Monthly Archives: November 2017

Last month we discussed some of the problems that are prevalent with headaches in the current model of medical care. These three problems in headache care were: 1) A lack of quality health care professionals 2) Improper diagnosis of headaches 3) Improper treatment of headaches. In the next couple of articles we will breakdown different types of headaches and discuss how these three problems relate to each type of headache, and then provide information about the cause and treatment options of each of them. We will start out with the most common kind of headache, tension headaches.

 

Medical Definition

According to the American Migraine Foundation:

Tension-type headaches are the most common form of headache, occurring in about three-quarters of the general population. They can range from the occasional mild headache to daily disabling headaches in some cases. (Tension-type) headaches most commonly last from 30 minutes to 7 days. Tension-type headaches have been called by various names over the years, including tension headache, muscle contraction headache, psychomyogenic headache, stress headache, ordinary headache, essential headache, idiopathic headache, and psychogenic headache.

Tension-type headache is broken down into three types:

  • Infrequent episodic type tension-type headache: one or fewer episodes per month.
  • Frequent episodic type tension-type headache: more than one, but fewer than 15 episodes per month for three or more months.
  • Chronic tension-type headache: more than 15 episodes per month for three or more months. There may be mild nausea with this type of tension-type headache.

Let’s begin by unwrapping this definition given to us by the experts over at the American Migraine Foundation.

First off, if you are having a hard time pinning down in your mind exactly what tension headaches are, don’t worry, the AMF is too. If you think that defining a condition as prevalent in an extremely large percentage of the population, that can be anywhere on the pain scale from mild to extreme, can last anywhere from 30 minutes to over 300 times as long (7 days), and can occur once a month, 1-15 times per month for three months or more, or occur more than fifteen times per month for over three months is specific enough to properly help a condition, then I can assure you that you would find a great job at this foundation. This would be the equivalent of a criminal sketch artist being asked to draw a suspect who is a multi-racial individual, between 22 and 55, between 140 and 350lbs and who was last seen wearing blue jeans. Seems like a rough task to be able to nail down a suspect based on such a nonspecific  description.

Further evidence that there isn’t a clear definition of tension headaches from the medical community is found in the range and multitude of vague names of this headache. Tension and muscle contraction headache imply a muscular origin or involvement, whereas stress and psychogenic headache mean that the headache is mentally created by the nervous system and brain. Psychomyogenic headache indicates both muscle and mental involvement. Furthermore, ordinary and essential headache imply the this type of headache is a basic, common, everyday, normal headache. Lastly, idiopathic headaches are mentioned. In medical terminology, “idiopathic” is a word that is used to describe a condition or disease which is seemingly spontaneous in nature and has no known cause. So what happens when you lump together a condition with vague presentations and an unknown cause?

 

Medical Diagnosis

Tension headaches are almost exclusively diagnosed via symptoms. This includes location and quality of pain as well as an increased severity due to factors like activity, light, or sound. According to the American Migraine Foundation, there are no diagnostic tests to confirm tension headaches. Tension headaches do mimic other types of more serious headaches such as headaches that are secondary to medication overuse or brain lesions and tumors, so if imaging like an MRI is ordered, it is to rule out these more serious conditions.

Furthermore, the AMF also states that a tension headache is similar to a migraine and that a tension headache can itself also cause a migraine. What this means, in the grand scheme of things, is that a tension headache diagnosis is often made as a diagnosis of exclusion when other headaches are ruled out, or when the symptoms of the headache do not quite match up with different diagnosis such as a migraine. What this means is that when a medical doctor makes a diagnosis of a tension headache, it is likely because they either can’t find anything else wrong, they aren’t sure it is a migraine, or they think it is all in your head. For a full detailed list of how the diagnosis of tension headaches is made, click here. 

 

Medical Treatment

Medical treatment options for the most common headache plaguing us today include a multitude of various medications which may or may not help. According to the AMF:

Infrequent episodic tension-type headache needs only treatment for the individual episodes (acute treatment). Simple analgesics, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or aspirin, are reasonable choices. Sometimes combination analgesics including caffeine can be more effective; but with frequent use, side effects such as rebound headache may emerge. Use of combination therapies containing either butalbital or opioids for treatment of tension-type headache is generally not recommended because of the risk of tolerance, dependency, toxicity, and the development of medication overuse headache. Acute treatments should be limited to no more than twice per week, otherwise they can produce medication overuse headache and may cause undesirable effects on the liver, kidneys, stomach and other organs.

If tension-type headaches are frequent, long lasting, or associated with a significant amount of disability, then preventive treatment is recommended. Commonly used preventive strategies include medications such as amitriptyline and non-medication treatments for headache such as biofeedback, relaxation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy or physical therapy.

Breaking down these lists of treatment options, there is a high bias towards which pharmaceuticals, none of which are said to have promising effects, and almost all of which are noted to cause overuse headaches, dependency, or toxicity to vital organs in the body if they are overused.  Again these three problems from our previous headache article rear their head and make it difficult to nail down a proper route of treatment in tension headaches. Much as the saying, “you can’t hit a target that you can’t see,” you can’t treat a condition if you don’t know the cause of it. Furthermore, only one sentence is given to mention conservative and holistic methods of treatments and of course chiropractic care is conveniently left out as well. As we are about to explore, all of these conservative treatment options, including chiropractic care, do a very good job of helping tension headaches while at the same time having almost no side effects.

 

Chiropractic Definition, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Tension Headaches

Chiropractic care has a long history of helping people who suffer from headaches, specifically tension headaches and migraines. One of the reasons that chiropractic and other alternative medicine fields are so successful with tension-type headaches is because they tend to look at conditions differently than the medical field. As we have established already, the medical community focuses heavily on symptoms rather than the cause of headaches (and most other conditions). Because of this, their treatment options surround suppressing these symptoms as well. Although there is some recognition of muscle pain or tightness in the description and past naming of tension headaches, it is quickly dismissed or separated from the cause of tension headaches. Furthermore, another headache condition exists which is called cervicogenic headaches and includes headaches that are secondary to a condition coming from the neck. Again, in the definition and diagnosis of this headache, muscle tension and irritation are recognized, but more focus is place upon identifying a visual lesion in the neck: 

The term cervicogenic headache is commonly misued and does not simply apply to a headache associated with neck pain; many headache disorders, including migraine and tension-type headache, can have associated neck pain/tension. Rather there must be evidence of a disorder or lesion within the cervical spine or soft tissues of the neck, known to be able to cause headache. Such disorders include tumours, fractures, infections and rheumatoid arthritis of the upper cervical spine.

