Monthly Archives: April 2017
Summer is upon us in the Mid-South! We at Mid-South SSP are preparing for a lot of changes coming this summer, and are excited to share a few of them with you! Summer is a typically a transitional time for us between spring and fall sports and we typically use this period to help improve and add new services to the office. This year is no different, and you can expect some new and improved looks from Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. Here are just a few of these improvements:
1) Summer Tanks!
For those who have been living under a rock, we all know that summer the heat means leave the sleeves at home. And for those of you can’t have enough tanks, we will soon be designing and taking orders of special edition Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance tanks just in time for the summer!
2) Improved Posting of Office Hour Changes
As for most people, summer means vacations, weddings, conferences, etc. Typically summer is pretty calm for us, but due to new opportunities and new chances to learn and expand our services, there will be a good number of weekends throughout the summer which will require us to be out of the office. We look to address this and any possible confusion by regularly updating our schedule outside our office doors, on our new online scheduling portal on our website as well as on our social media outlets at Facebook and Instagram. Please refer to these outlets for all updated information concerning office ours and availability! The first of these schedule changes will occur in the second week of May as Dr. Detweiler will be traveling to help support Memphis Track and Field at the American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in Houston from May 11-15th!
3) New Opportunities for Improved Patient Education!
As many of you have experienced what is possible with RPR over the last year, we are working to expand the availability to RPR to also include educational opportunities by bringing an RPR seminar here to Memphis by the end of summer or early fall. For those who have been interested in experiencing RPR this could be a great opportunity to learn with hands on detail, especially for those patients of ours who are in the fitness or health industry. We also look forward to helping further educate our patients on some of the most common questions and concerns related to the chiropractic profession including education, dangers, and overviews on common conditions like disc pain. It is never enough to simply fix our patient’s ailments. We want all of our patients to have all the information necessary to make sound, educated decisions on their health.
“The Iron” by Henry Rollins is one of the most widely quoted passages about lifting weights and the impact it can have on someone’s life. And for good reason: its a reminder that the absolute nature of training can be one of the most consistent, unwavering additions in someones life. Sure, strength gains are not linear and the nature of training can feel very finicky, but at the end of the day “200lbs is always 200lbs.” I was talking to a friend this weekend, and we have noticed that this is most commonly thought of as a powerlifting anthem. However, perhaps it can be applied to physique sports as well.
1.) The stage photos doesn’t lie: the beauty of physique sports is that while the judging is fairly subjective, the athletes performance is not. While you can request score sheets, most competitors leave with a handful of stage photos and possibly a video of their time on stage. If the athlete has any sort of self awareness, the photos will highlight their true weaknesses and their strengths. These are valuable tools, as it allows competitors to face down the true state of their physical condition and come back better the next time. First time competitors and Mr. Olympia himself will often scrutinize their stage condition and strategize ways to bring a better package. Its part of the long game, and one of the most humbling experiences a competitor encounters.
2.) You wont get to explain yourself: I see a lot of people on social media talking about their trials and tribulations getting to stage. Some are truly tragic: death in the family, loss of relationships, etc. Some are self inflicted: “powerbuilders” like to make sure everyone know that this is not their sole focus, first time competitors will (often correctly) cite their lack of experience to explain lapses in judgement come show day. However, none of it matters. Bodybuilding shows are truly that: shows. There is no pageant-style segment where each competitor talks about what badass powerlifters they were before this, or how short their prep was, or how unideal their lifestyle is for this kind of competition. Those are all private victories that you keep to yourself, while being judged equally against people you (probably wrongly) assume have a better set of circumstances.
3.) Winning your class isn’t the only way to win: Truly, this is a sport about self improvement. Entirely. The stream of consciousness that exists in states of depletion is truly unlike any other. You will find quite quickly that in states of hampered energy, you will spend time and energy on people and things that matter, and nix the rest. This requires an appraisal of your energy expenditures and the return on investment. Are there people/events/habits that are costing you time and giving you little in return? You may find during this time that you give them the axe out of near necessity. Are you finding that their are people/events/habits that deserve a little more of the limited energy you possess? I promise you that prep will highlight the need to do so. I also find that during contest prep, I find ways to connect with people outside of eating. I know that nearly every cultural bond is centered around food: grabbing lunch to catch up with friends, eating breakfast with your church group, having dinner with your spouse. However, what if you have to find a way to soak up company without eating food? What if I told you that food is sometimes a distraction? Contest prep forces your relationships to be focused on the relationship itself, and not the activities around them. I think this is the ultimate human progress.
You ever feel locked up in your upper back or thoracic spine? This month’s mobility exercise is a great way to create more mobility in your upper back.
This exercise is called reachbacks (quadruped with external rotation). This exercise targets the upper body, chest, mid-back, shoulder, and t-spine to be exact. When performing this exercise make sure you try to remain stable throughout the entire range of motion. Go ahead and give a try!
This month’s exercise of the month is half kneeling step outs with rotation. Take a look!
This exercise is good for developing core and hip stability with rotation. When performing this exercise you are targeting the abs, glutes, core, hip flexors, hips and thoracic spine. It’s a great full body exercise. However the best part is the only equipment you need for this exercise is a golf club. Go ahead and give it a try!
Over the past year, I have focused my training on improving my game on the course. Why you may ask? There are two main reasons why I chose to do this. The first reason is actually simple. I wanted to improve my game on the course, and I’m a firm believer that begins in the gym. The second reason is I wanted to train as I have my clients train. For me, it’s the best way to understand the pros and cons of certain exercises and programs. In fact, it allows me to be a better coach, for I understand how those exercises and programs affect the game on the course. By experiencing it first hand, it enables me to put together programs that I know work for my clients and in turn help them achieve the best results. Saying that, how has my game improved from the gym? My movement, mobility, and power have greatly improved, allowing me to play the game how I want when I need it.
How has my movement improved? My movement patterns used to be affected by my poor posture, especially throughout the individual movements. Now, a large majority of my workouts begin with dynamic warm-ups, which are focused on posture and golf specific movements. Focusing on these movements before I train has helped me to improve my posture. In turn, this has helped me with my posture and body movements during my workouts and golf game. As a result of improved movement patterns, in addition to extra time working on mobility before and after exercises, I have seen great improvement in my mobility. This increased mobility has improved my ability to swing without limitations and to control my movements throughout my swing painlessly and with ease.
After improving my movement patterns and mobility, I began too shift my focus on developing more power that was specific to golf. The most effective way for me to do this was by adding plyometric and rotational work into my workouts. By adding plyometrics to my programs, I was able to add the power to my game like I wanted.
Hopefully by reading this, you can now realize how work in the weight room will improve your skills on the course. My suggestion for building an effective program is that you build it around 3 main things, and they are movement patterns, mobility and power. I feel that these three things are important in helping your game get to the next level.
