69 Random Thoughts

It’s been a while since I collected and shared the random thoughts that enter my mind on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

As always, some are fitness related, some are diet related and some are turn-your-brain-into-mush related.  Pick and choose what you elect to take seriously.

1.  I have cracked over five thousand eggs in my life yet I still haven’t figured out how to prevent an egg white blood bath all over my counter top.

2.  Nothing screws up a good foam rolling session like when your hoodie falls underneath the roller and chokes you out for a quick sec.

3.  Between the leg barbell split squats are an excellent exercise to really tear up the glutes.  It’s kind of a hybrid between lunges, split squats and deadlifts and has the benefits of all three.

Don’t feel the need to take the bumpers all the way to the floor.   If your arms are long, the weights will hit but if not, don’t force it via thoracic flexion.  Eric is doing a good job remaining at full extension in this picture.


4.  “I’m trying to keep it diet friendly today, I think I’ll just have some wings”.  Five years ago, this statement would have been met with laughter.  Today, thanks to Paleo, many people would nod in approval.

5.  I’m watching this season of The Bachelor.

There.  I am.

…and I predict Wedding Dress Girl wins.

6.  Ice cold food, bowl is the temperature of Earth’s inner core.  Microwaves have still not figured this out.

7.  Wrote about this on the Performance360 blog in “7 Major Sticking Points” but one thing I wish more people would embrace is the notion that technique doesn’t have to be uniform across all lifters.  One subtle example of this is in the jerk and the placement of one’s elbows.  Some athletes are more comfortable with downward facing elbows (like Donny Shankle) and others are more traditional (like Jon North).  Two athletes, same team, different elbow placement.  Comfort is an entirely unique perspective.

8.  Simply writing down your fitness goals will increase your chances of realizing them….write that down.

9.  I recently saw my arch nemesis Lorena Garcia is back for more Taco Bell nonsense.  Hey, here’s a thought, lady.  If you don’t like the steak then why don’t you go ahead and cook it?  I mean, you’re the damn chef.

10.  I admit, I have an appreciation for terrible hard rock when lifting.  #thisismyLASTREsort!  #ibegintostupify

11.  Pretty sure “aoili” is just a foodie’s way to rationalize eating mayonnaise.

12.  If you follow me on Twitter you realize some of these entries look familiar as I share a lot of nonsense on there.  Here are the random thoughts of others that I liked.

@jeffhalevy: If you’ve never felt like quitting, you’ve never really tried all that hard.
@Lil_Bianchi: Choosing whole wheat products over wheat is like choosing to smoke 10 cigarettes a day over 20. Problem is not solved nor is it improved.
@SeanHyson: Assistance work that follows your main lift is not an exact science. Just work the muscles the main lift trains in a slightly different way.
13.  This is an awesome research article by Dr. Mercola about cancer and how our digestion and gut flora plays an enormous role.  “Normalizing your insulin levels is one of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your risk of cancer.”

14.  Chances are strong to quite strong that this will always be my favorite P360 picture.


15.  The most underrated, under trained part of a strength program is grip.  I think too many people are held back by a program that includes deadlifts and cleans without the inclusion of farmer’s walks or holds.  When your grip improves so to does lift off, first and second pull.
16.  While I believe it is misguided and irresponsible to flaunt injuries like a gigantic asshole, I also believe that serious training runs the inherent risk of injury and will never shy away from the fact this kind of training has its periodic setbacks.  After all, I’d be a hypocrate if I said differently since I’ve recently been injured myself.  However, after two months of recovery and safe, yet aggressive self rehab I feel better than I have in years and I owe a lot of that to the break my injury forced upon my body, and to begin anew with the basics.  Injuries are not death sentences.
17.  I have no proof of this, but I believe one of the reasons I hurt my back was an over-dependency on weight belts.  Since I began powerlifting back in college I had always used a belt because I assumed my back would explode without it.  It was stupid of me and completely incorrect, and the result was years of never allowing my back to train with the rest of my primary movers, ultimately leaving it behind weaker and less capable.  I created a weak link in all of my lifts and it became chronically and acutely exposed.
As you can imagine, I am in the process of re-training my back to not need a weight belt until I get to near maximal.
18.  For those who struggle with a chronically sore back every single time you deadlift, I would recommend switching to sumo deadlifts.  I pulled exclusively in sumo position for six weeks and it was an excellent way to get back into the swing of things as it overloaded my glutes while decreasing a lot of the stress on the back.
19.  One last thought while I’m on the topics of the spine.  Don’t be afraid of a sore back on deadlifts.  People are a bit too quick to scare from a sore lower back.  Your back contains muscles and must be trained along with everything else.  Just as your quads and glutes get sore, so too does your back from heavy lifting.  So long as your back is not the only place you feel it the next day, you’re not doing anything wrong.  Learn to decipher abnormal and normal soreness.
20. I’m just saying…Rocky used free weights in a circuit format, Drago used machines at steady sets.  We all know how that played out for that commie.

