Monday, December 26, 2011

What Functional Is and Isn't

This is NOT what I mean when I say I do 'functional training.'

First, those exercises are dangerous. Getting injured will be a major setback in your training program, and of course make the rest of your life miserable.

Second, working on an unstable surface decreases the weight you can move, so you develop less strength.

Third, balance and complex movements are very sport and activity-specific, so standing on a physio ball swinging and shaking only makes you good at standing on a physio ball swinging and shaking.

Develop mobility and stability, train fundamental movements like stepping and lifting, then build strength. Skip the circus acts.

Here's a great article on the Functional Movement Screen, I method I offer. This is the foundation of functional training.
Falcons Have Had a Winning Strategy for Fitness
    Published: December 25, 2011
    The New York Times
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — When Coy Wire signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2008, he considered himself in the vanguard regarding fitness techniques. 
Wire, a linebacker, felt an instant affinity with his latest team. The Falcons’ meshing of newfangled training concepts with old-fashioned equipment broadened the scope of possibilities for the way Wire honed himself for the rigors of football.
“Every single person benefits with this,” said Wire, a modestly talented player who attributes his nine-year career, which probably ended in September when Atlanta waived him, to superb conditioning. “The players who come into the system see this is what they should be doing.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Classes

 Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Classes
GET READY for a fun and safe snow season in a small group class. Develop the fitness to ski or snowboard at your best.

The class will improve your performance and make injury less likely by addressing:
Mobility- This is similar to flexibility, but is movement based and dynamic
Balance and Stability- Maintaining control of your body while in an unstable and changing environment
Strength- Focus on lower body and core
Endurance- Build the energy to enjoy long runs without tiring

Contact me for details.

Workouts will be challenging and fun, and the payoff is how much more you'll enjoy your skiing and snowboarding by being in shape

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fitness links from the past month

Roundup of recent links from my Facebook page. Typically I post here, then it is automatically sent to Facebook, but lately I've been putting links there first.

Here's a great example of pre-season training combined with FMS. For those wanting the training without becoming a ski bum, I have a Palo Alto ski and snowboard conditioning class that I'll announce soon:

Ski Bums Wanted: Northstar Job Fairs

"Due to previous years’ success, the Northstar Resort Ski & Snowboard School will again offer training opportunities including dry-land, pre-season training for ski and snowboard instructor candidates. This training includes aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, functional movement screen analysis and corrective exercise, and PSIA and AASI pre-certification prep and clinics."

Vegan Calisthenics : Featured Athlete Frank Lalanne

Full Vegan. Been Vegan for about four months now and loving it. I have a plant based diet so I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and whole grains. I feel a lot stronger and faster now and my workouts are simply amazing. My muscle recovery has also increased tremendously and I have noticed increased energy. My training is mostly consisting of bodyweight training in which I incorporate some calisthenics.

No, wobbly shoes don't work. Try squats and deadlifts instead.

Reebok Agrees to Pay Out $25M Over "Better Butt" Claims
Shoemaker will offer refunds to EasyTone customers to settle FTC's false advertising claims.

This is a version of the Functional Movement Screen from an article by Gray Cook in the October issue of Men's Health

I talk about this a lot, here's another perspective to reinforce the lesson.

Forward Head Posture Correction (Anti-Ageing Must)
Reverse the anti-ageing affects of forward head posture

"Golf Digest Combine" , Gray Cook, Functional Movement and TPI Screen
In the September 2011 "Athlete's Issue" of Golf Digest, readers found a combine. TPItv's Lance Gill ran down TPI Senior Advisory Board member Gray Cook to discuss the article in which, "Staff Writer Max Adler and Functional Movements Cook test your fitness with basic competency, core stability and balance exercises."
From the magazine article:
"'Equating strength or flexibility with such stunts[eg. swinging a golf club standing on a physio ball] is all well and good, but with golfers I'm most interested in coordination,' says Gray Cook, founder of Functional Movement Systems and a leading author and lecturer on physical therapy. As evidenced by the myriad of body types that have succeeded in professional golf, swinging a club correctly and consistently requires harmony of movement, not necessarily brawn."

And even when having brawn is important, movement quality(harmony) improves performance and reduces the chance of injury. Which is why I use the Functional Movement Screen and exercises.

Another look at how mental state affects physical performance.

A Little Deception Helps Push Athletes to the Limit
A look at why most people run or ride or swim faster in a race than they can ever manage to do in practice.

Ongoing news about vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency has been known to cause an assortment of health problems. Now, a new study suggests that lack of the vitamin might also increase the chance of muscle injuries in athletes, specifically NFL football players.

It takes more effort, but here's evidence of the health benefit of more intense levels of exercise. It's also more fun!
Intense exercise adds more years to your life than more moderate activity, researchers said after studying the bicycle commuters who fill Copenhagen’s streets.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Women and Strength Training

Marilou Dozois-Prevost
Lately the topic of strength training for women has had a lot of discussion on the web. Rather than repeat it all, I'll make just a couple comments and then point my readers to some other more in-depth articles and websites.

First, lifting weights will NOT make a woman look bulky. Developing large muscles takes a sustained, deliberate effort and won't happen for a woman by accident. Second, there is a definite sense of empowerment gained from doing really hard exercise and feeling the increase in strength not available from the light weights and undemanding training typically marketed to women.

Some great articles

Strong AND Feminine

Why weight training is the beauty prescription Women need the most.

Strong is the new Black…or have you not heard?

Weight Training / Kettlebell Workouts for Women & Six Pack Abs Secrets Revealed by Neghar Fonooni

Skinny Fat (a guy wrote this one, and it shows, but the information is very good)

Websites of more awesome women

Neghar Fonooni

Jen Comas Keck

Melody Schoenfeld

Marianne Kane

Kellie Davis

As a trainer, I'm proud to help women discover they can be physically strong, and don't need the limits placed on them by the mainstream "fitness" industry and many trainers.