Grab your coffee, we have a little update

Coffee bean.jpg

Coffee, the favorite drink of the civilized world”

–Thomas Jefferson

Just a little update on things that are going on around the gym and to let everyone know that we are in the process of doing a write up on a man that has family, full time job, and has managed to qualify for Ninja warrior competitions, so keep an eye out for that!

In other news, why the cool coffee picture above? Well, let me let you in on a little secret. Pure Health Performance has teamed up with Heartland Roasters to make a custom performance blend that is both highly caffeinated and taste delicious! We believe that if we are truly going to create the best performance blend for athletes, that it should be picked by athletes, so:

If you are at all interested in putting in your 2 cents on which of the 4 blends above is the best, we will have a small tasting on Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m (coffee will be brewed and handed out until it is gone, so show up on time). We will have some ballets that you can cast your vote on and then we will choose the winning blend and put it into production!

Make sure to go check out Heartland Roasters, go to their website and get some of their coffee that is freshly roasted right here in Bartlesville!

Nutrition Tips

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food

–Hippocrates

FOOD PREP

At PHP we have a one step at a time rule. If we are teaching you correct form on lifts, it does neither us nor you any good to point out all 20 things that are wrong with your lift–instead we focus on 1 correction at a time, perfect that, and then move on to the next. Similarly, when you start your journey down the road of fitness/performance, it does us no good to tell you to work harder in the gym, eat perfectly, recover more, and manage your time better because all of these things fall into place when they need to.

Which brings me to the topic of this post: Your Nutrition

If you have attended PHP since the beginning, it is time we have this talk. Likewise, if you have seen a halt in your performance, a decrease in drive, a plateau in your weight loss, etc.. then nutrition is the next place we need to look.

I know what you’re thinking–why do we have to do more when we are already doing so much? Well, the human body is smart, and stubborn (like most smart individuals). It knows where it wants to be, it knows how to recover on its own, it knows that is does not like a negative energy balance (simply put, more calories expended than you intake). So it adapts. This means that a proper nutrition program cannot be a one time, short lived habit, nor can it be a one time program that lasts forever. Instead, it must be a constantly fluctuating, ever changing balance of intake to output, moving up and down with our performance, weight-loss, and lifestyle goals.

So, let me give you some info and tips on this whole hazy fog that is nutrition:


Counting Calories is Last Year’s Thing:

Counting Calories should really be a thing of the past. I know some of you read this and say “It has gotten me this far” but at some point it will not lead to increased results (especially if your goal has changed to increase performance). Let me give you a little (drastic) example to drive home the point:

We have a 150lb female* looking to become more performance-based. Her recommended guidelines for nutrition breakdown are as follows:

  • 150 g protein
  • 225 g Carbs
  • 55g fat
  • At least 30g of fiber

*Note: This is just an example diet for the purposes of comparison, please do not take this and run with it (I’m looking at you, 150lb females!)

These are the macros she should be aiming for in order to lose weight and provide adequate nutrition for her training/recovery schedule. Now, instead, let’s say she were to shoot for just the calorie goal. She has 2,000 calories to burn and she’s an avid pop-tart eater (I mean, she adores the things). So she decides to just try and hit her calorie goals by just eating pop-tarts (just for this example), and it ends up looking something like this:

10 pop-tarts = 2,000 calories and the nutrition break down is as such:

  • 20g protein
  • 380g carbs
  • 50g fat
  • Around 20g of fiber

That’s a drastic decrease in protein and upswing in carbs. The point I am trying to make is hopefully pretty clear. By just counting calories, one tends to miss out or overlook the fact that they are low on one tier of macro-nutrients which inevitably makes you high on another tier. Furthermore, a diet with this type of macro-nutrient profile will make you more likely to gain/retain weight and not promote a healthy weight loss. To sum it up and put it simply, the phrase “calorie in, calorie out” (as you can see) is not exactly true.

Carbs/Fats are Not Evil:

While a lower carbohydrate/lower fat diet works well for some, it is about adjusting those macros in balance and not cutting them out completely. Fad diets tend to cut one or the other out almost completely, which leads to nothing but an over-reliance on the other. While it may result in short term weight loss, is not a manageable practice nor is it a long term solution. The idea is to stay away from certain carbohydrates and certain fats such as the following:

  • highly processed carbohydrates (such as the ones found in poptarts)
  • Carbohydrates high in sugar (such as, you know, sugar)
  • Trans-fats which are usually located in highly processed, sugary carbohydrates
  • Basically, stay away from highly processed foods….

Sugars are Necessary:

Yes, sugar does promote and inflammatory response, but not all inflammation is bad. For example, when you break a bone the area around the fracture becomes inflamed and swollen. This inflammation is good inflammation, because without it (at least in the sort term), you would have no increased blood flow to the area and no increased stability around the area, ultimately resulting in the bone healing improperly and you walking around with a very jacked up limb.

Your body runs on sugars. After ingesting carbohydrates, your body quickly breaks them down and turns them into sugars and uses them for (super minor, totally overrated**) things like:

  • Glycogen production (stored form of sugar)
  • Energy to be used immediately
  • Brain function

So to say sugar is a bad thing is again, over-simplifying the issue. The best example is fruits, which tend to be high in sugars. Not taking in an adequate amount of fruits because of the fear of increased sugar intake can result in:

  • Decrease in certain necessary vitamins and minerals consumed
  • Decrease in consumption flavonoids which contain antioxidants
  • (Which results in an) Increase in the amount of supplementation needed
**sarcasm

Fad diets will have the opposite effect:

Try to run a marathon at your sprint pace and let me know how it goes. This is basically what you are doing when you go on some fad diet/cleans/30 day diet challenge etc… You want results, but you want them in the 30 days before you go on that cruise. Well, just like you burning out at the half mile or mile mark in that proverbial marathon mentioned above, you can sustain this practice for only a short time before you burn out and have the opposite of your desired results. Crash dieting can and will (eventually) result in the following:

  • Increase in weight gain (and not the good kind)
  • Decrease in performance
  • Increase risk of permanent metabolic damage
  • Tons of wasted time and money on products that don’t work

Remember, good nutrition practices take time, there is no quick fix to weight loss. Likewise, increasing performance does not only happen once you step foot in the gym, it follows you home and starts in the kitchen. So remember a couple of tips:

  • Eat as many whole foods as possible
  • Track everything you eat in apps like myfitnesspal to make sure you are hitting your target macros
  • Don’t worry about the calories, worry about your target macros
  • Supplement only when you need to
  • Eat fruits and veggies not only for the low carbohydrate consistency but because they also contain many vitamins and nutrients we need.
  • If someone ask you to do a diet challenge with them, kindly decline, and give them the hyperlink to our website so they, too, can see the light.

