Think of your journey into a healthier, happier, better moving you much like building a house. If the foundation of your house is cobbled together, has cracks in it, and is deteriorating then you are starting from a place of weakness. Why then would you spend lots of money and time building that beautiful kitchen you always wanted, and that master bedroom that has amazing views when in a few years the whole thing is going to collapse? You wouldn’t right?
We all want to rush to the end of the project. We want everything yesterday. If there was only a magic pill that would do that… The truth is that all levels of health and fitness are a process you have to be patient with. That is how getting healthier, stronger, and leaner works. You have to start with the right building blocks.
Stage 1: Groundwork
We start with a lot of personal attention. Which means teaching you how to move correctly. When to fire the right muscles and how so as to keep you safe and move in an effective way. This is done in an individual basis, or in a small group of other people just like you. So you never feel self conscious that you don’t belong, or are holding people back. We want to help you get to that place that you want to be. That takes time, patience, and understanding.
Stage 2: Framing
If you can’t squat, hinge, push, pull, or plank why would you try to load up a bar full of weights, or swing a kettlebell the size of your head through the air on your first day? That is just silly. Here at Contemporary Athlete, everything is a process of learning, then applying that knowledge. Making strides forward. Then learning some new things. This can happen in a larger class where you can have the support of others, and develop along side a small group of peers in a similar place that you are.
Stage 3: Roofing
The barbell is like a PHD program. It removes a whole lot of ability to move. So until you are an exceptional mover we won’t use a barbell. We have them, we use them, but not until you are ready. If we are being completely honest, some people don’t ever want to or need to use one in order to get to your personal fitness goals. That being said you should always be preparing for that day because it makes you feel, move, and look better.
My coffee addiction has a workout problem. Or some variable of that statement is appropriate for this post. I recently found myself sitting in the office drinking a pot of Death Wish Coffee for the better part of 5 hours the other day. Working incessantly on a very exciting, but necessary overhaul of the Contemporary Athlete website. As this community grows and changes I find myself taking occasional observatory steps back so as to see if this crazy awesome ship is traveling in the direction I would like it to; and if not how do I correct that.
Soooooooo a short story long, COFFEE, I love it. It is good for you. (So is a glass of red wine but that is for another post) I drink my coffee generally as a dark roast, black, in a 12 oz. cup. All in all, boring, uncomplicated and I am pretty sure makes me a sociopath. (Thanks random Facebook post)
Quick disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist, dietitian, or anything of the like (yet) so this is strictly my OPINION, based on my personal food intake and a ridiculous amount of reading.
So here are couple quick things:
Potential for Genius! (Ok not quite) but an earth shattering effect, coffee is a stimulant. It has caffeine in it. Which blocks a neurotransmitter inhibitor called Adenosine. By stopping this inhibitor it increases neuronal firing and releases dopamine and norepinephrine. Also it is proven through controlled experimentation that caffeine improves mood, reaction time, memory, and general cognitive function.
Superhero strength and skinny! (<- A freaking gold plated unicorn says what?) It raises your metabolism and the oxidation of fatty acids. This is due to it being a stimulant and the effect it has on the central nervous system. It has been proven through different meta-analyses that it increases exercise performance by an average of 11-12% this is due to it’s affects on several biological mechanisms, one of them being the mobilization of fatty acids from fat tissue.
Type II Diabetes can suck a doughnut! (But, but, can I still have a doughnut? NO, no you cannot) in observational studies, coffee is frequently associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The range of this is anywhere from 25% to as high as 65%. A recent review article I read with close to half a million participants showed that with every extra cup of coffee people had, it lowered their risk by 7%.
If Mayan gods are doing it… (The Mayan people originally made Coffee as a soup, or porridge. They also ate people’s hearts [<- I think, that could be a lie though…]) Many of the nutrients in coffee beans make it into the drink.
11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
6% of RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
2% of the RDA for Niacin (Vitamin B3) and Thiamine (B1).
