Call it trendy, call it a “fad”. But this shit works for me, alright.

Here’s what it is – the bullet coffee is a signature from Dave Asprey that sees highly clean grade coffee mixed with a frothy dash of healthy fats, most commonly know as medium chain triglycerides (MCT). This type of fat is great for downgrading the typical rollercoaster that caffeine can put on the body, so if you drink coffee like it’s going out of style, listen up.

Fats help to slow the process of caffeine into the bloodstream. This is important because with a slower intake, the body doesn’t experience those same effects that caffeine can have nearly to the same degree.

Try this out:

Vegan Bullet Coffee

Make a coffee like usual (higher quality and organic blends are best)

Toss a couple tablespoons of coconut oil, a tablespoon of MCT oil, a couple tablespoons of cacao and a sprinkle – that’s right, a sprinkle – of cinnamon in the blender. Pour your coffee in too and blend on high for 15 seconds.

Drink it up pretty quick, otherwise it gets all weird and stuff.

Let me know how it goes. Did you experience any crash? Did you feel more full? Science works. But you be the judge.

Stay sweet!

M

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Ever wonder why your knee seems to flare up whenever you start running? Or maybe it’s your shoulder that starts to go only after a couple repetitions of chest flys? Well, I’m here today to put some food for thought on your plate on the ideals surrounding two popular exercise principles, load sharing and isolation.

To begin, we need a rough idea of what defines both of these principles.

Load sharing vs. Isolation: Defined
Load Sharing

The easiest way for me to describe this form of movement is from a functional standpoint. In a compounded movement (when two or more muscle groups work together to perform a movement i.e. back step lunge) the load or weight of the exercise is spread across multiple joints or levers. This helps to “share” the load and ultimately I have experienced more efficient use of movement in general application when coaching this style of movement. This, as one would imagine is incredibly beneficial for folks that are looking to become more functional and efficient at completing daily tasks. 90% of the people I have the privilege of working with are in this category. Makes sense? Your body can use more of itself to help decrease the strain on any single muscle group or joint and thus increase the likelihood of completing that exercise, pain free and efficiently. Bingo. Load sharing.

Isolation

The antagonist exercise to load sharing, in that it is actually the exact opposite. In isolation, we want to completely isolate one single target muscle group. Why? Well, theory tells us that promoting a targeted focus on a single group of muscles (i.e. pectoral major muscle in chest flys) concentrates that work load in that specific region. In doing so, what I have seen is a stronger recruitment or breakdown of muscle fibres, thus leading to quicker muscle development. Of course there’s exceptions to the rule, but this is a general consensus and the reason why isolation exercise is so popular amongst the bodybuilding world of fitness.

Over the years I have seen a few great differences between the two countering styles from a practical standpoint. While neither style is right or wrong in theory and practicality, I’ve seen that there’s a right and wrong time to use either and that’s simply based around each individual and what they’re looking for out of exercise. This is why I caution you to do your research when you’re getting back into an exercise regime.

Here’s the thing with isolation. I would argue it is more of an advanced or specialization style of training, even though it doesn’t in theory utilize more engagement. When you isolate an exercise, let’s use the back step lunge for example, you tend to cause all of the load of that exercise on one joint, in this case, the knee joint. Why? Well, generally trainers that coach a compound movement in the isolation style will coach you to force your trunk straight up from the hip, causing all of the force to be exerted through the quadricep in the front leg of the lunge. Over time, what I’ve seen in both myself and in clients is that this exercise promotes more direct strain on that knee joint because of that high load always forcing itself on that specific joint. It has no where else to go, so we tend to see over use injury as a result. things like IT band syndrome and quad tendon inflammation or (the highly over diagnosed) patellofemoral syndrome.