I’m one week out from my first hike on the Appalachian Trail and I’m nervously excited! We will be in the Shenandoah Valley area of the AT. I only decided to do this about 5 weeks ago so I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can and prepare as best as I can. There will be three of us on this trip, me, (Ken Stewart and Kendra Robson) I’m the rookie here as I’ve never hiked or camped remotely for this long, so I honestly have no idea what to expect (or what I’m doing) but here’s my approach/plan.
REI is a lifesaver. Four weeks ago, when I walked into the REI in Nashville and said, “I’m hiking 62 miles over 5 nights on the AT, what kind of pack should I get?” They walked me over, measured me and offered up a few different options with pros and cons for each (they were probably secretly judging my naivety). I settled on the Osprey 65 because of how comfortable it felt around my hips. I also like all of the hidden pockets on the pack so small things don’t get lost in the bottom. Additionally, it’s large enough that my friends can stuff me and drag me out if need be.
This is a largely debated topic. When I asked for opinions (prior to my visit to REI) I got advice from some in the trek shoe camp and then advice from the die hard boot campers. I understood how this is a tough decision. Boots support the ankles better as well as keeping rocks out. On the other hand, the trek shoes are lighter and quite possibly cooler. I ultimately decided on the boots. While I feel that my ankles are strong enough to handle a bit of terrain, ruining my trip with a possible sprain (if you haven’t noticed, I tend to trip around on plates in the gym) led me to the boots. Eventhough they’re quite light, I’m sure by the end they’ll feel like concrete and I’ll wish I had chosen trek shoes. Oh well.
Getting the right cookware is a thing too (apparently). Fortunately, I was able to seek advice from an older gentleman at REI (because I had no idea what I needed).
The gentleman pointed out to me what he uses and after explaining it all to me, I thought, if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. Sold.
I’m not gonna lie, this one was a tough one for me and probably the area that made me sweat the most. For the last 11 months, I’ve led a very controlled nutrition plan with precise macros. The more research I did, the more I discovered that some of the calorically dense food many hikers eat, is no where near what my world of food looks like! Plus, I was going to have to eat oatmeal (most likely) gross.
I made a call to my nutrition coach for help and we devised a loose plan. Carb city! The plan is to hike 12 miles/day so with a pack on that weighs about 40lbs (hopefully), I’ll be burning through some energy. Upon his encouragement, I decided to not worry about my tightly woven nutrition plan, and to just enjoy my hike and eat as needed. Snickers bar, I’m coming for ya!!
As you can see below, my food isn’t fitting in my bear canister! This is not going according to plan!
This is not as hotly debated as shoes vs boots but everyone has their system they like best. I did some research and came up with two options. Life Straw was a very inexpensive system that I could use and get to quickly if I needed to. It’s basically a filter within a straw and allows you to drink directly from the stream. When you purchase Life Straw, the company sends one to an underdeveloped region. I love companies who do humanitarian things like this. Sold.
Additionally, I added the Sawyer System. This system got a lot of great reviews as being very user friendly. That had great appeal to me!! You fill one bag with creek water, screw the filter on the end and then squeeze it and fresh water comes out! You can fill a small water bottle or squeeze right into your mouth. There is also a nozzle that allows you to fill a Camel Back through the tube. I like the convenience of the Camel Back so it’s going along too!
Tent or Hammock
This is a matter of personal opinion, I found. Steve and I tent camped for a number of years when our kids were young, so I knew what went into tent camping. Of course, we always had our vehicle loaded to the brim and basically moved inside the tent for a weekend. Not as many comforts of home could be carried on my back so I opted for a Hennessy Hammock. This hammock got the best reviews when it came to ease of setting up. I took it one step further and added carabiners and descending rings instead of knot tying. Hey, I know good YouTube tutorials when I see them!! I think I better get this thing figured out this week however.
Sleeping bag, check. Hammock insulation, check. Camping pillow, check.
Clothes & Toiletries
During a recent visit with a good friend of ours who is a retired Navy Seal, he had a great deal of advice to share with me. I listened intently and took mental notes (when a Navy Seal give you advice, you take it)! His first advice was with regard to toilet paper and body wipes. Basically, take plenty and store the toilet paper in ziplock bags in different places in my pack! Seems legit to me. He said there were always a few guys in his platoon who failed to prepare for their bodily functions and within days would be chaffed and in pain. I don’t need to be told this twice! Since there will be no showers and we will only access natures toilet, I want as little chaffing as possible. Toilet paper and wipes, check, check!
My clothing is standard hiking gear that can dry easily if (when) we get rained on. I had planned only 2 additional pairs of socks but after talking with Bob, the Navy Seal, I changed that to four. The feet are always the first to suffer. Did you see the movie, Wild? Those were some rough looking feet!
Socks x 5, check.
Ready or Not!
I’m prepared as I know how to be, the rest we’ll leave to the learning curve. As long as bears aren’t involved, I think my learning curve will be ok!
Wish me luck (prayers are good too)!
Here is the video of my rant recently out back of NBS as I came in Sunday afternoon to do my GPP and all of the equipment was left exposed to the elements and soaked through with rain. Many got a good laugh out of it so enjoy:
The King and Queen of Sping meet has now come and gone. That’s another training cycle in the books, another competition under the belt, and another opportunity to learn from my mistakes and yes, mistakes were made.
For the most part, I would say that I had a pretty descent training cycle, even earlier on my bench was feeling pretty solid and I thought for sure I would be hitting some new numbers on that particular lift. Our training cycle this go round was even slightly different from any that we have had in the past, although some things were the same, they’re were some changes here and there.
Getting back to the meet, I was competing in the 198 class this time, which was a weight class lower than my meet last September. I had to make about a 5lb weight cut that actually had me .2lbs over on weigh in day! I put on a sauna jacket, my hoodie and made my way to the stairmill for 15 minutes. When I was done I had sweated out another pound and was good to go. I spent the rest of that day eating and hydrating for the next morning.
Meet day was here and I felt as ready as I was gonna be. I arrived at the gym, got my gear, spoke with my teammates briefly and began to warm up with some light band work. Afterwards we had our meeting and things got started. There were only two flights at this meet that were basically female in the first and males in the second. I knew things were gonna fly pretty fast in the first flight, especially since a good bit of the female lifter were not using wraps. Most of the guys started warming up when the first flight was getting started. All of my warm ups felt pretty solid on squats. My last warm up was 510, and my opener was 540, and they both went well. My second attempt was 565, this was the last heavy squat I took in our peak. I knew it was there, I just had to do it again, and I did fairly easy. This entire cycle I had my eyes set on a 585 squat because I knew that if I was going to secure the total that I was trying to reach, then I would at tleast need that. I made sure to make my wraps extra tight, which reminds me that this was my first meet that I did all of my wrapping on my own, no handler and no one to push the slack out of them. I would say that worked out pretty well for myself because I didn’t have to worry about whether or not someone was going to screw up my wraps, or time it wrong. I was called for my third attempt and I appraoched the bar in my ritualistic way that I always do. I pulled myself under, got my breath and stood up with it, immediatly went down when the commad was given. When I was on the descent about to hit the hole, I felt my hips shift forward, and I slightly went onto my quads. I kept my belly tight against my belt, pushed my knees out and was able to overcome the shift and I made the lift! I was pretty damn happy after this. A couple of people approached me and told me that it looked like I had 600 in me, that may have been the case, but I wasn’t willing to test things that early in the meet, besides that was a 45lb pr from my last meet. Now it was time to eat, and get ready to bench.