The problem with this definition? It recognizes (similar to tension headaches) that the neck and soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, etc.) can cause a headache, but then only recognizes this association if there is a serious condition like a tumor, fracture, etc.

So why do we bring up cervicogenic headaches when we are talking about tension headaches? Because chiropractic care defines a common cause for headaches that involve parts from both tension and cervicogenic headaches. Through a chiropractic lens that looks to find the CAUSE of a condition, we see these two types of headaches are commonly of a musculoskeletal cause either primarily or secondarily from dysfunction in the joints and soft tissues of the neck (cervicogenic headaches) causing physical or chemical irritation and pain, or from emotional and mental stressors (tension headaches) in our everyday life. Lets look at the real mechanism for headaches in these two scenarios:

1) Physical/Postural Cause

In this scenario, the muscles and joints of the neck are subject to increased strain over a long period of time due to a multitude of stressors found in everyday life. These stressors are often related to neck posture or lack of general movement at work, school, or home causing increased demand from the neck muscles to stabilize the head and neck. When excessive stress is placed on the muscles of the neck, they will begin to spasm causing pain and tenderness. Because muscles control the movement of joints, these spasms also lock down the joints of the neck which makes it more and more difficult to move and function. These repetitive stresses, spasms, and joint dysfunction all have the ability to cause the pain that is seen in both tension and cervicogenic headaches. From here, these muscles can either physically irritate cervical nerves within their periphery causing radiation of this pain into the front of the head. Inflammation caused by the pain and lack of motion in the neck can chemically irritate these nerves and cause a similar response as well.

 

2) Emotional/Mental Cause

Emotional or mental cause of headaches does not imply that you are making the pain up in your head as synonyms in the medical field to tension-type headaches such as psychogenic or idiopathic headaches implies. Instead, mental stress from everyday life is the implied culprit. This can be from excessive work hours, worrying about health or money problems, or extreme mental pressure such as studying for a big final or applying for a job. Mental stress has not only been known to cause increased tension in muscles and joints due to the reflexive response of the sympathetic nervous system and a decreased threshold in action potential of the muscle, but also specifically it is known to locate to the neck and shoulders. This rabbit hole can even get further in depth in headache care with methods such as acupuncture and Reflexive Performance Reset that recognize other mental and nervous system factors that can cause headaches such as sympathetic triggers in our visual fields, dysfunctional breathing, etc.

Because the medical community looks at symptoms rather than cause, it is not surprising to see that their focus is on medication that simply decreases pain and inflammation rather than the mechanism causing the pain and inflammation in the first place. But, how else do we confirm the true cause of many people’s tension headaches and reinforce that the AMF has missed the mark on tension headaches? The answer is in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

Remember in high school when you were forced to show and check your work in math class? Although all of us found it cumbersome as teenagers to do this extra work, the real reason behind it is that it tests the understanding of the problem and the accuracy of the solution to this problem. We can use this as well to “show and check our work” in chiropractic care with the evaluation/diagnosis and treatment of tension headaches. Through the history and evaluation of a headache, we can confirm if muscle and joint or stress is the cause and identify if chiropractic care can help.

 

 

Patients with tension headaches often complain of pain in the back of the neck that radiates to the head. They typically describe the pain in the neck as tight and many times state that their pain occurs at the end of a long day at work or school, from excessive driving, or during times of high mental stress. As chiropractors, we rely specifically on physical touch of our patients to reveal a large amount of information as to the condition of the underlying structures. Where as a medical field may do a few orthopedic tests and neuro tests, chiropractors go further and physically palpate and move the underlying structures of the head and neck to examine for pain triggers and decreased function. This hands on evaluation is extremely helpful in patients with headaches as we can pinpoint the muscle which are causing the headache. When pressure is applied to these muscles, the patient will experience the same symptoms as their headaches and often times, pressure will increase the severity of the headache. This confirms the diagnosis as a tension headache caused by muscle and joints of the neck and the related everyday activities found in the patient’s history.

Now that we have identified an actual target that we can see as the cause of tension headaches, the next step is to hit the target with the correct treatment. By utilizing chiropractic adjustments to restore joint motion, myofascial release to decrease muscle hypertonicity and spasm we can restore the movement and function of the spine. For more in-depth analysis and treatment of more complicated headaches, techniques such as Reflexive Performance Reset can lend a helping hand by resetting the central nervous system and restoring proper parasympathetic tone. Finally, modification of daily habits such as breathing, posture, and handling stress can lead to long term reduction and prevention of future headaches.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444224/
https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/understanding-migraine/cervicogenic-headache/

Tension-type Headache

2. Tension-type headache


 

 

For more information on headache treatments, visit our website or if you or a loved one is struggling a headache, schedule a visit with Dr. Detweiler by clicking below!

Mid South and Spine and Sports Performance

Picture this, you’re at the gym and you see some guy on the bench press. He’s an average looking guy that looks like he may lift, or he may look like he doesn’t even lift, but that’s beside the point. Okay, so he’s benching and is struggling to get some reps in with 135, or perhaps even 185. It’s a little ugly, and there’s a bit of a grind, but he gets his reps. Now this guy is done, and he moves on to do a second movement, something he thinks is either going to help his bench press, or help him to develop more muscle mass. He sits down on the Hammer Strength bench press and plate after plate he loads up on it. He’s up to 4, 45lb plates per side on this machine. Wait, hang on a second! Did you just say 4 45’s per side?! Yes, I did. The guy that could barely bench press 135 for more than 8 reps is now repping 8 plates on the hammer strength chest press. Wow! Impressive huh? Well my friends, that is what we call King of Accessories.

This is something that some of my training partners came up with some time last year to describe someone that thinks they can make up for their lack of strength on the big 3 by going “hard” on some type of accessory movement. The truth is, in strength sports such as powerlifting, nobody is impressed or cares how much you can leg press. It doesn’t matter how much you can curl, or how much you can do on tricep cable pushdowns. In powerlifting, what matters is how much you squat, bench, and deadlift.

Of course there are ways of improving these lifts, and one way is to create more muscle mass. A great way to build up some leg mass is with using the leg press. A simple, yet very effective method for not just building muscle, but strength as well. Here’s where people falter. They load up entirely too much weight and have about a 3 inch range of motion. Again, meet Mr. King of Accessories. This really isn’t doing much for you. Put your ego aside and lighten up the load a little. Remember– nobody cares how much you leg press. Focus on a better range of motion and a better stretch for the legs; it will definitely pay off.

