TRAINING FOR HUMANS
Holistic fitness system allowing you to move as nature intended
Feel healthy, fix your deficiencies, address pain, get strong, increase stamina and agility, and look amazing - who doesn't want that?
THE TRAINING SYSTEM
The Isractive training for humans concept is broken down into 5 clearly defined stages. In order to move and function in the most efficient way it is important that trainees complete each stage and master its techniques with proficiency before progressing to the next level.
READ MORE ABOUT THE STAGES OF TRAINING BELOW
The TRAINING FOR HUMANS concept re-focusses the mis-used term 'functional training' into a fitness program that brings out the best possible movement, endurance and integrated strength abilities and performance of the trainee. This is achieved by re-assesment and activation of human biomechanics of the trainee via a range of corrective exercises and multi-planar movement routines.
"...a teacher is someone who just repeats to you information that was repeated to him. A coach knows how to find the best way of developing his trainee with that information. For every client that method of coaching is unique. Let me coach you and find the best way of guiding you to bring out the best in you..."
Patience and perseverance for perfect performance
Consider if your choice of exercise is going to help improve your primary function as a human. If not question whether it will actually hinder your progress.
Protect your joints by ensuring all routines are performed from a bio-mechanically safe and efficient positions and movement patterns. If in doubt, check with a professional.
Volume over loading. Perform quality repetitions of an exercise many times in place of heavy reps of an exercise less times. Use equipment to complement not control your workout
Prevent the creation of new deficiencies by keeping muscle and fascia tissues supple and flexible by using massage and stretching techniques.
Investing 20 minutes practicing an exercise accurately will help you progress quicker than a 2 hour badly performed heavy or messy workout.
Peak into the Isractive training style in gallery below
'if it looks like it's effortless then you're doing something right'
The ISRACTIVE fitness coaching ideology addresses the often forgotten purpose of a training program which as the name suggests should primarily be about being fit, healthy and efficient. Traditional and 'old school' systems are failing fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike by rendering them injured or impaired rather than improved and empowered.
Whilst growing up in the UK I was always an active person, swimming, cycling, running, and constantly monkeying around climbing on and jumping off of whatever I could find. At a young age natural movement patterns were organically formed and agility and abilities gained freely with ease. After qualifying as a personal trainer at the Wingate Institute of Sport in Israel and starting to work in the fitness industry I soon realised that there was a serious flaw in the way traditional fitness programs are administered. With reference to my education in Human Anatomy, Kinesiology I started to understand that hypertrophy through muscle isolation is taught and emphasised as the main goal for those participating in any exercise program. With this in mind most gym-goers and personal trainers are following programs that don't fix a persons de-ficiencies, and focus only on 'getting big'. I observed that trainees with 21st century deficiencies through excessive inactivity were then becoming injured from following these outdated and ignorant training methods. From this point I immediately decided that the only way to help people to achieve healthy, efficient and functional bodies is to build a training system that enables them to gain the natural movement patterns that have helped me stay in top shape - capable, agile, strong, and efficient.
Analysis and Correction
Rotation, anti rotation and gait cycle
Going 3D - Multiplanar movements
The PUSH for endurance
Feedback and implementation
'Training for Humans' - a bespoke fitness system for those wishing to perform at their best, pre-hab their bodies, recover from injuries and handle all that life throws at them.
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 .
THE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO INTERMITTENT FASTING
If you live in Israel, you’re likely familiar with the concept of fasting as every year during Yom Kippur the city shuts down with many observing the 25-hour fast. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you may have been interested in fasting for cultural reasons or perhaps for health or weight loss. Here’s all you need to know about fasting and how to prepare and do it safely. Intermittent fasting might not be appropriate for you so always check with your general practitioner before starting. What is Intermittent Fasting?Intermittent fasting is not a diet but rather a dieting pattern, as well as a common practice in many religions. It involves abstaining partially or completely from food for a set amount of time. So rather than specifying what foods to eat, like a diet, intermittent fasting just determines when you can eat. Different TypesOutside of religious fasting (where usually religious traditions or superstitions dictate the duration of a fast), there is no single way to fast but here are few popular methods: 16/8 method – This method involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to only 8-hours. For example, eating from 12-8pm only and then fasting for the remainder of the day. 24-hour method – This method involves abstaining from food for a full 24 hours and then resuming eating the next day and alternating between the two. 5/2 method – This method involves restricting calorie intake to 500-600 calories for two non-consecutive days of the week and then resuming eating as normal for the remainder.
