View this post on Instagram
Today’s post is a mixed bag. The top two photos are of this week’s pick for my favorite Health & Fitness Author/Book recommendations: KATY BOWMAN. A career as Biomechanicist but now an author, blogger and podcaster. These last few years have seen Katy publish a slew of great books. My personal favorites are…all of them. ALIGNMENT MATTERS might be a great place to start. She has a great understanding of the body and many useful strategies to get rid of various pains while improving health with a careful eye on longevity. The health & fitness industry desperately needs more people like Katy. Her work is incredible. FAVORITE QUOTES/IDEAS: “Consider HOW you are moving and not just HOW MUCH.” The bottom two photos are from Precision Nutrition, my favorite and recommended Nutrition resource. Poop & Urine. Yep, they both have a lot to say about our health. Zoom in to better read any of the four photo squares above. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox #health #fitness #healthylifestyle #longevity
View this post on Instagram
This week’s book recommendation(s) is Mike Boyle’s NEW FUNCTIONAL TRAINING FOR SPORT. This is a must have for any trainer or coach that works with an athletic population. Mike has been a huge influence for me and I’m lucky enough to call him a friend. He has worked in the realm of Strength & Conditioning for almost 40 years and was in fact one of the first official Strength & Conditioning coaches (which was an unpaid position when he first started). His experience and insight is next to none. He has learned from some of the very best. A big reason I respect and value Mike’s positions on various subjects is because he never stops asking why, thrives to acquire the best knowledge and is never afraid to change his mind. He reads, watches and listens to everything. He’s worked with countless athletes of all ages, including Championship Seasons with both the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins as well as countless other Professional and Olympic athletes. I own most of his vast collection of work but I must say that NEW FUNCTIONAL TRAINING FOR SPORTS is my personal favorite. Although I don’t train many athletes, the knowledge can easily be translated across all populations in the hands of a competent, caring health & fitness professional. The “big rocks” as Mike says do not change. Thanks Mike for your contribution. FAVORITE QUOTES/IDEAS: “No one cares how much you know till they know how much you care”. “When in doubt, think Strength & Conditioning”. “Keep it simple stupid (KISS Rule)”. “Remember the big stones”. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox
View this post on Instagram
If you have any serious issues with your neck, back or spine, I recommend that you get this book. It’s written by Dr Stuart McGill, Canadian back doctor for over 30 years and considered one of the world’s leading experts on all things spine related. He knows his stuff. The book is very easy to read and answers many common questions and concerns. It also outlines the do’s and dont’s for the long term health (and short term) of your spine. At least once a year, I typically manage to strain my back. This book has helped a lot in recent years. To put it mildly, back issues can be debilitating and scary. Knowing how to take better care of it is worth its weight in gold. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox
Ideas for a better warmup:
THE “Old” WARMUP (5-15min): Most people just hop on a treadmill or stationary bike for anywhere from 5-20 minutes to “warmup”. This works but it’s most likely not as effective as other options. Guys who plan on lifting “heavy” weights often ONLY warmup by doing light warmup-sets of their chosen exercise(s) for the day. Again, this also works but considering the fact that most of us know we need more stretching in our lives, including at least a few simple stretches in the warmup might be more optimal. Often guys are also scared to stretch before they lift because, “rumor has it”, you won’t get as big and strong. While it may be true that doing a marathon stretching session before lifting might be counterproductive for some, including other “types” of stretching has proven to actually increase strength & performance when done correctly. Lastly, some folks do their “cardio” first before lifting “weights”, i would assume in hopes of losing some unwanted body fat. Again, this is probably not the best idea UNLESS you are primarily seeking to increase your endurance for a specific event, competition or occupation. But for everyone else, i don’t recommend it. Ever, really. Normally, too much “cardio” before “lifting weights” interferes with… you guessed it, the weights. (And just to clarify, “weights”, “lifting”, “lifting weights” “strength machines”, “strength training”, “resistance training”, “body weight training”, “calisthenics”, “hard yoga”, “hard pilates”, etc are ALL basically the same thing!) “The primary purpose of resistance training is to get stronger, and for some, also build muscle. Both these things can also indirectly aid with fat loss. But keep in mind, getting stronger and building muscle both require INTENSITY to get the desired results. So don’t empty your fuel tank too early by doing too much in the warmup. If your goal is fat-loss, getting stronger or packing on more muscle, try including a short, intense 10-minute “interval session” after “weights” (aka “a finisher”). I’d also recommend doing your longer “cardio” workouts or group classes on another day, all by themselves, if you have the time available.
THE “New” WARMUP (5-10) So here we go. Here are some new things to try as your “warmup”. First and foremost, correct breathing is essential and often overlooked. This means breathing deeply from your diaphragm, through your nose. Keep this in mind as you warmup and proceed to the rest of your workout. I often tell people to do all movements at a pace that allows you sync your breathing with each repeat of that movement. Start your warmup by massaging some of the major muscles regions (back, legs, hips, calves) with a Foam Roller. (This is what most professional athletes do.)Most gyms have them. Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc all sell them for $30 or less). Then do a few safe Dynamic Stretches (aka “moving stretches”). Google this. Then perform a few easy body-weight warmup movements, focusing on stabilizing your spine and moving your many joints about (especially the hip & arm sockets). To summarize, you could very quickly Foam Roll 2-3 major areas of your body, do 2-3 full body stretches and 2-3 major body-weight movements (easy pushups, easy pulling & easy squatting), and be done in less than 10 minutes. You could even include 1-2 “core” exercises near the end or even devote some of the time to practice a new exercise (with no weight or a light weight) that maybe needs some practice. If you really want to hit everything, perform all the primitive movement patterns every time you warmup. (Check out any of Mark Verstegen’s Books). Research all this stuff! Educate yourself. It’s free. Keep things simple. Many things could work. Just keep this in mind, the purpose of a “warmup” is to get you prepared/ramped-up for the harder work ahead, not beat you done prematurely. The key is always to maximize your time, this should include not wasting any precious time doing useless sh*t during a warmup. You may want extend your warmup longer if you are sore or dealing with an injury, have specific “corrective exercises” you know you need to include, it’s really cold outside or you just woke up. We all know we need to stretch more, etc. Include these type things in your warmup and you can always get a lot done in each session, regardless of time. Density is the key.
