So we’re winding down another hectic week here at Queens College. As the weeks go on, it seems like they just get busier and busier around here. 6:30 AM shifts sitting here in the fitness center have almost become second nature to me (which is a good thing!). As I sit here on a quiet Friday morning, let me take this time to breakdown some of the thoughts that have come to my mind!
First off, I finally got around to trying a food joint I’ve been dying to try. There’s two in my neighborhood alone and I just haven’t put the effort in to try either of them. From my understanding, it’s only found within New York (besides one that found it’s way in Jersey). Well, that sucks for any of you reading outside of the NYC area. Bareburger definitely worked it’s way onto my list of food spots that I visit frequently, it’s that good!
I still remain skeptical of it’s claims on being completely organic. With all today’s companies taking full advantage of the “gluten free” and “no GMO added” trends, who wouldn’t slap a label onto their product for some extra profit? Regardless, based on the quality of the meat alone, you can tell you’re getting food better than the majority, if not all, of restaurant and food chains.
The variety that this place provides is unbelievable. Beef, grilled chicken, lamb, wild boar, elk, bison, and ostrich are all different options at Bareburger. I’m sure I’m missing a meat or two on that list as well. Then you pick from a variety of buns, veggies, numerous bacons, cheese, and a million different sauces. The possibilities are endless.
I went with their Country Bacon burger yesterday, which consisted of cheddar cheese, country bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and mayo on a bison burger. That thing was out of this world. If you’re in the area and want to try out a good-quality burger, then make sure you check out Bareburger!
Another thing just as badass as bison burgers is the fact Eric Cressey is dropping a new product next week. The High Performance Handbook is the title, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I’m not 100% sure if there will be, but I definitely want a hardcopy of this book for my personal library.
As preparation for this release, Cressey has been dropping knowledge bombs left and right in free video content. These videos deal with topics like cranky shoulders, breathing exercises, and proper rib position during lifts. Here is the link to the two videos thus far: http://highperformancehandbook.com/helpful-videos/best-posture/
Most of you already know that I am a huge advocate of the way we breathe. Our breath is everything, it plain and simply allows us to live. Without oxygen, I wouldn’t be writing this article and you wouldn’t be reading it.
Diaphragmatic (belly) breathing can allow us to relax or pull the weight of the world off the ground. As you can see, two complete opposite ends of the spectrum. When breathing through our diaphragm, we can inhale maximal oxygen while taking our normal breath. This allows heart rate to decrease, allowing us to relax. With yoga and meditation, breathing is crucial in order to “turn off” the outside world.
Now at the other side of the continuum, belly breathing can also help us move heavy weight! As we breathe in nice and deep with optimal core contraction, we create a brace internally to protect our spine. I like to have my clients picture themselves as a package. Their spine acts as a fragile object, and their core is the bubble wrap that prevents the object from breaking. If we ignore our breath, we cannot achieve maximal tightness. Without maximal tightness, the bubble wrap cannot work as efficiently. So the moral of the story is, your breath is your key to lifting heavy ass weight!
Now that I spend my Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings writing for this blog, I’m excited to share my future plans with my readers in terms of blog content. This idea clicked into my head recently as to how we act similarly to a skyscraper.
“Is this kid on drugs? How do we act like skyscrapers?”
Hear me out on this, it would be impossible for the Empire State Building to stand if it were made out of straw. The foundation just wouldn’t be able to support the height of the building. Our bodies work in a similar fashion when it comes to lifting. We cannot get big and strong if we have a weak foundation. For me, core stability, hip mobility, and lower body strength are the keys to developing strength. We can’t deadlift 400 pounds without this foundation. Otherwise, expect to destroy your back or shit a kidney out in the process. Therefore, we have to start from the “lobby” of our “building”.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the beginning of, “From the Ground Up”. Expect a blog post every Thuesday on a new exercise to construct the building we want to make ourselves. Regardless of our goals, a good foundation is important. For gym strength, athletics, and overall quality of life. My intent is to get you to that level, and I’ll do my best to make it happen!