Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wanna use chains? Set them up right!

As I flip the ol Facebooks, Instagrams, and YouTubes I constantly come across a lot of people using chains in there lifts.  Although I think this is awesome, it seems as though lots of them never got the memo on how to set them up and use them correctly.  So in this little blog I will go over setting up chains, why and also pop some vids.  I'm going to try to not get to technical on you and just give you the basics and maybe some tips to help you out.  After you read all this please take a look at the vids I posted for your viewing pleasure. 

The goal when setting up chains is that we get as much of the chain to unload at the bottom of the lift while maintaining some chain touching the ground at the top in either the squat or the bench. 
 Here is a picture of how NOT to set your chains up.

In the picture above you will see the chain attached from on end with the rest of it hanging down.  You will see chains sold with some contraption to hook it to the bar as well.  Shy away from places that sell these.  First reason is because you don't need that shit you need leader chains to hook them on the bar and two because these sellers don't have a clue and are just trying to make money off you because they think they are the "cool" thing.  In the pic above if you were to picture somebody squatting you would see as the bar lowers only about 5-6 links of that chain would be unloaded at the bottom of the lift.  Now lets say each link is about 1 lb.  That's a total of 5-6 lbs of resistance accommodated or change of weight through the movement.  So a total of 10-12 lbs out of the 40 lbs of chain that's hanging on there.  Sure doesn't sound like what they are meant to do to me.  Now lets take a look at how it should be done.

In these pics you can see how as you descended in the squat you would be able to unload most of the chain if not all at the bottom of the lift.  As you ascended back up you would load all the chain back up.  That's how it's done.  A good rule of thumb is to have 3 links as shown in the pic above on the ground when you are setting the height of the chain with the bar in the rack where you will squat out off.  You always want at least a link of chain touching the ground while you are standing before your squat unless you are using the chains for more of a stability work purpose.

Wanted to toss in a couple tips that we have come across when setting chains up for the bench.  One thing I ran into when setting that chains up for bench was the range of motion is shorter in the bech than the squat.  Meaning the bar doesn't have to travel so far up and down, exspessially for my tiny ass.  To work around this and get the chains to be able to fully deload at the bottom we attach the bottom of the chain up higher to make the whole stack of chain a bit shorter.  Below are a few pics to help explain.

So in the first pic we lay the chain out longer than normal, second pic we take the remaining leader chain and put it through the end links of the chain and attach up higher off the ground. Now when at the bottom of the bench the chain is fully de-loaded.  If I was not to do this we would get about half of the chain de-loaded at the bottom.

Another easy tip, set up both sets of chains on one side together.  This helps get them both the same length quick and easy. 

Next tip, although may sound stupid, was something that just had to be done.  Now we have all sorts of sets of chains.  All 5/8's and a few smaller sets.  Now they all look the same from a distance, but they are from different places and are all different.  We have 3 sets that are the same and others that are from different places.  What happens is some are longer some are shorter.  Some of them have different leader chains  and let me tell you this turns into a mess.  Constantly having to lay them out and match them back up is a major pain in the ass. What we have done now is color coded them in pairs and each pair has a corresponding color for where it is hung.  Now this may sound anal, but if it saves me from having to pull them all down and lay them all out every few days it's worth it to me.

OK that's it, short and sweet! I'll leave you with some videos that I hope can hammer home what I am trying to get across.  Set your shit up right and get the most benifit out using chains.

Above the man Louie Simmons on chains

Below another of my favorites from EliteFTS.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Who we are and what makes us different

Hello hello Eternians near and far.  I'm back with some more ramblings for you to chew on.  Today I wanted to kind of spin off from a post I wrote a while ago "Stop The Hate".  Basically what I talked about there was not bagging on other peoples form of exercise.  We got some great response on that, and I thank you.  Yes I know I am a horrible writer but I try to at least get my thoughts out.  So, I'm going to spin off of that and talk about what makes Eternia different, and why there isn't anything else around us like us. Yes, yes I'm sure there are others out there.  I feel, and from people that come from all over that train at our facility, we are distinctly different.

What I hear a lot from people is, "oh it's a class"?  People view all class structures the same, and for some reason they love to hate on that.  Like in my previous post, if being in a class helps you get out there and do something I'm all for it.  Whether that be yoga, CF Fit , spin class, running clubs, Zumba, the list goes on you get the point.  Bottom line is a lot of people need help with whatever type of training it is.  It's a whole lot better than people clogging up the weight room not knowing what the hell they are doing.  Nobody in there will help them, they get discouraged and that's it.  These structures work for a lot of people.  This post will dig into why we structure our training sessions as we do in a group structure and how this can help take your training to the next level.

