Strong, not “for a girl”, just strong!

Ok this is one for the ladies. The place of barbells with in the life of the everyday woman is something that I am very passionate about and to that end, I am please to announce that I am dealing with a wonderful new training partner, and yes, she is a girl who wants to lift. Interestingly enough, she has a very unique goal. Nope, she doesn’t want to get slim and she doesn’t want to drop a dress size. She wants to get strong! Now, before you jump to conclusions about this lady, I can confirm that she is sporty, attractive, and feminine.

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So, that’s 70kg over her head…who says strength isn’t feminine!?

 

The reason I felt I needed to describe some of this lovely lady’s characteristics is that it is a social convention to consider strength as a masculine pursuit rather than a universal pursuit, on which gender has no bearing. See, this woman wants to be strong both in and out of the gym, and express her strength in all aspects of her life. Isn’t this truly what strength is all about? This week I want to throw some tips out there focusing around strength and how a few changes in your views on strength may in fact make you a stronger more powerful woman. All these titles are quotes I have heard from a number of women, and if I had the chance, these are the things I would like to say to these women.

  1. “Being strong isn’t feminine!”

 

I want everyone, including you lovely ladies, to be happy in the bodies that they are in, and live a life that is full of joy and expressions of your fitness and strength. Now if a woman decided that she wanted to become a bodybuilder and become as massive as possible, then I would support her in her choice, as it is a choice which is leading her down the path to happiness, and most importantly, its on her own terms. With that being said, I realize that most women do not want to walk down this path, but just because you don’t want to be bulky, doesn’t mean you should forgo strength training.

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Have the strength to not stop!

 

I know that the general school of thought is that weights only make you big and strong. While this can be true, they can also make you faster, more toned, slender, and other things besides all that. The barbell is a tool; its how you use it that dictates your results. Being strong allows you to push past challenges in your life, whether that be picking up more shopping without throwing your back out, or climbing a rock face, having more energy to play with your children, or opening heavy doors. What could be more feminine than having nothing hold you back from living your life as a woman who can push through everything with pride and strength? So remember ladies, strength is never a weakness.

2. “I couldn’t do that, I’m a girl!”

 

Fair enough, women are not as strong as men, at least not maximally. Strength is a multi-faceted concept which we could debate the nature of for hours on end, but what I want to touch on is that fact that strength is a pursuit which is passed over because women think that they can’t be strong, simply due to the fact that they are women. I don’t think any of the women reading this magazine would want to have their gender be used as an excuse, or be viewed as a short coming, so why let your gender have any bearing on your training? Whether you define strength in terms of gymnastic ability, endurance capacity, or maximal strength, you must pursue this goal without any limitation. You can be as strong as you choose, so long as you follow a good strength program and pursue it with absolute commitment. Female gymnastics is one of the most impressive displays of feminine strength I have ever seen, and none of these women could ever be considered weak or unfeminine. So don’t let your preconceptions of what you can or cannot do hold you back from being the strongest person you can be, in what ever capacity that may be.

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You’re damn straight you can!

 3. “I don’t want to get bulky!”

 

So, going back to what I said in point 1. – the barbell is a tool, and how you use it is going to dictate the results that you get. With that being said, I am a man who is very much on the path of strength. I am committed to being as strong as I can be, in every definition of strength that I can think of, and I can tell you one thing, its really hard to get big. I mean, it is really, really hard, and I have the added advantage of having a substantially higher level of testosterone that you ladies do.

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Life is always moving.  Be strong in movement!

Using weights to increase your athletic strength will not make you big and bulky, but it will increase your metabolic rate and improve your posture – if used correctly. It can make you faster, burn fat more effectively, increase the efficiency of your body at partitioning the nutrients that you eat by making your body more opposed to storing fat, and many other things. Beneficial all round!

Lastly, if there is one thing that you ladies take away from this is that weights help to increase your bone density. Why would you want that? Well, a little known fact is that 50% of women in the UK experience some form of osteoporosis. This is a weakening of the bones which can lead to all sorts of medical issues and has one of the most simple fixes for the majority of cases… Strength training! Wolfe’s law dictates that the density of a bone is directly correlated to the amount of resistance placed upon it. The stronger you are, the denser your bones are and the less degeneration you will have as you age. This in itself is an argument for why even the elderly should also engage in strength training in order to regain some of their strength and improve their posture. So why not start now?

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Get ready to start the journey

Remember ladies; femininity is founded in strength. Never forget the potential that you all have to become the strongest version of yourselves, both in and out of the gym.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com

 

Gong-Fu lifting and a Gong-Fu life

“Gong-Fu; Hard work over time to accomplish skill. A painter can have Gong-fu. Or the butcher who cuts meat every day with such skill his knife never touches bone. The musician can have Gong-fu, or the poet who paints pictures with words and makes emperors weep. This, too, is Gong-fu.”  – Lu Yan (Jackie Chan), The Forbidden Kingdom.

 

You too can master Gong-fu. We are all engaged in some cycle of skill acquisition. Whether it involves learning a new skill, a language, sport, or movement, very little in life comes easily. Nor should it! We all have that thing, that special something that we are seeking to acquire in life. Often enough, we find that we have gotten more out of the journey, the time and effort taken to achieve that which we are seeking than we ever could have from the thing itself.

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The beauty of the path is not to be underestimated

We all have our own Gong-fu to master, and this mastery takes an investment of time and a huge commitment to the cause. Through this commitment we are taken on a journey, and it is on this journey that we attain our grasp of mastery. I say a grasp of mastery because true mastery is simply and illusion. It is something that is beyond our comprehension, a truly Platonic concept of something so perfect that it is the purest expression of itself, and as such, can only be conceived in the mind rather than the body. Should this dissuade you? NO! It is through the journey that we become the best that we can be – not by reaching of some preconceived idea of mastery which, once arrived at, shatters our own perception of mastery as we realize just how far we have still to go on this long winding journey.

But do not be disheartened, my friends and fellow travelers. I challenge you to look back on your journey. Look back deep into the time that you have spent in the pursuit of personal gain. See how far you have come, not how far you have still to go. For truly, the path never ends, the journey is eternal and the destination unreachable. But this does not make the journey any less wonderful, any less beneficial, or any less important. On this journey you will experience mires and mistakes which will seek to throw you off the path of mastery. But these are also important parts of the journey. Without these mistakes and plateau’s we never learn what it is to go off the track, and miss out on some of the most developmental experiences that the journey of life has to offer. It has been said that there are a thousand lessons in defeat, yet none in victory. In my mind there has been no truer word spoken on the subject of a defeat. However, remember that the point of a defeat is not to crush your soul. True failure at anything is simply a reminder of how much you have to learn. Like a stern but nurturing teacher it shows you where you are weak and what part of yourself you have to strengthen and develop in order to endure the journey of mastery.

Marilou Dozois-Prevost of Canada reacts after failing to lift the weight in the women's 48kg Group A snatch weightlifting competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Enjoy the failure, it’s showing you the way to success

This journey is a development of the mind, spirit and body. Without the mind we cannot perceive the image of perfection and mastery. Without the spirit we have no fortitude to hold fast against the whirling and beating storms that life throws at us. Yet, without the body we have no vehicle to carry the mind or the spirit, no way to express their strengths and suffer their weaknesses. Take this view of life into every single action that you take. Some may practice martial arts, others may train their bodies, and some lose themselves in the never-ending labyrinth of the mind. But while some practice one thing, go out into the world and practice everything. Every step you take, every word you say, thought you have, and weight you lift, each person you make love to. Seek to make it the purest, most perfect expression of who you are, and what it truly is.

This is no easy thing. But this is the Gong-Fu of life. This is the martial skill that allows you to combat the imperfections of yourself and your mind. Aspire to be more – do more and think more so that you feel more. Put yourself before all things, and yet have nothing that you value less that yourself. The Buddhists say that attachment is the root of all suffering, and that only through detachment from all things can we truly reach enlightenment. But I do not see a cause for nihilism in these words. What I see is a commitment to not put one thing above the place of another. To not love one thing with all that you are, but to love all things, at all times, with all that you are.

Love each failed lift, because with that failure you have moved one step closer on the path to mastery. The journey of life is measured in feet, not miles.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com

Training the Hyper-mobile Athlete

“You know why I can’t perform at my best? Cause I am just to damn flexible!!!!”, said no one ever!!! Or did they?

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“Come at me bro!”

SUP REBELS!! Today I want to touch on something that was inspired by a friend of mine. I know this girl, let’s call her Jackie, and Jackie is a fantastically talented martial artist. She is both graceful, and absolutely terrifying. She fights with aggression, speed and poise, but, she can’t jump. She also has trouble engaging her core, and has had issues with her joints, and why is this? Well, she is hyper-mobile. She is by definition, overly flexible. WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!!!! Ok, before you guys jump on me saying that I am bashing flexible people, I am not, but lets just examine a few things before we get into the thick of this.

Point one. There is no such thing as being too flexible. In fact, being able to move all of your joints to the end of their individual working ranges of motion, within muscular consideration, should be something every single one of us can do. We should all be able to touch our toes, squat to depth via a full range of external rotation, and we should all be able to pick something up off the ground with a neutral spine. These are not traits of a flexible person. These are the traits of a fully working human. We just consider these to be feats of flexibility due to the fact that we are all movement deficient to one degree or another, due to the sedentary lives that we lead, and the fact that we all default to bad positions, which require you to stay in states of partial range. Ever wonder why most people don’t have the effective range of motion to squat past 90°? Well, look no further than your comfy desk chair, of dining room chair, whatever. All of them are set at  90°, and as spend so much time on our asses that our range of motion is shortened to this range. Sad truth, but se la vie.

