They’ll say 90% of people shouldn’t run. They tell you it’s high impact and bad for you.
Or that you can see greater benefit from lifting weights and functionally training your big toe, as long as you track your macros and use PR glue.
I set a goal recently to run a 50k in November, only to be questioned by a local fitness guru, claiming that running that distance won’t make me better at what I do.
What the hell does that do? Telling someone that you’re not going to improve your life by accomplishing a goal? Buzz off brosario dawson.
Makes me realize there’s far more resolve in my heart than there is to be accepted in the community. Running has taught me how to live between my ears. And it’s given me an outlet for my own anxieties while recognizing and confronting my faults, of which there are plenty.
The first mile has taught me how tough I can be. The grit and the pain in getting started. The middle teaches me how to take it easy. Push where I need to and slow down when it hurts. To pace myself in a happy way. To take each step with as much care as the next. And leave the previous one behind.
The final mile has taught me what matters. Why I run. What I run for. Who I run for. And the amount of effort it takes to finish what I start.
And I’m looking forward to JUST running, a bit more going forward.
I’m using this one to build volume for the ultimate goal of a 50k in November.
The fitness world is fraught with inconsistencies.
Butter used to be bad. But now it’s good.
Eggs are terrible for your cholesterol. But actually it’s not!
Squats kill your knees, don’t do them. But actually, do them because you have to every time you poop!
It’s a world full of noise.
It makes living a healthy life difficult. Your intentions are good, only to learn that your focus has been ‘wrong’.
I’ve got a quick fix for you. And it’s far more simple in thought than in practice.
To every person I’ve ever worked with, and to every person I have had the pleasure of capturing with these words…
Try something difficult.
Let’s unpack that.
The word try. Trying something isn’t just dipping your toe in the water. It’s committing to something for the short term. Let’s say three months. The commitment-phobe in me wants to remind you – it’s not a long term commitment. And it’s OK to quit. Make your commitment enough to dive into a particular skill, game or activity. It’s a short term trial run to see if you enjoy it! Find a group that runs regularly. Find an adult sports league in a social setting. Find a dance instructor to learn the cha-cha from. Try. Because if you can commit to trying, and you learn that you enjoy whatever that thing is, you’ll stick with it.
The word something. If you’ve ever wanted to LOOK a certain way. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to do a kickflip on a skateboard. If you’ve ever wanted to see how far you can run. The key is that you make it something active. The whole reason you’re here is because you’ve enjoyed my message. And I’ve seen so many long term success stories. The ones who change their lives are the ones who find something relatively active – and actually end up enjoying it! It doesn’t have to be weight lifting. It doesn’t have to be yoga. Try something you’ve always wanted to do. Because taking an action toward something new will invigorate you, or it won’t. But by trying something, you aren’t giving up. And that’s a HUGE victory. Become a serial Try-er. When you find the thing you enjoy, you won’t be thinking about fitness. You’ll realize you’re thinking about improving a skill.
The world difficult. For some, it’s tying your own shoes. For others, it’s going for a walk. It’s subjective. Difficult for you may be mustering up the courage to tie up the ole shoes and take a walk around the block. For others, it could be hiking up a mountain at 13000 feet. And difficult doesn’t have to mean physical pain. It can be emotional pain. You could be hanging out in your house, resting up after an injury, fully resigned to the fact that you’ll never ‘feel’ young again. And personally, that’s the most difficult pain to endure. So strap up the kicks and skip your ass out the door. It may be the hardest damn steps you take today. But you will feel proud. And you damn well should.
In my case, I tried running – with the sole intent of going out and enjoying it. I’ve always hated the idea of running because I couldn’t get out of my own head when hitting the pavement. I have a theory that I hated running because it was always a ‘punishment’ in sports. So I resolved to try and reverse that thinking. And today, after a year of giving it a shot, I’m in the middle of training for a 30k Trail Race. So far, it’s been a hell of a challenge. I’m damn proud of myself for being willing to stick to it despite feeling like such a crappy runner in the beginning.
Try something difficult. You’ll realize the commitment bleeds over into other aspects of your life. You’ll look in the mirror and enjoy the face looking back. You’ll be proud, confident, excited and motivated – by your own success.
And that’s all I’ve ever wanted for my people – to realize how fucking amazing you are.
