Wednesday, September 30, 2009

He who treats the sight of pain is lost... Karel Lewit

Since I began my studies with David Vendetti at SOBOYO alongside my interning with Aaron Brooks at Perfect Postures, this quote has never rung so true. David studied under Tom Myers and thus uses Anatomy Trains as one of his teacher training staples! As a fitness professional I am very open minded when it comes to the pain management topic.
And no I don't mean popping pills ;0

I see the benefit in acupuncture, rolfing, physical therapy, Egoscue, as well as complementary therapies such as yoga, mediation, reiki as well as martial arts. Here is an article I pulled from Mike Boyle's StrengthCoach.com a week or so ago.



It Hurts Right Here: The Mystery of Pain
Keats Snideman BS, CSCS, RKC, LMT & Patrick Ward M



Of the many reasons people seek out medical (allopathic or alternative) care, the number one reason is usually for some sort of pain, be it from an acute injury or some type of chronic or distressing condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/), the number one prescribed class of drugs is analgesics, which are painkillers. However, since few fitness/S & C professionals are also doctors with a license to prescribe drugs, our focus in this article is on non-pharmaceutical approaches to dealing with pain. Specifically, we are going to be dealing with athletic-type of painful conditions that are quite common in an active and athletic population and even in sedentary populations as well (although for different reasons). We'll start this article by discussing many of the common reasons people suffer pain (other than the obvious ones like acute, traumatic injury). Then, we'll discuss how many of the common approaches to treating painful conditions, including limiting treatment to primarily the site of pain, are less than optimal and even counter-productive!


Development of Pain in the Myofascial Tissues

One of the most common sources of many aches and pains in the body are local areas of dysfunction in the musculo-tendonous tissues called myofascial trigger points. This term was originally coined by the late Dr. Janet Travel M.D., who pioneered the entire field of myofascial pain and dysfunction and really spearheaded the entire field of treatment for trigger points. In the second edition of the landmark text by Travell and her esteemed colleague Dr. David Simons M.D., a precise definition was given that we will use for explaining what a trigger point (TrP) actually is:


A hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. The spot is painful upon compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, referred tenderness, motor dysfunction, and autonomic phenomenon.

Since so many fitness/health professionals throw theTrP term around so loosely we thought it was important to make sure we are being accurate with our current scientific understanding of the whole trigger point phenomenon. It must be remembered that much of the following information in only theoretical, the best scientific understanding we have at the current moment. Some of this information is tentative and must not be taken as "gospel." We only highlight these concepts to stimulate a little deeper thinking on the subject at hand.


Are All Painful Spots Trigger Points?

There are some experts that do not fully embrace the trigger point theory/hypothesis and it should be known that not all tender spots upon palpation are trigger points. Some of tender spots could actually be entrapped, compressed, or overly stretched nerves (sub-cutaneous sensory or even deeper peripheral nerves); in fact, David Butler, the Australian Physiotherapist who has helped popularize and develop the field of neurodynamics, has coined the term AIGS (abnormal impulse generating sites) to signify painful sites on the body that might be related to more of a nervous system dysfunction that just a sore or tender muscle/tendon area. Any way you slice it, pain is a nervous system phenomenon; so speaking just of muscles, fascia, bones, ligaments and tendons without mention of the actual nerves which supply them and relay information to and from the CNS (central nervous system) is missing the boat. AIGS are another way to think of painful sites in the body.


How Do You Know if You're Dealing with TrP's?

The basic criterion for the diagnosis of a TrP is a painful/tender area upon compression with a sensation of referred pain to a distant area, often remote from the spot being compressed or palpated. Furthermore, if the person recognizes the referred pain then the TrP can be classified as an active trigger point, and if the referred sensation is new or unknown to the individual, then it is classified as a latent trigger point.


Then, there is the classification of central trigger points and attachment trigger points. The central trigger points tend to develop in the center or "belly" of a muscle and can lead to excessive tension (pulling) on either end of the tendons. Initially, this can lead to tendon problems (i.e. tendonitis and inflammation) and if these tensile stresses continue long enough, eventual calcification and degenerative changes can occur to these tendons (i.e. tendonosis & enthesitis).


