MAINTAIN SANITY WITH THIS SIMPLE PRACTICE

MAINTAIN SANITY WITH THIS SIMPLE PRACTICE

We have all been there. Parenting is really, and I mean really hard. It can take so much out of you. The constant noise in your house, the messes that get left everywhere, the missed sleep, the feeling as if you are never going to get everything (or anything) done. It is in these moments when we can either let ourselves explode and be overwhelmed by parenting or we can find a way to take a breath and take control of the way we parent....

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Pullups -- The Real Fitness Measure

Pullups -- The Real Fitness Measure

I recently wrote an article about where to start when putting together a workout plan (i.e. how to program your training). In that article, I mentioned that I believe the most important movement is the squat for a variety of reasons, and that people should start there.

So let’s say you’ve mastered the squat and you have some time to start focusing on another movement — what’s the SECOND most important movement?

The pullup.

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Updated Edition of Becoming a Supple Leopard -- A Book Review

**Make sure to read all the way through this post to find out how you can win a free copy of the Updated and Expanded Edition of Becoming a Supple Leopard.**

In my eagerness for every human on earth to own, read and use this book (Becoming a Supple Leopard or BASL), I will try not to just give everything in the book away in this review. I do want Dr. Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordoza to be compensated for the work they have put in. Just know it is very hard for me to summarize this book.

It’s like when you buy a new car and someone asks you about your new car. You can’t just say, “well, it’s pretty cool … and it’s red.” It’s more like, “GET OVER HERE AND GET IN MY NEW RED CAR AND WE ARE GOING TO RIDE AROUND FOR AN HOUR AND YOU HAVE TO CHECK THIS CAR OUT AND IT HAS 1,000 HORSEPOWER AND YOU WON’T EVEN BELIEVE THIS!!!!!” That’s where I’m coming from.

The updated and expanded edition of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Becoming a Supple Leopard -- The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance is a book that is on the top of my list when someone asks me "what are the most important books in your life?"

Dr. Starrett (with help from Cordoza) takes an incredibly complex and confusing topic -- the correct ways in which humans are designed to move -- and puts it in a format that the “average human” has no choice but to comprehend.

A quote from the beginning of Part I -- “Prioritizing spinal mechanics is the first and most important step in rebuilding and ingraining functional motor patterns, optimizing movement efficiency, maximizing force production and avoiding injury.” (I have that one in the ole memory bank -- it’s a “keeper”).

So that quote is specific to prioritizing spinal mechanics. But, in my opinion, the benefits from prioritizing spinal mechanics also apply for moving in correct ways from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. So it could also read,

“Understanding correct movement and doing the mobilizations from BASL are the first and most important steps in rebuilding and ingraining functional motor control, optimizing movement efficiency, maximizing force production and avoiding injury.”

To put it even more broadly -- “if you want to make correct motor control an automatic function, optimize movement efficiency, maximize force production, and avoid injury, read BASL and do what it says.”

It starts with spinal mechanics, but it also applies to the global movement picture here.

If you own the first edition and use it regularly, that’s a good start. If you don’t own the first edition or don’t use the one you have, you’re in luck because this is like missing out on the iPhone 3 then ending up with the iPhone 62.

So what’s new in the updated edition? How could it get anymore comprehensive?

  • 80 more pages
  • 50 more mobility techniques
  • an entire new chapter on body archetypes and the “tunnel”
  • Chapter highlights at the end of each chapter
  • Colored tabs on the sides of the pages making it easier to find what you’re looking for
  • New graphics and illustrations which make it much easier to understand
  • An entire section in the back of nothing but mobility prescriptions

The first edition was marketed towards doctors and healthcare professionals. This one is more directed to the layman -- or the person without an extensive bio-mechanical background.

Not only do I mobilize daily using this book as a guide, the handful of collegiate athletes I work with get a large dose of BASL several times per week. And the athletes that take it seriously and do the work are seeing MASSIVE gains in their mobility and ranges of motion which is translating to MASSIVE gains in their performance in the weight room and on the practice field.

The book is broken down into four parts:

Part I -- Principles and Theory

“Principles” as in the principles of optimal human movement. This section includes all the information you need to navigate the rest of the book. It must not be skipped over.  

Part II -- Categories of Movement

Dr. Starrett breaks down the three categories of movement which are designated by positions of high stability (PHS) and whether or not the connection is lost within the movement. For example, in an air squat you start from the top, go down to the bottom position and come back up without removing tension. In a squat jump, you start from the top, drop down to the bottom, come back up to the top, then the connection/tension is lost while you are in the air...but you need to land in a stable position. Those are two very different movements.

Part III -- Mobilization Techniques

This section starts with a list of tools you need to mobilize: bands, lacrosse balls, foam rollers, floss bands, etc…

And this will be the section of the book you probably use the most. It starts with Area 1: Jaw, Head and Neck, and ends with Area 14: Ankle, Foot and Toes. So, yeah, it’s comprehensive.

