Monthly Archives: October 2016


This case involves a female in her early 30s. She is active, physically fit, and exercises regularly at NBS Fitness. Her complaint is severe pain in the front of the left hip (7/10 on a 0-10 scale). This pain is most notable during active flexion of the hip during exercise or getting up from a seated or lying position. Her pain has been present for over a month, keeping her from performing any lower body workouts involving hip flexion. She has been consistently receiving physical therapy for her hip for the last 3 or 4 weeks. She has not had any improvement with this care. Her history also includes a right shoulder dislocation approximately 6-8 weeks prior. She successively completed physical therapy for her shoulder condition and does not have any complaints with the shoulder. She is suspected to have developed a hip compensation pattern and will be evaluated using Reflexive Performance Reset.


As noted in my previous article, Reflexive Performance Reset involves manual muscle testing to assess the motor recruitment level and sequence of a particular movement. This assessment allows for the isolation of specific primary and accessory movers in an attempt to determine their level of contractile strength when placed under load. This assessment also allows for the identification of “drivers” which are neurological compensation patterns that have developed to accomplish a given movement or task. Since the muscular system is neurologically driven and controlled, excessive stimulus in the internal (an injury, overuse, etc) or external environment (stress, abnormal forces, etc) will be the cause of these compensations. This is why our approach is an attempt to influence the nervous system using reflex points and “wake-up drills” to help reset the nervous system and push it back towards a normal state. By doing this, RPR restores normal neurological function. Thusly, any abnormal forces from a hip compensation causing pain will dissipate.



Utilizing the diagnostic protocol above, the individual was identified as being an arm driver. This means that in order to stabilize and produce hip flexion and extension forces, her motor pattern that has been created as a compensation is to first produce stability to the opposite hip.


A full session of RPR was performed with the goal of restoring proper breathing, motor function, and parasympathetic tone. This was accomplished through stimulation of various reflex points throughout the body to restore individual muscle motor function. The response of this stimulation was measured using manual muscle testing to gauge strength. Sessions are to be repeated until patient returns to normal function. Individual will also be given a set of “wake-up drills” to perform at least once a day, specifically before any sort of exercise or physical activity.


After the two visits, the subject was experiencing mild discomfort during active hip flexion. In 2 weeks and three sessions of RPR, the individual was fully contracting, experiencing 0 pain on a 0-10 scale, and had begun training lower body movements again. She continues to maintain function 8 weeks later.

Discussion of Hip Compensation

Since the individual experienced trauma to the right shoulder, the hip compensation that she had already developed for producing hip flexion, identified according to RPR evaluation, was disrupted. She was no longer able to utilize her right shoulder during her time of rehabilitation in everyday movement. In this scenario she no longer has any source of stability (compensatory or not) for the left hip, and is absorbing even more joint forces and wear from everyday movement. This could be thought of as taking the training wheels off of a bike before teaching a child how to properly pedal and balance. Chances are, they will fall over.

After 4-6 weeks of repeated insult to the unstable hip, she begins to develop pain and irritation during active hip flexion. This is due to the fact that she is forcing herself to flex the hip without being able to maintain proper hip stability.

After restoring her to a parasympathetic state, restoring proper breathing techniques, and stimulating the nervous system, her hip compensation is eliminated and she is able to drive movement in a proper pattern. This pattern is utilizing the hip flexor as a prime mover with its long lever arm, and the accessory muscles to stabilize the hip joint in the acetabulum. Because motor learning and motor firing are at a subconscious level, it is not enough to consciously “will” a prime mover to drive proper movement in an individual with a compensatory motor pattern. This is why generic rehabilitation exercises focused on the glute, hamstring, psoas, etc. fail, because these exercises are still running off of the same dysfunctional motor pattern.


Stay tuned for more cases of RPR. To schedule a consult or session of RPR, feel free to contact us at 901-573-2526 or email us at




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My life as a mom is anything but consistent.  What is consistent is my life is always changing.  Always trying to find and maintain balance.  I have found myself divorced at 34, after 14 years of marriage.  Never thought that this is where I would be and with three children later.  Training for me, even being a personal trainer, has become a challenge.  Finding the time around our always changing schedule has been demanding to say the least.  I have a wonderful team of lifters at my home gym, NBS Fitness, that I train with who always encourage and push me in the right direction.  Lately though, with trying to find what is the new normal for our family, I find I have to train alone earlier in the mornings, late at night or on the weekends.  I find that I am inconsistent with my training schedule and I find that mentally hard to swallow.  What I am coming to realize though is I have to keep chipping away.  By that I mean staying focused and doing the best I can.  Not every week or day will go as I want it to right now.  This year hasn’t gone as I had wanted or envisioned it to but I will keep chipping away.  I will keep showing up, I will keep training and I will keep chipping away.  One day I will look back on this and see the lessons I learned. The mental and physical strength I built just by continuing to show up no matter what and never giving up.  Do I wish I was sailing easy right now just being able to focus on work and training for another competition? Yes.   But for right now I will just keep showing up, grinding and blogging about my journey and experiences with you all, soaking up the lessons.  Not everything thing in our life will go perfectly but we can continue to make positive steps forwards instead of backwards and in the end that constant chipping away pays off.


Your support team, the people you surround yourself with, are everything that will help define who you are.  I once heard a quote by Tim Tebow saying, “I never surround myself with yes people.”  By that he means, he never surrounds himself with people that always tell him yes to every question or issue when he is trying to make a good decision.  That has always stood out to me.  Do you always want to be around people that will never tell you anything different than what you think?  Or who will never tell you when you are going down a path that might not be right for you.  We are all on this journey of life together but the people you surround yourself with will help determine the direction you are going.  Look at them and see what direction they are going and ask yourself is that the same path for you?  Your team will ultimately impact you on the way you think, act and feel in your day to day.  You are the product of your environment so if you want to make big changes make sure your support team is top notch and then work hard at cultivating the best version of you.  Don’t surround yourself with toxic and negative team members who will add no value in your life. Instead surround yourself with people that challenge the way you think and what you know but also want the best for you.  Start there and build yourself an amazing support team. Watch how much of a difference it makes in your ability to thrive and accomplish big goals.  I am constantly aware and observant of my support system. Lucky for me, I have grown more in this life than I thought possible.  I know that it wasn’t IMG_2851me alone it was from the team in my corner from the beginning. 

thomasLook, I get it: NO ONE likes to lose.  The worst training days are usually remedied with the idea that the hard work you are putting in at the gym is going to turn out as a victory later.  I have never went into a contest thinking about second, third, fourth, or fifth place.  Part of being competitive means completely buying into the idea that you have a chance to win…

But that is not always how the cookie crumbles.  Most days, other people are better than you. Here and there, they show up and compete at the same contest as you, in your weight class.  There are times when you have an off day and your competitor has a good day. A number of things can happen, most of which I cannot predict.  However, I will tell you this: If you compete at all, you will be beat at some point.  Very few escape that.

You can, however, still come out ahead in those experiences. Hell, some of the biggest turning points I have had in my athletic career have come from losing.  Doing an honest assessment on where I lacked at an athlete gave me a solid base for programming and training for the months to come.  Unfortunately, some people have a hard time figuring out how to lose without being a loser.

-Losers blame circumstances for their outcome.

-Losers refuse to respect their competition.

-Losers belittle other competitors.

-Losers lack personal responsibility.

-Losers hang out with other losers.


