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“How Do I Fix My Anterior Pelvic Tilt?” It’s Not As Simple As Stretching Your Hip Flexors And Strengthening Your Abs And Glutes

2013 October 10

Because of my recent posts on anterior pelvic tilt and how to effectively recruit your abs, I have been getting more and more questions from people wanting to know how they can get out of extension during exercises and/or daily life.

Here is a recent question I received from Robert:

“I have specific question regarding turning on obliques to prevent anterior pelvic tilt or/and rib flare I do know that this is somewhat connected but I am curious if you are proponent/endorse exercises sch as hanging leg rise, reverse crunch… as viable exercises to return the pelvis to normal/neutral position.  If not which exercise do you use.”

Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as do this and do that.  The only way I can tell you what to do would be to assess you, but since I can’t do that for everyone I am going to share some thoughts on possible solutions if you have a significant rib flare and/or are stuck in low back extension and an anterior pelvic tilt.

A lot of the writing below actually comes from a post over a year ago on my old site.  However, some things have changed as my ideas have slightly evolved since then.  Hope you enjoy.

Eric Cressey wrote an interesting post a while back titled, “Down on Lumbar Flexion in Strength Training Programs?  Enter The Reverse Crunch.”  In it, he explains why he is okay with going into, and training, some lumbar flexion (I want to make it clear that this was written over two years ago so Eric may have changed his views since then).  His point was that a large percentage of the population is stuck in an anterior tilt with an exaggerated lumbar curve (overly extended).

Therefore, when these people perform a reverse crunch properly, they are flexing their lumbar spine, but not to end-range.  They are flexing from a hyperlordotic position to a more neutral position.  The purpose of the exercise for these people is to strengthen the muscles that will help posteriorly tilt their pelvis (such as the external obliques) and put them into a good lower back position.

 rev crunch

While I mostly agree with Eric’s post, I do want to discuss why giving people a reverse crunch to help correct their overly lordotic low back position may not always be a good idea.  The reason is because some people stuck in this position are unable to flex their lumbar spine.  In fact, at IFAST we see quite a few clients who are unable to do this.

pelvic

One of the tools we use in our assessment at IFAST to determine this is a standing toe touch.  An ideal toe touch pattern would demonstrate a reversal of the lumbar curve, which would give the appearance of a flat, lower spine.  As stated above, you will sometimes see a client who is not able to flex their lumbar spine, which is problematic (I am not going to get into it here why you should be able to flex your lumbar spine.  If interested, check out Charlie Weingroff’s Core Pendulum Theory).

Below is a client (I will call him Jon) who is unable to flex his lumbar spine.  When I have him touch his toes, his lumbar curve does not reverse and flatten – it remains extended (check out the pic below).

 Andy G toe touch

Do you think Jon will be able to perform a reverse crunch properly in a way that will bring his pelvis to neutral?  Most likely not because when he goes to posteriorly tilt he will not be able to segmentally flex his back because he is unable to.  My guess is that he will attempt to flex and get motion at a higher (more superior) segment.  And, continually having him flex at that area will only make it weaker and more likely to give under movement.

Therefore, for clients like Jon, it is important to gain segmental flexion first before trying to train the external obliques through lumbar flexion with exercises such as a reverse crunch.

One of the mobilization drills I use at IFAST to help gain mobility at the low back (or any segment of the spine) involves breathing into the locked-up segment(s) of the spine.  There are a couple of ways you can do this.  One way to do it by yourself is by laying over a glute ham raise (or some other rounded object such as a foam roller or a thick rolled up towel) on your stomach.  The position of the glute ham raise on the chest/stomach will depend on where you are trying to mobilize the spine, which I will explain in a moment.

After you are stretched out over the glute ham raise, try to take several deep, diaphragmatic breaths while making your arms long.  Since the pad is blocking your stomach from expanding, the air should travel posteriorly (into your back).  If done properly, you should feel like you are breathing into your back and there should be movement in your spine.  If the air is going too high (superior) into your back, then move higher onto the pad and vice versa.  Finally, it is important to try and relax over the pad.  Below is a video demonstrating this.

After performing the above exercise, you can follow it up with something like a rock back into lumbar flexion.  Normally, when performing a rock back you want to stop rocking back when you lose your neutral spine position.  However, in this case, we want the person to get some lumbar flexion.

