Check out this great piece from the CrossFit Invictus blog on mobility and flexibility. The two are often used synonymously, and it can be pretty confusing.
Mobility encompasses stretching, but is more thorough. It addresses all areas that limit movement.
Address problems before they start, don’t wait until you get an ache to stretch and mobilize.
Mobility work is not the same as warming up. Do both.
My martial arts system founder once gave a lecture to our class about the difference in training philosophy of the traditional Eastern martial arts masters vs. many athletes (in this particular situation he was addressing MMA and boxing, but the lesson can be extrapolated) in the West.
Check out my latest article in Tabata Times.
By: Dr. Tyra Seldon Most young men can probably tell you all about the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA, but can these same young men explain what a M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Pharm.D., Pys.D., JD, MSW and D.Min mean? What may look like a string of alphabets at the top of a bowl of soup are actually
Seeking to make the transition easier, my co-authors and I published this book on navigating graduate school. Check us out!
Conditioning is great, but don’t neglect strength training
With the rising popularity of conditioning focused programs and methodologies like CrossFit, bootcamps, P90X, Insanity, etc. there has been a large scale turn from the masses to programming that emphasizes conditioning and heart pumping aerobic activity. For the sake of this article lets just give some quick off the top of the head dead-simple definitions to get us started:
Strength: Ability to move stuff (including your own body). The heavier stuff you can lift/move, the stronger you are.
Conditioning: Often used synonymously with cardio or aerobic activity. The term is also applied to movements that are sport/activity specific (for example, conditioning for basketball would entail a bunch of running up and down the court). But generally, conditioning is the ability to, all other variables the same, move stuff faster and longer. The longer you can move stuff at a sustained pace (or if you can move the same amount of stuff in a smaller period of time), the more conditioned you are.
Examples: The faster you can run down the baskeball court, the more conditioned you are. The more martial arts drills you can perform in a set amount of time, the more conditioned you are. The more reps you can do in a set amount of time, the more conditioned you are. The more throws down the field you can perform with a football, the more conditioned you are. As you can see, the term is both general AND specific and there are literally books that expand on the topic.
Lets get one thing straight, I’m not downing conditioning
Conditioning is great! We can do more work in less time. Practically means you can run up flights up stairs faster and less winded than the next guy/gal, you can run the court/field in your sport of choice, and you can keep up with your energetic dog!
Further, conditioning training, inherently intense—increasing heart rate and oxygen consumption, melts the calories! Combined with proper nutrition using it for weight loss is better than similar amounts of time spent plodding away on a treadmill or exercise bike at a “looking at my smart phone” pace.
And it can be downright fun (my conditioning work of choice? CrossFit metcons)
I’m not trying to be a weightlifter, why do I need to get stronger?
So, why strength? I’ve heard it said a number of times in different ways, and I apologize for not citing the quotation, but essentially it goes like this:
A person is a cup. Strength is the size of the cup and conditioning is the liquid inside. The stronger a person is, the more conditioning they can have.
Therefore you can have two people with the exact same amount of conditioning, but if ones cup is bigger (i.e. they are stronger) than their potential for gaining more conditioning (being able to do more work) is larger.
And in all practicality, conditioning is MUCH easier to increase faster than strength. Strength building takes literally years to build at significant rates, especially once you’ve passed your “beginner” gains (you know, how when you start training for the first time your strength numbers increase rapidly for the first little while before plateuing off).
Currently, my wife and I are trying out Wendlers 5/3/1 Program , and I’m enjoying it. It takes the guess work out of the strength portions of my training. But whatever program you use, stick with it for a while to truly see how it affects you.
Women and strength
Let’s get real, strong is the new skinny! or it damn well should be. Ladies, if a man can’t handle a strong woman (physically and mentally) you should think twice about him. Hell, one of the things I love most is working out with my wife. Not only the results it produces, but there is something about seeing a woman in the gym that adds extra “points”. And bonus points are added when they aren’t fooling around on a treadmill or one of those horrible machines, but lifting some weight.
