Just How We Drew It Up!

A picture is worth how many words? A lot more than is in this post!

In 2014, the gentleman in the photo above, Steve, quickly became my first ever client when I got my first personal training job at Anytime Fitness. Steve trained with me twice per week for a full year.

After that year, I moved my services as a personal trainer to my moms home and founded No Bull Personal Training. Steve stuck with me. He trained with me out of a garage 2 times per week for the next 4 years. Hot summers, cold winters and everything in between.

Late 2019, I came across a space to move my business that felt like the one I had been looking for. It matched just about everything I wanted out my business and personal life. With the advice and help of many, I pulled the trigger – my lease began on February 15.

I was still running business out of the garage while working late into the night and barely sleeping(not proud of it, sleep is important!) to get this new space up and running. I was so close! And the pandemic hit.

In person training was put to a halt. Like many, I scrambled to move my business online…. Steve stuck with me – trained with me online and DID NOT MISS A WEEK.

First ever client. Trained out of a garage for 4 years. Trained online in the midst of a pandemic. And somehow, just how it was drawn up, Steve was the first in person session to ever be held in the new studio 6 freakin’ years later.

This session was a moment in time that I don’t think my words can do justice. Training someone in person after being off for so long felt surreal in itself. To have Steve though, as the first session in this new studio was one of the most full circle moments I have ever experienced. There are so many things that culminated to this moment. It felt surreal. My mind was reeling through the last six years yet at the same time I was totally dialed in on Steve and his session. Steve crushed his session as usual and also demonstrated some impressive mobility gains from online training.

I am grateful beyond words for an outstanding client and a beyond loyal customer. This moment right here, I’m grateful to have shared with him. It’s one I’ll never forget.

Kinstretch® Feature in Men’s Health

I’m excited to share this 3 page spread that is featured in this month’s Men’s Health Magazine.  The article was written by Andrew Gutman and photographed by G.L. Askew II.  There are interviews with the developer of the Kinstretch® system, @drandreospina, and great demonstrations of a few moves.  But that’s enough from me. Have a read for yourself!

What does “No Bull” mean to me?

Brutally honest… I’m not crazy about the name of my business; but, I’ve got a lot of skin in the game and I ain’t about to change it!

To me, “No Bull” has ALWAYS meant that I am here to be objective, yet compassionate. It has always meant that my interests lie not in fulfilling the predisposition of how personal trainers are regarded in our culture; but in solving problems in ways that actually respect the biological nature of the human species. Too deep? Ehh, I can literally change the expression of your cells based on the stimulus(exercise) I put on your body. That’s a pretty darn big deal if you ask me. And I do not take it lightly!

“No Bull” is often associated with “No pain, no gain”, “No excuses” and mantras alike. Mantras of which I actually despise. Mantras that I definitely don’t believe to be conducive to sustainable health and performance most of the time. I OBVIOUSLY understand how, on the surface, No Bull Personal Training would be interpreted that way – It’s just not what it has ever meant to me. If not fulfilling our culture’s predispositions means keeping you safe and putting you on a better path, then, sorry not sorry. IT’S BECAUSE I CARE. Seriously.

To me(6 years ago and now), NBPT is a representation of the direction I want the industry to go. Though my techniques have adapted and my perspectives have broadened, I’ve been guided in the belief that many of the solutions we search for lie in the evolutionary biology of the human species, not culturally derived fallacies.

What are we evolutionarily designed to do? What are we doing? What are we doing to make-up for the fact that we are not doing what we are evolutionarily designed to do?

What is KINSTRETCH®?

Still craving more information about Kinstretch®?  Kinstretch® is a movement practice that prepares your body to do whatever it is that you want your body to do.  This movement enhancement system develops maximum body control, flexibility and most importantly, USABLE ranges of motion. The techniques utilized in a Kinstretch® practice are selected based how they will help with body control, injury prevention, joint health and physical longevity. 

Kinstretch® works by first developing a baseline. Learn to move your joints independent of one another and control what you already have. Then we add on to that baseline by increasing ranges of motion, controlling those new ranges of motion and then maximizing your improved joint function through compound movements. RINSE & REPEAT. 