Once you rock your butt all the way back to your heels, drop to your elbows and take 10 breaths.  Make sure to fully exhale and breathe into your stomach as low as possible.  Throughout this exercise, keep your elbows pushed into the floor (shoulder blades protracted).

If the person is getting good segmental flexion with the rock back, then I would take him or her to a strengthening exercise for the external obliques (just like you always want to follow up a mobility drill with an activation exercise).  My preferred choice would be Wall Press Abs – making sure the client is in, and stays in, a neutral spine position (slightly flexed from their normal hyper-lordotic position).  You could also use a reverse crunch, but make sure the flexing is segmental.

Once they can achieve this position supine (on their back), move them to more challenging positions – quadruped, kneeling, and finally, standing.  My favorites for quadruped are Quadruped Walk Out and Modified All 4 Belly Lift.

Kneeling exercises include tall and half kneeling chops and lifts.

Lastly, standing exercises include all of your favorite lifts – squats, deadlifts, etc.

I do want to mention that if a person is still unable to segmentally flex their spine during a rock back and/or breathe into the locked up segment(s) make sure to look at their soft-tissue restrictions.  If the person has been stuck in an anterior tilt position for a long time then they most likely have soft-tissue adaptations that will need to be addressed first.

Summary of action steps to overcome an anterior pelvic tilt:

1.  Make sure you can achieve multisegmental spinal flexion.  If unable, perform breathing exercises such as breathing over a glute ham raise or foam roller and/or a full rock back to elbows  with breathing.

2.  Stretch your quads and/or hip flexors if needed (this may need to be another post:) ).

3.  After you have stretched the hip flexors (if needed) and mobilized the spine to improve multisegmental flexion, begin performing exercises that work to strengthen the glutes and core muscles that pull the pelvis posteriorly.  Good core exercises for this include: Wall Press Abs, Modified All 4 Belly Lift, Quadruped Walk Out, Ab Wheel Rollout, etc.  For all of these make sure you are in a good spinal position.

4.  Lastly, take this new strength and posture awareness into more difficult patterns such as squats and deadlifts.  Make sure to keep your zipper pulled up and your ribs down.

5.  Once you can maintain a good pelvic and spinal position in these exercises, keep adding load and progressing as able.

Hope that helps!  Have a great week everyone!

Why It’s Important To Relax And How It Can Make You More Productive

2013 September 3
by Zach

It is 8:27 am, and I am sitting in my hotel room in Clearwater, Florida, staring out at the ocean.  I am on vacation as I write this, and while I promised myself not to “work” on my vacation, I felt the urge to write and clear my mind.

In this post I want to share why I tell myself I will not “work” on vacation and why I force myself to take a vacation every year.

Me and Emme

Last year was the first official vacation Emme and I had taken in a few years.  This is largely because we are creatures of habit and getting out of our routine is not always comfortable for us.  Therefore, packing up and traveling somewhere to get away is not necessarily “relaxing”.  However, after our vacation to California last year I realized that this is something I need to do every year.

These vacations force me to get out of my routine, and while that is negative in some regards, it also has a lot of positives.

Vacations allow me to slow my mind.  I am able to read, write, and concentrate a lot more effectively.  For some reason, when I am at home in Indianapolis, my mind is not able to slow down and concentrate very easily.  I always have a million things running through my mind and cannot seem to slow them down.  I have only noticed this within the last few months, but it has gotten pretty bad.

By slowing my mind I am able to be more productive.  Before we set out on our vacations I always tell myself that I do not have to work and I put no pressure on myself to do so, but I often get several ideas that I just have to implement or write down (such as this one).  Once I start writing or working on these ideas they just seem to flow – I will often spend an hour or two each morning while Emme is still in bed.   This is largely because my mind is free and is better able to think.

The thing about it though is that I have fun with it and I enjoy it.  It does not feel like work.  If I am not enjoying what I am working on, I put it down and do something else.

I have also taken advantage of this extreme concentration and focus to read several books.  I am able to read so much faster and more effectively with a calm mind.  In the past few months, I have noticed my mind wandering and will have to backtrack to absorb what I read.  I know this is something I greatly need to improve upon if I wish to be more productive and stress-free.

I have read several articles and books on the topic of productivity and most will say that concentrated periods of work and effort are far more effective than long drawn out periods.  This is because your brain is not able to focus for large periods of time, especially with a lot of distractions.

By forcing yourself to work in shorter periods of time your brain will have more energy, and therefore be sharper; and you can eliminate a lot of distraction because you can tell yourself that you will have plenty of time for those later.