Try something difficult. Your body and mind will love you for it.
Things I’m excited about:
Taking Lily to a baseball game on Friday
Getting people with like minds together to try something new
Getting my ass handed to me in racquetball
Finishing the book What You Do is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture
Being a fitness professional can be hard. It’s balancing everything about a person’s life. It’s trying to help an individual balance exercise, diet, mental state, obstacles, and EVERYTHING in their life that can detract them from a successful relationship with themselves. With that said, there are some serious struggles I see with the industry and where WE can improve how we interact with our people, by sending a more clear message. And here is where I get a little too sappy. But that’s what I am. So here we go.
My views on change are NOT absolute and they are perfectly fluid from person to person.
My guide to being a successful advocate for change:
Guide, don’t dictate. Too many fitness professionals try to ‘drive’ their clients. Rather than laying out a roadmap, together, and allowing the client to drive. You are doing your clients a disservice by not allowing them autonomy. A person wakes up and makes thousands of decisions a day. Adulting is exhausting. A successful fitness professional includes the client in the process. Guiding someone in fitness is a lot like being the passenger on a road trip. You’re navigating. The person to your left is driving. You can’t take the wheel. It’s the fitness professional’s job to let the client know where a detour occurs, or that one path could potentially take us in a different direction. And the driver may discover a new path. Or decide on a new endpoint. Be there for them, let them know they aren’t alone. And help them along in their decision making process. Your job is to understand obstacles. And help the driver navigate.
Celebrate success. Allow people to see how successful their bodies ARE. I could have a client bike 20 miles on a mountain, run up Olympus and swim twelve miles. But their mind tells them they are a failure because they didn’t lose five pounds. Success could be staring you in the face from every direction. But because gravity’s pull is a little greater on a given day, all successes go to nil. The fitness world is already harsh enough when it comes to appearance, with unattainable standards of beauty. I’ll let you in on something. When I had veins in my abs, I still wasn’t lean enough. When I got lean, I wasn’t big enough. I was short sighted. Don’t let your physical successes go to waste. Yell that shit from the rooftops. When you do something you are proud of, tell the world. Don’t apologize for DOING something amazing. Nobody gives a shit about how much you weigh. And you shouldn’t feel bad for a number that tells more about gravity’s pull on you. If anything, the fact that you did some awesome shit with more weight on you, makes the feat even more badass. CELEBRATE.
Connect and understand the WHY. Getting all sciencey is a waste of my time and yours. Nobody gives a shit about your breadth of knowledge and how big of words you can use, effectively or not. When you spout of stuff that someone doesn’t understand, they stop listening. By going over someone’s head, all you do is stroke your own ego. Keep it tight, relate success to a client’s WHY. For example, I had a geri-athlete complain the other day about a straight legged situp. I replied simply, by asking why they think I threw it into our routine. They told me that it was similar to how they get up in the morning when they wake up. I could have talked all day about hip flexor strength, rectus abdominis, flexion in the spine and how controversial it can be in fitness (I’ll save that for another day). But by phrasing it around the client’s need, they answered their own question. And that makes me feel even more proud of my exercise selection! Sometimes, the client wants to complain. But if you can get them to see the carryover into their life, you are doing a hell of a job. You make the movement worth doing. It doesn’t matter what you know. What matters is that the message you send is consistent with why they came to see you in the first place.
I guess that’s kind of all for now. In the next couple of days, I’ll add more stuff to the list in time. But please feel free to share any transformative experiences you have had, whether it’s a success of your own, or someone else’s.
And a random list of things I can’t get enough of:
Including my clients in the decision making process.
Stepping back and allowing my client to drive the process, especially if they have expertise in the subject matter. It means I am learning.
Demonstrating to the people around me realize how fucking amazing they are.
And a highlight in my life was watching her first steps. It didn’t happen overnight. She tried, and tried, and tried. She fell a bunch. Got bruised up here and there. It took her months. Time, effort and consistency.
The persistent need to walk was the only thing that kept her going. The will to keep pushing herself up was always there. It took time. It took setbacks. But it meant too much for her to quit.
She needed to walk. And it was not a question of whether it was going to happen.
Just a matter of when and how.
