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Kettlebell workout: Tabatha I (Difficulty 3/10)

Warmup:

1K Run
10 prison squats
10 backstep lunges
10 Yoga Pushups
3 sets

Workout:

Tabatha 1: KB Deadlift  paired with Plank

Tabatha 2: KB Swing  paired with Pushup

Tabatha 3: Clean and Press paired with KB Row

Tabatha 4: Alternate between normal plank/ side plank

Workout duration : 30-45 minutes

Kettlebell :16/20kg  (Dumbbell optional , change clean and press to Thrusters)

 

 

 

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30 Second Posture test

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Motivation – Hard Times

When you’re going through something bad,

how do you know it’s bad for you?
That question is huge.
And then reflect on how little you know
Because, what is a life crisis?
It’s when things don’t go according to your plan.
stop judging it, because what do you know?
And then reflect on all the things you thought were wrong and how,
maybe in the long run they weren’t 
You don’t know what’s good for you and not
Stop judging.
You can either keep going against it or just go with the flow.
Source & Credit : Julien Blanc (RSD)
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BJJ: What I’ve learned

Mark Chen
Physiotherapist, Personal trainer, Sports Nutritionist.

 

 

I’ve only been into BJJ for a short time and consider myself an absolute newbie. However, even in the short amount of hours I’ve spent on the mat, there are some interested things I’ve learned from it.

 

 

1. Let go of your ego

I’ve always been pretty good at sports. There’s upsides to this (obviously) which is that I tend to pick up quite fast whenever I undertake some kind of new activity. There’s a downside to it as well ; I expect myself to be good at it.
Now here’s a tricky part because I consider myself above average strong, healthy, flexible and reasonably smart, And that’s the mindset I had when I went into my first training sessions.
Ready to go and more importantly, show these other people how strong I am.
How wrong I was.

-It wasn’t just the fact that I ended up losing my consciousness wanting to be to tough to tap-

No, the most surprising factor to me was how little my strength and fitness could do for me on the mat. No matter what I tried, I ended up getting tied up, strangled and gassed quicker, the harder I went in.
A couple of sessions later I let go of my desire to be better than others and decided instead, to take any session as an opportunity to learn. And you know what?
This change in mindset allows me to relax more (I don’t care about “winning” or “losing” during training) and creates space in my head to actually pick up and learn rather than losing energy on trying to prove myself.

2. People that do BJJ are cool

I’ve experienced before that people practicing martial arts in general are very cool and easy going people. This was the case in Teakwondo, Thaiboxing and Krav Maga. I believe it has something to do with them being centered, at ease with their self, and being able to channel their emotions and energy in a very efficient way. At least, that’s how it works for me. But the athletes I’ve been rolling with since I started are all a level beyond this. They’re not just nice to train with, but friendly people that seem sincerely interested in helping you become better as well. It’s nice to feel welcome and at home at a place where you train.

3. Importance of breathing

More and more I look into breathing, the more I’m seeing the overlooked importance of it. But BJJ kind of “forced” me to address it. Simply put, my first training sessions were borderline panic when it came to sparring.
I felt as if I could do nothing. 

No sense of control, no use of my power, no way out.

And you know what is the absolute worst thing to do in a situation like this?

To stop breathing

Thing is, you need to be made aware of this. So something as simple as my training partner telling me to start breathing and relax instead of struggling around like I was about to be killed, makes a gigantic difference when applied,

  • The stress levels go down significantly
  • Energy management is suddenly an option
  • There is space to think and learn

It’s such an easy thing to forget about but it made a world of difference to me.

This video gives an amazing explanation of why good breathing is such a helpful tool.

4. There is so much more to learn

As I mentioned in the start of this article, I’m a complete newbie to the sport. I feel like I’m presented with an enormous encyclopedia of which I get to read just one page at the time, and need to re-read it time and time again to actually understand it.

But I like that.   I have a feeling this sport will become more and more interesting as I put more time into it and that it what I’ll try to do.

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5 Questions about Cupping

  1. What is Cupping?

    Cupping involves the usages of glass/wood/silicone cups that are used to create a vacuum on the body. Depending on the chosen method, these will either stay in place for 5-15 minutes (traditional cupping)
    or moved around the area (Gliding). There is also a less well-known version called “Wet Cupping”, with which small cuts are made before the cups are applied. During this version, the cups will be filled with blood from the client. Needless to say proper hygiene and qualification of the therapist are of extra concern with this method.

  2. What are the benefits of Cupping?

    There are multiple benefits from cupping. The most well known reasons to use cupping is to speed up muscle recovery after workouts. This was very commonly seen in the last year’s Olympics, where multiple athletes were seen walking around with the typical marks from a cupping treatment. Because cupping is very non-invasive and doesn’t cause much side effects, it’s a very common choice for athletes after competition or training.Aside from the physical effects, Cupping is very well known for it’s soothing effects on the central nervous system. For this reason, the treatment is often chosen as a pain reliever or to fight stress in general.

  3. How does Cupping feel?

    A lot of my clients describe it as a “reverse massage”. This makes sense since instead of being compressed, the skin and connective tissue is being pulled up and decompressed. Traditional cupping, depending on the amount of vacuum and duration of the treatment can be a bit uncomfortable, whereas gliding is typically experienced as very relaxing. Your therapist is supposed to monitor how you feel during the session and adjust when necessary.

  4. What do the colors mean?

    The skin can show different reactions to Cupping, and each has a meaning as you can see below in the picture. Sometimes Cupping is used as an “assessment”, to get an idea of what’s going on in the area underneath the skin. If area’s display moderate or sever stagnation, these points are often focused on more during follow up treatments. Usually we see these markings become less and less noticeable as the client starts to react to treatment.

