How To Reduce Stress (Part 2)

stress

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read Part 1, click here

3rd step – organize yourself and communicate

organize yourself

 

Organize

Managing your schedule helps limit stress and to do that, here’s what you can do :

  • Prevent an additional 10 to 20 minutes on your travel times.

  • Make a list of priority tasks to do and not to do.

  • Identify bad habits, tasks to eliminate and tasks to delegate.

  • Automatize a maximum of tasks.

  • Focus on taks that immediately bring visible results

  • Avoid to scatter you.

  • Stop these time consuming habits like reading your emails as soon as they arrive of watching your smartphone as soon as there is a notification. Tamagochi  is a toy, not a lifestyle.

  • Do things in their time. Each task, even minimum, must be completed before moving on the next one. This method allows you to improve your concentration and the satisfaction of having completed a task is very motivating.

  • Pause during the day and cultivate your patience. In a situation where you have to wait, take the time to relax instead of sighing and complaining. For example in a queue for a counter, use that : Wait = relax and breathe deeply. Concentrate on yourself in a positive way and on the present moment.

Communicate

  • Stress is often born from the fact that we don’t know what our interlocutors expect from us. We can’t read people’s minds, so don’t hesitate to ask clearly what people expect of you. Dare to ask questions and create a direct communication. Banish your ego and think that you aren’t absolutely right. You can also avoid sensitive topics.

  • Say « no ». If you can’t render a service someone asks you because you have no time or no resources or you don’t want to take additional responsibilities, then explain that to your interlocutor. Your interlocutors will understand the situation and you will find an arrangement. It’s better to say « no » from the start than to force yourself to keep your commitments. With this attitude, you will avoid being overwhelmed.

4th step – turn away or adapt and accept

 

turn away

 

accept

 

  • Avoid the trigger elements of stress. Limit your contact with people who stress you. Be aware of your environment and control that. For example, use an alternative road to avoid traffic jams. Turn off TV to avoid listening to information that makes you anxious. If you did the analysis of 20% of sources that bring you 80% your stress, you know the people that you must see the minimum or eliminate them from your contacts.

  • Adjust yourself by being willing to compromise. Be assertive by adapting your requirements and avoiding perfectionism.

  • Reframe conflicts by analyzing the problem in a positive way. Look at good things and find benefits of the situation. Focus on positive elements.

  • Accept the trigger of stress and admit that you can’t control everything.

  • Looking for opportunities to improve yourself. Concentrate on what this stressful situation can teach you. Follow the principle of this quote : « What doesn’t kill you , make you stronger » and ask yourself these questions : « How can I get better with this experience ? What did I learn ? ».

  • Forgive. Accept that others make mistakes (because you also make mistakes) and try to evacuate any feeling of anger. When you free yourself from all this negative energy, it’s easy to resume your projects.

In summary « The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another » as William James said.

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-Steph

Stop To Be Shredded Everytime

black shredded athlete

black shredded athlete

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

Spring is here and I see that everyone wants to be shredded to show off this summer. I think it’s interesting to explain the difference between be shredded or cutting phase and losing weight.

Be shredded or cutting phase comes from the bodybuilding’s field. After taking muscle mass, be shredded allows to show your muscles striated in detail.

People confuse be shredded or cutting phase and a loss of weight. When you do a good weight loss, you lose water and fat without losing muscle mass and bone mass. When you’re shredded or cutting phase, you lower your bodyfat to 5% to see your muscles in detail as a bodybuilder competing.

Please, women and girls, stop saying that you are shredded or cutting phase. Naturally you have more fat than men and that’s normal because it’s to feed the baby when you will be pregnant. Your body programmed for that and that’s normal. For a woman or a girl to be shredded, it’s necessary to take steroids like women who participate in bodybuilding competitions. A clean weight loss is excellent and sufficient for toning and having a beautiful body.

Let’s talk about weight loss. There are plenty of stupid draconian weight loss programs. These programs cause loss of muscle mass, loss of bone mass, slow down metabolism and create health problems. I wrote 2 articles about it, click here  and there for Part 1  and Part 2 .

Wait

body under construction

I agree with this point of view and I think it’s necessary to be patient before be shredded or cutting phase. Wait 5 years before doing your first cutting phase. Make a clean mass gain for 5 years. Jamcore DZ waited 7 years before to participate in his 1st competition. At the 2nd competition, he felt like he was flat net to his competitors. He waited 3 years before participate in his 3rd competition. 10 years to gain muscle clean with a healthy nutrition to have nice muscle mass when he’s shredded.

