Things I’ve Read Recently, and Have Semi-Coherent Thoughts On, Volume 1

5 Apr

My Problem With AutoRegulation

When I saw this headline I was prepared to hate this article.  While I think auto-regulation is a fancy word for a simple concept, it is a critical component of my training.  Turns out that the author pretty much agrees with me.  He sees the major problem with auto-regulation is that inexperienced trainees use it as an excuse to skip workouts and avoid pushing themselves in the gym.  We also agree that for more experienced trainees varying your loading protocols and exercise selection depending on how you feel during a training session can be an effective way to preserve training effectiveness while introducing variety.

The Rules of Good Nutrition(That Absolutely Everybody Agrees on)

It should come as no surprise to anybody that knows me that I spend a lot of time on nerdy blogs, reading up on sci-fi and fantasy popular culture, video games, and occasionally even hard science.  I was however shocked when one of the posts on i09 ended up containing some of the most practical and actionable nutrition advice I’d read in quite some time.  Nothing in this article is new, or surprising, but that’s in fact the point I want to make.  For anything short of a competition diet you don’t have to go nuts with what you eat.  If you cut out crappy processed food, eat sufficient and varied protein, and make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D and Omega-3s you’ll be fine.  As with most things the 80/20 rule applies, and you can get 80% of the benefits with only 20% of the diet misery.

The same principle, focusing on what the experts agree on, is also something I use to create my training plans.  On the topic of deadlifts smart successful people disagree on conventional vs sumo stance deadlifts, double overhand vs mixed grip, sets of 3 vs heavy singles.  However just about everybody agrees that some sort of heavy deadlift training is essential, so I do a bunch of heavy deadlifts.  Time spent obsessing over the details of your training is in large part counter-productive, common methods of training usually attain that level of popularity because they work.  So do your fucking deadlifts already.

Font Loaded Skater Squats

Ben Bruno is one of my favorite guys on the internet, and he’s a big advocate of single-leg training.  Since my hip injury bilateral leg exercises have been painful, so I’ve incorporated both bulgarian split squats and skater squats as staples of my leg days.  This post inspired me to start loading my skater squats, which was one of those awesome ideas that made one of my favorite exercises suck in a new and exciting way.  I only did them with an empty olympic bar in the front squat position, but that was enough added resistance to really beat up my quads.  I will be doing this again.


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