Breaking Frustration

The shortened and delayed ski season we experienced this year did much to create havoc for my fitness. A few months before the season started, I switched from a strength based 5×5 varient (Mad Cow) to one more oriented to endurance. The plan was quite simple. Build strength and mass during the off season, then get the muscles ready to spend 8 hours on skis during a weekend shift. It seemed like a good idea, but it didn’t work.

Going into the switch, I had the momentum in my favor. My body fat percentage was hovering around 15% and showed signs of dropping lower. My abs were starting to make an appearance and my waist looked to stay under 34 inches. My one rep max on dead lift of 250 became my 3 rep. My squat wanted to stay above body weight and even 225s were recorded. Only my bench suffered a bit due to my left shoulder weakness. Goals were reached. Looked good.

Pushing heavy weights around is very different from pushing snow for hours. Sure, strength does help, but so does balance and finesse. Mark Rippetoe speaks on how it is easier to build endurance from strength than it is the other way around. Looking at the calendar and the goals I had reached, I decided it was time to switch. Workouts became more 4x oriented. I knew some strength would drop, the amount was one I did not realize.

Normally by mid-December, the ski season is well underway. This year, December closed and being open was not near. The first week in January saw a hand-full of runs open, but nothing upon which we could train. Not until the latter half of January did the hill get opened and ski training could really start. By this time, it had been over 8 weeks since my last heavy sessions. During a busy ski season, this isn’t a problem as long hours in boots and on the hill have made up for it. Not this year. This year, my fitness started to drop far too much. Pants became tighter and the wrong kind of weight showed up.

After the season was over, I tried returning to the Mad Cow 5×5 program, but my heart was not in it. Looking for a change, I decided on some German Volume Training. The first two weeks were good, but as time went on, my ability to meet the required schedule for the training sessions to be of their greatest value waned. GVT without the volume is missing the key component. Though the workouts were good, my charts remained flat and my body fat percentage was still going the wrong way.

Time for a change.

Today I decided to return to the Mad Cow 5×5 with a reset to workout A. The gym was crowded, so I started on the leg press to get warmed up and stretched. Once the rack became available, I started in on the squats. I made my way up to 170 x 5 on the final set and things felt tough, but good. During the rest period between squats and bench press, I decided to make another change: make this an actual leg workout.

Ok, why the double change?

One nice thing about the German Volume training routines is they are not too long. I really want to be out of the gym within 45 minutes most days and want good effectiveness. There is far too much to be done to spend two hours per session. So an idea came across my mind. Five heavy sets of squats. Five heavy sets of leg presses. Then five sets of 12 rep walking lunges. Surely that will work.

Time will tell what the results will be. Here is the routine:

  • Warm up and stretch
  • Squats
    • Warm up: 3 x 5, increasing slightly each set, 30 seconds rest
    • Medium heavy: 1 x 5, 85 seconds rest
    • Work: 5×5, heavy on each set, same weight, 85 seconds rest
  • Presses
    • 1 x 5, heavier than light, consider it a warm up, 75 seconds rest
    • 1 x 5, medium heavy, 75 seconds rest
    • 5 x 5, heavy on each set, same weight, 75 seconds rest
  • Walking Lunge
    • 5 x 12, as much as you can do, same weight every set, 65 seconds rest

Borrowing from the 5×5 and 4x ideals, do not neglect the negative, especially on the leg presses. Go for as much as 6 seconds on each rep. Do not increase the weight until all the sets can be performed with the same weight. Get your ego out of the way. Form counts.

Now to find companion routines for Wednesday and Friday. Time to break out of the rut. Time to break the frustration.

Extra twist: do the weight on the walking lunge unequal. Keeping your torso straight with unbalanced weight will also work your core.

 

Removing Can’t

In the English language, there are few words or phrases that are more destructive, more disruptive, more discouraging, nor more damaging than can’t. Matters not if it is used in its formal form of cannot, separated for emphases as can not, nor pronounced as if it spelled cain’t, the damage, the discouragement, the destruction is the same.

Parents will use the term believing they are teaching their children not to do something harmful. When physical or emotional harm is the known outcome, it is still encouraging to use another word. A child should not have to put their hands to a put stove to know it is hot and will burn them, but the common usage of can’t is too tempting to bleed over into other uses whose damage will not be seen for years.

