Saturday, May 31, 2014

Exploring Sports Movements

As someone that deals with a lot of different types of sports, sometimes it helps to have a bit of an understanding of the movement that takes place.

Biomechanics are biomechanics, healthy joint is healthy joint, but sometimes you may gain a little more understanding by doing it.

Recently I took my first boxing lesson.  I was amazed at how sore my power leg got from the 45 min workout.  Power obviously come from the hips, but to feel it first hand, let me know how much the adductor magnus contributes to the inside pivot of the back leg.

From now on whenever I deal with an MMA fighter or boxer, I will closely examine the adductors of the power leg.

This is something that I could only have experienced first hand.  Pretty fun.

Just like mountain bikers and triceps, muscles that normally you wouldn't think would be that involved, become very important.

Explore new sports not only for the insight, but it's fun, and is probably doing something for neuroplasticity of the brain as well.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Knowing What Not To Do

I was going to call this post,  "Stop Doing Stupid Stuff."  Then after thinking about it, I realized it may be stupid to me, but I study this stuff.  Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what TO do.  

For example, I had a new patient cyclist in the other day that had a meniscus tear that was being managed.  He was also given lower back stretches by a PT that he did every day.  After treating the knee condition,  I gave him his homework.  He asked me if he should keep doing his low back exercises he was given years ago. 

Low back exercises are a red flag to me, I think most are garbage.  

He proceeded to get into 3 different positions that would force deep flexion under load.  All bad things when you are managing a meniscus issue.  If he had continued to do these stretches 3x a day.  The meniscus would have stayed irritated.   

A runner had been doing a 30 day plank challenge and was trying to overcome a hip flexor strain.  The strain was getting worse when we met.  He casually mentioned he was doing a new core strengthening program.

"Core strength" exercise are a red flag to me, I think most are garbage.

He proceeded to show me his planks and you could see the back sage, the load into the rectus femoris and prime example of why his planks were contributing to his hip flexor pain.  

I've made it a point in the last few years to ask about "prehab" type exercises that they are doing.  It often sheds a light on potential hang ups that will hinder progress further down the line.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why is Crossfit so Polorazing

I recently read another scathing article on why Crossfit is evil and don't let anyone do it.  I'm not a Crossfitter...but I stayed at one!  Bad jokes aside, Crossfit is here to stay and it divides the strength and conditioning community.

Why is Crossfit so polarizing?  It's a question I was thinking about the other day after talking to a colleague that is a successful and very smart strength coach in Maryland.

I think it's this.  Crossfitters live and breath Crossfit.  They talk about it,  they wear the gear.  They make sure you know what the WOD (workout of the day) was.  In these days of social media, if everyone posts about it, you get tired of it.

It brings competition to ex-athletes, it brings athletic type competition to people that didn't play a sport.  They get to feel athletic, which is an amazing thing.  These athletes,  I believe are the zealots.  The proclaimers of the greatness that is Crossfit.  Perhaps this is why it's so polarizing.  You get bombarded with it, if you live in the strength world.

It is annoying to strength and conditioning (SC) coaches that have dedicated their life to sport and teaching to have someone get a certification over a weekend and expect to be on the same playing field.

It's annoying for SC coaches to have someone do an Olympic Snatch 30 times.  It's annoying to have people not know that Crossfit didn't create the Olympic movements, or gymnastic movements, or circuits or something that is called General Physical Preparation.

There is also a bit of jealousy perhaps.  Crossfit is doing very well.  It's energized the strength and conditions field.  Barbells and olympic lifting shoes are in.  Gymnastic rings are in.  Memberships are up.  All with feeling like they don't know what they are doing.

Perhaps that is why it is so polarizing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My 1000 Post

According to Google stats this is my 1000 post.  I first started creating this blog in 2008.  Crazy that it's been a little over 5 years.  I've left for months without much posting and come back.  The blog has been different things to me at different times.

Accountability: My first attempt at the blog was to provide some context to what I was thinking and reading.  Almost like accountability.  If you have nothing to say, perhaps your not thinking or reading enough?  

