Procrastinator’s Dilemma: The Biggest Health Problem Today

Wake up.  Brush your teeth.  Floss.  Shower. Get the kids up.  Get breakfast.  Make other meals.  Get dressed.  Do your makeup (for women). Drive to work.  Run the errands.  Go to the bathroom.  Work a full day.  Meditate.  Train.  Work on a hobby.  Help the kids with their homework.  Read a book.  And on, and on, and on.

With all these demands, it is no wonder most of us cannot find time (or other resources) to pick the right foods or train the right way or just fit in some sport and play.  It is this overload on our time occurring without the physical component that leads us into being overweight, stiff, tired, in pain, cardiovascularly incompetent slugs.

I ran into this absolutely great talk to some grad students from a Canadian college professor on procrastination.  He’s been studying it for quite some time.  I’ve been studying it for years with all of you….and, of course, myself.

Watch the video below if you have time.  However, I am going to give a quick point of view on this below.  I know.  It’s funny that I  am talking about time management and posted an hour long video.

Laziness?….Resource management?  Laziness has a purpose.  Laziness is embedded in all of us.  It is an instinct.  It is an instinct to utilize our energy from our food and our time as the limited resources that they are.  We forget that paleo man had to reserve his resources for only the most valuable of activities such as hunting, gathering, sex, travel, and defense.  Procrastination is one technique we use to make sure that we utilize resources optimally.

The answer.  Our dilemma is that we hold this instinct yet live in a resource rich environment.  Acting pro-actively and methodically by setting goals, pre-determining high impact activities, listing our resources, identifying risks, and pre-determing mitigations for those risks is the way to just “do” rather than overthinking every task.  Make habits that work from this cycle.  Thinking takes time and energy.  This process automates the process.  Tactical analysis on the front end eliminates over-thinking  and procrastination on the back end.

Send me an email to comment or ask a question: rootfit@gmail.com.  I get too much spam to look at the comments.

Jason Root, MS, CSCS

Phenotypic Design: A Different View on Training

phe·no·type
ˈfēnəˌtīp/

noun

BIOLOGY
  1. the set of observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment.

As most of you know, I just finished a master’s in biomedical diagnostics.  The degree program has a weighted emphasis on molecular diagnostics or genetic testing.  When we are thinking about our physical performance and health conditioning, we would likely first, think of more ‘state’ diagnostics.  These tell us our body’s current ‘state’ or condition prior to the genetic dispositions we hold.  After all,we can’t change our genetics.

Well, I agree that state diagnostics are of paramount importance.  We should be able to know how our body’s cardio-respiratory, balance, mobility, metabolic, hormonal, and a host of other human systems and processes are working.   This is primary to our cause for bettering our health and physical performance. However, with the definition above, isn’t our state just our phenotype….how our body is responding to the environmental stimuli versus the blueprint God or nature gave us?

With that in mind, shouldn’t we know the blueprint as well.  After all, if we can’t lose weight, shouldn’t we know whether we have genes that determine whether we metabolize certain foods in a certain way.   Maybe a vegan, or paleo diet would work for us.  Maybe, we haven’t tried it because we don’t know.

Or, maybe I am an athlete competing in triathlons.  But, I have a gene that sets limits on cardiovascular performance but have another that says my strength potential is AMAZING!!!  For an example, look at the guy who plays the Mountain from game of thrones.  He was a skinny basketball player until he tried heavy lifting.  Now, he’s a house and competes in strong men competitions.

We are tempted to think we would all know this via life’s trial and error.  But, is this true?  The Mountain may not have ever tried lifting unless encouraged for some reason.  You may not have either.  In order to find our human potential for development, it is very advantageous to know what we are made of.  We can shoot for our limits of potential more easily if we know what our predestined potential is without the trial and error.  We can, possibly, keep from running ourselves in circles with fad diets and exercise programs.  We may be able to really identify how we metabolize meat or carbs or gluten.  We may be able to find that we have a great potential for performance in one aspect or a poor one in another that we need  to address because it will effect our health in the long run.

Just food for thought today,

Jason Root, MS, CSCS

Client Feedback: LF

Client Feedback Questionnaire

What’s your name (initials are fine)? A:  LJ

What is your age? A: 45

What is your gender? A: female

What was your reason for coming into our program on day one?

