Wednesday, August 5, 2009
There are endless situations in life where the key to success is the ability to sell yourself to others. In your career, the ability to convince an interviewer that you are the best person for the job is critical. When it comes to relationships, your ability to show your best qualities can be the crucial factor in clinching a date with the girl or guy you want. When you think about it, if you cannot sell yourself as a person to others, you are going to have a difficult time selling them your ideas, your wishes, your needs, your ambitions, your skills, and your experience.
Despite the necessity of being able to sell yourself to others, for many people like myself it does not come naturally. Introversion, shyness, and lack of self-worth are just a few of the obstacles that can potentially get in the way. To overcome such obstacles, I suggest focusing on the following:
Be Sold on Yourself
This is the first, and perhaps most important, aspect to successfully selling yourself to others. Unless it comes naturally, this is probably also the hardest. Being sold on yourself comes down to this: you must be aware of your own self-worth. This means you believe in yourself, have faith in yourself, and have confidence in yourself.
Being sold on yourself is not something that usually happens overnight. For many years, I did not like myself. I can, however, personally attest that it is possible to change your life and gain a sense of self-worth when there was once none. If you struggle with your sense of self-worth, here are just 3 ideas that may help:
-Live in such a way that you would want to be friends with yourself
-Find some time to reflect on what you like about yourself. If this seems hard, start with the smallest of attributes.
-Don’t do anything that will give you cause to feel ashamed later.
Have a Saleable Package
This article is predominately about letting others know about the inner contents of your package. That being said, there is no getting around the fact that people judge others based on their appearance. Some questions you may consider asking yourself are: am I looking after my appearance to the best of my ability? Are my clothes appropriate for the image I wish to project?
Be Positive and Enthusiastic
Can you remember the last time you received poor customer service? Did the person look bored, disinterested, and as if they wanted to be anywhere but that place? Don’t be that person. Positivity and enthusiasm can both be developed, but once again it takes work. Here are a few tips to help you:
-Look for the best in people
-Associate with positive people
-Care deeply about something
-See life as an adventure
Be Real and Authentic
Rather than being about who you appear to be, selling yourself is about letting others know who you are as a person. For this reason, lies and half-truths are a recipe for disaster later down the line. By telling the truth, you will earn both trust and respect which, in turn, will help you build a great reputation. Not only that, it will make you feel good about yourself. The last thing you want to do is sell yourself out by compromising your values and principles.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Been such a long time since we've spoken. Anyways this is gonna be really long.
Who says there's no such thing as magic? When it comes to women, cocky+funny is PURE 100% magic. It is one of the major keys to getting her making her comfortable with you, to getting her number, to getting the date, kissing, getting laid, EVERYTHING! Your stuff is pure platinum my man! Looking back on mailbags from over a year ago, I still shake my head and say: "Man, this guy is good. I cant wait 'till I am able to pull off those lines like that!" The lines are so funny and with cockiness, it just blows them away! Everytime you do it, you can just FEEL the women responding to you in a positive way and not trying to ignore you or get away from you when you act like a wuss-bag. They are always laughing and smiling and even THEY tend to get touchy-feely, asking me for MY number and then calling ME (of course, I always get their numbers too) or asking me to call them, asking me when we're going out, and even asking ME for sex. I could not believe it! And often, this could happen within minutes or hours of meeting...not weeks, months, or years like I once thought it took. I suggest all guys especially the skeptics out there to check you out. It works!
What I LOVE is how you say making it look like as if a woman is picking YOU up. It sure takes the pressure off of the situation. It's all in the mind set. You are not nervous because you know shewants you and is trying to get you...not the other way around. Then you act accordingly.
Here's justa few of the lines I use:
"Look, just because you're being sweet to me doesn't mean I'm going to sleep with you. What?You thought I was THAT easy? Come on!"
(with women at work or women working somewhere)"How can you possibly get any work done when you're flirting with me all the time? I know I'm hot and all but if you lose your job, don't think I'm going to support you!"
(after seeing a woman) "I know we had fun, but please don't become a stalker and call me 50 times a day or else I'll have the cops pay you a visit with a restraining order in hand!"
(If a woman hints at sex or sometimes I'll bring it up)
"I don't know if I could have sex with you...what if you could only last 2 minutes? I don't know if you can even kiss...I tell you what, I'll THINK about it" (then I kiss her)
(cocky+funny for a common situation)
Her: "How are you?"
