Archives for March 2017

Let’s go on a Fitness Journey

Fitness Journey to the Summer!

Summertime Fitness Journey

Let’s go on a Fitness Journey Together

Ok, so you want to lose weight, get toned, and look good…

Cool!  I want to help, but I’m about to take this in an unexpected direction.  I typically like to focus on what we at FitLife Fusion call “the Fit Life”. The Fit Life to us is more about the quality of life than the body fat percentage you think you should be.  We prioritize healthy metabolic function which is categorized by having energy, getting out of pain, and being mobile enough to enjoy the many activities in life you want to do.  That doesn’t mean losing weight isn’t on the list of priorities at all. We  want to see people check the aforementioned achievements off the list first so they don’t line themselves up for pain and yo-yo weight gain in the future.  

So I’ve decided to focus on weight loss for the next few months since we all are getting ready to be outside more, at the beach, or at the pool, or out on the hiking trail.   I have a big goal I want to achieve and I thought, why not bring all of you along for the ride.  So here goes…

 

Handball WPH Las Vegas

Timbo Gonzalez, the reigning WPH Pro Handball World Champion

I’d like to start off with a little transparency.  

It’s been a while since I’ve challenged myself.  I mean truly challenged myself physically.  In fact, not since my days in the ring have I really taken a sporting event as seriously as when I competed in Muay Thai.  At this point my fight days are behind me… at least for now.  I’ve found a new passion in handball.  Not the European style of handball, but the handball you’d commonly see in NYC.  It’s like racquet ball, but there’s one wall and no racquets.    

 

The last 2 years I’ve played in the WPH Handball World Championships in the amateur divisions and had been knocked out in the first round in every event except the doubles in 2016 when I made it to the quarterfinals.  I’ve decided to take it seriously this year.  Much more seriously.

Peter Pinto Muay Thai Las Vegas Sityodtong

Peter Pinto of Sityodtong Las Vegas with the founder of the Sityodtong Camp, Kru Yodtong

When I trained in Muay Thai, for years I was consistent with my training.  Looking back, I probably trained more than I should have or needed to, but that’s all I cared about.  My diet was on point.  Of course this dates back to my Paleo Diet days which many of you know the outcome of, but the point is I had rules and I followed them.   Nowadays I’m much more lax.  I train and play sporadically, eat what I want while making sure I don’t eat too much of the bad stuff and ensure I get enough of the daily nutrients in my body to keep myself healthy.  

I face the same problem most former fighters face.  It’s hard to find the same motivation I once had to train as I did in my fight days.  Truth be told, I’m not the kind of guy who likes to just lift.  Just lifting to look good has never been a strong enough reason to enjoy my time in the gym . I enjoy lifting or training with a goal of getting better at something.  I loved to squat and imagine having the leg strength to knock someone clear off their feet with a kick.  I would do pull-ups and envision having an iron grip my opponents couldn’t escape.  I would bench press and think myself,  “no one will be able to handle the power in my punches!”   I’m just not the type to look at in the mirror while performing shrugs and think, “yea, the chicks are gonna love these traps.”

I express this not to deter you from the gym, but instead bring to question why you or anyone would want to join and gym and get fit.  Every trainer would like to have you believe they lift everyday just for the very noble reason of long term health.  But is it really?  Maybe some of them just want to look good on the beach or at the pool.  Maybe some of them are obsessed with sculpting their bodies as a result of childhood insecurities.  Others may also be athletes who love to compete and want to stay lean and agile.  Whatever it is, I’m saying it doesn’t matter.  Be honest with yourself.  Why do you want to hit the gym?  Don’t think of it as why you ‘should’ hit the gym.  Be selfish.  The selfish stuff is where the true motivation lies.     

That said, I’ve decided I want to win the World Championships this year in the B Division (amateurs).  That’s the stuff that fuels my fire.  I love competing.  It’s what I live for.  I also think that’s why I love coaching so much.  It’s another form of competition.  I’m helping people compete against their own challenges to achieve their goals… but that’s a whole other blog post! Haha. I better not get carried away.  

