30 May 2013

Are you a Jedi or a Sith?

I have been seeing an alarming trend, of late.  People come across my blog several ways, not the least of which is a Google search.  Here's a list of things people have searched to end up here:
  1. My fucking back hurts
  2. how to deadlift
  3. Alexis Texas
  4. my back hurts from fucking
  5. deadlifts
  6. i overdid it on deadlifts

Darth Revan
The clear point to most of these searches is that people most likely used a fuck load of effort to achieve whatever it is they were going for--at least for most of the search terms. 

Arielle and I were watching Revenge of the Sith the other day, and she made a point that Jedi always used the minimal effective amount of effort to achieve their task, and that the Sith used great efforts. This was particularly true when Darth Sidious uses his force lighting and Yoda absorbs and redirects it, also in Episode 2, Count Dooku uses his force lightning and Obi-Wan Kenobi effortlessly absorbs it into his lightsaber.   In fact, the effort it takes to wield force lightning becomes so great that it can deform and burn the user (as is the case with Darth Sidious).

I also found out that Frankie uses this as a teaching model as well, and will guide his students to train like the Jedi.

So, how does one train like a Jedi? It is very simple. 

First, test your movements. Here's how:

That's me from two years ago.  The same basic principles still apply.  Substitute any exercise instead of a plate curl, and test.

After you find the movements you want to do, test the variations.  One variation might yield a better test.  Variations include, but are not limited to, stances, implements, and grips.

Third, test your rest periods. After you do a set, and you are resting, do your ROM test and if it is a good test (you moved a lot of checkers, to use the same terminology in the video) practice your movement some more. 

Important things to consider: do not squeeze out one more rep, do not do things to the detriment of your form, and do not move through pain.  Be aware of your speed, your tension, your form and your form you use when you perform your gym movements. If you slow down, your form detoriorates and/or you start to use more tension, calm the fuck down and stop. If you ignore this, you will reach failure, pain and (hopefully not) damage.  Stop well before failure, and if you can help it, stop at loss of speed. The strain is not worth it.  Physiologically, or psychologically.

You will love to fight another day, and things that don't often test well, will test well and your limits will be expanded. 

To be a Sith, ignore this advice at your own discretion.  But remember the cost of being a Sith--betrayal from your apprentices, losing limbs, and dying.  All associated with more effort (and with them, a lot of arrogance). 

03 May 2013

There's always room for activities

When did leading an active lifestyle become so fucking hard? Barring cases of being dead, paralyzed, maimed or cryogenically frozen in carbonite there are no real good reasons not to be active.  I don't mean going to the gymnasium, necessarily.  You can literally do any activity you want. Movement co founder Craig Keaton and his wife go out and play or jump and walls and stuff and seem to have a good time doing so.
In fact--and this is really great if you have children--you can go to a playground and play on the monkey bars, the sliding polls, the jungle gym, etc.  You can even sprint, if you are into that sort of thing.

If you have friends, instead of opting for lifting all the time, you can engage in sporting activities.  Recently, I have begun playing racquetball again which is far more exciting than powerlifting (which I still do) and involves way more movement that I don't get out of lifting, or Jiu-Jitsu--namely all the footwork and the eye-hand coordination along with a better grasp of mathematical angles. 

If you don't have friends, make some. 

If you have kids, consider them your friends until they start rebelling and resenting you.  If they see you regaining lost function and being active, they will most likely follow suit and lead active lifestyles growing up.  They might resent you less, too.  If you sit around with your hands on your balls watching Law and Order repeats, they'll likely grow up the same way.  You are their biggest influence for at least the first 13 years of their life, at which point they start hanging around with other idiots their age and doing dumb shit and getting trouble into school. 

Plus, if you engage in activities the majority of the time compared to gym movements, you might get a lot of good socialization out of it, as will your children. 

If you have a job that requires you to work a lot of hours, and you fall into the category of people who make excuses as to why you aren't active (specifically using your job as that crutch) evaluate your current situation in life, and proceed how you see fit.  The direction allowing for more movement will likely make you happier, physically at the very minimum. 

If you're in school and you throw away your whole active lifestyle the moment it's time for finals, evaluate how you learn/study.  Likely, if you are in college, you spend a lot of time fucking around, when you could be looking for better ways of learning that are specific to you. (I graduated. I fucked around a lot in college, never studied, and still made it out above C level). 

Above all, do some other shit so as to move in new directions.  You'll likely get better at your goals, and you won't "plateau." This can be any kind of movement.  Study something new, do a new sport, write differently, watch new movies, or what have you.  Then you will know the true meaning of "PR everyday."