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Messages - Gabe Arnold

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Diet / Paleo Diet Ranked Dead Last for Best Diets by US News
« on: September 10, 2012, 09:37:07 AM »
US News & World Report rates Paleo Diet last on the list (24/24) while the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) takes first.

Thoughts from my nutritionally or fitness minded friends?

"The Freerunner" Magazine / Re: RISE - A Parkour Story
« on: August 26, 2012, 06:47:48 AM »
Thanks guys! For all those who are looking for the complete story, need to catch up, or anything in between, here you go.

Even after all these years to hear that people still read this story and like it gives me a huge smile. :)
I have plans to one day re-edit and expand the story/characters into a proper novel, just trying to get real life into order.
And I agree, the prologue I originally wrote was pretty cliche. It was all I had at the time haha!

General Fitness / Re: my new piece of equipment
« on: May 07, 2012, 10:03:13 AM »
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At :22, good enough for Rocky, good enough for me.

If you want a fascinating and largely true view of doping in elite sports, read "Speed Trap" by Charlie Francis. He was the coach of Ben Johnson who won the 100m sprint gold medal in the 1988 Olympics but it was later stripped from him due to a failed drug test. In the book Francis flatly admits that they used PEDs and everyone did.

Here's an interview he did a while back too.;jsessionid=F06DD2C6F3B275E67D48C448BA4A646E-mcd02.hydra

General Fitness / Re: Full Body Bodyweight Workout
« on: April 18, 2012, 09:03:45 AM »
^ What Steve said.

And when it comes to legs, it can be hard to improve them without weights like barbells/kettlebells/etc. We are walking and jumping around on them on a daily basis so they tend to be pretty strong. If you're determined to not use weights for lower body exercises, try looking into some of this stuff from Ido Portal.

General Fitness / Re: Help with flexibility
« on: April 18, 2012, 08:57:35 AM »
Jujimufu also has amazingly comprehensive info about flexibility, based on the Stretching Scientifically book referenced by Joe. And it's free!

General Fitness / Re: Weight help?
« on: April 05, 2012, 10:31:03 AM »
  • Eat more food
  • Lift more weights
  • Practice more Parkour
  • Read the forum stickies as mentioned above

If there aren't any decent training structures nearby, build some. If there's a Home Depot within driving distance you've got all the raw materials you need to build precision trainers, rail trainers, vault boxes, etc. Got a forest or woodland/river/mountain nearby? Go there and practice running and climbing around.

EDIT: Also, KC just posted this awesomely simply guide to answer your weight question.,38630.0.html

General Fitness / Re: Starting Strength
« on: April 05, 2012, 10:27:24 AM »
Well said Steven, I can agree with that. We might differ on the when and how for exercise selection but I agree with building strength and proper development, especially for beginners.

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There's a LOT of material from this man that seeks to downplay Paleo-style eating and point out flaws in the proponents' views, as well as a push for vegan and vegen-like diets.

I've watched some of his video series (it's over 60 videos in depth!) and read some of his articles. It seems his major attacks are based around...

  • Paleo not being supported by good research
  • Much of Paleo is derived from historical/archaeological data and not science
  • The proponents of Paleo are by and large not reputable scientists
  • Veganism has been unfairly vilified and is not only an alternative to Paleo and SAD diets, but preferable

I'm interested to hear others' opinions of this guy and what he has to say. All it seems to reinforce in me is that there are so many ways people can eat, who can say precisely what will work best for everyone?

General Fitness / Re: Starting Strength
« on: April 04, 2012, 08:35:12 AM »
I feel like my point is being missed about single leg training. I don't mean that single leg training mimics PK training in a specific way. It's just a different way of getting GPP. Balancing on a slackline and balancing on one foot for a bulgarain split squat are not the same - the slackline is unstable and requires almost completely technical skill, whereas the split squat only requires base level balance on a stable surface than all strength after that.

The point I'm trying to make about single leg training is that you can build up as much if not close to as much strength using those methods as you can bilateral exercises, and with less chance of injury and burnout because of the reduced weight. If you have balance issues on one leg you shouldn't be doing heavy squats or deadlifts anyway, IMO, because your other leg will be working harder to compensate.

Why do you say a bulgarian split squat is a poor way to build strength? Because it uses less weight? But truth is after learning the exercise you can load up more than half of the weight you could handle on two legs onto a single leg. Strength coach Ben Bruno explains.

"While the overall loads will undoubtedly be less than in a traditional bilateral squat, the comparative load on each leg will generally be much higher. In my experience, after some practice getting used to the movement, most athletes will use 65-85% percent of the loads they use in the back squat, and this is on one leg. The number is typically closer to 75%, and in some cases, the numbers are virtually identical with athletes with back squatting technique. Personally, I have repped out upwards of 275 lbs on the RFESS and could not come close to squatting 550 for reps, or even 405 for that matter. Of course, some people will argue that the rear leg provides some assistance during the RFESS, and I will submit that it surely does. Nevertheless, the disparity is just too large to ignore. To understand this phenomenon further, you may want to look into something known as the bilateral deficit."

