Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas















MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! And a Happy New Year.



Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! or email me at 0a4w@virginia.edu

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowed In Workouts

There are times when mother nature disallows us from getting to the weight room. It could be in the form of a blizzard such as the one that hit us here in Virginia with over 24 inches, flooding, etc. Whatever the event, there are some killer workouts you can do in order keep the intensity of your workouts. Here are my favorites.

Superman Push-ups
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  • Great for replacing the bench press and will work some of the muscles the bench press missed and I am sure it will hurt after a couple of sets. Feel the burn!
Doorway Single Leg Squats

  • This is great in place of the squat, which will make you say ouch in a matter of 5 reps.
Series of core exercises

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  • These are great for all the stabilizing muscles in the core. There are so many types of core exercises available that I could spend all day going down the list. I advise you to choose your top three or four and run with it. Mine are the plank with several variations, back crunches with variation (single leg, both legs, single arm, both arms), crunches with variation.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! or email me at 0a4w@virginia.edu

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rhythm

Bolshoi Dancer
This article will take a deep look into what true technique means. A lot of us forget how truly musical and rhythmic our techniques should all be. Think about your favorite song when you throw and you will be as rhythmic as the ballerina above. But looses the tutu.

TECHNIQUE AND RHYTHM IN THE THROWS


By Joil Bergeron, University of New Hampshire

THE BENEFITS OF RHYTHM


Defined in a dictionary rhythm is "the proper relation of parts producing a harmonious whole." I think a slightly less euphoric and more relevant definition for the throwing community would be "the proper timing of movements to produce the longest throw. " The thrower who utilizes good rhythm will have the most efficient performance with his or her own specific technique. Proper timing (rhythm) causes a summation of forces, creates the greatest speed at the release point, and thus the most distance to the throw.

The general rhythm of every throwing event is the same; slow to fast. Therefore, a constant acceleration is applied to the implement allowing for a smooth transfer of power. When the athlete breaks away from this rhythm, the results ( or lack of) can be dramatic. Various elements of the throw are compromised and power (and consequently distance) is lost. Each throwing event carries this common thread along with having to relax the upper body, allowing the legs to work first. Unfortunately, learning to do this is easier said than done.

Increased body awareness is the first step towards improved rhythm. Body awareness is the athlete's ability to perceive and control where his body is during movement. Exposing an athlete to a variety of movements will increase his body awareness. This is why "all-around" or "natural" athletes also tend to be the same people who have played several different sports throughout their life. These individuals have been exposed to a variety of movement types, thus they learned how to control their body through self-awareness of position. Also as a result of this heightened body awareness athletes can pick up new movements more quickly.

Another common method to improve awareness is repetition. Initially, when the movement is first unfamiliar, the athlete must pay close attention to specific details in order to perform them. With each attempt the amount of reminder for the movement becomes less, and the process becomes easier to do. Eventually, the entire action becomes automatic, and the athlete no longer has to pay close attention to this detail. Now is when something new starts to be learned again and the process starts over. This familiarity with the movement can be accredited to, in lay terms, "muscle memory." When the process becomes automatic and less concentration on details is required, a higher level of mental focus can be obtained. This increased mental focus can be used to improve the greater picture of rhythm and timing.

An example of this in discus throwing would be waiting for the right leg to drive the upper body around when performing a standing throw. What does the novice athlete always do when he first picks up a discus or shot? The athlete will throw with his upper body.

After the coach shows that the legs produce the most drive, the athlete must pay special attention to driving the right leg around first. After many attempts the athlete learns to be more patient and relax the upper body to set up a good hip drive. When the athlete can automatically do this, he gains a higher level of mental focus so that perhaps he can now work on timing the block for a maximal transfer of power; the process begins again when a new element is added. This heightened awareness leads to greater mental focus, and from the greater mental focus an athlete can now concentrate on timing the parts of the throw together correctly to create better rhythm.

Mental imagery is another way to increase focus and more importantly rhythm. There are three ways of practicing imagery: external, where the athlete watches a throw; internally, where visualization of a perfect throw takes place in the mind; and also by setting the movement to a sound sequence. Whatever the method used, the goal is to try and "feel" the movement without actually performing it.

Scientific research has proven that motor neurons involved in the action actually show excitation in the same sequence as the movement being visualized. Using visualization can help to overcome pre-competition jitters. It can also help to overcome being overloaded with too many small details (a sure sign of this is when the movement is "choppy" and un- smooth). Using mental imagery is an integral part of success.

Conclusion: it is important for both coach and athlete to realize there is a connection between technique and rhythm. Good technique helps to create good rhythm and vice versa. What happens when a thrower rushes the beginning of the throw in any of the events? In the discus most commonly this results in a narrow base, being off balance, and fouling. In the shot the results will vary depending on the technique being used, but with either glide or spin the athlete will land at the power position with the shoulders already unwound. But no matter which event you look at, rushing the rhythm will cost the thrower distance.

Once again, this exemplifies that the single common thread between great throwers is great rhythm. By combining sound (not necessarily perfect) technique with good rhythm these throwers can get away with certain mechanical errors.


Many coaches would argue that the narrow leg sweep by John Powell was mechanically inefficient. He still threw far! Powell knew his own rhythm for his technique. He was able to get the most out of his own style of discus throwing.

To throw far the athlete must combine sound technique and good rhythm. The trick to doing this is to realize that as technique is changed in a throw, the rhythm will also change. This is why many coaches tell their athletes not to make any dramatic changes to their technique near the end of the season. This is the time of year that the best performances are needed.

By changing technique a new rhythm must be learned in order to maximize the potential offered by that movement. Initially, distance may actually be lost as a result of unfamiliarity with the new movement despite the improved technique. The old adage of "one step back, two steps forward" is seen. As the athlete readjusts to the new rhythm increased distance plus additional gains begin to occur.

The key to success in both technique and rhythm is simply to practice each element together as much as possible. If the athlete does many drills during practice it would be of great benefit to do some full throws at the end of the session to try and work the new components into the bigger picture (the throw). By practicing technique and rhythm on a regular basis athletes will understand these complex throwing movements more clearly, and thus improve more quickly.


Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! or email me at 0a4w@virginia.edu

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Decisions

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Sometimes there comes a point in our lives when we have to make a decision that may change our lives drastically. How can we make the best choice? Is there a best choice? What is the wrong choice? I was doing some research and found some really great advice at maninthemirror.org
which gives an interesting perspective.

A PERSPECTIVE

Here are some considerations to help make better decisions:

  1. Know that many major decisions do turn out wrong. A man became restless after twenty one years with the same company. He could not isolate the source of his feelings, but decided he needed a change. Since that time he has bounced around from job to job, never keeping the same position more than three years.