If you need help figuring out the mystery of macros, a proper diet/lifestyle change, or just want to exchange emails and talk, contact us at the following:

purehealthperformance918@gmail.com

We can get you hooked up with one of our nutrition coaches (remember, we are not dietitians, so if you have special circumstances we can help point you in the right direction) and get you started on a solid, sustainable lifestyle change that will result in the right type of weight loss/increased performance!

No days off

PHP DOIN WORK

So you are traveling for the holidays and want to keep your swole on but are not sure where to look or where to go? Let me give you a couple of ideas and suggestions in order for you to keep your gains up during this great time of bulking!

  1. Always try and find a crossfit gym with open times first

    1. This is the best option as far as having equipment, space, and no one yelling at you telling you cannot do something (such as deadlifts).
    2. On the other hand, the drop in fees can be as much as $25 (most gyms will give you a weekly rate) and the open gym times are sometimes less than desirable
  2. Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness, Metroflex, etc…

    1. While most places like this are not equipped for the clean and jerk and snatch, they will provide more than enough equipment for squats, deadlift, bench, and all your aux exercises.
    2. Benefits to these places are they will have a week pass (usually) or a trial pass for a certain rate and no one will yell at you if you make a little bit of noise.
  3. If all else fails, find a planet fitness or 24hr fitness

    1. The only benefit is that these places are usually pretty cheap (it is only $10 for a whole month).
    2. However, you will be downgraded to leg press, smith press, and a couple of dumbbell exercises that will do for the time being.
    3. Note: Do not look too in-shape or jacked walking in (maybe wear some sweats and old tennis shoes) so they don’t kick you out for being to intimidating.

If you want to get better and keep growing, you have to find a place to get your training in even while traveling. You  cannot afford to take a couple days off, let alone a week or two–you have to keep pushing yourself to your limits even during the holiday season. Remember, those athletes you will be competing against at competitions in the New Year didn’t take a break because they want to be the best, so neither can you!!

 


On a different note, we decided to try something new with our mobility. The following video is more of an instructional video used to help with your daily mobility plan while you are away for the holidays.

While the whole video only lasts 7:45, it serves just to illustrate the first couple of passes through all of the motions. The idea would be to go through the motions and poses for at least 15-20 minutes for it to really be beneficial.

 

Before we warm up with Sun Salutation, we start the flow with a test posture, Garland pose. This pose serves to test your hip mobility before and after your ROM practice to see how beneficial it was in helping to mobilize the targeted area.

From there, we start with a simple Sun Salutation to warm-up (especially if you are going at this cold or first thing in the morning) and move through this twice on either side. My suggestion would be to extend this period and flow through a Sun Salutation at least 4 times per foot (stepping the right/left foot back as a way to keep track), making sure to spend time in both upward and downward facing dog.

The poses that follow Garland all serve to increase hip, knee, and trunk mobility/flexibility and would be more beneficial if repeated at least 2x on either side of the body, holding for 15-30 seconds in each pose/variation of pose.


So while you are travelling, the least you can do is keep up your mobility (although squatting, pressing, and pulling should be high on your list as well)!!

Email or PM us if you have any questions in regards to the video, mobility tips, training, or the new competition team starting in January!!

Gym gear: It’s what gym rats crave

Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.

–William James

Training results in a lot of feelings that are different from person to person, but what stays the same across every individual (if you are truly training and not just “working out”) is pain, soreness, fatigue, hopelessness, and fear. If you feel these from time to time, don’t worry, you are not alone. These feelings come when you push your boundaries, when you do things that you thought 6 months ago would be impossible, when you get up day after day and perform the same movement you failed at the day before just to see if you can get it right this time. However, the best part of all of this, is the time you do get it right. The time that movement comes together so crisply, that you are not sure what just happened. This is what makes all that pain and soreness worth it. This is what truly accomplishing something feels. Remember; if it is not hard, it is not worth doing.

That being said; Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are right around the corner, which for most people means getting gifts. Now if you train, you know that sometimes the will to train is there, yet your joints just are not having it. Sometimes all your joints need is a little “hug”, something that keeps them warm and keeps them from feeling like any moment they are going to explode under the tension you have put them under. So to save you from telling your parents and relatives that you want “fitness gear” and ending up with a Shake Weight or “Brazilian Booty” workout DVD, I have complied a list of gear that might make those joints feel loved during the holiday seasons.


Tree Trunx Knee Sleeves

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I bought a pair of these bad boys when I volunteered at USAW Youth Nationals in OKC last year, and they are awesome! They are a little thicker than your normal 5mm knee sleeve from other companies, but they hold up really well and do a great job of adding just a  little bit of compression and warmth to keep those knees feeling nice and solid (especially when you squat everyday). As far as price goes, these are your best bang for your buck because they come as a pair (some brands you will pay this price for just one knee sleeve).


Kilos not pounds Knee wraps

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If knee sleeves are not your thing, or you want to be able to adjust the compression around the knee-joint, then wraps are the way to go. Kilos not Pounds make a great wrap that is inexpensive (sold in pairs), comes in a variety of colors, and last for a good amount of time (you can wash and hang up to dry and keep using). Best part is that when you buy a pair they throw in some sweet stickers for you to put on gym gear or water bottles!


