When Anecdote And Science Collide

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What do we do when science and anecdote collide?

I ask because I love exercise science. I find the subject fascinating. I’ve written several posts in recent weeks looking at studies.

But I also recognize there are limits to what science has to teach us about exercise. What do we do when the two run smack into one another?

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Pat McNamara Speaks Some Barbarian Truths!

Pat McNamara is a former special forces soldier and one of the most sought after weapons trainers in the country today. He’s also a physical training fiend.

While his training style isn’t right for everyone, he’s still a beast. Recently, he sat down with Joe Rogan and offered up some thoughts on “working out.” I think everyone should watch this:

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Train Like An Athlete? Or A Warrior?

 

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In troubled times like this, people who decide to train tend to make one mistake; they training like athletes and not warriors.

To be fair, it’s difficult to know the difference. Look around the internet. There’s a ton of information out there on how to train for any number of sports. Believe me, I know. I’ve looked.

So when someone decides it’s time to start lifting, they go to the internet and plug in a search. What they get, though, is solid advice on how to train for general strength or for sports in general, which is fine.

But Barbarians? We demand more.

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Is ‘Greasing The Groove’ The Secret To ‘Farmboy Strong’?

Once again, I’m reading Pavel Tsatsouline. I can’t help it. I like the Mad Russian.

Right now, I’m reading The Naked Warrior, his book on calisthenics. Mostly, it focuses on just two exercises, which doesn’t do much for me, but it does talk a great deal about the concept of “greasing the groove.”

I’m sure Tsatsouline isn’t the originator of the idea, and I know I’ve heard it for years, but the basic idea is that you do a submaximal lift with a lowish number of reps and before you realize it, you’re stronger than you realized.

It’s made me wonder if it’s the key to being “farmboy strong.”

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Essentials Of Strength Training

 

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What are the essentials of strength training? What do you really need in order to get strong and fit?

Obviously, I’m biased, but what follows is my simple take on the absolute essentials to get strong. Bear in mind that this is just one take on what the essentials of strength training. It’s not intended to be the last word on the subject.

Plenty will disagree, but here is an exhaustive list on what are the absolute essentials.

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Should You Train, But Not Work Out?

 

(Photo from Unsplash)Pavel Tsatsouline is a big fan of never using the term “work out” when you train. It seems that in the Russian language, the term doesn’t even exist. You train. Alternatively, you practice.

Tsatouline seemed to think the term “working out” evoked the wrong ideas, the wrong imagery.

Personally, I thought the idea was kind of dumb. I never had a problem with the imagery of working out. I couldn’t imagine it would make a difference to anyone who would actually give a damn.

After spending a lot of time doing kettlebell snatches, though? Now, I’m not so sure.

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The Kettlebell Overhead Press

Is it the king of overhead pressing, or just a pretender?

The overhead press is one of the most important movements in resistance training. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a barbell, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or a big old rock. It’s important.

Once upon a time, the measure of strength wasn’t the bench press, but the overhead press.

While it’s prominence has fallen in many ways, the overhead press is still pretty damn important. Even while focusing on the kettlebell snatch, I’m still making it a point to press with a kettlebell too.

There are a lot of people who claim that pressing with a kettlebell is the bee’s knees.

But is it?

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Why I’m Focused On The Kettlebell Snatch

And why you might want to be too.

While the kettlebell swing is the workhorse of kettlebell training, the snatch is definitely the king.

Multiple studies have shown that for cardiovascular capacity, the kettlebell snatch is the big boy on the block. Nothing really compares with it, especially in the kettlebell world.

Unfortunately, it’s also a very technical movement. While it’s easier to learn than a barbell snatch such as they do at the Olympics, it’s still not exactly a “Day One” movement.

But why am I spending the next little while focused on the kettlebell snatch above all other movements?

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What To Look For In Training Modalities

Everyone needs to train. In my not so humble opinion, everyone needs to get off their butts and do some kind of training.

But the problem is that there are a lot of different ways to train, and most people don’t really have a clue how to deal with the plethora of options. Especially when there are so many scams floating around in the fitness world.

So what do you do? Luckily, I’ve done some thinking on the topic.

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Why We Shouldn’t Forget Conventional Training Methods

Traditional lifts are often traditional for a reason.

I’ve written a lot here in the last few weeks about unconventional training methods. I’ve had a love affair with them before, but I got in my head that what I needed was pure, raw strength, so I turned to the barbell for that.

Now, fate has returned me to the loving embrace of things like kettlebells and sledgehammers (which is now my new band name).

But I’ve also come to realize something very important, and that’s how we probably shouldn’t turn our backs on conventional training methods.

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