Calf Stretch for Better Squatting and Running

Here is a great stretch to help lengthen your calf and heel cord –  This is a problem area for many runners and can cause issues when squatting.  No slant board needed – just a yoga mat and foam roller.  Hold each stretch for 2 minutes and breathe.

To your health,
Trey

And if you want a quality slant board for a long term solution,  I highly recommend this for lower leg health:

Ready to reign in your health? Birmingham, Alabama Residents – Contact me for a FREE Personal Training Consultation: CLICK HERE

Russian Qigong Tapping and Self Massage to Loosen Up Tight Muscles

mount bromo sunrise

I have returned back to Birmingham, Alabama after a wonderful trip on the other side of the world.  While traveling through Indonesia, we would start our mornings with a variation of this exercise.  This is my spin on what I learned from Michael Yoshpa.

I have found this technique to be more powerful than using a foam roller.   You should feel invigorated while bringing awareness to your body and helping to loosen tight muscles.  Try it out!

To your health,

Trey

Ready to reign in your health? Birmingham, Alabama Residents – Contact me for a FREE Personal Training Consultation: CLICK HERE

Gratitude

Life is a rose bush, full of beautiful fragrant roses and sharp painful thorns.

We can train the mind to focus on the roses while also appreciating the times pricked with thorns.

As you awake to start your day, think and embody three things you are grateful for.

It could be hot potable water. The sunshine and rain for the plants. The roof over your head. The bed under your back.  The wheels that maneuver you through the street. The friends and family who give life meaning.

Whatever those three gratitudes are, envision them in your mind and feel them in your body and soul.

When you stumble into the thorns, your nervous system will be better able to handle the stress of pain and discomfort.

End your day with three things or events that you were grateful for during that cycle.

Over time, notice the improvement in your happiness and ability to take on life.

To your health,
Trey

Ready to reign in your health? Birmingham, Alabama Residents – Contact me for a FREE Personal Training Consultation: CLICK HERE

Consistent Discipline

personal treyner running

You, my friend, are so disciplined. You are disciplined in your daily habits.

Some are good and some are bad, but they are your daily choices.

Everyday, you climb your ladder towards your (unconscious) goal.

Reaching for the smoke or glass, the chair or squat rack, computer mouse or yoga mat, salad or BBQ, banana or hot pocket.

The days you don’t move, your body learns not to move.

The days you eat unhealthy adds to your piggy bank of extra calories.

I see people come to class for a day or two and then fall off the bandwagon.  They choose to do the comfortable thing and wonder why they never change.  They are disciplined in their habit of not attending.

Let’s say you are disciplined in drinking a soda everyday.  Those extra calories add up over time.  Say you consume extra calories that lead to 1 pound of fat a week.  In 52 weeks you earned 52 pounds of consistent discipline.

Flip it and say you are disciplined to walk a mile every day.  In the end of the week, you burned enough calories to lose a pound a week.   In the end of that year, you would be 52 pounds less.

You can discipline yourself to meditate 10 minutes a day or a few times a week.

You can discipline yourself to watch a T.V. show for 30 minutes a day.

Each consistent choice leads to how you think, feel, move.

Every day, your choices add up – Are you disciplined towards your conscious goal or your unconscious goal?

You are so disciplined, my friend, and you didn’t even know it!

Need help in flipping the discipline?  I am here to help!

marcus-stoic

Ready to reign in your health? Birmingham, Alabama Residents – Contact me for a FREE Personal Training Consultation: CLICK HERE

Your shit ain’t good enough for my plants.

chikfila

I was bad the other day.  I ate fast food :).

Man, it was so tasty! Chick-fila fried sandwich and a large fry (no soda).

I didn’t realize this was setting me up for an anecdotal experiment.

I eat a diet that is about 80% real food – local if possible and closest to natural state.

My chikafila sandwich was certainly not natural, and can thank science for its perfect ratios of fats, salts, sugars, and stabilizers to make it so tasty.

squatty-potty

The day after this meal, I had to use the squatty potty right upon waking at 530am and the kids didn’t have their usual shape.  Strike one for out of the ordinary. (My squatty potty is stylish teak)

I continued to have two more bowel movements later that day – all smelly, not the usual self-indulgent smell.   Strike two!

