Wednesday, August 30, 2017

WOD Wednesday #34

Five rounds for time of:
10 Toes to bar
75 pound Power snatch, 10 reps
10 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball

There are 3 exercises (Toes to Bar/75 lb. Power Snatch/20 lb. Wall Ball Shot) and we are asked to do 10 reps of each exercise in every round. “5 Rounds For Time”, sometimes written 5RFT, means you do 10 Toes To Bar (TTB) then 10 Power Snatches then 10 Wall Ball Shots (WB), then do all three in order again, and again, and again, and……again! You must complete all 10 TTB before starting the Snatches, and all 10 of the Snatches before the WB.

Toes to Bar. Hanging from a pull-up bar lift your feet so that your toes contact the bar from which you hang. You can swing ‘em (your legs, that is) straight up, do a crunch and kick at the bar, or any other method that works. This is a pretty tough exercise, actually. You would SCALE this, make it easier and more approachable, by lifting your legs into an “L”, or lifting your bent knees into a tuck. If you can’t hang from a bar the substitution (sub) is a sit-up.

Power Snatch. With a loaded barbell on the ground and your hands well beyond shoulder width on the bar, lift the weight in one continuous motion from the ground to over your head (no stop between ground and overhead). This is an extremely technical lift, the Weightlifting equivalent of a golf swing. Have you ever done a snatch ? Any kind of snatch? No? Well then, you are probably not going to do much of a snatch here, at least not much of a WEIGHTED snatch. Use a piece of PVC pipe, a broomstick, or a very light (15 lb.) bar at most.

Wall Ball Shots (WB). Standing a couple of feet in front of a wall and using a Dynamax or other soft medicine ball held just under your chin, do a deep squat. As you come up out of the squat throw the ball up the wall so that it hits a target 10 feet from the floor. Catch the ball on the way down and repeat.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Basics of Osteology Review

In the human body, there are 4 major types of tissue: epeithelial, connective, muscle and nervous. Bone is the hardest connective tissue in the body. Thus its ability to protect organs, ie (skull, thorax and pelvis).

Bone has the ability to change its shape with or without stress, which forms prominences and give bone their irregular shape. Easy for muscles and ligaments to attach to them.

Examples of flat bones: Scapula, pelvis, skull. Bone forms in the shape of the membrane.

Examples of long bones: Humerus, Femur, Fibula.

Osteoblasts form bone in middle and ends. Bone replaces cartilage until growth plates of cartilage remain in the epiphyses (ends) of most bones. Meanwhile, osteoclasts dissolve bone in shaft, forming the medullary canal. After growth is complete, growth plate “closes” or ossifies, osteoblasts lie dormant in the periosteum, unless they are re-activated by a fracture.

Terms and Definitions:

Epiphysis=  ends of bone
Diaphysis=  shaft of bone
Metaphysis=  widening pary of bone near epiphysis
Hyaline cartilage=  tough, smooth cartilage, as at articulations (joints) of bones
•Fibro cartilage=  cartilage that serves as shock absorber. Ex: Menisci of knee, symphysis pubis, sternoclavicular disc, intervertebarl disc, ulner/triquetrum disc, temporo/mandicular disc.

Osteocyte=  mature bone cell
Osteoblast=  bone cell that produces bone
Osteoclast=  bone cell that dissolves bone
Periosteum=  covering over bone, osteoblasts repair fractures.
Endosteum=  inner lining of bone (medullary canal)
Cancellous bone=  honeycombed bone inside
Cortical=  dense, strong bone outside. Internal fixation hardware for fixation of a fx must be in cortex (screws, nails,etc.)

  • ◦Area at each end of the diaphysis 
  • ◦Wider than the shaft 
  • ◦Adult bones - osseous 
  • ◦Growing bones - cartilaginous and called epiphyseal plate 
  • ◦Epiphyseal plate - manufactures new bone 

  • ◦Main shaft of bone 
  • ◦Primarily compact 
  • ◦Medullary canal -passage for nutrient arteries 
  • ◦Endosteum - for bone resorption 
  • ◦Metaphysis - primarily cancellous, provides support

  • ◦Thin fibrous membrane 
  • ◦Covering all of the bone except articular surface 
  • ◦Contains nerve and blood vessels 
  • ◦Function: 
    • Nourishment 
    • Growth in diameter of immature bone 
    • Repair of the bone 
    • Attachment for tendons and ligaments 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Basic Fundamental Movement Definitions

Quick Review before heading into my last year of physical therapy school!

