Reader Mailbag

As we step closer to the next phase of Restore/Thrive, we wanted to answer a few questions we’ve been getting from a number of people regarding training, eating, and the like. They say if one person asks the question, you can bet at least another 10 people were asking the same question in their head. Here’s the rundown from the folks we hear from:

Question: Are you still eating Keto?

Answer: In short, no. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but I’ll try to summarize the main reasons I’m not actively trying to stay in ketosis right now.

  1. I’m not trying to lose weight and I’m not metabolically broken or in need of a strategy like a ketogenic diet to fix some pathological problem.
  2. My cardiometabolic numbers look better when I’m eating a more Mediterranean-type of diet. Before you tell me I just haven’t been in ketosis long enough, stop. This is not my first rodeo with eating lots of fat and treating carbs like The Plague.
  3. I perform better when I eat carbs after my workouts. As much as I want to tell you that you can ride the low carb bandwagon to high-end human performance (I’m not talking about steady-state cycling here), it’s just not going to happen. I’m not willing to sacrifice strength, speed, and athleticism-all of which have been linked with longevity-for the sake of some magical state of metabolic existence. Ketones are not magic. They are another macro-nutrient. They have a place just like carbs, proteins, and fat. Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you something.
  4. I’ve found that eating fewer, bigger meals-a post-workout morning meal and an evening meal, actually works better for me than trying to consume 230 grams (for you calorie-counters, that’s 2,070 calories) of dietary fat per-day.
  5. There may come a day in the not too distant future when a ketogenic diet becomes my best option for optimal health. Unitl then, I’m going to stick with what’s working.

Question: What’s the word on the Restore/Thrive Gym?

Answer: It’s 98% done. Actually, it’s ready to train in. We’ve got a few small renovation and legal pieces to finish but it looks good, it’s fun to play in. Stay tuned, we’ll have more details soon on how you can join in the fun.

Question: How do you stay in shape with a wife, 3 kids, a full-time job, a blog, and a You-Tube channel?

Answer: I make the time. There’s no secret-squirrel program, sorry to break it to you. When you want to be a good husband, good dad, give your best at your job, and be able to savor the moments that matter in the life you’re living, you’ve got to be intentional. I have a calendar. Actually I have two: a hard copy and a digital copy and I write down the dates and times I’m doing the things that matter to me and I share that with JC. My health is a priority. I read a great article from another dad who’s getting after it the other day and he related this juggling act to the story of Superman. Superman knew that kryptonite would sap him of his power to be able to serve others. He also knew that the sun was what gave him the strength he needed to be on call nearly 24/7, 365. If I set out the goal to be the best husband, dad, and physiocoach I can be, I have to identify what will interfere with me reaching those goals and what will aid me in achieving those goals. I have to identify my kryptonite and my sun. What is my sun? Exercise. Writing in a journal in the morning before everyone else in my house gets up. Drinking my coffee in silence as I drive to work. Those things empower me to give my best to my family and my work. My kryptonite? When I miss those things, I suck at everything.

Question: What does your training routine look like these days?

Answer: Deadly simple and effective: 3 days per-week/some form and combination of Squat, Hinge, Lunge, Step, Press, Pull, Get Stronger in the Trunk, Go Hard, Go Easy, Go Long, Go Short. I hesitate to give you any more detail than that as my program has evolved through 25+ years of training. What works for me may not work for you.

Question: You sleeping much these days?

Answer: It’s coming along. Young Connor Patrick (our 14 month old) has been sleeping through the night for a solid 3 months now. When we turned that corner, I originally decided to let my body try to sort things out. The first two weeks after he started sleeping through the night was a cruel joke-I kept waking up at the times he had been waking up for the past 11 months, while he dozed through the night. After two weeks of that mess, I tried to get tuned in with my bedtime routine (soft tissue rolling, avoiding screen time) and got slightly better but still not great. I’ve been experimenting with two different sleep supplements in the last two weeks, I’ll let you know more about both of them when my experiments have run their course.

