Training Log: Week 11- Assistance

Pull Ups: BW+45×12, drop BW+25×6, drop BWx6

BB Static Holds: 425x15cts, 455x15cts x2

DB Bench Press: 100×12, 75x10x2

45° Back Ext: BW+10×15, BW+10x12x2 -ss- Ab Wheel, cont: BWx15x3

Band DB Cleans: 5×20 -ss- One Arm Cable Ext: 5×20

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– My bodyfat is dropping but my weight isn’t… fuck lol. THIS IS WHY  YOU LISTEN AND DON’T DECIDE TO CUT WEIGHT FOR YOUR FIRST MEET! Somehow I am putting on muscle while cutting lol. Eh…

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29 Gallon Update #10: Death in the Family

Last week, I got around to putting some more texas holey rock in the tank, as well as just a nice good algae scrub. Pictures will follow of the new rock later.

But for whatever reason, the addition of the rock has turned my two Gold Comps into raging lunatics.

Now, I have been playing with fire with this tank from the beginning. It is a little small for my stock and I have always known if I kept these fish long term (> 1-2 years) I would need to upgrade. But since the beginning, all the fish were pretty content. The two bigger comps stay in the wood work. The 2 smaller calvus mostly stay in the rocks. The dick head helminthes stays more in the middle and basically does whatever the fuck he wants… just because he thinks he is a bad ass. And the lelupi just wonders and stays out of the way.

With the addition of the rocks, suddenly one of the gold comps decided they rocks look like a mighty awesome home. So he took it… by force. What has resulted is the death of one of my calvus and my other calvus wonders around lelupi style.

This sucks. I really like black calvus and the fish cost me 30+ bucks. Plus I now fear for the lives of the others. Expect the Helminthes. He absolutely refuses to move from his home despite being half the size as the comps. That fish is a boss.

So, RIP little Calvus.

Oh… and I haven’t seen my bristlenose pleco for months lol. For all I know he is dead too. No clue.

 

Chiropractors: Finding a Great One: Part #2- Soft Tissue Modalities

Part #0- The Intro (must read)

Part #1- The Adjustment

In my opinion, at an absolute bare minimum, there are two things a chiropractor should have in his tool belt: the ability to adjust (and adjust well) and a soft tissue modality of his liking. With these two tools, you can get a hell of a lot of people out of pain. And for a weightlifter, soft tissue work is 100% vital when looking for a chiropractor. If a chiro doesn’t mention some sort of soft tissue stuff on their website or in person, find a new one. Times have changed.

– And let me get this out of the way: regular ol’ massage doesn’t count. Massage is to make you feel good. Massage is to pad the bill. Massage is to keep the common folk coming back. Massage is bullshit for fixing real problems. If you are serious about any athletic endeavor and you want FIXED… your chiro better have more than a fucking massage therapist on staff.

– I am going to be talking about different modalties with different names… just know there are “generic” versions of this stuff too. These days, a lot of chiropractic schools teach the generic versions, so it is legal for them to do them in practice as well. So what this really means is, just because someone isn’t technically ART certified, doesn’t mean they don’t know how to do ART like stuff… they would just call it “MRT” or “myofascial release technique.” Same thing goes with say, Graston Technique -vs- IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue modality). Only way to know is to check their website or ask…

– BUT… I really think someone should be certified (or been certified at one point) in at least one of the big soft tissue modalities.

– Also know that keeping a certification usually means the doc is paying an annual fee each year to keep it. At some point, the returns you get on that investment start to diminish and a lot of docs will let there certification lapse. So, if on a website you see “certified ART from 2000-2009,” don’t worry… it doesn’t mean ART came and took it away because they suck. It means the doc got sick of paying the annual fee to keep it. He is still just as proficient as before.

There are two big categories of soft tissue work: using hands or using instruments.

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Hands On

– ART (Active Release Technique) is easily the big dog in this category and as of right now probably the big dog in soft tissue modalites. If you see a chiro certified in ART, they are most likely pretty damn dedicated when it comes to soft tissue modalities. The reason being is ART courses are fucking expensive and they constantly have to “re-certify” to pull even more money out of you. ART works but it can be pretty painful. Even light ART doesn’t feel very good lol. But it works, there is no doubt about that.