If you want to get bigger and develop more muscle then you need to know when to go heavy, and when to leave your ego at the door. The amount of weight you are using is one way of not only developing more muscle, but also more strength. Typically, a really heavy movement that is meant to build both of these up is best done with a major compound movement, i.e… squat, bench, and deadlift, although there are plenty more variations out there. If you are trying to bring up a lagging muscle group, or you are simply just doing a particular movement that focuses on a certain muscle group, it is imperative that you are able to feel that muscle working. You have to think like a bodybuilder. Don’t misunderstand me here, there are plenty of professional bodybuilders out there that are incredibly strong, especially on the big 3. However, when they are doing a more isolated movement such as a curl or pressdown, they are really focusing on feeling the muscle contracting the weight. You can either choose to do a movement and have only 40% of the intended muscle group working and 60% of other surrounding muscles doing the work, or check your ego, lower the weight and let 95% of the intended muscle group do the work. I can promise you from experience that the latter will pay off ten-fold.

Feeling a muscle contract and isolating it isn’t an easy thing to do, if it were, then almost everyone at your gym would be jacked, and that’s just not the case. However, there are a couple of ways to make this easier on yourself. One way is to have a trainer, friend, or training partner give you what is called proprioceptive feedback on the muscle you are tying to target. In other words, just have them touch or poke the muscle you are trying to work. This has done wonders for my own training, as well as my clients. Another way is to try to pre-exhaust a certain muscle group, so that you can let another muscle group do most of the work in a movement, or keep another muscle group from taking over in a movement. For example, you’re  struggling to feel a contraction of your chest. You could start off doing some machine cable flys, followed by some body weight push-ups. After you have done this, your chest should be nice and pumped, then you can move onto some low incline dumbbell bench press. Since you have already pre-fatigued your chest, it will keep you honest and conservative on the weights you are using for the dumbbells. Once you begin you should focus on getting a good stretch in your chest coming down, and pressing back up and squeezing with you pecs, not just driving up with your shoulders and triceps. Give it a shot.

As I said before, isolating and developing a good connection with certain muscle groups is difficult, but can be achieved overtime with practice. Use small weight to train small muscle groups. Put your ego aside and focus on quality contractions with a controlled movement. You don’t want to be crowned the King of Accessories, trust me. If you have any questions in regards to methods involved with building muscle and developing a better ability to isolate certain groups, please feel free to ask. I wish you continued success in your journey of strength and size.

I got pretty lucky.  When I was 15, I walked past a gym needing a job.  Within those walls, I found a catalyst into a profession that I am still head-over-heels in love with 15 years later.  I am using dramatic language and I mean every letter.  My job has evolved over the years: I have scrubbed toilets and I have worked with NFL players.  I have been fortunate to speak at events all over the globe about a science and profession I have never come close to mastering, but try really hard to at least get a grip on everyday.  As it stands today, I get to brainstorm with people who GET IT. We then get to share what we are finding to people in effort to make them live a healthier life.  We make people stronger, we help people lose weight, and we change behaviors for the overall improvement of each client that walks in the door.

I love this.

I have known for a long time that work that simply filled time was not going to be okay with me. I know this from times I have been at jobs that were not necessarily passionate about.  The only way I made it through those jobs, despite having wonderful coworkers and relationships within them, was to take some ownership on the impact I can make within that role.  This was hard when the job description was “bartending,” but I am glad I lived that life as well.  I was able to earn the perspective I needed to appreciate “my” own field.

I say all this to hopefully convey one thing: I am in this for you, and I am in this for me.  I know that when you come through NBS, I am offering you the cumulative best I have to offer.  I offer you the best facility, the best coaching, and the best environment that I know to be housed under one roof. I’m not trying to sell you a lemon car that I know is going to break down in six months.  I am hopefully giving you the tools to a more fulfilling life. I hope to help you find a way to stop existing and start thriving. I want you to squeeze every bit out of life, and I believe that starts with taking care of your physical health.

Please understand where my head is at when I recommend a training session with Christian/Bobby, or a class with Angie.  If your movement sucks, and I recommend getting with Ryan, its because I know he can help.  If you are broken and I think Tyrel and/or Yvonna can help, I am going to steer you in their doors. I am not doing this because I want to drain you of time or money, I am doing this because I think you deserve it.

In my opinion, the T-Bar is the most useful piece of equipment in every gym. Why you may ask?  It can be used to train both upper and lower body, help teach proper motor patterns (hip hinge, squat, deadlift) and it also can be used to train all aspects of strength, power and hypertrophy. What I love most about using the T-Bar is the “instant” feedback you get when performing an exercise. Our bodies will find the easiest ways to perform movements, whether it’s proper or improper. Since the bar is planted into the floor, you’re only allowed to move in certain planes of motion depending on the exercise. For example, when squatting with the T-Bar, if you’re not hinging properly and sitting back, the bar will prevent you from shifting forward and stop the movement or make you sit back. I personally like using the T-Bar with a majority of my athletes and clients, especially younger athletes, golfers in season and clients with little to no training experience.

What are the best exercises to use the T-Bar for? In my opinion, there are 4 T-Bar exercises that I feel everyone needs to add into their training program. Those exercises are:

T-Bar Squat Press

T-Bar Row 

T-Bar Single Leg Deadlift 

T-Bar Kneeling Press 

This month’s exercise of the month focuses on the core. Modified deadbug holds are one of my favorite core and postural exercises. This exercise allows you to work multiple plans at the same time. We do this everyday. However, my favorite thing about this exercise is that it teaches you to contract your core and then resist force or body rotation.

Go ahead and give this exercise a try! It will leave you feeling like an actual deadbug.

Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

We are a bit non-traditional for Thanksgiving, each year we decide on a new adventure, so this year we decided to go camping. On Wednesday, we rented an RV, packed up our pups, our son and his pup, and settled in for a four hour drive as we headed to Edgar Evins State Park in middle Tennessee.  It’s been a long time since Steve and I have been camping….and yes, we consider staying in an RV, camping!

We actually started out tent camping about 20 years ago. Our family vacations were spent in Arkansas and Tennessee State Parks. Our kids best memories are of us sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and watching “caveman TV”. We eventually traded in the tent for a camper but when the kids got into high school they didn’t really want to go anymore so we sold it. Fast forward to today, our camping adventures will forevermore be more luxury camping.

With nearly 400 pounds of dogs in tow, we headed east. Woody decided he needed to ride shotgun but the other two were definitely ready to take his seat! Of course, it wasn’t safe for them to be up front so after a few minutes they had to move on back.

