Thursday, 12 April 2012

My Fair Lat

Those of you who know me, know that I have a fair 'thing' for the back.  I am not the average abs and pecs kind of girl, a man with a perfect v-taper is a man with a mission.

Another thing that is common knowledge is my slight obsession with the pull up, so a man with a master pull up is a man with a master v-taper.  Yum.

Not only is the pull up hardcore to perform but smashing out rep after rep is an honest feat of strength.  The pull up primarily targets the 'latissimus dorsi' which without a doubt is a power muscle of note.  This muscle hand in hand with the pull up is an obvious favourite of mine and gets little attention when much attention is due.

I am not going to go into full anatomical detail and explain its origin at the spinous processes of thoracic T7-L5 and send the meathead into overdrive, but what I am going to do is bring to light the awesomeness of this humble bundle of fibrous tissue and give it the credit that it is due.

The weekend warrior is so obsessed with their show muscles that they forget what gives the 'show' a 'go'.

Strong lats keep your hips, back and shoulders healthy, they effect the way you breath, the way you perform, adds to your endurance, to your speed, it has so many functions, you only need to learn how to use them.

The obvious exercise for strengthening your lats are your chins and your pull ups and what most people don't realize is that the lats are the powerful stabilizers of your spine and are hugely responsible for the ability to lift big.  The squat and the deadlift demand from this area like a nympho at an orgy.

The lats play a huge role in your important lifts, the benchpress, squats, deadlifts etc.  We are so busy staring at our reflections while we curl those dumbells for the umpteenth time, working on our massive biceps and smashing crunch after crunch after crunch aimlessly trying to develop a six pack and are forgetting about those muscles that make real men and real women.

Strong lats play an important role in your body, they dont just work for pull ups , they dont just hang around back there, they are one of the most influential muscles in your body and strengthening this muscle and learning how to activate it will enhance your every move, in lifting and in life.

Not only does a mean lat look gorgeous, not only does a lat of steel allow you to lift heavier than your opponent but its the muscle that surgeons turn to for cardiac support.  For the failing heart the lats are wrapped around the heart and by electostimulation this procedure improves the cardiac output.  That's a pretty hardcore job for a humble muscle.

I think its time we raise our protein shakes, and acknowledge the greatness of the fair lat.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The gospels according to T

A guest post by Terence Mitchell

I have done some stupid things in my life and for that I have paid the price many times over.  What most people don't know,  is that I have had a life times fight against anger, anxiety, degrees of depression and self harm.  Like I said I have done some stupid shit and I have plenty physical and emotional scars to show for it.  However, even during those times, I have somehow managed to get stuff done knowing that if I had to wait for the day when I was feeling great to start taking action, I would be waiting for the rest of my life.  That and the fact that I have always hated feelings of self pity.

It is time for me to be honest, to share with you the only thing that counts.  The truth.  At least, as how I see it.

1.  I hate excuses.  Those who know me, know this.  I have lost hundreds of times in my life, but never once to a pussy excuse.

2.  The thing that irritates me the most, is people assuming that there is some magic step that will bypass the dog work.  They forget I started in a garage, with a few bells  training a couple mates for peanuts.  I got on with my own shit.  I kept my head down and I plugged away.  I did not need to re-invent the wheel nor did I feel the need to 'get my name out there' I just looked at what the best in the world were doing and I followed suit. I am never going to be Louie Simmions or Dave Tate and I don't need to be, before trying to be THE BEST, try to be good.

3.  Which brings me to my next point.  I HATE social media.  Not all of it, but 90% of it.  I use facebook and twitter to follow a few people and converse with a couple guys whom I actually give a damn about.  However in the process I get sick to death of reading about the daily 'awesome' 'incredible' training sessions.  What ever happened to good sessions? Solid sessions? Decent sessions or even average sessions?  I am no pussy in the gym but in reality I probably have one or two 'great' sessions a year.  The rest are just me keeping my head down and slowly grinding away for the long haul.  Yes, I know guys and girls get excited about things but I personally like to save the big words for big occasions.  God is AWESOME, a birth of a child is AMAZING, your 160kg deadlift and 100 frog jumps are not.  On that note, the day my mother joins facebook, I'm out.

