Every 2 years we get a glimpse into something uniquely Human, Sport and Competition. The Olympic Games are undoubtedly the greatest sports event on the planet. Athletes and Nations emerge from the secret training centers and obscure competitive environments, thrust into the worlds living rooms. For a brief while we get to engross ourselves with the struggle and triumph of the human experience, coming away with a deeper understanding of ourselves and our neighbors.
So much is stressed upon the casual exerciser about the importance of Protein intake. Marketing and profit really drive this as well as some very sound science. The missing link and what can potentially get you the muscle gains and fat loss you have been desiring could actually be a little more carbs in your Post workout regimen! And Im about to blow your mind... HIGH GLYCEMIC CARBOHYDRATES at that!! OHH, no he didn't.... Just as so much falls upon protein for making gains, so does the Hormone Insulin and its ability to jive with your cells to take in the good and fight the bad. Sweet ass carbs are your answer. Let me show you.
What a weird concept.... Foods, when taken together, help your performance and health. As athletes we strive to find the best possible way to increase oxygen to our muscles during training. More oxygen getting to our muscles allows us to work longer under strain. The mechanics are simple, you prime your motor with foods (and certain supplements) that open up blood vessels and allow oxygen rich blood to flush the muscles and tissues beating back Lactic Acid build up and fatigue. The answer my friends is Nitric Oxide and I will make a claim that certain foods will help you find that extra gear in your performance.
Lets be honest. Beyond the goal of obtaining the most optimal health we also strive to have our bodies look as good as they feel. There are diet plans that claim to do everything and anything, even going as far as making you a Superhero! Where most people fail and lose hope is wading through all the fluff in search of exactly what is right for them, their activity level and body type. Science has shown we are all have unique nutritional needs but some things tie us humans all together, and that is what I will explore for you today. We are going to push diet plans aside and really look at 4 foods that you need to be eating for weight loss and optimal health.
Grip strength has been linked to life expectancy . The better your strength is, the better quality of an independent life you will lead. Don't believe me? Shake the hands of 10 different people today and you will see that strength through the hands and how healthy the individual looks are pretty well connected. There are many ways to train the grip and in fact many of the natural exercises we practice in Functional Training utilize grabbing, holding and carrying objects. Here are 3 of my favorite exercises to develop the strongest grip possible.
I don't care how great of an athlete you may be or what your training regimen looks like, if you are not eating for Red Blood Cell production, you are training at a a deficit. Red Blood cells are the oxygen delivery vehicles for your body, bringing oxygenated blood (through the protein Hemoglobin) from the lungs to the tissues of your body. The more red blood cells are being produced and supported through your nutrition, the better athlete you will be, Period. There are key nutritional components that you need to take into account to make sure you are producing and performing your best.
Can you believe that it has been 20 years since the inception of the Nutrition Facts Lebel on the back of your processed food products!! Wow how time flies. For 20 years, companies have disclosed almost all of the ingredients and nutritional values in their products as a way to inform us of what we stuff in our faces... READ ON to find out more about the current modifications to the current status quo.. kind of...
The greats never just arrive at the top of their game. No-one is ever just given extraordinary purpose without challenge being dropped right in their way. The overwhelming key to success as an athlete or in life is Persistence. The concept and personal value is not a one dimensional abstract; rather it is a highly refined mental state accomplished through conscious progression and unceasing focus on a goal. The following 5 tips and associated explanations have helped me bring about great change in my own life and bound closer to my own goals.
Collagen, so you know, is the most important protein building compound in our bodies, comprising over 30%. For the past couple years I have been using it, studying it, and writing about it. Most of you whom I have spoke to... are already taking some version of it. Collagen peptides, proteins, and other forms of the product can be used specifically in your life to bring about more benefits faster. Here are 4 tips to optimize your collagen intake to look and feel your best.
