Hey there, Strength Shop monsters! Really quick today. I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and hope everybody has something that they realize is very special in their lives. Spend the day with your loved ones and do not take anything for granted. Among many other things, I am grateful that I have a strong support system of friends and family that enable me to live the kind of life that I want to live. Thank you, and I love you.
After a good warm up, nothing feels quite like a good snatch! Here's some of my training yesterday, my oly technique is still off, but that's why we practice. I felt a little slow and my overhead mobility is an issue, but it felt good to lift. I was still zoning from my warm up with the yoga music, haha. I think it tranquilized me.
Everybody prepares for training, or battle, their own way. Depending on my training for the day, I will be more or less aggressive. If I am preparing for highly skilled movements, like gymnastics or olympic lifting, I will try to relax and find a focused concentration in myself. If I am doing a circuit or some heavy lifting, I will simply try to get jacked up. The music I play is a big influence in how I prepare and train. Some of my favorite music to listen to before skills training would be the music of nature. Get outside and enjoy the birds, the ocean breeze, or water flowing down a stream. I find great power in tranquility. I clear my mind and focus on the only thing I am about to do right now. Not this morning, or later tonight or tomorrow. Right now is the moment that we are living in. Embrace it. Now I'm not some tree huggin hippie, I like hardcore too. But there is a time and place for the right type of stimulus. The greater the skill required for a particular exercise, the less external stimulus is necessary. Think of the crowd hushing before a gymnasts takes the stage. Now think of a pr deadlift attempt. Obviously this requires great skill at elite levels, but for the most part, you are simply standing up, albeit with a half ton of weight in some cases. In my opinion, this might require severe external stimulus. The external stimulus should coincide with the internal focus. Do you need to rage, or do you need peace and tranquility to succeed at a particular endeavor? Your preparation should be ever changing or you are not accommodating nor very well balanced in your abilities.
Several people have been asking me about the Kettlebell and Bodyweight Training DVD and when it will be ready. Well, it is almost done. Here are a few testimonials.
Like many topics concerning strength and conditioning, the use and application of a reverse hyper machine is polarizing to say the least. Some love it, some fear that it will ruin you. Some people excessively swing the weight, other's lift with more control. Some flex the lumbar spine to huge degrees, while other's manage to only flex at the hip? What is right or wrong? My guess is whatever helps you feel and perform better. The reverse hyper and similar movements have always helped rehab my back, and it has amazing abilities to get you feeling good almost instantly. I do not use it as a strength builder however, only as an assistance exercise. I do not swing excessively, nor do my feet come all the way up under my face when I perform the movement. I will allow my spine to flex slightly, mostly due to tight posterior chain muscles, and I will lift the legs out straight and under control. I have read the research, and I have performed the movement many times, and I must say that I enjoy the doing it and it makes me feel beeter. With that being said, I do not own the machine. What to do now? Here is one example how to craft your way into a decent exercise that many very strong people swear by. Try it out and see for yourself if you do not already have one in your gym.
The following video shows 5 basic movements that we perform before some of our upper body intensive training days. Here we are using a relatively light slamball, it has very little rebound, or bounce. You can find it at several online stores with an easy google search. Maybe I will sell them soon. But anyway, These movements can also be performed with a tire, a sandbag or even other implements. It's not about the tool, it's how you use it, and more importantly, how you use your body and your time. I can not overemphasize the importance of a quality warm up and preparation before intense training. If you don't have time to warm up, you don't have time to train. These points can be taken lots of different ways, I'll let you make your own conclusions. After some general warm up and mobilization drills, I perform some ballistic medicine ball throws, give them a shot if you have the opportunity. Here goes...