Can food intolerance endanger my cruciate ligament?

Not a question that you were expecting I would imagine?!

This may seem like a totally unrelated subject but in this article I aim to give a small but vital insight into this subject; specifically when considering the optimal conditioning for winter sports. To begin with it is paramount to understand two things;
  1. The first is that whenever an organ experiences inflammation or pain there is a reflex inhibition of an associated muscle due to innervation by the same nerve.
  2. The second point leads on from the first in that the human body is a system of interlinked systems and to treat organs, joints and muscles in isolation misses a vital point, meaning that we won't get to the root cause of dysfunction and injury.

Please consider this, when we eat a food that we cannot digest properly, this will create inflammation in the gut. This starts to become relevant when we realise that the intestines are at the associated muscular level of the lower region of the Transversus Abdominus, a vitally important stabilisor of the pelvis and the low back. When there is inflammation in the intestines this lower portion of the Transversus Abdominus will become inhibited. When this is the case the pelvis becomes unstable. Luckily, our body is very clever and when this happens other muscles will lend a hand to help maintain the pelvis in a more neutral position. The helpful muscles in question here are the hamstrings. The proximal end of the hamstring group has the function of assisting the lower portion of the Transversus Abdominus in stabilising the pelvis. However, in this instance the hamstrings become over taxed due to them being asked to be primary stabilisers, which they are not designed to do.

"What's the big deal and what has this to do with my knee"

  You may ask. Well here's the problem for the skier. Another very important function of the hamstring is to assist in the integrity of the knee joint at the distal end due to the fact that the hamstrings cross the knee and attach to the Tibia and Fibula; having the mechanical effect of pulling the Femur and the Tibia and Fibula together. When the hamstring is over working to stabilise the pelvis the whole muscle becomes fatigued leaving the knee joint relatively unstable. This is where the cruciate ligament finally comes into play. When the hamstrings have become fatigued the cruciate ligament now has very little help in its role to stabilise the knee. So picture the end of your day on the slopes; you've been on your skis all day, you're tired, the snow is rough and rutted; you hit a rut, catch an edge or have a collision with another skier and an anterior sheer force is placed upon your knee; your overly working and fatigued hamstrings don't fire as quickly or effectively as they should and suddenly BANG you feel an intense pain in your knee; the next thing you know you're being airlifted off the mountain! The sad end to this tragic tale is that your poor cruciate ligament couldn't cope with the extra strain it had to deal with as its synergistic hamstrings become too fatigued to do their job.

Many people never recover fully from this type of injury

  As they receive suboptimal rehabilitation, and they may never ski again. I feel that's a huge sacrifice to make when we consider that small dietary changes could make all the difference to the function of the Transversus Abdominus; the primary muscle in this chain of events. So let's go back to the inflammation in the gut, which is the underlying cause of this injury. Put simply, when we are regularly consuming foods that we have an inability to digest properly, this creates constant inflammation in the intestines due to the secretory (IgA) antibodies in the mucus membranes being triggered to attack these undigested food particles. This sets up a battle ground in the intestines, which, given time, can lead to leaky gut syndrome, causing an even more serious, chronic immune response, which we needn't go into here. Two of the main culprits, in most modern diets, are gluten and diary, both of which the adult human body was never really designed to digest.
Think about your diet and ask yourself how often you're consuming foods containing gluten and diary?
  Is it everyday? For many it is nearly every meal! That croissant and cappuccino for breakfast; that sandwich for lunch; that cereal based "energy" bar, with a cup of tea (with milk), in the afternoon, and that pasta dish for dinner, with a nice bowl of ice cream for desert. If this is the case then you will almost certainly be creating constant inflammation in your intestines and the subsequent chain of events, mentioned previously, will be quietly waiting for that rut, edge catch or collision! When we consider food intolerance, let me ask you this, do you suffer with that troublesome "paunch" belly that won't go away no matter how many crunches you do? Do you often feel bloated after eating? Do you suffer with trapped wind or digestive discomfort? If so the chances are this is your body sending you a message that I really hope you're listening to! Many times my clients have cut out dairy and gluten in order to activate that vital Transversus Abdominus in the clinical environment, and on the slopes.  
Suggestions
I suggest try cutting out gluten and dairy for 3 weeks and see if you notice any differences. You may be surprised at an improvement in your energy levels, digestion and body composition in this short time, let alone the function of your vital stabilisation system. After 3 weeks you can then reintroduce gluten and dairy one at a time and see if you notice any difference. If you do then you are seeing the results of a food intolerance at work and you may wish to cut out that foodstuff on a more regular basis. So, see if you notice any differences in how you feel. If you do, you can be confident that your body has the potential to function more effectively and keep you safe when you're enjoying those precious days on the slopes.  
By Mark Zawadski - Chek practitioner @ BodyWorksWest for more information on injury prevention contact Mark.zawadski@bodyworkswest.co.uk

