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Inefficency vs. Pathology

Written on February 29, 2008 at 5:50 pm, by Eric Cressey

In Newsletter 95, I wrote about how pathologies often don’t become symptomatic until inefficiencies get to be too bad. Here is a perfect example of a guy who has basically learned how to work around a pathology to remain competitive at a high level.

New Twist Keeps Dickey’s Career Afloat

You can bet that he’s got a lot of efficiency working in his favor.

Thanks, Paul Vajdic, for passing this along!


Public Access: Not Just for Wayne and Garth

Written on February 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm, by Eric Cressey

Click the link below to view an hour-long interview I did on the Audrey Hall Show alongside Rich Gedman (former Red Sox catcher and current manager of the Worcester Tornadoes) and Bunky Smith (head coach of Framingham’s American Legion Team) on the topic of youth baseball training.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1137806189/bclid1408993191/bctid1424672868?src=rss


T-Nation Strength and Size Roundtable: Part 3

Written on February 27, 2008 at 7:15 pm, by Eric Cressey

Writer Greg McGlone rounded up five of the biggest, baddest, strongest, and best-informed hombres in the iron game, and invited them to share their “secrets” with those of us who also want to get bigger, badder, stronger, and better-informed.

In part 1, the coaches discussed the viability of building size and muscle at the same time, along with a comparison between compound and isolation movements.

In part 2, they tackled the topic of whether you have to look strong to be strong, along with a fascinating discussion of training splits.

Today, the topics include nutrition, supplementation, recovery, and some final thoughts.

Continue Reading


Clarifying A Jaw Dropping Study

Written on February 27, 2008 at 12:12 pm, by Eric Cressey

Q: Just got The Art of the Deload. The overtraining study you quoted was fairly jaw dropping (for me). I always thought intensity overtraining was worse than volume, but it appears to be the opposite. Given that study, it would appear to me that the best way to induce hypertrophy (via rep work) would do a 1 set to within 1 rep of failure, then do rest pauses or drops, but not to total failure. Thus, you have minimum nervous system fatigue and little potentially anabolic hormone level lowering volume fatigue. Do you agree?

A: I wouldn’t say that one is necessarily worse than the other – just that intensity-related overtraining is tougher to detect. Basically, a performance drop-off is all that you’ll see (nothing endocrine, and no muscle damage markers).

I think the secret is fluctuation of training stress. It’s always about finding a balance between stressors and tolerance to stress. Supplements can help, sleep can help, minimizing stress can help – and the same goes for a host of other factors. The right answer is constantly fluctuating based on what’s going on in the world outside the gym. What you outlined might work one week, be too little another week, and too much in a third week. The secret is to listen to your body and eventually learn to be one step ahead of it.

Eric Cressey

Download My New Special Report: The Art of the Deload


T-Nation Strength and Size Roundtable: Part 2

Written on February 26, 2008 at 7:12 pm, by Eric Cressey

Writer Greg McGlone rounded up five of the biggest, baddest, strongest, and best-informed hombres in the iron game, and invited them to share their “secrets” with those of us who also want to get bigger, badder, stronger, and better-informed.

In part 1, the coaches discussed the viability of building size and muscle at the same time, along with a comparison between compound and isolation movements.

Today, they’ll tackle the topic of whether you have to look strong to be strong, along with a fascinating discussion of training splits.

Continue Reading…


Neutral Grip Multi-Purpose Bar Floor Press

Written on February 26, 2008 at 12:14 pm, by Eric Cressey

Q: If you were to introduce someone to resistance training for the first time, and were interested in teaching them to bench press properly with the elbows tucked, which bench grip would you have them use? In other words, everything else equal, what are your basic guidelines for optimum bench biomechanics?

A: This is one area in which true specificity might take a bit of a backseat in the short-term.

If we’re dealing with a true beginner, I’m going to start with dumbbell pressing and push-ups (which, incidentally, everyone thinks they can do perfectly – yet 95% of the lay population completely butchers).

With a push-up, we can build some solid lumbar spine and scapular stability while optimizing the angle of the upper arm to the torso (about 45 degrees). If it’s too hard from the floor, we just elevate them a bit by doing the push-ups off the safety pins in a power rack.

