Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: You’re Not That Busy, Plank Fails, and Offset Loading

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I’m sitting outside here on my patio as I type this blog post, and I HAD to share this picture my cat, Dagny, keeping me company. Her and I tend to spend a lot of time out here on my days “off” as I sit outside catching up on miscellaneous stuff like emails, deadlines for articles, and general procrastination.

Read:  checking Facebook and Twitter.

<——— But is that not one of the cutest things in like ever?

If you would have told me five years ago that I’d not only be a cat owner, but that I’d be posting pictures of her up on my website like some crazy cat woman, I would have laughed.

But here I am……posting pics of my cat.  On the internet.

This better not turn into some gateway event where before I know it I’m collecting stamps and knitting sweaters on the side.

To help save face, once I’m done putting this post up I’m going to grab a few of my kettlebells, put them in my car, and drive a little ways up from my apartment to a park that’s up the street. From there the game plan is to perform an impromptu outdoors workout, which is something I’ve never done before.

Somewhere out there a tear just rolled down Nia Shanks’ cheek.  She’s a HUGE fan of performing outdoor workouts and just having fun with your training.

On the docket for me today are some hill sprints, various KB drills (swings, snatches, single leg work), and some push-ups and pull-ups in the park.

Sadly, Boston is shrouded in cloud cover today, and it’s kinda chilly, so there won’t be any “sun’s out guns out” party today. Maybe next time though.

Since that will be keeping me occupied for the remainder of the morning, here’s some stuff to check out on your end.  Enjoy!

Leading off, as some of you may recall, in last month’s issue of Women’s Health Magazine I wrote an article titled the Yes, You Can! Chin-Up Challenge.

I was elated to see this video posted up on the website which showcased some of the staffers doing the 6-week plan. This absolutely made my day, and I was especially happy to hear some of the women seeing the “silver lining” in it all.

Even though some of them didn’t accomplish their goal of hitting their very first chin-up, they DID see noticeable changes in their bodies, which was half the point of me writing the plan in the first place.

I’m so sick of women wasting their time in the gym performing lame “arm workouts” with pink dumbbells and taking this “woe is me” attitude when it comes to lifting real weights.

My argument is this:  even if you can’t perform a chin-up, the effort and hard work it’ll take to get to that point will lead to “toned” arms and a sexy backside – sans the tricep kickbacks and foo-foo band bicep curls.

Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are – Meredith Fineman

This one hits the nail on the head.  Look: I’m busy, you’re busy, we’re all busy.

But are we really?

People brag about how busy there like it’s a badge of honor.  While it can be commendable in some aspects, I’d posit that for many of us, taking a little more effort to organize our lives and taking some time to “smell the roses” would do us all some good.

As an entrepreneur (<— I still have to look up how to spell that word correctly), and someone who’s involved with helping to run a facility AND run an online business, I too can commiserate on how hectic my schedule can be.

But I don’t brag about it, because frankly, who gives a shit?

And to take it a step further, I don’t want to be busy. I don’t want to be one of those douchers who can’t put his smart phone down, and who walks down the street nose to phone rather than actually taking part in normal human interaction.

And on a more personal note, I don’t want to be 50% of that couple who spends more time playing Angry Birds and/or checking text messages than enjoying each other’s company

Moreover, while sometimes it’s inevitable that I bring work home with me (especially since a fair percentage of my work involves the use of my laptop), I really try in my heart of hearts to set aside a chunk of time throughout the week that I can spend doing things I enjoying doing:  going to the movies, having “date night” with my girlfriend, and yes, sometimes hanging out with my cat.

Shut up – don’t judge me!

As such, sure, I might not be making as much money or be as “successful” as I’d like to be………but I also like having a life outside of work, and not being married to my phone or email.

It’s part of the schtick, of course – especially it today’s technology crazed age.  But I think there’s a lot to be said about setting boundries and knowing when to turn things off and just be in the moment.

People are so wired nowadays, and so in a rush that it amazes me when someone honks their car horn like an a-hole the nanosecond a traffic light turns green.  Is it any wonder why people die of heart attacks at age 40?

Nonetheless, that’s my random rant for the week.  I’ll shut up now.

3 Unintended Mistakes of the Plank That Can Destroy (Not Build) Your Core – John Izzo

If I had a quarter for every time someone says to me that they crush planks as part of their core training, and then proceed to absolutely butcher their technique I’d be a rich man.

Planks are a staple in most training programs, but it’s rare when I actually come across someone who does them correctly (or uses them for their intended purpose for that matter).

Here, John breaks down some common mistakes and offers some great insight on the dos and don’ts of planking (not to be confused with Twerking) prowess.

Real Core Training: Offset Loading – Kyle Arsenault

Pigging back on the above, I’ve long championed the notion that offset (or asymmetrical) loading is the epitome of core training.

Whether we’re talking about lower or upper extremity work, holding or performing an exercise in an offset manner challenges the core like nothing else, and is a far step above what most people inevitably end up doing in their training.

In this informative article, Kyle offers some exercise and programming strategies to implement the offset paradigm, which essentially entails using a higher load on one side of the body.

Good stuff!


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