Machine Shrugs

machine shrugs

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing in front of the machine with a pronated grip. You hands are a little larger than your shoulder’s width. Some machine allow you to have a semi pronated grip with you palms face to face :

  • Your head and your back are straight. You shrug your shoulders.

machine shrugs

This exercise works the upper part of the trapezius and levator scapulae.

This machine is excellent to do set with high reps.

Note

It’s funny because the clavicles and the shoulder blades are hung by the trapezius like the deck of a bridge suspended by metal cables.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

The Reasons For An Asymmetric Body (Part 1)

asymmetircal body

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

When I look in the mirror, I see that my right biceps is bigger than my left biceps. And I also see that my left calf is bigger than my right calf. I think you too, you have weak points and an asymmetrical body like me.

I tried several technique to clear the weak point of my left biceps by doing more reps or lifting heavier with my left arm. But it didn’t work as I thought and I realized that there were even more factors that caused my asymmetrical body.

You have to know that there are real weak points and false weak points. And yes, there are 2 type of weak points.

Past sports

sports

These are the sports that you have done regularly before you train seriously at the gym. For exemple, I played soccer for 2-3 years so I developed a lot of my legs and calves. I have been doing karate, kung-fu and taekwondo for years (I have more than 15 years of martial art) so I developed a lot my back, my arms, chest and my abs. My past sports allows me to develop all these muscles (calves, legs, back, arms, chest and abs) even more easily.

Now I’m going to tell you about the difference between a real weak points and a false weak points. In my case, I have nice abs, nice, chest. My arms are correct (I have one arm bigger that the other) and my legs are correct (I have one leg bigger than the other).

For example, a soccer player or a cyclist will use his/her legs and calves more often. A boxer will use his/her arms, back and abs more often. This shows that the past sports is important in muscle development because people developed more rapidly the upper body’s muscles rather the lower body muscles or the reverse.

So don’t worry because absolutely everyone has an asymmetric body (if you know a person who has a 100 % symmetrical body, attention, it’s a robot).

Genetic

genetic

It’s the moment to go to the higher level. Now, you understood that there are people who can easily develop the upper body’s muscles rather that the lower body’s muscles or the reverse. In both case, there is the same problem : an asymmetry.

We’re human beings, we are not perfect and that is normal. Professional bodybuilders also have an asymmetric body like you. It’s for everyone like that. When we look at the mirror, we have a more developed part than the other.

Here are the causes.

Bone

bone

Because of your bones, there is one side of you body that can lift easily heavier weights that the other. So the side muscles that can lift easily heavier develop faster.

A) clavicle length

We all have a longer clavicle than the other. Take you time, check the length of your clavicles, you will be surprised. When the clavicle is longer, this affects the leverage when you lift weights. This means that it boost your strength and your muscular growth.

But, there is a solution to avoid that there is a big difference between the 2 sides. It’s learning to isolate and feel your muscle. I use a technique called « magic touch ». Before doing a set, I touch with my fingers the muscle that I have to work. This allows me to be focus and stay focus on muscle sensations. This is to create the connection between my brain and my muscle.

This is why it’s important to take light weights to learn how to perform a movement to learn the muscles sensations. For example, bench press. There are people who use too much shoulders when the arms are straight. Bench press is an exercice to work mainly chest and not shoulders. So pay attention to your muscles sensation when you to an exercise and adjust.

B) Short and long muscles

This is really a genetic case. There are people with short muscles or long muscle. Take as an example a short biceps and a long biceps.

A short biceps responds slowly to training because the muscles is less close to insertion with the joint.

A long biceps respond quickly to the training because the muscle is closer to insertion with the joint.

As you can see, there are some similarities with the clavicle’s length. When the muscle is long, it’s easier to develop the muscle.

This is something you can’t change and doing an operation to lengthen your muscle is useless. It’s your genetics that decides whether your muscles are short or long.

dorian yates

Wait, it’s not over yet, there’s still plenty of other things in the genetics that influence muscle development. In your training, you can use several techniques to stimulate your muscle fibers like « High Intensity Training » . Dorian Yates (6x Mr. Olympia), used this technique during his career as a professional bodybuilder. This technique stimulates muscle fibers even more that hypertrophy .

There is also nerve genetics. It’s the ability to isolate and feel the muscle you’re working on. It’s an ability that improves only with experience and time.