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Ergonomic? Yes. Source of all your mobility cancer? Also yes. 

Point two. Hyper-mobility has nothing to do with over flexibility. Yes, I know how I defined it earlier but bare with me. Hyper-mobility is not just a case of being ‘over flexible’. It is a case of looking at the range of motion, and stability of the joint in motion, in regards to the level of muscular control and consideration available for the individual, within that range of motion. So, what does this mean? Well, as we stated, squatting to depth with a full range of external rotation in the hip capsule should be a given, yes? Ok, well with a hyper-mobile athlete you need to take into consideration the integrity of the hip capsule, and the muscular control of the anterior and posterior chain.

Right, a quick anatomy lesson, bones are attached to bones by ligaments, whereas muscles are attached to the bone via tendons. Now muscles, originate and insert, start and end, at a joint. Every joint has a certain degree of looseness; this in lay terms is what gives it its working range of motion. When a joint has laxity, a level of looseness that allows it to push past the point of muscular consideration, then we have a situation wherein the joint can find itself in a less than optimal position, i.e. hyper-thoracic extension – an excessive extension of the lumbar spine.

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Knee Tendon Structure

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Knee Ligament Structure

So who is affected by this? Well, a few examples of hyper-mobility symptoms are:

  • Hyper-thoracic extension
  • Thumb making contact with the forearm
  • Extension of the elbow/knee past 10°

Do, you know anyone who can do any of these things? Is this person a girl? Don’t worry, this is not a sexist question, but the fact is women have a greater pre-disposition towards symptoms of hyper-mobility, due to their individual levels of estrogen, progesterone and relaxin produced within their bodies during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Ergo why you need a special qualification to train pregnant women. Due to the fact that their hormone production is through the roof creating this future little Rebel, their joints experience a higher level of laxity, and no one wants to deal with a pregnant ladies femur popping out of their hip socket mid session. [1] Equally, women are generally more flexible than men due to their physiology, i.e. their increased Q-angle and carrying angle. [2]

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Male Vs Female Q-angle

Men, due to their hormonal make up, display a lower level of individual with hyper-mobility, however, when they do, its usually due to a genetic predisposition, typically also displaying a higher level of skin elasticity.[3] Different populations also display hyper-mobility to differing degrees. Chaitow and Delany recorded that this predisposition is higher in those of African, Asian, and Arabic origins in rates that exceed 30%, whereas Caucasian populations tend to display hyper-mobility rates of 6%.[4]

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Just chillin with my mobile self

So I think we have digressed on what hyper-mobility actually is enough. So how do we apply this to Jackie? Well, if you have paid attention then you will understand that the reason why Jackie can’t jump is due to her joint laxity. She is strong enough to jump, and to jump high, but, her joints and their laxity put here in an inefficient position to jump from. This is very common, as what tends to happen is that due to lack of stability in the hip, her knees go valgus, which gives Jackie a poor base to jump from, and express her power. I say that this is common due to the fact that one of the big factors which allow for joint laxity, is lack of neruo-muscular control, i.e. the athlete lacks the ability to actively engage certain muscle groups, primarily in the anterior and posterior chain, which allows their joints to move past the point of muscular consideration. As such, valgus knees, bad lumbo-pelvic control – the spine and pelvis wiggling around, and lack of ability to engage the ‘core’ are common symptoms of hyper-mobility.

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Valgus knee position vs a good knee position

So, while we have to accept the fact that each person will have individualized symptoms of hyper-mobility, we do have to work from the common denominator, and as such, there are a few things we can do to sort out the issues described above. Before, we get onto this I do have a quick question that I want to ask you all. How tall is a pyramid mathematically? – As wide as its base. As such, we have to look at developing a base before we engage in any form of specific training. In strength and conditioning, we call this developing GPP – general physical preparedness. However, in this context we need to address good positioning and posture, both of which require high levels of core control. How do you switch on your core I hear you ask? A fair question since I did say that hyper-mobile athletes lack core control. Well, just squeeze your butt and tense your abs. Sounds simple right? It’s not.

So what is this magical core? How do I turn it on? But I have good posture? I have a good core, check out my abs! – all good questions, bar the last one which was more of a statement about their diet than core strength. Ok, so what is your core? Well in terms of what muscles are recruited, it’s the abdominal corset – the front, the side and the deep muscles, the lower back, and the glutes. When people say, “engage your core” what they are saying is that you must engage all of these muscles, simultaneously, as when they work in unison they create total “core” stability through out the body. So how do we go about this? Well imagine all of the muscles around, and under your spine holding you up.

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Six pack abs are not why Dan Bailey has a strong core

Ok, so now is the interactive part of the blog. Stand up, yes, I do mean you. Stand up and engage all of these muscles one by one. NOT YET!! Ok, so when you do this, note what happens to your posture. When you tense our abs, you should feel your hips move forward and your lower back get tight. When you tense your butt, your hips should externally rotate, and your abs should tighten slightly. When you tense your lower back, your chest set itself, and your abs should get tight. All good so far? Good! Ok, 3 2 1 GO!

* If you cant engage any of these muscles, specifically your lower back, really focus your mind on engaging those muscles. The mind muscles connection is a real thing so,

Ok, smashing! Right, now try and tense all of those muscles at the same time. What happens? You get really tight, and coincidentally, your posture corrects itself. HOW AWESOME IS THAT! Yes, your posture is at the base of your pyramid. If your default position is a broken one, why would your positions during exercise, movement, or anyother expression of your strength and fitness be any different? It wouldn’t, that’s just a fact! The core musculature is what creates structural integrity within the body, and without this integrity, the bodies ability to control its force output is dramatically decreased, which brings us back to Jackie and her jumping. GOD I LOVE IT WHEN A BLOG COMES FULL CIRCLE!

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Bad Posture. It ain’t sexy.

Well, we have learnt some science, we have talked about some cool things, but what the hell are we meant to do with the hyper-mobile athlete? Well, there is no range of hyper-mobility that cannot be trained around. We just need to look at the mechanics of what is going on during the movements that are affected by the individuals’ hyper-mobility.

Our first and primary goal is to develop stability within the athletes’ movement patterns, which in turn, will help develop motor control. That’s all well and good saying all this mumbo jumbo, but what does it mean?

As we have discussed, if your lack the ability to engage the core, keep the body stable, and move within muscular consideration, then moving in the most optimal fashion is going to be an issue for you. But never fear there is a cure, the law of torque. Torque is a twisting force, which causes rotation in the direction in with the force is applied. So, if a torque force is applied in an external direction, we see external rotation. Motor control creates stability in the big joints of the body, which will affect the stability of the smaller joints in the body, i.e. motor control of the hip will affect the knee and prevent it from going valgus or varus. Creating external rotation within a fixed position, such as when standing. Or, when moving against a force, such as when pushing against a barbell during a pressing movement, ultimately creates a greater level of stability within the joint capsule, due to level of torque that is being generated via a higher-level engagement of musculature within the body. This in turn leads to the body having to force itself into a better position.

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Carl Paoli showing a good, torque generating bottom position

Try this. Stand up engage your core. Ok, now do the same thing when you are externally rotating your hips, i.e. screwing you feet into the ground and pushing your knees away from one another. What happens, your level of stability is increase due to the extra forces that are being generated. This ain’t bro science, this is physics yo! But hey, don’t take my word for it. Take a look at these two videos by MWOD creator, strength coach, and physiotherapist Dr Kelly Starrett.

KStar on hyper-mobile considerations

KStar on torque and lower back stability

Well, that about wraps this up. Thanks for reading, and remember, you can never be too mobile you can only be too loose. Also, strippers are not looking for attention. They are just looking for tension! If you watch the videos you will understand. GO WATCH THE VIDEOS!!!  Later Rebels!!!

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com


[1] Carter, C, “Persistant Joint Laxity and Congenital Dislocation of the Hip.” The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 46 B..No.1 (1964): n. pag. Persistant Joint Laxity and Congenital Dislocation of the Hip. Web. <http://www.bjj.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/46-B/1/40.full.pdf>.

[2] Heitz, N.A, “Journal of Athletic Training 34(2) April (1999): 144-49. Hormonal Changes Throughout the Menstrual Cycle and Increased Anterior Cruciate Ligament Laxity in Females” Web. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1322903/>.

[4] Chaitow & DeLany, J. “Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques, Volume 1: The Upper Body” 9780443062704

BrianMackenzie

LIFT FORREST, LIFT!!!

I want to take a second and talk about running. Running is something that humans have done for as long as we have been human. Running is not merely a survival mechanism – it is a beautiful, astounding, almost spiritual expression of our fitness. With that being said, running sucks! I mean, running really, really sucks! But, it wasn’t always this way. Running is something that we are designed to do, in the most mechanically efficient way possible. We run the ways that our bodies are designed to run, or, at least, we are meant to.

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“I look so good! But, it hurts so bad!”

