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JD BOOKS: “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and The Brain”

posted by coach Jay D

What does a Spark, the brain and Hindu Squats all have in common?…
John J. Ratey. Great M.D., and author of “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain“.

Back in 2012, I personally had a goal of reading 2 books per month. That’s 24 books in a year, that I completed.
Between the training, studying (for my NSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach exam) and planning, plus meetings, and assessments, I MADE time to read.
You can, too.
But that’s not to say that I remember each and everything within the pages of those 24 books.

“Spark”, is one of the books that I’m now taking the time to re-visit and thoroughly read once again.
John investigates and illustrates how exercise in various forms, helps the brain grow and evolve.
It goes way beyond a mere mind and body concept. Exercise actually improves cognition, and socialization to name a few benefits – beyond simply “feeling good”, mentally (although not an aspect to be downplayed at all).

It’s a great book that I encourage all of you to read, whether you have a background in Kinesiology, Medicine, Psychology and Fitness OR not.
The language is easily understandable, and all of the scientific jargon that you’d expect from such a book is minimal, at most.

Anyone can and should read it. Forget that; everyone MUST read it.

Here’s a video of John, himself at a TED talk:

Evolve or Die.

Were we Really Born to Run?

posted by coach Jay D

Smack dab in the middle of Marathon and Running Season, I thought I’d take a moment to pay respect to Emma van Nostrand, the 18 year old runner who passed away at this weekend’s Goodlife Marathon.

She was very athletic, her parents were runners (her father just completed the Boston weeks ago), she was part of the high school running club and she was very physically active in soccer, basketball and other activities. Emma was exactly what all of today’s youth should be doing — Moving.

It would be great if all of today’s youth followed in Emma’s footsteps and I commend her for her dedication towards physical training and passion towards movement. May she Rest In Peace; her life was taken away far too soon.

Her tragic death has been all over the news during the last few days and brings up questions that I’ll let you think about, just the same:

- Did She have underlying Hearth Problems?
- Was she hydrated and/or suffering an electrolyte imbalance?
- Are the deaths of strong Athletes such as Emmaa, exclusive incidents and freak accidents?
- Is Running really good for us?
- Is Running for everyone? The overweight? The Elderly?
- What are the statistics surrounding Marathon Deaths?
- During what leg of the race do Marathon Deaths tend to occur?
- Can you be Fit, yet not healthy?

I’m through with knocking running. I mean if you’re a runner, and running is your sport, your passion, your journey into movement and pushing the limits of physical performance,
then who am I to stand in your way?

However, when the world starts pushing a running movement where Marathons are the trendy thing to do; and running a run every month is the goal to train towards, daily, that’s where I take up issues.

When the general population starts taking up running as a means for general fitness; as the easiest, cheapest and effective method of fat-loss or strength, as a means to increase bone density, ward off obesity and manage diabetes, then I have a hard time nodding in agreement or better yet, in acceptance with running.

Below is an interesting TED talk that I came across that postulates if we were really “Born To Run”?

Have A Strong Day.

How A Big Ol’ Butt Hits Harder, Lifts Heavier and Helps You Live Longer

posted by coach Jay D

Band Walks are great as an Activation Pre-Training Exercise or as a great exercise within your truing program all together.

The problem with our glutes is that we sit way too much. All of the our upper body’s weight compressing down on our muscle, fascia and nerves leaves very little to no room for anyone to be able to contract or ‘fire’ their glutes as much as we’d like to. Compound this with all of the tight hip flexors from sitting and we’re doomed!

But why even care about our big ol’ butts other than they look sexy on the beach? Well, considering that the Glutes are our body’s biggest muscle, that just means better:

Force Production
- through Strength and Power (aka a badass clean, snatch, swing, high jump)

- a good kick or punch comes from the entire body, especially the hips, not just the limbs

[Rampage @3:14 : "I punch from my ass so I can put you on your ass." He's pretty intelligent)]

Posture and Tight Hip Rehab
- having strong glute muscles (maximus, minimus and medius) that fire like Rambo in first blood help protect our backs when standing and sitting on tip of balancing our overly-hip flexing lives with extension and Abduction

Here’s a great video by Martin Rooney of Training for Warriors displaying a few my favourite low budget exercises for extreme badassness – whether you’re prehabilitating, rehabilitating or just looking to get stronger or sexy.

P.S. the equipment involved is less than $5 and will probably save your life.
Evolve or Die.

Movember: Focus on the Solution, not the Problem

posted by coach Jay D

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” – Tina Fey

Harvesting a moustache isn’t enough for me. I have to do more. Stay Tuned to JD Training for announcements concerning fundraising-based events and workshops this month!
Please support my Movember Team by pledging/donating at The Fu Man Chus.

Thank You.
Stay Tuned….

