Lets get rid of dirty energy around the world! :) Here's how:
It the fitness world passion/intensity is held to be the magical ingredient for those who want significant results. I would agree that Intensity is a very important ingredient for anyone’s routine. So how do you “bring it” every time you get to the gym? How do you actually get results with this thing called intensity or passion? Let’s dissect it and put it back together like any good metaphysical physiological engineer would do.
Lots of coaches will say to their athletes when they did not perform well, “you got to have more Heart” or “you just didn’t want it today!” I never enjoyed these vague analogies with no explanation on why my heart was missing and how I set out to lose for the day. But while not well explained, they were right in some ways. EVERYBODY likes to watching someone with more passion in sports then someone that goes through the motions; you can feel it through the screen when watching a good athlete performs at their best. You can feel the passion when you’re being served by someone that really cares about you and what they’re doing. When someone just asks you how you are doing on the street with enthusiasm, it always feels better to both individuals. So a good question is; when is it good to NOT have passion? Ans: When you’re asleep.
So how do we get passion for Working out? This is a very stressful endeavor for the body. Going to a gym and paying to move around heavy weights for a seemingly invisible reason takes something much more then the eye can see. Although you cannot see it with the eye… the answer is Vision. Vision can only come from Imagination. Imagination is something that is currently being hijacked by all kinds of different things like video games, movies, TV, drugs, facebook, and really anything else that does not improve you as an individual but takes away your time in a mindless fashion will destroy your imagination.
Your imagination is one of the most powerful things about any human being and is the seed of any accomplishment. This will cause you to literally move mountains (or barbells). If you cannot imagine what you want to accomplish fitness wise, you will have no vision, and therefore, your passion will be lacking. You will go through the motions and hit plateau after plateau and set back after set back. Monotony is death for the spirit and the body. Passion leads to creativity, and creativity leads to more passion, helping you spiral upwards. Want more passion? Use your imagination, and get a better vision. Now go ENJOY your workout! :) Cheers
Shin splints are a common problem among runners and even non-runners. It is usually an overuse injury that’s very similar to Tennis Elbow in the forearm. Both have similar causes and solutions. For the shin, it’s normally caused by a constant dorsiflexion of the foot while walking or running; but it can be cause by weak muscles in the foot and poor stabilization or a stress fracture as well. And tennis elbow is typically caused by a constant dorsiflexion of the dominant hand, which is exacerbated by holding onto a long racket or holding onto a computer mouse for a long time.
The best thing to prevent shin splints is to relax your foot on the follow through motion of walking or running; so when you are bringing your foot forward to meet the ground, relax your toe and let it dangle. This will also make you a more efficient runner and walker. But often this will not get rid of the problem if one already exists and is hard to change in an instant. For long term results, I recommend a few doses of vitamin Barbell.
Okay, so you really don’t need a barbell at all for this. It’s just my way of saying get in the gym and learn some corrective exercises. While there are a bunch or exercises for the shin, I like a very basic one you can do anywhere with a smooth wall. What you do is:
1) Put you back flat against the wall
2) Move your feet 1 – 1.5ft in front of you flat on the ground
3) Slowly life your toes as high as you can in the air with heels on the ground and back flat on wall
4) Once your toes are as high as possible, try to push them a little higher, and go back down
5) Repeat 10 – 30 times till exhaustion
6) Repeat with two different angles: toes out heels in, and toes in and heels out
7) Sit in a Jacuzzi or hot bath for 10-15 minutes to relax muscles and increase blood flow (speeding recovery).
You may be sore for a few days after this, but sometimes you have to tear down the muscles a little bit for them to repair stronger. There are many other exercises like drawing the alphabet in the air with your toes, walking stiff legged with toes up, or having someone grab the top of your toes sitting on the ground and pulling them up and down. For Tennis Elbow, as long as there is no tear in the tendon, you can take care of it with Vitamin Dumbbell.
Seriously. Grab a light weight dumbbell, and follow my 5 step plan for success.
1) Find a flat surface like a bench, table, desk, ect..
2) Grab dumbbell in affected arm and put your arm on the edge of a flat surface
3) Move hand off surface with knuckle up and fingers gripping DB down.
