Tag: Powerlifting

RECOVERY: The Most Important Part Of Every Workout

RECOVERY

The Most Important Part Of Every Workout

Are you always tired, sore and lacking progress in the gym? If so, then you are likely not overtraining, but rather under-recovering! Because the biggest difference between overtraining and progress is how well you recover from your workouts. So here are the best post-workout muscle recovery tips for athletes and lifters that love to push it to the limit!

Check out our awesome Workout Programs >>

“It doesn’t matter what you can do in the gym, if you can’t recover from it.”

First, if you fail to recover properly after your workouts, then over time this can lead to overuse injuries, like tendonitis. These types of injuries can hold you back from progress in the gym and on the field. So, if you have an overuse injury, make sure you know how to recover from injuries properly.

In This Article:


How To Recover Properly From A Workout

Recovery is the most important part of every workout plan. Without proper recovery, all you are doing is breaking your body down. Recovery is where you build it back up.

So, to continuously get stronger and make progress, you need to not only work hard but recover hard too. And that all begins with knowing how to recover properly from your workouts.

Even with the best workout program, you will make little to no progress if you don’t recover properly. So, no workout is complete until you have recovered from it.

“No workout is complete until you have recovered from it.”


post-workout stretch

Post-Workout Stretch

First, proper workout recovery starts as soon as the workout is complete. And the first step is finishing your workout with some mobility work. As in stretching and/or foam rolling for at least 10 minutes to help keep your muscle and joints healthy, while preventing injury. Remember, a healthy muscle is both strong and flexible, so don’t skip out on this part.

Check out our Stretching Exercises >>


post-workout muscle recovery tips

Get Enough Sleep

Next, and most important, is sleep. Without proper sleep, your body cannot function properly. Let alone rebuild and grow after a hard workout.

Your body grows, and recovers, when you’re asleep, not when you are awake. You can refill your depleted fat and glycogen stores (muscle fuel) while you’re awake, but you can only grow and repair your muscles while you are asleep.

And how much sleep you need depends on many factors. Everyone is different and requires a different amount of sleep to recover from everyday life or the additional stress of exercise. However, we can set some general standards that fit most individuals in given categories and you can adjust from there. 

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

  • Kids and Teens: Most kids and teens require between 8-10 hours of sleep while growing. They have the largest range of sleep time because everyone grows at a different rate. You can assume those that grow faster or do the most activity need more sleep than those that are less active and slow to grow.
  • Adults: The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep just to perform normally without additional activity or exercise. Women require a little less sleep than men, which may be due to men generally being larger in size.
  • If you workout: Those that workout regularly will need an additional 30-60 minutes of sleep after every training day, depending upon the overall intensity or work volume.
  • Athletes: Athletes require 9-10 hours of sleep for full recovery due to their large workloads and intense training which places a lot of stress on their bodies. 

These are general guidelines for sleep which can be adjusted depending upon how you feel. If you are still tired you (may need to go to sleep earlier, to get more quality sleep, or you) may need to increase your sleep time by 30 minutes.

Overall, sleep is the most important aspect of recovery as that is when your body rebuilds itself.

Learn more about proper sleep >>


eat enough food for recovery

Eat Enough Food For Recovery

Next, nutrition is also a vital part of proper workout recovery. You need to eat enough food and get enough calories for your body to rebuild what it has lost during your workout. If you don’t, then you cannot recover fully, even with proper sleep.

For most people, eating a normal and balanced diet is enough to recover from a few weekly workouts. However, if you are an athlete or do any form of intense training, then you may need more nutrients for proper recovery. This may be as simple as an additional meal on workout days or larger meal portions throughout the day.

It all depends on if you want to build muscle or lose weight.

Supplements For Recovery

Now, many people believe that they need to take supplements in order to recover from any light to intense workout. This is not the case. Supplements can be helpful, but it is best to get your nutrients from food, rather than taking a bunch of supplements. Learn more >>


whole food vs protein powders

The Protein Myth

Myth: You need to get in at least 20-30g of protein within 30 minutes post-workout for proper recovery.

This is absolutely NOT TRUE and doesn’t even make sense. Remember, your body can only grow while you are asleep. And if you are taking protein immediately post-workout, it is going to be used as energy by the time you get to sleep. So, as long as you get enough protein, and other nutrients, throughout the day, you are set. Timing doesn’t matter that much. Also, it is always best to eat real food instead of taking supplements.

Learn the best time to take a protein supplement! >>


Protein

It is not only important that you get enough calories, but also the proper nutrients for your body to have the supplies needed for recovery. The main piece of this is protein. Though we do not need as much as many people believe.

Protein is the main building block for rebuilding and growing broken down tissue. Knowing this, those that break down tissue often, through exercise and other various activities, should consume slightly more protein than those that do not exercise regularly.

