Sometimes after a bad run all you need is some new sneakers to snap you right back into your groove.
The NYC Marathon was all that I expected and more. I had heard about the crowds and the noise level and the massive amounts of runners but you really can’t prepare for that unless you have experienced it. 2 Millions plus spectators who are loud and cheering for you like you are Derek Jeter. Every recreational athlete should get to experience that at some point in their lives.
My alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. but I shot awake at 3:30. I was quite anxious for the day to begin. Every meticulous detail was pre-planned from what I was going to eat to how I was going to put on my layered clothes to prepare for the waiting outside at Fort Wadsworth. Shower; Check. Water; Check. Body Glide; Check. I got my cup of coffee and had my oatmeal and hit the road to meet my ride to Met Life Stadium. Getting to Met Life was a breeze at 4:45 in the morning. There were hundreds of buses lined up ready to roll. As we got on the bus I expected a fairly short drive but instead it took us an hour and a half. The traffic getting near the Verrazano bridge was stand still. It was tough sitting down for that long but we were going to have to wait around anyway so I reasoned that it was better on a warm bus than out in the cold. When we got there the security presence was heavy. Metal Detectors and wands were used. Bib numbers had to be shown to anyone who asked and several people asked. Sleeping bags and even garbage bags which people planned on using to keep warm or to sit on were confiscated. When we actually got to Fort Wadsworth. The atmosphere was buzzing with anticipation. They provided coffee, water, gatorade, and bagels. I decided to have a bagel around 8:30 because it had now been 3 hours since I ate my oatmeal. There were people everywhere. I didn’t know at the time but they later announced a record number of runners. Over 50,000 would line up to attempt this year’s NYC Marathon. Most just sitting down, trying to rest as much as possible. Many waiting in the lines for the bathroom no doubt a combination of drinking water, sitting out in the cold, and just nervous energy. There were people from so many other countries wearing their county’s colors proudly. I noticed France, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Canada, and Germany just to name a few.
I tried seeking out people who had run NYC before to get some tips on how to manage the day. The Ford Wadsworth part of the day was like Christmas Eve as a kid. You just know something amazing is about to happen and you can feel it in the air. Finally at 9:00 they called wave 2 to the corals.
Once inside the corrals the nerves started to come. Last minute bathroom breaks because we were less than an hour from starting the world’s greatest race. Now was also the time to shed the layers of clothes I had on over my race outfit. It was a cold day and the wind was harsh at times but to be honest I am not sure if I noticed at the time. I kept my hat and gloves on for the first part of the race only to shed them around mile 5. As we made our way towards the base of the Verazano for the first time I really got a sense of how massive this was. TV Cameras were everywhere and there was a stage set up where Mayor Bloomberg had just wished all of the runners good luck. Someone sang God Bless America and did a great job but I have no idea who. Then before I knew it The cannon fired and Frank Sinatra Sang New York New York.
The first mile was up hill to the crest of the Verazano Bridge. You really couldn’t open up too much because the see of people around you. On the sides of the bridge two NYPD choppers hovered what seemed like 15 feet away. Everywhere you looked left, right, front, or back there were runners. It somehow worked. They start you based on your predicted finishing time so most of the people round you should run at around the same pace as you. When you look at the overhead shots of the bridge you think you would feel claustrophobic but that really wasn’t the case.
Brooklyn was my favorite part of the race. Everyone talked about First Ave but Brooklyn was unique in so many ways. The energy was super high and the people were enthusiastic throughout. Each section had it’s own flavor and made the long trek through Brooklyn lots of fun. There were DJ’s and bands and MC’s keeping the crowd going. One of the best tips I received was to write my name somewhere on my body because other runners and people along the route would shout out, “Keep going Joe” , or “nice job Joe.” Some of my favorite signs that people had were the girl with a Friday Night Lights Jersey holding the sign that said Clear Eyes Full Hearts, the popular catch phrase from the TV show. Another guy had a sign that said Chuck Norris never ran a marathon. Run now, Beer Later was another one that I liked seeing. Brooklyn for me was the highlight of the race. It was still early enough where I felt good and I was cruising on adrenaline. The only downside was the strong winds mostly in my face which at the time I didn’t pay attention to but the combination of my adrenaline and the winds would maybe come back to haunt me later on.
