Wasting away

Wasting away as we age.

From the day you are born through till around somewhere in your 30’s your muscles tend to grow larger. But at some point, in your 30’s something shifts. You start losing muscle mass. This condition is completely natural and eventually unavoidable, it is called sarcopenia, or age-related sarcopenia. 

People that are inactive can lose as much as 3 – 5% of their muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. Even if you are moderately active you can lose some muscle mass. I’ll give you an example. Say you are an 80 kg man. Your body fat% is 18%. Take out bone mass rough guess 3 kg. Organs 3 kg again very rough. That gives you approximately 60 kg of lean muscle mass. Take 5% of that 60 kg and you are left with 57kg. So, think to yourself are you over the age of 40? Are you active? Are you losing weight or putting weight on? Because if you aren’t very active and are putting weight on that literally means that you are replacing muscle mass with fat. Imagine you have put on 5 kg on between your 30th and 40th birthday and you lost 5% of your muscle mass because you have made a big push in your career and done next to no exercise. You haven’t put 1 kg of fat on you have put 8 kg of fat on and lost 3 kg of muscle. Quite sobering isn’t it, even scary. As we age it becomes more and more easy to put fat on because as a generalisation we become less active.

Remember also that muscle is the most metabolic tissue in the body. That means it burns more calories, so if you are losing muscle mass your calorie needs are dropping, which also means that if you are eating the same number of calories where as in your 30’s you may not have put weight on but now due the decrease in muscle mass and activity levels you will start to put on weight and an ever-increasing amount.

What is the cause? There are many. A couple of the bigger ones are: a drop in natural testosterone and growth hormone, lower levels of insulin like growth factors a decrease in the bodies ability to convert protein in to energy and as previously stated a general decrease in activity levels as life priorities start to shift.

How do we stop Sarcopenia?

Well eventually you can’t. 75 years old seams to be the magic number where it seems to accelerate and can become a major problem. When you put it with another age related degenerative disease Osteopenia it is a major reason that falls for the aged population are often a terminal problem due to a lack of muscle and bone density and the person just never heals.

The good news though is that by starting a good structured strength program you can arrest the loss of muscle and bone density and even reverse it in most cases.  Weight training in as little as 2 weeks can increase the bodies ability to convert protein in to energy. It also causes the body to release testosterone and growth hormone.

It has been an alarming trend in recent years for people to use testosterone supplements whether through a doctor with Hormone replacement therapy or over the counter supplements at a supplement shop to try to keep levels higher. This can get very expensive very quickly and especially with the supplement route there is little to no evidence that they help in any way shape or form. To help naturally get good quality sleep, Get plenty of Vitamin D ( preferably through natural sunlight), Get plenty of quality Omega 3 oils, Cruciferous Vegetables (they help detox excess estrogen from the body), Garlic (this helps lower cortisol which in turn allows the body to release testosterone as a recovery hormone). Reduce your overall carbohydrate and sugar intake.

Another non-diet related method is a daily meditation routine. Meditation helps reduce cortisol which again allows the body to release more testosterone.

 

What can you do about it?

Well even if you are over 75 years of age, it is not too late. If your heart is beating, then you can do some sort of strength training. Whether it be with resistance bands or lifting weights. If you are in your 30’s or 40’s then this is the time to beat back the ravages of age related problems. Getting 2 moderate weight sessions a week and 2 – 3 moderate to high intensity cardio sessions a week will allow you to keep muscle mass and even put some on if you try. Loading the skeleton will maintain bone density and can also help reverse osteopenia.

Exercise, especially weight training is like your bodies superannuation. Make your body strong and muscular in your working life and it will give you more to draw off as you get older. Because if you do have a little more muscle on the body now you can maintain a good quality of life for much longer in life.

Ask yourself. How do you want to age? Do you want to still be vibrant and living large will in to your 70’s and 80’s? Did you answer year to those questions? Do you train at the moment? Do you invest any time in to yourself currently to make this happen? If not. Why not? Do you pull out the all too common I don’t have time card. If so I call BULLSHIT!!!!! There is always time you just need to set it aside and make it one of your bigger priorities. There are no excuses because in the end it is your body, it is your job to keep it in some sort of shape, it is your job to be capable of doing your job and being the best version of yourself, you can be.

Now is the time to act! Get active, do some strength training and get your body moving and under some load. It may take some time and you will end up a little sore and most likely get some niggles and little injuries as well a long the way. But if you address them and get them fixed as they arise there is no limits to what you can achieve. You just need to make it a priority and make the time to do it.