The average person needs 0.4-0.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight daily just to replace tissues lost during normal daily activity.

Those that exercise need more to replace and rebuild their tissues. Usually, that is 0.5-0.7g per pound of bodyweight daily. This may seem too low to what many people believe, but remember that this is just the bare minimum that you need for tissue replacement and recovery.

It is recommended that athletes and those that do strength training regularly, consume about 1g per pound of bodyweight daily. However, it is recommended that you do not exceed 1.5g per pound of bodyweight daily as this can place a lot of unnecessary stress on your body’s digestive system to metabolize it. Plus, protein makes for a bad energy source.

Realize, that your body can only build so much muscle mass per day. So, consuming excess protein will just add to your total calories for the day. Then it will either be used as a low energy source or stored as fat.

So, it is best to use carbohydrates (fast energy) and fats (slow long-lasting energy) as your fuel sources while using protein for its purpose of building. 

Carbs and Fats

Carbs and fats are your body’s energy sources. However, they are both important for proper recovery.

Carbs help with hydration and give your body the energy it needs to both recover and perform. Fats help transport and store vital vitamins and minerals. Plus, they are a long-lasting energy source for endurance. So, you need a reasonable amount of each for the best results. 

Active individuals should have 2-4g of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight daily. And at least 0.25-0.5g per pound of bodyweight of fats to fill out your total caloric intake needs.

Most of your carbohydrate intake should be 1-2 hours before, during and after your workout for the day. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Though your macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) are important for recovery, it is also vital that you get enough vitamins and minerals. These can be obtained through a healthy diet consisting of many fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products. If you are lacking one of these categories of food, you need to find a way to include them more or replace the nutrients you are lacking through supplementation.

To help, you can take a daily multivitamin as a base amount of nutrients to give your body daily, but you should also be conscious of what you are eating and what nutrients you need more of.

Electrolytes

  • Calcium + Magnesium
  • Sodium + Potassium

Calcium is important because you use it in every muscle contraction. Without calcium, your muscles, including your heart, would not be able to contract. Of course, it also helps increase bone density along with the added stresses of strength training.

Magnesium works with calcium, as a vital building block for our tissues and helps with muscular function.

Sodium and Potassium are two other vital electrolytes for workout recovery and performance. These electrolytes work together to regulate water in and out of cells and perform many other important functions within the body. 

Learn more about Electrolytes >>


workout hydration for recovery

Hydrate

Part of getting enough nutrients for full recovery is hydrating. Without proper hydration, you are slowing down your recovery process and making it hard to absorb and transport the nutrients you need.

Also, you need to drink enough fluids to not only replace what you’ve lost but also excrete the waste. This is because every time you workout, you are breaking down tissue. And that tissue needs to be disposed of in some way. Most of it is excreted in your urine. Which is why it is so yellow post-workout.

If you only drink minimal amounts of fluid, then your body will use most of it to excrete the waste instead of rehydrating you.

To counter this, drink at least 0.7 times your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. And an additional 16 ounces for every 30 minutes you workout.

Learn more about proper Hydration >>


The Importance Of Workout Recovery

With proper sleep and nutrition, you can recover from all the stresses you place on your body and continue to progress in your training. Just make sure to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every day, stay hydrated, eat enough calories, consume 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, and get in all of your vitamins and minerals so that you can be recovered as much as possible before your next workout. This will ensure the best conditions for you to progress in your training.

You can also use some active recovery techniques such as walking throughout the day or doing light activities that stimulate blood flow but do not tax your body with too much stress.

Now that you know how to recover properly from your workouts, I wish you a full recovery! Keep getting stronger my friends!

Check out our Strength Training Programs HERE!

STRONGER | How To Build Strength

How To Build Strength

Of course, we all workout to get stronger. Yet, few people truly understand how to build strength properly. Then, even fewer people know how to continue building strength over time. This is because the stronger you get, the harder it becomes. That is unless you know what you are doing. This article will go over the 3 best ways to build strength for years to come!

Get the Ultimate Strength Guide to Building Unlimited Strength! >>

How To Build Strength Properly

Getting stronger is simple, it just takes a lot of hard work.

First, building strength is very basic and, over time, can be boring. As most people are looking for a new innovative way of how to workout, because it is more exciting than the simple formula that has been around for decades. The thing is, the ways to build strength have been the same since the start of time.

Now, to clarify, what we mean by building strength is your body’s ability to do more work (training volume), or lift more weight (training intensity), than before. By increasing your work capacity, or the amount of total work you can withstand, you are stronger than before. This is the same as the ability to lift a heavier weight. 

These are the 3 best ways to continuously Build Strength:

  1. Improve Your Technique
  2. Get Bigger
  3. Do More work than Before

Improve Your Technique To Build Strength

First, by improving your technique you will train your body to move more efficiently. And as a result, improving your leverages will ultimately increase your strength potential; also known as, the ability for your body to get stronger.

