I Told You I’d Do It

Today is a happy day. Why might you ask is today of all days a happy and sunshine-filled joyous day of wonderment?? Check it:

Hells yeah, I gots me a 405 deadlift baybay!!!

After shooting for this goal since roughly September, and having the occasional set back, like in December when something felt like it popped at 385, it finally happened. There’s nothing like the sense of accomplishing a goal to make you feel a bit lighter in your step, like you just got a check in the mail, or had a really, really, really good bowel movement. That kinda satisfied feeling.

So while I’d love to say that this was a perfect example of my massive manhood crushing this massive weight, I’m always aware that there’s room for improvement. That being said, I’d like to invite anyone out there with some serious critical analysis skills to breakdown the lift and let me know if there are ways I can improve it. I have my theories, but I want to get more than one head to bang this one around. I have a new goal of shooting for 500 within the next year. Why? Why not? What else am I doing with my life? Getting a tan? Challenging Charlie Sheen to a witty-one-liner contest? Appearing in underwear ads?

 

Until the wedding in August, I’m planning to keep working on dropping serious weight, and get my body fat to around 10% or so, but after that, I’m going to make a big effort to hit 500 pounds for a deadlift. It may take a few months, it may take a full year, but here’s hoping it happens eventually, cuz you know, that would be pretty awesome!!

I wanted to make sure this goal was one that I hit, and it’s pretty good timing that earlier this week I put out a few posts HERE and HERE on goal setting and making it emotional. A lot of goal setting psychology components that seriously hit the nail on the head can be found in the Daniel Pink book Drive: The Suprising Truth About what Motivates Us

After spending a lot of time in motivational psychology classes and reading lots of different books on the subject, this is probably hands down one of the most comprehensive and direct books on the subject I’ve read, so it should definitely go on your book shelf.

As a final note, I’m having some upgrades done to the site to make it more pretty and functional. Essentially WordPress told me in no uncertain terms that if I wanted to make a buck through the interwebz, then I would have to get off the WordPress.com bandwagon and jump ship to WordPress.org. While I’m sure it’s going to give me some cool new toys to play with and ways to make this site more functional, I liked the free-ness of this current site. But who knows what the new hotness will bring. Will it make you want to run outside and do a happy dance naked on your front lawn from its’ sheer fantasticness? Possibly. Will it make you want to drop-kick a puppy in the face to contain the awesomeification? Highly likely. Will it have absolutely no impact on how you live your daily life and make you want o simply slow-clap a pretty pretty picture once in a while? Most definitely. Have a great weekend everybody!!

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Best Exercises You Could Ever Do: Barbell Front Squats

So the more I think about squats, the more I’m starting to like everything about front squats. I mean, walk into any kind of gym and you’ll see everyone and their dog performing partial range of motion back squats on the balls of their feet with pelvic rolls and way too much weight to make them look cool in front of all the other kids with 13 inch calves. You’ll rarely see anyone using any appreciable weight on a front squat where their calves are becoming closely acquainted with their hamstrings, and where they’re not shaking and shuddering all over the place.

Mike Boyle’s a huge believer in the power of the front squat, combined with the reduced shoulder, back, and neck trauma, it means it’s safer overall, which is something all strength coaches and personal trainers have to be paranoid about and make sure their clients stay injury-free. An injured client isn’t training, which means income goes down, which means you’re an idiot for programming a dangerous program for a client who wasn’t ready for it. But I digress, let’s check out the Front Squat

Why it’s better than Back Squats:

For dudes like me with low back injuries, using a front squat variation makes sense as it reduces the horizontal force arm distance from the axis of rotation in the L3-5 region and the resistance point at the shoulders. The axis of rotation at the hip joint and the center of gravity are closer together, which limits the amount of torque being applied to the spine and reduces any kind of shear force it will feel, and requires the exerciser to stand more upright than leaning forward, again reducing stress on the low back.

Add to that the fact that most of the real-world things we’ll have to push with our legs will be in front of us instead of behind us, and it makes front squats a more “functional” exercise for developing strength. Most people can find a way to cheat a back squat to use their hips more than their quads, which means it won’t be as complete of a leg developer as a front squat, and since most people out there tend to have weaker quads it makes sense to train them if you want them to get stronger.

