21

Jul

Love to run

Running, you either love it or you don’t.

My top 5 tips become a more efficient runner.

At the end of the day we were all born to run. I’m sure you’ve heard people say “You are going to ruin your knees from running” or “Humans aren’t designed to run long distance”

Well in actual fact, if you look back through evolution, humans evolved from the Ape-like ancestors where food did not come from the pantry, or from the supermarket or from take away. They had to hunt, gather and scavenge their food to survive. In order to live in this world, being able to run (and fast for that matter) was what would keep you being the fairest of them all. 

So, to skip through the years of evolution to where we are today, we are basically living in a world where we are sedentary. Where we no longer have to hunt, gather or scavenge our food which would require us to run lots KM a time to get our food. Now it is quite literally all at our fingertips. Because of this, when are required to run, it can feel unnatural or hard. We feel out of breath, like our lunges are burning. Or our joints hurt or overtime which can ofter result in us developing an injury. 

This is where I’m hoping my blog will help you to avoid feeling like you are “not a runner” 

I am totally guilty of saying it myself. It wasn’t until I really started reading about running and taking part in run workshops with video analysis, where I’ve really started to understand how I can be more efficient. Once I understood how to run, rather than just running it begins to feel effortless.

I am going to share with you  top 5 tips to become a more efficient runner. I will explain the tip, how to do it and why you should include it into your running session. 

TIP # 1 – Activation & Stimulation

The What – Activation and stimulation prior to running helps prepare the body for the run. It gives the joints, muscles and tendons a chance to loosen up, while increasing the blood flow and heart rate. The purpose is to replicate the movements you want to preform during the run. 

The Why – Activation prior to exercise, especially running is key to injury prevention. Spending 5-10mins activating the correct muscles groups will help you become more efficient. The correct muscle groups will be firing  therefore you wont be overloading certain muscles groups which cant contribute to injury. 

The How – 

Glute Bridge 2×10

Glute Bridge Bottom

Glute Bridge Top

Hip Hinge 2 x10 each side

Hip Hinge Front View

Hip Hinge Side View

Calf Raise 2×10 each side

Runner's Calf Raise

A-Skip 2x20M

A Skip 2

TIP # 2 – Cadence

The What – Cadence is the number of steps a runner takes per minute (SPM). Its the most common metric used to measure running form. 

The Why – The shorter the stride length and the quicker your stride rate, the faster and better you will run. If you have a low cadence, you will likely have a long stride. This is commonly known as ‘over striding’ Runners who over stride tend to lock their knees and slam their heels to the ground on every step. This will slow you down as it creates a bouncy gait, while also putting extra pressure through the joints and muscles. 

The How – By increasing your cadence you are moving your feet faster, you are changing the positioning of where your foot lands. It promotes your foot landing underneath you, in your centre of gravity. This naturally increases your turn over which means less energy moving up and bound from the bounding. 

Ideally you want to be aiming for at last 180 steps per minute. Set a timer for 1 minute and without changing your running pace count every step with that minute. From there you can adjust your cadence. 

TIP # 3 – Body Positioning 

The What – Body positioning can often be overlooked, as many people believe we all have our own running style. This is correct but there are tips to help us become more efficient in the way we position our body. 

The Why – Running with good body positioning will help eliminate injury and also improve your efficiency over time. 

The How – Running tall; by keeping you spine long with your shoulders back/relaxed and leaning forward from the ankles rather than breaking from the hips.

Torso facing forwards and stable; this will help eliminate wasted energy from the hips/head/arms bouncing from side to side. Keeping everything parallel to each other.

Stay relaxed throughout the body; keep the muscles groups which are not directly involved in running relaxed such as the hands, shoulders, neck, jaw and facial muscles.

TIP # 4 – Strength Training

The What – Also know as cross training in a runners training plan, where weighted or body weight exercises are used to help strengthen the joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. 

