Schubert’s resonance

August 27, 2014

One cold winter’s day in Prague, 1815, a smart guy called Dr Schnubert invented a “vibration”, or “resonance” that makes the whole Earth vibrate very slightly for the good of all mankind. It’s so subtle that you can’t feel it, but if you’ve ever heard a dolphin screech, that is Schingbert’s resonance at work.

The theory goes that if you are not in harmony with the Earth’s resonance, you’ll be out of phase with your environment. As your whole body works on electromagnetism, this means disaster for your health. By trying to match Scheller’s resonance you can be in harmony with your environment.

This can be achieved by using electro-magnetic resonance machines, which, whilst expensive, are the most effective method or tuning your body’s vibrations. A cheaper alternative is just to try vibrating as fast as you can. This can me made easier by shivering (put you hand in a bucket of ice water whilst you sleep at night).

Have you ever achieved Shneider’s resonance? Let me kknow in the comments.

Today’s discussion is about support aids, and how great they are. You’re probably very familiar with the ‘weight lifters belt’, a wide, stiff leather belt which can be worn whilst lifting weights. It helps to support your lower back structure under pressure, which is obviously a good thing, as without it you risk injury. I think support aids like these have become overlooked. When you decide to put massive strain on your lower back, or have to jerk the weight off the ground, the belt is there to help you get that extra mile out of your workout. Of course, it also enables you to lift not just 100% of your 1 rep max, but more than that, maybe 110% of your max. By lifting more than your body is capable of, you will provide an extreme hypertrophic stimulus for the muscular/neurolinguistic cortex, safe in the knowledge that your support aids are ‘covering your back’, so to speak.

Apart from the ubiquitous belt, there are also numerous wraps primarily for joints such as elbow, knee, wrist, shoulder etc. Personally, I wear all of the above whilst working out, and if I want to go for a hard session I’ll also use boxer’s bandages to tightly wrap all of my limbs. If you want to get to the level of an elite athlete, every once in a while you’ll also want to wrap rigid bars under these bandages such as thin diameter steel piping, to give extra reinforcement to your limbs.

Don’t forget footwear. In the gym I wear either hiking boots or special support boots for people with collapsed ankles (ask your local health service). A neck brace is also a good addition, (if you don’t mind getting funny looks for it) as it helps keep your spine in a neutral posture whilst reducing the amount your neck muscles have to compensate for movement.

In short, the more you use external aids to brace and support your body, the more your body can get used to them and so not have to deal with supporting itself, thus allowing you to lift more and work harder.

Food for the body

June 30, 2009

Music may be food for the soul, but nutrition is food for the body. Nutrition is almost twice as important as workouts in achieving results. Of course results are what we are ALWAYS after.

The main problem surrounding nutrition is the lack of “whole foods” in modern diets. Primal diets consisted of meat, dairy, fish, milk, nuts, rabbits and trout. Svelte and bulky as they were, cavemen had an abundance of macronutrients. There are three primary macronutrients defined as being the classes of chemical compounds (fat, protein and carbohydrates) which humans consume in the largest quantities and which provide bulk energy; but what is more important than WHAT they ate – was HOW they ate.

Sometimes – a large bolus of food consumed “whole” can raise your metabolism by causing nutrient-induced gastric kinesis whilst also fuelling muscles. Remember, macro means large, so bigger bites means bigger muscles. Also try swallowing small nuts and berries ‘whole’ as chewing them can break the protein chains.

Often – quantity is better than quality. By eating foods abundant in number, you can fool your brain into thinking you have eaten more than you actually have. For example, eating rice will make your brain think it has eaten 1500 ‘items’ of food – the sheer number will alter your mindset into getting fast results.

Taking notes of your daily nutritional habits will help you spot gaps in your diet and enable you to see where you can improve, but remember – it’s not always about the results.

6 minute workout

June 26, 2009

The 6 minute workout

Sometimes you get stronger by not training

If you allow your body to fully recover it can not only heal itself back to prior levels, but supercompensate, giving greater gains in size and strength and higher levels of fitness and conditioning.

This is why I advocate the 6 minute workout. Once every other week.

If you think about it, 6 minutes is actually a long time, 360 seconds, or 360,000 milliseconds. By picking just 1 exercise and performing just that in 6 minutes, you will achieve several things:

  • Ramped up hormone levels. Your body is sitting around for almost 2 weeks (or 1 209 600 000 milliseconds), then POW you smack it right in the face with a hyper-intense workout! The adrenal shock alone can cause muscle growth spurts.
  • Psychological profiling. Your mind is relaxing, focussing on social and pleasant things, then you come along and BAM smack it in the face with a highly stimulating routine. Don’t worry though, just 6 minutes later at the peak of the supercomp trough, you let it continue on its easy ride
  • Less prone to injury. The less you train, the less likely you are to be injured
  • Increased energy. The less energy you exert in workouts, the more you will have for general life
  • Increased time to spend on other activities. Only 6 minutes a fortnight working out leaves you masses of free time.

The changes in tempo surprise your body so it never knows what’s coming and has to stay permanently prepared. If you’ve ever heard a PT advise people to take a rest day, you’re already party to some very special knowledge. What you may not have known is the PT himself is probably taking 10 rest days. THAT’S 10 TIMES THE ACTIVE HEALING POWER!

Example routine:

1st January – 6 minutes of bench press

14th January – 6 minutes of pullups

21st January – 6 minutes of squats

28th January – 6 minutes of crunches

During the 6 minute workout, do as many sets of 5 as possible, with 1 minute rest between sets.

