Monthly Archives: March 2017
Well, I’m not gonna lie. I needed a last minute blog to put up, so I figured I’d share my best squat leading in to the King of Spring meet we have next weekend. Here is 565 which is 25lbs more than my best last competition.Enjoy!
HELLO FROM AUSTRALIA! I am currently writing this from the lobby of my hotel in Australia, where I am speaking at a three day certification course about Hybrid Athletics. This is such a cool opportunity for me, and happens to be at the tail of of my higher calorie phase that I have been doing for the past five weeks. That being said, I have certainly been guilty of throwing caution to the wind on traveling weekends, as any staff member can attest that was with me during the Sports Performance Summit last month in Columbus, OH. However, I have a few projects in the works that I simply cannot afford to act like a jackass about. I committed to making this trip more about seeing sights, networking, and enjoying time with friends and less about eating food. Here are a few things I did that have kept me from blowing it:
- Research and prepare : Australia has very strict rules on what they allow into the country. In fact, upon exiting the plane, all passengers were asked to wipe off their shoes to avoid any mud-dwelling diseases. Because it is an island, contagious diseases can be absolutely devastating for the population of Australia, and they treat any and all risks appropriately. What does this have to do with me? I couldn’t pre-pack my normal food like I would if I was traveling domestically. Instead, I went with what was safe. I ordered limited quantities of the following individually wrapped foods: a.) single serving protein isolate b.) single serving cashews 3.) single serving dried bananas. With these in tow, I had protein, carbs, and fats in easily portioned sizes that would construct my meals during the THIRTY HOURS of airport time I spent getting to Australia.
- Plan your training based on what is available: The hotel gym that I stayed at was actually pretty well equipped. It certainly had enough cardio equipment to get my cardio in, and there was enough DB weight, a few cable pulleys, and even a squat rack and standard bar in. With that equipment, I was actually able to do my normal programming for both back day and chest/shoulders with minimal modifications. I trained glutes/hams right before I left and found a local bodybuilding gym (legendary Dohertys gym) for my leg day. With those accommodations I was able to get all my training in without it costing an arm and a leg.
- Use the resources around you: With the popularity of fitness, nearly every developed country has meal prep companies that will create pre-packaged meals for you. Maybe they don’t exactly nail your macros. In this instance, I buy options that are under the requirements and supplement with the foods I mentioned in item 1.
- Get comfortable turning down food. You don’t need to eat every bit of food put on your plate. You don’t have to eat airline cookies. While you are often given a lot of food with limited control over quality, the choice to eat that food is certainly in your hands.
This isn’t to say that you cannot enjoy travels and loosen the reigns a bit. You certainly can. However, traveling while on a diet doesn’t have to be quite as stressful as it seems. You can certainly handle business abroad without falling to the vacation mindset.
Last month, I started an article about the importance of warming up properly before a round of golf. So, let’s review what we talked about in the last post. How many of you walk up to the tee, grab your club and just hit the ball, as the player in the video below?
As I mentioned in the previous post, I’d bet a fair amount of money that the majority of you reading this are guilty. I know I am. But, why is it important we warm up properly? Golf is a rotary ballistic sport and puts a tremendous amount of force on the body. Not only is it important to warm up and prepare our body for the physical demands of golf, the right warm up before you play can improve your ball striking ability, smash factor, and driving distance. Not warming up properly will not only hurt our performance, but there is a good chance it could lead to injury, which no golfer wants.
Now, you see why its important to warm up. But, how do we do it? It’s simple. I like to break my warm ups into three parts; putting, easy chipping, and stretch/full swings. The first two steps are straight forward. But, what are the best stretches to do before performing full swings on the practice facility. It’s important we target all the muscles used during a golf swing. Here are a list of stretches that I feel prepare your body for the physical demands of golf.
2. Arm Circles (Both Ways)
3. Shoulder Stretch
4. Forearm and Wrist Stretch
5. Pelvic Tilt
6. Upper Body Rotation
7. Lower Body Rotation
8. Toe Touch
9. Hamstring/Calf Stretch
10. Squat to Overhead
Next time, you’re at the course, make sure that you try this warmup before your start your round and reap the benefits as shown below. Im not guaranteeing you will be a tour pro like this golfer, but I bet you perform better and play better.
In 2007 Ronnie Coleman put out a training video in which he wraps his knees and performs a 2300 lb leg press. You can check out that video here. Ten years later and aspiring lifters are still emulating one of the best ever in their attempts to grow legs like Mr. Olympia. Thousands upon thousands of young lifters have posted videos on the internet of them hoisting up hundreds and thousands of pounds in every beginner’s favorite exercise: the leg press. The man in the video below was surely thinking he was going to grow some massive wheels loading up the leg press, wrapping his knees, and performing shortened range of motion reps. Unfortunately, he suffered a massive injury which will likely take him out of training and put him in rehab for a very very long time. Fortunately for us we can learn a few lessons from his mistakes.
Don’t wrap your knees on leg press
Wrapping your knees causes compression that allows you to lift more weight. It works really well for heavy squats. However, it restricts the blood flow to your lower legs which can cause loss of feeling and numbness. Not a big deal for something heavy that’s one to three reps but when you start trying to rep out heavy weight, the last thing you want is to lose feeling in your legs.
Use full range of motion when doing leg press
In order to cause a muscle to grow, you have to cause stress to that muscle. You have to stimulate it to the point of adaptation. When you use a shortened range of motion on leg press, you fail to fully stress the muscles of your legs because you are putting them in their most advantageous position. If you really wanted to stress them, take them through a full range of motion where you can’t lift 20 plates. This way, your muscles will be fully stressed in their weakest position, causing them to grow, and at the top where your knees are vulnerable, you won’t have an overloaded leg press.