3 Key Weight Lifting exercises to include in your training

 

Kate Neudecker - Personal trainer BWW

  In this post I am going to share with you why weight training is so important for fat loss and functional fitness.In my opinion when it comes to functional fitness and aesthetic goals, nailing some of the main lifting techniques is key. These movements will not only help with the functionality of your day to day life (picking up heavy objects, children, having more energy) but will also help you build more muscle and have a leaner appearance. Often people tend to be scared of lifting weights for fear of getting bulky however to put on weight when resistance training you must be in a calorie surplus (consume more calories than you burn). Lifting weights will in fact increase your metabolism resulting in more muscle definition, fat loss and generally feeling awesome. I am not under rating cardio here for one second. Cardio should play a large part in your fitness regime as well. Your heart is a muscle too and cardiovascular health is incredibly important. However I find when it comes to the gym, a lot of us already have the cross trainer technique down! Compound movements are very important to include in your training (exercises that use multiple muscle groups). This is because they can get your heart rate up and stimulate muscle growth hormone. The more muscle we build the more calories we burn at rest equalling in a leaner appearance. Besides aesthetic goals the vast majority of research supports weight training as a very effective means to increase bone density.                

The Squat

1. Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, and knees over ankles.
           
2. Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Note: Allowing the back to round will cause unnecessary stress on the lower back. It’s important to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
   
3. Initiate the movement by inhaling and unlocking the hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips backward as the knees begin to bend.
   
4. While your bum starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight. Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine. Once you are happy with the technique I highly recommend adding a light kettlebell held by the handle as the next step. After this use a high bar in the squat rack to perform a back bar squat.
       

The Deadlift

     

When starting this technique just use the bar to begin and no weight.
     
1. Place your shins close to the bar, but not right on the bar. Keep your shins around an inch from the bar and perform a hip hinge until your hands are around the barbell.
     
2. Make sure your chin is tucked, this will ensure you maintain a neutral spine.
     
3. Force your knees out against your arms, this will create torque at the hips.
     
4. Stand up straight holding the bar, do not over arch and overextend your back.
         

The Bench Press

     
1. Lie on the flat bench with your eyes under the bar. Lift your chest and squeeze your shoulder-blades. Feet flat on the floor.
   
2. Hold the bar in the base of your palm with a full grip and straight wrists.
   
3. Take a big breath and rack the bar by straightening your arms. Move the bar over your shoulders with your elbows locked.
     
4. Lower the bar. Lower it to your mid-chest while tucking your elbows 75°. Keep your forearms vertical.
5. Press the bar from your mid-chest to above your shoulders. Keep your butt on the bench. Lock your elbows at the top.
             
With all of these techniques start with your weight low to begin and work your way up.
 Feel free to contact me with how to use these in your workout or any questions.
                  by Kate Neudecker - Personal Trainer BWW 

Bench press

Motivation during the winter period

You’ve probably heard that exercising outdoors makes us happier and relieves anxiety, but most of us can’t exercise outside all year round because of the weather. So the unappealing notion of getting out from under your blanket seems impossible, but what if there were a few tips and tricks we could reveal to you? We want your flame to burn bright during this cold season.

Focus On Activities Rather Than Workouts

While conventional workouts are great and certainly shouldn’t be abandoned altogether, there is something to be said for getting your exercise as a side-effect of fun activities. In winter, when all chores and routines are going to seem dull and irritating, this is even more meaningful. To give yourself that extra incentive for working out, consider setting up a regular sporting event with your friends, or else signing up for a fun class BodyWorksWest.

Focus On Group Training

Even if you’re a lone ranger, there are certain benefits to training in a group which can really make a difference when motivation is running low. If you’re a solo trainee and skip a planned workout, you’ll likely feel a bit guilty about it, but you won’t have to deal with the judgment of others. If you’re in a training group, however, you’re going to get an earful when you don’t turn up – and that’s generally for the best.

Do Shorter, More Intense Workouts

Summoning up the motivation to go for a half-hour jog isn’t so difficult on a mild summer morning, all things considered. It’s an entirely different story on a gusty winter day, with icy rain falling in buckets. One good way of keeping your time outdoors to a minimum, while still getting an effective workout, is to trade your longer bouts of steady-state cardio for shorter high-intensity sprint sessions. Instead of spending 30 minutes exposed to the elements, you can dedicate 10 minutes to really working up a sweat on the treadmill. Not only will this shorten your workout times and help you stay warm in the cold, but research also suggests that HIIT sessions may amplify the health and fitness benefits of traditional steady-state cardio. BodyWorksWest have developed 30 minute HIIT classes and run two times a day.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

What is DOMS and what causes it?