However, anyone who has ever watched anyone running know that we all have different running styles. Don’t worry; this isn’t just a post on the forefoot vs heel strike debate. That comes later! Most of these differences aren’t due to the fact that we’re prone to internal or external rotation whilst running – more on that later. It is mostly due to the fact that we, as a populace, are spending way too much time on our asses. That’s right! Sitting for hours on end is making you immobile, due to the fact that you are developing scar tissue in your bodies’ collagen deposits in your joints. This is leading to you, as a human who is designed to run and express your fitness, to run in mechanically inefficient positions, which is then causing your body damage and forcing many people to give up running because, ‘it’s hard’, and ‘it hurts’. Of course it hurts! Your running has becomes a series of inefficient positions, transferring to the next inefficient position, and so forth.

So, what can we do about it? Well, proper warm ups and cool downs, mobility work – such as compressions, stretching and foam rolling – is all going to help, but that isn’t enough. The issue with most people’s running technique is a structural one. Generally, when we see people running they tend to either run correctly, or in a valgus, or varus position. Basically, the hip internally rotates and the ankle flicks out (valgus), or the hip externally rotates, and the knee faces outwards, with the ankle flicking inwards (varus). Neither of these is a good position for the hip, ankle or knee to be in during any athletic endeavor. It is not an optimal position for the hip to be in order to allow the musculature of the body to generate optimal force out put. So what causes this? Well, as I stated, it’s a structural issue. This means that the musculature of the body is what is causing these inefficient positions to occur, due to being too tight, weak, under developed etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGojEyYBmwc

Recognize anyone you know?

So given what we know now about these inefficient positions,and why they occur, it answers the question as to why runners, and endurance athletes seem to be injured all of the time! So what can we do to fix it? Well evidently, if the issue is structural, then we must strengthen and develop the structure – i.e. the human musculature – via strength training. However, what is the one thing that most endurance athletes don’t do? That’s right, you guessed it… Strength train.

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“The best thing you can do to be a successful long distance runner, is choose your parents” Dean Karnazes, ‘Ultramarathon Man’ 

The simple fact is if that we look at these incredible runners such as Dean Karnazes, and Jason Robillard, and we are all sitting there thinking ‘if they are the elite, then I need to do exactly what it is that they do to get better, then I will be the best!’ Wrong! The issue with this mentality is that what these runners are doing today is not what they were doing yesterday. They are at the heightened state of athletic performance due to genetics, hard work, and constant development. The ugly truth is that the majority of us are not technically competent enough to run a 5k, let alone that marathon you seem to think you are ready for! Always remember, you can have the sickest stroke volume and VO2max (max oxygen up take), but that means sweet F.A if your technique is poor and your structure is limiting your progression.

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Brian Mackenzie, one of the foremost thinkers on modern endurance training

WHOA! SLOW DOWN! Ok, before you guys get your SKINS leggings all up in a bunch, I am not saying that you need to sack in the long runs and start pumping iron, cause, let’s face it, there is a reason by Bodybuilders and Powerlifters do not run marathons. Bulk is not a benefit to the endurance athlete. However, what if I told you that a slightly more developed upper body allows a runner to pendulum his arms at a greater force output by allowing more power to be generated throughout the body via each stride? Would you hit the gym then? At the end of the day, it’s a question of watts. He – or she – who can put out the greatest wattage at the lowest body weight has an advantage, simply by virtue of the fact that Force X Mass = Acceleration. When taking a hill on a bike, or on foot, your personal wattage may be what separates you as the one who crests the hill first, or last.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duUo8fRarQ4

Listen to Dean Karnazes and Brian Mackenzie chat about endurance and strength

It is a well-known fact that endurance sports are some of the most physically taxing events that the human body can go through. As such their need for physical stability and muscular endurance is tantamount to their success.  So, why is it that more endurance athletes don’t engage in strength training? Well, the main reason being is time constraint. Long distance events take time, and as such, training for these long distance events takes a great deal of time, and for the average endurance athletes primary means for VO2max increase. Many fear that resistance training will slow them down, decrease their VO2max, and take away recovery time from their other training. This is simply not the case.

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The path less followed is the path of most resistance

True, there is no evidence to suggest that resistance training is going to benefit the athletes VO2max in any way what so ever. It just doesn’t tax the correct energy systems, but whatever. According to Jung, VO2max is not compromised when resistance training is added to an endurance program[1]. Equally, resistance training has been shown to improve the running efficiency of an athlete by as much as 8%. This is largely due to improved neuro-muscular efficiency and force production. These findings have huge implications to the world of endurance sports, given the extremes endured by the athletes during their chosen events.

Something else worth mentioning is a study which was performed by Mikkola et al. which demonstrated that the integration of explosive resistance training into an endurance program for cross country skiers showed a greatly improved power output from the quadriceps muscles of the athletes.[2] Cross-country skiers are said to have some of the best VO2max’s in the world. As such their ability to fuel their muscles is top notch, meaning that an increase in their ability to produce force will have a massive impact on the economy of movement and their efficiency during training and races.

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Questionable outfit, awesome athlete!

As we can see, there is nothing to worry about in regards to a degradation of an athlete’s VO2max. In fact, resistance training can actually be a major benefit for the athlete. As we mentioned earlier, it is merely a question of wattage. Resistance training will help to improve maximal strength, running economy, neuromuscular efficiency, and will serve to increase structural stability.[3]

At this point, given the amount of people who engage in endurance sports, we need to see an evolution in the training ideals of the endurance community at its very roots. We need to see people treating running as a skill – developing that skill and looking at the body as a tool to express your fitness. In every feat of athletic endeavor, whether it is training, or in an actual event, we have to remember just one thing. There should be no difference between moving in the strongest manner, the most mechanically efficient manner, and the safest manner.

Guess what? I’m now qualified! Please contact me for any Personal Training needs in the Cardiff area or for any remote programming and nutritional consultations.

LATER REBELS!

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com


[1] Jung, A.P, ‘The Impact of Resistance Training on Distance Running Performance’, Sports Med, 2003; 33(7): 539-552

[2] Mikkola J.S, Rusko H.K, Nummella A.T, et al, ‘Concurrent Endurance and Explosive Type Strength Training Increases Activation and Fast Force Production of Leg Extensor Muscles in Endurance Athletes’, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2007, 21 (2) : 613-620. 10.1519/R.20045.1

[3] Millet G.P, Jaouen B., Borrani F. et al. ‘Effects of Concurrent Endurance and Strength Training on Running Economy and VO2 Kinetics’, Journal of Medical Science, Sport and Exercise, 2002; 34 (8): 1351-1359

To Oly Lift, or not to Oly Lift? That is the question!

SUP REBELS! Today I want to touch on a subject that has become a fascination of mine. Powerlifting will always be my first love when it comes to strength sports, but recently, I have been toying with Olympic Lifting. Ok… toying is an understatement, I LOVE THEM! I am such a fan of the Olympic lifts its unreal. However, would I teach them to an athlete, yes! Would I program them for an athlete, probably not.

HOLD UP! Before we throw the baby out with the bathwater. Would I program them for some athletes, sure! But I would not have them as my first port of call. Let me tell you why! There is a debate that is has been raging within the world of strength and conditioning, and that debate is whether or not the Olympic lifts should be a central part of any program which seeks to achieve optimal athletic potential, or whether a more traditional compound lift / Powerlifting based program should be used. Before we get into the meat of this debate, there are a few things that need to addressed before we can sink our teeth into this hot topic, so grab your protein shakes and hold on tight!

“Olympic style weightlifting is an excellent training method for developing power. It consists of two movements, the Clean and Jerk, and the Snatch. The derivatives

of those movements are what make up the majority of training exercises” – Gambetta (2007)

 

Ok, so, Olympic lifts are the Snatch, and the Clean and Jerk. These are incredibly high skill movements which require a great deal of not only strength, but co-ordination and neuro-muscular development. For some, these lifts are considered the gold standard by which one assesses and develops an athlete’s power. Both the snatch and the clean and jerk require a violent explosion of the body, via triple extension, i.e. full extension of the ankles, knees and hips. This full extension is done over the course of three pulls:

1)    From the starting position, to the knee

2)    From the knee to the hip

3)    From the hip to the catch position

lu_xiaojun

The clean broken down. Can you spot the 3 pulls?

These Olympic movements are essentially a jump, and the action of jumping is the most integral part of power testing for athletes. Don’t think I’m serious? Just take a look at the testing for the NFL Combine, 225lb bench test, 40yard dash, and of course, a depth jump and a vertical leap.

db_39_110301_blog

Patrick Peterson’s 38inch vertical leap at the 2013 Combine

 

It’s not hard to see how there is a direct carry over from developing this violent triple extension into the field of athletic performance. But, why the Olympic lifts? Now, I know what you are thinking – that I have just answered my own question with that whole bit about triple extension and jumping etc. Yet, I put to you the same question – why the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk? Seriously, think about it, have you ever seen a Strongman lift an atlas stone? Have you ever seen a Powerlifter pull a conventional Deadlift off the floor? If you haven’t, go look it up on youtube…. Go on… I have time. Done it? Good! Now, one thing that I am sure the discerning eye of a Rebel will notice is that the strength of the hip extension required is massive. Also, these movements are much more simple to teach than the Olympic movements.

rob-o-on-the-stone

Rob Orlando, Owner of Hybrid Athletics / Crossfit Hybrid, and former Strongman is a huge proponent of the stones

Now, I am a big proponent of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) when it comes to programming, and unfortunately, the big scary elephant in the rooms is that the Olympic movements, while not difficult to teach, are difficult to master to a level where one can get the full benefit of them. Often in the earlier stages of learning the Olympic lifts technique, not strength, is the limiting factor. While one could argue that this is true with any athletic movement, there is a very big difference in the technical requirements of a Deadlift and a Snatch. So what are our other options?

