Saturday, November 19, 2011

Trans Fats - Dancing with the Devil

From hunters and gatherers to the hunted and herded, that seems to be what the food manufacture’s marketing schemes have done to society.   The drive for company profits has driven many food manufactures to push the envelope and hide one of the body’s biggest enemies, which in my opinion is “Trans Fat” (fully hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil or fat) and it should be outlawed!  In 2006 the FDA required manufactures to list the amount of trans fat in products, this was a good step in the right direction, but the FDA allows manufactures to state “0 Trans Fat” as long as the amount is below 0.5 grams per serving.  Any amount of trans fat is poison to the body and should be avoided, after all who eats one serving?


At the molecular level the trans fat configuration is straight, a normal configuration will have a slight bend (cis formation), the human body does not know what to do with this unnatural “trans formation”, so it’s treated as a toxin.  The trans fat molecule attaches itself to the cell walls, blocking cells from absorbing the needed nutrients.  When these fats go rancid and oxidize they cause inflammation.  The body then sends LDL to repair the damaged area.  HDL is then sent to clean up the mess, but the LDL pattern B remains stuck in the nooks and crannies of the inflammation.  This contributes to plaque build up, heart disease and many other negative health factors and why cholesterol is proclaimed to be the enemy.
Cis-9-octadecenoic acid
Trans-9-octadecenoic acid 
Due to the inflammation and the trapping of LDL pattern B particles, LDL gets a bad rap and the manufacturer’s marketing campaign begins hunting and herding us by pushing their “Cholesterol lowering” products.  Limiting this inflammation is one of the many reasons for including Omega-3 and anti-oxidants in our diets.


Read food labels and avoid anything that contains the words “trans fat”, “hydrogenated” and “mono-diglycerides.”  Mono- and di-glycerides are the new label tricks that are designated as “emulsifiers” rather than fats, so the trans fats they contain don’t count until you ingest them. 
For more information on Label Tricks reference the following links:

Vegetable oil subjected to high heat is just as bad and is used often by fast food places due to its low cost.  The alternative would increase cost and would be bad for business.  Believe it or not, frying in lard or coconut oil would be a healthier alternative because at least the body can burn it for fuel.  

"Shocker" avoid eating at restaurants; they are not required to display nutrition information about the food they serve.

These poisons are all around us and are used by many food manufactures; however these manufactures live by profit, so they can die by profit.  Don’t purchase their products and that might get their attention!

Continuing with my belief in the power of Visualization, I hope visualizing the damage that food containing trans fats can do, gives you the needed will power to avoid the next order of french fries or donuts!


Feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Zombie Effect

Ever feel like a zombie at the gym, no energy, sleepy and just don’t feel like being there? I feel your pain and it happens often to me.   Of course, once I get going the “zombie” effect goes away, that is why I like to start off with a run, but I digress.  There may be several reasons why we may lack energy or enthusiasm at the gym, what we eat or drink before a work out may make the difference.  Eating before exercise may cause cramping or nausea to some, but in order to maximize your potential the body needs fuel, so try to find something that works.


For the most part when it comes to gathering up energy for a run or a workout, a long duration energy source would be ideal as oppose to a short term energy source.   How many times have you heard someone suggest that loading up with carbohydrates before an event will provide you with energy?  Carbohydrates are chains of sugars (Strand, 2005).  Long chains are said to be complex carbohydrates and short chain carbohydrates are said to be simple or simplex.  The body breaks down the carbs and extracts the glucose; complex carbs provide a longer steady source of energy, simplex carbs will give you a quick charge but with that comes the crash.  It is very tempting to down an energy drink or take some sort of powder drink to pump you up before a workout, be aware of what the body has to go through to adjust.

