Thursday, February 11, 2016

From Olympia to Atlanta: A Cultural-Historical Perspective on Diet and Athletic Training

Galen, the prominent Greek physician, was the doctor to gladiators, and he practiced medicine at Pergamum, in the geographical region now in western Turkey. His principle contributions to athletics are through two essays that consider exercise in general and how to train gladiators. He presents the advantages of exercise using a small ball, as the following selection reveals: The best philosophers and the best doctors among the ancients have frequently stated how beneficial exercise is toward health, and that it must precede eating. ... I say that the best athletics ... are those which not only exercise the body but are able to please the spirit. ... Play with a small ball is so much a people's activity that even the poorest man is able to have the equipment. ... [Such exercise] needs neither nets nor weapons nor horses nor hunting dogs, but only a ball, and a small one at that. ... This kind of exercise is the only one which moves all parts of the body so very equally. ... Many [other] exercises achieve an opposite effect: they make people lazy and drowsy and dull witted. ... [Many] who work out at the palestra [tend] toward being muscular rather than toward the pursuit of excellence. Many have become so weighed down that they have difficulty breathing. ... Perhaps you will suppose that I recommend running and other exercises that slim down the body. ... That is not the case. ... I assert that every [exercise] should be practiced in moderation. ... Accordingly, I do not approve of ... running [with] which people slim their bodies and in which they gain no practice or manly spirit. Victory does not go to those who flee quickly but to those able to persevere in confrontation. ... If you should ask how healthy running is, the answer is that in the same measure that it unequally exercises the parts of the body, it is unhealthy. For by definition [running] has to overwork some parts and leave others utterly idle. Neither of these is good, [and] both nourish the seeds of diseases and render one's forces feeble. Accordingly, I approve of exercise which produces a healthy body and a balance between the various parts of the body, and along with that a fine spirit.
Louis E. Grivetti and Elizabeth A. Applegate

Thursday, July 2, 2015

This Intermitent Fasting - it's a new trend?

“Obese people and those desiring to lose weight should perform hard work before food. Meals should be taken after exertion while still panting from fatigue. They should, moreover, only eat once per day and take no baths and walk naked as long as possible.”

Thursday, December 18, 2014


1970s Powerlifters photo set, from the invaluable Bruce Klemens.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Keeping Balance While Specializing

Sane thoughts on what to do with the other aspects of your training when you're specializing on one lift - The REST of Your Program.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Do more pushups.

If you are weights focused, you probably need to do more. Can you do a set of 40 on demand? This is merely maintenance level.

Monday, September 29, 2014


The smallest steps can be taken the most often.
Productive work can be done frequently.
The deepest inroads take longer to recover from.
It is a power law distribution. Your true max Max MAX cannot be drawn from frequently.
All modes of lifts can lead to strength.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Training Articles

A whole bunch of training articles collected here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014