    A couple decided to move to a "better" neighborhood. There was nothing wrong with their present neighborhood. In fact, they loved their neighbors, the location was convenient, crime was low, the mortgage payment was a pittance, and they couldn't really find anything wrong with their existing home. Their new house required much more upkeep than they had figured. The higher payments created a great deal of tension between them. Soon they began pointing fingers at each other, blaming one another for deciding to leave the old neighborhood.

    If you are not content with yourself where you are, you will not be content where you are going. It is an error to think that changing our circumstances alone will make us happy or content. Often we cling to some selfish ambition that is at odds with leading a surrendered life.

  2. Count the cost of making the wrong decision. Perhaps the greatest lesson I've learned about making major decisions is the cost of making the wrong decision. When decisions turn out right, "I" am brilliant. When they turn out wrong, "you" really blew it! Think about this next statement: The greatest time waster in our lives is the time we spend undoing that which ought not to have been done in the first place. Do you agree.

    Usually we can recover if we make a bad choice. Sometimes, however, we can't. Never make a decision that bets the entire ranch on being right.

  3. Most decisions are obvious given enough information and time. When do we make poor decisions? When we don't have our facts straight and when we are hasty. Keep collecting data. Write it down so you don't forget it. The mind by itself may blow one small fact all out of proportion. Writing it down puts things in perspective. Talk to wise counselors; get other people's perspective. Talk to experts who have skill better to operate from fact than feeling.

    Ours is an impatient world, a hasty world, an impulsive world. If my computer takes three seconds to sort 20,000,000 bytes of data instead of one second I get frustrated. Let's get real! It takes time to make a wise, major decision. The mind may know quickly what to do, but it takes time for our emotions to catch up. We have vested positions which only time can change. We must wait for that "gut feeling," which is our subconscious mind informing our conscious mind of the results of its thorough and complete analysis.
In conclusion, wait till you absolutely must make the decision till you proceed because the more patience you have before making a decision, the more likely it will be that you make the right decision.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! or email me at 0a4w@virginia.edu

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Al Feuerbach

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April 30, 1973

The Magnificent Obsession

They said Al Feuerbach was too small to put the shot, but they neglected to measure his zeal

Obsessions being what they are, Al Feuerbach cannot say exactly when the need to throw the shot came upon him. He just knows it has been with him a long time. Perhaps significantly, it predates his habit of biting his nails.

On the other hand, his mother, Doris Kucera Feuerbach, can pinpoint the year, 1962, when her son first turned the lawn into something resembling an early photo of the moon and the neighbor ladies on DeGroat Street in Preston, Iowa complained about those "awful ugly holes." By his mother's reckoning then, Al Feuerbach has had the urge since he was 14, and to her mind he has indulged it long enough. In fact, this plain-spoken Iowa lady wishes that the second oldest of her five sons, three years out of college, would find a job, any job would do at this point, and get married. In short, she wants her son to give up shotputting.

"Why should I?" says Al Feuerbach, the world's only full-time amateur shotputter. "It is the one thing I like to do. It is the only thing I want to do."

Since he first ruined his parents' lawn, Allan Dean Feuerbach (pronounced fearbock) has followed the thudding ball from Preston (pop. 950) to Emporia ( Kansas) College (enrollment 600). He has crossed the U.S. and heaved his way through Europe. En route he has four times thrown over 70 feet—including a 70'2" effort earlier this month—one of five shotputters to have ever done so, and on four occasions set world indoor records.

In general he has amazed the experts and exceeded the best wishes of his friends and family, except for his father the veterinarian, who empathizes with grandiose dreams. Indeed, Dr. Orlyn Gene Feuerbach is willing to underwrite his son's assault on the world shotput record. So far Al Feuerbach has not taken him up. Instead he lives frugally in San Jose, Calif. in an apartment furnished largely with mattresses, and is in no wise discontented with his lot.

"All I want to do for the next 15 years is to throw the iron ball," he says, "throw it as far as science, technology and hard work will take it. That could be 75, 80 feet or more."

If Feuerbach's size had kept pace with his dream, his 15-year plan would be more practical. Unfortunately, from the beginning his obsession far outstripped his growth. In an event famous for its whales, 6'1", 250-pound Al Feuerbach is barely bait. By the laws of applied levers and comparative masses, he is disadvantaged. In a word, he is too small to be a world-class shotputter, which tends to make his accomplishments all the more dramatic in the comparative. However, Feuerbach can deal only in the ultimate. And such is the nature of his passion that he has total recall not only of every throw he has made in the past 11 years, but of every remark directed at him concerning his event.

At the drop of a shot, he will recall that in 1964 his older brother Gary told him, "You'll never throw that far again." The brotherly vote of no-confidence came on the occasion of Al's setting a new Preston High School record of 47'9�", which beat Gary's by half an inch. "At that time my body weight was 165," Al adds. A few years later the Emporia track coach told Feuerbach, "You'll be the smallest man, the only shotputter under 200 pounds, to break 60 feet."

"The coach thought that was important." says Feuerbach. "I believe it isn't even fly speck."

The prize slight of Feuerbach's collection is an offhand comment by Randy Matson. the 275-pound world-record holder (71'5�"), who is now a pro. After Feuerbach had thrown 62'8" to finish third at the 1970 Kansas Relays, winner Matson said, "For a feller your size, you're throwing good."

In their last 11 meetings Feuerbach beat Matson 10 times. Still his name raises Feuerbach's hackles. "Oh, yes, Al resents Matson," says Coach Tom Jennings of the Pacific Coast Track Club to which Feuerbach belongs. "I think he even hates him, and that's surprising."

The surprise, simply, is that Al Feuerbach is the gentlest set of muscles in the West. Outside the shot ring, he is devoid of passion and totally pacific. His close friend and teammate, pole vaulter Steve Smith, pounds on him—not with slaps but powerful belts. "I wish I could hit him back, but I can't," Feuerbach sighs.

For the past year and a half he has passed his outwardly mild existence in San Jose. At first he lived in an old house with shotputters Richard Marks and Lahsen Akka Samsam, a Berber who is the Moroccan champion, and weight lifter Bob Kemper. Since January, Feuerbach, who is called Rhino, and Samsam, better known as Big Simba, have rented a two-bedroom apartment at 555 North 4th Street. The move from house to apartment went unnoticed in the old neighborhood, since the neighbors were only vaguely aware of Feuerbach's existence to begin with. As much as anyone his size can be a shadow, Al Feuerbach is a shadow. He travels around San Jose in a grimy 1964 Buick Wildcat, barely making a dent on the city's consciousness. Despite his international track reputation, he could be just another long-haired student, crammed into a T shirt, corduroy pants and blocky shoes. His sole distinction is a hand-crafted leather pouch slung over his shoulder in which he carries the tool of his trade, a 16-pound shot.

