Monday, October 30, 2017

Perceived Exertion (Borg RPE Scale)

The Borg Rating of Perceived exertion (RPE) is a way of measuring physical activity intensity level.  Perceived exertion is how hard you feel like your body is working.  It is based on the physical sensations a person experiences during physical activity.  These sensations include increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, sweating and muscle fatigue.  Although this is a subjective measure, a persons exertion rating may provide a fairly good estimate of the actual heart rate during physical activity (Borg, 1998).  This is especially true as one becomes more in tune with their body as their training age improves.

        How this scale relates to heart rate is shown by the number range of  6 - 20 RPE.  With a rating of 6 correlating to "no exertion at all" and a 60 bpm heart rate, or approximately a resting heart rate and 20 means "maximal exertion" and a 200 bpm heart rate.   For example a walker who wants to engage in moderate intensity activity would aim for a Borg scale of "somewhat hard" (12-14).  On the other hand CrossFit workouts can easily be in the "extremely hard" range of 16-20.   Note:  that this calculation is only an approximation of heart rate, and the actual heart rate can vary quite a bit differently depending on age and physical condition.

Instructions For Borg RPE Scale:
While doing physical activity, we want you to rate your perception of exertion.  This feeling should reflect how heavy and strenuous the exercise feels to you, combining all sensations and feeling of physical stress, effort and fatigue.  Do not concern yourself with any one factor such as leg pain or shortness of breath, but try to focus on your total feeling of exertion.  Present the rating scale DURING the activity and select a number that best describes your level of exertion.  This will give you a good idea of the intensity level of your activity, and you can use this information to speed up or slow down your movements to reach your desired range.

Try to appraise your feeling of exertion as honestly as possible, without thinking about what the actual physical load is.  Your own feeling of effort and exertion is important, not how it compares to other people's.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Product Review: Swannies (Blue Light Blocking Glasses)

About Swannies
✔✔✔ PROTECT YOUR EYES - Anti-Reflective + Anti-Glare lens coating to prevent insomnia and macular degeneration (vision loss).

✔✔✔ SLEEP BETTER - Do you have trouble sleeping? You sleep better when you wear your SwanniesBlue Blocking Glasses.

✔✔✔ AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE - 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back for Life.

Swannies Blue Light Blocking Glasses improve your sleep and health by filtering out harmful artificial light from digital devices.

Wearing these FDA-registered glasses at least an hour before bed allows you to use phones, tablets, computers and e-readers freely without disrupting your sleep.

Swannies also prevent sore eyes, headaches, fatigue and blurred vision associated with digital eye strain.

My Review:
I have always had trouble falling asleep due to over stimulation from studying power points on the computer for class, playing games or watching tv (all through high school I would fall asleep with the tv on).  After listening to some podcasts and doing some research on sleep to help improve my recovery (trying various supplements, temperature changes etc) I learned about how blue light affects sleep.  Here are some of the basic details and why I decided to give these glasses a try:

- Blue light is great for being awake - that's why you wake up with a blue sky (read about melanopsin and melatonin on Wikipedia)
- Blue light is not good for sleep; in the 470 nanometers range, that suppresses melatonin (a key hormone for sleeping well)
- Humans (and other animals) evolved to sleep in the dark - or, at the darkest, full Moonlight (just 0.1-0.3 lux of light)
- Longer wavelengths of light were the only source of light at night for most of human history (fire / candles)
- Tablets / phones / screens / LED's and many CFL bulbs have strong blue wavelengths that are messing with our circadian rhythms and suppressing melatonin, because they have wavelengths shorter than 530nm - 540nm

So what to do in our modern world? Wear these glasses before bed. Natural melatonin production would have occurred with our ancestors starting with the onset of sunset. Wavelengths of light from the setting sun would have shifted to red, and fire or candles were usually the only form of light available. Those are both relatively dim, and in longer wavelengths.

Today, our "connected" world has a LOT of blue light. It's messing with our sleep patterns, because our bodies evolved to only see red/orange/yellow light at night, NOT blue light/shorter wavelenghts.


Put them on a couple hours before bed. For me, I start getting drowsy about 90 minutes after wearing them. The trick is DO NOT take them off without closing your eyes or being in a dark room (a room with ONLY a dim red light would work too, as your melanopsin won't trigger melatonin suppression with red light). So when changing for bed, close your eyes when removing your shirt if you have to pull it off over your head or put your night time clothing on.

Then leave these on until you turn out the light for sleep. And be sure to sleep in the dark too, or wear a sleep mask. Small amounts of light can still affect your melatonin (well, anything brighter then full Moonlight - yes, even a blue LED on your computer). You can watch TV with these on, check your phone, read your tablet, work on your laptop - just note that colors will look weird. Blue looks black. Yellow looks white. Greens look weird. And the glasses aren't exactly stylish.