“If” by Rudyard Kipling

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

A Run Thru of The Sprints

posted by coach Jay D

Why is Track & Field’s 100m Sprint the event to follow at the games?
For me, it’s the perfect display of human performance, strength, power and mental discipline.

It’s exciting.
It’s fast.
It’s electrifying.

I think a lot of the time, we, the on-looking world audience is as much a bundle of nerves and excitement as the men and women participating in this event.
Usain’s Gold Medal Performance the other day, clocked in at 9.63s.

To put that into perspective, you can go outside right now and mark off 100m. Be sure to warm up properly; do a few light skips and jogs; then eventually proper warm up sprints, before timing your very own 100m personal best.

Another way to look at it, is a breakdown by CBC found here:
All The Medalists: Men’s 100m Sprint

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Sports Branch has done a superb job in comparing Bolt’s run to All previous medalists dating back to the 1800s. Do Check it out when you have time and Do enjoy the remaining few days left of these Summer Games in London.

Have A Strong Day.
*Big Thanks to Mark T. for the link

Men’s Health: “What More T Can Do For You”

posted by coach Jay D

I’ve been talking about going through a personal “Menaissance” lately – developing my characteristics of a Man, living like a man and ultimately, being a reference point for how a man should live – not only for other men, but for everyone, women, children, animals etc.

We have to wonder though, Physiologically, what makes us men?

I’m not talking about ‘the boys’ or our plumbing down there — I’m talking even before that! I’m talking Testosterone.
It’s what makes us strong, assertive and sometimes aggressive, focused and a few other benefits that has outlined, such as:
- Attracting Women
- Living Longer
- Staying Sharper
- Improving Happiness

…to name a few.

Of course there are many more benefits to increased Testosterone that entire university courses and post-graduate work can be dedicated towards, but the above 4 are pluses you can take with you to improve your social life, Men.

Be more Manly. Read the entire article here

Sprinkle Yourself Skinny

posted by coach Jay D

While I was watching TV last night (yes, I watch a 30-60 minutes when I can. Surprising, huh?), I caught an ad for Sensa. It’s ad claimed that by simply sprinkling this magical powder on your food, you, too, can be leaner via eating less. Pretty Impressive!!!


Here’s How To Use Sensa

(I’m supposed to use this crap for 6 months?!!!)

Henry The Health Hound Reviews Sensa

Nutritionists Warn of the Dangers of Sensa (Article)

Do your own research, folks. If it sounds to good to be true…it probably is.

Kettlebells All Hype?

posted by coach Jay D

Kettlebells have been gaining popular demand over the last decade or so, but do they really do their part in effectively melting fat away, getting you stronger, pushing your cardiovascular endurance and increasing your level of “badassness”?

Thanks to Athletes and Strength-Seeking Disciples of JD Training, Emily and Deborah, who forwarded me this recent article published in the Globe And Mail Last Week, the rumours and hype and hoopla are investigated further with backing from The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

The Article, entitled “How Effective Are Kettlebells?” compares kettlebells to:
- traditional weight training that isolates muscle groups in a hypertrophy/muscle-building program
- training with barbells in achieving strength and power
- treadmills in achieving endurance and cardiovascular fitness

The findings of the article are pretty interesting.
Be sure to read the article if you’ve been stuck on the fence about whether to train with kettlebells or not.

It’s not about what Strength Tool or Toy you Train or Play with, what gym you go to or what Strength School of thought you subscribe to, it’s really how you put it all together and what your training goals are.

Have A Strong Day.

Anatomy of an Athlete Exhibit

posted by coach Jay D

What better time and place to hold such an exhibit, other than during The Olympic Summer Games in London?

A Perfect Marriage between Art and Science.
Anatomy Of An Athlete‘ at Huntertin Museum, Opened on March 13th, 2012, and runs until September 29,2012.

Anyone have hookups on flights to London?????

Ontarians Decreasing Life Expectancy By 7.5 Years

posted by coach Jay D

How fun.
We’ve all heard this information over the past few years, but I just thought I’d remind you in case you forgot.

April 2nd, 2012/CNW
The study found:

60 per cent of all deaths in Ontario are attributable to five risks
Almost all Ontarians have at least one of the five risks.

Increasing physical activity and improving diet are the most common changes that Ontarians could make to improve their health
Improving healthy behaviour will not only improve length of life, but also the amount of healthy life.

“The impact that modifiable behaviours have on our health is astounding. Not only will we increase our life expectancy but being healthier will mean there will be fewer demands on both formal care giving like hospitals and informal care like family,” says Manuel, who is also affiliated with ICES@uOttawa and is an Associate Professor in Faculty of Medicine at uOttawa.

Read More Here or here.

It all boils down to:
Physical Activity

Wanna Calculate YOUR life expectancy? Go Here.
Health is Wealth.