TEMPORARILY CLOSED

Hey there…thanks for stopping by. Due to some family obligations I am temporarily not adding any new content. There are literally hundreds of articles to choose from in my archives, going all the way back to 2008. Please take a moment to look around, I am sure you will find stuff worth exploring.  I’ll be back soon with new content for you to enjoy.

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TAKU

Workout Frequency Revised

By Jim Bryan

Early in my weight training career I was training an average of six days a week. Sometimes twice a day. I was involved in competition in Olympic Lifting, Power Lifting, and Body Building . Sometimes there were non-sanctioned Strongman type competitions. At this time I was chemically assisted but I never felt that it helped. Others did and saw areas of big improvements. But like I said I never felt it helped and don’t recommend it.

Somewhere in 1970 I met Arthur Jones and was exposed to shorter and harder workouts. I was already training hard but the workouts took a long time to complete. I hadn’t learned to “focus” my training yet. Arthur convinced me to stop depending on chemical assistance and showed me how to train harder in a shorter time frame. He also told me about “infrequent training.” After, I was training only three days a week for about 30 to 60 minutes. At first it was mostly on free weights and some machines at Christensen’s Health Club, and on mostly free weights and early prototypes of Nautilus Machines in Deland. When I first met Arthur, Nautilus didn’t exist in reality. It was only in Arthur’s mind. Thus, we didn’t have anything special in the beginning to train on. Free weights, Universal machine, Nautilus Pullover Prototype that’s pretty much it. I was happy to be only training 3 days a week and to me this was “Infrequent Training.” Today you have trainers bragging about only working out now and then, or once a month. It has been accepted that this is “Infrequent Training.” I believe things have gotten out of hand with this thinking.

My thoughts on “Optimal Training”

Three days a week training: I feel that this is the best way to go for most people. It works for body composition, lean muscle improvements, strength, and conditioning. Most people don’t train hard enough to run the risk of over training and three days is not that hard to get in. This can be all weights or a mix of weights and body weight training. Throw in some implements to make things interesting and on your off days get outside and enjoy being active. Don’t be afraid to be active. Practice sensible eating and you should do well.

Two Days a week training: This also works and for very busy people it may be ideal. Also, for the rare few (and I mean few) that train the way we used to in Deland, this is or can be a good frequency of training. Again, you can do all weights or mix with body weight training. It becomes more important to stay active on your non – training days if you are after a “lean look.” You can accomplish your goals of adding strength and maintaining muscle on two days a week training. Some will even add muscle but you need to make these workouts count. Focus your training and try to do as much as you can in the space of your workout. Training should take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. Some really hard workouts can be completed in 15 minutes and change.

When you are training only twice a week, “conditioning” starts to suffer in my opinion. I recommend participating in some kind of out door activity. Something like jogging, water skiing, swimming, soccer, surfing, boogie boarding, walking, or biking. Get outside, burn some calories, stay fit and stay active. Twice a week can work but you have to practice sensible eating if you want to shed some fat.

Once a week training: I don’t find this to be optimal. Sometimes you can’t help it. Life gets busy and you can only get one a week in. I feel that you can continue to add strength on one training session a week as long as you REALLY focus on weight progression in your exercises. I feel that body composition suffers for most people. You will tend to get fat and your conditioning will suffer, as well as your “work capacity.” You’ll really have to cut your calories if you want a lean look. So much so, that you may find you don’t have enough energy for a HEAVY workout. Your strength can suffer also. It’s around this area that “Infrequent Training” starts to become too infrequent. You better be active as heck if you only workout once a week or you will become…………………………………fat.

Less than once a week training: Look! I’m going to be honest here. I don’t care how many books or articles you have that say you can succeed on this. What you will end up with is ………Books and Articles.

You’ll have very little muscle, and your conditioning will be zero. You just can not do it in five minutes a day whenever you feel like it as some would have you believe, and you can not do it with workouts that never happen. Having the best Fitness Library means zilch if all you ever do is read and talk your workout. You have to work out! You have to raise your heart rate. You have to spend some sweat and effort. You have to be consistent. You have to pay attention to what and how much you eat. All the best intentions in the world will not make up for lack of effort in the gym.

