Thursday, August 25, 2016

In the "It's a Small World" category

Image result for john haack
John Haack, Powerlifter, World Champion  83 kg. class.
Yesterday I received the e-mail below from our school librarian......

"Good morning,

I just sent this link to Gabriel Atene and he thought you would like to see it.  It's my youngest brother at the 2016 IPF World Powerlifting Championship."

Pretty cool. Although I have known and interacted with her for quite a few years, I had no idea that she had a brother who competed in Powerlifting, let alone was a world class lifter. Especially impressive is the fact that he is doing it without all the "gear" that we see so many "powerlifters" using these days. Great to see and awesome lifting technique. No extreme wide squat stance, excessive back arch, or sumo style. Just straight forward strong. My hat is off to him. Great job.

Image result for john haack

Monday, August 22, 2016

'Text neck' results in injuries for student athletes, others


I have to admit that I've seen the results of this as well. Technology is great, but in the absence of a good all-around workout program, it can be very detrimental to physical well-being. Technology is not the villain. It is the lack of exercise and movement that is the real enemy here.

Local physical therapists say they've seen an uptick in teens complaining of “text neck,” back and neck pain that can only be explained by the strain on the body caused by constant viewing of hand-held technology. (Jon Langham / Naperville Sun)

By Suzanne Baker•Contact Reporter
Naperville Sun

August 13, 2016, 10:35 AM

High school athletes could be more at risk for in-game injuries for activities outside of the game.

A national chain of physical therapy clinics reports that more teens than ever are complaining of "text neck," back and neck pain that can only be explained by the strain on the body caused by constant viewing of hand-held technology.

"I am shocked by how many patients come in complaining of neck pain," said Anne Bierman, a physical therapist with Athletico Physical Therapy's Naperville South office on 95th Street.

Bierman said in the past the majority of patients with neck and shoulder were adults who slouch when sitting at their computers a day. Now she's seeing more teens with the condition.

Long periods of looking down can be stressful on the body, whether staring at a cellphone, laptop or tablet.

On average, for every 10 degrees a person tilts the head downward puts 10 pounds of pressure on the spine, Bierman said.

Her information echoes research published in 2014 in the National Library of Medicine that warns the extra weight — sometimes up to 60 pounds — on the cervical spine caused by looking down can lead to wear and tear on the vertebrae and degeneration that may require surgery.

Athletes are vulnerable because "text neck" causes a loss of muscle strength.

Bierman, a former college athlete, said weak shoulder muscles can result in poor performance, more injuries and longer recovery times.

Weak muscles also put more pressure on shoulder joints, limit normal range of motion and cause pain when swimming, throwing a baseball or softball, striking a football stance, spiking a volleyball or performing other sports activities.

"We're dealing with a lot more high school athletes who've had surgeries," said Bierman, who played soccer at St. Louis University and is a board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy.

Because her office is adjacent to Neuqua Valley High School, Bierman said she treats many Neuqua Valley students, athletes and nonathletes alike.

Both Naperville School District 203 and Indian Prairie School District 204 contract with Oak Brook-based Athletico for athletic training services at all their high schools.

The problem of "text neck" could become even more prevalent and extend into more of the nonathlete student population as more teachers turn to technology to supplement their lesson planIn Naperville School District 203, every junior high and high school student will be issued Chromebooks this year for use in the classroom and for homework.

Indian Prairie School District 204 also will distribute Chromebooks to its middle school students this fall and will pilot laptops at the high school level in preparation to issue them next year..

Neither district has a policy limiting the amount of time tech is used during the day.

Bierman urged all students, whenever possible, to consider elevating computer screens to eye level, using a keyboard that keep elbow at one's side, and taking breaks every 30 minutes to perform reversal of posture exercises (see accompanying information).

She said between classes, students might want to stretch their neck and shoulder muscles during passing periods.

Long-term effects from "text neck" can lead to chronic pain and surgical intervention later in life, she said.

Janet Buglio, District 204 executive director of communication services, said tech devices are merely tools.

"Keep in mind teachers create lessons using other thiwngs than just devices. Kids are not looking at screens in every class for the full class period every day," she said.

That philosophy was echoed by Michelle Fregoso, District 203 director of communications.

"Kids are not on the devices all day or in every class. Teachers often have lessons that don't include the devices," Fregoso said.

Bierman, who lives in Aurora, said it's important for parents to teach their children proper posture early.

The mother of three boys, Bierman said her children — ages 1, 3 and 5 — already know how to use a tablet, and she's finds she's constantly harping on their posture.

