Jasper Roberts - Blog

Saturday, March 12, 2016

How to Eat an Orange

I love oranges but I have always heated peeling them. For the last several years I've been using this hack I came up with to quickly peel ornages. tehcnically the hack PREPARES the orange to be peeled and doesn't actually  peel the orange, but it saves me time and a lot of frustration.

Start with a a common paperclip (preferably a larger one, not the tiny ones commonly used). Open it up a bend it into a final shape as in the picture. There are two important elements, the rest of it doesn't matter as much. You do need to use a pair of pliers to put a sharp bend in one end, about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch in length. this is the tip that will be slicing through the peel. Secondly, you need a larger hook on the end for your pinky to but up against.

After this is formed and it fits comfortably in your hand grab the orange with your other hand and press the thumb into thew top of the sharply bent tip so that it penetrates the orange peel at the top stem area. Drag the slicer from one end of the orange to the other end. Do this four more times, equally spaced so that you can peel four separate peel sections off. No sharp nails required!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Range Of Motion (The Secrets)

range of motion

Range of motion (ROM) refers to how far you can move a bodily appendage back and forth along a particular direction. Doing a “split” demonstrates a large range of motion, although this may not necessarily be functional range of motion- meaning your legs might be able to be forced without pain into the split position, but you may not be able to move them into that position yourself using your own bodily musculature. Further, once at that extreme range of motion there may be some variation in your ability to push or pull with your legs.

The largest amount of strength and power is typically found closer to either the middle range of a particular motion or to one particular end of a range. It’s easier to squat more weight when your legs are closer to being locked out (standing), than it is when your ass is scraping the ground. This is one reason that many people find pistol squats so difficult (in addition to the flexibility requirements for this move). And the reason you see so many crappy videos of people doing what are essentially half-pushups when they claim to be (full) pushups is that the full power resides close to the lockout and much less power resides in their range of the belly touching the floor. It’s harder to do this, so they train it less. Consequently the pushup is trained more in the main power range and the vicious circle is continued. Hyper focus on the middle range will have some carryover to the weaker range of motion, but it’s terribly inefficient and creates imbalances.

Flexibility is another term thrown around too much. You need a decent level of flexibility to even have the conversation about having strength within extreme ranges of motion. Flexibility can be improved but it should ultimately be done so with the idea in mind of building strength in the extended ranges of motion.

You'll find a lot of info out there about improving range of motion, usually related to "stretching". But there are three things you’ll hear very few people (if any) talking about:

  1. Strength in the extreme ranges of motion.
  2. Stretching as a lead-in to developing strength in those ranges (rather than simply trying to be "flexible”).
  3. The separation of strength training specific ranges of motion SEPARATELY on purpose.

First, as I mentioned earlier having strength throughout an entire range of motion is essential to mastering a move and being truly strong in that move. Many people will claim to be able to do a hundred handstand pushups but take away the kipping, push the hands closer to the body to increase the range of motion, and force them to slow down and carry out the full and complete range of motion touching the head to the floor and fully extending the arms….and you’ll see that one hundred to drop to ten.

My experience has been that one can avoid unnecessarily overtraining the middle range and make safer, fuller gains by adding in focused ROM training for a particular skill. For example, in pursuing the one-arm chinup (OAC) I have been doing focused ROM work for some time. With the constraint that I have limited time to train, I have successfully used focused ROM work attain the ability to explode from chin-to-bar to a “bar-to-sternum” position carrying an additional 45 pounds (weighted).  I have also gained the ability to do a legitimate “half-one arm chin-up”, lowering to 45° and then pulling chin to bar with one arm. I regularly work what I call “bottom-ups”: holding onto the pull-up bar with one hand and pulling up as high as I can from the bottom. To the uninitiated this looks like I am unsuccessfully trying for one arm chin-ups for reps, and in some ways I am, but here I focus specifically on strength in the bottom range of motion. This work is typically done holding a dumbbell in the other arm.

This concept is valuable in many skills, and I also use it in pursuit of the press-to-handstand and the planche, as well as my squat work. One weakness I recently identified in myself is probably NOT a weakness for most people, and I have started to do some mid-range squat work. Since my focus in maintenance for squat work has been more aimed at the lower body position in the squat (pistols, shrimp s, etc.), and less in the mid-range, I feel I can benefit from adding some conventional weighted squat work as well as some mid-range bodyweight squat work.

Keep moving forward.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Great Facebook Post - How to Go From Skinny to Muscular

I found a wonderful post on the Convict Conditioning facebook group page from James Hirshfield. It's re-posted here with permission unedited. His post resonated with me because I'e always been considered "skinny" even into my 30's until I took measures to add weight and muscle. The interesting thing is the eating part, which has been confirmed by many people including Tim Ferris (Four Hour Body, etc.). It gives you a appreciation for how hard it is for many people to LOSE weight, by experiencing your own difficulty in GAINING weight. Anyway, here is James's post. It's one of the best "How to Gain Weight for Skinny Guys" articles Ive read a long time.