AND neither will the latest “Fitness Craze.” The experts on the Internet will go on and on about “I use this and I use that” but the bottom line is weight training works. Combine weight training with body weight training and conditioning and just do it. It has worked for over 50 years as I know it and continues to work. Gimmicks come and go but Sensible Strength Training will go on and on. BUT you have to show up, work out, and be consistent! Argue less on the Body Building sites and you will probably find the extra few minutes needed to “Just go lift.” I don’t care how you do it or who’s method you use, “Just go Lift.”

All said and done if you have been training consistently and regularly, don’t be afraid to take some time off to recharge now and then. Best effort equals best results. Not everyone will end up developing “Huge Muscles.” Some will and some won’t. It depends on your potential and effort. AND!!! Women don’t end up looking like a man because they lift weights. So just throw that excuse out the window. Women look good with some lean muscle on them.

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to my friend Jim Bryan for once again sharing his insights with us.

Everything Works and Everything Fails To Work

Look! It's a magic exercise!When you spend a couple of decades watching the world of fitness and strength training you see a lot of strange things. Often you see the same strange things repeatedly.One of the things that happens like clockwork is a Hollywood movie featuring somebody in great physical shape who has his shirt off for several minutes of screen time – and the inevitable publicity for the ‘workout’ that made it all possible.

Movies like 300 or The Wolverine or a dozen others, TV shows with actors likeTrue Blood’s Joe Manganiello, who has a great physique, all give rise the the inevitable magazine and web articles that feature “The Workout” used by the celebrity.

The idea is fostered that if you only had the Secret Workout of the celebrity you could have the same fantastic physique displayed by him.

There Is No Secret Workout

Here’s the truth: There Is No Secret Workout. The reality is virtually any workout can work to some degree and every workout – without exception – can utterly fail. There is also no secret technique like doing biceps curls on a colorful Swiss ball, or twisting your wrist at the top a a curl or flexing your shoulders at the top of a deadlift. All of these alleged benefits can be thwarted simply by stupid workout planning.

Put three guys in a gym and one of them will swear three sets of 10 to 12 reps to failure is the secret workout of champions. Another will say it’s one very slow set to failure. Another – bless him – will say it’s timed sets of strong range reps.

And guess what? All of them could make good progress or all of them could fall on their face. You can lift cinder blocks in your back yard and build some muscle. You can break rocks with a sledgehammer and build some muscle. You can lift sub-maximum weights and gain some muscle.

You can also do all of the above and overtrain and dig yourself into a metabolic hole where you get sick and/or lose the motivation to do any exercise at all.

Train Blind Or Train Smart

The reason any potentially productive workout can fail is because people train blindly with it.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a celebrity workout, a pro bodybuilder workout or a workout I created just for  for you – you can overtrain or undertrain with it and get absolutely nowhere. In fact, you can make your overall health worse, not better.

The Dirty Secret

The dirty little secret is that it’s what happens outside the gym that is vastly more important. Namely:

a) Did you get enough rest to recover 100% from your previous workout

b) Did some new muscle grow, and

c) What is you plan to generate higher intensity on your next workout?

ALL of that is determined outside of the gym!

There is no excuse for working blind. It’s just dumb. And needless.

Take basic measurements of your intensity and then make sure that intensity  increases on every exercise during every workout. Don’t turn a good workout into a bad workout by not planning it properly.

TAKU’s Note:  This week features another great little article by my friend Pete Sisco. As always I appreciate him letting me share some of  of his excellent work here at Hybrid Fitness

AOT USING PARTIAL REPETITIONS:

By TAKU

Q: When strength training, if I cannot complete a full range of movement after about 6-8 repetitions, should I continue to do partial repetitions until failure?

A: The answer to this question depends on the strength training tool being used. On single-joint rotary movements such as the pullover, leg extension, leg curl, using high-quality machines (Nautilus, MedX, Hammer-Strength) the strength curve is highly efficient at working the desired muscle. Partial repetitions should not be done on these single-joint machines. Doing so may place a disproportionate emphasis on part of the ROM since the cam (leverage profile) is designed to work the muscle proportionately.

 

With multi-joint (compound) exercises, such as squats & leg presses, bench press & over-head presses, Chin-ups & pull-downs, partial repetitions at the end of a set may be advantageous. Multiple-joint exercises are not as efficient at overloading a muscle group. On such movements partial repetitions may be a benefit to increase the demand and can be an excellent AOT* technique to experiment with.

