Monday, August 29, 2016

To Curl, Or not to Curl? That is the Question

Image result for larry scott
This type of curling apparently worked for the late, great Larry Scott, but is not the type of curling that athletes should be doing.

I have to admit that there was a time when I disdained anyone doing curling exercises in my weightroom. There is still no doubt that this arm flexion exercise is way overused among adolescent would-be athletes. The group who comes in and wants to immediately stand in front of the mirror and begin curling seems to be a constant, although I have devised ways to get them squatting, pulling, and pressing first. Most of these young men labor under the illusion that girls like big arms, so they persist in spite of the fact that their arms never get bigger as a result of their efforts. It is a false premise anyway, girls really find big bank accounts much more attractive than big arms. (I come up short on both fronts.)
But, you know what, as the years pass, I am realizing that there are legitimate reasons to include curls in your workout, even if you are not a "cosmetic performer" (bodybuilder). Back in the late 70's Mark Cameron became the second American lifter to Clean and Jerk over 500 lb. (Ken Patera was the first American)
The amazing thing about Mark was he only weighed about 240 lb. at the time. Nearly 100 lb. less than Alexeev or Patera. Arm curls were included in his workouts. He was not overly muscular or thick, and felt that curling helped his elbow stabilization. I have also read that Al Oerter also included curls in his training. These were not a strict, flexing type of curl, but a heavy full body type of reverse clean almost. No one can argue with his success. A few weeks ago someone commented in response to one of our posts asking about adjustments in training for someone with elbows that tended to hyperextend. I neglected to mention that curling is important in strengthening the elbows in this type of athlete. While I am not claiming that curls should be a major part of a throwers or lifters workouts, in fact arms that are too large could inhibit proper positions. I do believe that curling exercises have their place in stabilizing the elbow joint and strengthening it for the stresses of throwing. Of course it is vital that these be done through the full range of motion, not to excess, and preferably not in front of a mirror! lol
Al Oerter

Thursday, August 25, 2016

In the "It's a Small World" category

Image result for john haack
John Haack, Powerlifter, World Champion  83 kg. class.
Yesterday I received the e-mail below from our school librarian......

"Good morning,

I just sent this link to Gabriel Atene and he thought you would like to see it.  It's my youngest brother at the 2016 IPF World Powerlifting Championship."

Pretty cool. Although I have known and interacted with her for quite a few years, I had no idea that she had a brother who competed in Powerlifting, let alone was a world class lifter. Especially impressive is the fact that he is doing it without all the "gear" that we see so many "powerlifters" using these days. Great to see and awesome lifting technique. No extreme wide squat stance, excessive back arch, or sumo style. Just straight forward strong. My hat is off to him. Great job.

Image result for john haack

Monday, August 22, 2016

'Text neck' results in injuries for student athletes, others


I have to admit that I've seen the results of this as well. Technology is great, but in the absence of a good all-around workout program, it can be very detrimental to physical well-being. Technology is not the villain. It is the lack of exercise and movement that is the real enemy here.

Local physical therapists say they've seen an uptick in teens complaining of “text neck,” back and neck pain that can only be explained by the strain on the body caused by constant viewing of hand-held technology. (Jon Langham / Naperville Sun)

By Suzanne Baker•Contact Reporter
Naperville Sun

August 13, 2016, 10:35 AM

High school athletes could be more at risk for in-game injuries for activities outside of the game.

A national chain of physical therapy clinics reports that more teens than ever are complaining of "text neck," back and neck pain that can only be explained by the strain on the body caused by constant viewing of hand-held technology.

"I am shocked by how many patients come in complaining of neck pain," said Anne Bierman, a physical therapist with Athletico Physical Therapy's Naperville South office on 95th Street.

Bierman said in the past the majority of patients with neck and shoulder were adults who slouch when sitting at their computers a day. Now she's seeing more teens with the condition.

Long periods of looking down can be stressful on the body, whether staring at a cellphone, laptop or tablet.

