Welcome to this week’s episode of AHA. I’m your co-host Coach Ken. Each week we will discuss practical health/fitness strategies and topics to help you regain, maintain, or improve your health and movement practice. Ultimately our goal is empower you to create a personal movement practice that will support your activities of daily living, make you fall resistant, and living independently for as long as possible.
Show Content: Episode Overview Episode #4
Movement Practice Concept: Training Movements not just isolated muscles using compound movements.
So where did this notion of training specific body parts like (Bi’s/Tri’s, Chest/Back, Legs/Shoulders) originate?
Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s most “strongmen and women” were performers, demonstrating feats of strength, usually lifting or carrying heavy objects. These feats were generally whole body movements.
Even the early Gold’s Gym posters used to show men and women doing handstands or other gymnastic type movements as feats of strength.
After WW II there was a profound philosophical split between pure weight lifters (Bob Hoffman’s York Barbell Co.) and Canadian brothers Joe and Ben Weider.
Bob Hoffman had a vision that Olympic style lifting should be the ultimate expression of power and strength.
The Weider’s, while brought up as traditional weight lifters recognized the innate desire of most people to “look strong.”
The incredibly successful marketing of the Weider approach to “body building” captured the hearts and minds of the public and Olympic lifting has remained a relatively obscure sport rarely watched except during the Olympics.
Now there has been a resurgence of interest in Olympic style lifting among collegiate and pro athletes to improve their power on the field or court.
Also, the Crossfit movement has incorporated Olympic style lifts in their programming thanks to the guidance of Mike Bergner, well respected strength coach. So now there are more folks in the general public that are at least aware of this style of lifting.
By the late 50’s to the early 60’s so-called health clubs were popping up all over. The Universal weight machine came out in 1957 that launched a whole new era of machine based exercise and targeting specific muscle groups.
Probably, the final push away from traditional weight lifting occurred in 1977 with the classic movie, “Pumping Iron” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno.
This is when our collective consciousness shifted away from training functional movements and more towards aesthetics. As a result the average gym goers starting talking about, “bi’s/tri’s, chest/back days, breakdown sets, super sets etc.
The reason I wanted to spend the time to take you briefly down memory lane is give you a context of how we got so obsessed with aesthetics like 6-pack abs, massive arms/legs etc.
I want to be clear here, if muscle size and definition is your true goal then, a body builder isolation approach is probably appropriate for you.
If you are an aspiring Active Healthy Aging adult then I think you should consider training functional movements that will carry over to your activities of daily living and recreational pursuits.
It’s your choice, you can start integrating body weight movements like, squatting, split squats, push-ups, body rows, pull-ups, agility drills, balance etc. or sit in front of a mirror doing biceps curls.
My challenge to you is this, “Which approach is more likely going to improve the quality of your life and keep you living independently for as long as possible?”
Movement of the Week: Split Squat – Last episode I discussed the traditional squat, this episode a variation of a level change called the split squat.
Split Squat Set-up: Right foot forward, left foot back, feet hip width apart or what some of you might call a “lunge stance.”
Feet need to be staggered far enough apart so that as you bend both knees simultaneously your front shin angle remains vertical. Your torso should remain vertical as well.
You can us a dowel rod or counter top for stability initially. Lower down slowly (4 counts) hold 2 counts at the bottom, then come back up. Switch stance.
The split squat is a recommended precursor to lunging, where you are stepping forward into a split stance, bending both knees simultaneously, coming bacl up and then stepping forward with the other foot.
Training this pattern is also for great fall resistance preparation as it challenges our ability to decelerate the forces of momentum and gravity.
Wellness Concept of the Week: Examining our relationship with food.
I don’t think there’s any topic related to health that is more debated/argued than nutrition. Most of us have tried a number of approaches (diets) over the years and yet as a society, we are heavier and less healthy than ever.
I’m not going to be discussing the merits of any one particular nutritional approach this episode but rather would like you examine your overall relationship to food.
A good place to start might be to ask, “what is the purpose of eating?”
If you said something about bringing in the “groceries or nutrients” that are needed to build and repair our body’s, that’s probably a good start.
However if your focus is solely on how foods taste regardless of their health benefits or consequences you are probably in the majority BUT you are also likely deep into what’s been described as: “the pleasure trap.”
This is a term described by Dr’s Lyle and Goldhammer in their classic book, “The Pleasure Trap.” I encourage any of you that are sincerely interested in examining why you eat what you eat to check this book out. They’ve also done TED talks and the book is available in audio.
The upshot of the book is that we are neurologically “wired” to seek/crave: Sugar, Salt, and Fat. The insight gained from this physiological phenomenon can help you understand your cravings and reset your brain and taste preferences towards more healthy options.
Wellness Quote of the Week: Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Incredibly, on average, U.S. medical schools offer only 19.6 hours of nutrition education across four years of medical school, according to a report in Academic Medicine. There are a few MD’s that are making a real effort to incorporate nutritional strategies to help patients take control of their health. For example: Dr. Mark Hyman “Functional Medicine,” Dr. Neal Bernard PCRM, Dr. Joel Furman, and Dr. Michael Gregor
I honestly can’t think of any other daily intervention that has more direct impact on our health than what goes into our mouths. Remember, you can not out exercise poor nutrition my friends.
Regeneration Strategies: Self-Myofascial release
Fitness Truths, Half-Truths, and Lies: Paul Chek “If you isolate you must eventually integrate”
This simply means that isolation movements might be appropriate in a physical therapy or rehab setting but eventually it is necessary to integrate movements with the rest of our body.
A quick example might be doing leg extensions on a machine to develop your quads. Sure, you get a burning pump doing them but we never actually extend our knee against resistance in real life. Doing squats, Split squats, or single leg squats are going to give you far more real world functional strength and save your knee joints.
Fitness Fun Fact: Origin of Kettlebells or Girya as they are known in Russia.
Just so most of us listening know what I’m referring to, these are those round metal balls with a handle that you’ve probably seen at the gym.
Their roots date back to ancient Greece, Persia, China (Shoalin Monks, and Scotland (Highland Games). In Russia around 1704 the first reference of Girya appeared. Originally these weights were used as counterbalance weights for farmers to sell their crops. The unit of measure was called a pood, which is approximately set to 16.38 kilograms (36.11 pounds).
The forefather of the modern fitness gym, Dr. Vladislav Krayevsky, founded the St. Petersburg Amateur Weightlifting Society on August 10,1885, considered the birth of weightlifting in Russia. A proponent of what he called “heavy athletics”, in 1900 Krayevsky wrote “The Development of Physical Strength with Kettlebells and without Kettlebells”. He was one of the most influential pioneers in fitness of his day. His students included the legendary strongman George Hackenscmidt, “The Russian Lion”, who credited him with teaching him everything he knew and Eugene Sandow, “The Father of Modern Day Body Building”.
In 1948, modern kettlebell lifting became the Soviet Union’s national sport. Girevoy Sport
The kettlebell is one of the most versatile and demanding implements you will find at the gym. Unfortunately, they are often misused due to a lack of proper technique education. If you are interested in learning to integrate them into your movement practice, I encourage you to seek the assistance of a qualified trainer or coach. There are some important points that often get missed when folks just watch a random You Tube video for guidance, so please learn the basics properly.
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Disclaimer: The information and opinions expressed on this show are for informational and entertainment purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider regarding any medical issue you may be experiencingThanks for listening and as always,
BE WELL …BE FIT