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You’ll find a functional or cable trainer in any commercial gym.

Cable machines feature two weight stacks that are connected by a cross beam. Weights can be adjusted in each stack by the user, and they are raised through a system consisting of cables and pulleys that travel up and along a track.

The weight stacks are closer together on a functional trainer. The pull-up bar is usually located between the weight stacks on functional trainers.

Cable machines/functional training trainers can be very versatile. Cable machines are much more versatile than weight-training machines, which can lock you in one position. They also allow for more dynamic movements and better balance and stability. With one machine you can perform multiple strength training exercises, isolate muscles and work them in different angles. You can use cable machines/functional training equipment to get a full-body workout.

This is especially useful when you are traveling. The hotel gyms tend to be basic, with limited equipment and a small room. They do offer functional trainers, so you can still get a great strength-training session on the road.

Chris Contois is my physical therapist here at Vitality Therapy and Performance in Tulsa. He is also a competitive athlete and has done some bodybuilding programming with me over the last year.

Chris has created a split for the upper and lower body that can be performed with either a cable machine, or functional trainer. In the two hotels that he has stayed at, the functional trainers had fixed handles. You couldn’t change the attachments to add a rope handle for example. He designed the functional trainer workout with the assumption that you may only have fixed handles. Functional trainers are not the best for leg training. You can perform some leg exercises on a functional trainer but your options are very limited. Chris suggests adding some plyos, or bodyweight exercises like air squats, if you feel you need to work your lower body more.

Exercises for Upper and Lower Body Cable Workout

Do all exercises for the upper body and lower body. Rest 90 seconds to 2 minutes between each set.

Upper Body

Mid-Back. Upper Chest. High-Handle Position Cable Crossovers: 4 x 10-15 Lats. High-Handle position Half kneeling Underhand pulldown: 4 x 10 (video shows overhand grip; just switch to underhand). Mid/lower chest. Mid-Handle Single Arm Chest press: 4 x 8-12 Shoulders. Low-Handle Cable Laterals: Four x 10 to 15 Biceps. Low-Handle Single Arm Cable Curls: 4 x 10 to 15 Triceps. Low-Handle Single Arm Tricep Extension Behind Head: 4 x 8-12 Abs. Mid-Handle Rotational Chop : 4 x 10.

Lower Body

Quads. Quads and Hamstrings. Low-Handle Cable Pull Throughs : 4 x 12-15 Quads, Glutes and Hamstrings. Low-Handle Split Stance Lunges: 4 x 8-10 Hamstrings and Low Back. Low-Handle Position Romanian Cable Deadlift: Four x 8-10 Outer Leg. Low-Handle Position Hip Abduction: 3 x 10-12Inner Leg. Low-Handle Hip Abduction: 3 x 10-12.

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Odds & Ends: July 12, 2024

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A vintage metal box labeled

SABANI Portable Charger 35000mAh Power Bank. The AllTrails app has downloadable maps that I use to navigate during backpacking trips. If you are out in the wilderness for longer than a single day, you will lose your phone battery. And there is nowhere to charge it. Before our last backpacking trip in New Mexico, I purchased this power bank to solve the problem. It worked perfectly. I used it to charge both my iPhone and Apple Watch while we were on vacation. This power bank can charge your iPhone five times and comes with four cables. This charger is not allowed on planes, so it’s best to save it for outdoor trips.

After watching the movie in 2016, we recently watched it as a whole family. The Founder shows how Ray Kroc, played by Micheal Keaton, went from a struggling, middle-aged, Willy Loman-esque salesman to building an international fast food restaurant empire through doggedness, ruthless cunning, and a dose of motivational Norman-Vincent-Peal-esque self-talk. Keaton is fantastic and the best scenes are the tension-filled phone calls between Dick McDonald and Nick Offerman, McDonald’s co-founder who was played by Keaton. Recently, after watching both this film and The Social Network, I have been reflecting on my own business philosophy. It is a paraphrase from the advice George Washington gave in delivering his farewell speech: avoid entangling allies.

Mr. Brightside. You know that I am a Killers die-hard fan. The 20th anniversary is the release of HotFuss by the Killers, which contains some of their biggest hits. One of my favorite songs to use as a PR boost-up for deadlifting is “All These Things That I Have Done”. But the song that has become a cultural touchstone, “Mr. Everyone starts singing Brightside as soon as it is played at any large gathering, such a a party or stadia. What is the appeal of this song over time? Mike Hilleary credits its universal theme of betrayal in romantic relationships and its sing-along structure. Listen to the song after you’ve read the article. Destiny calls you.