Two days after my meal, my sweat began to have a terrible odor. Strike three!

If your sweat and shit stink, then your diet is probably shit!

People are always saying, “I have to hit the gym”.  First, you should be saying, “I need to hit the veggies, the plants, and the humble protein sources.”

This experiment synchronistically occurred with my obese neighbor informing me that her husband was going in for colon cancer surgery.

At first glance, this man appears a healthy weight.  However, the diet that manifested obesity in his wife, came to life as colon cancer in himself.

Your food can either make you healthy and vibrant or sick and numb.

There is a permaculture technique called humanure that utilizes a process to make human excrement viable for growing plants.

nutrient cycle humanure

Whatever your opinion is of that:

Would you rather have the humanure made from humans that ate a plant based diet and local happy animals,

OR

From humans that ate packaged, processed foods and dined regularly at fast food establishments?

My point is this – if your shit ain’t good enough for my plants,  what does that say about your diet?

What you put into your body is so so so important.  Please, don’t ever forget this fact.

To your health,

Trey

Ready to reign in your health? Birmingham, Alabama Residents – Contact me for a FREE Personal Training Consultation: CLICK HERE

The Philosophy of Edible Foraging

 

Violets

Violets

It was the crash of ’08 and the world was scrambling. Out of this shock, people started wondering – Could I survive the zombie apocalypse?

While people were out getting guns and ammo, I got a solar panel and started experimenting with it. “Okay, I got my energy source, now how shall I feed?”

Hey, it all made sense at the time.

I wanted to connect back to my hunting and gathering roots. Something stirred in me to connect back to this primal meditation.

I’ve always thought there was an intelligence in plant’s passivity – Growing grounded roots, letting the wind and animals do their moving, and luring humans into continuing their cultivation and evolution through beauty, fruit, and medicine.

Blackberry flowers and young fruit.

Blackberry flowers and young fruit.

People everyday pass by food. FREE FOOD.

It is right under their feet, in their yards dowsed in chemicals supplied by ironic companies named TruGreen and EnviroPlus.  It’s schizophrenic madness.

While my neighbor was mowing his browning winter lawn every few days, I’d put zero effort into letting mine grow into a lush cover crop forest of free nutritious food.

Why become an edible forager?

The most apparent benefit of foraging is being outside in nature.  Walking barefoot in the grass, eyes scanning the landscape, the sun shining on your skin and the lungs expanding with fresh air, you become one with nature.

Ain’t no chairs out here – you are squatting and hinging to gather your food.  Bending and reaching.  It is all low-stress active movement.

You are building pattern recognition.  Keeping the plasticity of the brain sharp.  Noticing the shapes of leaves and formation of hairs, colors, stems, flowers, fruit, and seed.  Matching up previous knowledge with the present moment.

You make note of the newly formed flowers, acting as alert flags to where future berries will fruit.  They can also signal plants that may have been missed during the previous forages.

Clover and Oxalis (Wood Sorrel)

Foraging leads to other ventures and creativity.  Now that you have access to products you can’t normally buy, you have to figure out ways to make them consumable and tasty. There are trail-side nibbles, seasoning, prepping, boiling, frying, inducing, extracting, and fermenting.

You gain access to vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients at their peak intensity. These are plants that are surviving without any help, and are producing chemicals to fight off disease and pests.  These are chemicals not available in commercially raised produce due to external application.

Anecdotally, I have no issues with allergies and pollen.  I contribute this to eating plants that grow in my area and are more than likely covered in the same pollen that is making you sneeze.

Ultimately, foraging syncs you to the present moment in the grander cycle of the four seasons.  You are connected to the forces outside your self.  It coerces the body to revert to primal movements and brings peace to the mind through present connection.  It’s also a very valuable skill to have for survival, and with that can bring even more peace of mind.

Some easy plants to start with are dandelions, violets, clovers, oxalis (sorrel), blackberries, smilax, thistles, lettuce, and chickweed.  Please be responsible and research anything before putting it in your mouth.