The medical practitioner who developed this system saw that, despite best efforts in training and treatment, there are still continuously increasing occurrences of injuries among athletes, higher numbers of missed work days due to headaches and pain, diminished quality of life and people developing premature degenerative arthritis far before their joints are supposed to wear down. 

The problem was not the methods of training or doing what we love. The problem is that most bodies, even the most athletic among us, are simply not ready to do what we are asking them to do. Kinstretch® applies consistent, methodical, concentrated control and maximum strength so you can function optimally when you’re doing what you love or just living life every day. 

As a Kinstretch® instructor my goal is to help you perform better and limit your possibility of injury so that you can play your sport at higher levels, run/walk easier and attain yoga poses you never thought possible. 

UPDATE: Kinstretch® was featured in September 2020’s issue of Men’s Health Magazine with a 3 page spread. Check it out HERE.

Greens For Good Luck!

Saint Patrick’s Day is today, and you may be thinking you need to carry around your shamrock for good-luck and health, right? While there may not be evidence backing the “good-luck” that the shamrock is attributed, there is much evidence backing the healthful benefits of plants in the diet. Different types of fruits and vegetables can influence different parts of your body in ways you may never have previously thought.

An apple a day can help keep the doctor away! Apples, amongst many other fruits, may be effective in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in general. Apples have been consistently associated with reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and type II diabetes.1 You can eat apples plain or add them to a bowl of oatmeal for your morning breakfast. Either way, skip the juice.

If this cold snowy weather has you dreaming of the tropics, add coconut water to your diet! It is an excellent source for rehydration and electrolyte replenishment. Try replacing additive and sugar laden sports drinks with coconut water. Coconut water’s composition has been shown to be so similar to our blood plasma that it has been successfully used intravenously in regions with limited resources.2  Coconut water can be purchased in a bottle, or you can buy a fresh coconut and drain it yourself at home.

Of course I had to put something green on the list, so; if coconut water doesn’t get your heart pounding (dry humor), try some kale! Kale has carotenoids that can promote healthy skin and is a quality source of antioxidants and calcium.3  Yes, calcium. Want strong bones? Eat Kale. All these benefits plus more and yet it is sadly unpopular in the American diet.

Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet can help promote all sorts of different health benefits in your body. Take a trip down your grocery stores organic aisle and add some bright colors to your diet. With Saint Patrick’s Day coming up, add lots of green and have a safe and healthy celebration.

Sources

  1. Boyer, Jeanelle, and Rui Hai Liu. “Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits.” Nutrition Journal 3.1 (2004): n. pag. Web.
  1. Campbell-Falck D, Thomas T, Falck TM, Tutuo N, Clem K. The intravenous use of coconut water. Am J Emerg Med. 2000 Jan;18(1):108-11.
  1. D., Michael Greger. “Kale.” NutritionFacts.org. N.p., 28 Oct. 2016. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Beat the Winter Blues

How about that weather? No, I’m not trying to make small talk. You may have noticed the weather has been fluctuating during the seasonal change, and that can seriously affect the way you feel. There is a name for what you may be feeling – seasonal affective disorder. SAD is distinguished by annual depressions that arise around the same time each year.1 SAD can cause you to feel unmotivated, depressed and can cause you to lose sleep.

Don’t worry; this post isn’t all bad news. There is hope for combatting the mentioned effects of SAD and it’s simpler than you may think! Here are a few simple tips to limiting the effects of SAD.

  1. Awareness. Become aware of the occurrence so you can prepare for it. Keeping a journal is an excellent way to track your mood and how it may be affected by the seasons and/or any other external variable(s).
  1. Nutrition. Yes, you guessed it – Eat a well-balanced diet with high quantities of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy proteins. Check out my previous post on how your nutrition may be impacting your mood more than you might think.
  1. Breath. Exercise regularly and practice efficient breathing patterns. What? Practice breathing? Yes, that is what I said. We take an average of over 20,000 breaths per day. How long can you survive without food? How long can you survive without water? Pending factors such as environmental conditions, body composition, energy expenditure, genetics, etc., maybe a few days to a few weeks. How long can you survive without taking a breath?… Exactly. Much less than a few days to a few weeks. Unless you’re David Blaine. Which, most of us are not; then, this applies to you. In my opinion, respiration is one of the most overlooked facets of physical and mental health. Crocodile breathing and supine 90/90 breathing are excellent exercises to begin re-learning efficient breathing patterns.

