Push ups

There isn’t a decent  home or gym routine that doesn’t have push ups in. Many strong men of old insisted on them daily, getting clients to progress from floor pushups to between chairs to get that extra range of motion.

In my “Andrew Stemler  Fit  at Home” regime,  I say, Do them everyday . Make them a daily habit.

Teeth Grinding

If you grind your teeth, you are probably pretty screwed.

Once you work through people trying to sell you shit stuff and quacks offering naturalistic   potions, blessed by saints,  you probably need to read “ current treatments of Bruxism” by Guaitia and Hogl.  Read it here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4761372/

Here is the conclusion

“In the absence of a causal treatment, the management of bruxism focuses to prevent progression of dental wear, reduce teeth grinding sounds, and improve muscle discomfort and mandibular dysfunction in the most severe cases.

Counselling and behavioral strategies, splint therapy, medications, and contingent electrical stimulation have shown heterogeneous results in resolving the EMG events associated with sleep bruxism, and most of the RCT did not evaluate the effects on other symptoms such as pain or tooth wear progression. Long-term studies with a wide severity spectrum of sleep bruxism patients, and comparing the effect of different treatments should be performed to elucidate the importance of each intervention in the resolution of the signs and symptoms commonly referred by the patients. The choice of not treating bruxism must also be further explored, at least in asymptomatic patients with only mild dental wear. Even more must be done to successfully treat awake bruxism, in which RCTs are still lacking”

Or read  my executive summary.

Fuck

However, as it says , its  “still reasonable to recommend good sleep hygiene in clinical practice, especially considering that alcohol, tobacco, and coffee consumption are risk factors for sleep bruxism  and that sensitivity to stress is commonly reported by the patients”

The good news is there is a Bruxism Association. They  basically, want to shove stuff in your mouth

http://www.bruxism.org.uk/how-can-i-stop-grinding-my-teeth.php

I think it exists more to support dentists, but it could be rallying support to promote further research

More good news could be that the Bruxism association supports  feel good happy solutions.  “ General relaxation techniques including meditation are supposed to produce a sense of self-esteem and control over one’s body”. The draw back , however, for anyone with even the vaguest grip on reality is  “there is no current literature regarding the efficacy of this holistic approach to the management of bruxism”

That said  I suspect I have to join in and say, cut down the drugs, try and de-stress and meditate a bit . And yes, I  can taste sick in my mouth for saying that.

 

BTW: my name is Andrew Stemler and I’m an East London personal trainer and massage therapist. You can book me by emailing me  Andrew@crossfitlondonuk.com

Fall in love with a concept 2

There are lots of things you can do in fitness . One interesting target is to fall in love with a concept 2 rowing machine . Getting a fast 2k is the ideal , but disgusting, mix of aerobic and anaerobic capacity . People who row fast and well look like people who row fast and well .

Keep an eye on this blog as we discuss proper rowing technique and interesting capacity building workouts .

Btw my name is Andrew Stemler and I’m a personal trainer based in Bethnal Green E2

If you do not have any pull ups, no one will want to marry you

Once you have a few pull ups, its ‘easy’ to keep adding to them. The real hard one is  getting that 1st pull up. I’ve struggled for 3 months to post a genuine article about getting your first pull up. This is my first public draft.

I hope it helps.

If you have no pull ups, here are some essential things you must do:

      1. Get a pull up bar at home. I’d say this won’t guarantee success, but not having one at home will guarantee failure. Do not rely on getting to the gym, or to us for that matter. Also it’s a private matter between you and the bar: basically you have bar “issues” and sometimes its best to deal with “issues” in private. This  pull up bar is often recommended  JML Iron Total Gym Upper Body Workout Bar
      2. Understand that a pull up is not a rubbishy exercise like all those silly piltates wiggles and squirms that you do. Pull-ups are a predictive happiness test. If you have no pulls ups (and this is especially true of ladies) no-one of quality will want to marry you. If you refuse to get that first pull up, stop reading this and go and get some cats. That’s all you will be good for.
      3. . Look honestly at your weight. Pull-ups will be harder to get if you are over-weight. That does not mean you wait until you are the “right weight”. Get going now. It will be harder, but as I often say: “you ate it, now hump it”.

