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life

#HowIPerformForLife : Ning

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#HowIPerformForLife : Ning

What motivates you? What helps you get up in the morning?

My fiance, Noah, my parents and my dreams in life motivate me and help me to get up every day.

I met Noah six years ago. He really tripped me out the night we met. I thought to myself, "WHO is this guy?" Mainly because he had (has) a spirit that made me feel like anything is possible. I've been so grateful to have him in my life all these years and he's shown me that truly, anything IS possible if you work hard and don't give up. He's a very inspiring person, not just in his accomplishments and charitable work, but also how he is as a human being - in how he treats and takes care of people in life.

In 1971, my parents left the Philippines for the United States. They gave up living in their homeland and everything and everyone they knew to build a new life for our whole family, with a savings of five hundred dollars. In the years that followed, they worked hard to bring the whole family over...both sets of my grandparents, and ten aunts and uncles. I have very fond and clear memories of going to the SF airport a lot, to welcome a new relative who would end up staying with us for a time. I was always excited about it. It became a ritual of sorts. Today, when I'm at family parties, and I see my whole family...grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids now....it makes me smile so much, because everyone is doing well. My parents worked so hard and taught me and so much of my family what persistence, hard work and true grit is. To see all of us - a big family flourishing here in the Bay Area - is an inspiration.

I've had a lot of dreams for my life since I was a child. All kinds of dreams that span my career, travel, relationships, personal fulfillment, philanthropic work and possessions. When I was a teenager and in my twenties, those dreams seemed so far out of reach. Today, seeing that my hard work and decision-making helped me attain and accomplish a lot of my dreams, it really proves that dreams come true. It inspires me to continue to work hard and make good decisions to accomplish more of my dreams. I aspire to be the person who never retires and is continually working on being a better person and a value to our community.

When was the last time you were proud of yourself?

In September 2016, I left the company that I loved working for - to go out on my own, as a freelance consultant and artist. In truth, it wasn't just leaving this particular company, but a big step in taking a very different step in the career I'd built over twenty years. It was such a hard and heart-wrenching decision because I loved my previous company, Atlassian - and still do. But my inner voice told me that I had to take the leap - to do things I'd dreamt about since I was five years old. So, I was proud when I resigned and said to myself....this is about me and my other dreams now. So far, I feel like I'm making good progress and am proud to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zones. I've been so touched that so many friends, family members and former co-workers are encouraging. Some folks have gone so far to say that I'm an inspiration to them. That makes me super proud!

Have you had any proud moments here?

I've had many proud moments at P4L.....accomplishing a tough workout, learning new things about wellness and implementing them, pushing to accomplish exercises that Justine or Cheri have me do, giving a talk to the staff about career development and seeing friends enjoy their workouts who I referred to P4L. One of my proudest moments though was when I saw P4L win the first place on Yelp for a personal training gym - because in the first months I could see and feel that P4L was top-notch and amazing - and I wanted other people to know and experience it as well. So that win validated that it truly is a special and wonderful place that others believe in, as well. That was three years ago when I joined the P4L family and I feel even more pride today!

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Heels or Toes? Foot Placement While Running Explained

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Heels or Toes? Foot Placement While Running Explained

Foot placement while running is an age old debate that many regular runners are familiar with. What’s wrong with running on your heels? “Landing on your heels is horrible for your knees and back!” Well what about forefoot striking? “What a great way to give yourself tight calves and plantar fasciitis”. If that’s true, then obviously landing on the midfoot is the way to go. Like Goldilocks would say, “Not too hot, not too cold. Right in the middle is just right”. The truth is, none of them are necessarily right or wrong.

How the foot strikes the ground has more to do with a runner’s speed, footwear, and the running surface itself.

However, there is a best way to orient yourself so that your feet land properly when running in various conditions.

According to physical therapist, Jay Dicharry, who is internationally renown in running gait analysis, placing the foot as close to your body is much more important in the grand scheme of the entire gait cycle than where on the foot you land. Just because you heel-strike, doesn’t mean you’re over-striding because there are plenty of forefoot strikers who over-stride as well. There are pros and cons to heel, forefoot, and midfoot striking, and which one is more optimal has more to do with the individuality of the athlete, speed, footwear, and the quality of the surface you are running on. 

