50% Less Achy In 30 Minutes!

Click on PART 1 or PART 2 of this You’re Not Doing What Worked, You’re Not Doing What You Were Told and You’re Not Eliminating What’s Messing It All Up series if you’ve not read them already.

Up until a couple of days ago, I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually taken a bath…

No, don’t get me wrong, I shower all the time. In fact I’m quite particular about being clean in that I hate being in my own funk for too long. Great, choose a job where I sweat all day; nice choice Adrian.

Wednesday night I got home late and from my super long day (6am-9pm at the gym) on top of the culmination of all my workouts the days prior – I was absoultely beat up. Destroyed was more like it. My feet were throbbing. My back was stiff and achy. My shoulders felt like 100lbs each. I was so destroyed I didn’t even want to bother eating when I got home. Everything hurt so much that I couldn’t even relax enough to be able to sleep.

Then I remembered what works (and I always recommend to others):

 So I ran a hot bath, poured in 1 cup of epsom salts as the tub was filling and proceeded to hop in. At first I planned on reading while in there. Then I opted for playing on my phone. But when I sat down all thoughts of doing anything other than just NOTHING all disappeared.

Why had I forgotten this? It is so nice, so cozy, so relaxxxxing.

30 minutes passed and I decided it was time for bed. I dragged my soggy self out, exhausted but Zen-like and proceeded to have an awesome sleep.

The next morning I woke up and just went about my day. Later it dawned on me that I was not achy anymore. I could feel my worked muscles from previous workouts but that was minor compared to the night before.

Here’s what I (re)learned: Destroyed/achy Adrian + hot epsom salt bath = great sleep + rejuvinated body = setting 2 new personal records (PR’s) on lifts the following two days.

Some tips:

1) Take a 30 minute (or longer; shorter is useless) hot bath with ~1 cup of epsom salts a couple of times a week. Any time you bath, add epsom salts. It’s surely not going to hurt getting more magnesium in you, especially when you’re training hard.

2) If you like smellies then add 2-5 drops of essential oils into your bath. Aromatherapy is a great add-on relaxer. Pick up a bunch of different kinds; For example eucalyptis is good for clearing you up when you’re stuffy; Peppermint oil is good for an upset stomach. When in doubt do less drops (2). Experiment with various oils and or blends of oils (such as stores like Eccents or Sage have). You can even buy epsom salts that have things like lavendar or eucalyptis already in them though I prefer to add my own.

3) Try to take the bath in the evening, right before sleep. Magnesium (epsom salts are magnesium sulfate) is incredible for relaxing the body which will greatly improve sleep. In my opini0n, magnesium is the single most important nutrient for hard training athletes. You can eat your way to enough of it, supplement it (just look for “ate” versions, not oxides. So magnesium citrate is better than magnesium oxide) or take epsom salt baths regularly (the body absorbs it through the skin). There are times I forget to take my magnesium and within two days I notice a huge difference in my whole body achiness from my workouts, my restfulness from the little sleep I do get as well as my workout performance. Everyone should read this: http://www.t-nation.com/strength-training-topics/magnificent_magnesium

Look, if someone tells you that you can feel 50% less beat up in 30 minutes and it’s going to cost you less than 25 cents (about the price of a cup worth of epsom salts) it’s worth a try is it not?

I promise we won’t judge you for adding bubble bath or a rubber ducky either…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf9d7rSf_Ks

Advertisements

Forgiveness

So you’ve hit a speed bump, come to a fork in the road or just simply got outta practice…

If you’re anything like me and how I knee-jerk react to such situations, you’re probably beating yourself up about it, at least to some degree.

Now, I don’t understand this insatiable need to punish oneself for making poor choices. I can distinctly remember a handful of potential clients during the consultation phase who’ve told me things like, “I need to be punished for eating bad” or “I need you to work me extra hard because I slipped up” or “Make it so I have to crawl out of the gym” or anything else that fits in the category of repercusion for you falling off the path of your goals and plans.

