Category: Posts


2015_0606ElizabethDaniel292

 

Guess what, our bodies are incredibly intelligent!  It speaks to us with a very simple code of either yes or  no.  Often times, with hopes to kickstart your fitness returns, you stop listening to your body’s direction, and allow another to guide you into which way to go.

For example, you may have been doing a Boot Camp or some other High Intensity Group Class regularly for some time.  You now have substantial changes in what you see in the mirror.  What you also have and may not see is what lies beneath, joint pain or stiffness that varies from nagging to, “Wow, that hurts!”.

Unfortunately, you may also believe that your consistency to maintain this body transformation hinders on the sole ability to sustain said Boot Camp or Group Class output.  Please keep reading.

  • With injury, your body will say No!, and disallow you from producing a high intensity output with an intention to minimize further injury.
  • Quality not quantity, which makes way for the almighty overload to be intentionally planned, and producing your consistent progress.

I believe fitness is a consistent behavioral adaptation of hard earned intelligence.  In short, don’t be ignorant.  Stop doing what you are currently doing and learn how to do it with the above in mind.

Unless you are a multi-million dollar competitive athlete, your progressive fitness is the foundation of your actual health, and your health is your wealth.

With  sanity,

Coach Sanity

 

STOP!  You do not have to repeat this demand to sustain.

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I recently received a Facebook message from a friend who was seeking some fitness guidance from me.  Wow, big news right?  I’m sharing because I think it is both important and interesting to address that with ALL of the information available, people still are unsure on how to begin and want to hear it from a voice they trust.

My friend asked me what kind of workouts he should be doing to help address  his goal of dropping 25 lbs, as well as gain some muscle.  I took my time to reply as I am busy, moreover, I also like to wait a few days to allow the words to sink in and give me  an opportunity to not overthink the process.

I assume he asked me as he respects my professionalism, as well as trusts the guidance I would give.  I wear this honor everyday and would like to share a little of the intentional strategy I used to address his goals.  Keep in mind, he is a busy single father of four kids, full time job, and only a little time available to hit the gym.   He likes to go for a run before work and, if time, hits the track at the end of his day.

I needed to come up with a plan that can help him maximize any time he has available to train, as well as practice fitness skills that create carryover to life outside of the gym and with his kid’s activities.

Week 1, 3, and 5 (approx. 12 – 15 sets each session)

Complex moves + Cardio

Monday – Power Cleans

Wednesday – Bench or Squat

Friday –  Deadlift

 

Week 2, 4, and 6 (approx. 20 total sets each session)

Muscle grouping

Monday – Chest and Triceps

Wednesday – Legs and Shoulders

Friday – Back and Biceps

There is no magic in the above, just a simple point at maximizing activities that begin to address his weight loss and muscle building goals.    Where the magic does lie is my reminder to him that there is again, no magic.  Do the things that create physiological change and let the magic happen all on it’s own.  In short don’t force it, just do the work.

In Sanity,

Coach Sanity

lifter

You say you want to (or you already have) join in on the fitness craze called High Intensity Interval Training?   A common question I receive is, “Is this right for me?”  I mean after all, one person’s food is another’s poison, right?

Ask yourself these base line health questions:

  • Do I sit more than stand?
  • Can I touch my toes with out pain and/or restriction?
  • Can I walk a mile without feeling tired and/or sore?
  • Can I run a mile without feeling tired and/or sore?

Why is this so important?  Well, this basic level of health is your fountain from where you will draw recovery from.  Yes, both your ‘in class’ output and recovery are as strong as the foundation of this fountain.

Picture it like this, you are 16, you just got your driver’s license.  You now have open access to the road and the full gas tank to get you there.  You begin racing from place to place because, well why not right?  BOOM!  Your first accident.  Why did this happen?  You let the gas pedal lead, not the steering wheel.

The truth is, the exercises used in high intensity activity require a level of motor control that most don’t regularly practice.  Therefore, if you do not regularly practice the above, please allow yourself several weeks to do so.  Not only will your body love you for it, your orthopedic surgeon may be disgruntled because he lost your business.

Salud,

Coach Sanity

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Congratulations, welcome to 2015!  I hope you come to fully enjoy what this year has to offer you.  With that said, how about a few tips to help ensure you maximize your year.

Mental Tips

1.  Respect the process – Perhaps this year you set an aim to understand a process of  success.  In few words, success is a personal practice of intention + direction.

2.  Quantity over quality - Don’t be fooled again this year, more does not equal better.  More is a strong distraction away from simple.  If your desire is to accomplish more, your aim should be at improving with less.

