The One Diet to Rule Them All

 

Despite what everyone else says, there is one diet that is better than all the rest of them.  This may cause some controversy, but someone has to take a stand.  You ready?  I’ll let you in on the biggest secret in nutrition.

The best diet is…..

The One That Works For You 

Shocked

I know, shocking, isn’t it.  But it is the truth.  If you’re unable to consistently adhere to your diet plan of choice, maybe it’s not the one for you.  Maybe it’s too restrictive.

What Diet Should I Do?

You have your pick of just about anything, and it can get very confusing.  There’s IIFYM, Paleo, Low Fat, Ketogenic, Low Carb, Intermittent Fasting, etc.  The list goes on and on.  If you did a quick Google search, you’d get pages and pages of results.  And I’d be willing to bet anything that by page 3 you’d give up searching.  Some offer the promise of losing “x” amount of pounds, or detoxing toxins (whatever that means), or go on to say “y” nutrient is the devil and you’re forbidden to eat it.

the devil

So what diet should you actually do?  Well….that depends on a myriad of factors, most important among them is whether or not you can confidently stick to your chosen diet.  If you don’t think you can stick with it, then it might be a bad idea for you.

When we pick a program to follow, we usually see results pretty quickly, but what happens?  We’re unable to keep up with the strict guidelines certain diets require, and we fall off the wagon.  So the first thing we can do is avoid program hopping.

The Truth

All the programs and books you see or read are garbage…if you can’t sustain them on a daily basis.  There is no one best diet out there.  The truth of the matter is, the best diet out there is the one that works for you, and that you can sustain without losing your mind.

The core of your nutritional philosophy should come down to forming healthier habits, not necessarily following a set of “eat this, not that” rules. Try to follow these recommendation to focus on a few important points rather than go through a whole nutritional overhaul.

  • Eat whole, real foods filled with vitamins & minerals
  • Focus on the quality of your food
  • Be more aware of what you’re eating and how you feel
  • Cut down on processed foods
  • Drink more water**

**this is a biggie.  Drinking more water will help you feel fuller and can curb you from overeating.

There are certainly more habits that you can develop depending on where you are starting from, and we go into more depth as far as that is concerned in our nutritional programs, but if you can master those basics, then you’ll no longer need to jump from diet book to diet book.

In the end, the best diet out there is the one that works for you, that you see sustainable success with, and that you can maintain without feeling deprived or restricted.  Try to avoid going for the short term fix, because if you don’t develop those healthier habits, if you don’t learn anything, if you don’t get in tune with what your body wants, you’ll be bouncing around for a long time.


Build Strong Hamstrings to Avoid Pulls & Strains

Explosive athletes, or those who require short-burst sprints, like football players and track runners, are usually the most susceptible to hamstring strains due to the nature of their sports. However, even weekend warriors are not immune from injuring their hamstrings.

But there is hope. These injuries can be prevented. The main precursor causing one to suffer a hamstring strain is having previously injured that muscle (or part of the muscle group). Adding a few hamstring exercises to your training program can keep you off the disabled list with a strain. Hamstring strains can cost an athlete weeks or even months of training and competing, so it’s important to take preventative measures to stave off an injury.

 

Aside from a history of hamstring injuries, strength, flexibility, and stability all factor into preventing hamstring strains.

Lack of Eccentric Strength
Hamstring injuries occur when there is a rapid change from acceleration to deceleration or when you approach top speed during a sprint. Since the hamstrings act to decelerate your leg during full sprints, lacking eccentric strength cause a strain. To prevent injury, it’s important that your hamstrings have the ability to control flexion at the knee while lengthening.

 

Lack of Glute Strength/Activation
In addition to being a prime mover for knee flexion, the hamstrings also perform hip extension, a role they share with the gluteus maximus muscles. The glutes are a huge, powerful muscle. Just take a look at the backside of any Olympic sprinter. However, when there is little or no activation/strength in the glutes, the hamstrings pick up the slack. They have to act synergistically, not solo. This is a recipe for a hamstring strain.
Lack of Flexibility/Mobility
Most people complain that their hamstrings are “tight” or “tense,” without actually having an issue with the muscles themselves. If you lack flexibility, it’s important to figure out why and not just crank away on the muscle through various stretching techniques. Lack of flexibility or having too much tension in the muscle can be a recipe for injury when you call upon it to fire quickly and it’s too locked up to do anything. You need flexibility so the muscle isn’t forced past its extensibility potential.