Really? You’ve fallen off, gutter ball’d a few days (or weeks, or months or hopefully not: years!). Is that not hard enough to deal with?

WHY ARE YOU BEATING YOURSELF UP TO NO END?????

Stop. Now. Stop whining about it. Stop talking about it. AND PLEASE for everyone’s sake stop Facebook’ing about it!!!

Forgive yourself. Learn from it. Get back on the horse so to speak. Make choices that are guaranteed successes. Build on that.

Forgive yourself!

The Honeymoon Is Over

It’s all coming crashing down…

What the hell happened? Everything was clicking; everything was working; everything was awesome!

You were riding the wind and it was sweet!

Sure some life stuff came up. Sure you’ve not been sleeping enough. Sure you could have done without that piece (or 2) of chocolate cake last week. But it’s not that. It was a fantastic feeling that’s now been replaced with this cycle of beating yourself up and this:

To be honest I don’t have an answer as to why it’s gone. If I tried talking out of my ass like some expert it would all be speculation at best.

Maybe there were warning flags. And maybe I’ll put some thought into it in the future and blog about that topic.

Listen closely, I’m going to bullet point this to make it very clear:

  1. You need to get back on the horse as soon as possible after you recognize that beast tossed you off.
  2. Getting up and going in just any ol’ direction is the worst mistake to make. Just as much as sitting around pondering how you ended up here or beating yourself up endlessly and somehow concluding you’re a quitter, a loser or any other such nonsense.
  3. You need movement, you need it quickly but you need the right movement!
  4. More failure will just leave you spinning your wheels. Reread #3
  5. Consider that you may have come to a fork in the road and that it’s time for a deviation from what was working in the past. Like what happened to me
  6. The first step is to pick the easiest thing to do today (or latest tomorrow!) that is a guaranteed win, success and obviously a positive. You have to understand that what’s happened was that you started out slowly, worked hard, the snowball of success started picking up speed as you were cruising downhill and then BANG you hit a valley.   
  7. It’s happened before, it’ll happen again. How fast you get back up and make the smart play, the guaranteed, easy success after easy success, until some speed collects and you can then start making big strides, taking more risks and the momentum of success arises again.
  8. A small stumble is really a forced opportunity to re-evaluate your goals, your successes, discard the things/people who were collecting and getting in the way anyway and move on. All of a sudden you find yourself at the top of a hill again…a tiny snowball in your hand…

Today, right now, make that one step of guaranteed success.

Tomorrow you’ll make another and soon enough you’ll be right back in that sweet little groove.

You’re Not Doing What Worked, You’re Not Doing What You Were Told, You’re Not Eliminating What’s Messing It All Up – New Series

I’ve got a laundry list of blog topics that I want to cover and as the discussions keep going strong week in and week out I just keep adding to the list. But I’m sure that this point you can tell when I get into something – I GET INTO IT.

You have to understand that in my unique job I get to hear some things over and over. I probably would have jumped off a bridge if I did become a psychologist like I wanted to back in high school. But discussing issues personal to my clients is commonplace and to be completely honest, I never get tired of it. I’ve said this about my job (man, I should blog about the life of a personal trainer as a series – add to list): no matter how grumpy, tired, upset or unmotivated a client may be when they walk in, they’re here and it’s always a positive step that they are. Everything about my job therefore is a positive. I couldn’t say the same thing about my previous life of pushing paper and working for the “man.” I feel very blessed about that.

One caveat: If you keep whining to me about the same thing over and over without taking the advice I’ve given you a half-dozen times already…we are eventually going to come to a point where my quiet, calm voice gets dead-serious and sternly issues cold, hard, factual “statements”!

You know what they say:

 

One more thing, trust me when I say this, as I use this blog to rant and provide information I’m never pointing fingers. Seriously. But a dozen times these past two months people have come to me hesitantly asking about a certain topic or video or email I’ve put out there and they somehow think I’m directly speaking about them.

