It’s been a long while since I posted another Random Thoughts and this will be the first where the Performance360 brand takes a smearing. If you’re new to the game, as always some are fitness related, some are nutrition related and some are well…

1. I’m 31 years old and I still pull out a finger gun from behind my back whenever someone knocks on our door.

2. Other things I didn’t expect I’d still be doing at 31.

  • Have cashiers at Trader Joe’s advise me I need a case for my phone.
  • Lose my wallet.
  • Have dreams at night that I work at the Crunch Berry cereal factory.
  • Ride a shopping cart like it’s a skateboard in supermarkets.
  • Write and perform songs about my roommate at 2 am.

 

Yeah these weren’t exactly part of the life “vision”.

3.  Everyone has a fancy pants Facebook name using a middle name, alias or something else.  I am starting to feel like I am shorting myself by not being David Alexander, or D.A. Thomas, or Rothchild Farnsworth.

4.  “Chief”, “champ”, “boss”.  These will cause us to never be friends.

5.  Have enough confidence in yourself and your training to take rest days.

6.  I sprained my foot running six miles two weeks ago, which for me basically represents completing the Boston.  My initial reaction was to absolutely crush running with, “See, look at how dumb it is!”.  After all, it was the longest I had run in years and the first time I went yogging in months and this was what it gave me.  But, I am not going to do that.  I removed my bias and came to the realization that I have also had flare ups while lifting weights.  Knicks and dings happen.  A car doesn’t stay shiny and polished through it’s entire life, and when there are injuries, they are usually not of the freak variety.  They can almost always be tied to a specific mobility or musculature problem and in both cases, it wasn’t necessarily the fault of the exercise I was performing, it was a problem in the way I was moving.

No but seriously, running is just awful.

7.  Watch this video and prepare to feel horrible on the behalf of humanity.  I think the kind of person who puts down a homeless person to their face has a special spot reserved for them in hell with Taylor Swift performing live 24/7.

8.  It has been mentioned before in Random Thoughts but it always bears reinforcing.  The Russian swing is unmatched for development of the glutes, hips and power production in a way the overhead swing cannot even sniff.  It will help your deadlift and your squat.

9.  The overhead swing targets the upper body in a way the Russian does not.  It will help your pull-ups,  range of motion and overall coordination.  Do both, and remember, unless you paid for them in rubles they are not measured in poods.

10.  I’m a painfully terrible networker.   I wish I cared, but I don’t.  Sometimes I’m convinced I sound like Michael Scott.

11.  As I get older I’ve developed a much larger appreciation for gymnastic based movements.  Rings and handstand pushups can help with many phases of strength without the axial loading stress of the barbell.  I love movements that are low stress and deliver results.  Save your body as much as you can.  It’s not bulletproof.

12.  It seems many people interpreted our recent article on Carb Duality properly, and that just thrills me to pieces.  Carbs will always be for need so figure out how much you need to sustain your activity and get the proper amount.  An easy start; limit carbs throughout the day, demolish them after an aggressive workout.

13.  Been starting to think that diet is a taaaaaaad overrated for those already in great shape and strength.  Not like, go out and have intercourse with Carls, Jr. everyday, but definitely feel free to casually sleep with Baked Bear and foods you just plain enjoy when you want to enjoy them.   Trying to stay completely ripped your entire life is a miserable existence and also not ideal for peak performance.

I like Paleo, but I also like not Paleo.

14.  Very proud of my little brother Andy for recently graduating college.  To say he has been on quite a personal journey would be an understatement, and he has made me extremely proud each day.  He’s come all the way from thinking he was the Green Ranger, to battling personal demons, to becoming an absolutely hilarious, driven dude and I’m stoked about it.

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15.  Speaking of Power Rangers.  The Pink Ranger.  Very underrated babe from the 90’s.

