Women should focus on body composition progress rather than the number on the scale.
As many of my clients know, I do not care about the number on the scale. I do not care with myself and if my client does not have a strict body weight that they need to be for a weight class or competition then I do not care about theirs either! With most clients I use their daily body weight as a means to measure where they are at with their energy balance.
If they gain weight too fast then I know to lower total caloric intake, if losing too fast then I increase calories. But why do women often have issues losing WEIGHT but still see great improvements to body composition? Women retain muscle mass better than men when in a caloric deficit, so when women are losing weight they are more likely to keep their muscle mass when compared to men. When most female clients start with me I dramatically increase their protein intake that they were having before, therefore increasing muscle protein synthesis. Add resistance training into the picture and now we have a perfect environment for muscle gain! WHICH IS AMAZING! But often female clients can be discouraged by the lack of weight drop thinking that is the only measure of progress.
Look at your photos! Clients who focus a lot on the scale, do you really care about the number on the scale OR are you trying to get to that body weight because you have a picture in your head of what you will look like at that weight? If the latter, then you actually only care about body composition improvements. Being lighter does not make you healthy, having lower body fat %, increased muscle mass, improved strength, endurance, active lifestyle, eating a healthy and balanced diet, all these things make you healthy. Focus your attention on what really matters, your health.
By: Hybrid Nutrition coach @greg.sut
After reading McLaughlin’s book, which is probably one of the best resources out there for the bench press I have ever encountered, I ran across one of Greg Nuckols article, where he talks about some key points from this book. He does a great job going over the biomechanics of the bench a lot more in depth than I will cover in this short post so if that is something that interests you I highly recommend you check out his article @gregnuckols.
McLaughlin pointed out a really good observation about the difference in bar path between novice and advanced lifters. He showed that both groups lower the bar using a similar pattern, almost a straight line, but the path changed dramatically during the ascent. Novice lifters move the bar straight UP THEN BACK, while advanced lifters do the opposite. They move the bar up AND BACK right off the bat and finish the lift by pressing almost in a straight line up.
He pointed out that elite lifters were able to add pounds to their bench, with no real change in total force output. They achieved this by changing their bar path by shortening the moment arm, which is the distance from the bar to your shoulder in the frontal plane (from your armpit to an imaginary line that drops straight down from your hand at the point that you hold the bar). You can accomplish this by decreasing the distance between the bar and your shoulder faster during the ascent part of the lift. This doesn’t necessarily change the amount of work you are doing, but its simply a more efficient way to push.
In conclusion, McLaughlin noted in his research that elite lifters didn’t increase their maximum force output that much year after year, but the ones that continue making the most progress where the ones that make adjustments on their bar path.
Awesome drawing by @pheasyque
Training Stress Explained by my good buddies over at @bros_md
The above graph shows fitness capacity on the y-axis and time on the x-axis.
It can represent a single workout or multiple workouts over time.
The general thought is that we all have a baseline fitness. Whenever we encounter a training stimulus, or stress, we drop below baseline due to fatigue.
Importantly, we physiologically respond very similar to training stress as other types of stress (not sleeping enough, cramming for exams, or making awkward eye contact with a stranger while eating a banana). So these types of stress can also cause negative deviations from baseline.
Once the training stress has stopped, or diminished, the recovery process begins. This mostly entails rest days, eating, and sleeping and is how we get back to, and beyond, the baseline.
Assuming an adequate training stimulus coupled with proper recovery, we can overshoot the baseline and make it to the land of gains.
These gains can ultimately establish a new baseline, but the cycle of accruing fatigue, followed by proper recovery, is crucial to continuing to make improvements in performance.