Part IV -- Mobility Prescriptions

This is a new edition and one that I am stoked about. Don’t want to have to go through Part III and decide which mobilizations to do on any given day? No worries. Got some knee pain? Check out the four knee pain prescriptions. Upper back pain? There’s a prescription for that. Hip impingement issues? Yup. One for that, too. The prescriptions give you the mobilizations to do, how long to do them, and a total time each prescription will take. It’s. Genius.

I recommend that everyone read the entire book straight through. But you don’t have to do that. Read Part I then use the rest of it on an “as needed” basis. Bottom line is this -- USE IT.

I can think of only one human on earth that shouldn’t be required to own this book -- Dr. Kelly Starrett...because he wrote it. Everyone else is on the hook.

Think about this: as glued up as your joints are today, that’s as mobile and flexible as you’re ever going to be from this point forward...unless you DO something about it. Don’t wait. 10-15 minutes a day of this stuff will change your movement patterns which will ultimately change your entire life.

Pre-order a copy today. Then go subscribe to Starrett’s YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/sanfranciscocrossfit

Starting on May 6, 2015, Starrett started a 14-day mobility challenge -- basically giving you a glimpse at some of the new programming.

You can also hear Starrett on the Simply Human Podcast, Episode 39 or find it on iTunes.

BECOMING A SUPPLE LEOPARD GIVEAWAY -- 2 BOOKS!!

OK -- now for the giveaway part. This post was linked on the Simply Human Facebook page. Like the page and share the post and you will be entered into a drawing.

This will also be on twitter. Follow @SimplyHuman52 on twitter and re-tweet the link, and you'll also be eligible to win. We'll do the drawing the day the book comes out -- May 19, 2015.

The other way you can win a free book is by signing up for the Simply Human Reset. Read about it here. The first person who signs up gets the other free book.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

I Have the Flu

So I have the flu. You know what rhymes with flu? Poo. Which is what I feel like.

I think many, many more people are exposed to the flu every year than actually GET the flu, but some people are able to fight it off. The people that fight it off probably have good sleep habits, eat human foods, for the most part, and move around some throughout the day.

That sounds like me typically. Except for the past few days:

  • I was at a business dinner late on Friday, then met my brother (in town from NYC) afterwards was up until past midnight and only got about 6 hours of interrupted sleep (thanks college dudes next door to us in the hotel).
  • The next day I went on a police ride along and didn't get in bed until 4 AM.
  • I got home late on Sunday night after watching the Cowboys lose to the Packers (an exceptionally stressful event).
  • Monday night I went to a friends house and (albeit under outdoor heaters) watched the national championship football game OUTSIDE in 32 degree weather.

I started feeling sick Tuesday. Big surprise. How am I fighting the flu? I made it until Tuesday around 4:30 before I took my first dose of any medicine (2 ibuprofen) which immediately made me feel 100% better. I've been drinking water with Nuun tablets (electrolytes) and sitting on my booty. I've made sure to keep taking my Nutreince multivitamins.

I am NOT drinking Sprite, or chicken noodle soup out of a can, or any other sort of nutrient-less snack. 

Stress is good in small doses. Not in heavy, chronic amounts.

Let your immune system work -- get good sleep, eat human food, move like humans are designed to move.

CALTON NUTRITION AND SIMPLYHUMAN TEAM UP FOR A HOLIDAY PACKAGE THAT COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

While supplies last, anyone who purchases a 21-day Simply Human Reset at a discounted price of $100 (down from $120), not only gets a t-shirt, some exclusive recipes from Laura Cross (ourfullplate.com), and emails from me for 21 days which include videos that will help you re-learn how to move....but you ALSO get your choice of either a 28-day supply of Nutreince ($55) or a bottle of Skinny Fat ($26) -- FOR FREE.

Purchase the Simply Human Reset for yourself or as a gift for someone else, here. The RESET is not designed to make you 100% healthy in 21 days or to drop 21 pounds in 21 days.  The RESET is designed to reset your palate, your movement patterns, and the way you think about a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. It's a path to your new, lifelong path!

Read testimonials here from people who have lived the RESET.

Regain control of your life and your health. Don't wait any longer. It's time...to RESET.

Sticks and Stones...

I’m a huge nerd and am just about done with the 5th book of the George R.R. Martin series, A Song of Ice and Fire — otherwise knows as “Game of Thrones” to all the insolent FOOLS who don’t realize that is just the name of the first BOOK and the HBO series, bahhha! (pretentious snort-laugh while I push my glasses back up my nose).

A phrase some of the characters use in the book is “words are wind”. The context is that words don’t mean anything — ACTIONS are the key.

Another phrase we’re all familiar with is “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This is a particularly good phrase for the youngest child (like me) to use on older siblings when mom and dad are watching to ensure that the aforementioned youngest sibling doesn’t get his face smashed in.

But wind can cause some serious damage. And words can scar.

to read the rest of this article visit Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo...

Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome -- by SimplyHuman Rick

If you've ever known a United States Marine, these are words you're probably familiar with. It's one of the unofficial mottos of The Corps and probably embodies the warrior ethos that separate Marines from us regular folk.

Now, I'm not a Marine, but some of the people who've impacted me the most over my professional life were, so I've heard this line thousands of times. It's pretty self-explanatory: when you hit a roadblock, you can choose to either curl up in the fetal position and cry about how life isn't fair, or you can evaluate the situation, examine your options, and figure out a way to move ahead.

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Stop Depriving Your Kids

Hey parents — here’s a newsflash…this just in:

Giving your kids sodas, candy, cakes, and cookies on a regular basis is deprivation. It’s depriving them of A HEALTHY, STRONG, VIBRANT FUTURE.

Withholding those things is only depriving your kids of future doctor appointments, clinic waiting rooms, dealing with bags full of prescription meds, obesity, diabetes, and host of other major problems that will affect them forever.

I posted this video on the Simply Human facebook page back on August 14 because I thought it was extremely powerful. Take 90 seconds and watch it real quick if you haven’t already.

Through the eyes of a young heart attack patient, the video shows you how he ended up on the operating table at such an early age.

And the video isn’t some science fiction or political propaganda. The video is absolutely, 100% dead on (pun intended).

We live in a culture today which hands out soda after sporting events — suckers after gymnastics — random candy at school for no good reason. It’s everywhere. It’s the norm.

And parents can be made to feel guilty or weird if they say, “thanks but no thanks” to the sweet, little old lady handing out peppermints at the mall.

To read the rest of this article please visit http://everydaypaleo.com/stop-depriving-kids/

Sleep vs. Academia

We are facing a huge conflict in our country. A battle is ensuing that is pulling our kids (and parents of school-aged kids) in two very distinct and disparate directions. This battle is putting our children in physical danger. It is harming our kids brain and physical development. It is making it more difficult for them to perform on tests.

What is this battle?

It is the fight between sleep and academia. And by “academia” here I’m talking about our public school system.

In the red corner we have sleep:

Weighing in at a whopping 9.5 hours a night.

It restores and builds muscle and connective tissue.

It solidifies memories and strengthens brain development.

It provides massive doses of energy and stimulates movement.

SLEEP!

In the blue corner we have academia.

Weighing in at a whopping 4.0 GPA.

It is vital to securing a successful future.

It is the foundation for critical and life-changing research.

It enhances the quality of life of everyone on earth.

ACADEMIA!

These two things really don’t seem like they should be at odds with each other. Seems like Academia would WANT Sleep in its corner to help it learn and test well and create new ideas.

But that’s not happening. Academia is beating the ever-loving snot out of Sleep. And it’s not even close.

To read the rest of this article -- please visit http://everydaypaleo.com/sleep-vs-academia/

Why Can't I Stay on Track?

Discipline and willpower.

Two things that come easy to some and are very elusive to others. Imagine two camps -- the discipline camp and the take-it-easy camp.

One camp has no trouble waking at 4 AM, going through a regimented morning routine, eating a healthy packed lunch while avoiding the office cake, going to bed at the same time every night, getting in their daily exercise, staying on top of bills and putting money away for a rainy day.

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Guest Post on EverydayPaleo.com

Sleep is important. We all need it. We are designed to love it. We can’t function very long without it.

Is there anything better than being super tired and having the opportunity to crawl into a warm, cozy bed, lay your head on a fluffy pillow and let your eyes close? No. There’s not.

Is there anything worse than not getting enough sleep and being awakened by an alarm clock or screaming baby and having to pull yourself out of slumber and get up. Very little is worse than that.

Because Sleep is awesome. If I could, I would go to sleep right now. All I do is dream of Sleep the whole night through. With the dawn I still go on dreaming of Sleep. Those are lyrics to a song that I have modified to include the word ‘sleep’. I have started capitalizing the word Sleep to give it the respect it deserves.

I write Sleep love notes. I buy Sleep birthday presents. If Sleep were a fair maiden, I would have married Sleep before I married my wife. I would make out with Sleep if that were possible.

To read the rest -- visit EverydayPaleo.com

What Exactly is Non-Human Food?

I talk to lots of people about implementing a healthy lifestyle into their surroundings. It's not just one thing or some magic pill but a collection of things: food, movement, sleep, and playing or enjoying.

Nutrition is a biggie since we have to do it to survive. You could technically survive by never moving and having erratic and irregular sleep patterns and never enjoying yourself (wouldn't be  fun life) but you HAVE TO EAT.

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You Don't Have to Run Marathons to Be Healthy

I haven't run more than 2 miles in just under a year. So why would I run 13.1 miles with absolutely ZERO conventional training?

Good question. Because I'm a complete idiot? That's debatable but not the reason I will present. 

It was an experiment. I wanted to see what would happen and how I would feel running that distance after only doing heavy resistance training, moving slow a lot (walking), and very short, intense interval training sessions - aka moving in ways that resemble natural human movement patterns.

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