Over the years, I've seen some pretty funny behavior in the gym. Because the gym is an environment where men and women workout and sweat with minimal clothing, there is a lot of peacocking going on. (For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, peacocking is the "ostentatious dress or behavior employed by a man in an attempt to impress women")
In the presence of women, particularly attractive women, men tend to puff themselves up when working out. Men will consciously or subconsciously work out harder when an attractive woman is nearby.
Most women, on the other hand, don't notice men in the gym (unless of course he's very attractive) and they certainly aren't impressed by how much a man lifts. Men notice how much other men lift, but women don't give a rat's ass.
What women notice is not performance but physique. Men are drawn to the hour glass figure of a woman, whereas women are drawn to a man's shoulder to waist ratio. Wide shoulde…
"I have recently come out of a lay off from training. I now know what I want to put all of my training toward: I want to have the longest dead hang time possible. How long can I just hang on the bar? My muscles just do not seem to have that juice and fire power that they did 5 weeks ago. Do you have any suggestions or advice about any of this?"
My Answer: For dead hang time, it's more about isometric strength, or holding yourself in a static position. There are 3 factors involved in dead hangs:
1) Grip Strength- This is fairly obvious. What I suggest you do is work on your isometric grip strength. Do some fat bar training if you have access to that equipment. If not, then do some plate pinches. Do some farmer's walks as well.
2) Dead Hang Form- The easiest way to hang is to let your arms and body hang straight down. Don't move or sway a lot. Just take a shoulder width grip. Anything wider than shoulder-width makes it harder on you.
I've been reading a lot of discussions about straight sets over pyramid sets. They both seem to have lots of benefits, but is there a superior system in the two? I've noticed a trend that advanced lifters use more pyramid sets (flat pyramids, which was discussed on the blog) with multi-joint lifts. Does this have to do with recovery?
My Answer: Very simple: it doesn't make a difference.
For those of you who don't know, pyramid sets are when you increase the weight for an exercise from set to set until you hit your max weight. The Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph program is an example of pyramid sets:
Set 1- 10 reps
Set 2- 8 reps
Set 3- 6 reps
Set 4- 15 reps
"Straight sets" are when you maintain the same weight and/or reps throughout all the sets for an exercise, such as 5x5.
Now what are the advantages and disadvantages of each system? Pyramid sets allow you to warm-up before you hit your max weight. Pyramid sets are better for beginners or when you…