Improving your technique includes improving your positioning throughout the lift; so that your body moves through the strongest positions. A simple way to picture this is by imagining lifting a weight off the ground. Such as during a deadlift.

During the deadlift, if you have an improper or inefficient technique, such as standing back away from the weight a foot or so, you will be out of position during the entire lift. Then you will not be able to lift as much weight, because your body will not be in the strongest position with the greatest amount of leverage. This improper positioning is often seen through back rounding and shoulder shrugging. And, of course, this would also increase your risk of injury. 

However, by simply improving your technique by lifting the load closer to your center of balance you will improve your efficiency and be able to lift more weight. It is as simple as that!

The technique for every lift is specific to every individual, due to different body types. But there are proper and improper movement patterns for every body movement. And if you learn the few basic movement patterns for the human body, then you can apply them to every other movement and exercise you do.

Learn the proper technique to every lift and exercise with our Complete Exercise Guide!

Set-Up Properly

What many people fail to realize during any exercise is that how you set up for the lift is equally as important as actually performing the lift. This is because if you set up improperly, the lift has no chance at being technically efficient, as you are already out of position. So, by simply setting up properly, your body has a better chance of using the proper movement pattern throughout the entire exercise.

Repetition

Research says that it takes 300-500 repetitions to learn a new movement pattern and 3,000-5,000 repetitions to correct an improper movement pattern.

And, along with improving your set up, you can further improve your technique by improving your movement, or motor pattern. To do this you have to repetitively practice the same movement pattern over and over again. This will increase your body’s neurological signal to each muscle and further your movement efficiency.

It has been found that it takes 300-500 repetitions to learn a new movement pattern. But it takes 3,000-5,000 repetitions to correct an improper movement pattern. That may sound intimidating but, if you break it down, it is not as difficult as it seems.

To improve a movement, such as a squat, you can do as few as 10 repetitions a day for 30 days to start seeing a change.

With that in mind, it is best to learn how to move properly from the start of training by getting assistance from a trained professional. Or by training yourself with the right knowledge, as we provide here.

Take our 30 Day Challenge to correct your body’s movement patterns! >>

Just remember, technique improvement is a never-ending task that will always be changing as your body grows over time. But, as your positioning, neurological efficiency, and overall technique improve, your strength will increase dramatically!

So, by simply improving your technique you will get stronger and build strength.


Get Bigger To Build Strength

Next, another way to increase your strength is by simply getting bigger. By gaining size and increasing your body mass you will be able to withstand heavier loads as they are lighter relative to your body weight.

By simply getting bigger, by building more muscle or increasing body fat, you will improve your mechanical leverages and allow for greater support. Of course, increasing your muscle size and density will allow for stronger contractions. But, as your muscles grow, they will also have a better angle of pull.

This is because as a muscle grows it slightly changes the angle the muscle fibers lay in and pull from, which allows for more efficient contractions. Plus, as your muscles grow, they will increase the number of myofibrils (“pulling chains”) within each muscle fiber. This will create more connections for your muscle to pull with, leading to a stronger contraction. But do not confuse this with increasing your number of muscle fibers.

You Cannot Build More Muscle Fibers

You are born with a certain number of muscle fibers within each cell, which cannot change. So the only way to grow muscle is through increased density or size. Both of these forms of growth increase the number of actin-myosin connections (the cells that go through the action of contracting each fiber) within each myofibril. And therefore the ability to create tension within a muscle.

The definition of muscular strength is the ability to create tension within a muscle. Any stress placed upon a muscle, which it initiates growth, will increase the muscle’s ability to create tension; through the addition of more myofibrils or actin-myosin connections.

However, body fat can also allow for greater strength gains. Though the addition of body fat does not directly improve the contractibility of a muscle it does also aid in improving the angle of pull; by adding mass and increases the energy storage within each muscle.

So if you do nothing else towards building strength, getting bigger alone will make you stronger.

JACKED Muscle Plan >>


Do More Work Than Before

Third, the most common way to increase strength is by consistently doing more work than before. This can be an increase in the total training volume or an increase in training intensity.

For example, if one week you do a certain number of repetitions with a particular weight. And then the next week you do more repetitions, you are building strength. Similarly, if one week you use a certain weight; and the next week you do the same exercise with a heavier weight you are, again, increasing your strength. These are the simplest formulas used by strength athletes to build strength. 

Both of these progressive overload techniques are useful in building strength. And are commonly used together in a workout program. However, for both techniques to work, they must be done consistently over time to truly increase strength. 

When building strength, your body will adapt to the stresses you place upon it. By continually increasing the stress placed upon your body, it will adapt by becoming stronger.

However, if you place too much stress upon your body without proper recovery your body will not be able to adapt fast enough. And you will see a breakdown in the form of injury or weaknesses of some kind.

