Best of February 2016
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best new performance-related research, articles, podcasts and videos that we found on the internet over the past month. By no means is this list exhaustive, just some of the things that we came across and liked from February 2016.
This month we saw the importance of proper recovery practices (and what can happen when we become too dependent on them), what supplements really work, and the importance of knowing what you’re putting into your body and where it came from. We also read some awesome stuff on mobility practices, learning to safely train through low back pain, and why sometimes we do need to seek outside help for nagging injuries and pain. There was also some great stuff on the mental game, using active imagery, adopting the traits of champions, and utilizing mental awareness as a tool for improvement. We hope you guys get as much out of this stuff as we have!
So without further ado, here’s our Best of February 2016!
- A new study showed that 6-weeks of injury prevention exercises can improve biomechanics in athletes for up to 6 months following the program. And while injury prevention training ideally would be a part of everyday training, it’s interesting to see that it may only need to be done intermittently to be effective:
- Almost everybody has a dominant arm and a dominant leg. So what impact does strength training have on each? Is there a difference? A new study from the latest issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, looking at whether or not the responses to training differ between dominant and non-dominant limbs:
- A big issue in strength training is the length of rest interval between sets. We all want to get the most out of our lifts, and do what needs to be done to achieve the highest gains in strength and muscle development. This month, a study in the latest issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, looked into rest intervals, particularly for near-maximal weight strength training for both single and multijoint exercises.:
- A couple of interesting new research infographics from YLM Sports Science:
- Mobility is one of the most commonly uttered words these days in gyms all around the world. But very few people actually know what mobility is, why it’s important, or how to achieve and maintain it. This month, Dean Somerset presented one of the best articles that we’ve read on mobility. This must-read article is chalked full of videos, diagrams, and awesome illustrations for all things mobility:
- There’s no doubt that recovery is one of the most important aspects of optimizing training and performing our best. It’s crucial in allowing us to maximize gains, reduce injury, and feel great. But, can we take it too far? What happens when we become dependent on an ever-growing amount of recovery practices? That’s when mentally and physically, excessive recovery can actually lead to decreased resilience and performance. Steve Magness, from The Science of Running, brilliantly explores this idea:
- Over the last month, Dr. John Rusin and Ian Padron teamed up to look at upper body training for maximal muscle growth. Each of these articles is filled with awesome exercises, videos, and programs to get the most growth possible. Check them out:
- In any form of performance, and particularly in weight lifting, so much of how we do is regulated by what’s going on between our ears. Our self-talk and beliefs literally influence the ability of our bodies to perform a physical task. Luke Mitchell explores this idea and looks at the one of the most underutilized tools for any lifter- active imagery. And although it’s geared towards lifters, this article applies to any athlete or performer:
- As a practitioner, a major goal is to teach patients a basic level of self-maintenance that they can do at home and to give them the tools to be able to tackle bumps and bruises on their own. But, it’s just as important for people to know when they shouldn’t deal with an injury on their own, but instead find a qualified practitioner to help them out. Cassie Dionne explores this idea and some of the most common mistakes people make in trying to do therapy on their own:
- The Warrior Poet himself, Aubrey Marcus, shares with us some of the most underrated attributes of champions, and how we can apply each of them to our own pursuits:
- Seth Oberst hit the nail on the head with this article looking at the psychological effects of labeling and diagnosing patients/clients. One of the biggest hurdles that people have to recovery is that they’ve been told that they have an injury, dysfunction, disease, and they begin to define themselves by it. They (and we as practitioners) oftentimes cling to the “what” and it prevents us from solving/fixing the “why”. This article is a must-read for anyone in the medical or fitness communities.
- One of the most common, and most debilitating, issues for lifters is low back pain. It can keep us sidelined from working out and totally zap all gains. So what to do about it? Is it possible to safely train through back pain? “The Strength Doc” John Rusin thinks so, and he created this awesome guide for doing exactly that:
- Gareth, from Lift Like a Rockstar, compiled a list of some of the biggest workout mistakes by some of the very best in the business:
- Mike Ritter gives us 50 reasons why it’s important where our food comes from, and why buying local organic and sustainably-raised food is the way to go not only for our health, but for our world as well:
Excellent Podcasts & Videos
- Joe Rogan has former UFC fighter, and all-around badass, Kyle Kingsbury on the show to discuss the ketogenic diet, workout routines, mental awareness/toughness, and much more. One of our favorite performance-related JRE’s.
- Robb Wolf has performance specialist Brad Davidson on the podcast for an really interesting conversation. They discuss optimal nutrition, what happens when athletes find out that they’re actually horribly unhealthy and how to get them back to true health, the recovery tactics that the best in the world are using, and much more:
- Shifting hips during a squat, particularly when under heavy load, can not only be a sign of muscular imbalance and dysfunction, but it can also lead to pain and injury from the low back all the way down to the ankles and feet. It’s also very difficult to correct for most people. In this video, from Juggernaut Training Systems, Dr. Quinn Henoch explores a number of ways to fix the hip shift and start patterning optimal squat mechanics in our athletes:
- Martin Bingisser, from HMMR Media, sits down with high-performance strength coach Shawn Myszka, to discuss movement, motor learning, and S&C coaching. Myszka talks about his experience working with NFL athletes and the nuances of teaching optimal movement patterns to high-level athletes:
- Michael Gervais has former NFL athlete, Navy Seal, and successful entrepreneur Clint Bruce on the podcast. They discuss the similarities in performance psychology between athletics, the military, and the business world and what transitioning between different performance worlds is like. They also dive into the concepts of finding clarity through pain, becoming a tribal person, and what it means to show real and honest gratitude for where you’re at:
- Brian Rose, from London Real, sits down with former (and future?) UFC fighter Dan Hardy. They talk MMA, movement, sailing, and self-improvement through the use of psychedelics. Check out the first half above, and use the link below to watch the rest of this awesome podcast:
New from Higher Performance Network
This month we looked at how you can become the scientist of your own experience and we explored Max Shank’s new book Simple Shoulder Solution.
- Our modern world is obsessed with using science to determine our reality. The media reports on “what the latest research shows” and we’re expected to incorporate those “facts” into our lives. Most of the time, we don’t have any idea how the experiment was performed, whether or not it applies to us, or if the conclusions drawn by the researchers even make sense. We think that it’s time to start ditching the latest research and instead, become the scientists of our own lives. Here’s how:
- We take a look at one of our favorite new books- Max Shank‘s Simple Shoulder Solution. This book looks at building mobile and stable shoulders from the base out with the goal of not only preventing injury, but also creating a base for strength and performance. Check it out.
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