Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Eagle

A few years ago, I discovered the simple combo called "The Eagle." Our school mascot was the Soaring Eagle, so the name was a natural. It combined the simplest of the Loaded Carries, the patterning movement "Farmer Walks," with the basic grinding Squat, the Double Kettlebell Front Squat. I am going to say "simply" here, but the workload is incredible. Simply, we had the athlete do eight Double Kettlebell Front Squats, then drop the kettlebells to his sides and Farmer Walk for twenty meters, then another eight squats and repeat until you complete eight circuits. That goal is often not met. (From Dan John's The Four Steps blog post)

"The Eagle" is an awesome combo. Really. Try it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011



Kouji Murofushi - World Champ At 36

Kouji Murofushi, 2004 Olympic champion in the hammer throw, just won the event at the World Track and Field Championships for the first time  in South Korea this weekend. I've always been a huge fan and it's great to see him continue to be awesome even as he approaches 40.

Strength, Footwork Propel Murofushi To Hammer Gold

Related Squat Rx Post:
Kouji Murofushi Competes In "Muscle Ranking"

Monday, August 29, 2011

You Can't Build A Reserve If You Constantly Empty The Tank

Yes, it's true that you have to spend money to make money, but you'll never save up a million dollars if you are constantly running into the red.

It's also true that, in training, if you are constantly "emptying the tank" you will run out of gas and likely break yourself.

I know many who think that if you aren't nervous going to the gym, then you aren't training hard enough. Every session must be a battle. The brutal truth is that those people have more testosterone than brains and only some combination of youth, drugs, talent, inexperience, and dumb luck have kept them in the game this long. They are often the same people that believe that there is no such thing as overtraining, only under-recovery (and/or under-eating).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Words Of Wisdom (Satchel Paige)

Never let your head hang down.
Never give up and sit down and grieve.
Find another way.
And don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.

- Leroy "Satchel" Paige (Neverisms)

Monday, August 22, 2011



Friday, August 19, 2011


(Picture from Mike Fitch's article Resurrecting The Squat)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011



Monday, August 15, 2011



Friday, August 12, 2011

Caffeine Fasts

CAFFEINE IS STRESS IN A CUP. IT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU. Sure, I like it, and I can get a lot of desk work done when I'm "using", but no amount of research will convince me that daily intake of 500mg or more long term is not harmful to your physical and emotional health. As I've written before, I believe that the American's average intake has (at least) doubled or tripled over the past 20 years. We will eventually link caffeine abuse to many chronic illnesses but, then again, finding such a link would not be profitable so perhaps not...

Americans love choice, but few exercise that power when it comes to diet. Americans love familiarity. Americans very quickly fall into dietary ruts. When it comes to caffeine, "use" can very easily become "ab-use" for me (and many of you too). What starts out as one coffee or soda a day, quickly turns into a half dozen. I like coffee, tea, and sodas too much to give them up completely, so I've taken to implementing periodic "caffeine fasts" of two to four weeks duration. Although it is not much fun for the first week, I find that after that initial week, I sleep MUCH better and am generally a nicer and more mellow person to be around. And, in the weeks following my fasts, I need caffeine less and get a better "response" from caffeine if I do decide to have some before work or training.

If you are a "heavy consumer" and decide to try a fast, I would recommend weaning yourself off incrementally rather than going cold turkey. Substituting decaffeinated coffee, teas, and sodas is a good start. During fasts, I drink a lot of sparkling seltzer water to satisfy my cravings for carbonated beverages. When you crave something sweet, flavored teas or decaffeinated coffee with a little sugar will hit the spot.

Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water (Lemon Lime)

Related Article:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

All She Can

This movie looks promising! Apparently it is in theaters now and will be released on DVD in late September, 2011.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011


CRAP! ;)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

About The Skwat! T-Shirts...

I've been getting quite a few emails from people interested in buying the Skwat! t-shirts. I'm very flattered but, honestly, I don't know if I'll be "selling" them again - they don't make money and I don't like the feeling of thinking I'm somehow "entitled" to make money from them anyway. I made the shirt because I loved squatting and I wanted to share them with friends - once I started selling them, it became "about the money".

Since I've started fund-raising for the Red Cross and Japanese disaster relief, I've been eating the cost of making the shirts and donating proceeds and I'm much happier. I don't know if that makes any sense, but that's where things are right now.

Our raffle raised over $300 for disaster relief in Japan and here at the site and through a drive at school, we've raised well over $2000 total. All proceeds were donated to Red Cross America and Red Cross Japan. I would like to do another raffle sometime in the near future.




Photo by Paul Chinn (online article: Firefighter Stair Climb Helps Burn Victims)

Monday, August 8, 2011



Sunday, August 7, 2011


There are two national high school championships a year in Japan; one in March, the other in August - both are televised nation-wide. Many high school stars become household names and are drafted to the pros soon thereafter. The high school championships are often called simply called "koushien" (the name of the stadium where the championships are held). The field is considered sacred ground and high school players will often fill small bags with dirt from the infield to take home with them after their games have ended. In the U.S., every young ball player dreams of winning the World Series. In Japan, every young ball player dreams of going to the koushien.

If you could imagine your state sending one team and everyone in the state pumped up to see your champion represent your state with respect, and an energy and love for the game that only the young can bring to the field - if you can imagine this, then maybe you can appreciate the passion and pride with which Japanese people relish the games.

This year is an especially emotional koushien, especially for areas hit by the earthquakes and tsunami. It's hard not to be moved to tears watching a high school team play their hearts out, knowing that many of them lost their homes and loved ones less than 6 months ago.

Iwate prefecture's Hanamaki  Higashi lost on the 66th anniversary of the bombing at Hiroshima. 
The team's catcher lost his home and grandparents in the tsunami on March 11th.

The following video is in Japanese. It is a short documentary of the Touhoku High School's run at the spring championships.



Saturday, August 6, 2011



Friday, August 5, 2011



Thursday, August 4, 2011



Monday, August 1, 2011

Some Posts People Seemed To Have Missed...

The Genius In All Of Us (book) - I quote a passage concerning the Kenyan running machine. The book is short and an easy read. If you like books in the "mastery" genre, you will love this one. Lyle McDonald began a series about Why The US Sucks At Olympic Weightlifting (Part I) - I love Lyle and you can never be sure what he's going to say next, but I'm guessing he'll draw the same conclusions that this book does.

Can You Lift A 150kg Ricecake? - There's something very appealing about feats of strength performed by people who don't specialize in them.

Walk It Out! - Does your cool-down consist of crumpling up on the floor in a moaning, sweaty mess? You should rethink that - you really should...

Adaptation Paranoia - I posted this a couple of years ago when I noticed that the old Weider principle of "muscle confusion" seemed to be making a comeback. Adaptation is a GOOD thing. Really!