How to Break a Fitness Plateau by Building Strength-Endurance

Solving the Strength-Endurance Conundrum: Why Strength is More Important Than Endurance For Building Strength-Endurance (How to Build Strength-Endurance for Pull-ups and Chin-ups)

Kettlebell sport and timed sets, in general, are an example of strength-endurance in action. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ambernussbaum/

I was having a little chat with Jeff Kuhland about pull-up training and something we discussed was that many intermediate trainees completely ignore their strength capacity when trying to build endurance in this exercise. They get stuck in this perpetual cycle, thinking that if they need more endurance, then the best thing to do is to only train endurance. But that’s not exactly true, and it could be a big mistake if your actual goal is to increase your strength-endurance.

strength-endurance: the ability to apply strength via muscular contractions over a sustained or prolonged period of time.

Obviously, this is a subjective term, and different people use it to describe different things. But when it comes to actually applying training methods to build strength-endurance, it seems that most people just don’t get it, especially outside of the realm of weightlifting.

So, today, I’m going to remind you that if you want to build your strength-endurance, then much of your focus should probably be on strength training.

Allow me to explain with an example.

Which of These Identical Twins Has More Strength-Endurance?

Let’s say that we have two identical twins. They are the same height, weight, body composition, and they even have the same exact birthday. Plus, they’re both from New England and say, “wicked smaht” a whole lot.

Now, for example purposes, let’s assume that these twins are exactly the same in every way, except for one critical difference. Twin A can deadlift 405 pounds for a single (i.e., his one-rep max). Whereas, Twin B can only deadlift 315 pounds (i.e., his one-rep max). In other words, Twin A can deadlift 90 pounds more than Twin B, and is stronger than Twin B, at least in this particular lift.

So, here’s the question of the hour: which one of them likely has more strength-endurance? In other words, if we loaded up a barbell with 225 pounds, who do you think could deadlift it for more reps?
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Interview with Jeff Kuhland about Pull-up Training

Break Your Pull-up Training Plateau and Work Your Way up to Doing Sets of 20-30+ Pull-ups Using These Tips From Jeff “50+ Pull-ups” Kuhland

Jeff Kuhland

Jeff Kuhland – NSCA-CSCS, MovNat Trainer, Pull-up Training Expert

I got a chance to train with Jeff Kuhland at a 5-day MovNat retreat back in 2009, and have kept in touch with him off and on ever since. Jeff is not only a wealth of training knowledge, but he is also a humble coach, too. I actually interviewed him last year all about his approach to training, and about MovNat, in particular (click here to check out the first interview). So, I won’t rehash his long list of accomplishments and credentials today.

Now, in this interview, our topic was strictly pull-ups and chin-ups. You see, I read an article that Jeff wrote for BreakingMuscle.com all about his unique approach to pull-up training. He shared some really good tips and a few interesting ideas in that article, but what really caught my attention was one of his responses to a comment on that page. Someone was asking for advice on breaking through a pull-up training plateau, and Jeff replied…

Jeff Kuhland - pull-ups comment

Naturally, this piqued my curiosity, not only because of Jeff’s impressive accomplishment, but also because of the distinction between training for pull-up strength versus training for endurance – and how the strength training needs of an athlete change as they start building their numbers. This is an approach that I’ve used myself, but is rarely shared in detail online. And I wanted to get to the bottom of it from someone who knows.
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16-Year Old Girl Totally Shatters The Plank World Record

Watch This 16-Year Old Girl, Gabi Ury, DOUBLE The Guinness World Record For The Plank Exercise: Learn How She Did It, Why She Did It, And What YOU Can Learn From This Special Young Lady

There are people who break world records. Sure. They may be few and far between, but they’re out there. Then again, there are people who absolutely shatter a world record – even doubling it – and all the while making it look easy. Gabi Ury is one of those people.

A few weeks ago, 16-year old Gabi Ury broke the Guinness World Record for the longest time spent in the abdominal plank position (female). To get right to it, she held a plank for a mind-boggling 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 2 seconds. And get this. She only spent six months preparing for it. But it gets better. Not only did she achieve this incredible athletic feat, but she also managed to raise over $50,000 for a local charity – a children’s hospital that has helped her all her life.

You see, Gabi was born with some special needs, including a severe case of scoliosis, and a condition called VATER syndrome, which affects her spine, limbs, and muscles in various ways. In fact, she is completely missing her calf muscles, glute muscles, and some of her abs, too. On her website, you’ll learn that even at just 16 years of age, she’s had 14 major surgeries to date – just to “live a healthy, happy life.” Her first was a spinal surgery at four months old.

