With the CrossFit Games just around the corner and the CrossFit Regionals just finishing we have a lot of people pushing themselves as far as possible to get a spot at the coveted CF Games 2013. I was browsing the CrossFit.com main page and found this picture, which shows a gentleman in a very precarious position with 225lbs on this body. I want to say this was a WOD that contained squat cleans for time of some sort but I didn’t really look into it very far, because I didn’t care much how he got into the position, but mostly concerned with the WHY?!? To me, there has to be a point at which you decide you can no longer do safe reps with this weight so you either rest longer, or stop all together. Why risk your ACL/MCL/PCL/LCL/Meniscus for a sport that is really just for recreation. IMO, the benefits DO NOT outweigh the potential for injury and he should have bailed the weight long before he was ever in this position. I can only hope he was not injured from this lift and that his team went on to do well. People wonder why CrossFit gets a bad rep for injuries and what not, well pictures like this are why.
What is Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is the major cause of many serious illnesses – including heart disease, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. Stress, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition, and exposure to toxins (like secondhand tobacco smoke) can all contribute to such chronic inflammation, but dietary choices play a large role as well. Learning how specific foods influence the inflammatory process is the best strategy for containing it and reducing long-term disease risks.
Top Five Inflammatory Foods:
Sugar: Excessive sugar intake has been linked to increased risks of obesity, inflammation and chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Common Cooking Oils: Common vegetable cooking oils used in many homes and restaurants have very high omega-6 fatty acids and dismally low omega-3 fats. A diet consisting of a highly imbalanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio promotes inflammation and breeds inflammatory diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Trans Fats: Trans fatty acids have been found to promote inflammation, obesity and resistance to insulin, laying the ground for degenerative illnesses to take place.
Dairy: Milk is also a common allergen that can trigger inflammatory responses, such as stomach distress, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, hives and breathing difficulties in susceptible people.
Refined Grains: Like refined sugars, refined grains have a higher glycemic index than unprocessed grains and when they are consistently consumed, can hasten the onset of degenerative diseases like cancer, coronary disease and diabetes.
Top Ten Anti-Inflammatory Foods:
- Wild Caught Salmon
- Shiitake Mushroom
- Green Tea
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sweet Potato
If you have an hour and a half to burn watch this, I am sure it will be interesting.
Dave Draper is hands down one of the best old-school bodybuilders ever, debatable by some I am sure, but definitely top 5. Below is something he had written 10 years ago to the date of when he posted this 1050 words. This type of stuff really does beg the question, how long can you train hard for, realistically? I wonder this myself at 32 years old, how long can I continue to push myself with lifting weights (squats, deads, bench, etc.)? Food for thought for sure.
“The following 1,050 words, titled “Solid, Bold, Mighty,” were written exactly 10 years ago when I thought I was getting old, which I was. If I did this routine today, they’d have to bring in crime scene investigators from Miami, New York and Las Vegas to determine exactly what took place.
I ache all over, but don’t worry about me. I can still work out in spite of the self-inflicted cruelty. Endurance to go on day after day needs continual hard work, cultivation and obsessing. The stiffness in the joints, of course, is an affliction we all suffer as the years weigh heavy on the Olympic bar of life. I’ll make it. I’ve invested in wraps of various shapes and sizes to fit just about everything that moves; liniments don’t help, but I like the eye-watering medicinal smell. I’ve got a special plastic-lined, zippered compartment in my gym bag for tubes and jars of the stuff, mixed with bottles and tins of Tylenol, aspirin and ibuprophen… I call it my hope chest.
Don’t worry about me, though I confuse the 10s for 5s when fumbling to change the plates too quickly (quickly… ha… I wouldn’t know quickly if it took a day and a half to happen). I think of color-coding the weights but forget about it by time I’m in my truck ready to head home, faint, gasping, nauseous and searching for my keys. Don’t miss the hearing, actually, because I get to concentrate better in the silence and don’t have to listen to all that dumb noise they call music these days. Don’t need ears to blast it, big fella. Thank heaven for protein powder, eggs, bananas and milk. If I had to chew all my muscle-building protein, it would take all night and day gnawing with my wobbly choppers. Don’t need teeth to blast it, either. That’s what I always say, though nobody listens to me anymore. They’d listen, I guess, if I talked above a gravelly croak and didn’t spit, sput and stutter.
