Protein! Protein? Protein…

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Conflicting advice?

How often have you seen dietary advice online that looked like this?

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, and to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

There is protein in all foods. Fruit, grains, legumes, vegetables and animal products alike contain protein.

Many people think that only meat and dairy products contain all essential amino acids. This information is incorrect.

Protein is made up of amino acids. The first amino acid was discovered in the early 19th century in 1806 by French chemists Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin and Pierre Jean Robiquet. They isolated a compound in asparagus that was subsequently named asparagine, the first amino acid to be discovered.

Wait what? The first protein was found in asparagus!

Yes, that’s because all plant foods contain the three macro nutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. But to continue with protein, once food is in the digestive system the body breaks protein down into individual amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Then your body plays a game of tetris over the course of several days to produce the specific combinations of amino acids for repair, growth and all the other complex processes humans need to stay healthy.

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How much protein do people need?

"Enough!" Is the answer. And how much is enough…?

According to the bio chemical researchers like Dr. Colin Campbell 5 to 10% of total macro nutrients for normal bodily functions like growth and repair.

When you ingest more protein then your body needs, the liver and kidneys process and excrete it through urine. This is because the body is unable to store proteins. When excessive amounts of protein are ingested, the excess amino acids produced from digesting proteins are transported to the liver from the small intestine.

I’d like to end this on a cynical note; why do current diet trends suggest such a high percentage of protein intake, 30 to 45% in some cases!?

Could it be so certain industries can make more money…? (that couldn't be it)

Eat lots of meat and take a lot of supplements to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs. Don’t eat carbs like fruit, vegetables and whole grains though, they will make you fat.

That sounds natural.

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Do you need a personal trainer?

As I’m out in the world meeting people and doing stuff I get asked the same questions by a lot of people. The question I get asked more then most is “do you think I need a personal trainer?”.

First off, YES! Everyone needs a personal trainer. I’ll explain why...

I then have to ask a two questions:

  1. What are your fitness goals?

This usually comes with the universal answer “be healthier and get stronger” or “lose weight”. These answers are too general and could be answered generally. Oh, you want to lose weight? Eat less calories! Oh, you want to be stronger? Lift more weights!

I encourage people to have a more specific goal. Such as, run a marathon, learn Olympic lifting, have a six pack, learn how to lift weights properly, lose 10lb of fat, learn to box, etc.

Once they have a specific goal...

  1. what are you doing now to get to those goals?

Once a trainer understands what your end goal is and what you are doing now it’s easy for a personal trainer to program your personal progressive program.

     But aside from the technical programming and education a trainer provides, there are two other benefits that are as important. Motivation and accountability! These two elements of personal training are just as important for a client/athlete.

     So if you are interested in working with a personal trainer don’t be afraid to try a few out before making a decision. You will be creating a working relationship so it’s important to get along. From a technical point, for example, you want to focus on increasing flexibility, look for a trainer with a yoga background. If you want to increase muscle mass and strength find a trainer with a weight lifting/ body building back ground.

     A personal trainer or coach can help any person no matter what level they are on improve. Through technical education of movement, motivation and accountability. When looking for a trainer have a specific goal, this will help your search and selection.


Happy training and stay healthy!

Shoulder Rehabilitation

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About 3 months ago I stupidly acquired a level 2 strain in my right shoulder. A level 2 strain is very painful but fortunately doesn't require surgery as the tendon is still attached to the bone. I was working a lot, training a lot and not getting enough rest and recovery time.

While sparring I clinched with my opponent and he over hooked my right arm, stepped backwards and jerked down to get me off balance. As he jerked I heard a small “pop” in my upper back under the shoulder blade.

I thought “going to feel that tomorrow” but in the moment didn’t experience any pain as my muscles were so hot from training.

As I woke the next morning I realized there was something very wrong. My entire shoulder and right side of my neck were frozen in stiffness and pain with an intense stabbing pain under the right shoulder blade (where I heard the pop the night before) that radiated to my upper chest, just under the clavicle.

“What a party!” I thought.

After seeing a doctor it was diagnosed as a level 2 strain since I still had full range of motion in the joint, with a lot of pain however.

The doctor suggested 4 to 6 weeks of rest and then 4 to 6 weeks of rehabilitation work.

You will need a light resistance band to preform these exercises. Do multiple repetitions for each exercise (10 to 20reps) 1 to 3 sets per day. Focus on external rotation and shoulder flexion. These movements will keep your shoulders strong and injury free.