Best Belts

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While these belts are a little more expensive than some of the belts at rouge, they are amazing and last. Very easy to order, custom fit to your waist size, can customize the color (they are not all pink), and they have tons of different options depending on what your sport is (tapered or 3 in. for oly lifting, 4 in. for powerlifting). So when you take into consideration that the belt is customized to your specific need and performs amazing, the fact that it is right at $100 is pretty appealing.

Rouge Fitness Belt Selection

If you don’t have $100 just hanging around, or that will be a little bit too much to ask for during the holidays, Rouge has tons of belts that can fit your need. Personally, I would go with a canvas style Velcro belt (something about non-custom leather belts just does not sit well with me and they usually take a while to break in).


Wrist Wraps

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Next to lower back soreness, wrist soreness is a pretty common occurrence when getting into heavy powerlifting or weightlifting. Getting something as simple as a cloth wrist wraps can add just enough compression to keep you in the game day after day and not have to take off because you cannot front rack or press weight. These wraps are super inexpensive (especially for how useful they are) and come in tons of different patterns and colors so you can mix and match depending on the outfit you are wearing to the gym (we all know it is important what you look like when going to the gym).


So, there you have it, a little list of stocking stuffers and gear that you can ask for to keep your game strong in the gym. Also, all of this gear is legal for the Super Total Lift-off happening December 5th, so make sure and get it to help with some of those PR’s (power suits of any kind are not legal).

We should be getting shirt info out by the end of the day, so keep your eyes peeled for the pre-order pricing and grab one to help support your local gym!

Update: 

blue tshirt mockup red tshirt mockup

Shirts are in! The Blue is a V-neck design and the Red is a Crew-neck. Both shirts are printed on Next Level Apparel Tri-blend material and if pre-ordered by Friday (Nov. 13th) will be $15 a piece (price goes up to $20 after Friday). Make sure and get a shirt while they are hot off the press!!!

For more information on the competition and the rules we will be following visit:

Super Total Lift-Off Blog Post

Pure Health Performance Super Total Lift-Off

I view my strongest competition as myself. You’re always trying to top yourself, rather than worrying about what other people are doing.

John C. Reilly

I will make up for the lack of mobility information in today’s post on Wednesday, because today we discuss the Super Total Lift-Off!!

So, what is the Super Total Lift-Off? This is Pure Health Performances first competition composed of the two Olympic lifts (Snatch and Clean and Jerk) and the three power lifts (Squat, Bench, and Dead lift). The goal of this competition is to provide a day for both those new to weightlifting and veterans to come and show their prowess in their given sport. We believe that it is not enough to just show up to the gym and workout because in this, there is no end goal. We believe that as an athlete you need a competition to come and prove (to yourself) that you are training for a reason, that you are in fact capable of more than you know, this is the reason for the Super Total Lift-Off!

That being said, here is the crucial information you will need to sign-up:

  • 12/5/2015
  • 8 a.m- 8 p.m
  • 518C SE Washington Ave. Bartlesville, OK 74003
  • Event space limited to 50 people
  • Registration is from November 1st- November 30th, so sign-up quick!
  • Pricing
    • $30 for Morning Session (Oly Lifting)
    • $30 for Afternoon Session (Power Lifting)
    • $45 for All Day (Super Total)
    • $5 discount for current Box Affiliation
    • $10 discount for PHP members
  • Event Page
  • Currently we have Google Wallet and Paypal set up for out-of-town payment.
  • For Google Wallet send it to:
    •  Daniel.West.PT@gmail.com
    • Please include
      • Name
      • Option for competition
      • Box Affiliation (if applicable)
  • For Pay pal send it to:
    • purehealthperformance918@gmail.com
    • Please include:
      • Name
      • Option for Competition
      • Box Affiliation (if applicable)

Our goal is to make this a very fun, friendly competition for beginners and avid lifters. This is a family friendly event and we will have food and drinks on-site for both the lifters and their guest. We also have some awesome prizes to give away from:

  • Phillips 66
  • Heartland Roasters
  • Kill Cliff
  • Fusion
  • and more

Below are the rules and judges bio’s. Make sure to go sign-up (because space is limited) for the event and tell some friends that might be interested. We hope everyone can make it out and have a great time, and we look forward to seeing what everyone brings to the table!!


RULES FOR OLY:

For the Olympic Lifting portion of this event, even though we are not a USAW affiliated club (yet), we will follow IWF standards to judge the lifts. Rules are as follows (taken directly from IWF Website):

THE SNATCH

The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the full extent of both arms above the head, while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. No part of the body other than the feet may touch the platform 3 during the execution of the lift. The weight, which has been lifted, must be maintained in the final motionless position, arms and legs extended, the feet on the same line, until the referees give the signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The lifter may recover in his or her own time, either from a split or a squat position, and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell. The referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body.

THE CLEAN AND JERK

The first part, the Clean: The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the shoulders, while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. The barbell must not touch the chest before the final position. It then rests on the clavicles or on the chest above the nipples or on the arms fully bent. The feet return to the same line, legs straight before performing the Jerk. The lifter may make this recovery in his or her own time and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell.

The second part, the Jerk: The athlete bends the legs and extends them as well as the arms to bring the barbell to the full stretch of the arms vertically extended. He or she returns the feet to the same line; arms and legs fully extended, and waits for the referees’ signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body. IMPORTANT REMARK: After the Clean and before the Jerk, the lifter may adjust the position of the barbell. This must not lead to confusion. It does not mean the granting of an additional jerk attempt but allowing the lifter to: a) withdraw the thumbs or “unhook” if this method is used, b) lower the barbell in order to let it rest on the shoulders if the barbell is placed too high and impedes the breathing or causes pain, c) change the width of the grip.

