Mobility Vs. Flexibility

Mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion.

Mobility is based on movement and motor control.

Flexibility is the ability of a muscle to move passively through a range of motion.

Flexibility is temporary. 

You can’t effectively stretch a muscle that crosses a joint with limited mobility. 

Proper execution of mobility exercises will improve free movement through a joints full range of motion. When performed consistently mobility training may help correct imbalances, help reduce the risk of injury, and help with the performance of resistance training and free movement. 

Mobility movements are ideal to use as a lead in to resistance training as they prepare joints to move through their full range allowing proper form and full range throughout each exercise.  

Stretching muscles prior to resistance training may result in decreased performance as stretching muscles sends a signal to the muscle to relax and will have a detrimental effect on the muscles ability to fully contract for maximum strength. 

Stretching is most effective post resistance training. 

Peace

Fall Camp, Heidelberg Germany

 

Fall Camp Heidelberg Germany

I guess to start by saying the camp was awesome would just be redundant as all the camps are awesome. This was my third BJJ Globetrotters camp and the best to date. As always I met and made friends with great people from all around the world, but this time, for the first time, I taught a class at camp. My fear was an empty mat, the reality was just over eighty participants, how awesome is that. My class was on passing the butterfly guard and I taught with my typical combination of technical instruction and sarcastic wit. I received a lot of positive feedback from many of the students and some great feedback from a couple of the other instructors. I would say my first class teaching (of hopefully many more) for the BJJ Globetrotters was successful.

The second reason this camp was so important to me was because just like the first globetrotters camp I attended it helped my overcome an anxiety trigger. The prospect of sharing a cabin with 9 others and sharing a bathroom was a total nightmare; however, I decided I needed to do this to overcome one aspect of my social anxiety and I did. The trigger to overcome this time was to travel outside the United States; yes, in my 51 years this is the first time I left the US, you would think as close as I live to Canada I would’ve made that trip at least once by now but; I have, well had this thing about leaving the states. Anxiety trigger 2 conquered.

The camp itself is an amazing experience. You get to meet and train with others who share the same passion for Brazilian jiu jitsu that you have. These other campers come from around the globe and bring their style of BJJ with them. Although we all train the same art it is a very personal and unique experience for every participant due to all the variables that come from everyone’s individuality. Seeing other people’s little variances on techniques is a great way to improve your training by opening previously overlooked options.

Heidelberg, Germany was an excellent choice for a camp location. The sports complex was quite large and the mat space easily accommodated 200 plus globetrotters. Classes transitioned smoothly from one instructor to the next and the open mat periods flowed nicely. The sports hall also had clean locker rooms equipped with showers and a great cafeteria that offered inexpensive food options for those who did not participate in the food plan.

I wasn’t sure what it would be like staying in a hostel but even that turned out to be a pleasant experience. We were 4 to a room and we had a private bathroom and it was clean with comfortable bunks.

The city of Heidelberg may be the coolest place I’ve ever visited. The old part of the city with its narrow cobble stone roads and small homes was like traveling back in time. In the city center the streets were lined with small shops, bars, and restaurants were you can get any type of food you could possibly want. Then there’s the castle overlooking the city, a nice climb to go in the back way, or you can drive up to the main entrance, a great experience regardless of your choice with breath-taking views out over the city and the Neckar River.

Speaking of the Neckar River, there’s a really cool park on the riverside that has beach volleyball courts, and outdoor bar, and music playing continuously, a great place to hang out and just relax and soak it all in. There is also a bike/walking path that extends for miles on the riverside.

The other thing that struck me about Heidelberg was that a large percentage of the residents ride bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. They have a rent a bike system in place with pickup/drop off points all over the city and virtually every place you go there are bike racks, also there are bike lanes on almost every road and they even have traffic lights specific to bicycles.

The one negative in the entire trip was the lack of internet access. Heidelberg has free wi-fi in the city which I was able to access however there was no internet access. The only 2 places I was able to get online were the cafeteria in the sports center and the hostel lobby.. Oh, hold on a second, that’s actually a good thing too. Never mind it was 100% positive.

All in all this was an amazing trip with great Brazilian jiu jitsu, great people, great food, and I cant wait to do it all again…

 

Peace

Hero

Hero is defined as 1. A person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. 2. A person who is greatly admired. 3. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. 4. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.

