Out of all the work I do these days, I still enjoy researching and writing most, and that’s why my editorial team and I stepped it up in 2017.
In the last 12 months, we published 100 articles and 226,470 words here on Legion, as well as another 334 articles and 404,546 words over at Muscle for Life.
Below you’ll find a list of the ten most popular (by traffic) articles we produced this year. As you’ll see, they range from workout routines to fat loss tips, muscle building wisdom, health advice, and more.
Old-school bodybuilders are correct in that you need to eat more food than usual to build muscle efficiently, and new-schoolers are correct in that ballooning your body fat percentage is not only unnecessary for muscle building, but detrimental.
There’s a sweet spot in the middle, which is where clean bulking enters the picture.
Clean bulking allows you to gain muscle as quickly as possible, without forcing you to get fat in the process.
And in this article, you’re going to learn where “dirty bulking” misses the mark, why clean bulking works better, and how to actually go about doing it.
Some people say you absolutely need to eat protein before your workouts to maximize muscle and strength gains.
Others say eating before you train doesn’t matter, but eating after is vital.
Others still say neither of these “feeding windows” matter, and that you just need to make sure you’re eating enough protein on the whole.
Science isn’t exactly clear on this matter, either, because each of these people have studies that purportedly bolster their arguments.
And so you’re left wondering who’s right and what to do.
Should you “play it safe” and just eat protein before and after every workout? Or should you just ignore everyone and eat on a schedule that you like most?
Well, in this article, you’re going to get to the bottom of all of it.
As you’ll soon see, eating protein before and after workouts isn’t as important as many people claim, but it’s not entirely without merit, either.
Does every dessert we eat push us a little further down the slippery slope of disease and dysfunction, and make it ever harder to claw our way back to optimal health and vitality?
Can we develop a “sugar dependence” in the same way we can become physically dependent on alcohol, cocaine, or heroin?
Can it get so bad that we can experience legitimate withdrawal symptoms if we stop eating sugar.
Well, the short answer is this:
The “addictive properties” of sugar are being grossly exaggerated by many mainstream diet and health “gurus.”
Likewise, most discussions of “sugar withdrawal” are equally bogus.
So, if you’re ready to learn the truth about sugar withdrawal, and what constitutes a real addiction and what doesn’t, then you want to keep reading . . .
Whey protein is commonly referred to as the king of protein supplements.
Why is whey seemingly the king here when there are so many other types of protein powders out there that all “work”?
Do some work better than others and, if so, is it honestly a big enough of a difference to make whey the king?
That’s what you’re going to learn in this article—how protein powders differ in terms of muscle-building benefits, taste, mouthfeel, price, and everything else you need to know to decide which one is right for you.
Poke around on the Internet and you’ll find a lot of conflicting opinions on what causes tight hip flexors and what to do about it.
Some people say that sitting is to blame because it shortens and weakens the muscles, others say exercise—and weightlifting in particular—is at fault, and others still say that muscle weakness is the root cause.
Well, the truth is hip flexor tightness isn’t as cut and dried as many people would have you believe. As you’ll see, causation is murky and “magic bullet” fixes are unlikely.
The good news, though, is you don’t have to know exactly why your hip flexors are acting up to figure out how to fix it, and with a little trial and error, you can do just that.
This article shows you how.
Hang around in the gym long enough and you’re going to hear about clenbuterol.
If you want to shred fat as quickly as possible without losing muscle, the pitch goes, then you want to hop on the clenbuterol train.
How much can this drug really boost your fat loss, though? Should you take warnings about side effects seriously, or are they exaggerated? Is there anything else you should know before deciding for or against clen?
Well, you’re going to get answers to all of those questions and more in this article.
By the end, you’re going to know exactly how clenbuterol works, how effective it really is, how likely it is to harm your body, and more.
Pea protein is often passed over in favor of whey, casein, and soy protein because of concerns about its amino acid profile, digestibility, and taste.
Many people simply think that peas can’t provide them with protein that’s suitable for gaining muscle or losing fat, and that it probably tastes godawful.
Well, they’re wrong.
As you’ll see, pea protein is actually one of the best plant-based forms of protein that you can eat—on par with the best of animal-derived powders—and, when flavored and sweetened well, has a uniquely pleasant taste.
So, if you want to learn how pea protein is made, what its main benefits and drawbacks are, how it compares to whey and casein, and how to choose the best pea protein powder for you, then you want to keep reading . . .
It’s often assumed that lowering estrogen levels can improve body composition and virility, and especially in people that are “estrogen dominant” and thus incapable of gaining any considerable amount of muscle and strength.
Is all the estrogen hype warranted, though? And are estrogen blocking drugs and supplements effective, safe, and legal, like many people claim?
You’re going to learn the answers to all of those questions and more in this article.
By the end, you’ll know how estrogen affects the body, how estrogen blockers work, and whether or not estrogen blockers can help you lose fat and build muscle.
If there’s one supplement that’s truly passed the test of time, it’s creatine monohydrate.
It’s been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies, and the evidence is clear:
It helps you gain muscle and strength faster, and improves anaerobic endurance and muscle recovery, and it does it all naturally and safely.
When it comes to improving your body composition and workout performance, creatine monohydrate is basically all pros and no cons.
And in this article, you’re going to learn why.
By the end, you’ll know what creatine monohydrate is, how it works, how effective it is, how to take it for best results, and more.
Spend enough time in the gym and you’ll inevitably notice that the biggest guys and gals are also often the strongest.
Sure, some people are stronger than they look, but for the most part, strength and size seem to be directly correlated.
This begs a question, then:
Is muscle growth simply a byproduct of strength? If you just focus on getting stronger and stronger, will your muscles just get bigger and bigger?
Well, in this article, you’re going to get a clear, concise, and conclusive answer based on decades of anecdotal evidence as well as our current scientific understanding of muscle hypertrophy.
That’s it—this year’s ten most popular Legion articles.
If you want more articles like these, definitely check out the top ten articles my team and I published over on Muscle for Life’s blog.