The second half of the race started as you crossed the Queensboro Bridge onto First Ave in Manhattan. The Queensboro was quiet and the first half was uphill until you crested and then started down onto the street. When I made the left onto First Ave you could see all of the people lining the streets. It was not quite as loud as I was told it would be but certainly First Ave had the most spectators. They were holding signs and ringing cow bells and just cheering for their family and friends and even people they don’t know. The marathon is a day where all the good it seems comes out in people. Yes their are the elite runners with their tiny bodies running superhuman times. To me the marathon is about the 99% of the runners who go into the day knowing they have no chance of winning.
Around Mile 18 is when things started to go down hill for me. I started to feel a slight twinge in my hamstrings. I knew if I continued to stride like I wanted to I might cramp up. I have never felt that in my hamstrings while running. Usually it was my calves or my hip but this was real. I made a conscious effort to slow myself down and decrease my stride in order to not blow out my hamstring. The shorter strides make for more ground time and more force being pounded into your legs. By mile 20 it was over for me. I was shot. I had hit the wall. This was not my first marathon but I had never felt anything like this. I struggled slowly from 20-23. I hardly even remember going through the Bronx and up into Harlem. By the time we crossed back into Manhattan and into Central Park I felt as if I was going to die. Every part of my legs were failing me. My calves, my hips, my quads had seemed to take over for my previously ailing hamstrings. Miles 23-26.2 were a slow crawl at best. I even walked. I walked and ran back and forth through Central park. Each time I stopped I wanted to cry because I could see 3:45 slipping away but more than I just wanted it to be done. The marathon had beat me. My previous marathons I didn’t walk at all. Now I was walking through water stops and even in between. People were passing me left and write. Having Joe written on my shirt helped me in the beginning but now I didn’t want people to know my name. Other runners were trying to encourage me. ”Almost there Joe”. Spectators were trying to help me but it was of no use. I just could not make myself run.
The goal was 3:45. 8 minutes and 35 seconds a mile. I can do that. Maybe go 8:15 because I would slow down later on but still doable. But something inside of me just says go as fast as you can. Looking back I am not sure if it was the wind in my face or my too fast pace but I crashed and I crashed hard. My first 10 miles were about a 7:40 pace. I just didn’t trust myself and my training to slow down. For some reasons I always have in the back of my mind that no matter how slow I go in the beginning I will still hit that wall later on so why not go fast now. I should know better than that. For someone reason I just can’t seem to make myself do it.
|16:40||- 1:02 (11%)||7’49″/mi|
|24:36||+ 0:07 (-2%)||7’56″/mi|
|32:11||- 0:21 (4%)||7’35″/mi|
|39:42||- 0:04 (0%)||7’31″/mi|
|47:05||- 0:08 (1%)||7’23″/mi|
|54:41||+ 0:13 (-3%)||7’36″/mi|
|1:02:26||+ 0:09 (-2%)||7’45″/mi|
|1:10:17||+ 0:06 (-2%)||7’51″/mi|
|1:18:12||+ 0:04 (-1%)||7’55″/mi|
|1:26:23||+ 0:16 (-4%)||8’11″/mi|
|1:34:24||- 0:10 (2%)||8’01″/mi|
|1:42:35||+ 0:10 (-3%)||8’11″/mi|
|1:51:03||+ 0:17 (-4%)||8’28″/mi|
|1:59:27||- 0:04 (0%)||8’24″/mi|
|2:09:35||+ 1:44 (-21%)||10’08″/mi|
|2:17:16||- 2:27 (24%)||7’41″/mi|
|2:25:53||+ 0:56 (-13%)||8’37″/mi|
|2:34:44||+ 0:14 (-3%)||8’51″/mi|
|2:43:59||+ 0:24 (-5%)||9’15″/mi|
|2:53:07||- 0:07 (1%)||9’08″/mi|
|3:02:46||+ 0:31 (-6%)||9’39″/mi|
|3:13:01||+ 0:36 (-7%)||10’15″/mi|
|3:24:58||+ 1:42 (-17%)||11’57″/mi|
|3:36:04||- 0:51 (7%)||11’06″/mi|
|3:47:25||+ 0:15 (-3%)||11’21″/mi|
Those last three miles were the most painful thing I have ever done in my life. Not just physically but emotionally I was beaten. I wish I could say I picked it up and crossed the finish line feeling great but I limped across that finish line. Yes, in the video I put my hands up but to be honest I was just happy it was over. I was shocked to see that I actually had PR’d. I had beaten my previous best marathon by more than 2 minutes. I said that I was done with marathons after this one and at the finishing line I was sticking to that for sure. It was pure torture. It wasn’t until today when I read a NY Times article that I was able to get some perspective on the whole thing. They interviewed a guy by the name of Greg Cass. He is a very good but sub elite runner.