But if you sleep better, who cares? They work.
Artificial light at night messing up people's sleep is undoubtedly part of that - let's fix that so these glasses aren't as necessary.

Oh, and did these glasses work for me? An emphatic YES, they did. 8 nights (so far) of excellent sleep and well-rested mornings. And I am NOT a morning person! They work - just use them the right way, and be sure you're not doing other things that might hurt sleep (too much caffeine, lack of / too much exercise right before bed, sleep apnea, etc.) So if it's not a medical condition, do the right things, wear these, and get better sleep.

Get your own pair of Blue Light Blocking Glasses - Swannie Sleep Glasses!  You WILL NOT be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WOD Wednesday #42

10 rounds, each for time, of:
100-meter sprint
Rest 90 seconds

Sprint 100M then rest 90 seconds. Do it 10 times. Feel free to rest for longer than 90 seconds after the 10th sprint. 100M is the length of the straight part of a standard track. You know, the one that encircles every high school football field in America. Feeling frisky? Run it on the field. This is roughly .06miles on the treadmill; definitely add some loft (elevation). Subs if you must are Row 125M/swim 25M/Airdyne 1/8 Mile/Bike 400M (1/4 mile).

Monday, October 23, 2017

Product Review: Groove Silicone Ring

Product Details:
  • Breathable Design
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Medical Grade Silicone
  • Width: 8mm or 5/16"
  • Thickness: 2mm or 3/32"
  • Patent Pending
Groove's Original Solid Colored ring is the ring that started it all. By offering many unique and vivid colors, we allow you to pick what suits you the best. Our Midnight Black enterior paired with the Raspberry Red interior color, allows you to stay looking great while taking on your adventure. Our unique and innovative Groove Technology allows your ring to breathe while maintaining comfortability. The medical grade silicone ensures that your ring will remain flexible and comfortable no matter what it goes through. Our silicone rings are the perfect choice for your active lifestyle!

Product Review:
I am one of those married guys who is very active and will often remove my wedding ring when I go cycling or swimming. Some of it’s due to comfort and some of it’s due to not wanting to lose it by accident.

I've worn it through every work out and it's survived weight training, deadlifts, rows, pull ups etc that pull on the ring. Excercises I found uncomfortable wearing a traditional metal ring have been no problem wearing the Groove ring.

After years working in a gym setting, they finally make a wedding ring that looks cool and doesn't hurt your fingers, ever. I have done kettlebells, barbell work, and intense conditioning workouts in this ring and it feels great, doesn't catch or scratch. With the 'gym culture' we have, you can show your commitment by wearing your wedding ring without causing injury or damaging your wedding band.
Image result for groove ring
The Groove ring is made from silicon and if you have ever worn silicon gloves moisture management isn’t optimal. The folks at groove tackled this problem by creating grooves on the inside of the ring, which allows air flow. The grooves also reduce skin contact to 60%, which in turn helps mitigate moisture buildup.

The rings are actually made from 2 separate rings permanently heat molded together for maximum comfort. The inner ring is made of firmer material that gives it a traditional feel on your finger. The outer ring in contrast is softer and smooth on your adjoining fingers. During the ring making process, Groove incorporates a non tacky finish which helps prevent the rings from catching on clothing and other objects.

Groove claims to be the only functionally breathable ring on the market and are backed by a lifetime warranty. “No matter what you throw at them or how long you’ve had them, if they stretch, tear or even if you lose them we will replace your ring. Once you are in the Groove family we take care of you.”

That is a pretty awesome guarantee and the best I have seen from a company. For those that remove their rings a lot, the Groove ring makes total sense. No need to worry about losing your wedding band during an outdoor adventure.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Product Review: GO Mat

Product Details:
A platform for mobility
  • With ¾” of foam your joints will be supported for countless hours of couch stretch.
A platform for sweat
  • Whether it’s handstand push-ups or yoga, an easy-to-clean vinyl surface supports all workouts.
A platform for mental clarity
  • Reset and breathe. GoMat’s provide the perfect perch for meditation or journaling.
  • 32" x 72" x 3/4" 

This mat has been designed with the functional fitness enthusiast in mind and is versatile enough for yoga and pilates.  The GoMat 2.0 is an all-purpose, fully portable workout mat—equipped with a 3/4” layer of high-performance foam padding and a stabilizing non-slip vinyl surface. Whether used for weight training, sit-ups, yoga, or anything in-between, the GoMat’s compact size (72” x 32”) and unique roll-up design make it well-suited and adaptable to any training space.

