THE FOOLPROOF WAY TO PREVENT TRAINING INJURIES

Train cool, not like a fool.

What do fractions and fitness have in common?

Answer: With fractions what you do to the top (numerator) you have to do to the bottom (Denominator). Similarly, with training the attention dedicated to the upper body should also be applied to the lower half, and what you do to your front you should do in equal measure to the back.

Thus today’s post will cover some key preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of sustaining a major training related injury. (To keep things sweet and simple this article will mainly focus on upper body injuries, commonly associated with the shoulders. Lower body issues will be elaborated upon more thoroughly in future).

1) Make structural integrity a training priority

Note: This step alone will increase the longevity of your training years and if implemented early will save you a great deal of pain down the road.

When it comes to training the vast majority of typical bodybuilding and strength-training routines overlook (or worse, downright ignore) the critical importance of maintaining structural integrity and harmony between muscle groups throughout the body.

What is structural integrity?

Simply put, it’s the strength balance between the anterior (front chain) and posterior (back chain) muscles.

To avoid needles injuries, muscle imbalances and problems with posture, it’s imperative that there isn’t a significant variance in strength level between the muscle groups of the front and the back.

Muscle imbalances are incredibly common among seasoned lifters and gym rats alike, often the result of too much chest and arm (front work) focus and not enough back, rear delts and rotator cuff attention.

Over time, this unbalanced, one sided training approach will inevitably lead to an imbalance and is the big reason why many shoulder injuries, rotator cuff tears and strains are so prevalent amongst lifters.

What winds up happening is the chest and front delts end up becoming significantly stronger than the muscles of the back and in effect overpower them. This creates a muscle imbalance, and is the primary reason that the hunched shoulder look is prevalent.

Overtime due to lack of stimulation the muscles of the rear delts and rotator cuff weaken further and SLAP, BANG… Injuries, in the form of a rotator cuff tear or shoulder impingement etc.

On the contrary, don’t think this is merely relegated to those of us who regularly engage in the practice of blessing iron. Oh no.

It pertains greatly to everybody, whether you train or not. Due to the fact that as human beings the vast majority of the activities we engage in happen directly in front of us. (Don’t get it? hold your horses and all will be revealed).

See, think about this, you look down at your phone, computers. You pick up your knife and fork to shove grub down the ole pie hole, pick up a book or magazine to read etc. You get the general idea. All these activities take place in front of your torso.

If you’re like the majority of people they’re usually looking down at their phones, laptops etc. for extended periods of time, ultimately resulting in posture issues (the dreaded hunched shoulders) down the road, and potential shoulder/rotator cuff injuries aforementioned earlier.

So how’d you avoid this unpleasantness?

How do you best avoid this scenario and greatly reduce the likelihood of experiencing such an injury? (definitely not fun).

Great questions, that brings us to point numero deux.

2) Include a posterior chain exercise in every workout

I’ve adopted the practice of making the first exercise of every upper body workout a pulling motion to effectively target the back, which as I’ve mentioned before is often neglected at least in comparison to the more favorable “show muscles” of the front.

I routinely begin each session with 2-3 sets of face-pulls as a preventative measure.

So, taking into consideration everything mentioned earlier in this post, the following simple exercise list will give you an idea of some of the counter measures you can take to combat “deltoid destruction” and “back blowout.”

Exercises to throw into your training mix:

  • Face pulls
  • Rear delt flyes w/ dumbells or on pec dec machine
  • Pull up/chin up variations
  • Any bent over rowing motion
  • Deadlifts/ Back bridges/ hyper-extensions 

Include the following pulling movements in your training to ensure you hit the muscles of the posterior chain. These’ll act as a counter balance to all the pressing/pushing motions and work you do to your front.

In my opinion, the pulling to pushing ratio of movements in your routine should be about 70/30. (Obviously favouring pulling motions).

Remember, you’ve got to compensate for the fact that you spend a lot of your day involved in tasks that take place at the front of your body, let alone the exercises you do to pump up your “show muscles.”

3) Understand the purpose of assistance movements in injury prevention

Though compound movements (bench press, pull ups, overhead press, squats etc) are great for stimulating overall muscle growth and strength development, they cannot engage all aspects of a muscle.

Relying solely on compound lifts will also lead to muscle imbalances as weaker muscle groups will give way to stronger ones when performing a certain lift.

That’s where assistance or isolation movements come into play. They’re great as a means of specifically targeting, stimulating and strengthening the weaker muscle groups.

I view the assistance exercises as not just a means of isolating certain parts of a given muscle, but also a way of ensuring you strengthen and engage weaker or less developed areas of your physique, thus maintaining a good strength ratio between the various muscle groups.

THERE YOU HAVE IT.

