18 May 2012

Something for the women folk

Something for the Women Folk:
a guest post from Talia VanDoran

From liftbigeatbig.com, Talia engages in half of my site's namesake.

Being a big fan of "bigger is better," I've been seriously lifting weights since 2008 and I have intentions to continue exploring the strength arena by training and competing in strongwoman shows. Existing as a woman in this world of testosterone is no easy task. I'm a tattooed Martha Stewart that loves the hell out of strength sports. You've got to have balls to hang and the brawn to back it up.

Using equipment for lifting and coping with insecurity in the gym environment are two big issues that most women deal with at one point or another.

Bench shirt or not, Kara is probably stronger than you.
I get asked a lot why I wear a weight belt in the gym. No, it's not because it looks cute or matches my shoes. It's because I lift heavy shit and it serves to allow to me to lift heavy shit safely. You should never be embarrassed to wear a belt and it doesn't make you more badass to go without one. It really depends on the lifter and as a woman it doesn't make me weaker because I choose to use this piece of equipment. You should start using your belt when you feel you need it. As a powerlifter, it's a good idea to wear the gear that you will be competing in. I wear a belt at meets, therefore I train with my belt. Sometimes I wear it while warming up and sometimes I put it on when I get to a heavy working weight. I wear a belt because it makes me feel good and strong. I wear it because it makes me feel safe under load and all I care about is moving weight effectively and efficiently. It's pretty simple. Not to mention that it IS cute and does, in fact, match my shoes. Boom!

As a lady lifter, I have had to overcome insecurity issues in the gym and in competition. While I may not lift as much as the mirror monkey standing next to me, I deserve to be there just as much as he does. I used to be nervous to approach the dumbbell rack or any equipment in the gym. I would even go to the gym during hours I knew were empty so that I could train anxiety free. I got over that shit pretty fast when I woke up and grew some! Fake it till ya make it, ladies! Act like you know the deal. Act like you belong there and if you have a question ask it. There is no harm in getting information. Man up and take charge of your training and don't be a shrinking violet in the gym. That makes you look WEAK. Yes, it can be intimidating. Use that Internet thing and do some research before you take on a workout routine. Know what the equipment you need looks like and watch instructional videos that show you how to use it (make sure it's coming from a reputable source). Even better is finding someone who has more experience and a good knowledge base in strength to show you the ropes. Choose wisely and do some research when seeking a coach/training partner. Confidence comes with time and being open to learning without fear. It's ok to feel stupid/silly, but realize that it's part of how you learn. Suck it up buttercup and DO WORK!

Talia is a competitive powerlifter living in Nashville, TN and a sponsored athlete with Chaos and Pain. She also lifts in the Southern Powerlifting Federation, and she could probably kick your ass.

04 May 2012

May 4th Training

Intensity PRs on damn near every movement here.

01 May 2012

You're all a bunch of fucking morons

Before I delve into this, read this rousing discussion on marketing I had with some facebook friends.  They also happen to be people I personally know as well.  I don't know why I point that out, but it seems to mean more than arguing with random internet strangers.

Sorry for the layout of the pictures. It should be easy to make sense of what was said, however.  I also am aware I made several linguistic errors, for which I apologize.  And now a word on marketing.

If marketing is done correctly, I believe it should be the utmost of sleaze and fear inducing. Even if the product is useful, it still has to appeal to the psychology of a large group of people.

Here's a personal example of how marketing affected me.  I read Adam's blog (www.adamtglass.com) and said to myself, "This gym movement thing is kind of neat.  Adam looks younger, healthier and generally happier.  He still is pretty laconic and terse, but some things never change."  And then I didn't act.  At the time, I was making OK progress, I think.  I have no way of knowing, as I didn't keep a log--training, food, or for my measurements.  So I kept on doing a fuck load of kettlebell swings and military presses and looking like shit.  I kept reading Adam's blog.  I kept seeing these wonderful quotes from Frankie Faires, and Adam, along with Will Williams saying things like, "If you follow anything but your body, you will break your body," and Adam's brusque statements that amounted to, "Sure, follow a program.  It might fuck you up, though."