3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese.
Coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in the western diet; this outranks both fruits and veggies.
Last thing I have to say though. Great facts here but… once you start filling it with 37 sugars, or artificial sweeteners, a half a gallon of milk or creamer, you have then eradicated all that awesomeness with a whole bunch of not goodness.
Raising kids, daily lap swimming and watching sports can take up a lot of one’s day and even make one believes finding time for anything else seem unlikely. However, in the grand scheme of things, staying healthy should be high up on your list of daily priorities. As a parent this became painfully evident while watching my son rehab his way through a sports-related back injury. The upside to his journey into and out of competitive soccer was his decision to be a health and wellness major in college.
CA 101 – The early months
Based on my son’s incessant pleading and logical arguments to do something else other than swim laps, I drank his youthful Kool-Aid and entered the world of CA. Overcoming the fear to walk into CA was step one and step two was participating in my first CA session. Crawling, stretching, box pushing, running, twisting, jumping, squatting, inch worming, rowing, and burpees are not life threatening but they sure do make you question the logic behind completing steps one and two. If sore muscles and creaking joints are a sign of doing good work then I must have a perfect record. CA humbles you but it doesn’t knock you down. Everyone shares the same fun!
CA – The middle months
Some might say that drinking the Kool-Aid is easy and buying into the whole exercise regime isn’t rocket science and they might be correct. However, most of the fitness advertising touting a perfectly sculpted body through the use of this device or doing that exercise routine fails to mention that without a personal commitment you likely won’t achieve anything beyond a growing sense of frustration. Perceptible change isn’t achieved overnight but with continued work and CA helping me I can attest that it does happen.
CA Today – Believe
Although a medical issue created a three month gap in my routine, not returning to CA did not enter my mind. One problem with an exercise routine is not really knowing how long it will take before you start feeling fitter and looking better. Hearing those encouraging words during sets of burpees or kilometers of rowing made me a believer in the CA experience.
CA Tomorrow – keep doing it
If life is just another terminal disease, you can either let it slowly kill you or you can get out of your chair and do something positive for yourself. I am about to turn 62 and my CA adventure is certainly not over. I survived the early months, the middle months, today and I will be there tomorrow!
Feeling the pressure of eating ONLY rice cakes and celery?
Hating your stair-mill because you aren’t getting anywhere fast?
Well, I have the easiest solution that NOBODY is talking about, and it makes me kind of annoyed. Most of my day is spent working with hard working youth athletes who have homework, and silly exams, and deadlines, and 4 practices a day. Do you know what is different about them in comparison to you? (I mean other than the 10-20-30-40 years between you?)
Nothing. Not one single thing. We all have jobs, we try to maintain our families from imminent meltdown, eat reasonably healthy, workout, maybe train for a 5k, and not crawl to deeply into a bottle of wine or bourbon once a week. The only difference is this.
As an adult we look at sleep as OPTIONAL
As a youth, sleep is MANDATORY (Thanks parental units 1 +2!)
Sleep is where we recover, and we clean out our brain of stress, and toxins, and all of the other things that keep us from losing weight, progressing our bodies where we want, and keeps us from being rational people with generally good intentions toward other humans. ( I mean even I get cranky on a 16 hour day on the gym floor.)
If you don’t believe me take a few minutes to watch this video put together by people with PHd’s and stuff!
When you are done watching the video. If you think there is somebody who should read this article to really help them succeed with their New Year’s goals please send it along and ask them to subscribe to our newsletter for my epic material! Or better yet the CA Youtube channel where we post a new workout and training tips weekly!
I wish there was some magic pill. I wish there was some miracle product.
I wish there was some neat little package you could receive in the mail that would be the answer to all of your health and fitness “problems”.
I wish there was, because I’d be first in line to buy it, or first in line to sell it.
But there’s not.
This time of year you will be bombarded with all kinds of information for health products. There will be all kinds of things you suddenly need, or never knew you needed.