In my opinion, load sharing is a much safer, functional and therefore more enjoyable form of exercise when it comes to fitness, which as I said earlier – 90% of the people are looking for in regards to lifestyle goals. Take that same back step lunge, and now instead up keeping your trunk completely upright, hinge slightly, only about 15 degree forward while still maintaining a flat back (or “neutral spine”). This simple action puts your hips in just enough flexion to take a share of the load from the knee joint and help you to get up more efficiently with all of your body.  This action alone can help prevent overuse injuries of the knee, as you’re not relying on just the one joint to take that whole load all of the time. Overuse injuries are something I see very common with folks coming to me for assistance in getting their lifestyle back on track and let’s face it, if exercise causes pain, you’re likely not going to stick with it.

Conclusion

That being said, I would suggest really doing your research when you’re pulling exercise programs off of the bodybuilding.com’s or womenshealth.com’s of the internet. Because, oftentimes those writers gear the free exercise programming to the aesthetically pleasing goals of what everyone wants – “get a 6 pack in 6 weeks” or “9 ways to bigger biceps”. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to any fitness goals and if you try to cut corners and skip the crucial foundational stage of exercise – your tagline will read something like “6 weeks and $600 for a lot of lower back pain and a physiotherapy bill” or “9 reasons I strained my rotator cuff and now have tennis elbow”.

It’s simple folks, you can’t shortcut. I truly believe that professional assistance is crucial in order to start a lifestyle overhaul and continue to make ground on your goals, be it physically, personally or otherwise.

Hopefully my explanation about the difference between a load sharing exercise and isolation theory allows you at least think about your ego and how much more important it is than effective exercise and injury prevention. There’s a time and place for both styles and I hope this article helps you to decipher where you’re at in regards to using both.

Thanks for reading!

You don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. 

Mike

Ps. Click here if you want tips on surviving the rock star lifestyle delivered right to your mailbox

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Looking back on my last full year, November to November – it’s had it’s share of ups and downs. I am in a great place now, but it’s taken some time to come to terms with everything. I still remember that day. The weekend had just passed and I was rolling into North Hill World Health to do what I always do. Just like any other day – I was going to meet with a new gal whom I met in my Friday spin class and helped her out afterwards with some release techniques to help her relieve some nagging knee, back and hip problems she mentioned. I had no idea Michelle was going to be such a prominent figure in my next 12 months and as it stands, much much longer.

-Be forewarned, as you read on I open up to the behind the scenes truth and reality of my life. That’s what I do. I make no excuses for anyone in this post and for those reading it that were a part of the action, if you’re upset – you really only have yourself to blame. You’re in complete control of how you handle your reaction and in saying that, you can quite literally change the outcome of that action. I have absolutely no shame in any other the stuff I’m discussing and while this can act as a sounding board, my intentions are merely to bring reality and my perspective of the situation to light. This is the account as according to me… it’s not a choose your own adventure and some things could be taken pretty harsh. I figure, emotion is the basis of humanity.. so don’t ever hide your true colours. Deal with them.-

As many of you know, I had just been – for lack of better terms, abandoned- by my now former wife – Christy. I am  just waiting on documents for finalization of the divorce and I couldn’t describe to you in words how happy I am to be rid of that chapter of my life and the entire network that’s associated with that part of my past 5 years.

It goes like this, that Friday, November 21, 2014. After 5 years together, 3 of them married she decided to pull the plug on our relationship with no warning and no communication whatsoever with the help of her inner circle. Something now in hindsight, I can recognize I was never really a part of. Literally woke up, said I love you and then a bunch of elves or something came and took half of our basement suite away to “another place”, including our effin’ dog! Who does that? To her I guess our relationship was a cool idea in a snow-globe, paradise “Keep up with the Jones'” kind of effed up, dysfunctional way. I was clearly not seeing things the same way as I actually thought I had a great relationship. In any case, the sociopathic, pre-meditated nature of events that lead her to literally walking out on her problems instead of confronting and challenging them and finding another way has helped make this break a lot easier on me. *weakness* Segway….

