Archive for Blog
6 months ago, almost to the minute as of the time I am writing this, I was about to undergo surgery on my left shoulder. It had been bothering me for several months, and although there wasn’t much pain associated with it, I knew that something wasn’t right. After numerous visits, x-rays, MRI’s, visits to PT’s, and even chiropractic care, it wasn’t getting better. Actually it was getting worse, and my range of motion became limited. So after discussing it with my wife, Physical Therapist, and new Orthopedic Surgeon, I decided to get it repaired.
My shoulder had a torn labrum, a torn rotator cuff, adhesive capsulitis, and an extensively hooked acromion that was creating an impingement during movement. Some of this was genetic, some of it wear and tear. The irony is that it really didn’t hurt all that much, and you wouldn’t know how much damage there was based on how I was feeling, the workouts I was able to do, and my range of motion. But I knew that something wasn’t right, so I had it looked at.
The surgery was a success, and I was back at work training clients and teaching classes the next day. Once the nerve block wore off (it numbed my entire arm and made me unable to control most motion), there really wasn’t any pain. I was instructed by my surgeon to keep the arm moving as much as I could tolerate, but not to lift anything. I followed the doctors orders, and was a 1 armed trainer and business owner for 7 days. On my follow up appointment, Dr. Cox came in to the exam room and said, “Let’s see what you got!” and instructed me to extend my arm overhead as high as I could. Since it was the first time I did this after the procedure, I was a bit hesitant, but I trusted Dr. Cox and complied. The arm went straight up overhead, and I displayed a full range of motion. Amazing! Dr. Cox kindly called me a “freak”, and called a few members of the staff in to take a look. They were all amazed, but I knew it had nothing to do with me. It was due to Dr. Cox’s skill.
I was given a prescription for physical therapy, and immediately went to see Dave at Caldwell Therapy Center. I’ve worked with Dave in the past, and he and the entire staff at CTC are outstanding. I followed instruction and did everything Dave told me to do. In a very short amount of time, my therapy was completed, and Dave boasted that there was really nothing left for me to do other than to start exercising again, as clinically, I was recovered in about 4 weeks or so. Dr. Cox gave me the OK to start lifting lightly again, and I followed his direction (see a pattern developing here?). On my next follow up, I was given full clearance to resume all activities with the exception of throwing with my left arm (I am right handed-no big deal). I’ve been back to my normal training since.
Here is a short video clip that I took a couple of days ago:
Now, I didn’t post this to brag or boost my ego (maybe a little ego boost). I am 37 years old, and this is the heaviest dead lift I have ever done. I wanted to share this for two reasons:
1) To show that you don’t have to limit yourself based on your age.
2) To discuss how important it is to have the right team in place to get you back to good health when you suffer a setback or injury
My team consists of several people:
-My Physical Therapist (Dave Grancagnolo)
-My Orthopedic Surgeon (Dr. Garrick Cox)
-My Chiropractor (Dr. Sean McLaughlin)
They all had a role to perform, and were there when they needed to be. As a patient, I was the ultimate decision maker in terms of what I was and was not going to do. I knew the eventual outcome was going to be up to me and the work that I put in. However, I would have to be an idiot not to follow the advice of those who are experts in their field.
I did what I was instructed to do. I was patient when I needed to be, and aggressive when I was given the all clear. I provided feedback on an ongoing basis and wanted to be included in the process of healing. I got a lot of sleep in order to let my body heal. I asked for help when I needed it, but didn’t play the role of a victim and not do anything. Above all else, I used common sense and realized that healing is a process, not an event.
I want to inspire you to understand that just because something is hurting or doesn’t feel right, it does not mean that you have to accept it and permanently alter your activities. There are experts out there that can help you. There is no reason to live a diminished quality of life or suffer in pain when there are people out there who can help you. A lot of new clients come to me, and I refer them to a physical therapist when I need to, especially if I screen them and there is pain present. Many times, these symptoms can be improved in a short amount of time and the client can get back to exercising. Sometimes there is an underlying condition that may need further treatment. Regardless, the client is doing something that is going to positively affect the quality of their life, and isn’t that what it is all about?
Mark Mogavero, CSCS, FMS, Pn1
I just returned from taking the final exam in a self-defense class at the county college. For those of you who do not know, I am study for a second bachelor’s degree focusing on nutrition, with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian. As a requirement for the completion of my degree, I had to take a physical education credit. Rather than taking a useless course, I decided that I wanted to get the most out of the experience that I could, and chose Introduction to Self Defense.