Here is the end of the Part 1. The Part 2 comes soon.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Stretching Of Trapezius And Neck

stretching trapezius neck

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

A hand on your head, you pull slowly to tilt your head to the side. This exercise stretches the sternocleidomastoid, all (anterior, middle and posterior) scalenes muscles, the upper part of the trapezius, splenius capitis , splenius cervicis , semispinalis and small spine muscles like longus colli, rectus capitis posterior minor, rectus capitis lateralis and rectus capitis posterior major muscle.

Attention

Pull your head slowly with caution. Stretching should be done gradually.

Note

While you pull your head, lower your shoulders to feel the stretch of your trapezius.

Concerning the neck

stretching trapezius neck stretching trapezius neck

Quadrupeds and anthropoids (such as the gorilla) have very powerful neck muscles to prevent the head from tipping forward.

For the human being, it’s different. When the human being is fully biped depleted thus a vertical position with the head at the top of the spine , the muscles neck have become less powerful because the muscle’s neck have solely as a function of balancing the head.

  1. When the human being became biped, the morphology changed. The face‘s size decreased, the brain’s size increased and the occipital hole moved to the center of the skull. As the head is at the top of the spine, the neck’s muscles have the function of stabilizing the head

  2. Gorilla which is partially a quadruped has a larger face, a smaller brain and the occipital hole is towards the back. To prevent that head tits forward, the neck’s muscles are very powerful and developed.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Navigate In Tableau

front boat

I have just enrolled in a Data Science course on Udemy  and I learned good stuff.

We’ll explore Tableau’s tools

From the connection manager, we’ll go into the Tableau’s workspace.

Click on the « Sheet1 » tab at the bottom of the window.

data science tableau screenshot

Here is the Tableau’s workspace.

data science tableau screenshot

The 2 important elements of the workspace are « Data » on the left and the workspace on the right. It’s in the workspace that you’ll create tables and charts.

We’ll start with « Data » on the left.

data science tableau screenshot

« Data » divided into 2 zones : dimensions and measures.

The dimensions and measures are 2 different rules that will allow you to manipulate data.

Tableau sets the numerical values in « measures » and the categorical or quantitative variables in « dimension ». This is the Tableau’s settings by default.

There is also another way to explain « dimension » and « measures ». The « dimensions » are independent variables and the « measures » are dependent variables.

For exemple, « Units » is a measure, it’s the number of items sold per product. « Region » is a dimension, it’s the geographic region where the product sold. With 2 elements we can know how many items sold by region. This means that « Region » is an independent variable and « Units » is a dependent variable because it will be grouped by region.

But if you don’t like it, you can move the entities between dimension and measures and the opposite by click and drag.

In the menu bar, at the top, there is « File » where you can open and save file.

data science tableau screenshot

« Data » to connect to new source files.

data science tableau screenshot

« Worksheet » is the workspace to create analyzes

data science tableau screenshot

« Dashboard » is a combination of worksheet

data science tableau screenshot

« Story » is a combination of worksheet and dashboard

data science tableau screenshot

« Analysis » to specify how you want to do your analysis on your workspace

data science tableau screenshot

« Map » to add maps to the workspace

data science tableau screenshot

« Format » contains formatting options

data science tableau screenshot

Now, let’s study the workspace.

In the workspace, the main elements are « Columns » and « Rows ». This is where you decide which data goes in columns and rows in your worksheet.

You can also choose different format for these elements like colors, size, text level of detail and tooltips (useful tool optional).

data science tableau screenshot

Let’s do a test. Use data from « Region » (which is in « dimension »). Move « Region » with a click and drop to the center of your workspace. Now, « Region » is in the element « Rows ».

A table appears in your workspace.

data science tableau screenshot

You put a dimension in your workspace. Now put a measure in your workspace.

Uses the « Units » data. Move « Units » with a click and drop next to the « Region » column.

data science tableau screenshot

As you can see, Tableau automatically put « Region » in the « Rows » element and the « Units » data aggregated by region. In this way, you can tell how many items were sold by region.

Now, what you can do is to move « SUM(Units) » to the « Columns » element.

data science tableau screenshot data science tableau screenshot

And then, you have a « bar chart » to see how many items have been sold by region. You can enlarge the graphic with a click and drop.

Let’s look at the tools that are in « Show Me » zone.

data science tableau screenshot

Click on « Pie chart » to have this chart’s type.

data science tableau screenshot

Click on « Size » icon and drag from left to right you can increase the chart’s size.

data science tableau screenshot

In this chart, each region has a color and proportion of items sold by region.

You can also test the « bubble chart ». Tableau organizes the data automatically and everything and placed in the « Marks ».

data science tableau screenshot

You can test « Treemaps » chart. This is the same principle as « bubble chart » but it’s rectangles instead of circles.

data science tableau screenshot

As you can see in « Show Me », there are charts disabled. This is because you need some elelments in your data to be able to activate them.

