Thursday, April 30, 2015

Leonid Taranenko

This is a dated video, but still very interesting. The politics and the physical toll of extended heavy training are shown. Still, in 2015 no one has ever lifted more weight over head in a sanctioned competition than the 266 kg Clean and Jerk he did back in 1988 in Australia.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dmitry Klokov - Failure Before Success

Nice video. Shows Klokov doing pause snatches from the left and right sides simultaneously.  It's a great teaching tool to show proper positions; shoulders over the bar, straight back and arms, vertical pull...etc. it's also a great demonstration of intensity, focus, and ability to get the best out of yourself each day.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Workout exercises for women in the 1940s :)

A fun look back. This old newsreel is a precursor to our present day "infomercials." I showed this to my students and thankfully they had a good laugh and have never had the experience of being told that weight training is harmful, will make you stiff, "musclebound", and cause females to become unable to have children, or that your muscles will all turn to fat when you get old.  It's hard to believe now, but those were some of the things that my generation were taught when we were young. Thank goodness we didn't listen and now it is only humorous to look back. I remember some of these "Spa" institutions existed into the 60's and 70's. The idea that passive movement can be effective is attractive. After all, who wouldn't like to just stand, sit, or better yet, lay down and have a machine do the work of shaping your body? The best thing about this video is that it reminds us of how far we have progressed in regards to exercise.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

America: Too fat to fight

A fit fighting force is vital.

Below is an op-ed that I saw on CNN this morning while I was working out in the weight room. Carol Costello is a morning news anchor (and in great shape herself at 50+) and I think she nails this. Obesity is a real problem and the risks are not just to each individual, as important as that is. There is also a very real and significant risk to our society as a whole. All the technology in the world cannot compensate for an unfit fighting force. The strength of our military defense ultimately depends upon the strength and fitness of each individual. As a public school physical educator, I can concur with the concerns for our youth. We need to care and we need to expect more from them and ourselves and set a proper example. It is  not an exaggeration to declare that the lean and mean wolves are at our door ready to create havoc. A fat and complacent society will not be able to depend solely upon superior technology to keep them safe. It will require fit and alert men and women who are physically and mentally sharp. We have work to do.
Interview video clip is below:

(CNN)Soon, America will be too fat to fight.

Forget about rampant diabetes, heart attacks and joint problems -- the scariest consequence arising out of our losing battle with the bulge is the safety of our country.

In about five years, so many young Americans will be grossly overweight that the military will be unable to recruit enough qualified soldiers. That alarming forecast comes from Maj, Gen. Allen Batschelet, who is in charge of U.S. Army Recruiting Command.

Obesity, he told me, "is becoming a national security issue."

I was so taken aback by Batschelet's statement that I felt the need to press him. Come on! Obesity? A national security crisis? The General didn't blink. "In my view, yes."

Of the 195,000 young men and women who signed up to fight for our country, only 72,000 qualified. Some didn't make the cut because they had a criminal background, or a lack of education, or too many tattoos. But a full 10% didn't qualify because they were overweight.

Before you accuse me of sensationalizing, it's that 10% figure that worries General Batschelet the most.

"The obesity issue is the most troubling because the trend is going in the wrong direction," he said. "We think by 2020 it could be as high as 50%, which mean only 2 in 10 would qualify to join the Army." He paused. "It's a sad testament to who we are as a society right now."

The problem is so worrisome for the Army that recruiters have become fitness coaches, like the trainers on the NBC show, "The Biggest Loser."

Yes, your tax dollars pay for Army recruiters to play Dolvett Quince or Jillian Michaels to whip could-be recruits into shape with the hope they can diet and exercise their way to become real recruits. If they lose enough weight, they're sent to boot camp. Some make it; many don't. But, General Batschelet told me the Army must try.

"We are the premier leader on personal development in the world," he told me. "We want to see you grow and become a leader. That is a great strength in our Army."

Except the Army never considered the type of growth it's now contending with. Nowadays "personal development" means working on both character and ... girth. The general, along with so many others in this country, is struggling with why so many Americans, despite all the warnings, continue to eat too much and exercise too little.

I have a theory. It ain't pretty. But it's got to be true: We just don't care.

