Five for Friday
It’s Friday, and time once again for Five for Friday. Strap yourselves in, hold tight, and get ready for a blitz on what’s been happening this week in the industry.
1. 20 of the Smartest Fitness Trainers You Might Not Know
I’m tremendously pleased to say that I do actually know all of these. (Gold star for me). But then being a fitness professional, I’d hope to know them all. Basically, these guys are at the very top of the industry – they all know a huge amount, and more importantly than that, they know how to deliver their knowledge in an interesting way to the general public.
There’s a good mix here of dieting experts, fat loss gurus, strength guys, rehab and corrective exercise specialists, and general training geniuses. If any of these aren’t on your radar, get to know them. Just reading one or two blogs a week can make you smarter, and improve your training and lifestyle tenfold.
Check out all their sites, and get reading. Just make sure you keep checking back here too, and don’t leave little old me on my own. J
2. “9 Strategies for Knee Pain” by Ben Bruno
Ben Bruno deservedly made the above list, and here’s his latest offering on T-Nation. Knee pain is pretty darn common, and is the main reason I hear for people not training, or avoiding exercises like squats. Don’t use it as an excuse though. It’s perfectly possible to continue training with knee pain, and you can still get an arse-kicking workout, even if your knees are shot.
It’s also possible to still train your legs, and get stronger, while rehabbing your knees, as Ben is demonstrating brilliantly after recently having knee surgery.
Also, remember this, these are the words of strength training guru Dan John – “Squatting doesn’t hurt your knees, the way YOU squat hurts your knees”. So even if you think something is causing you pain, or is bad for you, it may just be a simple case of performing the exercise incorrectly. If something hurts, look at your form first, before completely disregarding it.
3. “2 Simple Diet Tricks You Should Start Today.” By Yours’ Truly
**Warning – Self Promotion Alert**
I’ve been doing a bit of work for SteadyHealth.com recently, and have had a few articles published there. This one went up recently, and is about the two most fundamental steps you can take to improving your diet and getting results. In all honesty, they’re not really dieting “tricks”, more necessities, but I guess calling them tricks makes it sound more catchy and edgy.
If you’re not doing these, start doing them now.
My other articles on the site can be found here –
4. “Training for Middle Age and Beyond” by Dan John
Nothing I’ve ever read by Coach Dan John has ever been anything less than fantastic. His whole approach to training, diet and lifestyle is absolutely fantastic. Yet, as a middle-aged gentleman, he realises that he needs to tailor his training to suit the way his body is changing.
As people get older, they do one of two things –
- Keep training like they’re a teenager, get injured and give up.
- Stop training altogether, as they feel they’re too old for it.
Either way, both approaches result in you not training – not good.
But listen to Dan’s advice, and you can’t go wrong. He’s got some no nonsense, simple tips that anyone can implicate. You don’t have to be getting on in years for them to be beneficial either. Everyone could learn from this post.
5. Tony Gentilcore’s Cross Body Carry
Do these in the gym, and people will probably look at you like you’re nuts, but don’t let that put you off. Let’s look at what this exercise does:
- Activates the obliques, and the core as a whole.
- Encourages perfect posture and abdominal control.
- Trains the shoulder and triceps of the arm that’s raised.
- Trains the grip of the hand that’s lowered.
- “Functional” for everyday life – it’s a pretty similar movement to carrying a heavy bag of shopping in one hand.
- Looks badass.
These are great as part of your warm up, to help get your core primed for stabilisation, and work well if you’ve got underactive obliques, or a weak core. They can also be done as part of a core circuit, or in between other heavier exercises like bench presses and chin-ups, as “active rest”. I wouldn’t advise doing them between sets of heavy squats and deadlifts though, unless you’re going light, as it could potentially be too much strain on your core muscles, and lead to fatigue and injury.
Carries are a great, yet massively underused and underrated exercise. Try them next time you’re in the gym though – grab some kettlebells or a pair of dumbbells, and take a tour of the weights room, holding one arm overhead, and one at your side. You’ll be amazed at how tough they are. Just be prepared for some serious ab and oblique DOMS for the next few days.
That’s it for now. Enjoy the weekend, train hard, and top up those vitamin D levels by getting some sun.