16.  It cannot be overstressed how important it is to know your limits and find that formula of weekly effort you are capable of producing.  You just cannot show up to the gym and put forth 100% effort five days a week.  100% is a cliched term that’s been bastardized by dorks who make motivational fitness posters, but I mean that in literal context here, as in truly maximal effort that your body is capable of producing.  Pick a few movements in which you want to excel and focus on those a few at a time, dial back everything else and use them as compliments.  You can’t max clean, press, deadlift, squat, swing, sprint and jump every  time, every week.  You WILL break down.  There is a shit ton of progress to be had in the submaximal land of exercise.

17.  “Pritz, say something random for the article.”

“Waitresses at Olive Garden are not as happy as they appear on TV.”

Thanks…

18.  Drinking heavy cream or butter in your coffee will enable you to whoop Batman’s ass, Wesley Willis style.

19.  My “gun to the head” exercises would be:  deadlifts, front squats, kettlebell swing, push-up and box jump.  Curious to know what others’ would be as there’s really no wrong answer so long as it’s not hammer curl, preacher curl, EZ curl, decline curl and drag curl.

20.  Part II of things that make me want to cut myself.

  • Having to re-rack a set of dumbbells on the bottom third rack.
  • Melting a pan of butter to then realize I’m out of eggs.
  • Tourists asking us to rent boats for the day.
  • Barbers forcing small talk on me.
  • Bro’s having a casual cig at a gas station (man there are some dumb fucks in California).
  • Googling ‘Golden Corral’ and having ‘El Centro’ pop up.
  • The gym parking lot during summer.
  • Forgetting it’s street sweeping day.
  • Getting treats by myself.
  • Two nights in a row.
  • On the weekend.

 

21.  Some quick math.  I believe I have consumed around 4,575 eggs over the last five years.  I’m either a walking, talking example of how egg yolks are not harmful or will be dead by my 40’s.

22.  Meanwhile.  In Ireland.

23.  I’m starting to consider dabbling in short triathlons.  Nothing crazy, because I swim like Forrest Gump, but I have the competitive itch for something other than preschool recess activities against girls.  Where does one practice swimming casually?  Don’t say the ocean.  There are sharks in there.

24.  Some quick recognition for some of our hard working lacrosse athletes and their Spring accomplishments.

  • Christian Guinchard was named Coastal League Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Bishop’s MVP, and US Lacrosse All-American.   He is headed to play at Dartmouth this Fall.

 

  • Chris Carter was named 1st Team All C.I.F (the California state governing board for high school athletics) and Academic All-American.  He is headed to play at Notre Dame this Fall.

 

  • Lucas Gradinger was named C.I.F Overall Player of the Year, 1st Team All C.I.F and US Lacrosse All American.  He is headed to play at the University of Maryland this Fall.

 

  • Jake Kennedy was named US Lacrosse All American.

 

  • Coach Jono Zissi and his Torrey Pines Falcons were proud C.I.F. Champions.

 

We are very proud to have lent a small hand to the outstanding efforts of these coaches and young men.

25.  I have never been anywhere where I buy more shit I know for a fact I am going to throw away than Costco.

26.  Except for 26 ounces of peanut butter.  I absolutely need that.

27.  I recently lost my wallet in my house and had to cancel and re-order new credit cards.

In confirming the last purchase for my personal card I verified, “In N’ Out Burger on 5/31”.

In confirming the last purchase for my business credit card I verified, “In N’ Out Burger on 5/30”.  Sigh.

28.  Thought I’d give olives another go as it’s been a few years since I last tried one and I know taste buds can evolve.  Gave a marinated, feta stuffed olive a spin and well…

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There was no taste bud evolution.

29.  In case you missed it, Prancercise class is going to start at P360 July 1.  It’s going to go around the bay on the bike path and be a really stimulating workout in which Pritz and myself will personally choreograph and instruct.

30.  Everyone always says, “oh, to each their own” or “different strokes for different folks”.  Bullsheeeeyit.  That lady absolutely deserves to be made fun of for doing that crap on American soil.  Our veterans did not preserve our freedom for one to prancercise up and down parks.

