Cardio Mix: What if I am injured?

13 03 2013

Who said you have to run a marathon or even, you just have to run to burn Calories?  There are alternatives. The idea is this; you have to put things into perspective. Will you be doing more damage than good? How long do you plan on training? Would you be able to stick with it consistently? Are you training for an objective like a 5k? 10k? And ultimately, are there any injuries that are holding you back? Or, if you did go for a marathon, would it make your injury that much worse? All in all, you must remember one thing: You need your body and ALL of its components for the rest of your life!

With that being said, and speaking from personal experience with chronic knee issues, I have implemented a cardio routine for burning those Calories without deteriorating your joints or tendons. This definitely calls for adaptation, but if I can do it, so can you!

Also, if possible: try everything barefoot (check the floor/equipment first). We were born barefoot. It redistributes pressures/forces and will encourage you to use all your muscles you have for each task. Try it. You may be surprised!

Biking: This is a nice warm-up for the body and easy on the knees (impact wise). Set the resistance between 5-8 and pedal:

TOTAL TIME = 10 minutes


Elliptical: Alternate between forwards and backwards every 2 minutes at a cross-ramp of 5-6 (to hit a little bit of everything in the legs), resistance of 3-6 and have at least 3 “sprints” within the 20 minutes session.

TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes


Quick steps: Set up a platform stepper (4 inches or higher) and place against a wall, so it doesn’t move. Keep your hands against the wall in front of you in case you slip. This will prevent from going head first into the wall. Lead with your left foot and then quickly step up and down as fast as you can for 1 minute. Take a break. Then switch, leading with your right foot going up the step first. Complete 3 minutes on each side with breaks in between.

TOTAL TIME = 10 minutes


Boxing: Alternating punches for series of 80-100 punches each side, followed by combos, followed by step in’s and out’s. This means, step to the bag and throw any combo you want and then step back out. Repeat:

TOTAL TIME = 20 minutes


Swimming: One of the best overall scenarios for good cardio and the least amount of stress on joints is in the pool. I would definitely finish with this as my last component of my cardio work. It is a good way to use your entire body all at one time. Begin with freestyle swim up and back 10 laps. Then flip on your backside and backstroke up and back for 10 laps. Repeat at least 2 x. Work on speed/intensity each time.

TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes

Remember to Mix and Match to keep things fresh. See you at the gym

“Muscles in the Bank”


Fantastic Forearms

6 11 2012

Fantastic Forearms

One of the most overlooked muscles to train are the forearm muscles. The problem with not training the forearm muscles is that it prevents you from training at your max capacity. You may not realize, but you use your forearms for all holds, meaning anything you grip. For example, Deadlifts are a great exercise to generate large increases in strength. The larger muscle groups are capable of moving heavier weight but you need the forearm strength to maintain a hold on the bar. Two big motions to focus on: wrist extension and wrist flexion. Two quick exercises I prefer are as follows:

Reverse Biceps curl (for extensors): Yep, this means an overhand grip. Keep your wrists straight and perform a biceps curl. If you bend your wirst, they will be more prone to getting injured. The correct resistance to use is a weight that you can curl 15 repetitions with the last 3 reps being the most difficult. You’ll be amazed the burn you will feel.

Barbell Wrist curl (for flexors): For this exercise, an underhand grip is required. Use an Olympic bar (These are the bars you use for squats, bench presses and dead lifts. They weigh 45 lbs) and allow the bar to roll down far enough that your fingertips are the only thing holding the weight. Then roll the bar back up and fully flex your wrist (bringing your fist toward your body). The correct resistance to use is a weight that you can curl 15 repetitions with the last 3 reps being the most difficult.

“Muscles in the bank”


The correct resistance to use is a weight that you can curl 15 repetitions with the last 3 reps being the most difficult.

