Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Gym Movement

Jon:
To make it clear from the beginning: I do not confess myself to Gym Movement. Neither do I confess myself to RKC (yes I know I have an RKC badge on the blog) , Crossfit or anything else. Not because I have something against these but because I don't want to be identified with something outside my control. I have however learned from all of these three aswell as from numerous other sources. Here I wan't to write a bit about what I have learned from Gym Movement.
I became interested in Gym Movement when I first saw Adam T. Glass videos on Youtube 1 1/2 years ago or so. It reminded me of something that I read many years ago about bodybuilder Victor Richards. At that time I was doing a classical bodybuilding three day split and wondering if a four day split perhaps was better or if I should split the day into two separate sessions. Richards however wasn't following a program at all. He did what he felt like each day. This idea sort of stuck with me but it wasn't until I heard of GM that it resurfaced again.
For me this is the core of the GM idea: not to force me into a pre set mold that does not take the specificity of my body and my present situation into consideration. Everybody that trains knows about good days and bad days. Days when you for some unexplainable reason are really strong or really weak. My experience with the weak days has generally been that if I push through and lift according to schedule I lift less than I should have done and that it leaves me depressed and down.
Today I choose not to push through but rather to walk around. Rather than doing something that really doesn't feel good I do something similar - another weight, other reps/sets, other exercise - and if that doesn't feel good either I do something completely different.
I don't test movements the way GM do. Mainly because I can't get it to work. I never see any differences in my toe touch or shoulder ROM no matter what I do and I don't have a mesauring device for grip strength. Instead I try to listen "inwards" so to speak. This of course means that I have to learn the difference beween a weak mind and a body telling me no.
It is not totally random training though. I do have a plan based on my goals. For example I plan to squat every second day. I have a plan for how to progress. If everything feels good I squat and follow this plan. If it doesn't feel good - which basicalyy means that I feel that I will not be able to do what I have planned to do in a good way - then I start making adjustments. If I have planned to do five sets of five reps kettlebell front squats with double 32s and that doesn't feel good I might go for 6 sets of 4 instead, or for longer rest between sets, or more reps with a lower weight. Sometimes squatting seems like a bad idea period and then i do something else. I love to train. I don't need to force myself to do it. If I don't squat today I will do it tomorrow.
I also keep a fairly detailed logbook. It is essential for knowing where to go next. If I for example choses to lower the weight in the frontsquats to double 24s then I know what my best set with these are and if I belive that I can beat it then I go for it. This leads me to another part of the GM philosophy: PR everytime.
I chose to leave the term PR for more dramatic occurences such as 1 RM but I do sympathize with the idea of perpetual progress. For me this means that I in my daily training chose to do excercises that I will have progress with. If I feel that I will not do better than last time then I don't do it. The progress is usually very slow - one more rep, one more set, one more kilo - but it is almost always there.
One last thing that I really like with GM is that nobody from there will frown upon me if some of my goals are purely aesthetical. So what if biceps curls are not "functional"? I want liquor strong and my guns big.
All in all, since I've started to experiment with the GM-ideas my training is more relaxed, it shows a more steady progress and it is easier.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

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