When choosing a good energy source, use the Glycemic Index for assistance.  The GI is a numerical system that rates how fast carbohydrate foods break down into glucose and enter the bloodstream (Strand, 2005).   The GI index is based on a scale of 1 to over 100, the lower the number the slower the food will raise the sugar level of the body.  A rapid rise in sugar level will trigger a rapid release of insulin in order to neutralize the high sugar levels.  For example, if you eat food(s) with a high GI, the rapid rise in sugar levels will trigger the release of insulin, but often times the level of insulin released is too high.  This will often cause the “crash” effect and leave you feeling like a “zombie”, compelling you to eat a sugary snack or caffeine for a quick pick up, therefore starting the roller coaster ride!


Insulin is a fat storing hormone produced by the pancreas and has the primary duty of controlling the rising blood sugar.  Another role of insulin is to shut off the breakdown of fat, therefore causing the body to hold on to the fat like a sponge holds on to water (Strand, 2005).  Glucagon is a fat burning hormone released by the pancreas; the release of this hormone is stimulated by the intake of protein and suppressed by carbohydrates.  So eating a high-glycemic carbohydrate meal will release high levels of insulin causing the glucagon levels to drop.  Foods made from white bread, white flour, rice and potatoes are absorbed faster than a spoon full of sugar.  Glycogen is a readily available fuel source stored in the muscles and liver and is needed for any short, intense or immediate energy needs, so try to fuel up before exercising (Strand, 2005).

Knowing how the body processes energy and how to provide the best sources of energy can make a difference on how you perform and feel before exercising.  Reference the GI Index Table for a list of foods and their GI Index.

  • Depending on what foods you eat, it may take 1-2 hours before energy is available.
  • High fiber foods draws more blood to the stomach for processing.
  • Stay away from processed foods and white flour foods.
  • If you’re out of time, try baby food, it will digest faster.

Strand, R.D. MD. (2005). Healthy for Life. Rapid City, SD: Real Life Press.

Feel free to contact me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Redlining" Yourself

Most vehicles these days have a tachometer designed to read the engines Revolutions Per-Minute (RPM) which allows the driver to operate the vehicle at a proper and safe engine RPM level, exceeding the RPM levels can cause serious damage to the engine.  The gauge typically marks the maximum RPM level with a set of numbers highlighted in a red or by a red line.  Therefore, the term “redlining” refers to pushing the engine to its breaking point. 

*** Caution***
As usual thanks to all those sue happy people that don’t take responsibility for their own actions I must post this disclaimer:  The following are my own opinions, follow them at your own risk and consult your physician before starting any physical activity.

Just like different vehicles have different RPM red line levels, different people have their own red line levels or breaking point.  However, our red line levels are not pre-set and can be increased through proper exercise.  I will use this analogy to describe a workout routine that I often attempt at least once or twice a month.  I call this routine “redlining”, (original I know:), it's not a routine I look forward to and its purpose is to take me to my breaking point, little by little.


In my opinion, a good “redlining” routine should make you fear it, hate it and make you feel like avoiding it all together, otherwise it may be too easy for you.  The ideal custom “redlining” routine should challenge you at all levels to include, fitness, mental and motivation levels.  Use extreme caution when performing your custom “redlining” routine, don’t rush it and pay close attention to your body.  This is why I put so much emphasis on the “Self-Awareness” connection and why I always suggest more anaerobic activity. 

The idea is not to create a routine that you can master on the first try; the idea is to create a routine that gives you a long term challenge.  Believe me, I didn’t get to this level overnight, so don’t set your sights too low.

My “redlining” routine: (rest < 30 seconds between sets and stages, complete all 5)
  • Run for at least 18 to 20 minutes on tread mill at a speed setting of 8
  • Perform 100 pull-ups in 6 minutes or less
  • Perform 200 push-ups in 5 minutes or less
  • Perform various types of abdominal exercises, from the supine position, for 10 minutes without stopping 100 situps in 3 minutes or less
  • Perform 100 dips in 5 minutes or less
As you meet your targets, increase the requirements.  Some will take longer to reach than others.  Pull-ups are very difficult, if you find yourself doing less than 3 reps, feel free to substitute some dumbbell presses instead.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

