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Edition #23 | A Beginner's Guide to Running Marathons

Plus: how much cardio is best for fat loss, should you take BCAAs, and more.

Good morning and welcome to The Weekly Rep, the official newsletter of fitness. Shoutout to the 650 new readers this week! We now have 10,288 readers.

In today’s edition:

  • A beginner’s guide to running marathons

  • How much cardio is best for fat loss?

  • 9 exercise swaps to build muscle faster

  • Should you be taking BCAAs?

  • Announced — the winner of September’s giveaway

Let’s dive in 💥 


9 Exercise Swaps to Build Muscle Faster

Do you ever wonder if you’re getting the maximum benefits from the exercises in your routine? Yeah, us too. It made us wonder: How can we get more out of what we’re already doing?

Luckily, we didn’t have to go too far down the rabbit hole. One of our favorite fitness gurus, Joe Delaney, just released a new video breaking down some of the most popular strength exercises and their superior counterparts.

Curious to see if you’re already doing them? Check out the video!

The Best Glute Exercises for Muscle Growth

Over the last several weeks, we highlighted 3 of Jeremy Ethier’s popular experiments testing the best chest, shoulder, and back exercises for muscle growth. This video marks the final one of the series: the best glute exercises. 

Jeremy and 3 friends in various stages of their strength training journeys ran it back one more time, testing 17 glute exercises to see which ones are the best for muscle growth. Like in previous editions, you’ll also learn of the exercises you may want to avoid and receive tips along the way to improve your form.

Looking to level up your leg day? Watch this video.

Maximizing Your Pec Gains: A Comprehensive Guide

The pecs are one of the most popular muscles in the human body, for men at least. Well-developed pecs are a weightlifting status symbol if ever there was one. To the degree that the first day of our work week has been dubbed, “International Chest Day.”

But many bench press and pec fly themselves into a near coma without seeing the growth they want. In our new article, we are going to put an end to that.

There are three key factors to consider when training a specific muscle.

  1. The anatomy of the muscle. The role it plays in the human body amongst some other anatomical considerations.

  2. The fiber typing of said muscle, which will dictate the amount of reps, sets, and frequency used.

  3. Line of resistance. The direction from which the resistance is coming and how to adequately apply resistance through a long range of motion.

Also, range of motion is often incorrectly assumed to be “the distance a weight or body part travels. It’s not. ROM is equal to the number of degrees a joint flexes” against resistance. - Bret Contreras

Luckily, you do not have to read a single anatomy chapter or research study. We have the science and research right here.


A Beginner’s Guide to Running Marathons

So you want to run a marathon. Maybe you’ve been running for a while, and want to set a new goal for yourself. Or maybe you’ve never run more than a few feet at a time, and are looking for a challenge. Whatever your reason for wanting to run a marathon, we fully support it. But before you lace up your shoes and hit the ground running, there are a few things you should know about how to get started. To best prepare yourself, we asked marathoner and Ultra runner Jeremy Miller to share his top tips on how he went from hating running to running a 52-mile ultramarathon and qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

Just like with anything new – whether it’s a new hobby, exercise routine, or diet – everybody is a beginner at one point or another. Even marathoners like Miller started out with just one mile.

“I played sports growing up but always hated running. It was always used for punishment, so I naturally had a negative outlook on it,” Miller says of where his path to running began.

“One random day while I was riding the Honolulu city bus to the University of Hawaii campus, I put on a Joe Rogan podcast episode with this guy named David Goggins. I had never heard of him before, but after I heard his voice and heard his story, I was instantly hooked. I binged every podcast and YouTube video I could find that featured Goggins. His story of running 100 miles with no training was so inspiring, and made me wonder what I was capable of,” Miller continues.

“So I started running every day. Just one mile. I would run a half mile from my apartment as hard and as fast as I could. Then I would turn around and come back. I would try to set a new personal best in the mile every single day. After I inevitably hit a plateau doing this, I realized if I wanted to run farther and faster, I needed a new strategy.”

…DO 🏃‍♀️ 

Cardio…But How Much?

A powerful way to take care of your overall health, cardiovascular exercise has a place in just about everyone’s routine. If you’re using cardio with a goal of losing fat, you’ve probably wondered, “well, how much should I do?” And that’s a great question — but with a complicated answer. To help, Jeremy Ethier dove into the scientific research so you don’t have to.

…TRY 🙌

Improving Your Hip Mobility

Mobility is something we’ll always discuss. Why? Because of how important it is as part of an overall workout routine. Try incorporating a 5-minute mobility routine like this one from Sophie Rinkenbach into your program ASAP.

…EAT 🍪 

321Glo’s New Protein+ Cookies

These not-so-guilty pleasures contain 15 grams of protein, 4 grams of collagen, and less than 9 grams of carbs. With three tasty flavors, these nutritionist-designed cookies honestly sounded too good to be true – so we had to try them for ourselves.

…FIX 💪

Your Chest Fly

One of the best exercises for targeting the pectoralis muscles, the chest fly can be performed a number of ways. And with that comes mistakes. Probably the biggest mistake people make is limiting their range of motion. But what other mistakes are common? Are you making any of them? This quick, informative breakdown from coach Davis Diley has the answers.

…KNOW 🧉 

Do You Really Need BCAAs?

Whether you’ve been working out for a lifetime or just getting started at the gym, chances are you’ve probably heard of BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids. This group of three essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine – have been shown to reduce muscle soreness, help promote muscle growth and decrease muscle fatigue. They’re one of the most popular supplements in the health and fitness industry, and when consumed properly, have almost no negative side effects.

Now that’s all well and good, but there’s a million different supplements on the market that all claim to have amazing benefits. And with so many supplements available, it can be hard to know what’s really worth adding to your lineup.

So what’s the deal with BCAAs? Are they really as great as everyone claims, or are they just a racket? To get the answer, we sat down with Nutrabio’s founder and president Mark Glazier and got to the bottom of BCAAs.

  • Dad Joke of the Week

    • Q — A man walks into a gym and asks the receptionist, “What machine should I use to impress women?”

    • A — She responds swiftly, pointing outside the door, saying, “The ATM machine, sir”

  • Chasing a deeper stretch…literally 

  • What it’s like when you start dating someone with a home gym


What is the body’s largest joint?

a. Saddle

b. Knee

c. Shoulder

d. Hinge

Every week, we’ll pick people at random who reply to this email with the correct answer to receive a 1-month Lift Box subscription!

Last week’s answer — Italy and Switzerland 😎


Congratulations to Wagner, the winner of our September giveaway and a 6-month Lift Box subscription! Make sure you check your email for details.

If you didn’t win, don’t sweat it. We’re hosting our biggest giveaway ever later in October. With over $1,500 in prizes up for grabs, it’s one you definitely won’t want to miss!


Don’t miss out on the latest deals! Every month, we receive exclusive discounts for our subscribers from incredible fitness + wellness brands. Just by reading our newsletter (or being a subscriber of The Lift Box), you’ll receive every deal we have. New deals go live towards the end of every month.

Check them out!