But on a practicality front, lifting weights = getting stronger. Getting stronger = more muscle. Muscle burns more calories, and thus a woman that is stronger (has more muscle) but weighs the exact same as another woman (with less muscle) will burn more calories just sitting around, all else the same. Plus, weight training has been shown to torch calories long after the workout is over. The same can’t be said for boring steady state cardio. Conditioning work won’t let you carry heavy grocery (or shopping) bags, move the couch when you need to vacuum underneath, or pick up your friends portly kid.
Those bootcamps, P90X, and other routines are awesome calorie burners, they can be fun, and they certainly make you sweat. But those programs aren’t designed for building strength. So they should be used in conjunction with a strength building routine.
P.S. Please don’t be one of those women walking over to the 5# dumbbells…your purse weighs more than that. Stop fooling around. Weights won’t make you “bulky”. In the absence of a strength training program, a good start is by using weights that you can only get 6-8 reps on.
Bottom line: Move heavy weight
When it comes down to it, any exercise/fitness program (or anything that gets you moving) is better than doing nothing at all. But if you truly want to get the most bang for your fitness buck, than don’t neglect picking up heavy stuff and putting it down.
Wow….just to think that earlier in my lifetime there was really no such thing.
The internet has permeated nearly every aspect of our lives from social interactions to personal banking and education. Heck, when the internet goes out at work for the most part the day comes to a stand still.
Two questions for you? What is your personal most valued aspect of the internet? In other words, what do you love most about it.
Second, how often do you “unplug” and drop all use of your gadgets for an hour, a day?
"It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on."
This quote comes by way of my buddy Dave Woodland. It struck a cord with me and I wanted to share and discuss.
It can be sad and confusing as you grow older and apart from friends and acquaintances of old. Sometimes it’s like I try to cling on to the relationships, not necessarily because I feel that it’s a truly wonderful relationship to have, but because it feels like the right thing to do. Sometimes it feels like you’re “leaving them behind” or “not remembering who your real friends are”. But as I’ve grown older I’ve realized what is at the essence of this quote.
You can appreciate the relationship (for what it is now, or what it was then), and you can appreciate the memories, but that doesn’t mean it’s not time to move on. It’s not necessarily cutting that person(s) from your life completely (although, and indeed, this may be a fitting move), it’s more a factor of letting life take its course. People may come and go, like seasons, life will tell you how long that season lasts, and if it shall return one day, to find you once again in need of its offerings.
My point is simply this: don’t hold onto the past; cherish wonderful memories, learn from the not so wonderful ones, and move forward. There’s more in store.
Getting rid of the clutter
In the Making
I started to research (yeah, that’s me) the idea of minimalism a few years back. I started to feel like I had too much stuff. But that’s who I was. I bough clothes I never wore (literally, many of them with the tags still on them years later), purchased pantry items I never ate (had a garbage bag full of food to toss when I moved the last time), and collected trinkets I never even saw (boxed up or in a drawer somewhere), let alone appreciated.
*Note: Don’t get the wrong impression, I was never “messy”. My stuff was organized and clean, it was just ALOT of it. Storage bins, full closets, and closets full of garment bags of clothes at my moms house. But I digress…
My reasoning? What if I need them later? What if I wanted a new outfit to wear? What if I was hungry and had eaten every other thing in the fridge? What if I wanted to look back in nostalgia at that fraternity regional convention name placard someday? More often than not none of these what if’s ever came about.
I had more clothes and shoes than my girlfriend, yet consistently wore the same 8-9 items. It was time for a change. I began tossing items out of my closet into a keep, give-away, and toss piles. What did I find? Even though there was stuff I’d never worn, and knew in my heart I never would, it was exceedingly difficult to not put them in the “keep” pile. What if…? At a certain point in time I’d fallen prey to a condition I had seen in others. Instead of me owning things, my things were owning me. To have such a sense of attachment to manufactured textiles and nostalgic knick-knacks meant being a slave to my purchases and collections.