"The acceptance of obesity is prevalent," according to Claire Putnam, an obstetrician and gynecologist who believes obesity is a national crisis right now. "When you look around you, 70% of adults are overweight or obese. It's seems normal," she said.

Just look at the numbers: More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Seventeen percent of all children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese. That's triple the rate from just a generation ago.

So, maybe we should face the fact that we've grown comfortable with our girth. It is crystal clear we haven't the foggiest idea of who needs to lose weight and who doesn't.

Just the other day, Twitter trolls scolded the singer, Pink, for gaining weight. Pink is not remotely fat. Neither is Selena Gomez, haters. Or Britney Spears, hecklers.

If 70% of us are overweight in this country, why are there so many willing to fat-shame people who are not remotely obese? Maybe it's easier to criticize others for carrying extra weight than to admit we have a weight problem ourselves. Because it is abundantly clear we are wallowing in denial.

Dr. Putnam points to one of Kaiser Permanante's medical questionnaires. You know, the paperwork patients are asked to fill out before they see the doctor. There is actually a box on the form that allows the patient to "opt out of talking about obesity." Some patients refuse to step on the scale.

"You want to be sensitive to that patient," Putnam told me. "You don't want to nag. But, doctors need to step in and say we need to fix this."

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, agrees with Putnam. "Perceptions of weight are a big part of the problem," he said to me. "If a person is overweight -- as difficult as it is -- they ought to be told. You know, this issue reminds me of the issue with concussions. We should call them what they really are: a brain injury, not 'getting your bell rung.' In the same vein, we should tell people who are overweight or obese that, clinically, they're 'overweight' or 'obese' and at risk for just about every chronic disease in the book."

In other words, chubby is not the proper way to describe a person who is obese. Just like "fat" is not the proper term for Pink or Selena Gomez. And, yes, semantics matter. According to the CDC, 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls believe they are just the right weight.

We've clearly lost our perspective on what's normal when it comes to a healthy weight. So much so it's becoming a national security problem.

So what will it take? The answer cannot be the U.S Army.
Carol Costello anchors the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET edition of CNN's "Newsroom" each weekday. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

 Perfecting the Pullup

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bodyweight Exercises with Lu Xiaojun

More good stuff from China...........

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lu Xiaojun - Olympic Weightlifting Motivation

If you are a lifter and this doesn't motivate you......then you need to have your pulse checked.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lift the World

This is great. A documentary on Weightlifting produced by the IWF. It's a must see for anyone with any degree of interest in strength, athletics, or lifting of any style. They did a great job and it's well worth investing the 49 minutes it takes to watch the whole thing.
It looks at different approaches to lifting around the world. Very well done.

Monday, April 6, 2015

It's Spring time!

John Fogerty is one of my favorite performers. He's pushing 70 years old and can still rock hard. He credits discipline, practice and exercise for his longevity as a musician. One of his biggest hits "Centerfield" has became a standard anthem at baseball stadiums and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for it. Some my not realize it, but the baseball theme was actually a metaphor for his comeback as a performer. He had some tough times when his original band, Credence Clearwater Revival, broke up and he gave up performing for over a decade. Centerfield was his comeback song. Like he often says when he introduces this song at concerts, "As long as there is life, there's hope." You Bet!
I have seen him play live a couple of times at the Arizona State Fair. He sprints on stage, plays for a couple of hours, then sprints off. A real music legend.
This video version has some really neat footage of old time spring training.........

Here's the story...........

At the Hall of Fame..........

A full concert...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Is this the end of scholastic sports as we know it?

This attitude is rampant from the classroom to the athletic arenas.

 The world of scholastic sports here in the United States is being challenged like never before. It seems to me that we coaches are in danger of completely losing control of our programs. Just this past basketball season, here at Monument Valley High School a vocal group of parents opposed the coaches attempt to enforce practice rules that both parents and players had signed off on. The administration caved in and the coach resigned. Now during Track season we are battling the same issue with "athletes" protesting the requirement of daily practice attendance. It seems to be a contagious attitude that coaches no longer make and enforce rules. Of course it's not limited to sports. Public education has been wrested from the teachers long ago. Sad to see, but many good coaches and teachers no longer want to fight the battle.

When Audrey Dimitrew won a spot on a club volleyball team in Chantilly, Va., the 16-year-old hoped to impress varsity coaches and possibly college coaches.

