Monday, March 21, 2011

Principle #1: Make Tiny Jumps For Big Gains

Principle #1: Make Tiny Jumps For Big Gains
by Matt Marshall on March 21, 2011

Milo and the Bull.
The first principle of Tried & True Fitness is old.
In fact, this principle was developed over 3,000 years ago!
Have you heard the legend of Milo?
As the story goes, Milo of Croton was a six-time Olympic wresting champion way back in ancient Greece.
The legend of Milo and his bull is perhaps one of the most famous weight-training stories of all time.
As legend has it young Milo began training by picking up a newborn calf, placing it on his shoulders and carrying it for one mile. Milo would do this every day. And as the newborn calf gained weight and grew larger, Milo grew bigger and stronger.
Eventually, Milo was carrying a full grown bull on his shoulders for a full mile.
And as a result, Milo had developed incredible strength and power.
This story demonstrates one of the guiding principles of training: The principle of progressive resistance. Adhere to this principle and you can build super-human strength. Add just two pounds to the bar every week and after 12 months you’ll have added 104 pounds to your bench press.
But if you get greedy and try to add 25lbs to your bench press in one jump and your progress will sputter and stall.
The solution: Make tiny jumps. Your body can only build strength and muscle at a certain rate. And if you try to build muscle and strength faster than your body can adapt, you’ll hit the wall.
Milo instinctively knew this.
He didn’t try to carry the newborn calf for one mile on the first day and then immediately jumped to two miles the next day. Nor did he try to carry a newborn calf on the first day and jump to a full-grown cow the next day.
He stuck with the same baby calf, and that baby calf only gained a small amount of weight each day.
Obviously, we don’t lift cows anymore.
We lift barbells, dumbbells and other modern instruments of resistance training. But the same principles still apply.
Milo knew he couldn’t make the jump from baby calf to full-grown cow in a single day, week or even in a month. So why do so many guys think they can make the jump from 185lbs in the bench press to 225lbs in the bench press in a single week?
Let me give you an example:
Say that you are able to bench press 245lbs for five reps. Naturally, because you were able to accomplish all your reps with that weight you would attempt to increase the weight for your next workout.
And here’s where most guys get it wrong: Most guys will slap a pair of 2 ½ pounders on each side of the bar (because that’s the smallest plate their gym has) and try to make a go at it with 250lbs on the bar.
Or, if their gym’s smallest plates are 5 pound plates, they’ll use those and try to make the lift with 255lbs.
Of course, here’s what happens:
A five or 10 pound increase feels noticeably heavier. As soon as you get the bar out of the uprights, you’ll feel the difference.
Your confidence will start to waiver and you might unconsciously make some adjustments (like lowering the bar faster than you usually would, or rebounding the bar harder off your chest than usual) that change the exercise and could ultimately lead to injury.
Because of the jump in weight, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to accomplish all the reps. So while you five reps with 245 pounds, you may only get four reps with 250lbs.
Make the jump to 255lbs and it’s unlikely you’ll even get 4 reps.
You can try week after week but it’s incredibly difficult to make the jump from 4 reps to 5 reps with a heavy weight. (Remember, that’s a 20% increase in production.)
Eventually, staleness will set in, progression will grind to a halt and boredom will set in. This is where most trainers throw in the towel and either switch programs or quit their attempts at getting bigger and stronger all together.
But Milo, and many of the old-time trainers knew better. They took the smallest jumps possible in order to stave off sticking points and make continued progress.
You see, the old-timers would devise ingenious ways to add tiny amounts of weight to the bar.

