Stretching For Squat

stretching squat

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

Here is a stretching exercice often done by the powerlifters to avoid having muscle tears during the squat. It’s a stretching exercise to do during the warm-up session and between the first sets.

This stretching exercise involves crouching slowly while hanging on a stable support such as a pole or the frame of a machine to flex your thighs.

This movement corresponds to squat flexion and this allows you to stretch adductors, mainly adductor magnus. The adductors magnus is the muscle the most frequently injured due to the excessive tilt of the torso with heavy weight.

This exercice stretches quadriceps (except rectus femoris), gluteus maximus and the set of small, deep, external rotator muscles of the hip that stabilize and slow down the anterior tilt of the pelvis during crouching.

Note

To better feel the stretch of the leg you can move the weight of your body on the right leg and then on the left leg.

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-Steph

Deadlift Correctly (Part 3)

deadlift

If you didn’t read the first parts, click Part 1 and Part 2 

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

Grip the barbell

deadlift grip

The strength of the grip is an important part of the deadlift. There are 2 types of grip:

  • Overhand grip => The palms of your hands are towards your body (pronated grip).

  • Over-under ou mixed grip => One palm of your hand is toward your body and the other towards the outside (one hand with a pronated grip and the other with a supinated grip).

  • Hook grip => Your thumb is under your fingers

For beginners, the double overhand grip is the best to have a safe grip.

Use the mixed grip when you have more experience and you lift heavy because there are disadvantages. Stress on the shoulders is uneven and can create problems or injuries in the biceps whose palm is outside. As the stress on the shoulders is uneven, it’s easier to lift heavy weights.

When you begin deadlift, your grip’s strength is powerful enough to lift the barbell because your back’s strength is correct. The day of your back’s strength is more powerful than your grip’s strength (your hands slips slowly), that’s when you need to think about improving your grip.

If you don’t like the mixed grip, you can use the hook grip.

Wrist straps

Straps can help you lift heavier because your grip is assisted by a strap that is wrapped to the barbell and is hooked to your wrist.

I advise you to use wrist straps only when you lift very very heavy. This is not a thing to use all the time otherwise you’ll lose the natural strength of your grip.

Gloves

The truth is that the gloves don’t improve the grip. Gloves create a space between your hands and the barbell, this increases the diameter of the barbell and make the barbell harder to hold. Gloves prevent you from having a secure grip, I advise you to use them only if you have ripped callus to your hands.

With this video , you’ll learn to take care of your hands to avoid having this type of injury.

Belt

Many people in gyms use the belt in the wrong way, but you’re a smart one. The belt is useful only when you’re lifting very heavy weights and it’s not only for your lumbar. With this article , you’ll learn how to use the belt in an effective way.

Note

Use a mixed grip and a belt isn’t necessary to lift very heavy. Watch this video of Anthony Mychan  who do a deadlift at 249.47kg (550lbs) at a Nerd Fitness Camp with a double overhand with no belt.

Common mistakes

common mistakes

Rounded back

Having the back rounded throughout the movement may cause injuries. It’s necessary to have your spine in a neutral position.

Note => there are some powerlifters that purposefully round theirs upper back to decrease the range of motion, but this is a sport specific move, still a fault, and something you should not consider as a beginner.

Head raised and look up

To have a raised head create a hyperextension to your neck. This can cause injuries. Keep your head in a neutral position like your spine.

Hyperextending at the top

In fitness competitions, exaggerate the top of the deadlift has become popular for quickly show the judges that hip and knees locking is done.

Use the squat position

Deadlift is not squat. Deadlift doesn’t have the same start and end position as the squat. Deadlift is a different movement than squat.

Barbell makes a forward movement

It’s necessary that the barbell stays above your shoe’s laces and the barbell needs to be lifted vertically all along your body.

Barbell’s movements towards the front are to be avoided.

Your torso rises after your butt

We call it the « stripper deadlift ».

It’s important that your torso guides the movement and that your body moves in the same rhythm upwards.

