Friday, December 28, 2012

Rack Chins – Great Back Move

Pull-ups (chin-ups) are a staple to any fitness program.   They are solid compound moves.   However, the mass majority of people use momentum as a cheat to complete the move.   It is very hard not to.    

I recently stumbled upon rack chins as an interesting alternative.    I believe they are a great back exercise for all levels of lifters and fitness-seekers.  This move restricts momentum and is easier to progress in weight/intensity -- even for beginners. 

So what are rack chins????   You place a barbell in a rack or use a smith machine.   Place the bar mid-chest level.  Set up an adjustable bench with the head end closest to the bar at an incline (a 45 degree incline).  Sit down on the bench under the bar and push the bench back so that your heels will rest right on the edge of the bench.  You can vary you grip.   However, I suggest a very wide grip. Simply perform a chin up. Your hips should be lower than your feet even at the top of the rep.  Adjust the incline if needed to ensure feet are much higher than hips.  When you lower yourself at the bottom of the rep, really stretch.  Explode back up.  You have completed a rep.  As you advance, add weight by putting plates or dumbbells in your lap. 

Great back move !!

Stay tuned…….

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Leonardo da Vinci - Quote

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Being willing is not enough; we must do.”  -  Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, December 24, 2012

Secret to Holidays and “Healthy” - PLAN

The most wonderful time of the year is back!   There are many office parties, family gatherings, religious festivities and gatherings of friends.  Healthy eating becomes challenging to say the least.

PLANNING is a secret to making it through the holidays without losing too much ground.   Simple things to implement:   Take low calorie appetizers to the parties.  Budget calories throughout the holidays, so you can have a small piece of those normally sinful dishes.  Burn extra calories in intense weight training exercise sessions.   Stay focused.  Get enough sleep (7-8 hours of sleep nightly).

Everyone makes mistakes or splurges a little -- even the most disciplined person.  If you go a bit overboard, simply get back on track.   

Remember, PLAN and have a positive attitude...

Stay tuned……………

Friday, December 21, 2012

Weight Lifting – Myth of Injury

One of the biggest myths regarding weight lifting is that it will certainly cause injury.   This is FALSE.   When weight lifting is performed correctly, it will not produce injury.   To the contrary, it will make the body more resistant to injury.   Bad form can always lead to injury, however.   In contrast, good form and lifting strengthens the muscles, joints and tendons and helps you be resistant to injuries.   This means that you are also preventing injuries from everyday activities (walking on ice, raking leaves, carrying objects, etc.)

LIFT weights in good form and regularly!!!  There are sooo many benefits.    Simply put your mind to it and as Nike says,  “Just Do It.”

Stay tuned…….

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Quote

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fries - Alternative

Successful healthy eating can be challenging.   Some people feel it is too much of a sacrifice to give up those potato chips or French fries.   Some think they are being healthier when choosing sweet potato fries and then end up with more calories and fat than normal French fries.

There IS an alternative without sacrificing..    Butternut squash fries!!   I did not even think I liked butternut squash until recently.   Now I peel and bake my butternut squash into “fries” and “chips”.       I even make myself butternut squash chips nachos by adding some chicken, low fat cheese, scallions and salsa on top of the baked chips.    It absolutely gives the same texture and taste as sweet potato fries with sooo much less calories and carbs.

Try it !!!  

Stay tuned……….

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Laird Hamilton - Quote

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn't live between your own two ears.” -   Laird Hamilton

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Exercise - Reminder - WEIGHTS over Cardio

It is the holiday season and we all are likely to eat too much…    During this time of year, you are going to hear people saying that they are “hitting the treadmill hard tomorrow” in response to their gluttony.    I have always stressed and I want to remind you again - “cardio” is not the best answer.
Over-indulgent meals increase cortisol and insulin.  Aerobic training (in other words,  “cardio”) provides the least benefits to balancing insulin and cortisol.  Cardio is shown in study after study to increase cortisol production.  Cardio has its place in our fitness plans but should NOT be the answer when our bodies are already high in cortisol and insulin from our “holiday feedings."    Weight training is the best way to improve insulin sensitivity.   Lifting heavy weights in compound exercises like squats, deadlift, bench press, dips, and chin-ups are much more effective to get your body (and fitness plan) back on track. 