4) Move hand slowly up and down as high as possible 10 -30 times till exhaustion
5) Put arm in hot water, and try not to fall asleep
You can also help the problem by hanging from a bar as long as possible, doing reverse bicep curls, or anything holding onto something heavy with your fingers. Of course, people will be at all different stages in both of these problems, and there is a point where this may not work. Please consult with a medical professional prior to performing these exercises if you have any question on your degree of injury. Hope this help! Have a great day!
For most people, at some point in their life they will have knee and hip pain. This is becoming common place. There are about 500,000 knee replacements and more than 175,000 hip replacements performed annually, and that’s going north in a hurry. In fact, hip replacements are expected to increase 174% in the next 20 years, and knee replacements will rise even more -- 673%, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' 2006 annual meeting. (webMD) But most people don’t need numbers to see that a lot of people have hip and knee problems.
So, where is this problem coming from? How do I know if I might have a problem? And most importantly, how can I prevent it before it’s too late? Let’s take a crack at the first one; where is it coming from? Lots of speculation on this one, but not sure if anyone has really figured it out. Christopher Mcdougall, the author of ‘Born to Run’ seems to think that it has come from the modern shoe with a high heel and lots of stability/cushion. I believe there is some truth to that, he’s a very good investigative reporter and has a lot of convincing arguments. But I think it has a lot to do with modern society being a sit down or standing still society. Most modern jobs we have do not require complex movement. Even modern farmers just sit in a giant tractor for days on end.
And now a fairly very important question: how do I know if I have a problem? Pretty easy answer: Do you have knee or hip joint pain consistently? If the answer is yes, then you have a problem. Pain is a great teacher, it lets us know that something is wrong and needs to be changed. But pain can only be a teacher if the student is ready.
Now for the million dollar question; what can I do to prevent this problem before it’s too late? Too late = replacement. Now, I would recommend lots of research and getting a lot of opinions on the matter before you do anything, but here is my OPINION on the matter. This is a BIG question and cannot be covered fully here, but if you ever need a consultation, please give me an e-mail or call. From what I’ve seen in my practice, is that 99% of the time hip alignment is the primary cause of hip and knee problems. You can self-adjust this, but I would recommend a chiropractor to make sure everything is aligned. The only problem with that, is most people have a hyper mobile hip. This could make you go back out in a matter of minutes. The best way to prevent the problem long term is to keep adjusting the hips as often as needed and strength training correctly. I would recommend working out the Gluteus Medias and the IT band primary with strength training, stability training, and even power training IF you are ready for it. That’s basically the side of your thigh and butt. Leg swings on the ground are pretty safe, but to perform a correct lung or squat, you might want to hire a coach for a couple sessions if you want to really do it correctly. Once you learn it correctly, doing side to side squats under a bar, side lunges, side leg press, and side to side jumps are very good for increasing you hip strength and stability. Balancing on an uneven surface is also very good for learning to stabilize your hips as well. To go along with Chris D., you might want to get a shoe with less stability to increase your own stability in these areas. Walking and running on your toes is actually the correct way to move, and stabilizes you knee far better than heel walking. Go ahead and test this out for yourself. Walk on your toes, and feel how your knees lock up. Then go back on your heels and do the same thing. Go back and forth to see the difference and you might become a believer. One might want a coach to learn proper running form and walking form too, but if you’re a do-it-yourselfer like me, your bathroom will look like crap. Coaches help. This will help some people, but not all. Every situation is different and requires a keen eye to analyze the situation and make a good program through research and experimentation. Hope this helps! Have a great day! :)
For some reason, a lot of people these days believe that weight training is dangerous, and cardio is safe. While I won’t claim that weight training is completely safe by any means, I would argue that cardio can be more dangerous than weight training, and let me explain.
Any exercise physiologist will know the difference between a catabolic workout, and an anabolic workout. A catabolic workout produces a lot of the hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol is created when the body depletes its glycogen stores in the muscles, and if very depleted, your liver stores as well. You use Creatine and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) first when you are exerting force with your muscles, and then you use the sugar stores. Once the sugar stores are low, you produce Cortisol, and the more depleted, the more cortisol is created to save the brain glucose stores. They say that all glycogen stores would be completely depleted at about two hours and thirty minutes (why I never recommend marathons). So what are the effects of Cortisol?