Me: "Well, I've been told I'm pretty damn good!"with a 'wink'
(If a woman walks past me)
Me: "What are you doing" (or where are you going?)
Her: "I'm going to such and such or I'm doing such and such"
Me: "You're a lousy liar......It's really ok to admit you were just trying to get a look at me... and as long as you're not a stalker, I may give you a chance!"
(If she makes fun of herself) Her: "I'm such a retard" or "My hair looks awful" or "My lipstick doesn't look good does it?"
Me: "Well, I didn't want to say anything!" lol"But I think those guys over there were thinking 'What's her problem? She's so clueless!"
Her: "My hair looks bad doesn't it?" (or any other line where she makes fun of herself)
Me: "You can say that again!" (with a playful tone)
I love it! I love it! With this type of communication, they react SO differently! A lot of times, they will break down and admit they DO like me! And this keeps you out of the "lets just be friends" category and reduces the number of fake numbers and blow-offs you get from women. It also keeps you from appearing "TOO NICE". AND I don't have to CHASE them anymore! It's a wonderful feeling. Now on the other hand, what if you said:
"I bet you have a boyfriend, right?"
"Hey baby, you're so beautiful!"
"Can I take you out sometime?"
"Oh, baby, there's nothing wrong with you! You're gorgeous!"
AH! bro, just like you say...THIS STUFF IS TERRIBLE! Wuss, kiss-ass behavior at its best!
It's so lame, so boring, and so wussie! Using cocky+funny, we can have more fun without sounding like a loser plus women respond 1,000,000% times better with cocky+funny. Probably only 1-2% of the male population know what cocky+funny is and probably half of those do it without realizing it. This type of communication is DIFFERENT from what MOST guys do which makes you stand out! But it's a lot like water. For water (H20), you need 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. If not then you get some other element you aren't looking for. You have to have the right mixture of cocky AND funny or else it doesn't work as well (although sheer cockiness with mild humor CAN work to a degree).
Now, I have a question and observation that is important to me, bro. SOMETIMES when I throw out a cocky+funny response, they will say "Oh whatever!" or roll their eyes or say you're mean, get mad, or something like that and walk away.This happens not often but on rare occasions. These women are probably uptight anyways and not worth getting to know. When they say "whatever" or "You're so mean" and they're laughing or smiling, and they still keep talking to me, then I know it's working. Also, when you say something like:"...Oh quit lying, you were just walking near me because you want me" and they say "No, I don't want you" or "No I wasn't, I was just doing _ _ _ _ _"in a semi-serious tone, how do you respond to that to keep the cocky+funny going? In other words,what do you do when they act as if they ARENT picking you up?
Thanks a million bro...you've changed my life forever... seriously.
GT from Nashville, Tennessee
OK, so let's talk about the great comments that you've shared, and then I'll address your question...
I was amazed when I first realized that you could actually turn the tables around, pretend that you're trying to "resist her advances," and make fun of her for trying to "put the moves on you"... and wind up having the woman you're talking to actually start feeling attracted to you as a result.
It really is amazing.
Now, I know that a lot of guys hear this approach and think, "Yeah, right. There's no way that just pretending that a woman is pursuing you will MAKE her pursue you"...
But this isn't just any old common way of"pretending."
What you're doing here is a very special, Cocky& Funny, flirty, engaging way of pretending.
I'm sure you've watched the Discovery Channel, and seen animals "play-fighting." It's common among young animals in particular.
Now, how do animals know that it's only "play,"as opposed to "real" fighting?
I mean, have you ever seen the way some animals, like lion cubs and wolf pups jump on and bite each other?
It certainly LOOKS like real fighting.
But it's not... it's play.
Well there's a very similar thing that happens when you flirt with a woman using the Cocky &Funny technique... and when you use this further to pretend that she's trying to "pick you up" and you're "resisting her advances."
You have to use just a LITTLE EXTRA drama.
You have to be a little "overly suspicious"with your tone.
You have to act just a little too serious and offended.
These little cues, along with a good sense of humor and timing are the hints and triggers that make a woman instantly switch into "Oh, this is play" mode, instead of behaving as if you're a loser who has no imagination.
There are some other key benefits as well, as you mentioned above, when you're using this approach.