Yet in the arena, Al Feuerbach is a different person. "Al is all showman," says Jennings. "He's turned on by the crowd."

The Feuerbach of the shot ring is a throwback to a turn-of-the-century strong man. The muscles bulge out of a sleeveless jersey, his mustachio curves to nearly meet his long sideburns. Although he does not preen, he will strut. Before each put. he warms up by tossing the shot from hand to hand overhead—without looking.

Most world-class shotputters depend on enormous strength to launch the iron ball. Feuerbach moves it with a fine coordination of power and finesse. Without this technique, he could not overcome the laws of physics. Samsam, who has a degree in agronomy and is getting a master's in phys ed, says there are five different movements involved in getting the shot under way: the crouch, the glide, the summation of forces in acceleration, the release or explosion and the reverse. No shotputter crouches lower or explodes more quickly across the ring than Al Feuerbach.

At the moment of release, Feuerbach resembles the radiator cap on some classic car: his long blond tresses swirling, his right arm thrust straight out, his 250 pounds careening forward, balancing delicately on the toes of his left foot. Stagey but effective.

If the throw is a good one and he can feel the power surging the length of his arm, as well as hear the gasp of the crowd, Feuerbach will thrust his arms in the air. It is a classic, dignified expression of triumph, in keeping with his event and his muscularity.

Despite his earnest efforts, it is all but impossible for people to comprehend Feuerbach's fascination with his sport. "To me it's comical the way a man could be so involved with an iron shot," says Jennings. "Al has to be crazy as a loon. Ah, but then this craziness has done so much for him; he's seen the world, been exposed to people and developed a personality."

"Shotputting for me is not only a way of life but a life-style," says Feuerbach. "I can't think of any job that will allow me three months in Europe, not even if I was president of a corporation."

In moments of weakness, however, he thinks of returning to Iowa and perhaps farming. But not even at his weakest will he consider it for at least another 15 years. For now there is no way to keep Feuerbach down on the farm. He has not only seen Paree, but Stockholm and Barcelona.

In Preston there was concern for Allan's life-style, and Doc Feuerbach still winces at his son's long hair. But the questions about hippie freaks and dropouts from life ended when Al put the shot 68'11" in San Francisco on Jan. 22, 1971 to set a world indoor mark. A month later he stopped off in Iowa on his way back from the AAU indoor championships in New York. "I should have known something strange was happening when the whole family arrived dressed up for the first time ever," Feuerbach recalls. But Al didn't catch on until his mother pointed out the unusual traffic at Goose Lake, seven miles outside Preston. The traffic jam by the side of a cornfield was half of Preston: a caravan of fire engines, buses, vans and trucks to escort the hero into town for Al Feuerbach Day. Streamers and banners announced: THANKS FOR PUTTING us ON THE MAP. Across U.S. 64, entering Preston, was the banner: WELCOME HOME, BIG AL.

The caravan rolled up to the high school. The town was shut down and 500 people crowded into the auditorium to watch Al Feuerbach being presented with the wooden key to Preston. Called upon to say a few words. Feuerbach thanked the townspeople, then allowed that he should have suspected something was up since Doc Orlyn Gene was wearing a pink tie and a purple shirt when he met his son at the airport. "You can say I was embarrassed," Al says. "No, it was painful. They even retired my track jersey, and then the school band played something appropriate like You've Come a Long Way, Baby."

Feuerbach spent that summer in Europe, putting his way from country to country but always going back to Stockholm to visit a beautiful Swedish girl. When he returned to San Jose, his weight was down, his hair was past his shoulders, his left ear was pierced by a pearl earring and he was determined to make up for lost time.

"That was one wasted Rhino," says Samsam. "I don't know what his problem was, maybe it was that Midwestern conscience, but he was impossible. The thing to remember about Al is that he just loves the shot. Then, of course, he's always put, put, putting. It's crazy, but that's Al. This was much worse. It was impossible. He was unbelievable!"

Samsam and Marks were not only witnesses, they, too, had to suffer for the Rhino's misspent summer. Marks eased off. He could not stand the unending program. Big Simba wanted to quit, but held on.

" 'Al, this Berber is tired. Skip a day,' " Samsam recalls pleading. "For months, no girls. If I suggested dates, Al had an excuse. 'What about a movie, tonight, Rhino?' No, nothing. All he wanted to do was brood about the shot."

When the pressure became unbearable, which it often did, Samsam, the Berber from the Atlas Mountains, would sneak off to Mount Hamilton, San Jose's friendly peak, get his head together and then come down and put some more.

There were advantages. In competition Samsam threw 67'1", a personal best by almost five feet. Meanwhile, the Rhino went temporarily wild. On Feb. 11, 1972 Feuerbach hit 69'�" to break his world indoor record. Indoors and out he exceeded 69 feet in nine meets and on three occasions surpassed 70, including a personal record of 70' 7�".

In the Olympics, Feuerbach's best throw was only 68'�", which got him fifth. Something, obviously, went wrong. That something, argues Samsam, was the murder of the Israelis, which destroyed Feuerbach's psych. But this is not the answer. Al Feuerbach has developed a technique for shutting out life, insulating his shotputting. Once a zealous Fundamentalist, Feuerbach now says, "I have no room in my life for Christ. He interferes with my shotputting. (I hope He doesn't read this.) When I was a found Christian, converting people, then I thought obsessions were a mortal sin, but that's wrong. Now I feel my obsession is the one right thing in my life. To be the best in the world at anything is an incredible accomplishment.

Feuerbach claims he has developed a passivity and refuses to get uptight about anything because it might interfere with his training. As a result, he will not read books and does not concern himself with wars or social ills. Serious affairs of the heart are out, too. So far Feuerbach has broken off with two women he probably loved. "For what I have to do, seeing too much of people is bad," he says. "It disturbs the concentration. It cools the fire, draws off the intensity."

With this attitude, the death of strangers, no matter how tragic, would not have prevented him from throwing well. The problem was he peaked too early.

The lost Olympic opportunity would seem to be torment enough for a driven man. And Feuerbach did have a brilliant winter, twice more breaking his indoor record. Nonetheless, Samsam insists, Rhino did not have his psych in place until after the 1973 indoor AAUs in New York.

Before he left for that meet, Feuerbach and Samsam were discussing the strange tribe of people who throw the shot. "The shot's so small and we're so big," says Feuerbach. "It gets to you." It also stays with you. Parry O'Brien was 34 when he attained his best mark. Olympic champion Vladyslav Komar is 33. George Woods of the U.S., who came in second at Munich, is 30. Vilmos Varju of Hungary finished eighth in the Olympics at 35.

