7 Quick Facts

If you’re anything like me, you love little tidbits of information that you can use in your daily life.  I may like collecting copious amounts of information, because I’m a huge nerd, but I won’t bore you with that.  Today I have 7 small tips and thoughts for you that I think you’ll really enjoy.  Here we go:

I frequently talk about building the most efficient workouts possible.  In our busy world, few people have the time to workout for 2 hours every day of the week.  That usually ends up being overkill as it is.  I’ve talked about my use of the kettlebell before, and here’s a fun fact from an article which I found.

“After carefully measuring oxygen consumption and blood lactate, this study confirmed the average study participant burned approximately 20 calories per minute during a typical kettlebell workout.  This equates to an astounding 400 calories during a 20-minute workout.  In terms of calorie burning, these results are equivalent to running a six-minute mile pace, or cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace.”

In terms of efficiency, swinging a kettlebell is one of the best things that you can do.  You can acquire numerous benefits, in a shorter period of time.  You’ll get stronger, build both aerobic and anaerobic endurance, and see carry over to almost every exercise that involves the hips, which is all of the awesome ones.  Just don’t do this way:

Seriously, Jillian’s super-swing will kill you.  Or at least destroy your spine.  What will not destroy your spine, and is in fact good for the rest of your body, is V8 100% Vegetable Juice, Low Sodium.  I think that the low-sodium variety tastes better, and I’ve been drinking it every morning for a few months now.  Many people like to wake up with a glass of diabetes orange juice and 27 grams of sugar; I think that the 8gms in V8 is a little bit better.  This variety is currently on Men’s Health’s list of 125 Best Foods for Men.   I’d suggest checking out some of the other tasty options as well.

Tim Henriques recently published an article on T-Nation discussing the use of unilateral lifts in strength training.  Actually, he discussed not using them, and his reasoning makes perfect sense.  THIS is a link to the article, and this is a quick synopsis:  There is a greater carry over from bilateral to unilateral lifting than their is from unilateral to bilateral.  You’re more likely to see a 500lb deadlifter use 250lb on a single leg deadlift than you are see a 250lb SLDLer pull 500lbs.  If you’re searching for the optical strength and hypertrophy gains, then you should stick with bilateral lifts.

I completely agree that there are greater strength and size benefits from 2 limbed lifting, but I think it’s foolish to perform only bilateral lifts.  If you’re training for strength and size, two limbs is the way to go, but unilateral work is just as important.  I think it’s important to train your heavier single-limbed movements first, and then follow that with unilateral lifts towards the end of a program.  I’ve recommend this before, so it’s not exactly new (to me,) but it may be news to you.  Essentially, squat before you lunge.  Boom.

Since that last example of exercises involved the legs, let’s look at a picture of somebody that has a nice pair of them:

You know what I like the best about this picture?  If you guessed that it was the tattoo, you’re wrong.  It’s the Nike Free’s!!!  Seriously, those shoes are awesometastic for your feet, and you should definitely get a pair the next time you need shoes to train in.  While I’m telling you to get the Frees, I’m also telling you not to get Shox.  I’m not sure why, but Nike covers both sides of the footwear spectrum; they make some sneakers (the Frees) that are great for you, and they also make shoes like the Shox that destroy your knees and tighten up your ankles.  Free your feet from the shox.  It’s that simple.  Also, she’s really good looking.

THIS link to Chris Beardsley’s blog covers his top 10 articles written by Charles Poliquin.  In short, Charles collected a ‘best of’ of one of the most influential (and controversial) coaches in the field.  I’m slowly working my way through the articles, and they’re all worth it.  There is a lot of information about functional training the right way, aka using barbells and not Swiss balls.  If your goals include getting ginormous, check it out too; Poliquin loves hypertrophy training as a transition phase to picking up heavy stuff.  If you love bicep curls and the leg extension, you might like reading these.

As I take some time to think about how I’m going to work on my deadlifting, I’m taking it ‘light’ for the rest of the week; essentially, I’m deloading.  I don’t want to deload, but my body is telling me too, and I’m smart enough to listen.  I’d suggest that you do the same thing if you’ve been exercising pretty hard; the lower intensity will help you go harder once you’re recovered.  I’d suggest programming in a deload week every 4-6 weeks, or whenever you feel really beat up.  There are a number of variables that you can play around with to decrease the stress imposed by any workout:  Decreased loads, decreased sets, decreased reps, shorter training periods.  Personally, I’ve decreased my loads until Monday, and I’ve been working on more of a cardiovascular demanding workout.  There is typically some portions of down time between my heavier lifts, and since those don’t really exist this week, I’ll be able to work with the smallest rest periods possible.  If you’ve hit a plateau and you’ve been slacking on your nutrition or recovery, a deload might be what you need.

There is nothing that I can say to explain the awesomeness of Harry Potter.  It’s just awesome.  It premieres tomorrow, and I’m seeing the 12:01am showing.  It’ll be my first midnight premiere, and I’m so excited that I’ve been counting down for nearly a month now.  You know something is epically awesome if you know exactly what happens in the story and you want to see the movie anyway.  I’ll leave you with the trailer for Deathly Hallows: Part 1 while I countdown the hours until the beginning of the end. (Of Harry Potter, relax; we have until 2012 according to the Mayans.)

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