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Friday, October 31, 2008

Training around an injured lower back while working it

I've dealt with numerous injuries throughout the last 27 years. Taking time off to heal never seemed to be an option and it really still isn't. So I've learned to train around the injury while taking care of it at the same time.

Last friday I resparked an old lower back injury that has been dormant through hard training for the last two years. I did it while doing deadlifts with 450lbs. Never do that last rep that you have to convince yourself to do.

The MRI said something about L4 & L5 bulging disks, pinched nerves, curvature of the spine, arthritis, tendonitis, degenerative joint disease and a bunch of other words I can't pronounce.

This injury of the lower back started with full contact sparring (kickboxing type)over 20 years ago and then my Army induced, high speed, dirt torpedo, impacts into the earth from static line parachuting and fast roping, long ruck marches with heavy packs, long runs, heavy weight lifting, and more martial arts kept it in play for the last 20 years.

Physical therapy (useless imo) and chiropractor weekly visits for over 20 years kept me operational. My last chiropractor on Fort Benning was a former personal trainer so we had alot to talk about. Not only did he snap me back into place but he gave me many fitness and nutrition tips that helped me get started in my civilian training business. He taught me about the importance of core training and simple things you can do to strengthen your lower back and core. As soon as I implemented his recommendations into my workouts my back improved dramatically. My knowledge and skills have improved alot since then and now I use those priciples as a foundation for my client's training. So if you are one of my clients you can figure out why you do the zillions of core drills weekly.

I also learned how to train around my injuries and train my clients around their injuries. Here are a few videos from today's workout - mostly deadlifts, shrugs, pushups, stair sprints, deadlifts to arm curls. All with light weight keeping in mind that I did this with a injured lower back. And no, it didn't hurt my back, it actually made it feel better. Check it out.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another Quick Meal

Eating a bunch of protein tears up my stomach

This is a topic that I discuss daily with my women clients.

A common occurrence when embarking on a fat loss program is that the new increase in protein in your meal plan causes you digestive problems. You start having all sorts of belly issues and you start dropping protein gas bombs, pooping Godzilla turds, having green apple splatters and other vile, nasty stuff. The stench of your new endeavors is enough to melt paint and make you gag on a windy day. High Protein intake gives a whole new meaning to the farting term”silent but deadly”.

Guys can usually deal with this without major alterations to the alignment of the stars. Women, on the other hand, have traumatic reactions to this newfound horror. For women, this is unacceptable and it immediately puts a halt to fat loss efforts. Women would rather be fat than smell like a smushed, road kill armadillo on a Texas highway at high noon.

This is a common issue that affects everyone when they change their meal plan. When you start a fat loss program, you probably tried to change the types of food that you are eating, first. You clean up your diet and start making good food choices. This includes a massive increase in protein for the average person. You start making progress but then the gas cloud starts filling the breathable air with the stench of death and that brings everything to a gagging and screeching halt. You sound off with a loud and thunderous “screw this” and the protein is no longer part of the equation. As a result, progress slows or stops and then you start popping handfuls of pink poka dotted anti-depressants to avoid dragging a razor blade across your wrists. Don’t panic, there is hope.

Of course, it is not a topic that is easily talked about by most women so you avoid it like the Ebola virus when discussing your fat loss progress with your trainer. There are reasons for this phenomenon and things that you need to do to correct it. The protein is a must for fat loss and lean tissue development. So cutting it out is not the answer. The answer is that you must make sure that when you change your food choices, you do more than just add more protein and don’t eat anything else. This is common as many people only hear the part about eating more protein and cutting back on bad stuff like all of the processed death foods that come in a box. So you end up cutting out a bunch of stuff and only really adding a ton of protein. You fail to add in the rest of the plan which includes tons of fibrous carbs from vegetables and fruits, good fats and lots of water. When you add in all aspects of your newly designed macro nutrient ratio, you get the proper amount of fiber and fat, which balances out the increase in protein. This eliminates most of the protein belly trauma and gives you the essential elements for fat loss, lean tissue development and overall health.

