Monthly Archives: November 2016
Let’s be honest. A large percentage of our nation is either unhealthy or out of shape due to lifestyle habits. The typical American lifestyle is not conducive to anything even remotely healthy. Crappy nutrition habits, excessive and unrelieved stress, lack of exercise and sleep, a reactive outlook on health, etc. This is why it always makes me shake my head when an athlete or individual says they want to push themselves to be the best they can be, but is shocked to hear that doing such may require some sacrifice in their social or personal life. By definition for something to be considered extraordinary, remarkable, phenomenal, etc it must have the characteristics of something that is greater than normal. Usually much more so.
This is something that I had struggled with as a college athlete, and did not completely figure out until later during graduate school. In order to push yourself to become the best version of yourself, you must be better than average or normal. You must do things that are not normal. You must prepare, eat, sleep and engage yourself in a way that is above the normal habits of the average person. We’ve all heard the saying hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. This is a simple concept that but goes completely over people’s heads and leaves them stumped as to why their progress stalls. So here are 3 normal habits you need to throw out the window in the pursuit of being the best athlete/person you can be.
1) Sleep Deprivation
The nights of going to bed late after a netflix binge, long night out with your friends, or playing X box until 3 am need to stop. Ask any strength coach in the nation what the top three key points they hammer home into their players are and I guarantee this will be number one for a good number of them.
An athlete or any individual’s performance is determined directly by their ability to recover. This could be from a single training session, a block of intense training or increase in volume in training, or even just the wear and tear of a long season. When you train, your body breaks down and needs to recover in order to build and adapt to increase its ability to perform. There are numerous benefits to sleep in all aspects of maintaining proper bodily function. So knowing all of this, why the hell would you take away the biggest factor in recovery?
Again, this is something I learned the hard way in college and afterwards. As a college athlete, or someone who is dedicating yourself to improving your performance, chances are not everyone around you is doing the same. If you again revisit the concept of normal vs extraordinary, this is abundantly clear. For me it was some of my friends in college who weren’t student-athletes. They didn’t have to get up at 5 in the morning to walk over to the football complex to make a 6am lift. They had the same amount of credit hours as I did, but they never had mandatory study tables practices that once meetings were considered took 3-4 hours at the end of the day on top of the 6am lift and classes you already had before. So why would they care? The answer is they shouldn’t. That’s not their problem. They will be fine staying up late, but you will be worthless in your morning training. It’s your responsibility to get enough sleep. Thats the sacrifice of putting the work in to be better. Not a college athlete? This can still apply to you. If you really want to achieve the goals you have set forth, sleep needs to be a number one priority.
2) Unscheduled Diet Cheats
There are so many people that hard enough time conforming to a decent diet, but once they are on them, fall victim to all the little excuses or cheats that tempt them in everyday life. Compliance is the number one predictor of diet success and as such, you can’t just go off the wagon because you were able to finally string a few days of disciplined eating together. This is what programmed cheat meals are for and their timing is very important. You don’t get to treat yourself to wing night with your buddies on Wednesday because you ate well on Monday and Tuesday.
This goes for small celebrations. Hopefully for larger celebrations you will have stayed consistent enough that your metabolism and progress will allow for a bump in the road such as a wedding night, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. But if you work in an office with 150 other people, chances are there will be a birthday every other week. There will also always be a “international holiday” to celebrate a certain food that some random unknown person arbitrarily decided to conjure up as well. These are not reasons to go off the wagon. No one cares whether you ordered a dozen tacos or not because your iPhone told you it was universal taco day. The only one that will care will be you when your diet isn’t going as planned. Do yourself a favor and make these little sacrifices. Over the long term, those who couldn’t maintain a proper diet or never even tried because of petty little things like someone bringing in a box of donuts at work will be complimenting you on how good you look.
3) Social Life With Friends
Now no one is asking you to be a hermit and live your life in the purist form possible. But when you are an athlete or an individual who is working towards bettering yourself, there is a time and place when the long partying and drinking is acceptable. As an athlete, this could be during the off-season, during holiday breaks, or on one or two nights of the month. What it is not, is the all too common practice of going out drinking on Friday and Saturday night each week, then sitting around watching football in between.
Does this mean you can’t ever catch a game with your buddies or make a poker night? Absolutely not, but you have to make the time for training and keeping consistent as we talked about earlier. Maybe all that means is only staying out until 10pm before heading home instead of 1am. Maybe that means going to poker night but not having a beer or twelve, or honestly, if what you want in your athletic career or personal is so important to you and your buddies cannot respect that, maybe you need new friends. If you are a college athlete and need to be in meetings, workouts, practice, and then watching 20 hours of film on top of all of that, chances are your friends from high school who aren’t on the team are not going to understand that. Maybe you’re a powerlifter trying to achieve a PR total, or have paid a personal trainer to help reach your fitness goals. Shouldn’t your training be more important than the next excuse to hang out with those who aren’t going through the same struggles as you are? This may sound rude or a bit over the top, but if you are truly focused on pushing yourself further and further, you better not just be a bit over the top, you better clear it by a few feet.
I decided to start a monthly blog series on exercises that will not only improve your overall strength, but also your game. This month’s “exercise of the month” is a Farmer’s Carry.
What is a Farmer’s Carry? The easiest way to explain this exercise is to pick up something heavy and walk with it. When performing a Farmer’s Carry, I normally use anything from kettlebells, dumbbells, sandbags, hexbars and Farmer’s Carry handles. Sounds pretty easy, right? I dare you to try it and figure out that answer for yourself! Here’s an example:
How does a Farmer’s Carry help? A Farmer’s Carry is a great exercise for strength and overall total body coordination, which is important in any sport or just daily life. I like to program Farmer’s Carry for my golfers because it helps improve grip strength and core stability. These two components, grip strength and core stability, play a major role in developing an efficient swing. However, core stability plays the leading role. Without core stability, we are unable to control our torso while rotating. Last time I checked, this is an ability every golfer needs in order to be efficient. Which is exactly why Farmer’s Carry should be present in every golfer’s program, for it requires you to engage the core throughout the entire exercise. Go out and give them a try!
There are many training program systems for strength athletes and different theories are applied within these systems. With so much specialty equipment out there, people tend to get lost in what to use and more importantly how to use it properly. In this installment in our “Specialty Equipment Series” we are going to look at products that aid an athlete by providing mechanical assistance when performing the lift. Since this equipment is often misused, we will focus on how to use them properly.
Because “they can make you dance.” …or give you assistance by taking a percentage of weight off the bar. For instance, when using bands for a REVERSE BAND setup, the stretch of the band aids the lifter out of the hole in the squat, off the chest for bench, and off the floor for deadlifting. Sounds pretty easy and basic right? Not so fast. People often overlook how quickly the band assistance changes through the range of motion. That “help” goes away REALLY fast. When bands are implemented this way it does not take load off the bar at all times, the assistance the band gives will vary depending on the height of the bar. The lower the bar, the greater the stretch on the band, and the more help you receive.
Next up is the SlingShot. This piece of equipment was designed by a powerlifter focused on aiding bench pressers with overload training and for strength athletes dealing with shoulder or elbow injuries. The SlingShot is made out of an elastic fabric that does not like to be stretched. This allows the lifter to feel the full weight on the bar throughout the whole lift, but at the bottom you have a rubber band effect. The further your elbows pull the material apart, the more energy the SlingShot will store and snap back into the bar allowing the lifter to move more weight.
Things to be mindful of when using the SlingShot, this material will compromise your normal pressing movement pattern. Since the material is trying to go back to its original state, it is putting pressure on your elbows, promoting them to tuck. If you do not pull the material apart with your elbows, it may cause your elbows to tuck and dump the weight forward toward your stomach. Another application that can be used with the SlingShot is learning how to do a pushup. It is the exact same concept as the bench press but you are not laying down. As you get closer to the ground and your elbows go out, the material stretches and aids you in pressing back up since the material wants to go back to its original state. This is a great trick for teaching pushups to someone who has never done them before!
