Monday, March 31, 2008

Major CPR change

Solid article in today's Wall Street Journal below:

No Mouth-to-Mouth Is Needed With CPR, Heart Association Says

Associated PressMarch 31, 2008 7:48 p.m.

NEW YORK -- You can skip the mouth-to-mouth breathing and just press on the chest to save a life.
In a major change, the American Heart Association said Monday that hands-only CPR -- rapid, deep presses on the victim's chest until help arrives -- works just as well as standard CPR for sudden cardiac arrest in adults.
Hands-only CPR represents a major change.
Experts hope bystanders will now be more willing to jump in and help if they see someone suddenly collapse. Hands-only CPR is simpler and easier to remember and removes a big barrier for people skittish about the mouth-to-mouth breathing.
"You only have to do two things. Call 911 and push hard and fast on the middle of the person's chest," said Michael Sayre, an emergency medicine professor at Ohio State University who headed the committee that made the recommendation.
Hands-only CPR calls for uninterrupted chest presses -- 100 a minute -- until paramedics take over or an automated external defibrillator is available to restore a normal heart rhythm.
This action should be taken only for adults who unexpectedly collapse, stop breathing and are unresponsive. The odds are that the person is having cardiac arrest -- the heart suddenly stops -- which can occur after a heart attack or be caused by other heart problems. In such a case, the victim still has ample air in the lungs and blood and compressions keep blood flowing to the brain, heart and other organs.
A child who collapses is more likely to primarily have breathing problems -- and in that case, mouth-to-mouth breathing should be used. That also applies to adults who suffer lack of oxygen from a near-drowning, drug overdose, or carbon monoxide poisoning. In these cases, people need mouth-to-mouth to get air into their lungs and bloodstream.
But in either case, "Something is better than nothing," Dr. Sayre said.
The CPR guidelines had been inching toward compression-only. The last update, in 2005, put more emphasis on chest pushes by alternating 30 presses with two quick breaths; those "unable or unwilling" to do the breaths could do presses alone.
Now the heart association has given equal standing to hands-only CPR. Those who have been trained in traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation can still opt to use it.
Dr. Sayre said the association took the unusual step of making the changes now -- the next update wasn't due until 2010 -- because three studies last year showed hands-only was as good as traditional CPR. Hands-only will be added to CPR training.
An estimated 310,000 Americans die each year of cardiac arrest. Only about 6% of those who are stricken outside a hospital survive, although rates vary by location. People who quickly get hands-only CPR while awaiting medical treatment have double or triple the chance of surviving. But less than a third of victims get this essential help.
Gordon Ewy, who has been pushing for hands-only CPR for 15 years, said he was "dancing in the streets" over the heart association's change even though he doesn't think it goes far enough. Dr. Ewy is director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center in Tucson, where the compression-only technique was pioneered.
Dr. Ewy said there's no point to giving early breaths in the case of sudden cardiac arrest, and it takes too long to stop compressions to give two breaths -- 16 seconds for the average person. He noted that victims often gasp periodically anyway, drawing in a little air on their own.
Anonymous surveys show that people are reluctant to do mouth-to-mouth, Dr. Ewy said, partly because of fear of infections. "When people are honest, they're not going to do it," he said. "It's not only the yuck factor."
In recent years, emergency service dispatchers have been coaching callers in hands-only CPR rather than telling them how to alternate breaths and compressions. "They love it. It's less complicated and the outcomes are better," said Dallas emergency medical services chief Paul Pepe, who also chairs emergency medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
One person who's been spreading the word about hands-only CPR is Temecula, Calif., chiropractor Jared Hjelmstad, who helped save the life of a fellow health club member in Southern California
Mr. Hjelmstad, 40, had read about it in a medical journal and used it on Garth Goodall, who collapsed while working out at their gym in February. Mr. Hjelmstad's 15-year-old son Josh called 911 in the meantime.
Mr. Hjelmstad said he pumped on Mr. Goodall's chest for more than 12 minutes -- encouraged by Mr. Goodall's intermittent gasps -- until paramedics arrived. He was thrilled to find out the next day that Mr. Goodall had survived.
On Sunday, he visited Mr. Goodall in the hospital where he is recovering from triple bypass surgery.
"After this whole thing happened, I was on cloud nine," said Mr. Hjelmstad. "I was just fortunate enough to be there."
Mr. Goodall, a 49-year-old construction contractor, said he had been healthy and fit before the collapse, and there'd been no hint that he had clogged heart arteries. "I was lucky," he said. Had the situation been reversed, "I wouldn't have known what to do."
"It's a second lease on life," he added.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Pareto Principle

