Archive for What We Love This Week
Check this out: In attempt to promote physical activity and the 2014 Winter Olympics, Moscow subway stations now accept exercise as payment:
Goes to show exercise really is your ticket to where you want to go!
For anyone who is a fan of Mike Boyle’s StrengthCoach.com, another great resource called Strength-On Demand recently became available and you should definitely check it out. Creators Ron McKeeferey and Rob Taylor thought it would be great to deliver the best of industry conferences straight to your computer or digital device to watch on your own schedule. Here’s a preview of what you get:
When you take away the travel time, missed work hours and cost of attending a live workshop, a $4.95 weekly trial offer and $19.95 monthly membership is a very worthy investment. But don’t take my word for it; try it out for yourself HERE.
What do trainers, athletes, fitness enthusiasts and average Joes in the gym all have in common? Among other things, they all have ankles, knees, hips and a lumbar spine that need a certain amount of stability for optimal performance. After all, you can only get so strong, so powerful or so ripped before getting injured if you don’t have good functional stability – and Eric Cressey’s new DVD entitled Functional Stability Training for the Lower Body shows you how to get it.
As most of you know by now, I’m a pretty big fan of Eric Cressey’s work. This product is packed with both informative lectures that are easy to understand, as well as practical application via exercise demonstrations. Along with Mike Reinold, Eric takes you through a series of modules that address all of the following and more:
- Influence of the lumbopelvic region on the lower body kinetic chain
- Why you still need to be focused on strength AND functional training
- How to disassociate the hip and lumbar spine
- Quick tips for assessing posture and alignment in 3D
- How alignment influences movement patterns
- How to enhance the reliability and validity of your assessments
- Appreciate muscles’ roles in the etiology of acute and chronic injuries
- Learn training techniques to improve tissue length, quality and strength in functional contexts
- Understand why hip internal rotation is important
- The influence of the foot and ankle on the lower extremity
- Impact of mobility issues on lower extremity kinematics and performance
- Why, how and when to integrate neuromuscular control drills into your rehab and training programs
- Learn the phases of proper neuromuscular control development
- Understand several progressions designed to maximize neuromuscular control
- Learn dozens of exercises and where they fit on the progression-regression continuum
As most of you also know, I’m also a big fan of deadlifts. Coincidentally, so is Eric. Here’s a brief clip from the DVD discussing the bilateral deficit in the deadlift:
If you like what you see, you can pick up your copy of Functional Stability Training for the Lower Body HERE.
Kelly’s use of insightful educational videos and unique combination of strategies from both the worlds of strength and conditioning and physical therapy make him a valuable resource in the fitness field. And lucky for us, that valuable resource has compiled his years of work into a book that becomes available THIS TUESDAY, April 23rd:
Kelly’s motto is ‘All human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.’ Well, in Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury and Optimizing Athletic Performance, he teaches you exactly how to do that so you can reach your maximum performance potential and stay injury-free. Here are just some of the things you’ll learn how to do:
- Prevent and rehabilitate common athletic injuries
- Overhaul your movement habits and efficiently channel the most powerful muscles in the body
- Quickly identify and fix inefficient movement patterns in yourseld and others
- Problem solve for pain and dysfunction with little equipment
- Unlock reservoirs of athletic capacity you didn’t know you had
- Develop strategies that restore function to your joints and tissues
- Accelerate recovery after training sessions and competition
- Create personalized mobility prescriptions to improve movement efficiency
- Improve your quality of life through regained work capacity
If any of this sounds good to you, pick up a copy of Becoming a Supple Leopard at a local retailer or order it HERE.
Because of the nature of their jobs, fitness professionals often have long days with little access to computers and come to rely on iPhones to stay connected to the world. They also tend to have some down time during those long days, and some choose to spend it getting smarter. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the advice to spend at least an hour a day on career-related reading.
But carrying books around all day can get cumbersome. Enter these mobile apps:
There are now apps for iPhones that allow you to search for fitness-related research via sites like iResearch, PubMed and Google Scholar. You can even get access to full text through some of them.
No joke – April Fool’s Day or other.
And when it comes time to get a new phone, here’s a really cool thing you can do with your old one: DONATE IT HERE and help provide meals to those in need while also doing your part to improve the environment – courtesy of fellow fitness professionals John Romaniello, Eric Cressey and Ben Bruno. Now that it’s an option, you’d be April foolish not to partake in such a worthy cause.
I think anyone in this industry who knows me also knows I’m a little opinionated when it comes to core training… Research aside (and there’s a lot of it), a simple consideration of kinesiology tells us that certain joints were meant to move – the hips and thoracic spine, for example – while others were meant to NOT move – like the lumbar spine. This simple joint-by-joint analysis should, for the most part, dictate how we train.
Of course, there are always structural abnormalities, postural deviations, conditions, etc. that may warrant a different approach, and this is precisely why assessments are so important. I’ve always admired Tony Gentilcore for constantly acknowledging these things, and I admire him even more now for making his recent core training seminar available:
Together with Dean Somerset, Jeff Cubos and Rick Kaselj, Tony discusses how he assesses his athletes to determine things like whether or not back pain (or the potential for back pain) is flexion- or extension-based, the role of posture and breathing, the importance of hip mobility and glute strength in the prevention and treatment of low back pain, and where foam rolling/massage and core stability fit in. BUT, he does so without losing focus of the goal: PERFORMANCE.