As I mentioned earlier, the Olympic movements are considered by some to be the gold standard of developmental tools to improve an athletes explosive power. However, as any Weightlifting coach will tell you, you cant get stronger at the Clean and Jerk, by doing nothing but Clean and Jerks. You also have to Front Squat and push press a lot, and I do mean a lot! It is these movements that develop a weightlifters absolute strength, which is why it’s only those freaky genetic outliers that can clean, more than they can Front Squat. So if we work on the principal that if your technique is spot on with the Clean, then the more you can Front Squat, the more you can Clean, then surely, the lighter the Clean, the faster it will go? If this is true – which it is – then the best way to improve explosive strength is to develop ones absolute strength, and it is here that we run into some issues with using Olympic lifts.

olympic-lifts-injury

Not this kind of issue!

Essentially, all Stength and Conditioning is, is the development of an athlete’s GPP (General Physical Preparedness) in order to allow him, or her, to perform better in their event training. This, in turn, allows them to develop their SPP (Special Physical Preparedness), i.e. a thrower’s actual throw. Throwing technique is something that is a unique physical and technical requirement, which they must make their own, based on their own body mechanics and needs. The Bench Pressing, Snatching, Cleaning and Squatting have given the thrower the requisite strength in order to throw his or her implement, but it does not make them a good thrower, throwing does! The issue with the use of Olympic Lifts is that they require GPP just for the movement itself, which may or may not transfer over into the field of play, as every sport has different athletic requirements of its players.

Yet, without at doubt, they have a huge benefit for those athletes that can do them effectively. But, taking the time to teach the Olympic lifts to the point where they can yield a return which is greater than the time investment the athlete must make in order to become proficient at them, can seriously detract from the main goal, which is to make them better athletes, not Olympic lifters.

551480_489929277710758_723601548_n-1Highland Games champion Matt Vincent uses Olympic lifts to great effect, but they are not the basis for this throwing program

 

The point has been made that where as other strength development programs focus on – how fast OR how strong – an Olympic lifting program asks – how fast are you strong? This has a massive transfer over to sports, and should be a question that we address when programming for athletes as:

“Athletic Activities usually require quick and powerful movements and, consequently, depend on the development of explosive power” – Siff (2003)

 

However, when we take into account the issues expressed above, we must address other options if we are to allow a maximum return on our training investment. The speed at which you move, throw and lift, is dependant on a number of things. Namely, the rate and efficiency with which your synapse fire during a movement. This, in turn, causes muscle fiber recruitment. The more muscle fibers you can recruit the stronger you are maximally, and the stronger that you are maximally, the faster you are sub-maximally. In order to do this however, one must practice moving at speed, and not just at speed, but brutally fast speed. This can be done via plyometric movements, such as speed Deadlifts, and speed Box Squats. These movements should be done at roughly 40-50% of your 1RM for 2-3reps over 10-15 sets.

The incorporation of speed work allows for development of your synapse-firing threshold. But, this requires moving brutally fast from start to finish. The issue with applying this speed movement pattern with Olympic movements is that, given the nature of movements, it is very difficult to perform them in a touch and go manner, unlike the Squat, Bench and Deadlift. Also, in regards to their sport specific carry over, Olympic Lifts start with a controlled first pull. What sport do you know starts with a controlled first movement?

Now let me be clear, this is not me attacking Olympic lifting. If you needed to be reminded of my opinion on Olympic lifting, refer back to the beginning of this article. I think that every athlete should be taught the Olympic Lifts. Their benefits in regards to neuromuscular co-ordination, stability, power output and efficacy as movement patterns, they are a must. However, as I stated earlier, programming is a question of getting the best return on your investment, and Olympic lifts do not provide that without a huge long-term investment of time, sweat and potentially tears.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com

kellysquat11

UNCOMFORTABLY ENERGETIC!!!!

Ever heard someone talk about any of the following things:
-       Phosphocreatine?
-       Lactic?
-       Anaerobic?
-       Aerobic?
-       Lactic threshold?
-       ATP?
-       ADP?
-       Adenine?
-       Adenosine?
If so, where you left dumbfounded, did you feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights of bullshit? If so, don’t worry; it’s not your fault! It’s the Internet’s… F#*% YOU INTERNET! However, I digress. With the ease with which people can put down their opinions on everything under the sun on the Internet, it becomes very hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. As such, I will be providing you with a basic, introduction to the various energy systems of the body, and all that this entails. I have taken all of this knowledge from various textbooks, so this should be up to date correct.
anaelacticphospho what now?!
Ok, so here we go! Right, so, the body is like a car, it requires fuel or its not going anywhere. This fuel is the food we eat, which in essence is broken down into the macronutrients of Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. Each energy source is metabolized differently to generate useable energy. The only energy unit however, that is useable by the body is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the bodies’ energy currency, and is used in one of the three bodily energy systems, which are the phosphocreatine system, the aerobic system, and the lactic system. We’ll get onto these later… slow your roll bro!
First things first, we get energy from foods, simples, but all these foods are metabolized in different ways.
 
Carbs
Carbs! Yes, fruit and veggies are carbs, get over it!
So, carbs have 4 kcal per gram. The medical statistic is that 60-65% of your caloric intake should be carbohydrate… but this is bulls*#t! This will be settled in another blog, so watch this space! All carbs are in essence sugar waiting to happen; besides the molecular structure the only thing that separates a gummy baby from a sweet potato is the time it takes the body to break down these foods into usable sugar, i.e. glucose.
Carbs are not easily stored within the body, with small amounts being stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, which can be reverted into glucose when needed. Glycogen stored in the muscles can only be used in the muscles and cannot be released in the blood for use elsewhere. Carbs should be taken pre and post work out and limited the rest of the day, with the amounts of carbs varying depending on your goals… that’s right, I am saying you should limit carbs! TAKE THAT NHS DIETARY GUIDELINES!!!! COME AT ME BRO!!!!
The reason for this being that Glycogen has a relatively large chemical structure, as it is made of many glucose molecules. When activity levels start to increase, or are anticipated to increase, adrenaline, and glucagon (a fuel mobilizing hormone) send messages for the enzymes within the muscles cells to work to break the glycogen apart, via a process called glycogenolysis.
Fat
Fats. Yummy yummy fats!
Fat provides the greatest amount of energy per gram at 9kcal per gram. Fat is stored in the body both underneath the skin and around the organs. The same hormones that stimulate the break down of glycogen into glucose stimulates that breakdown of fat in the adipose tissue into fatty acids to be used for energy production. This is known as lipolysis.
Now, the funny thing about fats is this, not only are these vital for hormone production, testosterone levels, the fitter an individual, the more efficient they are at extracting energy from fat. Fat needs a great deal of oxygen to be metabolized effectively. The cardiovascular adaptations that occur with regular cardio vascular training improves the abilities of an individual to take up oxygen and deliver it to the working muscles making it easier for the body to use fat as fuel even at higher intensities. This is a useful survival mechanism, because which carbs run out quickly, there is an abundant supply of fat to fuel ongoing activity. A fit individual can spare the carbs until it is really needed and maintained activity, using fat as the main fuel. Some carbs are still needed to aid the metabolism of fat as it acts as a metabolic primer.
However, I have my own opinions on fat intake and how much I prefer it to carbs. If you would like to know what those are please read my blog post, “Start fat. Eat fat. Lose fat?” (http://rebellionfitness.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/start-fat-eat-fat-lose-fat.html)
Protein
Meat is Murder! Tasty, tasty murder!
Protein, the building blocks of life, the dead animal on my plate, is amazing! I am not going to do this section to death, as everyone seems to know a fair bit about protein. It provides 4kcal of energy per gram. Protein is stored in the body as muscle and is only used for energy production when carb stores are deleted. Proteins need to be broken down into amino acids and converted into glucose by the liver if they are to be used for energy production. This process is known as gluconeogeneis.
This is where magic happens!
Ok so, those are the fuel sources. Muscle glycogen is stored to fuel muscular activity, such as weightlifting, and muscle glycogen is stored for use by the brain. If there is no glucose remaining in blood and the liver glycogen store is running low, carbs must be ingested or it must start to be made internally. Amino acids are used for this through the break down or protein.
The demand of ATP synthesis varies depending on the intensity of the activity. The more ATP is required the quicker it needs to be synthesized. If it cannot be synthesized quick enough, then intensity of activity must lower, even at its fastest, it takes a minimum of 10 seconds to synthesize enough ATP. The body will use a mix of fat in the form of fatty acids and carbohydrates in the form of glucose to synthesis ATP. Fat can only be used in the presence of oxygen. Without oxygen, only carbohydrate can be used. As already mentioned, there are plenty of fat stores, but fat takes a relatively long time to metabolize.
 
ENERGY SYSTEMS!
 
