Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some Wisdom and Inspiration

So I have committed to writing more on this blog and posting something once a week. This week I just wanted to share some videos that really make me focus and appreciate what I have.

The first one is a compilation of interviews with Will Smith, aka Fresh Prince (top 3 greatest TV shows ever). Now at first you might laugh in your head and say what the hell can Men In Black teach me about life, but just listen to the way he approaches his life and career.

The second video just makes you appreciate what you have and how much we complain about our laziness. Macy McMillin has cerebral palsy and gets after it in the gym! So next time your complaining about how tired you are from work and life, throw this on and see how you feel after. Get rid of your excuses you make for yourself and just get it done! Also a lot of respect goes to the trainer Jay Glaze who obviously has a tremendous passion to help people as he has thought of some great ways to challenge Macy. We need more soldiers like him.

The last video is one of my favorite stories. If you're a basketball fan you've definitely heard this story of Jason McElwain. If you have seen it then watch it again, it gives me goosebumps every time I put it on. Such a great story of how sports positively improves peoples lives everyday.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The 10/10,000 Rule

Expert is a term that has lost respect over time. When you think of an expert, you think of a highly skilled and extremely knowledgeable person. They have the ability to take something complicated and make it easy. They have practiced their craft so much that it looks almost automatic and effortless. They can adjust and react on the fly because of a fundamental base of principles and skills. This is most definitely applied to athletics but can go way beyond that.

People love to say these people have an incredible genetic gift, they get lucky, they were in the right place at the right time, they knew the right people, etc etc. Well as Gary Player once said, "The harder you work, the luckier you get." Ooooooh how right he is.

True experts in their field typically have followed the 10 year/10,000 hour rule. They have worked on their craft for endless years before anyone knew who they were. They meticulously prepared for when an opportunity arose that would be ready. All of that deliberate practice and preparation allows them to react on the fly in a split second decision.

Now many ask about Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Lionell Messi, and other athletes who are at the top of their sport at an early age. Well Tiger's dad taught him gold starting around age 3, and he wasn't an elite golfer under age 19-20. That is around 17 years. Lebron started playing basketball as a young kid, and he wasn't in the NBA until age 18.

Now some will say these guys just are genetically gifted and it was pre-determined. Yes, you can't teach 6'8", but Lebron also has a TREMENDOUS work ethic. Tiger also had a ridiculous appetite to improve his game. These guys didn't fall on top of the mountain, they climbed there.

I feel their are a couple reasons that athletic all stars have developed as they have.

1. They've had damn near perfect development on athletic skills starting at a young age. There are peak periods when certain skills can develop faster than others. This has to do with playing MULTIPLE sports throughout their life, and understanding what to emphasize.

2. Deliberate Practice: Here is my key point and what separates good from great. If you've read Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, he talks a lot about this topic. The best at what they do will deliberately looked at what they actually need to practice on and put their complete mental and physical focus into that. It is constantly looking at what needs to be addressed and improved on. There is no "going through the motions." This however is not easy and can only be sustained for 4-5 hours a day.

Now lets break down 10 years/ 10,000 hours. 1 year--> 1,000 hours/52 hours = 19.5 hours per week. 4-5 hours 5-6 days per week of intense, deliberate practice. That is how you can become an expert in your field. So if you truly want to be respected as an expert, and be seen at great in what you do, it is a GRIND! Put the proper work in a results will come. I know i have not yet put in the time to be considered an expert, and will not claim I am. But I know I'm on the right path.

I highly suggest reading Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, it will change the way you think about the "genetically gifted."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sugar is Poison!

I recently was turned to a video on Youtube called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Dr. Robert Lustig, from UCSF, talks about the truth and dangers of sugars, especially frustose. As everyone knows obesity and weight has plagued our country and now world for the past 30 years or so. Coincidentally High Fructose Corn Syrup was introduced to the United States in 1975. It is a very cheap substance and if you ever look at lables it is in EVERYTHING!

Beyond all the biochemistry and reactions, it makes food taste good but is a chronic hypotoxin that creates many of the same diseases we see in alcoholics. Including hypertension, heart disease, liver failure, pancreatitis, etc etc. It gives your brain the feeling of starvation while you have ingetsed plenty of calories to create a full feeling. You then ingest more cause an excess of calories that mostly go to fat. This constant cycle can't be erased by just excercise. The worst part is that it is an addiction that is very hard to break, similar to alcoholics. We just don't see it in the short term.

Dr. Lustig tells about the reasons HFCS has infiltrated our food at such a high rate. 1. It tastes good.
2. Nixon wanted to win an election in 1972 and was worried about fluctuating food prices. So he made them all cheap.
3. HFCS is CHEAP! It causes the average American ot now consume 141 lbs of sugar/year.
3. The popular Low Fat Diet in 1982, made food taste bad. Instead they substituted it with HFCS. Hmmmm..... low fat yet we all got fatter since.