GENERAL RULES FOR ALL LIFTS

The technique known as “hooking” is permitted. It consists of covering the last joint of the thumb with the other fingers of the same hand at the moment of gripping the barbell.

In all lifts, the referees must count as “No lift” any unfinished attempt in which the barbell has reached the height of the knees.

After the referees signal to lower the barbell, the lifter must lower it in front of the body and not let it drop either deliberately or accidentally. The grip on the barbell may be released when it has passed the level of the waist.

A competitor, who cannot fully extend the elbow due to an anatomical deformation, must report this fact to the three referees and the Jury before the start of the competition.

When snatching or cleaning in the squat style, the lifter may help the recovery by making swinging and rocking movements of the body.

The use of grease, oil, water, talcum or any similar lubricant on the thighs is forbidden. Lifters are not permitted to have any substance on their thighs when arriving in the competition area. A lifter who uses any lubricant is ordered to remove it. During the removal the clock goes on.

The use of chalk (magnesium) on the hands, thighs, etc., is permitted.

INCORRECT MOVEMENTS AND POSITIONS FOR ALL LIFTS

  • Pulling from the hang.
  • Touching the platform with any part of the body other than the feet.
  •  Uneven or incomplete extension of the arms, at the finish of the lift.
  • Pause during the extension of the arms.
  • Finishing with a press-out.
  • Bending and extending the elbows during the recovery.
  • Leaving the platform during the execution of the lift, i.e. touching the area outside the platform with any part of the body.
  • Replacing the barbell on the platform before the referees’ signal.
  • Dropping the barbell after the referees’ signal.
  • Failing to finish with the feet and the barbell in line and parallel to the plane of the trunk.
  • Failing to replace the complete barbell on the platform, i.e. the complete barbell must first touch the platform.

INCORRECT MOVEMENTS FOR THE SNATCH

  • Pause during the lifting of the barbell.
  • Touching the head of the lifter with the bar.

INCORRECT MOVEMENTS FOR THE CLEAN

  • Placing the bar on the chest before turning the elbows.
  • Touching the thighs or the knees with the elbows or the upper arms.

INCORRECT MOVEMENTS FOR THE JERK

  • Any apparent effort of jerking which is not completed. This includes lowering the body or bending the knees.
  • Any deliberate oscillation of the barbell to gain advantage. The athlete and the barbell have to become motionless before starting the jerk.

WE BELIEVE THESE RULES LEAD TO THE SAFEST MOST EFFECTIVE LIFTING FOR THE SNATCH AND CLEAND AND JERK, SO THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTION TO THESE RULES!


RULES FOR POWERLIFTING:

For the Powerlifting portion of the meet, we will use IPF standards (rules taken directly from IPF Website):

Squat

1. The lifter shall face the front of the platform. The bar shall be held horizontally across the shoulders, hands and fingers gripping the bar. The hands may be positioned anywhere on the bar inside and or in contact with the inner collars.

2. After removing the bar from the racks, (the lifter may be aided in removal of the bar from the racks by the spotter / loaders) the lifter must move backwards to establish the starting position. When the lifter is motionless, erect (slight deviation is allowable) with knees locked the Chief Referee will give the signal to begin the lift. The signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and the audible command “Squat”. Before receiving the signal to “squat” the lifter may make any position adjustments within the rules, without penalty. For reasons of safety the lifter will be requested to “Replace” the bar, together with a backward movement of the arm, if after a period of five seconds he is not in the correct position to begin the lift. The Chief Referee will then convey the reason why the signal was not given.

3. Upon receiving the Chief Referee’s signal the lifter must bend the knees and lower the body until the top surface of the legs at the hip-joint is lower than the top of the knees. Only one decent attempt is allowed. The attempt is deemed to have commenced when the lifters knees have unlocked.

4. The lifter must recover at will to an upright position with the knees locked. Double bouncing at the bottom of the squat attempt or any downward movement is not permitted. When the lifter is motionless (in the apparent final position) the Chief Referee will give the signal to rack the bar.

5. The signal to rack the bar will consist of a backward motion of the arm and the audible command “Rack”. The lifter must then return the bar to the racks. Foot movement after the rack signal will not be cause for failure. For reasons of safety the lifter may request the aid of the spotter / loaders in returning the bar to, and replacing it in the racks. The lifter must stay with the bar during this process.

6. Not more than five and not less than two spotter / loaders shall be on the platform at any time. The Referees may decide to the number of spotter / loaders required on the platform at any time 2, 3, 4, or 5.

Causes for disqualification of a Squat:

1. Failure to observe the Chief Referee’s signals at the commencement or completion of a lift.

2. Double bouncing at the bottom of the lift, or any downward movement during the ascent.

3. Failure to assume an upright position with the knees locked at the commencement or completion of the lift.

4. Stepping backward or forward or moving the feet laterally. Rocking the feet between the ball and heel is permitted.

5. Failure to bend the knees and lower the body until the top surface of the legs at the hip-joint is lower than the top of the knees, as in the diagram.

6. Contact with the bar or the lifter by the spotter / loaders between the Chief Referee’s signals in order to make the lift easier.

7. Contact of the elbows or upper arms with the legs. Slight contact is permitted if there is no supporting that might aid the lifter.

8. Any dropping or dumping of the bar after completion of the lift.

9. Failure to comply with any of the items outlined under Rules of Performance for the squat.

Bench Press

1. The bench shall be placed on the platform with the head facing the front or angled up to 45 degrees.

2. The lifter must lie on his back with head, shoulders and buttocks in contact with the bench surface. The feet must be flat on the floor (as flat as the shape of the shoe will allow). His hands and fingers must grip the bar positioned in the rack stands with a thumbs around grip. This position shall be maintained throughout the lift. Foot movement is permissible but must remain flat on the platform. The hair must not hide the back of the head when lying down on the bench. The Jury or Referees may require the lifter to affix his/her hear accordingly.

