Archive for February, 2009

By Nick Nilsson (From Charles Staley website/newsletter)

So it’s no secret that I like using equipment that offers multiple exercises. When it comes to THAT, the sandbag is one of the kings of the hill. I’ve been messing around with this thing for awhile now (you’re going to see a lot more sandbag stuff coming your way in the coming months) and it is AWESOME. I HIGHLY recommend grabbing one of these, if you don’t already have one. I have a bag filled with 70 lbs of sand. It can be used for a TON of exercises. To grab yours (a bag and filler bags make a complete set), click here. We carry them in the Staley Training Store and have some great deals on them. Going to have to get me one of the 150 pounders next, I think. Anyways, this exercise puts the “fun” back in “functional”…okay, maybe not…it really depends on how much you like really hard, unglamorous work 🙂 Me, I find this one fun.


Set your sandbag on the ground and kneel down on one knee in front of it. Start with your right leg forward and the bag just in front of you, like in the picture. Beng forward and slide your hands underneath the bag


– make sure you keep your core and lower back tight – your lower back should have an arch in it. You’ll feel a great stretch in your right glute as you lean forward – most of your power is going to be coming from that right glute and from your back.

Now heave the bag up and over your left shoulder.


 Flop the bag down on the ground, grab it again then shoulder it again. After doing 4 or 5 reps on one side, switch legs (left leg forward now)

So many great applications for the sand bag—What a great work out!  And fun, in a sick way!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



Barbell Russian Twist  Alt. 20-30 reps    9296 

                Pivot Feet!


Kettlebell Swings   20-30 Reps                martonekbsbasics1russian-th1

            Watch your Toes!  Shoes???


Box Jumps    20 reps                                           img_0489preview


Physioball Plank to Push Up   20 reps       core-abdominal-and-lower-back-exercises-26 <———->   physiopushajpg_00000004727

Complete 3- 5 rounds.   Rest 1-3 min. between rounds (or longer as needed)

Get Strong! Stay Strong!  (Have Fun!)


Did you hear about the recent recall of cereals made by the Malt-O-Meal company? At last count people in 14 states had been affected by two kinds of cereal that had the potential to contain salmonella. And you thought cereal was one of the safest things you could eat! Unfortunately it seems that isn’t the case. So, what exactly is salmonella? How is it spread? And how does it end up in your breakfast? Keep reading for the answers to all those questions and more.

Did you hear about the recent recall of cereals made by the Malt-O-Meal company? At last count people in 14 states had been affected by two kinds of cereal – unsweetened puffed rice and unsweetened puffed wheat – that had the potential to contain salmonella.

And you thought cereal was one of the safest things you could eat! It should be – shouldn’t it? I mean, you can store it for what seems like forever. It’s not like raw meat or chicken – foods you might expect to potentially make you sick.

But unfortunately it seems that isn’t the case. So, what exactly is salmonella? How is it spread? And how does it end up in your breakfast? Keep reading for the answers to all those questions and more.

Salmonella Defined
Salmonella is bacteria commonly found in food-producing livestock; chickens, cattle, pigs and even humans carry some form of salmonella bacteria in their digestive systems. 

Salmonella Contamination
When the fecal matter of a processed animal comes in contact with a food item, there is a possibility of salmonella contamination.  If the contaminated food item is not properly cleaned and prepared, the salmonella bacteria could be ingested into the human body.  Cross-contamination of food occurs when the bacteria contacts a preparation surface which is not then properly sanitized. Foods coming in contact with that surface become contaminated with the bacteria.  When salmonella bacteria are ingested into the human body, they cause a form of food poisoning. 

Typically, salmonella bacteria are taken into the body with oral ingestion of contaminated food; however, the bacteria can also enter the body through cuts and abrasions on the skin during the preparation, handling or otherwise touching of any contaminated surface.  In addition to food preparation and ingestion, the salmonella bacteria can be transferred during the handling of reptiles.

Finally, a valid reason not to touch a snake.