Two other classifications of TrP's that need to be understood in this article are the concepts of "key" and "satellite" trigger points. The basic theory here is that until key TrP's are released, which are usually in larger more proximal muscles, the satellite TrP's will not release or will return rapidly after treatment. So what this also means is that often, just by effectively treating the key TrP's, the satellite ones will diminish or go away completely without any direct treatment. A good example of this would phenomenon would be TrP's in the lateral hip musculature, the gluteus medius or minimus. If a key trigger point were treated in the Quadratus Lumborum (QL for short) prior to treating the glutes, the therapy would be more effective and longer lasting. If the QL and lumbar muscles were not treated, the TrP's in the lateral hip area might not diminish their TrP activity and referral patterns. This concept of key and satellite TrP's can also be effectively applied to the fascial connections or "train" theories of Rolfer Thomas Myers.


Applying Trigger Point referrals to myofascial lines

Now that we have a fundamental understanding of what trigger points are, how they work, and how to treat them, we can begin to apply this information to myofascial lines and attempt to trace some of our mysofascial tension back to its origin.


Oftentimes clients come in and we perform soft tissue therapy on the area that they complain of pain. However, our results may only be temporary - the individual reports feeling better for a couple of days only to have the pain return.


This is where having an understanding of myofascial lines and knowing your trigger point referral patterns can help you in searching for the source of soft tissue pain and dysfunction instead of just treating the site.


Thomas Myers, a Rolfer by trade who was trained by Ida Rolf, brought the concept of myofascial lines, or what he called "trains", to popularity. Myers proposed several fascial lines that connect the upper and lower extremity and show how dysfunctional patterns in the lower extremity could potentially have a negative impact on the upper extremity. The fascial lines are:


The Superficial Back Line

The Superficial Front Line

The Lateral Line

The Spiral Line

The Deep Front Line

Back of the Arm Lines

Front of the Arm Lines

We encourage you to check out Myers' work in order to gain a better understanding of all of these lines and how they affect movement of the body. For the purposes of this article, we will use the lateral line as an example of how to investigate soft tissue to decrease pain and improve overall function.


The lateral line begins at the foot with the peroneal muscles that travel up the outside of the lower leg to attach onto the fibular head and share a fascial connection to the IT-band. The IT-band then travels up the outside of the leg and forms into the gluteus maximus, tensor fascia latae and partially the gluteus medius. These muscles serve as the attachment for this line into the iliac crest. From the iliac crest, the lateral line continues into the internal and external obliques and the QL which all attach to the lower ribs. From the lower ribs, the lateral line blends into the fascia of the intercostals and continues up the body until it reaches the fascia of the splenius cervicis, SCM and scalenes.


Now that we see the connection that these muscles share, we can begin to piece together a treatment plan for an individual who may be experiencing lateral ankle pain or coming back from an inversion ankle sprain.


An inversion sprain is one in which the individual rolls their ankle -- think running and slipping off the sidewalk and rolling over your ankle. This injury can range in severity and the pain (and possibly inflammation) this injury causes can inhibit our movement as our body figures a new strategy to move that is less painful.


The peroneal muscles, the muscles on the outside of our lower leg, functional primarily to evert or pronate the foot. During an inversion sprain, these muscles are rapidly placed on stretch and subject to a high amount of trauma.


It has been documented that following an ankle sprain, individuals may be subject to hip abductor weakness. This is especially true if the individual is placed in a boot to stabilize the ankle and prevent movement while healing takes place. Our main hip abductors are the gluteus minimus, TFL, and gluteus maximus -- the three muscles that make up the IT-band and three of the muscles that share a fascial connection to the peroneals in Myer's lateral line.


Moving further up the lateral line, the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) can house trigger points or increased tone following an inversion sprain because it is recruited to help move keep pressure off the injured foot when walking -- this is especially true in individuals who are placed in an immobilization boot.


Linking science to practice

Following rehabilitation from an ankle sprain, it may be common for the individual to have residual pain or movement dysfunction. As we have just shown, the pain in the lateral ankle and the accompanying movement dysfunctions may be caused because of trigger points or fascial tension which were initially developed to help the body move safely in a time of injury; however, are no longer needed or desirable as the individual is prepared to move back to sports activity.


Instead of treating the site of pain -- the ankle -- we propose that the therapist start further up and begin by investigating the QL, then the hips (paying special attention to TFL, Gluteus Medius, and Gluteus Maximus), move down the IT-band, into the peroneals and finally the ankle, which you may find no longer is painful after the work performed higher up. In addition to tracing the fascial lines higher up the chain, by working proximal to distal in this manner you also are able enhance blood and lymph flow. In the case of a chronic ankle sprain, working the ankle directly may be contraindicated due to swelling, inflammation, and pain. While you are allowing the tissue around the ankle to heal, you can work with the fascial chains higher up to facilitate the healing process and create healthy lymph flow to help the swelling decrease.


