Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: Car Shopping, Common DL Mistake, Secret Project, Etc.
1. Okay, the time has come. I need a new car. I’ve held off for as long as I could, but my car is on its last legs (er, wheels???). I’ve had it – Hyundai Elantra GT – for ten years and coming up on 186,000 miles, so I don’t have too much room to complain. That said, I’ve had to put a fair amount of money into it to fix a broken radiator here, a timing belt there, and most recently to fix a faulty firing pattern with one of the gas lines. As much as I LOVE not having a car payment, I really can’t say that when I’m taking it into the mechanic’s shop every few months to get something addressed.
It’s gotten to the point where the running joke at the facility is that the mechanic has me on his speed dial.
Anyways, I’ve officially started my quest for a new car which I’ve appropriately titled “Car Shopping Sucks Donkey Balls.”
I just don’t like dealing with shady people. And car salesmen – even though I may be unjustly lumping them under the same roof – are the epitome of shadiness. I just don’t like their incessant word play, hustling theatrics, and Shooter McGavin-like hand gestures.
“Hey there big guy, looking to buy a new car?? Pew Pew Pew”
If anyone is going to Shooter McGavin anyone else, it’s me. Except in my case, the second he tries to sell me a car at MSRP, I’ll just Shooter McGavin my first into his face.
LOL!! See what I just did there? I reversed the Shooter McGavin!!!
So yesterday Lisa and I went out and test drove a few cars:
– Hyundai Elantra GT (hatchback)
– Mazda 3 (hatchback)
– Batmobile (ejection seat and missles come standard!!!!)
It was a close race, but so far, the Elantra is winning.
I’m still going to experiment with a few more models, but I’d really love to hear any sage advice anyone has to offer in terms of how to go about negotiating price, discussing trade ins, not wanting to throw myself through a pane glass window, or really ANYTHING as it relates to buying a new car. Please. I’m all ears!
2. I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently from people asking me to look at their deadlift technique, and one thing I’ve been noticing is that people spend waaaaaaaaaaaay too much time setting up.
What I mean is that some will bend over to the grab the bar and then proceed to spend upwards of 10-15 seconds kinda hovering, fidgeting, adjusting, and otherwise thinking too much.
We’re not baking cookies here, people!!!!! Spending THAT much time setting up is really going to dissipate the stretch shortening cycle (elastic energy of the muscles) and as a result have detrimental affects on performance.
Using a great example, check out Eric here on a MAX EFFORT attempt:
- First off, I don’t want to hear from anyone about Eric’s back position. It’s a MAX EFFORT attempt, and things aren’t always going to be butterfly kisses and rainbows when you’re hoisting 660 lbs off the ground. Even still, if we were to take a closer look we’d note that he’s still easily staying out of end range of motion (in terms of flexion) in the lumbar spine, and it’s still a helluva lot better looking than what most people do with 225 lbs.
- But lets not get too far off track here. After the Trademarked EC arm swing, note how long he takes from when he initially grabs the bar to his initial pull: It’s like two seconds. Max.
He’s not checking his foot placement, fiddling around with bar placement, running a mental checklist on his back position, or doing long division. All that is done BEFORE he bends down to lift the bar.
It’s literally grab the bar and go.
Granted, those just learning the lift need to be a little more diligent on mastering the basics – I’d NEVER advocate that they “speed things up, ” but for everyone else, this is just some food for thought.
Seriously. Grip it and rip it!
3. A few months ago I wrote an article over on Greatist.com titled The Reasons You’re Not Getting Stronger.
It turned out to be a fairly popular piece, and since then I’ve had a running relationship with them as well as several of their staff.
I’m not going to go into too many of details just yet – we’re still in 007 territory and can’t reveal too much – but Dan Trink and I are are going to be teaming up with Greatist.com on a pretty cool project that should 1) win us the Nobel Prize for Being Awesome, and 2) help A LOT of people take their health and fitness to a whole new level.
4. I live in a really cool city – Boston. Outside of the obvious – unparalleled history, great food, lots of entertainment, and the RedSox – Boston is also home to a plethora of outstanding fitness professionals.
In the years since I’ve been here and have seen my own career kinda take off, I’ve also had the opportunity to meet a lot of passionate and awesome people who are making a name for themselves in their own right.
One such person is Sirena Bernal.
Sirena and I are actually “neighbors” in a sense – we both live in the same neighborhood, and often joke about giving one another a high five at the local Trader Joe’s – and I actually met her in person for the first time when she came to hear me speak to a group of personal trainers at a local Boston Sports Club this past spring.
Since then, she and I have kept in touch here and there, and she’s basically blowing up right before our eyes and becoming a superstar.
Do yourself a favor and read them both. They’re hands down two of those most real and “ballsy” posts I’ve ever read.
Awesome stuff Sirena!
On that note, I’m going to go get my deadlift on. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning because I’m going to work up to a “sorta heavy” single vs. chains today, which will be my first attempt at anything baller in like two months. Fingers crossed my back doesn’t explode!