Bench was something that I wasn’t too worried about because my bench sucks anyways, and I knew that was not what was going to build my total. I started having issues around our peaking with my butt staying on the bench when I went to drive the weight off my chest. In the past I haven’t really had any issues with this until now. During the last few weeks of training it was kinda getting in my head and I was missing lifts that I knew I should’ve been hitting. I changed my foot positionong a bit to try and keep it from happening, but it just didnt feel comfortable. By the time the meet came around I told myself that I would just be happy if I could hit my last meets best which was 315. When I took my opener at 295 it moved slow and almost got away from me going forward. I sat up and kinda laughed out loud and thought to myself “shiiiit.” My plan was to go 305, and 315 for my last. I took my second attempt and it moved even slower than my opener, but I got it. By this time I knew that 315 probably wasn’t going to make it, in a way I had already pretty much mentally defeated myself on it. Again, I knew I didn’t NEED it but I sure as hell was gonna give it a shot. I got on the bench,set up, brought it out and down to my chest, when I recieved the press command I gave it all I had but it only went about an inch off of my chest and stayed there while I struggled until the spotters took it, no lift! I did’nt let it get to me because I knew I had to keep myself together for deadlifts, that was gonna get me my total.
After bench I had a shake with a bagel and some peanut butter, a staple for my nutrition during my meets. This is usually the time during a meet that I start to feel a little run down, and is typically the point at which I give myself a little caffeine boost. When I went to get my shake I thought about getting a monster, but for one reason or another, I didn’t. Once the time came I started to warmm up for deads and things were feeling okay. Not good, not bad, but just okay, which was good enough for me. I had set my opener at 545 and had told myself that if it moved easy I was gonna go ahead and jump up to 585 because that was the exact number I needed for my total. My mane was called and I took my opener, it moved smooth and with ease. I went to the judges table to set my second attempt. When I approached I was told by one of them that 545 was not what was actually on the bar. I kinda panicked and flipped out. “What the hell was it” I asked in a kind of assholish way, (sorry Ali.) Turns out it was 535. In that moment, my mind started to rush and all I could think about was 585 and how badly I needed to hit it. I was blinded by that number and started to think irrationally and the next thing I blurted out was 585, I took the jump and there was no turing back now. The time came for my second and I approached the bar as I always do on deadlifts, I felt a bit more calm than I needed to. I went to pull for what seemed like forever and the bar never broke the ground! Now I was in trouble. If I didn’t hit my 3rd attempt I was not going to reach my goal that I had set for myself. I went to take a set because I was feeling really tired at this point. My girlfriend was sitting across the platform from me, and I could tell that she knew I was somewhat lost in my thoughts. I also must have looked about as tired and run down as I felt because just a couple of minutes later she walked up to me and handed me a monster energy drink. I asked her if I looked tired and she replied with a prompt yes. I started to drink the monster, but I didn’t down it because I didn’t want to get jittery, or have a belly full of monster on my last attempt. The time came and it was now or never. I had one of my friends give my some hype, a little ammonia and I nice slap on the back of the neck. I’ve never missed a deadlift with that combo, but you know what they say, there’s a first time for everything. And it was, once again the weight didn’t even budge and just like that it was over. If I had any common sense left in my brain when I went to tell my second attempt, I probably would’ve gone 565, then 585.
With all of this being said I guess the lesson to take away here is to always have a plan B. If you can’t hit your total, at least you can plan to hit a nice pr on a particular lift. Just because you plan to hit a certain number doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. Anything can happen on meet day, so be prepared and have a back up plan. Above all else, remember to have fun! If you’re not doing that, then why the hell are you there?
Thank you to everyone who made this meet run as smoothly as it did, thanks to all of my training partners, coaches, my wonderful girlfriend, as well as my family members that came out to watch.
A friend and I were recently talking about the number of competitors that assign their unhealthy relationship with food and bodyfat with, at some point doing a show. At first, I was quick to pass this off as first time competitors being unprepared for their show and the impact it can have on your caloric tolerance. However, the last thing the internet needs is another blog post that brow beats people for their decisions. Instead, I’d like to highlight a few important things to know about competing, and hopefully you can make the decision to compete or not from there.
- THIS IS NOT A WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY: Well, I mean…its not permanent weight loss. You will certainly strive to be anywhere from “fit and marketable” to “insanely peeled” when it comes to bodyfat. However, the prep for stage comes with the understanding that you are looking to attain a very temporary and often extreme look. That look isn’t intended for keepsies, so don’t count it in your weight loss journal. I consider stage time a bit of a “side street” in my lifelong goal for a more athletic, lean physique. It doesn’t help my big picture goal, but it doesn’t have to hurt it either.
- What slowly goes down..must slowly come up: Critical attention to your diet doesn’t stop when you step off stage. While everyone typically indulges in a celebratory feast, you do need to get back on the wagon within a couple of days. In my worst post show, I had an entire week where I ate total garbage 5x/day for a solid week. I wasn’t binging, as the portions weren’t huge, but I was eating a bunch of crap that had no positive influence on my body. It was quite a contrast from the immaculate diet I had adhered to for the 16 weeks right before then. If you have slowly reduced your calories and allowed the adaptation to those lower levels to occur, allow yourself some time to adapt to higher calories again.
- Allow yourself to build healthy habits: I have written about it a bit in the past, but the one thing I have picked up from bodybuilding is the habit of constantly having my meals prepped and ready for the day ahead. I do this day in and day out. Partially because its a good habit that aids in my overarching goal, but also because I am a total nightmare when I am hungry and would rather not be left to luck on each meal of each day. Because I am used to prepping my meal and eating on a schedule, prep diets are really only and adjustment of portions for me. This is a habit that I think is actually pretty sustainable. I see it as no different than when your mom used to pack your lunch and snacks for you each day in grade school.
- Do this for you: You cannot control the outcome of shows, but you can damn sure control the effort. The truth is, there are a lot of things that are out of your control. Often in shows, the judging is subjective and you may have a look that isn’t rewarded. Do not allow that to dictate how you feel about your showing. While having a competitive spirit is great, the truth is that you just don’t know who will show up. The worst showing of my life was a show that I won simply because the other 10 competitors had looks that the judges liked a hair less than mine. The best showing of my life landed me second place finish. In the end, I had to detach myself from the allure of winning and just accept that these are efforts to bring something you like to stage.
