Zen Quote of the Week:
“Your age is the sum total of your physical condition, the condition of your mind, and how you feel.” – Jack Lalanne
This week in the world of weightlifting:
Jack Lalanne dies at the age of 96 (New York Times piece, NPR piece and here’s Mike T. Nelson’s 5 things he learned from the man). It’s hard to imagine the world of fitness without him. He’s been lifting weights for about double the years that many of us have even been alive! And, he’s one of the major reasons that lifting weights no longer has the stigmas that it did back when he was young. Here he is fighting the good fight:
Dumb Jocks? I don’t think so:
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – For the second straight semester, the USA Weightlifting Team led the U.S. Olympic Education Center with the highest Grade Point Average of any USOEC program atNorthern Michigan University in Marquette,Mich.
The 18 student athletes in the program maintained a 3.26 GPA during the fall semester with 14 athletes earning at least a 3.0, placing the lifters ahead of the speedskating, wrestling and boxing programs.
70’s Big posts part 1 of a series on the Texas Method.
Sean Waxman posts about the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), its rise, its fall, and its rebirth as a voice for serious strength training.
Sean Waxman on the 9 reasons that Endurance training sucks for Power Athletes. This quote is hillarious:
I received an email this morning from a high school football coach who wanted me to evaluate his off-season conditioning program. He felt that his teams performance dropped off towards the end of the year. The program was filled with 1,2, and 3 mile runs! When I mentioned to him that this type of training was likely the cause of his teams demise, he got insulted and told me that I am not even qualified to train an animal.
Normally, I would have given him the verbal equivalent of a Donkey Punch, but as irony would have it, I have to take my animal to the dog park for some training. So there, Mr. Coach!
K-Star has three vids on mobility for Olympic Weightlifters. The first is all about your groin!
The second is thorasic and shoulder mob:
Finally, externally rotate that shite:
Alan Aragon on Milk consumption … Paleo folks beware:
I love it when I hear folks say that human adults weren’t meant to consume milk, much less the milk derived from a different animal species. Are you kidding me? So who gets to decide which parts of the cow we should consume? Let me get this straight–we can eat the cow’s muscles, but not the milk that laid the foundation for the growth of those same muscles? Huh? The logic is just too rock-solid for me. Folks who carry the torch against milk consumption typically will have some degree of allergy or digestive intolerance to it, and they take the liberty to project their personal problems onto the world around them. Many of these same “health-minded” people consume whey protein by the tubload –and this is not only a milk product, but an engineered refined milk product to boot. I suggest you raise a salute to cow’s teats the next time you flex your muscles, and let the rest of us enjoy our milk in peace.
Leucine. ABC Bodybuilding has a report on the effects of Leucine (the amino acid) on protein synthesis (it’s a PDF file). Much of the new (last 5 to 10 years) research on Leucine has been vindicating the Bodybuilders obsession with BCAA’s. It isn’t so much the other Branched Chain Amino Acids that were doing the ‘heavy lifting’, it was the Leucine. (Btw, Charles Poloquin – a major supporter of Olympic Weightlifting – has also been pushing BCAA’s for years.)
That said, Alan Aragon has reviewed a few Leucine studies in his Research Review and calls into question the need to take it if you’re getting the total daily amount of protein that you’re supposed to. For instance, the paper above calls for about 20 to 30 grams a day for a male athlete. I’m at just under 200 pounds, so my daily protein requirements should be around 200 grams. Assuming (big assumption) that it all came from high quality sources (read: animal products like meat, milk, and eggs), then I’d be already getting about 20 grams of Leucine a day. (This is because most animal sources of protein are about 10% Leucine.)
My feeling is that it is unlikely most athletes are getting adequate protein in a day in practice. So, if you can improve their rate of protein synthesis with added Leucine directly, then it is worth a shot. I’ll go ahead and try it out for a few months and get back to you.
Ben Claridad shows you a breakfast of champions. Does it work? Check this out:
He kinda looks like a tall Danzig, don’t he?
Lift heavy, lift fast, keep the sets short, and avoid failure.
Bret Contreras talks about the role of genetics in Strength and Muscle building, and how to overcome them:
First, we all have issues with genetics that we have to work around. Some of us are predisposed to carrying excess fat, some of us are lean but have stubborn areas of fat deposition, some have trouble building muscle, and some are muscular but have weak body parts. Some of us have all of this combined, and nobody has perfect genetics!
Bret Contreras on how he overcame back and spinal pain:
Around 17 years ago I spent the weekend with my Dad and stepmom. We were driving home late one night in the rain in our Volkswagen bug and some guy fell asleep at the wheel, ran a red light, and T-boned us. The VW was demolished, and the passenger seat that I was sitting in ended up positioned directly behind the driver’s seat where my Dad was positioned. I was secured to a backboard and rushed to a level I trauma center.
Sarah Robles does a 135K power clean and jerk. Seriously, this woman is something special:
Depressed Fish? A river in Quebec is loaded with anti-depressants which ain’t so good for the fish population.
Research during the last two decades has revealed that pharmaceutical drugs and personal care products are a major source of pollution in the marine environment. Even in very low concentrations, they have altered the ecosystems.
It’s very hard,” Sauve said. “The question itself is quite interesting. You can’t ask a fish whether it is happier or not. One of things they can do is use cameras to look at the male behaviour. Will it have the same behaviour in mating or feeding? Then you have to go back and look at its normal behaviour. It’s quite tedious work and difficult.”
Residue from antidepressants leaves through bodily waste and ends up in our waterways. Sauve said that his study indicates that the problem of antidepressants contaminating marine animals is probably global.
Seriously, people. Our obsession with using drugs to solve all of our problems is now screwing with other animals. I’m not saying there aren’t people who DO need drugs to compensate for the abnormal dysfunction of their brains. But, most don’t. They just need to do with their brain what we all know more people need to do with their body: work it out. Happiness is a skill.
Bar Loading. Ever had trouble loading a bar properly (ala at a contest)? Worry no more! This webpage has come to the rescue.
John North does a 180k clean and jerk in training that looks borderline easy. He only weighs 90k, so … yep, that’s double bodyweight!
Finally, you think your workouts are intense? The guys from 70’s Big catch a pump: