February 27, 2012

Attitude: It is our best friend or our worst enemy.

Rant and Tip for February 27, 2012

Quote: “Attitude: It is our best friend or our worst enemy.” ~John C. Maxwell

Our attitude can make or break us. If we keep telling ourselves that we can’t do something then we never will be able to do it.  Where if we take the time to plan properly and apply the knowledge we have to the goal at hand we can achieve amazing things. Your diet is no different. If you continue to tell yourself that you cannot lose the extra weight you are carrying, then you won’t. You have already defeated yourself without anyone else even saying a word. I know it is not easy. Learning to eat properly after years of indulging in the foods that have added the extra fat pounds to your body takes dedication, but you can do it. One of the things switching to a low carb life style does is give you the, “Oh I can do this: factor early on. This is because in part due to the diuretic effect of the diet. You body will not retain as much water when you switch to low carb. Yes you do lose some fat that first week and will continue to lose fat. However you also lose some water weight without trying. As a matter of fact you will need to make sure to continue to drink copious amounts of water. Anyway this additional lose gives you a substantial weight loss in the beginning, in most cases. This is a huge motivator but can also be discouraging once your body gets use to it and then you do no lose as fast a rate. Grab a hold of that motivation you get in the beginning and use that as your catalyst to that great attitude that is your best friend.

Training is going well and I look forward to putting the bench shirt on again next Sunday. Today is a squat day for me and as long as my legs and back feel good I will attempt a PR of 380 lbs. This is a big deal for me because I think I have finally broken the fear factor. You see a couple of weeks ago I took myself to failure in a squat cage deliberately. I wanted to let my body know it was ok if I did not get the weight back up because I had the safety rails in place. I had for the longest time the fear of getting stuck under some heavy weight on the squat. This is a mind over matter thing that I just had to get over. I am going to push myself to get a 400 squat by August.

Have a great workout!

Tip:  Hear are 10 squat tips from  Chris “OX” Mason from www.EliteFTS.com

Proper Start
When unracking the bar, make sure that your head is up, your chest is up and your stomach is filled with air. Too many times lifters start screaming and grunting and lose I.A.P. This will make you lose tightness in the squat and start you off on the wrong track. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be intense, just learn how to channel it correctly.
Create a Shelf
Try to touch elbows together behind your back during the squat and especially when putting the bar on your back. This keeps your "shelf" tight and creates a large amount of space to put the bar on. Also, keep your elbows close to your body; don’t let them come up. This will cause you to fall forward.
Low Bar
Find a lower bar position. This will give the weight less leverage on you, and you more leverage on the weight. This doesn’t mean that you have to automatically become a low bar squatter, but try to find a slightly lower bar position if you are not already doing so. This will take some time to get used to, so don’t expect to feel comfortable right away.
Sit Back at the Beginning
Sit back as far as you can before you bend your knees. We have all heard the term “sit back” when squatting but it is especially important to start to sit back at the beginning of the squat. This will ensure that you start the lift correctly. The first motion of a good squat is pushing the hips/glutes to the rear, not bending the knees first. This will require that you have strong hips, strong hamstrings and a very strong low back. Remember that if you begin wrong, you will end wrong. If you begin correctly, you give yourself a better chance at ending correctly. Get started on the correct path at the beginning of the lift.
Squat without a Box
You must squat with and without a box. Rotate every 2-3 weeks. I squat with a dip and I can’t train that aspect with the box. This ensures that I improve my squat form and am still comfortable at a meet. But the box makes me work harder and makes me stronger. I believe that you need to practice your full squat form without a box.
Good Mornings
Do your good mornings, helps with #4.
Train your Abs
Train your abs, but don’t train them like a bodybuilder or a “regular” fitness enthusiast. You must train them heavy with sets of 6, 5 or even triples. You must gradually work up to this or you will tear something.
Go Raw
Rotate in a raw cycle. Don’t wear briefs or a belt and do this with and without the box. You will find out how much you rely on your gear. I do this for the 4 weeks prior to a 12 week meet cycle. ( I am a raw lifter for the squat but thought I would leave this one in.)
Move the Head First
When coming out of the hole, the head moves first, up and slightly back. The body follows the head, if the hip/butt comes up first, the head goes forward, then so does you and the weight.
Video Analysis
Make sure that you video your workouts and critique your form as if you were looking at someone else, then make necessary adjustments. Be honest with your training partners. If the squat was high, tell them. Then they will feel comfortable telling you the same. While some of your training partners are friends, you must be comfortable enough to give and get criticism.

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