The missing piece to your training program

One sneaky trick that took me over 5 years to “stumble upon”.

The title was pretty eye catching huh?

I have to go right out and say that this tip is neither sneaky nor a trick. Actually its something that should be a part of everyones program but rarely is.

Go to the gym and take a look around. You’ll see people (mainly men) busting out endless sets of what can only be described as explosive movements with WAAAAYYY too much weight then they should. Now I’m not dogging on noobs (newbies) nor am I dogging on wannabe meatheads (I kinda am). I started that way too. The more weight on the bar the better right?

Yes and no.

The law of progressive overload states that a gradual increase of stress must be placed on the body in order to create change. So technically yes the more weight the better.


Adding weight isn’t the only form of “stress” that can be added to the body. Truth be told your body has no clue at all what weight your using. Muscles don’t understand weight they understand tension.

This is nothing new. Take gymnasts for example, pound for pound they have some of the most impressive physiques and the strength to back it up. Yet the majority of their work comes from tension. Bodybuilders and strength athletes have taken notice and applied this to their training programs and have done wonders with it. People like John Meadows and Ben Pakulski are on the cutting edge of this high tension stuff.

So back to the tip (insert childish joke here). The piece that a lot of people are missing in their training programs is tension. Its cool to able to reverse grip power clean (aka barbell curl) the bar with 45’s on it. So what if you got a small tweak on your low back from it. It looked cool as shit when you did it though. But how about this. Try cutting the weight in half and doing 4 seconds on the negative portion of the curl while trying to crush the bar in your hands through the whole movement. If you have a pair of Fat Gripz add those in there too. A few reps of that will have your bi’s torched, smoked, rocked, or whatever the cool kids are calling it now a days.

Here are 4 tips to add to your current training program to stir things up and ignite results.

1. 4 second negatives

It doesn’t seem like much because its so simple. Just slow down the eccentric part of an exercise and control it. But this adds in extra time under tension which is another “magic trick” all on its own.

2. Add Fat Grips/ use fatter grips

Adding thicker grips isn’t only good for healthy shoulders,elbows, and joints. It helps with a ton of grip strength and increases muscle activation.

3. Add tension to exercises

For example, the simple act of pretending to pull the floor together with your hands during a pushup adds tension to the pecs and shoulders. Or pretending to spread the floor apart with your feet adds tension to the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

4. Add isometrics

Isometrics are another great weight to increase tension of an exercise. Wether its John meadows way of adding an iso tension hold mid range during a rep of an exercise. Or the way gymnasts use isometrics with things like L-sits (my personal favorite ab exercise).



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Comments for This Entry

  • Gregg G

    What I learned from all of this is… pre-workout in moderation. That, and the term “bag o’cats” comes to mind. rib eye.

    July 22, 2015 at 1:29 pm

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