Well guys, it’s been what seemed to be an incredibly short semester, and I’m not sure about y’all, but I had great time both teaching and learning a lot from all of you! Hopefully you all made it through the holiday relatively unscathed and are still maintaining everything you’ve worked so hard for.
There is still a month or two left in the ‘holidays’, though, so everyone watch out for those crazy cravings we all tend to get around now. Remember what you’ve learned, implement it, and you will be fine.
I hope to see you all next semester, and for those who I don’t see this week, have a great rest of your 2009.
P.S. Anything else pertinent to GET FIT will be posted via BB for the rest of the semester.
Tagged: Goodbye Fall 09'
Thanksgiving Schedule: We WILL hold classes on Wednesday, Nov. 25th. Come get in your pre-turkey workout!
We will NOT hold classes on Thursday the 26th and Friday the 27th. Please exercise on your own!
A couple tips over the holidays:
- Feel free to indulge on turkey. It’s better for you than ham or any of the other meats you might encounter.
- Don’t skimp on your veggies! There should be quite an offering at any parties or get-together-s you attend, so make sure you get enough in.
- While drinking what you may, try to get in a glass of water or two in between each ‘beverage’.
- Don’t discount the results that you can get from simply ‘taking a walk’. After that big Thanksgiving dinner, take the family for a stroll in the neighborhood. The annual flag football game that a lot families have is a great way to get that exercise in as well.
Final DEXA!!! We will be calling you some time during the next week to schedule your final DEXA and consultation. If somehow we miss you by phone, we will send you an email and ask you to call the Fitness Institute and schedule your final consult. We will be conducting the consultations from November 30th-Friday, December 11th.
The last day of class is December 4th =(
We will be sharing information about registration for the Spring Session next week. You will also have a chance to ‘pre-register’ at your final consultation.
Finally, it would be great if we could get everyone really focusing on being on time to class for the last few that we have. The later you are, the more behind, confused you are as far as what exercisers we’re supposed to be doing, not to mention the fact that you won’t be warmed up and could very well risk injuring yourself.
November 16, 2009 · 1 Comment
This morning with the 7am guys and gals, we went outside and ran up and down the ramps in the Southwest corner of the stadium (great job, by the way, guys!). I bet if you asked each and every one of them, they would tell you that although they didn’t give every last bit of speed and explosion that they had for every step they took, they still got a pretty good workout. In fact, I would venture to guess that most of you have experienced a loss of breath or sense of ‘over’-exertion many times before without sprinting non-stop for 5 minutes.
This is a perfect example of the argument behind a lot of research done within the last ten to twenty years that simply states that the higher the intensity of an exercise, the less time you have to spend doing it to get similar aerobic training effects. To be sure, there is certainly a lot of anaerobic (more explosive, powerful) training that tends to occur as well with higher intensities of exercise. This can account for some of the more minute differences between the cardiovascular fitness of comparable exercisers with the different types of workouts.
My point is that people often think of exercise in black and white: either you can run 5 miles and be fit cardiovascular-ly, or you can be in the weight room and have big muscles. The truth, as with anything else in this world, is that there’s a whole lot of grey area to work within. Research shows that high-intensity weight-training actually can increase cardiovascular fitness as well as endurance; this on top of the muscular endurance, power, and strength as well as neuromuscular and bone-density improvements that are already provided.
On the flip side, traditional endurance training, because it involves weight-bearing with large muscle groups, specifically the legs, can increase strength in the working muscle groups, but not necessarily power.
To remedy this deficiency, I posit that one can get the same sort of cardio- workout and aslo incorporate explosive movements, as well as help train the body for deceleration (crucial for injury-prevention) while playing a game of basketball or soccer. Not only that, but as I’ve written about before, the body moves, loads, and unloads in three planes of motion. These types of games and exercises require and cause the body to perform efficiently through all three of those planes.
So, in closing, may I clearly state that if you like to run, run. I would never suggest that someone intentionally stop doing something they enjoy, especially when there are so many positive results associated with it. However, if you are like me and find traditional cardio- training dull and boring at times, call up a few buddies, head to the court, and start a pickup game. You’ll have fun and be much more likely to sustain frequent exercise that way.
P.S. The article I have included this time is on this very subject and gives a little more exact data.
When exercising, we all know to keep a bottle of water handy or at least know where the nearest fountain is just in case you need a sip. Some people will also participate in all sorts of crazy, odd, and generally ‘outside the box’ hydration routines, from drinking exactly 1.5 energy drinks immediately before the workout, to having three sips of ‘electrolyte-rich Re-hydration’ drink (sugary stuff like Gatorade or Powerade) halfway through and the rest immediately post-workout.
So, the question then is “what do I need” and “how much of it do I need”; you might also lump in there “when do I need it” if you are especially specific with your workouts.
The truth is that unless you are some sort of competitive athlete or are on a doctor-prescribed exercise program which you must follow, drinking lots and lots of water before during and after your workout, you will be perfectly fine.
