43 Random Thoughts

A quick note:  I am slowly migrating over to Twitter over the course of the next few months so please do me a favor, make me look cool and follow me here!

We’re back for another installment of Random Thoughts.

As always, some are fitness, some are nutrition and some make no sense at all.

1. I am 29 years old and I still pretend I’m in a submarine when I go through the car wash.

2. I really like dynamic movements to train upper body function in athletes, like MB slams and plyometric pushups.  I think I could make the argument that explosive, dynamic movements are far more effective for performance than bench press but I’ll leave it to someone way smarter does it for me.

3. Okayyyyy, ladies.  Here’s the deal.  You get one birrrrrrthday event.  If your birthday is during the week, that doesn’t mean you get a dinner on Tuesday and then two nights going out both Friday and Saturday.  On your main birthday event I am totally there.  However, on the follow-up second and third celebrations I am listing myself as a ‘maybe’ and then definitely not showing up.

4. It’s becoming a bit too trendy for fitness professionals to knock CrossFit.  Full entry on this coming later.  I certainly have my opinions on their programming but I also love a lot of what they are about and have a vast amount of respect for them.  Will share my thoughts in full.

5. Been catching some virtual flack here and there from those with internet muscles for use of “momentum” in exercises like box jumps and push press.  A Facebook comment here.  A blog comment there.  Here a putz, there a putz, everywhere a putz putz.  What you call “cheating momentum” is actually properly called “transfer of force”, which is the athletic application of power from your lower body, through your core and delivered through your upper extremities, or vice versa.  Transfer of force is largely considered the most important and measurable predictor of core sports performance and one we train regularly at Performance360.  So, drop the 50# dumbbell curls at 50% range of motion and do something ballistic.  I dare you.

6. Honestly…this almost made me choke up, and I even proactively shared it with three men.

7. Plateauing is not the same as overtraining syndrome.  I firmly believe that you will know if you are over training.  If you get weaker, slower and noticeably feel like ass during the day then you are overtraining.  Hitting a training wall doesn’t mean you are doing too much, it just means you need to adjust your protocol.

8. Saw Act of Valor and immediately thought about selling my percentage of the gym and trying to become a SEAL.  Then I realized I hate cold water, am horrible at swimming and blood makes me queasy.   Rats.  Needless to say our men and women of the military can never get enough respect in my humble opinion.

9. If you’ve never had to sprint over to a boombox and hit play and record at the same time to rip a song off the radio to a mix tape, then you just never had to hustle for music.

10. Very recent science suggest that for experienced lifters, defined by those who can squat over 130% of body weight and have two years training experience, eight reps proves to be more effective for breaking through strength plateaus than one to four reps (1).  I’ve tested this over the last month and like what I am seeing so far.

11. There’s nothing more awkward in a man’s world than a stranger trying to make small talk with you just because you are peeing at adjacent urinals.

Not cool
Not cool

Couple of cool sprinting related science tidbits…

12. For the runners in the crowd, it has been proven that resistance training improves sprinting power.  In other words lifting weights will enable you to enter the “extra gear” faster and at greater efficiency (2).

13. Broad jumps have shown to be more effective at improving sprinting than box jumps.  Since broad jumps are bounding, they carry over more to a horizontal exercise like sprinting than the vertical motion of box jumps.  (3)

14. On the other hand, Marques et all studied and showed that vertical jumps (like box jumping) had a huge impact on the improvement of the first five meters of a sprint.

15. The takeaway?  They are both amazing for speed and power.  Spread the love and do both like we do with our athletes.

And this one is my favorite.

16. Haigh and Matthews studied 19 elite ruby players and tested the effect preseason squatting had on sprinting.  Here’s what they found.

  • It improved the first 5m of a sprint by 7.6%
  • It improved the first 10m of a sprint by 7.3%
  • It improved the first 20m of a sprint by 5.9% (7)

In the athlete’s world where success is determined by getting past your opponent, those are very profound results.

17. Things I am horrible at: small talk, smiling, interrupting people, making too many hand gestures when I talk, avoiding Chic Fil A on the weekend.

18. I’ve had the iPhone for almost a year now and I don’t see what the big deal is.  I am way more informed of complete strangers’ Facebook status than I care to be.  And I look at my fantasy baseball roster too much.  Those are about the only things the iPhone has enriched for me.

19. Ew…

Mountain Dew...really?

20. Circuit training has been proven to decrease insulin resistance (a good thing) and produce other positive effects that reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes (a great thing).  It was also shown that maximum output weight training has similar benefits although not as profound as circuit training. (4)

21. There are few things more annoying than microwaving your food and having the outer pieces equal the temperature of the sun and the middle be able to ice a sore muscle.  Shouldn’t microwaves be better than this by now?

22. I find the handshake to be pretty weird when you really think about it.

23. Trends that I am glad are on their way out: flash mobs and capri pants.  Also, remember when 98 degrees and Limp Bizkit were considered good music by the masses?  And remember TRL? Jayyysus.