Additionally, if the individual has to unload the bar because they can’t lift the weight (pussy) they have a better option to unload it than a back squat in that they can simply drop that shit into the rack, swear, kick a water bottle, and try it again with a little less weight. On a back squat, you get something like this:

How to Make this Happen:

First, a lot of people just simply don’t have the shoulder flexibility to get into this position with any kind of weight on the bar, so most people will have to start with an unweighted bar, and try to perform the squat without actually touching the bar. This will make the person consciously aware of where the bar is and how to position their shoulders to keep it upright. Once they can do this, they can think about adding some weight to the bar and hanging on to that sumbitch.

The three common grip types out there are the conventional clean grip, where the bar lands on the shoulders in the same grip as when performing a power clean. This can be hard on the wrists and elbows, as the position is tricky to get into. Another common method of gripping the bar is through a cross grip, where the exerciser essentially mimes choking themselves, while holding the bar on their shoulders. This is not one of my favorites, as it makes you look silly in the gym, plus the additional pressure through your carotid artery and brachial plexus can result in some less than happy endings. I prefer the front hook grip, shown in the first video, as it’s the easiest to use, less pressure on the wrists and elbows, and reduces pressure on the subclavian structures that are kind of a big deal. Essentially, use your thumb and index finger to form a mini-triangle and push the bar to hold it on your shoulders.

Now that you have a grip on the bar, take a slightly wider than shoulder width stance, and drop it like it’s hot.

In other words, lower down as far as possible, and drive up through the heels and mid foot, trying to keep your foot solid on the ground. I talked about squatting through the heels being the wrong way to describe squats HERE, so make sure you keep your toes dug into the ground to make sure you’re not resembling a pirate balancing on a peg-leg.

Coaching Cues:

Keep the back straight and the abs tight so that you resist flexing forward, as the weight on your shoulder will want to pull you down in front like Snooki on a bender and looking for a new guido. Depth is the goal, and the knees should go past the toes as long as the heels don’t lift off the floor. Now get in there and throw some weights around!!!

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How to Achieve Goals 100% of the Time Part Two

So in case you missed it, part one of this little series is right over HERE.

One component we touched on was how popular advertising plays on the concepts of appealing to people on the basis of sex, competition, fear, or guilt. You can use these to your advantage as well. We’re going to focus on this point in todays post, because it’s pretty cool to be able to get people all jacked up about something they thought was impossible.We’re gonna find out today that the only thing impossible is to achieve a goal you didn’t know you wanted.

One of the caveats of any marketing campaign for a big-name product isn’t about the technical specs of a product, or about how convenient it is, or in actuality any of the things that makes a product great. It’s more about the sizzle than the steak. All advertising campaigns are based on creating a feeling. An emotion that makes the viewer say to themselves “I want to be that,” whatever that may be. You’ll see this in everything from condos to cars to soda to financial planning. You’ve bought lots of big ticket items, useless crap, and everything in between because you felt something about that product or service.

Let’s be completely honest here:

No one gives a rats ass about stats and figures.

Start quoting details at someone and they will just as readily want to throw their face on an axe than buy in to what you’re saying. People have an attention span of roughly 8 seconds (THANK you, tv, internet and iPod multitasking!!!), so you only really get one shot to get an emotional spark that could create buy-in and motivation to achieve a goal. The benefits of exercise on a physiological basis are great to know, but they aren’t going to be selling features to anyone.

An emotion is a completely irrational concept. Nerds like me (well, not really like me, but kinda like me) have a lot of difficulty wrapping their heads around believing someone would do something they inherrently knew was wrong, dumb, less than optimal, or even dangerous, simply because of an emotion behind it. How else do you explain smoking??? People choose to start smoking, not because it fills a physiological need, but simply because it fills an emotional one. Often people begin smoking simply because others around them they wanted to look cool in front of were smokers, which in their minds meant that by emulating their actions, they would then become somewhat more cooler and become accepted by the cool kids. DOES THIS MAKE SENSE TO ANYONE???

When an emotion is attached to a goal activity, even something as rediculously toxic as smoking, it can overcome all rationality and make a person actually do it. Obviously, exercise isn’t as bad as smoking, but apparently you could say it’s harder to get people to start exercising than to get them to start sucking back cancer sticks.