Becoming in-tune with your mind and body is one of the best things you will ever do for yourself. Understanding how your body is influenced by variables you may have never thought to be impactful can pay huge dividends in the short term and the long term. Thanks for reading! Leave your questions and comments below!

Sources

  1. Rosenthal NE, Sack DA, Gillin JC, Lewy AJ, Goodwin FK, Davenport Y, Mueller PS, Newsome DA, Wehr TA. Seasonal Affective DisorderA Description of the Syndrome and Preliminary Findings With Light Therapy. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(1):72-80. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790120076010

 

 

Feeling down? Your diet may be to blame.

Have you ever found yourself in a slump? Feel tired frequently? Do you feel less productive at work or school? You’re not alone; but, have you ever thought about why you feel this way? There’s a high probability  that your diet plays a significant role.

There have been multiple studies done that show how large of an impact diet alone has on our mood and energy levels. In 2015 Dr. Michael Gregor set out to discover the effects of a plant-based diet on mood, and the results might surprise you.

Dr. Gregor analyzed numerous studies looking at this relationship. One of which was a 22 week cooperate study aimed to collect data on the acceptability of plant-based diets in a non-clinical setting and its effects on quality of life and productivity at work. The study took two overweight and/or previously diagnosed with type two diabetes groups and provided one group with weekly instruction on a low-fat, vegan diet while the other group received no instruction. The group receiving nutritional guidance reported improvements in physical and mental health along with more diet satisfaction and less health-related impairments at work and on a regular daily basis. 1

A separate study conducted was aimed to show the effects of a low-carb, high-fat diet and a high-carb, low-fat diet on overall mood and cognitive function. 106 overweight men and women were randomized into these groups. Over the course of 52 weeks, the high-carb, low-fat diet showed less depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, and fatigue than did the low-carb, high-fat diet group.2 These findings are consistent with those of other epidemiological studies showing that high-carb, low-fat, low-protein diets are associated with better psychological well-being. While, this might seem like fat is the culprit; but, rather the TYPE of fat is what should be considered.3 Arachidonic acid(AA) is an omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in animal meat that can potentially negatively impact mental health through neuroinflamation.4

Think back over the last few months. Day by day, how have you felt? If you think that you could be happier or more productive, take-a-look at what you have been feeding your body. If it’s take-away pizza and processed foods, the fix could potentially be as simple as a changing your diet. Switching to a plant-based diet is simple, and can vastly improve your everyday life. Here is an excellent guide to healthy eating.

Sources

  1. H I Katcher, H R Ferdowsian, V J Hoover, J L Cohen, N D Barnard. A worksite vegan nutrition program is well-accepted and improves health-related quality of life and work productivity. Ann Nutr Metab. 2010;56(4):245-52. doi: 10.1159/000288281. Epub 2010 Apr 14. 
  1. Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD, Noakes M, Clifton PM, Wilson CJ. Long-term Effects of a Very Low-Carbohydrate Diet and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood and Cognitive Function. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(20):1873-1880. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.329
  1. B L Beezhold, C S Johnston. Restriction of meat, fish, and poultry in omnivores improves mood: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012 Feb 14;11:9.
  1. A A Farooqui, L A Horrocks, T Farooqui. Modulation of inflammation in brain: a matter of fat. J Neurochem. 2007 May;101(3):577-99.

