Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's Wrong with High-Intensity (Crossfit) Training?

The major problem with high-intensity (crossfit) training is that it is ultra-high impact -- targeted to the older person who is much more vulnerable to such injuries than the prime competitive ages under 30 -- as a panacea for staying young!

Thirty years ago, at the height of the aerobics craze, most of the instructors would come down with joint injuries -- because it might be one thing to do a 30 minute session daily, but then to teach two morning classes and two evening classes, virtually assured that they would soon be crippled with back, knee, hip or foot pain. It was such a widely recognized phenomenon, that many gyms then installed special rebound floors to mitigate those impacts. But the decimation of high-impact instructors did not slow down, even as they introduced low-impact aerobics, which eventually fell out of favor because they didn't produce as high an adrenaline rush as many found necessary to fuel their addiction.

That seems to have been resurrected as the crossfit training style. Most will not maintain that level of commitment and intensity for long. Rather than making the weak, strong, it merely eliminates the weak, as the standard modus operandi of competitive athletics -- to eliminate the weak until only a singular strong remains. But that is not what one desires in strengthening oneself from the weak to the strong -- which is to make movement as easy as possible, rather than progressively more difficult.

In fact, the problem of aging, is that moving at all, is problematical and difficult, and not that they want to learn ways to make such movements even harder and more difficult. The intelligent strategy (fitness), is to find a way to make the difficult, easy -- in keeping with the universal principle of the conservation of energy and effort..

So even easier than walking, which is already problematical for many, and particularly those morbidly obese and out of shape, is simply to hold on to the back of a chair or some other supportive object, and shift their weight from one foot to the other -- articulating the fullest range of movement of the foot not restricted by supporting weight, which movement requires the fullest contraction or lengthening of ALL the muscles of the leg (lower body) to effect -- as the most efficient and optimal way to achieve that healthful circulation that maintains the muscularity indicative of robustness, vitality and responsiveness -- without doing any of those damaging things most people have been convinced they have to do to get those effects.

They are simply unnecessary in today's state-of-the-art understanding of kinesiology, physiology and physics. Even as one observes movement, the greatest practitioners of their art, are those who move with grace, ease and range, and not those who make the least movement onerous and difficult -- even to move a little.

The original argument for "aerobics exercise," was that productive exercise needn't stress the heart and joints unduly -- and the "targets" for the heart rate, were intended to establish a safe maximum, and not be the minimum, the physical educators again got wrong -- in their competitive zeal. That set the fitness industry back 50 years -- resulting in an explosion of obesity and the avoidance of healthful activities because they believe it has to be everything people don't want to do, that the authorities (experts) insist, is good for them, and they know better -- than one's own good sense. It shouldn't be that way -- or that will be the failure of any health program.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is There a Cure for Alzheimer's (Aging)?

Back in the late '80s when I first got involved with the problems of the aging, disabled and terminally ill, I noticed that those with dementias (diminishing brain function) also characteristically did not move their heads as well -- and tended to sit and lie like rigid, unresponsive, immobile statues -- even lacking the muscular development that would support such movements anymore.

The atrophying of the muscles understandably indicate a lack of blood flow, while optimizing that flow, produces that robustness and dynamism in development (hypertrophy), whether one seeks to achieve that development or not -- and so it was clear to me, that unless one specifically designed exercises (movement) to that area, the blood flow would be diverted to areas that are
actually in movement -- and one should not presume, that just because the heart is beating faster and harder, that flow is going throughout the body equally well.

Bodybuilders are acutely aware of that phenomenon -- and thus know, that if they want to develop their biceps, they have to perform exercises that are specifically effected by the biceps, deltoids, pectorals, etc. However beyond these conspicuous muscles -- they ignore the much more important and critical muscles where the human body distinctly has the poorest circulation (blood flow) at the extremities of the head, hands and feet -- where the human body ages most visibly and obviously as well -- as well known conditions of arthritis, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and most
unnoticeably, diminishing brain/cognitive function in all its various manifestations.

And so I determined that if exercise was indeed effective in producing and maintaining optimal development and functioning, the major "muscles" that should be developed as highest priorities for these effects, were the head, hands and feet more importantly than the currently popular preference for the "core" muscles -- including the heart, which should be obvious to even the least informed, always gets all the blood, and therefore, is least likely to suffer from that lack of circulation.

Obviously then, the lack (effectiveness) of circulation, should be measured at the extremities (head, hands, feet) -- and not the heart, which is the conventional/popular focus of that function, because it is simply the easiest thing to measure. However, it should be obvious to any researcher or thinking person, that the easiest thing to measure, is not necessarily the most important thing to measure.

But there are always a few people who make that important
distinction -- and differentiate (discriminate) what is most important to consider. That is real science -- and not what most people think it is because someone has told them that is the truth -- because they are the "authorities" on such matters, as though that was the "scientific method," and the end of all knowing. The scientific method is discovering the truth of any matter for oneself -- independent but not ignorant of such "knowledge," which is never all that can be known -- however much any self-proclaimed expert may insist is so -- usually because they have been told by others as well -- or at least biased in that direction.

