The Hows and Whys of Foam Rolling aka Myofascial Release

Using a tubular foam roller to literally roll over tight areas of muscles and tendons is known as “Myo-Fascial Release”.   While it seems counter-intuitive applying steady pressure to muscles and tendons with an emphasis on trigger points (areas of tightness and soreness) has been proven to be a highly effective method for improving mobility. Since you are in complete control of the amount of pressure applied and how long it is applied you can customize the experience based on your level of sensitivity.   Key areas to focus on include the hamstrings, calves, gluteal muscles, latissimus dorsi muscle, and even low back and hip flexors if done with caution. You can…
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The Psychology of Pain

Sooner or later all of us have to deal with periods of time where we are in pain.    Understanding the psychology of pain can help you navigate these challenging periods of time.  All Pain Is Regulated by Your Brain. Traumatic physical injuries do not have psychological triggers per say, but if the pain persists long after an injury has occurred, there is often an emotional aspect involved. Pain also becomes a learned experience and becomes a pattern. When pain is perceived over an extended period of time, the brain produces more pain-causing neurotransmitters and your pain threshold tends to get lower. Essentially, you become more sensitized to pain.   This is…
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The Incredible Ab Rollout

Building functional strength and stability in the core requires an understanding of the role abdominal muscles play in human movement.   Like all muscles core musculature is capable of three types of contractions:   concentric (muscles shortening), isometric (muscle produce force without movement); and eccentric (muscles produce force while lengthening). Each of these contraction types helps us perform a different function.    Concentric contractions are used to project force externally from the body such as throwing, pushing, or pulling something external or pushing or pulling our body away or towards an object or the ground.   This is what we see in movement and most exercises done in the gym are concentric dominant meaning…
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Emotional Resistance – why people do things to sabotage their success in reaching fitness goals

        If you have been a personal trainer for more than 6 months you have almost surely had the experience of dealing with a client who wants to lose weight and get in shape but seems to constantly be their own worst enemy.   This ambivalence is actually very common and it is part of being human. Simply put this emotional resistance occurs when someone’s motivation to change was not high enough to get them to actually make changes. Signs of Emotional Resistance in a client include: changing the subject when discussing issues leaving the room going to the bathroom being late canceling appointments getting sick refusing to…
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Are Energy Drinks Bad?

Energy drinks have become a staple for many people, and there is lot of controversy about whether or not they are safe to drink. Like most things the devil is in the details when it comes to energy drinks. Sugar Content One of the first points to consider for energy drinks is their sugar content.  Sugar is something the vast majority of people could do with consuming less not more.  People who drink energy drinks with high levels of sugar are taking in a lot of extra calories - up to 200 calories for large energy drinks with sugar.     This not only contributes to weight gain and slows or prevents…
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Is Intermittent Fasting Good?

Done properly fasting can be very beneficial for improving health and accelerating fat loss. There are many different types of fasts, but the most popular and practical is called "Intermittent Fasting".    Intermittent fasting gives your body more time to effectively digest what you are eating and eliminate waste. Many biological repair processes take place when your body is in the "rest," not the "digest," mode. The latest thinking about fasting is that you can get most of, if not all, the same benefits, with intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting involves reducing your food intake in whole or in part, either a few days a week, every other day or daily. The…
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Can you get rid of Cellulite?

Although the vast majority of woman have some cellulite somewhere on their body – nobody likes it!   So what the heck is cellulite anyway?  Cellulite is pockets of fat that have squeezed between bands of tissue, called septae, that are located below your skin. Women of all races get it, while virtually no men do. That's because the septae of men are different from women. Men have stronger bands that are cross-hatched allowing them to keep fat in place more effectively. Women have weaker, vertically oriented septae that allows fat to squeeze through easier. Both thin and heavy women have cellulite. However the higher your level of body fat the…
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How Much is Too Much Protein?

One of the most common nutrition questions is: how much protein people should consume each day?   There are several factors to take into account to get a good answer to this question, and there are potential problems with eating too much protein.   There are also definitely problems with not eating enough protein.  It is also important to consider what type of protein is being consumed. Height, weight, age, sex and activity level all factor into your protein needs.   Obviously the larger you are the more protein you need to take in to support structural proteins throughout the tissues of the body including the muscles, bone, skin and organs.  In…
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How to Change a Negative Habit

Habits are powerful.  Unfortunately, they often are created outside our consciousness and without our permission. However, we can consciously change habits. Habits shape our lives far more than we realize— they are so strong, in fact, that they can cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense. At the same time, positive habits can change our lives for the better. So how are habits created and what can we do to influence them in ourselves and our clients? Three Parts of a Habit The cue: a situational trigger that is based on a reward you are seeking. The Routine:  a physical or…
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The Infamous Thruster

One of the best total body exercises is the Thruster which can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, sandbag or weighted ball.   It is a head to toe affair with just about every single muscle in the body being involved.  It will also get your heart rate up as fast as any exercise, and when in a time pinch just doing this one single exercise for extended sets or for multiple work sets with minimum rest can provide a complete total body workout that provides incredible cardiovascular conditioning at the same time! So here is how you do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your lower back tightly…
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