The North End of the Vineyard!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

My favorite TV show of all time is the
original AVENGERS series from England --
a 60's era spy show starring Patrick
MacNee as John Steed and the beautiful
and supremely talented Diana
Rigg as Emma Peel.

In one episode, Steed goes undercover to
infiltrate a super-secret meeting of bad
guys held at a mysterious chateau where
they're holding a wine tasting event.

Steed poses as a wine expert, and ends up
in a "Name the vintage!" challenge with the
number one bad guy.

You can cut the tension with a knife as
each man successfully identifies one rare
vintage after another.

Finally, it all comes down to Steed's
final glass of wine.

He lifts the glass, raises it to his lips,
inhales the bouquet -- frowns -- repeats the
process -- nods slightly -- does it again --
takes the tiniest of sips -- swirls the wine
on his tongue -- nods, and looks his opponent
dead in the eye.

He names the vintage.

He names the province it comes from.

He names the vineyard.

He names the year it was bottled.

And as the blood drains from the bad guy's face,
Steed pauses, almost as if he's sorry for what
he's about to do -- and delivers the final,
crushing blow:

"Made from grapes -- harvested from -- the
NORTH end of the vineyard!"

And of course, he's right.

It's a great line, and I've always remembered
it. And amazingly, it has something to say to
us about our lifting.

When you train, do you always stand facing the
same direction in your power rack?

Do you always face the same direction when you
stand on your lifting platform.

Do you always load the bar with the same plates?

If you train at a commercial gym with different
bars, racks, benches, and dumbbells, do you
always use the same pieces of equipment?

If you do, then you like to stand in the North
end of the vineyard -- or the North end of the
gym. You've established a pattern -- a habit --
and it's part of your regular routine.

Now, there's nothing wrong with doing things
according to a pattern. It actually helps you
because it allows you to compare apples and
oranges. If you always use the same equipment
and you always position yourself in exactly
the same spot on each exercise, then you keep
the variables the same.

Athletes do this all the time. For example,
baseball players always have a favorite bat
they like to use. There might be ten other
IDENTICAL bats, but each player has his
personal favorite -- and using it
gives him confidence and power.

But if you compete in any kind of lifting
competition, you need to change things around.
Your competition venue is always going to be
different than your training venue. The bars
will be different. The plates will be different.
The platform will be different. If it's a
powerlifting comp, the benches and the squat
stands will be different. To do your best,
you need to be ready for "different."

You can do that by mixing things up. Use
different bars. Use different plates. Stand
on the platform and face the opposite direction
from the way you usually face. Get used to
doing things differently -- and that way,
the differences you face in competition
won't faze you.

So as with so many other aspects of training,
there are two different ways to get it done:

1. If you don't compete, you can keep everything
exactly the same every time you train.

2. If you compete, mix things up a bit to help
prepare for competition.

Sounds simple -- and it IS -- but it WORKS!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. if you train today, make it a good one!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more real-world training tips -- and
no-nonsense, productive and effective training
routines -- grab any of the books and courses
at Dinosaur Headquarters:

P.S. 2. Save clams on s&h by ordering two or
more Dino Training goodies at the same time!

P.S. 3. "Keep going! Never give up!" -- Brooks