My good friend, Lance Goyke, just sent me a newsletter course from Scott Young on improving your ability to learn.  This dude took the entire 4-year curriculum of MIT’s computer science program in one year!  This is one of his secrets – high intensity periods of learning.  He would study for many hours everyday, but he forced himself to be done by 7pm everyday and took Saturday completely off.

This is where I go wrong in my efforts to get a lot of “work” done.  I always feel like I need to be doing something productive, but by thinking this way I never give my mind and brain a break. 

Look at this quote from the book, The Power of Full Engagement,

“At the most practical level, our capacity to be fully engaged depends on our ability to periodically disengage.  For most of us, this required an entirely new way of thinking about how to manage our energy.  Many of us treat life as a marathon that doesn’t end until it finally ends for good.  Along the way, we learn strategies for conserving our limited resources.  This may mean expending energy at a certain steady level at work but rarely fully engaging, or pushing very intensely on the job and then having little energy left to invest at home.  Or it may mean slowly disengaging in every sphere of life…” (38)

So why am I writing this?

Well, it is largely to explain why I think it is important to relax and be present/mindful.  If you are working, work, but if you are hanging with friends and family be in the moment and enjoy it.  I feel like so many people, myself included, are working themselves to death, and feel guilty for slowing down.  Like I said above, I often feel guilty if I am not working or doing something productive.  But it is okay to sit down and watch your favorite reality show if it helps you get your mind off of outside distractions.  As the authors of The Power of Full Engagement explain, we need periods of disengagement.

Emme and I started and just recently finished the t.v. series, Game Of Thrones.  We reserved it from the library and we would watch one or two episodes most Sundays.  It was a great way for me to give my mind and brain a chance to relax.  By the way, I highly recommend it.

Any recommendations for what we should watch next?  We are leaning towards Breaking Bad?

Relaxing with a glass of wine and a crossword puzzle

Relaxing with a glass of wine and a crossword puzzle

A few more random thoughts:

I am going to begin practicing meditation.  Meditation has been shown to improve your ability to focus and concentrate, largely by teaching people to calm their minds at will.

I tried meditation a few months ago for about three weeks, but then decided I did not have enough time for 10 minutes a day!  That is ridiculous.  I am going to get back on it and start at 5 minutes a day, working my way up as I see fit.

I am also not going to force myself to write unless I have the urge.  I feel like this has been putting unwanted stress on me, and I feel like my writing and content has suffered because of it.  When I have the urge to write, or when I have something to say, I will say it.  But in the meantime, I am going to keep hammering on my eBook (be on the lookout – I just need to finish up the filming) and learning as much as possible to help boost my creativity, and ultimately, help me help you.

The last book I just read encouraged the reader to wake up everyday and ask yourself, “Who can I help today?” or “How can I enhance the lives of others today?”  I want my work to help others, and my blog is a big outlet for my work, so I will continue to improve at my craft and provide good information for you.

Hope you had a great holiday!!

Learn How To Properly Lock Out A Deadlift, Squat, and Hip Thrust

2013 August 9

Bret Contreras is definitely a popular figure these days in the strength and conditioning world and for good reason.  He runs a great blog and puts out a monthly research review with Chris Beardsley that I highly recommend if you want to stay on top of research relevant to the strength and conditioning field.  Needless to say, I am a fan of Bret and his work and appreciate the efforts he puts into improving our field.

However, today, I want to discuss one of his ideas regarding finishing a hip thrust or deadlift.  Bret has suggested to posteriorly tilt the pelvis to really get maximum glute contraction during these movements and to help overcome anterior pelvic tilt (see THIS POST for his favorite exercises to posteriorly pelvic tilt).

While a properly performed posterior tilt will increase glute contraction, it is often very hard for people.  Many people simply lack the multisegmental flexion in their low back to achieve a good posterior tilt.  Therefore, when they attempt to do this they simply shove their hips forward versus lifting the front of the pelvis up.

This is what I see many people do when trying to lock out a deadlift or hip thrust.  This is an excessive sway of the hips - not a posterior pelvic tilt.

What I see many people do when trying to lock out a deadlift or hip thrust. This is an excessive sway of the hips – not a posterior pelvic tilt.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  This will still achieve great glute contraction, but is also places a lot of stress of the front of the hip.  I see many clients at IFAST, and among my distance clients who have instability and laxity in the front of their hip.  Basically, the ligaments and passive structures that are supposed to be keeping their femur in their socket are loose, and this can cause pain and irritation in the front of the hip with excessive stretching or pressure.

