Recently, I had a conversation with a guy at a commercial gym; we talked about barbell training. He heard about Starting Strength (SS) before, and as he knew that I coach people with the SS Method, he asked, “Why do you teach people to squat like a stripper?” This is probably the most commonly asked question with regards to hip drive in the squat. So here’s why.Read More
You want to get jacked. What’s the difference between bodybuilding programs and strength training? And why should you choose one over the other? Bodybuilding and strength training are intertwined. Read on to find out why you must first get strong to gain muscle.Read More
Since you’ve started training, you’ve always used bumper plates. Maybe those were the plates you started using when you first started lifting and you’ve stuck to it out of habit. But one day, all the bumper plates in the gym were used up. No biggie – weight is weight, right? You load the bar for deadlifts with iron plates. As the weight got closer to your working weight, you noticed that it feels harder than usual. You double-check the weight to make sure it’s correctly loaded. Yup, it’s correct. Does it make a difference which plates are being used? Turns out it does and here’s why.Read More
As a coach, I encounter clients who want to get strong fast, get their physique, body weight and body fat percentage goals ASAP on a regular basis. While there’s nothing wrong with setting an optimistic goal, there are things that I wish I could have explained better to them to give them a better perspective of time and feasibility. Here’s my attempt to do so, using the lessons learned from the familiar childhood bedtime story, The Tortoise and The Hare.Read More
If you have been following Hygieia’s social media pages for a while, you might remember me documenting my attempts to gain weight and failing. I felt that something was off, but didn’t know what was wrong. It was after consulting with an experienced dietician that knows how to work with people that I realised how having the right professional in your corner can make a difference. Here’s what I learned.Read More
Do you regularly fail sets that aren’t too heavy? You’re probably not resting enough. To complete all the sets in a workout, you need to fully recover between sets. What’s the optimal amount of rest time between sets? Here’s how to find your sweet spot.Read More
Training logs are a must-do for tracking your workout data. If you come to us with a training problem, having a training log can be extremely helpful. Because your log records your training history, an experienced coach can have a better idea of what’s going on from your workout data to help diagnose the problem. Here’s why and how you should keep one.Read More
The population census conducted in hell revealed that the most prevalent “squat-sin” amongst the participants was cheating (depth) when they think that they might fail the next rep. Researcher and Starting Strength Coach, Joannes Marvin, shares his wisdom in preventing this embarrassing issue.Read More
Right now, strength gyms in Singapore are being forced to close from 8th May until 13th June. No prizes for guessing why. So if you don’t lift barbells for a few weeks, what’s going to happen? Will you lose all your gains? Will you be a weak puddle of mush when you finally get back under the barbell? Here’s how to get back to strength training after a break.Read More
The timer goes off, it’s time to go for your PR. Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. You’re nervous, but on the surface you look calm and ready. The bar is loaded at a weight you’ve never done before. The last warm-up felt unusually heavy. Your mind unknowingly start to doubt yourself, “if the last warm-up already felt that heavy, can I really lift that weight on the bar”? Here are 5 ways to mentally prepare and push through a heavy lift.Read More
Ever been told by a doctor that you should avoid lifting weights, running, *insert physical activity here* because of your back, neck, shoulder or knee pain? At the same time, that same doctor recommends that you should strengthen the muscles around the structure that’s causing the pain as it’ll help stabilise the joint. So what should you do? You’re not alone in this dilemma – Coach Marvin had the same experience when he was diagnosed with a spine degenerative condition and was told to avoid his favourite sport. Here’s why the advice given by the doctor isn’t always sound.Read More
Most of us have a clear training routine. You know that you’ll walk into the gym, change into lifting clothes, put on lifting gear and head to the rack. You know that you’ll start your training with squats, and you know the exact numbers for your working weight, sets and reps.
But what about your warm-up weights? And how many sets or reps? Actually, how much warm-ups do you even need to do?Read More
If you’ve been lifting for a while, you know that weightlifting shoes are essential. What about weightlifting belts?