We made a pit stop about half way. With dogs on leashes we headed for a potty break on the grassy knoll. Now, I know my dogs are unruly when it comes to walking on a leash but when Rex and Woody decided to cut into a full run to catch up with Oliver I almost ate the grassy knoll. Cody, laughing uncontrollably, was absolutely no help! I realized just how much power my big Rottie has! We need leash lessons!

It’s Hard Doing Nothing

It’s been a while since we’ve all just done nothing, and was ok with it. Once we got camp set up (literally took 10 minutes) thats what we all started trying to do…nothing. We are being stimulated by cell phones, tv, computers, 24-7. Shutting that off takes a bit of time.

There are no artificial lights when you’re at a campground. When the sun goes down, the night sky fills with blackness quickly. Since I had gotten up at 4:15 Wednesday morning, by sundown I was ready for bed. I turned in and the guys weren’t far behind. We all slept 11 hours that night. Some of the best sleep I’ve had in awhile!

After a quick breakfast Thanksgiving morning we headed out on a trail hike with the dogs. More like a trail drag really… After a couple of hours in the woods with those beasts, we were ready for a nap! I can get used to this nothingness thing.

For Thanksgiving dinner we grilled steaks, had homemade mac and cheese and we tried out a butternut squash casserole I picked up at Costco. I usually make one but I thought we’d try this one out…don’t get it, it’s a fail. However, with smores for desert, the dinner was quickly redeemed.
  

It was nice spending some time with my husband and my son away from home and work. I don’t get much time with Cody, he’s like most 24 year olds, doing his own thing. The three of us had really good conversations and shared some good laughs.  Cody suggested we make camping our new Thanksgiving tradition, I think he may be on to something.

Create new traditions, enjoy the holidays the way YOU want to enjoy the holidays!

Oliver waiting on his Thanksgiving dinner.

Cody & Oliver

Steve and I. We plan on coming back to go boating!

These boys.

Waiting on their share of bacon.

All the love.

Birds eye view!

Beautiful landscape!

 

 

There has been a huge rise in people who have chosen a plant based diet over the last decade, for which there are many reasons. Most people choose to go this route for one of two reasons: morality and/or health. I can understand people’s beliefs leaning towards veganism and vegetarianism being a healthier way of eating. Certainly putting any type of thought into the health effects of the food you eat is better than the typical American’s approach to food and there is definitely a valid argument that modern processed meat that comes from animals loaded with antibiotics and feed that they were never meant to eat can have seriously negative health consequences long term. There is also a valid argument that the way animals are treated for mass food production is of low moral standards. Certainly packing animals tightly together indoors without any room to move or exposure to the outdoors and forced to live in unsanitary conditions doesn’t seem like the right way to do things.

The only part of vegan ideology that I believe is completely false is the idea that killing animals is wrong. All life on earth lives through the consumption of organic material. Life has to consume life to live. Plants feed on the decayed remains of other living organisms, herbivores eat those plants, and carnivores eat those herbivores. The argument that human beings were made to eat plants only is completely illogical. Our biology in no way supports that idea and neither does our evolution, as early humans were known to be hunter gatherers. It wasn’t until the invention of agriculture that life as a human could be sustained by plants alone.

I believe that hunting addresses both morality and health when it comes to meet consumption. Killing an animal to sustain your own life is not immoral, it is the circle of life, as explained above. If a hunter does not kill an animal, another predator will, another of it’s own species will, or nature will. Very few animals in nature live long enough to die of old age. They are killed to be eaten, killed over territory or reproduction, starve to death, drown, freeze, get sick, get injured, or get stuck in tar pits and become fossils. A bullet to the heart and lungs is the most pain free and quickest death most animals can hope for. Likewise, an animal who has lived in it’s natural habitat and eaten foods that it was made to eat, is the healthiest of food choices. I’d even argue that it is far healthier than most plants people consume as it has not been modified and created in unnatural conditions. I believe there are three reasons to hunt:

  1. Food Harvest: Like I stated above, I believe that this is the healthiest of meat sources.
  2. The Experience: There are few experiences like being out in the wild, either with your friends or alone. You get to see, smell, hear, and experience things that people who don’t hunt never do.
  3. The Challenge: In every hunting situation, the odds are against you. Animals are in their natural habitat and adapted to survive. Their hearing, site, smell and awareness is so far beyond that of ours it’s completely lopsided. Being able to successfully harvest an animal is a hell of an achievement, especially if that animal is old and wise and made it through multiple hunting seasons.

I believe that all three of these must be part of the hunting experience in order to justify killing an animal (outside of animals causing harm to humans and other special cases). If you just hunt for the meet, you will quickly find ways to reduce the challenge and lessen the experience. If you just hunt for the experience or the challenge, you are wasting a valuable food source and therefore wasting an animal’s life. However, when all three are present, there is nothing better than the experience and challenge of working hard to get the opportunity at a shot, making a successful shot, and appreciating that animal each time you cook a meal and remember the hunt.

In an effort to continue to be the best we can be for you, I thought it might be a good idea to share with you what we call our Bill of Rights. When you join CrossFit NBS, you’re not just showing up for a workout, its important to note that you’re a part of a team and you and I enter into a partnership. We have responsibilities to one another. Here is our promise to you, and what we ask from you in return:

Client Bill of Rights – CrossFit NBS

You are at the center of what we do. Your experience at CrossFit NBS is very important.

To keep things simple for you, we ask that you agree to these simple terms and conditions of service:

At CrossFit NBS we promise to:

  1. Always be on time for our appointment with you.
  2. Be prepared with a training plan for the session.
  3. Modify workouts as necessary.
  4. Make you the center of our attention during your session.
  5. Write exercise and nutrition plans to fit your long-term progression.
  6. Behave in a professional manner.
  7. Explain WHY any given exercise or cognitive task is relevant to you.
  8. Correctly invoice or make corrections immediately.
  9. Return your phone call or email at the first available opportunity.
  10. Provide you with a safe, clean space to train.
  11. Treat every client the same with regard to pricing, scheduling, and answering questions.
  12. Stay on top of relevant research that will help you achieve your goals.
  13. Provide ‘homework’ as necessary.
  14. Collaborate with other healthcare professionals as required on your behalf.
  15. Be as flexible as possible in accommodating your schedule.
  16. Maintain the strictest confidentiality.
  17. Hold your lost items for two weeks before donating them to an appropriate charity.

