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The History of the Squat

posted by coach Jay D

What’s better?
A Bodyweight Squat?
A Pistol Squat?
Hindu Squats?

Powerlifting Squats?
Olympic Weightlifting; Ass to Grass Squats?

These are all arguments that have been going on forever.

My take: your squat is based on your needs.
If your goal is to move as much weight as possible, utilize leverages and your body type/anthropometry to your advantage, then you might want to study the Powerlifting style; if you are more ballistic and required to get underneath a bar fast, catch it, then stand up, your go-to should be a weightlifting style squat.

Want massive legs and definition?
Read up on how bodybuilders use hypertrophy programming and time under tension when squatting.

We’ve been squatting since we came into this world and nobody taught us how.

But in terms of the lifting aspect of a barbell squat…where did it start? Why did it start?

Featured below is a great piece by John Broz and regarding the history of the Squat.

Always dig and know your ‘WHY’? It will make you more passionate and connected to your lifting.

I love this stuff. Enjoy.

Craft Your Lift.

Top 10 Alternatives to the Barbell Snatch

posted by coach Jay D

My new love is the Snatch. Its variations include, but are not limited to the Power Snatch and even the Snatch High Pull.

Whatever the case, the Snatch is a lift of beauty displaying not only Power, but precision and technique.

That said, here are the top 10 alternatives for any athlete looking to gain the benefits of Power/Speed Strength without having to learn the technical aspects of a Barbell Snatch.

10. The Dumbbell Snatch

9. The Kettlebell Swing or Kettlebell Snatch

8. The Sandbag Clean or
Staggered Snatch

7. Kneeling Jump to Box Jump

6. Broad Jumps

5. Barbell Jump Squats

4. Depth Jumps

3. Weighted Vest Jump Squats

2. Band Deadlifts or Band Rack Pulls

1. Box Jumps

I wouldn’t recommend putting all of the above, let alone more than 3 exercises together in a training session. Oppositely, any of these exercises performed individually within a program over time with gradual progressions and loads will benefit any athlete looking to improve their Power Development (Jumping, Sprinting, Striking, Lifting).

- After foam rolling, mobility and general warm ups, Power Training should be placed first within a training program.
- Work for low volume sets; 5 sets of 3, 6 sets of 2 or Multiple Singles – 10 sets of 1
- Ensure Rest periods are at minimum 90s to 5 minutes long, as to spare the Nervous System and reduce fatigue/burnout
- Goal should be Fast Force Development over an instant of time; Quick Explosive movements
- Loads should be 30% to 65% of 1RM if using external loads/weights
- Ensure you or your athlete has established sound foundations of General Strength and Movement Patterns
- Always remember that Power development has more to do with the Nervous System/Neurological Adaptations, rather than the Muscular/Hypertrophy side of training

Keep these in mind and you’ll be tearing it up on the field, the platform and in life in no time.

Evolve or Die.

Heroes: Bill Kazmaier

posted by coach Jay D

Video Piece on Legendary Strongman, Bill Kazmaier.

He seems like a gentle giant…but remember, don’t mistake kindness for weakness.

I heard he’s coming to town. Hmm?

Overcoming Laziness (Sloth)

posted by coach Jay D

Strength Seekers, in training, as in eating well, as in sleeping, as in studying, as in saving money and investing – it gets hard.
Shoot, Life is hard.

Sometimes, we get lazy. I’m not really sure what steps we took to carve out this path of Sloth, but I’ll share a powerful video and concept that’ll hopefully light a fire underneath your ass and get you going.

Here, the SealFit Coach + Commander, Mark Divine breaks down, Laziness as, “A Feeling of Incompetence”.
He also breaks down what to do about it through 4 of the following progressive levels:

- Ignorant to your lack of “suck”/lack of skill and ability
- subconscious fear (expressed through Laziness)

- addressing the need for improvement
- acknowledging, “I really need some work and help here, but that’s ok…where to next/what to do next?”
- Mental and Moral Courage Development

- “Embrace The Suck”; soldiers in the Gulf War used this term sardonically as a coping mechanism to deal with/embrace a bad situation (aka, “Suck it up!)
- Confidence Development
- Out of Lazy Cycle + Into Success Cycle
- Commitment
- Doing the Steps required to get to your goal consistently

- Not realizing how great your skill set has become
- humbly doing a thing; not posturing or being Egocentric/Ego-Driven (“I workout! Look at me! Instagram it!”)
- Life Changing + Life Long

Hopefully, a brief understanding of where we fall within this continuum helps you as much as it helps me.
Evolve or Die.

