Your Monthly Moment of Zen # 21


Zen Quote of the Day

“They can because they think they can” – Virgil

This Month in the World of Weightlifting

USA Weightlifting announces that we’ll have 5 female and 6 male lifters representing America at the Pan Am Games being held in Guadalajara, Mexico. Oct. 23-27.

WOMEN:  Sarah Robles, Chioma Amaechi, Kelly Rexroad-Williams, Hilary Katzenmeier, Danica Rue (who is replacing Erin Wallace who is injured) with alternates Amanda Sandoval and Aimee Anaya Everett.

MEN: Kendrick Ferris, Chad Vaughn, Pat Mendes, Donny Shankle, Jared Fleming, Jon North, with alternates Zach Schluender and Zach Krych.

It’s gonna be a hell of a show!

USA Weightlifting announces that the Olympic Trials for London 2012 will be held at the Arnold in Columbus, Ohio.  Our club is planning to bring a few lifters to the Arnold this year … if for no other reason than to watch this!


Muscle Driver Grand Prix!  The first of its kind in the US.  With up to 10,000 in prize money</a> at EACH event, top Olympic Weightlifters in this country now have the opportunity to earn some money to offset their training expenses during the year.  Here's the breakdown of prize money (winners for both Women and Men determined by Sinclair): <ul> 	<li>1st Place - <strong>2000

  • 2nd Place – 1200 </strong></li> 	<li>3rd Place - <strong>800
  • 4th Place – 600 </strong></li> 	<li>5th Place - <strong>400
  • The fact is, most lifters in this country aren’t being funded in any way.  There are a handful who are – those at the Olympic training center or at Cal Strength.  But, many other lifters who are equally as talented are getting NO money at all.  That makes training for upwards of 30 hours a week (not including all the recovery time) nearly impossible if they have to hold down a 40+ hour a week job on top of it.  I really respect what Glenn Pendlay and Muscle Driver are trying to do for our athletes.

    Speaking of …

    Sarah Robles, Olympic hopeful, needs your help. She’s fundraising so that she can afford to compete in London at the 2012 Olympic Games.  This ain’t cheap!

    Sarah Robles has another recipe in her Poor Athletes Recipe series: Split Pea Soup! Mmmm …

    Lon Kilgore, Michael Hartman, and Justin Lascek released FIT, their book on fitness for beginners.  Read my review of it here.

    Glenn Pendlay asks what is important enough in your life that it “defines” you, that you truly love.  Would you go down with that ship?

    What does this have to do with weightlifting and athletics? Well, nothing direct. Nothing except that you have to have LOVE in your heart to really, really totally commit to something. You cannot fully commit and fulfill your potential without LOVE in your heart for whatever it is that you are doing. No one waves the White Flag and goes down with a ship without a heart full of love. Thank you Audrey for showing me this.

    I know what I love, do you?

    Jon North and Travis Cooper have a Clean and Jerk battle:

    Bob Takano asks how many reps per day should a beginner be taking?  He’s writing a book on programming and this is part of his thought process.

    Greg Everett on the Brush or Bang of the hips in weightlifting.  Different coaches have different takes on this.

    When it comes to the barbell’s contact with the body during the extension of the snatch and clean, it seems the issue has been divided into two camps, which in my opinion are not accurately representative of what’s happening, but exist nonetheless: brush and bang.

    Each camp has characterized the other, and I think this is where much of the disagreement comes from: neither has characterized the other accurately. The bang crowd believes the brush crowd encourages lifters to drag the bar up the body as they extend perfectly vertically with excessive ankle extension and a big shrug and hesitation at the top; the brush crowd believes the bang crowd encourages lifters to allow the bar to stay away from the body too far so the hips can be slammed into it and kick the bar forward. In cases in which either is actually being done as described, I believe it’s the result of misinterpretation or misunderstanding.

    Arguments in weightlifting (and elsewhere) are quite often of this type: each side misrepresents the other, and they end up talking past one another rather than having a real conversation on the merits.

    Dan John has 40 years of insights for you, here’s Part I.

    Donny Shankle lifts something heavy!

    Sean Waxman’s monthly newsletter included a killer hand-written PDF download of a program that former Bulgarian trained coach, Ivan Ganev, wrote as coach for the Nigerian team.  If you sign up for his newsletter here, email him, and ask him nicely, I’m sure he’ll send it to you. :)  He is also answering readers questions in his newsletter.  Hard to pass that up!