In return, we ask that you:

  1. Arrive on time for your appointments and classes (it’s YOUR time we’re talking about, after all.)
  2. Keep credit card, address and billing information up to date.
  3. Tell your Coach immediately if you’re feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous. We can help.
  4. Put your things away – neatly and in clean condition – immediately after use.
  5. Be aware of and nice to everyone else in the gym (you can still be mean to us. That’s fine.)
  6. Make your Coach aware of aches, pains or other issues at the start of your session.
  7. Keep children within arm’s reach.

*Adapted from:
Chris Cooper
Two Brained Business

Change:

I have Had a conversation with many in the gym of some decisions I have made which drastically changes how I will be training in the future and the impact it will have on me as a lifter in the sport of powerlifting. The Record Breakers meet was basically a reset button to figure out where I am at in the sport, more so for myself. I will be getting back to training with the powerlifting team when meet prep roll’s around. I think this is an important variable in my training I have been missing for a year, it will also allow for me to focus more on coaching which is becoming a greater priority than lifting (currently).

The Meet:

Cali was a pretty neat experience, I learned a ton from EliteFTS coach Harry Selkow. I made a blog post stating that the meet became a secondary to the trip while being mentored by Harry rose to the main reason I was out there. I learned so much from him to take home and implement with clients, friends, and family. The actual competition was rough, I nearly bombed out on squat’s but, was able to make my third attempt count. I was ok with only hitting my second attempts on bench and deadlift to finish out my day going 5/9. Below is a more in-depth write up (and video) on my EliteFTS Blog.

 

https://www.elitefts.com/training-logs/reebok-record-breakers-meet-re-cap/

Today, I was able to catch up with one of the first coworkers I ever had in my career as a coach.  It was good catching up , and remembering the early days of our careers.  My god, how things have changed for me.  Getting older in itself comes with some maturity, but growing up in the fitness industry has been especially enlightening. Growing through the upshift in social media usage has been ESPECIALLY interesting.  I thought it might be fun to note a few huge shifts I have been fortunate to see in my own career.

a.) Social media exploded in the past 10 years, making access to coaches and information easier than ever. Additionally, the need to produce content and promote yourself has never been more urgent. Relevance is influence and influence is power. That’s not a pretty truth, but it is undeniable.

b.) The fitness industry is starting to regulate itself.  Aside from collegiate and above coaching, most states still see fitness as a recreational endeavor.  Thus, we are wildly unregulated.  You don’t need much more than a free weekend and a few hundred bucks to be a certified personal trainer.  You don’t even have to be good.  In fact, most coaches are really terrible.  But if you have the barriers to entry knocked out and can market yourself, you will have a business.  THANKFULLY, we are starting to get to a place that access to information and reviews is easier than ever.  Each iron sport or fitness endeavor has its own “gurus” that everyone would agree have proved themselves in their niche.  If you asked every bodybuilder who they believe the top five coaches are, you would likely get a very similar list from person to person, barring a few personal attachments. Same goes for every sport. Crossfit, endurance, powerlifting, strongman, etc etc all have a handful of VERY popular coaches. Those popular coaches, love or hate it, provide the standard for what we consider to be great coaching.

c.) Clients are still buying relationships:  So lets be honest.  11 years ago, I wasn’t shit. I was not a good coach, I did not have a great understanding of what I was doing, and I lacked experience. However: I was totally booked most of the time.  Why? Because I knew that my coaching wasn’t going to keep them around. Ha. It had to come down to two things: doing the best I could (even if I wasn’t great) and communicating that to the client.  I didn’t take clients I felt were out of my skill set and we problem solved together.  This has proven to stay the case, and I believe the key to a long, successful career coaching lies in building relationships.

d.) Its totally cool to be wrong: Perhaps the most daunting part of creating content is that you may, at some point, change your mind.  I have changed my opinion on a few things: HIIT vs LISS, training frequency, training volume, training intensity, low carb diets, low fat diets, fasting, Intermittent fasting, vaccines, PEDs, endurance sports, technique/skill training, different cues, coaching voice in general, community cultivation, billing procedures, SOPS, causes of various injuries, rehab protocols, chiropractors, supplements, paleo diet, fish oil…you get it.  While biology hasn’t changed much since we have been alive, our understanding of it all is constantly shifting.  The only way to proceed and stimulate conversation is to be open to the idea that you, too, will be dead wrong.  What you will find is that people are usually quite alright with that, so long as you explain your position.

e.) Huge network < productive network: I have worked in huge facilities that were a constant fight for clientele between trainers/coaches and I have worked in facilities that saw the big picture better.  If you have a TON of colleagues where the fear mentality is front and center, you will not thrive.  In that instance, its best to have fewer colleagues that know there are more than enough people out there that need help. Best case scenario: huge productive network. The best way to make room for those relationships is to trim the fat on your friends list.

f.) Education Matters: The fitness industry, as mentioned earlier, still does not require any formal education.  Because of these, we see a huge social pendulum: for months you will see people talk about how important education is and then, with just one voice instigating the switch, you will hear a ton of chatter about how education is totally unnecessary because all the learning is done on the job.  I will say this: there is validity to both. However, if nothing else, getting really involved in the cellular level of training will give you a great bullshit meter. We are not only plagued with a zero-barrier-to-entry situation in the fitness industry, but our sister industry (supplements) is also wildly unregulated.  When you get two convincing voices together talking absolute non-sense to an already ill-informed public, we have a marketing masterpiece waiting to happen. This happens SO OFTEN in the fitness industry, that all you need to do to stand out is explain why proposed biology explanations are bullshit.  Example: when I was in the collegiate sector, there was a private studio gym that sold caffeine pills. However, they told their clients (who trusted them), that there was a dosing protocol based on hair color.  This resulted in slight overconsumption of caffeine and clients flying through these overpriced No-Doz.  This scheme existed until enough other professionals were able to broadcast that there was no actual link between hair color and caffeine sensitivity. That knowledge then collapsed the entire business structure of that group, which was unfortunate for the trainers who simply took their superiors word. Had they the knowledge to know that was bullshit, perhaps they could have steered themselves in a different direction

e.) Find what you are great at and own it: Its tempting for me to spend my few moments of free time  learning more about powerlifting, because its interesting. However, I will *never* have the passion for it that Christian does. What I do enjoy is hybrid athletics. I find it fascinating.  Luckily, I don’t have to take on powerlifting, because I can always refer to Christian.  The neat thing about referring to true specialists is that I still kind of look like the superhero by association.  Additionally, I have more time to really dive into the nitty gritty of hybrid athletics and take something I do believe I’m great at, and become better.  You simply will never have the time to be great at everything that grabs your attention. Choose something you have a natural tendency towards, and manage the weaknesses. Bonus: this requires developing a strong referral bridge.

f.) You are a screenshot away from being ruined: This is a relatively new concern, but worth mentioning: every bit of text communication you commit is subject to be shared. As a general rule, just assume any and all text messages will be public.  Its best to say nothing at all, then let loose lips sink ships.