“Warm Marble” The Lethal Physique of Bruce Lee

posted by coach Jay D

In Memory of Bruce Lee’s Birthday Today, I’d like to share a great article by John Little with an Intro by Mike Mentzer, entitled, “Warm Marble”.

Bruce was always concerned with efficiency and effectiveness in the martial arts, strength training and movement, in general. Aside from being well-read into his books regarding philosophy, martial arts and nutrition, Bruce read tons into Kinesiology/Physical Education and Physiology.
The man believed in simplicity. He Simplified. But remember…Simple is not Easy.
He Refined.

Here’s a small slice of Bruce’s training that would be a great template for all Strength Seekers involved in the martial arts, Strength Sports and Bodybuilding and general fitness.

“Warm Marble: The Lethal Physique of Bruce Lee” by John Little; Intro by Mike Mentzer

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
- Bruce Lee

Movember: Move

posted by coach Jay D

Movember is just around the corner, and if you’ve spotted me at the head of your class, or in a one-on-one setting, just the same, then you’ve caught my face-fur harvesting in progress. This lack of contact with my razor, is all a means of setting the groundwork for Movember, when I’ll be raising funds towards Prostate Cancer Research, as well as doing everything in my power to create an awareness towards men’s health. My moustache, during this time will literally and symbolically, change the face of Men’s Health, while creating awareness and solidarity surrounding the matter.

One of the initiatives in this year’s Movember 2013, is MOVE.

MOVE is pretty much a call to arms for all Mo’Bros and Mo’Sistahs supporting the Movember Movements. It demands that each and every one of us, literally “Move” – in all forms.

In other words, it’s physical activity; it’s MOVEMENT; something that will make all of our lives that much better in quality and hopefully, longer.

I, therefore challenge all of you, men and women Strength Seekers out there to get off your asses at some point for duration of Movember and Move.
Move Daily.
Move Strongly.
Move with Vigor and Passion.

Watch the video below for details + Stay Twuned to all of JD Training’s Social Media for tips and propaganda surrounding this very important Movement next month…

Evolve or Die.

JD List: 5 Ways to Supercharge Your Monday

posted by coach Jay D

Get some sleep. I’m talking 6-8hrs. Make a Point to scrap your mobile devices and internet connections before sleep.
Power them off and store away or Charge, if needed.
Turn off your TVs and Radios, just the same.
Books are OK, but make sure you give yourself an absolute cut off time when reading; “Harry Potter” can get pretty involved, I know.

Get up Early. If you’re waiting until the last moment to really push your sleep time, shower time, eat time and travel time, you’re screwed. Give yourself time, it’s the best gift that you could ever praise yourself with. You’ll have an extra moment to yourself. Plan your day here. Prep your meals and food, here. Meditate. Recite Positive Affirmations. Listen to your favourite iTunes Playlist. If not, at the very least, give yourself 10 minutes that belong to YOU doing whatever you can claim as “You Time”. Uninterrupted.

I never classify Hikes or Leisure walks as part of a “training” regimen. I won’t even claim that I do it for personal fitness improvement. Really, this morning ritual is for mental clarity and re-connecting with Nature and our surroundings. Ask yourself how well do you know your neighbourhood? Sure, you drive through it every day; sure you grew up there or have been raising your kids there, but when was the actual last time that you turned a certain corner on foot, or walked through the local park of suburbia?! Listen and watch how the animals on your block Live. Let the Sunrise inspire and motivate you, just the same.

Mondays should be dedicated to Green Smoothies (some sort of leafy greens, limes/limewater and whatever you think of that’s green, but not from your nose), as they’ll detox and alkanize your blood after all of the binge drinking, sugary, salty, meaty and fatty indulgence that took place from Friday to Sunday night. It’s a tune up for your body. Lots and lots of Ice is key here. Make’em thicker than my eyebrows.

It’s a War.
Time can be both our friend (as stated in #2 of this list) or our biggest Enemy.
Don’t expect to get anything done without a written plan. Sounds stupid, but is it really? I’m not talking about detailed mapped precision, here. I’m talking about a hard copy, paper journal or calendar. It can be Nutrition, Training or really Life-related. You do it in Business for meetings, why wouldn’t you do it where it counts most – Your personal life? Randomized Living = Randomized Results. Know this Truth.

Have A Strong Monday.
Evolve or Die.

You Have The Getting Ready (To Get Ready) Syndrome

posted by coach Jay D

Like saving money, fitness, health, exercise and eating healthy are all the same.

The problem with our thinking is that we see too much of the hurdles and effort required to achieve all of the above.