Whether you work out regularly or have simply over exerted yourself occasionally, it is almost certain that you have at some point experienced delayed onset of muscle soreness, or DOMS for short. DOMS is the feeling of muscle soreness, stiffness, loss of strength and sometimes swelling that occurs in the period following exercise, normally twenty four to seventy two hours later, though it may occur a little sooner. It is a normal response to unaccustomed activity and most commonly occurs when you are not used to exercising, or are beginning a new workout routine and may occur after each work out until your muscles become used to the work that you are asking them to do. The mechanism that causes DOMS has been theorized but remains unproven; however it is known to occur more frequently in exercises that involve eccentric muscular action. That is, movement in which the muscle fibres are being made to lengthen at the same time as they contract, an example of which would be running downhill or the downwards movement in a squat.

Our top tips for avoiding DOMS:

  • Warm up - at least 3 minutes of aerobic activity before beginning any new exercise regime
  • Don't overdo it - if you are new to exercise start slowly and increase weight/duration gradually
  • Cool down - be sure to cool down with some light aerobic activity and then stretch each body part that you have used
The best situation where DOMS is concerned is to avoid it, or reduce the chances of it happening to a minimum. A good warm up before you begin more intensive training is important, as is a good cool down and stretching routine after your training is complete. Massage following your work out has also shown benefit, with up to a thirty percent reduction in swelling and soreness. It's not advisable to dive straight into an intense workout routine. Instead building up slowly but surely allows your body to get used to and adapt to the increase in what you are asking of it. An increase in activity of around ten percent each week is advisable. There are times when you are unable to avoid DOMS, for instance when the increased activity was not intentional but the result of other requirements in your life. Yet regardless of whether DOMS are as the result of intentional activity or not, you will still want to find some relief from it. For some people, increasing blood flow to the area can help. This can be achieved by gentle aerobic exercise that doesn't require the muscles to bear weight. For other people alternating warmth and cold can help, either in the form of baths or cold and heat packs. None steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (paracetamol) are somewhat controversial as their benefit in preventing or treating DOMS is unproven, and because the medications themselves have side affects that are undesirable. Lastly it is important to consider the fact that if your muscles are sore then they need to rest. Repeating the activity that caused the pain initially may cause it to continue for a longer period of time, so waiting until pain has subsided is preferred. Some athletes swear by working through the pain but not only is this unpleasant, but with the loss of strength that occurs your performance will not be at its best. Instead gentle, non-weight bearing aerobics may alleviate stiffness and keep you from being sedentary.

7 Reasons Why Your Muscles Stop Growing & How To Get Muscle To Grow Again!

7 reasons why                 Have ever wondered why your muscles stopped growing after a few months of training even though you are training very hard? Here are 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing and how to get your muscle to grow again.
  • You are training too hard – Every time when you train your muscles intensely, you are actually breaking down your muscles. So your muscles need to recover from the damages you inflicted on them. So train each muscle group only once or at most twice a week.
  • You are training too long – Keep your workout intense but do not workout more than an hour each time. After 45 minutes of intensive training, your cortisol level will increase. This hormone is known to destroy muscle cells.
  • You are sleeping too little – You need to sleep more for good muscle growth. Your muscles grow when you sleep. So sleep more than 8 hours a day and watch those muscles growing fast.
  • You are abusing alcohol – Alcohol is known to break down muscle mass plus many other body destruction ability.
  • You do not change your workout routine – You must change your workout routine every 6-8 weeks. Your muscles adapt to your routine and stops growing.
  • You do not progressively overload your muscles – You must try to increase your reps or weight every time you next train a particular muscle group. Otherwise, there is no reason for your muscles to grow.
  • You do not eat sufficient protein – If you want to build bigger muscles, you must eat more protein. Protein is the building block for your muscles. It is recommended that you need 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight equivalent. If not enough protein is consumed with your normal diet, do supplement with protein shakes.
There you are, the 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing even though you are training hard. There are many more methods on how to grow your muscles bigger but these 7 reasons and how to overcome them will be sufficient for an average body-building beginner.