Habit is a son of a bitch.. Coffee is certainly a habit and perhaps a slight addiction that many of us have. Its calling each morning, helping us rise from slumber, and the peaceful revival it brings to our body and senses is undeniable. I love the stuff, not going to lie. I am on the road a lot and will admit to drinking probably much more than I should. For this reason I have done some research and testing on 3 ways we can change up our habit bringing more diversity into our drinking habits.
You and your Doctor are busy people and the average :90 doctor patient interaction does not always allow for optimal communication and testing so there is a presumptive prescription of antibiotics. Well, there is growing evidence that these antibiotics could be doing more harm than good.
This Thanksgiving while you sit in reverie amidst the food and football, I challenge you to spend some time on this aspect of optimal health, your spirit.... and practice Loving Kindness.
You and I live in an environmental version of a high school Keg party. We are the house being bombarded by a bunch of wild kids, spinning out of control just looking to break as much shit as they can before leaving and finding a better house to party at. These kids are wilding out because of chronic stress, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics, overtraining, and processed grains. The one kid in our analogy that is keeping shit together is the anti-oxidant Glutathione. This anti-oxidant 'godfather' creates a barrier between the harsh environment and the free radicals that seek to break dishes and steal valuable years away from your life.
No matter the season or the environmental stress, our body is always in a constant fight against the world. Approaching Winter means that we need to stay on point with immunity to keep us on track for our physical fitness goals well as optimizing our peak health state. Making sure your meals and more specifically the foods in each meal are complimentary has been shown to increase absorption in the body.
Prepackaged candy bars... oh sorry... your protein bars are being put under the microscope by the FDA. The question is about the Fiber Content of the foods that claim to be beneficial to your health even though they contain no actual real FOOD in them. Consuming products on the regular including, cereals, protein bars, juices, smoothies and other "food products" that claim to have added Fiber must be questioned.
Summer Time is over so that means enough with the BBQ Hot dogs and Hamburgers. Summer Time indulgence tapers off as we settle in for great fall veggies and a fresh look at our Nutritional foundation. If you are not looking at Nutrition as seasonal then now is the time to wake up to this very primal tendency. Here are the top 5 foods you should incorporate into your diet for optimal heart Health this winter.
In my house, fall means that the kids want potatoes a lot. The comfort and diversity of potatoes makes it an easy go to for baking, mashing, sautéing , you name it. The problem is that the menu gets quite redundant switching between sweet potatoes and regular potatoes all week long. While I am not going to abandon my Irish roots and get rid of the cylindrical goodness altogether, there are a lot of FALL vegetables now at the store which can help fill the gap and also boost the nutritional content of my meal. I am going to offer up 3 Starchy veggies that can help take the place of your potatoes.
The amount of amazing shit I see each weekend I am at Tough Mudder Events is truly a refreshing taste at what it really mean to be human. Stripping down the barriers of clothes, standards, rules, and expectations; we humans get to actually be...human. As I step back each event and wonder at the social interactions that happen in front of me, I am reminded that we all have the opportunity, in every moment, to either suck or be great. I am going to offer 3 tips that will help you suck less and be more amazing.
Move, Breath, stop and feel your heart beating.. and Thank the CoQ10 in your body for doing what it does. This outlier on the daily RDA Vitamin Chart is responsible for a whole lot of your daily activity..and you take it for granted. Though you may have heard of it talked about, I am going to lay out some specific reasons why all athletes should be getting as much of it in their diet as possible.
CoQ10 is often referred to as an enzyme but it functions very much like a Vitamin. Taken in solely through your diet, it is fat soluble and utilized by all muscle cells especially the ones in your largest and hardest working... like your heart. Now, you may have seen the CoQ10 printed in bold letters on supplements pertaining to those with Heart Problems and it is because as I will show you, your cells need this vital element to function correctly and folks with a history of Heart Disease and some brain diseases are drastically lacking CoQ10. The good news is that a healthy diet can contribute to increased bio-availability and synthesis in the body..
Lets take a look.
