doug@janddfitness.com

I Always Avoided This

 

 

     Did you like veggies as a kid? I actually didn’t mind them. I had my favorites, green beans and carrots. I’m thankful that both my parents forced me to eat a well-balanced diet. I believe that’s why I enjoy veggies to this day and don’t have any nutritional deficiencies. I do wish I had a coach early on when I started strength training that forced me to work on my mobility. That alone may have saved me from a few injuries.

     There’s a popular saying in the strength and conditioning world that getting stronger solves a lot of problems. I partly agree with this. Many people experience problems due to weakness and the answer is to increase strength. Similar to your nutrition, you should have a well-balanced exercise program. It should include exercises to address strength, power, muscular endurance, body-composition (lean muscle to fat ratio), and mobility. I’ve been strength training for over 30 years. I can acknowledge that my personal workouts have always checked each of those boxes, except for mobility. It was my understanding early on that if I perform strength training exercises using a full range of motion, I would maintain my mobility. I was wrong. I now understand and have observed that if you put more emphasis on one or more of the components, you may sacrifice in one of the other categories.

     I’ve always focused heavily on becoming stronger. When I participated in competitive sports (football, wrestling), there was an emphasis on both power and endurance. Later in life, when I stepped on stage as a competitive bodybuilder, it was all about building maximum muscle while carrying minimal body-fat. I was always strong, so after bodybuilding my focus went solely to strength. The goal may have shifted to over-all strength, as opposed to being strong in a particular exercise (example- bench press or dead-lift), but it remained strength, nonetheless. This picture was a taken 4 years ago at a local gym at a bodyweight of 210lbs. I was able to lift 450lbs. in the dead-lift for a few repetitions.


blog doug bar 1030

 

While lifting more than double my body-weight in the dead-lift may sound impressive and is well above average, my mobility was sub-par, and well below average. Some would argue that it was my tight tendon attachments in my glutes and hips that allowed me to both squat & dead-lift very heavy weight for years. However, I will argue that my tightness caused me to compensate in other movement patterns, which later created muscle imbalances that eventually led to injuries. Now this picture may not appear as impressive as the prior, but it is for me.

 Blog1030 Dougsit

 

For years, I struggled to sit in what is called a pigeon or a 90/90 position. In this position you have one hip externally rotated with the other hip internally rotated. If I did attempt this position, my body would excessively lean to one side and I may experience cramping in the hip. My core would shut down to create the mobility that my hips lacked. After working extensively on my mobility for the last few years, I’ve come to a point where I can sit on the floor in this position and not be uncomfortable or in pain.

     My goal was not to make this a public service announcement about mobility. It was to share my personal experience. Similar to you, I tend to do the things I’m either good at or enjoy. The job of a qualified coach is to create a safe and effective program.  It should be fun, well balanced and catered to your current fitness level. Just like when we were kids, you need to eat everything, including your vegetables.

See you at the studio.

 

 


doug@janddfitness.com

The Warm-up and Why We Use it

 

     The fitness studio industry is currently in a bubble and gyms are opening up at a rampant rate. I don’t make it a habit to follow the formats of other studios, but I do have to keep abreast of what my competitors are doing. I will routinely shop these facilities, observing the treatment of their walk-in guests, their front desk protocol, and how their gym floor is situated. Something that appears to be common amongst many of these places is their lack of a proper warm-up. It’s either minimal, at best, or missing completely. As a gym owner, I understand that your goal is get people in and get them moving as soon as possible to experience your workout, but skipping this vital part can make someone’s 1st visit hazardous.

     It all starts with educating someone on why they need it. We use kettlebells, the TRX suspension system, and the Ultimate Sandbag as the primary tools in our workouts. None of these will necessarily create an injury, but if you’re not adequately prepared for strenuous activity, and that’s what exercise is, they could lead you to an injury. Warm-ups will not give you six-pack abs, help you to drop 20lbs of body-fat, or give you muscular definition in your arms. They will allow you to move better and with more intensity, which will help get you these results. Exercise protocols change as we learn more, so I will not state that this warm-up will be what we’re doing in 6 months, but we currently have 2 components in our warm-up.

     The 1st thing we do is some soft tissue work with a foam roller. Physical therapists use the term soft tissue mobilization. Chiropractors commonly use the acronym ART for Active Release Technique. Massage therapists just call it deep tissue work. As stated by internationally recognized strength coach, Mike Boyle, “It’s all pressure applied to tissue to deform it and cause a chemical reaction”. By rolling the muscles and tendons across the foam roller, you can change the tissue density and the quality of the muscle.

 grid_copy1

The Grid Foam Roller by Trigger Point used at the studio

Allowing a muscle to move more freely and with a better range of motion around a joint is big in injury prevention. It’s possible to spend 30-45 minutes foam rolling your entire body. I recently developed a new workout at the studio, called Mobility Worx, which spends an extended amount of time on tissue work. In our other workout sessions, we limit this time to 5 minutes. At the studio, we focus on the areas that we have observed are typically bound up in most people. This area is commonly referred to as the posterior kinetic chain. I explain it simply as all the muscles you can’t see when you look in a mirror. This includes your calves, hamstrings, glutes and back muscles. Dr. Thomas Meyers refers to this as the superficial back line in his book Anatomy Trains.

 

skeleton

     After we perform 5-8 rolls across the hamstrings, glutes, and upper back, we move on to our mobility drills. The goal of these 3 drills is to address joint capsule mobility, specifically the hip and shoulder, and to start a couple of motor control drills. There are many things our bodies do as a reflex. Think about when you breathe, blink or walk. You just do them and don’t think about them, unless affected by injury. We have our members do a leg lowering drill which works on hamstring lengthening and pelvic control. We perform a hip mobility and thoracic spine mobility exercise. If you read my prior blog post, I stated that I have yet to see anyone who has too much thoracic spine mobility. Finally, we will have members perform 5 reps on each side of a hip extension from a seated position with a reach. The goal of this drill is to get the glutes contracting, extending the hips while having the upper body stabilize the shoulder by “packing” and using the lats or latissimus dorsi. To see our warm-up in entirety, you can click on the link below.

J & D Fitness Warm-up

     The bottom line is that we get a lot done in 5- 7minutes. It’s nothing outwardly exciting, but very important in guaranteeing you have a safe workout and, better yet, a great experience.

See you at the studio.

    

    


J & D Fitness
4180 South Fort Apache Rd,
Las Vegas, NV 89147
702-892-0400