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Are You Training or Trending?

I’ve asked my good friend and fellow strength and conditioning coach to help me out with some writer’s block.  Jonathan Carroll and I go back a little ways to the glory days of interning at MBSC.  Since then, we have stayed in touch and attended a few different continuing ed events together.  He has since moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and is now co-owner of The Movement Lab Raleigh.  If you want to learn something then definitely look into this guy’s blog and podcast!

 

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Since I moved from Boston to Raleigh and opened up my own gym I have realized there is a crossroads when it comes to selling training. A lot of people want what is sexy and social media does a great job reinforcing this. There are many trends such as “build your booty programs” and “high intensity everything” as well as “random acts of fitness” thrown together because of the gram! What isn’t sexy though is just plain old “good training”.

Don’t get me wrong, there are parts of the trends that we can embrace and make into legitimate training protocols to get stronger, just look at what Bret Contreras has done with hip thrusts. Hip thrusts were once an exercise that was scoffed at and are now more widely accepted as being a legitimate way to get stronger and build a powerful pair of glutes. My favorite trend though was and still is “Prancercize” – I use this on my recovery days.

Let’s address what exactly good training should include. Are you incorporating the following movements? A hip-hinge, squat, a push, a pull, and anti-extension, anti-rotation abs? At The Movement Lab we have these classified as our foundational movements. Once someone has become proficient at these we will then look to progress to our level two movements such as Kettlebell Swings, Turkish Get Ups and Kettlebell Snatches. The thing is, as a gym owner who knows what good training is – it’s not an easy sell compared to an instagram model in yoga pants and a smoking hot body who is doing the latest version of her for purchase booty program and magical unicorn supplement that has been proven to help a booty grow. In the words of Jay-Z, ” I Can’t Knock the Hustle”. However, when it comes to using a training program that will positively enhance your life, nothing comes close to accomplishing this quite like plain old good training.

A lot of people may want what is currently “hot”. If someone has an amazing body then that means everyone should do what they are doing to get the same results, right? Eh, not exactly. You see a lot of the fitness models on instagram or in fitness magazines are people who have won the genetic lottery. Their training alone didn’t get them that body, in fact they probably have that body despite their shoddy training protocols. Having interned and worked at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning you get to connect with a lot of great coaches who recognize what good training consists of. Simply put, that consists of doing the basics, really well and with lots and lots of practice thrown in. The programs these coaches as well as myself use with the people we train never really veer off course from the main categories listed in the foundational moments above.

You’ll get stronger, improve your quality of life, live longer and when combined with solid amounts of deep sleep and nutrition you’ll probably reach those aesthetic goals of yours as well. The most pleasing feedback from the people I’ve coached down through the years include things like:

“I haven’t felt this good since I was in college”

“I can play with my son and daughter and not be out of breath inside of five minutes”

“Last week my doctor took me off my blood pressure medicine”

You get the idea. I haven’t reinvented the wheel, it’s simply good training practices passed on and practiced over and over. Getting better takes time and in an age where we want it now and not a second later, doing the same program for a month can seem like a year to some. We incorporate the StrongFirst principles at The Movement Lab” such as “Strength has a greater purpose” which you can see in the quotes listed above. We also believe that:

“Strength is a skill”

Yes, you need to practice it. The key to reaching your goals in the gym rest in this quote, not an expensive supplement or a flashy new exercise. Learn the basics and then practice them over and over. To this day I still learn something new when I set foot in the gym. Believe me when I tell you, training is a lifelong process but also one heck of an enjoyable one.

With that I challenge you to explore your current training program and ask the question, am I getting better? You can still keep some main elements in your program constant without changing up everything you do. Here are some ways you can mix things up without changing what you’re doing:

  • Manipulate sets and reps
  • Add time under tension (eccentric, pause & concentric reps)
  • Body awareness. What muscles do you feel when you are performing different exercises?
  • Can you get into the required position to optimally execute a sumo deadlift or a double kettlebell front rack squat etc
  • Add a plus set as your last set in the form of AMGRAP (As many good reps as possible

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Don’t get caught up in trending fitness protocols and just keep training. Small steps are the way forward, Rome wasn’t built in a day. A lot of progress can be made in a year. Don’t believe me?Journal your training for a year based on a program from any good strength coach and you’ll see progress you didn’t think was possible.