On average, for every 10 degrees a person tilts the head downward puts 10 pounds of pressure on the spine, Bierman said.

Her information echoes research published in 2014 in the National Library of Medicine that warns the extra weight — sometimes up to 60 pounds — on the cervical spine caused by looking down can lead to wear and tear on the vertebrae and degeneration that may require surgery.

Athletes are vulnerable because "text neck" causes a loss of muscle strength.

Bierman, a former college athlete, said weak shoulder muscles can result in poor performance, more injuries and longer recovery times.

Weak muscles also put more pressure on shoulder joints, limit normal range of motion and cause pain when swimming, throwing a baseball or softball, striking a football stance, spiking a volleyball or performing other sports activities.

"We're dealing with a lot more high school athletes who've had surgeries," said Bierman, who played soccer at St. Louis University and is a board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy.

Because her office is adjacent to Neuqua Valley High School, Bierman said she treats many Neuqua Valley students, athletes and nonathletes alike.

Both Naperville School District 203 and Indian Prairie School District 204 contract with Oak Brook-based Athletico for athletic training services at all their high schools.

The problem of "text neck" could become even more prevalent and extend into more of the nonathlete student population as more teachers turn to technology to supplement their lesson planIn Naperville School District 203, every junior high and high school student will be issued Chromebooks this year for use in the classroom and for homework.

Indian Prairie School District 204 also will distribute Chromebooks to its middle school students this fall and will pilot laptops at the high school level in preparation to issue them next year..

Neither district has a policy limiting the amount of time tech is used during the day.

Bierman urged all students, whenever possible, to consider elevating computer screens to eye level, using a keyboard that keep elbow at one's side, and taking breaks every 30 minutes to perform reversal of posture exercises (see accompanying information).

She said between classes, students might want to stretch their neck and shoulder muscles during passing periods.

Long-term effects from "text neck" can lead to chronic pain and surgical intervention later in life, she said.

Janet Buglio, District 204 executive director of communication services, said tech devices are merely tools.

"Keep in mind teachers create lessons using other thiwngs than just devices. Kids are not looking at screens in every class for the full class period every day," she said.

That philosophy was echoed by Michelle Fregoso, District 203 director of communications.

"Kids are not on the devices all day or in every class. Teachers often have lessons that don't include the devices," Fregoso said.

Bierman, who lives in Aurora, said it's important for parents to teach their children proper posture early.

The mother of three boys, Bierman said her children — ages 1, 3 and 5 — already know how to use a tablet, and she's finds she's constantly harping on their posture.

"I grew up attending Catholic school. I feel like the old nun waving rulers over me," she said.

In this digital age, even Bierman sometimes struggles with "text neck."

Ever since her office switched to documentation on tablets, she said she's had to practice what she preaches.

"It's a general overall self-awareness. I need to remember to stop and stretch, too," she said.

Tribune wire services contributed.


 Twitter @SBakerSun1

Stretches to prevent 'text neck'

Athletico suggests the following stretches and exercises to counteract "text neck" and maintain and improve posture.

Shoulder blade squeeze: Pinch your shoulder blades back behind you, working to touch your elbows. Once back as far as you can go, hold this position for five seconds before relaxing. Repeat this 20 to 30 times.

Neck stretch: Sit up tall with your head held high. Pull your chin toward your chest, creating a double chin, and hold this position for five seconds. Repeat this 20 to 30 times.

Chest stretch: Stand in the middle of a doorway and hold both ends of the door frame. Lean forward until you feel a stretch. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat 20 to 30 times.

No "text neck" here for bronze medalist in Rio!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Olympic Weight Lifter Sarah Robles Shares Body-Positive Message

An ecstatic Sarah Robles lifts her way to Olympic history. (Photo: Getty)

An ecstatic Sarah Robles lifts her way to Olympic history. (Photo: Getty Images)

Another important article on Sarah Robles. It shows the power athletes and athletics has to overcome stereotypes and influence for good.