3. To achieve firm footing the lifter may use flat surfaced plates, or blocks not exceeding 30 cm in total height and a minimum dimension of 60 cm x 40 cm, to build up the surface of the platform. Blocks in the range of 5 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, and 30 cm, should be made available for foot placement at all international competitions.

4. Not more than five and not less than two spotter / loaders shall be on the platform at any time. After correctly positioning himself, the lifter may enlist the help of the spotter / loaders in removing the bar from the racks. The lift off if assisted by the spotter / loaders must be at arm’s length.

5. The spacing of the hands shall not exceed 81 cm measured between the forefingers (both forefingers must be within the 81 cm marks and the whole of the forefingers must be in contact with the 81 cm marks if maximum grip is used). The use of the reverse grip is forbidden.

6. After removing the bar from the racks, with or without the help of the spotter / loaders, the lifter shall wait with straight arms elbows locked for the Chief Referee’s signal. The signal shall be given as soon as the lifter is motionless and the bar properly positioned. For reasons of safety the lifter will be requested to “Re-place” the bar, together with a backward movement of the arm, if after a period of five seconds he is not in the correct position to begin the lift. The Chief Referee will then convey the reason why the signal was not given.

7. The signal to begin the attempt shall consist of a downward movement of the arm together with the audible command “Start”.

8. After receiving the signal, the lifter must lower the bar to the chest or abdominal area (the bar shall not touch the belt), hold it motionless, after which the Chief referee will signal the audible command “Press”. The lifter must then return the bar to straight arms length elbows locked. When held motionless in this position the audible command “Rack” shall be given together with a backward motion of the arm. If the bar is lowered to the belt or does not touch the chest or abdominal area, the Chief Referee´s command is “rack”.

Causes for Disqualification of a Bench Press:

1. Failure to observe the Chief Referee’s signals at the commencement, during or completion of the lift.

2. Any change in the elected lifting position during the lift proper i.e. any raising movement of the head, shoulders, or buttocks, from the bench, or lateral movement of hands on the bar.

3. Heaving, or sinking the bar into the chest or abdominal area after it is motionless in such a way as to make the lift easier. 4. Any downward movement of the whole of the bar in the course of being pressed out.

5. Bar is not lowered to chest or abdominal area i.e. not reaching the chest or abdominal area, or the bar is touching the belt.

6. Failure to press the bar to straight arms length elbows locked at the completion of the lift.

7. Contact with the bar or the lifter by the spotter / loaders between the Chief Referee’s signals, in order to make the lift easier.

8. Any contact of the lifter’s feet with the bench or its supports.

9. Deliberate contact between the bar and the bar rests support.

10. Failure to comply with any of the items outlined under the Rules of Performance.

Deadlift

1. The lifter shall face the front of the platform with the bar laid horizontally in front of the lifters feet, gripped with an optional grip in both hands and lifted until the lifter is standing erect.

2. On completion of the lift the knees shall be locked in a straight position and the shoulders back.

3. The Chief Referee’s signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and the audible command “Down”. The signal will not be given until the bar is held motionless and the lifter is in the apparent finished position.

4. Any rising of the bar or any deliberate attempt to do so will count as an attempt. Once the attempt has begun no downward movement is allowed until the lifter reaches the erect position with the knees locked. If the bar settles as the shoulders come back (slightly downward on completion) this should not be reason to disqualify the lift.

Causes for Disqualification of a Deadlift:

1. Any downward movement of the bar before it reaches the final position.

2. Failure to stand erect with the shoulders back.

3. Failure to lock the knees straight at the completion of the lift.

4. Supporting the bar on the thighs during the performance of the lift. If the bar edges up the thigh but is not supported this is not reason for disqualification. The lifter should benefit in all decisions of doubt made by the referee.

5. Stepping backward or forward or moving the feet laterally. Rocking the feet between the ball and heel is permitted. Foot movement after the command “Down” will not be cause for failure.

6. Lowering the bar before receiving the Chief Referee’s signal.

7. Allowing the bar to return to the platform without maintaining control with both hands, i.e.: releasing the bar from the palms of the hand.

8. Failure to comply with any of the items outlined under Rules of Performance.

WE BELIEVE THESE RULES LEAD TO THE SAFEST MOST EFFECTIVE LIFTING FOR THE SQUAT, BENCH PRESS, AND DEADLIFT, SO THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTION TO THESE RULES!


GENERAL RULES:

  • You will be allotted 3 attempts for each lift
  • You must declare your weight prior to lifting
  • If you have to follow yourself, you will be given 2 minutes worth of rest
  • 3 judges will watch your lift and assess it. They have the final say in whether the lift is completed or not.
  • You must get 2 out of 3 white lights in order for the lift to be deemed “good”
  • Failure to complete the lift in the given time will result in a “no rep”

 Judges:

Dr. Jeremiah Williams, A-Z (there are some letters that go after his name, but it is way to many to actually type out)

J squats

  • Doctor of chiropractic
  • Coach and Co-Owner of Pure Health Performance
  • Knowledgeable in all things gym
  • Enjoys:
    • dressing as a zombie and pondering life under max weight
    • Crossfit
    • Jane Fonda’s “Fit and Firm” VHS

Daniel West, CPT, USAW-Lv1

Daniel Lifting

  • Coach and Co-Owner of Pure Health Performance
  • Known as “Trainer of the new hires”
  • Enjoys:
    • Being emasculated, while attempting a max rep deadlift dressed as peter pan, by the largest Filipino man known to the world flexing in his photo-op.
    • Weightlifting
    • The occasional curl in the squat rack with the bearing bar

Daniel Smith, USAW-Lv1

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  • Weightlifting Coach, Part owner of Box Force Events
  • Known as: D.Smith, The Samson of Bartlesville, and M.C Smith
  • Enjoys:
    • Hanging motionless in the air
    • Crossfit and Weightlifting
    • Flipping his luscious locks before a max attempt

Baby got back pain

Be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.

