September 2013 Newsletter

September sees the beautician area re-open under professional beauty therapist Jocelyn Mason who has operated in & managed half a dozen plus commercial beauty salons across the Perth metro area.

Jocelyn brings her own unique beauty therapy skills set & is available most days in her small beauty room adjacent to the current chiropractor’s clinic.

Please pop in & see Jocelyn personally to discuss her treatments & your needs. Or give Jocelyn a call directly on her practice number 0419017288.

There are three other new faces in the club all here to make your visits that much more productive & all the happier. First we would like to introduce Seaneen Copeland our new membership consultant who will replace Laura Simpson (a contributing PT & MSC) who is off to have her first baby with husband Michael. We wish you luck Laura.

Seaneen will be in the club five days a week & is very much a hands-on trainer herself & a figure competitor from Ireland so will be seen in the free weights section as often as she will in other areas of the club.

That leads me to the additional two personnel stepping into life here at Healthy life Taylor Walsh as a new personal trainer who will be available for inductions / programs & usual personal training delivery on a daily basis. Taylor’s biography will be up on the PT wall by the end of September but I am sure he will be introducing himself around the club before then.

A second addition to the strength & conditioning team is Gym Instructor Karli Plowright who is doing her practical component here of her Exercise Physiology & Sports Science degree & she is a real gun on her physiology. So Karli will be inducting & programming new members & on the gym floor where you can ask her questions if you want. Karli will not be available to book personal training with but will be about for general training tips.

A few of you have inquired as to the purpose of the enlarged handled Olympic bars that arrived last month, so here goes the brief summary as to what they are for. Training with ‘FATS’ or ‘THICK’ handled Olympic Bars is carried out by athletes & hypertrophy to stimulate extra muscle fibre as the person trains.

To put it another way advanced dinosaurs train with thick handled barbells and dumbbells. A regular barbell or dumbbell is 1″ or 1 1/16″ in diameter. Dinosaurs use barbells & dumbbells that are 2″, 2 ½” or even 3″ in diameter. Why? Because using a thick handled bar is one of the very best things you can do to develop maximum muscular size & strength.

The turn of the century strongmen; many of whom were enormously stronger than the vast majority of our modern “champions” were well acquainted with the incredible effect of thick bar work. They thrived on it. The thick bar work allowed them to develop levels of upper body power virtually incomprehensible to those who train only with regular bars.

Thick bars develop levels of muscular size & strength that cannot be duplicated with any other equipment. Thick bars are very difficult to control. Compared to an Olympic barbell, a bar with a 2″ or 3″ diameter seems like a log.

Can you imagine bench pressing, pressing or curling a telephone pole? That’s what it feels like when you use a thick handled barbell. You cannot rely on style, form, timing or technique to complete a lift. You have to do it with sheer strength. To paraphrase Dr. Ken Leistner, “all you can do is lie back & push” when you bench with a thick handled bar.

That’s one reason why thick bar work is so effective. It imposes a tremendous burden on the muscles, tendons & ligaments a far, far greater burden than a regular bar imposes.

A second reason why thick bar work is so beneficial is that the bar forces you to involve your forearms, hands, wrists & fingers to a far greater degree than does a conventional bar. This in turn causes a stronger ‘mind-muscle’ link, which inevitably leads to greater gains in muscular size & so greater strength.

What is a “mind-muscle link”? It is the connection between your brain & your central nervous system.

Whenever you lift a weight, the lift begins with the brain consciously directing the muscles to contract and so move in a particular direction. The message from the brain is carried to the muscles via the nervous system. When the muscles receive the message, they respond by contracting in the manner directed by the brain. That’s the mind-muscle link: the connection between the brain, the nervous system & the muscles as they fire up physically due to nerve impulses activating them & the ‘synapse’ snap as it were being sent in a number of physiologically phased messages.

The strength of each individual nerve impulse, the total number of nerve impulses & the frequency with which nerve impulses are transmitted from brain to muscle is one of the most crucial factors in the amount of force you can exert in any given lift. We have no research studies to cite & no way to prove that this opinion is correct, but many firmly believe that using thick bars in your training causes an increase in the strength of individual nerve impulses, the total number of nerve impulses & the frequency of transmission of nerve impulses.

As stated above, thick bars are terribly awkward & extremely difficult to handle. You have to adjust the bar’s path constantly as you lift it or else you will get hopelessly out of the groove almost immediately. There has to be constant feedback between the brain & the muscles. Thus the necessity of constant feedback causes a stronger mind-muscle link & this is one very important reason why thick bar work is so incredibly productive.

Thick bars are terrific for strengthening the forearms, wrists, thumbs & fingers. Any exercise you do with a thick bar automatically becomes a test of hand & finger strength. Pulling movements are almost impossible with a thick bar, curling movements are incredibly rugged & even pressing exercises are downright nasty when you do them with a thick bar.

Extracts within this text are Copyright 1996 by Brooks D. Kubik © Gratefully received & Kubik is duly credited herewith.