Samsam is somewhere between 28 and 32. "We Berbers are not strong on birthdays," he says. "I asked my mother if she knew when I was born. 'Of course, my son,' she told me. 'You were born at the time of the wheat harvest.' 'But, mother,' I said, 'there are two harvests a year, and they've been going on for centuries.' 'Don't bother your mother with details,' she said."

At the 1973 AAUs Feuerbach lost his indoor record to Woods (whose mark has since been surpassed by Brian Old-field, who had a throw of 70'9�" at a pro meet), but gained what he calls his wild psych. " George Woods may have made a big mistake, throwing 69'9�"," Feuerbach said at the time. "I don't know why, but now I have an impatience, a zest to compete. I've got that wild psych. What brings it on, I don't know. Possibly it's the moon or the tide."

Whatever the reason, Feuerbach was on fire, and Chapter Two of Samsam's ordeal was about to begin. "I've decided to push for bulk," Rhino confided to Simba, as if it were some serious matter of state. His plan was to build himself up to 270 pounds. But Feuerbach's metabolism gets in the way, and his appetite is too small to support even his present weight. Inside of the rhino body is a 180-pounder.

To gain weight, Feuerbach takes protein pills, protein supplements, protein candy bars, a gallon of milk a day and maybe steroids, but he won't talk about that. However, he could not just eat his way to Randy Matson's world record. Without any misgivings, Feuerbach has begun a work program that takes dead aim at a put of 72 feet. "When you're pitting yourself against cold iron, it helps to be strong, to have the shot feel so light that you can manhandle it," he says.

It is an old practice in the putting trade to heat the iron ball on cool days to give it that light feeling, but such gimmicks do not interest Feuerbach anymore. He is at war with the shot.

"My idea is to develop a motor pathway to longer and longer distances," he says. To do this, he plans to use a 14-pound shot in practice. The theory is to first learn to throw the great distance to get the feel, to break the mental barrier, meanwhile working to add strength to throw that far with the regulation 16-pound implement. Besides constantly throwing, Feuerbach is on an integrated program of weight lifting. He does endless squats with a 500-pound weight on his shoulders, constant jerks with 400 pounds of weight. Recently his right knee buckled under the strain, but he refused to ease up even for a day. His hands are also a problem. They are too small, actually puny for his size, and inadequate for shotputting. "I never noticed they were small," he says. "Of course, I never recognize any physical deficiency when it concerns the shot."

It is impossible for someone else to ignore his hands, however. The average shotputter holds the iron ball on his fingers; Feuerbach is forced to palm it. Hundreds of thousands of throws have left the hand spavined. The tendons are chronically stretched, the knuckles twisted. When he shakes hands, Feuerbach offers limp bones.

Not long ago, he flew to Long Beach for a meet. At the time, he was eight pain-racked days into his wild psych. That night he went to a party, but first he had to find a weight room and do his squats.

The party should have been a diversion but it was far from a good time, thanks to old buddy Steve Smith.

"Don't bother to talk to the fat boy," said Smith, introducing Feuerbach to the surfer host. "He only says 'Oink.' " A few minutes later the pole vaulter shouted across the room in alarm, "Al, Al, what's happened to your hair?" "Nothing happened," Feuerbach replied apprehensively. "Why is it so short in the front?" Smith persisted. "It's falling out, that's why, you idiot," said Feuerbach. "I'm thinking of cutting it off, shaving my face and my head clean, getting rid of all the hair." "Al, you can't do that," replied Smith, his voice rich with concern. "You'll look like a basketball on top of a boulder."

Only when Smith was distracted did Feuerbach have a chance to relax. Then he chatted with another guest, Susie Atwood, the pretty 19-year-old Olympic swimmer. He learned that Susie was going back to college in the spring and giving up competitive swimming.

"You can't do that, you'll miss it, Susie," said Feuerbach, feeling pain for the swimmer.

"No, I won't," she replied. "I've been at it 11 years, six hours a day, and I've missed too much of life already. I've got to make it up in a hurry."

When the party was over Feuerbach and Smith went to a bar a few blocks from the vaulter's apartment.

"I don't understand Susie," Feuerbach said. "I could live without throwing, but I wouldn't want to. That's the kicks of life. If I thought the bomb was about to drop or if they told me I had cancer, I'd want to get out and throw, get one last shot at the big record."

Smith was unconcerned with death but he had a deadly fear of the time when he would no longer be able to vault competitively.

What about pro track? Both of them were interested, but money was not their primary concern. They claimed to be a new species—men who are moved by their art.

"I couldn't take a chance," Feuerbach said. "This pro track could fail and then where would I be? Besides, if I were a pro I couldn't represent the U.S. against the Eastern Europeans. That's real kicks." Ah, a patriot. Feuerbach was not as up to date as he thought.

A few minutes and drinks later he announced, "I'm going to break the world record."

"I'll break the vault record first, Rhino," said Smith.

A $50 bet was laid on who would be the first.

An hour later Feuerbach was asleep in Smith's apartment. Suddenly, Smith entered and pounded him awake.

"Al, I'm in love," he shouted. He then recounted a romance that had flourished in five cities the week before. He met her on a flight to Houston. She flew to see him in Los Angeles. He flew to see her in Miami. She met him in New York, then San Francisco. Tomorrow she was flying to Los Angeles.

"You'll meet Rosemary tomorrow, Al," Smith shouted.

"I can't, Steve," mumbled Feuerbach. "I have to go home and lift."

The next morning Feuerbach left to lift, while Smith went to meet Rosemary (whom he married three weeks later). That afternoon Feuerbach flew back to San Jose. Samsam was there to meet him. On the drive to their apartment, Feuerbach recounted the bet with Smith. "I'm going to wipe Matson out of the record book, Sam," he said.

"Al, I know you'll do it," said Samsam. "You've been ready for months. But, Rhino, please remember, this savage is tired. I mean weary!"

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! or email me at 0a4w@virginia.edu

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Aches and Pains

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Enjoy your youth Ladies and Gentlemen because I can readily say that at the tender age of 23 I am feeling aches and pains in places I did not think would ever hurt. I guess after many years of pushing the weights and throwing the discus, my body has finally began to thank me and I do not mean that in a good way. The important thing to focus on however is keeping preventative measures in place within your workout segments in order to prevent these little aches and pains from escalating into full blown injuries. Below is a brief description of what must occur before an injury can be classified as chronic or acute and better yet, how to prevent them.

Acute injuries occur suddenly when playing or exercising. Sprained ankles, strained backs, and fractured hands are acute injuries. Signs of an acute injury include:
  • Sudden, severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
  • An arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger that is very tender
  • Not being able to move a joint as normal
  • Extreme leg or arm weakness
  • A bone or joint that is visibly out of place.