The only source of energy that can be used directly by the body is ATP. It is made of one adenosine molecule and three phosphates, which are attached through high-energy bonds.
Energy is produced when the bond between the second and third phosphate is broken. The by products of this are Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and phosphate. ATP is really unstable and cannot be stored in the muscle. ADP and phosphate are stable. To maintain energy supplies ATP must be constantly re-synthesized, meaning energy is needed from somewhere else to reattach the phosphate that has broken away and allow the cycle to continue. There are three energy systems that perform this function.
The energy systems are:
-       Phosphocreatine
-       Lactic
-       Aerobic
The energy systems used to re-synthesized ATP will be depend on:
-       The intensity of the exercise / activity
-       Duration of the exercise / activity
-       The type of exercise / activity
Phosphocreatine
Muscle glycogen provides the initial fuel for movement when exercise starts. Straight away the body starts to metabolize fat and increase the flow of blood to the muscles being used, in order to provide the fat and oxygen required if activity is to continue. This process takes a minimum of 20 seconds, by which time the small amounts of glycogen held within the muscles has been completely used up in approximately 1-2 seconds.
Maximal intensity exercises have a huge glycogen demand
Within the muscle there is a store of creatine phosphate. Although this cannot be used directly, it can be converted very quickly when catalysed by the anaerobic enzyme creatine kinase. Only one chemical process is required to separate the phosophate from the creatine, so that phospate is added to the ADP to create more ATP.
Creatine phosphate is generated in the liver, but is also eaten within meat. So go eat some dead animal! When muscle demands it, either more is synthesized in the liver, or more is taken from within the bloodstream. At best, a muscle can store no more than roughly 20 seconds worth of the stuff. The more the creatine phosphate is used, the greater the ability to sore it and the greater the amount of creatine kinase is made readily available. High intensity training involving repeated short bursts of explosive movements is likely to be the most effective way of achieving this.
Fast twitch muscle fiber’s (fast glycolytic) will use the phosphocreatine system for energy production. Their low aerobic ability means that they need to use an energy system that can provide energy without the use of oxygen (anaerobically). Their suitability to short bursts of intense activity also means that the best energy system for them to utilize is the phosphocreatine system.
The phosphocreatine system fuels short bursts of very high or maximal intensity activity. This should be reflected when one tries to improve the efficiency of the phosphocreatine system. By alternating maximal efforts with long recovery periods using interval training, this energy system can be effectively overloaded to bring about adaptation.
For example, a max effort squat would use all the muscular stores of creatine phosphate. A long recovery is then required to allow the body to refuel these stores, roughly 6 minutes. Therefore only allowing the body 3 minutes allows for a gradual depletion of the bodies creatine phosphate over a number of maximal efforts.
Lift heavy, often, with good technique.
The Lactic System
Once all available creatine phospate has been used, intensity of activity must lower, as no other system is able to re-synthesize ATP as quickly. If activity is continued then the next fastest system is the lactic system. The lactic system is also used if an activity is started at a less intense rate than required for the phosphocreatine system. The body continues to metabolize fat and increase the flow of blood to the muscles involved, to provide the fat and oxygen required if the activity is to continue. The lactic acid system is more efficient than the phosphocreatine system at generate ATP, producing a max of three ATP molecules per molecule of glycogen via a process called anaerobic glycolysis The process of anaerobic glycolysis takes longer than the phosphocreatine system, due to the more chemically complex nature of the glucose molecules, which causes a rapid depletion of the bodies glycogen stores.
Two variables limit the ability of the lactic system to continue working. Firstly that glucose stores run out pretty damn quick. The second is that the system produces more of its waste product, lactic acid… duh, than the body can handle. This leads to all those nasty cramps and vomiting that we sometimes experience when we feel the “burn”.
Why does it hurt so much to be this fast?!
The build up of lactic acid in fact prevents further ATP generation. The muscles continue to try to contract, but with each contraction less ATP is generated. Once intensity of exercise decreases, lactic acid is dispersed into the blood and taken to other muscles or the liver. The speed or recovery is related not to only the intensity of activity that is continued but also to each individuals personal abilities. Total recovery from an over load of the lactic system is approximately 30 minutes. An individual will first reach the aerobic threshold. This is the point at which energy production begins to shift in favor of anaerobic pathways, but lactic acid concentrations have not yet reached a level that will inhibit performance, which lets be honest, sucks.
The point at which lactic acid is being produced faster than it can be removed is known as anaerobic threshold. This threshold is also known as the point of onset blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). To improve the lactic system interval training is an effective method of improving the lactic acid system. By alternating work efforts that create a lactic build up with periods of recovery to remove the lactic acid by product we can begin to increase the anaerobic threshold and point of OBLA. Fartlek (speed play), cruise intervals, HIIT are all good methodologies to follow to improve the lactic acid system.
The Aerobic System
Once the lactic acid has prevented further generation of ATP, intensity of activity must be lowered. The aerobic system then takes over. Aerobic production of ATP is by far the most preferred method. As long as there is sufficient oxygen present, the body always selects the aerobic system. Not only does this utilize fat as well as carbs, leaving more carbs in the tank, but it also is able to generate more molecules of ATP. Aerobic (with oxygen) glycolysis generates up to 38 molecules of ATP for each molecule of glycogen.
Aerobic glycolysis takes place in specialized muscle cells called mitochondria. Mitochondria are essentially cell batteries and are found within muscle fibers. The point at which intensity of activity increases so much that the body is no longer able to get enough oxygen to get to the working muscles is known as the aerobic threshold. Again, to a certain extent this is genetically set. Appropriate training, in the form of interval training with peaks just about the aerobic threshold, can improve the aerobic threshold by enabling the body to transport and work with oxygen at a higher intensity.
When glucose is broken down in the presence of oxygen it is converted into pyruvate. This process is known as glycolysis. In the absence of oxygen the pyruvate becomes lactic acid and eventually inhibits further muscle contraction. As long as oxygen and carbohydrates are present the aerobic energy systems can last indefinably. The by products of aerobic production are CO2, water and heat. The body easily removes all these, so it presents no limiting factors. The aerobic energy system will at the time be using a combination of fats and carbs to produce ATP. Protein can be used when glycogen stores have been depleted. The proportion of fat and carbs used is determined by the intensity of the activity. As intensity increases a greater proportion of ATP synthesis will come from aerobic glycolysis until anaerobic threshold is reached. However, the maximal effective duration of the Aerobic system is only two hours.
So there we are boys and girls, a brief insight into the world of energy systems. I hope you enjoy.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com

Periowhatnow?!