 

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing” –Teddy Roosevelt

 

I heard this quote some time ago, and couldn’t decide how I felt about it.  Then, an event happened that made it all make sense.  For quite some time, I have known a girl.  We will call her Susie for the sake of anonymity.  Suzie was morbidly obese for as long as I can remember. She was also the nicest girl I believe I have ever met.  Everyone I knew went extreme lengths to make sure she was included and the inevitable attacks the world lobbed at her.  It was one of the first cruel truths a lot of my friends and I learned growing up: the world will point out your flaws.

Over the years, I would watch her become increasingly overweight.  She first hit the 200lb mark, then the 300, then the 400.  We stopped bringing it up after that.  On the occasions I would see her, she would smile and tell me how proud she was to know me, and how well I am doing in my fitness goals. I would like politely and change the subject. Something about that interaction never felt right.

It wasn’t a topic of small talk or gossip. No one talked about her weight.  We didn’t want to hurt her feelings. We wanted her to feel accepted and loved, because she was such an accepting/loving woman.

And here’s the sad truth: she died.  She died before 30 because I was too much of a damn wimp to offer her the help she needed.  I wouldn’t have opposed the work pro-bono, as she was truly a joy to be around. Nope, I simply said nothing because I didn’t want to deal with potentially hurting her feelings. So I stuck my head in the sand and let her slowly kill herself. I had all the education in the world on the topic. Certainly literature fully supports that her death was imminent and yet, I pretended there was a better use of my time. There wasn’t. And I’m done.

I am done ignoring blatant health risks.  I never set out on this path to tell people what they want to hear.  I always wanted to help people. “To change lives” I have said. Specifically, I wanted to help people by way of properly applied nutritional support and exercise prescription. I have done every formal education route I could logistically afford to do so, and have successfully turned SEVERAL peoples picture of health around. However, I did it mostly passively. They came to me, I did as they asked.  If someone didn’t asked, I didn’t help.  Hell, I have seen people obviously struggling with health related choices, and bit my tongue because I didn’t want to step on any toes. And while we can sit here and replay all the success stories, the truth is that its the fumbles that make you lose sleep at night.  I don’t stay away thinking about client so-and-so’s lowered BMI. I stay awake thinking about how I should have said something…ANYTHING…to people like Susie.

So maybe I will come clean on things I have watched, and said nothing:

–Morbid obesity that led to a slew of heath issues and ultimately death

–overuse and abuse of PEDs

–extreme social isolation

–Eating disorders, ranging from binge eating to orthorexia 

–obsessive tendencies

–physical abuse

I am done turning a blind eye to these issues.  If you are looking for a coach to turn a blind eye to things you are doing that can shave years off of your life, I am not your girl.  If you are looking for me to tell you that everything will be fine and that behavior modification is a walk in the park, you will be disappointed. If you want to abuse yourself and those around you for the sake of some instant gratification, I will object. At the end of the day, I never set out to be Coach Feel Good. I set out to make your life better in a real way. Because when I can, I want to do the right thing and help you.  At times, I believe I need to do the “wrong” thing: hurt your feelings with the truth.  But I am done doing nothing.

Venting

So we all know, and experienced, what its like to take pre workout and have to run to the bathroom. If not you will be there at some point in your training days, mark my words. Most individuals who train have a higher protein diet than most, with that being said, it is not uncommon to walk into the bathroom, breath like a normal human being, and get the ripest whiff of an unpleasing aroma. So people got smart and put vents in bathrooms to aid in this allowing circulation. Well, members at our great facility thought it necessary that this is not suitable for our facilities and decide to reach up and close our vents.

 

On Sale Now

On to some more standard stuff, it looks as though our monster addict who is to lazy to put their shit in the garbage can is back but decided to t forget we offer: White, Orange, Red, Blue, AND Purple zero calorie monsters at the front desk for $3 each. If your lucky and keep this BS up ill see about adding $1 to that price for cleaning cause this crap will probably never stop.

 

 

Chain Gang

There are enough of you that do this requiring a gosh dang tutorial! If you use chains and have learned how to choke chains up on one another you have been here more than a few months which means you have a general idea of what you’re doing. Use that general knowledge to undo the M F’ING chains when you are done!!!!! My arms are not as long / short as your’s, neither is anyone else’s, if you can take the time to choke them up for the love of everything holy go through the trouble of unclipping it, or ill choke you!

 

A couple weekends ago, my wife and I and two other couples went on a camping trip up to Mountain View, Arkansas in the Ozark National Forest. Back when I was in middle school and high school, I used to do all kinds of outdoor adventures. We used to bike, camp, hike, backpack, mountain climb. canoe, and many other activities on a regular basis for boy scouts. As I grew older, I stopped doing so many outdoor activities but recently have had the itch to get back into it.

Friday night while getting ready to head out I tried to burn my house down. I was cooking candied bacon and due to a misunderstanding on the correct preparation of said bacon, I lit my oven on fire and filled my house with smoke. The Germantown Fire Department came by and helped remove the smoke from the house. Needless to say I was a little frazzled and embarrassed. After that fiasco were got on the road and made the three hour trip up to Mountain View.

We set up camp late, coining the term “glamping” in the process. Glamping is glamour camping as evidenced by our giant tent and blow up air mattress. Saturday, we woke up and had eggs cooked inside avocados, which were delicious, and packed our day bags for the hike. We were shuttled to the trail head and hit the trail starting around 9:15. The hike was awesome. The temperature was between 60 and 70 with a slight bit of overcast but dry ground. We hiked 5 miles into another camp ground, had a lunch break, and hiked another 6 back to our camp site. The second half was a lot tougher than the first half which consisted of well worn trails through the forest. The second half was up and down rock formations that were covered in slippery moss. A good bit more difficult but an awesome view the whole time. After pounding out the 11 miles, we took our chairs and dropped our feet into Sylamore Creek which was right by our camp ground and opened up a few beers.