The GoMat’s key advantage over many other home gym mats are the 2” slits in the foam that allow the user to more easily roll up, carry, and store the mat in a gym bag, locker, etc. Each training mat is also manufactured in the USA and backed by a five-year warranty for home use.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WOD Wednesday #41

In front of a clock set for 15 minutes:
1 minute of Squats
2 minutes of Double-unders
3 minutes of Push-ups
4 minutes of Back extensions
5 minutes of Pull-ups

Set yourself up in front of a clock. Any kind of clock. Digital, analog, wrist-borne or wall-mounted, find your self a clock. You change exercises at 1:00, 3:00, 6:00, and10:00. You are done when the clock strikes 15:00. Write it down if it’s confusing. Might as well make that a requirement: write it down. Same goes for each round, each exercise: write it down.

For the first minute do as many squats as you can. These are air squats, no added weight, just like every time when you see “Squats” written for the WOD. Start by standing up straight, squat to a depth where the crease of your hip is below your knee, and then stand up straight.

From the 1:00 to 3:00 marks you jump rope doing a Double-Under, the jump rope passing beneath your feet twice before you return to terra firma. The sub is tuck jumps, leaving terra firma and hugging your knees to your chest before returning to Gaia. No amount of single-unders (one jump, one pass of rope under your feet) is a true approximation of a Double-Under, but if you must the grudgingly accepted sub is 3 Single-Unders:1 Double-Under.

From 3:00 to 6:00 do as many Push-ups as possible. Chest to the deck on the bottom, full lock-out (straight arms) at the top.

6:00 to 10:00 on your clock = 4 minutes of Back Extensions. Pin your hips on the pad, go down until your back is about to bend, then elevate yourself to parallel. No erector set equipment? You could do them over an exercise ball or lying on a Bosu ball. How about a Good Morning?

Top it all off with 5:00 of Pull-ups

Monday, October 16, 2017

PT Techniques: Patella Taping

The following patella taping technique is designed to support the patella, correct abnormal patella alignment (lateral tracking) and reduce stress on the knee during activity.  It can be used for both the treatment and prevention of knee injuries particularly runners knee, patella instability and dislocation (stronger pull of tape more medially for alignment, lateral tape is for stability aka low stretch).

  • Decrease pain during sport or activity
  • Aid healing of certain knee injuries
  • correct patella alignment
  • Allow an earlier return to sport or activity following injury
  • Reduce the likelihood of injury aggravation
  • Prevent knee injuries during high risk sports
  • Improve activation of the inner quad muscles

Indications for Patella Taping:
  • With certain knee injuries such as runners knee and where abnormal patella tracking is contributing to the injury.
  • To prevent injury or injury aggravation
  • As always consult a medical professional before use.
When to avoid Patella Taping:
  • Allergic reaction to tape
  • Certain injuries such as fractures
  • Increase in symptoms (pain, aches, itchiness, numbness, swelling etc)
  • Circulatory or sensory problems

Friday, October 13, 2017

Product Review: Manly Rings - The Hunter and The Warrior!

The Hunter:
You're out there in the rain and the cold. You're one with the leaves and you feel nature on a whole different level than most men. That's why you go out there. To be you. Here is a nice companion for next time your flashlight battery dies...

Deer Antler and Koa Wood inlay, Titanium- 8mm wide

Comfort Fit, so it feels light weight

Includes the Manly Birch Box and classy shipping.

The Warrior:
Out in the wild and in the streets, you valiantly glide upholding your moral code. Calm, cool and collected, your pride is worn on your sleeve - or on your finger with this arrow design.

Tungsten Carbide - Double Groove Plated Black & Laser Car Tire - 8mm wide
Comfort Fit, Scratch Resistant.
Includes black velvet ring box and classy shipping.

Review Info:
Got these rings after going to several jewelry stores and not liking their selections at all.  Being in the fitness industry most of the time I tend to go with a silicone ring, especially while I am at the gym or out in nature.  But with finishing up physical therapy school I decided having a more professional looking ring would be important with having a professional career.

The Warrioris made out of Tungsten. Its strength is unmatched. It is about ten times harder than 18K gold and about four times harder than titanium. Tungsten also holds its shape forever, meaning the ring will not bend or wear down, truly making it timeless in its function and design.Speaking of which reminds me of baseball seems having been a college pitcher!

I choose the Hunter ring, which is made out of Koa Wood, Deer Antler and Titanium.  This particular one was chosen as an inspiration for my love of nature, hunting, and the wild outdoors.  This ring is a great mix of sleek style and natural materials!

I was amazed at the packaging of the product as well. The packaging was extremely durable and stylish and protected my ring very well. The rings themselves are made for guys who are rough with their hands and fashionable!

