Coming Back Chock Full of Info

It’s been since last Sunday that I’ve posted any new content.  Other than being extremely busy with school and work (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are all 12 hours days), I don’t have an excuse for not sharing new content.  Oh, wait, you understand my busy schedule?  Why, Thank You!!  Seeing as I start teaching drum lessons again on tomorrow, I’m now looking at 4 days a week that are over 4 hours.  Awesome.

This isn’t the end of the world, but one of the biggest reasons I’m not excited about it is because my extracurricular education is going to have to slow down.  Yea, I know, I’m nerdy, and not that many people complain about making money instead of reading about the importance of the Psoas.  Well, it’s a cool muscle, and one of these days I’ll learn about it.  Fortunately, nerding out is a huge part of my Kinesiology and Motor Development classes, and I’ll pass on the nerdiness to you.  If you don’t like it, that’s fine with me, but when it helps you become more awesome, you’ll thank me.

Again, I wish I had the opportunity to post more content.  I don’t have to work on Wednesday and Thursday this week, so I’ll be able to create more content on those days.  This should be a busy week for my blog; I’d like to talk about supplements, about  exercise modalities and selections, and about the trapezius.  I think it’s the most important muscle in the upper body, and you’ll get to learn all about it on Trapezius Tuesday.  Or Trapezius Thursday.  Which ever day I get to it.  Now, on to the fun things we’ll learn about today!

I stumbled across this amazing video today.  It’s an animation from a lecture by New York Times Best-Seller Daniel Pink at the The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).  I started watching it because of the awesome animation, and then realized that the content is amazing.  The content covers psychology, sociology, and economy, and I think that the information can easily apply to how people behave in regards to their health.  It’s well worth the 11 minutes.

I’m super excited about a new client that I have.  PK, as we’ll call him, could be the coolest 58 year old ever.  Not only is he excited about improving his strength and training functionally, he’s also excited to learn about WHY we’re doing what we’re doing.  His daughter just earned her DPT, so we’re in business!  He still finds the foam rolling to be funny, which admittedly it is, but I’m excited about his attention to detail on form for the exercises we’re doing.  He  held a plank for an entire minute on Thursday, after holding one for only 15 seconds 3 weeks ago; he admitted to practicing on his own, and I’m very impressed with that.  He also demonstrates amazing squat depth for all of his TRX Squats, which we use because he has limited dorsiflexion.  Once we increase ankle mobility, he’ll be squatting with better technique than 95% of people I see at the gym.  Awesome!

One of the biggest issues that PK has is with his mobility, and we spent a good deal of time going over mobility drills so help undo the postural damage of his day.  He understands the significance of postural adjustment throughout the day, because it’s impossible for 2 hours of training a week to undo the 7+ hours a day in the office.  By maintaining good posture and making sure to stretch a number of times through out the day, I’m very confident in how he’ll progress.  If you’re wondering where you can learn more, I’d highly recommend the 4 part “Neanderthal No More” series published on T-Nation by Mike Robertson and Eric Cressey.  It’s a technical and long read, but you won’t learn more without buying a textbook or taking college courses.  (You can find all four parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).  If you’d rather not read for so long, I’d suggest THIS recent article from Keats Snideman, which includes two good videos.  It’s a more efficient way to learn! (Get it, because I’m always searching for a more efficient way to train?!)  Learning about simple postural correction is underrated, because it has a direct carry over to how you feel and move in your every day lives; who doesn’t want to feel better?  Maybe this explains why I’m writing this while statically stretching my hip flexors…

While we’re on the topics of mobility and flexibility, let’s talk about the most awesome thing that happened on my Saturday morning; I finally watched my new copy of Assess and Correct!  It’s an awesome product, and I’m excited about it.  It’s going to require numerous re-watches for me to learn all of the material, but it already has given me ideas on assessment and mobility concepts for both myself and for others.  For example, I know that I have a pretty serious asymmetry as far as hip external/internal rotation goes, so that will be an issue I’ll be working to correct.

Here are two thoughts from my Friday workout:  After absolutely sucking at missing a 365lb deadlift for the 462nd week in a row, I front squatted heavier than ever before, and performed Pistol squats with the TRX.  Each exercise taught me the same thing:  That I suck at them, and should do them more.  I hit 275 x 4 on the Front Squat, and really felt it in my upper back.  I’m going to be front squatting more frequently for two reasons.  The obvious one is to get better at front squatting, and also to improve my deadlift.  I’ll also be taking a training tip from THIS article by Bret Contreras, and will be using Front Squat Iso-Holds to further tax my thoracic extensors.  If you have no idea what that means, here is a picture and video to enlighten you:These muscles are worked by the following exercise:

As far as pistols go, I’ve realized something that should have been obvious.  My hips felt great when I performed pistols regularly.  Now, I have on-again/off-again lateral pain my left hip, and I suck at doing pistols with my left leg.  Hmm…Maybe I should work on those and see how my hip feels?  Also, you can learn how to do pistols quickly by checking out THIS article from Bret Contreras featuring 3 videos from Franz Snideman, twin brother of Keats, whose article was posted earlier.

I’ve recently taken to posting articles that I read to Facebook; I only post the ones that I feel will provide the most direct benefit to people who will read them, as at the moment more people are likely to read them after seeing them in their Facebook newsfeed than by seeing them on my blog.  Nonetheless, here are the latest links I’ve shared, which are great reads for those who want to learn a bit more about training, health, and nutrition.

HERE is a post from Nia Shanks which discusses 5 deadlift variations you should be doing.

HERE is a T-Nation article from Brian St. Pierre about benefits of whey protein that go beyond muscle building.

HERE is an article from EliteFTS from Jason Nunn explaining why crunches and sit-ups suck.

HERE is an article from Stephan Guyenet, Ph.D. which discusses the major holes in the diet-heart hypothesis.

HERE is another post from Nia Shanks containing videos of athletic women picking up heavy stuff.  It’s proof that ladies can get super strong without becoming super bulky, contrary to the beliefs of hot yoga attendees everywhere.

I’d say that the two stars of today’s post are Bret Contreras and Nia Shanks.  Both offer amazing advice in both their blogs and their articles written for other sites, and both practice what they preach.  Additionally, they’re united by the fact that they think women should train just as hard as men.  I’m right there with them, and hope that more girls will start to consider Zumba an easy off day workout instead of a “great workout”.  Use it between your training days.  Sure, it’s good light cardio to use in between your real workouts, but let’s not kid anybody; you’re just dancing.  Unfortunately, for many girls that’s the most intense physical activity they experience during the week.  Sure, Zumba is fun, but it’s not training. If you’re content dancing and smiling with your friends, and thinking that you worked really hard while you sip your Starbucks post-workout mochafrappamachiato, then you probably don’t want to watch the following video of a female client of Bret’s.  She has a body that most girls would kill for, and she’s far tinnier than most girls who are scared that lifting weights will bulk them up.  Not only is she petite and sexy, she’s also stronger in her technique than most guys.  More girls should be like her.

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