Therefore, teaching them to properly engage their glutes while also using their abs is very important.  And, even if you do not have laxity in the front of your hips, it is still beneficial to learn to use your abs and glutes together to finish a hip thrust or deadlift.

Good Finish - PPT

This is a better finish with the hips stacked over the ankles and the pelvis titled posteriorly.

Simply watch the video below for a detailed explanation of the difference and how to correct it.

 

Leave any questions or comments below.  Have a great week!

Emme’s Training Log: Meet Week!

2013 July 30

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Sumo DL 135 lb x3, 160 lb x1x2, 185 lb x1x2

2) Competition Bench Press 45 lb x8, 65 lb x3, 80 lb x1x2, 90 lb x1

3) DB Incline Bench 2×8

4) Tall Kneeling Lat Pull Downs 2×10

5) Inclined Treadmill Walking x20 min

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Squats 45 lb x5, 75 lb x3, 95 lb x2, 115 lb x1x3

2a) Competition Bench Press 45 lb x5, 65 lb x3, 75 lb x3, 85 lb x1x3

2b) 3 Month Baby PNF 2×6

3) Rolling Triceps 2×10

4) Inclined Treadmill Walking x10 min

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Competition Bench Press 45 lb x8, 65 lb x5, 75 lb x3

2a) Squats 45 lb x8, 75 lb x3, 95 lb x2x3

2b) Quadruped Walkouts 2×3

3) Seated Cable Row 2×8

4) Balloon Breathing 4×3

5) Inclined Treadmill Walking x10 min

This week has just been all about getting some good movement in and practicing the lift patterns.  None of these workouts have been very taxing so that my muscles and nervous system are well rested and in top shape for Saturday!  Getting excited!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The meet at IFAST was fantastic!!  Mike, Bill, and the rest of the IFAST crew put on a meet like it is something they do every weekend.  It was so well-run and so much fun.  There were 10 lifters (3 women and 7 men) and lots of spectators.  As with most meets, there were some amazing displays of strength, some grinders that made you exhausted just to watch, and some disappointments.  I seriously hope IFAST makes this an annual event!

I went 7 for 9 on my lifts hitting a meet PR in all 3 events.  I hit an easy 195 lb opener in squat, and my 215 lb second attempt went up fairly easy as well.  On my third attempt, I went for 225 lb, which is what I missed at my last meet.  Unfortunately, I missed it again.  I just got down and didn’t have the spring out of the hole that I needed.  I don’t think I was quite as aggressive on the descent as I should have been.

I started bench with my old meet max of 110 lb.  I have been hitting that consistently in the gym so I wanted to just start there and move on up.  My next attempt was 115 lb.  I struggled a tiny bit, but got it no problem.  I went for 120 lb on my third attempt, and the entire thing was terrible from the setup to the hand-off, to my wrist position and bar path.  So, needless to say I didn’t even give myself a chance to hit that weight.

I crushed my opening 225 lb deadlift then went for a 248 lb second attempt, which also went up fast.  We were lifting with kilo plates so my options for my third attempt were either 259 lb 0r 264 lb.  I thought to myself, “What kind of number is 259?  Let’s just skip the 250s and go big!”  So, 264 lb it was, and I was able to hold on and tough it out and hit a 19 lb all-time PR and a 29 lb meet PR!  It was an awesome way to end the meet!

I am going to take a little bit of a break like I normally do after a meet from the 3 big lifts.  I think Zach is actually working on a 4 day upper/lower split program for me.  I also think I will take a little break from the weekly training logs, but I will be sure to update occasionally with any exciting news.  Thanks so much for following along with me these past few months.  It has been fun reflecting on my lifting each week.  Please let Zach know if you have any questions about my training!

 

 

Emme’s Training Log: Some Good Lifting and A Family Friendly Hooter’s?

2013 July 22

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Sumo DL work up to a heavy single – 185 lb, 205 lb, 225 lb, 245 lb, 225 lb

245 lb is a PR for me!  I was super pumped.  You can see in the video how I set the bar down all tough acting like it ain’t no thing but then smile huge at Zach like an excited little kid.  :)

2) 2 Board Bench Press 3×1 – 110 lb, 120 lb, 130 lb

I missed 130 lb last week, and this week it went up super fast.  Definitely was having a good lifting day today!

