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Showing posts from 2013

Snatch, Clean, and GET YOUR CHEST UP!!!

As I've probably stated too many times already, I am a USA Weightlifting coach and have taught a number of people how to snatch and clean and jerk.  The point of this article is to point out an often overlooked technical aspect of the snatch and the clean.

There are a lot of people out there teaching the Olympic lifts in a number of venues.  CrossFit, college weight rooms, powerlifting gyms, and personal training studios are all utilizing these fun and powerful lifts for strength and power development and competition.  However, I do see a lot of glaring form faults from time to time in the execution of these lifts that are easily fixed and make a huge difference in how much weight the lifter can move.

The most important aspect of the Olympic lifts is the powerful extension of the posterior chain.  This mainly originates from the hips and is often mistaken for a jump.  However, we don't want to move ourselves AND the bar, just the bar.  Driving through the heels as long as p…

Pregnancy, Fitness, Being Strong, and Realizing You Don't Have to Prove Anything to Anybody

I have to admit, I've been a little irritated lately.  Lots of pregnant women in the news these days doing things to "prove that pregnancy isn't a disease"   And they are doing things that I really wouldn't recommend a woman in her third trimester do.  Lifting heavy weights, running marathons, maybe there are some entering lumberjack competitions, I have no idea.

And then there are those, like this woman in the Huffington Post Article, claiming that certain types of exercise practically guarantee a healthier pregnancy and easier delivery.  This is complete and utter bullshit.  I'll be frank, intense exercisers have their share of miscarriages and morbidly obese inactive people can have perfectly healthy pregnancies with two hour natural deliveries.  Your exercise program is not a guarantee of anything.

The truth is, exercise is good for you, even when you are pregnant.  And a good moderate exercise program will probably help you maintain your weight and giv…

USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coaching Course in Raleigh NC

My weightlifting club, Have Fun, Get Strong, #1321 is hosting a Level 1 Coaching course atCrossFit RDU on June 22nd and 23rd with Michael McKenna as instructor. I am hosting the course to raise money for my club to send one of my lifters, Diana Ceron, to the American Open.  Diana has recently returned to weightlifting after giving birth to her daughter.  As a 53 kg lifter, she had a total of 188 kg.  She is currently a 63 kg lifter with a current 166 kg total.  We hope to re-qualify her as a 58 kg lifter this fall with a goal total of 180 kg.  

If you have any interest in becoming a level one weightlifting coach, please consider attending!

Registration Link

Nutrition and Training: Common Sense Works Best

There's so much on the internet these days about the right way to train and eat that I really have nothing to add.   In fact, the advice I give hasn't changed much in the last five years and I've only grown more resolute that its the best path to a functional healthy life.  Unfortunately, what I have to say is not sexy or exciting and it seems too simple to work.  Surely one must attack everything with great vigor and scrutiny to succeed at fitness and health, but the truth is, simple still works best.  Having trained horses for a number of years, I can honestly say that even with equines, focusing on too many things at once is stressful, diminishes performance and function, and increases risk of injury.

If your approach to diet and fitness is too complicated, how can you truly maximize the qualities that will give you the greatest benefit?  Whether your goal is body composition or performance, a solid strength training program, a sensible diet, and some aerobic base tra…

How To Train for an Obstacle Course Race

Now that I've completed the Tough Mudder, I want to take the opportunity to go over what all of us did to get there.  There are a lot of ideas floating about on the world wide web as to how to train for one of these races and I've seen a lot of plans.  Many of which are overly complicated, too deficient in volume, too abundant in intensity, and mostly complete nonsense.  Many of the theories about training for these races fall in line with the philosophy that tired, sore, and possibly injured is the most effective.  The truth is, however, it is far more effective when you train in a way that improves your abilities without being chronically tired, sore, or injured and most importantly, is specific to your goal.  High-intensity, non-specific conditioning may feel like good exercise, but it is not any way to train for something specific.  Training is important, but smart planning and recovery is more important.

There are some very basic training principles that are common to all…

Goals and Plans

If you're like me, you're sitting on the couch in your pajamas watching Phineas and Ferb and trying to figure out what to write down as your goals for the year.  I would call these goals "resolutions", but resolutions don't get very far in this house so I prefer to set goals.  There are many goals that we all want to set in the beginning of the year, but the ones that I typically deal with in my practice are the diet and exercise goals, weight loss being the most typical.

When you set a goal, the most important next step is to come up with a plan.  Preferably a plan that supports not only your goal, but the other aspects of your life that can't afford to be displaced.  These include your job, your family, your health, and your self-worth.  This may sound simple, but time and time again, I see people sabotaging most or all of the above in pursuit of a goal because of poor planning.  How?  Well, change is difficult.  Changing our routine requires a change in s…