Posted by Tony Montgomery under Training  Video  on Aug 10 2017

One of the biggest downfalls I see in a lot of training plans is the use of training like a bodybuilder for an extended period of time. I don't mean hypertrophy, I mean putting away the competition lifts and actually getting stronger in other lifts and actually training your weak muscles to force growth. If your shoulders are weak but you always do them 3rd after pause benches and some other bench variation they will always lag behind. Learn to prioritize and build different muscles away from a competition. This will lead to bigger totals and a longer career.

Some of my favorite bodybuilding techniques I like to incorporate into my off-season training are things like muscle round sets, pre-exhaust sets, pump sets and giant sets. Each one of these techniques does two things, 1 they take a ton of stress off of the joints because you are using less weight and 2 they help you gather up more volume without over taxing your CNS with heavy loads. So you can see there are 2 very different approaches when it comes to how I set up my off-season and my preps. One is geared towards growing muscles and keeping myself healthy while the other one is about perfecting technique and building up to a 1 rep max.

Now to dive into some of these techniques so you can start to incorporate them into your plan. A muscle round set is something I got from Dr. Scott Stevenson of It is basically an exercise that you have determined a rough 15 rep max for, you take that weight and do 6 sets of 4 with it. In between sets, you have 2-3 secs of rest before performing the next set and you are allowed one drop in weight throughout the 6 sets so plan a smart approach to get the most out of this set.

Pre-exhaust sets are pretty standard within the bodybuilding community. You just take a lagging body part and do 3-5 sets of higher reps before starting your next movement to pre-exhaust that muscle. So if you want to build up your chest you could do 3 sets of 20 reps of DB Flys before benching. This will allow you to get more volume into your weak muscle and also your muscle will be primed and ready to work even harder to keep up so the muscle breakdown is higher which will allow for more recovery and better growth.

Pump sets are pretty simple you take an isolation movement and you just fill that muscle up with as much blood as possible with high rep sets taking 1-2 reps shy of failure. A great exercise for this is triceps pushdowns, a lot of powerlifters have a hard time doing triceps extension movements because it beats up their elbows so doing some triceps pushdowns for 20-30 reps will fill your arm up with a ton of blood which helps shuttle nutrients to the area to promote recovery and health, it provides a break from the heavy elbow movements and still elicits growth. A pump is not always an indicator of growth but some people believe that chasing a pump will help your muscles grow through a mechanic called cell swelling.

Giant sets plan and simple hurt but are a great way to accumulate a ton of volume to an area without over stressing it. You basically pick 3-4 movements of a lagging body part and you perform them back to back with zero rest between them. An example would be if your hamstrings where lagging behind you would do hamstring curls, DB stiff leg deads, back extensions, and hamstring curl different variation. This will destroy your hamstring but because the goal is volume and diversity the load is never to heavy and the moevements play off of each instead of directly mimicing the same patter.

Refocus your off-season training to growing and getting healthier and not only will your total improve but so will your longevity in this sport.

Posted by Tony Montgomery under Weight Lifting  Training  Video  on Jul 26 2017

Adjusting your program comes up a lot but not in a good context, you will see people just starting a program and wanting to make adjustments right off the bat and if that is the case then why even start it in the first place? Or the other one is athletes wanting to combine their favorite programs together to make a hybrid program because of course if one program is good combining it with another one is even better.

This video and article is just my way of making adjustments to the program that has worked for me and my clients over time.

1. Have a training philosophy to build upon. This is far more than a program but having an actual training philosophy that you've studied, built, and believe in will help mold your program for you. So when things aren't going the way you want them to you can simply just make changes within the philosophy rather than adding things that don't mesh well together. For instance, if you do things in a block format then trying to add in a conjugate approach as well for certain movements may take away from the purpose of the block.

2. Make small adjustments first. Simple enough, if the results aren't there instead of scrapping the whole program make small changes to the program. Maybe look to change up the total volume or how you come about it. Instead of 3 sets of 10 for 30 reps at the same weight, maybe try pyramiding up in weight or working up to a top set then doing backdowns after to get the desired volume. You can also try different accessories or main movements to work on or expand your rotation so you have time to build before coming back to the movement.