Now let’s take it back to working out. What are some of the main reasons someone wants to actually begin working out? Lose weight, gain muscle, look better, feel better, recover from an injury, or to increase athletic performance. These are all great goals, but they are all useless goals.

What will losing weight give the person or how would it improve their lives?

What will gaining muscle give the person or how would it improve their lives?

Look better? For what? And what does “better” mean to that person? Are they expecting a different bone structure, genetic profile, to become Mr. Olympia or a Supermodel?

Feel better??? Shut up. If you want to feel better, go to bed, wake up early, eat breakfast, take a dump and actually take a second to see what’s going well in your life, and then you’ll feel better. A better question would be why the hell do you not feel good now? Is exercise going to fix it?

Improving athletic performance is an easy one to work on as the person is already emotionally invested in a goal activity where the workout is a means to an end. Ask any pro athlete why they work out and they’ll say to make them better at their sport, which in turn means they can keep their job. If we were to tie employment to physical fitness the way a professional athlete, firefighter, military personnel or police officer, we probably wouldn’t have an epidemic of obesity and all it’s related issues. Either that or we would have a huge rate of unemployment going on.

No matter the goal, we have to dig under the surface to find out what may be driving someone to achieve that goal. As mentioned before, the four basic drivers are sex, competition, fear and guilt. When someone tells me what they want to achieve, whether it’s lose weight, strengthen an old injury, run a marathon, whatever, I always ask them why that goal is important to them. I tend to get a lot of “I don’t know,” or “I thought it would be a good goal to shoot for,” which means it’s pretty much dead in the water and not going to happen because they have no emotional involvement in it.

For the driver of sex, people will tend to do something that makes them more appealing to those they want to attract. Losing weight, gaining muscle, aesthetic training, improving physical performance to add that “wow” factor will all be things that will make someone want to do something. There’s also the spirituality of sex that makes someone drawn to someone else, regardless of their physical appearance, which means the way a person carries themselves, their self esteem, self image, personality, and other hard to measure components that can all be improved with exercise. Add to it the fact that people who work out consistently tend to have higher sex drives and you’ve got the recipe for consistent success.

Competition can be just as powerful as sex, when utilized in an environment where the person feels they have a chance of success and some form of reward at the end of the line. There’s a concept known as the State of Optimal Arousal, where the perceived challenges have to match up to the individuals’ perceived skills in order to make them want to continually compete. If the skill is too low or the challenge is too high, the individual can’t get jacked up to compete, likewise if the challenge is minimal compared to the skill (think Michael Jordan playing one on one against Urkel), the arousal won’t be there, nor will the drive to compete and to beat the opponent. One of my favorite Jordan quotes is quite simply:

I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.

Fear plays into the concept of a negative result from a current behavior, like fear of a heart attack because of obesity, or for athletes the fear of being cut because of low productivity. Fear can be a powerful motivator, in the short term. However, fear over the long term is never really successful, because as mentioned previously people have a very short attention span. News reports are all over the place showing how being overweight will increase all sorts of crazy problems that are completely preventable, but still no one gets off the couch because they want to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes.

Fear is successful in situations like basic training for the military, training camps in sports, but unfortunately that’s about it. Trainers who like to yell and domineer their clients tend to find they have a hard time keeping clients because it’s not a motivating feature to a lot of people, and can quickly become a deterrant from activity. I’ve always believed you help more people with honey than vinegar, but every now and then you have to put a little fear into people to get them to move faster, run harder, push more weight, or give it a new level of effort they wouldn’t normally give. Again, it has to be measured and used appropriately.

Guilt is one of the worst motivators, but it’s still prevalent. Guilt essentially means someone is obligated to do something for someone else, and they don’t want to do it but they pretty much have to. The motivation will be removed as soon as the responsibility is removed, which makes guilt a hard seller for continued involvement. This is why term contracts are so unpopular with people, because they feel they have an obligation to use a service or product for a period of time, even if they aren’t committing to it.

So how can you successfully motivate someone? Let’s look at the two most powerful driving forces in motivation: Sex and Competition. Sex can be broken down further into vanity, ego, appearance, and self concept. Playing on any of these components can create a feeling of euphoria in an individual that can make them create that “feeling” of being emotionally involved in a goal. While it may be great to gain muscle and lose fat, what those do or the person will be as important to note as the physiological necessities. Fitting into their skinny jeans, having their spouse say “you’re looking ripped lately!!”, for ladies having other women say under their breath “bitch” when they walk by is apparently a big thing. For guys concepts like power, respect, and of course, the ladies, will make us do some pretty crazy things. Building someone up will always work better than breaking them down in terms of getting them to do something you want them to do, or in getting them to do something they want to do for themselves.

