Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thoughts and Stuff

True Love

I have yet to find anything that excites me more than hunting with my dog, Bas. I love it. Bas has been my buddy for almost 9 years now. And I am not gonna lie to anyone, we get shutout a lot, we come home with nothing. My father, the venerable Dr. Donald Steel, says that I should just go to the supermarket and buy some meat, that it would save me money on gas, ammo, etc. He is real funny.. But that is not why I do it. There is something magical about it. The stillness, the waiting, seeing Bas so excited, doing what he was born to do. I was thinking about it today, and I cant wait til next year to get out there again to my buddy Steve's farm.

My Best Friend

Volume and High Rep Dumbness

I am of the belief that VOLUME is one of the keys to getting stronger. So when I train folks, we will always do 12 sets of 3 versus 3 sets of 12. That is if we are working on getting stronger. Bodybuilding is a whole different ballgame, but for getting as strong as you can, as fast as you can, multiple sets of low reps in the 75% to 85% range are the fastest way in my opinion. Just setting up 12 times with a heavy weight makes a huge difference in confidence and efficiency. And in that percentage range, you learn things that you can not learn with light weight on your back. In addition,  if I was going to perform the higher rep ranges, you would start to lose your form and the chance of injury goes way up. But with sets of 3 you move the bar with speed and perfect form.

I am puzzled when people(coaches? trainers?) prescribe high rep cleans and snatches.

Yes, a complex is fine with 45% of your bodyweight as a warmup or if a seasoned lifter wants to do something to challenge themselves once in a while.  And for beginners, to "grease the groove", a 3 position clean(one rep above the knee, one below the knee and one from the floor with the bar or slightly heavier) is a great way to perfect form, but a consistent menu of high rep cleans and snatches? Your form starts to degrade so damn fast that you are going to get hurt. Whats wrong with multiple singles in the clean at 90%? That's a better workout anyway. You are getting stronger that way. What are you training for with the high rep cleans and snatches? What is the objective? If you are designing a training program, that should be the first question that you ask yourself. I train people online who used to train that way and their low backs and shoulders are demolished. Be smart.

Book of the Week

I am way into the genre of noir fiction. This realist style is right up my alley. I am a late bloomer with all of this stuff. I used to only read biographical stuff and training books. Fiction? I could never relate to it. I used to be in the TAG program in school. Talented and Gifted. Got kicked out of that(and the safety patrols, but that's another story)because I was bored to tears. Some long winded stuff set in Victorian England or something. That stuff put me to sleep and fast. So I would settle in with my Inside Sports Magazine and Muscle and Fitness and the Dallas Cowboy Weekly. I always wondered if there was something I could relate to. So fast forward 30 years or so, and shazaam!, I have found it . I love this gritty stuff! Ellroy, I know is hugely popular, but doesn't do it for me. I search and search and I have been lucky enough to find a few books that"speak" to me.  I wrote about Pike a few weeks ago. Now, I just finished Hell on Church Street, by Jake Hinkson. Awesome read. There are a bunch of twists and turns in this one, and the main character has the type of personality that typifies this genre- he does what he wants and what he has to do to survive, and he has zero guilty feelings about any of the rotten things that he does.  Buy it!

From Amazon-
"A small Baptist church in Arkansas should be easy pickings for a natural born con man like Geoffrey Webb. But after talking himself into a cushy job as a youth minister, he becomes obsessed with the preacher's teenage daughter. When their relationship is discovered by a corrupt local sheriff named Doolittle Norris, Webb's easy life begins to fall apart. Backed by a family of psychotic hillbillies, Sheriff Norris forces Webb into a deadly scheme to embezzle money from the church. What the Norris clan doesn't understand is that Geoffrey Webb is more dangerous than he looks, and he has brutal plans of his own."

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.