The epidemic of over-stretching

Back in my days as a nightclub bouncer, I went on a date with one of the club’s female security guards.

She was petite, very pretty, and several years younger.

Apart from realizing we had different interests, the conversation went smoothly, and we had a fun time.

The highlight of the date – which I’ll never forget – is when she pulled a knife on me.

No, not literally.

But once we’d established a bit of a comfort level, she removed a rather large switchblade from her pocket, explaining how she’d carried this concealed weapon on our date in case I’d “try something.”

Heh.

Girl’s got hutzpah.

I like a woman who knows not to let a man get out of line.

(In fact, I’m married to one.  Not the knife-brandisher.  That ended at the implied threat of mutilation.)

In fairness, she don’t know The Conz like you do.

In the part of town she’s from (let’s call it the wrong side of the tracks), you learned to protect yourself.  And when you’re used to men whose idea of small talk is many less-than-creative variations on how they’d like to *tap that* – those instincts get placed on overdrive.

It’s natural to want a little insurance.

That’s kinda how I view my stretching program.

Like routine maintenance for your car, good mobility ensures you get a lot more mileage out your body.

Here’s why: if you’ve got some faulty biomechanics, you’re fighting against yourself every time you work out, play sports…or move.  Not only does fluidity make everything you do seem easier, but it’s a great knife-in-yer-pocket against injuries.

However, flexibility is widely misunderstood and incorrectly prescribed.

In fact, the way I sees it…most people are over-stretching.

Traditional stretching says you relax into position where the muscle being stretched is the longest – then try to go further.  In some cases, you may have someone else assist you to elongate the muscle even more, while you remain passive.  Not only is this likely to cause injury, but it does little to improve your USABLE range of motion (beyond making you temporarily feel loose).

If you want the strength, mobility and injury-proofing stretching can deliver, you need to focus on expanding the range of motion (ROM) in which your muscles can still contract.  The broader your usable ROM, the more invincible you are.

That means you’ve got to actively resist the stretch!

And the more you’re able to resist, the bigger the gains in flexibility.

I know it sounds weird, but it’s a game-changer.

It saved my lifting career.

Before you “knife-up”, keep in mind it’s a dangerous weapon – especially to one who knows not yet how to wield its power…

It takes specialized coaching to unlock the mysteries of an effective stretching program.

That’s why, next Thursday onlyJuly 21st – I’ve opened up a few spots for 30-minute stretching sessions.

Call me at (416) 826-4844 if you’d like to partake.

I usually reveal these techniques only as part of my larger ticket 16-week programs.

So it’s a rare chance to pick up some valuable tips, reduce pain, and move better…without any long-term commitment.

Either way, let this charming tale be a warning to you.

Neglect your mobility at your own peril.

Or at least opt for some pepper-spray.

Happy Knife-Wielding,

Conor Kelly

Try this unusual health tip

You heard it straight from the horse’s mouth…

Researchers at the University of Michigan reported that older people who were followed for five years reduced their risk of dying by 60% simply by being helpful to friends, neighbors, or relatives.  The ones receiving the help, however, didn’t alter their death risk at all.

Whether you think I’m the horse, or the scientists are, either way the mouth speaketh an interesting truth…

Doing good deeds has health benefits.

Maybe kindness is its own reward.  Maybe it’s good to feel useful.  Maybe giving induces the warm and fuzzies, which in turn support wellbeing.  Maybe keeping active when doing things for someone is the secret to superior coffin-dodging.  Whatever the reason, there’s a clear connection between longevity and helping others.

One of the best cures for negative emotion is performing a selfless act.

So do something nice for someone today.

And remember ye the flipside: when you accept another person’s help, you’re giving THEM an opportunity to be healthier.

Giddyup.

Happy Helping,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  In the spirit of today’s message, if there’s anything I can do to help you – let me know in the comments.  It would be my pleasure…and I’ll live longer.

P.P.S.  Just noticed there are exactly 3 spots left for my Lean for Life talk tonight in Liberty Village (6.30PM), so if you haven’t registered yet, come by.  You’d love it.  The deets:

=>Click here for details.

The mirror-selfie & the end of civilization

Meet Lazar Angelov.

He’s Facebook’s premier Bulgarian fitness model/personal trainer.  I’ve never met him, but he does train at the same gym I sometimes frequent when I’m in Sofia.

In *Fakebook* terms, his following is HUGE.

His marketing basically consists of posting wax ‘n tan shirtless pics of himself in various not-so-creative locales.   This daily *ab-check* garners hundreds of thousands of likes, and thousands of comments.

(Isn’t that one of the signs of the apocalypse?)

Besides foreshadowing our impending doom as a species, it’s a pretty good racket.

He’s got a great physique and a photogenic look – he’s a real prize poodle — and that’s all it took for him to build a fan base which he can besiege with his online programs.

So one day I thought, “I can do that,” and decided I’d try my own ab-domination routine.

‘Twas a mere two mirror-selfies later that I elected to scrap the idea.

Why?

It just ain’t me.

