Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Damage Control

Since people gorge on copious amounts of food during the holidays, Carter Schoffer brings you tips to reduce guttus maximus this Thanksgiving.
"In order to hedge against the unfavourable body comp effects holiday meals have, there are a few easy to follow strategies you should employ. These being -
  • Exercise or perform a physical activity an hour or two prior to the meal. This can be a resistance training bout, cardio bout, long/brisk walk, playing with the kids (if you have any) or some "fun" with your significant other.
  • Consume a protein shake (just a scoop of a milk protein blend with some water will suffice), a few fish oil caps and a piece of fruit (pear or apple) about an hour before your meal. This won't "spoil" your meal as it won't be all that filling but it will put a dent in your cravings while still allowing you to eat enough to be satiated. It will also go a long way toward blunting the blood sugar / insulin response.
  • Eat your veggies first. This works along the same lines as the above bullet point. Be sure to have a good large serving or servings. Again you'll still be able to enjoy the other foods but eating the veggies first places priority on good nutrition while blunting gluttony.
  • Go for a walk or perform some other form of physical activity after the meal, before passing out on the couch.
  • Consume a cup of green tea (2 bags) before and after the meal.
  • Optionally if you've had experience with ephedrine in the past you may wish to take 16-24mg with the green tea 30 min or so before the meal. This is completely optional and I don't exactly recommend you do this. The reason why you would wish to do this is because it will upregulate your metabolism while also giving you an artificial energy kick to get the exercise / physical activity done. Furthermore, it's a mild anorectic. Other less aggressive "fat burners" may also be useful."
Have a good time everyone.

Monday, November 8, 2010


It's the 2008 Olympics race for the gold medal between China's Lu Yong and Belarus's Andrei Rybakou. Andrei Rybakou takes the lead by successfully lifting more in the snatch during the first portion of the competition.

See how the rest unfolds:

I come across many videos I enjoy, however none as much as this.

It serves as a tiny sneak peek into the next multi-part series I'll be doing for 2011 - the title may be a clue. While the actual series has not been officially named nor have I developed the exact format, there will be a formal introduction to explain it all in due time.

If you liked the last one, then this will be of similar quality or possibly even better.

Stay tuned folks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hips Position in the Deadlift

I mentioned how I was off in my deadlift set-up. I, being ignorant, finally realized what the trouble was.

Between the Romanian deadlifts I had done for an extensive period and the Olympic lifts, my hips were lifting at a high position regularly. This put me at a powerlifting pulling stance. While there isn't anything wrong with it, I'm not a powerlifter.

That wasn't the problem. The problem was I couldn't lower my hips and start in the way I previously was. A cue I tend to give others is to look at the floor in front of you. Funny thing is, I wasn't using it when I was going over my own form.

Let's break down the 3 hip angles. Low height, medium height, and high.

Couldn't find any diagrams decent enough to use, thus Paint to the rescue.
(click to enlarge)

The image above is what I'll be using to describe the different hip positions. It's a crude drawing and not everything is exact/to proportion, but is sufficient to serve the purpose of this post. Torso angle [indicated by the blue line] and line of eyesight [indicated by the dashed red line] are most important to note.
A) Low
This isn't an ideal pulling position. It's akin to trying to "squat" the weight up. Here we can tell the hips are too low due to the angle of the torso being almost completely vertical/perpendicular to the floor.

You can tell your torso is too upright if your eyes are staring directly at the wall in front of you - assuming your neck is in neutral position, meaning you're not craning it upwards but rather it forms a straight line aligned with your spine.

B) Medium
This is where I wanted to get back at. It was extremely helpful to look at the floor a few feet in front of me. My hips naturally fell into the correct position. Previously - coming up in picture C - I felt a tremendous emphasis on my glutes and lower back.

Another way to think of it, I picked up from Bret Contreras, is your body forms a "lightning bolt." If your eyes are looking in the right spot, your neck will be in neutral alignment and you won't be able to look at the wall straight ahead nor the bar under you.

C) High
This resembles a powerlifting deadlift. I simply didn't like my hips being higher up than I was accustomed to. I didn't feel my hamstrings as involved compared to before, and my lower back & glutes were pulling much more.

Here the torso is very close to parallel with the floor and your eyes will be facing the ground directly under you allowing you to see the barbell.
Position A isn't recommended because it's not deadlifting. B & C are fine. However if I'm coaching anyone I recommend B.

Why? Unless they're into powerlifting, I haven't seen a reason to advise it over the other position.

So, how's it feel deadlifting where I was at?

Amazing! I'm comfortably pulling heavy off the floor again with ease and I haven't even become sore yet.

The quest to a 400lb. deadlift begins now.

Have a good weekend everyone.
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