Competition can be huge. In my large group Boot Camp classes, I’ll typically engage the participants in mini-competitions, games and other activities, but I’ll also create some competitive drive, simply by saying to someone who’s ahead of someone else “Hey you’re beating so-and-so.” Then I’ll go over to so-and-so and say “hey, that guy’s four reps ahead of you. You gonna let him beat you when you’re so close to being the first one?” GAME ON!!! While there’s a lot of people who will say they’re not competitive, put them in a room full of people and tell them they’re in second place, and they will just about kill themselves to be first, even if there’s no prize at the end of the road.

There’s also a lot of weight-loss challenges across North American gyms and clubs, piggy-backing on the success of the Biggest Loser. A competitive drive with a big prize at the end of the road could be the proverbial carrot to dangle at the end of the treadmill to get people to accomplish their goals, so setting up small competitions can play on people to make them work harder and achieve more than they would have without it. Why do you think there are so many recreational athletic leagues with championships and trophies that cost all of $20, or why people will pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to compete in races of different types? Competition is incredibly powerful.

Everyone will be different and need to be motivated in different ways. What complicates things further is that motivation is fleeting, and will change on a daily basis, even with competitive athletes or injured clients. The physics of exercise is easy, as is understanding the physiology. Lift heavy shit = getting jacked and swole. That’s my five year degree in a simple mathematical equation for you. Thanks Mom and Dad for footing the bill for part of that one!! The harder part and the part that would probably play the biggest role is understanding the psychology. I would encourage everyone reading this to figure out what your driving force is in attaining your own goals, because it will help you to determine if that goal will actually happen or not.

So what are your goals and your drivers? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts so others can have the chance to be inspired by your thoughts and actions!!

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How to Set Goals and Achieve Them 100% of the Time

Let’s say that for hypothetical purposes, you told me you wanted to lose 10 or 15 pounds in he next few months because, you know, bikini season is coming up and you wanted to look good on the beach.

When asked which beach you said none in particular, but you know, there’s a chance you might eventually walk along a beach somewhere, so you wanted to look good for whenever that time came about.

Now let’s say Person #2 comes in and wants to lose 10-15 pounds in the next few months because they just got back from your doctor and they were told if they didn’t lose the weight they would develop adult-onset diabetes, which would mean injections, blood tests, potential blindness, amputations, and the chance they would die early. Essentially, they came in to lose weight because they want to be able to see their little girl graduate high school and be able to dance with her at her wedding.

So who do you think is going to be more successful in their attempt to lose weight? I’m guessing you would all say person #2 would give it more of an effort. Why? Because they have some sort of emotional attachment to their goal, which will speak volumes about their effort to achieve that goal.

I’m gonna be brutally honest here:

All failed goals have absolutely everything to do with the person setting them.

I’ve recently had a few clients come in to begin training who said they want to run a marathon. When I ask them why they chose that as a goal, they say because they think it will help them lose weight. So they focus on the end result of running a marathon versus focusing on the main goal of losing weight. Now to dig deeper, I commonly ask everyone what they want to accomplish by achieving their goal. This will commonly have some sort of emotional component to it, based in part on desire to conquer, esteem attainment, fear avoidance, and guilt. We could also break these down into other categories: sex (looking hot for the other hotties out there), competition (athletes work out to stay on a team, weekend warrior work out to play better on the weekend), avoiding the undesirable (diabetes), and feeling obligated (overweight, so they have to work out to stay healthy). 

Let’s set the record straight here: Marathon running is the slowest way to lose weight, and the fastest way to give a stimulus package to physiotherapists because of overuse injuries. Don’t believe me? Ask a runner if they’re injured, and you’ll get a littany of thoughts from “Well, it stops hurting once I warm up,” to “only if I think about it,” and my favorite “Oh I just run through the pain cuz that’s what they tell us to do.” Plain and simple, marathon running is long and slow, which means efficient, which means no fat burning. People who lose weight running marathons tend to also have a restrictive diet, so they’re going to lose weight regardless. To lose weight faster, try sprinting, as I documented HERE.
Couple the limited weight loss of marathon running with its’ rediculously high injury rate, and you have a recipe for disaster for anyone looking to run distance events to lose weight. No progress will decrease motivation and increase hopelessness, which means changing the desired behaviour to make results happen and to increase the emotional buy-in to a program.