                                                ~ Michael Jordan

Feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The W.I.N. Syndrome

The summer is coming to an end and my local gym was busier than usual this year.  I was glad to see a large number of youth, both females and males motivated and highly engaged in achieving fitness.  The sooner they get started the better, within reason of course.  I also noticed a large number of youth walking around with shaker bottles filled with, red drinks, blue drinks, vanilla drinks, orange drinks, etc… I was a little concerned and disappointed as they walked around texting, talking on the phone and sipping their concoction.  But then I realized they must be suffering from what I call the "Want It Now" (WIN) syndrome.  There seems to be a growing trend in society these days where people just don't have the patients to work for something they truly want.   It's bad enough that technology has made us "Tools of our Tools", don't let your body and health suffer the same fate.

We all suffer from a little WIN syndrome once in a while when it comes to material things or careers, but for now I will focus more on the physical fitness impact of the WIN syndrome. The desire to succeed and achieve certain goals faster and better than the next person drives us all, not just the youth.  The high expectation society and we place on each other drives many of us to take short cuts when it comes to achieving our fitness goals.  We want to be stronger, faster, skinnier, and sexier than others and the less effort we have to put into it the better right?

In my opinion, the human body is amazing, very intelligent and capable.  At the same time it’s innocent and looks to you for direction and assistance.  The human body depends on you and trusts you like a child and at times it can be as forgiving as your favorite pet (dog), so be careful what you feed it and how you treat it.  In my opinion feeding the body chemicals before and after a workout can offset the body’s natural processing balance and functions.  You may not notice it right away and you may even feel like you're making progress, but there will be a price to pay in the long run. 

The body adapts very quickly, if you train it to perform on a good natural diet, after several years you will have a very efficient body capable of dealing with stressful and emergency situations better than a body dependent on chemicals.  At the same time if you accustomed your body to chemicals that provide a short cut to its normal processing routine, it will let you down when you need it the most.  The body will become lazy, weak and totally confused, potentially causing serious injury when you stress it or force it to perform without its chemicals.  Read my earlier posting Fitness for "The Battle" for another take.

In my opinion, if you must take supplements, stick to a good multi-vitamin and limit your intake of supplements that claim to improve physical gains.  It is better to take the pain now than later, I realize we all have our demons; it just depends how strong our cage is.  As always, remember the “Tortoise and the Hare” story, take your time and do it right!

   "Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor".  ~Dr. Alexis Carrel

Feel free to contact me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Bench Press Trap

There are several exercises that seem to measure the strength of a person and some believe it shows dominance at the gym, like a peacock and its feathers.  The bench press exercise always turns heads when the plates are stacked and the reps are being cranked out; the allure of lifting that much weight can be very enticing.  This “beast” can never get enough and will not stop until it breaks you.  Don’t get me wrong, the bench press is a very effective exercise and depending on your profession or goals, bench pressing heavy weight might work for you.   Just be aware of the pros and cons regarding this effective exercise and joining the “peacock club.”

Back when I first started my fitness journey, I fell into this trap and it took me several years before I realized I was in the lair of the beast.  No matter how much weight I lifted it never seemed to be enough, of course my chest was increasing in size and I was getting stronger, but at what cost.  There comes a point when the tendons and the joints just can’t handle the amount of weight, therefore risking injury and leaving you with a hungry mass of muscle.

The Point:

Because this exercise is so effective you may want to keep a close eye on how much mass it’s putting on you.  If you’re young mass might not be an issue, but remember, as you age preventing that mass from sagging might be a problem.  Always try to look towards the future when it comes to body shaping and try to find your balance between the size, look and strength you want.

Alternative Chest Exercise: 

If bench pressing is still your thing, but you don’t want to too much mass, then try high reps until failure, rest 15-30 seconds and do another set. Try push-ups and dips as well, use different hand positions and angles to provide better muscle targeting.  Try using dumbbells; this will force you to use lighter weight.  Machines are also a good alternative, just be aware they are not as flexible when it comes to targeted muscle shaping.

