August 17, 2014

Random Thoughts and Happenings

Wanted to update everyone on all that’s been happening; so much to share!

First, I’ve agreed to write a textbook on muscle hypertrophy, to be published by Human Kinetics — one of the leading publishers on the science of exercise and nutrition. The book will be geared towards fitness professionals and university programs. I’m totally stoked to provide an evidence-based resource on a subject that has long relied on gym lore and bro-science. Estimated pub date is April of 2016.

I’ve also agreed to write a monthly column for Flex Magazine. The column will discuss science-based application of hypertrophy and fat loss practices. It’s a real kick for me to be a regular columnist for a mag that I grew up reading. My first column is slated for the November issue.

Research-wise, I’m currently finishing up a study on body comp changes associated with fasted cardio and another on muscle activation during different loading intensities in the bench press. During the fall I have multiple studies set to get underway including a training frequency study investigating muscular adaptations in split vs. total body routines, another comparing functional transfer between the squat and leg press, and yet another that will evaluate the effects of protein timing pre- versus post-workout on muscle hypertrophy in well-trained subjects. I look forward to sharing the results of these and other studies currently in review when they become available.

Okay, that out of the way, here are some links that I thought you’d find informative. As always, I appreciate your continued support.

• I recently lectured at the CanFitPro Conference in Toronto. While there, I got a chance to record a few interview segments for Omar Isuf’s YouTube channel. In this segment we discuss repetition ranges for maximizing muscle hypertrophy. Give this a watch and you’ll see why Omar lives up to his nickname, King of YouTube Fitness.

• I was interviewed along with my partner-in-science, Alan Aragon, on the We Do Science Podcast. Here Alan and I discuss the complexities of nutrient timing, delving into both the science and practical applications on the topic. Bonus discussion on a related topic: whether there is any fat loss benefit to doing fasted cardio. Click on Episode #8.

• I’ve appeared numerous times on Superhuman Radio; this segment might be my favorite yet. Here I discuss whether it’s possible to gain muscle simultaneously while simultaneously losing fat. Host Carl Lanore is consistently one of the best interviewers in the biz and he again shows why by asking all the right questions. l

• My friend and colleague Tom Venuto wrote an excellent post on delayed-onset muscle soreness and its relevance to muscular gains. The article covers the science in an understandable fashion, and provides solid take-home advice.

• Speaking of Tom Venuto, he wrote what I think is the most detailed review of my book, The M.A.X. Muscle Plan. Always an honor to receive praise from a true fitness pro such as Tom.

• In case you missed it, I recently published this study showing muscle activation during the leg press at 30% 1RM to failure produced significantly lower muscle activation compared to 75% 1RM. I also wrote an accompanying blog post where I break things down into consumer-friendly language and discuss the study’s implications.

• Finally, my good friend Bret Contreras wrote this terrific article that delved into the free-weights vs. machines debate. As mentioned earlier, I will be collaborating on a study examining this topic; Bret’s post provides excellent commentary on its complexities. While you’re at it, make sure to read through the references at the end of the article; it’s patently clear research doesn’t support the claims made by certain fitness pros.


  1. Flex Magazine ? Nice ! I have a question if you don’t mind. I follow your advice and train with various rep ranges and loads. My question, is it best to vary the reps/loads per session or should every session have its own mission ? In other words, should I have a strength day, hypertrophy day and endurance day or can I combine all three in one workout ? I have tried bother ways and its seems that I can work faster when the loads/reps vary.

    Comment by Steven — August 18, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

  2. Very interested to see the results of the studies you have in the works. When can we expect published findings for the full body vs split study?

    Keep up the great work.

    Comment by Zach — November 3, 2014 @ 8:06 am

  3. Thanks Zach. I should be finished with the split vs. total body study in a few weeks. Can never predict how long the peer-review process will take to see publication.

    Comment by Brad — November 3, 2014 @ 2:11 pm

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