-Winners learn from their fall.

-Winners focus on solutions.

-Winners are always improving.

-Winners arent entitled.

-Winners are gracious.


Its amazing how many great athletes are total losers. Dont be one of those.

I recently ran across a great article at EliteFTS on joint maintenance and it was spot on awesome that I decided to share it. With joint and musculoskeletal pain being one of the most prevalent conditions in today’s society, there are a lot of poor resources full of articles and experts trying to sell you on the latest and greatest tool or supplement out there to magically fix all of your pain. This write-up gives a clear and concise outline of four great methods to maintain joint health.

Specifically for the target population of those who train on a regular basis, this article outlines a few very important solutions for proactively addressing some of the long term problems that face today’s lifter. By implementing these 4 steps, you will be well on your way to effectively addressing these wear and tear-type injuries. Hydration, soft tissue therapy, joint health supplementation, and proper joint loading are all factors that affect lifters in such small increments at a time that by the time they begin to become a nuisance, damage has already been done. Whether you are noticing the affects of deficits in these categories or are looking for a way to proactively work on preventing injury, this is a great start.




Here at NBS we have many things that are out of the norm, including a bunch of weird equipment that the majority of gym goers have never seen. We have more bars, kettlebells, and weights per square inch than most training facilities within 300+ miles of Memphis, TN. Did I forget to mention a FOUR time reigning master’s Olympia strongman, several highly competitive bodybuilders, crossfitters, and over 15 elite level powerlifters? There is a reason all of these highly competitive, motivated, and successful athletes come to this facility. The specialty equipment is a small portion of the reason. In this series of articles we are going to pick out flights (groups of three) pieces of equipment not readily available in a standard gym, then give you THREE ways to use each one properly including other neat ways to utilize the equipment to help you in your strength goals!

The first “FLIGHT” of specialty products we will look at are bar attachments and boards for bench pressing. The reason I decided to group these together is they are close relatives since they do similar things. May I introduce to you the EliteFTS Shoulder Saver BLACK and RED, along with their cousin the BenchBlockz, and Boards. Each of these devices decreases the bar’s range of motion on the bench press, serving several different purposes.



The Shoulder Saver Black And Red are pad attachments developed to decrease the range of motion during a bench press, which decreases the strain put on the shoulder capsule, hence the name, “Shoulder Saver.” This was a fantastic application, allowing people recovering from injury to still be able to bench press and practice proper benching mechanics without risking re-injury. This piece of equipment is also used to aid lifters in building strength in their lower, mid-range, and upper pressing positions by causing you to produce concentric force in the area of the lift you are the weakest in the bench press. As you look at both the Red and Black Shoulder Saver’s you instantly notice the difference in size. I personally like using the red application for close grip work and the black for any other bench variation. The Red decreases the range of motion (for me) during close grip bench just enough to keep my scapula from protracting which would turn off my triceps and put me in a inefficient position. During a close grip we want to focus solely on the triceps.

BenchBlockz was a fantastic invention for those who are looking to get the “biggest bang for their buck”. The piece of foam allows you to have the equivalent of a one to four board in one. This saves a ton of space and they are very convenient to carry in your gym bag. BenchBlockz can be used in the exact way as the shoulder savers, with the added bonus of decreasing the range of motion even more. This benefits a shoulder injury even more as we can make a longer safer progression back down to our chest after injury. BenchBlockz give you increased ability to isolate triceps with the four board side selected while doing close grip, less intrusive than a board resting on your chest when trying to get closer to a competition bench, and does not need the help of a spotter to use.

THE original Board Press. This is where it all came from, the “OG” of benching specialty equipment. For those who are trying to save a buck you can make these yourself and customize them with logos or designs. Boards have the same uses as the Shoulder Saver and BenchBlockz, but they are the grandfather. They require a second training partner to hold them and are still to this day preferred by geared lifters when going heavy. One of the coolest uses I have seen for these pieces of equipment is, “Tricep Hell”. This exercise uses up to three or four boards heights, back-to-back. You do a close-grip bench press starting up top with the four board, then three, then two, touch chest, then climb back up to a four board… that’s one set, (evil laugh).

So get out there and board-up to help your bench, play with different setups, ask advice when implementing them. All this equipment is here to help along with all of the NBS staff, just do not use the pads or boards improperly like shown in the video. If I see that I will encourage weights to be thrown at you.

Stay tuned for the next few articles as we look at Slingshots and catapults for bench press, bands/chains/boxes for everything, and specialty attachments for the cable system.

Obviously by now, everyone has heard about the hikes in insurance premiums that are going to be occurring in Tennessee or in other states for 2017. If not, you can read about Tennessee increases here. With the amounts that premiums, copays, and deductibles are increasing, its no wonder that health care is one of the most important topics in our communities right now.
This is one of the main reasons we have stayed out of most insurance carriers at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. It is a scary time with the rising costs of health care. Not only are costs for the patients going up, but reimbursements are going down for providers and putting them out of business as well. At this point in time the focus must be on maintaining a strong relationship between patient and doctor, and not building one that relies on whether or not they have good or bad insurance or if the doctor is in network. Even though health care is a scary subject right now, just like most bad situations there are always a few good lessons that we can take away from it.
Right now a vast majority of current health care costs are spent on chronic, preventable diseases, one of the best ways to address a hike in insurance costs is to be proactive in your own health. Heart disease, obesity, hormonal deficiencies, joint pain, and back pain are some of the most common diseases our nation faces. They account for an extremely large amount of our health care costs, and these are all conditions that can be prevented with proper attention to diet, activity, and making sure your body is moving and performing at its best.
The above mentioned reasons are why it is so important for you to be invested in your own health. This means finding ways to be proactive and preventative care. At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we have an active patient base and strive to help our patients understand the importance of building proper habits to be proactive in their health. We also provide affordable cash options even if you have lost your insurance carrier, or your deductible is so high that you are going to have to pay out of pocket the entire year. Our goal is to educate and deliver this type of preventative care in order to help patients take control and address their health before they become diseased or injured. Once again, we need to shift health care to being about you the patient, and building a trusting patient/doctor relationship to support your needs.
As always, feel free to contact us at 901-573-2526, or email to

An Introduction to RPR:

For those who are unfamiliar, over the last two or three months, I have added a new and powerful service to the line of performance and results based services at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. The vision of Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance from the beginning has been to provide the best services to yield the best results for athletes and those who live athletic and performance-based lifestyles. I can confidently say that the addition of Reflexive Performance Reset™ remains exactly in line with that vision. After three months of implementation, Reflexive Performance Reset has been a game changer for a wide variety of athletes, coaches, patients, and even myself. It is without a doubt the most effective method I have encountered for resetting compensatory motor patterns, and restoring proper motion for enhanced performance.



*Image courtesy of*


Over a series of articles and blogs, I would like to begin talking about some of the causes and effects of compensatory motor patterns and some of the goals to correct these compensations. I will also include some specific case overviews and testimonials of some of those who have seen the benefits of this new evaluation. We’ve seen some extraordinary experiences when the nervous system is returned to a parasympathetic state and the body is able to perform the way it was intended to perform.


The Importance of the Nervous System:

Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR™) involves manual muscle testing to assess the recruitment level and sequence of individual muscles that drive movement. This assessment allows for the identification of compensations that develop due to chronic stress and act to accomplish a given movement or task. Since the muscular system is neurologically driven and controlled, compensations are neurological in nature and are the result of excessive stimulus from the internal (excessive joint forces and instability, etc) or external environment (work, social life, etc) causing chronic excitement of the sympathetic or “fight or flight” response.

