From The Desk of Fritzie
1. Just heard that a gym in NYC is banning squat racks. In related news, I just gave myself a concussion by throwing my face into a wall.
2. Required viewing for anyone who feels (like me) that The Hangover (I and II) is way overrated: Black Dynamite. You're welcome.
3. Train! Don’t workout. (Lisa you give me a headache, just do what Captain Awesome says!)
4. I really REALLY really <3 Saturdays
5. Pumpkin, oatmeal, chia seeds, walnuts, cinnamon, protein powder, and Superfood = breakfast.
6. Oh yeah, Randy – if it hurts, stop doing it! Sheeesh! …. I know you still wanna do some asskickery so visit this page. I wrote it for my friend Dar when her knee was hurting.
7. Bed, Bath and Beyond here I come (again). Cue face palm ..................... now. -_____-
8. Anyone have a BBQ I can crash? I'll be your BFF! … craving some glorious steak! Had a woman ask me if I would promote her Pro-vegan documentary. Clearly, she's never read any of my stuff. I heart dead animals.
9. Do not send me a link to a shower curtain that you want to buy for your apartment or I will stop texting you.
10. No, your 12-year old kid doesn't need to be doing agility ladders. He needs to be less fat!
Lately I’ve been reminded incessantly of how old I am (thanks to the 2nd meanest person on this planet). Btw, heres my take on voting, read up before you shot me in my head the next time I say "I dont vote" ... its really just a personal choice.
In hopes of distracting myself from the painful realization of old age, I thought I’d focus on the positives of my existence in contexts that would appeal to you. Below, you’ll find some of my favorite things – most of which are at least loosely related to fitness, nutrition, strength and conditioning, and sports. As my birthday approaches, it would be AWEZZZZOME of you to note some of them (hint hint nudge nudge)
Favorite Place to Visit: Gampel Pavilion at the University of Connecticut. It’s an incredible environment in which to watch college basketball.
Favorite Ice cream: Pralines and Cream … Second Favorite: Fresh Coconut
Favorite Jot Sheet: Jot Sheet 14 - Black Swan, My Fav Movie, Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens, Jeanette Pohlen, Scarlet Johansen
Favorite Sport Team to Watch: Real Madrid !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Favorite Class I Took in School: Gross Anatomy. Yes, I cherished the semester I spent with a bunch of cadavers.
Favorite Mobility Drill: Walking Spiderman w/Overhead Reach. I love this drill because you’re covering so many things at once. You’ll get thoracic spine extension and rotation from the reach, and hip flexor and adductor length in the lower body from the lunge angle. Keep an eye out for more new movements along these lines in the months to come as I film the sequel to the Dynamic Fusion Warm Ups.
Favorite Female Athletes: Lolo Jones, Lolo Jones, Lolo Jones and Lolo Jones
Favorite Supplement: Fish Oil. It’s followed closely by BCAA. You need both – and probably a lot more than you think.
Favorite Random Website a Buddy Texted to Me Last Week: http://www.easycurves.com/ This thing is hilarious. A special thanks goes out to Jesse for making me just a little bit dumber with that.
Favorite Article: Things That Annoy Me
Favorite Sign of Athlete Dedication for the Month: I have two college pitchers working on getting bigger, stronger, faster, and more flexible in hopes of a nice velocity jump on the mound, and the obvious injury prevention benefits of such training. That’s all well and good – until you hear that they got an unfurnished apartment Campbell, CA. These guys are sleeping on mattresses on the floor, and all they brought were a few lamps, a TV, some books, and a whole lot of enthusiasm and motivation. That’s commitment to training – and just the kind of guys we like to have around me. What kind of sacrifices are you making to get better and move closer to your goals? I’m not sure that sleeping on a mattress on the floor is necessary, but it says a lot.
With that in mind, today is suppose to be my day off - I’m not taking today off. There is work to be done and I love to do it. Im blessed to have my hobby as my passion. HAPPY MONDAY FOLKS!
Wicked Smaaaht!: 3 Questions with Fritzie
1.) There is much debate over what someone’s level of fitness is, whether they are beginner, intermediate or advanced. As we all know after one year of lifting and crushing your rib cage with 95lbs on the bar—that athlete can consider themselves pretty advanced–note the sarcasm. Being that you train all athletes and gym rats on both ends of the spectrum–What do you feel defines someone as ‘advanced’– if there is such a thing?
There’s definitely a fine line between what separates someone who’s a beginner, from someone who’s an intermediate, to someone who is considered more of an “advanced” lifter. Beginners, with few exceptions, are those who have never really followed a structured training program in the past. Sure, he or she may have stepped into a gym once or twice in their lifetime, but for all intents and purposes, they’re pretty wet underneath the ears. Jazzercise gets them sore.