So to continue a safe strength progression, do not forget to allow proper time for recovery; through proper rest, nutrition and other recovery methods.


Keep Getting Stronger

Again, building strength is simple but takes a lot of hard work over a long period of time. You must stay consistent and always progress forward by doing more work than yesterday.

You can quickly increase your strength by improving your technique or by gaining more size. But eventually, it all comes down to how much work you are willing to put in.

Strength training is something where what you put in is what you get out. If you only put in a minimal amount of work you will get a minimal amount of results. If you train hard, stay consistent and always push for progress then you will continue to get stronger.

Keep getting stronger my friends.

Get the Ultimate Strength Guide to Building Unlimited Strength! >>

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Advanced Powerlifting Program

Advanced Powerlifting Program

12-Week Peaking Program for Powerlifters

This is a 12-week advanced powerlifting program for peaking. The focus will be on peaking for your next powerlifting meet. That means more sets, fewer reps, and a lot of heavy weight. But, if you can get through it, this 12-week peaking program will make you brutally strong, guaranteed!

Dominate your next meet with a Custom Powerlifting Program made just for you!

12-Week Advanced Powerlifting Program The Thunder God (Thor), aka Reid England, putting the hammer down on a 430 pound squat! That’s a 2X Bodyweight Squat!

This Advanced Powerlifting Program is based on the Mathias Method Strength System


About this Advanced Powerlifting Program

Powerlifting is a competitive strength sport that takes years of hard work and consistent dedication to become proficient at.

Lifters must constantly be working on their lifting technique and maintain that technique the best they can through the high-intensity workouts they endure. These workouts can often last hours depending on your strength level.

As you get stronger it takes more time to warm-up to your working weights and you have to constantly be adding more work through increasing the weight, sets and/or reps performed. Your workouts will often be 6-10 sets of few reps with the same weight to accumulate volume and strength over time. Numerous sets with few reps are the best way to gain maximal strength because you are practicing your setup and technique with intense weights, numerous times during a workout.

It’s All Focused on Meet Day!

Your set-up, how you perform each lift, along with everything else in this advanced 12-week powerlifting program, is focused upon obtaining the most strength for week 12. Week 12 is your competition or peak week and there should be no lifting done during the last 2-3 days leading up to your competition day. Do your training early in the week with little accessory work so that you are fully recovered before the meet.

This 12-week advanced powerlifting program will guide you through the exact work you need to do leading up to your next powerlifting competition.

Advanced Powerlifting Program Details

This is a 3-4 day per week advanced Powerlifting Program. You will have one main power lift for each of your 3 main workout days. These main lifts are the focus of your training and need to be done without variation. As in, don’t do box squats instead of squats. Do the lifts as written. 

Workout 4 is an optional day for accessory lifts. For example, if you have a weak muscle group, then come in and train it. Use moderate intensity and volume. Do not overdo it. Save some for your main work.

Be sure to practice your lifts exactly how they are supposed to be performed in the competition. That means practicing holding deadlifts at the top and pausing bench presses as you get closer to the competition.

Intensity Sets

Also, on your main lifts, you can do an overload set to better prepare yourself for the competition. This is one set that is either an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) done with the same working weight or a daily max

Only do this if your main work was not enough and you are feeling good!

For the daily max, work up to a weight that is difficult to do for that day, but you are still able to maintain reasonable technique. Your intensity set should never be done to failure because this teaches improper technique which will decrease your maximal strength potential.

Stay focused, train hard and get stronger!

Optimal Weekly Training Schedule

  • Day 1 – Workout-1: Squat Training
  • Day 2 – Rest
  • Day 3 – Workout-2: Bench Press Training
  • Day 4 – Rest
  • Day 5 – Workout-3: Deadlift Training
  • Day 6 – Workout-4: Accessory Work (optional)
  • Day 7 – Rest

Advanced Powerlifting Program Lifting Chart

Workout 1 – Squat

Workout 2 – Bench Press

Workout 3 – Deadlift

WeekSetsReps% MaxWeekSetsReps% MaxWeekSetsReps% Max
15570%15570%15570%
25573%25573%25575%
35575%35575%36477%
46477%46477%48380%
58380%58380%57383%
67383%67383%66385%
76385%76385%78287%
88287%88287%85-10190%
95-10190%95-10190%95293%
105293%105293%103-5195%
113-5195%113-5195%114560%
125350%125350%12
Deadlift5150%

More Advanced Powerlifting Programs

Are you looking to build up one specific lift? Check out our Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift specific Powerlifting Programs:

  1. Squat Program

  2. Bench Press Program

  3. Deadlift Program

Get all 3 Powerlifting Programs!

Or get our FULL POWER Powerlifting Program!


