Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by conw, Feb 29, 2008.
3 lifts (deadlift, bench, squat)
Muay Thai or any martial art
Any balance of sustained and explosive movements;flexibility ; and strength . For me these days it ususally means hill runs/resisted cardio ( cross trainer ) followed by a few rounds of what I refer to as "White Trash Yoga"-basically circuits and cycles of different body weight exercises...example ( todays) resisted cardio followed by walking over to pull up/chin up bar...set of Hindu Squats follwed by set of pull-ups follwed by Hindu push ups follwed by wrestlers bridge turning into gymnasts bridge followed by set of table makers...repeat 4 to 6 times or until the room spinsSaturday;similar ;but I may either substitute chin ups for th eoull ups ;or I may turn the pull ups into horizontal pulls;I dunno yet. As winter approacxhes I will probably get back into the iron work.
I gota concur with the earlier poster who referenced the power trio(bench -squat-deadlift);and would also recommend working in clean and jerk and or farmer's walks...there IS a place for th ebody building type movements;but I am lousy at that kind of stuff
Hey, Conwict, (and everyone else interested in fitness) check out bodybuilding.net. It's a really good forum-it's not firearm/outdoors-related. Tell 'em john917v sent you!
I will be 59 next month . . . and here is my routine that I restarted (after being lazy for about 2 yrs).
1. 3 mile bike ride - timed. I have it down to under 16mins, and it gets my cardio up nicely
2. 40 to 50 laps of a 20yd community pool
3. 30mins aerobic rowing on my home gym.
I alternate these to get at least one of each during a week. My goal is mainly improved respiratory and cardio fitness, without a muscular bulking up. I have always enjoyed swimming and find it a great full body excercise. My bike ride is with a mountain bike on flat FL suburban bike path and I could stretch this to 6 miles once my fitness level increases, but first I have to get closer to 10 mins for the 3 mile circuit.
Cowict, thank you for posting on an important topic. Having all the goods to survive will mean nothing without the right mindset or fitness to use them.
Anyone who has shot IDPA or the like, or any sort of fast paced competition (not to mention any soldiers on here) can attest to the adrenaline dump when under pressure. Studies with simmunition rounds and cops in force on force training were done to measure heart rate, blood pressure, etc. No surprise, but all levels of fitness experienced an initial rise in heart rate and blood pressure. Those with higher levels of fitness were able to return to baseline faster, as well as do better in the scenarios.
ANY physical activity and exercise is better than none. The sooner you can start (Never put off till tomorrow what can be done to day!) the better. Even walking is better than nothing, and much more beneficial than people think.
Gang. Fitness/health/longevity, etc. is my job. I have been a well known writer for most of the mags, as well as other related work in this area. My bio if interested:
Below is one of my articles I hope will be useful. I am currently working with a regional SWAT team preparing them for a competition coming up shortly, and will have a bunch of vid on that if interested.
Follow the KISS Approach for Success by Will Brink
The acronym “Keep it simple stupid” or “KISS”, has been used for decades by the military, business schools, medical schools, and in countless other areas where unneeded complexity should be avoided at all costs. In the military, adding complexity where it’s unnecessary to complete a mission will get people killed. Adding complexity to a business venture where it is not required will often get you fired or see your company go down in flames. Adding complexity, or looking for complex answers to simple problems, in medical settings can cause a loss of life or unneeded suffering. I am sure my readers have also experienced situations in which complexity added to situations that didn’t require it, led to disastrous results.
One area where most people fail to follow the KISS system is in their approach to fitness, nutrition, or supplements. In fact I find people seem to gravitate toward adding complexity to their approach when it comes to building muscle or losing fat. Not coincidentally, it’s the people who take the most complex approaches to their nutrition, supplements, and training who are always the most confused and least successful. They focus on - and subsequently worry about - minutiae that prevent them from seeing the big picture and making the type of progress they desire. It often leads to what is referred to “paralysis by analysis.” The vast majority of people would have better results, not to mention less stress, if they simplified their approach to losing fat or gaining muscle. It’s not rocket science, brain surgery, or even rocket surgery!
Yes, there are times when complex approaches need to be used to get advanced athletes, such as pre-contest bodybuilders and Olympic track athletes, prepared for an event. These people make up, at most, 1% of the population. The rest of the world needs to worry less and act more.
Why is complexity a bad thing? The issue is variables.
Adding too many variables makes things more difficult, especially when trying to figure out why something is working or why it’s not. Variables are an essential part of science. We don’t need to go into great depth on this topic, so don’t worry. I do, however, want people to appreciate how variables affect the outcome of their successes or failures in bodybuilding or fitness related endeavors.
