Exercise

Lessons from Joe Rogan and Skydiving

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I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast yesterday and he started talking about the importance of doing things you are not good at. He said it was crucial to become a beginner at something again.

That seems like a rough way to treat yourself, but I completely agree. It is good for you brain and your body to try things that are out of your comfort zone.

Never was this more alive to me than when I went sky diving for the first time last weekend. Check out that picture! Here is another one:

The most nerve racking part, when your toes are hanging off and you are 14,000 feet up.

It was definitely out of my comfort zone, considering I don’t like heights or flying. But when your wife surprises you with the opportunity on your 40th birthday, you jump at the chance. No pun intended.

And it was amazing! That first picture is from the free fall, where you are flying through the air like Superman. An unreal feeling that I wish everyone could experience.

Was it comfortable? No. Was I nervous? My palms still sweat thinking about it. But I am so glad I did it. My life was literally in someone else’s hands and that someone was a stranger!

Stretching and growing isn’t easy, but it is worth it to get better. I had a speaking engagement a few days later and my wife asked me if I was nervous and I said, “I just jumped out of an airplane, this does not worry me now.”

What are you afraid to do because it is not in your comfort zone? Are you afraid to try something because you are afraid to fail? Don’t be! Look at it as a win, win. If you succeed, awesome! If you don’t, you learn from it.

Your homework for the weekend is take some time and figure out what you need to do to stretch and grow. Lift heavier weights? Try your first 5k? Learn how to swim as an adult? Take up kayaking?

Find something you are a beginner at, stick to it, and continue to challenge yourself! The hardest part is the beginning when you are not good at something. Persevere and you will so glad that you did.

4 Ways Shawty Got Low. Tips for better squats

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Let's talk about low squats. It was once thought to be bad for your knees, but research has shown that deep squats are not bad for you and have several benefits. A deeper squat will make you stronger, burn more calories, and make your booty look better. It's science.

 

The problems come when people drop it like it's hot while lowering themselves into the squat, bounce at the bottom, and then stand up. That bounce puts a lot of strain on your knees. If you are squatting fast, make sure you are under control and you only go as far as your mobility allows.

 

If you are having trouble getting into a lower squat, here are  4 things you can start doing today.

 

1. What are they doing?

 

I've been on a couple of mission trips to Nicaragua and I noticed some of the locals taking rest breaks in what looked an awful way to rest. They dropped all the way into a squat where their butt was about an inch off the ground. It was very comfortable to them because they had been doing it their whole life.

 

They are basically holding the bottom part of a perfect squat. Your mission is to get to where you can hold that position comfortably for one minute. Start working on squatting down as low as you can and holding it without your heels popping up off the ground (more on that below) and without falling over. Feel free to hold onto something when you first start out.

 

2. Arms forward

 

Extend your arms out in front of you before you start your squat. Studies have proven that you can squat lower by adding this simple twist to your normal squat.

 

Tight ankles or apple bottom jeans too tight?

 

3. Loosen up your ankles

 

Do your heels come up off the ground when you try to squat low? You need to loosen those ankles up. In our boot camp classes we do ankle circles as part of our warm-up to get the ankles loose.

Put your toe on the ground, heel up in the air. Start circling your foot around, like you are mashing out a cigarette. Do 10 circles for each direction on both feet.

Ankle rockers can help as well. Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Rock back forward as far as you can with the right heel on the ground. Then you will rock side to side as far as you can. Get in 10 times each direction and then switch legs.

 

4. Defeat the desk job

 

Many of us sit way too much during our day. At work, in the car, watching TV or on the computer at home.

 

Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch.

 

Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.

 

Start putting these to work and you will be looking good in your apple bottom jeans/boots with the fur in no time.

Netflix and Chill

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Last night I participated in one of my favorite past times. I love to get on Netflix, look around for something to watch for 30 minutes, and end up watching nothing. Anybody else do that?

There is so much to watch and so many possibilities, but I just can’t commit. This is precious TV time here! I gotta make the perfect choice, so I overanalyze things and nothing happens in the end.

That can be very frustrating but it happens a lot because I go in there with no game plan. I don’t watch TV very often so when I do I need to be on top of my game.

The same holds true with a lot of people when they workout. They go to the gym, do a little bit of this machine, little bit of that machine, and end up doing a lot of wandering around and wasting time.

They have no plan! And much like Netflix, there are so many options out there to choose from with exercise. It can be very overwhelming and discouraging if you don’t know what you are going to do that day.

I recommend writing down what you plan to do before you do your workout. One great benefit is that you will not waste time. Another great benefit is that you will not slack off. When you don’t have a set workout plan you have a tendency to quit the workout when something gets tough. Don’t let that happen to you!

Don’t go into your workout blind. Do your research, know what types of workouts support the goals you are going after, and stick to the plan!

If you are not sure what you should be doing, feel free to reach out for help. Of course, I would love for you to come to Adventure Boot Camp but I now that is not an option for everybody.