The Why – Unfortunately, it is common for runners to avoid strength training in their program as there is a theory they’ve been taught they just need to run to get faster or improve their distance. That incorporating strength training will bulk them up and eventually slow them down. The main benefit for strength training for runners is for injury prevention. It helps improve structural weakness in the body and can actually eliminate the chance of overuse injury. 

The How – Choosing a program with compound exercises which target multiple muscle groups at once such as squats, deadlifts, chin ups, overhead press and bench press are a good start. 

TIP # 5 – Recovery & Maintenance

The What – Just like you would keep up regular maintenance on your car to help it run smoothly, it is importance to do the same with your body. Recovery from running can be a number of different modes so it is important not to just stick with one method. Recovery begins from the moment the run is finished until the next session. It can play a huge role in the performance of the next session.

The Why – Keeping up the recovery and maintenance will enhance our performance as our bodies are well rested and refuelled. It keeps our joints and muscles mobile to eliminate the chance of injury.

The How – Stretching, foam rolling, trigger point, compression, good nutrition, sleep, flexibility and mobility are many of the modes I use and would recommend to recover from running. 

In conclusion there is a real beauty to running as it can be done anywhere all you need is a pair of runners. There are so many truely amazing places to run and the sights you see on foot can be pretty spectacular. 

Being persistent with with running technique will be the key to improving efficiency. This takes time but making small changes can make a big difference in the big picture. 

I hope this blog has given you some key points to take away and hopefully help with you becoming a more efficient runner just like it has helped me.

Remember we were all born to run.

Happy running,

Jaimie Lee

7

Jul

Weightlifting guru and all round awesome guy Lester Ho speaks to Jane Erbacher about all things lifting.

Jane was super nervous about this episode before recording as she was familiar with @lesterhokw The Training Geek only from afar and was well aware of his reputation.

As a result she’s a bag of nerves for the 1st 5 minutes! But once you’ll listen you’ll realise that this guy is the real deal. He is so smart, so informed and yet hilarious, nice, fun and casual at the same time. His mission in life is to bring weightlifting to everyone and his inclusive, non-intimidating and personable nature is making this a reality.

This guy is next level and we all love him at Revolution Performance Training.

Have a listen. Your day and your life will be better for it.

The Training Geek Lester HoJane: Hello, and welcome to the RevoPT High Performance Podcast. My name is Jane Erbacher, and I’m your host. RevoPT is a personal training strength and conditioning and functional fitness gym in South Melbourne, and our goal is to inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Every week here on the podcast we’re going to have a different episode for you, and we cover all things health and fitness, from training to nutrition to mindset to recovery to training after having a baby to training just to feel great. This is your hub for all things health and fitness, and we really hope that you like the show.

 

 

To listen to this podcast or subscribe to any in the RevoPT High Performance Podcast series head here:

The Your Revolution Podcast on Stitcher

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the RevoPT High Performance podcast. My name is Jane Erbacher, and I’m your host. I’m really excited today. I’m usually super excited, but my excitement is a little bit numbed today, “numb” might be the wrong word, with nerves because I’m actually really nervous today with this podcast because I’m actually sitting across from Lester Ho who’s The Training Geek. Hi, Lester.

Lester: Hi. How are you?

Jane: I’m good. How are you?

Lester: Good, good, good.

Jane: Lester is a real guru and a real expert, and he’s kind of the talk of the town here at RevoPT a lot of the time because Luke, Nathan, and Darren all train with him, so I’m a little bit nervous to have him on the podcast today, and I really hope that I do him justice. Here goes. We’re going to start off today the same way I start off every single week, which is with a quote. I really like this one. This is a Napoleon Hill quote, and I came across it yesterday. It says, “The starting point of all achievement is desire, and I think that that’s a very appropriate quote with who I’m about to talk to because Lester is doing amazing things in the world, particularly in the weightlifting world, and you can just see even in momentary conversation with him just how passionate he is about what he’s doing.

24

Jun

Treat Your Body The Way You’d Treat Your Business

business

If you want to achieve business success, you need to approach running your business with the same mentality as training your body. It requires hard work and dedication; there are no shortcuts or overnight results.