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Jonathan Carroll
Co-Owner, The Movement Lab
857.523.9437
themovementlabraleigh.com
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Is Stretching Beneficial Prior to Working Out?

In a way this article title is a loaded question.  Over the years, there have been a number of different theories regarding the type of stretching you should do prior to and after exercise whether it was aerobic or resistance training.  Hopefully I can better explain what I use in my methods and why.

Static Stretching

In a nutshell, static stretching is simply trying to isolate a muscle group and statically holding it on stretch in hopes that it will elongate the muscle fiber.  Some people will go to extremes with this one, but just like anything we should probably avoid the extreme ends of the spectrum (unless you’re a dancer, gymnast, someone who needs to be a human pretzel).

There has been a number of research studies regarding the efficacy of static stretching prior to and after exercise in hopes that this was in fact the answer to all of our problems.  If we stretch prior to exercise or games, we will not get hurt.  If we stretch after exercise or games, we won’t get sore.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that.  Soreness hopefully by now is understood to be something dealing with volume and eccentric stress on the muscles.  It appears to have something to do with a build-up of Hydrogen ions on the area which I realize doesn’t mean too much to the average person trying to learn something here.  Stretching prior to exercise didn’t appear to have any great attributes either.

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Glute Stretch

I will often do some level of static stretching in the very very beginning of the warm up.  I like to open up the hips for starters, and if you take a step back and see that most individuals have chronic tightness in the same areas secondary to our high tech, sit at your desk, kind of lives.

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Groin Stretch

 

Bouncing/Ballistic Stretching

I think that last reference to this type of stretching was in 1924?

Half kidding.  If you’re still doing this type of stretching you either have been cryogenically frozen for the last 100 years, or you believe that whatever science says is false.  Bounce stretching leads to more injury.

PNF

Stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, is an awesome tool for us physical therapists who want to eradicate increased tone with neuro patients, or individuals who are licensed to increase range of motion in someone who is potentially tight.  I don’t say it this way to seem arrogant, but, we health enthusiasts are super eager to show off the new tools we bought at a weekend course.  I agree that it is exciting, but why do we do anything?  We should always have a why, and there is no reason to perform PNF stretching on someone when we can do it either non-manually or realize that it isn’t appropriate for some individuals.

If I do it with my athletes/clients, it is non-manual.  I will often find a way to trick that individuals perception of what is happening.  For example, band leg lower.

Dynamic Stretching

Not necessarily stretching in the sense that you hardly take your muscles into end range of motion.  Instead, you’re gearing up for the upcoming day of exercise or games.  You mimic some of the basic movements that you’re about to do which will prime the muscles and nervous system up without overload as well as raise the bodies core temperature as you’re moving.  That’s what has been shown to reduce injury, increasing body temperature.

I’ve witness a number of strength facilities, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and sport coaches teach athletes/adults how to do dynamic exercises in a way that doesn’t seem logical.  To me, it doesn’t make sense to go 0-100mph without testing the brakes and accelerator first.  So why start with skipping and high knees just to turn around and slow everything down with some knee hugs?

We will use dynamic stretching prior to doing our movement and sprint drills.  This is our last piece of the warm-up in some ways before we ask the athletes/clients to push themselves.  We will start with slower, more controlled movements first and progress to low level running or even sprinting depending on who we are working with.

Putting it Together

So, an example of our warm-up would be:

foam roll, static stretch, mobility, activation, dynamic

For the items not highlighted here, I covered it in another post, check it out here and for part 2, here.

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CBD oil case study

One of the new trends lately is CBD oil which is a derivative of the cannabis plant that most people associate with marijuana.  If you look closely on the shelves of some of your grocery stores or even your favorite coffee shop you will find CBD infused items all over the place.  Curiosity got the cat, so I will try.

CBD is traditionally used to help people with certain DSM diagnoses that will relieve anxiety, pain, some movement disorders, and cognition.  The stuff that you buy in the store is without THC unless otherwise noted.  THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that creates the “high” effect.  So basically once you tell someone about CBD, you will also have to explain to them that there isn’t THC.  Potential side effects were listed, but the only ones that caught my eye was malaise and weakness.

As far as I know I don’t have any psychoactive issues.  I’m not trying to treat a self diagnosed version of anxiety or anything like that.  Believe it or not I personally have a difficult time falling asleep especially on Sunday night.  Whether it is because I stay up too late on Saturday night combined with the sleeping in that I sometimes do on Sunday morning, or if it is because I stay up mind racing with the things I need to get done at work the next day I will lay in bed restless.  I have a number of clients who have been taking CBD oil because someone told them that it may be good so I decided I would give it a try.

