Understanding Your Central Nervous System Jun20

Understanding Your Central Nervous System...

There are many factors that go into the equation regarding strength and conditioning, along with a physical therapy plan of care. The key to solving this equation is your central nervous system (CNS) and understanding your own unique recovery needs. Throughout this post, I will discuss some of the science behind CNS fatigue and overtraining, along with a number of factors behind understanding your own nervous system.   Many of the patients I treat as a physical therapist are involved in high intensity training like CrossFit or are firefighters and police men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day. These realms are so diverse. With increased diversity comes greater demand of the CNS since there is greater adaptation required. These individuals are similar in many ways including the constant change of job and environment related stressors like training programs, inconsistent sleep patterns, poor diet, and psychological challenges. However, each group still requires their own unique recovery needs.   These types of individuals are usually Type A or highly active most days of the week (either due to training schedule, job requirements, or both). What I try to convey to these patients is the understanding that unless you are properly recovered, training over and over again only slows down the whole strength gaining process. People come to me complaining, or boasting sometimes, about training heavy complex movement patterns day after day with some of these training sessions occurring less than 12 hours a part. They wonder why they are getting hurt or not making any progress. The answer resides within a complex interaction between our brain and body.   Many of us also forget that there are other stress influences in our lives other than exercise (money, kids, lack...

HOW TOXIC HOSTILITY IS KILLING US: YES, THIS IS RELEVANT TO YOU. SO READ IT May19

HOW TOXIC HOSTILITY IS KILLING US: YES, THIS IS RELEVANT TO YOU. SO READ IT...

http://tonygentilcore.com/2015/05/how-toxic-hostility-is-killing-us-yes-this-is-relevant-to-you-so-read-it/ I had the pleasure of attending the Boston Sports Medicine Performance Group (BSMPG) annual conference this past weekend at Northeastern University. First off: props to Art Horne for pulling off – yet again – another spectacular job organizing and hosting the event. You, sir, deserve this:   Second off: this is easily one of the more “high-level” events of the year on the fitness calendar, and I can’t speak highly enough to the caliber and quality of not only the speakers, but the attendees as well. Ever have that feeling you’re the dumbest person in the room? Well that was me this past Friday with guys like Bill Hartman, Charlie Weingroff, Pat Davidson, Eric Oetter, Dr. James Anderson, and the pencil sharpener located at the front of the room all under one roof. If you’ve never heard of the event, now you have…and I’d highly encourage you to try to make the trip to Boston next Spring. If you have heard of the event, and you’ve never made the trip, to you I say…….. Get it done next year. You won’t be disappointed. Okay, so, lets talk about stress. Why? Well, for starters it’s something that affects all of us in some form or another. And secondly, one of the keynote speakers this past weekend was the one and only Dr. Robert Sapolsky, author ofWhy Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. He’s one of the world’s foremost experts on stress (he wrote a book about it, duh.), and someone who’s done more research on the topic than pretty much everyone, ever. And he has an epic beard. Which means we should listen to him. Gandalf schmandalf The good doc spoke for around 90 minutes, but it felt like it was ten. It was all fascinating....

15 Tips to Unleash Your Athleticism May14

15 Tips to Unleash Your Athleticism...

15 Expert Tips to Unleash your Athleticism Lets be Clear:  Having muscle and strength isn’t enough—you must be able to move and generate force rapidly to stand above the average meathead. Who wants to be all show, no-go? Further more, what fun is having tons of endurance without appreciable muscle mass? If you’re like most lifters, you want demand a blend of both athleticism and muscle mass, and that’s what I’m here to deliver.  In today’s post, I’ll show you how to build a body capable of competing with the toughest athletes, yet still lean and muscular. I reached out to a handful of expert coaches in the industry to help you maximize your training and improve athletic performance. Not only will you maximize your training, you’ll build real world athleticism. In other words, these tips will help you become Unleash Your Athleticism, and become a beast both in, and out of the gym.  1) Value Relative Strength As much as Absolute Strength There are many factors to consider, but heavy strength training is a tool for improvement, not the end-all be-all in performance. Does the allocation of resources towards building more strength with potential gains in size outweigh the benefits of higher relative strength and corresponding improvements in agility, speed, power, and coordination? Sorry to burst your bubble, but no. There are always exceptions like absolute strength athletes such as lineman, throwers, and strongman competitors, but when athletes’ sports are movement based relative strength reigns king. Incorporate bodyweight training, movement skills like sprints and jumps, and stop blindly adding weight to the bar above all else. Related: Find out Seven Ways to Improve Relative Strength 2) Develop Unilateral Strength and Power David Dellanave of Dellanave.com If you want a more athletic, and dare I say functional, type of...