3. Give it time. You have to give your program time to work and you have to understand it. Some programs are designed to accumulate fatigue with a ton of volume and you may not feel your strongest which you shouldn't in an offseason. Being able to know how the program works and the reasons behind it will allow you to know what is to be expected and the only way to do that is to give it time to run its course. That means you are not changing programs every 3-4 weeks and that you give it 12-16 weeks to manifest itself before you pass judgment on it.

4. It may be you. This is really taking a look at the things outside of the program that can make it successful. Having your diet on point can play a huge role in your success. Making sure you get good quality sleep and naps can help with recovery and performance. Decreasing stress and increase your recovery modalities are all ways to improve your program before having to find a new program. Because if these things aren't your priority no program will work. Work on optimizing the things you can control to get the results you desire.

Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  Training  Video  on Jun 08 2016

Injuries are inevitable when you are pushing the limits and trying to be great. Its a double edge sword we want to do more and always push, but you definetly need to listen to your body and know when to back down and rest. Injuries occur a lot of the times when there is an imbalance or just bad movement patterns, other things can cause injuries but most injuries occur from those two things. In these 2 videos I go over some of the basics to fix the issues and prevent inuries.

The Alphacast Episode 12

Posted by Tony Montgomery under Weight Lifting  Training  Video  on Sep 19 2015

This is an old article I wrote for were I go over complexes to help improve power output in athletes. This can also be used in other strength athletic training to improve power out put for strongman, highland games, etc... For those who don't know I used to own a gym in Florida where I trained a lot of high scholl and college athletes. Over this summer I had a few college kids down and a dozen high scholl athletes and by the end of the summer utilizing these complexes we had 2 kids jump over 40" in the vertical. Here is the article in full:

These complexes were used in the beginning of our off-season plan when we were focusing on strength and explosive power. We lifted four times a week with two upper body days and two lower body days. On our max effort lower body days, we worked up to heavy 1–3 reps in 90 percent of the athletes’ one rep max for that particular exercise. All the guys who were on this protocol were experienced lifters who could squat twice their body weight or more. This is a must. If your athlete can’t perform this feat, he should focus on increasing that. Do his plyometric training on another day.

The protocol that we used worked in three-week waves where we focused on our main lift. After completing the 1–3 rep lifts, the athletes waited 2–5 minutes before going into the plyometric protocol. This will vary with every athlete due to their strength levels and how fast they recover from the lift. Each athlete then performed 5–10 sets of 1–3 reps of plyometrics. We did a vertical jump the first week and a horizontal jump the second week. Then we went back to a vertical jump on the third week. On the fourth week, we deloaded and focused on deceleration drills off a 12-inch box.

In the next three-week cycle, we added more volume to the plyometrics. Remember to monitor your athletes’ central nervous system and recovery because not all athletes are created equal. For the first week of this cycle, we added in a depth jump into a vertical jump. We did this because the depth jumps are more taxing on the central nervous system than any other jump, so we wanted to do this in the first week following a deload. On the second week of the program, we went back to a horizontal plyometric, and on the third week, we incorporated a vertical jump. We then deloaded the same way as discussed earlier.

After this eight-week protocol, we moved our athletes to a three day a week training split to accommodate for the extra running that we were incorporating. We lifted three days a week, doing two upper and one lower body day and then we began a running phase where we were out running three days a week. On our lower body days, we took out our plyometrics and added them into our running days. We did a dynamic warm up and then started off with weighted acceleration drills. After five sets of ten-yard sprints, we went into our plyometric protocol of vertical plyometrics on one day and horizontal plyometrics on another. The third running day was sport specific so we didn’t incorporate plyometrics. We did this for three weeks and deloaded on the fourth.

After this 12-week cycle of intensive plyometrics, we tested our player’s verticals. We had two guys jump 40 inches and five other guys increased their verticals by at least two inches. Some even increased by four inches.

Try this protocol out with your athletes and see how the explosive power and speed increase. View the two 40-inch verticals. Remember, these are just high school kids.

Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  Diet  Weight Loss  Nutrition  Video  on Sep 13 2015

Did a little Instagram Q&A with our newest coach at TM Nutrition Desiree Morgan. Topics covered are water cutting and magnesium citrate. Our go to pre and post workout meals. How long after a workout should you eat if peri workout nutrition is on point and what kind of cardio you should do first thing in the morning.

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