One is that you don't come across as nervous or intimidated. The fact that you're turning the tables around, having fun, and acting like you're something special sends the message that you're totally cool, calm, and comfortable in your own skin... and, in fact, you're SO comfortable that you're going to go immediately to "play" mode.
Another is that it gives you a "character role"to play that is the OPPOSITE of being a WUSS. This is handy, as most guys switch quickly into Wussmode when they start talking to an attractive woman.
Finally, it gives you all kinds of great ways to end the interaction...
You can say:
"OK, well I'm not going to give you my number, but you can write down your email for me, and maybe I'll get back to you sometime..." etc.
It even makes taking things to the next level easy and charming, because you're "resisting forward."
A quick personal story:
I was at TGIF`s yesterday afternoon with a friend, and the waitress approached us to get our order.
She walked over and said something like, "Hi, can I get you something to drink?" etc.
I pretended not to notice her, and kept talking to my friend.
Then, as she finished asking the question, I turned to her with a surprised and "fake offended" look on my face and said, "Oh, that's OK, I was just TALKING" (as if she had interrupted me).
She opened her mouth with the "Oh, no you didn't! I can't believe you just said that" look.
I shook my head at her.
Then my friend looked at her and said, "Wow, you're standing closer to him".The she looks at me and said loud enough for her to hear "Next thing she's going to be asking for your phone number."
I shook my head at her again, and rolled my eyes.
We gave her the drink order, and she went away.
She came back a few minutes later to tell me that my drink was going to be delayed, because they were making some kind of change in the kitchen.
Of course, I threw up my hands in despair, rolled my eyes at her, and shook my head (as if she was disappointing me horribly).
She laughed and said, "Hey, you'd better watchout, I might have to ask you for your phone number"...
We had talked for a grand total of about a minute, and she was already joking around about asking me for my number.
Keep in mind, this is a TGIF waitress (and a cute one, at that). She works in an environment where hundreds of guys try to pick up on her, one after the other...
Now, as you can imagine, this kind of thing happens most of the time when I interact with waitresses, etc in this manner. I've found that it's no harder to get a waitress to give you her email/number than it is to get any other girl's info, by the way.
What's the secret?
Being playful, fun, different, Cocky & Funny, and not acting like a Wuss who wants to call her 100 times a day and tell her how pretty she is.
Now I'd like to address your question...
"...SOMETIMES when I throw out a cocky+funny response, they will say "Oh whatever!" or roll their eyes or say you're mean, get mad, or something like that and walk away. This happens not often but on rare occasions. These women are probably uptight anyways and not worth getting to know. When they say "whatever" or "You're so mean" and they're laughing or smiling, and they still keep talking to me, then I know it's working. Also, when you say something like: "...Oh quit lying, you were just walking near me because you want me" and they say "No, I don't want you" or "NoI wasn't, I was just doing _ _ _ _ _" in a semi-serious tone, how do you respond to that to keep the cocky+funny going? In other words, what do you do when they act as if they ARENT picking you up?..."
What I'm about to tell you is sometimes hard for guys to accept, so get ready.
SOME PEOPLE DON'T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR.
My guess is that something like 60%-80% of the population just plain aren't very interesting or fun to talk to.
Some people are actually ARROGANT about their lack of a sense of humor.
These are my personal favorites.
I remember meeting a girl at a bar a couple of years ago.
I was ordering a drink, and she bumped into me.
I turned and said, "Don't touch me!"
She just looked at me with a "You're a jerk" look, and leaned away from me.
I smiled at her and said, "It was a joke, it's OK" (with kind of a slightly sarcastic "you didn't get it" tone of voice).
She said something like, "Well, it wasn't funny. You seem like an arrogant jerk."
I couldn't help myself... I burst into laughter.
She, of course, got even more annoyed.
Now, most guys would have gotten all upset, thought that they must have done something majorly wrong, and tried to apologize and get the woman to like them.
I immediately recognized this girl as a person who just plain doesn't have a sharp sense of humor, and who is probably a HUGE pain in the ass to deal with in real life... so I laughed at her.
You'll notice that a lot of guys write in to me with questions like, "I'm dating four women right now, and they're all wonderful, but there's this ONE girl that I just can't get... how do I make the one that isn't interested LIKE me?"
This is a curious thing.
We humans always want the approval of the person who doesn't want to give it to us.
Instead of just walking away and saying, "your loss," we often chase after them, begging and pleading for their approval... and thinking that we must have done something wrong.
