strength/conditioning


I have been inspired to write this post from a person I don’t even know who told me I was wrong in my thinking on myths.  There is no way I am wrong because if you notice at the bottom Joe D. is the author.  Occasionally I will use other sources to add other reliable information to my blog.  However, I always acknowledge where these articles come from.  I will start out by saying that not only is Joe D. correct, I am also correct or I would have never posted his myth. 

Let me first explain that in order to do any type of aerobic conditioning (plyometrics) you have to have some sort of muscle development.  For example, think of the time you or a person you know broke a leg and had a cast put on it.  What happens to the muscle?  The muscle begins to atrophy (loses muscle), right!  Depending on how long the cast was on or how long a person has gone without using this damaged limb, will determine what a person can or cannot do after the removal of this cast.  Let’s say the cast was on for 8-weeks.  Who does a doctor send you to after the removal of this cast?  A physical therapist right! (Which most people fail to follow through on).  Does a physical therapist have you go out and jog (plyometrics) a mile before they have you do resistance training to rebuild the muscle.  Of course not, even though the bone is healed (and in most cases stronger than before, due to the calcification around the break area), you must develop a level of strength to engage in any high impact plyometrics (running).  We have all seen the knees buckle on a baby that is learing to walk and using the coffee table to hold themselves up? 

Knee pain, joint pain, and lower leg muscle tension is a common concern for most runners, especially if you haven’t developed any level of strength (not in all cases).  Now, take into consideration that both legs have been inactive for a prolonged period of time and are weak in comparison to a person’s overall bodyweight.  Please consider, if you’re overweight or just beginning a fitness program, beware of any type of high impact plyometrics (especially running off/on concrete) before building a solid foundation of strength.   

 LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

www.fitnessgenerator.com/mcgheetraining

Well, yesterday I managed to figure out a recipe to accomplish my daily 4200+ calories.  With my son’s baseball game last night I was forced to train later than I normally do, therefore, my post-training meal would have to be later than normal.  

During the time I was training, my wife went to the grocery and for whatever reason decided to buy two half-gallons of ice-cream.  Naturally, I wasn’t happy because I knew I would eat some and because I have a sweet tooth, I might not be able to stop.  On the other hand, I knew I needed more calories and because she buys natural ice-cream (no additives or high fructose corn syrup),  I began to rationalize and justify why eating this ice-cream wouldn’t hurt.  Boom, here’s my bright idea. 

About 30 minutes after training I always take a protein supplement, glutamine, and my BCAA’s.  At this point I knew I was way under my caloric requirements and because I had a three hour window of opportunity post-workout to consume about 1/3 of my calories, I was going to take full advantage.  This is when I looked at my protein, looked at this ice-cream, then looked in the cupboard to see if the blender was still there (you never where anything might be around here).  My last ditch efforts to consume these calories were between 8:30 and 11:30 pm.  During this time frame I managed to mix 96 grams of protein with 2 cups of Oreo cookie ice-cream, in two separate shakes.  🙂  With milk added that’s a grand total of 1340 calories in a 2 hour period of time.  I’m pretty sure I got my 4200, but the problem came when I went to mix a protein shake today, I almost got nauseated. 

If you have read my MENTAL TOUGHNESS post, it explains that I am on a mission to gain 15 or more lbs. by eating like a pig, training hard, and eliminating all cardio so that I can build muscle then lean back down to around 8% LBM.  It’s not a matter of gaining that worries me, it’s a matter of hating cardio and seeing if I have the mental toughness that it requires to attain my goals.    

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

www.fitnessgenerator.com/mcgheetraining

Myth #7: It’s important to build an aerobic base of conditioning before getting into more intense anaerobic work.

There’s no physiological basis for this statement. Having an aerobic base doesn’t help you perform or recover from anaerobic work. Think about this, do you think a marathon runner would be able to withstand the demands of an intense football game? On the other hand, do you think that one of the NFL’s superstars would be able to complete a marathon?

Of course not! This is because the physiological demands of both sports have about as much in common as Howard Stern and Kathie Lee Gifford. Yet athletes who participate in anaerobic sports still tend to associate getting in shape with long, slow, distance training. Nothing can be further from the truth.

A more productive alternative to jogging or cycling a couple of miles would be to perform multiple anaerobic activities with short rest intervals over a prolonged period of time. For example, performing a GPP (general physical preparedness) workout that consists of bodyweight calisthenics (jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, squat thrusts, etc.), movement skills (power skipping, side shuffling, backpedaling, etc.) and mobility drills, is far superior to linear, slow, long-distance running.

By performing exercises that challenge an athlete’s relative strength, balance and coordination in a continuous fashion, we’re able to improve their endurance without the loss in muscle mass, strength and speed that’s associated with the slow distance method.

Joe Defranco’s            # 7 of Top Ten Training Myths

 

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

www.fitnessgenerator.com/mcgheetraining

It seems like my goals change on a monthly basis.  I’m sitting here early this morning wondering how I will manage to consume 4200 calories every day until I reach my goal.  If my math is correct that’s six meals per day at 700 calories per meal.  Consuming these many calories for any length of time, seems totally impossible.  I do realize that eating this many calories is a gradual process, however, I cannot think of a healthy way to consume them.  How much oatmeal or salad can a person eat in a day?  What about egg whites or plain chicken breasts?  I could do it the lazy way by ordering out and eating a ton of empty, unhealthy calories then pay for it in the gym.  I could also eat high fat chemically laced fast food, but I know that’s counterproductive.  The crux I’m at right now is a classic example of not having a clear cut goal.  Do I really want to build this size?  I’m 204 right now and at 6’2 I look skinny in comparison to others.  (What has motivated this entire thought process is a bodybuilding show coming up).  So, once again I ask myself, “do I really want to get up to 220″  Regardless of what I want, I realize that I have to make a commitment that requires courage, self-discipline, motivation, and complete mental toughness.  