The fight or flight response is a normal adaptation that occurs in the body. When subjected to stressors or threats, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, resulting in increased blood pressure, respiration, cortisol release, etc., in order to handle this stressor. This reaction to stress is normal, and is meant to allow for a short term “boost” in order to adapt to a stressor and survive. Think of a sympathetic response as the gas pedal when you are trying to pass another vehicle. Once the stressor is passed, the body’s parasympathetic nervous system increases in tone, which returns it to a normal, rested state. Think of the parasympathetic response as a “brake.”

Under normal circumstances, this adaptation can be quite beneficial. Let’s say you are walking through the forrest and you cross paths with a bear. A stimulus occurs, the body temporarily hits the gas pedal, causing an increase in heart rate, breathing, and resting membrane potentials in nerve cells. The body is primed for an all or nothing sprint away from the bear. At this point, nothing matters besides getting away from this stressor. Once the threat of the bear is over and the stimulus is clear, the body returns to its normal state without much alteration normal function. Because its origin comes from the need to survive during life-threatening situations, the sympathetic response is only beneficial when short-lived.

Fortunately for our species, we have evolved to a position where these life-threatening situations are few and far between. Unfortunately, this same stimulus from the bear encounter can be mimicked in our everyday stresses from work, social life, athletics, etc. This means that the average human living in the 21st century is stimulated to enter this “fight or flight” response on a regular basis.

This chronic sympathetic state is much less favorable than the acute spike and return to baseline example with the bear. Keep in mind these stressors occur on a regular basis in our daily lives. Because of its constant bombardment, the body is unaware of when the stressful stimuli will subside. This makes it impossible to to return to normal, and causes the neuromusculoskeletal system to look at long term solutions to survive. There is an increase in resting heart rate, labored (chest) breathing, and the development of compensations.

Not surprising, long term survival priorities for the neuromusculoskeletal system include energy prioritization and efficiency. Adaptations favor energy efficiency over force output and stability and often chose to use accessory muscles over prime movers to accomplish joint movement and stability. The compensatory patterns or “drivers” that are identified using RPR are a direct result of this chronic stimulation of the fight or flight response.


RPR and Sports Performance:

For an athlete, performance improvement through RPR is accomplished through enhanced neuromusculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory function. The goal of RPR is to prime the athlete to be as stable and explosive as possible. This is accomplished through identification of each individual’s “driver” and stimulation of specific “wake-up points.” By utilizing the RPR wake-up points, we are hitting the brakes on the sympathetic nervous system and restoring the body to state of parasympathetic drive. This return to parasympathetic drive leads to a few changes that affect the bottom line of performance.

The first change, is an increase in cardiorespiratory efficiency by restoring proper diaphragmatic breathing. As noted before, a chronic compensatory pattern often seen in today’s society is labored or “chest” breathing. This is is a method of breathing in which inspiration is mainly driven by contraction of muscles in the neck and chest in order to draw air in at the apex of the lungs. This is inefficient as energy must be spent on each breath to inspire and the volume of air taken in is decreased.

Diaphragmatic or normal breathing, allows for the lungs to expand and inspire passively without wasted energy. Diaphragmatic breathing is characterized by breathing through expansion of the stomach. This allows the diaphragm to lower, causing a significant increase in lung volume and surface area compared to chest breathing. For a detailed break down of the before and after benefits of RPR on the cardiovascular system, click here.

Furthermore, diaphragmatic breathing is also known to stimulate the vagus nerve, which is a major driver of the  parasympathetic nervous system. Because of this positive feedback loop with the vagus nerve, proper breathing is the single most important drill to practice, and is encouraged throughout each session as well as in everyday function. Finally, diaphragmatic breathing leads to increased stability of the lower back which subsequently allows for improved hip mobility. This helps break the cycle of lower-crossed syndrome that is seen in a large amount of the population.




Performance maximization with RPR in the neuromusculoskeletal system is accomplished by emphasizing the restoration of normal movement and proper motor patterns. In a state of compensation, accessory muscles are utilized to produce forces rather than the prime movers. This decreases the amount of force the body can produce as it is not effectively using its biggest muscles to create movement. The body’s joints are also less stable when accessory muscles are used.

As energy is created and transferred through the kinetic chain, a percentage of it is lost in each joint that is unstable. This means that the joint is constantly absorbing more and more wear during movement, which sets the stage for future injury. A normally functioning body will create force with the prime movers of hip flexion or extension and disperse these forces outward to the external environment away from its center of mass. This pattern resembles an explosion and serves as the most efficient and powerful means of creating and applying force. This is the pattern that RPR looks to restore in order to facilitate a better, healthier athlete.


For more information on Reflexive Performance Reset, check out their website at reflexive or check out their Facebook. If you would like to schedule a session of RPR with Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, call 901-573-2526 or email 

Here I am, sitting in the office at NBS, staring at my computer screen for the past half hour trying to figure out what to blog about. David is out of town on vacation, and one of his clients just canceled on me for the 3rd time an hour before the session. One of the tragedies of personal training, people don’t give a shit about your time, they are full of excuses, they don’t realize that this is how you pay your bills. None the less, I still love it and at this point in my life, it’s what I do.

Back to my point, I was trying to think of something worth sharing, and I thought, why don’t I share some older videos of when I was weaker than I am now? From time to time I like to look back on a couple of them, and see how I’ve progressed since I started lifting at the best gym in Memphis. I want to share a couple of them with you, and I believe I actually have one for squat, bench, and deadlift.

Here’s a good ol struggle bus of me with about 335 I believe for 5. This was my first legitimate strength program, and it had me squatting on a box for probably 4 months. Never missed a squat with my buddy Anto spotting. Original video was taken on February 9, 2015. I had been on the team a little over a month. Now my most recent wrapped max is 540, and I definitely had more in there.




This next one is a definite fail! I believe I was pretty close to my meet I had last December in Little Rock, or my very first meet, cant remember. I had taken some singles before this, and then decided to go up. I think it was 250, or 255. Shout out to my old training partner Matt Fike. One time he was almost stronger than me….lol. Original video was July 1st 2015. Current max is 315.



The last video I’ve got is me sucking on some good ol deathlifts. I think it was probably around this time that I was getting stuck and was absolutely hating these! I was probably supposed to do 3, and I missed my 3rd. This looks like 365. FML! Original video was February 18, 2015. Current max on deadlift is 530


So, as you can see from all of these videos, I was pretty small, and pretty weak. Now I am still small and weak, just not as small and weak as I was then. All of the weights seen in these videos are now just warm up weights for me. I hear people and sometimes clients say they wish they could do this, or that, and lift a certain amount of weight, and I always tell them…you’ve got to start somewhere. Even the best of the best had to start somewhere to get to where they are today. If you really want something, stick with it long enough, and work hard for it, and eventually you’ll have it. Make sure you have someone to help you along the way because I guarantee you won’t get as far by yourself.

Recently, during one of my what seems like forever 30 minute steady state cardio sessions, I was listening to a podcast and somehow thought of a new idea for some blogging. I’m still trying to get this whole blogging thing down, and I know that it is meant to be a little more about myself, and give a glimpse into my personal life, so I’m going to start doing weekly movie picks. I don’t really know what it is, but ever since I was young, I have really been into movies. There isn’t any particular genre that I prefer, if its a good movie, then I’m all for it.


