Isolation Vs Compound Exercises, Is one Really Better Than the Other?

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Fitness Independence, Isometric Training, Progressive Calisthenics by Matt

The debate between isolation and command exercises is starting to rage once again within our fitness culture. So this week, I wanted to take a fundamental approach to get to the bottom of the isolation vs command debate for building muscle and strength once and for all. Live Feed Q&A:  Thoughts on Overcoming-Yielding Isometrics 12:31 “I need to work on …

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Weighted Calisthenics; Tips For Building More Muscle & Strength

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Leg Training by Matt

Weighted calisthenics training is a great tool for building muscle and strength, but there’s a lot more to the story than just slapping on a weight vest and cranking out weighted push-ups. In this week’s episode of the R.D.P Podcast, I’m covering the pros and cons of weighted calisthenics plus the 3 best exercises for building muscle and strength with …

What is Grind Style Calisthenics?

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Core & Abs Training, Fitness Independence, Progressive Calisthenics by Matt

Grind style calisthenics (GSC) is bodyweight training with an emphasis on building strength and muscle. It’s essentially the calisthenics variation of bodybuilding or powerlifting. This is in contrast to endurance or met-con style calisthenics which uses fast circuit style workouts for conditioning. It’s also different from the sport of calisthenics which uses explosive techniques for power and athleticism. All that is …

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Using Calisthenics to Get Jacked with Adorian Moldovan

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Fitness Independence, Progressive Calisthenics by Matt

Adrian Moldovan is the man when it comes to building muscle, especially with calisthenics training. His practical down-to-earth strategies are effective as hell and a refreshing dose of muscle building reality in a world of fads, hype, and dogma. I recently had the honor of sitting down with Adorian over Skype so I could pick his brain over some of his …

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6 Common Misconceptions About Convict Conditioning

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Core & Abs Training, Fitness Independence, Leg Training, Progressive Calisthenics by Matt

I’ve been reading and applying the lessons in Convict Conditioning for over 7 years now and I couldn’t be happier with the results. That’s why I continue to recommend it to anyone who’s interested in building muscle and strength through bodyweight training. Over the years, I’ve noticed a few common misconceptions about Convict Conditioning that pop up within our fitness culture. …

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Harder Pullups Without Weight

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

There are many ways you can increase the resistance of your pull-ups. You can add extra weight to your body with weight vests or a dip belt. You can also progress your technique as explained in Convict Conditioning. Both of these methods are effective, but they also each have a drawback. Adding weight to your body can place more stress …

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Are Dead Hang Pull Ups Good or Bad?

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Dead hang pull ups are a point of debate in the world of progressive calisthenics. Some people say they are great and make pull ups harder and more effective. Other’s say they are bad for the joints and might even make pull ups less effective. As usual, the truth is somewhere in between. There are pros and cons to doing dead …

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Use Your Lats to Build More Muscle

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Core & Abs Training, Progressive Calisthenics, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by Matt

I always used to think of the lats as a narrow muscle group that ran up the sides of the back. I also used to think they were only really used in moves like pull ups and maybe rows. Lately, I’ve been learning a lot more about this incredible muscle and it’s made a massive improvement in almost every exercise I …

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How to Improve Every Hanging Exercise

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Hanging is a staple in calisthenics. From pull ups, leg raises and even levers require a lot of hanging ability. Unfortunately, we don’t hang from trees or ledges as our primal genetics are designed to do so our hanging muscles are weak. Not only do we have a weak grip, but the muscles that transition tension from the arm to the torso …

Use Neutral Tension for More Gain With Less Pain

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Fitness Independence, Leg Training, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Muscle tension is the best thing and the worst thing for you. It can break your body and build it up. It can cause muscle growth as well as muscle strains and joint pain. It all depends on how you can manage it within your muscles. Lately, I’ve been using an approach I call Neutral Tension. Simply put, it using …

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3 Best Strap Exercises for Bigger Biceps

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

I love doing biceps exercises on suspension straps. I even preferred them over free weight curls back before I was made the switch to progressive calisthenics. There are many biceps exercises you can do on suspension straps. Over the years, I’ve found 3 moves that work a lot better than all of the others. These include the scoop curl, the …

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Pull Up Elbow Pain Cause and Cure

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Elbow tendonitis is one of the few injuries calisthenics athletes need to be on guard for. Many people experience it at one point or another, myself included. I used to struggle with it on and off for years. Thankfully, I’ve been able to get rid of it once and for all through Chain Training and this simple technical adjustment. The …

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How to Do Bridges Like a Boss

In Back & Biceps Training, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by Matt

Bridging is one of those calisthenics exercises that plays second fiddle to moves like pull-ups, push-ups and squats. Many athletes hardly practice them at all which is a shame. If there’s one move that can improve your performance and results in calisthenics it’s bridging. The biggest reason bridges fall out of favor is because many people do “pushing bridges” where …

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Bodyweight Biceps Workout

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Pre-exhaustion has been a tried and true muscle building technique since the down of body building. It’s simply using a focused exercise on a specific muscle group, and then immediately using a compound exercise that includes that same muscle group to create a higher state of fatigue. No muscle group seems to gain more focused attention than the biceps, which …

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Veterano Plus Bridge Workout