Single leg strength training is meant to be a comparative but safer way to strengthen the lower body, not as a poor substitute. I am not denying the effectiveness of squats and deadlifts. I am questioning the mentality that they MUST be done to see results. A rock and a hammer will both get the job done of slamming in a nail, but the hammer is a more focused tool that won't potentially damage the surrounding wood in the process. That is how I look at bilateral vs. unilateral training.

Box jumping a massive height will come from great strength. I submit that great strength can be built with a mixture of methods, not just one.

Squats and deadlifts are proven to work. If they work for you and don't beat you up too much go for it. If they don't, because of mobility, past injuries, CNS fatigue, or simply a dislike, why force yourself to? Coaches have proven other methods to work and science is beginning to back that up.

To finish, I also submit this interesting article. How Much Strength Do Athletes Need?

Parkour is a highly explosive and strength based practice, but ultimately, you have to decide how much strength you really need and where that strength will come from. For my money, I like to use as many bulagrain split squats, skater squats, and single leg hip thrusts as I do deadlifts and back squats.

General Fitness / Re: Starting Strength
« on: April 03, 2012, 10:13:19 AM »
I'm pretty much in agreement with Rafe and Steven on this one. Deadlifts, squats, and other stuff when the athlete shows the ability to properly perform them without unnecessary side-effects.

Joe, about the Bulgarians and step-ups, it's not really a fair comparison. They were training for Oly-lifting, which is a bilateral, highly specific sport. For them it makes sense to forgo stuff like step-ups cause the carry over isn't worth the time. We Americans were too short-sighted to see that haha.

But Parkour and Freerunning involves a lot of single leg strength and explosiveness, like striding, wall runs, running precisions, and cranes. So to me it would make sense to involve a little single leg training, if for nothing else feeling the proprioception needed when handling demands on one leg.

And I love the Dr. House pic, I'll see you that one and raise you another.

General Fitness / Re: Starting Strength
« on: April 01, 2012, 10:51:14 AM »
Using the same weight as you would a full ROM deadlift but from a higher pin or platform. I should've been more clear on that so that's my bad.

Quite a few coaches and trainers are straying away from heavy squatting for instance because you can get similar results with single lef training.
"Single leg exercises provide much the same training stimulus to the legs as bilateral exercise but with a significant reduction in the weight used. Having to support less weight on the back makes these exercises a much friendlier option for the back and shoulders. Research soon to be published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that single leg exercise may also elicit a similar hormonal response to bilateral exercise, this is important for strength and growth."

Less weight to have to be handled but similar results and less fatigue on the CNS (which can get fried with all the explosive/plyometric style training that PK involves) sounds pretty good to me.

I think Starting Strength was written with the general population in mind. It is a great program and resource for those seeking to gain raw strength which would include athletes and recreational lifters. But it's one approach to performance enhancement and, IMO, written with a bare bones, old-school mentality. Does it work? Abso-freaking-lutely, the results speak for themselves.

But I feel there are other, equally valid ways of training, some of which might work better for the PK/FR athlete. (ie, bodyweight strength training, single leg training, etc.) SS is a strong tool in a big toolbox. If it works for the individual go for it, but if parts of it are proving problematic, I want people to know there are other options.

General Fitness / Re: Starting Strength
« on: April 01, 2012, 09:29:09 AM »
What do you mean by "athletic" gains?  Is this a reference to sport specific?

Also, Rack Pulls are not now nor have ever been a good replacement for a full ROM Deadlifting.  Pulling an 18" Dead is going to simply equal more weight for a shorter distance.  We do them as a strongman event, and I cannot see any benefit of a #550 18" DL over a #405 full ROM deadlift.  Especially when performing reps, as the spring of the bar on a Rack Pull allows a "rhythm" to be set, and if it isn't hit with precision, there's a counter swing of the bar during the up pull.  This is a recipe for disaster once things get heavy.

Athletic gains in the sense of risk vs. reward. Many practitioners are movement first and conditioning second - they workout to make their PK/FR movements bigger, higher, faster, and to decrease likelihood of injury. With that in mind, I feel exercise choice should maximize reward and minimize risk. The ultimate goal is strength and power that carries over well to Parkour, not bigger lifts for the sake of bigger numbers. Essentially, what exercises produce the strength I need with the least likely chance of injury and the lowest learning curve? For me that means back squats, conventional deadlifts, bench press, and cleans might not be my first choices.

