Tag Archives: Iron Game

  • Inside the Diamond Mine: slippery slope of adaptation

    Posted on June 3, 2010 by John Davies

    Within the iron game, nothing is as confusing as the riddle of adaptation to exercise. It is both the crux of problems, the hidden success of many small victories and a constants source of confusion.


    As within any action, the learning curve varies within from highly complex to relatively steep. In the initial stages of learning, in this case an exercise, the individual will lack the technical experience and not perform the movement in the most efficient manner possible. Through dedicated practice, the skill set is developed and along with proper movement patterns, the individual will build the desired muscularity from the exercise.


    OxyElite Protein with Amanda


    Once the movement is mastered, or at-least performed with relative proficiency, there are a number of peculiar points to consider. Firstly, the movement will gradually become a "skill", whereby the muscular benefit will degrade to some varying degrees as the technical knowledge on how to perform the movement is learned. Examples such as throwing, catching or kicking a ball or any repetitive action are noteworthy and the same concept applies within the resistance training.


    As a personal example, given I perform Squats on a daily basis the "stimuli" is not the same, as it relates to hypertrophy, as someone who is less frequent and in-fact, my benefit from an individual training session is significantly different that most.


    In this situation, the question is raised is whether I am “exercising” or “practising” a movement, as in the case of a sport and certainly an argument can be make on either side with varying opinion on the benefit. This however voyages into murky waters because as once you have perfected the movement you are equally stimulating the manner in which the action was intended and equally assisting areas of general mobility, work-rate and possibly muscular recovery. Clearly, this is circuitous problem because while you want to execute the lift properly, you have to be careful of the efficient use of time as well as avoiding monotony in your training regime.


    One winning strategy for those dedicated within the training world is to circumvent the adaptation curve by varying exercises, mediums, settings or tempo on a regular basis. By varying exercises approaches the individual develops a broad base of general athletic attributes that can serve as the footing for highly specialised skills and does not suffer with a similar rate of diminishing returns. Ultimately these choices are not complicated and summarily provide one of the great benefits of the iron-game few seem to mention; it’s fun.


    Prepared by John Davies


    John Davies is available on his personal page on Facebook , Renegade Training™’s, Google+, Renegade Training™ on Google+ as well as or Twitter.



    The information provided in 'Instant Training Improvement Tips', as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

    This post was posted in Misc and was tagged with Adaption, Iron Game

  • Inside the Diamond Mine

    Posted on May 4, 2010 by John Davies

    Walking down a back alley, in a time long ago, I stumbled on a group watching the oldest of old games, Three-Card Monty being played out once again. From a nearby stand, I ordered a quick espresso with one eye glued towards the proceedings, even though I knew how all the steps would roll out. The money came and went fast, the bills dropped down fast while the marks went for the ride and the confederate's moved on to the next alley. Some things never change.

    If exercise is simple, why does it always sound complicated? Is it because in the trick of the tale, there is lustre in the sale if it sounds complicated? Life is complicated but exercise is a few golden truths, a dash of versatility and plenty of passion going after your goals with a long-term vision.

    Sure, you can make it sound a lot more complicated, raise your right hand and swear such and such product is better than the rest but that is just another game. The truth is, it is relatively basic for those looking to live healthy throughout their days. The hushed secret no one wants to tell you is that lifting weights is easy, you just need to right introduction point and you adapt training to suit your needs with relative ease. Akin to painting with the broadest of brushes, show your versatility in training and not simply “do what you do with all your might”, but make your weak spot your strength.

    In my experiences, human nature will tend to push us towards what we are comfortable with doing. Within exercise, that will lead to repetitious training, further faults, lowering rates of return on our training and imbalances. Of the many great story line’s that each individual finds within this "iron game" is the lessons it teaches. Find humility, such that you can understand your weaknesses and then voraciously attack them and make them your strong suit.

    There is no sales pitch to that; it is just straight truth you can rely upon throughout your days.

    Inside the Diamond Mine
    is a regular column prepared by John Davies for USP Labs that will contain secret tips on how to gain the most from your training.

    This post was posted in Misc and was tagged with Physical Culture, Iron Game

  • Are you ready, part 3

    Posted on April 26, 2010 by John Davies


    I look back now and it seems both humorous and a vestige of the past. Just as it does today, my entry into the iron game would start with a daily pilgrimage to the weight room early in the morning. Not that being up well before dawn was anything to speak of but in hindsight, our focus was far apart from the typical weight room set today.


    Many of these points have lost their perspective because of the vast changes to society, long before the ‘digital revolution’. Young athletes at the time, were weaned on a steady diet of raw-boned training measures often delivered by coaches with the grittiest of finishes. Though I cannot say they had a draconian attitude or near laughable bravado that is unfortunately all-too visible today, they certainly hammered out a paternal attitude that there was never questioned. You simply did it because you had faith in your mentor and knew to follow the path of a leader.




    The great 'iron game' era was remarkably different that it was today. Though we were a troublesome lot, there was a sense of sanctity in the weight room. It was a brotherhood that it did not matter you came far from the right side of the tracks. Yet, morning after morning we toiled there, with a bowl of well-cooked oatmeal stuck to your stomach. Every so often the gym manager would be few minutes late of the 0500 opening and naturally we were not very lenient.


    I had a special affinity for Squats, not sure precisely why but I suspect that I quickly understood how they assisted in my athletic development. I begrudged days that my coach had not written Squats on the chalk board but quickly I found a way to sneak in extra work, albeit little did I know I was seeding the foundation for enhanced work threshold and range of motion.


    However, those special days would come along frequent enough and it certainly would bring out the best in the weight room and all its little nuances. Though many preferred the old tiered Squat rack, my choice was to wheel out the free standing racks (forks) and set them up on the lifting platform. The bar was an older competitive weightlifting model, in mint condition emblazoned with a national logo long since disappeared with changing politics in Eastern Europe. The old bar had a perfect ‘bounce’ to it when loaded but best of yet the plates ‘sung’ like fine crystal when they touched. It was magical to hear them sing out and I can’t tell you how many times, I would be at the base of the lift, knowing how to get a bit of ‘bounce’ from the bar you could snap a load up while the bar ‘sang’.


    All that is of-course a wonderful tale that I could go on and on about, however the point is the foundation of training was burned inside me from earliest day. Though I have never attributed those youthful lessons to my eventual theories on training, it is foolish not to consider it very much in my thoughts.


    The entire notion of using a free standing Squat rack, seems pure insanity it today’s woefully safe world of training. Yes, there was a time when the weight room was not full of shiny equipment and the ‘fluid replacement system’ was a hose attached to spigot that ran out the door.


    With the racks you quickly learned the importance of using the correct amount of weight or let us be quite honest, you are in a tough spot when you have a load on your back and unable to push back up. Though I never thought of it at that time, the need to execute the lift properly with correct posture is second nature because of the above. Was the setting slightly chaotic, if not forcing you to face your fears? I would answer yes and as you tick down the list, you quickly find that maybe, free-rack Squats is not only the safest way to perform the lift but one of the best educational tools. It seems impossible to consider it, given the sanctity that the iron game has created machines and racks that all but eliminate risk but a dash of danger, when mixed with the right coaching, can be a tremendous recipe.


    Prepared by John Davies


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    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


    The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

    This post was posted in Motivation and was tagged with Physical Culture, John Davies, Iron Game

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