Monday, December 3, 2012

Association

via Seth Godin

"Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with. 
And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes. 
And the changes are what you become. "


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Problems

If you're experiencing a problem in life, work or training...

Stop, and take a look around you.

Sometimes the answer will present itself where you would least expect it.

If you look hard enough for an answer, you'll find it.

Just make sure you're solving for the right problem.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Strong First



Really excited for Pavel's new site Strong First, as its entirely inline with how we operate at Game Time Strength.

A brief summary of what it means to be Strong First:

You can be anything you want. A warrior. An athlete. A hard man or woman ready to handle whatever life throws at you. But you must be strong first.  
“Strength is the foundation for development of the rest of physical qualities,” stated Professor Leonid Matveev. It takes priority over all others: endurance, flexibility, etc...   
Science and experience have taught us that any athlete, even in ultra-endurance sports, who has not built a foundation of strength will fail to reach his or her potential. Strength has been compared to a glass that can be filled with other qualities; the larger the glass, the more endurance, sport skill, fat loss, etc. it can hold.


Monday, November 26, 2012

[GTS Mindset] Avoiding the false proxy via Seth Godin

Great Blog Post, Seth always inspires something new in my brain.

Avoiding the false proxy trap via Seth Godin

"Sometimes, we can't measure what we need, so we invent a proxy, something that's much easier to measure and stands in as an approximation. 
TV advertisers, for example, could never tell which viewers would be impacted by an ad, so instead, they measured how many people saw it. Or a model might not be able to measure beauty, but a bathroom scale was a handy stand in
A business person might choose cash in the bank as a measure of his success at his craft, and a book publisher, unable to easily figure out if the right people are engaging with a book, might rely instead on a rank on a single bestseller list. One last example: the non-profit that uses money raised as a proxy for difference made. 
You've already guessed the problem. Once you find the simple proxy and decide to make it go up, there are lots of available tactics that have nothing at all to do with improving the very thing you set out to achieve in the first place. When we fall in love with a proxy, we spend our time improving the proxy instead of focusing on our original (more important) goal instead.
I see people fall into this "false proxy" trap all the time... gauging all of their "success" in one measurement that is a small part of their overall goal.

  • Beauty and self confidence is not measured on a scale. 
  • Strength and self confidence is not measured by size of muscle.
  • Health and/or strength is not measured by body fat percentage or ability to view your abs.
  • Happiness is not based on how much money you have in the bank, net worth, etc.
I agree its smart to set specific milestones and objectives that will help you achieve your goals.  Track progress, observe measurement changes over time and use those measurements to make adjustments and continue progressing. But don't make the mistake of judging the entire success or failure of your end goal on missing a milestone.  It's possible you may have gained something else unexpected in the process. 



Monday, November 19, 2012

[GTS Mindset] Abs...



I liked this quote from Mark Rippetoe of Starting Strength...

Abs...
by Mark Rippetoe 

"In every weight room in all the countries of the world since the dawn of training with weights, the single biggest distraction from the actual task at hand has been abs. Or rather, an obsession with/ misunderstanding of the biomechanical role of/misunderstanding of the way to train abs. More people, including me, have wasted more time/incurred more injuries doing/gotten very little out of training the damn things than anything in the whole training repertoire except biceps."

Via Starting Strength

Since the basic nature of correct ab function is isometric, the exercises in which the abs perform this function will provide exercises for the abs as well. This may seem childishly apparent, yet virtually every strength coach adds extra concentric/eccentric ab work to the program anyway. The thinking must be that just squatting, deadlifting, pressing, cleaning, snatching, chins, and barbell curls – all of which involve trunk stabilization as a critical performance component – do not provide sufficient ab work by themselves. I disagree.”


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

[GTS Health] 4 Ways to get better sleep via Livestrong.com



I've written about or referenced the power of sleep several times before, but its worth repeating over and over.


I recently came across another awesome article on Sleep via Live Strong.