Use spotters and safety equipment when doing heavy lifts
Most of the injuries that occur in the gym are from stupid people doing stupid things they shouldn’t be doing. If you are going to lift heavy, you need make sure you cover your worst case scenario. In a squat this means you should use safety chains and have 3 spotters at a minimum. In a leg press this means you should have the safety stops in place, relatively to the range of motion you are working in, and you should have spotters on both sides just in case the worst case scenario really does happen.
This guy learned his lesson the hard way, you don’t have to. BE WARNED!!!! THE VIDEO BELOW IS INCREDIBLY DISTURBING!!! WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
The exercise of the month for March are squats. Why squats you may ask? Squats are a fundamental exercise that everyone needs to be doing. They help in building a strong lower body and help golfers establish a stable base in their swing. Squats target almost everything in the lower body; glutes, hamstrings, hips, knees and quads. The best part about squats is the variety of ways in which they can be preformed. For the majority of my clients, I have them perform goblet squats, box squats and front squats. Here are a few videos of my clients squatting.
Try to add squats into your program this month and get the most out of your training.
Lately, I have been asked many questions regarding certain mobility exercises and stretches. So, I decided to start a monthly mobility blog. This month’s mobility exercise is called 90/90. This exercise is great in helping to increase the internal and external rotation of the hips. It’s not the most comfortable exercise, but it’s very effective.
So, how does it work? Get in the position the pictures below are showing.
Your front and back leg should be at a 90 degree angle, hence the name. Lean forward till you feel a stretch in the glute of your lead leg. Then, move back up slowly and lean forward again. By doing this, we are working on external rotation. Now, for internal rotation. Staying in the same position, turn your body to your back foot and then lean slightly down on your foot until you feel a stretch.
Then, slowly come back up to your original position and do it again. After completing both sides, go ahead and switch your legs around and repeat the process.
She was of sound mind and body until the last 2 weeks of her life. After a brief illness, she passed away Saturday, March 18, 2017. My husband’s grandmother “Rene” lived to be 101 years old.
Rene was the type of person everyone knew and loved. She always made a phone call to each of us on our birthdays and special occasions. She wrote us letters, and when the children were young she would have a note tucked inside the envelope for each one of them and they were always specific to what was happening in their lives at the time. “Cody, how do you like 2nd grade.?” “Loren, are you making friends in middle school?” and “Holli, did you enjoy your field trip last week?” You always knew she loved you and was genuinely interested in your life and how you are doing. Most recently, (one week before she passed away) Rene asked me, “Angie, well how do you like your new job?” I said, Rene, I love my job. She smiled and said, “I’m so happy for you.” She meant it.
Writing, A Lost Art
Rene was the matriarch of the Foree family. She had been a widow for 40 years and lived alone. Despite this, she seemed to always have a constant joy in her mind and in her heart.
Rene wasn’t concerned with social media, the Internet, or any ‘program’ on TV after Wheel of Fortune. Her furniture hadn’t been update or replaced in years and she could care less about owning a computer. She did understand the importance of these things in other peoples lives, however, for Rene, she was happy living simply.
After the funeral, the grandkids went through some boxes of memorabilia and found a stash of letters she had written to her husband, many years ago. They were sweet love letters that updated him on the children and how much she missed him. I don’t know if she had written them after he passed away or if he was on a trip, but her words connected her to him and thats what mattered.
Rene also journaled. When her first great grandchild was born she wrote about her in detail in her journal. When you read it you could feel her pride and love for this child. There was an endless amount of letters and momentos Rene held onto over the years. She was asked by one of the grandkids years ago, “Rene, what are you going to do with all of these things?” Her response, “Oh, y’all just have fun going through it when I’m gone.” I believe they will.
Leaving Nothing Undone
The old adage is quite often true, you don’t know what you have until its gone. I think we thought Rene would be with us forever. She was such a constant in all of our lives that we just felt she would always be there. Now that she’s gone, there is this huge void that will forever exist.
Born durning WWI and having lived through WWII, Rene knew that the many blessings were found in each other, not in objects. She knew what mattered and what didn’t. She was unchanged by an ever changing world and she was steadfast in her love of God and family. God blessed her tremendously and then he took her home.
At the graveside service, her first born great-granddaughter ready the following poem that was written by Rene. I think this sums up how Rene lived.
“Time is not measured
by the years that you live
But by the deeds that you do
and the joy that you give
and each day as it comes
brings a chance to each one
to love to the fullest
leaving nothing undone.” -Irene Foree
Who Will Write the Letters?
There is nothing like receiving a handwritten letter. That is one of the things we will all miss the most from Rene. Who will write the letters now? Well, I think I will begin, and I challenge you to do the same. Write a letter weekly to someone you love and watch how your words connect you to them. Maybe not now but sometime in their lifetime those letters will be the tie that binds, from their heart to yours.
This month, NBS client and athlete Elyse Lovelace competed at the XPC Elite Powerlifting Championships at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH. Though we had a few logistical hiccups, she was able to walk away with not only a class win, but also the coveted overall female lifter award.
A bit over a year ago, Elyse had come to me while she was thinking about taking a position in law enforcement. For those that are familiar with my programming, this is exactly the type of client that is up my alley. While we didn’t set out to really go down the powerlifting route, she had put quite a few years in training on her own and was able to squat 225, bench 115 and deadlift 300lbs. She had a decent strength base already and we got to work on her job specific work capacity.
She progressed steadily, and then life hit. She was no longer looking into the LEO job and decided to take the opportunity to pursue powerlifting. Typically, I would refer her to Christian or David, but after talking it out a bit, we decided to continue on and train for her first powerlifting meet together. During her first meet, after about three months of programming, we were able to put together an elite total of 700lbs at 132. Here we are, a hair less than a year later, and we were able to secure her pro total at the Arnold with an 855 total at 132. Here are some things that aided in her quick development over the past nine months or so:
Communication: Elyse, albeit very brash, is really great at communication. She never missed a check in, and she was very good about giving me daily feedback in the software I use to develop her programming. When she was having a hard time with a portion of a lift, she was quick to alert me to the problem, video it if she was training on her own, and implement corrective solutions. This made progressing her program quite a bit easier and much more precise. The programming that we started out with is a pretty far cry from the method we used for this last prep, and likely will be even further from next meets prep.
