Arnold Classic Asia Multisport Festival is here and you are invited. 

Are you ready to have some fun by joining in on the first ever Arnold Classic Asia?

There is something for everyone, even if it’s just entertainment.

Here are a few options if you were wondering

CrossFit-This will be a very inclusive team competition with no minimum work requirement for any athletes, giving you a chance to contribute your strengths and pass on the things you haven’t quite mastered just yet (Burpees) to your very willing team mates.  


Powerlifting-If all you want to do is lift some weight then be sure to sign up for this one. Deadlift and Benchpress, the staple for any avid gym goer.

Olympic Lifting-Take the opportunity to max out on your Olympic lifting in front of your friends and family while being hosted by a world class athlete. Donny Shankle will be making sure to get you in the zone to hit some PR weights.

The Lifting competition will be held on the second day so if you want to take part in both CrossFit and Weightlifting.

The event will be held indoors at the Asia World Expo, by far the biggest venue to host a competition of this sort. There will be a lot to see and do all around the event, so a definite great weekend of entertainment for you and family. There will be some great prizes up for grabs but taking part in a world renown event and possibly having Arnie award you a medal should be more than enough incentive to take part.

Hit up your registrations as soon as possible to secure your space.

For CrossFit

https://www.fitsquid.com/contestant-Reg.cfm?event_id=2647

For Power lifting

https://www.fitsquid.com/contestant-Reg.cfm?event_id=2655

For Olympic lifting

https://www.fitsquid.com/contestant-Reg.cfm?event_id=2650

Look forward to seeing you all there

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Is sugar your kryptonite?

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Sugar can be our kryptonite for many of us, especially us women who juggle between a high stress job, taking care of our children, being a wife/girlfriend, and now an EBF athlete.  Our life is constantly non stop on repeat..and reaching for that sugary treat can seem so easy.  I mean, we earned it right with our training and our hard work in the office and at home?  One innocent bite of that biscotti with your cappuccino, a few chocolate chips in your trail mix, a new Starbucks drink that you’ve always wanted to try… all of this adds to our addiction… sugar addiction that is.

There has been numerous studies suggesting that the effect of consuming sugar has the same euphoric effect on our brain like recreational drugs.  So instead of telling you to completely STOP having sugar, I wanted to share 9 tips with you on how to crowd out sugar so that you are less dependent on the rush to function through your day!  Sooner or later, you will feel more in control and will be able to enjoy the sweet rewards on occasion!

1.  Reduce or eliminate caffeine.  The ups & downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar swings and may cause sugar cravings to become more frequent.

2.  Drink water.  Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration.  Before you go for the sugary treats, have a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon and wait a few minutes to see what happens.

3.  Eat sweet vegetables and fruits.  They are naturally sweet, healthy, delicious, and full of fiber which allows the natural sugar in these produce to be released slowly into your body for a stable energy source.  Being in Hong Kong, we are spoiled for choice!

4.  Avoid chemicals, artificial sweeteners and foods with added sugar.  Use a little bit of gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dried fruit, stevia, and barley malt.  Always try and couple these sugars with cinnamon which helps control the blood sugar when you ingest them too!

5.  Continue your EBF!  Being active naturally helps you balance your blood sugar which will eliminate the need to self-medicate with sugar.  Endorphins anyone?

6.  Get more sleep, rest, and relaxation.  If you are in a chronic state of stress, no wonder your body tempts you to reach for simple carbohydrates for easy source of energy.  Make sure you switch off at night, turn your phone on airplane mode, and curl up with a cup of chamomile tea in time for bed.

7.  Check the labels on your fat free and low fat foods.  These packaged goodies can be loaded with hidden sugars to compensate for the lack of fat.

8.  Experience with spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom will naturally sweeten your food and reduce cravings.

9.  Slow down and find sweetness in non-food ways!  Buy yourself a lovely aromatic candle, go for a foot massage, or take a dip in the swimming pool!  We can reward ourselves in ways that don’t always involve a piece of cake!

I wish you another active healthy week ahead!

Kind Regards,

Maya Schuler-Stewart
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
BSc Sports & Exercise Science

EPIC MMA & Fitness Performance Centre
3/F On Hing Building, 1-9 On Hing Terrance,
Central, Hong Kong
Work: (+852) 3702-6232
Mobile: (+852) 6388-0153
FB: EpicMMAClub IG: EpicMMA Youtube: EpicMMA

Quick tip of the Week: Handstand

Handstand

Last time I gave a quick tip I discussed the importance of stability in the feet while overhead squatting. I figured it would only be natural to discuss stability in the hands when inverted this time around.