I've come across several versions and explanations of the Pareto Principle, but I like how strength coach Alwyn Cosgrove explained it best on his blog a few weeks ago:

"The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule and the 'law of the vital few') states that in many things, 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes.Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist is credited with it's discovery. He observed that 80 percent of the wealth in Italy (and every country he subsequently studied) was owned by 20 percent of the population. After Pareto made his observation and created his formula, many others observed similar phenomena in their own areas of expertise. Quality Management pioneer, Dr. Joseph Juran, working in the US recognized a universal principle he called the "vital few and trivial many" and reduced it to writing. These two studies have generally been combined and become nown as the Pareto Principle.
Over the years, many others observed this rule in action in very different areas - yet the 80-20 rule appeared to hold true.
The 80/20 Rule means that in anything a few (20 percent) are vital and many(80 percent) are trivial. You can apply the 80/20 Rule to almost anything, from the science of management to the physical world.
Some examples:
Relationships: Twenty percent of the people you know (friends, colleagues, family) provide you with 80 percent of nurturing support and satisfaction.
Productivity: Twenty percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your success.
Business: Twenty percent of customers will account for 80 percent of profit (and 20% of your customers will also cause 80% of your problems!
Gardening: Eighty percent of garden peas are produced by 20 percent of the peapods.How can we use the Pareto Principle?
The Pareto principle is great to increase focus. Don't try to do more. Just do more of the right things.
For example, out of all of your negative behaviors, twenty percent of them will contribute to 80 percent of all of your hardship and misery. So working on just these 20 percent can greatly contribute to our personal growth.
Time management is another area where the rule can be very effective. If you have a lot of work to do, break it down to specific activities and figure out what twenty percent of the tasks listed contributes to eighty percent of the results you seek. Second, give your maximum concentration to those 20 percent tasks.
Also recognize that the numbers don’t have to be “20%” and “80%” exactly. The key point is that most things in life (effort, reward, output) are not distributed evenly - some contribute more than others. In fact most things are not 1:1, where each unit of “input” (effort, time) contributes exactly the same amount of output. But what about fitness training? How can we use the Pareto Principle?
Understand that training methods and exercise selection fall under the same rules - 20% of your activities are responsible for 80% of your results.In other words - if you did ten sets of deadlifts - it's likely that you would get 80% of that benefit with only two sets - the law of diminishing returns.
Big, compound exercises recruit more muscle, allow you to use more load and burn more calories than isolation exercises - build your program around them. Identify the effective 20%. For example - Rep for rep - a deadlift or a squat out-performs most other exercises - make sure they are in your program first.
A 30 minute full-body workout performed three times per week - that includes squats, deadlifts, presses and rows will easily be 80% as effective as any other routine that you can think of.
If you keep rest periods short during resistance training- the body doesn't really know that you're not doing cardio. 60s rest periods with full body workouts can reduce the need for direct cardio work.
If you do want to add cardio -minute for minute - interval training burns more calories, increases masimum oxygen uptake and increases EPOC more than steady state work- build your cardio program around interval work.
Lastly however, don’t think the Pareto Principle means only do 20% of the work needed and be happy with 80% of the result.
It may be true that 80% of a bridge is built in the first 20% of the time, but you still need the rest of the bridge in order for it to work--The Pareto Principle is an observation of effectiveness, not a law.
When you are seeking top quality, you need all 100%. When you are trying to optimize your bang for the buck however, focusing on the critical 20% is an excellent tool. See what activities generate the most results and give them your appropriate attention. With a little effort, and the application of the 80-20 rule, we can save a lot of our emotional and physical energy and concentrate on stuff that really matters."

Recommended conditioning equipment

So few use them but I'd rate the Step Mill and Air Dyne bikes as my top 2 choices for "cardio" equioment. Most gyms have the former and you'll notice NO ONE uses them because they are challenging. Imagine that! Many gyms don't have the latter, but should.

