Tip of the Week Tip: Stop obsessively counting!
The overquantification syndrome
One of the worst fitness trends is this ridiculous over-quantification of everything. The key word is "over" - repetition tempo, macronutrients, calorie reduction, resting by the clock, FitPal, Fitbit, etc. I always remind people of the following Einstein quote, "Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted."
The human body will always be much more than a bunch of showy mathematical equations. Things like regeneration needs, maximum vs. optimal work capacity, internal biochemical and hormonal environment, refeeds to replenish glycogen stores and optimize metabolism - these quantitative elements cannot be packed into numbers. They can only be estimated and observed.
Check out Pumping Iron
On the training front, you should check out Pumping Iron from the seventies. Pay attention to the workout sequences. What do you see and what don't you see?
Back before the days of growth hormone and insulin bloated bellies, these world class bodies were built with junky equipment and careful attention to biofeedback. What you won't see in Pumping Iron is anyone practicing repetition tempo nonsense, pausing by the clock, or pausing between sets to write a bunch of numbers in their workout log.
No more neurotic calorie counting?
As for dieting, the National Weight Control Registry monitors people who have lost a substantial amount of weight and have been able to maintain their new weight for an extended period of time. People are looking for common factors in their success. It has been found that calorie counting is not one of the primary factors in losing weight and keeping it off. General lifestyle factors such as regular meals and eating breakfast play a bigger role.
Recently, a study from the University of Pittsburgh showed that tracking tools like Fitbit did not help people lose weight compared to other people who had not used these tools.
The fact is that would-be gurus in the fitness industry love to dazzle people with fancy forms and mathematical equations. They love to play doctor, and they take this way too far. The truth? Most of these quantifiers don't offer any real control - they give an illusion of control - often without any relevant context.
The wisdom of your own body
The problem is that the more effort you put into in-out regulations, the more you lose the ability to listen to your body's wisdom.
The over-quantification syndrome is the pretense of expertise. Real expertise is far more sophisticated. You can never put numbers on the path to a satisfying relationship with your body.
Tip: Avoid this stupid training trend
It's not CrossFit. It's not HIIT. It's an ugly mixture of the two. And it needs to go away.
From TC Luoma
CrossShitty training sessions
A few years ago, CrossFit and HIIT had a date and drank a lot of fermented Paleo drinks. A month later - because CrossFit and HIIT make people do everything faster and sweatier - a bastard with webbed feet was born. He was so ugly and horrible that they didn't even give him a name.
It is neither CrossFit nor HIIT
I describe these offspring - or more accurately, what their offspring does - as "CrossShitty" workouts, as they are neither CrossFit nor HIIT. You've probably never heard the term, but you've almost certainly seen someone do it at your gym.
CrossShitty workouts consist of short rest intervals, random exercises (but for some inexplicable reason they always include that stupid Battle Ropes), ass...pulled repetition ranges, heavy breathing, lots of sweat, and an inexplicable aroma of smugness, as if heart palpitations and insane sweating are the only factors that make a good workout.
You rarely use significant weights and never do anything really heavy. It's kind of like CrossFit but without the Olympic weightlifting exercises or squats or deadlifts or any attempt to fulfill the ten recognized fitness domains. And it's also kind of like HIIT but there are no periods of active recovery. It's just frantic, neurosis-driven, nonstop activity with a puzzling, superior attitude.
Part of me understands these exercisers. It goes back to the early days of fitness, when millions of crazy Americans did their naked push-ups and jumping jacks in the sixties to get the old blood pumping.
Part of it was for health and part of it was because of guilt for being suits who didn't have calluses on their hands and made their money off the sweat of blue-collar workers.
Maybe it's the same with these people today, but they annoy me because the weirdos who do CrossShitty workouts block multiple pieces of equipment in non-CrossFit gyms and occupy large territories like the Nazis in 1941. They blitzkrieg from station to station, obstructing others and strangling women and children with their flailing Battling Ropes.
Get lost, you CrosShitty people
Open your own gyms or pick a discipline and stick with it - be it CrossFit, legitimate HIIT, or science and technology-based powerlifting or bodybuilding.
Tip: Train Tabletop Rows
Stop performing classic barbell rowing with suboptimal form. Use this supportive exercise, find your mistakes in the form of the exercise execution and then go back to heavy rowing.
By Joel Seedman
Most exercisers perform barbell rowing with poor form. Use this exercise to correct this.
Tabletop Rows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj6_Jq_SEAA
Tabletop Rows is like regular bent-over rowing with a barbell, the difference being that a workout partner places one or two weight plates on the middle of your back.
What are the benefits of Tabletop Rows?
- This variation will help you assume a horizontal, almost parallel to the floor, pre-bent position.