We usually hear a range of reactions from lifters, from “Nah, I’ll wait till I’m able to lift X kg before I start using a belt!” to “I see guys who wear a belt for their entire gym session, so do I need one too?”
Belts are important if you’re serious about lifting. Here’s a guide to why you might need one, and what to look out for.Read More
Tired of spending hours upon hours in the gym training hard? Frustrated that you can’t reward yourself with a nice meal after a gruelling training session for fear of getting fat? Here’s how you can get strong and ripped training once a week and eating (mostly) what you want.Read More
To our new clients, hello and welcome! This article will summarise what you’ll be doing in the first few months of training with us, along with what you might experience during that process.
If you’re considering joining us, you’ll find out more about our training methodology principles and what to expect when you join us.Read More
Happy 4th anniversary to Hygieia Strength & Conditioning!
This month marks the 4th year since Hygieia Strength and Conditioning opened its doors. Usually, we’d commemorate every anniversary with a BBQ outside the gym, to thank everyone for their support, to celebrate another year of being in business, and to look forward to the next. While COVID restrictions have prevented our traditional BBQ this year, one of our clients, Patricia, suggested having an article on the history of Hygieia mark the occasion.Read More
A heavy bar is loaded on your back. You start descending, bending your knees and hips so that your hip crease dips below the top of your patella. You try to get back up, but darn, it’s heavy! Here comes your natural instinct to survive – raising the chest up, in the hope that the bar will follow. Even worse, you might start looking up! Because you’ve got to look up to go up, right? Well, well. If this is you, please read this article to understand how your survival reaction is detrimental to the lift.Read More
“[S]aat ini tidak ada bukti yang pasti bahwa latihan kekuatan – atau program latihan dan diet lain – akan memperpanjang masa hidup secara signifikan. Tapi dengan bukti ilmiah yang banyak, walau memiliki kelemahan, secara kuat menunjukkan bahwa kita bisa mengubah arah penurunan.” [Bahasa Indonesia translation of Barbell Training is Big Medicine]Read More
In barbell training, clothes don’t matter. But shoes do. Here’s everything you need to know about weightlifting shoes, the essential gear for barbell training. We’ll tell you why you need a pair of weightlifting shoes, what to look out for, and how to buy them.Read More
Learning to squat, press, bench, and deadlift; there’s no lack of tutorials showing you how to do each one of those correctly and safely. However, safety is not only dictated by your form or whether or not you are choosing the correct weight on the first day, but also knowing how to set up your equipment correctly. Here are some guidelines for your reference.Read More
Jika saya mendapatkan satu dolar setiap kali seorang klien atau atlet bertanya mengapa mereka harus melakukan squat dan tidak bisakah mereka melakukan lunge saja, atau pertanyaan-pertanyaan serupa dengan variasi latihan berbeda, saya mungkin mendapatkan cukup uang untuk membuka gym yang telah idamkan. Jika saya menambahkannya sebanyak pertanyaan serupa di forum, saya bahkan mungkin bisa membayar sewanya. [Indonesian translation of Strength & Barbells by fellow Starting Strength Coach, Michael Wolf]Read More
You’ve probably seen those viral videos: a lifter pulls a heavy deadlift and everything looks awesome. He puts the bar back down on the floor, stands back up, looks around like he’s confused, then suddenly, boom! He’s passed out flat on the floor. Why some lifters pass out after deadlifts, and how to avoid it.Read More
You’ve been training for a while, and you noticed how much you’ve progressed. Your numbers have indeed been going up, but are you strong enough? Before worrying about whether or not you’re strong enough, take a moment and think about why you started strength training in the first place.Read More
If you’ve strained or torn a muscle, most doctors will tell you to take some painkillers and rest the affected area. But extended rest and waiting for the injured muscle to heal on its own means that its recovery will be slowed down and the muscle fibres don’t heal back properly. Find out what you should do to speed up your recovery and lower the chances of injuring the muscle again.Read More
It seems like there’s never enough time in our busy lives. Do you rush to the gym, then rush to complete your lifts while your mind is constantly thinking about how little time you have left before you’ve got to go back to work or to pick your kids? Within the time you have, how can you be more efficient while still maximising your strength gains? Here are 3 things that you can do to speed up your workout and still continue to make gains.Read More
How To Organise Community Events In Times Of Lockdowns – My First Online Powerlifting Competition In My Lifetime
Usually, I use my Saturdays for writing an article. But this is what I have done today, Saturday 28 November 2020: I took part in a Powerlifting competition. Powerlifting is how I stay fit. I try to take part in at least one powerlifting competition per year....Read More
Previously, we saw that acquiring Patience, Hard Work and Practice will improve your training as well as various aspects of your life.
