Random Thoughts Wednesday

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1. The other day I was cleaning out my closet (my vintage t-shirt collection is getting out of control), and came across a lot of stuff that I had inadvertently thrown in there after my move last fall. You know normal stuff like Laser Tag gear, old baseball cards, He-Man action figures, and various Milli Vanilli posters. Don’t judge me! You know you listened to them back in the day! Anyways, I came across my TheraCane, which I had been a big fan of when I originally wrote my article Soft Tissue Work for Tough Guys. I decided to bring it to the facility so it would get some good use, and boy has it! You would think it was the second coming of Jesus based on how clients have been flocking to it as soon as they step into the facility.

2. Parents often ask whether or not their child will be training amongst other kids their age/skill level when they come to CP. While we do try to “match” kids based off age/skill level, the truth of the matter is, it’s great exposure for the younger kids to be training around the older high school kids, or even our college/professional athletes. I mean, how often does a 14-15 year old kid get the opportunity to train around college and professional athletes? Not much. If anything, I like to think of it as an advantage. Not only do they get a taste of what kind of work ethic these guys have, but they also get firsthand knowledge on what kind of environment we like to instill. Plus, it’s kind of cool whenever I see one of our pro guys taking some time to talk with one of our younger athletes. I know it makes their day, and that’s something that they’ll never get at their local commercial gym.

3. And speaking of our pro guys; our treadmill has gotten a lot of work the past few weekends with their girlfriends coming into town to visit. It’s a running joke that we only have ONE treadmill and that it never gets used (other than to serve as a make-shift table for guys to put their protein shakes on). Some of our clients were actually caught off guard last weekend to see someone actually running on it. Weird, I know.

EDIT: while I’d like to say that the above picture was taken last weekend, the truth of matter is, none of our pro-guys could pull off someone that hot. Sorry fellas, just sayin.

4. We have a Quote of the Day board that we like to update from time to time. One of last week’s gems comes to you from Shawn Haviland, Oakland Athletics Minor League prospect (and Harvard graduate):

“What can I do at home to give me ripped abs?”

Did I mention he went to Harvard?

Dear Shawn,

Stop eating.


Your strength coach

5. I got this rather lengthy e-mail not too long ago from a gentleman who complained of shoulder pain/inflammation after having done seated front presses and heavy dips one week. MRI results suggested that there was a minor rotator cuff tear and that degenerative changes could be seen at the acromioclavicular joint with pressure effect on the supraspinatus tendon. He went on to say that he still gets inflammation near the AC joint, and that while the pain has decreased significantly, his shoulder still aches if he does too much with it.

If I’ve seen this e-mail once, I’ve seen it a thousand times. Here’s kind of my automated response:

Stop doing what hurts. Ie: your days of performing dips are probably over. Read: stop doing dips.*

Working on thoracic spine mobility and scapular stability will go a long ways.

For T-spine mobility, I like Quadruped Extension-Rotations:

A couple of scapular stability exercises/drills I like are Hand Switches (generally done for sets of 20-30 seconds):

and Face Pulls w/ External Rotation (sets of 10-12 reps):

Less benching, and more horizontal rowing. For someone in this situation, I’d shit-can the benching altogether and really hammer the rows. After a few weeks, I’d start to introduce pressing back into the mix, albeit slowly. I’d more than likely start with DB floor presses and progress from there.

More push-ups. They’re an often under-rated and overlooked movement, and more people should do them.

One’s breathing pattern actually plays a huge role believe it or not. We need to breath less with our upper chest/traps, and learn to use our diaphragm (ie: diaphragmatic breathing). I touched on this topic here.

6. It wouldn’t be a random thoughts post if I didn’t include some hot chick I need to start stalking. Today’s entry comes to us from James, our three week intern visiting from Austrailia. Say hello to fellow Aussie, Krystal Forscutt:

I don’t know about you, but after spending a good part of my morning looking at pictures of Krystal, I feel like writing some poetry, or I don’t know, listening to Boyz to Men or something. I’m in love.

* which is to say, STOP DOING DIPS

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.

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