Active Concept Training

Mobility, Motivation, and Mindful Conditioning

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why are we working out?

Posted by Chad on September 5, 2013 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (3984)

I haven't posted anything in a while.  People who believe and think the way I do are almost always posting eloquent ideas, theories, and I will continue to pass those along whenever I think they are pertinent to someone's situation.

Today I woud like to bring up a question...why do we exercise?  I think we have seen enough reason to exercise as it pertains to health benefits.  The other main reason we hear is of course, to look better naked...or on the beach, right?

Well, there is another reason that isn't talked about enough.  This reason, in my opinion, is the most important...that is of nervous system regulation.  Like we read all the time, "exercise relieves stress" but how?  If a person is stuck in the fight or flight response (their autonomic nervous system is "on" all the time) does it really matter how much they exercise?

Have we all heard someone say that they go in for a massage, and it feels good for a while, but then fairly quickly, the tightness or stress "comes back?"  How do we keep stress from coming back?

Our brains do not distinguish between stressors, a job deadine or a lion chasing you.  What then is the difference between these two?  A physical response!  Very rarely in today's vocational world, do we have to run or fight or climb or swim or throw something heavy to physically respond to a stressor.  THIS is why it is MOST important to exercise...for regulation of the nervous system.  The trick is, to know this and think about it!

When you finish with a workout, or playtime, take a few minutes to reflect on the movements you did.  Take a few minutes of calm, either lying down or leaning back or being seated, to drink in what you just accomplished and let your nervous system pendulum swing from the ANS to PNS (turn away from fight or flight being stuck in the on position.)  I personally don't stretch to be flexible, I like positions that allow me to relax, to not feel taxed in any DOWN-REGULATE my nervous system.

(my son down regulating after climbing!)

This is how we regulate our hormones for weight management, for sleep, for health.  We can't be stuck in any one rhythm...we need them all to regulate our well being.   Think about down-regulation after your next few workouts, and see if you don't feel better for hours afterward!

Have fun moving!

give me some sugar...

Posted by Chad on December 7, 2012 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (38)

This time of year brings about two things we all could do without--the thought that because we have been bad all year, we can be good for a few weeks and some overweight man is going to give us all that we want...and...SUGAR!!

Don't forget about sugar and how it sneaks up on us.  Is there sugar in that sauce you are having on your steak, chicken, or veggies?  Maybe.  Is there sugar in that "healthy" low fat salad dressing?  Probably.

This is just a friendly reminder to make every calorie count.  Do you really want to indulge in that cheesecake your lovelly wife makes?  If so, cut out all other sugar until then.  Have it, and don't feel bad about it either, because you have made great choices to be able to tell her how great she is!!!  (which goes a long way, right?)

Have fun during the Holidays...and look up into the night sky.  Things are happening that we will never see again in our lifetime!

The Mayans may not be right about the world ending, but they knew their astronomy!

I see it time and time again

Posted by Chad on November 13, 2012 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (28)

Everyone thinks you have to exercise to lose weight.  I have seen this to be true, yes.  However, does this always have to be the rule?

The answer is no.  In my years being a trainer, I have seen many ways to skin the cat.  I have seen folks exercise consistantly for a year, and lose nothing.  I have seen folks who didn't exercise at all, and lose  lots of weight.  So, what is the common denominator?  Food and drink...nutrition!

Here we talked about "the formula" before of how calories in = calories out just doesn't work most of the time.  Does sleep matter?  You bet!  Does gaining strength/muscle matter?  Yes it does!  There are other factors, but one doesn't have to cling to exercise as your ONLY way to weight loss.

I say this because I see folks with injuries, folks who are having a hard time at work or with a family issue and they are worried that by not being able to exercise they will gain weight.  This doesn't have to be the case!  Now indirectly, can it matter?  Does exercise help the brain keep it's neurotransmitters online, or help you sleep at night?  Sure.  So exercise helps y ou feel good and recover at night...would not being able to do this lead to weight gain?  Maybe so, but it's not the calorie loss that is the factor here, right?

