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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finishing Strong 2012

Here at Better Bodies on Campbell we ask you if you remember what your fitness goals for 2012 are?  I know it seems like Jan was a long time ago and that is because it was.  So long ago that we are probably starting to think about what our plan is for 2013.  So I am encouraging you to finish 2012 strong.

I figure one of two things have happened to our 2012 goals.  The first, we are right on track and finishing strong and we are ready to get through the Holidays with victory and set up for 2013.  Or second, we lost site of our goals and we off track.

If the first is you then congratulations and keep going.  Tell us how you kept on track with your fitness goals here or on Facebook.  If the second is you, then lets take a minute to reflect on what we wanted to accomplish in 2012 and see if your goal is salvageable.  If not, lets set a mini goal to finish the year strong and set yourself up for success in 2013.  We would like to hear your story either here or on Facebook of how your going to finish strong this year with your health and fitness.

If you need help with your program either by design or if you would like us to be more involved, call (520)318-3488, DM us, or email us at  We can help you finish strong.

All approved stories will be featured on Facebook and our website as well.  Video and pictures are welcome.  Lets stay healthy Tucson.


Justin List
Owner: Better Bodies on Campbell

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fitness For The Weekend

Let's hear it Tucson, What are we doing for fitness this weekend? I will be doing my normal routine of Sat. resistance training and Sunday morning 4 mile hike at Bugs Springs. Your all welcome to join the hike. We hit the trail about 7. If your interested give me an email or text and we will coordinate an exact time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sleep and Insulin Article from NPR

Poor Sleep May Lead To Too Much Stored Fat And Disease

Listen to the Story

[3 min 42 sec]
Many Americans aren't getting the recommended seven to nine hours per night.
Franck Camhi/ i
Is that 6 a.m. workout getting in the way of good sleep? Don't think your fat cells won't notice.
A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that inadequate shut-eye has a harmful response on fat cells, reducing their ability to respond to insulin by about 30 percent. Over the long-term, this decreased response could set the stage for Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and weight gain.
The study adds to a growing body of evidence that there's "an intimate relationship between the amount of sleep we get and our ability to maintain a good, healthy body weight," says sleep expert Helene Emsellem, director of the Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders in Chevy Chase, Md.
But Americans don't seem to be getting the message that we need seven to nine hours per night. More than 1 in 5 of us, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is getting six or fewer hours of sleep per night, on average.
So how did researchers study fat cells in the Annals paper? Matthew Brady of the University of Chicago and a group of colleagues recruited seven volunteers — all young, lean and healthy — who agreed to sleep for eight nights in a sleep lab.
"For four nights they were allowed to stay in bed for 8.5 hours a night," says Brady. Then, a month later, they came back for four additional nights — but this time they were allowed just 4.5 hours of sleep per night. And after each visit, researchers got a sample of their fat.
Brady explains that the fat cells responded significantly to the loss of sleep. "I was very surprised to be honest," he says.
Bad things can happen when fat cells become less responsive to insulin. "Fat cells are actually your friend," he says. "They're there to store lipids."
When lipids stay inside the cells, your body can utilize the fat when you're exercising or sleeping or going about your day. "However when fat cells start to become insulin resistant, the lipids start to leach out of the fat cells and rise in the circulation," Brady says.
Once fat starts to accumulate in other tissues in the body such as in the liver, it can lead to fatty liver disease or it can interfere with the body's ability to clear glucose (sugar) from the blood into the muscle. This is what sets the stage for the metabolic problems.
The fat cells of the healthy young volunteers likely rebounded after returning to their normal sleep patterns. But over a lifetime, this new body of evidence challenges the assumption that we can control our weight solely by watching how much food we take in.
"What the message is in this article is that your body may decide to store more of the food [you eat] as fat if you haven't gotten enough sleep," Emsellem says.
If you short yourself just a half-hour a night, the sleep deficit can really accumulate. "Even tiny changes will have dramatic effects" on our bodies, says Francesco Cappuccio of the University of Warwick in the U.K.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Footwear, What Do You Prefer?

Today I would like to get your feedback on footwear.  There are a lot of differing opinions on footwear so Better Bodies on Campbell would like to hear your thoughts.  What do you were and why?

