Category Archives: Fitness

Benefits of Running in Sand

New research shows that hitting the beach can decrease a runner’s risk of injury and increase endurance.

When Kyra Oliver heads out for her morning run, she usually opts for a paved route. But once or twice a week, the 50-year-old San Diegan runs past the start and heads toward the beach instead, where she watches the sun rise and listens to the waves crash as the miles tick by. Running on the sand helps Oliver clear her mind, but it also supplements her training for marathons and 50-mile trail races.

““It works different muscles and requires a different focus for me,”” Oliver explains. ““If I’’m on the packed sand by the water, I can set a nice pace and do short pickups. Running where it’’s looser can be a good strength workout that simulates variances I might find on the trail.””

Oliver’’s right: Opting for a soft surface like sand is a smart way to add diversity to your regular training routine. “By putting in mileage on the sand, you’’ll put less stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles, which can help decrease the risk of impact-associated injuries like stress fractures,” says Erika Lee Sperl, a kinesiologist and high-performance sport consultant for Orreco, a sports and data analytics company in Los Angeles that helps elite athletes optimize performance.

Research backs that up. Studies have shown that running on the beach, —especially on soft, dry sand that’’s typically found farther from the water’’s edge— will likely lower your odds of impact-associated overuse injuries. In a small 2017 studypublished in the European Journal of Sport Science, for example, women who ran on soft sand experienced less muscle damage and inflammation than those who ran on grass. And a 2014 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that the soft surface even reduced muscle soreness and fatigue.

“With every foot strike, there is almost four times less impact force on soft sand versus firm ground like grass,” says Martyn Binnie, Ph.D., a physiologist at the Western Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of the latter study. “This is a good thing for reducing load through the body,” he says. So when you need a lower-impact session but still want to get in a hard workout, sand is a great option.


But there’s a flip side to every coin, and while running on soft sand makes you less likely to suffer an impact injury, the chances of other injuries (like a sprained ankle or tendinopathy) rise, says Armin Tehrany, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care in New York City. An uneven surface and constantly shifting ground are to blame, he explains, but as long as you exercise caution, those are two factors that can also enhance your workout. “You’ll have to work harder [to stay balanced], and as a result, you will get a better workout if you spend the same amount of time on sand,” he says.

In fact, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that running on sand forces your body to work at least 10 percent harder than it does on grass. Again, soft, loose sand is where you’ll score the most benefits, says Binnie, who conducted the study, but even firm, packed-down sand can boost your performance.

“Firm sand near the water is still about 5 to 10 percent softer than grass,” he explains. “[But] if you want the big benefits, you need to aim for the soft stuff.”

So what exactly makes sand so special? Binnie says that when you run on firm ground, less elastic energy, which is stored in your tendons, is absorbed, so you don’t have to work quite as hard. Sand doesn’t extend that courtesy. Instead, it absorbs that energy, meaning you have to generate more force with your muscles. Proof: A study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology found that running on sand actually requires 1.6 times as much energy expenditure as running on a firmer surface.

Couple that with the fact that your hip- and knee-stabilizing muscles are working nearly twice as hard, according to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, and you’ve got a recipe for a higher heart rate and blood lactate threshold, says Binnie. Translation: Your cardiovascular training gets a boost without the added stress of having to run faster or farther. Those aren’t the only benefits you’ll gain, either.

“Running, especially on the road or a treadmill, is a very uni-planar, repetitive exercise, which can lead to muscular imbalances. Often the common weakest links for runners
are the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and ankles,” Sperl says. “By running on sand and challenging your stability, you’ll start to build strength in these areas, which can carry over to performance benefits on the road.”

Binnie notes that because of the different technique and range of motion used on sand to combat the “slip” element, the joint angles around the hip, knee, and ankle are similar to those normally seen during faster running speeds on firm ground. So, theoretically, he says that if you wanted to improve your road running time, then incorporating sand running into your training, specifically early in the season, can help augment training adaptations. That’s why each expert suggests adding a sand run into your routine on a regular basis if you have access. If not, hit the beach on vacation.

Read the full article at RunnersWorld

LL Cool J | Hotboxing with Mike Tyson EP 32

I found this interview very real in a way that reflected the true friendship between Mike and LL Cool J. What I found even more interesting was the family history that they shared with each other. You can be following habits that run in your family for ages but never know until you find out who you truly are.

Sets, Reps and Muscle Types

Working out has almost become a science. But what is the best rep and set combo? There are so much information just on this topic alone that it can be a bit discouraging. Luckily, I am going to try to make sense of it all, and make it a bit more easy to understand.

Of course, I am going to use what I have found in terms of research and apply it to the world of calisthenics.

One of the best places to start is to first look at the two two terms and their respective definitions: reps and sets.

“Reps” is short for repetitions. A repetition is the number of times you actually perform an exercise or movement.

For example, if you do 10 push ups, than you have done 10 repetitions of push ups.

“Sets” are the total number of repetitions you do for an exercise or movement.

For example, if you do 10 push ups, than you have done 1 set of 10 repetitions.

Now that you understand to some degree what a “rep” and “set” are, the more important question becomes what is the right mix of reps and sets and rest between sets?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to how many sets and reps. It really depends on your fitness goals, objectives and skill level.

A good understanding of muscle hypertrophy is also an essentially component that sometimes gets overlooked.

Muscle hypertrophy is essentially the ability to grow muscle skeletal muscle.