Chronic injuries happen after you play a sport or exercise for a long time. Signs of a chronic injury include:

  • Pain when you play
  • Pain when you exercise
  • A dull ache when you rest
  • Swelling.

So how can we prevent this from happening? These tips can help you avoid sports injures.

  • Don't bend your knees more than half way when doing knee bends.
  • Don't twist your knees when you stretch. Keep your feet as flat as you can.
  • When jumping, land with your knees bent.
  • Do warm-up exercises before you play any sport.
  • Always stretch before you play or exercise.
  • Don't overdo it.
  • Cool down after hard sports or workouts.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly, are stable, and absorb shock.
  • Use the softest exercise surface you can find; don't run on asphalt or concrete.
  • Run on flat surfaces.
  • Use a brace or tape to wrap up weak joints.
  • Use weight belts when lifting heavy weight.
  • If a joint or muscle feels Unusual, stop and assess the reason before continuing.
(Source: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sports_Injuries/sports_injuries_ff.asp)

For more information on sport injuries and how to treat and avoid them, check out
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! or email me at 0a4w@virginia.edu

Sunday, November 29, 2009

5 Keys to Self Mastery

This video is very inspirational and should be taken to heart because several successful individuals support the concepts. Use it as a guide to help you achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself. Cheers.
video

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy all the turkey you can because you deserve it!
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Monday, November 23, 2009

STEROIDS!

Gregg Valentino

Hey folks, as you all are catching on to my style of blogging, I am sure you know I have a knack for finding some articles once in a while that I like to feature. I found this essay on steroids that I felt was well written and gives a great overview of steroid use in a very fair and balanced way. I must make the disclaimer that I do not in any way advocate the use of illicit drugs because in my opinion the negatives outweigh the positives 10:1. Enjoy, and think twice about your choice of use if you are currently experimenting with it.


The Effects Of Steroids On Muscle Training

What are steroids? Steroids are synthetic chemicals that mimic the hormones produced by the body. Hormones control bodily functions and are separated into various classifications such as adrenal, cortical, cardiac, bile salts, vitamins, and sex hormones. Anabolic steroids that build muscle tissue are classified as sex hormones and they stimulate the action of the male sex hormone testosterone. When testosterone is released at the appropriate time it has the natural effects of creating body size, bone size, body hair, sex organ maturation, and muscle tissue development. They often have many different trade names or brand names. Commonly used anabolic steroids are Anavar, Sustanon, and Dianabol. Anabolic steroids are prescription-only medicines. They are not controlled under the misuse of drugs act. It is not illegal to possess them for personal use. It is an offense to supply them. They can only be acquired from a chemist with a doctor's prescription. In addition, there is a large illicit market in anabolic steroids. The primary use of anabolic-androgenic steroids is in replacement therapy for male testosterone. Other medical uses include growth promotion in certain forms of stunted growth, osteoporosis, mammary carcinoma, animas, and hereditary angioneurotic edema. The use of various physical and chemical aids in performance enhancement has been a feature of athletic competition since the beginning of recorded history. The ancient Greeks ate sesame seeds, bufotenin was used by the berserks in Norwegian mythology, and the Andean Indians and the Australian aborigines chewed, respectively, coca leaves and the pituri plant for stimulating and anti-fatiguing effects (Bowman, 1980). Athletes have used anabolic steroids to enhance appearance and performance for years. The first ergogenic use of anabolic-androgenic steroids was reported back in the 1950's among weightlifters and bodybuilders. Bowman reported that one-third of a sample of elite track and field athletes in Great Britain admitted to systematic anabolic-androgenic steroid use by 1972 (Bowman, 1980). Silvester reported that 68% of a sample interviewed at the 1972 Olympic Games from 7 different countries, and who were competing in such diverse activities as throwing, jumping, vaulting, sprinting, and running up to 5000m, admitted to having used anabolic-androgenic steroids (Bowman, 1980). Although it was actually suggested early in 1973 and stressed later, it is now evident that the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids is not limited to the elite athletes but has now trickled down to the amateur, professional, college, high school, and even junior high athletes. Due to the estimated prevalence of non-medical anabolic-androgenic steroid use and the implications for society and public health there were several scientific meetings set up. Moreover, a technical review at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 1989 was set up, and both federal and state investigations to reclassify anabolic-androgenic steroids as controlled substances despite arguments from the American Medical Association. Patterns of anabolic-androgenic steroid use among athletes have been determined from several surveys. Hickson and Kurowski interviewed 24 weight-training athletes at a gymnasium in a metropolitan area of the southwestern United States. The Subjects surveyed took a combined steroid dose of four to eight times the recommended medical dose, Used more than one anabolic-androgenic steroid at a time, which is known as stacking, and combined the use of intravenous and oral anabolic-androgenic steroids (Hickson, 1986, p. 465). Although Hickson and Kurowski questioned a specific sample of anabolic-androgenic steroid users, they concluded that their subjects seemed to be representative of the type of athletes who used anabolic-androgenic steroids. Two other groups of people also conducted very similar surveys and found that their subjects were also taking well over the recommended medical dose. In 1990 Baldoenzi and Giada conducted a survey and found that 110 out of 250 weightlifters he interviewed in several gymnasiums in the metropolitan Chicago area, many of, which had no intentions of being competitive, also used a variety of anabolic-androgenic steroids. 50 weightlifters were interviewed in detail, a majority had no competitive interests in weightlifting, bodybuilding, or any other athletic event just used the steroids because they wanted to. Baldoenzi and Giada concluded that anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse had reached alarming proportions in noncompetitive athletes (Baldoenzi, 1990, p. 205). The Buckley survey in 1988 suggests that one-quarter to one-half million adolescents in the United States has used or is currently using anabolic-androgenic steroids. Anderson and Mckeag reporting on a nation-wide survey of alcohol and drug use among college athletes indicated that anabolic-androgenic steroids were used in all men's sports, one women's sport and that the sport with the greatest admitted use was football with 9% (Bowman, 1980). The overall anabolic-androgenic steroid use rate in all sports was 4%. Anderson and Mckeag replicated their original study four years later and although they found that overall use rates for anabolic-androgenic steroids remained the same, anabolic-androgenic steroids were now being used in two additional women's sports (Bowman, 1980). The psychological and behavioral aspects of maleness were noted by Aristotle prior to 300 BC and were studied in numerous uncontrolled experiments up through the 1800s. The effects of the purified sex hormones, including those on mood and mental disorders, began to be experimentally and clinically explored more intensively a half century ago when commercial preparations became available. Since that time a large number of literature reviews have been reported on these and other effects. The most potent sex steroid produced in human males is testosterone. Testosterone has been chemically characterized and more than 100 derivatives synthesized, some of which have found uses in human and veterinary medicine, animal husbandry, and most recently, in athletics. A Purely anabolic steroid has not been found and, therefore, Kockakain suggests that the appropriate nomenclature should refer to anabolic-androgenic steroids. What do steroids actually do for you? Steroids increase your strength. They also increase your muscle mass and allow you to train harder. Steroids also reduce recovery time needed after training. Some people believe the benefit from taking steroids is psychological, they make people feel that they are stronger or faster. Others believe that they make people feel more aggressive and so they are able to train harder. There is no doubt about that. The major question is Are the positives worth taking the risks for. There are far more negatives to using anabolic steroids then there are positives. Anabolic steroids affect males in seven major ways: 1) They can make the testicles shrink and deteriorate (even after just six to eight weeks of use) 2) they can reduce sperm count for up to four years 3) they cause the development of tender and enlarged breasts 4) they cause early aging symptoms 5) they cause sterility and impotence 6) also they make your voice high-pitched 7) They cause baldness. Anabolic steroids affect females in eight major ways: 1) They stop or cause irregularity in your menstrual periods 2) they cause permanent reproductive damage 3) they cause infertility 4) they make hair grow on your face and chest 5) they deepen your voice 6) they cause fetal damage and birth deformities 7) they make your skin very oily 8) they increase testosterone production and take on masculine characteristics. Anabolic steroids have many other more dangerous affects that can occur in both genders. They are as follows: 1) Cause addiction to steroids 2) hallucinations, hearing voices, schizophrenia, and mental disorders 3) aggressiveness, violence, hostility, irritability, roid rages or uncontrolled temper 4) purple or red spots inside mouth or nose 5) yellow tint to skin, jaundice, chronic hepatitis 6) swelling of hands, face, feet 7) acne, rashes, hives 8) severe depression and suicidal tendencies 9) increased size of heart, liver, kidneys 10) increased cholesterol count and blood pressure 11) suppress immune system and retard healing 12) fever, headache, insomnia, chills, gallstones 13) diarrhea, stomach ache, muscle cramps, black tarry stools 14) liver cancer, heart disease, stroke, obstructed blood vessels 15) bone deterioration. Steroids have been used to enhance performance and appearance since the beginning of recorded history. Now all ages of athletes are using anabolic steroids, not just the elite athletes are using them but now even high school athletes are using them. In 1989 anabolic steroids became a controlled substance because of an investigation conducted by the American Medical Association. Several Surveys have shown that there are patterns in the use of anabolic steroids. Now athletes who don't actually participate in competition are using the drug, where before it used to be only competing athletes as the primary users. Steroids have both positive and negative affects. The positive affects are generally short-term affects while the negative affects tend to be more long-term. Using anabolic steroids and testing positive on a drug test will more than likely ruin a sporting career for anyone. The bottom line is taking steroids is cheating, it's addictive, and they can kill you.