Mother Teresa

The last couple of weeks we have focused on common problem mobility areas related to the strength and conditioning arena, and I think we have done some good. I have personally seen my athletes and individuals in town add one or two of the stretches and rolling techniques talked about in this blog to their routine, so job done! Unfortunately, in the world of weightlifting, improvement is never done (unless you just want to be the fish that squats in a pond of fish that only elliptical and look good-by comparison). Like I said, we touched on mobility, but we did not touch on another part of the equation: Accessory Work.

Accessory work is crucial in the development of a well-rounded, fully fit athlete in any arena. Weightlifters don’t just Clean and Jerk and Snatch, Powerlifters don’t just Squat, Bench, and Deadlift, Swimmers don’t just get in the water and swim their hearts out, Triathletes don’t just go out and swim, bike, run everyday. Get the point? Accessory work is anything and everything that is not part of your event: it is strength training for endurance athletes, it is squats, RDL’s, chin-ups, close grip bench, etc… for weightlifters and Powerlifters, it is anything that can help with imbalances that an athlete might develop over time, IT IS IMPORTANT!

All that above brings me around to the topic of today: Accessory work for lower back pain. Picture this: You have been working Squats, Deadlifts, and Cleans for months now just to be able to shake it like Shakira, but what good does that do you when your muscular imbalances have you dancing around like Quasimodo trying to Krump? Side note: If you do any squatting or pulling at all, you will at times have lower back soreness and maybe a little pain, this comes with the territory. If it is more than just a little pain or if it is a chronic problem, this post is for you! If you are uncertain whether this pertains to you (it probably does), take a look at your squat form. Do you pitch forward? Do you kick out one hip more than the other? Do you have pain on only one side of your back/glute area? If you can answer yes to anyone of those three questions, or you just want to be a better athlete, or you sit at a desk for God knows how long, or you are a human being, then you should probably read the rest of this and incorporate some of the Accessory exercises depicted below:

First up, Romanian Deadlifts:

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The goal of this exercise is to increase the recruitment of the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Start by stepping up to the bar, bend down grabbing the bar with a clean width grip, butt up in the air with a flat back and only slightly bent knees. As you start to pull, make sure almost all of your weight is back in your heels and you are pulling the bar up and back toward your hips. As you get past the knees, really engage those glutes and squeeze them through to full hip extension. As you lower the bar down, do so in a nice slow, controlled manner to get a nice eccentric load on the back and hamstrings. I usually keep this exercise to 3-4 sets of 8 repetitions working as heavy as possible with good, solid form.

Next up, Single leg Deadlift

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This is a great exercise to test whether we have a deficiency or imbalance in one hip or the other. Similar start and finish to the Romanian Deadlift, with the difference being that one leg will be kicked back and off the ground. Note: You can also do this with a KB to start with and then work your way up to a barbell and make sure and watch out for the loaded hip kicking out to the side. The Rep and Set scheme is the same for this exercise 3-4 sets of 8 repetitions each leg.

Suitcase Deadlift/ Farmer Carries

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The goal here is to lift the weight while keeping the hips as neutral as possible. This exercise is great for core muscular imbalances as well as glute, hamstring, and grip strengthening. Set up and lift is the same as the first two exercises, but won’t be as deep due to the farmer carry bar being quiet a bit taller than a normal barbell. To add a challenge, take it for a 45 second stroll then switch hands and do it again. 3-4 sets with 8 repetitions each side for suitcases and 3-4 sets of 30-45 seconds for farmers walks (making sure to work up to a challenging weight).

Glute/Ham Raises

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This is a great exercise if done correctly! The biggest issue I have with these is untrained athletes doing them for time or being taught to use momentum to get some crazy high number of repetitions in. If you are to do these, the lower back needs to stay tight and as structured as possible.  This exercise is absolutely phenomenal at developing strength in the glutes and hams (this is where you should feel tension and where you should think about contracting) and usually is done for 3-4 sets of 8 repetitions. If you get to the point where this is easy, you can then add some weight by placing it on your chest and performing the raises.

Last is a little flow that Kaleigh came up with to work before and after any day that heavily relies on your lower back or if you sit for long periods of time.

Starting in child’s pose, hold for as long as comfortable then move up to a neutral spine. Next is Cat and Cow, moving through each of these 10-15 times each. Moving around to a seated position, we move into spinal twist on either side holding for 10 breaths, moving deeper into the stretch with each breath. Moving down to the mat, we work through bridge pose pushing up through the heels and lower back down one vertebrae at a time, moving through this pose 10-15 times. Finally, we relax into happy baby holding for as long as we like, letting our hips sink and relax into the mat.

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The lower back can be very strong or very weak depending on how much time,effort, and intensity we put into the area. Going forward try to add one or two of these exercises into your daily routine at the end of your normal training session and I guarantee your lifts will improve (or at least your pain will subside).

Next week we will move to the hips and legs and show a couple of different exercises to help improve the squat and some to help with chronic injuries for some of our endurance based athletes.

Don’t forget that if you have any interest in competing in our super total meet (or just weightlifting or powerlifting) make sure to get a hold of us via facebook (sign-ups will start soon).

Also, we are collecting old athletic clothing and shoes at the gym to donate to a kids group in Tulsa. If you have any shirts, shorts, sports bras, shoes, etc.. that you have outgrown or just don’t wear anymore, please bring them by so we can donate as much as possible!!!

Check back on Wednesday for a new blog post called “Mid-Week Mobility” where we will give a yoga pose, mobility drill, and corrective exercise for a given body part to through into your daily routine!