Here are a couple highlights below...

One third of our lives are spent sleeping.

  • "But those hours are far from unproductive. During sleep, our bodies repair muscles, consolidate memories, and release hormones and chemicals that regulate everything from energy to appetite."



Falling asleep easier.

  • "No computer, TV, or tablets in your bedroom. Their lights can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime and squash your oh-so important levels of melatonin. Winter says. Keep your bedroom cool, between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, to help your core body temperature drop, which helps induce sleepiness (your body temp drops slightly as you snooze anyway). "


Catnaps.


  • "They can help energize you midday, but shoot for around 20-30 minutes. No more. Otherwise you risk slipping into the deeper stages of sleep, which will make you wake up even groggier, Winter says. Don’t worry if you feel like you need a nap come 3 p.m. Siestas exist for good reason: Our circadian rhythms naturally make us sleepy at night and mid afternoon. Some brief shut-eye can up your body’s stash of cortisol, making you feel more alert, and even help reset your immune system, which can get thrown out of whack by fatigue, he says."


Waking up during Deep Sleep.


  • "Your body will go into overdrive, pumping out the stress hormone cortisol to help you stay awake and alert despite your less-than-depleted levels of adenosine, Winter says. Thank that hormone for your ability to stay sharp at work even after an all-nighter. Some people can even function better on a few hours of quality sleep than eight hours of restless sleep, according to Winter. “It keeps us artificially amped up,” he says. Plus, caffeine directly blocks the mounting effects of adenosine in your body throughout the day. Between the cortisol and caffeine, expect some jitters. And while one night won’t do too much harm, over time, high levels of cortisol can result in weight gain, hypertension, and heart disease, Winter says."

Waking up during REM Sleep (Dreams).


  • "You can expect 15.5% lower levels of the hormone leptin, which promotes feelings of satiety, and 14.9% higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which ups your hunger factor, according to research published in PLoS Medicine. Together, they result in one grumbly tummy. No wonder a 2012 study from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota found that people who sleep 6 hours and 40 minutes eat an average of 549 more calories a day than those who score the recommended 8 hours. "


Staying in bed.

  • "Even if your body is rested, staying in bed is always tempting. Light can help. Open your curtains and soak up at least 15 minutes of sunlight to help reset your internal biological clock and zap any leftover melatonin. But don’t hit snooze, Winter warns. It won’t score you enough uninterrupted sleep for you to get anything out of it, and you’ll probably feel even more tired when you do finally get up post-snooze"
  • "Sleeping more than nine hours a night has been linked to obesity, diabetes, headaches, and heart disease, Winter says."


How much sleep?

  • "The most important thing is to listen to your body, Winter says. The next time you’re on a long vacay, head to bed when you start to feel tired and wake up sans alarm. Do this for several days and then find the average number of hours you snoozed every night. That’s how much sleep you need on a daily basis to stay healthy, he says."
 
Catching up on sleep.


  • "And no matter how tired you are, don’t attempt to “catch up” on sleep. It will seriously screw with your sleep schedule. After even one day sleeping in, your body will have less time to accumulate adenosine and get you ready for bed."

Read the full article on Livestrong.com - 4 Ways to get Better Sleep

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

[GTS Q&A] sport stamina and endurance.

Will you be safe when they attack?


Every time I hear the word "stamina" or "endurance" I think of one of our triathlon athletes reminding us that when the zombie apocalypse hits, he'll be safe, while the rest of us strength guys will be attempting to one rep max a zombie or two before getting eaten alive.

Valid point... Especially when I glanced through the Strength vs Endurance post on the Zombie Survival Wiki.

Here's a fun, creative way to vary your "off day" endurance or stamina based training, make it cross over to your sport, and who knows, might even save your life some day in the apocalyptic future.


