the 6th Commandment

Dan John’s 6th Commandment of Lifting is “Go heavy, go hard.” This is more than just a macho aphorism to “pump you up” it’s a reminder of what is necessary for development. Strength is a neurological function.  The better able you are to utilize your nervous system to recruit muscle fibers the stronger you are.  That’s why, as you begin to explore the strength world, you’ll begin to notice a few anomalies, guys who are super strong, but not really all that big, often times they’re just, well, average looking.  These guys understand that gaining strength is not so much… Read More »

The 5th Commandment

Happy Monday everyone.  We’re continuing our series on Dan John’s Ten Commandments of Lifting.  The 5th Commandment is, “If you smoke or don’t wear your seatbelt, please don’t tell me the quick lifts are dangerous.” The quick lifts are the Olympic lifts, the snatch, the clean and jerk and their supporting exercises.  They involve moving weight explosively and demand strength, flexibility and mobility. Olympic lifters on average score higher on athletic tests than any other class of athlete.  Their cardiovascular endurance rivals runnners, their explosiveness sprinters, their vertical jump basketball players.  This is why most high school and college athletic… Read More »

The 4th Commandment

Just a reminder.  My book, THINK! And Lose Weight: the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Weight Loss, is on sale at 50% off for the next 48 hours.  More than just a weight loss book, it covers mindset and goal planning, the essential components to success in any endeavor.  Get your copy here. Here’s Dan John’s 4th Commandment of Lifting, “Did you eat breakfast?  If not, don’t ask me anything about nutrition.” Oh, this one really hits home and reveals my own inner flip-flopper.  At it’s core it reveals the more of the debate between ability and appearance (are you… Read More »

The 3rd Commandment

My book is back on sale this week.  Go to the Products page of the Agoge website and click on the link to get your copy at 50% off.  It’s only on sale for next three days and I’m not sure when (or if) it will go on sale again.  Get it now! Back to our discussion,  Dan John’s Third Commandment of Lifting is “The best anabolic is water.” To me this is such a foregone conclusion that I don’t think I give it the emphasis it deserves, partly because it’s as boring to say as my clients often find… Read More »

The 2nd Commandment

Last night I spent some time exploring Dan John’s website.  He’s really easy to like and I can spend hours just reading his blog and the free material he provides. His background and interest is purely athletic.  If you haven’t noticed yet, there are two sides to fitness, athletics and appearance.  That dichotomy is easy to miss because we, as a society, are so appearance oriented, looks dominate the fitness conversation — and the market. But, if you look around a little, you’ll find a deeper, more fulfilling conversation that centers around the human body, not how to make it… Read More »

The 1st Commandment

In any industry there arises an elite.  They are the voices that shape the direction of that industry and whose work motivates the rest of us.  Amongst that elite are the truth tellers, the ones whose status is a direct result of their integrity and quality of work, and the vocalists, who proclaim their message in the loudest, most attractive way possible, their status more dependant on volume than quality. You know who I favor. One of the best truth tellers I know is Chip Conrad.  He in turn is keyed in with many more truth tellers, some of whom… Read More »

What’s for Dinner?

Last week Kimberly Hartke published a piece on pellagra, wondering aloud if it might be the root cause of the upswing in public shootings and violence. Pellagra is a vitamin B deficiency, symptoms include: fears, fatigue, depression, confusion, paranoia, hostility, rage and anxiety.  In the early part of the 20th Century the rural South was rampant with pellagra.  It is this, in part, which is to blame for the Southern stereotype of being slow, dumb and quick to anger. Yesterday, my fellow Mental Meat Head, Jason C. Brown, re-posted an article from the Exhuberant Animal.  In it Frank Forencich touches… Read More »

Brad Hawley

I don’t know if you’re the praying type, but if you are, Brad Hawley and his family could certainly use your prayers. On Monday, while training at a local Iron Tribe Fitness, Brad slipped from a chin up bar and landed on his head.  He was rushed to the hospital and had surgery for a cerebral hemorrhage.  At the latest report from his family, he is recovering but still having trouble breathing on his own. I do not know Brad.  I have no direct connection to his family or to Iron Tribe Fitness.  I discovered this news via Facebook.  Iron… Read More »

Neil Armstrong

My maternal grandfather retired from NASA at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama some time before I was born.  He was born in the early part of the Twentieth Century, walked to Chicago to find work during the Depression, and enlisted in the Army six times during World War II.  He was in his mid thirties and already a father.  My mother was born in 1948 after his return from the South Pacific. Due to his previous employment and living in Huntsville, my brother and I were afforded quite a few trips to the Space and Rocket Center.  My favorite… Read More »

Lance Armstrong

Let me start by saying I don’t know the truth about this whole Lance Armstrong thing.  I suspect only Lance, and a select few of his crew, know the actual truth, but like everyone else I’m not going to let that stop me from spouting my opinion on the matter. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Lance Armstrong was stripped, yesterday, of his seven Tour de France victories. By attempting to enter the Tour de France, once more, he reopened the statute of limitations in his drug inquiry and faced more investigation and court time. He decided it… Read More »

Risk Analysis

There are no guarantees in life. Most of us, especially those of us in the Industrialized West, have been raised in such security the concept of risk is an anathema.  We joke about how kids are raised today versus how we were.  The differences are really quite staggering. I never wore a helmet when riding my bike, even though I rode BMX style on trails of our own construction.  My range of play exceeded the confines of my neighborhood, while I limited my daughters to the end of the block. Why we are so much more limiting?  Certainly, my parents… Read More »

Big Boy Training

For those who care about such things, body shapes are categorized into one of three types–ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph.  These are  arbitrary abstractions and you may not fit squarely into one of these boxes, but they indicate points along a spectrum that can be useful identifiers.  The ectomorph is the classic “hard gainer” or beanpole, a long, lean bodytype that has a hard time gaining weight or building muscle.  The mesomorph is of medium build who tends to build and show muscle relatively easily.  The endomorph is the bear, the “thick sister,” or the husky fella who’s “big boned.” The… Read More »