Each person is born with a unique set of talents and gifts. Often parents are not sure what to do with their child when they are different. Unknowingly, a parent may tell a child they cannot do something out of fear or jealousy. Suppose they have a child who is adapt at piano when they never were. The parent might tell the child “You can’t spend the time to learn well enough.” The parent is making a judgement about their child and placing the seeds of doubt within them. Instead, the parent should empower the child to make a better decision whether to pursue and for how long: “I believe you can play well. Let’s set some learning goals and a practice schedule to get there.” Sure, these first goals may be as simple as learning the C scale in both directions with proper finger placement, but it shows the child how the path will look.

Parents are not the only ones who disarm with can’t. Often a person themselves will sabotage their own success by looking at a new endeavor and saying “I could never do that,” or worse “I can’t do that.” How do you know till you fully try? Don’t assume you cannot and then give a half-hearted effort to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, believe that perhaps you can do it. Create a plan, even it is just a mental one, and give 110% to the attempt. Decide and take massive action.

Inside each and every person ever born or will be born has an unique blend of talents and gifts that the World needs to better itself. How those gifts are used is the choice of that person and no one else. Whether or not those gifts and talents are used is also a choice of that same person, no matter what negative “can’t” words have been used by others toward them. Every great leap forward, every great progressive step, every breakthrough, every incredible discovery was created by someone who refused to accept the limits imposed of them by others. Create your can. Drop the can’t.

Creating Positive Energy

Eien / Universe / Believe in Love
Eien / Universe / Believe in Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week started out with the best of plans and intentions. The idea to read each chapter of “Working with the Law” by Raymond Holliwell over a week seemed like a very good one for truly studying the depth of each. The week began well, then Life starting to run in between the work, travel jumbled in the middle, and then illness finished out the Lack. Time to reset.

Recently I have discovered something about the song Time from the movie Inception. It has a melody that channels the mind and brings Peace. While writing today’s post, a 17 minute version is playing in the background. This is not a post to write “oh well” or “I’m a failure for not working the plan,” instead it is to show the pull of Positive energy.

Monday on the drive home from work, a small part of a sermon by Alistair Begg started a whole discussion with myself concerning his comments and the Law. Bob Proctor made the comment that God is the Creator and the Law creates and we create. Though only two days ago, I no longer remember the conclusions and particular points of the discussion (yes, recorded is needed), but the Lesson is well heard. Create with Positive Energy.

When things go wrong in Life, and they will, it is very easy to be angry or disappointed or hateful. All of these will start to create a Result and it will be negative. Though a Righteous Anger may be warranted by a circumstance, it must come from a Positive Energy flow, otherwise it will produce a tidal wave of negative.

As we Create for ourselves and others, Love must be the central ingredient. For it is Love that creates with the greatest Positive force the Universe can produce. It is Love that bears all things and it is Love that carries all things. Love carries concern and well-being. Love harnesses all other Positive aspects and energies. From Love flows all Good.

It was Love the created the Universe with a Word. It was Love the lead mankind through to the time with the Word become flesh and Love dwelt among us. It was Love that created Redemption for all.

Let Love reign throughout your experience. Let Love create within you first. Only then can Love go forth and create for others. For the Law will create through us whatever we prosper and Love is the greatest. Without Love, what will be created will bring ill and be against the underlying principle of the Law. It will become temporary and pass away. Love will build for a Lifetime.

The Law of the Hebrews was not one of endless rules. It established the required boundaries among behaviors for Yahweh’s creation and Himself. When consumed with a Power to rule, the Law became a weapon of destruction and slavery for the People. Christ spoke against this Law, declaring its practioners to be vipers and harlots. Yahweh’s House of Prayer became a dean of thieves and the people the servants of the money changers. That law produced a temporary result while Christ’s return to the Law produced eternal.

The Law is not a mere metaphysical explanation of reality. It is the Law of Yahweh manifest in today’s philosophy. Its greatest expression is Love and through Love the best Future is possible. Love starts within then pours out. Christ stated that All of the Law, not a part or portion, but ALL of the Law can be summed as “Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, Mind, and Soul, and Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Without a Love for self. Without a full acceptance that we are Created by God. Without Love pushing out the negative, Love cannot pour out as Positive Creation to anyone else. To know God is to know Love, for God is Love. The Law will produce what is set before it. Let it produce Love.