A:recommendation from my (healthcare practitioner) for conditioning to help my multiple sclerosis

What was your condition on day one (both health and fitness)?  Did you have a health condition?  If so, please describe.

A:I have MS and I have some trouble walking

Can you describe what your experience has been?  What are your results (health and performance)?

A:I am able to walk a bit better and stand on my feet a bit longer than before I began training with Jason

How have things changed for you since you started the program?  Do you look different?  Do you feel different?

A: I have more energy which makes all the difference in the world.

How has your body functioned differently?  How are is your health different?  Were there any landmarks you’d like to share?

A: for the first time in 3 years I have enough energy and leg strength to walk my son to preschool.  It’s not a long walk for most people but for me, it is.  I have never done it but instead choose to drive.  But two weeks ago I did it for the first time and it was a wonderful feeling! I couldn’t wait to see Jason and tell him my good news.  And when I told my husbnad and my kids that I walked their baby brother to preschool they couldn’t believe it.  They were so happy for me.

How has the process been for you?  Is it difficult, easy, fun, etc?

A: Sometimes it is difficult but I like that.  I have worked with a traditional physical therapist for over 5 years and they are always so afraif of me falling or losing my balance they don’t challenge me enough.  They also don’t watch me and pay attention to my every move the way Jason does.  Jason pushed me from the first session and had me doing things I never thought I could do.  It was wonderful!

What advice would you give to someone beginning this program?

A:I would say trust Jason.  He goes about training with a holistic approach and it really makes a difference.  He is very present during the sessions and really pushes you to your max without being so aggressive that you never want to return.  He also does assisted stretching during my sessions which I absolutely love!  He is the best stretcher I’ve ever worked with and that has helped with my mobility as well.

Foundational Movement Patterns: Importance to Health and Performance

What are they?   Foundational movement patterns or developmental are patterns of movement developed through childhood in a natural human environment.  These include, but are not limited to: crawling,  walking, running, climbing, throwing, swimming, fighting.

Effects on the body?  The effects on our lives are the obvious abilities that a human being should have physically.  If you are deficient in any one of these, you should revisit it’s development.  In terms of how practicing these affect the systems of the body, these are the foundations of cardiovascular conditioning, athletic conditioning, and strength.

What happens when we neglect these movements?  When we neglect these movements, we end up with pain, cardio-respiratory conditions, metabolic disease, immune disorders, and depression/psychological disorders.

How to integrate into a program?  Foundational movement patterns are the basis of a conditioning program.  They are the ‘foundation’ that the rest of the program is built on.  Every level of conditioning utilizes them.  The intensity and type of movement is the question.  If entering back into any training program, just practicing light walking, crawling, and swimming (if possible) are a great way to re-establish this foundation.  This is the time it may be useful to use a pedometer or step counter.

What not to do.  Do not start an intense program of development such as a bootcamp or heavy circuit based program unless these can be accomplished without pain and with a base level of performance!

 

The Best Location to Train for Your Conditioning Goals in 2017

Hey folks, happy Tues!

Today’s topic is training location and resource management in your conditioning program.  I know what you’re thinking: “Training location?  Don’t you train at the gym?”  The answer may surprise you.  For my clients, the answer is……. “Some of the time.”  My clients will actually utilize several different locations during a week/month/year depending on their programming and lifestyle needs.

So, if not the gym, where do I train?  Well, the fact is that you can train practically anywhere.  Each location has advantages and disadvantages.  The considerations for each location are: the resources needed (equipment, space, support services) for your conditioning program, the resources needed for the location (time/money/mental energy/etc), what the location gives back to us and simply what we like most.

First, let’s take a look at each resource and what it means for us.