- Go All In: Like I said earlier, this is a temporary pursuit of the extreme. If you have committed to a shower, you might as well put all your cards on the table and aim to perform well. This means your lifestyle is about to get RIGID. You will make sacrifices. You will skip meals and you are going to spend time doing cardio. A lot of people will look for the easier ways out, and the truth is: that defeats the purpose. Go all in and embrace how hard this sport is and show yourself what you are made of. At the end of it all, you will have the stage body you deserve, so make it count.
So, I have a bit of a hobby of collecting completely ridiculous fitness memes and I think I have found the most ridiculous one yet. Fair warning, there is some foul language in the meme so be aware.
Let’s take this thing line by line. With as many good role models throughout the history of the world, I don’t really see the point behind trying to emulate an animal. Based off of context clues from the rest of the meme, I’m assuming that author is trying to encourage his or her readers to be aggressive in nature towards training and towards others because, somehow, they have decided that lions and wolfs are the “alphas” of the animal kingdom. Let’s be real; wolves, lions, and all other animals are driven by instinct with a disconnect from self awareness. This is what separates us from animals, we have self awareness and and moral and cognitive reason to keep us from killing someone because they were in our territory, forcing ourselves sexually on whoever we want to mate with, or stealing food from our neighbors. And even wolves and lions put their pack and their pride ahead of themselves. So in that case, yes, be a wolf or be a lion and put the other people in the gym before yourself.
Look, I hate to burst someone’s bubble but life is about taking shit. Unless you live in some Alaskan wilderness, secluded from the rest of humanity, at some point you’re going to have to interact with other other humans and that act in turn will involve dealing with someone else’s BS. Now, this doesn’t mean you should let people walk all over you but instead realize that not everything is worth fighting over. If someone takes your machine at the gym while you go get water, what do you gain by going over and being an asshole? I’ve found that most people respond a lot better to cordial interaction than they do to someone getting up in their face. And remember, if you decide to live life “taking no shit” then that means your shouldn’t expect anyone to put up with your BS either.
Set goals and smash them, right on, that’s what training is all about. Sometimes you won’t reach your goals though so learn how to be humble and thankful for the opportunity to try.
Now these next two lines really blow my mind. It what reality can you put the statement “Eat people’s faces off” and in the next breath say “Be a better person”. Assuming the author doesn’t mean it literally, then what in the heck are they talking about? I’m all for striving to be a better person but have my doubts that eating off the faces of other people is the best route to do so.
These next two lines scream arrogance. “Show people who you are and never apologize for being awesome” assumes that you are a) someone that people actually care about and b) are in fact awesome. Everyone is unique and human life is special but there have been over 100 billion humans to have ever lived and right now there are 7 billion people living on planet earth. In light of that, what makes someone believe they are “awesome”. History doesn’t remember arrogant assholes kindly, regardless of their strength levels or how good they look naked. There always has been and there always will be someone else coming down the line that will be more awesome than you. Humble yourself just a little.
The iron sports are inherently narcissistic in nature, there is no denying that and social media has just exacerbated the problem. This message turns people away from gyms and from engaging with people who actually have the knowledge to positively effect their lives. I’m all for being “hardcore” and I don’t think gyms should pander to the lowest common denominator but I also think that everyone in the gym has the same rights. Instead of being a prick about things and putting yourself on a pedestal, let’s just focus on one line of this ridiculous meme:
“Be a better person”
I feel like we all sound like broken records with our talk about nutrition, dieting, cardio, and everything else that goes hand-in-hand with shedding weight and leaning out. Well, I’m going to “weigh in” on the issue. See what I did there?
Now, do you want to lose weight? That seems to be what the majority of people want to do these days, and it is what I hear from several people who have done one-on-one training with me. This is for good reason seeing as we have an obesity epidemic coupled with childhood obesity on the rise here in the U.S. My question to you is, how do you plan on losing weight in every other aspect of your life than just meeting your trainer a couple times a week? This is one of the biggest misconceptions that I see working as a trainer; people don’t always take into account the amount of effort and sacrifice that is necessary in the hours spent outside of the gym. The honest truth: the challenge isn’t going to be what you have to do in the gym for that hour or hour and a half. The challenge is going to be what you have to do when you leave the gym and go to work. The challenge will be when all of your co-workers are eating some sort of crap that was catered in for lunch, or when you all go out to eat for that business lunch, and you have to choose something that will fit into your prescribed macronutrients. The challenge will be when you get off work and your friends or co-workers want to go out for dinner and drinks. The challenge will be when you go and visit your family for a special occasion, and they don’t understand why you can’t eat the hamburgers, baked beans, and the potato salad that Grandma made earlier that day.
This is the part that most people don’t think about when it comes to setting a weight loss goal and reaching it. People fail to realize that meeting your trainer for that hour session is only about 25% of what needs to be done. Yes, you have to do your cardio. Yes, you have to track what you are putting into your body, and how much of it, so you can make adjustments when you start to plateau. Yes, you are going to have to say no to things that you may actually want. However, if you are serious about reaching your goal, then you will realize that all of those things are imperative stepping stones in your weight-loss journey. Is leaning out and building muscle something that is supposed to be easy? Rhetorical question! No! If it were, we would not struggle with the widespread obesity that we are facing today. It’s hard for a reason. How does the saying go, nothing in life worth having comes easy?
However, you also have to realize that we are human. We are not perfect, and there may be times when you slip up and get off track momentarily. These minimal occurrences are no reason to throw away all of the hard work that you have already put in. Put the cookie down, and grab some carrots. I know, cookies are delicious, and carrots are for rabbits, but you’ll get another cheat meal soon enough if you just hang in there.
Majority of the time, people like to place blame on anything and everything other than themselves. There’s a lot of talk about not being able to eat the right food because of work, a spouse, or even your own children. When it really comes down to it, those are all just excuses that you tell yourself to justify failure. These mistakes keep you from reaching your goal. While those may be your excuses for not being able to do something, someone else is out there using those same excuses as a reason to get it done. Another mistake people make is being almost 100% on their routine during the week, and when the weekend comes, that is all thrown away. Why would anyone want to take one step forward and two steps back each and every week? Do yourself a favor and try to stick to doing things right on the weekend, and I guarantee you will start to have more progress towards your goal.
I want to offer some quick tips that should help you to stay on track and reach your goals for losing weight.
- Get a qualified professional to help you with your nutrition. Your best friend that has had a 6-pack since 6th grade and has never been over 180lbs is probably not your best bet. Some people are just born with good genetics and a fast metabolism.
- Set short term, as well as long term goals that are realistic and attainable. Use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. when setting up these goals. Make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
- Do your cardio! I know, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it sucks! However, it is a necessary suck that you need to learn to embrace because it has a multitude of benefits which include, creating a higher energy deficit, cardio respiratory benefits, increased blood flow to the brain and peripheral parts of the body.