Used her resources: NBS Fitness has the best equipment in the midsouth, hands down. However, the magic inside these four walls really lies in the amount of knowledge walking around. We leaned heavily on Christian Anto when we both were stumped on where she was leaking efficiency in her movement. I bounced programming ideas along David Allen quite often, who has coached far more powerlifting programming experience than I do. Between the three of us, we were able to move forward confidently that the programming and the execution of her lifting was the best it could possibly be.
Corrective Care: Again, Elyse used the resources available to her. She uses the services offered by team NBS chiropractor Tyrel Detweiler as well as our massage therapist, Yvonna Covington when she was feeling beat. This ensured that the aches and pains associated with powerlifting didn’t sideline her.
Stuck to the plan: I know this sounds easy, but the temptation to jump ship and try new programs is thick in a competitive gym environment. While it is very cool to see different training plans in action, its often a detriment to the lifter as they never really see how ideas play out. Elyse stuck with me for over a year and counting. We were able to really manipulate variables and see what seemed to play out for her. Her consistency was hugely beneficial, as we learned a lot about training programs together. We know what works for her at this point: what must be there to progress and what must be there to keep her sanity. We were also able to play with nutritional strategies. Elyse’s lean bodymass has increased significantly over the past year, but each time we have had to jump on the scale, we have been able to be more and more precise with any water/salt/macro manipulation. In fact, while her lean bodymass is currently at the highest its ever been, she actually weighed the least she has ever weighed during her weigh ins for the Arnold this year. It all came together.
Whats next: Something we haven’t really talked much about, but has certainly been a silent factor in our programming is Elyse’s snapped ACL. Two or three years ago, Elyse was in a car wreck and her ACL was torn. We have worked around this pretty well in terms of exercise selection, but its time to get it fixed. Elyse will head into surgery in a few weeks and then pour into her physical therapy the same way she has poured into each prep. When she is cleared, we will be back at it in order to prepare for the next meet.
Good job, Elyse. I am very proud of you.
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Be sure to check out our website for more information about Foot Levelers, or to schedule a visit with Dr. Detweiler!
Do you have a personal trainer? How have things been going with him/her lately? Are you reaching your goals that you set for yourself? I’m going to lay out some tips here that I think will help you in your fitness, strength, physique endeavors, or whatever your goals may be with your personal trainer if you have one. Personal training/coaching is a joint effort that only works when both parties are committed. The majority of the advice that I’m going share with you today will help you on your part if you have a personal trainer.
The first thing you should ask yourself is why are you there? Why are you hiring a personal trainer/coach? Are you educated enough to create yourself a training program to help you to progressively reach your goals? To peak for a specific event? Do you need the accountability of having someone to show up and meet just so you can get your butt in the gym? In my experience, the majority of people who are in dire need of a trainer don’t even realize it. If you had a pipe burst in your house and it started to flood your basement, would you try to handle it yourself with no prior experience at all, especially with everything else that might be going on in your life? Job, kids, general adult responsibilities, etc…probably not. You would do the smart thing and hire a plumber because you don’t know the first thing about it, and you probably don’t have the time to go to a trade school and learn how it’s done, so hire someone who is already well educated and has helped others to successfully reach their goals. Back to my original statement, why are you there? I hope it is for a much better reason than to just look good naked because you’ve pretty much already failed at that point. To truly be able to reach and sustain your goals you need to have a good, solid mindset behind it. Maybe you want to run a marathon, or be able to play with your grandchildren, walk up the stairs in your house and not be gasping for air. Maybe you want to do it for the mental health benefit. Exercising regularly has been shown to ease mild to moderate signs of depression. Whatever your reason, have a good one and stick with it. You are going to need it when things get tough and you want to give up.
The second tip is just common sense and one of the easiest, yet most difficult for people to acheive with their trainers. Show up on time! Don’t waste your time, their time, and your money. Okay, I know sometimes things come up from time to time, maybe you slept through your alarm, traffic is bad and there was an accident on the road, but for the most part this should never be an issue. I too have been guilty of this and I’m sure it will continue to happen throughout my carreer as that is just a part of life, however it is within your control to make the best effort you can to show up on time. You paid for that hour and you should be able to get in every single minute of it, otherwise you are just selling yourself short of progress that you could be making. It also shows that you really just don’t care that much because let’s face it, if you did you’d be there not only on time, but early so you can warm up and have your body primed for action. This leads me to my next point.
Do not sit around like a helpless child before your trainer gets there. WARM UP! I really don’t think I can stress this point enough. It is your job to get your body primed and ready for what you are about to put it through. If you roll into the gym coming straight out of bed, hop right under that barbell with weight already on it, I can guarantee it is only going to be a matter of time before you get injured, trust me. If you know what you are going to be doing with your trainer that day, then go ahead and set up the rack or station that you are going to be at so things can get rolling along quickly. This is going to allow you to not have to waste the time of your hour on all of the small things that take up time. Get warmed up, get out some weight plates and be ready to get after it!
The next piece of advice I want to give is to be in it for the long run. Personal training/ coaching is not something that is going to change your life by just purchasing 1 package of 5 to 12 sessions. Changing your body, and your life habits is something that takes time to achieve. You did’nt get you bachelors or masters from going to school for just 12 hours for 2 weeks, so don’t expect to be an expert on designing a progressive training program for yourself after a couple of sessions. Again, you may be the person that needs the accountability of having someone to show up and meet, and that is perfectly fine, at least you are able to identify that, as opposed to denying that fact and hardly ever showing up to the gym on your own. People are typically much more likely to follow through with a commitement if they are paying for it, than if they were getting a service for free. Think about it, if you were trying to diet and you had a friend that was going to do your nutrition for free, or you had and expert coach that you were paying, which scenario would you be more successful in. Let’ s say you’re out with some friends on the weekened and they’re all eating some nachos at the bar and they keep trying to get you to have some with them. If you weren’t paying for someone to do your nutrition you’d probably think, “what the heck. why not?” However, if you had an expert coach that you were paying weekly for nutrition services, you’d probably say hell no! You’d probably tell your friends that they aren’t the ones paying for someone to tell them what to eat. How could they understand? They’re not in your shoes, maybe they don’t share the same goals as you. The point is, you are going to stick to your guns if you are paying for the service. The same holds true for personal training.
