55 Random Thoughts

As always, some are fitness related, some are nutrition related and some will make you dumber.  Let’s get to it.

1. Bacon smells like a combination of Chuck Norris’ beard, Sam Elliot’s voice and the People’s Elbow.

2. If ice cream trucks were smart they would replace that standard circus music they’ve always had and replace it with Justin Bieber.

3. Favorite names in the Olympics so far:  Dong Dong, Liam Tancock, Destinee Hooker (“nothing gets past a 6’4” hooker at the net!”…classic), Fanny Babou, Jack Bauer (awesome), Ivana Dadic, Aichen Wang.  Yeah I know I’m five.  Big whoop.

4. As I get older I continue to realize how important rest is to my training schedule.  If I go hard six days a week I may lean out a bit more but the trade off for my strength and energy are not worth it.  I am starting to pay very close attention to my ideal schedule and I can tell you, it’s resting more than I’m training.

5. Favorite healthy meals when dining out:

  • Chipotle Bowl – double veggies, double meat (chicken), all three salsas, guacamole.  Yes it costs like $12.  Bastards.
  • Protein Style Burgers – regular burgers with lettuce wraps instead of buns.  Most any restaurant does this.
  • Breakfast – eggs, bacon & fruit.  I’ll throw in potatoes every now and then.  Again, any restaurant has this.

6. Favorite Tubs McGee meals:

  • Pop’s Cheesesteak – I have not had this in a long while since I moved and they started closing on Sundays, but this is San Diego’s best cheesesteak hands down.  It tastes like Fergie and Jesus.
  • Mr. Frostie’s Peanut Butter & Banana Milkshake with Reeces’ – take one sip from this and not order it.  I dare you.  It’s 22 ounces of insulin spiking sugary deliciousness.

7. I appreciate ring and suspension training more and more every time I do it.  Ring push-ups, pull-ups and dips are an excellent way to challenge via decreased stability rather than increased load.  I love training that challenges without the need for increased recovery and rings provide just that.

8. If I’m on a desert island and get five songs to slam coconuts and do beach sprints to I’m choosing:

  1. Shook Ones Part II (back when rap was rap) – Mobb Deep
  2. White People for Peace – Against Me!
  3. When the Music Stops – Eminem
  4. Bulls on Parade – Rage Against the Machine
  5. Under the Knife – Rise Against

9. As mentioned many times on this website, I am a huge Oscar Pistorius fan.  Not just because of what he does physically, but the mentality a man must have to consider himself a sprinter without um, legs.  I’d like to formally nominate Bree McMahon to that list.  A teenager who lost her leg after her best friend accidentally pinned her with a car (seriously), yet still managed to play college soccer and completely kill it at life.  ESPN ran an Outside the Lines on it and you can see the watered down version here.  Go, Bree.

10. Thought Nike ran a really cool ad campaign with the overweight kid jogging.  Our friends over at Share it Fitness wrote a great blog post echoing this, that you don’t have to be striving for washboard abs and triathlons to train hard and have purpose with it.

11. Me: “Pritz, say the first thing that comes to mind.”

Pritz: “Golden horseshoe”

…….(30 seconds later)

“Wait, are we talking first image that pops into my head or first word. Because the first image was a giant frog catching a fly with his tongue but the first words were ‘golden horseshoe’.

12. The reason I like Turkish get-ups so much is because it requires every single link in the chain to be on point to complete a single rep.  It is also a great way to reveal your own personal deficiencies as I have since learned that at more challenging weight my shoulder strength is just not ready to stop the spinning bar.  So I’ve been trying to target them a few times per week.

The latest from Bret Contreras’ awesome Strength & Conditioning Research journal that I highly recommend.

13. Markstromm and Olson concluded 1-leg jumps to be a predictor of forward speed.  Here’s hoping all of our athletes reading this no longer  hate us.  They also noticed that sprinters had higher peak jump heights than Olympic lifters, which is not at all surprising.  We always train jumping to improve speed for that backwards reason.

14. Stults-Kolehmainen and Bartholomew concluded that high levels of chronic stress impairs recovery from weight training.  I have  found this to be true on my end.  Whenever I hit a period of personal stress I seem to hit an immediate wall.

The next two are huge for distance athletes so listen up.

15. Dunham and Harms concluded that high-intensity interval training increases respiratory muscle strength by more than endurance training.  43% vs. 25%.  Pretty significant!

16. Steele et al. concluded that resistance training to failure significantly improved chronic cardiovascular fitness.  I am not a fan of routine training to failure for many reasons but for the purpose of improved cardiovascular fitness, it looks like it has some serious benefits.

17. Esbjornsson et al. concluded that sprinting may positively effect women more than men.

Again, subscribe to S&C Research if you like the science of things.