3) Squats 3×1 – 135 lb, 155 lb, 135 lb

4a) Incline DB Bench Press 3×8

4b) Tall Kneeling Lat Pull Down 3×10

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Squats work up to my meet opener – 150 lb, 175 lb, 195 lb, 195 lb

2a) Paused Bench Press 3×2 – 95 lb, 100 lb, 100 lb

2b) 3 Month Baby PNF 2×6

3) Rolling Triceps 3×10

4) Battling Ropes 12 sec on/50 sec off x8 rounds

Friday, July 12, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Competition Bench Press work up to a 1 rep max – 110 lb, 115 lb, 120 lb

2a) Paused Squats 3×2 – 125 lb, 135 lb x2

2b) Quadruped Walkouts 2×3

3a) Close Grip Bench 2×4 – 85 lb, 95 lb

4) Seated Cable Row 3×8 – 115 lb x2, 125 lb

5) Sled Pulls

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Sumo DL work up to my meet opener – 155 lb x3, 185 lb x1, 205 lb x1, 225 lb x1x2

2) Competition Bench Press work up to my meet opener – 95 lb x2, 110 lb x1x2

3) Squats – 115 lb x5, 135 lb x3

4a) DB Incline Bench Press 3×8

4b) Tall Kneeling Lat Pull Down 2×10

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Squats work up to my meet opener – 150 lb x1, 175 lb x1, 195 lb x1

2a) Paused Bench Press 3×1 – 95 lb, 100 lb, 105 lb

2b) 3 Mon Baby PNF 2×6

3) Rolling Triceps 3×10

I was only able to get 2 lifts in this week.  My mom went out of town for awhile so my brother and I and the rest of our wonderful extended family and family friends have been taking turns keeping an eye out for my dad.  I mentioned a couple of months ago that my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 5 years ago, and it is just better if he doesn’t have to spend too much time by himself these days.  So, I was happy to head to Paoli a couple of times last week to stay with him.  We had a great time – played a couple of rounds of golf, watched a lot of the British Open and the Tour de France, and went shopping and out to eat.  We ate at a cool restaurant called Rooster’s with my brother and his friend and her son, which my brother said was like a family friendly Hooter’s.  :)  Turns out he was right!  While all of that didn’t create an ideal setup for the meet coming up next week, my family will always happily come first.

IMG_1079

 Dad getting a quick lesson from a pro.  :)  AKA my brother.

IMG_1082

 Dad and I took a minute to admire our shots on the 7th hole of the course we lived on for 20 years.

Emme’s Training Log: New ZMF Apparel!!

2013 July 12

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Back Squats 3×1 – 155 lb (belt), 175 lb (belt and knee wraps), 190 lb (belt and knee wraps)

OMG!  This was the first time putting the ol’ knee wraps on since the meet in December, and I had forgotten just how awful they feel!  On the other hand, I had forgotten just how good squats feel with them on.  I definitely had some more left in the tank today.  I am glad we are starting back with the wraps a few weeks out so that I have time to fully adjust to the pain and gain of them again.

2a) Paused Bench Press 3×3 – 85 lb, 90 lb, 95 lb

2b) 3 Month Baby PNF 2×6

3a) SSB Back Squats to a Box 2×4 – 115 lb, 135 lb

3b) Rolling Triceps Overheads 2×10

4) Battling Ropes 12 sec on/50 sec off x9 rounds

Spent the rest of this beautiful Sunday hanging out with some good friends and their adorable toddler!  I was pretty sad when Emily moved away after nursing school so I am thrilled to have her back in Indy.  I can’t say we exactly picked things up where we left off as that would have involved some serious daytime drinking downtown :), but it was a fun visit nonetheless and I’m looking forward to spending more time with her.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Bench Press Up to 1 rep max then 2×3 – 105 lb, 110 lb, 115 lb, 95 lb x2

2a) Paused Squat 3×3 – 115 lb, 125 lb, 135 lb

2b) Quadruped Walkouts 2×3

3a) Close Grip Bench 3×5 – 75 lb, 85 lb, 95 lb

3b) Seated Cable Row 3×10

4) Sled Pulls

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Got in a little 4th of July workout with some friends today!  It was squat and deadlift day for Gabe, Andrew, Zach, and I and energy systems day for Kristin.  Zach got his logo done for Zach Moore Fitness so I wasted no time naming myself the official fashion director of Zach Moore Fitness and hooking myself up with some ZMF apparel!  My lifts were all feeling pretty strong today so I am just going to go ahead and say that part of it must have been the new ZMF gear.  If anybody is interested in a ZMF shirt of your own, leave Zach a comment to let him know.  We are still looking into vendors and what not but should have some ready to go soon!

