Well last week’s went pretty good so why not do it again. This is Your Weekly Stupid questions where I answer questions that you have.
Q. Pat, what do you think of ab rollers, do you use them? – Human Person
A. Yes, I like ab rollers as a matter of fact. They are a way to learn to brace and really can strengthen what is called your anterior chain.
The secret to ab rolling is to keep your back slightly rounded, like in a hollow hold. You actually do not want an arch or even a flat back when using this contraption.
Q. Pat, can you take a look at my exercise program and tell me what you think? – Human Person
A. I get two or three emails a day with people who want me to have a look at their training program and most of them start by saying, “Now, I know you get paid for this, but…”.
Now I don’t mind having a look at people’s programs, I wouldn’t mind having a look at yours. But do not expect a very much detailed response unless you are a coaching client, and that’s not because I demand payment (which I do) or I’m short on time (which I am) but because it is actually very hard for me to tell whether or not a program is right for someone without me working with them.
Because there is really only one thing that matters and this question you can ast’ yourself:
Am I making progress?
If the answer is no you need to figure out why, exactly. This is the hardest part for most of us because it means admitting a weakness which we are all pretty terrible at. The most common example is people sending me their training program asking why they aren’t losing any weight while ignoring the nutritional side of things. I would say this is about 90% of cases.
People tend to want to “fix” what they’re already good at and ignore the stuff that would take a real kind of doing over. I’m guilty of this as well and have had to admit weakness many times and it is never easy.
For fitness the problem for me was nutrition. (Then it was overtraining.)
For music the problem for me was ear training.
For business the problem for me was systems.
Most of my problems weren’t something I was even weak at they were something I was putting off. So what I would do is I would try to get better at the stuff I was already pretty good at. My training led to more training. My lack of learning by ear meant more learning by sight. By lack of systems meant more of a grind and personal hustle.
But it wasn’t until I really said well what was going on and ast’ why am I not making the progress I seek, and then saying, OK, OK, I get it now: Here is what I suck at, and here is what I need to fix.
THAT was when I became truly fit, truly a musician, and truly a business person.
Q. Is it pointless to workout (metcon) when one is exhausted/sleep deprived? – Human Person
I would not do any kind of high intensity exercise while exhausted or sleep deprived because this is where you can take a stress that would be positive and make it negative and everything a whole lot worse.
Here is what I would do instead. Jump rope, go for a brisk walk, and practice some gentle flow of some kind, like yoga. Do not do anything that is overly taxing on the nervous system like complexes or heavy deadlifts or front squats.
Or if you are like me and sleep deprived because of children well here is the conversation I woke up to.
“You have a baby in your belly, Mom?” (Roan, my son. 3 years old.)
“Yes, Roan, I have a baby in my belly.” (Christine, my wife.)
“You ate the baby, Mom?”
“No, honey, I didn’t eat the baby, it’s just growing in there.”
“Eat the baby later, then, Mom?”
“Uh, no, I don’t think I’m going to eat the baby, it’s actually going to come out in a couple of months.”
PS – You might also enjoy my Inner Circle because banging your head against the wall only burns 150 calories an hour.