exercise

Did you know that your body talks to you?

bodytalkstoyou

Ok, my intention is not get all new age hippy dippy on you but once I got into the swing of things with strength training in 2013, it really did feel like my body was talking to me in a sidekick sort of way. When building your strength using compound movements that utilizes your body’s natural movements (like squats, deadlifts, pull ups), your body becomes, well, functional. Moving furniture becomes easier because, for example, you’re already used to the form of squats (legs bent, back straight, core braced) almost without thinking you get into that proper form and with your increased strength, you’re able to push or pull or lift. And you will feel like your body is helping you. Hence, the sidekick and the “talking” part.

I was helping my parents move a particularly heavy dresser drawer last fall when I first experienced this. I suddenly found myself getting into almost the deadlift postion (almost similar to the squat) and gripped the behemoth. And then another sudden epiphany. It was as if my body was saying to me “I’ve got your back. On three…”.

Since then, I was in tune with my body. I think I’ve finally understood what “aligning your mind and body” means.

Before I got into strength training, moving furniture was a clumsy ordeal for me filled with fear of throwing our my back and losing body parts.

Things are in harmony when you treat your body right. I was built this way to move this way. That’s why I’m such an advocate for squats, deadlifts, pull ups, all the compound movements which use your body’s natural movements. It’s a great feeling to be self-aware in this way.

My classmate, Danny Lombardi, happened to blog about a similar topic last week. In If you owned a Ferrari, would you use only first gear?, Danny talks about how we just aren’t made to sit all day in a vehicle on our commute to and from work, at a desk for 8 hours or so at work, or on the couch after dinner time. Danny uses his camping experiences to explain how our bodies are capable of allowing us to do “sustained, high-output work” and really amazing things (for example, look up calisthenics or street workout on YouTube for examples).

Your thoughts? Have you ever experienced a total awareness of mind and body in a way that you have never expected?

Holy cats! I can dip!

In case you don’t already know, I’ve been blogging about my slow recovery from a few injuries in the gym (tennis elbow, torn biceps, rotator cuff injuries to name a few). So it’s a big deal to me that this morning I braved it and took a chance at seeing if I could perform one of my favourite exercises, the dip (see above video). I did 5 reps, took a rest, did 5 more, took a rest and did 3. Pain started to come but it went away. And I felt pumped and strong. How I missed that feeling.

And all I did were 3 short sets. It felt good! My chest and triceps felt back to normal. This is something I’ve been noticing lately. You don’t have to do a large amount of sets or reps. Ok, I always knew this about barbell training but does it apply to bodyweight training? I always see bodyweight routines with high numbers like 30, 50 even 100 reps of multiple sets.

Before my injuries, my aim was 75 dips in total. That’s a lot to strive for! I guess. I see others do it. I wonder what benefits you receive with 75 dips vs. 5 sets of 5? Is it endurance? Is there more strength somehow? Perhaps it’s simply larger muscles? I know crossfitters love this concept.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with bodyweight training. Should I (slowly) work my way back to my goal of 75 dips? Maybe doing them consecutively isn’t the answer. Maybe 75 dips in total throughout a workout? So many variations…