Miscelleaneous Miscellany Monday: Surprise B-day Party Edition

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1.  I’ve had to keep my lips sealed for far too long on this one, but this past weekend I flew home for the day for a surprise 60th b-day party for both my mom and step-dad.  My sister and sister-in-law have been in cohoots for quite some time, and they did an amazing job at pulling off an epic party.

Now, rather than spend ten hours in a car driving to and from NY, I elected – reluctantly – to fly instead.

Five hours in the car vs. a 60 minute flight:  easy choice, right?

Upon arriving at the airport early Saturday morning, I looked at my plane and it had freakin propellers.   PROPELLERS!!!!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I HATE flying.  And, as you can probably surmise, up untll that point I had never flown in such a small plane before.  Packed in like sardines, we took off, and I pretty much destroyed the back of my pants.

Long story short, both my parents were caught off guard, and it was awesome to see their reactions when they walked through the door to see all of us standing there.

Everyone:  SURPRISE!!!!!!!

Mom [deer in headlights look]:  Oh…….oh my gosh, what in tha………OMG, Tony!  Where’s Lisa?

Me:  Hi Mom, I love you.

Mom:  Where’s Lisa?

Me:  Happy Birthday!!

Mom: Where’s Lisa?

Needless to say, my Mom really likes my girlfriend…….haha.

2.  While away this weekend, I was able to get a quick lift in at my alma mater, SUNY Cortland.  I hadn’t been there in like eight years, and it was really surreal to be walking around campus again.

A quick aside:  for those that don’t know, Cortland has played host to the NY Jets for the past few seasons during their training camps, and was featured this past season on HBO’s Hard Knocks.

Of course, as expected, I was surrounded by a bunch of dudes with wife-beaters on, doing every bicep curl variation known to man – not to mention the obligatory guy who puts waaaaaaaay too much weight on his back, only to squat down maybe four inches.

It comes with the territory, I suppose; kinda what I expected.

I was didn’t expect, however, was how the facility itself has really improved since I left.  While most college (student) gyms are lucky to have one squat rack, this one had three – as well as an olympic platform, various different bars (thick bars, trap bars, etc), a glute ham raise, battle ropes, kettlebells, and a host of other goodies that made me feel like a kid in a candy store.

I kept it pretty simple:  worked up to a few heavy singles on the deadlift, followed by some bulgarian split squats, then glute ham raises, and then finished off with some KB windmills and swings.  Okay, okay…..I also sneaked in some curls, too.  Jesus! But it was only two sets.  Okay, three.  I mean four.

3.  Someone sent me this quote from strength coach Nick Horton, and asked for my response:

But, personally, I’m in favor of dumping box squats all together (we never do them), as the idea of spinal compression from BOTH ends is scary to say the least.  You should never sit down when heavy weight is on your back, IMO (powerlifters start throwing stones at me … now).  The potential benefits do NOT outweigh the risks.

Still, he’s dead right about Oly squats kicking the butt of box squats.  And, that you should squat if you have any interest in not being wimpy.

My Response:  We use box squats quite a bit at CP – as we feel it’s a great tool to teach proper depth in the squat.  Likewise, we don’t teach our athletes the traditional “powerlifting” box squat (rocking off the box); instead, we teach more of a tap-n-go approach, and to stay tight in the bottom.  Additionally – and this is an important point –  the spine does a fairly good job at handling compressive loads – it’s sheer loads (rounding of the back) that you have to be careful of.

To that end, we also use Olympic style squats a lot, too.  It just depends.

Either way, this is no jab at Coach Horton – the guy trains a ton of athletes and he’s doing things the right way.   Besides, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and who am I to say that he’s wrong and I’m right?  We may have different thoughts on certain things, but so long as our athletes are getting better, that’s all that really matters.

4.  I will say, though, if we’re going to talk about how NOT to perform box squats, this video pretty much hits the nail on the head.  Seriously, if you can make it past the whole “you don’t want to squat to parallel – you should keep your knees below the hips” comment without wanting to jam a pen through your eye, you win!

Since you’re not going to parallel, the key to this exercise is to load it up as heavy as possible, so that the body gets used to handling a lot of weight.

Says the guy with 15 lbs on his back.

A small part of me is thinking this has to be fake – but them again, it probably isn’t.  Excuse me while I go jump into a live volcano.

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.

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Comments for This Entry

  • R Smith

    Glad I read this when I did, Tony. I can cross off A1. Box Squats from my workout for today. I'm thinking about replacing with Incline leg presses :) RS

    February 28, 2011 at 6:29 am | Reply to this comment

  • Henock aka Nock

    Tony, LOL........that #5 was just wronggggggggg man. :-)

    February 28, 2011 at 6:44 am | Reply to this comment

  • MOM

    LOL Tony, I was surprised to see you and so very happy that you were there but your right....we all like Lisa!!! Thanks for sharing this special surprise with us.

    February 28, 2011 at 7:03 am | Reply to this comment

  • Brock

    My God, that video isn't real, is it? Seriously, how much did you pay them to make that video? I'm going to go vomit now. Oh, and that's awesome about the surprise party, we had one for my mom's 50th a few weeks ago, good times!

    February 28, 2011 at 7:39 am | Reply to this comment

  • Ray

    You were here this weekend? You should have hit me up I would of enjoyed a good lift with someone who knows WTF their doing. Tomik is such a joke, I walked in there on Friday to do power cleans on the platform and I shit you not, some asshole was doing bicep curls on THE OLY PLATFORM. I was horrified and downright mad. I literally walked up and made it clear to these two dweebs I needed the platform ASAP. Then one of the kids ( skinny, 20% body fat, gross etc.) gave me the two finger response, meaning he had two sets left, like he was some big shot. Needless to say, I hit a new PR on the cleans.

    February 28, 2011 at 10:26 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ Ray; Yep, I stopped by Tomik around 3 PM on Saturday. I saw all sorts of douchebaggery, but was really impressed with the facility as a whole. It's definitely stepped up it's game since I was there (back in 2002). Funny you should bring up the sharing equipment aspect. At the end, I jumped onto the seated cable row, and was just about to do my first set when this kid comes running up to me saying he had two sets left. I was like, "okay, you can do your set when I'm done with mine." Seriously???? You can't let someone jump in while you're off chatting it up with your bros? Anyways, if I'm ever back, I'll make sure to let you know.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply to this comment

  • Greg R

    What the F bomb s he squatting onto? Why is she holding those dumbells and squatting too? These two probably leave their damn grocery cart right in the middle of the aisle too while they peruse the options on the shelf...oblivious

    February 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Derek

    Those guys are freaking awesome. They have a video for a "push pull" which seems to be a bastardized push press. It's gotta be a joke website, right?

    February 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Darrel

    No, it looks like they are serious. Check out the profiles from the website LMAO http://www.dualforcetraining.com/our-trainers

    February 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ryan McKane

    It looks like they broke into either a model home or a dentist office waiting room to film this crap

    February 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Reply to this comment

  • xiaochen

    Giorgio?Armani?autunno inverno?2012?haute?couture?mostra a?Milano il?27 febbraio 2012 release.?La fase?T,?Giorgio?Armani,?ovviamente,?per sbarazzarsi di?tutto ciò che?sarebbe classificato come?un?tappeto rosso?le cose?di stile, e?può anche includere un?bar,?tuta nera?con lustrini?drammaticamente?alla fine?di tutta la mostra?come?la messa a fuoco pubblico. 

    March 24, 2012 at 3:56 am | Reply to this comment

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