strength training

[Simplifaster.com guest post] Plyometric Push-Ups and Progressions for Power Development

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Push-ups are one of the most commonly used exercises among fitness buffs and elite-level athletes. As a closed-chained exercise that targets the chest and upper body musculature, push-ups are highly effective for improving upper body pushing strength and endurance, and can be done with no equipment. There are plenty of regressions, progressions, and variations to pick from, making push-ups useful for athletes of all types. From bodyweight push-ups to loaded isometric push-ups, there are also various ways to load and challenge the movement...

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Powerlifting Performance - 3 Commonly Neglected Areas

Powerlifting Performance - 3 Commonly Neglected Areas

Having coached many competitive powerlifters for the last 3-4 years, I've noticed common areas in the realm of training and recovery that many strength athletes neglect. Either the importance of these areas have not been stressed enough by their coaches and the environment they lift in, or the athletes fail to see the impact it plays on their powerlifting performance.

Nutritional Periodization

Nutritional Periodization

Nutritional periodization or periodized nutrition is the planning and structuring of a diet based on the goals and demands of a trainee or athlete. Since training variables like intensity, volume, competition schedule and practices change from season to season and one training cycle to the next, nutritional periodization must be used and adapted according to the demands of practice, training and competition.

Periodization 202: Training Effects & Phases

Periodization 202: Training Effects & Phases

Periodization, the systematic planning of exercise and athletic training. It is one of the cornerstones of high level sports and physical performance and without it, training has no context and no direction.

This series will cover the big picture as well as dive into the small nuances of what makes periodization such an important topic to learn for any aspiring strength & conditioning coach or high performance trainer. 

Periodization 201: Training variation

Periodization 201: Training variation

Periodization, the systematic planning of exercise and athletic training. It is one of the cornerstones of high level sports and physical performance and without it, training has no context and no direction.

This series will cover the big picture as well as dive into the small nuances of what makes periodization such an important topic to learn for any aspiring strength & conditioning coach or high performance trainer. 

Why The Pyramid Works So Well In Fitness

Why The Pyramid Works So Well In Fitness

The pyramid works well in the fitness industry because it takes into account priorities, and base building. In an industry where the flashiest and most "advanced" training and dieting programs are being pushed down the throat of the consumers, educating beginner trainees on the importance of simplicity is crucial.

I was wrong: Cardio

I was wrong: Cardio

As a trainer and coach, there are many things I've gotten wrong in the past. This series will cover topics I've been wrong and misinformed about, how I changed my stance, as well as how my practical recommendations and advice have evolved over the past months and years in light of newer information.

How To Maintain Strength And Muscle Mass While Losing Weight

How To Maintain Strength And Muscle Mass While Losing Weight

Even when losing weight, strength and muscle mass can be easily maintained or even improved when proper dieting and training adjustments are made. Here are 2 nutrition and 2 training tips to implement the next time you plan on losing fat:

Again Faster Klokov Barbell Review

I've always wanted a barbell to myself, I did not like the inconsistencies of training with several different barbells week to week (not to mention bent barbells). I decided to get the 20kg Again Faster Klokov Bar as a high-quality, general use barbell. This bar is great for Olympic Weightlifting and for compound exercises.

Price
https://ca.againfaster.com/en-ca/shop/conditioning-tools/again-faster-klokov-competition-barbells/
Retail Price: $355 Canadian ($400 after shipping + taxes)

Price was one of the most important factors when deciding whether or not I should buy this bar. $355 was much cheaper than other barbells of the same quality. In comparison, the 20kg Pendlay Bearing Olympic Barbell is $530 (USD) and the Rogue Olympic WL Barbell is $715 (CAD).
As you can see, the AG Klokov Bar is cheaper by a large margin.

 

Bearings
It is hard to find a bearing barbell south of $500. Bearings is the mechanism by which the barbell sleeve is allowed to spin. Bushing barbells are generally cheaper because of the cheaper manufacturing costs. Both needle bearings (which are better than ball bearings) and bushings are used in the AG Klokov bar, making the sleeve spin smoothly for snatches, and clean & jerks, yet durable enough for everyday use.  The quality of the bearings and the sleeve spin may not be as great as Eleiko or Werksan barbells, but is a huge upgrade from bushing barbells usually seen 

 

PSI and Bar Whip
The AG Klokov Barbell has a PSI rating of 264,000, which apparently is 30,000 PSI stronger than any other Olympic Weightlifting barbell on the market. I've had this barbell for a week now and have done several different exercises with it, but I haven't lifted heavy enough to test out how much the bar can handle. If it can handle the weights that Dmitry Klokov puts up, it is definitely more than enough for us mortals.

High Bar Squatting 225lbs: There is a bit of whip at the top of the movement compared to normal gym bars, but very subtle.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quugw_xmOOo Judging by this video, there seems to be noticable whip starting from 140kg/308lbs onwards.

 

Knurling
My favorite part about this bar. There has been reviews saying the knurling on this bar is inconsistent. I'm not sure if they mean the knurling is inconsistent from bar to bar, or inconsistent on different spots of the bar. Nonetheless, I love the feel of the barbell, the outer knurling is not too aggressive; it feels like how a high-quality olympic lifting barbell should feel. I also like the fact that there is a passive centre knurling, which aids in keeping the bar on your back during a high bar squat, or during a front rack position.  Another thing I find useful is the knurling ring marks. There are 2 sets of knurling marks, one for the IWF and one for the IPF; this makes it easier to establish a grip width and be consistent with it especially for lifters who like to perform the olympic lifts as well as the power lifts.

 

 

Product Specifications (via Again Faster website)
"• Meets all IWF weight and dimension specifications for Men's and Women's bars 
• Weight Tolerance +0.1% / -0.05% 
• Dual knurl marks that meet both IWF and IPF specifications for knurl mark spacing 
• 264,000 PSI Ultimate Tensile Strength 
• 5 needle bearings per side 
• High strength steel bushings are set both inside and outside the bearings in the collar 
• A screw lock cap with two internal retention rings secure the collars 
• Finish: Hard Bright Chrome 
• Collar Band: Men's = Blue | Women's = Yellow 
• Shaft Diameter: 20kg = 28mm (IWF spec) | 15kg = 25mm (IWF spec) 
• Length: 20kg = 2200mm | 15kg = 2010mm"
 

AG-DK barbell

Closing Remarks
Its a nice feeling to touch a new barbell, this bar feels really good in my hands and really good on my back. It feels very straight and very sturdy. Labelled as a "competition barbell", this bar would be perfect for anyone prepping for an Olympic weightlifting meet. Although this bar performs well when squatting, bench pressing or deadlifting, I personally, would not use it to prep for an IPF Powerlifting meet. The whip of the bar (especially when squatting and deadlifting heavy) is not ideal for Powerlifting meets as it will give the lifter a false sense of strength in training. The lifter will be guaranteed tears of sadness and shame after being stapled to the floor by IPF-approved Eleiko powerlifting barbells.

Overall, I would highly recommend this barbell to competitive athletes and weightlifters or any trainee involved in general strength training.