But unfortunately, that's what science (medicine) has become -- the organization and hierarchy of experts each protecting their own specialized knowledge (turf) without a disposition to see the whole, and how the parts relate to one another. And that's why there is the erroneous idea that the greater phenomenon of circulation is just what the heart does -- rather than the whole cardiovascular system, which includes the muscles, as well as every part of the body -- as more than the sum of its parts.

It is this fragmented and compartmentalized way of thinking, that is a great part of the problem in functioning in the later years of our lives when we are forced to live and think outside the box -- that is the particular and unique challenge of our times, and lives.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Cause and Cure of Obesity (Dysfunctions)

Most people's "obesity" is excessive fluid retention from not producing muscle contractions originating at the extremities of the body back towards the heart, which compresses the fluid back to the excretory/purifying organs of the body -- and as more toxins accumulate at the extremities, more fluid has to be retained to dilute its damaging effects, so a person continues to bloat further and further in this manner. That's how the human organism also begins to die, deteriorate and age.

The conventional focus of exercise of simply making the heart work faster and harder to pump blood to the rest of the body -- is NOT the problem, if the extremities are not first evacuated in this manner so that there is space for fresh blood (fluids) to enter.

That was also my observation about why mouth to mouth breathing was not necessary if cardiopulmonary resuscitation was also being performed simultaneously or intermittently -- because the compression of the chest, evacuated the lungs, and the release of that pressure, allowed fresh air to enter, because as we know, "nature abhors a vacuum," and will equalize to the atmospheric pressure, while blowing air into an already filled lung, produces no additional benefit -- if the residual air is not evacuated first.

When people have this right understanding of body functioning, it becomes a relatively simple process to eliminate and ameliorate this damaging condition of the human body to retain fluid and its toxins, and to restore its more healthful circulatory state -- which the flawed understanding of the sports medicine/fitness industry, does nothing to alleviate -- because they misunderstand the root of the problem.

When this is properly understood, most people can affect an immediate transformation and change in appearance and health, and with continued practice of this healthy optimization of the circulatory function -- which no amount of effort with the misguided, primitive, flawed understanding, can duplicate.

The key is the right understanding, and not simply more (unlimited) effort with the wrong understanding of the process. The skeletal muscles have to make those contractions -- rather than overworking the heart further, which even those "certified" in CPR, should realize under ordinary circumstances, is a totally autonomic (automatic) function they should not be attempting to override -- thinking to improve. It's the voluntary (skeletal) muscles that must be the focus of that attention; that is the lack of proper (any) functioning, resulting in the bloated (obese) look -- even in physically active people.

So random, arbitrary movements (activity), is not going to have the same powerful transformative healthful effects as this systematic, intelligent approach to conditioning for better health and its attendant effects -- no matter how much they do in the traditional/conventional mode. That should be obvious by now.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

You Don't Have to Get On the Ground to Do Pushups

They work just as well seated, standing, or lying down.

What matters is that the muscle is moving towards contraction (shortening) -- or relaxation (lengthening). That is all a muscle does -- either contract, or relax, and it is not the effort, or the resistance -- that causes this movement, but knowing the positions where the attachments of the muscles -- either move closer together or farther apart.

Appropriately enough, the muscle in its most contracted position, are in its strongest position -- and releases the most energy (work), moving from the relaxed position to its its fully contracted position -- which most people are not fully aware where it is, even if they've been lifetime exercisers or athletes, because most activities and events, do not require a maximal effort of this sort.

And then if one examines any other sustained activities, they are often just that one movement, repeated many times, as long as possible -- such as running, walking, bicycling, swimming, etc. In such events, one can choose to increase the speed and therefore explosiveness, while recognizing as they do so, that that pace is not sustainable for long. However, the major difference in any event, is not whether one runs a mile or 50 yards, but whether one can run at all, or not -- even for a single movement (repetition).

That is by far, the greatest difference in capacities and abilities between one individual and another -- the difference between zero and one. If you can do one, properly, perfectly, than 50 or 500 is a fairly simple matter.

Many people will be surprised that they cannot even do 10 repetitions of a "pushup" from a comfortably seated or lying position -- because their muscles are not "conditioned" to perform such a movement, and not that they don't have the muscles to do so -- or that those muscles are not strong enough to overcome one's own bodyweight. And that is the lack of conditioning most people have -- and not the lack of muscle or (present) ability to do so.

So for those trying to get into a more desirable shape, the thing they would wish to do, is to perform those movements that expressly and simply do that -- shape their body mass into the form they wish to assume, because all the random activities and movements, are not going to accomplish that -- specifically, directly, immediately, which is what I think they would want, if they were not so convinced that such a thing was impossible -- and instead, they have to raise their heartbeats to distressing levels, burn as many calories as possible, work up a sweat, and all those other reservations and objections they may have -- all those things indicating no understanding of the process in the power of direct, intelligent action to accomplish.

But nowhere is the indoctrination (forced beliefs) so powerful, than in what we have called "physical education" -- even to defeat one's own purposes and native intelligence.