Monday, December 31, 2018

MotusX - Being Proactive, Instead of Reactive

Did you know the biggest factor that can impact your retirement planning is your musculoskeletal health as you age?  The costs for things such as hospital stays and surgical procedures that occur due to failing health or immobility can wreck your retirement plans.  Most of these costs and declines are closely associated with musculoskeletal problems.  In December 2012 a study on the Global Burden of Disease found musculoskeletal conditions such arthritis and back pain affect more than 1.7 BILLION people worldwide.  Musculoskeletal conditions are the second leading cause of disability we face.  There are things you can do to give yourself an advantage and protect your movement health and wellness as you age.  While most Americans recognize the importance of getting regular check ups at the dentist twice a year to make sure their teeth stay healthy they don't seem to see the same necessity of getting regular checkups on their mobility and movement health even though musculoskeletal costs far outweigh dental costs annually.  Just like going to the dentist before you have a cavity helps you avoid more expensive procedures later, so does getting regular movement check ups from your local physical therapist.

Like I said earlier, the majority of falls and fractures are created due to declines in movement, mobility and strength.   By getting regular check ups, a therapist can help you put the steps in place to keep you moving well as you age.

At Motus X, you can see us without a doctor's order.  We can evaluate your movement needs and make recommendations for corrections.  The cost of a visit with us could save you considerably more in the future.  Don't wait until you have a problem to get checked out.  Stay ahead of the game and help make sure that you are able to enjoy the retirement that you have planned so hard for.

- Written by Sonya Briggs, PT

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WOD Wednesday #94

4 rounds for time of:
400-m run
200-m farmers carry

Men: 50-lb. dumbbells
Women: 35-lb. dumbbells

Choose a set of dumbbells that you can carry 200 meters without setting down when fresh. This workout should be a steady effort. Avoid stopping to rest.

Intermediate Option4 rounds for time of:
400-m run
200-m farmers carry

Men: 30-lb. dumbbells
Women: 20-lb. dumbbells

Beginner Option3 rounds for time of:
400-m run
200-m farmers carry

Men: 15-lb. dumbbells
Women: 10-lb. dumbbells

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Product Review: Titan Fitness 24kg Competition Kettlebell

Product Details:
All of Titan’s Competition Kettlebells are uniform in dimension and handle thickness, allowing you to train the exact same movement while also increasing or decreasing weight to cater to your routine.

  • - Color coded in 11 unique colors for easy identification between weights.
  • - Cast steel with non-welded handles for maximum durability.
  • - Available in 18 different weight options from 8 KG to 48 KG to accommodate athletes of all skill levels.
  • - Smooth finish for a great hand feel and grip while performing various exercises.

  • - Weight: 8 - 48 KG +/- 3%
  • - Colors: Pink, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Green, Orange, Red, Black, White, Gold.
  • - Handle Diameter: 35mm | 1.38”
  • - Handle Width: 190mm | 7.48”
  • - Total Diameter: 210mm | 8.27” 
  • - Total Height: 290mm | 11.42”
My Review:
The Titan Fitness Competition Kettlebell is the perfect tool for building strength and toning your entire body. This solid kettlebell is constructed as one piece for ultimate safety and durability.  It has smooth handles and excellent balance making it great for competition training or just having a quality KB for your home gym or Crossfit WODS.   I love the coating on the weight. It keeps the enamel from chipping, and since I keep it in the garage the coating protects the weight from moisture as well. The different color helps me distinguish the weight from other kettlebells immediately which is a nice bonus.

I've used cast-iron kettlebells for several years and wanted a sport/competition kettlebell for a smoother handle surface. I naturally thought of Titan Fitness as I already have a cast-iron bell from them that is well-built and many other pieces of affordable fitness equipment.  My favorite aspect about the design of these bells is the thicker handles which make the bells more comfortable in the rack position. That said, some people with smaller hands find the thicker handles to be an issue. I only mention this as something to consider. The coloring of the sport bells is also really cool. It feels great when you're able to move up in weight and use a new color as all of the sport bells are the same size.  I definitely think this product feels a little more comfortable on the forearm and wrist than the cast iron bells and the handle is smooth but not slick.

This version of competition kettlebell is distinct for its use of an advanced coating, originally established in the gun industry for its remarkable durability in thin applications. This unique finish can deliver superb abrasion/wear/corrosion resistance over time—100X that of other coatings—and it’s available to order in a range of exclusive colors, such as Green as seen here with the 24kg kettlebell .

I believe everyone should order a kettlebell from Titan Fitness (cast iron or competition, it does not matter) as it is the ultimate piece of home workout gear. Quick workouts with swings, presses, snatches, high pulls, get ups, running, and body weight movements will make it so you will never have an excuse to not get in your workout. Add on the ability to easily travel with it makes this item a no brainer!  It is a top shelf product, beautifully fabricated and finished at a super competitive price: truly Professional Grade! You’re wasting your money on any other competition bell.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Fitness/Athlete Sponsorships

*Build Your Business: Concentrate on building your business and not be in the business of just trying to land a specific sponsorship. Most fitness athletes are trainers, competitors, online coaches, models, business owners, and more. The companies they represent are a part of the whole not the entire picture.

*Be Unique: What makes you stand out of the crowd? Why are you different? There are thousands of fit people out there who want sponsorships..

*Love the Product: You should only try to partner with companies you truly believe in and love. These should be products you are already buying and paying for. Don’t be the one always looking for free handouts. Do the occasional post sharing your love for the product or why it’s important to you. Tag them accordingly. Be mindful not to be pushy or to look desperate here.

*Platform is Important: Athletes are basically one of the marketing avenues for companies much like magazine advertisements and tv commercials. As you all know social media marketing is a part of life nowadays. One big factor on being selected as a Athlete is your Reach. With this being said put daily work into expanding your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, Twitter, etc. Quality of followers is important as well. Fake numbers don’t help as they can be seen a mile away. Once a company picks you up you will want to be able to do your part and help sell product. If you don’t hold your weight some companies will drop the dead weight. Building your social media takes time.

*Your Body is Your Billboard: This is the “fitness” industry. You need to look fit. It’s not necessary to have a championship physique, but years of hard work should be apparent. I have personally found that I get much more attention being cut than bulk huge. Everybody can bulk up, but how many put in the work and self-discipline to be super conditioned. Be sure you are putting more work into your body and fitness level rather than Instagram and Snapchat.

*Look Professional: In any business, be it music or fitness, I have found that “perception” is highly important. People pass mental judgement seconds upon seeing something. Find talented friends and spend some money on quality photographs and a professional website. Look at the level of quality the pros are putting out there and try to match that visual quality.

*Market Less: When it comes to posting make sure your social pages don’t look like a big magazine advertisement. People don’t like marketing and product shoved down their throats. Be sure to provide useful information, educate, inspire, and motivate. Give more than you expect to receive. You build trust by giving information and content. Then when you do “market” something you love your audience is more likely to listen.

*Be Kind: You would think this is a given, but it still has to be said. Kindness will take you to the top. As I said before “give more than you expect to receive”. Help others. It’s always better to be at the top with other good people.

*Be a Good Communicator: You should be able to communicate naturally and effectively in writing and on camera. This is a gift for some and others it takes work to perfect. This is something I am always working on especially when it comes to video. Companies are looking for people who have great communication skills not just for social media posts, but also on camera and in person as you represent their company.

*Respectful and considerate: Once you feel you have done a great job at all the above two things may happen. #1. The company will reach out to you because you’ve shown true love for their product and they want you to be apart of their team. #2. You write the company a nice, professional email explaining in short who you are, why you love their product and have been using it for years, and that you would like to be considered. Leave your social media links. Remember that despite you are writing a big company it is regular, real people who will read your email. Being pushy or rude will get you nowhere fast. Write them professionally and do not send them something publicly (like a Tweet or FB post). Don’t keep messaging them over and over again. Space your correspondence out over longer periods of time.

