Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: Yes, I Watched the Golden Globes. Don’t Judge Me!

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I just realized it’s been a good 5-6 weeks since I’ve done one of these, which is just completely unacceptable.   Part of me feels like I’m doing a disservice to everyone by “wasting” a day to post about random shit.

I mean does everyone really care that I watched every minute of the Golden Globes last night?

Hell yeah you do!

1. If you missed them – all sorts of shenanigans went down.  Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did a bang-up job hosting.  While I didn’t get my panties all up in a bunch like a lot of people did when Ricky Gervais hosted last year, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a breath of fresh air to see that they didn’t go out of their way to “roast” all the attendees.

While on one hand I think if you’re making upwards of $10 million+ to pretend you’re someone else on screen, you should be able to suck it up if someone wants to bust your chops a little bit.

On the other, I don’t necessarily feel someone deserves to be humiliated in front of millions of viewers.

Nevertheless, I was happy to see my boy (as if I know him?) Quentin Tarantino win Best Screenplay for Django Unchained, and was equally as happy to see Ben Affleck (Ben freakin Affleck!) win Best Director (and Best Picture) for Argo.

I’ve had my qualms with Ben in the past. Namely for marrying my long-time crush (from her Alias days) Jennifer Garner, and you know, for making all of us suffer through Gigli.

But I have to say, he’s completely redeemed himself.  I was really impressed when he made his directorial debut with Gone, Baby Gone back in 2007. I was dumbfounded when The Town came out.

Many – myself included – felt Gone, Baby Gone might have been some kind a fluke; beginner’s luck if you will.

But when The Town came out two years ago, anyone who loves movies could tell that he had a knack for this directing thing.

With Argo, he’s easily established himself as one of the A-list directors in H-town.  And, giving credit where credit is due:  the guy’s grown on me as an actor as well.

If you haven’t see it already, I suggest you do it ASAP.

I read the other day that he’s in cohoots with Jason Bourne Matt Damon to make a movie based off the life of Whitey Bulger. Which basically means that if they decide to film in Boston (which I don’t see why they wouldn’t), the entire city is going to go into apeshit mode.

OMGOMGOMGOMG  – it’s going to be awesome.

The other highlights from last night: Wolverine can sing! He won for Best Actor in Les Miserables.  I haven’t seen it yet (mainly because I pee standing up), but stranger things have happened and I’ll most likely check it out soon.

The Oscars are next.  See you in a few weeks.

 2. One of the more common questions I receive on a somewhat regular basis is Tony are those your pecs or cinderblocks you have underneath that shirt? Tony, what’s your beef against Olympic lifting?

Presumably many are under the assumption that because I don’t discuss OLY lifting that much – or that I never program it – I’m adamantly against it.

Au contraire mon soeur.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

For starters, as a strength coach, I’d be the worst one in history if I was somehow opposed to the OLY lifts. I think it goes without saying that they’re an unparalleled tool to help build explosiveness, power, and overall athleticism.

Thing is:  I don’t have a lot (if any) experience with them. As such, I don’t really go out of my way to coach them, or include them in any of my programs, because I’d be a walking ball of fail if I tried. If anything, I’m taking a huge bite of humble pie by admitting that I don’t feel comfortable as a coach including OLY lifting in my programs.

This isn’t to say that we don’t have other coaches at CP who have more hands-on experience with them and are more comfortable around them. But for me, I think I’d be doing my athletes and clients and disservice by pretending that I know what I’m talking about.

Besides, we make do with various med ball drills, sprinting drills, and the like, which get the job done.

Considering we don’t necessarily know how long we have each athlete for, it makes much more sense from a time-efficiency standpoint to utilize less “coaching intensive” protocols.

Sadly, there are quite a few coaches and trainers out there who don’t have the same mentality as myself. Instead of admitting their weaknesses, they pretend to know what they’re talking about at best coaching people with god-awful technique, and at worst……hurting someone.

That said, recognizing my weaknesses as a coach, I’ve started to delve a little deeper and started to read and watch various texts and DVDs on Olympic lifting.  It’s a whirlwind for sure, but something I feel will help make me a better coach in the grand scheme of things.

As luck would have it, I was sent an advance copy of Will Fleming’s Complete Olympic Lifting DVD a few weeks ago, and it’s been awesome.

