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Thursday, December 29, 2011

My success is team oriented!
Years ago before I started my business I read A LOT of books on personal development and how to BE an entreprenuer....but one book that stands out in my mind and had the most significant impact was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. A classic everyone should read. It was published back in the early 40's and is STILL in print in over 50 languages.
Running a business can be lonely. Our vision IS sometimes well, 'our' vision  and like a conductor I try to orchestrate a vision so others will follow! But there are times that you 'just don't know'. So I have collected the finest minds that are sharper than mine on matters that just vex the hell out of me at times! The book I mentioned earlier,  said a large part of success is surrounding yourself with people who know more than you or are better at some things your're not. Ford did it. Carnegie did it.   Edison did it and Rockefeller did it and it worked out pretty well for them!  I can say that my 'cabinet' has taught me well! And business has never been better and these special people deserve mentioning (the OZ's behind the curtain, so to speak!)..
  • Don Prior,President/Owner NSF COMPUTER, Ann Arbor
  • John Auschman, Director of Food/Beverage ,POLO FIELDS, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti [Voted one of [the best brunches in Michigan. Extraordinary.]
  • Mark Phillips, BSI Mgr, Ypsilanti,MI
  • David Wolf, Obstetrics/Gynecologist and author, Trenton, MI
  • Shayna Accounting, Ann Arbor
  • Sabarras George, manager of MICHIGAN ATHLETIC CLUB AND SPARROW HOSPITAL HEALTH, Lansing, MI. The largest health club in Michigan
They make me look good. So here is to my MAGNIFICENT 7........
...We on the VERGE!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

NOT my Top 10,
Top 5 whatever list. 
'Grown up' approach to health and fitness without reps and sets!

  • COMMIT. COMMIT NOW!: Look. We all think we can start and stop when we feel like it because there is zero accountability! So our commitment is tenuous at best. A true formula for failure. We break promises to others but it is absolutely a heinous act when you break a promise to yourself....Jeez!! And you can see where that has gotten you.
  • DON'T BUY EQUIPMENT! Ah yes the classic psychology of 'if I buy it I will do IT' No you won't! At least not for long. It's the biggest 'head fake' you can do to yourself. So this is what you do:  Use somebody else's treadmill! Gyms all over the country love offering deals this time of year because they hedge that you won't last long.  Join up and stay for 3 months (see #1!). And not only will you set a new precedent for not letting yourself down but you'll look good too!
  • QUIT STARVING!: The biggest fallacy in weight loss is "Dude. Just start eating nuts and 5 hour energy, you'll be ripped!' Oh Really? This is the stupidest advice. The opposite is true. Eat more.. healthier foods! A large part of weight loss is eating. Unfortunately, there is so much erroneous information out there, it is easy to get confused. Hire a registered dietitian, RD for short. NOT A PERSONAL TRAINER WITH A SPORT NUTRITION CERTIFICATE! A RD has a background that far surpasses a week long course! RD'S spend countless clinical hours working with all sorts of populations. Some of those populations have sophisticated and complicated health histories. Don't rely on limited education here. You would not go to a dentist that took a 3 day dentistry course. This is your health we're talking about! Invest in a team of health professionals. 
  • I'M TELL'N!! Trust me. You will 'mess up' but relax. Its built in. You have been conditioned to eat when you 'think' your are hungry. Those olfactory cells will fail us every time. Olfactory [smell] is closely related to memory. And those memories of eating fried chicken, mac and cheese, apple pie and stuff. Whew!!....Anyway what I'm getting at is give in to those cravings. Yes. But be grown up about it! If you know you can eat 6 pieces of pizza, try 3 with a small salad. Salad will help decrease the cravings and you may not even make it to the third slice!
  • YOUR FRIENDS WILL LET YOU DOWN: Ok. Friends mean well. But if they are used to seeing you do something and not see it through, well....Keep your goals and intentions to yourself unless you are with others that are on the same path. This is what a real training partner is for: support when you having 'one of those days' cuz you gonna have'em!
  • YOU GOT ISSUES!: My wife is great at this stuff. She is a RD. She calls those moments when people eat and are not hungry: 'Triggers' We all got'em. And you KNOW  what yours is! Don't lie! Weight gain is a behavior issue. If you don't believe me watch any reality show with people struggling with weight problems. Happiness is an inside job!
  • AEROBICS IS DEAD!!: Straight to the point on this one. You have to gain muscle to keep fat off as well as managing eating. Aerobics alone will NOT WORK! Anaerobic training: circuit training, sprints, progressive weight training, medicine ball work, kettle bell etc. is the KEY! Women are notorious at staying away from weights because they think it will make them bulky. Biggest impediment to keeping weight off for men and women is not adding a progressive resistance training program to your fitness regiment.
  • DON'T BUY IT IF YOU LIKE IT!: I love Amish Farm licorice. The red flavor of course. The finest tasting licorice in the whole universe. I have been know to eat a whole bag of these twisted sticks of I don't buy them. I also have been know to devour Hagen das Swiss almond in one fell swoop. A spectacle to see. So I don't buy it. You see what I'm getting at? To tell yourself you can 'regulate' your weakness is the same mentality that got you tipping the scales at 20# overweight IN THE FIRST PLACE......Focus, man focus! 
  • IT WILL NOT BE FUN: I hate when they show commercials of these real chiseled bodies in fitness/supplement commercials all smiling and shit as if its a piece of cake. It's not! Body change takes work. Don't believe the hype of fast weight loss. Biggest Loser is the biggest distraction for the public because the circumstances are NOT real life. These people are sequestered for 3 months with trainers, RD's, and sociologists. So when you here they lost 80lbs in 2 months that is under very unique conditions. Conditions that most of our economics don't allow. Our clients lose that and then some within 3-5  months and more afterwards which is more realistic.
  • THERE'S A REASON ITS CALLED COMMENCEMENT: Three days before high school graduation, my Psychology teacher, Mr. McRae, made a most profound statement to the entire class: "Commencement means to start or begin." Then he paused for effect then finished with "your lives will never be the same after graduation as you 'begin' a new life".  So as you renew your 'vow' to get better, look better and feel better remember its JUST  the beginning!...