It started slowly. Over the past two years I’ve been steady cutting the fat. The biggest cut came when I moved a little over a year ago. Literally a room full of stuff tossed or given away. Platos Closet was the first stop to try and make a few quick bucks. If not than Goodwill would get the remainder, or one of those roadside bins where you donate clothes and shoes.
Over time it’s become a habit and somewhat of a lifestyle. I regularly go through my closets and drawers about once a quarter, looking for stuff I can get rid of.
Technology has been a serious aid in my slow transformation. Now every book I buy I try and get the Kindle version. Instead of keeping Holiday cards, I’ll snap a picture of them, store them in Evernote and toss em. With digital storage its a lot easier to organize, store, and recall things when you need them. Actual CD’s have fallen out of favor (although admittedly, that was the case with my generation in general) and now I either download the mp3 versions, or stream it on Spotify or Pandora. I’m enjoying moving increasingly into “the cloud” with services like Google Drive and Dropbox.
My closet has slimmed down, not quite to where I want it, but its a process. A quite liberating one.
You don’t need it
This is closely tied with just one of the many sad ironic things in life. We often go to work so that we can afford to buy clothes for work, and to impress others, most of whom we don’t like in the first place.
All those knick knacks you haven’t looked at in two years? Guess what, if the memory was that important to you you would have went back to look at them.
The truth is we don’t need 50 pairs of jeans, 30 pairs of shoes, 15 suits, etc. Unless you’re a fashion model (in which case your clothes are often provided for you anyhow), nobody cares! You might get a “nice outfit”, but than the fleeting complement is over and at the end of the day you could have spent your time (shopping and thinking about outfits), money, and mental capital elsewhere. Let’s not even get started with the guys who purchase all the new pairs of Jordans but live with their parents, or the ladies that shop so often they’re in enough debt to have paid for a semester of tuition.
And if you want to store memories, there’s a more efficient way (photos anyone).
If you care to try my new found approach to minimalism, here are a few rules that I think help.
- Don’t worry about fashion trends. They’re called trends for a reason. Just get timeless, quality pieces that you can always wear. What are you going to do with those bedazzled jeans or those purple loafers?
- Regular “spring cleaning”. Regularly go through your closets, drawers, file cabinets, and the like for things you haven’t used or don’t need. Tip: If you haven’t looked at it in a year, there’s a good chance you don’t need it.
- Utilize technology. Don’t keep those knick knacks, birthday cards, school notes from years ago, etc. And if you must, keep them in digital format. Use tools like Evernote (for the cloud) or external harddrives to save your files. Snap a picture and toss the tangible stuff away.
What do you think about these 7 virtues?
The Branch 2 line breakdown of each:
1) Wealth without work means you’ll never appreciate $ or what others go through to get it.
2) Pleasure without conscience means you’ll put your own enjoyment above the rights of others and even your own morality.
3) Knowledge without character means you’ll have all the “book” smarts, but none of the compassion to share it correctly.
4) Business without ethics means you’ll put profit at the expense of the right thing.
5) Science without humanity means you’ll narrow the wonders of the universe into formulas and theories without truly appreciating them or the effect on others.
6) Religion without sacrifice means you’ll be a follower in name only, judging others without walking in their shoes.
7) Politics without principle means you’ll be playing the game instead of representing the people.
I don’t imagine I’ll find myself doing this (re-blogging) to often. But this was so on point I had to. Listen to the man.
“You’re born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts. But I never forget. I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.” — Don Draper
You’re not gonna starve.
You’re not gonna to sleep in the rain.
What is it you’re scared of? A mortgage? A non-existant scoreboard that shows you losing to non-existant competitors your age? You already lost.
401k, IRA, credit score, retirement, mortgage, lexus, granite countertops.
You keep thinking you’ve moved up. You’ve got more. You’re almost “there”.
The reality is, if you’re “moving up” just to move up, you’re doing very little other than ratcheting up obligations. Trapping yourself into a situation where you feel like you don’t control what you do.
The good news… it all goes away the minute you decide it does. You’ve got the keys.
Attribution: ”A Whiskey Girl” by daveydeathwish