Fame:  After awhile, I started getting some pretty good numbers on page views.  I'm going to be a health blog guru!  Quit my job and just write about cool stuff.  LOL.  I cared about page views.  I think that's about the time, my blog become like a job.  Something to do.  I lost interest.  

Journal:  I came back to it and started writing strictly for me.  Could I write on a topic with understanding.  That is how you know a material.  

Creative Outlet:  I can remember being a little kid and writing stories.  I still have a callus on my finger from squeezing the pencil so long and hard.  It's something I still enjoy doing.  Every blog article is a little bit of creativity.  

Discipline:  These days, it provides me some discipline to sit and write.   I'm trying to go a year straight with a blog entry.  Sometimes success is just showing up.  

Idea Muscle:  James Altucher (look him up if you don't know who he is)  has a practice of writing 10 new ideas down on a paper every day.  He states it builds up the idea muscle.  When I decided to post every day I thought it would be much harder.  The more I did it, the more ideas for topics started to happen.  

Educational:  Hopefully, if someone were to look at my blog once a week,  they would find a link to a great article, a tip on health, athletics or performance.  Perhaps they discover a way of looking at something differently.  A great book to read.  A cool product.  Or, it sends them down the Internet rabbit hole of chasing a thought or idea. (something I love doing)

I've gotten to talk to cool people through the blog.  Interviews with people I'd never have gotten to interact with.  This blog was the impetus for getting me fired from my first job!  For that,  I will always be thankful.  It has provided an outlet for thinking.  It reminds me that what I know now, hopefully isn't what I know in a few years.  Some early posts, I don't even believe in!  (I would never train the VMO for example) 

I have no grand illusions of creating massive world wide health changes.  I'm content with just trying to change me.  If you gain some insight or knowledge from my journey, that is a remarkable bonus.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Paralysis by Analysis

Sometimes there are just to many options.  I was hunting for some new sunglasses early last summer.  Even received a pair I thought I wanted for a birthday present only to return them for being "heavy" on my face.  Walk into any Sunglass Hut and you can be faced with close to 300 different types of glasses.

It is overwhelming.  I'm the kind of person that researches every purchase.  I didn't want to spend over 150 dollars.  Some I tried on, I liked,  but didn't want to drop 250 bucks on a pair of glasses.

Some I liked but didn't like the feel.

There was always something.

Fast forward to October and I'm heading down to Austin for a music festival.  I'll be outdoors for 10 hours a day.  90 Degrees and sunny.  I realized I'm in desperate need of sunglasses after I arrive.

We parked the car and on the way into the festival, I run into a bike store.  They have 5 pairs of glasses. I try one on, it's light enough.  It feels good.  I buy it.  5 min.

Had them almost a year and haven't had buyers remorse.

Sometimes decisions need deadlines and less options.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekend Coffee

These are some excellent articles that I've read this past week or two that deserve some more attention.  Grab a cup of Joe and dive in.

Todd Bumgardner wrote this excellent training piece for Beyond Strength.  Crossfit:  Movements, Strength, Skill and Fitness. 

Sprint coach Stu McMillan wrote this awesome synopsis and his takeaways from the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."  Lessons from Jiro.

Greg Nuckols wrote this great piece talking about the struggles that exercise science and real world application have.  Exercise Science: What is it Good for?

The importance of relaxation for sports/performance from the MMA fight prep.  Relax and Win.

Nice overview of actually distance and times that BUDS and special forces go through.  Reality of Combat and Special Forces training. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why You Should Love Bats

I took a bat tour when I was in Costa Rica for my honeymoon years ago.  Learned more about bats then I could have imagined.  One of the facts that I learned was that they can eat a 1000 mosquito's in a single hour!  I fell in love with these little guys when I found that out.  The only mammals that can fly, these guys are truly amazing little creatures.

Having a few bats in the neighborhood can really put the kybosh on mosquito's.  Not only are they great at insect control they also play a role in pollination, something we are losing with the loss of honeybees.

Outside workouts are great.  Grilling is great.  What makes them worse, slapping mosquito's away.  Bats are in the midst of a crisis in North East United States.  A white fungus has started to sicken and kill large bat colonies throughout the New England area and it's moving west.  The first case of white nose syndrome was spotted in Michigan a few months ago.  It targets the species of bats that hibernate.