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired
-Jules Renard

Sunday, December 25, 2011


SundayFeb 26 11a-1p 


Advanced training 
techniques/training combos

WHO:Open to the public. Anyone  wanting to improve, learn new training techniques,TOUGH MUDDER training,general training & conditioning

For more details go to older posts. No need to register.Just bring intense attitude!
Call 734.827.2744 or  

Friday, December 23, 2011

 How to prevent 5 of the most common injuries 
to young athletes and why they should train FIRST!
My greatest joy at being a professional trainer is training junior athletes. Our expertise is teaching new motor skills to these wide eyed future superstars! The most important of our jobs with this unique population is addressing not only improving agility, strength, and reaction times etc but increasing the reduction of injuries!
The rise in adolescent injury is in large part due to an increase sport involvement in kids of all ages;both boys and girls. Parents and coaches are to blame for not knowing or understanding the importance of preparation through prevention. Training and conditioning can begin as soon as 8 years old. The young athletes body is susceptible to certain injuries due to the lack of structural and muscle maturity. In short: their still growing! A well designed and calibrated training program can do wonders for improving confidence and overall performance!

Adolescent training requires a keen understanding of common injuries that occur at this age. Come back when I discuss the 5 most common injuries in young athletes and how to prevent them and what to do when you can't!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

COMING SOON In January 2012!!!

A class of a
Hard core training 
at its finest! 
This is a serious heavy lifting clinic being held one time a month and open to the public! If you are currently training at another facility we welcome you! If you need your training 'tweaked' or you THINK you know how to train-this is for YOU! This is NOT a class. This a place to learn and train from one of the most experienced and innovative trainers in the area! 
Check back for dates/times!!! 

'This is not for everybody.'

Sunday, December 11, 2011

really cool 'thrill seeker' type stuff!

I have gone trick flying,  bungee jumped from 130 feet and rock climbed.  I don't think I have the 'thrill seeker' gene; at least I don't think so. But I am drawn to 'breathtaking' endeavors I'd like to try; things that make my heart beat fast when I see it. I am taking up snow boarding this winter though, cause that Shaun White is a beast and I know how challenging it is! He makes it look easy(no 1/2 pipe 720's here!) but more importantly it looks fun! There are so many 'adrenaline dumping' things I would like to do. Some are down right frightening like getting in a shark cage so you can experience what I call the 'Jaws' affect and some no so, but look soooo cool to try that I though I'd share them with you all..

Saturday, December 10, 2011

about to see how tough I really am!
For years I have prepared athletes for competition. I have watched our clients excel and perform at levels THEY did n't think possible. The greatest feeling for me is to see such achievement. Well the time has come for me, Skip Bunton, founder of BSI to step up my game. I've spoken and trained many now its time for me to see what the field of competition is like after being away from it so long!

I have always been impressed at how our training inspires people to compete. As much as I love studying the science of performance, I myself have always wondered 'how good is our training?'. I mean athletes will tell us how much better they perform on the field of competition after a few months of TRAIN DIFFERENT! Well, I will find out for myself how good the training is on April 14 in Sandusky, OH and the famous TOUGH MUDDER!. A grueling 25 obstacle course that is approximately 12 miles long. The obstacles reminds me of my training environments I have designed over the 26 years in the business.

A client, who is a 'tough mother' himself, invited me and I jumped at the chance to train......myself and others who are a part of a team! Edie and Mark will be part of our team of course. And I invite other BSI clients to take this worthy field of battle since a portion of the enrollment fee goes to support our vets. Another reason I couldn't  say no.

So in closing I want to think all my clients past and present for inspiring me.  Yes. Even though I dish it out, and you all take it, I am absolutely awed by your 'true grit! Now my time has come..........

'Man the f@#k up!'
just about any dude

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yup.  There are actually stretches that don't work!
part 2 of 2

For a long time my staff and I have been teaching and lecturing the masses on more efficient methods of stretching. The problem is once you've done something a certain way you may find it hard to try a new something! In leadership we say 'you don't know you don't know it'. Remember when a stretch was suppose hurt? We were told and some are still being told that if you 'feel'  it then its working. Well the paradoxical question is what if you DON'T feel it? Then it must not be working.  Wrong!

The nerves that supply the muscle and tendon are designed to transmit volley of impulses that occur  within milliseconds. This is happening even as you read this. Those impulse increase in amplitude and speed when you engage in athletic endeavors. When a muscle is tight and the wrong stretch is applied those impulses will increase and can make the muscle even tighter! This is seen quite often in the classic 'butterfly', straight leg for the hamstring, and 'hanging' the heel off a step thinking this is a good way to stretch the calf(a great way to predispose you to Achilles tendinitis!)