Steve Magness, Head Cross Country coach at the University of Houston, former Olympic coach, and author of the book, The Science of Running, says that “ideal landing is close to the center of your body and directly underneath the knee”.

If you follow the above advice, your foot should naturally land the way it’s supposed to based on your speed and characteristics of the surface you are running on. When running at faster speeds, like when sprinting, your foot should naturally land more on the forefoot, whereas when running at a slower pace, like when jogging, your foot will probably land more on the midfoot or even on the heel. However, no matter the speed, you should always try to place your foot as close to beneath your hip as possible and then focus on driving your foot down and back to propel yourself forward.

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References:

  1. http://running.competitor.com/2014/03/injury-prevention/footstrike-101-how-should-your-foot-hit-the-ground_63548
  2. http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2010/08/how-to-run-running-with-proper.html
  3. http://www.somastruct.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Footstrike11.jpg

 

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How You Can Benefit From Self-Determination Theory

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How You Can Benefit From Self-Determination Theory

3 things to consider next time you want to make some lifestyle changes

After a three day conference at the Norcal Fitness Summit, one of the topics that stuck with me was the Self-Determination Theory presented by Steven Ledbetter otherwise known as “STEVEO” founder of Habitry.

When we begin to think about enhancing or changing our habits towards nutrition, fitness, sleep, or stress, we usually start with an exercise routine and eating a little healthier. However, before we even get started we have to think about our MINDSET. What will get us and keep us motivated to sustain the changes or improvements as a lifestyle. It’s when we have consistent motivation that we see positive results and reliable success. Motivation is the key to confidence during this process.

So let’s dive into the self-determination. We would define it as a focus on different types of intrinsic motivation in order to fulfill one’s basic physiological needs. There are three basic human needs and they COMPETENCE, AUTONOMY, and RELATEDNESS.  Before embarking on the journey of improving your lifestyle, keep these three in mind:

  1. COMPETENCE : the ability to know how to deal with a situation enhances our adherence and gives us satisfaction both resulting in motivation.

For example, if you are not quite sure how to perform free weight exercises correctly or how to improve your energy via nutrition than the likelihood of you being motivated to make it a part of your lifestyle becomes difficult because there is no clarity or understanding of how.

 

  1. Next is RELATEDNESS : belonging to a community who supports our efforts and that is engaged in the same process.

We have all experienced trying to create change alone vs having support and or people along side us going through the same journey. It makes things easier when your significant other goes to bed early if you want to get more sleep right? It also helps when you and co-worker decide to start eating healthier lunches and track your food together on a app. Having some sort of belonging and close relationships with people who share common values and goals makes it a lot easier to stay engaged and be successful!

 

  1. Last is AUTONOMY.

“I’m choosing to do mindfulness meditation for 5 minutes a day because it’s going to help me improve my stress and believe in living stress free life” Ok that’s not realistic but you get the point! We want to be in control of our destiny and choices have to reflect our bigger purpose or our WHY. 

The more intrinsically and emotionally invested you are to a goal the more willing you will be to stay on course.

In summary, before you decide to improve or change any lifestyle habits, start with making sure you built in competence, relatedness, and autonomy into the equation. It just might help you stay motivated and more likely to make it an everyday part of your life.  

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References:

Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being., Ryan, Richard M.; Deci, Edward L., American Psychologist, Vol 55(1), Jan 2000, 68-78.

Jemma Edmunds, Nikos Ntoumanis, Joan L. Duda
First published: 9 August 2006, Full publication history DOI: 10.1111/j.0021-9029.2006.00102.x

Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health., Deci, Edward L.; Ryan, Richard M., Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, Vol 49(3), Aug 2008, 182-185. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0012801

Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in exercise and sport., Hagger, Martin S. (Ed); Chatzisarantis, Nikos L. D. (Ed), Champaign, IL, US: Human Kinetics Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in exercise and sport.(2007). xv 375 pp.