18. I hate vegetables.  They taste like nerds, but they are very important so I eat them everyday.  My two preferred ways to eat them are covered in sirarcha or hot sauce, or juiced.  I realize that you lose the fibers with juicing but you can still get all of the micronutrients.  Here is a drink I make containing 14 veggies that looks like Ninja Turtle piss but actually tastes pretty good.

19. Sometimes I space out for a good three to five minutes thinking about my and Alex Morgan’s life together.  Like if I could convince her to become a Redskins fan, whose family we would spend Thanksgiving vs. Christmas at, would we stay in California or move to DC, etc.  You know, normal and fair questions.

Dave didn’t return my text.  I wonder what he’s doing…

20. Athleticism is very often genetic, but does not have to be.  It is a skill that is both learned and trained as powerful, burst-oriented training will shift your muscle fibers from more Type-I slow twitch to Type-II fast twitch.  Conversely, an inherently powerful and fast person who runs long distance for a period of time will see their fibers switch in the opposite direction.  We’ve seen kids enter barely being able to put their steps in order on ladder drills and leave with college scholarships.  It can be learned.

21. You have to feel bad for Tyson Gay.  He runs a 9.80, good for a Gold Medal in either 2000 or 2004, but because of the Usain Bolt effect it’s not even good enough to medal in 2012.  Ain’t that some shit.

22. Speaking of Usain Bolt.  Stock up.

23. If I had to arbitrarily pick a ‘most underrated exercise’ it would be farmer’s walks.  No exercise challenges your core in a dynamic movement like walking with heavy weights.  It’s firing on all cylinders to stay upright and balanced, while your arms, legs and grip are synchronized to move from A to B.  Additionally, it’s great for rotator cuffs making it crucial for overhead athletes of any kind.  Plateaued on your deadlift?  Start doing heavy farmer’s walks.

24. I love what Michel Phelps did to Ryan Lochte as the outcome of the two swimmers were both self fulfilling prophecies.   If you are wasting a second of preparation by thinking about the grills you’re going to put in your mouth after you win, in my opinion you are just not in the correct mental state to win the majority of Olympic medals.  Both are incredible athletes and highly decorated but I was glad to see Phelps blow past all of the temporary Lochte comparisons, because there is none.

25. Glad laser gun shooting stayed but baseball got the boot.  Makes sense.

26. More people need to know about American Olympian Matt Stutzman.  This is absolutely incredible.

27. I played volleyball for three hours over the weekend and the next day my back felt like someone Tanya Harding’ed it, calves like someone was spritzing sulfuric acid on them and my obliques like Jackie Chan judo chopped them for an hour straight.  Suffice it to say my respect and appreciation for Misty May and Kerri Walsh only continues to go up.

28. It’s a good thing that food you eat in airports doesn’t count.  Otherwise, I might really be in trouble this summer.

29. I’m not a huge footwear guy.  I think the industry has gone just a tad too far with all of the barefoot options, but I will say the number one reason I prefer minimalist wear is not for proprioception or shortening bar distance, but for ankle mobility.

30. Read this on a few sites and despite it being just heresay at this point the numbers put out there include:

  • 30 hairline arm fractures
  • 5 shoulder dislocations
  • 2 ACL tears
  • 2nd degree burns from handstand push-ups

Reported injuries from the 2012 CrossFit games.  There are injuries in all forms of challenging fitness but that’s pretty bananas if that’s true.  Anyone have hard evidence of whether or not that’s legit?

31. Bob Bowman may be the most underrated coach in sports today.  He is Michael Phelp’s and Allison Schmitt’s personal coach and the guy just pumps out winners.  They mentioned he used to mess with Phelp’s psyche by secretly smashing his goggles before practice, sabotaging his alarm clock in hotels and purposefully getting him to races late just to see how he would handle race adversity.  Turns out his goggles did fill with water during the Beijing fly and since he was trained with no vision, he counted strokes and still took home Gold.  He doesn’t do that without Bob Bowman.

32. Count me among people who think one can be judged by their treatment of waiters and waitresses.  I’ve waited tables and bartended, and you instantly can tell who the pricks are.

33. That said, I take pride in being as rude as I possibly can to the automated machines when you call credit card companies, etc.

Machine: “Hello…how can I help you today?”

Me: “I want to get an update on my miles.”

Machine: “I am sorry.  I did not get that.  Would you like to 1) pay your balance, 2) replace lost card, 3) extend your line of credit, 4…”

Me: “Miles, mother fucker.  As in ‘how many’?”

Machine: “How about a list of the following options…”

Me: “How about I smash this spatula over your head?  Just transfer me to an operator.”

(5 second pause, the ole fake transfer by the robot)

Machine: “Sure, I can transfer you.  But first, please…”

Me: “OP.  PER.  RAY.  TORE” 

It goes on for a few minutes before I am ultimately transferred to an operator and instantly give the high pitched, “oh hello there.  I was wondering if you could help me with a miles balance question?”  I always wonder if anyone hears those conversations before you are transferred.  I sure hope not.

