Building High-Performance Muscle™
Author: Alwyn Cosgrove

Why You Aren't Getting Bigger - And How to Fix It
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Jul 29, 2009

Release the brakes that are holding your muscles back, and you'll get bigger gains in less time than you ever thought possible.

Hacking Your Strength Training
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Dec 31, 2008

Cut your time in the gym without compromising your results? It?s a smarter and more effective approach to training.

Last 10 Pounds
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Mon, May 12, 2008

We challenged the surly Scot to come up with a fat loss program that could quickly shave off 10 pound of fat without dieting. He pretty much did it, but it'll work better if you clean up the dirty dieting.

Cosgrove's 5 "Ah-Ha!" Moments
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Tue, Mar 25, 2008

Every good trainer has that moment of clarity when something he thought was true is brought into question. Alwyn calls these mini-epiphanies "Ah-ha" moments. Here are five "Ah-ha" moments that might just change the way you think, too.

Non-Sexy Training and Nutrition
by Alwyn Cosgrove and Mike Roussell | Tue, Nov 13, 2007

Testosterone runs a lot of "sexy" new training articles. Trouble with that is the essential stuff, stuff like progression, energy system work, the 90% rule, and supplements, often gets forgotten. Not so with this article.

3 Ideas For Tougher Workouts
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Oct 24, 2007

The boneheads in your gym only know one way to make an exercise tougher — add more weight. That's why boneheads never build more muscle, no matter how long they work out. Our resident Scotsman knows some remedies.

Leg Training Myths Exposed
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Oct 17, 2007

You know that it's better to go below parallel when squatting or that you don't have to stop half-way when you're leg pressing, but do you know why? Arm yourself with knowledge and bitch-slap that dopey personal trainer.

Drop a Weight Class - 06.26.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Tue, Jun 26, 2007

A powerlifter trying to lean out will be better served by not powerlifting for a period of time. By focusing on getting lean and then going back to powerlifting training, he won't fall into the downward spiral of trying to maintain his lifts and get lean at the same time. A 16 week program that includes 8 weeks of fat loss training, followed by 8 weeks of powerlifting work, will yield better results than 16 weeks of trying to do both simultaneously.

Complexes for Fat Loss
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Mon, Jun 25, 2007

Maybe fat loss is never fun, but these routines are about as close as you'll get. Okay, maybe "fun" is too strong a word, but they beat running in place on a damn treadmill.

Create a Caloric Deficit - 06.18.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Mon, Jun 18, 2007

Without a caloric deficit, you'll never lose fat. Your metabolism must burn more calories than you consume each day. How do you boost your metabolism? By eating frequently with plenty of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables at each meal. In addition, you must create a large metabolic disturbance through an ass-kicking resistance-training plan that boosts Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).

Real Fast Fat Loss
by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury | Wed, May 30, 2007

This is a no bullshit fat loss article. There will be no motivational tips, no psychological analysis, no complicated nutritional plan, and no puny-ass exercises. In fact, just one of the exercises in this plan is probably more demanding than your entire, out-dated fat-loss training program. And that's a good thing.

Robert Dos Remedios, NSCA Coach of the Year
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Mon, May 28, 2007

Aside from having a bad-ass name, Robert Dos Remedios pumps out athletes like General Motors pumps out cars, only Dos Remedios' athletes don't break down... ever. A great interview with a takes-no-prisoners strength coach.

Are You Advanced? - 04.27.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Fri, Apr 27, 2007

You have to be advanced before you do an advanced program. A 140 pound 14-year-old kid doesn't need Jay Cutler's program, just as a JV basketball player doesn't need an NBA All Star's current routine. Most of the time, people are looking for advanced routines before they're ready. Just because you've posted on a website 5000 times doesn't make you advanced. Think about it.

Hierarchy of Fat Loss
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Apr 11, 2007

A Cosgrove article with references? Oh no, Alwyn must have eaten a bad batch of haggis! Oh well, just remember, when it comes to fat loss, if it's not Cosgrove, it's shite!

It's All About the Diet - 04.09.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Mon, Apr 09, 2007

There's pretty much nothing that can be done to out-train a crappy diet. You quite simply have to create a caloric deficit while eating enough protein and essential fats. There's no way around this. Several trainers have espoused that the only difference between training for muscle gain and training for fat loss is your diet. I think that's a massive oversimplification, but it does reinforce how important and effective correct nutrition is toward your ultimate goal.

The Training Tap - 03.23.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Fri, Mar 23, 2007

Your body can't differentiate between stressors. Stress is like water from hundreds of taps flowing into a bathtub. Financial stress, relationships, health, and training stress are all different taps. When all the other taps are flowing full blast, turn down the training tap a little bit so your tub doesn't overflow.