CBD
Dropper of CBD oil

Day 1

I actually woke up 40 minutes before my alarm went off after 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I felt wide awake and ready to go.  I hadn’t fallen asleep and stayed asleep like that for a while so that was refreshing.

Day 2

I fell asleep relatively quick this night, however, I worked late and had a late dinner so there was no waking up earlier than the alarm.  I actually resented my alarm going off and felt a little groggy until the afternoon.  Sleep quality was still really good.

Day 3

I worked even later on Tuesday night and had a really late dinner.  Not ideal, but it is my reality.  I woke up around 4 a.m. briefly, but made it back to sleep no problem.  I tallied about 6 hours of sleep and was pretty groggy all day Wednesday until the late afternoon.

Day 4

I fell asleep relatively quickly again.  I did wake up in the middle of the night again, but that may be a result of drinking too much water later on in the day.  My motivation to get things done in the afternoon dropped significantly until about 3 p.m., but remain pretty groggy.  Work ended around 6 p.m. and I was able to go home and relax which was welcoming.

Day 5

I had Friday off so I was able to get an extra hour of sleep followed by a relaxing morning.  I could take my time getting my morning tea without any pressing deadlines.  I was able to sit down and write a little and go out to run some errands and felt much better with the extra rest.  I did go to a Celtics game that evening with some work colleagues, but felt normal.

Celtics Game
Pretty awesome seats

In conclusion, the week trial revealed to me that maybe on Sunday night it is a good idea to get some CBD in for the sleep aid.  All-in-all it did feel better than taking melatonin all week, anecdotally.  I will most likely continue to use it especially on those Sunday nights.

 

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New Year, Simple Start

It’s that time of year again.  Everyone is planning on doing the right thing and the gyms are starting to pick up.  Almost everyone you speak to is on the “keto diet” as of the first of the new year.  So many great intentions, so little sustainability.  Here’s a quick reference guide for the new year.

Diet

The word diet is more a statement of what you consistently consume as opposed to the 8 week fix that you’re about to embark on.  Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of the newest fad diet that will inevitably fail, choose the healthy option.  What exactly is the healthy option?  The technical answer is that it depends on a host of information that is impossible to answer in one generic blog post.  But, it is possible to give a generic outline that you can plug and play with. The following is  a simple cheat sheet that you can use that is a heck more sustainable that getting extreme.

For Ladies

To maintain your current bodyweight/body fat consume roughly 1 palm size portion of lean protein, 1 fist portion of veggies, 1 handful of starchy carbs, and 1 thumb of healthy fats/oils.  To drop bodyweight/body fat simply cut out some of the starches.

For the fellas

Double what the ladies consume.

For a more detailed list of healthy foods and complete food composition, check out Precision Nutrition’s website.

Sleep

Whatever you do, get appropriate amounts of sleep.  This isn’t always possible if you have newborns or crappy neighbors, but ultimately you should be able to your sleep pretty regularly.  I’ve made mention of this in the past with an entire article, but the jist of the information is that in order to progress you need your sleep.  There are a number of sleep aids out there.  Melatonin seems to be the simplest choice, but now CBD is jumping into the mix.  If you’ve read my material before and you’re still looking at your phone in bed before trying to sleep, why?  Blue light emission from your phone/tv/tablet/computer can inhibit melatonin production in your body for up to two hours.

Exercise

If you are currently working with a professional, continue to do so.  Who couldn’t benefit from someone else pushing you and tracking your information.  Anything or anyone that promises to get a quick fix is just looking to get your money.  There is no magic pill here.

We can break exercise down into a number of different categories, however, resistance training and some sort of conditioning work are the most effective at achieving your goals.  There are certain populations that need to be careful about what they do and how they do it, but the evidence is pretty clear that exercise seems to positively impact everything.  Doing yard work and house work does not constitute exercise.  Walking does not constitute exercise unless you were unable to walk prior to starting a walking program.  Including upper body pushes and pulls, as well as lower body hip hinging and knee dominant work (squats) are a good starting point.

In conclusion, start to implement these simple tasks into your daily routine and you’ll find that your goals will start to come to fruition.  Seeking out a qualified individual who has experience in not just the exercise aspect of well-being, but in the entire performance envelope will be greatly beneficial.  This way you can have all of this information monitored.  Looking for an exercise physiologist or exercise scientist degree and an appropriate certification is usually a good place to start.