Stay tuned………….

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Socrates - Quote

“Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” – Socrates

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Partial Reps

Partial reps are great to help you work on the weak points of your range of motion.   Not all areas within the full ROM are equally affected.   Everyone has a “sticking point”.    Partial reps can be used to work on your sticking points and to increase overall strength.  

Do your partial reps sets after your complete full ROM workout.   For squats, set the safety bars in a squat rack at say 4-6 inches below full lock out.   Load 20-30% more weight than your max on the bar and squat down and back up for 4-6 reps.   Every week you do partial reps, set the safety bar down another couple of inches.   Soon you will be doing full ROM with the heavier weight.    

As for the bench press and partials, we use the bottom of the ROM.  Use a Smith machine or power rack and set the safety bars about 6 inches above your chest.  Again, use a heavier weight than your normal max and every week lower the safety bars until you reach full ROM with the heavier weight.      Be sure in all partial moves to not rest the bar on the safety bars or pause. You do not want to take tension off the working muscles.

Stay tuned………..

Monday, December 3, 2012

Exercising with a Cold

Winter time………   People coughing, sneezing and blowing their noses.  

It is ok to hit the gym and exercise when you have a cold (although it is not recommended if you are running a fever).   Exercising with a cold will not prolong or worsen your cold.   Exercising actually might make you feel better with the blood circulation and endorphins released by exercise.   When you train with a cold, remember to take it easy.  Your body is using energy to battle an illness.   So dial down your intensity level.   

Stay tuned……

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lao-Tzu - Quote

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” — Lao-Tzu

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Little Things

It is the little things...In every facet of our lives it rings true that seemingly little things can make all the difference.  Weight training is no different.

If you pay attention to the little things, it can lead to big gains.   Among the things to pay close attention to:  form, form, form.  Even slightly adjusting your stance on a squat can make huge differences.  Also critical are your focus on warm up weight/reps and paying attention to completing full range of motion.  

Take your training to the next level by making those little adjustments and being mindful about not just what you are doing but how. 

Stay tuned………..

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Hit - Pear & Red Onion Gratin

I wanted to share a “holiday hit” with you.   This side dish is beyond tasty and very healthy. 

• 1 large red onion
• 3 ripe Bosc pears
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon thyme
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 cup coarse pork rinds (as substitute for breadcrumbs)
• 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

 1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Halve and core each pear; cut each half into 6 slices. Cut onion into 16 wedges and place them in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (spray with cooking spray) along with the pear slices, thyme, and sea salt; toss to combine. Cover with foil.
3. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring twice.
4. Meanwhile, combine pork rinds and cheese in a small bowl. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil; stir to combine.
5. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the gratin, return to the oven and roast until the breadcrumbs are well browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.  

Enjoy !!!!!! 

Adapted from Eating Well

Stay tuned………..

Thursday, November 22, 2012

George Eliot - Quote

“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” — George Eliot

Monday, November 19, 2012

9 Thanksgiving Nutrition Myths, Busted

Ahhh, the homemade food.   This is the start of what is to most folks a downhill spiral of eating and exercising within the next 6 weeks.  To be followed, of course, by the New Years’ resolution.     Perhaps this is the year to avoid the spiral!      I want to share this article with you on the myths of many Thanksgiving foods.  Nutritional success begins with being informed.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Stay tuned…………

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Winston Churchill - Quote

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

German Volume Training

As we have discussed in this blog, we all need to take a break from our normal sets/rep routine and keep our bodies guessing.    The body needs to be challenged as it adapts very quickly and will plateau.    Once a quarter, I recommend you do a week that will SHOCK your body and kick your butt -- German Volume Training. 

(All of a sudden, this method seems to be popping up everywhere!  I have been doing it for more than a decade.  Do not think of it as a fad.   It is a solid supplemental routine will cause muscles to be sore that have not been in a while.)

The concept works like this:  Simply pick one exercise and do 10 sets of 10 reps with only 60-90 seconds of rest in between sets.   Pick heavier, compound-style lifts that tax major muscle groups.  Start with 50 - 60% of your one max rep. 

