The LFP Equation Working in a gym allows me the opportunity to observe varied approaches to traditional exercises.  I have learned a few positive techniques along the way and reaffirmed how much of my approach is functionally correct.  In the upcoming columns, I will address several that have come under scrutiny.  Some aspects of what I believe may challenge conventional wisdom.  I hope to persuade using logic, explaining why certain modifications will enhance the results.  The Three Amigos Let’s start with the muscle complex known as the deltoids.  Many people know the name but you would be surprised how many are hard pressed to point them out on their body.  This is a 3 muscle grouping: front (anterior), middle (medial) and rear (posterior).  They encapsulate the shoulder.  As part of educating your client, ask them to point out the deltoids.  Then ask them how
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March 28th, 2019

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Getting older is inevitable.  The years come with a predictable regularity that can never be altered.  I’ll be older tomorrow than I am today.  But acting old, now that’s optional.  Your attitude goes a long way toward defining at what age people will perceive you.  For those of us on the other side of 70, sometimes it can seem like the best is behind us. On the flip side, there are certain advantages to having reached this milestone.  I look upon those life lessons as earned credits so we can appreciate the coming years even more. 70 and Counting You woke up today and realized “I’ve made it this far!”  Be grateful you are still standing.  Try and remember when you were in your 30s, thinking 70 was forever and a day away.  Well, here we are. I’m sure you can look back on
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January 8th, 2019

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The Humble Pushup My clients have evolved from being my students to also being my teachers, or, it might be better said, my collaborators. I have had to adapt to the issue/s each one was dealing with. While most had maybe one issue, some had several. Therefore, even though my training techniques are standardized, certain exercises needed to be modified or eliminated, depending on what the client’s body was telling them. One of the stalwarts of the fitness community is the push up. We all know what a push up is, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newbie getting into a workout protocol for the very first time. Virtually everyone has done a push up or three, especially the guys. So, if everyone knows the push up, what do I have to offer on the subject at this juncture? Saw but Did
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November 5th, 2018

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The Missing Link (part 2) All movement is contraction based.  Certain muscles have to tighten up every time you exert yourself.  The more effort, the more contraction.  Over time, if all your muscle/tendon complex does is contract, logic dictates they will get tighter and have a tendency to shorten.  If you don’t have a way to dial out this added stress on the body, long term, your odds for difficulties heighten. By introducing from the beginning the fundamentals for ROM (range of motion), you start the client off with the right mindset.  After only one or two workouts, they will begin to embrace the concept ROM is essential to the whole rational of working out.  Within a month, stretching will become a way of life, to be applied to commonplace activities as well.  I get asked on a regular basis by those I train
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August 13th, 2018

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The Missing Link (part 1) My younger son Matt decided at 11 years of age to take up martial arts. Having myself dabbled in Tae Kwon Do several times in the past (never more than 6 months at any one stretch), the choice was clear-cut. It also helped that, fortuitously, Master You had just opened up a studio in our town (the next closest location was over 15 miles away). As a result, Matt stuck with it for a year and earned a red belt. Six years later, at 57, I had progressed halfway (2nd stripe) toward a 2nd degree black belt. Two subsequent injuries, an MCL from Tae Kwon Do and the lower back from lifting (bulged disc), sidelining me from any exercising for several months. Life got in the way during this period and returning to formal training never occurred. [Side note:
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May 22nd, 2018

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A Different Perspective The typical over 50 crowd has a different terrain to deal with, not only from a bodily standpoint, but a mental perspective as well. The majority of my generation that has finally decided to reenter the fitness community has most likely been sitting on the sidelines for a decade or longer. Their vision of what they expect to accomplish can vary greatly from those in their 20s and 30s. Going Back to School Trying to recapture the baby boomers’ physical health too quickly, particularly at the outset, is not an ideal methodology. Jumping into the ‘deep end of the pool’ is a likely recipe for trouble. Why? Their muscle/tendon/ligament complex is not organized, they don’t operate as a unit. When one’s physique has been on hiatus from any strenuous challenges, such as lifting weights (the linchpin of my platform), reintroducing those
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March 30th, 2018

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Your Fitness After 50    Welcome to FAI Back in 2016 I ran across an email announcing a new fitness initiative call Functional Aging Institute.  The title was intriguing because, since redirecting my career path toward personal training, my focus has been on the baby boomer generation.  I immediately recognized Dan Ritchie and Cody Sipe’s names, knowing them as well respected members of the fitness community since the turn of the millennium. Their website provided a detailed prospectus, outlining the goals of FAI.  Upon downloading said prospectus, my excitement grew as I read through the presentation.  Their understanding of the over 50 community in terms of both the business opportunity they present to gyms and trainers going forward plus the responsibility we have toward that populace mirrored my own mindset.  Finally, someone in a position to have a direct impact was stepping up to the
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February 2nd, 2018

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Tai Chi as a form of exercise has the attention of the medical community as an important alternative therapy for dealing with chronic pain.  In the May/June, 2017 edition of Scientific American Mind, an article entitled, “Rethinking Relief” the author talks about chronic pain sufferers such as those with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. The traditional approach to dealing with this chronic pain has been to dispense pain-killing drugs.  But with the explosion of cases revolving around opioid addiction, the medical community is searching for alternative methods of helping those with chronic pain. “To treat people more effectively ‘will require an important shift in how we think about pain,’ says David Shurtleff, the deputy director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health . . . ‘We now understand that pain is not just a sensation but a brain state,’ Shurtleff explains. ‘And mind-body interventions
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April 24th, 2017

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Tai Chi is an exercise modality that lots of people talk about and yet, few truly understand what it is and how it can help you and your clients. First of all, let’s define Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a martial art that utilizes gentle, flowing movements t0 enhance health in             the body and the mind. Yes, Tai Chi is a martial art.  It started hundreds of years ago as a fighting style.  There are a handful of different styles of Tai Chi, but the most popular one is the Yang style.  It has changed from a fighting style into what we now call “movement meditation.”  It is characterized by the slow, flowing motions that you probably associate with Tai Chi.  These gentle movements are easy on the joints and provide many proven physical benefits such as improving
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February 17th, 2017

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  I’m going to ask a very personal question for each of you to think about.  What is your GREATEST concern about your health for the rest of your life?  Until recently, most people would have said cancer or heart disease; today the major health concern on our planet is losing brain function as we age, being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, dementia or Parkinson's. So I have some exciting news: Recent research is supporting an idea worth spreading -- changing your aging brain can be as simple as “child’s play”! I’m 64 and have been passionate about exercise and movement most of my life in order to overcome congenital spinal challenges – the more I move, the less pain I feel and the better my body and brain function. My brilliant mother did crossword puzzles and games all her life, read 2 or 3 books
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February 17th, 2017

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