Thursday, April 30, 2009

Library Rave Anyone?

Imagine this scenario:

Your in the library trying to better yourself and increase your knowledge when you see people start lining up around the banisters and balconies. You question for a split second then realize "who cares", and go back to your work. All of a sudden hundreds of people start flooding into the library yelling and screaming. Chants are being started and all of these people around you are "partying". Your first thought is to run through the masses, stabbing people with your pen. But then again you may be a part of the majority who thought it was hilarious. The same majority who complains about "too much work", "not enough time to finish school work during dead week", and "your out of Aderol for your all-nighters." The same majority who makes excuses for your fat ass not doing something to get in shape. The majority that puts the blame on others and never takes the blame yourself...Sorry, I got a little side-tracked, but I'll come back to this group in a minute. So yeah, this happened at the University of Kentucky library last night. It's been posted all over YouTube and Facebook and everyone loves it. Fortunately, I was not there to witness it first-hand because if I were I would probably be in jail.

So back to you, Majority. As much as you annoy me I also thank you. Your lack of effort and logic helps me to gain more and more distance from you in this race we call life. It is also you who motivates me to succeed and better myself. I see you slack and I am reminded of what I need not do. But I don't want to kick a man when he's down so I am going to offer you some advice. I realize that I myself am not perfect, maybe close, but not perfect. However, I do know that you need help and maybe, just maybe, I could provide a spark. Why do I want to help if I have already thanked you for your weakness? Strictly for some competition, so don't get excited and think I actually like you.

The biggest piece of advice I could give you would be to actually take some responsibility. Stop looking for easy ways out and somewhere else to put the blame. Something bad happens, a bad grade per se, blame yourself and your lack of studying. And better yet learn from it and when the next test comes, start studying a week early instead of the night before. When you look in the mirror and frown because your stomach hangs down to your knees, don't blame McDonald's. Blame yourself for becoming best friends with your couch. And with responsibility comes initiative. For those who don't know what that even is I will give you a definition:

-noun: 1. an introductory act or step; one's personal, responsible decision.

So now that you know what it means, use it. Start completing your school work before the due date. Spread it out so your not cramming 10 subjects into one night of frappucinos and "raves". Join a gym, get a trainer, start going for a run/walk everyday. You don't have to make huge leaps, just small steps. Small steps turn into big gains. So get out of your valley of misery and do something productive.

All I can say is start taking responsibility for your life and better yourself. Be your own and take pride in your existence. That's a good start. But if that's not for you I heard they are throwing another party at the library tonight.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wanna Go?

Last night's episode of Family Guy entitled "Stew-roids" was amazing. Just thought I would share a clip. Stewie on roids made me very happy.

That reminds graduate school experience is almost over and it's hard to accept that two years have already gone by. It seems like just yesterday I was only benching 260. But for real though, the time has flown by. I can not say that my time here hasn't been valuable though. I have learned a lot, grown a lot, and developed myself. From the hours in the class room learning about the Krebs cycle and flow loops to my time in the gym where weight was moved and nicknames were created. From Tall T to Wack, from Spare Tire to Smells Good. (If you don't understand then you really don't know me but I tend to remember people by features, not names.) I have went from being a nobody to "That guy with Rob" to "The guy with the Mohawk". Most people would probably recognize me, whether that be a good thing or a bad thing.

The majority of the past two years has been spent in one of two places, the Seaton Center or the Johnson Center. One being the workplace and the other being my place of personal development. I have met so many people, some that I will never talk to again and others who will be friends for the rest of my life. We have spent hours together including nights in the bar where bar stools were knocked over and people were yelled at, to mornings in class where, for some, 10 minutes late was right on time. There have been many days in the Johnson Center talking shit on those who just have no clue. Most people in the gym think I can only say one thing...that being "AAAHHHH". But deep down there is more. I am much more intricate.

Outside of this world I have had a group of friends invest in diamond rings, taking a dive into marriage. I have also had friends make great leaps in careers and develop new lives. I have seen some great things happen to the people around me. I have also seen some not so great things. I've went through some bad times but it has not broken me. I have refused to crumble. It's hard to break something so huge as myself.

What will happen from this point on? I honestly have no idea. I am just along for the ride. I have options so we will just see where I end up. I can guarantee one thing though...I will do something big. My name will be heard of again. World wide they will be calling me "the guy with the Mohawk" or whatever the next fashion statement will be. So keep your eyes and ears open.