I would also like to give you my thoughts from a personal trainer's perspective.  I have heard and read different articles and opinions from some really great sources.  So for myself, I have done what I always do and I ask my "fail proof" question, for whom is the article written, or for what goal?

The conclusion I have come to is that there is no one answer and there is not one shoe that does it all.  I take into consideration two things when I am choosing footwear for my current activity.  The first consideration that I always keep in mind that the feet are the proprioceptors for the hips and the second, is the activity that I am doing which adds support and striking point.

For the proprioception, the more there is between the foot and the ground, the less your hips can stabalize.  This is important for slower movements like hiking, walking, and working out.  I use a flat soled shoe for everything outside of running.  I like vans for this purpose and I have seen the finger shoes, hiking boots, wrestling shoes, and barefoot.  I know some people that have went as far as doing squats barefoot in the sand and Arnold preferred working out barefoot.  Done right, you can really build your arches well and it help with daily activities as well.  I prefer Vans myself as the cost is reasonable and the construction and quality is great.  I even hike in high top vans.

For the second determining factor of activity, you may not want a flat soled shoe for long distance running or sprinting.  Also, some sports require a different shoe like soccer, football, special pedals for biking, etc.  So if your sport determines your footwear, use the appropriate footwear.  If it is up to you in something like running then go with what works best for you.  Usually you will be picking a good running shoe with a sole that creates a slight tilt forward.  This helps with a heal strike and helps to position your body.  There are plenty of  runners that will use the toe shoes or finger shoes.  From the advice that I have heard from seminars and professional athlete coaches and doctors is not always the same.  Some say to go with a running shoe and others stay with the minimal amount of sole on a shoe.  For the minimal sole shoe, What seems to be consistent is that  you should build up to running with the toe shoes and don't go out and change it all at once.  If your not used to a toe shoe then maybe walk with them for a couple days, then run a short distance to make sure your foot is adapting to it.  You will need to build your arch and it takes some time.  The basics to building an arch are to walk on three points.  Your heel, the knuckle of your pinkie toe and the knuckle of your big toe.  In the beginning you will feel like your walking on the outside of your foot and your muscles along the outside of your calf might get sore.

So like anything, take it all into consideration and go with what works for you.  And don't be apposed to changing down the road as your arch builds and you pay more attention to how your foot touches the ground.  Feel free to email me ( or DM me on Facebook for more info.  And please feel free to leave your comments and opinions as there are great people with differing opinions here so your feedback is much appreciated.

Exercise well, Exercise often.


Justin List
Owner: Better Bodies on Campbell

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Good Morning Tucson 10-10-12

Good morning Tucson.  Are you prepared today for fitness success?  If not, think about how you can make the most of today and plan your lunch and dinner.  Don't just take what comes your way.  Thant would be settling and there is no growth or success in settling.  Have a great day. -Justin List

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tip of The Day (Planning Health With Your Vacation)

It has been said that most people plan their vacation better than they plan their life.  It is also true that when people plan their vacation, they actually plan on how to be unhealthy rather than healthy.  Not all but most.  You have heard it, when someone is going on a vacation and they are talking about this bakery or that restaurant.

What I propose is to plan on an activity each day and plan on good meals.  If you discover a new restaurant or food by chance it is not the end of the world.  And it will happen.  What I am suggesting is to plan for health and don't plan for unhealth.  Discover a new food instead of planning to eat what you already know.

So here are a few tips.  First, plan some type of fitness activity every morning.  It doesn't have to be super intensive or at a gym.  You can find a local gym if you like and each time you travel you can compare and see what gyms you think are the best.  Rate them if you like and start a journal.  Or you can meditate, stretch, do a workout video, Pilates or yoga.  Just as long as you put fitness in the day, you will get more out of your vacation and less vacation to work off when you get home.  Second, plan a healthy breakfast and start the day off right.  Find a grocery store and get some fruit.  Don't just let meals happen, plan them and think ahead.  You will feel better and be glad you did.  We usually think of going to the grocery store to get a whole shopping cart full of grocery's.  You can get just one or two pieces of fruit.  Or find a local market and get something native to the area.  Find the healthy food a vacation spot is known for.  And last, portion control.  Savor it don't gorge.  Some of the best memories are left with just enough and not overdoing it.  And last, if you are traveling with kids, make sure you start the day with a healthy breakfast and good hydration.  Your kids will behave so much better if they aren't dehydrated and  don't have sugar crashes later in the day because they started with doughnuts.  Make it a game.  See if you would travel or work harder to get something bad for you, or to get that great island fruit that is a little further away.