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

When I first discovered Convict Conditioning I didn’t take bridging seriously. I thought it was a move that was more of a circus trick and wasn’t worth more than a few moments of my time each week. I now know that was a BIG mistake. Not only are bridges not just some trick, but they lay the foundation for your …

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Pull Up Combo for a Thicker Back

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

They say that if someone has large biceps from pull ups they will suffer from a skinny weak back. This is because of what I call elbow domination which is when the mind if more focused on flexing the elbow as opposed to extending the shoulder. That’s why I love this funky little pull up combo that involves twice as …

Programing Supplemental Calisthenics Moves

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Leg Training, Progressive Calisthenics, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Just like traditional weight lifting methods, calisthenics includes both basic compound movements as well as single joints moves like curls, shoulder raises and grip work. Even though you may not need these moves, they can shore up a few weak points and round out your physique. The trick is knowing how to fit them into your program so they don’t …

Erase Your Pull Up Dead Zones

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Dead zones are those points in your range of motion where your muscles are over loaded and even possibly turn off. This results in a shorter range of motion, slower muscle growth, less strength development and potential joint issues. The pull up is one such move that almost always has dead zones that hold you back. This is why you …

Build More Muscle with L Pull Ups

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

The seated, or “L” pull up is one of the most underrated muscle building tools in calisthenics. – It allows advanced pull up monsters to fine tune their technique. – It teaches you how to engage the upper back and shoulders more during vertical pulling moves. – It’s a great mid point between the Australian pull up or body row …

Build Your Biceps With Clutch Curls

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Clutch curls, there’s nothing like em! They combine the focus and intensity of a preacher curl with the freedom and versatility of free freights. It’s also incredibly easy to dial in the perfect amount of tension to make each set that money set telling your arms to grow. I could do nothing but this move for the rest of my …

Use the Body Weight Row to Build More Muscle

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

The row is a classic back exercise and like all basic moves you can always learn how to progress it to a higher level. In this video I talk about using the shoulders and upper back to shore up your weak links that may hold back your potential to build strength and muscle. Here’s a fun workout to try: See …

The Fixed Bar Bodyweight Biceps Curl

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Some of the best arm exercises are body weight moves and this is no exception. Like tiger bends, and floor triceps extensions, this fixed bar curl keeps your hands still while moving your entire body against gravity. This creates a lot of potential tension in your biceps while also sparing any stress on your spine and lower back. Give this …

4 Tips to Upgrade Your Grip Training

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Nothing develops your grip and forearms like hanging from a towel. The soft, yet tough, design of the towel brings all of the elements of a killer grip workout into play all at once. Best of all you can incorporate them into exercises like rows, pull ups and even levers so you don’t have to add a lot of extra …

Train Your Chain for More Functional Strength & Muscle

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Core & Abs Training, Fitness Independence, Leg Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Do you train muscles or movements? It’s super important to carefully consider because your training and thus your results can be dramatically influenced by your answer. Both schools of thought have their pros and cons. Training muscles can build a much stronger mind-muscle connection but can be a very costly way to train since it often involves many exercises. Training …

12 Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle With Body Weight Training

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Fitness Independence, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by Matt

There isn’t a doubt in my mind that you can build a substantial amount of muscle and strength through body weight training. In fact, I train with body weight exercise because there are some massive  advantages body weight training has over weight training when it comes to building muscle. Still, some times the muscle just won’t build and it can be …

Are Isolation Exercises Holding You Back?

In Back & Biceps Training, Progressive Calisthenics, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by Matt

  My initial workouts were heavily focused on exercises that would isolate the muscles I wanted to grow. Looking back, I now believe these moves actually held back my progress even once I focused on compound movements. The tricky thing about muscle isolation is the fact that the body likes to use muscles in synergy. So The abs like to work along with …

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Bigger Biceps With Strap Curls

In Back & Biceps Training, Suspension Training by Matt

Curls are a satisfying staple for building bigger biceps. Back in the day, I used to camp out on the preacher curl or biceps curl machine, but I gave that all up when I learned how to do curls on suspension straps. I find it’s much easier to build bigger biceps with a towel and suspension straps compared to conventional free …

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5 Ways Pull Ups Build a Sexy Physique

In Back & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Few exercises will help you build a sexy physique like pull ups. I’ve never met anyone, man or woman, who was good at pull ups and didn’t have a good looking upper body. I’ve always wondered why this was the case. It’s not like you’re going to notice someone’s strong upper body and think “I bet they do a lot …

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What if I Did Nothing But Pull Ups and Dips for a Month???

In Back & Biceps Training, Chest & Triceps Training, Uncategorized by Matt

Every once in a while, I come across a story or example of someone who is crazy strong through calisthenics. I’m talking about folks who have super human strength and look like it to boot! A common thread among these calisthenics legends is that they have an incredible focus on a select few exercises. They don’t do lots of different …

Why Pull Ups Make You Awesome

In Back & Biceps Training by Matt

Just going to throw it out there;Pull ups are cool and awesome. Being that they are such, they also make anyone who does them cool and awesome. That’s why they are in nearly every movie training montage. They are an impressive thing to whiteness and automatically convey strength and power upon those who do them. A large reason for their …