Intermediates, on the other hand, are a bit easier to define. Generally speaking, they know their way around the gym, can perform a proper push-up without making my eyes bleed, know that squats/deadlifts should be the corner stone of any decent training program, and heck, they may even be able to name all the rotator cuff muscles. But I doubt it. In short, intermediates tend to be those you see at your local commercial gym on a consistent basis.
Lastly, are the advanced trainees. It’s funny: EVERYONE thinks they’re advanced. I’m always perplexed as to why a lot of people follow advanced training protocols when they can’t even perform one simple bodyweight chin-up, or do a lunge without tipping over. They think just because they can load the leg press up with all the 45s (and piss everyone off to boot), and do those 1/4 ROM thingamajigs, that they somehow know what the hell they’re talking about.
Lets put it like this: you’re not advanced if you can’t deadlift at least 2x your bodyweight. (as an example). Here are the MINIMUM number for his HIGH SCHOOL varsity requirements:
Power Clean: 205 lbs
Front Squat: 205 lbs
Back Squat: 255 lbs
Deadlift: 315 lbs
Power Clean and Jerk: 165 lbs
Military Press: 115 lbs
One-Arm Bench Press: 32 kg Kettlebell (5 right, 5 left)
I’m sure many reading right now would be hard pressed to hit a lot of those numbers. Still think you’re advanced? I’m sure I could go on and throw out specific numbers that I feel defines someone as “advanced;” but the truth of the matter is – it depends.
There are plenty of people out there who can’t squat 400+ lbs, but they can pound out picture perfect one-legged pistol squats like it’s their job. Who’s to say they’re not advanced? Likewise, watch any of those Cirque du Soleil shows. Are you telling me that they’re not advanced because they can’t bench press 1.5x their bodyweight? I think many of us in the industry are quick to ONLY use quantifiable numbers to label someone as advanced. While that’s a nice starting point, and I feel those are good measures, there’s so much more that goes into it.
2.) With all of that said in regards to ‘advanced’ fitness levels, how does nutrition contribute to how you train your athletes and trainees? What is the most overlooked and underestimated concept in regards to nutrition in trainees?
There’s a saying that I like to use with my of the athletes and clients that I train:
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
Essentially, with regards to nutrition, people can be really freakin stubborn, and it’s often the crux of most trainees. People like what they like, are set in their ways, and it’s hard to get them to change. That said, I feel that nutrition can undoubtedly make or break anyone’s progress (or lack thereof). I’m often amazed at how I’ll have some of our high school athletes walk up to me and be like, “dude, I can’t put on ANY weight no matter how hard I try. “
I then simply ask, “did you eat breakfast?”
Don’t even talk to me about progress if you’re not even making an effort to do something as simple as eating breakfast on a consistent basis. If they’re not willing to at least do that, then I have no sympathy for them when they complain about not getting results.
As far as overlooked/underestimated concepts; I’d say that PRE-workout nutrition ranks right up there. People are so caught up in the POST-workout side of things (and it is important, don’t get me wrong), that they often lose sight of the fact that pre-workout nutrition is just as equally important (if not more so). Using an example, I really don’t get this fasted state training mindset.
The idea is that if you train on an empty stomach, you’ll burn more body fat. Looking at the research (and I am admittedly dumbing things down here), eating beforehand (particularly carbohydrates) has little to no barring on substrate utilization post-training. Meaning, just because you have some carbs before training (assuming, of course, the exercise session was on the “intense” side of things) doesn’t mean you’re body won’t burn body fat afterwards.
Besides, even if you did train on an empty stomach, you’d be running on fumes, which is kind of pointless if you ask me. You wouldn’t be able to train nearly as intense enough compared to training with something in your system to use as fuel. And much like a domino effect, you won’t burn as many calories, won’t burn as much fat, and girls will pretty much ignore the fact that you exist. True story.
3.) The BOSU ball. Now I know you, as well as myself, have a pure disgust of the infamous BOSU ball. I feel at this point, because I have poked fun of the contraption for so long, that if it did ever serve a purpose that I STILL would not use it. Give me your insight on the BOSU and that what, if any, benefits does it offer?
People like to do things that look different. Moreover, people also like to do things that are easy. The BOSU ball fits both scenarios to a tee. Now, this isn’t to say that there aren’t ANY instances where they’re useful and warranted. For injured athletes there is some efficacy for their use – particularly with regards to proprioceptive feedback with ankle injuries. Outside of that, though, BOSU balls are about as useful as a screen door in a submarine. For starters, they promote aberrant motor patterns- just watch anyone try to squat on one, and you’ll see what I mean…knees cave in, feet pronate, hips internally rotate, a little piece of my soul dies. It’s basically THE recipe for an ACL injury. And this is doing...Nothing. Secondly, and probably most important of all, they reduce force production. You can’t use nearly as much weight on BOSU ball compared to the same exercise performed on a STABLE surface. So, unless you’re in the market to make your clients and/or athletes smaller, weaker, and more prone to injury, they’re basically a complete and utter waste of time.