So now I am really going to confuse you. There is much debate on static(holding) and dynamic(motion without holding) and which reduces injury better. Well neither reduces injuries better than the other, BUT dynamic is less offensive to the muscle and connective tissue. Also one other key advantage to dynamic stretching is it stimulates the nerve impulses in a functional way i.e. with normal joint ranges and planes of motion which the body is designed for. Basically, there is no need to get the muscle to exceed its normal length. It needs to simply work more efficiently. The best example of this is how hamstring injuries are mistreated. There are many 'limber'  runners with hamstring injuries because it gets treated as a 'tightness' so the thought is 'well it tears because its tight so I will stretch it more so it won't happen again'. But it does happen again. It happens because it is not a tightness issue but a timing nerve impulse issue. So if you can get the muscles to 'fire' at the right time in relationship to when the other muscles around it are firing, you can significantly reduce your chance of injury.

Next month we will release RETURN TO EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE which is a compilation of stretching techniques that are designed to improve mobility, muscle timing, stability and  replace and update your current stretching regiment. Stay tuned when I will provide video demonstrations of these very effective techniques!

'You can't hit a target you can't see, and you cannot see a target you do not have'
Zig Ziglar


Watch for upcoming trailer video!!
3 phases remain!
As promised a 'teaser' of training techniques at BSI! We pride ourselves on designing innovative, challenging and progressive training techniques. All our techniques are layered so as you get stronger we introduce another phase of the technique. So you never get bored or plateau!.... 

MFC2,My Favorite Combo Circuits..YOU DO NOT want to miss this!! Our innovation in motion!

are so pervasive in fitness/combat training/
sports performance/muscle toning/sports injury managementthat we will
show you how original our techniques are.
'NO WAY' you say? Just wait.............

BARBELL COMBOS...We have some challenging barbell combinations that are great for augmenting a 'stale' program. Wait till you see what we do with a barbell and a box!...

.......That was just a sample of how we do it! Stay tuned for in future blogs we share the latest in training & conditioning, sports performance, sports injury management and updated stretching techniques!!

'Better than an orgasm'
Arnold  Schwarznegger  in the classic body building documentary Pumping Iron when comparing 'it' to a really good muscle pump.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

why injuries still happen even though
you stretch
PART 1 of 2

STRETCHING does NOT prevent injuries. The RIGHT stretch reduces the risk of injuries and lessens the severity. Now, stretching has long been debated as a key element to preventing injuries. Well this just is not true. There is really no empirical evidence that stretching before or after an event or exercise prevents injury. Some athletes that compete can have long careers without any injury. These athletes either know how to periodize their training or they are 'playing' safe when it comes to competition. Whatever the case, what happens when all the stretching you do does not seem to work?

In my years in treating orthopedic injuries there is  a common pattern and theme that goes with most injuries: improper and dated stretching techniques. What a majority of athletes and weekend warriors don't know is what is 'happening' when you stretch. The goal of stretching is to improve joint range of motion. We can all agree on this basic premise. Now, when you stretch, the idea is to get all the muscles, ligaments and tendons ready to distribute the energy caused by high amplitude activities ie. running, jumping, direction change, etc. But the key is to get the tissue to 'creep' if the stretch is going to be affective.

When a tissue is stretched and sustained the goal is to create creep: the tissue actually proceeds to elongate to is 'normal' length or beyond its normal length (I will tell you why that's a bad idea) and it will hold that length to allow for a nice supple joint that can accommodate the stresses imposed upon it. Unfortunately, this does not last long, especially if you do not stretch consistently enough;this is the common error when I evaluate injuries. The next stage in stretching is deformation. This is the stage where the tissue is actually stretched beyond its normal tolerances. This is called tensile capacity. The reason this is not a good place to be because the joint can have TOO much mobility at the wrong time! And believe it or not more injuries happen in this range than not being flexible enough! A joint that is hypermobile (too flexible) adds increased loads on the restraint structures that go beyond tensile capacities.If you are still not convinced then observe muscle injuries in professional sports, and little league where coaches are teaching kids dated stretches. Its these restraint structures that protect us from injury.

There is much debate on stretching dynamic or sustained(holding for a given amount of time). The research is overwhelming and has been for quite awhile that dynamic stretching is superior. I have long felt not just from my studies but understanding how to manage sport related injuries, dynamic is far superior. Dynamic stretching before training is the preferred and highly recommended way to prepare the body for sport or any activity. I am in favor of sustained stretch AFTER training and even then I have my own that I recommend which will be featured in part two of this blog.....


Saturday, November 19, 2011

RUNNERS...I told you so!!!!
Performance declines without strength training

This blog will be brief: for years I have told runners that just running will NOT improve leg strength. A majority of lower extremity injuries sustained by runners of all levels are caused by a lack of power in the lower extremity. My years of clinical experience backed up by a dearth of research on the topic discovered years ago that runners need to add resistance training and other forms of specialized performance conditioning to prevent such injuries.

Well, again in  the JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING this month researchers at the University of Buffalo and the Universtiy of New Hamshire reiterated that strength training is crucial to prevent decrements in performance especially as we age. However, BSI has long promoted functional training and conditioning as far back as 1986!

Also mentioned in the article is the importance of stretching. We know this and you the runner know this but not all runners stretch let alone stretch properly! The key however, that I mentioned in my book RETURN TO EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE, is frequency!. Runners who suffer plantar fascitis, shin splints, piriformis 'like' syndrome  etc. are performing outdated stretching techniques. Even when shown our methods of proper stretching it is still not done as frequently as we prescribe!

Forming sustainable mobility requires that the tissue 'creeps' to tissue tolerances that can distribute energy when the foot hits the ground. This means that the goal of  stretching is to get the tissue to 'conform' by stretching within functional and biomechanical ranges. Often though, this is not done and injuries happen. Stretching REDUCES the risk and severity of an injury. Deciding to do these stretches AFTER you are hurt will have very little effect. Prevention is key. It's that simple...

