In the last 12 months, we published 334 articles and over 400,000 words here on Muscle for Life, as well as another 100 articles and 226,470 words over on Legion’s blog.
Below you’ll find a list of the ten most popular (by traffic) articles we produced this year. As you’ll see, they range from workout routines to fat loss tips, muscle building wisdom, health advice, and more.
Everyone has a different opinion as to what makes the “best” workout routine.
While it’s a silly question, if you really had to choose one, you could do a lot worse than the tried-and-true “push pull legs” routine.
The primary reasons push pull legs routines have stood the test of time are they train all major muscle groups, allow plenty of time for recovery, and can be tailored to fit different training goals, schedules, and histories.
That just leaves the question . . . how are you supposed to do them?
What exercises, reps, sets, rest periods, and volume, frequency, and intensity should you use?
Well, this article breaks it all down, and by the end, you’ll know exactly how PPL works, who it is and isn’t best for, and how to create a customized routine that’ll work for you.
Face fat doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense.
How can someone who’s quite lean still have a double chin or chipmunk cheeks?
Why, though, and what can you do about it?
Are there special exercises you should do, or foods you should eat, or supplements you can take? Is it just genetics?
Well, you’re going to learn the answers to those questions and more in this article.
This article answers one of the most common questions I get from beginning lifters.
Some people say that no matter what you do, there’s an absolute ceiling to how much muscle you can build, and it’s probably lower than you think.
Others say that’s nonsense—that with enough hard work, you can get as big and strong as you want.
The rising rate of steroid use doesn’t help matters either, because while some guys are so freakishly huge that there’s little question as to whether they’re “natty,” many drug users aren’t so easy to spot and lead people astray in their personal expectations.
Well, by the end of this article, you’re going to know approximately how much muscle you can ultimately gain, why some people can gain more and some less, and more.
Full-body workouts are one of the simplest and best “bang for your buck” training plans when you’re new to weightlifting.
Most entail just a handful of exercises, don’t take too much time, and hit every major muscle group in the body, and popular strength training programs like Starting Strength, StrongLifts 5×5, and The Texas Method have conclusively proven that they produce results.
But does that mean they’re the best program for everyone, forever?
In this article, you’ll learn what full-body workouts are, who they do and don’t work well for, and how to get the most out a full-body workout routine if you choose to follow one.
Deciding which muscle groups to train together can be confusing.
People flip flop between old standbys like “chest and triceps,” “back and biceps,” and “chest and shoulders,” and everyone seems to have a good argument for which combination is best.
Others say that you shouldn’t program your workouts around individual muscle groups at all, but should simply focus on doing a lot of heavy squatting, deadlifting, and bench pressing (or just do full-body workouts).
The truth is this:
There’s no “best” way to combine muscle groups together in your training. If you understand the underlying principles of building muscle and strength, then you can program your workouts in any number of ways and see outstanding results.
What are those principles, you wonder? Read this article to find out…
There are over 13,000 CrossFit affiliates (gyms) around the world, and CrossFitters are some of the most passionate fitness folk you’ll ever meet.
But is it everything the true believers claim it to be? Is it really the best way to get fit? Does it really transform mere “working out” into something transcendent?
Or is it just another fad with nothing particularly special to offer other an increased risk of injury and overtraining, as many of its detractors claim?
Well, the long story short is this:
CrossFit can absolutely help you get in great shape, and depending on the coach you work with, it’s not as dangerous as some people would have you believe.
That said, CrossFit isn’t the best way to gain muscle and strength and lose fat, which is why many people get into it in the first place.
I explain why in this article.
For years, milk has been touted as one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
It’s also hugely popular among bodybuilders and people just generally interested in improving their body composition.
Recently, though, milk has come under heavy fire from the health “gurus” of the world who not only question its nutritional value, but go as far as labeling it a poison responsible for all kinds of disease and dysfunction.
Drink milk, they say, and thanks to the lactose, pus, blood, hormones, and other “unhealthy” substances it contains, you’ll be more likely to gain weight, weaken your bones, and even get cancer and die.
Maybe they’re right? Maybe milk isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Maybe we’d all be better off without it?
Or, is all of the hullabaloo about milk just senseless hand-wringing?
By the end of this article, you’ll know why people think milk is bad for you, the six biggest myths about milk consumption, and how to decide if it’s right for you.
Like most things health and fitness, a simple question like “how often should I work out?” can lead you down a long, winding rabbit hole.
Should you be in the gym 6 or 7 days per week, like many of the bodybuilding magazines recommend?
Are the catchpenny “fitness gurus” and YouTube hucksters onto something with a minimalist approach of just one to two workouts per week?
Or is there simply no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because of various factors ranging from goals to genetics, training history, and more?
Well, you’re going to find out in this article.
Despite its reputation as the meathead’s favorite hobbyhorse, the bench press actually deserves a lot of credit because it’s one of the single best upper body exercises that you can do, training your pecs, shoulders, triceps, core muscles, and even lats.
If you bench, you’ve probably wondered how good your numbers really are, how they measure up against general strength standards, and how to increase them.
Well, that’s exactly what you’re going to learn in this article.
By the end, you’re going to have an accurate estimate of your one-rep max on the bench press, how it compares to other people’s, and how to increase it.
Get your calories and macros right, follow a well-designed workout program, take the right supplements (or not), and just put in the work, and you’ll gain muscle and lose fat each and every week.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wind up with the exact body that you want.
In time, you might notice that one side of your chest is slightly smaller than the other, or one arm is clearly larger than the other, or one thigh is more developed than its counterpart.
What to do?
Fortunately, you don’t have to drastically change your training or buy special equipment.
As you’ll see in this article, all you have to do is make some simple tweaks to your training routine, keep an eye on how your body responds, and adjust accordingly. And by the end, you’re going to know exactly what to do to fix YOUR muscle imbalances.
That’s it—this year’s ten most popular Muscle for Life articles.
If you want more articles like these, definitely check out the top ten articles my team and I published over on Legion’s blog.