Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Thrill Is In The Doing - By Jim Duggan

     Why do you train? Everyone who begins a weight-training program does so for a reason. From the very first time we wrap our hands around a barbell, there is a motivating force which drives us.  For many of us, the motivation is to get bigger and stronger.  This applies to the great majority of teen-age trainees who take up the sport. For older lifters, the reason for training may be to "get back in shape," after years of inactivity.   Then there are those who use weight-training as an adjunct to another sport.  There are countless athletes who lift to improve their performance in a chosen sport.  And, of course, there are those who lift competitively,  in either Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or bodybuilding.
     Naturally ,as we get older, our reasons for lifting change.  It's only natural. Our goals, our view of the world, and our priorities change, so it follows that our motivation for lifting will change too. A trainee of forty will not have the same goals and aspirations of a teenager.  Nor should he/she.  But that doesn't mean that we should all approach our training with a plan of action and a willingness to train progressively and consistently.
     For older trainees, there are many fine examples of lifters who have demonstrated that age is merely a number.  Legends like Norbert Schemansky, Jack LaLanne, and Sig Klein are but a few of the legendary Iron Game figures who defied Mother Nature, and showed what "hoisting the steel" can accomplish.
     What about those who lift competitively?  Is it a worthy pursuit?  As someone who competed for many years, I can say that it certainly is a worthwhile endeavor. Setting a goal, developing a plan of action to achieve your goal, working hard to accomplish your goal, and being able to achieve what you had set out to do are just some of the rewards that you can derive from lifting.  Incidentally,  if monetary gain is your motivation to compete,  then I can enthusiastically recommend that you try your hand at another sport. But if you wish to develop discipline, and the ability to set and reach goals, then competitive lifting will certainly be worth the effort.  And competitive Lifters, like all athletes, want to win.  Sometimes this desire to win will lead some people to an attitude of not caring how they win, just as long as he/she wins.
     Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with competing, and wanting to win.  But competing should be something to be enjoyed.  One of my favorite athletes of all-time is Al Oerter, the four-time Olympic champion in the Discus. Mr. Oerter once described his Olympic pursuit as "very internal...a self-fullment, not an acquisition of fame and fortune."  He viewed sports as "a joyous personal challenge." I couldn't agree more with his assessment of his Olympic career.  I've always felt that Powerlifting- or and strength sport-  was a competition with yourself.  Your opponent is your potential.
     Years ago, in one of the first contests that I ever did, there was a former world champion who was scheduled to compete in my weight class.  Even though I had no chance of beating him, that did not stop me from training hard in preparing for the upcoming meet.  On the day of the contest, the former champion not only won his weight class but also pickedmup the Best Overall Lifter trophy, too. But, I had set personal records in my Squat, Bench Press, and Total.  I was very happy, and felt that I had a successful  contest. And my friends and I, the four of us battled a blizzard to drive to Pennsylvania, each of us had a great time. Looking back at that meet, and many others in which I participated, I think about the training, and preparation, and how much joy it brought.  This brings me to another favorite quote of mine: "The Thrill isn't in the winning. It's in the doing."
     How many lifters have that attitude today?  For many, anything goes.  Their drive to win "at all costs" sometimes leads to taking drugs.  "The end justifies the means" is a philosophy that, sadly, is widely accepted today.  Far too many athletes rely on an assortment of drugs to reach their maximum performance.  But at what cost?
     Don't be afraid to lift without drugs.  Your own drive and incentive will suffice if you train properly.  And when you succeed without the aid of drugs, you'll last longer and enjoy greater longevity than those who cheat.  It's up to you to lift the right way now, so that in the future, you can look back and know in your heart that you did your best. And if you do your best today, then years from now,  you will have the good fortune to be able to reflect upon "the good old days" and be proud of what you did. And how you did it.
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Message from Al Coleman, one of the best clients I ever had, and a great guy. Please help!