BE PATIENT! Nothing worthwhile happens over night. I have not only had a life-long passion for fitness, but I consider myself very knowledgeable when it comes to marketing. I was co-owner of a social media marketing company for years. My progress in the fitness industry took years of daily hard work.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Trigger Point Dry Needling Explained

Functional Dry Needling (FDN) is simply a treatment used by health professionals to help with the management of pain, orthopedic issues and sports-related injuries to improve your function. Yes, it does involve a thin filament needle being advanced into tissue of your body, but the good news is, typically you feel better immediately. FDN stimulates the healing process of soft tissue which results in pain relief and restoration of healthy physiology. Let me address some of the most frequent questions I get asked:

Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture?
Acupuncture and FDN use similar needles, but they are very different in the application and goals of treatment. Acupuncture is based on ancient theories of traditional Chinese medicine and uses insertion points all over the body based on meridians and focuses on balancing energy or Qi in the body. Dry needling in physical therapy practice is based on Western neuroanatomy and the musculoskeletal systems to provide treatment of acute and chronic pain, as well as treatment of orthopedic and sports-related injuries. Both FDN and Acupuncture do, however, use the same tool: a solid needle filament.

Does it hurt?
Needles used with FDN are not the same ones that your doctors/nurses use for injections. They are typically much smaller and “wispy” in nature which renders them more comfortable. Also, FDN uses a needle with a rounded tip that is distinctly different than the beveled, cutting-edge tip of hypodermic needles. Muscles that are sensitive, have active “trigger points” (*see below) or that are tight may feel a slight cramping sensation or muscle twitch when the needle is inserted.

*Trigger Point is a hyperirritable point in a muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule, or “knot”. This area becomes painful at the site and can also “radiate” in other patterns.

What are some conditions that Dry Needling can be used to treat?

Almost anyone experiencing pain that is of musculoskeletal origin can benefit, including:
Neck/back pain, tendinitis, muscle spasms, “sciatica”, hip/knee pain, muscle strains, “tennis/golfer’s elbow”, overuse injuries, tightness in your neck and shoulders, tight muscles.

What are the risks with Dry Needling?
Some individuals experience a little bruising or minimal bleeding at the insertion site of the needle. Some report a feeling of achiness or soreness for a few hours after the treatment session. All of these are completely normal. While risks associated with dry needling are minimal, a conscientious dry needling practitioner will be well-versed in precautions, contraindications, and potential complications associated with dry needling. There are certain areas of the body that require more caution than others, but will always be discussed during your initial consultation to determine if FDN will even be beneficial to you.

Is FDN covered by insurance?
In most cases, it is a fee or cash-based service.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Can You Rehab a Total Knee in 3 Weeks?

If you have been practicing as a therapist or an orthopedic surgeon for any number of years, I would ask you what are you doing differently now than you did 5 or 10 years ago when it comes to your post-op total knee?  If your unable to think of anything then I would encourage you to open your mind and follow along with me for what I believe is a revolutionary approach to total knee rehab.  If your someone who is considering a total knee replacement you can’t afford to be uneducated when it comes to your care.  Keep reading!

What is the single most untapped resource as it relates to total knee rehab?  It’s the patient themselves.  I would suggest to you that there are some novel approaches to total knee rehab that invest heavily in the biopsychosocial model and put the patient in control.  Give the patient a physical tool and protocol to mimic bringing the therapist home with them.  Essentially, turn the patient into their own therapist.  By utilizing a tool which allows the patient to perform a joint mobilization with movement into knee flexion and knee extension the patient becomes much more effective in gaining range of motion.  By utilizing a protocol which focuses on making the nervous system feel safe, creating neural drive at end ranges of flexion and extension and imparting motor control at those end ranges the patient regains active control of the extremity post-operatively much faster.

The combination of this protocol and a physical tool produces a return to full ROM and (I) ambulation with a cane or no AD within 2-3 weeks.  Combine the use of a kinesiotape in a basketweave pattern for edema management and IASTM techniques using a Pacinian stroke and the patient moves quickly and smoothly through their ROM and their rehab. 
Typical case scenarios I have are as follows:  TKA pt utilizes joint mobilization tool and protocol daily beginning day 3 post op and receives 1 therapy visit per week to guide progress.  Pt undergoes basketweave taping to effected knee day 3 post op.  Pt follows specific protocol on their own and has weekly therapy visit for 3 weeks.  At the end of 3 week time frame, the average results are pt ROM 0-120 deg effected knee with active end range control of all ROM resulting in motor control to be (I) ambulators with cane or no AD.

What are the implications of this?  As a profession utilizing this new protocol and tool we can cut post-op rehab by half for the majority of patients receiving total knees.  Currently there are 700,000 total knees every year in the US.  The average rehab costs for each total knee is $2-3,000.  That’s a total of roughly 2.4 billion dollars per year.  By using this new tool and process and speeding up the post op recovery we could save the patient and insurers 1.2 billion dollars every year.
We can deliver a better product, a better service and better outcomes to the patient and do it for a fraction of the cost.  Think outside the box.  Use tools and techniques that are getting results.  We are using the GoKnee device and protocol with our total knees and can turn your rehab around in 4-6 visits.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

WOD Wednesday #93

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 strict knees-to-elbows
3 wall walks

ScalingThis workout will quickly become tedious and uncomfortable. Each set of movements should be challenging but doable, forcing you to manage muscular failure in order to maintain a decent pace.

Intermediate OptionComplete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
7 strict knees-to-elbows
2 wall walks

Beginner OptionComplete as many rounds as possible in 15minutes of:
10 hanging knee-raises
50-ft. bear crawl

Monday, November 19, 2018

Product Review: TRATAC Active Roll

Product Details:
With different intensities of vibration, Tratac Active Roll is a piece of equipment that offers the benefits of a sports massage while improving a person’s stretch, balance and core muscle strength – whether in the gym, at home or at a rehabilitation clinic. The specially grooved surface of cross stripes in-creases blood circulation by stimulating the area being massaged. The expanded polypropylene is a durable, light and recyclable plastic foam material with excellent energy absorption. 

       -Active Roll
       -Workout CD
       -Workout Manual
       -Carry Bag

Different features of Active roll vs other foam rollers. 1. Vibration helps A LOT for whom they can’t pose and roll properly because it massages the body just by touching it. 2. Newest core structure – built in a FAN to air out the temperature that motor creates to keep motor in a good environment when it’s working in such high frequency. 3. Active Roll can work in LOW rpm without any noise problem when other competitive products struggle. 4. Active Roll Uses a smaller motor that only requires 2 cell batteries when others need 4. It uses a smaller motor but this makes the roller not only lighter but also easier to carry around and still provides the same vibration quality with others or even stronger.
TRATAC ACTIVE ROLL - High Intensity Vibration Foam Roller - New generation of Vibration (Black)

My Review:
 It is like having 3 devices in one: a foam roller, a TENS unit, and a massager. The "foam" part is made of a hard rubber, not as hard as a car tire, but not soft either. A regular foam roller when they first came out, was smooth and made of a hard foam. So it basically had one major use for it. The grid-like areas help get into those tough spots to address trigger points, depending on how you position your body over it.

This foam roller not only allows you to address trigger points from a wide spread area, but also more concentrated areas because of the pattern of the grid.

There are 4 levels of vibration on this roller.  The vibrational frequencies are at 20-80 Hz. My body personally feels the best using Levels 1 & 2 and this for me seems to stimulate healing quicker. All  of these frequencies is what you would find with an average TENS unit.  A TENS unit helps stimulate endorphin and seratonin production, which help with pain relief, healing, making you feel better overall.

