Home 2011 November (Page 2)

Coffee Consumption and Health: The Final Word – Part 1

I'm excited to present to you an awesome guest post on coffee consumption from Brian St. Pierre.  I learned a lot reading this two-part series over, and I'm sure you will, too!

Coffee is the second most popular drink in the world, trailing only water (and debatably, tea). As you all know, caffeine is a key component of coffee and is a compound of great debate.  It is the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug, with 90% of North American adults consuming caffeine daily. However, is this such a bad thing?

Many health advocates would try to convince you to give up coffee and possibly even caffeine altogether. However new research has certainly raised the question, should we actually give up our beloved Cup o’ Joe?

Does Metabolism Matter?

There is a lot of conflicting research on coffee consumption, and it seems to be because people have different clearance rates for caffeine. On one hand, you have the “slow” metabolizers of caffeine: people who are adversely affected by caffeine, get the jitters, and are wired for up to nine hours. Then, there are those who simply have an increase in energy and alertness that wears off within a few hours; they are considered “fast” metabolizers of caffeine.

This seems to be a defining difference in whether or not coffee will help you or hurt you, as those who are slow metabolizers may be at an increased risk for a non-fatal heart attack, while the fast metabolizers may not.

If you are a slow metabolizer of caffeine and coffee, steer clear.  It’s not for everybody, and it is not for you.  In your case, it can do more harm than good, and this may explain why coffee consumption has been associated with:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage
  • Interference of normal sleeping patterns
  • Increased PMS symptoms
  • Increased blood pressure, even in people without hypertension
  • Non-fatal myocardial infarction

Fortunately, this seems to be a minority of the population.  For those lucky enough to be fast metabolizers, there is good news – and lots of it.

Why Coffee Rules

Coffee has more antioxidants than dark chocolate or tea, and may make up as much as 50-70% of the total antioxidant intake for the average American!

A recent study found that men who drank the most coffee (6 or more cups per day) were nearly 60% less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than non-coffee drinkers.

In fact, at least six studies have found that regular coffee drinkers have up to an 80% decreased risk for developing Parkinson’s.

In addition, other research has shown that when compared to non-coffee drinkers, people who regularly consume two or more cups per day may have a 25% decreased risk of colon cancer, up to an 80% decreased risk for cirrhosis, a 35% decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, and up to a 50% decreased risk for gallstones!

In terms of the gallbladder protection, it was only seen in people who drank caffeinated coffee.  So, if you drink decaf, it’s not doing much for the gallbladder.

The final verdict on coffee and cancer is that coffee consumption is associated with a lower overall risk of cancer.  Period.  Specifically, coffee consumption has shown to be associated with a lower risk or oral, esophageal, pharyngeal, breast (in post-menopausal women), liver, colon, and aggressive prostate cancer.  Sounds good to me!

Beyond the health benefits, there are many noted mental and physical performance benefits as well. Caffeine has been shown to reduce the rate of perceived exertion, so it doesn’t feel like you are working as hard as you really are.  In addition, people who regularly drink coffee have been found to have better performance on tests of reaction time, verbal memory, and visuo-spatial reasoning.

Taking it a step further, another study found that elderly women over the age of 80 performed significantly better on tests of cognitive function if they had regularly consumed coffee over the course of their lifetimes.

In addition, many people think of coffee as increasing their risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the reality is that coffee consumption has been found to moderately reduce the risk of dying from CVD.  Another study, done in Japan, followed 77,000 individuals between the ages of 40 and 79. Researchers found that caffeine and coffee consumption were also associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

One other coffee/caffeine myth is the idea of dehydration. It is widely believed that caffeine-containing beverages like coffee and tea cause the body to expel more fluid than they provide, but  does the research actually back this up?

Nope.

A recent review of 10 studies found that consuming up to 550mg of caffeine per day does not cause fluid-electrolyte imbalances in athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Another review the following year found that consuming caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle does not lead to fluid loss in excess of the volume of fluid ingested, nor is it associated with poor hydration status. Myth busted.

That seems like an awful lot of awesome with respect to coffee consumption, but does it continue?  Check back soon for part 2 to find out!