There will be all kinds of advertisements for weight loss pills; there will be infomercials with groundbreaking fitness products; there will be a magazine covers with seductively sweet secrets; there will be gurus with their patented solutions, there will be panels of experts discussing the latest supplement; there will be a celebrity with their current endorsement; there will be companies saying that they have finally found “it”.
Everyone is trying to sell you something. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone is trying to make some money, or make a living. It is possible, and likely, that some of them genuinely care.
The problem is that many of them don’t. For the most part, they are more interested in their bottom line, not your health and fitness.
As Jon Goodman recently stated, is that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Something to keep in mind whenever you encounter any information source that sells fitness equipment, supplements, or preaches one specific dietary or training approach.” Of course their way is the right way; it’s their only way.
They bank on your desperation. They count on you having tried other fixes. Their strategy is playing up and playing on your “failures”. Their punchlines are the false promises and failed results of other similar products. They push you into picking up your phone or entering your credit card information one more time.
The substance of their advertisements stem from past promises, not miraculous breakthroughs. Their science is sketchy, their methods unsubstantiated. Their positions are nebulous, their premise negative.
“Are you sick and tired of… are you fed up… are you done with… are you ready for… have you heard about… then you have to…”
You’ve tried this, you’ve tried that, and they haven’t worked, now here’s mine.
It’s a cycle founded and fueled by failure and misinformation. It keeps you coming back for more.
How can that fail?
Ultimately, there is a simple solution. The magic pill does exist.
However the real solution is not a sexy one to market, and the pill is not an easy one to swallow.
You’re going to have to work.
You’re going to have to make some changes.
You’re going to have to be uncomfortable.
You’re going to have to set some real, timely, actionable, and appropriate goals.
You’re going to have to follow a program that aligns itself with that goal(s).
You’re going to have to exercise consistently.
You’re going to have to improve the quality of what you put in your body.
You’re going to have to focus on the quality of your sleep.
You’re going to have to ask yourself and answer some tough questions.
You’re going to have to take a good look at your lifestyle.
You’re going to have to commit to long-term improvement.
You’re going to have to be patient.
You’re going to have to work harder.
None of those statements are sexy. None of those are particularly marketable. None of those look good in a television commercial.
You can’t buy them packaged in a pretty little box. I wish you could. I would buy it in bulk, and mark it up heavily.
But, all of those statements are effective, tried and true. They may not be what you want to hear, but they are what you need to do.
Yes, you can do it.
Yes, it is worth it.
Commit to making small changes that will add up over time. For example, commit to exercising consistently before worrying about what the best workout plan is. Put down or don’t buy the bag of snacks before worrying about what your daily optimal protein or fat or carbohydrate intake should be.
Health and fitness is not a final destination. There are no shortcuts. There is no short-term, easy path to achieving what you want to achieve or looking how you want to look.
If you need help, find a trainer or coach who knows a thing or two and will help hold you accountable. Reach out to those who’ve been there or are going through it now.
Especially this time of year, beware of the easy way out. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You know that sinking feeling you get when you think “Hey, I really should take some time and get myself healthy (again). January is right around the corner and this year. This year is gonna be different!”
Well stop, stop saying that this is the year. This is NOT the year. This year is just like last year, and the year before that. In my 10 + years in the business of getting people crazy healthy, and wicked strong I have found out the truest reason’s why you shouldn’t start working out this year.
Here are the 5 best reasons NOT to workout!
The weather is TERRIBLE today!
Funny thing about the weather is that you aren’t kidding. It’s hot, it’s cold, it’s snowing, it’s raining, there is wind and hail, and lightning, and sleet, and who knows what else. Last time I checked though you probably get up everyday and go to work in a climate controlled office, or at least a place with a roof. Equally ironic, is that almost all gyms are also inside of buildings with heat, lights, and a roof. Some have better playlists than other though, but don’t quote me on that.
