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.
After several rainy days, today's weather was absolutely splendid here in Sydney NSW -- which was great for me, because today I had a dedicated workout scheduled; however, the rain would have stopped me. Long ago I released myself from slavery to local weather and learned to embrace the elements, be it rain, sleet, ice or snow. Even better, this freedom includes the option of flying away from bad weather altogether.
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.
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