And no matter who you are, if you want something bad enough, you’ll get back up. You’ll get bruised, you’ll feel shame and guilt and you’ll get frustrated as hell. But you will succeed if your desire is greater than your feelings of failure.
Succeed one time. It gets easier from there.
And with that success, you’ll be able to replicate it. And you’ll learn to appreciate the failures even more.
Take time today and praise your failures. Failure is only as powerful as you make it.
Embrace the challenges.
Embrace your efforts.
And be proud of your consistency.
And chances are, the effort for you to walk was similar to my kid’s.
So I KNOW you can do it.
BE persistent. Be honest about your failures. And you will succeed if you want it as bad as you wanted to learn to walk.
I’m going to pull back the veil a little too much on this one.
I’ve been doing the exercise thing for a long time. I’ve helped hundreds of people lose thousands of pounds. I’ve helped people increase their strength. Hell, I’ve even helped people get six-pack abs. This industry is bombarded with goals centered around physical appearance.
Perpetuated by Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, magazines…being ‘lean, toned and sexy’ is the only way to be.
An equal pressure is placed on dudes to bench more weight, get stronger, leaner, bigger.
The world of fitness is so closely tied to physical attributes that it can be entirely too much.
As a fitness pro, the buzz around weight loss makes me feel some kind of way. ‘HOLY SHIT NEW YEARS IS HERE, NOT THIS AGAIN’. Exhausting.
I’m going keto for this.
Intermittent fast for that.
Paleo because this.
As tiring as the narrative is year to year, stepping on the scale is the one thing that really bugs me. We’re peeling back the layers of of your life. We spend time improving habits. Cleaning out cabinets.
Yet, when a client sees success in so many areas, except for the scale, it ruins everything. When the number on the scale goes up, it ruins their passion and progress. It makes them question why they are doing it. It can be a sickness, an obsession.
Don’t get me wrong. The scale can be a way we measure progress. And for some people, it’s the right thing to do.
It can be a way we direct our program, if it is there to improve your health and you have a great relationship with the objectivity it provides. But it’s not everything. It should only be a small, minute, piece of the pie.
I’ll try to paint a picture of what drives me, as a fitness professional. What gets me excited.
I don’t give a shit about your weight. You lose five pounds, cool. I’ll be excited for a moment. I’ll be thrilled for about as long as it takes you to step on the scale. That 5 seconds, I’ll be thrilled. Or tell you to dial the diet down when you gain a pound.
Maybe I’m not a weight loss guy. And I’m starting to realize, that’s ok.
What excites me, is seeing you break outside of your shell.
You can walk further than you could a month ago. You can tie your shoes without getting out of breath. You chose to take the stairs because you felt like you didn’t get enough movement in today. You fit into a pair of pants better than you used to. You start to wear shit that makes you FEEL sexy. You can lift more than you used to. You are more confident.
It’s the day to day stuff that gets me bouncing of the walls and reignites my fuel in fitness.
Today, I met with my client, Amit. Amit and I started a few months back, working on developing his down dog position (his goal was to perform down dog pain-free). His secondary and tertiary goals were to go snowboarding, followed by being able to perform a headstand with competence. Of note, he had a knee surgery a few years back to correct tibia position that he hasn’t yet felt confident enough in.
We didn’t get on the scale. We didn’t measure bodyfat, strength or any of the other stuff you care to see on a testimonial page.
He clearly, and distinctly had functional goals.
Well, the pain free down dog thing was achieved after a couple of months of movement education. It was honestly a matter of HOW he performed the movement. I’m no expert yogi – but I can tell you when your body isn’t moving with symmetry. And I helped him develop the basics of keeping a packed shoulder while in a ‘passive’ position.
With the down dog stuff cleared up we moved on!
Today, during our session, I was greeted with enthusiasm. We walked into his workout space and he immediately kicked up into a headstand on demand. We had practiced it a few times, worked on developing a strong hollow position. And today…VOILA!
Headstand looking good!!
Not only that, he’s hitting the slopes tonight to take a snowboarding lesson for the first time in years.
His legs are stronger. His confidence is high. And his ABILITY is through the roof.
So, I’m stoked. I’m riding the high of another successful functional goal.
We didn’t measure bodyfat. Or weight. Or circumference.