“Sarah Elizabeth Robles. Olympian. Bronze medalist. Badass.” That’s how Twitter user @haleshannon succinctly put it after Robles became the first female Olympian on Team USA to medal in weightlifting since 2000.

Female athletes come in many shapes and sizes based on their sport, but Robles, 28, still doesn’t look like the majority of them. At about 273 pounds and a little more than 5’10.5″, according to Team USA’s official website, she may not even look like an athlete to many — specifically those who bullied her on social media during her competition on Aug. 14.

But the California native, who is often referred to as the strongest woman in America, according to the Daily Dot, is having the last laugh. She also hopes to have a major impact on girls and women throughout the world.

Of scoring bronze in the women’s 75-plus-kilogram division, Robles told Reuters, “This means a lot, to be on the podium and give exposure to our sport at a time when it’s already growing. It’s good not just for me but for women of size, for women who want to get up off the couch and do something different.”

Even before the competition, the Mexican-American expressed her desire to “inspire young Latino athletes” through her Olympic journey. “As an Olympic athlete, I represent all Americans, but representing Latinos and Latinas is a great honor,” she said earlier this month, according to Fox News Latino.

For Robles, the victory is so sweet because the struggle has been real — and not simply because she outweighed others in her division by 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds), according to the Daily Dot. In January 2014, Robles was banned from competing for two years after testing positive for “prohibited substances.” It turned out she unknowingly had DHEA, testosterone, and pregnanediol in her system while on prescription medication for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Still, the World Anti-Doping Agency denied her appeal of the ban, which expired just in time for her to qualify for Rio.

But her road stretches back even further. Prior to Rio, Robles had to overcome body-image issues and near-poverty — she lived on $400 a month — while training to to compete in 2012 London Olympics. Despite being the highest-ranked weightlifter in the country (this woman can lift 568 pounds!), she couldn’t manage to score any sponsorships, telling BuzzFeed, “You can get that sponsorship if you’re a super-built guy or a girl who looks good in a bikini. But not if you’re a girl who’s built like a guy.”

Her struggle didn’t impress one social media user, who suggested Robles’s poverty was self-inflicted, as she decided willingly to dedicate her life to mastering weightlifting instead of landing a high-paying job. “The majority [of sportspeople] would probably earn more if they got proper jobs that were of benefit to their society, instead of doing their chosen sport for a living,” he wrote.

Ever the good-natured, level-headed sport, Robles shut him down in a way that also opened up a dialogue on her Instagram:

Despite obstacles and detractors, Robles’s sport gave her the self-esteem boost she needed to lift her way to the Olympics, twice. “I still have bad thoughts about myself, but I’ve learned that you have to love yourself the way you are,” Robles said to BuzzFeed back in 2012, when she was headed to the London Games. “I may look like this, but I’m in the Olympics because of the way I am.” Her mom, Joy Robles, echoed those sentiments to the site, saying, “When she got into sports, she came home one day and she said, ‘I finally feel accepted.’ That’s when she just kind of settled into herself.”

Gearing up for her competition in Rio, Robles just wanted to have her “best day,” medal or no medal. For her, it was about the glory of being at the Olympics and the fact that her mind and body had gotten her this far. “If it [competing] got me medals, cool,” she said, according to the NBC’s official Olympics website. “If it didn’t, then at least I had the best day. You can’t complain when you do your absolute best.”

Now Robles is doing the opposite of complaining — she’s basking in her record-making accomplishment. She doesn’t need to say much to express how she feels; it’s written all over her face. Between her triumphant expression after she lifted “all the weights tonight,” as she said on Instagram, to her beaming smile as she graciously accepted her medal, it’s easy to see that Robles achieved what she set out to do.

So how does an Olympic bronze medalist cap off one of the best days of her life? With a protein shake and a call to Grandma, of course. As one does

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sarah Robles dumps doubt and negativity to earn first U.S. weightlifting medal in 16 years

Nice story about our first Olympic Weightlifting medalist in 16 years. She has certainly dealt with her share of drama.Coming off of a 2 year suspension for using a illegal substance, she bombed at the trials but was named to the team anyway as it was determined that she had the best chance at medaling. That proved to be the right call it seems. Her suspension was explained thusly...