Be A Bro!
The last form of assistance that can be used is a good ole training partner. You can always have your training partner to aid you in keeping the bar moving even when you are no longer strong enough to move the weight yourself. No, just kidding. This means you are not strong enough (weak) and you choose an improper weight (probably because of your ego). If your training partner does this, find a new one. “And get a role model!” (Gone in 60 Seconds).
Seriously though, using a training partner as “assistance” should only be used if you fail or do not have the awesome equipment that NBS has. If you are reading this and go to some other gym, the equipment I just mentioned will give you a bigger bench. So come to NBS and get a bigger bench (…and squat …. and deadlift).
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we are humbled to have such an active and driven population of patients. These individuals understand the importance of investing in their own health and dedicate hours of their time pursing their fitness goals and ultimately their health and quality of life. It is great that active (and even some inactive) groups of people are able to understand the concept that fitness correlates to better health. That being leaner, stronger, or performing better will subsequently improve your state of health and prevent chronic diseases caused by obesity, inactivity, etc. Whats interesting, however, is that all too often people forget that this is not a one way street. They forget that being healthy can actually make you bigger, leaner and even stronger. Yes, you heard me. Being healthy makes you more likely to accomplish your fitness goals.
This is not the first time I have discussed this topic, but it is so important to reiterate again and again in as many ways as possible. In almost every sport if you are good enough to play for a significant amount of time, health becomes one of the most important factors that correlates to performance. When speaking directly about those involved in fitness and strength sports, this is the absolute number one determining factor in one’s performance. For the athletes involved in this sport, the biggest battle has always been longevity and countless times it takes 5, 10, or 15+ years of beating their body into the ground to understand that when you are constantly unhealthy, your progress grinds to a halt. Everyone has heard that you can’t outwork a bad diet, which speaks to the importance of nutrition, but I would argue that this should be expanded to all preventative and wellness avenues in health.
So in an effort to continually pound this concept home, I want you to shut out the B.S. societal notions that the way to get big and strong will be accomplished through the “I want everything now” scheme. Forget the notion that “no pain, no gain” will have you on a clear path to the strength goals you’ve always wanted. Specifically speaking as a chiropractor and health care provider, this is one of the worst mottos to ever live by. This is such a short minded solution that will end up causing long term problems across the board. When you start talking to those who have been lifting or playing a sport for a significant amount of time and have finally made it out of the beginner phase, you see a trend that shit starts to hit the fan, everyone’s back and joints hurt, and progress seems to slow.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are prices to pay in all sports. It is not possible to participate in any sport without facing the adversity of injury. This discussion pertains to the injuries that are the equivalent of beating your head against a wall. These are the injuries that are a direct result of the utterly stupid decision to not value and invest in your own health until things start hurting, or to try and tough out a problem and put your head down instead of facing some glaring issues. Often it takes numerous injuries for it the “health = performance” concept to kick in. These individuals could be banged up and injured for over half the year or may have a serious injury that requires months to heal and years to recover from. It’s during these times, that a majority of people begin to wise up to the fact that the biggest “secret” in sports and fitness has been essentially, literally right under their nose the entire time, their own health. Don’t believe me? Tired of me beating a dead horse? Take a look, here, at some other ways this wellness perk can allow you to reach your fitness goals.
In the wake of yet another report of insurance hikes set for 2017, more and more people will find themselves asking one question: Why are health care costs SO HIGH? Now I know “tis the season” to start getting all political. I know everyone wants to begin blaming the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) or the top 1% for all of our problems right now, but let’s take a step back. If you really want to buy into either of these motives that is fine. There are always external factors at hand affecting our environment, but before you start to blame someone else about YOUR health care, just remember that this is YOUR health we are talking about.
Again, without getting into the politics of everything, we as a nation have now become a place where we expect someone else to be responsible both financially and therapeutically for OUR OWN health. Out of the top 10 causes of death in the United States, 5 of them are widely preventable (and arguably a few others). This means that some of the most costly diseases to our health care system are diseases that we could help avoid. I do understand that this is America. We are free to do what we want, and that is great. But when it comes to our health, we need to accept more responsibility for the way we treat our bodies instead of crying poor me when it goes downhill in cases where we could have prevented it. So for those looking to take a little more responsibility and actually do something about the mess that is our health care system, here are 5 things that will save you (and the nation) money on (your) health care.
1) Eat Better
Investing time in well balanced, home cooked meals will have a positive impact on your health and your wallet. Even a bottom of the line restaurant meal will cost you at around $15 per meal including the tip. Going somewhere more upscale? Your meal could cost you an upwards of $35. Want a few drinks with that? Bump it to $50. For that price you could buy almost week’s worth of groceries. Even a professional bodybuilder can eat for $50 a week. Maybe you spend a bit more if you need to season your food a little or add a few fruits to the mix, but the point is that you are getting much better food for much cheaper.
So why not just use processed foods? They are cheap right? Well not so fast. The point is to make an impact on your health too. Processed food, junk food, and sugary foods may be findable at a comparable price, but their impact on your health will eventually catch up to you. Heart disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer are all preventable through a good diet. And regardless of how good your insurance may be, the less we as a community go to the doctor for systemic, preventable diseases such as those, the less burden there will be on the health care system. Remember, even if you aren’t directly paying for the entire bill on a given visit, someone is. Insurance companies aren’t in this business for charity. When we put smaller burden on them as payers, the result is more affordable plan options. By investing in your long term health by making proper dietary choices, you are not only saving in the short term on your groceries, but in the long term.
2. Exercise More/Be More Active
You should know this already. No, I KNOW you already know this. Exercise, aside from a proper diet, is the most important and effective way to positively influence your health and even your health care costs. It is also the other piece of the puzzle to solve our nation’s biggest health concerns. Ever actually looked at a person’s family when they have a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease? Do you typically see a group of people who eat well, exercise routinely, and are active instead of sitting around all the time? You know, the ones that do all they can but just can’t get over those bad family genetics? No. You typically see people who make horrible lifestyle choices. Do you REALLY think 1/3 of the U.S. population is obese, because our genetics over the last few generations have evolved us to that point? Of course, that’s textbook survival of the fittest… Thanks, Darwin.
My point is, that the real problem is you and your influences in society. We have become extremely lazy and excuse oriented in our society, and nothing is ever our fault. I know you know that exercising is important. Good job, here’s your gold star, but that doesn’t mean anything unless you actually exercise. Need more of an incentive? Lets look at just one condition in which exercising helps reduce or prevent, high blood pressure.
The average cost of having high blood pressure per year is anywhere between $750-$1200 per year. That is simply just your doctors visits and medication. Because it is a chronic disease and the only real treatment you get through mainstream medical is to just give medication for the rest of your life, you could be spending $30,000+ over a lifetime of having this condition. That doesn’t even account for the fact that high blood pressure is often accompanied by heart disease, high cholesterol, and many other conditions that require medication. On top of that, these medications are well known to ruin your kidneys, so after 20 or 3o years of medications, get ready for dialysis and kidney failure costs as well. All because you can’t face the music, get a $45 dollar a month gym membership and then ACTUALLY go and ACTUALLY work out 4 or 5 times in a week.
Let’s take the exercise argument even further. With all the mental health problems we are having in our nation, did you know that exercise has been proven to be more effective at affecting a positive mood and releasing endorphins than SSRI inhibitors? We could go on and on about the cost saving effects of something as simple as exercise, but the real horse to beat is the one you’re sitting on. Exercise. Do it.
3. Stop going to the doctor/ER for EVERYTHING
The emergency room is not your personal 24/7 doctors office. Yet it is an extremely abused outlet to health care. So in case there is some confusing, here’s a few reasons why you should admit yourself into the ER:
- You’ve been physically dismembered
- You were in a severe accident
- You’ve been shot (should have shot back, John Wayne)
- You have a severe infection
- You cannot move you limbs
Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t admit yourself into the ER for:
- You don’t feel good and think you may have ebola, the zika virus, the flu, etc.
