The Unthinkable – Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why by Amanda Ripley

“The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – And Why” by Amanda Ripley is a fascinating look at the human response to disasters. This excellent book not only describes some of what happened, but look closely at the “why” people respond the way they do in such situations. As Gavin De Becker, author of “The Gift of Fear” states on the front cover, “‘The Unthinkable’ isn’t merely a book about disaster; it’s a book about survival – maybe yours.”

The book consists of an introduction titled “Life Becomes Like Molten Metal” and then eight chapters divided into three parts.

Part one, Denial, includes the chapters Delay: Procrastinating in Tower 1 and Risk: Gambling in New Orleans. Part two, Deliberation, contains three chapters: Fear: The Body and Mind of a Hostage, Resilience: Staying Cool in Jerusalem, and Groupthink: Role Playing at the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire. Part three, The Decisive Moment, has the final three chapters: Panic: A Stampede on Holy Ground, Paralysis: Playing Dead in French Class, and Heroism: A Suicide Attempt on the Potomac River.

The book concludes with a conclusion titled “Making New Instincts.” Each section of the book consists of not only information on the human condition being addressed, but stories of actual people and what transpired during different disasters. Some of the stories of the heroics displayed during these times are quite moving.

I really enjoyed this book, and appreciate the time and reporting Amanda Ripley put into it. The stories keep your attention and the lessons you can learn from this book just may save your life if you are ever unfortunate enough to be caught in a disaster. The book reinforced some of my habits such as always reading the safety instruction card when I board an airplane, along with looking around and noting the exits, as well as made me think of other habits I can develop to better prepare myself for the worst.

For a fascinating look at disasters and how they effect people, combined with some lessons that may help you if you ever face one, I recommend you read “The Unthinkable” by Amanda Ripley.

Medieval Occupations

You’ve probably had some rotten jobs in the past, but I’ll bet none of them were as bad as the jobs from Medieval times.

Rat Catcher

Not exactly the kind of eye-catching name to attract new-hires in the Want Ads. However, rat catchers were actually held in relatively high esteem by town-folks. Rats, mice and other vermin were often carriers of many diseases and afflictions. A rat catcher who could rid a town of these critters could be very handsomely rewarded. However, putting himself in unsavory locations and risking his own health went, as they say, with the territory, as he frequently would come in contact with diseased or rabid animals.

Grave Digger

This field was a growth industry during the Middle Ages as war, famine, and diseases provided plenty of “raw material” for the gravedigger. Much like the rat catcher, a busy digger could earn quite a good income.

Messenger

Hmmm, this doesn’t sound like too bad of a job. After all, how hard can it be delivering messages. No doubt, you’ve heard the term “don’t kill the messenger”. This kind of gives you a clue as to the main problem with being a messenger. Oftentimes, the delivered message was not well received. The messenger was the lucky victim of this wrath frequently leading to the death or imprisonment of the unfortunate messenger.

Miner

The need for gold or silver was hugely important for most kingdoms as a way to field their armies and expand their territories. While the wages of miners were above average, they had to work in very dangerous conditions. If cave-ins, lethal gases, and collapses weren’t bad enough, a miner would not see the light of day for two to three days at a time. They weren’t especially skilled, but the job did require a certain raw determination to overcome constant obstacles.

Leech Collector

Leeches were widely used for centuries as a medical aid. The thinking was that the leeches would suck out the bad blood from an ailing person, leaving only the good blood behind. Obviously, leeches had to be found. Enter the leech collector. Easy enough job – just wade through muddy marsh water and let leeches attach themselves to your legs. When you’ve “collected” a sufficient number, return to dry land and remove them. Ah, there’s the rub, as Shakespeare once said. Not only were the leeches constantly sucking blood while they were attached, but if not pulled off properly, their teeth were left behind, still embedded in the flesh. This condition often lead to festering, infection, and not infrequently, death. Even if the extraction is done right, the sores left behind could easily become infected. I can see the ad for this job “Work outside in the fresh air, stroll leisurely through natural water, collecting valuable animals that are used in medical treatment. Will train, no experience needed”.

Fuller

Even given the jobs described above, this may be the worst job of the Medieval times. To remove grease and other impurities from freshly woven woolen cloth, it had to be placed in a vat of stale urine and then stomped on for hours (kind of like crushing grapes only not so pleasant). Besides the obvious stench, the fuller had to be constantly alert to make sure that the whole woolen batch was evenly treated; if not, the entire batch was ruined and the process would have to start all over. That would really make me PO’d if that happened!

Petard Engineer

This job has a nice ring to it – after all, an engineer is a pretty prestigious profession. However, being a petard engineer was not so glamorous during Medieval times. A petard was a small bomb used to blow up enemy fortifications, such as castle walls or gates. The engineer’s job was to run as quickly as possible avoiding enemy arrows, all the while carrying the lit petard that he would eventually place next to the fortification (assuming he made it that far). If the fuse was a little “short” or faulty, then the petard would detonate before it was put in place, gently lifting the hapless engineer up into the air for a much better view of his surroundings. Thus the term “Hoisted with his own petard” is used to describe a situation in which a person is harmed by one’s own actions.

Treadmill Operator

No, there were no health or athletic clubs in the Medieval world. Instead, think of a giant hamster wheel attached a hundred feet or so high up on a not-yet-finished cathedral. The operator would trudge for hours, turning the big wheel which moved a winch attached to a crane which then hoisted building material. In addition to the mundane nature of the job, it was also dangerous in that if the whole assembly had been poorly constructed or sudden bad weather hit – the whole device could come crashing down. Many times, blind people performed this work since they didn’t really need to see where they were treading.

Whipping Boy

Yep, there really was a job called whipping boy. When the prince misbehaved or fell behind in his schooling, only the king had the divine right to administer punishment. But, alas, the king was often away, doing whatever kings do when not in their castles. So, no king, no punishment for the prince. But someone had to pay. Enter the whipping boy. Normally, he had been raised and educated with the prince since birth. Often, a bond of friendship developed between the two. The thinking was that since they were such good friends, when the whipping boy received punishment, the prince felt at least emotional pain for his friend.

This job seems similar to that of a fireman. A lot of sitting around, waiting, and them – bam! – you’re on the job. No word on what happened to the whipping boy once the prince became king. Maybe he became the whipping man, although that title just doesn’t really rock.

7 Famous People With Disabilities

It is easy to feel alone, until you start to learn about famous people with disabilities. There are many people who overcame their own personal challenges and social stigma and make a real difference in the world. Here are seven examples of some of the most famous people with disabilities – some you may have known about and some may surprise you!

Here are 7 famous people with disabilities:

Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr., (1930 to present) also known as Buzz Aldrin, was the second person to walk on the moon, landing with Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969. Buzz Aldrin has bipolar disorder.

Sir Winston Churchill, (1874 to 1965), led Great Britain during World War II and is often referred to as one of the greatest statesman that ever lived. A man of many talents (speaker, author, painter, reporter and soldier), Winston Churchill also was afflicted with bipolar disorder.

William Jefferson Clinton, (1946 to present), is also known as Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. Bill Clinton has a hearing impairment and uses hearing aids.

Tom Cruise, (1962 to present), is an actor who is certainly a household name today. His career began to take off after getting the role in “Risky Business”, and skyrocketed after his performance in “Top Gun”. Tom Cruise has dyslexia, as did his mother and all his siblings.

Albert Einstein, (1879 to 1955), is considered a genius and one of the greatest scientists of all time and with his theory of relativity, ushered in the modern atomic age. Albert Einstein had a learning disability and did very poorly in public schools.

Ernest Hemingway, (1899 to 1961), is a very well known American novelist, writing such works as “A Farwell to Arms” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. Ernest Hemingway suffered both physical and mental illnesses and ended his own life battling suicidal depression in 1961.

Robin Williams, (1951 to present), is a very well known actor/comedian who launched is career with the 1978 TV show “Mork and Mindy”, also has many comedy albums and movies, such as the 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam”. Robin Williams is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

These are only a few of the more “famous of the famous” and there are many more people who have used their strengths instead of dwelling on their challenges and have full, productive, and happy lives. Knowing there are others out there, and many famous people with disabilities, can instill hope and help you feel just a little less alone.

Apple Responds to the Market With New Products

New products are on their way from Apple. The tech firm made it clear they have lots of items in their pipeline at their WWDC Conference this month.

First off is the company’s answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home called the HomePod. It is a seven inch device that will integrate Siri into an Echo/Home like case. You can use it to check the news, weather and control your smart home devices.

HomePod will offer an enhanced music experience. A feature called “Musicologist” will work with Apple music and stream the songs you request from Siri. The sound is designed to fill the room and take it to a level beyond what Amazon and Google are offering.

The device will be available in black or white. Price is around $349. The launch date is anticipated in December just in time for the holiday season.

Need a new desktop? Apple is updating its iMac with improved retina displays, a boost in graphics, Kaby Lake processors and a USB-C plug-in.

An iMac Pro is also on the way. This high-end machine has a 5K display with improved cooling capacity, and 8-core Xeon processor which is upgradeable up to 18-core. It also includes up to 4TB of SSD, up to 128GB of ECC memory, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and built-in 10GB Ethernet.

Pricing is what you would expect from Apple. The new iMac starts at $1,099 for the 21.5-inch model, and $1,299 for the 4K model. MacBook Pro starts at $1,299, which includes the updated Kaby Lake processor. For those with deep pockets the iMac Pro with the Xeon processor starts at a whopping $4,999. Again a December shipping date in expected.

Speaking of “Pros” how about a new iPad Pro? The device will be available in three sizes including a brand new 10.5 inch model. Similar to the iPhone 7 it comes with a 12-megapixel camera and a 7MP selfie cam.

The iPad Pro supports USB 3.0 with 10 hours of battery life. A new feature called ProMotion reduces the Apple Pencil’s latency to 20 milliseconds. It adjusts the refresh rate based on what you are watching and can double it up to 120Hz. The 10.5 inch iPad Pro starts with a 64GB configuration. Pricing begins at $649. You can pick one up now.

Also of note is Apple’s new operating system, iOS11. It is in beta stage and has been released to developers. One area it will improve is multitasking on the iPad. Users will be able to pull up an app from the dock and drag it onto the screen in split-screen version. Like a MacBook you can use touch to hold and drag folders, files or photos. You can even drop them in a different app such as Mail or iMessage. The Apple Pencil will also enable handwritten text to be searchable from the Notes app.

The Apple Watch is also getting a “face lift”. New faces will display new bits of information such as Siri reminders. A Fitness Focus update provides NFC-enabled data sharing with gym equipment. Pair the two and you get the latest calorie burn and activity level.

Apple is letting developers know their tree is full of interesting new products and upgrades. It will be interesting to watch how the public responds in this latest round of Apple picking.

Can We Afford to Miss Customer Experience?

Organizations today seem partly unable to overcome their hesitation to adοpt a CX strategy, stating they cannot afford CX.

We experience a most technologically evolving environment where the balance between digital and physical services tend to change constantly. Google brings to the discussion the so called life moments instead of the classic definition of needs as we traditionally know them. Disney Institute offers creative solutions on delivering exceptional customer experiences based on storytelling. Most of the things we have been taught about marketing or management have been shaped into a different form.

Everything can be easily replicated. A thousand times we saw brand new products or services introduced to the market from an organization and right after from another. What it’s proved to be hardly replicable is the entire experience a customer has from an organization. And what is the entire experience? It is the sum of interactions between customer and business through all available channels (digital/physical). This is one of the reasons why Omni channel and seamless transition is so much talked about between UX experts.

The truth is that adapting such a strategy would mean a radical change inside the organization or even disrupt industry. It means change mind set, adapt technologies and methodologies like Agile and Lean and of course User Experience which could really work as pillars to customer experience edifice.

But there are alternatives and examples to confirm that you can start the implementation in stages.