My kids have…
Yep they do, they have all of those things and then some. Do you know what they will remember though? Mom and/or dad being there on their graduation, wedding day, first born, second born, seventh born… See where I am going? It is highly possible that your kids don’t have anything going on at 5am. You don’t even have to leave your house. You could take 30 minutes a day to take care of yourself so you are there when they will want you to be down the road. Then again… there is always sleep, right?
Working out takes SO MUCH TIME!!!
Yes, I said it. You can change your long term health in roughly 3 months if you workout for 30 minutes a day, 3 to 4 days a week. That is definitely NOT worth it. I mean seriously, that is like 18 to 48 hours of working out over the course of 12 weeks. I don’t know about you but that is far too much time spent on looking and feeling better, and not on Game of Thrones.
Eating ONLY Broccoli and Broiled Chicken EVERY DAY!!!
Here are the cold hard facts. You want your body to look like that last super hero movie you just saw. RIGHT? Well you have to change how you eat. Just broccoli and chicken… and bacon, cheese, beer, wine, bourbon, tacos, sushi, eggs, spinach, doughnuts, and I think even cookies… Actually you really can eat all the things you always have eaten. You just you need to make some hard choices, like 1 oreo, or the entire sleeve of oreo’s…. Hmmmmmm.
It’s SO EXPENSIVE!!!
You are absolutely right! It is expensive, really expensive. I mean if you actually hire a professional to help you. (which will save you time.) Like you do when you take your car to a mechanic. Or get your teeth cleaned at the best dentist in town. OR trust your fiscal future with a financial planner.
That being said you can do it on your own, for FREE. There are about 10,000 + workouts posted on Youtube that you can do at home. Or even at the $10 a month purple box fitness place. Hell, our Youtube page is full of FREE advice, and workouts. Although that leads to a different conversation, how much is your time worth? (If you are unsure you should read this article.)
Here is the kicker though, do you know what is more expensive? Diabetes, joint replacement, daily medication, and medical bills… Just something you should consider if you want to start workout or not.
For those of you who want to start working out this year. DON’T. Save yourself time, money, and some peace of mind in that the owner of one of the best training facilities in the area talked you out of a sweaty, well rested, more active, sexier you.
The perfect push-up is an upper-body focused exercise with full-body benefits.
There are many variations, but being able to perform the standard push-up is an important ability to have in your fitness toolbox. Whether you’re fairly experienced or just starting out, you can always benefit from increasing your knowledge of the movement, and a lot of practice, practice, practice.
Here we’ll be breaking down the push-up, going over the setup, technique, and major muscles involved. There will also be ways to help you get started, and cues to help make them even better.
We’ll keep it all short, simple, and (hopefully) practical. Then, get after it. The best way to get better at push-ups…is to do push-ups!
The Setup: Position yourself on the ground with:
Arms straight, with elbows and wrists directly below or just wider than your shoulders.
Think as if you were standing up with both arms forward, and trying to push someone’s car out of your parking space.
Press your palms and fingers into the floor.
“Grip the ground”. This helps engage more muscles in your arms and shoulders, and take some of the strain off of your wrists.
Legs straight out and close together, toes down.
Head straight, so that your neck is not arched up or curved down.
Your gaze is towards the floor, just ahead of your hands.
Contract your glutes, quads, and abdominals. One way to help is take a big breath out, trying to make everything tight while doing so.
Think squeeze your cheeks, engage your legs, and tighten your abs as if Superman was about to punch you in the gut.
Now pause, hold here, and check yourself.
Your body should be in, or close to a straight line starting from your ankles, up your back, along your neck, and through the top of your head.
Your hands are engaged and gripping the ground, toes are planted, and everything in between (legs, hips, abs, shoulders) is tight and ready.
This is the “up” position.
Your body is now all straightened out, locked in, and good to go.
Break from your elbows, and begin lowering your body towards the floor. Your legs, hips, and chest all move together.
Keep everything from the setup nice and tight. Control your movement.
Arms and elbows in close by your body. Think “arms glues to your sides”.