Overhead Mobility: The Sequel

     I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee

I send in weekly videos to my coach to be analyzed for cues and corrections in my Olympic lifts. This week, I got an email back telling me that I needed more mobility in my shoulders in order to get the bar into the proper overhead position. Now, you can imagine how ironic that is seeing’s as how I have posted for the last 3 or 4 weeks about mobilization and how important it is in your program… Well regardless, last week we posted a Video of our yoga instructor, Kaleigh, performing a yoga flow to help with the overhead and front rack position. This week, I want to expand on this video with some foam roller techniques, lacrosse ball techniques, and general stretches that I do in order to try to maintain the mobility needed to get the bar in to the proper overhead position. Note; These mobility techniques are not just for the Olympic movements. Anyone that presses, front squats, swims, sits at a desk, etc. can use these stretches and poses to gain and maintain the natural ROM in and around your shoulder, elbow, and wrist.

Lets start with some rolling techniques I use in my warm-up:

TRAP ROLLOUTLAT ROLLOUT

First, I should note that this might feel uncomfortable, but it Should NOT HURT. For the picture on the left we are rolling from the bottom of the ribcage to the base of the neck (not on the neck). We are focusing on loosening the upper back musculature up in order to help get  us into that proper overhead position. I start with 15-20 full rolls with my hands overhead, really extend those hands in order to get a good mash in the mid and lower traps.

The picture on the right, we are rolling the back of the shoulder and insertion of the lat. Same idea here, roll from your armpit down around your ribs (do not put too much pressure on the ribcage itself) and make sure and put the hand up in order to flex the lat. and get a good mash in. This roll out technique was made famous in the scene from titanic in which Jack paints a lovely portrait of Rose (I don’t have as good of a pose as Rose, but I am working on that).

Next we focus on some good overhead static stretches:

Kb stretchIMAG0030

The main goal for the first picture is to get good extension in the spine and shoulders. I hold this position for 15-20 seconds and let up for 15-20 seconds, rotating through this 3 to 4 times.

The second picture is targeted around your lat., obliques, and hips. This is a great one for some of the powerlifters that get those feet real far back in order to get solid drive during a bench press. Notice how my legs are in a straddle stance, which allows a little more of a stretch through out the hip area. The stretch is held for the same time frame as the first, with the same amount of sets (3-4 per side).

These last two are a sport specific technique and a lacrosse ball trigger point technique, so I grouped them down at the bottom:

 

CGOHSCFGOHS SIDEBALL ON WALL

First is the close grip overhead squat. I try to do this a couple of times a week, with very light weight, to help to improve my overhead mobility and positioning. The idea is to grip as close as is comfortably possible (this is a little wider than my clean grip) and perform a couple of overhead squats, holding in the bottom position for a 3-5 second count and 5-8 repetitions with 3-4 sets. Note: The pain face is not a necessary part of this squat, it just so happens that it naturally occurs for me in this position.

This lacrosse ball trigger point technique will help to loosen up that pec minor (which can become really tight when your shoulder is under a constant amount of strain and tension). Put the ball into that shoulder/pec pocket, get up against the wall, and move in small motions left, right, up and down. This one is a great one to do at the house or in a judgment free zone, because it tends to look like you might have fallen in love with the wall and are practicing your slow grid with it. If you hit a spot that is extra tender, make sure to stay there for 3-5 seconds to allow it to loosen up a little and make sure to perform this on both sides of the body!

. Unlike other things in life, if you don’t use it, you will lose it, so make sure and make this a daily task. Get into the gym, add some into both your warm-up and cool-down, making sure to try to include some mobility for every major joint in the body. When you get home, make sure to take extra care of any small injuries, aches or pains you may have (adding more mobilization and rehab to this areas).

Check out the Facebook page for updates on our Super Total Lift off coming up on Dec. 5th and if you are interested, we still have 3 or 4 spots available in our Tues/Thurs strength class!

Booty ain’t going to twerk itself: Squat Mobility

 No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.

Socrates, 469-399 BCE

So I sort of flipped the general vibe of the article from joking (in the title) to a little more serious (in the opening quote), but there is a point. The point is that if you are going to do something (lift, triathlons, marathons, etc.) do it well. You don’t get to come in and only do the things you want to do or the things you are good at (as many of us do, myself included). You MUST MOBILIZE and you must do it WELL!!

Now getting back to the title, which is true, it really is not going to do it itself. Also, no one is interested in a Miley Cyrus pancake booty shaking in front of them, so we must learn to squat, and squat properly (you also don’t want to hurt yourself and look like Quasimodo trying to get down).

YES– baby-squat  NO– Jillian-Goblet-Squat-350x350

First thing is first, we hit the gym with a general warm-up of 3-5 minutes. This general warm-up could be jump rope, rowing, a jog, something to get the whole body active and moving. After we are nice and warm, we can go through the series below to help increase the ROM in our hips, knees, and ankles in order to acquire a better squat pattern.


So the first one we start off with is a deep lunge with a twist:

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I usually give these 8-10 reps per side, walking around the gym and twisting both toward and away from the leg out in front. Notice that I am allowing the knee to fall over the toe with my heal still on the ground, which helps to add some ankle mobility into the stretch. I will then take both hands down to the floor and put a little more emphasis on the hip itself (make sure to keep a back flat and really push that chest to the floor). I hold each side for a 2-3 count and move on to the next, repeating the same on the next side.


Next, I do a little squat specific mobilization with an overhead variation:

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I picked this one up after seeing Matt Bergeron utilizing this for some Glute issues he was having. A plate is placed on the ground to make sure that your feet stay an appropriate distance apart. Take a strength band and place it around your hips and walk backward to the plate. With your chest as high as possible, squat down as far as you can, allowing the band to help keep you upright. Two variations are shown: One with hands in an overhead position (helping with the OH Squat) and one with the hands in a prayer position (pushing the knees out, allowing a stretch in the hip flexors). I like to get down and hold these for 10-15 seconds a piece, standing up between each variation, doing this 3-5 times.