Bend your arms

Often people bend their arms to lift the barbell more quickly. Unfortunately, this is a bad tactic because this can tear biceps muscle. Keep your arms straight during the movement.

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-Steph

Masturbation And Sport

hand draw

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

My intention is to explain masturbation’s effect on a sport activity without being vulgar. Masturbation is a normal activity for some people and abnormal for others. In some religions, it’s a forbidden or ignoble activity but it’s an activity that most people do.

Type of person

type person

The open minded person

For this person, masturbation is a normal activity because it’s natural and give a good mood. It’s not something bad.

The guilty person

For this person, masturbation is an abnormal activity, ignoble but despite that, this person does it and still feels guilty after masturbation.

The obsessed person

For this person, masturbation is an obsessive activity. This person could masturbate every hour, every day.

The bored person

For this person, masturbation is an activity to kill boredom. He’s a person who has nothing to do in life or in the day and doesn’t know what to do, masturbation.

How the body reacts

body reaction

chart masturbation dopamine orgasm prolactin testosterone

  1. The intensity of masturbation increases (black line)

  2. There is a release of hormones, it’s dopamine. Before masturbation, there is a first release of dopamine that cause sexual arousal and there are other dopamine release during masturbation (blue line)

  3. Sexual arousal during masturbation will start the process to have the explosion, this explosion is orgasm (red line).

  4. Once the orgasm has happened, there is a release of hormones, it’s prolactin. Prolactin causes the loss of interest to continue masturbation. You satisfied and you don’t want to continue to masturbate. In some situation, prolactin can make you feel guilty (green line).

Stop masturbation for 1-3 weeks

stop

chart masturbation dopamine orgasm prolactin testosterone

There is a black line in the middle of the chart. This is the line of testosterone. When you stop masturbation for 1-3 weeks, there is an increase in testosterone rate. But after 3 weeks, the testosterone rate returns to normal. You have to base on your normal testosterone rate to see if your testosterone is affected by anything.

It’s possible that during masturbation, the testosterone rate is below your normal testosterone rate. In this case, it’s another problem and it’s necessary to see your doctor for more details.

Most people think that masturbation makes you lose testosterone. So if masturbation makes you lose testosterone, it means that masturbation also make you lose muscles. The truth is that this myth is wrong.

Masturbation and gain muscle

anatomy muscle

The answer is « No » because the elements that influence muscle gain are training program, nutrition and rest/sleep. The only thing that masturbation does before or after a training session is the increase in heart rate.

Warning

Now that you have this information, it doesn’t mean that I encourage you to masturbation several times a day, every day. You do this when you want according to your desires but in moderation.

Here are several scientific studies on masturbation and testosterone :

  • Endocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinence. Click here . 
  • 3 Weird but Surprisingly Effective Tricks & Tips to Raise Natural Testosterone Levels. Click here
  • Lack of sexual activity from erectile dysfunction is associated with a reversible reduction in serum testosterone. Click here.
  • Studies on the relationship between plasma testosterone levels and human sexual activity. Click here
  • Acute changes in plasma testosterone levels and their relation to measures of sexual behavior in the male house mouse (Mus musculus). Click here
  • Effects of ejaculation on levels of testosterone, cortisol, and luteinizing hormone in peripheral plasma of rhesus monkeys. Click here
  • Relationship between sexual satiety and brain androgen receptors. Click here .
  • Increased estrogen receptor alpha immunoreactivity in the forebrain of sexually satiated rats. Click here
  • A study of the prostate, androgens and sexual activity of male rats. Click here
  • Androgen Receptors: 5 Ways to Increase the Density and Sensitivity of the AR. Click here
  • Scientists visit sex club for research into testosterone levels. Click here
  • Male and female salivary testosterone concentrations before and after sexual activity. Click here
  • Sex and Testosterone: Most Enjoyable Way to Boost Male T-Levels Naturally. Click here

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

-Steph

How To Do Front Squat

front squat

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

Standing with your feet apart at about the shoulder’s width. You take the barbell with a pronated grip and you put the barbell on your upper chest and your anterior deltoid :

  • Inhale deeply to maintain intrathoracic pressure that prevents your torso from sagging forward. Arch slightly your back. Squeeze your abs and bends your thighs to bring them to the horizontal.

