Some Stuff I Was Thinking About

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How Do You Find a Quality Gym?

Last week the best female fighter in the world Rhonda Rousey was interviewed on the Howard Stern Show. At one point Howard mentioned that it can be hard to find a good place to train martial arts because it isn’t regulated.  “It’s like The Wild West.  There’s a lot of shitty teachers out there.” he said.  Rhonda agreed and pointed out that people have to do their research and shop around.  Well, you know what?  The fitness industry is exactly the same.  How do you know who is legit and who isn’t?  Is it really just the certifications or degrees, which are comparable to black belts, that make a good coach?  It’s unfortunate, but also reality.  If you’re looking for somewhere to train do the best research that you can.  Talk to the coaches and try to talk to some other people about their experiences.  If you yourself are a coach all I can recommend is that if you do actually care about your people, which I know not all coaches do, continue to push forward and learn constantly about both coaching and business.

Power for Golf:

A few weeks ago I was at the airport killing some time and I saw an issue of Golf Digest that was called the “Fitness and Power Issue” so I immediately bought it.  As I suspected there was, in my opinion, still some poor training methods offered by some of the pro golfers.  However, since in the past golfers have notoriously been reluctant to lift weights out fear that their game would fall apart, something most seem to have no problem with doing on their own, I figure that this is still a step in the right direction.  All joking aside, there was a solid article offered by long drive champ Jeff Flagg.  Some of his suggestions for hitting the ball farther:

– Move in all directions when training. Push, pull, lateral, change direction.

– Run sprints and throw medicine balls.

– Get your backside (glutes and lats) stronger.  Something we all need anyway.

– Beware of “golf-specifc” exercises.  Just train smart with the basics like suggested above.

Fat Loss Monday

My Diet:

Recently I had my body fat tested hydrostatically.  Understandably getting body fat tested isn’t important for everyone.  I knew roughly what I was and I’m relatively happy with what I see in the mirror.  However, I wasn’t exactly excited about the result.  This was the proverbial kick in the ass that I needed.  It just so happens I’d already been reading “Fat Loss Happens on Monday” by Josh Hillis and Dan John.  I’ve always loved Dan John’s writing and now Josh’s simple approach to eating.  As a result of all of this, here’s what I’ve been working on to make myself better.

– Better meal prep on Sunday.  I’ve been doing this for years but now I’m slightly more focused.  I’ve acquired two more frying pans and I just go for it cooking as much as I need for the week all at once, cutting back on the time it takes to make everything.  As the book states, when the food is already there it takes the decision making process out of the equation later in the week resulting in better eating.

– Eating higher quality food.  Years ago I was very disciplined.  I could not be swayed.  But times have changed and I’ve made too many excuses for far too long like, “I can have a little of this and some of that because training all the time, throwing Highland Games, etc.”  Well, time to stop making excuses.  I have no qualms with my current weight, only my body fat %.  Hillis suggests in the book that body fat % represents the quality of food that you eat and body weight the amount of food you eat.  I found this little nugget helpful and am applying it daily.

Ronda Rousey prepares for a UFC 170 mixed martial arts women's bantamweight title fight against Sara McMann on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Rhonda Rousey Doesn’t Lift:

In the same Rhonda Rousey interview mentioned above she announced that she doesn’t lift weights at all.  She said she’s trained her whole life, is balanced from all of that training and doesn’t need to stack on muscle.  Upon hearing this my first thought was to scream “Blasphemer!!’ from the roof tops for all to hear.  But on second thought, she’s right.  She doesn’t need to lift weights at all.  She’s already the champ and the baddest woman on the planet.  She’s so far ahead of the field, she could very well lap them with an undefeated record before retiring, who knows.  However Rhonda, because I’m sure you are reading, consider this.  Women’s MMA is still very new, much like it was for the men in the early 90’s.  The parity just isn’t there, yet.  But just like in the men’s game, things change and fighters get better.  Georges St. Pierre was already once the UFC Welterweight champ before he hired a strength coach.  Georges didn’t need to lift weights either.  His own strength coach said, “If Georges didn’t have me, he’d still be successful”.  And what’s more successful than being the champ?  However that same strength coach Jon Chaimberg also stated “Georges was the world champ, but physically weak by my standards”.  He was capable of just 8 chin ups when starting his strength training but later capable of 8 chin ups with 80 lbs strapped to his waist.  He began bench pressing 55 lb dumbbells but improved to pressing 120 lb db’s.  And perhaps most importantly, all of this was accomplished without adding so much muscle that he had to change to a different weight class.  So, although Rhonda may never meet her equal in skill before retiring, if that day were to come, it pays to be the physically stronger fighter.  Because of Rhonda’s greatness there will be a large influx of females getting involved in MMA, but make no mistake that these ladies will be getting strong in the gym.

– Mike Baltren