Muscle & Fitness Workouts, Nutrition Tips, Supplements & Advice Fri, 12 Apr 2024 18:04:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dr. Abhinav Gautam’s Sciatica Breakthrough: Powering Mike Tyson’s Ring Comeback vs. Jake Paul Fri, 12 Apr 2024 18:04:35 +0000 Back pain is a global health crisis, affecting millions worldwide and leading to significant disability and economic loss. According to the World Health Organization, in 2020, low back pain affected 619 million people globally, a number expected to rise to 843 million by 2050 due to population growth and aging. This condition is the leading cause of disability worldwide, impacting quality of life and contributing to a significant economic burden due to healthcare costs and lost productivity.

Dr. Abhinav Gautam, an anesthesiologist, inventor, and entrepreneur, is pioneering a new field of regenerative pain management. Over the past five years, he has carved a niche in helping patients with esoteric and untreatable clinical situations. His innovative approach to treating pain and musculoskeletal issues focuses primarily on fascial reconstruction.

Founder of the Vitruvia medical center (offices in Miami and NYC), Dr. Gautam’s groundbreaking treatments have not only redefined rehabilitation but have also garnered trust in the highest echelon of sports, entertainment, business, and medicine. His clientele includes the legendary boxer Mike Tyson, who credits Dr. Gautam for his remarkable recovery from severe sciatica. Beyond Tyson, Dr. Gautam has worked with a host of celebrities such as Tony Robbins, David Ortiz, and Miguel Cabrera, offering them relief and recovery through his unique, minimally invasive techniques. Esteemed for his expertise and intuitive ability to think outside the box, Dr. Gautam continues to be a beacon of hope for individuals seeking to reduce their suffering.

His philosophy challenges the conventional understanding of pain, focusing on the fascia—a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in place—as a key player in chronic pain conditions. By addressing the fascia directly, Dr. Gautam’s treatments aim to remedy the root causes of pain rather than merely managing symptoms.

Dr. Gautam’s approach is multidimensional, leveraging advanced imaging techniques such as high-frequency ultrasound to visualize soft tissues and guide treatment. He utilizes a proprietary formulation, with proteins derived from the amniotic membrane, to recreate a fetal microenvironment in affected areas. This innovative method stimulates the body’s natural regenerative capabilities, modulating inflammation, inhibiting scar tissue formation, and promoting the digestion of existing scar tissues. The goal is to trick the body into “thinking” it is healing as it did in the womb, thereby enhancing recovery and reducing the likelihood of chronic pain.

A testament to the efficacy of Dr. Gautam’s methods is his work with Mike Tyson, the legendary boxer who suffered from severe sciatica post-retirement. Tyson’s transformation from debilitating pain to regaining functional mobility and quality of life underscores the potential of Dr. Gautam’s treatments. Through a combination of fascial remodeling via his targeted regenerative techniques, Tyson has experienced life-changing relief from his chronic pain. He calls Dr. Gautam a miracle worker —a testament to the revolutionary potential of Dr. Gautam’s approach.

On Thursday, March 7th, an electrifying announcement reverberated through the sports and entertainment worlds: Mike Tyson, the iconic boxing legend, is set to return to the ring, this time against the widely known YouTube star and boxing gadfly, Jake Paul. This highly anticipated bout, scheduled for July 20th, is not just a testament to Tyson’s enduring allure in the sports world but also a striking showcase of Dr. Abhinav Gautam’s transformative influence on Tyson’s physical health. The event, which marks Netflix’s inaugural foray into live sports broadcasting, will take place at the AT&T Stadium — famously home to the Dallas Cowboys and known as one of the largest football arenas in the United States, underscoring the monumental scale of the event.

A significant factor in Tyson’s decision to step back into the ring is attributed to the remarkable success of Dr. Abhinav Gautam’s innovative pain management and rehabilitation program, which has not only enabled Tyson to recover from severe sciatica but has also rejuvenated his physical capabilities, paving the way for this extraordinary comeback.

The implications of Dr. Gautam’s work extend far beyond individual success stories. By focusing on the remodeling and restoration of the soft tissue he offers a new paradigm in pain management and rehabilitation. This approach not only promises relief for countless individuals suffering from chronic pain but also challenges and expands the current understanding of human anatomy and physiology.

In the broader context of global health, Dr. Gautam’s innovations represent a significant step forward in the fight against chronic pain. As the prevalence of conditions like back pain continues to rise, his work offers a hopeful prospect for more effective, less invasive treatments. Moreover, by addressing the root causes of pain rather than just its symptoms, Dr. Gautam’s methods have the potential to reduce the reliance on medications, such as opioids, thereby contributing to the broader effort to tackle the opioid crisis.

To learn more about how Dr. Gautam’s approach, centered on the fascia and enhanced by regenerative medicine, offers a compelling alternative to traditional back pain management strategies, visit his website or Instagram.

M&F and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.

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Did Lenny Kravitz Just Do the Most Rock ‘n Roll Workout Ever? Fri, 12 Apr 2024 16:15:39 +0000 Lenny Kravitz added a new twist to “eccentric” exercise after the singer recently took to TikTok and worked out in his leather pants and boots. As you can imagine, the internet soon weighed in with contrasting opinions.

On April 11, 2024, the rock and roll legend that is Lenny Kravitz, known for smash hits like “American Woman,” and “Fly Away,” posted a bizarre TikTok clip that shows him in the gym, working out with an outfit that would be more suitable for one of his sellout concerts. The trim 59-year-old musician can be seen performing a variation of a sit-up, while lifting a barbell from a declined position. “Thank God for today!,” wrote Kravitz in the video caption. “Grateful. Never been better. There are no shortcuts to seize your day. It is all possible. Love!”

While his inspirational message made perfect sense, the singer’s choice of gym gear had social media abuzz. “Still wearing leather pants while working out I love that,” commented one fan. “Lenny Kravitz worked out in a fishnet top, leather pants and now so do I,” added another. There were those that questioned the practicality of his wardrobe, however. “I don’t want to smell those leather pants when he’s done working out,” observed one comment. “This is the most Lenny Kravitz thing I’ve ever seen Lenny Kravitz do,” read another.


Thank God for today! Grateful. Never been better. There are no shortcuts so seize your day. It is all possible. Love! #Human

♬ Human (Album Version) – Lenny Kravitz

Whether or not the rock star is simply trolling fans as a way to create attention around his latest album Blue Electric Light is debateable but the legendary singer, who was named by PETA in 2022 as one of the worlds “Most Beautiful Vegan Celebrities,” looked great as he got his reps in, with the most rock and roll execution possible. Of course, it is advisable to wear appropriate attire in the gym for comfort and support. M&F can recommend Kravitz music, but not his workout. Still, with this icons ability to defy age, who can get in his way? “I’m in love with this man,” concluded one of his 673k followers.


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UFC Fighter Michael ‘Venom’ Page Shares His MMA Training Routine Fri, 12 Apr 2024 14:24:09 +0000 When it comes to showmen in the world of mixed martial arts, Michael “Venom” Page is in a class of his own. Whether it be taking a faux selfie while pummeling an opponent to celebrating a knockout by putting on a Pokémon cap and rolling a toy Pokéball at his befallen challenger, Page’s bouts are worth the price of admission.

Page kicked his UFC career exactly as he had expected to as the Brit defeated Kevin Holland by unanimous decision while showcasing his signature flair. With a wider audience to entertain, Page has one goal and that’s to get the belt. He would love nothing more if that fight was with current welterweight champ and fellow UK native Leon Edwards in a packed stadium in the UK, which is something that hasn’t been done before in the UFC.

Such lofty goals aren’t achieved with the required work to see them come to fruition. And while he’ll will be watching this weekend’s historic UFC 300 from outside the Octagon, “MVP” spoke with Muscle & Fitness on why pressure inside the Octagon  is merely a word to him, the behind-the-scenes work for why that is and what he dreads most about training.

Michael Venom Page answering questions about his training and workout tips
Kishan Lakhani

Michael ‘Venom’ Page Shares How He Handles Pressure

During the post-fight press conference following UFC 299, UFC CEO Dana White acknowledged a sellout crowd at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida and that it was the fourth highest-grossing UFC event of all time. The pay-per-view numbers also have yet to be announced. This level of exposure is part of the reason Page made the decision to leave Bellator for the UFC. With a wider audience now and his reputation, come a new level of expectations for Page. Just don’t expect him to feel any of that weight.

“I’m able to compartmentalize and put everything in specific boxes so I don’t class it as pressure,” Page said. “I think it’s only pressure when you don’t understand where it should be placed and how it should be used. I’m happy to read comments online because I don’t take it as a personal thing. These are people that a lot of the time, they idolize you and wish they could be in your situation. So, it’s easier to be negative about things.”

From a young age, Page says he’s had the utmost confidence in himself and never enters any fight thinking about losing. He also doesn’t place much stock on losing, which he believes allows him to be looser when it comes time for combat. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t care as his training will indicate.

Train Anywhere as Long as Your Surrounded by Family

Page normally trains at the London Shootfighters gym located in the United Kingdom, but he says he can train anywhere as long as his “family” is with him. That family consists of coach Alexis Demetriades along with a host of other coaches and Page’s teammates.

Afro Beat Gets the ‘Venom’ Going

Given that the gym includes people of different backgrounds and from different countries, the music during training is unpredictable and Page enjoys it this way. Although, he does have his favorites.

“Right now, I’m into Afro beat, Afro house, and the London sound as well, he says. “So we’ve got a lot of UK artists that I have playing — people that I was raised on and people that are still killing it right now.”

