The Bobby Rock Newsletter #63 (6-18-22) - "Moderation Kills!"
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #63 (6-18-22) - "Moderation Kills!"
Good to have you guys back this week. I have a rare weekend off from the road, so I’ve been trying to catch up on things. Hope you all are well. Let’s jump into it:
- Lifting Heavy with "the Big Man:" A super-rare mini-gallery of shots involving my weightlifting mentor and great friend, Big Lynn Branam
- "Moderation Kills!" A bit of a sensationalized title this week? Maybe. But not too far from the truth. Let’s explore…
- Lita Ford Summer Tour Dates - Scope the latest here...
Lifting Heavy with "the Big Man"
An old friend just sent me a few classic shots that really capture some great memories from those mid-80’s times. These first three shots would’ve been from the early Vinnie Vincent days, when I was still doing a lot of training at Costa’s Gym in Houston.
Back in the day, we were all about hitting the heavy weights. Here I am with my weight training mentor, Big Lynn Branam, knocking out a set of 455 lb squats. Lynn was “spotting” me, making sure that I continued upward in the middle of that last rep! (You’ll also notice the knee wraps, powerlifting suit and, of course, the Metal Edge T-shirt!)
But 455 ain’t shit compared to what “the big man” could squat… let alone rep with on the leg press. Here’s Big Lynn taking more than a half-ton for a ride… with my monkey ass crouched down on the sled for added weight. Dig the black-and-pink spandex jump suit. We didn’t think twice about wearing that kind of shit in public back then. (And that’s Lynn’s wife, Sally, in the background… a competitive bodybuilder and a “beast” in her own right.)
Big Lynn’s influence on me was incalculable. He was literally the one who got me into lifting. But he was also a renowned guitar teacher and… a killer photographer. In fact, John Douglas’s painting on the cover of The Boy Is Gonna Rock was actually based on one of Big Lynn’s early pics of me. He really knew how to capture the essence of whatever he was shooting… from people to landscapes.
FYI, here’s another Big Lynn shot; this one wound up in an issue of Kerrang magazine, I believe.
A couple years later, Big Lynn caught up with Vinnie and Me backstage at a show in Houston during our last tour, summer ’88. Very rare pic!
The Big Man is now at that massive Gold’s Gym in the sky, having transitioned in 2020. I miss him terribly, but will always be grateful for his generosity, knowledge, and friendship.
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A Word on Lifting Heavy
For those of you wondering: These days, I just wouldn’t think to move that kind of weight around anymore. Why? Because (as I’ve learned the hard way), as we get older, we either have to adjust the total amount of weight we lift, or get ready for more injuries and set-backs. No thank you.
Now, don't get me wrong. You can still train with real intensity, obviously, and I've made it a point to still pick up heavy weights at pretty much every workout, which is largely why I've been able to consistently hover around that 190 to 200 lb bodyweight marker through the years. But I’ve had to be more cautious about dialing back the really heavy weights (at least heavy to me!). Nearly 40 years of steady week-in, week-out training will definitely require a little modification over time! Besides, the incremental gains you no doubt receive from handling heavier weights simply don't outweigh the risk for potential injury…. although once upon a time—when injury was less likely—it did.
That said, for those on the younger end of the spectrum, yes; I’m a firm believer—just as Big Lynn was—that if you really want to incite some microtrauma in your muscle tissue and get some serious hypertrophy happening (bigger, stronger muscles), there’s no way around reaching for those heavy weights—especially on the basics like squats, dead-lifts, and barbell/dumbbell bench press—while, of course, paying strict attention to proper warm-up, excellent form, adequate recovery, and all the rest of it.
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Anyway… you saw these pics here first, kids! And thank you, Sally, for sending them...
You will often hear folks say things like, “Everything is okay… in moderation,” or “A moderate amount of fast food won’t hurt you.” This advice usually applies to things like sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and various forms of junk food. At a glance, it might sound logical.
And yet, it winds up being among the worse advice ever. Why? Because there is no reliable metric as to what “moderation” even means. Every individual has their own idea about what a moderate amount of something actually is, and it almost always corresponds with their own personal preference… as opposed to a truly infrequent indulgence of something.
In his book, How Not To Die, Dr. Michael Greger cites a study where the participants were essentially asked two categories of questions. First, what do they consider a “moderate” consumption of certain vice-type indulgences like chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, and fast food? And second, how much of each did they personally consume? Incredibly—but perhaps not surprisingly—the answers tended to be identical! So if a person replied that “one chocolate bar per day” was considered a moderate amount, then they would usually echo that response when asked how much chocolate they actually consumed. And you can imagine the wide range of perceptions there were, regarding what “moderate” even was.
Isolation vs Moderation
Instead, to have something harmful in isolation, as opposed to moderation, might get us closer to indulging truly infrequently (which, of course, can still be a rather subjective marker!). Having fast food as part of an “isolated” experience will at least paint a picture that there were not consecutive indulgences in one day, or even one week. One might be more inclined to put some time between those kinds of meals—perhaps even days—so that last week’s fast food lunch was an "isolated event."
Obviously, we’ve all gotta come up with our own version of what is truly an “occasional” use of unhealthy substances, while also remaining steadfast to (hopefully) walking away from certain things for good. (For me, that has included alcohol, cigarettes, animal products, and all forms of drugs, including weed.) And for many folks, it’s helpful to really understand exactly where you’re at, health-wise. If you’ve had a history of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc., then, in my opinion, it’s game-fucking-over with regard to any real frequency with a lot of our beloved junk food and vice-items. It’s just not worth dying over… no matter how much you might enjoy it. (We should probably take a deeper dive into that subject soon.) But in the meantime, let’s see if we can at least keep the incidents of indulgence in true isolation.
Lita Ford Summer Tour Dates
(through July, so far)
Things are starting to heat up where our tour schedule is concerned. Here’s where we stand through July at the moment:
Pic by Gary Brown
June 23 - Albany, NY - Jennings Landing at Albany Riverfront Park
June 24 - Milwaukee, WI - SummerFest
July 2 - Algona, IA - Freedom Rally
July 8 - Bristol, VA - The Cameo Theater
July 9 - Pikeville, KY - Appalachian Wireless Arena
July 13 - Cadott, WI - Rock Fest
July 15 - Rocklin, CA - Quarry Park Amphitheater
July 17 - West Fargo, ND - Red River Valley Fair
July 22 - Horseheads, NY - The L Live
July 23 - Butler, PA - Butler Bikes & BBQ
July 29 - Franklin, OH - J.D. Legends
July 30 - Negaunee, MI - Thunder on the Iron Range Music Festival
As always, scope the site HERE for updates.
And if you haven’t already, be sure and take a moment to sign up to the site in the upper right-hand corner of any page at www.bobbyrock.com. You will get an automatic email notification whenever I’m playing within a couple hours of your crib.
Thanks again, everybody. Connect next week!
For Your Quick Reference:
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