Mano a Mano
Life can be tough! It's not always
fair. Everyone doesn't get a "certificate of
participation" at the office, or a trophy at the end of the
year just for showing up! This probably hasn't
bothered us "old folks" much. We had to take our
lumps, and watch our peers enjoy the spotlight, while we
might not have been as fortunate. However, I do worry
about the expectations that our children might have.
I've been involved in athletics my whole life. I've
played both team sports and individual sports, as well as
individual sports as part of a team. While I do love
the camaraderie and brotherhood of a team, and the feeling
of unity on the battlefield, I'd have to say that I learned
and developed more character as an individual competitor.
I started wrestling in 5th or 6th
grade and continued into college before I started coaching.
Wrestling is a tough sport, both mentally and physically.
It takes a high level of conditioning, knowledge and
technique, persistence, in addition to strength and
quickness. Knowledge comes with experience, which
means that you often get your ass kicked for a while during
your first wrestling season! This is where the
patience and determination come in. Many young
athletes that are used to being awesome from day one, have
difficulty with that concept!
I feel that the character building
that I'm talking about is not just limited to wrestling, but
most 1 on 1 sports. Karate, jiu jitsu, judo, etc...
all have similar qualities. You need to learn
sportsmanship... how to be graceful in winning and in
losing. How to accept ownership and responsibility for
your performance... No excuses! You can't blame anyone
for missing a block, for a penalty, or any other assorted
performance issues. It's just you and your opponent
facing off to see who is the superior athlete at that time.
In watching or coaching the very young
athletes, it's not uncommon to see the loser of the bout
break down crying when the referee raises the winner's hand
signifying victory. Sure, you feel bad for the little
guy, and what he's going through. However, you'll find
that if you follow that same athlete for a while.. be it
weeks or months... they start to handle it better. If
they stick with it, they start to improve, start to win some
matches, and hopefully take pride in their performance.
You'll also find that most of these kids develop a maturity
for winning and losing that this experience creates...
something that they take with them in life.
With the recent decision by the IOC to
drop wrestling, one of the original Olympic events,
from the 2020 Olympic games, I felt the need to put an
article in my newsletter about wrestling, and these types of
sports. There's really nothing like the feeling of
victory in a competition of this nature and I strongly
recommend it for our youth athletes that are interested in
becoming a fellow gladiator of the mat! Here is an
excellent post that I found that pretty much sums it up...
What high school sport makes the demands on the individual
that amateur wrestling does? When
boy walks onto the mat, he stands alone. No one will run
interference, no one will pass him the ball when he is under
the net, no one will catch a high fly if he makes a bad
pitch. He stands alone.
In other high school sports, where
individual scores are kept, the contest is determined in
time, distance, and height. But in wrestling, the score is
kept on a boy's ability to overcome an opponent in a hand to
hand contest, where a two second interval at anytime can
mean a loss or a win. if an opponent gains an advantage,
there will be no help, no substitute; there will be no time
out and all can be lost in two seconds. Yes, the boy stands
There is no place on a wrestling team for the show off, the
halfhearted, or the weakling. When the whistle blows, a boy
puts his ability, his determination, and his courage on the
We who are close to the young men on our high school
wrestling teams have watched the range of human emotions
from elation to heartbreak.
We have seen coaches with tears running down their cheeks as
they try to console a young man who has given his all . .
Wrestling is a tough, hard sport, a life like, it is the
survival of the fittest. The young men who enter and stay
with the team know this. They also know that the time comes
and the whistle blows . . .
THEY STAND ALONE!
Recipes for Health
can't say that I've tried all of the recipes that I've
included in my newsletter, but this one I have. It's
easy to make, nutritionally sound, satisfying and tasty.
Currently one of my favorite post-workout meals on the
weekend. Give it a shot!
This is it! The world-famous "high protein apple-cinnamon
oatmeal pancake." My single favorite (and most often eaten)
recipe for so many reasons... and NOT just for breakfast!
¾ cup old-fashioned
oatmeal (rolled oats)
4 egg whites (1 egg yolk
1/2 apple, diced
1 T Cinnamon
Yield: 1 large pancake
Serving Size: 1 pancake
Protein: 39.5 g
Carbs: 53.5 g.