Michael ‘Venom’ Page Workout Tips & Schedule

First Training Session: 2 1/2 hours

  • Light jog in the morning before headed to the gym.
  • Mobility work
  • Warmup Drills: Jumping Jacks, Hamstring touches, Forward and Backward rolls, grappling and pummeling, sprawling and shooting
  • Breaking the first wind: Includes sprints, tuck jumps, sprawls, speed abs and loads of different things that are just high intensity and high paced. (Each lasts no longer than three minutes)
  • Technical Work: “These are specific moves. Whether it be wrestling moves, kickboxing, inter-wrestling—it’s all MMA specific. Once we’ve done that, sometimes we fight positions. We’ve drilled how to do the actual move and now it’s time to go a hundred percent and have your partner try to defend it.”
  • Sparring: Depending on the day, this could be grappling or wrestling rounds
  • Fitness Session: Cool Down

Second and Third Session: (Optional, depending on schedule) 

  • Strength and Mobility

MVP Recovery Tips

It’s basically crying in my shower (laughs). I work with a biohacking center called Hum2n in the UK, with Dr. Enayat. We do cryo, the hyperbaric chamber, the VO2 max lung training machine, bone density strengthening machines. There are a lot of different things we do and that’s my wind down and my recovery.

Michael ‘Venom’ Page on Nutrition

I don’t like to be overly strict on myself because what we do is very difficult. So taking bits of enjoyment is equally important. Obviously, not going over the top. The difference is when I’m going into camp or specifically going towards a fight, that’s when everything does get a little bit strict.

I get up, do my rounds, go into the (first) session and then have my first meal after that. If I’m trying to be strict and we’re going towards a fight, it will be protein pancakes in the morning or scrambled egg and some fruit. After the first session, we’ll have a bigger meal. It will be quinoa, fish, chicken or turkey. Then we have another session and the evening meal is slightly smaller. It could be another fish or a steak meal. But, it’s a very small portion.

The ‘Worst Part’ of MVP’s Training  

I think everybody in the gym is very similar so it’s the VersaClimber. I hate it and my coach seems to love it. We know how good it is for us because it’s kind of a whole-body workout and regardless of what injury I have, I can always seem to do it. It’s a hard machine and we have to hit a very elite-level pace as well. You really have to push yourself and you really are dead afterward because everything doesn’t work.


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This 15-Minute Cardio Workout will Help You Shred When Time is Short Thu, 11 Apr 2024 13:54:02 +0000 Have you ever felt there aren’t enough hours to juggle work, life, and an effective cardio workout? If you’re nodding while sipping your fourth coffee to wake up, this one’s for you.

Enter the ultimate 15-minute cardio workout for those who dislike wasting time on a cardio machine. It’s perfect for those who consider “busy” their middle name and don’t want to sacrifice their hard-earned strength gains. Ready to up your cardio game without sacrificing your precious downtime and muscle?

Let’s dive in.

Benefits of Keeping Cardio Short

If you thought an effective cardio workout meant mindless hacking away at the Stairmaster or treadmill, think again. The beauty of this 15-minute cardio workout is that you can get your result in less than half the time while not being bored out of your brain.

The lab coats have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can supersize cardiovascular fitness by boosting metabolism, shredding fat, and improving heart health. It takes less time to debate what to watch on Netflix or to get the same results as 30 mindless minutes on a machine.

Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of burning calories more efficiently while the cardio bunnies are still walking on the dreaded treadmill? Your body works hard with HIIT, even when you’re back to conquering your inbox or finally sitting down and sipping your protein shake.

Are you ready to trade in some sitting time for sweat time? Then let’s go.

A Couple of Tips Before Your Cardio Workout

Just because it’s 15 minutes, skipping the warmup and cooldown is unnecessary because you need to prepare for the workout mentally and physically. As time is of the essence, find a spot where no one will bother you.

For this workout below, you will need a kettlebell and a light medicine ball, so get both before you start.

The Ultimate 15-Minute Cardio Workout For Strength Lovers

This isn’t just any cardio workout; it’s a carefully choreographed dance of sweat and determination. Let’s break it down:

Round 1: The Warmup (3 minutes)

Start by doing 30 seconds of jumping jacks or jump rope to get the blood moving. Then, do 30 seconds of high knees and repeat both moves once. Finally, finish off with six reps of Spider-Man with rotations per side.

Round 2: The Main Event (10 minutes)

You will superset two exercises using every minute on the minute sets. You’ll complete the reps of the two exercises and then rest the rest of the minute. The two exercises are:

1A. Kettlebell Swings: 10 reps

1B.  Med Ball Slam: 6 reps

Repeat for 10 rounds in 10 minutes.

This superset consists of 100 KB swings and 60 med ball slams. The beauty of this superset is that you use strength exercises to raise your heart rate, so you don’t feel like a rat in a cage. Second, the KB swing trains the lower body, and the med ball slam trains the upper body.

Switching between both exercises makes your heart muscle harder because you are switching blood flow from your legs to your upper body. This is known as peripheral heart rate training, which is excellent for cardiovascular fitness and burning tons of calories.

Round 3: The Cooldown (2 minutes)

Ease into a soothing two minutes of deep breathing to calm your heart rate and start the recovery process.

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8 Healthy and Tasty Cereals to Start Your Busy Day Off Right Thu, 11 Apr 2024 12:53:19 +0000 Convenient and satisfying, cereal is always going to be a breakfast staple for most guys. (Full disclosure: I’ve been known to scoop up cereal for dessert and without a shred of guilt about it.) But if you’re not careful you can end up with a nutrition bomb floating in your milk. With a little research, however, it is possible to find and enjoy a healthy cereal.

Yes, much of the mainstream cereal on the market is a lot closer to candy than a nourishing way to fuel the most important meal of the day. And shall we remind you that you are no longer a kid so your breakfast shouldn’t include colored marshmallows, wah-wah.

Choose wisely, though, and cereal can be nutritious enough to anchor a breakfast of champions (I kid you not). Some options on the market are packed with whole grains, dietary fiber, and even muscle-friendly protein without being sullied with heaps of sugar. It’s just a matter of knowing what to watch out for on package labels, in person or virtually, so you end up with a healthy cereal.

To make a solid selection from the cereal aisle, here’s what to look for to pick a nutritious one.

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

Go for the ‘Whole’ Thing

Whole grains can provide a healthy foundation for healthy cereals. When your cereal of choosing is made with grains be sure to look for a whole grain as an ingredient near the top of the list, which can include whole wheat or whole grain oats. The ingredients on packaged foods like cereals are required to be listed in order of amount from largest to smallest. So when a whole grain is up top it’s present in higher amounts.

Compared to the refined grains used in many boxed cereals, whole grains are higher in fiber, protein and important micronutrients, like magnesium and selenium. Why the nutritional upgrade? Those processed grains lose much of their nutritional value during the milling process.

And be aware of label wordplay. “Multigrain,” “cracked wheat,” and “100% wheat” do not guarantee that you’ll be spooning up whole grains.

Limit the Sweet Stuff

Packaged cereals can bowl you over with heaps of sugar. And it’s not just those with cartoon characters on the box that are problematic. Here’s more proof that eating too much added sugar is bad news for your health: A 2024 study published in the Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that among the 3,154 adults followed over 20 years, those who consumed a diet high in added sugars also had lower intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins and showed a 38% greater risk for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions like high blood pressure that raises heart disease risk, compared with those who ate a diet lower in added sugars.

You don’t need to steer clear of sugar completely to have a healthy cereal, but to keep intake in check look for options where the amount of added sugar listed on the Nutrition Facts panel is 6 grams or less. Don’t get fooled by ingredients like malt barley extract, dextrose, sucrose, maltose, and fruit juice concentrate. These are just euphemisms for sugar. It’s acceptable if the total sugar count is higher than what is listed under grams of added sugar on the Nutrition Facts panel if some of the sweet stuff hails from dried or dehydrated fruits (these are not classified as added sugars). “Crunch,” “clusters,” “fruity,” or “vanilla” in the product description are tip-offs that you might be getting high amounts of sugar.

Seek out Fiber

Breakfast cereal is a good way to work more fiber into your diet, which can help close any intake gap in your diet. A report in the British Journal of Nutrition which examined U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data determined that fewer than 10% of American adults are meeting the Institute of Medicine’s suggested daily fiber consumption, which is 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories, and this shortcoming is placing them at a greater risk for poor health. A recent investigation in the journal discovered that cereal fiber can be protective against inflammation and the onset of heart disease. And let’s not forget that by slowing down digestion and keeping blood sugar levels better balanced, fiber-rich cereals will make your breakfast more satiating making you less likely to want to tackle the vending machine by mid-morning.

Ideally, you’re aiming to find a healthy cereal that supplies at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Ingredients like whole grains, wheat bran, nuts, seeds and dried fruit will assist in making a cereal a bigger fiber powerhouse.

Keep Sodium on the Down Low

Salt in cereal? You bet, and it can be much higher than you’d think. Most guys already eat much more sodium than necessary, and even if you’re hanging out and sweating in saunas regularly, it’s a good idea to make sure your cereal isn’t one of your major sodium sources. Go with those cereals that cap sodium at 250mg or less in a serving.

Pump up the Protein

Getting a big dose of your protein early on will help you stay satisfied for longer, and some research suggests morning protein is especially important for building muscle. So it’s good to know that higher protein cereal exists with more of them coming to market to meet the demands for the high-protein craze. Your healthy cereal doesn’t need to be packed with protein if you are getting enough of it from other sources in the morning like yogurt, but you can look for options that contain 10 grams of the macro per serving.