 

As a 47-year-old male I can tell you that strength training is a big part of my life and along with my triathlon training I hope to be doing it well in to my 70’s and 80’s. I feel fitter now than I did I my late 20’s and early 30’s. I plan on still doing long course triathlons in to my 60’s and hopefully 70’s. I see no reason why I shouldn’t be able to do it. In fact I see it more as an obligation to myself to continue to do it.

At Total Performance Centre we specialise in helping everyday people be the best version of themselves and we pride ourselves in specialising in helping people over the age of 40 be better than they thought they ever could be.

As usual team.

If you have any questions please contact us either on the Facebook page or via email.

Mick Rand

Posted on June 14, 2018 .

Go big or go home!

That carrot on the end of the stick that has the power to get you out of bed at 5 am in the rain to chase after something that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand when you think about it, it has the ability to keep you going when everyone else and everything in your life is saying "It's too hard, why bother, just quit". 

Posted on May 25, 2018 .

Having a day out in Port Macquarie

Sunday 6th of May was the day I finally felt that I could call myself and Ironman. 

For me this Ironman was about trying to quiet that little voice inside my head saying you haven’t really done one have you. It was about trusting myself and the training I had been doing and it was about learning to be patient when I feel great and dig deep when I felt like crap.

The week leading up to Ironman is all about your mind. People say it as about tapering. But that is only part of it. As an Ironman triathlete you are used to pushing out as much as 20 hours a week in training. You are used to feeling at least a little tired and or leg weary every day of the week. In the week leading up to an Ironman the volume drops way back. You have a whole lot more time on your hands than you’re used to. Suddenly you have time to think. Think about have you done enough? Should I get one more interval session in? Maybe one more run before the weekend. All week the only thing I could say to myself was I am not going to get any fitter in a week.

The next thing going through your mind all day is the weather. What is the long-range forecast saying? Is there going to be wind or rain? Is it going to be hot and humid? On our day we were blessed. There was a little breeze blowing and it was a beautiful mid north coast classic autumn day.

Friday night we drove up to Port Macquarie straight after our Friday night Raise the Bar class at Total Performance Centre. The 2 hour 40 minute drive was nice and easy and getting in to our hotel at 9pm ish allowed a good nights sleep and a good early rise. Wendy and I made our way in to Port Mac to do the organized swim on the course that Ironman had organized and after that I went for a 30 minute ride and 10 minute run over part of the course. It was nice to be out and about and finally getting a feel for what the last 5 months of training had been about. After that I went and checked in and grabbed my race numbers and sticker and bag kit and headed back to the hotel to set everything up. To anyone reading this that has done an Ironman I can almost see you nodding in agreement when I say that when you are setting up your transition bags and going through them at least 5 times.  When you drop them in to transition area you are still sure that you have left something out. You see you have to have it all checked in the night before, your bike your run and bike kit all put away in a tent on your race number and not allowed to be touched until you come get it on the next day when you are racing.

That night myself, Wendy my good mate and awesome Ironman triathlete himself Anthony Corcoran and Mr. Air Relax Troy Lowery went out for dinner at Hog’s Breath. It is a funny little tradition I have started the night before most of my most important races. I have a big steak some sweet potato and as may veggies as I can get my hands on. Then off to bed and hopeful of a better sleep than I got the night before Bussleton December last year.

My day started at 12 am Sunday morning. I woke for no apparent reason, looked at the time and realised my alarm was about to go off anyway to drink my pre-race supplement Prep’d. This is a modified Starch drink that helps increase hydration by up to 30%. I drank it down went back to bed hoping to get a couple more hours sleep before the next alarm to go of at 4.30 am.

I think I may have gotten another 90 minutes of sleep but at that stage the nerves were starting to kick in and excitement was already building. At 4.30 am the final preparation started with breakfast. I had my normal 2 egg omelet and a banana and started applying some bio-energy patches to my lower back and hamstrings to help combat a little lower back pain I had been having recently. My rationale was to keep the inflammation down for as long as I could to give me a better chance of executing a reasonable race.

At 5.40 am we started the 1 km walk down to transition area to do the final preparations for the morning, pumping up the tires, putting my special needs nutrition and hydration in the vans and starting some swim warm ups and finally putting my wetsuit on and making my way to the swim start.

The main race started a little after 7 am with the pro men and women taking off. I was going to position myself up near the front to get a good start and hopefully out on to the road nice and early to get some clean road. I remember giving Wendy a kiss and her saying something to me just before I made my way down to the swim start but not much else. The next 10 minutes are a bit of a blur with the national anthem being the only real thing I can clearly remember hearing.

