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Sunday, August 23, 2015

(Circa 2011.This is one of my fave blog on the 'warm up'. Quite frankly MANY of you don't do it or spend enough time doing it. ) 
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 (We are NOT a crossfit gym). This is how I have been training clients for the past 26 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?

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 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 adrenaline 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

Monday, August 3, 2015


Sleep is an underrated training 'technique'. It is even more important in athletics. Unfortunately, I have seen more of our athletes showing signs of limited sleep. These signs can be in the form of annoying soft tissue injuries, decreased performance, moodiness, and the athlete will complain of  "always feeling tired".

Athletes who DO NOT get enough sleep, especially the night of learning a new skill, will not process that new skill into the proper category where the brain holds that information. Dr. Czeisler, from the Harvard Medical school and  noted sleep specialist for many professional sports teams explains it this way: "We repeatedly go through 90-120 cycles of sleep. Within those cycles there are two main types of sleep: deep and rapid-eye.movement or REM. At first the cycles are dominated by deep sleep, as our brains drain toxins that have built up throughout the day. The brain also flushes out excess synapses-the connection between neurons that form during waking hours. In the process, the brain consolidates memories and rebuilds energy stores. As the night goes on, the balance shifts with more active REM dominating the final cycles. Most of the dreams we remember occur during REM. Solidifying knowledge requires both REM and deep sleep. The first aspect, which happens during deep sleep is basically a rehearsal : The brain files away the facts , practices the moves learned that day. The second part is integrating those facts and lessons into existing knowledge. This happens during REM."

Czeisler goes on to say that not getting enough sleep affects learning and memory:"The old school approach of toughing it out is completely bogus, not to mention counterproductive" This reinforces my stance on sleep and optimal performance.  In fact, Czeisler advised the team physician for the  2011 Stanley Cup Bruins to cancel a 1030am practice prior the 5:00pm puck drop the same day. It was game 7 of the finals. The team took a nap instead. The rest is history.

So if you are feeling that you are not getting enough sleep then you may want to take heed! If you think its not important take a look at the amount sleep professional athletes rely on to maintain peak performance :

(good night)