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  • Vince

Today's Adventure

Today we will begin the cycle with a focus on the Back Squat- A general staple to almost all strength training protocols. It requires mobility and stability and helps build both. In fact, my wife does them 3 times a week. She does a set of 5x5, a light set of 4x5 and then a 4x5, 1x3, 1x8. Every week. In the last cycle, we did them as an active rest so that you wouldn't forget how to do them but today we are going to push them. We will meet in the upper pavilion today much like we did when we worked on heavy front squats and deadlifts. I have calculated strength scores for the group in almost every exercise and the back squat was by far the lowest. Some of this has to do with the fact that some of you have only done them light as an active movement so this will probably change significantly.

Range of motion matters. We will do as much as we safely can with your hips getting below your knees. I have worked with/trained 100s of high school athletes and if you had any idea how many kids told me "I squat 405".... Nope, you actually squat about 75 lbs kid. Just because you put a bar on your back and briefly unlocked your knees, you didn't actually squat.

I have noticed quite a few of you going on afternoon hikes or maybe a hike/walk after the workout. Good. Here is the abstract from a study. Basically it says a 30 minute walk improved mood and cortisol levels (stress hormone) whether it was in a forest, a natural area with water or in an urban environment. Cognitive function wasn't improved in Urban environment, only the nature environments. So a 30 minute walk in the woods basically reduces stress, makes your brain function at a higher level and helps your neurological system recover. Sounds like something we could all use a little more of.

There is convergent evidence that natural environments allow restoration from stress. This randomised, cross-over, field-based trial compared psychological and physiological responses of unstressed individuals to self-paced 30-min walks in three pleasant environments: residential (urban), natural (green), and natural with water (blue). Changes from baseline (T1) to T2 (end of 30-min walk), and T3 (30 min after leaving environment) were measured in terms of mood, cognitive function, restoration experiences, salivary cortisol, and heart rate variability (HRV). In the final sample (n = 38; 65% male; mean age 40.9 ± 17.6 years), mood and cortisol improved at T2 and T3 in all environments. Green and blue environments were associated with greater restoration experiences, and cognitive function improvements that persisted at T3. Stress reduction (mood and cortisol changes) in all environments points to the salutogenic effect of walking, but natural environments conferred additional cognitive benefits lasting at least 30 min after leaving the environment.

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