Salmonella Statistics
Salmonella is the most common form of food poisoning with over 40,000 cases reported annually and resulting in over 400 deaths.  Salmonella infections occur within 12 hours to three days after contamination. 

Symptoms of Infection
The signs that a Salmonella infection is present include:


• Diarrhea
• Abdominal Pain
• Nausea
• Headache
• Fever
• Chills
• Muscle Pain

Dehydration is the major concern in cases of salmonella infections and the goal of any treatment is to replace lost fluids, specifically electrolytes.  There are a number of electrolyte solutions available without a prescription, including sports drinks. In most cases, treatment to relieve the diarrhea should be avoided as this tends to prolong the illness; however, changing your diet during the episode may ease the diarrhea.  A diet rich in binding foods like bananas, rice, applesauce and toast may help. 

A salmonella infection typically has no long-term consequences, and the illness runs its course in 4 to 5 days.  However if a person with a salmonella infection is unable to take fluids orally, there is concern for dehydration.  IN that case, a person may need to receive additional fluids intravenously to replace the fluids lost to diarrhea. 

Prevention Tips
You can help prevent the outbreak of salmonella by preparing food in a sanitary way.  Keep all surfaces coming in contact with raw meat or poultry clean.  In addition to cutting surfaces, keep all cutting utensils clean between uses.  Cross-contamination is a major concern with salmonella bacteria.  Fruits and vegetables are capable of becoming contaminated with the bacteria if they come in contact with any preparation surface which has not been cleaned.  When handling food, keep your hands clean.  Wash with hot, soapy water between preparations to remove the bacteria from your skin.

If you have reptiles in your home, always wash your hands after handling them, and be sure to monitor your children when they are around reptilian pets.  Touching the pet with the hands, and then putting the hands to mouth may transfer the salmonella bacteria.

If you’ve ever suffered from a salmonella infection, you know it’s not fun. But by following the prevention tips above you can avoid being contaminated in the future. And for those instances you have no control over, such as the Malt-O-Meal cereal case, make sure you’re attuned to any notices or recalls issued by the FDA.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (Stay Healthy!!!)


If you’re an athlete who leans toward strenuous workouts, whether you pound the pavement or fly down black diamond ski slopes, it is time to tweak your recovery, sports nutritionists say.

The long-held belief from the late 1960s encouraging avid exercisers and elite athletes to rehydrate and to reload with carbohydrates is passé. Protein has muscled its way back into popularity.  Studies show that carbohydrates combined with a little protein creates a better muscle refueling and building response, and it reduces cortisol, a hormone that breaks down muscle, says Nancy Clark, an active member of the American Dietetic Association’s sports nutritionists and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Timing is also important.


“When our athletes reach the finish line, they’re trained to go right to the feed bag,” says Troy Flanagan, head of sports science for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. Flanagan is with the ski team at the World Championships in Val d’Isere, France, where Lyndsey Vonn won her second gold medal Monday.

“They can take a sports drink, a milk, or yogurt drink,” he says. “The feed bag is right on the hill. They will eat straight away.”

Clark says that to grasp why the ski team’s feed bag exists is to understand how the body conducts two fundamental tasks: refueling for energy and rebuilding muscle. Carbohydrates — grains, fruits, vegetables — digest into glucose, and that glucose is gasoline to the muscles. Extra glucose gets stored in the muscles as glycogen to maintain normal blood glucose (sugar level) and fuel the brain. During prolonged exercise, levels of glycogen in the muscles and liver are tapped. Glycogen depletion is associated with fatigue.

A 1966 study showed that after exercising, athletes replaced depleted muscle glycogen more quickly by consuming carbohydrates (such as pasta, potatoes, rice) compared with a high-protein or high-fat diet (such as fried chicken, cheese omelet, steak). The high-protein subjects remained glycogen-depleted for five days, while those on the high-carb diet replaced glycogen in two days.

Carbs do not build or repair muscle. Protein does that job. Clark says that in fine-tuning the science of recovery, studies started reintroducing small amounts of protein to carbohydrates to see if the combo would speed up muscle recovery without sacrificing glycogen refueling.