But he HAS dropped weight. He HAS cleaned up his eating. He knows when to stop. He doesn’t enjoy the feeling of stuffing himself full anymore.
And a piece of me is curious about how much weight he’s lost. But that’s also the piece of me that doesn’t truly give a shit.
This dude is getting stronger.
He is focused on his abilities.
And he is focused on improving the intensity of his movement. His ability is the payoff. Not a number.
So today, I sit here, reveling in his success. And it’s not topical, nor does it fluctuate. He is snowboarding tonight. He is performing headstands. He can hang out in down dog for 10 minutes, pain free.
What I’m getting at, is that what you CAN DO matters. As your abilities increase, your comfort increases. Your habits improve.
Can you do more today than your did yesterday?
What do you WANT to be able to do?
And how do you get there?
Take some time away from the scale. Take some time away from the stress of not feeling strong, or beautiful or weak.
Take a moment to think about what you want to do.
Take a moment and think about what you want your body to do.
Function matters more than that damn number.
Feel free to drop some ideas on how you function better today than you did yesterday. Feel free to brag a bit. This is the shit that keeps me going.
I’ve spent the last ten plus years inundated with fitness. It’s been a passion. A point of service. And I’ve been grateful at the opportunity to not only serve amazing people, but experience a lifestyle unique to me. One that I am proud of. But also, one that I question every single day.
Fitness to me is a piece of life. I’ve always been the type of person who gets wholly obsessed. Whether it’s with a video game, a sport, a skill, fitness, school or whatever else I decide to get involved in, my life begins to revolve around that one thing. Which is pretty cool, but it can also get overwhelming.
In this world, I constantly look forward. Metaphorically and literally. I’m constantly in this battle of where to take my health. Where do I want to go tomorrow? What do I want to try next? Who do I want to work with? What type of body do I want? What activities do I want to dive into? And most of all what can I do today to make a more clear path toward my desired outcome, tomorrow?
On top of that, I have to balance my life around being of service to others…How can I be of service to others? How can I find the right people to work with? And there’s also that voice of insecurity that I do my best to move past…why would this person think I can help them? What can I do for them, when my own life is a mess? Etc, etc, etc.
I constantly live in this world, where I am not allowed to sit back and just feel…satisfied. It’s a debilitating emotional experience where I haven’t been able to sit back, relax and say – my life is pretty fucking rad.
And to me, life is an experience I am addicted to – and that piece sometimes forgets to appreciate and celebrate my own health.
And that’s what brings me here.
Over the New Year, I decided to take an adventure to the Grand Canyon. It was a 9 hour drive, followed by a stay at the local KOA, 45 minutes from the South Rim at the Grand Canyon.
There is a piece of me that still doesn’t believe the Grand Canyon itself was real. The backdrop was too perfect. Far too amazing and unbelievable. And I’ll only believe it was real once I actually set foot next to the Colorado River later this year.
People from all walks of life coming together to experience and celebrate something nature carved out through time and consistency.
It was a surreal backdrop enjoyed from the trailhead and a few miles into the canyon, where I hiked.
It was an introduction to a world I never thought possible. It’s one thing to see the Canyon in a picture, it’s another to experience it.
On the trail, at any given moment, you are feet from death. The anxiety of taking a bad step crippled me at first. But it became more comfortable with time. The comfort and anticipation grew. And with each step, a renewed sense of confidence and appreciation for the world we share – in a year comprised of Zoom meetings, home exercise and anxiety – we have spent this time together, each in our own little worlds.
The experience in the Canyon itself was not comparable to anything I have ever felt. And not just because it was a beautiful sculpture, carved out over thousands and millions and billions of years.
But as the hike into and out of the canyon progressed, I felt grateful.
I can pinpoint the exact moment. I passed a few hikers with a head nod and a hello. Beyond a group of dudes who were hooting and hollering about how dope my Jesus sweatshirt was. And just beyond the point in the canyon where snow began to accumulate.
There was a moment while hiking up the canyon that made me feel like it was all worth it.
The last ten years of my life – Wrapped up in a singular moment, with my heart rate elevated and a friend at my side. The hours spent studying. The hours spent stressing over a client’s progress. The hours spent serving my people. And the hours spent working on my own health.
It was worth it.