- Make sure you have a plan for being able to stay on track if you happen to go out with co-workers for lunch or with friends for dinner. You don’t have to eat complete crap just because you are eating out. Look up the menu on your way, and find items that are closely related to what you normally consume.
5. Have a person or a support team to help you along the way. It may prove to be difficult when your colleagues or friends are taunting you about not being able to eat bread or have whatever is being catered to work.
I hope this tidbit will help any of you that decide to lose weight, or any of you that may be struggling right now to stay on track. If you are looking for a trainer to help you lose some weight, or build muscle feel free to contact me at email@example.com. If you’re looking for a nutrition coach, feel free to contact either one of the two that we have available here at NBS Fitness at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Kettlebell training has always been a favorite of mine. I took a course several years ago and became Level 1 Certified in Kettlbell training in 2010. Eventually, I’d like to become RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certified). Programming Kettlbell workouts in our CrossFit programming occurs at least weekly. One of my favorite KB movements is the Turkish Get Up (TGU). This movement requires (at minimum) strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. You can easily add Turkish Get Ups to your weekly warm up, or workout regimen.
The Set Up
Below, I will go through the steps for performing the TGU. These should never be performed as a part of high intensity training, but more as strength and skill development. There is a high demand for core stability in this movement, so go slowly.
When getting ready to perform TGUs with a KB, it’s very important to get the
weight onto the shoulder properly to prevent injury. Lie on your back, roll to your side, grab the KB by its ‘horn’. The KB will rest on the back of your hand (keep your wrist straight). While keeping the KB close to you, roll back over onto your back and then extend the arm as in a floor press. After you complete the movement, return the KB by bringing the weight back down toward your chest, roll back to your side, and release the weight.
Always practice without weight first. This movement demands a lot of shoulder stability so lighter weight is best when you are a beginner.
The Get Up
- As pictured above, lie on your back and extend your arm toward the ceiling. This is your working arm. The KB should be locked out at the elbow and the shoulder at all times. Bend your right leg and bring your foot near your bottom. Extend your left arm and place it at a 45 degree angle on the ground, palm down. This arm will serve as your support arm.
- Eyes should always remain focused on the KB.
- Inhale, and slowly rise up and ‘lean’ onto your left elbow, then onto your hand. You should slowly exhale a bit of air during this transition.
- From here, press your shoulder into an ‘active’ position.
5. Rebreathe and raise your hips off the ground. Remember, keep your eyes on the KB and keep the weighted arm locked out and extended at all times. Keep your bones in a “stacked” position.
6. In one motion, sweep your left leg under your hips (so that your knee aligns under your hip). Sit up to a lunge position.
7. Stand up while maintaining the KB locked out overhead.
The Get Down
The movement is not complete until you return back to the lying position. You will perform the exact same steps but in reverse order.
- While continuing to maintain lockout overhead with the KB, step your left leg behind you like you are performing a reverse lunge.
- With your left hand, reach for the ground (forward in an angled position). In this position, you should continue to have your bones “stacked”.
- Sweep your leg back through and return your bottom to the floor. Keep the KB locked out!
- Lean toward your elbow, then down to your shoulder, back to the start position. (Go slowly!)
- Switch arms, and begin again.
How to Program the TGU
It requires a lot of muscle memory to learn the TGU. Because the body gets taken through all ranges of motion, all joints receive a little bit of a load, and they get your heart rate up a bit, putting these in your warm up is always a good choice.
Once you have become proficient at the TGU and would like to add them to your conditioning routine, consider doing these as an EMOM (every minute on the minute). You don’t have to do many, one or two in each minute, but the clock will help make sure you’re working at the task consistently.
For strength training, consider increasing load to get to a maximum weight that you can do for 2 -3 reps, resting 2-3 minutes in between for about 5 rounds.
If you’d like further instruction on these, please to hesitate to hit me up in the gym, I’m happy to help!
(Special thanks to Elise Lovelace for helping me with the photos. We couldn’t have picked a sunnier day!)
“Growing up, my dad would take my brother and I shooting on a regular basis. I remember getting a BB gun at around age six and taking it into the back yard to shoot Coke cans off the fence. This love for guns and shooting has continued to grow over the years. Another passion of mine since the age of 14 has been training, and I have been competing in iron sports for a little over eight years.
Just recently I had some setbacks in my training with some knee pain that won’t seem to go away, and a torn labrum and rotator cuff that are giving me issues. So, I took a step back from preparing for a powerlifting competition and focused my energy towards shooting sports, specifically pistol and 3-gun matches. In doing so, I have gone from someone who had a decent amount of experience and was relatively advanced in one sport, to someone who is a true beginner in another sport. Throughout this transition, I have learned many lessons that apply to both sports. This article will discuss several of them.”
To read the rest of the article can be read from the link below
Last weekend NBS Fitness held their second annual King and Queen of Spring powerlifting meet. The meet went extremely well and we had some very impressive performances and multiple elite totals. Unfortunately not everything went according to plan as everyone’s beloved Jim Sadler tore his right pectoral muscle on the bench press. After a few days of evaluations and diagnostic films, Jim has a good prognosis and must undergo surgery to repair the torn pec. Jim has also been kind enough to allow me to use his case as an educational resource as to how to reduce swelling in such a traumatic case.
Although Jim’s surgery is already scheduled, there is still work to be done, and we have been extensively working to help prepare Jim for surgery and a successful rehab. One of Jim’s biggest problems following the tear was not pain, but rather swelling. Our focus during this week of surgical preparation has been to decrease that swelling. We wanted to maintain range of motion, ice to reduce future swelling, and flush and remove the current swelling using some neat kinesiology taping methods to accelerate lymphatic drainage. Here are pictures showing Jim’s progression throughout the week using the Dark Wizard’s “Magic Tape.” Notice the changes in discoloration as the swelling is decreasing as well as the lines created by the kinesiotape pulling the swelling out of the area and towards Jim’s lymph nodes:
For more information on the uses and applications of kinesiotaping, stay tuned for a further write up or visit a brief overview of the benefits of kinesiotaping on our website.
Its easy to get confused about nutrition. As we have discussed in numerous articles and blogs, there are a million ways to manipulate your intake for a number of different results. And honestly, for the most part, most ways work to a degree. This is why its important to understand nutritional components on a base level and make your decisions based on that. Below I have outlined what I think is important when considering your nutritional intake, and how I troubleshoot nutritional strategies.
Calories: The base of the diet, no matter what version of management you use, all comes down to calories. Calories are the measurement assigned to units of energy inside food required to provide fuel for activities large and small. The very first item I look at when deciding how to set up someones nutrition is what their caloric intake truly is from the start. I realize that there are calculators out there that have an algorithm that will give you a numerical on suggested intake. However, these calculations are usually fairly flawed and hard to trust. The calculators usually ask something about how active you are, and then offer some vague options like “somewhat active” or “extremely active.” The problem here is that no one really knows how active they are. Further, no one is really sure what counts as activity. Somedays I vacuum for an hour pretty intensely. Is that going to tip me over from “somewhat active” to “active”? Who knows! There is most certainly a huge calorie difference between an hour of powerlifting and running for an hour. Very few take body fat percentage into consideration. This seems like a huge oversight, as the upkeep for a pound of muscle is roughly 3x the caloric upkeep of a pound of fat. Its all just a bit precise for how NOT customized the readouts may be. So how do we determine your caloric intake? As tedious as it may be, we keep a log of everything we consume and compare the weight on the scale. I understand thats not a thrilling process, but its necessary for me to get an idea of what you eat and how it impacts you. Once we have figured out what your caloric demands our, we move on to base macros.
Macronutrients/ “macros”: All calorie yielding foods can be broken down into its macronutrient profile, which is simply its protein / carbohydrates / fats. If you have scratched the surface of nutritional studies, you have most certainly heard a lot about how to arrange your macros for various goals.
Protein: Protein is living the high life, thanks in large part to the supplement industry. While its a very important piece of the puzzle when it comes to recovery, its dosages have been hyped to a fairly ridiculous degree. I have had people come to me eating 2-3x their bodyweight in protein, and that is overkill. My blanket suggestion (with the understanding that it all depends on the goal) is .8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight as a baseline. I might veer upwards of 1.5g/lb and I may sink as far as .5g/lb in certain situations, but generally stay in the .8g-1g range. 1g/lb has never shown me reason to believe more is needed, and the reduction in protein makes room for carbs. And I like carbs.
Fats: Fat is another energy source that the body can use, though fat-adaptation is a fairly painful and inefficient process when compared to carboydrates. However, fats are very important in upkeep of many cellular functions. Fats are essential for the absorption of all fat soluable vitamins (A,D,E,K). Fat is also a key player in hormonal balance and provides structural support for our nervous system. Fat is also fair simple: since I have already figured out the base calories, I simply take 15-25% (again, variance dependent on where client is and need to go) of these calories and allocate them to fat.
Carbohydrates: THE MVP! MY ACE IN THE HOLE! CARBS! Carbs are the last thing I calculate out, and I make the rest of the calories come from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the bodies preferred energy source and are the most efficient energy source for the human body. Because I am fairly conservative on protein and fat intake, I leave a lot of room for carbohydrates.
Timing: This is the very last thing I mess around with, and I actually don’t incorporate it if calories and macros are routinely not getting hit. If calories and macros allow, my first act of nutritional support is to add in a peri-workout protocol, which varies from client to client depending on their endeavors.
A lot varies, but these are the order of operations for nutrition. I dont skip calories and go right to macros, and I dont throw in macro timing without seeing compliance to an eating strategy. All of this said, being well versed in a variety of nutritional ideas will serve many well, as the best diet out there is the one clients can make work with their life.
Here is my article write up on EliteFTS. Take note of the five lesson’s I learned, some of them being beginner mistakes that came back around.
Since the beginning, athletic endeavors and sports supplements have gone hand in hand. We’ve come a long way from ancient Greek wrestlers chewing on rhodiola leaves to the multi-billion dollar supplement industry we see today and we will continue to make progress in the future. The purpose of this series is to educate you on the planning and implementation of a quality supplement protocol to help you meet your goals. In part one we will talk about protein powders. In the second part we will talk about the peri workout window and other performance enhancing supplements. Finally, in the third part we will discuss supplements for health and some of the lesser known supplements like nootroptics. But first, let’s begin with a little segment on the state of the supplement industry.
Just as supplements have been around for a very long time, so has the practice of misleading consumers when it comes to the effectiveness of different supplements. Snake oil salesmen still exist today in this industry. Because there is very little FDA regulation into the supplement industry, companies do not have to back up their claims. With millions of dollars to be made, there have been numerous companies who have been busted for not including the ingredients they claimed were in the product and for adding in ingredients that they didn’t list (sometimes even illegal ones). This is exacerbated by the false advertising that occurs including photoshopping photos to make results look more dramatic and using sponsored athletes who don’t even use their products at all. As much as this sucks, there are plenty of good companies out there that do have the moral integrity to do things the right way. The trouble is that without the correct education, it is very difficult to determine what companies are doing things the right way and which companies are trying to screw you out of your hard earned money. One simple way is to look at the claims they are making for their products. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Supplements are just a small piece in the process of improving health, performance, and physique and no matter how much money you pour into them, they will never be able to make up for a poor training program and a poor diet. Supplements can help make the process easier and slightly quicker but they are never going to be able to do alone what they could do with proper training and nutrition thrown in the mix as well. So, with that being said, the majority of the products that I am going to discuss in this series come from a company called 1st Phorm. They are a company that I know is doing things the right way. They don’t make outrageous claims for their products, they sell things that have been proven to work, and they promote and help educate people on the importance of quality nutrition and training. They also don’t use false advertising and instead let their customers promote their products for them. They make the supplements that I personally take and the supplements that I feel good about selling at NBS Fitness.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about protein. I tried my very first protein supplement in 8th grade. It was chalky and tasted like the most disgusting chocolate I’d ever had but being the hardcore teenager that I was, I choked it down anyways. Luckily for all of us, the protein products on the market now are a much higher quality and an infinitely better taste. When we start discussing protein powder, we need to first discuss the source. There are lots of different sources for protein powder to be derived from. The most common source is whey (the liquid after milk has been curdled and strained) but there is also protein powder made from casein (what is used to make cheese), soy, hemp, and beef. Unless you suffer from some sort of food allergy like lactose intolerance or follow certain dietary restrictions like a vegan diet, I highly suggest you make whey your source for protein supplements. The reason for this is because of it’s bioavailability compared to other sources. Bioavailability is basically a scale of how much use your body can get out of a certain protein. The term complete protein just means that it has all of the essential amino acids present but the varying amounts of all amino acids in a food will affect its bioavailability. Whey protein has a much higher bioavailability than any other potential source. When it comes to building muscle, having all amino acids present is necessary which means you need a constant supply of all essential amino acids in your blood stream. Whey is the best way to make this happen.
Now there are two different types of whey protein available: isolate and concentrate. Concentrate is the by product of the cheese making process. Once the water and casein is removed from milk, you are left with whey concentrate. To get whey isolate, the concentrate must go through a process in which the lactose, fat, and cholesterol are removed. The less extensive version of this process involves the use of high temperatures which then can cause protein degradation and leave a lower quality product afterwards. The better version is low temperature cross flow filtration which leaves the protein intact and a much higher quality end product. Another form of whey is whey hydrolysate. This is a protein in which enzymes have been added to help breakdown the bonds between the amino acids making it easier and quicker to digest.
Which Should You Take?
