Syatt Fitness: The Week In Review (6/28/2013)

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As I sip on today’s first cup of coffee I can’t help but get excited about this weekend.

Two amazing young women, Hannah and Ashley, from The University of Delaware Powerlifting Team are travelling up to Boston right now in order to compete in their first ever Powerlifting meets! Both have worked extraordinarily hard to achieve their strength goals over the past 6 months so I’m beyond excited to watch their performances.

I hope you have an amazing weekend and enjoy the content provided in this edition of The Week in Review.

Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal.

-J

Daily Strength Lesson’s

Monday’s Strength Lesson: Aim to improve by 1% every day and eventually you will succeed.

People often become overwhelmed and doubt their abilities to ever achieve their goals as they have so much to accomplish. They see so many obstacles and want to overcome all of them in a very short amount of time. Unfortunately, though, that’s neither realistic nor practical. It will undoubtedly take time, patience, and persistence to finish each task.

For that reason, aim to improve by 1% every single day. Not 10%, 30% or 50%. Just 1%. Every day. Do at least 1 thing every day to help you achieve your goals. It could be as simple as reading for 20 minutes, planning your training routine, or even taking a break and giving yourself a moment to relax.

1% may not seem like a lot but small, consistent, and deliberate efforts will eventually lead to massive success.

Tuesday’s Strength Lesson: Strength Lesson: Nutrition is possibly the most underrated, albeit most important, variable for improving performance.

Following a well designed training routine is obviously an integral aspect of making consistent progress but people often forget about the large role nutrition plays in performance enhancement.

Our nutrition not only influences how we feel on any given day (and consequently how we perform), but it also impacts our ability to recover from stress such as strength training. In short, better nutrition will lead to better training sessions as well as enhanced rest/recovery.

By all means design and follow the best training program possible, but remember that it won’t mean squat (see what I did there?) if you don’t fuel yourself sufficiently.

As a side note, during the summer I often see trainees performing worse because they aren’t diligent about drinking enough fluids. Bring water with you to the gym and *constantly* re-hydrate!

Wednesday’s Strength Lesson: Strength Lesson: If you think the Bench Press is solely an “upper body” lift then you aren’t doing it properly.

When Benching for maximal strength the Bench Press should be a full body movement. Tighten everything in your body, from your toes all the way to your scalp, and *use your legs* to generate tension, control the bar, reduce the ROM, and help you lift more weight.

Not sure how to use leg drive in the Bench Press? Watch THIS VIDEO!

Thursday’s Strength Lesson: Strength Lesson: Learning how to strain is a skill-set of its own and, used appropriately, can drastically help to improve strength and performance.

When lifting heavy(er) weights that are difficult to budge, it’s often our first instinct to drop the weight to avoid getting injured. When training with near maximal weights, however, it’s important to learn how to fight through the tough spots while maintaining proper technique.

Once you’re comfortable with your form and you’ve achieved a solid base of strength, force yourself to strain through heavy weights. Your body will often want you to bail and drop the weights; don’t listen to it. Fight your way through and finish the lift.

If your form starts to break and the lift becomes too dangerous then by all means allow your spotters to take the weight. That being said, times like those should be few and far between as most of the time you should be capable of maintaining a good position while fighting to finish the lift.

Friday’s Strength Lesson: Strength Lesson: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Recommended Reading

  1. Correcting Bad Posture: Are Deadlifts Enough? via Eric Cressey
  2. Westside Wisdom via Louie Simmons
  3. How It All Started – Teenage Powerlifting via Dave Tate
  4. An Interview with Sports Scientist, Dr. Natlia Verkhoshansky via Bret Contreras
  5. Do You Really Need a Lifting Belt?  via Mike Robertson
  6. Why I Recommend Strength Training and No Cardio via Dick Talents
  7. What You Wear to the Gym Matters via David Dellanave
  8. 4 Tips for Bigger Traps via Jason Ferruggia
  9. For Men: The Busy Man’s Guide to Getting in Shape via Precision Nutrition
  10. 4 Reasons You Might Not Need to Deload via Eric Cressey
  11. Understanding the Bilateral Deficit via Kevin Neeld
  12. Training for Maximum Muscle Growth Explained via Bret Contreras
  13. Get Primed for Primal Move via Jen Sinkler
  14. The Truth About Overhead Pressing via Tony Gentilcore
  15. You NEED Long Duration, Low Intensity Cardio via Mike Robertson