Another “named” hand on soft tissue modality is the Stecco Method. Now I don’ t know a whole lot about it (it is outside my price range lol) but one of the developers of it, Warren Hammer DC, is like the god father of soft tissue so I would have no problem at all telling people to see a Stecco provider. Stecco seems more based on movement and the “assess, treat, reassess” philosophy which is incredibly sound.

I am sure there are other named ones but those are the two that stand out for me.

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Instrument Assisted

– Now with instrument assisted soft tissue modalities, you are using some sort of tool to do the work for you. The advantages for the doc is that it increases your longevity… using your thumbs a ton like in ART can tear them apart long term. I also think it takes less “skill” than the hands on therapies. The good tools can guide you on where to apply the treatment… with the hands on modalities you are completely at the mercy of your palpation skills and some peoples skills are non-existant.

Now there are TONS of different tools used for IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue modality). They range from the stainless steel to plastic to stuff like Jade.

I am going to say something that would probably be unpopular with a lot of chiros and my fellow students: as a lifter and someone who is active, non-stainless steel stuff is bullshit. If your doc is using some fucking plastic or some rocks or a reflex hammer or some shit, find another one. It means he isn’t serious about soft tissue work. The stainless steel stuff is MILES above the other shit. And it isn’t THAT expensive. I bought a FAKTR, stainless steel instrument for $250. The module one for Graston is around $600 I think. BOOM… the training of Graston Technique and I got a good, stainless steel instrument for less than $300 (instead of the Graston tools which are $3G’s).

– Anyway, speaking of names, the big daddy of IASTM is easily Graston Technique. It is right behind ART as far as “named” soft tissue stuff and is gaining a lot of steam at the same time. As far as I know, people who get Graston certified stay that way for life. There isn’t a lot of recertification involved, unlike ART. There are two types of GT people: GT trained and GT certified. GT trained (like I am) means they took Module 1 which is Basic GT training. GT certified means they took module 1 and module 2… the advanced training. GT certified people also have the true, Graston instruments while GT trained people might not. Just something to think about. A lot of people don’t go on to get fully GT certified because you learn the techniques you will use 90% of the time in module 1 and you are not forced to spend the $3G’s on the tools. To take module 2 you need to have the GT tools.

Anyway, another name in IASTM is FAKTR. FAKTR was developed by a former GT instructor. It is similar to GT except that it involves movement. So they will do the soft tissue work while the athlete is in motion. Does it make a difference? I don’t know. But it is a solid #2 in the IASTM world.

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The Combo

– A lot of DC’s will get certified in one of the above categories, but use a generic version of the second category. For instance, they will be GT trained, but then do MRT (not ART) when they feel the need. Or an ART doc will do IASTM with cheaper tools. This breaks the rule I said above about the stainless steel instruments by the way. If a doc spent all the money for Stecco or ART and then decides to use some plastic tool when doing IASTM… no biggie. ART is his main weapon and the IASTM is his back up.

– A lot of docs will combine both treatments. What works really well is doing IASTM and then doing some sort of stretching or MRT. Just a heads up. More and more docs are combining the two.

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How to Find Out of a Chiropractor is Soft Tissue Proficient?

– The easiest way is to go to their website. Every chiro that is certified in something will put it somewhere or they will mention they are soft tissue proficient or some crap. If they don’t have a website, you can call and simply ask if they do soft tissue work other than massage and if they say something like, “yes we do myofascial work” or, “yes we do stuff similar to Graston/ART” then they should be decent. While you are at it, tell them to come to the year 2013 and make a fucking website.

– If you are looking for a new chiro and don’t have any idea where to start, you can go to the “provider” websites. Below are links to the popular soft tissue modalites. All you have to do is put in a state/zip code/city or something and it will find all the certified docs in the area and tell you specifics on what they are certified in. For example, someone may only be ART certified in upper extremity instead of all 8 thousand of them.

ART

Graston Technique

FAKTR

Stecco Method

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– If you have any questions, ask below. And on a personal, biased, informed note, of all the modalites used on me, Graston Technique is easily my favorite.

Training Log: Week 11- Squats

Squats, belt: 315×2, 365×1, 405×1, 315x3x2

DE Squats, belt: 245x2x8

BB Shrugs: 315x10x3

Dead Bug Variation: 3 sets -ss- 45° Back Ext: BW+10x3x12

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– Yikes. 405 felt like a true blue 100% max which caught me completely off guard. It was harder than expected last week but this was a whole other level.