As people make the difference, organizations can begin with them. Key skills for people working in Customer Experience is creativity and storytelling. Those people need space and authority to act as ambassadors, to work with teams and start spreading the “virus” of customer experience, because this is what it is. Once you are “infected” you cannot be healed. When you learn how to take a mile in your customer shoes you cannot go back and even further when you start seeing results.

Of course the journey of customer experience doesn’t end there. There are efforts to be put on IT and new methodologies but… it’s just a start in an endless learning process. A process that will make each one of the participants much more rich in experiences and feelings that inevitably will change their point of view.

Instead of asking: “Can we afford Customer Experience?” maybe we should be asking “Can we afford to miss Customer Experience?”

Healthy Relationship Tip – Trade Treasure Maps to Rediscover Gold in Your Relationship

I know you're concerned about improving the state of your relationship, but let's talk for a minute about you. When did you last feel loved and cared for? What helps you feel that way? It's harder to take time to nurture yourself when faced with a strained relationship. You can probably rattle off a laundry list of troubles, but can not come up with what makes you feel loved and cared for. Yet is not feeling loved and cared for what you want in a healthy relationship?

It's what he wants too.

Once upon a time you both loved discovering what pleased the other. You relished any interests you had in common. Where did that go? We will not point fingers or assign blame for why your life turned into a pressure cooker. You want a healthy relationship. Here's a way you can reduce the heat and steam.

Some time when you're not arguing, sit down with your man and each make a list of what makes you feel loved and cared for. If your man is like mine, he'll declare he hates writing stuff down, he knows already, he's not a kid in school. Tell him these are treasure maps for each other, because neither one of you is a mind reader.

If you're like me, you'll have to think hard about what pleases you. Do not limit yourself to what you think he will or will not do for you. Put down whatever brings you joy, even if it includes how a sleeping puppy breathes and twitches. Do you love waking up to the smell of coffee? Put it down. This is you.

Need some examples? Here's what I came up with that makes me feel loved and cared for:
Him wrapping his arms around me from behind as I work
Him cooking my supper
Clean sheets on the bed
Being hear
An hour or two on the couch together while I knit, he reads, and sometimes we talk
Good movies
Encouragement

Now exchange lists. As you study your partner's list, a couple things may surprise you. You may wonder how a Harley-Davidson motorcycle creates a healthy relationship, but keep reading. Does he want a back scrub in the tub? His favorite meal three times a week? One real kiss a day? Maybe you can not cough up a Harley, but make a commitment to do some of those things and see what happens.

Recipe To Make Natural Homemade Sexual Lubricant

Sexual lubricants are used in order to reduce the friction and add moisture between the two moving objects such as human reproductive organs or sex toys. While sexual lubricants are commonly available in drug stores, adult book stores, and novelty shops and even in some departmental stores, it becomes quite hard for people to choose the right sexual lubricant for them at times. For this purpose, it is refreshing news that sexual lubricants or lubes can be prepared at home by day to day accessories and ingredients. Preparation methods for these lubricants are easy and not very complex. They do not take a lot of time and should be stored in clean and sterilised containers in order to avoid the growth of any bacteria which might cause diseases and infections.

Preparation method

In order to prepare sexual lubricants at home one must follow certain fixed recipes. A mixture of four teaspoons of cornstarch or potato starch and a cup full of water should be taken in a bowl. If you are planning on replicating flavoured lubricants which are available in the market then you can add flavoured extracts from certain products according to your own tastes. A few drops of flavoured extracts should suffice for adding flavour to your lubricants. Following this, take the mixture in a pot and boil it for a few minutes before pulling down the heat and allowing it to simmer. Stir the mixture in order to remove lumps and make it smooth. The process is completed once the mixture cools down and is smooth.

Storing

In order to store the home made lubricants you can use boxes, jars or containers with lids. Even bowls which have tight lids can be used in order to store the mixtures. Transfer the sexual lubricant into your storage medium and put the lid on tightly. While there are some home made lubricant recipes which need to be stored in refrigerators, this particular recipe must not be stored in a refrigerator since it is susceptible to forming a skin like layer on top which is unfavourable to your needs. If you are lacking a lid then you can use a plastic wrap as a cover and store the prepared lubricant at room temperature. Make sure that the container, bowl or jar you use is properly cleaned and sterilised before storing the lubricant in it so as to avoid any bacteria which might cause infections and diseases.

Holiday Trip, Make the Process Easier With This Guide Plan

Planning a trip is always a daunting task, especially a long one. Getting overwhelmed is step one, but you fail to understand where to begin, and this is more if this is your first holiday trip. Now, you may consider this guide to plan your holiday trip so that breaking the process becomes less overwhelming and easier.

Decide the place to go

Deciding a place to go sets a goal. Planning to go on a trip is usually vague, until you decide the place to go. It is immensely important to pick a destination, even if offers you a goal. It is easier to get behind mentally so that your planning becomes easier.

Decide your trip length

The trip cost you depends on the length of the trip. Deciding on the destination and the trip length helps in figuring the travel cost. Likewise, you can save on it.

Research the costs

Now that you have decided the place and trip length, you can understand the costs. Nail down the money required approximately, research costs arriving at the travel style required. This includes focusing mainly on the accommodation you are looking for is it a backpack or luxury hotels stay. The number of attractions in the place you wish to visit and the approximate money required for the trip. Thus, save accordingly for the trip.

Start saving

Start saving by writing the current expenses and determine the money you wish to spend. People every day require a lot of money and this includes purchasing water bottle to the extra coffee or the snack. Having a breakdown created lets you know that you require to cut and save. Calculate every day requirement and try to save and here are easy tips for wins:

  • Cut the coffee. If you are spending on coffee for 3 -4 cups daily, try to cut it to two daily and save the money.
  • Learn to cook. If you know cooking, you are saved. If not, learn cooking and you will see that even cutting per week two times ensures you save a lot. Another idea is to cook a big dinner and keep the leftovers for next day lunch and to save money. Follow the principle of eat out less, cook more and save.
  • Cut cable. There is free streaming of TV and internet available, that you can cut cable charges per month and save the same.

Get No-Fee ATM Cards

Save extra dollars by using no-fee atm cards and in this way avoid giving banks extra money. Check for such local banks and use their cards.

Book Your Flight

On using the travel credit card you can book flight and use travel miles saved, if any. The fact cannot be denied that nowadays using miles is difficult owing to less availability, so booking early is a must to get your choice of flight.

Plan Your Activities

Sketch you activities, their cost and last-minute adjustments. Ensure to have more money than required. Check for the reservations done and keep your closest people informed about your trip and leave the important documents set of copies with them, it may help you in need.

High School Wrestling: John Jesse’s Wisdom on Strength and Conditioning

In 1974, a book entitled Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia was published. This book was written by a man named John Jesse.

Conditioning coach Vernon Gambetta writes, "You are probably asking who is John Jesse? John Jesse was an expert on strength training, injury prevention and rehabilitation from Southern California."

I never knew of this book’s existence until recently even though it’s obviously been around a long time. I came across it while surfing the internet and researching wrestling conditioning.

I borrowed a copy from the public library and found it really fascinating. John Jesse’s book doesn’t seem that outdated even though it was published 38 years ago. He really knew a lot about strength and conditioning.

So, what did he know?

Year-Round Training

Jesse emphasizes the importance of continuity in training. Continuous year-round physical training is imperative if a wrestler wishes to be successful. When discussing the importance of continuity he points out that, “Repeated efforts are required for the formation of conditioned-reflexes in the nervous system required for the development of great skill.”

A wrestler needs to train continuously the entire calendar year. However, Jesse recognizes the importance of breaking down the yearly training into cycles. Jesse divides the year-round training into four cycles.

The Four Cycles

  • Transition (Active Rest) Cycle – a period of one month immediately following the competitive season
  • Basic (Foundation) Cycle – a period of five months divided into three stages
  • Principal (Specific Preparation) Cycle – a period of two months
  • Competitive – generally a period of four months

Jesse advises to take one week totally off immediately following the season and then begin the transition cycle. However, you are not to engage in any wrestling or skills work during the transition cycle. During that cycle one should abstain from any wrestling, but you need to begin training for strength, endurance, and flexibly again. If you take too long of a break the physical attributes you’ve gained will begin to dissipate.

I’m sure that most of you have learned about the concept of periodization. Well, as you can see, that’s exactly what John Jesse is writing about.

In this current age, periodization is still used. Periodization is basically just planning your training. Dr. Fred Hatfield (a.k.a. Dr. Squat) is a big advocate of periodization. In an article entitled The Simplicity of Periodicity he writes of the “tremendous value of short-term periodization in your training.”

Moreover, he adds, “As your competition draws nearer and nearer, your training objectives change, and therefore your training methods change commensurably.”

Sports scientist Tudor Bompa has said, “We either have periodization or chaos.”

John Jesse writes something very similar in his book. He states, “Without a long-range training plan the athlete’s training can easily degenerate into chaos.”

Jesse knew what he was talking about.

Do you think champion wrestlers only work out during wrestling season? Do you think they train in some haphazard fashion? No! They train year-round with a well developed plan in mind just like John Jesse advocated and strength and conditioning experts still advocate.

Individuality and Specificity

Regarding individuality Jesses writes, “Training is an individual problem. All individuals react differently to the same training load.

Further, he states, that “No athlete should base his training plan on that used by some champion or outstanding athlete particularly as to the intensity of training loads.”

For instance, a high school wrestler may not be able to tolerate the training load that a college wrestler handles during a training year. You may not be able to train with the same load or intensity that Dan Gable or John Smith used while training.

According to Dr Fred Hatfield, there are seven laws of training that most sports scientists subscribe to. One of those laws is the law of individual differences. According to Hatfield, “We all have different abilities and weaknesses, and we all respond differently (to a degree) to any given system of training. These differences should be taken into consideration when designing your training program.”

Jesse knew the importance of individuality just as coaches do now and you should too.

Regarding specificity Jesse writes, “This principle maintains that training and its effects is specific to the muscle cells, organs and movements of the body in the development of either strength, endurance, flexibility or skill.”

Further, he states, “The specificity principle is of particular importance to the wrestler who requires various types of strength and endurance in order to excel in competition.”

Another of the seven laws of training is the specificity principle. According to Hatfield, “You’ll get stronger at squats by doing squats as opposed to leg presses, and you’ll get greater endurance for the marathon by running long distances than you will by (say) cycling long distances.”

A closely related law is the SAID principle: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

You are a wrestler. Therefore, you must wrestle to improve at wrestling. You must also train for the demands of wrestling. You are not a marathoner so do not train like one. Wrestling is an anaerobic sport requiring strength, power, endurance, and many other abilities. So, train accordingly.

John Jesse knew the importance of specificity. Now you do too.

Supremacy of Strength

Jesse states, “The importance of strength in wrestling competition as the primary source of human power is frequently underestimated by coaches and wrestler alike. Strength underlies all other factors when one considers the total functioning of the body. Without sufficient strength other factors such as endurance, flexibility, agility, and skill cannot be used effectively.”

Similarly, performance coach Kelly Baggett states, "Maximum strength is the backbone upon which all other strength qualities lie. You’ll hear me talk a lot about being fast and the importance of speed, power, reactive ability etc. All of these qualities of strength are very important, but truthfully, unless you have enough raw horsepower in your engine you won’t be going anywhere or doing anything in a hurry!"

You may be interested in plyometrics, circuit training, and other modes of conditioning. However, one of your first priorities should be building a good strength base.

All-Round Strength

In Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, all-round strength or total body strength is discussed. A wrestler wants his total body to work in a harmonious manner as a well-coordinated whole unit.

Some exercises recommended for the development of all-round strength include the one arm get-up, two arm get-up, dumbbell clean and jerk, barbell clean and jerk, barbell push press, barbell jerk press, deadlift, one hand swing, two hand swing, high pull to chest, and dead hang clean.