“The inner thought coming from the heart represents the real motives and desires. These are the cause of action.” -Raymond Holliwell

Working With The Law: A Study

For about a year now I’ve been meaning to read and study Raymond Holliwell’s “Working with the Law”. Finally, finally. It has been ordered and is now in my possession. I also have the companion CDs with discussion about the book and its chapters featuring Bob Proctor and Mary Morrissey. Since acquiring them, I’ve listened to them twice.

I first came across The Secret on YoutTube and watched it several times. Bob is also featured in the movie and I started to find his other videos. Along the way, there was mention of Holliwell’s book and that slowly began my journey. A journey of understanding and wisdom.

Once the book arrived, I started to read each night. Listening to the appropriate CD on the way to work the next day. This worked for a few days, until I did read and then the CD was ahead. Driving to work without something going usually leads me to talk to myself (forget the radio). Sometimes this is necessary as I work various issues and ideas out, but sometimes it is not. A new plan is needed.

My order from Amazon also included Bob Proctor’s “The Art of Living,” so a new idea came to mind. What about reading both books at the same time? No, not each book every night, but some alternating scheme. Various ideas ran through my mind until one settled in: one Law chapter per week, Bob’s book on odd days, and the same CD each day. Interesting.

Sunday I’ll start the new idea, rereading chapter one as a whole. Mondays will have the chapter reviewed, a few pages in deep study, taking notes, highlighting, etc. Tuesday and Thursday evenings will be for reading “The Art of Living” and studying it as well. Wednesday and Friday evenings will be for the other two-thirds of the week’s chapter. Saturday is when the whole chapter will be read once again to summarize and continue.

The daily CDs on the drive to work? When my mind isn’t in full gear, the time will be used to listen to the proper CD for the chapter. Some of these are longer than one-way of my commute, so the ride home may also have more listening. If my mind needs to work things out, no sound, just talking.

I can’t wait to try this new approach to learning and studying “Working with the Law” and the changes it will bring to my Mind, Heart, and Life. So much has happened over the last year, this one will be no different.

Exercise. Workout. Train.

There are three types of mindsets that can be found in the gym. The ones who exercise. The ones who workout. The ones who train. These are not individuals, they are motivation, goals, and style. They are a mindset that drives, controls, contributes to the individual. Some will see these are the same, but they are very different.

Gotta Exercise

Those entering the gym with a mindset to exercise are there against their will. Perhaps a doctor has told them to lose weight or get in shape for health. These individuals walk on the treadmill and talk or read. There is no focus on what they are doing.

Results?

Even when they exercise for years, there is little to no change. They may lose a few pounds, have slight improvements in their blood pressure, or a better endurance system, but overall nothing really happens and they may get fatter. Drugs will become a permanent part of their lives to control the health issues they have. Filled with processed wheat products and sugar, their diets also reflect their lack of commitment. Eventually they stop going to the gym, but keep paying because “one day” they will return.

Wanna Workout

When a bit more commitment and focus is applied to the Exercise Mindset it grows into Workout mode. These individuals come in two varieties: the Fearful and the Crazy.

It is an interesting consequence of the modern world that the Fearful Workout Mindset is dominated by women. Though it has been demonstrated for decades that it takes incredible genetics and drugs to get bulky, these women believe the myth and fear the free weights. They will do their cardio for a long time and then do some like work with weights. Depending on where they start, they will see some results then hit a plateau and stay there. Why? Because they are afraid of lifting heavy like they should. “Don’t want to be bulky.”

And the Crazy?

These are the men and women who flock into CrossFit and WOD/WOW. They will do cardio to warm up, stretch, and then start slinging weights around like they are toys. Injuries start the arrive when they really push through barriers. Their routines are either always in flux or are long and filled with everything. If 10 sets of curls are good, doing 20 sets must be better. Right broh?

The Workout crowd also have interesting diets. No carb. Low carb. No carbs after 6. All carbs for breakfast. Paleo. Veg. Whatever is popular this week. Read articles in four different magazines and combine them. The over analysis can become addictive. What are the goals? Hard to tell. Each week brings a new idea, challenge, goal, level, etc.

Must Train

The last mindset is the most intense and consuming. Every action is calculated to a particular goal. There is no waste or time for fooling around. Some will measure every meal; others will just listen to their needs. Routines come in a variety of flavors: low rep/long rest/heavy weight, high rep/short rest, 4x, pyramiding, 5×5, German Volume Training, speed reps, partial reps. It matters not what they use, they all get results.