Sarah Robles was sanctioned by the International Weightlifting Federation for two years, until August 8, 2015, after WADA found her in-competition test at the Pan Am games positive for DHEA, testosterone and pregnanediol.[7][8]

While not directly addressing the positive tests for testosterone and pregnanediol nor explaining how DHEA can cause positive tests for these, Sarah's official website cites medical reasons as her need to have taken DHEA. She says, "My doctor and I worked together to try different treatment options for my PCOS, as a preventative measure. Because my progesterone and DHEA levels are naturally quite low because of PCOS, my doctor felt that supplementing with DHEA would help balance things out in my system. We did not feel that bringing my DHEA to a normal level would be contradictory to my stance as a clean athlete." [9] Robles's official web site does not mention any application for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) prior to the positive tests, and although she states that she acted on the advice of her doctor when taking this medication to treat poly-cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), her appeal of the suspension for medical reasons was denied.

Best wishes and congratulations to all involved.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Sarah Robles shed the weight of self-doubt and negativity so she 
could lift the 286 kilograms necessary to earn a bronze medal.

“I’ve had a really hard few months coming into these Olympic trials, and there’s a lot of times I had doubts,” said the California native, who said part of her journey to a more positive outlook included reaffirming her faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Overall, this quad has been the most challenging, mentally, for me. Trying to overcome my own self-doubts, trying to erase the negativity of a lot of people around me before. Before coming to the games, I was starting to get wrapped up in the result too much. I was worried about the weights on the bar, worried too much about getting medals.”

At a retreat where the team received their Team USA uniforms, they heard from former Olympians, and it helped her realize what mattered most wasn’t what she could win but what she could experience.

“We’re here for the process,” said Robles, who pumped her fists and collapsed to the floor before standing to curtsey in the direction of a group of family and friends who’d come to support her after her final clean and jerk lift of 160 kilos. “We’re here for the learning experiences. We’re here to represent our countries. And that day I was crying my eyes out. I had an overwhelming sense of American pride and Olympism.”

Robles' bronze medal is the first for the U.S. in weightlifting since 2000. She did everything she could to put herself in a position to medal in front of a raucous crowd, including making all six of her lifts, in what was her best performance this year.

She said her coach told her before she went out for her last lift that she needed to give the next few seconds her best effort. “He said, ‘This is eight seconds against the rest of your life,’” she said, adding that she didn’t watch the other lifts or worry about whether they might beat her. “I was sort of lost in my own moment.”

China’s Meng Suping won the gold medal on her last lift with a 177-kilogram clean and jerk for a 307 total. She edged Kim Kuk Hyang, People’s Republic of Korea, who lifted 306 kilograms.

Meng was a late addition to the Chinese team, so she said she struggled a little with nerves.

“I think this competition, for me, is indeed a very personal challenge,” Meng said. “I came onstage very nervous. But I was able to stabilize myself before joining the competition. I just followed my coach’s directions and treated every lift as a lift by itself. I think the end result was pretty good.”

Robles said in trying to move herself in a positive direction in her life and her sport, she’s focused as much on emotional and spiritual health as she has physical development. In July, she took out her temple endowments and she had an LDS priesthood blessing before she came to the games. She and her coach, Tim Swords, a Catholic, were studying scriptures recently when they came across something that has resonated with her.

“I had a moment with my coach,” she said in the post-competition press conference. “We were reading scriptures together, and … it talked about using your faith as a foundation and using singing and dancing as a way to praise. And I’ve tried to view the platform as my spiritual foundation, and my lifts as singing and dancing and praising. I try to keep it in the right perspective and use my body to glorify my God.”

Swords was emotional after Robles’ accomplishment, while she was giddy. She said she doesn’t even remember what she did after completing her sixth lift.

“I felt like an Olympic champion to myself,” she said of the effort that she called her “absolute best.”

