MY CRANE ANALOGY - AND WHY STRUCTURALISM WORKS

As the first of many blog posts to come I decided that I would tell my story of the building site crane. It's an overly simplified analogy comparing an immensely strong machine that we see active on construction sites all over the developing world to our muscular-skeletal system of the human body. I bring this story into conversation early on with new clients when helping them into understanding the process of building real applicable strength and stability into their bodies, and why a precise, controlled and patient work(out) ethic necessary in order to achieve this.Mechanics is everywhere. It is so common to the point that the majority of us don't even pay attention to mechanics at work. The obvious examples that spring to mind might be the cars we drive, or appliances in our houses such as washing machines or heating units. But how often do we appreciate the reason why our buildings don't fall down or how the brackets holding our TV to the wall are so strong. When was the last time you considered how electricity cables don't pull down pylons or how bridges span distant expanses without collapsing? This is before we even look into the natural environment (where incidentally many man made structures have been designed based on support systems inspired by nature).So going back to the good old crane. For simplicity just imagine a standard high rise crane with one vertical leg and a long arm across the top. It is designed to haul loads of thousands of tonnes high into the air with ease. Now just for one minute imagine that the leg of that crane had a kink half way up and the arm at the top was moved off centre. It doesn’t take a huge amount of understanding to realise this is a recipe for disaster and will inevitably lead to the collapse of the crane as soon as it comes under load or tries to move.At this point I want you to imagine that our bodies are that crane, our spine is the leg, and our arm is the arm. When we know how to stand well, to control and maintain a neutral spine position and structural integrity from the ground up our bodies can be incredibly strong, powerful and efficient. But introduce that leg kink (as a bend in the spine), or an off set lifting arm (a shoulder joint that is permanently internally rotated) then we immediately lose our integrity and our potential power and strength is significantly diminished. Load up your body whilst in this state and you’re asking for damage, and the pain and weakness that follows.Whilst biomechanics is an infinitely diverse and complex subject, with more varied parameters and environmental influences to take into account, it still easy to understand why structural integrity is so important in order to maintain an efficient and strong body.One school of thought says that physical therapists, personal trainers, chiropractors and osteopaths should all be working with the same goal in mind. To restore or maintain the natural function and ability of the human body in order that we are able to live as strong, capable, and pain free as possible contributing to overall healthy lifestyle.I have seen time and time again that by correcting peoples movement patterns and eliminating damaging habits and dysfunctions that clients are able to workout, perform well in sports and enjoy a happy and healthy life. For this reason I urge you to embrace structuralism within your training program in order to see the most effective and longest lasting results .