It’s interesting to note that the one arm and two arm get-ups and the one hand and two hand swings are illustrated using dumbbells. These exercises are popular choices now for athletes using kettlebells. The get-up is usually called the Turkish get-up. The Turkish get-up is hailed as a fantastic all-round strength and conditioning exercise. In addition, the Turkish get-up is endorsed because it requires all the muscles

of the body to work together in order to accomplish the labor.

Kettlebell swings are considered the foundation kettlebell exercise and are said to burn fat, build strength, and enhance cardiovascular fitness.

His book doesn’t mention kettlebells, but John Jesse knew the importance of all-round strength.

Strength Endurance

John writes, “The type of endurance that is in general overlooked in the conditioning of wrestlers is strength endurance. It is perhaps the most important basic physical quality a wrestler should develop.”

He suggests that one way of building strength endurance is to pick two exercises and do 4 sets of each. You do one set with 30, 50, 70, and 80 percent of your 1RM respectively. You would do this during the Principal (Specific Preparation) Cycle.

Some current strength and conditioning coaches may argue that Jesse’s routine is more suited to building muscular endurance than strength endurance.

The point is that John Jesse knew that after acquiring strength a wrestler needed to convert that strength into strength that he could use repeatedly over the duration of a match.

Trainer and coach Ross Enamait states, "Strength endurance is defined as the ability to effectively maintain muscular functioning under work conditions of long duration. Strength endurance is a vital strength quality for any combat athlete. Power and speed are useless without the stamina necessary to apply these physical attributes throughout the contest."

Similarly, strength and conditioning specialist Matt Wiggins writes about strength often being the most beneficial when you can take advantage of that strength over an extended period of time. He prefers to build strength endurance by using heavy weights and shortened rest periods.

Others prefer to do circuits using dumbbells or kettlebells combined with bodyweight exercises.

The bottom line is that you want to be as strong as possible for as long as possible. Jesse really emphasized strength endurance in the strength and conditioning training plan of a wrestler.

Rotational Strength

John believed that athletes placed too much emphasis on developing the muscles of the arms, shoulders and legs, while overlooking the importance of strength in the muscles of the lower back, sides, and abdomen.

He states, “No athlete engaged in activities that involve rotational and lateral movements against resistance such as wrestling, can truly project the concept of total body strength in movement if he is relatively weak in the muscles surrounding the lower trunk.”

When writing of John Jesse, conditioning coach Vernon Gambetta states, "He was preaching tri-plane work in the late 1940’s. Big emphasis on rotary work, a surprise to the gurus of today who think they invented rotary work." He also adds, "His ideas are very contemporary; he was a man ahead of his time."

Interestingly, certified strength and conditioning specialist Bret Contreres states that many sport movements include either large or subtle rotational elements. For example, imagine a wrestler attempting to take down an opponent. Does a double leg or single leg take down only involve strength in the vertical plane? I don’t believe so. You don’t lift your opponent straight up. One is usually lifting, moving laterally, and rotating.

Throws certainly occur in the transverse plane. What’s the transverse plane? Or, for that matter, what are the sagittal and frontal planes?

According to functional training expert Fraser Quelch, "As the body moves through space, it uses any combination of three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal and transverse." He adds, "Most traditional strengthening programs heavily favor sagittal-plane movement in a training environment that promotes one-dimensional motor patterns. These factors can undermine the body’s ability to move effectively in any given direction, and, in many cases, may lead to joint dysfunction."

Strength and conditioning coach Chad Waterbury states, "Rotational strength is probably the most important strength movement quality for MMA fighters. Sure, deadlifts, cleans, squats, chins, etc. are great strength building exercises, but they only establish a base of strength: that strength base must be further enhanced with rotational movements."

So, you see, John Jesse knew the importance of rotational strength for combative athletes. He mentions various rotational exercises in his book involving barbells, swingbells, and sandbags. You may have no idea what a swingbell is. That’s fine. There are many things an athlete can do with medicine balls or simply his bodyweight to exercise in the frontal and transverse planes.

Grip Strength

Jesse states, “No other athletic activity requires the combined strength and endurance of the grip as that required in the sport of wrestling.”

Similarly, Zach Even-Esh states, "Having strong hands and a powerful grip is misunderstood and undervalued by most wrestlers. Remember, everything passes through your hands in wrestling. The stronger your hands, the stronger your holds will be. The stronger your hands, the less likely your grip is to be a limiting factor in holding an opponent or finishing a move."

Joe Makovec, strength and conditioning coach for the nationally ranked Hofstra wrestling team, discussed some grip exercises with STACK Magazine (2007). He states, "We do a lot of wrist rollers and fat bar exercises, like rows and curls. We do a farmer’s carry, too, with a fat bar and with regular dumbbells. We also do a lot of pulling motions where you have to grip a rope."

Strength coach Charles Poliquin advocates thick bar training for grip. In an article about thick bar training he tells an anecdote about a Russian wrestler who displayed his grip strength at a press conference during the 1970s by producing two pairs of pliers and proceeding to squeeze them so hard that they snapped. After this Russian wrestler defeated an American wrestler, the defeated US wrestler commented that when the Russian grabbed his arms, he felt as if they were locked in a vise grip.

Can you maintain wrist and hand control on your opponents throughout a match? It is essential to have a strong grip. Good grip strength will greatly add to your ability to control or take down an opponent.

Hamstrings and Hips

Every wrestler has heard how important the hips are in wrestling whether it be properly using your own hip strength and power or the need to control your opponent’s hips.

Jesse discusses the fact that most of the holds used by a wrestler employ the hamstring, leg adductor, and hip flexor muscles to a much greater extent than leg extensor muscles. He believed that the strength of the hamstring muscles also played an important role in the prevention of injury to the knee.

According to STACK Magazine (2005), Gary Calcagno, head strength and conditioning coach for Oklahoma State University, says that lower body strength training is as simple as doing squats, glute ham raises, and lunges.

According to Coach Dave Tate, "We have known for years that the Glute Ham Raise (GHR) was regarded as one the best movements for the posterior chain (lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves)."

And, Testosterone Magazine says of glute ham raises, "In addition to building up those hammies, it can also make an athlete virtually invulnerable to hamstring injuries as the movement lengthens the sarcomeres to an unparalleled degree."

You may not have access to a glute ham machine. Doesn’t matter. You can do them without a machine. I’m simply pointing out that current strength coaches realize the importance of strong hamstrings.

According to Coach John Gaglione, "The strength of a wrestler’s posterior chain is extremely important for optimal performance on the mat. Most athletes only focus on the muscles they can see in the mirror; often times neglecting the muscles they can’t see such as the glutes, hamstrings, and low back. This is a HUGE mistake, especially when these muscles play a paramount role in many movements you see in competition."

According to Patrick Dale, "Hip strength is vital in grappling sports such as wrestling and jiujitsu. Throwing your opponent to the ground and escaping from a pin attempt require power in your hip muscles. There are a variety of muscles that cross your hip joints, including the gluteus maximus or butt muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors."

Hip flexion brings the legs forward. Hip flexors are the muscles that bring the torso and leg closer together Think of how you lower your level before shooting a takedown.

Strength and conditioning coach Kevin O’Neill states, "Through my experience working with athletes in a variety of sports I have come to the belief that athletes and coaches do not train the hip flexors for strength gains nearly enough as they should."

He says the stronger the hip flexors, (along with the hamstrings and glutes), the faster the athlete is going to be.

It’s possible (even common) to have hip flexors that are too tight. It’s possible to overdevelop the strength in your hip flexors as well which is undesirable.

Hip extension is extremely important too. Don’t neglect the importance of hip flexion or extension.

Interestingly, Kelly Baggett claims that one of the main differences between average athletes and good athletes can be attributed to the strength, development, and function of the glute musculature. I had no idea the glutes were so important.

The anatomy and physiology stuff can be confusing. I think the main point I’m trying to make is that John Jesse knew the importance that the hamstrings and hips play in wrestling and so do current strength coaches. He knew the effect proper training of those muscles could have on performance and so do current strength coaches.

Anaerobic Endurance

Jesse discusses the fact that during a match a wrestler will engage in many bouts of oxygen debt activity. Therefore, a wrestler requires a high degree of anaerobic metabolism efficiency and resistance to oxygen debt discomfort.

The author discusses the fact that a wrestler needs the capacity to continue at a high level of work in the interval between the "oxygen debt" periods of maximum exertion and still efficiently clear the waste products of the oxygen debt periods that produce fatigue in the muscles.

Have you ever seen your strength or speed drop in the third period because your muscles were burning with fatigue? It’s difficult to shoot a powerful takedown in the third period if you’re feeling fatigued.

The author discusses how a great capillary structure aids a runner in his efforts to clear waste products from his lower body. However, running cannot help a wrestler to develop endurance in the other muscles of his body such as the muscles of the back, chest, arms, and shoulders. A different form of training is required for that.

Jesse states, “Strength endurance training programs develop the wrestler’s ability to tolerate “oxygen debt” (anaerobic endurance) and vastly improve the all-important psychological quality that is called the “will-to-win.”

It’s interesting to note that strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove has a similar view. He states, "Some conditioning coaches use sprint training as their sole method of energy system development (ESD). This is at best a short-sighted approach. It is not uncommon to see well-conditioned fighters who have used sprint based ESD fatigue rapidly in hard matches. This is because although their cardio system is well-conditioned, the effect of lactic acid on their localized muscle groups is devastating. If we do not condition the muscle groups themselves to handle high levels of lactate, the cardio system will feel fine, but that area will lock up and shut down."

Cosgrove recommends using barbell complexes. Barbell complexes involve doing a series of exercises one after the other without putting the bar down. Complexes may help condition your body to handle the high levels of lactate that will be produced during a wrestling match.

In their article The Physiological Basis of Wrestling: Implications for Conditioning Programs, Kraemer et al. (2004) state, "As a combative sport, wrestling imposes unique stresses on the body. From a metabolic perspective, the acid-base balance is severely disrupted. For example, a college or freestyle match lasts between 6 and 8 minutes (including overtime) and can elevate blood lactate concentrations in excess of 15 mmol/L and sometimes reach nearly 20 mmol/L."

In other words, a wrestling match can produce a lot of lactate. This disruption can cause fatigue. So, how can a wrestler train to tolerate this disruption? The authors recommend a circuit training format with brief rest periods. Circuit training is similar to complex training. Interestingly, the authors (much like John Jesse and Alwyn Cosgrove) note, "It is also vital that the upper body is trained in this manner to increase the capability of upper-body musculature to directly adapt to the dramatic acid-base shifts that occur with wrestling."

You may want to research anaerobic threshold training, lactate threshold training, complexes, and circuit training.

Interval Training

You may be aware that interval training, especially high intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage right now. The Tabata protocol is especially popular. Interval training involves alternating between bouts of high-intensity work and recovery periods of lower intensity work.

For instance, instead of running at a slow steady pace for 24 minutes a person may run hard for 2 minutes and jog for 4 minutes (6 minutes total) and repeat this protocol 4 times (a total of 24 minutes). Both workouts are 24 minutes in length, but the second workout may elicit a different training response. Or, a person may perform several 30 second sprints with each sprint followed by a recovery period and then run perhaps 10 sprints total.

The high intensity nature of the training is supposed to burn more fat, enhance one’s lactate threshold, and promote greater cardiovascular benefit than traditional slow, steady-state cardiovascular work. An athlete’s work to rest ratio could be 1:3, 1:2, 1:1, 2:1, and other combinations.

Did John Jesse know about interval work? Yes! Regarding interval work training Jesse writes, “This is physical work or activity of a given intensity, interspersed with pauses.” Further, he adds, “The steady work uptake and the repeated slowing down or stoppages of work (jogging, walking, lying down, etc.) stimulates the organism to much higher physiological adaptations, thereby forcing the organism to its optimal development, endurance wise.”