Would this stress lead to overeating, or not choosing the proper nutrition?  Sure could, but this has nothing to do with exercise per se, right?  In other words, don't get your panties in a bunch if you can't exercise for a few days, or a month.  Your weight doesn't have to change because your inactivity does...your brain might, however!

3 mobility exercises during recovery from cancer

Posted by Chad on November 8, 2012 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (54)

Hunza breath

Rocking chair

push up plank


If you don't know what these are, let me know and I can walk through them with you over skype or over the phone.

These are active recovery drills for cancer patients.  They involve some squatting, some reaching, and some upper body strength.  With what we know about how the brain releases hormones and (other proteins that help our bodies work)      These exercises can help one recovery from just about anything.


Try them daily, or at times 2 or 3 times a day.  Get the blood flowing and get your brain working again!




why do you do what you do?

Posted by Chad on October 12, 2012 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (44)

When you lay down on that bench press, and push that barbell up...ask why.

When you stand in front of a mirror doing bicep curls...ask why.

When you sit in that inner/outer thigh machine...ask why.

When you do a jumping/kipping pull up...ask why.

When you jump onto a bench or step up onto anything...ask why.

When you are trying to get your hammies loose by bending forward...ask why.

When you are doing a kettlebell swing...ask why.

When you are doing a lunge...ask why.

When you are doing a hurdlers stretch...ask why.

These are some questions to ask yourself when doing your workout.  Is there a reason?  If so, why?  Or better yet, why not?  There is always a reason NOT to do an exercise as there is always a reason to do one.  There should always be a goal for the workout.  Even if it is just to move, literally.  I decided the other day I didn't feel good enough to lift anything heavy, so I worked on some mobility drills I hadn't done in a while.  Felt good!

Think about what you are doing...that's all I ask.


another road trip!

Posted by Chad on September 26, 2012 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (4)

Last year I rode the Cycle North Carolina with a few things in mind since I had ridden last in 2006.  No carbs...or very little!  I did allow myself a beer or two after the day's ride, and one homemade cookie my lovely wife  made for me.  Yes, there was honey, not sugar, and lots of nuts and very little grain products.  Delicious to say the least!

(I just wish my wifey could join me!!)

This year, more of the same.  I am sure I will run into some of the same people--overweight and unhealthily eating and swilling carbs--that I did last year.  However, I am looking forward to being stronger on the bike.  This year I have ridden more, and performed better on several rides including the 3 Mountain Madness, which was fun but tough!

I really like this event each year.  I get to ride, and camp in a tent, all in the same trip for an extended amount of time (at least 4 nights or more) which puts me back into my circadian rhythyms, gives me a tribe to hang out with, and gives me ability to put forth a good effort before I indulge in whatever I choose to after the ride--mostly ancestrally!

If you ever get a chance to do something like this, for charity or not, do so.  You meet lots of interesting folks who have some kind of goal in mind.  Declare a goal and achieve it.  Put your mind to it, and


so, do you have the time?

Posted by Chad on September 7, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (5)

I have a client who was at 350, now is at 275.  How, you ask?  Concentration, dedication, and lots-o-time.

With no job, no wife, no kids, this person can concentrate fully on what the goal is.  This person can dedicate everything to accomplishing this goal.  This person has lots of time.  Period.

When I meet a prospective new client, they always ask, "how long will it take me to lose ____ pounds?"  I tell them the truth..."I don't know."  Lots of factors are involved.  Can you really dedicate MOST of your "free time" to this endeavor, and an endeavor it is.  I tell everyone it goes a lot quicker if you can quit your job and your family for 2 months.  On the biggest loser, this is how it's done.  AND, will they do what I ask them to do?  Again, this is how they do it on biggest loser, and programs like the Rice Diet Center over at Duke...they have no choice.

Which brings to mind a post I did a while back on CHOICE.  Borrowing from Dan John's idea on free will, there is only so much to go around.  Here, I wrote about my conversations with someone with very little free will.  You want to lose weight, or accomplish a goal quickly, keep your free will, or in other words, don't put yourself into positions where you have to make decisions.

