Posts

Post 58: KettleBell Training Comes To M Factor Fitness

 Hello Comrades, Kettlebell training has crossed over from the Soviet Union to the shores of M Factor Fitness!

( I realize the Soviet Union is no more but since this originated in the Soviet Union, I wanted to be accurate. Plus it makes a catchy headline. )

It is about time. I have been reading about kettlebells from the mid-nineties in Muscle and Fitness and the magazine Bill Phillips used to put out. I forgot the name of it but it was a great magazine. If memory serves, the guy that really introduced kettlebells to America was Pavel Tsatsouline. A man ahead of his time. Really about 15 years ahead of his time. I hope he is making a nice living off of this because he is the true founder of this movement. But at the time it looked kind of silly to me, so I ignored it.

Anyway, kettlebell training may sound intimidating because it is. You are swinging a cannonball with a handle all around your body so you should have some concern. As always, the celebrity fitness gurus are marketing this to beginners and people who have no business starting out with kettlebells. But this will lead to another rant, so let’s move on. Suffice to say, don’t start an exercise program with them. Work into them. They are a great tool for functional fitness but you need some functional fitness before you should use them. If that makes any sense.

Why did I start training with Kettlebells? I was looking for a way to improve my squats and explosive power. The cool thing about the kettle-bell as opposed to the dumbbell is the concentration of mass. A dumbbell is balanced with weight on each side of the handle, which makes it wider and more cumbersome. The kettlebell has the weight beneath the handle so it is more compact and easier to swing.

The act of swinging a weight has an effect of tying together muscles by making every exercise a compound movement. My main purpose was to work what is called the posterior chain. These are the muscles from the calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower back , mid back and traps.
From a functional training perspective I was strong in the quads but weak in the glutes. In fact my hamstrings had started taking over a lot of the glute work, meaning they were always tight and fatigued. This really affected my ability to go heavy with back squats.
1. I felt I could never go as heavy as I wanted.
2. When I did go heavy, I always ended up getting injured, hip flexor strain, hamstring pull, lower back pain etc…

So my reason to get into kettlebell training was to coordinate and strengthen the posterior chain muscles to create more balanced power. And it has really been a blessing for me to do this. Not only do I feel stronger, I walk in a better alignment and I just feel more balanced.

So I decided to introduce basic kettlebell exercises to some of my clients this month. Remember, the people I like to train are between 35 and 60 and many of them suffer from back, knee and hip pain. So we are starting off with a 15 lb. kettle-bell and doing very basic but hard exercises; swings, deadlifts, rows and stiff legged deadlifts. The results so far have been fantastic.

I will keep you posted next month.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 48: Is Eating Raw Chicken Good For You?

So my daughter was watching Wife Swap on TV yesterday and I saw an incredible episode. You know the premise, two couples switch spouses and get exposed to different ways of life. Pretty entertaining show. I was trying to find the episode number but the Lifetime website didn’t list it.

This one had a couple from rural Iowa who ate nothing but raw food. I am not talking about the run of the mill eat some raw vegetables type. This is a family who eats:

  • Raw Vegetables
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw milk
  • Raw beef
  • Raw Chicken.
  • Aged ( rotten ) meat

Here are some other goodies

  •  They don’t drink water because it is a ” solvent” and dehydrates you.
  • No cleaning chemicals. In fact, no chemicals at all. In fact, no cleaning at all.
  • No hand washing.
  • Rudimentary bathing at best.
  • They brush their teeth with a mixture of butter and clay.
  • No Doctors.

Really, I am not making this up. In fact the wife was bragging that she doesn’t have any formal education and has learned all this on her own. She also brags that since they have been eating this way, her husband is growing his hair back. I saw no evidence of his hair growing back or her education but that is not the point.

These people have been doing this over a year. They had two kids and they are doing the same thing. How are they still alive? I mean I get the macrobiotic thing but raw chicken? I have eaten undercooked chicken by accident and spent the next couple hours of my life in the bathroom. Is this something you build up to? Either die or build up immunity?  The reality is that they didn’t look healthy but they didn’t look unhealthy either. Which is another mystery to me. I would think to put yourself through such torture, there has to be a bigger payoff than looking and feeling normal. Show me how you can shoulder press a cow. Do squats with a pig across your shoulders…..something!