- Your child is crying and you think something is wrong
- Your back/knee/shoulder hurts
- You have a headache
- Non-complicated musculoskeletal injuries: (Most) broken bones, ligament tears, sprains and strains
Those aren’t even ridiculous compared to some of the stupid excuses I’ve heard from those I know in that division of health care. The ER is the MOST expensive doctors visit you could possibly choose. I don’t care if receive medicare/medicaid and think its a free visit or if you are insured and you see $25 written next to the ER visits on your insurance card, it is. The bill at some point must be paid, and just because you may not pay all of it does not mean that you’re not paying for this service at some level. Inappropriate usage of the ER is one of the main drivers of increased health care costs and why your deductible and premiums have soared. On top of that, because the job of an ER is to rule out that you may die in the next hour, if the condition is not serious, you will end up getting an uncharged prescription or being advised to see your primary physician. So not only will you be in the emergency room for a while, but if your problem is not at a certain level of severity, you will not even get it fixed. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and go to a local urgent care center. OR… and this may be a stretch to ask for, honestly ask yourself: “Is this REALLY an emergency?”
4. Stop Using Pain Medications to Mask the Problem
Before we begin, I think it’s important to illustrate that I am not 100% against drugs and medications. I recognize that they are a very important part of our health care system and have a purpose. What I am against is abuse of drugs and medication in a chronic setting without acknowledging or addressing the actual cause. Not only does this lead to higher health care costs, it also causes drug addiction and mental health issues. Lately, there has been a movement towards actually recognizing that there’s a problem with pain medication abuse, but you can google that topic on your own. I simply want to stick with why there are better solutions and why you will save money by not accepting the easy route of pain medication.
In its essence, pain medication and anti-inflammatories were developed for one reason: to block the inflammatory phase of healing, and to block pain receptors from sensing pain. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at WHY we actually feel pain or develop inflammation. In most cases of musculoskeletal injury (the main reasons for prescribed anti-inflammatories and opioids), the cause is chronic wear and tear. At the physiological level, unless there is a development of an actual disease, the body undergoes a certain level of breakdown and repair. A “breakdown” in tissue is essentially micro trauma and tears. They occur all day everyday, but as long as there is equilibrium with the rate of repair, these micro tears will not lead to injury, spasm, or macro tears.
When we begin to overwork our body, there is a shift in this process in which breakdown exceeds repair. This can be through bad habits in posture, not exercising enough (or too much, without enough rest), compensations in movement, or repetitive stress from work or other daily activities, etc. The breakdown of tissue causes an inflammatory environment and must be removed and repaired, so if we begin to exceed the body’s capacity to repair, inflammation will increase. Eventually the body becomes so overstressed and inflamed that it will cause injury, spasm, strains, etc. When this happens, our body begins to perceive pain and we start to hurt. This is why often times people can’t figure out what it is that they did to hurt themselves, because it is a build up in trauma and not a one time injury.
In order to treat this, there needs to be a focus on the actual WHY, and this is where only taking pain medications is the wrong approach. Yes you hurt. Yes inflammation causes pain, but the problem is not a dysfunction in your pain receptors or in your inflammatory process of healing. If that was the actual problem, then the correct and only treatment needed would be medication to fix that dysfunction. Since the problem is you are beating your body down and aren’t healing fast enough, taking these medications alone will only alter the perception that there is a problem, not actually address it. This would be the equivalent to having your check engine light go off while you’re driving down the road. Maybe you ignore it for a while and then finally get annoyed or inconvenienced enough by it to take it in to the shop to get looked at. You come into the shop you may say “hey my check engine light is on, can you look and find out what the problem is.” If you want an easy and quick way out, the mechanic can just shut off the sensors for you car, and you can go on your way with no more light. This works well until all of a sudden you find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a completely broken car. What may have been a small, fixable defect, alignment, or tune up that set off the light to begin with turned into a debilitating problem that stranded you on the side of the road. And as we all know, getting a new seal or alignment is much cheaper than buying a new tire after a blowout or replacing and entire cooling system. Therefore, when you feel pain and reach for the pain medication bottle without trying to find out why it is you hurt, all you are doing is ignoring a small issue and allowing it to fester into a big one.
5. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
One of the biggest problems that we have in our health care system is sitting around waiting for our health to diminish before we actually start to care about it. In a cost stand point, this is the simple case of being short-term minded vs long-term minded. For example, in my practice, I will basically see two types of patients: Those who are motivated by their health, and those who are motivated by their pain.
Those who are motivated by their health understand that regular maintenance care keeps them from having severe flare ups while also preventing early degeneration and performance loss. This may mean that they see me once a month to “get their engine checked” or “change their oil,”
Then there are those who are motivated by pain. These are the people who you don’t see for months on end until suddenly they are in a world of hurt and can barely move. Because this type of person typically doesn’t take care of themselves outside of the office either, it means that when they finally do come back, they have dug themselves quite a hole. It takes me longer to restore the progress from earlier on these patients because they waited too long. The body does not just fall apart in one day. The interesting thing is if you break down the amount of visits spent in my office between this group and the group motivated by health, they come out to be about the same number. Those who come regularly to maintain their health are much less likely to beat themselves up to the point where they are in my office for 8 or 10 visits like those motivated by pain. And when you are only coming once or twice a month, those same 8 visits last you a long time.
For more information on how you can improve your health, questions, or to make an appointment with Dr. Detweiler, call 901-573-2526 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On being a new strength athlete and trying to lift and train like one of your role models:
- Their training style
- Remote programming
- Their style and setup may not be best for you
- The exercises you see them do may be too advanced
Learn how to lift
Learn your leverages and let your stance and form develop. Do not force it.
In the past, strength training in golf has been a highly debated topic. However, times are changing. Strength training is important in every sport, even in golf. That’s right, I said it! Proper strength training, on a regular basis, will help prepare a golfer for the physical demands put on their body, reduce risk of injury (lower back pain) and increase force production (ability to hit it further). When I say strength training, I’m not talking about becoming a elite bodybuilder, or even an elite power lifter like NBS’ own Christian Anto.
In fact, strength training in golf involves entirely different components. Why is that? Unlike bodybuilding and power lifting, golf is a rotary ballistic sport. Tremendous stress is put on the muscles and joints with each swing, specifically in the shoulders, lower back and hips. It’s important that your strength-training program focuses on these particular muscle groups. Also, important to remember, depending on where you are at in the season, (pre, during, post), your training program will vary and the goals you are trying to achieve will change.
How do you implement a strength training program that will reflect your golf game? Work with a professional that can design a strength training program for your specific needs. Why is this important? Your body works in a series of mobile and stable joints. There is not one specific way to swing a club. However, there is one efficient way for every individual to swing the club regardless of your swing. The best way for any golfer to figure out what his or her individual needs is to work with a TPI certified professional.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to New Orleans and learn from some of the best at TPI (Titleist Performance Institute). The goal of TPI is to show golfers how the body relates to the golf swing. As TPI professionals, it’s our job to prepare the body for the physical demands of golf and to ensure the swing is efficient for each individual person.
How is this done? We accomplish these goals by what is called the Body Swing Connection. In short, The Body Swing Connection consists of 16 physical screens that allow you to identify physical limitations affecting the golfer’s ability for an efficient swing and how to get them back on track and prevent them from any injury. Once the physical limitations are established, your TPI professional can begin the process of correcting them. As professionals, we don’t always know what is causing the limitation, but through a series of exercises we can start to see the actions needed to correct them. For example, if an athlete fails the glutebridge test, I will then take them through a series of exercises to see if there is an activation problem or just a lack of muscle strength. This allows me to then create a program to get the athlete on track in accomplishing their goals. So, if you’re a golfer trying to better your game, a golfer trying to hit it further or just a golfer trying to get rid of lower back pain, I suggest you go out and find a TPI certified professional to help you, especially with the off-season approaching!