IMG_1052 IMG_1057

New Shirt - Shrugs

Zach getting in some shrugs in his new shirt

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Sumo DL 1×2, 3×1 – 175 lb, 190 lb, 205 lb x2

2) 2 Board Bench Press 2×1, 1×3 – 110 lb, 120 lb, 105 lb

3) Squats 3×1 – 135 lb, 155 lb x2

4a) Incline DB Bench 3×8

4b) Tall Kneeling Lat Pulldown 3×10

 

Happy 4th to everyone!  Hope everyone has had a great holiday!

“Fold Over” – One of My Favorite Cues For Hip Dominant Exercises

2013 July 8

I have talked on my blog numerous times about the importance of keeping a neutral spine, especially during heavy lifting.  Not only is a neutral spine position more likely to keep you injury free, but it will also help you produce a more efficient and stable movement pattern.

So today I want to give you one of my favorite cues for helping yourself and/or others correct a common mistake that often occurs during hip dominant movements (deadlifts, RDLs, hip thrusts, kettlebell swings, box squats, etc.).

When you are performing a hip dominant movement, the motion should be coming from your hips and knees with little to no motion in your core.  I always like to tell people that you should be rock solid from your hip to your shoulder.

As you begin to descend into the movement your trunk will often lean slightly forward as the butt moves backwards.  What often happens is that people are afraid of this forward trunk lean, so they arch their back in an attempt to stay more upright.  As we discussed in a previous post, this arched back posture decreases the effectiveness of your abs, which is not good.

This guy is trying really hard to stay upright.

This guy is trying really hard to stay upright.  My guess is his bar path will be out in front of him and he will mainly use his quads.

Good Starting Position

This is a better starting position. My hips are loaded and are in a good position to spring me up.

So one of my favorite cues for a hip dominant movement is simply “fold over”.  Again, so many people like to stay really upright when they push their butt back, but this will cause them to arch their back or tip over.  You must keep your shoulders over the middle of your foot for good balance and stability.

Here is a video where I go over this mistake and cue in more detail:

Hope that is helpful. Make sure to let me know in the comments if there are other patterns or movements you are struggling with, and/or would like me to cover in a post.

Have a great week!

Emme’s Training Log: 5 Weeks Out and Words of Wisdom from 95 Year Old Twins

2013 July 5

I got back home from spending a few days in Florida with some extended family late yesterday afternoon.  I had an absolutely fantastic time celebrating the 95th birthday of my late Mamaw’s identical twin sisters.  Aunt Addy and Aunt Jessie are two amazing little ladies!  At dinner one night, one of my cousin’s asked the twins what words of wisdom they had for the rest of us, and Aunt Jessie simply said, “Be happy.”  Aunt Addy followed it up with, “Drink scotch and bourbon!”  Probably the greatest advice ever given.  They also said the things they are most proud of included their family, still having all their own teeth, living as long as they have, and that they still have their sense of humor and each other.  The twins are 95 years of living proof of what being happy, taking good care of your body, and spending time with people you love can do for you.  Here’s to many more birthdays for the two of them!

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My Great Aunt Addy, my Great Uncle John, and Great Aunt Jessie enjoying the applause from the entire restaurant at their 95th birthday party!

IMG_0997 IMG_0961

Top:  My wonderful Aunt Louanne and me mid-party!

Bottom:  My beautiful cousin, Alleigh, my amazing Momma, and me loving being chauffeured around for the evening!

Needless to say, all the celebrating (ie. all the food and drinks) from the weekend have left me feeling less than stellar in terms of my preparation for this meet coming up in 5 weeks.  I got back at it Monday though and am looking forward to cranking up the training intensity over these next few weeks!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Back Squats – 145 lb x2, 160 lb x1, 170 lb x1, 180 lb x1, 190 lb x1, 155 lb x2

Been wearing the belt, but haven’t tried out the knee wraps yet so I was pretty happy with the 190 lb squat today!

