W.O.W. week of 9/16- The Spinner

My ER schedule continues to be erratic and a circadian hell.  As a consequence I have followed the 3-way split yet again.  Each workout does not dip so deep into recovery that I cannot work a shift the next day.


MedX Overhead Press, Nautilus Plateloader Bicep, Nautilus Plateloader Tricep, Reverse Curl, Formulator Flexion


SuperSlow Systems Pulldown, Nautilus Pullover, MedX Chest Press, MedX Row with SS cam, Calf Press


Lumbar Extension with SSS Pulldown, MedX Leg Press, SS Neck Flex/Ext

Recently, I was reminded of the power of habit.  My daughter had been a thumb-sucker since she had been in the womb and continued to do so until her permanent incisors came in.  The result was a significant overbite.  Not long ago she decided to quit of her own volition.  I was so impressed by her willpower and bravery in giving up this security measure that had served her for her entire life.  She even painted her thumb with a tincture of hot pepper before bed so she would not suck her thumb in her sleep.

Despite these measures, the damage was done.  She had a persistent overbite.  The overbite caused her to swallow by tongue thrusting (pushing into the opening of the overbite) rather than raking the tongue into the roof of the mouth.  This tendency perpetuated and worsened the overbite.  We therefore ended up at the orthodontist’s office.  He ended up recommending a “spinner”.  The spinner is mounted between the upper molars and a wire carries forward toward the hard palate just behind the incisors.  Threaded over this wire, just behind the central incisors, is a ceramic cylinder that spins over the wire.  My daughter was instructed that every time she swallows, she was to use her tongue to spin the cylinder backwards.  Also, when she was just sitting around, she was to use her tongue to spin the cylinder in a backward direction.  I must admit that I did not have much confidence that this would change much of anything.  Boy was I wrong!  Within a few weeks, her overbite has almost completely corrected and her profile has changed dramatically.

This experience has reminded me how much little habits can change us…for the better, or the worse.  Little things like posture can likely make dramatic changes in our appearance and health.  The tiny bad habits with regard to our diet are what hold us back from our ideal body composition, even as we obsess over what we eat.  Little dog trails of bad thinking that run through our brains may be holding us back more than we know.  Small replacements of tiny habits may be just what we need to make massive change.

Post your WOW’s and your thoughts.

127 thoughts on “W.O.W. week of 9/16- The Spinner”

  1. Mega doms in my back ‘n bi’s….Heavy metal song title? No, what I’m feeling today after yesterday’s TSC incorporated WOW !

    90 sec staged TSC is really hard, really effing hard but seems to make perfect sense in terms of graded m/u recruitment. Despite my best efforts at stoicism I just cannot help ancestral noise towards the end of a contraction. I don’t find this challenge with dynamic work. Anyone else seriously trying this?

  2. What do you guys think of heavy enough adjustable dumbbells like 2*120lbs Ironmaster? Ideal relatively affordable home solution? Or do you know any similar product with maybe quicker weight change? I currently have just 55lbs dumbbells, but really quick weight change. I wonder if they’ll limit me one day, for now..certainly not.

  3. To the business/studio comments:

    Are you saying the only way to charge a professional fee is if you have “unique” or shiny equipment?

    If so, are you selling the uniqueness of your equipment or your expertise and knowledge and how you can get people to a clear and desired outcome?

    Personally, I would think it would be a losing battle always seeking out the newest and shiniest equipment to justify my fees instead of selling my expertise using my chosen equipment, whatever that may be. A clear and powerful outcome defines and justifies fees, not equipment.

    In health,

  4. Brandon,

    I could go to a shooting range (at least in the US) I would have a great outcome by making some pretty big holes in a target with my finger. Or I could get the same result by hiring a 44.

    I’m not a trainer of other people but one thing I do know, 21st century western culture…people like/love gear.

  5. @Chris Highcock

    I think my point was unclear…I’m saying the equipment is necessary…and not just for the sake of attracting clients…that was a side note.

    Limited or primitive equipment is perfectly fine for training myself. If I want to instruct others, better tools can make a significant difference. They allow you to serve a significant population that a lesser setup is truly inappropriate for (special pops, chronic disease, rehab or post rehab litations, etc). They allow you to control variables that make your service repeatable, measurable. The better the tool, the more streamlined the process will be, maximizing time, effort and resources of the instructor and client.

