Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Body Transformation Lessons

Precision Nutrition recently posted a great article about Body Transformation. A "Top 10" List accompanied the article. I'm a big fan of lists/charts, and wanted to share it with you here:

1. Realize that exercise alone doesn’t work.
2. Find a big motivator.
3. Find something to lose.
4. Choose proof over theory.
5. Do one small thing every day.
6. Make your commitments a little too easy.
7. Find someone to answer to.
8. Focus on behaviors, not outcomes.
9. Let your coach track the results.
10. Get a support network.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Words to Live By!

And remember — it doesn’t matter what you eat or how you exercise between Christmas and New Years. It matters how you eat and exercise between New Year’s and Christmas!

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 PC Conditioning MVP client

This past week I was thrilled to crown my 2011 PC Conditioning MVP. It's something I've never done in the past, but after brainstorming one day this past summer about ways to reward clients, I thought this would be an interesting thing to implement. The winner this year received a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

What are the characteristics of my MVP for 2011, you ask? It's simple. He/she...
  • Arrives early and stays late when need be
  • Rarely/never complains
  • Is constantly positive
  • Loves to train and embraces temporary moments of discomfort
  • Never gives up
  • Trusts me when I push them each session
  • Does EVERYTHING- and then some- I tell them to BETWEEN sessions
  • Tracks their exercise and nutrition progress in a journal
  • Surrounds themselves with positive influences
  • Eats a well-balanced diet with plenty of good fats and lean protein
  • Utilizes rest and recovery (sleep, soft tissue work, etc...) effectively

Monday, December 19, 2011

Awesome Home Workout

Chin-up bar, a couple Kettlebells/Dumbbells, and a desire to work hard is all you need.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Message from Jay Robb

I was reading a recent newsletter I receive from Jay Robb, the individual whose company produces the only protein powder I use and recommend to my clients. He spoke about the hustle and bustle of the holidays and I really liked what he had to say. Allow me to share it with you below:

The holiday season to me is about peace on earth. I am not sure how we got to the point where Santa is the main character, it is better to receive than give, and slowing down is not an option. Perhaps I am an odd bird, but peace on earth during the holidays means more “quiet time” not more “shopping time”. And if non-stop shopping, decorating, and partying aren’t enough, when we do have quiet time, we often spend it in front of the TV or at the movie theater watching someone else’s creation instead of experiencing the joy of the present moment.
So what would make this the perfect holiday season? To me, the answer is always, “slow down, do less, give more, and be aware.” As humans, our minds are bottomless pits for “stuff, pleasure, and excitement.” The mind will never be satisfied. Unless you can control your thoughts, your thoughts will control you. The easiest way to control your thoughts is to meditate daily. Twenty minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening is ideal to turn down the mind chatter and turn up the peace and quiet. It may seem that I always oversimplify things, but the answer to most of life’s problems can be discovered in silence.
Happy holidays!
May the “hurry of the holidays” NOT be with you...

9 Things Young Athletes Need to Master

Strength and Conditioning Coach Julia Ladewski recently wrote a piece for Elite FTS discussing simple things kids should be able to do, yet most high school freshmen lack the ability to do. Check them out here:

  1. Body Weight Squat – The squat is one of the most basic movements for body awareness and strength. It is also a precursor to other movements like jumping, hopping and bounding. Toddlers just learning to walk and pick things up off the ground start off doing a perfect squat and somewhere along the way, we mess it up.
  2. Skipping – This is a basic fundamental motor pattern that should be mastered. It teaches opposite arm and leg relationship and takes a bit of coordination. Not to mention, the basic movements needed for running, like staying on the balls of the feet and proper arm mechanics.
  3. Pushups – While this is on every Dad’s list of “Things To Make Your Son Do Every Day To Stay Ahead Of The Game” it can easily get out of control if not done properly. I’ve seen many kids who say they do pushups every night, yet they are done poorly. Whether you start with plank holds or incline pushups or any variation, young athletes need to learn body position.
  4. Chin-ups/Flex Arm Hang – Apparently this is part of most kids’ Presidential Fitness Test…yet when I ask kids how often they practice them in P.E. class, they say never. Hmm…that’s another conversation for another day. Again, there are a million ways to help kids learn to do a chin-up or flex arm hang, but I think we can all agree that it’s a fundamental skill (mastering your body weight) that all kids should have.
  5. Jump Rope – I’m surprised at the amount of kids that don’t know how to jump rope. Rocky would be ashamed of us.
  6. Hip Hinge – Hinging the hips, while keeping the spine in alignment, is extremely difficult for most young athletes to understand. Most just bend forward at the waist, rounding the back. This is a key position for teaching them to create spinal stability.
  7. Lunge/Split Squat – Another basic movement that not only builds into more difficult strength moves, but can be a great movement screen as well.
  8. Landing – Learning how to stick a landing position and absorb the forces through the body are another key thing to teach young athletes. They need to know how to keep their posture in the right position (not letting their chest flop to the floor), and have a soft landing.
  9. Jumping and Hopping – While many coaches would argue that a kid should know how to land before they can jump any higher (and I do agree), basic jumping skills should be mastered. Again, timing of the arms with the legs and overall body control. And with hopping, again, I’m surprised that most kids don’t have the body control and strength to hop on one foot.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fresh versus Frozen

The debate continues about which is better for you, fresh produce or frozen? Personally, I tend to stick to not just what is more affordable, but what is in-season. The other thing to factor in is transit time (how close are you to the source of the farming). For example, I'd rather choose fresh local blueberries than those that have had to sit on a truck for a week coming in from across the country.

Many people assume that fresh is healthier, while I disagree because flash-frozen veggies are frozen right on the spot to help preserve their nutrients. 1 cup of frozen broccoli, for example, has nearly TWICE the protein and fiber that fresh broccoli does. It has also has TWICE as much iron and slightly more Vitamin C.

Long story short, frozen produce is a fine choice. Choose local fresh when in-season and frozen when it's out of season.