January 20 2014 Editorial on Injuries and Coaching

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00020110701 006The first part of this year has been interesting.  A little frustrating as I re-injured the knee (a little) while walking into the doctor’s office.  The ground was a little slippery.  So, it will be just a bit longer.

That, of course, does not drop me out of the sport of powerlifting.  I will be competing bench-only while assisting teammates and organizers with their efforts.

While I often see people come into hard times or become injured in a sport, the worst thing they can do is ‘disappear.’  I understand that the injury or inconvenience may feel embarrassing, believe me, it does, but the professional or athlete does themselves and/or their respective sport or industry a disservice by crawling into their cave and hiding during the recovery process.

Through my entire career I have taken steps back in order to make leaps forward.  I expect no less out of my chosen sport!  Injuries and setbacks happen.  How you deal with them is what makes up your character.

Over the years many of us have discussed the new workforce – the knowledge worker – the guy who is portable and ready to move around because of their specific knowledge.  This applies to skilled trades as well as professional employees.  What happens to the excellent salesperson who has a car accident and cannot drive (or slips on the ice)?  Do you send them home on disability?  Or, do you give them the opportunity to change tactics and get on the phone to follow up with their sources?  The skilled trades specialist who has a caste on because it has just been plain slippery out there and he can no longer do his vibration routes for 6 weeks.  Do you change things up and have him show someone how to collect the data and then he interprets it?  The result in these situations is not just keeping that knowledge in operation, because time away will draw away that experience (things become rusty from a lack of use), but also you will maintain the needed service while having others mentored such that the program can be expanded.

The athlete that becomes injured – should s/he crawl away and hide while healing?  Or share the knowledge that they have obtained coaching others.

What it comes down to is the fortitude of the person and the support of their organization in how this unusual (hopefully) opportunity is.

Recently I have run into even more people in the industries I serve that have returned to their sport, or have started entering sports, in their 40s and 50s.  Are there dangers inherent with this?  Heck yeah!  However, the rewards often outweigh the risks and even the injuries that may, or will, occur.  This means that we have to be ready to adapt from a professional and sport standpoint when they do.

In my particular case, I have used the opportunity to do a few things I drifted away from professionally, including research, adjusted how I compete (bench only in 2014), have been working behind the scenes in the sport while also handling publishing and live-video opportunities to promote the sport, and, of course, have been assisting with some coaching.  Recently I have even been asked to participate in a few speaking opportunities to high school athletes on the risk/reward of strength training in their sports.

How do you handle these challenges when they occur?


Howard W Penrose, Ph.D., CMRP

January 2nd Editorial on Resolutions and Goals

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Yes, it is that time of year when people make ‘resolutions’ that they all know they won’t keep.  In the gym, this means that us regulars have to put up with ‘newbies’ for a while that we know will only last 2-6 weeks and then will disappear.  Others will work on weight loss and use all kinds of fad products espoused by self-proclaimed TV ‘experts,’ of course the result will be additional weight.

Surprise folks, there are no easy pills for solving the big problems.  It requires work, effort, resources and goal setting.

I believe I have covered this topic every year at this time.  I, for one, do not do the New Years Resolution thing.  Setting goals that you know will fail is a recipe for failing basically everywhere.  Once you start giving up, it becomes easy to surrender.

Instead, I am a believer in setting short and long term goals, writing them down, setting a roadmap that allows me to evaluate the progress towards the goal, and noting when conditions change that require an adjustment.  Too many times do you see people that stick to a goal, or direction, knowing that disaster awaits, out of pride or ego.  As any good general knows – any strategy or tactic is good until battle is met.  The winning general is usually the one who knows how to adjust on the fly or cut losses and move on.

My personal opinion is that goals need to be set when it is time to set them, not at a time based upon a calendar.  You must plan and write them down with benchmarks, short and long term plans that can be adjusted as required.  The long term goals must be simply stated with short term goals used as mile-markers on the roadmap to accomplishment.  The planning session should also determine what happens and how to adjust if there are detours as life will, most definitely, throw a few blocks and traffic on that highway.  As much as we don’t want to admit it, no matter who or what you are, you do not have full control over your environment and conditions.

Midway through 2013, for instance, I had my accident.  The original plan was to break the 800lb squat at the World competition in August with my other goals for bench and deadlift putting me squarely in a position to win Best Lifter (top adjusted score).  Suddenly all of those goals had to change, although the long-term goal of breaking the 1000 lb squat barrier still exists.  The roadblock did not require that I walk away from my long-term goal, just that I had to make dramatic changes to my existing goals while other goals were also impacted and also required adjustment.

The next, and most important, step is to write the goals and roadmap down for any major goals.  I advocate that these goals should generally not be shared for a variety of reasons.  Unfortunately, one of those relates to those individuals who seem to take joy in stopping people from succeeding, usually because they have no drive of their own.  The other is to make sure that you do not put yourself in the position of forcing yourself through a roadblock instead of making a course adjustment.

It is important to note here that we are talking about personal goals and not business goals.  In the case of a business goal, you are talking about strategy and tactics in a team environment.  If your people do not know, or understand, the goal, then it will not be accomplished.  In these cases, the goals are normally generalized in terms of Mission and Vision with details in a planned strategy that is used to set budgets and resources.

When a goal is being realized, it is time to celebrate a little, but then set the next set of goals.  Again, the calendar should not drive this.  Why is it important?  While everyone else is waiting to set goals and resolutions, if you have already set them on your own schedule, then you are that far ahead, especially when these goals are set in terms of competition.

Happy New Year!

Howard W Penrose, Ph.D., CMRP

Free Paper on Infrared Analysis and Electric Machines

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Infrared analysis is a powerful tool for reliability, maintenance and troubleshooting of electrical equipment.  In the case of electric machines, it can be used both in the field to detect electrical and mechanical issues as well as part of the evaluation system for electric motors through the repair process.

One of the important aspects behind this tool is the ability to observe the problem visually using pictures and/or video.  This assists in quickly identifying and also showcasing potential or existing problems.  Unlike many of the other testing and predictive maintenance technologies, even the inexperienced observer can see the difference between good and bad.

Read the full paper in the Archives at http://www.motordoc.com

Presentation: Evaluation of Induction Warming Stator Cores for Coil Removal

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Abstract—Past methods for warming stators for mechanical coil removal included: gas flame; oven warming; oil bath; and, electric heaters.  Independent studies including the Canadian Electrical Association’s “Evaluation of Electric Motor Repair Procedures,” in 1995, and the US Department of the Navy (NAVSEA Motor Repair Manual), identified that these methods have no measureable impact on the core and environment.  An induction warming method has been introduced with the intention to improve coil removal times and environmental impact.  The purpose of this paper is to compare gas flame to inductive warming and review warming times, post-stripped core condition, and impact on the stator core on integral horsepower machines.

View the 11:34 minute presentation in the Presentations section of http://www.motordoc.com