Workout of the Day:

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October 21st (3 Position Snatches)
October 16th (3RM Snatches)
September 16th (2RM)

It’s not a holiday unless you find some scaffolding and do L-Seat Pull Ups

Speaking of scaffolding, construction, and safe pass qualifications (take it away Will)…

So I renewed my Safe Pass qualification yesterday. Some interesting stuff in there.

As part of the manual handling section we were given an overview to the very scientific and authoritative-sounding “Kinetic Method of Lifting”, which from what I was able to glean from the demonstration photographs, is all about getting your hips as low as possible, collapsing your thorasic spine to overcome the flexibility limitations preventing you from reaching the object from this disadvantaged position and keeping the load well out in front of your shoulders as you begin to lift. Presumably this is so that when you pick it up, it will have a chance to pull you forward onto your toes, simultaneously removing the contribution of the largest muscles in your body from the lift and bringing your spine further out of alignment as you attempt to keep your balance.

The words “straight back” were repeated often, along with some nice, sensible diagrams of the spinal column, represented as a series of well-ordered squares stacked in a vertical pile. It was a revelation to me to learn that the spine does not, in fact, have some natural curvature to it that must be maintained under compressive loading to ensure even pressure distribution over the intravertebral discs. This information should do wonders for my deadlifting, and I am confident that new PRs and reduced rates of injury will figure largely in my future.

I didn’t see any measurable, observable or repeatable data about safety, efficacy and efficiency in the presentation, but this is FAS afterall, a government-sponsored institution. One assumes they must have done extensive, scientifically and empirically validated research on the subject before choosing to disseminate this information. They surely would not be allowed to do so otherwise.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see that a new module on Health has been added to the course. This was delivered through a 15 minute video clip, in which a sonorously-voiced, well-informed and patient narrator guided a silent, sceptical, yet open-minded Pat Shortt through the basics of achieving and maintaining good health through diet and exercise.

The video opened with Mr Shortt vigourously demolishing a well-stocked plate of fried eggs, bacon, sausages and other such artery-clogging, fatty miscarriages of western cuisine that have been proven beyond all reasonable doubt to be leading causes of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

We were treated to full screen close-ups in which forkful after forkful of cholesterol-laden egg disappeared into the cavernous expanse of Mr Shortt’s mouth. After regarding these for a few moments it became impossible to imagine that the poor, misinformed soul was anything other than mere moments away from a full-on myocardial infarction.

A tangible air of tension began to fill the room at this point, as myself and the dozen other would-be construction workers present in the darkened training centre began to share a single, uncomfortable thought: “Surely someone must do something to save this fellow before it is too late. One of us must step forward!”.

Luckily for all concerned, our selfless, charitable Narrator (no doubt sensing the growing concerns of the audience) quickly swooped into action.

With an alacrity and precision that we mere mortals (unpossesed as we were of advanced video editing technology) could never hope to duplicate, the evil, villainous fare on the plate was banished (presumably back to whichever hellish netherworld had spawned it) only to be instantaneously replaced by a healthy, low fat alternative.

Mr Shortt grew visibly concerned as Our Hero informed him of the damage he had been doing to his health with his previous nutritional choices, and could be seen listening attentively as the alternative, correct practises were laid out. Fat of all kinds was to be reduced as much as possible, red meat was to abandoned and cereals, potatoes, pasta and wholegrains used in it’s stead as much as possible.

Eating too much fat, you see, is actually what causes people to become fat and unhealthy. I sat up and began to mentally take note. This was clearly bleeding-edge material with far-reaching implications.

A series of other similarly life-altering revelations followed, and a fade-to-black was employed to simulated the passage of time. When next we caught sight of our subject, he had removed the large cushion he had been carrying under his shirt up until this point in the production, and was cycling to work (30 continuous minutes of physical exercise per day is essential to good health) with a smile spread broadly across his formerly beleaguered countenance. Diet-induced calamity having been narrowly averted, the future looked bright for Mr Shortt.

No doubt the the extensive experience of clinicians and volumes of scientific research indicating the causative relationship between excessive glycemic load, hyperinsulinism and many of the diseases of civilisation has been critically examined without bias or agenda by our public health officials and found wanting in some way.

If this information were presented by any other body, I would want to know exactly what it is about the data they found fault with before blindly following their recommendations, but this is The Government we’re dealing with here. To think that they have followed anything other than best practise advised by the top experts in the field before coming to a decesion…well, one would clearly have to be some form of ridiculous cult member who had been brainwashed by clever marketing.

Now if you will all excuse me, I’m going to prepare a large bowl of wholegrain pasta with some low-fat tomatoe sauce (the packet indicates that it contains large quantities of sugar, but surely this should be of no concern given the lack of fat) and go out for a 1 hour jog, seeing as I have been neglecting my cardiovascular health with all this weight training.

Construction Worker’s Health Trust – Healthier Lifestyles Video