For example for the « Area chart », you need « date »data to activate it.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Connect Tableau Public To A CSV File

tableau connect file csv data science

I have just enrolled in a Data Science course on Udemy  and I learned good stuff.

After downloading the file « OfficeSupplies.csv », you will open this file with Tableau. When you open Tableau, there is a « Connect » column :

tableau connect file csv data science

Click on « Text File » and open the file « OfficeSupplies.csv » :

tableau connect file csv data science

The connection manager appears for this source file :

tableau connect file csv data science

At the top left, there is « Connect » where the file is located and below it, there is « File » with 1 file. There is 1 file because you imported 1 file. I’ll show you later how to import several files of the same type.

tableau connect file csv data science

In the center, there is a window with the files you connected. And it’s possible to connect several files.

tableau connect file csv data science

For exemple, if you do a drag and drop here, Tableau will try to connect these 2 files.

tableau connect file csv data science

You can work with data comes from several differents files, different tables from different CSV files. We’ll see that later.

At the bottom, there is a preview of the file with columns and rows. Colums « Order Date », « Region », « Rep » and « Items » identified as data in text format. Columns « Units » et « Unit Price » identified as data in number format.

tableau connect file csv data science

Now you’re gonna go on the dashboard. To access it, click here.

tableau connect file csv data science

Here is the dashboard. 

tableau connect file csv data science

We will discuss the various function in more detail in the next section.

Now, I just want to show you that we have « Data » column with our source file.

tableau connect file csv data science

If you do a right-click and click on « View Data », you see the data as in the previous window.

tableau connect file csv data science

tableau connect file csv data science

You’ve seen, it’s simple to connect a source file to Tableau.

Wait, I’ll show you how you can connect more source files. Click here to return to the connection manager where you can connect several different files.

tableau connect file csv data science

Of if you want to stay on the dashboard, you can click on the top left on « Data » then « New Data Source ».

tableau connect file csv data science

Or click on this icon on the dashboard. Here are the files types you can connect to Tableau

tableau connect file csv data science

What is interesting with the « Statistical File » is that we can connect files type SAS, SPSS and R.

tableau connect file csv data science

We have access to different server with OData and others.

tableau connect file csv data science

It’s perfect, now you can connect a data source to Tableau and you’ll see later how to connect data faster.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Deltoid And Trapezius And Neck Stretching

deltoid trapezius neck stretching

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with legs slightly apart. Your back straight with an arm your the back, Take your wrist with the other hand and pull slowly outwards and downwards to fell the stretch of the deltoid (rear and middle) and trapezius.

Variant

To stretch the neck does the same movement by slowly tilting your head on the opposite side of the shoulder stretched.

This variant allows you to stretch the deep and complex muscles around cervical vertebrae and scalene muscles and sternocleidomastoid muscle.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Squat Correctly (Part 3)

squat

Classical errors

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2 

Squat is a movement that we make since baby, it’s a basic movement. But when I started to do squat with weight, I make mistakes and I’m going to talk about the classical mistakes we make when we’re newbies.

Put all the weight on your toes

You need to have your heels glued to the floor throughout squat. This is important for spreading your bodyweight and weights on the barbell.

You also distribute part of the weight on the balls of your feet but it’s not the total weight. You should be able to move your toes in all directions during the squat.

The total weight (your bodyweight + weight on the barbell) is divided between the ball of your fee and your heels.

Don’t squat down too low

Your squat should go down at least until your hips joint are below your knee (parallel).

Maybe you have a special training that asks you to make a lower squat, it’s up to you to see. But making a parallel squat is enough to work your muscles well.

When you do a partial squat , so you have a squat above the parallel, you’ll work more your quadriceps than your hamstrings, in addition you put a lot of stress on your knees. The more you squat down, the less pressure you put on your knee.

Very, very often, people make a connection between squat and knee problems. Unfortunately, it’s a negative myth, a lie that makes people afraid of squat. For exemple, a gym member saw me with my knee wrap and said : « Be careful when you squat, you’re going to hurt yourself ! ». But does he know that my knee wrap increase my squat’s performance by 5-10 % ? I don’t think so. Here are some interesting articles here  and there .

The more you squat down, the more you work your glutes. But when we squat down, we have to go back up. And more we go down and more it’s harder to go up (strength and flexibility). The squat in parallel (your hips joints below your knee), it’s enough.