That’s the short-version of everything. As always, feel free to give us a shout if you have any injury, rehab, or training-related questions.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

Training Kids

Outlining the Restore/Thrive Approach

Morning Folks! We’re back on the YouTube Channel today. This time we’re talking training philosophy. One of the questions we answer most often is “What sports are your kids doing?”. The simple answer-none. Why? That’s the topic of discussion today. If your kids haven’t mastered these basics, getting them involved in sports may actually hinder their athletic development.

Training Files: Conditioning

Some weekend conditioning fun for all.

Ahead of the opening of the Restore/Thrive Gym later this summer, we wanted to give you a glimpse of the type of training we’ll be doing in our gym.

“Conditioning” as a general fitness term, can mean a variety of things to a variety of people. As a primary pillar of training in our gym, conditioning refers to the development of the physical ability to perform primary movement patterns under the strain of increased working volume, intensity, and metabolic demand.

Practically applied, a conditioning day at our gym can look like this:

  • 5 to 10 minutes warm-up
  • 9 rounds for time, 5 Deadlifts at 65% of estimated max, 20 second Airdyne bike sprint
  • Cool Down

Whether you’re a field athlete or a hard-working parent wrangling a handful of kids, our primary goal is to make you more physically efficient and resilient at performing the fundamental patterns of human movement in a variety of contexts. It’s one thing to execute a perfect hip hinge/Deadilft when you’re just training that pattern and giving yourself plenty of rest between sets. It’s a completely different animal when you’re stressed, breathing hard, or thinking about the 12 other things you have to do today and asked to pick up something heavy. The goal of our conditioning program is to hard-wire the most efficient patterns into your brain and body so that when the heat is on in competition or in the kitchen as you wrestle 3 kids and try to get dinner on the table at the same time, you default to the best patterns of movement.

Why Your Health Matters 

Hint: It’s not just about you.

I’ll get straight to the point: the biggest threat to the national security of the United States of America is the rising cost of health care. Metabolic Syndrome (you have this condition if you have high fasting blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL, central obesity-that’s fat around your stomach-and high blood pressure) and more specifically the diseases that result from it-namely Cancer, Stroke, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes-by the year 2040 will cost FOUR TIMES the U.S. Gross Domestic Product to treat.

What does that mean for you, your children, and your grandchildren? There will be no money for anything else. Roads, schools, military, police, fire, food subsidies, all left at the doorstep as we drown in medical spending.

What’s almost as troubling as this news is that there’s not much the government at a federal or state level can do about this problem. The U.S. medical system is a for-profit venture, and we the consumers are going to pay the price of rising health care costs. When the fastest growing cohort of the obesity epidemic in the U.S. is children under 12 months of age, it’s fairly safe to assume that the nation’s spending on health care is not going to regress back to the mean anytime soon. Those fat babies are going to become fat adults, and a childhood spent being significantly overweight exponentially increases the speed at which your body arrives on the doorstep of Metabolic Syndrome.

That’s the bad news. We are not a healthy country, and if something significant doesn’t occur to change the direction of our country’s health and well being, the end isn’t going to be pretty for anyone.

One of the biggest lies you’re most likely to believe is that your life, your decisions, and your daily habits don’t matter to the people or the world around you. If you believe that lie, you’re dead wrong.

Now the good news. YOU can do something about this. As is the custom in most of the discovered world, most revolutions in thought, culture, and tradition begin at the grassroots level. YOU can decide to be the change you want to see. YOU have the opportunity to build up yourself and others every single day.

Every day is Monday. A new day. A new start. So get after it. Dream big and then chase those dreams down until they are the life you’re actually living. Fight the good fight for yourself and the people you love. Speak the truth in love. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep believing.