Conclusions

Well, we hope that this article has stimulated some good thought processes on how to approach pain lingering after an athletic injury such as a lateral ankle sprain. We also hope that coaches, trainers, and therapists realize that you can't just treat the site of pain if optimal recovery and return of function is to occur. As we've all heard a million times, the body is "all connected" and is kinetic chain that is linked together mechanically, neurologically, and fascially. Through the theories of trigger point development and treatment, as well as an understanding of the fascial connections of the body, we demonstrated the process that one must take when addressing common injury and pain syndromes. We hope you enjoyed that article and the videos!


About The Authors:

Keats Snideman is the owner of Reality Based Fitness -- www.realitybasedfitness.com. Patrick Ward is the owner of Optimum Sports Performance -- www.optimumsportsperformance.com. Together they own the Reality Based Fitness/Optimum Sports Performance Training facility in Tempe, AZ, where they offer sport conditioning and soft tissue therapy to athletes and clients of all levels and abilities. In addition, they both host the Reality Based Fitness Podcast -- www.realitybasedfitnesspodcast.com.


References

Myers T. The Anatomy Trains Part 1. J Bodywork and Movement Therapies 1997; 1(2):91-101.


Myers T. The Anatomy Trains Part 2. J Bodywork and Movement Therapies 1997; 1(3):134-145.


Chaitow L, DeLany J. Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques Vol. 1: The Upper Body. Churchill Livingstone. 1st ed. 2000.


Chaitow L, DeLany J. Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques Vol. 2: The Lower Body. Churchill Livingstone. 1st ed. 2002.


Friel K, McLean N, Myers C, Caceres M. Ipsilateral Hip Abductor Weakness After Inversion Ankle Sprain. J Athletic Training 2006;41(1):74-80.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thinking "WHOLE" istically

Kevin and I believe strongly in the holistic lifestyle. Here in Newton our clientele possess very similar beliefs which is great! Throughout our transition from downtown Boston to the suburbs of Newton, we have met and established relationships with many amazing practitioners. Whether it be Acupuncture with John Churchill at Samadhi or Nia with Nikki, Chiropractic Care with Dr. Drouin, Perfecting your Posture with Aaron Brooks, working on your Nutrition with Courtney Little or Bonnie LeFrak, or Thai Yoga Massage with Slava Kolpakov.

All of these elements can be used to attain optimum health. Here at the studio we promise to help you get the best out of your workouts with precise form ;) AND be your KETTLEBELL EXPERTS.

WE PROMISE to guide you in the best possible direction when it comes to the other aspects that combine to produce maximal health!



Recently I helped out Slava with some photos for his website, check em out...who else would wear a neon pink headband :0

http://www.eastwestbodytherapy.com/thaimassage.html

I have a newly found respect for...

actors and television anchors!

This weekend/week Kevin and I were given the task of creating a DVD that will be sold along with the Versus product. Aaron Brooks left us a great outline, and while he was on the west coast treating clients we had A JOB TO DO! Kevin and I saw this as a huge honor :) We also didn't realize what we had gotten ourselves into :0

Along with showing people how to use the Versus properly on their own as well as with a partner we had to demonstrate how to set it up safely and describe the exercises.
Still sounds pretty easy right?


TAKE 1
TAKE 2
TAKE 10 HAHAHA

I have to say there was a lot of creative problem solving that went on as well as free styling, but hey, we got the job done.


For all you special folks...check out just how creative I got ;)

Friday, September 25, 2009

is it friday Sept 25th already?!?!

Kinda crazy how September came and is almost gone! It was definitely feeling like Fall this morning :0

Living in the Northeast, we have seasons (UNLIKE SOMEONE WHO MOVED TO CALI) Being aware of how your body changes with the seasons can and should be brought into your yoga practice. During the colder months your energy levels drop, your circulation decreases and your muscles get tighter. Along with tweaking your yogs, adjusting your eating and sleeping patterns can help ease the seasonal changes.