If you have trouble to squat down at the parallel, it could have several causes : little mobility to your ankles, to your hip flexor or your hamstrings ; weak glutes ; poor pelvic alignment (among many other things).

Knee position

squat knee position

To do a good squat, you must have your knees aligned with your toes. As the body of every human being is unique, the position is slightly different from one person to another but your knees shouldn’t be too much outside or too much inside. Your knees are more or less in the center.

Back position

squat back position

During the whole squat, you need to have your torso up and your shoulders back. This position allows you to have your spine in a « neutral » position. This avoids having your back in hyper extend and not having your shoulders rounded forward.

Head position

squat head position

There are people (even personal trainers) who will tell you to look up or down. Let’s test it right away with an anatomical version.

When you look at the ceiling, your cervical spine is in an unsecured position and when you add weight, it becomes dangerous. Look at the ground is not better.

You need to have your head in a « neutral » position. To be able to do this, look straight in front of you. Focus on a point in front of you so that you’re able to hold a tennis ball between your chin and your torso.

Too much weight on heels and inside/outside of the feet

Often, when we’re beginners, we are so focused on putting the weight on the heels and having a good position with the knees we forget to keep the ball on the floor. You need to divide some of the total weight on the ball of the feet because it’s very difficult to keep the balance when all the weight is on your heels.

It’s the same for the inside or outside of your feet. As you put the total weight on your heels, you try to keep balance with the inside and outside of your feet. Keep the ball of your feet on the floor to distribute part of the total weight and it will be easier to keep the balance.

Complex

complex

Don’t worry, I also had difficulties to do a squat with a good technique. I’ll explain to you something I used to learn the technique. Using a box or a bench is also useful for people who have knee problems and can no longer do bodyweight squat.

Using a box/bench is great for learning to squat down by distributing well the total weight between the ball of your feet and your heels rather than on your knees and toes.

Find a box/bench that allows you to be in parallel with your squat when you’re sitting on it.

The lower the box/bench is, the more it will help you to have stronger hips. If the box/bench is exactly parallel, it will help you to have stronger quadriceps. If you’re a squat beginner, don’t worry, a box/ bench at the right height for you to be in parallel or a little below when you squat down is perfect.

Let’s go to do bodyweigth squat. Put the box/bench behind you and do one step forward.

Inspire, throw your butt back, keeping your knees aligned with your toes and squat down until your sit completely on the box/bench. Keep your body contracted and control movement.

When you seated, don’t move and study your position. Is your back and core contracted ? Is the total weight distributed between the ball of your feet and heels ? Is your head in a neutral position ? Once you answered these questions, you can get up by using you hips up. Don’t shift the weight forwards on your toes to help you get up. Use your heels, keep your shoulders back with your chest up and keep your knees aligned with your toes.

After some sets, you’ll understand how to better use your body and you’ll be able to make the movement in a fluid way.

You’ll know when you’re doing a good squat. This is when you’re in the low position of squat and when you get up, you don’t swing forward but you put the weight on your heels.

Long life to squat

Squat is cool

Ok, the majority of people say that squat is bad for knees but the truth is that it’s the safest movement and one of the best to improve your knees health (when the squat is done with a good technique). This help to strengthen your knees, improve your stability and reduce the risk of injury. This is valid for people over 60 years old.

If you already have a knee problem or have pain with squat and think your do squat with a good technique, you need to see a doctor or a physical therapist to check your knees.

What are your difficulties when you try squat ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Improve Discipline

discipline

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

Here is how I worked, a few year ago. I had a project that I really wanted to do and I thought to myself : « When I come back home tonight after eating, I work on it ». And after eating, I preferred to play video games or watch a TV show until sleep. I think that situation has already happened to you.

Regret is a poison

regret

Now I realize that if I had done these projects, I would have had more fulfilling lifestyle, I would have leaned to manage my money earlier and I would have interesting contacts earlier. Maybe I wouldn’t have had it all earlier but in any case a part, that’s for sure.

Discipline and productivity are important skills to create and evolve a project. I did project but these weren’t my most ambitions projects. These weren’t projects with big risks, so I dissatisfied inside of me. The problem is that all this insatisfaction transformed into frustration.

There are a lot of things I wanted to do in theory and that I never did.

As you know on my blog, I mainly talk about fitness/bodybuilding and I notice that many people enroll in a gym with a 3 months subscription and go to the gym only 2 times. This is a classic case.

Know that there is a solution because before I had very little discipline and productivity and now it’s improving more and more.

Track you progress

track progress

To have more discipline and productivity, you need to make sure that this is a long-term goal. This requires several years to have concrete results like for sport. We would like to have results right away but the best things take time because it’s an exploration in yourself.

