Bounce A Little Higher: Moving Past The Squat

Bob Charron teaches some epic weekend workshops. It was at one of his workshops I was first introduced to the “Farmer Burns” workout. I loved it. It opened my eyes up to the value of old-fashioned calisthenics, and also got me into Catch Wrestling, which became a real love. The Farmer Burns workouts became a staple warmup for the classes I taught, and I shared them at workshops. When Devon and I start putting together the workouts for Academie Duello, there was never any question of the good old Burns being the staple. The squat is the key of the workout, and it’s a good exercise. If you’re a Western Martial Arts student, you’ve probably tasted the pain of a series of squats. I’m guessing most AD students can probably still do a minute worth of squats without any real effort. One of the problems of a squat, for students…

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Leg pain from cycling…figured it out!

My weekend was shot due to muscle pain and serious joint swelling after five days of cycling. It was unusual for me because the overall workload and intensity was low…compared to what I usually call a workout. So a little research shows that IL-6 production (interluekin-6) increases with the intensity and number of muscles involved in exercise. Sprinting gives you a huge boost of IL-6, jogging only a little bit. Since cycling involves only the legs, that’s less muscle. It has been observed that in low intensity exercise like jogging, IL-6 production doesn’t even start until later in the workout. And jogging involves more muscles than cycling, so produces more IL-6. So I’m thinking that my cycling sessions, at an average of 35 minutes each, are probably ending right about the time my body is starting to ramp up IL-6 production. Bummer. Since IL-6 serves to decrease inflammation (It also…

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A little bit about calories.

  What, exactly, is a calorie? You eat a chocolate bar, it has 325Kcal. You bike for half and hour, you burn 325kcal. Great! So if we chop up a chocolate bar in smaller and smaller pieces, at some point will we find tiny little pellets of calorie? No. Well, yes. Sort of. What we will find, eventually, are little crystals. Molecules of sugar. Calories are sugar. A whole lot of sugar crammed together is fat. Or protein. Obviously, I’m greatly simplifying the process. Let’s look at what actually happens when you “burn” a calorie, and what happens to the “calories” you eat. Our muscles are loaded with a thing called ATP. Adenosine Triphosphate. If you follow the common advice and don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce, you could avoid eating this. You won’t live very long though. ATP is the molecule in our muscles that allows them to move.…

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