Enough of that, let’s get serious now. What should I be watching on Netflix? I need some suggestions.

The Cardio Fountain of Youth

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In a recent study published in Cell Metabolism researchers may have found the key to slowing down the aging process. It is not a pill, potion, or surgical procedure. The key is good old exercise.

 

In particular the key is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The study reported that the subjects who were in the 65-80 years old group increased their mitochondrial capacity by 69% through HIIT biking. What this fancy talk means is that this type of exercise stopped the aging process at the cellular level.

 

Pretty cool stuff, but how does that effect you? If you go to our boot camp, you are already doing this type of training! If you are not, I wanted to give you a few tips to add HIIT into your training regimen.

 

Let’s go ahead and start with the bad news first. HIIT is hard. Always gotta add those disclaimers.

 

HIIT is simply alternating high intensity exercise with low intensity exercise or short rest breaks. Where you take it from there will vary based on personal preference and your fitness level.

 

In the study they used biking, but you can do walking, running, swimming, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, weights, bands, and just about any exercise method you can think of. When you are first starting out, I would recommend short bursts of the high intensity part and longer rest breaks or low intensity portions.

 

A famous (and famously hard to do) training protocol is the Tabata method. This is 20 seconds of all out effort (think running as fast as you can) and resting for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. It is pretty rough, but if you are pressed for time it is a great option.

 

That is just one way, but there are tons of ways to work this into your program. Give it a try and have a great weekend!

Cut The Bull Sit!

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Are you sitting down? I have some news for you. Stand up!

A recent study of older women (average age of 79) published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who are sedentary have shorter life spans and are more likely to have high blood pressure, a history of chronic disease, lower physical performance scores, and are more likely to have experienced a fall in the past 12 months. The researchers found that the most sedentary women were biologically 8 years older than their actual age.

Another study in the same journal studied dementia risk in sedentary people. They studied people who were carriers of dementia markers and those who were not. The subjects with the markers for dementia developed dementia more often, but being sedentary greatly increased the risk of getting dementia for those who did not have the markers.

On a non-scientific note, I was talking to a physical therapist about the types of patients he sees. He said that 90% of what he sees is posture related ailments, the majority of them from sitting.

This is scary stuff! But it also means we can take control of our health by addressing the problem.

The first step is obvious- avoid sitting all day long! If you have a desk job this can be a challenge, but make it a priority to get up and stretch, walk around, etc… at least once an hour but the more often the better.

The second option is to address your desk area. There are stand up desks, adjustable desks that go from standing to sitting, sitting on and exercise ball, practicing good office ergonomics, etc…

The third thing to do is to address your posture. This might mean being more aware of your body position or doing more stretches and foam rolling to problem areas.

The fourth thing to look at is your leisure time activities. If you are sitting all day at work, then coming home and sitting on the couch or in front of a computer the remainder of the day that will catch up to you one day.

If you need more in depth instruction on some of these things or you would like someone to come speak at your office and address these topics, I highly recommend Dr. Nancy Harden from Flexibility For Life. I call her the Muscle Whisperer, she does pretty amazing work.

Are you making deposits or withdrawals?

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It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day grind of your life. Going to work, errands, social commitments, TV, etc... all take up time, energy, and focus. This leaves you with very little left in the tank to do something very important.

 

It is absolutely crucial to think about your future.

 

Will your future self thank you in 20 years for what you are doing now? That steady diet of fast food will probably get a now, while putting all that money into a 401k would get a yes.

 

Thinking long term also helps you avoid getting caught up in short term fad diets and fad workouts. Are you really going to NEVER have a piece of bread again? Is that crazy workout where you keep hurting yourself going to be part of your routine in 20 years?

This hits home for me because I keep getting hurt doing jiujitsu. Some little stuff like broken toes, up to bigger stuff like tearing a ligament in my knee a month ago. Well someone tore it for me, but I was there when it happened 🙂

 

My choice now is to quit or change the way I train at jiujitsu. The way I have been doing it is very physical, never wanting to tap out, and win at all costs mentality. Don’t think 60 year old me will be able to do that. I am choosing to train smarter, not harder.

 

The same thing applies to the way I treat my body overall. Performing more mobility/stretching, getting more sleep, cutting down on caffeine. These are all things I am doing now that will pay off in later years.

 

A big goal for me is to be that spry old man that can run circles around the whippersnappers in the neighborhood. I want to be strong, fit, and pain free for as long as I possible can.

 

Look at the choices you are making as bank transactions. Are you making more deposits or withdrawals in your long term health account?

It’s that time of year…

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Did you know that now is when you see the most dramatic drop off in gym attendance every year? For whatever reason the third full week in February is when most resolutions are over.

If you have given up on the goals you have set for yourself, it’s not too late! There is plenty of 2017 to go, you just need to recalibrate.

Your first step is to find out what went wrong. Did you choose a goal that just sounded good, but not one you were committed to? Did you set too many goals? Did you have the right goal, but it turns out you hate working out?

