What I've Been Thinking About...
In a nation where activities are in abundance, often times kids have less free time to explore their interests than those wearing an orange jump suit. When schedules are made it becomes very easy to forget one important area: spontaneous exploration. This type of exploring is done on the kids time. It is not during designated play dates or when it is convenient for your schedule. These moments occur when a child is left to their own devices giving them space to think, imagine, role play, and more. As a result, the child's developing brain grows.
I understand life is busy. I also understand the importance of spontaneous, free play. So, that being said, I believe there are a few ways we can implement this time into any busy schedule. The first way to do this is to let your child lead play based off their interests. This makes life easy for you. They create the scenario, you support whatever they are doing. When things get slow and boredom may appear, don't interject. Let them solve the problem of boredom on their own. If you give them enough time, they will find something, even if it does test your patience! Lastly, show them how to engage in play in the most unstructured way possible. Play some tag in the yard, let them create an obstacle course, have them make rules for something and then you follow. It is almost like improv comedy. The other person does something and you roll with it to keep it going. You don't stop to correct or change anything. Just go with the flow!
Fitness Tip of the Week
In last weeks edition, we talked about what gets measured gets managed. That was in reference to scale weight. In this weeks edition, we will be applying that concept to strength training, finding your weak points and correcting them. The great coach and author Dan John introduced a methodology for training that cannot be beat in terms of simplicity and effectiveness. When you are creating a strength program, it should have the following elements: Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge and Carry.
So how do you go about choosing the right exercises following that template? The answer is going to be goal dependent. For the example I will use today, it is going to be to "shrink the gap" between strengths and weaknesses. In my own training, I use a barbell and perform most exercises in a bilateral manner (both limbs used in unison to complete a task). The gap I needed to fill was the fact that my training was lacking unilateral exercises. With no unilateral training, asymmetries may present themselves and thanks to guys like Gray Cook and the FMS, we know asymmetry leads to injury. So, one day per week, I perform the following exercises for two sets of five: Single Arm Military Press, Single Leg Romanian Deadlift, Core Row, Split Squat, Suitcase Carry and/or Sled Push. 2 sets of 5 once per week checks the unilateral box for me and allows me to "shrink the gap" so to speak.
Now, just like last week, we need to assess where your "gaps" lie. If you perform a lot of cardiovascular work, then a gap may be strength for you. Follow the five movement template (push, pull, squat, hinge and carry), take your time between sets to allow recovery, write down your exercises and weights, and try to add a little bit more each week. If the inverse is true, and your strength is good but your cardio sucks, spend less time in the gym by cutting rest between sets and go for a 20-30 minute walk after your strength session. In conclusion: find an area of weakness, improve upon that weakness through assessing and tracking, then, once that weakness is corrected, move on to the next area that needs attention and start all over!
Top Gun: Maverick
Last week Marisa and I went to go see Top Gun: Maverick. I am not a big Tom Cruise fan (Scientology baffles my mind) so I went into this movie with pretty low expectations. Well, my expectations were way off the mark as this movie was pretty damn entertaining. As we left, I thought about three things that showed up in this movie that can resonate with just about anyone...
The Terminal List starring Chris Pratt
This show is based off of Jack Carr's book under the same title. I first learned of this author a few years ago in an interview and was impressed with the man. Not only was he a Navy SEAL sniper, but also a New York Times best selling author. These accomplishments are impressive in their own right but when paired together, it makes for something special.
Just to give you a FYI, this show is crazy. It goes against the norms of Hollywood storytelling and makes you wonder how far things are going to go. After viewing the first episode, Marisa and I sat in stunned silence. I even had a dream one night about the show and woke up with my heart rate elevated and wondering what the heck is going on here.
Quote of the Week
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” -- Rene Descartes
I hope you all have an awesome week!