The Art of Weight Selection

The art of weight selection is one area where a good coach can be really helpful, and I realise that many of you don’t have the luxury of having Muscle Russell as your training partner, who is great at calling weights, therefore I will do my best to help with this Blog.   With beginner lifters life is relatively easy, if you hit a set of 5 reps in good form then increase the weight by 2.5-5kg. I don’t want you to miss any reps so you might only get 3 reps on this next set but that’s OK, next time you might get 4, or even 5, it’s all good.   Do you overestimate how much weight to use? Things become a little more complicated when the lifter becomes more experienced. For an intermediate lifter they might have some sessions where they’re aiming for sets of 3; when doing these sets I like the lifter to move up only if they’re 75% certain of success. A quick look at their journal will confirm how good or bad they are concerning this. Once again I don’t want any missed lifts at this stage.   The strange thing is that intermediate lifters often miss lifts, even those who come to Darkside. I think this is due to 2 main reasons. Firstly they get scared of the new weight, as soon as they feel this  weight self preservation kicks in and it all goes wrong. Conversely, they can miss due to having a low work capacity. Advanced lifters will time their psyche to specific lifts whereas the intermediate lifter often gets too keyed up as the...

5 Tips for a Mighty Squat

I hear all the time that people like lists, top 10 this, best 5 of that. Now I’m not saying that these are the best Squatting tips ever but they’re pretty damn good, and there’s a certain logic behind them.   Me at the ’09 Nationals with 230kg, which was a good lift 1. Box Squat – I know this is about the Squat but I am a firm believer in Box Squatting in order to be Mighty in the Squat, if needed. For many never need to Squat, the Box Squat will be enough. Box Squatting teaches the lifter to sit back and to reach correct depth, whereas when I see people Squat I usually see high, knee wrecking lifts. 2. Lock and Load baby, as they say in the States. This is great advice, simply put it means set up correctly. Get the bar in the right position on your back, which is probably lower than you think. Pull the bar hard into your back, as if you’re trying to bend the bar over your back like an old time strongman, and take a huge BELLY full of air; notice I didn’t say lung full. 3. Sit back, this means consciously break from the hips NOT the knees. If you’re lifting un-equipped hit the hole hard (the bottom position) thus making the most of the stretch reflex. Your technical proficiency will determine when you “release” to hit the hole. The more technically proficient the lifter the earlier the release, all things being equal. 4. As you ascend lift with the hips all the time pushing your head back...
Sample Programme 1 ~ Beginners Fat Loss

Sample Programme 1 ~ Beginners Fat Loss

Sample Programme 1 ~ Beginners Fat Loss By Chris Young Introduction We start with the Box Squat; the aim here is to make the trainee stronger in the Squat so that they get an increase in muscle mass, and thus enjoy an increase in metabolism; but also so that the trainee can use the Squat with heavy loads at a later stage which will help with continued fat loss. Next metabolic circuit 1 is performed for 3 rounds, followed by a rest of 3-5 minutes, and then the session is completed with circuit 2 performed for 3 rounds. The exercises selected are usually fairly easy for beginners to master, they’re easy to follow in a busy gym, and they work a lot of muscle, which is the key to metabolic circuits. Download the program here. Expectations: These numbers are based on a healthy beginner up to the age of 50. After 6-8 weeks on this programme I would expect the following weights to be used:     Men Exercise Sets Reps Weight (kg) Rest (seconds) Box Squat 5 5 70 60-120 Circuit 1 DB Step Ups 3 2 15 0 DB Bench Press 3 10 25 0 Russian Twist 3 10 10 0 Circuit 2 180-300 Pull Throughs 3 10 35 0 Face Pulls 3 10 30 0 Overhead Abs 3 10 30 0 Women Exercise Sets Reps Weight (kg) Rest (seconds) Box Squat 5 5 40 60-120 Circuit 1 DB Step Ups 3 2 10** 0 DB Bench Press 3 10 12.5 0 Russian Twist 3 10 5 0 Circuit 2 180-300 Pull Throughs 3 10 22.5* 0...