Periodization: not just for menstrual cycles any more

You hear about how “low-rep sets” are better for goal X and “high-rep sets” are better for goal Y. What does that really mean? Here, an introduction to the concepts of intensity, volume, and planned variation — aka periodization.

Sport-specific training

We used to think that weight training would slow you down for other activities. We heard of mythical athletes who got “muscle-bound” after training and wound up with the agility of Jabba the Hutt. We know now that weight training is an excellent companion to just about any sport. It can help you be stronger, faster, leaner, more powerful, and even help you prevent and recover from injuries.

But how do you go about designing a weight training program for your chosen activity? Clearly a skier is going to have different needs than a rock climber. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to weight training. Here are some suggestions.

How to gain mass

It’s not a question I encounter as frequently as “how to lose bodyfat?” but there are lots of women out there who do want to be bigger, heavier, and/or more muscular. It’s a refreshing change to answer this question, frankly. The challenge, as many skinny folks have discovered, is how to do it healthily.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on the site, it’s counterproductive to try to lose fat at the same time you try to gain mass. It’s like trying to build a house while someone keeps taking the bricks away. Pick one goal and eat and train accordingly.