Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today's stuff....

1) I need to add a little variety to my training. Even though I am not on the "muscle confusion" bandwagon (take that, Tony Horton), I do believe some variety can help you break plateaus. Here are some things that I am going to do:

* Every workout I am going to do one exercise that I don't normally do.

* Every week I am going to try a workout protocol that I don't normally do. I did a Jason Brown circuit earlier this week that included....
On the 2:00: 10 24" box jumps, 10 24kg snatches left, 10 24kg snatches right, 10 24kg swings. I did this for 10 cycles. Check this out: In 20 minutes I did 200 snatches, 100 swings, and 100 box jumps. It is kind of like saying do the SSST, then do 100 jumps and swings cause that is not enough. I am convinced that this variety changed something in me metabolically, and I want some more of that.

* I am going to add more stretching and mobility into my routine. This is mostly for my aching shoulders. After finally breaking the 300lb plateau in the bench, my shoulders have been killing me. I also haven't been doing armbars and TGU -- they are coming back in.


I am more convinced than ever that gyms actually don't make money getting people in shape. Here is some of the fodder for my observations:

* In the US, they generally get the money up front (i.e., they are paid to get you to think that their gym is the best place to get in shape.)

* If you actually get personal training at the gym, the instruction usually: 1) is generic 2) Full of gimmicks (I wonder what some of these retards would do w/out a bosu ball) 3) Always includes lunges done incorrectly. 4) Almost never includes any advice for what to do for the other 166.5 hours of the week. 5) Almost never includes any education. 6) Almost never includes follow up advice or a maintenance plan (i.e., now that you are not paying me, I don't give a crap about you).

* No one lifts heavy

* No one breaks a sweat


I had a pleasure of watching a woman try to train her son in my gym recently. She was trying to get him to do what I call the Xtreme Lunge (there is nothing extreme about it, but the name of my gym is "Xtreme" and all the trainers use this lunge even though it looks absolutely ridiculous). The lunge at a leg station where you have a pad on each shoulder, and you just do lunge, but you bring the knee (which is not bearing any weight) up to 90deg. She was doing the exercise correctly (it still sucks), but her poor son was destroying his knee because she had him put his heel in the same place as hers even though his legs were about 8" longer. I think that all the trainers there do this exercise because:

1) If you don't know shi'ite about training, human physiology, or physics, you might be dumb enough to think this was an effective exercise.

2) Since the personal training industry has not done enough damage to people's knee with upright walking lunges (open chain), it needs to do more damage by making it a closed chain movement. Also, by putting this exercise in the corner of the gym, there is more room for the mullets to do bicep curls.

3) Since you can't use any appreciable weight on this, everyone looks like a wuss.

4) You wouldn't want them to actually squat, because then we would need more squat racks, and thus would upset the balance of a 30:1 ideal ratio between cardio machines and squat racks. We do this even though a squat rack costs about 1/4 of a professional grade treadmill.

To me fitness should be broken down into two things:
* being able to lift heavy things...
* being able to do a lot of work in a given about of time...
If it does not fit into these two categories, don't do it.


Today's workout:
Warm up: 20min Dance Dance Revolution

Box Squats: 135, 185, 225, 245 x 1 x 2
265 x 6 x 2; 285 x 4 x 2 (~50s rest between sets)
==> These felt good and fast
Leg Press: 6,8,9, 9.5 x 1 x 10
Lying Leg Curls
Leg Curls: Stack x 1 x 3 (for the teardrop, not)
Tire Flips: Heavy tire x 2 x 10
Evil Wheel (runs): 8 x 20yds (strap evil wheel on feet, then walk 20 years)

Yesterday's workout:
32kg x 3 x 5; 40kg x 1 x 1; 40kg x 1 x 3L/2R; 40kg x 1 x 1; 40kg x 5L/2R
==> Felt pretty good
1 hour HoC/DDR

I have lost 10lb 12/20 -- pants are loser and weightlifting belt is a notch lower.


Adam said...


Well done on your weight loss bro

People like to pay for stupid training because they have already set in their mind that convential training is "bad" more so now then ever people are more interested in jumping on a bosu and doing crappy "exercises" then pulling a barbell or doing push ups. It is not wonder that we have more gyms then ever before but "average" strength is still sickly low.

Faizal S. Enu said...

So true Adam. And you have gyms like Curves and Shapes where you can't even strength train.

It reminds of when I got back on the journey to fitness. I graduated from college and weighed about 220 lb. While I was fat, I was not weak. I started playing soccer and got down to about 205.

I joined the gym, and the guy who ran the place got me to do a nautilus circuit. Started me out with light weights with sets of 12. Next workout, same weights sets of 15. Next workout, set of 18. Next workout - he said sets of 21 - I was like are you kidding me, this is boring. He said he needed to see where I burned out. I said you could not do it on the first day. I then went downstairs to the free weight room.

Over the next three months, I went from about 192lb at 19% BF to 166lb at <6%BF. I have never looked back.

If I listened to that guy, I would have probably been the mullet everyone hates now.

fawn said...

I am trying to talk Aaron into getting Dance Dance Revolution. Looks like a great workout!

Faizal S. Enu said...


Dance Dance Revolution rules. As you may know, I came up with a workout protocol called HoC/DDR+, where I:
* Alternate a kettlebell exercise with 1-3 songs of DDR for "active recovery"
* Wear a weighted vest (18#)

I am on difficult for most of the songs.

Yesterday I went to Game Works, and had an audience (about 7) watching me play and get a 150 combo on difficult. I also tried to play on two dance pads (gotta work on that)

Take care, Faizal

Aaron Friday said...

That's fine, honey. I just want bowling.

Max Shank said...

The 100+ yard power wheel is pure torture. The first 20-40 is doable, the second half/quarter is unbearable.

If your space is limited, try this: