Monday’s Strength Lesson: Knowing when to call it quits is just as important as knowing when to push yourself harder. In fact, it takes a very strong-minded individual to objectively analyze how they feel and reduce training intensity if need be.
Too often I see trainee’s racking up injury after injury, trying to push through each one despite the obvious signs that they need to take a break.
Interestingly, if their friend/family/client presented with the exact same symptoms they would unquestionably tell them to lay off or take things easy. For themselves, however, they let things slide and say things like…”I can push through it.”
Want to test your true strength? Learn to objectively analyze your own training. Do that and watch your results improve far beyond your wildest dreams.
Tuesday’s Strength Lesson: Just because you don’t “feel it” doesn’t mean it’s not working.
Often times I’ll hear things like “I don’t feel it! It’s not burning/stretching/tightening/etc…this exercise just isn’t working!”
This could be for big-bang exercises like Squats and Deadlifts, or even for smaller drills like Wall Slides and Prone Y’s.
While you will “feel” many exercises, it’s important to remember that not every movement needs to feel like a maximal contraction or stretch.
To illustrate, last night Hannah was doing Goodmornings after her 280lbs Deadlift (New PR!!!). Keep in mind, Hannah is an extremely mobile athlete.
While many lifters “feel” Goodmornings by noting the drastic stretch in their hamstrings, Hannah was a bit concerned because she didn’t feel the oft-noted stretch.
“I feel like I’m doing it wrong…” she’d say. “I don’t feel like I’m stretching my hamstrings at all.”
After a quick technique check it was obvious that Hannah was using perfect form. Even with a basic knowledge of human anatomy it’d be easy to see that she was getting a massive stretch in her hamstrings.
So why couldn’t she feel the drastic stretch noted by so many lifters? Could be for a variety of reasons, but I’d guess it has to do with her extreme flexibility. Since she is already so mobile (especially in her hamstrings) it would take quite a large ROM for her to even begin to feel a stretch.
Keep in mind, though, just because she didn’t “feel it” in the same way as many lifters, doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Guaranteed she still reaps all the same benefits of the lift and, with consistent practice, will be able to enhance her overall performance.
Wednesday’s Strength Lesson: Make your Deadlift safer and more efficient by taking the slack out of the bar.
“Taking the slack out” is one of the more challenging concepts to understand when learning how to Deadlift.
More often than not, lifters will attempt to jerk the weight off the ground which is not only unsafe but extremely inefficient.
Instead, learning how to take the slack out will allow you to save your back, elbows, and shoulders while simultaneously improving overall Deadlift performance.
Want to increase your Deadlift? Learn how to take the slack out of the bar in this short video!
Thursday’s Strength Lesson: Don’t try to exercise your way to fat loss. Instead, eat your way to fat loss.
Often times individuals assume that in order to shed some pounds they need to go to the gym every single day and push themselves to “the limit.”
They believe that doing so will give them the body they’ve always wanted.
While exercising can obviously help with fat loss (especially during the maintenance of a lower body composition) it’s important to understand that *exercise alone will not yield the best results.*
In fact, in my experience, I’ve found that proper nutrition will help leaps and bounds more than exercise. Granted, both are better than one, but – given the choice – nutrition is always #1.
The old adage “abs are made in the kitchen” still rings true. This doesn’t mean you need to eat celery sticks and rice cakes all day, but it does mean that you should have a basic understanding of what constitutes optimal nutrition for *you!*
Friday’s Strength Lesson: “It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more ‘manhood’ to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”