But, don’t worry about me. I don’t mind being alone; get more done, more time to blast it. Don’t have to wear that ragged “Don’t bother me, jerk, I’m working out!” t-shirt anymore. Getting older isn’t bad. Old bodybuilders never die; they just bomb away.
Now then… who… what? Oh, yes, solid, bold and mighty workouts and their attributes: They keep us young, you know, and alert. A good workout three times a week keeps us strong and slim or gets us there if we’re not. Exercise takes stress and strife and stuffs it in an iron and steel compactor and crushes it. Your system is like a bunch of parts and molecules (complex scientific information) going off in different directions causing internal and external confusion; weight training and good nutrition put everything in proper order. Sleep better, stand taller, relate honestly, laugh harder and more often, attract the opposite sex effortlessly, and gain riches and natural authority — cool stuff like that.
Let me give you this week’s solid, bold and mighty workout routine, the upper-body cluster bomb.
Hanging leg raises: Some folks forego this abdominal exercise because the hanging alone is tough. It is for this very reason I have more regularly included the movement in my routine. The stretching and demand on the network of torso muscles, the straightening of the elbows and the strengthening of the grip make this lower ab and hip-flexor exercise an attractive bodybuilding bonus. I superset it with the hyperextensions, 4 sets times 12-15 reps. Moderate bend at the knee, draw legs up as tight as possible as if crunching and lower using muscle might without the advantage of swinging. A few good reps (2, 3 and 4) are better than applying the trapeze motion. Practice, focus and build the muscles and numbers.
Hyperextensions: The focus is on the lower back, as we slowly and deliberately arch into contraction. Engage no swinging or body momentum that diminishes the muscle work and enhances the risk of excessive and damaging hyperextension. This movement will stretch and strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. Focus and feel the action of the back and butt.
Forty-five-degree incline Smith press: I find the guided press a beneficial variation to the free-bar incline in exercising my front deltoids and the muscle mass high across the chest. I’m able to exactly position the bench to accomplish my purpose and mitigate any nagging pain that often accompanies the standard incline. Working the bar against the guides allows me to target the muscles in ways I can no longer do with the big bar. Put power on the back burner and go for pace, tight reps and a clear mind: 4 or 5 sets x 8-10 reps (No Smith press? Use dumbbells, Mr. Jones.)
Bent-arm pullover: Start with your head at the end of a bench and a bar held in an eight-inch grip across the chest. Lift up and back above your face and down into an extended position toward the floor. Doesn’t that feel good? Tiny pause and up with the bar in a smooth and powerful tug and back to the starting position. Doesn’t that feel great? Another pause, noticing the variety of muscle benefiting and rejoicing with the ever-changing resistance, and repeat. What we have here is a treat for the rib cage, the lats and serratus, triceps, chest, grip, abs and frontal lobe. We’re networking again, weaving the upper body together. Don’t go for power on this series of exercises, as you’ll tear yourself apart. With moderate weight in hand, you can superset the pullover with the Smith press: 4 or 5 sets x 8-10 reps.
Bent-over dumbbell lateral raise: This takes on the expression of a bent-over lateral raise crossbred with a row. We’re targeting the rear delt with more weight than we should, causing the lateral movement to collapse into a two-arm dumbbell row, a very effective compromise for the back. Focus, practice and improvise, 4 sets x 8 reps.
Standing heavy barbell curl: You’ve been there, done that. What can I say but congratulations, brother and sister? Superset the heavy beast with machine or freehand dips. More than biceps are at work when the weight is heavy and the body is struggling: 4 or 5 sets x 6 reps.
Dips: I was doing dips before I was walking and talking. (Of course, I didn’t walk or talk till I was 10.) They get a lot of work done on the whole upper body, cinching the muscles together like a well-tied knot: 4 or 5 sets x intense reps.