Everything I set out to accomplish was worth it. And it was a sense of getting over the idea of focusing on ‘tomorrow’ and what to strive for next. There was a singular moment of gratitude. My heart, my body, my spirit. All of it. In that moment, it all made sense.
And I can’t stress enough how much clarity it gave me.
In this world, we constantly strive for a better body, for better health. We are constantly telling ourselves to dive into something new. Or get ready for the next step. We see perfect bodies on various forms of social media reminding us how imperfect we are.
And sometimes, it’s great to just stop and assess yourself. To thank yourself for the world you live in. For the feelings and sensations you have on a daily basis.
These thoughts and emotions you display are unique to you. And they are an accumulation of your years of experience.
I’m not sure what I am setting out to say in this post, other than to encourage you to seek out moments.
Moments to celebrate your own health. It took me three hours into the Grand Canyon to find mine.
It may take you years to find yours. Or days. Or a couple minutes into a blog post.
I want to encourage you to appreciate your health.
And DO what you can to celebrate it.
Don’t worry about getting leaner, or thinner, or stress over your next step.
But think about what you CAN do. And how you FEEL when you do it. Use fitness to celebrate your health. Your body, your mind, your spirituality. It is yours and nobody else’s. And it is as beautiful or as ugly as you make it out to be.
A New Year and resolutions can so easily get you thinking about improving your health, but it can also negatively impact the way you see yourself. We’re all coming off a hell of a year. And we all went through it together, despite being socially distanced. I want you to know that I appreciate you for following along in this journey and I hope you are able to see the beauty in our world. And I hope you can set out capture a few beautiful moments in yourself.
Today, I bring to you some information to share, about foods that fight arthritis! And not in some magical, wipe away your pain with a wand type of way. But more in a – this food doesn’t cause your inflammatory response to get thrown out of whack – type of way!
As an overarching lesson, to me, when you’re eating healthy, you don’t always feel the benefits in the short term. It takes time for your gut to adjust to specific foods. It takes repetition and consistency for your gut to figure out how to best digest specific foods. And some of the stuff on my list is a bit off the wall.
The impact of these foods are going to take time. It won’t happen overnight. But I guarantee you, when you’re in the routine of consuming foods that don’t flare you up, and you introduce some craptastic ‘food’ (see previous blog post), you’ll immediately feel the detriments of foods that cause inflammation, especially related to arthritis!
Be patient. Commit to the short term pain of passing on sugar and processed carbs. Commit to trying a different way of eating that respects your body, health and gut! Our process drives results!
And as a final note prior to diving in, I want to reiterate the importance of talking to your Doctor or a Registerd Dietitian before taking the advice of some nerdy exercise and health guru. I care about this stuff, but I don’t have the background those guys do. I think EVERYONE should want to dive deeper, but that’s kind of a pipe dream.
Without further adieu, EAT THESE FOODS TO FIGHT ARTHRITIS:
Fish : Packed with Omega – 3 fatty acids, these little swimming dudes pack a punch when it comes to decreasing your body’s inflammatory response. Arthritis.org recommends consumption of 3-4 ounces of fish at least twice per week! Tuna, mackerel and salmon are fine choices!
Soy – Let’s say you hate fish. That’s cool. Try soy! In the form of tofu or edamame, soybeans also provide ample protein and fiber to get your gut screaming for more.
Oils – Avocado, safflower, extra virgin olive oil and walnut oil all have benefits. They’re fantastic options with properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs! Interesting to note – walnut oil has 10 time the omega-3s that olive oil has! Stock up while it’s hot!
Cherries – Known to reduce the frequency of gout attacks, research has show anthocyanins found in cherries fight inflammation, which can be found in other red and purple fruits as well (blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries).
Dairy – Milk, yogurt and cheese are packed with calcium and vitamin D, both of which increase bone strength.
Broccoli – Vitamin K and Vitamin C contained within this deep green miniature tree! Researches have also found that broccoli contains sulforaphane, which can slow the progression of osteoarthritis!
Green Tea – Packed with polyphenols, green tea is believe dto reduce inflammation and slow cartilate destruction. Epigallocatechin-3-galate (ECGC) also is thought to block the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with Rheumatoid arthritis. GO GREEN!
Citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruits and limes are all high in vitamin C. Getting these in help fight osteoarthritis!
