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Simplicity: Part 2
I suppose you could say the decision was made within the first stages of the project's conception, yet in fact it was the only course of action that I could take. The armoire would be true to form and purpose, noble yet also affirm a sense of commitment. It would not be a focal point of the room per se but a more modest oeuvre that would hopefully last well beyond my years. And so with this in mind, I began drafting up plans using classic mortise and tenon joinery that is one of the hallmarks of the style. Using this type of joinery establishes an organic calm interaction with materials and its surroundings. I suppose I should also note for someone of my limited carpentry skills it will further illustrate an endearing quality to the eventual finished piece. Quite simply, there is nothing so simple about the task at hand that it will not take time for me to get it just right. Yet rocking back and forth on this wide old country porch swing, I have learned that anything worth having, is worth taking the time for and if it's too easy I don't want it. Recalling, "the value of any experience is measured, of course, not by the amount of money, but the amount of development we get out of it," I began laying out my tools of the trade... As I began this article series, I first thought of it somewhat as a basic introduction to the Renegade diet and supplementation program that I have used for years. It is something that I have rarely discussed unless within private seminars, now defunct publications or in my private newsletter back in the day of the 22-cent stamp. It was and always had been a simple plan, a Thoreauvian pastoral approach to a mad world gone mad with overly complex designs and rhetoric for simple problems. And yet once again, rocking back and forth on this wide old country porch swing, it is obvious, my humble wood-working project and "Simplicity" are uniquely connected. A marriage you might say of the obvious in a world where obvious solutions are no longer obvious to many. You see as I note "Simplicity" in application of a proper diet and nutrition plan, I am not merely discussing how you will derive greater gains from your present plans, I am providing you a golden pathway to a healthy and virile life that you will continue to reap the benefits of throughout your years. Again, in an unusual paradox, the health and fitness industry just isn't so healthy anymore as many of the self-proclaimed and well-published "gurus" in this business are unable to understand the notion of a healthy and active life given that their own lives are generally sedentary and exercise is a one-dimensional event situated neatly in the pristine weight room. What "Simplicity" does, with very broad tentacles, is pave the route to immediate training success through a foundation that understands recovery and regeneration but continues on that path for an extraordinary impact upon your life with long term health and virility. Recovery and regeneration is an interesting topic in the mainstream modern exercise community. For the most part it is assumed to be--well, doing "nothing" and waiting for the magical cure-all of time healing the body from training. Yet nothing is further from reality and if the modern clean exercise enthusiast / body-builder wants success--it is something that needs to be worked at. And yes, I know what you're thinking too. Kind of amazing how I found a way to drop the "things worth having are worth working for" bomb on you again. Going headfirst at the issue we need to consider a few very basic points to maximize recovery and yes break free from the shackles of the "overtraining" complex and establish the four cornerstones for avoiding this issue, regardless of your training methodology.
  • Diet (please review Simplicity-Part 1 for an introductory look at the Renegade diet plan and possibly one of the most important and unbiased insights into a diet plan for long-term health)
  • Supplementation
  • Recovery and Regeneration Techniques
  • Training
Supplementation The question of supplementation is an interesting one, a choice between either catering the "quick-fix" solution that has been engrained into our well-marketed society or providing honest, real solutions. While our culture clamors for the "magical cure-all", the truth is the issue is far more profound then people comprehend. Therefore I will not provide the typical "sell-out" quick-fix solution that we all know is destined for failure (other than garnering the public's hard earned money) but instead share with you this unbelievably simple grouping of items that will not only radically improve your recovery from exercise, thus enhancing muscular growth, but also assist in body fat reduction and deliver a significant impact upon your long-term health. And seriously, when I mention improving the quality of health, is there really a mature adult who reads this who doesn't recognize the seriousness and importance of the issue? While each of the items I note may not have the slick sex appeal or the ridiculous marketing claims that are so obvious in this "quick-fix solution" era, I need to stress that the starting ground of these items needs to be firmly in place for the most obvious reasons of long term health.
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine: known for the ability to increase fat metabolism, increase testosterone levels and prevent muscle breakdown.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid: known for accelerating muscle recovery, decreasing fat storage, and is also one of the most powerful antioxidants available.
  • Omega-1250: Omega-3 fatty acids are widely accepted to reduce the risk of (amongst other health-related issues) heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression and catabolism.
  • Phosphatidylserine: is an incredibly powerful nutrient known to improve cognitive processes such as memory and significantly improve muscular recovery. Numerous findings have noted that this supplement can alleviate and support multiple brain functions as well as improve stress management and cortisol reduction.
  • Mega Max Multi-Vitamin: is a powerful blend of vitamins and minerals that is completely necessary given that food sources of today have compromised the integrity of soil and nutrients. A sad but truthful realization that must be accounted for.
Quite certainly there are notable absences in the above list such as BCAA's, or a high quality protein supplement such as NytroWhey Extreme, but the key is the starting ground and the starting ground must preserve a proven, long term approach to not only achieving your goals but bettering your life. Start with these five important choices, and it's a simple choice of improving the quality of your life as well as your training. Recovery and Regeneration For the most part, many consider this area as a wait-and-see game of doing nothing and waiting for the dreaded muscle soreness and fatigue to vacate. For the proactive Renegade athlete / trainer / coach, this really is an unacceptable approach as we can make use of 6 basic protocols that will greatly enhance workout recovery:
  • Static stretching after every training session I could talk endlessly about establishing a solid stretching program and likely it wouldn't have the sex appeal of a hardcore bruising workout. However what it will have for you is a long term impact upon your general health, assist in developing good overall back health which I never underestimate, greatly improve your recovery and help you relax
  • GPP to assist in muscular recovery and work threshold development. (more on this issue with future installments of "Simplicity")
  • Contrast showers daily / Epsom salt baths / Cold water swims
  • Massage therapy (see Scott Tribby's brilliant article series on the ProSource forum that discuss the far reaching impact on massage therapy for enhancing muscular recovery as well as assisting in pain and stress management)
  • Rest...simple-quality deep-REM sleep. Lots of great old adages but if you want to cut the stress, make sure you get plenty of quality sleep
And so looking back at this completed article, I realize our work is far from complete and so with the next installment of "Simplicity, part 3" we will continue our look towards recovery and regeneration techniques for optimum results. John Davies, Founder Renegade Training Chat Live with Coach Davies in the Renegade Training forums!