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Sweep Dojo

Today, I want to run a weird little video/article I did called Sweep Dojo.  For those not familiar with the term, I shall explain shortly but it’s a little bit of a weird piece Esoteric isn’t the right word although I might call it philosophical.  By that I don’t mean the pointless navel gazing that most philosophy seems to represent.  Rather it represents part of my philosophical approach to training and coaching.

So let’s find out what it means to sweep dojo.

What Does Sweep Dojo Even Mean?

Anyone with a martial arts background probably recognizes the phrase Sweep Dojo.  Even without the background, you might know what it means if you watched Kung-Fu movies.  For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain.

In the most literal sense, the idea of sweep dojo is something that comes out of very classical martial arts training.  By this I mean the type you might see in Buddhist monasteries.… Keep Reading

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Coaching Yourself

Today I wanted to revisit an older piece titled Coaching Yourself (originally “How to be your own coach”), originally written in 2009 and heavily re-written/re-edited/re-formatted for today.  I gotta get those good SEO scores.

Dan John in Salt Lake City

The piece was originally spurred by two occurrences.  The first was attending a seminar by Dan John while I was living in Salt Lake City (2005-2010).  Called A Philosophy of Strength Training, Dan was asked “How does someone coach themselves?”

Now, I love Dan, he’s one of the best in the industry and knows more than Methuselah (because they hung out).  But let’s just say his answers are often…undirected.  He wouldn’t disagree with me, by the way.  The problem is that he’s got so much information in his head he gets side tracked and forgets the original question.  A similar question came up on my support forum (yes, it’s down right now) about the same time so it seemed like a good topic to tackle.… Keep Reading

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Low Load Training and Videos of Workouts

This is a little bit of an odd article.  I’m going to start by discussing low load (LL) training then do a truncated ‘research review’ and use that to go into what amounts to an opinion piece about current research studies on weight training.

What is Low Load Training?

LL training is a relatively ‘new’ (by which I mean in the last 5-10 years) type of training it. During low load training, subjects lift a fairly light weight , typically in the realm of 30% of 1 repetition maximum to failure.  Various studies in varying populations have shown that this generates the same muscular growth as heavy load (HL) training at 80% of max.  A typical study will compare 3 sets at 30% of max to 3 sets at 80% and both groups get the same basic growth.

Admittedly this seems surprising given what we think we know about muscle growth. … Keep Reading

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How to Exercise for General Health and Fitness

While the reality is that most people generally want to exercise to improve their body composition (or more bluntly “to look better naked”), this is not all the case.  In some cases, individuals just want to know how much and what type of exercise they should to do develop general health and fitness.

General Guidelines for Health and Fitness

And the answer is not much.  The basic American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines are going to be more than sufficient. These guidelines target the primary factors in basic health and fitness.  These are cardiovascular health, muscular strength, flexibility and balance.  I’ll only address the first two.

I’ve presented the general ACSM guidelines below and you can see that they include flexibility and balance  Honestly, full range resistance training tends to do most of the work to improve both.  In some cases, specific stretching or mobility work is indicated.



I will focus on aerobic and resistance training guidelines.… Keep Reading

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Muscular Tension and Muscle Growth: Part 3

So I’ve already covered a lot of information in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series on muscular tension and believe it or not I’ll wrap up here.  Let me try to rapidly summarize the previous 2 parts (rapidly meaning like 6 paragraphs).

High mechanical tension for some number of “effective” contractions is the primary initiating factor in muscle growth; this occurs via the FAK/PA/mTOR pathway.  Activating this pathway requires that muscle fibers are first recruited and then exposed to enough high tension contractions (the amount needed per set, per workout or per week are currently unknown).

You can get to a number of high tension “effective” contractions in numerous ways: heavy weights (80-85% or heavier) for lower repetitions or moderate/lighter weights for moderate/high repetitions so long as the sets are near or to failure.

We can’t measure mechanical tension easily in the gym (yet) and need some objective marker we can use. … Keep Reading