Cortisol will take away your bone density, making you more susceptible to stress fractures and broken bones. It will also take away collagen that could cause weak joints and more arthritis effects. It will also weaken your immune system, causing prolonged recovery times. And finally, in small amounts it can increase your ‘flash bulb’ memory, (to remember what not to so) but if it’s a prolonged exposer, can damage cells in your hippocampus, hurting your learning abilities. Ate least it’s not bad for losing weight! All this mixed with the high impact of running can cause lots of problems. I know personally from my professional running days that if you do not have a strength program in place that hits all the areas runners need, you will get injured. I was injured about twice a year when I ran for MSU. But the good news is that you can take care of it in the gym, once I implemented a good strength program I did not get injured in 5 years of professional running. One time I did step in a hole and tweak my knee, but that’s an impact injury, not overuse.
So what does an anabolic strength workout do? Well the opposite of catabolism. So it builds muscle density, bone density, and joint density to put it bluntly. This makes you harder to get injured or sick. I had a very close friend that was run over by a 3 ton truck recently, and did not have a single broken bone. It ran over his legs and nothing else thank God, and he was already walking around without crutches about a week after the incident and walked a 5k without crutches in under and hour less then two weeks later! He was a very fit individual that took very good care of his body, lifted weights and played volleyball. It obviously will take a LOT of injure him.
I know this article sounds like a vendetta against running, but it’s not at all. I loved running and there’s few workouts better than finding a great trail and zoning out for a little bit. However, this is only a part of a good fitness plan. Just doing cardio is like only eating broccoli, good choice, but you might want to add a little variety to the diet. There has to be a good balance of anabolic and catabolic workouts. Catabolism is needed for the body, even for muscle, bone and joint development; but too much is too much. Hope this helps! Have a great day!
Everyone knows his or her heart is important, “if it stops, you stop”. But there’s a LOT more to your heart than just a pump. Science is finally catching up with lots of religious texts and philosophers of old that had the heart at the center of our being/soul and where thought came from. Your heart actually sends far more signals to your brain, then your brain sends to your heart. Most of the things I’ll be talking about came from this research article: www.brainenhancement.net/uploads/Heart_Head_Interactions.doc Check it out for a much more in-depth study. As one learns more about this amazing organ, it will help in many different ways and you might see why training it is more important than you think.
HeartMath studies define a critical link between the heart and brain. The heart is in a constant two-way dialog with the brain. Our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways. Research has shown that the heart communicates to the brain in four major ways: neurologically (through the transmission of nerve impulses), biochemically (via hormones and neurotransmitters), biophysically (through pressure waves) and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). Communication along all these conduits significantly affects the brain’s activity. Moreover, research shows that messages the heart sends the brain can also affect performance.
The heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways:
The data suggest that as people experience sincere positive feeling states, in which the heart’s rhythms become more coherent, the changed information flow from the heart to the brain may act to modify cortical function and influence performance. These findings may also help explain the significant shifts in perception, increased mental clarity and heightened intuitive awareness many individuals have reported when practicing the HeartMath techniques. Some can be found here: http://www.appliedmeditation.org/dome/201/stimulation/HeartMath , and a lot of it has to do with breathing rhythmically and deep, and being more aware of yourself; control for both of which can be increased in the gym or on the roads if you are conscious about it.
The heart’s electrical field is up to 100 times greater in amplitude than the electrical activity generated by the brain. This field, measured in the form of an electrocardiogram (ECG), can be detected anywhere on the surface of the body. Furthermore, the magnetic field produced by the heart is more than 5,000 times greater in strength than the field generated by the brain, and can be detected a number of feet away from the body, in all directions, using SQUID-based magnetometers. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction. It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature (the others are gravitation, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction).
This is probably why they have found that your heart has a direct impact on the brain of other people around you. So if you are going to try to become a telepathic, you better start training your heart!!! If you can learn to control your breathing and heart rate in stressful situations like working out at high intensities, you will be much more prepared to handle stressful situations in life with a calm healthy mental and physical state. When your body is in Psycho physiological Coherence, your will have positive emotions and your body recovers quickly to stresses. When you are annoyed on the road and screaming at other cars, everything is out of balance and you are in a very negative non-coherent psycho physiological state; your heart rate, blood pressure rhythm, and breathing will be all over the place.
Being thankful instead of selfish is much better for you than for others. I always say, EVERY argument you have with a loved one or others stems from being selfish. Using breathing and positive emotions will help you get through stressful times and be more appreciative. Of course there are some stresses that time will only heal, but this can help with the small stuff.