– I need to run back through the last 5ish weeks and see what the deuce is going on. My most consistent lift has been very very inconsistent. There are 100 excuses/reasons I could probably come up with but this is kind of concerning.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (Animated) Review

thedarkknightreturnspt1

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The Dark Knight Returns is a classic comic/graphic novel from back in the day (that I have never read) that chronicles the return of Batman after a 10 year lay off. But not just Batman has been gone… all super heroes have either left the planet or have been “taken care of.” During the 10 years Batman was gone, Gotham has gone to complete and utter shit and is now being threatened and terrorized by the Mutants and the Mutant Leader. Finally, Bruce reaches a point where enough and enough and makes and emphatic return. Of course at this point, he is old and kind of fat.

This is one of the comics Nolan based The Dark Knight Rises on. Except this movie is better, even without a central, known villain like Bane. The Mutant Villain doesn’t offer much in the way of brains but he is just as physically imposing as Bane. And unlike TDKR, Batman has to use actually strategy when he fights him instead of just screaming louder and being determined. /TDKR rants.

Speaking of the villain/villains, what is interesting is that this movie works WITHOUT using one of the main villains in Batman’s rogue gallery. A lot of people believe that Batman is so well liked BECAUSE of his awesome rogue gallery. His villains are a whos whos of comic book legends– Joker, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Two Face, Scarecrow, Clayface, Ras, Bane, Talia, Riddler, ect. Yet this movie succeeds in using a more generic villain and focusing purely on Batman.

This movie features a far more brutal Batman than non comic readers may be used to as well. And there is plenty of action to see this brutality as well. What is just as interesting is the social commentary that is going on in the background. You have to remember that this movie is set in the Reagan era.

Even though the title says ‘part 1,’ you can easily watch this as a stand alone movie. The second movie is not required for the main part of this story. Maybe some of the undertones bu tit is really subtle and unless you are really invested you can get away with just watching part 1.

All in all, this movie kills it in every facet. A great Batman movie for sure. I wish the live action movies could match some of the animated movies DC puts out.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 100% Audience: 93%

Shadow’s Rating: 10/10– I have no complaints about this movie. This is Batman true to form and I enjoyed every second of it.

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Pros, cons, and spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (Animated) Review

Training Log: Week 10- Assistance + Deadlift

Pull Ups, 1min rest: BW(191)+45×10, BW+45×8, BW+45×6

DB Bench Press, 1min rest: 100×12, 70x10x2

Face Pulls: 5×20 -ss- Cable Ext: 5×20

Conventional Deadlift, belt: 495×1

45° Back Ext: BW+5x15x3 -ss- Ab Wheel, cont: BW+5x12x3

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– My stop watch started working again out of no where… and then I promptly left it at the gym lol.

– Deadflits felt decent despite being sore as shit for some reason, tired, and not real fired out due to deadlifting on a Wednesday. Actually felt a sticking point (same old spot around knees) even though it isn’t obvious in the video. Grip was just dandy so I don’t think that will be an issue. 455-475 is still looking like my opener but a second attempt around 500 seems doable.

– Some old man kept talking to me today and it was annoying as hell.

– I really need to get my weight down… yeesh

– Any form advice on the deadlift?

 

Chiropractors: Finding a Great One: Part #1- The Adjustment

Part #0- The Intro (must read)

Adjustment. Manipulation. CMT. Mobilization. Crack. Pop.

Whatever you want to call it, the adjustment has been the chiropractors bread and butter since the very beginning. It is what they are known for. But what should the customer/patient look for in regards to the chiropractic adjustment?

Frankly, this is not an easy question. There are a lot of techniques, a lot of personal preference involved, a lot of argument between chiros themselves, and a lot of conflicting research involved. But guess what… since this is my blog, you are going to get my opinion lol. Stunning development I know.

I couldn’t figure out a good way to format this post so… word vomit time.

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– The adjustment should be very fast and have a decent about of force behind. The term we use is “High Velocity, Low Amplitude”… HVLA. Unless the chiro says otherwise (I always tell my patients when I am being gentle), this should be the case. Research says mobilizations (aka slow) is just as good as manipulations (aka faster). My experience says otherwise, although there are a number of situations where slower is better. But for a weightlifter… HVLA all the way.