HOLY CRAP!!!!
Alright, calm down, I know its been a while. I am back, and with a vengence! I will now attempt to churn out a badass blog for all you members of the Rebellion out there every month, and for the next few blogs I want to have a bit of a rant about some phrases that are being thrown about, cause they are ‘sexy’. First onto the chopping block, the P word.
Periodization. WTF?
So lets start off with the basics, what the hell is periodization, and how the hell do you periodize a program? Periodization is the staggered, organization of a training program into manageable, workable units, each with its own specific purpose. Now, each of these blocks serve their own individual purpose, but all together lead to an ultimate training goal, not just per block, but entire training cycle. Ok, I know that’s a lot to take on, so lets back track and break this down. So, as I said, we are looking to deal with workable blocks of training, each with its own goal. Ok? Cool!
Right, so, when we take these blocks we have a training cycle. These individual cycles are all pieces of a greater training cycle.
Ok, so lets look at the various different types of training cycle:
- Training session: A training session is a single workout, designed to fulfill a specific purpose. Whether this purpose is to achieve more reps on a movement, add more weight to a movement, or improve technique in a specific movement, there must be a purpose. For example, if your looking to improve your Clean, then each session which is dedicated to the Clean should be programmed specifically to your goal of improving your Clean. If there are exercises which are not condusive to your goal, dump it!
- Microcycle: the recruitment of a number of training sessions, blocked together working towards a specific goal.
- Mesocycle: A cycle made up of many microcycles designed around one specific development of athleticism, such as developing muscle mass, strength, power, endurance etc.
- Macrocycle: All of the mesocycles are put together to achieve the ultimate goal of the entire training process. These macrocycles can be a yearlong process and should be centred on an ultimate goal, rather than something like putting 2.5lbs on their bench each weak. An example would be the ultimate goal of putting an extra 200lbs on your Powerlifting total.
One day, with great programming, you too could be aspire to be Ed Coan.
Ok, so hopefully this should all make sense now. As we can see the whole point of a periodized program is to work towards an ultimate goal, by focusing on cycles which develop the things that you need in order to get these goals. The nature of periodization in linear, so its no wonder that the most common form of periodization is known as western, or, linear periodization.
Western Periodization: It wont make you Clint Eastwood, but it will make you jacked!
So when we look at linear periodization, generally speaking we are looking at a hypertrophy phase, a transition phase, a power phase and strength phase. These are all individual mesocyles which will be programmed in a manner which will support our goals, as defined in the macrocycle.
The each phase is a percentage based program which over the whole course of macrocycle will see a reduction in volume and an increase in intensity. The reasons for this being can be explained using some simple graphs.
Strength curve
So, above we have a really basic strength curve chart. What we can see here is that when train at maximal intensity, i.e. using our maximal strength, the reps/duration is really low. Yet, when we have high volume, i.e. high reps/duration, our intensity is really low. Thus, working at high intensity low reps is working our maximal strength, where as working in a range of low intensity, and high volume is used for muscular conditioning and hypertrophy. Thus within linear periodization we see a reduction of reps as the focus of the training moves to strength development. This is best shown in Prileprin’s chart, which illustrates a generic outline of the optimal percentages, reps and rest periods to achieve certain goals.
Prilepin’s Chart
So what would a linear periodized program look like? Kinda like this:
Sample chart 1: Hypertrophy
Week
Sets
Reps
Rest minutes
Intensity
1
5
6
2
75%
2
5
6
2
77%
3
4
5
2
79%
4
4
5
2
82%
Sample Chart 2: Power
Week
Sets
Reps
Rest minutes
Intensity
1
3
4
3
85%
2
3
4
3
87%
3
3
3
4
91%
4
3
3
4
93%
Sample Chart 3: Strength
Week
Sets
Reps
Rest minutes
Intensity
1
3
3
5
95%
2
2
2
5
97%
3
2
2
5
98%
4
1
1
5
99%
So what are the downsides?:
As with any program there are going to be pitfalls and issues. There are a number of issues that I have found with this system of periodization:
-       It’s a percentage based program
-       It starts with high volume
-       It has only one peak
Now, I am not attacking periodization, I love periodization. In fact, I would buy it  a nice sea food dinner and call it again for a second date, but as with any program, and any beautiful girl, there are always flaws.
As a percentage based program, it can be difficult to calculate the training at any one time. No just simply because of the difference between competition max, and maximal strength, or even calm state max, but because its very difficult to say if in any of these states one is using a true representation of their absolute strength at any one time. We can make correlations between rep ranges and intensity, but the fact remains that some days, despite having the strength for a 500lb deadlift triple, we just wont be able to do it, simple as.
Equally, what must be considered as well is the fall out of finishing the cycle deloading and then going back to low intensity, high volume training. These long breaks are detrimental because motor abilities are constructed and retained at differing rates, which are entirely specific to each individual. According to scientific research (Zimkin et al), as much as 10-15% of an athletes strength can be lost after a period of three weeks. So if an athlete has lost 15% of his max, and his training cycle starts at 62% of his max, then surely he is actually training at 72% of his max, which will prevent him from following the required rep scheme set out by the periodization. Thus leaving the lifter to assume that hopefully his strength will catch up with the intensity.
Now I know what you are thinking, athletes like football or Rugby players are not Weightlifters, nor are they Powerlifters, but when you think about it the principal is the same. Who the hell wants to be getting weaker? Nobody, that’s who!
You think these guys want to get weaker?!
So how can this be combated? Well, via taking 10% of a 1RM we are able to establish a training max, or a lift that can be accomplished come rain, shine, or the end of the world. Thus, providing that if one is sensible with ones selection of percentages, i.e if we are working off a competition max taking as much as 20% off ones max, we can remove the issue of the strength fade after the peak. Jim Wendler is an advocate of this process in his 5/3/1 training program.
Thou shalt not take the name of Jim Wendler in vein
  Also, why not throw out a percentage based progression all together. As we know with percentages we run into the difficulties stated above. As such, why not work to a scheme in which the body is working to its maximal capacity for a set rep range every training session, whilst of course maintaining the parameters of each mesocycle. That way if your body is fatigued at least you will still allow the body to get in the volume that it needs in order to cause CNS/muscular adaptations, whilst not being left in the lurch hoping that your strength will catch up with your programming.
As I said, this is not an attack on periodization, in fact we have plans tonight, but I digress. All programs have their pitfalls, issues, and things that we think just plain suck. However, remember that what may suck for one person, may be the Holy Grail to another. Periodization is a sound principal based in science, this cannot be disputed. Why? Cause it works, that’s why! Take the principals, run with it, adapt if you feel necessary, but remember, don’t go nuts. If you are making gains at a rate that you are happy with, and that are reasonable, i.e. don’t freak out cause you are not swole as all hell by the end of the first month, and you will be fine.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com


Squat, everyday… LIKE A BOSS!!!!!

Right so, as some of you may or may not be aware, I have been following a variation of the “Westside”, or “Conjugate” method for a while now, both pre and post my unfortunate layoff for the gym due to my financial situation. The “Conjugate” method was developed in the former Soviet Union by Dr Zatsiorsky, writer of “Science and Practice of Strength Training”, in an attempt to create a program which would allow for the maximal development of the Soviet Union’s athletes. There was obvious success with this considering the consistent domination of the Soviet Union within the fields of athletics, wrestling and weightlifting during the Cold War period. The ‘Conjugate’ method essentially highlights that the aim of training is to increase the rate at which athletes can fire their synapses and express their power via athletic movements.
Power, ultimately, is the expression of ones maximal strength at speed. Athletic movements such as jumping are a key example of ones expression of power. To jump onto a box requires the strength to propel ones mass of the ground, but if we try and jump on to the box slowly… what happens?… that’s right, it can’t be done. We need speed in order to jump onto a box, however, to jump onto a bigger box, we need an increase in strength. As we can see strength and speed are the basic components of power. Zatsiorsky understood that these two aspects of power need to be trained with separate training modalities. Maximal strength increase occurs when working in an upper intensity range, namely 80-95% of your 1RM, speed is increased when working in a lower intensity range of 40-60% of your 1RM, thus allowing you to train the rate at which your CNS responds. However, the issue that Zatsiorsky found was that training at 90% over an extended period of time led too the overall decrease in the rate of CNS response and maximal strength. As such this lead to the development of micro-cycle’s of 3 weeks during which an athlete would focus on working on a single upper body lift and a single lower body lift, splitting the week into two maximal effort training days, and two dynamic effort training days, one for the upper and one lower body. After those 3 weeks the athlete would switch the lift.
Donny Shankle, coached by Glen Pendlay at the MDUSA facility uses the “Bulgarian” method
Louie Simmons, of Westside Barbell fame, uses a variation of the ‘Conjugate’ method to produce athletes that have given Westside the reputation as one of the strongest gyms in the world. Now, I know what your all saying, “but Louie’s guys are on everything under the sun!”, well…yeah! However, using roids is a card that you can flip only once, and even though most of these guys have chosen to flip that card, they keep getting stronger.
Louie in all his ass kicking glory
Now, the “Conjugate” method didn’t just come into being, it had its roots in what has come to be known as the “Bulgarian” training system due to its implementation of said program by the Bulgarian Weight Lifting team. Their coach, Abadjieve, had his athletes max out in a variety of lifts which he deemed would improve their Olympic lifting, up to 4 times a day, everyday. He would stagger this training scheme into two macro-cycles, a loading month in which three weeks would be trained at a high intensity and a week of lower intensity. This would then be followed by a deloading month in which three lower intensity weeks would be followed by a week of high intensity training. Abadjieve would have his athletes squatting, amongst other movements, everyday… FUCKING MADNESS!!!!
Like I said, fucking madness!
However, there is a method in the madness, and the method is both physiological and psychological. The more training sessions means a greater number of growth cycles, leading to more transient spikes in Testosterone production, but wait, there’s more! Who ever told you that practice makes perfect… well I hate to break it to you but they lied. In truth, its perfect practice that makes perfect, and perfection is what we are looking at when we speak of training to a ‘max’. When we think of maximal training we think of training to the limit of our intensity, training to the point where we are listening to death metal, psyching up and snorting ammonia like its fine Columbian booger sugar. In the “Bulgarian” training system no such psyching up is required, if you’re doing it then you are doing the training wrong. Once your form has broken, that’s your lot done. The more perfect reps you get under your belt, the greater your skill becomes, and the more efficient the motor pattern associated with that skill becomes. It also makes you mentally tough, its not an easy training system, in fact Abadjieve was recorded stating that if an athlete of his broke is was due to mental weakness as opposed to physical injury or fatigue.
While the max out methodology makes sense from a strength building perspective, people worry that this kind of intense training is going to make you experience adrenal fatigue, force you to enter a state of overtraining, and prevent you from gaining muscle. Well I hate to tell you this but all those excuses make you sound like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition, but it’s not your fault! All training conventions point to this conclusion, that is however if we use our metal listening, ammonia snorting definition of max as opposed to the ironically softer Bulgarian definition. When we use the latter definition of max things become a bit more sensible. Due to the habituation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response to stress, the body releases fewer stress hormones in response to stressors that is experienced regularly before. This is why you don’t psyche up in the “Bulgarian” system , as to do so would lead to a greater risk of burnout, and allow your hormonal responses to adapt to the frequency of maxing out everyday. In regards to the idea that you wont gain muscle on this system… ooh what’s that I hear a sniper reloading! The fact is that while I will admit that the system runs counter to bodybuilding convention, the fact of the matter is that maxing out everyday, and working a body part once of twice a week are two very different things. The latter allows for 72 hours of recovery time. The reason that the “Bulgarian” system works for size as well as strength is that as you don’t push as close to exhaustion you can recover quicker and stress your muscles more frequently, eliciting a greater number of growth cycles.
Dmitry Klokov has had no issue getting jacked by skipping curls and leg extensions
 So long story short that is the “Bulgarian” method. Once I have finished this last cycle on “Westside” I will be following a program, which is going to be a simple as this.
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Squat: 1 RM
Bench: 1RM
Dead: 10 x 1 (70-75%)
Squat: 1RM
Bench: 1RM
Bench: 1 RM
Squat: 1RM
Press: 1RM
Bench: 1RM
Squat: 1RM
Rotational work
Rowing / Pulling
Rotational work
Rowing / pulling
Core / Vanity

Simple as it looks, the essence of the “Bulgarian” method is simple; do more, more often, at high intensity. Zatsiorsky describes high intensity as being any lift over 90% of your 1RM. If you head to the gym and perform a 2RM at 95+% of your 1RM back squat you are training a functional movement as high intensity. If you come back next week and perform a 1RM at 97.5-105% of your 1RM front squat, you are performing a constantly varied functional movement, done at high intensity (TAKE THAT CROSSFIT!!!). I’ll keep you up to date on my progress via my new youtube page, just search for TheRebellionFitness channel and there I will be.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com

A Boy Scout is always prepared!

