Monday, September 28, 2009

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
I am fascinated by fighters and the way they train and I think that there is a lot to learn from them as far as discus training is involved. Many of you are familiar with the famous martial artist Bruce Lee and I am sure you have seen many of his movies growing up like I have. Bruce lee was undeniably one of the best martial artists of our time and unfortunately his life was cut short due to an acute medical problem. Fortunately, his words still live with us today and we can still learn a lot from this legend.
If you have a ever watched any of his movies I am sure you have seen his lightening fast foot work. Every athlete in the world can benefit from having this ability to be swift and in the case of us disc heads, it is crucial. Here are his thoughts on getting the proper speed conditioning thanks to M. Uyehara.

"Speed in fighting depends not

just on your hands and feet in swiftness" Bruce Lee


What is speed in fighting? Is it the velocity of your hands, feet and body
movement? OR are there other, prevalent essentials in a good fighter? What is a
good fighter?
To answer these questions: A good fighter is one who can hit his opponent quicker,
harder, without much perceptible effort, and yet avoid being hit. He doesn't only
possess a pair of fast hands and feet or quick body movement but has other
qualities such as nontelegraphic moves, good coordination, perfect balance and
keen awareness. Although some people are endowed with a few of these qualities,
most of these attributes are developed through hard training.
All the strength or power you have developed from your training is wasted if you
are slow and can't make contact. Power and speed go hand-in-hand. A fighter
needs both to be successful.
One immediate way to increase your speed at impact is to "snap" or "whip" your
hand or foot just before contact. It is the same principle as the overhand throw. For
example, if you throw a baseball with a full swing and snap your wrist at the last
movement or the tail end of your swing, the ball will have more velocity than
without the snap. Naturally, the longer swing with a snap will have more
acceleration at the end than a shorter swing with a snap. A 12-foot whip, flung
exactly, will generate more sting than a two-foot whip.

Although this was written in a context of martial arts it is applicable to throwing if you allow yourself to creatively apply it to your training. It is essentially saying that the quicker and your feet are the better it is for your hands because they can both work harmoniously. What I find a lot in the throwing community are people with just STRONG feet and quick arms rather than QUICK-STRONG feet and quick arms. This is what it takes to throw far. Also, take notes on what he said about the whip because it is very applicable to the whipping of the discus, which ensures more distance. Disc heads.. dismissed.
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Friday, September 25, 2009

The Humor in throwing

Youtube was a gift from the heavens and every once in a while I see something that I have to laugh at and it so happened this old movie which features Hercules throwing the discus unbelievably far. I hope you get just as good a laugh as I did. Notice how he is focused more on flexing his pecs than actually throwing the implement.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Don't Waste Time

don't waste your time
Remember that it is more about quality than quantity. In our daily work outs, there should be an alloted time for every work out. Having an alloted time keeps us from a) having proper intensity b) wasting time between sets/throws c) loosing focus on tasks. Life is too short to be stuck in the weight room or in the throwing circle half the day. The next time you go to practice, think about how much you are actually getting done with your time. I bet that if you recorded your whole practice and lift, you would see that about half your time is spent doing neither of the two. I know, I know, there are some of you on top of your game but if you are like me, sometimes you like to crack a few jokes between sets in the weight room and play charades when the throwing weather is great. The fact is that if you have a lot of free time to do that, fine but if you do not, I highly recommend that you stay focused. I just became a working man and boy do I have little time to spare, so focusing more on the tasks at workouts has become a priority. Again, let me simplify the three concepts I mentioned earlier.
A) Intensity, is key in workouts. No matter what you do in life, the weight room or the throwing circle, without proper intensity, you have already failed. Anybody can complete a task if given an unlimited amount of time to finish it, however, something happens when somebody is given a deadline. Suddenly, the person knows that they have to increase their intensity in order to achieve the task within the alloted time, which makes them more technically efficient. Intensity is good because it motivates us to do the task to the best of our ability in the shortest time frame that ensures it gets done well the first time. Intensity at practice translates to exceptional intensity in competition.
B) Wasting time between sets and throws is a byproduct of having too much free time on your schedule. Have you ever noticed that when you are doing anything other than what you aught to be doing at practice, you feel like you are not working hard? That is because you are not. An example of wasting time at practice would be like a long distance runner training for the mile but stopping every quarter mile to check e-mail's on his blackberry. The day of the race comes and he realizes he does not have the potential to win because he wasted too much time not training properly. The same thing can happen in throwing and lifting if you do not train with the proper intensity. To prevent this, try to include timed rest between throws or reps. Allow just enough time to recover and get right back to it.
C) Loosing focus on tasks is a byproduct of time disorganization. In order to prevent loss of focus, shut out all distractions and focus a hundred percent on proper execution of technique instead. Put away the I-pod when working out and look at your technique in the mirror instead. When throwing, do less distance-measuring and practice more on the feel of your technique. Don't worry about distance at practice, remember that distance in competition is as a result of proper intensity and technical focus in practice.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some pictures of some of the cars I sell