Workout 1: Squat Training

500 squat

Warm-Up & Technique Work:

Pause Squat (<50%) 3 x 5

Main Lift:

Squats See Table

*Overload Set 1 x AMRAP or Daily Max

Accessory Work:

Leg Press 3-5 x 10-15

Glute-Ham Raises or Leg Curls 3-5 x 6-10

Dumbbell Curls 4 x 8-10

Weighted Plank 3 x 60-90 sec.

Mobility Work 10+ min.

*Done after your main work is complete, only on high-intensity days, and never to failure.


Workout 2: Bench Press Training

315 lb bench press

Warm-Up & Technique Work:

Pause Closegrip Bench Press (<50%) 3 x 5-10

Main Lifts:

Pause Bench Press See Table

*Overload Set 1 x AMRAP or Daily Max

Accessory Work:

Dumbbell Press 4-5 x 6-8

Military Press 3-5 x 3-8

Triceps Press Downs 5-10 x 6-10

Face Pulls 5 x 8-10

Mobility Work 10+ min.

*Done after your main work is complete, only on high-intensity days, and never to failure.


Workout 3: Deadlift Training

 

Warm-Up & Technique Work:

Conventional Deadlift (<50%) 3 x 5

Main Lift:

Deadlift See Table

*Overload Set 1 x AMRAP or Daily Max

Accessory Work:

Dumbbell Rows 4 x 6-8

Lat Pull-Downs 5 x 10-15

Hammer Curls 3 x 10-15

Side Planks or **Grip Holds 3 x 45 sec.

Mobility Work 10+ min.

 

**Hold the center (smooth part) of a deadlift barbell, or weighted bar, at your side for as long as you can to build up your grip. It is best to do this on days when you do lighter deadlifts.


Workout 4: Accessory Work (optional)

Warm-Up & Technique Work:

Shrugs 3 x 10

Closegrip Bench Press (<50%) 3 x 5-10

Main Lift:

Military Press 5 x 5

Accessory Work:

Incline Dumbbell Press 3 x 10-15

Push-Ups or Dips 3 x Failure

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3 x 10-15

Reverse Flyes 3 x 10-20

Lateral Raises 3 x 10-15

***Rotary Cuff Work – x 100 total

Side Bends 3 x 10-20

Weighted Crunches 5 x 10

Mobility Work 10+ min.

 

***Do slow, controlled motions with a cable that works on the rotation of your humerus (upper arm bone). See examples HERE.

 


Let us know if you liked this 12-week advanced powerlifting program! Also, check out our other strength programs like our FULL POWER Powerlifting ProgramPowerlifting for Mass: Hypertrophy Program and our Powerlifting Power: Dynamic Training Program!

20 Gym Etiquette Rules Everyone Needs To Know

Gym Etiquette Rules Everyone Needs To Know

Gym etiquette. It is a must-have for all gym-goers. Whether you workout anywhere from 24-Hour Fitness to your local CrossFit or an Old-School Powerlifting Gym, these are the things you need to know. Simply follow these basic gym etiquette rules, or risk getting kicked out and losing your gym membership. Or worse, becoming the local gym idiot! 

If you disagree with any of these gym etiquette rules or have some to add, comment below! 

Also, if you have any funny gym fail stories to tell, please leave them here.


What is Gym Etiquette?

Gym etiquette is how you conduct yourself in a gym style environment. Whether others are around or not, it is important you conduct yourself in a respectful manner. For this to occur, gyms have their own set of gym rules. However, there is more to it than just following the rules set in place for you to keep your membership.

In the following, we will go over all the proper gym etiquette you need in order to avoid becoming the local gym idiot.

Note: Every gym has their own set of rules and guidelines to follow. So make sure to check in with them to avoid the Lunk Alarm or any unnecessary fees.


Top 5 Gym Rules

Gym Etiquette Rule #1: Pay your dues!

This is by far Gym Etiquette Rule #1! Both financially and respectfully, you need to pay your dues. Nobody likes a cheapskate or a cocky amateur that think they know it all. Nobody cares how many magazines you’ve read, celebrities you’ve met, or videos you’ve watched. Stay up to date on your fees and learn from those with more experience, even if they are younger than you.

Overall, just don’t be an A$$! Be kind, humble and respectful to everyone at all training levels. Make sure to encourage others and make friends.

Remember, there is ALWAYS someone bigger, stronger, and better looking than you. Failure to comply to this standard Gym Etiquette Rule #1 can easily result in the termination of your gym membership! Or you getting physically thrown out of the gym by 1+ angry gym members!

Gym Etiquette Rule #2: RE-RACK YOUR WEIGHTS!!!

The most disrespectful, discourteous, and infuriating thing you can do in a gym is leave your weights out, or put them away wrong. Whether it be dumbbells, plates, kettlebells, or other gym equipment, put everything back the way it is supposed to be. Even if that is not how you found it!