Keep it Simple

Scan the ingredient list and see if there are too many whatchamacallits. An ingredient list should not read like a chemistry quiz. Words and phrases like “BHT,” “modified food starch,” “guar gum,” and “artificial flavors”  could mean you are eating a heavily processed cereal containing higher amounts of questionable ingredients. Yes, cereal can easily fall into the dreaded ultra-processed category and, yes, Fruit Loops certainly does fit the bill. Try to gravitate toward healthy cereals with a more wholesome ingredient list.

As of September 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)   some updated guidelines for using the term “healthy” on food packages. To be considered healthy by the FDA, cereals must now contain 3/4 ounces of whole grains and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, and 2.5 grams of added sugars per serving. Sounds reasonable, don’t you think?


‘Cereal’ Killers

Jennifer White Maxwell / Shutterstock

Overwhelmed by the colossal number of choices when spinning your wheels down the cereal aisle? With the above nutrition guidelines in mind, here are the 8 top choices when you’re ready to grab your spoon and a bowl, each of which makes it much less tempting to punch the snooze button. And all are certainly an upgrade from the Count Chocula, even if you need to order them online.

Holo Berries Organic Overnight Muesli

Per serving (1 pouch):  380 calories, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 49 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 1 g added sugar, 20 g protein, 230 mg sodium

This next-level muesli not only delivers fresh berry flavor it’s also one of the most nutritionally well-rounded cereals on the market. Each single-serving pouch is resplendent in a winning combo of fiber, healthy fats, and protein (20 grams, wow!) courtesy of the inclusion of rolled oats, chia seeds, sprouted brown rice protein powder, and a real fruit powder. Not to be overlooked is that the muesli is bolstered with bacterial culture to help fertilize your gut with beneficial bugs. The added dark chocolate chips are a nice bonus. If you need breakfast on the go, simply soak a packet of the muesli in milk or a non-dairy beverage overnight in a sealed glass container and it will be ready to go when you are.

Nature’s Path Flax Plus Raisin Bran 

Per serving (1 1/4 cups): 210 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 45 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 6 g added sugar, 6 g protein, 210 mg sodium

There are a handful of reasons why this is a step up from the ubiquitous mega-brand raisin bran. There is less added sugar (6g vs. 9g), more fiber (9g vs 7g), all the edible stuff in the box is certified organic, there is no mystery malt flavor, and the raisins aren’t like biting into sweet rocks so you’re less likely to need a post-breakfast dentist appointment. All in all, a more nutritious and satisfying way to start the day.

Uncle   Original Wheat Berry Flakes

Per serving (3/4 cup): 220 calories, 6 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 43 g carbs, 10 g fiber, 0 g added sugar, 8 g protein, 140 mg sodium

Beyond praising this cereal for its lofty fiber count, minimalist ingredient list, zero added sugar, and budget-friendly price, it also has heart-benefiting omega-3 fatty acids from added flaxseeds. Frosted Flakes you have been beaten down.

Seven Sundays Wildberry Protein Oats

Per serving (1/2 cup): 230 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 38 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 6 g added sugar, 10 g protein, 135 mg sodium

Whether you eat this hot or cold-soaked overnight, this is like spooning up oatmeal on steroids. The gluten-free oats are beefed up with upcycled oat protein, real fruit, flax and chia seeds, and genuine maple syrup, which this dietitian from maple tree studded Ontario can appreciate. The result is a bowl of cereal with a great balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

Magic Spoon Fruity

Per serving (1 cup ): 150 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g added sugar, 13 g protein, 160 mg sodium

Like Fruit Loops but much healthier for grown-ups. What’s to appreciate about this crunchy cereal is that it supplies an impressive 13 grams of muscle-building protein from a high-quality milk protein blend. This is enough to overlook the low amounts of fiber, which you can help remedy by piling on a handful of raspberries. There is no added sugar and the color of the rounds comes from vegetable juice and not some mystery coloring from a lab.

Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Cereal

Per serving (1/4 cup): 150 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 30 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein, 0 mg sodium

Each spoonful of this hearty, hot, and healthy cereal delivers a wallop of whole-grain nutrition, which the late great Bob was famous for. The grain bonanza includes wheat, oats, rye, tritacle (a hybrid of wheat and rye), barley, brown rice, and oat bran. A recent study in the   of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that whole grain consumption can improve levels of hemoglobin A1C, which is a measure of blood sugar levels over the last three months, and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the body, suggesting that long-term cardiovascular health may benefit from replacing refined grains in the diet with whole grains. The review of 22 randomized controlled trials also found whole grain oats decreased total and LDL cholesterol levels.

The grains are coarsely ground so they cook quickly in simmering water, only about 10 minutes, which is perfect for harried mornings. On its own, the cooked cereal isn’t very exciting so for some added flavor, stir in cinnamon during cooking and then top with berries and chopped nuts.

Gr8nola Peanut Butter

Per serving (1/3 cup): 130 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 16 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 g added sugar, 13 g protein, 80 mg sodium

Finding a granola that is not loaded with sugar is about as rare as finding a teenage girl who doesn’t think Taylor Swift is the supreme being. The manufacturer calls this a “superfood granola,” and for good reason. It incorporates whole oats, peanuts, chia, flax, and, of course, peanut butter. The crunch bunch is lightly sweetened with honey and monk fruit extract (a sugar substitute that appears to be rather benign).

Barbara’s Shredded Wheat Cereal

Per serving (2 biscuits): 170 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 41 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 0 g added sugar, 6 g protein, 0 mg sodium

Sometimes less is more. This squeaky clean shredded wheat contains just a single ingredient: whole-grain wheat. So you end up with lots of fiber and no added sugar in your bowl. A study in the   Journal of Nutrition found that when people consumed 48 grams (about the same amount as two biscuits of this cereal) of a wheat-based cereal for three weeks they experienced an increase in the number of beneficial microorganisms in their gut microbiome. The whole wheat likely acts as a prebiotic which essentially serves as a fuel source for the micro-critters in our digestive tract. So you and your resident bacteria get to feast at breakfast.

The Ultimate Healthy Cereal Bowl

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

There is nothing wrong with a healthy cereal floating in milk, but for a more substantial daybreak meal that will keep you feeling full and help you pack on muscle like a pro build up a power-packed breakfast bowl using this method.

Base: Plain Greek yogurt

Stir in: A scoop of protein powder

Topping: Cereal

Finishing touch: Berries, nuts or seeds

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5 Kettlebell Training Exercises Everyone Should Have in Their Workouts Thu, 11 Apr 2024 12:35:39 +0000 Kettlebell training dates all the way back to 18th century Russia, however it still feels like yesterday that you’d be fortunate enough to find a decent set of bells at your neighborhood fitness club. That’s starting to change as kettlebells continue to increase in popularity among mainstream fitness athletes. When used properly, kettlebells can be fantastic tools for developing power and strength.

Still, incorporating kettlebell training into your routine can be confusing at first trying it out for the first time. However, with a little insight and practice—such as the following five kettlebell exercises you should be familiar with—anyone at any age and experience level can reap the full-body gains kettlebells provide—while adding a bit of fun to their training.

Kettlebell training offers a comprehensive approach to training. A single workout can target strength, cardiovascular health, flexibility.  Take time to develop the technique and become comfortable and confident with the tool and movements. After the fundamentals are mastered it opens up endless movement possibilities.

Workout class with men and women doing kettlebell goblet squats
Cecilie_Arcurs / Getty

Benefits of Kettlebell Training

Functional Strength

Kettlebell exercises involve dynamic movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This promotes functional strength, which translates into improved performance in everyday activities and sports.

Improved Cardiovascular System

By their nature, many kettlebell exercises are low impact but high-intensity. This combo helps elevates heart rate and improves cardiovascular endurance over time.

Enhanced Core Stability

Kettlebell movements require core engagement to maintain proper form and balance. This helps strengthen the muscles of the core—including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back, leading to improved stability and posture.

Increased Flexibility and Mobility

Kettlebell exercises involve a wide range of motion, which can help improve flexibility and mobility in the joints and muscles. This can reduce the risk of injury and improve overall movement efficiency.

Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

Kettlebell workouts can be highly effective for burning calories and building lean muscle mass. The combination of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning in kettlebell exercises can help promote fat loss and muscle gain.


Kettlebells come in various sizes and shapes, allowing for a wide variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups and movement patterns.  You can do an entire workout, working your entire body using one weight.  This versatility makes kettlebell training suitable for people of all fitness levels and goals.

Time Efficiency

Kettlebell workouts are efficient, combining strength and cardiovascular training into one session. This makes them ideal for people who want to maximize their workout time.

Mental Focus and Coordination

Performing kettlebell exercises requires focus, coordination, and proper technique. This can help improve mental focus and concentration while also enhancing coordination and body awareness.

5 Kettlebell Training Exercises to Include In Your Workouts

Here are core kettlebell movements that should be part of your kettlebell training routine.

1. Kettlebell Swing

This explosive hip hinge movement is the kettlebell epitome of strength and power. The swing is a fundamental kettlebell movement that has many benefits.

Benefits of Kettlebell Swings

  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Develops core strength
  • Develop and builds strength in posterior chain
  • High intensity and low impact

How to do Kettlebell Swings

  1. Start feet hip width apart with the kettlebell about a foot in front 
  2. Send hips back and down, maintain a flat back and stiff torso 
  3. Grab the bell with both hands; tilt the bell towards you. 
  4. In this position make sure feet are flat and weight in the heels. 
  5. Hike the bell between legs like a football, keeping hands close to inner thighs. 
  6. Stand up quickly, by driving heels into the floor, engaging your glutes, ending in a standing plank position.  
  7. The bell should feel weightless at the top of the swing—which is chest height. 
  8. Allow the bell to come back down toward your hips, it will want to move in a pendulum direction.  Standing upright and being patient, send your hips back only when you feel the weight of the bell. 