3 simple steps to maintain order, harmony and balance throughout your body and greatly reduce the instance of injury.

If you enjoyed this post, found the content useful and want more info like it, there’s 2 simple thing you can do effective immediately:

That’s all for now folks…. TTFN.

HOW TO APPROACH FITNESS FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS

How to approach fitness for optimal results

We’ve all heard how important it is to adopt the right mindset in order to make dramatic improvements to your physique.

“Mind over matter.” Right?

The problem with this statement is that it’s pretty generic.

Don’t get me wrong!! Creating the right mental framework is dang crucial to your results. Without it you’re not going to receive the best possible outcome from the fruits of your efforts.

In fact, there’ll be times that are really trying. You’ll be pushed to the max, struggling to reach your goals, and it’s the mindset that gets you over the edge and keeps you in the game.

Most people, when they actively make the decision to get into shape, place a high level of emphasis on their training and nutrition. While those are definitely key parts of your fitness journey, and play a significant role in the way you’re able to mold your physique, they don’t form the complete picture.

But here’s the kicker. The mind is only useful when it’s made completely aware of what you want to achieve. It needs to consciously know what’s to be expected. (In other words you need to fully know your endgame inside out, through and through).

You need to know exactly what to get your mind focused on when it comes to training, diet and improving your body. Only then will you see dramatic improvements in your physique. (This goes for other aspects of life as well).

As is the case with many things in life, most people simply coast through without being fully engaged and understanding the real reasons behind what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

These individuals are in the dark. Sure, you could argue that they’re getting some benefit from what they’re doing, but settling for 50%, when you could be getting 100% is really sub optimal and literally dumb.

I digress. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

So where should you place the majority of your focus when it comes to your fitness pursuits?

I’d suggest giving the following some serious contemplation:

Revaluate your priorities when it comes to fitness

Why do you really want to be in shape?

  • Identify and understand the driving force (root/deep reason) behind you wanting to transform your physique
  • Approach your fitness goals from an objective perspective

 The best mindset to adopt with regards to health and fitness is a survival mindset. Take things back to basics. Learn how the body works and the language it uses.

The above statement I’ve made literally translates to:

Make survival the backbone of your physique development/fitness endeavour

See, the body only cares about survival. It’s an organism built for survival.

It doesn’t give a damn about being 200lbs at 6% body fat. It tries really hard to maintain homeostasis. Its basic function is to adapt to stresses in order to keep you alive.

Resistance training is a stress and the body compensates by building new muscle and increasing your strength level overtime, to help it cope with the demand placed on it.

Below are some questions and example answers to initiate that change in thinking….

Q: What are the benefits of being strong and how does it apply to everyday life? 

A: If you’re stronger, you’ll be able to handle day-to-day tasks with more ease and efficiency. E.g. makes carrying groceries easier, picking up the kids and lifting heavy objects. (Especially if you work a physically demanding job etc). The bottom line is think outside the box and Look at the goddamn bigger picture!!

Strength training shouldn’t be viewed as some arbitrary activity just designed to make you look good naked and improve your efficiency at tossing around huge mounds of metal.

Q: What are the benefits of being lean?

You don’t have to carry around excess weight and lard that makes walking up a flight of stairs, playing with your kids, running around after your dog, fitting into a car and practically just about anything that involves moving your body a damn chore.

When I fully embraced this frame of mind, I made drastic improvements physically. It’s all about honing in on the essential and discarding all the unnecessary crap. (As Bruce Lee very rightly pointed out).

The way I view diet and training nowadays is on a whole other level, compared to when I first started.

To me they’re a means of making the body more efficient at generating and utilizing energy.

If you can digest and wrap your head around this stuff early, you’ll save time and avoid misdirected effort.

It all boils down to SURVIVAL.

Channel your mind and bring it into alignment with the deeper attributes associated with fitness.

Remember, merely having a destination you want to reach, with no understanding of the route required to get there is really a sub par strategy that’s practically doomed to fail.

On a side note, this shift in thinking doesn’t just apply to fitness. You can implement it in all aspects of your life. It’ll make you a more efficient person in your work and fun life. What I’m getting at is, you’ll be able to really crush it at life.

The take home message is:

Adopt this mindset and watch how your productivity and results improve across the board in your life.

If you liked the post, be sure to share and subscribe for more awesome content. If you want a full program, training & nutrition guide, check out and grab yourself a copy of Warrior 101. (Solid copies now available) And build yourself a warrior worthy body.  Contact me for further details.

Keep training hard, eat well and live legendary.

 

ACID/ALKALINE ADJUSTMENT: A GUIDE TO BALANCING PH LEVELS

Acid or Alkaline?

Acid or Alkaline?

