Thursday, May 23, 2013

Barbell Back Squat

Everyone has their favorite exercise, drill, move, pose, etc.  Mine is probably the barbell back squat.  Ironically, it's one I've never been incredibly strong with.  My form has always been solid but my weights never really exploded.  Admittedly, when fully healthy, it was never move I ever tried to lift incredibly heavy on and usually kept my reps between 10-20.  For a long, long time I've had some hip back issues and it's just not worth it.  
However, even at the 10-20 range (or higher or lower) the overall benefits of this move are right up there at the top w deadlifts, similar move from the hips down but different load.
Big moves recruit more muscle fiber, build muscle faster, thus burning more calories 24/7, not just when training.  

How to set up a back squat:
A) feet are set hip width or just a tad wider.  You can go wider or more narrow but there is a greater risk and you could be putting your knees in a bad position.  For beginners and beat odds of safety, hip width or slightly wider.
B) Set the bar across your upper back/traps (NOT YOUR NECK).  Hands can be placed nearly anywhere along the bar as long as you have a firm grip, keeping it in position and so your hands/fingers are not in jeopardy of getting pinched/slammed when re-racking.  
I have very tight shoulders so I set my hands as wide as possible.  
C) Slowly start to lower your hips while keeping your chest up, exposed to the wall.  I often say "I need to read your T shirt."  This keeps people from leaning over and putting too much pressure on the back.  So chest up, abs tight, as your hips lower. 
D) Stick your butt back a little as if reaching for a chair.  This will keep the midline of your knees behind your toes, maintaining a safe position and limiting strain on the knees. 
E) Lower hips until comfortable.  Ideally, your hips will drop as low as your knees.  The side view would look like a lightening bolt with your upper body and shins at a similar angle, with your thigh parallel to the ground.  
F) With eyes on a target, exhale and push through your heals until standing tall again.  Do not lock your knees out.

Keys: eyes up, chest up, butt back, 1" lower, drive through the heals, breathe, focus 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

30 Day Power Program

I've been meaning to sit down and write about this but when I do, the words have been escaping.
I think "How do I write this?  How can I clearly explain the changes I believe will happen?" and I stare at the screen.

It hit me today when emailing an interested participant back.  She was concerned about being out of town the first week and whether or not it was worth it to sign up.
My first reaction was kinda iffy.  I thought "jeez, that's 25% of the month..." then I thought "it's still 12+ yoga classes, the bootcamps, the cardio and the nutrition so that still has big value."  
But as I continued writing, I thought "This program is running in June, but the benefits will last far beyond.  This program will still be with you in December."
On paper, it's power yoga, it's nutrition, it's cardio work, it's fitness, it's a bootcamp... But that's just paper (or a screen), and we don't live on paper. 

What we're going to do, the moments we're going to experience, aren't in a script or schedule and I can't predict what you're going to feel physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  

I can tell you this, how you make decisions will probably change.  We will no longer have an "auto pilot brain," just cruising along.  You'll know what you're eating and why you're eating it.  The food you decide to put in your mouth will no longer be a habit, it will be an intelligent, mindful choice. 
How you decide to train yourself physically will change.  You'll have a better understanding of what your body needs and when it needs it.  You're body is a magnificent system and we'll learn to trust it again, making decisions off of needs and not wants. 

Yes this is training.  Yes, you will burn calories, you will lose weight, you will time and tighten and at the end of the 30 days you will feel amazing.  Probably better than your even imagining right now.  You're going to do things on day 30 you couldn't do on day 1.

You're going to do things you haven't done in a long time or even ever.  You're going to doubt yourself and question if you're doing the right thing... And you'll feel incredible afterwards.  

If you've read my blogs, you know where Ive been and you know I'm on the path with you.  
This could be a month you remember for a very, very long time.  

This Is Blue Chip