Finally, I suggests that if you are a runner of any age:
  • Learn how to do exercises that will improve power
  • Learn how to properly do plyometerics
  • Do stretches frequently NOT when you start feeling pain. Stretching reduces the risk and severity of injury
If you are not a BSI client but want to learn how to stretch and train properly, contact us via and mention this article and receive $35 off a training package of 6 or more 1/2 hour sessions!!

'Take what you can use and let the rest go by'
-Ken kesey

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Train! Train! Train! Speed. Power. Quickness....Ouch!!

We are trained professionals in the science of sports performance and injury prevention. Sometimes things go wrong and injuries happen. It is no doubt that all sports has its own inherent quality to provoke an injury. From the muscle tear to the dreaded ACL tear, the body does have its limitations. My mentor put it bluntly when I did my first clinical internship many years ago while performing my first shoulder exam of a professional baseball player. He said: "Skip. The body is NOT made for sport!"I thought, 'how true.'

Injuries happen at all levels of competition no mater how 'talented' you are. The stress and frequency of training should increase as you become stronger. The amplitude, loads, intensity etc should all become more demanding BUT, this must be calibrated properly to reduce the risk of injury.    The bodies tissue i.e. ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscle have certain tensile capacities that breach or tear when training loads are chronically excessive.

Disease of excellence then are injuries that occur from intense demands on a complex movement system: the human body. When you watch sports that require quick decision making, speed, acceleration, deceleration, jumping, colliding, agility there are complex neurological relay systems that happen so fast its incomprehensible.  Muscles are firing at incredible speeds. Volitional responses occur within milliseconds.  But when it goes wrong you may "wonder how does a high level professional athlete let alone a little league, high school or college athlete get hurt?"  There are several factors that result in injury: 1. Poor or outdated training methodology, 2. Ignoring signs and symptoms, 3. Date injury management techniques, and 4. Lack of or no training periodization.

Poor or outdated training methodology.  Whether you know it or not, training and conditioning is a science. Often times it appears that all you are doing is just working hard with no real purpose besides sweating! However, our training program is designed to provide optimal intensity that will provoke a training stimulus to make you stronger and enhance calorie combustion. Unfortunately, their are armatures who think that training has not evolved at all and are still doing the same training methods done when they were in high school!  Little do they know that those dated techniques predispose them to injuries,  decrease in power output and the dreaded training plateau!

Ignoring signs and symptoms. I'm guilty of it too. You feel a little 'something' in the shoulder, ankle or knee but you brush it off as a training 'pain'. Then it gets worse. So what do you do? Stop the offending exercise until the pain goes away then with a logic that is truly dizzying you go BACK to the thing that hurt you in the first place!! This is the same guy/gal who is compelled by the body building or boot camp mentality that the pain is normal...Huh?! Look. Its not normal. Muscle soreness is normal. NOT pain that last more than two weeks! Such training programs need a serious overhaul, which is what we specialize in. When I evaluate an injury caused by training I always have the subject demonstrate 'their' technique. 99% of the time the technique is either flawed or out dated. Our training programs are challenging, innovative and progressive but never flawed or out dated. Like we  say with a grain of truth 'don't try this at home'!!

Dated injury management techniques. Epsom salts. Magnets. Oxygenated waters. The list is endless.   So are placebos! IF YOU BELIEVE IT WORKS, IT WILL WORK!! Nevertheless, it does not address the CAUSE!  We encourage our clients to inform us when they suffer what I like to call 'snags'(minor soft tissue injury) caused by a workout that was too aggressive. We simply 're-calibrate' the training session to promote recovery via specific rehab techniques that we design.  We have vast experience in the treatment, management and treatment of orthopedic sport related injuries. The key is managing the intensity and duration of the workload. But more importantly getting an accurate assessment of the problem before proceed to the point of no return!

No training periodization. Periodization simply means altering training frequency, duration and intensity throughout the year. Most don't do this and by combining all of the above scenarios this is a   'perfect storm' for an injury to occur. It is easy to periodize your training simply by adjusting variables that are in your control such as training days, active recovery and regulating training durations. We recommend that if you are involved in personal training and taking classes, it is a good idea to mix up the frequency of your training week. So if you train 4 days a week and take classes 2 days a week thats' 6 training days. We suggest you do what is called a two day split: Train 2 days in a row-REST third day-train another 2 days-REST for two days. If this sounds sacrilegious to YOU then this blog is for you!

Hopefully, this gives you insight on how to prevent injuries and still maintain a intense training environment.  Hey. Injuries will happen when you push your body to the limit. The key is knowing how to manage those injuries, prevent them in the first place and more importantly knowing when you need to upgrade your current training regiment.

"Muscles soreness is a side effect. Not an objective"
-Skip Bunton

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why combining Krill and Omega 3 is good for your joints...especially if you plan on training for a long time!!

We all have heard of the benefits of Omega 3 for its ability to provide a protective effect for maintaining healthy arteries but the new 'hotness' is Krill. Yes. The food of whales is now available for reducing the symptoms of OA osteoaarthritis.

Krill are among the most populous animal species on the planet. Tiny shrimp like crustaceans, found in the frigid waters of the Antarctic ocean . What makes Krill unique is its ability to help in reducing joint inflammation in combination with fish oil. Fish oil is great for maintaining healthy arteries by reducing inflammation caused by c-reactive proteins, and LDL ( bad cholesterol). However, unlike long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids from other animal sources, a high proportion of Krill oil fats are found in a form known as phospholipids which may help explain their unique function in joints.

