Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Using straps when front squatting

I'm not the biggest fan of front squats.  Heck, I'm not the biggest fan of squatting.  But it's an integral part in any training programme so squat I must.

The latest programme I'm following requires quite frequent front squatting.  And recently I've stumbled upon a pretty cool way to ensure that I keep the bar racked properly without having the resort to breaking my wrists (due to inflexibility) or rounding my upper back, as is the case if I use the cross arm technique.

Instead, I use lifting straps to act as a pair of handles.  This way I can keep my elbows up in place without hurting my wrists.  I've tried it last night and while it does work better than the traditional or the cross armed hold, I still find it a bit difficult to hold the bar in place.

My straps setup.  Any pair of old lifting straps will do.
It's probably to be expected since I have a small frame anyway.  It's hard to rack the bar snugly in the first place.  I find it easier to keep the bar static if I flare up my elbows a little bit.  Does look a bit funny though. But all in all, I kind of like this setup.  Will keep at it and practice keeping the bar in position.

And oh... the video below demonstrates the different ways you can hold the bar up in place on a front squat. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lucky/Selfish: Another Rambling Rant

My dad is a lucky man.

He has diabetes, heart problems, and goes for dialysis 3 times a week.  But heck, he's a lucky man.

He's lucky because he has a family that takes care of him despite the fact that he could've easily avoided all these diseases if he would just take care of himself better.

When he was younger he's a multiple packs a day smoker.  Stays up late into the night.  Doesn't take care of his diet.

He was such a hardcore smoker that after having had bypass surgery, he solemnly promised not to smoke cigarettes again.  He didn't.  He graduated to cigars instead.

So yeah, he's a lucky man.

Lately I've been going through a healthy living phase.  I've always been a bit paranoid about my health since I know I've always been a weakling with a shot immune system.  Not to mention the fact that genetics-wise I'm fighting an uphill battle.

But I owe it to myself to take care of me.  Besides, I won't know if I would be as lucky as my dad.  He has people to fall back on when he's not feeling all too well.  I on the other hand have a higher probability of ending up dying alone.

And even if I have people who would take care of me, I owe it to them not to be selfish in the sense that they deserve better than to spend their days taking care of a sickly being.  People who take care of sick people are highly stressed individuals who need a support system of their own.

Of course, if you fall sick even though you've taken care of yourself decently enough that's just plain bad luck.  But the fact of the matter is most sick people have been selfish pricks for having been abusing their body for years and then depending on others to take care of them.

If you really love your wife/husband/children/brothers/sisters... you OWE it to them to take care of yourself.