If you need a quality ring for a great price, look no further! They have many different styles other than the ones I choose, and the staff's responsiveness and genuine care for your satisfaction with their company and product is second to none (They even send a personalized note thanking you for your purchase-nicest staff ever!).  Very pleased with these rings. It is a perfect fit and looks and feels as good as it does in the photos.
This company is AMAZING. Great quality and great prices are just perks to their great customer service and attention to detail.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

WOD Wednesday #40

Complete as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:

- 70lb KettleBell Swing 9 reps
- 15-foot rope climb, 1 ascent

Do all goals get achieved ahead of time ? NO ! Do all goals get achieved to begin with ? Again, NO ! In my opinion proper goal setting consists of some goals being achieved and other goals being slightly beyond our reach for whatever the reason may be.

Goal setting is something that is controversial however if utilized properly can pay dividends if it matches your personality style. If you are so internally driven that goals make no difference in your performance, then GREAT! However, by tracking and setting goals for milestones in the gym and small benchmarks in our progression, we are able to feel accomplished momentarily and celebrate that win. Without appreciation or recognition of our progress we can sometimes forget how far we have come or diminish some of the things we have accomplished. But don't get me wrong, after you stop and smell the roses for a second, get back after it, GO FOR MORE !

The same can be said for nutrition, set a goal this month to eat out 1 time less per week and go from there ! The gym should be fun ! Find something you enjoy, challenge yourself, and track your progress.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

WOD Wednesday #39

Power snatch 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Snatch balance 2-2-2-2-2 reps
Squat snatch 1-1-1-1-1 reps

A Power Snatch is “caught” with the bar overhead in a ¼ Squat (caught means bar overhead with arms locked out). A full Snatch, or Squat Snatch, is one in which the bar is caught at the bottom of a full squat. For the purposes of this WOD if you cannot catch the bar in the bottom of the squat it is acceptable to do a Power Snatch and then “ride it down” to the bottom, essentially an Overhead Squat. Barely.

The Snatch Balance is a bit different, a drill designed to help you drop under the bar in a full squat. Using a wide Snatch grip start with the bar on your shoulders like a high bar back squat. On “GO” rapidly drop down into a full squat while simultaneously driving your arms (and the bar) up off your shoulders. Ideally the bar should never go higher than the starting height resting on your traps. Stand up with the bar overhead to complete the move. The idea is to get comfortable getting the bar overhead quickly while dropping under the bar very fast.

How to interpret the rep scheme? As written we will do 5 sets of each exercise, completing all 5 sets of each until moving on to the next movement. 5 sets of 3 Power Snatches, then 5 sets of 2 Snatch Balances, and finally 5 sets of 1 full Squat Snatch. Typically you would increase the weight you are using each set, aiming for a max effort (a PR) in the 4th set. If you miss you can try again, and if you make it you can shoot for the moon in the 5th. These are all supposed to be heavy so give yourself 2-5:00 between sets. Enough to re-charge but not enough to get cool.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Williams Flexion Back Exercises

Williams flexion exercises focus on placing the lumbar spine in a flexed position to reduce excessive lumbar lordotic stresses.  Exercises are designed to (1) strengthen the abdominal, gluteal, and quadriceps muscles, and (2) Stretch the erector spinae, hamstring, and tensor fasciae latae muscles and iliofemoral ligament.

Williams flexion exercises - also called Williams lumbar flexion exercises, Lumbar flexsion exercises or simply Williams exercises - are a set or system of related physical exercises intended to enhance lumbar flexion, avoid lumbar extension and strengthen the abdominal and gluteal musculature in an effort to manage low back pain non surgically.  The system was first devised in 1937 by Dr. Paul C Williams (1900-1978) then a Dallas orthopedic surgeon.

Williams believed that the basic cause of all pain is the stress induced on the intervertebral disc by poor posture.  He theorized that the lordotic lumbar spine placed inordinate train on the posterior elements of the intervertebral disc and caused its premature dysfunction.  He was concerned bout he lack of flexion in daily activities in the accumulation of extension forces that hurt the disc.

The goals of these exercises are to open the intravertebral foramina and stretch the back extensors, hip flexors and facets; to strengthen the abdominal and gluteal muscles; and to mobilize the lumbosacral junctions.

Williams believed that the back pain was the result of human evolution in movement from a quadruped to an upright position, proposing that the standing position was the cause of back pain because it placed the low back in a lordotic curve.  Williams advocated seven exercises to minimize the lumbar curve: Pelvic tilt exercises, partial situps, single knee to chest and bilateral knee to chest, hamstring stretching, standing lunges, seated trunk flexion, and full squats.