OA is characterized by a degradation of the articular surfaces between the bone joints. OA can be painful and debilitating even when conventional drugs are used. Moreover, the key goal with these medicines is simply to reduce pain. Krill on the other hand in conjunction with fish oil is shown to have a significant improvement in reducing inflammation and pain by reducing the activity of C-reactive protein, a contributor to arthritic inflammation, by as much as 50%!

Another key factor in maintaining healthy cartilage is Hyaluaric Acid. This naturally occurring compound provides cushioning and joint lubrication found in all joints and is responsible in wound repair and regeneration. HA suppresses the damaging effects caused by enzymes that degrade the cartilage which leads to arthritis. HA can be taken orally but because of the size of the molecules this affects its bioavailability. This means that it is not readily absorbed from the intestine, thus dampening its healing effect on the damaged tissue. However, when combined with HA absorption is markedly improved.

Krill avidly consume algae. These algae contain axtaxanthin which is a powerful antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory agent and has long been studied for its inhibitory effects on reducing cartilage damage caused by destructive enzymes.

In summary

  • Krill oil reduces inflammation and infiltration into the joint thus reducing pain and cartilage damage.
  • Krill when combined with HA and astazathin combined with fish oil has shown significant reduction in pain in less than 3 months.

I would suggest trying Krill if you are already taking a fish oil supplement. If you are taking neither then it makes sense to give it a try. As always let your doctor know when you begin taking this combination. I recommend that if you have not begun to add fish oil to your healthy constitution you should!

*Sold at BSI

'Whatever you are. Be a good one'
-Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

part 2 of 2: Your feet look funny

I had the pleasure of training a couple of Kenyan runners for the last summer Olympics. Anyhow, they were asked to speak at a local running shoe store about their training in Kenya. Then it all came to a skreeching halt when this question was asked:' How do you run so long?' The Kenyans looked at here as if to think "that is a stupid question"! He went on to answer by saying it is 'our' mode of transportation. We ran everywhere and sometimes in bare feet....

Changing how the foot reacts to ground forces with shoes and then without shoes is a complex matter. Complex in the impact it can have throughout the foot and ankle;these are tremendous and should not be taken lightly. The muscles and ligaments in the foot are designed to tolerate, regulate and adapt to loads below and above the knee. In running, shoes alter or attenuate those loads via the interface(what is between foot and ground). When you remove the interface, interesting things happen. One of those is the recruitment patterns of the muscles in the foot change. This is called G.A.S. General adaptation Syndrome

GAS was a theory proposed by noted physiologists, Hans Selye, on the development of stressors on the human body. He divided this into 3 stages:

  1. ALARM STAGE-body recognizes and reacts to stressor
  2. RESISTANCE STAGE-body is able to adapt and handle stress w/out pathology developing
  3. EXHAUSTION STAGE-bodies defense system gets overwhelmed and adaptation no longer is possible.
The most common stage in sport is 3! Vibram shoe wearers start in stage 1 but eventually end up at 3. Now before I go on, there are some people who swear by them. Good for you. This is a small camp. However, the layman does not know any better and because they are not performing well, then it must be....THE SHOES! As I mentioned in part 1 not all foot types are appropriate for a Vibram type shoe. Simply put: buyer beware! If you are not having trouble with your running then DON'T CHANGE A THING! 

This is what you need to know:
  1. Vibram shoes are designed to improve forefoot strike
  2. There are some feet that have a navicular drop or flat foot that should not wear them
  3. Most runners eventually end up with stage 3 injuries.
  4. Buyer beware. 
  5. If you are running fine with the shoe you have, don't change it!

'Why you chasing me?!' 
'Why you running?!'
-detective chasing bad guy in To live and Die in LA..coolest movie

Sunday, October 30, 2011


 My son, Parker, once asked me some time ago 'why do runners look old in the face and neck but the legs look young?' I went on to explain the reason and the myth that runners STILL believe strength training will slow them down. I won't  go off script on how runners can build muscle to improve efficiency but I will explain to you why runners get that
 emaciated look in the face, chest and arms.

No matter what level of runner you are, casual or competitive, one thing that holds true is that you burn glycogen!: the fuel that provides muscle energy. Fat plays a role too, but in this scenario, glycogen is a key player. When you run, you burn glycogen and the next day the body is able to replenish its glycogen stores. It's called the glycogen overshoot phenomenon. But when the running program does not allow for recovery those glycogen stores get depleted. In fact, it takes about 3-4 days to totally deplete this warehouse of fuel.

So its your 4th consecutive day of running and the glycogen 'gas tank' is on 'E'; the muscles now are looking for another form of glycogen. So the body cleverly strips a couple of amino acids off a protein and 'ta daaa!!' you have a 'knock off'  glycogen!  And where do you think those amino acids are taken from? guessed it: the muscles of the face, chest, and arms!

If this sounds like you, the simple strategy is to give the body time to restore its glycogen by taking a day or two off from running.  And do some strength training. This even applies to when you are preparing for competition. Yes, fat burns when you run but it burns even 'hotter' when you add muscle resistance to your fitness program. ALL the runners that have come through BSI will attest to the benefits of proper strength and conditioning for improved running performance.

Below are some suggestions for maintaining performance muscle. I will share just two.

