Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve Random

A friend that practices in the Kansas City area just sent me a link to Very interesting blog for anyone interested in paleo dieting. Also, sent this very, very interesting link to running and your health. Think your running is helping you stay healthy? It will at least make you think.

Just read an article on Steve Nash, how he gave up sugar and never felt better. The average American will eat 2-3 pounds of sugar a week. I believe I've read that a teaspoon of sugar will suppress the immune system for 6 hours. My advice is to avoid sugar when traveling or under extra stress then you normal experience, (final exams, High Intensity WKT's) if you can't just go spartan and avoid it.

Check out this months Mens Health. There is a pretty cool article on bobsled athlete Justin Olsen. Gives you a quick glimpse in some of the training methods he uses.

Just finished reading "Superfreakonomics." I like the original better as I think it caught me off guard, but this is still worth reading. Always fascinating to look at apparently unrelated things and see the relationship and also to find the key, incentives. Looking into the new year, it would be wise to figure out your own incentives behind the goals you set for yourself this year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Butyrate, Fiber and Health

For a long time fiber was touted as a prevention for colon cancer, but the New England Journal of Medicine showed in a pretty strong study that fiber did not have that big of an effect on it. So I really made no concentrated effort to keep fiber in my diet. Along comes butyric acid or butyrate.

Butyric acid is the most important source of energy for the large intestine. Particularly the intestinal epithelial, the layer between the intestinal wall and the rest of the body. Its produced by intestinal bacteria from dietary fiber. It has potent anti inflammatory effects. It helps to prevent the loss of intestinal permeability.

Research has shown that butyric acid can improve the antioxidant status of the intestinal wall: glutathion levels increased, an indication that the gut’s immune function was strengthened.

Good sources are real butter, this has around 3-4% butyrate, and good fibers sources are sweet potatoes, beans, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Learning more about butyrate has convinced me that fiber is indeed an important part of your diet. It also reminds me of how vital probiotics can be in your supplement support group. I believe more and more performance breakthroughs will come from the enteric nervous system and fascia and butyrate will help keep gut health at its best.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Monday Motivation

Todays Monday motivation comes in the form of a book. A friend recommended, "Lone Survivor," by Marcus Luttrell. It's the story of a Navy seal team and what they go through. You will be blown away by what they physically go through to become a Navy seal. It again pushes back the boundaries of what you can physically do and presents that in actuality it's the mental part that will limit performance. Your capacity is far greater then you can fathom and we will probably will never push ourselves hard enough to find it. But it's deeply satisfying knowing that our bodies are capable of and also deeply troubling that we may never challenge ourselves in that way. So find something this coming year to challenge yourself physically, really challenge yourself. Push back your mental limit, your physical limit will not be met I guarantee it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

World Cup Race #5

The final race for the first half of the bobsled season had some up and downs, and boy was it cold. Temps were hovering around -20 degrees Celsius. Guys were getting frost burns from any skin that was exposed to the bobsled on the rides down. The two man race saw a crash on the mens side for USA 1 in the 2 mens race. The upside is that he bounced back to take the silver medal in the four mens event. The four man push crews powered there way to the first and second fastest starts of the day for the second push. On the womens side, Shauna Rohbock finished with the bronze medal. Like I said last week, anytime you can go on a German track and walk away with medals, it was a good week. Last but not least, all the athletes are healthy going into the break. Less then two months to the Olympics!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random Thoughts

1. Doing myofascial work with the hamstring in a supine position, I was able to find adhesions that had alluded me in the prone position. I believe it was the lack of tension that position afforded me, that allowed for greater depth.

2. I have been paying closer attention to standing glute fold symmetry. After adjusting and doing some A.R.T. on a few structures, the low glute fold was improved but not all the way. After working the glute minimus pretty hard it was fully symmetrical.

3. A very interesting article in National Geographic about the Hadza tribe in Tanzania. They are one of the last true hunter/gatherer societies. Give it a read.

4. Gyokuro tea has high levels of theanine which helps you focus. If your feeling a little ADD give it a shot.

5. Every tissue in the human body has a capacity and every task you require has a load. The key to injury prevention is to never have the load exceed the capacity. Strength training is simply increasing your bodies capacity to handle work.