  • Return to the starting position and exhale at the end of the movement.

To prevent the barbell from slipping forward, pull out your chest and raise your elbows as high as possible.

As the barbell placed anteriorly, your chest will not bend forward and your back will always be straight. You have the possibility to put a wedge under your heels to ease the movement of execution.

Front squat is an exercise to do with weights less heavy than the classic squat.

This exercise works the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, abs and erector spinae.

Front squat is an exercise used in weightlifting training because the movement corresponds perfectly to the work performed by thighs during snatch and clean and jerk.

front squat

With a specific machine, you can do the same work on quadriceps as the front squat by wedging your legs and bending your thighs.

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

-Steph

Add Color

colors

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

Podcast:

In the last article, we created our calculated field « TotalSales » that you can see in «Measure » zone.

In Tableau, the calculated field is very used (almost every time) because in most case the data don’t give the value you want to show.

The calculated field « TotalSales » is a simple example to make you understand how it works but know that you can do things more complex. I’ll show you that later.

In this article, I’ll show you how to manipulate colors because it’s an important element to communicate. With colors, people will understand more quickly what you want to explain to them.

Imagine that you have to show this bar chart to the manager who handles the bonuses. By putting a little color, a little art, you could improve the reading of this bar chart.

To use colors, click on this button.

data science tableau color

You can change the color with the basic colors.

data science tableau color

Or you can have more colors by clicking here.

data science tableau color

If you have a picture in the background, you have the possibility to change the opacity to have a transparent effect of colors.

data science tableau color

You can add a border, change the border’s color, etc.

data science tableau color

But what would be nice to do is to have bars with different colors.

To start, take « Rep » and move it on « Colors ».

data science tableau color

With this, there is a unique color for each representative.

data science tableau color

There is also another method to do that. Instead of taking « Rep » and moving it to « Color », you can click « Rep » here.

data science tableau color

If you move it to « Colors », you’ll break everything because « Rep » will no longer be in the « Columns » zone.

data science tableau color

To avoid this, press Ctrl or Command on your keyboard and click « Rep » to make appear the sign « + ». Now that you made a copy of « Rep », move it to « Colors ». It’s like making a copy/paste from « Rep » to « Colors ».

data science tableau color data science tableau color

With this method, « Rep » is always in the « Columns » zone. This is a method that is very practical when there are many dimensions.

It’s possible to change representative’s colors by clicking here.

data science tableau color

As you can see, there are several choices of palettes.

data science tableau color

You can test the « color blind » palette which is very useful for color blind people. To select this palette, click « Assign Palette » and « Apply ».

When a palette has fewer colors than representatives, you will have a message saying that some colors will be duplicated. But this is not a problem because there are names below the bars.

data science tableau color

Now we want to see something else with our bar chart. Press “Ctrl” or “Command” on your keyboard and click on SUM(TotalSales) to display the « + » sign. Then move SUM(TotalSales) to « Colors » to replace « Rep ».

data science tableau color data science tableau color

As you can see SUM(TotalSales) has different colors. The colors are on a continuous basis which means that the more sales there are, the darker the color.

For our case, this is not useful because the size of the bars represents the sales number but for other situations, this is useful.

The problem now is that there are duplicate colors and because of this, the Manager could misinterpret the results. An alternative approach would be to ensure that the Manager understands the results.

The solution is to take « Region » (by pressing “Ctrl” or “Command” on your keyboard) and move it to « Colors ».

data science tableau color

You can also take « Region » (with “Ctrl” or “Command”) and move it to SUM(TotalSales) to replace SUM(TotalSales).

data science tableau color

With that, the bars are colored by region.

data science tableau color

That way, you can clearly see the 3 regions through colors that are unique to each region and you can see the total sales per representatives with the size of the bar.

