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    Out of the blue and into the black
  1. Started this training cycle, I want to get way more exposure to the Oly lifts than I was getting because mine are very under-developed, and I was also starting to stall out on the linear progression a little. One week into the cycle and it's going pretty well, my O-lift numbers are still very low but starting to feel a little more comfortable about throwing a weight over my head and dropping down to catch it. It's also nice to have a change in training focus.
  2. Find something that you could maybe pursue at a basic competitive level, and sign up for a event. If you're into running signing up for a local 5k run would be an easy way to motivate yourself to train. In an ideal world everyone would be motivated by their future health and longevity, but realistically that's easy to sideline, but if you know you'll be running 5k or a half marathon or whatever in a few months doing well in that is always an incentive. Edit: Today I did 3 sets of 5 back squat at 105kg and then for time: 40 bench press at bodyweight (75kg) and 40 reverse wall walks, where you start with your feet against the wall and walk them up into a handstand position then back down. My shoulders are burning like hell now, took me almost 50 minutes, the wall walks are brutal.
  3. I don't think there are actually any problems for the knees with heavy squats, on the contrary, squats done to proper depth can help improve knee function and health. People get problems with knees from squats when they do partial squats (the shear forces on the knees required to reverse the motion at a shallow angle are higher) and when they don't keep their heels down which places a sudden large strain on the knees. For reference, this is Mark Rippetoe:
  4. Either protein shake or whole milk post workout, and plenty of simple non-refined carbs, preferably starchy but I sometimes eat a banana. Realistically strength stuff taxes me less than intervals or met-con type things, but I think if you refuel properly in that post workout window you should be fine. Admittedly when I used to row at 6am for an hour or so I might sometimes have to take a nap later in the day, but I think that was more sleep loss than anything.
  5. I've done it both ways, I'd say in general most people get more benefit doing it in a group setting, having other people doing the same thing is motivating and the trainers can constantly coach your movements so you're more efficient. But I'd say 95% of my training is done alone for practical reasons (no CF gyms where I go to uni), and I still get the benefit. It's also hard to find gyms who program CFF, which is what I'm using at the moment. I think you'll definitely still get the benefit doing it alone, but it might be worth taking some kind of introductory class at a CF gym just to get some free/cheap personal coaching on the movements. I don't think it's a massive hassle, I generally check the workout for the following day before I go to bed (on my phone or whatever) and then just do it, it only takes a few minutes. You could also follow the program a week behind and then know what your workouts are for the whole week. The strength stuff is easy to follow because it doesn't change much, it's only the DWOD that varies much. Today I did 5 sets of 3 power cleans, 3 sets of 10-12 heavy power shrugs (using explosive hips and not just traps) and then for time: 100 toes to bar and 100 KB swings with 24kg
  6. Haven't posted in here in a while but just thought I'd drop a plug for this programme I've been following for last 8 weeks or so (obviously it's free!): http://www.crossfitfootball.com/ I was reasonably conditioned before (I rowed and did occasional Crossfit workouts), but I think I've massively benefited from the consistency the linear strength progression and heavily weighted circuits. Squat is up to 110kg for 3x5, deadlift at 145kg for 5 reps and bench at 80kg for 3x5 (100kg 1RM) and my power-clean at about 75kg for 5x3. I eat reasonably strict paleo + whole milk and some whey protein post workout. The other nice thing is my metabolic conditioning is still pretty damn good, any met-con workout sub-15 minutes is generally fine for me. When I followed starting strength and stuff in the past I felt strong but not necessarily generally fit, but with this I feel strong, powerful, fit and fast. I add in some Oly lifting (not massively high intensity atm, just building technical proficiency) and some other gymnastic skill stuff for fun. If anyone has any questions let me know, I've been coached and trained with a guy who's taken the CFF Certification so is pretty clued up with the deal.
  7. Involvement is very different from supporting a military campaign like the one in the Middle East. The US forces who were initially deployed were being used in an advisory capacity, to provide specialist knowledge and technology to track him down. On the one hand there's working with the government and military of a country to help them, which is pretty common, and there's invasion or direct military intervention, which is very different.