So I ask you this: 

Is what I’m saying speaking to you? If so, maybe it’s time to listen.

So begins a new series that I will frequent and will cover a wide variety of subjects:

You’re Not Doing What Worked.

You’re Not Doing What You Were Told. 

You’re Not Eliminating What’s Messing It All Up.

To show I’m not pointing fingers the first couple entries in this series are going to be talking about myself. Maybe we’re in the same boat on a few subjects.

I’m Not Doing What Worked

Ever notice that when you put something out into the world (you write it, Facebook it, say it to a friend) it just happens to come to a reality in freakish speed? I think we sorta know what’s coming even if we blindly walk into it.

A couple of months back I told a buddy (on Facebook) that I’m sure the time would come when I would need a break from the style of training I was doing: HP Mass and I had it in my mind that “one day” I would flip back to another very effective style of training that worked incredibly well for me: Max-OT. The main difference between the two (as both prescribe low reps, heavy weight) is pure volume. Some of my HP Mass workouts I’d extend out for 2-2.5hours because I was feeling beastmode and I was feeling I had that in me.

With this stupid, supposed minor car accident I had two months ago my neck has been giving me some serious grief that just isn’t subsiding like I’d hoped. I’m getting work done on it frequently and slowly it’s getting there but…I need to ease off. By that I simply need uber high intensity for very short periods of time versus 500 rep workouts. Max-OT is the number 1 candidate for my needs.

So hear me on this: HP Mass was by far the most effective (and fun) program I’ve ever used. It worked well for me. It hasn’t lost its effectiveness, my situation has changed for me to soak the rewards of that type of work.

I know it works and I’ll come back to it when the time is right. But to keep going on the path that works for me and gets me where I’m trying to go…you gotta know when to switch

And I’ll tell you something…I’m excited again to dig out those Max-OT DVD’s and watch them this weekend. To pour through the AST site again. To go through old training logs and see the PR’s I was setting 4 years ago when I was using this style of program.

I’m excited…

Maybe you need a switch to excite you again…

You’re Not An Angel!

I’m really sorry, I’m not sure what your mother told you all these years but you’re not an angel. So do me and yourself a huge favor (because it makes me shutter and for you, that’s gotta hurt) and STOP DOING THIS:

Lets talk posture very shortly then I’m going to lead you to a video that I want you to watch where I discuss the subject in greater detail.

What posture is not:

Sticking your chest out too much:

Lordosis (too much curvature in lumbar/low back area):

Sorry honey, your lower back pain is NOT sexy, EWWW

Women Got Cheated!

I’m going to talk about breasts. I’m a dude who’s gonna go there so if you can’t handle it, suck it up anyway and listen. At least 60% of my 5000+ training sessions have been with women. I’ve seen all shapes and sizes, all skeletal structures, all genetic gifts or downfalls. The point is women have a shitty deal going when it comes to trying to keep posture. And y’all suffer for it big time in the form of upper back/neck tension and frequent headaches.

Here’s my theory as to why:

1) Gravity – if I attached two oranges to my chest (or honeydews or heaven forbid: watermelons) and tried walking around all day like that I’d have the absolute WORST slouchy posture ever! And that’s what’s going on with women and their breasts: you’ve got 1-10lbs weights hanging off your upper rib cage weighing you down ALL DAY – EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE!

2) Society – we have a huge scale of breast sizes out there; some ladies also “blossom” earlier than others. Tell me what happens when you’re the first girl of your class that blooms? Well, most likely you get way too much attention. Most likely it’s the wrong kind of attention. And also most likely you begin cowering in your posture in an attempt to hide your breasts. OR the other side of the story, you’re the last to blossom and society equally shuns you. It’s all bullshit, I know; very unfortunate. But take a look at the posture of teenagers these days. Most young men puff their chests up or slouch (they have zero idea what proper posture is) and most young ladies are either screaming for attention (again by puffing their chest out which is poor posture) or slouch in shyness. And all of this at a time when you’re going through your last major growth spurts! Yikes. The only ones with some hope are youth athletes.