None of the women in the competition had ever lifted 300 kilograms in competition before Sunday night. Robles said she was proud to be a part of such an impressive weightlifting competition.

“I think what happened tonight is a phenomenal thing,” Robles said. “I think it’s a great thing for weightlifting, as a sport; I think it’s a great thing for women; I think it’s a great thing for women of size; I think it’s great for our countries. … I think what we’re doing is a good thing. I think it’s good for society; I think it’s good for the world. And it’s nice to be part of the movement, the Olympic movement, and the movement of empowering women.”

Email: adonaldson@deseretnews.com

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What Do You Think of Crossfit?

It seems that I get asked this question more and more often. I don't think any one involved in athletic training of any type has not at least heard of Cross Fit. It is the latest fitness trend and seems to be sweeping the world. For a quick summary, Crossfit combines lifting with calesthetics and bodyweight expercises as well as strongman type training with various implements like tires and sleds. It is a continous circuit type of workout where different expecises are done with minimal recovery in between. In fact, the point is to lower the time it takes to do various circuits. Do I like it? Yes, and no. How's that for a PC answer? Seriously, I think the good things about it are:
1. It has gotten alot of people excited about fitness.
2. It is intense and simple. I like that. No gimmicks or promises of quick and easy results.
3. It has done more to introduce people to real weightlifting in the U.S. than USA Weightliftng has.
4. If you get in soon on the ground floor,and know what you are doing, you can make some honest money off of it.
There are also some things I don't like about it:
1. It is a hybrid of aerobic and strength training and doesn't really result in maximum results in either.
2. Exercise technique is often very sloppy. I see too many round backed pulls and dangerous positions that will eventually result in injury.
3. I don't like to see lifts like snatches and cleans done for high reps for the same reason. it promotes sloppy form and runs a high risk of injury.
4. It may be too intense for Joe Average to stick with over a lifetime.
In short, I think CrossFit is great for military, police, fire fighters,..etc. For athletes......? perhaps wrestlers and mixed martial arts types of competitors. Obviously for serious lfters or track athletes, this is not the way to go. I kind of think of it like what we here in the U.S.A. call a Swiss Army knife. These are little gadgets that contain all kinds of blades and implements like screw drivers,scissors, saws,..etc. in one foldable knifelike implement. They are great for camping or survival situations. They can get the job done in an emergency. However a carpenter or mechanic would not use it for their specialized work. They would buy a real saw, file, or screwdriver and keep a toolbox that was designed for their specialty. Most athletes would be far better off doing strength training, skill training, and whatever aerobic fitness they may need separately. I don't see CrossFit as being a viable training tool for most serious athletes.

Here is an innovative CrossFit routine!! Wrestle a shark then carry him home.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Usain Bolt's Agent Confirms the Sprinter Has Never Run a Mile

Usain Bolt's Agent Confirms the Sprinter Has Never Run a Mile

This falls under the category of stating the obvious, but is a great illustration of specificity of training that may be useful in teaching young people who don't get the differences. When I was much younger, we were all taught that running was running and any type of running was good. Our coaches timed us in the 2 mile run on the first day of practice to see who was in shape. It seemingly never occurred to any of us that running that speed on the field would be unacceptable that we were really just practicing running slow. Anyway, in 2016, most coaches and athletes know much more than we did. Although there are still a few ignorant individuals out there who waste a lot of time and energy working hard at things that don't make them better.

Since his several record-breaking performances in 2008, Usain Bolt has owned the track.

Well, parts of it, that is.

Despite the six-time Olympic gold medalist's dominance in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, he has never once attempted four trips around the track—or in other words, a mile.

Unbelievable as it may be, the discovery comes directly from the sprinter's agent, Ricky Simms, who summarized the scoop to the New Yorker's Charles Bethea by stating, "Usain has never run a mile."

But perhaps it's best to leave Bolt's 1,600-meter run as a dream, after all.

"Speed over short distances does not automatically guarantee relative speed over long distances," said Ross Tucker, an exercise physiology professor at University of the Free State, per Bethea.