Of course the wife from the other couple takes them to a restaurant to eat cooked food. The dad and the kids enjoy it but feel sick the next day. Predictable. But if they have such a fine-tuned immune system, why can’t they eat a hamburger?

She also takes them to a doctor for a check-up. This is the disappointing part of the show because they didn’t disclose the results. Obviously they weren’t dying but I would have wanted to see the blood work to see if they had developed a super immune system. Living in rural Iowa, I can’t imagine you get exposed to the same amount of pathogens as in a city.

Oh yeah, I just remembered this nugget. When they get nervous or stressed they drink a raw egg. (?)

So please don’t look to me for answers on this. I am hoping someone has more information on how someone can eat rotten meat and raw poultry and live to tell about it. This may be another example of the fallacies of modern life. Is there any value to this? Once primitive man discovered fire, he started cooking his meals. Primitive man may have been primitive but he was no dummy.

One more thing. Please don’t try this at home. I am not recommending this. Well, I am recommending you eat cooked meat but don’t try this raw chicken stuff.

 

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 40: Fast Friday Workout

I am right in the middle of two appointments so forgive me if this is quick and to the point. This is a great workout if you have about 20 minutes and need to hit the entire body. Do this as a circuit and only rest after one round is complete.

 As always, do as many reps as you can. Push hard and keep your heart rate up. If you don’t have some of the equipment listed, get creative and substitute. If you can do it for a pizza, you can certainly do it for a workout. ( it is Friday after all ).

Equipment :
 Bench
 Light Dumbbells for flyes
 Pull Down machine or chinning bar.
 Heavy dumbbells for rows.

Exercises: Do in order and don’t take too much time going from exercise to exercise.

1. 25 Alternating lunges
2. 25 fast squats.
3. 25 Ab circles
4. 25 Leg Raises
5. Flyes on a bench- as many as you can.
6. Close grip bench press using the same dumbbells. As many as you can.
7. Push-ups – as many as you can.
8. Pull-downs or chin-ups- as many as you can.
9. One arm rows- at least 25 each side.

Take a short rest and repeat. for 3-5 rounds or for as much time as you have.

if you are feeling good, time each round and try and beat the previous time.

There you have it. Try it and let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend!

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

A Cure For Hip Flexor Pain You Won’t Believe.

Hip flexor pain is a side effect of our sitting culture.

So let’s talk about this and see if we can’t get you a little relief.

Just so we are all on the same page, this is the area I am talking about.

Description

This is not an exhaustive guide to hip flexor pain. What I want to do is give you some insight into how I approach a client in pain.
I have a client in her 50’s who would sporadically develop pain in the right hip flexor. Within a day she would also experience knee pain on the same leg. This case was a total mystery. It makes sense in that the hips and knees are linked. If one is out of alignment it will affect the other. Sometimes we would run and it would hurt the next day, some days it wouldn’t. We could do a hard leg workout and it would be fine. Some days we would do an upper body workout and the hip flexor would be sore the next day. See what I mean? No real rhyme or reason to it.

As a trainer specializing in corrective exercise, I can’t let this stuff go on. I need to find out what the root problem is and get her some relief.

Important Concept:

When you have a pain like a hip flexor pain, it seldom seems to be the actual hip flexor. You feel the pain there but that is the effect. The cause will be somewhere up or down the muscle chain. In this case I want to take a look at the lower back and down the back and front of the leg. Something is causing the hip flexor to tighten up. So either a neighboring muscle isn’t going it’s job and the hip flexor is being called upon to help out or something is out of whack and pulling on the muscle. Make sense?

Foam Rolling and Smashing techniques are great ways you can start tracing the root cause. I have a page of free videos here at Rehab 101 you can watch to learn how to do this. You are looking for “hot Spots” or “knots” that you are going to work out.