Fundamental Movements:

  • Flexion:   Movement of the part in the sagittal plane with the angle at the joint becoming smaller.
  • Extension:   Return from flexion
  • ABduction: Movement in the frontal plane away from the midline; for the fingers or toes, movement is away from the midline of the hand or foot;  in the trunk, movement sometimes called lateral flexion
  • ADDuction:   return from abduction
  • Internal Rotation:   Also called inward or medial rotation; turning of an extremity toward the midline in the horizontal plane;  (for turning the head neck and trunk called rotation to the left or right)
  • External Rotation;   Return of an extremity from internal rotation
  • Supination:   Turning the forearm so that the forearm and hand face upward when the elbow is held flexed at 90*.
  • Pronation:    Return of forearm from supination
  • Opposition:   Movement of bringing the tip of the thumb toward the tips of the fingers; motion takes place mostly at the carpometacarpal (saddle) joint of the thumb
  • Reposition:   Bringing the thumb back to neutral from opposition.
  • Radial Deviation:   Also called radial abduction; movement at the wrist with the hand moving toward the radial side.
  • Ulnar Deviation:   Also Ulnar adduction; movement at the wrist with the hand moving toward the ulnar side.
  • Inversion:   Movement of the foot so that the sole turns inward;  usually accompanied by adduction or turning inward of the forefoot.
  • Eversion:   Movement of the foot with a slight turning of the sole outward;  Usually with some abduction of the forefoot.
  • Dorsi Flexion:   The dorsum of the foot moves superiorly in the sagittal plane.
  • Plantar Flexion:   Movement of the foot toward the plantar surface in the sagital plane; downward.
  • Horizontal Adduction:   Movement of the abducted arm forward in the horizaontal plane (across the chest)
  • Horizontal Abduction:   Opposite of horizontal adduction - movement in the horizontal plane back to a position of the abducted arm.
  • Circumduction:   A movement possible in joints with 2 or 3 degrees of freedom;  the segment itself describes a cone while the distal part moves in a circle.

Fundamental Movements of the Scapula (shoulder girdle)
  • Elevation:   The shoulder girdle moves upward.
  • Depression:   The shoulder girdle moves downward
  • Protraction:   Also called abduction since the scapulae move away from the vertebral column;  the tips of the shoulders move forward so that the arms are in a more forward position.
  • Retraction:   Reverse movement of protraction;  also called adduction as the scapulae move toward the vertebral column.
  • Upward Rotation:   The scapula rotates so that the glenoid cavity moves upward.
  • Downward Rotation:  The reverse of upward rotation.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

WOD Wednesday #33

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Handstand Push-ups
10 One legged squats, alternating
15 Pull-ups

Scaling up the typical workout "Cindy".  If you cannot do the movements listed above, spend a few minutes developing a pistol using a box squat progression, and practice some handstand holds or some partial HSPU to an elevated ab mat.  Then go for a new PR on "Cindy" after some brief fatigue and skill development to enhance the typical Cindy Stimulus.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Product Review: The Yoak

Product Details:
  • Materials: Aircraft Grade Aluminum + Premium Birch Ply or Burnt Walnut.
  • Portable Design for ease of travel and storage
  • Length: 46.5” - Height: 9.5” - Width: 1.5”
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Loading Capacity: 400LB (250LB dynamic suspended)
  • Weights and Bands not included
  • Applications: Rehab, Prehab, Stability, Strength, Balance, Flexibility, Endurance Trainin
Designed around the concept of strength symmetry and pendular movement, the Composite Yoak™ gives athletes a dynamic new tool equally equipped for suspension training, bar/squat, and parallette mode. Each Yoak measures just under 4 feet in length and is manufactured in Ontario, Canada—using aircraft-grade aluminum + your choice of a natural birch or burnt walnut. The result is a highly durable but lightweight and maneuverable system for pushing, pulling, squatting, yoke walking, and more.