The problem isn’t deciding whether or not to incorporate these lifts into our programs. It’s getting your athletes to properly execute them.

And THAT’S what’s helped me the most.

It takes you through the process of assessing, teaching and fixing the Olympic Lifts (and their variations) in a simple, straight forward way you can begin implementing immediately.

No technical jargon. No fluff. No scientific text. No cowbell.

If you’re like me, and the thought of OLY lifting makes you cower in the corner sucking your thumb, I’d highly suggest checking this fantastic resource out.

It’s on sale this week for 40% off the regular price, which is a steal if you ask me.

Check it out HERE, and thank me later.

3.  For more of universal flavor, and because bootcamps are now all the rage in the fitness industry, Mike Robertson, along with Jim Laird and Molly Galbraith have just released a 30-minute webinar as a precursor to their Bootcamp in a Box product coming out later this week (Tuesday, Jan. 15th in fact).

This is a product geared towards bootcamp owners that want to run a smarter and safer bootcamp.

I know all you hear right now is blah, blah, blah, just another bootcamp product to throw onto the “not interested” list.

But what differentiates this from all the other similar products there is:

  • I personally know Mike (as well as Jim and Molly) and know they’re all passionate about the type of information they put out there, and won’t allow themselves to put out a poo-poo product.
  • This is a DVD and manual which gives you – on a platter – an entire training system that you can use with your bootcamp clients.

It entails 6-months of done-for-you programming, progressions and regressions for all the major movement categories, and they’ve literally taken any guesswork out of the program.

For what it’s worth, many of the principles covered are things we’ve incorporated into our own Excellence Bootcamps at Cressey Performance

Like I said, the 30-minute webinar is FREE, and will give you a better idea of what the system entails.

Check it out HERE.

4.  And lastly, I want to touch on the whole training women while they’re pregnant topic. I’ve personally trained a handful of women through their pregnancies, and I’m currently training two as I type this.

Well, I mean not literally as I type this, but you know what I mean.

I definitely have some strong viewpoints on this topic – and I do want to share them in more detail – but I’d be curious to hear what other’s have to say (or think).

For me there’s a massive dichotomy between what I do and what most (not all) of the research says we should be doing.

While it definitely comes down to the individual, their comfort level, listening to their body, as well as their past training history, I find it asinine that there are physicians out there (and even more articles) that suggest that “training” should revolve around light walking and what mounts to arm circles.

For me, when I’m working with someone who’s pregnant, it’s about preparing them for something a helluva lot more significant than lifting pink dumbbells or anything I’ll ever have to do.

In my eyes, if they’re able to grow and push a human being out of their body, they’re capable of lifting a barbell off the ground.

Sometimes even over their head.  Repeatedly.  GASP!!!!!!!!

But again, this definitely doesn’t apply to everyone. I understand that there are subtle training modifications that should be addressed trimester to trimester, and there are times where extenuating circumstances come in to play as far as complications are concerned.

In my experience, however, these are few and far between and I often feel like we’re being overly cautious.

Now, I’m not insinuating that someone carrying child should go out and try to hit deadlift PRs on a weekly basis or snatch a mack truck over their head.  But I’m certainly in the camp that feels we can offer a lot more than “go walk in the treadmill.”

Like I said, I’d like to jump into this topic with more detail, but I wanted to throw out a “feeler” to see if anyone would bite and offer their insight on the matter.

Soooo, what say you?

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

  • Barath

    I am not a trainer and know next to nothing about pregnancies. But if I were, I'd still be shit-scared to train a pregnant woman. You're a brave man, Tony :)