TRAINING TIPS FOR LAST MINUTE RUNNERS
Whether your friend has conned you into last minute race, you didn’t manage to keep up with your planned training schedule, or you’ve picked up a late-entry, what do you do if you find yourself training last minute for a running race? While it isn’t really advisable, especially for longer distances like the half or full marathon, it is possible to run well, regardless of what distance you’re wanting to run. Here are some tips and recommendations on how to approach the impending race day. Where to Start:Firstly, you need to have an idea of your current fitness level. Non-Runner – 5K - If your exercise regime in next to non-existent, attempting a marathon in less than a month is asking for a whole variety of issues and injuries, however a 5k is possible. Beginner Runner – 5K or 10K - For a reasonably fit person or novice runner, you will already have some of the psychological and physical strength base needed to finish longer distances. If you are running or have started running, even sporadically but can run for about 3 kilometers, a 5 or 10K is achievable. Intermediate/Advanced Runner – Half/Full Marathon - For those seasoned and fit runners that can run 8 kilometers or more, it is possible to look at the longer distances though you should consult with a doctor and a fitness specialist first.
THE KETO DIET - IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU? What it is Ketosis? When does it happen? Who is it for? And how do I do it?
We’re told that it’s the new kid on the block in the world of dieting, and it has been touted as a weight-loss powerhouse, but in reality this is solidly based science that has its roots in our ancestry. So what is the keto diet and is it something worth adding to your health and fitness regime? If you are considering giving it a go, here are some things to consider and don’t forget to discuss them with your doctor or a dietitian beforehand. What is the Keto Diet?The ketogenic diet or keto diet aims at reaching a state called ketosis. Ketosis mimics a metabolic state of starvation that forces the body to switch from its first choice of carbohydrates for energy and switch it for stored body fat instead. This strict diet is very high in fat and very low in carbohydrates (not unlike the Atkin’s diet). To reach ketosis, carbohydrate restrictions needs be limited to fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day and it will take a few days to reach ketosis. Different approachesStandard – Diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. Clinical – Intermittent days of high carbohydrate intake, such as 5 days of keto and 2 high carb days.Targeted – Allows for carbohydrates on workout days.High-Protein – Diet consists of 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs. Related: Why Diet is Just as Important as Exercise Foods to AvoidRegardless of the type keto diet being undertaken, here are some examples of foods to avoid on keto days:- Sugary beverages- All fruit, except in small portions like berries- Grains or starches- Root vegetables and tubers- Beans and legumes- Unhealthy fats- Low-fat or diet products- Sugar-free foods Foods to Eat- Meat- Eggs- Fish- Butter- Cream- Cheese- Nuts and seeds- Avocados- Healthy oil- Low carb vegetables There are also plenty of examples and meal plans available online with a quick internet search. BenefitsThe keto diet has become popular because it has helped people successfully lose weight, therefore reducing the risk of obesity-related diseases. Studies have also shown that it can help with other types of illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s. One study touted that those on a keto diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those that weren’t while also improving cholesterol levels. It’s also been noted to help pre-diabetics and diabetics as the increase of ketones in the body keep blood sugar down and increase insulin sensitivity. Related: Thinking of going vegetarian or vegan? RisksLike any restrictive diet, they can be difficult to maintain, so being able to stay in a state of ketosis for an extensive period of time is challenging and risks a yo-yo effect with body weight. Additionally, further studies have shown that it can affect the speed and performance of athletes as fat requires more oxygen to create energy than carbohydrates, which can affect muscle contraction. Though, over time it might also make it possible to reduce reliance on carbohydrates for fuel during exercise.The keto diet, however, also comes with some serious risks as it can exasperate or create existing liver or kidney problems with the sheer volume of fat and proteins they need process. Additionally, nutritional deficiencies can happen with the lack of vegetables/legumes consumed, also making constipation common as the diet lacks sufficient fibre. Have you tried the keto diet? Comment below to let us know your experience with it.
THE BENEFITS OF STAYING FIT THROUGH PREGNANCY Discover how you and your baby will thank you for keeping on the go!