- It improves your form of exercise execution, as your back must maintain a natural, slightly convex position, otherwise the weight plates would fall off.
- Tabletop Rows eliminate jerky movements and excessive momentum, as this too would cause the weight discs to fall off.
- Proprioceptive feedback from the latissimus, mid-back and upper back is increased. The weight plate placed on your body provides a sensory load, which helps you to have a better kinetic awareness of the activation of your back and a correct posture.
- There will be a greater direct overload of the entire posterior muscle chain including the upper back, lower back, gluteus and leg flexors, without greater fatigue of the arms and grip muscles. As a result, your back muscles will give up before your arm muscles.
- This exercise prevents you from using excessive range of motion, as the elbows and shoulder blades will bump against the weight plates, causing them to shift on your back if the movement is performed too far.
- There is an immediate improvement in the strength of the lower back. This exercise represents a combination of Romanian deadlift and good-mornings, in terms of weight distribution with direct tension on the back extensors.
Tip: Do not take painkillers for sore muscles
Ibuprofen, aspirin and other widely used painkillers inhibit muscle growth. Here's what you should do instead.
From TC Luoma
Are painkillers growth killers?
Everyone who trains hard is tempted from time to time to reach for the medications in their medicine cabinet to get some pharmaceutical pain relief. But even though many of these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can prevent or reduce the onset of painful muscle soreness, they will also inhibit your muscle growth. They do this because they affect the action of a couple of enzymes known as COX 1 and COX 2, which can negatively impact muscle protein synthesis, muscle protein metabolism, and other cellular processes that are critical for growth adaptations in response to your training.
What are the alternatives?
A compound called curcumin has pain-relieving effects and has no inhibitory effects on your muscle growth. As it turns out, curcumin is only a weak inhibitor of COX1 and COX2, with studies showing that 400 mg of curcumin can be as effective as 1,000 mg of the painkiller acetaminophen.
Curcumin acts through completely different pathways than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It inhibits inflammation and pain by inhibiting a number of molecules including phospholipase, lipooxygenase, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, prostaglandins, monocyte chemoattractant protein, interferon-inducible protein, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-12. Regardless of all these inhibitory effects, curcumin does not affect muscle growth.
Does curcumin help with other types of pain?
Curcumin is not only particularly effective in relieving sore muscles, but it is also good for relieving arthritis pain and post-surgical pain, and high doses can be taken over a long period of time.
A study of 25 subjects found that 8,000 mg of curcumin per day for a 3-month period produced no adverse side effects. Of course, you don't need dosages in this range to relieve pain. The standard dosage is 500 mg. It can take 2 hours for curcumin to take effect, and the maximum effect occurs after 4 hours, while the total duration of action is about 12 hours.
Tip: listeners to play around - eat for growths
Can you build up 30 pounds within 10 months. Here's what one expert did.
By Tony Gentilcore
What is the biggest mistake beginners make? Well, almost everyone makes the same mistake in the beginning: not understanding how much you REALLY need to eat to build mass.
Whenever I meet a beginner who whines about not being able to build muscle mass even though he "eats all day long," I ask him a simple question: "What did you eat for breakfast this morning?" I usually get nothing but cricket chirps in response. The first few weeks of training are a strange phenomenon, as it's not uncommon to see rapid strength gains. I've seen exercisers double their squat and deadlift strength within a few weeks due to neural adaptations.
Even though for some this means an increase from 40 to 80 kilos, it is still impressive to see how well the body can adapt. However, many are frustrated when they do not immediately see changes in the mirror.
10 months real food
I worked out with weights throughout my high school and college years and was still too shy to take my shirt off at the beach. It wasn't until I was 25 that I saw changes in my body due to a massive change in my diet.
I decided to do an experiment and gave myself a 10 month window. My weight went from 82 to 95 kilos. During this phase, a typical day looked like this:
- 1 to 2 cups oatmeal
- An omelet of 5 eggs with cheese and spinach
- 200-250 grams of beef
Before training (early afternoon)
During the training
- An EAA intra-workout supplement
First meal after training:
- 3 cups cereal with a scoop of whey protein
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 apple
Second meal after training:
- 2 to 3 servings pasta
Third meal after training:
- 2 cups oatmeal
Rest of the day:
- I forced myself to eat some more at 7:00 or 8:00 pm.
My calorie intake differed depending on whether it was a workout day or a non-workout day to keep my body composition in check. It took me a while to work my way up to those amounts, but that was what needed to be done.
Every time I have a beginner tell me they can't build muscle mass, it's almost always because they're not having a serious conversation with themselves about their food intake. The body cannot build muscle from nothing
By Scott Abel