    January 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mark

    My wife just had a child in mid-December. She's a competitive PLer. In general she followed what you said above Tony, and went based on how she felt. She actually competed at about 6 weeks and lifted 259,127 and 303 at a body weight of about 120 (doing the kg/lb conversions in my head so these may be off but I'm really only listing them for comparison purposes anyway). The first thing to really go for her was her abs. It just felt weird to her when she had to use them directly. This meant chin ups were out along with any direct ab work. Then deadlifts were first reduced in weight (185x5 for a couple months after the contest) and then cut completely. She squatted up until about the 8.5 month mark with the weight gradually reducing from 185x10 at the start to 155x10 around month 4-5, and 135x6-8 in the last trimester. She did do 135x10 in one of her last training sessions. She would basically stop her set if/when she felt any unusual discomfort. GHRs were fine and she did them throughout. Lying on a flat bench felt off too her around month 5 or so, so then she switched to incline work mainly high rep work (65-75 x 10) (I do know one female lifter who set a flat bench PR on her due date though). BB rows were fine the whole time, but DB rows felt bad so those were cut. In general, I think the RPE was capped at 7 or so for most sets. The last few weeks her hips felt off/loose/sore/whatever pregnant people feel, so lower body lifting was cut entirely. In general, she went by feel and focused on just basic maintenance. If an exercise caused pain in an unusual way (particularly around her belly) it was cut. She probably could have pushed the upper body stuff a bit more, but we figured better safe than sorry and we (like everyone else it seems) don't really know what the limit should be. The baby was healthy and she's back lifting now starting light (for her at least) and using a starting strength type program until she gets back close to her old weights.

    January 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Barath

      Wow, that's amazing. Your baby is gonna grow up to eat Dave Tate and shit Jim Wendler. For realz. Congrats to your wife - inspiring!

      January 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Reply to this comment

      • Mark

        Sadly no... I bring down the genetic component somewhat. :) Hopefully he does lead a healthy, active life. That is something my parents (both runners) passed on to me (natural runner trying to be a decent PLer) and I hope to pass on to him.

        January 15, 2013 at 10:29 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Mark - wow. That's impressive, and hats off goes to you and your wife. That said, it's obvious that she's a WELL trained woman and could get away with all of that without much worry. She's obviously a bit of an outlier in this context, but does demonstrate that it IS still possible to go to the gym and get after it. I mean, I was talking with one my pregnant women yesterday and a friend of hers doctor told her that if she wanted to add a little protein to her diet, that a milk shake would be perfect. Yikes! Like I said, there's just a huge dichotomy out there.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:09 am | Reply to this comment

      • Mark

        Yeah, this is obviously just one example and everyone is different. Plus, she definitely did tone things down a level once the pregnancy got going. I'm certainly not an expert on this (or really anything training related) but it seems to me that most women can generally listen to their body, keep doing the kind of things they were doing before just tone things down a bit/modify when they feel they need to. Having done a bit of research on the topic, it really seems like there is no consensus (surprise), so I'd guess the best idea is to have the person listen to their body (easier to do with someone who has exercised a lot than with a beginner though).

        January 15, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • deansomerset

    The big cautions come from not wanting to have large blood pressure fluctuations early on in the pregnancy or having too much of an anaerobic load that would cause stress to the fetus. If the muscles are pulling all the oxygen and not enough is going to the fetus, it can cause some issues, so most cardio is best performed beneath anaerobic threshold, or in short bursts where fatigue isn't a major factor. Loading tends to have to be decreased over time as mentioned by Mark due to changes in core stability, pelvic dilation, presence of lumbosacral ligamental laxity, and increasing pressure on the bladder and bowels. It's cool to deadlift in the second trimester, but something to avoid in the third trimester in favour of squatting, moving from a conventional stance to more of a sumo stance as the pregnancy goes on. I would agree that most people tend to go very easy, but I've also seen people go way too hard and have a miscarriage as an end result. I'm not saying that the exercising caused the miscarriage as that would be over-simplifying the concept but when a life is concerned, you never want to look back and wish you'd done something differently.

    January 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Oh, I agree Dean - wholeheartedly. It's not like I'm advocating that it's okay for pregnant women to go ape shit and perform 100 reps of kipping pull-ups followed by 400M sprints while dragging a truck behind them. I think you and I will both agree that many resources are uber conservative - and most likely they're just covering their butts. At the end of the day it comes down to what the woman feels comfortable doing and know what too much is too much. But I also feel that we don't need to hold their hand to the point where "walking" is more than enough.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:06 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kara

    As a woman who lifts and hopes to become preggers within the next year or so, I would absolutely love to see a post from you on this! :)

    January 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Well, I'll have to start cracking down on one! In the meantime if you go over to Cassandra Forsythe's website, she did a whole series while she was pregnant and it's an awesome resource. Another person to look in to would be Julia Ledewski.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:10 am | Reply to this comment

  • John J Brooks

    The problem with training pregnant women is no two pregnancies are the same. With our first born my wife hit rep PRs into the early third trimester, did chins, and lots of unilateral leg work deep into the pregnancy. This latest (due in march) had some complications and bleeding early on, so she was on pelvic rest (which means you can pretty much do somewhere between jack and crap) now she's back up to some basic body part split stuff. Totally different response to training stress in those conditions. I've worked with a couple other women who didn't have complications and for me the HR monitor was the key, Keep their HR down below threashold, keep a training effect going, and (especially if this is the second+) no movements that abduct the legs either quickly or under load (if you don't know why ask your mother). That said I'd have a hard time working with a trainee that was brand spanking new to me. Rapport is very important in these situations, very important to keep lines of communication open.