Breathe in (inhale) as you lower down.
Bring your chest to, or as close to the ground as possible.
“Graze the ground” or stop just above it.
This is the “down” position.
Reach the bottom point, push back up.
Breathe out (exhale) as you push up. Use your breath to help keep your abs tight, and get into a rhythm.
Think “push the floor away from you”.
Push yourself back to the starting “up” position.
There is it, one badass push-up! Now reset, and keep going.
What if the Floor is (too much): Raise yourself up, elevate your hands
If you’re at home or the gym.
Use a wall, side of a bed, back of a couch, armrest, chair, stairs…
Use a box, bench, or a barbell set in the squat rack. Adjust the hooks to the right height, set your body in position, and push away.
Wherever you are, just work your way down towards the floor as your strength improves.
Major Movers: Chest, arms, shoulders
Pectoralis major (your chest)
Triceps brachii (back of your arms)
Anterior deltoids (front of your shoulder)
Also Working: Everything else
There you have it, the push-up.
Use these steps to help you get that first push-up, and try out these cues to make your push-ups even more effective.
You need to make your body do what you want it to do. Get yourself set up, and practice, practice, practice.
They’ll get better. You’ll get stronger.
One last thing, if when you are done fixing your form for the better and you are looking for more from your fitness we are only a call or email away. If you are not yet one of our bad-ass clients then call or email now to set up the first workout at the last gym you will ever need.
Don’t believe me? Read these…
The best advice I have ever gotten was, “Protect the CA no matter what. That community is special and that is its super power. People will come and go but you are at the heart of it. You are what brought them all here. Protect it.”
I very recently stood at the top of a hill, on tired legs, coppery taste in my mouth, and a bright blue sky in front of me. It was a crisp day out near Bennington, Vermont, the fall harvest surrounding me on all sides. As I looked out at the scenery, cool air kissing the sweat of my skin, tears were streaming down my face. Everything hurt and the sleepless nights and emotional roller coast I have recently been on had me shot to hell.
I’m happy to see September of 2015 disappear into the fucking far off distance, much like all the miles I put in just running in the countryside. Not knowing where I parked my truck or how to get back to it. I just wanted to run. So I did. Owning your own business is a glorious pursuit of suffering. I meet people and they think it’s all daisies and rainbows and freaking unicorns because I have the middle of the day “off” or I get to “set my hours” or it must be “fun, like teaching recess.” But it’s not. It’s about as far from that as you can get.
This may sound like a rant, and maybe it is, but it’s also something more. This business is personal. You spend your time playing movement specialist, strength coach, mentor, therapist, food guru, educator, relationship developer, weekend/evening janitor, cheerleader, and then at the end of it ask people to pay you for all of that. It’s always too “expensive” and you get to carry that guilt around with you all day/week/month/year. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and you have to part ways. You lose them to the next big fad or their “friend started doing X great thing and I think… I’m gonna go do that. Thanks though!”
The days roll together, you get up when its dark, you leave when it’s dark, you program classes and sessions until you hear your alarm go off telling you to go back to the CA. You adjust for clients’ injuries or they go MIA and set your meticulously developed plan back 4 months. Your lack of “time” drives your friends away, or they give up on you, your relationships implode (or explode), and sometimes you take a flame thrower to your life (I mean who really needs clean laundry or food anyway?)
Because it’s PERSONAL and you want to HELP people, you show compassion. You discount memberships, let them float to keep clients making progress during tough times, and you dig into your own pocket to keep the lights on. All while watching your bank account cross into the red. Then you swallow what’s left of your pride and do your best not to brutalize somebody the next time you see them with that golden glow. You know the one, the one you have after getting home from that vacation they took. That vacation you just saw being posted on Facebook. The one with the amazing sunsets at the beach, while drinking a fruity cocktail with their feet in the sand (mmmm sunsets, I’m pretty sure if I saw the sun I would catch fire at this point).
