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A Wellness Talk With Desmond Howard

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I recently had the privilege to talk with one of my childhood heroes — NFL veteran Desmond Howard — about a topic that we both are super passionate about: health and wellness. (A quick backgrounder for those who may not be familiar with Howard: He is the 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl XXXI MVP. After 11 years playing pro in the NFL, he joined the ESPN network as a college football analyst, and since 2005, he has appeared on the Emmy-award winning College Game Day, while also contributing to other ESPN programming.)

With the current state of our world, we have the opportunity to take back our health and fitness in a positive way. By grounding with our mindset and sticking with the actions that yield positive changes in our lives, we can begin to reclaim our well-being. This conversation — which we had during our Instagram live episode — could not have come at a better time as we talked about how to do this and more.

Howard and I were able to cover a lot of ground in this hourlong conversation, including:

  • How we both personally tackle the challenges of healthy aging.
  • Ways to avoid the common excuses that many people use for not getting up and moving.
  • How the circumstances of the past year — including social distancing and isolation — have taken an additional physical and mental toll on many.
  • The importance of mental fitness.
  • Stories about our early childhood days, growing up, and now being fathers.
  • How to approach each day with some fun tips that people can apply to change their outlook on life, including these:
    • Kick off each day with the question: How will I be intentional with myself and those around me with my actions?
    • How does my health and fitness impact my family, friends, and people I work with daily?
    • Challenge yourself to be 1 percent better each day — and be sure to celebrate those wins.

We left it all out there for viewers and listeners in hopes they can apply some of the insights and learnings from our experiences in their own lives and create the positive changes necessary to become the best version of themselves. Tune in — and feel free to share your top takeaways in the comments below.

The post A Wellness Talk With Desmond Howard appeared first on Experience Life.

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Want Bigger Biceps? Straight Bar Better Than EZ Curl Bar

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Many trainers prefer the EZ curl bar because it takes stress off the forearm muscles when doing curls. People who do straight bar curls often end up with lower arm strains that feel a lot like shin splints of the forearms. Truman State University researchers, led by Dr. J. Lafrenz, measured muscle activation of the biceps and brachioradialis muscles using electromyography (EMG). EMG measures the electrical activity of muscles – greater EMG activity means greater muscle activation. The biceps were activated most with the straight bar during the positive and negative phases of the lift. The brachioradialis muscle was activated equally with both bars. The results show that the straight bar activates the biceps better than the EZ curl bar. However, use the EZ curl bar if you have forearm strain.

Is it Safe to Lock Out Joints? Trainers often employ a non-locking technique to facilitate the muscle pump. This is especially common in elbow extension movements, such as training biceps and triceps. Some experts warn weight trainers not to lock out joints when doing squats, leg presses, bench presses or curls because of an increased injury risk. Dr. Lee Brown from the University of Arkansas questioned this recommendation. In the knee, for example, minimal contact occurs between the kneecap and femur (large leg bone) during full extension. Brown argues that there is little if any research to indicate that locking out the knee or elbow will cause damage to normal joints with properly performed exercises. And in the normal, uninjured knee or elbow, full extension is the strongest weight-bearing position during axial loading. And fatigue will set in more rapidly if a trainer does not lock out the knee or elbow during some exercises. You will get tired in a hurry if you do squats or military presses with your knees bent.

Brown concluded that most exercises should be performed through the individual’s available range of motion while maintaining proper mechanics. And individual differences and health status may affect the choice of ranges for some exercises. If you feel pain, stop the exercise and evaluate your exercise form and whether you are going to full extension. Weight training is very much an individual endeavor, and no one plan works for everyone. For example, some people are mechanically designed to squat, while others are not and they do the leg press instead. And while some trainers might be able to tolerate locking out during reps, others might find it too uncomfortable. Regardless of your body mechanics, there are definitely situations where going to full extension is not a good idea. Avoid landing on fully extended joints when doing plyometric exercises. Also, avoid doing full knee extensions during the early stages of recovery from anterior cruciate ligament surgery. (NSCA Conference Abstracts; Strength Cond J, published online)

The post Want Bigger Biceps? Straight Bar Better Than EZ Curl Bar appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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6 Ways to Feel Full Without Eating More

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Rubber Band Theory of Personality (Are you Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?)

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Get the Basics…

Our personalities are flexible…but only to a point. Knowing yourself will help you as you chart your path to success. Set aside time to try new things outside of your comfort zone. Susan Cain wrote a powerful book that has resonated with hundreds of thousands of people — Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

In a team meeting, we discussed this selection from Quiet:

“We can stretch our personalities, but only up to a point. Our inborn temperaments influence us, regardless of the lives we lead. A sizable part of who we are is ordained by our genes, by our brains, by our nervous systems. And yet the elasticity that Schwartz found in some of the high-reactive teens also suggests the converse: we have free will and can use it to shape our personalities.

These seem like contradictory principles, but they are not. Free will can take us far, suggests Dr. Schwartz’s research, but it cannot carry us infinitely beyond our genetic limits. Bill Gates is never going to be Bill Clinton, no matter how he polishes his social skills, and Bill Clinton can never be Bill Gates, no matter how much time he spends alone with a computer.

We might call this the ‘rubber band theory’ of personality. We are like rubber bands at rest. We are elastic and can stretch ourselves, but only so much.”

Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs

Let’s make this practical. Check out the way Bill Gates and the team from Microsoft tried to pump up the crowd for the release of Windows 95:

Now politics aside, you can’t question that Bill Clinton could command a room. However, for an even more apples-to-apples comparison, let’s look at the way Steve Jobs works a crowd.

This video shows the product launch for the original iPhone. It’s long but just watch the first few minutes:

Both of these men are brilliant in their respective fields but these videos show the drastic differences in their personality. Steve Jobs was comfortable commanding a room with the sheer anticipation of the product creating excitement.

Bill Gates, on the other hand, didn’t look comfortable in that same settings and struggled to describe his product with words that illicit the same kind of atmosphere Jobs set.

Train Anyone, Anywhere in the World. How far will your personality stretch?

Honestly evaluate your own personality.

These are important things to know as you chart your path to success. How can we reconcile the tension between playing to our strengths/using our gifts and stretching ourselves outside of our comfort zone?

Now that’s even tougher question. How can you maximize your strengths and gifting while also not crippling yourself by never stretching outside your comfort zone?

If you never sat down and thought about that, we recommend doing so. What works best for everyone will vary but we recommend setting aside time for activities that are outside of your comfort zone.

You might be surprised to find an activity that with a little nurturing turns into a strength.

If you do some further digging for more recent Microsoft events, you can easily spot that Bill Gates has spent time developing his on-stage presence. He’s still not in the Bill Clinton or Steve Jobs stratosphere, but he’s definitely developed his voice.

Susan Cain Talks Quiet

Take a few minutes and watch Susan’s TED Talk about her book.

No matter your personality, you need a team that shares your values and vision. We’re passionate about growing your business. Schedule your demo today!

Yes, let’s talk about how I can grow my business to train anyone, anywhere in the world!

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