Editor’s Picks: Muscle & Strength’s Best of 2016

Editor’s Picks: Muscle & Strength’s Best of 2016
Another year is in the books and we've provided an enormous amount of amazing content to our Muscle & Strength readers. Check out the best articles of 2016!

Over the course of the past year, we’ve had the privilege of publishing and sharing hundreds of fantastic articles from some of the best authors in the business.

With 2017 still fresh, a lot of new readers have flocked to the internet to find solid resources as they embark on their journey to health, wellness, and (most importantly) lean muscle mass!

While the New Year is certainly a time to strive to be better and implement positive lifestyle changes into your life, it’s also the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past year.

That’s exactly what we’ve done here.

And in doing so, we’ve compiled four lists of “top 5’s” that we had the opportunity to publish on Muscle & Strength in 2016.

While it was extremely difficult to narrow these down (as we enjoy all of the content we feature), the picks below are helpful resources for all Muscle & Strength readers.

Enjoy!

Top 5 in Workouts

2016 was a great year for workouts as we added dozens of workouts to our database.

The one’s listed below were the cream of the crop as they implemented unique training strategies and provided readers with full week blocks of workouts.

Check them out and if you like one you see, start it and keep us posted on your progress!

Best of 2016 Muscle & Strength Workouts

1. Sweatshirt Swole: The Ultimate Bulking Workout Plan

By Coach Myers

The Sweatshirt Swole program has helped many-a-"Bros" pack on serious mass since it’s publishing date this fall.

Designed to help you fill out your fall and winter sweatshirt, the Sweatshirt Swole program incorporates some heavy lifting with solid nutrition for a serious lean bulk.

Read: Sweatshirt Swole - The Ultimate Bulking Workout Plan

2. Maximal Adaptation Upper Lower (MAUL) Training

By Alain Gonzalez

The MAUL Program takes a scientific approach to training so you maximize your time in the gym.

This 5 day split has heavy lifting and hypertrophy rep ranges so that you’ll build strength and size at the same time.

Read: Max Adaptation Upper Lower (MAUL) Workout

3. Total Package Workout: A Full Body Strength & Hypertrophy Workout

By Josh England

The Total Package Workout is a workout strategy Josh discovered mid-way through this last year.

He wanted to cut down the total amount of days spent in the gym while maximizing gains.

How? He took similar components of all the programs he liked and added them together to get the total package.

Read: The Total Package - Full Body Strength & Hypertrophy Workout

4. Old School Gains: Build Muscle Like an Iron Legend

By Team Allmax

The Old School Gains program was an earlier year addition to 2016. This workout takes an old school bodybuilding approach that many of the golden era lifters advocated.

This 5 day body part split is the real deal, composed of all of the top lifts to build muscle mass, as well as rep ranges that promote a hypertrophic response.

Read: Old School Gains - Build Muscle Like an Iron Legend

5. Fast Mass Program: 4 Day Superset Split Workout

By Josh England

The Fast Mass Program became an instant success upon being published to Muscle & Strength. The workout infuses a fast pace training style with hypertrophy rep ranges to not only shred fat, but build serious lean muscle.

The key component of the Fast Mass Program? It’s chock-full of supersets!

Read: Fast Mass Program - 4 Day Superset Split Workout

Top 5 in Training

Man oh man, what a year it was for training tips! This was the toughest category to break down.

Each of our authors truly provides a unique insight to training and each comes from a very different background. Their knowledge is plentiful and we can all benefit from taking their advice.

Best of 2015 Muscle & Strength Training Articles

1. Boyce’s Choices Series

By Lee Boyce

The Boyce's Choices Series was featured over the course of a couple months on Muscle & Strength. Each month, strength coach Lee Boyce provided readers with his top picks for each muscle group.

You must check them out and be sure to add them into your workout programs to ensure you’re heading in the right direction physically.

Read: Boyce's Choices Series

2. 4 Effective Foam Rolling Drills for Increased Mobility

By John Rusin

Foam rolling is a crucial pre and post workout practice. Mobility work is a lacking point in many of our workout programs, but it is an absolute necessity.

Dr. John Rusin outlines 4 of the most effective SMR practices that he encourages his clients to do in this article.

Read: 4 Effective Foam Rolling Drills That Increase Mobility

3. The Best HIIT Routines for Cardio Equipment

By Coach Myers

HIIT continues to rise in popularity and for good reason. Who doesn’t want to avoid hours of pointless cardio when they could burn as many calories in half the time?

In this article, Coach Myers describes HIIT cardio approaches to any form of machine you could possibly find on the cardio deck.

These workouts are no joke! Check ‘em out and shred any additional unwanted fat you may be carrying around your midsection this year.