If you have trained before, bodybuilding, powerlifting, weightlifting, fitness, whatever it may be at one point or another you realize that training by yourself is hard.  Whether it's the just being alone, the need for spots and always having to ask somebody to help you out, having that push to help drive you farther than you would, or one of another 100 reasons you figure out pretty soon that a training partner would be awesome.  You go out and track yourself down one. You either drag a friend into your training, you find somebody at the gym and get them to commit, get on craigslist and put an add out, or send your homing pigeon out with a note to try to track you down somebody to train with.  This goes great for a month or so, sometimes longer.  After a bit at some point, training partner either starts flaking on you or just up and can't do it anymore and you are back to trying to find somebody.  This is a vicious cycle.  This is where a structure like ours always gives you a training partner.  You will get to know the people that train at the same time as you and if one person is sick or doesn't make it, guess what?  There are multiple others that will be there.  Boom, training partner dilemma fixed.

Now that we have that out of the way, lets get into the meat and potatoes of this shit.  We train a conjugate program.  With this style of training there is a lot of shit to get put into an hour time slot.  It is doable, but if we were to just let people do it at there own pace, I promise you they would be there for 2 hours.  By structuring the training sessions in one hour blocks, we are able to move a large group of people through a large block of programming in 1 hr.  I will put a days training below this so you can get an idea of what goes on in 1 hour.
Example Dynamic Lower Day
Dynamic Lower Power Athlete
A) Box squat @ 70% 10x2 wide
B) Conventional dead 3" def 1RM
C) Barbell walking good morning 3x15 each leg
D) Banded KB Swings 2/1.5 pood plus max band 3x20
E) 3x20 supermen
F) Barbell side bends 1x100 each side
G) 3x1 Min max effort stone to shoulder 
    take time as needed between no more then 3 min
Rest 3 Min 
    Row 1000 100 fast 100 slow x2 
F) finisher 1x100 banded hip bridges

Without getting into program design and what the conjugate system is, just looking at that you can see that is a good amount of stuff to get in a 1 hour training session. It gets done.  

Next up on my list of things to talk about is people comparing us to CF.  When I look at that dynamic day layout up there I don't see anything that looks like CF.  We don't do anything by random.  Every single part of a days, weeks, months, training is done with a very specific purpose.  Even the conditioning portion brings in some accessory work assosiated with that days purpose.  It's also building strength at the same time as conditioning. In my mind, the only thing we have in common is that our sessions are structured in 1 hour blocks.  From that point on I feel we are significantly different.  Now, let me say this.  We have nothing against CF and if that is what you love to do,awesome.  Some of us even have a back ground in CF. Through that, and without that, we wouldn't have been able to learn what we have and been able to structure what we have.  So credit due there.  What I am trying to get to with this post is that we are not CF and we feel we offer something completely different.  Different and better haha!  We aren't willing to give up one major component to be decent at broad range of things.  Strength rules, and we believe that whole heartily.  With our program design, we couple a proven system of strength training with classic strength and conditioning, strongman and a little bit of our own magic gold dust.  Yes this program can be used by anybody, the key is having people that can mold it to the individual user.  With this program I can have a 60 year old grandmother of 5 working out next to a 22 year old record holding powerlifter.  Crazy I know. 

 What it comes down to is this.  We feel that what we do at Eternia is different than anything around.  We obviously feel that what we have put together is the best way of training.  We also realize that this is not for everyone and some people may like doing something else.  Guess what? Awesome! What we will not get dragged into is the bashing of other gyms, fitness facilities, studios, and so on.  Everyone feels there way is the best, I get it.  We wouldn't do it if we didn't feel the same way.  But, everyone is different and likes certain things.  But hey you never know, lifting stuff may have never been something you thought you could be into.  Come ask a huge majority of the people training at Eternia that had never touched a barbell before.  Now after training and learning how to... Benching, Squatting and Deadlifting are there new favorite things to do.  Hhhhhhuu, who would known. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Quit Fu*king Your Food

Good morning Eterian's near and far.  It's time for some more ramblings from down deep.  This has been a long time coming. I have been wanting to write about this for a while.  I'm sure this is going to rustle some feathers and piss some people off... perfect.

I'll start this off with some statistics.  Obesity rates in the US have doubled in adults and children since 1970.  More than 2/3's of adults in the US are overweight or obese.  That's 2 out of 3 people.  If you are in a room of 9 people, 6 of them are overweight or obese on average.  About 32% of children from 2-19 years old are overweight or obese.  That's about 1/3rd.  Sounds like we have a little problem going on here in the states.  We are the most overweight/obese country on the planet.  I think Mexico is close as well.

Now that I've went over a few stats, I'll get into the main point of this article.  Quit fu*king your food. This may be hard for some of you to stomach.  I know, I know I'm a bad person.  I get that people have eating disorders, rare thyroid issues and whatnot.  I'm talking about more of a mindset situation that can tie into your goals we spoke of before in a previous blog I wrote.  I know who uses the word blog anymore.. me.

People, stop making love to your food.  We have sex why.. because it feels great and it makes us feel good.  Quit doing this with your food.  Food was not intended to be like that.  Food is fuel for your body to perform that tasks you throw at it.  It's not something that was meant to be done because you are bored, or have nothing better to do.  So, if we stop having sex with our food and putting it up on a pedestal, then we can look at the larger picture.. fuel.