I think most Americans agree that members of the United States military are heroes, they go into a foreign land and risk their lives for the interest of the United States. That said, to our enemies they are no heroes, they’re villains destroying their homeland. I also believe that the majority of Americans consider law enforcement to be heroes, however there’s a large portion of people who consider the police to be bullies or worse. I think we can all agree that firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics are heroes. To kids growing up their favorite athlete can be a hero, to a young boy his father, and to a young girl her mom. The list goes on.

There really is no clear cut criteria, it’s all subjective, a hero to you may not be a hero to me and vise versa.

Courage – the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

There are lots of ways to look at this as well. It takes courage to go fight a war, go into a burning building while everyone else is running out, apprehend an armed criminal, get into a cage and fight another man, go to school on your first day when you don’t know anyone, fight cancer, tell you mom you did something you weren’t supposed to, admit to yourself your family and friends that you are gay, etc, etc..

Just because you may disagree with what others perceive as courage doesn’t diminish their perception of it. To compare someone who’s fighting cancer, to someone who lost a leg in war, to a transgender person is not fair. The phrase apples to oranges come to mind.

So did what Bruce Jenner did take courage? Yes

Is Caitlin Jenner a hero? To the others who are going through the same struggle, Yes.

I personally do not see Bruce/Caitlyn as a hero, but I do think he/she showed courage. Either way none of this affects my life so I move on.

Why are so many of you so angry over this? Keep scrolling, change the channel, whatever. Why must everything fit within your realm of what should be. We all need to accept the fact that we are all different, with our on views, needs, and beliefs.

And stop bring God into everything it’s irrelevant to the conversation, and from what I understand about Jesus he would be not only tolerant of all this, but helpful and supportive.

Peace

Cardio

IMG_6846Cardio
Cardio is a much more complicated issue then most realize. There are many ways to approach cardio training. First question; why are you doing cardio? Do you want to lose fat? Do you just want every day life to be easier? Are you training for a sport? This needs to be established before you start your cardiovascular program.

I know that you must be thinking, what’s the difference, if I run my heart rate will go up my lungs are getting stronger, my cardiovascular health will be good. Well for the most part this is true, but not completely. As any boxer who tries Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will tell you, when they grapple they “gas” pretty quickly, and vice versa.

Now if you are just trying to lose some fat, drop a few pounds, or just be able to perform everyday tasks easier, or you’re the parent of a young child and you want to be able to keep up. Then by all means run, ride a bike, walk, take a spin class, dance, Zumba, etc, these are all good forms of cardiovascular exercise. If you are training for a sport, well then you need to do sport specific training.

If you’re a boxer and you want the ability to go 12 3 minute rounds well you better get in that ring and start sparring, and spar hard, don’t fake it. Of course the road work will help out, but, it’s not enough. If BJJ is you’re game do your road work then start rolling (sparring) and when you get tired keep going. If you rest when you get tired your progress will be slow at best. When you feel your tank is empty, give it more, you may just surprise yourself.

Push yourself beyond the limits that YOU set for yourself. Yes, you set the limits and only you can stop you from blowing right past them. You think you’re tired, go 5 more minutes, then 10 more, or better yet go 1minute longer as hard as you can. Then take a short rest, and I do mean short, and do it again.

As always if you have any questions or would like to get into more detail and start a program, contact me and I will be happy to get into it.
Train Hard
Peace

Hit the Gym

Unless you’re planning on being a bodybuilder stop lifting like one. Does your workout look a little like this? Back/hams/biceps – chest/triceps/forearms – quads/shoulders/traps? Are you doing 3 sets of 8, pyramids, tri sets, super sets, etc? Well if all this looks familiar, good luck at the Olympia.

Now I know most of you are not training to be bodybuilders so why are you lifting this way? I would rather see you join the cult; C—-fit. Now I don’t agree with their complete philosophy, and I think the Paleo diet is a bit ridiculous, however they do have some pretty good workouts. That being said, they also take things too far for the average person and that can be quite dangerous.

So if you’re working out (lifting) just to stay in good shape, cut fat, put on a little muscle, and just get a little stronger you should be hitting all your muscles in each workout; to some extent. Start each workout with a major movement and then follow with exercises to support. I typically divide the workout by 4 parts, military press, dead lift, flat bench press, and squat. You can do this however you feel comfortable just follow the format.