So, without further adu, my first movie pick of this weekly series is Mad Max. It was originally released in 1979, a little before my time, but you will come to find that many of the movies I like were before I was around. This movie takes place in a dystopian future when oil resources have been depleted, and the world falls into war, famine, and financial chaos. The movie takes place in Australia where a cruel biker gang is out of control and the last line of defense is an Australian law force. Mad Max, (played by Mel Gibson) wants vengeance on this gang when his wife and son are hunted down and murdered after he kills the leader of the gang, known as the night rider, leaving him bloodthirsty for revenge.


This film is the first installment of a trilogy that is followed by Mad Max 2, The Road Warrior, and Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome. I highly recommend the both of these if you enjoy the first one.

Here is the original trailer for the 1979 film.

In this edition of “Ask the Chiro,” we will take a look at another common question that comes up a lot i the everyday patient, Heat vs Ice. Both are modalities used to reduce pain and increase function, yet many questions come up when discussing the two. Specifically, should I heat or should I ice an injury? Which is the best? How long should I heat vs ice? When should I heat vs ice an injury? The battle between heat and ice, fire and water, has been one of the most epic debates in modern day history. We will attempt to sort this out once and for all.




The Affects of Heat vs Ice:

The affects of heat vs ice are fairly simple. Heat is a modality that when applied to the body causes blood vessels to dilate or open, which INCREASES the flow of blood to the areas applied. This has many influences for the area and as we will talk about later, determines when to apply. For the most part, the increase in blood flow will warm up a sore or stiff joint and will increase nutrition and supply to the affected areas. Heat can also increase inflammation and edema to an injured area. Vasodilation and an increase in blood carries pro-inflammatory white blood cells to the area. The distribution of blood to the area can also lead to edema, which is the collection of fluid outside of the vessels also known as swelling. Although these factors are needed for healing, excessive amounts from improper application of heat can increase the severity of certain conditions.


On the other hand, Ice is a modality that when applied to the body causes vessels to constrict or close. This DECREASES the flow of blood to the areas applied which subsequently decreases both swelling and the inflammatory response in the body. It also has the ability to decrease pain by numbing the area when applied correctly.


What Types of Injuries to Heat vs Ice

So when do we apply heat vs ice? This is a very commonly confused concept, so for this article we will attempt to make this as simple as possible by splitting the two into two scenarios. The first scenario is chronic vs acute conditions. The second will be muscle soreness vs spasm.



Even the greatest video games of all time struggle with heat vs ice.


For acute vs chronic conditions, we are separating long term injuries caused by wear and tear such as arthritis and short term injuries often caused by trauma like a sprained ankle. For chronic conditions, heat is a more beneficial application as the increase in blood flow supplies nutrients to stiff muscles and joints. This helps warm the joint up which allows for increased motion. Ice is best for for these acute conditions where the goal is to control inflammation and swelling. Remember that heat will INCREASE inflammation and swelling in these acute conditions.


In cases of muscle and joint soreness vs muscle spasm, heat is best for soreness and ice is best for spasms. Icing, however, can be used for either. The real issue is during an ACUTE spasm, heat can cause a large amount of inflammation, and subsequently more contraction of the spasm. I have seen many patients who tell me they woke up with an extremely tight and spasmed back and though a hot shower would help. The result is them barely being able to bend over afterwards, as the inflammation and swelling rushes into the area as blood flow is increased.


Proper Timing and Utilization of Heat vs Ice

As you may have noticed, there are number of times when heat can be just as detrimental to a condition as it can be helpful, but that I haven’t really talked bad on ice at all. This is because, for the sake of simplicity, ice can’t really hurt you. The worst ice can do is not work. Heat on the other hand can be the trickier modality in its application, and in some cases (like a spasm) could either help or hurt you. So here are a few “timing tips” for when to use or not use heat.


First, the 72 hour tip. Heat should not be used on spasms, sprains, strains, or other inflammatory or swelling prone conditions within the acute window of injury. Basically, within the first 3 (or even 4) days no heat should be applied to an injury that is undergoing spasm or is prone to inflammation or swelling. After this window of time, it is less likely that increasing blood flow at the rate that heat allows will will result in excessive inflammation and edema, as the condition is likely past the inflammatory phase of healing.



Even if you were a kid in the 90’s, you understood how hard the decision between water and fire was. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE?!


Second, and most important tip: “When in doubt, ice first.” As I noted before, ice is least likely to hurt you. So if you are confused as to which modality to use and do not have the guidance of a physician to decide for you, this is always the safest bet. If you have iced for a significant amount of time with no results and you are out of the 72 hour window, go ahead and heat.


Finally, the last tip is about timing and application. First, with application to either modality, ALWAYS provide a barrier between the modality and skin to avoid burning. This could be your clothing, or a towel Timing for ice should be about 20 minutes, but it is important to focus on moving through certain “stages” in order to ensure proper icing. Icing should take you through a cold, burning, and finally numbness stage. It is important to get to the numbing stage, as this is where we get the most pain relief. So if you get to 20 minutes and don’t feel numb, keep going. For heat, 10 minutes is fine, and the goal is to loosen the body up. Finally, timing. Heat is best used before activity, and ice is best used following activity. There is not much benefit in icing before a practice or workout, but will help recovery by cutting inflammation and thusly soreness at the end of a hard training session, or while pushing through an injury and still maintaining full participation.


For any further questions, or to schedule a visit at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, feel free to call 901-573-2526 or email us at


I am going to open this blog post up a bit by bragging on NBS coach Christian Anto.  In the past few years, I have been able to see him flourish not only into a great strength coach but also a genuine person who wants to help.  He spends down time between a full coaching roster of clients helping people that aren’t even his clients understand different aspects of moving well that they could be missing.  He is constantly looking to improve his own knowledge base on everything related to coaching, be is mechanics all the way down to sports psychology.  When I think of people that the fitness industry NEEDS, he is absolutely one of them.  Actually, I am fortunate to be around several absolute industry sweethearts everyday ( Dont tell them I called them that…they are also tough guys and I would hate to ruin their street cred.)

Fittingly, Barbell Shrugged recently interviewed Christian in a podcast (take a listen here!) where he talked about everything from his humbling “bro” beginnings to the nitty gritty technique cues he has adopted to become of of the top 10 raw-with-wraps powerlifters in the world.  The podcast was shot in real time at the gym and we got to see a very raw Christian.  Between TONS of absolutely phenomenal bits of informational, he had the Anto-special vernacular slips.  Now…I am used to these and give him shit nearly daily.  However…when put to a massive audience, he caught a ton of shit. Some harmless, some borderline insane.

Thats right: our boy caught a ride on the troll train.  We talked about it quite a bit and came up with the following conclusion: You basically have two options:

1.) In the words of elitefts: Live, learn, and pass on.  However, know that in the age of social media and massive audiences, you will be critiqued at best.  You will hear every little argument of semantics.  If you use a word incorrectly , even once in a 90 minute period, you will be roasted.  Sadly, you run the risk of having everything you set to public (your education, your work, your significant others, etc) subject for ridicule.

2.) Do nothing.  Learn if you want, but keep it to yourself.  Share nothing of value.  Make sure you aren’t responsible for the advancement of others.  If you catch yourself doing something phenomenal, knock it off.  In order to save yourself from potential ugly comments, you must live a completely benign life.  You cannot risk being offensive to others.

