Hang like an Ape to save your shoulders

When it comes to the shoulder there are two main types of injury which interestingly represent the two extremes of shoulder function.

1. Dislocation
2. Impingement

Now impingement injury in our society is way more common than dislocation. How many people can you think of that dislocated a shoulder?

I can think of one only – my brother who did it having an epileptic fit. Maybe a couple of other people vaguely lurk in memory as having said they did it once.

Impingement on the other hand which includes bursitis, torn tendons, tendinitis and rotator cuff syndrome well I can think of over a dozen people very clearly and probably many more if I try and remember.

Why is this and what is the difference between the two injury types?

Well we are evolved from apes that love to swing from tree’s.

brachiating gibbon

They dont just like doing it they love it.

And guess what – we have the same shoulder structure as an ape. Our shoulders are also designed to hang & swing.

Most of us, even athletes, however do not. Now little kids do it instinctively and some jobs require it. For example sailors in the age of sail used to hang, climb and swing all day. Tree pruners and fruit pickers do it.

But the jobs that involve this activity are limited.

When we do hangs and swings we are stretching & opening the shoulder joint. When we do other activities like back packing, weight vest training or overhead pressing we do the opposite. We compress the joint and its bones.

Neither extreme causes any problem until it is done to excess in an imbalanced manner.

What can happen then is the structure of the joint is altered adversely. Too much hanging and yanking and your shoulder joints acromium process will become too loose and open. This will increase probability of dislocation.

Too much back packing or pressing and the joint gets squashed down & the actual bone deforms and bends downward. This rubs on the tendons, which get worn and frayed then tear.

Its quite simple. The answer is to balance hanging with carrying. Do both in balance. If you have done too much of one, do the other for a while to readjust the joint structure.

For me I did very heavy weight vest marches and lots of super heavy kettlebell work for 5 years with very little bar work. I tore my rotator cuff as a consequence.

acromium process

OK so thats the how and why of shoulder injury and as most of us do not climb ropes for a living but lift stuff or sit on our big fat ass – its impingement that is the most common injury of the shoulder.

If you have an injury or tear you will need to see your physio and go through the standard protocol of therapy while doing your best to avoid surgery. That is what I have done for six months and standard time for tendon repair is nine months but twelve is not uncommon.

So now I want full return to strength I came across the next stage of rehabilitation in this book:

kirsch shoulder book

The program is very simple but the book provides all of the evidence to back it up. Simply dead hang from your bar a dozen or so times per day.

After your hanging do very high rep very light dumbbell front, back & side raises all the way up to overhead.

Initially it hurts but as the joint opens the impingement & bursitis clear up and the pain subsides. There is no danger of tendon tear as the book illustrates but you had better be sufficiently advanced in your recovery.

There is no way in hell I could have done this a month or two back but I can now. Also the tendons may be safe in the hanging position but is actually getting into that position another story?

OK so this program is also a prevention for all crossfitters, kettlebell trainers and backpackers.

Do your time on the bar. Hang, its not the same as pull ups – hang. The other bar work is a bonus.

Another good thing is actual brachiation, swinging from bar to bar – thats what your shoulder evolved to do.

Longevity Supplements

The following supplements have scientifically proven benefits for extending lifespan:

IGF-1 found in colostrum and deer antler. The affect of IGF on elderly and seniors in pronounced. Greater strength and musculature, better connective tissue and general youthfulness.

DHEA and 7-KETO again these are of great benefit to seniors enhancing androgenic profile found in small amounts in pine pollen.

Pterostilbene & Resveratrol. You most probably have heard of resveratrol, pterostilbene is a super derivative that activates more mitochondrial factors. If you want more mitochondria that work much better take both.

NAD+ is a derivative of niacin vitamin B3.

— Promote Sirtuin Gene Activation (using SIRT1 and SIRT3)

— Enhance The Growth And Efficiency Of Mitochondria, Which Boosts Physical And Mental Energy Throughout The Body

— Optimize Metabolism

— Enhance Cognitive Health And Reverse The Effects Of Aging On The Brain

— Promote Insulin Sensitivity And Encourage Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

— Repair DNA

OK so these represent a good basic anti aging regimen with an emphasis on mitochondria and hormonal profile. There are of course 50-100 supplements you can take to enhance anti aging and brain function.

When you eat food you get a full range of nutrients just in too small of a quantity for any pharmacological effect.

When taking supplements expect the same. A larger range of carefully chosen supplements will be better than just a few.

Holosync Meditation

I have been a keen meditator for over 30 years. My favorite meditation method is Autogenics because at the advanced levels it can give you a crystal clear imagination. Some months ago I decided to try Holosync to see if it could enhance my meditations.

I have a bunch of biofeedback devices & a CES device. I also have sound & light meditation equipment. So Holosync always seemed a little weird to me. Kind of cult like as many of these things appear.