Of course, even in 1974 when Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia was published interval training was nothing new. Interval training was first developed by German physiologists Reindell and Gerschler in the 1930s. Roger Bannister, the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes, used interval training.

The point is that John Jesse knew the benefits that this type of training could offer to athletes including wrestlers. He knew that it had many advantages over continuous steady-state types of training.

Sandbags

John discusses the fact that sandbags are awkward to handle. That is one of the main reasons that strength and conditioning coaches advocate sandbag training.

According to strength coach Brian Jones, "During a sandbag rep or set the load may shift substantially from one side to the other, sag in the middle, or otherwise try to escape your grasp. Such shifting forces your core and stabilizers to work overtime in an attempt to get the weight back under control. You will be forced to work considerably harder to control a given load."

John Jesse also believed that sandbag training mimicked the lifting and pulling movements encountered in wrestling. Also, he believed that sandbag training was good for developing rotational strength and power.

Certified strength and conditioning specialist Mark Roozen states, "Using sandbags in a training program can help develop power, quickness, agility, and conditioning components. This can all be accomplished with a piece of equipment that can simulate contact, throws, and be utilized in ways that solid resistance equipment could not be used."

Sandbags are becoming a very popular training tool. You can find many articles online about sandbag training.

Calisthenics and Running Combined

Jesse writes, “Athletic coaches in all sports use combined programs of running, calisthenics, rope skipping, stadium steps running, etc., for the development of strength, muscular and circulo-respiratory endurance and agility.”

Strength and conditioning coach Mike Mahler likes the benefits that can be derived from "roadwork." He states, "Here is how it works, go out for a jog and every 50 yards or so, drop down and do some bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. Crank out 25 reps and then get up immediately and start jogging again. After another 50 yards or so, drop down again and crank out some more bodyweight drills. This is an efficient way to build up cardio and muscular endurance that will carry over to the ring."

For anaerobic endurance training Mike Fry suggests visiting your local football field. He writes, "Starting at the goal line, sprint to the 10 yd line and walk back to the goal line and do 10 push-ups, continue by increasing your sprint by 10 yds each time and walking back to the goal line. Do pushups after each return to the goal line." Make sure to do a warm up before and a cool down afterwards.

Legendary wrestler and former Iowa Hawkeye coach Dan Gable used to enjoy utilizing the stadium steps of Carver-Hawkeye Arena to condition his wrestlers. Walking up those steps with a buddy on your back could be especially grueling.

Drilling and Technique

Jesse emphasizes the importance of “improving skill (technique, use of leverage, etc.) to eliminate unnecessary movements that waste energy and use up oxygen.”

Personal fitness trainer Brian Copeland writes very similar words. He states, "It is always best to include skill practice before resistance or endurance training. The goal of skill training is not to just practice… it is to get better! It amazes me how often this simple principle is overlooked. It is my experience that people don’t really understand how to practice to make improvements, at least not beyond a basic level of skill. Skill practice is analyzing every single aspect of every movement you make and finding more efficiency, better leverage, etc."

If one desires to use sparring as a method of developing endurance for mixed martial arts, strength coach Charles Poliquin suggests, "The best way would be to pair up with 5 other fighters that each take turns to fight you. Since they are fresh, they will give you a run for your money. Depending on the system you want to develop you would manipulate the work /rest interval. For example 6-10 minutes work on fighter 1, 2 minutes off, 6-10 minutes work on fighter 2, 2 minutes off, etc. The permutations of that type of work are staggering. Twice a week should be plenty. What is good about it is that you will be forced to make decisions in conditions of fatigue, which is a determinant in MMA fighting."

Interestingly, in Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, the author writes of a wrestling drill for building endurance that is a bit similar to the MMA routine above. He writes, "Wrestler remains on mat and wrestles for 9 minutes against a fresh opponent each minute, with 10-second rest intervals."

Cycling Work and Rest

Even though year-round training is encouraged, one is not expected to train with the same volume and intensity year-round. Jesse recognizes the need for varying volume and intensity in the training plan. Some days will be low intensity, some medium, and others high. Some days may involve total rest.

According to Dr. Owen Anderson, "Any periodization scheme must begin with one basic element – rest. This is intuitively and logically obvious: the human body simply needs ‘down’ (restoration) periods to recover from extended periods of stress; you must convalesce from the training you carried out in your just-completed mesocycle or macrocycle."

Proper Weight Reduction

John Jesse warns the reader about the dangers and foolishness of crash starvation diets and dehydration. He recognized that crash starvation diets can have devastating effects on a wrestler’s performance. He suggests that it’s better not to diet unless you actually have weight to lose. Many wrestlers are already lean to begin with and then starve and dehydrate themselves to make weight.

Professor William Kraemer points out that a wrestler will not be functioning optimally physiologically if he engages in dehydration practices for the purpose of weight reduction.

He also notes, "Adopting different weight-loss strategies that stabilize muscle mass and body mass to prepare for a match appears to be the best way to eliminate physiological breakdown and allow the wrestler to perform at a higher level of physiological readiness."

Improper weight loss techniques can be detrimental to a wrestler’s conditioning and to his performance in competition.

Craig Horswill, PhD suggests some possible options regarding weight loss in wrestlers. Describing one of these options, he writes, "Lift weights and grow into the weight class. Be stronger at the end of the season. How many wrestlers start strong but fade in the tournaments because they are burned out after weight cutting has taken its toll? If a wrestler can grow into the weight class to the point that he needs to begin cutting weight only by the end of the season, he spares himself three months of nutritional deprivation and improves his chances of not becoming over trained. He is fresh when it really counts."

Interestingly, John Jesse mentioned that some wrestling coaches had achieved success by letting wrestlers stay at their natural weight or perhaps even gain weight during the season.

Conclusion

Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia also covers topics such as flexibility, injury prevention, circuit training, gymnastic apparatus exercises, isometrics, proper nutrition, and more.

In his article Seven Keys to Athletic Success, strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove discusses concepts of physical training such as the importance of strength, explosive power, endurance, flexibility, injury prevention, and core training.

John Jesse addressed all of those concepts in his book in 1974. You may want to borrow a copy of this book or buy it online. I think you’d learn a lot and enjoy reading it. If you don’t read the book it’s no big deal. The important thing is that John Jesse knew that proper training for wrestling based on science as well as years of experience had the potential to dramatically improve a wrestler’s performance.

The main reason I wrote this article is because I believe that John Jesse and his book deserve to be recognized and remembered.

But, as I said, you don’t need to read his book. So much incredible information regarding the training for wrestling and other combative sports can be found in books, magazines and journals, and online. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is out there. Take advantage of science and let it help you become the best wrestler that you can be.

High School Wrestling: John Jesse’s Wisdom on Strength and Conditioning

In 1974, a book entitled Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia was published. This book was written by a man named John Jesse.

Conditioning coach Vernon Gambetta writes, "You are probably asking who is John Jesse? John Jesse was an expert on strength training, injury prevention and rehabilitation from Southern California."

I never knew of this book’s existence until recently even though it’s obviously been around a long time. I came across it while surfing the internet and researching wrestling conditioning.

I borrowed a copy from the public library and found it really fascinating. John Jesse’s book doesn’t seem that outdated even though it was published 38 years ago. He really knew a lot about strength and conditioning.

So, what did he know?

Year-Round Training

Jesse emphasizes the importance of continuity in training. Continuous year-round physical training is imperative if a wrestler wishes to be successful. When discussing the importance of continuity he points out that, “Repeated efforts are required for the formation of conditioned-reflexes in the nervous system required for the development of great skill.”

A wrestler needs to train continuously the entire calendar year. However, Jesse recognizes the importance of breaking down the yearly training into cycles. Jesse divides the year-round training into four cycles.

The Four Cycles

  • Transition (Active Rest) Cycle – a period of one month immediately following the competitive season
  • Basic (Foundation) Cycle – a period of five months divided into three stages
  • Principal (Specific Preparation) Cycle – a period of two months
  • Competitive – generally a period of four months

Jesse advises to take one week totally off immediately following the season and then begin the transition cycle. However, you are not to engage in any wrestling or skills work during the transition cycle. During that cycle one should abstain from any wrestling, but you need to begin training for strength, endurance, and flexibly again. If you take too long of a break the physical attributes you’ve gained will begin to dissipate.

I’m sure that most of you have learned about the concept of periodization. Well, as you can see, that’s exactly what John Jesse is writing about.

In this current age, periodization is still used. Periodization is basically just planning your training. Dr. Fred Hatfield (a.k.a. Dr. Squat) is a big advocate of periodization. In an article entitled The Simplicity of Periodicity he writes of the “tremendous value of short-term periodization in your training.”

Moreover, he adds, “As your competition draws nearer and nearer, your training objectives change, and therefore your training methods change commensurably.”

Sports scientist Tudor Bompa has said, “We either have periodization or chaos.”

John Jesse writes something very similar in his book. He states, “Without a long-range training plan the athlete’s training can easily degenerate into chaos.”

Jesse knew what he was talking about.

Do you think champion wrestlers only work out during wrestling season? Do you think they train in some haphazard fashion? No! They train year-round with a well developed plan in mind just like John Jesse advocated and strength and conditioning experts still advocate.

Individuality and Specificity

Regarding individuality Jesses writes, “Training is an individual problem. All individuals react differently to the same training load.

Further, he states, that “No athlete should base his training plan on that used by some champion or outstanding athlete particularly as to the intensity of training loads.”

For instance, a high school wrestler may not be able to tolerate the training load that a college wrestler handles during a training year. You may not be able to train with the same load or intensity that Dan Gable or John Smith used while training.

According to Dr Fred Hatfield, there are seven laws of training that most sports scientists subscribe to. One of those laws is the law of individual differences. According to Hatfield, “We all have different abilities and weaknesses, and we all respond differently (to a degree) to any given system of training. These differences should be taken into consideration when designing your training program.”

Jesse knew the importance of individuality just as coaches do now and you should too.

Regarding specificity Jesse writes, “This principle maintains that training and its effects is specific to the muscle cells, organs and movements of the body in the development of either strength, endurance, flexibility or skill.”

Further, he states, “The specificity principle is of particular importance to the wrestler who requires various types of strength and endurance in order to excel in competition.”

Another of the seven laws of training is the specificity principle. According to Hatfield, “You’ll get stronger at squats by doing squats as opposed to leg presses, and you’ll get greater endurance for the marathon by running long distances than you will by (say) cycling long distances.”

A closely related law is the SAID principle: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

You are a wrestler. Therefore, you must wrestle to improve at wrestling. You must also train for the demands of wrestling. You are not a marathoner so do not train like one. Wrestling is an anaerobic sport requiring strength, power, endurance, and many other abilities. So, train accordingly.

John Jesse knew the importance of specificity. Now you do too.

Supremacy of Strength

Jesse states, “The importance of strength in wrestling competition as the primary source of human power is frequently underestimated by coaches and wrestler alike. Strength underlies all other factors when one considers the total functioning of the body. Without sufficient strength other factors such as endurance, flexibility, agility, and skill cannot be used effectively.”

Similarly, performance coach Kelly Baggett states, "Maximum strength is the backbone upon which all other strength qualities lie. You’ll hear me talk a lot about being fast and the importance of speed, power, reactive ability etc. All of these qualities of strength are very important, but truthfully, unless you have enough raw horsepower in your engine you won’t be going anywhere or doing anything in a hurry!"

You may be interested in plyometrics, circuit training, and other modes of conditioning. However, one of your first priorities should be building a good strength base.

All-Round Strength

In Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, all-round strength or total body strength is discussed. A wrestler wants his total body to work in a harmonious manner as a well-coordinated whole unit.