“That is both the gift and the curse of the marathon,” Cass said. “When you finally get it right, it’s the product of 30 variables that you have maybe 50 percent control of. When you get it wrong, you try to analyze all 30 of those variables. It’s nearly impossible to figure out exactly what went wrong and how to make it better next time. But that’s the goal. To take a look at what happened and go back to the drawing board. And, if it’s in the cards, to give it another go.”
If you told me 5 years ago that I would have run 3 marathons I would have never believed you. That is the magic of the NYC Marathon. 99% of the people running have no chance of winning. It is only you against yourself and everyone wins. Just by starting the race and doing the training and having the courage to finish was I able to see myself do something so amazing. Am I really done with marathons? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just chasing something that will never happen which is the perfect race. I am definitely not running one next year. I want to tackle some shorter races and try to get faster. Maybe I will do some obstacle races because those seem like a lot of fun. I want to throw myself into CrossFit a little more and see where that leads me. I plan to get on that as soon as I can walk again. One thing is for sure that for the rest of my life I can tell people that I ran the NYC Marathon.
We are seeing the race world evolve in front of our eyes. For years there were 5k’s, half marathons, and marathons to test our endurance and stamina. But why are people putting in hours at the gym just to see the benefits go to waste. Yes some of us work out for aesthetics but that can only take you so far or motivate you to do so much. Some of us work out to feel accomplished and to feel able. We are able to lift things. We are able to climb things. We are able to throw things. We are able to prove our endurance at the same time as proving our strength and at the same time as proving our mental toughness. The reality is running for 4 hours straight is not a useful skill that we can use. In real life you will need endurance, strength, stamina, and the ability to use your body in every way possible. If the shit hits the fan so to speak and the zombie apocalypse is upon us obstacle races are your battle field. Ok so maybe the zombie apocalypse is a stretch but if you want something awesome and badass to train for to get a feeling of accomplishment like you have never had before start training for a Spartan Race today.
Many of you know that I started doing Crossfit almost a year ago. Crossfit defines itself as High Intensity, Constantly varied, Functional movements. Basically there are no single joint isolated movements. Instead of machines your body is the machine. This is how our bodies move in the real world. Never in life will you have to extend your knee without also extending your hip. Our bodies move as a unit and not as a series of isolated muscular contractions. The Spartan Race is Crossfit brought to life. Taking all the skills and improvements that you have made from Crosffit and utilizing it in an obstacle course setting. If you want to add motivation to your workouts try signing up for a Spartan Race. I would suggest doing it with a group of friends. Many Spartans work together as teams to get through the course. If Crossfit is the sport of fitness than a Spartan Race is it’s proving grounds. Yes Crossfit has the Crossfit games but that is the elite of the elite. Anyone can sign up for a Spartan Race and really see what you are made of. From the average Joe to Navy Seals there is a Spartan Race for you.