Question:

Dear GTS,

I've been playing hockey more, my legs have been getting bigger (more so than lifting it seems), but they still get gassed by the third period. I was thinking about incorporating the “tempo” squats into my workouts, to try and starve them of oxygen and see if that helps. Of course, without proper control, it will be difficult to tell if it’s not just hockey itself that improves my leg endurance, or the tempo squats…unless I notice a big jump right away...

thoughts?


Hockey Butt



Answer:

Hello Hockey Butt,

I didn't realize your moniker was a commonly used term until I read the description on this pair of lululemon shorts...

"these shorts are cut generously in the leg and in the rear (hello, hockey butt)"
I miss hockey so much, i wish i had more time to play.

Anyway, the tempo squats (slow tempo squatting with holds at various positions, keeping tension throughout) might be a good thing to experiment with in your training.

In addition, I used to incorporate some light "yogging" on my off rink days to help with my hockey stamina. The only difference is I would do a lot of change of direction type stuff.

For instance, every telephone pole, I'd randomly alternate between any or a combination of the following...
  • Vary the pace and tempo, just like sport (sometimes faster, sometimes slower)
  • A walk
  • A jog 
  • A lateral shuffle (side to side)
  • A Butt Kick jog
  • A High Knee or high step jog
  • A back pedal
  • A drop step
  • A sprint
  • A single or double leg bound (jump)
  • A Carioca step
  • A random zig zag like studder-step pattern
  • A spin move
  • Skipping
  • Lunging
  • Lateral Lunges
  • A Squat and 180 rotation into another squat
  • And other creative ways to break up the mundane run.
Made it kinda fun and not as boring since every 15-20 yards the pattern would change.  Remember this is an off day so keep the training light and 15-30 min in length.

Might be something to experiment with.  Have fun!

Heidi, celebrating a Zombie Free Life!


Friday, November 9, 2012

[GTS Mindset] Approach it the same



If you haven't read it yet, here's a great post via GTS Coach Joe Buys.

Approach it the same.

A few highlights:
  • In everything you do in life, regardless of if the task is "easy" or "hard" your approach should remain the same. 
  • Training Example:
    • You need to apply both the form and technicality of the lighter sets to your heavier sets. 
    • As well as, applying the force, tenacity and effort of the heavy sets to your "lighter" sets.
  • "Regardless of the circumstance, try your best to give everything you do the same effort. The best effort. EVERY time." 
  • "Initially you might have to focus on staying aware of putting your all into every task. But over time your best will no longer be added effort, it will become a habit (the same way NOT putting your all into everything became a habit). You will have then created a new set point for your life."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Excitement circa Jan 2009



This coming weekend the Game Time Strength Team will be heading to Las Vegas to compete in the International Powerlifting League (IPL) Benchpress & Deadlift World Championships.  As always, this is a very exciting time for us and is our last planned competition for the year.

It actually reminded me of a blog post I wrote almost 4 years ago, before I even started Game Time Strength.

I'm still truly thankful I have the opportunity to share a sport that I love and has given me so much, with so many people...

Excitement…
By Jason Kelske (Jan 2009)

About 2 years ago this time, i had made the new years resolution that I was going to train my a$$ off and compete in a Deadlift Competition just to see what happens. After college I remember getting really depressed. I no longer had a sport to train for… my workouts were repetitive, I was traveling constantly for work, and wasn’t able to join an intramural league in any sport… I desperately needed something to train for. I felt like the “normal” thing to do when you hit your quarter life crisis was to either run a marathon or triathlon… but to be honest neither interested me in the least. I’ve always loved being in the gym, lifting heavy and preparing myself for a sport… I’m not sure what made me choose deadlifting… I guess because my body was better built for that then the squat or bench…

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made… after that first competition in June 2007 I was hooked… I won Gold for my weight class with a deadlift around 560lbs… I was obsessed with hitting the 600lb mark… I trained hard for another 2 months and “accidentally” hit 633lbs, I actually thought i was lifting 589lbs… it was then that I learned how mental the sport was… its amazing what you’re capable of with a crowd cheering you on and adrenaline coursing through your veins…

Accidentally blowing my max out of the water,
when the bar was mis-loaded with 633 lbs. 