Over a hundred years ago, when trainers used the old-style globe barbells, they could increase the weight of the barbell by adding more sand to the globes on the end of the barbell.
Which means they could increase the weight on the barbell in very small increments.
Years later, when the modern barbell and weight plate system became popular, the old-timers would manufacture “mini-plates” in small increments to allow them to make smaller jumps.
For example, an old-timer trainer who understood the principle of micro-loading and could bench 245lbs for five reps would progress in the following manner.
Instead of adding 5 or 10 lbs to the bar he would add just 1-2lbs to the bar for his next session. 246 lbs feels exactly the same as 245lbs, so his confidence is high and he’s once again able to complete all the required reps.
So once again he adds a pound to the bar for the next session, and once again he’s able to complete all his reps.
He continues in this method, slowly and methodically, week after week and before you know it he’s added 50lbs to his bench press. 50Lbs added to your bench press will result in bigger and more muscular arms, shoulders and chest muscles. It’s safe to say that most modern day gym goers will NEVER add 50lbs to their bench press over the entire course of their training careers.
Because they’re looking for quick gains. Big jumps. It’s greed, plain and simple.
And the old-timers applied the same principle in the weight room. Nobody gets big and strong overnight. 99.9% of natural, drug-free, non-gifted trainers get strong by making slow and steady gains, week after week, month after month, year after year.
It isn’t sexy and it sure as heck doesn’t sell magazines, but it works.
Micro-Loading Made Easy
I think one of the main reasons most guys don’t know about micro-loading or don’t use this strategy is because most gyms don’t provide micro-plates. So you’ve got to bring your own to the gym with you.
But where to buy micro-plates?
You’ve got a few options:
First, you can buy them online. Here are a couple of websites that sell custom made fractional plates (ie: micro plates).
Expect to spend well over $50 to get a set of micro-plates from these online retailers.
Or, here’s a tip that will save you a few bucks.
Go to any plumbing supply store or a hardware store and get some large washers.

A washer with a 2-inch whole fits on a regular barbell.
You want to find the washers with a hole that’s 2 inches in diameter as these will fit nicely on any normal Olympic barbell.
You should be able to get six of these washers for around $15 bucks or less. Each washer weighs about 0.6 pounds. So two washers (one of each side of the bar) is 1.2 pounds, four washers is 2.4 pounds and six washers is 3.6 pounds.
Which means you could go from 225lbs to 230lbs on the bench press in the following increments:
Session #1: 225 pounds (Two 45-pounds plates on each side, no washers).
Session #2: 226.2 pounds. (Two 45 pound plates on each side, plus one washer per side).
Session #3: 227.4 pounds (Two 45-pound plates on each side, plus two washers per side.)
Session #4: 228.6 pounds (Two 45-pound plates on each side, plus three washers per side.)
Session #5: 230 pounds (Two 45-pound plates on each side, plus 2.5 weight plate per side.)
If you’re having trouble locating these types of washers at the hardware store, or if you just prefer to order online and have it shipped right to your door, here’s a plumbing supply website and the exact part you’ll need to order:
Part #: 90108A046
NOTE: ships these washers in packs of 5, so you’ll have to order two
packs to get six washers and you’ll end up with 4 left over. Ideally, you could split the
cost with a friend, get three packs and you’d only have 3 left over.
You can always give the leftovers away to guys at the gym who ask you why the heck you’re putting those “funny little plates” on the bar and then can’t figure out why their bench presses haven’t increased in months.
To see exactly how fast you can expect to make progress on common exercises, check out chapter 16 of the Tried & True Fitness Guide To Muscle & Might.

Fat Burning Crispy Chicken Nuggets

Fat Burning
Crispy Chicken Nuggets

This is a very simple recipe that will make any fat loss
meal plan a lot easier to follow!
It’s super easy to prepare. It will take you about 2-3 minutes to prepare and only requires 15 minutes of baking time.
But be careful, just like some of my other recipes, these nuggets are highly addictive, and their flavor will put to shame these greasy disgusting McDonald’s ultra fat nugget!
Here’s the recipe!
Makes 6 Servings
- 3 x 6oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup oat bran
- 1/4 cup of wheat germ
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- Garlic powder (pinch)
- 1/2 cup water or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 large egg white
1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or coating lightly with best-quality olive oil.
2. Cut chicken breasts into nugget-sized pieces, about 1.5 inches square. Set aside.
3. Next, combine all dry ingredients in a large container with a tightly fitting lid. Shake well. This is your coating mixture.
4. Combine water and egg in a medium bowl. Dip each piece in the water/egg-white mixture. Then dip each piece in the coating mixture. Make sure each piece is well coated.
5. Place on the baking sheet. When all of your chicken has been coated and your baking sheet is full, place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Nutritional Facts
(Per Serving – 4 Nuggets)
Calories: 100
Protein: 12g
Carbohydrates: 7g
Fat: 3.5g