The best leaders put forth their energy to inspire and enable others.
A recent research article was published in the NY Times that dealt with women and pull ups. The study, completed at the University of Dayton, suggested that women can't do pull ups because, well, they are women.
Researchers took a sample of women who could not perform a pull up and increased the strength of the biceps and lats (muscles involved in a pull up), as well as decreasing their body fat percentage. Surprisingly, after an increase in strength of 36%, only four of the 17 women could complete one pull up. The reason why? Researches cited "lower levels of testosterone" as the culprit...
"Men and women who can do them tend to have a combination of strength, low body fat and shorter stature. During training, because women have lower levels of testosterone, they typically develop less muscle than men, Vanderburgh explained. In addition, they can’t lose as much fat. Men can conceivably get to 4 percent body fat; women typically bottom out at more than 10 percent."
The title of this article "Why Women Can't Do Pull Ups" is a bit misleading. One of the problems I have with it, is the way the subjects trained; strengthening the biceps and lats. Sure, the biceps and lats are involved in the pull up, but the principle of specificity states that our body will adapt SPECIFICALLY to the stresses that are placed on it.
Example: If you want to get better at science (pull ups), you don't just study math (bicep curls and lat pull downs) even though that might help your overall knowledge (strength), you study (practice) science (pull ups)!
All in all, just because a research article says that "women can't do pull ups," don't use this (if you are a woman) as an excuse as to why you can't do a pull up! Train specifically to complete a pull up (assisted pull ups, negatives, chin hangs), and you will eventually be able to complete one!
The researchers in this study are much smarter than I am, but I wanted to share my two cents.
Link to the article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/why-women-cant-do-pull-ups/
I haven't been able to blog much lately (I'm blaming my friends for visiting me in Lexington, the Tigers playing in the World Series, grading 125 midterm exams, and touring the Cincinnati Bengals training facilities), but I hope to get back into a daily post this week.
Leadership. What is it? What qualities do leaders have? Are good leaders made, or are they born?
I hope to get into these questions this week.
In the meantime, check out this article on the Michigan Football team hanging out with Navy SEALs to help make them better leaders. Go Blue.
One thing I've been struggling with throughout the past year, is what it means to be successful. Every day, I wake up and think to myself, "Today will help me become one step closer to success."
What exactly does "being successful" actually mean though?
If you were to ask me this question during my last year of undergrad at Calvin, I would have replied with something to the likes of "earning a six-figure salary."
Today, I've come to understand that success can come in many forms; not just monetary. I came across a quote that nicely sums up what being successful means, and thought I would share it:
“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”
Make it happen.
Recovery from a workout or training session is important. So important, that some coaches consider recovery as a top priority in a program. In the fitness/athletic world today, I frequently see recovery methods being implemented, but they are typically the recovery methods at the top of the recovery pyramid.
"But Trent, aren't the recovery strategies at the top of the pyramid the best?"
Not unless the bottom two foundational recovery strategies are already in being practiced! Without proper nutrition, sleep, and rest, receiving a professional massage 3x per week won't be as beneficial!
I'll repeat- practicing the upper level of the Recovery Pyramid is useless if you aren't practicing the lower two levels.
Take home message:
1. Make sure you are implementing recovery strategies. Recovery periods are when strength, cardiovascular, etc. gains are made.
2. The bottom level of the pyramid is the most important. Be sure to incorporate these strategies prior to moving up the pyramid.
Make it happen in the gym. Then make it happen during recovery.
Intense Parents + Young Kids + Rigorous Technique + Toughness = Talent
What is talent? How is it developed? What makes one athlete more talented than another?
After reading some of Daniel Coyle's book, "Talent Code," I was intrigued by some of the thoughts he shared. Myelin, the fatty substance covering nerve fibers, helps to improve impulse conduction. Is it the reason behind varying talent levels though?