I find the best way to a good triathlon swim is to hold myself back and take it relatively easy at the start. It is so easy to get swept up in the moment and take off fast. Every time I have done that though I have blown up and had to slow right down to get going again. During the swim it is a funny sort of emotion going on. It is the only one of the three disciplines where you can’t really get any feedback as to your actual pace and position. Some say they can, but I haven’t managed to do it as yet. For one hour you swim along following other swimmers and the turn at the directional buoys with not much else going on other than trying to hold good stroke mechanics and swim straight. Believe me that is quite a challenge especially at the back end of the swim (it was for me anyway) where strength imbalances start to become even more apparent and it is very easy to go off course and add precious distance to your swim. My swim seemed to go for a long time. I steeled myself for the slower of my estimated times. I thought it must have been significantly over the 1 hour mark. As I stood up and run through the arch and hit lap on the trusty Garmin I looked up on the stop watch above and it had my split as 59 minutes and 12 seconds. I was shocked.  Blown away actually. The day was off to a cracker of a start.

Out on to the bike the conditions seemed fast. Wind was light weather was mild and I felt really, Really fresh. The words from my wife and various podcasts I have listened to recently rang in my head incessantly. Patience, Patience, when you feel good go easy, when you feel crap push hard. It is a really hard thing to do on that first lap to watch a whole heap of people go past you. Just let them ride up the road and ignore them. But I did just that and kept to my power and heart rate figures that I had worked with.  With only a few minor mishaps like losing my salt tablets and dropping some of my nutrition I made it back to transition in 5:33:00.  My only real drama on the bike was at about 25 km to go I started cramping in the adductors. It wasn’t too bad, but bad enough that I had to use a smaller gear get out of the aero position and drop the power down. Once I hit the hills nearing town though the hills and disruption to the pedalling action the cramping subsided until about 2 km to go.

The part of the race that looks on paper my worst part of the race was for me the proudest part of my race. I am not a good runner. I have to work very hard at it and even then am not fast. I did however have a plan to do the best I thought I could on the day and try to acquit myself well. The plan was to walk the up and down hill of the one substantial hill on course and walk for 100 meters at each aid station approximately every 2 km. I wasn’t sure if physically I would be able to do it. The mental scars from Bussleton last year were fresh in my mind. But I was determined to give it a shot and see what happened. It was funny getting off the bike after 180 km cramping substantially and getting in to transition area I had an anti-cramping drink called Pickle Juice instantaneously I felt the cramping in my legs disappear and as I ran out of the tent I actually felt fresh and ready to run. The sense of euphoria as you begin the run with hundreds of people cheering you on is quite uplifting and also quite dangerous for the unsuspecting. It is very easy to take off way too fast and ruin your whole race in the first 2 - 5 km of the marathon run. But for me I managed to stick to the plan I came up with a plan that I thought was my best shot at completing the marathon well and stuck to it for the entire run. The time in this case was irrelevant as this was the first time I had managed do it in such a way. The time as I said set no world records it didn’t see me racing through the field. But it was over 90 minutes quicker than 5 months ago and in much better spirits. My biggest over riding goal for me on this day was to not be so negative like I was in Bussleton last year. My wife said to me that every-time she saw me, I was smiling. That for me was more important than any-time that I might post.

I can see where I need to and can improve. I plan on doing just that over the next 13 months when at that point I am going to enter Cairns Ironman and attempt to go under the ten hour bracket. In between now and then though I have 2 more ½ Ironman’s this year and 2 early next year before then to keep the motivation high.

I love training and I love racing. It makes me feel good, good about myself and my life. So I can’t see me not doing either in the near future.

Until next time.

Stay safe, Stay healthy, Live your dreams chase your goals.

 

Mick

Posted on May 17, 2018 .

Challenge Melbourne Done and Dusted.

Challenge Melbourne this year was about seeing if my training was working. It was about seeing if I needed to tweak anything going forward. I knew it would be too late for Port Macquarie Ironman that is in two weeks time but at this stage everything is about seeing if the training I am doing is working. 

One of my big stumbling blocks that I have encountered in previous half ironmans was my hydration and nutrition strategy and due to that subsequent energy level drop offs. Some of that could be explained away as lack of endurance but my heavy sweat rate and sodium loss is also a big, big factor in this. This was a major stressor and trying to figure it out was causing quite a few headaches. 

If Sunday is anything to go off I feel that I am well on my way to solving that part of the performance puzzle.

This race was what I consider possibly the best race I have ever executed. A Personal Best across all three disciplines. With big improvements in both the bike (12 minute PB) and the run (13 minute PB). My training has been some of the most consistent and best quality training I have ever put together that I can remember, but for me I always struggle on second half of the run with both fatigue and cramping always causing a big percentage drop in performance.  