Essentially, we can tell who will stick with their goals and who will drop off the face of the earth once we figure out what their emotional attachment is to their goal. If they’re doing it to simply look hot, but there’s no anchoring emotion behind it, they’ll never hit it. Advertisers know that emotion sells a lot better than reason, which is why crap like Axe body spray sells so much for such a high cost, considering it’s a pretty useless product in the grand scheme of health, wellness, productivity, and value.

 Why do you think people buy $100,000 cars, or why commercials have scantily clad ladies hocking their wares, or why charities get all weepy and needy when they want you to donate money? Because stats don’t attach a meaning to a problem, they only present logic.

Let’s put it another way: The only real difference between Japan’s recent earthquake and Haiti’s earthquake from 2010 is that we may know more people directly affected by Japan’s, which would make us more likely to assist them instead of Haiti. From an economic perspective, Haiti is on the brink of collapse, whereas Japan will be able to recover over time. 

Freud said there were three components to our psyche: the Id, the Ego, and the Superego. The Id represents our primal urges, and basically wants to have sex with everything, fight everything, and satisfy every desire we may have for carnality. The Superego represents restraint, thought, rationalization, ethics, and essentially what is required to exist in a society with others. The Egos job is to keep the place together and keep the Id and Superego happy with a decision. Wanna go club that sexy barista over the head and drag her back to your place to have a fun evening? Superego will have something to say about that, and suggest a more polite method of courtship. Wanna lose 20 pounds of body fat to get healthier and avoid having a heart attack? Id won’t go along for the ride unless he sees something at the end of the road that can be fun and exciting.

What this means is that even if you KNOW something is going to be good for you, odds are it won’t actually happen unless you convince your own personal Id to go along with it and that there is a fun, sexy and exciting payoff at the end of the road for them. All goals have to have an emotional backing to make the person want to achieve their goals, or else all the logic in the world won’t convince them to start it up.

Let’s face it, pretty much everyone knows that eating right and exercising is a healthy thing to do, but less than half the population gets 30 minutes of walking in a day. WALKING!!! This means that even if Joe Bubba Hugeness wears a shirt in size SUV, he’s not gonna put down the KFC and get off the couch unless he has a DAMN good reason, and only if it’s a reason he personally feels effects him directly.

Let’s try this out: Resistance training will allow an individual to increase their bone strength, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures in old age. It will allow for an increase in functional capacity, reduction in body fat, reduced rate of perceived exertion during activities of daily living, improved regulation of sex hormones, increased libido and performance, and reduce the likelihood of injuries and pain throughout the lifespan. This was the rational descriptor.

Now let’s try the emotional descriptor out for size.

And if that wasn’t enough:

I’ve never wanted to take a step class so badly in all my life!!!

Let’s face it, we’ve all made decisions that defied logic. Some worked out in our favor, and some didn’t. We’ll make dumb decisions again and again, because we will always have to satisfy that little voice in the back of our heads that wants to have fun, party, and get it on with as many hot people as we can. So figuring out what your deeper motivation is will increase your chances of performing a desired activity in order to achieve a desired outcome. If you’ve ever really “gotten after it” in the gym, meaning working with an intensity that would make gym owners double-check their insurance policies, you know what having an emotional backing to a goal will do for you.

Find that emotional background for your goals and you’ll never have to worry about setting a goal that never gets achieved. Take me for example. I want to deadlift 405, the number in itself isn’t really that impressive or important to anyone else. To me, after suffering a decade of back pain, it would mean the world to be able to pull that kind of weight, because after spending more than my fair share of days unable to even bend forward and lift anything, pulling 8 plates off the ground would be a personal victory in my battle against an old standing injury, and would show me that I have control over it, not the other way around.

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Anti-Abs

Here’s a fun conversation I had with a new trainer the other day:

New Trainer: Umm Dean?? I have a client who has a disc bulge coming in this afternoon. What is that and what should I do with them?

