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Monday, October 27, 2008

Sick Day (Well "Week," Really...)

I got hit with a massive cold on Friday that is now making its way through my upper respiratory tract, causing me to hack and cough all day. I should be back to full-power by Wednesday.

This week was originally schedule for max lifts. Instead of loosing this week entirely, I will continue my New Leaf protocol. The first of four sessions was done today. The other three are scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.

In the mean time, here are some exciting articles recently published on T-Nation:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Club Industry Expo 2008 Recap

Last Thursday, I attended the Club Industry Expo at McCormick Place. This was my first year attending and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety of vendors that were there. Here is a recap of the more memorable products on display at the convention.

Woodway Force Treadmill
I also discovered that all of Woodway's treadmills have a "Dynamic Mode," which mimics the motorless characteristics of the Force. Dynamic Mode can be accessed by pressing the up and down speed buttons simaltaniously for an extended period of time.

Marpo Kinetics Rope Climber
One of the easiest ways to de-load a rope climb I've seen yet.

Pneumex Pro-Vibe and PT 50
The Pro-Vibe series is the first vibration platform I've seen with a large, unobstructed oscillation surface. The PT 50 treadmill has a built-in unweighting harness and can be used for both rehabilitation and over-speed training. The PT 50 is also built like a tank.

Keiser Air Series Equipment
Resistance training powered by compressed air. One compressor can power up to 8 machines; and each machine's resistance can be adjusted in 1-unit increments.

Vita-Mix Food Blender
A blender that can make peanut butter? I'm sold!

Treadwall Rotating Climbing Wall
Because some people don't have access to a mountain.

Strive Selectorized Equipement
The first product line I've seen with an adjustable cam.

Skorcher Pro
Originally designed as a "butt blaster," this bench is surprising versatile. You can even add external load to some of the movements. I don't know if it can replace the functionality of a squat or deadlift, but it's certainly a great, safe-saving way to add supplemental exercises to a program.

And my pick for Best In Show:

Sciona Mycellf Personal Genetic Assessment
For a (relatively) inexpensive fee, you or your client can have a DNA sample analyzed and compared against genetic markers. The markers determine optimal micronutrient, training and recovery profiles.

Attending the expo was a wonderful experience. It was great to meet all the companies and their reps. I hope to go back next year.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Squat + Deadlift Day #4

Last Thursday, I attended the Club Industry Expo. This was the same day I schedule my heavy leg day and I was weaker during the session than I originally anticipated (I'll report on the expo in a later post). I also had less time to rest between sessions than I would have liked.

T = 59'40''

bar x 12
135# x 6
185# x 6
225# x 3
275# x 1 (BELT ASSIST)
315# x 0 (BELT ASSIST)

BW x 8 x 8 x 8

I think I had too much volume on the squats and that's why I couldn't get lock-out on the last set. I also think I've been training at a high intensity for too long. I would like to take next week to de-load and recover. Perhaps I'll focus on cardio.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bench Press + Overhead Press Day #3

Today was a very intense metabolic training day. I did some sled work and used a medicine ball for my core. Since I missed my bench press day last week, I decided to have that session today and do my heavy squat session on later this week. Because of my schedule, I had to break yesterday's training session down into two parts.

Part 1: T = 1:02'13''

bar x 15
135# x 6
155# x 4
175# x 3
195# x 3
205# x 2 x 2 x 2

BW+20# x 6 x 6 x 3

Part 2: T = 47'02''

20# x 14
30# x 6
40# x 4
50# x 3
60# x 2

BW+5# x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4

Good sessions, the both of them. I think I'm going to limit my heaving lifting days to just these four movements (I would prefer the barbell press over the dumbbell press) and see if I can make some progress in them before adding other movements.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Squat + Deadlift Day #3

Trained on Tuesday at Lincoln Park Fitness Center and sparred with my friend (and fellow Chicago Stunt Works stuntman), Sebastian Garavaglia. He is much better at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu than I am.

T = 1:58'08''

bar x 20
135# x 8
225# x 3 x 3
265# x 3 x 3
295# x 3
305# x 2 x 2

55# x 20
155# x 6
199# x 3 x 3
243# x 2 x 2

BW x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5

BW x 8 x 8 x 8

I can feel myself getting lazy. I used "muscle soreness" and "general fatigue" as an excuse to not train heavy today.

This has got to stop! I need to find my motivation again…

I also need to get my food into gear. I'm going to re-reading John Berardi's Precision Nutrition packet again and see where I can adjust my current diet. I'll start with the obvious junk foods and then chisel away at the less apparent sources of bad feeding habits.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Read My Meat #1

Important articles (and their micro-summeries) to read and pass on...