Here is an example: Day 1 – Military press, barbell row, close grip press, dips. Day 2 – Dead lift, straight leg dead lift, barbell curl, rack pull up. Day 3 – flat bench press, incline chest press, and pull ups, bent lateral raise. Day 4 – squat, shrugs, leg curls, and hang cleans.

The next issue I would like to address is how much weight, how many reps, and how many sets to perform. I see it all too often, people just through some plates on a bar do 8 or 10 reps, add some more weight and repeat with no rhyme or reason. Well I’ve developed a formula that works well and lets you see your progress, and most importantly you will feel your progress. The rep range I work in is 8 to 12, if I can’t hit 8 reps; the weight is too heavy, if I can do more than 12, well then it’s not heavy enough. Next is sets, I typically do 3 sets increasing the weight by 5 pounds per set. Here’s an example, set 1 – 100lbs set 2 – 105lbs set 3 – 110lbs. Now as long as I hit my rep range the next time I do this exercise I will start at my middle set weight: example 105, 110, 115.

Next, be sure to write down your workouts and record everything, by writing it down on paper you know exactly what you need to do in each workout. I don’t care how good your memory is there is no way you can remember every weight and every set and every rep. Also by writing everything you can see you progress on paper, as well as in the mirror and in the way you will feel.

Now each time through the 4 workouts is 1 cycle. I recommend that every fifth cycle is used as an active rest period. This will help prevent reaching a plateau and or burning out. To achieve this active rest you will be doing the same workout as in the cycle, the only difference will be in the weight used and reps, during this period you will use the weight from the middle set of your previous workout and performing 8 reps for 3 sets. After 1 cycle of active rest resume the above format.

Be sure to start each workout with a good full body warm up, and stretch when you finish lifting. I’ll address flexibility training, cardio training, and abs in future blogs.

If you don’t fully understand or would like more detail on this please message me and I will be happy to give you more info and explain in great detail.

Peace

Missing Pieces

The most neglected components of a complete fitness program are; the warm up, cool down, and flexibility training (stretching).

For starters let’s talk about the warm up.

Often times I see people walk into the gym, walk up to the weights and start lifting, or jump on a treadmill and just start running. Another mistake I see often is stretching as a warm up. Trust me your muscles don’t like being stretched when they’re cold. If you want to perform a light stretch before your workout that’s okay, just start off with a 5 to 10 minute warm up, than stretch.

What should you do for proper warm up? Well that all depends on what kind of exercise you’re planning. I believe it’s best to warm up by doing what you’re planning on doing. For example; if I’m planning on going for a run, my warm up would start off with brisk walking for a couple minutes, then a light jog for a couple more minutes, then gradually pick up speed to my run pace.

If I’m going to the gym to lift weights I’ll grab a light resistance exercise tube and do high reps of exercises that mimic the exercises I’m planning for my workout. If I’m planning a leg workout I like to start off with 5 minutes on the upright Lifecycle to get my knees nice and warm. Then I’ll do some body weight squats or lunges.

Finally if I’m planning on cross training or a boot camp type class I’ll do a mixed warm up. Maybe I’ll start with a light jog or jumping rope, then I’ll grab a medicine ball and do some wood choppers, and finish off with some body weight squats, this will warm up my entire body and I’ll be ready to work.

Next would be the cool-down period. For every work out its good practice to keep moving as your heart rate comes down. The best way to do this is to walk or pedal a Lifecycle lightly for about 5minutes, than go to stretching part of your workout. It is important to get your body back to the pre-workout state after exercise. A proper cool down followed by a good stretch can help lessen post exercise muscle soreness.

Every workout should be closed with a good whole body stretch. It only takes about 5 minutes and your body will thank you by making daily everyday tasks easier. Start with your legs and work your way up to your arms stretching each muscle group along the way. Hold each stretch about 15 to 20 seconds than move to the next. Just think how much you quads hurt 2 days after a heavy leg work out, a good cool down and stretch after that workout would lessen that pain and cut down on the duration of it.

To really amp up your flexibility I recommend Yoga. Yoga will give you an awesome workout and will help you build strength, burn fat, and improve total body flexibility.

In the future I will come back to each of these topics in greater detail, but for now you have some basic info on each. So starting immediately, add these components to your program.

More to come, stay tuned…

Peace…