But when her coach benched her and the league told her she couldn’t join another team, the action shifted from one court to another — she and her family sued.

Audrey said she could miss a pivotal season this spring and thinks that a large, controlling league has lost sight of its primary mission: encouraging kids to play sports. The league has said that Audrey is disgruntled with her playing time and that transferring her to another team would create a flood of similar requests.

“It would be really heartbreaking not to play,” Audrey said. “I would be losing a big part of my life.”

The lawsuit is one of a number filed across the country in recent years as families have increasingly turned to the courts to intervene in youth sports disputes. Parents upset that their children have been cut, benched, yelled at by coaches or even fouled too hard are asking judges to referee.

 Some experts see such lawsuits as part of a shift in youth sports in recent decades away from sandlot play and intramural teams to professionalized leagues and tryout teams partly aimed at snagging scholarships for players and giving them a leg up in college admissions.

Although most kids join just for fun, or to hang out with groups of friends, for some families the competition takes on a more serious focus. Parents are spending thousands and giving up countless weekends for kids to participate on travel teams and prestigious high school programs. Experts say parents want a return on that investment — and a handful are willing to sue if they don’t get it.

“Youth sports is not just about orange slices and kids running free,” said Tom Farrey, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Project Play and author of a book on the topic. “It’s about aggregating talent in as elite a setting as possible so that your kid can receive a reward at 17 or 18.”

Audrey said she’s not sure whether she will play in college, but the Dimitrews think the spring season of 10th grade is a crucial one for getting exposure to coaches who can elevate her game.

Like many suburban families, the Dimitrews’ weeks often revolve around practices and games. Audrey played on the junior varsity team at Purcellville’s Woodgrove High School and traveled regionally for club play. Then, there’s sand volleyball and the youth team she coaches.

The family juggles this and more while running a company that builds custom high-end homes. Susan Dimitrew estimates the family will spend $6,000 on her daughter’s volleyball this year.

They are hardly alone. Club teams require substantial investment for coaches, gear and more. Project Play estimates the average travel team parent is spending about $2,300 a year, while those of the most elite players lay out $20,000 a year or more.

Audrey said the lawsuit is not about money or future prospects for her. Amid AP classes and drama productions, volleyball has been a refuge since she followed her older sister onto the court in sixth grade.

She can’t understand why her league, the Chesapeake Region Volleyball Association (CHRVA), won’t let her join another team. The league is one of the largest in the region with more than 8,600 girls on teams.

The dispute began after Audrey and about 75 other girls competed for spots on the under-16 Chantilly Juniors in November. The coach told Audrey she was the best setter at the tryout and would get playing time, according to court documents.

Audrey got an offer to join Chantilly that night and three more from other teams she tried out for. She selected the Juniors and signed a contract with the team — something common among youth travel teams today.

George Doumar, an attorney for the Chantilly Juniors, who were also named in the suit, said that “we wish Audrey well” and added the dispute “is really between [the Dimitrews] and the . . . association.”

Farrey said competitive club and travel teams have been growing. They began with hockey in the 1980s and then spread to soccer and other sports in the ’90s and beyond.

The increase comes in part from parents hoping to groom their kids for sports scholarships, which have mushroomed from nearly $600 million a year in the early ’90s to more than $2 billion today.

Sent to the bench

Audrey’s season began with promise. She said she was getting practice and scrimmage play but was benched for the first two tournaments in mid-January.

The coach told Audrey she was not ready to be a setter on the team and would not play much for the rest of the season, even though she had “college level” skills, according to court documents. The family was disappointed, perplexed and felt they had not been given what they were promised after a significant investment.

“She is devastated,” Susan Dimitrew wrote to the coach about Audrey. “It is important that she plays, and plays the position you offered her of setter as that is the position she plays in high school.”

The coach gave Audrey two options: She could be a practice player for the Juniors or transfer to another team in the league. She chose the latter option, and her parents found a team willing to take her.

But the league, which must approve such moves, said it would set a bad precedent. According to league bylaws, players can switch teams only if they demonstrate a “verifiable hardship,” a rule that was not spelled out in the contract Audrey signed.

The Dimitrews argue that Audrey’s case applies, but league officials disagree.

