Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why You Should Test The Broad Jump

I recently read an article about the correlations that are made with the NFL combine tests. The article was called "Relationships between NFL Combine performance measures." Robbins 2011.

The one thing that stood out was that sprint performance had the highest correlation with the horizontal jump. This goes against many long held beliefs that the vertical jump held the greatest correlation to sprint performance.

10,20,40 yard dashes are the sprints that are tested. Essentially, these are all acceleration activities. It makes sense when training for speed to keep measuring the broad jump to make sure gradual improvements are being made. It's much easier then testing the 40 yard dash every week.

-train out pain and train in performance!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Single Leg Plank Donkey Kick

If planks get to easy. You are looking for more of a glute activator/strength. This hits the gltues like crazy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why You Need to Get off the Elliptical Trainer

The Elliptical trainer can be a useful training tool if you have some joint pain involving the hip, knee or ankle.  If you have low back pain or calf problems, the elliptical can be contributing to your situation.

 The benefit of the elliptical is that it does not load the extremity joints in a way that running on a treadmill or running outside will.

The cost of the elliptical is that it sends all the force into the sacral region.  I often find that people that do a lot of elliptical have fixated sacrum's that don't nutate or counternutate as they should.  Another issue that may arise is increased tension in the foot muscles. The heel always stays down, there is not the natural loading and unloading of the calf muscles and the fascia.  This will potentially exacerbate plantar fascia and create an increased load on the front shin muscles, specifically the tibialis anterior.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Athletes Guide to Nuts

One thing I learned that while doing some reading on this, is you should store your nuts in the fridge.  This helps protect the omega 3 content and keeps them from going rancid.

I've enclosed a chart, for the standard calories, fiber, carbs and fat.  What I am more interested in is the micronutrients.  What else is in there?  Tim Ferris eats Brazil nuts for the extra selenium.  Selenium deficiency hinders testosterone.  But upon further reading Brazil nuts grown in selenium rich soil can have 100mcg while those in selenium deficient soil have 10x less.  How do you know what nut you got?  Don't think you can.  Error on the side of organic and assume you will get a higher nutritional value.  They will influence testosterone levels though.  

Almost all nuts are good sources of copper and magnesium.  These are essential for health and tend to be lacking in (SAD) Standard American Diet.  

Those eating nuts have better heart health.  Most likely from the omega 3's.  

Walnuts contain an unusual amount of alpha-linelenic acid.  What's this?  It's like the plant version of omega 3.  We need this in our bodies, just like a omega 3 fish oil supplement.  ALA is especially important for brain and nerve tissue development.  

Most nuts contain a good amount of the amino acid L-Arginine.  Arginine is a blood dilator. Think of all the NO (nitric oxide) supplements out there.  The winner here is Black Walnuts with almost 1 gram per serving.  Peanuts were 2nd. 

Speaking of the peanut, did you know they are a legume and not a tree nut. I would probably drop Peanuts from this discussion as they often contain a fungus( also found in corn a lot).  Not what we want in our athletic bodies. 

Almonds lead the way for most protein per serving.  Cashews have the most carbs, but also the most zinc.  My problem with cashews is that you have to roast them to get rid of the resin on the outer portion as it is caustic and will irritate the skin.  Seems like that means don't eat it.  (I still eat cashews, I know hippocritcal, but just saying).

Pistachios are the highest in Potassium and B6.  Those prone to night cramps may find some benefit to this one.

Some strict Paleo followers I believe the practice of soaking the nuts in salty water over night to try to extinguish the effects of phytic acid in nuts.  Phytic acid is an anti nutrient.  This means it blocks the absorption of vitamins/minerals.  
All values will be one ounce.  

CalTot. CarbFiberNet CarbSat. FatMono Fatω-3 Fatω-6 Fat
Brazil Nuts1843.
Chia Seeds13712.310.
Flax Seeds1508.17.6.512.16.31.7
Madadamia Nuts20142.41.63.416.50.06.36
Pine Nuts1883.712.
Pumpkin Seeds15151.13.92.440.515.8
Sesame Seeds1606.
Sunflower Seeds1645.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Documentary "Strong" Cheryl Haworth

Last night I had the opportunity to see the documentary "Strong."  Thanks to Crossfit 616 for the invite.  It was premiered at the UICA in downtown Grand Rapids. This should be available for viewing sometime in late June, early July. 

 "Strong"  follows the exploits of Cheryl Haworth an American super heavyweight Olympic Lifter.  She was the bronze medalist in 2000 Sydney Olympics.  It essentially picks off after a horrific elbow injury in 2003 and ends with her 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  

Through the journey you see a young lady dealing with injury, love of the sport that vacillates, body image (she was 290lb) training and life.  She talks openly about how her weight helps with her sport, but that she doesn't want to be that big in everyday life.  So she talks about the internal conflict she had with this dilemma.  

Throughout the movie you get a nice feel for what Olympic athletes have to deal with and how it's not always the physical side that is the hardest to overcome after a setback like an injury.  There are mental and emotional hurdles that have to be vanquished for the purest form of athletic expression to be achieved.