This is sadly the reality of allowing for public opinion on the anonymous forum that is the internet.  There isn’t a single influential person I have ever met that hasn’t experienced this to a fair degree.  While unfortunate, the latter is absolutely devastating: no nothing.  If the only way to avoid ridicule is to do nothing, I will take my lashings.  The empty life of avoiding conflict and backlash isn’t a life I want any part of.

Heres to a life of furthering the development of others, and suffering the consequences. 🙂


Life is about so much more than the Gym.  It’s easy, as a personal trainer, to get tunnel vision and believe that you have everything figured out when in fact you’ve become complacent in several important facets of life.  I have divided my life up into 5 areas that I refer to my sacred geometry to make sure that I remain balanced in all of my pursuits.  As you read about these 5 areas, please take time to reflect on your own personal Sacred Geometry and determine if anything is missing in your life.  Check your balance and see if there is anything that you need to do to obtain greater balance in your life.  This balance will enable you to once again move forward and progress towards your goals.


You have a serious problem if your relationship status on Facebook is “The Gym”.   So many people claim to be married to “the gains, the gym, or the pump”; the problem with that is if you are truly married to one of those things good luck when and if you have to miss time at the gym.  Last time I checked those three things won’t be there when you have an emergency in life.  You need to find at least 1 emergency contact to have in your life.  If you struggle making friends try reading the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  Learn to ask questions about other people and invest in their lives.  Share your time talents and time with other people, they will respond and you will find friends to hang out with and also you will find a group of people that may be willing to spot you so you don’t have to walk around the gym aimlessly looking for someone else that looks lonely.



Volumes can and have been written on the status of your finances and where you should spend your money.  I’m not an expert when it comes to finances, far from it.  I do know that if your finances are spiraling out of control, that you will eventually allow other things to fall by the wayside.  How will you get the gains if you can’t pay for your gym membership?  You have to establish your priorities.  Few things can get done in your life without your finances being in order.  The financial aspect of your life extends much further than just your bank account.  Invest in your career.  Learn all you can about your field and become an expert in it. It is possible to pay too much attention to your finances and let them dictate your life.  If you focus too much on your job and your finances you will miss life and everything that life has to offer.  I don’t know that I have ever met anybody that says they wish they had spent more time at work!


I am no psychologist, but I know how much your emotions dictate your life and your efficacy.  If you want a great guide to how you should live each day of your life, I recommend you refer to Coach Jimmy Valvano’s speech from the ESPY awards.  If you live everyday of your life like Coach V recommends then I think you will have a very full and successful life.

As someone that tends to lock in his emotions and bottle them up, I can officially tell you that this is not the greatest method of addressing your emotions.  You need to address your emotions or they will control you.  You can put off dealing with stressors for only so long until your emotions finally catch up with you and impact you negatively in every facet of your life.


Although some people like to believe so, the learning process never ends.  If you stop learning then something is definitely amiss in your life and you need to pick up a book and read immediately.  David Allen recommends that you read at least an article every day.  Always have a good book to read.  Currently I’m rereading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.  It’s a great book and actually gives a lot of recommendations of things to read.  Think about it, if you read 10 pages a day you will read 3,650 pages in a year.  If the average book is 300 pages then you will have read the equivalent of 10 books in 1 year.  That is a lot of education and the internet is filled with books available for download all to enhance your life and make you a better person!  Never stop learning because it is a lifelong journey and process.



This is the one that all too many of us are familiar with.  This is the one that is incredibly easy for me to overcompensate on.  The minimum requirement is to be active.  You don’t have to always be in the confines of a gym to get on the road to health and fitness.  The journey often starts with just walking up the stairs.  This all depends on where you are in life.  However, the physical aspect of life is much more than just exercise as I’ve learned through experience.  The physical aspect of life is everything that is tangible in your life.  It’s how you view the physical world around you and how you see yourself in that world.

If you can get your life in balance I know that you will make the progress that you desire to have in your life.  Experiment on this Sacred Geometry and draw your own pentagon with the largest spaces dedicated to where you spend the bulk of your time.  If you’re spending too much time on the physical then adapt and dedicate some time to reading.  Evaluate yourself socially, financially, emotionally, educationally, and physically to see what areas you are lacking in and make the changes you need to in order to live the well rounded life!

Two weeks ago one of my CrossFitters from Wolf River and (a very dear friend) was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went in for a routine mammogram, a lump was discovered, testing was done and cancer was also found in her lymph nodes. Simultaneously, she is dealing with a lumbar disc issue. She is in a lot of pain and needs surgery to repair it, however, that will have to wait, because cancer doesn’t. As I write this, she is having her first chemo treatment.

My friend has gone through a plethora of emotions, as one can imagine. She lost a sister to lung cancer years ago so that alone is enough to make fear her primary emotion. While fear is there, it has not dictated her attitude.

Last Sunday, she had a party. A gathering of her close friends to hang out, laugh and have a good time. It was not a somber time. It was a celebration of strength. A celebration of “let’s do this”.

We are faced with so much adversity in our lives. Challenging medical diagnosis, job loss, divorce, deaths of friends or relatives….it’s all part of living.  Like it or not, we are also getting older. These things we can’t always control, however, we do get to choose how we deal with each of them.

“Positive emotions promote discovery of novel and creative actions, ideas and social bonds, which in turn build that individual’s personal resources; ranging from physical and intellectual resources, to social and psychological resources. Importantly, these resources function as reserves that can be drawn on later to improve the odds of successful coping and survival.”  Barbara L. Fredrickson

Dr. Fredrickson’s research shows that positive emotions fuel psychological and physical well- being. The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions : “The theory, together with the research, suggests that positive emotions: (i) broaden people’s attention and thinking; (ii) undo lingering negative emotional arousal; (iii) fuel psychological resilience; (iv) build consequential personal resources; (v) trigger upward spirals towards greater well-being in the future; and (vi) seed human flourishing.”

I’m not suggesting that we wake up every day paint on a happy face, ignore our pain or ignore our feelings. We must face the situation, feel the feels but then choose to continue living and choose not to stay in the hole life created.  Choose joy. I know, its way easier said than done. Sometimes we have to fake it until we make it…..but we will make it.

In two weeks, my friend is hosting her own hair cutting party. For a $50 donation to St. Jude, we get to cut a lock of hair. She is creating something good, out of something bad.  In her words, “I may be crazy but I feel like this is just something we have to go through, get to the other side, and move on!”

Choose positivity and pray for my friend.

Scott Hamilton’s latest check up and attitude on life:
“I choose to truly — in everything that we do — celebrate life,” says Hamilton. ”

Along with my recent interview with BarbellShrugged I was recorded teaching them how to setup the bench press for an efficient full body lift. Enjoy a FREE video of the main points I would go over in a one on one session with a client!

I have had many learning experiences being raised in this industry by David Allen and many of those stuck. He also placed me in a position to flourish and be developed by other amazing coaches and athletes through EliteFTS who then took a chance on me and poured into me even more. All of these things have now given me a platform to share all the amazing knowledge I have been taught by my mentors who took a chance on me.