I must say that I enjoyed it enormously, and recommend to everyone who has not had such a course to seek one out. It could easily save your life or the life of someone who you care about some day. It is very empowering to know how to take someone down quickly if they are deemed a threat, but that these tactics should only be used in self-defense, not to attack someone.
Anyway, one of the themes that we explored during the course was the theory of “Harm Reduction” as it relates to self-defense and recognizing a potentially risky situation before it develops. One of the examples that was used by the instructor was to imagine that you and a friend were going out to a club, and as you exited your car and began to walk across the parking lot you notice several individuals smoking something that just didn’t smell legal. In order to reduce potential harm to yourself, a rational individual may decide to turn right around and get back in the car and choose another club to imbibe at. What if the first club is raided for illegal drugs while you and your friend are there? Potential harm avoided if you go elsewhere for your entertainment.
This got me thinking about harm reduction as it relates to fitness. Would the average person have the ability to see a potentially harmful fitness situation before it actually happened? Would it be safe for an individual who has never exercised before to jump over a stability ball? (True story, as another trainer that I used to work with at my previous employer asked a new client to do this) Should everyone dead lift? Perform plyometric movements? How about take a workout from a fitness magazine and start doing it themselves?
I work with a large number of post-rehabilitation clients, and many of them could quickly become injured again if they were to start a workout program detailed in a fitness magazine and just try it on their own. This is not to degrade the magazines or the coaches who put the workouts together. Many of them are leaders in the field are highly regarded for the results they are able to get clients while participating in a safe environment. The point is that these types of workouts are not intended for everyone, and even the fittest individuals would struggle to keep getting results after doing these workouts for a few weeks.
At Mogavero’s Fitness Innovations, we use the Functional Movement Screen to identify movement patterns that our clients need work on, and use this screen to assist in our program design. Nearly everyone that we screen has some sort of asymmetry (right side not moving the same way as the left, etc) or a movement compensation as a result of a lack of mobility or stability somewhere in their body. If someone scores low on the shoulder mobility screen, it makes no sense to have this individual do overhead barbell presses in their workout, as an example.
Some harm reduction advice in the area of fitness:
-Don’t perform an exercise or a routine that someone else is doing just because it looks cool
-Safety first- don’t do anything that you are not comfortable doing (unless supervised by a fitness professional, and even then you should never feel out of control), and give others who are throwing weights all over, jumping, etc, plenty of room so they don’t hit you
-You can never, ever out-train a bad diet. Eat like shit, you will look like shit. If you don’t, eventually you will
-Change your workout every 3-4 weeks. This will keep you from developing overuse injuries, and once every 2-3 weeks take a full week off from resistance training.
Stay focused on what could potentially happen in any situation, and be aware of how that can affect you. It is more important than ever to pay attention to your surroundings, and what you are subjecting yourself to.
Get signed up to lose your belly fat at: http://mogaverosfitnessinnovations.com
I get a lot of questions concerning what the best type of exercise is and who should be doing it. I am a big fan of interval resistance training, and describe some of my methods in an article I was recently interviewed for by Livestrong.com. Check it out here, and give me your thoughts:
I am sure that I am going to get some flak for some of the statements, but if you look at what methods the best in the industry are using, it is this type of training. My clients, and people all over the world are seeing great results. So if you are sick and tired of that boring elliptical machine or treadmill, read the article for some fresh ideas that could accelerate your fat loss and improve your conditioning at the same time.
An article just caught my eye that is entitled “5 Fitness Myths You Need to Forget“, and it really pissed me off.
It’s rare that you catch a collection of such bullshit in one place, but this article promotes the same regurgitated
crap that has been spewed for years and has resulted in the increasing waistline in this country.
Here are the myths that they try to de-bunk in the article:
1) Walking is not as effective as running
2) Exercise increases hunger
3) It doesn’t matter where your calories come from
4) Diet alone is enough for sustained weight loss
5) There is no best time for exercise
Let’s start with number one, about walking being as effective as running. The article implies that, since you
burn the same amount of calories per mile walking as you do running, then running doesn’t do any more for
you physically than walking. Really? I would ask the author of this to go run a hundred yards and measure
the heart rate. Then, walk the 100 yards after allowing your heart rate to return to your resting level.