Fully portable and weighing just 5.5 LBS unloaded, the Yoak still boasts a total load capacity of 400 LBS (250 LBS dynamic suspended)—making it a great option for athletes who are on-the-go a lot or for gyms that are short on space. The unit’s proprietary C-Notch™ limits compression and creates room for the cervical spine when loading the device for squats/lunges/yoke walks, and the patent-pending curved bar shape and hand-holds improve ergonomics for those with tight shoulders/biceps or upper backs, enabling better scapular retraction and depression.

My Review: 8.0/10
The Composite Yoak is a multipurpose piece of equipment. You can suspend weights from the bar (not included) and rest it on the back of your neck for yoke-walks, lunges, and squats.  The bar has multiple placement holes for you to add weights or change your grip position. This also allows people with various body types to be able to use the bar comfortably.

The Yoak measures approximately four feet long and 5.5 pounds. It is like a weight bar, but it is designed to have a multitude of uses. It has a C-shape so that it can rest on the back of the neck comfortably. It is light enough and small enough to transport and use almost anywhere, so you don’t have to neglect your workout routine just because you may be traveling.

The design makes it easy to attach weights to the device to customize your workout, and you can also use it for suspension exercises such as pull-ups, dips, and push-ups by attaching the optional slings and rings. You can add weight plates, kettlebells, or loading pins to the slings to intensify your workout.  My main problem with this product is I view it as a luxury item.  I still believe that if you are building a garage/home gym you should start out with several smaller standard items (kettlebells, wall balls, sandbags, dumbbells, gymnastic rings, door pull up bar) before looking to get some of the more higher end items.

The Yoak is one of the most fun, and also versatile pieces of training equipment I have ever used. You can only really appreciate the Yoak once it's in your hands (or on your shoulders). The instability makes the workout SO much harder and you'll see that you get strong FAST. After doing every movement they've recommended on their website (beside parallette exercises since you need 2 yoaks), along with many others, I can confidently say that if you're looking to add chaos training to your regimen, as well as increased strength in otherwise unstable positions, The Yoak is a great tool to use; albeit at a high price.

Purchase your YOAK System here:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WOD Wednesday #32

Perform the following tests:

L-sit for time.
Handstand walk for distance.
Chest to bar weighted pull-up for load.
Snatch 1 rep for load.

We’re gonna test some of that stuff today. It’s gonna be hard, even without a clock. In fact, today might be one of the longer WOD’s you do this month, especially if you really apply yourself to all four. Intensity is not always about the reps or the seconds, or even for that matter does it have to be about the load. Let’s look.

L-Sit for time. You can use parallettes or a stack of plates for elevation. Sit with your feet straight our in front of you. Raise your bottom and legs so that your elevated body makes an “L”. Hold your legs straight out for as long as possible. When they touch the ground you are done. Most people will need a stopwatch that measures milliseconds for this.

Handstand walk for distance. That’s funny. If you have this skill go for it, this is definitely a skill and full expression of shoulder strength and stability.  For the rest of us this is a great time to work on just getting a handstand, either freestanding (measure how long you can stay up) or against a wall (work on kicking up into the HSPU position).

Chest-to-Bar Weighted Pull-up. If you don’t have an unassisted PU yet (that’s how we say it around here, you “have” a skill or a movement) then today is a skill development day. Give it a go for an unassisted PU; try a few with a progressive decrease in assist (thinner bands or less counter-weight on the Gravitron). Got a PU already? Chest-to-Bar (CTB) is the next step. If you can do a PU then this is not just a weighted PU day; the priority is the CTB. Get this grooved first then add load. A weight vest can be used, as can a backpack filled with whatever. You can use a dip belt and hang plates or KB . Record your most advanced PU.

