Miscellaneous Miscellaneous Monday: 1/23/12

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It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written one of my miscellaneous posts, so I figured this would be the perfect way to start what I hope will be a full week of blogging.

1. It’s no secret that I heart movies. I’ve always joked that if I were ever independently wealthy, all I would do is train, finance my own gourmet omelet restaurant/bowling center, and hang out with Matt Damon and give each other high-fives while we watch movies – like, all the time.

There are only a few shows on television that I like to watch:  The Daily Show, the Red Sox (when it’s baseball season), Top Chef, and House Hunters.  Namely, with regards to the latter, Lisa and I just like to have fake arguments with the couple’s that are on the show.

I mean, how asinine is it that someone walks into a room, and can’t look past the color of paint on the walls?

Anyways, I don’t watch a lot of tv, and would much rather walk down to the theater and catch a movie.

In the past few weeks alone, we’ve seen Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (awesome), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (I read the books AND watched the original foreign films, too, but the American version was like whoa); Sherlock Holmes (first one was better); A Dangerous Method (Keira Knightely shows her boobies); Melancholia (Kirsten Dunst also shows her boobies, but it was the worst movie I’ve ever seen); The Descendants (good, but overrated); and lastly, Haywire, which Lisa and I saw yesterday.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for this movie to come out since I first saw the trailer back in November. Directed by one of my favs, Steven Soderbergh – of Erin Brockovich and Ocean’s 11,12,&13 fame – and starring Gina Carano – of MMA, she can totally kick your ass fame – Haywire, in simplest terms, is basically the female equivalent of the Jason Bourne films.

While Carano won’t be winning any Best Actress awards anytime soon, she more than held her own, and it was clear, from the start, that the film was all about showcasing her fighting skills.

What I liked best was that the movie wasn’t enhanced with silly sound effects or over-the-top music during the fight scenes. Instead, it was raw, unadulterated, awesomeness.

What was interesting, and this was something that Lisa brought up on our walk back home, was that Carano’s physique was covered up.  There was no doubt that the film makers showcased Carano’s, um, assets. But you couldn’t help but think that they were purposely holding back and blatantly covering up her pecs, shoulders, and upper back throughout. Possibly to make her seem more feminine?

Either way, like I said, it was great to see a (believable) female character kick some ass. I get so tired of watching female characters who weigh like 87 lbs toss around dudes three times their size like a paperweights.  Conversely, Carano looks the part. And she ain’t too shabby on the eyes either.

All in all, when you combine the action, writing, directing, as well as the supporting cast (Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglass, Antonio Banderas, Obi Wan Kenobi Ewan McGregor), it was definitely worth seeing.

I gave the movie a solid B.

2.  Speaking of strong female characters, HERE is an awesome interview done with MariAnne Kane from the Girls Gone Strong crew.

I LOVE what these women are doing for the industry. Guys have always had the likes of Arnold, Ronnie Coleman, Dave Tate, and numerous others to look up to. Now, thanks to Girls Gone Strong, women have someone to look up to for inspiration. And it’s a beautiful thing.

3.  Here’s a question that I received in the mail the other day:

Q: Tony is it ok to switch from doing regular deadlifts and do deficit deadlifts as a different variation for training deadlifts?  What are the benefits of doing deficit deadlifts… do they still work the same muscle groups ?

A: It’s definitely okay to switch from “regular” deadlifts to deficit deadlifts.  While there are a few benefits, the main one to consider is that deficit deadlifts help to increase the ROM, which for those who are slow off the ground, can bode in their favor.

In short, when you return back to standard height, the weight should feel lighter.

The key thing to remember, though, is that you DO NOT need a huge deficit to perform these.  Anything from 1-4 inches is plenty.  Placing a plate underneath each foot should suffice for most.

Additionally, and maybe even more important, is that deficit deadlifts aren’t something you’ll want to include in your programming for a prolonged period of time – ESPECIALLY if your technique isn’t up to par.

As noted previously, you’re going to increase the ROM of the movement which by default, will make it more challenging.  And hence, maybe more deleterious to the spine (if done incorrectly).

Having said that, even if you’re technique is flawless, I’d still be reluctant to do this for more than 3-4 weeks at a time.  Honestly, four weeks is pushing it in my eyes.

 To that end, deficit deadlifts are a worthwhile variation to include in your programming – I just wouldn’t use them exclusively for a long period of time.

4.  On January 2nd my girlfriend, Lisa, started a little experiment on herself. She’s always been interested in nutrition and the effects that certain foods can have on the body. After doing a little research and talking to a few people, she picked up The Paleo Diet.

 

It really resonated with her (she read the entire book in a day), and so, she decided she’d give it a try for 60 days.

Now, I understand that there are a lot of detractors out there who will chime in and say something along the lines of “Tony, Tony, Tony…..you do realize that we have no idea what our Paleolithic ancestors ate, and it’s all based on speculation and not fact, right?”