Which method of locomotion creates a higher heart rate? Apparently, walking is not the same as running as
it causes a different physiological response from the body. And the author doesn’t want to mention which is
better for burning fat.
Exercise, according to this article, does not increase hunger. The author states that “research shows that
exercise has no effect on a person’s food needs, with the exception of endurance athletes who exercise for two
hours a day or more. In fact, research shows that exercise often suppresses hunger during and after the
workout.” I’d love to see that research, and the lab where they do their work. Experience, and my clients have
shown me that hunger does increase, but that does not mean they are consuming an additional caloric load, or
eating more calories than what was burned during the workout. If you are not hungry within an hour of
exercising, you simply are not working hard enough during your workout. Your body should be starving to
replace the glycogen that it has just burned.
I agree with most of what was stated in number three, but would have liked to see more written about protein
and fats. The part of diet alone being enough for weight loss is flawed. The author focuses on muscle and how
it burned more calories than fat, and how muscle is more dense than body fat. This is true. But he/she misses
the point in that diet is very important in building that muscle to begin with. And the focus should not be
weight loss according to this mentality, it should be fat loss, which is what we are all really after.
The last point talks about when the best time is to workout. Is there an ideal time for peak performance for
the human body? It appears that in the later afternoon, humans are at their highest body temperature and
some studies have shown a slight increase in measured performance. However, that slight increase is not
important to 99% of the population. It’s geared more towards those who are micro-managing their scores,
times, and weight lifted. Most people do not need to believe that there is only one good time to workout, and
this really pisses me off. People need to exercise when have the time to do so. If a person is seeking the peak
time to set a new personal record in a bench press, then by all means try it in the early afternoon. Most people
have no interest in this.
Most people will never notice a difference in their performance at 3:37 PM versus 6PM or 6AM. I’m sure
that a bigger factor would be in the food they ate, how well they slept the night before, and what their activity
levels were like in the week leading up to that performance. Way to confuse everyone, Readers’ Digest Blog!!!!
Mark Mogavero, CSCS
Owner, Pine Brook Boot Camps
To lose fat rapidly in North Jersey, go to http://www.northjerseypersonaltraining.com
and sign up for your 2 week free trial.
I was just reading a fitness industry publication, and in it there was an article about one of the larger chain gyms in this region. The CEO of this company was discussing that while revenue was down, he expected the company to do well in the future. Sound like the typical CEO gibberish that they have to spout when they are discussing the financial prospects of the company moving forward. But, he then said something that I find appalling, and really pissed me off. He said that “In addition to a reinstatement of a $20 processing fee for new members as of June 1, ” the chain “plans to increase its annual dues rate by 1.5% for a majority of its members on Sept 1.” “We think we deserve it.” No, you most certainly do not deserve it.
Deserve?? Deserve is a term that in its root, means to be “of service.” In this instance, this chain, and most businesses for that matter, need to “EARN” it. In my mind, none of us deserve anything more than to be treated properly, and be given the opportunity to earn what we get out of life. This chain is completely clueless. If you are considering joining a gym, do you feel as though they “deserve” an extra $20 of your money on top of their established fees for the privilege of you joining their membership list? It is this type of misplaced entitlement that led me out of the chain gyms, and into my own studio.
On another note, does everyone “deserve” a great body, or do you have to earn it? The people who are members of the Pine Brook Boot Camps EARN it every class. They deserve results because they have physically earned them. They do the hard work, watch what they eat, get enough sleep at night, and stay dedicated to a program designed to get them the results they want.
They do not feel entitled to rapid fat loss without giving the effort to earn it. And that is something where the large gyms are sadly failing. But that is OK. As they continue to pile the fees on, and people wise up to what a rip off such facilities are, smaller facilities dedicated to getting you results will prosper. And I love that.
Who’s looking out for ya?
Mark Mogavero, CSCS
Owner, Dynamic Personal Training
To lose weight fast in North Jersey, go to http://www.northjerseypersonaltraining.com and sign up for your 2 week free trial.
Are you flying into the new year and crushing your fitness goals? Or are you failing to achieve anything but the same body you have had
for a long, long time? Ask yourself this question until you can come up with an honest answer. Losing fat and keeping it off can be achieved,
but it is going to take a sustained disciplined effort.
Don’t sell yourself short.
You can get there.
You can do this.
You have it inside to finally get over that hump.
It’s not an easy road, and there will be setbacks. If you get lost, then stop and take a deep breath.
Take a look around.
