Friday, September 12, 2014

Fitness Friday - Fitness News You Can Use

It's another Fitness Friday. Today we have Eric Cressey on the negative impact of sitting all day, Christian Thibaudeau on how hard do we need to work out, Tony Gentilcore on mastering the kettlebell swing, and Travis Pollen on adding static contractions to the end of our sets for added growth.

How Chronic, Prolonged Sitting Impacts Your Body – and What to Do About It

Written on September 9, 2014, by Eric Cressey

Last week, over the course of two days, I made the long drive from Hudson, MA to Jupiter, FL. Suffice it to say that all those hours in the car gave me a newfound appreciation (or distaste?) for just how hard sitting is on the body. As such, it was really timely when my friend Michael Mullin emailed along this guest post on the subject. Enjoy! -EC

I would like to have you read the scenario below and let me know if you would want this job.

“Congratulations on being selected for the position of top minion here at Do Everything Against Design, Inc. (DEAD). Our company is a prestigious purveyors of thneeds—and a thneed is a thing that everyone needs (5). We pride ourselves on our commitment to being on the cutting edge of business and we use only the best, most up-to-date information possible to dictate how we run our business.”

“Let me start off by saying that this job will provide all kinds of potential benefits. It is up to you to decide how committed you are. The potentials are endless—overuse injury, chronic pain, depression, increased alcohol use, drug or medication use, cancer, increased general mortality, even bullying—that’s right, just like when you were a kid—are all very real possibilities here at DEAD, Inc.”

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How Hard Do You Need to Work Out? 

by Christian Thibaudeau | 09/08/14

Here's what you need to know...
  • You need to train very hard to progress optimally, but if you train so hard that it affects the quality of your other workouts or causes so much stress that performance decreases, it's a bad move.
  • If you train a muscle only once a week, you'll be able to impose a lot more punishment without too many ill-effects than if you train each muscle several times in a week.
  • Testing your mettle with challenge-based workouts can be a great way to see how physically capable you are and preparing for those challenges can boost your training motivation significantly.
  • If you don't go borderline crazy from time to time you lose sight of what training hard means. An occasional lesson in pain in the gym will allow you to keep things in perspective.
  • Puking may make you seem hardcore, but vomiting during a workout simply means that you mistimed your food intake and training, which really doesn't make you that hardcore at all.
Feeling the burn. Driving yourself into the ground. Feeling crippling soreness. Puking. Not being able to walk after leg day. Not being able to drive after arm day.

All of the above are badges of honor for many lifters, but none of them guarantee that your workout was positive and will lead to improvements. Regardless, many of us prefer to focus on these elements rather than on objective progression.

Why? Because doing madman workouts makes you look hardcore, like a warrior. Your workout often turns into a test of how much suffering you can endure. But do you really need to drive yourself into the ground every single workout to make progress?

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Master the Kettlebell Swing 

by Tony Gentilcore | 09/10/14

Here's what you need to know...
  • The hip hinge serves as a precursor to everything you probably want to improve, from athletic performance to body composition.
  • The ultimate hip hinge or hip snap movement is the kettlebell swing... and you're probably doing it wrong.
  • Many lifters and athletes make the mistake of breaking with their knees first and making it more of a squat pattern. This is wrong. You want to hinge with the hips first, "attack the zipper," and keep the kettlebell as close to the body as possible.
Hip Hinging for Strength and Fat Loss

The hip hinge is a crucial ingredient for pretty much every lower-body movement you'll perform in the gym that doesn't involve a machine or sitting down. Get it down now and it makes everything easier down the road.

The hip hinge is nothing more than any movement which involves flexion/extension originating at the hips and which also involves a posterior weight shift. Breaking it down more, it's important to note that the hip hinge is in no way associated with a squat pattern.
Hip Hinge = maximal hip bend, minimal knee bend.
Squat = maximal hip bend, maximal knee bend.
While grooving both patterns is important, I'll place more emphasis on the hip hinge because, well, most people move like shit and don't perform it properly. As a coach, the sooner I can correct the pattern and get an athlete or weekend warrior to perform it right, the sooner I can introduce any exercise I want. The hip hinge makes the learning curve infinitely smaller.

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6 Ways to Bring the Pain

Deadly Dynamic-Static Compound Sets
by Travis Pollen | 09/10/14

Here's what you need to know...
  • Static holds have long been known to build impressive amounts of mass, if you can stand the pain.
  • By pairing a static hold performed at the hardest part of a bodyweight exercise with a heavy compound lift for the same muscles, you have yourself a time-effective - and brutal - way to gain size.
  • Advanced lifters can ramp it up again by performing a third static hold.
When it comes to building muscle, time under tension (TUT) is king, or at least a big part of the royal court. Historically speaking, many bodybuilding greats have used isometric training to help build their imposing physiques, sometimes doing sets lasting upwards of three minutes. The trouble is, most of us neither have the time nor the patience to hold an isometric lateral raise all damn day. Fortunately, there's a way to reap these same muscle-building benefits with iso holds lasting a third of the time. I call it the dynamic-static compound set.

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