Growth: Why, how, and when

People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.

–J. Michael Straczynski

I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook last week, responding to the all the comments about how good the girls on our powerlifting team are looking in their lifts (headed to USPA Nationals, what, what!) , when I came across this posted up on a friend/fellow weightlifting coach, Mr.Seth Walker’s, wall.

I watched this video at least 10-15 times, really thinking about what he was saying. Although this video contains some fun facts about lobsters that you might not have known, it highlights a very real issue: the idea that an athlete or, for that matter, any person, must face some type of stressful/stimulating circumstance in order to grow.

Think about it this way–

A muscle does not grow unless you put it through a point of stress that signals to the body to go and repair said muscle, this time stronger than before to adapt to the future stimulus you will exert upon it. In doing so, the body has now fortified this area to withstand this amount of stress, hence you get stronger or less sore from that same set/rep scheme. Now the next time you change up your program, you introduce that given muscle body to a new stimulus and it must repair and adapt to this new level of stress, continually repairing and rebuilding.

So why, if in nature with the lobster and in our own bodies with our muscles (and for that matter bone and connective tissue), if all of these things take the situation they are given and learn to adapt around it, why do we, as humans, choose to shift blame or find reasons to make our situation impossible to handle?

We look to shift this situation to something that we could not possibly control. We look to take away our ability to do something about it, so that just maybe someone will come to us with a magic solution and help us along our way…

 Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

-Chinese Proverb

I am here to tell you:

If you are injured, you have to work through it.

  • Do your rehab exercises
  • Spend time mobilizing
  • Spend time recovering
  • Remember that you are in it for the long haul, so don’t beat your body to the ground and expect it to get back up and work for you

If you want to lose weight, you have to get up and work for it.

  • Learn to eat right
  • Find a reputable coach to give you a program
  • Find a group of supportive peers that will support you in your time of need
  • Learn to be the person YOU want to be when push comes to shove

If you want to be better at anything in this world, you have to practice.

  • Put in the hours
  • Don’t give yourself reasons you can’t
  • If you fall down, get back up and learn to keep pushing forward
  • Don’t expect it to come easy
  • Know that the longer you do it, the slower the results are, but even 1 kilo more is a step in the right direction

It is not easy to overcome and injury, nor is it easy to make the choice to shed away a body you do not want. Hell, the rule of 10,000 says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be considered an expert in your field/sport/area, which is 417 straight days of non-stop practice.

My point is this, when you get handed a bad situation or life presents you with an external stressful event, be like a lobster–molt your stress and find a rock. Your friends, your coach, your loved ones, your teammates, or whoever it maybe, let them be your rock and help you, because when you finally emerge from beneath, you will truly be stronger for going through it and come out better than before.

It’s not whether or not you have the ability to do the work ; it is whether or not you have the will to do what is necessary to get to where you want to be..

so, be a lobster and adapt!





Looking for a good place to start? Here’s a 15 minute yoga video to get you nice and energized to start the day; it focuses on really opening up the hips and getting the blood flowing through repeated Sun and Moon Salutations! Enjoy!

Carpe Diem

As a child, you are taught a seemingly impossible task, walking. Think about it, the ability to be bipedal is there, but the hours of dedication it takes in order to get upright is astronomical, but eventually, everyone is able to do it.

I mention this because think about how impossible it must seem at the time and yet everyone accomplished it. If this is true, then why do we forget this determination, this ability to dream so big, as we age and replace it with the limitations set by our doubts and by others. We make large goals and aspirations only to let others wash them away with what is masked as “logical” and “realistic goals.”

We step up to the rack, to the pool, to the platform, etc. and we work, and then we say “well, that was good enough.” NO, unless that bar is on the ground, unless that time was beat, until you have tried, failed, and tried again, it was not good enough.

Because think about it…

How can you be hungry for something you have never had a taste of?

You can’t, and if you can’t, then that would make failure the first step toward success.

So as you go into your max out Friday, remember that every rep, every lap, every pull counts and failure is the only thing that can make you hungry for more.

Dream the dreams of the great and let no one limit you from making these a reality.


Breaking Our Backs Yoga Flow

So as many of you may know, our yoga instructor (Kaleigh) has two herniated discs in her low back. Today we’ve decided to post a video that focuses on yoga postures/exercises that can be done to help strengthen and alleviate pain from the low back region, beneficial for those who just have aches and pains or who have bulged or herniated discs.