Other cool heart facts: The heart is the first organ to appear and starts pumping before you have blood. The heart has over 50,000 independent neurons, it’s own intrinsic nervous system. So you can think with your heart; and with the understanding of the electromagnetic fields, we can generalize that you have MUCH more socioperception (combination of reason, sensation and emotion that is based in relationship and interrelationship) in our relationships. The heart also manufactures and secrets hormone blends, one of which is oxytocine: the Love Hormone, bringing together feelings of compassion, love, harmony and peace.
Hopefully this excites you to learn more about this amazing organ! I do believe we haven’t even scratched the tip of the ice berg yet, but lets keep digging! For more information, HeartMath has been researching all of this stuff for 20+ years now. Have a great day!
Anywhere in the world there are seasons. Yes, I know the North and South Pole and Greenland have pretty much one season, but they are pretty much VOID OF LIFE. So, after college…. How many seasons do you have? What does your body’s different seasons look like? Does it look like: “This season I’m wearing a jacket. This season I’m wearing sun glasses. This season I’m wearing a bathing suit.” That’s not the season’s I’m talking about, and not the ones your body needs.
When we come out of college to the work force, there is no summer break, no winter break, we all have constant responsibilities, and we have no time to plan a program with multiple different focuses for the body throughout the year. So… What is your current focus for the season you’re in? Every athlete will tell you that if they did the same thing for the whole year, they would probably burn out and physically become worse and worse. This is adrenal fatigue, and most people have it and do not know it. And more importantly, most health practitioners will just give you some drug to fix the problem, but not get to the “Why” behind the condition. Conditions of Adrenal Fatigue:
In a study with rats they had them connected to an electrical stimulus, and saw that they initially adapted pretty fast to the stressor, then they stopped adapting and plateaued, and then they went downhill resulting in death. Not sure why they needed a study that killed rats to figure that out, but you can still learn from it. Don’t be a dead rat; add seasons to your routine, keep striving to get better and you will.
So getting back to the analogy, the most important season for life, is the growing season. And for you, the healthiest thing you can do for your body is increase your anabolic hormones to keep yourself young. Of course, you do not want to stay in this season for ever, so then you need to have a catabolic season to cut down the fat and get rid of the toxins. This is the harvest season; the better the growing season, the better the harvest. After the cutting season you can go right back to the growing season. But you can also take a well-deserved break with a scheduled time to pick it back up again. and most importantly, enjoy every season you’re in, even if you have favorites. J Take care
I like this picture because this article is about how YOU can control YOUR hormones, which is not just something that happens to women once a month. Most people will get the quick fix and take drugs or expensive shots that will not fix the ‘why’ (which I focus on), but only the ‘problem’ temporarily (Hormonal Therapy). This will keep you coming back for more unless you give your body a reason to release those hormones. Hormones are natural chemicals released from different glands in your body to regulate everything you do. The popular one now-a-days is Human Growth Hormone(HGH); HGH helps repair and build joints, bones, and muscles which in turn makes people look and feel young again when produced. People generally produce a lot of it while growing as a child, and less and less as they age. I’m here to share how you can force your body to produce it naturally, no pills.
I was a professional runner for Nike and New York Athletic Club based out of Los Gatos California; since that is NOT in any way a lucrative job, I was also a Personal Trainer at Los Gatos Athletic Club and Courtside Club. Luckily, while I was there a doctor at a sister club was doing blood research on the Endocrine system to figure out how to maximize Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone/Estrogen (HGH & Tst/Est: Anabolic Hormones) while reducing Cortisol (Catabolic Hormone) levels. What we found out is that intensity and duration are both key to maximizing production of HGH: the Fountain of Youth.
Studies have shown that low intensity workouts will show a small uptick in HGH and other anabolic hormones initially, but fad quickly as the body does not have to adapt that much. This is why the people you see next to you in the gym never really look any different; they keep doing the same thing they did the first month of working out because it “worked” for them then. Studies have shown (and common sense) that if you bring your muscular system near or to failure, you will force your body to produce high levels of HGH and Tst/Est to adapt to the high level of stress produced on your body. This is why “Gym Rats” typically have high levels of these anabolic hormones, even if they are not doping with them. They have become masochists and can bring themselves to that pain threshold every time to produce those hormones naturally. This is also the most dangerous type of workout for beginners and novices, hiring someone who knows the correct form for exercises and how to stack the workouts for optimal gains is the best investment you can make for yourself. (I know, I used to be a Financial Advisor, and you’re not getting anything better out there!)