4.  People wanting shit for free because they are X, Y or Z is shameful behavior to say the least, yet the sign of the times it seems.  If I had to write out my experiences here it would take all afternoon and you would be shocked.  Here is something to think about, a stranger walking into my gym demanding a discount is no different from a stranger walking into my kitchen in the evening and asking what is for dinner.

5.  'Men' worrying about their diets and counting calories like a bunch of prom queens.  The only thing men should be counting are reps in the gym and money in the bank.  I am just so sick of physically weak men arguing over diet fads and six pack abs.  Ever notice how it is only the fat chicks who talk about diets?  The hot ones are too busy getting action elsewhere.

6.  Money, everyone wants it, less know how to handle it and even less want to work for it.

7. Ladies, the outfits are getting tighter but the asses and hips are getting bigger? Sadly, we cannot blame the rap music this time.

8. There are many ways to push a prowler and many surfaces to push it on.  Things will never be equal here so lets move on.

9.  Squats and deadlifts don't make me a man.  My cock and balls do.  Well at least in theory.

10.  If you want to improve your life, take 100% responsibility for your successes and downfalls.

11.  Instead of doing 'cardio' on the treadmill like a soccer mom, adopt a dog.  Take said dog to a big
park and sprint with him, until the dog, or you, or both collapses in a heap of exhaustion.  This will
result in one very happy hound and one pretty conditioned person, you.

12.  Your parents will let you down.  They are not perfect.  They are still people.  They are still your parents.  Listen to what they have to say.

13.  Unless your name is Andrew Durniat, Adam Glass or you are that crazy guy from Finland, the odds are you have a weak grip.  Train it.  The correct way for 3-4 years, and then get back to me.  I don't want to hear the line "my grip is my weakness bru" when in truth, YOU are a weakness to your grip.

14.  Man VS Woman.  Do not mess with a girl at her own game.  She will win and you will lose.

15.  Please try work my hours, train like I train, while following your ZERO carb diet.  Lets see what happens.

16.  Anabolic steroids.  Using them to extend your pro rugby/football career by 5 years and therefor increasing your earnings to another 5 million is one thing.  Using them to make your high school first team is lame, weak and pathetic.

17.  I've missed a raw 275kg deadlift at the same place several times.  Deadlifting like pimping aint easy.  It will happen, one day, when I'm stronger.  It really is that simple.

19.  I cannot remember the last time I watched TV during the week.

20.  I have sat through 'Sex and the City' not once, not twice, but 3 times.  That right there is sacrifice.

21.  Conditioning:  Simple rule here really.  Hill sprints, prowler and walking with heavy stuff in your hands.

22.  You should always be at 95% on any given day.  The fact that many wannabes need 12 weeks to get into some kind of shape shows their true weaknesses and laziness.

23.  Raw cocoa is the most nutrient dense super food you are not including in your diet right now.  I am not going to go into detail here.  That is what google is for.

24.  The most lame, most weak, most pathetic excuse is "I am too busy to eat enough/healthily"

25.  Every time I think of 'King Julian' from the movie Madagascar.  I laugh.  Every time.

26.  If you want to learn what Crossfit is about, find a legitimate Crossfit coach/trainer who has had years, yes years of experience and listen to what he has to say.  The best Crossfit coaches are the ones who were lifting and coaching years BEFORE Crossfit came into play.

27.  I write down my workouts and ideas on paper.  Yes, paper, as shocking as it may sound.  Remember folks, before the days of training blogs, there were training log books.  Words on paper still mean things.

28.  This past weekend I was asked if my gym was a 'functional gym', I said no.  Its only a gym.

29.  When people burst through the doors of my gym uninvited declaring who they are like medieval knights did back in the middle ages, yes I will get pissed off.  No matter how awesome you may think you are, you are no more important to me than the client I am currently training.  Make an appointment, then knock at my door.  That simple.

30.  I met a man who without a hint of shame in his eye, told me that he eats McDonald's daily.

31.  Write down your thoughts, express your feelings to those you love, be kind to animals, train your body, don't let people walk on you because they will try.  Sprint.  Take hot baths in Epsom salts.  Look after your hands.  Look after your eyes.  Look after your teeth and skin.  Stand up for wo-mens in groups (to be read in a Borat accent) and take life seriously but not yourself too seriously.