19 Dec
2012

The Perfect Couplet Presents: The Smart People’s Guide to Living Optimally

The Perfect Couplet Presents:

The Smart People’s Guide to Living Optimally

 

A Six Part Seminar Series 

 

Our Sincere Belief…

Is that we can all enhance our daily existence, live longer, healthier lives, and find more joy and fulfillment if we are empowered with the proper knowledge and inspiration to make the correct and necessary changes. Our sincerest hope is that we can offer that information and be that inspiration.

Why CrossFit and What Else Are You Missing?

Crossfit is not just a fitness program but a life changing experience for so many, including us. Couch potatoes become athletes. Wall flowers become outspoken social butterflies. The meek become bold, the weak become strong, and new life is breathed into souls who thought their most exciting days had come and gone. Let’s not forget, people also transform their bodies and health for the better and never return to the inefficient “exercise” of their pasts. We want to explain why CrossFit works and what happens to us mentally, physically, and hormonally when we push past our self-imposed limitations and realize our full human potential.food_pyramid

Nutrition

Paleo. Zone. Vegan. Raw. Low Carb. Low Calorie and on and on and on…. Nutrition is by far the most important and often the most poorly managed piece of the health and wellness puzzle. Even those that know they should be avoiding grains and eating more fat don’t really know why. We want to explain what and when to eat to support fat loss and athletic excellence; why we recommend Paleo over traditional “clean eating,” why calories still count, and how to determine personal macronutrient breakdowns. Both you and your clients will understand how to use food to maximize overall athleticism and health.

 

Sleep and Stress

stress sleepContrary to popular belief, training hard and eating clean simply isn’t enough. This is especially true if both exercise and diet are not ideal. Your recovery, progress, and overall well-being are strongly tied to your sleep quality and quantity and the amount and severity of stress you face on a regular basis. Ensuring you get enough sleep and manage stress, both good and bad, is essential to athletic gains, body composition changes, and long term health. Autoimmune problems, cancer, weight gain, depression, and anxiety can all be linked to inadequate rest and unrelenting or unmanaged stress. Please allow us to teach you and your clients how to manage both your sleep and stress for optimal health and happiness.

Body Image

One only has to open a fashion or “fitness” magazine or watch television for a few minutes to realize that thin is in. Our culture attaches value and worth to a skinny, even emaciated image. This occurs to such a degree that many push their bodies to extremes, severely limiting calories and over-exercising to achieve a body that is “ideal.” In the United States, eating disorders are more common than Alzheimer’s disease (as many as 10 million people have eating disorders compared to 4 million with Alzheimer’s disease). However, our country has never been fatter or unhealthier as a whole. We personally know the mental and physical ravages of anorexia and bulimia and feel compelled to teach and inspire others to seek not to simply be skinny or to accept being fat as their inescapable destiny but to be strong, healthy, vibrant and accept their bodies’ natural abilities and attributes as unique and beautiful qualities to be nurtured rather than starved and suppressed.

 

Hormones

Our endocrine systems are unique to each individual, complex, and fascinating to study. It can be confusing to try and understand how our training, food, and other factors influence how and what hormones our bodies produce. However, we feel a basic understanding of the human endocrine system is vital to making smart diet, training, and lifestyle choices. You also need to be aware of why these issues are of great importance. It may surprise many to learn how outside influences, such as stress, exercise, cosmetics, medicines, sleep patterns, training, etc., can negatively affect our body’s production of hormones like cortisol, thyroid hormones, testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin, and how this impacts how you look, feel, and perform.

Olympic Lifting, Strength Work, and Gymnastics

AnnieThe pursuit of reaching maximum athletic potential requires that time be spent working on controlling external objects (lifting) and controlling one’s body through space and time (gymnastics.)  This is both a discussion and hands-on piece of work to help improve your knowledge and execution of some of the more difficult and demanding parts of the CrossFit movement pool.

Recovery, Mobility, and Supplementation

The more you do CrossFit the more you come to realize the importance of working on things OUTSIDE of the gym or after your workouts. Foam rolling, stretching, icing, supplementation, and many more components will be discussed and their importance in overall health and continued athletic progress explained.

 If interested in hosting one or more parts of the series at your facility please feel free to email: theperfectcouplet@gmail.com 

 

19 Dec
2012

More “Self-Love”in 2013!

loveyourselfIt’s good for you, really! We all need to participate in WAY more of it.

