--From the archives, in the old email format--
The StrongFast Planet Newsletter (StrongFast Fitness)
The official newsletter of StrongFast Fitness
and Earthlings everywhere.
August 14, 2012
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In this issue...

  • What's New at StrongFast?
  • Feature Article: For Non-Olympians Only
  • Fitness Found Online
  • Recipe: Fried Spicy Tuna Bacon Meatballs

What's New at StrongFast?

Want stuff with the cool StrongFast logo on it? Find anything from a water bottle to a hoodie, and plenty more, all at the StrongFast online store.

Last chance for the members-only (sort of) free session on hip hinging tomorrow, August 15th at 6:30 pm. This will be an hour of instruction and practice exercises to help ingrain the hinging movement. As noted last week, this will not be a hard workout so you can do it even if you have something intense in your Blitz that day. As for the "sort of" part, members can bring a guest, also for free. Guests don't need to sign up; members sign up in Blitz Central. See you there!

And a reminder about the Saturday morning B52-Z Metabolic Resistance Training that continues for the rest of August. These are open to all comers for just $15 a session. StrongFast members can sign up in Blitz Central; non-members at blitzometer.com. Look for the "Saturday Morning B52-Z Workout" Blitzes. Each class is still limited to eight people, so join soon!
"I went to a gym. They offered me free membership for life if I posed
for a 'Don't let this happen to you!' poster."

-Jeff Stilson

Feature Article

For Non-Olympians Only

Olympic torch You may know that the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London wrapped up over the weekend. There was plenty of excitement, including Michael Phelps becoming the winningest Olympian ever, and a shocking scandal in the Badminton competition. (That doesn't sound right, does it?)

Olympic competitors have widely varying fitness levels. We see the tremendous aerobic capacity of marathoners, the incredible strength of weightlifters, the amazing flexibility of gymnasts, the compelling uniforms of beach volleyball players, and so much more.

But here's the thing about Olympic athletes: most of them have reached their physical peak. Some may return to the next games in even better shape, while others may go on to (or continue) professional careers that allow them to grow further. But generally, they have sacrificed and trained to be their absolute best. If that's you, here's the bad news: it's all downhill from here. The sprinters won't get faster, weightlifters won't get stronger, and the badminton players won't get more scandalous.

For the rest of us, though, there's probably plenty of upside. We can get stronger and faster than ever, even if we're no longer in our prime fitness years. That can provide great motivation: it's exciting to hit PRs (Personal Records) any time in life, but seems even more special when we're "past our prime" (not that I'd know, being just a kid myself). Whether running our fastest mile or deadlifting our heaviest weight, PRs rock.

muscle But PRs, particularly strength-related, are more than just feel-good moments, because with age comes an inevitable loss of muscle. Beginning at age 50, an untrained body will lose one to two percent of its muscle mass per year. Even the best-trained athletes lose ten percent or more per decade. And strength declines twice as fast as muscle tissue. While weight training can help slow the process, there is currently no known way to stop it. Consider the recently departed and totally awesome Jack LaLanne who lifted fanatically. (In fact, he might still be around had he not tried to train his way out of pneumonia.) While he still had impressive strength at age 96, it was a far cry from his peak and his body was significantly smaller than when he whipped Arnold in a Muscle Beach strength contest (when Jack was 54 and Arnold 21).

The loss of strength and muscle is inexorable, but here's the thing: the more of it we have when the age-related atrophy (known as "sarcopenia") begins, the longer we can remain relatively strong. It's basic arithmetic. Or maybe rudimentary algebra.

So it's never too late to reach your peak, and the higher you can go, the longer it will take to descend. And that's a good thing. I know I still have PRs in me and look forward to reaching them. Someday, in the far distant future, they won't happen any more, but that's OK. By then, my peak will be high enough to afford me a wonderful view and a long, slow descent--kicking and screaming--that I can really enjoy (yes, that's right, I really enjoy kicking and screaming) until I finally get that long-promised flying car. (The linked one is actually kind of lame. Where's the Jetsons version?) But I plan on still being able to push it if it gets stuck in the snow.

That's actually kind of a cool life goal for the over-30 crowd: "I will be able to push my flying car if it gets stuck in the snow." Now get out there, non-Olympians, and set some PRs!

Be seeing you.


Fitness Found Online

summer beach
Over at Mark's Daily Apple is a list of 32 ways to savor the rest of summer. Better read it soon. Tick tock. Or I guess you could bookmark it for next year.
Eric Cressey has a post about people who try to drag you down. It's geared towards heavy lifters and has a frat boy tone, but the message applies to anyone trying to improve their lives.

Recipe: Fried Spicy Tuna Bacon Meatballs

Oh no, it's fried! Oh no, it's bacon! Oh no, it's yummy! I'd make a couple changes to this one. First, use coconut oil instead of olive oil for its higher smoke point. And second, (at least) double the recipe.
tuna bacon meatballs Fried Spicy Tuna Bacon Meatballs.
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