I have read several books on the subject of Ayurveda, an ancient East Indian wellness practice that has enabled me to remain balanced during the changing of seasons.
I have a few quick and easy tips.
First of all, don't feel guilty catching a few extra Z's! This is normal and necessary when coming off of the summer months.
Keep drinking up...the water that is
Eat seasonal foods...of course I'll be here to help with that ;)
Pick up some sesame oil (Whole Foods or even Neutrogena's shower oil) and gently massage yourself, or others (maybe they'll return the favor) after your shower.
If you have a regular yoga practice try to incorporate warming asanas such as arm balances, and backbends, also get a little crazy with some breathwork ;)


Thursday morning I took a yummy soup recipe from Cooking Light's October issue and changed it to include the contents of my fridge, and now have enough soup to feed a small army!

This hearty vegetarian soup warms up chilly nights. Use any type of canned beans you happen to have on hand, and add rotisserie chicken or Italian sausage for a heftier dish, if you prefer.

Apparently I prefered to use 4 zucchini left over from my summer's obsession!

Yield

6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Emeril's), divided
  • 7 cups stemmed, chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Preparation

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until kale is crisp-tender.

2. Place half of cannellini beans and remaining 1 cup vegetable broth in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture, remaining cannellini beans, black beans, and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and rosemary.

Nutritional Information

Calories:250
Fat:10.4g (sat 1.4g,mono 5.5g,poly 2.2g)
Protein:11.8g
Carbohydrate:30.5g
Fiber:9.2g
Cholesterol:0.0mg
Iron:3.8mg
Sodium:593mg
Calcium:189mg
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's all about the ACTIVATION

videoit

Looks like an easy circuit from a quick glance right? A 6 exercise total body circuit using "some sort of pulley" and some KB's.

Look deeper and you will see the benefits of this amazing (not yet available to the public) product known as the Versus :)

Jenn and I start off with a great dynamic warm- up:

Overhead flutters- to engage the lower abs and mid back as well as open the shoulders,
Squat and reach- allow us to deeply lengthen the hip flexors as well as turn on the abs
Hip Flexor Hold and Lunge- isometric hold in hip flexor stretch for activation, while driving both arms forward towards each other(I like to call it the alligator clap), engaging the lats, serratus and back musculature
Lateral Lunge- isometric hold for activation, followed by deep lateral lunging one side at a time focusing on getting the hips back and driving through the glut to get up
Glut bridging and single leg hip extension- isometric bridge hold 20 sec, alternate driving heels toward the floor without rotation of the hips.
Plank with hip extension- upper push up hold, hips square driving one foot down toward the ground

Static In line lunge with Isometric high row hold and row- 20sec hold, 10reps/side

Split squats- 12/side

Suspended Mt. Climber- 20

Partner Chops- 10-12/side

Heavy Dead lifts- 12

Clean and Press Ladder 1-3

Repeat for 3 times total

It is AMAZING to see what happens when you go through the 2nd and 3rd time! All the muscles that make up your core are actually ACTIVATED and ON FIRE. On the split squats we went to 2- 12kgs, the dead lift we worked our way up to 2- 32kg, and we both got to pressing the 20 kg as if it were ALMOST ;) like a 16kg. Props to Jenn for getting to the 20kg ladder on her first try :)

Who wouldn't be excited about the products potential. All you KETTLEBELL ENTHUSIASTS the Versus is a must have for you and your clients! Wait til you see what else it can do :0

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SundayFEAST (as in LAST SUNDAY)



It has become a little tradition of mine. I start my day off with a lil yogs at SOBOYO, make a green smoothie, take a walk, do a little homework, clean my apt... AND COOK FOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Depending on my mood you never know what the feast will consist of. Since it was a GORGEOUS DAY (so gorgeous that I went to the beach!)I ended up throwing together two new creations.














Before my food allergies, Carol Talanian (JT's momma) made this salad that I would DEVOUR. Last night I came up with my own rendition.






Broccoli and cabbage slaw
5 small red peppers from the GAAden
1 cup of sunflower seeds (maybe more)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Olive Oil

While JT was manning the grill with shrimp and scallops (wrapped in bacon) ;0


I threw together some brown basmati rice
almonds
sunflower seeds
pecans
raisins
and some curry powder....for an awesome little side dish!