Here are some reasons why treating your business the way you treat your body will help you achieve business success.

Business Nutrition

One of the most important things you can do for your body is sticking to a balanced, nutritious diet. An unhealthy diet makes all your training efforts more difficult and less effective.

You need to consider the health of your business just like you consider the health of your body. If there is a problem with your business, whether you are aware of it or not, it will make all of your hard work running it less effective.

You can check the overall health of your business by looking at all of its processes in depth and identifying problem areas. Does your business have a clear organisational structure and hierarchy? Do you have a clear plan for the direction of your business? Do all your different team members or departments communicate quickly and effectively? Does your business compete on value instead of price? Fixing problems like this will make your business quicker on its feet and give it the energy boost it needs to succeed.

Correct Form for Your Business

Whether you’re doing squats, pushups or lifting weights, you need to ensure you have correct form if you want to get the most out of your exercises. Having incorrect form will diminish your result and increase your risk of injury.

If your business operations are structured incorrectly or inefficiently, then you run the same risks. Your profits will be reduced because you’re paying for inefficiencies and you run the risk of your business failing.

When you scrutinise your business processes, you need to keep in mind that just because you’ve always been doing something one way doesn’t mean that it’s the best way you could be doing it. You should always be asking yourself “why do we do this task that way? Is there a better way we could be doing it?” This could save you a lot of wasted effort and massively increase your yields.

Rest Days

Proper rest and recovery are essential for experiencing the strength, power, and endurance that you train so hard for. Without it, your musculoskeletal system, nervous system, and immune system can all be weakened, putting you at risk of injury, illness, and weak lifts.

The same goes for working too hard at your business. Obviously, business owners need to work hard, but it pays to work smart rather than putting in more hours. Working ridiculous hours on a regular basis will just make you sleep deprived, unwell, and uninspired. This is a recipe for burning out.

One of the best ways to reduce your workload is to recruit and lead the best possible team. This is easier said than done since it isn’t just about hiring the most qualified applicant, you need to be able to see the potential in people and bring it out of them with your leadership. Ideally, you want your team to be so good that they can run the business without you.

Training with a Partner

Having gym buddies or a personal trainer is a great way of keeping your motivation high and getting training advice. They can make sure that your form is correct and that you’re on track to achieve your goals.

Entrepreneurs and business owners rarely succeed on their own, having business partners and connections is just as important as having gym partners. Whether it’s someone you’re in business with, other business owners in related industries, or a professional business coach, a business partner will be invaluable for your business success.

If your business is struggling and you don’t know where to start improving it, the services of a business coach could be just what you need to get yourself on the right track. Hands-on advice from a professional about your specific circumstances can make a huge different to your health and fitness, and to your business success.

About the Author: Business Benchmark Group offer professional business coaching services. They have a proven track record of success in their own businesses and those of their clients.

17

May

What Is VO2 Max and Why Is It Important?

In reading about exercise and fitness, it is likely that you have come across the term “VO2 Max” at least once. Is this metric something you should be concerned with, or is it geared more towards elite athletes? Read on for everything you need to know to become a VO2 Max expert.

What Is VO2 Max?

VO2 Max is a measure of the maximum volume (V) of oxygen (O2) your body can use while working out as hard as you can. It is measured in millilitres of oxygen used per minute per kilogram of body weight, and it shows the efficiency of your body’s use of oxygen. While this measurement is a useful tool for charting your cardiovascular fitness, it is not the only metric you should use. VO2 Max varies according to a number of factors, including red blood cell count, muscle adaptation to exercise, genetics, and the volume of blood your heart can pump. Even among elite athletes, VO2 Max levels can vary drastically due to these external factors. For an overall frame of reference, average VO2 Max for the general population typically falls within a range between 30 and 60 ml/min/kg, with men showing slightly higher numbers than women. VO2 Max deteriorates as your body ages, so older individuals typically have lower VO2 Max than their younger counterparts.

