Jennifer Petrosino

Jennifer Petrosino is a Ph.D. candidate at Ohio State University, where she studies molecular mechanisms regulating how muscles grow and repair. Before she fully committed her time to meathead science, she competed as a raw powerlifter in the 105-pound weight classes and worked as a Division I strength coach.

 
The BFR Hype
The BFR Hype
Aside from a super pump, what’s going on in your muscles when you do Blood Flow Restriction training? A lot. Here's what we know.
Garages are for Gyms, Not Cars
Garages are for Gyms, Not Cars
Building a garage gym is an investment that can save you time and money in the long run. Take it from one powerlifter who built her own garage gym; here are some things to keep in mind.
Hard Lessons Learned From Half a Lifetime of Lifting
Hard Lessons Learned From Half a Lifetime of Lifting
With a bachelor's degree in exercise science, a master's degree, and a doctorate in the works, you think I'd be smart about how I trained. Well, think again! I've spent most of my life training like an idiot. Don't make the mistakes I did. Learn from them.
Can A Hickey Help Your Recovery?
Can A Hickey Help Your Recovery?
This isn't a hickey from your teenage years; the kind of hickey I'm talking about is created from a recovery modality known as "cupping." Does cupping work, or is it just a fad that could leave you bruised and broken? OK, it DOES leave bruises, but broken? Not so much.
You Can't Out-Train Processed Foods
You Can't Out-Train Processed Foods
My time spent in Italty resulted in the opposite of what happens to Elizabeth Gilbert in "Eat Pray Love." I didn't gain weight — I lost weight. The more I thought about it, the weight loss probably came from the quality of food in Italy. No ultra-processed foods here!
4 Potent Supplements That Fight Insulin Insensitivity
4 Potent Supplements That Fight Insulin Insensitivity
Even if you're doing all the right things, sometimes the fat won't come off. One possible explanation for this could be insulin resistance. If you are insulin-resistant, it might help to try some supplements. These are four I've used with success.
The Influence of Supernormal Stimuli on the Evolution of Bodybuilding
The Influence of Supernormal Stimuli on the Evolution of Bodybuilding
A conversation took me down the rabbit hole of supernormal stimuli — exaggerated stimuli that attract animals. It explains why people are attracted to over-the-top curves and beefy muscles... which you'll find at bodybuilding competitions.
The Good and The Bad About Insulin
The Good and The Bad About Insulin
I don't think most bodybuilders who use insulin as a performance enhancer truly understand WHY they are using it and what it can actually do to their bodies — both good and bad. So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty on the subject of insulin...
How to Avoid Obesogens
How to Avoid Obesogens
Obesogens are kind of exactly what they sound like: a chemical that can heavily contribute to obesity. Get to know some of them by name, learn how to avoid them, and potentially drop some body fat.
How Muscle Adapts to Lifting: Across Scales
How Muscle Adapts to Lifting: Across Scales
Understanding how muscles work at even the smallest scale can help you make bigger and better gains during your training sessions at the gym.
How to Identify the Real-Deal Experts
How to Identify the Real-Deal Experts
Seeking expert-advice? Think of this article as a battery replacement for your bullshit detector. Believe it or not, there are pseudo-experts out there who think that just because they did programs, they worked, and they got world records that they are now qualified to be considered experts.
How to Rehab a Fracture When You’re Too Stubborn to Listen
How to Rehab a Fracture When You’re Too Stubborn to Listen
By no means is this article medical or technical advice to anyone on how to keep training through an injury, but instead, it’s a story of how I handled mine. Why? Because I believe that sometimes, guidelines are meant to be broken.
Infrared Saunas: Fad or Fantastic?
Infrared Saunas: Fad or Fantastic?
Are IR saunas really THAT beneficial? Do they truly have weight loss, detox, and anti-aging abilities?
Training to Build New Neural Pathways
Training to Build New Neural Pathways
All too often, I see people missing the importance of thinking about the muscle-brain connection when it comes to training. And that’s a bit of a shame because creating neural pathways that allow you to train and move correctly is a component of making gains.
The Science of Muscle Memory: Is it Real?
The Science of Muscle Memory: Is it Real?
Is it actually easier to regain lost muscle and strength than it is to build it for the first time?
To Swab or Not to Swab: Genetic Testing and Performance
To Swab or Not to Swab: Genetic Testing and Performance
We all share about 99.9% of the same genes. It's only 0.1% that makes us unique, but that 0.1% can make a big difference in your physique and performance.
Antioxidants and Adaptations: Do You Need Free Radicals to Get Hulky?