There are a bunch of reasons why high protein intake causes an upset belly. Changes in your body’s PH level, the amounts of stomach acid, digestive enzymes and micro nutrients can wreak havoc on your system and any increase in one type of food alters this delicate balance. That is why you need to eat clean and balanced with the right amounts of each macro nutrient. Carbs, fats and protein have to be added to your meal plan in the right amount with the right frequency for your system to achieve balance. You need to add them all in together as a combined total meal plan. You don’t want to cut out the case of coke and three tons of pizza, pasta and bagels and just add a ton of protein. This is why the stink bomb hits you. You need to cut out the garbage food and add all of the healthy whole foods from your meal plan – not just protein.

So the bottom line is don’t cut out the protein, instead add your fibrous carbs from vegetables and fruits, good fats (like fish oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds) and drink plenty of water. Get plenty of antioxidants and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) through your healthy whole foods and supplement your plan with stuff like yerba mate tea, green tea and a multi-vitamin. By making your meal plan balanced and clean, you can still take in the protein that you need for fat loss and muscle development without the dreaded belly trauma.

Eric Dempsey
Dempsey’s Resolution Fitness

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cranberry Spinach Salad

Hi everyone,
Here is a tasty and healthy meal for you. Try to cut down on the salt and sugar. Add other healthy flavoring. Go heavy on the nuts. Enjoy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Tips from the Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods by Dr. James A. Duke.

Cinnamon is one of the most powerful antioxidants. It floods your body with a nutrient called MHCP , which seems to activate the insulin receptors in your cells, causing them to begin using up blood sugar for energy instead of letting it rise.

Almonds were used in a study where a test group that ate a few almonds each day experienced accelerated weight loss. They lost 62% more weight than another group that consumed the same number of calories. They also lost 50%more off of their waistlines and 56% percent more of their fat mass. Almonds were shown to have properties that help control blood sugar and diabetes.

Cheddar Cheese contains a potent nutrient that signals your fat cells to stop storing fat. A national study revealed that the people who got the most of this nutrient in their daily diet were 85% less likely to be overweight. The cheese also helps intercept the fat in your foods and sweeps it out of your body before it gets packed on your belly.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Knife Throwing and Double Sticks in the Back Yard

Today, I supplemented my heavy arm workout with some martial art practice in the back yard. In the quest to reimplement some old training methods from my younger days, I broke out the throwing knives and double sticks. I used to do this stuff daily, back in the day. I'm rusty and slow in my old age now but any effort will produce improved results. This stuff is alot harder than it looks and the skills are perishable. But I didn't do too bad for not having done it in an eon or so. This is an example of unorthodox training that requires little equipment. I practice the double sticks with two old branches, instead of escrima sticks and use tree limbs for targets. The knives are old junk knives. No big expenses there but still a good workout. I used to train people in this stuff often and women really like the knife throwing for some reason. The knife throwing is calming and meditative and is kinda like my version of dart throwing, except with big knives. If anyone is interested in this kind of training, let me know.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Equalizer: You know you love it

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6 Pack ABS Training

The Best Ab Exercise for Obliques?

When most people think six pack abs, the best exercise for
obliques, and losing belly fat, they think about long boring cardio
workouts and hundreds of crunches. Fortunately, that isn't what it
takes to get a beach body belly and sexy oblique muscles.

In fact, there are many exercises better and safer than crunches.
After all, crunches involve spinal flexion (rounding forward), and
research shows spinal flexion can lead to herniated discs.

This information has lead me to a long and exhaustive search for
safe and effective ab training.

Last week I stumbled onto a new study supporting my "ab crunch ban"
and my preference for exercises such as the Side Plank. In this
study, researchers examined six common ab exercises performed by
120 subjects to see how hard the muscles were working.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008 Oct;38(10):596-605.Related Articles
Changes in deep abdominal muscle thickness during common
trunk-strengthening exercises using ultrasound imaging.

When compared to other common ab exercises, the Side Plank and the
classic Abdominal Crunch exercises both resulted in the greatest
change in muscle thickness for the Transverse Abdominis and
Internal Oblique muscles, meaning they were contracting the muscle
more than the other exercises.

However, because the Side Plank does not involve spinal flexion and
because it builds abdominal endurance (previously found to be
associated with less low back pain), the Side Plank exercise wins
this head to head battle hands down and is the best exercise for
oblique muscles.