When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow."  Tomorrow is disease. 

~Terri Guillemets

How do you use the bench press exercise, heavy or light weight?

Feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Motivation and the "fitness bug" bite

The "fitness bug" bite can provide us with a long term or short term jolt of motivation.  It ignites the fire that burns and keeps us going or gets us started in fitness, but where do these “bugs” live?

There are many flavors of motivation that can impact our lives, the motivation I'm referring to relates more towards fitness and health and not necessarily to the motivation that drives us to succeed in our careers or our relationships, although sometimes they do feed off one another.   Sometimes the source can be right under our nose hiding in plain sight and sometimes it's like a cold slap to the face:)

I hope everyone still remembers their first "fitness bug" bite and still feeds off the fire.  There are several places where these "bugs" are plentiful and are sure to bite you.  The beach is obviously one, but even better than that, how about family reunions or high school reunions, yeah all kinds of "bugs" live at reunions! 

My friend Steve, who never really had an interest in getting fit, finally got bit by the "fitness bug".  It so happens he went to his family reunion in Iowa a few weeks ago and was severely bitten both figuratively and literally.  All of his relatives were thin and somewhat in decent shape due to their way of life.  Getting up at the crack of dawn and working the fields seemed to keep his relatives in good shape, even the young kids are up early, running around and playing outside.  After a few days of this, he began to take a long hard look at himself and his way of life and then the paranoia started.  He started to wonder what his relatives and his friends back home thought of him and with every glance from his relatives the fire grew stronger.  Of course his family was not judging him, but sometimes what we already suspect or know about what we need to do is under our nose, we just need a little slap of motivation to see it. 
Steve returned from his trip, like a cat getting sprayed with water, he was fired up and joined the local gym the next business day and even started working out two times a day.  Although Steve was real motivated and eager to get started, one must be careful not to over do it at the beginning.  The jolt of motivation the “fitness bug” provides may bring you in too hot sometimes so be careful and make it last, and don’t get injured. 

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." 
~Maria Robinson

Read more about Motivation and how to make the “bite” last, review the SFF elements

Feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fitness after the 90 days

 The amount of fitness information and programs available today are tremendous, and at times overwhelming.  Choosing a program that works and helps you with your fitness goals can be difficult.  Most programs advertise success in 90 days and depending on how you measure success, do succeed in helping many people, but what about after the 90 day period?  Can you see yourself following these programs 10 or 20 years down the road?

One of the many reasons why I starting Stress Free Fitness is to help people eventually break free from relying on fitness programs to achieve long term fitness; to look towards the fitness future, 10, 20 or 30 years down the road; to gain self-confidence and self-awareness; to walk in any fitness facility and know exactly what needs to be done and to adjust and adapt your fitness program in order to meet your lifestyle.  I believe in the "practice what you preach" philosophy and would not be writing this if it did not work, so in case anyone is wondering, that is my photo taken June 2011, could be better but I like to enjoy my calories every now and then:).

Canned Fitness Programs or Videos

These programs play a positive role in motivating people to get fit.  They provide a good foundation on proper form, exercise techniques and help boost confidence.  I’m not here to bash these programs, in fact I support any program that gets people interested in fitness; developing programs that work for a wide range of people is a very difficult thing to do, but it’s my opinion that these programs can only take you so far.  Of course, like any good marketing strategy, the program’s marketing team will continue to push new content in order to keep you dependent.  This dependency can slow you down as quickly as it got you started, I realize it's much easier having someone telling you what to do, but try to break fee eventually and develop your own program.

Custom Routine Development

Everyone's fitness levels are different, so while following a canned fitness program be sure to take good mental notes of any exercises that apply towards your future fitness goals.  Of course some exercises are more efficient and more long term friendly than others, so some adjustment will have to be made as time goes on and as we age. 