I asked a veterinarian what local things can be done and they suggest putting up bat boxes in trees.  It provides shelter and space for bats.  Only about one pup per year for most bats, so the loss of habitat due to development is one area we can target to help out.

I hate mosquito's.  So I love bats.  I hate wearing that disgusting mosquito repellent.  So I love bats.   I love working out, outside.  So I love bats.  I love grilling.  So I love bats.  Lets all put up bat houses if we can.  Help save the bats.

Here is a link to a small article on the very real dangers.  Bats at Risk.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Monitoring Your Nervous System

Simple Things to Monitor

Morning Heart Rate:  Does it stay the same or go up/down.  Smartphone app.

Heart Rate Variability:  Measures Rwave to Rwave.  Smartphone or chest strap.

Grip Strength:  Testing your grip with a dynamiter.

Tapping Test:  how many finger taps in certain time period.  Watch

Vertical Jump:  Chalk and measuring tape.

Broad Jump:  Tape measure

Medicine ball Toss:  Tape Measure or mark on the ceiling

Hang from a pull up bar:  Grip strength.  Watch

All of these tests provide simple measurements of central nervous system readiness and recovery.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Reject or Understand

I can remember being around 19 or 20 years old and doing some work for a guy that lived on a farm.  It was a favor I think my mom "volunteered" me for.  It was to get a big ass rock out of a field.  It was actually kind of fun, almost a type of strongman training.

I remember being done and getting ready to drive off when he asked me if I wanted some eggs.  He knew I ate a lot of eggs, trying to gain weight for football.  I remember thinking something along the lines of, seriously,  em...I can get my own 1.99 eggs.  I just said, "No thanks I'm OK."


Getting home I told my mom about the guy offering me eggs, like he thought it was a big deal.  Said in a tone of sarcasm I'm sure.


My mom said something along the lines of farm pastured eggs are much different then store bought eggs.  Rolling my eyes, "Sure."

Years later I finally tasted a "real" farm free range egg, the kind with an orange yolk.  Game changer!


How delicious and flavorful and healthy.  Never again would I go back to the store bought egg.  I'd search out for them and pay way more for them if needed.  They were worth it.

Looking back I didn't realize the difference.  I had no understanding.  What we don't understand we often reject and ridicule.

One of the things I often read about our things I have rejected to make sure of why I'm rejecting this.  I try not to even get to the ridicule part.  I'm trying to understand.  Hopefully I find some mor

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vitamin D Infographic

This is a Vitamin D infographic that I got from Rhonda Patricks website "FoundmyFitness."  Very succinct. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where is Your Zen

Meditation was always something that I found really hard to do.  This was when the only meditation was me sitting in an uncomfortable lotus position trying to be peaceful with no thoughts in my head.  Then I realized meditation can be many things to different people.  Essentially just get out of your head and create a calm inner(ness).

Why should you try to find a practice?  There is more research with the benefits of meditation then almost all forms of therapy.  It can literally change your brain.  Boost immunity.  Focus, memory and mood can be improved and altered.

Here is a sample article on the benefits and research.  Meditation as Medicine.

Meditation I was told doesn't have to be the quite space with you humming something in some yoga position.  It is just something that you practice that can create in the moment quietness of mind.  This was what a teacher told me at least.

Breathing Kettlebell ladders .  One way that I think I practice meditation and attain zen.  Focus is only on the breathing.  In through the nose, out through the mouth.  Hard to think about anything when your so focused on breathing.

Mountain biking.  In the moment blasting down hills and I use a mantra that I just keep saying on tough up hill climbs.   Repeating mantras has a strong meditative background and is even the basis for some.

Gratitude lists.  Just sit and list everything you are grateful for.  Simple and powerful.

These are just a few examples.  I have had plenty of patients tell me that running for them is a form of meditation, no thoughts enter their head.  It "clears" the mind for them.

Whatever you choose to do or attempt to do, the research says it's worth to find something that you can do and do regularly.  Go find your zen!