    I could go on here…but I think I made my point…and it is the entirety of these differences that allows a premium to be put on the experience…not just shiny toys, but rather a true reason to employ professional services. Most of what people pay for these days is something they could do themselves…there is a market for the services I describe and they are necessary for the clientele…

    I’m not interested in people like yourself, no offense…healthy, active people are not on my radar…though I can help them too!

  6. Hi Brandon, skill trumps all. That said, limited resources will also limit the range of clientele. I could certainly train my clients using body weight exercises and a vest to ptogress resistance when necessary, however doing so would cut my current client list by about 2/3rds. This is due to the fact that many that are simply motor challenged, dealing with musculoskeletal issues that make machine based training a better option.
    That said, one doesn’t need to drop $50, 000 or more on equipment either. I think that it comes down to your business model and where you want to allocate your spending.


  7. @ Joe:

    “If I want to instruct others, better tools can make a significant difference. They allow you to serve a significant population that a lesser setup is truly inappropriate for (special pops, chronic disease, rehab or post rehab litations, etc)”

    Saw a perfect example of this in another forum. Someone was trying to train his father, 80+ years old, with Parkinson’s disease. Wanted some advice on how to work the old man up to back squats with an empty bar, because his starting strength was really low. Seems like using a leg press would be a lot smarter for this situation.

  8. “If I want to instruct others, better tools can make a significant difference. They allow you to serve a significant population that a lesser setup is truly inappropriate for (special pops, chronic disease, rehab or post rehab limitations, etc)”

    I think this is true but the difference starts to become less significant at a certain point but the cost of the equipment continues to grow. A modification in protocol can safely bridge that gap.

    I personally would love to have the best equipment to fit a very cool protocol such as that developed by RenEx. But I wouldn’t let that stop me if I couldn’t get access to that equipment.

    I personally train several seniors, one who is significantly ill, on equipment in their senior center that is less than optimal. With modifications, they have been able to do workouts that are safe and produce results (and continue to produce-one of them has totally reversed her bone density issue). These results might be mildly better on better equipment, but they (the client) doesn’t care and likely wouldn’t want to pay double the fee to access it (at least the ones I train).

    The point is not that we shouldn’t strive for better equipment; we should. But if you cant get it, don’t let that stop you from training people efficiently and safely. It can still be done.

  9. What benefits/drawbacks do you guys see in doing chin ups on a straight bar VS gymnastic rings?

    Doing chins on the rings allows my wrists to rotate more naturally while following a path of least resistance.
    My experience has also been that straight bar chins seem somewhat easier after chinning on rings exclusively.

    What is your take on this issue?

  10. Todays workout,
    nautilus shoulder press
    barbell curl
    OME dips
    nautilus neck extension/flexion
    Humerus exo rotation
    I have no love affair with free weights(not any more) but still have a lot of them because that is how I started my small gym some 25 years ago(into bodybuilding).However I was very much aware of its limitations for the not so young ones.Over the last couple of years I purchased equipment that I could use for more effient and safe training.I think about not having to pick up a weight before starting and/or ending,or not to worry about putting down the weight when reaching failure etc. I never would e.g let a client train his neck muscles otherwise than with a machine(a good one). Maybe with manual resistance yes,but never with a headstrap or just a plate on the head etc.
    I would invest in the better and more expensive equipment if I had the money.I think these are better at loading the muscles.Ergonomical aspects would play also a major issue.It is obvious that there are bad,good and best machines for these purposes independent of ones personal preference , mistaken ideas/opinions,emotional attachment and so on.Even with not the best equipment but good ones one can seperate oneself from the garbage that is used to fill up the large cheap gyms.Combine that with knowledge and being service oriented and you have a good start.
    I ,like I guess many others here, am very curious about how the cleveland experience was.

  11. Hi, I’m a newbie when it comes to training with the super slow method. Is this the proper location to post with questions about training?

  12. @Thomas

    Don’t lose sight of the context of my statement, which was in response to a comment regarding a personal training business consisting of bodyweight exercises and dumbbells.

    I would agree with your observation and certainly modifications in protocol can be applied to overcome many limitations…and there exists a range of tools of varying refinement.

    Understand too, that I was not attempting to project my feelings on anyone else’s business/preference. But, for me, at this point, I’m no longer interested in the business if I am constantly adjusting protocol and applying workarounds, spending much time attempting to teach a client “how” to fatigue themselves in conditions that don’t serve to facilitate the process (for the individual at hand).

