Best Training Methods for Biceps Growth
Best Training Methods for Biceps Growth
In this 5-week program, I include training modalities that your biceps respond to by growing. We'll cover peak contraction, isotension, giant sets, extended sets, plus a great bonus finisher to encourage a biceps stretch!
4 Weeks on a Plant-Based Diet
4 Weeks on a Plant-Based Diet
Hey, calorie restriction is tough, but excluding meat should be a piece of vegan cake. Right? Here is a real-world examination of a former professional bodybuilder who went plant-based.
Relationship Roadblocks to Overcome
Relationship Roadblocks to Overcome
Relationships aren’t always a walk in the park. It’s all too easy to avoid talking about issues because they make us uncomfortable. However, when we face the discomfort, we become stronger.
5-Week Triceps Program for Bigger Arms
5-Week Triceps Program for Bigger Arms
This five-week program provides a balanced approach to adding triceps size. Get ready to stretch those sleeves.
5 Weeks to Goblet Squat Dominance
5 Weeks to Goblet Squat Dominance
Think goblet squats are wimpy exercises? Follow this program for five weeks, and you’ll change your mind. You'll likely improve your squat mechanics, too.
What's Changed at Age 45
What's Changed at Age 45
As I approach my 45th birthday in December, people keep asking me what things are like now that I'm in this life stage. Some things change; some things don't. But the things that change are important, and I'm going to talk about them here.
4 Mistakes Fallen Leaders Are Prone To
4 Mistakes Fallen Leaders Are Prone To
Wealth, power, and fame. Some might say those are inherently negative characteristics. I, however, believe the way those characteristics are wielded determines whether they are good or bad.
4 Things I Learned in Prison
4 Things I Learned in Prison
My bodybuilding mentor invited me to run a training seminar for inmates at the second-largest prison in Washington state. Let's say I learned a few things while I did my time... teaching inmates, that is.
4 IG Exercises That Don't Suck
4 IG Exercises That Don't Suck
Out of all of the crap floating around on the Internet, I've only found 4 exercises to be worthy of mentioning. By the way, that says a lot because 2 of 'em use bands, and I am not a band guy.
For the Fathers and the Fatherless on Father's Day
For the Fathers and the Fatherless on Father's Day
For many, bearing the title of "father" is a great blessing. But even if you aren't on good terms with your father, just know that there is another father somewhere out there who is willing to take you in as his son.
How to Use Blood Flow Restriction with a Knee Injury
How to Use Blood Flow Restriction with a Knee Injury
Indoor soccer took a toll on my knee, so my training has been a bit limited. But that didn't stop me from using Blood Flow Restriction on leg day, which I highly recommend using when working around injuries that force you to use lighter weights.
Back and Biceps Workout of the Day with Kneeling Biceps Cable Curls
Back and Biceps Workout of the Day with Kneeling Biceps Cable Curls
There are no cheat days here. Naturally, this workout of the day includes a movement that makes it harder to cheat. Go grab your kettlebells, dumbbells, and cable attachments so we can get started.
Top-3 Cardio Options for the Powerlifter, Strongman, Bodybuilder, and Athlete
Top-3 Cardio Options for the Powerlifter, Strongman, Bodybuilder, and At...
Cardio can help you cut weight, get shredded for the stage, and increase athletes' performance. But with so much cardio out there, where do you start? Start here with elitefts team members' top-3 cardio items, based on their sports or areas of expertise.
6 Strategies to Advancement
6 Strategies to Advancement
Consider this me throwing you a lifesaver in the vast sea of information. This will help you figure out how to improve yourself by seeking out the best information possible... and how to best find that information.
Introduce Blood Flow Restriction to Your Leg Workout of the Day
Introduce Blood Flow Restriction to Your Leg Workout of the Day
This leg workout of the day was brief, but let me tell you something: it kicked my ass. You don't have to be new to Blood Flow Restriction Training for it to do that, let me tell you!