24. It’s been shown that physically active men have um, better “production” down there.  You know, with regards to your boys being able to swim (5).  Chalk another up to weight lifting.

25. For frequent lower back pain, Liebenson concluded that it is better to focus on restoration of function than easing of symptoms (6).  In English, moving and strengthening the problem is better than ignoring it.

26. I’ve been around the world and tried honey mustards in the four corners of ‘Murica.  I am convinced Chili’s has the best…that is all.

27. There has recently shown to be positive link between depth of squats and developed jumping ability.  Squat deeper, jump higher.

28. Who thought naming a fruit ‘kumkwat’ was a good idea?

29. Lingering questions that I have from my favorite TV shows…what did Chumlee get in high school algebra class?  How did Jarod pull Brandy?  Do Will and the guy from American Guns hate or respect each other?  On Chopped, do the chefs always finish right at the precise moment the judges yell ‘time!” or is that made for TV?  I’ve often thought about what my food introduction would be if I were a judge like how they say “Purveyor of fine Italian foods”, or “expert on modern Mexican cuisine.”  I think mine would be “gentlemen of dipping sauces.”

30. Active individuals have less systematic inflammation than sedentary individuals.  Inflammation is believed to be a huge modern day contributor to a host of illnesses including cancer and diabetes.

31. I physically DO NOT know what to do when a girl is crying.  Like I literally have no idea.  #growingupwithfourbrothers

32. “Conaso de diablo de la mierda” – Bryan Pritz (I tasked him to say something random since around entry 30 I start to run out of gas and in under .0001 second that came out of his mouth…you know I don’t speak Spanish, Baxter.)

33. You always see stances like “Do 300 exercises with the TRX”….“train only with kettlebells”….“Olympic lifting and sprinting is all you need”….“Just keep it old school and do squats, deadlift and bench press.”  I’ve never understood the prevailing absolutism in the fitness industry.  Why not do a little bit of everything and get the benefit they all have to offer?  Why peg yourself in one category?

34.  I am by no means a mass expert as “skinny punk” has been thrown my way once or twice but I always recommend good ole fashioned American whole milk for gaining weight.  It’s great for hardgainers and what I am currently drinking to gain weight.  I’ve already put back on the twelve pounds I lost while sick plus an additional three. It works.

35.  There is nothing that cannot be improved by bacon.  A smart orthodontist will invent bacon flavored retainers and kids will wear them all over town.

36.  As I get older I can introspectively look back and realize what a little weirdo I was.  Here are some embarrassing facts about my youth.

  1. I owned over fifty toy guns and would pack heat on the way to school.  Literally fifty.
  2. I used to keep stats playing whiffle ball.  Binders full.
  3. I had a bear far longer than I should have.  Pretty sure I had some type of untended complex now that I think about it.
  4. I was a bully at age five.  I once beat a kid so badly the teacher called my parents to have a little sit down.
  5. I knew the lyrics to Metallica’s Ride the Lightning start to finish…when I was ten.

I mean, if these aren’t “things you have in common with the kid who torches squirrels” then I don’t know what is.

37. It’s amazing how effective and tiring push-ups are when you go chest to floor, hips parallel to ground and then lockout your elbows.

38.  I’ve cut my coffee consumption by 50% over the last three months and I have to say, I feel a lot better.  I still love it and use it as my morning ritual but I no longer go back to it later in the day.

39. “I!  AM A SWEET GENIUS!…are you?”

40.  I will never BranchOut.  Please stop inviting me.

41.  Disabled athletes are my idols.  Every time I think about how I don’t want to train I just look at a picture of ole Oscar Pistorius, this girl or this guy.

42.  This is the best music video of all time.

43. I mentioned it before on Facebook but special, special congratulations to P360 member Marissa Dubolino.  She has dropped 20 net pounds, increased her strength 80% and achieved some really great results for herself.


If you enjoyed this entry please share it on your social media of choice and help spread free content.

The following references were obtained from Bret Contreras’ Strength & Conditioning Research Journal.

(1) Marshall, McEwen and Robbins, Eur J App Phys, 2011

(2) The Effects of Treadmill Sprint Training and Resistance Training on Maximal Running Velocity and Power, by Ross, Ratamess, Hoffman, Faigenbaum, Kang and Chilakos, JSCR, 2009

(3) The effects of plyometric training on sprint performance – a meta-analysis, by Saez de Villarreal, Requena and Cronin, JSCR, 2012

(4) Insulin sensitivity after maximal and endurance resistance training, by Hansen, Landstat, Gundersen, Torjesen and Svebak, JSCR, 2012

(5) Silva-Grigoletto, García-Manso, Barrera, and Vaamonde-Lemos, Eur J App Phys, 2012

(6) Musculoskeletal myths, by Liebenson, in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2011

(7) Comfort, Haigh and Matthews, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2012

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