Recently I had the opportunity to work with Zach Gallmann, founder and producer of the popular strongman series, Finding Strength, at EliteFTS. Zach had heard a lot about the new RPR method for improving performance and fixing compensations. He had a lot of interest in finding out if RPR could help him, so we got him in during his trip to Memphis for NBS Fitness’ strongman competition on Beale Street and worked him through a session. Zach had been dealing with a left hip issue that were severely limiting his performance as well as causing a good amount of pain. He performed well and improved dramatically after just one visit, but was definitely in need of a second go around. Fortunately I was able to visit him this time in Columbus and set aside some time to work on him.
By now, many of you have been keeping up on some of the content we have been putting out about Reflexive Performance Reset. If you are one of those who have been reading the latest blogs and articles or are an NBS Fitness member and have seen others doing “those weird RPR’s wake-up drills,” you may be curious as to what an actual session of RPR would be like. Maybe you’ve thought about getting in for a session but don’t know what to expect or don’t know if you are one of those people who really need it. Maybe you have heard how it has helped dozens of people over the last couple of months when nothing else worked, but don’t think you are quite “messed up enough” to benefit from RPR. In an effort to continue to educate those following RPR, we decided to do a video segment to give a face to the name and show you what an RPR session looks like and cover some of its implications and questions on who can benefit from this technique. Along with that, you can read Zach’s full write up on EliteFTS of his experience and perspective with RPR as a strength athlete.
*In case you get done watching and wonder how Zach’s training went that day, he went on to hit a 640 squat without pain after not being able to even touch 600 due to pain*
For any questions concerning Dr. Detweiler or RPR, or to schedule a session of RPR, feel free to contact us at 901-573-2526 or email email@example.com.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a very consistent trend that I feel is plaguing our society. The trend is that everything we want or do in life is going to be accomplished via a paradox. That paradox is that we deserve to accomplish whatever you set out to do without having to hold yourself to a basic standard or sacrifice anything to do so. The most ridiculous example of this trend is found in health and fitness. No matter what you want to believe, you DON’T deserve fitness.
We are constantly being bombarded with bad information about health and fitness in todays internet world. Because both health and fitness are such huge industries, there is plenty competition to provide products and services that the consumer wants. This means that effective marketing must focus on fulfilling a need or creating separation from other products and sellers in the market. So how do these businesses effectively market themselves to society as a whole? By listening to and giving the buyer what they want. These are simple business concepts, so what’s the problem here?
The problem is that in today’s society, we, as a buyer, are attracted to convenience over results. We are mentally weak as a society and would rather our media reinforce the belief that we deserve the world, without really giving up much in return. Instead of becoming passionate about what we want in life and being willing give effort or sacrifice and break out of a comfort zone to accomplish what we want, we would rather someone tell us a lie that our health and fitness is as simple as a “magic pill” or easy, no hassle diet in which we can still eat and drink whatever we want, whenever we want as well as not sacrificing any time or money. If you were to ask the majority of people what is responsible for our country being so obese and unhealthy, your most common answer will probably be eating too much and not exercising enough. I don’t know how many times personally or professionally I have heard someone admit this and correctly identify it as the reason they are unhappy with their health or fitness. The interesting things is this is often admitted simply for the sake of dismissing it as an actual solution. It could go like, “I know losing some weight will help my lower back pain, but my whole family is overweight.” Or, “I know losing weight would probably help, but are there any other things I could do to help?”
The point is, the vast majority of people know exactly what is making them unhealthy, yet they are unwilling to accept or understand that those are the solution to achieving their goals. Instead people so desperately want to believe that fitness is easy that they allow themselves to be tricked into the lie that we can have our cake and still eat it too. That we can be shredded and strong, but by doing exercises that are easy and don’t take very long. Here’s the reality though. An incredibly large amount of people believe that it is completely feasible and possible to walk around at 6% body fat, with a 405 bench, while still being able to enjoy their Friday and Saturday nights and not miss Taco Tuesday and Wing Night with the fellas. Because society teaches us if you believe it to be true, then dammit it, it must be true. You deserve to accomplish your dreams. It’s your right to have everything you want in life… right?
Here’s the reality. (In America) You do have a right to do anything you want in life. But lets be clear, that means you have the right to PURSUE what want in life. It doesn’t mean you deserve it, or that it will actually happen. It just means you have the ability to make decisions and follow whatever path you wish in life. Every decision has a cost and the path you choose will by definition lead you in a different direction than the ones you didn’t choose.
You don’t deserve fitness. You either earn it or you don’t. If your goal is to lose weight or be healthy, the idea that you deserve a donut because you went and did a couple miles on the treadmill or a few sets of deadlifts is ridiculous. That’s like an alcoholic saying he’s been sober for a week so he deserves a beer.
“But… DEADLIFTS AND DONUTS. I saw an Instagram post on it and bought the T-Shirt, so it must be true, right?”
Of course that sounds good. Who doesn’t like the idea of being able to justify eating whatever they want by doing a movement for an arbitrary intensity and volume, right? Hell, it even rolls off the tongue nice (Alliteration, Fuck yeah!) See… there we go again. Sorry, but if the goal is lose weight, no exercise ever will allow you to make zero changes to the diet that currently made you a fatty in the first place. However, if you are training regularly and at an appropriate intensity, have the guidance of a reputable coach or are following a proven diet plan and have been consistently on target with these training and nutrition programs, then MAYBE you will have the opportunity to enjoy a remorse free donut once in a while. But the point is, by then you will have actually earned that donut. But until you have actually put in the work, your best bet is to get into a consistent habit of diet and exercise, and put down the donut. You haven’t earned it yet.
< One of the last pictures taken of Christopher Mcandless
I’ve got another great flick pick for all of you this week. It’s slightly different then my previous ones as far as the genre and story line goes, but I have an eclectic palate when it comes to movies, or at least I like to think so. The film is titled Into the Wild, And is Directed by Sean Penn. It is based of the book Into the Wild, written by Jon Krakauer. The film is an adaptation of his book, which is based on the travels of Christopher McCandless across North America and his life spent in the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990’s. Christopher McCandless’s character is played by Emile Hirsch, who graduates from a well respected school and basically decides to up and leave his family, donate his money to charity and burn the rest, only to begin a journey through North America making his way to Alaska. McCandless meets many different people along his way, and the movie is based on his book that he kept and wrote in along his travels. The majority of the music for the film was written by Eddie Vedder, who for those that aren’t familiar, is the singer of the popular 90’s band, Pearl Jam. It was nominated for two Golden Globes, as well as two Academy Awards. I think you could probably say that they’re are some good life lessons to be learned from this movie, one of them being that happiness is only real when shared, or so that’s how Christopher McCandless saw it. Give it a watch if you get the opportunity.
Original Movie trailer
Two songs in the movie as written by Eddie Vedder
Last article we established that the hollow hold position is the most fundamental movement in creating success in kipping pull ups.
This article we will add the arch or ‘Superman’ positon, which is the opposing position to the hollow hold.
It’s important to maintain contraction throughout your spinal erectors, glutes and ham strings in this position while simultaneously pressing the shoulders open. This position can be exceptionally challenging for those who have poor shoulder mobility. I recommend practicing with a PVC pipe and partner until your shoulders are open enough to bare weight (hanging from the bar).
Now it’s time to move to the bar.
I actually prefer a grip with the thumbs over the bar (monkey grip) as opposed to around the bar, this allows the lats to get more involved. However, for safety sake, I often ask that the thumbs be wrapped until proper grip strength has been reached.
When in hollow position, maintain contracted abs and think of pushing the bar away from you.