All of the “-ade”s that you find out there having nothing really good for you outside of a lot of sugar that is okay in a certain does immediately after exercise, when your insulin channels are open and you need to ‘refill’ your glucose reserves. However, the amount of sugar that’s in those kinds of drinks can be quite excessive, leading to further deposits of the stuff we’re trying to get rid of: fat.
If you have to find some sort of post-exercise drink, chocolate milk really works as well as most stuff out there. It gives you sugar, yes, but it’s in a more manageable amount, plus you have the added protein you get from the dairy. Good stuff!
Otherwise, drink plenty of water before the workout, during and after. Also, throughout the day, you’ll be much better off during workouts and in general if you do the same.
I know this post was pretty short in comparison, but it’s a topic that is often brought up and left unanswered. It can also get a lot more complicated and in depth, so as always, ASK QUESTIONS!
As I sit and type this, my ankle is in an Air Cast, and I haven’t been to work in over a week. Injuries often put a damper on anything and everything that we do, from getting out of bed in the morning, to sitting down, relaxing, and watching some TV at night.
Ankle sprains, as well as any number of other common injuries are often derived from a lack of flexibility and balance, or in a more encompassing terminology, mobility and stability. Mobility is the body’s or body part’s capability to move through a full range of motion efficiently and without failure or pain. Stability is the body’s proproceptive ability to perform these efficient, fluid motions. “Proprioceptive describes the ability of the brain to communicate back and forth with the muscles to tell where the body is in space and adjust accordingly for proper alignment and motion. A good way to think about this motion is to imagine you are stepping off a concrete sidewalk onto a sandy beach. Your body has to first realize that the height of the surface has changed, then adjust to the different stability requirements of the different ground texture (sand vs. concrete). Now realize that your brain and muscles, prepared by your body’s proproceptors, has to react to all this in milliseconds. If it all functions correctly, you land safe and sound and move on with your day. If not, the consequences can be…..well, similar to what happened to me when I missed a step. Unfortunately, most of us do not incorporate flexibility or balance into our daily exercise or physical activity routines.
Because we need properly trained and adjusted amounts of mobility and stability, it’s fitting that we try to have them together, working synergistically. UT Basketball Head Strength Coach Todd Wright calls this concept “MoStability”. With correct training, mostability will not only make you better, faster, and stronger, but will help prevent those pesky non-contact injuries.
Your body is three-dimensional, right? So why not train it in all three-dimensions? This is key to sound mostability. The human figure moves through three planes of motion (i.e. multi-planar or tri-planar) when walking, jumping, bending over, or any activity it undertakes. There’s the sagittal plane, or movement forward and backward, the frontal plane, or movement side to side, and the transverse plane, or movement rotationally. Creating mostability through properly loading the foot, ankle, hips, and thoracic spine specifically puts you on a great path to success in all daily activities, from picking up a bag of groceries to stepping in and out of the bath tub. Click here to see a diagram of the planes of motion – the square panes actually dictate of the central axis the body will move around.
The ‘take home’ from all of this is basically what I stated before. Don’t just train the sagittal plane (movement forward & backward). Most traditional weight-lifting exercises (e.g. squats, front lunges, bicep curls, & rows) and even aerobic activities, such as running are very sagittal-dominant. Try to work in some multi-planar, dynamic motions: while on a run, turn to your side and shuffle for a while; while in the weight room, perform squats with a slightly lighter weight, but with feet in different positions, challenge the stability of your lifts by standing on one foot and/or add rotation into your exercises. These multi-planar movements help in your flexibility (mobility), as well as your balance.
I just threw a lot of information at you, so as always, feel free to ask as many questions as you can muster – I welcome the challenge! Mostability is one of the more intricate and complicated concepts out there, and this just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to know more, let us know. It will inevitably lead you to a healthier, happier, and more ankle sprain-free lifestyle. Now if only I could take that message to heart….
P.S. Check out the new article on the possible link between sugary soft drinks and Type II Diabetes.
You may or may not have heard them all: Chondromalacia Patella, Patellar Tendonitis, or “Runner’s Knee”. It all comes down to the fact that a large portion of the population tends to have some sort of knee pain when they exercise, or who are we kidding, when they don’t exercise. The problem is that more often than not, we believe that the knee pain is actually what’s wrong with the knee, leg, etc. However, excluding cases involving torn ligaments, broken knee caps, and other medically examined cases, many of the complaints of knee pain may actually be a symptoms, not a diagnoses.
To illustrate this point, I pose to you the “Noose” analogy (Professional Strength Coach Mike Boyle came up with this, so don’t give me credit). Mr Boyle states that, “If I put a rope around your neck, throw it over a wall, and then pull on it, you will certainly feel pain in your neck. If I stop pulling, the pain will inevitably, and in most cases, immediately go away. So the fact here is that there was never anything actually wrong with your neck; it just so happened that was where the pain was exhibited because it was the only place it could show up.”
