Sunday, 11 May 2014

Pop a squat

You may have heard this phrase but how often do you do it? Seriously when was the last time you popped a squat. Here comes another question at you, can you pop a squat? The other day whilst lifting with my brother who is a bit of a newbie back to the lifting world, we were speaking about squat depth and he was telling me about his numbers and he was proud and good on him. We began to squat and I noticed that he would just get to parallel.  I come from the Olympic weightlifting school of arse to grass. Science is now backing that depth is not some knee destroying bogey man so we should do it for many reasons. As we got further into the session we were talking about depth and he tells me at the gym he trains at no body he has seen and he`s been there a few months now, nobody goes beyond parallel and trainers at the gym teach people and tell people parallel is the depth they should squat to. I said,”Well we do big boy squats”. We can, we are both fairly mobile (not perfect) and we can get below parallel so we should. This meant he had to take some weight of the bar and he did and we squatted and I cued him as he did to improve some things. He remarked several times the difference between the two depths.

 It really does require more muscle activation to go deeper and get out and it requires better mobility and it requires better technique. You could make the argument against depth and for people that are restricted, injured or need to improve the technique/strength I get it and we have  many tools to deal with that. Now this could become another article about what to do to fix your squat but there`re so many articles and videos on this subject. My argument though is more than lifting weight or working out. The statement “pop a squat”, is just that, get into the bottom position of the squat and sit there. Kelly Starret of Crossfit fame (mobility wod) talks about the 10mins in the pain cave. Popping a squat and sitting there for 10 mins working the odds and ends of position and mobility and listening to your body. That is great I think and we need to make it more a part of our lives. In Asia many people squat into old age, they use it and don`t lose it. They squat from children into old age. The benefits are many, less loss of ROM (range of motion), improved strength which in old age is linked to falls and many more that can be found here
I pose this to you why don`t you from time to time squat and sit in the bottom position and just hang out? Not just because it`s to improve the squat but to improve your health and life. I do it regularly in fact some people know me because I do it. I have been at work and just pop a squat and sit down. It turns out my grandfather who`s in his 70`s the one I wrote about here he regularly pops a squat and just sits. Before you say “oh that’s you” and make excuses, try it after all if you begin to use it you can often get it back.

Friday, 2 May 2014

It`s official

So if you have read this blog before you may know that I have been completing a Master’s degree in exercise physiology (rehabilitation). I decided I wanted to offer some more background on myself. My education started when I undertook an undergraduate degree in sport and exercise science. I then undertook a post graduate diploma in education and I am a qualified P.E teacher. I decided during that diploma that I wanted to work for myself and have other people work with me. I also wanted to use the knowledge and experience I gained from my undergrad and exercise/training background. Teaching is great and I enjoy it but it ultimately I want to flex my mental muscles. For me training and coaching people is what I enjoy. It requires me to really educate my clients otherwise I am doing them a real disservice.  Basically for me when I come home from teaching children I don`t read journal articles about child development. I read articles about exercise, health, disease, rehab and performance improvement because that is my passion.

So I spoke with my partner about enrolling for the Masters course and she supported me. The Masters required me to complete it via distance education whilst performing over 500 hours of volunteer work experience in different clinical fields. Due to the university being in another state I was required to organise all of my placements myself. All whilst trying to fit in work, training and living in general. I was required to log all of those hours and to date I completed nearly 700. I flew to the university twice interstate. One time I was very sick with Glandular fever. I had a swollen spleen and liver and to be honest was not in a healthy condition. 
This post isn`t so much about what I had to do, but who was there for me. It is important I feel to thank those around me. I am commonly said to have the emotional back account of 2 cents, but I need to express my gratitude. First my partner who always helped me and supported me. Never has someone been so thoroughly assessed and tested before. Even when it got hard and trust me it really did. Those that point out that university is easy either didn`t put in, are a genius or haven’t yet done it. She made dinner when I spent 14 hours writing assignments or studying, she was my test subject and often my rock. I rarely waiver in many of my pursuits but this made me question what I was doing. She pushed me frequently citing the phrase “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering”, Theodore Roosevelt.  She is like the ocean lapping at the shore she never seems to hit hard like a tidal wave but consistency keeps going. I took my lead from her and just kept going. I would also like to thank my family and friends. Particularly my mother and step father who were also test subjects and would test me for hours on end. Also my inlaws who were also a big support during those days. I thank my friends who have put up with and continue to put up with my “I was reading” or “the other day”.  I would also like to thank those that jeered me and yes there are always detractors. At first you made me angry but ultimately how can I practice patients and humility without you. After all challenge is how we grow like it or not. I thankyou as well. I won`t forget my Nan and Pop always behind me.

Google scholar has a phase “stand on the shoulders of giants”. In my case I do, even though those giants don`t know it. These are the people that are my giants and though I could stand alone I could never stand as tall without them. Thank you.

My next step is the board acceptance application process and to open my own practice. I am looking forward to for the next step knowing the last few years were worth it.