As with every injury and setback, the sacrifice you put into the goal comes into question.  Is this worth it?  Is a question that looms in the back of your head.  The director did a great job of letting us follow this incredible athlete and Cheryl did an awesome job of letting us into the psyche of an elite athlete.  

"It's a lot easier talking yourself into doubting,  that this weight is to heavy to lift, then I can lift this."

Anyone that's ever picked up a barbell can relate.  Anyone that has had to deal with injury or setback will enjoy this.  Anyone that has had to come to the grips with the notion that you have to move on to the next stage of life will find this well worth their time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Experience with Intermittent Fasting

For the past 5 months I did self experimentation with the concept of Intermittent Fasting.  Basically Interment Fasting (IF) is a way of eating that hopes to reset a few hormones in your body, most notably Insulin.  

The easiest way to accomplish this is to go 16 hours between meals.  For example I would stop eating on Monday nights at 10 and not eat again till Tuesday at 2.  This was a 16 hour window.  Initially I found this pretty hard, but with in a week I found it easy.  I found myself actually looking  forward to these days as it took the thought out of scheduling meals.  

I did this on 2x a week.  Every Tuesday and Thursday.  What I realized is that sometimes being hungry is not a real indicator in today's world that you are.  The hormones Ghrenlin and Leptin need to be reset.    Ghrenlin is the guy that tells your system to eat.  It's probably unreliable as you've been taught to eat 3-4x a day with light snacks in between.

During my experiment with IF I found it to be enjoyable.  I think it does a good job of letting you become more sensitive to Insulin.  I didn't lose any strength during the 5 months and did lose a little bodyfat.  I raced 2 mountain bike races and didn't feel I was hindered on this.  On one of the days I did lift weights and didn't feel a drop in Max Effort strength.  

I took a break from IF recently, for the simple fact that I developed bad habits while on it.  It was very easy to feel justified in eating anything you wanted after fasting for 16 hours.  Hello, Pain de Chocolate croissant.  Without the bad habits, I think IF is great to experiment with.  I'm reigning in my bad habits and creating more of a planned eating recipe/meals.  

There is a lot of research out there with IF, lots of experts.  A simple google search will give you plenty of information.  My suggestion, just try it for a month.  Have a plan of action for meals post fast so that you don't fall into the lazy/deserve this mentality that I did.  Teach your body what true hunger actually is.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Free Ebook on Nutrition from Stumptuous

I'm not sure how I stumbled on her blog this past winter, perhaps it was looking up some training and pregnancy information.  Either way, it was a nice find.  She mostly writes for women and has a blog that is worth paying attention to.  She has a free eBook called, "Fuck Calories."  It contains some really good information, cuts through and just delivers what I consider to be solid nutritional advice.  Like I said, it's free and worth reading.  I think it's around 40 pages.  Sometimes you just need to keep hearing the good stuff to keep from being swayed by the constant barrage of propaganda that is out there.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cold Thermogenesis and Wim Hof

After hearing Jack Kruse speak on TedX, I immediately became interested in his example of Wim Hof. Climbing Everest without a shirt? Really? Pretty crazy. Here is his video on TedX. A scientist comes on and talks about how he thinks Wim is able to do such things.

Here is the article in Science Daily about Wim and his control of the autonomic nervous system. Research on ICEMAN.

Remember we may not have the ability of Iceman, but you to can control the autonomic nervous system with proper diaphragmatic breathing. This too is powerful!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Random Thoughts From Train Out Pain

These are just things I've thought in the past week or so that I didn't feel like making into blog posts.

If you ever need motivation for a goal of any physical nature, volunteer or go watch a race, triathlon or competition that isn't being done by professionals. I watched a man who was a double leg amputee, one arm amputee, run across an Olympic distance triathlon on Sunday.

Sometimes all you need for new ideas is a change of environment.

Freeing up the abductor hallucis around the cuneiform and first metatarsal joint helps restore big toe motion. I think this gets locked down when the sustenaculem tali in the calcaneus is no longer under the center of mass with running or walking.

Try this new push up version. I read it in Martin Rooneys "Warrior Cardio." Instead of feet on the floor, put them flat up against the wall at your shoulder height. Don't let them fall to the floor as you do a push up. It's an incredible lat, core exercise. I think this is the definition of super stiffness and would make Stu McGill very proud.

Be carful of cortisone shots. A patient had one in her knee and the VMO completely atrophied. Her MD said that this can happen when you have an allergic reaction. He estimated as high as 15% have a reaction. This is the first I've seen of this.

My Chris Carter "come on man" moment goes to the two, count them two, people who told me peanut butter M&Ms are a health food.

You have to master the Hip Hinge if you want to a chance at a pain free back.

I never thought I would become an eBook guy. I loved the feel of a book. Now I realize ebook is how I prefer to read and study. I can read through a chapter of multiple books right in a row(currently eight) and look up any word or concept (great for textbooks) instantly. I don't have to pack or carry them. Funny how we have false perceptions of what we like vs what we think we like.

Charlie Weingroff is one smart dude. I've heard him speak last year and continue to read his stuff. I have never failed to learn something new.

A chiropractor told me that the difference between Medical docs and Chiropractors is that they think the body can not heal itself and that we do. Black and white. Truthfully, I think I'm more of a very light shade of grey.

-train out pain and train in performance!