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 ()

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!

3 mobility exercises during recovery from cancer

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

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 ()

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.


How YOU doin??

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

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 ()

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.


Are you bored with your workout?

Posted by Chad on July 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM Comments comments ()

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

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Just some new things to try on your next workout!  Mobility and strength in different techniques!

The first video is just  a mixture of different movements to provide the client with a challenge or two.  This was the second of three various movements that she was either ducking, crawling, jumping, or lifting over something...she had fun!  Maybe it's a day where you don't feel like doing anything.  Do will be moving, and you may have fun too (maybe entertain others in the area!)

The second video is the Zercher squat.  Believe me it's tough.  It doesn't have to be done with heavy weight, just enough to be challenging...give it a shot, just make sure to think about your hips and glutes as you do them!


the 3 Mountain Madness!

Posted by Chad on June 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM Comments comments ()

I have to tell you, I was a little curious as to how, and if, I would be able to put forth the effort needed to finish this ride without eating the proverbial "carbo load" that most, if not all, endurance athletes say must be done.

The ride, 3 Mountain Madness, is a tough ride consisting of about 8000 ft of clmbing in 75 miles...good stuff!  Where I live in NC, there are few hills, so to train for something like this, I had to travel.  Travel to other parts of the state, and to Ireland, where the true climbs are!  Was my training perfect?  No, but it was sufficient, for I finished this killer route!

Above are the 3 big climbs, and the hills in between (no it is not FLAT between the climbs!!)

Nutritionally what did I do?  The night before I ate chicken and veggies, with two beers, which I don't think they are considered carbo loading.  Oh, and 2 pints of water and 12 ounces of coconut water.  The morning of, I ate from a friend's farm, two eggs, a few sausage links, some pieces of kiwi, peaches, and blueberries and drank more water and 12 ounces of coconut water.

During the ride I did not drink gatorade or powerade.  i do believe in some fluid-derived simple carbs so I drank one from Hammer Nutrition that fit the bill for electrolyte replacement and some simple kcals...without the dyes and fake sugar.  I drank two bottles worth of those.  For food, I ate raisins, an almond trail mix with some dried cranberries, organic peanut butter with coconut oil mixed in, one snickers bar (for my almost home chocolate fix), about 4 orange slices, one Stinger honey gel, and one power bar gel with caffiene for a little boost about 2o minutes before the last climb up Pilot Mtn.  Does that sound like enough?  Oh, and at least 4 bottles of water as well.  For any one day that would be way TOO much simple sugar kcals, especially if I am trying to lose weight, which I am not.  However, on a day like this one, where energy had to come from somewhere quick at times, and a little slower from fat sources, I think this was a good mix of macronutrients.

I felt good, and the next day my legs did not fall off.  I was even able to hike to the top of Hanging Rock with my family (most of the time holding our 3 year old!)  In hind sight, the only problem I had, was my training.  More climbing, to get used to, yep, you guessed it...more climbing!

All in all, a great ride with. friends.  A special thank you to my lovely wife, who put in as much time as I did by taking care of the house and our 3 year old without my help when I had to go ride.  Thanks, babe!

Don't worry about conventional wisdom.  Do what feels right to your body, your training.  What's more, have fun!


back to basics

Posted by Chad on April 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments ()

So, what kind of task do you need to perform?  Does it involve the ability to move?  Well probably.  Have you ever considered that sometimes, when your body is all jacked up from an ailment or pain of some kind, all we need to do is go back to basics?

Basics in this case means moving as we did when we LEARNED to move.  Crawling, walking, or in this video, the head lift...

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Our bodies were built perfomring one movement, then the next.  Sometimes, our brains get funktified, jacked up, and more or less quit sending good signals to our bodies saying how we shoud move in coordination.  Going back to basics helps our brains find proper neuro fire and unclogs the neural pathways to our muscles saying "MOVE!"

Now, if you feel jacked up, try it...see what happens!


another page...

Posted by Chad on April 16, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments ()

This is another page of exercises taken from a book I found a while back.  Are there reasons to do, or not do these exercises??  This post I wrote earlier showing a couple that may or may not be contraindicated...what do you think?

Exercise is not new.  Though, I think it's becoming too specialized--move this way to look good, move this way to make this muscle look bigger, etc.  Why not just move?  Why not just do some bodyweight training?  Why not just throw things, pick up something heavy once in a while?


where do you hear it?

Posted by Chad on March 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM Comments comments ()

Where else in your daily life do you hear the word "fit?"  Besides the use of the word in fitness, where?

I was driving down the road, and happen to see an obese woman chase after a 3 year old who was running away from her on a playground.  She couldn't catch up.  What I thought was how dangerous this was.  The inability to be able to watch your child, or niece, or grandchild because of her lack of ability to run faster than a 3 year old...

It hit me!  That woman was UNFIT to be watching this child.  How dangerous, and what a use of the word "fit!"  Honestly, I think it's a better use of the word.  I would rather be "fit" enough to take care of my child, than be "fit."  Whenever someone asks me "how long does it take to be fit?"  I ask, fit for what?  What is your task you want to achieve?

I hope the woman eventually asked for help, or else the kid is still running...

Self reliance.  Make sure you can!