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Healthy Food Options: Why You Should Never Take Nutrition Advice from Your Government
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About the Author

Brian St. Pierre is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He received his degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a focus in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maine, and he is currently pursuing his Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the same institution. He was the Nutritionist and a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Cressey Performance in Hudson, MA for three years. He is also the author of the Show and Go Nutrition Guide, the accompanying nutrition manual to Eric Cressey’s Show and Go Training System.

With his passion for seeing his clients succeed, Brian is able to use his knowledge, experience, and energy to create highly effective training and nutrition programs for clients of any age and background. For more information, check out his website.

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References

Cornelis MC, et al. Coffee, CYP1A2 Genotype, and Risk of Myocardial Infarction. JAMA. 2006;295(10):1135-1141

Wisborg K, et al. Maternal consumption of coffee during pregnancy and stillbirth and infant death in first year of life: prospective study. BMJ. 2003 326 (7386): 420.

Richelle M, et al. Comparison of the Antioxidant Activity of Commonly Consumed Polyphenolic Beverages (Coffee, Cocoa, and Tea) Prepared per Cup Serving. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2001, 49 (7), pp 3438–3442

Leitzmann WF, et al. A prospective study of coffee consumption and the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in men.  JAMA. 1999 281:2106-12

 Leitzmann MF, et al. Coffee intake is associated with lower risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in women. Gastroenterology. 2002 Dec;123(6):1823-30

 Webster Ross G, et al. Association of Coffee and Caffeine Intake With the Risk of Parkinson Disease.  JAMA. May 24, 2000, 283:20

Hancock DB, et al. Smoking, Caffeine, and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs in Families With Parkinson Disease. Arch Neurol. 2007;64(4):576-580.

Klatsky AL, et al. Coffee, Cirrhosis, and Transaminase Enzymes. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1190-1195.

van Dam RM, Hu FB. Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review.  JAMA. 2005 Jul 6;294(1):97-104.

Tavani, A, et al. Coffee and tea intake and risk of oral, pharyngeal and esophageal cancer. Oral Oncol. 2003 39 (7): 695-700. 

Ganmaa D, Willett WC, Li TY, et al. Coffee, tea, caffeine and risk of breast cancer: a 22-year follow-up. Int  J Cancer 2008 122 (9): 2071-6.

Inoue M, Yoshimi I, Sobue T, Tsugane S. Influence of Coffee Drinking on Subsequent Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Prospective Study in Japan. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 97 (4): 293-300

Nkondjock A. Coffee consumption and the risk of cancer: an overview. Cancer Lett. 2009 May 18;277(2):121-5.

Arab L. Epidemiologic evidence on coffee and cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(3):271-83.

Somoza V, et al. Activity-Guided Identification of a Chemopreventive Compound in Coffee Beverage Using in Vitro and in Vivo Techniques. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 51 (23), pp 6861–6869

American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, Houston, Dec. 6-8, 2009.

Jarvis MJ. Does caffeine intake enhance absolute levels of cognitive performance? Psychopharmacology. 2 December 2005, 110:1-2, 45-52.

Johnson-Kozlow M, et al. Coffee Consumption and Cognitive Function among Older Adults. Am J Epidemiol 2002; 156:842-850

Lopez-Garcia E, et al. The Relationship of Coffee Consumption with Mortality. Annals of Internal Medicine 2008 Jun 17;148(12):904-14.

Koizumi A, Mineharu Y, Wada Y, Iso H et al. Coffee, green tea, black tea and oolong tea consumption and risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease in Japanese men and women. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2011 65: 230-240.  

Armstrong LE. Caffeine, body fluid-electrolyte balance, and exercise performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exer Metab. 2002 Jun;12(2):189-206.

Maughan RJ, Griffin J. Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a reviewJ Hum Nutr Diet. 2003 16(6):411–420.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 11/11/11

