feature image Photo Credit: Texture Lovers
Mike Stickel bio photo

Mike Stickel

Lifter of heavy things, diy–er, and doggie daddy.

Twitter Facebook Instagram

Newest Articles

Progressive Overload: Basic Principles

Pyramid. Reverse pyramid. Super sets. Progressive overload. No, these aren’t sexual positions, these are all different techniques for losing fat and building muscle. It can be quite confusing and complex.

In my opinion, the simplest way to get positive results in building strength is utilizing progressive overload. Unless you’ve looked it up before, you probably don’t know what progressive overload is. Here are some of the basics and a few tips on why it’s important and how you can implement it in your workout program.

Continue reading →

Reasons for and against Cardio

Cardio, everyone’s favorite topic. The majority of coaches online will suggest it’s the only way to lose fat. A growing segment of science based coaches will tell you cardio is completely unnecessary for weight loss.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? Frankly, I sit with the science based crowd when it comes to cardio not being vital to losing weight. Does that mean you shouldn’t do it at all? Not necessarily.

Here are a few reasons why you may want to do cardio and a few reasons to not do it.

Continue reading →

Strength Training: Start Smart, Lose the Ego

Most people when they start out lifting weights like to jump into the deep end. While I can appreciate the enthusiasm (go get ‘em tiger!) it’s not wise to load up the barbells with a lot of weight when you’re new to it.

Luckily, a few programs have the right approach and do their best to ease you into it. The StrongLifts 5×5 protocol is one that comes to mind (learn more about 5×5). It is very strongly suggested that even if you’re an experienced lifter when starting you should begin at a reduced weight than you are currently lifting. In the case of beginners, you are told to only lift a bare 45lb barbell the first time you do each of the movements.

Continue reading →

Change This One Thing to Get Better Results

Not long ago I wrote about the power of compounding. Shortly after that I read an article by James Clear where he talked about marginal gains (a very similar idea).

Marginal gains, as he wrote, are incremental changes applied that aggregate to make huge differences over time; either positive or negative. Even something as small as a 1% improvement can add up to an exponential change given time.

Continue reading →

4 Essential Pieces of Equipment for Any Home Gym

These days it’s just as easy to get a great workout at home as it is in the gym. At least that’s the conclusion one could come to with the vast selections of gadgets, doodads, and contraptions being peddled on tv.

But with all that crap (come on, Shake Weight?!) it’s no surprise that people buy once, get burned, and decide to join a gym.

Fear not, my friends. I’m here to set you on the straight and narrow.

Continue reading →