Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Motivation: Brock Mealer

If you haven't heard of Brock Mealer, watch this video. The challenges you face this week will be put in perspective.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

NFL Combine and New Technology in Under Armour E39 Sensor

Watching a little of the NFL combine this past weekend I saw a very interesting new piece of technology being used.  It was called the Under Armour E39.  It was basically a center computer chip (think Ironman) embedded in a skin tight jersey.  It measured heart rate and acceleration.  Heart rate is cool, but acceleration, VERY COOL!

They measure it in G forces.  The Tight End that was being used as an example,  had a G force rating of 8.9 in his first 10 yards in the 40 yard dash.  He had an identical G force rating in the Vertical Leap test.  There has been a strong correlation in Vert test and 40 time.  So this seems pretty accurate.

For strength coaches this seems like it may have some awesome potential.  The data can all be uploaded to your computer for analysis.  It was made by a company called Zephyr out of New Zealand.  Under Armour has stated that it will be available for athletes and schools after this combine.  I know I want one!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kettlebells and Supplements

A big thanks to the Grand Rapids Rugby 7's team that came into train this past year for such an awesome present for the Train Out Pain gym.  2 new Kettlebells!

If you haven't read this months Men's Journal, I was pleasantly surprised that they agreed with my supplement thoughts.  The article title "The Only Three Supplements You Need."  They suggest Vitamin D, Omega 3's, and a Multivitamin.  (They do suggest coenzyme Q10 and Magnesium for certain situations.)  Low and Behold I sell 4 supplements in my office.  Vit D, Omega 3, Multivitamin (with CoQ10, and Magnesium.  Nice to know they agree with me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Recommended Reading List

This past week was hanging out with some friends in the therapy world working the World Championships and we got to talking about books.  It made me think of the books I would recommend for someone either getting out of school or working with patients/athletes.  These are in no particular order.  What they have in common is that they have either altered my training or my treatment.  Knowledge is useless if it doesn't impact your practice, training or patient/athlete encounters.

1.  Functional Soft Tissue Examination and Treatment by Manual Methods by Warren Hammer.

2.  Science and Practice of Strength Training by Vlaldimir M.  Zatsiorsky

3.  The Coach's Strength Training Playbook by Joe Kenn

4.  Running by Franz Bosch

5.  Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

6.  The Sensitive Nervous System  by David Butler

7.  Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes by Sahrmann

8.  Ultimate Back and Fitness and Performance  by Stu McGill

9.  Pocket Atlas of Anatomy.  (my dog chewed the authors name off)  I like to travel with this one.

10.  Clinical Nutrition for pain, inflammation and tissue healing  by David Seaman.

11.  Physical Therapy of the Shoulder by Donatelli

Monday, February 21, 2011

Huge Congrats for T.O.P Athletes for Silver Medal

Huge congratulations to Train Out Pain strength athletes Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming for winning the silver medal in the bobsled World Championships this past week in Koenigsee, Germany.  This same duo won the Silver Olympic medal in Torino 2006 Olympics.  They have been one of the most dominate teams on tour over the last 6 years.  They announced their retirement from the sport in their post race press conference.  It's been great training them.

Overall the last 10 days in Germany were a lot of fun.  It was fun watching the US teams compete again.  Steven Holcumb and Steven Langton teamed up to propel the men's team to a 6th place finish.  The four man event starts up this week.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Outline of Deena Kastors Marathon Medal Method

I came across a very cool little article entitled "The Anatomy of a Medal."  It is basically the outline of how Deena Kastor won the bronze medal in the Athens Olympics.  It shows the goals and and the methods that Joe I. Vigil used in constructing her training.  It shows how he used the 5 training intensities each week and also how he based his decision process.  If you run long distance competitively or train an endurance athlete it is definitely worth a read.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Midweek Thoughts From Koonigsee, Germany

I'm half way through my ten days here in Koonigsee, Germany working the Bobsled World Championships.  This will be the 5th Worlds I've been apart of in some way, either as an athlete or a manual therapist.  It is an exciting time.

Just some things I've been thinking about.  Jamar Hand Dynamometer is a very cool tool.  I've posted before how grip strength when tested regularly can give you an indication of the type of workout that should be performed.  Recently though, I've started using it with upper extremity work.  I've been doing before testing, performing a specific adjustment in the cervical spine and retesting the hand strength.  It's very cool.    Last week, a young musician had some forearm pain and went from 15kg squeeze to 40kg squeeze without any muscular work post adjustment.

I think I've posted on this subject before, but I came across this study doing some reading.  Explosive strength training improves 5k running time.  This study looks at how, without doing 5k training, the 5k times improved with weight lifting.  

A very cool article I read was about phantom pain entitled  V.S. Ramachandons Tales of a Tell Tale Brain.  He is a neurologist that seems to be solving the mystery of phantom pain.  He does this by using a 5 dollar mirror box.  His experiment has shown that the brain is plastic and that new pathways develop in the adult brain.  It also gives a glimpse into a very interesting idea of how vision can modulate pain.  There is also an auditory interview on the link above as well.

