Saturday, September 18, 2010

Links Beyond Well -- Get Mobile

If you've been following the fitness industry the last few years, you are probably aware of a growing body of evidence suggesting that static stretching before workouts does not prevent injuries and may actually hurt physical performance (see Phys Ed: Does Stretching Before Running Prevent Injuries  for a decent review).  However, it's reasonable to propose that if you are fighting against your own muscles to get in proper positions, you are wasting valuable energy.  The U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine (USACHPPM --go military acronyms!) Physical Training Injury Prevention Toolbox also reviewed much of the (lack of) current research on stretching muscles before or after exercise and summarized:
"Studies to date have not specifically targeted individuals with limited flexibility. Studies show that stretching can increase flexibility, although these suggest that the most efficient timing of stretching may be when muscles are warm (possibly after exercise). Additionally, epidemiological data indicate that both extremes of flexibility (too much or too little) are associated with increased injury rates."
Conversely, performing a dynamic warmup and gradually increasing heart rate, body temperature, and mobility through actual movement before a workout can be very useful to prepare for certain ranges of motion.

Athletes commonly compensate for tight shoulder musculature by hyper-extending the lumbar -- not under Mads' watch.

From the New York Times article (Phys Ed: Does Stretching Before Running Prevent Injuries) above:
"The best science suggests that an ideal preworkout routine “consists of a very easy warm-up, followed by a gradual increase in intensity and then dynamic stretching,” he said. Dynamic stretching, or exercises that increase your joints’ range of motion via constant movement, does not seem to invoke the inhibitory reflex of static stretching" 

Additionally, mobility can be an all day endeavor -- work on it day and night, not just before or after your workout.  The below resources are full of excellent articles and videos explaining concepts of anatomy, stretching, mobility, stability, and more.  Spend some time and explore your mobility.

Thames CrossFit Mobility -- Great articles and videos on mobility, stretching, nutrition and more from London-based Jami Tikkanen.
"We all know to take our hips back as we descend to a squat or a deadlift but the problems arise when we run out of space at the hips. This is the point where most of us start to push our knees forward or lose our lumbar curve (but then again, we didn’t like our knees and intervertebral discs anyway, did we?)."

Mobility Wod -- San Fransisco-based Kelly Starrett puts out a daily video demonstrating high quality mobility movements and bonus entertainment.
"Movement restrictions happen within the context of the entire kinetic chain. In an overhead squat for example, tight hips will challenge even the best shoulder positioning. Or conversely, restricted shoulders will force greater movement demands on the hips. The solution?
More of everything."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tequila 001

I like Tequila.  Always have.  Maybe that's because I don't tend to go overboard and never had a bad Tequila night in college like some of my friends.  It also has a distinct flavor, is gluten-free, and goes well with citrus and/or club soda ala Robb Wolfs NorCal Margarita.  I always knew to avoid the cheep stuff (which often winds up to be cheep vodka flavored like Tequila);  however, I rarely got much more exotic than Jose or Patron.

Last week I was on leave and visiting home in wonderful Portland, Oregon.  One of my sisters invited me to a Tequila tasting at Trebol--a very cool tequila bar that boasts organic mexican food and an assortment of Luche Libre masks.  That's right, there are people out there who sip and taste Tequila and don't just chase it down with salt and lime or take it off the body of an inebriated coed.  When you get into it, many of the finer Tequila's have a rich assortment of flavors on par with a very fine Scotch.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Links Beyond Well - Value Added Blogging

Why re-create the wheel?  My mission is to provide the best information to you and there are a lot of great writers and thinkers out there who have already put together excellent stuff.  In addition to original pieces, I'll do my best to sort gold from B.S. and will post links in this manner as I come across unique pieces worth sharing. 

Get Bigger Muscles By ... Walking? -- Mike O'Donnell, Fitness Spotlight
"This biggest mistake people make nowadays is doing too much. More is not going to be better, especially if you are doing it with too much intensity and too often. Your body just doesn’t work that way and your hormones won’t respond optimally."
Paleo in a Nutshell Part 1: Food -- YouTube
"This video describes the rationale and philosophy behind eating as our ancestors did and provides me and hopefully you with a way to tell others why it makes sense."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nutrition Clinic at CrossFit Excellence -- Lake Oswego, OR

Portlanders, don’t miss my free nutrition clinic from 9am-12pm this Saturday (11 Sep 2010) at CrossFit Excellence (333 2nd Street Lake Oswego OR 97034). We will follow it up with an optional, little bodyweight workout at Noon!

The first half will discuss health implications of the SAD (Standard American Diet) and how to overcome them.
  • Participants will come away with simple guidelines and strategies for achieving optimal bodyweight, lowering heart disease risk, improving blood sugar control, sharper focus, and moving towards outstanding general health and wellbeing.
The second segment will discuss how to move beyond wellness and into the realm of superior fitness and performance.
  • Participants will gain a general understanding of the role nutrition plays in each of the metabolic/energy pathways and how tailor their eating strategies based on their training volume, intensity, and specific goals.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beyond Wellness Foundations: Nutrition

Nutrition should be the foundation of all wellness and fitness programs, period.  Fine tuning a nutrition program that works for YOU takes patience, attention and tinkering.  There are numerous dietary refinements that may or may not work well for you based on your individual makeup and goals.  The goal of this post is to highlight the most effective strategies and offer a baseline from which to begin individual experimentation. 

Spending a period of time (or the rest of your life) avoiding certain foods may help you to identify food sensitivities and finally get rid of those stomach aches, IBS, headaches, skin problems, chronic inflammation, etc.  Many CrossFit gyms have organized 'Paleo' challenges to clean up their members' diets and find a baseline from which to reintroduce potentially harmful foods.  See CrossFit Ramstein's Paleo Challenge for a great example.

Food Quality Boring?