So much to say so little time

I am backed up on posts! I will try to get them up ASAP...look forward to video and recipes :)

In addition to saying goodbye to a dear friend I had my Yoga Training with David Vendetti this weekend :)

Needless to say I have been putting in long hours and working on numerous projects and SLACKING BIG TIME on my yoga. This weekend people in the program were like "I feel like I haven't seen you in forever" "Where have you been" "I used to see you all the time, long time no see" ENOUGH ALREADY I KNOW!!!
Due to my EMOTIONAL hangover(crying like a baby takes a lot out of you) I barely made into the studio for our 7am meditation, looking visibly tired. When it was time for assists I couldn't stop sneezing or keep my nose from running, so I didn't feel it very appropriate to be "hands on" with my partner.
David commented on me not feeling well and made a little dig saying, most times instructors get sick because they are run down and not finding enough time for themselves....I think he's a mind reader ;)
During my practice I definitely couldn't breathe through my nose but moving with my body in a safe way and sweating it out made me feel better.
Keep in mind in the afternoon we had a test on all the muscles and bones from the foot to the hips :0 and I had to teach a flow.
After lunch we began training with another meditation. This time, unlike the times before, my concentration remained steady without effort on my part. David read us an Interpretation of the Alexander Technique by Tommy Thompson entitled Moving from the Still Point of Support.
Here is an excerpt :
Letting go of old, but familiar ways may cause the student to feel uncertain. However, because an Alexander teacher's hands empower the student as a whole and complete person, rather than as one who is partially aware and disconnected, the student feels secure in letting go of old, unreliable habits. The person can then move and interact with the environment according to the design of the human organism. The student can perceive, recognize, and feel his own internal support system. There is less of a need 'to do something' other than what is essential and appropriate.

The Alexander Technique teaches a person how to discriminate among the kinesthetic impressions that are most closely identified with habit and identity, and how to eliminate the elements of learned behavior that interfere with constructive and mutually rewarding response. The implication of using the teaching as a practical means of identifying unrecognized patterns of behavior and choosing not to continue to reinforce them expands the whole range of learning, interaction, and human potential. The Technique speaks to all persons who are interested in change and the freedom to make non-habitual choices, offering increased possibilities in daily interaction and in one's overall experience of life.


All I could think of after our meditation was the work I have been doing with Aaron Brooks! This ensured me yet again that I am on the right path :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Growing up is hard to do








Sometimes growing up means growing apart.

I first met LBart the weekend I moved into Van Meter at UMass Amherst. She roomed across the hall from my high school pal ( the only person I knew at UMass) Being the sarcastic person I am, I pointed out the hickey on her neck,(from the previous nights festivities) before I formerly introduced myself. We had an instant connection. Going from French class to the DC for lunch and then back up the hill we were constantly together. We both had roommates that we didn’t get along with (to say the least), so we spent the majority of our time together. I rowed crew and had a long distance boyfriend, which meant that my hours where a little different then the average college freshman. Yet she was always there for me. Through my first time college experiences, my breakups, our hookups with random boys, my drunken nights, my family issues…she was always my rock. I have never had a connection like this with anyone.

Our roommates ended up moving out second semester so we each had double singles and spent all our spare time in each others rooms. For the rest of our college years we were roommates. When we finally moved off campus we stayed in Amherst for the summer and had way too much fun. Although she was an English major who loved to read book after book after book and I was an Ex Sci Major who could never get enough of my workouts, we just jived perfectly. I stayed at UMass for an extra semester and LBart would always come up and visit, I don’t know whether it was for the food or for me ;) but I loved it. After I finished college I moved in with LBart’s family in Norwood and they took me in as their own when I needed it the most.

I started working at a gym in the city and her father made sure I knew my way around and LBart would come to visit me at work. After saving some money we both moved to Southie, living only 3 streets away from each other. LBart has always been the party planner; the one who keeps us all together, the gorilla glue that holds us crazy UMass Ladies together. She is always down for anything and everything.

Well, last night was LBart’s going away party and today she left for Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy for her. She needs to take this step in her life, a new start on the West Coast which is amazing for her. To be honest I’ve had a pit in my stomach for the last week, because I realized that she will no longer be a walk away. I said goodbye last night went home and bawled for hours. All the times we shared and everything we went through together. I guess I never thought I would have to say goodbye like this.

I feel guilty that we aren’t as close as we once were; I have been pursuing my career and moving in a different direction for the past few years. I am in a long term relationship and trying to figure out who I am. I guess that this is just how life happens, and people grow up but I love you Laura and I always will.

Monday, September 14, 2009

THE FUTURE OF FITNESS...

or where I want it to go anyway!!!!