This is a small example so that you can understand the basics to manipulate colors in Tableau. There are still more complex techniques to manage the colors that I will show you later.

Plays with the colors so you can fully understand how it works. You could find your favorite palette and find your style. Have fun.

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

-Steph

Techniques To Learn Quickly And Efficiently Based On Science (Part 2)

learn

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

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here .

Ok, this software used in the scientific study is not accessible for more than 80 % of the population but there are several software that can allow you to improve your intelligence like that used in the scientific study.

There is IQ Mindware. There is another one that is open source so free called Brain Workshop. These software are for people who really want to improve their intelligence because they are based on the principle of Dual n-back . It’s very difficult and it’s the only way to improve your intelligence.

The results of this scientific study showed that the maximum gains obtained with 20 minutes of training per day for 19 consecutive days. This is 10 % improvement with the 8 consecutive days of training and 44 % with 19 consecutive days of training.

Train your brain with IQ Mindware or Brain Workshop (I use this one) will allow you to improve your concentration and motivation. Everything you need to improve your ability to have successful projects.

Meditation

meditation

Meditation is excellent for improving your concentration. Before, I was often lost in my thoughts when I was doing a task and in the end, this task was done badly. Have you ever been lost in your thoughts when you were doing a task ?

Meditation is cool because you can do this in 5 minutes a day and you don’t need any equipment. You just need a little time and a quiet place. You see meditation is accessible to everyone and can be done by people of all religions or these who have no religion.

The goal of meditation is to train your concentration. That means to focus your attention on something specific. For example in bodybuilding, when you do the dumbbell curls, you fix your attention on your biceps. Meditation is a simple and effective way to become aware of your « parasitic thoughts ». These « parasitic thoughts » that make you no longer focused on your task and lost in your thoughts. When you realize that you’re lost in your thoughts, you can redirect your thoughts to be focus again on your task.

Scientific studies have discovered and are still discovering meditation’s benefits like an enormous reduction of stress, anxiety, anger, depression, immune system improvement, positive emotional improvement and a better attention. For people with hypertension, there is a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in longevity of 23 %. Scientists always find new benefits in meditation.

And

and

Meditation improves health AND also intelligence as ability to manage emotion, increase concentration, reduce attention problems, increase memory and visual processing capacity, improve learning ability and reduce your risk to multi-task. Doing multi-task ruin your productivity.

If you want to enjoy meditation’s benefits, you can start with a simple exercise without equipment today :

  • You sit comfortably in a quiet place. If you want you can sit in the lotus position but it’s not obligatory. You close your eyes and take 3 deep deep breaths to relax. Once you relaxed, you focus on your breathing. You focus on your inhalation and your exhalation and the goal is to concentrate as long as possible on your breathing

While you are going to think about your breathing, full of thoughts will come constantly and it’s normal. It’s destabilizing but there is a technique for your mind to be less distracted. The technique is to count the number of your inhalation and exhalation.

  • When you inhale, you count « 1 » in your head (don’t speak) and when you exhale, you count « 1 » then when you inhale, you count « 2 » and when you exhale, you count « 2 ». You do it from 1 to 10. When you’re 10, you count upside down from 10 to 0. When you realize that you’re lost in your thoughts and you’ve lost count of the number of breathing, you start again at « 0 ». You don’t give up until you’ve been able to count from 0 to 10 and 10 to 0 without interruption at least once.

You’ll see that many thoughts will come because it’s absolutely impossible to think of nothing. Don’t worry, it’s normal. As soon as you realize that you’re lost in your thoughts, come back to focus on your breathing without feeling any particular guilt.

Do this simple meditation 5 minutes a day will give you many benefits that I quoted in this article.

Scientific studies

scientific study

Here is a list of scientific studies concerning benefits meditation.