So the world's fastest man may very well be mortal when confronted with the mile?

Now that seems like a fantasy.

[The New Yorker, h/t For The Win]

You don't get to be the World's Fastest Man by putting in miles.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Enter the mind of Bruce Lee

  Bruce Lee was known as an amazing martial artist, but he was also a profound thinker. He left behind seven volumes of writing on everything from quantum physics to philosophy.<br />

We have featured many posts about Bruce Lee over the years. He was an amazing pioneer in so many ways. This article gives credit to his great mind. (which we understand inseparable from the physical)

CNN)Bruce Lee, the martial arts icon, was being interviewed by a Hong Kong talk show host when the man asked Lee if he saw himself as Chinese or an American.

"Neither," Lee said. "I think of myself as a human being."
Forty-three years after his sudden death in July of 1973, more people are starting to think of Lee as something else: A profound thinker whose mind was as supple as his body.
That may seem like an odd claim. Lee was a fighter, not a philosopher, according to popular perception. He left behind some of the most exhilarating fights scenes ever captured on film in movies such as "Enter the Dragon" and "The "Chinese Connection."
But his legacy also includes a revolutionary book on the martial arts and Eastern philosophy, and seven volumes of writings on everything from Taoism, quantum physics, psychotherapy and the power of positive thinking.

John Little, who examined Lee's papers after the actor's death, says he was stunned when he first entered Lee's library. He had at least 1,700 heavily annotated books. That's when he realized that Lee sharpened his mind as much as his body.
"The philosophy of Lee is more powerful than the martial arts of Lee," says Little, author of "The Warrior Within: The Philosophies of Bruce Lee." "Everything that Bruce Lee did flowed from his mind and his thinking."
And it flowed from his pride in his Chinese heritage as well.
Lee was a devotee of Alan Watts, a 20th century British philosopher who introduced Eastern thought to Western audiences. Lee would tape Watts' lectures and play them back to his martial arts students in class.
Lee, too, saw himself as bridge between the East and the West. He wanted to show Americans the beauty of Chinese philosophy and its culture, his friends and biographers say.
"He told me that he could educate people about the East more in films than in books," says Dan Inosanto, one of Lee's closest friends and his training partner. Inosanto filmed an insanely exciting fight scene with Lee in "Game of Death" where both battled one other using Lee's signature weapon, nunchakus, a weapon that consists of two sticks connected by a short chain.
Muscles like warm marble
Of course, those old enough to remember when Lee was alive didn't go to his films to learn about esoteric Eastern teachings. They wanted to see him kick butt.
And Lee obliged. He hit the American movie screens in the early 1970s like a tsunami.
The philosophy of Lee is more powerful than the martial arts of Lee. Everything that Bruce Lee did flowed from his mind and his thinking.

John Little, author of "The Warrior Within: The Philisophies of Bruce Lee."

American audiences had never seen an action star like him before. The liquid grace of his movements; his feline quickness; the weird, high-pitched shrieks he gave off during combat. People squealed in delight so much during his films that a viewer rarely heard all the dialogue.
Lee was a racial pioneer, too. Here was an Asian man who wasn't depicted as a bucktoothed buffoon or fortune-cookie-quoting sage. He was an unabashed sex symbol. Women marveled over his lithe physique; one person said touching his hardened muscles was like touching "warm marble."
But Lee's mind -- his grasp of philosophy and his willpower -- was the engine that powered his physical prowess, says Bruce Thomas, author of "Bruce Lee: Fighting Words."
"What Lee did was harness energies outside the ordinary energies that are used for daily life," Thomas says. "The martial arts were a way a life for him, a genuine path, a means of psychological development and spiritual development."
Lee's 'go-to' philosopher
Another thinker who helped Lee harness those energies was Jiddu Krishnamurti, a philosopher born in India who taught that truth can't be found through any religious tradition or dogma.
"In oneself lies the world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand," he wrote. Krishnamurti's emphasis on self-reliance and disdain for mindlessly following tradition shaped Lee's approach to the martial arts.
When Lee was alive, the martial arts world was rigidly divided by different fighting styles. He borrowed from virtually all of them to create his own revolutionary fighting called "Jeet Kune Do," which he later turned into a book.
Today, Lee is often called the father of MMA, or mixed martial arts, for his willingness to be, as he once said, "not one style, but all styles."
"Krishnamurti was his go-to thinker," Thomas says. "He taught that one must come to the present moment and not be tainted by rituals and dogmas. He took everything Krishnamurti said about religion and applied it to the martial arts."
How Lee's mind helped him survive a crisis
Lee's devotion to philosophy could have just remained an abstract pursuit. But it was also key to his physical speed and power. One martial artist said that Lee had the+ ability to move from perfect stillness and "explode like a firecracker."