Remember, some people actually ENJOY making other people feel bad. Some women actually ENJOY rejecting men. It gives them a feeling of power.
There are MANY women who will spend all week shopping, two hours putting on their clothing and makeup (and doing their hair), just to go out and get attention from men... so they can reject those men, and complain to their friends about what"losers" and "pigs" men are, and how they hate it when men look at them like a "piece of meat."
Let me give you a little "tough love."
Part of growing up, becoming a REAL MAN, and getting this area of your life handled is realizing that not all women are nice people, and not letting those that aren't nice AFFECT YOU.
You can reach a point in your life where your attitude should become "I do not give any one permission to take my joy, happiness, and good mood away from me."
When you get to this point, then IT DOESN'T MATTER if a woman doesn't respond positively to your approach.
It doesn't matter if she rejects you.
It doesn't matter if she doesn't have a sense of humor.
None of this matters when you don't give any one permission to TAKE YOUR JOY AWAY FROM YOU.
My advice: Learn to walk away. Learn to blow it off. Learn how to IMMEDIATELY disconnect and detach from these types of situations, and NOT let them affect you.
The "numbers game" goes both ways.
If you start meeting a lot of women, you will, by nature of meeting a LOT of women, meet quite a few that don't have a sense of humor, aren't friendly, aren't available, etc.
You need to learn the skill of keeping your power and joy for yourself, and NEVER giving it to someone you don't even know.
Make a decision right now that your joy is your own, and that you'll never allow another person to take it away from you.
Dude, someone give me a hug.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The lift requires not only great strength but also a high degree of shoulder flexibility, excellent balance, and speed.
It is executed in a single movement. However, for coaching purposes, it is divided into two phases.
Approach the bar and with back straight, crouch low and grasp the bar with it positioned over the balls of your feet. Legs should be bent with the buttocks close to the heels. Any kind of grip may be used, however it is standard to use a wide grip, with the hands near the ends of bar. A hook grip is normally used in competition. The chest should be puffed out and the shoulders slightly forward of the bar.
Begin lifting. The hips, shoulders and bar should move at the same pace. Push from the toes and slowly transition the weight into the mid-foot as you lift. The angle of the torso relative to the ground should remain constant.
Keep the bar close to your legs as you lift - this ensures proper alignment of the body. The bar should brush your legs a little on the way up.
- When the weight is at mid-thigh, accelerate the bar upward by powerfully extending the knees and hips ( and to some degree the ankles) until the body is fully erect. At the same time, shrug the shoulders. This part of the lift is known as the 'scoop' or 'second pull'. Often, a lifter will bend the knees slightly and bring their torso to vertical before the second pull. This is called the 'double knee bend' style of lifting.
- At the apex of the bar's height, pull your body underneath the bar, catching it with locked arms overhead while squatting. This part of the motion requires a developed sense of timing and coordination, and is the crux of the entire lift.
- Lock your arms with the weight overhead and stand up from the squat position.
This lift requires coordination, torso (core) stability, and explosive power of the legs to generate the upward momentum required to snatch hundreds of pounds overhead. Tremendous speed is required to get underneath the bar after the second pull.
Breathing is very important. Breath deeply a few seconds before the lift. It adds oxygen to the system and helps reduce mind disconcerting stress. Do not hyperventilate or you will become dizzy and lose all important balance. As you lift, exhale strongly, then explosively as you perform the 'drop under'. As you squat, inhale strongly, then, again, exhale explosively as you drive into an upright position. The best way to keep that solid finish and balance is to be certain both sides of the body are doing the same amount of work and that you focus directly forward toward the neutral visual point you began with. Never, never hold your breath. Success in this lift is fluidity, speed and balance, not brute strength. This, to me, is the most beautiful of the two lifts and reveals the skill and talent of the lifter.
- The key to this lift is in the quick "flip" when the bar reaches shoulder height. A fast lifter who can get under the bar is in good position to lift the weight.
- Make sure you feel comfortable before you lift. That's half the battle.
- This is a very difficult procedure, so be sure to use the proper technique.
- Attempt this lift only with proper supervision.
- Lift only weights that are within your capabilities.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It is widely believed the lower abs are exercised during the leg raise or other hip flexor exercises. However, it can be misleading to judge the mechanics of an exercise based on localized muscular fatigue.