So, in November of 2010, I dropped the 70 dollars to have a thirty minute coaching call with Adam. It lasted a few hours, and I learned a lot and started tracking the shit I was doing in the gym. I started seeing the results.  Next, I got into Met Flex, from Mike T Nelson.  Here's how this is still turning out:

I started off with a 40 inch waist, and now it is 34 inches.  One goal is to compete at 165, with minimal to no cutting.  Looks like I am doing pretty well (there's still more to come).  What is the point of this?

I can't speak for other movement members, but the marketing pummeled me into the ground before I finally got involved with it.  And I am glad I did.  I had a lot of questions, they got answered and I am better today, despite the fact that sleazy marketing marketed something utterly useful to me.

Now, as far as the food business goes they do sleazy marketing all the time.  And they do it well.

Here is a laundry list of ingredients in a box of Pop Tarts (one of my favorites):

What a wonderful product. Now, here's a good marketing ploy:

Holy shit, seven goddamn vitamins and minerals.  Yes, people fall for this.  And people feed it to their kids.  And like I said, I fucking love the damn things too.  And if you're a parent, I don't give a rat's ass what you say, you can decide if your kid eats this in your presence.  And if you don't know better, you can use the Google machine to learn what the hell these ingredients are, and about how insulin works and how it relates to diabetes.  You don't HAVE to listen to the awesome TV commercials and radio ads.Even if Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in it.

In the original facebook discussion, I said one option is to get rid of your TV.  Or at least, use it for Net Flix and DVD watching.  My house mates and I haven't watched a show on TV in god knows how long, and I couldn't tell you a fucking thing about any of the contemporary commercials out there, and I am probably better for it.  And if you do have a TV, and children, do you not control what they watch and what you watch? Food for thought if you don't want to get suckered into a marketing ploy.

As far as the product itself goes, what makes a food healthy or unhealthy?  I like to think my response to it does.  I think Frankie made that statement. But it's a true statement. How do you determine that? I perform a ROM test in the form of a toe touch.  I also write shit down.  What dictates what will test well?  Usually the amount I move around in a day.

So on 3 April, I went to work and stood for ten hours, because I opt not to sit anymore.  After words I hit the gym.  Here's what I ate that day before and after the gym:

  • Lo-Carb Monster
  • 2 chicken legs, 2 chicken thighs, grilled for lunch along with a chocolate chip cookie, all from a local place called Gladstone's Chicken.
  • Pre-workout- Monster Expresso (Yes I spelled it correctly, that's the way they spell it).  Postwork out I had a glazed donut and some coffee.  
  • Dinner I had a .81lb Ribeye steak with 8 Brussels sprouts along with a plain Tbls. of coconut oil. 
Here's what I did at the gym.  For me, it was a high volume day.
 7 April, I didn't lift or do much of anything besides go to work at the music store.  My meal for the day was as follows: 4 whole eggs, and two patties of sausage.

I also think it's important to note that you can respond to shit foods better and without incident as long as you eat a shitload of real food too.  For instance, in the above examples, the eggs, sausage, and ribeye steak the Brussels Sprouts were all organic, and grass fed, and whatever the fuck is popular amongst hippies and fitness elite*, currently.  The chicken from Gladstone's and the cookie, probably not as high quality as what I make at home.  Those are my thoughts and experiences with finding a plan that works for you.  Test your damn food. Deviate sometimes.  And don't be dogmatic.  You don't want to end up like the guy on Married with Children who was so healthy that when he hung out with Peg Bundy and ate Bon-Bons and started smoking he died due to the sudden rush of shit in his system.

So if you find yourself falling for food marketing, you probably must have stumbled here by accident.  But to blame the marketeers solely for a nation of fat bastards is erroneous.  As consumers--you know, those of us who buy the shit that is being marketed to us--our only responsibility is to decide what is good for us, and what is not (as well as our children, if you have any).  I would go so far as to say that if we don't know something, our responsibility also lies in the questioning of the producer of the product.  And if it's an honest maker of an honest product, the answers should be straightforward, and not dodgy.  If they can't or won't provide you with the answers you need, reevaluate your decision. I also don't think you're all morons.  I just used the title to get your attention.  Like a good marketeer.

There's been a lack of fine ass women of late on here.  Had to fix it.
 *You'll note the sarcasm here.  Also note that the ones worth their salt and the ones who suck have similar marketing formats.  Because, after all, marketing is sleazy and should be in order to work.