2a) Paused Bench Press 2×5 – 75 lb, 85 lb

2b) 3 Month Baby PNF

3a) SSB Back Squats to a Box 3×3 – 115 lb, 125 lb, 135 lb

3b) Triceps Pushdown 3×10 – 40 lb x2, 45 lb x1

4) Battling Ropes 12 sec on/50 sec off x7 rounds

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Bench Press 1×2, 5×1 – 95 lb, 105 lb, 110 lb, 115 lb, 120 lb, 110 lb

2a) Paused Squat 3×2 – 115 lb, 130 lb x2

2b) Quadruped Walkouts 3×3

3a) Close Grip Bench 3×6 – 85 lb x2, 90 lb

3b) Seated Cable Row 3×8 – 110 lb, 120 lb, 125 lb

4) Prowler Pushes 140 lb

Friday, June 28, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Sumo DL 5×1 – 185 lb, 210 lb, 225 lb, 235 lb, 215 lb

235 lb is what I hit at the last meet I did in December.  Not bad for taking a few days off from training!

2) 2 Board Bench Press 4×1 – 110 lb, 120 lb, 125 lb, 130 lb

3) Back Squats 3×1 – 115 lb, 135 lb, 155 lb

Zach and I have decided that a lot of volume at lower weights hasn’t helped me all that much.  I feel much better, and my lifts are much more solid if I just concentrate hard on heavier singles, doubles, and sometimes triples.

4a) High Incline DB Bench Press 3×10 – 25 lb, 30 lb x2

4b) Tall Kneeling Lat Pull Down 3×10

No conditioning today.  I got this training session in after working 3 nights in a row, and I took my opt out on the KB Swings for the day.

 

Monday Randomness: My New Logo, Learning, Training Videos, Etc.

2013 July 1
by Zach

ZMF

Hey!  Sorry for the lack of posting lately.  I have actually filmed quite a few videos that I hope to get on the site soon, but I have been very busy as you will see below.  It is a good busy though – I am having a great summer.

So let’s get into today’s random updates.

1. I am in the process of finishing up a report I will release for free to my newsletter subscribers.  The report will be answers from some of the top women in the fitness and health industry to the question, “What are some of the biggest mistakes women make when it comes to nutrition and exercise?”

So far I have responses from Jen Sinkler, Nia Shanks, Amber Rogers of GoKaleo, Krista Scott-Dixon of Precision Nutrition, Kellie Hart Davis of Mother Fitness, Molly Galbraith of Girls Gone Strong, Julia Ladewski, Stefani Ruper of Paleo For Women, Elizabeth Walling of The Nourished Life, Jen Comas Keck, and Marianne Kane.

This is an awesome line-up and their responses have been great.  Be on the lookout for that in the next few months and make sure to sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already.

2.  Check out my logo above!  I finally had one made for Zach Moore Fitness.  Overall, I think it turned out pretty good.  I hope to get some apparel made soon (in fact my wife is already making her own shirt and taking charge of that).  :)

3.  I am planning to do more and more posts on exercise technique and how to tweak certain patterns if you are having pain or failing to get better at them.  Not only does an efficient movement pattern make you less likely to get injured, but it will also help you be stronger, which is always a good thing.  Also, these posts tend to be some of my most popular so I know people are getting benefit out of them.  Let me know if there is a certain pattern you are having trouble with and that you would like me to cover.

4.  I wrote a blog post titled “A Call To Action: Make One New Positive Change In Your Life Today” a few months ago in which I said that one of my goals was to be more socially active by hanging with friends and/or family at least twice a month.  Well, I am happy to say that I have been rocking this goal.  I would guess I have been averaging at least one social activity a week.  Usually, this involves golfing or going to the movies, but overall, I am happy I am doing it.  I always feel like I am in a better mood after I hang out with my friends or family.

5. I recently read “The Art of Learning” by Josh Waitzkin, who is a beast.  This dude won multiple national championships in chess (his first at age 9) before he was 18 and eventually went on to win a world championship in Tai Chi Chuan.  His book explains his process of learning and mastery, as well as how he came to be a champion in chess and martial arts.  His story is pretty amazing.