That night we had hobos (tin foil meals) with ground beef, carrots, potatoes, onions, and broccoli and a dutch oven peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream for desert. It was delicious. We sat around the campfire playing a few games but we were all pretty exhausted from the hike so we hit the beds pretty early. The next morning we woke up and had scrambled eggs, bacon, and cinnamon rolls and took a trip to Blanchard Caverns. This cave system is incredible! I highly suggest going to check it out. The giant sanctuary that is 200 ft below ground is filled with some of the most breath taking sights you will see. I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to be the person who discovered it, what it would be like to poke your head through a whole and see something like that. We then had some pizza at a local restaurant and headed back to Memphis, planning our next trip the whole way back.

 

Warning: I pretty much play the whole song. So I did something slightly different in this weeks riff. I re-strung my acoustic guitar after a string broke last week and i thought it would be cool to do my riff unplugged this week. Believe it or not, I really enjoy playing my acoustic guitar. obviously it’s a totally different sound than an electric with a lot of distortion on it, but I’ve always enjoyed the sound. This weeks riff, or shall I say song comes from Alice in Chains. This particular song is off of their MTV unplugged show they did in 1996. The song is titled Over Now. The original track was released on their self titled album in 1995. Just like most of their songs, I fell in love with this one the first time I heard it. I have a slight screw up at the very end but I wasn’t about to redo the whole thing because of that one part. This song is played in an open D tuning, which actually took me forever to figure out because I was looking at the tuning backwards. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this unplugged version because their will probably be more to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

….wrong, PERFECT practice makes perfect!

It has been said to us all of our life that, “Practice Makes Perfect”, however, Vince Lombardi quoted that ‘Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.’  I agree.

In the Beginning

When I began CrossFit, it wasn’t uncommon to see some really janky movements.  If there was a prescribed weight in a workout (no matter what) some jack legged joe was going to do it, if nothing but to protect his ego. Scaling weight wasn’t necessarily a thing back in those early years. It was do…or die trying. With that came some pretty bad habits. Perhaps that is how CrossFit ended up with a bit of a bad reputation in the beginning. Fast forward to 2017. Scaling weights has caught on, but the need to focus on proper movement mechanics still often gets lost. Scrolling through my Facebook feed and I am still aghast at poor movement techniques. I know PRs aren’t pretty, but come on, since when is jerking a barbell off the floor to hit a deadlift PR ok?  I thought we’d come further than that.

So where does the problem lie? Is it in the coaches? The CrossFitters? Both? Or, is it imperfect practice technique? Where ever we point the finger, we need to fix it.

Recently, I have spent some time outside of our gym and around various other CrossFitters. It’s always a great experience for me to peek my head out the window occasionally and see whats going on. Keeping my mouth shut when I see poor movement mechanics is a challenge, not everyone takes kindly to getting corrected by someone other than their own coach. I don’t pretend to know it all, but I’ve been around and I do know a few things. When I am coaching you, my job is to find and correct imperfect movement. Want to shut me up? Do it correctly.

What’s Most Important?

The first and most important component of beginning CrossFit is to follow mechanics, consistency, and then intensity. These three aspects are intricately interrelated; CrossFit does not work to its potential unless you execute each one and understand its relationship to the others.

  1.  Mechanics refers to technique—your ability to move properly through our core movements. For us, this means moving yourself and external objects in the most efficient, effective, and safe manner possible.
  2. Consistency has a two-part application: 1) That you are consistent in performing the mechanics of the movement; and 2) That you are consistent in CrossFit workouts. Both are necessary! CrossFit workouts are very potent medicine; too much too soon and you can severely hurt yourself.
  3. Intensity, as Coach Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit, formally states, is the independent variable most commonly associated with the rate of return on favorable adaptation. Simply, intensity brings about all the good results from working out. However, we also have to realize that intensity is relative to our physical and psychological tolerances. This is a process, and one that takes an indeterminate amount of time, so be patient.

What Should You Do?

  1. Practice perfection.  Perfect practice is truly the only way to make perfect. If you practice things perfectly by hammering in the details (mechanics), then you’ll see immeasurable improvement in far less time than the person who takes a short cut to get to intensity.
  2. Take some weight off of the bar. You are never going to be able to nail down proper mechanics when you can hardly move the bar in the first place. Check your ego and drop the weight.
  3. Be patient. This seems to be the hardest part for many. CrossFit is a life long adventure. Take the time that you need to build your skills. The more time you spend practicing perfect positioning, the safer you will be and the quicker you will develop. No one wants to take time off for an injury that could have been prevented.
  4. Ask for help. If you’re having trouble nailing down those double unders or stringing together more than 2 pull ups, ask me for help. I’m happy to offer a few technique tips that will send you on your road to success.

The body adapts quickly. Before you know it, you will be charging through each of your workouts with max intensity!  However, if its worth doing, its worth doing right!

*some excerpts take from the CrossFit Journal article: http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_Widman_CFStartupGuide1.pdf

“David, I…HATE…RUNNING!”

I’ve heard it more than once in my time as a trainer. Running is a very polarizing activity. Some people love it, most people hate it, and neither side really understands how the other one can feel the way they do towards it. I once programmed a mile run into the training plan for the powerlifting team. Now let me tell you, I’ve programmed some pretty terrible things before. As in blow the blood vessels in your eyes, pass out, puke, wanna die things. But I have never seen a more resounding and collective discontent with a piece of my programming than when I told a bunch of powerlifters they had to run a mile once a week.

Why do lifters hate running? Simple, because it sucks. It’s boring, you sit there and do the same thing for an extended period of time. There’s nothing really cool about it. You can’t really post pictures or videos of yourself running on the ‘gram. You can’t talk and bust the balls of your fellow lifters while you’re doing it. It’s just not as fun as lifting, we’ll agree on that. But….you still need to be doing some type of cardio vascular training. Why?

  • Improved Health: As much as lifters like to brag about how they can eat a whole pizza with some added olive oil and a pint of ice cream to finish it off, deep down, no one wants diabetes, to have a stroke, or to have their heart explode one day too soon. Plus lack of health=not a fun life. You can’t sleep well, you don’t feel good, your energy levels are low, and you can’t do fun things with out getting short of breath. Being healthy is pretty vital when it comes to quality of life and cardio can help you be more healthy.
  • Improved Lifting: Your aerobic capacity is vital to your success as a lifter. The oxidative energy system is the system we recover in which means we need that system to quickly and efficiently deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles while removing by-products of metabolism. A lifter who has a poor cardio vascular system will take longer to recover between sets. This means less training volume over a given time period, which means less improvement. Likewise if a lifter has less than ideal aerobic capacity, they will not be able to recover as quickly between attempts during a meet. So cardio is important, even if you’re only concerned about your lifting.