Friday, March 28, 2008

So I was of course psyched to see a couple diff. fitness articles in Thursday's Globe. One ( was about bridal boot camps. They're such a hot item especially now that spring (wedding season) is officially upon us. I knew of a couple places (Sports Club LA and Total Sports Performance) who offered these programs, but didn't know Yolanda's marketed one as well. Anyway, so I'm on the computer tonight finishing a few things for tomorrow and I decide to check out the photos ( at all the places that do the bridal programs. Is it me, or is Yolanda's a complete "fluff" workout?!?! All I see is girls doing crunches on Swiss Balls with ridiculously light weights. If you know me and my training philosophy, you know that my biggest pet peeve is when girls/women use weights that are too light. We know challenging weights don't build huge muscles, they build strength and bring out the muscle tone we're all after. Long story short, stick to the challenging workouts I prescribe and avoid the pink dumbbells I always curse:(

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Yin Yang Angle

Scott Peltin is a nationally recognized wellness and performance coach whose work I thoroughly enjoy. Here is a piece of a recent article of his I liked a lot about the Yin and the Yang:

"In tai-chi, Yin is the feminine energy and is what you receive. Yang is the masculine energy and is what you give. The belief is that both must be in balance in order for you to find harmony and prosper. In practical terms, this could mean you need to give compliments to others but you must also be able to receive compliments. You must speak your truth but you must also listen to the truth of others. You must work but you must also rest. These are some of the key concepts we have shared with you at this site, and it is amazing to see how they are universally true. The next time you think of high performance think of the Yin and Yang -- and be sure you're in balance."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Stop obsessing over your body weight

Rather, focus on things like:

-how you feel mentally
-how your clothes fit
-improving the quantity and quality of sleep
-optimizing your body composition (via gains in lean muscle and fat loss)

I hate hearing when people (yes I've had clients who do this) weigh themselves every day. It's not worth obsessing over.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Live life as it comes

Life has a beautiful rhythm and pace. Live it as it comes.
If you try to outrun life, you miss much of its beauty. Instead of racing ahead to cover more ground, see the treasures that are right here and now.

Rather than resenting or regretting what has already happened, focus your thoughts on the good you can do in this moment. There are plenty of opportunities when you choose to see them.

If you're constantly chasing life, the best of it eludes you. Decide to do a little less pursuing and a lot more enjoying.

You cannot do all of this week's breathing, or eating, or sleeping in just one day. There's plenty of time to get everything done if you'll just stop wasting so much effort on jumping ahead.

Seek to live in harmony with the rhythm and flow of life. Live life as it comes, and it will come to you in great abundance.

-- Ralph Marston

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ak Mak crackers

Only $1.99 @ Trader Joe's! They're delicious with a light spread of almond butter. Here's the nutrition profile:

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size 5 crackers = 1 oz.(28.35g)
Serving per Container 4 (4.15 oz = 20 crackers)
Calories per Serving = 16 Calories from Fat = 20

% Daily Value*


Total Fat 2.27g 3%
Saturated Fat 0.48g 2%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 213.55mg (0.21355g) 9%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3.50g 14%
Sugars 2.28g
Protein 4.61g


Iron 6%


Ingredients: 100% stone ground "Whole of the Wheat" flour, water clover honey, sesame oil, dairy butter, sesame seeds, yeast and salt.

Check 'em out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Buffalo burgers

I HIGHLY recommend Trader Joe's "Buffalo Steak Burgers." They are less than 5 bucks, and come in a package of 4 frozen patties. A local place I get take-out from charges $6 for ONE. Buffalo meat is leaner than ground beef, has less fat, and more protein. Try 'em out and let me know what you think.

50 Ways to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill

Good article here woth checking out:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Recommended snack

My new fav. snack is the following concoction I make whenever I have a sweet craving. It's a GREAT alternative to ice cream or any other unhealthy treats. In a cereal or small salad bowl, mix the following:
  • 1C Trader Joe's Greek Style plain yogurt
  • 1C blueberries
  • 1/4C sliced almonds

  • Pinch of Stevia Extract

Total nutrient breakdown is as follows: 476 calories, 18g protein, 23,5g sugar [14.4 coming from blueberries], 6.5g fiber. *Note, for lower caloric needs, simply reduce size of yogurt to 1/2C and almonds to 1/8C*

Surging cost of groceries

Good article in today's Globe on the rising costs of frocery shopping. Check it out here:

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Finally got to see "Juno" this weekend. Great flick. Here are two songs from the movie I really liked:

Friday, March 07, 2008

Jeff Healey

In case you missed it (, Jeff Healey passed away last Sunday in Toronto after a lifelong battle with retinal cancer. One of my all-time favorite songs was "Angel Eyes" by his band. Check it out here:

March Nutrition Choice of the Month

Haven't read my Nutrition Choice for this month yet? Check it out here:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Great win for my Celtics tonight

Nice pre-game shots of KG and Bill Russell:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Food is not the enemy

Great article from nutritonist Amanda Carlson of Core Performance I wanted to share with you. Enjoy:


