Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Deadlift

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[Daughter Jennifer, who lives and trains in
Austria, demonstrates the Exercise of the Month, the Deadlift.]

Can there be a more basic power lift than the deadlift? You bend, grasp a weight and stand up with it, a simple, direct power move requiring overall body strength. Yes, there are some things to know about proper form, but let’s not get overly analytical, either.

Before we begin, note that in the video Jennifer is working with well over 200 pounds (she has been training all her life). If you are a beginner, and especially if you are woman beginner, or if you are unfamiliar with the lift — start with a much more moderate weight. Then train for awhile to get used to the lift before putting yourself to any sort of power lifting test.

Here’s how to do it

Stand behind the barbell at your shins; feet at shoulder about width apart, or slightly wider; hands just outside your legs. Now, looking straight ahead, bend equally at the waist and knees, a bit like sitting down and back into a chair; grasp the bar with an alternate over/under grip.

Keep your back flat (not hunched over), abs tight. Take a breath and then exhale as you straighten your knees and push your hips forward to stand, always keeping the bar close to your shins. Hold for a second in the full standing position; then, with control, bend at the knees and waist to return to the beginning of the lift. Breathe throughout the movement — but stay tight.

To start, use a weight that allows you to complete 8 to 10 reps. Eventually, you may want to test yourself, to see how much you can lift for one rep. Let that come later. For now, practice your form so that it becomes second nature. In the process, enjoy the strength increases in your back, hips, legs, and grip.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Top of The Class

What is the one food or nutritional supplement that seems to have zero detractors?

Answer: Cold water fatty fish or fish oil supplements.

If you aren't getting your omega-3s, you ought to start now. Looking for another reason why? Go here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Dangerous Trend

People who are 100 pounds or more overweight are the fastest-growing group of overweight people in the United States, researchers reported this week. The proportion of the severely obese was 50 percent higher in 2005 than it had been in 2000 -- a startling rate of growth.

"The proportion of people at the high end of the weight scale continues to increase at a brisk rate despite increased public attention on the risks of obesity and the increased use of drastic weight loss strategies such as bariatric surgery," said Roland Sturm, an economist at Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research institute.

For the full story go here.