No, not that kind of self-love you bunch of pervs!  I’m talking about how you really feel about yourself. As the new year draws closer I know many of us are thinking about our resolutions. I am sure that for plenty of folks this will include losing weight, joining the gym, getting into your skinny jeans again, etc.. But, I want you to wait and think about something before you make those resolutions to change your diet, fitness routine, and maybe your entire life. What is it that losing weight will do for you? Do you think losing weight will make you finally stop hating the reflection you see in the mirror? Will it make you happier? Really? I know from experience losing weight doesn’t make everything come up roses and you won’t look at yourself and suddenly feel completely satisfied with how you look. Well, not until you’ve learned how to accept that you are not perfect. Nothing in nature is. Or, you could learn to see that you are perfect BECAUSE of you imperfections. Chuck and I were watching “Hungry for Change”  tonight and Dr. Christiane Northrup began talking about a 30 day challenge she thought everyone should do if they are struggling with their health, weight, self-esteem, and depression.  She explained that often times we engage in demeaning and negative self-talk that only undermines any heathy goals we may have. For example, how many times have you thought to yourself, “You fat idiot. You’re never going to wear a bikini in public again?” or “I f****** suck. Why can’t I just have some freaking will-power.” or” You’re so weak. Why can’t you press like Miss CrossFit Queen over there?”  Think about what would happen if a parent told their chid they were a fat, lazy, loser every day, multiple times a day, for years? That kid would have some major body image issues and lousy self-esteem and probably would either be obese or have a raging eating disorder. So WHY, WHY, WHY do we think this ok to do to OURSELVES? Although I workout and eat well,  I am still working on my “inner voice” and negative self talk. Myself is MEAN to me sometimes. With that in mind, maybe we should concentrate on a different kind of fitness resolution?  Maybe an “inner fitness” challenge would be appropriate? A challenge to learn to accept and love ourselves as we are right now? Not after you’ve lost 5,10 ,20, 50 lbs. No. Right now. Cellulite and all. Love and accept yourself now. I’m not saying you have to love everything about yourself but do accept your body as a whole and appreciate and love the good parts and acknowledge the parts you don’t love so much as part of imperfectly perfect you. I’m going to work on that in 2013 and I am hoping that perhaps some of you will do the same. Dr. Northrup recommends posting the phrase “I accept myself unconditionally right now” on your bathroom mirror and saying these words to yourself two times daily for 30 days. Theoretically, doing this will kick start a different type of inner dialogue. One that is kinder. One that isn’t so mean. You wanna give it a try? Who’s in?

accept.jpgI feel I should also say this does not mean you should not have other goals for yourself. I will always have health and fitness goals. However, accepting and loving yourself, imperfections and all, should probably be the first goal on your list that gets checked off.  Otherwise, those other goals will be so much less satisfying… and maybe even impossible to attain.

 

15 Dec
2012

Pork Tenderloin with Bacon Garlic Brussels Sprouts

On PlateAlright boys and girls, ready for a super tasty dish that requires very minimal time, effort, and dishes? I think I know the answer to that… I present, “Pork Tenderloin with Bacon Garlic Brussels Sprouts.” Here’s your shopping list:

  • 2.5-3 Pounds of pork tenderloin (total weight between 2 tenderloins)
  • 1 Pound of brussels sprouts
  • 6 Slices of thick cut bacon
  • Couple tablespoons of olive oil
  • Couple tablespoons of minced garlic
  • Sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, thyme, parsley, and rosemary

So, here we go. Turn the oven to 375 degrees and let it start to preheat. While that’s heating up, take those awesome strips of porky goodness and coat them lightly in olive oil and put them into your roasting pan. With the olive oil on there it’s time to liberally cover with sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, thyme, parsley, and rosemary.

Let that all do its thing and flavorize; time to hit those magic brussels sprouts.

Take your pound of sprouts and cut off any excess stem or gross spots. Once they are cleaned up and pretty, cut those badboys in half lengthwise and throw them in a bowl. Cut up your 6 slices of thick cut bacon into fairly decent sized chunks and toss them into the bowl with the halved sprouts. Sprinkle in a bit more olive oil, you know, just for good measure. Add to that your minced garlic and a bit of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Mix well and let the deliciousness meld flavors for a little bit.

Once the oven is heated to 375, spoon the bacon garlic brussels sprouts into the spaces in the pork tenderloin pan. Make sure you get all of the seasoned oil from the bowl onto the pork and sprouts.

Throw it in the oven and come back in 35 minutes. Don’t overcook it or the pig ghost will haunt your dreams!

Pull the fantastical roasting pan out of the oven, tent with foil, and let the pork rest for a bit while the juices redistribute.

After about 10 minutes, cut into little 1/4 inch medallions of melt in your mouth awesomeness and plate it up with a couple spoonfuls of the bacon garlic sprout mixture.

Revel in the fact that you only have a bowl, roasting pan, cutting board, spoon, knife, fork, and plate to wash. Take nap. Here’s the photo tour:

Seasoned and Waiting for SproutsSprouts Sprouts and Bacon Sprouts and Bacon Seasoned Ready to Cook Out of Oven

8 Dec
2012

My thoughts on Men’s Health’s Thoughts

Well, Vanessa is sitting in a classroom session relating to bio-identical hormones. That leaves me sitting at a Barnes and Noble with an iced coffee in hand and a laptop in my, yeah, you guessed it, lap.