The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
~Muhammad Ali
This stress free fitness (SFF) base routine is geared towards normal working folks, that have a busy schedule and not for professional "gym rats".  So, what you want to look for are body weight exercises, that when combined with others, provide a total body base routine you can do every time you workout.  This base routine should include some aerobic activity "cardio."

The SFF base routine should include a set of exercises that hit the whole body or most of it, do these after your "cardio", with little rest between exercises or reps <30 seconds, <15 if feeling froggy.  By not resting between exercises, you're stimulating your anaerobic process.  This base "total body routine" should be done every time you workout, swap out other body weight exercises if you need to.  Why body weight? Because they require no extra equipment and can be done anywhere.  Depending on your body shaping goals, a body part my need extra attention during the base routine activity. This base provides consistency and a fitness foundation, just about everything in life needs some form of consistency.  After your base routine, perform focus area exercises using resistances.  

This method will wind your body up like a rubber band driven propeller on toy airplane, so if you miss a day or two, don't worry you will come back even stronger than before, Stress Free Fitness!  Remember don't rest longer than 30 seconds.  Your strength will fluctuate as will your reps, there is no need to log reps and get disappointed.  By not logging your reps and walking around without a notebook and pen, you will work on your self-awareness connection.  Set your rep goals high, eventually you will achieve them.  

More information can be found at Routine Development

Check out my Nutrition page as well.

Feel free to contact me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fitness for "The Battle"

Being physically fit and prepared for emergencies is one of the many reasons I stay motivated to continue with my fitness.  The mental aspect of emergency preparedness can only take you so far, depending on the emergency of course.  We all know “stuff” happens when we least expect it so, we must train with that in mind.  Some examples are: a hiking trip from hell, where you need to drag yourself or someone else to safety or you must run for miles to get help; your boat capsizes and you have to swim for miles to get help; you have to climb a tree to escape a four- legged animal and of course you have to protect yourself or your family from someone (two-legged animal) that means you harm.  Oh, and let's not forget the CDC Emergency Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse plan. We each have our own destiny to contend with so it might not hurt for us to be prepared for the challenge that destiny may bring or what call “The Battle”.

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it".  ~Albert Einstein

** Thanks to all the lawyers, and people that don’t take responsibility for their own actions, I must post this disclaimer; these postings are my own opinions, follow them at your risk and consult your physician. **

Fitness for battle basic routine should include:

  • A heavy dose of anaerobic activity, many emergencies are more anaerobic than aerobic. 
  • A focus on upper body strength, having strong shoulders and arms can pull you out of a mess.
  • Strong abdominal muscles will help enhance upper body strength and back strength.
  • An exercise that mentally “breaks” you every now and then.  Such as running up hill, this will help you mentally and physically reach the next level of endurance.

Nutrition for battle basics:

  • DON’T accustom your body to chemicals claiming to improve muscle strength or capability.  Depending on the emergency you may not have access to these chemicals and your body will break down quick.
  • Make your body perform with what you give it; if you only had a candy bar for dinner, then make it perform at the gym on that.  This trains the body to become efficient, try not to stress it like this too often.
  • Don’t overload your body with water, drink water throughout the day.  If you’re carrying a water bottle at the gym it’s too late and more of a habit.  Remember you want your body to become efficient.

Here are some good survival stories to read about, try to picture yourself in their situation and imaging what muscles strength would come in handy.

Feel free to contact me.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Post exercise muscle soreness

A friend of mine recently started a new workout routine, using nothing but body weight exercises.   On day two she mentioned to me how sore she was after starting this new program, but she enjoyed it, and the fact that she was sore, encouraged her to continue the routine.  After three days she became so sore she could barely move or walk.  It turns out she finally had to see the Dr. and even had to take a couple of sick days from work.  The Dr. told her it would take about two weeks to recover and there is not much he could do.    

The psychological feeling of muscle soreness.

There is nothing like the feeling of a good workout, but what about the muscle soreness that comes with it.  Some people measure workout routine effectiveness on how sore they get the next day.  Although this may have some validity and provide a certain level of encouragement it can also psychologically deter someone from continuing the program.  Be sure to give your body time to recover, not giving your body enough recovery time could cause some serious damage that will set your fitness goals back.