« A Randomized Controlled Trial Of Compassion Cultivation Training: Effects On Mindfulness, Affect, And Emotion Regulation », Hooria Jazaieri, 2013. Click here

« Initial results from a study of the effects of meditation on multitasking performance », David M. Levy, 2011. Click here.

« Effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on neurophysiological correlates of performance monitoring in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder », Poppy L.A. Schoenberg, 2013. Click here.

« Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training », Fadel Zeidan, 2010. Click here.

« Buddha’s Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation », Richard J. Davidson, 2010. Click here

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

-Steph

How To Do Dumbbell Sumo Squat

dumbbell sumo squat

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

Standing with your legs apart. Your toes are pointing outwards and you hold a dumbbell between your legs :

  • You look straight in front of you. You inhale deeply. You arch a little bit your back and squat down.

  • When your thighs are parallel to the floor, straighten your legs to return to the starting positon.

  • Exhale at the end of the effort.

dumbbell sumo squat

This exercice mainly works quadriceps and glutes.

Note

The stretched position of your thighs allows you to work your adductors.

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

-Steph

Techniques To Learn Quickly And Efficiently Based On Science (Part 1)

learn to learn

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

I discovered that there were techniques to learn quickly and effectively based on science. These are things I didn’t learn at school and I think it’s the same for you.

The concept of the school system is to teach you how to memorize and use your new knowledge « at best » in new situations. It means that the school prepares you « at best » for your life. In fact, you prepared to have the minimum in your life.

You can spend 20 years or more in school and the school never teach you to learn. In fact, you only memorize for your exams.

it’s true that school can’t do everything so if the school doesn’t teach us to learn, we’ll learn that elsewhere. Here are some simple tips and tricks to learn effectively. These are things that help you improve your ability to learn to have more success in your life.

There are several universal skills you need to train to have an excellent learning ability :

Long-term memory

Learning how to properly memorize things you need or want to learn allows you to memorize more easily and for longer. Having an elephant memory is really handy.

Working memory

Working memory is where you download the element of your long-term memory to process them.

Ability to focus

Improving your ability to focus allows you to focus on something without being distracted. This improves your productivity and allows you to truly experience the present moment.

Will

Improve your will allows you to have the strength to reach your goals without self-sabotage. For example, you make a diet and your will allows you not to eat chocolate cake or you have a workout program and your will allows you not to play video games every days.

Motivation

Learning what motivates you and keeping this flame of motivation allows you to be more motivated than 80 % of people. Motivation means having more energy, more enthusiasm and more creativity in all that you do.

Know that there is good news. You can improve all these skills with tools and method in mode 20/80 (Pareto’s law).

Case study

case study

In 2008, researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland and the University of Michigan in the United States found something revolutionary. What they discovered is that it’s possible to significantly increase our fluid intelligence. Let’s make a comeback in the past. In 1970, psychologists Raymond Cattel and John L. Horn found a concept that accepted by the majority of psychologists. This concept is that our intelligence divided into 2 main categories : fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.

Fluid intelligence is our raw intellect. This means that it’s our ability to think logically and solve problems in new situations.

Crystallized intelligence is our intelligence regarding our skills our knowledge and our experience.

Before 2008, researchers thought it was impossible to improve our fluid intelligence. These researchers believed that fluid intelligence was innate and that the crystallized intelligence was tied to what we learn.

In 2008, Dr Jaeggi and a researchers team created a software designed to train working memory and tested it on 70 people divided into 4 groups.

Here the scientific study .

The groups used this software 20 minutes a day for 8 to 19 days. They passed an IQ test before training with the software and after training with the software. The results compared to 4 other groups that hadn’t used this software.

The results were extremely surprising. All the people who have used this software have had a better IQ test. Here is the detail of the test result :

  • Fluid intelligence increased on average by 40 %.

  • The increase of fluid intelligence is directly related to the time going on to train with this software. People who trained for 19 days had increased their fluid intelligence 4 times more than those who trained for 8 days.

This show us that we can train our working memory as we can train our physical strength and endurance by doing sport.

