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!

 

 

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

#1 The most expensive shoes are the worst.

 

According to a study done by Bernard Marti, a preventative medicine specialist at Switserlands’ Universtity of Bern, runners wearing A-quality running shoes are 123% more likely to get injured than runners in cheap shoes.
That’s right. Seems crazy right?

He and his team analysed 4.358 runners in the Bern Grand-Prix, which is a 9.6 Mile race. The first thing that struck them was that 45 percent of the studied group had been hurt in the year leading up to the race.
The rest of the information from the study wasn’t any less surprising:

The most common variable between the runners wasn’t training surface, running speed, body weight, age, motivation or previous injury.

It was the price of the shoe.

Runners in shoes over 90$ were twice as much likely to get hurt as runners in shoes of 40$ and below.

For me, it’s not that much of a shocker. I’ve been running on 20$ fake (don’t tell anybody 😉 ) Nike Free running shoes and I’ve never felt better during my runs.

#2 Feet don’t respond well to cushioning

 

We believe that the more cushioning in our shoes, the more comfortable the feet will be. We might be wrong.
First off, all the cushioning in our expensive running shoes do nothing much to reduce impact. When you think about it, that’s not so strange. During every step we take during a run, the body weight that comes down smashing onto the ground can go up to 10 times your body weight.
In my case, that would be 1500 pound of force coming down onto a half an inch of rubber. It’s very unlikely that piece of rubber is going to absorb it all.

“You can cover an egg with an oven mitt before rapping it with a hammer, but that egg ain’t coming out alive”- Christopher Mcdougall (Born to Run)

Secondary, more cushioning make our landing mechanics worse. During some studies on gymnasts they found that the thicker the landing mat, the harder athletes would slam down, trying to find balance. A comparable thing happens when we run. The feet sense a soft underground and instinctively pushing through to find a hard, stable surface to land on.
This is often found when multiple types of shoes are used while running on a force plate. Often, force absorbed by the plate changes significantly while changing between well cushioned shoes, thin soled shoes and barefoot running shoes. Just not the way you’d expect.

Often impact levels are the least in bare foot of thin soled footwear, and highest in cushioned shoes. And that’s because with less cushioning to rely on, we use our bodies’ own shock-absorbers  and they happen to be really good.

And even better, it can be trained to become even better.

If you want to know how your shock absorbers are functioning, click here

 

I’ll upload some stability exercises to my channel soon.

 

Mark

 

 

Branched Chain amino acids (BCAA’s ) are not necessarily a very popular supplement. It doesn’t promote enormous strength or muscle gains, muscle-bursting pumps or endless endurance.
It has, however, been around for a very long time and has consistently been a part of any high performance athlete’s supplement stack.

What’s the deal?

BCAA’s are known as “muscle protectors”. So if you work out hard , supplement them and you feel less destructively sore – or less long -then when you didn’t take them, they’ve pretty much done their job.

BCAA’s consist of three essential amino acids;  Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine. They’re essential because the body does not produce them on itself, so we need to get them from food or through supplementation.

The main benefits of supplementing BCAA’s can be summed up like this:

  • Enhanced muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein accretion in response to strength training and BCAA supplementation.
  • Improved body weight control and fat loss during energy restricted diets with adequate protein and BCAA.
  • Improved endurance performance via the prevention of central fatigue and/or other factors with BCAA supplementation.

 

Supplement Review: ON BCAA’S

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.

Taste: 6/10 (Raspberry Lemonade) it’s a bit too synthetic for me and a bit too weak at the same time. There’s a “chalky” aftertaste to it as well. Not bad, not good. I’ve had other BCAA’S that were far tastier than this.

Price: 28$ which comes down to about 1$ per scoop.

Would buy again: No

There’s still lots of scientific research being done on the effectiveness for these different mechanisms.

But if you’re ready to learn more take a look at the following links…

https://www.t-nation.com/supplements/bcaa-and-athletic-performance

https://examine.com/supplements/branched-chain-amino-acids/

https://labdoor.com/rankings/bcaa

When you’re trying to change your eating habits for whatever reason; losing weight, gaining weight, increasing performance.. The first thing you always have to do is analyze your current situation. Making changes without actually knowing what you’re doing now is basically shooting in the dark.