(If you are overweight don’t set yourself the task of losing a few pounds before you do anything; start living your life now. If you are overweight, and are miserable because you are lonely and boyfriendless/ girlfriendless/ loverless, put your details up on the raunchiest BBW site that your morality can stand, and hold on to your hat! Big girls and boys are always in demand. You can only lose weight if you are happy. Fending off would-be lovers with a stick is  a very practical and measurable marker of happiness. Sitting at home feeling fat and ugly, makes you fat and ugly.  Sorry, that not really about pull ups is it.)

Let us begin…

  • Objective 1: can you hang from the bar with your palms facing towards you (for those in the know, this is the ‘chin-up’ grip that’s a bit easier to begin with)?
  • Objective 2: can you hang a bit longer?
  • Objective 3: can you hang a bit longer than objective 2? (can you see where this is going?)

To save a lot of time, can you get to hang on your bar for 10 seconds? When you can, shout “woohoo” (loudly so as to annoy your neighbours) and start on working out how to do your first negative.

Your first what?

Well in highly technical terms, right, there’s the pulling up bit (right?) and then there’s the lowering bit.

Innit?

At the moment you are not strong enough to do the pulling up bit, like, but if you were kind of already up there, maybe you could, er, lower yourself down a bit?

Alright!

Does sort of rather beg the question of “how do i get up there?”…

Well here is the Andrew Stemler “Getting it up guide” (apparently this is a good title that always sells):

      1. Jumping. Grab the pull up bar but instead of trying to pull yourself up, jump up so that your chin is above the bar. This can be easier said than done
      2. By standing on something. Just stand on something that is high enough for you to start out in that already-pulled-up position. A bench, a chair, whatever. Anything you can use as a mini-ladder would be perfect. Perhaps even a mini-ladder?
      3. Stand on something “version 2”.  Grab the bar and make your loser boy- or girlfriend  (perhaps the one you got from the BBW site) grab your ass and push you up

Now, once you’re in that top position, you’re ready to do the negative part of the pull-up. So, lower yourself down as slow and controlled as you possibly can. Focus on keeping really tight. I don’t mean “refuse to lend people money or get drunk”, I mean “have lots of tension in your body”. Squeeze (your own) bottom together. Brace your abs, squeeze your legs together.

Your first lower (we will call it negatives from now on) will either be agonisingly slow and hurt like hell, or you will fall straight through as you discover you have no strength at all.

Once you have lowered yourself, pop off the bar and reflect. Negatives are very taxing. You need rest between each one and you should never do more than 6 to 8 in a session.

So here is you beginner “CHIN-UPS FOR HAPPINESS” programme

Day  1: neg, neg, neg, neg, neg ( 120 secs rest between each negative)

Rest a day ( drink, eat cake, take all sorts of drugs. Smoking is especially good for you these days as it gets you out in the fresh air

Day 2: neg, neg, neg, neg, neg (90secs rest between each negative) It’s the same but with less rest!

Rest a day (put your own joke in!)

Day 3: neg, neg, neg, neg, neg (120 secs between each negative)

Rest one day

Day 4: The next workout needs you to get that loser boyfriend/girlfriend again. Basically they are going to try and help you pull yourself up and down. They get behind you, grab you…somewhere….(experiment) then they assist you to do….three sets of as many reps  as you can with 120 seconds between. So they grab you, and haul you up and down as many times as you can. Could be 1, you could do 2 or 6. The set is over when they cannot push you anymore, not when you feel like it. You will want to stop early as it feels as it you are not doing the work: in fact it’s mainly you.

Rest 120 seconds. Do it again 2 more times.

It’s my way of getting your body to see what the actual task is. No, a lat pull down machine is not a good substitution.