When inverted on the ground, our hands pretty much play the role of our feet. Toes are replaced by fingers, ball of the feet is what your first knuckles are, and heel of the palm is like your heel. It’s important to know how to distribute weight in order to find that good balance otherwise you will struggle to find that stability. Imagine trying to stand up without knowing how to balance on your feet. Pretty sure you’ll fall on that tush of yours rather quickly (and we’re just talking standing, not walking).

 

Check your hand position. Your hands should be about shoulder width apart, your index finger points forward while the rest of your fingers are spread apart. The more you spread them, the bigger your balancing platform becomes, so let’s use the most leverage we can get. The weight should be distributed on your fingertips, your first knuckles and the heel of your palm.

focus point

Important to note that if the weight is too much forward onto fingertips, then you will have a tendency to lean forward, similarly, if the weight is shifted towards the heel of the palm, you will be pulled backward. So find that balance around the middle part.

A good way to practice this weight distribution is to do so in a FLR (Front Leaning Rest). Keep that hand position similar to a handstand, shift the weight forward, centered and back, start getting used to it so we can translate it into Handstands!

FLR2

Let’s keep working hard and develop our skills!

Have a good weekend guys!

-Coach Chris

CrossFit Gymnastics Cycle

 

 

Well we have finished our Strength Cycle and now begin our new CrossFit Gymnastics cycle. This cycle we will still have as many components of CrossFit as we can program but will put a bit more focus on the gymnastics movements.

 

 

Gymnastics is a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring strength, flexibility, balance and control. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and from circus performance skills. Then CrossFit came along and added it to a functional fitness training program and now we are talking about it.

Now I don’t need you mount a horse or walk a tightrope in your clown suit but it would be great to know that should the situation arise you may be more competent than the average Joe.

 

Even though it would be great to go the Olympics I feel like this is not going to be a realistic goal for this year, maybe next time.

The idea is to improve our specialized gymnastic movements within CrossFit as well as venture off to a few challenging movements taken from the sport of gymnastics itself. Keeping this in mind we still need to keep a balanced program that caters to all levels of ability and interest. If you really want to improve your gymnastics skills to a much higher level then you would have to commit more time outside of the classes to achieve that.

Expect a few new movements and to really get a result from them you can add them in to more of your training days along side some flexibility work.

Flexibility is a class all on its own and I highly advise you spend at least one day in the week working on yours. At Epic your have some choice in alternative classes to help you with this, so no excuses!!! Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 10.49.42 pm

For this cycle do your best to stay honest on your ability and don’t try rush the progressions in order to satisfy your ego. If you need an ego boost just give me a shout and I will send you a message full of compliments to help you feel amazing.

Stick to tempos and rep schemes and lets try get you to the next level CrossFit Gymnast in order to get you further on your fitness journey.

How’s it hanging?

Hey guys, it’s me again, your friendly Canadian Coach. Did you know that dead hanging off a bar or rings is actually great for you? Yup. That’s right. Your hands might give out and it will be uncomfortable for the skin, but the rest of your body will love you for it.

bbmeme

Christopher Sommer, National Gymnastic coach for the USA, has been a big advocate of dead hanging for years and includes them as part of his foundation courses.

Ido Portal, a martial arts expert and teacher of movement, pretty much swears by them.

(Those are only two well renowned people who preach hanging for good shoulder health and strength, but if you want to look more of them up, do a quick google search and you’ll notice how many support it.)

Are you one of those people who has a hard time pressing an apparatus overhead while maintaining straight arms outside the ears? Well, next time you find yourself next to a pull up bar or set of rings, grab them and hang. Notice how your arms and shoulders are now in proper position?

Instead of doing a bunch of long and repetitive mobility drills that you’ve probably been doing for quite some time now, just hang.

Here are a few things that dead hanging will do:

  • Improve shoulder mobility.
  • Improve forearm strength.
  • Improve grip strength.
  • Improve arm and shoulder strength.
  • Improve back strength.
  • Improve handstand.

We are lucky enough to have them programmed once in a while (great job Doug!!), but you should try doing them more often. Next time you reach for that foam roll, elastic band or lacrosse ball, maybe switch it up and go for that pull up bar or set of rings.

Hanging is a basic human skill. Part of why we have arms and shoulders is so we can pull, push, and you guessed it, hang. Living in today’s society, we rarely find ourselves in a situation where we have to hang, but it doesn’t mean we should ignore that skill. So this isn’t an exercise aimed only towards people with some form of shoulder issue. It’s for everyone.

I started incorporating them more in our warm up this week and you can expect me to keep doing so. If you can’t hang for more than a couple of seconds, then start off by doing it with your feet on the ground and as you improve, diminish the support.

Here’s founder of Z-Health, Dr. Eric Cobb, one of the world’s leader in harnessing the power of the neurology of movement, discussing it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnTmMMlLxLE

If you’re still not convinced..remember how awesome this guy looked when doing it:

tarzan

Let’s improve that shoulder mobility and develop that strength!