I am doing GVT this week for my workouts.    It has been a few years as I stayed away from it when doing competitive powerlifting.  WOW – is my body shocked (in a good way).   To give you an idea of what my lifts and weights are:   Bench Press – 135 lbs (225 for 3 is my max raw),  Deadlifts – 185 lbs  (350 is my one max raw)   Arnold Shoulder Presses (Seated) – Dumbbells 30 lbs each   (55 each is 3 rep max).   Other days this week, I will do rows and squats with same 10 x 10 routine.      Let me tell you – it kicks your butt.    Speaking of which, mine is SORE but in a good way (which makes me happy). 

Stay tuned………

Monday, November 12, 2012

American Soda Consumption

It is estimated that Americans drink over 15 billion gallons of soda a year.  This is larger than many of the lakes in our country.   Shocking…….. as the majority of that is sugar based soda. 

Stay tuned………….

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Napoleon Hill - Quote

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” — Napoleon Hill

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

“Weights” Are Not Created Equal

We all keep track of the amount of weight we can lift for each move.  However, did you know that you might be comparing apples and oranges? 

You cannot compare 100 lbs. of say free weights to 100lbs of machine weight.  You cannot even compare 100lbs from cable machine to another cable machine.   They just are not the same.

Several factors are at play including gravity, force, pulley tension and path of motion.    Machines have an added complication because of a fixed range of motion.   By comparison, free weights use a natural, unrestricted range of motion.    The range of motion, angles, tension on pulleys (if machine) even vary from machine to machine.   If you are like me and visit different gyms because of travel, don't get psyched out (or too psyched up) if you are lifting less (or more) on the “same” machine as at your home gym.

It is not so much about the pounds you lift as the quality of your workout!

Stay tuned………..

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sweat - NOT the Indicator

Sweat is simply water weight loss.      Consider what happens when you sit in a sauna.   Doing cardio under a hundred layers of sweatshirts/sweatpants is the same principle as a sauna.   A few pounds may be lost temporarily but the weight is regained after fluids have been consumed.   Sweating is simply the body’s way to cool itself down.  

Sweat is also not the indicator of a good workout.   You could row miles and miles in a freezer and never shed a drop of sweat.  That would be an awesome workout!  Conversely, on a July afternoon you could simply walk to your car from a supermarket and be sweating and not expended any calories.    Air temperature and humidity are the factors that dramatically affect our “sweating."

Do not let “sweat” be an indicator of your workout session.  It is all about focus and intensity.    

Stay tuned………..

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mary Anne Radmacher - Quote

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” — Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Advanced BodyWeight Core Moves

When some people hear “core” they think six pack abs.   Not true.   A strong core is soo critical, as we have discussed before.   The "core" is defined as the deep muscles that stabilize, support, align, and move the trunk of our bodies.   The core consists of many different muscles that run the entire length of the torso.      

There are a couple of advanced bodyweight moves you can do to help strengthen your core:   Hip Thrusts and The Dragon Flag.

Hip thrusts are best performed on a bench (but can be done on the floor).    You lay down on your back on a bench with your legs stretched out.  Lift your straightened legs up directly over your hips and keep your legs vertical.   You might need to hold on to the bench until you are balanced enough to perform without holding on.  Tighten your core muscles and lift your hips (and legs) straight up off the bench.  Your hips and lower back should be off the bench.  Lower your hips to the bench in a controlled manner.  This is a repetition exercise.  Since these are bodyweight, you should do higher reps (more than 5) per set.    

The Dragon Flag was made popular by Bruce Lee.  It is even more challenging than the hip thrusts.  A dragon flag is performed on a bench (although again the floor will work) again, on your back and you grasp the bench behind your head.   You lift your entire body up in a straight line and then slowly lower back down.  At the top of the move, you should be rolled up onto your upper back, nearly your shoulders.  The goal is to keep your body straight.   These are very advanced so initially you should start with bend legs.   Bring your knees in to your waist. Pull up with your hands keeping your whole body rigid until it rises up and your torso points directly towards the ceiling.  Hold the position for a second or two and then lower your body back down until your butt is just a couple of inches from the bench.  That is a rep.   As you progress, keep extending your legs more every session until you can finally do the dragon flag with your legs completely straight.

