WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — Exercise Execution, Pre-Workout Food, and Recoverability

TAGS: Recoverability, Pre-Workout Food, Exercise Execution, table talk, training volume, exercise selection, Mark Dugdale, hypertrophy, bodybuilding, powerlifting, dave tate


If you put Dave Tate and Mark Dugdale at the same table, you have decades upon decades of experience in both powerlifting and bodybuilding in front of you. Dave has spent his whole life on the powerlifting platform or sharing knowledge to help others compete. Mark has done the same with bodybuilding, competing for almost 30 years and constantly sharing lessons he has learned along the way.

With all this experience and knowledge, we decided to have Dave and Mark answer training questions together. Their combined experience—but vastly different perspectives—is evident in this video, in which they answer questions about exercise technique, how long to wait after eating to train, and balancing volume and frequency for recoverability.

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First, Dave and Mark discuss exercise technique and explain that if you can't execute an exercise correctly, it is not going to improve your physique no matter what else you do. But Dave makes sure to also point out that this doesn't mean to be so technical that you forget to train hard. In other words, you want to have a back pump at the end of your back workouts, which requires some focus on the technical aspect of the lift, but not so much that you get caught up on the minutia of every movement.

They also discuss maximum recoverability versus minimum effective dose. Training often isn't about what is best in an ideal world; it's about what works best for your life and recoverability. If you have nothing else in life, you may be able to train hours on end every day and have absurd levels of frequency and volume to recover from, but this is the case for very, very few people. Most lifters would instead benefit from doing the work necessary to elicit the intended change, and then stopping.

The Questions

  • (0:09) What is more significant for hypertrophy: exercise selection or the way the exercise is executed?
  • (3:05) How long should I wait after a meal to train?
  • (5:06) Should I lift with as much volume and frequency as I can recover from or just enough to see a benefit?


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