The health industry is booming right now, and supplement companies are often at the forefront of this wave. Supplement companies are pretty loosely regulated and are able to make many claims that are either completely false, or only partly true. This article will offer you an unbiased opinion on some of the best supplements out there to help your body to recover in between workouts, and stay healthy.
1. Whey Protein
Whey protein is a source of protein from cow’s milk. If you have ever opened a container of yogurt to find a watery substance on top, then you have seen whey protein; this liquid, after being concentrated and processed becomes whey protein concentrate/isolate. Since athletes have an increased need for protein, whey has become a popular and convenient source of extra protein for many people. Whey protein is very low fat (or fat free), free of carbohydrates, and whey protein isolates are free of lactose as well. Just one scoop of protein can often provide 20-30 grams of pure protein. Whey protein supplementation has been shown to: increase protein synthesis, promote lean muscle mass, decrease muscle wasting, strengthen the immune system, speed recovery after workouts, and increase levels of HGH, and IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor). Whey protein has become a staple for elite and casual athletes alike. Whey protein has the advantage of being highly bio-available, which means it is absorbed and assimilated extremely well by the body. Studies have shown a significant increase in protein synthesis if taken within 30 minutes of the end of a workout.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the skeletal muscle. There are countless benefits of taking glutamine, especially if you are regularly involved in intense training. Having adequate amounts of glutamine in your muscle cells helps prevent muscle breakdown during exercise. Glutamine plays an important role in HGH production, the digestive tract, and the immune system as well. Some studies have shown that IV doses of glutamine eliminate stress ulcers in trauma patients. Glutamine also plays a heavy role in the immune system where it helps to fuel the white blood cells that fight off foreign attackers in your body. Through the action of the glutamine, you can experience: increased endurance, enhanced recovery, a healthy immune system, higher levels of HGH, increased lean mass and, decreased fat stores. It is usually recommended that you take glutamine 2-3 times per day in divided doses to equal between 10-15 grams daily.
Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6 compose this popular sports training supplement. This trio of nutrients is used up extensively during exercise. Zinc and magnesium are both lost through sweat, and B6 is readily used by the body in order to create energy for your body to function. Zinc plays an important role in: the immune system, production of testosterone, liver health, and reproductive organ health. Magnesium plays a whole host of roles on the human body. ZMA (a combination of these three nutrients in highly absorbed forms), has been shown in some studies to increase free testosterone up to 30% although, the results have been mixed. Many people also report decreased recovery time, more restful and deeper sleep, reduced cramps, and higher growth hormone levels. For best results, ZMA must be taken on an empty stomach (at least 2 hours after a meal, and at least 30 minutes before a meal) right before going to bed for the night. Calcium blocks the absorption of zinc so it is important to avoid taking any supplements containing calcium along with ZMA.
These three supplements have served me well during my training, and are highly researched and studied. With the new overflow of supplements into the market it is easy to get distracted by the “next big thing”, or some “muscle building breakthrough”, but stick with these three reliable and affordable supplements, and you will be on a road to quicker recovery and better health.
Posted by Shane Sorensen at March 4th, 2014 Comments Off
Sometimes being positive is the only thing between you and the bottom. Perspective is a funny thing. The old saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is often times very true. Sometimes it takes someone with a positive outlook to see the potential hiding within your pile of ruin.
A lot of people turn the other way when they meet failure or run into adversity, but why do you think that really is? I believe the answer lies in perception, or the way a person views the circumstances in their life. Look at the picture below, what do you see? A vase? Two faces about to kiss? Maybe you see both? That is perception at work.
Posted by Shane Sorensen at February 24th, 2014 Comments Off
So you are thinking about taking your first BJJ class at your local gym, that’s great! There is really no reason to be nervous or delay any longer, but I do have a few tips to make the most of your first class.
Whats the format of class like?
Most gyms run classes something like this, a quick warm up starts you off, which usually consists of things like running, dynamic stretches, body weight exercises, basic BJJ movement, and BJJ techniques done quickly. Next, comes instruction/techniques, where the instructor will show a handful of techniques one by one, and the members of the class will “drill”, or basically repeat the move over and over a few times. Then, usually class ends off with some active sparring/rolling. Sparring can be specific or general and can vary quite a bit, but usually people in their first class will just watch sparring.
What should you wear?
A gi is the traditional uniform of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, short for kimono, the gi is usually made of heavy weight and woven cotton for durability. Many gyms offer “loaner” gis for drop ins, until they sign up for classes officially, and get a gi of their own. However, having a borrowed gi of a similar sized friend can be of help if this option is available.
