Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday Fitness Plan

The time periods between Thanksgiving and New Years can often mean a dip in exercise activity for many people.  There seems to be less routine and more gatherings, whether for family or work.

There is more travel from relatives and friends.  More sugar.  Way more sugar.

Without a plan, a day can become a week, a week a month,  and your left with the start of the new years with a less fit you and feeling like your behind in your fitness and health goals.

Here is a plan to help you migrate through the holiday season.

1.  One weight workout a week.  This can simply be your bodyweight if need be.

2.  Two 20 min sessions of continuous movement per week. Walking, biking, anything that creates
 blood flow and is uninterrupted.

3.  Two 10 min sessions of some type of interval workouts per week. At its simplest, raise your heartbeat for 15 seconds.  Let it return to under 120bpm.  Do this for 10 min.  You may end up only doing a few sets.  Your fitness levels dictate this.

4.  Commit to only eating anything that is predominately sugar with a meal that contains protein.  So no pie on its own at night.  If your eating after dinner, go for it.

5.  Drink more water then you normally do.  Hydration plays a role in helping keep you healthy.  Drink a glass of water with every alcoholic beverage.

6.  Wash your hands a lot.  Do everything you can to avoid germs.

7.  Don't go two days in a row with late nights.  Pick your parties.

Sugar, less sleep, more alcohol, less exercise all can play a role in starting the New Years on a sour note.  Start the year as healthy as you can.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

"Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours."

Marcus Aurelius

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Mace Pendulum Swing for Core Conditioning

The Mace Pendulum Swing is a great exercise to develop a few important qualities for athletes; core strength and relaxation.  It is based on the principles of leading low back researcher and strength performance specialist, Dr. Stu McGill.  

Dr. McGill has shown that the ability to contract and relax the core is vital for the ability of athletes to learn to generate power.  The ability to relax and then brace is what separates great athletes from average athletes.  Essentially you are relaxed to move fast and then stiffen to apply a punch or a kick with power.  

This type of exercise is based on Reactive Neuromuscular Training.  RNT simply means exercises are used that require little visual or verbal instruction and instead cause a reaction to an outside force. In this case, the force is the swinging mace.   Your body will naturally fight to stay upright, thus engaging the abdominal corset, your hips and grip.  It fights the momentum of the mace and then relaxes when the mace is no longer a threat as it crosses in front of your body. 

It is also a self limiting exercise.  Self limiting means that you will be done with the exercise before the form degrades and you potentially use incorrect form.  Jump roping is a self limiting exercise, as you fatigue your form fails and you stop.  Jogging and squatting are not self limiting.   You can jog your way to an injury.   You can squat your way with bad form for a few extra reps.  The Mace Pendulum swing is self limiting due to your grip.  Your grip will get tired before the swing tires out the body. 

Stand tall,  feet under the shoulders, slight knee bend and looking straight ahead.  The mace is held with the ball towards the floor and elbow is at 90 degrees.  As the mace swings towards your midline, the body will instinctively relax.  As it moves away from the body, outside the center of gravity, your body will instinctively stiffen to keep it from being pulled towards the side of the swinging mace.  As the mace slows down as it reaches its apex across your body, create an impulse into the mace to swing the mace faster across the body. 

The heavier the mace, the larger momentum arm will be.  Think smaller time frame for sets.  The smaller the mace, the longer the grip will last and the more time under tension can be developed, think longer sets.  

For a 20lb mace start with sets of 30 seconds.  Work up to one minute for each arm.  Depending on your goals, you can go back and forth between arms and build some great core endurance or put this into a full body circuit incorporating a few other Mace exercises.  Either way, get ready to have your core and grip endurance challenged. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CoreFIST with BOSU's David Weck

I was playing around with this the last few days with different patients.  Been pleasantly surprised with this.  Pretty cool.

CoreFIST with BOSU's David Weck

I was playing around with this the last few days with different patients.  Been pleasantly surprised with this.  Pretty cool.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What is the Cost of Doing Business

One of the concepts that you come across (one of many) when you listen to Charlie Weingroff talk about training and rehab is the phrase, "What is the Cost of Doing Business."

It's an important concept to recognize and evaluate on each and every lift, workout and training protocol.


You want to deadlift, but can't touch your toes to get into good position, what is the cost going to be?  You can go ahead and do it, but know that everything has a cost.  It may be your disc health.

You want to run a marathon, but your hips are weak and you feel pain in the foot after 20 miles.  Whats the cost of doing business?

You want to max out on bench press, but you didn't get much sleep, every time you bench your elbow flairs up and you have been getting weaker every time you test.  What is the cost?

There may not be any contraindicated exercise if the need is great enough.  Just understand that there is an inherent cost to everything you do.