Antioxidants and Adaptations: Do You Need Free Radicals to Get Hulky?
The idea behind antioxidant supplementation is that antioxidants reduce free radical damage and subsequent muscle soreness, thereby improving recovery. But what if those pesky free radicals are necessary for hypertrophic training adaptations?
Why Is Everyone Suddenly Taking Collagen?
Why Is Everyone Suddenly Taking Collagen?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body and is part of connective tissues, muscles, bones, tendons, and blood vessels. Naturally, this means people are experimenting with its supplemental use.
The General Adaptation Syndrome and Its Applications for Training
The General Adaptation Syndrome and Its Applications for Training
As a scientist who studies the fundamental basis of how muscles get bigger and repair in response to stress, and as a lifter who has always cared a bunch about programming, I find the debate surrounding GAS very interesting.
Does Muscle Turn into Fat?
Does Muscle Turn into Fat?
Muscle is a constant consumer of energy and fat is an organ that stores it, but they do share some common cell lineage. Can one become the other?
Increase Muscle Mass with Massage
Increase Muscle Mass with Massage
If you're looking for a way to restore muscle function and promote muscle growth, a trip to the massage table may be the answer.
Is Inflammation the Bad Guy?
Is Inflammation the Bad Guy?
Inflammation is your body’s biological response to harmful stimuli, which in this case is the damage induced to your muscles from training. But trying to ward it off with NSAIDs and ice may be a mistake.
Ways to Sneak Cardio into Your Training
Ways to Sneak Cardio into Your Training
Following one, any, or all of these suggestions is a solid way to help prevent packing on some holiday pounds and to keep your strength gains strong.
Breaking Up with Bars
Breaking Up with Bars
Protein bars are a great way to escape meal prep, track calories, and save time, but there are some downsides that have made me decide to part ways with them.
A Meathead’s Guide to Reading Scientific Papers
A Meathead’s Guide to Reading Scientific Papers
The more people calling out incorrect uses of references and sharing well-compiled articles, the better shot we have at preventing the growth of new fitness and nutrition myths.
An Argument for Post-Training Cardio Gains
An Argument for Post-Training Cardio Gains
Worried that too much cardio could hinder your muscle growth? Performed the right way, at the right time, low-intensity aerobic activity can actually improve muscle hypertrophy.
Hyperplasic Gains?
Hyperplasic Gains?
The running idea in the field of muscle is that you can increase the cross-sectional area of a muscle cell (hypertrophy) but not the number of cells per muscle (hyperplasia). Is this idea accurate?
Practical and Scientific Applications for Creating a Calf Workout
Practical and Scientific Applications for Creating a Calf Workout
Why is it that calves are one of the hardest muscle groups to grow? Here are three points to consider to develop heart-shaped calves like a sprinter or running back.
Hypertrophy and the Non-Hormonal Stimuli That Make Muscle Grow
Hypertrophy and the Non-Hormonal Stimuli That Make Muscle Grow
The fundamental molecular basis underlying muscle growth is complicated, but that doesn't mean building muscle has to be difficult.
Three Solutions to Bust Through Your Next Training Plateau
Three Solutions to Bust Through Your Next Training Plateau
Stalled progress can occur for a number of reasons. Which of these solutions will be the key to restarting your progress?
What I Learned from Buddy Morris at the 2017 Sports Performance Summit
What I Learned from Buddy Morris at the 2017 Sports Performance Summit
Buddy was one of the first people I ever looked up to, both as a person and as a strength and conditioning coach. Here are some of his best one-liners from the weekend.
Prework: The Best Thing Your Training Program Likely Needs
Prework: The Best Thing Your Training Program Likely Needs
It really seems like most people don’t care about corrective exercises and prehab until chronic injury and age rear their ugly heads. Enter: my current life situation and the solution.
New Year’s Resolutions Are BS
New Year’s Resolutions Are BS
The start of a new year isn't going to make you a better person or a stronger, leaner, fitter lifter. If you really want to reach your goals in 2017, there are three things you're going to need.
How to Know If You Are Ready for Your First Powerlifting Meet
How to Know If You Are Ready for Your First Powerlifting Meet
I thought about competing in powerlifting for nearly a year before actually signing up for a meet. Then I learned that I wasn’t going to figure out what I needed to do to improve as a lifter if I didn't test my abilities and face my failures.
Fighting the Thanksgiving Fluff
Fighting the Thanksgiving Fluff
Holiday eating can be fun, but it can also sidetrack your diet, eat into your training time, and leave you feeling like that butterball on the Thanksgiving dinner table — unless you plan correctly.
