W.O.W. 12/17/13- Now is the Time

I apologize again for taking so long to get a new post up, things have been very busy leading up to the holidays.  I hope everyone is having a great holiday season.  I am still following a 5-way split routine done at an every 5 day interval.  I feel that I have “recharged” my recovery pretty well and may likely make adjustments soon.  Initially, I may keep the same split but narrow the frequency to every 4 days.  After that, I may go to a 3 way split or the RenEx A, B, and C routine at an every 7th day frequency.  I find that this sort of “wave” variation over the long haul works pretty well.  Tuesday evening I did my “chest and neck flexion” portion of the 5-way split.  It was done at Fike gym because UE is just booked solid during the week (thanks to Ed, Sherry and Joe).

Dumbbell flat bench press

Chest Fly machine

Dumbbell incline bench press

Chest Fly macine

Manual neck flexion

My comments this time are directed mostly towards those who are trainers or who run facilities, but this also applies to anyone who has friends or family who might be considering starting an exercise program.  As a facility owner I have always found the New Year to be a time where we get the greatest surge of new clients.  The New Year’s resolution tradition really plays favorably for those who offer personal training services.  Even the veterans on this sight probably feel a surge of enthusiasm and renewed commitment at the turn of a New Year.  So if you are a trainer, own a facility or want to inspire your friends and family to pursue improvement…. now is the time.

This New Year is even more special and unique, and offers an even more powerful reason to pay attention to one’s fitness and health.  On January 1, 2014 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into full effect (although the King…er, President might decide to further override acts of Congress and the law of the land until the next election).  Now, I do not want the comment thread to turn into a big political debate or rant; I just want to point out that you have a massive selling point for getting into proper shape and optimizing health.  As an emergency physician I have an on-the-scene view of how things are going and I’m here to tell you, it’s a train wreck.  It has been a gradual wreck for years, sort of like a plane losing its engines, but we are at the point where we are moments away from hitting the ground.  Already, people that had pre-existing coverage are seeing their premiums go up several hundred dollars a month, while others have had their policies cancelled only to find the replacement policy cost-prohibitive.  Those that already elected not to purchase insurance because it was too expensive are now being forced by law to purchase coverage that is more expensive than that which they already could not afford, or face a tax penalty if they fail to comply (these people are largely avoiding healthcare altogether for fear of being “counseled”-reported to the exchanges).  Those that did have, or do get, coverage find that it is geographically restricted, such that if you need specialized care outside your coverage area that it may be cost-prohibitive.  On the provider side, the pressure to ration care is enormous.  This is done by a byzantine system of regulations that stipulate what “qualifies” for payment of treatment administered.  Three years ago hospitals were completely full with admitted patients housed in the ER.  Now the ER is still overrun with sick patients but the inpatient census in many hospitals is at 30-50%.  This isn’t because the patients are less sick folks.  Even doctors and hospitals respond the the carrot and the stick (in this case almost completely stick).

In the end, if the exchanges all work out so that everyone in the U.S. gets insurance coverage you need to keep in mind that coverage does not equal care.  Insurance coverage will not give you the right to see a doctor of your choosing…it will give you the right to get in the queue for whatever “provider” your coverage stipulates.  So now is the time to get in shape and optimize your health.  It is very important to not need health care at this point in time, and going forward.  It is the best time to eat a clean and healthy diet and exercise in a way that expands your physiologic headroom.  And here is another selling point.  How someone chooses to exercise is important in this healthcare environment.  You will not do yourself any favors by getting into shape if you tear a rotator cuff doing kipping pull-ups, tear a labrum swinging a sledge hammer on a tractor tire, or blow out your ACL doing box jumps.  You don’t want to thrust yourself into the belly of the healthcare beast in your attempts to get healthy.  So if we can combine this message with people’s natural tendency to seek improvement in the New Year, we can truly effect “change we can believe in”.

Now is the Time…to post your WOW’s and your thoughts.

215 thoughts on “W.O.W. 12/17/13- Now is the Time”

  1. This is the time of the year where the commercial gyms get packed…for about 2 weeks. Memberships on auto draw will be left unattended, training packages are sold in the droves, the music is jamming, the latest designer matching clothes are on display. It is big business and a circus. If I can influence 3 people (without shoving it down their throat) the value of a BBS inspired methodology I would consider that a success. Of course it will be a short window at the gym to talk about it while I’m in the facility. They may be more interested if they see that I am leaving in less than 20 minutes after entering. Nah, I doubt it, but you never know…

  2. Scott,

    Without seeing you, it’s difficult to say.

    Valgus (inward turning of knees) during leg press can be caused by a number of factors.