We are pretty sure your mom doesn’t follow you around at the gym, so you are gonna have to take some responsibility and clean up after yourself. Otherwise, you will lose the respect of everyone around you and become the real gym idiot that everyone hates!

Gym Etiquette Rule #3: ALWAYS ask, don’t just assume.

When you assume things you simply make an “a$$” our of “u” and “me”. If anyone is nearby, or could possibly be using something, always ask before you take it. Even if you need to wait a minute to see if anyone comes back to it.

Taking things is just rude, even if you “didn’t know”. If you ask, you always know.

Remember, everyone shares everything at the gym, the same as it is in kindergarten. If you want something, then check around before taking it. Then there are no unnecessary arguments or angry looks.

Gym Etiquette Rule #4: Don’t hog the equipment.

When it comes to using the equipment, get in and get out. Don’t sit there on a machine or bench scrolling through Instagram for 5 minutes between every set. People are always waiting from a distance.

Be courteous of other people’s time, and follow social media on your own time. And if you have 5+ sets to do, you better not just be standing around at the squat rack talking to your gym bros. Always be working, or getting ready for the next set.

If you are doing a superset, be quick about it and never use more than 2-3 machines or stations at once, unless the gym is empty. Everyone has stuff to do too.

Gym Etiquette Rule #5: Respect personal space!

Look, but don’t touch. Big arms, ripped abs, and huge legs are all admirable. However, just because we like when people notice, doesn’t mean that you have the right to come up and touch what we have built.

If you want to feel, ASK! No acceptions! Whether you are young and hot or old and creepy, stay out of our personal space unless invited in.


Top 10 Gym Etiquette Rules

Gym Etiquette Rule #6: Don’t smell.

Whether you smell good or bad, the gym is not the place to give it away. You should come in not smelling like anything, good or bad. Bad smells only get worse, and good smells are too fragrant for others around you not to be distracted. It is fine if you start to stink after you have been sweating for a while but come in fresh, not freaky.

Also, if you smell like you just came out of a hotbox of smoke in your car, people are going to hate you. Whether you think you don’t smell like smoke or not, you do, and everyone knows it. It is your right to do as you wish, however, everyone at the gym is sharing air. If you ruin their air, you can expect a lot of dirty looks and even a canceled gym membership.

Gym Etiquette Rule #7: NO SINGING!

It is not Karaoke night! And we don’t care if it is your favorite song. Save your croaky voice for passing the time in traffic. When you’re in the gym, focus on your work.

P.S. If you can sing while working out, then you are not really working very hard. Just sayin’.

Gym Etiquette Rule #8: Scream as much as you want, but have a reason!

Being loud when getting psyched up and working hard is fine. However, if you do it for no reason, then you are just being a gym idiot.

To keep it simple, if you are doing something cool, then you are fine. If not, then stay quiet.

Gym Etiquette Rule #9: Wipe down your equipment. No excuses.

This is a mojor health risk if you forget, so don’t! Besides, “I forgot” is not a reasonable excuse for anyone old enough to workout in a gym.

Whether you sweat a lot or not, it is your courteous duty that you wipe down your equipment EVERY SINGLE TIME after you are finished using it. DON’T FORGET!

Gym Etiquette Rule #10: Don’t hit on other members!

The gym is a great place to hook up…before and after your workout though! It is NEVER a good idea to interrupt someone else’s workout. Especially if you are interested in more than a friendship!

Interact, but do not interrupt. If there is a connection, talk after. If not, they’re not interested. It is a HUGE turn off to interrupt someone’s workout. So be patient and take action when it is the appropriate time.


Top 20 Rules

Gym Etiquette Rule #11: Ask before you give help!

First, it is not social hour at your local country club, so keep your pointless talk to yourself. If you can’t say what you are going to say in under a minute, then save it for later. People go to the gym to better themselves and are all on a time crunch. Be respectful of their time and save the chat about the weather for the inevitable awkward silences in your life. 

Secondly, NEVER walk up to someone to give them tips about how they “should” be doing things. That is extremely disrespectful, as it shows you think they have no idea what they are doing. If you have a suggestion, then ask if they would like to hear it. Don’t just start spewing out advice that they may not even want. Usually if they want advice, they’ll ask.

Gym Etiquette Rule #12: Wear appropriate gym attire!

It is not a strip club (male or female). So fully cover up all inappropriate areas. Ladies, side boob and see-through are too much, but a reasonable sports bra and short shorts are fine. Men, a speedo is for the pool, and your package is not made to be scrunched up into spandex.

Also, it’s not the 70s. Be comfortable, but not distracting. Taking your shirt off is fine, but don’t be loud about it. Public Indecency is a crime.

Of course, don’t track in dirt and mud from outside. If your shoes are dirty, take them off before you walk around.

Gym Etiquette Rule #13: No lockerroom nudity!