Let's venture over to your goals that I had you try to lay out in one of my last blogs.  If your goal was stronger or more muscle then keep reading because you picked main goals like I talked about.  If you went with loose weight or something along those lines, you didn't quite get the right ones, but keep reading because this is for you as well.  Looking at food for fuel, instead of wanting to have sex with it is a switch in the mind.  Just like waking up and starting your day off positive is a switch.  You set your day in motion with your mind and actions.  Choose to be positive and eat things that will fuel you for your day and help you with your goals.  The power of the mind is a crazy notion, but one I firmly believe in.

Quit using excuses like I'm a night owl and I just snack when it's late.  How about this, think about your main goal, if it's one of those above then you need your sleep.  Which means when you say you are a night owl and up late, you should be sleeping. All this extra time on your hands?  I don't know too many people that work, train and cook for themselves that have a bunch of extra time these days to be saying they are so bored that they need to stuff there face with a bunch of worthless shit.  If you want to attain your goal you need to look at everything leading to it.

This does not mean you can't have things that taste good.  There are tons of things out there that are good for you and taste good too.  That is another rambling all together.  My point here people is you need to switch your focus to what food was meant for and what you currently are using it for.  Quit fu*cking your food and start eating for life/performance.

Stop living to eat, and start eating to LIVE! 

Until next time Eternia Nation.. sleep well, we always do!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Negative Nancy

Over the last few days my mind has been racing with things to write about for some reason.  I am trying to keep them all halfway related to things that people reading my ramblings might find useful in there lives.  I'm trying to keep my nonsense thoughts at bay, like the people that just can't seem to figure out a 4 way stop, or even a 2 way stop for that matter haha! Seems like a daily occurrence that something along those lines pops up, and I'm like dammit I should write about that hah! Last and I'll stop, in Oregon you can turn on a red onto a one way.  It's legal people, now start doing it for the love of god.  OK worthless ramblings done, lets move onto some shit that might be useful to you,

Over the last year I've come on contact or been around allot of what I like to call "Negative Nancy's".  They come in all forms.  In the last few years of my life I have striven to try to rid myself of as much negativity as humanly possible. I hate to say it but there is some people out there that had to be cut out or I know "un-friended in the social media world.  This negativity is not only unhealthy for those being Ms Negative Nancy, but horrible for me being forced to see or hear that kinda of nonsense.

There are all forms of being negative.  You could be the person that must pick out the bad in any situation.  You could win the lottery but still find some way to find the negative about it. I call this the "Spin Doctor".  How about the person that just can't seem to complement anyone. Oh man Julie's hair looks so good today says Sandy.  "Debbie Downer" says yea it's not bad, but look at that outfit omg.  My favorite is the one that seems to always need to put somebody else down, or talk shit about somebody to either make themselves feel better about themselves or to make them look better.  This one is two fold.  Not only does this make them look worse to anybody with a brain, it also shows how insecure they are with themselves.  By being the "Poop Projector" you aren't doing anybody any favors, and definelty not yourself. Below we will look at some ways to think more positive as well as just down right being a better person.

1) This one is what I have found to be the most basic but for some reason can be the hardest to grasp.  You yourself decide every single day you get up what kind of mood you are going to be in.  Be thankful that you are getting up for another day.  If you wake up already bitching about something, that doesn't really set you in the right direction now does it.  You don't have to get up and be captain chipper pants, but it sure as hell helps to wake up and not start bitching right off the bat.  Set your day in the right direction by having a positive outlook on what's ahead of you for that day.
2) This one goes out to my favorite,  the "Poop Projector".  You know who you are, and I feel sorry for you so this ones for you.  It's easy, your parents probably told you this one when you were young, or maybe you had shitty parents and that's why you act this way now, but have no fear I'm here to help.  Don't talk about somebody how you wouldn't like to be talked about yourself.  Take the high road when it comes to that kind of negative talk and it will be better for you in the end.  "Poop Projectors" will tend to freely throw poop in conversations about people that they have no first hand knowledge of anyways.  The best way to rid yourself of this negativity is to go back to that other golden little nugget your parents may have taught you, "If you don't have something good to say about someone don't say anything".  I know, I know easy right.  Just give it a try.
3) This one is for you "Spin Doctors".  Stop complaining.  This one is going to take some work.  You are going to really have to try.  I will tell you this, nobody likes a complainer.  You and the "Poop Projector" can use the same help here, think before you speak.  If you feel you are going to complain about something, bite your dam tongue.
4) Last one is bit more general.  Try to always think of the brighter side to things.  What can I take out of this that's positive?  It's always there you just need to get your negativity out of the way to see it.

Nobody wants to be around a negative person.  Pulling yourself out of the hell that is one of these people is difficult but very rewarding if you can give it a try.  In the mean time, a good start is if you start thinking negatively, also toss a positive in there with it.  It won't cancel it out but it sure will dilute it a bit.  I know this isn't directly related to training but it sure can be in certain ways.  The next time you get down on yourself in a lift or trying to perfect a movement, don't get negative, don't say you can't.  Pull the positives out of it and push forward.  Do this, and I will welcome you to the GAIN TRAIN!  Till next time.... sleep well Eternans