Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sumo Stance Exercises

While the video below shows nice technique for sumo stance RDL, it leaves me wondering if there would be some better alternatives.  I think there could be.  High rep band pull throughs and either high or low rep wide stance kettle bell swings.  You can also use Good Mornings from the same stance.  Many ways to skin a cat.  



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Listen and Learn

Podcasts continue to be one of my ways to get information.  What I've found is that podcasts are more like icebergs, you only get a very tiny bit of interesting information.  But, it is enough to send you looking for the meat of the idea.  It is a way to find out new areas of interest or new areas of exploration that may pertain to your health and fitness.

Here are a few that I found pretty interesting lately.

Joe Rogan Podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick.  This one has some cool stuff on nutrition including curcumain.

Bulletproof guy has Kelly Starrett on this podcast.  I like the idea of thinking in systems.  How to help our kids.

I'm a big fan of Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 program.  This is a video cast of the guys from Supertraining interviewing Jim on a number of ideas.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Product Re-Review: SlingShot

Perhaps a year ago I did a review of Mark Bells (elite power lifter) Slingshot device.  I didn't really think much of it at the time and said so.  I had been doing it with push ups and found that it did make them easier, which at the time, I disliked.

Fast forward a year and for some odd reason started playing around with it again.  I'd seen Matt Vincent, professional Highland Games athlete, playing around with it, so maybe that was an influence.  Low and behold, it still does make them easier.  Here's the kicker though, I realized I can increase my speed with them while increasing my reps.  I've done them for two weeks and have increased my push ups without assistance in one set quite easily.  Going from about 35-40 to the low 50's.

I still get some Ulnar nerve pain in my right elbow at times.  I put the Slingshot on and it takes the pain way.  The combination of compression and the deload of the Slingshot make for a great pain free warm up.  A few sets with it and I can crank out pain free push ups no problem.

After revising what I'm trying to accomplish I've now reconsidered my earlier review and would recommend it.  Deload to Reload.  Frequency and volume are quite easy with this for push ups and will really lead to increase in training volume.  This will lead to increase in strength.  Pretty cool.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What Is Training Low and Racing High

Train Low and Race High is a recent concept that is gaining popularity with the endurance crowd in the last few years.  There is growing research that it is indeed a valid training concept for training.  Essentially, train low race high refers to training with lower glycogen stores and racing with high glycogen stores.

This can be accomplished a few ways; daily training with incomplete post exercise nutrition,  twice a day training, and training in a fasted state.  Significant time to exhaustion and total work performed were noted in the 2x training a day groups.  The ability of the muscles that were trained in low conditions showed significant ability for the muscles to burn fat for energy and and to uptake carbs for glycogen storage.

This is turning the concept of never going into muscle glycogen debt into consideration.  It is perhaps giving up the workout that is done in glycogen depletion in order to make physiological adaptations for a future race.

Training with low glycogen levels don't seem to impart any significant value to strength training.

Although there has been shown some cool aerobic metabolism changes that occur, no real performance gains have been noted on race day for high intensity activities.  Only longer distance may show some gains.  So that is a huge point to take into consideration.

It is more stressful to train this way.  Stress hormones will increase.  The lowering of post exercise immunity can lead to more colds and sickness.  There will be less training volume as you can't last as long in each session.

There are some points for training this way for some physiological adaptations, but how much this translates into performance is still up for debate.  There will be some definite drawbacks for training this way full time, but perhaps early in a training cycle makes sense.

This is a great paper from pponline.  Sports Nutrition: The latest in low glycogen training.     This was a great video on High Performance Training and Nutrition.

Jamie Scott—High Performance Evolutionary Fitness - Using EvoBio to Optimize Training for Endurance (AHS12) from Ancestral Health Society on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Post Pregnancy Strength

One of the things I've noticed in the last few years with the birth of my own kids and watching many patients go through the pregnancy process is the time lines for returning to athletic activity post pregnancy.  

Time lines seem to be about 6 weeks of little to no intense activity.  Walking is great.  The body and organs are returning to it's original state after having the Uterus pushed to extremes.

After that mark, it's really becomes very individual to how well people handle different stresses.  It's recommended that you can start strength training again, but very bouncy activities may be to much at this point.  

Remember that the hormones that are in pregnancy will last up to 4 months after you stop breastfeeding.  So Relaxin is still being in the system after birth.  This is the hormone that allows ligaments to get loose so that a birth can take place.  

You are more unstable.  

It may take up to 2 years for your abdominal muscles to return to the strength and length you possessed pre birth.

One of the key points I've noticed is the lack of synergy between the hip muscles and your core muscles (ab muscles).  Things like the obliques and hip abductors seem to be not "working" together as well as they could be.  

Things like side planks off your knees and diagonal sits exercises are great primers to begin getting these guys working well together.  

Exercises that make the lat and Glute work together are also highly recommended to get the bodies cross X pattern stronger.  

In the end it is very individualist after about 8 weeks.  But, doing certain exercises that help to increase stability will give you a jump start on getting back to being the active, dynamic athlete you were.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bones Don't Touch How Can We Stand

This is a great video that explains the importance of strength and tension.  It also inadvertently showing how "to much" tension can start to create wear and tear on the joints.  If all you do is bike and sit at a desk, do you think doing a quad heavy exercise will help?  Start to think about how lack of strength and to much tension can be keeping you from health and performance.