"I grew up attending Catholic school. I feel like the old nun waving rulers over me," she said.

In this digital age, even Bierman sometimes struggles with "text neck."

Ever since her office switched to documentation on tablets, she said she's had to practice what she preaches.

"It's a general overall self-awareness. I need to remember to stop and stretch, too," she said.

Tribune wire services contributed.


 Twitter @SBakerSun1

Stretches to prevent 'text neck'

Athletico suggests the following stretches and exercises to counteract "text neck" and maintain and improve posture.

Shoulder blade squeeze: Pinch your shoulder blades back behind you, working to touch your elbows. Once back as far as you can go, hold this position for five seconds before relaxing. Repeat this 20 to 30 times.

Neck stretch: Sit up tall with your head held high. Pull your chin toward your chest, creating a double chin, and hold this position for five seconds. Repeat this 20 to 30 times.

Chest stretch: Stand in the middle of a doorway and hold both ends of the door frame. Lean forward until you feel a stretch. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat 20 to 30 times.

No "text neck" here for bronze medalist in Rio!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Olympic Weight Lifter Sarah Robles Shares Body-Positive Message

An ecstatic Sarah Robles lifts her way to Olympic history. (Photo: Getty)

An ecstatic Sarah Robles lifts her way to Olympic history. (Photo: Getty Images)

Another important article on Sarah Robles. It shows the power athletes and athletics has to overcome stereotypes and influence for good.

“Sarah Elizabeth Robles. Olympian. Bronze medalist. Badass.” That’s how Twitter user @haleshannon succinctly put it after Robles became the first female Olympian on Team USA to medal in weightlifting since 2000.

Female athletes come in many shapes and sizes based on their sport, but Robles, 28, still doesn’t look like the majority of them. At about 273 pounds and a little more than 5’10.5″, according to Team USA’s official website, she may not even look like an athlete to many — specifically those who bullied her on social media during her competition on Aug. 14.

But the California native, who is often referred to as the strongest woman in America, according to the Daily Dot, is having the last laugh. She also hopes to have a major impact on girls and women throughout the world.

Of scoring bronze in the women’s 75-plus-kilogram division, Robles told Reuters, “This means a lot, to be on the podium and give exposure to our sport at a time when it’s already growing. It’s good not just for me but for women of size, for women who want to get up off the couch and do something different.”

Even before the competition, the Mexican-American expressed her desire to “inspire young Latino athletes” through her Olympic journey. “As an Olympic athlete, I represent all Americans, but representing Latinos and Latinas is a great honor,” she said earlier this month, according to Fox News Latino.

For Robles, the victory is so sweet because the struggle has been real — and not simply because she outweighed others in her division by 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds), according to the Daily Dot. In January 2014, Robles was banned from competing for two years after testing positive for “prohibited substances.” It turned out she unknowingly had DHEA, testosterone, and pregnanediol in her system while on prescription medication for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Still, the World Anti-Doping Agency denied her appeal of the ban, which expired just in time for her to qualify for Rio.

But her road stretches back even further. Prior to Rio, Robles had to overcome body-image issues and near-poverty — she lived on $400 a month — while training to to compete in 2012 London Olympics. Despite being the highest-ranked weightlifter in the country (this woman can lift 568 pounds!), she couldn’t manage to score any sponsorships, telling BuzzFeed, “You can get that sponsorship if you’re a super-built guy or a girl who looks good in a bikini. But not if you’re a girl who’s built like a guy.”

Her struggle didn’t impress one social media user, who suggested Robles’s poverty was self-inflicted, as she decided willingly to dedicate her life to mastering weightlifting instead of landing a high-paying job. “The majority [of sportspeople] would probably earn more if they got proper jobs that were of benefit to their society, instead of doing their chosen sport for a living,” he wrote.

Ever the good-natured, level-headed sport, Robles shut him down in a way that also opened up a dialogue on her Instagram:

Despite obstacles and detractors, Robles’s sport gave her the self-esteem boost she needed to lift her way to the Olympics, twice. “I still have bad thoughts about myself, but I’ve learned that you have to love yourself the way you are,” Robles said to BuzzFeed back in 2012, when she was headed to the London Games. “I may look like this, but I’m in the Olympics because of the way I am.” Her mom, Joy Robles, echoed those sentiments to the site, saying, “When she got into sports, she came home one day and she said, ‘I finally feel accepted.’ That’s when she just kind of settled into herself.”

Gearing up for her competition in Rio, Robles just wanted to have her “best day,” medal or no medal. For her, it was about the glory of being at the Olympics and the fact that her mind and body had gotten her this far. “If it [competing] got me medals, cool,” she said, according to the NBC’s official Olympics website. “If it didn’t, then at least I had the best day. You can’t complain when you do your absolute best.”

Now Robles is doing the opposite of complaining — she’s basking in her record-making accomplishment. She doesn’t need to say much to express how she feels; it’s written all over her face. Between her triumphant expression after she lifted “all the weights tonight,” as she said on Instagram, to her beaming smile as she graciously accepted her medal, it’s easy to see that Robles achieved what she set out to do.

So how does an Olympic bronze medalist cap off one of the best days of her life? With a protein shake and a call to Grandma, of course. As one does

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sarah Robles dumps doubt and negativity to earn first U.S. weightlifting medal in 16 years

Nice story about our first Olympic Weightlifting medalist in 16 years. She has certainly dealt with her share of drama.Coming off of a 2 year suspension for using a illegal substance, she bombed at the trials but was named to the team anyway as it was determined that she had the best chance at medaling. That proved to be the right call it seems. Her suspension was explained thusly...

Sarah Robles was sanctioned by the International Weightlifting Federation for two years, until August 8, 2015, after WADA found her in-competition test at the Pan Am games positive for DHEA, testosterone and pregnanediol.[7][8]

While not directly addressing the positive tests for testosterone and pregnanediol nor explaining how DHEA can cause positive tests for these, Sarah's official website cites medical reasons as her need to have taken DHEA. She says, "My doctor and I worked together to try different treatment options for my PCOS, as a preventative measure. Because my progesterone and DHEA levels are naturally quite low because of PCOS, my doctor felt that supplementing with DHEA would help balance things out in my system. We did not feel that bringing my DHEA to a normal level would be contradictory to my stance as a clean athlete." [9] Robles's official web site does not mention any application for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) prior to the positive tests, and although she states that she acted on the advice of her doctor when taking this medication to treat poly-cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), her appeal of the suspension for medical reasons was denied.

Best wishes and congratulations to all involved.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Sarah Robles shed the weight of self-doubt and negativity so she 
could lift the 286 kilograms necessary to earn a bronze medal.

“I’ve had a really hard few months coming into these Olympic trials, and there’s a lot of times I had doubts,” said the California native, who said part of her journey to a more positive outlook included reaffirming her faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Overall, this quad has been the most challenging, mentally, for me. Trying to overcome my own self-doubts, trying to erase the negativity of a lot of people around me before. Before coming to the games, I was starting to get wrapped up in the result too much. I was worried about the weights on the bar, worried too much about getting medals.”

At a retreat where the team received their Team USA uniforms, they heard from former Olympians, and it helped her realize what mattered most wasn’t what she could win but what she could experience.

“We’re here for the process,” said Robles, who pumped her fists and collapsed to the floor before standing to curtsey in the direction of a group of family and friends who’d come to support her after her final clean and jerk lift of 160 kilos. “We’re here for the learning experiences. We’re here to represent our countries. And that day I was crying my eyes out. I had an overwhelming sense of American pride and Olympism.”

Robles' bronze medal is the first for the U.S. in weightlifting since 2000. She did everything she could to put herself in a position to medal in front of a raucous crowd, including making all six of her lifts, in what was her best performance this year.

She said her coach told her before she went out for her last lift that she needed to give the next few seconds her best effort. “He said, ‘This is eight seconds against the rest of your life,’” she said, adding that she didn’t watch the other lifts or worry about whether they might beat her. “I was sort of lost in my own moment.”

China’s Meng Suping won the gold medal on her last lift with a 177-kilogram clean and jerk for a 307 total. She edged Kim Kuk Hyang, People’s Republic of Korea, who lifted 306 kilograms.

Meng was a late addition to the Chinese team, so she said she struggled a little with nerves.

“I think this competition, for me, is indeed a very personal challenge,” Meng said. “I came onstage very nervous. But I was able to stabilize myself before joining the competition. I just followed my coach’s directions and treated every lift as a lift by itself. I think the end result was pretty good.”

Robles said in trying to move herself in a positive direction in her life and her sport, she’s focused as much on emotional and spiritual health as she has physical development. In July, she took out her temple endowments and she had an LDS priesthood blessing before she came to the games. She and her coach, Tim Swords, a Catholic, were studying scriptures recently when they came across something that has resonated with her.

“I had a moment with my coach,” she said in the post-competition press conference. “We were reading scriptures together, and … it talked about using your faith as a foundation and using singing and dancing as a way to praise. And I’ve tried to view the platform as my spiritual foundation, and my lifts as singing and dancing and praising. I try to keep it in the right perspective and use my body to glorify my God.”