  1. Time/Proximity: if it takes more time to get to a location, change, train, shower, etc than we have to allocate, the location is moot as we will not be training at all for lack of time.
  2. Money: Some locations cost more than others.  Some gyms cost quite a bit and, if more than our monthly budget will not be able to be used.
  3. Needs of a program: If one is participating in a specific type of training (for example: Olympic lifting), then one needs certain equipment.  If a location does not provide this, then we cannot train here.
  4. Discipline and Environment: The more we enjoy a location, the less mental work it will take for us to do our conditioning.
  5. Space:  Our time to condition our bodies is, for most, a time to focus on ourselves.  If we are crowded, our attention will be drawn toward the crowd negating the benefit of internal focus we are trying to cultivate.
  6. Social:  To some, one benefit of a particular space is the interaction with a specific group of people.

Now, let’s take a look at each type of location and analyze the costs and benefits for each.

  1. Commercial Gyms:  These gyms can take time to get in and out of.  For space, especially with the 9-5 crowd, they can get crowded during certain times of day.  The expense can vary greatly.  The higher end luxury facilities can go for up to $200/mo and the lower end facilities $20/mo. For general programming needs, the equipment is usually pretty standard but is new and shiny.  For specific programming needs, you will need to shop around.  These can offer a mix of people for social interaction.  There is a variety of support services that some may like.  There commonly exists a sales culture in most of these that may turn some people off.
  2. Studios:  Great for social interaction.  The team mentality of some of the circuit based gyms and programs is great.  They are usually very specific toward training process, so are not very dynamic with respect to individual programming.  Even ‘personal training’ studios can lack variety for the standards of the equipment and personnel.  They are the most expensive option.  Time is dependent on the proximity to the user and the facility itself.   They can be spacious or not depending on the setup.  For discipline, they take the mental part down a bit as they usually provide an individualized or general program (again, depending on the focus of the facility) to the user.
  3. Neighborhood gyms.  These are usually great for social interaction (as they are in the community), easy on the wallet, have a somewhat of a team aspect, and take little time to get to.  They usually have a perfunctory, general, but usable set of equipment.  I find them less crowded and less sales/minded than large commercial facilities.  The drawback is the basic non-specific equipment for different styles of training.
  4. Home Training.  Can be expensive to set up.  But, after the upfront costs, will have only upkeep costs.  For time/proximity, these have obvious advantages.  Space is great as it is up to you and what you have available.  Most back yards, basements, garages, and extra rooms are adaptable.  Programming is up the the user, their equipment budget, and their needs vs. space available.  You won’t have very much in the way of strength machines for space concerns.  The drawbacks can be lack of social interaction and separation of ‘gym time and space’ from other life aspect such as working from home, kids, and household duties.
  5. Outdoor parks and facilities.  These are great for specific types of training (body weight, athleticism, functional training), fresh air, a connection with the outdoors, free space, and little to no expense.  However, it can be a challenge to create/develop a program and only fits with specific types of programs (no Olympic lifting here).  It can take a bit of discipline, could lack social interaction, and is weather dependent.

So, there you have it, folks.  Those are the considerations when looking at locations for your conditioning needs.  If you do an in-depth analysis in the very first stages of beginning a program of development, then you can avoid the location specific pitfalls and hurdles that will keep you from attaining your conditioning goals this year.

Have a great year and meet your health, function, and performance goals!

Jason Root, CSCS

 

The Six Nutrients and a Sample Meal Program

Hey everyone!

For those of you who work directly with me, you’ve gone through our five rules of nutrition and how to follow them.  But, I want to give a slightly different perspective on this.   I want you all to look at nutrition strictly from the point of view of the six nutrients while giving you an example of a meal menu that optimizes these nutrients with easy to make choices at home.

The 6 nutrient categories are divided as such along with their main functions:

Macronutrients (1-3)

  1. Protein:  development and support of body tissues
  2. Fat:  Long term and stored energy
  3. Carbohydrates: Short to medium term energy

Micronutrients (4-5)

  1. Vitamins: Organic molecules supporting multiple body functions
  2. Minerals:  Inorganic molecules supporting multiple body funtions

Water (6)

Sample meal program totaling 4-6 meals/day

Snacks (pick 2-3/day and drink a glass of water)

  1. Apple w/ mixed nuts or almonds
  2. Banana w/ peanut butter
  3. Carrots w/ string cheese
  4. Yogurt (organic from grass fed cows and plain…..NO ADDED SUGAR OR FLAVORS) w/ berries
  5. Micro-nutrient shake
    1. w/ (greens) spinach, kale, etc plus (fruit) banana, berries, etc plus (some protein/fat)  protein powder or peanut butter
  6. Oatmeal w/ almond butter
  7. Tuna on a romaine lettuce leaf for wraps w/ carrots