The same sort of basic theory can apply to the knee. As I have discussed with a few of you, most every American has really tight hips because as students, teachers, office workers, or a myriad of other “-ers”, we typically sit down and lean forward all day. Because of this tightness, a muscle in the greater ‘hip’ group of muscles, pulls on what can be likened to a rubber band that runs down the outside of the leg called the IT Band. This band inserts into the lateral condyle of the fibula, which is basically the upper-outside portion of the lower leg. When there is tension caused by the hip and it radiates through the IT Band, it is realized in this portion of the lower leg, causing external rotation in the lower leg and feet – that is to say, they point outward. This action causes the knees to incorrectly track inside of the feet, creating too much pressure on the knee. In summary, pain during standing and walking could be a symptom of feet pointing out, which is caused by a tight IT band, which is caused by tight hips, which are tight because we sit so much.
Similarly, if someone has ‘flat feet’, or some sort of other foot malformation (this is structurally speaking – generally, it’s a very correctable situation), it causes the ankle to overcompensate for improper loading when we walk, run, jump, or anything else. This does the same sort of ‘pulling’ on the knee because that overcompensation causes overuse, overpressure, and over-rotation in the bones and muscles of the lower leg that are immediately connected to the knee.
The point here is that if and when you have pain in your knees, don’t automatically think the worst. Typically, if you have severely injured yourself in any manner, your body will immediately make it perfectly clear, and it will not be just uncomfortable or sore – it will HURT! As always feel free to ask questions and even posit possible solutions to us. That’s what we’re here for!
P.S. I added a new link. Check it out – About “Pre-Diabetes”
September 28, 2009 · 1 Comment
In the gym, have you ever seen someone doing something like this?
For the past ten-twenty years, there has been a growing legion of exercisers that will tell you the best way to build an effiecient, stable, and strong core – inevitably on the way to getting ‘ripped’, sexy abs – is to create as much instability during an exercise as possible. So, the theory then would be that anyone who can do single leg squats-to-overhead press on a stability ball while blindfolded will have undoubtedly the greatest abs ever, right?
Although research is starkly minimal to this general argument, it is with a high degree of certainty I can attest that unless that specific action is what you are looking to train, you will see no improvements in performance of any other kind, and sexy abs, well….good luck.
The key to getting the abs you’ve always wanted has always been and will always be, getting rid of the fat. Everyone has ripped abs underneath all of our cushion that we’ve built for ourselves, but getting to it is obviously harder for some than it is for others.
The moral of the story here is to always be cautious when someone tells you about a great new exercise that will give you washboard abs in a week, or an infomercial that promises you the ‘MACHINE THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING’. Simplicity, more often than not, is the way to go, so unless you are planning on joining the circus sometime soon and that is your ‘talent’ to showcase to the world (by the way, if you are, please get me tickets because, let’s be honest, it does look cool), skip the jumping jacks on two separate Bosu balls. Your body’s neuromuscular system simply doesn’t work that way.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
P.S. The article I included this week contains a bit of information on all of our best friend: caffeine. It has a lot of eye-opening information concerning why it’s good for you and why it’s bad. It also clears up a lot of rumors and myths you may have heard about this ‘wonder drug’.
September 21, 2009 · 2 Comments
So, I walked around all weekend, working and doing other random things, and then proceeded to play an IM Football game last night. This morning, my legs are killing me even though the workout that I got wasn’t all that intense.
Why, then, am I so sore? Because I didn’t stretch after I was done. We all know that stretching is a great idea to stay limber, but the interesting things says that the right stretches at the right time in relation to your workout can help you avoid that awful soreness; it won’t necessarily make it non-existent, but youll feel better than the alternative, I promise.
So, the lesson here is that immediately post-workout, when your muscles are nice and warm, and have more elasticity, target the muscles that you worked that day (for the aerobic days those will most likely be all the muscles of the leg) and get in some good, long, 40+ second stretches in. If you have any questions on how to get at specific spots, let me know!
P.S. The link this time is very short and sweet and also quite specific. Targeted at guys (sorry ladies – I’ll get you next time =) , it takes a look at what the major risk factors of males developing osteoporosis are.
Three days in and I am, for lack of a better word, estatic with how things are going! Whether it be in the wieght room, the adjacent gym, or out on the track, everyone, without fail, seems genuinely committed, and that’s what’s most important. Keep up the intensity!
One thing: people are asking lots of questions. Feel free to continue! Give me as many inquiries as you can. It’s my job to help all of you and I often don’t know if you have a problem, difficulty, or curiosity unless you fill me in. So please, keep ‘em coming because you can achieve a lot more with the increased knowledge, and we, the same.
We had the first couple of sessions this morning, and by the time most of you read this, we’ll probably have had the rest of the first day. I would like to say that I was quite impressed with everyone! There were a lot of folks that did excellently at the assessment exercises (pushups and mile time), and everyone was trying their best, regardless of how they felt they were doing.
Hopefully we’ll see that kind of stuff for the entire semester, and just a reminder: most everyone (with the exclusion of the GET FIT II folks) is doing this for the first time. It’s okay to be nervous, but make sure that no matter what your initial results, the important thing is how you finish.
I have uploaded a link to an article that I think will surprise a lot of folks (to access them, just look to the right of the blog posts under “GET FIT” – this one should say “How to Get a Gut”). It shows how the little things that we do impact our weight a lot more than one might think.
Tagged: First Day