John Ivy, a kinesiologist at the University of Texas, has been one of the leading scientists advancing ideas about protein. He invented a sports drink used by Michael Phelps and his teammates on the swim team at the Beijing Olympics that’s designed to reduce soreness and promote recovery when consumed soon after racing or working out.

“Immediately post-exercise, muscle is very sensitive to nutrient taken,” Ivy says.

Olympian Billy Demong eats as soon as he can after a challenging workout — even when he does not feel like eating. He competes in cross-country skiing and ski jumping as a Nordic combined specialist.

“Eating within 30 minutes of a hard or prolonged workout is critical in recovery,” he said. “And actually within 10 minutes is almost twice as good to replenish glycogen stores quickly.”

He likes a “pop like Coke or Fanta immediately and a PB&J (peanut butter and jelly sandwich) soon after, followed by a long cool-down for recovery.”

Kikkan Randall, a cross-country skier in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, likewise says, “Nutrition after training is super important.” She and Demong are training for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Her preferred items are sports drinks and gels or a peanut butter and honey sandwich. But she likes to drink chocolate milk or hot chocolate when it is available.

And, she says, she is not averse to the occasional doughnut.


“Doughnuts are probably a little high in fat and lack the proper amount of protein, but it’s carbs and energy back into the body and a good motivator,” she said in an e-mail. “It’s my way of rewarding myself.”

Vonn’s reward after competing is a sports drink, followed by an energy drink for extra glucose.

Still being debated: the ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Which works better: four parts carbs to one part protein, or 2-to-1? Demong goes with the 4-to-1 when he chooses a recovery drink.

Clark says experiment and find out what works for you. She is a big promoter of using natural foods for recovery because they have vitamins, minerals and other health-protective qualities.

“Commercial sports foods can offer convenience — but they are not better than chocolate milk, yogurt, fruit smoothie (made with fruit and yogurt) or any other carb-protein combination.”

Unsure of your recovery needs?

Ivy says you can benefit from carb-protein combos if you work out hard more than 45 minutes at a time, three to four times a week.

Clark, however, has a tip for fitness exercisers, who are mostly trying to lose weight and do not damage muscle or deplete glycogen stores.

“For them, eating something after exercise can nip the appetite in the bud, before the cookie monster visits,” she says. “A protein-carb combo can be more satiating than carbs alone.”

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and recover properly)



 PS.  If you are as happy as her while doing this……You’re not working hard enough! Ha Ha

Matrix:  1 arm dumbbell (DB) snatch   15x

                1 arm DB shoulder carry squats   15x

                1 arm DB swing   15x

Isometric Chin/Pull up Hold    20-30 sec.

Squat Thrust Jump Ups   15x

Stability Ball Skiers or Tucks 15x

Isometric Chin/Pull up Hold   20-30 sec

Alternating DB Upper Cuts     20x

Rest 1-2 minutes and repeat using opposite arm.

Do 4-6 rounds.

This circuit is one of my current favorites inspired and modified from one of JC Santana’s fighting/metabolic circuits.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



By Jason Ferruggia (Author of Muscle Gaining Secrets) 

Question: I have a question about how to build big calves. Mine are like string beans and can’t get them to grow. Got any good suggestions?

 Whenever people ask me how to build big calves, I immediately check their training volume. High volume works great for calves. They are probably the hardest muscle to build. I have always had calves like string beans.

Just doing a few sets for them never did anything for me. Since I had no desire to train them and preferred to focus on strength, athleticism and bigger compound lifts they stayed that way for years.

The only time they finally responded was when I hit them with very high volume. I usually do this for about a month and then I am bored to tears and stop training calves again for another year. Also, you can’t really tolerate the high volume loading for too long before you will start to develop some ankle/achilles problems. If you are an athlete and run or jump a lot, don’t even consider doing high volume calf work.

If you just want to get them jacked then you need to really increase your volume and frequency. I have put two inches on my calves in just over a month! Now, don’t get me wrong, my calves are still small, but the point is you can add significant size to your calves if you really want to.

