Friday, September 18, 2015

What is useful

Over the years I've taken interest in sports whose athletes appear to be specialists at what they do. Gymnasts and rock climbers for upper body. Weightlifters (the sport, not powerlifting) for lower body. Boxers and kickboxers for whole-body quickness. Boxers also run for conditioning, but running is boring. Trail running, those people are crazy. 30-mile races in the mountains, some of them tethered to two Siberian Huskies. If you want to compensate for the boredom of running, be a dog sled. The point is that you may not be able to define physical artistry, but you can know it when you see it.

Bruce Lee famously said, "Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own". That can be hard to do in a formal sport, but it's easy to do when you train simply for your health. There are, in a sense, best ways to exercise different movements, and they're not all with the same implements.

Any good day is enriched by heavy squats, so these were two sets picked out of today's 5x5 session. I've been doing 5x5 at 195, 83% of 1RM. I'll practice this for another session next week, then test a move up. I've been walking out partials with 265 to acclimate to the feel of a heavier bar. It's a matter of time before I do sets with 225 and get that "two plates" notch on my belt.