Well it turns out Holosync is a program that takes some time to complete. Years in fact. It may take you 2-4 years to go through the program of neural reintegration.

These are not hollow words. The entrainment encourages brain hemispheric synchrony.

Now that in itself is no big deal, my light and sound machine does the same & binaural beats. Holosync however is a step above this. Trust me these recordings actually work.

For the first few months I would meditate like normal, relaxing & listening. Sometimes I would be distracted but just play along & complete the recordings anyway.

Now I am some months & levels in and about 3 weeks back a big change happened. I started twitching like hell during the sessions, having intense muscle spasms.

Now when this happens it means your nervous system is reintegrating itself. Using the sensory motor complex to assist in reconnecting neural pathways.

Some also say it is energy channels in the body clearing & these things are all connected as stimulation of accupoints activates specific brain regions unrelated to the sensory stimuli.

Anyway if you just let the body do its thing without resistance. Just lie there & twitch. If your brain wants your body to twitch let it. If it doesn’t it wont.

So I had these spasms for 3 weeks with every meditation. Now they have begun to subside & I feel better.

I relax a bit deeper during the meditations & feel maybe a hint of emotional clearance. I have heard of people using the sedona method during the meditations too.

Basically these twitching’s & spasm’s which can be very pronounced seem the same as experienced during REM. If you have watched a dog or cat sleeping they twitch & spasm like crazy in REM. Its normal. You do it too normally unconsciously.

Also being a big strong male I very seldom cry. Don’t have the inclination and I cry maybe once every 10 years.

But I recall being a little kid & crying would give me great emotional release. This used to clear my mind & I could visualize & relax better afterward.

I dont get this anymore. So the Holosync can also instigate emotional clearance without a sobbing fit.

Anyway I recommend it if you are a meditator. I tried Hemisinc before but prefer Holosync from http://www.centerpointe.com/v2

It may be that I just needed to try Hemisinc for longer but I didnt like all of the silly humming & stuff it asks you to do.

Equisync is another program I will try.

Boner Increase Detected

I increased my cardio. Specifically doing short bicycle sprints on my real bike. I have a special seat that puts zero pressure on the crotch – its a split two part seat.

So I am getting boners much much more now & my cardio is way better. I recommend some high intensity cardio – these cycle rides only last 20 minutes max.

It must be a combination of the general heart action & the thigh pump in the crotch. It is definitely training in the lactic acid overload region & high heart rate.

The reality of SARMs

Some time ago now a new type of bodybuilding drug hit the market. This family of drugs quickly became popular because of dramatic improvements in athletic ability, healing and muscle mass.

Initial reports were that there were zero or very few side effects with these drugs so pretty much everybody that could get hold of them began using them.

The drugs I am talking about are Anabolic Steroids in the middle of the 20th century.

Now some years later people began dying young. Heart attacks, cancer mainly.

Well today we see the same initial optimism surrounding SARM’s. They do indeed seem safer than the old Anabolic Steroids but I dont think you should be using this stuff in your pre middle age years.

If you do opt to use them use only the second generation stuff from a medically approved research lab.

I personally do intend to use SARM’s carefully & selectively but thats because I am just shy of 50. When I get to 70 I may even take Anabolic Steroids if there is nothing better going by then. Of course there will be.

So forget about SARM’s in your teens, 20s & 30’s. Even early 40’s. What happens if 20 years from now users start dropping of cancer?

If you are already old the risk is worth it. Us oldies are in mortal combat against impending death. We can take a margin of risk.

Jerry Brainum explains it all:

An easy way to take powdered supplements

I like to get my supplements in bulk powder form as I can get them way cheaper. Like two years worth for the same price as a months retail.

Now normally I will either stomach the supplements from a spoon which is pretty yuck but quick & easy or I stick them in my tea.

Some supps are just too gross to put in tea but others are just fine. Gelatin, pine pollen, creatine for example seem OK in tea.

I don’t drink regular tea I am talking green tea, ginseng tea etc.

OK so sitting at the bottom of my tea cup today was the remains of my gelatin infused with the supplements. I scraped it out & ate it – yum.

So you can make your own yum vitamin & supplement enriched chews out of gelatin. You can sweeten with whatever or not at all.

My gelatin I normally just drink in my tea. You can barely taste it & its fully liquid not viscous. Gelatin needs to sit for a while to harden & you need a fair amount in ratio to the liquid.

With my tea I have a flat tablespoon approximately. I don’t bother to measure it but I do know you should have 1/3 of your daily protein in collagen form.

However take too much & it accumulates in your kidneys where it forms scar tissue.

So do not use collagen as your number one protein source

Rotator Cuff tendon injury getting better

Glad to say I finally have full range of motion back in my left shoulder. It clicks a lot and I am not lifting overhead yet but I can see that at the current rate it will be healed by May.

I am planning to move overseas so have sold most of my crossfit gear. If I cant sell my weight vests they are going to the NZARMY.