The weekend just gone was completely different. I felt very strong from the outset on the bike sitting at high powers but feeling well with in myself. Last 30 km of the ride I felt little to no fatigue and was having to tell myself to hold back as there was still a half marathon to come. Out onto the run was surreal asI found a good rhythm quickly and again had to real myself in as I was sitting on 5 min km pace which I haven't trained at so I knew I could not sustain that for 21 km. At the turnaround my Garmin read 52:50. I felt stronger than normal but in the last kilometer or so I noticed my pace had dropped from 5:15 pace to 5:25 and heart rate had lifted from 138 bpm to 145 bpm. Memories from Bussleton and Mooloolabah crept in where I spent the run trying to minimise cramping as best as possible. 

But the pace drop off stopped and heart rate steadied and stayed mice and even until the last 4 kilometers or so where I started believing that this was actually going to happen. The slowest my pace dropped to all run was 5:30 km pace the heart rate over the last 2 km went up in to the 150's which is what it should do. I crossed the line 4 hours 44 min 50 seconds. A full 26 minutes quicker than I have ever gone over that distance. 

What had changed from previous races. Well I now have 2 full Ironman training blocks in my legs so you would expect that over a half ironman distance I should be able to hold it together better. I have now been training for nearly 12 month at triathlons so again you would expect an improvement also. But this race was the first race I have implemented a proper hydration and nutrition strategy. I seperated my hydration intake from my calorie intake. My drinks during the race were a carb free electrolyte drink and all calories were from the Freedom Fuel from the "Natural Nutritionist Steph Lowe". I also took on extra sodium in the final hour on the bike and at the 10 and 15 km mark on the run. 

The other big win for me was the addition of Prep'd hydration. It is a modified starch drink that has shown to be effective in increasing your ability to hydrate during exercise by up to 30%. The beauty of this is that you drink it the night before and it then is working when you are racing the day after. This is great because by the time you are racing you are not having to digest another product causing possible gastric upset. On race day it is already working and you just use your normal hydration strategy. The only difference is that it is able to work better because you absorb even more of it, thus staying better hydrated and should be able to perform better for longer. 

Mentally as well I have felt a shift. I have trained to make that shift. Racing is hard. It feels hard and hurts when you are going hard. I have started to accept that and realise being able to go to that place where it hurts and staying there even though it hurts is what makes people good athletes. I have lots of work to do on this and I will be starting to work on this even more in the future. It is a little scary but exciting because to go to that place and train it means that I will have lift my game even further. Fun times ahead and frequent trips in to the pain cave in my future. 

2 weeks to go for my next Full Ironman race and although I am nervous and excited. I feel like I have a crucial part of it on the improve and I feel less stressed about it. 

Less stress equals less energy wasted over it, which hopefully leads a better race day outcome. 

 

Mick Rand

Total Performance Centre

Owner and head coach. 

Posted on April 24, 2018 .

Hydration. It's more than just a glass of water!

Did you know that an adult human can go for 3 weeks without food and survive. The longest person on record not having any water is one week. Of that alond you could almost say that water is 3 times more important than food from a survival aspect. Also for every kilogram you weigh that 600 - 750 grams of that weight is water? That's correct 60 - 75% of our bodies make up is water. Water is how you lubricate your joints, help regulate body temperature, aid in digestion, help move waste out of the body and optimize blood pressure. 

Water plays a major role in recovery - from helping digest vital nutrients to repairing muscles damaged during exercise. 

 1. Muscular Repair - Exercise causes muscles to break down they are then rebuilt  by protein synthesis. Protein synthesis, however, requires the muscles to be well hydrated. If you are dehydrated after a workout, protein synthesis will be slowed and recovery from the workout will take longer. 

2. Digestion -After a workout eating fuel to replenish what you used is very important for recovery. Digestion of said food requires an adequate amount of water to assist in that process. 

3. Reduced Fatigue - Reduced blood plasma volume is one of the leading causes of fatigue during exercise. Reduced volume means your heart has to pump harder to get the nutrients in the blood to all the places it needs to go. 

4. Heart Rate Recovery  - A 2012 study of the role of hydration in athletic performance found that hydration had a large impact on recovery. In the experiment, individuals did a 90 minute run on a treadmill under one of two conditions - either they drank during and after the workout or they did not hydrate at all. The experiment found that the individuals who hydrated showed significantly faster heart rate recovery following the workout which indicates that their bodies more quickly recovered from the stress of exercise.

