Even a small leak can sink a boat

Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.

–Dr. Steve Maraboli

Whether your journey is strength, athletics, weight loss, rehab, or general health; we all have one thing in common and that is that there is very little (if any) immediate reward in your hard work. Think of it as the classic “rat hits the button and gets a food pellet” experiment, which would be an immediate reward system. Your reward system is more of a “hit the button…then hit it again… then keep hitting the button…then when your just about done you hit it one last time and finally get that food pellet and it starts all over again.”

You cannot start this journey with the mindset that it will be easy or that it will be fast. It is the accumulation of time and training sessions (not just a session here or there) that produce the small steps toward your goal. It is the combination of your warm-up, selective training program, cool-down, nutrition and mobility plan that keep you on a steady pace in the right direction with no plateaus. If you are weak in one or more of these areas, it can tend to add up over time and result in lower performance or injury.

Even a small leak can sink a boat 


 

Warm-up:

From the moment you step foot in the gym, your entire focus needs to be there. While I am a big fan of caffeine (hence having our own coffee blend) and agree that it can do a lot for attention and focus, if you are not mentally in the game, it does not matter how much caffeine you intake, you are going to have a very mediocre training session.

The idea of a great warm-up routine is to get you both physically and mentally prepared in order to maximize gain during your training session. This means that just relaxed foam rolling is not going to cut it (this is borderline mindless and does very little to get your CNS on fire). Things like: Lunges, Inch Worms, empty bar or PVC pipe work, jump rope, rower, bike, etc.. These are the things, in combo with you favorite pre-workout beverage of choice, that will lead to a very awake and alert athlete who is ready to crush PR’s on the daily!

The video below is a short video demoing some our preferred warm-up methods:


 

 Training Program

You can have a hand full of aces, but if you don’t know how to play it, you’ll still lose the match. A proper training program is key to continued growth and success. Have you plateaued for months on end? Is everyone in the gym doing the exact same program? (Each individual athlete has strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed, so a “one-size fits all program” never works). Do you have a constant, reoccurring injury, and just don’t understand why it keeps coming back? All of these issues can be addressed by proper programming.

All too often, individuals tend to incorporate preconceived ideas of cardio and strength into their program because they think that is the only way to get it in, but you have to make sure and train for your sport. Would you run 3 miles for cardio if you wanted to be the best power athlete in the world? Probably not. Instead, cardio would better consist of sled sprints, lunges, farmer carries, etc..

Basically you need to make sure:

  1. Your program is keeping you progressing without pain and injury
  2. Your program is specific to your goals
  3. Your program improves your weaknesses while maintaining your strengths
  4. Your program is appropriately designed with linear and undulating periodization (essentially make sure there is a rhyme to your reason).

If all of these things check out, then keep doing what you are doing. If you read that and think “I am not sure”, shoot us an email and we can talk.


Cool-down, nutrition, and mobility

In my opinion and experience, this is where people tend to have that small leak that leads to a Titanic-sized sink. I have said it before, but I will say it again:

YOU HAVE TO MOBILIZE AND EAT RIGHT

The unfortunate truth is that you don’t just get to do the things you enjoy (lift, run, swim, bike, wrestle, etc..). You have to spend time outside your structured program to do things such as meal prep, yoga or mobility, recovery, etc..

Cool-down

This can be anywhere from 10-15 minutes post workout. The time spent here is a great way to help increase Range of Motion in areas that need it in order to better perform in our sport of choice. Below is a little video we whipped up to showcase how simple a cool-down can be (don’t mind the unhappy dog barking in the background, he is not a fan of the outdoors):

Nutrition

Bottom line: Fuel for performance, not for fun.

I don’t mean for you to develop a negative relationship with food, nor do I mean for you to tell yourself you cannot have certain items. What I mean to say, is that with programming macros, you are able to eat anything you desire as long as it fits into your daily plan. In my mind, this is the most efficient way of developing proper nutrition and eating habits and can result in a very positive, life long process!

As far as gaining or losing weight, the basics are this simple:

To lose weight you must have a negative calorie balance and to gain you must have the opposite (positive energy balance). This is the basis that all macro programs are based on. After that, it comes down to:

  1. Training sessions per week
  2. Off, light, and heavy training days
  3. BMR
  4. Food timing
  5. Whole foods vs. supplementation

Remember, diet challenges and one-size-fits all nutrition WILL NOT work, as every person is different, and needs minor tweeks to make major changes in body composition. If you have any questions on nutritional programming or need advice on a place to start, send an email our way and we can get you started!

Recovery

This one is simple, but is one of the most overlooked. Follow a couple of simple steps for recovery, and I can guarantee you will see an improvement in your training.