The Conz don’t play that.

Heck, I never even wear tank-tops in public.

So instead I recommitted to doing it like Sinatra, my way, by flexing my fingers against the keyboard of my laptop.  And aren’t you glad I do…

(No one really wants to see gym change room selfies anyway – unless you’re 1. a Jersey Shore reject, 2. a major creeper, or 3. Mark Zuckerberg…see #2).

Not hashing Lazar’s gig.  It works for him.  And the audience he appeals to would rather watch his body talk than read his emails – which I can vouch for…I’ve read his emails.

The point is there’s a lot to be said for authenticity in advertising.

Most of the clients I serve are not looking to do anything Lazar-like with their bodies.  They’re interested in health, feeling strong, and minimizing injuries.  Sure they want to improve how they look, but lifting their t-shirts to reveal a chiseled six-pack isn’t high on their list of priorities.

Yet many trainers are still trying to subject their clients to the standard hyper-strict pre-contest diet and high-flying workouts that Lazar groupies may want, but make absolutely no freakin’ sense for an executive mother of two, who’s caring for an ailing parent, and has a history of back issues!

Meet the client where they are now.

It’s at this crossroads that life-changing benefits are possible.

For time-saving strategies to help you burn fat, fit your clothes better, and boost your energy, without unrealistic diet and workout regimens, call me at (416) 826-4844 or reply to this email for your complimentary personal training consultation.

I only have one rule…

No mirror-selfies allowed.

Happy Transforming,

Conor Kelly

Should you lift heavy weights if you’re older?

A few weeks ago I celebrated Easter in the traditional way – by drinking Tequila, and smoking Cuban cigars with my Irish Dad.

As the aromatic tendrils of cigar smoke swirled about us, he let fly a bombshell of epic proportions.

It turns out my Grandmother’s paternal Grandfather was English.

After some not-so-quick math I realized this makes me one sixteenth English.

Blimey.

(As one client, also of Irish descent put it, “I’m sorry to hear that.”)

All those years of obsessively watching The Black Adder and Fawlty Towers suddenly make sense!

The upshot is I can now legitimately add British insults to my already formidable arsenal of putdowns.  And according to Anglotopia.net, it’s scientifically proven that any insult is 100x better when spoken with a British accent.  The website lists classics like twit, wanker, and lazy sod, as well as lesser known beauts such as trollop (a lady of questionable morals), and my personal favorite, Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys (The French).

While the kettle boils for me tea and crumpets, let’s dig into today’s content, shall we?

A client reports:

“I’ve had two people this week tell me ‘you shouldn’t use heavy weights if you’re older.’”

First, let me point out that the client in question is strong, lean and fit-looking, and you’d have to be daft as a bush – crazy – or a complete tosser to criticize his health habits.

Second, older is broad.  What does that mean?  For our purposes I’m gonna say *over 50*.   (I’ve gotta draw the line somewhere.  Don’t get your knickers in a bunch.)

Third, heavy compared to what?

I’d never suggest anyone, regardless of age, lift beyond what they can achieve with good form.

But, other things being equal,  I’ll sing the sweet praises of  progressive resistance training (done correctly) until the cows come home.  That’s because there’s a whole lotta legit science certifying the benefits of heavy-for-you lifting as we get older.

It maintains hormone levels, bone density – even cognition and memory.  It lowers bodyfat, and prevents most forms of degenerative disease.  It combats inflammation responsible for achy joints, chronic fatigue and depression.  And strength holds everything together, allowing you to move the way you want to and minimize injuries.

One of the world’s leading anti-aging experts, Dr. Michael Colgan, regularly trains with near max weights.  He’s 77, 10% bodyfat, and does one-arm pushups on stage at speaking engagements!  Jack Lalanne was known to pump iron on the daily until he died at 96.

Even big Hollywood stars are in on the action.  Clint Eastwood could chest press 100 pound dumbbells for 12 reps at age 75!

In fact, research indicates that you can’t get the same results with cardio or light weights.

That’s because they’re less effective in building muscle, which you MUST do in order to accomplish all of the above.  We lose on average a quarter of our lean muscle between the ages of 20 and 80.  It’s a BIG factor in the waning vitality that comes with age – if we accept it.

So don’t accept it.

Hit the weight room with enthusiasm.

And the next time some twit suggests you take it easy, you have my permission to tell him to *bugger off*, that he’s *mad as a bag of ferrets*, or *not batting on a full wicket*.

Then go back to the squat rack and bang out your next heavy set – for the Queen’s sake – and don’t be a lazy sod like those cheese eating surrender monkeys.

Anybody who disagrees with me has lost the bloody plot.

If you’d like to maintain vibrant health with advice based on the latest findings – instead of confining yourself to a rocking chair – check out my Lean For Life talk at Physiomed on April 25th:

http://bit.ly/1qKqFTm

Discover how to cheat aging and defy the odds by staying lean for life.

It should be a jolly good chin wag…

Anyway, hope to see you there.

Cheerio,

Conor Kelly