Rehydration after exercise clearly has a large impact on recovery. Particularly during hot weather events - it becomes crucial to develop a post workout hydration protocol that replenishes the liquids, electrolytes and sodium lost during exercise. Focusing on hydration will give you the extra boost you need to recover from a hard workout and get the most out of the next one!  

Although we are talking about recover here. It would be remiss of me not to mention hydration during exercise or event. After all the sports beverage industry is worth billions of dollars so they are going to tell you a lot of stuff to sell you their products. The following is my opinion on guidelines for hydration. 

1. Any exercise lasting 1 hour or less. Stick to water. At any given time you have enough stored glycogen to keep you going at a reasonable rate for up to 2 hours. Using some of those stores is a great way to improve insulin sensitivity.

2. If you are going to train more than once during the day. Still stick to water during and have a good quality carbohydrate source like sweet potato or a banana if the session is quite intense. For the second session again if it is an hour or less. Stick to water again. After get a good quality meal in and keep the water up. 

3. For a longer event. Such as what I am currently training for Ironman and 1/2 Ironman Triathlons a whole lot of factors start to come in to play. But it is a reasonably known fact that most people can consume without too many detrimental effects about 1 - 1.3 litres of water per hour. For longer events refueling and electrolyte replenishment also becomes a factor. Too much water can make you need to urinate constantly or the more sinister version hyponatremia, is where you have too much water in the body and you mess up the sodium levels in your blood and causes you to retain too much water. This can cause cramping, headaches, seizure and even death. For heavy sweaters such as myself, in hot humid conditions you need to ensure that not only are you drinking enough fluid but also taking in enough sodium to maintain blood volume and keep sodium levels as close as possible to their optimum. 

There is a growing trend amongst many athletes to separate their carbohydrate intake and their hydration. Some say this optimises the bodies ability to absorb each one separately rather than trying absorb both the water and carbohydrates at the same time while trying to exercise at a high level. The main factor here is that working muscles require blood flow to make them work efficiently. So does the stomach to absorb nutrients from what we eat and drink.

This type of strategy is on the extreme end of things though due to the length of time and distance to be travelled and the difficulty of the event. For most sessions water is the gold standard and is more than good enough to get you what you need during training. 

 

Posted on February 28, 2018 .

2 Weeks to go

2 weeks to go until possibly the biggest race of my life. 

Bussleton Ironman. If you don't know what an Ironman is. It involves a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride and a 42.2 km run. Yes that's correct. A marathon after riding the equivalent of Newcastle to Taree. 

I have done big bike races previously that I have held in high regard. But none have been the culmination of a promise I made to myself nearly 25 years ago. "I want to to do an Ironman Triathlon one day". 

Thinking back over this year I can't remember a year that I have crammed so much in to. I went over seas 3 times to learn the most amazing therapy system Amino Neuro Frequency Therapy (ANF). I returned to the sport of triathlon for the first time in 18 years and completed two half Ironman triathlons. Did a half marathon and two epic long distance trail runs over very challenging terrain. This year has been non stop from early on and to look back over the last 11 months to see what I and the business has achieved is nothing short of amazing. To think I have done all the things I have this year and still be getting ready to step up to the start line in 17 days is very cool. Knowing what I have done and knowing me. If I have have know what I was going to be doing this year in the lead up I am fairly sure I would have made some excuse to put it off for another year. But I didn't and so here I am just over 2 weeks to go. 

For the last ten weeks I have been training away at my program faithfully and not thinking much about what is coming up. That has changed over the last week or so and for most of my waking hours I have been doing a lot of thinking about what is coming up. Being my first Ironman I really don't know what to expect. But at the same time the self imposed and external expectations for times and performances have begun plaguing most of my waking thoughts. 

Throw in a shoulder injury that has not wanted to settle. Self doubt and all the old demons have started to rear their ugly heads again and  self doubt has plagued my thought processes for most days. 

I have been doing my own therapy on myself with some success and have started physiotherapy treatment and it seems to have helped a bit. The swim which one my strengths has now become a major stressor as my belief that I can get through 3.8 km swim well has now plummeted as all attempts of swimming has been met with pain and discomfort since the injury occurred. 

My old injury at the start of the year the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis has been great so far and the 50 km of running per week has steadily been getting easier and a little faster. I still regularly use ANF therapy to keep inflammation at bay and this consistent load of running was actually starting to give me some confidence about the race.  

My original goal of going in or around 11:00:00 seems a long way off at the moment and my self doubt  has steadily been eating into the bravado I felt earlier in the year. I don't know what time I will end up with. I don't know what is going to happen. I do know that unless there is some sort of major problem I will cross that finish line. I will do my very best all the way to the finish line and  I will become an Ironman. 