Whole grains – Lower the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood. CRP is also related to heart diseas and diabetes. Foods like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain cereals are excellent sources!
Beans! – Beans and legumes also help lower C-reactive protein. They are also an excellent source of protein and fiber. So beans have folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium – all known to help heart and immune health!
Garlic – As an Italian dude, this one hits home. Studies have show people who ate foods like garlic, onions and leeks showed fewer signs of early osteoarthritis!
Nuts – Rich in protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and alpha linolenic acid. Heart healthy and will aid in weight loss as well! Try walnuts, pistachios and almonds!
So there you go! Foods that fight arthritis. They throw a punch at your body’s inflammatory response, quelling the response your body has to inflammation.
Please feel free to share this information with your parents, grandparents or take this info to the bank and tell your financial advisor, who guzzles down 64 ounces of coca cola before noon. His name’s Steve. Help Steve.
I am here. And I’m excited to share some knowledge, tying together your diet choices to better manage your arthritis.
Of note: For the last few years I’ve taken a very active approach in helping a population that happens to have a higher than average incidence of arthritis. I am not a Doctor, nor am I a Registered Dietitian. Please refer to their expertise with specific questions. My goal is to give you clear and succinct steps in an attempt to manage the symptoms that you may experience with various forms of arthritis, by modifying food choices.
Now that I’ve told you how much I don’t know, a quick briefing on what arthritis is shall be in order! Arthritis is pain associated with inflammation and stiffness in joints. There are a few types of arthritis, and I’ll lump them into one of two categories – inflammatory arthritis (IA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
IA is defined as joint inflammation caused by an overactive immune system. The inflammation typically occurs over multiple joints. So instead of it being just a cranky ankle or a sore knee, IA is a systemic issue over different parts of your body, organs included!
Where OA differs, is that it is the degeneration of specific joint cartilage and underlying bone structure, most commonly in the knees, hip and thumb joints.
So now we know what arthritis is, the first problem to solve would be to take a look at what types of food cause inflammation.
Think of food as fuel and arthritis as the vehicle. If you know you are eating foods that provide an inflammatory stimulus, you’re filling up your gas tank. And you don’t need a ton of fuel to turn the car on. So in this case, let’s take a look at different foods that most commonly provide fuel for your arthritis:
Sugar – The American journal of clinical nutrition warns that processed sugar release inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Keep an eye out on nurition labels for foods that end in -ose (such as fructose or sucrose).
Saturdated fats – Triggers fat inflammation. So not only does your arthritis inflammation become triggered, your body’s fat cells themselves become inflamed. As much as I hate to admit it, pizza and cheese are two of the most common sources of saturdated fats in the American diet. Red meat, full-fat dairy and grain based desserts also typically lie in this category.
Trans fats – These became popular in the 1990s, which are now known to trigger systemic inflammation. Trans fats are in fast food, processed snack food, fried foods, cookies, donuts, etc. On the label, look out for partially hydrogenated oils.
Omega 6 fatty acids – Alone, omega 6 fats are good as they are essential to human needs. But the important piece in maintaining healthy levels of fat consumption is to balance Omega 3 with Omega 6s. Foods high in omega 6s are found in mostly oils – corn oil, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut, vegetable oil and many salad dressings.
Refined Carbohydrates – White flour products like bread, rolls, white rice and white potatoes. Many cereals are refined carbohydrates. The Scientific American says processed carbohydrates may trump fats as the main driver of escalating rates of obesity and other chronic conidtions. These foods fuel production of advanced glycation end products that stimulate inflammation.
Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) – a flavor enhancing food additive that is mostly found in Asian food and soy sauce. This chemical can trigger two pathways for inflammation
Gluten and Casein – People with joint pain are typically sensitive to gluten – found in wheat, barley and rye. Casein can be found in dairy products and individuals with joint pain may find relief by avoiding them. For those with celiac diseason, gluten can set off an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine.
Aspartame – A non-nutritive (it lacks Calories and any nutritional value) artificial sweetener found in over 4000 products. Studies on the substance are mixed but if you are sensitive to this chemical, your body will react to it as a foreign substance by attacking the chemical, triggering an inflammatory response.
Alcohol – Weakens the liver and disrupts other organ interactions that can cause inflammation.