When in Superman, remember to maintain contracted erectors, glutes and hamstrings and press open (through the shoulders) as much as possible.
Practicing hollow hold/Superman on the bar will take a bit of coordination but with some practice, it will come together.
Feet should always be together and there should be no ‘angles’ in either position.
Knees and Hips should not be bent
The hip is your power source in the kipping pull up. Any time the knees are bent, you are removing the hips’ power and transferring that power to the feet. This will result in a kip, but is very inefficient.
Now that we have learned how to create momentum on the bar with the Superman and hollow hold, next article we will discuss how to transfer that momentum into a pull up.
Have you ever done this? Have you squatted and sat back onto a box before? Do you have any particular reason as to why you were doing that? Perhaps you saw it somewhere, maybe someone told you to. Well, here at NBS we have many people who box squat, and a variety of reasons for doing so. Let me start by saying that there is a difference between squatting to a box, and box squatting. I’m going to elaborate on this a bit more as we progress through this discussion. I’m going to approach this concept and explain it from a standpoint that is applicable to a person that is still somewhat fresh to squatting correctly, and is still working to correctly load, and strengthen up there hips. However, box squatting is not limited to just this group. Even the most elite squatters still use a box to train the movement.
To list some of the reasons why we here at NBS box squat, or why I may have some of my clients box squat is to reach proper depth depending on what that particular persons hips will allow at that time, to get a better feeling of loading weight and tension in your hips, to strengthen your hips, to be able to maintain core stability at the bottom of the squat movement, as well as at the reversal of direction in this movement. In addition to these, we sometimes even want to set the box to a height that will purposefully bring us below parallel. Box squatting is a really great movement to get a person in a far better position to be able to hip hinge. If you aren’t entirely sure what I mean by hip hinging, then please refer back to my last article.
To touch on what I mentioned earlier about there being a difference in squatting to a box, and box squatting. What I was saying is that if you are squatting and you have a box behind you and you are just plopping onto the box, and basically falling onto it loosely, or bouncing off of it with momentum, then you are not utilizing the box for squatting in the correct way. If you are completely relaxing onto the box, loosing intra-abdominal pressure, and having excessive rounding in your lower, and mid back, how is that going to have any carryover at all to squatting without a box? How well do you think you will do getting back up from a near max effort squat when you completely relax at the “bottom of the hole?” What is most peoples natural reaction when they sit down? They want to relax, however relaxing with 600lbs on your back may not be the best idea you’ve ever had. One thing that I see very often is that when the weight gets heavier, people want to cut their depth higher and higher. Well, if you are squatting down completely to the box, this cant happen. If the weight gets heavier and you are just floating above the box, you might as well not even have it under you because you aren’t even using it.
How do we fix this? Training yourself to properly maintain stability throughout your entire body, even while sitting back onto that box. If you spend all of that time and effort before you unrack the bar trying to build up tension and tightness, then why would you want to lose it at one of the most crucial points of that movement. Do not fall victim to this common mistake. If you find yourself completely collapsing and loosening at the touch of the box, or at the last 2 to 3 inches of the movement you may need to raise the box up a bit because it is too low for your body to allow it to get down to it in the proper position, or perhaps it is due to something as simple as you leg/foot positioning. You may need t bring your stance in. Another mistake could be that you are descending to the box entirely too fast, hitting the box with too high of an impact to maintain tightness, and are using the momentum of a bounce to get back up. Do not do this. You don’t want to fall into a normal squat without a box, so don’t do it with one behind you.
Using a box to squat on is a very effective progressive method for beginners because of all of these reasons stated. It will teach you to use your hips, all while strengthening them. It will teach you hip hinging. It will bring you to proper depth, and will get you accustomed to what that feels like. It will teach you to maintain stability, and core tightness throughout the entire movement. Why wouldn’t you want to start a beginner out with a box? Beginners tend to have a hard time with their knees shooting foreword in the squat to the lack of ability to hip hinge, but box squatting is a great solution to this problem.
One thing I want to touch on very quickly about box squatting is rocking back after you sit onto the box, and then rocking foreword to drive off of the box. This is definitely not a technique that I would use for any of my clients, nor would I suggest it to anyone who is box squatting. Some people do this in an effort to slightly release tension off their heels, then rock foreword and drive forcefully back into their heels to increase drive off of the box. Some people may have other reasons for doing this, but I would not advise it as a part of this movement. It isn’t possible to do this in a free squat, so don’t do it on a box.
If you are having issues with your regular squat, then you may need to add a box into the equation. If you choose to do so, just make sure that you are executing it properly, otherwise you are doing yourself no good. Box squats are typically done with a much wider stance to really use the hips, although this is not always the case, and the emphasis should always be on pushing the hips back and the knees out. It should be as if you are spreading the floor apart by twisting your feet into the ground and away from each other. Feel free to ask any of the trainers here, and myself included if you are performing the movement correctly. Just remember that you can get by doing just about anything incorrectly with light enough weights, but as they get heavier, your mistakes will become more and more clear. Some of the strongest squatters in the world use a box to squat, just ask Louie Simmons. I hope this helps all of you better understand the reasons for using a box to squat, and how you should be doing them.
Here is a video of myself during my last training cycle doing some box squats. This video probably isn’t the best example to share because this particular bar bends me over pretty good, but you get the idea here about how your hips should be moving, and the position of everything else.
I’m lucky, I have perspective. In the fitness field I’ve worn or wear many hats and that has allowed me to participate and witness many things. It has allowed me to meet and know many people. I’ve had the chance to watch people both fail and succeed, to witness people give up and persevere, and to watch people quit and persist. I’ve had the chance to analyze what different habits and characteristics separate the two groups. When it comes to fitness related progress, I have found that the pillars of success are effort, consistency, community, and knowledge. Let’s take a look at each.
It’s no surprise that a certain amount of effort is required for success in fitness. There really aren’t many situations in which a half hearted effort is going to bring great results. The good thing is that effort doesn’t have to be at an absolute 10 all the time. You don’t have to puke every time you train or skip holiday meals to follow your macros. In fact, that would have significantly negative results as you would be at a higher risk of injury and getting burned out. It needs to be high but not at an absolute max all the time, there needs to be some variation. There is an ebb and flow that allows for better consistency.
Effort is vital but without consistency it’s not worth very much. Consistency is the make or break trait that separates the people who make it from the ones who don’t and it’s something that many people struggle with. I’ve seen it happen on several occasions and for many reasons. Sometimes it’s because someone was trying to put out more effort than they were capable of maintaining and when it became too much they quit instead of scaling back. I’ve seen it happen due to injury as well. They focus on what they can’t do instead of what they can and get frustrated and quit. Unrealistic expectations can be another culprit of inconsistency. A fragile ego many times keeps people who were once good from coming back. Consistency is vital and when combined with effort will help lead to community.
Take a group of people and put them through some physical challenges together and you will inevitably see a bond between them form. This community helps to maintain the consistency and effort needed to continue to make progress. Peer pressure and support is avery powerful stimulus to get things done. Pushing yourself through physical and mental pain barriers can be extra difficult when doing it alone but with a team of people helping you the burden doesn’t seem quite as heavy. Through consistent high effort training shared with teammates knowledge begins to form.
While effort can help the speed at which you progress and consistency and community can help ensure you continue with that progress, knowledge ensures you’re traveling in the right direction down the quickest path. Aimless effort will result in frustration and will make staying consistent even tougher. Knowledge is something that must be strived for continuously. Every training session is a chance to learn something, about yourself, about your training parter, about your program, etc. Don’t miss out on these opportunities. Always be seeking more knowledge.