Check out this article from the pages of Men's Health 2009

...It's horrifying. Right in front of me, a gorgeous young woman named Andria has slipped out of her clothes and is transforming herself into...me. She's removed her shirt and her black capris. Now she shakes out her blonde bob and stands in her sports bra and panties, a hand on her slender hip, looking like Brandi Chastain about to hit the showers after practice. Until...

"Head, anterior shift," a woman nearby calls out. She checks her clipboard. "With a posterior tilt."

Andria juts her neck like a tortoise, and then lifts her chin.

"Shoulder girdle -- anterior tilt," adds James Ready, a trainer for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Obediently, Andria hunches her back, as if she's been punched in the gut.

Four people surround Andria. They're holding clipboards with anatomical sketches and hand-scrawled notes snapped to them. We're in a sports training studio in Tempe, Arizona, for a seminar on the new science of strength, an event focusing almost entirely on human connective tissue. Until recently, very little was understood about these elastic wrappings that surround your muscles and bones. But a series of research breakthroughs now reveals that they might be your body's greatest untapped resource for improving the efficiency of your muscles and preventing injuries.

At this moment I'm receiving a firsthand lesson in elastic power, as the four members of my working group continue to feed instructions to Andria. Suddenly, they order her to freeze.

"Perfect!" one of the women says. Then she turns to me. "That's you."

"You to a T," Ready agrees.

Before the session with Andria, they'd assessed my posture. I'd come in with nagging heel pain, but as they eyed me up and down, that was the one part of my body they ignored. Pain and power, they believe, are all about posture. Unfortunately, so is pride. During my assessment, I'd done my cheating best to throw my shoulders back and stand tall. But now as I look at my reflection in Andria's body, I can see that my muscles had no chance against the steady pull of my elastic tissue. One of her shoulders is caved, her head juts like a Neanderthal's, her hips are crooked. I'm still not sure what that has to do with my heel, but even though she's the one in her underwear, I've never felt more naked in my life.

What's so special about muscles, anyway?

My Head is Spinning


I can just tell that  2009-2010 is going to be an amazing year when it comes to my education.  
Nope, I'm not going to Graduate School.  
I am getting to work with TWO AMAZING MENTORS. 
 Aaron Brooks and David Vendetti. 
 Aaron is an exercise physiologist as well as a biomechanist and owner of Perfect Postures.  
David is a yoga instructor as well as a structural integration bodyworker as well as co-owner of SOBOYO.
LUCKY ME

It started off a year and a half ago when I started taking classes at South Boston Yoga and I would leave feeling lighter.  Not lighter as in less stressed (that's a given), but lighter in my stride.  I began paying careful attention to what exactly David was having us do in class in order to produce the end result that I loved so much.  I soon realized that the secret was in the SEQUENCING.

Despite all the wonderful progress I had made with my kettlebell and yoga programs, I still had this nagging internal hip pain that that I just couldn't shake.  This is when Aaron Brooks of Perfect Postures came into my life.  

Aaron Brooks completed a postural assessment and then assigned me a SPECIFICALLY SEQUENCED series of corrective exercises according to his evaluation.  Within my first session the pain was gone and my body felt AMAZING.  With his programs I was able to re-teach my CNS and muscles to communicate properly and I was able to take my "rehab" into my own hands.

Yes I could go on and on about these two gentlemen but I'll save this for another post.  

My point is that sequencing is KEY, it's all about empowering your clients by providing them with the tools necessary to live pain free.  I love the fact that if you do the exercises as prescribed you will feel better, and if you don't you have no one to blame but yourself!   

HIGH STAKES... from the pages of VOGUE



We all know I love getting articles from my clients and ideas from leaders in the industry but most of all I LOVE GETTING ARTICLES FROM FRIENDS and FAMILY. Just when I think I have been talking to a wall, they prove me wrong ;)
Thanks Shan!

In the September issue of Vogue the Beauty Health and Fitness section's topic of discussion is: adapting a fitness regime to survive wearing high heels!

Back in my financial district days I would constantly be getting on my female client to wear flats. At SOBOYO with David Vendetti we talk about the effects of heels ALL THE TIME. He wants us to wear Earth Shoes out on a Saturday night ;)
It's like I go from one extreme to the next!
Earth Shoes with a dress?
COME ON NOW!

The faux rant is over. I am either barefoot, in Vibrams, or NikeFree's 98 % of the time. I give myself permission to wear my snakeskin Jimmy Choo's for 4 hrs.