After that, we go to the floor  for some spinal rotation and lower back activation:

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I show two variations: One with your hand and the other is with a small strength band. The idea for these is to keep the shoulders on the ground, so if you cannot, go ahead and grab the band to add in to your rotation. Go through the full rotation 3-5 times per side, holding for 10-15 seconds a side, making sure that you back is nice and warm for your lifting session ahead.


This last one I threw in as a “Must do everyday” type position. I hold this for a good amount of time after I am done with my training to try and help increase my ROM in the squat. Notice I am trying to stay as upright as possible on my own, trying to minimize the amount of weight I put on the wall. The length of time you hold it depends on how comfortable it is for you, you never want a stretch to hurt, so if it does make sure to come out of it.

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This is a great starting guide to correcting some common issues with mobility around the hip, knee, and ankle. If you have an actual injury, these might help, but will probably not correct that issue, so make sure to come check us out to see if we can help with your specific issue. As always, mobility is a day to day process, so make sure to get a little in everyday, because that is the only way you will see true improvement.

Also, Pure Health is excited to announce that we will be starting a Tuesday/ Thursday strength class from 5:45 p.m-6:45 p.m. This class will include a push/pull style strength exercises and conclude with a 15-20 minute HIIT style circuit. This class is great for intro weightlifters, off season runners/triathlete/cyclist, or general fitness enthusiast. If you are interested, contact us via Facebook , call us at (903) 521-6115, or email us at purehealthperformance918@gmail.com .

Next up: Overhead Mobility (OH Squat, Jerk, and Snatch).

Mobility: The Front Rack

Olympic Lifting is just like powerlifting, except when you start to move the weight you are expected to do calculus.

-Scott Bulin

While this is somewhat of an exaggeration, he has a point. There is a huge amount of thought, time, strength development, and mobility that goes into Weightlifting (Oly lifting). You cannot expect to come in and just pick up heavy ass weight without first knowing form, function, and having the ability to actually catch the weight and drop into a proper squat.

So let’s talk about your Front Rack. Is it good? Can you actually shelve weight? Have you been getting by with something you deem a front rack only to find out that your collar bones are on the verge of shattering because of all the weight you are slamming into them? Do you have terrible wrist pain every time you do cleans, but don’t know why? All of these questions have the same solution: You need to properly mobilize (both before and after your training session) the areas responsible for your T-Rex like position so that you can properly front rack the weight and fix your clean and jerk!

So lets talk about the areas that really need to be addressed:

  1. Upper Back/Scapula area (Thoracic Spine area)
  2. Lats and Posterior Deltoids
  3. Triceps/Forearms/Wrist

1. The best and easiest way to get to this area is a simple foam roller placed on the upper back and rolling back and forth over the given area. Rolling back and forth (changing arm positions to on the chest and overhead) will effectively mash your traps, erectors, and lats (you can also trigger point these areas with a lacrosse ball).

2. A close second is the use of a large #14 or #20 Dynamax style ball and kettle bell. The idea here is to lie your upper back (between your shoulder blades) on the Dynamax ball and reach overhead to where you have place a kettle bell. Once you have grabbed the kettle bell, let your hips sag toward the floor and you will really start to feel the stretch in your lats, chest, traps, and triceps areas.

3. This last one can be seen in the video provided below, but is a very simple and effective way to mobilize your forearms and wrist. In a kneeling position, place your hands on the ground with fingers pointed straight ahead, stacking your hands and elbows directly below your shoulders. Start by internally and externally rotating your elbows (make sure your hands stay in place while doing so). Now shift forward, backward, and side to side, making sure to hold each for about 10-15 seconds. Repeat all of this with your fingers facing away from each other (out toward the sides) and fingers facing backward (toward you).

So these are just a couple of ways to really help you with those problem areas so that your front rack is not holding you back from increasing weights or causing injury. As always, remember that it WILL feel uncomfortable, but mobilization should never hurt. If you need more in-depth explanation or pictures and videos, go to Mobility Wod for some deeper explanations on some of the stretches and mobility techniques above. The video below is something I found on  Fitness Pain Free and goes through a lot of stretches we use in the gym to increase that ROM needed to have an immaculate front rack position.

Remember, if it is a problem area, once or twice a week of stretching and mobilizing will not fix it. If you really want to improve or fix the area, it has to be a daily occurrence. Rest days are not days of complete rest, they are best served as days of recovery, which means to get on the floor or into your gym and spend some time working your problem areas and focusing on increasing your ROM!!  Next blog post will cover some issue areas around the hip and how to improve that squat!


Video Cite: Pope, D. [Dan Pope]. (2013, December 16th). Best Mobility Exercises to Fix the Front Rack for Cleans, Front Squats, and Overhead Pressing [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g2Ad20aEB0&w=640&h=390.

Results

“If you always put limits on everything you do,physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” -Bruce Lee
I post a lot of videos of the people that make this gym possible because I think it is important to show them off. I think it is important to let the people that ask them “Why do you never want to come out with us” know that they come in and bust their ass and work unbelievably hard to gain a  couple pounds here and there and sometimes they just need to go home and eat and sleep. I want to do something different and post a spreadsheet of the changes and pounds that they have put on the bar so that if you are unfamiliar with the weights in the gym, you can see some numbers and really grasp how hard they have worked.
They did not do anything out of the ordinary, they did not take any magical supplement. They came in a couple of times a week (between 3 and 5), they busted ass while they were in here, they went home and ate a nice balanced diet (although pizza usually makes it into the diet every now and again), and they did not let small injuries and mindsets hold them back from accomplishing what they wanted to in the 9 week program. They are a shining example of what you can do if you want something bad enough and find a place that will amplify that attitude toward greatness.
Note: Most of the strength athletes we have are female. They did not get bulky, most actually lost weight. On top of that, they became strong and confident. Aches and pains went away and were replaced with strong lower backs and power house legs.
Check it out and next time you see them give them a high five or a PR donut for all of their hard work! Remember, we all start out as beginners, so if you are at all interested, come check out the gym and start your journey to a strong, healthy life!