79 Random Thoughts

ROCKY-IV-07_510

It’s been a long, long while since a Random Thoughts has been published on the site.  We just recently signed a lease to open our second gym, my birthday is coming up and I have a lot on mind so it’s the perfect time to just say, “YO. LO.  Fuckers”.

Some of these are brand new, some are consolidated thoughts from past articles and some make no sense at all.  Here goes.

1. Eating a lettuce wrapped bacon cheeseburger is the culinary version of just the tip.  It’s kind of cool but it also sucks.

2. Things they don’t teach you how to deal with in business school: walking into the facility bathroom to a three year old pissing straight up into the air, your landlord getting arrested for alleged meth distribution, your business neighbor starting a fire (like flames) by leaving a welding iron in the trash can forcing your entire class to breath in smoke. #ElevationTraining?

3. It is amazing to re-watch Rocky IV and see just how far his Siberian wilderness training was ahead of his time.

4. Under the passenger seat of my car, Buddie’s Burgers, underneath my car overnight, Olive Cafe, Albertson’s, in my refrigerator.  These are places I have found my wallet in 2014.  You’ve never properly questioned your life until you’ve found your wallet in the fridge.

5. Training things I find underrated: proper push-ups, tracking your lifts, ring dips, giving a shit, post workout meals, sleds, cheeseburgers.

6. If I could go on a staycation anywhere in San Diego, it would be Costco.

7. Albertson’s in PB is set to approximately one degree Fahrenheit.

8. Percentage lifts.  I don’t care for ’em and here’s why. They are a nice start but a few flaws that I dislike.  Number one, they create cookie cutter programs.  Training at 85% for me on a given day could be not nearly as effective as it is for you.  Number two, we have good days and bad days as athletes and it’s not as black and white as just following a schedule.  A day may call for 90% x 3 reps when you just can’t lift that much that day for whatever reason. Number three, not everyone knows their 1R max, nor should they.  If you are trying to get stronger, percentages are a fine estimate but don’t make the mistake of thinking they are law.  Just lift heavy and don’t forget that you’re not training for the Olympics.

9. If everyone would just shut the fuck up about Planet Fitness, I would really appreciate it.

10. There is no greater point of indecision than when the spinach won’t get sucked into the bottom of the blender.  Do I jam a utensil in there and risk it exploding everywhere? (Happened.) Or do I stop the blender, and re-position it?

11. Orrrrrr do I buy a better blender.

12. Julianne Russell wrote a freaking amazing piece on the lower back and all things keeping it healthy.  Check out her Lower Back Manifesto, here.

13. There is no class or book that can prepare you for coaching a gym full of people not to go fast and quick on the rower, like doggy paddle…only you accidentally say, “you don’t want to go short and quick like you’re doing doggystyle”. I wish they had auto correct in real life before words came out.

Rowing_machine_fail

14. For the life of me, I don’t understand how gyms and trainers can be so deliberate in teaching the intricacies of movements like Olympic and power lifts, but yet so many people can’t do a proper pushup or pull-up. Engine before rims, folks.  Engine before rims.

15. Pushups.  Squeeze the glutes, draw in the belly and do ’em right.  It should essentially be a moving plank.  Not bad sexual intercourse with the floor.

16. On your split jerk, drive the lead foot as if an oncoming cockroach were approaching you to crawl up your leg.

17. Training rule #1: Avoid pain. If you were at work and your mouse shocked you every time you touched it, would you continue?  Or would you walk down to the IT room and have one of the tech guys condescendingly replace it for you?  If a movement causes you pain then stop immediately. Inform your coaches and we’ll take a look at why this is and prescribe you an indefinite substitution and correction for as long as we need to. There are way too many exercises out there for you to do anything that makes you worse.

18. On this edition of things that make me want to cut myself.

  • 1000m row for time.
  • Gets to seat on overnight flight, no TV in headrest.
  • 500m for time.
  • A crying baby within a thousand miles.
  • ANYm row for time.
  • They are up to Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 50.
  • “If I don’t track time, how do I know if I got a good workout?”
  • Selfie is now in the Webster’s English Dictionary.  That’s on us, America.

19. Your first step in creating tension for any movement is your grip.  Without a strong hold of the barbell, there is no lat activation on anything.  Without lat activation, there is no squatting, pulling, cleaning or snatching.