I’ve found something I love… I love having a purpose when I train, I love setting goals, and I love analyzing my weaknesses and figuring out how to turn them into strengths. Since my first competition I’ve competed in various Deadlift, Bench/Deadlifts, and Full Powerlifting competitions (Squat, Bench, and Deadlift) with a lot of success, and currently train with a Hall of Famer with more than 40 World Records…

So where does the “Excitement” fit in? Well, January 25th, I’ll be competing in the Deadlift Competition at the LA Fitness Expo and managed to convince my younger brother, Scott, and my buddy/one of my training partners, E$ to compete as well… I’ve been able to pass on something I love to them… I only hope they get the same enjoyment and rewards out of this sport that I have… Scott’s flying out from Virginia and E$ is flying down from Washington. Plus, as an added bonus, my Dad is flying out from NY to watch us all compete together.

As far as my current goals… I deadlifted 661lbs in Sept 08, and chasing that 700lb mark for this competition. There’s a California State Record and National Record of 710lb, so that’s obviously in the back of my mind as well. I’m excited for what this competition has in store, and even if I don’t hit the numbers i want, you can bet your ass I’ll be back in the gym killing myself to hit them next time.

It’s pretty crazy/meatheadish to think that standing up with a bunch of weight has given me so much enjoyment… but having something to look forward to after a crappy day of work, the challenge, the analysis, the people I’ve met and competed against, the records I strive to break, and the friendships I’ve made along the way have made picking up that weight extremely worth while…

The Referenced Competition Results:

1st Place finishes all around across our respective divisions.

And I didn't hit 700 lbs that meet... but just as I had mentioned in that post, I went straight back to the grind and eventually ended up with a 716 lb World Record in December of that year...


Monday, November 5, 2012

[GTS Q and A] Maxes and Training Percentages

Here's a little email Q&A from this past weekend regarding training percentages and progressing toward maxes.

Email Question:

Hey Jason.

Hope you're having a good weekend!
For some reason I don't think I ever asked about this. What are the general percentages we use when we train? Like for week 1 were at 65%, week 2 were at blah blah % and so on. Are we working off projected maxes for the next comp or our previous maxes? How much do you stick to hitting percentages vs just seeing how it goes? I hope that made sense….

Yours Truely,

Ms. Guns McGee



GTS Answer:

Dear Guns McGee,

We don't operate off of true percentages like most programs because your percentages are constantly changing based on where you are in the training cycle, how well rested you are, how new you are to the sport, your technique, etc.

Competition Day Max


Here's a few maxes you could potentially base your percentages on...
  • Competition Max 
    • Perhaps either suited or equipped, assuming a de-load week, possible weight loss for weigh in, assuming your nervous system is around a 9-10 out of 10. 
    • Adrenaline is going through the roof, maybe you're caffeinated up, and you have that do or die mindset with the goal of leaving it all on the platform. 
  • A End of Training Cycle Max 
    • Which may incorporate suit/equipment, perhaps you have a de-load week, maybe not... 
    • Doesn't assume any weight loss for a weigh in. 
    • Assuming your nervous system averages around 6-8 out of 10. 
    • You're primed to hit a peak number, and you may or may not be caffeinated up. 
  • A Day to Day Max 
    • Something you could hit any day of the week, without caffeine, little sleep, stressed, full training week of other exercises/training, etc. 
  • And the Various Permutations of each of the above: 
    • Use of equipment or not, perhaps completely raw, belt, other equipment. 
    • How rested are you?
    • What's your stress levels been like? Sleep?
    • Did you eat?
    • Training at night or in the morning? Did it change from day to day?
    • Do you have a form standard you're trying to maintain or does it not matter?
    • Using stimulants?
    • What's your mindset like?
    • You brand new to training? If so your maxes will skyrocket week to week.
End of Training Cycle Max

