Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: 11/14/11

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1.  Two weekends ago I had a photographer come out to the facility to take some action shots, in addition to a few heads shots, for some upgrades I’m going to be making to the site in the near future.  In no uncertain terms, I just feel the site needs some aesthetic spicing up (sorry ladies, no shirtless pics), and I certainly wasn’t going to attempt to do it all myself.  Given I can barely run a toaster without breaking at least 17 fire codes,  I thought it was best to contact a professional to come in and do her thang.

Luckily, I was able to touch base with one of my girlfriend’s past colleagues who happens to own a camera (score!), and who also happens to run her own sports photography business (double score!).

Warning her a head of time that I was pretty much the most un-photogenic person this side of that kid from the movie Mask, Kim showed up with all of her gear and I basically just followed her lead for the next two hours.

I busted out my iPod, flipped to my “When Hip Hop Didn’t Suck” playlist (all 90s rap), and we went to work.  We took several “action” shots of me deadlifting (exhibit A to the left <——-) where she played with various lighting and camera angles.

In addition to that, we also decided to take some shots of me pushing the Prowler, thinking that that may serve as a cool background header for the site.  When Kim sent me some of the principal photography over the weekend, I was floored with the effects she added.

Who’s Faster:  Me or the Millennium Falcon?

All in all, it was an awesome experience.  Kim did an amazing job, and I can’t wait to see everything that she sends me.  So, um, yeah……be on the lookout for some cool changes to the site soon (wink wink, nudge nudge).

2.  Almost without fail, on a weekly basis I’ll have one of our athletes walk up to me and ask how (s)he can go about improving their vertical jump.  It’s a dicey question because, as with most anything, the answer is going to be “it depends.”

Most of the time my answer is simply “get stronger,” as maximal strength is the foundation for every other strength quality imaginable.

In terms of any plyometric and/or jump training – it comes down to strength.  Simply put:  you can’t have things like agility, power, endurance, strength endurance, and the like without first having a base of strength to pull those other qualities from.  Strength is the basis of everything.  Without it, you can perform all the ladder drills, sprinting drills, jumping drills, and agility training you want, it’s really not going to mount to much.

It’s akin to giving your 1994 Honda Civic (as an example) a sweet paint job, some spoilers, Mag tires, and a sound system that makes your ears bleed in the hopes that, by doing so, it will win the Daytona 500.   Unless you actually do something about increasing the horsepower of the car, you can add all the bells and whistles you want, it probably ain’t gonna happen.

Interestingly, Mike Reinold put up a post today that dives a little more into the topic, but addresses it more from a “should we stretch or not stretch?” standpoint.  Not that this will surprise many of the trainers and coaches reading, but it seems that static stretching before attempting an explosive movement is, well, dumb.

Check it out HERE.

3.  I received a question the other day asking me what I felt was the biggest training mistake that intermediate lifters make.  It’s a simple question, for sure, but not an easy one to answer since there are so many variables that come into play.  I’m sure if I put more thought into it, I could up with something more sexy, but at the top of my head here it is:

You’re not that special.

I know that despite what your mom told you, this may come across as a little harsh, but it’s true.  Seriously, you’re not that special.

The thing about intermediate trainees (not all of them, mind you) is that, while they’re past the beginner “why should I deadlift when I can curl in the squat rack” phase, many feel as if they’re more advanced than what they really are.  I’ve had people in the past who couldn’t even squat 1x their body weight for reps proceed to ask me when they could start adding chains into the mix.

Likewise, I’ve had people who couldn’t even perform a proper push-up, approach me to ask whether or not they  should start implementing some Russian sub-prime utilization pseudo wave loading bench specialization program.  You know, to blast their pecs.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t any intermediate trainees out there who could (and maybe should) utilize more advanced protocols.  All I’m saying is that perfecting the basics is almost always the safest – and most effective – course to take.

For beginners it’s about learning the basics.

For intermediates, however, it’s about solidifying the basics.

4.  I’m pretty sure anyone who went and saw Adam Sandler’s new movie this weekend – Jack and Jill – are most likely still dead inside.

0% rating on Rottentomatoes.com.  Just sayin……

Conversely, if you’re looking for a good movie to watch, I’d highly recommend Martha Marcy May Marlene.

I’m not going to lie – it’s DARK and contains some fairly explicit material that might not sit well with a lot people.  But then again, what do you expect from a movie about a cult and the ramifications it has on a young girl’s life?

It’s good, though.  You might be depressed as shit for like ten minutes afterwards, but it’s a movie that makes you think (and I like those kind).  If it’s playing near you, I’d highly recommend it!

5.  And finally, here’s a video of CP athlete, Becca R, who’s been training with us since she was in 8th grade (she’s now a junior), performing supine barbell bridges with 345 lb on the bar for eight reps!!! 

Take that fellas.

Becca trains for two reasons:  1) to prepare for the softball season, and as a result, possess the ability to throw a ball through a cement wall and 2) because she’s absolutely addicted to getting stronger.

I think the ladies over at Girls Gone Strong would be proud.

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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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