Friday Musings: TRX Pullup Progressions, Ninja Blenders, a Letter To Men on How To Treat Their Wives, etc.

1. The TRX Pullup Progression is quickly becoming my favorite way of helping women: A) Achieve their first-ever bodyweight pullup B) Groove good pullup technique, as this is difficult to do while hanging from a pullup bar C) Be more awesome in general, and wreak pWnage upon the arrogant-yet-ironically-weak male gym population D) Develop the musculature of the back and arms in the context of a pullup, and receive a decent core stability challenge to boot.

Here is my beautiful wife, Kelsey, demonstrating the movement:

A few things to think about:

i) Careful of slipping into crazy anterior pelvic tilt (butt "sticking out") toward the top. This is actually the most common mistake I see with these, as this exercise creates a surprisingly difficult challenge for the anterior core (depending on how vertical your torso angle is), and those with low back issues will quickly experience pain if they don't brace properly. Tilt your tailbone down toward your ankles, keep the glutes squeezed tight, and brace your abs.

ii) Drive your feet "into the ground" to help propel yourself upward. Do this more than you think you need to in the beginning to help you groove good technique, and as you become stronger, lessen the amount of assistance you draw from your legs.

iii) Be sure to think "shoulders away from your ears" as you pull up to the top, so that you're not shrugging, enforcing aberrant movement patterns, and defeating the entire purpose of the exercise.

iv) Hold at the top for a bit, squeezing your shoulders "back and down" as much as possible.

v) If you tend to really struggle in the pullup department, begin slowly, starting with just 1-3 sets of 4-5 reps. As you get stronger and become more acclimated to the movement, feel free to do as many as 8 sets of 5-8 reps, spread throughout your workout. I've had numerous women do this, with great results to show for it.

Giving credit where credit is due: I did not invent this exercise. I first saw them on Tony Gentilcore's website, in which he gave credit to strength coach Elsbeth Vaino for being the first to share them HERE.

2. Just putting it out there: I love smoothies. I consume anywhere from three to four every day. One of our 11-year-old "Ankle Biter" athletes actually just told me the other day that he has a sneaking suspicion my blood is made out of smoothie from drinking so many of them.

Well, anyway, the other week, my beloved Magic Bullet met his maker. I don't know whether it was poor manufacturing, or the fact that I tested the limits of its lifespan, but nonetheless I had to regrettably say my goodbyes.

With no blender at hand, it didn't take me long before I spiraled into a perpetual state of sweaty palms, memory loss, and hyperventilation into paper bags every five minutes as I was beside myself with what to do for "in between meals."

Well, needless to say, I couldn't let this nonsense continue for any extended period of time, so I ordered (expedited shipping, of course) the Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender.

Let me tell you, this thing ROCKS. For a few reasons:

1) It's called the Ninja. Need there be any other reason for you to purchase it?

2) It doubles as a blender AND food processor/vegetable chopper. Time saved in the kitchen = 30 minutes a day.

3) The motor is pretty freaking strong. I think they used the same one that powers F-22 fighter jets.

4) While I can't prove it yet, I'm pretty sure that Chuck Norris, Gandalf, and Luke Skywalker all use/used this blender for their travels across the world/Middle Earth/galaxies. Now, I know you're sitting there shaking your head, thinking something along the lines of "Now Stevo, all of those figureheads don't need a blender to chop their vegetables and blend their smoothies. Chuck Norris can use his ninja-like hands and the other two guys....well, it's obvious why they wouldn't need a blender."

Don't be silly. Of course they used this blender. Even if they could dice their veggies and fruits using magical powers, why avoid using the Ninja blender if you have the opportunity?

Besides, when you're finished unpacking the blender, your fat cat can make her home inside:


(She totally needs to go Paleo. That, or Intermittent Fasting.)

I think I got a little off track, but the point is, I highly recommend this blender to everyone.

3. Four quotes I recently read from John Romaniello that I wanted to share here:

1. "Read as many books as you can. Reading often makes you more interesting, more intelligent, and though I can’t prove this, I suspect a more useful human being. It also makes you a better writer."

2. "Tipgenerously outrageously. Not because you have a lot of money, or because of the 1% chance a waitress might give you her number; but because at some point this week, some jerk stiffed her, and it ruined her week. You just fixed it. Karma will be kind."

3. "When explain your dietary habits, keep it simple. If you find yourself at a party and you’re 15 minutes into describing the difference between Paleo and Slow Carb, take a breath and stop talking. No one really cares about your endeavor to reset your insulin sensitivity."

4. "Floss your teeth for better fitness. I feel that you need to have the basics down before you start in adding things intended for ‘advanced’ reasons. I have friends who don’t floss but go out of their way to use whitening strips or see a dentist for teeth bleaching. This is stupid, to me—if you just took care of your teeth on a daily basis, you’d have to worry a bit less.In the fitness context, people ignore basic nutritional needs, but try crash diets or supplements; they can’t take the time to foam roll, but want the hottest training strategy.If you can’t make a habit of flossing your teeth, you shouldn’t bother with supplements—likely, you don’t have the basics figured out."

Good stuff, John.

4. Wow, I can't express how many men members of the male species need to read this. It's a letter that Ronald Reagan gave his 26-year-old son, Michael, right before his wedding day. He essentially lays it down for him, puts his Yoda hat on, and tells his son how a man should treat a woman.

I definitely found myself slow clapping for Reagan as I read this:

Love, Dad - By Ronald Reagan

(^^^ Read Me ^^^)

5. That's it. Hope everyone has an awesome weekend