  1. Sleep well and sleep often
    1. Make  sure you are allowing yourself enough sleep. The more intense your training session is, the more recovery you will need in order to perform the next day!
  2. Eat
    1. As I said above, make sure and fuel for your performance. Let go of the preconceived notions that less food equals more weight loss and start thinking about eating enough food to fuel your body and your performance!
  3. Mobility, salt soaks, and massage
    1. The more you dive into the world of elite level training, the more recovery you will need. You will have to start soaking multiple times a week in order to alleviate aches and pains you accumulate over the week.
    2. Mobility MUST be done every single day. You have to make time to put your joints through full ranges of motion and alleviate tight muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
    3. When your own therapy just is not cutting it, go find a professional that can really get in there. Deep tissue massages are a great way to help trigger point areas that might be impeding your performance!

 

Don’t let a small leak sink your boat, make sure and do everything you can to keep your performance constantly improving. If you need help with any of the points above, make sure and contact us and we can get you set up or point your in the right direction!

 

You Cannot Band-Aid® Lazy

“It’s not really about the competition. Your biggest challenge in a race is yourself. You’re often racing against time. You’re frequently running everything through your mind. You’re always competing against preconceived ideas. It’s not really the person next to you that you worry about.”

–Summer Sanders, Olympic Medalist 1992

Before you read this, please know that this post is designed to really make you think*

*elegant way of saying “this is a rant”

If you are in the fitness industry, let me say that at some point in your career you should attend some type of health fair or conference were you have a booth and talk to hundreds of people. The reason I say this is because you tend to learn a lot about people and it really makes you appreciate the people that come to your gym or put time and effort into training with you.

Yesterday, PHP set up shop at a local health fair to hand out information about our gym, what we do, and why you should come and train with us. Not surprisingly, people were not about our booth. However, it was some of the responses we received that lead to this post and everything that follows.

Response: “Ohh, that sounds like work.”

“It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.”
~ Aesop (620 BC – 560 BC)

When this was the response to, “Take a card and check us out”, I had to hold back my true response due to not wanting to be kicked out of the health fair. If this is your response to saying “take a card and have a good day”, than there might not be anything anyone can do for you.

You see, a trainer or coach cannot instill hard work in someone, although having jedi-like mind powers would make us a lot more money. We cannot make you want to be a better person. We can add tinder to the fire, but you have to provide the spark. I hate to use this word, but the issue is that we cannot fix lazy. To be so put-off by the idea of putting in a little work to something truly is astonishing. So, for those of you that get into the gym and bust your ass, drinks on me (not literally), because regardless of how much you think you do, you are above the social norm, so party on!

Response: “Why do that when I can just take medication?”

You have got to be kidding me. This is the response to looking at mobility tools, Kinieso tape, and stretching diagrams. I say, here is a way that you can spend little money, fix your aches and pains, and learn a new skill, and you say “ehhh, I’d rather just take medication”, why??? This is right up there with saying “Exercise is not my thing” or ” I don’t like water”. You don’t have a choice. You don’t get to make those decisions, because guess what, your body NEEDS water and your body NEEDS movement. End of story with no discussion–this is fact, not an opinion. To put it another way, for those of you that have kids and a family:

What if I told you that with an hour and a half a day you could play with your kids/grandkids until you were well in your 60’s, including running, jumping, going on adventures, literally anything you can think of, without fear of catastrophic injury or bodily harm. Who in their right mind would say no to that? Well guess what, this is what happens when you get on a structured exercise program and when you get off those medications (caveat being if you currently need those medications to survive) and learn to start taking care of yourself. Anything less, is just lazy.

Response: “That is just too expensive.”

First of all, I won’t say it’s not, because people come from all different financial backgrounds and while $50/month is chump change to some, it is a weeks work to others. That being said, if you say this while having a fresh dye-job for your hair, a brand-name watch, equestrian boots, and your nails done, I have a hard time believing that $50 is something you do not currently have. What I don’t find hard to believe is that you just find it easier to dress yourself in riches and mask the true issue you have with yourself.

You don’t need new clothes, new hair, new nails, etc.. to be happy with the way you look–you need to do something on a more physical spectrum and get out there and bust your ass, work hard, and be able to be proud of something you have accomplished.

All this is to say, you can put a band-aid on a lot of things; looks, mobility, injuries, ect., but the one thing you cannot band-aid is laziness.

So challenge yourself to be a little better than yesterday. Do a little more each day. Do it for you and your family, not for others and not for vanity sake. Never settle, because there is always room to grow and improve, do not let yourself be stagnant.

 As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot.
–Ray Kroc


 

Little update on coffee:

Heartland Roasters has been killing it and doing wonderful things in the community and has still found time to get our blend going and together. We should have coffee by the end of the week and we will only have #25 for the first release, so if you want some make sure and tell us, because it will be going fast!