The last point I want to make is to make sure that you aren’t coming in just to talk for an entire hour. I’m not saying that you and your trainer should’nt talk at all while you are there training, that would be akward and a total drag! I’m just saying to make sure you are working your other muscles more than you are working your mouth muscles. A coach and their client should be able to develop a relashionship together, and a great way to do this is to plan ahead and try to hang out on the weekends outside of the gym. It’s a great way to get to know each other better without wasting your time, or progress.
So there you have it. These are just a few ideas that scratch the surface when it comes to being successfull with your personal trainer. Try to start implementing some of these techniques with your trainer or coach over the next couple of weeks, and I strongly believe you will start to see improvements in your performance, as well as the relashionship between you and your trainer.
Me and the majority of people who put content out on this page have dedicated themselves in growing their education towards their field of expertise. That being said if you are reading this chances are you have access to some very smart minds regarding training, rehab, business, life balance and the list goes on. So with that being said,
What are some questions that people should be asking, but aren’t?
- How do I (insert any freaking exercise you can think of)
- can you watch my form
- how do you set up bands and chains
- how do you use this equipment properly and the most efficiently
- what are some HIIT ideas
- why do I suck at this lift
- how do you balance training and everything outside of training
- how do you deal with injuries and training
- Can we schedule a session
- how do I activate (insert muscle) properly
- what do you mean by (insert statement)
- where do these go so I can put them up
- where is the chalk
- how do I join the powerlifting team
- how do I go about getting programming
- what kind of shoes should I wear
- how do you stay healthy while constantly being under weight
- who sits in the office upstairs and never comes down (not serious)
- Annie, is gunshow really your last name (serious)
- Angie, are you a good roller skater?
- Bobby, did you used to run a lot?
- Ryan, do you even lift?
We all know the benefits of a strength and conditioning program from a muscular standpoint, but let’s pause and think about the benefits your bones receive.
Our bones are living tissue and constantly changing. From the moment of birth until young adulthood, bones are developing and strengthening. Peak bone mass occurs in our early 20s when our bones are at their most dense. As we age some of our bone cells begin to dissolve bone matrix (resorption), while new bone cells deposit osteoid (formation). This process is known as remodeling. When the osteoid becomes mineralized it and the adjacent bone cells develop into new bone tissue.
When you put stress on a bone during exercise, bone cells respond by creating more bone tissue. The bone-building process is called osteogenesis. If bone loss outpaces the growth of new bone, bones become porous, and the density and the quality of the bones are reduced. This is known as osteoporosis.
As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture greatly increases. Bone loss occurs silently and progressively, with often no symptoms until the first fracture occurs.
Who is at Risk?
There are two categories of risks when it comes to osteoporosis. Fixed risks and modifiable risks. Fixed risk factors cannot be changed but we need to be aware of them so that we can take steps to reduce bone mineral loss. Often referred to as ‘secondary risks’ the factors may include the following:
- Female gender
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Previous fracture
- Long term glucocorticoid therapy
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Modifiable risk factors directly impact bone biology and result in a decrease in bone mineral density. These include:
- Low body mass index
- Poor nutrition
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Eating disorders
- Insufficient exercise
- Low dietary calcium intake
- Frequent falls
You’re Old Enough to be Concerned
“Osteoporosis is something elderly women are at risk for.” Don’t think you have time to wait, because that is not always the case. According to the most recent data available from the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 12 million people in the United States age 50 or over already have osteoporosis, and another 40 million have low bone mass.
Though osteoporosis among women younger than 50 is considered rare, a study conducted at the University of Arkansas found that it’s a greater risk than most women realize. Information on 164 college aged women, showed 2% had bone densities low enough to be considered osteoporosis, and 15% were low enough to be in osteoporosis risk range. About half of all women over the age of 50 will have a fracture of the hip, wrist, or vertebra during their lifetime. Spine fractures being the most common.
Not a Woman’s Disease
Men, you are at risk also! Bone loss in men usually occurs later in life compared with women, but men can still be at high risk for osteoporosis. By age 65, men catch up to women and lose bone mass at the same rate.
It is estimated that by 2025, the total number of hip fractures in men will be similar to the current number reported in women. Perhaps because men are generally older than women are when they have a fracture, men are often more severely disabled.
What Can You Do?
First, talk to your health care provider about proper nutrition, supplementation, (Vitamin D & Calcium) specifically. Second, get yourself to the gym!! Exercise plays a key role in adults preventing bone loss and maintaining muscle strength and thus helps prevent weak bone and falls as we age. The best exercise to prevent osteoporosis is weight-bearing exercise that works against gravity. Weight-bearing exercises can include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, jumping rope, and dancing. A second type of exercise is resistance exercise. Resistance exercises include activities that use muscle strength to build muscle mass, and these also help to strengthen bone. These activities include weight lifting, such as using free weights and weight machines.. Of course, exercise has additional benefits in older people as well because exercising increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance and leads to better overall health.
If You Have Kids
Something to consider if you have children: according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, it’s estimated a 10% increase of peak bone mass in children (through exercise) can reduce the risk of an osteoporotic fracture during adult life by 50%. Remember that you’re raising adults, so give them a firm foundation through proper nutrition and exercise so that they can love a long and health life!