The Spartan race was voted the # 1 obstacle race by Outside magazine. In a Spartan Race you can expect running, rope climbs, crawling, tire flips, mud, ponds, mud, hills, scaling walls ala Ninja Warrior, mud, carrying sandbags, mud, inverted wall climbs, barbed wire, fire,mud, and just general cool shit. It’s an adult playground to say the least. For some people this sounds like hell on earth but for people like me this sounds like a day full of fun. Where else can you challenge yourself to these extremes and put yourself in real world situations at the same time creating a bond with a group of friends that will last a lifetime. There is a saying that those who suffer together bond together. CrossFit does that for a lot of people and so does the Spartan Race. Get out of the gym and complete a Spartan Race with your buddies. If any JerseyStrong subscribers are interested in doing a Spartan Race use this link to get a 15% discount http://bit.ly/spartanwarrior.
To see the Spartan race course in all it’s glory then tune in on December 7th on NBC sports to see the Spartan Race world championships. This is the extreme version of what you and your buddies will be doing but many of the same obstacles but done at a ridiculous pace and with more severe consequences. If you want to see some of the world’s most well rounded athletes doing crazy stunts while tackling a 14 mile course with elevations of 12,000 feet then tune in. Watch with your friends or Crossfit buddies then sign up for your own race using the link above.
As an added bonus for JerseyStrong subscribers anyone who comments on this blog post will be entered into a raffle to receive a FREE entry into a Spartan Race in 2013-2014. That is a 95.00 value for FREE just for commenting on this blog post. I do ask that you also share this with any friends you think may be interested. Retweet it or e-mail it a friend and don’t forget to watch the World Championship Spartan Race on December 7th.
Sleep is something most people don’t really think about in terms of getting the body they want but it might just be your secret weapon. Not getting enough sleep causes stress hormones which can react very negatively in your fight against fat loss. Studies show that getting 8 hours of sleep a night can increase your metabolism which in turn burns fat at a faster rate than someone who gets only 6 hours of sleep. If you are the type who tosses and turns and can’t get to bed on time than maybe my next guest blogger can give you the tips you need.
Ali Jan Qadir has been working in the mattress industry for more than ten years. He is a recognized industry expert and sleep consultant. Let’s put it this way, he knows sleep! He is the author of a blog www.whatsthebestbed.org Here you can see his thoughts and reviews on the latest industry trends such as adjustable bed brands.
Having an adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, mind, weight and more .Sleep affects cognitive skills, relationships with others, ability to handle stress, physical and nutritional conditioning.
Most individuals need seven to eight hours of sleep at night to function optimally for maximum alertness as the body cannot be trained to need less sleep than the normal. Everyone who sleeps only four to five hours of sleep each night will experience some loss of performance.
Some individuals can function reasonably well on little sleep for short durations particularly with the aid of caffeine or other stimulants but even their performance is impacted to a measurable extent. Not getting enough sleep certainly has serious impact on how and what you think including decreased working memory, situational/battlefield awareness, ability to concentrate, focus and slowing of responses and response time.It also reduces your ability to make good decisions and increases the tendency to be distracted by emotional stimuli. It lowers the ability to interact effectively with those around you and to communicate effectively. Even more disturbing facts are that inadequate amounts of sleep have been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and heart disease etc.
No one can function on just a few hours of sleep a night over time. When one faces a total sleep deprivation, his performance typically declines by 25 percent every 24 hours depending on the type of performance being measured. As mentioned above, sleep loss impacts multiple performance areas, therefore, an understanding of its overall impact is important for total fitness.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are plentiful but many often people are just not getting enough sleep or the kind of quality sleep they need to be fully functional and to make the most of their waking hours. Therefore, the low productivity can mean loss of income and work product.
There are several simple adjustments one can make to stack the cards in favor of a better night’s sleep for you.
· Avoiding to watch TV before bed
Your bed should be reserved only for sleep. Research shows that those who experienced the most sleep disturbances had televisions in their bedrooms and used the TV to fall asleep.
