High Octane Corrective Exercise and Performance Enhancement | www.RobertsonTrainingSystems.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Eating healthy while eating out

This past weekend I had the chance to catch up with some old friends in Chicago. One thing I always come back to when traveling is trying to make solid food choices while "on the road."

Luckily, if you arm yourself with a little knowledge it's generally pretty easy to be successful. Here are some things I try and do to eat well on the road, regardless of the situation:

- Pack small snacks. My wife and I are really good about packing mixed nuts, water, protein bars, protein shakes, etc. If you're in a pinch, these items can substitute for a meal. Along those same lines, it will curb your appetite so you don't binge on the 8 lb. burger (yes, one of the restaurants we ate it really did offer it up!)

- Always order a sald and/or extra fruit. If your only goal is to consume copious amounts of calories, then by all means forget about this tip and get that fried appetizer sampler platter and double dessert. If you are in the least bit concerned about your health (not to mention your waistline), adding a sald or fruit to your order helps ensure that you get more nutrients and fiber from your food.

- Opt for extra virgin olive oil or vinagrettes instead of "traditional" salad dressings. Not only do they taste better (assuming your palette isn't dead), but they typically have better fatty acid profiles.

A few more quick hits, without all the explanations:

- If you are looking to shed pounds or body fat, say no to the pre-meal bread and get double-veggies for your sides.

- Drink water vs. calorie-laden beverages.

- Be reasonable with your meat selections. I'm all for a huge slab of beef from time-to-time, but eating a 10 or 12 ounce steak every night probably isn't necessary.

- Whenever possible sub a salad, veggie or even a soup instead of fried side items. They may taste good but there's minimal nutritional value in fried foods.

- I won't ever tell you that beer is bad - at the very least, drink light vs. normal beers.

While eating out or on the road may never be optimal, performing some damage control can go a long way to helping you achieve your health and fitness related goals.

Stay strong

Monday, August 25, 2008

'Tis the season...

...for knee injuries.

If you're a football fan like me, you love and hate this time of year. The pre-season is winding down, and it's time for us to enjoy the best time of the sporting year - football season.

Unfortunately, it's a double-edged sword - we've waited for 6 months for our favorite teams to take the field, and quite often, our whole season can go down in flames with one key injury.

And you know what I'm talking about - when we're talking football, we're talking knee injuries. In the past month or so we've lost Peyton Manning (surgically removed bursa sac), Shawn Merriman (torn PCL and LCL), Jason Taylor ("sprained" knee) and Osi Umenyiora (torn lateral mensicus) for various lengths of time. Some will be back this year - others won't. Last year the Colts lost three starters to season long knee injuries (Booger McFarland - torn patellar tendon, Rob Morris - torn ACL, Marvin Harrison - ruptured bursa sac).

Football is hard to prepare for physically when compared to other sports. In basketball, soccer, and volleyball you typically see non-contact injuries. Essentially, these people have weak or faulty active stabilization patterns - typically the glutes and hamstrings are either inhibited or flat out weak, and smooth deceleration of jumps and cuts isn't possible. When you lack active stability, your body is forced to rely on the next source - passive stabilizers like menisci, tendons and ligaments. Obviously, if you can get stronger and improve activation patterns, you go a long way to staying healthier.

In contrast, football players are exposed to both non-contact AND contact based injuries. As I mention in my Bulletproof Knees manual (and the lecture as well), you could have the most orthopedically healthy knee known to man, but if you get caught in the wrong position, or hit with enough force in the right area, your knee is probably going to go.

So if it were up to you, which option would you choose?

1 - You figure there's nothing you can do to protect your knees, so instead of playing you curl up in the fetal position on a remote corner of the sideline? Or
2 - Take as many steps possible to reduce, and possibly even prevent, a major knee injury?

If you're a competitive footballer, whether at the Pop Warner or Pro Bowl level, you owe it to yourself to check out Bulletproof Knees - it may be the only thing between you and a knee injury.

Stay strong

Friday, August 22, 2008

Life is good - plus updates

Things have been really crazy since returning from vacation - opening a new gym, moving into a new house, etc.

Regardless, I wouldn't have it any other way - I'm loving what I'm doing right now and feel like I'm really creating something awesome with Bill. There's nothing more powerful than helping people feel better about themselves.

