2/12/10, Push-Presses, the “Core”, and Cyclic Carbing

Think the “core” doesn’t have anything to do with the ability to handle heavy push-presses?  Try this little combo, then tell me what you think.  Also, the heavy push-press here acted as post-activation potentiation for today’s sprints, which felt “effortless” – a really, really cool, gazelle-like, feeling.

Nothing like a good 200 yard farmer’s walk with a pair of 120s to kick things off.  I try to cover this distance as fast as possible, setting the weights down only when absolutely necessary and then only for a moment.  This old standby gets the blood flowing and the entire musculature warm like nothing else and gets the body set for some good, dynamic stretching.  Still working the OHSs as well.  I probably need to weight these up over the next few weeks and keep them in my warm-up routine as a bridge between dynamic stretching and the real iron work.

Here’s what today’s combo looked like:

Behind-the-neck push-press:
135 x 5, 165 x 4, 185 x 3, 205 x 2, (*partials with 305), 215 x 2, 205 x 1, (*partials with 305),
205 x 1, 1, 1

sprints/sprint starts (20 yds, 20 yds, 40 yds, 20 yds, 20 yds):
11 rounds

ab wheel roll-outs (x 7, full extension, minimal knee-to-ground contact):
11 rounds

*the partials were performed by “popping” the weight off of my shoulders with the initial “dip & drive movement” of the push-press (all hips), guiding the bar up with a “pressing” motion to a point of roughly ear level.  About 5 reps in rapid-fire succession.

From the Things That Make Ya Go Hmmm files…

In the spirit of Arnold’s famous on-screen Pumping Iron statement, equating the rep-induced muscle “pump” to an orgasm, we have Dr. Mauro DiPasquale’s equating of post-workout carb consumption to premature ejaculation.  Quite the SAT-like, word-association pairing.  Now this isn’t meant as a dis toward Dr. Pasquale, as the man is the closest thing to a diet “guru” that I know of; just that the irony was…well…rather ironic.  Anyway, here’s an interesting podcast interview – Carl Lanore of Superhuman Radio chatting it up with the good doctor about carbohydrate-restricted diets.  Plenty of good information here from someone who’s engaged in diet (and workout) theory-to-practice for a good many years.  As always, remember that what may be most beneficial for extraordinary sporting and/or aesthetic appearances may not necessarily be what’s best for overall health.  Is cyclic carb loading necessarily detrimental to one’s health?  That I don’t know –  but I can’t see that it would be in any way beneficial (in an overall health sense).  Thoughts on the subject?  Let me have them!

Chao, and have a great weekend everyone!

Talk Radio as a Motivational Tool? And a Blistering, Friday After Work, Workout

“Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of red cheeks, red lips and supple knees. It is a temper of the will; a quality of the imagination; a vigor of the emotions; it is a freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over a life of ease. This often exists in a man of fifty, more than in a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals.”

Samuel Ullman

wipeboard wisdom

wipeboard wisdom

A little bit of ECU Track and Field throws coach David Price’s wipeboard wisdom; deconstructing the hammer throw.

Well, well, well…how could I not workout after listening to this Super Human Radio exchange between host Carl Lanore and guest Randy Roach, author of Muscle, Smoke and Mirrors.  This is a fantastic episode of SHR, and if you’ve never given the show a chance because you think it might be just a bunch of meathead, bodybuilding blather, give this episode a shot.  I promise it will change your mind.  Plenty of intelligent, edgy discussion on healthcare reform, vaccination controversy, corrupt politicians and companies, nutrition, diseased citizenry — I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  This episode will get you jacked for a workout better than downing a double red-eye (known as a black-eye in some parts) while jammin’ to my boys Rage Against the Machine. A little old school RATM here, just to set the tone–

Nicely done, boys.  And remember, now — if you don’t turn on politics, politics will turn on you.

Anyway, after an hour’s long drive home from work, listening to Carl and Randy ranting it up all the while, I was good and spun; the ol’ Friday evening kick-back was not an option at this point.  I immediately jumped out of my work-a-day garb and into some workout attire, saddled-up the ol’ fixie and headed out.  I hit about 45-minutes worth of sprint intervals around G-Vegas and the ECU campus, finally winding up out at the track and field throws practice area (aka, the playground).  From there I performed the following:

  • Pull-up bar (straight bar) muscle-ups x 4
  • Elevated feet ring flyes x 10
  • 45 lb. plate toss* x 10

4 rounds, with very little in the way of a breather between rounds.