And remember, if there's one thing women love, it's a vascular man.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wiffle Ball '09

The weather is warming and the birds are chirping and you know what that means....wiffle ball season. I am a defending champ and this year our team has added a few people. As a part of the Transylvania WiffleBall League the Unforgettables plan on taking the title. The exciting thing about this year is that our league is now a part of the National WiffleBall Association. Check out the league website.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You Get What You Deserve

Is it just me or are Americans expecting more and more to just be given to them? It seems like people in today's world take a lot for granted and don't realize that not everything should be easy and given to you on a silver platter with a fork and knife. This goes for everything from education to purchases to employment to exercise. There have been a series of commercials running recently, and even though I'm not really sure what they are advertising for, I really enjoy them because they are so true. Like the one below for instance, people expect more than what the man is actually advertising.

At the university I am currently attending there has been a new rule passed concerning the ideal of a "dead week". Currently at this institution there is a rule that professors can not give homework during the week before finals unless it was already on the syllabus. Well that's not good enough for the students so the student government has now passed a law stating that there can be no work given or due during this "dead week". People complained it was "unfair and too stressful" to have papers to turn in the week before they had a final. This is exactly what America has become. Instead of students learning how to manage their time better and get used to what the real world is like, the SG has decided to coddle them and just eliminate work. I sure hope these students get a job where their boss will just tell them, "You have to party with your friends this weekend? It's OK, you don't have to do that work you were assigned."

Listen to people talk about working out and losing weight. Go into a gym and watch the majority of the people "work out". It's pathetic. You here people talk about how they were on the treadmill for 30 minutes, so now they can go eat a cake. You here people talk about how they do an hour of cardio every day and haven't lost a pound. What they forget to mention is that the "cardio" they do doesn't even make them sweat and outside of the gym they eat like crap and drink nightly. People blame trainers for not making them lose weight and look good. Well, I don't care how good of a trainer you have, if you are only with said trainer for 2 hours a week and the other 166 hours of the week are filled with donut holes and the couch then your not going to get results. There's probably a reason everyone in the hot dog commercial is over-weight...

People need to start taking responsibility for their actions and realize that they expect to be given more than they deserve. Improvement takes WORK, no matter what area of life it is. You want to be smarter, you have to study. You want to be in better shape, you have to bust your ass in the gym. You want to be successful at your job, you have to put in the hours. Take pride in what you do and earn what you get. Stop expecting everything to just happen. GO GET IT!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weekly Function



External occipital protuberance

Along the medial sides of the nuchal line

Ligamentum nuchae (surrounding the cervical spinous processes)

Spinous processes of C1-T12


Posterior, lateral 1/3 of clavicle


Superior spine of scapula


Elevates scapula

Upward rotation of scapula (upper fibers)

Downward rotation of scapula (lower fibers)

Retracts scapula (middle fibers, all fibers co-contracting)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Take a Step Back

Linear periodization has always been a foundation of many strength training programs. But let's be serious, the body does not adapt in a linear fashion. The body goes through periods of stagnation along with periods of explosion. Many times gains can come in a burst after being at a sticking point for months. So, to say that linear periodization is the best way to go leaves a lot to be gained. There are many other philosophies on periodization but I am not going to get into all of those today. I am more interested in discussing the idea of a deload, or rest period for the body.

As you may know when training, in some way, the idea is to make increases. Whether it be the intensity, the volume, or maybe the exercise itself, increases are ideal. Progression. Well for most of us weathered trainees there are points in our training where a wall is hit and gains are not being reached as we had hoped for. Sometimes we have just hit a ceiling but many times our body has just been pushed so hard for so long it just needs a rest. And that there is the idea behind a deload.

Deloading can be done in many different ways. It can be one week or multiple weeks. It can involve decreasing the load lifted or the volume of the workout. It can be a week of totally different exercises that cause less strain on the body mechanically. Depending on the goals and type of workout really determines the type of deload. When working towards greater strength and power the ideal of a deload would be to decrease the volume, maybe even to 50%. By doing so one can keep the intensity high and maybe even get a few more pounds on each lift and still have the body rested because of the decrease in volume. A person who looks more at volume for their workout, maybe an endurance athlete, might keep the volume normal but cut the weight. The body is still pushing through the same number of reps but the amount of weight being lifted is not nearly as tough as normal, therefore the body can recover. Those who do a lot of running, whether long distance or sprint-type training, may take a week where they avoid foot contacts during training. By this I mean avoiding the treadmill or track and doing a bike workout or going to the pool and doing some water training. This type of deload takes the strain off of the joints and allows them to recover since they have been beaten on so much over the past months of training.

