Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tao of Justin_P

[Tao] is a concept found in Taoism, Confucianism, and more generally in ancient Chinese philosophy and East Asian religions. While the word itself translates as 'way', 'path', or 'route', or sometimes more loosely as 'doctrine' or 'principle', it is often used philosophically to signify the fundamental or true nature of the world...While the Tao cannot be expressed, Taoism holds that it can be known, and its principles can be followed

Several weeks ago, Nate Green wrote an article for T-Nation called, "The Tao of Boyle," which I liked quite a bit. From the first time that I read his stuff on T-Nation a couple of years ago, I've been a Mike Boyle fan.

The single, biggest reason why I like him so much is that he seems to be one of the most vocal guys out there saying that if you're not healthy, you're not really strong. I don't think that I can think of a guy who takes injury prevention into consideration when he trains guys quite like he does. Plus, he's not above saying that certain exercises suck, regardless of their popularity.

I really liked this article too, particularly the format. He's done a few like these in the past. So, I'm going to be a latent copycat and try the same thing in this entry...

-We all know that being strong is key to being healthy. That's why we do what we do. While I can't prove it, I think that strength-to-bodyweight ratio is most important to being healthy. The higher, the better. Obviously, Bodyweight-based strength training is probably the best way to maximize this ratio.

-BW might also be the best way to promote a healthy weight. While there are exceptions to every rule, try to find a horribly underweight or an obese person who can do 15-20 pull-ups or 10 pistols on each leg.

-Saying that pull-ups and chin-ups are good exercises are like saying that Ferraris and Bentleys are good cars. They're just about the best exercise that anyone could possibly do. They just don't get mentioned enough as being the best exercises you could do. I know they get mentioned a lot, but even then, it isn't enough.

-A T-Nation dude just realized that Chin-ups are an awesome ab exercise by hooking up an EMG tool (look it up) to his stomach. Duh! Where the hell have you been? What does your chin-up form look like? How much have you REALLY been training with chin-ups?

-Most people who strength train suffer from a form of materialism when they train. They need specific equipment in specific places with specific people helping them obtain specific goals for specific competitions. That's not all bad but what happens when you take away some, or all, of that? Where are you then? Could you keep training? Would you keep training? If you're that dependent on everything being just right, then you're doing something wrong.

-I'm undecided on Crossfit. I agree to a lot of the points that they make about the problems with strength training but I'm not so sure if I agree with their solutions. They do have some smoking, hot women that do it though!

-If you have strong hips, strong shoulders and a strong grip, then you'll be a truly powerful human being.

-BW strength training continues to be stuck in the high-rep-for-progression hamster wheel of progress. If you can do it for 30 reps, then chances are pretty damn good that you need to find a way to make it harder. Get creative, or move onto some other exercise.

-Bridging is awesome. There are more forms of bridging than just the wrestler's bridge. My personal favorite is the straight bridge, done between two chairs with the body suspended in between them, straight. Try it for 90 seconds.

-The more that I train, the more that I think that people who work out for hours on end are either doing lousy exercise, are taking way too many breaks for far too long when they train, or aren't challenging themselves enough.

-Along those lines, length of time spent for training is a poor measure of dedication. If you disagree, let me know. I'll give you something to do that takes 25minutes and it will be so brutal that you won't miss the extra 35 minutes! Or, you could try Tabata

-Rushing the eccentric lengthening of a muscle during any exercise is a good way to get hurt, sooner or later.

-There is no such thing as a perfect routine. How much heart and soul you put into it compensates.

-Yes, I'm using weights when I train these days. But I'm not really using weights like most people think of. I don't have a barbell set. I do have some dumbbells but I rarely use the handles. I use Kettlebells, sometimes grabbing the ball rather than the handle. I use rocks, a 155 lbs piece of corkcrewed scrap steel, a sandbag, and a weighted backpack. Odd rules.

-Lift stuff off the ground. Put it over your head. Carry it. Put it down, don't drop it. You'll get really strong this way.

-Supersetting is awesome and it saves time. You don't need to rest as much.

-Do One-arm-push-ups with your feet elevated 12-18 inches, if you can. If you can find a better BW exercise for the serratus anterior, I'd love to know what it is.

-I don't think that there's anything wrong with weightlifting I think that there is a lot wrong with weight lifters these days. Like I said at the top, if you're not healthy then you're not strong.

-The deeper and more powerfully you breath when training, the better. I've noticed that shallow breathers are the ones that have the hardest time losing weight and getting strong. My dad and sister don't regularly train and are prone to putting on weight if they're not careful. When they decide to get back on the horse, they drop weight like that iceberg dropped the Titanic. When they breathe, you can hear them from shockingly long distances away. I think that their deep breathing plays a big role.


Anonymous said...

Great points... thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hey Justin im back to reading your blog its been quite awhile since ive read it..happy to see its still awsome and hasnt slowed down one bit. I agree about pullups/chins to be highly underrated in terms of strength and muscle building i was wondering what your opinion on heavy db rows starting to think they arent needed i rarley do them and was recently able to row 150lbs for 4x4 and didnt feel as good as a set of chins i credit this strength from the one arm chin progresions

Justin_PS said...

To be honest with you, I have no opinion. I've never done them consistently in a routine. Dumbbells are kind of a luxury because I don't have the ability to travel with them.