· Try a different pillow or mattress.
Sometimes just replacing your pillow with a fresh, new and higher quality version pillow or mattress could give you all that you need in terms of a better sleep. Many people have difficulty getting a good quality sleep because they have back pains. If back pain is a problem for you try picking out best mattress brand for back pains, they will really improve the quality of your sleep.
· Keep yourself away from caffeine late in the day.
Eliminate the tea, coffee, soda and even chocolate and see if your sleep improves.
· Listening to relaxing music.
In order to establish a relaxing bedtime routine, things just like listening to music, could just act as a signal you need to give your body for the time to sleep. Dim the lights and throw some slow jazz or relaxing sounds CD to help slow your mind and body down for an evening of peaceful sleep.
· Apply mind-body techniques.
Your brain and body need to unwind and detox before sleep fresh after an action-packed day. So create a routine for bedtime where you take a bath, do some easy stretches, yoga or meditate. Keep practicing the same each night. This repetition will trigger your mind and body that it is time to relax and sleep.
Taking sleep medications may also help you fall asleep but they cannot be taken long-term and many have risky side effects. Therefore, a sleep aid that uses natural ingredients is a better approach to getting a solid night’s sleep.
Finally, most important is to simply avoid accumulating a sleep debt that will have to be paid off. So, obtaining sufficient time asleep on a daily basis is the BEST way to maintain long-term optimal operational readiness.
It’s back to school time for this teacher. We started today with an in-service for all teachers so I thought I would recap my summer in health and fitness. As always I am up to something and always trying to improve my overall health and fitness lifestyle. This summer I added two new things into my fitness routine. One was biking. The other was CrossFit. I also made a few dietary changes that I hope I can continue into the school year.
Biking was so much fun. I just really enjoyed getting on my bike and exploring new streets and riding through town and just enjoying being outside on a summer day. My longest ride was 20 miles but I found that a nice 10 mile bike ride is just a nice and comfortable distance for me right now. I am sure next summer will include more biking but with my marathon training it made it tough to not overdo it. I also learned that I need to monitor my tire pressure so that I don’t get flats. That probably would have been useful information ahead of time but live and learn.
CrossFit has been great as well. By great I mean that most days I leave there feeling like I am just useless. For me I like having a goal or something to train for so when I am not good at something or not one of the better ones in the classes I enjoy it. I do have to say that I have gotten slowly better and more comfortable with the workouts. I incorporated almost all of the movements and lifts into my previous workout routines but not at that high repetition rate or that high intensity. I really can’t wait until after the NYC Marathon to see what I can do when I completely throw myself into CrossFit and not try to serve two masters by running a marathon at the same time as I am cross-fitting.
Other things I tried to improve my overall health were quitting certain foods. Since losing close to 100 pounds 8 years ago I kind of adopted a eat this not that philosophy. I am always looking for small switches that I can do to improve my diet. Perhaps the biggest was diet soda. For everyone who knows me they know I was for years a diet coke guy. Yes I always drank plenty of water but I had to have my diet coke with a meal. I would maybe drink two or three a day. I went cold turkey and to be honest I don’t even miss it. Even though there are no calories in diet coke there are just too many studies that show how bad it is for you. I do wonder how I will keep that up after going back to work and losing out on the caffeine. My beverages now include coffee, water, iced tea, and beer and thats about it.
The other things I did this summer was try to eat clean. Or at least an 80/20 rule for eating clean. I still have my mandatory cheat meals which are usually Saturday night dinner and one meal on Sunday. By eating clean I mean nothing out of a box. I grilled some meat almost every day for dinner and ate plenty of vegetables. A typical day of eating for me this summer went something like this:
Snack 1: (night time eating) Don’t ask! I have a disease. Grapes or almonds or whatever I had in the fridge.
Breakfast: 6 eggs and an avocado sliced
Dinner: 8 ounce steak with spinach sauteed in butter and garlic
Snack 2: Tomato sliced with salt and pepper
Snack 3: on lifting days Protein Shake on running days a sweet potato with butter
Snack 4: Protein Shake.