Plants are badass, especially the ones you can eat.  Check out www.EatTheWeeds.com and learn more about edible foraging, and if you are in Florida I’d recommend taking one of his classes.

Outdoor Kettlebell

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Don’t Just Work Out – Get High!

lung trees

Ah life.  It keeps going and spinning whether you are flowing with it or not.

I had been training with a workaholic client for some time.  He made great strides in strength and cardiovascular ability, but his stress response was keeping fat on his frame.(Chronic stress keeps cortisol levels high leading to excess abdominal fat storage.)

His body was just waiting for that lion to leap out at him, bite into his fatty deposits and release him once realized this was not healthy prey.

On top of this,  his persona was protecting him from sharing and opening up about the feelings and emotions he had been experiencing.

I wanted to help.  The controlled stress of weight lifting was taking away life force from him and adding more to his stress bank.  Soooo….

I got him high!

I lit up the dutchie and passed it to the left hand side.  He breathed in and breathed out and released all that pent up stress.

Lawlz – if only.

Foam Roller and Theracane

Instead, I laid out the yoga mat.  I put the foam roller in front of him and had him proceed to break up any trigger points in his tight muscles.  (View this previous article/video if you have no clue what I’m talking about).

Warrior Two

After releasing the muscles, we did light stretching and joint mobility.  All the while, making sure to breathe in and breathe out.

Savasana gif

Finally, we ended with a 5 minute body scan meditation.

Starting on the awareness at the toes, we moved on up to the ankles, knees, and so on.

At first, his belly breaths were shallow and rapid.

When the awareness was brought to the belly and rib cage, I was instructing him to allow the belly to rise with the in-breath and fall back down with the out-breath.

Belly rises with in-breath and falls with out-breath. Rib cage expands 360* during in-breath and falls back down during out-breath.

By the end of the five minutes, his breath had normalized.  The rhythm of life had slowed and the belly was rising instead of predominately in the chest.

As I asked how he was, he responded back in a much deeper tone and smiled.

Fast forward to our next session, Stressy Pants had turned into Jokey Pants.  He was smiling, talking about the previous days, and overall had digressed from the loop of stress.

If you want a great work out, I can give you that.

If you want a great yoga session, I can help you with that.

And if you want to get high, I would gladly help you achieve that as well.

To your health,

Trey

YinYang

 

Ready to reign in your health? Birmingham, Alabama Residents – Contact me for a FREE Personal Training Consultation: CLICK HERE

Muscle Imbalances and The Power of Massage

I have a client, we will call her Jane.  Jane had been experiencing lots of tightness in her upper body, making any movement with her arms very painful.

Jane was in pain so she was popping ibuprofen like it was her job.  It worked – kinda, but the cycle had to be continuously repeated to find relief from the pain.

Any drug you take is going to have some sort of imbalancing effect on your system.  Over the counter pain meds can be very harsh and damaging to your stomach and liver.  All this for something that doesn’t solve your problem.  But it is just so easy to pop a pill….

Imagine a tree in the forest.  Cut off a limb and the limb can just grow back.  Why?

tree The tree still has its roots, its trunk – it is still very alive.  The tree has all the resources to grow another limb and bare fruit.

I recommended Jane see a trusted massage therapist.  The therapist worked on her trigger points and moved her through gentle motions.

I saw Jane after her massage and her posture had improved; she could move her arms behind and overhead.  She was a totally different being than she was just the day before.

Her relief was instant and she did not add further stress to her system.  She had found the root to her problem –  trigger points leading to muscle imbalances.

Habitual movement patterns, stress, and trauma (physical and psychological) can lock up our muscular system.

The thing about tight muscles is they can inhibit the opposite muscle from being allowed to fire.  For the science nerds, this is known as reciprocal inhibition.

kineticchain stability

The body likes stability, if the right muscle isn’t there to jump in – it will find another that will.

Eventually, the nervous system builds a network of neurons to fire the incorrect muscle – leaving the right muscle in the dark.                    power outage

Massage deadens or inhibits the neural response in a tight muscle.  The muscle can finally breathe out a big ole SIGHHHH and relax.

This makes it way easier to stretch out the muscle.  With the muscle chillaxin, it can lengthen.

Finally, I can relax!