MOVEMENT VARIABILITY & ITS RELATION TO PAIN AND REHAB. May12

MOVEMENT VARIABILITY & ITS RELATION TO PAIN AND REHAB....

Movement variability has definitely been receiving a bit more attention over the past year or so and coming into more and more discussions about movement. Anyone who has kept an eye on this blog will see it has been mentioned regularly over the past few years. If we explore the research into this area we see it has been a focus in academic circles for a great deal longer although it is filtering down at a glacial rate to training and rehab programs. Hopefully we are starting to shift our understanding of the human body away from the mechanical and towards more of a biological perspective. This may help us to understand why changes in someone’s posture and ‘imbalances’ in general within the body don’t actually matter quite as much as they would in a purely mechanical system. The tolerances of the human biological system are probably much greater than we give them credit for. Rage against the machine Within the paradigm of a mechanical system, seemingly the predominant model taught today, the operation of the body is viewed as a precision machine. If one part of a machine breaks or operates outside of the precise narrow parameters set for it then it spells disaster for the machine as a whole. We often blame deviation from poorly defined ideals and ideal relationships within the body for various injuries and diseases when often they do not have clear correlations. Pain and its relation to posture would be a perfect example of this, as would concepts such as ‘overpronation’ and muscle firing patterns and timings. Movement is just the same, there are not many ‘right’ ways to move that have been objectively defined and can therefore be blamed, instead we have wide parameters of what we...

How To Get Better Sleep May08

How To Get Better Sleep...

The quality of sleep we get affects every aspect of our lives — however 40% of Americans don’t get the amount of sleep necessary for performing their best. Fortunately, with a few simple additions to your nightly routine, you can transform your physical and mental well-being and set yourself up for success. Establishing a bedtime ritual is the key to sleeping longer, better, and starting your days more refreshed and energized. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-get-better-sleep-2015-3#ixzz3ZYmU827L...

Move Better Instantly May06

Move Better Instantly...

Ever had an experience where a particular movement was just a lot harder than you thought it would be? It’s pretty common. Instead of a smooth flowing motion you’re herky jerky and tiring out too quickly. And that’s when we need to make some adjustments. The desire to move better is at the heart of everything you do in training. Strength and power are all well and good, but we’re really after the total body control to perform difficult skills and moves in a way that looks easy. When you do this, you know your strength and power are there. Fluid, controlled movement simply looks good. It’s as if we are hard wired to recognize and appreciate it, and I’m going to share some useful tips that will help you to move better right away. 1. Slow it Down for Instant Awareness We tend to muscle through those movements we have a hard time with. If something is really difficult to do, it’s easier to just move quickly to get through it. But that won’t lead to graceful movement – and it’s not safe either! So, how do you move better, even with especially difficult skills? Slow down and pay attention. It may sound cheesy, but being mindful is really the key to better movement, and it’s what all the rest of these tips hinge upon. Try this exercise: Walk briskly from one end of a room to the other. Now, slow down your movement, and as you walk back to the other end of the room, pay attention to each of these details. Feel how you adjust yourself as you walk – your posture, eye gaze, hip dominance, weight distribution, and breath. Before, during, and after any exercise, really make an effort to pay attention...

Graded Exposure Apr21

Graded Exposure

Graded Exposure Posted on April 21, 2014 by Todd Hargrove • 14 Comments Graded exposure is a key concept in understanding how to reduce pain caused by movement. It’s a very common sense idea, and one that most people kind of know at some level, because there is profound truth to it. But it’s also an idea that most people will probably fail to put into practice in a systematic way. Here’s a brief discussion of what it is, why it works and how to do it. What is graded exposure? Graded exposure is a process by which you slowly and progressively expose yourself to some form of stress, in order to make you less sensitive to that form of stress. In the context of movement, it means the progressive introduction of threatening movements, in the right dosage and timing, in a way that makes them less painful. This might happen in one of two ways – through causing a change in the body, or a change in the way the nervous system perceives threats to the body. Tissue adaptation – make your body stronger There is some physiological truth to the idea that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. According to the SAID principle, the body will adapt to get better at withstanding specific forms of stress, provided they are experienced to a sufficient degree. For example, when the muscles are stressed enough by lifting weight, this causes micro damage that stimulates changes in muscle physiology. These changes will make the muscles stronger and less likely to get damaged by the same weight in the future. With this principle in mind, you can get stronger and stronger by progressively overloading your muscles over time. The trick is to expose yourself to stress in a...