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Answers to Common Training Qs (#3)

Back again with more answers to your training questions. As always, if you have a question you'd like answered, either reply to this email or send me a message on Instagram. I always answer questions on the spot, but I also like to include them in here so that everyone can benefit from the info. Hope you find these relevant and useful.

Can you get all the benefits from free weights using a bodyweight workout? No. Bodyweight training has many great applications but like everything, it also has limitations. The obvious limitation of bodyweight is, well, bodyweight. The resistance is fixed - unlike a barbell, which can be easily altered to be lighter or heavier. For advice on how to maximise bodyweight training, consult previous emails 'Free Bodyweight Programme' and 'The Deadlift Problem'. What should I do for cardio while in isolation? Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a rowing machine or a treadmill to get in shape. My advice is to run. I've come around to the idea that all human beings should be able to comfortably run 5 kilometres without stopping. After that distance, whatever/whoever is chasing you will either have given up or killed you already. Plus the fresh air will do you some good.

Any tips on how to stay sane during quarantine?

  • Get up and go to bed at the same time every day.

  • Write a list of daily goals and finish them by a certain time.

  • Train, read, and create every day.

  • Call your friends, and go for long walks.

You mention tempo work in the form of paused reps. Do you also increase tempo by slowing down the negative? I don't love slow negatives. If you're doing bodyweight exercises, my general route for progression would be: 1. Get the exercise up to a minimum of 5 reps 2. Add as much weight as you can (weighted bag, hold a dumbbell, etc.) 3. Add reps 4. When you can do 20 reps, starting adding a pause 5. If not yet performing 5 sets, add sets 6. Add slow lowers As you can see, it's really the last thing I'd use, as the evidence of it enhancing strength and muscle gain is murky at best.

Should I buy resistance bands? Bands are useful, but if you read my last article, you'll know they're not in my top five pieces of equipment to buy for lockdown. If you already have a bar, dumbbell(s), and gymnastic rings, then sure - you could buy some bands. They'll allow you to train your arms and shoulders fairly hard, but that's about it.

What can I do if I just have a dumbbell or kettlebell? The short answer is: quite a bit. Goblet squats, shoulder presses, rows, and stiff leg deadlifts will be the most important exercises. This is something I'll be addressing in more detail both in an upcoming newsletter, and in a post on my Instagram today. That's all for today folks. Remember to send on any questions you have and I'll be happy to answer them. In Strength, Cill

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