But, what if you cannot get anyone to help you? Well thats beyond this article: but ideas could be to go next door and bug your neighbour, call up your ex-wife. Perhaps the guy selling the Big Issue fancies a couple of quid extra. Get creative, and find someone. Join a religious group and offer to host a scripture reading and slip your set in before you start as “movement prayer”

Rest 2 days.

Day 5: neg, neg, neg,neg, neg (90 secs rest)

Rest 2 days.

Now it’s the big test. Get someone to help you do 1-2 easy, supported reps. Rest for 2 minutes. Then do your 1 chin-up (woohoo!) or hang there trying for a full 7 seconds. Then with 120 seconds rest neg, neg, neg.

If you get that pull up come and talk to us about getting more. If not return to the beginning and start again. If you are very weak it could take many passes through to get your first pull up. But this regime works.

Feel free to suggest improvements or funnier/ruder quips to comments.

 

My Name is Andrew Stemler and I’m a personal trainer in London

Back Pain: Cure your back with the Sorensen test

“The race has always been on to firstly predict,  then inoculate against,  back pain. A test known as the “Sorensen test” based on the work of Hansen in 1964, has been popular since 1984.

According to Demoulin et al 2006  ”The test consists in measuring the amount of time a person can hold the unsupported upper body in a horizontal prone position with the lower body fixed to the examining table”

The test is accepted in its discriminative validity, reproducibility, and safety. However debate continues to surround its ability to predict low back pain. No firm explanation, beyond “women rock” , has been offered as to why “chicks” can hold it longer than guys.

Naturally motivation and discomfort tolerance are confounding factors.

A interesting review is available in PDF form at Isometric back Extension tests: a Review of Literature Maureau et al Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 24 • Number  2001, But in essence,this report says this….(yawn….)

For men, the mean endurance time is 84 to 195 seconds; for women, it is 142 to 220.4 seconds. For subjects with LBP, the mean endurance time range is 39.55 to 54.5 seconds in mixed-sex groups 80 to 194 seconds for men, and 146 to 227 seconds for women” whether thats remotely useful lm not sure, but if you suffer or are prone to lower back pain, (you tend to know by your appalling posture), im going to suggest you move this figure up.

References
Demoulin C, Vanderthommen M, Duysens C, Crielaard JM.  2006.  Spinal muscle evaluation using the Sorensen test: a critical appraisal of the literature. Joint Bone Spine. 2006 Jan;73(1):43-50.”

 

My name is Andrew Stemler.  Im a london personal trainer working in Bethnal Green E2 and the City of London

Bread: Lectins, Goo, Mucin, secretory IgA.3,4. and a big dose of spin

I have no idea if bread is evil. I know that I love it, and that my life without it is a misery. I do know the “vegetable lobby” is dead against bread. I thought it was because of the effect on the  Gylceymic Index (oh those happy early fitness instructor days).

As a hypertensive, I’m suspicious of bread because of  its excessive salt content: but there is, increasingly, lower salt bread available, and as I discovered in later life, I could always eat a slice a day, rather than the  loaf recommended by the state registered dietician  ( who knew!)

But apparently, its  Lectins, not Carbs are the real evil. Lets get skilled up and learn what lectins are. have a look at this article

http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

So lectins are wolves in sheeps clothing, they sneak up on (gut ) cells, pretending to be , well sheep presumably, then they stick a dust buster into the cell wall, meaning it wants to hoover up every bit of sugar going ( so, a wolf, with a vaccum cleaner, disguised as a sheep in your intestines…..) .

So, every loaf of bread does that to every  intestine cell? ( Its, just that that’s a lot of wolves….)

No!

“Glucosamine is specific for wheat lectin and it is this specificity that may protect the gut and cartilage from cell inflammation and destruction in wheat (or gluten) responsive arthritis”

Doesn’t that mean that if you have Glucosamine, you are ok, and can eat bread?

But certainly many people tolerate these foods — why?

The answer lies in the balance of gut flora and a person’s immune system.  When you have adequate “beneficial flora” ( oooh, I sense a TV Advert) , it serves as a protective barrier against substances that travel through the intestines, including lectins.