    January 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      VERY well said John, and exactly the point I was trying it make. Every pregnancy is different, and I by no means am trying to insinuate that every woman should head to the gym today and hit a squat PR if they're pregnant. There are obviously several things that need to be taken into consideration as the pregnancy progresses (which you alluded to), and programming needs to be changed accordingly. But I'm often perplexed that many women are fold flat out from their doctors that they should avoid lifting any weights from the get go JUST because they're pregnant. Must be the very litigious society we live in, I suppose.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply to this comment

  • Laura DeVincent

    I'm pre/post natal certified with FitForBirth, and I encourage all my ladies to strength train. The first 10 minutes of a session are spent diaphragmatic breathing, which I think is vital for keeping connected with the core. Although kind of awkward to coach, kegals are also important to prevent problems down the road. The next 30-40 minutes are spent on corrective exercise and strength training, and the last 10 minutes are spent interval training. These are supposed to simulate contractions, and get more intense as time goes on. As others mentioned, heart rate should be monitored. My training has more of a holistic approach, so the rest intervals are spent visualizing. Stretching should also be decreased as the pregnancy hormones relax soft tissue. In my experience, most women that are used to doing group ex classes feel nervous doing intense plyometric and cardio workouts, so they love the fact that they can get intense with weight training!

    January 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Kylee

    Tony, do you think the dvd would be good for someone wanting to learn more about oly lifting? I have taken about seven sessions of one on one oly lifting with a coach but it it too expensive. I olympic lift once a week, so pretty much am a beginner. Would this be good for me for tips and learning better technique in your opinion?

    January 14, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      I'd say that in-person coaching trumps the shit out of any DVD you could buy. BUT, Will is the man and does a superb job breaking everything down. I think it would be right up your alley!

      January 15, 2013 at 9:16 am | Reply to this comment

  • Laura

    Obligatory disclaimer: every pregnancy is different; each woman needs to consider her own specific situation; no one should be made to feel guilty or lazy if they need to take it easy; the health of the baby and mother are paramount; I was lucky to have had no wrinkles that limited me, but I know that many women do. What follows would not apply to them. Tony - I was one of those lucky women you trained through a pregnancy. During this time, I also regularly attended kettlebell classes in preparation for my RKC certification, which I passed 7 month after delivery. With your solid programming that included a lot of heavy compound lifts and modifications where necessary (no barbell glute thrusters), I was fitter at the end of the pregnancy than I had been at the beginning, with a slew of new PRs in my pocket as well - including squats and deadlifts. My daughter presented in a posterior position (sunny side up), but I only had to go through 20 minutes of pushing -- believe me that's rare. With doctor approval, I was back swinging kettlebells in the gym the day after I was home from the hospital, and I healed like a champ. I was lucky that I had a very progressive MD and midwife, who understood that pregnancy is not an illness. I also took a lot of comfort from the wonderful book Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James Clapp, which examines study after study showing the value of continuing to engage in strenuous exercise during pregnancy. The book also provides advice for people who go into pregnancy in more of a deconditioned state. At the beginning, I would worry that perhaps I was breathing too hard. After all, much of the advice cautioned against getting out of breath. Was I just breathing hard? Too hard? Or was I out of breath? Is that the same thing? Then I experienced out of breath. At least for me, I discovered that there is a very different feeling between "exercising with some vigor" and the AW HELL NO feeling of pushing too far. In my opinion, backed up by the work described in Clapp's book and hundreds of generations of women not being sequestered during pregnancy, a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy, no risk factors and medical approval should not fear vigorous non-collision exercise during pregnancy.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Things to Read | Josh Williams

    [...] Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday by Tony Gentilcore [...]

    January 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sihan Goi

    On a related note, how about post-partum training?

    February 1, 2013 at 3:35 am | Reply to this comment

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