20. “Forgotten people, are amongst the most elite…..typically, of course”.  On this edition of, “Pritz, say something random.”

21. Came in to work on Friday morning and had a treat waiting for me on my computer from Pritz, my business partner and friend of 14 years.  The key to making both work extremely well over the long haul?  Stuff like this.

22. All companies should play the The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song when putting people on hold.  No one is unhappy when that song plays.  Or, they should just play a screeching chalkboard, really separate the men from the boys on who REALLY needs to get their question answered.

23. I don’t understand gas range stoves.  Clean it thoroughly, it’s spotless.  Boil a single pot of water on it.  It’s filthy.

24. If my son turned out to have qualities like Kevin Durant, I would be incredibly happy.

25. The penny really pisses me off.  What the hell am I supposed to do with three individual cents?

26. On all single leg movements, put most your weight into your heels on the anchor leg.  This would be the front foot on all lunges and split squat variations, and the elevated foot on step-ups.  Weight into your heels will engage the posterior chain and the hamstrings (good).  Weight on the toe will engage the calves (who cares) and potentially over stress the front of the knee (not good).

27. Here is the funniest video ever made.  Not like on YouTube, or this year.  Ever. Anywhere. You are welcome.

(If you didn’t find that funny then delete my website.  I won’t be of any use to you.)

28. “Elbows Tucked, or Shoulders are Fucked“.  This is a good reminder to place emphasis on tucking the elbows by the side on all pressing movements.  The minute you flare them out to ninety degrees you place undue stress on the shoulder, and that’s everything from push-ups, to bench press to overhead press.

29. If you are an adult, under no circumstance should you have a fish as a pet.

30. Have the discipline to rest and do nothing.  I despise rest, but the performance numbers don’t lie.

31. If aliens are looking at our planet from afar they will think that the order of currency value would be: cash, silver, gold, printer ink.

32. On deadlifts, for every three or four days you pull in your preferred stance, have one day where you pull in the opposite set up (conventional v. sumo). At the very least, you will work different muscles and likely complement your heavy stuff, even if it’s at lighter weight.  No one ever got weaker by adding in another deadlift variation to their training.

33. How did the guys in Miracle not know Coach Kurt Russell was trying to get them to say they played for America?  Weeks of sprints and no one put it together?

34. Also, hockey players are by for the coolest professional athletes.  Tough, crazy SOBs.

35. Not that you would but IF one were to focus on a single element above all others on Olympic Lifts it would be speed.  All else is predicated on laying the speed foundation in the second pull.  Even the slower-ish first pull has an emphasis on a speed component.

36. On the surface, isometric work looks boring and unproductive.  You’re just holding something or maintaining a body weight position, why would that work?  Turns out, for the purpose of motor unit recruitment and strength, isometric holds (95%) trump both eccentric (88%) and concentric (89%) phases of movement in terms of the percentage of total motor unit recruitment, (1).  Simply put, we are most activated and in use when we are holding weight, not moving it.

37. If you can’t afford to give the barista a tip a buck, brew it at home.  And yes, I am telling your coffee should be $3.

38. You quickly realize your problems don’t mean shit when you see an injured firefighter who cannot walk, use his arms or speak for the simple reason that he was helping others.  Our problems are not real problems.

39. You don’t just scroll past Rambo and NOT watch it.

40.  I would say 1% of injuries occur because of improper form.  99% because of preexisting immobility or tightness that has nothing to do with technique or load.  Knock on wood, but I am still yet to see an injury on a 1R max lift in my short five years as a coach. I have seen plenty while warming up, though.  Folks who don’t yet grasp the seriousness of mobility work.

41. If I was a police officer and I felt for even a half second my safety could be in jeopardy, there is not a doubt in my mind I would take aggressive measures.

42. I’m not gonna lie, I kinda like The Rock.

43. Nootttt a big chocolate pastry guy.  Much more of a banana or blueberry kind of guy.

44. Fan pointed directly at you, you’re inside a gale force wind tunnel.  Point fan just slightly away from you, it’s the temperature of the sun.  Next invention, please.

45. I really wish my Inov8’s wouldn’t burst at the pinky toe every six months.  Great shoes, but man.  They gotta work on that pinky.

