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My Top 10 Biggest Mistakes in my 12 Years of Resistance Training & Nutrition

Written by: Dr. Nicholas J. Pannella, D.C.First off, I want to thank Chris Barakat for giving me the opportunity to share my own personal experiences and knowledge through the School of Gainz platform.  For my first post, I wanted to share my personal experiences – triumphs, downfalls, and misplaced faith – and how I’ve practically applied them during my training career. I also want to talk about some misguidance I’ve noticed in others. Before I continue, I wanted to state a few things about myself so readers have an idea on who I am and why I decided to become......

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HIP THRUST – The Ultimate Booty Builder or an Overrated Imposter?

Written by: Christopher Barakat, MS, ATC, CISSNOver the past 5 years, one exercise that has become exponentially more popular is the Barbell Hip Thrust. From female fitspos on Instagram saying it’s their favorite booty builder, to elite strength and conditioning coaches claiming this is going to enhance lower body strength and power, it seems like everyone is performing them in their training program. Interestingly, what seems like overnight, a lot of people are hopping off the hip thrust band wagon and are now saying it’s overrated. This is due to a recent study(1) that was just published comparing the strength......

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Does Muscle Damage and Soreness Contribute to Growth? (Hypertrophy series, pt. 2)

Written by: Josh Bradshaw, MS(c)Introduction Trouble walking and climbing stairs has always been a badge of honor days after a grueling leg session. There’s nothing quite like your body telling you how messed up you are. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) has often been looked at as an indicator of the effectiveness of a single session session or training modality. Aside from telling you how hard you trained, what does DOMS tell us and what is the role of muscle damage in training for hypertrophy? The Physiology of Muscle Damage In this series’ last entry, we explored the anatomy of......

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5 Keys to Enhance Your Mind Muscle Connection to Optimize Hypertrophy

Written by: Chris Barakat, MS, ATC, CISSNThere is no better feeling than the satisfaction you experience after having an awesome training session. For myself, this doesn’t have to be about ‘hitting PRs”, but as a bodybuilder, feeling connected to my physique, being in the zone, and getting a massive pump is glorious. On the contrary, one of the worst feelings is when you can’t get it going. Perhaps, you are excited to train back, but when you use a piece of equipment, you do not feel a strong connection with your posterior musculature and the only thing that fatigues is......

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Understanding What Causes Muscle Growth – (Hypertrophy Series, Part 1)

Written by: Josh Bradshaw, MS(c)Muscle hypertrophy has its place in almost every competitive sport. Gaining muscle can be beneficial for many groups of people ranging from the world’s most elite athletes to the general population. For Bodybuilders, it’s the name of the game. What is driving muscle growth? As of late, this question has been up for debate and the internet is nothing short of saturated on the subject. I’m going to illustrate some of the basic physiological events that occur during and post-training and discuss its implications for progressive overload. Note: we are focusing primarily on “myofibrillar” hypertrophy in......

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Building Momentum to Optimize Progress

Written by: Josh Bradshaw, MS(c)Over the past year, I have experimented with numerous progression methods in my training to learn and expand my toolbox of ideas and training modalities in order to be a better athlete and coach. Through this process, I learned the importance of building momentum in a properly periodized training approach. Let’s use a quick analogy to illustrate this concept clearly. Imagine you are competing in Ski Jumping in the Winter Olympics. In order to win, you must cover the most amount of horizontal distance by jumping from a hill and landing safely. If you haven’t seen......

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Training Tempo: Is There A Tempo That Is Best?

Written by: Chris Barkat, MS, ATC, CISSNTraining tempo is a topic that is commonly discussed with many different perspectives and viewpoints... Some try to utilize scientific data to support their beliefs (although they’re often misinterpreting the data) and others just use their anecdotal opinion. I’m going to break down some of the science behind this topic but also give you some practical advice that doesn’t involve numbers! People want to know, is there a specific tempo they should utilize when performing their eccentric and concentric muscle contractions? I’ve heard this many times - training tempo isn’t important - the most......

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Powerlifting Vs. Bodybuilding: Training For Size Vs. Strength

Written by: Chris Barakat, MSDefining your primary goal is very important when either creating your own training program, or looking for one that will optimize your progress and take all the guesswork out of it. If you want to develop the most aesthetic physique possible, and your primary goal is to put on muscle, a well-designed hypertrophy training program is going to be key.  If your goal is to lift as much weight as possible and improve your ‘absolute strength’ (1-rep max) your training program needs to be specific. There is a massive difference between how a bodybuilder and powerlifter......

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Progression & Periodization for Physique Athletes

Written by: Josh Bradshaw What do you do when you can no longer add weight to the bar? Do you ever feel like your progress has stalled, gone stale, and growth is hardly noticeable anymore? It’s time to make changes to your training regimen! For those of you who are in school, were your study habits during your final semester the same as when you were in 3rd grade? Probably not. Ideally you would make the necessary changes to your plan of attack to accomplish a much harder goal. Progressing in the later stages of a training career is no......

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How to Train The Long Head of Your Triceps

Written by: Chris Barakat, MS, ATC, CISSNWhether you’re trying to build arms that would be considered weapons of mass destruction or just want to ‘tone’ your triceps and reduce that arm jiggle, training your triceps is going to be key! The triceps have much more growth potential than the biceps. This is because the triceps are made up of three heads (long, medial, and lateral), whereas the biceps are just made up of two heads (short & long). It’s important to not only understand how the triceps function, but also what makes the three heads different so you won’t have......

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