As the owner you get to hear about that great race they had this past weekend or the places that they are going to next month. Or that fat piece of cake they just shoveled into their face that fucked up their macros. You know the one from Cheesecake Factory that they are going to complain about when they didn’t lose any weight this week and how it’s your fault. The workouts apparently aren’t hard enough or the weights are too heavy, etc.
“That community is your super power and you must protect it at all costs.”
Those fucking words lead all your decisions. “No, I can’t go out to dinner. I have no money because I had to buy another medicine ball.” “No, I can’t do that wicked awesome race with you. I haven’t really slept in 4 days and I can sleep in till 6:30am tomorrow. Oh and I’m broke because I just put my last $20 in my gas tank to get me to work.” “No, I don’t want to go stand at another race like a freaking asshat and watch people pass by me like I don’t exist.”
As I stood at the top of that hill crying about all of that loss, and feeling sorry for myself for the first and last time in 3 years, I made some hard decisions about the future of the CA. And with that, I felt the ease and warmth of unburden wash over me. I felt better, lighter. The sky looked bluer and I could see the apples on the trees from the farm below, which looked fantastically tasty. I thought “I’m going to go down there and eat one of those damned apples and sit on my ass for 5 minutes.”
With all of that said, the CA has a new CFO, and I can now get back to doing what I do best, what we here in the CA do best. Making stronger, faster, grinders. Billing, marketing, and sales are all up to somebody else. Somebody better equipped to deal with them.
“Protect the CA no matter what. That community is special and that is its super power. People will come and go but you are at the heart of it. You are what brought them all here. Protect it.”
Contemporary Athlete & 9 Miles East Sports Nutrition
If you’ve been training at CA during any point in the last year, you’ve definitely heard the name “9 Miles East” more than a few times. All those times you walked in and saw brightly colored coolers stacked by the door, or saw someone with their head buried in the 9 Miles cooler looking to choose their dinner for the night. Their name has become pretty popular amongst the CA community and there’s a damn good reason why.
They’re bridging that gap we all struggle to overcome – making eating healthy easy, delicious, and convenient. Adam Costello, director of the Sports Nutrition program for 9 Miles East, was kind enough to take this opportunity to further explain the ins and outs of what their subscription has to offer.
You’re training hard and spending a lot of time at Contemporary Athlete. Good! You should be! Maintaining a regular training schedule is one of the best ways to stay healthy and feel great. Keep doing what you’re doing but don’t forget about fueling your body with highly nutritious, healthy food. This is where 9 Miles East comes in.
Train hard at CA and pick up your post-workout meal from the 9 Miles East fridge or go all in with our Sports Nutrition Subscription. Nothing compliments your training better. Don’t worry about trudging back and forth through supermarket isles or carving out time to cook a healthy meal when you have so many other important things vying for your attention. Let 9 Miles East Farm help you.
We’re a 29-acre vegetable farm in Schuylerville, NY. We grow veggies, cook them in our commercial kitchen, add high quality ingredients we can’t grow, and deliver them to busy folks in the Capital Region. We have 15 different varieties of our GO Box meals along with a growing number of healthy soups, stews, and hot entree options. Our meals are a strategic mix of macronutrients that will help you fuel properly for a training session and recover quickly. We want to help you achieve your athletic goals!
You can purchase individual meals directly from the cooler in CA. Grab your meal, swipe your credit card, and enjoy! It’s that easy. Interested in having 9 Miles East Farm help you eat healthy throughout the week? Sign up for the Four Week Sports Nutrition Subscription. Each week you’ll receive a cooler delivered to CA filled with 5 meals:
1 GO Box – A bed of baby greens topped with a grain like quinoa, veggies from the farm, high protein toppings like sunflower seeds or roasted almonds, and our side dressing
2 GO Box Pros – GO Boxes with high-quality chicken
1 GO Basket – A to-go box stuffed with a grain, roasted veggies from the farm, and chicken. Heat the GO Basket up in a skillet or microwave
1 Soup or Stew – Healthy, hearty, and made with ingredients from our farm and others around the area
9 Miles East Farm is offering 50% off for the first week of their 6-week Contemporary Athlete Sports Nutrition Program that will be offered with the CA Ninja 101 program registration. That’s just $22.50 for 5 meals during your first week of subscription ($4.50/meal).
