43 Essential Training Tips

Simple and often bizarre answers to your questions about working out

There are countless books about weight training that will answer all your questions about how to transform your body and improve your health. One practical question-and-answer book designed to jumpstart your Iron Game education is 43 Essential Training Tips for Strength, Muscle Growth and Fat Loss. Unfortunately, the considerable amount of misinformation this book contains overshadows its good information.

This is the seventh book by Dorian Carter that focus on strength training for beginners, and it was published in 2022. Carter’s titles include Learn Pull-Ups at Home, Increasing Muscle Mass for Beginners, and How to Burn Fat Without Counting Calories.

When asked about scientific references to support his opinions, Charles R. Poliquin often answered, “What do you think I am, a librarian?” Likewise, Carter doesn’t bother will references, even with controversial statements.

Carter says that the optimal load for building muscle is 60-80 percent of your 1-rep max, but adds that research says you can build muscle with just 30 percent as long as you do a lot of reps and train to failure. By the way, there is no author bio that discusses Carter’s qualifications to write this book.

The book is organized into 43 sections, each answering a common question about working out. Carter writes for a general audience and answers each question in a few paragraphs. Many of the answers are rather odd, such the reader may find themself asking, “Does this person even lift?” Consider question #43:

“What’s the best type of training for muscle growth?”

Carter’s answer: Kettlebells, Bodyweight Training, and Barbells. Seriously? Carter says bodyweight exercises are great for building muscle because “professional gymnasts” have “enormous muscle mass.” Of course, Carter notes that these athletes look enormous because they are short! As for kettlebells, Carter says you can do a lot of compound movements with kettlebells that pack on the mass, such as pistol squats and renegade rows. Ah, sure.

Many of Carter’s answers are relatively harmless. Consider question 8: “How long should you rest between sets?” Whereas the Strength Sensei has written extensively on this loading parameter, Carter covers it in three paragraphs. The answer? Longer rest intervals are best for increasing strength and muscle mass, and shorter rest intervals are best for increasing muscle endurance. The author (who apparently has never heard of supersets) should have stopped there.

Carter explained that shorter rest periods increase muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue is “detrimental” to achieving the most important factor for muscle growth, which Carter explains is “total volume.” If you’re still confused, Carter wraps up her answer by saying that the best rule of thumb regarding rest periods is to “rest as much as you need” to complete all the prescribed sets without compromising your lifting technique.

Most of the answers to questions are not as absurd as these, but there are enough to safely say that the Strength Sensei would not endorse 43 Essential Training Tips for Strength, Muscle Growth and Fat Loss. (TSS)

[43 Essential Training Tips for Strength, Muscle Growth and Fat Loss by Dorian Carter is available in eBook format through]

– Lead photo by Ryan Paiva,

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