  8. Completely disagree about the "benefits" of grains. I was sceptical about the paleo thing for a while but I gave it a shot about a month ago and haven't really looked back. I'd say I'm about 90% compliant, I occasionally stray when I eat meals out and stuff when I can't avoid things. I was a pretty fit and active 21 year old before but now I am much stronger and have a lot more energy than I used to. I also haven't been ill since I started, which is great because I've had winter colds for the last 15 years of my life. I drink whole milk because I lift weights a lot. Paleo isn't some cult thing based on eating like a caveman, it's just a scientific assessment of "in general, what foods are healthiest to eat?" Turns out those are mostly meats and vegetables. To the OP, I'd just say don't get neurotic about what's good and bad. Obviously avoid processed foods and sugary foods. I'd say eat carbs according to your activity levels, I have more carbs post-workout and because I exercise quite a lot. This is a pretty good guide about what to eat and what to avoid: http://talktomejohnnie.com/diet/what-should-i-eat
  9. There's a rebuttal of many of the points of that article here: http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html To be honest even before I'd read the rebuttal I haven't been particularly impressed by any of the anti-Kony2012 arguments. Even if the charity is squeaky clean, I think you can support the cause without necessarily supporting the charity behind it. I'm not accusing you of saying this, but I find the whole "but it's more complex than that!" argument a little patronising. I get that the situation in Africa is incredibly complex and won't be solved by bringing Kony in. But I think these kind of people can go unpunished precisely because we second guess each other and the outcome of removing Kony et al. The issue is, does Kony deserve to be brought to justice and be judged for his crimes? I think the answer is unequivocally yes, and that's what I think the message of the campaign is about. Of course it won't fix everything, it might help, it might not. But I think if you have a conscience you have to ask yourself why wouldn't you want to try and stop him? You can debate the details of how that's done, and I think his removal has to come from within rather than with some occupation by foreign forces (which the campaign isn't pushing for), but if bringing him to justice gives some closure to the thousands of people he's affected, then it's worth it.
  10. Rowing or cycling. Short interval bursts, say 200-2000m then rest for a few minutes and repeat a few times. Go hard in the intervals. Or, do something like: As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of: 10 press ups 15 sit ups 20 burpees That'll get you panting and develop muscle strength/endurance.
  11. DOMS (Deep Onset Muscle Soreness) is massively more pronounced in people who haven't exercised or worked out in a while. The pain goes as your muscles adapt. And Tim, whilst not wanting to make light of problems at home don't use them as an excuse. Most of the core/abs exercises we posted don't need any equipment and could easily be done before bed in 5-20 minutes. Once you can hold a plank for 1 minute with not too much problem, just find a tree or a bar to hang off and do knees to elbows. Stuff like this takes no time and no equipment, the only thing stopping you is yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqOgtFcqWbE
  12. I cannot believe I'm reading what's previously been said. 2011 has provided by far some of the most exciting races I've ever seen. Yes, Vettel has been dominant in the lead in the early races but the more recent ones have been much, much closer. He got lucky today in Monaco with the safety car coming out with 10 laps to go. There's so much more strategy, overtaking and contention for places lower down the grid than I've ever seen before. And you can have great track position with 10 laps to go but get slaughtered because of a bad strategy and the tires wearing out like Button did weeks ago. No one can deny Vettel's been dominant but I think it's been so far from boring this season.
  13. You need to stop plugging the idea that AV is inherently "fairer/more democratic/better" than FPTP and that a simple education drive would change the result next time. I voted No being fairly well informed of the issues, thanks. http://www.av2011.co.uk/ In particular, for a summary: http://www.av2011.co.uk/NewsCaseAgainstAV.html Bear in mind this is a website very much in favour of voting reform, just not a reform like AV.
  14. But imagine how awesome it would be if you could...
  15. I've done my fair share of early morning rowing outings with not much sleep and a hangover, and I can assure you that any sustained race pieces are GRIM hungover. The fresh air can help though, and I find just doing weights is normally okay. It depends on the severity of the hangover though, a dull headache and feeling groggy is manageable. Struggling to put your shoes on because you bending over makes you still feel nauseous and dizzy 12 hours after you stopped drinking is less so.
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