With that being said, here are a bunch of updates...

- I had a new article go up at FigureAthlete.com; you can check it out here:

The Top 5 Reasons You're Not Succeeding

- For those of you who've asked, the gym is going REALLY well. We're generating more and more interest, and getting tons of interest and new clients in the door. If you want to learn more, check out the website www.IndianapolisFitnessAndSportsTraining.com

- Over my Alaska trip I read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" - if you are interested in health and nutrition, you owe it to yourself to read this book. I'm actually in the process of finding a good local butcher, and Jess and I are planning on hitting the local farmer's markets as well. While I always figured I ate "well" or "clean," this book kind of smacks you in the face as to how screwed up our food is here in America.

- Expect some updates soon on the Justin Ware project. Justin is progressing nicely, and I think in the next 2-3 months he's going to see some massive changes in the quality of his movement and his physique.

- The next project that I've been toiling over is almost completed - my good friend and editor Lisa Holliday has done a great job of cleaning up my messes, and the best part of this is it will be 100% free! In fact, if you like it, I'd ask that you pass it on to a friend or loved one who you feel can benefit from it.

- This weekend should be interesting - we're driving up to Chicago for a Cubbies game, but hitting the Dan Ryan expressway at rush hour. Wish me luck ;)

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thinking Long Term...

So this blog post is going to essentially be my "newsletter" for the week - I hope you enjoy it!

Last week, Bill Hartman and I were having a discussion in between clients at the gym. Essentially, we were talking about the long-term health/repercussions of playing sports at an elite level. I was reading an article about Greg Oden, quite possibly one of the most talented basketball players to come out of Indiana. In case you've been living under a rock the past year, Greg had microfracture knee surgery in the off-season last year and missed his entire rookie year.

As we were discussing things, I started thinking about the long-term effects of the microfracture procedure, and knee surgeries in general. If you're unfamiliar with it, here's the jist of what they do: When hyaline cartilage wears down (or is removed) you essentially have a bone-on-bone contact area. This bone-on-bone isn't good as it wears down the joint surfaces, and as you move plant and cut, lift heavy things, etc., it leads to the progression of osteoarthritic changes in the knee. Certain forces are more injurious or damaging to the knee, but to prevent this bone-on-bone doctors will go in and drill directly into the bony areas. The goal of a microfracture procedure is to make the bone bleed out; the ensuing hole is filled in/covered with fibrocartilage. Unfortunately, while hyaline cartilage (i.e. your meniscus) is very resilient, fibrocartilage isn't nearly as resilient.

If you follow the NBA, you know that quite a few big name players have undergone the microfracture procedue - Jason Kidd, Chris Webber, Greg Oden, Amare Stoudemire, Zach Randolph, Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, etc. As well, if you followed their careers post-surgery, the results were very different. Kidd and Stoudemire returned with great success, while many of the others (most notably Hardaway and Webber) were robbed of their trademark explosiveness and had their careers cut short.

So what does all this have to do with you? That's a great question - and after my long-winded preface, here's what I want you to remember: Always think about the long-term. What effects do the things you're doing right now have on your future health and well-being?

Now please understand I'm not trying to sway you one way or the other. I remember a while back being in Dr. Klootwyk's office (he's the knee surgeon for the Colts), and there was an autographed picture of a Colts player with this message inscribed:

"Doc - Thanks for fixing the money maker!"

My goal isn't to sway you one way or the other - if your goal is to squat a 1000 pounds or rush for 1,500 yards in the NFL, great! Just understand the long-term effects that might have on your body. I can tell you this: If I had to choose between being set financially for life at the age of 26 or 27 and possibly having a knee replacement later on in life, I can tell you which one I would choose without a doubt!

I think sometimes we fail to appreciate the health and well-being of our bodies; my goal is to have a strong, healthy, and resilient body for many years to come. Having had a knee surgery myself, I understand what I am capable of, and the repercussions that certain things have on my body.

That's also why I created my Bulletproof Knees manual - I wanted to figure out the things that I could do to stay healthy and strong as long as possible. I've had a lot of questions lately from young people whose knees are beat to hell, and that's part of the reason I'm typing this right now. If you take the steps to get yourself healthy RIGHT NOW and stay that way, you'll be so much better over the long haul, regardless of your long-term goals.