You’ll notice a lot of flexion and extension (aka bending and arching) of the spine throughout the video. These motions can be difficult (but extremely beneficial) for someone dealing with low back pain, so we encourage everyone to move through them gently and only to the extent that’s comfortable for you. It’s important to never “force” a posture (by pulling yourself deeper into a stretch) as this can exacerbate a bulged or herniated disc. Also, always keep the core tight to protect the spine, especially if attempting any twisting positions (skip these if twisting causes pain). These stretches should NEVER be painful.

Lastly, we are not doctors, so participate at your own risk. 🙂

Music:
Gregory Alan Isakov – The Stable Song
James Arthur – Certain Things


Gym updates:

We will be closed today and tomorrow due to Coach J having some continuing education to attend and myself taking some athletes up to Kansas City to learn some lifting from a pro.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but all classes and the gym will resume normal operations on Monday!

Refining your purpose

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

–Pablo Picasso

Do you have a goal? Do you have that off in the distance glimmer that you are clawing your way toward? That goal, that some days it seems only a couple steps out in front and others it is miles away; but no matter the day, you keep peddling, lifting, swimming, and running toward it in hopes of getting just a little closer?

Well, as a gym we also strive for goals like these, those goals that we set at the very beginning, and with the help and support of our community, dedicated coaches, and gym family, we are making leaps and bounds towards them!

grill out


Goal 1: Make a statement with our gym

Bro science is all to real. The basic theory of bro science states “If a bro is large, cut-up, strong, or in general shape, then he/she must therefore know anything and everything there is to know about kinesiology, and therefore must be listened to.” The bad part is that it is not just in one sport, but seen in a numerous amount of sports/coaches that just have no idea what they are talking about.

We pride ourselves in putting everything we can into our athletes, and it has shown. We  strive to provide proven programming (none of this “Well it worked for me, so it will work for you” BS), up-to-date recovery methods, the best nutritional practices (obviously this can be biased, but in our opinion it is the best out there). Basically, we aim to make a statement, a statement that says “If you come to our gym, do everything we tell you to do, and follow our programming, we WILL get you to where you want to be.” We are not trying to re-invent the wheel, instead we focus on providing what has been proven to work, and we do this so the athlete can focus on what is most important – picking up weight, and nothing else.

We make a statement by providing programming to a numerous amount of athletes in all different realms of competitive sports: Running, Weight-lifting, Power-lifting, CrossFit, Triathlons, Cycling, Swimming, Volleyball, etc. A good gym/coach can turn out 1 or 2 all-star athletes, but a great coach can take all athletes to that all-star status, and at Pure Health, I can promise you we are not interested in just being good.

But this is what we have already done, what we aim to become is the premier go-to for competitive athletes or anyone that just wants to get better in the area. We have the long term dream of being “that gym” to go to if you need to get that much better in your sport through strength and conditioning or if you want real results. How do we plan to do this? We plan to do this by providing the best programming we can, keeping our research and knowledge base up-to-date, and cutting out all the nonsense and fancy exercises to stick with what is proven to work!


Goal 2: Community Outreach

We decided at the beginning, that once we were established, our goal was to start giving back to the community that decided to take and chance and give to us, and we have started to make good on that promise.

Each week, on Fridays, we have an “Open gym” policy from 3-7 p.m. This serves two purposes:

  1. It allows anyone from the community to come in and follow one of the many programs on the board to get a safe and effective workout in.
  2. It allows us to showcase all that Pure Health has to offer and helps create the atmosphere we strive to provide day in and day out to all of our athletes (and allows others to be apart of this atmosphere, which is second to none).

Also, this past weekend, we were able to give back just a little bit more by helping the Boys and Girls club with a large charity event they hosted. Our athletes ran the grills with just as much effort as they put into their training sessions (wouldn’t think they would do anything less) and it showed.

In a little over two hours, 4 athletes cooked food for over 900 individuals!

We had an excellent time cooking and hanging out with the BCG staff and other volunteers and look forward to hopefully expanding our outreach with some youth programs and summer programs we are currently in the works on!


Goal 3: Branding

This one is easy, because of our supportive community and athletes that we are surrounded by!