Perform 3 sets of 10 reps, resting as you need to. 
Pro Tip: Always keep the bell close to the hips on the back swing.

2. Deadstop Clean

Another explosive total body movement, the deadstop clean helps develop the hinge and builds strength in the hips and glutes 

Benefits of Deadstop Cleans

  • Improves hip extension and leg drive
  • Develops strength and power in the glutes
  • Improves body control

How to do a Deadstop Clean

  1. Start with feet shoulder width apart and bell on the floor between ankles 
  2. Send hips back and down, while maintaining a flat back and stiff core. Bend knees slightly
  3. Hands start on top of the handles with a loose grip.
  4. Keep eyes looking forward and a proud open chest. 
  5. Standing up quickly, driving power and focus through the legs. While standing up,  pull the bell simultaneously upright as if you are zipping up a coat. 
  6. When it is chest height, the bell will feel weightless, slide hands down the handles to catch the bell in a goblet hold with elbows pulled in tightly by your side. 
  7. To recover, send the bell back down the torso as if you are unzipping a coat, send the hips back and down. The bell should end up back at your ankles. 

Perform 3 sets of 8 reps. Rest as needed.  

3. Sumo Deadlift High Pull


A total body compound movement recruiting a wide range of primary muscles.  It is a dynamic power exercise working the upper and lower body.

Benefits of Sumo Deadlift High Pull

  • Develops the posterior chain building strength in the hamstrings, glutes, and traps.
  • Develops grip strength

How to Do the Sumo Deadlift High Pull

  1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart and bell on the floor between ankles. 
  2. Send hips back and down, while maintaining a flat back and stiff torso. Bend knees slightly.
  3. Hands start on top of the handle, keeping eyes looking forward. 
  4. Simultaneously, stand and pull the bell up to the sternum as if you are zipping up a coat. The moment you reach the top of the pull, release the bell and control it back down to the floor.  

Perform 3 sets of 12 reps. Rest as needed. 

4. Single-Arm Deadstop Clean

Benefits of Single Arm Deadstop Clean

  • Single-arm cleans are an excellent unilateral movement which improves stability, balance, and unilateral strength.

Pro Tip: When working unilateral movements such as single-arm cleans, always start with your non-dominant side.

How to do Single-Arm Deadstop Clean

  1. Start feet hip width apart with the kettlebell in between ankles. 
  2. Weight should be in heels and knees slightly bent. 
  3. Send hip back and down while maintaining a flat back and stiff torso
  4. Holding the bell with a loose grip, stand and pull simultaneously.
  5. The kettlebell should move vertically staying close to the body. 
  6. Finishing the clean in the rack position with thumb at the collarbone and elbow tucked closely by the rib cage. Palm pressing into the handle to avoid breaking at the wrist
  7. Uncoil the bell and slide it back down the floor, the same path as your cleaned 

Perform 3 sets of 5 reps (each side). Rest as needed. 

Pro Tip: The power comes from legs first.  Make sure the glutes and hips are doing the work.  Upper body is secondary. 

5. ¼ Getup

The getup is a cognitive movement that requires strength, mobility, and stability. However, when many people refer to the getup, they think Turkish getup, and think that the entire full movement is the only way to perform these. However, there are many pieces—and many benefits—into splitting the getup into individual pieces.

Benefits of ¼ Get Up

  • Improve core and glute strength
  • Improve shoulder stability
  • Improve hip mobility

How to do ¼ Get Up 

    1. Begin by lying on your back.
    2. Press knuckles and weight up toward the ceiling. Have the same foot flat on the floor (that will be your power/working side) the opposite leg should be straight outside of hip width. 
    3. Pressing the flat foot into the floor, roll over unto the opposite forearm. 
    4. Press up onto your palm. Focus on keeping joints stacked and aligned.  The weighted side must keep driving up towards the ceiling in a straight line. 
    5. Slightly lift hips off the floo, then roll back down to starting position.

Perform 3 sets of 3-5 reps (each side). Rest as needed.

About Sarah Gawron

Sarah Gawron (aka Coach Sarah) teaches healthy habits to create a balanced lifestyle in and out of the gym.  Sarah will guide you to tap into your fullest potential.  She encourages those to trust their strength and ability in order to progress.

 Coach Sarah focuses on building strength from the ground up by creating a strong foundation of movement quality before adding load. She has developed her own system of strength training that combines conventional and unconventional training. Sarah has been a strength coach for the past 15years—her credentials include certifications in CrossFit (L1 and L2), USA Weightlifting, Onnit Academy Foundations, Durability, Kettlebell & Steel Mace Specialist—and has helped a wide range of individuals domestically and internationally.  She is the founder of The LAB, a functional strength and performance facility focused on longevity located in Delray, FL. Sarah believes everyone has the ability to move well with strength, power, and grace.

 For more information check out Coach Sarah’s website here and for helpful fitness tips follow her on Instagram.





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5 Reasons Ashwagandha is Still One of the Most Promising Supplements to Try Thu, 11 Apr 2024 11:55:26 +0000 Ashwagandha leaf extract is derived from the Withania somnifera plant and is thought to have an array of benefits. You’ve probably seen it in your local health store in pill form but understanding a compound that is difficult to pronounce might have you baffled as to the benefits.

That said, ashwagandha is a mainstay of many people’s lifestyle, and potentially with great reason. M&F takes a closer look at some of the current research around this exciting substance.

Ashwagandha is not an easy word to pronounce, but you probably also know this compound by the name ‘Indian Ginseng.’ It’s usage dates back more than 3,000 years, and even in this modern era, we are learning that some of those obscure plants used back in the day may be legit. Science seems to agree: in conventional medicine categorization, ashwagandha is labeled as an adaptogen, meaning that it is a naturally occurring substance that may help to rejuvenate the body. While there are a bunch of unfounded claims that are made by marketers for all types of modern supplements, here are five things we know about the awesomeness of ashwagandha.

The Withania somnifera plant where ashwagandha plant also known as Indian Ginseng
Photo by Bankim Desai on Unsplash

Improved Sleep Quality (and Quantity)

A systematic review of ashwagandha dosed between 120mg and 600mg per day found that not only did participants fall asleep faster, but they had less waking events and their perceived sleep quality improved as well, meaning that the individuals taking ashwagandha likely felt better refreshed to tackle the day ahead. According to research, ashwagandha affects receptors of the neurotransmitter; GABA, and this would explain why it might be so good at promoting some shuteye. It is important to note however, that most studies have been carried out on otherwise healthy people. Work to determine whether if it is a suitable treatment for those with insomnia is currently ongoing.

Ashwagandha Contains Anti-Stress/Anxiety Compounds

The active ingredients in ashwagandha are known as ‘withanolides’. These are naturally occurring compounds that are thought improve our mental health. Reviews have found that ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) “exhibited noteworthy anti-stress and anti-anxiety activity in animal and human studies.” Results have also shown that ashwagandha may alleviate cases of depression, too. It is thought that the leaf extract modulates pathways in the brain, leading to overall better mental wellbeing.

Increased Testosterone & Sex Hormone Levels

A study conducted in 2015 found that men supplementing with 300mg of ashwagandha root twice per day had increased testosterone levels by an average 96.2 nanograms per deciliter, much higher than the placebo group of 18 ng/dL. Additional studies on infertile men have also found that 5g of ashwagandha root powder daily for 3 months showed increased levels of sex hormones such as luteinizing hormone, and a higher sperm count to boot. Numerous other studies all support ashwagandha’s ability to increase levels of testosterone and fertility. 600 mg per day for a 12-week period was shown to produce up to 1.7 times increased muscle strength and up to 2.3 times muscle mass.

Reduced Inflammation

Research has found evidence that one of this compound’s many benefits include the fact that it exhibits anti-arthritic, pain-relieving qualities. In both animals and humans, studies have shown decreased swelling, a slower degradation of skeletal joints, less pain, and overall better mobility among patients that supplemented with the leafy stuff. While this type of research is still in the early stages, it does bode well for future applications. Ashwagandha is also showing promising results for those who suffer with osteoarthritis, but there’s more work to be done.

Ashwagandha Isn’t a Fad Product

Unlike many empty supplements that have only bro-science to prop them up, ashwagandha is becoming a tried and tested compound that could benefit your body and mind. As with all changes to your diet and nutrition, it is advisable to seek the advice of a medial professional before making any drastic changes.  For the average person, 500 mg per day seems to be a well-tolerated dosage limit although this will depend on the individual, and any other medications that you may be checking. Always do your research on how a given supplement will interact with your current medication to be on the safe side, but never discount a potentially beneficial compound just because it’s not the latest product on the shelf.


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Da Rulk Speaks About the Importance of Functional Training for First Responders Wed, 10 Apr 2024 16:52:20 +0000 Joseph “Da Rulk” Sakoda is accustomed to being surrounded by greatness. The renowned trainer regularly works with people who exemplify that word. We’re not talking about just actors or athletes, even though he’s worked with some of them as well.

Sakoda is best known for two things, one of them is his unique nickname—Da Rulk—which he got from some of his close friends back in his native Brazil. They named him Hulk because of his strength, but in Portuguese the “H” sound is spelled with an “R,” hence Da Rulk.

He’s also known for his efforts in helping first responders in law enforcement, firefighters, and members of the elite military. When these heroes need guidance to become the best version of themselves so they can perform at the highest levels, Rulk is normally the man that gets the call.

“That nickname just stuck with me. Some people still call me “Hulk,” but Rulk is what I get more often,” he says.