Hello all,
Many of you haven't heard from me in some time and I hate to renew contact under these circumstances.
Approximately one year ago my daughter Brooke was hit by a car while walking her bike across the street. She was in a coma for almost two months and wasn't released from the hospital until midway through October. She sustained some severe physical injuries much of which were reparable thankfully. While she is slowly getting better from these injuries the injury that has reverberated and caused the most suffering was/is the brain injury. It took a while before the brain scans started to show some normalcy but the doctors said that we wouldn't really know how they would heal until about two years out. Here we are a year later and things are tricky. On the surface she appears to be normal, but she is having a great deal of cognitive difficulty that has caused her not only to miss a majority of her freshman year of high school, but has also caused her multiple multi week stays in the hospital for a multitude of reasons.
I tell you all of this because around the time of the accident my wife set up a Go Fund Me page to help bring in some extra funds to cover the unpredictable medical costs both for the out of pocket and for what insurance wouldn't cover. The campaign helped us out a great deal initially( and we are very grateful for the contributions), but we accruing continued medical cost that we did not think would still be accumulating to the degree that they are.
My wife was very active on social media and is responsible for generating the responses we received, but as some of you may know I'm non existent in that realm so now I'm trying to help by reaching out to those I know. I feel trepidation is asking but it has come to that point. I'm grateful to have had all of you in my life in some way and we would be grateful for anything at all that is contributed.
The description on the Go Fund Me cover page was written at the time of the accident just so it makes sense when you read it.
Thank you all for reading this and I sincerely hope you are all well and in good health.
Warm regards,
This is about our Beautiful once vibrant and Artistic and intelligent daughter Brooke. My daughter IS Brooke Coleman, she just recently turned 14. She was riding her new bike she had just earned through her new babysitting job on Monday afternoon when She was Hit by a car head on! She was thrown...

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Good Coaches and Basic Strength Training - By Jim Bryan

I am no different than most. I have had help from the beginning of my training life. I was very fortunate to have these men take notice of me and offer their experience. First was Bill Duncan. I had already been training for about 6 years when I met Coach Duncan in High school. I had all the old York Courses, that came with the barbell sets I bought with the little money I earned from the Ski Show at Cypress Gardens. These sets also came with implements that I didn't know how to use at the time. Kettle Bells, Iron Shoes, etc. This was pre teen for me around 10/12 years old (Yes, Kettle Bells have been around that long........they are NOT a new invention) As far as I know they started in the Old USA. My first training partner during this time was my friend of over 60 years Bob McKean.

Once I was able to drive and have a car I started training at another gym in Auburndale, a town near me. It was located in the back of Furnari's Barber Shop. The gym was run by Bill Lemacks a top body builder, Olympic and Power Lifter. I would train at my gym and then go to Billy's gym in order to train with him. Shortly after that Al and Vera Christensen opened a gym in Winter Haven, Fl. my home town. Several of us moved there and I had the opportunity to train with Al and Billy and be coached by them for Olympic Lifting. I competed for a few years as a Lifter for Al's "Bosco Weight Lifting Team."

The next group of gentlemen all helped with advice and tips. All of these Men were top bodybuilders and Olympic lifters from Florida. Harry Smith (TV wrestler and owner of Smith's Health Studio in Tampa) Tom Bowman,Former Mr Florida and a Coach at nearby Auburndale High School. Bill Hilton, Craig Whitehead (2nd Mr Universe) and Bob Harrington. Bob was one of the best to come out of Florida and won many Bodybuilding Titles. He was my main Training Partner when Al Christensen built a bigger Gym. I was just out of the Navy.

Then I met Arthur Jones. This was around 1970. I trained with Arthur and almost went to work for him. I chose instead to work at the Phone Company and lived in Winter Haven. I still traveled back and forth to Deland and later Lake Helen to train with the crew and Arthur. Here I met Jim Flanagan and Kim Wood, two of the best Trainers anywhere. Spent a bunch of time with Arthur and he was very generous with his knowledge. We became good friends and he trusted me enough to recommend that I take over and run the Nautilus Training Program at a local College.