References: International Osteoporosis Foundation, MedlinePlus.gov, emedicinehealth.com, everydayhealth.com
Behind all the tan, awkward cut bikinis/speedos and carb-depleted divas lies a sport I really love. So much, that I am frequently encouraging people to get out of their comfort zone and commit to a formal show. While I think this is a really great goal for a lot of people, I am reminded time and time again that it really isn’t for everyone. Here are a few times you should *not* compete
You are fat: This should go without saying. Losing weight is ABSOLUTELY a worthy goal. It is also a goal that must exist to some extent while getting ready for a show. However, unless you want a brutal prep/recovery, getting yourself to a fairly lean walk-around weight is important for most competitors. Granted, there are a few talented *VETERAN* bodybuilders that get pretty thick in their off season and have mastered their individual rate of change through many preps. What you will notice is that by 12 weeks out, most competitors do, in fact, look like they are getting ready for a show.
You are broke: Like any hobby, competitions cost money. I wrote about this before, but here is a breakdown on the cost of the average costs you can expect to incur:
Coaching: 150-250month x 4 months (600-1000)
Additional Groceries: 75/week x 16 weeks (1200)
NPC Card: 125.00
Comprehensive tanning package: $150
Posing Lessons: $50 x 4 (200)
Hotel room stay: 150
Gym Membership:35-65/month x 4 months (140-260)
On the low end, you could spend 3415.00. On the high end you could spend nearly 5000.00. Of course there are ways to take the costs down, but these are not atypical costs. Really look into the cost of your individual competing and then consider the actual life you live. If you are paycheck to paycheck, I would recommend waiting until you have financial relief to pursue a show. The stage is never going anywhere, but you cannot wreck your financial well-being to get there.
Your undivided attention is needed elsewhere: Again, its time to look at the life-stage you are in. At the best, you can expect your personal and professional development to hit the pause button while you are in the depths of contest prep. Bodybuilding is a VERY selfish sport, no matter how you cut it. It doesn’t matter if you want to be there or not, the simple act of being away from your responsibilities for upwards of two hours a day just getting the training in will impact your other responsibilities if your ducks are not in a row. If your in a relationship you value and its in a struggling spot: don’t compete. If you are on thin ice at work or have responsibilities that necessitate your attention: don’t compete If you are in the middle of some messy divorce: probably don’t compete. I’m not saying that these areas WILL FOR CERTAIN go down the tubes, but contest prep certainly doesn’t help. If you must choose between keeping your spouse/job and competing, I hope you forego the stage.
Lack of intrinsic motivation: If any considerable chunk of your motivation for doing a show is a result of pressure from others, just don’t. The physiological and psychological hardship that getting to single digit body fat is SO extreme in itself that unless you are extraordinarily motivated by your own desire to see it through the end, you just wont. Remember, contest prep starts and ends in your own body. Your coworkers aren’t going to stop offering you cake, your aunt isn’t going to stop telling you that “just this one bite” wont hurt, and your friends aren’t going to stop asking you to go out with them and grab drinks. Well..unless you are a complete loser. The ability to stick to a diet and training regimen that is as extreme as a contest prep diet has to come from dedication to yourself and only yourself.
If you are fat, broke, distracted AND improperly motivated: save it for another time.
As RPR continue to have more with athletes, lifters, and general population at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, a lot of questions seem to come up concerning whether or not an individual is a candidate to try RPR. This conversation typically starts out with, “well I’m not really hurting right now,” “I’m getting close to a competition,” or “I’ve been gaining (strength, speed, etc.) lately, anyways.” This will then be followed up by, “Do I really need to be worried about trying RPR?” The answer to this is absolutely, yes.
Although RPR has a ton of great applications for individual athletes, group athletes, and general population alike, RPR’s main application is for performance and injury prevention. If you are serious about your performance, I’d imagine the best time to get better is always going to be now (or if you’re a smart ass, yesterday). Furthermore, why would you want to wait to prevent an injury until AFTER you start hurting? Asking whether or not to try RPR is something you should be worried about has no regard on whether you are hurt or not. The answer is, those who are concerned about their performance and their health are not waiting. That’s why dozens of collegiate and professional strength staffs have been getting certified at RPR seminars and have been implementing it into their strength programs over the last 8 months. These coaches are at the head of performance enhancement and injury prevention and either recognize the need to improve at all costs, or have been noticing the massive amount of praise and results that others around them in the strength and fitness community have been attributing to RPR. You don’t even have to listen to me rant about the benefits of RPR. You can read about other peoples’ experiences too. Here are just three more of the dozens of testimonies of what RPR can do for you…
With all the performance and injury prevention benefits that are coming as a result of RPR, the question you should really be asking yourself is, “Do I really want to get BETTER?”
For More information on RPR, or to schedule an RPR session, visit www.drtyreldetweiler.com
When it comes to the organization of training, many people fall back to basics they learned early on in their training career. Things that have been passed time from one lifter to the next and so on and so forth. Many times lifters are not even sure of the purpose or reasoning behind their training program, it’s what they’ve always done. This article will describe two different loading patterns that can be used when organizing your programming: horizontal loading and vertical loading. Horizontal loading is when all sets of a given exercise are done before moving on to the next exercise. Vertical loading is when the first set of 1 exercise is followed immediately by the first set of another exercise before returning back to the first exercise to begin set 2. Read on to gain a better understanding of the effects both of this loading schemes have.
Bench Press, work up to a heavy weight for 5 reps, do 3 sets of 5 reps with around a 2-3 minute break in between each
DB Bench Press, work up to a moderate weight for 10 reps and perform 3 total sets with a minute break in between each
Pec Deck Flys, work up to a moderate weight for 15 reps and perform 3 total sets with a minute break in between each
- Hypertrophy: Horizontal loading can be manipulated in a variety of ways to allow complete or incomplete recovery. In the example above, we could extend or shorten the rest period in order to change our recovery. The idea being that total recovery may be better for strength development as maximum weight can be used while incomplete recovery may benefit hypertrophy training as more motor units are recruited and fatigued as the sets continue on.