Here is the link to my Rolling and Smashing YouTube Playlist

Ways to get Temporary relief

  • Heating pads work well although this is a tricky place to place it!
  • Ibruprofen will help manage the pain. But remember the idea is not to mask the pain  but to fix it. Pain relievers only mask the pain, they don’t cure it.
  • Rolling and Smashing will give you instant relief and may actually fix the issue. See the free videos here.
  • After rolling and smashing, some good stretching can help. Here are some of my favorite stretches.

 So the first thing is to try and change one thing at a time to get to the root of the matter.

Check running shoes.

This is the number one culprit for knee and joint pain. Running shoes are specialty shoes meant to redistribute the force from your foot hitting the pavement. running shoe companies say the support will start breaking down after 6 months to a year. The second issue is if the shoe is the right running shoe for you. For example. some shoes offer more stability for heavier runners. Some have a raised side of the heel help offset over-pronation. The wrong type of shoe can exaggerate your imperfect heel strike and make matters worse. Her shoes were old so she went to a running store, had her stride analyzed and bought a new pair of shoes. This helped but didn’t fix the issue.

 

Poor exercise form

Nope, this wasn’t it. Squats were in alignment, the knees tracked over the ankle, body weight was back. By the way, do you have any questions on how to do squats and lunges properly? Here is a page with the best leg exercises with detailed instruction on how to do them properly.

We started doing more bridges and glute exercises just in case there was a muscle imbalance. again, you can see the exercises here. These included bridges and Romanian Deadlifts. Working the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) allow the hip flexors to relax.

Sleeping posture.

Sound crazy? Maybe but pay attention to this. She was waking up in the middle of the night with the hip flexor pain because she was sleeping with her hips in the flexed position. This is a hard habit to change but it can be done. Now this was irritating the hip but it still wasn’t the root cause.

Everyday Shoes

The only other thing left was to look at what kind of shoes she wore during the day. Usually they were tennis shoes but occasionally they were high heel boots. Aha! But here is the tricky thing. The shoes never hurt while she was walking in them. it was only the next day that the hip pain would start.

Here is what I think was going on. Flat shoes tend to mimic your foot the best. When you start raising the heel as in boots, running shoes and heels it changes you center of  gravity. The raised heel automatically tips you forward. So if you don’t want to fall forward you need to correct your posture by leaning back. This causes the calves to stay slightly flexed. The quads and hip flexors are also put under tension as they need to stabilize the knee and hip joint. This will also tend to cause the person to hyper-extend the back slightly causing lower back pain.
Add to this that she naturally walks a little duck-footed (toes outside of the heels) and we figured out the problem. She stopped wearing the boots and the pain went away 100 %. Go figure.

Takeaways

Sometimes the pain you feel can be caused from something as innocent as the way you sleep, pillow height, choice of shoes or socks.

  1. Start with the most obvious and common causes and work towards the lesser and more bizarre causes.
  2. Do this one step at a time so you know what is actually causing the pain. if you change too many things, you will never pin the source down.

I hope this helps. Realize that I am not a trained Doctor, just someone who likes to fix these things. These things just don’t happen and it is important to get well asap before one pain leads to another pain.

 

Hopefully you enjoyed the article!

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Post 32: Workout: Circuit Total Body

 I have no idea on how to name these. It is Friday and I am tired but I want to give you some ideas for your workouts this weekend. I will probably come back to these posts and give them a name that is a little more descriptive but for now here you go.

 This one is part of a workout that went really well this morning. You need the following:

  • Exercise ball
  • Bench
  • Dumb bells

 Remember, this is a circuit so go from exercise to exercise quickly. Take a break at the end of the cycle. We are working on building muscle and upping your cardio. Don’t cheat yourself. Go fast and go hard.

I am working on taking pictures of the exercises to help you out if they are unfamiliar. Until then, if you aren’t sure about an exercise, google it. I will try and be descriptive. 