46. Speaking of the pinky toe, did you know that evolution has basically discarded it?  We don’t need it at all, for anything.  It’s true.  Look it up.

47. My two favorite Bruce Lee quotes.

  1. “Long term consistency trumps short term intensity.”
  2. “Obey the rules, but do not be bound by them.”

Good golly those two really resonate with me.  You should probably pay attention to every word out of Bruce Lee’s mouth.

48. Times you just have to say, “Yes. Yes, I I will do that.”

  • When you have the opportunity to order three maple bacon donuts as an appetizer.  For breakfast.
  • When you have the opportunity to trade in your perfectly practical 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee for a completely impractical ’78  Ford Bronco.
  • When there’s an ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper in the checkout display case.
  • When it’s $1.50 fish taco Tuesday at Rubio’s.
  • When there’s a Pawn Stars Friday night Marathon.

49. The single biggest influence in my life was my grandfather on my mother’s side.  I have mentioned him here before but not a day goes buy where I don’t remember him.  He passed away on the morning we opened and I hope to continue to mention him so long as there are a handful of people who tune in to our stuff.

50. I would genuinely vote for Ron Swanson if he ran for United States President and I’d probably be one of those door to door campaigners.  Me and Andy.  We’d just go around town together having laughs and promoting President Swanson.

ssztN

51. There is no right or wrong way for a woman to look.  Muscular or skinny.  So long as you are not fulfilling an expectation set by others and so long as you are creating it through action.  And you know what?  It’s not the expectation of men, magazines or anything else who are the problem.  It’s you, ladies.  Your own kind.  It’s that every woman is a Judgey Beyatch.  Appreciate all forms, from the stronger more muscular women to the skinner more petite women.  Because you know what?  Women are hot.

52. Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”- Mark Twain.

53. When you know something feels right, do it and go all in.  Don’t be bound by convenience of current circumstance.  Life is too short and instincts are usually correct.

54. Sectional couches are really somethin’.

55. Target t-shirts fit me better than any t-shirts I’ve ever purchased.  Further proof fashion doesn’t need to go past eight dollars and ninety nine cents.

56. Time under tension.  It’s no secret that TUT is a huge part of building strength and performance.  It’s another reason why isometrics such as heavy walks, holds and sled carries are very beneficial. It’s pure isometric time under tension without any concentric or eccentric muddying it up.  Just non-stop near maximal recruitment of motor units with no break, a huge reason why farmer’s walks with improve just about every lift across the board.

57. There is no better way to declare your virginity to the world then to invite someone to play Farm House Saga.

58. Let me get this straight.  The iPod goes from invented to extinct in under a decade and we are still…using toilet paper.

59. An eye patch, Smirnoff Ice, case of donuts.  Things I found on our front desk at P360 when I came in on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  I love that place.

60. Be nice to telemarketers.  It’s not a fun job and they know it.   Trust me.  I’ve had it.

61. Earn your shit. Everyone gets a medal in today’s society.  We are no longer allowed to sit little Joey down and tell him, “son, you came in last place today.  What are you going to do about it?”  When I was 12 years old, I skipped all of tryouts for my select basketball league in order to play video games. I thought I was a shoe in for the team since my best friend’s dad was the coach and my own dad was a helper during tryouts.  Come end of tryouts when we all stood on the baseline, my head was not tapped to be on one of the teams.  As I sat embarrassed in the car my dad, the man who allowed P360 to happen, simply said, “That’s what happens when you don’t put in the work, son.”  Best lesson I ever received.  Quit with the excuses. Good things don’t come to those who wait.  Good things come to those who go out, meet the beast in the middle of the road, wrestle it to the ground, cut its head off and place it above their mantle.

62. I don’t believe in separating classes by level of fitness.  It’s about education and showing how each level can adjust the workout to meet their needs.  I believe in a cohesive locker room where the strongest support the weakest.  A house divided cannot stand.

63. There is no single greater collection of hot garbage than the reading material in a grocery store checkout.  But it’s the strangest collection of hot garbage ever. It’s either TV Guide (like, “TV Guide” TV Guide), an outdated recipe book of some sort or tabloids.  And candy no one wants.  They will probably start putting Ovaltine there next.

64. “Violent hip extension is a universal principle.” – Matt Chan. Great quote.