Fat Loss Blueprint - 03.21.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Mar 21, 2007

For fat loss we need to observe the following as our primary goal: • Burn as many calories as possible through resting metabolic rate. Lean muscle is metabolically active, so building muscle or at least maintaining it is extremely important. • Burn more calories through increased meal frequency (digestion burns calories). • Burn more calories through macronutrient manipulation. The thermic effect of protein is twice as high as the thermic effect of fat or carbohydrate — and it adds up. • Burn calories through metabolic disturbance (increased activity levels and EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). • Create a deficit between the metabolism (calories burned) and intake (calories consumed). This deficit can only be closed by "borrowing" from the body's energy stores — i.e. your body fat.

You Aren't Elite - 02.28.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Feb 28, 2007

What a pro-bodybuilder or professional athlete responds best to has little meaning for most of us. Most of us aren't at elite levels. Over time I've found that a drug-free individual with a job or school, training for size, needs to work a muscle more than once a week for optimal results. And that same individual usually doesn't recover from more than two back-to-back weight training workouts effectively. A program that works for a steroid-using athlete training six days per week won't work for a drug-free father of two who works 40 hours a week and gets to the gym for three hours total... or vice versa.

TiVo Your Workout - 02.09.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Fri, Feb 09, 2007

The beauty of TiVo is that you can watch a one hour show, cut out the commercials, and get all the meat of the show in about 40 minutes. You eliminate the BS. Try to eliminate the BS in your workouts too. Time the rest periods to make sure they aren't too short or too long. Sequence the exercises to maximize the benefits and eliminate any redundant movements. This allows us to shorten the workout and get out of the gym faster, or to find more time for some more exercises.

Form is King - 02.05.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Mon, Feb 05, 2007

A focus on excellent technique when lifting is paramount. Yes, I know that [insert pro bodybuilder here] on his DVD just throws the weights around and looks great. But you're unlikely to benefit from blindly following that approach because you aren't a pro-bodybuilder. In fact, you're more likely to get injured than get jacked. Ignoring proper technique as the foundation for your exercise programs is a huge mistake.

Alternate Sets - 01.31.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Jan 31, 2007

For time management reasons, I always use the alternating set system. I tend to do exercise one for a set, rest 60 seconds or so, exercise two for a set, rest 60 seconds or so, and continue. I think that when designing programs you should start with the time available first and then develop a program around it. Don't develop your program and then try to fit it into the available time.

Cheap Sucks - 01.17.07
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Wed, Jan 17, 2007

There's a reason you pay less for some brands of protein powders and vitamins: they suck. Why are you making a decision on whether or not to consume something based solely on price? And do not fucking start me up by saying the ingredients are the same. All cars have four wheels, a seat, an engine, and a steering wheel, but a Corvette is a little different than a Chevette. Coal is cheap. Diamonds are expensive. Try giving your girlfriend a coal ring for your engagement and explain that it's the same thing and it's just marketing. She'll cut your dick off and put it on display in a pickle jar.

Holiday Workout 2007
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Thu, Dec 14, 2006

The Holidays: Still A Fitness Enthusiast's Nightmare It's that time of year again. The most dedicated and hardcore lifters are still in the gym for two hours a day, six days per week, while the rest of us (a.k.a. the non-loser majority) are facing a time-crunched, often unavoidable four to six week period packed full of bullshit shopping, crowded malls, kick ass family get-togethers, boring-as-all-hell family get-togethers, parties with friends, parties with co-workers, parties that you just crashed, and hangovers.

It's Not About Equipment - 12.08.06
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Fri, Dec 08, 2006

A tool isn't a training philosophy. You can't be a "kettlebell guy" or a "Swiss ball guy." That makes no sense. Kettlebells are a tool, a weight; they're not a training philosophy. You can't build an entire approach to training around a piece of equipment. There's no physiology there. You can only build that system around the human body. And for the last time, kettlebells, Swiss balls, chains, logs, sandbags etc, aren't things you do. They're things you buy. Develop your ideas regardless of your access to equipment.

Full Body for Most - 12.04.06
by Alwyn Cosgrove | Mon, Dec 04, 2006

Probably around 80-90% of the population, 80-90% of the time, will respond best to total body workouts. And I'd say that maybe 90-95% of the population, 90-95% of the time, will respond best to either total body or an upper and lower split. But make sure to read my entire statement. I'm also saying that 10-20% of the population will not respond best to total body workouts, and that 10-20% of the time these programs won't work. The problem is, there can't be an answer that's 100% correct, 100% of the time, for 100% of people, but I'm comfortable with the "most of the people, most of the time" part of my philosophy.

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