When I first opened NBS, these were the principles I wanted to promote and they been a constant focus of our facility since the beginning. We’ve grown a lot, our facility has gotten bigger, our membership has grown, and our staff is more developed but we’re still doing the same thing we did when we first opened, just on a much larger scale. This is what led me to add CrossFit to the services we provide. I’ve always wanted to be a complete iron sport gym. When we first started we were primarily filled with powerlifters. Then, slowly, we added some strongman competitors, bodybuilders, and olympic lifters. The truth is that CrossFit is the most well known, most popular, and most profitable iron sport in the world. Of course with it comes plenty of controversy and justly so. CrossFit had such an explosion in growth that ithad to play a bit of catch up in defining it’s practices. Regardless how someone may feel about CrossFit as a training methodology, they have perfected the pillars of success. They promote effort and consistency, they build a community, and they encourage the constant pursuit of knowledge. And that is what NBS is all about: the intermingling of multiple training methodologies, sports, ages, races, sexes, and backgrounds to ensure progress and development. That is what makes us great and what will continue to help us be the Best Gym in Memphis.
Shooting from the hip: Injuries and Set Backs
*Emotion will be tied up in set backs, failures, and injuries which is natural, it is fine.
-riding this wave and bailing on the issue is what is not cool
-doctors try and decrease pain, or repair after acute injury
Repair and Rehab is always the number one route in a strength sports injury (IMO)
Side Step and reflect
-Take a day, a week and evaluate what happened and why
-Do not distance yourself from the sport, be there for teammates
-SEEK OUT ADVICE
If you are reading this blog you have countless sources to use!!!
Make a plan WITH THE NBS STAFF that will not make you take steps backward but keep you where you are and progress you onto an onramp right back where you left off if not further
For more topics, or if you have a question you would like answered (IN MY OPINION) post it in the message section!
*VERY LONGWINDED, SORRY, DEAL WITH IT!
That’s what most of us trainers/coaches would like to hear! Instead, we hear about the 99 problems that have been keeping you FROM your fitness!
This is one of those tough love blogs that no one likes to read but that everyone needs to read, especially if you’re currently making every excuse about why you can’t get your workout on.
So, hide your toes because I’m about to step on them.
- “I’m busy”
- “I’m going to get started soon”
- “I don’t have the time”
- “I don’t have money”
- “I have kids”
- “I’m not motivated”
- “I need to get in shape first” (yes, several have said that)
- “My work schedule sucks”,
- “I’d have to come in too early”
- “I don’t know what to do”
- “I have a stressful job”
- “My trainer is too hard on me”
Etc….you get the picture. These. Are. Excuses. I can give you another 89 of them if you’d like. The real ‘problem’ is not in the above mentioned problems, it is because you are not committed to your own health and well-being. You don’t place your health as a priority over everything else in your life.
Time is precious and there are only so many hours in a day. However, out of 168 hours in a week, I can almost guarantee you can find 3-4 of them to spend on your health. How many hours of TV do you watch per week? How much time do you spend on social media? A 2014 Business Insider Poll reported that American’s spend 2.82 hours/day watching TV and only .29 hours spent on exercise and recreational activity. Giving up 90 minutes of TV time to dedicate to your health is NOT a huge sacrifice, however, chosing the TV over your health is sacrificing your health!
What I hear more than anything is the excuse, “I’m not motivated or, “I need motivation.”
Merriam Webster defines motivation, as “the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something”. Ok, so let’s put this in perspective. You’re telling me that you need someone to give you a reason to improve YOUR life??
- The desire to have a healthier future you isn’t enough?
- Combating disease through a healthy lifestyle isn’t enough?
- Maintaining muscle and bone mass as you go through the aging process isn’t enough?
- Investing in enjoying time with your children, grandchildren and future grand children isn’t enough?
- Exploring the world like only fit people can, isn’t enough?
You don’t need motivation, you need committment! You are only going to get this one body, that’s it. What you decide to do with it is entirely up to you. You may have to get creative with your time and your finances, but doing so can and will ensure that the body you do have will be healthier and take care of you longer!
Instead of creating 99 excuses why you can’t workout or why you haven’t made it to the gym lately, list 99 reasons why you should workout, hang it where you can see it everyday, and then commit to yourself.
Here are some of the reasons I live a fit and healthy lifestyle and workout on a regular basis:
- To defy my age.
- I enjoy the challenge.
- I can do anything with my grandson he asks me to do. All other grandparents I see are sitting on the sidelines.
- Being overweight and unfit is not fun.
- I like being strong.
- I like to continue to find my potential.
- I like the comraddery of like minded people.
- I sleep better after working out.
- My mental health is vastly better because I workout and stay fit.
- Muscles are pretty!
- Fat is not pretty!
Creating a fit and healthy lifestyle for yourself should ALWAYS be your number 1 priority!
Make your list, get committed and get in the gym!! I’ll see you there!
I’ve got a new twist to the Metal Song of The Week….Training Highlights. Listen to killer tracks while watching my fat ass move some weights
**TRANSPARENCY ALERT: I have done each and every one of the actions I am about to list. I have done entire training cycles of these extra little bits of action and they have stalled my progress, frustrated my coaches, and probably made me an annoying friend.*** Now, with that said, the reason I am sharing these with you is because I want you to save you time, energy, and loss of training partners by encouraging you NOT to do any of this crap I did.
1.) Deviating from the training plan: “Oh man. The weights feel light today. I think I am going to go up WAY beyond what I am suppose to do.” “Hm. I have extra energy..I think im going to throw in some GPP at the end of this training day!” “I have no idea what this exercise is, so I’m going to do something that is not even close to the same, but I like doing.” <—Are you guilty of any of those thought processes? Quit it. One of the most advantageous resources we have today is the abundance of knowledgeable coaches. This stems from anecdotal evidence (where I believe most training theories begin anyway) that are backed with scientific evidence concerning energy systems, recovery efforts, and attention on the long term effects of training. Compounded with the ever-expanding field and awareness of physiology and more education than ever available, the coaches that are currently making it in the industry are typically fairly sound coaches. Many of them offer templates for FREE with just a simple search on the ole interwebs. So..IF you hire them, do yourself a favor and let them handle the road map. There is likely a reason you trust their judgement on a training plan. If the weights feel easy, its probably intentional. If you feel “good” after a training session, resist the urge to ad-lib “finishers” that leave you feeling dead. This often hinders your recovery for future training days, resulting in unpredictable and crappy performance over the long term. Further, it makes your coaches job a LOT harder in terms of logical progression.
2.) Last minute amending of nutrition: I have added meals to my nutrition plan, and I have gotten rid of meals in my nutrition plan. On former, I threw it under the guise of “im eating to fuel my training” and the latter was cleverly disguised as “Im not hungry, and I dont need the extra calories.” Both were bullshit. By following this type of instinctual eating pattern, I
a.) Failed to learn a single thing about how any nutritional strategy impacted me.
b.) Failed to develop any semblance of will-power.
Both are come with long-term detriment. On the former, following nutritional plans (developed by yourself or someone smarter than you) allows you to manipulate variables and see how they impact your overall performance, energy level, etc. This sort of knowledge is VASTLY more important over the lifespan than the risk of having a day of low energy that you may experience while you are figuring this sort of stuff out. With this knowledge, you stand to gain insight that can help guide years worth of nutritional mapping. The latter is equally important, and spills into just about every facet of your life. Learning how to stick to something (anything) is immensely important, as the lessons learned in dedicated behavior are priceless.
3.) Micro-analyzing lifting environemnt/mentality/form: Very rarely does a bad performance need a paragraph of justification. While sleep/schedule/personal life all can present distractions from training, this shouldn’t be the case day in and day out. I have been guilty myself of pointing the finger at everything but myself. The days I spent debating new squat shoes, if my sleep schedule is hindering my performance, or if I should have eaten more food that day (see paragraph 2) rarely resulted in life altering changes. What it does do is distract everyone and (more importantly) yourself from possible glaring issues. Sometimes you are just weak and inexperienced. Being weak is fine, until you are doing nothing to change it. However, getting into the mindset that the conditions being off is reason to succumb to another shit training day can lead to months/weeks/YEARS of stale lifting. The liklihood of having perfect conditions for training is relatively low, and learning to push through is very important. Some of my most memorable PRs came from days I walked into the gym with little motivation, not enough food/sleep, and neutral expectations. Hell, all of my PRs were ugly lifts. Learning to safely correct in instances of being “tipped forward” or “falling backwards” or whatever movement anomaly people are blaming these days will be far more beneficial than learning to find the flaw in your conditions.