Indeed, I do. Who cares!?! I also realize they didn’t eat Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.  To each his own.

Nonetheless, it’s not like Lisa cowers into the fetal position every time she encounters a carb.  She has her allotted “off” meals on the weekends.  But all told, she’s been following the diet verbatim, focusing her efforts on lean meats (beef, buffalo, chicken, ground turkey,etc), tons of greens and various fruits, and limiting her salt and sugar intake.

After three weeks, she feels amazing! She’s more energetic and it takes her waaaaaaay longer to get pissed off whenever I leave dirty clothes on the couch.  It’s a win-win if you ask me.

Being the supportive boyfriend that I am, I’m doing a Paleo’ish type diet, too.  Albeit, I’m still allowing myself more wiggle room like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, yogurt, Ezekiel bread, and grass fed dragon.

So far, I really like it, and it definitely supports my lifestyle.  I can’t say for sure whether or not I’ll follow it long-term, but for now, it seems to be working.

I’ll keep everyone posted.

5.  And lastly, sitting sucks.  Read THIS article if you don’t believe me.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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  • Barath

    “grass-fed dragon” LOL.

  • Scott

    It is the Year of the Dragon!! Grea,t as usual, Tony – Thanks!!

  • I started tinkering with paleo eating since Christmas time when I read Wolf’s The Paleo Solution (highly recommend it). I started to read Cordain’s latest book an Paleo eating but it pissed me off so I stopped. Mostly just because he makes it seem as if every food, even some fruits and vegetables, are going to cause you to become inflamed and die. That aside, I’ve had some great success with it and I’m glad to hear Lisa is feeling wondeful with it too!

    (Other books I’ve picked up just for my own sick curiosity are The Primal Blueprint and Wheat Belly.)

    • Steve

      If you haven’t had your fill of nutrition books, you may want to try checking out The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet (or the website is free). Very similar to Paleo, but includes tubers, white rice, emphasizes supplementing certain minerals, etc… I have found it to be more easily sustainable than a strict Paleo diet and I find it helps me recover a bit better from training.

    • Anonymous

      I agree Juliet, hence why I’m following a Paleo’ish diet for the time being. I mean, come on, seriously…….sweet potatoes are a no-no?

      • Ah, well that depends on who you ask… LOL Robb Wolf is okay with them. Cordain isn’t.

        I suspect if you find some Crossfitters, they can put you straight.

        • Trey Pottter

          Cordains views on some things like saturated fat, salt, and starchy veggies have changed some since he wrote his original book. Robb and Mark both are fine with all 3 given the proper situational context. The big no-no’s are grains, legumes and dairy. Depending on how you react rice can also be included but things like quinoa, seitan, and essentially any other type of grains are out.

        • Will

          Primal, a la the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, is basically a smarter sounding Paleo. It’s actually more like what Wolf recommends. Still no grains, legumes etc. But it’s not supidly strict to where sweet potatoes or green beans are excluded. It loves saturated fat. And it recommends dairy, if raw and grass-fed etc.
          Basically, it’s the shit. I use it as my template, have for 3 1/2 years. I eat a shit-ton of sweet potatoe. I cycle on & off raw milk if adding mass.
          Never had a problem, and feel awesome. Clients report the same.
          Two cents spent.

  • Lars Krogstad

    I only eat grass-fed-beef fed dragon. Get in the game Tony!

  • jb

    Totally agree with you on the movies. My in-laws took the offspring for the night on Saturday and the wife and I went to two movies in 18 hours.
    As someone who’s been doing the paleo diet for over a year (very succesfully) I wish Robb Wolfe would have called it something else.. anything else. “The eat things that don’t give your digestive tract an owie diet?” Something.. People get tripped up on the paleo part and don’t look at the diet. The diet works. Every refutation I have seen of it has been anthropological. I haven’t heard one person say “I did the diet verbatim and I don’t look and feel any different.” I am glad you guys are experimenting with it. Let me know if you need any ideas for recipes or other input.

  • R Smith

    @Barath, you beat me to it on the dragon. I was going to ask if Whole Foods carries it?

    RS

  • What is ideal box squat box height?

    • Brian L

      I’d think the ideal height would be dependent on your starting ROM. Tall SOB? Go towards 4″. Midget? Stand on a small stack of paper. 😉

  • Lisa V.

    I think basically Paleo is a good diet, but I too include sweet potatoes, yogurt, the occasional slice of Ezekiel bread. I have been trying IF, within the constructs of a “modified” Paleo diet ~ 16/8 version. Has only been a week & a half, but so far I feel great on it.
    BTW, House Hunters is a favorite of mine ~ especially love the international version. And I will have to go see “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” ~ I too read the books and watched the foreign versions and loved all of it.