So wait at least 5 years to have a healty muscle mass gain before to be shredded or cutting phase. Maybe you find that long but see the reasons :

  • 1st reason : Learn and understand how your body works.

  • 2nd reason : Learn the art of patience. You’re going to have trouble but all the best things are hard to get. You will realize each summer with your friends who will show off but your friends are flat. They believe that they have muscle mass but in fact they’re thin and dry and you arrive and BOOOOM !

  • 3rd reason : After 5 years when you’re shredded, it will encourage you for the next cutting phase. You know that you have to rest your body for several years by gaining muscles in a healthy way to have a better body for the next time. I know that there are people who want to be shredded after 2 years but the results are poor : less experience and more muscle loss because there aren’t enough muscles that was built so a small muscle mass visible. Me, the first time I was shredded, I was disgusted, I felt flat because I had a small muscle mass visible.

    It’s depressing and most people when they’re in this situation, they think to take steroids to show off with pictures on social media. This is happening right now on social media.

  • 4th reason : The more you’re shredded, the more you will regress because you lose more and more muscles. When you’re shredded, you lose some of your muscles, this is the process. So if you do this every years or every 6 months, you lose each time a part of the muscles that you have built.

The most common question

ask question

To start, people who tell you that you can do this all your life are liars. When you start training, you do something new to your body several times a week. It’s like a romantic relationship with a girl. It’s beautiful and after 6 months, she starts to piss you off, you start to piss her off and after you breakup. For muscle mass, it’s the same principle. At first you’ll build muscles and you’ll change your composition’s body, it’s normal.

After a while (2-3 years), your body starts to adapt and you stagnate. That’s when you’re looking for a training system that suits you, you focus on muscle isolation during an exercise, you improve your recovery and you evolve slowly. Gaining healthy muscle takes time and you have to accept it.

At the beginning of your training, you’ll lose fat and water and gain muscle at the same time for 2-3 years and then you’ll stagnate. Most of people who gain muscle get fat because they eat too much and don’t do cardio. Cardio all year is important to help control your weight. When I say doing cardio, it means doing cardio at a middle level, not cardio at a high level to be shredded. Doing cardio while you’re gaining muscle helps you progress because you keep a metabolism that works.

Share this article if you think it can someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 2)

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read Part 1, click here.

Legs

Improve your squat position

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

To reduce the lower back’s effort and limit the hamstrings tension, it’s possible to do like powerlifters by putting the barbell on posterior deltoids.

This technique decreases the cantilever and increases the power of lifting from the back. This allows you to lift heavier weights.

By using powerlifter of weightlifting shoes (solid raised heel) or a wedge under the heels, this reduces the cantilever by having the buttocks not too back by the advancing knees. This allows for greater amplitudes with the thighs flexion.

With that, we feel better the quadriceps work by limiting the torso’s inclinaison and the work of the gluteus maximus and spinal erectors.

The low barbell and raised heel combination allows you to lift heavier weights. This technique is recommended for rangy people and people with stiff ankles to correct their positioning at squat.

Front squat to target quadriceps

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Front squat limits the torso’s inclinaison. This has the effect of reducing the work of the lower back, decrease the tension of hamstrings muscles and adductor magnus muscle.

On the other hand, front squat increases the cantilever, which forces quadriceps to make more effort to extend the thigh on the leg.

Which means it’s the perfect squat for thighs. But it’s not possible to lift heavyweights like the classic squat and it’s recommended to do it with heels elevated for better stability.

For rangy people, front squat is very hard to do. The torso of rangy people is more inclined, which make it more difficult to hold the barbell which may fall forward during the execution of the movement.

Spread the legs to less incline the torso

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

There is a squat’s technique to limit the torso’s inclination. This involves spreading the legs with the feet outward. Some powerlifters do this technique with the legs almost wide apart. With the legs apart, this limits the legs flexion.

To be able to squat with the legs apart, it’s necessary to have an adequate bone conformation of the hip joint and to be flexible of the thighs adductor muscle. Which means, it’s a technique that can’t be used by everyone.

The advantage of the big belly

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Having a big belly for squat and deadlift allow to compress it against the thighs. This helps to limit the inclination of the torso and the back’s rounding. This has the effect of protecting the lower back and limiting the risk of herniated disc.

It’s for this reason that we can see a lot of heavyweight champion of powerlifting or weightlifting with a big belly. They take care to keep their belly fat with an excessively rich diet.

Different forms of knees

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

In bodybuilding, it’s important to take into account the different morphologies of the individual and especially for the knees.