Lee could do that because he was able to tap into what ancient Chinese philosophers called "chi."
In his book, "The Warrior Within," Little described chi as a "vast reservoir of free-flowing energy" within all people that "when channeled to our muscles, can give us great strength and, when channeled to our brain, can give us great insight and understanding."
Lee's ability to summon chi at will was the culmination of years of philosophical contemplation and physical training, his biographers and students say.
Lee once described what it felt like to summon these energies within himself:
"I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence... Whether it is the Godhead or not, I feel this great force, this untapped power, this dynamic something within me."
Lee also unleashed those energies through positive thinking. He was a fan of Norman Vincent Peale and read books such "As a Man Thinketh," by James Allen. He would also jot down homespun aphorisms in his spare time like, "Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed."
Lee's philosophical beliefs could have been confined to books, but they were refined by events in his life that would have broken lesser people.
First, he had to deal with racism -- from both sides.
He was born in San Francisco, but grew up in Hong King in an affluent family. His father was an opera star and Lee became a childhood actor who appeared in at least 20 Chinese films. Lee started studying martial arts when he was 13 but his instructor stopped personally teaching him when he learned that Lee's mother was part white, biographers say.
I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence.

Bruce Lee, martial artist and philsopher

That experience shaped in part his decision to teach the martial arts to Westerners after he moved to America when he turned 18, some say. Teaching the martial arts to Westerners was taboo at the time, but Lee didn't care, says Doug Palmer, who was one of Lee's first students in America.
"I think the fact that he [Lee] was part white had something to do with it," Palmer says about Lee's decision to teach Westerners. "He himself had to overcome obstacles in Hong Kong because he was part white."
Lee then encountered racism from Hollywood.
He had gone to Hollywood with an idea for a television drama about the martial arts. They took his idea but rejected him for a role in the series because they thought he looked too Chinese for an America audience. They gave his role to an American actor and dancer. The drama would eventually become a hit television show called "Kung Fu."
Lee also suffered a crippling back injury during training. Doctors told him he would never walk properly again and could never practice the martial arts. It was a low moment in his life. He was bedridden with a wife and two young children to support. At one point he only had $50 in the bank. He could have fallen into a debilitating depression but he overcame his injury through positive visualization, and he used that time to write his groundbreaking book, "Jeet Kune Do," says Thomas, one of his biographers.
"He healed himself," Thomas says.
Lee's belief in the power of positive thinking comes through in a letter he wrote to a friend during that shaky period in his life.
He wrote:
"I mean who has the most insecure job than I have? What do I live on? My faith in my ability that I'll make it. Sure my back injury screwed me up good for a year but with every adversity comes a blessing... Look at a rain storm; after its departure everything grows.
Lee's legacy today
Lee eventually broke through. He went to Hong Kong to make a series of films that caught Hollywood's attention. He then returned to Hollywood to make "Enter the Dragon," which became a huge hit.
But Lee never lived long enough to see the culmination of all of his work.
Just days before the American release of "Enter the Dragon," in 1973, Lee died in Hong Kong from an allergic reaction to pain medication he had taken. He was 32. Lee's son, Brandon, who would follow him into the martial arts and film, would later die in 1993 from a freak accident with a prop gun on a movie set.
Lee's friends still miss him. They talk less about his fighting ability and more about what fun he was to be around: his restless questioning, his optimism, his goofy sense of humor and his loyalty to friends.
"He was a very charismatic person," says Palmer, who is now an attorney in Seattle. "He could dominate most situations. You walk into a room and in most cases he would dominating the conversation."
English-born philosopher Alan W. Watts was such a favorite of Bruce Lee that he required his martial arts students to listen to Watts' lectures.
English-born philosopher Alan W. Watts was such a favorite of Bruce Lee that he required his martial arts students to listen to Watts' lectures.
Lee's influence transcends the martial arts, Inosanto says.
"I got letters after he died from people from almost all walks of life, from musicians to skateboarders -- they all said he influenced him," Inosanto says.
Lee's global popularity is matched by only one other person, Inosanto says.
"Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee are the most recognizable faces in the world," Inosanto says. "I was very lucky to have stumbled onto him. I never had a dull moment with him."
Lee's family is introducing the martial artist to a new generation today.
Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, and his daughter, Shannon Lee, established the Bruce Lee Foundation "to share the art and philosophy" of Lee. It gives out scholarships to students who embody Lee's passion for learning and provides martial arts training to underprivileged youth.
Lee's legacy is expanding in other ways too. There are now more authors writing not so much about Lee's fighting ability but his resilience as an example to anyone who wants to express their individuality and overcome obstacles in life.
At the foot of Lee's grave site in Seattle is a stone tablet with an inscription that reads: "Your inspiration continues to guide us toward personal liberation."

