Reads for the Week

Good Fitness Stuff to Read for the Week 4/9/12

Who Does MR Train? - Mike Robertson

If you train a celebrity or professional athlete, does this automatically bump you onto the list of best coaches/trainers in the industry? Are the strength coaches who work primarily with high school athletes worse athletic performance enhancement than those who work with the pros? Here Mike Robertson does an excellent job elucidating this issue, and bringing the topic to the forefront.

A Letter to My Younger Self - Jim Wendler

Here Jim Wendler (auther of the 5/3/1 method, a fantastic program I completed for six months myself, and the one that Sarah is currently doing) puts together a fantastic piece that I wish every high schooler would read. Even if you're not currently in high school, do yourself a favor and click the link above. Outside of the last sentence in the article, I found myself nodding in agreement to nearly everything Jim writes in his letter to his former self.

4 Tips for Learning New Exercises - Ben Bruno

Given that I've been deadlifting every day to improve my technique and performance in the lift, this post really hit home with me. Here Ben shares some excellent points on how to learn a new exercise, ranging from how often to do it, when to do it, and what intensity to do it at.

Stuff to Read 3/29/12

21 Exercises For Injury Free Mass - by Bret Contreras

Here Bret makes a solid case for the fact that not all lifters are created equal, and that their exercise selection should reflect this. Yes, squatting is good for many of us, but what if you're beat up? What could you use in place of it to receive a similar strength, size, and hormonal response?

Don't get me wrong, I'm near dogmatic about the fact that a host of human issues - world hunger being one of them - could be solved with a healthy dose of squatting and deadlifting, but this article really resonated with me as sometimes we tend to "shove square pegs into round holes" in our training, instead of swallowing our pride and training SMART when the time/circumstance calls for it.

It's All About the HIPS: Kettlebell Swings! - by Kelsey Reed

Here Kelsey gives an awesome write-up on one of the most excellent booty-scultpin' exercises out there. She covers everything from learning the swing to how to implement it into your training.

Definitely a must read, as I can't tell you how many people have told me they've hurt their backs as a result of poor kettlebell swinging. Get those HIPS involved yo!!

A Strength and Conditioning Coach’s Take on Social Media - by Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood delivers a guest post on agilitysocialcues.com regarding the importance of social media for strength coaches and personal trainers. As Alwyn Cosgrove once told me at one of his small business coaching seminars that I attended, "You coaches and trainers may be great at training people, but suckwhen it comes to the marketing and business side of the equation."

Not to mention, for you strength coaches and trainers in the crowd looking for some advice on how to use social media, to your advantage and to its fullest potential, I HIGHLY recommend you keep up with what Lisa is doing with her new business over at Agility Social Cues. She REALLY knows her stuff when it comes to marketing, and is tossing out tons of free knowledge bombs over at her website on a weekly basis.

Not to mention, she walks the walk of picking up heavy things. Need I say more? Do yourself a favor and head over there.

.....That's it. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Good Fitness (and Life) Reads for the Week: Do You Hate Mondays? How Can a Woman Do Her First Chinup? Why So Many Youth Pitching Injuries?

Hope everyone is having a great Friday. Let's get right to the list:

Do You Love Mondays? - Martin Rooney

"Do you count the minutes until work is finished on Friday? Do you wish Sunday had 30 hours instead of 24? Is Monday the most difficult day to hear the alarm clock? If you had all the money in the world, what would you do for a living?

Rooney Rule: Successful people love Mondays.

Being successful isn’t about being rich, it is first about untying your “knot” and being happy. Most people measure success in wealth. I believe that you cannot put a price on doing what you love." - Martin Rooney

This post really resonated with me, as I left two career paths deemed "foolproof" by society (first engineering, and second, physical therapy) to pursue doing what I ultimately loved: teaching others how to become stronger, faster, and look and feel better via a career as a strength and conditioning coach.

It wasn't easy, and I faced a lot of questioning by well-intentioned peers and parents, but it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Did it take some treading in deep waters? Yep. Were there some moments where I wondered, "Is this really going to work out?" Sure. Did I have to (and still do) put in some very long days? Yep. Did it require me to "jump," hoping the net would appear? You bet. Was it worth it? Every moment.

This post hit it spot on: You can't put a price on doing what you love.

Well said here Martin.

Chin-Up Progressions for Women (The One Rep Hump) - Part I, Part II, and Part III - Tony Gentilcore

"If you have the ability to grow a human being inside your body and push it out, you undoubtedly have the ability to bang out a chin-up.  And might I add:  in MUCH less time than nine months." -TG

Here Tony put together a fantastic three-part series on helping females get over that "one-rep hurdle" in the realm of chinups. It wasn't so much the progressions that were the "ah-hah" moment for me (although they're certainly great progressions), but how much he emphasized the attitude most females take toward doing their first pullup/chinup.

If you don't think you can do something, how do you expect to ever actually do it?!?!

I highly recommend you check this out whether you are a trainer, a female trying to do her first chinup, or a male seeking to help his significant other conquer the bodyweight chin (or, heck, even for the males in the crowd who struggle with that one-rep hurdle).

The Real Reason Why There are so Many Youth Pitching Injuries - Mike Reinold

Considering that baseball players make up the majority of our clientele, I felt Mike really hit a home run with this one.

That was a pun, by the way. See what I did there?

Anyway, if you are a youth baseball coach - or father, for that matter - READ THIS.

It becomes very exhausting, as a strength coach, when kids continue to show up at your door with arm/shoulder injuries as a result of their coaches failing to do something as simple as educating themselves.