Since my creative juices aren't flowing quite as well as I will like them today. I figured I will show you some pictures of the cars I sell. I am a currently a sales consultant for Porsche and Audi so I get to drive these German made machines all the time. I promise to have a great post for you all soon. Enjoy
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Bridge of Strength
Think about the greatest bridge you have seen in your life. Now imagine being in a car driving at 80 miles per hour and all of a sudden you have to slow down, there is some construction and you are halted to a complete stop. Imagine the hundreds of cars and possibly thousands of cars all immobilized in the go-slow. The bridge, even with all these cars, is resilient to the hundred of thousands pounds of weight. Why? Simple.. it is designed to do so.
If you have ever done a push up with someone on your back you know that it takes a strong core, chest and shoulders to push the person on your back up. Think about the direction you are pushing the individual in and what muscle groups are working. If you really think about it, a push-up is helping you build FOUNDATIONAL strength for your posterior region (back muscles) by strengthening the anterior (Front muscles).
Imagine your body is an arched bridge while in push-up form. Now, what holds up the body bridge? Simple, anterior muscles by the way of taking the load for the posterior muscles. This might be a difficult concept to understand but hang in there, it gets simpler. What if i told you that doing the push-up as we know it is only half of what a true push-up should be? You are probably scratching your brain but the full push-up consists of #1 doing it belly down (the conventional method) and #2 back down (dips) as illustrated below.

Think about it for a second. The push-up just like the bench press only teaches your body to move objects backwards like the person on your back in my earlier example. Now imagine doing a back push-up with someone sitting on your stomach. Unless your back is as strong as a bridge, capable of carrying one passenger it will fail.
Anterior(frontal muscle) strength is truly inexistent without a strong posterior chain. To simplify, in order to be able to push weight effectively in a frontal plane, such as throwing a discus, you have to have have strong back muscles. Meaning Strong upper, middle, lower back; strong gluts, hamstrings and calves. Working on the posterior chain will ensure greater throwing ability.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

So what supplements do you take Yemi?
Pills, pills, pills. Where do I begin? The world is obsessed with pills!! With all the crap out there there is no wonder several of my friends and many American consumers are being misled. The fact is that you do not need supplements if you have a properly balanced diet. The only reason for supplementation would be for a deficiency of some kind.
To take supplementation without a true need for it might actually do more harm than good. According to an article titled Do you need a vitamin supplement?

"Millions and millions of people spend billions and billions of dollars on vitamin supplements every year. In 2004, 19.6 billion dollars was spent on this phenomenon. Many people think they are preventing heart disease or cancer by popping every vitamin supplement they can get their hands on. What many fail to realize, however, is that with the water soluble vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin C), whatever is not used is eliminated each day. Stocking up on these vitamins therefore, is not possible.........................................................................................................
As far as the fat soluble vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D and vitamin E, whatever is not used is stored in the liver so stockpiling these vitamins could lead to toxic results."

Based on this excerpt, there is no real need for supplementation unless you have no choice due to a health problem. Something we also have to realize as members of food abundant nations is that we usually get more than enough supplementation from our diet. Therefore, taking supplements on top of an already balanced diet will be like pouring water into a cup that is already full, which could become a flood if not monitored.

I try to have a balanced diet so I do not rely too heavily on supplementation. However, I was once diagnosed with anemia so I take an occasional Iron supplement to prevent it. I also take omega 3 fish oil because I don't eat a lot of fish and vitamin C because if reduces recovery time between workouts. Furthermore, I take a light multivitamin which has a low dose of a large range of vitamins and minerals which is good for replacing anything my diet did not cover that day. I try to stay away from fat soluble supplements because the risk for toxicity is too high. My advice to you all is to focus more on a balanced diet and less on supplementation. If you do take anything, take it cautiously and with a purpose, not just because you think you need it.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Horizon Horizon Horizon