Was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of my friends within the community find kipping pull-ups to be as ridiculous as I do.

21.  Thought this was a pretty cool visual of weight placement off the ground.  Props to Waxman’s Gym for putting this together.
22.  I am actively seeking more seminars and workshops this year so if you hear of any that sound cool, please pass them along.  Continuing education is a big staff priority at P360 this year.
23.  You have not wanted to cut yourself until you’ve tried to park at Trader Joe’s at 8 pm in the rain.
24.  Order your meat and only after have they served it do you say, “Ehhhh you know what? I’ll do double meat if you don’t mind.”  You get WAY more by pulling the slow burn. #ChipotleCoaching
25.  The mystery of how Mike Lee got himself featured in a Subway commercial remains.
27.  Hilarious.  True.  Depressing.
28.  Skinless sardines + olive oil = a delicious, omega packed, protein jammed snack.
29.  Sardines + skin in tact + water = a bum drinking ocean water and vomiting it into your morning coffee.  Skin matters, people.  For the love of God, skin matters.
30.  Add one more to the growing body of research incriminating diet as the culprit of many once believed genetic conditions.  Here is one from Nathan Grey that links junk food to a 40% rise in asthma.
31.  I love two-for-ones.  If I can get two goals accomplished with one exercise, I jump on it.  Time is precious and frankly, I have no desire to spend anywhere close to two hours training each day.  Big fan of this as a way to work both grip and glute power, two largely transferable skills.
32.  Ramen nooodles will always be top ten most delicious foods in the grocery store.
33.  I’ve never been a fan of the coaching cue, “Ass to grass” on squats.  It has popped up recently, not sure who started it or why, but all of the sudden it’s the most popular coaching cue amongst athletes and coaches.  While I encourage a squat depth below parallel, you must first be qualified to do so and an ATG level of depth on an untrained squat can be a recipe for disaster over time. I will let someone much smarter than me break it down. (via Bodybuilding.net)

Thanks for bringing this up. Squat depth is critically important, but so is correct form. ATG-level depth most usually requires that the lumbar muscles relax the lordosis and that the hamstrings relax before extreme depth can be reached. It doesn’t sound like a good idea to me that anything be relaxed in a deep squat, since doing this kills your good controlled rebound out of the bottom and risks your intervertebral discs. Those rare individuals that can obtain ass-to-ankles depth without relaxing anything might be able to get away with it, but as a general rule you should squat as deep as you can with a hard-arched lower back and tight hamstings and adductors. This depth will be below parallel, but it will not usually be “ATG”.

