I saved Part 3 for last because it is filled with the best stuff. This stuff is also kind of slightly controversial, but I’m not sure how you can argue against the examples I give. Also, remember Part 2? Remember the part where I said that writing is work? Yeah, tonight is definitely one of those nights. Only got a little sleep on Sunday (watching the Vikings do what they do best: suck p3n1s for coke), only slightly more on Monday night, and very little last night. Apparently 3 cups of coffee at 6:00pm is a bit excessive. Whoops!

Anyways, enough b*tching!

Stuff I always “knew”, I just didn’t know it…

Most supplements are crap and a half. I have a friend, who shall remain anonymous, that tells me all about this shit he takes and how wickedly awesome it is. He tells me that his pumps are huge, he’s tossin around monster weights, and everyone should take those same supplements. Here’s what he doesn’t realize, he is a genetic freak! This guy could take nothing and eat like shit but still train his ass off and still make these gains. Most of what he takes is nothing but hype, placebo, and ineffectiveness….kind of like the Anaconda Protocol. (Don’t even get me started on that.)

Moral of the story is, if more people took the money they used to buy supplements and bought higher quality food instead, they’d be MUCH better off. Most people eat like shit and rely on the supplements to make up for it. FALSE! The supplement is just that: it’s a ‘supplement’ to your diet. So, get your diet in check!

To me, the biggest bang for your buck is going to be:

Fish Oil
Vitamin D3
Vitamin B-complex
Probiotic (Digestive enzyme)

Anything other than those things are going to be (mostly) a waste of money until you get your diet rockin’ and rollin’ and figure out what works for your body. THEN you can start getting fancier.

Oh! And the other supplement related thing I learned: I think you get more benefits from your supplements if you ‘stack’ them with recovery time in mind. (FYI…’stack’ is just the term us bar-barians use to describe all the shiz we take with one general term.) This makes sense because your muscles don’t grow while you’re in the gym. Your muscles grow afterwards and while your sleeping. Also, the faster you recover, the faster you can get back in the gym to train. (Pro tip)

Brain function is a skill that can be developed and affects performance. Think about it. When you’re (or were) doing drills for your specific sport, they came rather easy, correct? The coach tells you exactly what to do, how to do it, and the proper way to react. You, the athlete, have nothing else to think about. Your performance at that point when your brain is on auto-pilot (much like mine is everyday at work….just a mindless drone), is purely physical in nature.

For example (I honestly did try to think of a different sport, but football is soooo easy), you’re doing one-on-one drills as a cornerback vs. a receiver. The coach tells you that the receiver is going to do a 5-yd out pattern. BLAM-O! You have perfect coverage and intercept the pass because you were more physically dominant than the receiver. That makes perfect sense. We all know receivers are p*ssies! (Can you tell I played defense?) But in reality, it’s because you didn’t actually have to think about anything. You knew exactly where to be, exactly when to cut, and exactly when the ball was going to be thrown. For the most part, you took your brain out of the equation.

Now, let’s say you DON’T know what route is going to be run. All you (as the defender) know is that you have to cover this receiver or he’s going to burn your ass for a TD. He can be running any one of 8 different routes, all of which require different footwork and different technique. When the ball is snapped you need to first think of what kind of technique you’re going to use off the line. Then, as you’re running down the field, you need to read his hips and try to anticipate when he will cut. Oh, and don’t forget other tell-tale signs like if he’s leaning into you, he’s probably going to push off to gain separation on the cut. All the while, you still need to run and not get your feet tripped up or get caught holding. Now, does any of that sound anything like the 5-yd out pattern where you knew exactly what you needed to do? I sure hope not.

Your brain controls how much weight you can and cannot lift. Your body may be structurally strong enough to lift some weights, but if you are doubtful or have not convinced your brain that you CAN handle that weight, it won’t let you. For instance, I am probably structurally strong enough to pull a 450lb. deadlift, but since I have never attempted it before and it probably feels really frickin heavy, my brain is gonna say, “no way, asshole, you’re gonna bust yourself again, and I ain’t puttin up with that shit.” So, it will not fire the neccessary amount of muscle fibers in order to lift the weight. On the flip side, in times of great stress, your brain will go on override and let you do superhuman things. You’ve heard of everyday people deadlifting a burning car off a loved one or something like that, right? Well, in that case, your brain is saying, “you know what, maybe I’m not structurally ready to lift this, but the hell if I’m going to let my wife and kids die under this car.” And voila! Car is lifted, family is safe, wife is so excited, he gets BJ’s on the spot. Win. Win. (Win).

Last example of this: you know how you put on your favorite badass Britney Spears song right before a huge PR attempt? Or maybe you think of yourself in a life or death situation like I just explained (which is what I used to do). Well, those are both just ways of priming your CNS (Central Nervous System….controlled by your brain). The CNS is King of all things lifting and performance. So if that’s the case, why are we all so dismissive of those theories and studies? Why do we rely on older, inefficient (still efective though) techniques? Is it because you don’t understand or because you’re afraid to go against the norm? More on this later as well.

So there you have it. All 3 glorious parts of what I have learned this year. The sad thing is that I’ve got tons and tons and tons more to go. And if I have that much more to learn, you can only imagine what you’re little foo-foo fairy trainer at Gold’s is gonna have to do. *shudder*

Now, after reading all 3 of those wonderful publications, tell me, what did YOU learn in 2009?

Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.