You high-powered business women on the other hand are doing some damage to your body.

The article is correct in saying that when you stand with "perfect posture" wink wink, your knees are over your ankles, pelvic girdle over knees, shoulders over hips and so on up through the neck and head.

However when negotiating with heels ( this season's show stoppers tower in at EIGHT INCHES) your spine can't stack. You are forced into an extreme anterior pelvic tilt, low back is hyperextended and abs are long and weak... NEVER MIND what is happening to your Achilles tendon, calve muscles and KNEES!!!!!!

The reporter interviews a yogi and a trainer, for a fitness regime that accommodates the seasons high heels.

I dunno, You decide ;)

Friday, September 11, 2009

8 Years Ago...

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=15508144&ch=4226720&src=news

I was a freshman in college on my way to my first class at UMass Amherst. The only other person I knew, a friend from high school, came running into my room and turned on the television. Before I even had a clue what was going on, the plane in the back round of the news cast collided with a tower. I was confused and horrified at the same time.

Everyone's lives changed after 9/11...this is undeniable.

I am extremely close to someone who's life was turned upside down as a result of 9/11. At the height of his career and life came the destruction of 9/11. Working for Cantor Fitzgerald since college he had amassed some of the greatest friends in the world.

His reality came to a shattering halt when 658 people from his firm were killed in the attack on September 11th. From his life at the top he eventually hit rock bottom.

Eight years later he is the GREATEST PERSON most of us will ever come to know.


Wounds can heal, broken hearts can mend and memories will never fade,
My thoughts and prayers are with him today and always.


xoxo

BIG FOOD vs. BIG INSURANCE

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/opinion/10pollan.html?_r=1




Thanks Les!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Does this sound familar to anyone???

You all know I LOVE ALWYN and RACHEL COSGROVE


Here is Alywn's latest blog post...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Kettlebells : The NEW Old School of Fat Loss?

Guest Blog from Chris Lopez

The NEW Old School of Fat Loss
By Chris Lopez, CTT

The times are a-changing and it's back to basics for everyone. Plus, it's back to school and back to work for almost everyone in North America.

And because so much more is expected of the "everyday" person - multi- tasking at work, coming home to a family, religious & community obligations - there hardly is ever any time to do much for ourselves.

And sadly, getting a workout in is usually at the bottom of our list of priorities.

When we do find time to train, we usually revert to something that we picked- up out of a magazine or even worse, try to remember what we did back in the old college weight room.

So when the time comes for us to realize that we do need to get in shape and start to live healthier lives we are faced with a dilemma - do we "make the time", be it an extra 3-5 hours per week, to go to the gym and train and cut out excess in our lives?

OR

Can we find a sensible alternative that will...

1) create an environment in our bodies that will allow us to burn fat even if we're not training and

2) be flexible enough for our hectic schedules so that little (time) will be sacrificed.

My question is this...

Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can't it be both?

Can we focus on the essential allowing us to do what we love and still make enough to support our lives?

Can we alter our lifestyle to pare down to only what's necessary thus making room for more important things?

Can our workouts follow the same philosophy where we can do only what's necessary to get the results that we want?

The answer of course is YES and this is a change that I am noticing in health & fitness from our clients and those who look to us for advice.

People now are sick of the excess and are learning to live with less. They are realizing that living a simpler life is more fulfilling than living a life of having too many things, spending more than they're earning and consuming more than they need to.

That's why it's time to...

Let the Kettlebell Revolution Begin

From a training standpoint, nothing provides more efficiency than combining kettlebell training with traditional bodyweight exercises. Separately they still will yield impressive results, but together, NOTHING can compare.

And for busy people, who don't have time to get to the gym, this is the ONLY style of training that provides better and faster results - I believe it even beats sprint interval training - and I challenge you to give it a try.

Kettlebells are compact, transportable and efficient. Combining a series of swings with kettlebell rows, presses & squats can not only improve your physical strength, but your body composition as well.

Why?

Because revolution kettlebell training is done in a circuit format with little to no rest between exercises.

Revolution training demands that body transforms - shedding fat and scultping muscle - in order to improve with your performance to complete these circuits in less time each workout.

As Alwyn has said many times before, "Improve your performance and your physique will follow." It's impossible to get better at Kettlebell Revolution training without your body shedding fat and building a sexy, athletic body.

The high intensity kettlebell revolution training applies turbulence to the muscles and causes the largest AFTERBURN response possible - so you'll be burning calories long after your session is complete.