Energy Balance: How Your Body Fights Weight Loss
Energy Balance: How Your Body Fights Weight Loss
Let’s tackle some of the issues contributing to failed attempts at creating a negative energy balance.
The Fallacy of the Fat Burning Zone
The Fallacy of the Fat Burning Zone
To better understand how exercise intensity dictates fuel use, and what this means in respect to the fat burning zone, we need to review the energy systems your body can rely on during exercise.
Enjoy BBQ Season Without Wrecking Your Diet
Enjoy BBQ Season Without Wrecking Your Diet
You don't have to turn BYOB into BYOF (bring your own food, often in a cooler).
A Refresher on Traditional Periodization
A Refresher on Traditional Periodization
Before there were a bunch of fancy training programs, and after Milo carried the growing cow a bit further each day, there was traditional periodization. Let's review.
The Training Ego — Are You Letting It Win?
The Training Ego — Are You Letting It Win?
I had a training ego. It drove everything I did — every weight I put on the bar, every lift I took, and the design of every workout. And then one day, my training ego gave up.
Effective or Ineffective: When To Keep or Drop Your Training Program
Effective or Ineffective: When To Keep or Drop Your Training Program
Your body must undergo multiple stages of adaptation before you decide whether or not your training program is working for you. Patience, my friend. Patience.
The Thyroid — Regulator of Your Metabolic Fate
The Thyroid — Regulator of Your Metabolic Fate
It may be small, but this endocrine organ controls whether you can eat ice cream and be lean or eat a salad and be overweight. How can you know if yours is operating properly?
The Problem With Your Cookie-Cutter Program
The Problem With Your Cookie-Cutter Program
If you follow the guidelines of your program without understanding the reasons for the methods, you're missing two things that will make or break your progress: individuality and specificity.
Are You Getting Enough O2? — Oxygen's Role in Muscle Growth
Are You Getting Enough O2? — Oxygen's Role in Muscle Growth
On the quest for hypertrophy? Take note of these facts before shunning cardio.
Failure: A Way to Train Your Fortitude
Failure: A Way to Train Your Fortitude
It's only a matter of time before I fail again. I used to cringe at the thought of failing, but not anymore.
Why the Rate of Perceived Exertion System Is Not BS
Why the Rate of Perceived Exertion System Is Not BS
With autoregulation, a system such as RPE can help manage life stressors and account for nueromuscular processes on a given day...but only if you use it correctly.
The Science Behind the Weight Cut
The Science Behind the Weight Cut
Weight cuts are one of the worst parts of powerlifting. Here are the ins and outs of the entire process and why you might respond differently than your fellow competitor.
So You Want to Work in the Health and Fitness Field? How to Decide Your Undergraduate Health and Fitness Degree
So You Want to Work in the Health and Fitness Field? How to Decide Your ...
Trying to determine your best path through academia and into professional health and fitness? Here's a guide to choosing the right degree.
The C-2 Training Program
The C-2 Training Program
With this program, each mesocycle (aka 3 weeks/microcycles) focuses on a different portion of a muscle action. In other words - This will make you STRONG(ER).
Fighting Disease with Weight Training
Fighting Disease with Weight Training
Parental Project Muscular Dystrophy Association conference gave Petrosino a sobering realization.
Strong Is NOT the New Skinny
Strong Is NOT the New Skinny
It is the old, new, and eternal adjective used to describe women...
Metabolic Damage: Disaster or Discovery
Metabolic Damage: Disaster or Discovery
Jennifer Petrosino proves that you can be lean AND strong.
Jennifer Petrosino: Head Check
Jennifer Petrosino: Head Check
Sometimes the hardest thing to face is not the bar...it is yourself.
In Defense of Westside for Raw Lifters
In Defense of Westside for Raw Lifters
It's not about whether it's right or wrong...it's about if you're doing it right!
Buckle Up to Bench?
Buckle Up to Bench?
Jennifer Petrosino weighs in on strapping on a belt to press.
Breaking Down Your Training Program
Breaking Down Your Training Program
Having a problem with your programming? Jennifer Petrosino can break it down for you.
Deadlifts, Chains, and Good Mornings
Deadlifts, Chains, and Good Mornings
Once again, Jennifer Petrosino is ready and willing to help answer your questions.
The Cube Method: Yeah or Nay?
The Cube Method: Yeah or Nay?
Jennifer Petrosino takes an outside look at this four-day block rotation program.
Powerbuilding?
Powerbuilding?
Sheiko or Westside? How to make it work.

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