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Break some rules

That’s right. There are a lot of “rules” when it comes to training. Some of them are so ingrained in our minds that they border on dogma.

Hypertrophy is in the 8-12 rep range.

Behind the neck presses are bad for your shoulders.

Lift slowly and never use momentum.

You can’t build size and strength with bodyweight

You can’t urinate in public places.

These are but a few of the man rules that I’m sure we’ve all heard. It’s time to start breaking them. Do you think you can’t build size doing 3, 20 or even 40 reps? How will you know until you try? Everyone is different.

Don’t let what other people say hold you back from trying new things, even if those people are respected and knowledgeable.

Let me give you an example. Mike Boyle, who is a very smart guy and highly respected in the industry, has said that he considers single leg training to be superior to bilateral and this idea is starting to become a bit of a trend in the strength and conditioning community. Does this mean that I should go and drop any bilateral movement for all of my clients? No.

Mike works primarily with athletes. This means that they already have a physical base and some sense of body awareness. I work primarily with regular people who want to start seeing results in, at most, two weeks. Should I sacrifice the muscle building and fat burning potential of big movements like squats and deadlifts while they learn how to balance on one foot and can’t use weight for a month?

I don’t think so. A better solution would be to keep those bilateral movements and include single leg work as accessory.

Most of the strongest lifters in the world do behind the neck pressing. Using a touch and go bounce on deadlifting can sometimes be used when doing reps. Try doing some handstand push ups and tell me your shoulders didn’t get a hell of a workout (if you can even do them!).

There is only one rule that can never be broken: No curls in the squat rack.

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