I’ve got a great installment of The Week In Review lined up for you but, before I get into it, I want to ask you a quick question.
Over the past few years I’ve avoided taking naps like the plague. I figured napping was a waste of time and I would be better suited downing another cup of coffee and plowing on through my fatigue in the name of productivity.
Over the last week, however, I chose to experiment and took two naps on separate days. Interestingly, I found that my productivity improved as I was able to focus more intently following the nap than I would have if I had never taken it.
In short, I’m wondering if you take naps on a regular basis and if they help to improve your productivity. I’m truly interested in your answers so I’ve made a brief 6-question survey that you can finish in less than 1-minute.
If enough people take the survey I’ll publish the results in a future post to provide some insight and possibly give you some ideas to help improve your own productivity.
To take the quick 6-question survey, click the link below!
Monday’s Strength Lesson: You don’t need to scream, curse, get slapped in the face, or otherwise freak out in order to be strong.
In fact, I believe that getting all hyped up and tweaking out prior to a lift is more likely going to HINDER your performance.
This past weekend, The UD Powerlifting team and I competed in our final meet of the year. While other competitors were busy snorting ammonia, getting slapped in the face, and cursing at the barbell (with some shocking hatred), The UD Powerlifting Team was laughing, telling jokes, and ENJOYING every moment of the meet.
Believe it or not, prior to every lift Chaz would actually tell a joke. For example, as he walked onto the stage to take his 480lbs Deadlift attempt (he got it), he said to me:
“So, two fish are in a tank. One looks at the other and says…’are you sure you know how to drive this thing?'”
With a huge smile on his face and without another word, Chaz stepped up to the bar and hit 480lbs with ease.
We don’t train to be angry assholes that freak out if we miss a lift.
We train because we LOVE to train.
Enjoy yourself and have some fun. Live a little. What’s life without a bit of laughter, huh?
Now go lift some heavy weight…but HAVE FUN while you do it
Tuesday’s Strength Lesson: Have trouble locking out your Deadlift? Be like Ricky Bobby. Go fast!
In other words…
Get the bar off the floor as fast as you possibly can.
Sure, you can try strengthening the lockout through various end-range movements such as rack pulls – and that may be beneficial – but learning how to quickly accelerate the bar off the floor is unquestionably the best thing you can do for your lockout.
Simple: The faster the bar moves, the less force you’ll need to apply throughout the lift. If you can accelerate the bar IMMEDIATELY and get it passed your knees while moving extremely fast, the lockout will be 10x easier.
Want to see what I mean? Take a look at my most recent 485lbs Deadlift and watch how quickly I get the bar off the floor.
My 485lbs Sumo Deadlift
Had I lifted the bar less quickly, by the time it got to lockout I would have been much more taxed and could have missed the lift.
However, because I focused on moving it *as quickly as possible* off the floor, by the time I got it to lockout I had no problem pushing my hips through.
Moral of the story? Be like Ricky Bobby. Go fast!
Wednesday’s Strength Lesson: When benching do your shoulders (or one shoulder) uncontrollably shrug up towards your ears? If yes, that’s not only extremely inefficient but could also be a recipe for injury. Here’s how to fix it:
1) Roll the upper traps & levator scapula out! Specifically, get a lacrosse or baseball and give yourself a [hard] self-massage on your upper traps and levator scap. Do this for about 30-60seconds prior to strength training (i.e. during the warm-up) and you can even incorporate it in between sets of benching if the problem persists.
2) Consciously cue your shoulders down & back! In other words…just think about it! Stop being lazy and actively think about forcing your shoulders down & away from your ears throughout the entire movement.
Now get off Facebook and go Bench!
Thursday’s Strength Lesson: Looking for a challenging new exercise to improve health and performance?
Enter The Suitcase Deadlift
One of my all-time favorite drills, The Suitcase Deadlift can be performed with Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Barbells, and numerous other implements making it one of the most versatile exercises around.
Aside from the health and performance benefits, like all Deadlifting variations it will help to build a bodacious (yea, I said it) bootay while simultaneously improving posture.
Big bootay and better posture? Yup, it’s a damn good drill. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
Friday’s Strength Lesson: “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”