Archive for July, 2017

Don’t Move a Muscle…

July 26, 2017

Don’t Move a Muscle!

During this phase of our T3 training program our T3 clients have “enjoyed” one session per week of Isometric Exercises.

We have gotten some good feedback on the Isometric sessions so I thought I would share with you what Isometric training is and why it can be an important part of your training program,

What is Isometric Training?

Every muscle in your body contracts several different ways.  One way for our muscles to contract is concentrically.  A concentrically contracting muscle is being shortened.  Think of curling a dumbbell up to your shoulder, you are shortening the bicep muscle group when you are concentrically lifting/curling the dumbbell.

Another way for our muscles to contract is eccentrically.  This is when our muscles are contracting and lengthening at the same time.  Think about that same dumbbell bicep curl that I mentioned and now lower it until your arm is straight.  You are contracting and lengthening the bicep muscle group as you are lowering the dumbbell.

A third way for your muscles to contract is isometrically.  This type of contraction happens without the muscle(s) changing length.  The muscles are static in a particular position.   A few good examples of isometric exercises when done correctly are:

Hardstyle Planks

Split Squat Holds

Squat Holds

Chin Up/Pull Up Holds

Push Up Position Holds

Band Pull Apart Holds

Farmers or Suitcase Kettlebell Holds

The term “holds” is a dead giveaway for an isometric exercise.

What makes Isometric training beneficial?

One of the main benefits of Isometric training is activation.

The body is able to activate nearly all available motor units in the muscle or muscle groups which is difficult to do with the other two types of contractions.

If you have ever held an isometric contraction for 6-10 seconds, you will know exactly what I mean by “able to activate nearly all available motor units in the muscle or muscle groups”.  Creating as much muscular tension as possible will activate more motor units and therefore help you to become stronger.

Back in the 1950s, researchers Hettinger and Muller found a single daily effort of two-thirds of a person’s maximum effort exerted for six seconds at a time for ten weeks increased strength about 5% per week, while Clark and associates demonstrated static strength continued to increase even after the conclusion of a five-week program of isometric exercises.

Another benefit of Isometric Training is if you have an injury or a “sticking point”, (think midway through the push up when your lower back begins to sag) you can train in that particular joint range risk free while improving strength.

Isometric training is used widely in physical therapy settings to retrain the muscle(s) to activate.

Isometric training is another way to help you get stronger.  At Pinnacle we are always looking for ways to make you stronger, more resilient and help you reach your goals more quickly.  At Pinnacle we are always looking for ways to make you stronger, more resilient and help you reach your goals more quickly.

A Hard Habit to Break…

July 19, 2017

My 7-year-old son Brady recently went to the dentist.  He got some good news and some bad news.  The good news, NO cavities!  The bad news, he has to stop sucking his thumb.

Once the check-up was complete the dentist came back in to talk with Brady about sucking his thumb.  She told him he needed to stop sucking his thumb immediately.  She told him how bad it was for the shape of his mouth and his teeth.  He listened to her and agreed to stop sucking his thumb.  Prudence and I talked with him afterward and he said he was ready to stop sucking his thumb.

He did great for the first few days.  We were all very impressed with Brady’s discipline.  As much as he wanted to suck his thumb he didn’t.  Even when he held his “blanket” he wouldn’t suck his thumb.  He stayed strong for those first few days.  We kept telling him how proud we were of him and that we knew this kind of change couldn’t be easy and that he was doing great!

One night last week while I was laying down with him before he fell asleep, I told him again how proud I was of him.  While I was talking to him I noticed that he had his back to me holding his blanket.  When I finished talking he began to cry.  He told me he wanted to suck his thumb SO bad but knew he wasn’t supposed to.  After two days of diligence his will was broken.  I tried to console him but he wasn’t having it.  He asked me to leave him alone and I did. When I went back into his room to check on him he was asleep without his thumb in his mouth.

Can you imagine what it must be like to stop a habit that you have been doing ALL your life and on top of that, it started while you were in your mother’s womb?

Add to that, every time you look at your hands you are reminded you could start the habit again.  And, it doesn’t cost you anything to start again and you don’t have to go anywhere to get your “fix”. All you have to do is stick one thumb in your mouth and everything will feel right again.