Swords was emotional after Robles’ accomplishment, while she was giddy. She said she doesn’t even remember what she did after completing her sixth lift.

“I felt like an Olympic champion to myself,” she said of the effort that she called her “absolute best.”

None of the women in the competition had ever lifted 300 kilograms in competition before Sunday night. Robles said she was proud to be a part of such an impressive weightlifting competition.

“I think what happened tonight is a phenomenal thing,” Robles said. “I think it’s a great thing for weightlifting, as a sport; I think it’s a great thing for women; I think it’s a great thing for women of size; I think it’s great for our countries. … I think what we’re doing is a good thing. I think it’s good for society; I think it’s good for the world. And it’s nice to be part of the movement, the Olympic movement, and the movement of empowering women.”

Email: adonaldson@deseretnews.com

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What Do You Think of Crossfit?

It seems that I get asked this question more and more often. I don't think any one involved in athletic training of any type has not at least heard of Cross Fit. It is the latest fitness trend and seems to be sweeping the world. For a quick summary, Crossfit combines lifting with calesthetics and bodyweight expercises as well as strongman type training with various implements like tires and sleds. It is a continous circuit type of workout where different expecises are done with minimal recovery in between. In fact, the point is to lower the time it takes to do various circuits. Do I like it? Yes, and no. How's that for a PC answer? Seriously, I think the good things about it are:
1. It has gotten alot of people excited about fitness.
2. It is intense and simple. I like that. No gimmicks or promises of quick and easy results.
3. It has done more to introduce people to real weightlifting in the U.S. than USA Weightliftng has.
4. If you get in soon on the ground floor,and know what you are doing, you can make some honest money off of it.
There are also some things I don't like about it:
1. It is a hybrid of aerobic and strength training and doesn't really result in maximum results in either.
2. Exercise technique is often very sloppy. I see too many round backed pulls and dangerous positions that will eventually result in injury.
3. I don't like to see lifts like snatches and cleans done for high reps for the same reason. it promotes sloppy form and runs a high risk of injury.
4. It may be too intense for Joe Average to stick with over a lifetime.
In short, I think CrossFit is great for military, police, fire fighters,..etc. For athletes......? perhaps wrestlers and mixed martial arts types of competitors. Obviously for serious lfters or track athletes, this is not the way to go. I kind of think of it like what we here in the U.S.A. call a Swiss Army knife. These are little gadgets that contain all kinds of blades and implements like screw drivers,scissors, saws,..etc. in one foldable knifelike implement. They are great for camping or survival situations. They can get the job done in an emergency. However a carpenter or mechanic would not use it for their specialized work. They would buy a real saw, file, or screwdriver and keep a toolbox that was designed for their specialty. Most athletes would be far better off doing strength training, skill training, and whatever aerobic fitness they may need separately. I don't see CrossFit as being a viable training tool for most serious athletes.

Here is an innovative CrossFit routine!! Wrestle a shark then carry him home.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Usain Bolt's Agent Confirms the Sprinter Has Never Run a Mile

Usain Bolt's Agent Confirms the Sprinter Has Never Run a Mile

This falls under the category of stating the obvious, but is a great illustration of specificity of training that may be useful in teaching young people who don't get the differences. When I was much younger, we were all taught that running was running and any type of running was good. Our coaches timed us in the 2 mile run on the first day of practice to see who was in shape. It seemingly never occurred to any of us that running that speed on the field would be unacceptable that we were really just practicing running slow. Anyway, in 2016, most coaches and athletes know much more than we did. Although there are still a few ignorant individuals out there who waste a lot of time and energy working hard at things that don't make them better.

Since his several record-breaking performances in 2008, Usain Bolt has owned the track.

Well, parts of it, that is.

Despite the six-time Olympic gold medalist's dominance in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, he has never once attempted four trips around the track—or in other words, a mile.

Unbelievable as it may be, the discovery comes directly from the sprinter's agent, Ricky Simms, who summarized the scoop to the New Yorker's Charles Bethea by stating, "Usain has never run a mile."

But perhaps it's best to leave Bolt's 1,600-meter run as a dream, after all.

"Speed over short distances does not automatically guarantee relative speed over long distances," said Ross Tucker, an exercise physiology professor at University of the Free State, per Bethea.

So the world's fastest man may very well be mortal when confronted with the mile?

Now that seems like a fantasy.

[The New Yorker, h/t For The Win]

You don't get to be the World's Fastest Man by putting in miles.