You may be wondering why not just take a week off period. Well for most of us gym junkies, it's almost impossible to be sedentary and stay out of the the place we call our church. Beyond that, doing absolutely nothing would give us rest, but engaging in an active recovery (a deload) gives our body the rest it needs while still making gains and improving our performance. There are instances where a person or athlete does need to just take a couple days off. Overtraining, or the verge of it, is a good reason to just sit back and do nothing for a couple days. Either way, let the body heal. Dropping a workout down a notch for a week can catapult you into the next phase of your workout where you could see some great gains that you hadn't seen in a while. Not to mention after a week of reduced load you will be itching to get back at it 100%, I know i can't wait for the week following a deload.

If you are new to the gym, or you are a trainer with a client who has just began weight training then a deload will not be as necessary at this point. Beginners are going to see a lot more gains than are experienced lifters plus for the first 8-10 weeks of training there are going to be a lot of neural adaptations. So their strength is going to rise on more of a linear path. With a new trainee there may be 10-12 weeks of hard workouts before a deload where as with athletes or lifting vets it may be more around 4-6 weeks of hard training before a week of recovery. Everything is individual and it needs to be played around with to find the best fit for each person. Just know at some point there needs to be some type of recovery. The body can't constantly be pushed to the edge without it falling off at some point. So give it a step back every now and then.

If you are interested in more info about deloading there's an E-book by Eric Cressey called "The Art of the Deload". Its very helpful in teaching the different ways of deloading and some reasons behind them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weekly Function



Lateral, anterior 1/3 of distal clavicle

Lateral border of acromion

Scapular spine


Deltoid tuberosity of humerus


Abducts arm

Flexion and internal rotation of humerus (anterior portion)

Extension and external rotation of humerus (posterior portion)

I want to also give a shout out and congrats to the University of Louisville Women's basketball team. With a final four and championship appearance they fell just short of becoming National Champions. I had the opportunity to meet and work with the team over the summer and am glad I was able to have that experience. Even though they were not crowned champion this year they had an amazing season so congratulations to them.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Don't Be Garbage

There has been a lot of issues surrounding me lately dealing with qualifications. From class, where I am working on a project looking into the quality of certifications, to the campus recreation center where many of the employees are thought to be lacking in knowledge and ability. This is a major issue in the fitness world and all kinds of problems have come from it. Personal training is a field that can be entered just by getting a certification. Currently there are over 250 certifications out there ranging from Internet tests to weekly workshops. A certification is minimal knowledge yet many fitness centers see a person with a certification and fail to investigate further. More important than any certification is experience and drive. Experience with different clientele, different protocols, and different training methods are all ways of learning and improving. No test can teach this. Many people refuse to educate themselves on a regular basis. A certification is achieved and that is the end of the story. This is not right. Trainers need to put themselves in the literature, learn what's going on around the world of fitness, and try new things to learn what works and what doesn't.

Beyond this there needs to be a better base knowledge. Everyone who works as an educator of exercise should know anatomy and physiology. I'm not saying that every trainer needs to be an exercise physiologist but a basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology is a must. Without this knowledge how is one to know what makes the body change and why the body changes the way it does. We, as trainers, are to educate our clients, not only instruct them. Therefore we must know why and how.

I'm not saying I know everything because I don't. I am far from that. But I do continue to educate myself and push my knowledge further. I go through numerous articles a week ranging from training, to nutrition, to anatomy. The more I know the better I am and the better I can be at my job. A buddy of mine said it best the other day when he said he would rather be the dumbest guy in the room. Why? Being the dumbest guy in the room means that you are surrounded by knowledge that you can soak up. Ask questions when you don't know something and try to use every resource you have. I have seen many people around me think that they know everything when they actually don't know a damn thing. There are not very many sure things in the world of exercise so don't act like your way is the best. Listen to others, research , and try things out. Strive to better your knowledge and your skills will surely increase.