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Random Thought: HRV

I just finished up working with a group of peeps that I’ve been working with for the last 10 years–take a moment just to think about that one–and as I was driving home it hit me, “why do I measure HRV?”

Great question, self!

What the heck is HRV anyway?  HRV=heart rate variability, and it is something that I learned back in undergrad when dealing with the heart.  Somewhere around Exercise Physiology 1 if I recall correctly.  This was information so prudent, much like the Kreb’s cycle, electron transport chain, lactate threshold, etc that I immediately deleted the information from memory as soon as I wasn’t responsible for it (lost? don’t worry, these other terms aren’t the topic here).

If you really boil down what HRV is, it is the measurement of one QRS complex to the next on an ECG, or more specifically the R piece of that gathering of letters.  In a normal individual you would expect to find that from heart beat to heart beat they would be roughly the same.  This in turn means that your nervous system is regulating pretty darn well as that silly system drives each heart beat.  However, in fatigued individuals such as athletes, corporate execs, and just anyone who has kids or multiple jobs you’ll find that from beat to beat there are slight differences.  Simply put, your nervous system is struggling to keep everything regulated…just a bit though.

Why does this even matter?

If your nervous system is a little whacky trying to control the autonomic (automatic) systems in the body, then how do you think it will do with the controllable parts like the ever important biceps?  Knowing that you’re HRV isn’t so great could give you or your coach the ability to maybe take out a set or two, maybe even give you the day for active recovery.  You’re definitely not going to hit any PRs.  You’re most likely going to crash and get some sort of illness or hurt if you keep pushing it.  Think Seyle’s diagram where you’re overstimulated.  Or to the layperson, think pneumonia or mono.

 

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Not too shabby this week
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Notice the red and yellow??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can get this stuff pretty easy too.  Shoot, the programs basically tell you if you’re good to go, mildly stressed, or in need of a staycation.  You definitely don’t need an ECG/EKG everyday.  I’m not personally affiliated with any group out there, however, I do use Bioforce HRV.  I think that the owner is an incredibly smart guy and does his homework when it comes to the state of the nervous system and cardiac system which is what sold me ultimately.  There are holes here and there for sure, but ultimately it is pretty high quality.

Take your training to the next step and work smarter not harder!

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Squatting: Good or Bad?

I was speaking a someone in a gym recently about squatting.  The conversation was more a list of excuses of why they couldn’t do a good squat.  So at the end of the day I was reflecting back on the conversation considering some of the points they were making regarding why squats weren’t good for them.

Before I get into the nitty gritty here, let me disclose some of my biases.

I like to lift things, so when the discussion comes to lifting or not my attitude usually sways in favor of lifting.

In discussing points of performance or health, I prefer to program single leg squatting/knee dominant activity versus the more traditional back squat or front squat.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still plug in the front squat and the trap bar (virtually a squat) where appropriate.  The back squat I’ll reserve for individuals who are competing in events that require it, for peeps who have a higher training age and are working in a more 1:1 setting, or for those that will go back to their college or pro strength coach who makes them squat.

Triple extension activity and hinge activity has more carryover to jumping as opposed to squatting in my eyes, but both are prudent.

Finally, Im generalizing here.  Squats are an awesome exercise, do them in some form within your training programs.

Good

When dealing with sport performance, squatting is absolutely necessary for a number or reasons.  But, beyond the performance world, squatting is important for general population and rehab as well.

Doing all hip dominant activity would eventually lead to overdevelopment of the posterior chain, and more than likely a poor quad:hammy ratio.  This would eventually lead to knee joint dysfunction, hip joint dysfunction, poor athletic quality, poor general purpose carryover, and more than likely injury.  Including knee dominant activity (squats in their variable forms) helps to keep the ratios balanced, injury down, and improves control of the knee in space.  The reality is that most high school athletes coming into the clinic have either overdeveloped quads or extremely underdeveloped everything.  For those individuals who are extremely underdeveloped, the best corrective exercise is going to be lift some weight.  Parents, even though you’re trying to do a good thing by protecting your kids, get out of the way.  You wouldn’t hire a mechanic to do your taxes, don’t hire an artist to train your kid.  Find a professional with a good reputation and the appropriate credentials.