34. This video is absolutely hilarious.  I love when people shake up golf a little bit.

35. I support gay marriage and Polynesian sauce.  There.  I said it.

36. Speaking of Jesus, Chic-Fil-A lists the following as part of their religious foundation:  closed on Sundays (got it), donation to community charity (understood) and operating debt free….um, what?  Jesus is against business debt?!  This means I am currently set for fire and brimstone.  Pritz, we need to hurry!

37. Your best friend in strength training is volume.  Never cheat or short your sets when working at sub-maximal.

38. I’d love to see the Olympics add the following: tunnel tag, knockout, old timey picnic races like wheel barrow, etc. and every Olympian, regardless of sport or country, must catch and return a thrown American football from a distance of fifteen yards.  You get three attempts.  If you can’t do that, you’re out.  Better luck in 2016.  The Olympics lacks reactive hand-eye coordination.

39. Nothing annoys me quite like being placed on a group text message that doesn’t require six people’s answer.

40. Count me among the many who are very excited to see The Campaign.  Very excited.

41. It’s amazing what simply performing a full range of motion will do for gains on any exercise.  Chest all the way to floor on pushups, sternum to bar on pull-ups and ass to heels on squats make a world of difference even though it’s just an extra two to three inches. Range of motion is everything with body weight.

42. My personal pyramid of what makes a great athlete and how we train ours: Reactive abilities –> Power/Transfer of force –> Absolute strength –> Mobility –> Task-specific conditioning.  There are a host of other skills but those are our main criteria.  Obviously this is adjusted based on sport as we’ve trained NCAA sprinters and clearly that pyramid is drastically altered.

43. You know how Orbitz has the Price Assurance claim?  They say if you book a flight and the cost goes down after you book, you will be refunded the difference.   Sure, pal.

Um, what?! Holy shit!  Orbitz just up and got themselves a customer for life.

44. Nine times out of time the answer is “eat better”.

45. If I am on death row my last meal most likely consists of a brunch buffet.  That’s the one time out of ten.

46. Removing splenda from my coffee a year ago was a huge step.  The more and more I read about artificial sweetener the more I realize it is just really nasty stuff.  While it might be zero calorie, there are studies that show it tricks your body into thinking it’s sugar so we have an insulinogenic reaction to it, priming ourselves to store body fat.  We are not evolved to recognize the stuff so our body associates it with the next closest thing: sugar.

47.  Terrell Owens just ran a 4.45 40 yard dash at age 38.  Wow.  From the standpoint of physicality and taking care of yourself, I have nothing but respect for T.O.

48.  I am now 0 for 4 with 125# barbell Turkish Get-Ups.  Failure happens way more than success so if you really want to go places in training you should be prepared to handle it.

49.  As a trainer, when you pedal food products/supplements for your own financial gains as being some sort of instant weight loss solution, you are promoting the “magic pill” and perpetuating the belief that results can’t be attained with real, nutritious food.  It’s called whole food, moderate portions and exercise.  Is it really so hard to teach people food preparation and healthy cooking?  Short term results are not the same as long-term lifestyle changes.  It’s used car salesman tactics and gives the industry a bad name.

50. Huge predicament on my hands here.  See Gaslight Anthem (whom I’ve seen many times) in Anaheim on September 29 or go compete in this with Pritz in Vegas.  The weekends would be polar opposites but two things I love.  Going to see my favorite band and drinking many beers…or going to compete….and probably drinking many beers.  Decisions, decisions.

51. It is almost Robert Griffin III season and at that time, prepare for obnoxious Facebook posts, text messages, smoke signals and pigeon telegrams.  It’s on.

52.  Favorite way to glorify fat:  dipping well-done bacon into guacamole.  Burned through a half pound the other day before I came to and realized where I was.

53.  Count it.  That’s four times now this calendar year I have left my check card in the Wells Fargo ATM.  There’s only so many embarrassing phone calls a man can make.

54.  I’ve never tried it but heard GOMAD works wonders for those really trying to bust strength plateaus.  You’ll add fat, no doubt but I have heard the strength gains are indisputable.

55. I’ve been curious for a while about an experiment I’ve wanted to run on myself which entails removing all weights for a month and going to 100% body weight training.  Basically going all plyometric, sprints and body weight exercises, removing lifting of any kind and observing the effect on re-sensitivity to strength.  I have a theory that the break will temporarily bring me back to a beginner-like sensitivity to strength gains, kind of like how you go way up when you first start lifting.  Any losses in short term strength will be made up by the beginner like burst in gains.  At least this is what I would be hoping happens.  I also think “rest” may induce new gains.

Does anyone:

  • a) have experience with this?
  • b) want to try it with me??  I can program from afar or in the gym if you want to join me.

Thanks for reading.  Enjoy your Wednesday.

Dave and Bryan Pritz are co-owners of Performance360 in Mission Beach, San Diego.  As always if you liked it, please support America, meat and barbells and share it how you like. 


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