Protein & Training

Importance for building muscle

Protein is important for building muscle. But you could eat 100% of your calories from protein, and you won’t gain an ounce of muscle if your daily total calorie intake isn’t greater than your daily calorie output. To build muscle, you require a balanced diet that provides approximately 300-500 more calories than your maintenance calorie intake level. All the protein you require to build extra muscle will be contained in this amount of food, provided your diet is balanced properly. A diet that provides 10%-15% of calories from protein is all that is required to grow muscle. Consider this: Infancy is the time of a human’s life when growth is the most rapid, and when protein needs are the highest. Yet, human breast milk contains only 10% protein by calories (versus about 30% for cow’s milk). This is more than adequate to meet the needs of a growing human infant who doubles its weight in 6 months and triples its weight in a year. You aren’t going to grow new lean tissue nearly as fast, (0.5-2.5 pounds a week) so forget about stuffing yourself with protein…just eat a balanced diet. Besides, when your protein intake is too high, you crowd out other calorie-dense foods from your diet that are needed to provide energy, and that spare protein for growth. Why do you think people lose weight on a high-protein diet?

breakfast

How does exercise affect my protein requirement?

Numerous studies involving both endurance and strength exercise have shown that the current recommended protein intake of 0.75 g/kg body weight/day is inadequate for people who participate in regular exercise or sport. Additional protein is needed to compensate for the increased breakdown of protein during and immediately after exercise, and to facilitate repair and growth. Exercise triggers the activation of an enzyme that oxidises key amino acids in the muscle, which are then used as a fuel source. The greater the exercise intensity and the longer the duration of exercise, the more protein is broken down for fuel. In addition, dietary protein provides an enhanced stimulus for muscle growth. To build muscle, you must be in ‘positive nitrogen balance’. This means the body is retaining more dietary protein than is excreted or used as fuel. A sub-optimal intake of protein will result in slower gains in strength, size and mass, or even muscle loss, despite hard training. In practice the body is capable of adapting to slight variations in protein intake. It becomes more efficient in recycling amino acids during protein metabolism if your intake falls over a period of time. The body car also adapt to a consistently high protein intake by oxidising surplus amino acids for energy. It is important to understand that a high protein diet alone will not result in increased strength or muscle size. These goals can only be achieved when an optimal protein intake is com­bined with heavy resistance (strength) training.

How much protein do I need for maximum performance?

For an endurance athlete, the recommended range is 1.2-1.4 g/kg body weight/day (Lemon, 1998; Williams & Devlin, 1992; Williams, 1998; ACSM, 2000). Many recent studies show that strength and power athletes have a greater daily requirement for protein than most endurance athletes. The current consensus recommendation is an intake between 1.4 and 1.8 g/kg body weight/day (Williams, 1998; Tarnopolsky et al., 1992; Lemon et al., 1992). The American Dietetic Association and ACSM recommend 1.6-1.7 g/ kg body weight per day. So, for example, a distance runner weighing 70 kg would need 84-98 g/day. A sprinter or body-builder with the same body weight would need 98-126 g/day. In practice, protein intakes generally reflect total calorie intake, which is why the International Consensus Conference on Foods, Nutrition and Performance in Lausanne (1991) stated that protein should comprise 12-15% of total energy intake. This assumes that your calorie intake matches your calorie requirements.