Marathon training tips for first timers

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or are new to the sport, the marathon is one of those awe-inspiring races that many dream of finishing. The marathon distance, 42.2 kilometers, requires substantial training but with commitment and the right training anyone can attain the goal of finishing one. Marathon training requires a planned and consistent training schedule, paying close attention to your body and monitoring your diet to make sure you’re getting enough of the right food to sustain your training efforts. If you’re considering giving this great race a try here’s some advice to get you started.  GearBefore you start your training pick up a few essentials to ensure that you’re prepared and comfortable. Get shoes appropriate for your feet and the distance. If you’re wearing old or ill-fitting shoes you’re more likely to feel unnecessary discomfort once you start adding on the miles and will run a higher risk for injury.Invest in a water belt, carrier, or pack for your long runs.Make sure you have appropriate clothing to train in over the next 12 months and take into consideration the weather. Quality running gear will help regulate your temperature on the long runs and prevent chaffing and blisters. A watch/smartphone app– A general timing device that allows you to track your running time. TrainingPick a race and plan to have enough weeks/months to train. Depending on your starting level, this could be as long as 18-24 months (to increase your distance gradually and prevent injury). If you’re a true beginner to running a training regime of 3 times a week is usually appropriate enough for you to start but if you have some experience you will likely up that 4-6 times a week. Create or find a good training plan and start a training log. Additionally, your running week should be divided up as such (for example): Tempo runs – Mid-length runs that are around the same time as than your anticipated race pace. Sprint/hill runs – These runs are short and fast to build up speed and strength. If your race is hilly favour doing more hill runs. A long and easy run – This run is the most essential and it is important to actually run it easy. Your mileage for these runs should increase every other week as any sooner and you run high risk of injury. So every other week you scale back on distance so that you recover properly in time for the next one with the increased mileage.  An active recovery run or activity – This activity or run should take place the following day or the day after your longest run. This activity can include a short and easy run or any other low impact activity like swimming.Strength and proprioceptive training – Teaching your body how to land and develop power, change direction and absorb impact along side strengthening all your muscle groups and sling systems will ensure that your running is as efficient as possible and injury free from the get go. Rest - This is your most important training tool so take your rest days seriously. Get enough sleep and take naps. You’re going to feel really tired as you adjust to the training so get as much rest as you can.Be honest with your fitness level, if you are starting from the couch, work from where you’re at not where you want to be. Additionally here are some other important tips to consider:Plan to have 2-3 weeks of tapering before the race. Tapering means cutting the distance and intensity of your training which allows your body to rest, prepare, and then peak for race day. Trim your toe nails before long runs to avoid blisters.Once you start running farther than 10-15 kilometers you’re going to start feeling some aches and pains in your legs and joints on your long runs. This is completely expected. The more you run the less fatigue you’ll feel from the longer distances however you need to ensure that your running technique, strength and mobility training work is on par with your running training itself. This will prevent pains and twinges from prevailing and developing into injuries.If you have trouble controlling your pacing at the start consider a run/walk training method.Don’t skip the short runs in the week as these runs help you build the endurance needed for the long haul. You have to learn, mentally and physically, how to run when you’re tired. Take the time to stretch. Runners are notoriously inflexible, especially in the hamstrings and stretching will help reduce injury and keep you mobile. Even consider planning a few sport massage therapy sessions. DietYou’re going to get hungry as you pack on all the miles and replenishing is important. You’re also going to need to eat while you’re out on your long runs. Experiment with different types of portable foods, energy bars, and gels and find one that works for you. When you find something that works, stick to it so that you can avoid any potential gastro-intestinal (GI) distress issues. Food is fuel so make sure you’re getting enough calories, and the right balance of protein, fats and carbs, both before and after a long run. On your long runs drink water and consume a gel or something with simple sugar every 15 to 20 minutes and consider having something small to eat every hour.For longer runs, consider an electrolyte drink to bring with you, especially if its hot. Try and replenish your depleted reserves with a balanced meal within 15-30 minutes of the end of your run. Race DayWhen the big day comes it is normal to feel nervous and don’t beat yourself up if your nerves kept you awake the night before. As long as you got some good rest that week one restless night shouldn’t effect your race. Lay out your clothes and gear the night before so that you’re not stressed in the morning. Give yourself lots of time.Eat a good breakfast consistent with what you’ve been eating during training, no new foods! If you’re traveling for a race, pre-prep food if need be. Never, ever, ever wear new clothes on race day! Chaffing and blisters can ruin all your hard work.Don’t go out too fast in the first few kilometers with all the excitement of the race, you have a long haul in front of you.Make it your goal just to finish the race. It’s your first time, enjoy it! Hopefully these tips will motivate and provoke thorough planning and thoughtful training along with many more questions and experiences to be discovered along the way. If you're you're struggling with knowing how to get started, or need guidance as to developing efficiency whilst avoiding injury then be in touch - were always happy to help! ​

WHY STICKING TO THE MACHINES IN THE GYM MIGHT NOT BE AS FAIL SAFE AS YOU FIRST THOUGHT

This surveillance footage (of which the subject will remain anonymous) shows very clearly why the popular myth of 'I only use the machines at the gym because that way you can't go wrong' is so incorrect and that the use of these machines can be just as damaging or injury inviting as any other exercise or equipment if performed poorly and without taking into account our human biomechanics and biology.

