010719 Are you at Risk for Hyponatremia? Part 1

010719 Are you at Risk for Hyponatremia? Part 1

For a long time we have been told to drink, drink, and drink more fluids to keep us well hydrated. Well it just so happens, you can, in fact, drink too much!

Pronounced hi”po-nah-tre’me-ah, it means a deficiency of sodium in the blood or salt depletion. Put more medically it “is a disorder in fluid-electrolyte balance that results in abnormally low plasma sodium concentration”. Although rare, this can be a lethal condition if left medically untreated.

If you are a “salty sweater” and are a small framed, light-bodied individual, you may be at risk before your heavier partners. A small body means it takes less fluid to dilute the extra cellular fluid. Losses of a large amount of sweat and/or salty sweat increase the rate of sodium loss in the body. Add in the extra water without sodium and the stage is set.

Drinking too much before and during prolonged exertions in a hot, humid environment contributes to the condition. Hyponatremia is a situation whereby blood concentrations of sodium fall to an abnormally low level. This precipitates a rapid and dangerous swelling of the brain that in severe cases leads to seizures, coma and finally death. The way it does it is in this manner:

Thanks for reading this article.

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https://activelyfitseniors.blog/ is focused on the older generation with such topics as Aerobic Training, Anaerobic Exercise, Balance, Training Benefits Of Exercise, Body Composition, Equipment, Fitness, Flexibility, Miscellaneous Info, and Physical Activity presented by professionals in the field.

130519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 4 Overtrained

130519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 4  Overtrained

How do you know if you are entering the overtrained realm? Listen to your body. As an example, one of my personal “sure fire ways” of knowing I am entering this phase is illustrated in the following scenario.

In my training diary, I keep track of every set, every rep and every weight lifted in every session. I note how each set felt with an alpha character beside the log entry for that set. It is either an “E” for easy, an “M” for moderate or an “H” for hard.

If my training is going really well and I find myself writing down how much weight I will be lifting a month from now on the present program…I know it is time to change or one of two things will happen:

1. I will get hurt (more than likely I will be getting hurt)
2. I will not finish the program

Invariably, this is a major clue to me to change the intensity, load, duration, sets reps, or frequency of exercise. If I do not heed the obvious warning signs of my projected gains, I lose in the end.

This little secret has saved me many a time over the past ten to twelve years of developing an injury. Every now and then, I forget and keep pushing ahead anyway.

The last time I ignored it I ended up with a shoulder surgery. I was laid up unable to use it for over six weeks. Yeah I know what you are thinking; he could have done squats with a safety squat bar. I did and the pads on the par extensions hit RIGHT ON THE STITCHES. I kept up squatting. I was complaining (whining) to my doctor about the pads hurting the shoulder he had stitched up so recently. He looked directly at me and said very calmly “Don’t rip out my stitches”. I stopped doing them and went instead to the leg press machines in my gym.

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS*D

In days of old when men were men and women were women they exercised in the fields or in their homes from sun up until sun down. And no one ever mentioned overtraining, supercompensation, distress or ustress; they just did what had to be done to survive. They ate clean, lived clean and died clean.

We could take a lesson from them and do the same but we don’t. Sure they were strong, they had to be just to keep living back then. It is apparent from reading any history at all that staying in shape was not the reason these old timers did so much hard work. It was to continue to live. But times have changed and we don’t have to struggle quite so much to stay alive-at least in many areas of the world. Now we can go to a gym or workout in our homes to stay in shape.

If we followed the regimen of sun up to sun down we would get in shape darn fast but how long could we tolerate the program? Not long I am sure.


“Supercompensation” is the thin window of opportunity between overreaching and overtraining. It is the ideal goal in any well-designed exercise program, especially if you are contemplating a contest in the near future. But, how is it reached without overtraining and getting hurt?

The body’s adaptive mechanisms are wonderful and can do marvelous things to keep you healthy. However, you must pay attention to what it is saying about the evolution-taking place concerning your training loads, duration and intensity and the effects on you.

180319 Five Facts About Flexibility and Stretching

180319 Five Facts About Flexibility and Stretching

1. Maintaining your Range of Motion (ROM) is important, as it appears to reduce the potential for injury. An adequate ROM will enhance your ability to do certain physical and sports related activities.