 

-Coach Chris

Quick tip of the week: What about your feet?

Ahhh, the Overhead Squat…An exercise many people dread because it can be so difficult to master. You try it, and try it, and try it again but it takes so damn long to correct and fix.

Well if you read my previous article then you’ll remember how I preach patience in those complex movements like the Olympic lifts, so I won’t spend much time addressing this here. You’ve probably been shown or seen a few mobility exercises for your shoulders and/or hips, maybe even for your knees and ankles, but did you ever pay attention to your feet?

The feet are the base of our body, without them, you can’t run, walk, jump, or simply stand and yet, they’re probably what we neglect the most. Not only do they help transmit our weight to the ground, but they also are the ones that make us maintain an equilibrium while moving or standing.

How does this translate to the overhead squat? If you don’t have a solid base, you will start compensating elsewhere, meaning your ankles or knees might cave in, which can also affect your hip and trunk position .

So, next time you squat, think about keeping all that weight on your heels while maintaining your big and small toes on the ground. If you can’t go to full depth with your weight well distributed on your feet, then stop wherever you feel you start to compensate and hold the position. Do it for a few sets. If you feel more solid then try dropping just slightly lower and hold the position again. DO NOT force through if you’re breaking form. Stay where you can maintain good positioning,hold it, and with time/work it will improve.

The base is the most important aspect of our movement, if you don’t have a solid one, you can mobilize your shoulders or hips until the cows come home, you won’t have a good overhead squat.

cow

-Coach Chris

Got DOMs?? Good!!

Here at Epic Health and Wellness, we understand that the majority of gym-goers experience muscle aches and pains after a gruelling session, thanks to our coaches, or have muscle tensions and tightness, no thanks to work and daily life stresses. How would you like to decrease this soreness and tension in less than 20 minutes in a more comfortable and relaxing way without having your muscles and ligaments kneaded and twanged like they do in the local massage parlours?

 

Using the G5® electro-mechanical massage and percussion, we provide deep massage in an efficient manner targeting anything from soft tissue injury scars, muscle spasms and trigger points. It can also be used for lymphatic drainage, increasing range of motion by reducing oedema and relaxing muscle swelling that can occur during inactivity or tissue damage. The G5® uses oscillating vibrations to relax the muscle and release endorphins, resulting in an analgesic effect.

 

For those whom are already receiving chiropractic care at Epic Health and Wellness, you know how this machine can make you melt to your knees.

Along with any sorts of therapies, there are physiological responses that occur that make them work the way they do and change the way the body functions and reacts. So, here comes the boring theoretic part

 

All of the following revolves around how the body responds to the vibrotactile response

  • Creating new neurological synapses by increasing range of motion and mobility: Joints, tendons, muscles and soft tissues in the peripheral body are innervated with receptors that are vital for proprioception, dynamic joint stability and the generation of movement. These sensors provide feedback in the spinal cord and brain when activated whereby specific areas in the brain are stimulated showing its neurological pathway. When stimulation to the peripheral area is decreased or diminished, the neurological pathways also diminish with it; when these pathways are stimulated again, the pathways are re-activated and even reinforced creating new connections making the pathway stronger. In other words, the brain is capable of healing injured connections by forming new ones when stimulated via the senses. This is why full range of motion is important.

neural-pathways

  • Pain reduction: The activation of large nerve fibres can block the transmission of pain to the level of the spinal cord. This is where the receptors that are stimulated by vibratory stimuli leading to the activation of inhibitory interneurons that inhibits second order nociceptive neurons in the dorsal horn. This is the pain gate theory.

Have you ever heard the advice someone gives when you have a headache? If you ever suffer from headaches, try squeezing the muscle in between the thumb and index finger. You should notice that the headache decreases in intensity. However, the pressure is released, the headache returns.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Pain Gate Theory, watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfWO2wciIUY

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzdoavXw07w

 

Physiological changes:

  • Increased circulation to the area of restriction delivering oxygenated blood and nutrients to the tissue and removal of harmful metabolic waste product
  • Increased venous and lymphatic drainage decreases local swelling and oedema caused by tissue inflammation
  • Elasticity and flexibility of connective tissue elongates connective tissues secondary to mechanical loading
  • Increased temperature causes an increase in elasticity and stretch of muscle

 

All-in-all, this machine is a very useful tool to aid in healing and reducing aches, pains, and muscle tension in an efficient manner. Come and try it out

Feel free to contact us at EpicMMA Club

Dr. Elaine Leung (Chiropractor)
EPIC Health & Wellness
1/F China Building
29 Queen’s Road Central

Hong Kong
Main: (+852) 2525-2833 
Mobile: (+852) 9267-5321 (WhatsApp preferred)