Monthly Archives: November 2014

TED Talk Evaluation

Overall, I thought my TED talk went amazingly well. It appeared well rehearsed. Personally, I love public speaking, so I was excited to have this opportunity. I truly enjoyed my topic, so it was easy for me to talk about it. I thought that my hand motions throughout the talk lined up very well with what I was saying and I thought that they overall made the talk appear to be more engaging. My posture was good, which is a very important part of public speaking. Proper posture instantly makes a person appear to be more confident. I think that I took a very appropriate approach to sentiment where it was necessary in my talk. I talked in a low, but confident voice which made me appear to be confident in what I was saying, though in my head I wasn’t exactly confident at every line.  I made great eye contact throughout the talk, though the video makes it appear as if I am looking down.

Though I did think that my talk went well, I can’t help but to be self-critical. That’s the hard part. It is often easier to see failure in one’s self than to see success. To start off, I would like to start off at the beginning. The very first line in fact. When I first started my talk, I had a ridiculous voice crack. My voice had been very sore from a long weekend of screaming my lungs out, so I will admit that I was nervous to have to talk in front of a group. Next, I was disappointed in the fact that I had slight stutters at times where I would repeat a word until I connected the right thought to it. It wasn’t that noticeable, but it was noticeable to me. Sadly, I had poor parallelism in a few of my sentences, and at times my diction just completely didn’t match what I was trying to say. The hardest trial of my experience was that at times I would start talking about the next slide without realizing that I actually wasn’t quite on it yet. I think it would have been helpful for me to have better rehearsed my talk to line up with my slideshow.

If you are interested in viewing my talk, you can watch it here.

Why You Should Deadlift

Every time that you go to the gym, the deadlift should be the first thing on your mind. Deadlifting is unarguably the best workout you can do. According to David Robson, a bodybuilder, personal trainer and contributor to, “In my experience as an athlete, and based on the results witnessed by many of my personal training clients, the deadlift, if performed correctly, will build unparalleled mass while strengthening all the major muscles groups.”

Form is the post important part to deadlifting. Without proper form, you are going to hurt yourself. There is no question about that. With a lot of workouts, you can get away with improper form, but deadlift is not one of them. In order to deadlift properly, there are many elements of your form that you need to perfect. Firstly, you should set your feet about shoulder width apart. Next, you should grab the bar with your arms straight so that the inside of your elbow is touching the outside of your knee. Next, you should pull the weight all the way up to your shins. This may feel uncomfortable, but it’s necessary to keep the weight aligned with your center of mass and so that you lift the weight in the most efficient motion. That means pull the bar all the way up to your shins. Wear high socks, because if you’re doing it right the bar should drag across your shins as you lift it. Next, you should have your hips low, your knees bent, and your back straight and as tight as possible. You should also align your head with your spine. When you lift the weight, you should be lifting almost entirely with your legs. You should only significantly use your back muscle when you get the bar all the way up and you have to lock your hips out.

One of the great benefits to the deadlift is it gives you a great increase in posture. This is because the final part of the deadlift is for you to lock your hips out and to stand with valiant posture. Locking the weight out is possibly one of the most satisfying moments you will have in the gym. Having good posture is an essential part of life because it ensures that you do not encounter back problems. Additionally, it makes you look like a much more confident person.

According to exercise physiologist Kevin Farley, the deadlift engages all of your major muscle groups. It is honestly the way to get the most bang for your buck while you’re at the gym. No workout engages as many muscle groups as the deadlift.

Deadlifting, along with all of its aforementioned benefits, is simply the most practical exercise. Throughout our life, we are constantly faces with the task of lifting up simple objects and putting them back down. Seldom will you find yourself faced with the task of pushing something off of your chest or holding something and having to squat with it.

If you’re someone who is afraid of failure at the gym, you never need to be afraid of the deadlift. The great thing about the deadlift is that if you find that you cannot lift the weight, you don’t have to worry; you can simply drop it. With other workouts, you may end up trapped under the weight, but with deadlift, you can just let the weights hit the floor. In fact, on your way back down from a deadlift it is actually recommended that you practically drop the weight whilst keeping your hands on the bar. So go out and deadlift!

How You’re Ruining Your Workout as Soon as It Ends

Many people think that just working out will be enough to fulfill all of what they were thinking of when they started their work out. This is false. Getting more fit and getting the most out of your work out is not just about what you do while you’re in the gym. If you truly think this, then you are grandly mistaken. Getting the most of your work out does not only consist of what you do while you’re in the gym.

Do you even stretch bro? Although there have been studies that have shown that stretching before a workout is not likely to reduce the risk of sustaining workout related injuries, that does not mean that there is no point in stretching. What do you do when you work out? You tighten your muscles. What do you do when you stretch? You loosen your muscles out. If you keep your muscles tightened, your recovery time will be much longer, which means that you won’t be getting the most out of your next workout.