First Glimpse
Try throwing blind folded sometime and see how successful you are. There is a good chance that you would kill your coach, an innocent bystander, or yourself. Unless you are sure about what you are doing, I would not recommend it because I wouldn't even try it. Although I have heard of athletes incorporating that into their training, unless there is some substantial scientific study out there that proves it is effective, I do not think it is very beneficial.
keeping your head up throughout the whole throw is very important. In fact it is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of a good technique. Have you ever found yourself looking at your feet when you get to the middle of the circle? Now think about how this affects your body position in the circle. Some examples of what might occur while looking down include loss of balance, having too high of an angle with the discus from the back, and improper timing.
On the other end of the spectrum, focusing on the horizon forces you to focus on good habits such as an erect torso, balance, and a level angle of the discus which discourages scooping (throwing from a very low angle during your penultimate power position). The next time you throw, try it! try focusing on the flat horizon as you move through your motions. What you will find is that you start to focus more on the important things such as your rhythm and timing, which go a long way in helping you throw far. I told one of the undergrad discus throwers I was helping to, "Stop looking at your legs, they know what to do!" It is that simple folks. Looking at your legs while throwing will do nothing for your distance, trust your positions and focus on your rhythm instead.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Keep it Simple

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Failure in many aspects of our life can be attributed to complications. The major problem I have with complicated situations is my inability to fully understand what is going on. Not knowing exactly what to expect, not knowing if I am handling the situation properly, feeling anxious and stressed etc. Even more stressful is that all these thoughts seem to complicate the already complicated issue, which led me to think about a simple concept called simplicity. Keeping it simple in all aspects of everyday living with regards to family, work, relationships, athletics and life can make a whole world of difference in this ever transforming world.
"If you have too much on your plate, stop eating and give some to the dog." In other words, when life gets too complicated simply stop complicating it further by doing more. You can achieve this by simply only doing only what you can handle. There comes a point when you have to say "no more!" Sometimes we forget how satisfying saying no is. In my opinion, the word no is not used enough because we are conditioned as a nation (Americans) to yes. Say no to doing work on your day off! Say no to the voice in your head that tells you that you need to get two cheese burgers instead of one! Say no to the voice that tells you that being successful means having more physical possessions! Say no to overdoing it in the weight room! Say no to the voice that tells you that you need to gain 50 pounds of muscle before you can throw far! Just say no.
Rather, say yes to the voice that says less is more! Say yes to the spirit that says relax after working hard! Say yes to the conscience that tells you when you have had your fill! Say yes to your heart when it tells you to let the things in this world that over-complicate your life go! Say yes to keeping it simple!
When you keep things simple you will find that you have more peace of mind. You also find that you are able to make better decisions and re-evaluate your solutions to achieve a successful goal. For example, whenever I am throwing and I don't feel like things are going well, I simply simplify my thinking and focus on only one aspect of my technique. This gives me the ability to relax and uncomplicate the situation to a level that I can still attain success in that practice. I can always tell if an individuals life is too complicated because they are usually very frustrated. Are you frustrated today? If so, keep it simple.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


You know that feeling you get after your first conditioning workout? The feeling of wooziness in your stomach, the tiredness of your soul, the pain in your muscles and most humbling, the sad fact that you have to do it all again tomorrow? I am feeling it all but its great to be back in the swing of things. Something interesting you find as you develop as a discus thrower is that getting in shape gets easier as you mature. Although I took the last month off I still feel as though I still have a solid foundation to start upon. The month off gave my muscles the time they needed to heal after 10 hard months of training. The next step is for me to change my diet slowly. Because I have been off, the combination of junk food and sweet drinks has become a vacation of sorts for me but it is time to get back to work. I now need to include more complex carbohydrates in my diet, some examples are listed below:
These complex carbohydrates will be very important in giving me enough energy to get through my conditioning phase. The reason why I singled out complex carbohydrates is because of their ability to give your body a steady boost of energy instead of simple carbohydrates which are notorious for releasing too much energy too soon just to result in a crash. Some examples of these are listed below:
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Although simple carbohydrates are good if you need a quick boost right before a workout, you should not consume a lot of it hours before a workout and expect to feel energetic. This is why complex carbohydrates are wonderful, they are slowly released and your blood sugar is not dramatically peaking and consequently crashing. Therefore from now onwards I say no to a diet that consists of mainly simple carbohydrates. I am sure my body will thank me tomorrow.
Here is a Great addition by Matt Marcoccia:
"nice post on the carbs but not many people know about the difference simple and complex carbs and how each works for you. But what some people know even less about is how much simple carbs can play a role in giving a person great gains. If your not aware but after work out the body is low on insulin and needs this to rebuild as fast as it can. But after working out the body is almost depleted of all forms of sugar this is where simple sugars come into play. After a workout eating 3 dozen jelly beans or gummy bears gives the body the sugar it need to rebuild faster. It also allows athlete to fill their craving for sweets but not in large amounts of course. I hope this help you out in your training." Thanks Matt.
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