The Meathead's Manifesto

To most of the general populous, the term "Meathead" is not one that is looked upon favorably. It carries with it a negative connotation, implying a lack of intelligence evidenced by an excessive fixation on the body. Because surely those who find time to train (exercise, to the non-Meatheads) 5 days a week couldn't possibly be dedicating enough time to intellectual pursuits, right? Wrong, obviously. Going to the gym is about bettering oneself, and this is something that everyone should understand. It just so happens, though, that most of America is content to come up with ridiculous excuses for avoiding exercise, as embodied by the catchall, "I don't have time." This is, of course, complete rubbish. Those who claim not to have time to exercise are generally the same people that spend the majority of their time at home watching the garbage that now passes for quality programming. But that's what America has become: A nation of excuses. So instead of making the effort to improve his/her body - not to mention quality of life - the typical American not only hides behind excuses, but also seeks to demonize those who value physical fitness. The result is terms like Meathead; by portraying people with big muscles and low body fat as ignorant and detached from the "real world," two divergent paths are created. One can either choose to work out and be viewed as an animal, or follow the path to heart disease and feel smart. On a personal level, I've always preferred the path of the Meathead, and in reality there was never a moment where it was even a choice. Whether recreational or as something that pays the bills, weightlifting presents a powerful tool of self-worth. For my money, there does not exist another activity that so concretely shows the individual how much progress he/she has made. I can have the worst day of my life, and all I have to do to turn it all around is go to the gym and improve one rep on one exercise. And even if that doesn't happen, the release of endorphins that follows an intense session of lifting is enough to numb any pain, whether trivial or serious. Week-to-week the improvement is real and palpable, and seeing that improvement is an amazing feeling. So call me a Meathead for talking about the gym and prioritizing my time there. Snicker behind my back like I don't know what you imply (though you should probably know that by any standard measure you have less than a 1% chance of being smarter than me). Or better yet, hit the gym and see what all the fuss is about. If you like running, run. If you like cycling, ride a bike. And most importantly, know that when you say the word "Meathead" it is a compliment to people like me. And you can remain amongst the fellowship of the miserable, or you can jump on our bandwagon. There's always room.

By: Danny Amon

This piece was written by my roommate Danny Amon. Danny is a weightlifting enthusiast like the rest of us, continually indulging himself in the world of fitness and bodybuilding. I hope to post more articles by Danny and I ensure you that his articles will keep you intrigued.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mirror Muscle

I was approached by a buddy in the gym today in regards to internal rotation of the shoulder. He was asking how to correct for overly rotated shoulders. This problem can be seen in many commercial gym settings as well as athletic gym settings. Internally rotated shoulders can be the result of our daily lives, an over-emphasis on "mirror muscles", or a combination of both. Chronically working the pecs and anterior delts combined with ignored posterior delts, scapulae, and rhomboids creates this shoulder rotation. To coincide with this, our daily lives are full of movements that occur with internally rotated shoulders from typing on the computer to pushing a door open. These result in a tightening and shortening of the anterior muscles while the posterior muscles are stretched and weakened.

To correct for this there needs to be a focus on the posterior delts. Rows, external rotation, and scupular retraction should be a basis of correction. Stretching of the pecs (both major and minor) needs to be included as well. A correction of this may take some time so be patient. Stop worrying so much about trying to have the best chest when the rest of your body is wack. In addition to correcting and creating a healthier shoulder joint you will also make yourself look better. Pulling the shoulders back will actually make you look bigger and have more of an "athletic" frame. Or for the females our there, pulling the shoulders back will make your two friends "sit up" nicely.

There are many aspects of fitness and training that most people ignore. Everyone thinks that chest and "abs" are the only things needed to be trained because that's what makes them look good. WRONG! Take care of your entire body. Work both sides, the small muscles and the joints, and you will see that you look better, perform better, and stay healthier a lot longer.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tech N9ne - Sickology 101

Here's a new song by Tech N9ne to get you geeked during your workout.

Weekly Function

Latissimus Dorsi

Spinous processes of T7-L5

Upper 2-3 sacral ligaments

Iliac crest

Lower 3 or 4 ribs

Lateral lip of the intertubercular groove

Adduction of the humerus

Internal rotation of the humerus

Extension from flexed position

Downward rotation of the scapula