Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 1/5/12

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A few weeks ago, when I asked my readership what they wanted me to change/keep the same in 2012, I had a resounding number of people mention how they really enjoyed the Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work series.

This was fabulous news to me for a couple of reasons:

1.  It saves my fingers from having to type.

2.  And more importantly, it allows me the opportunity to expose you – my loyal reader – to articles and blog posts from other really intelligent and passionate coaches/trainers/general badasses that you otherwise wouldn’t have come across.  Or maybe you have.  In that case, you clearly have impeccable taste.

Nevertheless, this is the first installment for the new year………enjoy!

How I Stopped Sucking at Pull-Ups – Neghar Fonooni

Not too long ago, before Christmas in fact, one of our younger female clients, Becca (who’s been training with us since she was 14), performed her first unassisted, dead hang, chin-up.

Becca’s a HIGHLY motivated athlete, and she’s pretty strong as it stands now.  She’s (trap bar) deadlifted 280 for three reps, can bang out push-ups like it’s her job, and she’s also loaded her supine glute bridges to 365 lbs…….for reps.

Here she is banging out 345 lbs, without even breaking a sweat.

One thing that has been a little more of a challenge, however, is the chin-up. It’s taken a lot more time and a lot more effort to pull it off…………….

But she did it.

And, not to brag or anything, I can safely say that EVERY female client above the age of 16 who trains at Cressey Performance can perform at least one chin-up.  If not more.

I think that’s pretty cool.

That being said, I have a sneaky suspicion that for many females reading, you’re equally as frustrated as Becca once was.  While she’s now up to two reps, for multiple sets, it was just a matter of getting past that initial obstacle of doing ONE that was the key.

In this article, Neghar expounds on some simple (but not easy) ways to help YOU get over that proverbial hump.

The Battle to Take Back Awesome – Kevin Kuzia

Considering my proclivity for deeming everything awesome – deadlifts, sun dried tomatoes, The Daily Show, Brooklyn Decker (see above), my farts – I found this article to be highly entertaining, and somewhat of a reality check – especially considering the title of yesterday’s post.

F**k Calories – Krista Scott Dixon

I’ve been a fan of Krista’s work for a long time, and I’ve consistently recommended her articles and website – –  to many of my female (and male) clients because I like her no-frills, no BS style of telling it like it is.

I came across this FREE e-book last night, and already read the entire thing.  And while I’m doing the book an injustice by only offering a smidgeon of what it has to offer, here are a few examples of things that struck a chord with me:

How you eat is more important than what you eat.


“Fortifed” means “We took good stuff out so we have to put it back in.”

Buy the best quality food you can afford. Food is an investment, not a cost.


Dozens of factors affect the energy you can get from food – the soil it’s grown in, the processing, the way your body handles it, the health of your intestinal bacteria…

The calorie count on the food package itself may be off by as much as several hundred calories.

Dozens of other factors affect the energy you put out: your hormones, your daily activity, your age, your health, your bone density…

So you can never know for sure what’s coming in or going out. Focusing solely on calories also encourages you to tell yourself lies such as “I didn’t have breakfast so it’s OK to eat this cake” or “This piece of sugared wax is only 100 calories so it’s good to eat.”

Use a bit a of caution, though. Unless you work in the coolest place ever, your boss may frown on the colorful language.  As if the title didn’t give it away, it’s probably NSFW.  It’s a FANTASTIC read, nonetheless.

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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