Wednesday, September 07, 2011
My latest training article for DPM has launched. It’s titled The One Workout Every Climber Should Do but it’s a workout every single person should do. Although the strength you gain from it is very specifically applied to climbing it’s also vital for almost everything else you do with your upper body. So while it may not be the ONE workouts you should do, everyone will reap huge benefits from it. I could go on but I’ll quote the article instead.
Climbers aren’t the only demographic to ignore the importance of stability training. A few sports scientist friends, trying to answer the riddle as to why bigger, stronger and faster-than-ever-before athletes are also most injured in history found that most—in some cases as high as 90%--showed significant muscular imbalance. When we’re out of balance don’t move with biomechanical efficiency and our linear movements don’t “track” correctly. When this occurs an injury can happen anywhere along the body’s kinetic (movement) chain.
In populations where these imbalances have been correct they’ve seen non-contact injury rates plummet. The major areas of focus are the shoulders and hips. Pelvic (hip in the colloquial) stability can be important for climbers (and everyone) but in the need-to world of sports specific performance we’re only going to address the shoulders.
This region hosts the origin of almost every move that climbing begins with. And while it does not include the “money” area, the hands and forearms, biomechanical alignment problems will radiate to that area as well, meaning that imbalances in the scapular region can lead to elbow, wrist, or even finger problems. Even though you rarely fail on a climb because your back or shoulders were pumped, strengthening these areas properly will shift more of each climbing movement’s burden to this region’s larger muscles, thus saving your smaller hand and forearm muscles for when you actually need them. This energy savings also translates to less strain on connective tissues, reducing instances of tendon and ligament damage.
Html version of the article (easier to read)
This article is the second in a series. The first is titled Should You Train?, which means should you train for climbing (it is a climbing magazine after all), but has some application across the board as well and should be worth reading, especially if you participate in a sport where you get a lot of exercise by just doing the sport.
The movement videos should be live sometime today on DPM. If they aren’t you can find them by clicking the two presented here on the You Tube icon and following the series.
Monday, September 05, 2011
Saturday, September 03, 2011
The Park City Point to Point race is going on right now. I’m not racing because I don’t have to. I can ride this terrain, without a crowd, any day I want to. Okay, in reality I’m more likely not racing because it filled up so fast that I didn’t have a chance (6 minutes) but, still, I don’t have to go out of my way to make a trip because I live here, which is absolutely awesome.
I’m adding a second psyche post this weekend because I leave for Europe soon and may not blog as much, so I’m stockpiling so you regulars will have stuff to read. Anyway, if you like riding dirt and haven’t been to Park City you’ve got to plan a trip. And if you’re type who likes mixing it up on hard terrain plan to register the second next year’s Point to Point race opens because there’s not another event on the circuit like it. Here’s what racer Sonya Looney, who’s done most of the “best” races, has to say.
80 miles, 14,000′ of elevation gain and almost ALL singletrack… and not just any singletrack, the kind that makes the butterflies in your stomach swirl to the point where you feel like you’re going to explode from happiness and you can do nothing by smile ear to ear and giggle out loud. Of course, it’s a race and it’ll also hurt like a mofo.
When I first moved here it was great, so much so that one of Google’s founders, who could live anywhere in the world, chose it specifically because “it’s my favorite place to mountain bike”. This included all the famous places I rattled off: Moab, Whistler, St. George, Durango, Flagstaff, Ketchum, Fruita, etc. For some reason, however, it wasn’t on the radar as a major biking destination.
This could have been because back then we had plenty of pristine single track but lacked a lot of the terrain some of my more adolescent friends enjoy, like rocks and jumps and such. Now we’ve got that too. A lot of it and more, it seems, every day. Yesterday I stumbled on another “grommet trail” as I call them, which are packed with “trail furniture”. It seems like every time I go out I find another.
Officially there are around 400 miles of single track in the mountains around Park City. Unofficially you’ll find a few hundred more, which doesn’t include the trails systems one the entire west side of the Wasatch drainage, which include many locals’ favorite trails. You’ve absolutely got to check it out.
