9 Things I Learned in 2009: Part 1
Yep, it is another one of those, “things I learned last year” posts. Hopefully I have some things that aren’t on those other lists, and at least you get to see a dude with abs on his back (so I guess Lumbar extension is OK!). I myself have been on a fat loss quest for about a year. Actually it was more of a body transformation as I was also able to go from a 205 lb skinny fat guy to a 195 lb guy who actually has some muscle on him as well.
In the past year The FitCast has also grown quite a bit thanks to our guest listeners (you!) who have spread the word and our solid cast of Dr. Jonathan Fass and Leigh Peele. I can not tell you how much fun I have doing the show with these two and how much I have learned from them. Rounding out the cast is Tony Gentilcore who comes on when he isn’t in his basement watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and attentively listening to the commentary from the cast and pretending that they are in the room with him to the point where he is having conversations with his cat…OK, that may not be entirely true… And is defiantly a run on sentence. Also Cassandra Forsythe who rivals Jon with how much time she has spent learning post graduate brought some awesome insight on topics like pooping. Finally, one more thank you to all of you out there that download the podcast, come to the website, and support us by buying t-shirts and other products from our Recommended Resources Page.
Now…to the List!!!
#1 Fat Loss Isn’t as Simple as Most Make it Out to Be
The Destination Abs project was a real eye opener when it came to fat loss. I really didn’t realize how specific guidelines needed to be to really burn body fat to reach a goal of seeing abs. Especially as a former fat kid who clocked in at 210 lbs at the age of 15, that day seemed like it would never come. It still hasn’t. I have more work to do with Leigh Peele. I really hope you guys check out her website and her books The Fat Loss Troubleshoot and Body By Eats as her realistic and no BS take on fat loss has really helped me get to where I am now.
#2 If you Don’t Deload Your Body WILL Break Down
After leaving Cressey Performance at the end of 2008 I went balls to the walls in my training for 3 months, no deloading, and I got hurt. My hip flexors started to get very pissed off if I wanted to squat or or anything that involved any kind of hip flexion. Do yourself a favor and schedule a deload week every 4th week. That doesn’t mean you have to take the week off. Just cut back on the volume, around 50%. Instead focus on technique, form, and working on any mobility issues you have. Eric also has a great manual on the subject at his website. Taking a week off will not make you gain fat as long as you eat accordingly. Most of the time you will come back stronger and leaner!
#3 Buy a Whiteboard
Sounds simple, but having a white board right next to me (actually on my left…) helps me keep track of what I need to get done. Some are long term tasks, some I can get done in 5 minutes. I have learned that I need to constantly remind myself of things because I literally can be distracted in an instant, need to feel like I am doing 3 things at once, and find myself forgetting to do important things because something more important just landed in front of me or in the e-mail box. It is the best $5 productivity tool you can buy.
#4 Invest into a Home Gym
Another simple one, but it has saved me countless hours in the car and money on gas buy putting together a decent home gym. What does it consist of? TRX, four Kettelbells (8kg, 16kg, 24kg, 28kg, KB buddy 2kg), an old airex pad, 12lb medball, valslides, 1/2″ band, 1″ band, pair of 40, 50lb dumbbells from the early 90’s (still weigh the same), and a old piece of rug to lay on while warming up or doing various pus ups, planks, ect. I shot a video of what it looked like a few months ago.
#5 Hip Mobility Should be Your Priority
Do you warm up before you lift, run, play, or compete? A little bit of soft tissue work (foam rolling), some stretching, and a few things you saw in Assess and Correct? You are doing a hell of a lot better than most, but you could probably be doing better. One of the biggest issues for my new clients and even myself if hip mobility, both flexion and internal rotation deficits. For the coaches out there, you should be testing your new clients and athletes with something that will evaluate this. The Thomas Test, hip internal and external rotation asymmetries, and something as simple as a body weigh squat with their hands over their head.
Inadequate hip mobility can lead and contribute to common issues like low back pain, poor glute function, and a weak ass deadlift. If you find that the issue is at the hip and not the glutes or tight quads here are my favorite mobility exercises but first here is a great video from Eric Cressey on testing hip internal rotation:
Now some mobility exercises:
That is all for this edition, come back later this week for the final four (or six…)