They were Arnold’s worst bodypart and he dedicated all his time and effort to bringing them up. He even cut all of his pants off at the knee so he had to suffer the embarrassment of having his calves exposed wherever he went.

One option is to do a set of calves between every set of every exercise you do at each workout. Be sure to go heavy, get a good, deep stretch and hold it for a second (and up to ten seconds) at the bottom and get all the way up on your big toe at the top while flexing your calves hard. When you do standing calves your knees should be slightly bent on the way down and then locked out on the way up.

Another option is to start each workout (or each lower body day) with calves. One day per week would be heavy standing calf raises for 5-10 sets of 5-8 reps and the other day would be seated calf raises done for 4-5 sets of 15-30 reps.

You should also consider training the tibialis anterior muscles. These are the muscles that run down the front of your shin. Some people develop imbalances from too much ankle extension and not enough ankle flexion. When this happens and becomes a problem, the calves will not grow. So train these muscles by hanging your feet off the end of a bench and holding a dumbbell or DARD device between them and flexing your feet up toward you for a few sets of 10-20 reps, twice a week.

After you finish up with standing, seated and donkey calf raises and the tib raises, try doing farmers walks for up to five or even ten minutes while remaining on your toes the entire time. This will absolutely smoke your calves.

Finally, finish up your workouts with 10-20 minutes of jumping rope.

The above strategies should definitely get anyone’s calves to grow rapidly in a couple of months. Just be sure to ease into the extra volume slowly and gradually and take a step back if your ankles start to bother you.

If you are currently doing only 3-4 sets of calves twice per week you should slowly add a set or two at every workout until you get to about 10 or so. Ten hard, heavy sets plus the farmers walks and jumping rope should be more than enough for most people to add an inch or so in a month.

Good luck.  Jason

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



 Will H. Stewart II, FAFS, CMT Fellow of Applied Functional Science

The Scene: 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia USA

The Event: Womens Gymnastics The Apparatus: The Vault

The Athlete: Kerri Strug

This should start ringing a few bells. The US team needed a score of 9.493 to win the gold medal for the US. Her first attempt received a score of 9.162. It was erroneously thought not to be enough. To make matters worse, she had under-rotated her first fault and injured her ankle, and because of the miscalculations, her coach told her she needed to do it again. On an injured ankle, Kerri Strug sprinted down the runway and nailed her vault receiving a 9.712. Gold! This was truly what Olympic moments are made of. Ms. Strug was later taken to the hospital and treated for a third-degree lateral ankle sprain. This was, of course, after she had stood on the podium to receive her gold medal with Team USA Gymnastics.

Most of our ankle sprains are not as dramatic as Kerri Strug’s; however, they can be just as bad and ugly. The foot/ankle complex is an amazingly beautiful and complicated system of many bones, muscles and connective tissue that give 3-D support. However, this complex system is prone to injury. Eighty-five percent of ankle injuries are sprains and out of those, 85% are lateral ankle sprains. Unfortunately, ankle sprains that are not rehabilitated functionally can cause dysfunction not only at the foot/ankle, but also up the kinetic chain. Functionally, as we look at the foot and ankle, we know that as the foot hits the ground, it causes a chain reaction that takes the calcaneus into eversion. There are numerous muscles, in particular the peroneus longus, which decelerates the eversion along with assistance from the medial deltoid ligaments of the ankle. However, as stated before, most of our ankle sprains are inversion sprains. While we have muscles that decelerate inversion of the foot, along with the three lateral ligaments, it unfortunately is, as in Kerri Strug’s case, not enough. After the ankle is evaluated and diagnosed by a qualified health care provider, functional rehabilitation can commence. Traditionally, depending on the grade of the sprain, the R.I.C.E. method was recommended to control inflammation and ensure no further damage. Guided by Applied Functional Science, we know that there are 12 multi-joint muscles that send their tendons across the ankle and subtalar joints of the foot. We also know that ice reduces swelling.