  5. Where can I experience Cupping?

    In Asia, Cupping is a very common treatment method and is used to support the body while fighting disease and therefore is very easy to find. When choosing this option, make sure the hygiene standard is good enough since dirty cups can cause infection.
    Also, in most of these establishments there is no underlying physiological knowledge. If you want to get cupping done for specific problems or body parts, it is best to find a Physiotherapist that is also educated in Cupping.

 

Of course, feel free to contact me if you’d like to experience a session!

 

 

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Occurs as ergocalciferol (D2) in vegetable nutrition and as cholecalciferol in animal based foods. The latter form is more absorb-able. Upon exposure to sunlight, the body creates previtamine D, and then converts that into it’s active form.
Vitamin D helps in the recovery of the muscles and aids the immune system. It also strengthens and maintains the bones and interacts with a lot of hormones and other nutrients like calcium, vitamin K and magnesium.

Works together with: Calcium (without D, only 10-15% of the amount of calcium we ingest will be absorbed)

RDI for vitamin D is 10mcg

Found in:

– Fatty fish
– (Grass-fed)butter
– Meat
– Full dairy and cheese

Deficiency can lead to:

– reduction of bone strength
– Reduction of power
– decrease function of immune system
– Fatigue

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HITT workouts for at home

Most if you reading this are on the 12- week strength building program and are now ready to focus more on all-round conditioning, body composition and flexibility.

The workout below is from the well known “Fitness Blender”, which is a Youtube channel with hundreds of awesome workouts. (check them out and subscribe to their channel!)

Follow this workout into your program instead of a day of heavy lifting. The following week, see if you can do two of these. It’s your choice if you want to keep lifting on the side, or just focus on High intensity training primarily!

 

enjoy 😉

Mark

 

Chest day: The best exercises

Most if you reading this are on the 12- week strength building program and are now ready to zoom in and optimize each individual body part.

Here are the 3 exercises that in my opinion, offer the most bang-for-your buck when trying to train the chest:

Sets:  3
Reps: 8-12

Train these 3 exercises on a day where your main lift is NOT the bench press or the shoulder press!

#12weekprogram

 

 

 

 

 

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Shocking facts about Sleep (deprivation)

We all know sleep is important for our health. Still, sleep is often the first thing we cut if we need to make more space in our lives. Ironically, cutting back on sleep takes a toll on productivity, creativity, concentration, communication skills and basically whatever  makes us function as  human.
So for whatever reason you’re cutting sleep, you’re doing it worse.
Here’s a couple of notes I took of the video “Why Sleep is critical for the Body and Brain”. It’s a great video and a great channel to subscribe to. Check the quick facts here but be sure to watch the full video when you have time.
– Less sleep decreases the ability to consider alternative solutions to problems.  Our prefrontal cortex is responsible for planning, decision making, reasoning and problem solving and is significantly impaired with less sleep.
– Slow wave sleep and REM sleep is needed to take information from short term memory to long term memory.
– When you dream the brain is seeing how unrelated pieces of information fit together and simulating scenarios you need to be prepared for. Sometimes this can lead to insights you would otherwise never have (Paul Mcartney came up with the melody for “yesterday” in a dream)
– The Amygdala processes emotional information and is more active when you’re sleep deprived. The less sleep, the more likely you overreact to things.
– Only 5% of the population functions well on less than 6 hours of sleep. And even if you think you’re functioning well on your amount of sleep, would you know? Activity in prefrontal cortex goes down when sleep deprived, and that is the only part of the brain that has the power of self assessment. To “think” about how it’s functioning. so would you know if you didn’t get enough sleep?
– Sleep is also essential for tissue repair, balancing of hormones and maintenance of metabolic pathways.
– It’s also important for weight-loss: participants on a calorie restricted diet that could only sleep for 5 hours lost 55% less body fat compared to 8 hour sleepers on the same diet.
They also lost  60% more fat-free mass (muscle)
– Hormone levels are impaired with sleep decrease:
Higher Grehlin levels (causes fat retention and hunger) 15% higher
Leptin (making you feel saturated) was significantly less
Melatonin was less (anti -aging, anti cancerous)
Increased of cortisol (increases the worst fat, visceral fat)
HGH was less (cognitive function, muscle mass, tissue repair)
– 10pm to 2am seems like the most bang-for-your-buck sleep (the most growth hormone)
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Supplement Review: Venum BCAA

Supplement Review: Venum BCAA
 
Taste: 9/10 (Mango) it’s GOOD. Nice tropical mango taste which is addictive enough to make me want to add it to every bottle of water. It’s sweetened with stevia with which I think they went slightly overboard but I just slightly adjust the dose or refill my bottle once it’s halfway and it still tastes nice.
Price: 35$ a bit over $1 per serving (unless you use my tactic)
 
Would buy again: 100%
 
Notes:
– Sweetness makes them perfect to turn into BCAA ice cubes for in your water. Refreshing!
– Added electrolytes which is a plus with the severe heat here
– 0% sugar
 
Overall: BCAA’S are “essential amino acids”, building blocks of proteins that the body cannot produce herself. Therefore we need to get them from food or supplementation.
The strength of BCAA’S lies in their ability to protect the breakdown of muscle mass and kicks-tarting the muscle repair.
 
Effectiveness: I’m definitely less sore and recover quicker than I have on previous workout programs. It’s very hard to say how much of that is attributed to this supplement.