Think about it... assuming all equipment, bars, training environment remained equal...  let's compare these 3 weeks of someone that have been training for a while...
  • Week 1: Deadlifted 290 lbs for a max & missed 300 lbs. 
    • Conditions: trained at night, well fed, no stimulants, ok day.  
    • Attempts: 100, 150, 200, 250, 290, 300/miss
  • Week 2: Deadlifted 300 lbs for a max! 
    • Conditions: trained at night, caffeinated out of their mind, well fed, and amped. 
    • Attempts: 100, 150, 200, 250, 300.  
  • Week 3: Missed 305, 300, and 290 lbs in that order.  
    • Conditions: Trained in the morning, without caffeine, barely awake, and didn't sleep very well because they were stressed out about work. 
    • Attempts: 100, 150, 200, 250, 305/miss, 300/miss, 290/miss 

Did they get STRONGER from Week 1 - 2? 
  • Opinion 1: If you're comparing those two days, than yes, they were stronger in week 2.  
  • Opinion 2: Perhaps 290 was the perfect stimulus to allow their body to adapt to deadlift 300 lbs the following week.  
  • Opinion 3: Perhaps they were just as capable of hitting 300 lbs on week 1, but since they selected 290 first and it was such a grind, it burned them out to go any higher that day. Week 2 they were more selective in their weight choices and didn't burn themselves out with 290 first.

Did they get WEAKER from Week 2-3?

  • Opinion 1: If they are comparing those two days, than yes, they were weaker on week 3 than week 2.  
  • Opinion 2: Perhaps their body was still recovering from the 300 lbs the previous week that it wasn't capable of replicating or going beyond that number.
  • Opinion 3: I would argue they didn't lose their potential to lift 300 lbs, and who knows probably could have lifted even more assuming all of the conditions were perfect. But assuming all of the conditions were perfect, did they just get stronger or did they just create the perfect storm to lift a new max?

Working technique under his day to day max.


If had to theorize on the percentages we use at GTS, most of the time we are operating in the 70-90% range of your day to day max, and dip into low-mid 90's pre-competition prior to our de-load week.  If our day to day max increases... in theory our competition max should increase as well, assuming we do all the prep work required for competition day. 

I'll then use that training cycle max, previous competition Personal Records, as the perfect storm of conditions listed above (like stress, weight loss, etc.) to predict realistic POTENTIAL Max for Competition, which will help me select their attempts for competition.

Depending on the training cycle, exercise, etc we usually start off looking for a Clean/Perfect form 5-8RM, and we'll just progress in either weight or reps from that point each week depending on what the focus is on.  Percentages are great, but there's no perfect formula and for some it overcomplicates things.

In general, you want to leave your self lots of room to grow, provide a small but significant enough stimulus each week to force the body to adapt. If your number isn't increasing... we either did too much or too little.  And that is entirely dependent on the person, how they recover, their calories, hormones, and all of the conditions listed above.

In my opinion, when it comes to strength, unless you have an extensive amount of time to rest, keep your stress levels low, eat, massage therapist, etc... it's better to error on the side of less than more, as those other factors listed will play a huge role in your adaptation.

That said usually most people have competing goals... like they want to get strong, muscular, lose fat, more conditioned and get more explosive all at the same time. Which means they either want or have to do more work, which will slow or halt adaptation in other areas all together.

THE KEY is to pick a priority and cycle the other goals in and out as necessary.  Typically our GTS goals are focused on strength and movement, and hypertrophy/fat loss/conditioning get cycled in based on where we are at in the training cycle.

  • If strength is the priority 
    • Less volume is more. Our goal is to keep the nervous system primed and ready to lift relatively heavy week to week. (think end of a training cycle). This is why our accessory and conditioning work becomes less of a priority.
  • If movement is the priority 
    • Light/moderate weight work well and we use more repetition to condition patterns. 
    • Since our nervous system doesn't take as much of a hit we can typically incorporate other things like hypertrophy/fat loss/conditioning. (think beginning of a training cycle)
Matty C Pulling a new End of Cycle max using equipment.