The rest of it. Well who knows. There is always another race. There is always the opportunity to test myself and go outside my self imposed limits. 

If you do read this and think you might like to follow along and see how I go. you can download the Official Ironman Tracker app. My race number is "1304". My ever crazy wife Wendy is also doing the Ironman has race number "1369" and one of Total Performance Centre's regular class participants Anthony Corcoran is backing up after Hawaii Ironman his number is 1210. 

Stay healthy. Stay true to you and follow your dreams. If you do that the rest of it is easy. 

Mick Rand. 

 

Posted on November 16, 2017 .

Amino Neuro Frequency Therapy. Taking it to the next Level!!

Every day I still get at least one client that looks at me in utter disbelief and gratitude for opening their eyes to what a life without pain can feel like. A client that has been to every manual therapist on Google and haven't been able to shift the pain. A client that that gets up of my table and starts looking for the pain that has been dogging them for months or even years. But some how can't manage to replicate it. 

Posted on June 7, 2017 .

Amino NeuroFrequency Therapy & Me

Pretty fancy name " Amino NeuroFrequency Therapy" . What does it mean? Many of you by now have no doubt jumped on Google and done a search on the name.  

Well in the creator's words " Amino BioFrequency Therapy focuses on repairing weakened frequencies in the body and normalizes the body's functions. Developed based on the knowledge gathered on the impact of antioxidants on the cells and the biochemical reactions in the body." 

So how does it work? "Amino patches are applied directly on the skin, where the infrared body heat activates the patch causing the frequency to begin its work in the body for up to 72 hours"

What drew me to the therapy was the fact that it is not about just treating the muscle. It looks at inflammation and the nervous system. An analogy that I have sort of come up with is, " massaging a sore muscle is like smacking the kid that gets bullied at school for being bullied. It isn't the kids fault. It is the bully that makes his life hell. Massage in many cases is like beating up that bullied muscle that is only sore because of something further up the hierarchy." 

It is lightning quick with palpable results in as little as a minute. On day one of the course I attended in Dubai, Mikel I think sensed my scepticism and asked me if I had any pain. I had just travelled 26 hours on "Planes, Trains and Automobiles". I was sore everywhere. Especially in the lower back and glutes area. Mikel like a pain seeking missile honed in on a sore glute complex and basically made me feel like I was being pinned to the table by a 6 inch roofing nail. I looked over my shoulder he was barely touching me. He then placed three patches on my glutes and rolled me over and placed three more on the front of my hips. I rolled back over and Mikel palpated again. Less than 30 seconds after the last patch was applied. He asked how does that feel. I honestly said "well it doesn't hurt but you obviously aren't pressing as hard". The room erupted with laughter. As I looked over my shoulder I witnessed Mikel boring down with his full 94kg looking like he was trying to find the roofing nail he placed in my hips earlier. Needless to say the pain level had reduced dramatically in under a minute. 

I was gob smacked. I had never seen anything remotely as effective or relatively pain free before. Keep in mind I have done dry needling, Cupping, TENS machine with needles, kinesio Taping and countless other courses helping me to become a better therapist. All great in their own way. None had half of the impact this did in twice the time or with as far reaching effects. 

Later on in the course. I got to treat a lady in her mid fifties with chronic arthritis barely able to get 40 degrees of knee bend and chronic pain 24 hour a day, jog down a hallway with ease and a smile on her face saying she didn't feel and knee pain. I witnessed a young lady with chronic body wide inflammation and swelling gain back her vitality in 5 days to a level she couldn't remember having. 

Amino NeuroFrequency Therapy is new in Australia. It is relatively new world wide. In these early days when you aren't really sure of what this new kid on the block is. It will take a shifting your thought processes as to what you expect from manual therapy as you most likely expect to be in some sort of pain during and after a treatment. I still cringe at remembering having a client comeback to see me in the past maybe a fortnight after their last treatment with fading bruises in the areas I treated. I had caused them and what is worse the client said they thought that was normal. 

My passion is back. My love for Treating people and working with them to help them return to a pain free life is well and truly back. I can't describe the joy it brings in my heart when I hear from clients that I have previously tried to help but failed call or message me at the change they are feeling after only one or two treatments. Previously I would often just stand there after they left shaking my head feeling impotent and like a fraud. 

The light at the end of the tunnel is on. The light is bright. The light is Amino NeuroFrequency Therapy. Total Performance Centre is holding up the light. (A bit corny I know. But I believe and so will you.) 