This diet usually was about 40% fat, 30% protein, and 30% carbs. My goals were to stay within my calorie allotment which for me is about 2200 calories a day while also getting close to 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight which for me is at least 155 grams or 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of overall body weight on days where I did crossfit which is about 190 grams.
Things I no longer eat at least during my 80% of the time are:
Cheese, Milk, or any Dairy.
Protein Bars or any Snack Bars
Anything out of a bag or a box.
High Starch vegetables.
Processed meats such as sandwich cold cuts.
Results: I am about 8 pounds heavier than I was at this time last year but my body fat is down about 2%. That tells me that I have more muscle now and have not added any fat. I have to admit there are times when I look at the scale and see 196 and it bothers me not being at 188 like I was last year but I have to remind myself that the eight pounds gained is mostly muscle. Although I am 8 pounds up I have had multiple people ask me if I lost weight which tells me that I look more lean despite being up 8 pounds from a year ago. I attribute this to the fact that I am consuming more protein and the Crossfit workouts in particular the heavy leg work.
So what can you do today to improve your health and fitness? We are all a creature of habits. Nothing is more habitual than food and exercise. Look into your habits and routines and try to replace one current habit with a new one. If you always stop at Dunkin Donuts for a coffee on your way to work try a lower calorie option off the menu. If you have a sandwich with cheese leave the cheese off and see if you miss it. If you always drive around the parking lot looking for the closest parking spot just park on the far end and walk. One little insignificant change right now leads to another change down the road. Health and Fitness is a continuous lifelong process. One of those changes will be the tipping point that leads to a healthier you.
What changes have you made lately from your regular habits that have led to improved diet or fitness?
This was a strange week. First of all a heat wave hit NJ.
As you can see this heat wave was no joke. 95 degrees every day with high humidity. My strategy was pretty simple. Drink abnormal amounts of water all day long. Run at night usually around 7:00 p.m. When running I make sure I bring water with me. I love my handheld amphibian water bottle. It cradles my hand and I don’t feel like I am going to drop it. My other secret weapon is my cool towel. You may have seen this towel advertised on TV. You wet it, rinse it, then snap it and it cools around your neck. I just tucked it into my neck under my shirt and it was nice and cool on my neck.
For two of my runs on the hottest days I went to Loantaka Park which is a paved trail with a lot of tree cover. That kept me out of the sun. My times were pretty good considering the heat. I made a point to run flat routes this week. It also helped me that this was a scale back week. For my long run I scaled back after two weeks of progress. Last weekend I did 7 miles and this weekend only 5. What does everyone else do during a heat wave? Tell me in the comments.
Tuesday: 3 miles easy pace and 9 mile bike ride.
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 3 miles and Crossfit
Friday: 15 mile bike ride
Sunday: 5 miles
Week 1 of 16 weeks of training was interesting to say the least. Of course we are in the middle of a heat wave here in NJ so 95 degree temperatures with 80% humidity felt like a kick in the stomach. I am loosely following Hal Higdon’s marathon program. When I first looked at week 1 my thoughts were this is going to be easy. I am in pretty good shape after having never really stopped running since last year’s NYC Marathon was canceled. The only thing I need to start doing is log more miles and run more often. In the “Off-Season” I typically run once or twice a week and usually on the weekends. With this program the miles and the pace don’t scare me but the 4 days a week I need to get used to.
The plan: Week 1:
Tuesday 3 miles easy pace. 8:40 a mile. This turned out to be no problem. The heat wave didn’t kick in at this point yet.
Wednesday 3 miles easy pace. 8:41 a mile. Crossfit at night. Again no problems here.
Thursday. Bike ride 12 miles
Friday was supposed to be another 3 miles run but I ended up not doing it. My wife misplaced something which led to a 4 hour search that ended at 9 oclock at night but that’s a story for another day. Turned out to be an off day.