  • THE CLASSIC PUSH-UP. YES!  'Old'  form suggested you get the chest one fist away from floor. I am not in favor of this because it can irritate the front of the shoulder.
  1.  Just go down far enough that your shoulder does NOT go past the bend in your elbow.
  2.  HOW MANY?  5-10 reps for 2 sets. Increase the reps and sets as you get stronger.  if you have not done them in a while keep the reps low. You veterans should have a good idea of how many you can rep out!. You don't have to do them all the time, but be consistent. Set your own bench mark. Then hit that bench mark on a consistent basis and add accordingly.
  3.  ALTERNATIVE: Use the wall if you have issues getting up/down off the floor. Simply stand just far away from a wall so the body is approximately at a 45 degree angle. This works great using a stability ball also.
  • SITTING FLIES: This technique is an excellent technique for postural strength (which originates not just from abdominals but the pelvic muscle floor and entire back). 
  1. Grab two dumbbells. No more than 10 pounds. One for each hand. Sit on the floor. Legs crossed. Upper body at 45 degree angle;just leaning back enough to fell abs reflexively contract.
  2.  Take dumbbells and do the flies. Think of 'hugging'  a tree.   Chest should be up and out with elbows level with arm pits and elbows at 90 degree bend. Now move those weights toward each other.
  3.  HOW MANY? 5-10 reps for 2 sets. This is an excellent technique for postural stamina that runners lack. In fact, hamstring problems can stem from poor upper torso strength! We in fact treat the hamstring from the shoulders down! As you get stronger, challenge yourself by raising legs off floor.
Now you know why some runners look 'emaciated' and more importantly how to prevent it. Young runners especially can prevent this. I am still surprised though at the number of runners who don't use skin protection against the elements. There are so many good natural ones out there that can prevent damage and skin cancers. More importantly give yourself time to recover so the glycogen can replenish itself. 

Lets face it (no pun intended), we train because we like the positive side effects: It makes us look good! The feeling we get knowing we are prolonging our quality of life is an added bonus! So why not  manage the effects and rigors of running so we have a nice 'mug' to compliment that killer physique!?

"In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do"
-Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, October 28, 2011

part 1 of 2

VIBRAM sole running shoes are the newest craze and they are selling like hot cakes!!...Why? because they are touted as increasing the forefoot strike and improving the intrinsic muscles in the foot. For those of you just crawling out from under a rock, this running shoe is designed to give 'little piggy' its own home!;The toes are separated. The sole of the shoe is made of a durable rubber making the shoe flexible. Again the idea is to keep you running on your forefoot.

Running mechanics are complex and shoe companies for years have tried to make a shoe that provides the  greatest economy of energy return when the foot hits the ground; ground reaction is generated back through the foot up the leg providing greater propulsion. When the stride frequency increases, along with reduced stride length, you begin to move faster. As you do this the energy that is absorbed at the heel now gets transferred to the front or forefoot. There are many runners who have difficulty engaging this positon, thus the Vibram does this for you: 'trains'  you to land on the forefoot when you accelerate. Before I go on, I must emphasize that the running mechanic as described here in laymans terms. The study of biomechanics and the influences on muscle and return economy during running is way beyond the scope of this blog. It is described here in very basic terms to make a point on the Vibram.

Several years ago just as I was starting my business , there was talk of a Nike shoe called the 'Barefoot trainer' that was to get the runner close to running 'natural'(barefoot) as possible by reducing the amount of shoe sole. The thought is that this would increase the strength of the muscles/ligaments throughout the foot. Researchers for years have investigated ways to 'replicate' or 'duplicate' the efficiency of Kenyan runners. The Kenyans are known for their dominance in long distance events especially at Boston marathons where they always impress (with shoes on!)  The shoes were popular until people realized they did not have the 'right' type of foot for this shoe when there were reports of increased foot and lower leg discomfort. These people happily resorted back to the 'bulky' running shoe. In fact, Podiatry(foot and ankle doctors) Association spoke against such shoes due to the fact that shoe companies are preying on the ignorance of the public to not know whether they should be in a shoe like a barefoot trainer. Also, was the fact I mentioned earlier about  the lack of support at the arch and plantar fascia.

The arch of the foot is maintained by the plantar fascia and an arch that is created my several bones. One of the key bones is the navicular bone. Think about the center stone in the center of an arched bridge. If this center stone falls then runners fall into the brink. Anyhow, there are common foot formations that make this bone 'drop'  or what you call 'flat footed'. The technical term for this is pes planus and this makes for a very pliable foot, especially at toe-off during the propulsive stage of the run. The foot is supposed be rigid at this stage. When it isn't then there is increased tension on the ligaments of the foot especially at the plantar fascia, arch,  and as far up as the knee! Enter the Vibram shoe that does NOT account for this. Simply, a foot like I described SHOULD NOT be in this shoe!

PART 2: "That was a stupid question!"


This old blog was inspired by the number of athletes going through rehabilitation after ACL surgery. I am often called for second opinions on ACL outcomes. I know that athletes are scared, anxious, nervous to return to sport. I would be. So yes, it is in your head and those feelings and fears should be validated. If it is in your 'head' you are right. ALL matter of athletic performance starts in your head. If you can't see yourself excelling in 'your head' then you will surely fail. My experience with hundreds of these cases affirms this. My job, when I get a case, as aforementioned, is to talk to them MORE about what is in their head and less about the ACL. It has never failed me;though its never easy, they ultimately return to extraordinary performance. They seemed relieved or shocked that I am addressing, what is really a matter of confidence, to be able to play at optimal levels. It does not matter if you are a professional or not. That fear of optimal performance is ominipresent and THAT is all in your HEAD and very real.
Anyway, read on...

Several years ago I attended a leadership workshop called the LANDMARK FOURM. Intense and revealing approach to leadership. Former President Bill Clinton had taken the course some years before me. Anyhow, during day 3 we talked about PC, persistent complaints. We were told to write down our PC and share what we wrote with another (we did not know this in advance). We were told to read our complaint  over and over till the leadership 'coaches' said switch, where we then listen our partners PC.