- Strength: Because horizontal loading allows for all sets of a given exercise to be completed prior to moving on to the next exercises, it is more beneficial for strength training of major movements (ie squat, bench, deadlift) because the lifter is allowed complete time to recover before his next heavy set. However, for isolation movements or major movements done without full recovery, horizontal loading will allow the lifter less time between sets and therefore potentially hamper strength.
- Endurance: Because all sets for a given exercise are completed first and therefore require a break in between, horizontal loading may not have the same aerobic training affect as vertical loading. However, for alactic or lactic endurance in which output needs to be high with relatively low rest periods, horizontal loading can be useful to determine at what point output start to drop off.
- Time: Horizontal loading can take more time to complete a workout than vertical loading, especially if full recovery is allowed between sets. However, training variables can be manipulated to make both take about the same time. When doing so incomplete recovery of individual muscle groups would occur with horizontal loading while full or at least close to full recovery would occur with vertical loading.
- Gym Setup: Utilizing horizontal loading may be easier in an open gym as securing one piece of equipment for 5 minutes is easier than securing multiple pieces of equipment for the same time period.
Complete 1 set of each exercise, minimal break in between, before returning back to the first exercise to begin set 2, complete 3 total sets
Bench Press, work up to a heavy weight for 5 reps
DB Bench Press, work up to a moderate weight for 10 reps
Pec Deck Flys, work up to a moderate weight for 15 reps
Complete 1 set of each exercise, minimal break in between, before returning back to the first exercise to begin set 2, complete 3 total sets
DB Bench Press, work up to a moderate weight for 10 reps
DB Row, work up to a moderate weight for 10 reps
Seated DB Side Raise, work up to a moderate weight for 10 reps
- Hypertrophy: When using vertical loading for exercises to target different muscle groups as in example B, full recovery of each specific muscle group will occur between sets (although systemic recovery may not). Because of this, activation of all motor units and muscle fibers may be limited. When using vertical loading for exercises of the same muscle group, full muscle recovery will no occur. When exercises are placed in order of compound, multi-joint movements that use more weight first with isolation movements placed later, the lifter can achieve full fatigue of the muscle group before recovering between exercise rounds. This may have some significant benefits for hypertrophy.
- Strength: When vertical is done with same or similar muscle group exercises, strength is likely to diminish from one exercise to the next as fatigue sets in. However, if done using opposing muscle groups or non-similar muscle groups, then strength can be maintained between sets as a muscle has more time to full recover. This would be good for a strength athlete with limited training time or who needed to improve their aerobic capacity.
- Endurance: Vertical loading can be used to develop aerobic capacity and improve the cardio-respiratory system. While recover of the individual muscle groups will be maximized, the lifter is still systemically stressed as their training becomes more dense. This works well for smaller accessory movements where total weight being used is not as high as in the main movements.
- Time: Vertical loading should take less time to complete than horizontal loading if breaks between exercises and sets remain low to moderate.
- Gym Setup: Setting up exercises for vertical loading is dependent on equipment availability, distance, and how crowded the gym is. If the gym is full, you may be limited in what equipment you can utilize. In this case, setting up multiple movements on once piece of equipment is ideal (like in example B).
The examples below are very basic and serve the purpose of creating a base understanding of the two loading schemes. Complexity can be grown from there to fit a lifter’s needs. Personally, I’ve enjoyed utilizing vertical loading for beginners who need a training program that will target multiple physical capacities within a limited time frame. I also like to utilize vertical loading after the main movement for strength athletes who need some improved aerobic capacity and who’s main lifts take up a lot of time already. Take what you’ve learned and apply it to your own training and see what more you can learn from these two loading patterns.
The NBS Fitness staff all rolled to Columbus Ohio for the EliteFTS Sports Performance Summit a few weeks ago. One of our highlights on the trip was being able to train as a team together in the EliteFTS S4 Compound, here is what speed deadlifts looked!
The most common discussion I have to have with nutrition clients is the concept that the scale is not the ultimate judge of progress. It has been ingrained into people’s minds that losing weight is synonymous with losing fat, being healthier, and looking better. The first thing I typically do is explain everything that “weight” can be comprised of. These include:
- Lean tissue (muscle bones, organs, skin, etc)
- Fatty tissue (visceral fat, fat stores in other areas of the body, nervous system tissue)
- Substance within the GI tract (food, liquids, etc)
As you can see there are lot of variables here that can fluctuate significantly and have a big impact on the number on the scale. This is how strength athletes, fighters, and wrestlers can cut 20-30 lbs to make a weight class. Are they losing 40 lbs of fat? Absolutely not. Many times when people first begin a nutrition program, the eating schedule is much more than they are used to (you can check out this article to find out why). Because of this, their glycogen stores fill up, they hold more water, and they have more food in their GI tract than normal which can cause their weight to go up a few pounds. However, after about a week or two their bodies adjust back to a new level of homeostasis and their weight balances back out or actually drops a little bit. I have seen this play out time and time again in hundreds of nutrition clients. So instead of focusing on the scale as the sole measure of progress, do the following:
- Take Measurements: Taking body part measurements will very clearly show if you are losing size. You can also use skin caliper measurements to determine if fat levels are going down in different areas. Understand that measurements aren’t going to change linearly. You may have some measurements that drop every week, others that don’t move at all, and some that are very sporadic. The key is to track them over time and see where they are trending.
- Track your training: If your training is improving, you’re moving in the right direction. You’re not going to look like someone who can crank out 50 pushups if you can’t even do a single one correctly. So push yourself in your training and know that as training number improve then your body is adapting in a positive way.
- Weigh in to learn your body: Weighing yourself regularly can be both helpful and hazardous. If you’re someone who stresses over the scale and gets anxiety and makes drastic decisions based off of what you weigh, then you need to throw the scale away and focus on proper nutrition and intelligent training. However, if you can accept the scale is just one of many measurement tools, then you can watch your weight over time and learn how your body responds to different stimuli. You can see how your body responds to different foods, different training stress, different life stress, different amounts of sleeps, hormonal changes, etc. Using this data along with measurements and training will give you a more complete picture of how your progress is coming along and keep you from making the mistake of focusing on the scale.