Arched legs (genu varum) are not more risky than normal legs. For people with X legs (genu varum) or people who can overly extend the thighs (genu recurvatum), it’s often recommanded to not do leg exercises with very heavy weights.

Cases of genu valgum are often :

  • In people who were overweight during their youth when leg bones weren’t fully developed and still « malleable ». Legs are deformed because of the overload. Now, they have this X shape.

  • In women. The fact that women have wider hips to have children, this influences the femurs direction which are generally more inclined.

For people with genu valgum. If the genu valgum is to excessive, the joint would be overused. The medial collateral ligament would be extremely tense. The lateral meniscus, the articular surfaces coated with cartilage of the external condyle of the femur, and the external lateral tuberosity of the tibia would be subjected to excessive friction, which would cause pathologies of wear.

For people with genu recurvatum. These are people who are essentially very flexible named hyperlaxes or women whose muscular and ligamentous hyperlaxity is related to reproductive function.

Rarely pathological, knees with genu recurvatum can sometimes have some problems like the meniscus pinching. This can happen when the knees are rapidly expanding and the meniscus haven’t had enough time to slip, or during an exercise with a heavy weight that has forced the hyperextension of the thigh.

It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to people suffering from a genu recuvatum pathological never to totally block the knees at the end of extension to the squat or to the leg press.

Note

For 2 people who are the same size, it’s important to consider the torso-leg ratio.

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Type A :

People with proportionally long legs and a short torso will have trouble doing a proper squat without tilting their torso excessively forward.

On the other hand, the short torso (which limits the cantilever) facilitates the execution of the good-morning, classic deadlift and Romanian deadlift.

Type B :

People with proportionally short legs and a long torso will have the facility to squat safety without tilting their torso excessively forward. It’s for this reason that the great champions of powerlifting squat specialist have this type of morphology.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 1)

morphology

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

In bodybuilding, it’s really important to take into account individual morphological differences. Especially for squat and deadlift.

Squat and deadlift have a different muscular work for a brevilineal person and a rangy person

A brevilineal person has a proportionally long torso and short limbs. An rangy person has a proportionally short torso and long limbs. This has nothing to do with height, muscle development or adiposity. Which means that a person can be a small fat rangy or a tall skinny brevilineal.

A brevilineal person have facility for squat because their short femurs makes that the torso is little inclined. This limits lower back and hamstring tension. As a result, the movement can be done in relative safety and the brevilineal person can almost exclusively focus on quadriceps work. It’s for this reason that almost all squat champions are brevilineal. An impressive example is that usually dwarves monopolize podiums of small categories in powerlifting.

Rangy people have more difficulty to do squat because their long femurs makes that the torso is very inclined forward. This puts hamstrings, adductors and gracilis in a dangerous position. Rangy people must fight constantly to not be out of balance forward.

It’s also important to pay attention to the back’s position to avoid rounding the back. Having the round back causes serious spinal injuries like the famous herniated disc.

Rangy people doing this type of squat leaning forward works much muscles of gluteus maximus which have the function of straightening the pelvis, torso and all erectors spinae muscles that try their best to avoid the rounding of the back.

As a result, the squat for long limbs is excellent for developing powerful glutes and lumbar spine. On the other hand it requires a lot of concentration for the positioning of the body during the movement. It should be noted that more weights are heavy, the more dangerous the movement’s execution.

For rangy people who really want to work quadriceps, it’s advisable to use incline machine like « hack squat ».

Difficulties change side

change side

For brevilineal people who are the kings of squat, there is a reverse medal. They have a lot of trouble to do deadlift.

Brevilineal people with short legs should bend their legs to take the barbell. Sometimes their femurs are almost horizontal and this position requires a lot of energy to start the movement.

On the other hand, rangy people can take the barbell with their legs half bent. With this position, quadriceps can us the maximum energy to start the movement. The morphology of the rangy people allows them to lift heavier weights than brevilineal people despite a tilt of the gluteus and erectors spinae muscles

It’s for this reason that almost all of the deadlift champions are rangy people.

morphology brevilineal rangy

morphology deadlift

Ankles flexibility

ankle morphology

The ankles flexibility has a great influence on the squat’s execution.

Ankles flexibility may be influenced by musculotendinous limitation (such as significant calves retractions) or bone limitation. For example, if the dorsal flexion (the fact of raising forefoot) is limited, the squat technique is completely modified.

The lack of ankles flexibility limits the shifting of the shins forward and the advanced knees. This makes it necessary to squat with the buttocks very back and the back leaning forward, which has the effect of working intensely the gluteus maximus and the spine erectors muscles.