So what is a variable? According to one of my textbooks:
“Scientists use an experiment to search for cause and effect relationships in nature. In other words, they design an experiment so that changes to one item cause something else to vary in a predictable way. These changing quantities are called variables…”
There are different types of variables (e.g., confounding, independent, dependent, controlled, etc.) but we are not going to worry about that right now. So how does this all apply to the KISS approach? The more complicated you make your approach to your goals of gaining muscle or losing fat, the more variables you have to control for. That is, for every new bit of complexity you add, you have to be able to account for it in terms of the results, or lack thereof, you experience.
Confused? Here’s a simple example:
Last week you changed your diet, added in three new supplements, and changed your routine, then three weeks later you notice you have made no improvements (i.e. you didn’t lose any fat, or you didn’t gain any muscle, or whatever). Why? It’s impossible to know! You added too many variables into the equation and now you’re unsure what went wrong - which means you won’t be able to make appropriate changes to correct it. Conversely, let’s say you did lose fat or gain muscle with the changes. Great, but do you know which of the changes you made resulted the positive outcome you experienced so you can reproduce it? No, no you don’t.
So, Lesson #1 is: never change more then one or two variables at a time so you can track what worked - and what did not work - from the changes you made. Most people find writing it down in a note book or online journal is the best way to keep track of their progress. When you write it down, you can see the effects that changes in your diet, training, or supplementation have on your body composition, strength, etc.
KISS and those ugly variables
On my forums, it’s not uncommon for someone to post a question like “I added supplement X, Y, and Z to my supplement intake, added an extra day per week in the gym, and reduced my calories by X. Why am I not seeing progress?” My response is “…too many unknown variables to answer that question” which translates into “how the hell should I know?”
Why do people make so many changes at once? I suspect it’s due to the “I want it now” syndrome. Making permanent changes to your performance, physique, and health, takes patience, planning, and a willingness to take things one step at a time and assess what is working and what’s not working in the overall plan.
Clearly, the KISS approach fails to be effective as more variables are added to a program. It also fails to be KISS. How can you keep it simple if it ain’t simple to begin with?! The more complicated the program, the more variables there are to keep track of – which makes success far less likely. This basic idea was appreciated and understood by history’s greatest minds. For example:
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."
- Albert Einstein
What was the father of Relativity saying? Be it math, science, nutrition, or life, Keep It Simple Stupid wherever possible, but don’t simplify it to the point where it’s no longer effective or true. In my own writings, be it articles or books/e-books, I make every attempt to keep the information and message as simple as possible. However, I often see popular books and diets that are in fact too simple. They don’t want to confuse people, so they simplify things to the point that their advice is no longer correct and has little value to the reader – thus, Einstein’s warning. Oversimplified statements like “carbs are bad” or “fat is bad” or “do weight lifting for big muscles and aerobics to burn fat” are among the gems we all see. Problem is, those statements are dead wrong! A line between simple and too simple must be drawn.
OK, back to the KISS approach…
It’s not possible for me to go through every example of how to take a KISS approach to your training, nutrition, or supplement intake, but I will attempt a general discussion of each.
KISS and training:
One of the most common mistakes I see in this area is what I like to call the “I have tried everything and nothing works” syndrome. My response is always “have you tried sticking to one program long enough for it to actually have any effect?” The answer is usually a guilty sheepish facial expression. Let me be honest with you: even an average uncomplicated program you are consistent with is far more effective then any high-tech, super-advanced program you fail to be consistent with. One simple program you follow consistently for a year is always better then the five high tech programs you tried in 6 months where none of them were followed long enough to have a positive outcome. Simple programs such as: weight training Monday, Wed, Fri, and aerobics, Tue, Thurs, and Sat, with Sunday off, whilst varying your exercises tend to work well for the majority of people.
Are there better programs out there? Of course, but the vast majority of people follow routines that are overly complicated, take too bloody long, and are simply unneeded.
I also see a dependence on less productive movements in the gym over more productive choices. I see people doing reverse Romanian lunges while the squat rack gathers dust in the corner. Was that you I saw the other day?
KISS and supplements
You don’t need them. Bet you never thought you would read that coming from me did you?! Let me qualify that statement: does a person need any supplements to achieve the basic goal of either adding muscle or losing fat? No, no they don’t. Can supplements help the process? Can supplements potentially speed up the process? Can supplements potentially offset some of the negatives? Can supplements help optimize the effects of exercise and diet? The answer is yes in all cases. The problem, however, is that I see far too many people under the impression that the next wiz bang “cutting edge” supplement is going to make some huge difference to their appearance while their diet and workout are put on the back burner or set low on the priority list. They are constantly looking for that one supplement that’s going to make all the difference while they ignore their nutrition and training! I see it all the time and frankly, it’s frustrating.
Remember, KISS. Focus on your training and your nutrition - then worry about supplements. Start off with the basics, like a good multi vitamin, a source of essentially fatty acids (EFA’s) and a good protein powder post workout, then add additional supplements over time depending on your goals, such as creatine when trying to add muscle, or ephedrine and caffeine when focusing on fat loss, and so on. The shotgun approach many people take rarely works, wastes money, and adds complexity (remember our conversation on variables above) where it serves no useful purpose.