Partial Patellar Tendon Tear: PRP injections PART 2.0

9 10 2012

I can bleed…I CAN bleed…I CAN BLEED. About time! The first attempt = failure with a passion. Second attempt = success! So, I finally got the PRP’s and let me tell you…it did NOT feel like a walk in the park although it didn’t take long at all. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be though! One large piece of advice for those having trouble giving blood, hydration! (for tips on hydration, read our other post: “Hydrate yourselves, Hydration!”). There is one other very important factor that I didn’t think of…caffeine! No coffee, tea, or red bull! Too much of it can actually contribute to dehydration! That being said, late last night and this morning, I started pounding water bottles and pineapple juice (for the bromelain). I had to give up red bulls this week (It was funny because when I was setting up the appointment, the doctor’s assistant was going over these rules and I was sitting there on the phone with a red bull in my hand).

So I went to the Doctor’s and the phlebotomist, Rachel, was there waiting for me. They took me into one of the rooms and the PRP representative (who brings the centrifuge) was there setting up. Rachel sat me down and wrapped a tourniquet around my left bicep. She said, “So you’re the one the doctor can’t get to bleed. Well, if I get this on the first try, I want you to tell him to get me a Christmas bonus”. “If you get this to work the first time, I’ll request a bonus and a raise”, I responded with a smile. She inserted the needle, which wasn’t bad at all, and BINGO! Blood flow. She said, “Well, I’ll be waiting for my bonus and raise”. I laughed. After that, they took two vials of blood (I am getting both patellar tendons done) and Patrick, the representative, put it into the centrifuge. After about 5 minutes the doctor came in and withdrew the platelets. He turned to me and I said, “Well, Doc, I guess you’ll have to give Rachel a Christmas bonus and a raise”. “Did she get it in one shot?”, he asked. I nodded and smiled. “That, Rachel, she’s something else” he stated. “Maybe, I will have to give her that bonus. The raise, well, that’s another story,” He chuckled. After he filled both syringes with my platelets, he had me lay supine and started with the left knee. My left knee is worse secondary to the partial patellar tendon tear. He made his mark with a pen and then stated, “Alright, it’s gonna feel like a bee sting“. Well, it was a BIG BEE! He had to dig around a little to really get at the site. His assistant laughed at my struggle when the needle was inserted and said “hey, this is what you signed up for”. I responded, “I am glad to make your jobs entertaining”. She laughed. The doctor then said, “okay, now the other side”. The right side was the same as the left but I knew what to expect. The best description, besides pain, is your knee feels like it is blocked from bending. You can still bend it, although you don’t want to. You want the platelets to stay localized so the healing process takes its course. I’ll be out of commission for a few days but, it’ll be worth it. I may actually do it again. If you are going to do something, go all or nothing.


How To Pay Down Debt? Where to Start…

5 10 2012

It just takes dedication and effort. Paying down debt takes time, discipline, and budgeting. 

Over the last few years I’ve been dealing with a nice chunk of student loan debt – wayyyyy tooo much haha. Anyway I’ve definitely done my fair amount of reading on how to consolidate and lower my payments. This is all fine and dandy – it’s paying it off that matters. While we all do this at our own pace, one things remains true,  we all want to pay it down and get it out of our lives. Here are a few ways to help expedite the process. Remember: discipline comes first when paying down debt. It will not happen if you don’t drive yourself to do it.

1. Consolidation – making your life easier. Consolidation isn’t right for everyone and you should definitely look into it before going through with it. Make sure the rate given to you makes sense for the debt you are looking to consolidate. There are two perks for consolidation: a lower monthly payment, and your debt is in one place. This makes it easier to lay out your own payment plan to knock down your principal balance faster. Most credit unions are good for this – they will enable you to make a principal payment without much argument.

2. Biweekly payments – I know I know …. Why would you want to make biweekly when you can make monthly payments? Fact of the matter is, you pay less interested when you make biweekly payments. This is due to the fact that there is less time for for interest to accumulate on your principal payment. Interest generally accrues daily and the higher your principal balance, the more interest you pay. So when you know your interest down twice a month. Lower principal means lower interest payments! Which saves you money over the life of the loan!

3.  Birthday! Haha yes we all get excited for our birthdays. But, it’s a great opportunity for people to payoff their debt. We generally don’t account for birthday money we make our budget. Mostly because we have no idea how much we may end up with. So why keep it? Throw it at your debt! Use it to pay down the principal on your debt.