p.s. Keep things simple. Always. I know i mentioned a lot of things, and that was just the silly warmup. lol. The reality is that the details of exercise and programming can easily start to bog any mind down. So don’t let it. Start by including just one new thing next time your workout. Build on that over time. The point is to move more, move better. There will probably never be a “perfect” way. And while some will waste time searching tirelessly for that, you should be out there getting work done. Time is of the essence. Ask for help if you need it. Work hard. Play hard. Enjoy.
*This is simply a short list of some of my favorite and most referenced books. It is in no way a complete list of essential reading for a fitness professional. However, with the wealth of material out there, it is easy to become discouraged by the mere thought of the time it might take to read & absorb so much material, that may or may not all be worth the time. Here i have tried to make things a little easier for someone starting off in the business and wishing to simultaneously gain knowledge and perspective. This list includes some classics as well as more modern reference material on various subjects. My objective was to create as short a list as possible of some great reference material while also implementing some reading for historic perspective and fun. Enjoy.
1. Dan John – “Intervention”
2. Pavel Tsatsouline – “Power to the People”.
3. Michael Boyle – “Advances in Functional Training”
3. Paul Chek – “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy”
4. Mark Verstegen – “Core Performance”
5. Pavel Tsatsouline – “Naked Warrior”
6. Mark Rippetoe – “Starting Strength”
7. Pavel Tsatsouline – “Enter the Kettlebell”
8. Clair Davies – “Trigger Point Therapy Workbook”
9. Gray Cook – “Athletic Body in Balance”
10. Ross Enamait – “Infinite Intensity”
11. Robert Dos Remedios – “Men’s Health Power Training: Build Bigger, Stronger Muscles with through Performance-based Conditioning”
12. Bill Starr – “The Strongest Shall Survive”
13. Shirley Sahrmann – “Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Sndromes”
14. Mark Rippetoe – “Practical Programming”
15. Dr. Mehmet Oz – “You: The Owner’s Manual”
16. Arthur Saxon – “The Development of Physical Power”
17. Stuart McGill – “Low Back Disorders”
18. Arnold Schwarzenegger – “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding”
19. Martin Rooney – “Training for Warriors”
20. Martin Rooney – “Warrior Cardio”
21. National Academy of Sports Medicine – “Optimum Performance Training for the Health and Fitness Professional” 2004 Second edition
22. Steven Low – “Overcoming Gravity”
23. Joseph H. Pilates – A Pilates’ Primer: The Millennium Edition
24. Alan Calvert – “Super-Strength”
25. Steve Vickery and Marilyn Moffat – “The American Physical Therapy Association Book of Body Maintenance and Repair”
26. Bruce Lee and John Little – “The Art of Expressing the Human Body”
27. Ross Enamait – “Never Gymless : An Excuse-free System for Total Fitness”
28. Dan John – “Never Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning”
29. Rachel Cosgrove – “The Female Body Breakthrough: The Revolutionary Strength-Training Plan for Losing Fat and Getting the Body You Want”
30. Andrew Weil – “Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self-Care for Optimum Health”
31. Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordoza – “Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance” by Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordoza
New Weekly Tipz! I’m back and trying to get ready for the new year. This week i wanted to give some gift ideas for anyone looking to start an exercise or strength program any time soon. I give my top 3 recommendations, along with a few book ideas for beginners. Feel free to write me with any questions, etc.December 3, 2012
“Retirement from activity promotes death”
“For years the Mighty Atom had pursued these studies, and he had a voluminous knowledge of physical culture, chiropractic, food science and dietetics, chemistry, anatomy, and allied subjects, and had received a certificate as a Doctor of Naturopathy. This complemented his lifelong study of the Mosaic Dietary Code, the Kosher laws.”
he told hecklers to “take a walk” before stepping down from his “pitchman” platform.
“No man has limits, except in his own mind”
“Look up, what do you see? Stars, planets, whirling infinity with no beginning and no end. Enough to make a man lose his mind. My deity was never born and never died. He was, is will be. My god is Space and Time.”
he was the master of “life-force”.
“if you love animals, don’t eat them”
He told the judge, “every time i swung the bat it was a home run!” after defending himself against a nazi clan. “It wasn’t a fight, it was a pleasure”
“I am a peaceable but by no means passive man. i consider mine to be important work. And i am not the kind who will accept abuse.”
“I give you respect. But i do not ask for yours in return. I demand it. If you will not give it to me, i will take it out of your hide”
“By standing still, he had become modern”
“if you can’t do any good, don’t do any harm”
“Most people, if told to close their eyes and meditate, are unable to do so. Their minds wander. The Atom asked them to keep their eyes, open, and imagine that their outsretched arms were fire hoses. They could see of out of them, while directing an unstoppable force of water. This thought process was applied to either arm, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes. He asked them to assume this mental state before initiating physical action of any part of the body, and to practice turning it on and off”
“The Almighty must have put us here for a higher purpose that to accumulate wealth. How many meals can a man eat at one time, how many suits can he wear, how many beds can he sleep in? I figured i might as well do what gave me satisfaction.”