Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Problems with Conventional Medicine

Dr. Andrew Weil, whose work I often follow, explains the problems with conventional medicine in America in the above video.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Article Published in Today's Newspaper!

I co-authored an article that appears in today's edition of
The Watertown Tab. The full article reads as follows:

Make a fun and friendly 5K part of your Thanksgiving tradition

Watertown, MA - Watertown TAB & Press

WATERTOWN — Before guests, before football, and before the feast, run or trot your way to making a difference. Choosing a local Turkey Trot run is a great way to spend time with friends and family and kick-start a healthier and happier you. Follow this 5-week plan to get you to the finish line. What better way to start off your day that will later be filled with cranberry sauce, turkey, and pumpkin pie! You will have earned it.

The training plan WEEK 1 Monday: Run; Walk 2 min. Run 3 min. Follow this sequence for 20 min. Tuesday: Run 15 min. on a flat to gently rolling course. Wednesday: Rest Thursday: Run 10 min. warm up.4 x 30 sec. strides. Rest 60 sec. Count the number of steps taken by 1 foot. 5 min. cool down. Friday: Cross train Saturday: Run 20 min. Sunday: Rest


Monday: Run; walk 1 min. Run 5 min. Follow this sequence for 25 min.

Tuesday: Run15 min. on a flat to gently rolling course.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Run 10 min. warm up.6 x 20 sec. strides. Rest 90 sec. Focus on technique – cadence, paw back, foot lift, etc.5 min. cool down.

Friday: Cross train Saturday: Run 20 min. Sunday: Rest


Monday: Run; Walk 3 min. Run 10 min. Follow this sequence for 30 min.

Tuesday: Run 15 min. on a rolling course.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Run 15 min. warm up.6 x 20 sec. on a moderate grade hill. Walk back to start. Use your arms to drive your legs powerfully.5 min. cool down.

Friday: Cross train Saturday: Run 25 min. Sunday: Rest


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Make a fun and friendly 5K part of your Thanksgiving tradition - Watertown, MA - Watertown TAB & Press 10/28/10 11:48 PM

Monday: Run 2 x 15 min. at an easy pace with high turnover. Don’t over stride. Walk 3 min. between sets. Tuesday: Run 15 min. on a rolling course. Wednesday: Rest Thursday: Run 20 min. EZ3 x 60-yard strides after your run. Full recovery after each.

Saturday: Run30 min. Sunday: Rest


Monday: Run 15 min. Start EZ & gradually increase the pace throughout the run finishing hard like you’re racing somebody to the finish line

Tuesday: Rest Wednesday: Run; Personal race day routine. 10-15 min. run with strides. 5K Thursday: RACE

Optimum nutrition

Ask any successful athlete for tips on enhancing performance and he/she will undoubtedly mention healthy eating and adequate hydration. All exercise enthusiasts recognize that a healthy intake of good calories is analogous to fuel for a car. Without the right type- and amount- of food and beverages, your body will not respond to the demands of your athletic endeavor. While running a 5K road race is not considered a very lengthy event as far as miles go, preparing your body for the event will ensure that your energy demands are met both during the preparatory phase (the weeks leading up to the 5K) and most importantly, the day of the race.

Since the majority of races are typically held during morning hours, the nutritional focus of this article will lean towards breakfast- related macronutrient options. Ironically, breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day (outside of a post-workout meal/snack) due to the glycogen stores in your liver being significantly depleted. Breakfast enhances both your mental and physical energy, regulates your metabolism, and helps you to maintain a proper body weight.

So what exactly should one eat for breakfast as they train for their annual Turkey Trot? A healthy breakfast is one that provides sufficient calories in the form of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and good fats. A sound balance of the aforementioned macronutrients will yield the energy you seek that will allow you to sustain energy during your preparatory runs. In addition, adequate hydration in the form of water (sugary sports drinks are unnecessary for this type of event due to the short duration of the race) is crucial to transport nutrients throughout your body and regulate body temperature. Now let’s a take a look at three sample breakfast options that we advise for our training clients:

· Greek Yogurt topped with raspberries, blueberries, and granola – Now accessible in most major supermarkets, Greek Yogurt is a protein powerhouse. Choosing the “plain” variety and mixing in your own fresh berries (organic, if possible) will ensure a proper blend of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

· Veggie Omelet – Eggs have been referred to by nutritionist Jonny Bowden as “nature’s most perfect food.” They truly are one of the best- and least expensive- sources of protein on the planet! I suggest an omelet as a way to sneak in some veggies (mushrooms, red peppers, broccoli, onions, spinach and kale) as most of us don’t ingest nearly as many servings as we should.

· Oatmeal – Considered by some dieticians as a “Super Food,” oatmeal (the right kinds) is a fantastic source of fiber. Look at the label and select those brands highest in “soluble” fiber. This is the type of fiber known for lowering your LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol. For a delicious and nutritious fat source, top your oatmeal with walnuts. They’re wonderful for lowering triglycerides (fats in the blood) and boosting your mood.

Other 5K Nutrition Notes

Digestion- During the weeks as you prepare for your 5K event, try and understand your body’s “digestive patterns.” Specifically, see what timeframe your body needs to allow your food to digest properly to avoid cramping, dehydration, and other potential gastrointestinal issues. Typically 60-120 minutes is an appropriate timeframe to allow after breakfast before you begin your training runs.

· Stick to the Program – Stay with what works nutritionally. Don’t attempt some new concoction the morning of the race and then find out it exceeded what your digestive system could tolerate. Leave that black bean burrito for another day!