Enter Michelle. *strength*

The title of my post says it all. No one brings it like this woman. And she’s done it from day one of working with me. I knew she would be a longer termed “client” of mine, because I knew I had the tools that would solve her previous ailments. However, I could have never guessed that she was up to the task of being one of the strongest pillars of my success through what could have otherwise been an absolutely devastating turn of events after my life flipped ass-over-tea-kettle, upside down and inside out. She was a constant reminder of the need to push through any challenges, working hard at everything with a planned direction and goal in mind. An incredible teacher to learn from especially with the timing of my current life events of going through a shocker of a separation. It didn’t stop there. No, no. Michelle probably doesn’t even realize how much our goofy side conversations and her constant interest in my “flavour of the week/month/day” helped me cast off the absolute torture I was enduring through this separation. To put it in perspective, she kept me focused on resetting myself from what I thought was my path to find a new way, allowing laughter, ridiculous playlists full of One Direction and an overall great time to be had every single time she came in for a session. I was so fortunate for her upbeat, sarcastic, but absolutely loving persona to be a part of my life at such a critical time. She quite honestly kept me a float more than a few times and I’m willing to bet she had no idea, because that’s just the way it is. Kinda like Tupac.

Michelle has gone on to support me and actually I probably owe it to her for DSPT in it’s entirety to actually come to fruition. She first mentioned I should get a bootcamp style outdoor thing going so she could come train and have fun again with her girls. That’s how it all began. So not only did she act as my therapist over the past 12 months, she has also helped push me into actualization of building my own passion for health and wellness in others into a very successful operation. This woman is an absolute angel if you believe in the big guy upstairs, a complete beauty with a golden heart, precious soul and integrity within her rivalling a modern day Mother Theresa. This blog wasn’t supposed to be about how awesome she works in every session, or how great she looks and feels and continually gets better performance out of herself even though she curses me up and down most days we’re together. She does that anyways. That’s just by-product. A no brainer. No, it’s about the stuff you don’t hear or see. The silent leadership Michelle keeps that empowers the whole room. The quick smile and hop-to-it-attitude when set rest is over and it’s time to get back to the next round of swings. It’s the charisma and confidence of going up and letting Jessica or Alanna know how great they look, genuinely from the heart as she hadn’t seen them since she got back from vacation or whatever the case may be. It’s crazy to see how much magnetic charm, charisma and overall positive energy one person can maintain through the darkest of situations or most daunting of tasks. She’s really one of the biggest reasons I was able to realize, “Hey, it’s not so bad on this side of the tracks. I might have dodged a bullet.” Even if that was the case, Michelle would be one of the first to jump in front and take the bullet for me. Good god, home girl  you know I would do that same for you.

Michelle, you have done so much for my personal growth, my professional career and you have actually helped me set a foundational mindset full of pursuing one’s passion. This is something that I have for 1. now based my business DSPT on, 2. my now-retired skating career message on and 3. my reason or calling in life on. I will continue to employ this attitude in all of my acts of service and relationships moving forward and I cannot thank you enough for being there with me and keeping me grounded. You deserve the world for you and your beautiful family and I’m so glad I can be a part of it. You’re truly the definition of champion, rockstar and most importantly friend. I am so excited for our new challenge of getting you to a new level with your sport, Triathlon. The unmarked territory and exciting nerves are going to be the fuel that gets you there. I’m just the facilitator, the medium. And even though you may not think you’re the rockstar at the start, you’ve made the decision to start to become that rockstar. Take a lesson here, folks. Michelle, you’re an inspiration.

Please, if you would like to be a part of my success stories, reach out to me through the contact form below and find out how to train and motivate and inspire others with the heart of someone like Michelle. If you’re in the Calgary area I would gladly set up a brief chit-chat about your health and wellness goals and see if we can team up to start your path to becoming a rockstar. You truly are limited only by your own reality, I encourage you to push your standards and strive for success! I will help you start that journey and realize your health and wellness goals.