It could be several different reasons why things did not work out. No pun intended.

Your second step is to figure out a new game plan. Don’t think about having to commit to the rest of the year. Set a goal for the next 4 weeks. As legendary SEAL Joe Maguire says, “Don’t look forward to the pain.” More on that in Friday’s e-mail.

Your third step is to figure out the most enjoyable way you could reach your goals. What types of exercise do you actually enjoy? Roller skating, yoga, swimming, hiking, lifting weights, shaking weights? Pick something you look forward to.

The fourth step is to do the same thing with food the next four weeks. Find some healthy foods that you like. They are out there I promise, you may have to do some experimenting. Or if you prefer you can start with the food first, then try the exercise in the fourth step.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to make you miserable. On the contrary it should make you feel energized and excited! You just have to find what works for you, even if it isn’t the typical “go to the gym, eat foods you hate but are super healthy, and look great but hate your life” tract that people get stuck on.

 

What your workout is missing (homework)

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My son is a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan. I love Calvin and Hobbes too, so this is a great bonding experience because those books are still hilarious.

Calvin is a young boy who is always getting into trouble and having adventures with his stuffed tiger Hobbes. Calvin is not a fan of organized sports, so they come up with something called Calvinball.

There is only one rule to Calvinball and that is that you cannot play it the same way twice. My son loves this idea, so we played some Calvinball yesterday.

It is basically just fun, unstructured physical activity with no rules and it is exactly what most people are missing in their workouts!

When did you decide to stop playing? I hope your answer is “Never!”.

Adults need play just like kids do. Probably even more so. We incorporate play into our boot camp classes for that very reason.

Play can: relieve stress, improve brain function, boost creativity and learning, improve relationships, and keep you feeling young. And it is a lot of fun too!

Your assignment is to go out this weekend and have some unstructured play. Life is too short to be so serious all the time.

Run, skip, hop, kick, throw, hike, dance, or whatever form of movement speaks to you. It doesn't matter if you have a kid with you or not, it is even better with a group of adults. The point is to have fun and MOVE!

Adventure Hiking Classes are back by popular demand!

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I've always wanted to do a back by popular demand announcement. So back by popular demand it is our:

 

Adventure Hiking Classes!

 

We did these awhile back and everyone had a blast.

 

The very first hike will be on Saturday, January 21st at 9am.

 

What to expect:

-Gain strength and endurance

-Learn the basics of hiking

-See the most beautiful locations in north Alabama

-Sweat, smiles, and laughter

-Improved mood

 

Hiking is an excellent way to get an effective, low impact workout in. It is also great for your mood and attitude to get out and explore nature.

 

This class is open to women, men, and children who can handle the hiking. If mom and/or dad join, children can come free.

 

There will be 4 different hikes (1 every week, except for Feb 4th) over the 5 week period. Each hike will be different and will last anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours per hike.

This is going to be an awesome class, sign up today!

Adventure Hiking sign up

What you can learn from my basketball “career”

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Somebody could't have slipped me a protein shake or a steroid or something???

Somebody could't have slipped me a protein shake or a steroid or something???

 

Here are a few of the highlights from my illustrious high school basketball career:

-fouled out in 2 minutes (2 offensive, 3 defensive) -played a total of 13 seconds one game -scored 12 points against! But it was against a team that was down to 4 players by the time I got in

 

Ok, so maybe football was more of the sport for me. My son loves basketball and thankfully as some awesome coaches. I do what I can to help him, but I am amazed at how much I have forgotten about basketball.

 

Despite not playing much, I practiced for so many hours and ran so many drills you would think I could retain a lot of that stuff. Not so much, but there is one thing that I remember.

 

Triple Threat

 

Anyone whoever played for Ronnie Stapler (here are a few other things I learned from Coach Stapler) knows all about Triple Threat. I went to school with his daughter and she would each lunch in the Triple Threat position.

 

Triple Threat is a position you get into when you get the ball so that you can easily dribble, shoot, or pass. To this day I get into Triple Threat whenever I catch a ball.

 

My point of all this b ball talk is to get you thinking about what Triple Threat could be for you in regards to fat loss and getting in shape. After you've been exercising and eating right for long period of time, you have the tendency to forget what worked for you.

 

The basics will always work, sometimes they just need tweaking. Think back to a time when you had success with losing weight, getting in shape, etc... What were you doing then?

 

Chances are you were: consistently exercising at least 3 days a week; cooking more, eating out less, and fueling your body with whole foods; doing the extra things that mattered like sleeping enough, being more active in every day life, having a positive attitude, stretching, and getting rid of harmful stress.

 

Or maybe you were in college and could eat, drink, and do whatever you wanted and still look good. That doesn't count.

 

It’s time to bring back your Triple Threat. Exercise, Healthy Eating, and the Little Things That Matter.

 

You don't have to start doing all of them today, just pick out the easiest one for you to start and then start! Make that step a habit (however long it takes) and then add in the next one. The key is changing something to get you started in a positive direction.

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