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Eric Helms, Andy Morgan and Andrea Valdez

Eric Helms is a coach, athlete, author, educator, and researcher. Andrea Valdez is a lifelong athlete, experienced coach, and content creator. Andy Morgan is an online training and nutrition coach. They are the authors of The Muscle and Strength Pyramid books. ⠀ RippedBody.com is Andy's website, his sincere effort to build the best nutrition and training guides on the internet. Some readers hire him to coach them, which he has been doing full-time, online, since 2011. If you think that may interest you, details are here.

How Important Are Lateral Raises for Building Big Shoulders?

In bodybuilding, middle deltoid development is important to make you appear wider and tapered. Due to this, I often see emphasis placed on lateral raise variations and hear the concern that without their inclusion, delt development will lack. While I don’t dispute the importance of lateral raises (you will even…

How to Cut Weight for a Powerlifting Competition (Without a Caloric Deficit)

If you’re a fan of boxing or MMA, you may have wondered how professional fighters can walk around in the ring some 15–20 lbs heavier than they weighed in the day before. The answer, for the most part, involves an extreme level of water manipulation. Professional fighters with a 24-hour…

How to Address Weak Points in Your Lifts

We all find ourselves struggling at a specific point of lift, at some time or another. Addressing sticking points might be a more efficient way to attack the weakest link in the chain of a movement, and therefore a faster way to increase strength. If you have stalled with traditional…

A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs

Everyone starts their journey by taking a pre-built training program and trying it out. I made my first program choice after a three-minute perusal of my local supermarket’s magazine rack. That month’s copy of Men’s Health advertised a program promising 10 pounds of gains in 6 weeks, which was exactly…

How to Break Training Plateaus [Decision Tree & Checklist]

This is possibly one of the most important articles I have ever published. It addresses how to break through a training plateau, which is probably one of the most commonly asked questions on the internet, along with, “How do I break through a bench press plateau?” — The principles, whether…

How Much Cardio Should You Do When Cutting?

A caloric deficit doesn’t have to come entirely from the diet, and you probably guessed that adding some cardiovascular work to expend more energy rather than restricting your energy intake alone, could also be useful. A simple way to estimate energy expenditure during cardio requires you to determine a rating…

Should I Cut or Bulk? The Definitive Guide

Ahh, the eternal question. But before I answer it, let me point out that yes, I used the word bulk, because that’s probably what you Googled. But actually, “bulk” should be removed from your vocabulary. The term implies rapid weight gain likely to put on unnecessary body fat, leaving you…

Metabolic Damage Isn’t Real (But Relative Energy Deficiency Syndrome Is)

The term ‘energy availability’ refers to whether or not you have adequate energy to maintain not only the energy demands of exercise or sport but also of normal physiological function. You can be at energy balance, maintaining a stable body mass, but be in a state of ‘relative energy deficiency’…

How to Systematically Test if Keto is Right for You

Keto is currently trendy, and I’m sick of answering questions about it. So, what does the science say about high-fat diets for people that lift like us? Here’s an excerpt on the topic from our Muscle and Strength Pyramid Nutrition book.

The Novice Bodybuilding Program

If looking like The Hulk, Wolverine, or Batman is your primary goal, then a training program with a bodybuilding focus is what you need. If you have been struggling to grow, this program may help by giving some balance to your routine. Don’t make the mistake of training your chest,…

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