Level 1 - 2 seems to help me more with chronic pain.
Level 3 seems to help with muscle stimulation
Level 4 seems to help with acute pain.

How am I using it now? I use it after my workouts/exercise (weightlifting, cardio, HIIT, walking, karate, resistance band training, KB training, etc) on my whole body - quads, hams, glutes, hips, chest, stomach, IT bands, calves, shins, heels, feet, all over back, lats, tris, bis, forearms, behind knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders, traps. The only areas I wouldn't really use are the neck and head because I have some motion sickness issues and even at the lowest level, it made me feel sick.

You can roll it with the vibration or you can roll without vibration or you can have it stationary. I found it's most effective AFTER a workout while your muscles are warmed up, but it's also good if you use without doing a workout.

I am also using the Active Roller to help me with mobility type exercises and I think it's a great tool for that. Rather than having to buy several tools that could easily cost a few hundred, all this is wrapped up in this roller and it's great. Though the price of the Hyperice Vyper has come down, because of the reviews I read on that with often not having great customer service, I went with the Active Roller because sometimes things do go wrong and you want the company to be positively responsive to address the issue.

The Active Roller also holds a charge for quite some time. I've only had to charge it a few times since I've gotten it and maybe the average use of it per day is about 15 minutes. I haven't tried to see how long it will go before it doesn't work and I have to recharge. I believe since I charged it, it was about 7-8 days ago.

 Physical impressions of the device: It is solidly built.  If you set it on the floor or carpet the thing will "crawl" around--pretty neat. I rolled this thing between my shoulder blades with my whole body on it and my feet, and it didn't flinch. I'm seriously impressed now. I then did the soles of my feet, putting heavy weight to keep it from vibrating away, then my whole body.  For each area I had to roll up, down, up, down, over and over again. The time and discomfort are why I hate foam rolling, no matter how much it serves to protect me from injury. With this jewel, I was able to hit EVERY spot with practically no pain or discomfort. My typical pain spots were....NOT!!!! All I could think of is that the vibration, along with doing what vibration does to the muscles, fascia, and neuroreceptors, also effectively overwhelmed the pain sensing nerves (nociceptors). This kind of overwhelming the sensory input so that pain is dampened or erased is exactly how TENS units work. 

So I say again: Rolling with the Active Roller was PAIN-FREE, and took only one pass for each area. To test if the rolling actually worked because I'm so conditioned to expect nothing without pain, I just rolled myself on my regular roller, and lo and behold, I had almost no tender spots left. And by tender, I mean hypertonic, hypersensitive areas of muscle that are pathological (not good). I am so very sold on this device, and am looking to see if there is any formal research coming out. Current research (Brunetti et atl, 2006) has shown dramatic and long lasting improvements in strength and balance, both often severely compromised after surgery, from local application of 100 Hz vibration for 10-15 minutes after surgery. This device is clearly lower in frequency, and probably less effective as a sensorimotor / proprioceptive activation device, but its frequency definitely covers that of the pain sensors based on my experience.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Product Review: Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer

Product Details:
The Titan Fitness balance ball trainer helps you strengthen and coordinate several major muscle groups including your core muscles, back muscles, legs, and abs. By adding an element of instability it forces your body to use more muscles from your core so you no longer have to rely on crunches or sit ups for your abs workout. The resistance tubes attach directly to the base for other body weight resistance exercises and add an extra dimension to your standard work out. Perfect for physical therapy and recovery exercises.


- Light weight and easy to carry
- Pump is included
- Rubber resistance trainers included
- Durable burst free material
- Skid free / mark free base

- Diameter: 23.5"
- Height: 10.5"
- Resistance tubes: 23"
- Capacity: 350 lb
- Weight: 17 lb

My Review:
The Titan Fitness Balance Trainer targets the core muscles of your body helping you to not only gain strength, trim and tone, but to strengthen the entire body and improve balance. The Balance Trainer delivers an ever-changing dynamic surface that you can stand on, jump on, kneel on, and lay on, to perform exercises to train and challenge every part of your body. The Balance Trainer helps to increase body strength and improve balance, coordination and body awareness which means overall improved fitness and fewer injuries. Because this piece of equipment is impossible to master, it means endless exercise options as strength and ability increase. And, because of its small size and weight it makes a great addition to any home gym and fits easily into any fitness program
Appropriate for everyone from elite athletes to kids to weekend warriors trying to stay in shape, the balance trainer helps you strengthen and coordinate several major muscle groups, including the muscles you don't see. It targets your core muscles--the muscles around your abdominal and back area--while you perform a host of different workouts, from squats and bicep curls to lateral shoulder raises and hip extensions. As a result, you not only gain strength, trim, and tone, but also improve your balance and coordination along the way.

In addition, balance training helps strengthen the mind, with thoughtful movement that requires the participant to not only be physically involved, but also "here and present" with the mind fully engaged. By combining physical and mental focus, balance training will boost your performance across a wide continuum of activities, including sports, recreation, and daily tasks.

What the Titan Balance Trainer will do for you:
  • BUILD BALANCE & STABILITY: This balance trainer is made for all fitness levels, and all ages to be used for; rehabilitation, physical therapy, strengthening your base, improving balance and hip strength, and to be incorporated into high-intensity cardio routines for the fitness buff. This is the perfect addition to your home gym, portable for on-the-go fitness or a great addition to rehab offices or gyms.
  • SAFE & SLIP RESISTANT: The slip resistant material will allow you to safely stand, jump, kneel, or lay on this balance trainer, for a worry free workout. Resist falls, improve your coordination and avoid muscle atrophy by using this for simple, easy balance training to build your core strength and stability.
  • USE BOTH SIDES FOR A COMPLETE WORKOUT: This balance trainer is designed to be useful on both sides for a thorough training routine. Use the half ball with the flat side down to stand on for simple balance building, using a basic stance, or push steps. Advance your routine by doing squats, lunges, or using for crunches. Take it even further by flipping the trainer over and using for planks or burpees.
  • RESISTANCE BANDS & PUMP INCLUDED: Crush your workout goals and complete your whole body workout with the free clip-on resistance bands. The balance trainer with the bands is the ultimate package; tone and strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and abs. Our dual action hand pump allows you to quickly and effortlessly pump your trainer up and begin your balance training
  • FINE TUNE SPORTS SKILL- Incorporate this piece of equipment when doing plyometric drills to improve both speed and power. It  helps to exert maximum force for short intervals for improvement in sports like tennis, football, basketball and skiing.

In Conclusion:
You can do various balancing exercise to strengthen the core. With the bands and the balance ball, you work out your whole body. The bands are removable so that makes the balance ball trainer versatile if you want to flip it over and use it that way (although it's not recommended for safety reasons, I still like to plank with it and do body squats using the backside). 

 As a physical therapist, the Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer is one of my favorite balance training tools. There are so many uses for it, and I often use it for arm/shoulder stabilization exercises as well. I also have found that they rarely require the addition of more air, so they are low maintenance pieces of equipment.

Order your Titan Fitness Balance Ball Trainer today:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WOD Wednesday #92

Five rounds of:
20 GHD Sit-ups
5 Push jerk

There's the beauty of this WOD. YOU choose the weight for the Push Press. Are you really strong? Got some experience with Oly lifts? Verrrry cool. Pick a big number. It looks like the target time for this WOD, the time domain we are aiming for is 10:00. Pick a weight that will put you in that range.