Shirt Orders and more

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”
― Émile Zola

It’s Monday, this is your chance to start the week off right, no excuses. Everyone is tired this morning, everyone is still sore from their training last week, and the last thing most people want to think about is the training sessions they have scheduled for this week. Unfortunately, at competition time it does not matter how tired you were day in and out, it does not matter if you are sore all the time, and it does not matter how you did not want to do those training sessions, the only thing that matters is did you do enough to make a difference during your event? Did you do enough to be satisfied with the outcome at the meet? Can you look back at all your time leading up to your event and say “I did what I needed to do and have no regrets”. That is all that matters and that is all anyone will see.


 

 

At Pure Health, we feel we are more than just a “come in and get your workout in” gym. We strive to promote a sense of community and togetherness, and feel that in doing so our athletes will go out and promote the same atmosphere in everything they do. Personally, I think we have more than achieved this, as can be seen in how far our athletes have come in such a short amount of time. This type of atmosphere makes individuals want to be in the gym. This type of atmosphere allows playful competition, which pushes individuals to want to be better. This type of atmosphere is the atmosphere needed to PR on a weekly basis!

At the front of this atmosphere is the brand. The brand (our logo) is an extension of what we strive to deliver to both our athletes and any other athlete or visitor to the gym. Our symbol is derived from the combination of a spartan helmet and Valkyrie wings, one a male warrior and the other a female warrior, both known for being the best at what they were trained to do.

All of this to say, if you feel like you embody what we strive to promote, if you want to support what we promote, or you just think the shirts look really cool and want to promote it, we will be taking orders until Tuesday, Feb. 23rd at noon (that would be tomorrow). So make sure and tell anyone that is interested in getting a shirt to get us their size and which one(s) they want and we will get everyone on the list!!


 

Update on coffee:
Bags are in and we are just waiting on labels, but we should have it in a few days to a week, so be on the look out for that update!

We are also in the process of making a limited edition 14oz , hand crafted, coffee mug to go with the release of our signature coffee. These mugs will be very limited edition, as we will only order 25, so once we get the logo file, we will post it  and let you decide!

 

Do it For You

  1. Trust yourself
  2. Break some rules
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail
  4. Ignore the Naysayers
  5. Work like hell
  6. Give something back

–Arnold Schwarzenegger, Six rules of Success

People are stubborn. Once they hear something from somewhere (usually it’s a Buzzfeed article they reference) it is very hard to change their mind. I am reminded of this time and time again when I go to brag on the Pure Health athletes only to be told “You should not lift without a belt”, “That is to heavy for anyone over 50”, “Are girls supposed to lift that much”, or “His form didn’t look right.”

You have to remember why you started in the first place. Did you start to impress someone? Did you start to make someone else happy? Did you start to make someone else a champion? Probably not…

You started because you wanted to become a bad ass. You started because you wanted to be great and doing something extraordinary. You started to make the best version of yourself that you could make. YOU DO THIS FOR YOU!

Don’t lose sight of this because all of your friends just don’t understand. Don’t lose hope just because you are injured and right now is hard. Don’t give up just because you are at a plateau in your training.

It is inevitable that people will call you out when you post videos of your PR’s (most likely because the only thing they are interested in is dogs in human clothes). It is inevitable that people will make back-handed compliments about the time you spend in the gym or the way the way you have transformed your body (this is especially true if you are a female athlete). Don’t let it bring you down. Know that they just don’t understand the way you have chosen to spend your free time (and they most likely never will) and just think back to why you started down this journey in the first place.

Don’t look at what others can do that you can’t. There will be plenty of people that are stronger than you. There will be athletes working out around you that are capable of movements you might not be due to injury. Know that this will anger you and might leave you feeling defeated, but this is okay. Let this fuel you to do everything you can to recover from your injury. Don’t let this minor set back defeat you in the long run. Always remember that every athlete takes a different road to get to where they are going. Some of these roads are easy (relative) and some are paved with detours, but if you strive hard enough, you can both end up at the same place.

Plateaus can and sometimes will happen, but it is what you do about this that makes you a better athlete. Change your program, do something different, or go against what “experts” say and try something new. The best athletes in the world don’t follow “textbook” programs, they do things that have never been done before and that is how they become great. At PHP, most of us follow a “Squat Everyday Program” by Travis Mash, which if you have a background in sports science is considered “over training”. I can tell you that none of our athletes on this program have even come close to plateauing and they are about as far from an injury as you can be.

The bottom line, YOU HAVE TO DO IT FOR YOU.

Everything you do needs to be done for you. Not to post for social media or to impress your friends (hell, half the time they don’t even understand what the big deal is). Not to impress your significant other or to look like people you idolize. Your journey is yours alone, you are the only one that gets the high of being on top, so make sure all of your energy goes toward making your person the best possible version it can be!


Now, here’s a flow to help you get warmed up and flexible before picking up heavy things.