Physical Tips

3.  Don’t chase dysfunction –  A productive fitness program is one that balances ability with durability.   If you are not currently able to do it, do the things that will provide you the durability to do so.

4.  Movements before muscles – To maximize your training time, work with movements first, and finish up with “Beach Muscle” stuff after.

Spiritual Tip

5.  Let it go – Last year (and the years prior) are dead weight holding on to a productive spirit.  Take the lessons and leave the baggage behind.

Salud,

Coach Sanity

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HIIT, what is it?  HIIT is the acronym for High Intensity Interval Training.  And so we are clear, this post is not about what kind of exercises to use for HIIT.  This post is intended to simply educate a bit about why you may want to learn how to better utilize it, and some things to keep in mind when you do.

To start,

The efficient side:   Research has shown that short, multiple spurts of high intensity output (between 4 – 10 minutes) can improve dynamic flexibility and stamina.  We can also improve our resting metabolism, strengthen our muscles a bit, and rediscover a productive way to move with efficiency, and ward off possible injury.  In short, the efficiency of HIIT is minimal time with maximal health returns.

The effective side:  For the population that aims to defy aging, I believe a fitness program designed to improve the function of our body’s systems is a productive investment.    Improving our nervous system, endocrine system, and muscular system is where real value takes place.  In short, we should all aim to move with speed as a training factor, and aim at progressively adding a few more reps then before.

A few things to consider: 

1.   What does “high intensity” mean for me?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard are you working right now?  Aim to keep 1 and 10 at completely opposite extremes and be honest with yourself when answering.  A simple way to measure your own perceived rate of exertion (PRE).

With HIIT, aim at a PRE at 8 or above.  Take minimal breaks and clean movement technique

2.   How long?

Typically this means how long should one workout be.  I would suggest anywhere between 4 to 15 minutes.  The truth of the matter is, if you can go past 25 to 30 minutes, you may not be working at the intense level you think you are.  Of course there are always exceptions to the rules and why I tend to focus more on my quality of movement.  When my movements becomes sloppy, my risk of injury increases, time to stop and take a breath to recover.

I suggest adding 3 to 4 bouts of HIIT 3 – 4 times a week and see how you feel.   Vary between 4 minutes and up to 15 minutes.  Choose exercises that allow you to move at high speed and move with virtuosity being the deciding factor to break/stop.

Bullet summary:

Salud,

Coach Sanity

 

 

That PoP!

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When we were children, we jumped out of bed, we ran up and down the streets, and we climbed trees for hide and seek.  In a nutshell, we played.  The activities felt free, and in a blink of an eye we demonstrated the proper response to stay in the game.

Today, we have lost a bit of that edge, our freedom of movement, our explosive bouts of play.  We do still have a reactive process, yet, now leaves a mark of pain and impingement.  What now?

The ironic truth may be that your dose of medicine lies in fucntional movement.  I am a firm believer that movement is medicine.  With that, proper prescription of activity is also key.

If you miss that PoP!, it may be that your focus is in the wrong direction.  That PoP! is a significant byproduct coming from the opposite direction.  In exercise terms, this would fall under the training of:

  • Ground(ing)
  • Elasticity (muscle/ligament)
  • Reaction (central nervous system)

It is important to train or retrain the proper response of these once youthful reactions.  A few examples:

  1. Plyometrics
  2. Powermetrics

Plyometrics: movements that bring a focus on improving the neuromuscular response of the above examples.

Powermetrics: exercises aimed to improve the foundation to allow training higher thresholds of plyometrics.

Focus: Improving the response(s)

When playing hide & seek, you hid from the seeker.   Once discovered, a sprint to home base was your one focused direction.  With that, one option for you to do before or after your workout.

Jumping Jacks 30 reps

Squats 20 reps

Jump Squat 10 reps

Skater 20 reps  

Rest 1-2 min, repeat 2 – 3 times.  

Focus: Practice your ability and expression to fall, search for the ground, stay in motion, and feel strong.

Olly olly oxen free,

Coach Sanity

 

Your threshold is a personal sliding scale of one’s ability to repeatedly repeat.  It is also where most fad fitness routines will not consider in their mass programming.

An example of tolerating daily stress is to sweat out your current exercise routine with zero to minimal deficit against your ability to sustain and recover.

Take note that this tolerance can also be affected by other life circumstances, including lack of sleep, hours of sitting, or poor dietary choices.  Just a few common examples that can negatively impact where your marker currently stands.