Kettlebell training, an ancient and basic physical artform, truly IS the future of fat loss training.

Chris Lopez, CTT
Author, TT Kettlebell Revolution Workouts

--
AC



Gee whiz I think he would absolutely love what Kevin and I have been doing at the studio especially with Aaron Brooks' little gem the VERSUS!!!!!

DRINK UP

AND NO I DON'T MEAN BEER ;)

If you know anything about me you know I LOVE LULULEMON and everything that the company stands for.

The pink bag I carry around is littered with sayings I know to be true....

Check out these two.

















Your body is about 60 - 70 percent water. Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain A LOT of water. Your body needs water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs.

A good estimate is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces of water per day that you need to drink. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water per day.

If you exercise you should drink another eight ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active.
If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water.
If you travel a lot for work HINT HINT like on an AIRPLANE, it is good to drink eight ounces of water for every hour of air time.

ADD IT UP....that's a lot of H20 baby

Twenty percent of your water need will come from the foods you eat (hopefully you eat tons of fruit and veggies :)

The rest of your water need should come from the beverages you drink.

Hands down, water is your best bet.

Sodas have a lot of sugar in them (don't get me started on DIET SODA)

Herbal teas can be fine.

Sports drinks contain electrolytes and may be beneficial, just look out for added sugar, CORN SYRUP and calories that you don't need.

Caffeinated beverages will also add to your daily water need. Even though caffeine is a diuretic, if you regularly consume caffeine, your body will regulate itself to that diuretic effect. Coffee is my vice so I add a more water to make up for that!

I often find it difficult to drink enough water being a trainer. I go from client to class from class to client 6 days a week, not to mention my own yoga practice or a workout to boot! I now make sure to have my water handy at all times. And you know me I don't joke around ;). If you get bored with plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime for flavor. These add a slight but natural flavor with no significant added sugar.
This big bottle holds 74oz of water and is only $3.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wedding Season







It has definitely been the month of weddings and engagements!

I never shy away from an opportunity to dress up and dance... I LOVE IT!

It was a great time for all, seeing people I had not seen since college and watching "my little girl" Jules walk down the isle!

It was the first wedding I successfully got through without getting sick from my food allergies. There was tons of fruit to snack on and plenty of veggies with dinner. I snuck in nuts and dried fruit in my bag as well!!

Zucchini Boats and Guac!

You know the feeling when Thursday rolls around and you open the fridge and all your meal plans for the week didn't actually end up happening?


Come on, please tell me it's just not me ;)

I actually love it when this happens because I take it as a challenge! What can I make, that tastes great with ALL the produce I bought that week?

Today I found, 2 yellow squash and 2 green zucchini along with several peppers from my garden, an onion, lean grass fed beef, 2 avocados, goat cheese and a TON of spinach.

:)


Here's my latest creation.
Zucchini Boats stuffed with Beef and veggies, and Homemade Guacamole

First I halved the green zucchini and boiled them for 12 min

sauteed onion with olive oil and browned the meat

chopped up the red peppers and yellow squash and then added them to the meat

rinsed and chopped the fresh spinach and set aside

Removed the green zucchini and scooped out the center (saved the center ;)

Added the spinach the the veggies and beef quickly!

Stuffed the zucchini and cooked for 12-15 minutes at 370 degrees






Wednesday, September 2, 2009

NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK!

If you are a trainer out there and reading this...get in touch with me :)

Last week was definitely a connection week for me in the fitness world.


I had lunch with Marty Lydon of Transformations of Dorchester, another Kettlebell studio. The next morning I went to see Greg Pappas fellow RKC and hardstyler with my buddy Aaron Brook's Versus product.... he's hooked! Then I came Newton for work and teamed up with Sam Berry of Fitcorp for a kick ass workout by my partner in crime Kevin McCarthy. After that long time fellow trainer and friend Fendy Alexis gave me a call for some motivation. Then I had a telephone pow wow with Valerie and Sherri from Punch New Jersey :)))) Later on in the evening I chatted with Bonnie LeFrak.

At the studio itself we are in touch with half a dozen trainer's daily as well!

We are all after the same thing here. We work hard and love helping people, so share the wealth guys :)
Learn from others whether it be through successes or failures...they both teach valuable lessons.

"Street Yoga"

If you don't like to read, you can listen along to this NPR story ;)


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112293295



Thanks DEE :)

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