Cover yourself up in the locker room (and on the floor, obviously). There is always that one old guy in the locker room that is way too confident in his own skin, and there’s nothing we can do about that. Just don’t be that guy or gal! Keep it covered, and keep it appropriate.

Also, remember it is not social hour in there either.

Gym Etiquette Rule #14: No PDA (Public Display of Affection)!

We know that couples that workout together, stay together. However, the gym is not the place to show off your everlasting love and affection for each other. Nobody wants to see, hear, or have to workout around your makeout sessions every 2 minutes. So, stay on task, so you can get home sooner, and do what you need to do there.

Gym Etiquette Rule #15: Don’t stand in the way!

Whether you are in the walkway, at the water fountain or in front of the dumbbell rack, don’t be in the way. Make sure there is always plenty of space for people to move around you and get to what they need.

This also includes standing between benches, in or near squat racks or machines, and walking slow. Keep out of the way and no one will mind.

Gym Etiquette Rule #16: Glance, but don’t stare.

We get it. We’re hot, but that doesn’t mean we want everyone staring. Don’t be the creepy guy or gal that stares down every hotty in the gym. Everyone likes to be noticed for their hard work but don’t overdo it. Admire, and compliment if necessary, then look away.

Gym Etiquette Rule #17: Don’t laugh at anyone that is trying!

It is always okay to laugh with someone, but it is NEVER okay to laugh at someone, when at the gym. Yes, gym fails and gym fail stories are popular and funny. However, most of those people just don’t know what they are doing. So think of how you would want someone to help you if you were them. Then go from there.

Gym Etiquette Rule #18: Don’t be a gym idiot!

Don’t use bands, chains, or other equipment you don’t understand unless you know what you are doing! If you want to know why read these funny gym fail stories. If you need help, just ask.

Also, if you need a spotter, then get one. You shouldn’t make others around you concerned for your safety to where they feel the need to keep an eye on you like a child.

It is okay to ask for help, but not okay to put yourself and others at risk. Be smart, and be safe. 

If you need a help on how to get started, get one of our strength programs or learn more about the Mathias Method Strength System!

Gym Etiquette Rule #19: Don’t keep asking for free advice.

If you need a personal trainer, then get one! And pay them. You shouldn’t go around bothering other people’s workouts for every little thing. You need to figure some things out on your own and if you need a lot of help, then pay someone to help you.

It is okay to ask for tips, but not for every exercise that you do. Even in the gym, nothing is really free. Respect other people’s time and value.

Gym Etiquette Rule #20: No sleeping, eating or lounging!

The gym floor is not a lounge, so don’t use it as one. If your gym doesn’t have a place to sit and hang out, then there is probably a reason. As in, they don’t want you to hang out there forever.

Eat, sleep and wait in your car, not on the unused machines or benches. You are just going to be in the way. 


Important Reminders

It is also important to mention that things like curling in the squat rack or just using equipment for the wrong purpose are obvious no no’s. Just don’t do it.

Things like how you lift and the music you listen too are not on this list, because those things generally do not affect others.

Overall, these are the basic gym etiquette rules everyone needs to follow. However, make sure to check in with your gym’s rules so that you never get the Lunk Alarm set off on you, or have to pay fines for things you didn’t know.

Remember, if you disagree with any of these, or have some to add, comment below!

Steroids and PEDs in Strength Sports + My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Steroids and PEDs

First, Anabolic Steroids are one of many Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) used throughout sports and competition today. It is believed that they are almost required for Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Competitions and are known as “part of the sport” in powerlifting. Then, of course, there is always something about steroids occurring in the Olympics and sports such as Professional Baseball, Football, and most physical sports and competition. This article will go over my thoughts on the use of drugs, steroids, PEDs and even supplements for both professional athletes and normal gym bros. 

Know that no drugs or supplements are necessary to make the Mathias Method Strength System or any of our Strength Programs effective.

Note: Anabolic Steroids and most PEDs are illegal in the United States without a doctor’s prescription.

Check out our NEW FULL POWER Powerlifting Program!


What are PEDs?

PEDs, or Performance Enhancing Drugs, are drugs used to help increase performance in any given sport. The most common PEDs are:

  • Anabolic Steroids – Used to increase strength, muscle growth, and recovery. The effects mimic those of increased Testosterone, but tenfold.
  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – Increases growth throughout the body, but mainly used for increasing muscle mass.
  • Testosterone – Used to increase the effects of natural testosterone to build muscle, increase strength, and burn body fat.
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) – Used by men to increase free testosterone if their bodies don’t make enough naturally.
  • Erythropoietin (EPO) – Used by endurance athletes increase oxygen uptake by increasing red blood cell count.
  • Stimulants – Anything that greatly increases performance to where your performance will noticeably decrease without it.

There are always more being created and used, but these are the most common in use today.

If I forgot some, or you know of any others, tell me about it in the comments below and I will add them to the list.