Some exercises recommended for the development of all-round strength include the one arm get-up, two arm get-up, dumbbell clean and jerk, barbell clean and jerk, barbell push press, barbell jerk press, deadlift, one hand swing, two hand swing, high pull to chest, and dead hang clean.

It’s interesting to note that the one arm and two arm get-ups and the one hand and two hand swings are illustrated using dumbbells. These exercises are popular choices now for athletes using kettlebells. The get-up is usually called the Turkish get-up. The Turkish get-up is hailed as a fantastic all-round strength and conditioning exercise. In addition, the Turkish get-up is endorsed because it requires all the muscles

of the body to work together in order to accomplish the labor.

Kettlebell swings are considered the foundation kettlebell exercise and are said to burn fat, build strength, and enhance cardiovascular fitness.

His book doesn’t mention kettlebells, but John Jesse knew the importance of all-round strength.

Strength Endurance

John writes, “The type of endurance that is in general overlooked in the conditioning of wrestlers is strength endurance. It is perhaps the most important basic physical quality a wrestler should develop.”

He suggests that one way of building strength endurance is to pick two exercises and do 4 sets of each. You do one set with 30, 50, 70, and 80 percent of your 1RM respectively. You would do this during the Principal (Specific Preparation) Cycle.

Some current strength and conditioning coaches may argue that Jesse’s routine is more suited to building muscular endurance than strength endurance.

The point is that John Jesse knew that after acquiring strength a wrestler needed to convert that strength into strength that he could use repeatedly over the duration of a match.

Trainer and coach Ross Enamait states, "Strength endurance is defined as the ability to effectively maintain muscular functioning under work conditions of long duration. Strength endurance is a vital strength quality for any combat athlete. Power and speed are useless without the stamina necessary to apply these physical attributes throughout the contest."

Similarly, strength and conditioning specialist Matt Wiggins writes about strength often being the most beneficial when you can take advantage of that strength over an extended period of time. He prefers to build strength endurance by using heavy weights and shortened rest periods.

Others prefer to do circuits using dumbbells or kettlebells combined with bodyweight exercises.

The bottom line is that you want to be as strong as possible for as long as possible. Jesse really emphasized strength endurance in the strength and conditioning training plan of a wrestler.

Rotational Strength

John believed that athletes placed too much emphasis on developing the muscles of the arms, shoulders and legs, while overlooking the importance of strength in the muscles of the lower back, sides, and abdomen.

He states, “No athlete engaged in activities that involve rotational and lateral movements against resistance such as wrestling, can truly project the concept of total body strength in movement if he is relatively weak in the muscles surrounding the lower trunk.”

When writing of John Jesse, conditioning coach Vernon Gambetta states, "He was preaching tri-plane work in the late 1940’s. Big emphasis on rotary work, a surprise to the gurus of today who think they invented rotary work." He also adds, "His ideas are very contemporary; he was a man ahead of his time."

Interestingly, certified strength and conditioning specialist Bret Contreres states that many sport movements include either large or subtle rotational elements. For example, imagine a wrestler attempting to take down an opponent. Does a double leg or single leg take down only involve strength in the vertical plane? I don’t believe so. You don’t lift your opponent straight up. One is usually lifting, moving laterally, and rotating.

Throws certainly occur in the transverse plane. What’s the transverse plane? Or, for that matter, what are the sagittal and frontal planes?

According to functional training expert Fraser Quelch, "As the body moves through space, it uses any combination of three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal and transverse." He adds, "Most traditional strengthening programs heavily favor sagittal-plane movement in a training environment that promotes one-dimensional motor patterns. These factors can undermine the body’s ability to move effectively in any given direction, and, in many cases, may lead to joint dysfunction."

Strength and conditioning coach Chad Waterbury states, "Rotational strength is probably the most important strength movement quality for MMA fighters. Sure, deadlifts, cleans, squats, chins, etc. are great strength building exercises, but they only establish a base of strength: that strength base must be further enhanced with rotational movements."

So, you see, John Jesse knew the importance of rotational strength for combative athletes. He mentions various rotational exercises in his book involving barbells, swingbells, and sandbags. You may have no idea what a swingbell is. That’s fine. There are many things an athlete can do with medicine balls or simply his bodyweight to exercise in the frontal and transverse planes.

Grip Strength

Jesse states, “No other athletic activity requires the combined strength and endurance of the grip as that required in the sport of wrestling.”

Similarly, Zach Even-Esh states, "Having strong hands and a powerful grip is misunderstood and undervalued by most wrestlers. Remember, everything passes through your hands in wrestling. The stronger your hands, the stronger your holds will be. The stronger your hands, the less likely your grip is to be a limiting factor in holding an opponent or finishing a move."

Joe Makovec, strength and conditioning coach for the nationally ranked Hofstra wrestling team, discussed some grip exercises with STACK Magazine (2007). He states, "We do a lot of wrist rollers and fat bar exercises, like rows and curls. We do a farmer’s carry, too, with a fat bar and with regular dumbbells. We also do a lot of pulling motions where you have to grip a rope."

Strength coach Charles Poliquin advocates thick bar training for grip. In an article about thick bar training he tells an anecdote about a Russian wrestler who displayed his grip strength at a press conference during the 1970s by producing two pairs of pliers and proceeding to squeeze them so hard that they snapped. After this Russian wrestler defeated an American wrestler, the defeated US wrestler commented that when the Russian grabbed his arms, he felt as if they were locked in a vise grip.

Can you maintain wrist and hand control on your opponents throughout a match? It is essential to have a strong grip. Good grip strength will greatly add to your ability to control or take down an opponent.

Hamstrings and Hips

Every wrestler has heard how important the hips are in wrestling whether it be properly using your own hip strength and power or the need to control your opponent’s hips.

Jesse discusses the fact that most of the holds used by a wrestler employ the hamstring, leg adductor, and hip flexor muscles to a much greater extent than leg extensor muscles. He believed that the strength of the hamstring muscles also played an important role in the prevention of injury to the knee.

According to STACK Magazine (2005), Gary Calcagno, head strength and conditioning coach for Oklahoma State University, says that lower body strength training is as simple as doing squats, glute ham raises, and lunges.

According to Coach Dave Tate, "We have known for years that the Glute Ham Raise (GHR) was regarded as one the best movements for the posterior chain (lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves)."

And, Testosterone Magazine says of glute ham raises, "In addition to building up those hammies, it can also make an athlete virtually invulnerable to hamstring injuries as the movement lengthens the sarcomeres to an unparalleled degree."

You may not have access to a glute ham machine. Doesn’t matter. You can do them without a machine. I’m simply pointing out that current strength coaches realize the importance of strong hamstrings.

According to Coach John Gaglione, "The strength of a wrestler’s posterior chain is extremely important for optimal performance on the mat. Most athletes only focus on the muscles they can see in the mirror; often times neglecting the muscles they can’t see such as the glutes, hamstrings, and low back. This is a HUGE mistake, especially when these muscles play a paramount role in many movements you see in competition."

According to Patrick Dale, "Hip strength is vital in grappling sports such as wrestling and jiujitsu. Throwing your opponent to the ground and escaping from a pin attempt require power in your hip muscles. There are a variety of muscles that cross your hip joints, including the gluteus maximus or butt muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors."

Hip flexion brings the legs forward. Hip flexors are the muscles that bring the torso and leg closer together Think of how you lower your level before shooting a takedown.

Strength and conditioning coach Kevin O’Neill states, "Through my experience working with athletes in a variety of sports I have come to the belief that athletes and coaches do not train the hip flexors for strength gains nearly enough as they should."

He says the stronger the hip flexors, (along with the hamstrings and glutes), the faster the athlete is going to be.

It’s possible (even common) to have hip flexors that are too tight. It’s possible to overdevelop the strength in your hip flexors as well which is undesirable.

Hip extension is extremely important too. Don’t neglect the importance of hip flexion or extension.

Interestingly, Kelly Baggett claims that one of the main differences between average athletes and good athletes can be attributed to the strength, development, and function of the glute musculature. I had no idea the glutes were so important.

The anatomy and physiology stuff can be confusing. I think the main point I’m trying to make is that John Jesse knew the importance that the hamstrings and hips play in wrestling and so do current strength coaches. He knew the effect proper training of those muscles could have on performance and so do current strength coaches.

Anaerobic Endurance

Jesse discusses the fact that during a match a wrestler will engage in many bouts of oxygen debt activity. Therefore, a wrestler requires a high degree of anaerobic metabolism efficiency and resistance to oxygen debt discomfort.

The author discusses the fact that a wrestler needs the capacity to continue at a high level of work in the interval between the "oxygen debt" periods of maximum exertion and still efficiently clear the waste products of the oxygen debt periods that produce fatigue in the muscles.

Have you ever seen your strength or speed drop in the third period because your muscles were burning with fatigue? It’s difficult to shoot a powerful takedown in the third period if you’re feeling fatigued.

The author discusses how a great capillary structure aids a runner in his efforts to clear waste products from his lower body. However, running cannot help a wrestler to develop endurance in the other muscles of his body such as the muscles of the back, chest, arms, and shoulders. A different form of training is required for that.

Jesse states, “Strength endurance training programs develop the wrestler’s ability to tolerate “oxygen debt” (anaerobic endurance) and vastly improve the all-important psychological quality that is called the “will-to-win.”

It’s interesting to note that strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove has a similar view. He states, "Some conditioning coaches use sprint training as their sole method of energy system development (ESD). This is at best a short-sighted approach. It is not uncommon to see well-conditioned fighters who have used sprint based ESD fatigue rapidly in hard matches. This is because although their cardio system is well-conditioned, the effect of lactic acid on their localized muscle groups is devastating. If we do not condition the muscle groups themselves to handle high levels of lactate, the cardio system will feel fine, but that area will lock up and shut down."

Cosgrove recommends using barbell complexes. Barbell complexes involve doing a series of exercises one after the other without putting the bar down. Complexes may help condition your body to handle the high levels of lactate that will be produced during a wrestling match.

In their article The Physiological Basis of Wrestling: Implications for Conditioning Programs, Kraemer et al. (2004) state, "As a combative sport, wrestling imposes unique stresses on the body. From a metabolic perspective, the acid-base balance is severely disrupted. For example, a college or freestyle match lasts between 6 and 8 minutes (including overtime) and can elevate blood lactate concentrations in excess of 15 mmol/L and sometimes reach nearly 20 mmol/L."

In other words, a wrestling match can produce a lot of lactate. This disruption can cause fatigue. So, how can a wrestler train to tolerate this disruption? The authors recommend a circuit training format with brief rest periods. Circuit training is similar to complex training. Interestingly, the authors (much like John Jesse and Alwyn Cosgrove) note, "It is also vital that the upper body is trained in this manner to increase the capability of upper-body musculature to directly adapt to the dramatic acid-base shifts that occur with wrestling."

You may want to research anaerobic threshold training, lactate threshold training, complexes, and circuit training.

Interval Training

You may be aware that interval training, especially high intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage right now. The Tabata protocol is especially popular. Interval training involves alternating between bouts of high-intensity work and recovery periods of lower intensity work.

For instance, instead of running at a slow steady pace for 24 minutes a person may run hard for 2 minutes and jog for 4 minutes (6 minutes total) and repeat this protocol 4 times (a total of 24 minutes). Both workouts are 24 minutes in length, but the second workout may elicit a different training response. Or, a person may perform several 30 second sprints with each sprint followed by a recovery period and then run perhaps 10 sprints total.

The high intensity nature of the training is supposed to burn more fat, enhance one’s lactate threshold, and promote greater cardiovascular benefit than traditional slow, steady-state cardiovascular work. An athlete’s work to rest ratio could be 1:3, 1:2, 1:1, 2:1, and other combinations.