Note: BOSU balls suck. Just wanted to clarify my thoughts more succinctly.
“AGE AINT NOTHING BUT A NUMBER”
What he couldn’t do at 20 or 30, he did at 40! Last May (2010), a buddy of mine put me in touch with a local chiropractic neurologist, Dr. Gercu (Gercu). According to my friend he’ll be a grea twas a resource. In his exact words, “Wait until you start to drill down inside this guy’s brain…be prepared to go there, Fritz!” Dr. G and I met up the following week, and sure he enough, he more than lived up to his flattering description – and he’s become an excellent clinical resource for me to this day. What I didn’t expect to learn, that day, is that he was ready to piss some excellence by becoming a client of mine. Though an accomplished high school and college football quarterback back in the day, Dr. P had – like many folks in the health and human performance industry do – put everyone else’s needs ahead of his own, and it had taken a toll on his body. He was ready to change that, though – and that’s exactly what he did.
Over the past 10.5 months, Peter has completely changed his body. In fact, the transformation has been so impressive that we have gotten quite a few of his patients and friends as my clients simply because they’ve seen what it’s done to not just his body, but his energy levels, athleticism, and overall quality of life. I’d argue that Dr. G was already pissing some serious excellence when he first started training with me – but I unleashed a firehose of excellence pissing. Literally every time I see him, I regret not taking “before” pictures when he first started up.
Transformation aside, Dr. G confided in me about ten weeks ago that it had been a lifelong goal to bench 315. He’d tried for years to do it while playing football, and only cracked 300 once – and that was at the age of 30 after years of consistent weight training. Now 47, he wanted to know if I thought it was a legitimate goal – and if I could help him to get it. Now, anybody who knows me regularly knows that I love a project – and so we embarked on a bench press specialization after testing his one-repetition maximum at 285 back in early June. This was Saturday (roughly eight weeks later): A 30-pound increase in a bench press with no change in body weight in under eight weeks is a serious accomplishment – but doing it at the age of 47 makes you a freakin’ rockstar in my book.
What can you learn from Dr. G’s success? A lot! Here are the primary things that come to mind for me when I think about why he finally hit his goal:
· He made time instead of finding time.
· He recognized that there was always something he could do to get better
· He didn’t try to ride multiple horses with one saddle
· He found what worked best for him
· He got in a great environment.
· He told others about his goals
Need some structure in your strength training program to help you closer to your goals? Check out the training manuals from SHRED 2.0.
Operation: Vixenation Muscle Mayhem Body Comp Blitz Turbulence Training
I have enjoyed lifting for the past 30 years and now my 11 and 12-year-old nephews are training with me in the weight room. They are making tremendous gains in strength and are very enthusiastic about our workouts. Family members are appreciative of the time I spend helping them and can see the results, but they are also expressing concerns because of their young age.
The boys are in early and mid-puberty and are both tall for their age (5’7″). They have a great-uncle who is 6’10″, so they will possibly be pretty big. They’re growing very fast right now.
Their family has a history of knee problems on both sides of the family. Also three generations of hernia weaknesses on one side of the family. The older boy has very flat feet, but they seem to still enjoy running and sports (tennis and volleyball).
Are there any lifts that we should be avoiding at this stage? Any dangers of bone damage, hernias, etc? I realize that you would have to send them to a Dr. for a physical in order to give a certain answer, and standard disclaimers apply, but considering that they both seem to be perfectly healthy and doing very well, it doesn’t seem like the program is doing anything but good at this point.
I have helped them see what proper form looks like and they are both adamant about form (and they tell ME when I’m not using proper form!).
Would appreciate any insight, especially things I need to watch out for which could be doing more harm than good.
My response: Your goal should be to expose them to a wide variety of movements and set them up for success. Keep it interesting and FUN. Avoid maximal loading, obviously, but do work to incorporate quantifiable progressive overload for the kids; it’ll keep them motivated. Start with plenty of body weight drills; get them stable at the lumbar spine, shoulders, and knees, and mobile at the ankles, hips, and thoracic spine. That’ll set them up for success long-term. Getting them barefoot more often is great. The weight-training will actually help tremendously in avoiding that “clumsy” stage that occurs when guys grow a lot in a short amount of time.
Avery Faigenbaum from The College of New Jersey has some good writing on this subject, and Brian Grasso (IYCA.org) is the king of training young athletes. GREAT reading material.
Collection of periodic emails to my "circulation list" for various purposes: updates, rants, opinions on certain subjects, answers to faq, random thoughts, motivational quotes, and whatever else I decide to write about for that week.