Muscle Imbalance
Many of us are naturally quad dominant, and our lives and daily patterns exacerbate the imbalance. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore our posterior chain. Too much quad strength over hamstring strength can lead to anterior pelvic tilt. When the posterior chain gets ignored, this condition becomes more aggravated.

 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” —Benjamin Franklin

Check out the full article HERE


Wednesday Warm-up Review: Squat Mobility

The 5th edition of the Warm-up Review takes a look at our last exercise, the Squat Mobility.  This exercise is important as it will systemically get your body moving and works on mobility in several different areas, namely the hips and the thoracic spine.

Because of the complexity of this exercise, there are several regressions we can go through till we get to the full exercise.

  • Reach down towards your toes, grab them, and actively pull your hips down.
  • As you pull the hips down, raise the chest up towards the wall in front of you.
  • Once in that down position, lift one arm up and follow it with your head.
  • Bring that hand back to your toe, and repeat on the other side.
  • Grab both toes and push your hips towards the ceiling till you feel a stretch in the back of your legs.
  • Repeat!

Here’s where it gets interesting.  If you lack the thoracic mobility to bring the arms straight up, put your hand behind your head and rotate towards that side.

If getting your chest up is hard, we want you to just work on getting into that position.  Avoid the upper body component of this drill till you can sufficiently perform the lower body portion.


Wednesday Warm-up Review: Unilateral Leg Rock

Unilateral Leg Rock

Week 4 of our Warm-up Review takes a look at the Unilateral Leg Rock.

The Unilateral Leg Rock works to mobilize the hips and prepare you for any lower body exercises you may do during your training.  You may notice some stretching through the adductors, glutes and hamstrings.  This is what you want to feel.  It doesn’t have to be an “Oh my god” painful experience, but a slight discomfort through the musculature.  Increasing mobility is all about testing out your range of motion, and then improving upon it where necessary.   And if you spend a lot of time sitting, this is one you’ll need.

For this drill, we’re going to go back to our last two drills, the bird-dog and the Reach Roll Lift.  From that quadruped position, you’re going to extend one leg out to the side.  Try to avoid moving the arms and hand to compensate for the different position.

Once you’re in position, rock the hips back towards the wall and less towards the heels.  You want to be able to maintain a straight spine throughout the movement.  Once you feel a slight stretch in the adductors and hamstrings, you can return to the starting position with your weight shifted over your hands.

With this drill, you want to do 8 reps per side to ensure that your hips are properly mobilized for your workout.  This exercise will definitely help improve next weeks mobility drill, the squat mobility.

Common Faults

  • Misaligning the hands
  • Lack of Core Bracing
  • Tucking the hips under
  • Bending the  Knees
  • Bending the Spine
  • Hands Too Close

 

Take it slow with each rep and only go as far as your mobility will allow you.


Technique Tuesday: Lateral Band Walks

Knees Out

Lateral Band Walks are a big part of our activation series for our glutes along with clamshells and Fonda’s but its important to do them with intent and focus.

It’s not uncommon to rush through these and “get them over with” or just step laterally multiple times and think that is the exercise.  With lateral band walks, you want to step slowly, while pushing the knees out via the hips/glutes.  With each step you are trying to avoid the knees caving in, both the lead leg and especially the trail leg.  Take a look at the image above.  Notice that the knees aren’t buckling or going in towards the midline.  This is important for any exercise where the knees are involved.  Think squats, deadlifts, even lunges and step-ups.  In all those exercises, it’s imperative to avoid that collapse.

When done correctly 10-15 reps should burn like crazy.  If you are able to do more without feeling like your butt is going to fall off, stop, refocus, and get to it.

 

Why Lateral Band Walks

Why do we have you do this exercise?  It’s not just to make your hips and butt burn.  There’s way more to it than that!

For one, we want to “wake up” your glutes after sitting most of the day. Odds are you’ve already spent a good amount of time sitting on your butt, so this gets you up and moving and activating an important muscle group for squats and deadlifts.

Second, it focuses attention towards pushing the knees out, and in most cases, we’re trying to cue that movement, especially during squat patterns. Doesn’t matter if it’s with a bar or a dumbbell. How many times have you heard us cue that correction?

Take your time, focus on small steps, and feel the burn.

Video Link Below:

Lateral Band Walks