Ninja 101 is a $564 value being offered for just $349. Make sure to sign-up ASAP and get this fantastic bundle at a reduced cost. Training designed for you, food prepared for and delivered to you. You just have to sign-up, show up, and eat up!
And don’t forget! 9 Miles East is hosting us for another farm dinner on Sunday October 11th at 5pm so make sure to sign-up on front desk! Only 20 slots are open, $20 a person. See the farm firsthand and try some more of the amazing food they have to offer!
When I opened Contemporary Athlete I had grand dreams (don’t worry, I still do!) of rows of amazing athletes of all ages doing agility drills, with fast moving feet; much like the fingers of a highly efficient stenographer banging away systematically. The uniform whirr of the wheels of ergometers churning away splits in a harmonious cacophony of acceleration and anguish. The cyclists, and tri-athletes; riding their trainers. The graceful yet mind tricking movement of men and women fluidly powerlifting impressive weights from the floor to overhead positions. This is the CA, this is the dream, and all dreams start on the foundation of a big multi-dimensional base…
(it all starts somewhere)
With that in mind, we live in a fast passed world. Our culture has a desire for instant gratification; and results, yesterday, not tomorrow, with little investment. Social media, fast food, email, smart phones, 5 – minute abs, 3 – minute glutes, perfect push-ups, and no minute guts.
Thursday night I started to teach the Snatch, to a group of 3. For the very first time since I opened almost 2 years ago. The snatch is one of the readily agreed upon 7 fundamental barbell movements for building speed and strength. Now this isn’t the first time I have taught this kind of movement by any means, but what it is, is the first time I have taught it to absolute novice athletes. Normally the situation is one of fixing or forwarding the effectiveness of the athlete. In this case, it is. “This is a barbell, now I am going to help you learn how to use it effectively.”
All we did was move the bar. In systematic and excruciatingly boring ways. Yes, they were sweaty, and probably tired, and likely sore and a bunch of other things you can call exercise. They weren’t hurt, confused, or operating in dangerous patterns all in the good old name of “getting your sweat on”.
(resistance is individual)
Which during my drive home last night I pondered on all of the stupid s*** I hear said and read constantly on memes when it comes to training and exercise. In the case of memes it’s usually emblazoned over a hard bodied, abs ripping, sweaty individual or an ass that potentially was carved by Michelangelo himself.
“Go hard, or go home”
“Engage your beast mode”
“Tears will get you sympathy, sweat will get you results”
“Train like a beast. Look like a beauty”
“When I’m dripping with sweat, I feel bad ass”
“The alternative to boredom is exercise, not food.”
“Keep squatting till your legs fall off”
“Sore Muscles, Happy Pain”
“Sore? Tired? Out of breath? Sweaty? Good. It’s Working.”
“Gonna run till I don’t Jiggle.”
This list goes on, but this should give you enough to start the ball rolling. The idea though, is to do a little more, a little better every consecutive time you train. As an athlete, sometimes in the search of “better” or “best” you might cross your threshold and end up with your head in a trash bin. This is NEVER the goal or idea. It’s a byproduct of testing your limits and if it happens 1:1000 times than your ratio is pretty good. For 95% (<- not a real statistic) of people this should NEVER ever happen though. ELITE is called that for a reason. It’s not EVERYBODY, that’s the point.
So while the new power-lifters work on their range of motion with PVC pipes and the Barbell. Looking for the perfect set up, and motion at a weight/limit that is appropriate for the journey toward excellence. They will get more flexible, and strong, and lean but it all boils down to training smart and efficiently. Which means don’t be a fool and buy into a phrase I recently heard and wish I could coin.