Some of you may recall that when I’m not lifting or training people, I’m a sports information assistant at a Division II university on Long Island. It’s kind of a hobby of mine (and by hobby I mean how I pay for grad school).
Sports info definitely has its perks, namely getting to travel to Florida with the baseball team on its annual spring break trip. So as I sit here, perched at my “desk” basking in the sun, watching batting practice and waiting for today’s game to start, I thought I’d update everyone on what I’ve been reading during my downtime in the Sunshine State.
Enter Night: A Biography of Metallica by Mick Wall
I’ve been instructed by many a friend and family member that I need to break out my Type-A literary funk and read some fiction. So I’m weaning myself off of educational/instructional books with a biography of my favorite band of all time, Metallica.
I finished this one on the plane ride and it was easily the best rock biography I’ve ever read. It takes a lot for me to discover something new about the kings of heavy metal, so I was thrilled when a previously-unknown fact appeared on almost every page.
Mick Wall delves far beyond the better-known facts about some of Metallica’s most defining moments, including Dave Mustaine’s firing, Cliff Burton’s tragic death, the endless hazing of Jason Newsted, the pure decadence of the Black Album world tour, the whole Napster debacle, and the train wreck that gave birth to the St. Anger record.
If you’re a music fan and want to know more about Metallica beyond the VH1 specials and Rolling Stone interviews, check out this book.
“To Pull A Lot, You Need To Pull A Lot” by Brandon Lilly
This article by Brandon Lilly, who pulled a 755-pound deadlift without a belt at this year’s Arnold Classic, came at a great time since I’ve been having so much trouble with my own deadlift.
He focused on how to pull frequently without running into overtraining or injuries. The key to this is frequently cycling your deadlift exercises, loading protocols and volume to stay fresh while targeting your weak points. The part about using explosive singles with short rest to build strength off the floor was really eye opening and I look forward to trying it.
Check out the article here: http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2013/03/11/to-pull-a-lot-you-need-to-pull-a-lot/
“A Day (or 2) of Meals on Intermittent Fasting” by Stephanie d’Orsay
Fellow fitness blogger and Boston-based athletic trainer Stephanie d’Orsday has been logging her adventures with intermittent fasting, which you know by now is my preferred dietary approach. This post came at an interesting time because I was talking to our baseball team’s athletic trainer, and she talked about the recent spike in female college athletes becoming vegetarian/vegan in an attempt to lose weight.
Now keep in mind, I am fascinated by vegan lifestyles and truly admire those who do it faithfully. And if you want to be a vegan because you believe it’s morally or ethically wrong to kill animals for food, I totally get that. But if athletic performance is your primary goal, I truly believe that a meat-free diet is going to be suboptimal.
I think the IF approach, focusing on meal timing while eating lots of organic, whole foods (including grass-fed, pasture raised meats and wild-caught fish), is a fantastic way to boost performance and improve body composition. It’s refreshing to see a female attack this approach head-on when many people – male and female alike – try and fail to lose weight with more “traditional” diets.
Read Stephanie’s article here: http://itrainthereforeieat.com/2013/03/11/a-day-or-2-of-meals-on-if/
That’s it! Back to watching baseball and soaking up some vitamin D. Go forth, read and learn.