Da Rulk Learned Functional Fitness on the Job

Da Rulk first developed his passion for training thanks to his father, who worked for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for over 26 years before later working at the Los Angeles district attorney office as a special investigator in the Asian Organized Crime Unit. Being in a first responder household, he was always around them. Young Rulk recalled that they were big, strong, and fast, but there were some physical tasks that they just couldn’t master. During his time in college, he studied and heard stories about ordinary people performing superhuman feats when their adrenal system was elevated and nervous system was optimized in high stress situations.

“I was fascinated with one story of a 90-year-old woman that lifted a car off her grandkids in a car crash,” he said as a hypothetical example. He was so intrigued by it that he made it the focus of his education, studying kinesiology with an emphasis on biomechanics and sensory processing optimization.

“I was fascinated by all of it,” he says.

Da Rulk with fire fighters in front of the fire truck
Courtesy of Da Rulk

For Da Rulk, It’s All About Service

Da Rulk felt a strong commitment to serving the first responder community. Because of that, he began his career working with law enforcement agencies, including S.W.A.T. teams as well as other specialized divisions and academies across the United States. From there, he transitioned to working with fire department agencies.

“From there, I had opportunities to work with Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, Marine Raiders and most recently some of the guys at Top Gun,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate.”

Earlier in his career, he started working with athletes and teams in all the major American sports from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and many others on both functional strength and cognitive processing efficiency. He has also worked with various celebrities in Hollywood, most notably Chris Hemsworth who recruited Rulk to work with him on the development of the award winning Centr app.

“I am also proud to have worked closely with Fortune 50 companies such as Kroger, their senior management and over 260,000 employees nationwide. I’ve have been blessed to have some amazing partners,” Da Rulk says.

He added; “I’ve always been fascinated with sensory processing and its application to functional performance and efficiency. Others focus on power and speed, but to me that is the third chapter in the book.” In his eyes, the first chapter is focused on managing our sensory input utilizing all five primary senses as well as our near and far senses of proprioception and vestibular regulation.

“That is what manages the adrenal system and organizes the nervous system,”

Good Execution Always Requires a Plan

Chapter 2 of Rulk’s training order would focus on motor planning and the tactical execution of training which incorporates the drills that the athlete or first responder would need to perform to be their best. Chapter 3 would be the traditional strength and conditioning elements which would be leveraged to execute those motor planning skills.

“I try to bridge the gap between the first two chapters and chapter three,” Rulk explained. “I try to develop and cultivate both a proactive and reactive strategy to training.”

Most people train for aesthetics purposes, but Rulk feels that functional bodyweight training can help with all aspects of fitness and athleticism. Essentially, if you can master how the body functions your level of success in all areas will be much greater.

“Functional training is a foundational pillar in all areas of fitness,” he explained. “It’s training that can be applied to everything and anything that you’re doing.”

A few ways to incorporate this training are ways that Rulk shares on his own social media, such as sequencing progressions of his Raw Functional Training (RFT) program, working on dynamic mobility, or finding more challenging ways to execute tactical drills for your profession or sport by incorporating sensory processing and cognitive elements. Even if you were to commit at least one training session as a functional training day, it could have a profound impact on all components of your fitness and profession if needed.

Rulk shared an example to illustrate the point. “If you think about a firefighter, they need to train a certain way to effectively manage all the stress, unpredictability, and challenges on every single call. Being able to manage your adrenal system, organize the nervous system, maintain dynamic mobility, and utilize strength and conditioning for the task you need to do, that is really what functional training is.”

Adequate Recovery is the Key ‘Plunge’ toward Optimal Functionality

As important as training is, recovery is even more vital to reach any wellness or fitness goal, much less to be a consistent high-level performer. Da Rulk understands this and focuses on the importance of nutrition, supplementation, and sleep to stay ready. He also considers cold water therapy very important, which is why he takes plunges regularly into his Plunge XL cold tub.

“There have been several experts talking about the benefits of cold-water immersion, not only post-training, but pre-training as well,” Rulk stated. “Dopamine release, cortisol reduction, and there are so many more benefits from doing it. It can really accelerate your performance and improve resilience, which I really emphasize its importance for.”

Da Rulk thinks that resilience is the next big focus for those paying attention to cold water immersion. In his eyes, the advantage of the Plunge specifically is the ability to remain in a supine body position instead of simply squatting down like other popular pods. He found that it helps with his joints as well as his muscles.

Another unique benefit he pays attention is for cognitive performance. While he and some people he’s worked with are going through that involuntary somatic motor response of shivering to warm up, he will challenge them to perform a variety of basic tasks, including small motor movements while focusing on their breath work to maintain neurological processing speed and cognitive acuity.

“It can really sharpen your spear and it’s a safe way to implement it. The body must overcome that involuntary response to perform those motor tasks.”

Da Rulk’s Final Piece of Functionality

In his own way, Rulk has had a direct impact on many people that perform important duties that also directly impact people. He may not be the one running into the fire or going after the bad guys, but his efforts to help the people that do be as prepared as possible and recover to the best of their abilities has and continues to make a big difference. That opportunity is what drives him to continue being his best every day as well.

“I’m always going to try my best. Embrace discipline, cultivate consistency, and expand your capacity.”

You can follow Da Rulk on Instagram: @da_rulk

For more information about Plunge and the products they offer, go to


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Barre Coach Marnie Alton Explains the Benefits of Morning Movement Wed, 10 Apr 2024 16:30:06 +0000 Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Marnie Alton weighed in at just four pounds at birth, earning her the nickname; “Mouse,” but that didn’t stop her from becoming an unstoppable force of nature when it comes to encouraging people to stay strong in body and mind.

Influenced by her roots as an on-stage actor and dancer, and even making a name for herself in Hollywood, Marnie Alton is now a wellness coach and physical trainer living in Los Angeles. And, while she tutors a growing cast of A-list stars like Drew Barrymore, you don’t need to be a regular on the silver screen to pick up her winning wisdom. Marnie Alton advises that anyone hoping to make a positive change to their lifestyle should start at the beginning and that means moving every morning.

M&F finds out why barre became her beat, and how all movement should be encouraged, even in the A.M.

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be on stage performing,” says Alton, who studied drama and dance in college. Her acting credits include The Outer Limits (1995), Josie and the Pussycats (2001) and In Hell (2003), but it was 2005 before she came to Los Angeles, and immediately became hooked on barre; a workout that tones through stretching and bodyweight exercises.

“Having danced all my life, the movements felt so natural and empowering,” she continues. “I also couldn’t believe how quickly barre produced physical and mental benefits. I started teaching only one week later, and never looked back! In 2014, I decided to go all-in all and I opened my flagship studio in LA. I maxed out my credit cards, drained my bank account, sold my car, and moved into a tiny apartment. I learned how to lay dance floors, install ballet barres, and operate power tools!”

Marnie Alton Is Toning Up Tinseltown

The toasts of tinsel town were just as enthused as Alton with the benefits of barre, and soon the fledgling teacher had a room full of stars. “I first met Drew Barrymore in 2006, while teaching at that first studio in West Hollywood,” she shares. “Barre was the newest, most popular workout trend at the time, all my classes were sold out and filled with A list celebrities. From day one, Drew stood out as one of the kindest, most hardworking people in the room. One time she was rushing to class from set and had forgotten her leggings, so in true Drew style she refused to miss her workout and insisted on doing the class in her corduroy pants instead, laughing the whole time and hoping they wouldn’t split! She started coming to all my group classes, then reached out to train privately. We’ve worked together ever since, and I couldn’t love her more. Drew is one of the smartest and most authentic and inspiring people out there.

In addition to raising the barre, Alton feels that moving in the mornings is a great way to start the day right. Of course, moving in the A.M. can be a real challenge, especially when hitting the snooze button multiple times. It’s is a sure-fire way to lose quality time before work, and also provides less opportunity to be active, unless you count running for the bus that is.

“The thing I hear most from people is about how challenging it is to stay motivated,” shares Alton. “And, I can totally relate to this. My own habits really changed for the better when I realized that motivation is a verb not a noun: the more we move our bodies the more motivated and energetic we feel, not the other way around. Rather than chasing the feeling of being motivated, moving your body will make you want to do it more. Look for opportunities to be active for at least 5 minutes every hour: take the stairs, walk around the block, get on the floor and play with your kids or pets, stand up and wiggle and dance around to your favorite song, anything to activate your body and mind.”

Marnie Alton is Now Taking Her Message Beyond Hollywood

 “In 2020, we decided to move our sessions online, and even though I miss the physical space, I’m so grateful to be able to connect with even more people around the world,” says the now global mentor.

“Online access makes exercise more accessible and convenient for everyone. People used to have to travel for up to an hour each way to take an M/BODY class (a mixture of barre, dance, and yoga) at our physical studio. Some even flew in to be able to experience it! Now, anyone can get involved from anywhere in the world. This makes it possible for people to stay committed to a workout routine even if their schedule changes, which of course it often does, and when we least expect it. To me, the coolest part of being virtual is the support of the community. This kind of connection increases a sense of belonging and improves mental health. Even if you’re technically sweating by yourself in your living room, you’ll never feel like you’re alone.”

Wellness Trainer Marnie Alton performing body movements
Natalie Costello

Marnie Alton’s 5-Minute Morning Routine

“Even short bursts of exercise in the morning will have a huge effect on the rest of your day, including how well you’ll sleep that night,” explains Alton. Movement not only gets your blood pumping, but it also releases endorphins, improves brain health, oxygenates your lungs, and helps alleviate anxiety. Receiving all of this will make you feel more centered, energized, and ready to take on the day. Here’s an easy 5-minute routine:”

While you’re still in bed: Pull one knee up at a time holding it close to your chest for about 30 second and then bring that leg across your body while keeping both shoulders down on the mattress. Feel a gentle twist in your stomach to wake up your digestive organs and spine. Repeat on both sides.