My Love For The Iron

DSC_0071 2


My fondness for the iron is something I have found to be one of the most beloved things in my life besides my family.  So odd how it came to be about.  I was taking weekly yoga classes, at a local gym, and up to date on the most recent juices and body detoxes.  I was all about being centered and finding my peaceful place.  One day a friend and myself decided to venture over to the side of the fitness facility that had all of these amazing machines and free weights.  No telling what exercises we actually did but we knew we were having fun and wanted to learn more.  A mutual friend invited us to try powerlifting in their garage. So there we went with all kinds of expectations but the one thing I remember more than anything was the sight of that 45lb barbell.  We began training and the second my hand wrapped around that bar for the first time, I was forever in love.  The constant push it gave me, always challenging me to do more, better, consistently.  I found that the iron challenged me mentally in a way I had been longing but didn’t know I needed.  It pushed me to expect more from myself every time and when I slacked it definitely let me know it.  No lies, no sugar coating.  Did you put in enough? Did you follow your training program, nutrition and stress management like you needed to?  Accomplish what you so desperately wanted?…. A better, stronger version of me than I thought possible.




The kipping pull up is perhaps one of the most sought after gymnastic movements in CrossFit, but can take quite some time to learn. While it may appear as though one is just swinging on the bar and pulling up, there is actually a lot of technique involved. Strength and patience are also key elements to the learning process.

Over the next several articles, we will discuss the progressions of the kipping pull-up.

Today, we will highlight body position by learning the hollow hold. This alone can be a difficult position to maintain, so becoming proficient here will certainly help your development process.

Set Up:

Lie on the floor in a supine position, bring your knees to your chest and raise your shoulders slightly off the floor.  Your lower back will become ‘attached’ to the floor.

Hollow Hold

While maintaining that position, extend your arms overhead (biceps near the ears) and lengthen your legs while keeping your feet together. Your hands should be about 12-14” off the floor, your feet, 8-10” off the floor. When in this fully extended position, your low back should maintain constant contact with the floor.  Practice this position by consistently holding for 30 seconds to a minute. You could easily add this into your warm up routine. If you find that this position is too difficult to maintain, bring the arms back down and bring your knees back toward your chest as in the above photo.


Add Tension

Continue to master this isometric hold under tension. Add tension by placing your hands under a heavy object and pressing gently against it to add resistance. You are building core strength from this movement that will translate into your pull ups.


Hollow Rocks

While maintaining the isometric hollow position, begin “rocking” your body, mid back to butt. You’ll want to practice this movement for some time before moving into our next steps. I like to practice these by performing for a certain about of time, starting off, with 15-20 seconds, increasing gradually from there. You could also do them in sets and reps, ex: 3 x 15 with a 30-second break in between.

Next article we discuss adding the “Superman” element, and moving onto the pull-up bar.

gunshowOver the past few years, I have become a bit better about healthier habits.  Three years ago, after my first show, I did the bare minimum: I would eat breakfast, pack a lunch and come home and eat whatever.  Because I was so active (and 24-25), I really didnt see any negative consequence and stayed within 15lbs of stage weight.  I wasnt lean, but I wasnt fat.  The following summer, I jumped the gun and competed again.  Between a half hearted attempt at dieting and just have zero appreciable habits to get through the hard times, I was able to bring the worst package I had ever brought to stage. I laugh at this, because in all reality, I knew better than to think I was pouring it all into my prep at that time.  I took 1.5 years off and went back to the basics: I ate 6 meals throughout the day that had structure.  Even if I didn’t feel like eating my planned meals, I ate.  When I felt like binging, I didnt.  I surrounded myself with really great people and was able to make a pretty good comeback when it was time to prep again.

This was good for me to experience because I saw that the hard work was absolutely worth it.  Further, the habits I made during the off season were easy to fall back into once the show was over.  I didn’t blow up, I didn’t experience the post-show blues.  I was able to fall back on the habits I had created over the off season and managed to keep my weight gain to about 10lbs.  I stayed healthy enough to dive right into training for powerlifting and strongman.  In effort to always be progressing, I decided that I needed to be held accountable to someone even in the offseason.  After a bit of research, I hired Justin Harris and will continue using him for the foreseeable future.  So far, my weight has come from 161 to right at 150, making the two lb cut to 148 in the next couple weeks a breeze.  We haven’t had to cut any calories, which was unexpected, but nice.  I wont go into much detail about the exact layout, because I didn’t create the diet and cant speak to the design process.

–I have three dietary templates that I use on various days of the week.  While all macros change each day, I match my carbs up with certain training days.

–2 high days per week: 315ish g Carbs , lower protein, low fat (one day has a cheat meal at the end of it, which usually tacs on ~1200 extra calories)

–3-4 moderate days: 180g g carbs, moderate pro, low fat

–1-2 low days at 75g carb, higher pro, moderate fat

–HIIT 5x/week at the end of my training



I want that gym membership

How can you afford that gym membership?

I found that when I first started on my fitness journey the prices of gym memberships were a little intimidating.  Family budgets can be tight and especially for me with three boys. I found myself determined to find a way to make this happen as I knew postponing it would never set me on a pace to reach my goal.  My goal was to get in better shape and healthier from the inside out.  I have suffered for years from endometriosis which affects 1 in 10 women.  That is approximately 176 million women in the world according to, a global forum for news and information.

dsc_0342Some of the expenses that I personally went over were the amount of money certain medicines cost to maintain my “health” at the time, the amount of money I was spending at Starbucks and my lunch dates with friend
s throughout the week.  Did I enjoy my hot cup of Starbucks coffee after my third drop off in the mornings at my children’s schools? YES!!  Did I enjoy meeting my favorite people weekly to catch up and delight in the all amazing sushi conveyer belt? YES! I enjoyed these luxuries but I was not enjoying my health and saw I could actually swap those expenses for that gym membership I had been craving.  So I decided to shop around, do my research and find the best place to start.  I exchanged those expenses that I thought were little but sure added up, and applied that money into hiring the best personal trainer and gym around the Memphis area.  I eventually was healthy enough that I no longer needed all of those doctor appointments and medicines.  I was also able to hire a nutrition coach.  That took my game to a whole new level!

Find out what are you are spending all of your extra money on and apply that into something that will not fade but last hopefully a long and prosperous lifetime.


You may be asking yourself, what the hell does it mean to hip hinge and why is it so important. Yep, that was pretty much me a few years back. Let me start with a quick lesson in the anatomy of your hip joint. The head of your femur connects to your hip socket which is called your acetabulum, and these two things essentially create your hip joint. Your hip joint is considered a ball and socket joint which allows multidirectional movement and rotation. Another example of a ball and socket joint in your body would be the shoulder joint, but we will save that one for another day. Your hip joint is capable of external rotation, internal rotation, abduction, adduction, flexion, and extension, basically every direction.


So, what does it mean to hip hinge? Hip hinging is a posterior weight shift through the sagittal plane moment where the hips become the axis through the lower and upper extremity through a neutral spine. To break that down, it basically means pushing your butt back and loading tension in your hamstrings (that tight, stretch feeling) while not going into flexion (anterior rounding) in your lumbar, or thoracic spine. It is also worth noting that your knees should never be locked out when performing this movement. What we want to shoot for is what we call “soft” knees, which basically means having a slight bend at the knee.


Why is it important for us to hinge through our hips? Well, hip hinging is very effective in regards to correct movement patterns and injury prevention. It is vitally important for people to be able to recognize and feel the difference between moving through the hips, and moving through the lumbar spine, or even through their knees. The ability to hip hinge has a tremendous carry over to athletic performance. Think about it. Running, jumping, squatting, deadlifting, all involves loading the hips. Once you are able to master this movement, you will move better, feel better, and will be on your way to becoming a much more stronger, and capable individual.