I am not throwing out the big lifts completely. The effectiveness of them cannot be denied. If you can perform deep back squats correctly and see results from them I encourage you to continue. But they can be tough and complex maneuvers to learn, especially without in person help. Each individual presents with different challenges and I feel telling someone simply "do Starting Strength" and hoping they do things right by looking at words and pictures from a book is hopeful at best.

When it comes to deadlifts, I am in agreement that conventional full ROM lifts are amazing; they're one of my favorite exercises. But not everyone can get that low and lift safely with correct form, not right away at least. So trap bar lifts and rack pulls can be a way to get them started and working toward full ROM. They're not a replacement as much as a progression, like goblet squats are to back squats.

Consumer Whores / Re: -Efficient Non-Costly Freerunning/Parkour Shoes-
« on: March 31, 2012, 08:45:42 PM »
Dont they feel like they slide around alot? They work...But how long will the traction last and I felt kinda out of control while sprinting in them.

They slide around a little more than other, more structured shoes but not enough to make me use something else. The feel I get from the ground and the light weight make up for the looser feel. And I haven't had a problem with grip yet, I actually just ran the American Ninja Warrior course in these and they performed great.

"I have not invented a 'new style,' composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from 'this' method or 'that' method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Parkour is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see 'ourselves'. . . Parkour is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don't, and that is that.

There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Parkour is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Parkour is simply the direct expression of one's feelings with the minimum of movements and energy.

Finally, a Parkour man who says Parkour is exclusively Parkour is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive.

Again let me remind you Parkour is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back."

Modified from Bruce Lee's statements about Jeet Kun Do.

General Fitness / Re: Starting Strength
« on: March 31, 2012, 07:52:42 PM »
I tried SS for two months a while ago and saw okay results. Probably would have needed to be more consistent with it and perfected my technique more first to see greater results.

However, I'm growing disenfranchised with SS. It's a great book for general strength building and a fantastic stepping stone to the world of weight training. But since most people on these forums (IMO) are interested in athletic gains that further their PK/FR abilities, I see SS as a little limited.

Not everyone can safely perform back squats and other variations (goblet, front, RFESS) can produce equal athletic gains without the learning curve or drain on the body. Deadlifts are always good but trap-bar deadlifts can be safer as well as pulls from racks and elevated blocks. Bench press is notoriously rough on the shoulders and can be made safer with neutral grip bars, dumbbells, floor presses, or loading push-ups with chains/etc. Overhead barbell press is good if your shoulders are mobile enough, otherwise you can be better off with dumbbell presses. Power cleans and O-lift variations are fantastic but take a lot of time to perfect, time I'd think most practitioners would rather spend perfecting technical skills outside.

In short, I endorse SS with reservations. I think there are better exercises that can be performed with less risk. Or at least the big ones from SS can be supplemented more with ones easier on a body wanting to train PK/FR at the same time. 

General Fitness / Re: Training feels like crap, overtraining?
« on: March 13, 2012, 12:50:04 PM »
Also, what does your PK technical training look like these days? Are you resting as much between movements as you used to? Are you hitting bigger/farther things on a consistent basis?

On an anecdotal level, when I first started out jamming for several hours wasn't too hard because the stuff I was doing was lower level and there was lots of downtime. Now when I train I don't usually rest longer than 5min at a time before hitting another movement and most of those movements are 10-20% bigger than my base level would have been before. Thus, I tire a little more quickly.

General Fitness / Re: workouts to increase lache swing
« on: March 03, 2012, 07:19:41 PM »
Just curious when would the swing be of use

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Any time you gotta move around quick using your arms.

As to the question, I think the first thing you would want to do is figure out where the sticking point might be in your swing, if distance is your goal. A lot of people have much more power than they realize but don't get a full swing or release due to fear or hesitation. Practice the lache more, see if you're losing power at any particular point, like the back swing, release, or even the start-up.

In general though, pull-ups and muscle-ups should help, as well as strengthening the core (planks, hand walkouts, etc.) for the whipping motion at release.

General Fitness / Re: Critique my schedule (Criticism encouraged)
« on: February 29, 2012, 10:48:48 AM »
Can you give us an idea of your stats? Height, weight, personal bests in different exercises like broad jump and number of pull-ups without letting go of the bar?

By and large newcomers need to work on strength. So, read up on the bodyweight strength skills for your upper body, lift and squat some heavy weights for your lower body, and practice your Parkour skills on the days in between. For example...

- Front Lever Progressions
- Muscle-Up Progressions
- Barbell Squats

- Back tuck training
- Balance training

And so on and so forth. Define your current state, define where you want to go (goals) then pick the routine and exercises to take you there.


But in all seriousness...

He's adorable! Good luck, I hope he grows up as strong and awesome as his parents. :)

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