I love supplements. I take a dozen or more supplements every day of my life. I have designed them for supplement companies, spoken about them at various conferences, been involved in the published research of supplements, and built my career on them, so I am not some anti-supplement zealot by any means. However, I do speak with people all the time who outline a long list of supplements they are taking (many of which have been shown to be totally worthless) while their diets stink and their training programs are a joke. Don’t be one of these people! Don’t think for a second there is any one supplement out there that will make or break your success. Realize that supplements are exactly that; supplemental to a good diet and intelligent exercise program.
KISS and nutrition
Finally, we make it to nutrition. Nutrition is a potentially complex topic, and just as importantly, it’s a highly emotional topic for many. No place do I find such clear examples of people adding complexity where it’s not required. Again, there is a small segment of people that will benefit from - and require - advanced nutritional approaches, such as pre-contest bodybuilders, pre-race marathon runners, or even the average person seeking to get to very low bodyfat levels. Does the average person who needs to get into better shape and lose perhaps 20 – 30 lbs. (or more) need to follow advanced nutrition concepts? Of course not! Can the average person benefit from techniques more advanced dieters (e.g., bodybuilders, fitness competitors, etc.) might employ, such as cyclic ketogenic diets, refeed days, carb cycling, and other approaches? Of course! Do they require such strategies to drop some fat and get into shape? No, no they don’t. That’s why I tend to offer well thought out, healthy, and easy to follow approaches to nutrition in my e-books and offer more advanced approaches to people who want to take it to another level.
Simplicity + consistency = success
The above is what I consider the basics of the KISS approach to nutrition, supplements, and training. You will have to fill in some of the blanks as it applies to you specifically. If you are making steady predictable progress, great, stick to it. If however you are not making progress in your goals to add muscle and or lose fat, or some other goal, then you may need to sit down and seriously rethink your approach to the problem. Is there added complexity where you know it’s not needed? Are you relying too heavily on supplements to achieve your goals? Do you find yourself doing exercises that are less effective then the good old fashioned basics, like squats, deadlifts, and bench press? I can’t answer those questions for you, but hopefully I’ve made you think - which is half of the battle. You know what they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him think!
"These physical fitness threads are always suprisingly controversial. "
It's a highly debated topic, so no surprise to me. I have been in the mix of it for a long time.
"Very interesting stuff - especially re: muscle protecting the spine."
Muscle mass is essential to virtually every aspect of your life. Sarcopnia is age related loss of muscle, and just as important, if not more so, then bone loss. The two go hand in hand. Here's an article on the topic and worth reading if you hope to avoid or combat this condition:
Sarcopenia, the undiagnosed epidemic
Is a loss of strength, mobility, and functionality an inevitable part of aging? No, it’s not. It’s a consequence of disuse, suboptimal hormone levels, dietary and nutrient considerations and other variables, all of which are compounded by aging. One of the greatest threats to an aging adult’s ability to stay healthy and functional is the steady loss of lean body mass - muscle and bone in particular.
The medical term for the loss of muscle is sarcopenia, and it’s starting to get the recognition it deserves by the medical and scientific community. For decades, that community has focused on the loss of bone mass (osteoporosis), but paid little attention to the loss of muscle mass commonly seen in aging populations. Sarcopenia is a serious healthcare and social problem that affects millions of aging adults. This is no exaggeration. As one researcher recently stated:
“Even before significant muscle wasting becomes apparent, ageing is associated with a slowing of movement and a gradual decline in muscle strength, factors that increase the risk of injury from sudden falls and the reliance of the frail elderly on assistance in accomplishing even basic tasks of independent living. Sarcopenia is recognized as one of the major public health problems now facing industrialized nations, and its effects are expected to place increasing demands on public healthcare systems worldwide” (Lynch, 2004)
Sarcopenia and osteoporosis are directly related conditions, one often following the other. Muscles generate the mechanical stress required to keep our bones healthy; when muscle activity is reduced it exacerbates the osteoporosis problem and a vicious circle is established, which accelerates the decline in health and functionality.
Thanks will for all the info...
I hope it helps!
I hadn't seen this thread yet. I'm glad to find it here. I consider fitness my number one priority for emergency preparedness. It is important to maintain what you can for fitness. Not to exclude people with hindering conditions of course. You don't tell a person with arthritis in their hand to go get an air weight .357.
Here is a question for you fitness experts out there. My weak area is running. I want to improve my times. My 1.5 mile is at 12 minutes or so currently and I want to drop that down to 10-10:30. Currently I am running 2.5 4-5 times a week. (I'm happy that I am maintaining that on vacation too despite having gone up two mountains in the past 3 days!) SO my basic goal is to improve speed endurance.
Many of the best brawlers aren't all that fit...and most of them arn't healthy at all.
the type of life style they lead isn't conducive to either.
Look at one of those guys who "was" a brawler when he is like 60.
Separate names with a comma.