Stand up and do full body shake: This stimulates your lymphatic system and literally shakes out all the built-up tension from your mind and body.

Do Sun Salutations: Wake up your joints and increase blood flow. Focus on moving your body with your breath to create a powerful mind-body connection for the day. (Sun salutations are a yoga sequence made up of the following movements in this order:

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
  • Halfway Lift (Ardha Uttanasana)
  • Plank Pose, Chaturanga
  • Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
  • Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) or Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Halfway Lift (Ardha Uttanasana)
  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
  • Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Begin with one round, and once mastered you can repeat for further rounds to extend your morning workout.

For Alton, self-care rituals like exercise and taking care of hydration is key for happier mornings. “I start every day with a mason jar of lemon-ginger water as soon as I wake up before eating or drinking anything else,” says the coach. “It hydrates all your organs including your skin after having been many hours without hydrating during the night. It also boosts the liver’s efficiency, aids in lymph flow, detoxifies, balances your gut health, and creates a natural energy boost. It was challenging to get used to it at first, but now I can’t start my day without it.”

Alton instructs live classes every Wednesday and Saturday and people log-on from all over the world to get involved. “So many people have met and become friends this way and show up to work out together,” she enthuses. If you are moved by Marnie Alton’s mission to get you more active, visit: and receive a free 7-day trial.

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5 Common Sense Focus Strategies for Accelerating Your Fitness Goals Tue, 09 Apr 2024 19:26:42 +0000 An F1 driver has fitness demands slightly different from your everyday automotive athlete. Drivers like Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, and Lando Norris are tasked with navigating $15 million single seaters through some of the most unique road courses in the world. A typical race—by F1 performance standards—can have drivers weaving through streets at speeds that top 200 KPH for close to 200 miles. Making the podium can require a combination of quick instincts and steady, sniper-like focus and stamina.

And as an F1 performance consultant, it’s the job of Dr. Tommy Wood to create the most optimal methods for his drivers to help maximize results and minimize any type of mental catastrophe.

To those outside of F1, many people would think that cutting-edge mental hacks and strength tips would be the requirements to successfully drive such state of the art machines. But not so fast, says the neuroscientist in charge of helping racers cross the finish line fastest. When it comes to mentally preparing for not just F1 performance but any challenging endeavor, simplicity still works quite well.

“You’d probably be surprised by the number of Formula 1 drivers who don’t do any fancy biohacks or supplements,” he says. “They just do the basics really well. They have a good training program, they make sure they eat well, and they rest and recover. I think that’s something that all of us should focus on more of as well—less biohacks and more of just making sure we’re nailing the basics.”

When it comes to making gains with our own wellness, many of us oftentimes have developed a habit of overthinking the task presented. And it’s easy to fall in that trap when social media is quick to present that latest trend that may or not even work. For instance, more people have become more reliant on fitness trackers these days—so much so it’s become a nearly $80 billion annual industry in the U.S. alone, despite the data surrounding many of these wearables.  On top of that, many of us may not even reading the results correctly. This biohacking blunder can lead to squandered gains by unnecessarily scaling back or even skipping a workout when our wrist monitor readouts put us in the red.

Instead, according to Wood, who also works as an assistant professor of pediatrics and neuroscience at the University of Washington, while there may be some upsides to wearables, there are five old-school common Winning Strategies that we’ve  traded for new tech—from the right motivation to the need to sometimes get out of your comfort zone in order to develop a mindset of being able to work under suboptimal conditions.

Wood uses the Washington Huskies’ run to this past FCS championship game against Michigan to stress the importance of mental toughness. Up until its loss in the championship game, the team’s last five games prior to were determined by less than a touchdown. Although not involved directly with the team, he attributes some of the success to the Huskies’  familiarity with being able to perform in tight contests. And like how similar instances of maximizing focus during uncomfortable situations can help F1 performance as well, it can also greatly benefit the everyday athlete as well.

“It’s mental strength from knowing that they can do those difficult things and still turn it around. And they can keep performing deep into the fourth quarter,” he says.  “There are ways to drill and build up that mentality capacity,  but in reality, the only way you’re really going to know that is once you’ve done it, which is again why that kind of idea of exposing yourself to those challenging situations and knowing you can overcome them that gives you that that strength to know that you can you can keep pushing when you need to.”


1. Like F1 Performance, Different Tasks Require Different Levels of ‘Focus’

Arousal is really important for focus and performance, no matter what sport you’re performing. However, each sport is different—take archery versus sprinting—which means your optimal level of arousal needs to be different as well. Depending on the athlete and the need to be either more or less amped, you may work to increase or decrease your arousal. This could be done through breath work, meditation, or supplements like caffeine.

When a driver’s thinking about focus for a race, there are a few things he has to take into account. One is how amped up he is for the race. And that can be different for different drivers. If a driver’s not amped up enough, he may be slow off the line or have a slower reaction time. But if he’s too amped, the chances are he’s more likely to make a mistake and crash. So you have to find that sweet spot, no matter the activity you’re performing. The important thing to remember is to be as good as you can at the task you’re doing.

When it comes to driving and F1 performance, that’s almost automatic, drivers aren’t even thinking about it—that’s from extended periods of practice. However, as things get more difficult, or their cognitive load increases—this happens as they get tired—then removing distractions becomes important.

If you watch Formula 1, you’ll notice toward the end of the race, particularly if it’s hot and they’re becoming stressed and tired, drivers will stop talking on the radio. Whereas earlier in the race, they’re still feeling good and everything’s functioning properly, back and forth communication is normal. However, near the end of the race, oftentimes, they’ll ask the team to not talk to them as well. This is because they need to put all their resources into focusing on the car.

So for optimal F1 performance, it’s important to either match or be able to regulate your distractions based on your cognitive load. You can kind of see drivers do that in real time. Yes, they’re the best in the world doing that at 200 mph, but sometimes they too get fatigued and overheated. Then it’s just about getting rid of distractions in order to focus on the job at hand.

2. Consistency Always Beats Perfection

Everybody has bad days, even the pros. There was this recent interview with Olympic decathlon champion (Damian Warner), in which he admits the vast majority of his days in the gym were simply OK—he just showed up and did the work.

That’s really important to remember, even when you don’t feel great. For most people, getting the work done won’t feel amazing most of the time. And if you really have a bad day, that’s fine as well, because there’s something you can take away from “bad days.”

Being consistent is the important thing. The next day you may feel great and you’re back on track, but we now spend a lot of time focusing on making everything optimal every time. We’re able to sleep optimally, therefore we have to train optimally every time.

But then when things go wrong, we get mixed up in our head—I didn’t sleep as well as I needed, therefor I’m not going to perform as well.

Whereas if you go in the gym and you had a bad night’s sleep and get the work done anyway, you’ll quickly learn that you can still perform even when things are suboptimal. This way you can reframe your mindset to say that even on a bad day you still got the work done.

It means you can actually still do things even when everything isn’t going well. That’s actually a really good thing to know, whether if’s for F1 performance or your long-term goals. You should be able to perform in suboptimal conditions rather than trying to make sure everything is optimal all the time.

3. Rely on Common Sense More Than Your Wearables

We’ve become too reliant on wearables. [At this point] we don’t necessarily know how good the data are. Some fitness trackers are good, but others may not be at the moment. However, we now know how the data these trackers provide affects us.

There was a [sleep] study by Adam Langer and Steve Lockley at Harvard. People would come into the lab to sleep—they would sleep for either five or eight hours. However, the clocks were changed randomly. So some people who slept for five hours thought they slept for eight hours because the clock on the wall had gone forward eight hours. Some people who slept eight hours and the clock only went forward five hours. They thought they’d only slept five hours.

What most affected them the next day was that researchers looked at reaction times and how sleepy they felt. What affected most people’s performance the next day was how long they thought they’d slept rather than how long they actually slept.

So it kind of showed that we’re kind of letting these wearables—some with not necessarily great data, and then not necessarily interpreting the data correctly, determine how we feel and perform.

In reality, you know often whether you’ve slept well or not. And you might know whether today is the day to work hard in the gym, instead of having an app determine for you whether you should or not.

4. Your Body Is Built to Take on Difficult Challenges

Being able to do things that you need to do when you’re under stress is probably one of the best ways to make sure that you can still perform in that scenario.

As an example, when I was working as a doctor about 10 years ago, I signed up to do a 24-hour off-road Ironman. And I knew that for the event I was going to have to bike through the night and then do a marathon the next morning. So when I did night shift work, I’d work all night and then go and do my training immediately afterward. So I practiced my training while sleep deprived.

You can do this in many different scenarios. You can create fatigue while sleep deprived, then practice what you need to do to be able to perform, whether it’s your job or athletic performance. Once you find yourself in that stress scenario, you’re going to have better performance results because you’ve practiced under those conditions. You’re also going to have the knowledge that you know you can still perform in those types of conditions. You’ll get a placebo effect just from knowing you’re capable of performing well in those conditions.


5. When You’re Fatigued, It’s OK to Rest

I can definitely say that doing that race was not healthy—my body completely fell apart afterward. So yes, there is a trade off. There’s always a possibility that that scenario itself is not a good one for you physiologically, but again, sometimes you’re going to have to be able to perform in that situation. However doing these things once in a while, although it may not feel so great for us in the moment, with adequate recovery afterward, you’ll be just fine.

Maybe this is where wearables can be helpful—it forces people to focus on how well they’re recovering. We’ve developed into this kind of grind culture—the David Goggins approach of keep going and keep pushing yourself. It’s useful to know that we’re able to do difficult things, and occasionally doing stuff that’s really really hard is great and important. But we also have to allow ourselves the time to rest and recover. That is extremely critical if we want to be fitter and healthier over the long term.