But this young lady didn’t let any of that stop her from breaking a Guinness World Record by leaps and bounds. She held a plank for double the previous record (set by Eva Bulzomi at 40 minutes, 1 second), and Gabi did it as part of her 16th birthday celebration.

You can learn more about her journey to the world record in the video below.


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Knuckle Pushups VS Traditional Pushups: Which is Better?

Knuckle Pushups

Are knuckle pushups really all they’re cracked up to be, and are knuckle pushups actually tougher than regular pushups? Which is better? Is one better? I answer all of those questions in this video…

Knuckle pushups. They’re the subject of many heated Internet discussions. And nobody invited me! Apparently, some people simply think that knuckle pushups are better than traditional pushups, and I don’t know why. Maybe they have big egos and small…err…nevermind. Anyway, since one of you asked me a couple weeks ago, I thought you’d like to know that they’re both great exercises – each with their own unique advantages – and I think it’s silly to say that one is simply better than the other.

That said, there are some things you might want to know if you’re considering the knuckle pushup. They do have their perks, and I have my reasons, which you can learn all about in the video below…


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The Alligator Crawl Bodyweight Exercise For Core Strength

Strengthen and Shape-up Your Mid-section and Sculpt Your Arms and Shoulders with this Fun Bodyweight Exercise That Will Have Your Neighbors Scratching Their Heads

alligator crawl exercise

You can’t see it’s teeth, but it’s an alligator all right.

Do you like having fun while you exercise? No? Then this one is probably not for you. Go back to your boring routine of endless sets and reps and forget about this animal-like nonsense. And while you’re reppin’ it out (hey, nothing wrong with that!), we’ll be over here reaping the conditioning benefits of the alligator crawl exercise – an unconventional and FUN core strengthening drill. We might even crack a little alligator smile while we’re yukking it up.

The alligator crawl is a bodyweight exercise that is a hybrid between the pushup, the plank, and crawling, which results in a great whole body, and especially core strength, challenge. Now, some of you may know that I’ve been accused of making up exercises. No joke. And I’m guilty as charged. I make up new exercises all the time! But I didn’t make this one up. Honest. I learned this little movement from Steve Cotter at a seminar back in 2006, and I’ve enjoyed using it in my routine once in awhile ever since. A couple of my clients go bonkers over this one, too. So, yes, the alligator crawl is a legitimate unconventional exercise that is accepted by a fringe minority that’s out there somewhere. It’s true.

And it’s got some unique training benefits, too. Oh, did I mention it’s kinda fun? Check it out.


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3 Rampant Clubbell Training Mistakes To Avoid

Some Lessons I’ve Learned About Clubbell Training From a Few of my Client’s Most Common Mistakes

Every once in a blue moon, I’d get a call from someone who was looking for some clubbell instruction. These were almost always health and fitness professionals who were planning to attend a CST, TACFIT, or clubbell training seminar. So they’d usually drive a few to several hours to meet me at a local park or training studio here in small-town New Hampshire, and we’d swing some clubs for an hour or three – often grabbing lunch afterward. And I’ve loved every minute of it because clubbell training is really fun. Not to mention working with driven people who are planning to get certified in this discipline. You know, real go-getters.

Now, at one of these more recent sessions, it dawned on me that almost everyone I’ve ever coached in clubbell training has made the same three mistakes, which led to them contacting me for help. And so, I thought I’d share them with you so that hopefully you can avoid making them yourself.
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How to Approach Pull-up Training When You’re Injured

pull-ups_male_pain

Another common question I get on pull-up training is whether it’s safe to train them if you have an injury or a past injury. It seems that someone is always wondering if their “old shoulder injury” will prevent them from doing pull-ups, or if that little ache in their elbow that flares up once in awhile means they should avoid pull-up training altogether.

So, this Q+A article will seek to answer the following questions…

  • Can I do pull-ups or chin-ups if I am injured or was injured, and if so, what’s the best way to go about it?
  • If I have a past injury that still bothers me from time-to-time, how do I know if it’s safe to train with pull-ups?
  • If I have a pre-existing condition and/or pain when exercising, how should I approach pull-up training?

Let’s get real for a minute here. Nobody, and I mean nobody starts an exercise program with a clean slate. We all have postural/structural issues to deal with, to one degree or another, whether known or unknown to us. Give me a few minutes, and I’ll find a whole bunch of issues and limitations in any one of my client’s body’s. We all have a lifetime of physical baggage. And I’m no different either – there are many issues I have to keep an extra-close eye on when I’m training. That’s just the nature of life. So, it’s not so much a question of IF you have a pre-existing condition that may or may not contraindicate exercise. It’s a question of “how bad is it?”

Fortunately, it’s not that hard to figure out if pull-up training would be safe or not.
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