-Mark Rippetoe

34.  Three out of ten, my ass.  This kid is a smart little whipper snapper if you ask me.
35.  @HistorianQuotes: “I’ve sent Honey Boo Boo to do my work on Earth” – Satan
36.  Subway earning AHA approval as a heart healthy food is like saying cocaine is approved as a nose healthy medicine because it’s derived from plants.
Okay so there’s actually no correlation between those two comments but whatever, Subway is stupid.
37.  Back rounding on a deadlift.  Guys, it’s really not just that big of a deal in an advanced lifter.  I look for many risks and compromising situations when an advanced athlete is at a near max pull, and I can tell you I am much more concerned with cervical hyperextension than I am with a little bit of lumbar flexion.  A flat, neutral spine is ideal but a little bit of rounding in a well stabilized athlete is not the end of the world.
38.  Those five seconds immediately post whipping on double unders when nothing or no one can make you NOT want to harm the nearest person.
39.  If I can hold a piece of bacon up on one end and it remains straight across without wilting to the other end, I know I’m going to eat at least ten to twelve pieces of it.  Bacon that can fight off gravity is a glorious, glorious thing.
40.  Kenny Florian ‏@kennyflorian: Why eat kale? 1. low calories, high fiber, 0 fat 2. high in iron 3. high in Vitamin K 4. filled w/antioxidants 5. great anti-inflammatory.
41.  Joke of the day:  How do you know someone is on a Paleo diet??
…They’ll tell you.
Ba-dump CHING!  Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at?
42.  Oh yeah, these freaks.
43.  Until you are drinking one half gallon of milk per day and absolutely demolishing food non-stop, I don’t want to consult with you why you’re not adding mass as a skinny hardgainer.
44.  Recently learned that 97% of Southern Californian doctors endorse eating meat.  I knew I loved this state.
45.  Then again, doctors also used to endorse this so I hope this one doesn’t come back to bite the carnivores in the ass.
46.  ‏@ChaseMit: Just want to point out the NRA’s plan to stop school shootings is literally the plot of Kindergarten Cop.
47.  Make sure you always pay with debit card.   When you get double meat and guacamole, like any self respecting male does, the total arrives at $11.02.  Since those bastards don’t have a take-a-penny jar, you’re left with 98 cents change, and I don’t want that for you.  I don’t want that for anyone.  #ChipotleCoaching
48.  @MensFitness: Abs advice: Front squat, deadlift and overhead press more. These compound, complex moves engage every inch of your core.
49.  Vanity is a perfectly acceptable basis for your training.   There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good as self confidence is what gets you anywhere in life.
51.  @gymjones: Realistic doesn’t mean pessimistic. It means honest. Whatever the cost.
52.  Drying a load of laundry.  45 minutes
53.  Drying a load of laundry that contains wet towels.  7 hours and 16 minutes.
54.  Reps eight, nine and ten on barbell lunges make me want to shave my face with a rusted snow shovel.
55.  I’m learning many things about having a beard, such as this.  Clearly you can only let your face look like that when your girlfriend is working abroad in India.
56.  I understand where kettlebells were invented, but that doesn’t mean you get to call them poods here in this country.  Did you buy those kettlebells with rubles?  If you want to be a hipster, please stick with kilos.
57.  Mislabeling of fish is becoming a widespread problem as evidenced by this New York Times piece.  Try as best as you can to buy your fish from a local market to ensure locality of acquisition.
58.  That moment when you realize you’ve put the salt back in the refrigerator.
59.  Adding mass is all fun and gains until you realize how bad you are at pull-ups.  I am up about 15 pounds in 2013 and performing a set of 15 pull-ups went from good way to warm up to this.
61.  Step 1: Buy almond butter.  Step 2: Dump it out.  Step 3: Add cinnamon and chocolate whey protein.  Step 4: Add back to tub.  You’re welcome.
62.  Towel pull-ups are another great way to increase the grip aspect of an already challenging exercise.
63.  That awkward moment when you’re in a bar explaining the gym to a stranger…while in American flag spandex and sunglasses without lenses in them.
64.  I was recently scrolling through some old pictures for another project and came across some pretty remarkable proof that I hope can better illustrate why the scale is beyond stupid for anyone on a weight training program.
On the left, I am chugging a delicious, frothy beer in Costa Rica in the Fall of 2008 at our buddy Rob’s wedding (greatest week ever).  I weighed about 175 pounds at this time.
On the right, I am chugging a much lamer protein shake in the Summer of 2012 during the week of my brother’s wedding.  I weigh 175 pounds in this picture, as well.
Same exact bodyweight, drastically different composition.  Deadlifts, cleans, squats, presses and jerks change your body in a way most other weight training does not.  The scale will absolutely not reflect this tradeoff of fat for muscle.  I’d guess I am a solid three to four percent less body fat on the right, yet my weight is the same.   More muscle, less fat.
65.  Why does Pacific Beach encourage the placement of trash cans in the middle of the damn street on trash day?  You’ve never parallel parked until you’ve had to navigate six trash cans in a nine foot area.
66.  Once you use salt and pepper grinders, you’ll never able to go back to shakers.

67. When taking a clean off the floor, make certain you don’t deadlift it off the ground. Hips and shoulders some rise at the same time so you want to position your hips on the lift off MUCH lower than you would on a deadlift.

68.  I was recently asked to explain the term cannibalization as it pertains to a strength program.  Here goes.  When you train for strength, you need adequate rest between sets.  Strength and power training place an enormous stress on the central nervous system (CNS), which takes a few minutes to recover.  If you constantly hammer out speed circuits while lifting heavy, you are “cannibalizing” strength with the speed of your workout (speed is leeching energy from strength).  Slow down, rest after the sets and allow at least 2 minutes recovery.
69. Thanks again to everyone who came out on Saturday for our Scavenger Bar Hunt.  I can say that was one of the most fun I’ve had in recent memory and the most I’ve ever enjoyed a P360 social event.  We ended up with just a shade under one hundred people.  What a phenomenal crew to get to work with in 2013 and beyond.
Where else are you going to see a post like this on your business wall less than 24 hours after an extracirricular gym event?

Also, I lost my fart machine. Still have the remote but no machine. Any info on its whereabouts is mucho appreciated!

To 2013 and beyond.

Dave is co-owner of Performance360 in San Diego.  Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramPlease share this article if you enjoyed it.

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