Follow these tips and you will have a better vacation and a much happier return.  Imagine if you came back from vacation and you didn't gain weight.

Let us know how you plan for health when you travel.

Have a great day,

Justin List
Owner: Better Bodies on Campbell (Tucson,Az)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Foam Rolling, Recovery for Workouts

Foam Rolling
Michael Boyle
Printer-Friendly Format

Originally printed in Training and Conditioning Magazine December 2006
Foam Rolling?
A decade ago strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, and physical therapists would have looked quizzically at a thirty six inch long round piece of foam and wondered "What is that for?". Today nearly every athletic training room and most strength conditioning facilities contain an array of foam rollers in different lengths and consistencies.
What happened? A major change in the attitude toward injury prevention and treatment has been evidenced by a huge increase in the awareness that hands on techniques like massage, Muscle Activation (MAT), and Active Release Therapy (ART) can work wonders for injured athletes. We appear to be moving away from the eighties injury care mode of isokinetics and electronics to a more European inspired process that focuses on hands-on soft tissue care. The success of physical therapists with soft tissue mobilization (the physical therapy term for massage) and MAT, and a number of chiropractors with ART has clearly put the focus back on the muscle. The message at the elite level is "if you want to get better (healthier) get a good manual therapist in your corner".
What does all this have to do with foam rollers you might ask? Well. Foam rollers are the poor mans massage therapist, soft tissue work for the masses. As strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers watched elite level athletes tout their success and improvement from various soft tissue techniques the obvious question arose. How can I mass-produce "massage" or soft tissue work for large groups of athletes at a reasonable cost? Enter the foam roller. Physical Therapist Mike Clark is credited by many, the author included, with the initial exposure of the athletic and physical therapy communities to the foam roller and to what he termed "self myofascial release". Self myofascial release is simply another technical term for self-massage. In one of Clarke's early manuals published as a pre-cursor to his book Integrated Training for the New Millenium Clark included a few photos of self-myofascial release techniques using a foam roller. The technique illustrated was simple and nearly self-explanatory. Get a foam roller and use your bodyweight to apply pressure to sore spots. Kind of a self-accupresssure technique. I believe these photos began a trend that is now probably a multi-million dollar business in the manufacture and sale of these simple tools.
What is a Foam Roller and How do You Use It?
A foam roller is simply a cylindrical piece of some type of extruded hard-celled foam. Think pool noodles but a little more dense and larger in diameter. The techniques are simple. Clarke's initial recommendation was not a self-massage technique but, more the accupressure concept described previously. Athletes or patients were simply instructed to use the roller to apply pressure to sensitive areas in the muscles. Depending on the orientation of the therapist, these points can alternately be described as trigger points, knots or simply areas of increased muscle density. Regardless of the name, those in the fields of athletics and rehab were familiar with the concepts of sore muscles and the need for massage.
Note:It is the authors belief that massage fell out of favor during the physical therapy boom of the 1980's not because it was ineffective but, because it was not cost effective. With the increase in use of modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation athletic trainers and therapists could treat more athletes, more rapidly. In Europe and in elite athlete situations such as high-level track and field and swimming, a disdain for a modality based approach and an affinity for European inspired massage still existed. Slowly, the performance world caught on to the idea that manipulation of the soft tissue caused athletes to either stay healthier or, to get healthy faster.
The use of foam rollers has progressed in many circles from an acupressure type approach to a self-massage approach. The roller is now used to apply longer more sweeping strokes to the long muscle groups like the calves, adductors and quadriceps and small directed force to areas like the TFL, hip rotators and glute medius.
Athletes are instructed to use the roller to search for tender areas or trigger point and to roll these areas to decrease density and over-activity. The major areas that respond well to the foam roller are:
Glute max and hip rotators- the athlete, client or patient sits on the roller with a slight tilt and moves from the iliac crest to the hip joint to address the glute max (video 1a). To address the hip rotators the affected leg is crossed to place the hip rotator group on stretch. As a general rule of thumb, ten slow rolls are done in each position although there are no hard and fast rules for foam rolling (video 1b). Often athletes or clients are encouraged to simply roll until the pain disappears. Video 1a 