There’s many reasons why everybody should track their dietary habits every now and then but let me focus on some of the most important ones

– Objective look: Even if you think you have a pretty good idea of what you’re taking in on a daily basis, clinical experience has shown that most clients forget about 20-30% of their daily intake. That is often just overlooked drinks or snacks, orcomfortably forgotten on purpose. But yeah, they do matter.

– Energy balance: Energy in vs Energy out might be one of the most important variables when trying to adjust weight in an effective manner. Tracking your food in MFP will give you a daily target and score on the amount of energy (kcals) that you should be ingesting.

– Macro Preference: Macro nutrients are the foods we eat in big quantities; Fats, Carbohydrates and Proteins. For each, there are guidelines for how many we should eat based on our gender, age, weight and activity level. MFP gives you a pie chart that shows you in what kind of quantities you eat your macro’s. Changing these often makes a huge difference in weight gain/loss

– Warnings: MFP recognizes sugar, cholesterol and saturated fat content that you might not be aware of. If you choose foods with a high amount of these, the app will give you a signal. This way you will start to recognize foods with high amounts of stuff-you-don’t-want and you’ll be able to make sure you don’t go overboard on them

This is what to do:

Download the App (it’s free!!) and start tracking your meals from tomorrow. Be strict, and make sure you keep it up for at least 2 weeks. This will give you a decent insight on your habits.
Take a look at the amount of calories you should be eating, what your macro preferences are and which foods carry warning signs with them.
From there, start adjusting the variables and track again.

Happy Tracking,

 

Mark

 

Week 2 Progress:

Weight : 82 KG

Fat % : 14% (-2 %)

Good:

  • Missed 0 Workouts ( Weights 3x, Bjj 2x, Boxing 1x)
  • Increased Weight on all lifts
  • Getting 7+ hours sleep daily
  • No drinking

Needs work:

  • Not eating enough, need more meals
  • Practice patience
  • Fat% still a bit high

Notes:

Everything moves too slow. Which I guess, is a good thing because if my clients are anything like me, they will struggle with this as well. It really helps to keep track of objective progress ( see stat page of 5×5 app ) and imagining what that progress will look like on the broader scale of things.

 

Progress on Big Lifts

 

 

During my session with Cheryl, she mentions right at the beginning that she might not be able to workout well.
She’s tired, her sleep quality hasn’t been good and she pulled a muscle in her during gardening work.
I make a note of it, smile at her and say “let’s just see what we can do”. During the workout session, she’s breaking records all over the place.
First, she did full sets with what her 1 rm was 4 weeks ago.
Then she completed double the work of an exercise she struggled with last week.
Last but not least, suddenly she realized that her back wasn’t hurting.

“Actually, I feel a lot better than when I came in”.

I don’t know if this will be the case at the start of the session, but clinical experience shows us that in most cases, it does.
It’s important because this realization creates a positive feedback loop which is the following:

  • I don’t feel good, might not perform well
  • Perform well, or better than expectation
  • Feel good about performance
  • Positive reference for next time when not feeling good
  • Better decision making

As opposed to a negative feedback loop like this:

  • I don’t feel good, might not perform well
  • Decide not to workout
  • Feel bad about not meeting expectations/ Lose progress
  • Lose motivation

Feedback loops

 

Mine, and Cheryl’s takeaway from this:

Especially when in the first 12 weeks of training, it’s important not to give in to expected outcomes that only give you short-term instant gratification. Make decisions based on planning, not on the emotion of the day.
Of course, if you find out that you’re actually hurting or not feeling good during the workout, you can still decide to rest. But at least at that moment you’ve made a decision based on actual feedback of your body and not a projected outcome of the brain.

I’ve been applying this mindset experiment over the last year -not just for fitness purposes- and it has given me great results. Hope it can do the same for you.

Mark



 

 

A good diet starts with shopping. Don’t buy crap, don’t eat crap. It’s really that easy. Here’s a list with all the good stuff that needs to be in your basket.

