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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Deadlifting at 73

Via Fight Geek:

If Ron can do it, so can I!

On 1 March 2009, the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation will be holding their Northern Illinois Championships at B&W Gym in Chicago.

I would like to compete in that event.

I have never competed before and have no idea if I can even rank against the other lifters, but I don't care. This is not about ranking. This is about setting a goal, showing up and giving my all.

Details to follow. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Max Reps #2

Happy Thanksgiving!

T = 42'42''

Pushups = BW x 70 @ 5-min
Door Pullups = BW x 10 @ 5-min
Hindu Squats = BW x 100 @ 5-min
KB Swing = 16kg x L40/R40 @ 2-min ea.
Powerball = Physical Strength Index (30-sec) x L3845/R3779 x L3473/R3995 x L3472/R3832 x L3344/R3982

A fast session, with little impact on my Turkey Day recuperation. BJJ sparing is scheduled for today and I hope all the food from last night will be put to good use.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Conquer Thanksgiving and Beyond

Thanksgiving (and Christmas for that matter!) are fast approaching. For many of us, vacation and the impending holidays become a reason to neglect our training and nutrition programs. Below are five tips to help keep your training on track while away from home.

1. Re-affirm Your Priorities
Take a moment to evaluate what is most important for you this holiday season. Is the short-term satisfaction of eating all that food, drinking all that alcohol and spending all that time on the couch worth sacrificing the progress made in last few months at the gym? Clearly define for yourself what your long-term goals are and share them generously with those around you. The support of your family and friends is the easiest way to maintain your goals and stick to your program.

2. No Gym is No Excuse
You're away from home for the holidays and won't have access to a gym? Big deal. This is no reason to skip a workout. Pushups, lunges, squats and other bodyweight exercises are extremely beneficial and require very little equipment. Pick two upper-body exercises and two lower-body exercises and, for each exercises, do as many reps as you can in three minutes. Once you complete three minutes with one exercise, move on to the next. If you don't feel challenged, do each exercise for four minutes (or five, or six, or...). If that's still not challenging enough, add a third upper-body exercise and a third lower-body exercise; or elevate your legs onto a chair to make the existing exercises more demanding. Always know your limitations and never attempt something that may be dangerous or past your level of experience.

3. Eat Before You Go To Dinner
20–30 minutes before you arrive at the big family dinner, eat a large snack. The snack should consist of mostly proteins, fats and fiber. Drink plenty of water with your snack and while waiting for dinner. Feeling satisfied before all the food is laid out in front of you will help prevent over-eating at dinner.

4. Stick to Meat and Veggies
While at dinner, fill your plate with plenty of meats and vegetables. Avoid the potatoes, pastas, cakes and candies. Drink water.

5. Never Feel Deprived
Follow your training and nutrition program for only 90% of your vacation. For the other 10%, go wild and enjoy yourself. The holidays are a time to re-connect with the people that have made an impact on your life. While it is important to maintain your goals, it is also important to relax and unwind. Work hard, play hard, and take full advantage of your time with family and friends.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Max-Effort Lifts #2

1RM assessments taken over the last two weeks. One movement per day, with at least 48 hours rest between assessments.

325# = Squat
225# = Bench Press
375# = Deadlift (semi-sumo)
165# = Overhead Press

Max Effort Day #1

Started a new program today, based on Mike Mahler's T-Nation article. Mon/Wed/Fri will be cardio and sport-specific training; Tue/Thr/Sat will be heavy lifting.

Yesterday was my first GPP day.
T=38'16'' / Rest = 60-120 sec

0. Ginastica Natural = 8 min

1a. KB Swing to 120° = 16kg x 30 sec L, 30 sec R
1b. Pullups (ledge grip) = BW x 60 sec

2. Side Bends = 16kg x Tabata (L/R alternating)

3. Bottom-up Press = 16kg x 1R x 0L

Today was a max effort day.

Press = Incline Bench Press @ 135#x5x5x5
UB Pull = Seated Row (w/ Rope Handel) @ 100#x5x5x5
Squat = Zercher Squat @ 115#x5x5x5
LB Pull = Good Mornings @ 95#x5 115#x5 120#x5
Grip = Pinch-grip Plate Curl @ 15#x5x5x5 (3 5#-plates)

Plus an additional 1h30 in light walking.

Both yesterday and today were good sessions. I look forward to tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Via Fitness and Wellness in America:

Chris suggests the fitness industry is still considered by many to be a higher-order category when placed on Maslow's pyramid. He also suggests trainers and coaches should begin branding their services as a lower-order necessity: a way to maintain homeostasis.

I believe we should all consider ourselves Allied Health Care Professionals and should treat our clients with the same respect and care as physicians do their patients. Employers are already discovering the benefits of keeping their employees healthy; and I have personally experienced the favorable effects (physical, emotional and psychological) fitness and wellness can have on an individual and that individual's daily life.

It is true that in times of crisis, the "luxury" of going to the gym may be compromised. It is true that many families do not have the resources to pay for a highly skilled fitness professional. It is true that physical fitness may take a back-seat to other, "more pressing" matters.

I consider my own physical conditioning Preemptive Medical Intervention, and would never jeopardize the rewards that come from a strong, mobile body. You shouldn't either.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

World's Strongest Geezer

Via MarkFu’s Barbarian Blog:

Bill Kazmaier, former World's Strongest Man, laments on getting old and how it affects his training.

Bill is 54.

I'm less than half his age and already I'm starting to see a major difference in my training from 2–3 years ago; I can't make the same stupid training decisions I did back in sophomore year of college without paying for it later in the week.

That said, I'm also a lot smarter than I was back than and am training much more efficiently and effectively than I have in the past.

There is a saying about aging martial artists:
What an older fighter lacks in speed, he makes up for in efficiency.

There is another saying about aging actors:
What an older actor lacks in raw energy, he makes up for in stamina.

As we get older, our abilities evolve. It is our duty as athletes to exploit our strengths (at any age) and find a goal to strive for, and compete with others to the best of our abilities.

This fact gives me hope for my future as an athlete and a strength coach.

Original post here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The 80/20 Rule, Parkinson's Law and Physical Fitness

The 80/20 Rule (also referred to as The Pareto Principle) suggests that 80 percent of all results are the product of only 20 percent of all efforts. This principle is used all the time to help explain and codify how resources are distributed within a system.

This idea can be applied to physical fitness just as easily as it can to in business or economics.

Suppose I perform 10 movements during a training session. The Pareto Principle says that two of those 10 movements are providing me with most of my results. What if I focused my efforts on only those two movements? And what would happen if I allotted myself a specific amount of time to perform those movements during the training session? How might those changes effect the results at my next assessment?

Parkinson's Law suggest that work tends to expand to fill the time allotted for its completion, and explains why simple tasks (and tasks with no deadline) take so long to accomplish (or are not accomplished at all). This law is very similar to Student Syndrome, a phenomenon where many people fully apply themselves to a task only at the last possible moment before the deadline.

If I make the deadline concrete—my next assessment; a friend's brithday; Labor Day—I have a finite amount of time to accomplish my fitness goals (Parkinson's Law). To use that time most effectively, I should concentrate on movement patterns that will produce the greatest result for my efforts (The 80/20 Rule). And to take full advantage of the allotted time, I should begin applying myself at full intensity from the very beginning of the program (Student Syndrome).

Look over your own program and see if it can't be improved upon. Where are most of your results coming from? What's your deadline? Do you commit fully to each and every training session?

And don't just stop at your training program; the above principles can be applied to most anything: analyze the situation, break it down, and discard the parts that are of least value. The end result is more productivity in less time.