4. Bonus bonus bonus. Something many people look forward to. Yet, also, generally overlooked by people when it comes to their budget. Or, they plan on using it for your vacation. Why not hammer your debt down with it?!  A few grand can’t hurt right? Any time you knock the principal down your interest payments decrease. Leading to a greater portion of your payments going towards your principal. Thus, paying your loan off faster. And who doesn’t want that?

5. The best tip anybody can give you when it comes to paying down debt is simple. Stay on top of it and pay more than the minimum payment.

I will touch on more ways in the future. But remember – it’s pretty straight forward. Keep on truckin!


Bigger Lats = Bigger Spread!

4 10 2012

Remember, there are multiple muscle groups within your upper back. Some of the bigger groups are: Trapezius (upper, middle, lower), Rhomboids and latissimus dorsi. But if you truly want a huge muscular back, remember function is more important than appearance. It is a common misconception. In order to obtain a strong, large and functional back you must hit ALL the muscle groups. The purpose of this post is to focus on the “lat spread”. In order to do this, one must know what the latissimus dorsi does. So, what does it do? I’m glad you asked. The latissimus dorsi originates from T6-T12, L1-L5 and sacral vertebrae and inserts into the humerus (arm bone). The lats are the most powerful with overhead activities! The specific actions it performs are as follows:

1) shoulder extension

2) Adduction and internal rotation of the shoulder

3) Hyper-extension of the spine (muscles on back side) as in lifting

4) Contributes to strong expiration, sneezing, coughing and deep inhalation

So, HOW do I get them bigger? HOW do I get them stronger? My favorite exercise, First, you need two cable columns (the adjustable ones). Each cable column needs a single-handle attachment. Set the weight to an amount that you think you can handle for about 10 repetitions. Grasp each handle and kneel on the floor (place a yoga mat to protect your knees). Keep your abs tight. Now, this is the point where we combine all the motions of the lats in one smooth motion. Begin with palms facing upwards (And YES, you should be grasping the handles, I just want you palms to be facing upwards). This means you are starting in external rotation. Next, begin to pull towards your ribs (shoulder adduction). As you are pulling towards you begin to rotate both of you wrists (shoulder internal rotation). When you hit the bottom of the exercise, squeeze your shoulder blades together and slightly bring your elbows behind your ribs (shoulder extension). As you return to the start of the exercise, reverse each of the steps until you are at your starting point. Repeat 10 repetitions and complete 3-4 sets.

“Muscles in the Bank”


Hydrate yourselves, Hydration!

2 10 2012

Hydrate yourselves, Hydration!”. One of the best educational movie quotes of all time. It is just a shame the scene that contains this quote is from Division III Football’s Finest, where Andy Dick is providing his peewee football team with water mixed with GHB. He has the principle correct, but water will do just fine (no other drugs required). Originally, it has been suggested that 8 glasses of water a day is sufficient for hydration. In my opinion, you cannot put a general statement on how much an individual needs. Needs are different and vary from person to person. So how do I know I am getting enough water? First, let’s look at what water does for us before considering how much we need. Our body consists of about 65-70% of water. So that should be an eye-opener as to how important water is for us. Second, it is used for all our chemical processes in our body. This includes: It saturates our muscles (for contractions and cellular function), it aids with our body’s use of vitamins (ever hear of water-soluble vitamins?), it plays a major role for filtration (kidneys), a huge factor for our cooling system (sweating), affects our blood pressure, and, of course, it quenches our thirst, just to name a few things.

The great thing about water is that it is cheap, contains NO Calories and it…wait for it…hydrates! The problem is that, well, the taste is really none-existent. Humans enjoy some flavor, hence why soda and sports drinks are such a gold mine. Just remember, will power can always overcome human desire. If you can’t, try putting some cut up lemons,limes, cucumbers or any fruit that you like in your water. You would be surprised. It is pretty good! With regards to how much you should drink:

1) Sip on water throughout the day. If you drink a large bottle all at once, chances are you are going to pee most of it out.

2) Drink 1 bottle of water before physical activity, 1 during and 1 within the next 2 hours post-workout

3) Drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning. It’s a good way to start up that metabolism!


30 09 2012

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