You don’t need a race as an excuse to visit. It’s easy to make up your own adventure, like my friend Ben’s recent birthday challenge; a 10-hour ride that was supposed to feature part of every trail system circling Park City—essentially closing the loop of the Point to Point race to make it a circle (a much longer version of Sedona’s Big Friggin’ Loop). An injury kept us from finishing the circuit as planned but another beautiful thing about PC is that at almost any point, should you get hurt, hungry, thirsty, or just plain tired, you can point your bike down hill and be in a bar, restaurant, bike shop or hospital in a matter of minutes.
When I ride here I can’t help think that Brigham Young was right about one thing;” this is the place,” at least to ride a mountain bike.
Friday, September 02, 2011
For your weekend entertainment, here are a couple of P90X2 teasers. First a short video of Marcus explaining post-activation potentiation to our coaches at the Beachbody Summit—check out his struggle to speak in laymen terms, where he still confuses the audience. Probably would have helped if he’d just said, “the process is to recruit higher threshold muscle cell motor units” like I do in this webinar, where Tony Horton introduces P90X2 with me doing the color commentary. With Tony on stage I always feel like Ed McMahon, laughing down at the edge of the couch. Someone ought to get me a Budweiser (ok, so this jokes a little old, but, seriously, has any talk show second fiddle come close to matching the Carson era?)
P90X2: The Next Revolution (click here for the webinar. It's over an hour pour yourself some Shakeology, or a martini if Ed's inspired you.)
Since the Friday Psyche is provided for outdoor athletes, it’s important for all of you to know that we’ve made a home exercise program that will help you improve at your own particular esoteric pursuits. This program, far more than anything before it, is geared towards improving sports performance more than aesthetics. You are going to want it.
Thursday, September 01, 2011
It’s not quite out, but P90X2 pre-orders start today. As your trainer I advise that you get it. I don’t usually hype our products. I just make them and let that gang in the marketing department decide how peddle the stuff. This one, however, I’m going to harp on you about.
If you follow my blog you’re probably more interested in fitness than the average Joe. And given that’s the case you’re going to want what is, by far, the most advanced training program ever put on video. That’s no knock on anything we’ve done at Beachbody. Most people don’t need advanced. If you’re overweight and hate exercise Slim in 6 is fantastic. If you like to dance you’ll probably love Hip Hop Abs or Turbo Fire if you're a bit fitter. If you need something more advanced we’ve got P90X or Insanity. P90X2 is the next level: movement specific applied science tailored to the masses. If you want to be more athletic, improve at a sport (no matter which one), or simply age more gracefully you’re going to want to own P90X2 at some point.
Instead of presenting you with a sneak preview of X2 like everyone else, here’s some behind the scenes footage. Al Jefferson, of the Utah Jazz, is literally one step away from being an NBA all-star. When he’s on the floor and healthy he’s a consistent 20/10 guy—-Hall of Fame numbers. Unfortunately that step is due to a bad knee. If he can improve the stability of his platform and get his knee to respond to how he’d like to push it, he’ll then be able to back-up his silky smooth throwback post game with athleticism, which will also improve his defense, shot blocking, and rebounding.
This is Al at P3, in Santa Barbara, Ca, where we did most of our research and prep for X2. I saw him during his first trip out, over a year ago. He was covered in sweat, completely destroyed (like me during my first workout at P3), and kind of embarrassed to have others watch him train. Check out Big Al now,doing the same style of training you'll be doing with X2, and keep in mind this guy is a shade under seven feet tall and three hundred pounds. Remember when Shaq could move like this? Look out, NBA!
From P3 (yep, this is the kind of description you’ll be able to use about your own improvement after X2): Al Jefferson is making tremendous gains this off-season at P3...Much of our work with Al has focused on giving him dynamic hip stability, and shifting demand from knee to hip. This process involves both strengthening and neuromuscular re-education of how to stabilize and activate his gluteus medius and upper-third of gluteus maximus.