So, I wanted to share my process with you.  I’ll post here to the blog and share on all of our social channels.   I’ll share my food journals,   training programs, and all the cool neurodrills and training methods I use to up my game.  In the process I’ll track my weight and body composition and share those, too.

GOAL

The Z Health 9S Athletic Model. These are the qualities I will be basing training plan upon.

Win the Amateur Handball WPH Work Championships (Doubles and Singles B Division) in September 2017, at the Stratosphere

STEPS TO WIN:Speed – Become as light and quick as possible.  (Structure – Lose Weight)
  • Skill – develop precision in shooting
  • Style – There are generally 2 types of players; shooters and rallies.  Shooters look to put the ball away.  Rallies will power that ball back to the wall consistently until the opponent makes a mistake.  I’m a shooter.  
  • Stamina – the games are approximately 15-35 minutes long in 100+ degree F weather.
 

*Nutrition

I know this will be one of the most anticipated topics, and so I will cover it over time since it will change between now and September.  The 4 topics I will cover in relation to my diet will be:

  • Types of Foods – foods to eat a lot, foods I can eat sometimes, and foods I avoid.
  • Macronutrient Ratios – the ratio of Protein, Fat, and Sugar, in any given meal.  I will be journaling from time to time while using Heart Rate and Body Temperature readings before and after meals to test them.
  • Amounts and Frequencies – how much food and how often I’ll need to eat.
  • Supplements – any vitamins, minerals and other stuff I take to increase metabolism and performance.

More of this to come…

Training Schedule

 

 
Sunday
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Morning
Handball/REST
10:30a Lift Chest/Back
Handball
10:30am Lift
Legs/abs
Handball
10:30am Lift
Arms/Shoulders
Rest
Afternoon
REST 20min Skills Mobility/Rest
20min skills
Mobility/Rest
20 min Skills
Rest
 
 
 

Workouts April 2017

Monday: Chest/Back
Exercise
Rep Range
Sets
Tempo
Rest
A1.  Incline, DB, Neutral Grip Chest Press
8-10
3-4 4010
90-120
A2.  BB, Supinated Grip Bent Over Row
8-10
3-4
4010
90-120
B1.  Flat, DB, Neutral Grip Alternating Chest Press  10-12
3
2010
75-90
B2.  Kneeling, Neutral Grip,  Unilateral Lat Cable Pull Down
10-12
3
2010
75-90
C1.  Trap 3 Lift
10-12
2
3010
60
C2.  DB Pull Over
10-12
2
3010
60
 
Wednesday Legs/Abs Day
Exercise
Rep Range
Sets
Tempo
Rest
A1.  BB Front Squat
8-10
3-4 4010
90-120
A2.  DB Lateral Lunge
8-10
3-4
3011
90-120
B1.  KB Overhead Squats  8ea
3
2010
75-90
B2.  DB Petersen Step Up
10-12
3
2010
75-90
C1.  Frog Kicks
25
4
3010
0
D1.  Swings
15
4
3010
30

 

Friday Arms/Shoulders
Exercise
Rep Range
Sets
Tempo
Rest
A1.  Seated Military Press
8-10
3-4 4010
90-120
A2.  Close Grip, EZ Bar Bicep Curl (Full Bicep ROM)
8-10
3-4
4010
90-120
B1.  Poliquin Lat Raise  10-12
3
30X0
75-90
B2.  DB French Press
10-12
3
3011
75-90
C1.  Trap 3 Lift
10-12
2
3010
60
C2.  DB Pull Over
10-12
2
3010
60
D1.  External Shoulder Rotation
12-15
2010 60

Workout Guide

Order of Exercises:All the exercises are performed in a a superset or circuit fashion.  As you can see from your program the exercises are paired (A1, A2, B1, B2, and so on).  Thus you perform one set of A1, on set of A2, then return to A1 again.  Once you have completed the number of sets indicated for both, move on the B’s.  

Weight Selection:You want to select weights that you could lift for approximately four additional reps than those prescribed.  For example, if you are supposed to perform ten reps for your first set, you should choose a weight that you would be able to do at least 14 reps with.