Sticking with movement 2, what is a Push Jerk? We have three foundational overhead lifts, the Press, the Push Press, and the Push Jerk. Well now, any guesses where you might find a video or two on the difference? YES! The "Youtube". The Push Jerk begins with the weight, whatever you have chosen, in the rack position, across your upper chest and anterior delts. The first move is a DIP, a bend in the knees, followed by an explosive DRIVE or your legs, arms, and explosive opening of your hips. In mid-drive there is a second DIP as you complete the overhead move by "catching" the weight above in a 1/4 squat. Stand up with the weight overhead. One. Do five.

20 GHD sit-ups. Glute Ham Developer. A devious device, that. Have you used one before? Do you regularly and routinely do GHD sit-ups as part of your warm-up? Of COURSE you haven't! Of COURSE you don't! Heck, anybody who is here who doesn't regularly and routinely practice GHD sit-ups SHOULD NOT DO GHD SIT-UPS in this WOD.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Start Your Day - Bulletproof Coffee

  • 1.5 - 2 Cups of Coffee
  • 1 TBS of Grass Fed Unsalted Butter
  • 1 TBS Organic Coconut Oil (refined or unrefined depending on your preference for the coconut taste)
  • Pinch of Cinnamon

Bulletproof Coffee is not your average latte.

It’s a high-performance drink that has a massive impact on your energy and cognitive function. Bulletproof Coffee has helped everyone from driven CEOs to professional athletes to busy parents increase their energy so they can do more of what fulfills them.

Drink Bulletproof Coffee instead of eating breakfast
Starting your day with cereal, granola, oatmeal, toast, fruit, or another carb-heavy breakfast staple spikes your blood sugar. You’ll get a quick burst of energy, but by mid-morning your blood sugar will crash, and you’ll be hungry, tired, and unfocused.

Starting your day with Bulletproof Coffee, on the other hand, gives you three things:
Suppressed hunger. Brain Octane Oil balances ghrelin and CCK, your hunger hormones, keeping you full until lunch.

Steady lasting energy. The saturated fat in grass-fed butter slows the absorption of caffeine, which gives you even energy for several hours instead of a caffeine spike and crash. No jitters, either.
Mental clarity. Brain Octane rapidly converts to ketones, a type of molecule that your brain uses more efficiently than carbs or sugar. Pair ketones with the slowly releasing caffeine and you can literally feel your brain turning on.

Ditch the carb-heavy breakfast. Start your day with fat for fuel. You’ll be sharp and alert straight through until lunch.

Original article can be found here:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Product Review: Stealth Core Trainer

Product Details:
PLAY GAMES on your smartphone by using your Abs. The Stealth app is free and plays on both Android and iOS smartphones.

THE WORLDS FIRST interactive core trainer. Stealth takes one of the most basic training exercises, the plank, and turns it into a full-on gaming experience.

GET A STRONG CORE AND A HEALTHY BACK in under 3 minutes a day. Stealth uses your core strength to control the action on your mobile phone screen, making static exercises like the plank more engaging — for your muscles and your brain.

NEVER DO BORING PLANKS AGAIN. No more sit ups or crunches either! Stealth’s Interactive Core Trainer makes core planking workouts fun and exciting by integrating mobile gaming.

Dynamic 360° Motion
Supports up to 400 lb user
Antimicrobial support pad made from energy -return foam for ultimate comfort and easy maintenance
Self lubricating nylon base
Delrin® components - a space age polymer as strong as steel
Patented Fluidity Sphere for ultra smooth movement
100% manufactured and assembled by hand
Made in USA
One Year Warranty

My Review:Stealth is a simple but very clever fitness device and probably the best purchase I’ve made on Kickstarter. Stealth delivers an amazing workout. In just a few minutes you can exercise your abdomen, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and legs. Stealth has you dynamically plank, as compared to a static plank. It has you twist, bank, and tilt, while holding a plank position. This allows you to engage more muscles than you would in a static plank. You do this while playing a game on a phone app. Your score is posted and ranked by age and gender. It’s very addicting. I’ve already ordered a second on Amazon and have had friends purchase Stealth after trying mine. The criticism I might have is I wish the board was a little wider at the bottom. When doing the exercise, you go to fairly extreme angles and I find my elbows can slip off the board.

The first time I used it after 40 seconds, I started to sweat and could feel my abdominal muscles really struggling. I was SHOCKED how intense of a workout it really is.

I ordered the "Stealth" because the product seemed to be unique from several perspectives. I don't think anyone likes doing planks... I certainly dislike them. The Stealth takes the basic plank and modifies it into something more advanced by combining the planking position with different dynamic body movements. The application for your smartphone is brilliant! I would encourage anyone who doesn't have to board yet to download the Stealth Core Trainer app and get an idea of what it does.

Why does everything work together so well? When working out on the stealth, you're thinking about the game, not the pain. I've found myself using the Stealth every day since I received it and I've even noticed an increase in my score on the app in the 4 days I've had the product.

It’s well constructed and simple. No assembly. The app is free and I have had no issues with it thus far. Paired together they are a blast and you forget you are working your core until your weakest link gives out. I have used it every day, for as long as I could last, and in two weeks my core strength has noticeably improved. Better posture!  I'm looking forward to seeing other app developers make applications for the board and I would love to see other workout products that incorporate the same smartphone idea.

I'll finish by saying I would highly recommend this product to anyone, especially those who might not find themselves working out as much as they would like to. The Stealth is worth every penny.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Jump Rope Cable Options - Buyers Guide

Maybe you jump rope for fun or simply for a casual workout. Maybe you compete at CrossFit or even at the National or World jump rope competitions.

The most important decision you’ll make when purchasing a jump rope is the type of cable you choose to go with it.

Handles are important, but using the correct type of cable makes all off the difference when jumping rope. This guide will help you pick the correct cable for different types of jumping and skill levels.

Ultra Thin Cable

Diameter: 1.2mm

Description: This is the newest and fastest of all cables on the market. When you first try the ultra thin cable you'll have a sensation that you're turning an invisible rope. The cable is very difficult to feel. However, the top jumpers in the world are using this cable to set speed and double under records (with much practice).

Coated with PTFE material that provides superior impact and wear resistance
Low sliding friction
Turns with extreme ease

Hard to feel the cable turning because of its low weight
Can fray at the ends of the cable
Wears quickly due to its thin coating
Can kink
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Sharp learning curve to master control
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: Competitive athletes (CrossFit & Jump Rope) who need speed above all else.

Bare Cable

Diameter: 1/16” (1.59mm)

Description: This is the mostly widely used cable in speed and multiple under competitions around the world. The bare cable has been the mainstay for high level athletes at competitions for over a decade. As it turns, the cable has a very light and responsive feel. This is a very fast cable.

Turns with great ease

Wears quickly due to lack of coating on the cable
Frays easily which can make it hard to work with.
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: CrossFit athletes and competitive speed jumpers.

Nylon Coated Cable

Diameter: 3/32” (2.38mm)

Description: Nylon coated cables are commonly seen being used by CrossFit athletes doing double unders. This cable is slower that the Ultra Thin and Bare Cables, but still is plenty fast. There is a greater "feel" to this cable when spinning the rope than that of the previous two cables, which leads to greater control and less misses. We need to make note that most companies coat this cable with PVC, which causes the cable to wear much faster. Look for nylon coated speed cable.

Excellent wear resistance on smooth surfaces (ie hardwood floors)
Turns with ease
Lots of color options
Fray resistant

Can kink
Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
Does not do crossing moves well

Recommended for: Anyone already proficient in double unders

PVC Coated Cable

Diameter: 1/8” (3.18mm)

Description: The PVC coated cable is becoming extremely popular of late with freestyle jumpers and CrossFit athletes. Freestyle jumpers love this cable due to its quickness and ease of turning. Yet, the cable is flexible enough to easily do crossing and power moves. Athletes learning double unders find this cable super helpful because it turns quickly and has a good feel to it. This will decrease the double unders learning curve. We find many double under workshops are using this cable exclusively for teaching purposes. The PVC Coated Cable is also being used as the cable in speed double dutch competitions. In fact a Chinese team recently used a Speed Cable Double Dutch rope that uses this cable to set a new speed record with it.