Going faster, recovering faster and Enduring longer is absolutely tied to the Presence of CoQ10 in the body. Reason #1 is that increasing CoQ10 will help you be a better athlete. And the reason is this; inside your cells are the vey small but very important power producers called Mitochondria. A whole lot of cool chemistry happens in your cells, (which I dork out on constantly but may not be your cup of tea) some of which includes passing electrons around to increase the output of ATP when needed. ATP is energy in its purist form and for it to be produced the motor has to be fueled correctly. Scientists search and study for the answer to how to produce and regenerate ATP at the fastest rate, thereby allowing athletes to work harder for longer. CoQ10 is essential to repair the damage done during intense training and exercise and therefore a necessity in your diet.
Reason #2 CoQ10 will literally help you live longer through its anti-oxidant properties. As I mentioned previously, CoQ10 lives in and around the cells. In, Fact CoQ10 is found in all cells, both plant and animal alike! Because it lives inside the cell it can perform rehab on broken and tired parts of the cell but on the outside (the membrane) it functions as a barrier to the oxidative stress imposed on cells by your body. Think about it like your aging skin, when we are young you can bounce a quarter off your supple cheeks but as we age there tends to be loss of tension in the skin and vibrancy is lacking. CoQ10 is like the fancy face cream that your wife or mom puts on each day to keep her looking good. That cream will help keep the good stuff in the cells and repair what has been damaged by sun and time. Oxidative stress is common and necessary for your body to regenerate so its not a complete blocker but CoQ10 in your diet keeps the insides looking as good as the outsides.
Now I digress for Reason #3. I know y'all don't always get my science talk or understand why I'm into the MINUTIA of health but its all for good reason. And my understanding and study of nutrition science has yield this cool fact about CoQ10, it helps you lose weight! Booom. You are welcome. Coupled with exercise, CoQ10 can take micronutrients and turn them into straight heat which can burn calories and bad fat. For many years one avenue that companies have tried to get folks to lose weight is through gnarly nerve stimulating drugs like ephedra, stimulants and caffeine. The "gitters" is essentially your nerves going fucking bonkers in your body and creating heat and energy as a result.
And what have we learned from countless tails of college students, failed weight loss stories, and the like??? Liver damage, endocrine fatigue and overall poor health because of this path towards weight loss. CoQ10 acts on excess calories in the same way these synthetic nerve stimulators do but without all the stress on the body. Remember, we are going for optimal health and performance, not trying to mask it with bullshit chemicals!
Reason #4 is a simple one and the one I will close this thing out with. If you are paying attention to your CoQ10 menu, you are damn sure going to be on the pathway towards a healthy, mind, body and especially heart. The CoQ10 menu is one that you will see me espousing for most of you, lean meats, lots of veggies, nuts and seeds, little fruit and no sugar or stimulants. Fried foods basically cuts the amount of CoQ10 in your meats by half so that takes any chance of bad fired shit going in your body out, and of course grass fed meats has more enzyme CoQ10 available.
From performance to overall health, CoQ10 is a vitamin that you should bee aware of if you want to obtain the best possible version of yourself. The big take away is that CoQ10 is the producer of energy and the protector of the cells in the body; without it you are walking a fine line between sickness and poor performance in the gym. Stay conscious my friends and eat with a mission. You have the power to empower your performance with this naturally occurring health promoter.
Until next week, train hard, be kind, spread joy and love. AND SHARE THIS ARTICLE!!!!!