Since I’ve had all day to ponder these thoughts I realized that it is no different when it comes to losing weight for some people, especially when a person doesn’t know if they want to put forth the effort and commitment that losing weight requires.  I also realize that once I gain this size and muscle I will have to lean back down by eating less and participating in some type of aerobic exercise.  Right their is the problem, I literally hate doing any type of aerobic activity for an extended period of time.  For myself, twenty minutes on a treadmill is too long.  I do it now, however, I need to do 40 minutes or more to burn a significant amount of fat.  I guess I’m afraid that if I do gain that much weight (15lbs.) I will not have the motivation to lean back down.  In other words, will I stick to the program. 

It really does take a conscious effort and commitment for people to accomplish their goals.  The easier softer way is my natural response to anything that requires hard work.  Some people may be reading this saying, ” I wish I had the problem of having a hard time consuming 4200 calories”.  I’m not writing this to say “look at me” I am writing this to say “wow, what a commitment and a self-discipline it requires to realize your goals”.  I give credit where credit is due and I honestly don’t know if I had to lose a mere 15 lbs, I could do it.  I know how to do it, however, everything that gaining/losing weight entails, is quite difficult.  I guess what it boils down to is commitment, courage, motivation, self discipline, and mental toughness. 

Champions aren’t made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.- 

                                                                                                                                  Muhammad Ali 

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

www.fitnessgenerator.com/mcgheetraining

Marathon runners are definitely a different breed.  The amount of mental and physical preparation is unparalleled.  How does anyone run that far for that long, and never seem to show any signs of pain or weakness.  Maybe runners experiece these symptoms but they have no idea how to physically express them.  I guess it’s like that for all elite athletes, however, running seems especially ” freakish” to me because I hate it so much.  LOL! 

I’ll be honest, I know how to get a football player bigger, stronger, and faster.  I can also improve an athletes explosiveness and vertical jump that’s required on the basketball court.  I definitely know how to strength-train, and I can also help an everyday person lose-weight and shed body fat.  Alternatively, do I really know how to train a marathon runner?

To my knowledge the first session of training “my” marathon runner went well.  I know he experienced some minor soreness, but that’s easy, I can make anyone sore.  The true goal here is to make him better by increasing his times.  Soreness does not equate to making a person better or developing true overall strength.  He went through the movements, sets, and reps with no problem, and I know he was pleased with what I have him doing, however, I am not 100% sure that I can improve his running.  On the other hand, I guess it’s not my job to improve his running, my goal is to decrease his LBM, practice sound nutritional advice, and develop overall body strength.  With that in mind I am postive that his running will improve.  I’ll keep you all posted.   

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

www.fitnessgenerator.com/mcgheetraining

I often hear how losing the last ten or fifteen pounds of any exercise or diet program are always the most challenging.  I do not have any personal experience when it comes to losing 50-60 or even 100+ pounds.  However, I have trained people, and I know people that have complained of this common problem.  How frustrating is it when you have worked so hard and so long only to find it extremely difficult to reach your final goal. 

There are several reasons why these elusive pounds are difficult to attain.  One of the main reasons is most people feel as if they are “ending” something that has required a lot of time, frustration, tremendous effort, and self-control.  It amazes me that people work so hard at losing this weight only to throw it away at the “end”.  People, there is no such thing as an “end”.  You have already adopted the nutrition and fitness lifestyle, so why would there be an end.  Think about some of these professional athletes, you can always tell which players will have mediocre careers.  They don’t work hard with there strength coaches, they don’t improve their game, and they begin a lifestyle that they are unaccustomed to living.  Once they become comfortable, all the hard-work they put in, becomes null and void.  Soon thereafter, they are out of the league and as a result, they forfeit millions of dollars in future earnings.  They rest on their laurels.   

The second reason is losing weight from this point is somewhat difficult so you struggle to continue to produce results.  You don’t know how to lose those last few pounds.  If you have already adopted excellent eating, exercise, and lifestyle habits, why are the last ten pounds so difficult?  Simply put, you have hit a wall, your same training routines and eating habits are no longer effective.  You do not continue to see or feel any sort of improvement, so you become discouraged and revert to old habits.  Why do you think actors and professional athletes pay $200 or more per session for help from a personal trainer?  It is not because they don’t know how to train.  It’s because they simply do not know how to get to the next-level, therefore, they remain confused at their lack of continued progress.  

My point:  It is never a good idea to try to be the exception to the rule.  Instead, continue to follow accepted methods of nutrition and strength training by working on many different aspects.  Your diet and training habits cannot be the same when you become 50-110 pounds lighter than when you started. 

“Permanent weight-loss is elusive for most fat people”. 

I read this somewhere on the internet and immediately closed my mind.  Are you kidding me?  Is that what the diet industry wants people to believe?  Is that why there is so much misinformation out there and why headlines lead people to believe that they are hopeless without some “magical” weight-loss formula?  Listen, most overweight people are overweight because they may actually believe this BS.  I cannot remember a time where someone mentioned that they received great results from a weight-loss pill or fad diet.  (By the way I thought testimonials were illegal).  The media said it so it has to be true, therefore, immediately after they influence us with this propaganda, they go directly into a Pizza Hut, McDonalds, or Dorito commercial. 

I got one for you, it’s called Lap-Band.  I just saw this advertisement last night and I was utterly digusted.  Everyone keep your eyes open for this commercial, but make sure to pay close attention to the side effects, that is, if you can listen fast enough.  This is why I need TIVO! 

Kudos go out to everyone that is not looking for an easier softer way towards permanent weight-loss. 

LIFT HARD!  TRAIN HARD!

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