5 Helpful Things to Do to Kick Start Your Personal Fitness Program

7115477777_4e63628f2d_h The most common challenge that people I talk to face is how to incorporate fitness into their lives. They know they have to do something to get in shape but they really don’t know how. It can be discouraging because of the abundance of information out there. So much that you may not know where to begin. Our society has so many food choices that it is easy to pack on the extra pounds. Also our day to day jobs are less physical as they were 100 years ago so we have more sedentary life styles. We know there are benefits involved when we exercise and cleaning up or diet. However, most of us know don’t know how or where to start. So where do we begin? Or is the question: How do we begin? The very first thing you need do is go to your doctor and get the approval to start exercising. Your doctor may also provide some helpful tips as well. Now for some of us the hassle of trying to get an appointment at the Doctors is enough to bring on a stress attack! After you get the “OK” from the doctor, try these 5 things to help you get started: Make the Choice to Start Exercising and Eating Right Making the decision to do something provides a form of commitment you made to yourself. Deciding that you need to change behaviour creates new possibilities. When you say to yourself “I need to get in shape”, it means something. You should be answering these questions in your mind: When can I work out? What exercises do I need to do? What foods should I be eating? Make yourself think about the commitment you just made. Only then you can let go of the past and take steps to move forward. Write Down What You Do You need a reference that is realistic towards your weekly activity. Write down everything you do during the week. This should include work hours, commuting hours, nights spent with your spouse, your child’s activities and anything else you can think of that you do. You should also include what you do on weekends. You should make a list for each day of the week. Here’s why….. Some people set lofty goals like working out for 2 hours a day. This can be due to an old saying, “More is Better”. However, this is not the case. Knowing your schedule will help you set realistic goals and help you find a few hours a week to start exercising. You’ll have a visual perspective on what you can and can’t do with your routine. Doing the right thing for you ! Most people do not have enough information before they start a workout program. So how do we get the information we need? The good news is we live in the information age. Take advantage of your favourite search engine and learn a little bit about fitness and nutrition. However, do not go overboard and lose focus. Find a source of information you like and take notes. Find the simplest and easiest workouts and nutrition tips. Don’t over load yourself with information. Follow BodyWorksWest on Facebook for useful tips and workouts. Here at BodyWorksWest we provide a full personal consultation service when you join. We will discuss your short term and long term aims and most importantly the time you are able to provide to achieving it. We will then craft the right intensity of programme to achieve the goals you want. We will give you a starting point from our boditrax system which indicates muscle mass, Body fat, Bone density, visceral fat (internal fat around organs) and give you an overall score. For many of us, we are going to need the support of fitness professional to keep us motivated and to make sure we understand the task in hand. At BodyWorksWest we can offer a range of 6 week and 12 week programmes with different levels of trainer support and price point. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to get started because you have made a commitment to meet someone to workout. Your goal is to have the trainer show you the basics on exercise and eating healthier. It may also be safer to learn how to perform the exercises (especially if you have not exercised for a while. Don’t worry if your pocket can’t run to the regular use of a personal trainer. We’ve got programmes that will deliver the education you need and the motivational support at a price that’s more in your ballpark. Create a Simple Plan and Set Realistic Goals Keep it Simple! Following a simple plan while on a hectic schedule is much easier than following an elaborate plan. You should have a plan of which days you want to work out and one goal to change your eating habits for the next few weeks. For example, “I will work out for an hour for 3 days this week. I will eat a little less each meal.” Simple is success. We’ve got your exercise programme covered. Not only will it be highly personalised as we’ve said but we will give you a programme card where we would like you to note each workout so our trainers who will be monitoring progress can watch out for strength and cardio plateaus where we will need to tweak your programme to maintain progress. Execute Your Plan Now that you have a plan, all you need to do is follow it. This is another big step. You should look at your plan every day upon waking. You need be mentally prepared for the great day ahead of you. Having your daily schedule in hand will help you achieve your goals for the day. When you complete your workout for the day, highlight it or cross it off your list. It will show you that you accomplished something for yourself. No matter what you must execute. This will be the hardest (and most rewarding) step. I hope these things help you get started on a new life of physical fitness. Life is filled with making decisions, knowing your commitments, getting information, planning and execution. Try these approaches for yourself and you will see that having your own workout and nutrition program is not as far fetched or complicated as you think.

7 Reasons Why Your Muscles Stop Growing. How to Get Muscle to Grow Again

7 reasons why

Have ever wondered why your muscles stopped growing after a few months of training even though you are training very hard? Here are 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing and how to get your muscle to grow again.

1.You are training too hard – Every time when you train your muscles intensely, you are actually breaking down your muscles. So your muscles need to recover from the damages you inflicted on them. So train each muscle group only once or at most twice a week. 2. You are training too long – Keep your workout intense but do not workout more than an hour each time. After 45 minutes of intensive training, your cortisol level will increase. This hormone is known to destroy muscle cells. 3. You are sleeping too little – You need to sleep more for good muscle growth. Your muscles grow when you sleep. So sleep more than 8 hours a day and watch those muscles growing fast. 4. You are abusing alcohol – Alcohol is known to break down muscle mass plus many other body destruction ability. 5. You do not change your workout routine – You must change your workout routine every 6-8 weeks. Your muscles adapt to your routine and stops growing. 6. You do not progressively overload your muscles – You must try to increase your reps or weight every time you next train a particular muscle group. Otherwise, there is no reason for your muscles to grow. 7 You do not eat sufficient protein – If you want to build bigger muscles, you must eat more protein. Protein is the building block for your muscles. It is recommended that you need 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight equivalent. If not enough protein is consumed with your normal diet, do supplement with protein shakes. There you are, the 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing even though you are training hard. There are many more methods on how to grow your muscles bigger but these 7 reasons and how to overcome them will be sufficient for an average bodybuilding beginner.

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WHY CHOOSE PERSONAL TRAINING?
It’s all about your results. Our Personal Trainers are here to inspire you, motivate you, educate you and empower you to achieve your goals.  It’s not about short term fixes, it’s about using their knowledge and passion to create sessions which will be highly effective and hugely enjoyable.

Realise your potential now with BodyWorksWest personal training.