Thinking of going vegetarian or vegan?Here's some important information if you're thinking about making the transition

Vegetarian and veganism has gained a lot of momentum in the last few years and it’s now easier than ever to make this transition as more shops and restaurants are starting to include a variety of veggie options. In general, a standard western diet includes too much protein and not enough vegetables and with red meat having connections to cancer and the environmental impact that the meat industry is having on our environment it’s no wonder people are starting to make the switch. Going veggie can have a lot of health and performance benefits, such as reduced inflammation, weight loss, lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as improved gut-health, but making the switch doesn’t instantly mean that you’re going to be eating and feeling better. Part of the reason that people have such success with going veggie is because, in general, they end up making healthier choices by eating less processed foods and more whole foods. There are plenty of unhealthy veggie-eaters out there that rely on processed meat-substitutes and other packaged foods. I mean, Oreos are technically vegan but that doesn’t make them a healthier choice. Successful veggie eaters get their full servings of vegetables in a day but are not just focused on vegetables. Successful veggie eaters, especially those that are athletes, also view their food as fuel and make sure their meals are well rounded to included a balance of protein and carbohydrates.“For me, it's about optimizing health. It's about lifestyle and longevity. Then you think about what vegetarian diets can do for the mass population, in terms of lower consumption of resources. When you look at the numbers, it's pretty staggering.” - Scott Jurek, elite ultramarathoner, author, and vegan.Going veggie, especially going vegan, means that you need to pay attention to your vitamin needs. Vegans are more prone to vitamin B12 deficiencies as it is not a vitamin that humans naturally produce but it is found supplemented in many dairy products. Additionally, females, and especially female athletes need to stay on top of their iron intake as female vegan athletes needing 80% more iron than a non-vegan female athlete. Now some of these stats are used to deter people from going veggie, which is understandable as it may not always be best the best diet for everyone and their lifestyles, but in general you can get the nutrients that you need by eating a variety of different types and colours of vegetables, vegetables rich in iron and magnesium, healthy fats from foods like avocados, as well as including items like nutritional yeast and swapping out refined grains for whole grains. Variety is key.Protein is also important as this what makes us feel full, it is also especially important as an as athlete but this is not as difficult to acquire as many carnivores would have you believe. In general a person requires around 7 grams of protein every day for every 20 pounds of body weight. A cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein, around 15 grams of fiber and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium. There are also plenty of other plant-based options that provide the right amount of protein such as beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa and nuts. Additionally, even modest vegetables like broccoli, carry certain amounts of protein as do the majority of other vegetables.The important thing to think about going forward, even if you’re not ready or not willing to make the switch just yet, is to just start off by choosing whole foods, mostly vegetables, and by reducing your intake of meat and diary.“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollen, author of “In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto” ​

CHANGE YOUR POSITION NOW!The importance of staying in motion every day

Stop for too long and you might just get stuck - don't believe us? Here's the facts --->

This One Activity Should Be Your Biggest Daily Habit

There are things we do every day because its good for us - for example, brushing our teeth. Yet there are others we should do and we don't. Who decides what makes it onto the daily to do list and what doesn't?

Personal Trainers are NOT Babysitters

Why the workouts outside of your personal training time are the most important.

Wanna have more sex? Improving your posture is a good way to start!

Your posture sucks. And now you may want to fix it for reasons other than just your health.....

Why YOU need to train in your BARE FEET

Minimalist and barefoot training is one of the few things the fitness industry has done right, though in practice it is something that many get wrong - read about out all you need to know here ....

TOP 10 TIPS FOR LOOKING AFTER YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH

Our top ten for living a healthy life and moving well!

** Isractive postural awareness and correction course **

2 month course that will take you from slouch to stature by improving your structure. Could this benefit you?

HOW DAN GOT IT RIGHT!

What makes you a successful training client?

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לקרוא את הבלוג של ישראקטיב בעברית לחצו כאן

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Isractive is based in the 'Old North" of Tel Aviv. Private training sessions usually take place at Kolnoa Peer Fitness Club, occasionally in private workout facilities, and when appropriate out in the field (park).

For accurate group session and run club locations refer to the published timetable and booking app. 

 

Phone:  +972 (0) 54 295 1511

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