65. Man Rule #47: Carry your weight. Chip in for gas money.  Buy a round when it’s your turn.  Bring beer to the party.

66. Butt chugging, eyeball shots, drinking hand sanitizer.  Kids these days just don’t want to WORK for their buzz anymore.  What happened to a bottle of terrible whiskey, four friends eager to get to second base with a girl and a basement no one’s parents checked. This is why China is winning.

67. Why ya gottttaa beee sooo ruuuuuddee?  Why ya gottttaa beee sooo ruuuuuddee?

68. I think if we offered “gluten free weight lifting” our membership would triple.  Pair it with organic coaching and grass-fed weightlifting? #MillionDollarIdea

69. Speaking of millionaire ideas…small gyms in airports.  Your thoughts.

70. Everything should be done in front rack position.  The demands on the trunk are amazing and it’s such a beneficial way to hold a barbell for so many reasons.  One of my favorite exercises are front rack reverse lunges.  Just an amazing movement, but unbelievably taxing.

71. I can’t NOT eat fries any other way than 8 – 13 at a time.

72. Here is a kick ass stretch that everyone should do daily As Coach Julianne raps it, we are in external rotation for the vast majority of our days so its important we do some internal balancing.  This is my personal favorite stretch from her class.

73. If I go to hell, my sentence will be a permanent state of hangriness while looking at a single, fresh, hot cinnamon scone I can only smell but cannot touch.  Also, Pharrell will be playing on repeat.

74. New goal.  Turkish Get-Up a 135 lb. person.  I need a volunteer.  Must weigh 135ish lbs. Go.

75. Complaining about what people post on social media is like going to a psych ward and complaining that you can’t have a decent conversation….it’s FACE. BOOK.  Not CNN.  And also, you’re not that intelligent.

76. I am not going to pretend like I am a yoga disciple because I don’t want to seem like I’m selling our class to our members.  But here’s the real deal.  I go once per week typically five weeks out of six.  Prior to starting yoga I had recurring tendonitis in my right ankle, tight quads that pulled on my lumbar muscles and a thoracic spine that could barely rotate.  Four months after that aforementioned schedule my ankle is 100% fine (I even ran 5 – 6 miles on it recently), my lower back is no longer sore and my t-spine mobility is greatly improving.  All of that is completely accurate.  Do with that information what you will.

77. I was passionately belting out the lyrics to Free Falling in the car the other day, minding my own bees wax, when a car pulled up next to me and looked in.  Luckily, he understood that when Free Falling is on, you sing.

78. Find your dinosaur.  There’s the scene in Step Brothers when Dale and Brennan meet in Catalina. Dale is working the catering buffet and Brennan is selling helicopters.  They are both miserable.  Mr. Dobek steps in, pulls them together and recalls the story of how when he was a kid he pretended to be a dinosaur and it was the happiest time of his life.  He pleads for them to find their dinosaur and rediscover their own happiness. Don’t go through life working an unhappy job or in an unhappy relationship. Find your dinosaur.

79. In closing, I would like to be serious for a quick second.  As many of you know, we have announced that Performance360 is opening its second location this July (on Mission Bay near Sea World).  I am going to spare the sappy thank you’s because number one, I am still convinced we are going out of business tomorrow and number two, I don’t want to sound like a bad Oscar speech. If you are reading this, you are most likely a person that deserves one, so “thank you”. Times a thousand.

The number one question we receive is, “What makes you guys so different from ________”.   I often don’t know how to personally answer it because to me, we are just being ourselves and training people in the way we know to work.  All we try and do is be authentic and attract authentic.

If success is something you want, I promise you this.  Self promotion is not the way to do it.  It’s like a tummy tuck of weight loss.  It might be a quick fix but it’s not a long-term solution.  Selfies and PRs might get you Instagram followers, but it won’t get you authentic, loyal people to stand with you.  Acquire knowledge, share it with others, acquire more knowledge, very rarely be the center of attention and always be open and honest with people.

At the end of the day, those are the things we will live or die by and will always remain our “recipe”.

Thanks for reading.

Along with Bryan Pritz, Dave Thomas has been co-owner of Performance360 in Mission Beach, San Diego for the past three years.  Their second location will be opening up by Sea World on July 1st.

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