Old article #1

So when i was living in Miami, i began writing articles for the Brickell Reporter, figure why not repost ones that are still useful today’s this one was from nov 2011

Mobile, Virile and Agile, Boom! Get Yourself in Shape to Tackle the Holiday Season

By Jared Prudoff-Smith

Being my first article, I am going to touch upon a few topics I am passionate about and will likely go into further detail in future articles; namely crossfit, mobility/flexibility and nutrition. To provide a little info about myself, I am a constantly learning Level 1 Crossfit Trainer at REebok Crossfit Miami Beach. I may have told you to do burpees before. I say constantly learning, because the one thing I know is that I could always know more and be better prepared to aid and assist my clients with reaching their fitness goals.

On the topic of constant learning, this past weekend, I attended an immensely informative Mobility Certification taught by Kelly Starret, founder of http://www.mobilitywod.com, a physical therapist who also happens to own Crossfit San Fransisco, one of the original crossfit gyms. What’s that? Physical Therapists crossfit?!? I know that almost seems oxymoronic but indeed, many physical therapists appreciate the health benefits garnered from crossfitting, in addition to physicians, osteopaths, chiropractors, flexibility specialists, basically you name the speciality within the Health field and you will find someone there who crossfits. Its actually no more or less dangerous than working out anywhere else. But if done right, can make you a much more powerful and durable version of your former self, thereby reducing your injury risk. Also one of the great things about crossfit is its open forum nature, which allows brilliant minds in any field, like Starret, to add their input to the equation, creating a constantly improving and evolving beast.

Back to flexibility and mobility. If there is any aspect of fitness that is consistently neglected, amongst crossfitters, weekend warriors, gym rats, kickballers, just about everyone, it is flexibility. And ironically, flexibility is arguably the greatest limiting factor towards achieving and surpassing fitness goals, and towards preventing injuries. Why is tit neglected? Simply because it’s not fun, or cool, or sexy. Would you rather hit a WOD (for us crossfitters) or go work on your bench (for you non-crossfitters) or spend 10 minutes in pain working on hip mobility. Well I can tell you where the smart money is betting. The analogy Starret makes is that it is like flossing. It’s not fun, but it can help you keep all of your teeth. In that same vein, maintaining good flexibility can help you stay active and upright longer, but not only that it will make you stronger, faster, more agile, powerful and explosive. And who doesn’t want to be more explosive? Boom!

If you sit in a chair at a desk at work, or spend prolonged amounts of time in a car, or if you consistently crossfit or workout, and you’re not making a point to at least ten minutes a day actively working on your flexibility and mobility, chances are that you are not operating at your full potential. It’s like riding a bike with flat tires, or driving with the emergency brake on. It’s amazingly inefficient and if you don’t stop sooner or later it will likely lead to a bigger problem. In us humans, that bigger problem would be an injury.

Are you ready for the good news though? Starret, a physical therapist, who gets paid, by helping people recover from injuries, stated that over 80% of the injuries he sees do not require a specialist to recover from, they simply require the right type of mobility work. In 2007 Americans spent $87 billion on neck and back pain, $87 Billion, thats more money than Dr. Evil asked for in Austin Powers, and more than the GDP of 123 countries in the world. Sore backs and necks take more money than 123 countries.

You might not believe me if I told you you could solve those issues with a lacrosse ball a resistance band and 10-15 minutes a day, but what if your physical therapist told you that? I know that I personally have spent thousands of dollars in chiropractic, massage, accupuncture, cranialsacral, etc appointments, and can assure you that I and my bank account are both glad to have discovered the benefits of mobility work. I encourage you to share the epiphany, cure your injuries, and make yourself more durable and badass. Check out Starret’s work at http://www.mobilitywod.com

Now lets say you’re working out, check, you’re doing your mobility work, boom! But you still seem to be plateauing, and you’re not sure what to do. Or you’re getting in great shape, but dang, not matter how much ab work you do, you just can’t get a six pack. As a crossfit trainer, I run into this all of the time, “coach I’m working out and getting in better and better shape, but I can’t get rid of my belly.”

Well young grasshopper, have you addressed the ever so pesky topic of nutrition? Aside from the aesthetic benefits which come from a healthy diet, nutrition is right up there with mobility as a limiting factor for performance, is nutrition. And also akin to mobility, nutrition not only affects immediate performance but has widespread long term consequences as well.

Ironically, if you study the food pyramid, or food plate, or whatever new gimmick the FDA has come up with, you will find your culprit as to why Americans are getting so fat. We eat entirely too many carbs. It’s sadly comical that the FDA claims they believe the food pyramid was overly complicated, and that was part of the reason for the dramatic increase in obesity following its implementation. Yup, it’s because we’re stupid and didn’t understand that we’re getting fat. No. The reason is because the pyramid was stupid, and millions of people followed it, got fat and became diabetic.

The plate is supposed to help address some of these issues but than replacing the pryamid with pictures of actual pieces of food, there was no real change. So instead of blindly following big brother’s instructions, I encourage you to be a free thinker and do some of your own research. Look at Paleo and Zone diets, and the studies that have been done on them. Once the pet fad of us crazy crossfitters, these diets are becoming increasingly accepted by not only the general public but also the scientific community. The reason? They make you healthier. For those of you who want to lose weight, these diets can help you make dramatic gains in weight loss. For those of you who are competitive athletes you will also find that studies show these diets improve performance as well. So you’re a hard gainer wanting to gain muscle? Healthier eating might actually be easier than just bingeing on anything.

Now the holidays are coming up and so often people start to panic because they are just certain they are going to eat too much and get fat. My response might be a little harsh, but that’s just plain stupid. Instead of making a new years resolution how about making a pre-holiday resolution, to exercise some self restraint. And furthermore, if you are enlightened and have started following the Zone or Paleo diets, then you should know about cheat days. My suggestion to allow you to enjoy the big family meals without the self deprecating guilt that follows, would be to schedule your cheat days around the family meals, and go to town. Have your one day of gluttony. But then when its time to take home left-overs, pass on the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, mac and cheese and those fluffy biscuits, and instead go for the green beans, broccolli, ham and turkey. I know it sounds scary but you won’t die, I promise. In fact you’ll avoid the week long food coma that adjoins the constant reckless engorging, and feel fresh and ready to tackle the new year with a little extra zeal.

Be active, mobilize, eat healthy and do something good for someone else. Peace!

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