Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday (A Certain Someone Gets Engaged: Hint: Not me, Catch Phrases, and De-Load Weeks)

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1. What an awesome weekend. FINALLY we had consecutive days of really nice weather in Boston, and you can bet that I took full advantage of that fact. Normally my weekends are spent singing hymns to old people and watching Hugh Grant movies. However, this weekend I had all sorts of fun “activities” planned.

  • Friday night a group of us got together to celebrate Eric Cressey’s engagement to his girlfriend of two years, Anna. I could be that guy and insert the obligatory “ball and chain” joke here, but I won’t do it. Instead, all I’ll say is that I couldn’t be happier for the two of them and that they better have lots of open space at their wedding reception, cause I’m totally busting out my robot on the dance floor. As well, I will also be challenging random people to Michael Jackson dance-offs if or when “Billie Jean” is played. Hint: it will be played. Oh yes, it will be played.
  • Saturday, a good friend of mine had an extra ticket to the Sox-Yankee game at Fenway. Besides that one time I built a volcano with my bare hands, It was pretty much the manliest afternoon, ever. I mean, when you combine baseball, beef jerky, and a 300 lb drunk Yankee fan sitting next to me getting berated by the Fenway crowd; it just doesn’t get much better than that.

2. A huge congratulations goes out to CP client Danny O’Connor who completely dominated his opponent’s face Saturday night at MGM Foxwoods to remain unbeaten in his professional boxing career (6-0, 2 KO’s). Danny’s a great kid who works his tail off, so stay tuned for big things to come.

3. It never ceases to amaze me the camaraderie that develops amongst the athletes who train at CP; not to mention their dedication. A great example would be Weston senior pitcher Sahil Bloom. Last week, he showed up to train a mere twenty minutes after having just thrown a complete game one-hitter. Not long afterwards, two players from the opposing team, Wayland seniors Alex Hill and Grant Nishioka, showed up to train as well. All three spent time joking and talking about the game and then trained together, offering each other spots and encouragement. Coincidentally, all three will be playing college ball in the Fall. Weird how that works.

4. I was in Trader Joe’s yesterday, and as I was leaving the checkout line, the clerk muttered, “stay focused.” Which got me thinking that I need a catch phrase too. I spent the better half of yesterday afternoon trying to come up with a few, and here’s what I’ve got thus far.

  • Wiggidy wiggidy check yoself, before you wreck yoself.
  • Have a nice day.

Or my favorite:

  • THIS. IS. SPARTA!!!!

5. One of the best pieces of advice I can give trainees is to know when to listen to their body and back off a bit. Using myself as an example, this past week was an absolutely atrocious week of training. Five weeks ago, I was able to perform 5×5 at 515 lbs on the trap bar deadlift. Last week, I struggled with 465 for three; and tweaked my back in the process.

Admitedly I’ve been amping up my training volume the past few weeks due to the nice weather, which just goes to show that fatigue will always mask fitness. This is a crucial point to remember, since the vast majority of trainees fail to recognize how controlling training stress will undoubtedly affect their overall progress. You aren’t going to set PR’s every week. As such, this is why we tend to include structured “de-load” weeks when designing programs for clients (typically every 4th or 5th week).

So, of course, the obvious thing for me to do is to tack on an un-scheduled training day (like I did yesterday) and wonder why my numbers are going down. I’m such an idiot.

6. I finished The Omnivore’s Dilemma last week, and I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed reading it. Regardless of whether or not you’re in the fitness/nutrition industry this book is applicable to everyone, because you know, we all eat food. If you think you have a good sense of where your food is coming from, you really need to give this book a read.

I’m still pissed that I had to pass on the opportunity to go listen to the author, Michael Pollan, speak at Tufts University a few weeks ago. In any case, I’m going to dive into his most recent book, In Defense of Food this week. I’ll let you know what I think.

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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.

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