Monday, May 19, 2014

New Understanding of Anatomy

I've now watched this video 3 times.  I think it is so important to start to realize how things we thought of anatomy have dictated how we learned anatomy.   Our thoughts dictated the scalpel.  We wanted a ligament, so we created one with a knife.  This isn't real.  Connective tissue is so interesting.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Don't Let Exercise Fool You

One of the things that I have been guilty of in the past is working out and then do nothing.  My lethargy was justified.

Reading through the Olga sprinter book, the research is saying that isn't the correct way.  It's small movement, constant fidgeting, up and down throughout the day.  These continuous motions are what add up to better health, not just one bought of exercise.

Put your clothes on standing up.

Do something active throughout the TV show.  Watch TV on the ground.

Go for walks even on days you work out.

Go up and down stairs when you can.

Think motion.  Bodies in motion, tend to stay in motion.

Stay in Motion.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Creating My Own Seminar Day

I couldn't make it to Boston for the BSMG seminar weekend, so I thought I'd scrounge the Internet, get creative and make my own day of learning.  Here's the days agenda.

8am:  Espresso
810:  Patrick Ward:  Enhancing the Physiological Buffer Zone.  Practical application.  (Available from movement lectures.  15.00)  52 min

905: Aeropress Coffee
910:  Rhonda Patrick:  Importance of Micronutrients.  (free podcast from iTunes,  Body IO FM)  1 hour 5 min.

1015: Espresso/coconut water
1030-12:  Functional Range Conditioning.  Founder Andreo Spina (Hands on.  Stressing hip mobility) Train Out Pain Gym.

1200:  Rowsters Coffee (best cappuccino in Grand Rapids)
1215: Dan Paff:  Speed, Strength, Power, Mobility, Endurance Part 1-4  (YouTube, Free. each episode a little under 15 minutes.)

130:  Lunch (around one hour)   If you haven't had the chance to hear Alan Argon Talk about Paleo Diet, check out his free lecture.  It was linked on yesterdays blog.  43 minutes.

230:  Dan Paff Speed, Strength, Power, Mobility, Endurance Part 5-8 (YouTube, free, each episode around 15 min.)

330:  Iced Coffee (espresso mixed with San Pelegrino, sugar and shaken.)
335:  Jaap Van der Wal:  Transantomical Architecture of Connective Tissue  (YouTube, free, 45 min)

430:  Vitamix Green Mean Smoothie
445:  Frey Faust:  Fascia and Training Methodologies.  The Axis Syllabus Perspective.  (Vimeo 20 min.)

515:  Emily Splichal/Perry Nicholston:  The Abdominal Obliques-Linchpin to Optimal Performance and Function.  (YouTube.  Free.  54 min.)

630:  Drinks and Dinner at Local Brewery.  (Social)

It isn't the same as sitting in Boston, but it will do.  Total cost will be under 50 dollars.  I figure I saved myself around 1300 dollars.  What free or cheap learning material/reference would you add.

Go Create Your Own Education!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Is the Paleo Diet the Real Deal?

This is an excellent talk from Alan Argon.  Is there really bad foods?  Great lecture that makes you think and examine or reexamine.  I look forward to listening to Alan talk for a full day next month in Toronto.

Paleo Diet:  Claims vs Evidence

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Master Your Tool

Lately,  I've seen more and more people use the saying, if all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.  Basically, the implication is that if you only know how to do one thing, that is your answer for everything.  I have even used it myself when describing the reasoning for taking other courses and learning other things.  I think it has merit, but for some reason it has started to bug me.

Asking myself why this has started to bug me,  I've come up with the conclusion of mastery.  How many people have even mastered one tool?  I know I haven't.  I feel like I'm getting better.  But, mastery?

If I master the hammer, I'll pound that nail in one blow.  Ever watch a master craftsman pound a nail. It's a thing of beauty.  I will know the difference between a nail and a screw.  "Your not a nail, go try the master of the screwdriver."

Get the drift?

Master your chosen tool.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Preview of Lateralizations and Regressions

Here is an awesome presentation that Charlie Weingroff did for Mike Boyles staff in Boston.
There are some real good nuggets of thinking in here.