What Is VO2 Max Testing?

A qualified fitness professional can test your VO2 Max for you. The test involves wearing a breathing mask while performing an increasingly difficult exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike. The mask measures the ventilation, oxygen, and carbon dioxide levels as you breathe in and out. The test will push you to your highest limits of exertion, so keep in mind that this test is not meant to be easy. While the test takes varying amounts of time for each individual, it can typically be completed in about 10-15 minutes. VO2 Max can also be approximated from race paces and other in-the-field data, but these methods only give an approximation, not an exact calculation of VO2 Max.

Why Should I Measure My VO2 Max?

Knowing your VO2 Max gives you increased insight into your overall fitness level and the efficiency of your body as it processes oxygen. It is a highly useful metric for tracking your progress on your journey to cardiovascular health. It is recommended that you test your VO2 Max about once a year if you are trying to maintain your current level of fitness. If, on the other hand, you are training to improve your cardiovascular health, you should aim to test your VO2 max every 6-12 weeks so you can chart your progress.

How Do I Improve my VO2 Max?

The best way to increase your VO2 Max is to get consistent aerobic exercise. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes, three to five days a week. You can further increase your VO2 Max by incorporating intervals into your training. For example, let’s say you are going to run 5 km, and it usually takes you about 25 minutes. Run the first 5 minutes at a relaxed, comfortable pace, then switch to 2-5 minutes at your maximum pace. Keep alternating paces until you have completed your target distance or time.

Now that you have an understanding of VO2 Max, it’s time to get tested. With Metabolic Measures, the test comes to you and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. This is the first step towards improved cardiovascular fitness for now and for the rest of your life.

Author: Jarrad White, cofounder of Metabolic Measures is a Physiotherapist and VO2 Max testing expert based in Perth, Western Australia.

22

Feb

More Power!

Would you like to be more powerful? Athletically speaking?

Increasing your power will allow you to generate force at a faster rate (rate of force development) and move faster.  This is not just important for elite athletes but the everyday weekend sporting warrior and also the elderly population (imaging being able to react quicker and prevent a fall that could cause serious injury).

Hence it is important to train in the correct manner for power to improve this athletic quality. 

Lets look at one of the equations for power; POWER = FORCE x VELOCITY

To keep things simple, to get more powerful whilst training it is important to generate a lot of FORCE i.e. lift a heavy weight, and move it quickly and explosively (high VELOCITY).

Of course the trick here is that when something gets heavier you cannot lift it as fast, so how heavy should you lift and how fast should you lift it?  Well you should always try to lift as fast as possible (while maintaining good technique) when trying to maximize power development.  But ‘HOW’ heavy is something that is more difficult to determine.  This will be different for each individual based on training experience, strength levels and genetics.  To determine the optimal load for maximizing power in various exercises sport science testing equipment is available to accurately provide you with this information.  Unfortunately this equipment is not available to many outside elite sporting environments.  So lets focus on several methods of training that have been proven to improve your muscular power.

Method 1

Strength Training

Just get stronger!  Strength is the base for all things powerful.  Improving your strength by performing resistance training will in most instances improve your power, especially if you have a limited training history or are relatively weak and have a greater window for adaptation and improvement.

Method 2

Plyometric training

Plyometric training sees the body or training equipment being propelled into space hence the speed of movement (velocity) will always be higher that traditional resistance training. This method of training enhances your rate of force development, particularly when requiring to move your own body weight rapidly.  Exercises such as jump squats, broad jumps, single leg hops and clap push-ups are all forms of plyometric exercises.  Low repetition numbers and long rest periods are needed for plyometric exercises to ensure the body has adequate recovery and perform at the optimal level reducing the likely hood of injury.