Our core is key to all our movements in life (not just fitness).   

Stay tuned…….

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ski Slopes - Do you know what they are spraying on it ??

Soon it will be ski season.  Not rushing the seasons but we did have 18 inches of snow last Halloween here in New England. 

I read this article and wanted to pass along.   Just when you thought you could not be shocked anymore by what people do…….

Stay tuned and ski SAFELY ……….

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Abraham Lincoln - Quote

“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”  -  Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More than the Number

Fitness (for that matter life) is more than a number………..    I often have to remind myself of that.   For those of you that know me, I am a total OCD personality. 

Number on a scale, number of reps, number of lbs. on the bar, how fast we ran, how long we ran, how much weight we lost, etc…….  

The drive to do heavier, faster, better is a positive thing that keeps us moving forward.   However, do not let it ruin your fitness journey.   We have to do the thing that I struggle the most with……..balance.   My drive wants me to do heavier every single week in lifting.   Reality is that is impossible.  Otherwise, I would be lifting the house up right now.   Reality is some days will be gains, some days will be lesser and some days will be stable.   How much sleep we get, what we did in our “real lives” that day or the day before, workload, mindset, it all plays a part into our daily fitness routines. 

Consistency and intensity are the keys to a lifelong healthy journey.    The “numbers” will change as our environments change.  Being consistent and keeping up the intensity is what prevails over time.

Stay tuned………….

Monday, October 22, 2012

6 EVIL Companies to NEVER Buy Food From Again

I have some pressing work issues this morning but did not want to miss a post and the opportunity to “connect” with you.   

I wanted to share this link that I found on my iPad app  Flipboard (if you do not have it you should try it – outstanding source for gathered information).   I found the information on these 6 companies appalling.           

True and proven information is key in all areas of life.   Nutrition, training, fitness……. is no exception. 

Stay tuned………..

Thursday, October 18, 2012

R.W. Emerson - Quote

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – R.W. Emerson

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Static Holds

Static holds are also known as isometric holds (exercise).   This is where you put the focus on tension in the muscle.  This is performed without any movement.   These are great to build muscle definition.   There are two kinds of static holds - with or without resistance (weights).   

Planks are an example of a static hold without weights.   You simply HOLD the position for as long as you can.    Another example is flexing the muscle hard.   When I shattered my wrist, I wanted and needed (mentally and emotionally) to find a way to work the muscles in my arm so I did not lose the hard work I had put into my physique.   I could not hold anything in my left hand.   I typed emails and programmed code with only my right hand for almost 2 months.    After about a week or so, I found all kinds of moves I could do to continue to work my back, chest, shoulders and arms with minimal use of my left hand.    This took lots of creativity (such as strapping on an ankle strap above my wrist for cable moves and using forearms for pushing chest machine moves, etc.).     However, the two areas that were hard to target were my biceps and triceps.   I started holding a long static hold (flex in this case).    It was amazing burn.   Flex as hard as you can and time yourself.  Do several sets.  

Resistance static holds consist of holding the weight at the peak of the range of motion.   Examples include rows where you hold at the top point of the lift.   Therefore, in bent-over rows, you would hold the barbell when it reaches your chest.  Hold for a few seconds and then lower.   During pull-ups hold at the top of the pull up for a few seconds and then lower yourself.     This puts more tension on the muscle and challenges it differently than straight reps.

Add in static holds as part of your rotation and watch yourself bust through plateaus.

Stay tuned……….

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Great Debate -EGGS

I am sure you have noticed that there a lots of studies that show the benefits or health concerns for different foods.  Milk, red meats, bread and pasta, fats in general as well as certain ones specifically, like cooking oils.  For every “positive” study there seems to be a “negative” study. 

I have always thought of eggs as a nearly perfect food.   However, it is indeed one of the subjects of many conflicting studies.   I wanted to share this article on    Eggs - The Great Debate...

Stay tuned.........