Weingroff Presentation:  Lateralization and Regression.  

Charlies Training=Rehab Part 2 is coming out next week.  Can't wait.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cool Studies

There are some pretty cool studies out there recently.

First few remind me of vampires!  The blood of the young restoring the youth of the aged.  Crazy!

The studies were done on mice, but still, pretty amazing.

One study had the protein GDF11 taken from the young mice and put in the older mice.  The older mice restoration capabilities were then greatly increased.  Restoring Systemic GDF11.

This same protein GDF11 improved neuroregenesis and cerebral vasculature.  Vascular and Neurogenic Rejuvenation. 

This study used only the plasma from the blood and cognitive function improved.  Hippocampus size improved as well. Young Plasma.

The last study shows why you should train your grip and keep your grip strength strong as we age.  Those whose grip strength dipped had greater mortality rates.  It was also shown that those that had lesser grip strength when judged by the average, were more likely to have PLOS ONE Measuring the speed of Aging.  The article published in Washington Post.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Canary in the Coal Mine

Back in the day coal miners used to take caged canaries into the mines they were working.   Dangerous gases that couldn't be detected by miners such as methane or carbon monoxide would kill the canaries before the men and thus give them a warning of danger.  

Lately, I've viewed the Tensor Fascia Latae as a canary type of muscle.  This thin strip of a muscle is situated between the sartorious and glute med. and comes off the anterior superior iliac spine.   It's role is to essentially tense the fascia of the leg.  This includes the Iliotibial band and crural fascia in the calf.  

It will contract strongly when the opposite leg leaves the ground to help stabilize the pelvis.  This along with the tensioning the fascia is most likely it's primary role.   It contributes to hip internal rotation, hip flexion, hip abduction and hip extension.   Yes you read that right, hip flexion and extension.  When the leg is on the ground it assists the glute max (an extensor) with stabilizing.  It contributes to medial tibial rotation.  

With so many roles, if a primary muscle isn't doing it's job, this muscle tends to get short and have abnormal tension in it.  While it doesn't give a direct indicator of what primary muscle isn't working,  it suggests to me to that something in the hip isn't working like it should and needs investigation.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Wake Up Calls

This past weekend I attended a college graduation.  It had all the normal speakers and pomp.  Sitting in the crowd one couldn't help but remember their own college memories.  The speaker was talking about life lessons and what to take away from your college experience.

One of the biggest lessons came 3 weeks into my freshman year.  We had to write a paper for English Class.  Five pages, three weeks in.  It had something to do with religion and government.  I had the impression I was a good writer.  Coming from a High School where English and Creative Writing came easy.  (High School was easy)

Walking into my Professors office I was utmost confident.  I thought he would start by saying something like, "I really enjoyed your paper, you have a real style to your writing..."  You get the picture.  Sitting down, he flips the paper towards me and I see nothing but bright red marks.

"I didn't get past the first couple paragraphs, before I put this away."


I was in shock.  I had never failed anything.  NEVER.  I'm not even sure how long the office visit was, I don't remember, I just remember the last words he said.  "I expect more from you."

Looking back on the situation, it was probably the best thing to happen to me.  It woke me up out of my arrogant attitude.  I had been able to coast by with minimal effort.  It shocked my system to understand this was a new situation requiring new effort levels.

"I expect more from you."  Some powerful words.  I left with the resolve to prove that this wouldn't be empty words.

Sometimes the worse moments and failures can be the thing you need the most.  One of my college "highlights."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

7 Vials of Blood Later....

Yesterday I went and had my blood drawn for the following tests.  I plan on trying to do this once every 6 months to a year.  7 vials of blood later, here is what I asked to be tested.

CBC:  This is a complete blood count.  Usually the most common.  It gives a picture of everything that makes up a blood cell.  White blood cell, red blood cell, volume, size, platelet, hemoglobin.

Hb1AC:  glycosolated hemoglobin.  Often referred to as the diabetes test.  It's a potential indicator for how you are aging and insulin sensitivity.

Magnesium in RBC:  Much more reliable then a serum test.  This will show actual tissue levels.  Most Americans are deficient.

