Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 4/18/14

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I’ve been up since 3:30 this morning, so I don’t really have much to say at this point.  I’m thiiiis close to injecting some caffeine directly into my left ventricle.

For those who celebrate it, I hope you have a great Easter weekend.  Try not to overdo the peanut-butter eggs….;o)

And for those who don’t, I hope you, too, have a great weekend.

I’m out!

Accept Regression to Allow Progression – Anthony Dexmier

This is a topic I’ve touched on in the past: where regressing an exercise can be viewed as a progression.

A great example would be Goblet squats.

Many people will roll their eyes and think I’m crazy when I tell them to take the barbell off their back and revert to performing Goblet squats.  How can one possibly get stronger and jacked if they’re not back squatting?

What am I trying to do:  steal their gainz!?!?!

The thing is, a lot of people think they’re more advanced than they actually are.  It’s similar to what we see the first week of every season of American Idol, where those people who have been told by their Aunt Grace all their life they have the “voice of an angel,” when in fact they actually sound more like a rhinoceros passing a kidney stone.

The same can be said about squatting.  Some people just aren’t ready to get underneath a bar on day one.  A regression can be a progression.

Diaphragmatic Breathing: Implications in an Exercise Program and On-Field Performance – Miguel Aragoncillo

Talking about breathing – how we suck at it, how we can correct it, and how it can affect posture/performance/and a bad hair day – is all the rage in the fitness industry nowadays.

I understand why some people are skeptical and feel it’s just a trend that’s hot right now. I mean, Skechers used to be cool too.

I’ve seen how addressing one’s breathing patterns can have a profound influence on everything from pain to ROM deficits to posture to movement quality.  Sorry, it can’t fix a bad hair day.

In this post Miguel does a nice job in explaining some of the ins and outs of diaphragmatic breathing and how “owning your rib position” can make you a beast in the weight room.

P90x and Muscle Confusion: The Truth - Charles Staley

The whole idea of muscle confusion and how it’s important to place credence in it is a bunch of bullshit.

The human body is a lot smarter than some infomercial gives it credit for.

Stealing a line from the article itself:  Muscle confusion isn’t about preventing plateaus; it’s about giving beginners enough variety so they won’t immediately get bored and quit. And when you constantly vary your training, you might not be as likely to quit, but you’re not going to make any real progress.” 

Also, as a friendly reminder:  TODAY (Friday) is the last day to purchase Bret Contreras’s 2×4 Program at the sale price.

It’s a great resource, especially for those looking to get strong (and to add muscle).  I’ve started the program myself this week and am loving it.

The introductory offer ends tonight at midnight, so be sure to check it out HERE before then.

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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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.
  • texstorm

    Tony, that T-Nation article was awful. It’s pretty obvious that the author’s only experience with P90X is via the infomercials (and not a very careful viewing at that). What it amounts to is a biased diatribe based on a prejudiced opinion. Sure, “muscle confusion” is a nonsense marketing term, but that isn’t even the real point of the article (and that’s shooting fish in a barrel).

    It’s also beyond silly to go on a rant against a home fitness program on a forum dedicated to people who are serious body builders and weight trainers. P90X has nothing for the people on T-Nation, but it was never meant for them. It’s meant for people who either don’t want to or can’t exercise in a gym who want to improve their overall fitness and lose weight, and I’ve seen entirely too many people (myself included) succeed at both those goals using it to take shallow, poorly researched and thought out criticism like this quietly.

    Is it an end point? No. But it isn’t meant to be either, and if we can be supportive of Cross-Fit why not something like this?

    • Jon_PTDC

      Agree 100%

    • TonyGentilcore

      Okay, point taken. I guess my inner meathead got the best of me when I originally read the article.

      • texstorm

        Tony, this is why I recommend your stuff to people so often. You listen. Rock on brother.

        • TonyGentilcore

          It’s all good Tex. I still liked the article, as I feel some (not you, of course) need a little dose of “tough love” from time to time. The thing I agreed with the most was the part on muscle confusion. I hate that term. LIkewise, I do feel programs such as P90x do hurt just as many people as it helps. I have had numerous guys come into the facility with some beat up joints from doing that program or several of its iterations. But, in the grand scheme of things, I totally get where you were coming from

          • texstorm

            Oh, I totally hear you. You’ll note that Tony Horton no longer uses it when he talks about his programs. All things being equal, we’d all be better off working with a skilled personal trainer, but most people simply cannot do that. The people I’ve seen who get hurt doing P90X or Insanity all seem to get injured for the same reason – they don’t read the guidelines that come with the programs, don’t follow the advice contained in the videos regarding listening to your body and paying attention to form, and they’re impatient for results.

            It’s very much like people who go into a Cross-Fit box with unrealistic expectations, start throwing around heavy barbells and wreck their backs. Heck, I’ve seen people with awful injuries they sustained just from overdoing it on the machines at their local 24 Hour Fitness.

  • Ann Wendel

    Tony,
    I like the points that Miguel makes about diaphragmatic breathing in his post and video. To take it a step further (and to support the deep central stability system), the diaphragm and the pelvic floor must coordinate. (You knew I was going to talk about pelvic floor, didn’t you?!) On inhale, the pelvic floor must relax and slightly descend as the diaphragm moves caudally. On exhale, we get a rebound and a lifting of the pelvic floor (helped by a Kegel) and firing of the transversus abdominus. That way, nobody pees when they lift, right? :)
    Thanks for sharing great stuff as always!
    Ann

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks for chiming in Ann – always appreciated!

    • http://www.miguelaragoncillo.wordpress.com/ Miguel Aragoncillo

      You know your stuff! :) And yes, nobody enjoys peeing while they lift – at least, as far as I know.