06 August 2010

Ask the Asshole #8- Parkour, Cute Chicks, and Stress

If you guys haven't noticed, I haven't been around this week, as I've been on vacation. As such, any questions you've asked this week will likely get answered next. In the meantime, here's some questions you've already asked, most of which got answered in emails. Because I love you guys so very much, I wrote these blogs well in advance so you didn't feel neglected for a week while I was gone.

Q: What's your opinion on joint mobility exercises? For instance, if some guy was doing a push/pull/legs split, and in between each day he would do joint mobility exercises on swiss balls, and fucking bosu balls and shit to work on balance and stabilizing. What do you think?

A: Do it if you want. I'm pretty fucking stable as it is - once your squat's well over 500 lbs, you pretty much become an immovable object.

There are few objects in the gym that I find less useful than bosu balls or swiss balls. Paul Chek and I couldn't agree less on the subject of stability training. When the fuck would need need the ability to squat on an unstable surface? When squatting during an earthquake? Why the fuck would you do that anyway? if the Earth starts shaking, you're better off dumping the weight than trying to squat through it, whether or not you've gotten on a bosu ball. Not even I, in all of my glory, could outsquat an earthquake. Well, maybe a little one, but I doubt I'd ever try. Actually, I should probably just never test that out, because it's highly likely that my curiosity and ego would trump sensible thought and action in that sort of scenario.

You want mobility? Start doing Parkour when you're not in the gym- just stay the fuck away from the bosu balls.

Q: Today I was doing DB rows, and on my 5th set I went for a PR...so of course, my form was going to be a little sloppy, but I kept my core tight and my leg on the bench. [I had the link, but apparently it's a bad one- she was doing 90 lb one arm db rows at a bodyweight of 110, with a tiny bit of body swing]

So far, all I've been getting is feedback such as:
"Your form sucks."
"Nice weight, but your lifting is sloppy as hell."
"Once you cheat that much on a row, it's no longer a row...it's a body swing."

What do you think of all that? Am I really cheating "too much"? I mean, my rows have been increasing by 5 lbs. EVERY week, and my deadlift keeps inching up, so I must be doing something right, no? And I don't think people really take into account the fact that it's almost my bodyweight with one arm, lol.
A: Oh holy shit! You're totally fucked! There's no way that you'll win the one arm dumbbell row event in the Olympics with form like that! Form Nazis consist of one type of person- jealous pussies who latch onto a justification for their weakness so that they don't have to spend much time thinking about how much they suck. The reason you'll read so much about the importance of form is because lawyers decided what the best form for a given exercise to minimize injury is for ACE personal training certification. It's not because that form is efficacious for anything, and as I've mentioned, each person is so wildly different that there's no way to predict what form a given person would need in order to maximize strength gain crossover and/or hypertrophy. Thus, tell those pasty-faced, weak bitch internet form gurus to fuck off and die- they're merely apply a public salve to their wounded psyches due to the fact that you're stronger than they are. They're likely going to cry themselves to sleep tonight in their parents' basement after a hearty meal of a KFC failure pile in a sadness bowl while masturbating weakly to some shitty Lord of the Rings themed porn.
We can also arrange it on a plate like you're an adult with self-respect and dignity .

Additionally, I've shamed every guy with whom I've ever lifted into using more weight on one arm rows with the following- my 130 lb ex used to row the 155s for 5 reps with no fucking straps. Was her form strict? Nope, but her back was fucking ripped, and she was stronger than any chick I've ever met. At one point, a guy cut me off hard in a parking lot, and I narrowly missed clipping another car to avoid hitting him. Her one arm dumbbell row was probably the thing that enabled her to pull him out of his car one handed, through his window, and beat the living fuck out of him while I laughed my ass off.

Incidentally, it's recently come to my attention that you guys all seem to think that I'm of the opinion that chicks should stay the fuck out of the gym and generally suck. That's not the case, at all. Yeah, I am of the opinion that perhaps 95% of the chicks on Earth are useless, vapid golddiggers who don't like to fuck and have never read a book in it's entirety, and yeah, they could all die tomorrow and the only regret I'd have is that the world would stink of rotting flesh. The other 5%, though, is generally badass
Why anyone would criticize a good looking chick for lifting heavy is beyond me, no matter the form. Even if she's doing kettlebell swings, I think we can all find something to appreciate.