Easy to feel the cable turn
Long lasting
Easy to do crossing and power moves

Can be a little too fast for Freestyle Jumpers
Can be a little to slow for double under athletes.

Recommended for: Learning double unders.

Outdoor Rated Cable

Diameter: 1/8” (3.18mm)

Description: We designed this tough cable for the athletes who have no other choice but
to jump rope on rough or outdoor surfaces. Any other type of cable will last only a very short time on outside surfaces. The Outdoor Cable has a super tough nylon coating, which makes it stiffer than the PVC coated 1/8” cable. It has the heaviest feel of all of our cable ropes.

Tough, long lasting coating
Heavy weight

Too stiff for crossing moves
Slower than all other cables

Recommended for: Double unders or speed jumping on outdoor or abrasive surfaces.

Blog Post Courtesy of ELITESRS 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

WOD Wednesday #91

Three rounds for time of:
12 Muscle-ups
75 Squats

A muscle-up is a foundational exercise in gymnastics, a ring exercise that is so simple and basic that it doesn't even rate a difficulty score for gymnasts. Here, a MU is a milestone for most of us, the first MU a notable achievement. Hanging from rings using a false grip do a ring pull-up, quickly transition to chest over our hands, and then push out a ring dip. Lower yourself to arms fully extended under the rings. One MU. No rings available? 1 bar MU = 1 ring MU.

Can't do a MU, or as we say in CF, don't "have" a MU? The sub is Pull-ups and Dips. The FULL sub is 4 PU and 4 bar dips for each MU. I usually do 3/1, freely admitting that is is not only a sub but also a scale. Let's be honest here.. You're not going to do 48 PU and 48 dips each round for 3 rounds. Not gonna happenDo 1:1 or 2:1. Do whatever type do PU scaling you've been doing all month (bands, Gravitron) but DO NOT DO JUMPING PU WITH NEGATIVES. Same with dips; scale as you need with bands, Gravitron, one leg on ground for assist.

When you see "Squats" on a CF WOD that means air, or unweighted squats. Just you and gravity. Nothing on your shoulders, on your rack (heh heh), or overhead. Good form is essential. Full squats with the crease of your hip below your knee on each one, a fully open hip at the top. 75 per round. Scale reps here if this is too much, and it MAY be. How about 50, or even 25/round?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Product Review: PowerDot Duo

Product Details:
  • WIRELESS PODS FOR EASY USE: While other EMS pods only leave you tangled in wires and ruin your workout, the POWERDOT pods connect wirelessly to your phone. Leaving you free from distractions and focused solely on working out. You can take them wherever and even use them at home to recover while you watch TV!
  • YOUR ENTIRE WORKOUT CONTROLLED FROM YOUR PHONE: Use the free iPhone & Android compatible app to control the pods. Select target muscles and intensity at the touch of a button. No need for WiFi or data, just use your phone’s bluetooth function. The encrypted app runs independently from other phone apps so your workout won’t be interrupted.
  • SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO COMPLEMENT YOUR TRAINING: Effective as a post-training tool to speed up muscle recovery, as a rehabilitation tool for physical therapy and even as a boost to your regular strength training routine. Multiple studies have shown that EMS users perform better after incorporating it into their training routine.
  • DESIGNED FOR YOUR FITNESS GOALS: Unlike other EMS products that only perform one job, the POWERDOT muscle stimulators have 9 different workout programs to choose from. With 4 everyday programs to help you recover, leading to faster progress towards your fitness goals. Plus 5 performance programs designed to increase your muscle strength and endurance - each with their own progression levels. There are also custom manual settings for you to create your own workout.
  • FDA APPROVED & A NO HASSLE WARRANTY: At POWERDOT, we believe in getting you the best possible results! You can count on durability and high quality with Powerdot

PowerDot Duo includes:
  • (2) PowerDot devices (available here in black or red)
  • (4) sets of electrode pads (last for 4 months of active training)
  • (2) 10cm and (1) 25cm lead cable
  • (2) Micro USB charging cables
  • (1) Carrying case
  • Mobile App with numerous preset programs
Additional Specifications:
  • (2) Independent Stimulation Channels
  • Bi-phasic square waveform
  • Peak voltage of 110V provided in small <1V increments (under 1k Ohm load)
  • FCC-approved Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy module
  • Supports Android 4.4+/iOS 7.0+ mobile devices

My Review:
The best thing I can say about the PowerDot is its portability. Its small and compact design allows you to bring it almost everywhere and even wear it under your office shirt to warm up your muscles in the office secretly before hitting up a great training session.
The PowerDot is the name given to this red little device that uses Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) to improve athletic performance. Simply stick the electrodes on your target muscle and let the PowerDot do the work for you.

Image result for powerdot duoI've thoroughly enjoyed my Power Dot since getting it. I've probably uses it for over 30 sessions so far within the 1st month of getting it. At one point it was the only thing I was doing while dealing with strep throat sickness and it really helped my muscles from stiffening up while just laying in bed for 2 days. The different programs, ease of intensity changes and pad applications have made it an incredible versatile and easy still device to use. I only wish I had purchased more pads right away.

The one negative has been the issue of activating the dots to my phone for use. I've followed the directions and there have been a number of times when it has taken nearly 15 minutes for my phone to activate both dots. At one point I had both dots activated and connected in the start up page but when I switched to the workouts, it wasn't registering both. Very frustrating. But if that's the only negative, that's pretty good.

I do a variety of different sports: triathlons, CrossFit, OCR, and hiking. Efficient recovery is critical for me to stick to my training schedule. The device is very easy to quickly set up with the intuitive iOS app. My muscles felt amazing and much more relaxed even after the first session. The POWERDOT will be instantly integrated into my recovery routine

Lastly, I have had the pleasure of owning many different units. When I purchased the Compex, I did like it but felt lost in the using of the device. It gave no direction on where to place the pads, when to use which program and then I was also connected to a bunch of wires. Oh and the cost is a rip off. When PowerDot came out, I tried that device. From the very beginning it seemed to answer all my missing questions. It provides direction and guidance on when to use each program and where to place the pads. It actually provides a real life image of where the pads actually go. Now some people say you can always get the wireless version of the compex ...yeah if you want a huge bulky device plus bulky transmitters on your body. The PowerDot is small, and unique. Oh and a lot less in price. I would say over all the devices run very similar, with the exception of MyPowerDot being less expensive, smaller, and more user friendly.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Upper and Lower Extremity Screening Cheat Sheet - Part 2

After assessing for active range of motion and muscle strength:

Step 3:  Assess light touch in dermatomal patterns.  Almost every nerve in your body originally branches out your spine at specific places between the spinal vertebraes. This branching of nerve or the dorsal root from the spine has a particular area of skin that is associated with it. This pattern of skin and associate nerve root is known as the Dermatomal pattern.

Step 4: Assess deep tendon reflexes.  A reflex is a motor response to a sensory stimulus and is used to assess the integrity of the nervous system at various spinal nerve root levels.  Deep tendon reflexes will elicit a muscle contraction when the muscles tendon is stimulated.

Deep Tendon Reflexes Procedure Guidelines:

  • Patient should be relaxed
  • Muscle should be placed in a slight stretch
  • Use reflex hammer to tap tendon
  • Assess both sides
  • Reflex should be graded as normal (+2), Hyper active (+3 or 4), or diminished (0-+1)
When completing an Upper Extremity Quarter Screen the therapist should test your reflexes for C5 nerve at the Brachioradialis,  C6 nerve with the bicep tendon, and C7 nerve with the triceps tendon.