*AOT = Advanced Overload Technique.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN:

SEVEN EXERCISES YOU SHOULD BE DOING:

By TAKU

This week I want to talk about the basics of buildng total-body strength. The cornerstone is hard work on basic exercises. Make your workouts brief, intense, and infrequent. Be consistent, train hard on two or three non-consecutive days per week.

Below are seven exercises everyone should strive to include in their workout plan. These seven exercises are probably responsible for building more strength and muscle than almost any other exercises around.

BARBELL SQUAT:

SINGLE LEG CALF RAISE:

 

STANDING OVERHEAD PRESS:

CHIN-UP:

DIP:

BARBELL CURL:

STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFT:

You can include these movements as part of your overall plan, or you can build your routine entirely around just these seven exercises alone.

(Click the link at the top to see an example of how to combine these exercises into a very effective workout)

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TAKU

3 phases to strength development:

There are 3 phases to an athletes’ strength development:

Phase # 1– This is the stimulation phase. It is necessary for the athlete to perform exercises that are challenging. We recommend training to voltional fatigue (sometimes referred to as momentary muscular failure) in order to trigger the strength and growth mechanism. Once strength and growth are triggered through proper stimulation, it cannot be triggered anymore for that training session.

Phase # 2– This is the Recovery phase. Recovery is necessary after stimulation has occurred. Recovery should be as short as possible. In order to keep the recovery short, the athlete must train with the least amount of sets possible preferably one set per exercise after the athlete learns to train intensely and is at the appropriate level. This will make the program more efficient.

Phase # 3– This is the growth phase. This phase will begin after the recovery phase is complete. Growth and strength will occur at the same time. On a proper set / rep scheme, a larger muscle is a stronger muscle. It is important to keep the growth phase as long as possible. In order to do this an athlete should train each body part less often. Strength and growth will follow recovery if during the training session you progressed in strength, either by performing more reps in an exercise than the previous workout or by lifting more weight in an exercise than the previous time you performed a set of that particular exercise.

Hybrid Fitness maintains that an athlete should have more days off than training days. This will ensure a longer growth phase. If an athlete trains again before the recovery phase ends, it will put them back into recovery again and if this repeats many times, the strength and growth phase will never occur and the athlete will be in an over-trained state that could take time to get out of.

Productive training means doing enough to get all 3 phases working properly. Efficient training will occur by spending less time training. Coaches need to take all these phases into account for each athlete. Each athlete will eventually be on his or her own individual program. This takes work but is well worth it.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

Product Spotlight: “The Path Of Most Resistance”

This week I want to highlight an excellent book that I have just finished reading. It’s called “The Path Of Most Resistance” by John Turner. Although this book is only 126 pages, like many great books it makes up in valuable information what it lacks in length. As the sub-heading says, this book is loaded with everything one might need to achieve physical superiority. There is nothing which is of no use.  Mr Turner shares his unique perspectives garnered from years of personal exploration. Those who take the time to read, absorb, and most importantly apply the lessons contained within its pages, will be rewarded (perhaps for the first time) with real results for their efforts.

Here is what Amazon has to say:

“The Path Of Most Resistance”
How To Achieve Physical Superiority

Publication Date: November 24, 2012

John Turner has just six words for those trying to improve their current physical condition – – take The Path of Most Resistance. Turner has received thousands of emails from all over the world from people who desperately want to try the original Nautilus machines and apply the Nautilus Training Principles to their exercise programs. If you are serious about reaching the limits of your individual potential for muscular size, strength, flexibility and metabolic condition, there is no easy road to take. You could read hundreds of exercise books and thousands of bodybuilding magazines and not find the information contained in The Path of Most Resistance.

The requirements of full-range exercise seems to have been forgotten or misunderstood by present-day trainees. Turner disavows the fads and gimmicks found in the “boot camps” and “high performance” training facilities with their calisthenics, kettlebells, medicine balls, ropes and tires; all firm steps in the wrong direction – backwards. In The Path of Most Resistance, Turner has the answers you’ve been looking for – – blunt, hard-hitting, honest advice including:

Full-Range Exercise

The Human Powertrain

Winning The Exercise Lottery

How To Achieve Physical Superiority

For anyone who wants the absolute maximum results from their training, this is the one book you must own.