I also joined a regular gym across the street which is great as its 24/7 and I can literally go from my bedroom door to the gym in under 5 minutes.

I am training most days, cardio on my bike, shoulder rehab & bodybuilding at the gym.

What are you training for?

What are you training for?

I would hope the answer to that question is long term health & physical well being.

Well no thats why people should train & its why I train but many people get side tracked. Even I get side tracked too.

Some people train to improve sports skills, to get or stay in a job, to score the opposite sex etc.

So this in turn turns any sports advice upside down. For example I just saw a twitter tweet that got my goat. it was quoting a study showing greater gains from whole body training 3x per week than split training.

Now most people will see that and think wow – thats me I’ll train just 3x per week whole body and get better gains

The study was for 3 months. This is the maximum length that a whole body routine is recommended for beginers.

Its only after that you are meant to begin split training. But people will misinterpret the research because of the way it was presented.

OK lets chuck in a couple more of these paradigms – backed by research papers.

Lets say they also choose to train just with sandbags because another paper or trainer said it is better.

Lets say they choose to follow a high fat diet because some other guy says cholesterol doesnt matter.

Now if you combine enough of these half assed half researched idea’s together & you will end up with a pretty FUBAR athlete.

They may shine like a star briefly or even for a few years. Then kaput.

Enough people have trained with weights & enough research has been done that the standard principles are well defined.

Long term whole body training leads to increased injury & burnout & stagnation of gains. Its common knowlege.

Cholesterol is linked to heart disease – its a fact – accept it.

On and on. Its no good to look at a 3 month study and base your training fully upon than. Or a limited study in a specific population with a genetic disposition.

There are basic training principles that work. If you dont follow them you will get injured & ill more frequently.

If you train for a sport or career your training will be out of skew with whats best long term for your body.

Simple facts.

The myth of “functional” training

The word functional has a dual meaning. It can mean functional as opposed to dysfunctional or it can mean functional as in serving a narrow defined function.

The function of the organism may be compromised by a narrowly defined function.

So when these guys say they are into “functional training” do they mean they are into training you as a functional organism?

Or are they training you to perform a specific function?

Two totally different things with different outcomes.

Most of these functional training programs are in fact to train people for a specific job or to repair an injury.

They are not an over all training program for a fully functional human being. They can not and never will be.

So if you want a long term program to make you the best functional organism – thats traditional bodybuilding.

If you want to become a tactical operator, repair a leg injury, be good at football etc – take up some form of “functional” training.

But just be aware that its functional in name only & in the long term is dysfunctional.

Special forces operator training programs

There are some really decent special forces fitness programs floating around on the net these days.

A couple of very simple effective programs are here for you to download.

Selected: Selected Ebook

How to use this course.
A very successful Olympic running coach once said that the better prepared athlete would always beat
the faster athlete.  We think he’s right.  In the US Army Special Forces selection and assessment course
you may be competing for selection against faster or stronger servicemen.  But, if you have completed
this course, done the workouts and absorbed the educational material – and put into practice what you
have learned – you will be one of the best prepared applicants and more likely to succeed.

SFAS Training Manual: Training for the tactical athlete

SFAS 14 week strength :SFAS 14 Week Strength

SFAS 6 week strength: SFAS 6 Week Strength

SFAS 14 week prep: 14 week prep

SFAS 10 week prep: 10 week prep

Rotator cuff update

Four months since rotator cuff injury occured.

Two months back I wrote that I expected to be pain & inflammation free by now.

When I first got injured I thought the whole thing would be gone by now.

Well I am pain & inflammation free so long as I dont aggravate it. My ROM is 90% where as for 3 months it was 50%.

I can now gently stretch on a pullup bar some what restrained without pain. Certainly I can not free hang yet.

I would place that as two months away.

I can do restrained pressups and kettlebell rows. I can even rack the 16kg kettlebell on the injured side but only a few reps & wont be doing any ballistic stuff for weeks if not months.

I did put all of my gear up for auction & it didnt sell so I will keep it all for time being. I am only training shoulders once per week from now on for strength or muscle mass.

Obviously shoulder rehab is daily in some form.

I have found a new physio that does Active Release Therapy so I will start seeing the new one. Old physio was good but not specialized for the next phase.

I will join the closest gym. 3 minutes from my door & train there daily. No need to train shoulders at the gym as I have all of the gear at home.

My training will be rehab, bodybuilding & cardio focused.

Hopefully in May or June I will be healed up. I still intend to get a platlete shot too. Possibly into both shoulders if ultrasound reveals damage in the right too. Certainly the left will be getting an injection.

How will I split my training?

Well maybe variations of the following

Grip day
Shoulder day
Upper Arm day
Leg day
Chest day
Back day

Cardio & rehab on most days

I also need to get back into a proper stretching / yoga routine

As many sauna’s as I can fit in

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