Quick Tip: Become stronger in seconds

Quick Tip – Stronger In Seconds

If you’re lifting a really heavy weight or moving a large object, this will be a helpful tip.

Before you attempt to move a heavy object, you should take in a quick sniff of air through your nose and squeeze/flex your muscles, especially the forearms and butt, before lifting the object. Since this is a quick tip, I won’t explain all the principles that go in to effect, but I’ll give you the overview and how to apply the tips more effectively.

First, take in a sniff of air through the nose. Taking in a quick, short bit of air through the nose helps keep the spine neutral and pressurizes the abdominal cavity, which keeps the spine neutral throughout the movement. As a personal trainer, my number one priority is to keep people safe, and keeping the spine healthy and not at major risk of harm is a good way to eliminate a lot of potential problems.

Second, squeeze your muscles. This helps your mind and body know you are about to go really heavy. This helps brace the skeletal system and helps activate more muscles. The stronger and harder you squeeze, the more muscles you can recruit and the more you can lift. This effect is called muscle irradiation. Pavel Tsatsouline, famed Russian Special Forces fitness instructor and kettlebell master, talks a lot about this effect in the body in his book The Naked Warrior. The book focuses only on bodyweight exercises and how to increase your strength through proper lifting techniques.

With good lifting form, the help of a trained professional, and these simple tips, you will be well on your way to your fitness goals.

– Stay Evolved
Mark

Zero Electronics

Quick Tip: Ditch the screens before bed

How to get more things done in your day, wake up more refreshed, and have more energy

Sounds like it’s too good to be true, right?! Actually, it’s a pretty easy tip that has great benefits. Have zero major electronic devices in your bedroom. No TV, mobile phone, tablet, or any device with a screen. Ditch the screens!

First off, why will eliminating electronics have all those benefits? Easy — it will help focus on what the bedroom is meant for: sleeping. Anything with a screen will stop the production of melatonin, the sleeping hormone, while you are using it. The bright light sends the signal to your body that the sun is up and it’s daytime. Granted, you can sleep right after you have used these devices, but after a while you can develop a mild form of insomnia or be unable to sleep as deeply as you should.

Having a constant stimulus to your brain will not allow it to relax and wind down until you are so exhausted you almost pass out. It is a myth that watching TV helps your relax; sitting and not doing anything is giving your body time to relax, but it is keeping your mind stimulated and awake. You need to let your brain relax and let it fully recover with deep sleep. A great way to relax your brain and let it get in the routine of knowing it’s bedtime is to have a sleep routine. I personally enjoy taking a shower in dim lighting, brushing my teeth, taking supplements, writing in my journal (if I need write down any lingering thoughts I have in my head that keep me awake), and reading a non-engaging book in bed.

Without electronics in the room, once you wake up it will force you to get up out of bed. The desire to lie in bed and watch TV or check your Facebook status is quite high if you have that device inches from your head once you open your eyes. Speaking for myself, I know once Monday morning comes around I am not always the most motivated to seize the day. The thought of lying in bed until the last minute is always a thought. With the internet at my fingertips, it makes that unproductive desire even easier.

Probably the biggest complaint I have heard to this tip is that people need TV to fall asleep. However, in my experience you need to find ways to clear your head and relax, and possibly a white noise machine will be of good use. The second complaint is that people need their phones right by them in case of an emergency, which is understandable. I would suggest either a landline phone (one of those phones that is actually plugged into a wall) or have the phone in the room but not within arm’s reach.

By making your bedroom a no-electronics room, you will:

  • Be able to sleep more deeply due to the lack of light shining in your face.
  • Wake up and get up out of your bed first thing.
  • Create a routine to help train your body and brain to know when it’s time to sleep.