How do you do that?  I don't know of many adults that can!  You grab time where you can.  Time to shop for fresh food, time to workout a little, time to play a's all there, we just have to carve it out.  We don't have to workout for an hour at time, all we need is 15 minutes, here and there, to remain healthy...a little more to be fit for what YOU want to do!  Carve out some time...let me know if ou need help!


motivation to play--not workout!

Posted by Chad on August 31, 2012 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (15)

Who wants to play?!?!

Is that the question we should be asking...instead of who wants to lose weight?  We have more people than ever before exercising.  We have more people than ever before who are overweight an dotherwise unhealthy.  What gives?

The population is growing, so there are more people anyway, this can account for some of those stats we always here.  Otherwise, why aren't people finding it fun to "workout?"  I have a theory...

You ever see a kid "workout?"  Me either.  They play!  Play a lot!  I know we all have said about a kid, "I wish I had his/her enerygy."  Well, we CAN.  Next time you go for a workout, go outside and skip, hop, play imaginary leap frog, hang on to a tree limb and swing, throw a rock, hop on one leg on a line (don't fall into the water!), play with your kid instead of watching them (that works well.)

You know what all of that does, it gives you immediate feedback.  It makes you feel GOOD.  Instead of thinking about how much weight you have to lose, think about how good you felt after playing!  Sure, I like my 3 hour bike rides, but I also like picking up a weight and throwing it somewhere.  I like hanging uipside down.  I like pulling something towards me as slow as I can, just for fun.

Make up a "workout" for yourself.  Have fun with this one, and see how you feel.  Give me some feedback.  I wanna know if you felt better than your 3 sets of 10 workout you've been doing for 3 years, or not?


How YOU doin??

Posted by Chad on August 14, 2012 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (28)

I can admit it.  I will miss the Olympics!  Several weeks ago I got geared up by going to the Grandfather Mountain highland games (I will post pictures later) and was enthralled by the events I don't normally get to see.  Water polo, rowing, track and field...and in 2016 rugby sevens will be there as well!!

So, answer my did you do with my challenge.  Did you do workouts having the Olympics in mind?  Did you see an event, google it or the competitor, and watch a little more about their workouts leading up to the games?  Even though she didn't when a medal, watching Lolo Jones go through her workout regimen was cool!

I heard someone say that due to how the ladies looked on the track, maybe they should add some hurdles to their routine!  Damn right!  If you want to look like a surfer, go surf.  A sloth, eat crap and sit on the couch.  A cyclist, go bike!  There is a reason why athletes look the way they do.  Train exactly like they do, and you too can, for the most part, begin to look more like them.  We are all genetically different, so I don' t pretend to believe I can run like Bolt, or bike like Wiggins, but I can try!!

Who or what do you want to look like?  Train as such...and improve your workout regardless of who you choose!


Olympic Games

Posted by Chad on July 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (151)

As the games have arrived, I would like to challenge each of you.  This is an easy challenge, and a fun one!

Try to create your workout as if you are doing an event at the games...and no you can't do archery every time!!  Maybe once!  Such as instead of chest and back on day one, do a javelin throw or something in the gym that resembles a throw, like throwing a medicine ball 100 times.  Your next workout--a 1 mile run.  Your next workout--a 10 mile bike ride.   Next--the triple jump and long jump.

Mix it up so that your workouts this next week allow you to have fun.  Reap the benefits of your hard work over the last couple of months by having fun, and competing in the Olympic Games...that's what they are here for right?  Dream, follow someone's else's strive, and drive, for a once in a lifetime achievement!

(Above is Shalane Flanagan...our own UNC grad multiple medal hopeful)

As I write this, I am seeing a little girl, maybe 6 yrs old, obviously growing her hair back from some type of cancer treatment.  Let her be your role model...then, pay it forward.  Act like, and be like, a role model for your kids and grandkids.  They look up to whatever you do...or don't do.