I’ll leave you with two of my favorite quotes. One I used to keep on my desk at my day job until it was burned into my mind. The other I always come back to when I feel like giving up on the venture I’ve begun on this website:

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”-Edward Stanley

“Never forget, a small group of people can change the world. No one else ever has.”-Micah Sifry


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

 

Vision Therapy

A new vision exam for the 21st Century.

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Last weekend I had the opportunity to sit down for some continuing education from one of my favorite providers on my recommended post-concussion rehab team, Dr. John Metzger and the rest of his staff at Kansas City Vision Performance Center. Though I went into the event hoping to further hone my skills as a Post Concussion Syndrome rehab provider, I walked away with much more. Put simply, my knowledge base on vision development, assessment, and therapy exploded. If you or someone you know has visual issues, difficulty reading, focusing, following directions, poor hand-eye coordination, were born by C-section, or motion sickness, it’s a good bet that you may need some vision therapy.

Let’s dig in a little here and talk about why visual skill is important and why functional optometry is the wave of the future (even though it’s a profession over 70 years old).

When you go in for your standard eye exam, your provider is looking at two things: eye sight and eye health. Though important, these are just two of a multitude of factors that determine the true fitness of your eyes and vision. However, even if eye health and sight check out, there are several other factors that are equally if not more important. Generally categorized those factors are as follows:

  1. Eye coordination
  2. Eye tracking
  3. Focusing
  4. Visual Processing

In the medical community, we have been consistently taught that sight is one of our five senses (along with hearing, smell, taste, and touch). What has been largely ignored related to vision, is that this “sense” is actually more of a key factor in motor development than we previously thought. Think about it, what would poor visual skills do to your ability to learn to walk, talk, write, and perform math? The Optic Nerve, the nerve connecting your eyes to your brain, has more sensory fibers than all of your other senses combined. Another True Fact: 20-percent of Optic Nerve Fibers go to areas in the brain outside of the visual cortex in your Occipital Lobe. Meaning, your eyes do a lot more than tell your brain what’s in front of you.

Dr. Metzger and his staff gave several examples of pediatric patients who have struggled academically, behaviorally, and even in sports, who benefited tremendously from the in-depth vision screening and treatments they perform at their clinic. Kids who were previously diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, or dyslexia, were found to have fundamental vision skill problems that were hindering their learning and behavior.

Take Aways

So what are you to do with this info?

First if you have children who struggle behaviorally, physically, or academically, I urge you to schedule an appointment at Kansas City Vision Performance Center as soon as you can. They offer screens for kids as young as Pre-K to make sure they start off on the right foot as they reach school age. What’s my angle? I get absolutely no kickbacks, I just want all of our kids to feel better and do better. This is a big step in the right direction to feeling and performing your best, regardless of your age.

For you do-it-your-selfers, I’ve got some goodies for you, too.

Check out Bal-a-Metrics (www.balametrics.com) for a variety of products you can use at home to promote better visual skill and sensory integration.

This 30-question predictive checklist, from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, can give parents a quick view of a potential vision problems that would be appropriately treated with vision therapy.

Do yourself (and your family) a favor, and go a little bit deeper to assess your true eye fitness. The difference vision therapy could make could be life-changing.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

 

Let’s Fix Your Low Back Pain

If you’re a physical therapist or medical professional and you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, 1) “This guy is either insane or an egomaniac if he thinks he’s going to fix everybody’s low back pain.”, and, 2) “Let’s see if he can pull it off.”

Continue reading “Let’s Fix Your Low Back Pain”

Random Physical Therapy Advice

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My youngest son (and child), Connor Patrick, turned 3 months old this past week. To celebrate the occasion, Connor (a.k.a “Baby Thor”) started taking 2+ hour daytime naps while simultaneously regressing in his nighttime sleep habits to waking 3-4 times a night to remind Mom and Dad who really runs the roost. Thanks, son. I cannot wait until you’re sixteen and want to sleep in on a Saturday morning. Your chore list is already waiting for you. But I digress. Continue reading “Random Physical Therapy Advice”