20 Health, Training, and Productivity Tips I Learned in 2014

At the end of the year, I like to review and share what I have learned and how my beliefs have changed or been reinforced in the areas of physical training, nutrition, and performance. In no particular order here are my top 20 insights for 2014:thinker

  1. Optimal range of motion should take priority over strength for long-term progress.
  2. Many people should be setting flexibility goals for themselves just like their strength, body composition, and performance goals.
  3. Fascia that is too tight will restrict muscle growth.
  4. Be your own advocate in regards to healing after an orthopedic surgery. The average surgeon will prescribe painkillers but neglect to give recommendations in regards to nutrition and supplementation that supports healing.
  5. Curcumin has become my go-to supplement for alleviating joint and tendon pain due to either a high volume of training or minor injuries.
  6. Make sure your training and physique goals are motivating for YOU. If you are doing something to impress others, chances are that you won’t be satisfied when you achieve it, or you will simply lose motivation.  Besides, goals are only short term, the process is what matters.
  7. Fat-loss efforts are more successful when you focus on increasing the metabolism as opposed to only reducing caloric intake.
  8. Although I used to think of them as a redundant kitchen appliances, rice cookers are actually a great time-saver for cooking large quantities of rice or oatmeal without having to watch a pot. I also use mine to steam fish and vegetables.
  9. Along the same lines as the last point, a slow-cooker is another invaluable kitchen tool that saves time and makes it easy to cook in bulk.
  10. If you have an intolerance to cow dairy, sheep or goat dairy may be viable alternatives for you.
  11. It is a mistake to neglect strengthening and stretching the lower back in a rounded position.  Just begin slowly and conservatively!
  12. Being able to accurately identify and improve strength and flexibility imbalances is what separates average trainers from great trainers.
  13. Increasing strength, but not maintaining or improving flexibility, increases the chances of injury.
  14. Guayusa tea is a great energizing drink, especially if you tend to get nauseous or anxious from drinking coffee. I find it to be great for improvig mental focus.
  15. COMPLIANCE is directly related to CONVENIENCE.
  16. “Pre-hab” exercises are great, but remember that you must actually get stronger in them to derive a benefit.  Just going through the motions wont do much to prevent injuries.
  17. Independent studies have shown that Bob’s Red Mill makes the best gluten-free pancake mix.  Add some canned pumpkin to it to make it even more moist!  You won’t miss regular pancakes.
  18. When you have hit a learning plateau, look outside of your chosen industry, sport, or activity to expand you knowledge.
  19. Exposure to cold temperatures increases mitochondrial genesis (formation of new mitochondria) which increases your ability to produce ATP.  Using a cold plunge is a great way to do this.
  20. Learning to “unplug” (shutting off all electronics and communication) at least an hour before going to sleep will do wonders for your stress levels and sleep quality.

Here’s to more learning in 2015!

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