Warning: I AM BY FAR THE MOST SARCASTIC PERSON THAT YOU WILL EVER MEET.
By no means do I consider myself intellectually superior to anybody. Sarcasm is innate and comes easy to those who are clever and intelligent, or at least quick-witted. It does not mean that I presume to think myself as your superior, and expect that you genuflect before me.
Jot Sheet 1: Lance Armstrong ; OPEN 10: Olympics, Bret Farve, A’s ; Mrs. Fields ; Monday Blues ; High Heels ; Drug Dealer ; Amazon Tribe, Bird Poo
Jot Sheet 2: David Cook ; Prioritize ; Touchdowns ; Paper or Plastic , Fortune Cookie ; Big Dreams ; Anything Is Possible ; Precious Time ; Tiger Woods
Jot Sheet 3: Mariah Carey ; Self Talk ; Indiana Jones ; Vegas ; The Hills ; John Mayer ; Ryan Hall
Jot Sheet 4: $25,000 Dessert ; Trance ; Dark Knight ; Fat Burning Zone ; Pain ; Lawrence ; Discipline
Jot Sheet 5: Freeloaders ; Endurance Athlete ; Leigh HS , Warm up ; Usain Bolt ; Back From The Dead
Jot Sheet 6: Random 1: Vball Stretch, YMCA, Skateboard ; Random 2: Michael Phelps Diet, Powerpuff Girls ; Badonkkadonk ; Catch Me If You Can , Feel The Fear
Jot Sheet 7: Turkey Day ; Janessa ; Heroine ; Pilates Instructor ; “WarmRice” ; HIT ; Pangborns ; I Am An Idiot
Jot Sheet 8: Random 1: Spandex, Caltrain Station, Dr. Phil , Lindsay/Kendra/Simone ; Random 2: Cold Showers, Terry Tate ; 2008 Olympics
Jot Sheet 9: 2008 Election ; Random: Devil Rays, Treadmill Sucks, Soreness, Douche Bag , Beauty
HS Jot Sheet: Stanford ; Advice ; Cry Me A River ; Hailey Manning ; Robin Williams
January Jot Sheet : The Secret ; Random: Gummy Bears & Crack , Christian Brothers, Star Wars ; New Habits
Febuary Jot Sheet: Leer ; Sialaris VS Deemer ; brain hemorrhage ; Random: Gambit, GI Joe, Madonna and A-Rod
March Jot Sheet: Tina Allen ; 3OH!3 ; Just ,Tipton & Momo ; Project Get Sexified ; Asthon Kutcher and Keanu Reeves
Jot Sheet 11: Food Log, Kelli and Steff Sum, MV JV Team, BOSUballs
Jot Sheet 12: Brad Pitt, Victoria Lee, Amy Lin, Jessy Marshall, Jessica Holden, Kevin Larrabee
Jot Sheet 13: Creepy McCreepypants, Dear John, Kathering Ong, Therese, Sephora, Sex in the City
Jot Sheet 14: Black Swan, Pumpkin Chocolate Brownie, Shaka!!, Jeneatte Pohlen, A&F Models, Shake Weight
Jot Sheet 15: What Motivates Us, 50 Calf Raises!, Biggest Loser, Bad Knees Ptotocol, Laffy Taffy, Sharks Mania
Performance Related ARTICLES : A Can of Worms ; Breaking Cardio Confusion ; Deconstructing Pitchers ; Fascination With Pink ; HS Program Dissection ; You Are What You Eat! ; Resistance Training ; "Bonks" in the Running World ; Bulletproof Knees
TAGS FOR ADVICE:Party, Compete, Asher Roth, My Mom, Winner, Burgers, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Isla Vista, Loser, Michael Jordan, Steal Ideas, Fitness Professional, Life Is Not Fair, Walk of Shame, Personal Trainer, Freshman 15
RANDOM 1 TAGS: Carl Jung, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Gym Jones, SMART, Effort, The Donkey Story, Consilience, Creatine, Physical Therapist, Long Beach, Brian Tracy, KISS, Lifestyle Enhancement, Thomas Plummer
RANDOM 2 TAGS: Jon Lesters, Platypus, Autism , Borat, Super Bad, Bay to Breakers, Adam Bender, Food, Manu Ginobli, Kat Osterman, Summer Youth Camp
RANDOM 3 TAGS: Simona, Pointless Email, Douche Bag, Dana, Jason Whitecomb, Jorge Cruise, La Vics, Rodney,
E-Cards, Dana, Fake Laughter
RANDOM 4 TAGS: Lindsay, ATREYU, Traci Yamashita, The Fall of Troy, Trent, firstname.lastname@example.org, YMCA, Alcohol, Billy Wagner, Katelyn’s trainer, El Rock, Baseball Player, Mercedes Pardo, Kayla, “Seven Strong”