Thursday, January 29, 2015

Accessory work

Amazing video of an amazing athlete. Egypt's Mohamed Ehab is a rare specimen for sure. I wouldn't recommend most of these for the average athlete, but it sure is impressive to see what this young man can do. If most of the rest of tried some of these, we would need a truck load of anti-inflammatories and weeks of physical therapy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Science of Weightlifting

Here is another film that is very interesting to hard core lifters. It starts out similar to the one we posted last week on the History of Weightlifting, with some of the same photos even. After the introduction it features more of the physics and science of lifting. It was produced in China but is translated to english. This is about 19 minutes long, but worth the time if you are interested in seeing things from another perspective. I really like the Close, Fast, Low principle as a simple, concise way to enhance beginner's technique.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why No Child (or anyone) Should Be Left On their Behind

Human beings were not made to sit for very long. Schools and workplaces have evolved without consideration for this obvious fact. In earlier times most jobs required physical activity, but now in our high tech society, even occupations like agriculture and construction have become more automated and mechanized, while many jobs now require sitting in front of a screen for hours. Our schools mimic the factory model and most students spend hours a day sitting at desks.According to the videos and article below, even a few hours or exercise is not enough to counter-act the effects of hours of sitting. If you find yourself in a situation where hours of sitting is necessary, then look at some alternatives, like standing, using a stability ball for a chair, or at least get up as often as possible. Check your child's school and see if they provide reasonable time for recess and play as well as a sound physical education program. FInd out if the teachers include time to get up and move around during learning activities rather than constant sitting and lobby for movement to be a major part of the learning process.

(CNN)—One of your favorite activities may actually be killing you. Our entire modern world is constructed to keep you sitting down. When we drive, we sit. When we work at an office, we sit. When we watch TV, well, you get the picture. And yet, a new study that's running in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that this kind of sedentary behavior increases our chances of getting a disease or a condition that will kill us prematurely, even if we exercise. Researchers from Toronto came to this conclusion after analyzing 47 studies of sedentary behavior. They adjusted their data to incorporate the amount someone exercises and found that the sitting we typically do in a day still outweighs the benefit we get from exercise. Of course, the more you exercise, the lower the impact of sedentary behavior. The studies showed sedentary behavior can lead to death from cardiovascular issues and cancer as well as cause chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes. Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth-leading risk factor for death for people all around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Prolonged sitting, meaning sitting for eight to 12 hours or more a day, increased your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 90%.  So what can you do to reduce the time you spend engaged in an activity that is not good for you? The study authors did make some simple suggestions to help you sit less. One is to just be aware of how much you are sitting. That way you can make a goal of reducing that number a little bit each week. If you are at work, you could try a standing desk or make it a goal to stand up or walk around for a minute or three once every half an hour. If you watch TV at night, don't zoom ahead during the commercials with your DVR. Instead walk around or at least stand up during the show break.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Short History of Weightlifting

I have always believed that it is important to know something about the history and roots of your sport or activity. Here is a great video that give a concise overview of the history of competitive weightlifting. The old pictures and video clips are great. Nice job!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Hero Twins, a Navajo Warrior Story

We post on a wide variety of topics here on our website. We try to promote anything that relates to the Warrior spirit and topics range from training in various forms, nutrition, psychology, equipment, knowledge, inspiration, humor, and a bunch of other things. In that vein, we highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to know the story of the Navajo Warrior Twins, Monster Slayer, and Born for Water. There are many lessons that can be gleaned from this legend. Beyond that, the illustrations are beautiful and the text is in both Navajo and English which makes it very interesting. It is available from Amazon books and/or the University of New Mexico press and is very reasonably priced. The illustrations alone are worth the price of the book. Nolan James is a multi-talented artist who also happens to be a friend and co-worker.
The Hero Twins tells the story of two brothers born to Changing Woman and trained by the Holy People to save their people from the naayéé', a race of monsters. But the naayéé' can't be beaten alone. Family and friends and wise mentors must lead any warrior down the good path toward victory. Colorful illustrations show the action as the twins seek out their father to receive the weapons they need to face the greatest monster of them all: Yé'iitsoh.
Told in Navajo, the Diné language, and English, this story exists in many versions, and all demonstrate the importance of thinking, patience, persistence, bravery, and reverence. These teachings still help the Diné--and everyone--find the harmony of a balanced and braver life.

This is the Warrior Spirit.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ever Want to Crush Something?

While I can't have much respect for anyone who won't be faithful to their marriage vows, I still have to admit that Arnold does a great job of not taking himself too seriously. I got a kick out of this. I now have dreams about driving a tank over a pile of computers.

Here's another way to crush something...........

Monday, January 5, 2015

4 Fitness Lessons Learned in Prison

Prison workouts aren't pretty. 