After we stopped they wanted us to listen to a recording that would bring more clarity as too why we were doing this. We hear this cracking sound like an old dusty album playing. Then the sound of music that sounded like somehting from a nursery rhyme........It was 'OLD MACDONALD!

I got to admit I thought 'wtf!'- but wait for it, wait for it..............................................the coaches then said to us, after listening to the classic farmers lament,"'pigs oink, cows moo, the coaches said and "humans complain!!!"

So YEAH! IT IS ALL IN YOUR HEAD!! We set up obstacles, or PC's in our head as to why we are not getting results; we all got'em running in our head everyday. Whats' yours and is it keeping you from where you want to be?

"Why do people say "Grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding!" -Betty White

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Many of you, by now have heard of CrossFit. It was developed by Greg Glassman in 1995 when he used his training format on police, firefighters and SWAT team members in Santa Cruz, California and it has been building popularity ever since. He uses techniques that you are all familiar with, just in a timed manner with predetermined times, reps and sets. MENS HEALTH Novemeber 2011 issue does interesting article on CrossFit. Check it out 'INSIDE THE CULT OF CROSSFIT'

Those of you who train with me know how I feel about CF. Simply, I wished I had started BSF!  years ago back in the 80's when I was a competitive bodybuilder and clinical therapist. Nevertheless, instead of castigating the CF philosophy (Glassman has cleverly taken what we have been doing for decades and put a name on it. You simply know them as Circuits or what we call in the professional parlance 'metabolic circuits). Allow me to remind you or share with you the difference between BSI and CF. NOTE: This is NOT intended to be a critique. There are many true believers in CF just like there are true believers of BSI. The article in MENS HEALTH inspired me to detail what has made our training unique in the years I  started this business 26 years ago.

Lets begin.................

  • Original and customized training. CF applies the same format no matter what. So you got a bad shoulder, knee problems, etc. they would not know how to design a program, unless they got it online.
  •  We have Original Class formats that are intense and unpredictable. Think BREATHTAKERZ and REPS. 
  • We have been training using timed circuits since BSI inception for creating challenging training environments at all levels. CF promotes this as revolutionary. 
  • PUKING is not required or encouraged even though it can happen. For the record, this is the heart under stress! Puking is not an indication of how good a training program is. CF thinks so.
  • CF DOES sports performance/training and condition. We KNOW how. There is a HUGH difference.
  • We are NOT A CULT [see article above]
  • We train kids. They train kids like they train adults.
  • Their trainers are CF! Ours are educated in the field of sports performance and orthopedic assessment and rehab. BSI staff are certified by NASM, &USAT, we are educational providers for ACSM and NASM. Highest degrees earned in the field of human performance/sports injury management MS, and ATC. Combined staff experience: 53 yrs. The most current addition June 2011.
  • Certification does NOT denote competence. Even at my workshops, when I hand out certificates of completion, does NOT mean you are competent in the science of human performance and orthopedic assessment.   
  • CF training is pretty much the same...we know because we have seen it and have former CF clients
  • We don't intimidate by showing blood and bandages or puking clowns on IV (see article. I don't make this up. In fact, one local CF gym had a cat with one of those 'circle and cross bars' over it. Use your imagination.)
  • We teach multiple techniques using medicine balls, plates, barbells, chin up bars, cable tower, biomotor, kettlebells, mulitple plyometeric techniques, etc. CF uses the same format of training in ALL their gyms. The all look the same and follow the same formula. Very little creativity or variety.
  • We got Randy and Edie!!..where else can you get the real feel of fighting when Randy or Mark put on that vest....!! and if you've been to REPS then you know how Edie gets down. CF has the same format ALLLLLLL THEEEE TIMMMME!!!
  • What we have been teaching for years, CF is taking credit for science and training formulas established a long time ago.
  • ANDDDD...CF thinks there formula produces the fittest, but we have had their clients in our facility and they barely can finish a REPS, BREATHTAKERZ or classic BSI training! You, BSI client, just did not know who they were.  Even though they admit they liked it, said the training is different and more intense...[???}. We had the same challengers in Wyandotte who heard about our style of class during the spinning and Tae Bo craze. Remember that!? And they too never returned or could not finish. And these included instructors! 
  • Yes. There are hard techniques I DON'T teach to certain clients. Injury risk too high. With CF you are learning lifts where injury risks are high. At least if you get hurt at BSI we take you to the exam room, make an injury assessment and commence rehab by re-calibrating the training.
  • You all know anytime someone comes to class we warn them to take it easy, this is a very different class, with a different tempo: move at own pace. They don't listen though.......CF tries to intimidate and challenge BEFORE you even become a client! Makes me laugh- like they have the hardest training. They don't.
  • We welcome EVERYBODY;just look at our video testimonials. We pride ourselves on taking on ANYBODY no matter what their goals are.
  • CF tries to intimidate. I visited them incognito 5 years ago. My cover was that I was from out of town and looking for a training facility.... For more on what happened ask me at your next session!!
  • There is a CF gym in the area that was voted best gym in Detroit. Congratulations. Well deserved I'm sure.. Well, I was voted top 100 trainers in America by MENS JOURNAL 2 years in a row!!!!!!!!!!!... using MY OWN methods! I was honored to be on this list with some of the most popular and accomplished  trainers who have been published in juried journals and have spoken on the national level.