 Ok, so this blog is not about the Boy scouts (not a fan of their uniform) nor is this blog just about boys, it’s about children. Now, one thing that the Scouts do have going for them is that they teach kids to always be prepared. So, if these kids get the importance of preparedness, why don’t we?  So, I know its early on in the blog, but I can imagine that your thinking, “were the hell is he going with this?!’, well, I’m gonna tell you. I love working with kids, I find it fascinating to see how these young athletes have the potential to develop into the stars of tomorrow, but the thing that strikes me right between the eyes, is that these kids have such a broad range of not only athletic abilities, but muscular imbalances, coordination issues and just generally being in a bad athletic state in regards to their neuromuscular efficiency. Now it’s a fact that as we get older we start to lose certain movement patterns due to a decrease neuromuscular efficiency and firing rate, but also due to certain muscular imbalances which we develop through a number of reasons, some physical, some cultural, i.e. Asian people who traditionally defecate into holes in the ground have a much more developed squat moment pattern as opposed to us in the west who have no need on a daily (sometimes hourly depending on how much fiber gets you going) need to squat down with our heels remaining on the ground. However, what we are seeing is that this is happening at a rapid rate within children. Now, called me old fashioned but I don’t think that children should have the hip mobility of old men with arthritis.
Babies… they know their shit!
So what is causing all this? Well, its no great secret that life is a damn site less active for all of us, especially the younglings, than it used to be, as such we are not developing physical strength and coordination from the ‘Primal Movement Patterns, PMP (you’re going to be hearing this one a lot) which we experience in everyday life, i.e. squatting to defecate, climbing up trees, hauling around carcasses after a hunt etc. As such the physical development of children, and to the same extent adults is not developing as fast as we would like. When we turn this theory to our imbalanced young athletes, what we are seeing is that they are growing up during their early developmental years playing a wide variety of sports, however not enough emphasis is being placed on developing these kids to the point were they are ready to play these sports safely. This is not to say that kids need to pass some kind of physical testing in order to play little league, but proper programming should be installed to make sure that these kids have ‘General Physical Preparedness’ GPP (yep, you’re gonna be hearing this one too) rather than just sport specific movement patterns which are going to cause imbalances, a key example being gymnasts and their arched back and rounded shoulders or tennis players and their underdeveloped posterior chains.
A prime example of an everyday kid using an everyday PMP
So what can you expect from your kids if they have a lack of strength, a sense of developed coordination, and an inability to express the fullness of their physical potential? INJURIES!!! Yep that’s right injuries, but before any parents out their pull their kids out of rugby club, hold fire! A little known fact is that the majority of sports related injuries are non-contact in nature. In adolescent youth, the most common soft tissue injury areas are the trunk and the posterior chain. Research suggests that this is due to muscular imbalance, excessive loading, and improper technique when lifting.
WHOA THERE!!! I see you parents pulling kids out of their gym sessions by their ears screaming, “It’s for your own good!” I have a few fun facts for you. Now, while no strength program is a simple matter, with children the matter is more complicated, however the outlandish claims that people make about the so called ‘dangers’ of strength training are just plain bogus. The belief that strength training leads to injury in pre-adolescents due to the fact that their growth plates have not fully formed, but once again, this is bogus. The NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) ‘Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research’ noted that in the past injury data was compiled from emergency room data. However, this data is compiled from patient reports of injury from resistance training. These self reported injuries give no data regarding what lifting technique or weight was used, the level of the injured persons experience, whether or not they were supervised, had they had previous coaching etc. with so much crucial data left out how can we say that its strength training which has led to these injuries when a vast majority seem to be due to improper technique or coaching. Remember, anything is dangerous if not done properly.
Also, while on the subject of injuries I just want to put this out there, strength training actually good for your bones and will not stunt the growth of children. Assuming that specific training and nutrition parameters are met, strength training will maximize bone mineral density in children and adolescents. In 2003 a research review on the effects of training on grown and bone mineral density found no evidence of detrimental effects on linear growth in youth. Resistance training increases the production of IGF-1 (Insulin like growth factor), a hormone that triggers protein synthesis and supports the effects of growth hormone, A second review from 2006 supported the conclusion that weight training is beneficial, and noted that resistance training did not influence growth in high nor weight in pre-adolescent youth, primarily due to the low T-levels in contrast to their adolescent and post-adolescent piers.
This brings us onto programming for young athletes. First thing to point out is this, all things which strengthen the body can be considered strength training, so when I talk about kids and strength training, please don’t picture me yelling at a 6 year old to squat 3x his/her bodyweight. So what factors should be considered when developing a strength program for the young athlete?
  1. The best weight is body weight: In regards of absolute strength gains and hypertrophic factors, post puberty adolescents make greater gains than the prepubescent kids due to the T-levels previously mentioned. The prepubescent kids however, made great gains in stability and performance due to the improvements in the neuromuscular strength, specifically in motor unit and PMP coordination and CNS firing rate. Get them moving in their own skins using PMP’s which are going to improve their overall coordination and applicable strength i.e. squats, lunges, press ups, pull ups etc, cause just by moving kids are going to get stronger whatever it is that they do.
  1. Observe and adjust according to natural growth spurts: youth need distinct programming due to the fact that improvements are non linear, based on biological age and there is typically a rapid fluctuation between in physical performance based on this age. Children physically mature at different rates, we all know that kid that’s 14 and looks 10, and that 16 year old who looks like he could pass for 20+. With this in mind research shows that between 7-17 kids go through periods of accelerated physical improvements and decreased performance that follows identifiable age related trends, typically occurring before and after peak growth spurts. The age groups of 10-11, and 12-13 were identified as periods of accelerated adaptation, the larger improvement between 12-13 is to make up for the decrease between 11-12, a period were we experience that ‘adolescent awkwardness’. As such the younger the kids are, generally the better their motor recruitment is in regards to their ability to perform certain PMP’s, and certainly are able to pick them up quickly and develop their coordination to the point of conscious actions become subconscious actions. The older we get, the harder and harder it becomes to improve our coordination to the point of subconscious action.
  1.  Avoid specialization at an early age: Periodization is key to maintaining progress. Variety over specialization is preferred for children as it will reduce the likely-hood of repetitive stress injuries and the development of muscular imbalances within kids. There is evidence to support that the most successful athletes go through three stages of development. Typically they play a variety of sports during the ‘sampling years’ of 6-12, less sport with a tendency towards specialization during the ‘specialization years’ of 13-16, followed by the commitment to one sport during the ‘investment years’ of 16 onwards. Specialization at a young age can lead to muscular imbalances due to repetitive motor recruitment, brining us back to our gymnasts and tennis players.
So, in short, what we are facing now with children is a simple case of too much sport and not enough basic strength work to improve their GPP. While this is no simple matter to resolve, it’s a situation that can be dealt with via introducing kids to basic strength training and PMP’s to make them well rounded and equally developed. These not only develops them better as athletes, but also allows them to play the sports they love for longer and enjoy a better quality of life with fewer injuries as a result of having a stronger body. Please feel free to leave any comments, ask any questions, and call me up on anything that you think I may have got wrong and we can have a good debate about it

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com

Start fat. Eat fat! Lose fat?

I am so sorry for the delays on my blogs. I have been kind of out of it, and have been researching and experimenting on a few different ideas. Needless to say, I have decided to take a stab at writing another blog about nutrition, with a twist. Any one who has known me from Adam, knows that I was a very fat kid, in fact I weigh less now than I did when I was 14, and that’s not because I was a super hench 14 year old kid. I have tried pretty much every diet under the sun, Atkins, Dukan, paleo, high carb, low carb, Cabbage. Ok I was kidding on the last one, but I have tried quite a few diets and the one thing that stuck with me is this. Nutrition is not a moment in time, its a life long commitment. However, there is a part of me that does love exploring new ideas, and I think that it is important to experiment with different nutritional ideas in order to find out what works for you.
Now, one thing that I know about myself is that I retain water like a sponge. So high carb for me is a damn site lower than what most people consider to be a high carb diet. As such I use fat as a primary fuel source. Or at least I thought I did. The subject of this blog is going to be my research into dietary fat and how it can be used as a primary fuel source, and even help with fat loss.

So… fat… its good for you?
So, first things first, lets look at a few different things. Fat, or lipids, are long chain hydrocarbons found in plants and animals, which can be mono or poly saturated/unsaturated. The first thing to know about lipids is that they constitute the ideal cellular fuel because each molecule carries large quantities of energy per unit weight, e.g. 1g of fat contains roughly 9 calories. Now, as I stated earlier, fats are ultimately the best/preferred fuel source for skeletal muscle system, and key organs such as the heart, liver and brain. It is not the lipids themselves that are the fuel, its ketone bodies. When the body has an excess of dietary substances, whether it be fat or carbohydrates, they are stored as adipose tissue, a.k.a. the dreaded body fat. What dictates whether our bodies are filled with glycogen or not is what we eat, and the ability of our liver to facilitate the break down of what we eat into glycogen, which is then stored in the liver and muscles.

