September 25, 2012

“He who hesitates is a damned fool.”

Rant and Tip for September 25, 2012
“He who hesitates is a damned fool.”  Mae West

I had a tough time finding a quote today, but found this one from Mae West. When I read it it made me think about squatting heavy weight. The reason is ATP, ATP is Adenosine Triphospate, is the source of energy that makes the muscle contract. The problem with ATP is that very little of it is stored in the muscle. It is replaced in the body both aerobicly and anaerobicly. There are 2 pathways for anaerobic energy and one pathway for aerobic energy. The first 30 seconds of a lift uses 1 of the anerobic pathway for this energy and is using what is stored and reserved in the muscle. This uses PCr (Phosphocreatine) and while it cannot be used as energy itself, it can rapidly replace ATP. The stored ATP and PCR is the energy I need to tap into when I attempt a heavy lift. If I wait too long my body has to get the energy through an aerobic pathway or the other anaerobic pathway, both are efficient but will not give me the explosive power I need to get the big lift.

 I recently attempted a squat of 385 and while during the walk out it did not feel real heavy, I took way too long to settle with the weight. Then I took too long thinking about the squat. I did not get the weight up. Now since when you squat heavy you hold your breath through the lift, you need to get your energy from the anaerobic pathways and if you wait too long before you squat and use up the PCr pathway then you will not be at your strongest. Now I will say that my form was not the best on this lift and will question myself as to whether that was because I did not have the energy or was it because I just had bad form. A point to ponder I guess.

You can really say the same to yourself regarding your diet. Really, why hesitate to take on a new eating lifestyle. Why hesitate in making this lifestyle change. There is really no down side to getting healthy and fit. NONE! I guess if people noticing the weight loss and saying something get a bit tiring, but I can think I would rather deal with that than be overweight and unhealthy. 

Recently the company I work for hired a new head of IT security. I walk past his office often mainly because his office in on the way to the kitchen. We have talk about diet and weightloss a little. Well a couple days ago he came by and was kiddingly mad at me. He said I just heard you are 50 years old and that you were a heavy guy and lost the weight while changing your diet and working out here(there is a small gym in the building). I said yes I was and did. I then showed him the before and after pictures on my blog. His response was “Now I have no excuse, you took them all away.” He cannot use age as a reason and he cannot use the excuse I cannot get to the gym. Really the gym excuse is bogus anyway. You can always do some aerobic exercise outside or get some dumbbells and workout at home. Anyway he is the one hesitating and in Mae West words a damned fool. To make it clear I do not think he is a damned fool, I do think however people fool themselves into thinking they cannot get it done.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Overtraining? You may be overtraining if you experience any of the following
·         Elevated Heart Rate
·         Elevated resting blood pressure
·         Difficulty sleeping
·         Fatigue
·         Irritability
·         Decreased interest in exercising
·         Immune system breakdown (prone to illness)
·         A failure to progress or improve
·         Excessive weight loss
·         Frequent muscle cramps or strains
·         Excessive soreness following workouts
·         Ammenoria (lack of female menstruation)


  1. Great post, Jim. Timely too. Today is squat day and I often make the mistake of hesitating in the lift. I get the bar on my back and just kind of stand there picturing the lift in my head. The time to go through such mental exercise is before you get the bar on your back. I will try to be quicker in my lifts today and see how it goes. I am on stage d of my Wendler cycle, so today will be extra heavy. I will need all the extra strength I can get.

  2. Wesley, great post! Thanks for sharing. It's both easy and hard to go from one lifestyle to another. My husband and I have been watching what we eat and exercising in the morning {before our brains realize how tired we are} and I have to say, it's been going great until today. I have had the worst cravings for everything that I used to eat mindlessly while sitting at my desk. Good thing I had an apple with me! Ü

    Question, what do you do about sore muscles? I worked my legs yesterday and today I am really feeling it! Could use some pointers from a muscle guy like yourself!

    1. The best thing you can do is rest them. You can also take glutamine that will help with muscle recovery.

    2. Thanks! I just read your post on sleep. I really try to get 8 hours of sleep, but some days I fall short with work and school. But most of the day I'm fairly immobile.

  3. I have used glutamine before and it helps. I agree with Wesley on the rest too. One other thing that helps me is to have an apple or orange post workout to replace glycogen.