Concussions are a commonly seen condition, especially in sports care. Chances are if you have played a significant amount of competitive sports, regardless of the level, you or one of your teammates has experienced a concussion. Concussion management has taken some large steps forward over the last decade in sports medicine to help provide better assessment, diagnosis, and return to play guidelines for the concussed athlete. This approach assures that a player is safely evaluated and removed from competition in the event of a concussion and then able to safely return to play without risk of further insult.
Along with this approach to management of concussions, many colleges and professional organizations have also realized the benefits of co-managing concussions across multiple healthcare disciplines, including chiropractic. Many programs that utilize this approach of co-managing these types of conditions reap the benefits of faster return to play as well as healthier recovery from a concussion.
A concussion is simply trauma or injury to the brain. This typically occurs either through a direct impact with the head or indirect impact to the head elsewhere in the body which still causes violent motion in the head or neck. These traumas usually provide forces that cause an acceleration/deceleration motion of the head . and neck. The brain is essentially free floating inside the skull in a liquid solution known as cerebrospinal fluid. Abrupt changes or forces to the head can cause a displacement of the brain in this fluid and results in it impacting its protective skull, thus causing injury and bruising. What is often forgotten is that many concussions are essentially whiplash injuries, due to the acceleration and deceleration nature of most concussions. Because of this, once major neurological impairment, spinal fractures, and other life-threatening injuries are ruled out, some symptoms of a concussion also relate to dysfunction in the neck. For further illustration of this phenomenon, watch this video.
Many patients are surprised to hear that chiropractic can have such a profound affect in supporting concussions. To be absolutely clear, if a concussion in an athlete is suspected, it is vital that an athlete be evaluated by a properly trained health care professional, preferably one that specializes in sports. This could be a neurosurgeon, sports orthopaedic surgeon, sports chiropractor or trained athletic trainer. Once those factors are ruled out, chiropractic care should be sought to help manage residual symptoms and affects. At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we have multiple ways to address concussions that can improve athlete outcomes as well as return to play. To better educate the importance of chiropractic care in concussion management, here are three approaches Dr. Detweiler uses to effectively manage concussions in athletes.
As noted before, almost every concussion will have some sort of neck involvement. If I were to ask you to describe a the typical concussion, most would describe a hit or collision that involves the head coming into contact with an object or person and then the neck and head snapping back in the opposite direction. It is important to remember that since the body is not individually separated into different parts but rather connected, it is very difficult to separate trauma like this to the head from trauma to the neck. Therefore the patient is likely to have other injuries aside from the concussion. On top of that, many symptoms of concussions seen on the SCAT-3 assessment (this is the accepted standard for concussion assessment) are symptoms that are found also in neck pain patients. In the SCAT-3 some of the listed “symptoms” specifically ask for the presence of neck pain, headaches, dizziness, and pressure in the head. Furthermore, according to return to play standards, an athlete who is not symptom free cannot progress past the first stage of return to play. This means an athlete who continues to have neck pain or headaches following a concussion cannot progress forward. So what if the patient has both a concussion and fixations or myofascial pain in neck from the trauma which caused the injury in the first place? Would it not make sense to examine and treat the neck as well? Adjustments of the neck and upper back have a long track record of resolving neck pain and headaches, and many people and research attributes chiropractic as being one of the most successful treatments for neck pain and headaches. This is why many athletic trainers and physicians prefer their athletes see a chiropractor following a concussion. If you or your child has had a concussion, you absolutely need to be evaluated by a sports chiropractor.
2) Myofascial Release
Piggybacking off the same reasoning behind the importance of adjustments from a chiropractor, any condition involving the neck will also involve the muscles and fascia of the neck as well. Myofascial release, is another service that Dr. Detweiler provides to all of his chiropractic concussion patients after they are properly evaluated. In severe trauma to the head or neck such as a concussion, often joints are subject to high amounts of forces in a very short time frame. This unexpected and quick spike in forces is too quick for muscular contraction to stabilize the joints of the neck, leaving them vulnerable to movement beyond their normal range of motion. This can in turn strain these muscles, or even sprain the ligaments holding the joint together. The body will respond to this type of trauma by entering into a protective state and locking down joint motion. This can cause severe pain, limited motion, and leads to a reinforcement of improper movement. It can also condition the body to believe that it is in danger and pain for long periods of time after the initial forces were experienced. Myofascial release is safe and effective method in reducing tension in the muscles and ligaments of the body by applying specific stretch to an affected area while also allowing the patient to fully relax and move through a range of motion without spasm. Patient’s who receive this treatment often experience an immediate increase in range of motion and decrease in muscular spasm.
3) Reflexive Performance Reset
Among the many performance benefits, injury prevention, and supportive benefits of Reflexive Performance Reset are improvements in reducing rigidity of the anterior chain and restoring proper movement such as torso flexion and neck flexion. One of the strategies used in sports such as football or hockey to reduce risk and severity of concussions is to strengthen the neck muscles to create a more solid base in which to protect the head and neck. Unfortunately as the body continually undergoes stress and trauma, especially in higher concussion risk sports such as football, lacrosse, MMA, etc., the body begins to create compensations to accomplish movement. One of these compensations in movement are in the sagittal plane during flexion of the torso. As a system of priority, if the abdomen is not strong enough or has undergone trauma and stress, to create any athletes will begin to compensate up the kinetic chain and utilize neck flexion to help provide tension to flex the torso. This is often seen by people who dip their chin to the check while doing abdominal work, or other movements that require stability in the torso such as benching or squatting. You may also see this in people who protrude the chin while doing abdominal exercises as well. This causes a dilemma as the neck flexors are now being trained to help with abdominal flexion and cannot stabilize the neck as well. This compensation pattern leaves the athlete to an increased risk for concussion as they are now less able to withstand forces to the head in the sagittal plane and keep the head from violently snapping back in a head on collision.