This is one of the coolest articles I've read in a while.  Placebos without Deception:  A randomized controlled study in IBS.  It's been known for years about the power of the placebo.  Think this will make you better, it will make you better.  This study looked at what happens when your told that what you're taking is a placebo.  Guess what?  You still get better!  They think it may have something to do with the ritual that your body starts to understand that what you're doing (even as simple as remembering to take a sugar pill) influences the body.  Very interesting.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Barbell Hip Thrust

This is a barbell hip thrust. Bret Contreras has made this a famous. According to EMG studies this activates the glute max more then any other exercise. It's very safe for the back. Try rotating it in with your Max Effort Leg Days.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Motivation: David Foster Wallace on Life

First, a warning, the speech I'm going to link you to will take you around 15-20 minutes to read.  It is the commencement speech David Foster Wallace gave to Kenyon College in 2005.  I've never read any of his books, but I was referred to the speech by a coffee barista who had the words, "This is Water, This is Water,"  tattooed on their forearm.

Second another warning, it will challenge the way you look at the world around you.  I can honestly say it has influenced how I think about things.  I can not say that about to many things.

When you get a bit of time, open the link.  Read it.  Think about it.  David Foster Wallace died in 2008.  I have a feeling this speech will be around for a long time.

Here is the link:  David Foster Wallace on Life and Work

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Homemade Gray Cook Bar

I made this with a 4 foot steel pipe, some chain and two carabiners. There are quite a few exercises that you can do with this little bar that can help balance out athletes when it comes to core patterns. Total cost for this project was 12 dollars.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

David Weck, Spiraling Fascia and Sprinting Faster

A friend of mine the other day commented on an article in Mens Health magazine, called, The New Science of Speed.   The article was about the BOSU ball creator David Weck and his very interesting ideas on fascia, spiraling and sprinting.

He talks about how when you sprint, the old standby of hips to lips with your arms is not as effective as spiraling your arms with your hand supinating on the upstroke and pronating on the downstroke.  One of the new believers is Tyson Gay.  Gay is the fastest US sprinter and recently the slayer of the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt.  Weck taught Gay how to spiral his arms while sprinting and coincidence or not, Gay beat Bolt in the 100m.

Weck talks about how spiraling the arms tenses the fascia which allows for greater running efficiency and keeps your body aligned with a better gravitational center.  This is taken from the Mens Health Article.

"If you pronate your hand while it's back, you help your hip flex on that side, which is what is happening when your arm is at the back of the swing," says Weck. "It will lead to the internal rotation of the upper arm, and the 'recoil,' for lack of a better term, of your lats, biceps, and pecs as they prepare to help bring the arm forward again."

I found this to be very interesting.  I can remember reading Warren Hammers soft tissue treatment book for the first time and discovering muscles that spiraled or twisted on insertion and the theory was that the twisting allowed for greater energy transfer. The two prominent structures were the latissimus dorsi and sacrotuberous ligament.  I realized all great sprinters have great lat development and hamstring development.  (hamstrings insert fascialy into the sacrotuberous ligament).  Coincidence?  Maybe, maybe not.

Weck is a big believer in what appears to be spiraling training.  Believing it trains the brain to work in more congruency with the body that opens up to better athletic performance.

Scott Sonnan does some interesting things with club bells that involves circular training.  Training in all 3 planes of motions.  I bought a pair of Spaulding Indian clubs when I was in chiropractic school to help rehabilitate a dislocated shoulder from my rugby days.  This spiraling idea brings me back to thinking of this circular type of training.

I'm a big believer in how fascia is a major component to movement and health.  The performance aspect will be a very big field in the next few years and will continue to be an exciting topic.  I think I will try spiraling the next time I run.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Motivation: Imagination Is Everything

Hope this helps you get over your Super Bowl Hangover and get ready for a great week. Saw this video on Ross's training blog awhile back.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sprinting and Aging

As we age we produce less Growth Hormone (GH).  Less GH means less muscle mass.  While men can hold their cardiovascular benefits until the 5th decade without much loss,  fast twitch speed, starts to decline in the 3rd decade.  That is if you don't intervene.

It's already been shown that with proper training you can reduce that and keep your fast twitch muscles by doing workouts designed to keep your GH levels high.  Think short intense workouts that bring in lots of lactation.

An easy analysis that highlights fast twitch loss and age is to look at Masters sprinting.  You can see a gradual loss of speed with age.  An interesting fact is that stride frequency doesn't change, but stride length decreases and contact time increases.  The athletes lose the ability to generate force.  Keep your speed by keeping your strength.  Stride length is a product of your rate of force development.  The other factor is as you age your soft tissue hardens, you lose your elasticity.  Flexibility starts to decline.

As you age, if you can keep your GH levels as high as you can by actively pursuing short intense workouts, you stand a much better chance of keeping your fast twitch muscles.   Along with concentrating on soft tissue quality, you will be powerful well into your later years.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011