Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: The Way Way Back, Deadlift Update, and Core Training

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1. Like many of you I’ve seen all the prerequisite blockbuster movies this summer – Iron Man 3 (awesome), Man of Steel (good, not great), Before Midnight* , and World War Z (eh).  

And while it’s pretty much breaking man-code for not wanting to see Fast and Furious 6 – somewhere out there Kevin Larrabee just punched a wall – I do want to take a few moments to point all of you in the direction of a lesser known movie that Lisa and I saw yesterday which may very well trump all of the above:

The Way Way Back

I tend to gravitate towards the more artsy-fartsy, independent, Focus/Miramax/Sony Pictures Classics films.  You know: The type of movies that actors and actresses do for the “street cred” and Oscar talk buzz more so than the paycheck.

I first heard about The Way Way Back when I was reading up on the reviews from the Sundance Film Festival (yes, I’m that much of a nerd), and as soon as I realized it was made by the same people who were responsible for Little Miss Sunshine and Juno, I knew I was going to be intrigued.

In a nutshell it’s about a kid – Duncan – who’s forced to go on a summer vacation to a beach town in the Hamptons with his mom and new doucher of a boyfriend (played, surprisingly, by Steve Carrell).

The rest of the storyline is fairly predictable:  Duncan is an introvert, doesn’t make friends well, he hates the new boyfriend, there’s a crazy alcoholic neighbor thrown into the mix. a cute girl, so on and so forth.

No zombies.  No explosions. And no gratuitous nude scenes.  Basically, it’s the anti-man movie.

This isn’t to suggest that the movie was a bust – it wasn’t at all. Instead, it’s just to say that if you watched Little Miss Sunshine and/or Juno, you know there are going to be some oddball characters involved.

A perfect example would be the always underrated Sam Rockwell who plays a guy who runs a local water park, has his fair share of witty one-liners, befriends Duncan, and helps him come out of his shell.

I really, really enjoyed this film.  It’s in limited release now, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be gaining momentum as the weeks pass.  If you get the chance, definitely check it out!

2.  Nick Tumminello sent me a copy of his new product Core Training: Facts, Fallacies & Top Techniques and I finally had the opportunity to give it a look, of all places, as I was sitting in the laundry mat yesterday morning.

Hey, if I’m going to sit there for an hour hating life I might as well get smarter right?

Nick never disappoints, and while I’m going to give full disclosure and say I haven’t yet watched the entire thing, I will tell you that from what I have seen……….it’s awesome!

I’m always amazed by Nick’s no BS attitude and I respect that he’s so willing to go against the grain on many things.

In any case, I was a little late in the game to say anything and as it happens, the sale he was running was supposed to end last night (Sunday, June 7th) at midnight.  HOWEVER, Nick informed me that he’s willing to extend the pre-sale another day for all of my readers.  Woot woot!

Go HERE, and thank me later.

3.  I also want to give a shout out to my good friends Dr. Jonathan Fass and Bret Contreras.  As of two weeks ago I’ve been getting up earlier and going for some early morning strolls around my neighborhood. And with that I’ve also been crushing the Strength of Evidence Podcast which is hosted by both Jon and Bret.

I’ll be the first in line to say that I absolutely abhor reading research.  You might as well hand me War and Peace translated into Elvish, because I’d rather read that than anything remotely attached to “clinical findings” or “p-ratios” or “statistical errors.”

It’s all Greek to me.

Which is why I really appreciate the depth and thoroughness that these guys include in each episode. They dig DEEP into a lot of hotly debated topics – CrossFit, should everyone squat deep?, the efficacy of neck packing, sprinting mechanics, to name a few – and they do so with just the right mix of geek and meathead.

So if you’re looking for a new fitness podcast to check out, look no further.  You’re welcome.

4.  I was asked recently how my quest for a 600 lb deadlift is coming along.  More to the point: I was asked what my training has been consisting of lately – other than deadlifting mack trucks and arm wrestling tanks (<—just a slight exaggeration).

Well, truth be told, I’ve been including a lot more jump training into my weekly repertoire.

I’ve made no qualms at the fact that I’m slower than molasses off the floor when I pull, and much of that I attribute to my loss of athleticism throughout the years.

Now don’t get me wrong:  I can still sprint without looking like the Tin Man.  But at 36, as awesome as it may be, it’s not like I’m going out of my way to play pick-up games of  Laser Tag or beach volleyball in my jeans Top Gun style.

Sorry ladies.

Needless to say I finally hit a tipping point and decided to nip things in the bud and work on getting more explosive.  To that end, I’ve been including more things like deadstart box jumps prior to my squat and DL days.

Video courtesy of strength coach John Gaglione.

In addition Lisa and I have been reacquainting ourselves with stadium sprints at Harvard on Sunday mornings.  Nothing too crazy or CrossFitish, but enough to make us realize how much they kick our ass.

And it seems to be working. I randomly walked up to a barbell loaded up with 500 lbs the other day in the middle of the afternoon and, without warming up, pulled it for an easy triple (with more in the tank).

I’ve also been toying around with more of a pseudo Sumo stance deadlift and love it.

I’m not sure when I’ll actually give 600 a go, but suffice is to say things are finally moving along at a nice pace.  Stay tuned…….

* = LOL, just kidding. I didn’t go see this one.  Nope.  Not me. That would mean I would have had to have seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, too.  That would just be ridiculous.

I mean what’s next? Runaway Bride? Chocolat?

OMG – Chocolat!!!!!!!

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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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