Regardless of where you are planning on going, the path is right in front of you if you allow yourself to see it.
Keep it simple, work at it a day at a time, and realize that small gains really do add up.
And stay off the damn cardio equipment and those stupid machines. They will do nothing for you but keep you fat.
And that is how the big chain gyms want you, because it keeps you coming back hoping this will finally be the year.
But you are onto them now.
Get after it!
Well, 2010 has arrived. I think there are a lot of people out there who would rather forget about 2009, but I don’t consider myself one of them. You see, I am a big believer that our experiences make us who we are. And those who achieve the most are the ones who can learn from their experiences, and apply those lessons in the future.
As a fitness professional, this is a very busy time of the year. More people than I can count have made a resolution to lose weight, get a six pack, eat healthier, etc. And the sad reality is that by the end of this week, many of those who made promises to themselves are going to break them. It’s not that the intentions weren’t sincere, or the individual really doesn’t want to change. I would say that 90% of people are unhappy with where they are in life if they are consciously making resolutions.
What they don’t have is an ability to understand that change requires a consistent effort each day in order to stay the course. A person who wants to eliminate debt has to be disciplined enough throughout the year to save more than they make in order to use that money to create a debt free status. If that individual doesn’t change the spending habits, and the income remains the same, then it is impossible to pay off that debt. The math simply isn’t there.
How about the person who wants to quit smoking? Very, very few of those who smoke are going to be able to quit cold turkey. Some do, but the numbers tell us that it takes a process to consistently reduce the volume of cigarettes per day until the habit is kicked.
Remember your high school physics class? “An object in motion tends to stay in motion”??? Newton’s first law of motion if memory serves me correct. I have a law of my own that applies to humans, and that is that humans of habit tend to stay humans of habit.
A person will do the same thing day in and day out unless they are forced to do something different. This “force” could be a willingness to change the way they look, how much money they make, how much vacation they take, how many kids they have (sometimes this choice is made for you), etc.
In the fitness arena, your habits make you look the way you do.
Genetics plays a role, but a small one at that.
Your physical appearance is based upon the foods you eat and how frequently you eat them, how much rest your body gets at night, and physical activity levels.
I’ve seen a lot of people come into my studio with the idea that if they workout hard enough, they can make their bodies look like a cover model without changing anything else. Needless to say, they are not happy when I inform them that it is going to take more than just 40-45 minutes a day with me to look that good. But, I let them know that the change in their activity habits is a start, and if they can make the new activity levels a habit for a t least two straight weeks, then they are going down the right path.
Eating the correct foods often and throughout the day is 80 percent of the equation in your overall appearance. Sleep is the other major factor. If you were to take a person who performs the correct exercise regiment each week, and eats well each and every day, but fails to get more than 4 hours of sleep a night, that person is not going to look too healthy. You need to have what Phil Kaplan commonly refers to as “synergy”, where sleep, food, and activity are all in sync with one another in assisting an individual achieve their fitness goals.
I am not writing this to destroy anyone’s hopes of finally looking the way they want or making a concerted effort to improve their fitness in 2010. My goal is to inspire you to do so in a realistic way and one where your expectations are not unrealistic.
Too many people talk to me about getting results like the people on “The Biggest Loser” do. I personally feel that what they do to those poor people is criminal, and extremely unsafe for their well being. Don’t try to mimic what the contestants do on that show, it is not good for you. And everyone on the show is sequestered, fed controlled meals, and their activity levels are ridiculous for their fitness levels.
If the contestants keep up that type of training for anything outside of the window of that show, they are going to suffer from overuse injuries and potentially life threatening stress on their cardiovascular systems. How many of them wound up in the hospital over the last few seasons? Lucky they didn’t die….
My goals for any new client or anyone new to exercise would be to change 1 habit per week at the most.
If you are eating 3 times a day right now, eat 4 times a day for one week before introducing anything else.
The next week, add a few workouts, but keep eating 4 meals a day.
The next week you would eat 5 times a day for a week, then add 1 more workout the following week, and so on until all of the changes that you are making become second nature. That is when you have made a real change, a change to your habits, which will result in the body that you want.
It takes effort and discipline, but if you keep it simple, there is no way you can fail to make 2010 your best year.
Pine Brook Boot Camps is going to hold a charity workout tomorrow morning at 9 AM
at our facility, located at 82 Bloomfield Ave Pine Brook, NJ. Everyone is welcome, including
old clients, friends, family, co-workers, those interested in learning more about a boot
camp style workout, or anyone interested in being involved in a great cause.