The Training mindset keeps records of every routine, daily measurements of weight and body fat, and self reflection (sometimes quite literally in the mirror). Everything is reviewed to see if it is pushing toward the goal. Doesn’t matter if the goal is one rep max improvement, new personal record, bodybuilding, power lifting, reduced run distance time, jump higher or further, or fitting into a particular clothing size. The goals are as various as the individuals with the Mindset, but the drive is the same. It is not something they have to do. It is something they must do. Nothing else matters but reaching the goal.

One might conclude that the Training mindset would burn an individual out due to the intensity. A few do. A very few. The mindset to Train, to be Better, to reach Goals, to go Further, becomes a lifelong companion. Once a goal is reached, another is set. Some goals have urgency, while others are more long term. The Train mindset is all consuming, but it empowers the Individual to keep Succeeding, to keep Reaching, to keep Going. It is the best Mindset to have. It is the only Mindset to have.

Want to be Better? Want to have More? Want to do More? Want to Reach? Let the Training Mindset in.

J. J. Abrams Destroyed My Life

Français : Logo de star wars crée à partir du ...
Français : Logo de star wars crée à partir du logo de la trilogie (gris) et de la prélogie (doré). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the summer of 1977 I turned 9 years old. A bit before that event, another one hit the country and started a frenzy. That is the year Star Wars hits the theaters and lines to see the movie were phenomenal. Though my mother did not let me see the movie then, I could not get enough of it and the toys. Some action figures I got as gifts while others, including the Land Speeder, I bought with saved allowance money.

I was hooked. I saw 8mm shorts without sound. I listened to the multi-record set that the library had many times. I even ran to the car after church to listen to a portion of the NPR Star Wars radio drama.

Three years later, The Empire Strike Back hit theaters and my mother had started to have a change of heart about seeing the movies. Empire was the first one I saw and next week we saw the re-released Star Wars movie at the Fort Belvoir (South Post) theater. I had finally realized a dream.

Being 12 at the time, it would take years before I would see Empire as the best of the three movies. I thought it too dark and didn’t understand it was the third act of a play. By the time of Jedi, I was 15 and the eyes of the 9 year old were nearing forgotten. I liked how the story ended, but the Ewoks were a bit ridiculous, even if they were cannibals.

There was all manner of buzz of a prequel movie and possible sequels. Apart from the books for the first three movies, I also read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and the trilogies for Han Solo and Landon Calrissian. They were all a bit different than Star Wars and even felt like more general sci-fi. I was a bit of a Tolkien fan as well, so the weak pop novels were not something I kept pursuing. The EU expanded well beyond those books, but not for me.

In the mid-90’s my love for Star Wars came back around. George Lucas had the originals remastered in THX and available on video cassette. They were also released again in theaters, though with a few changes. I only went to see Empire as it was my favorite, though I knew all the changes because of websites. Other than changing Luke’s dialog to R2D2 when the swap monster spat him out, I liked what Lucas had done.

The buzz started about a prequel trilogy and the closer 1999 came, the more I wanted to see them. I waited a few weeks after the release before venturing to the movie theater. By this time I was married and living in Marion, Ohio. The local mall theater was good, but it didn’t have the advanced sound system I knew the movie deserved. Having a surround BOSE system at home, I also knew where to sit when my wife and I arrived at a theater in Delaware that had Dolby Digital.

I was soon dismayed as the teenagers running the place had no clue. All it was was loud, no surround effects and no audio immersion. The poor movie with Jar Jar Binks and a whiny Anakin Skywalker didn’t help. I also thought the movie had too many callbacks to the original trilogy. I didn’t mind so setup, but having Anakin build C3PO was too much. The suspension of disbelief was too great to have this twerp become Dark Vader.

Wait for the other movies, they said. The Phantom Menace is great, you are just too critical they said. But the whininess never stopped. Anakin never developed in to the villain of Vader. Ironically though, Darth Maul was one of the best characters of Star Wars, good or bad, and they killed him in the first movie.

Eventually, more and more people started to agree with me: the Prequels were horrible. Not only were they poor movies, Lucas changed his story so much that he had to redo the conversation in Empire between Vader and the Emperor. Yeah sure, George, we believed you planned that all along. Sure thing.

Years passed and Lucas produced more and more versions of his movies. I soon lost track and interest in what he was changing and why. All I wanted was the originals on Blu Ray, but apparently that is too much to ask. I went on to other things like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Battlestar Galactica. Then Lucas sold his children to Disney and talk of another trilogy started.