Good Protein Sources:

 

Eggs
Liquid Egg Whites: More convenient but more expensive
Skinless Chicken Breast: high quality lean protein
Lean Ground Turkey: Lean high quality protein
(Wild) Salmon Healthy fatty fish: costly but quality protein + tons of healthy fatty acids
Canned Tuna: Lean, easy and inexpensive. Get the water based one, not oil.
Lean Ground Beef
Cottage Cheese: Source of Casein protein. Slow digesting so will provide the body with protein for a long time.
Pork Tenderloin: fairly inexpensive medium lean protein.
Protein powder: Convenient, usually tasty and pure (if you get a good brand) also helps sweet cravings
Protein snacks: protein bars / nuts / seeds

Good Sources Of Carbohydrates

 

Oatmeal— cooked or overnight. Slow digesting, tons of fiber and nutrients. Learn to love it!
Fruit— Favorites for me are Blueberries (lots of nutrients / antioxidants ), bananas and apples. Best eaten around the workout because they’re mostly quick digesting carbs.
Vegetables— The more the better really. Tons of fiber and nutrients.
Sweet Potatoes
Brown Rice
White Rice: Fast-carb. Best eaten around the workout
Whole Wheat Bread

Good Sources Of Fats

 

Olive Oil
Flax seed oil
Fish Oil—Staple source of omega 3/6/9
Almond Butter
Cashew Butter
Peanut Butter (watch the sugar content)
Almonds
Pecans
Walnuts
Cashews
Macadamia
Avocados

Okay, we can not put labels on people.

After all, we are all different and move differently. But the truth is that people mainly move in 3 directions, which are the following:

rug pijn hulp stap 1, bepaal welk type je bent

I will not make it too technical but the planes mean the following:

Sagittal (Blue): Move forward / backward, bend forward to pick up something
Frontal (Red): Sideways movements, such as when we raise our hands to wave to someone
Transverse (Green): Rotatory movements, such as when we reach to open a door.

The vast majority of our movements take place in the so-called Sagittal plane. Or often, actually to be more precise …

… the vast majority of our non-movements.

Een slechte houding plaatst 40% meer druk op de wervelkolom

 

Fact: A bad posture places 40% more pressure on the spinal column

When we move much in the same directions, the body adjusts to it. In practice, we see that this often results in 2 different archetypes: extension type and flexion type.

As you can see in the picture, there are a number of things that belong to these types.

Not everybody has all the features, but they often influence each-other . As a result, they are often seen together. The more features you have, the more you belong to this pattern.

Extension Type

The features or this type are:

-An enlarged arch in the lower back
-“Flaring out” the rib cage
-The pelvis tilts forward (“Water spills out on the front”)
-The knees are fully extended

Possible Issues:

Extension types often come with compression problems, or complaints related to pressure when joint surfaces are close to each other. -and thereby imposing excessive pressure on the connective tissue.

Flexion Type

The Flexion type has the following characteristics:

-The shoulders often “roll” forward
-The head is on the front and the neck is extended
-Upper back is rounded
-Lower back is flattened, or even rounded
– There is “no ass!”
– Knees are bent

Possible Issues:

The Flexion types are often the people with an office job. Working behind a desk easily pulls your body to this archetype . Mostly if you are not aware of your posture while sitting. This habit is then taken to the car and home where the “working posture” is continued to the “couch posture”.

This often passive posture can adversely affect the connective issue that hold the vertebra together. The inter-vertebral discs may also suffer greatly. Because there is little active support of the muscles, almost all of the strength ends up directly to the so-called “passive structures” such as the joints, ligaments and cartilage.

Herniated discs and instability problems are often seen complaints in this pattern.

 

Which back type do you have?

Which pattern is most like you? Once you know this, you can start balancing your posture through targeted exercises.

Under this article, please let me know what kind of type you are and what complaints you may experience!

I’ll be able to help you out from there on.

 

 

 

5 Tbs of Coconut Oil / MCT Oil
5 Tbs of Grass-fed Butter
2/3 Cup Gelatin powder
4-5 Cups of coffee (quality beans)
2 Tbs  raw honey/stevia (adjust to taste)
Vanilla extract to taste

-Blend for 30 seconds
-Put in oven tray and refrigerate for 3 hours

 

 

Ready to snack !!

Source: Livestrong