Friday, November 2, 2012

[GTS Training] Sit ups, hip flexion and back pain.





By Jason Kelske CSCS & Jonathan Hodges PT, DPT, Master of the Universe

This blog post started as an email conversation between a good friend of mine (who also happens to be a brilliant physical therapist).  Both of us treat and aim to correct issues associated with lower back pain.    Let's take a look at a few things you could be doing right now that may be contributing to your lower back pain.


"Another clinical issue is the peril in training hip flexion power given the associated loading of the lumbar spine.  This is usually reserved for those who no longer have pain - training hip flexion often retards progress toward the elimination of pain. It is usually wise to build extensive spine stability prior to progressions into building hip power."

Translation:
If you have back pain,  go easy on the movements that involve lots of hip flexion. Not only for the reasons we're talking about here and below, but the most common cause of lumbar disc injury is loaded hip flexion (or forward flexion of the trunk, i.e. bending over). Just pay attention. If you have back pain with coughing or sneezing, time to make an appointment with your nearest MD, Chiro or physical therapist. Maybe in a different article, we'll make the argument that blown discs start off as psoas dysfunction (combined with lumbopelvic assymetries!). Now that you're sufficiently terrified to bend over and tie your shoes, read on.

Hip Flexion (think knee upwards)

Hip flexion = bringing your knee up to your chest.  The hip is flexing toward your abdomen.  One of the primary muscles responsible for hip flexion? The psoas. 

Janet Travell, a preeminent author in myofascial release dubbed this muscle the "Hidden Prankster". Additionally, the psoas stabilizes the spine to allow hip flexion by creating a stable platform to initiate the movement against.
The "Hidden Prankster". The psoas.

The issue... 
Although the psoas is responsible for flexing the hip, it also attaches to the lumbar spine. In fact, purely anatomically speaking, the psoas attaches to every lumbar vertebrae and even the lower thoracics compared to its relatively small insertion on the femur. There is no way to have good lumbopelvic function without good psoas lengthening. And sitting on your ass all day isn't helping this lengthening.

Prolonged sitting = tight psoas.
Hidden Dangers of the desk jockey.


"Caution is advised when training this muscle (the psoas) due to the substantial spine compression penalty that is imposed on the spine when the psoas is activated." 

Ruling out the internal structures of the spine, the psoas will create more back pain than almost any other muscle group, including the hamstrings. PSOAS is the Lumbar Spine. The Lumbar Spine is the Psoas. Finkle is Einhorn. Einhorn is Finkle. They cannot be separated and need to be thought of as a cohesive and complementary unit.

When are you performing hip flexion? Let's keep it clean here folks.

CONSTANTLY.

    • Sitting for 10-14 hours per day at the table, in the car, at your desk, etc.
      • That's a lot of static reps!
    • Biking.  Think spin class. Thanks for nothing LANCE!
      • That's thousands of reps of hip flexion.
    • Sit ups. 
      • If you're performing round back decline sit ups, odds are you're performing lots of reps, hitting those hip flexors hard and the abs very little.

     


    It would follow than that us spending the majority of the day in a contracted or shortened state and then on our lunch break, trying to initiate movements requiring full hip extension and functional LUMBAR mobility could be a recipe for disaster?? Ok, maybe not disaster but possible low back pain, poor glute activation and a subpar athletic performance.
      Perform 100's to 1000's of these... here comes the pain train!
      "When cadaver pig spines were placed in machines as part of a series of recent experiments and bent and flexed hundreds of times, the pigs’ spinal discs almost always ruptured, eventually." - Are Crunches worth the effort?


      Bring balance back to your body.

      In training, our job is to bring balance back to the body.  If you're performing thousands of reps in one direction, odds are you're going to suffer an overuse injury... in this case? Back pain, or perhaps inability to engage one of your most powerful muscle groups... the glutes!