I know this is a lot to take in (and a lot of foods to rule out!) but the intent here is to discover foods that cause your car to turn on. In subsequent posts, I’ll dive into foods that are good for management of arthritis. As well as foods that have been commonly shown to keep your car’s proverbial fuel tank empty. Ultimately, we’ll develop strategies to discover what types of foods specifically inflame your body! Because your body is unique and it responds to different ‘fuel sources’ in its own way!
Please feel free to drop a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions!
In today’s world, we come up with activities to mimic our ancestral struggles. As humans, we’ve evolved to leverage tools and technology to answer the call of inconveniences.
Instead of running from bears, we go for a jog or a luxuriously paved hike.
Instead of hunting for food, we go to the grocery store.
Instead of sitting around a campfire talking story, we play around on social media.
Instead of starving for three days because our snares all came up empty and we’re in the middle of a famine, we fast intermittently.
It’s kind of eye opening to realize how lucky we are. Of the billions of lives that came before us, the fact that you are here, reading this post on a website I created really puts into perspective how different life could have been for any one of us.
We lucky as hell.
There’s this idea that I heard on a podcast the other day (Tim Ferris) that I can’t block from my mind. It was given the term volunteered hardship. It’s the idea of taking on tasks or setting goals that will deliberately make you uncomfortable.
It’s riding your bike to the grocery store instead of driving.
It’s running a race….Who actually wants to run a 100 miler? The crazy ones. But maybe if it meant that was the only way food would be on the table, you could suck it up?
Or deciding to try a new diet in order to maintain control of your previously lavish overindulgences. You are willingly leaving the comfort of a world full of processed food, convenience and fatigue.
These volunteered actions in improving yourself create a ton of stress, when you decide to take charge of your life.
But they are a choice.
You decided today to wake up and put your best foot forward. You decided to toss the rest of your candy away. You decided to go for a walk to clear your head and escape the localized anxiety we are ALL feeling. And you deserve to to smile about it.
These things that keep us healthy are not mandatory. They are a choice. And when someone tells me they hate exercise, a piece of me agrees. It kind of sucks. It’s tough and difficult. There are 821 million people on this planet who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and you sit over here complaining that I asked you to eat 2 servings of vegetables today? Give me a break.
As far as this post goes, I’m not sure what I want to accomplish. But I know that for me, I am so happy to accept this world I live in. I am happy to put in the work of my own volition, at my own risk. I feel happy at the fact that I can CHOOSE to limit my food choices to mostly foods that make me feel great. 5,000 years ago, I’d have been bear meat.
I am happy that I have the choice to challenge myself to a long run while not being worried about being able to feed my family.
So yeah, volunteered hardship to me is something special. It’s exercise to get stronger and feel good. It’s why I run. It keeps me uncomfortable and forces me to change. At the same time, it gives me satisfaction. Becoming relatively competent in a previously derpy movement. Feeling good after a workout.
My choice in hardship is exercise and eating a little healthier. In not saying YES to every single impulse in my body.
What other forms of hardship are there? What struggles do you take on willingly? Would love to hear your own struggles and ways you overcome them! Drop a comment or email me at email@example.com.
There is something positively contagious about learning something new. An impulse to open up and share new knowledge with the world. Everyone should know about X, and there is no reason you should not apply X, immediately! Flash forward to when you open your mouth and tell someone (my wife) and you come out sounding nerdier than Steve Urkel, shoving his glasses back onto the bridge of his nose.
Today, I talk about my experience learning the tenets of the Pain free Performance Specialist Certification.
Learning about shit I care about. I stopped in at an event in Kaysville Utah.
Something that has been my forte for a long time. Fitness is my forte. The human body and anatomical stuff. It’s physiology and a depth to understanding human movement.
I wish I could tell you how many continuing education events I have been to. And I’m afraid to guess how much money has been spent on attending these seminars/certifications/continuing education. Not that I hate spending $$ on events, but there have been so many ‘meh’ events and seminars, that they all end up looking and feeling similar to past events and it can feel like a waste.
GUT CHECK TIME.