The only other thing better than this workout is the 5 minute workout, and if you can figure out how to do that you’re in line for the McArthur prize. Obviously, 4 minutes or less would be ridiculous – you need some stimulation otherwise you won’t make any progression.

On days where you were scheduled to work out, but you feel like skipping it because you’re still aching, you are seriously missing out. The worst thing you could possibly do is nothing. Rest is overrated, quoted and re-quoted by everyone as being ‘nature’s healer’ or ‘time to recover’, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

If your muscles are sore and aching, it is fundamentally important that you go back to the gym and work them out again. It is vitally important to get the blood flowing into the muscle to flush away toxins, and equally imperative to experience full range of motion on the muscle in question, under load.

The worst thing you can do is rest

It is well known that it is the damaging of muscles – micro tears which heal back stronger – which causes growth in size and strength. Then it is completely obvious that more damage = more growth, and more training = more damage. By damaging yourself you will provide the opportunity for your body to adapt with stronger muscles, and when this occurs it is time to ramp up the damage even further. Yes it will hurt, but there’s no need to whine about it. Sometimes pain is your body’s way of telling you to push harder, like a gauntlet in your face, thrown by the atrophied and striated cannons of biceps you will have if you could only learn to rest less. (The word ‘restless’ is actually a corrupted form of the phrase ‘rest less’, which was the motto of the Swedish School of the Advancement and Expression of Physiology.)

Now, I know what you’re thinking; “I can’t train every day” and “I’ve got to get some rest”, and you’re absolutely right. This blog isn’t meant to be taken literally word for word; you need to find your own routine that works for you and fits within the sphere of knowledge you have gained. But whatever you do, don’t have rest days.

CLLIP

June 26, 2009

Constant Low Load Interval Plyometrics (CLLIP)

I know many of you are always on the lookout for a new way of training, well CLLIP will definitely form a new a string to your bow.

The principle behind this exercise is simple: take a light weight (low load), and throw it plyometrically from one hand to the other, CONSTANTLY. Repeat this with varying speeds for between 1 and 10 minutes.

As an example, I throw a 1kg dumbbell from hand to hand whilst seated for up to 10 minutes.

Why do this? It hones in and specifically targets the arm muscle. The plyometric aspect enhances proprioceptive awareness because your neural network is constantly working to calculate the minute differences in angle and trajectory, and over time you will develop a much more acute spatial awareness which aids sports, martial arts and accuracy of technique when using free weights. Doing this constantly for several minutes is excellent at building up arm endurance in the fast twitch fibres.

The only downside to this technique is that it can be mentally boring as performing the same action again and again does not stimulate the brain organ much. To combat this, I find that facing a mirror helps; sit very close and focus hard on your form.

Next time you see a guy facing the mirror lobbing a puny weight neurotically from hand to hand, remember that he’s not a ‘n00b’ but probably an elite athlete so give him a knowing wink.

You want this?

June 24, 2009

You can do absolutely anything if you are pushed hard enough. In the summer of 2000, I was training in the woods near my home with a friend, and we used to really take our workouts to the limits. We did a lot of iron palm training on phone directories, and then moved on to beating each other like a drum with sticks. On one such occasion, I got so enraged that I screamed “You want this?!” and my forearm instantly increased in density.

It was then that I discovered the power of having someone to push you. And by push you I mean really frak you up.

All you need to implement this technique is 1 or more training partners as it has been proven that no matter how dedicated you are, you will never be able to exert as much effort as if you have to fulfil the expectations of somebody else. This technique will really work for you.

In order to make this technique work, you have to define three things:

A motivation – if you don’t know why you are training you will never reach your goal

A consistent work out time – without consistency you have no platform to progress

A diary of some form – paper, blog, photo, video – some way to track progress. It’s vital to acknowledge where you came from and that you have made great gains, and also that you can still progress much further.

Pick your exercise, it’s not important. You need your training partner to be 100% focussed, that means no chit chat. Get them to check your diary and objectively asses your performance. Are you doing as well as you should/could be? If not they need to lay it down straight. And by that I mean go nuts on you. The harsher they treat you, the more you’ll progress. Ideally they should racially insult you and physically beat you, although mild psychological admonishing can work well. Think about what they want, really hard. Eventually you will reach the point where you can scream “You want this?!” whilst performing an extreme act of dedication, like forcing yourself into the splits, or doing clap pullups.

I’m not saying this technique will work for you, but if you’re open to trying it, it can push you over that plateau.

Just train harder

June 23, 2009

Just train harder

Ever felt like you can’t get out that extra rep? Just push harder. This principle stems from 16th Century German barrel crushers, who trained for a staggering 18 hours per day.

Neurological signals can take several seconds before they are received by muscle fibres, so you need to think ‘harder’ for at least 7 seconds before you give up.

This principle applies across the board, and if you think you are already applying it, you are wrong:

  • Sprinting – When you feel like you can’t sprint any longer, just sprint HARDER
  • Nutrition – if you haven’t met your weight gain goal, don’t eat more, eat HARDER
  • Recovery – if you have delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) , or still feel fatigued several days after a workout, relax HARDER

Step by step guide on how to achieve things harder

  1. Define your goal ; lift more reps, more weight, de stress etc
  2. Break down the goal into single steps
  3. Think about each individual step and concentrate on it extremely hard. Fill your whole body with the thought and force of the step for at least 7 seconds.

In summary, don’t do more, do HARDER.