Did John Jesse know about interval work? Yes! Regarding interval work training Jesse writes, “This is physical work or activity of a given intensity, interspersed with pauses.” Further, he adds, “The steady work uptake and the repeated slowing down or stoppages of work (jogging, walking, lying down, etc.) stimulates the organism to much higher physiological adaptations, thereby forcing the organism to its optimal development, endurance wise.”

Of course, even in 1974 when Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia was published interval training was nothing new. Interval training was first developed by German physiologists Reindell and Gerschler in the 1930s. Roger Bannister, the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes, used interval training.

The point is that John Jesse knew the benefits that this type of training could offer to athletes including wrestlers. He knew that it had many advantages over continuous steady-state types of training.

Sandbags

John discusses the fact that sandbags are awkward to handle. That is one of the main reasons that strength and conditioning coaches advocate sandbag training.

According to strength coach Brian Jones, "During a sandbag rep or set the load may shift substantially from one side to the other, sag in the middle, or otherwise try to escape your grasp. Such shifting forces your core and stabilizers to work overtime in an attempt to get the weight back under control. You will be forced to work considerably harder to control a given load."

John Jesse also believed that sandbag training mimicked the lifting and pulling movements encountered in wrestling. Also, he believed that sandbag training was good for developing rotational strength and power.

Certified strength and conditioning specialist Mark Roozen states, "Using sandbags in a training program can help develop power, quickness, agility, and conditioning components. This can all be accomplished with a piece of equipment that can simulate contact, throws, and be utilized in ways that solid resistance equipment could not be used."

Sandbags are becoming a very popular training tool. You can find many articles online about sandbag training.

Calisthenics and Running Combined

Jesse writes, “Athletic coaches in all sports use combined programs of running, calisthenics, rope skipping, stadium steps running, etc., for the development of strength, muscular and circulo-respiratory endurance and agility.”

Strength and conditioning coach Mike Mahler likes the benefits that can be derived from "roadwork." He states, "Here is how it works, go out for a jog and every 50 yards or so, drop down and do some bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. Crank out 25 reps and then get up immediately and start jogging again. After another 50 yards or so, drop down again and crank out some more bodyweight drills. This is an efficient way to build up cardio and muscular endurance that will carry over to the ring."

For anaerobic endurance training Mike Fry suggests visiting your local football field. He writes, "Starting at the goal line, sprint to the 10 yd line and walk back to the goal line and do 10 push-ups, continue by increasing your sprint by 10 yds each time and walking back to the goal line. Do pushups after each return to the goal line." Make sure to do a warm up before and a cool down afterwards.

Legendary wrestler and former Iowa Hawkeye coach Dan Gable used to enjoy utilizing the stadium steps of Carver-Hawkeye Arena to condition his wrestlers. Walking up those steps with a buddy on your back could be especially grueling.

Drilling and Technique

Jesse emphasizes the importance of “improving skill (technique, use of leverage, etc.) to eliminate unnecessary movements that waste energy and use up oxygen.”

Personal fitness trainer Brian Copeland writes very similar words. He states, "It is always best to include skill practice before resistance or endurance training. The goal of skill training is not to just practice… it is to get better! It amazes me how often this simple principle is overlooked. It is my experience that people don’t really understand how to practice to make improvements, at least not beyond a basic level of skill. Skill practice is analyzing every single aspect of every movement you make and finding more efficiency, better leverage, etc."

If one desires to use sparring as a method of developing endurance for mixed martial arts, strength coach Charles Poliquin suggests, "The best way would be to pair up with 5 other fighters that each take turns to fight you. Since they are fresh, they will give you a run for your money. Depending on the system you want to develop you would manipulate the work /rest interval. For example 6-10 minutes work on fighter 1, 2 minutes off, 6-10 minutes work on fighter 2, 2 minutes off, etc. The permutations of that type of work are staggering. Twice a week should be plenty. What is good about it is that you will be forced to make decisions in conditions of fatigue, which is a determinant in MMA fighting."

Interestingly, in Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, the author writes of a wrestling drill for building endurance that is a bit similar to the MMA routine above. He writes, "Wrestler remains on mat and wrestles for 9 minutes against a fresh opponent each minute, with 10-second rest intervals."

Cycling Work and Rest

Even though year-round training is encouraged, one is not expected to train with the same volume and intensity year-round. Jesse recognizes the need for varying volume and intensity in the training plan. Some days will be low intensity, some medium, and others high. Some days may involve total rest.

According to Dr. Owen Anderson, "Any periodization scheme must begin with one basic element – rest. This is intuitively and logically obvious: the human body simply needs ‘down’ (restoration) periods to recover from extended periods of stress; you must convalesce from the training you carried out in your just-completed mesocycle or macrocycle."

Proper Weight Reduction

John Jesse warns the reader about the dangers and foolishness of crash starvation diets and dehydration. He recognized that crash starvation diets can have devastating effects on a wrestler’s performance. He suggests that it’s better not to diet unless you actually have weight to lose. Many wrestlers are already lean to begin with and then starve and dehydrate themselves to make weight.

Professor William Kraemer points out that a wrestler will not be functioning optimally physiologically if he engages in dehydration practices for the purpose of weight reduction.

He also notes, "Adopting different weight-loss strategies that stabilize muscle mass and body mass to prepare for a match appears to be the best way to eliminate physiological breakdown and allow the wrestler to perform at a higher level of physiological readiness."

Improper weight loss techniques can be detrimental to a wrestler’s conditioning and to his performance in competition.

Craig Horswill, PhD suggests some possible options regarding weight loss in wrestlers. Describing one of these options, he writes, "Lift weights and grow into the weight class. Be stronger at the end of the season. How many wrestlers start strong but fade in the tournaments because they are burned out after weight cutting has taken its toll? If a wrestler can grow into the weight class to the point that he needs to begin cutting weight only by the end of the season, he spares himself three months of nutritional deprivation and improves his chances of not becoming over trained. He is fresh when it really counts."

Interestingly, John Jesse mentioned that some wrestling coaches had achieved success by letting wrestlers stay at their natural weight or perhaps even gain weight during the season.

Conclusion

Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia also covers topics such as flexibility, injury prevention, circuit training, gymnastic apparatus exercises, isometrics, proper nutrition, and more.

In his article Seven Keys to Athletic Success, strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove discusses concepts of physical training such as the importance of strength, explosive power, endurance, flexibility, injury prevention, and core training.

John Jesse addressed all of those concepts in his book in 1974. You may want to borrow a copy of this book or buy it online. I think you’d learn a lot and enjoy reading it. If you don’t read the book it’s no big deal. The important thing is that John Jesse knew that proper training for wrestling based on science as well as years of experience had the potential to dramatically improve a wrestler’s performance.

The main reason I wrote this article is because I believe that John Jesse and his book deserve to be recognized and remembered.

But, as I said, you don’t need to read his book. So much incredible information regarding the training for wrestling and other combative sports can be found in books, magazines and journals, and online. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is out there. Take advantage of science and let it help you become the best wrestler that you can be.

Electronic Music History and Today’s Best Modern Proponents!

Electronic music history pre-dates the rock and roll era by decades. Most of us were not even on this planet when it began its often obscure, under-appreciated and misunderstood development. Today, this ‘other worldly’ body of sound which began close to a century ago, may no longer appear strange and unique as new generations have accepted much of it as mainstream, but it’s had a bumpy road and, in finding mass audience acceptance, a slow one.

Many musicians – the modern proponents of electronic music – developed a passion for analogue synthesizers in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with signature songs like Gary Numan’s breakthrough, ‘Are Friends Electric?’. It was in this era that these devices became smaller, more accessible, more user friendly and more affordable for many of us. In this article I will attempt to trace this history in easily digestible chapters and offer examples of today’s best modern proponents.

To my mind, this was the beginning of a new epoch. To create electronic music, it was no longer necessary to have access to a roomful of technology in a studio or live. Hitherto, this was solely the domain of artists the likes of Kraftwerk, whose arsenal of electronic instruments and custom built gadgetry the rest of us could only have dreamed of, even if we could understand the logistics of their functioning. Having said this, at the time I was growing up in the 60’s & 70’s, I nevertheless had little knowledge of the complexity of work that had set a standard in previous decades to arrive at this point.

The history of electronic music owes much to Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007). Stockhausen was a German Avante Garde composer and a pioneering figurehead in electronic music from the 1950’s onwards, influencing a movement that would eventually have a powerful impact upon names such as Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Brain Eno, Cabaret Voltaire, Depeche Mode, not to mention the experimental work of the Beatles’ and others in the 1960’s. His face is seen on the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the Beatles’ 1967 master Opus. Let’s start, however, by traveling a little further back in time.

The Turn of the 20th Century

Time stood still for this stargazer when I originally discovered that the first documented, exclusively electronic, concerts were not in the 1970’s or 1980’s but in the 1920’s!

The first purely electronic instrument, the Theremin, which is played without touch, was invented by Russian scientist and cellist, Lev Termen (1896-1993), circa 1919.

In 1924, the Theremin made its concert debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic. Interest generated by the theremin drew audiences to concerts staged across Europe and Britain. In 1930, the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York, experienced a performance of classical music using nothing but a series of ten theremins. Watching a number of skilled musicians playing this eerie sounding instrument by waving their hands around its antennae must have been so exhilarating, surreal and alien for a pre-tech audience!

For those interested, check out the recordings of Theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore (1911-1998). Lithuanian born Rockmore (Reisenberg) worked with its inventor in New York to perfect the instrument during its early years and became its most acclaimed, brilliant and recognized performer and representative throughout her life.

In retrospect Clara, was the first celebrated ‘star’ of genuine electronic music. You are unlikely to find more eerie, yet beautiful performances of classical music on the Theremin. She’s definitely a favorite of mine!

Electronic Music in Sci-Fi, Cinema and Television

Unfortunately, and due mainly to difficulty in skill mastering, the Theremin’s future as a musical instrument was short lived. Eventually, it found a niche in 1950’s Sci-Fi films. The 1951 cinema classic “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, with a soundtrack by influential American film music composer Bernard Hermann (known for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”, etc.), is rich with an ‘extraterrestrial’ score using two Theremins and other electronic devices melded with acoustic instrumentation.

Using the vacuum-tube oscillator technology of the Theremin, French cellist and radio telegraphist, Maurice Martenot (1898-1980), began developing the Ondes Martenot (in French, known as the Martenot Wave) in 1928.

Employing a standard and familiar keyboard which could be more easily mastered by a musician, Martenot’s instrument succeeded where the Theremin failed in being user-friendly. In fact, it became the first successful electronic instrument to be used by composers and orchestras of its period until the present day.

It is featured on the theme to the original 1960’s TV series “Star Trek”, and can be heard on contemporary recordings by the likes of Radiohead and Brian Ferry.

The expressive multi-timbral Ondes Martenot, although monophonic, is the closest instrument of its generation I have heard which approaches the sound of modern synthesis.

“Forbidden Planet”, released in 1956, was the first major commercial studio film to feature an exclusively electronic soundtrack… aside from introducing Robbie the Robot and the stunning Anne Francis! The ground-breaking score was produced by husband and wife team Louis and Bebe Barron who, in the late 1940’s, established the first privately owned recording studio in the USA recording electronic experimental artists such as the iconic John Cage (whose own Avante Garde work challenged the definition of music itself!).

The Barrons are generally credited for having widening the application of electronic music in cinema. A soldering iron in one hand, Louis built circuitry which he manipulated to create a plethora of bizarre, ‘unearthly’ effects and motifs for the movie. Once performed, these sounds could not be replicated as the circuit would purposely overload, smoke and burn out to produce the desired sound result.

Consequently, they were all recorded to tape and Bebe sifted through hours of reels edited what was deemed usable, then re-manipulated these with delay and reverberation and creatively dubbed the end product using multiple tape decks.