Video 1b  TFL and Gluteus Medius- the tensor fascia latae and gluteus medius, although small muscles, are significant factors in anterior knee pain. To address the TFL the athlete begins with the body prone and the edge of the roller placed over the TFL, just below the iliac crest (video 2). After working the TFL, the athlete turns ninety degrees to a side position and works from the hip joint to the iliac crest to address the gluteus medius.
Video 2 
Adductors- the adductors are probably the most neglected area of the lower body. A great deal of time and energy is focused on the quadriceps and hamstring groups and very little attention paid to the adductors. There are two methods to roll the adductors. The first (video 3) is a floor based technique that will work well for beginners. In the floor technique the user abducts the leg over the roller and places the roller at about a 60 degree angle to the leg. The rolling action should be done in three portions beginning just above the knee in the area of the vastus medialis and pes anserine. Ten short rolls should be done covering about one third the length of the femur. Next the roller should be moved to the mid point of the adductor group and again rolled ten times in the middle third of the muscle. Last the roller should be moved high into the groin almost to the pubic symphysis.
Video 3   
The secondary technique for the adductors should be used after the athlete has acclimated to the previous technique. The secondary technique needs the use of a training room table or the top of a plyometric box (video 4). Sitting with the leg dropped over the roller allows the athlete to shift significantly more weight onto the roller and work deeper into the large adductor triangle.
Video 4  
Trainer Beware
It is important to note that foam rolling can be hard work, particularly for weaker or overweight clients as the arms are heavily involved in moving the body. In addition, foam rolling can border on painful. Foam rollers are available in a number of densities from relatively soft foam, slightly harder than a pool noodle, to newer high-density rollers with a much more solid feel. The feel of the roller and the intensity of the self-massage work must be properly geared to the age, and fitness level of the client. Good massage work, and correspondingly good self-massage work, may be uncomfortable much like stretching. It is important that athletes or clients learn to distinguish between a moderate level of discomfort related to a trigger point and a potentially injurious situation. Foam rolling should be used with discretion in those clients with less muscle density. Foam rolling should never cause bruising. The reality is that the athlete or client should feel better, not worse after a brief session with a foam roller.
When to Roll
Coaches and therapists are not in universal agreement over when to roll, how often to roll, or how long to roll so only general guidelines can be provided.
Rolling can provide great benefit both before and after a workout. Foam rolling prior to a workout can help to decrease muscle density and allow for better warm-up. Rolling after a workout may help to aid in recovery from strenuous exercise. The nice thing about using the foam roller is that it appears it can be done on a daily basis. In fact, Clair and Amber Davies in the The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook actually recommend trigger point work up to 12 times a day in situations of acute pain.
How long an athlete or client rolls is also individual. In a personal training setting we allow 5-10 minutes for soft tissue work at the beginning of the session prior to warm-up. With our athletic clients we do the same.
Foam Rollers versus Massage
The question often arises "Which is better, massage therapy or a foam roller?". To me the answer is obvious. Hands work better than foam. Hands are directly connected to the brain and can feel. A foam roller cannot feel. If cost was not an issue I would have team of massage therapists on call for my athletes at all times. However, this is simply not realistic. Most athletes struggle to afford the services of a qualified coach or the cost of a facility membership. At the current state of health care, prevention is generally not a covered cost for healthy athletes. With no ability to get reimbursed the cost of massage therapy alone could approach or surpass the cost of training. The foam roller can provide unlimited self-massage for under twenty dollars? You do the math.
The use of foam rollers has exploded over the past ten years and will continue to increase. Athletic trainers in high school or small college situations can teach their athletes to perform hands on treatment that might not have been possible due to work schedules, while strength and conditioning coaches can provide a form of massage therapy to all of their athletes. Foam rollers are a small investment to make to see a potentially significant decrease in the number of soft tissue/ non-contact injuries.
Clark,M: Integrated Training for the New Millennium. National Academy of SportsMedicine, Thousand Oaks, CA. 2000
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