Here are the postures included in today’s flow:

Lay flat and stretch out to begin
Seated Forward Fold
Iron Cross stretch on either side (x 3 – 5)
Seated Forward Fold
Reverse Tabletop
Lotus, Forward Fold
Pelvic Rotations

Garland
Rev. Swan Dive
Crescent on each side
Chair
Forward Fold
Garland
(repeat x 3)

Downward Dog
Plank
Superman
Scorpion stretch on either side (x 3 – 5)

Downward Dog
Plank
Chaturanga
Upward Dog
(repeat x 3)

Runner’s Lunge
Crescent Lunge
Warrior 1
Warrior 2
Rev. Warrior
Warrior 2
Warrior 1
Crescent Lunge
Dragon Pose (w/ optional quad stretch variation)
Lizard Pose
Achilles Stretch (leaning forward, knee over toes)
Downward Dog
(repeat on left side)

Downward Dog
Plank
Chaturanga
Upward Dog
(repeat x 3)

Downward Dog
Child’s Pose (w/ Prayer shoulder Variation)
Thread the Needle (each side)
Child’s Pose

If you’d like more instruction or want to increase your flexibility, feel free to stop by our yoga classes on Monday nights from 7:15 – 8 and most Saturdays from 9-10!

Music in the video is Bon Iver – Flume, Skinny Love, and Holocene. We do not own the rights to this music, just borrowing it for our flows.

In gym update news, we are increasing our PHP fashion line with new T-shirts, Tank Tops, and 3/4 Raglans. If you want any of the above, please notify us, as we will be ordering them ASAP in order to try and get them in for athletes to wear during competition!

Also, we are in the process of ordering limited edition hand crafted coffee mugs to go with the release of our “Rise and Grind” PHP Coffee Blend. We will have about 25 mugs and once they are gone, we will not be ordering anymore (it takes about 8 weeks to get them made and delivered, so you have some time). Coffee should be in any day now, and once it is, we will post and get it out to individuals as quick as possible!

From a different perspective

“Not everybody wants to train. For many, exercise is good enough. They just want to burn calories and have better abs. This is fine, for those people.

But the second you want MORE-when you decide that there will be a goal to accomplish-you’ve graduated to TRAINING.”

–Mark Rippetoe

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If you have been in the training game long enough, and have worked with enough clients, you tend to start to see a trend in reasons that people cannot eat proper or make it to the gym. The most common reasons we hear are:

“I just have a busy schedule so I don’t have time right now.”

“It takes a lot of time and money to eat right.”

“When you have a family, you will understand.”

Now, I do not have kids, so I will not make a statement to how much time it takes to raise said kids, but I did find someone who does and who makes time to follow a structured diet and makes time to train, and has competed at a high level in his given sport, so maybe he can shed a little light on that issue. Take a minute to read through the interview we conducted with Ryan McCoy, American Ninja Warrior Competitor, (@ryan_mcninja).

 


Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Sure, well I’m 26 years old, I have been married to my best friend, Tess, for almost 4 years. We have two wonderful children: Lily (age 2 1/2) and Nathan (2 months) and I work in downstream oil as a business coordinator. My sport of choice would either be obstacle course training or tennis.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

4am:I wake up for work.

5:30am: I’m on the bus answering emails and practicing my Swedish.

6:30ish: I’m walking in the office.

11am: I start working out at the gym in my company’s building.

12:30: I have finished showering and grab a quick Salata salad that I eat at my desk while I work.

5pm: I’m heading home.

6:30-7: I’m actually home. And then the evening is filled with playing, eating dinner, and bath time.

9 or 10: We are in bed.

And then repeat.

What does a typical training session look like for you?

My typical workout is a lot simpler and less structured than when I was training for ninja full time. It usually consists of many pull-ups, push-ups, and other body weight centered workouts. I try to mix up the variances and try new workouts when I see them but since I am working out during my lunch break I don’t have a lot of time for experimentation.

What does your nutrition look like? 

We follow a mostly plant-based diet. A lot of people think you can’t get the protein you need as an athlete this way, but it’s worked out great for me! Developing good habits and meal prepping helps me get out the door fast in the mornings without sacrificing health.

This is a typical days meals for me:

– Breakfast: warm water with lemon and honey; green smoothie (water, chia seeds, spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, pineapple, banana); oatmeal with homemade almond milk, cinnamon, and raisins

– Lunch: a giant kale and spinach salad with quinoa, chickpeas, and a whole bunch of fruits and veggies

– Dinner: varies from day to day, but typically my wife makes something either legume or grain-based with plenty of vegetables

– Snacks: vegan protein powder shake, nuts and seeds, homemade hummus with vegetables and tortilla chips, apples and bananas with homemade almond butter, occasionally a piece of my wife’s raw cashew cake

My biggest struggle is remembering to drink enough water when I am home because there is always something going on!

How do you recover and what does your mobility look like?

I make sure to maintain a balanced diet and make sure I get plenty of protein. I also try to walk and take the stairs when possible. Slowly working out a plan to workout every day so that I can get a more intense work out in while not over exerting my main ninja muscle groups (back, shoulders, arms, lats, etc).
I am still not very flexible, as my wife likes to tease me about it. But for my training, I try to steer away from static stretches (bend over, touch toes, hold for so much time) and lean more towards dynamic stretches( high leg kick, touch toes at apex of kick).
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What motivates you and how do you deal with failure?