 

Posted on May 4, 2017 .

Changing of the Direction

I was in trouble!

I was meant to be at the peak of my massage career. I had a great business I had awesome clientele I had a good membership base with some great people getting some awesome results. 

But I was in trouble as a therapist.  I knew that what I was doing wasn't what I needed to be doing, but I didn't know what I needed to do but I knew what I was doing wasn't right. 

One fateful morning when I was trying to come up with a way to integrate some new things in to Total Performance Centre I was going through my Facebook feed and up popped an American Chiropractor that I had done a course with 2 years previous wearing a funny looking disc on his temple talking about a treatment protocol called Amino NeuroFrequency Therapy. 

Colour me intrigued but this mentor of mine sprouting on about this treatment as being so awesome that it changed his life. I contacted him to see if he was marketing or a true believer. He believed. I contacted the owners of the treatment and asked if they were going to be coming to Australia. They at that stage had no plans to do so in the next 18 months. 

I had two choices. Keep doing what I was doing and be unhappy with the results and my methods. Or travel to Dubai and see if this was what I was looking for. I decided that I actually had no choice. This was something I had to do. 

6 days later I was on a plane heading to Dubai embarking on an adventure that was soon to change my life and my practice my beliefs and put me on the path I needed to be on that I didn't know existed.    

Now 4 weeks since returning from Dubai even now is a blur. The amount of information I took in and the changing of thought processes and treatment methodologies and the long days left me mentally drained most days but invigorated more than I had since way back when first coming out of my remedial massage course eager to help people. 

I knew I was on the correct path and I knew that the way I treated clients would never be the same again. In the 4 weeks since returning I can't remember ever getting so much satisfaction from treating so many people and giving them such great results time after time after time. 

Amino NeuroFrequency Therapy is the way of the future. It will change the face of manual therapy in Australia and around the world. I feel grateful and lucky to have a my wife though skeptical, brave enough to back my move and say go for it. I am grateful for Perry Nickelston for posting on Facebook at that very moment that I needed some direction. And I am grateful to Mikel Hoff and Sanne kiilerich for letting this Aussie jump on that course in Dubai and rocking my world to it's foundations. 

 

You want to know what I am going on about? Come on in and try a treatment. I bet I rock your world as well. 

 

Posted on May 2, 2017 .

My New Years Resolution

Lets get this straight from the outset. I am not a fan of New Years Resolutions. They are more often than not empty ideas that have no substance or planning to make them a realistic long term goal. 

That being said I vowed at the end of last year that I wanted to make some changes in 2017. 

I have been racing push bikes now for over 12 years. I am happy with what I have achieved so far in my cycling and still love the sport with all my heart. But by the end of 2016 I was starting to realise that my time off the bike and shoulder surgery has left me a long way off the pace in local A grade racing and that I was in no way competitive and for most of the racing I was barely hanging on. That was disappointing for sure. But I did reach my goal of returning to A grade at a local club level.  I had reached my main objective for 2016 even if I was a little disappointed to not be up the pointy end of the grade.

 Last year I also regained my interest in running and completed 2 trail 1/2 marathons. I had a ball doing them and remembered why I used to run on a regular basis. I am a poor runner with zero talent for it but I do relish the challenge to try to improve and learn the skill of running. 

Near the end of 2016 my beautiful wife and one of the members of Total Performance Centre started goading each other in to doing Bussleton Ironman in December 2017. These 2 with their kind hearted jibes and jests woke a latent desire I have had since way back in 1994 I did my first Triathlon. I WANT TO COMPLETE AN IRONMAN TRIATHLON. 

Enter my first holiday in over 3 years to Cambodia and Vietnam. I came home feeling refreshed and ready to chase new goals and challenges. 

So come January this year I decided to give this old goal of mine a dust off and see just what I can do. Straight away I realised that I have 3 hurdles that might derail my efforts before I even start. The first being my shoulder. Surgery 2 years ago have left it unstable and weak beyond what I thought at the time would be likely. The second a persistent case of plantar fascitis in my right foot that had been present since October last year and lastly I am a heavy individual. Someone my weight would be very hard to get ready to do an Ironman Triathlon with out damaging myself in the process of getting ready for it. 

First things first. Will I be able to swim. I hadn't swam in a pool since 1999 whilst training for my last Triathlon " the Territory Tough Triathlon". Since then my shoulder had been dislocated 4 times and I had been babying it for at least a decade. I went down to the Newcastle city baths and gingerly jumped in and did a few cautious laps to gauge if 1 my should could bear the load of swimming and 2 see if it hurt to swim. I came out of that session cautiously optimistic. I was seriously weak in that shoulder. But weakness can be strengthened so it is with in my powers to get to where I want to go. 