Me: First, pick up a couple of these books here (toss Stu McGill’s books Low Back Disorders and Ultimate Back Performance on the table) and memorize them before you train your client. Then, get them doing anti-flexion/extension/rotation core exercises without any axial loading, and no forward flexion positions.

New Trainer: Anti-what?? Does that mean, like, situps and stuff? What about deadlifts?

Me: ………

New Trainer: Ummm… Dean?

Me: …..just have them do some curls. I hate my life.

New Trainer: Oh!! Well why didn’t you say so??

Now I know you’re probably sounding like the newbie trainer and thinking crazy ol’ Dean’s gone off his nutter talking about anti-ab exercises, but one of the things we forget about the core is that it’s designed not to be a prime mover, but as an elastic pillar that can accommodate changing internal volumes from breathing and eating. Mike Robertson came up with a brilliant post a few months ago in which he interview Chris Collins, talking about the “balloon core” theory of how the core actually works, and it’s something I feel is worth a look.

One often overlooked feature of the abs is the ability to resist movement and to create a ground reaction force from the feet through the spine and into the arms in a way that can measure and react to the amount of force being applied, in effect either deadening it (in the case of landing or absorbing some form of impact) or accelerating it (in the case of throwing movements).

These are movements that can involve a greater percentage of the core muscles than doing basic crunches or situps, and on top of that they can help to save your back from unnecessary wear and tear to the intervertebral discs that are kinda delicate and necessary for function. McGill showed in the aforementioned books that repeated spinal flexion essentially caused the degeneration of the discs, and made them more susceptible to bulge and herniate, so training the abs in a way that doesn’t force it to go through that gawd-awful crunching movement would be beneficial to pretty much everyone with a pulse and a desire to strut along a beach with every member of the opposite sex (or same-sex, whatever) checking them out in all their hotness.

So how do we train anti flexion, extension and rotation? Why by putting some form of stress on the body that could normally cause it to go through a moment of deformation, but where the core has to resist in order to maintain a linear core position. Check this action out.

While I wouldn’t necessarily give all these exercises to someone with a disc issue, they illustrate the concept of anti-movement controlled by the core. By training the core to resist deformation, we can reduce the chances of being injured and can still provide a great training stimulus to advanced athletes looking for that added advantage.

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Research in Fitness and How Much Ass Mark Young Can Kick

My good buddy and fellow Canadian (although from Hamilton of all places) Mark Young has come out with a new product that I think will be a book-shelf necessity for every trainer and/or fitness enthusiast out there. Let’s face it, in order to keep up with the current trends in exercise and stay on the cutting edge of the knowledge curve, you have to read the research coming out. Not only that, you have to understand what the hell is being said. I’ll be honest, most research reads more like the insomniacs remedy, while there’s a huge volume that has such gaping holes in the research design you have to ask what kind of chemicals were left open in the lab that day.

Fructose makes you fat?? But only when you eat 3-times the normal daily intake?? Tell me more!!! Read Alan Aragon’s take on this one HERE

So unless you know what the hell is good or bad about a study, plus whether they did sound statistical analysis, you could quote a piece of crap and make it sound like gospel, making you sound like you rode the short bus to school today, or skip over the new hotness that might sweep the fitness world by storm. Well, Mark went above and beyond and cut out all the hieroglyphs and gave you the straight dope on research with his straight-forward titled How to Read Fitness Research.

To be honest, when Mark first approached me to check out this product a little over a month ago, I was pretty much thinking it would be akin to getting a full frontal lobotomy from Abe Vigoda (he was in Godfather, if you don’t know who this guy is check him out on Wikipedia, yo!).

I mean, I finished a science degree that was pretty heavily oriented to research, which means I can tell my ANOVA from my MANCOVA statistical analyses, I know my double-blinds from my cross-over trials, and can et al with the best of them, so I was in doubt that this would teach me anything new.

I was pleasantly surprised when he went through some of the basics, plus some stuff I haven’t heard of before, and also spent a good deal of time on how to access journal articles without re-mortgaging your house. If you’ve ever tried to search out articles, most won’t let you download them without paying anywhere from $15 and up to get access, so doing a basic lit search outside of a university can get pretty costly and often leave you feeling like you are missing something. This was worth the cost of the product alone.