Read: The Best HIIT Routines for Cardio Equipment

4. Concurrent Training: Using Cardio to Optimize Muscle Growth

By Rudy Mawer

Cardio is often seen by meat heads as the lesser form of exercise. Who can blame us? Social Media memes often paint the image of cardio being this “muscle robbing, gains killing, Spanish verb.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In his article on concurrent training, Rudy lays out exactly how one can use cardio to optimize muscle growth.

We all need to do cardio to remain heart healthy and fight off chronic illness. Why not take advantage of this and build muscle at the same time?

Read: Concurrent Training - Cardio to Optimize Muscle Growth

5. 4 Ways to Get Stronger Without Increasing Weight on the Bar

By John Rusin

The saying is oh so familiar, “the day you start lifting is the day you’ll never be big enough”. However, chasing gains and continuously adding weight to the bar (especially if you’re not ready to) is a one way ticket to injuryville.

Avoid taking a trip to that unnecessary destination by taking Dr. Rusin’s advice to heart. When you’re looking to get stronger, go for one of these four strategies before deciding to add more weight to that barbell.

Read: 4 Ways To Get Stronger Without Increasing Weight

Top 5 in Nutrition & Supplementation

No matter how hard you train, you’ll never see the results you want until you get your nutrition on track. But, when you’re nutrition is lacking, supplementation can step in to help assist you with your goals.

We learned an enormous amount about nutrition and supplementation in 2016 and are focused on bringing you more prudent nutritional information in 2017.

Here are five of our favorites from this past year:

Best of 2016 Muscle & Strength Nutrition Articles

1. 4 Post-Workout Nutrition Myths (That Are Actually Relevant)

By Acadia Webber

We’ve all heard you’ve got to be sure to drink protein 30 minutes after working out, otherwise the whole workout was pointless. Acadia says otherwise and uses science to back herself up.

She also covers the need to consume carbs post workout, which protein powder is most effective, and whether your gender affects how you should approach workout nutrition.

Read: 4 Post-Workout Nutrition Myths (That Are Actually Relevant)

2. Carbs Aren’t Making You Fat – The Truth about Insulin

By Brad Dieter

Carbs are evil.

As most of us who regularly workout know, that’s simply not the case. In fact, carbs are important for you to perform well during your workouts.

Brad Dieter does an excellent job laying out the science behind insulin and carbohydrates, plus there’s a cool infographic for you visual learners.

Read: Carbs Aren't Making You Fat - The Truth About Insulin

3. How to Reduce Inflammation with These Foods and Supplements

By Rudy Mawer

Inflammation is your body’s natural reaction to a heavy work stimulus. However, chronic inflammation has serious repercussions and results from a poor diet.

In this article, Rudy provides an excellent list of foods and supplements that help combat any inflammation you may experience in your body.

The better your body is at controlling inflammation, the less likely you are to develop chronic disease and the more capable you are of hitting hard workouts!

Read: How to Reduce Inflammation With Foods and Supplements

4. How Much Protein Should I Ingest Post-Workout?

By Brad Dieter

It’s the question that’s stood the test of time. Exactly how much protein should one consume after a hard workout?

The answer is slightly more complicated than you may think and actually depends on your training style and body type.

Brad does an amazing job in unveiling the science behind protein consumption and letting us know the optimal amounts we should take post workout to see serious gains.

Read: How Much Protein Should I Ingest Post-Workout?

5. How to Choose The Right Supplements According to Science

By Rudy Mawer

Picking the right supplements can be a tricky game. Which companies are credible? Which ingredients actually work? What do I need to see gains?

If you’ve ever found yourself asking any of those questions, then you need to read this article. Rudy covers all of the information you could hope for, plus some.

Read: How To Choose The Right Supplements According To Science

Top 5 in Motivation

Staying motivated day in and day out can be difficult for some. We understand this and try to provide our readers with inspiring stories of transformation, practical gym advice, and tips to stay motivated through the tough times involved in a fitness journey.

Below are five of the best of 2016 from this category and we hope they help inspire you to dig deeper to accomplish your goals in 2017.

Best of 2016 Muscle & Strength Motivation Articles

1. Body Transformation: Adaptive Chris Ruden Perseveres

One of the most rewarding parts of our job is the success of our readers, and we love spotlighting those success in our transformation section.

Chris Ruden’s transformation is especially motivational. Chris was born with 7 fingers and was diagnosed as a type I diabetic at the age of 19. He can also deadlift way more than most of us.

Chris persevered and followed his dream of becoming a powerlifter. His success story is truly inspirational.

Read: Body Transformation - An Adaptive Chris Ruden Perseveres

2. Am I Strong? Lee Boyce’s Real World Strength Standards

By Lee Boyce

In an era of social media and YouTube spreading surreal feats of strength across the World Wide Web, it can be easy to get lost in new world strength standards.