Others have influenced me with their writing and phone calls. This group has a great deal of knowledge from many sources about Strength Training and Nutrition. Fred Fornicola has been a friend and treasure trove of good training ideas for me for many years. We talk a lot on the phone. Fred is a "thinker" and has many good ideas based on good factual common sense. Bill Piche started the first online version of "HIT" -High Intensity Training- called Cyberpump. This is the best darn collection of articles about sensible Strength Training from the days I was with Arthur Jones I have found. Matt Brzycki, Doc Ken Leistner, and Bob Whelan keep me informed with their articles and training sense. Bob is a big proponent of the "Old Way of strength training." Drug free and hard work. All of them inspire me. Later and one of the biggest influences on me is Randy Roach (Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors) Randy is the go to man for Strength Training and nutrition and the history of the "Weight Game." Tom Kelso is also a Top Strength Coach and has many very good articles to read. I still check his Website regularly.

Tyler Hobson, Tyler has developed my favorite weight Training equipment. "Pendulum" is now owned by Rogers but the brains behind this excellent Leverage style Strength Equipment is still Tyler. He has a unique God given ability to come up with some of the safest and most productive Strength Training Machines in the world. I have one of his first "Multi Machines" and it's still in heavy use for me and the select clients I train. Last but certainly not least is a young man I really admire for his experience and training savvy. Liam "Taku" Bauer. is a very good Trainer and a friend I listen to. He has written several Articles and has a vast amount of experience training athletes and the regular Joe and Jane.

What do all of these people have in common? They all believe in safe, honest, hard training with whatever you have.................Barbells, dumbbells, and well developed machines. All work when used properly. None believe in gimmicks that you see so much today. They don't have people stand on balls while lifting. They all know when training hard a stable surface is best. They don't make crap up to get noticed. I respect them all and thank them for all their input and help. If I have learned anything, it's been the ability to spot quality Coaches and Coaching.

Editors note: Great Information Jim!
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Monday, June 4, 2018

My Undeniable Truths of Weight Training for Beginners (Part 1) - By RJ Hicks, BS Exercise Science, CSCS

One of the most glaring problems I see in commercial gyms today is the lack of productive training that takes place. Many beginners in the weight room are confused on how to train and do not know where to go for help. This series of tips is to help you save a lot of time and energy by avoiding many of the mistakes that I have made early on 

Truth number 1: Train for strength 

With all the new fads and gimmicks on the market today, it is easy to get off track in the weight room. Too many people are looking for a magical program that will give them the best results in minimal time, often leading them to a string of unproductive training months.  The purpose of weight training is to increase muscular size and muscular strength. To do this you must train heavy and progressively, utilizing basic compound exercises that match the muscle function. There is nothing glamorous about it. It takes hard work and discipline to continuously fight to add weight to the bar for the long haul. Most people will not accept this and will think weight training is more complicated than it really is. 

Just because you train to failure does not mean you are gaining strength.Training to failure can be a productive and time efficient way if you are continuing to lift heavier weights. Using the same light weight to failure over and over is no better than doing calisthenics. Strength is the ability to produce muscular force. The muscles produce more force as they become accustom to lifting heavier and heavier weight. It has nothing to do with how the muscle feels while you exercise, but how much ore weight a muscle can move over time. 

 There are many great exercises and repetition schemes you can choose from, if they facilitate easy and continuous poundage progression in the long term. Pick a handful of compound exercises that together cover all the major muscle groups, while sprinkling in a few of your favorite isolation exercises. Work hard for several months with perfect form and let the poundage grow for each lift. . Remember the goal is to increase the amount of weight you use on EACH lift to make your training harder, not to challenge your motor learning ability or to confuse your muscles. After a few months of hard and heavy training substitute a few different exercises that still work the major muscle groups progressively and continue building the poundage. Strength training is a journey not a sprint. 

 There are a host of reasons why every young athlete through senior citizen should engage in weight training. One of the best ways to change your body composition is through strength training. Lifting heavy weights progressively stimulates muscular growth, while simultaneously increasing your bodies metabolic rate and burning body fat. It is amazing how a few years of strength training can transform a beginner's body. As far as functional training goes, weight training is at the top of the list for its ability to improve your quality of life. Muscles make movement possible and the stronger they are the easier it is to moveThis means walking upstairs and carrying groceries will not be a burden in your later years if you’ve been continuously strength training. Want to reduce your chances of injury? Train for strength. Develop more muscular power? Train for strength. Increase bone density, ligament strength and tendon strength? Train for strength. For the best results, train for strength.
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