First off, on Veterans Day, a big thank you goes out to all our readers who either have served or are serving in the military.  We appreciate all that you do and have done! With that said, here are a few recommended reads for the week: 7 Fat Loss Essentials - This is a free webinar from Dr. Mike Roussell that I thought was extremely well done.  I've always enjoyed Mike's nutrition stuff, and it's awesome to see him kicking out great content on a regular basis now that he's done with his PhD. Inverted Row Ignorance - I saw an ugly inverted row video online this week, and it reminded me of this post I wrote back in 2009.  Everything I said still holds true, though! Don't Forget the S-C Joint - Patrick Ward posted this great blog on the impact of the sternoclavicular joint on upper extremity function.  It's a bit more "geeky" and largely aimed toward manual therapists, but there are still some valuable lessons to learn for all of us.  I can tell you that nine out of ten times, right-handed pitchers are going to be very fibrotic in the subclavius area - just lateral to the S-C joint.  Attending to this one region can yield big payoffs in terms of upper extremity movement. Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!
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Is an Exercise Science Degree Really Worth It? – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed how an undergraduate degree in exercise science really isn't much of a competitive advantage at all in today's fitness industry because of the low barriers to entry in the field, high cost of college education, and shortcomings of most exercise science curricula themselves.  I concluded by referring to the three options you have available to you for distinguishing yourself in this field - and that's where we'll pick up today.

Option 1: Go to graduate school.

I know what you're thinking: "He just got done bashing an undergraduate exercise science program, yet he's going to encourage me to sign up for two more years and another $50-$100K in student loans?"

Yes, I'll encourage some of you to go that route.  First, though, you need to appreciate that graduate school is markedly different than the undergraduate experience.  There are more opportunities for hands-on learning, more direct communication between students and faculty, smaller faculty-to-student ratios, and much more self-selected study.  In other words, you have a much better opportunity to dictate your own educational path.

I went to graduate school not really sure what I wanted to do.  I could have been a researcher, trainer, clinical exercise physiologist, or strength and conditioning coach.  It was only after my experiences during that graduate experience that I realized that I loved coaching and wanted to make a career out of it.

Taking it a step further in this regard, you simply won't be hired to work in college strength and conditioning if you don't at least have an undergraduate degree, and the truth is that most employers "strongly prefer" master's degrees.  It isn't just the "minimum academic requirement" that they're after; rather, it's that a master's degree means that you have spent at least two years in the trenches (usually at a D1 program) working with athletes as a graduate assistant or volunteer, so there will be fewer "kinks" to work out in a new strength and conditioning position.

Additionally, graduate programs are far more challenging academically.  I had to work twice as hard to get a GPA 0.3 points lower in graduate school than in my undergraduate degree.  It was challenging because the admission requirements were so high; in fact, all of my classmates are now college professors, D1 strength and conditioning coaches, and exercise physiologists for NASA and the US Army.

I can look back extremely fondly on my graduate experience at the University of Connecticut because it made me much more versatile.  A given day might have me working with a seven-foot tall NBA-bound center and an untrained five-foot tall female study subject - with everything from exercise endocrinology, to phlebotomy, to research methods, to understanding environment stress thrown in my classroom experience the same day.  Nothing was typical, and opportunities were endless; it was like "life."

As an added bonus, many times, graduate students have opportunities to work as graduate assistants or teaching assistants to receive a tuition waiver and/or stipend.  So, you can come out "even" financially when your graduate experience is over - and earn a degree and build your network in the process.

Graduate school isn't for everyone, but I wouldn't trade my experience for the world.

Option 2: Choose a different undergraduate course of study.

I think one of the reasons an exercise science degree has been devalued is that it doesn't allow you to do anything someone in any other profession can't do.  A truck driver who decides to apply to his local gym to be a trainer immediately has the same legal scope of practice of a certified trainer with an exercise science degree.

If that trainer, however, had done an undergraduate degree in athletic training and become an ATC, he could also do traditional "rehabilitation" approaches like manual therapy, Kinesio Taping, nerve flossing, and a host of other approaches.  Athletic trainers essentially serve as physical therapists in the college sector, and in many professional sports setting.  Had that trainer done a degree in physical therapy and become licensed, he could still do all of that, but also bill insurance for it.  And, they can still serve as strength coaches or personal trainers on top of their normal responsibilities.  In other words, having an ATC or PT after your name increases your scope of practice dramatically.

Using myself as an example, I manage over 70 baseball arms every single day of the week - which is more than some athletic trainers and physical therapists see in an entire career.  I've seen everything under the sun when it comes to shoulder and elbow issues, yet the initials after my name (which are a function of my degree) dictate what I can and can't do to help someone, even if I'm 100% sure I know the right approach for that individual.  I refer out quite a bit for this reason (and because there is no way I could work on absolutely everybody even if I wanted to), but it would be nice to know that I could manage things in-house more conveniently for everyone.

To that end, if there is one thing I would have done differently, it would have been to do a physical therapy degree (or at least an athletic training one) in my undergraduate education, even if it meant going an extra year or two.  Many of the classes are the same as you'd get with exercise science, which could be a perfectly acceptable minor.

Worthy of noting here is that one can also pursue a massage therapy license to open up some windows in the context of manual therapy, so it's never too late.  Chris Howard has made himself a more versatile strength and conditioning coach at Cressey Performance by adding this to his arsenal, for instance.

Option 3: Reinvest your financial resources appropriately.

I can't imagine dropping $250,000+ on a college education...in any discipline.  Let's forget about that for now, though, and say that you've got that $250,000 saved up and you want to know the opportunity cost of devoting those financial resources to college.

Do you realize how far $250,000 can go? Let's say that you spend $100/day on "survival" stuff like food, shelter, clothing, and the like.  Over the course of four years, that is $146,000 in living expenses.  That gives you $104,000 to spend on books, DVDs, seminars, mentorships, independent study courses, and the travels that they'd mandate.  As a frame of reference, for under $1,000, you could buy all of the following from my resources page (and still have a few bucks to spare):

Precision Nutrition

Building the Efficient Athlete DVD Set

Anatomy Trains

Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain, 5th Ed.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes

Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance

Optimal Shoulder Performance DVD Set

Assess and Correct DVD Set

Movement

Supertraining

Basic Biomechanics

Then, skip one meal of eating out a month and devote a few bucks to joining Elite Training Mentorship for continuing education, and you're in a great position to not just get to the front of the industry, but stay there, too.

Finally, take another $1,000 and devote it to business resources, and I'd guarantee that this $2,000 would put you light years ahead of any college course you could take - yet the college course would likely cost more.  Books, DVDs, seminars, webinars, and internships will always be a far more affordable and effective way to learn; you just need to be willing to put in the time and energy to benefit from them.  The same could be said of college, but the price point is considerably higher and the distractions more prominent.  And, student loan interest isn't always tax deductible, but these purchases could be considered tax deductible if the individual in question is earning income in the fitness industry simultaneously, as they'd be continuing education expenses.

When you pay for college with student loans, there is undoubtedly less "incentive" to put your money to good work by paying close attention and working hard; that money is never in your hands to feel and appreciate.  You only appreciate it later when you're paying off the principal and interest for years to come.  However, when you pay for a plane ticket, hotel, and seminar seat, you're making that purchase with your credit card and immediately appreciating that you're being separated from your money - and that you better make it worthwhile.

Of course, not many 18-year-olds have the discipline to plan out their educational destiny like this, and many don't even know what career path they'd like to pursue, anyway.  So, this is probably a moot point for the overwhelming majority of kids out there who may wind up in the fitness industry someday.  If you're in your 40s and considering a career change to the fitness industry, though, I think you'd be crazy to start an undergraduate degree in exercise science from scratch.  Different strokes for different folks.

Wrap-up

Part 1 of this series drew some fantastic comments, and I expect that this second installment will do the same.  So, I'll initiate the discussion with a few questions:

1. What other ways do you feel fitness professionals can distinguish themselves in a competitive industry with a low barrier to entry?  Obviously, results matter, but rookie trainers don't have that luxury upon which to fall back.

2. Have other educational paths served you well?  In what ways?

3. In a few decades, when college is even more insanely expensive than it is now, what will universities have to do to "justify" their role in the educational process at such a high price point?

I look forward to your responses in the comments section.

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Is an Exercise Science Degree Really Worth It? – Part 1

Today’s post is going to rub some folks in academia the wrong way.  Therefore, I want to preface the piece that follows by saying:

a) I am a huge advocate of a multi-faceted education, encompassing “traditional” directed study (e.g., classroom education), self-study, internships, and experimentation.

b) I loved my college experience – both undergraduate and graduate.  I benefited tremendously and made a lot of valuable connections.

However, it didn’t come easily; I got out of it what I put into it.  To be candid, there are a lot of my peers who took the exact same courses and got the exact same degrees who didn’t walk away having gotten their money’s worth.

But, then again, does anyone really get their money’s worth?

College isn’t cheap nowadays. Check out the following statistics from CollegeBoard.com (as of 2011; this is sure to increase in the years to come):

  • Public four-year colleges charge, on average, $7,605 per year in tuition and fees for in-state students. The average surcharge for full-time out-of-state students at these institutions is $11,990. 
  • Private nonprofit four-year colleges charge, on average, $27,293 per year in tuition and fees.
  • Public two-year colleges charge, on average, $2,713 per year in tuition and fees.

Of course, this doesn’t take into account the cost of books, travel, food, accommodations, and the $5,000 in on-campus parking tickets you’ll end up paying.  Educations can run upwards of $220,000 - and that's before you consider student loan interest and the opportunity cost of investing that money.

Assume 24-30 credits per year (12-15 per semester), you’re looking at a per credit hour cost of $399.66-$499.58 for public, out-of-state.  It’d be $253.50-$316.88 for public, in-state.  Public two-year colleges would be $90.43-$113.04. Finally, private would be $909.77-$1137.21. Sorry, Mom and Dad; I’ve never in all my years heard a kid say that an hour with one of his professors – even in a one-on-one context – was worth over a grand.

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They also charge you to do internships elsewhere.  In other words, you have to pay to get credits accepted – which means that the cost per hour you actually spend with college faculty is, in fact, even higher.

Many folks go to college to figure out what they want to do.  Others go because it is a social experience that is both fun – and helpful in maturing them as individuals.  That’s fine.

However, it is becoming tougher and tougher to consider it an investment, especially since the “success gap” between college graduates and those who don’t attend college is getting smaller and smaller.  Along these lines, if you haven’t read it already, I’d strongly encourage you to read Michael Ellsberg’s New York Times piece, Will Dropouts Save America?

The exercise science field is one in which this success gap is arguably smaller than in any other.  The barrier to entry to the personal training field is incredibly low; independent of schooling and previous experience, one can become certified in a matter of a few hours via an online test, and many gyms will hire people who aren’t even certified or insured.  In fact, as I wrote a few years ago, Josef Brandenburg, a great trainer based in Washington, D.C., actually got his pet pug certified.  The sad truth is that he could probably do a better job than most of the trainers out there who are pulling $100/hour.

Of course, I’m preaching to the choir here.  Most of the folks reading this blog are educated and highly motivated to be the best that they can be.  You seek out the best reading materials, DVDs, seminars, and colleagues from which you can learn.  Personal training means a lot to people who grew up and went to college wanting to eventually help people get healthy, improve quality of life, optimize sports performance, or simply be more confident.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that our profession as a whole has become a “fall-back” career.  It can be what college kids decide to do over summer vacation to make a few bucks, or what extremely well-paid lawyers or accountants take up when they get sick of long hours at desk jobs.

That doesn’t make them bad people; it just means that the minimal regulation in our industry has rendered a college education in this field a trivial competitive advantage in the workplace.

Additionally, this doesn't mean that college professors aren't qualified or doing their jobs sufficiently. It just means that the curricula that typifies an exercise science degree simply isn't sufficient to provide a competitive advantage over non-college-educated candidates in the workforce. There are exceptions, no doubt,in the form of outstanding professors who go above and beyond the call of duty to help student, but I can't honestly say that I've ever heard of a college kid coming out of any undergraduate exercise science program boasting of a competitive advantage that was uniquely afforded to him/her because of the education just completed. The closest thing might be a program with a strong alumni network that provides easier access to job opportunities.

Of course, the cream will rise to the top in any field – and that’s certainly true of exercise science as well.  The industry leaders are, for the most part, people with college educations in exercise science (or closely related fields) – but the question one must ask is, “would these people have been successful in our field even without the courses they took in their undergraduate studies?”

Don’t you think Mike Robertson’s drive for self study would have sustained him in a successful career in this field even without a degree?

Don’t you think Todd Durkin’s energy, charisma, and passion for helping people would have shone through even if he hadn’t gotten a degree?

Moreover, I can list dozens of bright minds making outstanding headway in this field with “non-exercise-science” college degrees.  John Romaniello (Psychobiology/ English), Joe Dowdell (Sociology/Economics), and Ben Bruno (Sociology) are all successful, forward-thinking trainers who come to mind instantly, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Some of my best interns have come from undergraduate majors like English Literature, Acting, and Biology.  We’ve had others who didn’t even have college degrees and absolutely dominated in their roles at Cressey Performance.

Guys like Nate Green, Adam Bornstein, Sean Hyson, Lou Schuler, and Adam Campbell don’t have college degrees in exercise science (although Campbell did get a graduate degree in Exercise Physiology following his undergraduate in English).  However, from their prolific writing careers and by surrounding themselves with the best trainers on the planet, they’ve become incredibly qualified trainers themselves – even if they don’t have to train anybody as part of their jobs.

With all these considerations in mind, the way I see it, you’ve got three options to distinguish yourself in the field of exercise science – and I'll share them in part 2 of this article.  If you’re a high school or college student contemplating a career in exercise science, this will be must-read material.

In the meantime, you may be interested in checking out Elite Training Mentorship, our affordable online education program for fitness professionals.

 

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Why Your Workout Routine Shouldn’t Be “Routine”

Last Saturday night, the power went out at our house thanks to a rare October snowstorm in New England. Expecting it to come back on pretty quickly, I went to bed Saturday night assuming I’d wake up to a normal Sunday morning. Instead, I woke up and it was 49 degrees in my house. And, that wound up being par for the course through Tuesday at about 4pm. No hot showers, no refrigeration, no coffee in the morning: it makes you realize how much you take some things for granted.

It’s not all that different than what you’ll hear from injured and sick athletes. We always just believe that we’re going to be healthy – and it’s that assumption that leads us to put too much weight on the bar and lift with poor technique, have the extra beer, go to bed an hour later, or make any of a number of other small, but crucial decisions that interfere with our short- and long-term health, and the continuity in our workout "routines." I wish I’d foam rolled even when I wasn’t in pain. I wish I’d done that dynamic flexibility warm-up even when I just wanted to get in and lift. I wish I’d eaten my vegetables even though I was just trying to shovel in as much calories as I could in my quest to get strong and gain muscle. These are all things I've heard from injured people. Hindsight is always 20/20. Some of these decisions are made out of negligence, but often, they’re made simply because folks don’t know about the right choices. I mean, do you think this guy would really continue doing this if he thought it was good for his body?

Nobody is immune to ignorance; we’ve all “been there, done that.” Almost a decade ago, I had no idea how much soft tissue work, high volumes of horizontal pulling, and thoracic spine mobility drills could do to help my shoulder. It’s why I stumbled through fails attempts at physical therapy with that shoulder back in 2000-2003, only to accidentally discover how to fix it with my own training in time to cancel my shoulder surgery. Back in that same time period, nobody ever told me how eating more vegetables would help take down the acidity of my diet, or that Vitamin D status impacted tissue quality and a host of other biological functions. I never knew most fish oil products you could buy are woefully underdosed and of poor quality. Now, I crush Vitamin D, Biotest Flameout, and Athletic Greens on top of a healthy diet that’s as much about nutrient quality as it is about caloric content and timing.

In short, I didn’t know everything then, and while I know a lot more now, I still don’t claim to have all the answers. Nobody has all of them. So what do you do to avoid taking important things for granted? Get around people who have “been there, done that.” Ask questions. Follow workout routines they’ve followed, and consult resources they’ve consulted. I touched on this in my webinars last week.

I also discussed this topic in a blog about strength and conditioning program design a while back. The best way to avoid making mistakes and taking things for granted is to be open-minded and learn from other people. With that in mind, let’s use this post as a starting point. What mistakes have you made when it comes to taking things for granted? And, what lessons have you learned? Post your comments below. Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!
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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 11/2/11

Here's this week's list of recommended reading: If You're Not Growing Your Fitness Business, Here Are Some Fixes... - This was an awesome "choose your own adventure" type of post from Pat Rigsby, as he provides options for fitness professionals facing challenges on the business side of things.  Pat's ability to find opportunity in any fitness is unparalleled, and one reason why I was stoked to collaborate with him on the Fitness Business Blueprint.

Get Strong Using the Stage System - This was a guest blog I just wrote last week for Men's Health.  In it, I highlight one of my favorite strength and conditioning program strategies, the stage system. The Importance of Hip Flexion Strength - This was a great guest contribution from Chris Johnson at Mike Reinold's blog. Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!
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