After getting past the excitement stage, many women begin to have concerns about their bodies once they find out that they’re pregnant. Things like diastasis, changes in their pelvic floor, physical changes to the body, along with discomfort and pain. Staying fit during pregnancy can help reduce or eliminate many of these issues during pregnancy and birth.Thankfully, it’s finally common knowledge that exercising while pregnant has extensive benefits for both mama and baby. While it’s not recommended to start a brand new exercise regime, the basic rule is, if you were active before your pregnancy you’re more likely to be safe to continue exercising while pregnant and carrying on doing the same exercises, provided you’re comfortable. Even if you weren’t all that active beforehand, walking is generally a low-risk activity that can be increased up to 30-minute intervals per day. Is Exercising While Pregnant Safe?Absolutely! Exercise does not put you at risk for miscarriage in a normal pregnancy but it’s still important to consult with a doctor and personal trainer about your current fitness levels and what you anticipate your activity levels will be during pregnancy. Contact sports or activities with a high risk of falling like skiing, horseback riding, biking etc. should also be avoided. You might not be able to exercise as hard or as fast as you did before your pregnancy but you’re still reaping one of these many benefits. Related: Top Five Benefits of Functional Fitness on Mental Health Benefits for Mom Boost in Energy, Mood, and Confidence: Exercise, whether you’re pregnant or not, helps energize and revive the mind and body as well as providing a positive body image and perception.Reduces Discomfort: Exercise can bring relief to all the aches and pains that come with being pregnant. Especially ones that focus on the pelvic floor and back. Water sports can also help by adding a feeling of weightlessness. Prepares the Body for Childbirth: Labour is often shorter in women who exercise. Additionally, moms that have good cardiovascular health and a strong core report using fewer drugs for pain during labour. Lower risk of pregnancy-related complications: Studies are finding that fit moms have a lower chance of complications such as gestational diabetes, unplanned c-sections, high blood pressure, constipation, leg swelling etc. Faster Recovery Time: Studies show that women who are fit during their pregnancy recover faster and better post-birth and can get back to their regular and new parenting routines faster than those who were not active. Sleep better: Studies have shown that women who exercise report sleeping better, longer, and more soundly than pregnant women who didn’t exercise. Increases Flexibility: Relaxin is a hormone that is released during pregnancy that loosens up your pelvic muscles and other joints in preparation for birth. Take advantage of this extra flexibility with functional daily stretches. Related: This One Activity Should Be Your Biggest Daily Habit Benefits for BabyReduces the Risk of Diabetes and Increases Brain Health: Studies performed on rats found that babies born from moms that exercised had better insulin sensitivity lowering their risk of diabetes and obesity, as well having lower rates of neurodegeneration leading to lower rates of diseases like Alzheimer’s.Lower Fetal Heart Rates: A study performed on human babies saw a decrease in fetal heart rates in mom’s that exercised regularly, a benefit that was traced and carried on to the babies after birth.
THE 5 EXERCISES YOU SHOULD BE DOING WHILST S(H)ITTING ON THE TOILET! The perfect way to utilise your toilet time and ensure that your feet get the love they deserve
As you may already know if you’ve encountered any of our previous blogs, we’re all about movements at Isractive | ישראקטיב, but don’t be fooled and think you’re about to read a piece about your gastro health. We’re going to assume for a second that all is well on that front, which is useful, because you’ve just allocated yourself the perfect moment to deal with another element of your human efficiency. Lets talk about your feet.You’re thinking, ‘what could possibly link my toilet time and my feet?’ , ‘They’ve totally lost it now!’. Fear not, we’re of sound grounding. One of the most common rebuttals to any of our ‘quick fix tips’ or workouts of the day is that finding the time to look after your mobility, and then another session for some cardio health, and a gym workout to keep strong, and some peace and quiet for meditation is near on impossible with long days at the office followed by family time and all the other usual demands on our energy. So here’s our gift to you - a few minutes serenity, locked in a box, poor phone signal (and lets be honest, if you’re taking your smartphone to the toilet – eww), and only the walls to keep you entertained – and most importantly an opportunity to right the wrong of our last two centuries of isolation, compression and oppression of OUR FEET.Whether it be through in-activity, high fashion, mis-information and marketing of sports brands or just habit of being heavily shod, its likely your ankles (and therefore calves, shins knees and hips) are paying the price. So take this 5 minutes of looking for something to play with and re-unite yourself to your little pinky. No not that one, the ones on your feet damn-it!Prevent unstable ankles, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis, shin splints, ACL stresses and a whole host of other irritations and injuries that can happen to us regardless of our level of fitness, whilst improving your control and balance by following our top 5 exercises for your feet.
