Friday, September 28, 2007

Expand Your Horizons

It's Saturday October 27, 8 am to 12 noon! Email me for questions and registration info. We'll have some fun and show you the mobility and stability necessary to learn and perform weightlifting movements. This is a hands-on gig, so come dressed to move (if you like) and bring lots of questions. Keep in mind, this particular event isn't about lifting big weights; it is about understanding these total body movements and learning to use your legs! We'll have some great video clips so you can see what the elite athlete looks like, and you will be able to evaluate your own movement patterns with video feedback via Dartfish.

Thanks to Dan Thacker of Fusion Fitness and Laurie Miller of CrossFit St. Louis for supporting this event!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lunch anyone?

When I'm lucky enough to be home for lunch, I try like heck to make a giant salad--bigger than your head--with extra greens the foundation of the meal. Same for dinner. We keep a giant vat of salad (in the salad spinner bowl) in the fridge with the following staples:

fresh spinach, other greens, red onion, peas, corn, tomatoes, hearts of palm or artichoke hearts

Garnish with 1/2 an avocado, raw pumpkin seeds and freshly ground pepper. Add a dash of Annie's Goddess Dressing or something you've whipped up yourself. I'll also throw in some leftover roasted veggies (eggplant, peppers, b-sprouts), some veggie pot stickers or some shiritaki if available. Sprinkle on some nutritional yeast for a little B-12.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Melanie Roach: Comeback PRs and 6 for 6 at the 2007 World Championships!

Congratulations to my friend Melanie Roach, who just had a lifetime best performance in an international competition! This 32 y.o. mother of 3 and small business owner has come back from back surgery (herniated disc) 11 months ago to place 12th/44 in the tough 53 kg weight class at the World Championships in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Now older, wiser and more focused than ever, Melanie is relishing this journey in life and making every choice count. She and Coach John Thrush should be so very proud of this achievement! They are truly class people, with wisdom and perseverance beyond compare.

Let me share with you this email Melanie sent to her many friends and fans this morning from Chiang Mai:
I just competed in my 5th World Championships in Chaing Mai, Thailand

It was an incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life!

Weighing in at 52.75 kilos I posted the highest total I've ever done in international competition. I successfully made all 6 attempts, also a first for me.

My lifts were:

Snatch 74 kilos, 77 kilos, 79 kilos
Clean and Jerk 105 kilos, 107 kilos, 110 kilos

With a 189 total, I finished 12th out of 44 competitors

189 is 7 kilos more than I did in July at the Pan American Games and only 3 kilos off the American Record I set in 1998.

The coaches chose my attempts based on what was needed to acquire valuable team points. Our placing as a team will determine how many Olympic slots we will have for next years Olympics in Beijing.

Words cannot explain how amazing it felt to put together my biggest lifts in the biggest competition of my life! I truly enjoyed every minute!


It's been A HUGE group effort! Thank you to everyone who is making this Olympic pursuit possible!

Thank you to Dan, my sweetheart and biggest fan for coming all the way to Thailand to cheer me on! You ROCK! :-*

Thank you to our moms and papa roach for taking care of the kids!

Thank you to John Thrush, my long time coach who at times this training cycle I thought was CRAZY and now realize he is actually a genius! :-D

Thank you to Dr. Summers who keeps these old bones young! To think I almost quit because of the pain in my back. Thank you for everything!

Thank you to the all my teammates of the Calpian Weightlifting Club who make great training partners and inspire me to keep pushing everyday!

Thank you Tracy for coming out to Washington to video my lifts! The coaches couldn't believe the difference in my snatches! Yeah!

Thank you Mel J. for running Roach Gymnastics! This wouldn't be possible without you Mel!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

More Tour of MO pics

For some really fun pictures out on the course, check out John Musselman's gallery here! How cool to see all parts of the course lined with fans!

Tour of MO in STL

David Canada's bike! Even pros have to visit the porta-potty before the race!
Toyota-United dudes waving from their motorhome!
Discovery finally arrives in the team parking lot.
George Hincapie is mobbed outside the Discovery motorhome.

This image is just down from the start/finish on Market Street. It was a magical day for anyone who rides a bike and appreciates the sport of cycling. Who'd have dreamed this would be here, just a few years ago? We wished David Canada good luck after he hit the porta potty. Kevin had a nice chat with the Tecos racers from Mexico. Georgie rode right past us to sign in and be interviewed. We took in all of the sites and sounds of the expo at the start and then walked backwards around the 10 mile race course, back down to the Central West End, watching the race from both Lindell and Forest Park Parkway. It was amazing to watch the pack easily reel in a 3 minute break.

Can't wait 'til next year!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weightlifting Shoes

If you train with a barbell, doing any of the classical movements, I highly recommend weightlifting shoes. You can basically only order them online from distributors, buy them on E-bay, or possibly pick up a pair at a national meet or NSCA or CSCCA national meeting exhibit hall.

Bud Charniga, who distributes Adidas shoes in the US, has a nice article (with GREAT pics) on the history of the weightlifting shoe and why they are essential to the sport of weightlifting. You can see what he has available on his website. Other choices are DoWin , Gold Cup and VSAthletics.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two of my favorite things!

Yep, Ms. Millie (a.k.a. Methuselah Anne, 127 years old in human years) and my Adidas Equipment shoes. Millie supervised my little workout yesterday. She wasn't impressed--never is, really. I guess I'll have to leap up onto the kitchen or bathroom counter in one cat-like move or something. Not likely. Her power to bodyweight ratio, as expressed by vertical jumping ability, is as good as ever; even though she's experienced some feline sarcopenia. And her paw-eye coordination is still great.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Request

If you post a comment, please have the courtesy (and the cajones!) to leave your full name. If you want to ask me a question about a blog topic or post, and you really expect an answer, please email me via the blog. I am not interested in taking the time to respond to anonymous posts.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Learning Movement Fundamentals: ABC’s and Basic Vocabulary

If you sit at the mall or the airport for a while, you will observe many different bodies moving about in various ways. All accomplish the same task; some more efficiently and effectively than others. You wonder how some survive. Observe the asymmetries. Observe the postural changes gravity has affected. Keep in mind that many of these people have no idea what they look like when they are moving, nor do they easily perceive their body in space—that their torso is flexed forward, their feet shuffle, their knees hyperextend, one hip drops more than the other with each step, they lean their torso to one side to compensate for weak hip musculature.

Good, fundamental movement patterns are not a given for most adults and for many kids. I say most, not all. Many people would benefit from basic instruction in fundamental movements and how the body works most efficiently. It is like learning and practicing your ABC’s in grade school. You learn to print and write cursive. Then you learn to spell and develop a basic vocabulary. With this movement vocabulary, the athlete then expresses his or her creativity and sport skill via writing beautiful compositions. No two are exactly alike, but the trained eye sees the basic building blocks. Sometimes you have to go back and review the abc’s, vocabulary or fine tune some grammar, if there is an injury or a technique glitch.

The average person or the recreational athlete usually needs a bit more help with these fundamental movement building blocks. By actively teaching these building blocks, we help these people move well and avoid compensatory movements, maladaptive shortening (strengthening) or lengthening (weakening) of muscles and finally, injury. Unfortunately, the typical physical therapist doesn’t get to see these people until all of the compensatory changes have taken hold and the injury causes significant pain, impairment and possibly surgery.

My goal is to teach people their movement ABC’s and vocabulary from the beginning. Now how to do it without some silly gimmick or absurd promise of an ultra sexy body? Hmmm……