Why do we get sore?

Post work out muscle soreness also referred to as delayed muscle soreness (DOMS) is a soreness or muscle stiffness that occurs a day or two after exercise.  DOMS is thought to be microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers.  Typically felt after a new exercise program, a change in exercise program or a dramatic increase in duration and intensity of your current routine.  This type of soreness is the body adapting and re-building.  This type of soreness is not the same as soreness felt after an injury, there should be no bruising or swelling.

What are some treatments for muscle soreness after exercise?

Nothing is proven 100 percent effective; age and fitness level also plays a role in recovery time. There are chemicals or so called nutritional powders you can take, but I would avoid them, just let your body recover as naturally as possible; don’t get your body accustomed to chemicals.

Some methods for dealing with post exercise muscle soreness are: 
  • Active Recovery – performing easy low-impact aerobic exercise to increase blood flow after an intense workout routine basically be sure to cool down.
  • Rest and Recover – self explanatory, just wait it out with no special treatment.
  • Sport Massage – this may help increase blood flow.
  • Gentle Stretching – be careful not to cause any tearing.
  • Can you say Yoga?
  • Self-Awareness – listen to your body, know how hard to push it.
  • Warm Up – warm up before an intense session (this is one reason why I usually run before lifting).
Minor muscle soreness should typically not put you on the sideline and after a good warm up you should be ready, but be careful with soreness that keeps you out of the game, just let your body heal itself and adjust to the routine.  Depending on your fitness level, you may not always feel the muscle soreness, so don’t base the effectiveness of your routine on muscle soreness.  When starting a new routine, give it a test run at half speed and work up to it.  This might take a little longer, but remember the story "The Tortoise and the Hare". 

Feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Self-Awareness and Fitness

Let me first state that these are my opinions that are based on my experiences and application.  So, at the risk of sounding a little weird to some of you, I feel it's necessary for me to discuss the subject of  self-awareness and how it can make a positive impact on your long term fitness goals and overall well-being.  I hope to maybe help someone achieve their fitness goals and maybe eventually turn the proverbial "Third Eye" inward. 

He who knows others is learned;
He who knows himself is wise.
~Lao-tzu, Tao te Ching

Getting fit should be and is a goals that many of us strife for and some achieve.  The amount of information published and available can be so overwhelming and confusing that it may even sap your energy and desire to continue the journey.  Many fitness goals start off as long term goals, but after awhile become short term sporadic goals for various reasons and before you know it, time has gone by, making it even harder to start up again.  One of the many factors that many routines or trainers fail to incorporate or take into account is the need for self-awareness and that true long term fitness requires a certain level of body and soul alignment.

The human body is very powerful, capable and can adapt very quickly.  We don't even fully understand or comprehend the human body's potential capabilities, but what we can do is assume and believe in its potential.

In addition to other potential positive impacts to your life, self-awareness will help you not only better understand yourself, it will help you understand others.  Understanding others may save you from harm or maybe even prevent you from getting involved with the wrong kind of person by feeling the negative energy, much like animals do.  You can also achieve a high level of discipline and pretty much kick any bad habit you want and for those that fear being alone, consider it a non-issue.

From a fitness perspective, self-awareness impacts your fitness goals by establishing a communication pathway between you and the body (organs, cells, arteries, muscles, etc...), a good understanding of the human anatomy helps.  Because the body can't speak it communicates by visual interpretation by accessing memories and emotions stored in your brain.  Most people have weird dreams when they are sick, or pain in a certain part of the body.  Ever notice the dreams you have when you need to use the bathroom?  Maybe a situation that irritates or aggravates you, that always gets me up, anyway I digress and I hope you get my point.

