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The Training Max: What You Need to Know

Once you've been using 531 for a while you should get to a point where your training max (TM) doesn't have a direct correlation (percentage) with your actual max. The 90% rule was the recommended starting point, Beyond 531 may mention 85% or 80% or whatever but the bottom line is you manipulate your TM based on current training goals, current programming, current level of strength, etc. There is no hard rule for your TM. In my opinion the more progress you can achieve out of a low TM the better.

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5/3/1 For College & Pro Baseball

I recently got a text from a good friend of mine who is a university strength and conditioning coach. He is the head coach for all sports and works directly with the baseball team. For 2.5 months (about 3 cycles) he used the 5/3/1 BBB training plan and reported the following...

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Build Your Own Kroc Dumbbell

Before we start with the simple process, let me define the Kroc Row. Named after everyone’s favorite Polish American Powerlifter, Matt Kroczaleski, the Kroc Row has quickly become a staple exercise in many lifting circles. In its infancy this exercise was simply a single set of high rep dumbbell rows with the heaviest weight possible. Matt did this because of necessity – the dumbbells he had access weren’t heavy enough to perform the requisite “10-12” reps that is often prescribed. To combat this, he just did a ton of reps with the heaviest dumbbell available. Initially done to build his upper back for his bench press, this exercise also gave him great deadlift lockout strength as well as grip strength....

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Weighted Chins

I like them. I'm not voting for them in the next "Five Awesome Exercises" election but they certainly have their place. I've championed chin-ups for years, mostly because they're great for the upper back, lats, and arms. And because you can do them anywhere – chin-up bar, top of the Smith machine, scaffolding, top of the monolift, playground equipment, etc. Weighted chins are a good idea IF you can do them, and even then you still need to keep bodyweight chins as part of your training (unless you can bang out multiple sets of 20 with good form). And if that's the case, gain some weight!

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