Hand Care for Weightlifting

There is nothing more frustrating than having your training, or worst, competition, affected by torn calluses, exposed flesh and painful hands. Whether you're completely new to weightlifting, an experienced lifter training >4 times per week or an avid crossfitter, I've no doubt you know exactly what I am referring to. No matter how much you try and focus on a technical aspect of the repetition, its difficult to ignore that stinging sensation as you place your hands around the barbell or pull up bar. The cause? Well, to be blunt... Laziness. Painful hands are completely avoidable if you take care of your skin. I do remember once being told years ago, that the harder your skin the better. This

Maternal Strength Training: Part 2 - The Myths

(Image used with permission from Emily Breeze) In part 1 we discussed the benefits of exercise and strength training during pregnancy. If you've not yet read it, I suggest you do. It's only a 10 minute read but sheds some light on why pregnant women should continue to exercise vigorously during the entire term. If you, a friend or family member are still anxious at the thought of exercising during such time, then part 2 should help debunk the common myths. Ultimately, the health of both mother and baby is a paramount consideration when deciding whether to exercise during pregnancy. Until recently, most advice on the matter was based on the 1985 recommendations put forward in the publication

Please, stop it with the whole squat depth thing!

Training in my own facility certainly has its perks; no queuing for the lifting platform, no idiots doing single-leg BOSU balanced bicep-curls in the squat rack, doors wide open and music on high, however, apart from the company of Led Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine, my own training sessions can get pretty lonely. Nestled comfortably within the four walls, that is, Cheshire Barbell, I am quite sheltered from a lot of the crap that exists within the fitness industry, however the stories that some of our newer members discuss about experiences in other gyms with other coaches never fail to amaze me. Before this comes across as a rant, let me explain that I am not having a pop at an indi

Maternal Strength Training: Part 1 - The Benefits

With all the misinformation and conflicting guidance out there it is difficult to know whether it is ok to workout during and after pregnancy. In short, the answer is: Yes, you should! Physical exercise poses numerous benefits for the pregnant women. Unfortunately, the interpretation of research over the past decade or so on maternal exercise is seemingly confusing as most studies fail to discern between different types of physical activity. As a result it was not 100% clear to what extent these benefits are realised from resistance training compared with other modalities. Fortunately, emerging research is helping to dispel the myths that exist amongst pregnant women and medical professional

Cannon-Ball Delts

If you follow me on instagram you‘ll have spotted a recent poll I submitted in my story. I asked everyone what they‘d prefer a blog post on a Weightlifting topic or a post on a Physique related subject. Physique won. It was 60:40! Given that I’m a little biased toward the sport of Olympic Weightlifting I thought I’d try and please everyone by writing about a subject everyone can benefit from. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with an individual who began their journey with me who already had great posture. Whether you are interested in training for strength development or you enjoy nothing but improving your physique, we can all learn from this. It’s simple... we do not train the posterior delt

The High Pull

I'll be honest, I used to hate the high pull. I'd never dream of placing it within my lifter's programmes for the fear of them becoming reliant and used to "pulling" the bar with their arms. Now, however, my opinions have changed. If used with the right lifter, at the right time and for the right reasons, it can be essential in helping one become more efficient at executing the snatch. Let me start by saying that the name is very deceiving. It isn't a pull whatsoever. In fact, I almost always use this exercise to help my lifters avoid pulling with their arms. There are two very very common errors that occur after the second pull, right before the turn over... The lifter pulls prematurely: Th

The most effective way to train Abs

Everyone wants great abs, right? Whether you're a seasoned Weightlifter and want stronger abs for a more solid pull, or you simply want to look better naked, this post is for you. The notion that Abs are made in the kitchen is utter ridiculous. Dieting is almost always necessary to reveal your abs, however your abs are no different to any other muscle group you train in the weight room. They must be trained no differently to any other muscle group. This means you need to quit the crunches I'm afraid. Muscles need to be stressed in a progressive fashion, meaning, you need to constantly add greater mechanical load and volume in order to stimulate their growth. Exercise selection can help with

The most effective way to train Abs

Everyone wants great abs, right? Whether you're a seasoned Weightlifter and want stronger abs for a more solid pull, or you simply want to look better naked, this post is for you. The notion that Abs are made in the kitchen is utter ridiculous. Dieting is almost always necessary to reveal your abs, however your abs are no different to any other muscle group you train in the weight room. They must be trained no differently to any other muscle group. This means you need to quit the crunches I'm afraid. Muscles need to be stressed in a progressive fashion, meaning, you need to constantly add greater mechanical load and volume in order to stimulate their growth. Exercise selection can help with