TAKU’s NOTE: I highly recommend that anyone with an interest in exercise history, Arthur Jones, Nautilus equipment, and real training information, pick up a copy of this book A.S.A.P. Read, pay attention, apply what you learn, and most importantly work hard. The results will most likely surprise you.

KNOW YOUR PAIN

By JIM SCHMITZ

US OLYMPIC TEAM WEIGHTLIFTING COACH, 1980, 88, & 92

All strength and power athletes know there is “good pain and bad pain” and I’m sure any athlete that pushes their body to it’s max also understands that.  When I start a beginner in weightlifting I always tell them to expect a fair amount of discomfort.  They may want to call it pain, but I tell them weightlifting is just uncomfortable to various parts of the body at times.  I’m just trying to let them know that there is pain in weightlifting and in any physical activity that you want to excel in.   The “good pain” is basically soreness while the “bad pain” is usually an injury.

So, what is good about pain?  Well, there are many good things about pain, number one, it is a warning that something might be going wrong with your body which could lead to a serious injury.  Number two, it tells you when you aren’t in shape for certain activities.  Number three, it tells you when you are ready to resume an activity.  Number four, it tells you that you are doing your activity incorrectly.  Number five, it tells you when you are overtraining.  Number six, it tells you an old injury isn’t healed or if it is being re-injured.

What’s bad about pain?  Well, it means you are injured and can’t perform to your ability or at all and that’s our worst situation.

So, what’s this about “good pain and bad pain”?  It takes experience to know the difference, but the sooner you learn the difference and understand it the better you will be able to push yourself to your limits.  The “good pain” is the yellow cautionary light that tells you to stop or back off what you are doing so as not to do serious damage.  When you feel the “good pain” you back off your exercise or workout and let your body adapt to the stress you’ve put on it.  Maybe it’s just a few minutes or a day or two or you lighten up your training for a few workouts.

Also, there is the “good pain” or soreness after a maximum lift, workout or competition where your muscles, joints, and body in general feels beat.  This type of pain feels good because you know you pushed your body to it’s limit and maybe a little beyond and you feel good because of accomplishment.  You walk around feeling the soreness or pain and it feels good because it reminds you of your successful maximum performance.

The “bad pain” is an injury that hurts a lot and means you won’t be able to perform your lifts for awhile or maybe longer.   It might be a flair up of an old injury, which will be a set back in your program.  It is usually accompanied by sharp pain, swelling and is sensitive to touch,  “Bad pain” at its worst is a serious injury, a tissue tear.  If after 2 to 3 days you are still feeling what you think is “good pain”, it may be “bad pain”, get it checked out.

That’s why we say “it hurts good”, meaning we have some pain and soreness, but it is the result of a good workout or competition and that it isn’t an injury that will sideline us.   Usually after a great lift, workout, or competition you feel so good you don’t feel any pain.   That’s why I always ask my lifters after a competition or maximum workout,  “how do you fee, do you hurt good”?  Know your pain!

TAKU’s NOTE: Jim Schmitz has been an Olympic weightlifting coach since 1968, and during that time coached 10 Olympians. He’s written a book and developed a DVD on weightliting, and does coaching clinics and seminars. You can connect with Jim to learn more about Olympic weightlifting via his website at physiquemagnifique.com.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR HANDS

By JIM SCHMITZ,

US OLYMPIC TEAM WEIGHTLIFTING COACH – 1980, 88, & 92

An often over looked area of the body by weightlifters is their hands.  Now Milo readers know how important the grip and the hands are, but many weightlifters take their grip and hands for granted.  I guess this is due to using the hook grip (wrapping the thumb around the bar, then grabbing the thumb with the fingers), using straps, or just not lifting enough weight where grip is an issue, thinking the grip will just get stronger as the lifter gets stronger.  To some extent this is true.   I’ve seen many lifts missed due to hand problems, from losing the grip to tearing a callus.  Two situations I think can be avoided.