Saturday was where things got dicey. The heat wave kicked in. Even at 9 a.m. it was already hot and very humid. I decided to join the Morristown Running Company’s group run. I have done this in the past and enjoyed it. They do a 5 miles run and my plan was to do another mile on my own after for the 6 I was supposed to run. Keep in mind I just ran 7 miles last weekend at about an 8:30 pace no problems. At about mile 3 I literally felt like I was going to puke. It was a brutally tough run. All types of things are going through my head now. Things like I am too heavy. I am 8 pounds up from this point last year. CrossFit and biking is just too hard on my legs. I was able to gut out 4.5 miles at a 9:30 pace but I had some thinking to do. I can’t remember the last time my pace was over 9 minutes a mile. Maybe Mile 23 of the 2011 Baltimore Marathon.
Sunday. 3 miles still super hot and humid and I finished at a 9:04 minute a mile pace. That is still slow and my legs felt heavy but it wasn’t quite as bad as the day before.
All in all I am going to forget about week 1 and chalk it up to unusual heat. I went back and looked at last July when I was training for NYC and it seems like I ran at night more often. 7 or 8 o’clock right before the sun goes down so I may try that for some cooler temperatures. Week 1 is in the books and already the mental battle begins. But I still have a smile on my face because it is summer and most of my days are spent like this.
In North Jersey Bro trainers are the norm. While I am not anti Bro trainer I do think that there are some redeemable qualities. So if the local trainer at your gym looks like Ronnie from the Jersey Shore pay attention because this article might hit close to home.
Let’s start with the Pro’s:
1. They live the life. They will do anything to look good so they have tried just about everything and can pass it on to you.
2. You’ll be tan. Bro’s love a good tan. Let’s be honest who doesn’t? But I am not sure how going tanning is health advice from a professional. Has your doctor ever said “You need to lose weight, exercise more, and get tanner.”
3. Memorial Day weekend is off. Your trainer is down the shore partying at DJ’s not in the gym helping you. We all need some time off from the gym right?
4. Abs and biceps. If abs and biceps are your thing most guido trainers are more then willing to accommodate.
5. They always look good at the gym. Wearing hair gel and having a perfectly waxed chest is a must for any respectable Bro trainer so you need to step up your game as well.
Ok so maybe only three of those were serious.
1. Not fans of the legs. Most Bro’s don’t really focus on leg training. Without lifting legs you are leaving out the largest muscles in your body. They are also the most receptive to growth which in turn causes you to burn more calories. If your trainer isn’t squatting or dead-lifting then stay away.
2. Bro-Science. Bro- Science is when they spout out things that they read in a magazine or online that have no scientific backing. An example might be glutamine will help you retain muscle.
3. Quick Fix. Speaking of glutamine. Bro trainers love pushing supplements. The reality is however, that if your trainer actually does look like Ronnie from the Jersey Shore he probably takes more than just supplements. Ask yourself would my doctor recommend this many supplements? Chances are you are just wasting your money and won’t cause any harm but you should think of your trainer as a health professional not a drug pusher.
4. It’s all about aesthetics. If you are training in preparation for one day taking your shirt off or wearing a bathing suit at a bar then by all means a guido trainer is for you. However, training for function rather then form is probably more useful. An example would be do you do more ab crunches or more planks? Flexing the spine is not the most useful movement in the human arsenal. Yes if you have low body fat then it will give you the 6 pack abs look but planks on the other hand create tension in the spine and resist movement rather than assist it. This protects your back when lifting something heavy like a suitcase or groceries. If performance were about aesthetics than body builders would be our greatest athletes.
5. No Cardio. While I agree that long steady cardio is not the way to lower body fat there are benefits to doing it. First of all heart health. If you are not raising your heart rate over extended periods of time you are not exercising maybe the most important muscle you have. Second if the shit hits the fan and the zombie apocalypse happens what do you think would help you the most being able to curl large amounts of weight by flexing your elbow or being be able to get the hell out of there on foot.