John Kay, Obliquity: How to achieve our goals in an indirect way. Although I read the book more than a decade before, its ideas still resonate with me today. In Obliquity economist John Kay argues that indirect methods are more effective than straight-forward paths in achieving big, complex goals. Kay says that adaptability, experimentation and flexibility are more likely to lead to success and happiness than rigid linear strategies. This book is full of interesting ideas.

Quote of the week

He who gives good advice builds with his right hand. He who gives both good counsel and good example builds with his left hand. But he gives admonishment and a bad example and builds with only one hand.

Francis Bacon

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My New Favorite Squat

I have done the barbell squat all my life. This is a great way to build strength in the lower body. I’ve also tried other squats: the front, goblet and belt squats.

This year, I’ve started doing the Hatfield squat. It’s my favorite squat.

This exercise is great. The traditional barbell squat was uncomfortable for me because of my cranky shoulders and knees. After years of frustration, the Hatfield squat made squatting enjoyable and productive after I tried to make barbell squats work for me. Hatfield Squats are also great for increasing quad hypertrophy. This is in line with my fitness goal to get more ripped. It has been a game changer in my training.

The Hatfield squat is a great alternative to barbell squatting.

What is the Hatfield Squat? What are its benefits?

The Hatfield Squat is named after the legendary powerlifter Dr. Fred Hatfield (aka Dr. Squat). It is a variation of a back squat that uses a safety barbell, which looks like an oxyoke.

The safety squat is placed on your back when you perform the Hatfield Squat. Instead of resting your hands on the safety bar, you can place them on an extra barbell or on a set handles placed at navel height on the barbell rack. You keep your hands on the barbell rack support as you lower yourself into the squat. This helps you maintain your balance, and a straight torso.

The Hatfield squat offers some unique benefits because of its increased stability.

Excellent for quad hypertrophy. The Hatfield squat is a great tool if you want to get legs that are as large as tree trunks. The increased stability of the Hatfield squat allows you to overload quads more than with a traditional one. You can focus more on the movement and less on maintaining your balance. This allows you to add weight or reps with greater intensity.

The Hatfield squat is great for squatting with injuries. Hatfield squats have allowed me to squat heavily again, despite niggling injuries I’ve had for years.

The traditional low-bar position made my shoulder pain worse because I suffer from shoulder tendonitis caused by bench pressing. I also struggle with shoulder flexibility despite all the time I spend working to improve it. You don’t need to hold the bar in your hands when doing the Hatfield Squat because you are using a safety bar. This completely relieves your shoulders of stress.

Hatfield squats have also helped me work around a pain behind my knee that I’ve been experiencing since 2020. Pain only occurs during the descent portion of a barbell squat. I have seen an orthopedic surgeon, and had an MRI done. But the source of my pain has not been identified. I think it’s an overuse injury to a tendon. The increased stability from the Hatfield squat, however, allows me to squat heavily and below parallel with no pain behind my knee.

Hatfield squats are also helpful for people with lower back problems. They allow them to squat without aggravating their injury.

Because of the Hatfield squats’ ability to reduce pain, I have also called them “Midlife Man Squats.”

This is an excellent accessory lift to the barbell squat. Hatfield squats don’t need to completely replace the barbell squat. You can also use the Hatfield Squat to supplement your barbell program. You could perform the Hatfield Squat on deadlift day for 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions to increase work capacity and hypertrophy.

You can also use the Hatfield Squat as a way to overload train in order to gain strength and confidence when lifting heavier weights. Do 3 sets of 3 repetitions using weights that are heavier than what you would normally lift with the barbell squat.

Here is a hypothetical program for barbells that incorporates the Hatfield Squat:

Lower Body Day

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Podcast #1,005: A Surprising Solution for Disordered Masculinity

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Media coverage and discussion about the challenges men face in modern times has been extensive. Some solutions have been offered to help men overcome these challenges. Dr. Anthony Bradley’s idea is one of the more unusual ones that you do not hear very often: revitalizing fraternities in college.

Anthony is a professor and research fellow. He wrote Heroic Fraternities, How College Men can Save Universities and America. Anthony gives his opinion on the current state of modern men, the differences between heroic masculinity and disordered masculinity. He also discusses the insight that a writer of the mid-20th century can offer on the different forms of disorder and why so many men choose to resign. Anthony believes that fraternities in college can help develop virtue. We discuss the nobler origins of fraternities and why they have devolved at some universities into organizations that are symbolic of the worst qualities of masculinity. Then we turn to Anthony’s six principled for revitalizing the potential of college fraternities in shaping great men.

Podcast Resources

The Epic Story Behind The Making of The GodfatherAoM podcast #758: The Epic Story behind The GodfatherAnthony’s framework and resources for the course that he teaches about the masculine journey

Anthony Bradley: Connect with him

Anthony’s Website

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