      Ask anyone if they stretch and if they say yes (liars); whats the most commonly stretched muscle? Board says...hamstrings!! I'd say it's at least 4:1, nay 10:1, (outside of runners) of athletes who give equal time to the psoas AND hamstrings. Also, I encourage you to try to mix the word 'nay" into your daily conversation as often as possible.

      Your mission, if you choose to accept it... 

      Counter the thousands of reps you're performing daily by performing HIP EXTENSION (squeeze those butt cheeks all the way through!) based release exercises, movements and stretches in your training program. Next time, we'll talk about KStarr's (as demonstrated in Tim Ferriss' 4-Hr body) psoas release and why I think it's the best around. And we'll offer a few accoutrements to make it even better.


      Solid Mechanics/ Neutral Spine / Hip Extension!


      Monday, October 29, 2012

      [GTS Motivation] Live Bigger!

      Stay Focused


      7 Rules for Living a Bigger Life.
      (via Nate Green's 7 Rules For Living a Bigger Life)

      Loved this post so much I wanted to share a few highlights...
      • Feed your "Ideal Self" and starve your shadow.
      • Make your own life rules (your moral compass).
      • Plan your perfect day.
      • Live your perfect day.
      • Do one thing at a time (focus, keep the goal the goal).
      • Surround yourself with positive people who give a $hit (don't do it by yourself)
      • Pay it forward and help others do awesome stuff.

      Now get focused, and get doing... It's Game Time!



      Wednesday, October 24, 2012

      [GTS Mindset] Strength king in sports.



      Quote via Pavel and Dan John's Easy Strength

      " Strength will always be the king in sports.

      Russian scientists insist that it is strength that is the foundation of all other physical attributes. And don't let anyone baffle you with the argument that a weak fighter can beat a powerlifter. No one is suggesting that strength is all that matters.  You still need the skills, conditioning, and other attributes of a warrior. But everything else being equal, the stronger fighter shall prevail every time.

      A stale joke explains just how strong one needs to be:

      Two Russians were attacked by a bear and started running.  One of them yelled, "Why are we doing this?! You can't outrun a bear!"
      The other one ran even faster and yelled back: "I don't need to outrun the bear. I just need to outrun you!"

      A fighter does not need to be stronger than a powerlifter, just stronger than other fighters."


      Monday, October 22, 2012

      [GTS Motivation] it's impossible to turn back



      "The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back." -- Henry Rollins (Iron and the Soul)


      Tuesday, October 16, 2012

      [GTS Motivation] Arnold's Blueprint



      Very motivational video from ESPN Films that everyone can benefit from (not just bodybuilders).

      This short film chronicles Arnold's journey into bodybuilding, his decision to defy the Austrian military, ignore the critics in his life, and his confidence to follow each of his dreams.

      Monday, October 15, 2012

      [GTS Mindset] You never know who's watching



      I'm not a parent yet, but I can definitely say that whether you intend to or not, every action you make as a parent is internalized by your child. 

      You are establishing what is "normal" from eating, sleeping, activity, work/life balance, anxiety, etc. 

      I didn't realize until the last couple of years that many of the actions and decisions I make right now wasn't from being taught or told.  It was from years of seeing my parents "do the right thing", keeping their family first, picking up trash off the street, paying things forward, keeping life in balance, daily activity, etc. 

      My parents established what "normal" is for me, and I took it from there. 

      Parent or not... 

      • Lead by example. 
      • Spend time developing yourself.
      • Spend time developing others.
      • Have patience.
      • Inspire others to do good, by doing good yourself. 

      You never know who is watching... hopefully your actions rub off on others down the road. 



      Friday, October 12, 2012

      Lifting Standards: Visual and Mechanical


      Do Bad Backs or Bad Movement Patterns run in his family?

      One of the many reasons I encourage people to compete in a powerlifting competition, is that it legitimizes your gym lifts.  Competitions create visual lifting standards... but what about mechanical lifting standards?