The primary muscle used in hip flexion is actually the Iliopsoas one of many hip flexors. The Iliopsoas, particularly the Psoas portion, happens to lie deep below the lower portion of the Rectus Abdominous. During the leg raise, the entire abdominal musculature isometrically contracts (contracts with no significant movement) to:
Posture the spine and pelvis
- Supports the weight of the lower body so the lumbar spine does not hyperextend excessively
-Maintains optimal biomechanics of the Iliopsoas
-Hips are kept from prematurely flexing if the lumbar spine and pelvis does not hyperextend excessively
-Iliopsoas can contract more forcefully in a relatively slight stretched position
-Bent knee (and hip) sit-ups actually place Iliopsoas at a mechanical disadvantage
Counteracts Iliopsoas's pull on spine
-Many people with weak abdominal muscles are not able to perform hip flexor exercises without acute lower back pain or discomfort
The combination of the local muscular fatigue, or a burning sensation from the isometrically contracted abdominal muscles, and from the working hip flexors produces fatigue in the pelvis area which we mistakenly interpret as the lower portion of the Rectus Abdominous being exercised. In movements where the Rectus Abdominous does Isotonically contract (contracts with movement), it flexes the spine by contracting the entire muscle from origin to insertion. The spine is not significantly flexed during the leg raise. Incidentally, both the spine and hip flexes during the full range op motion Sit Up and Leg Hip Raise.
Contrary to what the infomercials suggest there is no such thing as spot reduction. Fat is lost throughout the body in a pattern dependent upon genetics, sex (hormones), and age. Overall body fat must be reduced to lose fat in any particular area. Although fat is lost or gained throughout the body it seems the first area to get fat, or the last area to become lean, is the midsection (in men and some women, especially after menopause) and hips and thighs (in women and few men). Sit-ups, crunches, leg-hip raises, leg raises, hip adduction, hip abduction, etc. will only exercise the muscles under the fat.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Of course, as with any fitness and health goal - nutrition and exercise are always the main ingredient.
1) Healthy Diet
The most important factor in acquiring washboard abs is eating a healthy diet. Here is a list of recommended healthy ways to help you lose a few inches:
- Drink at least three liters of water per day (100 oz)
- Eat five servings of vegetables and fruits per day
- Eliminate fried foods and cheese
- Eliminate processed sugar (for example: sodas, cookies, candy)
- Eliminate fatty red meat
- only lean red meats (1-2 times weekly)
Diets like the Atkins and other high protein diets may help at first but to get rid of that last 10-15 pounds, it is recommended to lower calories to a range of 1500-2000 calories a day BUT you must exercise rigorously - both with abdominal exercises and cardio work.
2) Cardiovascular Exercise
Washboard abs, getting lean, and losing weight are all tied into a consistent cardiovascular workout program. You should do 30-45 minutes of activities like walking, running, biking, or swimming daily 4-5 times per week. It takes about four weeks before you start to see the physical benefits or your diet and exercise program.
You will see almost immediate results in your energy level, overall mental alertness when exercising daily. Start off slowly if you have not trained with much intensity in the past several years. A good way to get started is to walk or run with the following six weeks program:
Week #1 - Walk/run - 1 mile a day for 5 days a week
Week #2 - Walk/run - 2 miles a day for 5 days a week
Week #3 - Non-impact week - bike or swim for 20-30 minutes a day
Week #4 - Walk/run - 2 miles a day for 5 days a week
Week #5 - Walk/run - 3 miles a day for 4-5 days a week
Week #6 - Walk/run - 4 miles a day for 4-5 days a week
Note: week #3 is non-impact due to high number of injuries that occur to legs (knees, shins, feet, hips) during the third week of beginning a walking or running program.
3) The One Simple Exercise
The Ten-second Crunch is probably one of the best beginning exercises for firming up the belly. Simply lie on your back and lift your shoulder blades off the floor and hold for ten seconds. Repeat this at least for ten repetitions. Try repeating the 10 seconds crunch for 10 repetitions morning and night for starters. Also, stretch and flex your lower back for a few minutes after each set in order to balance the muscles that support your torso. However, a variety of abdominal exercises will help build the muscles under the fat.
Now - lose the fat by watching your diet and cardio vascular exercise and you will soon see the muscles!
Sample ab exercises are the following:
Bring your knees as high as you can as shown.