So which should you take? Well, that all depends on your goal. Whey concentrate is going to be less expensive since it doesn’t go through as many processes. This does however mean that it is going to digest a bit slower and has a bit more fat and carbs in it than isolate does. If you’re not necessary needing to manage your calories that precisely and are looking for a slower digesting protein to use as a meal replacement, concentrate is a good choice. Whey isolate is going to be a little more expensive because of the processes it must go through but it will be more calories from protein with less fat and carbs and it is going to digest faster. If you buy an isolate, make sure that you are getting one that is low temperature cross flow filtrated. It costs a little more but very important to have a high quality protein that hasn’t been denatured. If you’re dieting and have to account for all extra calories or if you’re looking for a post workout protein that will get into your system and start the recovery process, whey isolate is the choice to make. Finally, whey hydrolysate is going to have a bit of a bitter taste to it. Companies try to mask this as best they can but if you get a pure hydrolysate, it’s going to have a bitter taste. The best time for whey hydrolysate is post workout.
The two protein products that we sell and that I take and recommend are Level 1 and Phormula 1 by 1st Phorm. Level 1 is a protein blend with whey isolate, whey concentrate, and some egg protein as well. This is going to give you the perfect amount of slow digesting protein to use as a meal replacement with a little bit of quicker digesting isolate to get into your system quickly. With tons of different flavors, it tastes pretty dang delicious too. Level 1 is also a little bit cheaper than Phormula 1. Phormula 1 is a combination of whey isolate and hydrolyzed whey isolate. This is the perfect protein for post workout when you need all those amino acids in your blood stream quickly, ready to get converted into tissue or energy. It is also extremely delicious.
Now that our first part of the series is over be sure to check out part two next month and a reminder that both Level 1 and Phormula 1 can be purchased from NBS Fitness or from the supplement section on our website.
As I’ve discussed in other blogs, I came from a relatively active background. I started playing softball at age 10 and, since I was by far the smallest on the team, I was best suited to strap on a catcher’s mask and squat behind home plate. My size worked for me here, however every time I went to bat, I would watch the entire opposing team move forward to field the ball. It was disheartening to say the least but I wasn’t strong so even if I made contact, the ball was surely not going far.
Since batting wasn’t my strong suit, I decided I’d at least be the best Catcher I could be. I practiced popping up out of position as quickly as possible, and since a caught pop-up foul ball in slow pitch softball is an automatic out, I worked hard to never let one drop.
Chanting at the batter to throw her concentration and becoming fluid at flipping the catchers mask off and bounding out, kept most umpires on their toes and unable to get out of my way quickly enough! My coach recognized my strengths and weakness, and helped me focus where I could be the best.
The first year I played, I was MVP.
I played off and on for next 10+ years playing women’s and a couple of co-ed slow pitch softball teams. I played almost every position (minus pitcher) but eventually settled in as a Short Stop. My batting got better and and I even knocked a few home runs as an adult player. Softball was my first sport and I always loved it best.
My Sophomore year of high school we got new football and track & field coaches. The coaches were younger than previous years’ coaches and I thought they were cute. Based on this criteria alone, I decided to try out for track. Having no idea what I might be good at (if anything) I relied on the coaches training and direction. Turns out, I was good at distance running so my event became the 2 mile run.
I had an awesome coach who taught me, first, how to believe in my abilities and second, how to be uncomfortable. He saw great talent in me and he helped me achieve my best. I ran for 2 years and during my junior year had colleges scouting me for their Cross Country programs. The summer before my Senior year, my coach got transferred to a different school. Because of this, I chose not to run my Senior year.
Although my track career only lasted 2 years, I broke our school record in the 2 mile run, and I placed 8th in the state of Arkansas. My coach’s support meant a lot to me and since I didn’t have a support system outside of him, I just didn’t have it in me to run my senior year without his coaching. Who knows what could have happened if I’d kept running, but thats another story for a different day.
When I started CrossFit (December of 2008) the coach I started with was quite different than any coach I’d had previously. Without saying disparaging things, I’ll just give him the gratitude of introducing CrossFit to me. After falling in love with CrossFit, I started coaching six months later. Although I hadn’t fully developed myself as a CrossFitter before I started to coach, I was very passionate about it and knew I could grow and learn while teaching.
Throughout my journey, I’ve had some coaching but none consistently. When I became a gym owner, and the workouts became fewer and farther in between, I had even less coaching. I had thought off and on about having someone program for me but put it off since I didn’t really know anyone who could do it or didn’t think it necessary since I had no ‘real’ goals. I also had so many other people I needed to focus on.
Like many of you all, I have many weaknesses and have a tendency to cherry pick workouts. I am not like Rich Froning, who beat the hell out of his weakness so he could be the CrossFit Games champion for four years! Alas, I am human so I avoid things I’m not good at.
The CrossFit Open is always a great time to check ourselves to see where we are. While I can do most things now, I still have a few check marks to get and I of course would like to be better at everything CrossFit! So, once the Open was nearing an end, I asked around to see who might be a good coach for me to do remote programming with. Upon Annie Gunshow’s recommendation, I started using someone she went to college with. His name is Nate and he is a CrossFit coach in Denver. He sends me weekly programming and I send him feedback at the end of the week. We are a pretty good match.
Now, I am forced to work on my weaknesses and while I still could cherry pick…I won’t, because what would be the point? Having a coach, even remotely, helps tremendously with accountability!! I want to do my best and not disappoint, be a weak ass, or be lazy.
Still Finding Potential
I’m in my 4th week of programming and I’ve already pushed myself further than I have before, and I am learning many new things….which is also another great reason for coaches to have a coach. We get exposed to so much more and then can pass on the knowledge to our athletes.
While I’m personally in my 8th year of CrossFit training, I feel like I still have so much untapped ability and haven’t ‘peaked’ so to speak. Now, I am realistic and I don’t anticipate ever going to the Games as anything other than a spectator, but I do think a great coach can help you find and bring out the absolute best in yourself, and isn’t that what we all want?
I look forward to continuing to find the best in you as I learn through Nate and he helps me continue to find the best in me!
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, our motto is Prepare. Perform. Prevent. We truly believe that the services and content that we push for at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance are a direct reflection of this motto. If a service does not reflect at least one aspects of this motto, then it is not one that you will find at this office. This statement serves as an important driver for the mission and vision statement set forth by Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance of athletic and spinal healthcare. As such, I believe that it is necessary to address each one of these individually. Given NBS Fitness’ King and Queen of Spring meet is only a week away, it is a perfect time for us to look at how our motto fits into supporting the competitive athlete and individual to improve their performance.
In athletics, the amount of time spent in preparation to compete far out numbers the time actually spent competing. However, preparation for competition is the number one predicting factor of success and failure. For most athletes, this preparation process includes practice, weight training, mobility, drills, film, nutrition, and recovery. At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, preparation involves setting up a recovery and wellness plan that is individualized to help the athlete recover and address ailments before they arise. This could be as simple as a chiropractic wellness and maintenance plan, or as involved as a full scale (p)rehabilitation plan for a specific injury to keep the athlete pushing forward and improving.
