Monday, August 31, 2009

The Myelin Sheath

The Myelin Sheath is going to be getting more and more attention in the next few years. It's already starting to become the star that it may very well seem to be. What is it? Myelin is the fatty substance that encases your nerve fibers. It's essentially a very important type of insulation. Every time your nerve is stimulated, the myelin gets a little thicker, your insulation gets stronger resulting in a faster signal. The faster the signal the better your skill and speed of delivery.

So when you practice a correct tennis stroke, your growing myelin to produce a better swing. Thick Myelin equals speed and skill. Every time you practice a skill, it's been said your creating muscle memory, it would be more proper to say your growing more myelin.

Multiple Sclerosis is essentially a nerve disease where the myelin starts to deteriorate, resulting in less skilled movement. There may be future evidence where the loss of myelin could be associated with other neurological diseases.

Nutritionally I think it makes sense to support the myelin growth with supplements like fish oil as it is made from fatty substance.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Are you a Warrior?

The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is 
that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary 
man takes everything as a blessing or as a curse.


The following is a parable I've always remembered.

A man had a very beautiful horse, and the horse was so rare that even emperors had asked the man to sell it--whatsoever the price--but he refused. Then one morning he found that the horse had been stolen.

The whole village gathered to sympathize, and they said, "How unfortunate! You could have got a fortune--people were offering so much. You were stubborn and you were stupid. Now the horse is stolen."

But the old man laughed; he said, "Don't talk nonsense! Only say that the horse is no more in the stable. Let the future come, then we will see."

And it happened that after fifteen days the horse came back, and not only alone--it brought a dozen wild horses with it from the forest. The whole village gathered, and they said, "The old man was right! His horse is back and has brought twelve beautiful horses with him. Now he can earn as much money as he wants." They went to the man and they said, "Sorry. We could not understand the future and the ways of god, but you are great! You knew something about it; you have some glimpse of the future."

He said, "Nonsense! All that I know now is that the horse has come back with twelve horses--what is going to happen tomorrow, nobody knows."

And the next day it happened that the old man's only son was trying to break in a new horse and he fell, and his legs were broken. The whole town gathered again and they said, "One never knows--you were right; this proved to be a curse. It would have been better that the horse had not come back. Now your son will remain crippled for his whole life."

The old man said, "Don't jump ahead! Just wait and see what happens. Only say this much, that my son has broken his legs--that's all."

It happened after fifteen days that all the young men of the town were forcibly taken away by the government because the country was going to war. Only this old man's son was left, because he was of no use. Everybody gathered--they said, "Our sons are gone! At least you have your son. Maybe he is crippled, but he is here! Our sons are gone, and the enemy is far stronger; they are all going to be murdered. In our old age we will have nobody to look after us, but you at least have your son and maybe he will be cured."

But the old man said, "Say only this much--that your sons have been taken by the government. My son has been left, but there is no conclusion."

Just state the fact! Don't think of anything as a curse or a blessing. Don't interpret it, and suddenly you will see that everything is beautiful.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Writing Workout Programs

When your writing a strength program for an athlete, there are several points I try to keep in mind and then many many thoughts I double check that with.

1. Stay Healthy. (this is your number one job, if an athlete comes to you for your help) If they can't compete, what is the point?

2. Improve performance for the sport. Great, you got your athlete to squat 500 lbs, did this increase his 5k time? I jest, but you get the picture.

Points to keep in mind that I tell athletes or remind myself. One work out will not make you, but one work out can break you.
You don't grow stronger lifting weights, you get stronger resting from lifting weights. Do you have enough recovery in their programs? What else do they have going on in their week or month? Travel, family, sickness are all variables that must be accounted for. Is it smart to have someone do a max effort squat after sitting in a plane for eight hours? Are you out thinking the plan? This isn't rocket science as many would have us believe, you get stronger a little by little, not with complex formulas that only 7th master Supertraining guru can decipher.

So these are a few thoughts and points I recheck when writing programs. Do you have any checks and balances? Lets hear them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pool Jump

So there has been a lot of hoopla and one upsmanship going around lately with the latest athletic feat craze. Yea, the pool jump. I think it all started with the great fighter BJ Penn. It spread to a few guys in the NFL. Not to be out done, our own TJ Burns stepped up to the plate and represents the US National Bobsled team. Bobsled is up there with any sport in the world in terms of pure speed and strength translating into power. TJ is 6'3" 220lbs. He has a 39" vertical leap and has an ass to grass back squat of 450 for a triple. He is also the strength coach at Mount St. Mary's. This jump is at 3.5 feet. or roughly 41". Pretty cool stuff. I'm sure this is inspiring countless kids to try this at home and crack their knees on the edge!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday Morning Motivation

I love these adidas ads. Not enough to buy their, but they have a great message. Get your week started right!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Usain Bolt - 19.19 NEW WORLD RECORD - 200 meter

In case you have been living in a cave. This is what you call a superman performance. You don't get to see this kind of feat everyday. I think this is even more impressive then his previous superman feat in the 100m earlier this week. Is it possible that he can go sub 19? What do you think?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

World Record 100m - Usain Bolt - 9.58 HQ

In case you missed this. Simply incredible. Tyson Gay was second in 9.71 seconds, not to shabby I will be back with more posts after I get back in the swing of things from travel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Please Excuse

Please excuse the lack of posts this week. I am currently in Costa Rica and will be back next week with new content. Until then please peruse the topics section that was just added to help more easily navigate this sight. Thanks

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book Review: August

This past month finished up a few more good reads. The first I had passed on the bookshelves many times, dimmissing it because I thought it was just an exciting looking fiction novel. Little did I know that it's an incredible true story. The book is called "The Lost City of Z: A tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon," by David Grann. It's cool read about the adventurer Percy Fawcett. It's just a fun read.

One of the things I took away is the briallance of some of the native indians in dealing with their environment. There is a type of botfly that lays eggs on mosquito's. They in turn bite you, laying the eggs in your skin. They hatch and soon you have maggots growing in you. Yea...I got the chills thinking about that to. Now, you can do one of two things...smash the little crawlers as they worm there way around underneath your flesh, or wait till they get so big they stick their head out of your skin!

The first method, you will end up infected with rotting maggots underneath you, the second, if you wait to long, can be long and extremely painful. The Echojas indians invented a whistle noise that they make with their voices, it has the crazy ability to draw the maggots out and they pick them off. No one has been able to duplicate the noise. Crazy.

The last book I just read was called. "Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High," by Mark Obmascik. This is the story of a middle aged man whose son plants the seed to climb all 54 of Colorodo's 14ers. Mountains over 14,000 feet. It's a pretty fun little read, I would recommend an interest in hiking or climbing though. It reminded me a little of Bill Brysons work, "A walk in the woods." What have you read this month? Until next month, keep reading something!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Park City Push Track

I often get the question, "Where do bobsledders train?" Here is a quick look at a typical push track. This is in Park City, UT. The only other place for this specific type of training in the US is in Lake Placid, NY.

This is Valerie Fleming pushing an old Bodyn sled. Instead of ice, there is track mat layed down and the sled is on a sort of railroad system. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done until the US can get an ice push track, such as the one used by the Canadians in Calgary.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dr. John Cannell on vitamin D

This is a great explanation on the potential benefits of Vitamin D. Something to keep in the back of your mind in a few months, until then, get outside and enjoy the sun!