Due to the fanboi whining about the prequels and CGI, Disney and J. J. Abrams made a big deal about using real sets and film for the new movie. The hype machine started before filming and they totally misrepresented the techniques Lucas and company had used. They completely ignored the real problem: the horrible script and acting.

After two years of complete hyperbole, The Force Awakens finally came out. The trailers promised a great movie. J. J. Abrams promised a great movie. The third official trailer even made my get very emotional and shed a few tears. Then it was on the screen and the truth became known. It was not only a J. J. Abrams hack reboot, it shredded George Lucas up one side and down the other. It was a complete hatchet job on the originals with heavy handed feminism themes thrown in the good measure.

The Internet became alight immediately. The fanbois followed in locked goose step with the paid reviewers. They said how great the movie was. They are blind. They are asleep. Max Landis finally called it stating Rey was a complete Mary Sue. He was attacked. It was merciless. But he was 100% correct.

All things being fair, the movie is about a C. The script isn’t quite as bad as the prequels and the acting is ok. Harrison Ford gives winks and nods to the audience as if he knows how bad the script is. The CGI, yes this movie is full of it, are good and the physical sets are adequate. The effects and score however are horrible. Where is John Williams musical genius? Gone. That’s where. After all, he’s a man and Mary Sue doesn’t need men.

The fans started to speak out. A little at first, but now as a torrent. As people see it more and more, they are starting to see all of the serious flaws. Over the past week I’ve had several people who had previously be energetically apologetic to the movie saw they were wrong. Sure, it will make Disney a ton a money, but the party is starting to wind down. The one movie a year is in serious jeopardy of not having people burn out. The main villain is now known as Darth Emo and J. J. has become Jar Jar. Time will tell just how damaging the backlash is.

Thank you Jar Jar Abrams. You have shown all of us that you cannot direct and your best motive is to destroy the works of others. You destroyed both Star Trek and Star Wars. Go back inside your mystery box. We don’t need you anymore.

 

How To Fix College Football

Sean Glennon (en) under center as the Virginia...
Sean Glennon (en) under center as the Virginia Tech Hokies take on the Boston College Eagles in the 2007 ACC championship game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These days, American College football is big business. Conferences receive millions in TV contracts and bonuses when teams go to bowl games. Over the years, the length of the regular season has grown from 11 to 13 games. Add in a conference championship, a major bowl, and the plus 1 game, a team can easily play 16 games on their way to a National title.

Playing 16 games at the collegiate level is just plan crazy. After all, the players are supposed to be students first and athletes second. Many schools and conferences seem to have forgotten that aspect of college. It should be about education, not a money train.

More than 10 years ago in the middle years of the BCS, I was working on a project at LexisNexis. Many of my fellow developers didn’t go to football schools as I had and didn’t really know college football. I explained the BCS concepts and we started to discuss ways to make it better. Several ideas came to the forefront:

  • Any conference champion should have the opportunity to win
  • Settle it on the field. No poll monkey business.
  • Regular season should be no more than 11 games.

Any Conference? What?

Though it is true the major conferences tend to be tougher than the rest, that is no reason a lower conference champion shouldn’t have a chance. Both Utah and Boise State have shown the ability to be BCS busters. With the switch to a one game playoff, now it makes more sense to allow other conferences to have a chance.

Given the number of conferences, though, it can easily be argued allowing all of them to participate may make the playoffs too long. Top 8 conference winners then. Don’t win your conference, don’t get in.

Field: yes. Sports writers: no.

The college football championship originally arose when sports writers wanted to crown one. There was no mechanism to have conferences play one another and it took many years for one to come about.

Formed in 1992, the Bowl Coalition didn’t have the Big Ten or the Pac -10 conferences as they were contractually obligated to the Rose Bowl. The ACC, Big 8, and SEC each had one champion and the Coalition lasted through the 1994 season.

The next attempt at a 1 verses 2 game was the Bowl Alliance. Starting in 1995, it didn’t include the Big Ten, saw the Southwest Conference disband, and the formation of the Big 12 conference. The final season was in 1997 and saw a split champion as Nebraska won the title game and undefeated Michigan won the Rose Bowl.

The more successful program for a championship game was the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and it lasted through the 2013 season. Over those years, it saw the SEC come to dominate and the controversy over which team was the true #2 never ceased. Grumblings and groanings for a true playoff started and the initial compromise is the Plus 1 game.

Writers will not be deciding the champion again.

