Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quotes to Inspire a variety of ways


    I'm about to begin a mini-series on strength training for runners (even if you aren't a runner, you'll won't want to miss it!), but in the mean time I thought I'd share some quotes I've taken note of throughout my readings.  This isn't close to an all-inclusive list, but I'm hoping these may inspire you to take a positive action step, or challenge you to think differently about something. 

    Sometimes the world needs a slap.  The musings below are related to training, health, and lifestyle design in general.  They are taken from people in the field of strength and movement sciences that are way more experienced than I (I've listed each source, and then one (or more) quotes by that same person).  I'll let each quote speak for itself, and I challenge you to think critically about at least a few of them:

Dan John
  1. Someday you’re going to pay for the 10,000 crunches you were sure would build a six pack.  Instead, those built a bad lower back.  Ab work does absolutely nothing for you.  Just ask any long-time strength coach.
  2. No one cares.  Seriously, no one cares. Where you place, the medals you get, the contests you win- no one cares. Enjoy life, have a good time. No one cares.
  3. If it’s important, do it every day.
  4. Years ago at a clinic, a young man told me, “Squats hurt my knees.”  I asked him to demonstrate for me, and after he did said bluntly, “Squats don’t hurt your knees; what you are doing hurts your knees.”
  5. Look at your goals.  Look at your behavior.  Does your behavior match your goals?
  6. Occasionally, restart your training with the Zen notion of the beginner’s mind.  Find a book or training article that has a two-week beginner’s program and follow it.  Have a buddy watch your lifting technique, and allow comments.  Hey, here’s one:  During the pull-up, go from straight arms to chin over the bar.  Really, try it that way.  It’s called the right way. (interjection from Steve: Dan John is awesome)
  7. There’s pain and there’s injury.  Learn the difference.
  8. Here’s my ultra-secret training diet regime:  Follow Mom’s rule first!
                 a) Eat breakfast everyday
                 b) Be sure to eat three meals a day
                 c) If you’re hungry an hour or so after a meal, you didn’t eat enough protein
                 d) Water should be your major beverage
                 e) There nothing more fiber can’t cure

Jason Ferruggia
  1. Focus on a handful of exercises from each category and stick with them until you are really good at them and can no longer make progress. This will probably be years.
  2.  (Interjection from Steve: Go back and read #1.  Yes, it's that important).
  3. Stick with programs for more than a few weeks. Months or years might be more appropriate in some cases. This also bears repeating. Too many people are program jumpers and get nowhere.
  4. Find a way to get focused. Somehow, some way. Most people have zero focus and thus zero control of their lives. Don’t be another multitasking, confused, out of control, getting nowhere fast member of society. We have more than enough of those.
  5. Never use weight training for fat loss or “metabolic conditioning.” You lift weights to get bigger, stronger and faster. Remember that.
  6. Train outside more often.
  7. Check email far less often than you do right now.
  8. You should always leave the gym feeling better than when you walked in; not completely wiped out in a pool of your own blood and puke.
    That’s not to say that building a small conditioning component into an effective strength program is a bad thing. Bill Starr was a fan of doing this way back when he was preparing the Baltimore Colts for Super Bowl V.

    But there is an enormous difference between doing heavy sets of five on a bench, squat and clean in a three exercise circuit with appropriate rest periods and a workout that includes following up your five rep set of cleans with a 400 meter run, 20 kettlebell snatches, 35 box jumps, 10 kipping chin ups and a set of burpees.
  9. pullup1.jpg

    The inevitable next questions to follow my “sprint often” recommendations are always:
    “How many sprints?”

    “What distance?”

    “What’s the work to rest ratio?”

    The honest answer is I have no clue. I don’t know what kind of shape you’re in. I don’t know how much grass you have in your neighborhood, how long your hill is, how much experience you have running, how much you weigh, etc.

    If you’re training for football or the 100 meter then we can get more specific....Get outside and start sprinting. Always do a thorough warm up and start slow and easy. I wouldn’t run more than 30-40 yards your first time out. Over time you can add distance to each sprint if you want. Or you can add more reps. Or both. You can also decrease the rest time. There are a million options. The point is to just get it done.
Alwyn Cosgrove
  1. I got punched in the spine once in a Taekwon-Do match. Interesting thing is, my opponent went through my stomach and ribcage to do it. I got real interested in core training after that.
  2. Regardless of pesticides, fructose levels, etc., people who eat the most fruits and vegetables are healthier than those who eat the least. You’re going to have a hard time convincing me that the current obesity epidemic is a result of people eating too many apples!
  3. No one ever improved from just training; they improved from recovering from training. Training plus recovery = results. Pay as much attention to both to really reap the rewards.
  4. The recent trend to do low reps for fat loss is interesting. Actually, a lot of coaches seem to recommend low reps for everything: strength, gaining size, gaining strength without size, fat loss… everything!
    So basically it’s just one program then, eh? Uh, no.
  5. Take training advice only from guys who’ve trained themselves to a reasonably high level or make their living from getting results with real people. Be aware though that “doing” and “coaching” don’t always exist in the same person!  The game changes when it’s “put up or shut up” time and you have to actually get a result in order to put food on the table. A lot of people writing and talking about training have never had to do that. The same is true for business and life in general.
    Okay. I stole this one from Dan John. But if you don’t have the discipline to floss your teeth twice a day (which has been proven beyond any doubt to be worthwhile, not only in terms of dental hygiene, but also in terms of inflammation and heart health), then how do you expect to suddenly develop the discipline to take four pills three times a day to see a small benefit?
  7. Get a foam roller and use it. Don’t worry about the strength, size, or flexibility of your muscles until you work on the quality of the tissue.
  8. Charlie Jones once said, “Five years from now, you will be exactly the same, apart from the people you meet and the books you’ve read.” Read a book a week. Elite coach Mike Boyle once told me though, “Don’t believe everything you read. But definitely don’t just read what you believe.”
  9. Here's a final thing you might not know. It's a basic career/life rule that I live by: The gap between where you are and where you want to be is called Frustration. Frustration is eliminated by Education and Action. Get learning and get doing.
TC Luoma
1.  It's sometimes a lot easier to accept things the way they are, to sit back and complain bitterly to anyone who'll listen, but that's the big difference between people who are happy and people who are miserable. 
I think these people don't realize that it really doesn't take all that much courage to change your life. I don't care if we're talking about working out religiously, changing jobs, getting out of a bad relationship, or moving to a different town. Believe me, you can't lose.
Whatever you do, provided that you stay focused, works out. The only people who lose are the ones who cash in their chips and refuse to play another hand.
It's like the Chinese allegory of the man caught in the rapids. He's managed to grab hold of a rock, but the raging waters are beating him against the rock over and over again. If he doesn't let go, he'll soon die, but he's afraid to let go because he doesn't know what dangers lie downstream.
Let go of the rock.
    That's all for now.


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