There is a balance between difficult things and recovery, and you have to find time for both instead of just going hard every single day. That’s how amateurs get injured—they never give themselves the time to recover.

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When is The Right Age to Start Training Your Kids? Tue, 09 Apr 2024 19:20:04 +0000 Strength training has a host of benefits for both adults and children ranging from stronger bones and muscles to better mental and emotional health. So, it makes sense that many parents look to get their kids involved in some sort of exercise program, including lighting weights.

“It’s important to expose young children to exercise and being active to help keep them healthy and at a healthy weight, especially with all the processed foods available these days,” explains Michael Wittig, father of four, ISSA master trainer, youth fitness Instructor, nutritionist, sports performance specialist, bodybuilding specialist, and more. “Early exposure can help lead to a lifestyle of being active when they age.”

While exercise does a child’s body and mind good, there are a few “rules” in place when it comes to the starting age and type of training.

Here, Wittig equips you with everything you need to know when getting your kid started in the world of fitness and exercise.

Michael Wittig posing with a teen
Michael Wittig

What Age Should Kids Begin Lifting Weights?

There is a reason you don’t see a 4-year-old lifting weights but rather utilizing the playground as their gym. For kids under the age of 7, trying to put on muscle (via lifting weights) can place a dangerous strain on young muscles, tendons, and areas of cartilage that haven’t turned to bone.

“Although it does depend on the individual and how fast they mature, I would recommend children under the age of 7 not engage in resistance training,’ says Wittig, as the risk versus reward simply isn’t worth it.

Thankfully, there are many ways for kids to get stronger and boost their level of conditioning without the use of weights. “Kids under seven, or simply not mature enough, can run, swim, and perform bodyweight calisthenics. This is a great age to teach children how to do a bodyweight squat, lunge, pushups, jumps, and more,” says Wittig.

With that, it’s important to know the difference between strength training and weight lifting—especially when it comes to little ones.

Michael Wittig teaching a teenager how use the cable machine with cable curls
Michael Wittig

Strength Training vs. Weightlifting

Although strength training and weightlifting can be used interchangeably, when it comes to strength gains in young children, weights should not be utilized.

For example, instead of performing a dumbbell row to increase back strength, the child should be guided toward performing pullups on the neighborhood park’s jungle gym or increase their performance on the monkey bars. The same idea, Witting says, can be applied to all areas of the body.

Most daily activities like running around outside, climbing trees, playgrounds, and sport-like activities (T-ball, basketball) will keep kids active and their fitness evolving until their bodies can handle the load of dumbbells.

Michael Wittig teaching a teenager how to perform dumbbell rows
Michael Wittig

Indoor Training Tips for Kids Under 7

To keep kids active indoors there are plenty of tools, toys, and equipment to help them not only work on their fitness level but increase balance and boost creativity. A simple resistance band kit will allow the child to experience some resistance without a dangerous load on their muscles and joints. A doorway pullup bar (with adult supervision/assistance) can make the child feel like they are on the monkey bars, and creative movement sets like Stapelstein encourage kids to focus on balance as they build their core and minds.

How to Safely Get Your Pre-K Started in Weightlifting

When your child is ready for the weights, it’s important to proceed with caution by following the safety tips Wittig includes below.

Although it might be tempting for your child to pick up the heaviest weight they can, your goal is to set the pace of their first of many weightlifting sessions.

“At that young of an age, the focus should be form, light weight, higher repetitions, low volume, and professional guidance and observation,” says Wittig, and recommends combining some basic resistance training with functional exercises like running, swimming, and body-weight movements.

Try This: Wittig started his young boys off with a set of resistance bands that included a door attachment, some light dumbbells, and his personal guidance.

Once your child is old enough and physically ready, you can introduce heavier dumbbells.

Michael Wittig teaching a teenager how to exercise
Michael Wittig

Do This When Training Your Toddler

  • Teach them proper form
  • Supervise children when exercising
  • Use light weights
  • Opt for high reps
  • Keep volume low
  • Keep workout time shorter
  • Make it fun

 Don’t Do This When Training Your Toddler

  • Don’t ever let them lift unsupervised!
  • Don’t max out or lift heavy
  • Don’t force them to work out
  • Don’t allow children under 7 to lift weights

Recover and Have Fun

Now that you have a better idea of when (and how) to train your child, keep in mind they need a proper recovery time as well. Start out training a few days a week with recovery days in between.  This might look like light play outside or simply resting sore muscles.

Gradually build up training days and workloads as your child adjusts, grows, and recovers properly. Pay attention to how they respond to their training, keeping fun at the forefront of every session.  If they are having fun, they are most likely to stick with it into adulthood.

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Why I Keep Returning to the Spartan Death Race Despite Being 0-3 Tue, 09 Apr 2024 19:16:21 +0000 Surviving the Spartan Death Race: A Marathon of Masochism

Twenty-four hours into my first Death Race, in 2018, I was hacking away at poison ivy and tick-infested brush on a Vermont mountain vista. As the hours passed, I found myself repeating, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ with every tedious swipe.

Zack Zeigler clears brush during the 2018 Death Race
Erica Schultz


The Unlikely Zen of Extreme Landscaping

I had been warned the Death Race would test mind, body, and spirit. Still, I couldn’t figure out how gardening fit the description, especially after my fellow Death Racers and I had already spent hours crawling through rocky streams and climbing trails with (and without) shoes while we each carried 60-pound sandbags.

Nightfall Epiphanies and the Art of Faceplanting

The answer came after nightfall. Once we were done tidying up the thicket, a few hours after my water supply ran dry and my morale was gutted, I faceplanted midway through 3,000 burpees near the trail we spent the evening tidying up. I stumbled to a seat by a nearby firepit, attempting to regain my composure, only to start quivering uncontrollably—akin to a jackhammer’s vibration. The medical staff noticed my agony and informed me that my first Spartan Death Race was finished.

Spartan DeathRace 2019 Tag
Erica Schultz

Chasing the DNF Dragon: A Tale of Tenacity

Since that first DNF (did not finish) in 2018, I’ve returned to summer Death Race twice more, compiling an ambitiously unimpressive 0-3 record. So why would I repeatedly subject myself to such self-inflicted suffering? Each time I’ve worn the Death Race bib, I’ve come to appreciate every agonizing moment and each lesson I’ve been fortunate to extract.

Zack Zeigler and partner are blind-folded in the 2019 Death Race
Erica Schultz

Method to the Madness: More Than Just Suffering

Underneath the orchestrated chaos of the event lies a method to the madness. Beyond its goofy and mindless aspects, the Death Race is engineered to give athletes an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of themselves—especially how to get comfortable while being extremely uncomfortable.

I understand that some might find such self-discovery in a weeklong, wheatgrass-fueled wellness retreat or from self-help gurus on TikTok. I can’t.

The Diabolical Dance of the Spartan Death Race

For me, that’s the magic of the Spartan Death Race. It’s a diabolical, almost-anything-goes challenge created in 2007 by its founder and Spartan CEO, Joe De Sena. The race format changes each year—the only constant being its location on De Sena’s Vermont farm and the vast Green Mountains surrounding it.

Pittsfield, Vermont
Courtesy of Spartan

Adding to the mayhem is the Krypteia (aka Death Race staff), who are there to maintain order and plant seeds of self-doubt and browbeat. As the hours grind on, the psychological warfare ramps up as the Krypteia begin targeting weaknesses aimed at breaking athletes into submission.

Don Devaney: The OG of Verbal Ass-Kickings

Perhaps most gifted in this role is longtime “Death Race enforcer” Don Devaney – Santa-bearded, barrel-chested, with a drill sergeant’s bellowing voice. Don excels in creatively berating the racers, making even the biggest and toughest competitors feel insignificant.

Death Race enforcer Don Devaney
Courtesy of Spartan

Three Strikes and I’m Still Swinging

So, how did I end up with a three-race winless streak? In 2019—my second attempt after my DNF debut—nutrition and hydration flubs caught up to me at around Hour 33, abruptly snuffing out my race. (Or so I’m told: I regained full cognition at the medical tent.)

Training Tribulations and the Five-Week Countdown

As for 2023, I hadn’t planned on competing this summer. A family trip was already on the books. But an email from De Sena inquiring if I was attending was enough to pull me back in.

Spartan CEO, Joe De Sena
Courtesy of Spartan

The Mental Gymnastics of Pre-Race Prep

I increased my training volume and intensity, incorporating more bodyweight and functional movements from past Death Races into my sessions. I used my Plunge cold tub daily, mainly as a mental tool to help control breathing and adapt to physical discomfort.

Unpacking Prep Work: A Sunny Disposition vs. Reality

During Death Race, the mental aspect is everything. While you can get eliminated for missing a cutoff, medical reasons, or failing a challenge, most who fail to finish lose their sense of purpose. As De Sena once told me, “After 24 hours, it becomes mental.”

Summer Death Race 2023
Courtesy of Spartan

In my first two races, I’ve wondered if I could’ve rebounded by staying mentally sharp. This time, I refused to fall into any mental trap. However, I still wasn’t immune from being ensnared by negativity at times. And my lackluster packing prep also didn’t help me keep a sunny disposition.

Finding Ways to Embrace Discomfort

I tried forcing smiles and box breathing—inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds. Usually, those were enough to shake off any Death Race irritation. However, there were moments when the discomfort became inescapable, like roughly 10 hours into Night 1.