Programming Notes 10/2-10/6
6 min Partner Warm Up
P1- 300/250m row
P2- 12XSlam Ball Overhead Walking Lunge, Slam Balls (Hips must pass below parallel receiving the ball)
-Ipsalateral Deadbug core drill
-Banded Good Morning
-Banded Lateral walk (partner holds band around waist, athletic Position is held and lateral walk commences)
Double Under Progression- Singles, high singles, cadence drills, double under
200 Double Unders
100 Wall Ball Push Press 20/14 (go to 9’ target)(Break up as needed between)
50 Deadlift 365# (both partners on bar at same time)
12 Rope Climbs (Break up as needed)
100 Wall Ball Push Press
200 Double Unders
Bike for 5 Mins
Roll Out Low back and Calves
10 cal Bike
10 M Bear Crawl
10 Squat Therapy
5 Strict Toes To Bar
Squat Flow: Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Ankle Roll Out, Bootstraps, PNF Stretch, Squat W/ T Spine Stretch
3X5 + 5-10# from last week
*same weight across All Sets
5 Front Squat
-max lateral burpees over bar in remaining time
*goal is 75 burpees over the 10 min workout.
*bar must be taken from the ground
10 PVC Pass Thru
10 Reverse Lunge W/ High Knee Pull (per leg) *lunge backward, then drive through front heel to standing, bring swinging leg up in front of body, hug close to body
10 PVC Good Morning
10 Side Lunges
On rower, set a clock for 1:00 and row @ 1000m pace. Rest 1:1 and then repeat. How many calories you average over the two efforts is what you will use as your sprint goal in the workout. (If you average 12 calories in 1:00 @1K pace, that is the number you must sprint towards AFAP in the workout)
A- Strict Ring Dips 6-8 reps, or 3-5 ring muscle ups
B- GHD Hip Extensions X14 reps
C- Box Step Ups W/ KB’s X 12 (held in farmer carry position)
D- Row Sprint (row to calorie goal established before, as fast as possible )
*for Box Step Ups, ensure that you use the same leg on the concentric (step up)an eccentric (step Down)
-High Knee Pull
3X5 + 5#@ Tempo (1,1,3)
*rapid punch off chest, slow eccentric lower
Floor Press @ Bodyweight (can sub Dumbbells if more comfortable on shoulder)
Cal Assault bike
100m Run (focus on proper arm swing and pulling knees up)
8 Jumping Pull Ups
8 Kettlebell Goblet Clean and Press
8 Kettlebell Windmills (each Side)
10M @ Each
-Fig 4 Skip
-Carioca (fast hip flexion and abs engaged)
-2X Shuttle Sprint
*go every 2:30.
21 Pull Up
15 hang Power Clean 115/75
9 Pistol Squat
Cool Down :
*go at least 1:00 at each
You call time... You lay on the ground writhing in the pain and absolute enjoyment of the workout that just kicked your butt. The weights get put back, class lets outs and for the rest of the day you feel like you are on some kind of a high. This is your GUT, Brain and endocrine system all saying thank you! Dopamine is a neurotransmitter commonly referred to as the 'feel good' chemical and there are a couple ways you can boost your bodies ability to produce more of it and be more efficient at using it. Lets check it out.
As you can kind of guess with me writing this, I am going to lead with Nutrition. And you better believe that one key pathway to better production and more optimal uptake of Dopamine in your body is through eating really good. By eating good food you are not only delivering heaps of good amino acids and vitamins to your body, but you are also helping to heal your GUT from harmful inflammation and digestive problems. Here are some great foods to eat for Dopamine production:
-Green Tea. Polyphenols are plant based chemicals which help liver, GUT and brain function. Science has also shown Dopamine production has resulted in increased Green Tea consumption.
-Bananas. Tyrosine is an amino acid which boosts dopamine production through its influence on the endocrine system.
-Salmon and other Fatty Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids aid in the delivery and production of many chemicals in the brain. As I have written previously, Omega-3 fats act to protect the neuro-synapses which dopamine works through in the brain.
-Kale. Kale is rich in Folate. Folate is involved in the body ability to build DNA and reproduce cells. Healthy cells are able to transmit and process Dopamine, making you SUPERHUMAN!
In summary, Eat good stuff.... Perform really well in training.