But importantly, beneficial flora are needed to keep the production going in the intestines of two lectin-protective substances, mucin and secretory IgA.3,4.

Mucin, like lectin, is a “glycoprotein” ( use this word at parties) in the mucus lining of the intestines.  When lectins travel through the intestines, they should have mucin to bind to, rather than intestinal cells.  But if mucin is missing, lectins will bind to intestinal cells instead.  Secretory IgA also binds to lectins, preventing them from causing damage. (Buts JP, et al. Digestive Disease and Sciences. Feb 1990. 35(2): 251-56.)

According to  Cordian et al “the interaction of dietary lectins with enterocytes and lymphocytes facilitates the translocation( this is bad)  of both dietary and gut-derived bacterial antigens to peripheral tissues, which in turn causes persistent peripheral antigenic stimulation. In genetically susceptible individuals, this antigenic stimulation may ultimately result in the expression of overt  rheumatoid arthritis” (British Journal of Nutrition British Journal of Nutrition (2000), 83: 207-217 Cordain et al)

This is a useful source as it  reminds us that there are lots of things in your gut that you don’t want in you, which is why some stuff passes through us, others get “slimed”, and, more importantly,  that’s why you have a gut.

But it can break down in 3 circumstances

(1) disruption of ecological equilibrium which allows intestinal bacterial overgrowth,

(2) deficiencies in host immune defences, and

(3) increased permeability of the intestinal barrier (Berg, 1992).

Failure of intestinal barrier function resulting in the systemic spread of gut-associated bacteria has been termed bacterial translocation( I actually like this word and want to use it more at parties).

This is why, apparently,  its important to take some nice live yogurt every so often, if you are a pisshead/ fast food eater, every few days would be a good idea. Don’t fall foul of marketing. Food companies are still  the deceitful fuckers they always have been, so most probiotic yogurt is just a liquid sweet.  An interesting observation  comes from another blog writer  (http://www.good.is/post/is-yogurt-really-that-good-for-you/)

“The only problem: Some so-called probiotic bacteria don’t contain strains medically recognized as beneficial. As one expert told Tara Pope Parker, “To say a product contains Lactobacillus is like saying you’re bringing George Clooney to a party. It may be the actor, or it may be an 85-year-old guy from Atlanta who just happens to be named George Clooney.”

So just be careful, treat bread with suspicion( there’s still an addictive sugar rush, and you may be one of the unlucky ones), and eat a bit of live yogurt ( the plain boring stuff). Above all,  be conscious of the motivations of  the diet advisor. I know of  diet experts who fess up to being x vegetarians ( presumably fanatically so) and now all they can see is their mums arthritis, and they set out on a misguided mission to “save everyone” even those that don’t  need it. Mind you, if I knew someone had auto-immune issues, I’d suggest they knock out bread as a trial (but they need to have the auto-immune disease).

I was also surprised to learn that, allegedly, if you have dairy issues, its worth trying yogurt as its already partially digested and easily  available to your body.

Still, I think the real warnings are, “everything in moderation”. Notice patterns , because you could be one of those people who cannot take bread. Act on the info.  But also watch the “religious nutters” I’ve read loads of times about lectins. No one ever added the bit about how the body deals with them.

So that’s a bit “spun” isn’t it boys and girls

Any way, My name is Andrew Stemler, I work in London as a personal trainer and can be found in Bethnal Green E2  or the City of London

Diagnosing my round-off issues

Here is the grim truth. Apart from my lunge problems, I have a “where my hands go” problem. Green is where my hands should be, blue is where they go.

So 1st port of call when fixing your round off is to draw around your feet and try a round off with your hands covered in chalk.

It gives you grim feedback. If your ego can cope!

You can then take a video clip and watch the disaster in “SLOMO”

This, is surely, partly to do with shoulder flexibility

So here is how to begin to fix it.

1) Position specific work

hold the position against the wall
IMG_1631

Try this yoga type exercise
IMG_1634

2) generic Shoulder flexibility work

I’ll add a link once Ive finished the video