In addition to this laborious work method, I feel compelled to include that which is, arguably, the most enduring and influential electronic Television signature ever: the theme to the long running 1963 British Sci-Fi adventure series, “Dr. Who”. It was the first time a Television series featured a solely electronic theme. The theme to “Dr. Who” was created at the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop using tape loops and test oscillators to run through effects, record these to tape, then were re-manipulated and edited by another Electro pioneer, Delia Derbyshire, interpreting the composition of Ron Grainer.

As you can see, electronic music’s prevalent usage in vintage Sci-Fi was the principle source of the general public’s perception of this music as being ‘other worldly’ and ‘alien-bizarre sounding’. This remained the case till at least 1968 with the release of the hit album “Switched-On Bach” performed entirely on a Moog modular synthesizer by Walter Carlos (who, with a few surgical nips and tucks, subsequently became Wendy Carlos).

The 1970’s expanded electronic music’s profile with the break through of bands like Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, and especially the 1980’s when it found more mainstream acceptance.

The Mid 1900’s: Musique Concrete

In its development through the 1900’s, electronic music was not solely confined to electronic circuitry being manipulated to produce sound. Back in the 1940’s, a relatively new German invention – the reel-to-reel tape recorder developed in the 1930’s – became the subject of interest to a number of Avante Garde European composers, most notably the French radio broadcaster and composer Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995) who developed a montage technique he called Musique Concrete.

Musique Concrete (meaning ‘real world’ existing sounds as opposed to artificial or acoustic ones produced by musical instruments) broadly involved the splicing together of recorded segments of tape containing ‘found’ sounds – natural, environmental, industrial and human – and manipulating these with effects such as delay, reverb, distortion, speeding up or slowing down of tape-speed (varispeed), reversing, etc.

Stockhausen actually held concerts utilizing his Musique Concrete works as backing tapes (by this stage electronic as well as ‘real world’ sounds were used on the recordings) on top of which live instruments would be performed by classical players responding to the mood and motifs they were hearing!

Musique Concrete had a wide impact not only on Avante Garde and effects libraries, but also on the contemporary music of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Important works to check are the Beatles’ use of this method in ground-breaking tracks like ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, ‘Revolution No. 9’ and ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite’, as well as Pink Floyd albums “Umma Gumma”, “Dark Side of the Moon” and Frank Zappa’s “Lumpy Gravy”. All used tape cut-ups and home-made tape loops often fed live into the main mixdown.

Today this can be performed with simplicity using digital sampling, but yesterday’s heroes labored hours, days and even weeks to perhaps complete a four minute piece! For those of us who are contemporary musicians, understanding the history of electronic music helps in appreciating the quantum leap technology has taken in the recent period. But these early innovators, these pioneers – of which there are many more down the line – and the important figures they influenced that came before us, created the revolutionary groundwork that has become our electronic musical heritage today and for this I pay them homage!

1950’s: The First Computer and Synth Play Music

Moving forward a few years to 1957 and enter the first computer into the electronic mix. As you can imagine, it wasn’t exactly a portable laptop device but consumed a whole room and user friendly wasn’t even a concept. Nonetheless creative people kept pushing the boundaries. One of these was Max Mathews (1926 -) from Bell Telephone Laboratories, New Jersey, who developed Music 1, the original music program for computers upon which all subsequent digital synthesis has its roots based. Mathews, dubbed the ‘Father of Computer Music’, using a digital IBM Mainframe, was the first to synthesize music on a computer.

In the climax of Stanley Kubrik’s 1968 movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, use is made of a 1961 Mathews’ electronic rendition of the late 1800’s song ‘Daisy Bell’. Here the musical accompaniment is performed by his programmed mainframe together with a computer-synthesized human ‘singing’ voice technique pioneered in the early 60’s. In the movie, as HAL the computer regresses, ‘he’ reverts to this song, an homage to ‘his’ own origins.

1957 also witnessed the first advanced synth, the RCA Mk II Sound Synthesizer (an improvement on the 1955 original). It also featured an electronic sequencer to program music performance playback. This massive RCA Synth was installed, and still remains, at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, New York, where the legendary Robert Moog worked for a while. Universities and Tech laboratories were the main home for synth and computer music experimentation in that early era.

1960’s: The Dawning of The Age of Moog

The logistics and complexity of composing and even having access to what were, until then, musician unfriendly synthesizers, led to a demand for more portable playable instruments. One of the first to respond, and definitely the most successful, was Robert Moog (1934-2005). His playable synth employed the familiar piano style keyboard.

Moog’s bulky telephone-operators’ cable plug-in type of modular synth was not one to be transported and set up with any amount of ease or speed! But it received an enormous boost in popularity with the success of Walter Carlos, as previously mentioned, in 1968. His LP (Long Player) best seller record “Switched-On Bach” was unprecedented because it was the first time an album appeared of fully synthesized music, as opposed to experimental sound pieces.

The album was a complex classical music performance with various multi-tracks and overdubs necessary, as the synthesizer was only monophonic! Carlos also created the electronic score for “A Clockwork Orange”, Stanley Kubrik’s disturbing 1972 futuristic film.

From this point, the Moog synth is prevalent on a number of late 1960’s contemporary albums. In 1967 the Monkees’ “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd” became the first commercial pop album release to feature the modular Moog. In fact, singer/drummer Mickey Dolenz purchased one of the very first units sold.

It wasn’t until the early 1970’s, however, when the first Minimoog appeared that interest seriously developed amongst musicians. This portable little unit with a fat sound had a significant impact becoming part of live music kit for many touring musicians for years to come. Other companies such as Sequential Circuits, Roland and Korg began producing their own synths, giving birth to a music subculture.

I cannot close the chapter on the 1960’s, however, without reference to the Mellotron. This electronic-mechanical instrument is often viewed as the primitive precursor to the modern digital sampler.

Developed in early 1960’s Britain and based on the Chamberlin (a cumbersome US-designed instrument from the previous decade), the Mellotron keyboard triggered pre-recorded tapes, each key corresponding to the equivalent note and pitch of the pre-loaded acoustic instrument.

The Mellotron is legendary for its use on the Beatles’ 1966 song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. A flute tape-bank is used on the haunting introduction played by Paul McCartney.

The instrument’s popularity burgeoned and was used on many recordings of the era such as the immensely successful Moody Blues epic ‘Nights in White Satin’. The 1970’s saw it adopted more and more by progressive rock bands. Electronic pioneers Tangerine Dream featured it on their early albums.

With time and further advances in microchip technology though, this charming instrument became a relic of its period.

1970’s: The Birth of Vintage Electronic Bands

The early fluid albums of Tangerine Dream such as “Phaedra” from 1974 and Brian Eno’s work with his self-coined ‘ambient music’ and on David Bowie’s “Heroes” album, further drew interest in the synthesizer from both musicians and audience.

Kraftwerk, whose 1974 seminal album “Autobahn” achieved international commercial success, took the medium even further adding precision, pulsating electronic beats and rhythms and sublime synth melodies. Their minimalism suggested a cold, industrial and computerized-urban world. They often utilized vocoders and speech synthesis devices such as the gorgeously robotic ‘Speak and Spell’ voice emulator, the latter being a children’s learning aid!

While inspired by the experimental electronic works of Stockhausen, as artists, Kraftwerk were the first to successfully combine all the elements of electronically generated music and noise and produce an easily recognizable song format. The addition of vocals in many of their songs, both in their native German tongue and English, helped earn them universal acclaim becoming one of the most influential contemporary music pioneers and performers of the past half-century.

Kraftwerk’s 1978 gem ‘Das Modell’ hit the UK number one spot with a reissued English language version, ‘The Model’, in February 1982, making it one of the earliest Electro chart toppers!

Ironically, though, it took a movement that had no association with EM (Electronic Music) to facilitate its broader mainstream acceptance. The mid 1970’s punk movement, primarily in Britain, brought with it a unique new attitude: one that gave priority to self-expression rather than performance dexterity and formal training, as embodied by contemporary progressive rock musicians. The initial aggression of metallic punk transformed into a less abrasive form during the late 1970’s: New Wave. This, mixed with the comparative affordability of many small, easy to use synthesizers, led to the commercial synth explosion of the early 1980’s.

A new generation of young people began to explore the potential of these instruments and began to create soundscapes challenging the prevailing perspective of contemporary music. This didn’t arrive without battle scars though. The music industry establishment, especially in its media, often derided this new form of expression and presentation and was anxious to consign it to the dustbin of history.

1980’s: The First Golden Era of Electronic Music for the Masses

Gary Numan became arguably the first commercial synth megastar with the 1979 “Tubeway Army” hit ‘Are Friends Electric?’. The Sci-Fi element is not too far away once again. Some of the imagery is drawn from the Science Fiction classic, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. The 1982 hit film “Blade Runner” was also based on the same book.

Although ‘Are Friends Electric?’ featured conventional drum and bass backing, its dominant use of Polymoogs gives the song its very distinctive sound. The recording was the first synth-based release to achieve number one chart status in the UK during the post-punk years and helped usher in a new genre. No longer was electronic and/or synthesizer music consigned to the mainstream sidelines. Exciting!

Further developments in affordable electronic technology placed electronic squarely in the hands of young creators and began to transform professional studios.

Designed in Australia in 1978, the Fairlight Sampler CMI became the first commercially available polyphonic digital sampling instrument but its prohibitive cost saw it solely in use by the likes of Trevor Horn, Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel. By mid-decade, however, smaller, cheaper instruments entered the market such as the ubiquitous Akai and Emulator Samplers often used by musicians live to replicate their studio-recorded sounds. The Sampler revolutionized the production of music from this point on.

In most major markets, with the qualified exception of the US, the early 1980’s was commercially drawn to electro-influenced artists. This was an exciting era for many of us, myself included. I know I wasn’t alone in closeting the distorted guitar and amps and immersing myself into a new universe of musical expression – a sound world of the abstract and non traditional.

At home, Australian synth based bands Real Life (‘Send Me An Angel’, “Heartland” album), Icehouse (‘Hey Little Girl’) and Pseudo Echo (‘Funky Town’) began to chart internationally, and more experimental electronic outfits like Severed Heads and SPK also developed cult followings overseas.

But by mid-decade the first global electronic wave lost its momentum amidst resistance fomented by an unrelenting old school music media. Most of the artists that began the decade as predominantly electro-based either disintegrated or heavily hybrid their sound with traditional rock instrumentation.

The USA, the largest world market in every sense, remained in the conservative music wings for much of the 1980’s. Although synth-based records did hit the American charts, the first being Human League’s 1982 US chart topper ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby?’, on the whole it was to be a few more years before the American mainstream embraced electronic music, at which point it consolidated itself as a dominant genre for musicians and audiences alike, worldwide.

1988 was somewhat of a watershed year for electronic music in the US. Often maligned in the press in their early years, it was Depeche Mode that unintentionally – and mostly unaware – spearheaded this new assault. From cult status in America for much of the decade, their new high-play rotation on what was now termed Modern Rock radio resulted in mega stadium performances. An Electro act playing sold out arenas was not common fare in the USA at that time!

In 1990, fan pandemonium in New York to greet the members at a central record shop made TV news, and their “Violator” album outselling Madonna and Prince in the same year made them a US household name. Electronic music was here to stay, without a doubt!

1990’s Onward: The Second Golden Era of Electronic Music for the Masses

Before our ‘star music’ secured its hold on the US mainstream, and while it was losing commercial ground elsewhere throughout much of the mid 1980’s, Detroit and Chicago became unassuming laboratories for an explosion of Electronic Music which would see out much of the 1990’s and onwards. Enter Techno and House.