Therefore, one of the many strategies for rehabilitating a lateral ankle sprain (right foot, in this case) would be to mobilize the affected region by performing a 3-D lunge progression in cold whirlpool (as well as out of the whirlpool) that will elicit the proper sequence of joint motion and stress the tissues from least to greatest. This will effectively provide an authentic swelling control to “pump out” inflammation, as well as proprioceptively stimulate the ankle/foot complex. A lunge matrix progression for a right stable lateral ankle sprain that goes from least amount of stress to greatest could look like this:

Right Foot Left Lateral Lunge (Least Stress)

Right Foot Anterior Lunge

Right Foot Posterior Lunge

Right Foot Left Rotation Lunge

Right Foot Right Lateral Lunge (Most Stress)


The Right Foot Right Lateral Lunge is the last lunge in the progression since it will stimulate lateral ankle ligaments more than the others listed above it. Discretion for the lunge progression is paramount so that motion is introduced at the right time and right direction without overstressing the damaged tissues. Gary Gray explains and demonstrates other powerful techniques in the “Ankle Sprains: Chain Reaction Rehab” edition of the Functional Video Digest Series that observe proper biomechanics to facilitate proper joint motion, soft tissue healing and proprioception. Some ankle sprains are bad, some even look pretty ugly; however, if we understand Chain Reaction Biomechanics, we are able to assist the body in healing and returning to GOOD function.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



At some point or another, it happens to everyone: You can’t sleep. When you finally drop off, the alarm buzzes a microsecond later. Then, you can’t get up. And then, it gets worse: When you finally drag yourself out of bed, you look like you-know-what. 

Can’t imagine why the sleep gods had it in for you? Think about what you ate the night before, says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author ofThe Food & Mood Cookbook. Any of the following — much less a combo platter — can leave your body on uneasy street for hours:

• Spicy foods: Garlic, chilies, cayenne, and other intense spices are yummy going down, but they can keep you up with heartburn or indigestion. Avoid MSG, too, as it can trigger dreams that are a bit too vivid.

• A big dinner: An overtaxed digestive system takes hours to settle down, and there’s nothing restful about that. When sleep’s critical, make lunch your largest meal, and enjoy a light 500-calorie dinner early in the evening.

• Raucous veggies: Eat those good-for-you-but-gassy foods — beans, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts — in the middle of the day. A tankful of gas can keep anyone up at night.


• Speed eating: Relax and enjoy meals to avoid swallowing air, another common cause of midnight tummy trouble.

• Nightcaps: Alcohol may make you drowsy at first, but later on it disturbs sleep patterns and leads to awakenings and restlessness. A 4-ounce glass of wine with dinner won’t hurt, as long as it’s not within 2 hours of bedtime. 


• Coffee after breakfast: Caffeine can linger in your body for as long as 12 hours. So if you’re often wide-eyed at bedtime, make sure you’re caffeine-clean for at least 12 hours. (Skip tea, chocolate, cola, or other caffeine culprits, too.) Still watching the clock at 2 a.m.? Wean yourself off even morning java, then stay caffeine-free for 2 weeks. If you definitely sleep better, you have your answer: Caffeine is not your friend. If the results are mixed, “Try adding back a cup or two of coffee or tea in the morning and watch what happens,” says Somer. “But if sleeplessness comes back, cut it out.”

Getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night doesn’t just make your eyes bright, your skin happy, and your mind sharp, it can also make yourRealAge as much as 3 years younger.

10 Top Sleep Boosters
Nibble on one of these 10 high-carb calmers an hour before bedtime — you’ll be yawning in no time. 


1. Half of a whole-wheat English muffin or raisin bagel drizzled with honey 

2. Two cups of air-popped popcorn

3. A small slice of angel food cake topped with berries  

4. A frozen whole-wheat waffle, toasted, with maple syrup

5. Half a cup of pretzels

6. Fresh strawberries dunked in a little fat-free chocolate syrup

7. Half a cup of pasta topped with marinara sauce

8. A 4-ounce baked potato topped with salsa

9. A handful of oyster crackers and a piece of fruit 

10. Canned mandarin oranges sprinkled with crystallized ginger

—-RealAge Website


Get Strong! Stay Strong! ( and sleep well!)