*For a demonstration of the plate toss, check out the athlete in this Jay Shroeder, Evo Sport clip, at 24 seconds in:

Now in my version, I used a heavier plate (a 45, in this case), and I also added a glute/hamstring kick (akin to what you’d get out of a kettlebell swing, or maybe a power snatch movement) to propel the plate as high as possible, while still maintaining “control” of the plate; i.e.,  I was able to catch the plate cleanly, at chest level, with hands just above the 9 and 3 position, and with the plate face remaining verticle to the ground (i.e., flat to me).  Believe me, snagging 45 lbs from a free-fall a few feet over your head x 10 reps will toast your shoulders and arms.  It’s good stuff.

Next up here on TTP, I’ll be ranting about the unholy beast that is the bill HR 2749, set to enter Senate debate shortly.  Want to maintain access to raw milk, grass-fed, free-range meat, organic produce, supplements and the like?  Well, it’s time to get your opposition on.  Well talk about it next up.  Until then, here’s a preview of this insidious bill, from The Proud Political Junkie’s Gazette, one of my favorite political/activist blogs.

In health,

Keith


A Couple of Interesting Finds

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

– Benjamin Franklin

I know many people are intrigued (as am I) by the protocol, and the science behind the protocol, underpinning Doug McGuff’s Body By Science methodology.  During my travels over the past couple of weeks, and, in rather serendipitous fashion, I came across both a podcast and a book which offer complementary information to Doug’s work, so I thought I’d pass them along to you.

First up is a Super Human Radio Show podcast.  In this episode (#325), host Carl  Lanore interviews Joshua Trentine of Overload Fitness.  The subject is Super Slow/one-set-to-failure training.  If you’re curious as to how this methodology plays-out in someone with a favorable genetic hand, check out both the interview and Joshua’s website.  Of course, you can always consider Mike Mentzer as the genetically gifted, one-set-to-failure gold standard.  I would suspect that Dorian Yates leans toward this methodology as well.  One thing to keep in mind here is that we’re talking about enhanced hypertrophy, and not necessarilly improving sproting prowess.  But here is where it all gets very interesting to me.

If you look at the Long duration Isolation methodology proposed by Jay Schroeder (here’s a nice encapsulation of the method, thanks to Kelly Baggett of Higer-Faster-Sports.com).    You’ll see that there’s not a whole lot of real world difference between it and the super-slow (or HIT) methodology.  I feel like there’s definitely something to these methods, but, just like any other method out there, neither is a “one size fits all” or holy grail of training.  For a specific time and for a specific purpose, though, one (or a combination) of these methods might just be the best fit.

I will give Schroeder this — if in fact he was responsible for Adam Archuleta’s training leading up to the 2001 draft, he did a marvelous job.  Archuleta was, in my opinion, someone of (only) decent natural ability who trained/pushed/willed himself into a professional career.  How much credit Jay Schroeder can take for this is anybody’s guess.  It does, though, make for interesting speculation and conversation.   I can say that having personally experimented with a Long Duration Isolation protocol, that performance of the methodology is, in fact, brutal.  Was I a better athlete for having performed the methodology?  Hard to tell.  To be honest, though, I didn’t perform this methodology in a vacuum, nor did I keep to it for long (it’s boring as all hell for one thing).  I can report that I didn’t loose anything, though, with my strength, power and speed having not slipped any that I could tell.

Schroeder contends that a muscle in isolation is not static, but is actually in a rapid fire/release pattern, and that it’s precisely the fast-twitch fibers that are targeted during the set.  Now it’s difficult to tell (because Schroeder never lets on, and, to be frank, he’s a bit evasive) whether he means from the get-go, or after the slow-twitch fibers have dropped out.  In either case, I do think that there is at least some overlap between these two methodologies that I’d love to see explored.

My next find is a book by the publishers of Scientific American titled, Building the Elite Athlete.   The book is actually a collection of past articles, but still, it’s an intriguing read.  I found the couple of articles on gene doping especially interesting.  And by the way, you can pick up used copies of this book cheap — I don’t think I paid more than 5 bucks for mine, postage included.  It’s a 5 bucks well spent.

In health,

Keith

A Quick and Easy Breakfast, and Some Good Listening

“What others think of us would be of little moment did it not, when known, so deeply tinge what we think of ourselves.”

Seneca

Not much at all to this number, just a little ripe avocado and some diced tomato to dress up an old standby.

An Oldie but Goodie

An Oldie but Goodie

But it’s oh so simple, fast, and Paleo-nutritious.  And just look at how big and orange those free-range egg yokes are!  And the bacon?  Applewood smoked, and taken from a pasture-raised pig.  What you don’t see is the small glass of raw, unpasteurized milk and small helping of raw goat cheese.