I’d also teach them a neutral grip dumbbell bench press first. My experience has been that people who are trying to learn the elbows-tucked style of benching do best with a lot of neutral grip pressing as their assistance work.

As a next step, at Cressey Performance, we’ll throw in a multi-purpose bar, which allows people to bench with a neutral grip. You won’t see them very often in gyms, but they’re absolutely awesome.

There is more instability, so it teaches the lifter to grip the bar like crazy and optimize scapular stability. You can’t shoot a cannon from a canoe.

After 4-6 weeks of this stuff, beginners can start to dabble with the straight bar – and they usually pick it up really quickly.


A Sweet and Free Offer

Written on February 25, 2008 at 7:17 pm, by Eric Cressey


Over the past few months, personal trainer and author Vince DelMonte has rounded up some of the premier strength, nutrition, bodybuilding, and rehabilitation experts to take part in the FREE Ultimate Muscle Advantage Teleseminar Series.

For six weeks, starting March 3, this elite team – including the likes of Bill Hartman, Chad Waterbury, John Berardi, Mike Robertson, Charles Staley, Jason Ferruggia, and I – will cover a variety of topics of interest to you. There will be two calls per week.

We haven’t even done the calls yet, but suffice it to say that I know Vince, and he’s a guy that always overdelivers. And, given that the teleseminar series is free, you haven’t got much to lose! Check it out:

Ultimate Muscle Advantage Teleseminar Series


T-Nation Strength and Size Roundtable: Part 1

Written on February 25, 2008 at 7:09 pm, by Eric Cressey

Writer Greg McGlone rounded up five of the biggest, baddest, strongest, and best-informed hombres in the iron game, and invited them to share their “secrets” with those of us who also want to get bigger, badder, stronger, and better-informed.

Continue Reading…


Art of the Deload

Written on February 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm, by Eric Cressey

The Overlooked Component of Programming?

I often get approached by people asking me to review their training programs.  They generally list several days, each with several exercises and set/rep schemes.  My response?

“Okay, so there, you’ve got one week. What happens when you do that for a few weeks, then hit a plateau, or wind up just feeling overworked and unmotivated?”

With that question, I’ve basically asked them indirectly if they understand how important it is to fluctuate training stress and effectively incorporate deload phases.  In the overwhelming majority of cases, people look at me like I have two heads – so I decided to put together a special report on the subject to shed some light on the subject and prove to everyone that I’m not nuts.


In this 21-page special report, you’ll learn:

  • My Top 10 deloading strategies for athletes and weekend warriors alike
  • How to modify programming in deload weeks to build healthy joints
  • Why taking down weeks is often the best way to build strength much faster
  • How to plan for a big personal best at the end of your deload week
  • Whether complete rest is right or not for you
  • How those with a history of injuries should deload to stay healthy
  • Why some lifters need to deload on volume, while others deload on intensity
  • Why two lifters might deload differently even if they’re both want to increase muscle mass
  • Why beginner deloads should be completely different than intermediate and advanced deloads
  • The different strategies for fluctuating training stress from week-to-week
  • Why volume-related overtraining is markedly different than intensity-related overtraining – and how to avoid both kinds of overtraining

Click here to order “The Art of the Deload” for only $19.99 $12.99 using our 100% secure website.

All the Best,

Eric Cressey

PS – Yes, you read that right: The Art of the Deload is now 35% off the regular retail price; don’t delay, as this order won’t be around forever.  Click here to order!


How Baseball Pitchers Should Approach the Start of the Season

Written on February 21, 2008 at 6:50 pm, by Eric Cressey

Most of you will show up to tryouts and realize very quickly that they are tremendously physically demanding, in most cases, as a coach want to find out quickly who has worked hard in the off-season (hopefully, you!) and who deserves a spot on his roster (hopefully, also you!). You’ve already taken care of the performance aspect of this challenge with your hard work this past fall/winter – and now it’s time to continue that work while integrating more sprint work over these final few weeks to prepare you for what’s ahead.

Continue Reading…


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