Advanced Crunch - (Legs up)
Lie on your back with your feet straight in the air. Keep your legs straight up in the air for the advanced crunches. Cross your hands over your chest and bring your elbows to your knees by flexing your stomach. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury - place feet on the floor)
In the same position as the regular crunch, lift your knees and butt toward your elbows. Leave your head and upper body flat on the ground. Only move your legs and butt. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury)
Add the regular and reverse crunch together in one motion...You will feel this one twice as fast...
Right Elbow to Left Knee
Cross your left leg over your right leg. Flex your stomach and twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee.
Left Elbow to Right Knee
Same as above just switch sides. Cross your right leg over your leg. Flex your stomach and twist to bring your left elbow to your right knee.
This exercise will help you build your abs, back and hips to help with long ocean swims and balance out the hip flexors exercises. Twist to both sides keeping your shoulders on the floor and stay in the bent knee position when rotating left and right.
Note: Anytime you work your abs, you should also exercise your lower back to build balance in your torso.
Lower Back Exercise(Back Extentions)
Lie on your stomach with your arms extended over your head. Lift your right arm and your left leg off the ground at the same time and repeat for specified number of repetitions. Switch arms/legs and repeat.
Lower Back Exercise - Swimmers
Lie on your stomach and lift your feet and knees off the floor by flutter kicking repeatedly as if you were swimming freestyle.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Advanced Abdominal Exercises: Do not do if you are a beginner! These exercises are not healthy for weak or injured backs. If you cannot do the above swimmer exercises for 1:00 - do not attempt these exercises.
Lie on your back with your arms crossed over your chest, keeping your knees slightly bent. Raise your upper body off the floor by contracting your abdominal muscles. Touch your elbows to your thighs and repeat.
With your hands on your hips, lift your torso off the ground higher than a crunch but not as high as a full situp. Your middle/lower back will be on the floor still at the up position.
Place your hands under your hips. Lift your legs 6 inches off the floor and begin walking, raising each leg approximately 36 inches off the ground. Keep your legs straight and moving. This is a four count exercise.
Lift your feet 6 inches off the floor. Raising both legs approximately 36 inches off the ground, keep your legs straight and off the floor until specified number of repetitions are complete.
Lay on your back. Lift your feet 6 inches off the floor. Open and close both legs approximately 36 inches apart, keep your legs straight and off the floor until specified number of repetitions are complete.
Lift your feet 6 inches off the floor as if you were doing a leg lever. Pull your knees toward your chest while simultaneously lifting your upper body off the floor. This is a mix between the situp and the leg lever.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
All this aside, they are also the most productive. Squats have packed more muscle onto skinny frames than any other lift out there. Because of the degree of difficulty, squats also force your body to release higher amounts of important anabolic hormones, such as testosterone and growth hormone, thus resulting in total body muscle growth. In addition, squats also cause what is known as a "spillover effect": a strength gain in almost all of your other exercises. When I started squatting to failure, my bench press increased by 20 pounds! If you're looking for serious muscle gains and you don't already squat, you'd better get started. Quite simply, they really, really work.
Unfortunately, many people have yet to experience the benefits of heavy squatting. Why? It seems that people will come up with just about any excuse they possibly can in order to steer clear form the squat rack. How many times have you heard the all too common "They're too hard on my knees", or "I heard they stunt your growth." What do I say to that? Nonsense! With the exception of a very small population of lifters, everyone can squat! The main reason that the squat rack seems to collect dust faster than any other piece of equipment in the gym is simply due to the amount of intensity one must generate in order to squat effectively. In addition to that, many myths have come up over the years that have convinced people to steer clear of this exercise. Let's take a look at these myths and clear them up once and for all.
#1: "Squatting will ruin your knees"
Just as the muscle tissue in your body strengthens when exposed to stress, the tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues in your body will also thicken in response to weightlifting. Because of this, heavy squatting can only increase knee strength. By strengthening the supporting muscles around the knee, you will also end up with much greater knee stability and strength. Knee problems when squatting will only occur through improper form, namely relaxing in the bottom position. When you relax the knee joint, it separates slightly, placing it in a compromising position. The solution? Don't relax in the bottom position! It's that simple. Keep everything tight and flexed and you'll have no problems.