Snatch 1 rep for load. Another way to say 1-rep max I think. You can seriously spend more than an hour on just this. You have to warm up the movement, get into the groove of your snatch (oh yeah), and then go for a max. As with every max effort WOD this month you need to have some experience with this most technical of lifts before you try for any kind of max.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Product Review: Black Mountain Products Dual Ab Roller

Product Details:
Black Mountain Products ab roller offers a dual wheel design for superior balance and functionality. Each wheel is designed with a strong and sturdy base for gym and home use. Ab wheels are the perfect choice for toning abs, building muscle and burning fat. Using the Black Mountain Product double ab wheel allows you to strengthen your core, as well as your shoulders, arms and back. Each ab wheel is ready to use out of the box, with no assembly required. All B.M.P. ab rollers come with a lifetime warranty.All products ship in “Certified Frustration-Free Packaging.”
  • Double wheel for smooth functionality and balance 
  • Strong sturdy design for gym or home use 
  • Great for abs, core and upper body development 
  • Each ab wheel comes with a lifetime warranty 
  • No assembly required 
  • All Black Mountain Products come with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty * 

My Review:
This Dual Ab Roller comes fully assembled and ready to go straight out of the box.  The handles are really comfortable and are also non slip, and made of a combination of had plastic and softer rubber that provides a nice grip 

This Ab Wheel is very sturdy, and having the wheels separated adds a lot to that sturdiness.   This lightweight, smooth rolling and compact ab wheel is as sturdy as they come and its quality feels like it would stand use of a commercial gym!  Plus, its so balanced, that it allows you to slowly execute the perfect rollout until you get the hang of it, no more rolling out and falling on your face!

I found the double wheel design provides more stability than a single wheel design. This means you will have more confidence in the exercise itself, and finally the ability to perform a correct ab wheel rollout that efficiently works your core. a strong core will help you perform a long list of daily movements with greater ease and a reduced risk of injury.  No more wobbly roll outs.

It really works your abs and entire core. A great bonus is that it works your triceps (under arm muscles), deltoids (shoulders), chest, and stabilizer muscles. You engage many more muscles using a roller like this than by doing sit-ups/crunches.   I would suggest starting out slowly. Don't roll out as far as you can go. Try going about 3ft out at first, doing about 5 reps (1 rep = out & back). Then increase the distance & reps every week. This will strengthen your core muscles (and wrists) so you can do more rigorous workouts.

My Rating: 9.5/10
I have tried many types of rollers, and this is one of my absolute favorites. It is very smooth and stable, and small enough to throw into your gym bag.  A slight mark on the rating due to the warranty being void if used commercially because I would love to recommend this to a lot of gyms.  Other wise it is a must for your home gym or for your gym bag if your gym does not have a roller of its own.  Plus it is extremely affordable - currently listed at $17.50 (plus 20% off using our promo code MAP20 = $14!!!) here on the Black Mountain Products Website:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Product Review: Mobility Star

Product Details:
Developed by gym owner and massage therapist Mike Alley, the Mobility Star offers a unique new way to target and massage away muscle tightness and pain. Whether used as an alternative or complement to traditional foam rollers and massage balls, the Mobility Star’s patented thin, stainless steel design is ergonomically in tune with the natural curves of the body—making it great for working out stiffness in the calves, thighs, hips, forearms, etc.

Lightweight and pocket-sized, Mobility Stars can go anywhere you need them for rapid muscle recovery and improved range of motion. Use the order form on the right to add this dynamic mobility tool to your gym bag.

  • Made in the USA
  • US Patent 753317
  • Stainless Steel
  • Dimensions: 4"x4"
  • Weight: 1/2 LB
  • Four-sided, with ergonomic curvature

My Review:
When I first received the Mobility Star I was impressed by how solid and well made the tool was. It has a symmetrical design that fits firmly in your hand. The smooth curves allow both athlete and therapist to glide smoothly over tight and restricted muscles taking pressure of the myofascial system and restrictions effecting the muscles, joints, tendons and fascia. The Mobility Star is very effective in flushing out sore and tired muscles as well as getting to those hard to reach places where the muscle and tendon connect. The unique design allows the user to apply firm direct pressure to the target area. No more sore fingers from ART!

