Maxwell Strength & Conditioning Blog
Enjoy a peek at the world through Steve's eyes as he delivers sermons on everything from training to peace of mind.
I get a lot of mail across my desk and it's become clear to me there's a major confusion, affecting the entire fitness industry; this is a misunderstanding between demonstrating strength and physical prowess versus building strength.
"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part
The question comes up from clients on how to eat for increased muscle mass. The answer is to improve digestion and assimilative capacity.
Slamming protein shakes and eating too-frequent meals throughout the day is a sure way to overwhelm digestive capability. This brings on toxemia, illness, and decreased vitality.
A long flight of stairs is hard to beat for conditioning versatility and makes a great training tool; flights of 75 steps and up are a great challenge. While a lengthy, steep hill can be substituted, it's not quite as good. The stair training protocols I'm about to describe produce conditioned strength, or strength-endurance, also a strength subset known as power-endurance.
It takes a great deal of energy to propel the body up a steep flight of stairs; the heart rate and breath are rapidly elevated. In this kind of effort, you must discipline the breathing to prevent harmful mouth breathing, ie, panic breathing.
I've been fascinated with throwing objects for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories include learning to skip stones across the Conodogquineg Creek, as well as life-or-death rock battles with the kids who lived on the other side of that creek. We didn't know those kids; they didn't know us, but the fact that we each existed in the other's self-deemed sacred land, called for rock fights of epic proportion.
Luckily, the creek was too wide for any of us to gain real accuracy behind our throws, but I still remember how mesmerized I was watching the stones arc up, then come down -- as well as my fervent envy of the boys with a strong throwing arm.
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It will help you fight off skin infections and stay clean and fresh longer so you can spend more time training, competing and perfecting your art.