    Perhaps your foot placement is too wide, but I’d recommend assessing your squatting pattern to see if the same thing occurs. An overhead squat assessment (while HIGHLY overrated) can be useful in this instance.

    If there is a weakness in the ABductors or if you have over-active/tight ADductors – this can significantly contribute to knee valgus.

    My recommendation based on what you’ve described would be to experiment with different foot placement (Wide, Mid, Narrow) and see which is most tolerable and causes the least discomfort – if any.

    You may also want to address the ADductors/ABductors with additional exercises if you determine they are significantly contributing to the issue.

    Happy New Year

  3. @Matt Spriggs,

    You mentioned that your videos show you in poor condition. Is your contention that doing SS/BBS is responsible for this poor condition?

  4. Thomas,

    No – not at all.

    Stuffing my face with too many calories was a big factor.

    I don’t think BBS/SS is bad and I believe it can provide enormous benefits to people, but it does have limitations and I would say NOTHING about it is ultimate other than its ability to pull people in and make them think they’ve found the holy grail of exercise.

    It works, but only so far and for so long. Some of the enthusiasts excoriate variation. Variation is essential if you seek progress beyond a point.

    Think of a boxer entering no holds barred mma…too one dimensional.

    In the end, I am responsible for my condition or lack thereof.

  5. @Matt,

    Ok. Just trying to put your comments in context. Thanks for the response.

    My WOD (yesterday):

    AIO Leg press x 2
    AIO Row x 2
    AIO decline press x 2

    Used a 6/6 cadence for all sets. 2nd set was done with a 30 s. rest pause. Could only get 2 or so more reps on the 2nd set. Great workout. Felt a bit “dazed” afterward.

  6. Matt and Ed,

    Thank you guys for the recommendations. To clarify: I have very bowed shins (they curve outward away from each other than back in, sort of like parentheses “()”).

    I think the problem is that with a wider foot placement on the leg press, to support my thighs I am forced to press my knees inward. If I keep the whole system in line with my hips, as Ed suggested, I think this may help from putting excessive force on the knees.

    Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.


  7. @Chris,

    With regards to Grok-I agree. I also don’t like the extreme focus on insulin or the “a calorie isn’t a calorie” straw man. But, the diet itself, depending on which one you’re talking about, is a good framework for healthy eating.

    @Chris Highcock,

    Thank you for the article info (and thanks to Steele, fisher and Smith)! The summary on your web site is great. It makes Dr. McGuff’s words that much more pertinent: just. lift. weights. (and try hard). Recover and don’t get injured.

  8. Scott,

    For what it’s worth, I have a client whose knees bow inward. She brought in a beach ball…about the size of soccer ball…and we place it between her knees for support when she’s on LP. Seems to help.
    Maybe you can find something to fit?


  9. 4am WOW:

    Barbell squat(warm up)
    Weighted chin up
    Weighted chin up(less weight)
    Hammer incline press
    Hammer Incline press
    Barbell squat-59 reps at 185 lbs

    Then I went to Wal-Mart and bought every single 40 watt and 60 watt incandescent bulb that was on the shelf.

  10. @guys …

    All we need to know is evident by the expertise of Doug, Little, and a couple more. As this post-BBS protocol further refines it will come from a very very small group of these masters. Any “contributions” we make will only serve as a distraction to their quest. We are not qualified nor capable of anything else besides being the best students and listeners we can be (so far I am the best at this). Doug has(is) spent decades of research, capacity, dedication, education only to be conversationally compared to the likes of JoeA**, Josh, churo-Quacks, C Bass, Dr “four more” Ken.

    Unbelievable we still have 95% of these bloggers still questioning their epic works and touting antiquities such as carbs, set extenders, machines, statins, aerobics, etc.

    Going into 2014 the best of the best can be found in three epic works: Advanced Max Contraction, BBS Q&A, and John Little’s MP, Di1 videos.

    PS … I bet Ken Hutchins becomes relevant again … we cannot forget he WAS the edge of innovation with the SSEG …


  11. Hi,

    Brian I will also take up the challenge influence at least 3 people to commence BBS training. But it is sometimes hard to compete with all the razzamattaz(I think that is spelt right) of the commercial world of the fitness industry.

    I heard an interesting interview on the radio station words to the effect that from an economic perspective – commercially is to sell bulk/fast foods that increase your fat levels/weight than turn around and sell weight loss products. Now that that is a big way to increase the economy.

    In Australia I can’t “weight” for the next shows of the biggest losers now you will see some fitness trainers who are going to contirbute to the health care budget with all their whacky training ideas.

  12. You can say this with HIT as well. It is very efficient to accept clients for very short sessions if you convince them they get all the benefits. 15 minutes…pay the bill…next patient!:-)

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