Here’s the deal: Mark’s new product contains 4 Video Seminars
– Purpose and Process of Research
– Acquiring and Reading Fitness Research
– No Snooze Statistics & Research Design
– Interpreting and Implementing Research

Notes for Each Seminar
-Slides in PDF format

1 Bonus Video
– How to Use Pubmed

1 Bonus Audio Interview
– Signalling, Synthesis, and Hypertrophy with Dr. Stuart Phillips

He’s put it on sale for $37 beginning today (Monday) and ending on Friday evening. After that, the dirty bugger’s gonna jack the price up to $77, so do yourself a solid and CHECK THIS OUT. Trust me, if you like seeming smart and cool to all your friends for being able to show off your fancy schmancy knowledge of what’s happening in research, kinda like I do, get this NOW.

P.S. Don’t forget, this is on sale until Friday evening, so pick it up now while it’s still cheap HERE.

P.P.S. It’s my mom’s birthday today, so please do me a favor and wish her a happy birthday in the comments section below. It would make her day 😉

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It Snowed, Therefore I’m Gonna Be Random

It snowed yesterday. Why the hell do I live here again??!?

This guy is my new hero.

Looks like The Situation took the time off between seasons a little hard. Not only is he crushing a beer between sets, in his (mother’s) porch, but he’s single-handedly setting the Italian American stereotype back about 20 years by simply existing. I bet he still has an IROC in the driveway. No, no, it doesn’t run, but every Sunday he likes to go out and try to turn it over while blaring a little “Pour Some Sugar On Me” from the 8-track player. I guarantee when the filming was over, he yelled into the house “Hey MA!! When’s dinna??”

See, things like this are kinda bitter-sweet to me, because for everyone who actually knows what the hell they’re doing in the gym, there’s an ass-hat like this completely throwing the curve for the rest of us. Then when someone looks at the video, they think “hey, he looks like he’s doing something cool!! I should try that!!” I’m sure that’s what Jillian Michaels and Tracy Anderson thought when they decided to get into training. “Hey, I like to yell at people and make money, but no one would hire me as a dominatrix. I should be a trainer instead!!”

We’re now in the midst of the NHL play-offs, and as a dutiful Canadian (and one who grew up in British Columbia), I’m definitely pulling for Vancouver to win it all. To all my non-Canadian friends, you have to understand something: I don’t normally follow hockey, but at this time of the year the entire COUNTRY takes the nights off to watch hockey. (NOTE: If America ever wanted to invade Canada, do it during the third period of game seven ofthe finals. You could set up shop and no one would notice until you started printing your own currecny here) Old ladies talk about teams power plays while waiting for the bus. Law firms re-schedule court dates if the game goes into overtime, because they know they won’t be able to make it there early and coherent. This is beyond national pride, because if you are asked by any member of law enforcement who won the game last night, not knowing means you’re automatically required to clean the ice off the zambonis between periods as part of your community service.

For those who may not know what the sweet H-E-double hockey sticks a zamboni is, it’s the machine used to re-finish the ice surface between periods, and the secret fantasy of every red blooded Canadian that we all want to drive one around the ice.

When I was growing up in a small town called Rossland, BC (don’t act like you may have heard of it), I got a chance to do something that very few kids these days actually partake in.

Ahem….

I went outside and found ways to entertain myself without the use of video games, internets, or texting. I know, I must be old. One of the ways I would entertain myself would be to ride my mountain bike off of things I probably shouldn’t have ridden my bike off of. Jumps, small sheds, etc. I probably got a few concussions along the way, because my short term memory is not all that great. It’s probably from getting a few concussions when I was younger from riding my bike off things.

(Wow, no one laughs at concussion jokes anymore!!)

I saw a picture that borught an immediate flashback to me standing at the top of the corner of Railway street and Butte street, looking down along the 16 percent grade and thinking FUCK YEAH!!

Alas, there was no peer at the end of my road. Just an intersection prior to a short uphill that required a leap of faith and superhuman hearing prior to take-off to ensure there wasn’t another car coming. But when you’re standing at the top of a hill like that, the blood pounding in your ears can make you think you hear things, or make you not hear things. I’m sure if my mom knew about half the stupid stuff I did to occupy myself growing up, she would be sitting in a corner of her kitchen, hugging her knees and rocking slowly. Love you mom.

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