I think the biggest thing is maintaining the active lifestyle so that my kids will, hopefully, follow. I want to show them how fun it can be so they will enjoy it as much as I do. Plus, ninja training is more like playing on an adult sized playground than anything else so my kids just see me having fun.

Man, a bad training session is the worst. When I realize I’m having an unfocused workout I just push through until the end because a less focused workout is better than no exercise. Failure is a matter of perspective. I either look at it as delayed success or as a learning experience. As the first, I just need to work harder.  As the second I get the chance to adapt and grow.

What does you hierarchy look like? 

That’s easy, it’s Family first above all else, and then my job and working out falls in afterwards. I try to make time everyday to stay active, but if work is too busy, one day then it takes priority.

Anything else you would like to add?

Although training has to come last out of the three (family, work, training), it is still something I make time for nearly every day because of how I prioritize other things. Everyone is busy, and almost everyone either works full-time, has a family to take care of, or both, but typically work and family life aren’t what actually get in the way of staying active, but are rather the excuses people tend to make for why they don’t work out. Do you have time to watch an hour of TV several times a week? That’s time you could spend working out. Do you go out to eat every day during your lunch break? I choose to eat my lunch at my desk while I work every day to have time for a quick workout during my lunch break. Do you spend 30 minutes (or more) scrolling through your news feed every day? That’s time where you could be squeezing in a quick cardio workout. Most people don’t realize just how much free time they actually do have because they’ve gotten so used to their routines. Everyone is busy and you’ll find that the most dedicated (hobby) athletes tend to have extremely busy lives with tons of work and family commitments as well, they’ve just learned to prioritize their free time differently.


Regardless of how you feel about the statements made above, the last paragraph of the interview is about as real as you can get. If you say you don’t have time, you are lying to yourself. YOU DO HAVE TIME, you just don’t make time because at the end of the day, training is just not as important to you as you say it is. Now, I am not talking about the folks that can’t make it to the gym for a week here or there due to traveling, family issues, ect. I am talking about the folks that time and time again, day after day, and month after month, that use this excuse as a crutch for the reason they can never make it in.

This is not only an article to challenge your way of thinking and your time management, it is also an article to shed some light on a individual that truly has it together. Ryan is a great example to live by, he is the trifecta of the corporate world: Family man, business man, and an amazing competitive athlete.

For a look at the man himself in action, check out his Ninja Warrior Run.


 

If you just so happen to be one of the folks that trains day in and out and has already committed to this lifestyle, go and check out this Mash Elite Article. This is the coach that programs for myself, and he lays it out about as straight forward as you can get!

 

A different breed

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

–Mark Twain

Before I get into this post, let me state one thing:

I do not intend to offend anyone (although it will happen). This post should serve to inspire, to act as a sort of awakening. If you are offended by this post, or feel as though you are left out, then please re-read and get inspired to go do!


 

There are those of us that train, and we train hard. I am not talking about working out every now and again, but instead I speak of the ones that are in the gym 5-6 days a week for hours at a time, working toward something awesome. Now some see this as an issue, as a sort of obsession. The problem I have with this is that this work ethic–this desire to be something better–does not just stay in the gym, it follows us through our daily lives and everything we do.

WE ARE A DIFFERENT BREED

We thrive on the un-achievable

This word does not exist in our vocabulary. They tell us we cannot do something and we aim to prove them wrong. Our fuel comes from the mere thought that they think a person cannot achieve this goal, so we do it and we make it look easy.

We are not afraid of the “what-ifs”

We might get hurt along the way, we might be so tired that normal tasks become daunting, and there might be days that we are just plain beat, but this does not deter us from the final goal. We hear all the time “Don’t you know that you could get hurt”, “Just think what it will be like when you are old”, “If you didn’t do that, you wouldn’t hurt all the time”. Let me let you in on a little secret: You could step of the curb tomorrow and get hit by a car, and that would probably hurt, but does this mean that you walk around in padded armor gearing up for that fateful day? As humans, when we get old, we will all hurt. As soon as you’re born, you’re dying, so you might as well make the most of it. We would like to think that when we are old and we hurt, we can look back and say it is because we put 2x our body weight over our head, or because we could squat the world, not because “time just makes us that way” or because of our poor life choices. Yes, it is true, we do tend to hurt all the time, but what in life is both easy and worth doing? If you find it, please let us know. Things worth doing take time, sacrifice, and every last ounce of strength you have and can give. Look at any successful person and read their story, let me know if you find one that had an easy time getting to the top…

We are obsessed

Or at least this is what they tell us. They tell us we put to much pressure on ourselves, that we become negative toward others. Let me ask you something: Do you not have to be a little on the “obsessed” side to achieve the level of success that we dream of? Do you not have to eat, sleep, and dream of that moment when you finally make it, to truly make it? Think for a moment of something you love, truly love, and ask yourself is there not anything you wouldn’t give to protect that person, goal, aspiration, or dream. This is how we feel, this is what we feel, and this is the path we choose to walk.