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jim Valvano - Quote

"Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding." -  Jim Valvano

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Functional Exercises - Standing

We have covered functional training in an earlier blog posting.   However, I wanted to expand on functional training.    Standing, just standing properly, is a necessary body function.  The vast majority of all movements we do in our daily lives involve standing.  Or at least you should be standing more than sitting.   :)

So why do many individuals perform seated moves at the gym?   Real life postures (standing or sitting) are typically unsupported and unstable.   You can best train for these by lifting while standing.    If you need to push or lift in your daily life, challenge yourself by standing to do a row or standing to do a shoulder press?     Make your routine at the gym more functional by preforming the moves standing whenever possible.  You will also notice that you use your muscles differently!

Stay tuned…………

Monday, October 8, 2012

Potassium - Critical Mineral

Potassium has a significant role in our body functions.  It plays a role in our muscle development and metabolism.  We also hear about it as a component of electrolyte balance.  In this application, potassium keeps our heart functioning as it should.   Lack of potassium is also the greatest cause of muscle cramps. 

A few of the top sources for potassium are:  Dried Chervil, Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, Paprika or Red Chili Powder, Nuts, Seeds (as in Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Flax) and Fish (Salmon, Halibut, Tuna).

Try to add more potassium from natural sources into your daily nutrition.  (If you are taking any medication, you might want to check with your physician before you adjust your potassium intake.)

Stay tuned…….

Thursday, October 4, 2012

John Wooden - Quote

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability." -  John Wooden

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Step Ups

Step-ups like lunges are a unilateral exercise that is a powerful assistance move to work on balance and symmetry.   Step-ups (unlike lunges) can further develop power.  Power is quantified by a greater range of motion as well as the amount of force required to perform the motion.  

Step-ups have many variations.  Stand in front of a bench and step on top of the bench.  Bring your other foot onto the bench.   Reverse the motion by stepping backwards.  Lead with one foot and then the other.   As you advance, perform while holding dumbbells.   If they are too easy, increase the height you are stepping.  Try side step ups.    Just be sure to keep correct form – do not lean, instead use your legs to drive your body up.

Stay tuned………………

Monday, October 1, 2012

What is your fitness goal ?

What is your fitness goal?  Are you wanting to be stronger?   More strength?  More power?   Lose weight?   General functional fitness?   Longevity?  

Like most of us, I want it all.  I find myself in constant contradiction with my passion of “fitness."   I want to be 20 pounds lighter and still lift my all-time heaviest.   Impossible.   None of us can have it all !   So we need to focus on what is the most important to us and work towards that knowing there are tradeoffs.  

Know it is ok to reassess as you continue down the path of lifelong fitness.    Stay focused and consistent and that will translate to long-term success in building the YOU that you want to be.

Stay tuned………….. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jack Dempsey - Quote

"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't." -   Jack Dempsey

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Unilateral Training - Imbalances

We all have muscle imbalances.   My right bicep is bigger than my left.  My left tricep is bigger than my right.   None of us are perfect.   However, more than slight imbalances can lead to injury.  Muscle imbalances can also stall your progress in lifting.

Unilateral training will help an imbalanced muscle group, which is using separate but equal weights on each side of the body.  Unilateral training with dumbbells forces the muscles to work independently.  Bilateral training such as barbells and many machine exercises use both sides to lift the weight (a single weight).  (Admit it:  every now and then, you KNOW one side is doing more of the work than the other is.) 

In order to develop more balance between left and right side you should use dumbbells in your compound moves.   Examples of unilateral compound moves:  dumbbell bench press, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell bent over row.  

Alternate between bilateral and unilateral exercises into your compound move to improve muscle imbalances and take your fitness to the next level.

Stay tuned…………..

Monday, September 24, 2012

Are You Making These Nutrition Mistakes?

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this video should more than cover this posting...

Seriously, work travel is taking priority this week, so here are a few well-chosen thoughts from 

No matter how well versed you are in nutrition and fitness, chances are you still need a few simple reminders of the basics.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jimmy Johnson - Quote

"Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be. " -  Jimmy Johnson

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Lunges are my least favorite movement.   I would rather squat until I puke than do lunges.   J

Having said that, I find myself once again in the need to add them back into my routines.   I need hip work to help take me to the next level in my squats and deadlifts.    

