Developing Power the Easy Way!

A great alternative to the power clean that can help develop explosive power just as efficiently. If you haven't taken a look at my previous post on why it is important to develop strength before power, please take a look there first! Otherwise, be prepared to see minimal results!

The Importance of Strength Development before power!

Variation on the Power Clean

The True Benefits of Consuming Coconut Oil

Many of you heard the "news" that the FOR PROFIT American Heart Association supports several studies that support that coconut oil increases LDL (bad) cholesterol more than other saturated fats. 

The things that the AHA failed to mention in their stance piece was that there are actually 4 forms of LDL and three of which are immensely less harmful than the final one and that coconut oil increases the lesser molecules. On top of that, coconut oil was also shown to increase HDL (good cholesterol) in these studies. Finally, the coconut oil consumers also lost weight in each study.

All of these factors point to the exact opposite conclusion. One can assume that the AHA may have been paid off by other oil companies. 

It is important to research everything you hear, even from organizations that sound as if they are looking out for your interests. 

Pain

Many people experience physical pain throughout just walking around living. Unfortunately, this is no way to live. Chronic pain creates a cascade of affects that can negatively impact the body in many ways. Chronic pain has been shown to cause depression. Chronic pain can release excessive amounts of cortisol, our stress hormone, into our system. If released in large and chronic amounts, cortisol can cause inflamation, weight gain, sleep problems, cancer, diabetes and the list goes on. 

Pain can often be treated through physical exercise. There are definitely limits and contraindications when attempting to control specific pain causes and that’s where having a good coach or physical therapist can help. Find a great practitioner near your to help you reduce your back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, and more. 

If your pain does not become aggravated through yoga, it is a great practice to help reduce stress and create mobility. Apps such as Headspace can help you learn to meditate, calm your mind and reduce stress. Try anything you can to relax, sleep and feel better!

Web sites such as NASM’s and NSCA’s contain a database of great practitioners near you. 

Take a look at my web page to see how I may be able to help you today!

Rules for beginning a safe resistance training routine!

I came across this question on Quora (if you haven't heard of this site, you're missing out on a great learning opportunity!) today and I decided to attempt to help this young man out. 

He was hoping to build muscle in order to resemble a specific actor in one of his parts. I wrote about several important factors to take into consideration when attempting to gain size, build metabolism and lose fat. 

Take a look at my rules:

https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-gain-weight-fast-without-taking-supplements/answer/Ted-Sloan-2?share=ed8a135d&srid=3iGMQ

Preparing for an Endurance Event

Strength is often an overlooked aspect to preparing for endurance events, but simultaneously a very important one. The human body was not built to be able to withstand endurance training and therefore it is important to counteract any negative impacts that it may have.

Studies show that even minimal strength training when preparing for an endurance event can help to reduce finishing times by as much as 8%. To put this into perspective, a properly designed strength program for an endurance athlete can reduce the amount of time it takes an athlete to complete a marathon, if their time to completion was originally 4 hours without strength training, can be cut down to only 3 hours and 40 minutes; that is a 20 minute reduction in time! When an athlete builds strength, each repetition (pedaling, stepping, rowing) requires less overall energy to complete; in the end this saves energy for later in the event. Further, mitochondrial size, amount, and efficiency are all enhanced by specific modalities of strength training.

When muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and joints are trained through strength, it increases their resilience to injury, increasing longevity on top of the performance benefits.

When preparing for Endurance events, training can be adjusted according to specific needs. Certain exercises will benefit specific athletes differently, but generally, when training for a running or biking event, exercises that train a single limb at a time, such as a split squat or lunge, will translate better to their event. If an athlete participates in rowing events, bilateral exercises such as squats and deadlifts will benefit the athlete more. Training modalities should remain the same for short periods of 3-6 weeks and adjusted for a subsequent cycle of another 3-6 weeks will help the athlete to reduce injury risk and obtain the best results from their training; changes such as performing 3 sets of 20 repetitions during the first cycle and 4 sets of 6-8 repetitions during the second cycle. Also important, changing exercises, even if only a minor change such as switching from dumbbells to a barbell, elevation of the feet, angle of the feet, etc. all go a long way to continuing to get stronger and increase endurance.

For more information, please contact me!

tsloan13@ucsbalum.com

(818) 726-2362

Or click here to contact me now!

Pull-Ups

The pull-up is an amazing exercise. Often times we focus on attempting to get our chin to the bar, however the best queue to picture mentally is to drive your elbows down through the floor explosively and then back. This allows us to activate the correct musculature and in the correct order, and makes the exercise easier. Even more important, most athletes either do not have the strength to engage the lats at the top of the movement by rounding their shoulders as far back as they can, instead, allowing their shoulders to round forward. This error can actually cause a significant amount of harm and compensation.

The pull-up for the upper body can be compared to the deadlift for the lower body (it works nearly the entire upper body, including triceps and pecs!). For athletes, the pull-up trains many of the muscles used in gripping, pulling, holding, throwing, hitting, swinging and even pressing (if performed properly).

This movement is important for everyone, but many trainees have difficulty improving them or even achieving their first one. Unfortunately to say, extra weight can have a huge impact on pull-up performance. Once weight decreases to sub 20% BF, a pull-up can become significantly easier to achieve. One of the most important attributes to train for those who wish to achieve their first pull-up is the isometric strength to hold oneself above the bar with the shoulders rolled back and down, so as to activate the lats, for as long as possible. As BF decreases, the strength trained from these holds will go a long way to achieving that first pull-up more quickly. 

Take a look at a few videos on pull-ups that I have recorded! Thanks for reading!

What not to do/how to do it properly: Push-Up!

Push-ups are great exercises! As long as they’re performed properly they can have a tremendous amount of carry-over to other movements and they can somewhat easily be loaded. Take a look at this video and watch me demonstrate some poorly performed push-ups with my elbows flaring, immediately followed by well performed repetitions at both a flat level and a decline level. 
If you just want to see the movement performed then fast-forward to about 3:15!