There are many common mistakes that are made by people who try this movement for the first time, and that’s perfectly fine. Some Examples of these common mistakes include locking the knees out as I mentioned earlier, pivoting through the lumbar spine, breaking at the knees and not the hips, and a plethora of other things. Luckily, we have many ways that we can progressively reach a clean, solid hip hinge movement by slowly working up to it.

A quick few examples include performing a glute bridge laying on the floor, to a hip bridge on a bench with you upper back laying on the bench, a 45 degree hyperextension, which is an excellent machine in assisting in this movement, and RDL, a goblet squat, and from there you should be able to progress to much more complex movements. Starting with just your bodyweight is usually how I would ease one of my own personal training clients into any of these movements. Once they master that, then we can add weight.

I’m going to include some video examples of specific hip hinging movements that are from our very own NBS Fitness youtube channel.

In this video, you can see that David is pushing back into his hips, while not rounding in his lumbar area, he is keeping his glutes engaged and squeezing them to pull himself back up.




Here is yet another hip hinge movement demonstrated by David using a pair of dumbbells. If you look closely you can see the similarities between this movement, and the one in the video shown above.



Here is a slightly more complex hip hinge movement that takes a bit more focus and effort. It is worth noting here that this particular exercise requires a proper abdominal bracing technique, in order to keep from rounding in the lower back. It is advised to be able to properly brace during the hip hinge movement before doing it with any considerable amount of weight, which will be different from person to person.


I hope this helps all of you understand a little better what it means to hip hinge, and why it’s so important. If you want to feel better, move better, and become stronger, then it is essential that you learn this movement. If anyone has any questions, or comments related to this topic, please post them in the comments section below. If you are a member of NBS, please don’t hesitate to approach me and ask any questions in person, even if I haven’t had my morning coffee yet.

I love this song. Period


I reach for calm
I starve for a balance unknown
This burden tortures me deep in my soul

I’ve found that strife won’t make the bleeding stop
Nor will it take away the pain
I feel like this search is all in vain
And I struggle to find my way


GPP is one of those cool catch phrases that fitness folks like to throw around to sound smart (me included) but what is it? Is it metcons? Is it pushing the prowler? Is it steady state cardio on a machine? If you don’t know the correct answer, no worries, this article is designed to get you fully educated on GPP; what it is, what it isn’t, and how to apply it so you too can not only sound smart but be smart.

What is itdsc_0026?

GPP stands for general physical preparedness or preparation or sometimes will be referred to as general physical fitness. The key word here is “general”. Terms like strength, power, speed, coordination, and endurance are all general descriptions. They are not referring to any one particular task. When you define a particular task, then we have something called SPP or specific physical preparation. Things like squatting a 1RM, shooting a free throw, pitching out of the sand, or sprinting a 100 meter dash are all specific physical tasks. GPP helps support SPP in the sense that maximum strength will help a lifter complete the physical task of squatting a 1RM and power and coordination will help a basketball player shoot a layup. GPP is the foundational fitness capacities required to do all physical tasks.

You could also think of GPP as athleticism. Think of someone who excels at lots of physical tasks. The guy or girl in high school who was just the overall athlete, they played several sports and just seemed to be good at everything they tried their hand at physically. This person had a high level of GPP.

What it’s not

dsc_0094Understanding the above definition we need to realize that GPP isn’t defined by tasks. A common misconception is for people to refer to training that taxes different energy systems as being “GPP”. So when people are pushing the prowler, they say it’s a GPP workout which isn’t technically the case. Pushing the prowler for HIIT builds alactic endurance which can in turn transfer to improved performance in other skills. GPP is not tasked based. For example, the squat, bench, and deadlift would be considered SPP for powerlifting but GPP for a football player. Football could be considered GPP for the sport of basketball. How? Because football would help a younger athlete develop power, speed, and agility that could be used to improve his or her basketball performance. The take away is to understand the definition of GPP and SPP are in the names: general and specific and what you define as the specific task will also define what would be considered GPP.

How can you apply it?

In order to figure out how to appropriately apply the idea of building our GPP, we first need to determine what specific task we are trying to improve. Let’s use strongman as an example. There are some sdsc_0004specific tasks we’ll need to be good at. For example, our latest contest had a sandbag carry, a farmers carry, axle deadlift for reps, axle clean and press for reps, and stone over bar. While these are the specific tasks, there are general fitness abilities we will need to succeed at them. Muscular strength is a big one, particular in the hips, back, core, shoulders, and grip. We’ll also need a decent amount of alactic power and endurance since most of the tasks are performed up to a minute. Our GPP would be the training we do to improve those general abilities. For the hips and back we could do wide stance yoke bar squats to a box, we could do sled drags, we could do different row variations. For the core we could do different situp and leg raise combinations or some stability core exercises like landmines. For the shoulders, we could do different pressing variations and for the grip we could do different grip challenges like shrugs without straps and fat grip plate holds. For alactic conditioning we could do different variations of HIIT using 30-60 seconds of work and 30-180 seconds of rest. A couple of examples would be 1 minute of tire flips with 2 minutes of break for 5 rounds or 5 deadlifts at 75% and 5 overhead presses at 75% with 3 minutes of break for 5 rounds.

After training in this way for a select period of time, an athlete should find that they are able to take the increase in general abilities they have and apply them towards an improved performance in the specific tasks they will be performing. This could be applied to the above example by either spending a select period of time prior to the contest working the individual events or by working the individual events into the training from time to time (like an event day every other Saturday) through out the training block.

You should now have a better understanding of what GPP is, what it isn’t, and how you can apply it to your own training. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out my video on the athletic development pyramid to get a visual idea on how GPP and SPP coincide.


As David pointed out on his facebook this week, we hosted The Clash For Cash And Cash Car Pull this past weekend and it turned out to be a great success.  NBS Fitness itself has hosted 10 or so events in its existence, and various pieces of our staff have been helping in some capacity at meets for years.  I will say that it never goes *perfect*, so having a meet feel like a success is a real milestone for me.  However, this wasn’t without some SERIOUS nail biting  moments.  Below I will highlight some steps we took to really get the ball rolling.



Poll the competitors:  After wrapping up our Spring Strongman event, I got to asking competitors what would *really* set a show apart from others.  While the answers varied, a few common themes were: 1.) cash Prizes 2.) assured audience 3.) awesome atmosphere.  There were a few other suggestions that were down to specifics, but I decided to focus on factors that would universally appealing as opposed to chosing specific events over others.  With these guidelines, we knew how to offer a GREAT show for competitors.

Cash Prizes: With the help of our good friend Jim, we were able to build relationships with Beale Street vendors for this event.  We allocated six event sponsors and a title sponsor.  In exchange for their sponsorship (which allowed us to offer the cash prize), we integrated each  sponsor into the Clash for Cash.  All media/marketing hosted their logos, and each Beale Street Bar was given the event of their choice right outside their bar!  This provided entertainment for their existing guests, and business from the hungry/thirsty competitors and fans.  For the car pull, a local dealership was able to provide a car of their choosing that was wrapped in their decals and contact information. Throughout each event, competitor set up time was spent highlighting each establishments specialties, promotions, and products.  By turning this event into a mutually beneficial community event, everyone won!