Fat: 6 g.
all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Stir until the
mixture has a semi-liquid pancake-batter-like consistency.
Spray some non-stick spray on a frying pan and pour the
mixture into the pan.
Cook on medium heat. When one side is lightly browned
and solid enough to flip, turn the pancake over with a
spatula and cook the other side until lightly browned and
Cooking and Nutrition Tips
recipe makes one large (6-8" diameter) pancake and it's a
hearty, satisfying meal. If you
need more calories, increase the amounts of the ingredients
(For muscle building programs when I need more calories, I
usually use a full cup of oatmeal). If you use more than a
cup of oatmeal, it's best to make two smaller pancakes,
because if the pancake is too large, it tends to fall apart
when you try to flip it.
batter consistency is not right, you can use fewer egg
whites or more oatmeal to make it thicker, or vice versa.
(You could also add a bit of water or milk if it's too
thick... remember to count any extra calories you put it).
use other types of fruit such as bananas or raisins instead
of apples (get as creative as you want - I must have seen at
least a dozen variations on this egg whites and oatmeal
also "finger food" and you can eat it conveniently a little
piece at a time even while you're behind the wheel driving,
flying on a plane, sitting in class or at a seminar, hiking
up in the mountains, or just about anywhere else!
Since I highlighted my
rock climbing rig in last month's newsletter, I've added
some monkey bar rungs, utlizing my chinup bar as one of
them. I also added a bar between the two so that I
could create a nice little circuit that we started referring
to as "rock monkey".
It's certainly a
challenge for your back, biceps, and hand strength and
provides a source of competition to see who can make it the
furthest! Just a quick update for all my
do-it-yourselfer brethren out there
Exercise of the Month!
Diagonal sandbag shouldering is an exercise
that I love to hate J.
It works a lot of different muscles at the same time, which
means that you get winded a lot quicker when doing it!
Legs, back, butt, sides... all burning away while you heave
that bag across your body to the opposite shoulder. It's
like ripping off a band aid... ya just gotta get it over with,
without crying too much.
Target: legs, butt, arms,
back (quadriceps, gluteus maximus, biceps brachii, erector
next to the sandbag and grab a handful of material. I
prefer to grab towards the back of the bag with my outside
hand, and towards the front with my inside hand. You
should start with your knees bent, butt back and head up to
keep a flat back. Explode up with your legs and hips
while pulling the sandbag up and onto your opposite shoulder.
Reverse the movement back down to the ground and repeat for
repetitions prior to switching to the opposite side.
Have a Cold? Do Burpees!
what's not to love? One of my favorite all around
bodyweight exercises... and I make it a point to start every
one of my workouts with a set or two! I can't say that
my clients are as fond of burpees as I am, but that's the
beauty of being a personal trainer and prescribing exercises
that people love to hate
Beyond the obvious muscle burning and cardio benefits of burpees, here's an interesting article to provide you with
even more incentive for doing them!
Dr Jeff Godin, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., and Director of Spartan
We have previously discussed the value of the Burpee as
it relates to physical
this blog). The Burpee may also be your best defense
The lymphatic system is
a network of vessels and glands that carry fluid from
tissues back to the blood stream. The lymphatic system plays
an important function in re-circulating immune cells back
into the blood stream and tissue where they protect the body
from foreign invaders. The lymphatic system is often called
the second circulatory system and is equally as important.
However, unlike blood, lymphatic
vessels and the lymphatic fluid contained within them do not
have a pump to help circulate the fluid.
The lymphatic system relies on the effects of gravity,
breathing, and skeletal muscle contraction to help keep the
fluid moving throughout the system. Without the movement of
the fluid the immune system is compromised. The Burpee takes
advantage of all three of these methods and may be a sure
to facilitate the movement of fluid throughout the system.
The Burpee utilizes the muscles of the upper and lower
body. The muscles in the extremities contract and relax in a
cyclical fashion, massaging the lymph vessels and
facilitating the movement of lymph fluid. The high metabolic
demand of the Burpee stimulates deep breathing. The constant
changes in pressure in the thoracic cavity versus the
abdominal cavity during deep breathing stimulates the flow
of lymph though the system. Also, although not tested, it is
reasonable to believe that the rapid changes in posture from
the vertical position, to the horizontal prone position, and
then back to the vertical position also facilitates the
movement of fluid through the lymphatic system. The constant
change in body position changes the hydrostatic pressure
within the lymphatic system. Fluid movement undoubtedly
occurs with changes in hydrostatic pressure. Have you ever
stood up fast and felt “light-headed”? That is the result in
a drop in hydrostatic pressure in the circulatory system;
the blood has “dropped” into the lower extremities.