 I could go on. But why.? Glassman deserves to be congratulated on his success. The CF games are cool, but familiar; But don't stand on the shoulders of others who have been doing this for years and then claim it as 'the next new thing'. There is so much of this it's maddening. I often read where trainers will say they have 'the secret' to alter physiology. With the internet there are so many 'experts' who pontificate the benefits of their 'new way' of training. Training for weight loss or muscle gain is hard. Period. If you want to improve your ability to burn fat or gain muscle there must be a steady progression of multiple disciplines and techniques. Not doing so leads to plataues and injuries.  There is no magic bullet or 'new thing' out there. There is, for lack of a better word, a regurgitating of the significant research and results done by others.

In closing, I encourage you to go and try CF. What? You say. 'Skip,you just ranted on CF and now you want us to try them?!'. Yes. I KNOW we are the best. In fact, when clients have had to move due to job relocations they call to tell us that they have found a good training facility but nothing like BSI!   But its always good to have a reminder by visiting other trainers. Our former clients Downriver found this out when we left.   My staff understands our mission to be beyond the best. We are always working to bring you different training formats and techniques.

I have taken on challenges before because I know I deliver an original and superior product.  I TRAIN THE TRAINERS and have been doing so since 1984! when my methods were seen as too aggressive and too different. I was castigated in an editorial for my training methods and won an award for the same article! So bring it on! I'm still here...

Oh. One more thing. CF has some good elements to it, but it's not original or the hardest, just well marketed.

Skip Bunton
Director of Operations
Body Specs

Sunday, October 23, 2011


AT BSI we, of course, stress the 'warm-up' before we start our training. IF you are not a client, our training is multifaceted; meaning the sessions involve multiple stations of power, coordination and stamina demands This is how I have been training clients for the past 28 years. Our warm up, like our training is functional based. This is based on my years in the treatment, assessment and management of sport related injuries. Besides the 'loosening' up feeling you get from warming up, did you know there are interesting things happening in the blood and to the nervous system when you do this? Check it out

You ever wonder why you get winded the first few moments of a work out? Most likely because you did not warm up! The blood contains, fat, plasma, red cells, white cells, natural killer cells, sugars  etc; it is an impressive concoction that it is truly  awesome when you consider the function of each blood component. Anyhow, there is what is called hemoglobin, (HG) that circulates in the blood. The HG carries oxygen, (O2) throughout the blood stream. Now this is where the warm up gets interesting: When you begin to do the, treadmill, Versa climber, Xbike, jump rope, etc the HG 'gives up' its O2 so it, the O2, can get shuttled to the muscle where it gets used to prepare the muscle for the intense work ahead.  If the HG does not give up its O2 then there is no oxygenated blood for the muscle and you feel yourself breathing harder than normal. When you jump right into an activity the muscles are actually 'starved' of O2 because the muscles have not warmed up enough.  

Another interesting thing happens in the muscles during a warm up. The nervous system sends volley of impulses to [afferent] and away [efferent] from the brain all day. When you begin to warm up, these impulses speed up and andrenaline begins to flow, the muscle and bone joint nerve endings prepare to distribute loads that are then transmitted to the tendon which is attached to bone then the session begins!Of course I have simplified things a bit, but basically that is what is happening. So if you want to reduce your risk of injury: WARM UP THE BSI WAY!!!!!

Perhaps the most important feature of a warmed up muscle is its capacity to burn fat more efficiently than a cold muscle. Fat is released during stress. The stress of sudden intense exercises deluges the blood stream with fatty acids. A cold muscle won't 'burn' the fat and therefore that fat ends up in places it is not wanted: the arteries!

So in summary, just know a warm-up is important because:

  • Provides O2 to muscle 
  • Enhances coordination
  • Reduces risk of injury 
  • Speeds up combustion of fatty acids and glucose

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MENS JOURNAL did an informative piece on 'Superfoods'. The subtitle was 'can exotic foods from places with less disease and obesity make Americans healthy and thin too'. I will highlight some of them in upcoming blogs. Here are a few of my favorites that you may already familiar with:


My staff trainer Joan has been drinking this before it was popular. My wife, superwomen, KYLE, RD introduced me to the actual fruit in the early nineties(highly recommend it. (when you get it roll it so you here the 'pop' of the seeds as they release the juice. Then pierce the skin and squeeze the juice into your mouth. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!).

  • Claims to improve circulation, reduce high cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Dense in Vitamin C, K and folate and fiber
  • Try POM JUICE. Found in produce section. 
  • Seeds are good but will need to eat a bunch to get benefit. Drink it instead.
Some of you know how much I love the Monavie product with the key ingredient being the Acai berry. I especially love the energy drink which we carry. The bottled product that looks like a wine bottle is dense with fiber and other exotic high fiber fruit., but there are other less expensive alternatives...
  • Rich anti-oxidants but no more than mangoes, grapes or strawberries. 
  • Found to kill cancer cells in test tubes...which is also true of other berries
  • Does not transport well so won't find fresh berries in the US. Many juice blends but most have too much sugar
  • Use frozen unsweetened pulp, like those from Sambazon 


My suggestion is common sense: eat close to the real thing as possible. There are many other 'superfoods' like:

  •  Greek yogurt, (Kyle says get FAGE, pronounced fa-yeh great protein content),
  •  Oatmeal (not the prepackage kind, but the REAL oats you have to boil then add blueberries and a bit of Fage yogurt!),
  •  Salmon. if you don't like fish take Omega 3 in pill form. Krill pills (yes, Whale food!) are also available. . On the horizon are Chia seeds that have unique effect of producing a viscous gel in the stomach that may trigger fullness and satiety.
  • Walnuts are also rich in healthy can put these in your oatmeal!
  • Kale. Spinach (it was good enough for Popeye!)