Your fitness routine should be an expression of a fight or flight situation.  Know that a productive exercise program should also include the types of activities that allow you to prepare for the session’s intense demands.  Include both a general warm up and a dynamic movement warm up.  You should also take into consideration that your approach to obtaining your next level of fitness is to choose a plan that prioritizes the present tolerances, also knows as the “weak links” in the kinetic chain of body mechanics.

Be mindful of these above givens, a long with any body inflammation, joint stiffness, and/or lack of muscle flexibility.

Stand strong,

Coach Sanity

Searching You Tube

Recently have been spending A LOT of time on You Tube, gathering a little research a long with appeasing  my entertainment.  I have been searching for videos that are presenting viable information, and may further help guide me toward a more productive direction.  As well other videos that can shock and awe me, or make me giggle.

 

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2 Tips that can aid in your use of time:

1.  Entertainment or Knowledge?

If it’s entertainment you seek, make that known while your eyes scroll.  Granted, you may pick up a few key concepts amongst your LOL’s, moreover, productive information is simple, direct, and will point into a significant direction.

 

2.  Knowledge forward

When looking at the information at hand, think for a moment, will I share this knowledge with another?

We increase our learning at a rapid rate when we know we will share forward, while we listen with an intent for details, along with the main content.  In short, more focus.

 

* Extra Credit

If/when you are leaving a comment, think about the first tip before you type.  After all, the presenter didn’t ask you to stop by.

Coach Sanity

Sledgehammer Drill

Sledgehammer Drill

What is dense activity?

An exercise/activity that requires whole body attention.

With sedentary living at all time high, it is both necessary and time efficient that we sustain our health and fitness by sweating with some good ol’ laboring activity.  These kinds of movements  ask for a  higher effort of whole body muscle engagement throughout the entire activity, and in return, a productive metabolism and body for the years ahead.

Seek a level of intensity just beyond your “comfort zone” and work for ‘X’ number of minutes.  Each week  try a new drill and aim for an extra rep or two.   Keep things both strategic and simple.  A long term goal should be to practice proper mechanical movement against speed of movement and repetition beyond present exhaustion.

Stand strong,

Coach Sanity

 

 

 

 

Sumo style Dead-lift

Sumo style Dead-lift

Have you been consistent at sweating out your routines at the gym for some time now?  These three tips may be help you continue progress.

3.  A Grunt Out Loud (GOL) – Why?  It’s a sign to your body that you mean business.

It amazes me that so called gyms today do not allow you to grunt when necessary.  Seriously?  This rule can set limitations on your want for successive progress.  What to do?

Do some grunting in the car, or the house before your next session.  Get your nervous system slightly elevated by taking a few deep breaths, and then a few more breaths with an intentional grunt and a muscle contraction.  Yes, it may seem silly at first, however, will aid in those times of momentary failure under the same loads you used a few weeks ago.

Focus on the muscles or the movement you are wanting to train that day.  If you are training big moves, focus more emphasis into your diaphragm for these core lifts.

Sanity Tip:  Your nervous system is currently wired on exactly what you are already doing.  If you want change, prepare it for hard work with breathing, focus and a few loud GOL’s ;)

2.  Practice movements - Why?  In order to have a lifetime of sustainable activity, your ability to move must always be a priority.  And, from my voice of experience, know that freedom of movement is not free, it costs movement.

If you are sitting for hours a day, STOP!  You need to add in simple activity and stretching into your day.  The calisthenics we used to do when we were little can work wonders for extra activity in your day.

For example: Stand up, touch the sky, touch your knees, touch the sky, and then reach for your toes.  Repeat until you feel limber again.

In the gym, try something that starts as a challenge, and practice it to be easy.

Have more time available?  Take a long walk, practice some Yoga, or a mixture of both.  Practice a few different Yoga poses, and then rotate in a new pose every so often.  When you feel ready, take a class and see what your made of.

Sanity Tip: Make it simple, and keep it significant.  Stick to the basics of healthy living, so that you always have these sane options available to you tomorrow.

1.  A clean slate -  Why?  We are creatures of habit, and although it is important to be consistent with exercise, it is also important to recognize when your wants have been met, and shift priorities to the present moment.

For example, if you are wanting to have more defined abs, bigger biceps, or a stronger squat, then your gym sessions must focus on making this happen.  This also can mean adjusting your lifestyle outside of the gym to influence these new results toward success.

Sanity Tip:  A plateau is not a bad thing, so don’t be afraid of it.   It simply means you have  received  the fruits from your labor.  Now, it’s time to climb a new tree.

 

I share these tips for my Sanity fans because with all the information available to us about health, wellness, fitness, and such, I think it’s important to fill the gaps rather than overfill the mental plates.

Salud,

Coach Sanity

 

 

 

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