This is a good thought provoking book. I would recommend it.
Here is a plate loaded version of a single leg deadlift (SLDL) that I use with some beginners who have difficulty with a dumbell version.
I find with some beginners that when I load them with a dumbbell they have trouble keeping their shoulder of the arm with the dumbell retacted. What I see is the shoulder come from into protraction, which can cause some rotation and some flexion of the thoracic spine. I find too that beginners think they need to go lower down when performing an SLDL, then they really need too. This can cause some beginners to go into some rotation and flexion of the thoracic also.
All the above can lead to an ugly lookin' SLDL.
I find with the plate loaded version that beginners hold better form. The plates vector of weight is easier to control than that of a dumbbell. It feels very similiar to a kettlebell, as it drops straight toward the floor. Also with the plates diameter, it stops beginners going too far down when performing a SLDL, as it tips the floor. This stops beginners going into too much thoracic rotation and flexion.
Give it a try.
I have to say that initially I felt the author Louann Brizendine came across as fairly sexist, but the more I read of this book the more her humour, wit, and information grew on me.
Brizendine broke the book down in a very reader friendly way. The chapters where as follows:
Chapter 1:The Birth of the Female Brain
Chapter 2:The Teen Girl Brain
Chapter 3: Love and Trust
Chapter 4: The Brain Below the Belt
Chapter 5: The Mommy Brain
Chapter 6: The Feeling Brain
Chapter 7: The Mature Female Brain
Chapter 1: The Birth of the Female Brain
Every brain starts off as a female brain! After 8 weeks, if enough testosterone is produce, it will start to change this female brain into a male brain. The testostrone supposely skrinks the communication centre of the brain, reduces the hearing cortex, and makes the part of the brain that processes sex twice as large. Go figure!!
As babies, females are more observent than males. In the first 3 months a baby girls ability to make eye contact and mutual facial expression will increase by 400% more than boys.
Chapter 2: The Teen Brain:
Talks about how the menstrual cycle can really f#*k things up for females. The menstrual cycle is broken up into two phases: the estrogen phase for the first two weeks of the cycle, and the progesterone phase for the last two weeks cycle.
During the estrogen phase (weeks 1 & 2), a girl is more socially relaxed. There is a 25% growth of the connections in the hippocampus (your memory), and that makes the female brain a little sharper and more alert. The brain fucntions better, and you remember more.
Then in weeks 3 & 4, progesterone starts to come out from the ovaries and begins to reverse the effects of estrogen, acting like a weed killer on the new connections that were made with the hippocampus. the brain becomes more sedated at first, then gradually more irritable, less focused, and then a little slower.
In the last few days of the cycle, progesteronr collapses and its calming affect is withdrawn. This leaves the brain momentarily upset, stressed, and irritable. Bascially this is where the shit can hit the fan!!
Chapter 3: Love and trust
In this chapter Brizendine states that women are more cautious than men when starting out in a relationship. Women for the most part look for long-term security out of a relationship (can this male provide for a family, and keep us safe), more so then men. She claims that not much has changed since our stone age days.
She talks about the high levels of oxytocin (feel-good hormone) is very high in the initial phases of a relationship. This is why people can crave for one another when they are apart. Oxytocin can also supresses anxiety and skepticism, reinforcing ones feelings for their partner. This can be achieved by kissing, hugging, and well you know yourself.
She finally goes on to talk about in some brain-imaging studies that, emotional pain triggers the same circuits in the brain as physical pain.
Chapter 4: The Brain Below the Belt:
Brizendine states that women need to be completely relaxed to be able to have an orgasm. If the female cannot relax this will shut off the hormones that are release in order for her to have an orgasm.
Chapter 5: The Mommy Brain:
Brizendine talks about how females can get so obsessed with their babies, that the same happy hormones get release, that where release when they first fell in love with their partner. This is why so many women after giving birth have zero interest in sex, as caring for the child gives them enough satsifaction.
Brizendine states that some mothers actually start to carve for the feeling of breast feeding, as this again starts to release the happy hormones that are released during sex.
Chapter 6: The Feeling Brain:
Brizendine states that in general women are better are detecting one's feelings. Men only pick up subtle signs of sadness 40% of the time, where as women pick it up 90%.
Chapetr 7: The Mature Female Brain
This was the chapter I liked the most. Brizendine talked about that when a woman reaches post-menopause, and all her children are grown-up, that she starts to finally care more about herself then others. She finally does what she wants to do. This is why women over fifty are more likely to initiate devoce than a man.
I think this a great book for any who trains, is married too, or is friends with females. The book goes into the physiology more than I did here, which is what I really did like about it also. What hormones are being release with this type of reaction and so forth.
Well there you have it. The Female Brain!
In the picture above my posture is so bad, that you cannot even see my chest. If I was to do more bench pressing, or any type of horizontal pushing it would actually make me chest look smaller NOT bigger, by pulling me more into this dysfuctional posture. Now if I was to strengthen my upper back, and get my shoulder blades back, my chest would look like it just magically grew tenfold! See in the picture below
Good Posture from some upper back work
Also if you have poor posture like in the first picture, the function of shoulder into overhead positions is going to be greatly comprised. Look below.
Alter overhead mechanics due to poor posture
In the picture above there would be no way in hell you would let someone with this overhead movement pattern press a weight overhead. Now if you wanted to really get optimal hypertrophy of your shoulders, you would want to press overhead. But you could not run the risk of pressing overhead with the posture in the picture above.
Now if again I was to strengthen my upper back, and work on some other things (like t-spine mobility and proper breathing patterns from the diaphragm), I would put myself in a much better and safer position to overhead press. In the picture below, you can see that my upward rotation of my scapula is far better, safer, and more efficent with good posture. This effectively will allow me to overhead press without any compensation, while keeping my shoulder healthly in the long-term also.
Optimal Overhead Positional due to better posture
Show there you have it. It you want a bigger chest and shoulders, DO MORE ROWS!!