It is awesome to walk around downtown or into a store and see a PHP shirt being worn proudly, and to know that we were able to help that person in some form or fashion, that makes those long days all worth it.

We want anyone and everyone that wears one of our shirts, drinks our coffee, reps one of our stickers, or owns one of our soon to be mugs to wear/rep them with pride and have a sense of belonging and ownership to the gym that they help create (it doesn’t hurt that are logo looks pretty sweet)!


We plan to continue to grow, putting a lot of our current efforts into getting youth programming started up for the summer for the youth athletes, at-risk youth, and lower income youth in the area (so if you read this and know of a way to help, please feel free to email, call, FB message, etc..).

We plan to continue to provide the programming that works, that gives results, and that is backed in science. In doing this, we promise our athletes longevity in their chosen sports and correction of any imbalances they may have acquired due to repetitive sports motions.

And last but not least, we plan to continue to provide a gym and brand that people can not only be proud of, but rep with pride!


As a little added bonus, and since last week was too crazy to get a blog post up, here is a little warm-up video dedicated to all those hip and lower backs that are tight due to the competitive season grind!

 

Mindset, Atmosphere, and Perspective

Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still

–Henry David Thoreau

In the past couple of weeks, the gym atmosphere has been lit on fire. Despite work volume increasing ten fold (literally going from singles to 10RM), everyone comes in to still try and hit something they never have before, and although they have to grind through this weird “weightlifting cardio,” they still have an awesome attitude and uplift each other. Which brings me to the title of this blog post, if you want to have a good time doing what you love doing, you need to really sit down and think about these three words above:

Mindset, Atmosphere, and Perspective


 

Mindset

This can make or break the best of athletes. It can be the difference between a new PR and coming in 10kg/22lbs under your all time best on any given lift. The highlight of my day is when I hear that some of our athletes are travelling for work and the first thing they ask me is “Do you know a gym around that area I can go to, and if so, what should I do”. This is the mindset you have to have if you truly want to get better in a reasonable amount of time.

Aches and pains are part of the game (saying this I am fully aware that certain pain should not be pushed through and should be met with some type of medical attention, but this is not the pain I am talking about). You have to be able to look past your soreness (because guess what, we are all sore and using that as an excuse is not an option) and look past your minor aches, to get in the gym and hammer that next session out. If you think taking a day to rest it will get you better in the long run, check your mindset, assess it, think about whether you are incapable of moving sore or you are just “not feeling it sore”, and if it is the later, get your ass in the gym and train!

This video was taken at 6:30 a.m, before work, and before the other two training sessions for the day. This is a goal, she practices when she can and when she will have the most energy to practice it. She uses progressions to get to her ultimate goal and holds it for as long as she can. This is the mindset to have going in to any athletic endeavor. Do what you can, when you can, and don’t let excuses get in your way.

However, a lot of mindset depends on the next highlight of this blog post…


Atmosphere

Does your gym breed an atmosphere of excellence or good enough? When you are critiqued by a coach, do you take it personally or with open arms to get better? Do you push each other to do more, or because it was a small PR are you met with excitement and done for the day?

Don’t mean to bash any single persons PR or accomplishment, but let me put it in perspective. Say you hit a 2kg/roughly 5lb PR without a struggle, do you stop there because it was a PR? I can tell you that I will be giddy with excitement at any of my athletes that PR, but then I will tell them to put more weight on (if it is the scenario above) because when it says 3RM, it should not be a smooth ride on all reps.

No one that was great ever got there by training in a gym with a complacent atmosphere.

The goal of the gym: This should be a place to come and channel all of your angry, frustration, excess pent-up sitting all day at a desk energy into slinging around weights and making something beautiful out of all this energy :

Think Patrick Swayze in Ghost except instead of a pot, we mold 300lb cleans and 500lb deadlifts together and in a more HR friendly way…

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Bottom line: The atmosphere in the gym, if electric, will always lead you to a new PR, better consistency, or the ability for anyone to enjoy their time training in the gym!

 

 


 

Perspective

Is your glass half empty or half full? Do you look at the hand you were dealt and say “poor me, I lose”, or ” I am going to bluff the shit out of this hand until I win”? Do you blame others for your failure or do you take your failure in stride and look to improve on it? Perspective is what keeps you in the game for the long haul, this is what defines you and makes you an athlete and person others look up to and want to become. No one remembers the players or athletes that immediately accuse others of cheating after they lose, they look up to the players or athletes that say (no matter what the circumstances) “It was a good fight and I will take this as a learning experience and improve on my weaknesses”.