Method 3

Weightlifting or Olympic Lifting

The sport of Weightlifting sees athletes perform two classical lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk.  Weightlifters are amongst some of the most powerful athletes in the world.  After all their sport involves them lifting as heavy as weight as possible from the floor to above their head.  To do this a high amount of force needs to be created at rapid velocities (with extreme technical skill).  Research studies have shown that weightlifting training alone improved vertical jump to a greater extent than plyometric and traditional resistance training.

In conclusion the best methods for improving power all involve one constant.  You are trying to move fast and explosively.  Remember that strength is the base for all thins powerful, so you need to continually improve your strength levels through heavy resistance training.  But to get quick you have to move quick, power does equal force multiplied by velocity!  Remember that movement patterns must be well practiced before high weights are moved quickly. 

Nearly all classes at Revolution develop your strength and power in some form. However the Pure Strength and Strongman classes specifically have this focus.  Ask any of the trainers here at Revolution if you want to understand the importance of and methods of developing your POWER, athletically speaking of course.

References

The Effect of Different Training Programs on Eccentric Energy Utilization in College-Aged Males. Hawkins, S B; Doyle, T L A; McGuigan,  R. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, October 2009, Vol. 23 – Issue 7: pp 1996-2002

Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 4th Edition. Editors G Haff & N Travis Triplett.  National Strength and Conditioning Association

30

Sep

Time to go shopping – Weightlifting Equipment and Accessories

Weightlifting Equipment and Accessories

Various tools of the trade exist for weightlifters.  These tools or pieces of equipment can greatly assist a lifter that is performing high load, high volume training by protecting the joints that can be affected by performing the classical lifts and their various assistance exercises.  Below is a list of some of these pieces of equipment.  It is important to note that some of these equipment pieces are not allowed in competition, and it is important for the lifter to not develop a dependence on them, ensuring that the joints and neuromuscular structures are stressed appropriately developing their strength.  

Wrist WrapsWrist Wraps

Wrist wraps help support the wrist by creating a compressive force around the joint and protects the wrist in extension when supporting the bar overhead.  There are many various brands and styles of wraps including Rouge, Eleiko, Ironedge, Rehband, Sling Shot, Risto, Spud Inc, HumanX by Harbinger.  Sizing suggestions as recommended by Rouge Fitness include 12” or 18” wraps that provide ample support and wrist mobility for Weightlifting exercises or 18” or 24” wraps that provide extra support for Powerlifting & Strongman training with less wrist mobility.  Wraps are made out of a combination of elastic, polyester and cotton material. A new product by Jerk Fit called Woddies provides wrist support and also protection for the skin of the palm, preventing any torn calluses occurring. 

Wrist Straps

Lifting Straps

Lifting straps enable a greater barbell load to be lifted during pulling exercises before the forearm strength gives way.  It also helps a heavy load to be lifted while protecting the thumb from the hook grip.  This allows an overload stimulus to be placed on the musculature during training when completing clean and snatch pulls.  Weightlifting variations see the strap not loop around the wrist in a fix manner so that they can be released easily during the clean and snatch movements in the receiving position.  They can be made of cotton or leather or a combination of materials. Again it is important not to utilise wrist straps for the pulling exercises for every single rep so that dependence is not created for them.

Knee SleevesKnee Wraps & Sleeves

Knee wraps can be in the form of a wrapped material around the knee or in the form of a compressive sleeve.  This compression on the joint again helps protect it and can assist in preventing sideways tracking of the knee, and the barbell movement in general, increasing the amount that can be squatted by about 10 percent or more in some lifters.  They also provide an elastic recoil effect when moving up in the concentric (muscle shortening) phase of the squat after the eccentric (muscle lengthening) decent.  The wraps can also provide warmth to the knee to aid performance and potentially reduce soreness and injury whilst squatting.  Knee wraps are usually made out of the same material as the wrist wraps.

The sleeves come in various degrees of thickness such as 3, 5 and 7 millimetres. And are made from neoprene material.  Rehband is a very popular brand for sleeves with most CrossFit or Athletic equipment companies providing options for you to purchase such as Ironedge, Rouge, and The WOD Life.  The sleeves are not to be confused with wraps as they are different pieces of equipment (i.e. you slide on the sleeve, and you wrap the wrap).

