Posts Tagged ‘strength’

Muscle memory

August 24, 2019

When you can do an exercise for 6 reps, then increase the weight by 10% and do the exercise again. If now you can only do 5 reps, walk away. You are done with that exercise. That is your 80% weight.

I believe in muscle memory. The body remembers the last weight it lifted. You want your body to remember (in the next workout session) the heavy weight. Always finish on a high, at the top of the pyramid. Then, the next time you’re in the gym, your body will remember the heavy weight.

Never go down the pyramid. I see people work up to their 80% level and then go down to lighter weights to do reps. Don’t do that. Why? Because the next time you’re in the gym, your body will remember the lighter weights.

Example from my own experience: When I do chin-ups, I finish with a set of 3 reps (always just 3 reps). I do those 3 reps extra special – when I ascend, I get my chin much higher above the bar than normal and when I descend, I go extra slow and deliberate. At my next chin-up session my muscles remember that extra high ascent and extra slow descent and my chin-ups automatically take that form.

My strategy for mastering the Olympic weightlifting lifts

January 6, 2019

My new goal is to master the Olympic lifts. In particular, I want to master the snatch. One Olympic weightlifting champion (Jerzy Gregorek) says, If you can snatch your body weight into your 80s, then you will have a wonderful life. Why does he say that? Because the snatch is one of the most complex movements. It requires these attributes: flexibility, speed, and strength. The nice thing is, once possessed, those attributes transfer over to all parts of one’s life.

Here is my step-by-step plan to master the Olympic lifts:

(1) Increase my flexibility. Jerzy Gregorek said it took him a year to gain the required flexibility. I am sure it will take me at least that long. Probably twice as long. That’s okay. I want a solid foundation. I’ve been working on improving my flexibility for about a month. I’ve made good progress, but still have a long way to go.

(2) Master the squat press. What’s a squat press? It is this: Do a squat. At the bottom of the squat, press the bar overhead. Then stand up.

(3) Hire an Olympic weightlifting coach to teach me the snatch. I don’t think the snatch can be safely learned on one’s own.

The masters of strength train both mind and body

December 23, 2017

The brain is the most critical part of the body when it comes to strength. What we perceive as strength, or powerful muscle activation, actually begins with a thought, or neural trigger, that produces a volley of nerve impulses in the brain that travel to the muscle. The denser the thought, the denser the neural drive or activation to the muscle.

The masters of strength train these elements and harness their brain power to attain new heights in the weight room. The weaker athletes strictly train muscle.

— Stuart McGill, Ph.D.

Credo to regain the strength and health of my hunter-gatherer ancestors

February 19, 2017

Technology changes rapidly but our biology, our bodies change slowly. Our bodies are essentially the same as 10,000 years ago. 10,000 years ago humans were stronger and healthier. I wish to regain the strength and health of my hunter-gatherer ancestors. To do so, I will emulate their conditions:

  1. I will take a cold shower each day to emulate the environmental extremes that my hunter-gatherer ancestors dealt with.
  2. I will fast on water every Sunday to emulate the periods without food that my hunter-gatherer ancestors endured.
  3. I will go barefoot as much as possible and run my feet over lacrosse balls to emulate the lack of footwear of my hunter-gatherer ancestors.
  4. I will walk outdoors for an hour each day to emulate the long distances that my hunter-gatherer ancestors traveled each day.
  5. I will lift heavy weights to emulate the hard work that my hunter-gatherer ancestors performed each day.
  6. I will eat fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and meat to emulate the diet of my hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Super-oxygenate your cells and get stronger with more endurance

January 15, 2017

Before free-divers do a dive they spend time doing deep breathing and quick breathing. The purpose of this breathing is to maximize the amount of oxygen in the cells. The extra oxygen in their system enables them to dive deeper and longer.

In Scott Carney’s new book, he says that ordinarily he can do 20 pushups. While researching his book he attended a workshop where he and the other workshop participants did deep and quick breathing for an hour. At the end of the hour the participants were instructed to do pushups. Carney did 40 pushups – while holding his breath!

Today I figured that I would give this a try. I went for a one hour walk. During the walk I did a lot of deep breathing. After the walk I worked out. My personal best went from 2 reps to 5 reps!

Interesting note in Carney’s book: Controlled hyperventilation will increase oxygen saturation in the blood to 100%, but more significantly, it also expels CO2 which your body uses to gauge when to gasp.