2. The best time to stretch is immediately after the warm up as the blood flow and temperature in the muscles is highest. This makes them more elastic and in a better condition to be stretched. However, this is NOT the time to stretch if you are about to participate in a power sport, i.e. sprints, pole vaults, throwing movements or weight lifting. Stretching before these types of activities reduces the power output by as much as 8%!

3. One of the key facts to maximizing flexibility is the amount of repetitions performed each time. The magic number seems to be no less than two up to about six per position. Hold to the point of mild discomfort for 10-30 seconds. The time has not been universally agreed upon.

4. The order in which you exercise matters. Stretch the major muscles first. From these move to the specific muscles that will be involved in the upcoming activity.

5. Isolate the muscles to help eliminate any compromises in your efforts. By concentrating on specific muscles, you also lessen your risk of injury.

311218 Changes in pain 2/2

311218 Changes in pain 2/2

Typically, your pain will gradually subside over time with the proper treatment. If this does not happen then a revisit with your doctor is in order just as it would be if the pain changes in character.

If you experience the following, it is time to seek outside help.

  • Fever or chills and or night sweats
  • An inability to empty your bladder
  • Incontinence of your bladder or bowels
  • Weight loss that you can not explain
  • Pain that cannot be relieved with rest and relaxation
  • If you are awakened at night by your pain
  • The inability of positional changes to alleviate your pain symptoms
  • Numbness, pain weakness in your legs, either one or both of them

These signs or symptoms could indicate an undiagnosed condition such as an infection, compression fracture of the spinal column due to osteoporosis, nerve root or spinal cord compression, a kidney stone or stones, an abdominal aortic aneurysm , spinal cancer or a tumor that may have started elsewhere and spread to the spine.

In the case of the latter, these are especially true in the case of prostate, breast and lung cancers.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you and don’t let these signals pass without an examination by your doctor.

241218 Changes in pain 1/2

241218 Changes in pain 1/2

Typically, your pain will gradually subside over time with the proper treatment. If this does not happen then a revisit with your doctor is in order just as it would be if the pain changes in character. For instance if your pain moves up the scale from mild to severe or greater then call your care provider and follow their suggestions. A more serious change would be an onset of new symptoms such as tingling or numbness; both demand a consult with your doctor as soon as you can get in to see them. Your doctor should reevaluate these changes in the pain characteristics. They will conduct an examination and either eliminate a possible serious threat to your health or change the directions of the present care program.

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most commonly reported health issues.

Throughout ones life, there more than likely will be at least one episode of low back pain. The cause can be muscle strains, deconditioning of the body brought on by a sedentary lifestyle, spinal disk damage from accidents and the degenerative diseases of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. In some cases, the pain escalates into an unbearable situation and must be aggressively dealt with by the medical professional. In the present case of low back pain, serious red flags that appear need to be heeded and promptly attended to by a medical professional.

Part 2 next week

250618 The warm up-ending notes 4/4 

250618 The warm up-ending notes 4/4 

Warm ups that consist of static stretching prior to the power and explosive sports are contraindicated. Warming up dynamically is the key to explosive displays of power.

Taking into consideration the issue of muscle soreness as a reason to wait seven days; if you are still sore seven days post exercise then you have possibly suffered an injury. On the other hand being sore is not an indicator that you need to stop exercising as this soreness will evaporate shortly after the first one or two movement specific warm up sets. Joint tightness helps produce more power output as the joints aren’t fighting a loose set up but are instead closer to the levers actual working ranges.

Static stretching and its relation to power output in the lower extremities

Warm ups that consist of static stretching prior to the power and explosive sports are contraindicated.

Remember that a dynamic warm up is the key to explosive displays of power.

300418 Physiological factors affecting strength gains

300418 Physiological factors affecting strength gains

The organism rapidly adapts to the load or intensity due in part to ‘an enhanced level of to neural facilitation’… which ‘probably accounts for the rapid and significant strength increase early in’ the ‘training, which is not necessarily associated with an increase in muscle size and cross-sectional area’.

These neural adaptations are thought to be by-products of improvements in the efficiency of the neural recruitment patterns, increased activation of the nervous system, greater enhancements in the motor unit synchronization capabilities of the muscle fibers, a lowered inhibition of the neural reflexes and an inhibition of the Golgi tendon organs. Taken in order then we have the following psychological neural factors that are thought to influence the development of strength in the human body.

Improvements in the efficiency of the neural recruitment patterns

The central nervous system and the muscles will adapt to the load imposed upon them during the training process. Employing the greatest possible loads within tolerance levels (maximal effort training) evokes the greatest rewards. During this time the maximum amounts of motor units are recruited and the central nervous system inhibition, if it exists in the athlete is thereby reduced with this approach. The highest number of motor units, activated with the greatest discharge frequency within the “biomechanical parameters of movement and intermuscular coordination are similar to the analogous values in a main sport exercise”.

An athlete must have the ability to learn to magnify and memorize these changes in the motor recruitment patterns and firing order in order to succeed in the strength sports. These changes have to come at a subconscious level of thinking. Proper training cycles and intensity of effort will develop this subconscious thought process.

031017 Question of rest time between exercise sessions

031017 Question of rest time between exercise sessions

I’m a little confused on how long I should wait in between strength training sessions. I was always told 2 days but now someone has told me that if I do an intensive lower body training session I should wait an entire week before going back to that muscle group to allow a true and full recovery. Is this true

Answer:
In my opinion a week is way to long to wait between sessions. Your muscles will be into the detraining zone. Two days isn’t bad but you lose a lot of training time waiting. I would not suggest a one weeks wait in between muscle groups, even the largest muscles in your body, i.e. your back and legs should be recovering within two to three days at the most. The majority will recover within one to two days even after an intense workout. Are you getting my training newsletter? If so I am addressing recovery issues for the next several months.

Elite athletes are lifting up to 14 times a week. You may not be in the elite ranks right now so it may be better to lift according to your experience level. For instance, if you have been lifting under six months then twice a week will get you going. Over six months you may consider three times per week. In my gym after a year of training time I have many of my trainees on a four day program. With the exception of my competitive athletes I am not saying I want them in my gym four times a week. Since most of them have their own gear I eventually want them lifting at home or elsewhere. I am not in favor of creating a dependent relationship with those who train with me. I expect them to learn and apply what they have learned to their own circumstances by thinking about their training and discovering what is working and what isn’t, then they plan their own course of action.

Taking into consideration the issue of muscle soreness as a reason to wait seven days; if you are still sore seven days post exercise then you have possibly suffered an injury. On the other hand being sore is not an indicator that you need to stop exercising as this soreness will evaporate shortly after the first one or two movement specific warm up sets. Joint tightness helps produce more power output as the joints aren’t fighting a loose set up but are instead closer to the levers actual working ranges.

260917 Recovering from an exercise session

260917 Recovering from an exercise session

Exercise is a way of life for many people; they stay active longer into their lives while remaining mentally and physically sharper than their non-exercising friends. An active lifestyle requires a firm dedication to living a healthy life through good food choices and exercise. Sometimes being active brings with it a few aches and pains.

There are moments though when, especially after a particularly hard training session, soreness may occur. Even though this may be a cause for concern, there are strategies that may be used to relieve some of this discomfort.

Use a cool down after your session is completed. These few minutes of less vigorous activity help your body to return to its pre-exercise status by lowering your breathing, heart rate, and temperature back to near normal numbers. This time aids in the recovery of the muscles and cardiovascular systems.

Static stretching after the initial cool down gives the muscles a chance to relax and gives you a moment or two to improve your flexibility at the same time. Stretches are particularly effective now because the muscles, tendons and ligaments are all warm and flexible; just what is necessary to be productive.

Athletes generally weigh themselves before and after training sessions. This is to ensure they are staying properly hydrated. A recreational athlete might consider doing the same for the same reasons because a loss of fluids causes a loss of mental and physical sharpness. The rule of thumb is a pint a pound. Therefore, for every pound you lose exercising you need to drink at least 16 ounces. The exception to this is for an extreme endurance athlete or the salty sweater (1), not only is water important but so are the electrolytes.

Give your muscles the nutrients necessary to repair themselves after the session. Low fat chocolate milk is ideal in this situation because it has a good balance of carbohydrates and protein in each pint. Drinking one of these within ten to fifteen minutes pushes the glycogen back into your muscles and this helps them recover faster meaning a quicker return to your favorite activity.