Meals (pick 2-3/day and drink a glass of water)

  1. Egg/Veggie scramble
    1. Eggs
    2. Veggies and stuff
      1. peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, etc
  2. Salad
    1. greens
      1. spinach, kale, mixed greens
    2. protein
      1. beans, turkey,  chicken, fish, cheese
    3. fruit
      1. raisins, tomotoes, avocado, etc
    4. Vinaigrette or vinegar and oil
  3. Meat and Veggies
    1. Meat
      1. Fish, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb
    2. Veggies
      1. mixed, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts
    3. Root veggie or grain (optional and more seldom)
      1. pototoes, rice, quinoa, very small amount of pasta
  4. Eggs w/ a piece of fruit
    1. Quick prep, especially if you hard boil and peal the eggs beforehand
  5. Sandwich (seldom)
    1. Bread of choice (light on this…get a small sandwich)
    2. Meat
    3. Veggie
    4. light on the condiments
  6. Poke**

Hope this is some good, quick info that helps you stick to a plan that is easy to execute, folks.  To track your calories and nutrients, use myfitnesspal.  Report on my page on the ‘client portal’.

Don’t forget to have a beer and a burger or slice of pizza on the weekend (These are the sanity nutrients!).

Image result

**This really is under the salad category (Hawaiian) with rice optional.  But my girlfriend makes it AWESOME.  I thought I’d include it as a separate option as it uses fish as a base more than green leafy veggies.

Thanks for reading!

Jason Root, CSCS

Laird and Breathing

Hey everyone!

Today’s post is a reference to a fantastic video I came across on YouTube with Laird Hamilton.  For those who don’t know who this guy is, Laird is one of the best surfers in the world (arguably ‘the best’).  He invented tow in surfing to ride waves 80 to 120 feet high!  When it comes to development, no one is better to follow than Laird.

Here he is talking about a breathing program from another intense dude named Wim Hof.  To learn about him, search his name and interview with Joe Rogan after this video.

Before you watch, keep in mind these questions about the training:  What is the importance of breath control? How can different techniques of breathing be used for different purposes?  Is our current paradigm/mindset of training in the community the most healthy one?  How can focused stimuli beat ‘hard’ work?  What is your mindset on development….practical, scientific or otherwise?  What are some different ways to create mental focus (presence) in training?

Ask these about sports psychology:  What is the nature of competitiveness in sport and training (is it the most effective method for growth)?  How can comradery help growth?  Think about the nature of courage along with knowing boundaries.

Lastly, there is a lot that is good ‘food for thought’ philosophiess that lie just a bit outside the scope of the subject matter that we teach.  But, it is great to think about and consider, never the less.

Have fun!

Jason Root, CSCS

Talk Nerdy to Me!!!

Hello there, ladies and gents!

If you’ve read this blog before, you know how much I respect great research.  Great research is what backs the reasoning for the actions we take in performance and lifestyle.  One of my favorite researchers is Dr. Rhonda Patrick.  Instead of giving you a summary on this video as I usually do, I want you to ask the following questions as you watch:

1)  What is the importance of Vit D and other micronutrients and how do I get the proper amount?

2)  What diagnostic/testing tools/methods should I use for baseline biomarkers?

3)  How does fasting effect my body for longevity?

4)  What is the value of heat therapy?

5)  What is the value of exercise?

6)  I don’t lift heavy things in my normal life.  Why work to maintain muscle mass?

7)  What is the value of sleep?

8)  What is the value of meditation?

9)  How would a coach help in guiding me through each of these?

Pay attention to the mechanism for each of these.  “It feels good.” Or “It helps me live longer.” are not the answers you want.

Don’t try and understand every little thing she says.  She’s a biologist.  You’re likely not.  Just get the gist.  Also, if you don’t have a full hour to listen in the car/while making dinner/etc or view at home, at least listen to the summary and question/answer portion starting at minute 44.

Have fun!     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvNLNl7oJnM

Jason Root, CSCS