Some basic methods of achieving self-awareness are:
  • Try asking yourself (silently of course) and truly figuring out why you feel a certain way sometimes.  What and why certain things or situations make you angry, sad or happy and why you make certain statements.  Don't be afraid to discover that maybe you may not be so nice, that's OK, that is what you want.  It's better to see, know and face the ugly part of you than to turn your back on it while it destroys you.  The good part is always easier to look at.  After all if a plant grows better when you talk to it, why can't the body react when you apply a similar concept or why does everyday stress have a negative impact on your body?  Use this double-edged sword towards your advantage and make it positive.
  • Try to pay attention to you body while working out, picture the muscles involved, it is important you visualize the part of the body you are exercising and shaping.  Have a picture in your mind of what your end state is.  Therefore it is crucial you respect your body when exercising, that is why I recommend working out alone.   
 Self-Awareness works hand in hand with the visualization element of the Stress Free Fitness philosophy and is a crucial part of long term fitness and overall well-being.

Whereas the average individuals "often have not the slightest idea of what they are, of what they want, of what their own opinions are," self-actualizing individuals have "superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general.
~Abraham Maslow

What say you?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Safe Butt Exercise

SFF believes in long term fitness and exercises that can be executed for years to come without injury.   There may be  plenty of other butt exercises that may be more effective, BUT what are the trade-offs?

In my opinion the squat motion exercises have a high effective rating but also a high injury rating.  Take a close look at people who perform squats, yes they have nice legs and butts, however they may be suffering from some sort of knee or back pain, if not now then soon, some even use knee braces.  Most trainers love this exercise because it produces quick results and makes people sore.  What they should be teaching are long term safe exercises.

Switch to or try the bent-leg raise exercise instead, you can use ankle weights as well.  You may not look as cool, but you will prevent injury and be able to continue with your long term fitness goals.  While it may seem like the others are getting stronger, faster and looking better, don't worry, while they are on the side of the road broken and damaged you will whiz on by on the fitness highway.  Remember the tortoise and the hare story?

Stay on the long term fitness highway!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What is your pH level?

In order for our bodies to function properly and fight off diseases and even cancer we need to maintain a proper pH balance.  A diet that contains 35% acid forming foods and 65% alkaline will help with the pH stability.  Just like a swimming pool needs the proper balance or bacteria will form, the human body's pH level needs to be monitored.  There are many (human body) pH test kits available.

High acid foods:

Alcohol, Artichoke root, Barley, Bread, Buckwheat, Caffeine, Coffee, Corn, dry and products, Custards, Drugs, Flour all, Ginger preserved, Honey, Lentil dry, Mate, Millet, Oatmeal, Peanuts, Rice all, Rye Grain, Soy Bread, Soy noodles, Sorghum, grain, Spaghetti and other Pasta, Sugar Cane, raw beet, Tobacco, Walnut (English), Wheat grain.

Coffee, rats!!!

High Alkaline foods:
Almonds, Avocado, Banana-Yellow, Bean Fresh, Beet, Blackberries, Carrot, Chives, Cranberries, Endive, Grapes Sour, Kale, Peach dried, Persimmon, Pomegranate, Plum, Raspberries, Spinach.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Changing Workout Routine

If you travel, don't stress if you can't make it to your gym due to your job.  Take advantage of it by focusing on a particular muscle group based on what equipment is available at the hotel or place you are staying.

There are tons of articles and advice about the need to change your workout routine in order to "shock" the muscles.  A good SFF routine is one that is about 75% consistent, called the core routine, this consistency helps keep your elements rotating.  Change is good, but try to maintain a certain level of consistency. 

My job requires me to travel often, so that provides my change, at times too much.  Some hotel gyms just don't compare to what I'm used to, they lack free weights or machines and good treadmills.  This particular hotel just had an ab machine, stationary bike and elliptical machines.  I typically run, but looks like for a week I will be using a stationary bike or elliptical and some ab machine.  I will still throw in my push-ups and sit-ups, so that some of my core routine remains intact.

SFF believes life will naturally provide the needed workout routine change, so don't stress over all the advice out there pushing change, remain consistent with your routine, "life" will change it for you.