Strength Science

I remember when I first heard the saying 5 years ago at a clinic that if you read for one hour every single day in your field, you will be one of the world's leading experts in 7 years. I am not claiming to be one of the world's leading experts yet, but the main thing I did take away from that thought was to become a serious student of the iron game. I have learned to become more astute at noticing little things that work and all of the things that are a waste of time. I have been pretty darn diligent about reading an hour every day from strength training books to self-improvement to business and marketing books. I have been extremely busy lately with the opening of my new facility, my wedding approaching and just buying our first house together. With that said, there is so much information that I want to convey since it's been over a month since I have had the chance to write an article that I am going to be jumping around quite a bit. "Absorb what is useful and discard the rest" via Alwyn Cosgrove via Bruce Lee.

    * After reading Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik, I made the decision to incorporate my Fat Gripz into almost all pressing or pulling movements. When people ask me how they work, I explain how innervated the hands are with the central nervous system and if we train hand strength, the nervous system will become more efficient. But you will also notice that when you use fat grips on an exercise like the bench, you wrists and shoulders feel a little unstable. Yes, you are using stabilizing muscles, but I believe the more important effect is the stress and adaptation to your tendons and ligaments. This is where the true strength is built. I got a PR this week with 355 in the bench and it went up pretty easy. This is up about 30 pounds since the winter and the only difference in my training has been to incorporate Fat Gripz.

    * Newton's Third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Lifting parallels life in so many ways, we learn to push ourselves harder than we thought possible, we eventually learn to succeed that we need to surround ourselves by other like-minded individuals. It has also been my experience that any of the big dogs in the Iron Game are very driven to succeed in life. This is where Newton's Law comes in. If you put in the dog work, late nights and blood sweat and tears, the results will come down the road. This is a principle that too many people don't understand. If you create and make all that ACTION, you will get the investment of that time ten-fold in success. This can be used for lifting and life.

    * The quads are critical to train to remain injury free. The quads provide the breaking forces when the front leg hits the ground during sprinting. The leg is never fully extended during sprinting because then you would be moving vertically and not horizontally. In particular, the VMO is critical as it affects knee tracking. The best way to hammer these guys is through movements such as the lunge, step up, rear foot elevated split squat or speed skater squats.

    * When I get my high school athletes telling me their weight has hit a plateau, I have them do two things. First, I have them do a shake that has 970 calories and 75 grams of protein in it 2x per day. Second, I have them do a five days of 80 grams of glutamine per day on those days. This can be done every 2-3 months. I got this idea from Charles Poliquin. It helps to heal the stomach lining, which will lead to better nutrient absorption. All of my guys that have done this have gained 3-6 pounds of lean weight and kept it on after the week.

    * Sleep is king. I am a hypocrite when it comes to this as I always fall back into the trap of burning the candle late night to get more work done. However, when I presented at a clinic recently, a fellow presenter was from the U.S. Navy and his findings were very awakening. He said if the brain is awake for 17 or more hours for 3 straight days, it functions as if it were intoxicated and he even showed images of a brain with 8 hours of sleep. Vs. 6 hours of sleep. The 6 hour brain had significantly less blood flow than the 8 hour one. He also spoke of the importance of recovery. He was very fortunate to have an Omega Wave machine to know when his guys were about to hit bottom. He did say that a de-load week should be used every 4 weeks or so and this is also what Buddy Morris suggested when I looked back at one of his presentations. Sleep and recover to grow!

Kyle Newell is a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) located in New Jersey. He specializes in body transformation and sport specific conditioning. Kyle is pursuing his master's degree in exercise science through the University of Texas Pan American. Kyle is also a competitive bodybuilder in addition to being a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN). Kyle is available for online consulting. Just remember that proximity has nothing to do with expertise. Kyle can be reached through his website at