The best part, it is not nature that provides this

This feeling is not bestowed at birth, it is acquired through countless hours of work. It is fueled by the sheer level of determination that we have come to possess. In the words of Mattie Rodgers (if you don’t know who she is, look her up) it is “Earned not given”. When we get into the gym, no race, religion, gender, sexual preference, or financial situation matters, the only thing that makes a difference is whether or not you possess what it takes to train day in and out and work toward realizing your dream.

So if this offends you, makes  you feel left out, or makes you second guess your actions or choices, you really only have two options:

  1. Peer at those of us high on the mountain from the valley below or…
  2. Take the steps we took, climb those stairs, and claw your way up the mountain to join us on our journey to the top

On a somewhat lighter note, since it is the middle of the week and most people that read this blog have been grinding away, here is a little flow by our very own mobility coach for those tight lower backs!

This flow consists of:
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And if you’re interested in testing it out with instruction, stop by our class on Monday nights at 7:15!


 

Also, thank you to all of our taste-testers at our #PHPpickourblend coffee tasting this paste Saturday. We have narrowed it down to blend C (this will only make sense if you were there) and hope to have a limited first release of around 25lbs (the good things in life don’t come mass produced). I will keep all informed as to when we have the final product and then we will release it out to you all!!

Injury

“If your dog gets lost you don’t look for an hour then call it quits. You get your ass out there and you find that f*cking dog.”

–Billy Madison

So you’re injured. You feel like Hercules after being pulled down from Mt. Olympus, never to return and to always have only a fraction of your (what could have been) God-like strength. Well, before you start dressing in all black listening to Death Cab for Cutie and mourning your gains, let’s talk this out logically and see if we can bring a little brick and mortar to your Eeyore stick hut.


 

It is not the end of the world, so do what you can:

I know it feels like all hope is lost. You have trouble doing things you once excelled at. It is frustrating, and sometimes (or all the time) you just want to stop. Before you give up all hope and change into your “Golden Coral Sweats”, sit in front of the T.V and binge watch Gossip Girl; try doing what you can. We have all different types of athletes currently that have a many different types of injuries (luckily, these were not sport or gym related).

We have an athlete who had wrist surgery, so guess what? He squats and he squats often. He continues to keep his Olympic lifts going by practicing technique with the bar and weights that don’t bother his wrist. He wraps his wrist daily and practices range of motion training and grip training to prevent atrophy. He got injured, but did not let it hold him back, so instead he does what he can and he excels at it!

We have a female athlete who has a mystery spinal aliment that keeps her from most degrees of trunk flexion (You what exercises require trunk flexion? All the best types). Instead of sitting around and feeling defeated, she does what she can to keep her cardio up on the bike and rower, try to keep her range of motion through yoga, and kills some upper body bro days.

We have another female that has a chronic lower back issue, and she is probably one of the hardest workers in the gym. She does what she can to increase strength in the surrounding muscle groups and when it gets to that fine line of discomfort and pain, she switches to metabolic conditioning exercises.

The point being, you might not have the use of your whole body, but neither did Lt. Dan and he still jumped his ass out of a boat and swam..


 

Be smart about your recovery:

Follow the first rule by all means, do what you can and do it well. However, remember that you are working with a couple cards short of a full deck, so mind your limits. This is an interesting predicament because you have to push yourself in order to overcome and get better, but if you push yourself too hard you are going to take a lot longer to recover or possibly make the injury worse. The bottom line is to figure out the fine line between discomfort and pain. Push yourself to your limit for that day, stop, and recover, and then come in day after day and try and increase that limit just a little more until it is gone.


 

Treat yo self:

Pay special attention to these areas during your time of recovery. Follow a couple of rules of thumb in order to try and speed up the process (these all depend on the type of injury. Obviously if you have a compound fracture heat and ice are not going to do much…)

  1. Heat/Ice after and before workouts to try and increase blood flow/decrease swelling
  2. Get taped up to help alleviate some of the stress on the muscle or joint
  3. Wear wraps, braces, or supportive gear to take a little load off
  4. Adapt your workouts in order to compensate for your injury
    1. If you have an injured leg muscle and ass to grass squatting hurts, maybe don’t go full depth (I don’t say that often, but if it hurts, don’t do it…)
  5. Increase your time doing Range of motion training, stretching, and rolling
    1. For strained muscle or a sprain this would be a bad idea as the muscle or tendon is already in a stretched and damaged position.

 

Nutrition plays a role:

Just because you’re injured does not mean you get to eat garbage–If anything you need to make sure you are eating even better than when you are full capacity.