Great example is our yoga instructor, Kaleigh. As some people know, she has a very mysterious back/hip nerve aliment (not really sure what it is, but it is not fun) that does not allow her to support very much weight on her spine. Now, being part owner of a performance gym, you might be able to see where this is a little upsetting coming in to the gym and not being able to perform lifts, not due to lack of will power or trying, but due to not physically being able to lift the weight. She could has easily stopped working out, stopped trying, and stopped lifting and very few people would have blamed her. Instead, she looked at her predicament, assessed it, and does what she can. While here lifts are obviously not putting on serious numbers, she has probably the best mobility in the gym, is improving her yoga game by leaps and bounds, and has recently started training (with a strapping young trainer) at another gym a couple of times a week that has machine equipment to help her continue to gain muscle mass without the issue of not being able to walk for varying amounts of time.

That is all it takes; look at your situation and think:

If I can’t do much, what CAN I do to help my situation along? If I have an injury or weakness in my game, how CAN I fix it or what CAN I do to make it better? This is the type of perspective all of our athletes have, this is what we choose to instill in anyone that comes to Pure Health.


 

Updates on the gym:

We have around 5-6lbs of coffee left for our initial run, after this run the price will increase slightly, so if you want to stock up make sure and grab some while it is left.

If you ordered a T-shirt or Tank top or just want one (we ordered extra for those that did not hear about the pre-order) we have those available at the gym. The 3/4 sleeve shirts should be coming in around mid-April, and we will keep you updated.

Annnnd for you added viewing pleasure, a little ankle stability yoga practice (just make sure and repeat on the other side of the body)! This is great for anyone with an issue in ankle mobility, or ankle stability issues in the jerk!

 

 

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!

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:
image

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!!

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!

Happy Holidays from Us to You!

At Pure Health Performance, we often stress lots of priorities–lifting, mobility, food, rest, and recovery, for example–but nothing compares to the love of family and genuine friendship. We hope everyone has had the opportunity to take a few day off from work to enjoy the company of the people who matter most (while also maybe sneaking away to get in a few workouts here and there…).

As for us, we’re just thankful for all of the amazing, dedicated athletes who come through our doors on a regular basis, giving us the opportunity to realize the dream of performance gym ownership. PHP would be nothing without you guys.

So from our PHP family to yours–Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


 

And since we can’t hand deliver presents to all of you, we wanted to at least extend you a little knee mobilization flow to keep you flexy over the next few days. Enjoy!

You’ve got your own back

Prevention is better than cure

–Desiderius Erasmus

To think that someone else can constantly pick up your pieces and put you back together again is pure insanity. Think about all the times that you acquire an ache or a pain. Think about all the Saturdays that you wish you could go get a massage at the drop of a hat or call up your chiropractor just to make whatever ails you feel better. The funny thing is, you might be able to help yourself more than you know.

Now, I am not saying that what you can do with the items I will list below can ever replace a chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist, but they can help with your minor aches and pains that might not call for a visit to one of these fine medical professionals (some consider them allied health, but I would consider them a front line before a visit to the doctor, especially for bone, joint, or muscle).

If you ask any half-way decent coach, trainer, chiropractor, PT, or massage therapist most will come up with a very similar list of must have items to help with your mobility and injury prevention, because lets face it, taking a trip every other day to one of the above professionals is not realistic for most people.


Foam Roller

By now, most anyone that is involved in fitness/training/or rehab has heard of or used a foam roller. Foam Rollers are a super simple and cheap way to help aid in recovery, warm-up, cool-down, and injury rehab. If the $18 price range is just absurd to you, you can always get a large diameter piece of PVC pipe and glue some old yoga mat down to the surface and you have your own home-made roller (although, I warn you, that this will be a very, very deep tissue massage).