He goes on an on about this in detail and I suggest you watch it (link below), or watch fellow SDSU grad Sean Croxton's summary on Underground Wellness channel.
But i'll give you a review on things you can do to become a healthier person and limit sugars.

1. Get rid of all sugar drinks.... so you pretty much have water and milk (and tea's).
2. Eat carbohydrates with fiber. Sweet potatoes, fruit, whole grains, vegetables.
3. Wait 20 minutes before you 2nd helping. The "full" feeling sometimes takes a while.
4. For kids, and in my opinion now adults., "Buy Screen Time." I love this method that you must be active for an hour for every hour you get to watch tv and you must pay in advance.

Please watch the video and get sugar out of your diet! Spread the word!
Sugar: The Bitter Truth
Sean's Summary
Theres also a article over to the right about sugars in my favorite Links. READ IT!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jogging..... you probably will hate me after this

Awwwww running. Some swear by it, others worship it, and many won’t even think about it. This may offend you if you live by running but please remember this was written after doing my homework and working with athletes and clients. Running is a very vague term that has two categories it can be broken into.

Sprinting is a form of running at a constant speed and fluid motion. Sprinting is often very short, very hard and tiring work. It is a very powerful movement, used in every popular sport. Most all time great athletes tremendous speed and power through their legs.

Jogging (or yogging with a soft j) is what we think of when someone says “I’m a runner.” Jogging is the slow long distance that we see in a small number of Olympic events and also the weekend marathon that causes traffic jams and street closures. Even worse you DRIVE to the gym to workout on a freaking treadmill! Unless the weather is ridiculous, go outside!!!!

Since 1968 when Dr. Kenneth Cooper said long steady state aerobic work was best, we’ve seen triathlons explode, running groups turn into herds, and the physical therapy profession develop. Jogging has somehow become the go to exercise for everything and I DON’T KNOW WHY! Personally it is incredibly boring and time consuming. Now if you love to run because it is a passion I am not saying to stop. Anything that you love continue to do, but remember it does not cure the common cold or any cancers. OK maybe I’m being more negative towards jogging but here is why.

First think of your goal of your exercise. Common goals are fat loss, rehab, increased sport performance (strength gain, endurance, power, flexibility, etc), weight gain, and stress release. It also could be a combination of all of these. Now lets see what jogging can do for these goals.

Fat loss: As much as runners magazines will claim the number of calories it burns, long slow distance is actually one of the least efficient ways to burn fat. Countless studies have come out to show proper nutrition mixed with high intensity interval work and strength training are most efficient for fat loss. If you don’t believe me check out Alwyn Cosgrove’s Afterburn system, and see his before and afters. I don’t work with too many fat loss clients but seeing what he does and his ACTUAL results, I train fat loss clients the same way.

Ladies your choice of the ripped muscles guys vs Skeletor

Rehab: 70% of joggers are injured in an average year. Ok, yeah football players might get injured once a year, but how many people do you tackle when going for a jog? Unfortunately I may tell you your life story of the past 5 years right now if you jog. Jog for 2-5 months, get some sort on injuryà go to physical therapist (but still run secretly) and get treatmentà feel better one morning so make up for lost miles you go on a loooong runà hurt again…. Back to the physical therapist, and repeat.

Most become injured so often because they run to be fit instead of get fit to run. You need a base of strength and that comes from…. Dun Dun Dun…. Strength Training. It sounds ridiculous I know, but adding in some sprints and weights twice a week might help you be a better jogger if that’s what you desire. Thinking "I need to start running to get back in shape" should be, "I should get back in shape so i can go running."

Sport Performance: Many ball sport athletes think their endurance should come from a good 5-7 mile run. Ok now in all ball sports the average sprint is 3-5 (maybe 10 on a long play) seconds with walking in between. If you don’t think so watch one player throughout a soccer game. Yes a LITTLE bit of steady state endurance training might help but not running constantly. Your body adapts to what you do, so if you run slow long distance, you actual become slower. Train fast be fast, train slow be slow. Fast isn’t a 6 minute mile when your sport(s) require you to all out sprint for a fast break. If your sport is cross-country or long distance track, adding some strength will keep you healthy throughout your grueling season. Also if you love to compete in endurance competition, research the training regime of a guy named Emil Zátopek. It probably will make your head spin.

Stress Reliever: Ok you got me here. Jogging can be a great stress reliever for many people. This is the part where I say the cliche, “just do what you love.” It’s true though, but try punching a bag (or human), slamming a med ball, or competing in some athletic event. If the “runners high” is something you need though, please do so. The only other time I may see you is on the freeway.

My opinion is that going for a jog is for very few people. Like me, I feel many people enjoy fast games that are fun, hence why over time we invented games like tag, basketball, soccer, football. Instead of take 10 minutes to go fetch the sugar at the neighbors house and back. Even if you do love to jog, adding sprinting, strength training, and ball sports can be very beneficial. First ask yourself what is my goal for exercise? If running fits the bill by all means go ahead. If you love to jog, please continue, but first ask what you are trying to achieve and what’s the best way to do that.