It’s an often-overlooked aspect in the fitness community. Something just brushed under the carpet. Understandable, as people don’t know enough about it. Many make the mistake of sacrificing their health in pursuit of their aesthetic goals.  A damn shame, considering they complement each other nicely.

Confused?

Time to elaborate.

Your PH levels have a major impact on your health. A PH of 7.0 means your body is neutral. Above 7.0 means your body is alkaline. Below 7.0 and your body is acidic. (Danger zone).

Ideally you want your PH to be in the neutral range. The more acidic you are, the higher the probability of you experiencing some nasty effects. (Real nasty).

Joint pains, arthritis and body stiffness are some of the more common and moderate indicators of an out of whack PH. (Those bad knees aren’t just a simple by product of old age). These are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s plenty more.

The harsher consequences include:

  • Inability for cells to receive and absorb nutrients.
  • Decrease in cell energy production, resulting in fatigue.
  • Decrease in the ability for cell repair.
  • Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment.

You’re probably wondering how this ties into you and your physique/fitness goals.

Well, if  your body isn’t efficiently absorbing the nutrients you’re taking in through all that food your shoving down the pie hole, you aren’t going to be able to produce the best gains in relation to muscle growth.

Remember, muscles are made up of cells and like any other cell in a highly acidic environment, they won’t be able to uptake the maximum amount of nutrients from the foods you consume.

You’re wasting time, effort and money and not receiving the maximal benefit. The logical solution is to balance out your PH levels, enabling your body to better absorb nutrients.

You might find your recovery sufferers between training sessions as a result of impaired cell recovery. Your muscles will recover at a much slower rate when you’re highly acidic.

It’s more common in the western world for people to suffer the negative effects of high acidity levels. The funny part is, it’s not necessarily their fault. Many people aren’t aware of the problems associated with an acidic PH.

Combating the problem

Now that we’ve covered some of the problems, let’s look at some good old common sense solutions. (Thing with common sense is, unfortunately it isn’t that common nowadays).

Solution 1: Drink more water

Water alkalinises the body. The PH of naturally sourced spring water is 7.8 (neutral). Everybody knows the importance of drinking enough water, yet many still don’t drink enough.

Water cleanses and flushes all the filth and junk out of the body. If you’re one of those individuals that doesn’t drink enough, you’re seriously messing with your health in the long run.

Aim for at least 2 litres a day as a base. Obviously if you’re more active go higher, maybe 3 litres per day. That’s what I do. NOW GET CHUGGING.

Solution 2: Ditch the processed junk

Pretty obvious. If you eat filth regularly you’re going to end up overloading your body’s toxin levels.  Especially sugar laden garbage. Excessive sugar and processed carb intake will not only imbalance your PH levels, tipping the scale in favor of the acidic range, but also lead to a cascade of other ailments, from obesity to diabetes etc.

If you can’t completely avoid it, seriously limit your intake. (It’s your health). If you have a severe acid problem, you should reduce your total carb intake and eat only veggies, proteins and maybe some roots like yams and sweet potatoes. Try that for a month or so, after that you can begin adding back other starches.

Solution 3: Increase your intake of alkalinising foods

This one’s a no brainer. If you want to alkalinise your body it makes sense to fill up on foods that promote an alkaline environment. I’m not going to go into a whole list of foods, you can easily just google it. I will however, give you some examples of the foods I include in my diet to maintain the balance.

  • Lemons/limes – I like adding a few drops to some hot water and drink it in the mornings. It’s great for helping to reduce acidity as well as cleansing the liver. (One hell of an important organ).  Use it as seasoning to meats and salads. The applications are limited by your own imagination and creativity.
  • Green veggies – (Especially leafy ones). You likely know the benefits of eating greens. They’re high in micronutrients, fiber etc. Real important for cleansing the body of all the toxic rubbish. In order to heal you need to cleanse. Without cleansing there’s no healing. In order to restore your PH you need to cleanse your system. Period.
  • Berries/low sugar fruits – Low sugar fruits are good in helping to restore the PH. Here’s the catch, not all of them are alkalinising. Strawberries for example are acidic, while blueberries are alkaline. Apples are highly acidic and pears are alkaline. You don’t have to stop eating the acidic fruits altogether, but you should limit them when you are highly acidic. Until you alkalinise your body, you should only eat fruits that have an alkalinizing effect.

Bonus tip: High protein diets

We all know how important protein is in relation to muscle growth and repair and how it’s important to eat a sufficient amount daily. Problem is, meats and animal proteins are acidic.

What to do?

Does it mean stop eating meat?

Not really.

To counteract this, combine your meats with alkaline forming foods like veggies and you’re good to go. It’s that simple.

You know what to do, now you need to do it and see the benefits for yourself. Thinking that this article will solve the problem entirely is like thinking one tablet will cure all disease. It won’t.