No Bullshit Plan - Skinny to Muscular.
This is how I personally went from 6’3” 149lbs to 170 in 12 weeks.
I’m not gonna start this off by saying its easy, in fact its quite the opposite. If you’re reading this, you and I are few are far between.
“You’re so lucky, you can eat whatever you want and you’re still skinny”
“Eugh, I hate you, you’re so skinny”
“People like you don’t understand, it’s so hard to lose weight”
“Pencil legs”
“Treasure chest (sunken)”
“I bet you blow away when its windy”
If you’ve heard any of these, you’re in the boat I was in. These people are so wrapped up in their own world, they don’t realize the possible traumatic chaos it causes in your own head. I would look in the mirror and just see bone. I would see someone equally skinny, and think, “i hate that”
You’re an easy target, and you’re probably your own worst enemy. Well i’m gonna tell you something. If you REALLY want to change, and I mean REALLY want to change, you can do it, because I did. I read all the articles, all the shit about skinny guys and thought it just ISN’T possible. Well, IT IS. and TODAY you are gonna start.
I’m not gonna give you all the science. There is a good chance, you already know how it works.
I'm also not gonna going to tell you to count all your calories, or to count your protein, this is for the real hard gainer, or someone who wants to bulk up FAST, and then get to the details and leaning later.
For now, your goal is to get big. Period.
Simple. Eat. and I mean eat like you haven’t seen food in your life before. You can research on youtube, specific “diets” and when I say diet, I’m talking about lifestyle food choices. I tell people all the time I’m on a diet. Just because it doesn't fit into their little world that I diet must mean to starve yourself, take power of that word, you're on a diet to bulk up.
I’m going to tell you pure and simple what I did, and this is extreme, but this is for those who actually WANT results, and are sick of the bullshit name calling, sick of being the skinny guy pushed around. This is for you skinny guys, like me, who set themselves a goal, and will give the middle finger to anyone trying to stop it. Yes, I want to get in your head, and you will need to learn how to do that too. Whether you use anger, fear, love, music, girls to motivate you, you need to find someone strong to push you when the going gets tough.
How to eat? 6-8 meals a day. Don’t be ANAL. don’t sit there counting your bullshit out, save that for later. I want you to eat, and eat FAST and eat often. Reverse the techniques the weight loss people use. There is about a 20 minute delay between when you’re full and when that message gets to your brain, and I want you to bypass that 20 minutes to shove as much damn food in your throat as you can. Now remember, I was 6.3… I mean pretty tall, and not even 150, so I was harsh on myself, there fore a big fuck you to the world and did the following. I would keep eating, at each meal, until my gag reflex kicked in twice. At that point, I knew I was full. Now i know financially that is hard, probably meaning giant meals, so think smart and get high calorie foods, pastas, rice, potatoes, beans, bread, shit loads of lentils, more greens than you can imagine, I don’t care what it is, that food needs to be inside you. You want to be an machine, learn to eat like one.
How do I eat 6-8 meals? I toyed around with some supplements, and some worked. I enjoyed the No2 stuff, and creatine, but I chose that I wanted my results to be from ME. I used my own motivation to pump me up, i want that look in your eye like you’re gonna rip someones head off. That girl that broke up with you and now sleeping with some other dude…? your sister getting treated like shit from her boyfriend….? what you gonna do. You need to harness whatever the fuck it is, to pump you. So no, I didn’t use those supplements for long, though I’m sure they work.
Now there is ONE product that I will recommend. N-Large 2. At the time, this was the BEST high MASS shake out there. With the best sugar to protein ratio, and the best flavor in my opinion, and available in a 10lb tub you can replace every 3 weeks. Between breakfast lunch and dinner, chuck one of those shakes down, and on work out days, again for dessert. After 2 weeks, your stomach will be growling every 3 hours as you’ve conditioned yourself to eat.
Breakfast (boiled eggs, oatmeal, honey, pancakes, bananas, cereal, fruit)
Shake (with or without milk, I don’t care)
Lunch (rice, potatoes sweet/regular, pasta, broccoli, carrots, peas, lentils, asparagus, beef, chicken, fish, more rice, more legumes, bread, pizza
Dinner (as above)
Late Night Snack/desert (sandwich, peanut butter, jelly, buckwheat, fruit, leftovers)
Now above are just examples, you can make your dinners as fancy as you want, or as simple as you want, for me, it wasn’t about how pretty my plate looked, the question was “is there enough on here”
Again, I was pushing to extremities, but I wouldn’t leave until gag reflex twice. Now I don’t wanna read comments about eating disorder and the like, the ONLY reason I ate until that point was because it was only then, that I knew my body was physically full.
So, you got this? Rule 1, eat. A lot, Fast, Frequent. If you don’t get enough greens in in one meal, add some more for the next, woke up late, add an extra meal later, just DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO FOR FUEL, because you’re going to need it.
Now, my research has lead me down many different paths and research papers, such as, calisthenics or free weights, Grease the Groove or Body by Science. They are all brilliant, and they all have one thing in common. You gotta get off your skinny ass and learn to move heavy shit around.