Top 5 Benefits of Functional Fitness on Mental Health The significance and links between functional physical fitness and functional mental headspace
Most of us know that exercise is good for our well-being, especially physically, but it’s also essential for our mental health. Functional fitness, like its unique physical benefits, also has its own positives when it comes to our mental well being. If you’re looking for any further reasons to give functional fitness a try, here are the top five mental health benefits that come from function fitness. 1 - Confidence Exercise gives you confidence. Not only do you feel good from your accomplishments but overcoming challenges boosts your confidence and perceptions of yourself. Additionally, functional fitness, when done properly, helps bring you back to the basics of your natural movement by improving your posture and stance in order to move as we were intended to before we were forced into offices, desks, chairs, and couches. One of the benefits of a good posture is an improvement in confidence. Studies have found that when task are performed with good posture the person felt more competent at performing that task versus those who were slouched. So you get a double whammy of confidence if you used functional fitness in your exercise regime. 2 - Stress ReductionScientists noted that moderate exercise increases blood circulation to our brains and creates a reaction that reduces our physiological reactivity to stress with as little as 30-45 minutes a few times a week (provided you’re not sitting for the remainder of the day). Stretching every day and maintaining your functional mobility also helps in muscle tension and reducing stress. 3 - Reduces Anxiety and DepressionExercise has a multitude of positive outcomes for the brain. It release endorphins which help reduce and prevent both anxiety and depression, especially with functional aerobic exercise, as well as improvement in treatment and in prevention in relapses. One study saw a 26% risk decrease for major depression for those that took the time to run for 15-minutes a day or walk for one hour. Additionally, participating in a group or social settings has been reported to help depressive and anxious symptoms further and exercise also been shown to help those with mental illness reduce their social withdrawal symptoms. 4 - Mood and Mental AlertnessYour body releases endorphins when you exercise and this chemical makes you feel great. These same chemicals have also been found to help improve cognitive functions, concentration, stamina, increased energy levels and alertness. Exercise also helps to stimulate the growth of new brain cells help you stay sharp as you age. 5 - Better Sleep Exercise naturally fatigues you making it easier for you to fall and stay asleep. Research has shown an increase in perceived energy levels with an regular exercise regime. One of the additional benefits offered by functional fitness is its capacity to reduce or eliminate pain. Pain or discomfort is a major cause of sleep-loss but with a functional fitness exercise regime it can help realign your body for better a better performance and for a better night’s sleep.
FITNESS EQUIPMENT AND EXERCISES THAT ARE A WASTE OF YOUR TIME - AND WHAT TO DO INSTEAD Ensure sure your gym time is about building a better you rather than breaking you!
Not all exercises and equipment are created equally, so if you’re looking to maximise your time working out (to be honest, who isn’t?) then it’s worth your while to know which movements are the most effective. Most machines focus on isolating muscles, which initially sounds good, but the reality is that our bodies and muscle groups rarely work in isolation and that functional exercises that create efficient human movement patterns are much more effective. Here’s just a few of some of the major exercises to avoid the next time you hit the gym along with some more functional suggestions. Abductor/Adductor Machines (aka the Gynaecologist Machine) These machines are not all that effective but people continue to use them because they’re believed to help tone and isolate the inner thigh and reduce fat, but the fact of the matters is that you can’t spot treat areas. More importantly than just how ineffective the machines are, is the dangerous pressure that the pads isolate onto the knee joint. Since when were we made to take a sideways force of ten’s of kilos on our knees?What to do instead: Lunges. Whether forwards or backwards, we recommend taking a short step and hinging fully into your hips. This helps keep the natural human movement pattern through the hips and knees whilst strengthening the glutes, hamstrings and quads (and even your ankle complex) with proportion to each other. Lying Leg Curling Machine This machine is highly non-functional in terms of our natural movements. When would we ever need to move our hamstrings in isolation like this? This exercise also doesn’t engage other main muscle groups throughout your body – the ones that all play a crucial part in landing and avoiding injury. What to do instead: Single leg deadlift. This exercise activates the whole backside of your body while also engaging the core (all what constitutes our abdominal muscles) and challenging stability. Single leg deadlifts are also intuitive as they mimic real life scenarios in which we would need the strength and balance to do everyday activities like picking up items, climbing stairs, and landing whilst walking and running without collapsing. Related: Is your fitness