How Long Should You Rest Before a Powerlifting Competition?

Powerlifting competition squat

Key Points: A new study found that neither three nor five days of rest affected isometric squat strength. Isometric bench press strength was unaffected after three days but decreased by 2.4% after five days of rest. *** Preparing for a powerlifting competition often includes some form of taper or peaking. Generally, this peaking includes at … Read more

Bench Press Grip Width: Close-Grip vs Wide Grip Bench Press

Close-grip bench press strength

Key Points: In general, people are about 5–6% stronger in a wide grip bench press than a close-grip bench press. The close-grip bench press results in higher velocity and power, while the wide grip bench press results in a higher force. In a wide-grip bench press, your chest and shoulders contribute 78% of the force necessary … Read more

Intermediate Bench Press Program, 2–3 Days/Week

Intermediate bench press program

How do you get stronger in the bench press as an intermediate lifter? In this post, I’ll outline an intermediate bench press program and also explain how and why your training should be different from the beginner’s. Still a beginner? Check out our beginner bench press program. If you’ve left the beginner phase behind, read … Read more

Internal vs External Focus for Strength: New Meta-Analysis

Internal vs external focus for strength

Key Points: A new meta-analysis found that focusing externally (e.g., moving the bar) significantly increases muscular strength. In the long term, training with an external focus might lead to larger strength gains. For muscle growth, there is some evidence that an internal focus (e.g., contracting the muscle) might be superior. *** Where should you direct … Read more

Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP) Program for Powerlifting

Powerlifting DUP

Are you feeling hard-pressed to decide whether you should focus on building muscle or getting stronger? Are you past the beginner stage and stuck on a strength plateau that you cannot bust through? A daily undulating periodization (DUP) program for powerlifting might be just what you need. In this post, I’ll explain what DUP is, … Read more

Carryover Between The Squat and Deadlift: New Study

Deadlift Carryover

Key Points: Twenty-five resistance trained men were randomly assigned to either a deadlift group or a squat group. Both groups trained three times per week for six weeks. The squat group increased their squat 1RM by 13.3% and their deadlift 1RM by 6.7%. The deadlift group increased their squat 1RM by 4.7% and their deadlift … Read more

How to Warm up for a 1RM Attempt [Calculator]

Warm-up for 1RM attempt

Time to go for a new 1RM? Enter your target one-rep max in the field below, and we’ll calculate your warm-up weights. One-Rep Max Warm-Up Calculator General vs. Specific Warm-Up A good warm-up can make all the difference in your training and especially when you are going for a one-rep max or PR attempt. Warming … Read more

1RM vs PR: What’s the Difference?

Bench Press 1RM or PR

Key Points: PR stands for Personal Record and it is the heaviest weight you have ever lifted. 1RM stands for one-rep max and is the heaviest weight you can currently lift for one rep. *** As strength training enthusiasts, we are naturally inclined to measure how much weight we can lift in a given exercise. … Read more

Reps at 80% of 1RM Might Predict Your Muscle Fiber Type

Squat training high repetitions predict muscle fiber type

Key points: A new study tested if the number of reps participants could complete at 80% of 1RM in the squat correlated with their muscle fiber type ratio. There was a small, inverse correlation (r=-0.38) between the number of reps participants could do and their percentage of fast-twitch fibers. The mean percentage of fast-twitch fibers … Read more

Strength in Different Positions of the Bench Press

Bench press sticking point

Key Points: Twelve resistance-trained men were tested in 1RM and in isometric (static) contractions in bench press in 12 different positions: from chest level to extended arms. The weakest point was at a height of 4 cm off the chest. This was true both in a 1RM bench press and in isometric contractions. In a … Read more