Training a squat pattern is essential for basic activities of daily life….like sitting and standing, or going to the bathroom.  I would like to preserve these abilities personally.

Squat patterns are a great way to add variety to your general training programs as well.  It doesn’t even have to be the traditional back squat.  You can do so many different types of squats like goblet varieties, front squat, double kettlebell versions, single leg, split, etc. Not only do they add variety, but they also tend to be so much more of a usurper of energy, requiring the entire body to work.

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Bad

Just like with any exercise you potentially perform, squatting has the tendency to get ugly quick leading to injury.  If you have the ability to watch high schoolers squat either with their football team/coach or with their buddies it almost seems straight out of a cartoon.  Not being able to perform the action without weight they immediately put on 135 because they want to get faster and stronger.  It’s difficult to articulate the silly events that occur.  For that reason, putting a back squat in for groups of people is a challenge.  Front squats are also a challenge because you still have to be able to squat correctly and you need to be semi humble.

Not everyones levers are the same.  Simple.  Someone with extremely long femurs relative to their trunk will squat significantly different than someone with shorter femur length relative to their trunk.  Butt-wink is not a good place to be.  Not everyone is going to squat ass to grass, so please stop enforcing that.

People tend to get too crazy with things too soon.  Simplicity is such an amazing and under appreciated variable.  Monitoring your numbers becomes important so that you’re not exhausting your options too soon.  Adding bands, chains, weight releasers, etc are all cool things to post on the gram, but not always necessary unless you need to change the stimulus based on stagnation.  Keep it Simple.

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Why Do You Lift That Much?

So, this past weekend we made a trip to the wonderful vacation destination of Syracuse, NY for my sister’s graduation party extravaganza.  My sister, much like my father is a runner.  If any of you follow me on social media, you’ll know how I feel about the whole running cult.

Running Sucks
One of the coolest t-shirts

With that said, I should say that I do actually like to do sprints following a workout as nothing will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something more.  Not run for 9 miles because gross.  So if you do see me outside running then you should probably run in the same direction really quickly as I’m probably being chased by Sharknado, a lion, or Dunkin’ Donuts advocates.

I was lifting a large cooler out of the car by myself when my father told me to stop because I may hurt myself.  Checking my ego I said, “nah it’s not that heavy, I pull over 400 pounds off the floor”.  When in my habitat, that statement is usually met with some grunts followed by how much others pull.  To people who don’t lift heavy weights often that is a meaningless piece of information.  So he asked, why?

I’m generally pretty quick to fire back at my dad, the only person on the planet who has mastered the ability to find every single one of my buttons of irritation–and press them over and over again for the pure amusement.  This time I still fired back because I like a challenge.  But I stewed over this for a couple of days.

Part of me wanted to say, why do you run?  That’s a silly thing to do.  You can certainly develop your cardiovascular system in many other ways.  Nothing in your life requires you to be good at running.  But, this is more a look at why I like to lift things (don’t make that cliche statement from that stupid commercial about lifting things please!).

A couple of years ago I set a goal to bench over 315, squat and deadlift over 405, clean 275.  None of this is necessary in my day-to-day requirements, however, when demonstrating to my athletes it was important that I could lift a semi respectable amount of weight.  Otherwise they would think that I’m a phony (their words not mine).  Plus, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results was some smart guy’s (Einstein) definition of insanity.  And I know with my education in physiology that I need to continue to push the status quo in order to achieve adaptation.

Loaded Bar
415 for a couple singles…

School threw my aggressive training routine into the toilet.  Basically, life happens.  Now I’m finally hitting those goals and striving for different ones.

So now I understand why my parents always told me to think before I spoke.  Not only does lifting my goal coddle the ego a little, make sure that the high schoolers don’t chirp, but mostly I lift it because I like to.  The feeling of accomplishing your goals is awesome albeit short lived.  Runner’s want to run for 4 days straight–go ahead.  If you’re goal was to do that and live, then awesome.  If I want to lift a 20 pound cooler out of the trunk of the car without hurting myself, then don’t bend and twist.

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Coaching Cue on the Deadbug

The dead bug is a great tool to use for both rehab and for improving performance in the athletic and general population.  Creating stability with the floor will help the trunk musculature brace appropriately with virtually anyone on the planet being able to figure it out.  There are a couple different ways that you can attack this exercise and I’ll cover that in this article.