4.) Program hopping: The only thing worse than having a terrible plan of action is having a new plan of action each day/weel/month. It took me YEARS to understand this. Building strength is a painfully slow process, ripe with frustrations and moments of doubt. However, without dedication to a plan of some sort, you will never endure the highs and lows that are associated with the endeavor for fitness. There are days that training is the highlight of your day, and there will for sure be days that you cannot wait to put that days training behind you. This is normal. You hopefully choose programs that you trust, so bench your desire to take creative liberties. Spend time giving an approach an honest shot. Worst case scenario, you can assess after the conclusion and look for what was useful and discard what wasnt.
5.) Self Doubt: I have spent too much time in the past doubting my abilities. This extends far beyond my life as an athlete. A few years ago, I was training for a powerlifting meet and I began feeling what was likely going to be a grinder of a rep. As soon as the rep wasn’t butter, I shook my head at my spotter to have him save me from what I would have sworn was going to be a failed lift. Instead of saving my ass, he stepped away, leaving me to complete the lift. I angrily did so, and before I could turn around for an explanation, he said “how many weeks ago did you decide that was gunna be a failure?” Aaaaand he was right. I had spent a lot of time telling myself what my limits were. When it came down to it, that doubt in my own self was robbing me of truly knowing what I was capable of. Though it took a LONG time, I no longer allow any sort of self doubt starting about 12 weeks out from any contest. If I am doing a physique show, I am going to win it. If I am doing a powerlifting meet, I am going to PR everything. Every day is going to go as planned. While this isn’t always the case, you cannot convince me otherwise leading into the meet. Bad training days are isolated incidents and I address that after I have left the gym. The reality is that your thoughts become your actions. If you have low expectations, you will have a low success rate.
Quit wasting your time on things that hinder your performance, your mindset, and your future.
I typically say this as a positive: we draw a different breed of people at NBS. The people that are drawn to a gym that encourages emotional lifting, liberal use of chalk, and loud music are weirdos, but they are my kind of weirdos. That said, there are still instances that leave me completely baffled. Below are a few moments that have left me scratching my head or looking for a stiff drink.
1.) I walked in this past Sunday to THIS:
That is, indeed, an elitefts pro microband wrapped around a stepmill with a shakeweight in the cupholder. I have no idea what happened here, but the possibilities are pretty limited. (note: if you did this, please shoot me a message and tell me WTF this was all about).
2.) A fella came in looking for a “hardcore” gym. During the gym tour he told me he was
a.) an ifbb classic physique pro (this happened to be the week after the very first classic physique pro card were awarded, but I didnt bother mentioning it.)
b.) sponsored by 4 different supplement companies. (typically frowned upon.)
c.) a world record bench presser in the “178lb class.” Further, he had broken that record during a photoshoot in Cananda using a swiss bar. (not a real class, not a sanctioned meet…whatever.)
We never really saw this guy ever again, except when he quietly cancelled his membership, sadly.
3.) Speaking of hardcore: One day during an early morning scan of the gym, I found what turned out to be A TOOTH just laying on the ground.
4.) Identity fraud: We had a fairly active gym member for a few months that got fairly involved in the gym: competed in a local show, came to cook outs, did clinics…that just disappeared one day without cancelling his membership. Later, cited that he had never been in the gym, and in fact someone had stolen his identity, credit card, and IDs (and I guess his face/body).
5.) JOB INTERVIEWS! We recently changed our hiring process. A few sample answers from our recent front desk hiring, all from different candidates:
Me: “Tell me about the last time you were late to work, and how did you handle it?.”
Candidate: “Well. I was 15 minutes late to this interview. Its just who I am. Im late. I figure you can be late for a total of 60 minutes every six months.”
Me: “Is there anything you are concerned about when it comes to this position?”
Candidate: “I gotta be honest, I have no sincere interest in fitness. Or the gym.”
Email body: “Whats the deal with the job?” (For reference, this is a horrible employment inquiry)
Me: “Is there any concerns you have about taking this front desk position that you would like me to address?”
Candidate: “Well…I dont think I can be a bodybuilder. Are y’all going to make me compete in one of those body shows?”
6.) A real cancellation request:
Former member: “I dont want to turn in my fob. I want to keep my entry fob so I can use the gym when I get off work late. I just dont want to pay for it.”
Me: “Sorry. To clarify, you would like gym access, but you do not want to pay for the gym access?”
Former member: “right. What are you having a hard time understanding?! IM SPEAKING PLAIN ENGLISH”*irately*
Welcome to another edition of my weekly movie picks. I’ve got a good one in store for you all today. Let me ask you a question. Are you familiar with the band Godsmack? If you are a member of NBS, I’m sure you’ve heard one of their songs play at one time or another. Perhaps you’ve heard the song “Voodoo?” It was released on Godsmack’s first self titled album, which was released in 1999. Well, the funny thing that most people don’t know about this song is that it was inspired by a Wes Craven movie titled The Serpent and the Rainbow. This film was released in 1988 and is a thriller/horror movie about an anthropologist that travels to the country of Haiti in a time of social and political unrest to study a drug used in religious ceremonies to turn victims into living Zombies! During his stay he seeks the help of a witch doctor, and a fellow researcher in the area to help solve the deadly mystery. The more secrets he discovers, the harder he must work to avoid the local Haitian authorities who see him as a threat. The anthropologist in the movie is played by the actor Bill Pullman, who I believe may have been somewhat of a friend to some of the guys in Godsmack. If you are a fan of any Wes Craven movies, then I’m sure this will be another one to add to your favorites.
Here is a clip of the original 1988 movie trailer.
I also wanted to include the music video for the Godsmack song that was inspired by the movie.
Check out the new training log style I am attempting. Hoping to answer more question’s and be able to give more tip’s WHILE training this way.
On October 23, 2015 I was weighing in for the Dexter Jackson Classic Bodybuilding Show. That Friday night I weighed in at 217, one year later I weigh around 275. Since I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to compete this year, I decided to try to put on as much size as possible. My off season weight prior to getting ready for my contest was around 245-250 so I’d say this has been a very successful year and I think I can still put on some more before the end of the year. Here a few take aways from the process:
Bulking is just as hard as leaning out. When you’re trying to lean out, you have to resist the urge to eat certain things. Putting on weight, bulking, gaining muscle, etc is much more of a physical challenge. Forcing yourself to eat when you are full just plain ole sucks. I’m not going to say one is easier than the other but instead they’re both equally difficult in different ways.
Just because you’re bulking doesn’t mean you get to eat crappy food. When you’re seeking to add quality size, it’s important you give your body nutritious food that is more likely to be converted into muscle or energy.
Consistency is the key to all progress. If you can’t stay consistent, results aren’t going to happen. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. It just means you have to stay the course and get back on track if you have any hick ups along the way.
Going with the above point, having a coach makes a huge difference. I’ve been working with Shelby for two straight years at this point. We haven’t done anything ground breaking but having someone with an objective point of view who keeps you accountable makes a huge difference in your ability to stay consistent.
Most people are going to gain a little fat if they want to put on some significant muscle, get over it.