Bibliography

Baldoenzi G, Giada F. (1990). Body builders during and after self-administration of anabolic steroids. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, 39, 203-8. Bowman S. (1980). Anabolic steroids and infarction. British Medical Journal, 300, 750. Hickson, R.C. and Kurowski, T.G.(1986). Anabolic steroids and training. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 3, 461-469 Unknown. (1996). IDEA Prevention Guide. Naperville, IL: IDEA

Words: 1446



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Friday, November 20, 2009

Olympic lifts and throwing

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I have no idea when the concept of using Olympic lifting for strengthening the modern day thrower began but I imagine it caught on when the realization that it was the quickest way to to gain strength and mass. In my opinion, the concept people have to understand is that with the advent of Olympic lifting also came the onset of illegal drug usage such as steroids. Although I agree that Olympic lifts are wonderful for achieving great levels of strength, the sad truth is that there is a limit the average athlete always hits which cannot be overcome unless the use of illicit medication is involved. The harsh reality is that a majority (not all) of world class athletes that have monstrous numbers in the O lifts are not to be envied because they are not attained without the help of substances, which are banned.
The problem I have with O lifts is the concept that you constantly have to continue to increase the amount of weight you lift in order to throw farther. I admit that this is true on many levels but at the same time it makes it seem as though if you cannot lift a certain amount of weight, you cannot throw a certain distance, which i disagree with. There are many other avenues of strength out there. Just because you do not have the best power clean does not mean you will never throw any farther.
Although I admit that Olympic lifts are the fastest way to increase strength and explosiveness, they are not the only solution. Olympic lifts are not for everybody and can actually contribute to many severe chronic injuries in the future if over emphasized. I am a firm believer in a concept I like to call the balanced diet of fitness. Imagine a pie chart that is cut up into various types of exercises, which include power lifts, aerobics, Olympic lifts, body building, plyometrics and throw specific. Now make a mental image on how big a portion of the pie is dedicated to each and you will find that we are all guilty of overcompensating with the Olympic lifts and power lifts versus putting more time into doing throw specific and plyometric strength training. My philosophy is that everybody will have a realm which will be their weakest, all this means is that they will have to dedicate a bigger portion of the other slices of their pie to other exercises which will help them improve. Therefore, understand that variety is the spice of life and realize that although the Olympic lifts are wonderful, there are other, less harmful ways to get stronger.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Squats Vs. Deadlift

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I have been doing some research into the world of squatting and deadlifting and I have come to the conclusion that both are equally as effective for gaining strength if implemented properly. Several articles I have come across are biased either one way or the other. The avid supporters of the squat support it because of the following reasons.
  • Greater range of motion because the hips can drop below the hips
  • Works the anterior chain leg muscles very well
  • Good for lower back strengthening
Critics of the squat mention that
  • It is hard on the knees
  • Strains the lower back
  • Can cause spinal compression
As far as deadlift enthusiasts are concerned the pros of the lift include:
  • Less strain on spine due to a larger recruitment of muscle groups
  • Works posterior leg muscles better, which is more important for explosiveness
  • Easy on the knees and lower back
  • More natural movement than squatting
Critics might say that the deadlift is inferior due:
  • Inability to attain the same range of motion as a full squat
  • Less explosive with the hips
  • need a lot of grip strength to lift heavy
I personally feel that doing both exercises improves overall leg strength. Squats are great but sometimes I feel like doing too much weight does a number on my back and knees, much more so than the deadlift, which allows me to push more weight without causing much pain in the knees. I am not one to use knee straps so that is why I prefer to go heavier with the deadlift than the squat, which just requires a good weight belt.
It all comes to choice in the end and choosing which one better fits your situation is what it all comes down to. If you have knee pain, deadlifts are just as good for leg strength in my opinion. If you are short and have have small levers, the squat will benefit you more because the range of motion you can attain with the squat will far outweigh the deadlift. Do what fits your goals and body.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Belief Before Proof: Throwing Really Is A Miracle

Every once in a while I read something that I cannot reiterate better than the source articulated it. This article by Joe Donahue gives us a great insight into mental preparation and training for the discus. Please enjoy.