As trainers, we don’t treat pain, and most of our clients don’t want to spend money doing just “corrective exercise.” They want to train. We just have to understand what movements and loading patterns are likely to cause pain and what interventions are likely to help prevent or improve symptoms.
If you like what you see so far, the full seminar is available HERE.
While all of the books in the series have been great, dedicated trainers like Alwyn are constantly evolving in their methodology and producing better results; and with new and better results came the need for another book.
Like the others in the series, the programs in NROL Supercharged are comprised of variations of our six major movement patterns – squat, push, pull, hinge, lunge and single-leg stance – and there are clearly laid out progressions for each. The programs themselves are also progressive:
1. Basic Training I-IV;
2. Hypertrophy I-III; and
3. Strength and Power I-III
And while a linear progression through each phase is recommended, advanced lifters can jump in at any phase to reach a specific goal faster. Still, sticking to the progression makes sense when we remember rules 15-17:
Rule #15: Every program is a hypertrophy program.
Rule #16: Every program is a strength program.
Rule #17: Every program is a fat-loss program.
That is, when we adhere to the Overload Principle by producing progressively more mechanical tension and damage in our muscles, they will get bigger. A bigger muscle is also a stronger muscle, and a program that forces your body to do things it ordinarily doesn’t do creates metabolic stress – which means we use more energy to adapt to the new demands and burn more fat in the hours and days following each workout. So all of the workouts really accommodate all of the above goals.
As for the workout structure, the daily template is simple:
1. RAMP (which stands for Range of Motion, Activation and Movement Preparation);
2. Core training (exercises progress from static to dynamic stabilization);
3. Combination and Power Exercises (which increase demands of both the nervous system and metabolism);
4. Strength Training (you’ll see a balance of the six major movement patterns above in each program);
5. Metabolic Training (interval training and complexes); and
6. Recovery (foam rolling and stretching)
With 10 month-long programs and several variations of each exercise in them, you can really take your training in any direction and the opportunities for progress are endless so long as you follow the rules of progression. But if you still aren’t convinced, here are Lou and Alwyn’s reasons to check out their latest in the NROL series:
Not too long ago, I gave a presentation on the benefits of high-intensity interval training – especially around this time of year. With the holiday season upon us and parties galore, calorie intake is higher than normal and time to exercise is diminished, and high-intensity intervals are a time-efficient way to torch calories – both during AND after a session.
The goal of high-intensity interval training is to elicit EPOC, or excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption. In short, the harder you work, the further away you bring your body from resting conditions and the more oxygen you use AFTERWARDS to bring it back to rest. As per a concept called “indirect calorimetry,” that oxygen utilization is directly related to the number of calories you burn – so interval training ultimately results in greater caloric expenditure after exercise stops. It’s clearly the way to go around the holidays when time is tight and burning calories is the goal.
It’s easy to do intervals on a treadmill or bike with a visible timer but, as mentioned in THIS POST, multijoint resistance exercises may actually be a better choice for intervals than traditional cardiovascular exercises due to the strong possibility that resistance exercise burns WAY more calories than we’ve previously thought. But it’s a pain to have to keep stopping to look at your watch when you’re lifting somewhat heavy things… Enter the Gymboss Interval Timer.
It’s small enough to fit in your pocket for use anywhere, can be set for any protocol, and beeps at the designated time period so you don’t have to keep looking at a watch or clock. Even better, Gymboss just came out with a new App for iPhones and iPads.
If you need some last minute gift ideas for your fitness friends, check out Gymboss.
As the homepage states,
The Strength Cruise was created by Coach Nick Tumminello to give you a one of a kind fitness conference experience, which provides you with both a top notch education and an amazing cruise vacation all rolled into one can’t miss event! On the Strength Cruise you get the opportunity to spend your time learning, training, eating, drinking and partying (all you want) with your favorite fitness presenters and fellow fitness professionals for 4 days on a Caribbean Cruise vacation. Put simply, the Strength Cruise is the most interactive, unique and fun fitness event you can attend!
This year’s presenters include Nick Tumminello, Bret Contreras, Bill Sonnemaker and Cassandra Forsythe - all well-respected educators in the fitness field. The event takes place February 14th-18th of 2013 – so if you’re looking for a fitness-filled Valentine’s Day trip, now’s the time to book it: Book before November 30th and receive $50 in ship-board credit.
I can’t attest to the benefits of the cruise itself per se, as this is only its second year in existence and I didn’t attend last year. BUT, I have heard all of the above speak and will gladly vouch for their intelligence and skill in presenting original, applicable fitness information. I can only speak for myself, but I’d certainly pay to see all of them together AND go on a 4-day cruise around the Caribbean…Who wouldn’t?
As someone who actually started in this industry as a writer/editor, I can list a host of reasons why being published is beneficial to your career – including but not limited to:
1. You get to reach more people with your message;
2. You get your name out there in the industry;
3. You gain credibility;
4. You supplement your income; and
5. You’re forced to reflect on what you do each day and why, which keeps you in check and constantly growing as a professional.