    • Anonymous

      It’s retarded how addicted to House Hunters I am. I’m not even remotely interested in buying a house. I just like watching the episodes based in Boston and how couple’s pay 400K for a two bedroom nothing, and then you have couples down in Nashville buying 5-bedroom homes for the same price. Hilarious. Kinda. Why do I live in Boston again?

  • Trey Pottter

    Hey Tony, thanks for the link man. If Lisa liked Cordains Paleo Diet book tell her to pick up Robb Wolfs Paleo Solution and/or Mark Sissons Primal Blueprint. Both are great reads. I’ve been using a paleo/primal approach the past year and a half and I love it. Down 30 pounds and getting stronger as I go!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the suggestions Trey! I’ll have to tell Lisa about them.

  • Brian L

    I’ve been eating about 85% of the time using the Paleo style, tossing in some sweet potatoes & cottage cheese and LOVE it. I do have a meal or two on the weekends that allow me some cheats/refeeds/cookies etc but for the most part….Paleo-ish has been a great thing for me and my goals.

    • Anonymous

      I hear you there. Boston has waaaay too many great restaurants to NOT go to, and Lisa and I usually go out on Saturdays. To that end, lately, I’ve been crushing blue cheese and bacon burgers on the weekends with chips and salsa.

  • Lauren L

    I loved GWTDT! I haven’t seen Haywire, but her covered up body is very noticeable in the trailer. I thought we were moving in a good direction with the badass chick movies, making them more tough and less… Colombiana. But maybe it’s just because Carano is actually muscular. *sigh* One step forward, two steps backward. Oh well.
    On the Paleo tip, I was planning on getting the book and doing a 60-day run of it myself! I’m glad to be able to hear how you and Lisa fare before I dive in. It’ll be nice to have an idea of what to expect. Have fun getting your caveman on!
    Top Chef is one of my faves too. Gotta love the awkward unibrow judge. What’s his name again? I gotta give that guy respect for keepin’ it au naturel in the face.

    • Anonymous

      Right on Lauren! Totally agree on the Colombiana reference. That was actually the EXACT character I had in mind when I said I was sick of watching women who weighed like 87 lbs toss around dudes 4x their size.

  • what Barath said. I want me some GFD!

  • Love the article. I agree about the deficit deadlifts. I would not recommend for most people unless your form is on point.

  • Llsnow

    I have such a hard time believing beans are bad for me. I feel strong after eating them. After watching forks over knives on Saturday, I need someone to make up their minds on where I should be getting my protein from.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, that’s a tough one to swallow. Jonny Bowden LOVES beans, as do many other reputable nutrition experts I respect. I think, at the end of the day, it comes down to individual preferences and needs. NOTHING is set in stone, and if you like beans, and it fits your lifestyle, then eat beans.

      But, at the same time, if they’re causing you to get bloated and pass gas, there’s something amiss and they’re probably not ideal for your digestive system.

      Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

  • Chris Olmstead

    Watched Haywire over the weekend. The fighting scenes were great! What made them was they didn’t completely negate the strength differential from Gina to her male opponents like every other “action chick movie” does. It drives me nuts when they run with that concept in fights scenes. “So you’re telling me this 5’5″ 120lb girl is going throat slam Shaq through a plate glass window and say something clever? Sounds good Bob, print that up and let’s call it a day.”

  • Niall

    Hi Tony, first up, I love your blog. Great info given in a really cool way. On the Paleo subject, have you checked out the Paleo Diet for Athletes. It cuts more slack for those who train and I’m certain that there are recipes that include sweet potato in the back of the book.

    • Anonymous

      Man, talk about a brain fart. Someone else had mentioned that version to me, and I completely forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!

      • Kyle Schmitz

        Paleo for athletes is a great read….One problem I have with people and all their paleo “beef” (no pun intended) is that they fuss and fuss about it lacking in “scientific proof”. It isn’t about what exactly they ate, it is based on the availability of what they could eat. Just like you said in your blog, Im pretty sure Larz wasn’t around the boulder rock frying up dough for everyone’s breakfast. They were extremely limited and by the process of elimination, you can easily put your finger on what they “could” have eaten.

        Paleo is a wonderful template for people to follow…

        • Anonymous

          Agreed, Kyle. Very well said. Hope all is well your way

      • Kyle Schmitz

        Paleo for athletes is a great read….One problem I have with people and all their paleo “beef” (no pun intended) is that they fuss and fuss about it lacking in “scientific proof”. It isn’t about what exactly they ate, it is based on the availability of what they could eat. Just like you said in your blog, Im pretty sure Larz wasn’t around the boulder rock frying up dough for everyone’s breakfast. They were extremely limited and by the process of elimination, you can easily put your finger on what they “could” have eaten.

        Paleo is a wonderful template for people to follow…