Most gyms offer no gi classes alongside gi class. No gi just means BJJ without the traditional kimono. Most people wear shorts or gi pants, along with a t-shirt or rash guard for no gi classes. If you have a pair of board shorts for no gi class, even better!
Hygiene (the often unspoken rules of BJJ).
There are a few things to consider about your hygiene before you stop in for your first class. Always keep nails trimmed, filed, and clean; no one likes getting scratched or jabbed in the eyes with sharp finger nails. The next rule is common sense , but important nonetheless, come to class clean. You always want to show up to class clean, with clean clothes, and a clean uniform; this rule is just consideration for your partners.
Along with being clean and well kept, you should never attend class when you are actively sick with any type of infection. BJJ requires a lot of close contact and sweat is often exchanged between people during training. Things like the common cold, flu, skin infections, and pink eye shouldn’t be brought into the gym with you, your partners will thank you for it!
Try to relax!
Trying something out for the first time, and stepping outside your comfort zone can be stressful. Everyone who trains now probably remembers their first time stepping on the mats. We have all gone through the phase of feeling stupid and awkward, feeling like our bodies are actively rebelling against what our mind is telling it to do. No one will judge you for not knowing what to do, in fact most people want to help you figure it out. The best thing you can do to get the most out of your first class, and beginning classes, is just to relax. Not focusing so much on being nervous, and just feeling the technique will help you let go and get in the flow.
Usually people don’t spar during their first class, but if you come back, or if you are asked to train in the first class, just try to relax. The vast majority of people don’t want to hurt you, they will let you try out techniques and will try to help coach you along during the roll. The exception is usually reserved for people who “spaz” or spar really hard without any real concept of what they are doing. People sometimes try to “teach you a lesson”, if you come into class trying to prove how tough you are, or trying to go crazy and hurt people.
Go into your first sparring session knowing that, no matter how strong, tough, or scary you think you are, you are going to lose. You might get submitted, you might get dominated in every position, but that’s ok, and its part of what makes you grow into a better practitioner. Approach your early sparring sessions with patience, humility, and an open mind. Try to learn as much as you can, ask questions, and be like water.
Show up a little bit early, be clean, dress appropriately, and relax and you will have a great first class!
Posted by Shane Sorensen at February 18th, 2014 Comments Off
Get back in touch with what drives you!Getting ready for a competition is tough, but what is even tougher, is the day to day grind of life. Sometimes we get stuck in a loop of doing the same thing over and over with nothing to look forward too. Registering for a tournament can give you a new excitement for life, suddenly you have more motivation to train, more reason to eat better, more get up in your go. Signing up for a competition can put the passion back in your life!
Making yourself vulnerable.People are simple yet complicated creatures. One of the major driving forces in our psychology is to be safe and comfortable. When we are hungry, we are driven to eat. When we are tired, our bodies call us to quit. When we are in danger, we run to safety. That’s ok in a strictly survival kind of way, but what differentiates us from the other animals? One of the key traits of human beings is self awareness, or the knowledge that we are alive in the first place. Just this knowledge gives us the freedom to live our life in an extraordinary way. The freedom to place yourself in a stressful situation, to feel the pain of loss, or the glory of victory is what really makes us human. If you want to live a life to be proud of, one of the things you must do, is make yourself vulnerable. The only way to reach your highest potential, is to reach just beyond what you think is possible. If you ever want to accomplish anything in your life, you have to be willing to risk failure to get it.
Finding your inner voice.Everyone has an inner voice. Our inner voice tells us things, sometimes positive things like you can do it, or other times it tells us it can’t be done. Our inner voice changes as we get older. Children are often brave and show little signs of fear, but our parents and society teach us to fear things. Many of these “fears” life teaches us are very good lessons, like don’t talk to strangers or don’t go out after dark alone, but we pick up other things we may not even be aware of. Have you ever been told that something you wanted wasn’t realistic? Statements like that can shape our inner voice and paralyze us when we see opportunity stretch out before us. Moving on, conditioning has taught many of us not to take risks, just to take the safe road and not the road less traveled. When you put yourself in the fires of competition, trust me, you are going to hear a little voice inside your head. Finding your inner voice will help you learn about what is really inside of you. Most of us have so many negative thoughts and emotions that run rampant every single second, that we are too afraid to even try. Take a risk, step out of your comfort zone, and step into the heat of battle; you never know, you might even find the hero that sleeps inside of you.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Posted by Shane Sorensen at February 11th, 2014 Comments Off
People who take part in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes are some of the healthiest people out there, but what about kids? BJJ has a ton of benefits for kids, maybe even more of a benefit, as kids are often much more impressionable than adults. Read on to find out why your kids should be taking BJJ classes! Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Shane Sorensen at February 4th, 2014 Comments Off