31.  Easy things you can do to immediately help change your body composition:  swing a much heavier kettlebell, do more strength and less fat loss training, struggle more on your pull-up band, squat lower, throw the medicine ball harder, jump six inches higher, put another 25# on your barbell, show up more often.

32.  Recently saw a street sweeper doing about 15 down the middle merging lane of the highway.  Glad to see our outrageous business tax dollars go towards keeping napkins off the 5.  Not like California needs other stuff or anything.

33.  Kale.  Eat it.  Blend it.  Drink it.  Shoot it.

34.  There’s a lot about the human body I don’t know, but I do think that there is massive over thinking of exercise progression and load for beginners.  There doesn’t need to be eight different introductory movements.  Most people aren’t sedentary slobs, they can handle a light deadlift on day one.

35.  We’ve been doing snatches in Power Hour.   I’m not changing by philosophy on them, we simply feel certain folks have developed the requisite skill to do ’em.  My most recent statement on snatches from last year:

I don’t hate snatching. I just believe most people are thrown into it prematurely because it looks cool, and it’s not one of those exercises that has no room for error.  We have always had a training philosophy of, “engine before rims”.  Meaning, take care of your horsepower before you start accessorizing and bedazzling.  I don’t believe you should start overhead squatting or snatching before your squat and deadlift are at a respectable level of 2x body weight for deadlift and 225/155 for 5R squats, men/women.  If you are not at that point, your engine still needs a lot of work so you don’t need to worry about putting fresh ass rims on your Celica. Once you get that engine to American muscle level and have the proper combo of hip mobility, core stability and shoulder stability, then yes, proceed with snatching and overheads as a compliment and for continued development.

36.  I’ve frantically looked for sunglasses while wearing them, keys while holding them, and as previously mentioned, my phone while talking on it.

37.  I’m pretty decent at box jumps, jerks and anything overhead.  I am not so great at squats and deadlifts.  Chances are you won’t be the best at everything so stop having that expectation, start appreciating where you excel and focus where you don’t.

38.  It has been stated on the site before but the front squat is the best ab, core, trunk, whatever you want to call it exercise.  It leaves no aspect of the torso uncrushed and if there is an exercise that makes your core into a kevlar vest, this would be it.

39.  Lifting gear.  You need it.  Buy wrist wraps for cleans and jerks and lifting shoes for Olympic lifts.  You can get by without the former but the latter is an immediate fix for your complaints on your wrists hurting from those exercises.  They’re like fifteen bucks.  Spend the money.

40.  This is how I feel during the week when I eat clean and healthy.

 

41.  This is how I feel on Fat Sunday.

42.  Some recent findings from Brett Contrares’ Strength & Conditioning Research:

Not that we really needed a scientific study to prove common sense but Bloomquist, Langberg, Karlsen, et al recently proved that only full ROM parallel squatting produced improvements in jumping, lean body mass of the legs, isometric knee extension strength at certain angles, and front thigh muscle cross-sectional area while partial range of motion squatting produced improvements in just the front thigh musculature with no effect on performance.

Range of motion matters people.

43.  In How Can We Help People to Develop Lean and Healthy Bodies, Gutin concluded that current emphasis on calorie restriction should be reduced and that leanness should be promoted through vigorous physical activity and better dietary composition.  Better calories, not fewer calories.

44.  And my personal favorite, and why we don’t spend time stretching before class, Paradisis et al concluded that static stretching significantly reduced sprint speed in both boys and girls.  Lengthening muscles before you shorten them is a bad idea for any performance goals.

It’s highly recommend you subscribe to the S&C journal if you’re a training nerd.  It’s just ten bucks a month and it’s invaluable research.

45.  Stretching after class to cool down is a fine idea, though.

46.  The best is when friends of those featured in our videos comment that we’re doing box jumps wrong.

People doing fifty to sixty inch box jumps.

Wrong.

47.  I am the little girl from Signs.

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48.  I recently tried to do that little pan flip thing that chefs of the Food Network do and I all I did was get bacon grease on my shorts and sweet potatoes on my face.