The book was recommended to me by my good friend, Jae Chung.  Jae and I were discussing the importance of learning new things to stimulate your mind.  I am always trying to learn and get better at my craft (training, nutrition, psychology, etc.), but it has been a long time since I have really tried to  learn something brand new.  Jae had recently been trying to memorize a deck of cards and successfully accomplished that, which is no easy feat.  I have not decided what I am going to take on, but I will let you know.  I have considered trying a martial art, but we’ll see.  Maybe chess?  :)

6. I know I have several fitness professionals and fairly advanced trainees that read this blog so I wanted to quickly make you aware of a great new product by Eric Cressey and Mike Reinold – Functional Stability Training (FST) for the Lower Body.  I was able to get an advanced copy of this to review, and it is very good.  Eric and Mike are two guys that I really respect in the industry, and I usually expect their products to be top notch.  FST for the Lower Body was no different.

FSLBIt does get a little geeky with anatomy and assessments, but if you are looking to improve in these areas I highly recommend it.  Assessments are super important for preventing injuries and taking your performance to the next level.  Their approach and philosophy is also very in line with my my co-workers at IFAST and my own.

7.  Lastly, I have many readers who request to see my training videos so I have posted a few below.  These are just a few recent videos I shot on one of my lower body days.  If you want to see more you can check out my youtube page HERE.

Have a good week!!

Emme’s Training Log: The Previous Two Weeks – Weights Are Going Up

2013 June 28
by Zach

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Back Squats 3×2, 2×1 – 135 lb, 145 lb, 155 lb, 170 lb, 180 lb

2a) Paused Bench Press 3×2 – 85 lb, 95 lb, 100 lb

2b) 3 Month Baby PNF

3a) SSB Paused Squat to a Box (Sumo Stance) 3×5 – 95 lb, 115 lb x2

3b) Triceps Pushdown 3×12

4) Battling Ropes 12 sec on/50 sec off x8 rounds

Monday, June 10, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Bench Press 4×2-4 – 85 lb, 95 lb, 105 lb x2, 95 lb x3

2a) Paused Squats 3×3 – 115 lb x2, 125 lb

2b) Quadruped walkouts 3×3

3a) Close Grip Bench 3×8 – 70 lb, 75 lb, 80 lb

3b) Seated Cable Row 3×10

4) Sled Pulls 180 lb

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Sumo DL 3×2, 2×1 – 175 lb, 190 lb, 200 lb, 210 lb, 225 lb

Put the belt on this week for the first time since my last meet!

2) 2 Board Bench Press 3×2 – 110 lb, 120 lb x2

3) Speed Squats 3×2 – 95 lb, 115 lb, 125 lb

4a) High Incline DB Bench 3×12

4b) Tall Kneeling Lat Pulldowns 3×12

5) KB Swings 12 sec on/50 sec off x8 rounds

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Back Squats 3×2, 2×1 – 135 lb x2, 150 lb x2, 160 lb x2, 170 lb x1, 185 lb x1

2a) Paused Bench Press 3×2 – 85 lb, 95 lb, 100 lb

2b) 3 Month Baby PNF

3a) SSB Paused Squat to a Box (Sumo Stance) 3×4 – 115 lb, 125 lb x2

3b) Triceps Pushdown 3×10

4) Battling Ropes 12 sec on/50 sec off x9 rounds

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Bench Press 4×1-3 – 95 lb x2, 105 lb x1, 110 lb x1, 105 lb x1, 95 lb x2

2a) Paused Squats 3×3 – 115 lb, 125 lb x2

2b) Quadruped walkouts 3×3

3a) Close Grip Bench 3×4-6 – 85 lb x6x2, 90 lb x4

3b) Seated Cable Row 3×8 – 110 lb, 120 lb, 125 lb

4) Sled Pulls 180 lb

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Foam Rolling and Dynamic Warmup

1) Sumo DL 3×2, 2×1 – 155 lb, 175 lb, 190 lb, 210 lb, 225 lb

2) 2 Board Bench Press 3×2 – 110 lb, 120 lb x2

3) Back Squats 1×3, 1×2, 3×1 – 95 lb, 115 lb, 135 lb, 155 lb, 170 lb

These are usually speed squats, but Zach and I decided now that finally figured out how to squat again we need to really push the numbers up.  Two heavy squatting days is one week was tough, but I am happy with how my numbers are looking.

4a) High Incline DB Bench 1×12, 2×10 – 25 lb, 30 lb x2

4b) Tall Kneeling Lat Pulldowns 3×10 – 120 lb x2, 130 lb

5) KB Swings 12 sec on/50 sec off x9 rounds

 

I am taking a few days off and heading to Florida with my mom, aunt, and cousin!  Ready to go relax and spend some time with my family!