If you are looking for a new move to add to your total body fat
burning workout, do a 15 second Side Plank hold per side if you are
a beginner. For advanced core strength, hold for 45 seconds per

Click here to learn more about the best bodyweight abs exercises:

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training
Turbulence Training

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Perform Better Products

If you are looking for great exercise equipment to use at home, then check out perform better. They have all of the latest equipment used by all major fitness establishments. They are a quality brand which I use myself. They also offer great training seminars. Check them out.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trying to get back in shape

Hi Everyone,
Here are a couple of videos of me trying to brush off the martial arts rust on my old broken carcass. I'm slowly trying to add in old methods that I used with my old buddy and training partner James back in the day. In these videos, I did a short martial art weapons workout using nunchakus and the short staff. These workouts increase range of motion, flexibility, cardio, strength and endurance. These workouts also increase coordination, balance and timing. I'm not very good compared to my old better skilled days but I'm working on it. It was a good finish to my workout of shrugs, deadlifts, and tricep overhead extensions. If you are interested in self defense and martial arts for fitness or self defense, let me know.

Fish Oil For Fat Loss

Hi Everyone,
This video talks about the importance of having fish oil in your diet for fat loss and general health. Good info. Take your fish oil !!!
Check it out here:

Friday, October 3, 2008

4 Foods for Fat Loss

4 Foods for More Fat Loss
by Mike Roussell PhD(c)

What foods should I eat for maximum fat loss? This is a common question that I get from clients and friends. There is so much new information out there everyday "X food is now good for you but Y food is now bad." How can you possibly sort through all the junk science and sensational reporting to truly find out which foods will help you lose weight and which foods won't?
Let me help. Here's a look at foods that you should eat to maximize fat loss. These foods are listed in no particular order because they are all important.

1. Salmon - While salmon was once demonized by the fitness community in the 90's because of it's fat content (I actually saw it in an article about 'Foods to avoid for fat loss') we now know that the long chain omega-3 fats found in salmon are the best kind. Research has shown that these fats can actually help you burn more fat. Salmon also contains high levels of protein - it is really the perfect package.

2. Almonds - Almonds are a great fat loss snack. Almonds are extremely convenient, portable, and they have a long shelf life. You should keep a small bag of almonds at your desk, in your briefcase, or backpack as an emergency weight loss snack. Almonds contain fat, fiber, and protein - all of which will help curb your hunger. They are also low in carbohydrates and provide your body with energy while keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

3. Broccoli - Broccoli is a true superfood. From a health perspective they contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that have been shown to help fight cancer. There is also some evidence to suggest that another compounds found in broccoli, Calcium D-glucarate, can bind excess estrogen in the body. It is a low impact carb with a nice dose of fiber. You can buy is fresh or frozen (broccoli cuts or florets - go with the florets). The bottom line is Eat Broccoli Often.

4. Green Tea - Green tea is another powerful food, like broccoli, that will have huge impacts on your fat loss and health. Green tea can be an acquired taste for some people as if you let it steep to long (e.g. leave the tea bag in the water) it can be very bitter. You can drink it hot or cold (if you opt for cold you may need to add a little splenda). Green tea contains cancer fighting compounds, not to mention antioxidants, caffeine, and the fat burning powerhouse EGCG. Research has shown that the combination of caffeine and EGCG (which is naturally combined in green tea) can help burn extra fat. Drink 2-3 cups a day. In fact I'm drinking some right now!
There you have it four time tested and research proven foods to help you burn more fat. If you aren't eating (or drinking) all of these foods daily (or at least every couple days) then you are not doing everything possible to burn maximum fat. Add them to your diet, get healthier, and burn more fat.

About the Author/More Info:
Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete 28 day diet and training system crafted to help you lose 10,15, or 20lbs of body fat in just 28 day. To start losing weight fast visit

Mike Roussell is a nutrition doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. Mike's writings can be found in magazines such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, and Testosterone Nation. Mike specializes in fat loss nutrition and diets for busy men and women who need to lose weight fast without it interfering with their lives.

Warp Speed Fat Loss ( is a complete Done-for-You A-Z Fat Loss Blueprint that gives you exactly everything you need to eat to lose weight in record time.