– I am a firm believer in the cavitation (aka pop/crack). Research says it is most likely placebo. Maybe it is… but I never felt the same after a non-cavitating adjustment than a cavitating one. A lot of times, the chiros who say that it doesn’t matter suck at adjusting and just can’t get one. Some people simply don’t cavitate though (rare). Also, you could be so stiff that you don’t cavitate the first visit… but if you got to a chiro six times and never cavitate the dude probably sucks.

– On a website, the most popular adjusting “type” or “category” is Diversified. It is the best and most researched. Gonstead is also pretty popular and a good Gonstead doc is pretty good. However, a lot of Gonstead guys are X-ray happy. Things like SOT (sacral-occipital technique), Upper Cervical, Hole in One, Activator, cranial-sacral, Koren-Specific Technique (KST), Palmer package, Logan Basic, Thompson Drop,  ect should be avoided if that is ALL they are listing. If they say they use Diversified technique and then say they also know some of the other stuff I listed… that is fine. It means there base technique is likely Diversified but they know others. But the guys that specialize in stuff other than Diversified and maybe Gonstead are usually a bit weird.

– The chiro should be focusing on the primary restrictions: C0-C1, C1-C2, CT junction (C7-T4), TL Junction (T12-L1), Lumbosacral junction, and SI. You won’t be able to tell where you are being adjusted, so you are going to have to ask. The areas mentioned above and commonly the “root cause” restrictions. They are MUCH harder areas to adjust, so a lot of docs avoid them and go to the “easy cavitation” zones. Best examples are C5, T6-T8 ish, and mid lumbars. A monkey can get those areas to pop, it takes no skill whatsoever. It also accomplishes dick all unless the primary restrictions are addressed.

– GENERALLY, the average man is going to be a better adjuster than the average woman. Especially for the bigger, weightlifting population. It is simply a size/athleticism, strength thing. Nothing personal. Now saying this, the best adjuster I have ever seen was actually a woman lol. But she is a former gymnast and has bigger arms than a lot of people on bb.com.

– You can’t judge a book by its cover, but if you had to, tall, lanky, slightly athletic looking dudes seem to be the best adjusters. If they are under 6′ tall, they need to be athletically built. It is just a leverage thing… the tall guys with long arms don’t need as much strength to do the same stuff as us short dudes. So the short guys compensate by being bigger and stronger. This is an IME thing, but just off the top of my head, the best adjusters fit this profile.

– I think adjustment “tools” fucking suck and are useless IN MOST CASES. Activator. Artho Stim. Fucking stupid most of the time and inferior to a good ol’ manual adjustment. A couple of examples of the Activator having use would be pussies (aka people scared of the crack), kids, old people, or people that are in so much pain and so acute you can’t get them in proper position to manually adjust.

– There is nothing wrong with the chiro using the same technique every time he adjusts you, IF YOU ARE RESPONDING WELL. Meaning, if you get adjusted say, 3 times and it is helping, the doc isn’t likely to change his technique because it is working. But the opposite is true too. If you have been adjusted say, 8 times and nothing is changing… it is retarded to keep doing the same technique over and over again.

– Cervical only chiros (sometimes called Hole in One or Upper Cervical or some shit) are cult-ish like weirdos and crooks. Run away.

– If a chiro wants to X-ray you before an adjustment to look for areas to adjust… run away.

– If a chiro wants to X-ray you before and after an adjustment… run away.

– If a chiro uses only instrument assisted adjusting… run away.

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There is probably a ton of stuff I am forgetting to put in here, so there might be Adjustment #2 coming. But this should be a good start.

If you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask. And if you have any requests on this topic, hit me up in the comments.

Training Log: Week 10- Squats

Squats, belt: 345×1, 385×1, 405×1, 385×1

DE Squats, belt: 245x2x8

Dead Bug Variation: 3 sets -ss- BB Shrugs: 315x8x2, 315×10

Strap Pull Up Holds: BWx20s, BWx15s x2 -ss- 45° Back Ext: BW+10x10x3

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– 405 felt light on my back and then I hurt a MONSTER sticking point. What the fuck. *sigh*

– Couldn’t deadlift because the staff was still there and I don’t want kicked out. I will try to pull Wednesday instead.

– I am a pussy and an embarrassment to people who lift weights.