Now in Part 4, we get to the final lesson of Focus, which, when taken together with the other three, can transform who you are when applied.Read More
Have you heard of the five-second rule? Have you noticed yourself or seen anyone giving up on their lifts, although it looked relatively easy until they gave up?
If you are guilty of such a crime, don’t worry! You are not alone! The majority of the lifters belongs to Team “Let it go!”
Bro science tells us that there are only two kinds of lifters in this world – lifters that are strong and lifters who let it (the bar) go.Read More
While barbells are the best way to get strong, the improved physical capabilities isn’t the only benefit.
In Part 1 and Part 2, we saw how Patience and Hard Work can positively influence your life, by encouraging you to forgo short term gratification for long term benefit, and training up your ability to stick with doing hard things.
Now in Part 3, we’ll look at the lesson of Practice and how it helps you get better in just about anything you want to do.Read More
The apparently simple process of barbell training will teach you life lessons that are useful both inside and outside the gym.
In Part 1 of this article series, we learned the lesson of Patience — how you should use it to train consistently and get strong slowly, instead of looking for unrealistic shortcuts.
Now in Part 2, we’ll look at the lesson of Hard Work, and how it helps you become a better version of yourself.Read More
The barbell – it’s simply a piece of machined steel, a useful tool to get you strong when used correctly. But if you immerse yourself and commit to training, you will find that it does more than just get you physically strong.
The barbell and the process of training teaches you many lessons, and develops uncommon character traits that will positively affect your life outside the gym.Read More
Earlier this month, I had a bad back tweak from squatting. It was terrible. I was limping for almost a week. At one point, it was so painful to wake up from bed; I was shaking for a few minutes standing up. Here’s a detailed story of how it happened, why it happened, and what I did to recover.Read More
If you’ve been training at a commercial gym for a while, pause, take a look around and observe the regulars. You’ll realise that most of them are performing or look exactly the same as they did a few months (or even years) ago.
Now, take a moment and review your own training. Have you been making steady progress or have you been going around in circles?Read More
Exercising to lose weight? Instead, improve your strength to improve your health. Check out other great reasons for going to the gym and bigger goals to train for.Read More
According to the Health Promotion Board, about one-third of elderly Singaporeans aged 60 and above have fallen at least once. We’ll discuss why strength is important in maintaining balance and why “balance training” doesn’t work.Read More
Training isn’t meant to be comfortable – it never was, never is and never will be. If you’re serious about your training and want to make progress, you must shed the mindset of ‘working within your comfort zone’ and start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.Read More
Lifter A, 50 kg bodyweight – Deadlifts 150 kg
Lifter B, 80 kg bodyweight – Deadlifts 200 kg
Strength is something that everyone loses as they age – this is an irrefutable fact and occurs whether you like it or not. One does not appreciate the role that strength plays in their life until they find themselves in a situation whereby they lack the strength to perform simple activities of daily living. Getting a weak older adult stronger is like handing the keys to their independence back to them. But how does an older adult with aches/pains/injuries and no training experience get stronger safely using barbell training? Here’s a brief look at it’s done.Read More
There will be times in life whereby your training schedule gets disrupted by life stressors – it could be anything from having a new baby to work deadlines. Since life happens and disruptions can’t be avoided, how can you best manage training around external stressors?Read More
First of all, we at Hygieia Strength & Conditioning would like to thank you, our clients. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you, thank you for your continued…Read More