Progress is non-linear. One of the most common fallacies in the fitness industry is the idea of adding five pounds to your bench press every week. If this were true, you’d be able to add over 250 pounds each year, and take down those powerlifting giants in no time. But we know this isn’t possible. A lifter will eventually hit a plateau and be forced to make some changes in order to continue to progress.
Today there are more books available on weightlifting and strength training than ever before. When I first broke into the sport there was almost nothing, and we all learned how to press, snatch, clean and jerk, and squat by coaching one another. Sometimes that worked out all right and other times it didn’t. We were simply prisoners of our lack of information.
Welcome to our weekend roundup, Three of the Best! Every Saturday, we'll post up Breaking Muscle's top three articles of the week. These pieces have caught your attention throughout the last seven days. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.
[Photo courtesy of Pixabay]
#1 – Courage Corner: Leaving the Gym for Better Training
This article is for those who have been told that you need to stop running because running is bad for your knees, and for those of you that have been told that you need to take it easy because your favorite sport is too “high impact”, and for those of you who have been told that your hip pain is due to old age. Consider for a moment that maybe your ailments are not due to wear and tear, or old age. Use the mindset check assignment at the end of this article to begin to explore new ways of thinking that empower healing and freedom within your body.
It’s summer and the kids are driving you crazy. They are so needy, and messy, and why won’t they just play quietly? When the kids come home for summer it can be a nightmare for your productivity. Of course it’s a great opportunity for quality experiences and vacations, but at some point you’ll have to take care of things – maybe your own health.
Paulie Zink is an influential and controversial figure in both yoga and martial arts. He is the force behind Yin Yoga, for which he receives little to no credit, and is the master of Monkey Kung Fu, though accused of being a fake. Good for him. Simultaneously pissing off and exciting so many people is a remarkable accomplishment.
Summertime means barbecues, holidays, vacations, and plenty of traveling to go along with them. If you’re a triathlete, it also means you are in the thick of your competitive season. You’ve got key races to crush and specific workouts to nail. It can get a bit messy when your training mixes with travel time. It may feel like traveling and quality training time are mutually exclusive, but rest assured they are not. The key to quality training while you travel begins with prioritizing well and having a plan of attack.
There are millions of nutritional products in the West that tout “health-boosting” antioxidant properties, particularly in athletic populations. But two European professors analyzed the evidence behind this assumption in a recent review published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. Their findings have produced a clear warning: do not take these supplements unless a clear deficiency in antioxidants is diagnosed by a healthcare professional.
What Are Antioxidants Anyway?
Science tells us that humans use oxygen to produce energy, and with oxygen comes the potential to generate free radicals in the body which can cause oxidative stress and disease. As athletes tend to have a higher consumption of oxygen in their training, oxidative stress risk is seen of particular significance to fitness enthusiasts and competitors. And for good reason.
There are two common problems when it comes to recovery and regeneration in training. The first is that it’s often overlooked in the overall training process, and the second is that the majority will try the sexy quick fixes over thinking about the long-term training picture. It would appear we’ve learnt very little since Mel Siff’s Supertraining hit the bookshelves thirty years ago and definitively addressed the recovery process.
Restoration is an integral part of overall training and practice…it must be applied with the short-term and long-term goals constantly in mind. – Mel Siff.1
Preparing for endurance events requires a great deal of time and effort. Typically, athletes use long slow distance (LSD) training in an effort to boost their aerobic system as much as possible before a race. There is no real substitute for improving the aerobic system than LSD training, and a strong aerobic fitness will directly translate to better times on the course.
However, this technique will only take you so far. At a certain point, the level of competition will require more than just a crap-ton of miles on the legs. Reaching the next level of competitiveness means adding more to your training to help you not only cover the distance, but also beat the competition.