Exercise Myth: “Spot Reduction” Training

“What can I do to lose fat in “X” areas?” A question, or a variation of, that I receive fairly often. This question is alluding to a training method referred to as “spot reduction” or “the localized reduction of subcutaneous fat as a result of exercising that particular part of the body.” 1 This type of exercise has been popularly practiced, even though research has shown it to be invalid for quite some time.1,2,3

It is easy to see why spot reduction became a mainstream “solution” for fat loss; putting extra effort into a “problem” area should solve the “problem”, right? However, this method is proven to not result in the desired outcome. While isolating specific muscle groups has benefits, spot reduction training does not equal spot results. Spot reduction training can help to improve the growth and endurance of muscles targeted; but, does not truly ensure subcutaneous fat-loss in those areas.2,3

Okay, so now that I’ve potentially ruined your day by telling you that all of those planks and flutter kicks aren’t necessarily burning fat the way you thought, you’re probably wondering what you can do to burn body fat. While I’m sure you’re expecting me to tell you that I am the fat burning guru and that I’ve created the ultimate fat loss solution. I am not and I haven’t; but, the answer is quite simple. The best way to shed body fat in a healthy manor is through consistent, healthful eating habits and an individualized workout plan.

The body is an interconnected system; therefore, spot reduction does not illustrate the full picture of health.  A majority plant-based diet and the implementation of a structured metabolic and resistance training program are excellent steps towards burning excess fat and achieving peak health.

Sources

  1. Kostek, Matthew A., Linda S. Pescatello, Richard L. Seip, Theodore J. Angelopoulos, Priscilla M. Clarkson, Paul M. Gordon, Niall M. Moyna, Paul S. Visich, Robert F. Zoeller, Paul D. Thompson, Eric P. Hoffman, and Thomas B. Price. “Subcutaneous Fat Alterations Resulting from an Upper-Body Resistance Training Program.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise7 (2007): 1177-185. Web.
  1. Vispute, Sachin S., John D. Smith, James D. Lecheminant, and Kimberly S. Hurley. “The Effect of Abdominal Exercise on Abdominal Fat.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25.9 (2011): 2559-564. Web.
  1. Gwinup, Grant. “Thickness of Subcutaneous Fat and Activity of Underlying Muscles.” Annals of Internal Medicine 74.3 (1971): 408. Web.

Amino Acid Supplementation

As many of you may know, exercise and physical activity can cause your body to be sore for many days following. This soreness is often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

Amongst athletes and fitness enthusiasts, a frequent remedy for improved muscle recovery is the supplementation of amino acids. Amino Acids are the building blocks for protein. There are 20 known amino acids required for the body that are separated into essential and nonessential. The body cannot produce essential amino acids; therefore, they must be acquired through diet. The body can produce nonessential amino acids on it’s own.

A related practice amongst athletes and fitness enthusiasts is the supplementation of BCAAs or branched chain amino acids. There are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine. All three BCAAs are essential amino acids; but, not all essential amino acids are BCAAs. BCAAs are believed to facilitate protein synthesis in skeletal muscle and decrease body fat. This belief comes from the clinical use of amino acids to regulate anabolic hormones in deficient patients even though there is no convincing evidence of these claims on healthy patients.1

While the benefits of BCAA supplementation may seem enticing, there is also research showing that increased intake of the BCAA, leucine, may be linked to expediting the effects of the enzyme TOR. TOR is known as an enzyme that promotes aging.2 A common misconception about amino acids is that having higher proportions of them, like in animal products, is beneficial to us. This is inaccurate and is more damaging than it is beneficial.3

With the potential effects of supplementation and animal products, you might be wondering if there is a better way to get your daily intake of amino acids. Good news! A plant based diet can provide you with all the essential and nonessential amino acids your body is looking for.4

Here are 10 plant-based, readily available, highly affordable, protein dense foods: quinoa, lentils, chia seeds, broccoli, hemp seeds, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, brown rice, and black beans.

Eating plant based foods will help to repair tissue and build muscle. This tissue repair will aid in recovery, and limit the effects of DOMS.

 

Sources

  1. McArdle, William D., Frank I. Katch, and Victor L. Katch. “Amino Acid Supplementation.” Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. 551-52. Print.
  1. Written by: Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Living Longer by Reducing Leucine Intake.” NutritionFacts.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017. 
  1. Ochoa, MD, Sofia P. “7 Serious Problems With Animal Protein.” Forks Over Knives. N.p., 31 Dec. 2016. Web. 08 Feb. 2017.
  1. Greger, M.D. Michael. “The Protein-Combining Myth.” NutritionFactsorg. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017.