Squat with an excessive inclinaison of the torso put dangerously tension on the back muscles of the thighs, adductors magnus, gracilis and increase the risk of muscle tearing.

It should be added that the positioning of the femurs below the horizontal has the effect of rounding the back, which increases the risk of vertebral damage. This squat requires a lot of concentration for the positioning of the body during the movement because the more the weigh is heavy and more the movement’s execution is dangerous.

Be careful, whether for the squat or the deadlift, having stiff ankles make it difficult to flex our legs even if the femurs are horizontal.

morphology deadlift

Finally, the cantilevered that is more important for deadlift than squat, this is requires quadriceps to provide more strength to extend thighs on the legs.

To read Part 2, click here.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you

-Steph

Become Antifragile

fragile

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

There is a interesting book « Antifragile : Things that Gain From Disorder » of Naseem Taleb.

The concept is to rebuilt our body and our environment to become antifragile, getting stronger and more resilient as more chaos is introduced.

Do you want be strong like your movie’s hero or your comic’s hero ? Read the next !

Antifragile

antifragile

In all domains in life, there is 3 types :

  • Fragile

    This object must be handled with care. This object could break if there is a variation in handling. This object must be out of danger to survive.

  • Solid

    This object doesn’t need to be handled with care. This object can be throw or hit, it will not change. It’s well built and resistant. If it breaks, it will be rebuilt exactly in the same way.

  • Antifragile

    This object doesn’t handled it wiht care ! This object can be throw, broke, throw in chaos, it becomes stronger. It’s like Hydra’s myth, you cut a head and two heads apprears. In fact, an antifragile object become weak when it handled with care.

Did you believed like me that human being was a « fragile » type ?

Nature like chaos and use it to make corrections and make change to survive like an ecosystem. Disasters, climat changes and others elements erase « fragile » members of a species. Stronger and antifragile members of a species survive.

The good new is we can become antifragile. Look :

  • When you take something heavy, your joints, muscle and bone rebuild themselves to become stronger in cas where there would be more chaos. This is the basis, if we don’t do physical activity, our muscles and bones can atrophy and weaken.

  • When we have a disease in our body at a certain dose, our body built a resistance et become stronger against it.

  • When we’re children, we learn than pans on the stove are hot, animals bite and life is difficult. We learn all these little pieces of chaos to prepare us to survive when we become adult.

Because we’re antifragile creature, we need chaos and failure in our life or we will die.

Do you remember how are humain being is the move « Wall-E » ? Humain beings are without muscles and are unable to take care of themselves. Don’t get out of you comfort zone and you become like them (and like my father) !

Antifragile body

antifragile body

If we want be ready to survive in the unknown, we need to constently get out of our comfort zone, challenges and chaos in our body.

In summary, it’s :

  • Enough chaos to force our body to rebuilt itself to become stronger.

  • Chaos in a specific amount of intensity

  • Enough time to our body to recover after chaos (training)

If you walk the same distance with the same speed every day, your heart will adapt to use less energy to do this until there is too much chaos like a very stress day at school/work.

When you feel this distance is easy, walk faster or another challenge. Transform your heart to become stronger and more resilient to manage some chaos more powerful.

There is another way to put chaos in your body, training :

  • if you do a deadlift at 90kg (200lbs) a time, your body is forcing to adapt in different way to lift 68kg (160lbs) several times (reps).

    By forcing your body to adapt to lift heavy weight, your bones, your nervous system, joints and muscles need to adapt to become more antifragile to lift weight heavier. Talibe say we must force our body to adapt to the maximum level of chaos (heavy weight training) to go beyond our limit differently than medium weight or sets with a lot of reps.

Antifragile diet

healthy food

The construction of an antifragile body can be totally destroyed by an « fragile » nutrition like fast foods (Nutrisystem, microwave meals, etc ).

To have an antifragile diet, we need to learn to cook ourselves and don’t be afraid to try new ingredients. Cook isn’t a thing we have to afraid or to be ashamed, it’s something good and important to have a good health. Embrace it. There is a lot of healty meals on internet, it ‘s cool.

Chaos in your diet ? Eat more meals training days and skip a meal non-training days. Don’t become a maniac to count calories or to have the perfect number of hours between meals. As long as you eat 4-6 meals per day, it’s ok.

You want to the next level : grow your food. If you can grow vegetables and raise animals, it’s great my friends. Some resources here  and there .

Here are the basics to build an antifragile body prepared to any amount of chaos and a nutritional strategy to have the energy needed to cross each chaos.

What is your first step to become antifragile ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a free training program ? Click here