I talk about all of this and much more in my book/program WARRIOR 101. If you haven’t already, be sure to grab a copy.

If you liked this article, don’t forget to subscribe and share. If you know someone that could benefit from this, spread the word. 

BTW: NEW YEAR GREETINGS. GET SET FOR ONE PRODUCTIVE AND EXCITING YEAR. LIVE YOUR DREAMS AND  CRUSH YOUR GOALS.

HEALTH AND WEALTH 

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU DRINK?

pahilaa paanee jee-o hai jit hari-aa sabh ko-ay.”
First, there is life in the water, by which everything else is.” Guru Nanak 

Water, water everywhere.

Water, water everywhere.

Before you ask, no-no!! I’m not talking about what you had at the bar the other night. I’m talking about good old plain H2O. (Water). You’ve probably heard many people harking on about how much water you should take in on a daily basis. I know it’s darn confusing and downright conflicting. Some of the “experts” say, “You should drink 8 glasses a day.” Others say, “Only drink when you’re thirsty.”

Who the hell do you listen to?

I don’t claim I’m an expert and know everything there is to know, but I know enough and I’m fed up with all the confusion and myths being spread by the so called “experts.”

As you may (or may not) be aware, water is the spice of life. If you don’t drink enough you’re going to end up suffering at some point.  Generally speaking, you can go three weeks without food, but only 3 days without water.

Draw your own conclusions from that. (I don’t recommend trying either. If you want to though, be my guest). The bottom line is, water is damn essential for your good health.

Back to the subject then. How much should you drink?

Well to put it nicely, it varies from individual to individual. There’s no one  solution that fits all. If you sit on your ass all day from sun up till sun down, then you’ll probably be fine with 8 glasses. Bare in mind though, you lose plenty of water through breathing and digestion.

If you train and exercise hard, you should probably up it a tad. Try 2-3 litres.  You should drink a little more than Joe Blog that sits on his butt all day.

No excuses. None of that, “I don’t want to drink that much water because I have to go visit the gents room a lot.” Deal with it. Do you really want all that garbage you ate last night to stay in your system? Water cleans your insides out. Period.

Tip: If your pee isn’t clear, you aren’t drinking enough. If your pee is clear then you’re drinking enough. Keep it that way.

You’re probably wondering, what’s the worst that could happen if I don’t drink enough water?

Well, good question. Not only does water flush your system and keep your kidneys and liver filtering properly, but have you actually considered what your blood is made of?  Yep, I’m talking about the red stuff that flows through your veins. Blood is literally a “red river.” It’s made up of approximately 83% water. Picture this. Ever seen a river that was as dry as dirt? Literally nothing left, not even a drop. The ground’s all cracked and shrivelled like a prune. (What do you think will happen to you?).

Note: Salt is also damn vital and is a fitting combination with the water. I’m not talking about the stuff sitting on your table. That stuff is real nasty and you’d do good to avoid it. You need real, natural sea salt in crystal form.

Don’t sweat (literally) what your doctor told you about salt and high blood pressure. You aren’t going to consume tons of the stuff.  Did you know that genuine sea salt has 80 essential minerals? (I could write a whole article on it).

Ever taste your own blood? What does it taste like? It’s salty. Your blood and sweat both contain salt. You lose salt through your sweat. If you don’t replace it you’re only screwing yourself in the long run. (Trust me).

You might be wondering what’s the point of combining water and sea salt.

Well here’s the straight answer. If you just drink tons of water, it’s just going to go in and out of your system, you’ll literally clean everything out. (Good and bad).

What the sea salt does is it helps you retain enough water for all your cells. (Don’t get it confused with water bloating. You won’t bloat, unless you over do the salt). Remember the human body’s 60% water.  The brain is 70% water and the lungs are 90% water.

Tip: You should take in approximately 1 tsp of sea salt daily. With about ¼ tsp along with your daily water intake. The rest in your food intake. It isn’t going to kill you, so quit worrying about it. What I do is take 1 salt crystal after every glass of water I drink.

To summarize

  • Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water daily.
  • Take 1 sea salt crystal after every glass of water.
  • Above all. See and feel the difference in your health.

If you want to learn more about the importance of water and sea salt I recommend reading the following:

http://curezone.com/foods/saltcure.asp

Your Body’s Many Cries For Water by Dr F Batmanghelidj – A great read by the way, a real eye opener.

Time to get drinking!!!

Don’t start digging a well when you’re thirsty.G.K 

Note: Word of caution, I am no doctor. You’re an expert on your own body. The following info is all from my personal experience. That doesn’t mean you should do exactly what I do. In the event you suffer from health problems, seek medical advice.

HEALTH AND WEALTH