"There are only two ways to live your life, one is as though nothing is a miracle, and the other is as though
everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein

Joe Donahue
Northeastern University

Believing before ’doing’ is of primary importance not only generally but specifically. It does require, however, an effective understanding of biomechanics, and learning by the coach and athlete and the rapport necessary for both to learn these in principle. In performing motor and psychological exercises, it can be effective to tell athletes to train muscle groups for the events and to ’tell’ the groups ’what’ they must do! Do not take the chance that somehow various body parts automatically follow the ’correct’ technique without occasional direct intervention and cues. Have them imagine-think-visualize what the movement looks and feels like in the muscles BEFORE they do the movement as well as after. They do not need to understand this before they do it!
Extra intellectual activity proximal to the throw can cause motor conflict. Many coaches have discovered this. Yogi Berra the great Yankee baseball catcher used this phenomenon to distract the hitters’ performance by engaging them in conversation and it worked! "Keep your eye on the ball" can be a merit for other sports as well and we should add "stop thinking about it while you throw!"
You can hear the verbal commands in many sports which are derivatives of larger motor movement. In gymnastics the vaulter is sub verbalizing to ‘stick the finish’. The metaphor is representative of a complex motor task. You can ’whack’ the finish in the shot or tell your thighs to push ’down harder’ as you squat. One a general metaphor cue, the other a specific cue to a body part. Most of us want to analyze everything we must do but some or most of the things that will be done by us come before we understand it. Remember how it was when you first rode a bike? You wavered, fell and the next time without thinking you ’let’ your body do the adjusting. Soon you were doing it automatically. The idea that understanding and ’knowing’ intellectually comes before ’doing’ and ’discovery’ is a rather new phenomena historically. We can ’blame’ it on rationalism. It is not an accident that many of the most famous and productive artists, musicians and scientists came at the dawn or before Rational thought kicked in. Blame it on Rene Descartes. Here are his Laws of the Cartesian Method:

• Accept nothing as true which is not clear and distinct;
• Analyze a problem into its parts and discuss it part by part;
• Arrange thoughts from simple to complex as the order of study;
• Enumerations must be full and complete and nothing must be omitted.

If we waited for all these to occur in throwing and other creative acts we would be back in the dark ages of sport! Scientists attempt to prove what cannot happen and when something ’happens’ that they cannot explain but they can replicate it they call it discovery. They then analyze it to death to try to have its phenomena match what they already believe. A rare few (Einstein, Newton, Kepler) accepted what they could not further explain and ’it’ became a law! Just ’Do it’ and check the results after a reasonable amount of trials, modify the performance then do it again. The ’ahah! comes AFTER you stub your toe....not before!

Good practices in personal life and beliefs will protect you from harm. Use the Cartesian method to examine what you have done after you have done it and away from the field of play. Effective science and discovery lead to good practice efforts from observation of what works before understanding. As long as we leave a little pinch of curiosity and wonder for what we do the ’new’ discoveries will come. ’Ahahs’ have there own agenda we have ours. Let us leave little openings in our ’agenda’s for the ’Ahah’s’ to peak through.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Secret to Happiness

A Smurf dances and smiles
My wonderful readers, thanks for your continuous support of my blog. Today I want to inform you of what the real secret to happiness is. This is very important because we all seem to go after it everyday. For some it is a destination, for others it is now and yet for others it is unattainable. Why is it so hard to be and stay happy? In my opinion it has to do with our western industrial society as a whole telling us what happiness means. It feels as though everyone nowadays has lost their internal capacities to decide what their true definition of happiness is and as a result, rely on their societal fads to choose it for them through the media and popular notions.
What is your source of joy? I know mine lays in the satisfaction that I am alive for a reason that has to do with acquiring wisdom from everyone and every experience I encounter in a way that helps me help others in my realm of influence solve mental, physical and philosophical problems. Again, I ask you, what is your joy? Don't be vague or rely upon others for your joy and happiness. Remember that true happiness flows from the internal to the external and not the reverse.
Now, what is the secret to happiness? It is simple because just as you choose which clothes you put on in the morning or as you choose which throwing implement to throw for competition, it is a choice. Don't let anybody convince you otherwise. Bad things happen in life all the time, at times we are unlucky and at times we finish last place in competition but we still have the choice to be happy after all is said and done. Choose it always.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Don't Be Afraid of Failure

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I was once very afraid of failure but after I failed enough I realized that it helped me succeed in many other aspects of my life. Failure has shaped what I am today because it has prepared me for success. Think for a minute about the last time you achieved something after attempting it several times. Remember how it felt to think back on how you finally achieved your goal? If you are like me it is a marvelous feeling.
Throwing the winning distance on your last attempt would not feel as great if you hadn't fouled all prior attempts. The fact that you tried your hardest on your last throw meant that you weren't scared of failure because although you won on your last throw, you could have lost if you didn't try your hardest. At the same time, you forgot about the possibility of failure because the mental cost of loosing was far less than the cost of not giving the last throw everything you had.
Think of failure as an occasional incidence and you will be prepared to succeed when it happens. Lying to yourself as to the reality of failure is foolish and unwise. Be reasonable about it and learn from it because it will become motivating.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
Robert F. Kennedy

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Monday, November 2, 2009

DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS!

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I'm always on the hunt for new media to learn from. I found some great videos courtesy of http://www.coaching-track-and-field-athletics.com/
Take a look at some of these drills and try them out because I know I will. Click on one of the many videos the site has to offer on my You tube bar to the right of the page


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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Commitment