This is what this software does, it trains our working memory. We use our working memory to count, read, play chess, think and so on. We can train our working memory as a muscle.

This is the end of Part 1. In Part 2, we’ll see how to concretely improve our intelligence.

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

-Steph

Deadlift Correctly (Part 2)

deadlift

I you didn’t read the Part 1, click here

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

Setup

As you know, there are several versions of deadlift that can match your training goals or your body type but the conventional deadlift is great for starting to learn the basics.

Attention : It’s important to do 1-2 sets warm-up with the barbell without weights. As with squat, this warm-up allows you to prepare joints and muscles.

  • Adds weights and uses collars for safety

    If you’re a beginner, only use 2-26-4.6kg (5-10lbs) plates to make easy to adjust the weights on the barbell. When you have better understood the movement and how your body reacts you can use plates of 20kg (45lbs).

  • Stand with your feet at the width of your hips

    The spacing of your feet is about 20-30cm (8-12 inches) and your toes are slightly outside about 5-10 degrees.

  • Look at the ground

    Place your feet under the barbell so that the barbell almost touches your ankles. The barbell must be on the node of your laces

  • Without moving the barbell or your hips

    Lean forward to take the barbell. Your legs are slightly bent. Your hands should be slightly outside your legs without touching them.

  • Hold the barbell

    Move your hips down so your shins touch the barbell. Stop moving your hips when your shins touch the barbell. Squeeze your torso and keep your back straight to have your back in a neutral position.

  • Your back in a neutral position

    Your back shouldn’t be rounded or hyper extends. If you feel like you don’t have your back in a neutral position, don’t hesitate to ask a friend or a gym’s member to make a video of you with a smartphone while you’re doing deadlift. This will allow you to correct your technique.

    In addition to your spine, uses the upper back’s muscles to help to lift your chest up (swagger).

    Your shoulders should be slightly in front of the barbell and your arms should be straight and perpendicular to the ground.

As each person has unique body, the person next to you will have a different starting position than you and this is normal. Think about it : if a person has long arms, will this person have exactly the same position as a person with short arms ? No.

Deadlift

deadlift movement

  • Ready to lift

    Be focus and squeeze all your body’s muscles

  • Deep breathing

    Take a deep breath and keep your chest up with all your body squeezed ant put all the weight on your heels and on the ball of your feet.

    Imagine driving your feet through the ground.

Here are the important points in this part of the movement :

  1. All the weight must be on your heels and on the ball of your feet. During the movement, you should be able to move your toes.

  2. Your whole body moves slowly at the same speed. Your butt shouldn’t get up faster than your torso.

  3. Be focused on directing your torso and putting the weight on your heels.

  4. Your arms should stay straight during the movement. Your arms only serve to hold the barbell, not pull it.

  5. The barbell stay in contact with all your body. The barbell is a few millimeters from your legs while your lift it. Powerlifters put socks on their shins and chalk or baby powder on their thighs to avoid cuts and scratches The barbell’s trajectory during the movement is a vertical straight line.

  6. Squeeze your glutes. When the barbell goes over your knees, squeeze your glutes to move your hips forward.

  7. When you stand, open your chest as if you’re proud (like a king/queen). Keep your spine in a neutral position (straight back) and all your body tight.

To lower the barbell

As with lifting the barbell, all your body needs to move at the same time.

Your body is always contracted, unlocks your hips and knees and lower the barbell by controlling the movement slowly.

If you unlocks your knees first, you’ll do weird movements that will force you to round your lower back.

deadlift low back rounded

Keep your body contracted until the barbell touches the ground. The majority of deadlift injuries appear during the descends of the barbell. People are so pleased to have lifted a heavy weight that they relax their bodies and lower the barbell with poor technique. It’s important to control movement with your contracted body throughout exercise.

Note

In deadlift the most risky moment is the eccentric part (descending the barbell). This is the part that will give you the most DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

That’s why several personal trainers advise their athletes to throw the barbell on the ground, especially for athletes who must be at 100 % for a competition in a few days.

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

-Steph