3) Testosterone and Upper Body Musculature – Men are top-heavy. Women are usually bottom heavy. Guys have most of their strength in their upper torso; women derive most of their strength from their legs. Ever notice the musculature of a man who drinks too much? Generally speaking his upper chest, shoulders and upper back look “skinny.” The beer gut definitely doesn’t help. That’s because excess alcohol leads to a drop in testosterone and therefore an increase in estrogen. So estrogen (which ladies have more of) means a huge struggle to maintain upper torso and therefore, postural musculature.

See what I’m saying? You ladies got a bad deal going.

So what is proper posture and show me some steps to attaining it you say!!

Let me prelude the video by saying this: every individual has a “best” posture to match their individual skeletal structure but I’m sure you can recognize great posture when you see it:

 Back flat, neck in line with the rest of the spine, shoulder blades retracting during this exercise, hips and heels loaded, knees soft and proud as hell – CHECK, CHECK and more CHECK!! This is a beautiful thing! Posture at its finest!

GO HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUrOLJtp-FA

I want you to go check out this video where I discuss posture and show you one of my top go-to exercises, especially for women in the quest for better posture!

BTW, you can now find me on:

Instagram @adriancroweathletictraining

Facebook page at Adrian Crowe Athletic Training “The Crowe’s Nest”

YouTube www.youtube.com/acathletictraining

or email me directly at adrian@adriancrowe.com

You Don’t Really Know Yourself

Most people don’t know a lot about me as a person outside the gym. My job is incredibly personal and I tend to be on the up and up about other’s lives. That doesn’t really mean I know you as a person. Next to no one knows I’m a poet. It just doesn’t come up. I don’t hide it, but it doesn’t come up. Even though I have probably written over 1000 poems with a couple having been published.

The point being there is a difference between knowing someone’s day-to-day activities, life schedule and such vs. truly knowing a person.

There is also a very big difference between living in your body and knowing your body. Everyone lives inside there body with some degree of disconnect. Everyone, including myself!

Was reminded the past two days of this in conversations and training sessions. A good buddy put it best: “If you don’t use it, you lose it!” Simple right? But you have no idea the implication, context, seriousness and truth of that statement.

I’m even more convinced after the past two days that absolutely everyone should have a professional give you the once over. Everyone should experience the service of a personal trainer (worth a damn) who can visually assess, correct, cue, explain and guide you to better and stronger movement patterns. Until you’ve experienced that you’re never going to understand what I mean. You have to blindly trust me here.

I also think we should all have a physiotherapist, chiropractor/ART specialist or kinesiologist assess you for faulty movement patterns and especially improper muscle mechanics, imbalances, tension, trigger points, injury potentiators, etc. Even if you’re not “broken.” Do it before you have an injury and end up temporarily broken. Become resilient to injury!

I understand that can be intimidating. And yes, it’s going to cost you a couple hundred dollars. You’re having someone intensely staring at you, perhaps even poking and prodding to get you to do something with proper activation, but I challenge you this: go workout with a friend, ask them to intently watch you exercise (I don’t care what exercise) and ask them this simple question:

“Will you please watch my form and think of anything I can do to improve it?”

Even the untrained eye knows that this looks horrid and wrong:

You may not know that this is perfect, but it looks “right enough” to not be able to find something really bad:

I dare you this question: do you know, in every exercise that you do, how you would look in someone else’s eyes? Especially someone who knew what they were looking for?

Exercise and human movement is not about being perfect. Being too perfectionist and “heady” about what you do will, in fact, ruin performance. But you can be better. You can learn to do things more challenging and complicated that require greater coordination and balance. You can learn how to make movement and life hurt less. You should learn…

I maintain that my job, quite simply is not to make you look like a greek god or goddess, but to TEACH YOU ENOUGH ABOUT YOU so that you can better accomplish your goals; whatever they may be.