I will deal with the care of the hands first.  The first thing beginners and those coming back from a long layoff notice is how tender and soft their hands have become.  So, just as the body has to get back in shape, so do the hands.  So, the light weights your using will toughen up the hands as your body gets stronger, but your hands will hurt some and be a little sore just as your body will be.  The first thing you’ll notice is the build up of the calluses on your hands and this is good, but you have to take care of them so they don’t get too big because then they will tear and that’s painful, bloody, and a big distraction to your training.  After you’ve torn a callus you have to tape the hand in order to continue lifting and most people don’t know how to best tape an injured hand or have a trainer around to do it for them.  After you’ve taped the hand the bar just doesn’t feel right for the next few lifts.  So, we want to prevent callus tears.  First, have some nail clippers in your training bag and a file or emery board.  You want to file your calluses down before they get too big.  However, if you do tear, then you need the clippers to trim away the torn skin.  Another thing that contributes to tears is chalk (magnesium carbonate), it dries out the hands too much for some people.  So, I recommend not using chalk for your light weights and when you do use it use it sparingly, just enough to get the job done.  And after each workout use a medicated hand lotion and rub it into your hands thoroughly.

The next part of hand care is strengthening them.  Yes, they will get stronger from just lifting the weights.  A gym owner once told me you don’t need to work your forearms because every time you grab a weight you are working your grip and forearms.   Well, I don’t think that is enough for anyone who wants to be real strong and lift real big weights.  Now you Milo crushers have super grips because you work at it, so weightlifters must do the same.  I recommend wrist curls, pinch gripping plates for time, hanging from a thick bar for time, and working out on grippers, ones that you can only do 5 reps initially and building up to sets of 10 reps.

Two great demonstrations of grip strength that I witnessed were, 77 year old Karl Norberg pinch gripping a York 45 pound (20.5 k) plate by the hub with three 10 pound (4.5 k) plates placed between the rim and hub and lifting the 75 pounds (34 k) from the floor and placing it on a bench press bench.  The other was Bruce Wilhelm pinch gripping a pair of Eleiko 25 kilo plates by the rim and curling and pressing them overhead.

So, take care of and strengthen your hands, don’t neglect them.

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to my good friend Jim Schmitz for his excllent areticle this week.

“Myth”

By Jim Bryan

“Myth”*An imaginary or unverifiable   person or thing* 

Strength Training and Bodybuilding has it’s share of myth’s that seem to die very slowly. Many times people want to believe, even in the face of proof to the contrary. Myth drives or at least helps keep the commercial interests going in this Strength, Health, and Fitness field.In no particular order:1. You have to have supplements to succeed. The reality is that some supplements do help but why not fix your diet first?2. Functional Training. This is one of the big buzzwords now. Seminars are being held as I write this. They will show you how to balance on a ball, how to throw a medicine ball, how to balance on one leg. How much of this is needed and how much of it is pure bull hockey? Somehow we are being led to believe that the way we have been weight training is not “Functional.” Please! The fact that you are making your muscles stronger, more flexible, better conditioned is “Functional Training.” If you are lifting weights you have been doing it already. Just another gimmick for the latest Expert.

3. Pilate’swill not make your muscles longer! If you want to train that way, go ahead. But use your brain and don’t fall for the marketing.

4. You have to Olympic lift to be a successful athlete. Any method of Strength Training that allows you to progressively load your muscles safely will work. Period. Olympic Lifting can be that method but others have done JUST as well WITHOUT using it.

5. “HIT” is the   best way to Strength Train. Let me put this to rest. Most of the first generation that trained with Arthur Jones are not going to tell you this. What you will hear from them or me is: High Intensity Training is a Safe, Efficient, Practical, and Productive way to workout. The BEST way for you is what you’ll actually do. Getting in the gym to lift weights is the most important decision. The method is your choice. My opinion is to forget the latest “Bloat Freak’s” routine. He didn’t write it and he most likely   doesn’t do it. You’ll soon be reading about his fall do to health problems   anyway. Last conversation I had with Arthur Jones he told me he wouldn’t   change a thing except, he would not workout as often as he once did.

6. Women should not “Train like a Man.” Just what does this mean? I had a friend (Female trainer) tell my Wife this once. My Wife was doing a routine I made for her. Standard exercises in a pretty much free weight gym. She was doing squats, overhead presses, Benching etc. Just standard stuff. I never knew she was training “like a Man.” I just thought she was training.