(That picture is how I’m totally sure that I looked the entire time I wrote this. A great deal of this is relevant to knowing Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing.)

I needed to take a break from researching the legalities of Nurse Practitioner independent practices (so that Vanessa can open her own practice,) so I figured I’d swing on over to Men’s Health and see what one of the biggest health and fitness magazines had to say about “fitness.”

“5 Weight-Lifting Myths” (please note that at least the “-” in there is correct so that Men’s Health readers don’t confuse themselves with actual weightlifters; those who Snatch and Clean and Jerk.)

Let us begin:

“MYTH 1: GOOD FORM IS EVERYTHING IN THE GYM”

Dear Barnes and Noble employee, please excuse my poop in the center, brown recliner on the second floor. After reading that I was missing out on my gains by not using momentum in my lateral raises to create more torque in my shoulders, I promptly crapped my pants.

-Chuck

But really? Using momentum in an isolation movement for the specific purpose of increasing torque in one of the most unstable and easily damaged joints in the body is beyond stupid. This specific example aside, if you want to make the greatest amount of progress possible for the longest amount of time possible, good form is everything. Nobody has ever PRed a Snatch by lifting worse, nor has the famous “Dog Taking a Poop” pull position for a Deadlift worked out really well for someone’s spine over any significant amount of time. Chase performance and improvement, both of them come with efficient and technically correct movements.

I know that in regard to CrossFit specifically, the immediate counter argument will be, “What about them thar kippy pullups?! It’s like a dern seizure on a bar just to cheat a pullup!! Derp a der!!” No. You’re wrong and you have no idea what you’re talking about. We can delve into kipping pullups, how, and why in a separate article, but just know that there are some specifics to proper kipping with good form.

“MYTH 2: SLOW LIFTING BUILDS HUGE MUSCLES”

Well, they were correct in explaining that an explosive lift activates more type II muscle fibers and that they have more growth potential. Past that, there is a massive oversimplification of something that is dependent on not just bar speed but also intensity (in terms of %) and volume. The intent for bar speed is also a massive piece of this, but I promise that if you do want to be strapped with some big muscles, there are going to be quite a few slow lifts in your future. Not because you’re intentionally retarding your lifting speed, but because you are doing big, compound movements with something that is too heavy to move at any other speed than, “damn I wish this was over,” slowness.

“MYTH 3: IF YOU WANT TO GROW BIG, YOU HAVE TO LIFT BIG”

Okay, so the easy way out would be to just say, you’re wrong. However, they did get specific and talk rep ranges on this one. The argument/myth is that swollertrophy (getting big) happens with super heavy stuff at rep ranges of 5 or less. Their counter is that getting big happens with reps in the 6-15 range.

Moving from just the title, getting big will require some heavy lifting, but not specifically super heavy. The rep range under 5 reps should correspond to an intensity (in terms of % of 1 rep max) where your gains and improvement are coming primarily from CNS (central nervous system) adaptation and some myofibrillar hypertrophy, rather than sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
*Myofibrillar hypertrophy, think Olympic weightlifter. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, think bodybuilder.

The recommendation of 6-15 is a huge range. The reality is if you do want to get bigger, it is much easier with some type of real strength base. Specifically, I would recommend that people trying to get more muscular hang out in the 5-8 rep range as that generally contributes to getting both bigger and stronger. 8-12  is where I would advise most people to spend time if there only concern was getting bigger. I would also ask them why they were interested in getting bigger without getting better; aesthetics versus performance.  Past 12 reps, my personal experience has been that for most people intensity drops off to the point that the benefits aren’t really strength or size, but rather localized muscular endurance and lactate threshold.

“MYTH 4: RESTING BETWEEN SETS IS CRITICAL”

This hurts my brain. The entire article is based on lifting and not metabolic conditioning, so I know I’m not taking anything out of context. They recommend rather than rest, you perform “fillers” in-between your lifting sets. There are some very specific instances where this might be beneficial, but for actual lifting and strength work, I am going all in on a resounding NO!

If you just want to kill some time between lifting sets, hit some mobility or soft tissue work.

Go do some 5×5 Back Squats and tell me that you don’t feel a need to sit and feel sorry for yourself between sets that you dread. If the answer isn’t any different, then I promise that you aren’t squatting heavy enough.

“MYTH 5: POSTWORKOUT SHAKES BOOST MUSCLE GROWTH”

They are saying that the whole window of opportunity after a workout when muscles are primed to respond to protein, is simply not correct.

They’re wrong as ****!

