Things I’ve Read Recently, and Have Semi-Coherent Thoughts On, Volume 2

24 Apr

4 Things I’ve Stolen From CrossFit by Dan Trink

I agree with the author on, well, basically everything.  In particular I’ve greatly enjoyed adding some gymnastics stuff into my workouts.  Handstand pushups and muscleups are a hell of a lot of fun, plus I get to look like a bad ass.

Ask Well: More Repetitions vs. More Weight? by Gretchen Reynolds

This short little blog post pissed me off.  While I’m not really in a position to critique the science, I will say that if you only lift at 30% of your 1RM, your 1RM will plateau very quickly, and I will bet you every dollar in my bank account that your muscular growth will plateau as well.  However, if you lift heavier, your 1RM will increase, and your higher rep work will continue to stimulate hypertrophy well beyond a 6-8 week study.

The Science of Six Packs by Brent Rose 

I don’t think gawker media is the best place for one to receive the majority of your fitness advice, but they’ve nailed it once again.  Every time I see an overweight trainee doing dozens upon dozens of crunches in some futile quest for visible abs I die a little inside.  At the rep range that the vast, overwhelming, majority of people perform abdominal exercises all they are accomplishing is dumping some lactic acid into their muscles, and burning a negligible amount of calories.  If you want visible abs you have to 1) perform heavy ab exercises that will leave you convulsing after 30-60 seconds, and 2) lower your bodyfat to a fairly extreme degree.

Fitness Playgrounds Grow as Machines Go by Courtney Rubin

Not that I really expected in depth fitness information from the NYT Fashion & Style section, but one thing in this article is a perfect example of something that bugs me.  It’s become common to refer to isolation machines as being “bodybuilding” exercises.  They’re not, they are exercises that are popular among uninformed lifters.  Real bodybuilders, at least the ones not on drugs, don’t do leg extensions, they do fucking squats.  They aren’t doing endless sets of tricep extensions, they’re doing fucking bench presses.  Mother. Fuckers.

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