The deadbug exercise is used for a variety of reason in strength and conditioning and PT.  In PT, we can use it to help develop the trunk musculature which will potentially give us a better brace for protecting our low back.  Or a better anchor for our hip extensors to fire from (by protecting the integrity of the pelvis).  In strength and conditioning we can use it in a beginner program to help someone find their anterior core.  We can also use it as an offseason type exercise to help the athletes reset.

Generally speaking, when thinking about strengthening the trunk musculature–or core–people immediately think about the 6-pack.  Sure that is an important piece of the puzzle, however, consider all the other parts too.  If you  don’t have the ability to engage that internal Transverse Abdominus you’re going to have issues.  The idea isn’t that you want to live in the 1980’s and make each muscle fire independent of the others (impossible by the way).  Instead, find a way to coordinate all these groups together.

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A common cue that is used to train the deadbug exercise is “push your low back to the floor”.  This will certainly get you to engage your anterior core.  But is it the best way to keep you in a neutral position and bracing?

 

 

 

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Instead, try using a different line of cues.  Let the patient/client use their fingertips to feel the brace.  Simply have them find their ASIS and move in roughly an inch.  As they brace appropriately they should feel their “core” push out into their fingertips.  This is different from trying to suck your belly button to your spine though.  It is more of a hollowing effect similar to that used in gymnastics.

 

This also has an impact on the rest of your body.  If you’re cued to push your low back into the floor you will invariably drive all force into the floor.  But what happens to your upper trunk, neck, head?  If you’re bracing hard enough they’ll come off the floor similar to a crunch.  Fine, if you’re trying to get the anterior core work.  If you’re trying to get those deeper muscles to fire more effectively though, keeping neutral is a little better.  It will allow the patient to keep their head and upper trunk on the floor with the neck finding the natural, neutral position.

Give it a try in your programming and find what works best for you.  Feel free to give some feedback.

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Quick Comment About Sleep

Today is a short post serving more as an addendum to the pool of recovery that we have already dipped our toe into.

Previously, I wrote about how sleep is such a vital component to the recovery process.  I was writing it from a perspective of athlete or performance without really thinking too much about how it also impacts aesthetics.

Sure, if you’re not getting enough sleep following a training session or day, it will take you longer before you’re able to go at 100% efficiency again.  Sure, if you’re not getting enough sleep you’re going to be crabby and probably make a lot of your coworkers/friends a little bothered.  You’re physiology will be a little off because you weren’t able to clear out all the gunk from your CSF.  Common knowledge now that we revisited the idea, right?

Now consider this scenario.  An individual works out 3-4 times per week expending a stupid amount of energy.  They eat mostly whole foods because they’re allegedly allergic to refined sugars and any gluten containing product.  They supplement with BCAAs, hydrolyzed cross-flowed microfiltrated isolate whey protein, organic greens, wild salmon oil, etc.  But they still have a beer gut? How?

They neglected to say that they sleep 3-5 hours a night on average.  That doesn’t really create a great internal situation for your hormone profile.  Cortisol (stress hormone) has received such a negative rep in the physiology world mostly for good reason.  It is necessary, however, in excess can be your own worst enemy.  High cortisol levels can be the result of high stress because you work 5 jobs totaling over 100 hours of work per week–stupid student loans.  You need to make yourself dinner and attempt to go grocery shopping.  Make appearances at family/friends/athletic events.  Even if you did get a perfect 8 hours of sleep per night (56 hours a week) with the 100 hour work week, that leaves you 14 hours to accomplish the other things.  Something has to give and it’s usually sleep.

Boom! Increased cortisol levels.  Not to mention the accompanying stress that tags with all this madness.  Feedback loop says: more cortisol.  Unmanageable levels and you’re left with a petit beer gut even though you haven’t consumed a carbohydrate in about 5 years.  What the what??

Get rid of one of the jobs (as long as you can pay your bills) and start getting some sleep.  Eight hours is recommended but some people need more, some less.  You’re body will thank you, and you’re results in the gym/practice facility will get exponentially better.

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Getting to Overhead Pressing

 

Today I wanted to share a quick breakdown of how we progress to pressing overhead.

A lot of our overhead athletes have difficulty owning the overhead position so we use a variety of methods to help get them there.  We start by reducing the amount of motor control that they need to use by putting them in a tall kneeling position.  This allows them to focus on what the torso is doing.  We also will use the landmine apparatus before they go straight overhead.  This allows them to continue to get strong before they’re truly able to own the overhead position.