There are three types of muscle:

1) Skeletal muscle
2) Smooth muscle
3) Cardiac muscle

Lets go over each briefly.

Skeletal muscle are those which attach to bones and have the main function of contracting to facilitate movement of our skeletons. They are the striations that you see on a bodybuilder or someone in great shape. 1

Smooth muscle is also sometimes known as Involuntary muscle due to our inability to control its movements, or Unstriated as it does not have the stripy appearance of Skeletal muscle. Smooth muscle is found in the walls of hollow organs such as the Stomach, Oesophagus, Bronchi and in the walls of blood vessels.2

Cardiac (Heart) muscle is found solely in the walls of the heart. It has similarities with skeletal muscles in that it is striated and with smooth muscles in that its contractions are not under conscious control.3

The Skeletal muscle is what I will be focusing on as I discuss muscle hypertrophy.

There are two types of muscle hypertrophy:  myofibrillar or functional hypertrophy and sarcoplasmic or non-functional hypertrophy.

Think of functional hypertrophy as strength and non-functional hypertrophy as growth.  This is, of course, a gross over-generalization and in no way am I saying that bodybuilders are not strong as well, nor am I saying that the “strongmen” out there don’t grow in size and muscle.

It’s just a way to wrap your head around these two concepts as it pertains to your overall fitness goals.

The amount of reps and sets really depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

In order for the muscle to grow you have to shock it, you have to do something out of the norm, to induce any type of growth. That also goes without saying when it comes to any other area of your life.

If you just go through the motions, and you don’t focus on the actual movements, and you are not pushing yourself to the limits and beyond, you will not see progress.

No matter what rep and set combo you are doing.

I learned this from the P90X founder, Tony Horton:

1. Variety: Mixing it up, changing the routine, to shock the body, this is also called muscle confusion. Muscle strength, endurance and growth are the results of confusing the body.

2. Consistency: A constant routine is also a pillar to muscle growth and strength because it sends a signal to the body to be in a prepared ready state for activity.

3. Intensity: Your workouts need to be intense, otherwise there is no reason to be working out. It”s called working out for a reason, it’s not called going thru the motions. You need to give 100% effort. Or as Arnold Schwarzenegger likes to call it, “Being in the zone. Do it and go all at it.”

If you want to grow in size than more reps lower rest periods, however if strength is what you are after than you want to lower your reps and you increase your rest periods:

Desired Outcome Growth Vs Strength Reps Per Set Rest Time
Explosive Power Strength 4-7 Reps 3+ Minutes
Peak Strength (Myofibrillar Hypertrophy/Functional) Strength 1-3 Reps 5+ Minutes
Strength (Myofibrillar Hypertrophy/Functional) Strength 4-6 Reps 2-3 Minutes
Hypertrophy (Sarcoplasmic/Non-Functional) Growth 8-12 Reps 60-90 Seconds
Muscle Endurance (Sarcoplasmic/Non-Functional) Growth 12-20+ Reps 30-60 Seconds

There are four additional items that I would like to address when it comes to reps and sets, granted these were popularized in traditional bodybuilding but can be easily applied to calisthenics:

1. Drop sets/Pyramids sets: A drop set is the simple technique where you perform a set of any exercise to failure or just short of failure, then drop some weight and continue for more repetitions with the reduced poundage. Increasing the reps/weights is called pyramid sets. (4)

2. Super sets: A super-set is when one set of an exercise is performed directly after a set of a different exercise without rest between them. Once each super-set is complete, then rest for one and a half to two minutes or more to recover. (5)

3. Training splits: Split system training is a system of weight training that divides training sessions by body regions — usually upper and lower body training. (6)

4. Volume: This is the amount of exercise you do, “high volume” training means that you are doing:

  • How much volume is being done per muscle group/body part both per workout AND per week.
  • How much volume is being done per exercise.
  • How much total volume is being done per workout.
  • How much total volume is being done per week. (7)

Incorporating any or all four of these methods into your workout routine can make a dramatic difference.

Read the full article at CalisthenicsMag

A Beaten Body Can’t Steal Your Soul: Renee Gunter

Our second LA heroine to share her truth is former haute couture model,  current urban organic farmer, and indestructible force of unconditional love Renee Gunter.

Renee’s a SURVIVOR (and the all caps are necessary) who was brutally abused starting at the age of two and then endured the loss of five of her babies as she fought her way to become a nurturing, supportive mom, not only to her two children, but to her hometown in South LA.

To see how Renee’s vigilant spirit soared in the face of sexual assault, death, and racism, watch her video.

Thank you to Daniela London, of the forthcoming clothing brand Choose Love, for providing us with the space to shoot all of our Los Angeles episodes.

Renee’s video was edited by Andrea Cruz

About StyleLikeU: We’re a mother-daughter team leading a movement that empowers people to accept and express their true selves.

Remember, Return

To Build a Traceur is a philosophy aimed at developing all forms of movement starting with the physical plane.
The mission is to gain the ability to observe, rest within, and remove oneself from all states of perception to master empathy in order to understand other subjective points of consciousness and inanimate matter itself.
Through the training of confrontation, manipulation and path finding through all landscapes, the lesson derived will guide towards the embracing the ebb and flow of circumstance that will allow us to see opportunity at any point of manifestation.
I employ a combination of movement practices, Qi gong, breathing techniques and a host of other disciplines to share principles that help my clients Master their ‘suit’

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