Lee's legacy is now bigger than any punch he ever threw.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Olympic weightlifter is fed up with eating so much food

Brazilian weightlifter Fernando Saraiva Reis eats seven meals per day, beginning with eight to 10 eggs. (Getty)

Interesting article. Most of us will never worry about this. But,this is a real issue with the heavyweight athletes. Those who have to make weight in the lighter classes have the opposite problem. Personally, I have known several of these heavyweight athletes who drastically changed their diets after their competitive days ended and they were relieved to be able to eat more normal quantities.

Brazilian weightlifter Fernando Saraiva Reis eats seven meals per day, beginning with eight to 10 eggs. (Getty)
Olympians don’t have the same diets as the average person, but at least one athlete is getting tired of his ridiculous calorie intake.

Brazil’s Fernando Saraiva Reis, 26, is headed to his second Olympics as a weightlifter and eating enough food to keep on his weight is a full-time job.

“So much food, so much food,” Saraiva Reis said. “Food for me is not a matter of enjoyment. I don’t enjoy it at all because I have to eat so much to put weight on and maintain it.”

“For me food is a bit like gasoline. I have an engine that I have to keep filling and filling,” he added.

He weighs in at about 320 pounds, so keeping that gas tank full requires a lot of fuel. Sometimes he eats as many as seven meals in a day, beginning with “eight to 10 eggs for breakfast.” At one point in his weightlifting career, Saraiva Reis says he would wake up at 3 a.m. every morning just to eat a big bowl of pasta.

Other Olympians have high-calorie diets too, including all-time medals leader Michael Phelps, who took in about 12,000 calories per day during the 2008 Beijing Olympics before dialing it back a bit four years later in London.

[Related: Michael Phelps gets Olympic first]

Actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson told Muscle & Fitness magazine that he eats 10 pounds of food per day split up over seven meals.

Saraiva Reis only has to endure a few more days of his grueling diet before he’ll try to get a medal in the +105kg weight class, but if he doesn’t it might be a few more years of food for the Brazilian.

“I don’t know if [I’ll win a medal] here [at Rio 2016], but if it doesn’t happen here, it will be the next one, or the next one, or the next one,” Saraiva Reis said. “I won’t stop until I have a medal.”

Let’s hope – for his health and his grocery bill – that he can get the job done this time around.

What will all those tattoos look like when he drops weight?