49.  If I go to hell, it’s going to be one year olds crying all around me, Pitbull sitting next to me telling me over and over he is Mr. Worldwide and having to make cringe worthy small talk with a never ending an assembly line of rotating strangers.  All while on an airplane. In the middle seat.

50.  If I go to heaven, I will live in a modest home that has a basement filled with fresh scones for me to dive into like Scrooge McDuck every day.  I will also get paid a handsome salary to play fantasy football and baseball.

51.  If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

52.  Please.  Start.  Paying.  Attention.  To.  The.  Walls.  In.  The.  Gym.

There is important news on there.  We’re not posting the theory of relativity, it’s typically information on how you can hang out an do fun things with other fit attractive people at the gym who are awesome.  I know some of you think it’s funny, but it makes me want to physically harm you.  Repeatedly. Fucking read it.

53.  What I do when a little kid from the camp next door puts his face on our window and peers inside: “Heyyyyy little buddy!”

(aggressive happy wave because Mom or Dad is also there)

What I’m thinking:  “Get your greasy dirty little face and grubby little paws off our windows immediately.  And while you’re at it, here’s some 409 to erase your mouth print, Timmy.  Your roommate in 20 years is going to expect you to clean up after yourself, so you better learn now.”

54.  Did some quick quarterly inventory for our deadlift numbers.

  • (4) 500# men
  • (39) 400# men
  • (5) 300# women
  • (38) 200# women

Rad.

55.  There’s an old saying, “if you want to get stronger, lift with folks who can lift more than you”.  I don’t like that as much as I like, “If you want to get stronger, learn how, and do so by lifting with those who have more experience than you do”.

56.  The jokes about running are all tongue and cheek as we have some excellent endurance athletes in the gym.  Julie Rohmann recently placed 2nd in her age group in the Born to Run 10 miler Trail Run.  Kyle Atkinson, in his first marathon, ran a 3:30 at the Rock n’ Roll last weekend.  Erin Fitzmartin finished Top 10 in her San Diego Sprint Triathlon and Maria McTighe recently completed her first sub 7 hour Ironman.

57.  This makes me sad for our country.  Not to be an insensitive ass, but to quit in the championship match because of the crowd?  I can’t relate.

58.  The first person to try milk is both the bravest person and sickest bastard in the world.  Let me basically jerk this cow off and then drink it to see if it sustains me?  Was that the thinking?

59.  For those of you who like heavy lifting, your grip es muy importante.  Everything from farmer’s walks, to hang cleans to deadlifts.  In looking at farmer’s walks a lot of us leave weight on the table simply because of poor grip.  This grip technique showed to me by Robby Sparango took my farmer’s walk to over 400 pounds for the first time.  Rather than just picking up the weight and having your finger tips absorb it, this anchors it deep into your palm.  It makes an enormous difference, trust me.

60.  Drink a green protein shake every day with as many leafy greens as you can fit in the blender.

61. Speaking of blenders, get one.  Also, a crockpot is completely mandatory healthy eating gear, as are good knives and a willingness to spend time ya know, making food.

62.  Take ownership of your training.  You must challenge yourself but common sense must also rule the day.  It’s your job to decide what you can and can’t do.

63.  I used to be obsessed with getting our brand, writing and product out to the masses.  Now, I just don’t care.  We have a community here of over 300 strong in our first two years and that’s the only thing I care about.  Helping the people within our gym and growing it stronger each day, literally and figuratively.  I’m still passionate to the point of obsession about doing my part to help create the best gym in America, but I no longer care about validation from anyone outside the four walls of Performance360 and the awesome group that’s created it.  I’m kind of embarrassed that I actually cared about it in the first place.

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I firmly believe in the famous quote, “Don’t take life too seriously…you’ll never get out alive.”

Put thought into the people who matter.  For me it’s my family, friends, girlfriend and members of this gym.

Until next time!

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Dave Thomas is co-owner of Performance360 and is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Russian Kettlebell and USA Olympic Weightlifting.

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