Author: Andres Vargas

Hey there! My name is Andres and I'm the head coach, founder, and owner of The Strength Cave! My goal is to blend science and research with real world application in order to offer the best package possible for my readers and clients.

How to Make Fitness Part of Your Lifestyle

It’s no secret that changing your routine is a huge obstacle as far as getting in shape is concerned. Humans are creatures of habit and adding to or removing something from our day is often an uncomfortable task. So, until we can get to a point where we are used to working out regularly, it is always going to feel like a chore. But if we know that we have to make a habit of it, why do so many people still struggle to workout consistently? The truth is that many people struggle with time management and prioritization. There are only so many hours in a day for us to manage, many of which can’t be manipulated (sleep and work). Therefore, the time we have left has to be managed well in order to fit in things like working out. Additionally, our priorities play a major role in determining what we choose to do with our time. So, if your goal is to include fitness in your routine and keep it there, some time management and prioritization is going to be key in your success. Setting Your Priorities We all have a hierarchy of priorities that we store subconsciously. These priorities […]

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Time restricted eating neon eat sign

A Primer On Time Restricted Eating

If you’re reading this article it likely means that you enjoy finding new ways to eat healthier, workout effectively, and live better. You’ve probably tried different diets over the years just to see if they made you feel any better or gave you specific results. This is a natural curiosity we all have towards new and popular trends. Given this curiosity, it’s no surprise that people have latched on to the idea of time-restricted eating. This “new” eating strategy has certainly caught the attention of health-minded people as of late. Indeed, there are a host of potential benefits that have been attributed to fasting and time-restricted eating. Everything from off the charts fat loss, to increased energy, and even battling cancer has been mentioned with fasting and TRE. However, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered about these eating strategies. Do they actually work the way they claim? What’s the difference between “fasting” and TRE? As always, the explanations behind the claims are not always as grand as people might hope.   Are Fasting and TRE the Same Thing? If you have been paying attention for the past several years, you are bound to have heard someone […]

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Tempo

Tempo: What is it good for?

When you head to the gym and lift weights, do you ever pay attention to the tempo of your reps? Most people overlook this simple aspect of training. There is a lot of attention that is paid to other parts of a training program. For example, exercise selection, rep range, and even rest periods are carefully thought out. However, there isn’t much to be said for the importance of in our training. Even those with years of experience may go about their workout without any real intention behind their rep speed. Those who pay attention to their tempo tend to do so in an attempt to maximize hypertrophy. But does tempo training really bring about bigger increases to muscle mass? Even so, is there any reason to care about tempo outside of muscle mass? Although it is not often mentioned as an important variable, ignoring tempo may be causing you to leave a lot of results on the table. More Hypertrophy? As I mentioned, most conversations that involve tempo training are centered around increasing muscle mass. Mechanical tension is one of the main drivers of muscle hypertrophy. As such, many people focused on building muscle will look for ways to increase […]

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Working Hard vs. Working Efficiently

We’ve all heard the classic sayings when it comes to working out. People spew out phrases like “No pain, no gain”, “Failure isn’t an option”, or “pain is weakness leaving the body”. Although these phrases come from a good place, they can lead people down the wrong path. Some might assume that they have to suffer and break themselves in the gym in order to see results. This all or nothing mentality does work for some, especially those who have an iron will or relentless work ethic. But for many, this way of thinking only leads to injury, burnout, or plain old hatred for the gym. There is no doubt that we have to work hard for the things we want in life. Getting in shape and changing our body is no different. However, there is a point where working harder doesn’t actually lead to better results. It may seem logical to simply give 110% in the gym every day. However, in reality, this isn’t always the best way to get the job done. In order to have lasting results and enjoy the process we have to find a sweet spot where our efforts translate into positive results. In other words, […]