I wouldn’t have made it out of the dentist office!

So why am I telling you a story about my son sucking his thumb?

I think we can ALL relate to the difficulties of change.  Some change is harder than others but change is rarely easy.  Watching my son go through this process, I thought all the habits we try and change:

  • Reducing the amount of processed food we eat
  • Cutting out soft drinks
  • Moderately consuming alcohol
  • Moving more and moving better
  • Going to be earlier
  • Reducing our stress levels
  • Controlling our social media consumption
  • etc…

It also made me think about all the triggers we have around us that trip us up on our path to success.  Sometimes it is easy to spot a trigger, like a blanket in Brady’s case.  Other times it isn’t so easy to see or feel the trigger.  But once we identify the trigger we can take steps to remove it.  If we can remove the trigger most of the battle is won.  Without the trigger cuing us to repeat the habit we can begin to eliminate it.

Are there any triggers that you can identify?

Are there any you are ready to remove so that you can move closer to your goals?

I have noticed that Brady’s blanket now spends more time on the floor out of view than it has in the past.  It is kind of sad, but I know once he no longer reaches for his blanket he will no longer have the desire to suck his thumb.

Growing up is not for the weak!

A Hard Habit to Break

July 19, 2017

My 7-year-old son Brady recently went to the dentist.  He got some good news and some bad news.  The good news, NO cavities!  The bad news, he has to stop sucking his thumb.

Once the check-up was complete the dentist came back in to talk with Brady about sucking his thumb.  She told him he needed to stop sucking his thumb immediately.  She told him how bad it was for the shape of his mouth and his teeth.  He listened to her and agreed to stop sucking his thumb.  Prudence and I talked with him afterward and he said he was ready to stop sucking his thumb.

He did great for the first few days.  We were all very impressed with Brady’s discipline.  As much as he wanted to suck his thumb he didn’t.  Even when he held his “blanket” he wouldn’t suck his thumb.  He stayed strong for those first few days.  We kept telling him how proud we were of him and that we knew this kind of change couldn’t be easy and that he was doing great!

One night last week while I was laying down with him before he fell asleep, I told him again how proud I was of him.  While I was talking to him I noticed that he had his back to me holding his blanket.  When I finished talking he began to cry.  He told me he wanted to suck his thumb SO bad but knew he wasn’t supposed to.  After two days of diligence his will was broken.  I tried to console him but he wasn’t having it.  He asked me to leave him alone and I did. When I went back into his room to check on him he was asleep without his thumb in his mouth.

Can you imagine what it must be like to stop a habit that you have been doing ALL your life and on top of that, it started while you were in your mother’s womb?

Add to that, every time you look at your hands you are reminded you could start the habit again.  And, it doesn’t cost you anything to start again and you don’t have to go anywhere to get your “fix”. All you have to do is stick one thumb in your mouth and everything will feel right again.

I wouldn’t have made it out of the dentist office!

So why am I telling you a story about my son sucking his thumb?

I think we can ALL relate to the difficulties of change.  Some change is harder than others but change is rarely easy.  Watching my son go through this process, I thought all the habits we try and change:

  • Reducing the amount of processed food we eat
  • Cutting out soft drinks
  • Moderately consuming alcohol
  • Moving more and moving better
  • Going to be earlier
  • Reducing our stress levels
  • Controlling our social media consumption
  • etc…

It also made me think about all the triggers we have around us that trip us up on our path to success.  Sometimes it is easy to spot a trigger, like a blanket in Brady’s case.  Other times it isn’t so easy to see or feel the trigger.  But once we identify the trigger we can take steps to remove it.  If we can remove the trigger most of the battle is won.  Without the trigger cuing us to repeat the habit we can begin to eliminate it.

Are there any triggers that you can identify?

Are there any you are ready to remove so that you can move closer to your goals?

I have noticed that Brady’s blanket now spends more and more time on the floor out of view than it has in the past.  It is kind of sad, but I know once he no longer reaches for his blanket he will no longer have the desire to suck his thumb.

Growing up is not for the weak!

Committed to Your Success,

Adam