This is where the magic happens!
 What happens when the livers glycogen stores are filled the body is forced to store what is considered to be excess as adipose tissue. Excess carbohydrates are converted to fat in the liver through a process called de novo lipodosis (DNL). DNL does not significantly contribute to a gain in adipose tissue, so long as muscle and liver glycogen stores are not filled. Ketosis is supposedly the natural state of the body. It is a state in which the body is forced into a state were it is forced to oxidize, or ‘burn’ adipose tissue and fat, either via an absence of carb’s, or an extreme calorie deficit. Obviously low calories are not the focus of my diet, not any athletes diet, so what we are focusing on is the ability of the body to use fat as a primary fuel source. When carbohydrates are removed from the diet, insulin levels decrease, and glucagon levels increase, which causes a breakdown of fat and adipose tissue into free fatty acids (FFA). Insulin acts as a storage hormone, which is responsible for the moving of nutrients out of the blood stream and into targeted tissue. Glucagon on the other hand is a fuel-mobilizing hormone, which stimulates the break down of glycogen. The increase in glucagon is what leads to a depletion of the bodies glycogen stores and leads to a need for an alternative fuel source, namely FFA’s. The accelerated burning of FFA’s in the liver is what ultimately leads to the production of ketone bodies, an alternate fuel source derived from the burning of FFA’s, and ultimately leads to the state that we call ketosis.

YUMMY!
So, in layman’s terms, ketosis is the end result of a metabolic shift in the insulin/glucose ration from a glycogen based metabolism to a fat burning metabolism. But wait, there’s more! So before you run off and get rid of all your carb’s and start a meat cleanse… mmm meat, be warned that your body is amazing at getting what it wants, and what it wants is glycogen. So before you start getting your meat sweats on, remember that true ketosis is not achieved in the human body simply by eating nothing but meat, because the body can get glycogen from meat. “Hang on! but protein doesn’t have sugar in it! Does it?”, I hear  you all saying. Well guess what, the body does not need a glucose based food (all form’s of carb’s), to get glycogen. Gluconeogenesis is the process by which the body breaks down protein into separate amino acids and creates glycogen.
So lets look at how all this science stuff actually plays out into dietary sense. Lets be honest, we are always being told that carb’s are the enemy, and in this case its true… sort of. I like to think of them more as a back up, with fat being the soldiers actually on the front lines. Dr Mauro DiPasquale created a system known as the “ANABOLIC DIET”, which suggests a 60:35:5 ratios between fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Ultimately this means that you should follow a 5-6 day protocol of the suggested ratio, with a 1-2 day carb up which is supposedly, when combined with weight training creates an anabolic effect leading to a growth in muscle tissue and a decrease in adipose tissue. I have been following this protocol for roughly a month with a 24 hour fast thrown in once a week. I spent some time working out a few kinks here and there, because like all diets, training protocols etc, it doesn’t always work for everyone in the manner in which it is originally set out. For example the first time I had to carb up I did it for one day, and I ate clean and it was fine, I put on 3lbs of water and glycogen which disappeared the following day and a night. However, the second time I had to carb up I had had a really hard week, I felt washed out so I went for it, and consumed everything in sight for two days, cereal, porridge, bagels, rice crispy treats, you name it I ate it. This resulted in me gaining 10lbs, however, I did feel awesome afterwards, you know… once I worked passed the frenzy of panic and realized that its just water and glycogen, and that it would be impossible to gain 10lbs of fat in two days. So I started this little ketogenic experiment at 178lbs, and I now this morning weigh 173lbs, that works out at just over 2lbs a week when you take into account the mistakes I made along the way, which is pretty much par for the course in terms of my expectations, but what really fascinated me was the fact that I was never hungry,  my cardio has not suffered, I am getting stronger despite my lack of equipment, and I look more jacked after my carb up and this stays with my through the week, I don’t look flat like I suspected I would due to the lack of muscle glycogen.
I am keeping my calories at roughly 2,500 and my sample diet, which was in fact what I ate couple of days ago:
Breakfast:
- 3 X whole eggs
- 2 X rashers of bacon
Snack 1:
- 2 X chicken wings
Lunch:
- Rump steak 350g
- Steamed green beans 50g
Snack 2:
- When Protein shake: two scoops post workout
Dinner:
- Roast chicken leg 240g
- Steamed green beans 50g
- 80g Blue berries with double cream
* I also put cream in my coffee through out the day so I roughly used 100ml
cals: 2334
fat: 159g
carb: 31g
protein: 190g
I lost an lb over night despite chugging loads of water through out the day and roughly 3 pints of aqua before I went to bed. The system works! However, despite the fact that I am enjoying this diet so much, and am reaping the benefits, there are a few things I need to discuss critically. First off, Dr DiPasquale used animal testing results when human studies were available. Secondly, the book itself actually has very little to substantiate its claims in terms of putting down the good hard science, but this is more to do with DiPasquale’s writing style. Thirdly, the protocol is split into a weight loss, weight maintenance and mass gain phases, which suggests eating up to 5-6000 calories a day. Now the thought of eating that much fat makes me ill, like violently ill. Fourthly, if you have lead a high carb lifestyle in the past then the metabolic switch around is going to be rough for you. Luckily I did not suffer with this as I have led quite a high fat low carb lifestyle prior to his, but DiPasquale says that you may get sugar cravings, mood swings, constipation, but as long as you cut your carb’s down slowly over a period of time which allows your body to acclimatize to the metabolic shift then these side effects can be mitigated.

I’m just sayin…
However, despite all this the proof is in the pudding, the diet does work, at least for weight loss, I am skeptical about the mass gaining concept for a number of reasons, but primarily due to the fact that the diet as a whole reduces insulin levels which are crucial for muscle gain, but I will probably try it one day. DiPasquale is not the first to suggest a high fat low, carb diet, Atkins, Zumpano and Duchaine to name but a few, however most if not all have been criticized by  science, funnily enough not for their claims about weight loss and the importance of a high fat diet, but rather because of their research methodology. While a few being supported by those who actually followed their protocols. So where do I stand on this whole high fat, low carb diet thing? Well, in all honesty, I am on the fence. I think that there is no such thing as bad food, only bad food relative to your goals. Am I going to tell a powerlifter who needs to eat 8,000 calories a day to remain on weight and competitive not to chuck down cream and steak, happy meals, pizzas etc? Hell no! I am not going to tell someone not to alter what works for them. I don’t understand why you would want to do that to your body, but I also don’t know what its like to squat a grand, I don’t know what its like to bench 600lbs. If this is what they need to do, to get to the places that they want to be in their sport, as long as they are not breaking the law and not killing themselves, go for it. with out getting religious, “There but for the grace of God go I.” These men, and women, are smart athletes who know the risks of what they do to their bodies both nutritionally and physically and they have deemed the risk worth it. Isn’t it funny that more people seem to have a problem with the way that you eat than you do?
So lets look at the facts, fat is a better fuel source for the body as it as a greater potential energy than carb’s. It increases testosterone and GH levels. It has been the primary fuel source of Paleolithic man, and the contemporary Inuit’s. Fat, does not make you fat, refined sugars and high fat in combination with excess carbohydrate and glycogen makes you fat. Just as with the paleo diet and its assumption that everyone is gluten intolerant, they just don’t know it yet, its very easy to say that these high fat diets are a load of nonsense because they fly in the face of conventional knowledge, cause I will let you in on a dirty little secret, most ‘conventional’ knowledge is wrong. Some key examples being (and anyone will who trains will get these) if a woman lifts weights she will turn into a Bulgarian shot putter (no offence to the Bulgarian shot putters), that you can get jacked and keep your abs all at the same time. Cover models looks like that year round, and my personal favorite, I honest to god heard this once, “you don’t need steroids to look like Jay Cutler”. Regardless of what the fitness industry wants you to believe, Cutler did not get to that size because of genetics, good diet, and nitrotec.

This…
does not equal this…
this does!
I learnt through a number of athletes, whom I have either talked to, or read works written by, that nutrition and weight training is mostly science, with a handful of mysticism thrown in. I know a guy who has thrived on the GOMAD (Gallon of milk a day) style of bulking. Now I couldn’t do that, but for whatever reason, this guy can. So I urge you, before you start making all of these accusations about high fat diets, firstly, try it, you might like it. Secondly, look at the science and see if it supports the claims of the diet. We have public libraries and the Internet so it’s really not that hard. Thirdly, don’t be a lemming. Tweak the diet according to your needs, as long as the basic science is correct it’s a case of making it work for you. Your goals are important. They are part of the reason why you are training, dieting etc, so find ways to make science work for you and your goals. Sometimes you have to accept that you may have to get a little instinctual and throw caution to the wind to get what you want.
“Madness is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results” – Albert Einstein 

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan

For any information or questions regarding the blog, or for any information regarding my services as a Personal Trainer, please contact me via my Facebook Page, Twitter, Email, or in the comment section below.

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Email: rebellionstrengthhq@gmail.com