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workout variety

8 Ways to Add Variety to Your Training

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you probably get really excited when you start a new program. The novelty of the new movements, modalities, etc. is just so invigorating. However, that novelty fades pretty quickly for most folks. After completing a round or two of the program, you feel apathetic towards your training again. Of course, this doesn’t happen to everyone. Some people get amped up each and every time they get to work out. But for others, the thought of doing another session with the same routine is just plain boring. That’s why it is essential to have a program that fits the needs of each individual. Some people like boring. Others need constant variety to spice things up. So, if you find yourself being turned off by your training as of late, it would be worth learning some new tricks. Let’s dive into some of the best strategies out there for sprucing up your training program. Mix Up Your Rep Scheme A lot of times, people get stuck in a certain rep range. This probably stems from a need to make sure their training plan is ‘optimal’ for a given goal. Some prioritize getting strong by lifting in the 1-5 […]

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Weight Loss

Stalling Out: Why Your Weight Loss Stalls and How to Fix it

If you’ve ever spent time dedicating yourself to a weight loss diet, you know that results are not linear. You may start out losing weight at steady pace but eventually things get out of whack. Some weeks you lose weight and other weeks you stay the same. Heck there may even be times when you gain weight! There are many reasons for these temporary fluctuations and sticking points. But what exactly can you do to bust through these plateaus? The trick to keeping the weight loss going depends on the reason behind the stall in progress. Sometimes there is a simple fix that requires little effort. But other times you have to put in a good deal of work to get yourself back on track. Let’s discuss some of the main reasons that your weight loss stalls and what you can do to remedy the situation. Don’t Sound the Weight Loss Alarm Just Yet The human body is a funny thing. On the most basic level it seems to operate on a fairly straight forward rule known as calories in vs. calories out (CICO). Eat fewer calories than you burn each day and you should lose fat. As such, you should […]

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Rep Ranges: Do They Really Matter?

Training modalities and tactics are constantly debated by those who are serious about lifting weights. Many gurus have their own ideas about how to get big and strong. Naturally, these ideas trickle down to the less experienced gym goers and become gospel so to speak. One of the more hotly debated topics today is the aspect of rep ranges. Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that performing a certain number of reps will lead to certain changes to the muscle. More specifically, it is thought that higher rep ranges lead to more muscle mass while lower rep ranges lead to more strength. Is repetition number really that important for driving a certain adaptation? This answer is sort of dependent on a few factors. What is the end goal of your training? What style of training do you like? If your goal is to get as big as possible, you’re likely going to have to train a certain way. If your goal is to be as strong as possible, you’re likely going to train a different way. However, you’ll also find that mixing things up may be important for long term success.   Rep Ranges for Strength vs. Hypertrophy   Most of the […]

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Back to Basics: Basic Lifestyle Practices

When it comes to health and fitness, we all look to exercise and diet as the foundation. While these are great areas to work on, there are other parts of life that need attention if we want to stay healthy. These basic lifestyle practices (BLP’s) are crucial if you want to live long and perform well. So read up on the BLP’s so you can start working on them in your own life!

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Skipping the Gym: Can You Get Fit Working Out at Home?

When it comes to getting in shape, there seems to be a specific recipe. Eat healthy and control your calories, and get a gym membership so you can start working out. Some even go so far as to hire a personal trainer at their gym to help them out. And while this certainly is a great strategy for getting fit, it certainly takes a bit of upfront investment. Gym memberships can get quite pricey often require long term commitments. Additionally, the time investment of driving to and from the gym can be an obstacle for some people. Some people would certainly feel more comfortable getting a workout in at home. But is this even possible if you want to get serious about your fitness? Truth is, working out at home can certainly help you get fit and healthy. You simply have to know how to exploit your resources and find a workout style that works for you! It’s Easier for Beginners Getting in a good workout at home is easier for less experienced lifters at least as far as specificity is concerned. Research shows that pretty much any kind of workout stimulus will lead to positive results for beginners [Campos, Hagerman]. […]

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A Primer on Flexible Dieting

So many diets exist nowadays that it can be hard to sift through them all. Most work by restricting certain food groups which causes weight loss initially but is often unsustainable in the long term. Flexible dieting offers a long lasting solution by focusing on the fundamental principles of energy balance and fat loss. No restrictions, no rebound. Learn more about the dieting strategy that lets you have your cake and it it too!

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