While there are plenty of reasons one would seek out a personal trainer be advised that for some there are very different philosophies in play.
For my next few articles I am using guest bloggers. Some will be from the health field and others from different types of fields. I hope to allow a few others
to write about their particular expertise. If anyone has interest in writing for Jerseystrong please contact me with suggestions.
My first guest blogger is Melanie Bowen. Melanie Joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. Melanie also assists in social media outreach in her efforts to spread awareness. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.
You Can Still Be Physically Active With Cancer!
Did you know that there is evidence that exercise can have a positive impact on recovery and survival? It does! People with mesothelioma, breast cancer and other types of cancer have reported more energy, a better quality of life, and a better sense of self-worth. People who exercise are more likely to survive longer and heal faster from surgery. If you want to know more about how exercise can help you, here are some tips!
1. Cancer Patients Who Exercise Have Better Outcomes
Sedentary peers simply do not have the same outcomes that people who exercise regularly do. Cancer patients who exercise at least once per week have a better chance to recover than those who don’t exercise at all. When women are using chemotherapy, they can prevent weight gain that is typically associated with the treatment. Obesity contributes to diabetes and heart disease, which can both lead to complications and make it more difficult to recover from cancer.
People who engage in weight-bearing exercise will increase bone density and lose six percent less than people who don’t. This will reduce the likelihood that you will break a bone if you fall from fainting, for example. Cancer patients should ensure that all aspects of their health are at their best to accelerate healing rates.
2. Aerobic Exercise Alleviates Symptoms
Patients undergoing radiation therapy may typically experience anemia, depression, and fatigue. Anemia is a condition that is difficult to balance, too much exercise can cause a patient to pass out and too little exercise can reduce the number of red blood cells produced. Studies by the American Cancer Society concluded that a single exercise session could help patients maintain red blood cell levels.
Participate in exercises like walking, water aerobics, step aerobics, jogging, and swimming to help the body to heal. Keep in mind that weights and stretching are also useful in recovery from cancer. Weight-bearing exercises can rebuild any muscle strength that is lost after surgery. Stretching can help to improve flexibility and range of motion, both important factors in cancer recovery as well.
Incorporate Physical Fitness Into Your Recovery
Don’t forget to incorporate physical fitness into your recovery program. This will help you recover faster from cancer and treatments. Most people find it difficult to exercise initially, but they do have more success as their exercise program progresses. Talk to your doctor today to develop the right plan and get moving!
Normally I don’t talk politics on this blog but yesterday’s tragedy happened at a sporting event and a sporting event which I have grown to love. I doubt that the terrorists choose this event because of the fact that it is a marathon and more likely just a large crowd and a target rich environment. I do think that there something very American about a marathon. The symbolism is there for everyone to see. All you need is your own body and you own hard work and you too can run one. The are no elites performing by themselves while everyone else watches. People like me get to run on the same course and have the same feeling as the best runners in the world. I played baseball in college and never once did I get to pitch to a guy Ike Josh Hamilton or Miguel Cabrera. In the Marathon field you can compete with the best in the world on an even playing field. In America this is the dream right? If you work hard and put in your best effort you too can compete with anyone no matter their background or upbringing.
Maybe the terrorists didn’t care that it was a marathon but I do. In my experience Runners are usually the nicest and most caring people in almost any recreational sport. It is a sport that is individualistic in nature but also community based. Runners tend to run together and share experiences through social media and blogs like this one. I have never met a runner who wasn’t willing to share a tip or a new training method or a new pair of sneakers that they love with another runner. The Charity money that comes out of these races alone should give you and idea of hat kind of people runners usually are.
From this will come good as it always does. The next few major races will be a little scary but I am sure as runners always do they will band together to show that they are not afraid and they will raise more money than ever for the victims of this tragedy. We as runners from the elite to the recreational will do what we always do when we need some time to think. Go for a nice long run and finish feeling better than ever and ready to take on the world one step at a time.
In honor of all of the victims at the Boston Marathon.