This is not going to be Disneyland every day because there are times when you’re going to tell yourself you’re not going get there. That’s why you need to keep track of your results. It’s interesting to note why you’re less motivated to continue your project to better understand yourself. You’ll read books on personal development, follow training, meet people who have the same goal as you. With this methods you’ll build your own toolbox to improve your discipline and your productivity.

What is cool when we keep track of our results is that we can see our evolution from month to month, year by year. It’s funny to see your results 2 years ago to really realize your progress.

Increase your success

increase success

To find a way to improve my discipline and productivity, I read on internet that enrolling in a group of people who shared the same goals as me could be extremely motivating. So I looked for websites and Facebook’s groups. What is interesting in groups is that every week a person offers a challenge. Then everybody share their results and everyone shares their impressions.

It’s also possible that you find a person in your entourage who has the same goal as you. I find it really cool to put people around you into groups because the more people there are the greater the motivation.

You see, the fact of telling everyone that you are challenging, force you to be disciplined and productive to complete the project. And there were always funny punishments for people who didn’t show their project. And little by little, you improve and often you have proposals to make competitions.

I used to do this for sport at first but this concept is used in all fields such writing, photography, dancing (I like dance salsa), cooking, etc. And in all these field there are competitions several times in the year. Here is an example that astonished me, watch the paper airplane world championship .

No need to be a shaolin monk

shaolin monk

By tracking your results, you’ll find ways to boost your will without it being painful. You know, you don’t have to work to have the discipline’s level of a Shaolin monk, you just need to have a discipline’s level that allows you to make your projects a reality.

Several scientific studies have made an important discovery in order to better understand human beings. This is because the will is an element that trains as a muscle to develop. Which means that to develop your discipline, you have to train it like a muscle and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Here are resources, this article. Kelly McGonigal’s book « The Willpower instinct ». Viktor E. Frankl’s book «  Man’s search to meaning »  on attitude and discipline in the worst circumstances.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

How To Do Trap Bar Shrugs

trap bar shrugs

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with your legs slightly apart. You’re in front of the trap bar on the floor or on a support :

  • Take the trap bar, paying attention to centering your grip (attention : with heavy weight, a poorly adjusted grip will rock the bar backwards or forwards).

  • You have your head straight or a little bent forwards and your abs squeezed. Do shoulder shrugs.

This exercise works the upper trapezius which is inserted on the clavicle, the acromion and the scapular spine and which goes up to the superior nuchal line the the skull.

The rhomboid major / minor muscles and levator scapulae muscle work a little bit.

The trap bar created to work trapezius by lifting heavy weights without rubbing against the thighs like dumbbells or barbell.

la barbell.

Note

People with long clavicles will always have more difficulty doing shoulder shrugs than people with short clavicles.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Perfection Is An Illusion

perfection

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

One time I fascinated by a person because this person accomplished incredible things. And some time later, on internet, I watched a video of this person and I discovered that this person make bad jokes. But the jokes are really not funny at all. And there, I discovered that this person who fascinates me had full of defect.

In face this happened to me with several people and I think it’s the same for you. When you discover that, you realize that this person who accomplished incredible things is a human person with defects like you.

Intellectually, you already knew that but emotionally it was different

Back to reality

back to reality

When you realize that, when you become aware of it, you see that all things that built around you (inventions, political movements, social organizations, etc) created by ordinary people. All that human being create are created by human beings with defects.

This awareness is intellectual and emotional (or the deepest of your guts) allows you to see the reality that imperfect people have done extraordinary things. Which means that you too, you can do extraordinary things because you‘re also an imperfect person.

You see, it’s simple but I don’t know how to explain that we are hypnotized by : «  a person must be perfect (a demigod) to do great things ». I can’t explain to you how this belief system was put in place, but it makes a lof of people feel inadequate, too imperfect to realize their dreams. The results is that people get used to all work and no play.

Break the illusion

illusion

The truth is that extraordinary things have been accomplished by ordinary people with defects that tried to do something.

You know, you don’t need to be charismatic to have an extraordinary idea. Having an idea makes you charismatic and it’s cool. By turning this extraordinary idea into something real, you’ll see that extraordinary things have been done by ordinary people.

When you have this mindset, you see business ideas all around you. When you complain about a problem or you see someone complaining about a problem, you will not say to yourself that the government, the system or the universe must solve this problem. You say : « I’m here in this world to bring my share of progress ».

I hope this article motivated you to turn your ideas into something real and make them a profitable business.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph