A Candid Discussion About Fitness for Hiking, Backpacking, and Hillwalking With One of the Most Down-to-Earth Fitness Authors on the Net
hint: there is some good stuff in this interview for non-hikers, too!
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Chris Highcock, whose work I’ve followed for several years now. Chris is a fitness guy through-and-through, but he’s also an author, blogger, and health and fitness researcher who has a knack for providing clarity to the latest research and trending topics.
I’ve always appreciated Chris’s work because he has a way of bringing the many extreme viewpoints that circulate the internet into a more balanced perspective – a rare and valuable skill to have in the health and fitness community. In fact, Chris’s Conditioning Research site was near the top of my list of best bloggers to watch in 2010, and if I had a 2013 list, his site would be right up there, too.
Needless to say, Chris has an invaluable perspective that most in the fitness industry don’t, which is exactly why I wanted to introduce you to him here. Today’s agenda involves a discussion mostly about health, fitness, and strength training as they relate to hiking, backpacking, and hillwalking, which as you’ll soon find out, are topics that are near and dear to Chris’s heart. But there’s a lot more here than meets the eye, and I’d dare say, that practically everyone who reads this will come away with at least one golden nugget that they can put into practice. Oh, and you’ll learn why wearing a kilt may help you improve your workout performance.
So, let’s dive right in.
Continue reading Interview with Chris Highcock about Fitness, Strength, and Becoming HillFit
Learn How To Leverage Bodyweight Training To Burn Fat And Get Lean At Home In This Insightful Interview With The Bodyweight Coaches, Adam Steer And Ryan Murdock
Ryan Murdock & Adam Steer – The Bodyweight Coaches and Creators of the Bodyweight Burn Program
Note: make sure you check out both the Giveaway details and the Special Offer listed below the interview. All you have to do is leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Adam & Ryan’s complete Bodyweight Burn program.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to interview Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock, who are known around these parts as the “Bodyweight Coaches.” I’ve known these fellas for awhile now, and have actually interviewed them both separately in the past (Adam’s interviews are here and here, and Ryan’s is here). But it’s been a few years, and truth be told, I’ve been meaning to get both of them on the phone for awhile now.
You see, these days, Adam and Ryan have been collaborating on a variety of projects in the bodyweight training realm. And given that a lot of you are interested in both bodyweight training and fat loss, I thought it would be good to get both of them on the phone to talk training for a bit. More specifically, to talk bodyweight training for home fitness and fat loss. And that’s just what we did. I sent them a list of questions, got on Skype, and we talked for over an hour to give you some ideas on how to leverage bodyweight training combined with some key nutrition and lifestyle strategies to help you burn fat and get lean at home.
There’s some really good info, a few key insights (aka golden nuggets), and tons of ideas to help you in your efforts to create a healthier, stronger, leaner you – right from home. Plus, perhaps most valuable of all, is some good ol’ fashioned perspective (aka a reality check). So, if that’s something that would interest you, have a listen!
Continue reading Interview with Coaches Steer & Murdock About Bodyweight Burn
How Joe The Runner Eliminated His Knee Pain Using 3 Exercises He Learned During A 5 Minute Consultation With A Health-First Fitness Coach
So, my brother, Joe, who lives out of state, showed up in town for an unexpected visit. We got together to catch up, and during the madness, he mentioned that his knees have been bothering him while running. Apparently, ever since he started training for his first half marathon last year – which he crushed, by the way – his knees have always been giving him trouble. It was just a slight annoyance at first, but it’s gotten so bad over the past several months that he really couldn’t run without being in pain, which meant very little running for him at all.
When he mentioned it, I immediately asked him if I could take a look. Truth be told, I think I actually caught him off guard because he looked back at me with a befuddled expression, indicating that he was thinking, “what, right now?“
But I insisted with, “come on, let’s do it. It’ll only take a few minutes, and I’d like to try my hand at figuring this bad boy out.” And he agreed!
So, I asked him a few questions about the issue he was having, looked at how he moved a little bit, and I even man-handled his legs for a minute. While we were playing doctor, I quickly discovered that along with the ever-so-common hip tightness and immobility, Joe’s iliotibial bands (ITB) were extremely tight – unnaturally tight – which is a very common issue among runners. These tissues are supposed to be springy – almost rubber-band like – but his were like steel cables (much like mine had been in years past).
So, I said, “I think we’ve found the problem” (or, at least a problem). And over the next few minutes, I taught him a few exercises that would help to alleviate the tension, increase his range of motion, restore the tissue quality, and put a bounce in his step, if you will. I had no idea if it would actually eliminate the knee pain or not, but at first glance, it looked like it was the primary contributor and I knew it was worth a try. And heck, it wasn’t going to hurt him and would do him some good regardless of the outcome. So, 5 minutes later, we were done. I’d given him a few exercises to work on regularly and we got back to whatever nonsense we were up to before. A few days later, Joe returns to his home state.
About a month later, I received this comment on my Facebook wall…
Continue reading 3 Exercises In 5 Minutes: No More Knee Pain When Running
Jeff Kuhland – NSCA-CSCS, MovNat Certified Trainer, FMS 1+2, CrossFit Level 1, USA Track and Field Coach, Tether-ball extraordinaire
If you haven’t met Jeff Kuhland before, it’s probably because he’s been so busy trekking through the back country via compass and topo maps, battling river rapids by raft or kayak, pulling all-nighters in some obscure wilderness with his adventure race team, competing in all kinds of races from track sprints to ultra-marathons, and enjoying many other larger-than-life adventures. This guy is truly living it, and when he’s not out having fun, he’s in having fun by helping people get healthier, get fitter, and reconnect with their true nature.
I met Jeff at one of the very first MovNat retreats that was held in the USA back in 2009. He was assisting Erwan Le Corre during all four of the 5-day seminars – as an intern, of sorts. And when he was not working on some administrative tasks (e.g. cooking, cleaning, etc.), he would join us for MovNat training during the day. Sometimes he would join our group, or just do his own thing off in the distance – stealing a glance or two from the participants (we’d be thinking, “how’d he do that?”).
Jeff happened to be my partner during my very first MovNat combo workout. Erwan setup a little circuit of sorts for the whole gang, and we did it in pairs. So, Jeff and I ran on a fallen tree trunk (ie balancing), competed in a tree-branch pullup contest (he won), and then we threw large rocks at each other (err… to each other), and finished with some tree-trunk deadlifts. Erwan gave Jeff and I the heavy one. Thanks buddy.
The retreat was held at a park campground, with the usual assortment of amenities (including people who “camp” in RV’s that make my house look primitive). And so, after a long day of training that finished with our partner combo workout, Jeff and I decided it would be prudent to battle it out in a game of tether-ball. It took awhile, but in the end, Jeff whooped me – bad. But I did dominate in a game of horseshoes later – my redeeming glory.
So, that all goes to say that Jeff is a pretty cool guy, and I think he’s got a heckuva lot to offer the Physical Living community. So, when I reconnected with Jeff for the first time in awhile, and found out that he’s been writing some articles for Breaking Muscle, I asked if he’d be willing to do an interview for you here, and he happily agreed. So, let’s dive right in.
Continue reading Interview with Jeff Kuhland
Have you ever spoken with a personal trainer, and only heard the following…
Hello, my name is Billy the Great and I’m a personal trainer who was certified through (blah blah blah blah) and who has an ENDLESS supply of motivation – AND YOU DON’T! Muahahahaha! But lucky for you, you’re paying me TONS of money to have me bark orders at you in an effort to manipulate you into doing unpleasant things for a whole hour, three times per week. And it’s a good thing, too! You NEED someone like me to help rescue you from your plight of being a fat slob and having ZERO motivation to save yourself. But don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of motivation to spare. In fact, for just a little more money, I can provide you with some extra inspiration you NEED to succeed. So, it’s a good thing you hired me, for YOUR sake, if ya know what I mean! Now, pardon me while I go refresh my cologne and check out my gunz in the mirror.
See what I mean? The holier-than-thou, egotistical shtick aside, there’s this rampant idea in our culture that personal trainers, fitness coaches, and strength and conditioning specialists – among others – have superhuman sources and abundant reserves of motivation to succeed day-in and day-out. Naturally, they’re described as driven people. They just get it done because they’re fired up all the time, and most other normal people just aren’t born this way and don’t have access to this level of motivation. Right?
Well, hold your horses there, hot shot, because that isn’t exactly true – not by a long shot. Sure, it may be somewhat true that most fitness professionals, in general, tend to be more tapped into their sources of motivation than your average Joe, and exemplify character traits like determination, persistence, and self-discipline as a result. But that doesn’t mean all fitness pros are like this all the time. Quite the contrary.
Allow me to use a personal example to explain. I’ve been involved in physical training pretty much constantly since I was 11 years old. Exercise has simply always been a part of my life, and there haven’t been many times that I’ve had an extended break (ie longer than a week off from training). But there have been plenty of times when the motivation to train wasn’t entirely there. And I couldn’t possibly keep track of the number of days that training time has come around and I simply didn’t want to do it. And truth be told, there have even been entire seasons of my life when training was not something I looked forward to. So, yes, my motivation to train has run dry many a time.
But I’ve always stuck with it, no matter what, because that’s what men and women do. They stick with it. They get it done. They do what they have to do because it needs to get done. And it’s as simple as that. Or, is it? Continue reading How Fitness Professionals Stay Motivated To Train (Hint: We Don’t!)