Steroids in Strength Sports

Before we get too deep into this though, let’s get one thing straight…Bodybuilding, Powerlifting, Strongman, and even professional arm wrestling, are in fact “sports”. They may not seem as athletic as Football or Olympic style sports, but they are still competition among athletes.

These sports that rely heavily on a competitor’s strength to win are known as Strength Sports. If you disagree, let me know in the comments below.

With that being said, anything that relies heavily on an athlete’s strength or muscle mass is likely going to have some steroid or PED use. This is because there are so many athletes that are trying to be the best, and to be the best, means to do whatever it takes. Even if it means taking drugs to defeat the competition. The question is, is it cheating?

In the 2008 documentary, Bigger, Stronger, Faster by Chris Bell, which dives deep into the world of steroid use in all forms of competition, Chris asks:

“Is it really cheating, if everyone is doing it?”

I will get into my answer in a minute, but let me know what you think in the comments below. 

The thing is, not everyone is doing it. Many professionals choose to stay drug free. However, how many of them are known as the best? And should would they even be held in higher reguards if they defeated those taking PEDs? Everyone has their own opinion on this, but I want to know yours.


How I Feel About Steroids, PEDs, and Supplement Use

I understand why people use them, but they are not for me.

For Others

My feelings towards others using anabolic steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs are of understanding. I do not always agree with the reasons of why people take drugs to better themselves, but I understand the mindset of being the best.

First off, if you are just a regular gym bro that wants to look good by taking a bunch of supplements and drugs, then you are just being lazy. If you do not have a legitimate reason of why you are putting your health at risk just to look good for others, then you are simply being dumb. Sadly, this is about 90%+ of the people that use anabolic steroids today, as stated in Bigger, Stronger, Faster.

However, if you are an elite athlete that is working towards being the “Best In The World” at whatever sport you are competing in, then I understand your mindset. I understand the “do whatever it takes to be the best” mindset, and I respect those people. Again, I do not agree with it, but I do understand why and do not judge because of it.

Steroids Limit You

Still, one quote that always comes to mind whenever I think of people using steroids was said by Dave Tate of EliteFTS. He said, “If you need to take steroids in high school to get to college, then you will never make it to the NFL. And if you need to take steroids in college to get to the NFL, then you won’t last.” So, it is only after you have become elite on your own that steroids and other drugs can even help you to become world class.

This means you need to accomplish something on your own before you can even earn the right to take steroids or PEDs to become the best at something. If you take them too soon, then you are simply limiting yourself, because you can never go back. If you take them even once, you will likely never reach that same strength level again without them again.

So be wise and accomplish something first!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

If You’re Thinking About Taking PEDs

If you ever were thinking of taking steroids or PEDs, you absolutely MUST consult with your doctor first. There is nothing in the law that says you can’t talk about them. So, just like any other drug, you need to talk to a doctor first so that your health can be monitored.

There is A LOT people don’t know about steroids without first-hand experience, and unfortunately, some of those people learned with their lives. So don’t be that person. Be smart and just ask so you understand all the risks and know what to do if something goes wrong. Who knows, they may even write you a prescription!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

For me

My thoughts on the use of Anabolic Steroids and PEDs is simple…I understand why people use them, but they are not for me. In fact, it is the same feeling I have towards the use of most supplements. I do not want them, nor do I feel that I need them to reach my goals

I did not get into Powerlifting to become the greatest powerlifter ever because to do that I would need to dedicate my life to the sport and do whatever it takes to be the best. That includes the use of performance enhancing drugs and that is a line I am not willing to cross.

I got into Powerlifting with my own goals in mind, but there are other things I life I want to do more. Powerlifting is just a passion for me, but not the reason I get up in the morning. So I do it for fun and love helping others join the sport as well. 

Another reason is, being natural is cool to me. I’ve always loved to see what people can do without the use of any “assistance” in the form of drugs or “this great new supplement at GNC”. Natural RAW Powerlifting is cool to me. That is why I like so that is what I pursue.

So to put it clearly, on the subject of Anabolic Steroids and PEDs, I never have and never will use them, but I do not judge those that do.

Leave your comments on the subject below!

My Complete Supplement List

  • 100% Whey Protein Powder – I get the cheap stuff and only use it for creamer in my coffee with almond milk or at night when I need a chocolate fix. So basically, I like the taste, but don’t use it as a meal.
  • Multivitamin – I eat a balanced diet, but I still think it’s a good idea to have a base of vitamins and minerals.
  • Fish Oil – I take it on and off for my heart health. 
  • Creatine – I had half a serving by accident one time, and got mad when I found it was in the protein powder I bought. It is not a PED by any means, but just not what I wanted without knowing it.
  • Coffee – Who doesn’t love coffee?!

That’s it! I have never had anything else to my knowledge and never want too. I am not against other supplements, they are just not for me.

Author – Ryan J. Mathias