functional? Crunches/Sit Ups and Ab Machines Isolating your abs to get them in a six pack shape sounds great but crunches and ab machines are just not effective and that’s because they don’t require the use of our spine to keep us stable. Research has shown that crunches and ab exercises that don’t use our spines for stability are less effective in activating abdominal muscles. What to do instead: Planks. They activate more muscles in the abdominal area and (when performed accurately) they won’t put strain on your back. They’ll also bring the awareness and control of a neutral spine posture which is useful for the rest of your workout. With a large variety of exercises that incorporate the plank position, you should never resort to crunches again. Leg Press Machine While this machine may seem safe, when you start to add the weight on you’re missing out on the stability that comes by performing a squat without assistance. Generally, people have poor form on these machines from adding on too much weight and in a study done by the American Council on Exercise, it ranked the worst out of eight different leg exercises that targeted the glutes. Additionally, the leg press machine can present a huge and often damaging shearing force across the knees, significantly increasing the potential for ligament injury.What to do instead: Step down slowly off a high box. You’re targeting your legs in a functional and natural movement that creates more stability and will reduce the chance of injury. Behind the Head Lat Pull-Downs The angle of this exercise is not at all natural and puts strain on our shoulders as they move in a direction they weren’t designed for, and is especially wearing on your rotator cuff. Similarly it puts strain on your spine and encourages a kyphotic posture as you have to drop your head forward in order to get the bar behind your neck. What to do instead: A shrug and row movement using a rowing machine or suspension trainer (like TRX straps). This way you increase your strength whilst gaining a useful control for improving your posture and integrated strength.
WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE? And what can we do about it?
Skipped your workout today? Or spent too much time dawdling on the internet instead of writing that essay or work report? Procrastination affects all of us and for some on a daily basis. It takes up space in our thoughts that would otherwise be used for productive means and yet it feels like an unstoppable force. Why do we delay the things we want to do and know are best for us? Procrastination is the act of deliberately putting off decisions or actions and is often a learned behaviour that disrupts self-regulation. While many think procrastination is a result of poor willpower, there is actually a lot more science to it.Negative emotions fuel procrastination. For example, working out is strenuous and you may not enjoy the discomfort it brings or perhaps you have psychological barriers like anxiety, perfectionism, or fear of failure/success that you have to overcome every time you step into the gym so your brain actively attempts to avoid feeling this way. This aversion has also shown up in medical images too. For example, mathphobes actively avoid doing math because even just thinking about doing math causes the pain receptors in the brain to light up. We rely on our self-regulation and motivation, which is usually fuelled by some form of reward to get us through many tasks in our daily lives but these negative feelings can overwhelm this sense of reward. Especially with fitness as the reward is often times far into the future. Mental and physical exhaustion, which many of us feel after a long day at work or with kids, makes this process even harder. These types of negative emotions interfere with our decision making, self-regulation, and motivation.Procrastination, obviously, has been linked to poor grades and job/fitness performance but it is also surprisingly linked to our health. Your physical health is affected if you’re putting off exercise but procrastination also increases stress levels which then impairs immune function and your mental health. So what can you do about it? Procrastinators can change their ways. Figure out when, why and how you procrastinate - You can’t fix what you can’t identify.Have clearly defined goals - Be sure of the specifics of what you want and how you want to get there and define how important your goals are to you. They should be both meaningful and achievable.Create a plan of action and figure out techniques to combat your procrastination - Such as keeping yourself accountable with additional rewards, changing your thought pattern on the task, using visualisation of your future self (this is especially helpful for fitness related goals) and by acknowledging and analysing your negative feelings.Make it easier to get started and harder to avoid - Such as turning off the wifi, putting your phone in do not disturb mode, or wearing your workout gear to bed for a morning workout etc.Have someone to help keep you accountable - Find a friend you can rely on to help keep you accountable. For fitness, get a workout buddy. Or better yet, get a personal trainer. There is a reason why so many people reach out for a personal trainer and it’s because this access to assisted accountability really works. Not only that, a personal trainer can help you maintain your own motivation and improve your self-regulation by creating lifelong fitness habits.
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