Given that my iced coffee is empty and my brain hurts even more from this one, I’ll just leave you with my myth of the day:

“Men’s Health is a Good Place to Seek Fitness Advice.” 

If you really want to know more about why “Myth 5” shouldn’t be on their list, go read:

● Cribb, P., Hayes, A. Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy.Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2006. 38, 1918-1925.
● Kerksick, C., Harvey, T., Stout, J., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C., Kreider, R., Kalman, D., Ziegenfuss, T., Lopez, H., Landis, J., Ivy, J., Antonio, J. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2008. 3, 5-17.  http://www.jissn.com/content/5/1/17#B85
● Levenhagen, D., Gresham, J., Carlson, M., Maron, D., Borel, M., Flakoll, P. Postexercise nutrient intake timing in humans is critical to recovery of leg glucose and protein homeostasis. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2001. 280, E982-99.
References Section 2:
● Kerksick, C., Rasmussen, C., Lancaster, S., Magu, B., Smith, P., Melton, C., Greenwood, M., Almada, A., Earnest, C., Kreider, R. The effects of protein and amino acid supplementation on performance and training adaptations during ten weeks of resistance training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2006. 20, 643-653.
●Dangin, M., Boirie, Y., Garcia-Rodenas, C., Gachon, P., Fauquant, J., Callier, P., Ballevre, O., Beaufrere, B. The digestion rate of protein is an independent regulating factor of postprandial protein retention. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2001. 280, E340-348.
References Section 3:
● Cribb P., Williams, A., Stathis, C., Carey, M., Hayes, A. Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2007. 39, 298-307.
● Cribb, P., Williams, A., Hayes, A. A creatine-protein-carbohydrate supplement enhances responses to resistance training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2007. 39, 1960-1968.
● Tarnopolsky, M., Parise, G., Yardley, N., Ballantyne, C., Olatinji, S., Phillips, S. Creatine-dextrose and protein-dextrose induce similar strength gains during training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2001. 33, 2044-2052.
Reference Section 4:
● Rasmussen, B., Tipton, K., Miller, S., Wolf, S., Wolfe, R. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2000. 88, 386-392.
● Tipton, K., Ferrando, A., Phillips, S., Wolfe, R. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Journal of Applied Physiology. 1999. 6(4 Pt 1), E628-34.
References Section 5:
● Berardi, J., Price, T., Noreen, E., Lemon, P. Postexercise muscle glycogen recovery enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2006. 38:1106-1113.
● Tarnopolsky, M., Bosman, M., Macdonald, J., Vandeputte, D., Martin, J., Roy, B. Postexercise protein-carbohydrate and carbohydrate supplements increase muscle glycogen in men and women. Journal of Applied Physiology. 1997. 83, 1877-1883.
● Borsheim, E., Tipton, K., Wolf, S., Wolfe, R. Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise. American Journal of Physiology—Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2002. 283, E648-657.

 

3 Dec
2012

10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Fitness Before I Turned 13

1. The models you see in fitness magazines probably don’t even workout (hence the horrible form) and if they do it’s something along the lines of talking a “hike” (also known as a WALK) with their yorkie poo 2-3 times a week.

2. The models you see in the more “serious” magazines are nearly all on steroids, have an eating disorder, and probably aren’t really that strong (not that you cared much about being strong at 13.)

*Side note for 1 and 2; don’t ever forget the power of airbrushing, make up, a professional photographer, deliberate lighting, and Photoshop when looking at fitness, fashion, and celebrity pictures. None of those bitches really look that good.

3. The diets posted in any magazines are sure to make you gain weight due to it’s inclusion of grain products in nearly every meal and terrible macronutient ratios. Gotta make the USDA and those companies buying ads happy. Trust me, you don’t “need your whole grains.”

4. If you’re genetically predisposed to being built “like one of those rap guy’s girlfriends,”  you will never get rid of your quads and butt; one day you’ll be so glad you didn’t.

5. Your Dad was right. Guys like butts and thighs. Especially those that are capable of feats of speed and strength.

6. Physical strength is sexy, enviable, and will set you apart amongst a  sea of skinny girls and weak women.

7.  Extreme dieting will wreck your body, your hormones, your bones, and cause damage it will literally take decades to undo.

8. You should take more gymnastics classes.

9. Cellulite has very little to do with how fit you are. You can (and will) have visible abs and still have cellulite on your legs. Some of the fittest women on the planet have cellulite. Put on your shorts. Get over it.

10. Do something athletic to get better at it, not just to “workout.”  Focus on performance and the body will follow. Guys love athletic women and the sense of accomplishment that you get from doing something that 99.9% of your peers can’t do is amazing. Doing a real pullup is a much better way to be attractive to an athletic guy than just being another skank in Baby Gap sized clothing.

What would you have told your pre-teen self? Tell us here or on FaceBook

 

 

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