    I have an extremely specific service (in my mind) that I want to provide, and if I can’t (for financial reasons or otherwise), then I would just as soon do something else for income (which is what I’ve done). I now instuct only a limited number of paying clients (and a few more without compensation)…and these are all being weaned too. I’ll return to this as a professional pursuit at some point, but only without compromises…

  13. Brian F,

    I’ve been trying TSC as well and have noticed the DOMS in my own workouts. This last Saturday was workout #3 and I’m not as sore in my legs as I was after the first workout. I’m going to try them for two or three months and see how I like them.


  14. Hi Joe A,

    Understood. Certainly the trainers preference means everything and they (you) should do things the way you want to if you can. I totally respect that.

    I feel like I do need to compromise to a degree and am willing to change things accordingly, but that’s just me. For the people I serve, I feel the benefits of strength training for health are just too great, even with a modified approach (the alternatives can be much worse imo; people have an interesting knack for damaging themselves with exercise). Even with a modified approach, I think I have much more to offer than the typical trainer or that person going it alone.

    If you don’t mind that I ask, are you moving into a related industry or something totally different?

  15. @Thomas

    I chose an opportunity that kept me in the Corporate Health field, though I am not limiting myself to this industry (if other opportunities present).

    With three kids under six, an uncertain healthcare system and unstable economy, I decided against the risk of further developing my own business too (side business). I have skills that can profit me elsewhere, so I’m making $$ for now.

    I love this stuff, but I came to point where my needs and wants were diverging severely…and like I said, if I can’t do it the way I want, then I’d rather not do it at all (for now).

  16. Good equipment simply levels the playing field, it allows for any person to have a reproducible, sustainable,effective, exercise experience.

    Marry good equipment, protocol and business systems and you improve efficiency, retention and have a higher level of satisfaction for trainers and clients.

    Most gym equipment just gets in the way; bad cams, poor biomechanics, isokinetic devices and motors all impede rather than support. Free weights and body-weight are far better choices.


  17. @Joshua

    “Free weights and body-weight are far better choices.”

    …for the populations for which they are appropriate, useful…which brings the discussion full circle (Chris Highcock’s orginal comment). Which is why I said “I agree somewhat”…just limits who and how you can serve.

  18. WOW (1st)

    After a long hiatus (new baby, crazy hours at job, no sleep)…I eased back into it:

    Nitro FGPD
    Nitro Chest Press
    Nitro Row
    DB Lateral Raises (CE style -DeSimone)
    Nitro Leg Press

    I am now one year post-knee surgery…and my leg is finally great. It was an up and down ride, but, honestly, my lack of activity the past couple of months was apparently the ticket…unintended consequence. I even tested it with some jumps that, if recorded, may have been worthy of a post on Chris Highcock’s blog :-)

    Starting Thursday…I’m going to start pushing it, get my legs back to full capacity (I’m 8 lbs lighter than before injury ~2 years ago…all muscle, all in the hips/thighs).

  19. jOe , i HoPE yOU AvoiDEd the Leg Ext at all cost…straIgtEning yOuR KNEe iS dAnGeRous.lol

  20. @ Joe A

    Congratulations on the new baby and on the new job as well. I am certain you will be quite successful as you seem to possess a great work ethic and passion for whatever you do. Your comment about not training people at all if you can’t do it the way you feel it should be done speaks volumes about your integrity. When you achieve financial success in the new job you can then, like Ed Garbe has done, return to your real passion– helping people attain their fitness goals.

    Ed H

  21. Hey Doug! It was a real pleasure seeing you at the convention and listening what you had to say in regards to the cardiovascular system and the way our hearts work during exercise; especially your personal insights on heart patients in our private discussions post seminar really got me intrigued. Will definately attend next year and hopefully will continue to submit my thoughts and discuss more with you on here! I thouroughly enjoyed !!!

  22. Thanks for all the congrats guys.

    No comment, I think I’m still in timeout for not playing nice…

    @Chris Highcock
    No…but I find it amusing that my random discussions in the comments here are being referred to as my “writings” (BTW, you aren’t the only one who has done it)…flattered, but amused nonetheless. I learn something just about every day that makes me realize I was an idiot the day before for not knowing it…I’m pretty sure I have no interest in a collection of my own idiocy. :-)

  23. @Ed Garbe

    After my last comment I decided to remove myself from the conversation, and simply not check the blog for the next 4-5 days.

    I made this decision, because like I now see you said, this simply isn’t the place for heated arguments, and it was my mistake to even continue in it as long as I did.

    This is only supported further by the fact that I have a blog where I can post as much, or as little of this type of discussion as I wish.

    Thanks for chiming in.

    – Anthony

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *