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!

motivation to play--not workout!

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

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?


to the mind we go!!

Posted by Chad on July 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments ()

"Adaptation is obvious in muscle and bone, but the truly spectacular changes take place in the nervous system. We now know the process in great detail. Far from being a static system, the nervous system is constantly remodeling itself in response to experience. The fancy name for this process is “use-dependent plasticity.” When we repeatedly fire a neural circuit, that circuit becomes faster and more sensitive. Cells that fire together begin to literally wire together. The challenge, in other words, stimulates actual tissues changes: membranes, genes and protein synthesis are all transformed in the process. With this in mind, it now makes sense to say that “neural circuits are muscles,” and “the nervous system is a muscle.”

From the mind of Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal,  Stimulating tissue change has been proven to help those with Parkinson's, learning disablities, stroke patients, and those with depression, among others with brain circuitry that is misfiring!

If moving the body changes the brain, why, then can we not find a way to help doctors actually prescribe exercise, instead of recommend it.  Write it down, put it in their file that exercise was prescribed.  Make the change.  Our brains can change, but onyl if we make the change.

Make the change, be the change...


archived from an old blog...

Posted by Chad on February 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments ()

I have had some recent dealings with folks and their anziety and maybe depression, so I thought I would send this interview out again.  Just inc ase it wasn't clear the first time!  Almost three years ago!

Below is an interview of Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal. The interview was done by Chris at Conditioning Research.


Chris--Modern society seems to be sad! I keep hearing of friends or family members who are depressed or suffering anxiety attacks. How much of this stress and dissatisfaction do you think comes from our “modern” lifestyles?

Frank--"Depression is epidemic. The World Health Organization forecasts that, by 2020, “depression will be second only to heart disease in terms of disability or disease burden.”

To me, this is even more shocking than our epidemics of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. This is a disease state that’s psychospiritual as well as physical. There are many explanations, but I like the work of Kelly Lambert. She’s a neuroscientist who’s traced reward centers in the brain. She’s discovered a strong association between areas that coordinate movement and those that deliver a sense of satisfaction. I call this “the ancestral reward system.”

We move vigorously in search of a goal, usually food, and then we feel a sense of satisfaction for having done so. In contrast, modern society offers us only abstract striving (with computers) and even many of our rewards are non-physical and intangible. Consequently, we experience a sort of neurological black hole of non-reward. A huge percentage of our circuitry goes unused and dormant. I believe that an enormous amount of depression stems from inactivity. The human body thrives on action."

Chris--What can we do about it?

Frank--"This puts our physical training in a new light.

As trainers and educators, we are doing a lot more than building muscle, cardio or skill. We’re actually pumping up the reward circuitry in our brains and delivering a sense of satisfaction and resilience.

Movement is thus highly protective against depression. Sooner or later, people are going to figure this out. The way to counter the epidemic of depression is to get people moving again. Any movement is good, but locomotion is probably the best place to begin. Long walks, or running if people can manage it, are ideal.

Mimic the experience of travelling the grassland and you’ll get a good outcome."


Welcome to Exuberant Animal.  Check out Frank Forencich and his animalistic ways of moving about.

Be mobile.  In the end, that's what it's all about.  We can get into which movements are good for certain folks, but as always, find what you like to do, and do it!  GO!

things happen...

Posted by Chad on February 10, 2012 at 8:15 AM Comments comments ()

 Recently, an epedimic of sorts has come about.  Folks with bad backs, bad ankles, bad attitudes and tempers, bad plateaus, and a bad diagnosis.  This is for you...


Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!

You're off and away!


You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.

About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,

you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any

you'll want to go down.

In that case, of course,

you'll head straight out of town.


And when things start to happen,

don't worry. Don't stew.

Just go right along.

You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!

You'll be seeing great sights!

You'll join the high fliers

who soar to high heights.


You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.

You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t

Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so

but, sadly, it's true

and Hang-ups

can happen to you.


You can get all hung up

in a prickle-ly perch.

And your gang will fly on.

You'll be left in a Lurch.


You'll come down from the Lurch

with an unpleasant bump.

And the chances are, then,

that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,

you're not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself

is not easily done.


You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.

Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.

A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!

Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?

How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...

or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?

Or go around back and sneak in from behind?

Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,

for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused

that you'll start in to race

down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.



That's not for you!


Somehow you'll escape

all that waiting and staying.

You'll find the bright places

where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,

once more you'll ride high!

Ready for anything under the sky.


Except when they don't.

Because, sometimes, they won't.


I'm afraid that some times

you'll play lonely games too.

Games you can't win

'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something

you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance

you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

But on you will go

though the weather be foul

On you will go

though your enemies prowl

On and on you will hike

and I know you'll hike far

and face up to your problems

whatever they are.


You'll get mixed up, of course,

as you already know.

You'll get mixed up

with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life's

a Great Balancing Act.



be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,

you're off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So...get on your way!"

Oh, The Places You Will Go by Dr. Suess.

Now, tackle your challenges head on.  Don't give up the fight until there is no fight left.  Remember, every day, that you are someone's best hope...

Newly established offerings!

Posted by Chad on October 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM Comments comments ()

Hi!  I hope Autumn weather where you are has been kind.  Kind enough to let you stay outside in your active pursuits!

In the coming cooler months, things change.  People don't spend as much time outside.  People begin to hibernate, and with that, comes inactivity.  To help get you through these times, I am offering some new ways to stay true to your ancestral being...being active and nutritionally sound.

Listed to the left is my "schedule of fees."  Here,  you will see my new offerings of:

Program Design--I will design an activity/workout program for you for the next 4 weeks, taking into account a questionnaire and consultation to determine your needs.

Nutritional Analysis--By sending me your food log, or diary, for the next 4 weeks, I will help you stay the course, and improve your course, of sound nutritional choices for YOU!  After these 4 weeks, we will have a 15 minute consulation geared towards small changes, or big changes, you will have to make to improve your nutrition.

These can be used simultaneously, or not, depending on your needs.  Please let me know what I can do to help you, or a loved one, effect change for the better!

apps that work

Posted by Chad on August 26, 2011 at 6:50 AM Comments comments ()

A few of my clients are app users.  Here is an app or two that I like and reasons why!


My Fitness Pal.   My clients like it for a number of reasons.  First, it helps them keep track of what they are comsuming.  I know that there are folks out there who feel like you don't need to do this, if you eat Paleolithic.  I disagree.  Folks need to understand how much food they are consuming.  We are a country of "too much" so some need to remember how much a portion of (you name it) really is.


This app also allows you to keep track of your expenditure of energy via movement (exercise).  By tracking what they do, some folks like to see what they have accomplished.  Tracking consumption, with expenditure, helps them see what could happen over the long haul...especially if the hormones are out of whack!  Add in the fact that I get to see what they are doing holds them accountable--to me first, then they hold themselves accountable later.


Lose it!   This one is just like the one above.  Though this one we've been able to find a way for clients to send me in a file their food consumption!  How great it is that it's free too!!



Fooducate!      I just found this one, and have not used it a lot yet. It looks promising though.  I like the idea of being able to scan an item and see what healthier choices exist.  The healthiest choice probably doesn't have a barcode on the label, however, for some people eating fresh foods are a luxury or so beyond overwhelming they don't know what to do when they see them...sad, yes, but true.


Baby steps.  With this app, one can pick up a box of whatever crap it is, and this app throws out maybe 5 different healthier options.  Sounds good to me.  I will post more on this later after I use it more.


Mapmyride!     This one is great for recording a workout for your run, walk, or hike.  You can use it to help with your food consumption as well, but I don't use it for that.  Share your workout run or ride with the public or just with friends.  Seems to be ok so far.  I've used it as sort of a GPS for my rides, and it works just fine!


I know, it's tough to use new technology when all I keep saying is keep it "ancestral" right?  Well, these can help you be both healthier and ancestral at the same time!  Find a route, DO IT, and show me your food consumption as well!



play time in your wellies!

Posted by Chad on February 1, 2011 at 8:33 AM Comments comments ()

Want to see something interesting?  Watch my 2 1/2 year old squat, do push ups, hang from a bar, run...with a bike helmet on.  Oh and wellies too!  Why you ask?  Because he can, and the inhibitions we have as we get older, haven't deterred him yet.  You know what else hasn't hit him?  The fact that working out is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, right?


Isn't that what you think MOST of the time..."ah, hell, got to go to the gym again."  You say it with disdain and a sense of dispair and "not again."  Why?  When did your workout become so unbearable?  If it is, you probably aren't doing the right stuff.  Don't get me wrong, there are days when I don't have the energy or "want" to workout.  That's when I don't.  I either play, or do some light mobility work, or go through the motions.  Not every day has to be intense and "the best workout I ever had."


What about those days when I need to find inspiration?  I look at my wife and/or son.  I look at them and know two things:  One--if my wife could exercise, she would.  Two--my son HAS FUN when he runs around, lies on the floor, and says "dada, I doing my exercise!!"


(no this is not my son :-)  however he looks close to how my son did the other day)


Where is your inspiration coming from?  If you need some ideas, contact me.

Don't know what to do when you get to the gym?  Contact me.

Bored with your "routine?"  Contact me.

Are you going to whine and complain about every exercise?  Bring it.  I can take me.


It's playtime.  Put your bike helmet on, along with some rubber boots, and have some fun!



are we evolving?

Posted by Chad on December 10, 2010 at 8:25 AM Comments comments ()


Don't believe in evolution?  Look what is happening before your eyes, folks.  We are evolving into obese, insulin insensitive, cancerous animals.  We weren't like this 100 years ago.  1000 years ago.  5000 years ago.


Now, the science of evolution vs. the grand design by God are two different things.  Yes, the Bible says God made man as his own image...but it doesn't say how, right?  Did it take thousands of years for man to evolve?  Maybe that's just what the Bible meant.  We don't know.


What we do know is that everything evolves, somehow.  Some animals die off due to climate change, predator change, prey change, disease change, dwelling change, etc.  It's not hard to see which one humans are dying from.



So yes, we are evolving, just like we have over the last 50,000 years.  Evolution's happening RIGHT NOW!  We better turn it back a notch, or else humans will be gone eventually.  Big pharma won't be able to keep up.  Or will they?  I don't want to take that chance.


Live like your ancestors did.



losing touch with outside?

Posted by Chad on November 20, 2010 at 7:00 AM Comments comments ()

I think so.

Here is a school system that thinks so too!



How many of our kids today know what it takes to hike in the woods, and not get lost, or at the very least, not grab a poisonous plant or snake?


How many of our kids know what the directions are--north, south, east, and west--instead of just turn left or right or down by the old man's house?


How many of our kids have lost touch with going outside with a flashlight and looking at nature in the dark?  The sky at night?


How many of you do your workouts inside ALL THE TIME?


Get your kids, and you, outside!!