Read this article (I know, it's long, and it's a Friday). Especially if you're a parent with young kids with hopes of them becoming an elite athlete.
In closing, do you agree with the answer to the following question?
Q) Why is the U.S. losing ground on the "talent map?" (i.e. more elite players are coming from overseas)
A) a highly distractive youth culture, a focus on the glamour of winning rather than on the brickwork of building technique, and a sporting environment that is gentler than those found in many of the world's harder corners.
In case you live under a rock, I'm here to tell you,
AMERICA HAS AN OBESITY PROBLEM.
Here are a few stats...
- Just over 1/3 of the entire population is obese
- In 2030, it's estimated that 42% of America will be obese. That's almost half.
- 21% of U.S. healthcare expenditures are related to obesity
- $190 BILLION yearly in medical spending as a result of obesity
- An extra $4 BILLION spent per year on FUEL CONSUMPTION due to obesity.
*Heavier people = heavier vehicles = more gas
Here is an article explaining the causes and consequences of being obese:
What is going on here? Why can't people stop getting bigger? If I knew the answer to this, I'd probably be rich. I did come across an interesting article regarding what drives us to eat. Not surprising, television watching, lack of sleep, and alcohol consumption are the top three lifestyles that drive us to eat more.
The reason why I'm telling you this isn't to say "stop watching TV, get more sleep, and quit drinking beer," I'm writing about this with hope that I can make you more CONSCIOUS of your lifestyle. I'm a big believer in everything being okay in moderation, but I'm also a big believer in being conscious of what you are eating.
All too often, we end up eating a bag of chips while watching our favorite reality TV show, or drink a few extra glasses of wine with dinner without even realizing what we're doing.
Would we have eaten the entire bag of chips if we were a little more aware of what we were doing? Probably not.
Anyways, read the article below that outlines the top three things that drive us to eat more. Maybe if we make people more aware of what they're doing, that might slow our obesity rate? Something needs to be done!
Lifestyle Determinants of Eating
Knowledge is power (in case you haven't heard that enough yet).
Just my two cents.
I love to eat. A lot. And I'm sure you do too. So here are 50 foods, numbered according to how many calories are in each of them! (A radish has 1 calorie, a bell pepper has 2 calories, cauliflower has 3 calories, etc.)
2. Bell pepper (1 slice, raw)
3. Cauliflower (1 floret)
6. Celery (1 stalk)
7. Spinach (1 cup, fresh)
8. Dill Pickle
9. Heart of palm (1, canned)
10. Romaine Lettuce (1 cup)
12. Asparagus (4 spears, cooked)
13. Broccoli (1 floret, large)
14. Cucumber (1 cup, diced)
15. Mushrooms (1 cup, raw)
18. Summer Squash (1 cup)
19. Cabbage (1 cup)
20. 1 Egg White
21. Parmesan Cheese (1 tbsp)
23. Hummus (1 tbsp)
24. Cantaloupe (1/8 melon)
25. Sugar free Gelatin (1/2 cup)
26. 5 Olives
28. Pineapple (1 slice)
29. Star Fruit
30. Carrot (large)
31. Air popped Popcorn (1 cup)
32. Leeks (1 cup, cooked)
33. Brussels Sprouts (1/2 cup, cooked)
34. Snow Peas (1/2 cup, cooked)
35. 10 Grapes
36. Okra (1 cup)
37. 1/2 Apple
39. 1/2 Grapefruit
40. Green Beans (1 cup)
41. Tomato Juice (1 cup)
42. Raisins (1 small packet)
43. 10 Cherries
45. Oysters (6 medium, raw)
46. Sauerkraut (1 cup)
48. Watermelon (1 cup, cubed)
49. Asian Pear
50. Beets (1 cup, canned)
*this list was taken from Men's Fitness magazine. Any discrepancy in calorie count, please email your complaints to them!
“Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong.
If you start, you've got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right.
But if you don't start, you never get a chance.”