And speaking of “Paleo”, “free-range”, “pasture-raised”, “raw, unpasteurized dairy” and your continued, unimpeded access to all of these wonderful things, here are a few links for you you to check out over the weekend:

Carl Lanore, of Super Human Radio, has produced a fantastic run of very interesting interviews as of late.  Check ’em out:

First up, here’s a show that covers probably one of the most contentious and controversial topics within the Paleo community — dairy consumption.  My own take on the issue is that if you do consume dairy (1) make sure that it is only in the raw, unpasteurized form, and (2) let your own body and tolerance levels be your guide as to ingestion amounts.  Lactose intolerant?  Some people find that they can tolerate raw, unpasteurized dairy due to the fact that the host of natural good enzymes have not been destroyed in the pasteurization process.  Paleo purists will, of course, eschew dairy completely — and hey, that’s fine by me.  Yes, raw, unpasteurized dairy was never a calorie source for our Paleolithic ancestors.  However, the results of my research on the subject lead me to conclude that the positives of dairy consumption (protein bioavailability, good fats source, good enzyme source) far outweigh the negatives (small associated insulin surge), and so I add it, in small amounts, to my own diet.  I must re-emphasize, though, that I am speaking of raw, unpasteurized dairy here — leave the pasteurized stuff alone, as it’s no more than a nutrient and enzyme-dead food full of empty calories.

Next up, Carl interviews Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA), about the sham that is the proposed NAIS (National Animal Identification System) legislation.  This legislation, folks, will effectively eliminate your access to small-farm-raised livestock and poultry.  Listen to this show, and please, take heed…and take a stand!

And finally, last but certainly not least, Carl hosts Dr. Loren Cordain on the Super Human radio show.  Now I don’t necessarily agree with all of Dr. Cordain’s ideas — his being totally adverse to dairy consumption comes first to mind — but I’ve never been one to hold an intellectual grudge, or to toss the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  In my mind, the Paleo tent is big enough to cast shade over a whole host of Paleo themes, and I have no problem cherry-picking what I like and leaving behind what I don’t.

Enjoy!  And enjoy the weekend.

In health,

Keith

Vince Gironda, the “Iron Guru”, and Original Paleo Bodybuilder

“Truly I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.”

~ Luke 4:24

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Vince Gironda, the “Iron Guru”, check out this Wikapedia overview. The man was truly ahead of his time, a visionary in both nutritional thinking and  in sculpting an aesthetic physique. If you ever come across a copy of his book, Unleashing the Wild Physique, I’d most certainly snatch it up. No one, in my opinion, exceeded Vince Gironda’s  knowledge of how best to train specifically for physical aesthetics.  Vince’s forte lay not in the field of strength and conditioning, nor in the bettering of athletic performance per se; but then again, he made no such claims and never pretended to be anything other than he was.  His talent lay the in the art of  physique sculpting, and at that endeavor (and in his time), he was unequaled.  And he was was an advocate of the Paleo lifestyle long before such an idea was a movement.  He truly was idiosyncratic, and far, far ahead of his time.

And I say “in his time” because, only now — only and with the aid of scientifically directed empirical evidence — would I feel comfortable tweaking a scant few of his dictates.  For instance, I believe that the total rep range per exercise that he recommended was a bit high, and I’m a bit dubious about his penchant for dessicated liver and glandulars.  But check out some of the old photos of Vince here, at the Iron Guru site, and you’ll see that the man was the epitome of an anesthetic, drug-free physique and obviously knew what was right for his body.  And remember, the bulk of these photos are from the 1950’s.  Quite impressive, indeed.

In this Super Human Radio podcast, host Carl Lanore talks with Ron Kosloff (here’s a link to Ron’s site) about the Iron Guru.  Ron was a friend and business partner of Vince’s , and offers some interesting insight into someone who, from the outside looking in, might be tough to get a handle on.   This interview is full of interesting information and food for thought.  Once again, the notion of raw dairy consumption is raised (with Vince being a proponent).

I would have loved to have met the man in person.  It is an unfortunate travesty that the “fitness establishment” felt threatened by his unorthodox methods and saw fit to discredit, and, in some cases out-and-out silence him.   Listen to the show and you’ll see what I mean.

Late edit: I’d meant to add this link before I originally uploaded this post.  Better late than never, I suppose.  It’s a great T-Nation article by

In Health,

Keith

Bodybuilding Does Paleo

Just a quickie to let everyone in on this: give a listen to the Super Human Radio show via podcast here.  This episode has a definite bodybuilding lean to it, but the diet information given is straight-up, deckplate level, Paleo.  And Dave Palumbo knows his stuff, maybe not in a scientific way, but definately in an empirical way.  I can appreciate a guy who practices what he preaches.  Kinda reminds me of me, in that regard. 🙂  And no matter what you think of the “freak show” of  bodybuilding, the fact remains that these guys and gals have to be hyper aware of their diets and how any diet variation/manipulation will affect their appearance.  Anyway, this is a really good and informative show (albeit with quite a few ads).

In Health,

Keith