Secondly, is about taking care of yourself in another way, calming the F*^K down! Cortisol is the stress hormone that is absolutely the performance killer. Nothing will hinder your progress as an athlete, parent, community leader than living in a constantly stressed state. Increases in Stress and Cortisol levels are classic precursors to:
-loss of sex drive
-decreased desire to train
Cortisol acts as an energy source classically seen in the 'fight or flight' response. Too mUch of that gets seriously taxing and leaves you feeling uninterested in anything.
Rebalancing the chemicals in your body and getting rid of cortisol can be done in the following ways:
-Hug your friends, kids, and especially your wife!
-make a list of things to do and check them off as the day goes on .
-dont look at your phone every minute of every hour.
-practice breathing techniques.
-Stop and smell the fucking roses!
Big things happen with small actions. The root of all happiness and optimal health is through a chemically balanced mind and body. Dopamine has a lot to do with optimal health and performance. Consciousness is the first step, nutrition and life changes are second. You are absolutely capable of boosting your dopamine levels without supplementation or turning to drugs. Be strong, be healthy and THRIVE.
I have another great article HERE on the benefits of boosting Dopamine in your body by a great writer John Hawthorne.
I love you all, E.
Programming Notes 9/25-9/29
10m Bear Crawl
10 Squat Therapy
20 Cal Bike
10M Banded Hip Activation
10 Squat Therapy
10m Bear Crawl
10 Squat Therapy
Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Ankle Roll Out, Bootstraps, PNF Stretch, Squat W/ T Spine Stretch
@ 20# + from the 3X12 last week.
-across all sets
Against a 4 minute Window, complete as many rep sets as possible in an “I Go, You Go” manner. After Each 4 Minute work period, there is a :90 rest.
C- Cal Row
*one partner will complete all 30 reps , P2 will complete the 25’s, P1 will complete the 20’s… and so on. Monitors will be reset before next partner gets on equipment. If finished before 4 minutes, team rests.
-High Knee Pulls 10m
-Quad Pulls 10m
-InchWorm W/ Push Up 10M
-Elbow To instep 10m
-Heel Walk 10m
-Toe Walk 10 M
-Squat W/ 180 turn 10m
-High Skip W/ foot Dorsiflexion
-Fig 4 Drill
-Sprint W/ Change Of Direction
Every 2:00 , for 4 sets>
Sprint 100m AFAP. MAX EFFORT
6 Ring Dip
12 KB Swing 70/53
24 KB Front Rack Walking Lunge
Banded Hip Distraction , Banded Calf Stretch, Couch Stretch, Pigeon Stretch
12 Seated/Banded Lat Pull Down And Hold :02 Per rep
12 Tempo Banded Press
12X 5 m Lateral Cone Touches *maintain athletic Position
Rotator Cuff Series: W/ 2.5# plates . Scarecrow+ External Rotation, reverse flys, superman’s, Front Raises, lateral Raises, corkscrew, Y presses, narrow Cross Over Presses
Spend 3-4 minutes covering the Double Under Progression .
A- :60 Tempo Strict Press @2.5-5# + from last week (1,1,3)
B- :40 Slam Ball Max Reps
C- :40 Max Strict Pull Ups (banded is fine, no Kipping)
D- :60 Double Under Max Reps
*Goal is to try and match #’s each round
:30 @ Each X2
-Standing Toe Touches
-Tempo Squats (toes forward)
-Kettlebell Up and Overs (begin on left side, KB comes up and over body to right side)
-Kettlebell Overhead Reverse Lunges
50 barbell Step Ups 75/55 (no Bouncing with non working leg)
50 Strict Ring Rows (can scale up to supine Ring Rows, feet on box)
50 Barbell Sumo Deadlift High Pulls 75/55
50 Diamond Push Ups
8 Kettlebell Goblet Clean and Press
12 Kettlebell Windmills (6 L/6R)
8 Pineapple Pickers
Heavy Sled Push 10-20m
-followed immediately by-
12 Hip Extension
Clean and Jerk 95/65. 115/75 Super RX
Toes To bar
*Goal is Sub 10.