6. Rhodiola rosea supplementation could be a next big thing kinda thing. It's been around for awhile, but the new information coming out about it are pretty cool. It's an adaptogen, which means it helps your body handle stress and trauma better.

7. Maintaining flexibility in the anterior chain (rectus, psoas, rectus femoris,) is crucial for fast sprinting speeds.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

World Cup Race #4

Winterberg Germany was another pretty successful week. The women had a high finish of 3rd and the mens four man teams took home fifth and the Gold. Any time you can beat the Germans on a home track, you know you did a great job. It went USA, Germany 1, Germay 2, Germany 3, and USA 2. Again, the four man push crews were dominate, pushing the 1st and 3rd fastest times of the day.

This week we are again in German home territory on the Altenberg, Germany track. For many years, this track wasn't open to the west during the Berlin wall days. It's a very tough track, but very unique in that if you drive it well, its very smooth and fast. If you drive it poorly it gets dangerous really quick.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Dangerous Side

Sometimes daily routine can become a mask for some of the dangers that inhabit high speed sports. That can all change in a blink of an eye though. Today was a reminder that bobsled can be dangerous, it can be rough, that there are risks. This is a picture of a helmet of one of the athletes after a four man crash today in Winterberg, Germany. It landed the pilot in the hospital, although his crew was ok, minus four cracked helmets. There are no easy tracks, just less rough and when your going at 80 plus miles per hour, life can change quickly.

Recovery Study

Reading through Conditioning Research, (a pretty interesting blog) they posted a study that is quite interesting. It supports what a few strength coaches I have talked to seem to have reached. Ice isn't a big influence on recovery or to improve performance. They used contrast (ice/heat), stretching and a control following vigorous stair stepping workouts. Neither the ice or stretching grouped faired better then the athletes that did nothing. Remember this was for recovery from a workout, not an acute injury. Big difference. You can read the abstract at

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bikes, Bobsled and your Support

To all my friends out there that love riding bikes and love helping out a cause, I got a good deal for you. For five bucks you can buy a raffle for a chance to win this sweet bike. You will also be helping out US bobsled athlete Bill Schuffenhaur. Many people don't know, but the US government doesn't support Olympic teams, and most athletes are self funded. This means there not getting paid to do this. So any little bit will help out a long way in helping athletes pursue their Olmypic dream. Plus, this is a sweet bike.

World Cup Race #3

The men and womens teams capped a great weekend in Torino, Italy. The men finished 3 and 5 in the two man event and the women finished 6th, 5th and Train Out Pain athlete Shauna Rohbock winning the gold. The next day the men finished 9th and 1st with Steve Holcumb and his crew crushing the field for the gold medal. Next up Winterberg, Germany!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Releasing Groin Tension

My last year of bobsled I had recurring groin pain that was mostly felt with any high speed sprinting, nothing else. I could squat, lunge and do resistance runs without pain. But with any type of high speed sprinting, I felt close to pulling my Pectineus muscle. I got adjusted, ART on the hip flexors, adductors but never received any relief, luckily because of the mechanics of pushing, I never had any problems. Testing a 60 meter sprint, was another problem entirely though.

Fast forward four years and I had an athlete with a very similar problem, but not quite to the extent as myself. After playing with different things I finally found an ahah moment. I have been moving away from static analysis, instead I'm watching people move, squat, bend forward, lunge. One movement I like is high knee raises. For this athlete I was watching him raise his knees and watched as his knee above 90 degrees didn't track as well midline as I thought it should. I found a culprit. The Glute max/IT band tie in with a bit of the biceps femoris fascia tied in was completely adhered. But in a very fine fashion. I was unable to feel it through spandex.

If you follow the sweep of the glute max fascia there is a meeting point that I found to be extremely leathery. We worked three sessions and cleared up both sides. He said it was the biggest change in movement he'd felt in years. Walking up stairs felt effortless. Checking others that have a history of either adductor tension or heavy doses of back squats, I found pretty similar results. No amount of foam rolling or stretching would have been able to correct this. I'm actually looking forward to having someone do this on me and see what I feel afterwards.

So I hope this information helps someone out there get rid of some nagging adductor problems. I wish someone had figured this out 4 years earlier for myself. Good luck and let me know if this helps.