Lunges are great for developing the thighs and strengthening the hips.    Besides working the quads, hamstrings and glutes, they also work the hip adductors and abductors (inner and outer thighs).    These are why I add them in.   The adductors and abductors are keys for hip stability and are critical to performance.    The lunge, if performed correctly, provides greater range of motion.  All of this converts into more development of the muscles critical to squats and deadlifts. 

Lunges have many variations:  forward lunges, reverse lunges, sideways lunges, power lunges, and my favorite – the walking lunge.   These are just a few of the many options.   You can do these with just bodyweight or carrying dumbbells, kettlebells or barbell.   

Lunge technique/form:  With a staggered stance (about shoulder width apart) and both feet straight forward, bend your knees and  lower your back knee to almost the floor and rise again.   Keep your body in upright position (do not lean).   The front knee should not be past your toes, if so, widen your stance.    

Add these to your routine and watch your squat and deadlift numbers go up !!!!   Warning – lunges will kick your butt.  J

 Stay tuned……..

Monday, September 17, 2012

Whey Protein - Timing / Limit

All proteins are NOT equally beneficial.

Whey protein is advertised everywhere.   Promoted to be the cure all for protein / nutritional needs.   Many concentrate on only using whey protein throughout the day.    However, that could be exactly what is hampering your fat loss.    Whey protein spikes your blood sugar / insulin levels.  

The entire purpose of whey protein was to be consumed after your workout.   This is when your body needs to quickly deliver a spike of protein and nutrients to your muscles to help you preserve and gain muscle.  Whey protein is absorbed faster than any other type.  It is completely absorbed in your body within an hour.       If you consume whey protein any other time other than post workout, you start an insulin spike and turn off any fat burning.  The result is that you will be hungry soon, as the whey is sooo fast absorbing.

Advice -  consume whey protein only post workout.    All other daily protein should come from natural sources (real food) or blended proteins (casein, etc.). 

Stay tuned………..

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Arthur Ashe - Quote

"The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight. " - Arthur Ashe

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Barefoot (or at least flat foot) Training

We were born without shoes…and during the first few years of our lives, we went barefoot.  

When we wear shoes, our feet lose some of their natural physical capacity including failing to develop to their proper size and shape.  Our tendons and ligaments shorten and our muscles weaken.

Going barefoot or wearing minimal footwear has many advantages in weight lifting.    There are no artificial heals when you go barefoot or wear minimal footwear.    Shoes that lift the heel alter your center of balance.   They shift the weight forward and your body compensates by arching your back.   Most sports shoes don't help much either as they have shock absorbing cushioning that reduce wear and tear but don't do much for strengthening.   When performing lower body exercises such as squats and deadlifts, these shoes cause uneven stability.   In addition, those shoes are not designed for the heavy weight.  They can literally “blow out" the shocks.   

A barefoot stance is the best way to improve balance and posture.  This in turns allows you to lift more and more safely.

Many lower body strength-training exercises can be performed barefoot.  To mention a few -- squats, deadlifts, lunges, and step–ups.

When I perform deadlifts, I wear wrestling shoes.  (I cannot stand the thought of standing barefoot or socking footed on a public gym floor!)  They are flat, thin sole, no arch and very minimalist.    Many lifters also where Converse Chuck Taylors.   For your workout, these are the next best thing to barefoot. 

Take your training to the next level and go back to Mother Nature and try it barefoot (or minimalist).    Let the body work as intended and to full potential.
Stay tuned…

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cooking Meat – Low Temps

When cooking meats, the temperature used makes a difference in its digestibility and nutrition in the body. 

High temperature cooking as well as over cooking will make digestion much more difficult.  The food cannot absorb into the cells.  Also frying, baking, or grilling meats at high temperatures produces compounds called advanced glycation end products.   Studies have shown that AGEs that can increase inflammation in the body. AGEs also are linked to diabetes and heart disease. 

There are several resources online that give guidelines to slower and lower temperature cooking of meats.    Please reference and be HEALTHY. 

Stay tuned……….