Another option for travelling is to have a stick or hand roller on hand (not as effective, but it fits in a suitcase very nicely)

Tiger Tail


Lacrosse Balls

For deeper, more pin-point issues, one can turn to the use of a lacrosse ball. Now different balls can be used for different areas of the body:

  • Lacrosse ball- Forearms, feet, chest, upper back, hip flexor, (tape two together for your erectors), piriformis
  • Golf ball- bottom of the foot or forearms
  • Soft ball or mobility ball- piriformis, hip flexor, abdominal, upper/lower back

I have on hand at our gym:

  • Multiple single lacrosse balls (about 5)
  • 2 sets of 2 lacrosse balls taped side by side
  • A softball sized mobility ball
  • 1-3 Golf balls

BALL ON WALL

The idea is that sometimes you need a little more of a targeted release than say just rolling over it with a foam roller. The different types and sizes of mobility balls help to allow you to choose that perfect line between discomfort and pain (mobilizing is never going to feel awesome, but we are not looking to be in pain for 30-45 minutes).


Yoga Mat

The one in the link above is the brand that I prefer. They are a little more expensive, but have a couple of benefits over other mats:

  • They are resilient and don’t tear up like cheap mats
  • They come with a warranty
  • They don’t slide around on the floor like other mats
  • They are extra long, so they fit tall and short alike

BoundSideAngle

Other items that are nice, but not necessary to have for you yoga/mobility practice:

  1. Cork Yoga Blocks
    1. The cork is a little more stable than the cheap foam blocks
  2. Yoga Strap
    1. With poses that you might not be able to quiet get into, the strap can help you with the proper alignment.

 

These are just a couple of tools that can help keep you in the game on a daily basis (if you have a serious injury, make sure and go see someone, don’t try and fix it with a foam roller…). Tell your friends and family and just maybe, you can get them as a stocking stuffer and help roll out some of that tension acquired through hours of driving.


 

Little Yoga video with ques for all those travelers and athletes with chronic lower back issues. Check it out, do it, and see if it does not help a little.

NOTE: We only provide about 7 minutes worth of video. I would suggest moving through the modified sun salutation 8-10 times to really get warmed-up before going into the static postures (you will also get a little more out of the static postures if you are a little more warm).

Strong women make a strong gym

I’m tough, ambitious & I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, Okay.

–Madonna


 

So I had the pleasure of having a long discussion with some of the ladies from Pure Health last night about women in the gym. Before I begin, let me preface with this:

My intentions are not to belittle/hate on any females that do not power lift or weight lift. My goal with this post is to uplift my female clients and athletes that are put “out of the norm” because these sports are still seen as “masculine” in many groups. These women should be uplifted and complimented for their hard efforts both in and out of the gym both for having accomplished what they have and dealing with ignorant people (mostly insecure men).

The conversation was about training and how it helps both in and out of the gym. It was about how training (and I mean training, not exercising), makes you want to be better in every arena of life. It takes what you thought you were, crumples that up, and brings on a whole new you. This new you has no limits, there is no “but what if I fail”, and doubt is overcome in a brief moment.

We also touched on the issue with women and lifting and how you are viewed from outside “the lifting life”.

But here’s the thing:

At the end of the day, you just have to keep being you. You get to choose who you want to be, what you want to be, and how you want to be. If you want to be a basic, weightlifting, Kate Spade-toting, loud, carefree gym-rat, then you do you. If you want to be a hardcore, power lifting, “boss-ass bitch” (not meant in any derogatory term, this is actually used by the girls at the gym), then by all means, you do you. Don’t let the image of the “ideal girl” effect your goals and aspirations to be so much more than the average person. That “ideal girl” cannot put wheels on the bar and squat it, that “ideal girl” couldn’t begin to image what it would feel like to crush a PR in a room full of people, and that “ideal girl” doesn’t know the time and effort it takes to even put 1 extra pound on the bar.

So, embrace the strong, beautiful women in your gym, because they are the true face of hard work and determination. These ladies come in everyday breaking stereotypes and stepping out of gender roles to be who they want to be, so keep your comments to yourself because they are there for them, not you!


 

On a different note, here is a yoga flow with emphasis for those shoulders:

Shoulder mobility is a huge issue for a lot of athletes and can mean the difference between being able to put weight overhead properly and causing undo stress on the rotator cuff leading to injury.

Just like our other video, we start the flow with a test posture (in this case it is mountain with our arms in extension behind us). The goal is to do this posture again, after doing the flow 3-4 times or for at least 20 minutes, and see the difference a little yoga/mobility practice can make!