It is, in fact, our very good friend

By Amanda Carlson

Food is not the enemy. In fact, you should view nutrition as your training partner. Proper nutrition not only fuels your body for every training session; it also ensures proper recovery.Don't look at food as something that adds pounds onto your frame and seconds onto your time. If you think you need enormous amounts of food to maintain your size, think again. Others of you may think nutrition has nothing to do with your training or performance.Fueling your body optimally will increase your energy levels, enhance the quality of your training, help you to get the most out of each of your training days, improve your hormone profile, decrease inflammation, and decrease your chance of overuse injury.It is worth reiterating. You must begin to view nutrition as your training partner, your essential tool to optimizing your health, your training, and your performance.We spend so much time strengthening, stretching, and training to achieve a body that is in balance. But, what does a body is in balance look like on the inside? There are many amazing athletes who, on the outside look like they have the ultimate body in balance. They train hard day in and day out, they are lean and they are competitive. However, with one look inside, you may find that this picture of perfection is actually on the brink of a complete meltdown. By not fueling the body properly, the environment created on the inside is one of chaos. By not giving the body the correct fuel that it needs, it becomes catabolic or in breakdown mode.When the body becomes catabolic, it begins mobilizing fuel from inefficient sources like muscle. When the body is not fueled properly it is also in a constant state of stress. Your cortisol:testosterone ratio is out of whack as a result of increased cortisol (nasty stress hormone) and decreased testosterone (building hormone). The microscopic damage to the muscle never really gets a chance to fully heal. Your resting heart rate may increase and you may have decreased endurance and power. This unbalanced state sets the body up for a greater risk for sickness, fatigue, depression, inflammation, injury, loss of competitive drive, and ultimately underperformance.Proper nutrition is one of the tools that can be used to put the body back into balance after training and prevent the chaos that can occur with prolonged insufficient nutritional habits. Ensuring you are getting enough calories and all of your nutrients each day will allow the body to run efficiently and energy stores to be full.Engaging in a pre- and/or post-workout nutrition routine after each workout will help to restore your body's hormone profiles to normal, refuel your body, and jumpstart the recovery and repair of the body. Proper nutrition day in and day is one way to prevent the body from slipping into a spiral of overtraining and injury risk. Proper nutrition is one way that you can control to enhance your health and performance.Below you will find some simple rules to live by to ensure you are on the road to optimal nutrition, optimal health, and optimal performance.
1. COME BACK TO EARTH!!! Try to choose the least processed forms of food. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
2. Eat BREAKFAST every day!
3. Eat smaller portions more often, spread evenly across the day. No excuses -- you should be eating 5-8 meals/day!
4. Stay HYDRATED (.6 x body weight = ounces of water per day) by drinking only non-caloric beverages (water/green tea).
5. Include a LEAN protein source with each meal.
6. Choose foods, especially carbs, rich in FIBER (25-35g/day).
7. Add a multivitamin with anti-oxidant complex and an omega 3/omega 6 blend into your daily routine.
8. Eat fruits or vegetables with each meal. Green vegetables are key!!!
9. Drink a mixture of carbohydrate and protein before and/or after your workout.
10. Last, but not least. Get some rest. The body recovers and repairs when it is sleeping.

Random Fitness Tips

My suggestions/random thoughts for today include the following:

  • Perform a Total Body Workout 3 Times Per Week- I hate when I ask people what they did at the gym for their workout and they answer with "chest, back, and biceps." Rather, when I ask what you worked, your answer should be something like "Everything." Total body workouts are more fun, I've found, and challenge you more than isolative-type workouts.

  • Consume 5-6 meals per day and eat protein and vegetables at each meal.

  • Get 7-9 hours sleep EVERY night. There's nothing worse than feeling sluggish during the day or worse yet, right when you are about to work out. Rest and recovery, in my mind, still remain the most overlooked and underappreciated components of a successful fitness plan.

  • Keep records of all your workouts. It's encouraging to look back and see the progress you've made whether it be the amount of weight you can lift, your % of body fat decreasing, or even the intensity of conditioning you can now handle.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Magic of Compounding

Yes I know this blog entry has nothing to do with fitness or nutrition, but if you know me well, you know I like reading about investing/finance. Anyway, here's an awesome stat I found in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine:

If you start saving $100/month at age 22 and earn an 8% rate of return until you're 65, you'll have...$450,478.

If you wait only 10 years later and begin the same approach above, but start at age 32, you'll only amass $194,654!

Incredible stuff. Now stop reading my blog and go fund your IRA! :-)

A Real Warrior