Here’s what a typical day of eating looks like on a training day:
Meal 1 60/15/80
2 cups mixed berries
1 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vingar
60 grams whey protein
mix in blender
Meal 2 60/15/80
8 oz lean meat
1.5 tbsp grass fed butter
1.5 cups rice
Meal 3 60/15/80
60 grams whey
1 tbsp olive oi
2/3 cups white rice flour
Meal 4 60/15/80
8 oz lean meat
1 tbsp coconut oil
1.5 cups rice
Pre Workout Shake 60/15/40
60 grams whey
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup white rice flour
100-120 grams cyclic dextrin
10-20 grams BCAAs
Post Workout 60/0/120
60 grams whey
120 grams carbs from dextrose
Post Workout Meal 1 60/0/170
4 oz steak
30 grams whey
2 bagels with honey
1 cup white rice
Post Workout Meal 2 60/0/170
4 oz steak
30 grams whey
1 bagel with honey
1 1/3 cup white rice
While scrolling through Facebook this morning and thinking about what I wanted to blog about, I couldn’t help noticing the consistency in disdane for Trump/Clinton up and down my newsfeed. It’s nothing new, its been that way for over a year. Pictures of newborn babies and my friends out having a good time have been replaced by Clinton memes and Trump protesters. Funny cat videos have been replaced by photos of men and women conceived through rape who went on to be famous. Everyone is trying to make their point about something. To prove their favorite candidate is better, often by tearing the other candidate down. I don’t have to paint the picture further, your Facebook feed looks the same as mine.
There are certain issues I feel strongly about, but for the most part I keep my opinions to myself unless someone asks me how I feel about a particular issue. We won’t really go into any of that here, as that would make my blog no better than my newsfeed and that’s not my point.
Regarding my point, lets get to it. This week our country will select a new president. We will have a new leader of our free world, a new head of state. The campaign reteroick will be over (thank God) and the new commander in chief will prepare to take his/her seat on January 20th. Some will be happy, some will be pissed but what we all will be is….in it together. We will all share in a choice. Regardless of who wins the presidency, we get to choose whether we will unite as a country or continue to divide ourselves. Choosing to support the new resident of the Oval Office doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with their platform or that you’ve switched teams, it simply means you have chosen to respect the position. I think, as a nation, we have lost repect for our government in many ways, and that disrespect continues to divide us.
We live in an awesome country and we have so many freedoms that we take for granted every day! The fact that we can even exercise our right to vote is a freedom that not everyone shares! Imagine living in a dictatorship!
Now, we have had some great presidents and we’ve had some terrible presidents too! It’s fair to assume the next four years will fall somewhere in between. One fact remains for me however, I love my country and although I don’t always agree with some of the decisions made (as well as getting down right embarassed at times), I will always stand with my hand proudly over my heart every time the National Anthem is played or our beautiful flag is flown. At the very sound of the Star Spangeled Banner, my eyes well up with tears and my heart fills with pride. Regardless of our choice of presidency, I will still stand with my country and I challenge you to do the same. Be proud of who we are, stand together.
I have been involved in the fitness industry all of my adult life and quite a bit of my teen years, as I started as sweeping floors at a gym when I was 15. As I near the 15 year mark I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. As I grew into a participant of various iron sports, I started to appreciate the value of each of the major sports. They all have their role towards personal development. I have been especially excited to see the rise of sports such as powerlifting, strongman, and crossfit and the undeniably positive impact it has had on peoples relationship with their own bodies. It seems every week, I am finding people that are a little less concerned with their reflection and more intrigued with their performance. It really is a cool phenomenon.
Per typical social rules, I guess we cannot praise on sect of the iron world without demonizing others. On one hand, I can fully recognize that some people enter the sport of bodybuilding and get in completely over there head. I have seen countless stories of people who go from enjoying the gym and wanting to kick it up a notch to being hungry, feeling resentful towards the time in the gym, and not being able to transition to a more maintainable lifestyle post show. I acknowledge that such things do happen. With that, there has been an increasingly negative perception pushed of the sport itself. Last week, I saw an article that outlined the most “ineffective, insulting, and dangerous” fitness trends as described by various fitness professionals. Sure enough, competing in physique sports was on this list. It was painted as this big, hypersexual waste of time that required objectifying participants with unrealistic body expectations. The contributor suggested what everyone who thinks they are on the cutting edge of sport psychology suggests: focus on performance goals and seeing what your body can DO.
*SIGH* Um. This is pretty damn far from what physique sports are at their core. Are there body types that don’t do well, regardless of effort, in this sport? Absolutely. Is that a reason to damn the entire sport? No. I didn’t criticize the entire equestrian scene when I shot up to my current height of 5’7 at the age of 14. I don’t see Kevin Hart insisting that the NBA be more inclusive of his 5’4 stature. Hell, im not asking powerlifting to sub-categorize classes so I am not competing against 5’2 females at my same weight. So WHY is bodybuilding suddenly the school yard bully because not everyone has the genetics to go pro?
I have seen others disregard bodybuilding as a bunch of oiled up egomaniacs in tiny suits posing on stage. When you paint it like that, it does seem a little silly. AS DO ALL SPORTS. How fucking weird is the Olympic sport of curling when you dumb it down to what it *looks* like? Powerlifting could be degraded to a bunch of dudes in wrestling singlets doing the same three lifts over and over, day in and day out. Telling people that their hobbies are stupid is INCREDIBLY EASY. Literally, it takes no creative talent. Im not entirely sure what the end goal of that action it, but lets give that a rest.
And…sexualized? HAVE YOU BEEN BACKSTAGE AT A BODYBUILDING SHOW? I will spare you the details, but its pretty far from sexy. Its gassy. Its smelly. Its tense. The smell of boiled chicken and pro tan lingers on everyone and there’s crumbs of rice cakes everywhere. I understand that stage time and photo shoots can make it appear to be a sexy lifestyle, but even scratching the surface will show you otherwise. I’m not sure how sexy you find 5am cardio with no makeup and hair so drenched in sweat that my pony tail it slicked down like a helmet on my head. I literally look like Kid Rock most days.
Maybe we don’t point out enough the value that this hobby brings to our life. I certainly don’t think my greatest success is as a physique sport competitor, but it has enriched my life in a lot of ways. It has taught me about nutrition, training, socializing, and most importantly, it has taught me a lot about myself. I have been able to push myself to perform in circumstances most people would have quit in. The carryover from that alone has been enormous. I have been able to gain a significant understanding of my body that I did not develop when I was powerlifting. I have returned to the platform after shows a better technical lifter because my mind muscle connection is better. I am easier to coach now, as cues make more sense.
On purely an intake stance, I have learned a lot about the fine details of nutrition. This has been the most fascinating component of the entire process for me. I get to live in an adapting organism that undergoes extreme stress and can only be remedied by my own intake and self preservation. Every struggle I feel, every draggy morning, and every strange bit of resistance my body throws me, I get to push back at. Ultimately, I win that fight and get to push my body to do things it doesn’t want to do. The stimulus-adaptation response is not dissimilar to the excitement people feel after grinding out a PR in strength sports. This process alone is why I think the “you should see what your body can do, not what it looks like” is a total bullshit attack.
I have met others that have had a more profound impact on their life through these sports. I have seen people overcome eating disorders, break out of bad life situations, and find their inner strength through these endeavors. I have seen the bad, sure. But I have also seen the great. This mix of good and bad extends to every iron sport I have experienced, and I think its time we stop hating the game.
NBS Fitness member Will Sawyer recently competed in his first USA Weightlifting Collegiate Nationals competition. Check out what he had to say below:
This was the weekend of Sept 24-25 in New Orleans, and I actually competed on Sunday with having a week of midterm exams starting on Monday. This was my second meet ever (the first was a month before) and I’ve been into weightlifting just under 2 years, so still relatively new to the sport. The atmosphere was totally unreal, with so many people trying to warm-up on a limited number of platforms and sharing a training hall. Truly a great learning experience to say the least. Also, very cool to meet and see people that you follow on Instagram competing in person. I’m looking forward to training hard and getting back next year to compete again. Even though I’m a student at the Southern College of Optometry, I’m a member of the Iron Tigers Weightlifting club that trains out of the University of Memphis.