Tempo:To achieve the appropriate training stimulus, you should adhere to the precise speed of movement for all aspe cts of the lifts:  eccentric, isomeric and concentric.  Instead of using terms such as “explosive” or “slow,” we will express the speed of a lift in a four-digit abbreviation = such as 4210.The first digit of the tempo formula is the lowering (eccentric) portion of an exercise; the second digit is the pause at the bottom (isometric) phase; the third digit of the return (concentric) movement; and the final digit is the pause before the next repetition (isometric).  Each digit refers to the number of seconds it takes to complete each phase, and the letter X means to perform that portion of the lift as rapidly as good technique allows.In the previous temp given of 4210 using the bench press as an example means you would lower the weight in four seconds, pause for two seconds at the chest, press the weight to the top in 1 second, and quickly move into the next rep since the last number of the tempo indicates there is no pause at the end of the press.This simple format enables you tot take more precise control of the training stimulus.  To achieve consistency between reps, it is best to count at a speed that is similar to the action of a clock (i.e., one thousand one, one thousand two, etc.) to prevent counting erratically for too fast.  The count should commence when the resistance implement (barbell, dumbbell, or body part) starts moving, not before or after this period.  

Warm-up: Use Mobility to get your joints ready to handle weight.  Depending on the day, you may want to do more mobility drills for the joints that will be doing most of the work that day.  If it’s “Arms/Shoulder Day” you should do a general joint mobility warm up and then spend another 3 minutes on moving the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, neck, and thoracic spine.  Then warm up the lifts by taking the first two exercises in each program and perform about two sets of five reps, using increasingly heavy weight.  For example, if your first exercise is the Bicep Curl and you expect to use 90 pounds as your training weight, you could start with 60 x 5 followed by 75 x 5. 
 

Give it a shot and let me know how you do on SnapChat @fitlifefusion!

Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, Edema… Salt may be the Solution

hypertension and salt

Does salt cause high blood pressure?

I wanted to share with you a helpful tool I use when working with my clients… SALT.

I, like so many other people was convinced salt was a bad thing, and limiting your intake of it was a wise and health-conscience decision. We are told that a diet with a “high” salt intake could lead to issues such as high blood pressure, hypertension, edema, and heart disease. However, my personal experience with salt has been a positive one. In the past when I’ve cut salt out or decreased intake, it led to more health issues.  Finally, my confusion lead to a whole lot of researching and experimenting.  The following is my experience with salt.

Working with my clients and through research on how to help issues such as high blood pressure and edema, I discovered increasing salt intake was the answer to fixing them. The more I studied about the human body’s functions the more dumbfounding contradictions I found in the medical literature. For many years they have told us to stay away from salt, however, in an emergency situation, like dehydration, poisoning, or major blood loss,  you would be given an intravenous drip of saline… SALT!!

Some doctors have been known to use salt to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, aid muscle recovery and function, increase insulin sensitivity, improve thyroid function, and stabilize blood pressure. So why is there so much conflicting information our there?!

When and How Did Salt Get Its Bad Rep?

In the 1950s drug companies marketed newly discovered (thiazide) diuretics to the general public.  This new drug was being sold as a solution to deal with swelling, edema and hypertension.  Pregnant women found themselves as a big market for the sale of diuretics.  The one noticeable side effect of taking the drug was the loss of sodium in a person’s urine.  This raised a few flags, but instead of questioning the safety of the drug, the diuretic company claimed this excessive sodium loss must be a result of too much salt consumption in the diet.

It is the belief of several doctors, including Dr. Ray Peat, that the diuretics industry convinced a whole generation of doctors that pregnant women should limit salt in their diet, take a diuretic for preventive measures, and restrict calories to prevent “excessive” weight gain.  The advertising campaigns created also created a strong belief that salt was the culprit in hypertension.

Millions of women and their babies were harmed by these claims.  The prescribed diuretics intended to treat high blood pressure, pulmonary edema, heart failure, “idiopathic edema,” orthostatic edema, obesity, and other forms of water retention, including pregnancy.  The loss of all this sodium in their systems caused various disfunction in their bodies.  And since they caused sodium to be excreted in the urine, their sale was accompanied by advising patients to reduce their salt intake to make the diuretic “more effective,”  compounding the problem.  Modern diuretics use new chemical mixtures, but still have a damaging and negative side effects on the kidneys.

