Friday, July 22, 2011

Cardio substitutes

103 degrees in NYC today.  PROBABLY not a good idea to go outside and do cardiovascular training.

Okay, DEFINITELY not a good idea.

But what if you don't have access to a treadmill?  Then what?  And if you only have small equipment in your apartment?

Try this little warmup/cardio routine, after you have completed your mobility drills.  Not sure what those are?  Check out my Youtube Page. No kettlebell?  Use bodyweight, and increase reps for swing and squat to 25.  Substitute prisoner squat for front squat (hands behind head) and prisoner good morning/waiter's bow (hands behind head or hands across opposite shoulders).  No TRX?  Substitute bands, otherwise, SOL.  Sorry!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Advice from Bill Gates

Some advice from Bill Gates:
Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self esteem.  The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself

Rule 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school.  You won’t be a vice president with a cell phone, until you earn both

Rule 4: If you think your teacher was tough, wait till you meet your boss.  He or she doesn’t have tenure.  

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your grandparents had a different view of flipping – they called it opportunity

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s your fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to how cool you are.  So before you save the rainforest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room

Rule 8: Schools may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not.  In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you need to get the right answer.  This does not bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters.  You won’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.  Do that on your own. 

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life.  In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you’ll end up working for one.  

Editor's note: Rule #9 Struck me as empowering, especially in NYC, when most of a Personal Trainer's clientele takes at least a few weeks off, frustrating most trainers and coaches.  But the bottom line: you are now free to focus on other projects, learning, studying, and bringing your training to new heights.  Upon their return, those same clients might think twice about taking a vacation without you or your program next time.  

While others are relaxing, step it up to a new level.  

In health,

Coach Kev

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Personal Best 3 Rep Chinup

With Dan John's 40 Day Program, I have found nothing but good results thus far. 

Here are my results after 30 days:

1) Snatch grip dead, 215x2, up to 235 for 2
2) Chinup weighted: 36 kg x 2

3) Handstand Pushup (HSPU) with elevated hands, x5
4) SA Snatch, 10! (10 each hand, 9 each hand, 8, etc until 1, for time): 5:58 @ 20kg
5) Ab wheel: standing x18 reps

In addition, I've started noticing much deeper cuts in my obliques, a better/longer drive in golf, and I actually added in outdoor interval training 3 times per week to help decrease bodyfat. 

Changes I've added to Dan John's program:
  • Interval workout regiment 
    • Workout A: 28-30 second sprint up a 8-10% incline, walk down (2 minute recover) x 10 repeats (Queensboro Bridge Park)
    • Workout B: 40s-1m30s sprint up Cat Hill (Central Park), recovery double work time (jog down)
    • Workout C: 45s sprint, 1m30s jog, for 3-4 miles, varied terrain (Central Park or East River)
  • Carry Warmup series
    • suitcase (one arm) x 25 yards
    • farmer's carry (both arms) x 25 yards
    • shoulder carry Single arm x 25 yards
    • shoulder carry both arms x 25 yards
    • Waiter's carry (overhead) single arm x 25 yards
    • Waiter's carry (overhead) both arms x 25 yards
  • I vary the lifts each day, slightly altering the plane of movement and muscles involved:
    • Deadlift: alternate between conventional, sumo and snatch
    • Vertical Pull: Pullup, reverse grip (hands facing you) chin, and neutral grip (hands facing each other) chin
    • Vertical Push: Handstand pushup, Single arm, bottom's up kettlebell press, Barbell shoulder press
    • Ab wheel: standing, kneeling, diagonal, and isometric holds at longest portion
    • Kettlebell: snatch, swing, single arm or dual or both arms, for time or for reps
Best part about the program?  My movement patterns are much smoother and 'grooved', and my strength and strength endurance keep rising simultaneously.  Not expected, but welcomed!

Additional warm up and workout details still to come.

Stay strong,

Coach Kev

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The 21st Century Runner

It's official.  Running season, or in the NYC area, "Marathon Season", has begun. 

Right now is the time to start preparing for the NYC Marathon (if you're running it), or in other instances, a great time to start running.  In case you are preparing for the NYC Marathon, or even a half marathon, there are a couple things you will need. 

  1. Training partner: Someone who has run it before, or if they are not available, find a coach.  This is imperative to help you do the right workouts, run the right speeds, and not overtrain.  With most of my clients, I have seen more injuries from a combination of overtraining, not stretching enough after, and not having enough strength and mobility in the hips to prevent injury.  Speaking of which...
  2. Strength Training routine: it needs to happen, both to help increase the strength of specific muscles that aren't utilized during the run, and to prevent imbalances because of the sagittal plane (forward/backward) nature of running in general.  Exercises in the transverse and frontal plane are amazing at opening the hips and strengthening them in more than one plane.  More on that later.
  3. Heart Rate Monitor/GPS Watch: With today's technology, the beauty of this is that Garmin, Nike and Timex have all come up with a watch and heart rate monitor (HRM), all in one.  My personal recommendation is the Garmin 410cx, both because it has a longer battery life, and can also be worn as a typical watch.  Other units are not as aesthetically appealing, and may even be considered too big.  Anyways, the reason for this is the analysis and tracking of your running, especially the distance and heart rate/intensity, is crucial to avoid pushing your limit too fast or for too long.  For type-A personalities that like to track statistics, this is an absolute must. 
  4. Running shoes that fit: This is also a huge contributor to either a) being injured or b) running without pain.  Most running stores (especially in NYC, with Jack Rabbit, The Running Store, and The Running Company) have shoe salesmen that will now video tape your stride on a treadmill, and be able to analyze your gait and arch to determine the appropriate shoe for you.  Use their advice, but with one exception: if you have a 'neutral' arch, or a normal foot without any pre-existing issues, think about using the 'Nike Free' line of shoes.  They eliminate the heel-strike because there isn't enough padding in the heel to allow the heel strike to be comfortable, whereas most 'running' shoes have a thicker heel, which allows the heel strike to occur.  The problem with the heel strike is this: if the heel strike occurs, it means you are striking the ground with an almost straight leg, and that transfer of energy can travel up to your hip.  HUGE problem, and contributor to ITB issues, lateral patella pain, etc.  Instead, the Nike Frees, along with other flatter shoes, allow your midfoot to strike, thus using the muscles in your leg as the springs that nature intended them to be. 
  5. Running clothing: No need to mention brands, but getting specific running gear, including thinner socks, spandex shorts (tight fitting tops for women to eliminate chafing and bounce), and loose, dry fitting material for shorts or tops is a MUST.  I can't tell you how miserable I remember being before the days of Under Armour and Nike Dri-fit.  
Other accessories you may need/want:
  • Post-workout Drink: Surge for exercise lasting under 1 hour, Endurox for exercise lasting more than 1 hour
  • IPod and running music: DJ Scene has free podcasts that are upbeat, top 40 mixes.  Go on Itunes to find him!
  • IPod arm-band/holder:  Eliminates/minimizes water or dropping risk for your Ipod, and some also have a spot for keys.  
  • Foam Roller/The Stick(s)/Tennis Ball: to self-myofascial release and rid your body of the knots within fascia and muscles, these are actually a no-brainer.  The reason these aren't on the must-have list is because most gyms now have them, and they also have them in portable, 1 foot lengths (I also have a foam roller ball, great for the piriformis).  Tennis balls are also great!
That's all I have for now, but stay tuned for running specific warm ups, exercises, and advanced training techniques to get you ready for your races.