Zinc in RBC:  Again, more reliable then a serum test.  Men are often low.  This can have an impact on testosterone.

Testosterone/Free Testosterone:  Male hormone in the blood.  Free is what is not bound to the protein sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

Lipid Profile:  Done fasted, this tests the total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.  I didn't order a size of the particle test to my knowledge.

Homocysteine:  This is a measure of an amino acid in the blood.  Elevated levels may mean atherosclerosis.  Hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

Vitamin D:  Dark skinned and I live in Michigan.  Making sure I'm above 45.  RDA says 30.  I'd like to be in the 55-65 range.

C-Reactive Protein:  A type of protein in the blood.  It can monitor general inflammation in the body.

Essential Fatty Acid Profile:  I was going to do this.  EFA test.  but it was 480 dollars.  I opted out of this one!  This was 3x more then all the other tests combined!  No idea why it is so expensive.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Random and Interesting

I always enjoy finding a new Podcast to listen to.  This one is Take it Uneasy.  I listened to the latest one interviewing Ido Portal.  I found it pretty entertaining.

One of the principles in Functional Range Release is that force is the language of the cells.  Manual therapy is outside force, isometrics are inside force.  Force can influence the cells.  Influence healing.  This article from How Plants Works is very interesting.  How Stress Shapes Plants. 

A fun read front he NY Times about the lung fascia and how a medical student learns about this from visiting a Kosher slaughterhouse.  The Bodies that Guard Our Secrets

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

95 Years Young or Old?

I started reading a book this weekend called "What Makes Olga Run"  (what a 90 something track star can teach us about living longer and happier)  Written by Bruce Grierson.  According to my Kindle app, I'm 42% into this book.  I can tell you it's been a fairly easy read, but very enjoyable.  It's just interesting to me to learn about the daily habits of a world champion sprinter.  Let alone one that is 95 years old.

Interesting habit, she goes to bed at around 9pm.  Wakes up around 2.  Stretches and foam rolls with a wine bottle for and hour and a half, then goes back to bed for 4 hours.  Interesting polyphasic sleeping!

She took up track at 77.  She didn't have long living siblings or parents.

Coincidentally I had a new patient that was 95 as well.  She came in with knee pain and was looking to hopefully walk with less pain.  It was about 3-4 months of knee pain and there was already an avoidance limp.  Because of this there was significant atrophy of the quadricep on this leg.

It struck me as quite the difference.  Same age, two completely different individuals.  One is sprinting.  Working out sometimes 2-4 hours per day.  One is barely walking.  Neither had fought disease.

At what age do we stop moving?  Where do we say I don't need to get up off the floor without help anymore.  When do we stop walking?  When do we stop saying I no longer need to do a chin up?  Why is this acceptable to us as a society?

The striking difference in a matter of 24 hours of what I read and what I saw between the possible in Olga the sprinter and what I saw and is considered more normal in my patient,  is strikingly glaring.

I would recommend the book by the way.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Average Connective Tissue Loss

I was reading about bone strength this weekend and started wondering what the average or rate of connective tissue loss is in different situations.

People that travel in Space in zero-G environments lose 1-2% of bone mass per month.  Without exercise an Astronaut would lose 20% of muscle mass in 5-11 days.

Bed rest showed that you can lose up to 12% of muscle strength a week. 3-5 weeks and 1/2 of the normal strength may be gone.

Limb immobilization as little as 72 hours has been shown to lose 14 and 17% atrophy in type 1 and type 11 muscle fibers.

Nerve loss, such as peripheral nerve injury will lose up to 95% of muscle mass and be replaced with fat and connective tissue.

Age brings a loss of about 5% of muscle mass every 10 years if we don't exercise.

Easy to lose.  Keep moving.  Gravity is your friend.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mobility of Ancient Man

I wrote a brief blog about the mobility of ancient man awhile back and finally came across the original research in another article I was reading.  Outside magazine wrote an article entitled "How Far Fitness Has Fallen," essentially stating that today's person would get their butt kicked if he got into a fight with his ancient ancestor.