  1. Fats such as olive oil, nuts, avocados and fish oils can help with inflammation, so try and increase these during healing times.
  2. Avoid lots of processed foods or foods high in trans-fats as those can promote inflammation
  3. Foods such as berries, pineapple, turmeric, and garlic also help decrease inflammation, so make sure and work these into your daily macros
  4. Supplement with Vitamin a and c, zinc, and copper as well as arginine, glutamine, and HMB. These have all been shown to have a positive effect on healing.
    1. *Make sure and consult with your physician/dietitian if you have any prior medical condition or are pregnant before starting a supplementation regiment.

 

Getting injured is both a physical and a mental battle. Make sure you use the network of support around you and talk with your coach and fellow athletes during your recovery, because, often times, the mental battle can be more damaging than the physical one.

It is easy to look up to top tier athletes, but in my opinion, it is the injured athletes that come back full force that are the true inspiration to their sport. To be on top, get cast to the bottom, and tooth-and-nail climb your way back to the top, well that is a victory worth talking about!

The bottom line, don’t get injured, but if you do, know that it is not the end of the world and that it will take hard work, but soon you will be back on top!

 

Grab your coffee, we have a little update

Coffee bean.jpg

Coffee, the favorite drink of the civilized world”

–Thomas Jefferson

Just a little update on things that are going on around the gym and to let everyone know that we are in the process of doing a write up on a man that has family, full time job, and has managed to qualify for Ninja warrior competitions, so keep an eye out for that!

In other news, why the cool coffee picture above? Well, let me let you in on a little secret. Pure Health Performance has teamed up with Heartland Roasters to make a custom performance blend that is both highly caffeinated and taste delicious! We believe that if we are truly going to create the best performance blend for athletes, that it should be picked by athletes, so:

If you are at all interested in putting in your 2 cents on which of the 4 blends above is the best, we will have a small tasting on Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m (coffee will be brewed and handed out until it is gone, so show up on time). We will have some ballets that you can cast your vote on and then we will choose the winning blend and put it into production!

Make sure to go check out Heartland Roasters, go to their website and get some of their coffee that is freshly roasted right here in Bartlesville!

Getting flexy with nutrition

Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.

–Denis Waitley

For the past several months the coaches at Pure Health have dedicated their spare time to furthering our knowledge basis into the realm of nutrition and macro planning (this is me giving myself a digital pat on the back). We did this for a numerous amount of reasons, but the most influential being the need of our growing athlete base for a more scientific approach to nutrition to pair with our programming we already provide in-house. You see, like I touched on last week, it is one thing to start by kicking ass in the gym, but there comes a time when we have to start adding in more and more things to the equation in order to get the best outcome possible (if you want to be the best, you have to do everything possible to get there).

So, the following is what we have come up with in order to better serve our athletes, clients, and the surrounding community with the best sports nutrition information available.*NOTE*: Like I have mentioned before, we are not registered dietitians and do not claim to be such. If you have a long term chronic diseases that require special diets or supplementation, it is always best to seek help of a specialist in the field of nutrition (this would be a Registered Dietitian or you Medical Doctor).  

PHP Nutrition

We are extremely excited to start offering this service and ensure you the best possible nutritional information and practices available. Please contact us at Purehealthperformance918@gmail.com for inquires about the program or to get on the list to take the next step in your ever-evolving performance journey (initial information and processing will take 4-7 days to process before receiving your initial plan)!!


 

Since we have all of that exciting news out of the way, we wanted to throw a nice yoga flow with some twisting variations at you this week. This flow works extremely well to mobilize the hips, lower back, and knees, as well as focuses a little on shoulder/wrist mobility for those of us that need it!

Enjoy!

Nutrition Tips

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food

–Hippocrates

FOOD PREP

At PHP we have a one step at a time rule. If we are teaching you correct form on lifts, it does neither us nor you any good to point out all 20 things that are wrong with your lift–instead we focus on 1 correction at a time, perfect that, and then move on to the next. Similarly, when you start your journey down the road of fitness/performance, it does us no good to tell you to work harder in the gym, eat perfectly, recover more, and manage your time better because all of these things fall into place when they need to.

Which brings me to the topic of this post: Your Nutrition

If you have attended PHP since the beginning, it is time we have this talk. Likewise, if you have seen a halt in your performance, a decrease in drive, a plateau in your weight loss, etc.. then nutrition is the next place we need to look.

I know what you’re thinking–why do we have to do more when we are already doing so much? Well, the human body is smart, and stubborn (like most smart individuals). It knows where it wants to be, it knows how to recover on its own, it knows that is does not like a negative energy balance (simply put, more calories expended than you intake). So it adapts. This means that a proper nutrition program cannot be a one time, short lived habit, nor can it be a one time program that lasts forever. Instead, it must be a constantly fluctuating, ever changing balance of intake to output, moving up and down with our performance, weight-loss, and lifestyle goals.