When completing a Lower Extremity Quarter Screen the therapist should test your reflexes for L3 nerve with the Quadriceps (also called patellar tendon) and S1 nerve with the achilles tendon.

**Please note that while this is a 2 part blog post with a lot of information for visual aid, these tests should take no more than a couple minutes by a trained therapist/coach.  These screens are very basic tests designed to provide a rapid assessment of mobility and neurological function of the upper and lower extremities.  If a test shows any problems with AROM, Myotomes, Dermatomes, or reflexes this essentially narrows down the problem and directs further testing.  These tests can also be used as a prescreen for athletes during physical examination to establish a baseline of function.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Upper and Lower Extremity Screening Cheat Sheet - Part 1

Explanation of Procedure and Rationale:  The therapist should explain to the patient they are conducting an assessment of the patients neck and arms (Upper Extremity, UE) or back and legs (Lower Extremity, LE).  The patient will be asked to perform UE or LE movements to the best of their ability.  The patient is instructed to tell the therapist if/when they feel pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness.  The rationale behind this is that these tests provide a rapid assessment of mobility and neurological function of the neck, UE's, lumbar spine or LE's.

Step One: Check active range of motion for the desired screening quarter (UE or LE), check for range of motion and assess for pain during AROM.  If symptoms do not increase apply slight over pressure to gauge passive range of motion and reassess symptoms.

AROM Norms for Cervical Spine:

  • Flexion - 80 - 90 degrees
  • Extension - 70 degrees
  • Side Bending - 20 - 45 degrees
  • Rotation 70 - 90 degrees
AROM Norms for Upper Extremities Tested:
  • Flexion/Abduction: 180 degrees
  • Extension: 45 - 60 degrees
  • Internal Rotation 70 degrees
  • External Rotation: 90 degrees
AROM Norms for Lumbar Spine:
  • Forward Flexion: 40 - 60 degrees
  • Extension: 20 - 35 degrees
  • Side Bending: 15 - 20 degrees
  • Rotation: 3 - 18 degrees
AROM Norms for Lower Extremities Tested:
  • Hip Flexion: 120 degrees
  • Extension: 30 degrees
  • Abduction 45 degrees
  • Adduction 30 degrees

Step 2:  Test the Myotomes (or resisted movements) to assess strength. Test to be done bilaterally
Myotome Tests UE:
  • C1, C2 nerve roots: Test resisted cervical flexion
  • C3: Test resisted cervical side flexion
  • C4: Test resisted shoulder elevation
  • C5: Test resisted shoulder abduction
  • C6: Test resisted Elbow Flexion
  • C7: Test resisted elbow extension
  • C8: Test resisted Thumb extension
  • T1: Test resisted finger abd/adduction
Myotome Tests for LE:
  • L1, L2 nerve roots: Test resisted hip flexion
  • L3: Test resisted knee extension
  • L4: Test resisted ankle dorsiflexion
  • L5: Test resisted Great toe extension
  • S1: Test resisted ankle plantar flexion

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Orthotics: How to and Considerations

A client wearing a new orthosis may adopt the following schedule:

Wear orthosis for approximately 30-60 minutes per day; may break this time up into the morning and evening times

Days 3/4
Increase morning and evening time to about 1 hour each or 2 hours total per day
Days 5-10
Increase wearing time to approximately 2 hour in the morning and evening, or 4 total hours a day
Days 11-14
Apply the orthosis first thing in the morning, remove, checking skin before lunch.  The orthosis may be put on again and checked after school/dinner;  it may be applied a third time and worn untill bedtime

Note:  Patients, caregivers and therapists should perform a skin check each time the orthosis is removed.  Check for redness, skin irritation, blistering of the skin.  Any redness school disappear within a few seconds after removing the device.  If it persists longer than a few minutes or if skin breakdown develops, the patient should immediately stop wearing the orthosis, and the supervising Physical Therapist and Orthotist should be immediately contacted.

Skin and Orthosis Care:
Clients wearing orthoses should be told to notify the orthotist or other health care provider if the following problems are noticed:
  • The orthosis rubs, causing skin discoloration that does not disappear after a few minutes.
  • After removal of the device, blistering or skin breakdown is evident
  • The orthosis is cracked, broken, loose, or has missing parts
  • The orthosis is uncomfortably tight
  • Excessive swelling develops within or around the trimlines of the orthosis
  • Pain becomes a symptoms, or intensifies.
  • Toes, fingers become discolered
  • An odor or exudates develops
Caring for the orthosis:
The orthosis should be cleaned with mild soap and water.  It should not be soaked in water or dried with a blow dryer, or placed near a heater as heat may cause its shape to change.  It may be towel dried or left at room temperature.  A little talcum powder may help reduce odor.
  • Cotton socks should be worn under the orthosis to prevent friction and protect the skin from perspiration.
  • Seams of socks should be kept away from bony areas
  • Avoid wrinkles or folds in socks.
  • A white cotton t shirt is preferable to wear under spinal orthoses for the same reason as above.
  • For LE orthotic, sandals, high heels, loafers, or other slip on shoes should be avoided.
In general, orthosis should be easily applied and performed independently by the patient.  However children, and others may require additional assistance, and given instruction in how to perform as well.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Product Review: Ikonfitness Pull Up Bar

Product Details:

  • No screws - ready to use - no need to assemble! Simply hook right into the doorframe, get a full body workout, and fold away for storage!
  • Raised bar - Suitable for tall people. Designed for wide doorframes with a maximum width of 36.22” (92 cm) and depth of 8.27” (21 cm) - Made for wider doorframes: fits a door width of 27.56” - 36.22” (70 - 92 cm).
  • Maximum stability, robust, high quality construction. Heavy duty design prevents movement of the bar during exercise. Safe weight limit of up to 440 lb (200 kg). Cushioned pads prevent damage to doorframe.
  • Comfortable - no more blisters on your hands! Soft foam grip - durable and nonslip. Extra thick rod ensures firm grip.
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee! If you do not like the Ikonfitness pull up bar for any reason, just send it back within 60 days. Our friendly customer service members will refund you for the full amount! 
  • Almost 8” higher than competing products thanks to raised bar design
  • Train on the floor for pushups, sit ups, dips, and more: complete upper-body training
  • Deeper pushups and increased range of motion for better results
  • Maximum stability: solid, high quality construction
  • Thick rod for firm grip
  • High quality foam: no blisters on your hands
  • Made for wider doorframes: fits a door width of 27.56” - 36.22” (70 - 92 cm) - Measure the space inside your door frame. The Ikonfitness Pull Up Bar is designed for spaces between 27.56-36.22 inches (70-92 cm)
  • Just fold and store to save space
  • Safe weight limit of 440 lb (200 kg)
  • Specially designed rubber pads protect doorframe from damage

The bar itself was shipped in a very thin box which is due to its genius design. It has these two hooks that fold in and out and are spring supported. The metal itself feels like quality and I doubt it will bend (if it does I will update this). The bar looks very simple and pleasing to the eye. It stays put even when you are not hanging from it. Finally the most important thing, it was designed by someone who had a good grasp of basic physics and considered torque and application of force. The angles are just right, as I said it stays put without any force applied to it, but once you hang from it and there is a downward force, the bar will feel like it is part of the wall itself, you will feel very sturdy. It also requires ZERO assembly, its not that the last bar was hard to put together, no they usually take only a few minutes, but if you are buying one of these it's probably because you are renting and so are likely to move, taking the bar apart and putting it together is a pain and losing screws and parts is a real problem. This thing just comes down and folds away so moving it or storing it when it's not up is real easy.