  1.  Split Squats- 25 each leg.
  2. Bench press with dumbbells- pick a weight you can do at least 10 reps with. Do as many as you can.
  3. Ab Crunches with feet on ball- at least 50. 
  4. Front raises with a dumbbell on your knees. If you do this right, you will feel it in your shoulders and core. Pick a weight that you can do 10-15 reps with. Again do as many as you can.
  5. Bicep curls on your knees with dumbbells- since you are on your knees, keep the core engaged as you do curls. Pick a weight you can do 10-15 reps and rep it out.
  6. Squat and hold against the wall- sumo style. This is feet wide apart and toes out. Beginners should hold at least 30 seconds. Advanced people should aim for 1-2 minutes. after the time expires, immediately do as many squats as you can to finish the legs off.
  7. Push-ups- as many as you can. If you start on your toes, move to your knees to get more reps in.
  8. Reverse Crunches- as many as you can. try to hold the crunch at the top for a second.
  9. Front raises- same as number 4.
  10. Bicep Curls- same as number 5.

 End of cycle 1. Repeat 3-5 times.
 remember to stretch as least 10 minutes at the end of this. Let me know how this works for you.

Also, visit me at http://www,mfactorfitness.com and enroll in my free M Factor Fitness University class.
As an incentive i am offering the Absolutely Abs E-Book by Dr. Fred Hatfield free. This is one of the best books period about working your abs and nutrition. Get on this and I will talk to you soon.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Post 31: A Crazy Way To Maximize Your Set

This is something I did with my clients this morning and I thought I would share it with you. When you train clients in their home you have to be creative with workouts. The is a technique that I use a lot. It is based upon the pre-exhaust technique that Joe Weider takes credit for but I believe Arnold actually was doing it before that. It also uses super sets and isotonic training. Anyhoo, these techniques are a way to fire off an insane number of muscle cells, leading to a more complete and quicker failure at the end of the set.

Is this something you want to do? Yup. Now this is not for beginners and it is certainly something you don’t want to do every time you train. But remember this, the more muscle fibers you can activate, the faster you will get in shape and the muscle will grow. So for ladies, you will get tone and strong faster and men, you will get stronger and bigger faster. M Factor students will recognize that this happens because women have more estrogen and men have more testosterone. Right? Right!

 Work these combinations into your next workout.

 Group 1: 25 side squats each side.  ( One foot on a step or bench )
               Squat and hold against a wall 30-60 seconds then squat as many reps as you can.
                Leg Curls with an exercise ball.

 Repeat 3-5 times and remember to change up your foot position each time ( normal, sumo or plie and narrow stances )

 Group 2: Dumbbell Flyes on a ball or on a bench   10 -15 reps
                Push-ups  – as many as you can on toes, then as many as you can on your knees.
                Need a little extra oomph? Add a set of dumbbell front raises after the push-up
                Need more? Add some dumb bell kickbacks after the front raises.

               3-5 rounds should cook the muscles.

Now here is what I need you to do.

  1. Try it out.
  2. Let me know what you think.

If you are in my area, I am ready to help you with your fitness goals in person. If not, let me help you over the Internet. Sign up for my free emails and E-books and I will make sure you get the body you want.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

Quickie Body Weight Workouts

Quickie Bodyweight Workouts are essential to getting in shape.

Why?

Because having quick workouts you can do without equpiment bridges the gap betweena full workout session and missing your training.

It is too easy to skip your training because you:

  • Don’t have enough time.
  • The gym is too far away.
  • The weather is bad.
  • It is too late.
  • It is too early

Everybody knows these excuses because everyone, including myself have used them.

So think of the quickie workout as a bridge between what you had planned and doing nothing.

Actually these workouts can be brutally hard if you push yourself.

So push yourself.

These are some screenshots taken from my online training program.

My online training allows you to train anywhere and anytime!

Beginner BodyWeight Workout

 

Quickie 1A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intermediate Bodyweight workout

Quickie 1B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced Bodyweight workout

Quickie 1C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If this looks like the type of workout that could get you in the best shape of your life, then click here

for more information on joining M Factor Fitness Online Training

For the ridiculously low price of $10/month you get:

  • free app download.
  • A bunch of different workouts
  • Over 100 exercises with HD video
  • Membership in my private Facebook Group
  • Full email access to me.