The second thing after many months of trying to resolve the plantar fascitis I decide to do the cortisone injection in to the foot. So far so good. The pain has diminished and my rehab is progressing well. I am giving myself 4 weeks more to get the structure of the foot to a stage where I will start to resume some running drills and small runs. 

My last hurdle. I am relatively large when it comes to endurance athletes. Most successful triathletes and cyclists and runners get around low to mid 70 kilogram mark. I live in the mid to high 80 kilogram mark which makes my job that little bit harder. 

Being that this year is a year of change for me I have decide to take the Low Carb High Fat "Primal Lifestyle" that I embarked on last year to the next level. I have decide to embark on living a Ketogenic lifestyle. If you aren't aware of what that is. Basically you restrict the carbohydrates in your diet to such a level that your body switches from using carbohydrates as its main source of energy to fat and ketones. 

Ketosis is a metabolic process that is activated when our body doesn't have enough glycogen (derived from carbs) for our cells to burn for energy. Instead, it starts to convert fat deposits (adipose) to energy. As a part of this process, it makes ketones. Ketone bodies are water-soluble molecules that are produced by our liver from fatty acids. We produce ketones because fatty acids can't cross a blood-brain barrier, and they can't be used by our brain as energy. These are needed because the brain can only burn 2 types of fuel, sugar and keytones. 

The advantage I believe of this diet for me is 3 main reasons. 1 that it is a very effective tool to lose body fat and get to an ideal weight. 2 a fat adapted ketogenic athlete is able to go long distances with less reliance on carbohydrates and 3 using less carbohydrates is proven to cause less oxidative stress on the body and less chronic inflammation. 

These reasons were too compelling to not at least give it a go. 

Next Blog. 

My journey begins. 

 

 

 

Disclaimer

This blog is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this blog or materials linked from this blog is at the user’s own risk. The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.

 

Posted on February 1, 2017 .

Facing my Vulnerabilities

Very few people if any have the perfect life, the perfect/ body/ diet/ training program/ coach. I will freely admit it. I am one of those. I constantly battle self doubt about nearly everything that I do. 

Am I doing the right thing? Will people listen? Am I worth listening to?  Is what I am saying correct? What if I put the weight back on? Am I setting the right example? What if I don't get any better on the bike? Am I a fraud? Do others see me as  a fraud? Will I fail? Again!

Moving to a Primal Lifestyle and then choosing to make that a part of my classes was a massive move for me. Did I know enough about it to try to teach others? Even writing this podcast about my journey I face the fact that I know I am not a literary genius ( a fact my wife reminds me of regularly) and I struggle to not come across sounding conceited or disjointed or inconsistent.

What can I do about it? That after all is the age old question to all us looking to make improvements in our lives, whether it be in business, training, body composition or life. 

Step 1: Stop making excuses! It's up to me. Plain and simple. No one else will change things for me so stop sitting around doing and saying the same old stuff day after day. If I want change, then make a start. 

Step 2: Start with the truth. My truth. Why am I like I am? Why do I need to change? What do I need to do to change? 

Step 3: Starting at the start. Some may start with making a plan. For me I think starting was more important than planning. By starting I was already moving in the right direction. Stopping before I start to make a plan would only delay the building of momentum.  I started moving then worked on my plan as I went. 

Step 4: Acceptance.  Accept that there will be good days and bad days, I will possibly get sick, I might not get the results I want straight away. I needed to let go of needing to control the outcome. 

Step 5: Get some consistency. Missing a day or two through sickness is not a cause for alarm. But when I was missing entire weeks through lack of sleep (self induced) or stress or just plain old laziness. There is little wonder to why I never achieved the heights I constantly said I was striving for. 

My progress in to health has had some road bumps. I have self doubt and moments of shear terror that I am failing those that work with me and trust me. But when I train people and they tell me that they are feeling stronger or losing weight or feeling better with in them selves. It spurs me on and gives me that little bit self belief that I can do this and I am on the right path. 

Facing my vulnerabilities is hard. I have had to look honestly at my self and my failings and self doubts and start to face them. Will I ever get that zen state where I feel everything is falling in to place. Will I get my training performance where I want it? Will I get the body I always say I want? Will the training programs I write spur people on and motivate them to achieve the results that they want?  I don't know. I hope I do but if it doesn't I know I will have fought like hell to get there. Because in the end the result is irrelevant. The journey is the good stuff. It is where the story is. It is where the fun happens. 

 

 

 

Posted on January 23, 2017 .