If purchasing wraps use them for lifts that are near maximum efforts or above 85-90% of your max.  But again avoid over use as this can create dependence.  Sleeves can help provide some compression (although not as much as the wraps) but are excellent at maintain a warm knee joint throughout a lifting session.

Shin SleevesShin Sleeves

Shin sleeves provide warmth to the calf muscle area when lifting. They also help protect the shin skin from damage, as it is advantageous to have the barbell travel as close to the body as possible during the first pull (from floor to knee Shin Sleeves 2height) of the lift.  Many lifters use long athletic socks as protection for the shin with some custom made socks having increased padding in the front section offering further protection.

 

 

 

Weightlifitng ShoesWeightlifting Shoes

If performing weightlifting, weightlifting shoes are a must.  Once you have lifted in weightlifting shoes you wont ever want to lift without them, especially during heavy sessions.  Weightlifting shoes provide lateral stability to the foot, improving your technique.  They also often have a raised heel with improves the range of motion at the ankle joint increasing the depth that can be achieved when squatting.   The sole of the shoe is extremely hard which allows the forces that are transferred into the ground to not be lost, improving the amount that can be lifted.  This in opposition to running shoes that are designed to absorb ground reaction forces during foot strike.  Various heel heights can be used, with lifters who have a poor deep squat position requiring a higher heel to help them achieve a deeper squat.

Weightlifting BeltsWeightlifting Belts

Weightlifting belts are designed to increase intra-abdominal pressure (air pressure within the body in the trunk area).  This is similar to taking a deep breath and holding it, known as the val salva maneuver.  As with all wraps for a specific joint, increased pressure on or within that joint can aid in protecting it when performing a lift.  It is contentious for many lifters if a belt actually provides assistance. They most probably do have a role to play when lifters are performing maximal effort lifts in training and competition. But all lifters do not use them.  The clean and Jerk is the classical lift that belts are more commonly used for but again personal preference is different for each lifter again. There are limitations on how wide (12mm) a belt can be when it is used in competition also.   Belts are made of leather or synthetic material and can be buckled together or velcro.  Leather belts with buckles do provide a greater level of stability.

Thumb TapeTape (for thumbs in the hook grip)

The hook grip is used to increase the loads lifted during the classical lifts in weightlifting. However this grip is extremely painful and can damage the thumb.  Taping of the thumb with general sports tape or specific branded tapes such as Goats Tape or Rock Tape are available providing good connection and flexibility for the joint.  There is also equipment pieces called nubs out there in the market by Jerk Fit that are a permanent sleeve that can slide over the thumb offering protection.

Weightlifting SuitsLifting suit/uniform

Lifting suits create compression for the entire body.  It is not advantageous to have the barbell connecting with loose clothing, slowing down its velocity, hence close fitting suits are used by lifters in competition.  The bar must travel close to the thigh area during the second pull which is why compressive suits are used.   Cost range for a suit can vary from 50-150 dollars plus depending on the type of material used and the design.  They are most beneficial in competition.  Sylvia P is one of many companies that can provide you with a variety of styles and material options for your weightlifting suit.

Weightlifting ChalkChalk BowlChalk

Lifters consistently use chalk on their hands to maximise their grip during lifts and offer protection to the hand.  Some lifters place chalk across the front of the shoulders and their color bones to reduce friction of the bar on the body in the receiving position of the clean.   Chalk can be bought in blocks and can be kept in bags or chalk tubs or bins and are a common sight in weightlifting clubs.  Liquid chalk options are also available and they are considerably less messy.

Eight blocks of chalk will cost you $30 from Ironedge while small containers of liquid chalk will cost only around $10 from Rouge fitness.  Liquid chalk will prevent chalk dust settling on equipment and on clothes while still providing improved grip on the bar.   It is the magnesium carbonate that provides the chalk with its texture and improved grip properties.