What is smart hook technology and how does this bar compare to other pull up bars?  Smart hook is an unique design to solve the problem of traditional pull up bar easily falling down and causing damage to door frame. During the usage, the hook extends over the door to the back door frame, so the downward force when you grab on to the top bar doing pull ups is decomposed into the horizontal forces on the cap ends of the lower bar towards the vertical strip of the door frame and the downward vertical forces between the teeth of the tool and the top strip of the door frame. In such a way, your force is balanced by 6 smaller forces, each is much smaller, and saves the surface of your door, as well as making it safer.

One "bad" thing I haven't seen mentioned in other reviews yet is the bar diameter is much bigger than every other pull up bar I've ever seen. This is "bad" in the sense that it requires a much, MUCH stronger grip, even with the padding it has, to do proper pull ups. A thicker bar translates to a far more difficult workout. So, for a beginner that struggles to do even a single pull up, this bar is going to make that struggle even worse. The upside is that if you stick with it, you'll be far stronger than you would have on a smaller bar. Similarly, if you're someone that's already really good at pull ups, this might be your answer to increasing the difficulty of your pull ups without having to risk injury or damage with belts, chains, and extra weight.

Monday, October 8, 2018

PT Pathologies: Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) or acute polyneuropathy is a temporary inflammation and demyelination of the peripheral nerves myelin sheaths, potentially resulting in axonal degeneration.  Motor weakness results in a distal to proximal progression as well as sensory impairment and possible respiratory paralysis.  The cause of Guillain-Barre Syndrome is not exactly known, but, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, scientists do know that "the body's immune system begins to attack the body itself, causing what is known as an autoimmune disease."  It is not fully understood why it strikes some people but not others or what it is that sets the disease in motion.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome can occur in individuals at any age, but it tends to have the highest frequency in young adults and adults 50-80 years old.  Also males typically have a higher incidence of GBS than females.  Those affected by GBS initially present with "distal symmetrical motor weakness and will likely experience mild distal sensory impairment and transient paresthesias."  Weakness eventually progresses proximally toward the upper extremities and to the head.  Along with motor weakness, the patient could present with muscle and respiratory paralysis, the absence of deep tendon reflexes, and the inability to speak or swallow.  If there is respiratory involvement GBS can be life threatening.  Laboratory and imaging studies can be done to confirm GBS as well as the use of additional information such as a physical and neurological examination, strength testing, and a review of the patients relevant medical history.

In order to medically manage GBS, hospitalization may be required.  Pharmacological interventions are used to treat the symptoms, as well as PT, OT, and SLP.  Each of these different types of therapies facilitate neurological rehabilitation.  As soon as the patient is admitted to the hospital, physical therapy treatment should be initiated.  The focus of the physical therapy should be PROM, positioning, and some light exercise.  While the patient is in the acute phase of GBS, the PT should ensure they are not overexerting or causing too much fatigue for the patient.  This could cause exacerbations of the patients symptoms. "As the patient progresses, intervention may include orthotic, wheelchair or assistive device prescription, exercise and endurance activities, family teaching, functional mobility and gait training, and progressive respiratory therapy".  A therapeutic swimming pool may also be indicated for the patient.  This allows initiation of movement without the effects of gravity.  Once the patient goes home, he/she should continue therapeutic exercise, functional mobility training, endurance activities, and other breathing activities.  Physical therapy can assist in the recovery of GBS but cannot alter the course of the disease.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

WOD Wednesday #90 - Powered by Treign Apparel

Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
10 burpees
20 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball

Monday, October 1, 2018

Quotes and Food for Thought

- "Effectiveness is doing the right thing. Efficiency is doing things the right way.  But doing something well, does not make it important."

- "If you feel like you don't have time, then it actually means you just don't have clear priorities."

- It is en vogue these days to be a PT and write a big dissertation style post about how people have different bones. If you walk into my gym and lead with "but I've got long femurs" I'll say "that's nice, but it doesn't excuse you from squatting in a stable and efficient manner." If you as a coach can't understand how to get anyone you come across to start squatting well for them regardless of their bones you are missing something.

-  Think of the curl as a way to work flexion and external rotation of the elbow and shoulder a little different way. Slow controlled curls can actually be a way of helping improve you crap front rack. It is also another way to work on keeping a solid trunk with a load away from your center of mass. Many will find it incredibly difficult to actually be fully supinated.   How do you think about a one arm row? Do you think about it as a back exercise or do you think about it as a way to work on a stable foot and trunk while maintaining abdominal volume and proper breathing while in a staggered and hinged position?

The heavy suitcase carry. What is it to you? I like it because I can ask someone to pick up that heavy thing for me and bring it over here and instantly I can see how well they can maintain trunk stiffness, abdominal volume, and manage breathing under load while doing something. I don't need to much else. If you let go of tension and I get this weird sideways ab bulge. Then I reset tension and get back to an even abdominal volume. This is what makes 1 armed carries so powerful if you coach them well and get the person to understand what they should be focusing on. What you start to realize is a lot of strength and conditioning is really just training your ability to stabilize your trunk a bunch of different ways in a bunch of different shapes. If you see weird sideways ab, the person has yet to achieve fencepost status. Sturdy like an oak.

- One of the things we cannot always control is structural symmetry. We can, however, control how the system moves as a whole. You'll note that my right side looks far different than my left side. But, my gross motor control is constant and symmetrical. Fascial and muscular systems will always reflect the realities of playing a uni-lateral sport (like baseball or golf or, in my case, canoeing). And yet, the body has a miraculous way of managing these imperfect system strains into a cogent whole. We need to remind ourselves always that our brains are wired for movement, not muscles, or connective tissues. We don't chase asymmetrical structural compensation. We plan for it, manage it, expect it, and adjust load and practice accordingly. Don't loose the forest for the trees.

- It is all about shifting mindset. What do you do with a saw horse and railroad tie when you are in your 70's and suffering from lower back pain and are contemplating getting an appointment with a surgeon and some injections? You get to work dragging the tie around your yard and deadlifting the one end and figuring out how to do sit ups and back extensions with your saw horse. Seeing me in the beginning for a little manual work may be the catalyst but in the end you are in control. Sometimes you need someone to tell you that. Notice how simple this stuff is. Things are often made purposely complicated to keep people in the dark.

-  Monday I tweaked my back doing some one arm swings with a 24kg kettlebell. Got lazy. Pretty minor pain but enough to interfere with some things. Did some very minor joint and soft tissue stuff to myself for about 10 minutes the next day then got right back to training with the KB, bar, and sled. Thursday I was good to go. I think to myself other people may have went to some kind of professional and maybe some x rays would be taken and maybe they would have been convinced to take on some extensive 3 time a week plan because they have some "misalignment" or "degenerative disease." You are not as fragile as you think and maybe some manual work is needed for a very short time as a small fraction of the solution but you need to get back to doing stuff. There is nothing fancy that needs to be done. Fancy is bullshit. You are in control.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

WOD Wednesday #89

For time:
50 one-legged squats, alternating
25 dips
40 one-legged squats, alternating
20 dips
30 one-legged squats, alternating
15 dips
20 one-legged squats, alternating
10 dips
10 one-legged squats, alternating
5 dips

Friday, September 21, 2018

Product Review: Titan Fitness Silencer Drop Pads

Product Details:
Greatly reduced the noise and vibration from dropping barbells with the Titan Silencer Drop Pads. These high quality pad are 24" x 30" to give you enough room to comfortably drop your weight on and 6" thick to lessen the impact, vibration, and noise from each drop. Each pad has an easy carry for transportation and storage.