Too many games

The regular season has grown to be far too long. Starting earlier every few years and no longer ending on New Year’s Day, the long time traditional final bowl game day, teams play 13 games just to get to the conference championship game or a bowl. When Tennessee won the first BCS title, they played 13 games for the whole season, including an SEC championship game. Now that’s nothing.

The seasons are too long. Schools petitioned the NCAA to first expand to 12 and then 13 games in the regular season to ensure more teams were bowl eligible with 6 wins. What was once reserved for the better teams, now a team with a losing record can make a bowl game. Seems rather counter to the intention of bowls. Return to the old ways and send losing teams home.

My Ashley Madison Confession

I’ve been married for nearly 25 years and deeply love my wife. Over this time we’ve had issues and have worked through all of them. Several months ago, I was pissed at my wife and all the hub-bub over Ashley Madison got my attention for a few days.

Yes, I admit it. I setup a free profile. Looked around. Then deleted my account. Well, at least I thought it was deleted. No money was spent. No contacts were made. No cheating happened. Nothing. Zip.

The exact time of my brush with transgression has been lost over the months, but some time afterward the security breach was made public. The stolen data soon became used by phishing sites encouraging people to enter their e-mail address to see if they were compromised. Curious, I entered a few of mine. Surprisingly, an old e-mail address that I never give out came back as compromised. Yeah, that’s funny. I knew right then I had fallen for a phishing site. Really, I should have known better. Duh.

Recently, the blackmail e-mails started. They wanted bitcoin for their silence or they would expose me as something I wasn’t on Facebook. Though I wasn’t going to pay, I knew I had to come clean with my wife. I sat her down and told her the whole story. I got a good punch in the arm, but our love was too strong.

And there is my Ashley Madison confession. Yes, I had an account for a short time. No, I never paid and I never cheated. My conscience is clear and the Universe knows my commitment to my wife and family. The stain is gone and the sin has been forgiven. My goodness and mercy walk with me all the days of my life.

 

Say Hello To Good Mornings

Good Mornings with a barbell
Good Mornings with a barbell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many a casual gym rats have looked at charts of back exercises and made the same remark about Good Mornings, “Those look like they hurt your back.” Wrong. They are great for the back when done properly.

The good morning exercise works the erector spinae muscles in the lower back, as well as, the hamstrings and the gluteus maximus. The exercise helps to strength the lower back and core. Have a weak squat? Hit a limit on your deadlift? The good morning can help strengthen both. Strengthening these muscles also helps with standing and seating posture. I’ve had lower back problems for several years and I do good mornings once a week. This exercise helps my back immensely.

But what about the bending?

When starting to do the good morning, it is important not to grab the Olympic bar, throw some plates on it, lift it off the rack, and bend over. It is best to get used to the movement with limited weight. Grad a light handle and put it on the spin of the scapula. A good place to hold the bar is in the same manner for a low bar squat. This will keep it off the spine when you bend over and from dropping down the back when you stand back upright. It is better to keep the weights light and do more reps than it is to try to move the world.

For safety’s sake, start with the bar in a squat rack with the pins at the same height you would for a low bar squat. Ensure the bar is centered, duck under it, and turn around. Squat down a bit and place the bar on the spine of the scapula. Hand placement is similar to the low bar squat, though it is not total necessary to point your elbows way back. Find a comfortable location.

Now stand up, lifting the bar off the pins, and step forward. There should be enough room in the rack to bend over without banging into any back supports. Keep your back slightly arched while bending and let your butt move backward similar to the squat. Having the knees slightly bent will also help keep the lower back in the proper position.

Once your back is parallel to the floor, push back up with the lower back and stand up straight. There is no need to hyper-extend at the top of the movement. Slowly lower back and do another rep. Down and back up is one rep and a good speed is 2 seconds each way. Going quickly on the positive side may make the weight hard to stop at the top. Slow, steady, and higher rep count will work the muscles adequately.

Now that the reps for your set are done, step back until both sides of the bar are firmly against the rack. Squat down slightly to re-rack the bar. If you have a workout partner, they can help guide you back properly. Walk about a bit and rest for 40 seconds.

Time for the next set.

My Simple Challenge To The Supplement Industry

The supplement industry has become a multi-billion dollar affair. From weight loss to body building and everything in between. Their slick advertisements grace the pages of magazines and the pictures of the people in them show gorgeous bodies.