“But David, I HATE RUNNING!!!!”

Well good news, you don’t have to run. In fact, as a lifter, running really might not be the ideal form of aerobic training for you. Realistically the best type of cardio for lifters is a something that is relatively low impact to protect their joints, tendons, and muscles, and can stimulate/build muscle groups and muscle fibers necessary for lifting. Lucky for you, I’ve laid out several options.

Loaded Walking

All you do is go for a simple walk, just add a little load to the mix to raise your heart rate. You can go for a ruck, where you load up a backpack of some sort with a little extra weight (kettlebell, sandbag, weight plate, etc) and then just go for a walk. You can go by distance (ie 3-4 miles) or by time (60 minutes). This can give you an opportunity to get out, see a little bit of nature, and breath in some fresh air instead of your training partner’s protein farts. Another way of doing a loaded walk is by choosing some implement and carrying it. Kettlebells, medballs, weight plates, you name it. Grab one and carry it for a mile or two. Or, grab a partner and split the load. The nice things about loaded walks is you can do it alone and listen to an audio book or in a group and have conversation and it’s not gonna beat up your ankles, knees, or hips.

Sled Walking

Grab a sled, throw some weights on and start dragging. You can go for distance or time and you can drag it a bunch of different ways. You can use a hip harness, a shoulder harness, a prowler, a backwards prowler, or handles. You can make it all lower body, all upper body, or some combination of both. The nice thing about sled work is that there isn’t any eccentric load. So you can build a large volume without causing any soreness. If you’re sore from a hard training day, give this a try targeting the muscles that are sore. It should help clear it up a bit.

Row Row Row Your Boat

The rower is a great form of cardio for lifters. It requires explosive power in the legs and upper back, very much mimics the deadlift, and doesn’t have any impact. You can use the row for different HIIT type training and for more purely aerobic work as well. Try these different workouts:

  • -2000 Meter Row, see if you can get under 7 minutes as a guy or under 8 minutes as a girl
  • -5000 Meter Row, see if you can get under 20 minutes as a guy or under 22 minutes as a girl
  • -10 fast pulls 10 slow pulls 10 rounds
  • -Row 500 meter, do 20 pushups, do this for 5-10 rounds (good for an overall body stimulus, ie legs, upper body pressing muscles, and upper body pulling muscles)
  • -Row 2 minutes, 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 20 squats, repeat for 5-10 rounds (also good overall body stimulus)

Weight Cardio

One of my favorite ways of having clients do “cardio” is through different weight training methods. Doing this allows us to target the specific muscles we are looking to develop while still getting an aerobic benefit. Here are a few ideas:

  • -Choose 3 different exercises. They can target the same muscle group (bench press, DB incline bench press, pec deck), similar groups of muscles (DB bench, DB side raises, rope pressdowns), or several different muscle groups (leg press, pulldowns, pec deck). Pick a light weight for each and do each exercise for 1 minute. After that minute move immediately to the next exercises with as little a break as possible. Repeat this for 5 rounds.
  • -Use about 25% of your 1RM on a main lift, do a rep every 10 seconds. Maintain the bar positioning between attempts as long as possible. This means squat bar stays on the shoulders, bench is held over the chest, deadlift is held at the lock out, overhead press is held with arms extended over head. You can do this for time, for rounds, until failure, whatever you choose. Warning, it’s pretty tough.
  • -Instead of doing 3×10, choose an exercise and do AMRAP in 1 minutes, take a 1 minutes break, do AMRAP in 45 seconds, take a 45 second break, do AMRAP in 30 seconds and move immediately to the next exercise using the same scheme.

Cardio sucks but it doesn’t have to suck as much as running. Use these methods to keep yourself healthy and your body strong.

The majority of people suffer from tight hamstrings. It’s one of the leading causes in postural issues and back pain, especially in golfers. This month’s mobility exercise will help in fixing that problem. It’s very simple. Just lie on your back with one leg straight against the floor and the other leg at a 90-degree angle off the floor, with your hands placed behind your knee. From this position, you will preform 2 different movements. For the first movement, keep your foot extended (pointing away from you) and extend your leg.

Do this movement 10xs before performing the second part. For the second movement, return to the original position, but this time I want you to flex your foot (bring your toes towards you).

Just like the previous movement, I want you to perform it 10xs. This exercise isn’t the most comfortable (as you can see from the article picture) but it is very effective!

How do you Recover Outside of Training?

Does training fall within your top five priorities in life? Do you feel like training creeps into other areas of your life and you cannot stop thinking about it? This tends to occur when someone is passionate about a sport, hobby, or career. Nothing is wrong with answering yes to any of these questions, but finding a recovery method is something that I have learned is very helpful in my own training and coaching of others. I would like to share with you a few of the things I get into to step away from the barbell and recover my mind from work and the #WorkHouse #Gym #Grind #Hustle #WorkFlow and whatever other lame #HashTag you want to throw in.

Ever since being enrolled in school, I have had an aversion toward reading.

Even when good ole recess was still a part of the curriculum, my energy level was always that of someone who had way too much caffeine. My attention span was short, I was a slow reader, and nothing ever caught my interest or stimulated my imagination.

Over the last year, I have started to make time to read. If you have passions, one of the best ways to get better at them is to educate yourself. No matter what degree you have, the sport you play, or profession you are in, your pursuits are a journey, not a destination. Continuing education should be a constant. Whatever your passion may be, I guarantee they have a book for that.

SO, off my soapbox.

I enjoy reading at the end of the day. Sound lame? Maybe, but I enjoy my reading with a glass of bourbon.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Woodford Reserve Master’s Reserve Double Oaked (SO GOOD, one of the smoothest I’ve tried)
  • Woodford reserve Single Barrel ( smooth but not as much as double oaked)
  • Belle Meade Sour Mash (acquired taste, took me two different occasions to fall for head over heels for it)
  • Bulleit Bourbon 10 year (thanks, Rachael)
  • Angel’s Envy
  • Basil Hayden’s (smooth)
  • FOR BEGINNERS Knob Creek Maple Bacon

So this is my first go-to, and easiest way for me to now get away from training, coaching, and the gym when I am not inside these 4 walls of death metal, chalk, and iron. Stay tuned for the next installment of how to recover. It’s an odd hobby that I used to do for a job and now do it to clear my mind, recover from workouts, and enjoy the day!