- Reduce noise and vibration from dropping barbells.
- Easy carry handle for transportation and storage.
- Comes in a pair.

- Length: 24"
- Width: 30"
- Height: 6"
- Weight: 40 LB Pair | 20 LB Single.


Titan Fitness has just released a simple product that does one thing extremely well, reducing the noise of dropping weights. Combining high-quality foam with a durable shell, Silencer Drop Pads are the best option currently available for reducing the noise associated with dropping barbells.

This is the end of floor damage and dropped weights sounding like the ceiling is coming down with them. The Titan Silencer Drop Pads are extremely tough and can take a beating. But they are also extremely pliable. This is extremely helpful for those doing high impact workouts. The feeling is firm and supportive, yet forgiving, resulting in reduced stress on your joints.  This foam is able to take immense amounts of pressure, yet remain rigid. It's actually pretty cool to see because when you pick it up, it feels like a hard block of rubber. This foam is designed to take repeated abuse and keep on suppressing sound.
Key Features
  • Weight 20lbs each, 40lbs total
  • Very easy to take off and on the floor, lightweight and small in design
  • The stitching, zipper and cover were all chosen and designed as such to handle very high volume, heavy load and to resist lots of wear and tear
  • Silencer Drop Pads were made for dropping heavy weights on. VS. soft plyo boxes that other companies sell for jumping on but do not have the capacity to last very long and maintain shape and form
  • The foam thickness, density and type results in the most effective option to serve a few purposes: absorb the weight and not transfer the vibrations to the surroundings, return back to its shape so the weight can sit on the top of the pad without sinking and to minimize bounce for safety reasons
  • Design: has Logos on both sides to encourage the user to use both sides for dropping to extend the life of the product
  • Multiple uses: Drop blocks, pulling blocks, plyo-box, good for doing gymnastics work on, good for tops of drop blocks to extend the life of your drop blocks, strongman equipment like stones, axels, logs, kegs, etc... 
  • Great for home gyms, commercial gyms, Weightlifting clubs, CrossFit classes, rooftop gyms, etc..
  • As always Great Titan Fitness Customer Service
The unique design serves to cushion the load, reducing the impact force even further and subsequently reducing noise.  The reduced impact is also spread over a much wider surface area of the ground, further helping to protect the cement base floor beneath.  By massively increasing the impact surface area of the weight plate, greatly reduces stress on the weight plates and bar, increasing their life on the gym floor.

The cover features a non-skid bottom to keep it from shifting when weights are dropped, and it does a pretty good job of meeting its claims. The cover is available in two different colors, black and blue, The Silencer Drop Pads are the best option for reducing noise from dropping weights that we've found and although they're a bit pricey for just pads and still need need more time to test long term durability, we still highly recommend them.

Order yours by clicking through the banner:
Titan Fitness_728x90

Monday, September 17, 2018

PT Pathologies: Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of non-progressive movement disorders that result from brain damage.  This diagnosis is seen in 2-4 children out of 1,000 births and is the most common cause of permanent disability iin children cross the US.  The cause of CP is often multifactorial or sometimes even unknown.  This disease can occur as prenatal, which has an 80 percent occurrence, and postnatal, which has a 20 percent occurrence among children with CP.  Malnutrition during pregnancy, infection and diabetes are prenatal contributing risk factors, while cardio-vascular accidents, head trauma and neonatal infection contribute the to the disease after the child is born.

If CP is suspected through clinical findings, such as motor delays, poor balance and seizures, and electrocephalograph (EEG) may be performed.  Also urine tests may be administered to investigate the metabolic cause.  The clinical presentation of a child who has CP would lack motor skills, have poor balance, and depending on the severity of the child's condition, they may be affected intellectually and have a learning disability.

Since CP is a non-progressive disorder, the individual will never see a decrease in mobility or motor function because of the disease.  Based on severity, each patient is ranked either mild, moderate or severe.  However, a patient can potentially improve with the help of physical therapy to improve motor skills and work on improving their balance.  Also, adaptive equipment is probably necessary in most cases, such as a wheelchair or crutches.  Physical therapy would benefit the patient by maximizing the patients level of current function, and help the patient learn to ambulate if physically possible, which usually occurs by age 8.

Cerebral Palsy Primary Motor Patterns (mixed motor patterns exist)

  • Spastic- indicating a lesion in the motor cortex of the cerebrum: upper motor neuron damage
  • Athetoid - indicating a lesion involving the basal ganglia
Distribution of involvement:
  • Monoplegia - one extremity
  • Diplegia - Bilateral lower extremity involvement, however, upper extremities may be affected
  • Hemiplegia - unilateral involvement of the upper and lower extremities
  • Quadriplegia - involvement of entire body

Friday, September 14, 2018

Product Review: Resiliency Project Leopard Claw (IASTM)

Product Details:
Inspired by the ancient Chinese recovery technique of Gua Sha—known to modern trainers as Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)—the MobilityWOD Leopard Claw is a highly specialized tool that gives athletes the ability to “scrape” damaged muscle tissue on their own time, potentially improving blood flow and promoting faster healing.

While early Gua Sha treatments were conducted with horns or animal bones, the Leopard Claw provides a much more effective, modern design—made in the USA from medical grade stainless steel with raised “leopard spots” for a firm grip. The Claw is available from Rogue in a polished steel and gun metal version, and it can be used on all edges.

Convex Edge: The convex edge of the Leopard Claw is used to scan over the targeted muscle tissues and detect abnormalities. Once they are discovered, the user can increase the frequency of the scraping above and below the point of restriction to desensitize the tissues. Then more pressure can be used to affect the deeper layers of tissue.

Concave Edge: This side of the tool can be used to spread out and increase the surface area of the tissues being treated.

Claw Ends: The ends on both sides of the Claw are used for scraping smaller areas, and can be used to scrape across the muscle fibers or against the grain.

The length of the Leopard Claw makes it easy to grip in both hands when scraping larger muscle groups. No matter which area you’re treating, MobilityWOD highly recommends using an emollient on the skin to provide a smooth glide for the tool. A water soluble product can help neutralize your skin's pH by preventing bacterial growth. This also helps promote healthy skin and minimizes clean up when you are done scraping.

My Review:
When I first received the Leopard Claw, I was impressed by how solid and well made the tool was. It has a curved 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 Leopard Claw 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 with the use of the claw ends.

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 $150 before shipping.
A quasi single sided bevel tool. One side of the tool is flush while the other side is rounded. The flush side has a slight bevel on the edge. The rounded side is entirely a bevel.

The weight feels good. You can go light or deep, when performing self-IASTM. The tool doesn’t feel cheap at all.

For self-IASTM, this is the tool to buy. I own Myofascial Releaser’s Ellipse Pro and Tear Drop bar and the Wave Tool. I recommend the Leopard Claw if you need an IASTM tool for self treatment. The Wave Tool and Myofascial Releaser are too short to get your back and are a bit short for going deep on your legs. The smaller tools also promote hand fatigue when you’re working your quads and hamstrings.

The Leopard Claw’s length is just right! The Tear Drop bar is excessive and hollow, so I can bend it. I am not concerned that I will bend the Leopard Claw. The curvature of the Leopard Claw promotes good contact with your back and legs.

This stays in my gym bag so I effectively and efficiently use it whenever I need to. Each angle of the tool can be utilized depending on the tissue one is working on, alleviating the need for different sized tools & a bulky brief case to carry them around in. Though this was intended for self maintenance and mobility, One will not be disappointed if they tried this, for the quality this price is a steal compared to the other tools on the market. I love coupling it with Combat one field foam as well, to allow for clean/smooth gliding over the skin.

If you are in the market for only one tool, then, make it this tool.

Get your own Leopard Claw at - use code "brian5" for 5% off!