Stay strong and have a great week!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Random Olympic thoughts...

Since the Olympics are on in my house pretty much 24/7, I thought I'd give it some blog time today. Enjoy!

- Michael Phelps is a beast - 'nuff said.

- No, just because Michael Phelps can eat 8000-12000 calories of pretty much anything he wants doesn't mean you can. Unless, of course, you're willing to train 2-5 hours per day to do so.

- Gymnastics may not be "cool," but you can't help but acknowledge their skills. I think the most impressive event must be the balance beam, considering it's hardly wide enough for most of their feet!

- It's good to see the USA Men's Basketball team playing as well as they are. They might get burned now and again because they gamble on 'D', but they more than make up for it with all the easy lay-ups and dunk they're getting. Plus, it's just nice to watch LeBron swat shots all over the arena.

- Like gymnastics, men's volleyball may not be "cool" - but again these guys are uber-athletic. Imagine a guy that's 6'8" or 6'9" that can touch 12' or higher. Or a jump serve barreling at you at around 65 mph.

- Has anyone else ever seen a guy get knocked out in Olympic Boxing? I hadn't either - until the other day. He got the standing 8 count, only to collapse after that. I think that has to be a first.

- I don't care how good they are, table tennis is boring to watch.

Stay strong

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Interesting article on overhead throwing...

So last night I come home, and lo and behold my wife was given a "free" subscription to the Training and Conditioning journal.

Jackpot! I will read anything training related.

The article that caught my eye in this case was a piece on overhead throwing athletes. While I assumed I would read the traditional drivel, this article was really well written - they discussed the various phases of the throw, along with the specific muscle groups that were working as well. Needless to say, I was impressed that they were at least mentioning the role of the scapula and upward rotation as well!

But then I started thinking about it, and if I had one critique it was that the article focused solely on the shoulder, and not the entire unit when it comes to throwing. I guess I'm a little spoiled, but when I can talk to someone like Eric Cressey on a daily basis, I have high expectations. If you haven't seen Eric's talk on overhead throwing athletes, you owe it to yourself to see him. He does an excellent job of breaking down the functional anatomy involved, as well as how the shoulder, hip, and entire opposite limb all work together to produce a smooth, fluid movement.

I guess this wasn't too exciting of a post, so to sum up remember that nothing is done in isolation. If we really want to take our assessment and training techniques to the next level, we need to understand and respect how the body moves not only in isolation, but in integrated movement patterns as well.

Stay strong

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Soft Tissue Work

I've got to admit, I'm shocked that everyone isn't getting some kind of soft tissue work. Some people even think it's BAD.

Now granted, I'm biased - I think I'm a soft tissue whore. Ok, maybe not a whore but at least an addict; foam rolls, ART, massage, I think it all has its place.

After working with Bill for the past couple of weeks, I'm even more convinced at how integral it is in a holistic training program. Watching someone's posture and movement improve almost instantaneously is pretty darn cool in my opinion.

Now, what I'm NOT saying is that soft-tissue work is the be-all, end-all of modalities. It has it's role, just like every other modality - stretching, mobility work, activation, prehab, strength training, etc.

It's just a component - but it's a big component. And if you're not using it to your advantage, you're missing out.

BTW, I've got a sweet little project I'm working on that covers a lot of different soft-tissue techniques; if you're not signed up for my newsletter, you may want to do that soon. Other than a subscription to my newsletter, it will be completely free.

Stay strong

Monday, August 4, 2008

Miscellaneous Randomness

Been a while since my last blog post, but that's what you get when you go on vacation for two weeks. Here are some random things that I've thought about since we last crossed paths...

- There's a lot of TERRIBLE information being passed around out there. Spending two weeks around poor fitness facilities and trainers will make that reality quite evident.

- No matter how well you eat, there are still a ton of people that have no clue what's good and/or bad for them to eat. Sure, they may know that a baked potato is better for you than potato chips, but that's where it stops. I think we fitness enthusiasts out there may forget how the rest of the world operates from time to time.

- Wow, Alaska is cold year round. I don't care what anyone says, 60 is not warm!

- And it rains there. A lot. One city gets rain 290 days out of the year!

- I like my job way too much; I couldn't wait to return and get back into the swing of things!

My boy Justin just came in, so this will be short today - more to come tomorrow!

Stay strong