Conversely, if you hang upside down for a second, the blood
accumulates in the thorax and head. Essentially lying down
and jumping up has the same effect, there is rapid movement
of blood and lymphatic fluid through their respective
A recent paper by Lisa Hodge published in the
International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine suggests that
manual Lymphatic Pump Techniques enhance immunity and may
pneumonia. The Burpee acts in similar fashion,
accelerating the pumping action and increasing movement of
lymph through the system. The Burpee reigns as the exercise
Bodybuilding's Arch Enemy
- Paul Becker,
When you are
training correctly you should see muscle growth at a rapid and
steady rate. This may seem like a far out claim to be making, since
so few bodybuilders make rapid, steady gains. Most have accepted the
fact that muscle growth is a very slow arduous process. And many
have trained for years, after reaching a certain point, with no more
gains in size or strength.
I will make
another far out claim here - If you are no growing quickly and
steadily you are overtraining. But you ask,
"can't it also be due to undertraining?". Sure if you don't workout
at all or if you do a set of curls once a month, you're not going to
grow either. But the true situation 99.9% of the time with modern
bodybuilders is overtraining not undertraining.
has a certain tolerance for the amount of exercise he can withstand
and if he does even a little bit more than that he will overtrain
and slow down his gains. If he does a lot more than his tolerance
level his gain will stop completely or he may even lose strength and
size. I will repeat it
again here - If you are not growing quickly and steadily you are
"But", you say,
"I only workout 3 days a week and do only 25 sets for my whole body,
that only a 10th of the amount of training most people do, how can I
be overtraining?" Don't be so
concerned about what others are doing, a lot of them are taking
steroids and still growing slowly or not at all. Why don't you
try cutting back to 20 sets for your whole body and see what
happens. Or if you are still not growing try cutting back to 15 sets
or 10 sets or even 5 sets. Also try training only 2 times a week or
how about once. I will say again
- If you are not growing quickly and steadily you are overtraining.
This is not just
a theory - it really works. As a personal trainer when I see one of
my trainees not gaining fast enough I lessen his/her workload,
training frequency or both. And the results speak for themselves. One recent
trainee weighed 165 before his first workout with me and after only
10 days he weighted 170 and his fat level was visibly lower, so in
effect he gained 8 or 9 lbs of solid muscle doing only 12 sets for his
whole body 2 or 3 times a week, that almost a pound a day gain.
after reading my book "Get Huge" trained himself for 1 week and added
20 lbs in almost all his exercises and was growing so fast he got
stretch marks on his triceps. He does only 10 sets for his whole
body. Some of my
trainees do only 5 sets for their whole body and workout once every
4 to 5 days.
"But", you say
again, "If I still find myself not growing, what do you want me to
do, 3 sets once a week?". If that what it
takes to make great gains, then yes that's what you should do. Your purpose
should be to make big gains fast, and not worry about what others
think or what tradition dictates. The proof of any
training is in the gains you are making from it.
less if you are not growing or not growing fast enough and you will
see the truth of what I am saying.
It's Go Time!
I just started a kind of "Biggest
Loser" challenge with my workout partner. No... none of
the crying, screaming, or drama (yet)... just a friendly
contest to see who can drop the most weight in a few weeks.
With the summer months fast approaching, everyone can use a
little motivation to go after your goals. Having someone
to push you, or a friendly competition, makes it easier and
holds you more accountable than just making a deal with
So this is March and a perfect
time for you to grab a workout buddy, MAKE some time, and get
your butt in gear! Exercise regularly and make smart
choices with your food and drink consumption. Change
takes time, but if you work hard at it, and don't give up, the
progress that you make will be worth it... I promise!
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believer in starting with
and raising them. We make progress only when we push ourselves
If we don’t progress, we backslide into bad habits, laziness
- Dan Gable
"We were here from the start... And will be to the end!"
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