So, what does duration have to do with the price of tea in China? Not a lot, but it does have a lot to do with your hormone levels. In our studies of hormone release in the body, we found that levels of the aforementioned Anabolic Hormones in the blood drastically went up for about 30 minutes, on average, and then started to go down rather quickly. We also found that there was a direct inverse correlation with Cortisol, a catabolic hormone that will cause tissue break down and Cushing’s syndrome if produced too much. Cortisol is a stress hormone and will inhibit all anabolic effects unless you know how to work with it. This is why Marathon runners look very frail and typically get bone and joint injuries. They have stressed the body for so long at low to moderate intensities that they are cortisol producing machines. The “Fat Burning Zone” has ruined a lot of good intentions in the cardio world. You will be burning sugar and producing cortisol with long duration low to moderate intensity aerobic activity if you are using that as a “workout” and not as just something fun to do like kayaking with friends. The sugar you burn will be replenished with your next meal and you will be in a catabolic state. If you enjoy long duration activities like long runs, bike rides, or kayaking trips, then do it, but don’t start a workout routine with it!!!
This also has a lot to do with your energy systems, research has shown that when you deplete you glycogen stores in your muscles, you will produce Cortisol. Your muscles use ATP and Creatine foe about the first 20 – 30 seconds of activity, and then it uses sugar in glycolysis after that. If you happen to deplete all of your glycogen stores in your muscles and blood, you will be a warehouse of cortisol for a very long time. This will also directly affect your psyche as well. Tim Noakes, author of “Lore of Running” talks about something he calls a “Central Governor” that will shut your body down when it thinks permanent muscle damage can occur. And going that far into depletion will make your Central Governor shut down much earlier after the “hit the wall” the first time. What it will do is drastically lower your heart rate and lung capacity so you cannot do any more work. Many endurance athletes have run into this phenomenon and have been very puzzled that it happened, and that they could train hard right after the episode. They couldn’t relax, stress took over, and shut down of bodily function occurred far before maximal effort could be obtained.
So how do you put it all together to become an anabolic warehouse of vibrant living packed with awesomeness? First you have to decide what your fitness goals are and how you want to live. There will have to be give and take based on how you want to look. One can look fantastic by just doing a weight routine 3 to 5 times a week if done right. And you can add cardio to fit into those new pants, but too much and you will go backwards. I was a professional runner and got down below 3% body fat running less than 30 minutes a day. I also had many tests from the USADA done on me for drugs while I was a runner and they sent me a letter after a number of tests to say that they found my testosterone levels were much higher than normal, but because they were consistent, they knew I was not doping. I considered it a pat on the back to my training system I developed from studies done on weight lifters. You can read about that here: http://rp-author.com/Sherer/ Cardio is a very useful tool, but most people feel a need to equate duration and time with better results: this is very wrong.
Other factors like diet and sleep also play a vital role in the Endocrine system. If you do not sleep, you will be stressed all day. If you are stressed all day, you will be a warehouse of cortisol producing turbines. This will destroy all potential anabolic gains in the weight room. And for diet, if you do things like the adkins diet, and avoid VERY important food groups, you will be a warehouse of catabolic hormones. You need to know how food works in the body, and that will tell you the more important question of WHEN to have certain foods and WHEN not too. But if you’re working out at optimal intensities for the correct duration about 3 – 5 times a week, you should not have to avoid any food groups and calorie counting won’t be an issue for 98% of the population. The big one to avoid on your food, in your water, and in your air is chemicals. Your Endocrine system is all natural chemicals you produce, so if you’re eating pesticides genetically engineered into the food or sprayed on it, how can you think for a moment that will not have a direct impact on your endocrine system? And you should also consider what chemicals are in your tap water and what you are breathing in on a regular basis as well.
If you would like help on developing a program and life style change, I would love to be a part of your success! J I train and coach people out of my gym based in Dexter, but also train at people’s houses so they learn what to do without fancy tools. Please e-mail me at email@example.com if you are interested in finding out more about what I do for my clients.
Steve Sherer graduated in 2005 from Michigan State with his Masters in Kinesiology and in 2006 became a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer. He has coached himself from a 3:45.99 to a 3:36.8 in the 1500 to qualify for the Olympic trials in 2008 and made it to the finals. Currently he lives in Dexter and promotes health and fitness through functional movements and corrective exercises.