The Study…and 50 deaths… or maybe more.

What about the actual studies regarding salt and the effect on the body? David McCarron, M.D., (professor of medicine and head of the Division of Nephrology, Hypertension and Clinical Pharmacology at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland) looked at the government’s recommendations and the figures they were based on.   He found that people who limited their sodium intake had the highest blood pressure.  In contrast, people who consumed more sodium had lower blood pressure or became  “healthier”.  [McCarron found this to be inaccurate and in his research he claim a calcium deficiency to actually be the cause of  hypertension. Sadly, even though Dr. McCarron wrote 150 articles on the subject, the CA university where he taught, asked him to leave. Sodium was just an innocent bystander, but we’ll come back to this in a moment.]

Dr. Michael Alderman, a blood pressure researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and editor of the American Journal of Hypertension, said medical literature on salt and health effects were inconsistent.  Allow me to explain…

The study was published in the May 4, 2011 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/899663.  The objective of the study was to see whether the amount of urinary sodium excretion in a 24 hour period could predict blood pressure and health outcomes.  The initial study only involved participants without high blood pressure.  The results were considered at best suggestive and not conclusive.  It included 3,681 middle-aged Europeans with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease who were followed for approximately 8 years.

The researchers analyzed the participants’ sodium consumption at the start and end of the study, and  measured the amount of sodium that was lost over a 24-hour period.  All the sodium a person consumes is lost in urine within a day, so this method is the most precise way to determine sodium consumption. However, that may have been inconsistent as well.

Dr. Peter Briss, a medical director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “its subjects who seemed to consume the smallest amount of sodium also provided less urine than those consuming more. This acted as an indication that they might not have collected all of their urine in an 24-hour period.”  Briss thought the urine samples of those with lower sodium levels weren’t properly collected.

A follow up was implemented on all 3,681 participants over a period of around 8 years.  Researchers found that the less salt people consumed, the more likely they were to die of heart disease — 50 people in the lowest third of salt consumption died during the study.  24 in the medium group, and 10 in the highest salt consumption group. Those eating the most salt had, on average, a slight increase in systolic blood pressure — a 1.71-millimeter increase in pressure for each 2.5-gram increase in sodium per day — they were no more likely to develop hypertension.

“If the goal is to prevent hypertension” with lower sodium consumption, said the lead author, Dr. Jan A. Staessen, a professor of medicine at the University of Leuven, in Belgium, “this study shows it does not work.”

What’s the cause for high blood pressure then?

Dr. Ray Peat teaches  how low-salt diets have been shown to increase inflammation and activate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAA) system, stimulating greater activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Meaning, that low-salt diets trigger the stress and inflammation chain reaction in the body that can lead to hypertension.

Also having a deficiency in calcium causes an increase of the para-thyroid hormone to pull calcium out of the bones and moves into cells. When too much calcium enters a cell it activates many enzymes, prevents muscle, blood vessels, and nerve cells from relaxing, and eventually kills the cell.

How to fix the problem

Having a diet with a good amount of salt and calcium will relieve symptoms of hypertension, high blood pressure and edema. Sodium stimulates energy production and protects against inflammation and other stress reactions. It also activates thyroid function and pushes calcium from the cells and helps cells to relax.

Dr. Ray Peat recommends  2,000 mg of calcium and other alkalizing minerals: magnesium, sodium, and potassium to relieve your symptoms.  Sodium also aids in the production of CO2. Increasing carbon dioxide  eliminates calcium from the cells which will relax the blood vessels, allowing  the calcium to move out of the blood vessels, and back into the bones, ultimately decreasing blood pressure, water retention and more symptoms of hypertension. Other ways to increase carbon dioxide in the cells, is to breathe into a bag, add a pinch of baking soda to your drink, or  baking soda to your bath.

 

 

References

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/899663

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/health/research/04salt.html

http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/salt.shtml

http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/calcium.shtml

 

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