Gotta go. I hear something in the bushes. DD”
By Chiara Fucarino
There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, walking around with a spring in every step. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.
The question is: how do they do that?
It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …
1. Don’t hold grudges.
Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.
2. Treat everyone with kindness.
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.
3. See problems as challenges.
The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.
4. Express gratitude for what they already have.
There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.
5. Dream big.
People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.
7. Speak well of others.
Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.
8. Never make excuses.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.
9. Get absorbed into the present.
Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.
10. Wake up at the same time every morning.
Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.
11. Avoid social comparison.
Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.
12. Choose friends wisely.
Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.
13. Never seek approval from others.
Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.
14. Take the time to listen.
Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.
15. Nurture social relationships.
A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.
Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.
17. Eat well.
Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.
Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your Self Improvement and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.
19. Live minimally.
Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.
20. Tell the truth.
Lying stresses you out, corrodes your Self Improvement, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.
21. Establish personal control.
Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.
22. Accept what cannot be changed.
Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.
A little over a week ago Stan Efferding broke a 40 year record for a raw total at 275lbs bodyweight. Congrats to him as well as Mark Bell and his Supertraining Gym for creating such amazing powerlifters.
- Squat: 865.2lbs
- Bench Press: 600.7lbs
- Deadlift: 837.5lbs
- Total: 2303lbs
Marcus Lattimore is a collegiate running back for the University of South Carolina, and an amazing one at that (see stats below). Last October Marcus suffered what some may have considered to be a potentially career ending injury to his right leg (knee dislocation with ligament damage: ACL, PCL, LCL). After the repair to his knee, Marcus has been dedicated to an intense physical therapy program to help come back to the sport he loves and is determined to play again, at the professional level. It is for these reasons that I vote Marcus Lattimore as this weeks Beast of the Week; best of luck to you with the rest of your collegiate career as well as your future in the NFL!! Marcus is an inspiration to anyone who has suffered a catastrophic injury and is determined to make a full recovery.
Look away if you are squeamish: Injury Video
|Career highlights and awards|
I have changed my form slightly since this pic (feet under me more and more arc in my back with shoulders pinned to bench)
No, bench press is not a “weak” point per say but it is most definitely something I need to continue to work on as my numbers are much lower than they used to be. At one point in a galaxy far-far away I bench pressed 320lbs at around 190lbs bodyweight. Pretty good, not amazing, but not too shabby either. Well, it’s been a decade since I hit this PR and I haven’t touched that number since then, or have even been close at all. My one main goal for the past few years or so has been to hit a total of 1000lbs on the three lifts including the squat (300lbs), the bench press (300lbs), and the deadlift (400lbs). At my strongest in recent years I had a squat of 245lbs, bench press of 270lbs, and a deadlift of 350lbs for a total of 865lbs, 135lbs away from my goal. With that being said, the bench press is something I need to work on so here I am giving you details on how I plan to attack this challenge. I don’t have a huge chest and I am pretty tall with relatively long arms so bench press involves a decent amount of work. I have attempted at one point to do a wide grip bench with decent results, but my max was well under my max with a narrower grip. I am definitely more of a triceps bencher which means my grip has always stayed pretty narrow (pinkys on rings). This doesn’t mean I don’t experiment with a wider grip but it does mean I do spend a good amount of time working on assistance exercises that stimulate growth and strength in my triceps. My plan of attack is to start including exercises that with hit my tri’s including narrow grip bench, weighted dips, french press, wide grip bench, and the hammer strength machine into my programming (in addition to what I already do). I am also going to experiment with pausing at the bottom (on my chest) of my bench and explode off my chest as I would in a meet if I were to do one. I do normally have a bit of chest bounce so doing this definitely affects the amount of weight I can do for now at least. I have NO idea where my max is now and I have no spotter so I may not find out any time soon; but that won’t stop me from doing all that I need to get where I need to be with this lift. Full speed ahead!!