Back and Bis Workout of the Day with Decline Dumbbell Pullovers Supersetted with Farmer's Carry
Back and Bis Workout of the Day with Decline Dumbbell Pullovers Superset...
The big takeaway from this workout is that I have poor grip strength stamina. After this back and bis Workout of the Day, your forearms should be SMASHED.
Chest, Shoulder, and Triceps Workout of the Day with 30-10-30 Cable Presses
Chest, Shoulder, and Triceps Workout of the Day with 30-10-30 Cable Presses
There are only two sets here but with a significant emphasis on the eccentric on the first and last rep. Select a weight in which you can get 12-14 reps. Begin each set with a 30-second negative, followed by 10 normal tempo reps, finishing with a final 30-second negative.
Leg Workout of the Day with Cambered Bar and Ground Base Squats
Leg Workout of the Day with Cambered Bar and Ground Base Squats
If you've got lower back issues and want to up difficulty without adding pounds like I do, then this is the Workout of the Day for you. Today, the goal was to increase time under tension.
A Pro's Post-Contest Advice for a Safe Transition to the Off-Season
A Pro's Post-Contest Advice for a Safe Transition to the Off-Season
Your motivation is sky-high because you either won your competition and want to reach the next rung on the ladder, or you bombed and want the sweet taste of redemption, so you want to jump back into it. Slow down, kid, or you'll hurt yourself.
Back and Bis Workout of the Day with Banded Pullovers and Spider Crawl Superset
Back and Bis Workout of the Day with Banded Pullovers and Spider Crawl S...
Don't let those creepy eight-legged critters stop you from getting a good workout. Instead, use them as inspiration as you do spider crawls and spider curls in this workout of the day. Or pretend to smash them. Yeah, that'll work.
Leg Workout of the Day with a Goblet Squat Death Drop
Leg Workout of the Day with a Goblet Squat Death Drop
It's not all that often you can say you made up a type of exercise... but that's exactly what I did. Enter the Goblet Squat Death Drop, a Mark Dugdale Original. Or exclusive. Whichever one you prefer to call it, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that it's brutal and will complete your leg workout.
Gain Weight in Your Off-Season with This Meal Plan
Gain Weight in Your Off-Season with This Meal Plan
After reading Mark Dugdale's recent off-season diet article, I thought I would write about what my current diet in the off-season is like as well. Not only will I share my current off-season diet, but I'm also going to write about my process for gaining weight — not fat, but muscle.
Back Workout of the Day with Rows, Pulldowns, and Pullovers
Back Workout of the Day with Rows, Pulldowns, and Pullovers
Another day, another back and bis workout. This one includes one of my favorite pulldown variations: Alternating Hammer Strength Pulldowns. You can do it from a stretched position or from a fully contracted position. Click to find out which one I chose and watch me do it in action.
Leg Workout of the Day with 8x8x8 Banded Leg Extensions
Leg Workout of the Day with 8x8x8 Banded Leg Extensions
No, you're not seeing deja vu. This workout features: 1. Lying Leg Curls 2. Leg Extensions 3. Cambered Bar Squats 4. Banded Leg Extensions 5. Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deads. Per the usual, click to see the sets, reps, equipment used for this leg workout, and find out what's super-setted.
Workout of the Day: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps with Mark Dugdale
Workout of the Day: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps with Mark Dugdale
1. Incline Bench Press 2. Banded Dumbbell Flat Bench 3. Dips with Chains and Machine Flyes 4. Shoulder Press and High Lateral Plate Raises 5. Machine Laterals 6. Rear Delt Swings and Close Grip Bench — click to see the sets, reps, and equipment I used for this chest, shoulders, and triceps workout.
A Snapshot of My Off-Season Diet — Health, Recovery, and Efficiency
A Snapshot of My Off-Season Diet — Health, Recovery, and Efficiency
Despite my absence from the stage, I often get emails asking about my diet. Yes, it’s different and much looser than my approach when I'm highly focused on professional bodybuilding. In fact, that makes this article more applicable to the majority of people.
Workout of the Day: Back and Bis with Mark Dugdale
Workout of the Day: Back and Bis with Mark Dugdale
1. MAG Scapula Retraction Pulldowns 2. Max Tension Hammer Strength Rows 3. Decline Banded Pullover 4. Away Facing Pulldowns 5. Isolation Curls 6. Incline Dumbbell Curls — click to see the sets, reps, and equipment I used for this back and biceps workout.
Workout of the Day: Legs with Mark Dugdale
Workout of the Day: Legs with Mark Dugdale
1. Unilateral Leg Curls 2. Cambered Bar Squats with Chains 3. Blood-flow Restriction Leg Extensions and Goblet Squats 4. Cable Pull-Through — click to see the sets, reps, and equipment I used for this leg workout so you can enjoy the same pump.
Feet Mindfulness
Feet Mindfulness
I pose the following questions: How mindful are you of your feet? Do you think about where you want to go versus where you are heading? Are your feet on the right path, and if not, why? These questions and the wisdom you can obtain from them extend far beyond chalk and iron.
Grow BIG Quads Without Lower Back Pain
Grow BIG Quads Without Lower Back Pain
Due to a few low back tweaks, while squatting 700 pounds in my early 30s, I've had to completely revamp the way I train legs. This article lays out the foundation in which I continue to stimulate quad development in the absence of big pounds.
Six Weeks to Bigger Biceps
Six Weeks to Bigger Biceps
In this article, I can’t promise you Lee Priest-proportioned bicep development, but I will share some ideas to unlocking new growth over a six-week period of time.
Mental Considerations for Bodybuilding
Mental Considerations for Bodybuilding
Hear me on this one. If you’re running from your past or managing it in secrecy, bodybuilding isn’t the answer.
Defining the Core Values of Garden Fresh Foods
Defining the Core Values of Garden Fresh Foods
I began defining the core values of Garden Fresh Foods, the company I run with several fantastic managers and my wife, Christina. The process proved challenging and eye-opening with a multitude of cross-over applications to my bodybuilding career.
5 Ways to Improve Training Efficiency
5 Ways to Improve Training Efficiency
Life is chaotic. Instead of missing another training day because you're too busy, become more efficient. This article is designed to help you to get the most bang for your buck from every training session.
Who Defines You?
Who Defines You?
In this interview with Mark Dugdale, we discuss the mental side of training and competing, along with the various challenges that we meet when life, training, family, work, and all of the other areas of our lives intersect.
Wrestling with Identity
Wrestling with Identity
I confess to feeling grossly inadequate while my girls seek to find their identities, and I contemplate where I may have messed up in their younger years.
My Five Essential Supplements
From a health standpoint, these are the supplements I find most valuable. There are also three others that I believe make a world of difference if you train for elite performance.
Maximizing Triceps Development
Maximizing Triceps Development
To expand the size of your arms you need to master management of three things: pounds, pump, and programming.
Overcoming Blind Spots
Overcoming Blind Spots
It requires humility—real humility—to admit that you have blind spots in life and training. But merely recognizing them isn't enough to get past them.
5 Cable Exercises You Should Be Using
5 Cable Exercises You Should Be Using
If you’re one of those guys who thinks anything outside of plates on a bar is blaspheme, give me five minutes to convince you otherwise.
Married to a Bodybuilder: Three Women Share Their Support Role Perspectives
Married to a Bodybuilder: Three Women Share Their Support Role Perspecti...
Being married to a physique sport competitor isn't easy. I want this article to provide some authentic insight from the real pillars of strength: the women who play the support role.
Sleep Practices for Better Performance, Health, and Well-Being
Sleep Practices for Better Performance, Health, and Well-Being
Finding the right patterns and repeating them daily, by using the right aids and avoiding certain practices, can help improve your performance at work and in the gym — all while making you feel healthier and happier.