The biggest game changing factor that we provide is full-body care that is specific to the athlete’s level of training or practice intensity. There are a large variety of athletes that seek care from our office which means that no one plan is going to cover each and every athlete and their needs. For our strength athletes, we recommend regular chiropractic care based upon the intensity level in their training program.
In the weeks leading up to a big meet, intensity ramps up and our athletes are consistently straining under heavier and heavier loads. This makes it more difficult for them to recover, specifically from a standpoint of the central nervous system, but also in regards to the tissues under load. This is a specific time where chiropractic, manual therapy, and neurologically driven methodologies like RPR are crucial in helping the body recover between training sessions. Chiropractic not only restores proper local and global joint motion in the kinetic chain, adjusting also delivers massive amounts of sensory information to the nervous system which act as a reboot button for the musculoskeletal system.
As the late Muhammed Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” In order to perform at your best, you must prepare first.
When it comes time to compete, whether it be on gameday or meet day, Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance is here to help you perform at your best. Numerous athletes from football, to track and field, to powerlifting, strongman, and CrossFit have trusted us to keep them performing at their best when it counts the most. In most scenarios, if we have accomplished proper prevention and preparation techniques, the brunt of the work has been done and the athlete only requires fine tuning to perform at their peak potential. This may include top-down stretching to loosen fascial planes and provide a flushing effect of new blood and hyaluronic acid to tissues before warming up, RPR Wake-Up Drills to wake the nervous system up to perform at its peak capacity, or a final touch up adjustment.
On meet day, Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance will be there to assist our athletes in whatever ways necessary. When the body is pushed to its limits, sometimes the wheels begin to fall off. It is our job to make sure we are available to assist in soft tissue, adjusting, stretching, or neurologic stimulation as needed to ensure that the months, sometimes years,of hard work of our strength athletes do not go to the wayside on meet day.
It is important to note, however, that this is dependent on the athlete spending the necessary time in preparation and prevention leading up to competition. In any facet of competition, an athlete sews his own oats prior to ever stepping on the court, stage, or field. Although all the glory of success shines on you on competition day, it can never be stressed enough that the biggest investments in improving performance are preparation and prevention.
Even if you are doing the right things in recovery, nutrition, and preparation in order to perform at your best, do not stop there. Invest in yourself and look to prevent injury before it happens. The biggest factor in life is and will always be time. Time is the one thing we wish we had more of and the one thing we cannot buy back. It is the compounding forces of time that turn minor defects into gaping holes and constant progress into giant conquests.
In athletics, time is a factor that will also work with or against you regardless of your level of acknowledgement. Regardless of whether you like it or not, the habits and time spent over and over again to prevent injury do matter. It is the athlete’s choice to recognize the importance of prevention of injury and address it before it becomes a problem. Unlike all other forms of health care, the benefits or penalties of focusing on prevention are not realized until it is too late to change the affect.
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we provide multiple options for comprehensive evaluation in an effort to identify and address a risk factors for future injury and compensation patterns that our athletes may have. These evaluations range from movement assessment, to full body chiropractic assessment, to a Reflexive Performance Reset evaluation to identify compensations in the nervous system that may be hindering performance or predisposing the athlete to injury. From there, we provide education and a personal plan of action.
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we spend the time necessary to establish our goal to “Prepare. Perform. Prevent.” in order to improve the health and performance of our athletes. Are you an athlete or individual that is serious about your health, fitness, or performance? Become a new patient and let us help you achieve your goals.
Pouring Into Broken Glasses
This is part 3 of a 3-part series on “pouring into broken glasses,” which is a metaphor for how information is spread within the fitness industry.
In Part 1, we looked at the differences between how one is educated as a fitness professional vs. the realities of being a personal trainer.
In Part 2 we dove a little deeper into how to navigate within a universe of misinformation.
In this final installment, we’ll take the perspective of a trainee.
Our initial look at “pouring” into others ended with the statement, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. So how do you ensure you’re getting the right information from a reliable source?
Finding a Gym/Trainer
Because of the internet, it’s easier than ever to find a gym in your area. But just because a gym is geographically close to you doesn’t mean it’s the best place for you to train.
When you do a search for trainers or fitness facilities, which are the first ones to pop up? Usually, facilities that have an understanding of business and know how to reach their audience. These gyms will be popular and successful, but keep in mind that being good at ranking high in Google searches is not by itself an indicator that a gym/trainer is qualified.
Look for some key things on their website, like certifications and degrees. This should be high on your checklist. Do not settle for just any certification. Make sure it is issued by a recognized governing body, not a weekend course any high school athlete with a half decent build can BS their way through. Make sure the trainers have bios with detailed information about their background and what has brought them to helping others in their fitness journey. Does the facility require an educational background in the industry and/or an internship? Do they require certain skills to be learned so everyone at the facility is on the same page? Lastly, when you reach out for more info, who calls/emails you? Are you being contacted by a sales rep or a trainer? If you reach out for training, you should be called back by a trainer. If you reach out for pricing and class information you should be contacted by a manager or the coach of the class.
Visiting Your New Gym
When you walk in, are you greeted by a sales associate in a private office or by front desk staff willing to show you around? Does the atmosphere when you walk in make you want to train? Or does it feel like you’re hanging out at the smoothie bar, coffee shop, or tanning salon? One of the biggest things I would say to look for is if the staff is interested in what YOUR needs. If you walk into a facility as a client looking for personal training, you should be introduced to a trainer. This interaction should give you a sense if the trainer has passion for what they are doing.
Plain and simple: the trainer should want information from you prior to your session. If they are thorough, you will fill out a questionnaire so the trainer or coach will know about your current health, any concerns (such as past injuries), and your goals. During your session, you should be taught how to move safely and with proper technique before adding any weight. The biggest sign you are being “poured into” properly is that your TEACHER is able to explain something to you in terms YOU understand clearly. If you are unable to comprehend what is being taught, it is the trainer’s job to use his/her understanding of movement to help you grasp the concepts. If your trainer has you jump into exercises right away without proper instruction, that should be a red flag.
Let The Pouring Begin
Once you’ve connected with the right facility and the right trainer, pay attention to the environment as you move forward.
This is where networking, resume, and daily conduct comes into play. If a trainer comes up to you during you training session and offers to help you, they are showing they have a vested interest in you being there. When you have a question on safety or form, the staff should stop what they are doing and help (or direct you immediately to someone who can).
Lastly, when other members of the facility interrupt their own training to offer a spot (or yell in your ear during a lift), you know you are in a quality environment where the pouring out of knowledge and support is mutual and equally beneficial. When we invest ourselves in the success of those around us, we create a community of strength and friends.