So, let me give you some info and tips on this whole hazy fog that is nutrition:


Counting Calories is Last Year’s Thing:

Counting Calories should really be a thing of the past. I know some of you read this and say “It has gotten me this far” but at some point it will not lead to increased results (especially if your goal has changed to increase performance). Let me give you a little (drastic) example to drive home the point:

We have a 150lb female* looking to become more performance-based. Her recommended guidelines for nutrition breakdown are as follows:

  • 150 g protein
  • 225 g Carbs
  • 55g fat
  • At least 30g of fiber

*Note: This is just an example diet for the purposes of comparison, please do not take this and run with it (I’m looking at you, 150lb females!)

These are the macros she should be aiming for in order to lose weight and provide adequate nutrition for her training/recovery schedule. Now, instead, let’s say she were to shoot for just the calorie goal. She has 2,000 calories to burn and she’s an avid pop-tart eater (I mean, she adores the things). So she decides to just try and hit her calorie goals by just eating pop-tarts (just for this example), and it ends up looking something like this:

10 pop-tarts = 2,000 calories and the nutrition break down is as such:

  • 20g protein
  • 380g carbs
  • 50g fat
  • Around 20g of fiber

That’s a drastic decrease in protein and upswing in carbs. The point I am trying to make is hopefully pretty clear. By just counting calories, one tends to miss out or overlook the fact that they are low on one tier of macro-nutrients which inevitably makes you high on another tier. Furthermore, a diet with this type of macro-nutrient profile will make you more likely to gain/retain weight and not promote a healthy weight loss. To sum it up and put it simply, the phrase “calorie in, calorie out” (as you can see) is not exactly true.

Carbs/Fats are Not Evil:

While a lower carbohydrate/lower fat diet works well for some, it is about adjusting those macros in balance and not cutting them out completely. Fad diets tend to cut one or the other out almost completely, which leads to nothing but an over-reliance on the other. While it may result in short term weight loss, is not a manageable practice nor is it a long term solution. The idea is to stay away from certain carbohydrates and certain fats such as the following:

  • highly processed carbohydrates (such as the ones found in poptarts)
  • Carbohydrates high in sugar (such as, you know, sugar)
  • Trans-fats which are usually located in highly processed, sugary carbohydrates
  • Basically, stay away from highly processed foods….

Sugars are Necessary:

Yes, sugar does promote and inflammatory response, but not all inflammation is bad. For example, when you break a bone the area around the fracture becomes inflamed and swollen. This inflammation is good inflammation, because without it (at least in the sort term), you would have no increased blood flow to the area and no increased stability around the area, ultimately resulting in the bone healing improperly and you walking around with a very jacked up limb.

Your body runs on sugars. After ingesting carbohydrates, your body quickly breaks them down and turns them into sugars and uses them for (super minor, totally overrated**) things like:

  • Glycogen production (stored form of sugar)
  • Energy to be used immediately
  • Brain function

So to say sugar is a bad thing is again, over-simplifying the issue. The best example is fruits, which tend to be high in sugars. Not taking in an adequate amount of fruits because of the fear of increased sugar intake can result in:

  • Decrease in certain necessary vitamins and minerals consumed
  • Decrease in consumption flavonoids which contain antioxidants
  • (Which results in an) Increase in the amount of supplementation needed
**sarcasm

Fad diets will have the opposite effect:

Try to run a marathon at your sprint pace and let me know how it goes. This is basically what you are doing when you go on some fad diet/cleans/30 day diet challenge etc… You want results, but you want them in the 30 days before you go on that cruise. Well, just like you burning out at the half mile or mile mark in that proverbial marathon mentioned above, you can sustain this practice for only a short time before you burn out and have the opposite of your desired results. Crash dieting can and will (eventually) result in the following:

  • Increase in weight gain (and not the good kind)
  • Decrease in performance
  • Increase risk of permanent metabolic damage
  • Tons of wasted time and money on products that don’t work

Remember, good nutrition practices take time, there is no quick fix to weight loss. Likewise, increasing performance does not only happen once you step foot in the gym, it follows you home and starts in the kitchen. So remember a couple of tips:

  • Eat as many whole foods as possible
  • Track everything you eat in apps like myfitnesspal to make sure you are hitting your target macros
  • Don’t worry about the calories, worry about your target macros
  • Supplement only when you need to
  • Eat fruits and veggies not only for the low carbohydrate consistency but because they also contain many vitamins and nutrients we need.
  • If someone ask you to do a diet challenge with them, kindly decline, and give them the hyperlink to our website so they, too, can see the light.

If you need help figuring out the mystery of macros, a proper diet/lifestyle change, or just want to exchange emails and talk, contact us at the following:

purehealthperformance918@gmail.com

We can get you hooked up with one of our nutrition coaches (remember, we are not dietitians, so if you have special circumstances we can help point you in the right direction) and get you started on a solid, sustainable lifestyle change that will result in the right type of weight loss/increased performance!