I have never been incarcerated (although I came close once, but that's a story for another day), but the prison lifting lifting culture has impacted me in several ways. My father is a construction worker and has built and remodeled many prisons. In that context I have also visited and worked on prisons and know that feeling of walking in and having the doors close behind you, although I knew that I would be allowed to leave at the end of the shift. It's still a sobering feeling to hear those iron bars clank behind you.
Some of my earliest weights came from the Erie County Jail where my Dad was doing some work. Apparently some prisoners creatively tried to break out using weightlifting bars so the warden decided to dispose of the weights. When my Dad saw what he was doing, he asked if he could just take them home for his son to use. I still have some of those weights today and that was nearly 50 years ago.Over the years a few of my former student/athletes have made poor decisions and ended up behind bars for varying periods of time. Their stories of the challenges and the need for physical strength have also influenced my methods. Below is an article that I found interesting.

Stronger, Faster, Smarter: 4 Fitness Lessons Learned in Prison
How a man wrongly convicted for murder spent nearly a decade in prison—and emerged as a fitness guru.
For 19-year-old college student Ryan Ferguson, the light-bulb moment came during a phone call from his dad. It was March 14, 2004, four days after Ferguson's arrest for allegedly murdering Columbia Tribune sports columnist Kent Heitholt. "I know you're innocent, but while you're in there, I can't protect you," his dad's said. "You have to do everything you can to make yourself stronger, faster, and smarter to survive."

Ferguson hung up the phone and headed back to his cell at the Boone County Jail, an austere brick building just 15 minutes north of where he graduated from high school in Columbia, Missouri, the year prior. Now he was suddenly living among men who were at least theoretically predatory in nature. He knew he didn't belong there. He also knew his dad was right. He started with push-ups.

"You're reminded every day of how weak you are as a human being and if anything did happen, help would be too late," Ferguson says of life in prison. He would spend nearly a decade behind bars before his conviction was vacated, the legal term for voiding a previous judgment, due to recanted witness testimony, admissions of perjury, accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, and the absence of physical evidence matching Ferguson to the crime scene. "My goal became to get as big as I could as fast as I could to show people not to mess with me—I'm not a fighter, but I wanted to make sure I could survive a few rounds if I had to—it was either that or potentially ceasing to exist."

So the scrawny college freshman became a student of health and fitness. Push-ups and sit-ups in his cell—sometimes as many as 1,000 a day—kicked off a calisthenics program he regularly performed. Like an anxious zoo animal, he paced the length of his 50-foot cage, doing 25 push-ups, walking back, doing another 25 push-ups, and so forth. He huffed out dips on a cinderblock half wall and pull-ups on the back of a staircase. He jury-rigged a hefty, plastic coffee jug by filling it with water in the showers and wrapping a laundry bag through the handles to do curls.

When he wasn't working out, he was reading everything he could get his hands on—from books like Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, to self-help guides like The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, to any sports and fitness magazines available. "I had this intense fear of knowing I was very alone in there and that I was surrounded by a lot of bad people who didn't care about anything," says Ferguson. "I was the guy who was in incredibly good shape who read all day, so people thought, 'He's not normal; I don't want to mess with him.' It was important to my survival both mentally and physically."

While his fitness quest began as an act of self-preservation, it evolved into a routine Ferguson hoped would prepare him for the outside world, even though he didn't know when, or if, he'd be released. "I began asking myself, 'Do I want to be the same person when all this started and view the time I spent in prison as lost years because I didn't want to put in that daily effort?'" he says.

He was released on November 12, 2013, at the age of 29. Since then, he has earned his NASM personal trainer certification and thrown himself into Spartan races, competing at the World Championship event in Vermont this past September. "If you're going to run, run like you're a kid in the woods," he says of the freedom he feels running in wide-open spaces and over obstacle-laden terrain.

The fitness and life lessons Ferguson learned in prison are packed into his new book, Stronger, Faster Smarter: A Guide to Your Most Powerful Body, out from Penguin books on January 2.

Below, Ferguson shares his four most important fitness revelations:

Set Goals
"One reality in life is that we have to constantly fight for ourselves, which makes it easy to lose that inner peace and willpower," Ferguson says. "That's why you need to set goals for yourself and write them down in order to achieve that balance."

Check Yourself
"You need to ask yourself, 'How do I want to feel? How do I want to look?' And then admit: 'Here's what I've been doing and it's not enough,'" Ferguson says. "Living a healthy lifestyle is going to make you a better person in other parts of your life, so it's all about understanding what you need to be happy."

Be Consistent
Ferguson admits sticking to a regular diet and exercise routine was easier in prison than it is now that he's free. "The reality is that there are a lot of distractions," he says. He has ten years of catching up to do with family and friends, not to mention the fact that he spent a decade craving a good cheeseburger, which he can now have whenever he wants.

"This last year I've moved four times and have traveled a lot, but even though my workout program is less regular than it was in prison, every day I make sure to do things like push ups, lunges, and squats," he says. "When I'm with family all day, I try to encourage everyone to at least get out for a walk to be active and enjoy nature together."

Attitude Is Everything (Not Just an Inspirational Poster)

"I learned the importance of not being a victim to your circumstances," he says. "We all have our own tragedies—a lot of people think my struggle has been worse, but life is full of terrible situations. You have to keep pushing and you'll eventually come through the other end."

Sometimes bodyweight is the only option.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year !!

Some good friends of mine made this video. They did a great job. The Book of Mormon changed my life for the better. I invite you to watch this and consider it.
Happy New Year!