(This article is written in a Fitness context and is in no way war/political/etc. related)
I have been hearing over the past two years or so about the fact that the amount of qualified MEN military recruits was on the decline. “Too many potential male recruits have criminal records, drop out of high school or have drug problems. In addition, the rising obesity rate is also a factor”. I know there are probably a lot of other factors that have to be taken into consideration but from what I can gather, those who may have fit the bill previously, are no longer. Both of my grandpa’s served in WWII in different and varying capacities. I have no idea of their reasons for serving but I do know that they were completely capable humans who were fit, didn’t do drugs, and werent hardened criminals. I think if they were still alive today they would be flabbergasted at the fact that a problem like this even exists. I think every American man out of respect for his grandparents, great-grandparents, and what not, should be in the type of shape or condition to be able to at least serve in the military…even if they do not or will not (like me). From an overall “worldly” perspective, a man who is physically fit, strong, and drug free has a much greater ability to protect himself and others around him like family and friends from potential harmful situations. I am to the point in my life where I have two jobs, my 9-5 job, and taking care of my family and keeping them safe. How do I do this, I work, and I work out. I also rarely drink and I don’t do any drugs; I would prefer to never be caught in a situation where I couldn’t protect my family because I was not in the right state of mind…or because I was weak and lazy. So, this is the same reason why the U.S.A does not want weak, lazy, fat, druggies, or criminals protecting our nations borders or helping to serve overseas. Hell, I wouldn’t want these dropouts pumping my gas so why would the United States Government want them serving. I hate to be so judgemental but for those people who these articles apply to (see below), what I have said is definitely right on and to the point. I will say this, I am glad the U.S government has not just changed the guidelines to allow these people into the military to protect their “civil rights” or whatever shit they may lay claim to. I think the military will continue to find good recruits because they are out there, but some may be on the fence regarding serving so they will most likely need that extra push to actually join (not sure what that extra push would be). Moral of the story, stop being fat-lazy-druggy-drop-outs boys and get your shit together, and this is whether you serve in the military, pump gas, flip burgers, or just sit behind a desk all day.
“USA – Cancel those orders for XXL fatigues. To trim its budget, the U.S. Army is shedding weight by kicking out overweight soldiers and refusing to admit hefty recruits. More would-be troops are being turned away for obesity than for any other reason, and the number of active-duty military personnel classified as overweight or obese has more than tripled since 1998. “A healthy and fit force is essential to national security,” a Pentagon spokeswoman told the Washington Post…Seventy-five percent of civilians who wanted to join the force were ineligible, he said. Obesity was the leading cause. “Of the 25 percent that could join, what we found was 65 percent could not pass the [physical training] test on the first day,” he said in a recent speech. “Young people joining our service could not run, jump, tumble or roll — the kind of things you would expect soldiers to do if you’re in combat.”. (Those last few sentences pretty much summed up everything regarding this topic).
The Sumo Stance Deadlift is a lift I never thought I would want to try, with the exception of hating to do sumo deadlift High Pulls back in my CrossFit days. Given my history with the lift, I never thought I would ever revisit again. Well, after watching an Elite FTS video on “How To Deadlift” where Dave Tate did a demonstration on the proper form for a sumo deadlift (see below) so I decided to try it. Leading up to actually doing them in the gym I spent the past week putting my body into a sumo stance and just sitting in a squat position to help open me up. I know for a fact that my adductors are super tight as are my hamstrings and hip flexors (thanks work!!) so I knew this would not be a comfortable nor strong position for me to be in. Tonight I decided to actually do the sumo deadlifts and honestly, I really liked them. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be and I worked up to an easy 245lbs with the sumo stance. From there I went into the traditional stance deadlift and worked up to a sub-maximal 1RM. What did I learn; I want to explore this lift more and I like the fact that it really does open me up and activates muscles I don’t use enough (and that can’t be bad). Will this replace my traditional deadlift, I don’t think it will for the time being but if I become much stronger at this lift I will obviously favor whichever one allows me to pull more weight. Being six feet tall this lift is nice because it does take away at least a few inches of bar travel depending on how wide you put your feet, which makes for less work overall in your lift…however being a newbie, I still was working hard each rep. Have fun and break out of your training box people!
Dave Tate of EFS Explains the Deadlift: