Spreadin’ The Love

[Note:  I initially wrote this on Sunday evening but made a whoopsie and published it as a page instead of a post.  It took me a while to figure out, but I’ve taken care of that mistake.]

The Mayans are driving everyone crazy this year.  The unfinished calendar ends in December, and The 14th of February falls on a Tuesday.  For the romantically inclined, this means do you round forwards or backwards for the celebration of Valentine’s Day.  According to most of those around me, this was the preferred celebratory weekend, so I’ll go with that.  In spirit of the ‘holiday’ weekend, let’s spread some love for awesome things…

I’ve frequently referred to shakes and smoothies as a great way to incorporate extra fruits and vegetables into one’s diet.  I’ll typically default to a blueberry and spinach based smoothie, which is healthy and delicious.  Truth be told though, I’ve always had trouble eating my vegetables; I’ve only recently including onions, lettuce, and tomatoes on my burgers.  For real; that’s weak.  Even with all of the broccoli, smoothies, and assorted vegetables that I do eat, I’ve always avoided the ultimate example of vegetable consumption:  The Salad.  That is until, until Wednesday.

My mom hooked me up with a Moe’s gift card for my birthday, and I swung by on Wednesday night before heading out to teach a drum lesson.  I knew a Homewrecker burrito would be too much for a non-training day, and I was a little lost.  I’m not sure were the final decision came from, but I decided that to get a salad bowl with lettuce, pinto beans, salsa, chicken, cheese, and lots of guacamole.  15 minutes later:

While I was a little surprised to crush my first salad with a total smile on my face, I’m happy that it was a lot easier than being addicted to cheesy potatoes.  It was so good in fact, that I picked up another salad on Thursday night on the way to the gym.  And then again on Friday night, including ones for my Mom and Dad.  Building upon my Moe’s consumption, I earned myself a post-workout burrito on Saturday by smoking a 505lb trap bar deadlift PR.  I usually ask someone to take a video clip of PR’s so I can check for technique breakdowns, but I was so hyped up that when the camera turned off, I didn’t even care.  I did take a picture of the bar, though:

After that last rep, I moved on to some reverse lunges and Prowler sprints, then we called it a day.  I spent about 15 minutes at the end of the workout addressing mobility and tissue quality, and included a variety of movement drills, static stretches, and some foam rolling.  The foam rollers are becoming a big hit at my gym, and I’m proud of growing number of high school and college age students that come in and spend 10-15 minutes foam rolling and mobilizing.  It’s a small time investment that pays huge dividends as far as helping you feel better, move better, and perform better.

One gym goer in particular really stands out as a rolling-convert, and he’s spend some quality time on the roller in the past week.  After absolutely refusing to roll for over a year, he’s finally come around, and is on his way to becoming a bigger spokesperson for the roller than I am.  If you’re interested in reading about foam rolling and self myofascial release, check out THIS LINK.  If you think it’s as awesome as I do, then check out this picture.  I totally want it on a shirt:

The ‘performance’ side of training and the ‘recovery’, ‘prehab’, and ‘rehab’ side of training are closer than we typically think; I see them more as a cycle than as distinct points on a continuum.  If I were to stereotype ‘typical’ behaviors in the gym, most guys I know don’t spend enough time with tissue quality and movement quality; it’s just lift, lift, lift.  Women, on the other hand, don’t spend enough time on the lift, lift, lift.

Tony Gentilcore recently revisited an old Figure Athlete article called 4 Things Your Girlfriend Should Know (Revisited)I’d recommend you  read it, along with the comments at the bottom.  Tony covers some important tidbits of information, and the exchange in the comments sheds light on the psychological aspect about training.  Anywhos, here’s a picture that I think conveys the message rather well:

Violetta Varga, 440lb deadlift world record holder@ 148lbs bodyweight. Same woman in both photos.

On to more pressing matters, such as being well rested for the upcoming week.  It’s sure to a be a busy one, and sleep is vastly underrated when it comes to feeling better and performing your best, both in the board room and with your board press.  I began taking ZMA a few months ago, and appreciate the deep, restful sleep that I have as a result of it.  (The specific product I take is from NutraBio.)  I’m not quite sure why, but ZMA also leads to some pretty interesting dreams, and I have the feeling that my brain will drop me into Cape Town to recreate some of the scenes in Safe House.  It’s the new Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds movie that came out this weekend, and it’s awesome.  Check out the trailer:

If that plan fails, then I’ll default to the other actor named Ryan, being Gosling; The Notebook was playing on a variety of channels, and I had the chance to watch it for the umpteenth time on Sunday night.  I don’t have an issue admitting my love for The Notebook, and neither should you.  If you watch closely, it’s actually a movie about exercise.  No really, it’s packed with fitness lessons.

Valentine’s Day is usually about loving other people, but today I want you to think about loving yourself.  Make sure you eat healthy, train both smart and hard, recover, and rest.  You’ll thank yourself, you’ll thank me, and we’ll live happily ever after, with our deadlifts, steak, and REM sleep cycles.

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