RPR helps address this problem by restoring proper balance in the nervous system and resetting normal motor patterns and compensations. By doing this, RPR is able to return the body to a state in which flexion of the abdomen is accomplished primarily by the abdominal musculature, allowing the neck to provide a primary action of neck stability instead of torso flexion. To learn more about the other benefits of RPR, please feel free to check out some other publications on NBSFitness, EliteFTS, or Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance’s webpages.
If you or your child has had a recent concussion and requires care, or for any other complaints or performance care needs, please check out our NEW Mid-South SSP website!
That’s efing right! I’ve got more training videos coming you way to the sweet, melodic, and heavy sound of L.O.G. These videos are from our past couple of weeks of our triphasic training including our light, medium, and heavy days. We are just about to start our peaking phase in preparation for out King and Queen of Spring powerlifting meet on April 8th. If you’re not too busy that day, and you want to come out and watch some cool things happen, we will be hosting it at our gym, NBS Fitness. Hope you enjoy the tunes. Crank it u to 11!!
If there was only one thing (as a coach) I would want for each and every one of the people I train, it is this:
“I come to classes 3-4 times a week, I work hard, I move the most weight I could possible move, what more do you want from me?” What I want is for you to do it better. I want you to be relentless in your pursuit of fitness and I am going to be relentless in helping you achieve “better”.
There is ALWAYS something we can improve upon and something we can do better!
Get Your Elbows Up
This cue, along with many others you have heard me say a thousand times…I may even give you the same cue a thousand times in the same workout! You may get tired of hearing it and that’s ok. I’m never going to relent and you really don’t want me, because if you didn’t want to be better you wouldn’t be here. Each of us is seeking an awesome and healthy lifestyle and it feels good to be a hundred times stronger and faster than our peers. I know I relish in it personally! Well, you didn’t get where you are without being relentless in your pursuit, nor did I.
I’ve had several CrossFitters for many years and it’s awesome to have so many CrossFitters long term, but no one moves perfectly, including me! I am always going to do my best to get a little bit more out of each and every one who enters in my classes, including (and most especially) the veterans! If you look awesome in a workout, you probably won’t get a gold star, I’m probably going to try to get a little bit more out of you and I am going to expect you to try to get a little more from yourself.
I understand that some days we are just at a point where we can’t move any more weight for the day or we can’t seem to move faster in a workout. What I want you to do is just move the weight or yourself, better. Get tighter, brace harder, twist more….you get the idea here.
Complacency Sets In
When you don’t push yourself to be better, then what you’re doing is allowing complacency to set in. You’ve told yourself that you’re ok with mediocrity and you’ve gone so far as to allow yourself to even believe that you can’t be better. Once we settle in our mind to the thought, “I just can’t do it.” You’ve started the slow descend into death. Death of your mind comes first, then it takes over your body little by little until you’ve talked yourself into staying on the couch…or worst, returning to the couch.
Communication is Key
I often find myself giving cues only to watch them come out of my mouth and drop onto the floor. There have been a few days recently where I felt invisible. It is imperative that we have good ‘coach/athlete’ communication. There is nothing more frustrating than a coach giving a cue and feeling like we’re being ignored. If the cue isn’t understood, then state so as no one is a mind reader. It is often said that the best cues are quite simply…the ones that work.
If we seek everyday to be just a little bit better than the day before or the week before, then at the end of the month we can look back over that month and feel very good about our progress. This progress may be very subtle and you may be the only one who notices but isn’t that what matters most anyway?
Stay relentless in your personal pursuit because to be awesome, is to be better!
Pouring into Broken Glasses (2)
Now that we have been formally educated by a recognized institute (Part 1) and continue to learn from others while building more of our own theories, next we need to weather the storm of attempting to actually teach people. Trainers and coaches are nothing more than teachers, and athletes and clients their students. If you do not understand your teacher, you will not enjoy your lesson. You may fail the task at hand and, even worse, get injured. So, as teachers, if we cannot get through to our clients, it’s our fault. It’s important to understand that students need to be taught in different ways. But what happens when the students are not receptive to the information? Or worse yet, they reject the information and decide to teach themselves or look to unreliable sources? These are the toxic-filled and/or “broken glasses.”
For every broken glass you run into, chances are you will find two that hold a little bit of the information. So your odds are pretty good. You will easily be able to tell who the Broken Glasses are, as they share certain characteristics. Some will disagree with every ounce of water you pour into them by giving excuses or rebuttals to disprove the information being given. Others will go around and talk about themselves, “back in the day,” offering advice that helped them in the past, despite a lack of recent progress. My favorite of them all are the ones who will ask questions repeatedly to different people on a topic, then either implement the improper information or do nothing that was suggested. Yet they keep asking week after week.
So how do you deal with Broken Glasses? The answer is simple, you pour into more glasses.
In fact, pour into every glass you encounter. It creates camaraderie, a network, a strong COMMUNITY of people willing to help one another. If one member helps someone squat just a little better and opens their eyes to a better way of moving, it could prevent an injury to their back, or a muscle tear in their leg. It’s literally changing someone’s life. All because someone took the time to pour a little bit of themselves into someone else. Soon there will be many full glasses who you can keep pouring into. Over time they will pour into you in ways you might not expect.
The knowledge that was poured into me by the owner of NBS Fitness, its staff, EliteFTS and many others has aided in some of the greatest relationships I could have ever asked for. The lives I have been able to help in this industry through clients, teammates, and members far exceed anything I could have ever accomplished in the medical field as a nurse. So as your journey continues in fitness, do not hate or be frustrated with the broken glasses. They will fade away or, hopefully, repair their cracks and filter out the toxic information. Focus on and find all the empty glasses that are looking to be poured into, and you will foster a strong community of knowledge and support.