Q: Do think in your mid 40's you'll start feeling the side effects of savage lifting on your joints?
A: Nope. Everyone said I'd feel it at 30, but the the only joint pain I have is my elbow, and that's from wrestling.
Q: Do you think your a rare exception to the joint pain maybe?
A: Nope. I have tiny joints and shit genetics for lifting. The things I have on my side are good diet, excellent supplementation, and consistency. If there's anything that I think really contributes to a lack of joint pain, it's consistency in the gym. If you look at any of the guys who've had longevity in strength sports, like Karl Norberg, or John Grimek, or even Bill Pearl, they were universally known for their consistency bordering on obsession in the gym. They didn't suffer from joint pain because they were always in the gym- there were no long periods of layoffs, or in which their tendons had time to weaken or loosen. In my opinion, that's where the problem lies. Unfortunately, there's no study I can cite to support this theory, but there also exists no study to contradict it.
Draper's 63- it doesn't look like joint pain's really holding him back. He's benched 440 with no spot.

Q: How heavy is too heavy? I've been blasting away singles and triples with the heaviest weight I can manage. Many times it not to explosive, it stalls midway, and I have to think really hard about shit that pisses me off to get it to lockout, but I basically always pull it off. The only thing that worries me is this guy glen said lift heavy weight explosively in this thread http://www.chaosandpain.com/content/dude-got-jacked-movie-routine-srs and my shit is not explosive half the time.
A: Explosive lifting doesn't correspond with certain lifts at certain weights. The powerlifts, for instance, are grinding, rather than explosive movements. The only weight that's too heavy is one that you can't lift. Additionally, going extremely heavy (90%+ of your 1RM), has benefits for your CNS that transcend mere a mere mind-muscle connection. Instead, it's been shown in a Norwegian study of soldiers learning to parachute, that the more they jumped out of planes, the better their stress response. When they began, their cortisol levels were elevated for a considerable period of time both before and after the jump. After a number of jumps, their bodies began releasing stress hormones only at the time of the jump- which is exactly the time your body needs to release the hormones to elicit a positive reaction to the stressor. Applied to training, working with high percentages of your 1RM will train your body to react positively to high loading protocols, and allow you to utilize your body's natural reaction to the stress of being in an ostensibly life-threatening situation positively.
There's a reason why he looks bored, rather than terrified.

Keep asking, and I'll keep answering. Til' then, keep breakin' fools while their bitches drool.



  2. Where'd you go on vacation? Anywhere fun?

  3. That shit's gross RAW DOG.
    63 year old Draper nipples aren't things you should be drooling over.
    You sick animal.

  4. Haha, thanks for the question feature, Jamie! I think those rows had a good carry-over to my deadlift as well, because ever since I started doing them that way it's improved. I hit 230x5 last week, and I'm going in for 235x5 this week. So fuck em, it works for me. :)

  5. About the form question/controversy. I had a thought, I don't even want to label it as a hypothesis as I have absolutely no evidence yet. We've always operated under the assumption that our bodies are stupid, and don't recognize anything, but the amount of force we put on them. What if our muscles respond to whether we are actually trying our hardest to lift the weight? In a life or death, or even just a serious situation which requires the application of strength, if you aren't cheating, you really aren't trying, and maybe that factors into whether or not the body allocates the necessary resources to get stronger? I'm not articulating this well, but it seems very possible to me that trying to execute proper form and feel the motion just don't communicate actual need for stronger muscles to the body.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I don't know of anyone better to bounce this idea off of.

  6. I have an overwhelming urge to lick her stomach... that is all. Than again that might result in a kettleball being dropped on my head if done in the middle of her set.

  7. Jason I totally read "to KICK her stomach"...I was thinking, WTF. Haha.

  8. In re the cheating question, there's no real way to study that, I don't think. I'd agre3 that the thing at issue is the number of fibers recruited overall, and the percentage of available fibers recruited, but that's the prevailing thought on that. Instead, there's a cost/benefit analysis wherein people gauge potential for injury against strength and muscular gains, and the idea that if one is attempting to isolate a given bodypart, you're defeating the point of the exercise to intentionally or accidentally recruit other fibers to complete a lift.

    My rejoinder there is that it's impossible to actually train a muscle in isolation, and that cheating facilitates greater fiber recruitment my increasing the loading protocol. This is especially true in the case of exercises like the one arm dumbbell row, which carries with it very little real possibility of injury.

    Yo Christine, post the link again and I'll throw the vid in the body of this post.

  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s82xTutAFQo

    ^^ There you go

  10. Whoops, wrong video


    ^^ Here it is

  11. ^^^ Lmao. Very clever. (whoever posted in my name)

  12. 225 lb for reps. mi god.

  13. Hey man literally just finished reading every blog post, some good shit! I've been training in a similar fashion for some time but always had a shitty diet thus i've been doing keto a couple of weeks now. Do you prefer to go low carb on cheat window days then just go all out in those 3 hours or do you recommend also keeping carbs moderate/high as well as the cheat window just to really pack in the carbs and calories for the refeed? Keep it coming man.

  14. Depends on how quickly I'm trying to lean out. I do a little bit of both, usually.

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