Kettlebell Swings: Not just for circuit training

Kettlebell swings are a very popular choice when it comes to circuit classes. They're typically selected because they require you to perform lots of repetitions and therefore effective for getting your heart rate elevated. From experience, most people perform them incorrectly unless taught otherwise. Without trying to turn this into post into a rant, I am still seeing 'trainers' teach kettlebell swings to their clients and class members incorrectly. I am trying so hard to resist naming names, but I see videos being published on social media daily, demonstrating trainer's lack of understanding. Even those without the relevant certification could spot poor execution of this exercise. Fortunate

Kettlebell Swings: Not just for circuit training

Kettlebell swings are a very popular choice when it comes to circuit classes. They're typically selected because they require you to perform lots of repetitions and therefore effective for getting your heart rate elevated. From experience, most people perform them incorrectly unless taught otherwise. Without trying to turn this into post into a rant, I am still seeing 'trainers' teach kettlebell swings to their clients and class members incorrectly. I am trying so hard to resist naming names, but I see videos being published on social media daily, demonstrating trainer's lack of understanding. Even those without the relevant certification could spot poor execution of this exercise. Fortunate

There's more to fitness than lifting weights

We live in a time where articles, blogs, tips and advice on topics relating to health, well-being and exercise could not be more accessible, yet we are more sedentary than ever before. Here in the UK, we have the third highest obesity rate in the world; 67% of men and 57% of women are overweight. To put that into perspective, 7 out of 10 men and 6 out of 10 women are obese! Why is that the case when there are more gyms than ever before? They're open 24 hours and some memberships are a 1/4 of the price they used to be. There are more running events popping up. It is popular to run park runs, 10km events, marathons etc. Almost everyone has heard of Crossfit. There are now more faddy diets than

There's more to fitness than lifting weights

We live in a time where articles, blogs, tips and advice on topics relating to health, well-being and exercise could not be more accessible, yet we are more sedentary than ever before. Here in the UK, we have the third highest obesity rate in the world; 67% of men and 57% of women are overweight. To put that into perspective, 7 out of 10 men and 6 out of 10 women are obese! Why is that the case when there are more gyms than ever before? They're open 24 hours and some memberships are a 1/4 of the price they used to be. There are more running events popping up. It is popular to run park runs, 10km events, marathons etc. Almost everyone has heard of Crossfit. There are now more faddy diets than

Are Eccentrics Worthwhile?

Eccentric contractions are defined by a muscle or group of muscles producing force whilst increasing in length. Picture yourself performing a pull up. After completing a rep, I'd like to hope that you lower yourself under some level of control rather than dropping off of the bar. That there, is a simple example of you demonstrating an eccentric contraction. The musculature of your back, shoulders and arms are producing force whilst lengthening in order to lower yourself slowly and under control. Now, in terms of training, true eccentrics are typically done with a greater load than what you can lift. More specifically, eccentrics should be performed with between 120-150% of your 1 Rep Max. Ho

Are Eccentrics Worthwhile?

Eccentric contractions are defined by a muscle or group of muscles producing force whilst increasing in length. Picture yourself performing a pull up. After completing a rep, I'd like to hope that you lower yourself under some level of control rather than dropping off of the bar. That there, is a simple example of you demonstrating an eccentric contraction. The musculature of your back, shoulders and arms are producing force whilst lengthening in order to lower yourself slowly and under control. Now, in terms of training, true eccentrics are typically done with a greater load than what you can lift. More specifically, eccentrics should be performed with between 120-150% of your 1 Rep Max. Ho

The Set Up - Arguably the most important part of the lift

I ran a session yesterday with a fairly large group of beginners. A lot of whom I’d never met before. They all had some experience at attempting the Clean, and as such, where eager to get stuck in and perform the full lift immediately after the warm up. It was nice to see such enthusiasm! The issue I faced is that I noticed how everyone looked and moved completely differently to one another. I had just one hour to try and deliver technical advice to a large group of individuals, each requiring different cues and recommendations to fix a variety of errors and bad habits... “Shit”, I thought to myself. “This session is going to be messy”. Some where pulling the bar too high with their arms. Ot

The Set Up - Arguably the most important part of the lift

I ran a session yesterday with a fairly large group of beginners. A lot of whom I’d never met before. They all had some experience at attempting the Clean, and as such, where eager to get stuck in and perform the full lift immediately after the warm up. It was nice to see such enthusiasm! The issue I faced is that I noticed how everyone looked and moved completely differently to one another. I had just one hour to try and deliver technical advice to a large group of individuals, each requiring different cues and recommendations to fix a variety of errors and bad habits... “Shit”, I thought to myself. “This session is going to be messy”. Some where pulling the bar too high with their arms. Ot

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Cheshire Barbell 

Unit 17

Arkwright Court

Arkwright Road

Runcorn

Cheshire

WA7 1NX

+44 7714 232 915

karl@cheshirebarbell.co.uk