“Should CHRVA allow players the ability to move teams when they are unhappy with the amount of playtime they are receiving, we would be overwhelmed with requests to change teams,” a CHRVA official wrote to the Dimitrews.

After appeals failed, the Dimitrews filed suit in mid-March. More and more parents are doing the same.

In 2013, a father in the suburbs of Philadelphia sued his son’s high school track coach for $40 million after the teen was cut. The man claimed his son’s chances of getting a college scholarship were badly damaged.

Last year, a Dallas-area father filed a racketeering lawsuit against an elite lacrosse camp, accusing officials of intimidating players into attending. He cited as evidence the fact that his son wasn’t made an official member of the varsity team by a coach who also worked at the camp.

Farrey, the executive director of the Project Play, said this moment in youth sports has been building for years as a competitive strain of youth sports has grown in some communities, particularly affluent suburbs like those in the D.C. area.

The competition has pushed kids to specialize in sports younger and parents to look for early advantages. There is now an under-8 national championship in basketball. A Colorado company markets a $169 test that will determine a child’s genetic predisposition to strength or endurance sports. Another makes athletic training videos for 6-month-olds.

Experts say the collision of big aspirations and big money is fertile ground for lawsuits.

“I refer to it as the global warming of youth sports,” said Mark Hyman, a George Washington University professor of sports management.

Some parents are blowing the whistle. A 2014 ESPN Project Play poll found roughly 70 percent of parents surveyed thought youth sports were too expensive and time-consuming and placed too much emphasis on winning over having fun.

A legal back-and-forth

On a recent morning, Audrey and her attorney sat in a wood-paneled courtroom in Fairfax County across from lawyers for CHRVA and the Chantilly Juniors. With the season quickly slipping away, the family asked for a temporary injunction so Audrey could play the rest of the season with a new team.

The attorneys spent nearly three hours debating the league’s bylaws and how much Audrey would suffer by missing games.

“This young lady has nowhere to play,” argued her attorney, Robert Cunningham.

CHRVA’s attorney said the suit might sink the entire league.

“They are seriously contemplating disbanding the club because of the expense of being sued,” said attorney Kenneth G. Stallard.

Fairfax County Judge John Tran was sympathetic to Audrey’s predicament, saying he was “unhappy . . . that a child is not given an opportunity to play.”

But he said the law did not allow him to intervene in the decision-making process of a private organization. He declined to issue a temporary injunction.

The ruling effectively meant Audrey wouldn’t play this season, but Susan Dimitrew said the fight will continue.

“I never imagined in my wildest dreams there would be a lawsuit over this,” she said. “But I think it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think my child is the only one that has experienced something like this. They don’t think they have to answer to anyone.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1st Special- Gravity Busters!

We’ve all had that feeling. Some days it seems that the weights are just nailed to the floor. In the past this has been the cause of many ruined workouts. But, NO MORE!!!!

With our new Gravity Busters you never have to suffer a poor workout again!!!!

Under the wrong conditions, excess gravity tends to collect on plates and even over lifting areas.

As most experienced lifters know, removing excess gravity from plates is a fairly simple process. Merely spin the plates rapidly in a clockwise direction ( in Navajo we call this Shaa' Bik'ehgo) and the excess gravity spins off rather quickly.

However when a gravity pocket develops over a platform that is much harder to deal with, UNTIL NOW!!!!

We are Introducing our new line of Gravity Busters. For only 12 easy payments of $19.95 you can have one of your own. They are available in school colors. The Red Model is extremely popular at the University of Utah.(Gotta love them Utes)

Merely plug in the Gravity Buster and move it rapidly around the affected area. You can feel the excess gravity breaking up. Now you can get back to lifting heavy weights without the pesky excess gravity.
We have an economy model for those on low budgets. Available only in white for a one time cost of $49.99.

Send check or money order to:
Gravity Busters
PO Box 552
Kayenta, AZ 86033

Below is a graphic example of what can happen when a gravity pocket moves in over a lifting platform. Luckily it moved in after the weight was lifted in this case, but the effects are obvious as the weight is returned to the platform. A Gravity Buster could have saved a lot of pain and destruction.

Hurry, Available April 1st only!!!!!

Don't let this happen to you!!!!!