Back To Form Fitness: "Stand Up!!" [6 Oct 2008]
You sit all day, so why not stand while training? Standing is good for everything you do and even better for your training program. "Joint function and assessment with Chuck Wolf" [1 Oct 2008]
If you're not assessing, you're guessing (thanks Alwyn!). Start from the big toe and work your way up.

Eric Cressey's Newsletter #127: "5 Keys to Bulletproofing Your Knees" [7 Oct 2008]
VMO, VML, ACL: Alphabet soup for all your hip-knee issues and debates.

Female Fitness and Nutrition Scientist: "No more Waifs!" [6 Oct 2008]
Tracy Anderson says woman should not lift weights heavier than 3 lbs. Cassandra Forsythe disagrees and has links to back her claim.

Fitness Spotlight: "Do Our Ancestors Tell Us Everything We Need To Know About Fitness and Nutrition?" [3 Oct 2008]
For natural selection to occur, behaviors must be present in the first place. Is the "Palaeolithic lifestyle" as accurate as we think?

Modern Forager: "Developing Hip Function: A Hallmark of Athleticism" [6 Oct 2008]
Your hips and core are all-important for athleticism. A strong posterior chain will increase strength and power for most everything you do. "10 Reasons to Start Deadlifting" [6 Oct 2008]
You pick stuff up (1,9), Pull stuff out (2), Walk/climb stairs (3,4). Weak abs/core (5,6), The Pareto Principle (7-8), More T & HGH (10)!

Straight to the Bar: "Quadruped Draw In and Variations" [30 Sept 2008]
Advanced core work for those looking to go beyond a static plank hold. Learn to "brace your abs" in a safe, effective way.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Entrepreneurial Manic-Depression

Tim Ferriss posted a great article on using the mental stages of building a business to your advantage. The stages are:
  1. Uninformed Optimism
  2. Informed Pessimism
  3. Crisis of Meaning
  4. Informed Optimism (-or-) Crash and Burn
I find many similarities between Ferriss's "Entrepreneurial Manic-Depression" and the Four Stages of Competency, which are:
  1. Unconscious Incompetence
  2. Conscious Incompetence
  3. Conscious Competence
  4. Unconscious Competence
My combined stages are as follows:

Stage 1: Uninformed Optimism and Unconscious Incompetence

At this stage, a sense of excitement and nervous energy about the new endeavor is overwhelming. The person does not recognize any deficits needing to be addressed. Everything appears to be awesome. Communicate freely with others and share your joy.

Stage 2: Informed Pessimism and Conscious Incompetence
The person is now aware that a deficit exists somewhere and wants to correct it. Fear and frustration begin to set in and the realities of the endeavor start to take over. Stay rational and make smart decisions.

Stage 3: Crisis of Meaning and Conscious Competence
The person is past scared, and feelings of despair kick in. This is the critical juncture where attention and focus are needed to maintain a sense of stability, or the endeavor will fail completely in a huge orange fireball. Reconnect with those around you and reaffirm your beliefs as much as possible.

Stage 4: Informed Optimism and Unconscious Competence (or Crash and Burn)
If the endeavor has not failed, the person emerges from Stage 3 with a new-found sense of calm and peace. The person is now aware of the hardships that come with taking on the endeavor and can make informed decisions based on experience and skill. Make smart choices and share your budding enthusiasm with others.

*Rinse and repeat*

These stages can be found in any project you take on. I know from personal experience that I just made it through Stage 3 of my personal training business. Lucky for me, I didn't crash or burn, and I can now enter the next phase of growth with more knowledge and experience than I did before. I know to expect the stages again as I face new challenges, and I will be ready for them. My network of friends and colleagues has expanded over the last three months (since I graduated college) and I have people around me that I love and trust, and who will get me through those tough times.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Bench Press + Overhead Press Day #2

Today was lame. Yesterday was good, but today was lame. I trained at HiFi yesterday, took advantage of another trainer's Prowler, and did some sweet energy system work (this includes rope climbs, ab wheel, box jumps and atlas stone lifts). I should have done my heavy lifting before my energy system work, because today I felt completely drained and could not get into gear for my session at LPFC. I fatigued way too early and didn't have the will power to finish today's routine.

T = 40'50''

bar x 12
105# x 8
150# x 3
170# x 3
190# x 3

30# (3 plates) x failure

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Squat + Deadlift Day #2

T = 1:15'08''

bar x 12
40 kg x 8
60 kg x 6
80 kg x 2 x 2

40 kg x 8
60 kg x 6
70 kg x 3 x 3 x 3

BW x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8

50# x 15 x 15 x 15

Nothing major to report. I trained at Lincoln Park Fitness Center yesterday and got to play with their kilo bumper plates. I never get to play with bumper plates at my other facilities, so it was a great switch-up from the usual.