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.

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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.

Spartan Training: Different Methods for Different People

BY J.C. Santana

Spartan Training:

Low-Tech, High-Touch Training for the Warrior in You

Many new training methods have been developed over time. One look in any fitness catalogue will show you many different pieces of equipment used to train strength and function. At the Institute of Human Performance (IHP), we have the great fortune of owning the latest in training and research equipment. However, even at IHP, we often get down to the basics and go for Spartan training. Spartan training is basically junkyard training; we simply make our own equipment out of anything found in a junkyard and rock and roll. We use stairs, hills, tires, cars, sandbags, ropes, PVC pipes, rocks, and whatever else catches our interest to create a great training environment. Once we have created the environment, we let our imaginations run wild. This article is the first in a series on IHP Spartan Training. Each subsequent article will cover our unique equipment and methods in more detail. For now, let’s take a sneak preview of some of our favorite forms of IHP Spartan Training.

One of the simplest ways of developing great legs is to run hills, bridges, or stairs. However, IHP kicks leg training into another gear with the truck push. A single push of the Navigator around our parking lot (i.e., about 80 yards with turns) is enough to kill most people; we normally get teams of 3 to 4 people doing 3 to 5 laps each. Another excellent form of Spartan training for the total body is dragging tires. At IHP, we drag tires in many ways; we push and pull them using many different strategies and lower body movements. We also use a variety of handles and grips to make tire training a bit more interesting. Adding various straps, PVC handles, iron bars, and other grips can turn simple exercises into absolute nightmares-pull-ups on big PVC grips are an example of doing just that! Of course, when all else fails there is Spartan body weight training. Whether using a partner or just going solo, you can use body weight training to take a huge departure from your traditional jumping jacks and lunges. Single-limb training and partner lifts can make the toughest men cry for help.

Spartan training can be modified to fit any age, gender, or training level. A little imagination is all that is needed in order to keep Spartan training safe, effective, and fun. A general rule of thumb is to start very light and use more volume to develop a good base of training and to get familiar with the equipment and movements. Then, slowly bring in the more aggressive methods. The Essence of Body Weight Training DVD series and book (available at www.ihpfit.com) provide over 200 body weight exercises and variations that will develop a great training base and gladiator-style Spartan strength.


Visit www.ihpfit.com for some Spartan Strength video clips.

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to my friend JC Santana for this weeks article. For those few who may not have heard of him…JC Santana is a world renowned speaker, author, consultant, and strength coach. JC has one of the largest libraries of training DVDs and Books in the fitness industry -check him and his products out at www.ihpfit.com.

Compound for Success

When training to enhance athletics, Compound movements should be your bread and butter. Training using almost exclusively compound movements saves time and guaranties maximum efficiency in your training. As a minimum standard be sure that you push and pull both vertically and horizontally and include some forms of squatting lunging and dead-lifting movements in your over all plan. Resisted and dynamic midsection work as well as neck and grip work are, an effective way to round out a well planned training program.

Here is a short list of movements you should include on a regular basis:

1. Horizontal press variations (Flat / Incline / Decline)

2. Horizontal Rows Variations (Overhand / Underhand / T-bar)

3. Vertical pulling variations (Chin-ups / Pull-ups / Pull-downs)

4. Vertical press variations (DB / BB / Military press / Press Behind neck)

5. Squat variations (Front / Back / Zercher)

6. Dead-lift variations (RDL / Stiff-legged / Standard)

7. Lunge variations (Forward / Lateral / Reverse)

8. Mid-section variations (Full contact twists / GHD / Knee raise)

9. Neck variations (Neck harness / Manual resistance / Neck-ups)

10. Grip variations (Farmers walks / Grippers / Timed Hangs)

PAU for NOW

TAKU

WEB-SITE SPOT-LIGHT

This week I want to shine the Spot-Light on an excellent Strength and conditioning resource,  Dave Durell’s High Intensity Nation.*

Dave is a fantastic coach, and author, with a great deal of experience working with both elite athletes, and every day fitness enthusiasts.

Dave has written some excellent books on strength training.

The first book is titled: High Intensity Muscle Building, and actually features two books in one (along with some great extras). The first of the two books outlines his safe, and simple yet highly productive, approach to training. My favorite part of this book is the fantastic section on goal setting, and creating commitment. The second book offers a straight forward approach to creating balanced nutritional plans for almost any goal.

Dave has recently released a new book titled Hyper Intensity Training” . Much like his first book, this one offers a lot of bang for your buck. Some of the awesome features include,  in depth explanations of these extremely effective, Ultra intensity techniques, along with audio programs, videos and a few other bonus items.

Dave’s approach to Strength Training offers a clear and proven path,  is time efficient,  extremely safe, and finally will help to stimulate maximum results in less time. I highly recommend that you explore Dave Durell’s High Intensity Nation and all that it has to offer.

P.S. if you decide to buy one (or both of his books) tell him TAKU sent you.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

*TAKU’s NOTE: Check out Dave’s other great web-site High Intensity Muscle Building

Review: “Strength and Fitness For a Lifetime”

By Jim Bryan 6-13-11

I recently read a review on the new E-Book “Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime” edited by Fred Fornicola. The bottom line in the review was that the participants all had higher than normal recovery ability.

I know many of the individuals highlighted in the book and I can tell you, all have made modifications as they have gotten older in the training they now do. Many used to compete and have given that up and train now more for pleasure. It’s true that many are still training at a high level, despite being 50 or older (65 for me.) How can they keep up such training? Is it because they all started training at an early age? Maybe.

My view is that they all have had a more “Physical life” than some. I worked a job with the Phone Co. 8 or more hours a day out in the Florida sun for 30 years. Before that I worked at Cypress Gardens and was out in the heat 8 or more hours a day. After spending a day at work I went to the gym. At first it was 5-7 days a week. When I met Arthur Jones in the 70’s I cut gym time to 3 days a week. I bounce around from 2 to 4 days a week now. I rest when I feel the need. I also don’t go to deep failure like I used to.

I feel the reason why they continue to do well in their training is because of being brought up with a strong “work ethic.” This Country is losing this “work ethic,” each generation seems to get weaker than the one’s before. I know in my case the Telco Line Men that preceded me could have worked me into the dirt. I suspect it’s the same case for the Firemen and LEO’s that participated. I’ve always trained hard. Now, I’m not training as hard.

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to Jim for sharing his thoughts. This book is a great tool for trainers, and athletes of all levels, to see examples of varied and effective real-world programs.

Check out Fred’s new book: HERE