7. Free weights are for Athletes and Machines are for the Fitness crowd. Who came up with this? This keeps coming up in any Discussion Board anywhere. It is not true! You can use either / or. You can use any combination. Use what you have. This is not worth the time wasted thinking about it. If you do use free weights MAKE darn sure you have a safe way of doing it. Use a power rack. If you don’t have one….GET one! Never train by yourself without one.

8. All machines are the same.Not true! Even to the casual user, some feel right and some just downright suck. I happen to like Leverage Machines. Pendulum is my choice. If you have a chance to go to a Trade Show for Exercise equipment, go! Try it all. Then decide what you want for your personal gym.

9. Drugs will turn you into a Bodybuilding Champion!You have to have the POTENTIAL first. Without POTENTIAL nothing will turn you into one of the cartoonish characters dominating Bodybuilding right now. BUT they may turn you into a   corpse.

10. Exercise Science. Much that is being passed around as Science in Strength Training and Conditioning is flawed. There are a lot of personal axes being ground.

I won’t   mention his name but most of you reading this know who I’m referring to. I know of one person that was really interested in the outcome of his studies. He really wanted to know the truth and he invested millions to find the truth, even if it proved him wrong.

11. Women that exercise with weights will develop large bulky muscles. Forget this! As long as you train in a safe practical way you’ll look great and feel better too. The Women Bodybuilders are not an example of anything except excess. Are they on drugs? Ya think?

12. All HIT trainees are brainiac geek’s that don’t actually work out. Who comes up with this crap? People that know me will tell you I’m for sure no Brainiac! I’m not even sure if I qualify as a HIT Trainee. According to the latest Internet expert I don’t. Anymore, I’m not sure if I want to.

13. HIT is one set per Body   part…only. Never was! Remember Pre-Exhaust? This is just another example of Internet experts opinion.

14. There are no examples of High Intensity Training success in Bodybuilding, sports, or anything having to do with athletic teams. Really? That is such a broad, crazy statement that I find it insulting to even think about. It insults many of my friends that are working their asses off in the NFL right now.

15. Arthur Jones has appointed a successor to carry on his legacy and training ideas. He could care less. Fact is when he’s gone much of what he has worked on will also be gone. He has never been given the respect from the Strength Training Science community that he deserves. His contribution to the advancement of Strength Training Science is largely unknown by the ones that would benefit the most. Who knows why? The fact is, he’s over it. He has “Sanctioned” no one. Has no interest in it. There are a number of Coaches and Trainers out there that have a great deal of knowledge gotten from Arthur and some of the first and second generation Nautilus group out of Lake Helen and Deland. There are a number of books and hundreds of articles written in the time it was “happening.” AND then there are the things written by the “experts” that think they know.

16. HIT is set in stone. My feeling is that it is still evolving and will continue.

17. Super Slow is HIT. Super Slow is a branch of HIT started during Osteoporosis studies that Arthur lost interest in. It developed into its own form of training later under Ken Hutchins and has been a successful protocol since.

18. You have to use “Split Routines” to be a successful Bodybuilder. Truth is “Split Routines” work for some better than others. Full body is a more Time efficient way to   train.

19. Over training is a major problem. I feel that many involved in High Intensity Training carry this too far. To the point of being afraid to “live.” Some that I come in contact with, could use some daily activity. That doesn’t mean I feel you should workout every day. But if you are afraid to carry out the garbage on a non training day, your carrying it to far. Yes, there are some in HIT that are obsessed.

20. A Certified Trainer is an Expert. I have found that this can be a problem if you go by this assumption. Would it surprise you if I said that many have no real clue? EVEN if they do train celebrities. Some of the “Gold-Standard” Certifying Org’s. Function as “Diploma Mills.” Many just benefit the Org. officers and not the members.

Strength Training and Bodybuilding can be a lifetime pursuit. It’s benefits are numerous for men and women, athletes and non-athletes. But like anything else there are many myth’s and half truth’s. The system or method you choose to use for your training doesn’t have to have a name. Just plain old “Training” is good enough.

Good luck, Good health, God speed.

TAKU’s NOTE: Yet another excellent article from my friend Jim Bryan. Thanks for sharing Jim.