Made from solid stainless steel, this tool is lightweight and very portable compared to so many of the novelty massage tools out there.  The ends are great at working directly and more specifically with trigger points and the curved edges work well for specifically manipulating the fascia. Also, its much less expensive than the Graston tools ($1,100 +) coming in at $65 before shipping.

I carry this around with me and use it religiously in class and while traveling to massage forearms, groin, and calves. . The hole in the middle improves grip, but more importantly it can be slipped over a barbell for a great forearm or triceps scraping--I didn't realize this until I looked at the videos on the manufacturer's site. Simple and effective. Saves a lot of stress on your fingers--the steel is so hard that you don't need to apply much pressure. Much better than using a plastic scraping tool

My Rating: 9/10

I highly recommend this tool for any physio or coach looking to save their hands and expand their practice as well as any athlete who's looking for a new, easy to carry tool to help on the go. For those chronic, always nagging areas, this gets deep enough to make an impact. I really enjoy the effect of this product, it doesn't leave me bruised or overly sore. When applying the tool to the body, it feels good, not harsh.  It is a great entry level tool for IASTM and good price point.  However, I wish all 4 corners had a different design to allow for different functions.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WOD Wednesday #31

RUN 10k

My first Marathon is this Saturday.  The Beaver Chase Urban Trail Race, 26.2 miles of urban sidewalks, connecting cross country trails of various schools/teams in the area of down town Indianapolis.  Wish me luck!

For my first marathon I am going for completion and the experience, then re evaluate how I feel about it after to decide if I want to pursue some more competitive options at these distances or just stick to OCR.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Example Cover Letter - Personal Trainer Position

Below is a cover letter we had to write for our internship class when I was finishing my undergrad.  Yes, I got this job, and yes you can use this as a template for a trainer/managers position in a gym you are interested in becoming an employee.  One of the best suggestions I can give in regards to job searching in the fitness industry, is to A) keep a portfolio of testimonials (pictures help) for clients you have worked with and B) apply even if there is not a position open.  Four out of Five locations I have worked did not have a position open when I applied.  However, if you can show an employer that you can provide their business with additional value, everything will fall into place.

Travis Jones
39XX Fitness Road
T: 812 7xx xxxx

Bruce Dupont
New Directions Health and Fitness Club
XXXX Main St
XXX City, IN 47XXX

Dear Mr Dupont
Re: Personal Trainer Position

I wish to apply for the position of personal trainer at New Directions Health and Fitness Club as advertised in The Perry County News.

I have been working as a personal trainer for the past two years, recruiting clients and working with them to obtain their goals and maintain motivation. I have a proven track record in retaining clients on a long-term basis with solid results. I have experience in sport specific, circuit training and group fitness and specialize in functional movements, and injury management and prevention. I have a solid knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology and exercise physiology graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, while minoring in business administration, psychology and health education teaching.

I am passionate about the fitness industry and am committed to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals. I approach my work with a high level of initiative, reliability, empathy and determination. I have outstanding communication skills and work well both autonomously and in team environments.

My qualifications, skills, experience and enthusiasm for the industry would make me a valuable trainer for your growing company. I am excited about the opportunity of joining New Directions Health and Fitness Club and look forward to meeting with you to discuss the position further.

Kind regards

Travis Jones

Friday, August 4, 2017

Product Review: Gym Next Flex Timer

Product Details
This is the timer your home gym is missing!

The GymNext Flex Timer combines a crystal-clear LED display with an easy to use interval timer app creating the best, most powerful gym timer ever made. The compact 2.3" LED digits in blue/red are for more visible than your phone screen and the 85db buzzer is great for keeping you on pace. With bluetooth range of over 100 feet, you aren't tethered to the clock and there's no cumbersome remote to deal with. Move through out the gym and easily control and setup the timer from our convenient and FREE mobile app.

You can save an unlimited number of custom workouts spanning 6 different timer modes: Standard, Round, Interval, Tabata, EMOM and Laps. Configurable prelude times, round warnings, and a 3-second segue between rounds are just the beginning of the options available to create the most customized experience ever

For the data lovers and elite athletes, integrate heart rate monitoring into your workouts and have your heart rate periodically or permanently display on the clock so you know how hard you're working and can set a proper pace.

