Toe Pulls, Strength, Shape-Ups and Herschel Walker

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Toe Pull drill.  Here is a video of how to perform them.  We usually prefer to use something soft under the foot such a half foam roll or our favorite the sandbell.  However, a soft carpet does work rather well.

Previously I posted some strength standards put forth by coaches Mike Boyle and Bret Contreras for what most would consider strong athletes of about college age or older and standards for women.  Here is coach Dan John’s minimum for High School Varsity and really what he says is expected for sophomore boys.

Power Clean  205 lbs.

Front Squat  205

Back Squat  255

Deadlift  315

Power Clean and Jerk  165

Military Press  115

1-Arm Bench Press  32 kg KB x 5 right, 5 left

A great many weeks ago I wrote about my undying love for the Skechers Shape-Up shoe.  So it looks like the new Skechers Shape-Ups Liv is on the market.  Awesome.  They’ve got “natural stride technology” that make you feel barefoot.  I’ve got that “natural stride technology” too.  I call them feet.  The shoe itself seems to be much thinner that the original Shape-Up which appears to be a massive goofy looking cushion.  Funny thing is, Skechers claimed that those used natural motion of the foot too.  Note how the new shoe is thinner and has ridges cut in the sole just like Nike Free, Reebok Realflex and all the competitors joining the barefoot/minimalist market.  Kind of strange.  Don’t get me wrong I know it’s all about sales so they’ll claim absolutely anything.  Like, the new design will make you lose even more weight faster because your foot now has to bend more than it did before.  I mean think about it, if your foot were allowed to move more each step then your body is burning more calories due to more movement and the extra calories burned will get you toned and looking great in……. never.

Lastly, if you are a sports fan and were obsessed with watching the ESPN 30 for 30 film series then you need to check out SEC Storied on ESPNU.  If you are a sports fan and didn’t watch/love the 30 for 30 movies then you’ve got your own problems.  Wednesday night, you know, the night that came before Thursday when millions of people were without power and I had to listen to the Packers v. Saints game in someone’s backyard on satellite radio, I watched SEC Storied featuring Herschel Walker.  Not only is he an amazing athlete and physical specimen, it was certainly a lesson in determination.  Check out the trailer below.  Amazing.  I won’t lie, on Thursday afternoon when I was training alone and wondering if I should do a third set of KB clean and front squat ladders from 1-5, and thinking maybe just 1-3 is ok, or maybe two sets was enough, I thought to myself, what would Herschel do right now?  That answer would probably be 10 more sets but his grit and determination convinced me that I could push through one more set.

– Mike Baltren

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