Random Thoughts

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Hi Fitness Friends, I’ve got some great articles, videos, rants, and before/after pictures for you to check out. Just helping out so you can stay on top of things!

Fun Game

People slow to react are more likely to die prematurely

I was reading THIS article in the LA Times which discusses the link between reaction times and premature death. In the article, they linked to a fun little game that had me hooked for a solid half an hour.

Click HERE to find out how fast your reactions really are! The lowest score I got was .1668 (rocketing rabbit). Can you beat me?

Good Articles

Does repetition speed affect hypertrophy?

Click HERE to see Chris Beardsley tackling the topic of repetition speed in relation to muscle hypertrophy.

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What’s the Difference Between a Romanian Deadlift, American Deadlift, Stiff Legged Deadlift, and Straight Leg Deadlift?

Deadlifting oozes strength and functionality. There’s something to bending over, grabbing a hold of heavy weight, and standing up with it that makes you feel like a primal powerhouse. In a previous post, I discussed how to increase your deadlift. But what about various deadlifting variations such as Romanian deadlifts (RDL’s), American deadlifts, stiff legged deadlifts (SLDL’s), and straight leg deadlifts? How are these performed, and what are the key differences between them?

Deadlift variations are loaded hip hinge patterns, and the hip hinge is an essential skill to master in the weight room. Learning how to stabilize the spine and pelvis under load while bending over forms the basis of many popular strength training exercises such as bent over rows, squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, good mornings, t-bar rows, and bent over rear delt raises. Even bending over and picking up dumbbells off the floor or out of the lower rack requires a proper hip hinge, as does picking objects off the floor and assuming an athletic position in sports.

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10 Keys to Optimal Strength Training

By Eirik Garnas www.organicFitness.com

When looking back at the start of my lifting career about 9 years ago I find that the biggest obstacle was that I didn’t have a basic structure to build my training on. Without a set of principles to guide the way, it’s easy to get lost by changing program every couple of weeks, trying various supplements, and not thinking about the long-term progress. While 9 years is a relatively short time compared to the most experienced lifters and strength coaches, I’ve learned a thing or two from training myself and clients during these years.

Perhaps the most important thing this journey has taught me is that it’s important to be humble in the sense that there is no optimal program or exercise technique that fits everyone. People have different needs depending on anthropometry, goals, mobility, and strength, and just prescribing the same program to everyone is a recipe for disaster. However, I’ve also learned that there are some basic ‘rules’ that set you up for successful training. Regular strength training isn’t only great for building the body and improving general health, but it also teaches the value of hard work and discipline. So, one could argue that progressive resistance training is as much about building the mind in the sense that mental toughness can be transferred into all other aspects of life.

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How to Front Squat

The front squat has always been a staple exercise in Olympic weightlifting programs, as it serves as the base for the catch position in a clean. However, the front squat has recently gained traction in both the powerlifting community as well as training programs for the general population. The front loaded nature of the lift necessitates a more upright posture, putting more stress on the quads and less stress on the spine while creating a demanding core stability challenge. Unfortunately, the bar positioning, can be difficult to learn and can feel quite awkward, which explains why many lifters shy away from it. Make no mistake about it, the benefits of the front squat are innumerable in terms of athletic transfer, core strengthening, quad-building, and improving back squat and deadlift strength.

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