 

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How Alcohol Affects Muscle Growth and Fat Loss

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How Alcohol Affects Muscle Growth and Fat Loss

Find out how happy hour might not be making you as happy as you thought.

Let’s be honest, you’ve probably trained hard all week and decided to have a few drinks - all that hard work, there must be a reward, right? At the same time, you feel you aren't seeing the results you wanted even though you’re working out and eating right (for the most part). You begin to question everything about your training, including your diet. Chances are what is hurting you is alcohol consumption or the timing of your drinking. Here are ways in which alcohol affects your body and your training:

In a study conducted in 1999, it was found that alcohol reduces muscle mass by blocking protein synthesis. Further research showed meals that were consumed within 24-48 hours after a resistance training session had the greatest effect on growing muscles. We're not just talking about huge muscles, we're talking about lean muscle. It's a cause and effect chain. The muscle growth increases metabolism which then affects fat loss. Using all of this information, we can see that having alcohol on training days greatly affects your muscle growth and inhibits the hard work you have put in for that day.

If you must have a drink, it should never be on a training day.

Research has also shown that alcohol reduces testosterone levels. Testosterone is needed for protein synthesis, increased muscle mass, strength, muscle growth and bone density. From this, we can conclude that we need a lot of testosterone.

In some ways, drinking alcohol is taking steps backward from your goals and hindering your growth.

A study conducted in 2004 found that the subjects that consumed alcohol had lower testosterone levels than those that did not. As alcohol lowers testosterone, it produces estrogen which in turn affects muscle growth goals.

Lastly, studies have found alcohol suppresses growth hormone. Growth hormone helps with protein synthesis, meaning that it is essential to building muscle, and it also releases at its maximum during sleeping.

If you are focusing on muscle gains and on a new program, then restricting alcohol for a few months is the best method. On the other hand, if you are used to the training, going out occasionally won't hurt much. Although, one should stay away from binge drinking as it will have negative effects on muscle growth.

If you are going to drink alcohol in moderation, here are some tips to maximize your gains:

  • Try to stay hydrated! Try drinking a few cups of water while you are drinking and be sure to consume a full glass of water  before bed.
  • If you are going out to enjoy yourself try eating a slow digesting protein like steak to keep the muscles fed and a slow carb like sweet potatoes to keep your energy level up.
  • Ultimately, just make sure you remember alcohol's negative effects on protein synthesis, testosterone, and growth hormone.
  • Always avoid drinking on days you train if you are seeking muscle gains as muscles need nutrition and rest. Drink on your off days away from the gym, but stay away from training the day after drinking because it has ill effects as well.

 

 

 

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All About Posture: The T-Spine

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All About Posture: The T-Spine

WHAT IS IT?

The thoracic spine resides in the mid and upper back, between the cervical and lumbar spines. This is an area of the body that is supposed to have a lot of mobility in a completely healthy person. Figure 1 shows via a joint by joint analysis of the human body that thoracic spine should be mobile while the cervical and lumbar are stable.

Learn more about Coach Amber hereLearn more about Coach Amber hereWHO USES IT ON A DAILY BASIS?

You! The human body will adapt to something it does repeatedly, even sometimes if it isn't in our greatest interest. In today's society it's pretty hard to avoid doing say, driving, sitting at desk, or just leaning forward to look at your phone. These are all habits that, unless great posture is kept, can each worsen shoulder slumping and thoracic mobility. Think about how much time you personally spend in a chair each day, do you keep good posture the whole time? That is how life is in this day and age, always moving or leaning forward.

HOW DO I WORK TO IMPROVE MY POSTURE?

 Check out the video above this post to see a couple simple exercises that can be done just about anywhere!

IF MY BACK DOESN'T EVEN HURT, THEN WHY SHOULD I DO IT?

Thoracic immobility can stem into pain in multiple spots. Like stated above in the joint by joint analysis the cervical and lumbar spines should be stable, but when the thoracic spine is immobile one or both of these can become mobile. Mobility in these spots can be bad news, leading to chronic issues in the neck and lower back, or even a larger acute injury. By adding corrective exercises to your training routine that are aimed at increasing thoracic mobility, you can reduce pain and increase performance of most measures.

 

 

 

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