Do not be mistaken, one workout is enough to put you on your path towards your goal, but it most definitely will not get you to your goal. The real mistake is in thinking that one workout makes a big difference. One workout a week is definitely better than no work outs a week, but if you want to make significant progress, then it is recommended that you train at least three days out of a week.

Oh so you want to make some “real progress”? Oh, so you want to get huge? Oh, so you want to get the most out of your workout? STOP OVERTRAINING THEN. Overtraining is one of the least productive things you can do. There is a certain point in your workout where you should know that you should stop, and you should stop then. In fact, after two hours of training, your body starts to secrete a hormone that leads to the digestion of MUSCLE TISSUE in order to give you the energy to keep on going. If you want to get the most out of your workout, then know your limits. It’s likely that you will only achieve 70% of your potential by overtraining. To add to that, you’ll weaken your immune system. Train at your limits.

Working out is one thing. Recovering is another thing. There is no point in working out if you’re never going to recover. Sleep is the time when your body recovers. Some people think that they can survive off of just getting 6 hours of sleep a night, but when people are teenagers, the body actually requires a full 9 hours of sleep in order for your body to fully recover.

Stop being dehydrated! Drink a glass of water! You should aim to drink at least two quarts of water a day. Drinking more water makes it that so your heart doesn’t have to work quite as hard to deliver nutrients to your body, and nutrients are delivered more effectively!

If you’re going to work out, follow these tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout!

RCL TED Talk Analyzation

Cracking Stuxnet is a TED talk that was delivered by Ralph Langner back in March 2011.  Ralph Langner is a German computer scientist who, along with his team, was responsible for reverse engineering the most sophisticated computer virus attack in history:  the 2011 Stuxnet virus. Here is the summary given by for his TED talk: “When first discovered in 2010, the Stuxnet computer worm posed a baffling puzzle. Beyond its sophistication loomed a more troubling mystery: its purpose. Ralph Langner and team helped crack the code that revealed this digital warhead’s final target. In a fascinating look inside cyber-forensics, he explains how — and makes a bold (and, it turns out, correct) guess at its shocking origins.”

Ralph Langner

I think that the most important aspect that Ralph displays is his intense amount of confidence. This is important, because people need to be reassured that the information that they are listening to is coming from a respectable, credible source. One important thing that I found that Mr. Langer did in his talk was that he constantly walked across the stage, making eye contact with the entire audience, which made people feel more open to receiving the information, as if they were a part of the conversation. This makes him a very credible and convincing speaker.

Mr. Langner’s use of humor was vital in order to keep a more light, comfortable feel to a very serious topic. Langner’s humor throughout the speech was also able to keep the audience very involved. An example of Langner’s use of humor would be when he mentioned that the Stuxnet virus “acted like a lab rat that didn’t like cheese.” He then preceded to make a face imitating a rat rejecting cheese. Mr. Langner also was effective in communicating to a less informed audience when he made metaphors to every day things that people understood, such as how people pirate movies in a movie theater. His use of his slideshow was also effective in communicating complex ideas to an audience that otherwise would not understand them.

Why Should You Exercise? Because it Makes You Happier

According to researchers at the University of Vermont, just 20 minutes of exercise can give you benefits to your mood for up to 12 hours afterwards. Interestingly enough, people are most likely to exercise when they’re in a neutral mood, not when they are feeling happy or sad. This does not necessarily mean that the best time to exercise is when you are in a neutral mood. Exercise actually has the most significant effect on our mental status when we are in a bad mood.



It’s not hard to tell the physically active people are generally happier with their lives, but that’s not all that they have going for them. Exercise increases endorphins and all sorts of feel good chemicals in your brain, but it also does other things. Exercise has been shown to reduce the levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body. Not only that, but exercise has been proven to be able to be a remedy for both anxiety and depression.

The optimal minimum amount of exercise that needs to be done in order to receive the benefits of exercise is about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise about three to five days a week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but even less exercise may still be able to deliver you close to the same benefits. Research has shown that even a short stroll can improve your mood. The most important thing to keep in mind, though, is that longer continuous exercise is much more effective in improving your mood than short exercise split up into multiple parts. In a recent study of Canadian walkers, it was shown that subjects who had one thirty minute stroll had a much more significant mood boost than people who split their strolls up into three ten minute strolls.

Strength training is actually one of the most effective ways to improve your mood, so don’t just focus on cardio! Strength training has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety as well as being able to improve self-esteem. Not just any strength training will give these great benefits though. A study by Rutgers University has shown that moderate  intensity strength training was much more effective in improving moods than both low and high intensity strength training. 

Being inside, though, is not always the most effective way to improve your mood. Actually, exercising outside has been shown to be more revitalizing and able to make people feel more energetic and engaged. It makes people feel less tense, angry, and depressed. The best place to take a stroll is actually in a more natural environment compared to in an urban environment. So, sign up for outdoor yoga, ride your bike to work instead of driving, and swim laps outside as opposed to inside in the summer. Find a fun way to exercise. Listen to music when you exercise. Exercise with friends. To quote Henry David Thoreau, “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”