Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Religion, Politics, & Weightraining.

Just moments ago someone, it's not important whom, emailed me pertaining to another blog I run. They were concerned about the fact I was highly critical of Israel. What does that have to do with StrengthAddicts? - nothing.

We're all individuals here. Justus politically may be the polar opposite of Sarb and Andy might like love what Adel hates, but we're all here for the sports of bodybuilding and powerlifting and maybe throw in nutrition and friendship into the mix, for good measure.

No one is going to get outted or marginalized for wanting out upon learning that one of us has views contrary to his own, but in all candor, all this outfit is about is training and training hard.

We're all different and no matter what you do outside the gym, who you hang out with, who you voted for president, and/or if you like to go pray at night or put dollar bills in stripper's garter belts, I could care less. This page is about our love of our sport and friendships that will blossom from it - nothing more.

I appreciate tonight's email, because it gave me the inspiration to write this post.

Please check out the latest additions to our crew: Adel (pictured above) & Matt. Also kudos to Justus for two great sets of straight-bar bicep-curls today & to Matt for a set of excellent squats, spotted by Andy.

Lift Right!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Books Closing Soon....

The Strength Addicts are growing everyday, but soon the books will close. Our goal is to reach "50" brothers in iron and then evaluate which members plan on being active with the site and which just want their videos & photos to sit here collecting cyber-dust.

Once we hit the magic number, no more cards will be distributed and the trials begin. I'll want diet journals, more vids, blog entries, and/or articles from all you -- you pick which. We'll eventually also create a message board.

Right now, the strength meet for April/May is looking difficult, but there will be such an even in 2009, with all proceeds going directy to charity -- rest assured of that. However, we have a lot more growing to do before we can embark on our first event.

I would also like to see the introduction of a Nautillus Hack Squat machine. Other members of the family would like to see heavier training balls for abs - right the facility only has a 10lb one.

What we all need to really try and convey to management is that our ----s family-oriented vibe will not be threatened by a few heavier weights. We are not looking to transform the health center into a hardcore gym, but as our numbers grow and we look at one another, it's becoming painfully obvious that we're all paying expensive dues and that we're allowing ourselves to be neglected.

No one is paying us to workout at the ------ and our dues are not even competitive with what some folks are paying at more accomodating gyms/fitness centers around town. I am not advocating that we ever leave the YMCA - why should we? There should be a consensus from management to work for all members - equally.

So let's keep working out, making this group stronger (stronger always over bigger) and when the time comes, we'll act united.

Lift Right!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Faces Join StrengthAddicts.com

The StrengthAddicts.com crew is getting bigger at Lansing's ------. Plans are tentative for an Aprii/May Strength meet, with proceeds going to charity. There's also plans of lobbying the gym's management for heavier dumbbells and the purchase of a Hack Squat Station.

Some members fear that management will ignore our pleas, stating that these see our venue as "a fitness center." The voice of one can easily be ignored, but like I tell the guys... 'it's difficult to ignore the voices of four dozen dues-paying members.'

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Take It To The Next Level!

Building the target physique involves good diet, rest, and hardcore intensity. There's no reason why the athlete can't socialize at the gym, after all weight-training is a fun & exciting sport. However, when the time comes to pump iron, it should be all about maintaining proper form and full range of motion (two areas we've reiterated repeatedly), but there should also be an unparallelled, almost irrational intensity that pushes the muscles beyond failure (w/ the careful assistance and supervision of a good spotter, where needed).

Our muscles respond to good, sound nutrition & recovery, but to trigger growth spurts, you'll want to push yourself past the limit. Remember - FAILURE IS NOT YOUR ENEMY, if anything, it's your guiding light in the gym.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spotters Are Key

Weight-training is a very demanding sport that requires good form, control, and full range of motion throughout the exercise. All athletes strive to excel in their chosen sport, but unlike team sports, ours is a personal sport. No one wants to disappoint teammates or a beloved coach, but never is taste of failure more bitter than when we fail ourselves.

The athlete will exhaust his/her all and wear out the reserves. The concept of training to failure (far surpassing the fatigue-level) is ideal, but without proper supervision, the athlete runs the risk of injuries (ranging from soreness to injuries requiring therapeutic and/or surgical treatement). But what is proper?

Lifters need to scan the gym for guys that lift according to their needs. A good spotter is someone that listens to you. Some people want a lift-off, others want help towards the end. If you look good & hard, you'll find strong people in the gym and unless they're total douchebags, they'll gladly help you out. Remember, though, that brute strength will not suffice.

Lifters progressively get stronger, gaining better control of the weight, so too do spotters grow more insightful as to your strengths, weaknesses, and insofar as what you're limits are. A spotter that's there for you on a regular basis will have the insight to gauge at what point you have reached failure and when to come in with much-needed assistance - AND - how much.

Remember, if you can't lift the weight on your own, the spotter is useless. We want spotters that can shadow us on the tail-end reps of heavy, intense sets; we don't want our spotters to be co-lifters with us.

Great spotters don't come over night, they develop into these roles, but until you find that perfect spotter, make sure to shop around. Unless you're in warm-up sets, never workout alone and don't be reluctant to ask for help. You will get your chance to repay the favor soon enough!