Categorized as: Informative

HAVE YOU HEARD OF OCCLUSION TRAINING?

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical when I first heard of occlusion training. Also known as “blood flow restriction training” (BFR), the method involves using bands or wraps to restrict blood flow to an extremity. The wraps are applied tight enough to restrict venous return but not so tight as to prevent arterial blood flow to the muscles. The most common methods involve wrapping your upper arms or upper thighs and then performing exercises at 20-30% of your 1-rep max for 3 to 4 sets [1]. I know it sounds a little wacky but the scientific research thus far is promising.

What Does The Research Suggest?

Research has found that using BFR can increase gains in both size and strength. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research found that NCAA Division I football players increased their 1-RM bench press by 7% and squat by 8% in a 3-week period when using BFR in conjunction with traditional strength training compared to a control group that did traditional training alone [1]. A follow-up study published in early 2014 found that a 7-week BFR training program had similar results with 1-RM squat increasing as much as 12% [2].

Just to put things in perspective, a 7-12% gain in 1-RM strength is HUGE. An athlete with a 400 pound back squat could potentially increase their 1-RM by about 30 to 50 pounds in less than 2 months of training. And keep in mind these two studies were performed on trained, collegiate-level strength athletes. It’s likely that these findings would apply to other athletic populations such as CrossFit competitors, powerlifters, and Olympic weightlifters. Read More…

The Conditioning Tool You are Probably Not Using with Aaron Guyett

When was the last time you did a conditioning piece that you actually enjoyed? Chances are you don’t find long spouts on the air dyne or rower all too fun. There is value in those tools, but this week we are talking with Aaron Guyett about a tool that is often over looked when it comes to metabolic conditioning. We are talking about the battle ropes.

Aaron is the master instructor for Onnit Academy’s battle rope program, and runs a facility in CA called Innovative results. We met up with him at his facility to talk about how you can use battle ropes in your conditioning workouts.

When it comes to using battle ropes, most of us just know one or two exercises that we saw on Instagram. In this episode, Aaron dives into all the different movement patterns and practical applications that battle ropes have including grip strength, power, and the ability to train all 3 metabolic pathways. Read More…

Eat Blueberries!

By Kirk K.

I’ve always known blueberries are a superfood. They are the king of berries for their nutritional value. I also think they are arguably the tastiest, although it’s hard to beat a perfectly-ripened raspberry. I’ve been thinking of them a lot lately. I have been giving them to Eve for her breakfast where she’ll consume from 25 to 50 at a time! I’m not worried about her overdosing on blueberries because I know they’re really healthy, one of the healthiest foods you can get. Also buying organic gives me the peace of mind that no harmful chemicals are going into her body or our family’s.

Knowing my 1-year old has been eating more blueberries in a sitting than I have in the past year, I decided to do some research. I wanted to find out how these fruits are supporting Eve’s development. 

Here’s what I found:
High in water content for hydration.
A good source of Fiber, Vit C, Vit K, Manganese, and even Copper
Low in calories for their size
Highest antioxidant for common fruits and veggies
Fight cancer and aging
Help regulate cholesterol and blood pressure and blood sugar
Protect against heart disease
Boosts brain power and memory functions
Help with muscle recovery
When blueberries are in season (now-July30), stock up, freeze what you can’t use now! 

Read more…

Stop Rounding Your Back!

Rounded backs have always peeved me. The worst is when you’re rounding when you’re NOT even fatigued. In situations where you are fresh, there should be no excuse to round your back on any exercise. Not only does a rounded back exponentially increase your risk of injury, it also decreases performance due to a lack of structural rigidness. This is very similar to pulling a boat with a rubber band instead of a chain. 
 
There are three main reasons why rounded backs happen:
  1.  Lack of awareness – bad habitual posture
  2.  Poor flexibility in hip flexors and hamstrings
  3.  Lack of spinal erector strength AND Lat activation
In many cases, a rounded back is a combination of all three reasons listed above. So how can we get your back to straighten out under load?
 
Default posture: You should be aware of what your default posture is when sitting, standing, and walking. You should always try to draw your shoulder blades together and stay rigid in the abs. If your default posture is excellent, it will be easier to maintain in all situations.
 
Hamstring and Hip Flexor Stretches: If you’re too tight in these muscle groups you have to work way harder than you need to just to get in basic positions. Loosen up the hammies here, and hips here
 
Lat Activation: When pulling from the floor the, the fastest way to improve your positioning is engaging your lats. Check out this video for detailed instruction.
 
You have to work on this on your own at home or before or after class. It’s not going to magically happen overnight either. 

16 Health Benefits Of Drinking Warm Lemon Water

Lemons are vitamin C rich citrus fruits that enhance your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within bringing a glow to your face. One of the major health benefits of drinking warm lemon water is that it paves the way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. 

Lemon Water Flushes Out Toxins And Is Extremely Beneficial For The Body

Warm lemon water serves as the perfect ‘good morning drink’, as it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste products from the body easier. It prevents the problem of constipation and diarrhea, by ensuring smooth bowel functions.

Nutritional Value Of Lemons

A glass of lemon juice contains less than 25 calories. It is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fibre. It also has medicinal values and antibacterial properties. It also contains traces of iron and vitamin A. (1)

Even LeBron James Reads

 
When was the last time you lost yourself in a great book? I love reading and admit I don’t read nearly enough. Eve has been really into reading books lately, and that typically means me reading the same story 3 times in a row. 

LeBron James made headlines for reading at his locker before dominating the 2012 NBA Playoffs. As a professional athlete who loves to read,

This has got me to thinking – reading is great! It helps us learn, destress, relax, and very importantly allows us to use our imagination! We often distracted by tv, movies, youtube, radio, music and we put reading on the back burner. None of those mentioned can come close to reading’s ability to use our imagination, deep think, and increase our stunted vocabulary. 
 
Here’s a list of the benefits of reading:
  • Improved memory retention
  • Reduced aging
  • Stress release
  • Increased vocabulary
  • Gained knowledge
  • Improved problem solving
  • Great attention span
  • Better writing skills
  • And more! (click here and here)
Reading before bed is a great way to take your mind away from your daily stresses. Also reading while you stretch is be a great way to make efficient use of your time!
 
Please, do yourself a favor and make time to read every day.