10,000 Hours and the Pursuit of Mastery
10,000 Hours and the Pursuit of Mastery
Most people fail to achieve their goals not because they lack the ability but because they lack the tenacity. Life’s hard and frequently people quit, sometimes 10 meters from the finish line and sometimes two inches. Don't quit.
Density Training — How I’m Training Now
Density Training — How I’m Training Now
Inspired by John Meadows' primary and secondary workouts, combined with what I know about density training from Vince Gironda, my current split accounts for time and intensity limitations.
The Danger of Disposability
The Danger of Disposability
I’ve recently noticed culture embracing the idea of disposability at an ever-increasing measure. Quick, convenient, and disposable may lead to instant gratification, but I fear there are long-lasting consequences.
Pausing to Remember 20 Years
Pausing to Remember 20 Years
Our 20th wedding anniversary coincided with the end of a 13-month stretch of time that included eight bodybuilding competitions. It's no surprise that Christina was experiencing angst for vacation.
Surviving a Pec Tear
Surviving a Pec Tear
Seven years ago while benching 500 pounds, I experienced a partial pec tear to the muscle belly near the attachment to the pec tendon. These are the techniques I used to recover and the exercises I perform to safeguard my pec from ever tearing again.
Olympia Qualification: 5 Factors Why I’m Not Competing
Olympia Qualification: 5 Factors Why I’m Not Competing
This year would be my sixth, but after much soul searching I’ve decided to forgo joining the rest of the field at the Orleans Arena in September. Here's why.
Another Victory at the 2017 IFBB Arctic Pro
Another Victory at the 2017 IFBB Arctic Pro
I was able to synch my first win of 2017 and an Olympia qualification with straight first place scores from both prejudging and finals. Here's what I did differently in this season's competition prep.
Information to Insight
Information to Insight
Science, intelligence reports, and training programs all require a thesis whereby assumptions are made on the path to turning raw information into good insight.
WATCH: Table Talk Compilation Series — Mark Dugdale
WATCH: Table Talk Compilation Series — Mark Dugdale
Tailored for the powerlifter and bodybuilder, we revisit Dave Tate's and Mark Dugdale's conversation covering exercise execution, pre-workout food, recoverability, training evolution, and more.
Bench, Squat, and Deadlift Alternatives for Bodybuilding
Bench, Squat, and Deadlift Alternatives for Bodybuilding
If you’re beat up from powerlifting or more concerned with hypertrophy, some of these variations may prove useful. In all honesty, alternatives of the basic lifts have done the most for the development of my physique and hypertrophy.
Muscle Failure and Its Applications
Muscle Failure and Its Applications
Most people who step under the bar want to get big and strong, period. Muscle failure is paramount in this regard. Here's how to use it properly to build muscle without overloading your central nervous system or risking injury.
WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — How to Balance Training with a Physically Demanding Job
WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — How to Balance Training with a Phy...
You can control the physical demands placed on your body in the gym, but you can't always control what happens outside of it. How can you ensure you're recovered and in an optimal state once its time to train?
WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — Should I Hire A Bodybuilding Coach?
WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — Should I Hire A Bodybuilding Coach?
It may be tempting to put your entire trust in someone with experience, but there are a few things to consider first.
WATCH: Dugdale UGSS Presentation — Who Will Remember You?
WATCH: Dugdale UGSS Presentation — Who Will Remember You?
Your time on this earth is limited, and much shorter than you likely realize. Don't waste it.
WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — What Makes You Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced?
WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — What Makes You Beginner, Intermedi...
Number of competitions? Severity of injury? Conditioning and size? Powerlifting total?
WATCH: Dugdale UGSS Presentation — Protecting Your Joints and Life Balance
WATCH: Dugdale UGSS Presentation — Protecting Your Joints and Life Balance
Longevity in this sport requires taking care of your body, but perhaps more importantly it requires taking care of your life.
WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — Training Evolution and the Genetic Ceiling
WATCH: Table Talk with Mark Dugdale — Training Evolution and the Genetic...
Do genetic ceilings exist? How can you know if you've reached yours? Is it possible to break through?

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