#2: "Squatting is dangerous to the spine"
Again, weightlifting will only strengthen ligaments and connective tissues. If you like, you can use a weight belt when performing heavy, low rep sets, but otherwise you won't need it. Some lifters find squatting uncomfortable to the cervical spine (your neck) because of the bar resting there. Most lifters get used to it, but if you find it to be a big problem you can simply place a towel or pad underneath the bar.
#3: "Squats are dangerous to the heart"
Many weightlifting exercises restrict blood flow due to long periods of muscular contraction. Elevated blood pressure will result from this, but it is only temporary and isn't dangerous. The heart, just like all other muscles of the body, will adapt to the stress that is placed upon it. Therefore, squatting will help to strengthen the cardiovascular system. However, just to remain on the safe side, those with coronary diseases may want to consult a physician before beginning any kind of weight training program.
#4: "Squats will decrease your speed"
It is a well known and accepted fact by exercise physicists that the stronger a muscle is, the faster it will contract and the more force it can apply off the ground. Therefore, speed can only be increased through the use of squatting. I was a 100 metre sprinter in high school, and when I incorporated heavy squats into my weightlifting routine I was able to cut a full second off my time.
Well, so much for those myths!
The important thing to remember is that any negative consequences brought on by squatting are the result of improper technique and not the exercise itself. Squatting is safe and hugely effective. So if you're one of those people who fears the squat, quit being a wimp! Gather some courage and drag your ass over to the squat rack. Well, what do you say? Do you want to get huge? I mean really, really huge? Then continue reading and be prepared for some mind-blowing gains.
Still with me?
Awesome; let's learn the proper technique.
-Proper Squatting Technique-
For safety reasons you should always perform your squats in a power rack or cage. This way you can adjust the height at which you clear the bar, and you can drop the bar on the safety pins if you need to bail. The safety pins should be set at just below the depth you are squatting and the J Hooks should be set at about the level of your nipples.
At all times during the squat your head should be pulled back, your chest raised and you should have a slight arch in your lower back. You should always be looking straight ahead, and at no time should you be leaning too far forward, or be looking up or down.
Step up to the bar, placing your hands at about the same width as a bench press. Before clearing the bar, make sure it is placed evenly along your traps. The bar should rest on the lower portion of your traps and across your rear delts. It should almost feel as if the bar is going to roll off your back. Now that you have cleared the bar, take only as many steps back as necessary. Most squat injuries occur when backing up, so make sure that you only back up as far as you need to. Your feet should be placed about shoulder width apart or slightly wider, and they should point out at a 45-degree angle.
Take a big, deep breath, and make your descent. You should not lower yourself straight down, but rather as if you were sitting in a chair behind you. At all times your knee must remain in line with your feet, and they should never bow in. Lower yourself until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground. If in doubt, go lower!
As soon as you have reached the bottom position, rise up immediately. Do not relax in the bottom position! Drive up with your heels and straighten your back as quickly as possible.
Once you are in the upright position again, take another deep breath, and continue the lift until you have completed the desired number of reps.
How many reps should you perform? It depends. There are many who say that 20 rep squats are the most beneficial. Others say 12-15. Some people might use 6-8. It all depends on the person. I personally perform 5-7 reps. Experiment and see what works best for you!
The deadlift will work you from finger to neck to toe. It is a raw, basic power movement and will literally stress every single muscle in your entire body to some degree. The main areas of stimulation are the back (lower and upper) and thighs, but once you start deadlifting on a consistent basis you’ll see gains just about everywhere. The high intensity nature of this basic lift will also force your body to secrete higher amounts of powerful anabolic substances such as testosterone and growth hormone. This causes what is known as a "spill over effect", and will result in new, total body size and strength gains. For example, after a few weeks of heavy deadlifting you should notice that your other lifts, such as the bench press and barbell row, will suddenly increase.
The deadlift is the oldest of all weight training exercises and is one of the most effective exercises for overall body development. Deadlifts are not pretty and neither are the men who hoisted them, but this movement made their physiques the biggest, thickest, and strongest in the world.
The deadlift is a compound movement that works all of the major muscles in the body, with most of emphasis on the traps, spinal erectors, hips, glutes, and hamstrings. The remaining muscles are involved in stability control.
It is the purest single test of strength because it is one of the few lifts where you lift a dead weight off the ground. In most other lifts the weight changes direction or starts from the top position and you can use reverseal strength and momentum to rebound and assist in lifting the weight, as in the squat and bench press.