· Hydration – As mentioned earlier, commercial sports drinks typically aren’t necessary for events like a 5K. Reserve those beverages for more vigorous events lasting over an hour in duration. Sufficient water throughout your training will surely do the trick.

All in all, following a training program like the one we’ve suggested and implementing a nutrition plan like the one we’ve outlined will ensure your body is more than ready to hit the pavement running. Make this year’s race your fastest time yet and please make sure to email us to let us know how your training is going and how you did in your race. Most importantly, have fun, stay healthy, and do your best to enjoy every training session!

Paul J. Connolly is the founder/owner of PC Conditioning, LLC, a Watertown-based personal training and nutrition consulting

Friday: Cross train

Paul J. Connolly is the founder/owner of PC Conditioning, LLC, a Watertown-based personal training and nutrition consulting service. A lifelong Watertown resident, he is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. His updated blog is located at the following: Paul can be reached

Vic Brown is an Assistant Coach for Boston Performance Coaching, a triathlon and endurance athlete coaching service located in Kenmore Square. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and ConditioningAssociation and holds his Level 1 certification from USA Triathlon. Vic can be reached at

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oldest Man in the World Commentary

I thought this was a nice video to share with my readers today. Note how Mr. Breuning mentions the importance of nutrition and exercise!

Taunton, MA Recap

I had the opportunity to head down to Taunton, MA last week to conduct an exercise workshop. I lectured about exercise barriers and ways to overcome them. I also went through a hands-on demonstration of resistance bands and flexibility exercises. The group did a great job and I hope to check in with them in the future.

Great job Taunton!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Interesting piece of Info.

One of the most well regarded voices representing the medical community, the
Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), included a recent article by Barbara Starfield, M.D., stating that physician error, medication error, and adverse events from drugs or surgery kill 225,400 people per year. That makes our health care system the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only cancer and heart disease.

Real Food Should Decompose

I had a friend send me a fantastic article on how Happy Meals do not decompose, even after a considerable amount of time passes. Check out the full article here:

What Kind of Person Are you?

I was reading an article tonight written by one of my mentors, Alwyn Cosgrove ( He discussed the power teachers can have on students, both positively and negatively. Having family members who are teachers and training so many of them over the years, I found it really hit home. Check it out here...

When I was in high school in Livingston I was in an advanced mathematics class. I have no idea how I got there as I was clearly the dumbest kid in the class.

Sat next to me in the class was a guy (Keith Wilson) who spent his spare time (at 14 years old) working for a company converting the program code for an arcade computer game to a home version. He used to hand in his homework on a floppy disk…

Me? I was drawing sharks on the back of my notebook…

So while studying quadratic equations, (something that has been oh-so-useful in my life…) it was clear that I didn’t understand it. I asked the teacher to go over it again. He sighed an exasperated sigh – but he went over it again.

I still didn’t get it.

So I asked again. The teacher sighed loudly and said “Okay – the rest of you take a five minute break while I go over this again for Alwyn’s benefit …..” and then mumbled “for whatever goodthat will do”

Obviously I felt pretty small at that point. And of course the whole class heard him and laughed.
And I still didn’t get it.
And I never asked a question to this teacher again.
And I failed the exam for the class.

This teacher was a man who had a chance to make a kid feel better and help him, or put him down and make him feel worthless. He chose the latter. Why? Just because he could. That’s the kind of person he was.

Another person in my life was my Taekwon-do instructor – Derek Campbell. My Dad was made unemployed and we could no longer afford lessons. I went to my instructor and told him that we just couldn’t afford lessons anymore and I’d be back when my Dad got a job.

He told me to show up early for the next class and become his assistant – teaching beginners. He would pay me with free lessons.

I went on to become a fourth degree black belt, and seven time UK national champion as a result.

This teacher was also a man who had a chance to make a kid feel better and help him, or put him down and make him feel worthless. He chose the former. Why? Just because he could. That’s the kind of person he was.

One person changed a kids life and made it worse. One person changed a kid’s life and made it better. I remember both of them.

We have all had, and remember these people in our lives – the only question to ask is …

What kind of person are you?

How Has Weight Training Saved Your Life?

I was reading a fantastic article today that featured many big names in the Strength & Conditioning World. These are people I look up to and it was interesting hearing them speak about how weight training saved their lives, all in varying ways. Personally, strength training has increased my confidence both in sports and life. I started when I was 16 and I will never forget how much I've enjoyed it since that summer I started.

A few quotes from the article stood out, and I wanted to take a minute to share some powerful words with you. Enjoy...

"The most successful people work hardest in the gym."

"The weight room is a place where the trials never end. It is the place where we test ourselves continuously — we struggle to reach one goal, and, as soon as we reach it, there is another and more difficult one to meet."

"Training hard makes you physically tougher, but the fact that it makes you mentally tougher is what's most important. Dragging yourself through a demanding workout makes you embrace the idea of facing a challenging task in business. There's definitely a direct correlation between pushing yourself in the weight room and pushing yourself in life."

Monday, October 04, 2010

Feedback on the New Website

I just wanted to say how great it has been receiving all the positive feedback from the new web site ( People are continuing to use adjectives like "fresh, crisp, clean, informative," etc... That is exactly what I was after. I want people to receive high quality, right to the point information. I don't know if I have a "favorite section" yet, but I will say the Shining Stars page came out pretty damn good. So nice to see my clients on there. Many of their family and friends have written to them and are blown away with the results they've obtained from training with me. That's the kind of stuff that truly makes me love what I do.