    Waxman’s Gym Training Video:

    Gwen Sisto on the importance of good training partners.

    Right now, I am so blessed.  Today, I trained with a top 5 in the world 63kg lifter from Mexico, a top 15 63kg  lifter from Guatemala,  one of the best 77kg lifters from South America, and an up and coming US superheavyweight.

    How’s that for a packed house!

    Gwen Sisto introduces the worlds Strongest Tuba Player.

    Tony will be training twice a day under the coaching expertise of Ivan Rojas.

    Gwen Sisto hits a 200 Pound Clean and Jerk proving that she is, indeed, stronger than most humans.

    John Broz has a tribute video for Olympic Health Club and coach John Schubert.

    Bret Contreras asks you to be Flexible in Your Philosophy.

    One thing that is very difficult for lifters, trainers, physios, and coaches to do is flow with science. We get a rigid belief and picture of how things work in our head only to find out down the road that we were wrong. When reading Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors, I had to laugh at all of the things that the industry once thought was true. As resistance training became more popular, folks came out of the woodworks trying to prevent the methodology from spreading. Resistance training supposedly led to enlarged hearts and created slow, clumsy, and inflexible muscle. Squats supposedly destroyed the knees. Luckily some bold individuals ignored these naysayers and forged ahead.

    Bret Contreras has a new article in the Strength and Conditioning Journal on how to perform the Hip Thrust.

    Bret Contreras is about to release a new book with Kellie Davis called Strong Curves.  Stay tuned!

    Chris Duffin has an article at EliteFTS about the physics of the Bench Press.  I only bench for bodybuilding purposes – not heavy – but, I know some of y’all would love to put some heavy weight above your face.  If so, then remember that the physics is a bit more complicated than “Point A to Point B”.  (Not unlike a snatch, mind you.

    Chris Duffin hits 37 reps on the Deadlift with 440 pounds!  I took this video with my buddy (and PDX member) Andrew’s flip cam, and you can hear me being a “woo” girl in the background.  It was pretty darn impressive to see in person, let me tell you.

    Brandon Tovey of PDX Weightlifting Benches 24 reps with Bodyweight at Elite Performance Center here in Portland.  This is a pretty fun thing to try, by the way.

    Bradon Tovey doesn’t normally bench in training.  This is what he does – snatching 1.5 times your bodyweight ain’t no joke … especially off of blocks!

    John Kiefer on Intermittent Fasting.

    Peter Bauman on the 10 Nutrition Tips for Good Eating.

    There are two types of eaters: The people who live, eat, and try different foods, and the people who only eat because they have to. As time goes on, I have found more and more people who genuinely just DO NOT CARE what is in their food as far as calories go. They don’t care what percentage comes from carbs, protein, or fat. In fact, it never even crosses their mind. Yet, they still struggle to maintain their weight or to lose weight. A lot of these people admit to being very busy and always on the go. This creates a mindset that eating is a chore and just gets in the way of their normal daily routine. I am going to outline 10 basic tips for people who just eat because they have to, which should help them to not only eat better, but also make the process of eating more enjoyable as a whole.

    Coffee is good for the metabolism long-term.  More fuel for my coffee fire!

    Coffee Fights Depression suggests a new study profiled at BBC News.

    “This fits nicely with a lot of the previous work and what we know about caffeine and the brain. It blocks adenosine, which produces a similar effect to increasing dopamine production. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that the dopamine-rich areas of the brain are much more important in depression that previously thought.

    “Despite valiant efforts to show how dangerous coffee is for us, it is not proving so.

    “This removes yet another anxiety regarding caffeine use. Drunk in moderation, the evidence is strong that it is not one of the things we do that is going to damage your health.”

    I attribute some of my daily ability to manage my own depression to my over-the-top coffee consumption.  If YOU suffer from depression, make sure you read my article on how to manage depression.

    Nia Shanks on Motivation.  And, in case you didn’t know, she loves to deadlift:

    I’m addicted – yep. I am hopelessly addicted to lifting heavy weights. If I go over a week without lifting a heavy barbell, I get a little anxious and unsettled; nothing a good dose of heavy deadlifts can’t fix.

    Trap Bar Deadlift by a client of Nia’s – 225# x 4 reps.