Finally, I can relax!

This allows the opposing weak muscle to have a chance to work and start to build the neurons necessary to fire correctly.

The tight muscle is the tyrant always putting down its weak counterpart.

A very common muscular imbalance is Upper Cross Syndrome.  Theorized by Dr. Vladimir Janda, this imbalance contributes to the rounding of the neck and shoulders forward.

upper cross syndrome

The chest is being the tyrant and keeping the rhomboids and lower traps from being able to retract your shoulder blades.

The neck flexors are being bullied out of play by the tyranical upper traps and levator scapula.

Pec keeping down those poor cervical flexors

Pec keeping the scapular retractors down

Jane had classic upper cross syndrome.  The massage therapist worked on her chest so her shoulder blades could function.  The therapist worked on Jane’s upper traps, so her deep cervical flexors could work again.

I believe there is no greater investment than investing in your own health and well-being.

With that said, you don’t necessarily need a massage therapist.  All you need is a lacrosse ball and a foam roller to get started.

To your health,
Trey

Ready to reign in your health? Birmingham, Alabama Residents – Contact me for a FREE Personal Training Consultation: CLICK HERE

Play and Let Your Inner Child Bring You Back Into Shape.

Trey Indoboard

There is a widespread belief that exercise has to be a structured and regimented process.

But where is the fun in that?  Kids know where the magic is – they play!  As adults, we need control in our lives.  We fear being judged.  We fear failure.  Kids don’t have time for that, and they let their bodies express themselves.

You don’t need a gym to be in shape.  All you need is your body, some creativity, and the ability to connect back with your inner child!  Jump, squat, or roll on the ground.  Don’t think about it, just allow it to happen.  Enjoy!

Some of my favorites:  Indoboarding, trailing running, hiking, yoga, climbing trees and rocks, bodyweight exercises with variation of pull ups and pushups, and gym rings.

A video posted by Trey Tate (@personaltreyner) on

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5 Tips to Stay Healthy When Away From Your Personal Trainer

High Five

1. Sleep

Sleeping is healing and the body repairs itself during this time. While you work hard at the gym during the day, your body works hard at night to make itself stronger for the next challenge. Skip electronic screens an hour before bed and you won’t trick your body into thinking it is still day light. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night and you’ll be ready to train with your HomeFit consultant the next day!

2. Stretch

Stretching has been linked to better performance, lower risk of injury, and improved quality of life. While it can be uncomfortable, it is better to go through this small amount of discomfort instead of letting muscle tightness turn into a full blown injury. If you are injured, you can’t train! Give yourself the gift of 10 minutes of stretching upon waking and 10 minutes before bedtime. As Bob Harper would say, “You are only as young as your spine is flexible.”

3. Eat Real Food 

A great workout can be countervailed by a poor diet, especially one that is high in processed, low-nutrient food. A healthy weight is achieved from the 20% of exercise you do with your trainer, and the other 80% comes from your personal food choices. If you are struggling to reach a weight loss goal or a new muscle gain, make sure your diet is supporting your goals.

4.  Drink Water

You can’t live without it, and the right amount supports all life functions. When we are lacking water, dehydration can contribute to migraines, fatigue, and decreased performance. Water lubricates our joints, transports nutrients, helps to move along all our metabolic waste, and much more.

Many are unaware of all the excess calories consumed from liquids (alcohol, juice, soda), but luckily water is 0 calories, and is EXACTLY what your body needs to stay hydrated. Try to consume half your body-weight (pounds) in ounces of water. So if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink 75 ounces of water a day.

5.  Walk

Many recent studies have cited sitting as the new smoking. Walking provides a simple free counter-balance to our daily sitting. Even if you work out every day, our modern lifestyle promotes being glued to a seat for those remaining hours, and this inactivity can lead to coronary and metabolic issues. Walking burns off extra calories, gets the blood pumping, and helps unwind stiff bodies. In addition, walking is great for our brains and our creativity. Many great minds of our time were known to go for walks.

Start incorporating these tips and pave your path towards success!

Ready to reign in your health? Birmingham, Alabama Residents – Contact me for a FREE Personal Training Consultation: CLICK HERE