But there's even more...
The Flex Timer app is updated all the time unlocking new features and functionality so that your timer actually gets even better with age.

My Review:
I avoided purchasing a clock for my gym too long. Didn't think it was necessary. I was constantly using my phone timer, an app, a stop watch, or even a stop watch website on my computer.  But after using my GymNext clock I can't imagine a workout without it. It is easy to use, not a distraction, and infinite programming possibilities for any type of workout.

I like that you can set up a custom welcome message and that the timer automatically takes local time from your phone. Be aware that the timer will only connect with one phone at a time. This means that if someone was using the timer and you go to connect with your phone, you won't be able to connect. In a big gym setting this would mean you have to reboot the timer or hunt down the person who retains control.

I researched a number of cheaper alternatives but what makes this worth the price is the app. The timer easily connects to your phone and then you can create whatever type of timer you need. Plus the built in timers make it easy to quickly get started, or you can edit them if need be.

The app works flawlessly with the GymNext Flex Timer application. Connection to the timer is so simple a monkey could do it. Everytime I open the app, it connects immediately with zero lag. It's programmable to every interval training mode known to man and has loud audible beeping that can also be programmed to discretion. It does not interfere with music and once the timer is going, you can still use your phone normally as long as the app is running in the background. It connects to a heart rate monitor and can display your heart rate periodically to your discretion. This is extremely helpful especially when you're trying to maintain a certain heart rate zone.

Bottom line, this timer is outstanding in value, usability, build quality and customer service. I've contacted their friendly customer service to tell them how impressed I am with their product and you can tell they are a Just as excited as you will be once you get your hands on it.

- Very bright numbers (I actually use the reduced brightness setting)
- LOUD (I put tape over the buzzer and it is still highly audible)
- App supports any imagineable interval combination
- Kid-safe as there is no remote to play with, damage, or hide
- Robust construction with top and bottom aluminum profiles / extrusions
- Wide-range input power supply for worldwide use

No more fumbling with an awkward remote control. Competitive price superior functionality = unbelievable value. If you're on the fence about this one, do yourself a favor and pull the trigger on the purchase, you won't be disappointed.

My Rating: 9.9/10
I must say it's even more impressive than I thought! Easy to use, 110-220V global electricity support, fast connection to iPhone, ample phone-to-LED display connection range even without the need for line of sight, straightforward LED display design, clear/visible display and audible alarm for large gym. The best timer in my opinion all around. My only critiques are not being able to sync multiple phones and not being able to adjust the beep volume.

It was pretty cool to see the time update instantly once I connected my phone to the clock and when I open the app, the response is quick, accurate and makes everything so hands free. The app user interface is easy to use and quick to learn. Additionally, if I have music playing from my phone, the app automatically quiets the music for the 3-2-1 countdown and then cranks back up for the WOD. What I love about this clock is that it doesn't take time away from my workout time. I don't know it's there until I use it, and when I'm done, it's done. Goes right back to clock time until I need it again.

Order your GymNext Flex Timer!

Founder's Note:
The Flex Timer's goal is simple - to make setup and configuration of your workout's interval structure as easy as possible while giving those working out a big, bright LED display they can easily see during the workout, no matter where they are. No more fiddling or fumbling with a complex remote. No more small displays that can't be seen from across the room. Just tap a couple of options on your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch, hit start, and you're good to go.

With over 3000 gyms now using the Flex Timer and thousands more using our free interval timer app, we are well on our way to achieving our goal.

-- Duane Homick, Founder of GymNext

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

WOD Wednesday #30

21-15-9 reps of:
Dumbbell thrusters
L pull-ups

Choose a hard, heavy load, and choose a difficult version of the PU. More than that, choose a load that is heavy but not one that will compel you to let go of the bar or drop the DB's.

Start your stopwatch. Do 21 DB Thrusters and 21 PU of some kind, then 15 of each exercise, and end with 9 of each. Don't come off the PU bar. Don't put the DB down. Don't. Stop. Post your DB weight and note the type of PU you did. This should be short, fast, heavy, and brutal.