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Commitment relies upon a strong foundation of ethical dedication. Commitment is what gets me out of bed every morning. It is the fuel for my life for things such as my relationships, training athletically, spiritual growth and many others I cannot think of presently. Without this concept, there will be no Olympic champions, innovative thinkers, good parents, leaders or marriages.
Without commitment there will be failure. Have you ever stoped to realize why many relationships fail? The answer is simple; a lack of commitment on the end of one of the parties involved. The same thing applies to our goals as discus throwers because they are our commitment. Goals will always do their part by motivating us to achieve them but it is up to us to be committed to them. Doing so involves, a continuous assessment of why we are committed to our goal; making a conscious daily effort to stay committed; and always choosing the right choices that keep us committed to our goals.
As discus throwers we always have to stay committed to the things that help us attain our goal of being the best athlete we can be. This means, staying away from too much junk food, remember that just because you are gaining weight doesn't mean it is good weight. Also, remember that resting is an important aspect of reaching your goal and although working hard is great, there comes a point where you can become over-committed and loose your passion all together. Try to find a balance and you will succeed.
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Creativity

http://sharynheili.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/creativity_cartoon.jpg
Creativity is a gift that has been bestowed upon us since birth. According to the Webster's Dictionary: "Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create; to bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new." Maya Angelou stated that "you cannot use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."
It is all around us and yet we are discouraged from being creative in many aspects of physical conditioning because so called studies have not been done to prove the efficacy of the method. The same can be said for life, period. The result is a sort of complacent attitude that causes the majority of society to focus purely on creative ideas that are trendy rather than the ones they have the potential to create themselves. If you are doing the same thing everybody else is doing while expecting extraordinary results, I am sorry to inform you my friends but that is foolish.
My point for this post is to get you all to think about creativity as a motivation and as a tool to develop new ways of looking at workouts, throwing and life. You can practice it by simply trying to put your creative touch on everything you do. Here are some simple ways to incorporate creativity into your lifestyle: if you are doing a workout, you can add your creative intelligence to the workout by doing it in such a way they improves upon it; while throwing, think how you can be more creative with your technique; while at school or at work, think about how creativity can help you get your work more effective. Something beautiful that happens when you add creativity to your everyday life is that everything becomes so much more enjoyable because your originality shines through to everyone around. To succeed is to be different from the majority, to be different from the majority necessitates creativity.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Sled

Power Sled Push
The Sled is a blessing from above because the possibilities are endless. Its ability to enable us to put weight into motion means that it can be just as effective or even more effective than other leg workouts in helping us attain power and speed because it is strength specific. If there was one piece of fitness equipment I could take with me to every competition, it would be the sled.
What I love about the sled is its versatility. The options and combinations are endless. You can run and bound forward, backwards and sideways. You can use your hands to pull or push the sled forward, backward and sideways. With the right mindset and creative attitude, the sled is one of the best workout machines ever made. Here are some pictures of the possibilities with the sled.
Power Sled with harnessThe sprint
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The Back Pull
The Seated pull
Alysonbackwardsbelt_2 The Backwards Run
Duckwlk The Between the leg pulls


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What do you think about cardio for throwers?

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Cardiovascular exercise is essential in every workout because it helps in ways most throwers would not imagine. Although many of us dislike it and think that weights are more important than cardiovascular exercise, there is a lot to be gained from a workout regiment that includes a healthy amount of it. As throwers, we sometimes overlook cardiovascular exercise because we are not built to do it due to our weight and lack of endurance. A simple remedy to this would be for us to find the cardiovascular program that works for us. There are many choices out there, examples include: Swimming; playing a game of basketball for 20 minutes; cycling; jogging etc. If you are heavy set, exercises such as cycling and swimming have less impact on your joints. If you are closer to a medium build, like myself, you can benefit from jogging a mile or playing a 30 minute pick up game of your choice. The main reasons to include cardiovascular exercise into workouts are as follows:
  • Endurance and Stamina. Although many of us might think that only long distance runners can benefit from endurance. You will be surprised to know that great cardiovascular strength will help you stay sharp in competitions, especially long ones. Have you noticed that you sometimes get exhausted in a competition when it takes longer than you anticipated? A great way to be prepared for this is to be in good cardiovascular strength because it builds excellent stamina.
  • Injury prevention. Another great thing about cardiovascular exercise is its ability to oxygenate out muscles. It forces our muscles to become more efficient at utilizing oxygen more effectively. Oxygenation of muscles also helps with recovery from hard workouts because they are more effective at utilizing oxygen and burning sugars. The better your muscles are at doing this, the less susceptible you are to chronic muscle related injuries.
  • Overall Health. Being in great cardiovascular health will help you stay fit, which goes a long way to ensuring a great quality of life in the long and short run. You never know when you might have to run a long distance for any emergency situation and the better your cardiovascular strength, the quicker you can get help. Another benefit is that a healthier heart manifests itself as a slow resting heart-rate, which goes a long way to living a long and healthy life free of cardiovascular disease.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DISCUS GURU

http://www.zingerbug.com/Comments/HappyBirthday/birthday_candles.gif
Today I am 23! Help me celebrate by leaving a cool comment. Let me know what you think of my work so far.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Discus Guru tips for the day

http://www.chowk.com/viewg/1945
This picture has no connection to the post but I just thought it was funny!

I know you were all expecting another interesting post today, which you will receive but I think that occasionally there is some wisdom in life we can all learn from and apply to any facet of our lives. The definition of a Guru is: a trusted counselor and adviser; a mentor. In order to fulfill this role I think that it is important for me to impart to you some advice that have been helpful to me in my athletic and non-athletic life.
  • No matter where you are in life, even if it is not where you want to be, have a positive attitude because you will succeed in the the end.
    • Sometimes, we might not be in a very stable place in our lives but we must make the best of it. You could be in a horrible discus competition where we are last place but instead of being self defeatist, you must stay positive and you will succeed.
  • Accept things that are beyond your control.
    • To put this simply, when something beyond your sphere of influence happens let it go. As long as you have done your best, let go of the regret. When you are in a discus competition and your competitor throws a lifetime personal best you could not beat, you have to accept that you gave your best and let it go.
  • Life is a game we can all learn how to play.
    • Every game consists of winners and losers. Some people will cheat, some will play fair. Some will be in the game for a long time and others for only a short time. When we score, we are happy, and when we get scored upon we get sad. The coach is whatever your values and beliefs constitute, while the playing field is planet earth. The wisest, not the fastest, most talented or cheater, wins. Therefore, seek understanding and wisdom through growing intellectually and spiritually in order to be well equipped to play well. Same thing for the discus, continue to learn how to play the game of learning how to be an effective competitor and you will succeed.
I hope you are able to gain something from these tips.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Delicious Food for Thought

After a hard workout your body craves sweets. Here are some of my favorite post workout snacks. They are not necessarily the most nutritious snacks but boy do they hit the spot after a tough workout. Remember that it is critical to eat within the hour after a workout in order to replenish the glycogen stores in the liver, which go a long way in helping you recover sooner.
  • Two scoops of my favorite ice cream
Tart Lemon Cheesecake Ice Cream Swirled with Graham Cracker and Drizzled with Raspberry Sauce
  • Cookies and glass of milk
Chewy chocolate chip cookies
  • Fruit and Yogurt
Plump Blueberries in Whipped Yogurt, Milk, & Honey
  • Cereal
http://www.caswells-moms.com/e-shop/images/categories/Cereal.jpg

The great thing about eating junk food is that if it is eaten at the right time and in proper moderation it is a great way to rejuvenate the mind body and of course, our sweet tooth.


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