About Bryan Haycock

Bryan Haycock+ is an exercise physiologist and NPC judge. Bryan has been bodybuilding for over 20 years and holds certifications with the NSCA, ACE, and is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. Bryan is currently the Editor in Chief of ThinkMuscle.com and is the founder and CEO of LifeStyleMgmt.com. Bryan is a highly sought after authority on the physiology of muscle growth and fat loss. Bryan also specializes in the management of type-II diabetes through diet and exercise.

Is HST Actually Different from Other Programs?

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Hypertrophy-Specific Training

IFBB pro bodybuilder Victor Martinez - bench press

Comparing Traditional Weight Training and HST

This is a very good question and one that deserves to be answered, without simply zealously defending the premise that is being questioned. This makes for a very bad circular argument that can be VERY frustrating for people with skeptical, though honest, questions.

First, let’s start with what isn’t different about HST compared with previous training programs. The length of this list is what has raised this question in the first place, and justifiably so. Let’s begin with the “concepts” and then follow with the “methods”. [Read more...]

Tweaking HST: Why Do People Modify and Change HST?

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Hypertrophy-Specific Training

IFBB pro bodybuilder Melvin Anthony - squats

I frequently hear comments both for and against tweaking or personalizing HST on an individual basis. This is to be expected among people who are real enthusiasts of weight training. You also find this irresistible urge to tweak among other enthusiasts such as audiophiles. An audiophile will go out and spend obscene amounts of money on the highest end exotic equipment they can find. But this isn’t good enough! They must find some way to “tweak” it, some way to make it their own delectable creation. Anything from placing the turntable on a 3 inch marble slab, putting sand bags on and/or in the speakers, or using speaker wire that cost as much as the car you used to drive to the store. Whenever you find people who are really into what they are doing, they will try to find ways not only to squeeze out the last bit of performance, but also make it their own creation. [Read more...]

A Review of the Different Types of Popular Diets

At times it can be confusing to pick a diet. There are many different diets being marketed at any given time. How is a person to know how they differ and which one is right for them? Categorizing the diets into groups that share basic characteristics is a good way to start understanding popular diets. [Read more...]

Glycemic Index, Carbohydrates and Fat Loss

There are several camps of opinion when it comes to the virtues of high- or low-glycemic index (GI) carbs and performance. There are seemingly conflicting results from dozens of studies trying to figure out if high or low GI carbs are better for exercise performance. Fortunately, I’m not particularly interested in the performance angle for this article. That being the case I’m going to borrow the results of a recent carb study to shed light on the virtues of high or low GI carbs for fat loss. [Read more...]

Understanding the Difficulty Women Have in Losing Lower Body Fat

Photo credit: Millard Baker / Muscletime

Having worked with many different female clients, I can attest to the difficulty of getting their lower body as lean as their upper body. Over the years I have tried many different strategies to get them to lose lower body fat like men. One thing I have learned is that patience and commitment make all the difference. If you have those two with you, science can help with the rest. [Read more...]

Muscle Memory: Scientists May Have Unwittingly Uncovered Its Mystery

Anyone who has lifted weights, on and off, for several years is familiar with the concept of “muscle memory”. Muscle memory in this context refers to the observation that when a person begins lifting weights after a prolonged lay off, it is much easier to return to their previous levels of size and strength than it was to get there the first time around. Even when significant atrophy (muscle shrinking) has taken place during the layoff, previously hypertrophied muscle returns to its previous size more quickly than usual.

A recent study looking at fiber type conversions during muscle hypertrophy may have uncovered a possible mechanism for this phenomenon. [Read more...]

Tribulus Terrestris – Supplement Profile

I first read of a tribulus terrestris product called Tribestan®, which I believe was the first tribulus terrestris product marketed to the public, in Dan Duchaine’s Underground Steroid Handbook. Since that time I have accumulated mostly second hand accounts of how, and how well, it works. Tribulus is an herbal supplement used since the late 70′s in Eastern Europe. It’s purported effects include increased luteinizing hormone release and thus testosterone production, increased sperm production, increased ejaculatory volume, and increased libido. In young patients with a condition known as hypogonadism, an increase in pubic hair has also been observed. All of these effects make tribulus an interesting supplement indeed. [Read more...]

Do You Have an Eating Disorder? If You Are a Dedicated Bodybuilder, Some Shrinks Think You Do!

IFBB Pro Bodybuilders at the gym

When you think of eating disorders you may typically think of anorexia (Def: Refusal to eat anything until you are extremely thin and malnourished) or bulimia (Def: Eat all you want then go in the bathroom and make yourself throw up until you are thin and malnourished). Recently some Harvard docs have decided its time to define yet another eating disorder, a disorder specifically seen in one particular population, bodybuilders. You may have been aware that we bodybuilders have qualified on several criteria (DSM-IV) for eating disorders like anorexia or even bulimia. Certainly our preoccupation with food has led some researchers/therapists to think of us as having “issues” with food. Now they are sure we have a problem and want to help us by clearly defining it. They call this new type of eating disorder, “Eating Disorder, Bodybuilder-Type” or simply ED, BT. [Read more...]

Too Old to Train Heavy? Think Again

Many of you have voiced you desire to learn more about the effects of exercise in the “older” population. I will leave it up to you to decide exactly when a person becomes “older”, however, one recent study clearly demonstrated the effects of high-intensity exercise on individuals ranging in age from 60 to 75.

In a recent study performed at Ohio University, 18 untrained men ages 60-75 years volunteered for the study. Nine were randomly placed in the resistance-training group (RT), and the other half served as untrained (UT) or control subjects. RT subjects performed a 16-week high-intensity (85-90% 1RM) resistance training program performed 2 times per week. Each workout consisted of 3 sets to failure (6-8 repetitions based on 1 RM of 3 exercises) using leg press (LP), half squat (HS), and leg extension (LE) with 1-2 minutes rest between sets. [Read more...]

A Tip for Those Who Use Cardio to Get Ready for a Bodybuilding or Fitness Competition

Precontest Bodybuilding

Anybody who has ever competed in a bodybuilding contest knows what it is like to spend hours on a treadmill. Not only that, but try spending those hours while nearly starving yourself half to death. It isn’t “fun”, but to many it is very rewarding. So much so that they do it year after year, always trying to better their condition compared to the year before. I thought I would share with those Think Muscle readers interested in getting ready for a body-transformation, bodybuilding or fitness competition, a tip that will help them with this preparation. [Read more...]