    Martin Berkhan on Fuckarounditis … do you have it?!

    Please review these 25 common symptoms and behaviors associated with fuckarounditis. If you recognize yourself in any of these, and have not met the strength standards recently discussed, you must immediately cease the behavior and implement the necessary changes. There is no time to waste.

    Craig Liebenson on FIA (Femoral-Acetabular Impingement) … ouch, my hip!

    There are no specific diagnostic tests for it, however groin pain is one signature of it’s presentation.  According to the revolutionary hip surgeon from Colorado Dr Philippon “A positive impingement test was defined as groin pain with 90 degrees of hip flexion and maximal internal rotation.”

    Adam Stoffa discusses the importance of a “stress account”. Pay into the “accounts of life” that matter most, and they will come back when you need it.

    There is another contingency account out there. The friendship account.  Give your friendship freely and it will pay you back when you need it most.  It sounds corny, but it’s true.  At home, in the office, on line.  From the Azores to Austin to Albuquerque to Alaska to Asia to Australia, friends and family came to the forefront.

    JC Deen advises that you Train Like An Athlete – NOT Like a Fitness Model.

    For many of us, fitness and body composition sometimes revolve around a negative thought process, rather than a positive one.

    Either we aren’t lean enough, or we don’t have the perfect symmetry. Sometimes we get frustrated at how long it takes for the last little bit of fat to come off when dieting. For others, we’re never as strong as we’d like to be (Hi, my name is JC and I…).

    Jon Goodman wants you to bring more cowbell to your workouts!

    I say Cowbell Exercisers because they’re different, they’re weird, and people stare. These people are avoiding the workout version of a Faustian Bargain. The Faustian Bargain as described by Seth Godin is when we trade our genius and artistry for stability.

    Makes sense doesn’t it? It’s hard to be different. Isn’t it easier to do what everyone else is doing? Why run sprints and look stupid when you can slowly jog in the fat burning zone or perform 3 sets of 12 reps for 6 exercises on arm day? I’m here to call you to action. Crap or get off the pot. Stability is, by definition, the antithesis to working out.

    Nick Horton.  I started a new video series entitled Samurai Strength where I aim to answer YOUR questions.  I got a ton!!  Here’s the first episode where I describe my favorite snatch drill for rank beginners that I call the fab-5 snatch drill.

    Nick Horton.  I wrote a 2-Part series on mental training for weightlifting called Zen Mind, Big Snatch.

    Most lifters are one-sided.  They are either aggressive, able to finish the pull hard, will go after anything, but throw the bar all over the place and miss the big weights because they can’t control the trajectory of the bar.  Or, they are mellow, have nice (even flawless) technique with light weights, but won’t finish the pull strong enough on the big weights, and so they miss anything truly heavy.

    The aggressive ones are like Dragons.  The mellow ones are like Pearls.  You don’t want to be either.

    Or, more accurately, you want to be both.

    You want to be a Samurai.

    Nick Horton posts some videos of his Snatch Clinic at Kuau’i CrossFit while on his Honey Moon.  Here’s the first one:

    Brian Shaw wins the Worlds Strongest Man!

    Davie Easton recaps the Ultimate Masters World Strongest Man.  The head ref was my personal favorite, Magnus Samuelsson.

    Fat Tax. Denmark becomes the first country in the world to tax fatty foods.  Paleo Dieters know where NOT to live!

    Some experts argue that fat is the wrong target and that salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates should be tackled instead, but Dr Colin Waine, former chairman of the National Obesity Forum, welcomed the move. “All these things need to be looked at, but saturated fats have a higher calorie content than carbohydrates. I don’t think you can do everything all at once.”

    This fat tax is easily one of dumbest things I’ve heard in a long time …

    You Are What You Eat.  A new study implies that Eating Your Greens Alters Your Genes.

    “In what is the strongest evidence yet that the genetic material in food survives digestion and circulates through the body, fragments of plant RNA have been found swimming in the bloodstreams of people and cows. What’s more the study by Chen-Yu Zhang ofNanjing University in China and his colleagues shows that some of these plant RNAs muffle gene expression and raise cholesterol levels in mice. The discovery opens up a new way to turn food into medicine: we may be able to design plants that change our genes for the better.”

    2011 European Weightlifting Championship Women’s 69k Class Snatches

    Finally, you’re NOT as intense as Martin Rooney’s Daughter.

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