      Wednesday, October 10, 2012

      Cardio Junky Jones




      "Cardio" Junky?  Jones? 
      (We add "Jones" to the end of just about everything now... try it, its fun...)


      Friday, October 5, 2012

      A more complete view - The perfect storm for fat gain



      Update 11.1.12 - added link and quote on sleep.

      "I used to be able to get away with eating whatever I want when I was younger.  I just need to exercise more."

      It's not exactly accurate to say that you gained weight just because you stopped working out. There are a host of other factors.

      What's the real reason you gained weight?

      Hormones.

      Monday, October 1, 2012

      Do your part... It's Contagious



      Your mood is contagious.

      When someone walks into the room all Grumplstiltskin-like, people take notice, and it impacts the energy/mood of everyone in that room.

      When someone walks into a room and has a smile on their face and a skip to their step it elevates the energy/mood in that room.

      Regardless of if you want it to or not, your mood impacts everyone around you... your training partners, kids, co-workers, spouse, even people you don't know.

      "Obviously, a good experience might make us smile, but less obviously, the physical act of smiling can change our biochemistry and hence our mood." - Via The Chair 

      Do your part... 
      • Be responsible for the energy you bring into a room (gym, home, office).
      • Don't be Negatron. Leave your negative energy outside. 
      • Bring a smile and a positive energy with you.
      • Until it becomes a habit, fake it until you make it

      The End. Go back to pursuing excellence. 




      Wednesday, September 26, 2012

      great workout, I'm so sore!

      "I had such a great workout! I'm so sore!"



      <That's my "Snarls Barkley" Face...>

      Soreness DOES NOT equal "Great Workout"!

      What soreness typically indicates:
      • Added variety in workout (new stimulus = new muscles worked = soreness)
      • Poor recovery... think post workout nutrition, sleep, stress, etc.
      • Too much work?... believe it or not there's a point of diminishing returns when it comes to training.
      • Pain walking up and down stairs. 
      What soreness DOES NOT indicate:
      • "Great Workout"
      • Progress
      • Muscle
      • Awesomeness
      • Job Promotion
      I liked this quote from Pavel via Power to the People...
      "Never interpret soreness or stiffness as signs of progress. And do not get hung up in variety for variety's sake.  Stick to the basics... It is possible to achieve spectacular results with a very abbreviated program, as long as one pays attention to details..."

      Capisce? Cool. Ready, break! <group hand clap>

      Tuesday, September 25, 2012

      Surround yourself...



      "Surround yourself with people, information and things that will move you toward the place you wish to be, not take you further from it."  - Via Joe Buys/Dream Impossible


      Monday, September 17, 2012

      Wins and Improvements



      I contribute a huge part of my success in training, life and business to my constant evaluation of Wins and Improvements on both a Macro and Micro Level.

      Quick Breakdown of Wins & Improvements Evaluation

      • Pick something you're working towards... perhaps its a life change, exercise, business, etc.
      • Wins
        • What went or worked well?
      • Improvements:
        • What are you going to change or work on for the next day? week? attempt?
      Notes:
      • Keep the evaluation short and sweet.
      • For daily, weekly, monthly changes... Write it down.
      • You can write down as many improvements as you want, but focus on 1-2 things at a time.  Don't get lost in improving everything at once... that can be extremely overwhelming.


      Tuesday, September 11, 2012

      The man who challenged OZ



      My buddy Paul got me hooked on New York Times Best Selling Author Gary Taubes.  Paul has graciously offered to write a post on the topic and some of his research for the GTS blog which I'll be posting later this week.  But I wanted to introduce the rest of you to Gary Taubes and his book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It.

      Coach Joe dug through the interweb archives and sent me a few links of Gary's appearance on Dr. Oz where he was dubbed the "The Man who thinks everything Dr. Oz says is wrong." Kinda a long nick name... I would have preferred something like... T-Bone Malone or something...