In saving money, we believe that we have to save 100s or 1000s of dollars at a time. We feel we have to pay just the same amount of cash, effort and attention towards our debts and loans.

The same can be said for health and fitness-oriented goals in life.

If we’re overfat, seemingly “unfit” or lacking in core strength and range of motion, we view the climb in all of its entirety.

Before even getting started, we mistakingly forecast and waste our time looking at the pitfalls of weekend junk food binge eating, birthdays and cake, late nights spent during overtime at work and lack of time to prepare food, that are ahead. We think of the cost of “healthy groceries” and where that money might better spent towards. We look at the early hours we’ll have to set our alarm clocks to, just in order to get up and reach the gym to actually exercise and train. We then wonder, “what’s the point?…why even bother?…”

Fact of the matter is, this is what I call “Getting Ready (To Get Ready) Symdrome”.
It falls in line with a Self-Defeatist attitude.

We’re taking too long expecting perfect conditions, circumstances and alignment of the stars to start doing what we ought to be doing immediately.

Friends and Strength-Seekers, whether it’s landing your dream career or vacation or having that perfect healthy, fit and capable body, just get started on the path NOW. I mean physially, actively and aggressively — start ACTION now.

It sounds cliche, but Nike had it right with their marketing campaign, commanding you to “Just Do It.”
They never said, “Just Ponder It” or “Just Analyze It” or “Just Wait For It” or even “Just Cost-Benefit Analysis It”, for good reason…it’d never get you actually started in Movement and Training, or better yet, on the path towards your goals.

A dollar a day counts and goes way further than waiting for that perfect time to suddenly find $10,000 in your bank account.

Cutting back just 1/2 of your grains at lunch and dinner, replacing them with whole, natural foods, like fruits and veggies or even quality protein, will have tons more of an effect than trying to buy the most perfect organic, free-range, hormone-free, sustainable groceries, supplements, cooking utensils, books and classes en route to eating “clean” (whatever that Hell that means, nowadays).

Getting your ass up, actually, better yet – Jumping your ass out of bed, into your car and starting your Joint Mobility Work at the gym before your training session will kick start your day. Get FIRED UP.

Refer to this post, constantly.

Believe me.

The Mind and Body work together; synergistically and symbiotically.
Yes, Mind over Matter;
Yes, strive to be mentally tougher than physically tough, but don’t ever discount the body’s ability to literally and figuratively “move” the brain and mind.

Every horse starts wild, before they’re trained to pull a carriage.
Let the horse pull the carriage and let the mind take the reigns once in motion. Both are required for action.

It’s what I promote during your low and high points of training,
and it’s one Hell of a powerful concept.

Stop getting ready to get ready. Stop being paralyzed while wasting time to analyze.
The timing will never be perfect. Ever.

Start Action Now.

Small pieces of the puzzle everyday add up and create the bigger picture, friends.

Evolve or Die.

Erwan LeCorre x Gray Cook: Conditional Conditioning in Movement, Life and Training

posted by coach Jay D

The latest craze in fitness tends to be pushing high volumes, training to barf and training to seek and find soreness.

Although the tools to obtain these goals are indeed often, “functional” per se, how is being out of commission and promoting dysfunction in movement, body and mind really functional?
What function are your functioning towards?

Recently, I caught a small preview clip of two of my most well-respected instructors/rehab specialists/Movement Purveyors – MovNat’s Erwan LeCorre and Physical Therapist, Gray Cook, sharing dialogue together in a preview clip of a DVD previously released.

From that small snippet, I realized that even the giants whose shoulders I stand on, share the same perspective with me – More is not Better, Better is Better.
That is, all of the reps and AMRAPs in the world don’t mean a damn thing; all of the improper kettlebell swings, miles logged, rocks climbed and distances of Farm Handles Carried or Prowlers Pushed don’t mean a gatdamn thing if we’re not seeking to move more intelligently, efficiently, safely and ultimately, PROPERLY.

Treat Strength as your Journey, not your quick-fixed instant gratification.
Take a step back, think about movement, move, then ultimately try to move ‘functionally’, properly, (pain)-freely and move without thinking about moving.

This is what training should be; progressive, skill-based and smart.

After all, any fool can use brute force to move a weight, but not everyone can do it intelligently, effectively or efficiently.

Here are the two conversations that struck chords with me:

Instead of giving you answers or my interpretations on the matter, I’m leaving them open-ended for you to lessons away from.
Evolve or Die.

A Moment in Strength: Pistol Presses + Coach JD gets his Instagram-On!

posted by coach Jay D

Here are some shots of what went down recently…

follow me on Instagram @jdtrainingig
I’ll be curating Lifting and Living there, daily.