All of it is nonsense. Some might use stronger language. There are two main reasons why it is compete nonsense (or bs, if you prefer) and they are:

  • the supplements are not regularly nor third party tested
  • the models had the bodies BEFORE they became sponsored by the company

What’s in it?

Read the labels of your typical supplements and it seems a world of wonder. Small, great tasting bars have 20 grams of protein and seemingly few net carbs. Pre-workout mixes claim to give you a pump and the ability to push through the most grueling of workouts. Some even quote university of this or that studies that show those taking the supplement put on 185% more lean muscle than the placebo group. Etc. Etc.

But what is really in that bar or tub? Is the protein one that is digestible and useable? When was the last time the tub of protein powder was checked for quality control? Who were the participants in these studies? What was their fitness level before starting? What  genetic factors may have attributed to their gains? What about their diet?

Recently, a few brands started testing more regularly, from a lab they helped to create. Yeah, that’s unbiased, isn’t it? Who paid for the university studies? Well, the supplement company, of course. Again, is that study really unbiased?

Enter a third party

The first challenge for the supplement industry is to create and sponsor a third party the public can trust. This laboratory should be supported by all the companies and be easily audited by anyone. Full disclosure of tests on all supplements should be published and conducted at least twice a year. The tests should be blind with no brand names on the lab form. The label claims and how many servings are in the sample should be all that is given. Only after the test should the results be matched to the brands for publication.

Wait, did you say audited by anyone? Yes. Want to test some brand’s protein powder or creatine blend? Buy a affordable sample kit, put a few servings in, and send it off. In a few days, the results should arrive. The lab should not know what brand it was or what the label claims. Compare the results with the label and be done.

Uhm, consumer fraud?

Sure, there will be some idiots who will try to scam the companies and put product in that isn’t clean or some such. The community should be able to censure against them and the labs results alone will not be able to support a claim of fraud. It would be a waste of a testing fee and legal fees to file a false claim. Doing so could also end with the liar in jail.

Get cut. Win a contest. Get sponsored.

Another area where supplement companies could be more truthful is how their models got to where they are. No matter the type of supplement, the model or athlete chosen to present a brand already had the look the company wanted from the start. They do not take an average, out of shape individual and use their supplements to get them way you see in the magazines. For the fitness model, this is why it is so important to win a contest and get their IFBB pro card. That is one’s ticket to getting sponsored and perhaps making a living on working out and speaking about the products.

Yeah, you read that correctly. Think taking Joe’s Mega Muscle Buster is going to get you the body you see in the magazines? Not very likely. Will they help get you into shape with the proper exercise and diet, sure they can. But it is superior genetics that you see in the pictures. Supplements are that last 5%, not the overwhelming 95%.

The supplement industry knows that and plays on your desire to be fit. They purposely show you the end results and then imply, through clever use of words, that you too can get the same results. They cannot make the claim directly as that will get them sued.

The entire fitness industry does the same thing. Remember the Buns of Steel spokes woman Tamilee Webb? She was chosen for the product based on her buns BEFORE she ever did any of the workouts. Want to have buns like her? Get the tape, right? Well, yes, if you have the same genetics she does. Want to really get a butt similar? Hit the weight room and do stiff legged dead lifts. Get the glute muscles to grow, that’s how you get it, not endless cardio.

Pick an average person

Here is the second challenge to the supplement industry. Find someone in your target market who is out of shape, but willing to do what it takes to get there. Be open and honest about where they start, how they diet, and what exercises they do. Keep it real. No 4 hours of workouts a day because they don’t have a day job. Show how your supplements actually “supplement” their good diet, not replace it.

Want to appeal to men in their 40’s? Find a lanky hard gainer with a few kids who has to work 9+ hours a day to make ends meet and support a humble house. Find a coach potato who wants to get off the pre-diabetic path he is on and teach him a different way. Show how good food can be purchased on a budget. Make all the information available to whomever wants it. No secrets. Only openness.

Go ahead. I dare you. Find a teenage girl who is 30 pounds overweight and wants to know a different way. Show her. As she reaches various milestones, pay her more, and use her more in the advertising. It will take a few years, but the end results will demonstrate how your product can help. There is no miracle diet pill make it all good overnight. It takes hard work, proper diet, exercies, and sleep. And, of course, your product.

There you go supplement industry. The gauntlet has been tossed. Will you pick it up? Or will you let the lies continue for the sake of profits? See me for ideas on that 40 year old male.