This may leave you feeling weak and setting expectations out of your reach. However, as Lee explains in this article, real world strength standards greatly differ from what we are continuously force fed.

Are you real world strong? The answer might surprise you.

Read: Am I Strong? Lee Boyce's Real World Strength Standards

3. 10 Gyms You Need to Train at Before You Die

By Roger Lockridge

Bucket lists are very popular. They generally consist of doing outrageous things or visiting faraway lands.

However, a lifter’s bucket list may greatly differ from a nonlifter’s. It may include training at the world’s most popular gyms.

In this article, Roger does a good job of detailing which gyms avid lifters should look into training at as part of their bucket list. Check them out and start planning your trips.

Read: 10 Gyms You Must Train at Before You Die

4. 8 Lessons I've Learned from the Strongest Lifters at Westside Barbell

By Nick Showman

Who better to learn about training from than the strongest lifters in the world? Westside Barbell has gained the reputation as where the elite train.

Nick Showman is an understudy of many of these lifters and has provided our readers with the top tips he’s learned over the years training at Westside.

Read: 8 Lessons Learned from the Strongest Lifters at Westside Barbell

5. 11 Mindset Tips for Focus and Motivation

By Roger Lockridge

Making the gains you want is all about having the right mindset in the gym. With hectic lifestyles and demanding schedules, a lot of us have a difficult time getting in this mindset.

That’s where this article comes in. Plenty of ways exist to help you get in the right mindset to dominate the iron.

Roger does an awesome job in this article laying out 11 tips to get focus and stay motivated on your endless pursuit of muscle mass.

Read: 11 Mindset Tips For Focus and Motivation

Honorable Mentions:

Unfortunately, not every article published in 2016 was able to make this list, even though we felt more of them certainly could’ve. Even the honorable mentions section that will follow below was cut short.

We had a great year of publishing in 2016 and were inspired by every article we promoted to our readers.

We highly encourage you to check out more of what we have to offer on Muscle & Strength and can’t wait to continue providing you more information in 2017.

Best of 2015 Muscle & Strength Honorable Mentions

Science Tells All: Get Shredded While You Sleep

By Rudy Mawer

Sleep is such a crucial portion to the muscle building equation and often times is overlooked.

We’re busy and sleep seems to not be productive. However, it is your body’s best natural performance enhancer.

Check out the science and knowledge Rudy lays down in this article and be sure to catch more Z’s in 2017.

Read: Science Tells All - Get Shredded While You Sleep

The Toughest Fitness Challenge Most Lifters Can’t Complete

By Roger Lockridge

Who doesn’t like a challenge? Roger’s birthday fitness challenge is absolutely brutal.

This annual workout can be performed at any time and pits your age against the clock to accomplish sets in all the major lifts.

Can you beat it?

Read: The Toughest Fitness Challenge Most Lifters Can't Complete

How to Develop a Dramatic V Taper: Tips, Tricks, & Results

By Team Allmax

Every lifter dreams of having the coveted v-taper. It’s one asset that can be shown off both during summer and winter. But, not many lifters know the right approach to obtain this feature.

In this workout article, the guys from Allmax lay out tips, tricks, and a workout plan to help any lifter build a v-taper.

Read: How to Develop a Dramatic V Taper - Tips, Tricks, and Results

Luck of the Draw: Get Jacked with a Deck of Cards

By Coach Myers

Gains don’t come by chance. However, a workout that plays off chance can really spice up your workout and take your gains to a whole new level.

In this workout article, Coach Myers provides readers with two different workouts you can do with a deck of cards. One workout can be done anywhere and doesn’t require equipment, the other does require you to do it at the gym.

If you want to take a gamble where the guaranteed result is more gains, this is the workout for you.

Read: Luck of the Draw - Get Jacked with a Deck of Cards

Coach Myers's Ultimate Bodyweight Challenge

By Coach Myers

It’s important to challenge yourself periodically. Most lifters see bodyweight exercises as beginner level by nature, but Coach Myers views things differently.

In this challenge, you’ll use your bodyweight to perform an insane amount of total reps that involve dips, rows, pullups, and pushups.

Check it, the video, and the cool infographic out and conquer this challenge.

Read: Coach Myers's Ultimate Bodyweight Challenge

Conclusion

Indeed, 2016 was an epic year for content at Muscle & Strength.

While we couldn’t include all our articles from the past year in this breakdown, they’re all worthy of being read.

Did we leave out any of your favorite articles from the site? Throw the link to them down in the comments section below. We’re sure other readers would love to read them.

We’ve got great things in the work for 2017 as well.

Stay tuned!