Build An Audience: As the details were shaping up, we started a soft promotion of the Clash For Cash.  This started in our very backyard. Strongman itself is a very entertaining sport to watch, but many people aren’t aware what it is exactly.  From about three months out, I started talking to NBS members about it as well as updating the event page on Facebook with details/teasers about each event.  Two months out, we printed off posters and hung those puppies everywhere in town that was a hub for entertainment.  We made admission FREE and put the event itself up Beale Street, which is already a tremendous tourist attraction. 1 month out, we hit the radio and highlighted not only some of the events, but also some of the competitors and their historical accomplishments.  Once people knew there were incredible athletes in attendance, we had their attention.  One week out, David did a radio appearance and explained the event, how to get there, and what you could see.  These cumulative efforts resulted in HUNDREDS of spectators.

Create an Atmosphere: This is one of the most important aspects of a successful meet.  Once we had built the audience, we spent our MC time not only instructing competitors, but constantly getting the crowd excited.  Explaining the events to new comers led to increased awareness of how incredible these athletes were.  Highlighting competitors that were duking it out for first place also added a bit of heat to the fire.  By the end of the day, some competitors had developed Beale Street Fans who followed along the entire event, cheering them to victory and consoling in losses.  It was really a beautiful arrangement.

End With a Bang: We added a stand-alone event after the conclusion of the Clash For Cash.  This event was a car deadlift that we opened to the public.  A brief tutorial was given on set up, execution, and rules.  From there, we allowed people to sign a waiver and try their hand at deadlifting a car.  The overall winner of both women and mens classes were given a cash prize!  While many were neck and neck for the cash, we have several people that simply wanted to leave Beale Street being able to say that had picked up a car!  Following the car deadlift, we had an awards ceremony on the patio of Kings Palace, complete with a beer sampling of some of Memphis most famous brews.  This was a very elaborate ending, and not the only way to go about this, but ending this meet with a celebration was a great way to see it through.


The NBS Strong man contest was taking place down on Beale Street, this contest was closed out with a car deadlift competition. There was one weight that would be used and everyone had one minute to rep the car as many times as possible. Now, I am very competitive, so this turned from a fun good time to wanting to win (prize was $100 bucks). The crowd was very alive and in the middle of an iconic street, I had a ton of people expecting me to win so the pressure was on. The bar was set high by a 275+ guy that ripped out 36 which was nothing to shake a stick at. I walked up to the bar and our gym manager, Annie Gunshow got the crowd going, I started ripping up and dropping down this car. I managed roughly 20 reps without stopping for a breath and start slowing down there. I found out in this competition that I cannot count to save my life, you will see me drop the car and unstrap in the video (at this point I thought I had won). Unfortunately, I was four rep’s off from winning, once my brain finally comprehended people telling me I had four left I went to wrap back up to finish but my time expired before finishing it out, I ended up getting 33 reps coming in second.


              So many places to start here so let us just pick a few and jump right in!  “I am a mom; I don’t have time to exercise anymore.  I can’t fit in everything I have to do all day let alone find the time to go to the gym and train.”  Bull.  That is my answer and it is time as women and mothers we leave that mentality behind.  We should accept that it is perfectly okay to take care of ourselves mentally and physically.  Taking care of ourselves is a priority, reaching our own physical goals and mentally having the outlet of physical exercise provides are all things we should be doing even as “moms”.

                As mothers, we have the role of being caregivers for everyone else and at the same time trying to balance all that comes with life.  The constant rushing that starts the second our feet hit the floor till the second we rest our heads at night only to think of the list that starts all over again the next morning.  Making sure our children’s emotional needs and physical needs are constantly being met daily as well a spouse and or partner, friends, family and even co-workers can be exhausting enough.  So where is the time for us?  The answer is you have to make time.  Just as you block off times for those important school functions or physical activities that your children participate in.  This time, even just an hour, is imperative and should be made a priority.  Running ourselves down physically and not making the time for exercise is only setting us up for a poor future in the long run.  Research shows exercise reduces the risk of dementia by improving cognitive function, boosting mind function and energy.  Exercise decreases our risk of osteoporosis, preventing muscle loss, which is huge for women.  The cardiovascular benefits as well should be a key motivating factor to make the necessary time to exercise, with 1 in 4 women dying from heart disease alone.  Our children don’t need us just in the short term but the long term and our lifestyle choices are what affects the outcome of that.  The “mom” guilt can feel overwhelming as society has made us to feel this way but there is nothing wrong with looking at your future and blocking time to take care of yourself.  There is nothing selfish about wanting to see your children grow and maybe even one day your grandchildren grow up healthy and happy.  Remember your habits your children are watching and taking notes on. 

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                Watching and helping our children reach their goals is an awesome feeling as a parent but just because we are “moms” doesn’t mean we can’t have goals of our own.  Childbirth can change our bodies and mentally that that can take a toll.  I hear moms all the time say, “I wish I could look like that.”  Or even, “I remember how my body looked before I had my child/children.”  While it is true that our bodies may never go back to the way they once were we can get pretty close.  What it takes is less complaining and self-pity and more action.  That action of working just as hard as you do at everything else and investing back into yourself.  It is your life as well and why not be as comfortable as you can be in your own skin?  Why not feel and be strong physically?  Let go of all the excuses that you are giving yourself and understand it takes action and commitment on your part but you can reach those physical goals you envision in your mind.  Make a plan, join a gym, hire a trainer and get started.  No more excuses. It is just that simple to start and don’t stop to you reach your goals.

                Exercise provides a huge mental outlet that is essential to having that release we seem to never have time for.  The constant stress we are under can at times become overwhelming.  Physical activity is shown to reduce stress, depression and anxiety.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “working out can definitely help you relax and make you feel better, keeping anxiety and depression from coming back.”  When you exercise, neurotransmitters and endorphins that ease depression are released.  We as moms need this, making us better at being able to enjoy those moments no matter how crazy or hectic life can feel at times.  It provides us that release to be better mothers, friends and partners.  With the busy lives we all seem to lead now days, who wouldn’t want the mental benefits that come from that break we so desperately need?

                So as you see, letting go of all the excuses and making time to exercise even as a “mom” actually can benefit us tremendously.  Prioritizing exercise is something that you must do and gaining the physical and mental rewards that come with it are all enough reasons to throw the excuses out of the window.  Block it off on your calendar just as you would any other appointment.  This is an appointment with yourself you can’t afford to miss.  So what are you waiting for?  Get motivated, get serious and GET STARTED! NO EXCUSES!





Congrats to our latest Member of the Month, Josh McNeil!

Josh is a former college football player who now works in Business Development for Energy Systems Group.

“I played college football (Go Vols!) and NBS is the closest thing I have found to the competitive and encouraging weight room atmosphere we had in college. Everyone at NBS is there to train hard, get better and most importantly help others around them get better.”

Since joining NBS in April, Josh has been focused on losing weight and increasing muscle mass.

“I recently dropped into the 250s which is a very big milestone for me. I was around 295 when I started training at NBS and my goal was to get to 250 and I have almost accomplished that in 5 months. I have also made good gains in strength from where I started.”

“With David doing my nutrition and Christian Anto handling my training I know I have 2 of the best in the business helping me meet my goals. I would like to especially thank my coach/trainer Christian Anto. Working with him has been a hard but extremely rewarding experience and I look forward to seeing where we get to in the future.”

Congrats to Josh on all his progress and for being the latest Member of the Month!