The next section needs to be smart. And please remember, this is my educated opinion. I want you to push to “safe-fail”
What does that mean, that means if you’re doing a bench press, and you only have the bar, and you do 5 reps when you could have done 20, you need to go home. Stop wasting your time. I want it to be heavy enough that you have to really push yourself, you should be pushing your breath out with the last rep, but without compromising form, and with enough in the tank if you really needed to do one more.
I’ll tell you why, and from experience. If you are pushing SO hard, that you’re face is bright red, and your lugging the weight around from ares of the body that shouldn’t be moving like that, you ARE going to get INJURED, and when that happens, say good bye to your weight gain. You’re goal is to GET BIG, not to get in hospital.
Now I am a BIG proponent of Calisthenics, so I believe you can ABSOLUTELY do this, and currently AM doing this, as long as you are at the progression where is is DIFFICULT and you’re doing less than 7 reps. When you get to 7, up the progression, or the weights on the bar, or slow down the pistol squat.
Focus on the BIG MOVEMENTS. Here was my break down, PRECISELY what I did.
5 for the big group, 2 for the small
Monday: Chest + Triceps (primemover and synergist muscles)
Bench Press 3 sets 5-7 reps - 3 minute rest
Incline Bench Press
Decline Bench Press
-Tricep Skullcrushers (not the safest name but applicable, be sensible here)
-Tricep Pulldowns
Wednesday: Legs
Squats 3 sets 5-7 Reps
Leg Press
Leg Extension
Glute Ham Raises (face down, heels under a bar, then lower your body in the straight line)
Seated hamstring curl
-Calf Raises (15 reps max, increase the weight)
Friday: Back + Bicep
Deadlift 3 sets 5-7 reps(PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH THIS, START SLOW AND LEARN, otherwise, do it with a dumbbell, like sumo deadlift / kettle bell swing style
Pullups (use the progression necessary)
Bent over Rows
Seated Rows
-Bicep Curl Dumbbell
-Hammer Curl
Notice these are the BIG MAIN exercises and are ordered as such for good reason, do the big exercises first before the small ones.
For any of these exercises, replace them with the progression as necessary, but make sure the progression is hard enough.
EXTRAS: We all know the other important stuff, or I hope we do. Make sure you sleep, now you’re gonna have your life, sometimes more sleep, some times less, but don’t kill yourself with no sleep, and don’t go slipping a vertebrae by going for a 1RM on a deadlift… trust me..
Alcohol. You know what, go have a beer, enjoy your life. you’re gonna be working hard, and a beer here n there isn’t gonna kill you, it’s gonna have its effect on cortisol etc, but you know what, worry about that later. WATER, drink that clear stuff like you’re never seeing it again.
MOTIVATION: I want you to do 2 things, and this is it. Take a photo at day 1. and Weigh yourself at day 1. I don’t want you to step on a scale until 6 weeks, because if you’re like me, the increment will be small and hard to see at a micro level, but TRUST ME, after 6 weeks you’ll realize why it was worth it.
I wanna recap. 1 EAT. This is critical. You can workout as much as you want and study till the cows come home, but if you don’t eat, expect to look like slim lean bean.
2. LIFT. Safe-Fail. Push hard, but not to injury. That will be your BIGGEST set back, Use the correct progression to cause hypertrophy. You should be in and out of the gym in under 75 minutes. Any longer and you’re weight isn’t heavy enough and you’re doing too many reps, your rest is too long because you’re distracted with your iPhone, or you’re just fucking about.
If you follow this guide. I can ASSURE you, without question, you will bulk up, and bulk up fast.
And when 3 months come, and you surprise your buddies at the beach, pool, or where ever and you take your shirt off, someones gonna tell you “holy shit, when the fuck did that happen!?” and when they say that, you know it’s all worth it.
Hope you enjoy, I’ll make edits along the way if I see fit, but keep the moral high, don’t let people put you down, you have your purpose, now time to stop making shit excuses and get started. Sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get to your goal. Peace

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016-03-01 The Wisdom of the Old Russians

Since the relatively recent birth of my children and the new job my life has taken a turn for the more chaotic and time constrained, so I've been listening to podcasts like crazy in the car during my commute. Some of the information I've come across from people like Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Wim Hoff,  and others indicates that both cold exposure as well as heat exposure produce very healthy responses and results in people. I can't even pretend to begin to scratch the surface on this topic here so you can either trust me or go do the hours of your own research, but suffice it to say that you need at least 40 seconds of very cold water exposure to initiate the desired responses in the body. The heat responses were less studied from my own research, but I would guess its not too dissimilar.
What  have personally noticed (and I urge you to do your own testing in this regard), is that engaging in cold exposure like cold showers and ice baths is much easier right after ht water exposure (hot tub or sauna). So rather than jumping into an ice cold lake, first sit in a sauna. At least this is what made it easier for me.  Try our ow experiments and let me know.