Detroit in the 1980’s, a post-Fordism US industrial wasteland, produced the harder European influenced Techno. In the early to mid 80’s, Detroiter Juan Atkins, an obsessive Kraftwerk fan, together with Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson – using primitive, often borrowed equipment – formed the backbone of what would become, together with House, the predominant music club-culture throughout the world. Heavily referenced artists that informed early Techno development were European pioneers such as the aforementioned Kraftwerk, as well as Yello and British Electro acts the likes of Depeche Mode, Human League, Heaven 17, New Order and Cabaret Voltaire.

Chicago, a four-hour drive away, simultaneously saw the development of House. The name is generally considered to be derived from “The Warehouse” where various DJ-Producers featured this new music amalgam. House has its roots in 1970’s disco and, unlike Techno, usually has some form of vocal. I think Giorgio Moroder’s work in the mid 70’s with Donna Summer, especially the song ‘I Feel Love’, is pivotal in appreciating the 70’s disco influences upon burgeoning Chicago House.

A myriad of variants and sub genres have developed since – crossing the Atlantic, reworked and back again – but in many ways the popular success of these two core forms revitalized the entire Electronic landscape and its associated social culture. Techno and House helped to profoundly challenge mainstream and Alternative Rock as the preferred listening choice for a new generation: a generation who has grown up with electronic music and accepts it as a given. For them, it is music that has always been.

The history of electronic music continues to be written as technology advances and people’s expectations of where music can go continues to push it forward, increasing its vocabulary and lexicon.

The Biggest Time-Waster In Quitting Sugar

Are you a woman between 30 and 50 years old? Have you ever felt “stuck” on sugar? Have you ever described yourself as addicted to it?

Most importantly, have you wanted to quit sugar for some time now but had trouble getting around to doing that?

I’m convinced that the biggest time-waster when it comes to getting away from sugar once and for all is… waiting till you feel ready.

What Stands In Your Way?

Maybe you’ve eaten sugary foods – of one sort or another – to handle the stress you’re feeling. Many of us have done that, so it’s nothing to feel embarrassed about doing.

Yet it’s a self-perpetuating process.

Knowing – or fearing – that stresses will show up and not wanting to quit because of that is a virtual guarantee that you’ll stay stuck. Even if it’s not a fully conscious plan, it is still a plan to use sugar to handle the stress.

But that’s a never-ending battle! Stress of some type will always be there. And so will sugar. This is the U.S., after all.

Why You Should Quit Sugar Now

Here’s a true statement: The sooner you quit sugar, the sooner your brain chemicals and your blood glucose will be more stable.

Stable, you think, what’s so great about that?

As unsexy as stability may sound, what makes it great is that it will help you react less to any given stress in the first place.

A Tip From a Top Endurance Coach

My endurance coach – the late, fantastic Jim Karanas – had much to say about the pain associated with hard training. Here’s one point he frequently made about training:

It’s not that the pain goes away, but that you become less reactive to it.

This applies very well to stress. “Less reactive” is a perfect place to be when stress comes up – just as it is when the inevitable pain of tough training comes upon you.

Said another way, “It’s not that (the stress) doesn’t hurt, it’s just that it doesn’t matter.” You can create that less reactive state of mind for yourself if you stop procrastinating on quitting sugar.

Imagine being less reactive – unruffle-able – when stressed. How perfect does that sound?

A Valuable Get-Started Tip For You

Quit sugar NOW! Start by eating protein with absolutely everything you eat. Make sure the protein is REAL protein: shrimp, chicken, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt with 18 or more grams of protein per serving, and others.

Avoid protein imposters: nuts, cheese, quinoa.

Don’t expect the small amount of protein in leafy greens or other vegetables to do the trick for you. The brain needs more help here. Really.

Instead, use vegetable-based protein powders if you want to avoid animal products. Don’t cheat your brain of protein when you’re trying to quit sugar.

Protein won’t make the stress go away, of course, but it’s a good first step in helping you become less reactive to it.

The Greater The Challenge – The Better The Learning

Facing a challenge today? Welcome to life 101. The question is what do you do with it? Or better still, how do you feel about it? Or, if you are really mature – what can you learn from it. I’m sure with this opening I have already lost some of you. Tired of useless, motivational mumbo jumbo from people who think they know it all but don’t have a clue just spouting inspirational words they think we need when what we really need are practical ideas to use challenges as a learning tool? Believe me – I teach this stuff and I can tell you I am tired of pontification from too many famous people.

So, let me begin with a few basic premises if you are still with me so you can decide if you want to finish this article.

-Failure is necessary for real and lasting success.

-Most people do whatever they can to avoid failure.

-Problems, hardship, trials etc. are normal – no one is immune.

-When you stop learning you stop growing.

-When you stop growing you start dying.

-All success is first and foremost a mindset.

-Everything that comes at us does so to teach us.

-All our reactions to everything in life are driven by our perceptual interpretations.

Need more?

-If you are not risking you are not failing and if you are not failing you are stuck.

-Change is constant and people don’t resist change – they resist losing control.

OK, enough of this – now to the key point – why, when and how can we learn to deal with hardships, challenges, adversity, failures, problems etc. to use them as learning tools and resources?

There are many ways people both interpret and respond to a variety of life’s challenges or trials. Actually, many people don’t even call them challenges but opportunities but more on that another time, for now let’s just stick with how we respond and why and how we can respond if we choose to.

Challenge – question, disagree with, dispute, take issue with, protest against, call into question, object to.

See how we can choose to even define the word differently? For example, what I am referring to here when I say challenge is not the above definition but a – test, trial, difficulty, struggle etc. But I’m sure you are well aware of how words can often be defined differently by different people depending on how they choose to or decide to define them.

But, I digress.

There are basically only three ways to define, deal with or interpret a challenge – denial, acceptance or rejection. And, depending on your definition or interpretation – this will determine your reaction and then potential consequences. For example:

Denial – just because you choose to deny something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Rejection – just because you reject something doesn’t mean it won’t persist.

Acceptance – just because you accept something doesn’t mean it is solved or dealt with in a positive, creative or constructive way.

You see, there is more to the idea of a challenge than just your initial response. What really matters is not just how you define them or your initial reaction to them, but your attitudes about how you will let them influence your life now or in the future. It’s about keeping control of your life or giving it up to others or outside circumstances. By this I don’t mean to imply that there are some situations that we can’t control but even in all of these we still have the power of self-reaction or self-control if and only if we choose to exercise it.

There are consequences to the three reactions above.

Denial – they will tend not to go away or never return. They will need to be dealt with sooner or later – sooner being the better of the two options.

Rejection – you can resist and fight all you want but it’s just reality – life happens and it wants to teach us. Life is not fair or unfair. It doesn’t pick on or reward certain people. Wealth won’t stop cancer. Fame won’t stop a potential accident. Good looks won’t prevent loss. Get it? I don’t care how well off you are – no one and I mean no one regardless of wealth can prevent aging. Oh, sure you can invest a lot in surgeries to make you look better on the outside but trust me – you are still fading on the inside

Acceptance from my perspective is the best option or approach and why? Well, you are on offence and not defense for starters. But the most important thing is you have chosen to take control of something rather than give up control.

I hope you weren’t looking for a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to challenges. Sure, I can give these to you if you want – just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to give you my list.

What I have tried to do with this article is to ask you to start thinking about how you approach challenges and the impact they have on your life. I hope I was able to create a positive inner dialog.

The Time and Energy for Exhibition Materials Is Worth It

Taking concepts from the thought process to paper to actual getting them created is amazing! While the process does take time and energy, exhibition builders have the skills and the creative nature to bring it all together. They enjoy a good challenge and they love seeing the final outcome on a project they have been working on. They take pride in what they deliver!

They are only one part of the process, but a major role in it. Before the exhibition builders get into the mix, the ideas are tossed around between you and the exhibition provider. You can share with them anything you may have in mind. They can share with you what they feel the niche market you are after will respond to well.

As a team, you can come up with the final concepts that get created. They will take care of all of the behind the scenes issues and concerns. They will use the best materials, concepts, and techniques to get you results. They strive to make them look amazing but also durable and easy to work with. They realise you will be taking them up and down several times on the circuit.

Pushing the Barriers

What is exciting about this type of production is they don’t have to stay within the lines. You will find exhibition builders willing to push the barriers. They don’t let any type of roadblock get in the way. Instead, they come up with new ways to generate what they are after for their clients. It is exciting to see it all unfold and to appreciate the effort they put into getting the right outcome.

With this in mind, you do need to be able to give them ample time to create the finished product. Realistically, you can’t lay a concept on them last minute and then expect them to make it appear out of thin area. A lack of planning on your part can cause serious problems when it comes to tight deadlines. Always look for a provider early and take the time you need for discussions.

Nothing should go into production until you are 100% on board with it. If you have an idea and they tell you they can’t do it, they should explain why. exhibition builders may be able to create it with some modifications, but you need to approve them. Hopefully, a combination of your ideas, proven outcomes, and methods they know work in this industry will bring it all together.

Consumer Reaction

The time and effort you put into all of this and the creations from exhibition builders will result in consumer reactions that are positive and engaging. Rather than walking by your display, they are going to stop and take a look. If you have products for sale at the event, there is a good chance they will be buying. Make sure you have catalogs, business cards, and other materials.

Give those items away to everyone who stops by your exhibit for information or to make a purchase. This type of outreach is going to help you generate additional business from those visitors down the road. Everyone who comes to the event is part of your niche market, but they have plenty of options to check out while they are there. Make sure they see what you have!

That won’t be the result if you don’t get outstanding exhibition builders involved from the start. Always ask when you are in discussions about the event who will be working on creating them and what experience they have. You need to see examples so you know exactly what you can expect from them. They should do all they can to help you get results for your business.

Get The Exhaust System of Your Car Updated With Genuine Components

It might surprise to you, but there are certain items like suspension system, electric system, clutch and gear transmission system, exhaust system, engine oil etc, which equally impacts the performance of any car. Therefore, it becomes indispensable for the car owners to pay equal attention towards all the parts of their vehicle.

Let us, for instance, says the exhaust system of your car. What will be your reply if someone asks you that what is an exhaust system? Obviously, being a layman your reply will be that it is a kind of system that is used for throwing out smokes and a smell that emerge at different places as an impact of different activities conducted inside that specific place. Undoubtedly, your reply is correct to a huge extent, because since our childhood we have seen exhaust fans installed in different portions of our house, especially in kitchen and washroom.

But, do you know that exhaust system that is also installed in your beloved car that you drive to your office every morning also performs the same function and throws out poisonous gases from your car that generated while driving. I am sure, being an expert driver you must be aware this fact, but like most of the car owners you would have not paid any attention towards it and would have considered it only as a part that is used for checking the level of pollution, that whether it is polluting the environment or not.

Interestingly, along with disposing the hazardous gases out of the vehicle the system also helps in minimizing the sounds that are generated during the transmission. It can be said that exhaust system indirectly acts as the safety device for your vehicle as it transits carbon monoxide just from the point that is behind the seats for rear passengers. If, there is any damage in the items used for manufacturing the exhaust pipe of the car the gases will move inside the cabin resulting unconsciousness, nausea, headaches, even death if the leakage of gases inside the cabin is at high speed.

In simple words it can be said that being a car owner it is expected from you to pay appropriate attention towards all parts of your vehicle rather than concentrating only on the functionality of its engine. In-fact in the current scenario the problem of pollution has emerged as one of the unsolved curse for all countries across the world, with all of them struggling to cope with the problem of pollution. In such scenario it becomes an indispensable for every car owner throughout the world to get any issue into the exhaust system of his car immediately detected and replace the defected parts replaced with the new ones.

It would be interested to know that there are some of performance exhaust suppliers of the exhaust system across the world from whom you can buy a huge range of magnificent exhaust systems, including hand-made exhaust manifolds, systems and mufflers, headers etc. depending upon the type of car owned by you. In-case if you own a vintage car these suppliers can even develop the system that will exactly meet the exhausting requirements of your car.