Your admission ticket to this event is a frozen turkey or $20 worth of non-perishable food
that will immediately be donated to the Caldwell Food Bank to support local families this
Thanksgiving. In addition, Pine Brook Boot Camps will donate an additional $20 worth of
food for all current boot camp members who attend.
We’re hoping that this will be a huge event, and since it will be an outdoor event, it’s great
to see that we have a great weather forecast. Dress in layers, as you will be taking one or two
off once you are warmed up, and bring some water (you’ll need it .
Check out our article in the Caldwell Progress!!
Help us help out those in need during these trying times. It’s the true spirit of Thanksgiving
to reflect upon what we have, and help out those who are struggling more than we are. Even if
you do not want to work out, please stop by between 9 AM and 10 AM and drop of some goods.
For further information, please contact Mark Mogavero at Food Drive Workout Info,
or call 973-685-6795. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!!!
Here, you will get to watch a candid interview with me conducted by my wife, Melanie. I touch upon my own personal battles, image issues, arthritis, eating habits, and how much Prograde supplements have done for me. In the last 7 weeks, I’ve lost over 21 lbs, and am in my best shape since I was a teenager.
Anybody can accomplish this dramatic a change in a short amount of time. All you need is consistency, dedication, and a reason to do it. Many of my clients have experienced the same type of results, and so can you. The question is, can you do better? And will you?
Feel free to comment below.
I saw a news story last night concerning the request by Japan’s All Nippon Airways for all of it’s passengers to make sure they urinate before boarding the plane. ANA is doing this in the hopes that it can save fuel, which in turn could save up to 5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per month. According to ABC News, the average human bladder will hold about 16 oz, and if everyone on board a Boeing 767 were to empty their full bladders prior to boarding the plane, that would reduce the weight of the plane by 240 lbs.
This story got me thinking. If we were to take into account the total amount of fuel that is wasted each day in the US due to an overweight population, how many barrels of oil would that be? Think about that for a moment. We use gasoline, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, ethanol, hydrogen, and a few other forms of fuel to transport us to work, the supermarket, on vacation, and various other trips. How much fuel is wasted because, as a population, we are too fat? If a small airline is asking it’s passengers to save up to 16 oz each in an effort to save money and the environment, what kind of impact could we have here in the USA if everyone were to lose only 5 lbs?
We always hear that you can get better gas mileage in your personal automobiles by cleaning the car out in an effort to reduce the weight of the car, thereby requiring less fuel to accelerate a vehicle to cruising speed and keep it there. I’ve never seen a paragraph in these articles mention that the driver could save just as much fuel, if not more, by losing that same amount of weight through diet and exercise. I could be wrong, and it may have been mentioned somewhere at some time, but it doesn’t mean that I am late to the party, so to speak.
Since the amount of fuel required to propel a vehicle, be it a big rig, pickup truck, subcompact, train, or even a plane, is largely based on the mass of the object and the speed to which it is necessary to accelerate to and maintain, it would only make sense that an effort should be made to lighten the load as often as possible. Strong but light is the major theme in the design of planes and automobiles, which benefit greatly through the use of materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber. Engineers go to great lengths to find materials that will allow the vehicles to be strong enough to support the loads placed on the unit, yet light enough to be a fuel efficient as possible.
Could the solution to all of our current economic hardships be the most simple? Stay with me here. What would the US look like if every citizen were to lose 5 lbs of body fat? Here are the potential benefits and areas where there would be immediate cost savings:
1) fuel (and an important step in reducing our expenditure for foreign oil)
2)clothing (less fabric needed to cover smaller bodies- 5lbs doesn’t necessarily mean a smaller size, but 8-10 could)
3)health insurance (a healthier body requires less medical procedures)
4)water (faster showers)
5)shoes (less weight means less stress on the cushioning in a shoe, making it last longer–sorry Doctor Scholls!!)
6)medication (tons and tons of medication are polluting waste water as it goes into our bodies and a small percentage passes through into the sewers)
That’s just 6, and I ask anyone reading this to share another in the comment section below.
There are many reasons to lose weight, from lowering blood pressure to easing stress on the joints of the body. Now, you can help the environment by dropping a few pounds. Just think, when I am running my Pine Brook Boot Camp classes, the campers and I will be doing our part to make the world a healthier place to live.
Let me know your thoughts.