Recently, I’ve been walking into these places feeling like my knowledge, related to strength and conditioning, is sufficiently full. An air of confidence after spending so much time diving into material, putting fitness into practice and working with clients. And after attending so many events, I can’t tell you how many times I have been taught how to dynamically warm up or asked how to define mobility (hint: flexibility does not equal mobility). It can be exhausting and tiring.
At the same time you can be reminded, that you know nothing and to keep working to fill up your proverbial glass.
The PPSC was a great experience. I showed up and fell into a group of 15-ish people in attendance.
With my lack of knowing anything about the course material, I came out of it better understanding their systemized approach to warmup sequencing (day 1) and baseline recipes for developing exercise programs (day 2).
I’ll start from the top.
As a trainer, developing exercise programs can be time intensive. Especially if you sit there, pouring over spreadsheets, combining the perfect testing protocols into a fully customized program developed specifically for a particular client.
We develop a person’s exercise program around theoretically optimizing physical, mental and emotional potential while training in an environment that decreases injury risk.
The PPSC’s primary message was pirmarily to empower people. Not just clients, but anyone and everyone who wants to improve their health (GAINZ). I connected tightly to this mantra because my belief is that a major role of a fitness professional is to empower clients to expand their own success. Not to beat them down. Not to limit them. But to fully appreciate the expanding depth of movement a person can achieve. Whether your goal is to get stronger, leaner, put on weight, lose weight, lift heavier, walk faster, tie your shoes again, jump higher….whatever your desire, a true professional will guide and believe in you, until they are proven wrong. And being the weirdo I am, I tend to appreciate the failure as much as the success. Because that teaches patience. You say, ‘I can’t’, I say ‘Not yet’.
There is a clear difference between the role a fitness professional and someone who writes workouts. And you can FEEL the difference!
When developing a program for an individual, fit pros typically develop an exercise split, with a particular training goal for each day. Diagnostically, the PPSC does a good job in reminding us to keep our day’s key performance indicator(KPI) in mind.
Let’s say today, we train lower body. And in training lower body, we develop our program around Susie’s squat. Our Key Performance Indicator(Again, KPI) is her squat pattern. And coming into each session, it is our responsibility to get you focused, tuned in and prepared to crush today’s KPI, despite your best effort to distract, confuse or stall(some clients are better at it than others).
After we assess a client and develop a program, there are a few things we discover that could hold the potential of a client back from improving a movement. These are called linchpins(eg, in Susie’s squat pattern, she tends to round her back as she approaches the ground). The linchpin is the biggest limitation to a client’s KPI (In coaching up Susie, it might be that she needs to discover how to brace during her squat).
The linchpin gets as much attention as it needs as it relates to that day’s training goal. The most attention is served in relating whether the pattern demonstrated is good enough to train that day’s KPI.
Another concept was the Pillar. The pillar is a symbol. When looking at a pillar, there is a top, bottom and middle. In anatomical terms, it is a combination of the shoulders, the spine and the hips. The top and bottom of a pillar relates to a person’s shoulders and hips. The midsection of the pillar, is then related directly to the spine.
The PPSC dives deep into pillar integrity. We were taught bracing techniques in primal movement patterns, functional strength patterns and it was beat into us so much that we were not thinking about it by the end of the weekend. It was the expectation.
Pillar importance: With movement in the spine, come leaks in strength and power. In a baseball swing, your hips and feet transfer power up your kinetic chain, and your spine serves as a bridge for power expression. As this concept was introduced, the crowd was met with demonstrations of pillar maintenance (4 pt and 6 pt crawling, dead bugging, planking, squatting, hinging, etc.). It became a staple for correction. It was so ubiquitous and overarching that I began repeating the phrase over, and over, and over, upon my first day of training sessions post-seminar.
This was only the tip of the iceberg. It was looking at the dessert on neighboring tables at a restaurant instead of looking at the menu before eating dinner. To me, this in itself was a hell of a reminder of why I fell into this stuff. I love learning this stuff and it helped reignite my flame.
I’m not sure how long it will take to dive in, but if you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Because you give a shit about nerdy exercise stuff.
In subsequent posts, I’m going to dive deeper into day 1 and day 2.
A teaser for Day 1:
I’ll dive into the PPSC’s 6-phase dynamic warmup pre-training sequence. A sequence of warmup that amps you up and readies you to get a swell swoll session in, lasting 10-16 minutes per session!