The article states that 30-150,000 years ago, ancient man traveled long distances hauling all kinds of weight.  Today's man, does no such thing.  Ancient man was a "monster" in comparison.  Extreme mobility in the late Pleistocene.

The main method of comparison was tibial bone rigidity and strength.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Learning from Josh Waitzkin

Josh Waitzkin is the author of "The Art of Learning."  A really good book that I've blogged about.  In case you didn't know,  Josh was the basis for the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer.  A cool movie about chess and the prodigy of youth.

He went on to become a master of a few other disciplines including martial arts.  The book was about how mastery could be a process and talks about how to learn.

He just did a podcast with Tim Ferris.  Love him or hate him, Tim gets some quality people interview. I just finished listening to it and found it very enjoyable.  There was a few takeaways including my potential interest in meditation.  (Something I've always not really given much thought)

The podcast is free on iTunes or you can listen on the free app Soundcloud.  Worth listening to.  It's one hour 15 min.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Creating More Eustress

Laying in bed this morning take my heart rate, I've come to the conclusion that stress is more an interpretation of the mind then the body.  Looking forward to something has a positive energy, just like dreading something can be negative.  Often, they could be the same situation.

I've woken up dreading to go on a bike ride and woken up and been excited.  The same activities, but with difference in attitude that I think effects our physiology.

I've been reading more Robert Sapolsky.  I've been thinking more about Heart Rate Variability and stress.

I have a patient that always come in with upper back tension.  No matter what exercise, breathing, movement we try.  Finally, she didn't.  I asks what changed.  She said nothing.  Probing deeper, her boss had been gone for a week and she then stated she did 3 fun things that week.  Interesting.

Perhaps we under estimate the power of play, fun and laughter.  I'm starting to think it's just as important as the other health and performance blocks we chase.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Whats Behind the Tommy John?

In case you have never heard of Tommy John, he was a pitcher in MLB that had 288 victories.  Half those victories came after he successfully had a surgery performed by Dr. Frank Jobe to repair his ulnar collateral ligament.  Since that time, this surgery has been known as Tommy John surgery.

Recently there has been a lot of concern about the frequency of this surgery.  There are a few thoughts on why the possibilities are increased.  Guys are throwing harder.  Guys are throwing at an earlier age.  Guys are throwing harder, earlier.  Some are even turning to the surgery, when rehab may be option.

There is usually a week or two of forearm tightness that pitchers have acknowledged trying to "get through."

Most of the strength and conditioning coaches I know that have contact with MLB players will privately acknowledge the lack of conditioning in players.  The culture is very different from NFL and other professional teams, where guys work crazy hard to develop their physical preparation for their sport.

Mike Reinhold wrote a blog post last month on why he thinks there is an increase in Tommy John Surgery. 

This was recently researched from the University of Florida, by Dr. Kevin Farmer.  Showing that hip mobility will have an influence.

One of the reasons that many pitchers don't fear the surgery is that it is 85-90% successful.  Most throw harder after the surgery.  This is not contributed to the surgery though, but to the rigorous rehab that takes place after the surgery.  This time table is usually 12-15 months for pitchers and 6 months for position players.

The question becomes, if you know it is so prevalent, why not do things to strengthen the ligament?  We have aggressive ACL preventative programs to strengthen hips/hamstrings and landing mechanics.  Why not use something like Functional Range Conditioning to lightly stress the area over and over.  Stress, adapt, recover, repeat.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Few Good Articles on Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

If you don't know how or what HRV can be used to help performance and measure recovery these couple article will give you a quick cliff notes version of the basic concepts.  Well written by Mike T. Nelson.  I believe these were part of the PaleoFX meetings this year.  Enjoy.

Using Heart Rate Variability Part 1

Using Heart Rate Variability Part 2

Here is an interview that Joel Jamieson did about HRV with swimming.  Joel is the creator of Bioforce HRV a type of system that measures it.  Joel Jamieson Discusses HRV.

Here is a round table on Tnation.  This has some of the best minds in the business discussing HRV.
HRV Roundtable.

I've personally just purchased an Ithlete finger sensor to see about testing a few patients.  This seems much easier then strapping a heart rate chest strap on.  I will blog at a later date on my opinions/findings.