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Category: Learning (page 3 of 3)

Group Training Blasphemy: Having Fun While Working Out?

Have you ever felt unmotivated to exercise? If so, I have the perfect solution for you.
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Fickle Friday

Here are a few random bits to send you into the weekend!

Millipedes the Size of Alligators

I learned while watching Cosmos this week that ~350 million years ago, during the Carboniferous period, insects were much larger than they are presently. Can you imagine how frightening a dragonfly the size of an eagle would be? Or an alligator-sized millipede? Sheesh!

Instead of lungs, insects take their air in all around their bodies. With the current levels of oxygen in the air, larger insects wouldn’t be able to feed the gas to their vital organs. Back in the Carboniferous period, the oxygen in the atmosphere was the highest it’s ever been because trees filled the earth, but didn’t have a way to decompose. When they decompose, carbon dioxide is released, but without this process, there was nothing to balance the books. This process can’t be reversed until something evolves the capability of breaking down tough tree structures, which didn’t happen until much later.

Maybe I’m crazy, but does this remind anyone else of food products that claim they are “All Natural!”? I used to look for anything that was “natural” because the I like the science-y approach of the whole paleo idea: if we’ve spent most of our life as a species living off of the land, natural products only make sense.

But it’s cloudier than that.

“Natural” can mean so many things depending on how it is interpreted. It could mean it comes from nature or that a specific additive is found in nature. That additive, however, doesn’t have to be found in nature in the same quantity!

Take, for example, the decaffeination process. There are many ways to go about it, but one way spouted as the “natural decaffeination process” uses ethyl acetate as a solvent. This compound is found naturally in fruits and then used in a very unnatural way to decaffeinate your favorite coffee.

There’s a definite gray area here. Suffice to say that “all natural” isn’t always better.

 

Watch This Tiny Hamster Eat Tiny Burritos

 

You got a laugh and a learn today. Aren’t you glad you stopped by? Now go teach someone else about insects!

Teaching Mistake: Keep your Biases to Yourself

I’ve recently made a resolution.

Be okay with failing

In keeping with this resolution, I want to share with you a recent failure of mine. Because it’s okay to fail. Because I’ve learned from it.
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So You Want to Start Lifting Weights

 

Recently I had a female friend tell me she wanted to get into fitness more, but has never touched weights. With all of the worthwhile and all of the less-than-worthwhile stuff out there, I thought a little guidance was in order.

The most ideal situation is to find a knowledgeable trainer to coach you through things. If this isn’t an option, keep reading.

The Basic Bunch

If you’re just looking for something cheap to flip through, you can pick up plenty of books like Starting Strength, which will give you an overview of the basic lifts, or the NSCA’s Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, which is kind of all over the place. Both are quite well-respected in the community.

The problem with these are that they aren’t the high quality stuff I would recommend if you want the best results.

Then there are books like Science and Practice and Supertraining that will give you a little bit more of the “behind the scenes” of training. These are a good bridge if you want to start training others, but it doesn’t give you a lot to act on, which is very important for newbies.

Plus, Supertraining feels like the longest book ever written with it’s 6pt font and 11×17 inch pages. Though it would show your dedication, you would waste a lot of time at this point.

The Bread and Butter

The best way to get what you want fast is through Bulletproof Athlete.

You need to get hands on, and BPA lets you do that. It’s a program written out that you can perform and tweak to where you want to go.

You want to lose weight? Get on the Fat Burner program.

You want to get after it? Get on the Monster program.

Somewhere in between? Get on the Weekend Warrior program.

To make sure you’re not lost, Mike takes you through his rationale for everything he programs (this is the first sign in identifying whether your trainer is worth his weight in salt).

There is a warm up included, strength/speed/endurance exercises, conditioning, and even coaching. There are dozens of different exercises you’ll be doing, and there’s a video for each one.

Not only does each week have the program listed out for you, but there are also strategies for improving your nutrition and recovery.

  • Nutrition is your fuel. Any exercise you do is only as good as what powers it.
  • Recovery allows you to realize your goals. If you simply beat yourself in the ground, your fatigue will forever mask your fitness levels.

This thing is riddled with actionable items – and you know how much I like actionable items. You’ll also get 9 bonus products (ridiculous, I know).

Plus, the thing is beautiful. And you get it right away since it’s an electronic product, so there’s no wait to get started lifting weights.

I recommend BPA over all of the other options because I trust the author, my friend and mentor, and because you’ll see the best long-term results. If you’d like to see some sample videos and hear from Mike about exactly why he made Bulletproof Athlete, it’s on bulletproofathlete.com.

Happy training!

-Lance

A Note to Young Lance

I used to be a genius. I knew everything because I read T-Nation. That’s all it took; I didn’t need school. The ONLY reason I was in college was to get a degree. I already knew everything I needed to know, and anything else I could learn extracurricularly.

Then I grew up.

The invincible feeling that youth brings is nice at the time, but looking back it’s borderline embarrassing. Young kids are some of the worst humans to deal with. At least I can take solace in the fact that everyone’s been young before.

I always thought I was better than the rest. I’ve learned a lot since then, and ironically now see myself as much less intelligent. But I’ve learned that it is never a conversation of better – only different.

Some use their hours to learn therapy. Some learn how to train Olympic athletes. Some fine-tune their research skills. Some can recite whole movies word for word. Some are great at make people feel good just through conversation.

Some spend their time building a strong network.

Time offers experience, but everyone values different things. I like to study things, but if a client wants someone to pump in energy and motivation into their fitness lives, my experience means nothing to them. They won’t think I’m better than anyone because I don’t care about pumping in fake energy at all.

Young Lance didn’t value school, but I had a drastic change in tone towards the end of my degree program. It’s silly really: how could I possibly know that chemistry is worthless… without knowing chemistry? These days it’s easier for me to just assume everything is important and learn it all.

Instead of waiting for an experience to be over, search to uncover its value.

 

Have you been there? Tell me about a time you’ve been short-sighted or a subject that you think everyone should learn about in the comments below!

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