The group struggled to navigate a 10-foot, 400-pound wooden wheel a few miles up a narrow mountain path—and then back down. My sopping wet clothes left me chilled to the core on that breezy mountain, as temperatures dipped into the 50s. Desperate to find warmth, I even wore another racer’s spare undies to ditch my waterlogged pair. I never asked if they were clean—I don’t even think I cared at that moment.

2023 Death Race Night 1
Courtesy of Spartan

From Sunbeam Highs to Krypteia-Induced Lows

That seven-hour cold snap drained me, both in spirit and body. When dawn broke and I was still standing, the feeling of the sun on my skin was enough to yank me out of my funk and revive my confidence. I couldn’t possibly feel worse than that, right? Wrong.

The Don Takes the Stage

Later that afternoon on Day 2, Don took charge, quickly upping the ante. After a sun-roasted morning spent four-leaf clover hunting, eating family-size cans of beans, and forward rolling hundreds of yards (dodging several vomit piles) to memorize tongue twisters, I was one of fewer than 20 left of the starting 42.

2023 Spartan Death Race
Courtesy of Spartan

When the Cold Plunge Doesn’t Cut It

We were ordered into the Tweed River to compete in head-to-head burpee competitions, create a giant human dam, and perform countless group head dunks in complete synchronization. I thought my cold plunge training would help me adapt to the cold river water—again, I was wrong.

Tweed River 2023 Spartan Death Race
Patricia Canas

The Fire Starting Challenge: Where Scouts and Campers Excel

In that state of mind, I swear I could have stayed in the water until I turned to ice. When we finally exited the water and I thawed out, my confidence again shifted into high gear. What could possibly stop me now? Turns out, a combo of awful packing technique and rudimentary outdoor skills would be my downfall this time.

Fire Making 2023 Death Race
Courtesy of Spartan

Round 4: 2o24 Is My Years … or Not (But Hopefully!)

Just four finished and earned the coveted (and admittedly cheap) Death Race skull—a token that signifies membership in an exclusive club of ultra-endurance whackos. My reward is more intangible. Yes, there’s always the hangover of disappointment at falling short again. But the lessons I’ve learned—seeking reasons to smile when things feel bleak, finding solace amidst discomfort, and pushing past perceived limits even when every fiber of my being screams to stop—will stick with me and drive my preparations for 2024.

Zack Zeigler 2023 Death Race
Courtesy of Spartan

Redemption awaits…

For more information on the Spartan Death Race and how to enter Click here! 

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This Deadlift Variation will Challenge Your Glutes in a New Way Tue, 09 Apr 2024 19:15:12 +0000 Some exercises never get easier no matter how often you do them, and exhibit A is the single-leg deadlift. The balance demands and tension on one leg make this challenging for all lifters the same goes for its variations such as the rack single-leg deadlift.

There are various methods to make the single-leg deadlift less difficult, like using a Landmine device or holding on to a squat rack for improved stability. These are great ways to build single-leg strength and reduce strength imbalances without falling flat on your face.

Then there is this innovative single-leg deadlift variation by Justin Farnsworth that reduces the range of motion and has an assist from the non-working leg for a more powerful hip extension.

But why listen to him? Dr. Farnsworth is a Physical Therapist and a Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist. He is also the current director of Rehab for the Pain-Free Performance Specialist (PPSC) and has led over 125 in-person education courses for fitness and allied health professionals. In addition, he practices what he preaches and is one strong doctor.

Are you ready to level up your glutes and increase your single-leg strength with the rack single-leg deadlift? If so, let’s explore this excellent hinge variation.

Single-Leg Deadlift Benefits

Along with single-leg squats, single-leg deadlifts are the gold standard for improving unilateral leg strength. But this gold standard comes with a price because they are both really hard. Dr. Farnsworth outlines the benefits and shortcomings of performing single-leg deadlifts.

“SLDL allows you to achieve a single-leg hinge pattern, a fundamental component of any human movement system. It combines an asymmetrical stance, which is how we spend nearly all of our upright time, and it improves the power and strength of the posterior chain,” says Farnsworth.

But there is a catch, according to the doctor.

“If your balance is excellent, it can be a great way to target unilateral hamstring and glute strength and improve strength asymmetries. That being said, it is not an exercise I perform commonly, as people are too busy trying not to fall over, and it becomes much more balance-based than strength-based exercise,” explains Farnsworth.

Introducing the Rack Single-Leg Deadlift

Dr. Farnsworth explains how to make your SLDL more athletic and improve your unilateral strength.

“ The rack single-leg deadlift setup is unique because it requires a powerful hip extension with a pre-lengthened hamstring muscle. This differs from a top-down RDL, which starts with a shortened hamstring. There is also a transition phase from one to two legs upon concentric pull, which allows an extra point of stability and emphasizes a relatively powerful hip extension. This allows the lifter to use more weight than other true single-leg exercises.” says Farnsworth.

In layman’s terms, Sir-Mix-A-Lot would approve of this variation.

Rack Single-Leg Deadlift Form Tips

Here are some doctor-approved tips to get the most out of this variation.

  1. Set the bar as low as possible without compensating from your lower back (i.e., you are not gaining more range because the lower back is flexing).
  2. The barbell should rest against your shin. Hold it tight to your body by squeezing each armpit to your torso.
  3. Have the rear leg floating in the back (knee bent is OK; we are not gymnasts here)
  4. Pull the slack out of the bar and POP up as fast as possible (think about driving the hips forward as hard as possible) while allowing the back foot to toe to touch down next to the working foot.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position, reset, and repeat.

Sets and Reps Suggestions

Dr. Farnsworth states this is power/strength-based, so he prefers five sets of three to six reps per side with 90 seconds of rest.

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How The Rock’s Return Helped Power the Biggest WrestleMania of All-Time Tue, 09 Apr 2024 19:14:19 +0000 Whether you are a pro wrestling fan or not, you may have noticed that with a new Netflix deal in the works, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returning to the ring, everyone seems to be talking about WWE. And, as the sports entertainment juggernaut just celebrated WrestleMania XL, new records were set in terms of both the business financials and the raw emotion on display. M&F takes a closer look.

A New Era Is Ushered In At WrestleMania XL

While WrestleMania was born in 1985 at Madison Square Garden, the 40th iteration was the first production to be led by Paul “Triple H” Levesque, after his father-in-law and the WWE founder,Vince McMahon was forced to step down amid a sex scandal. The “Lavesque Era” got off to a historical start, with WrestleMania XL proving to be the company’s biggest grossing Mania to date. In a press conference following the “show of shows,” The WWE chief noted that he felt this wasn’t his era, but rather that of everyone who worked for the company, who felt passionate to go to work once again. Lavesque, a former WWE champion in his own right, also mentioned that innovations in television production were being rolled out, and this can already be seen with some of the different camera angles and extended drown shots. Lavesque also promised that there were more exciting production developments to come.

Squared Circle Meets The Octagon

For his first match at WrestleMania since WrestleMania 29 in 2013, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was victorious at XL when he tagged with cousin Roman Reigns to defeat Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins. To get back into ring shape, Johnson had created an MMA style training camp that lasted 10-12 weeks. In the post-show press conference, the movie star also noted that WWE had sent him 2 rings and had also facilitated its contracted wrestlers and coaches to come and run the ropes with “The People’s Champion,” so that he could sharpen up his move set and timing. On Saturday night, Johnson proved once again that he is still “the hardest worker in the room’ at 51 years of age, helping to power-up interest in the event by appearing all over television while training at the same time. “I feel great,” he said following his match. “Body feels great, I just had the time of my life.”

Wrestlers Battle Each Other And The Weather

The action may have been hot and heavy in the ring but on a cold winter’s weekend in Philadelphia, the crowd had to show as much grit and determination as their WWE heroes in order to weather WrestleMania XL. The temperature on Saturday night was around 50°F but with the wind chill factor at play, it felt much colder. The crowd were forced to pull up their hoodies but kept their energy levels respectfully high during the show. Fortunately, it was a little warmer on Sunday night, but it is likely that this will be the last WrestleMania event held in an open-air stadium since the company is moving towards environments with a closable roof.

WrestleMania XL Breaks Attendance Record

While special guest, Snoop Dog hilariously read out the wrong number (you had one job, Snoop!), Triple H confirmed that the total attendance over the weekend for WrestleMania XL Nights 1 and 2 was a massive 145,298, setting an all-time gate record for WWE. While the exact financials were not given at time of writing, the gross must have exceeded the $17.2 million that was generated by WrestleMania 32 in Dallas. Apparently, another record was set for a one-night gate “We broke our all-time single-night gate record here tonight (Saturday),” explained Lavesque in the post-show press conference. “That is something that Nick (Khan) and I, and the team, spend a lot of time pouring through: how to increase that but remain in that zone where anybody can come to a show. We’re not pricing our fans out of the market. We’re very conscious of making sure everybody out there can enjoy WWE. It’s not just about the money and the numbers, it’s about making sure everybody can take part.”

Cody Rhodes receiving the WWE Championship Belt at WrestleMania XL

A New WWE Generation Steps In The Spotlight

While The Rock’s return no doubt helped to power-up this record-breaking WrestleMania, emotions ran high as old streaks were ended and others were either begun or furthered. Rhea Ripley still holds the Women’s World title after more than a year thanks to defeating Becky Lynch on Saturday night, while Gunther’s epic 666-day Intercontinental Championship streak came to an end at the hands of Sammy Zayne, and Roman Reigns lost the Universal Heavyweight Championship after an awe-inspiring 1,316 days as Cody Rhodes finally won the title in tribute to his late father, Dusty.

WrestleMania XL turned out to be a satisfying blend of celebrating those that had paved the way in the years passed, with welcome cameos from John Cena, The Undertaker, and of course, The Rock’s successful return, while ushering in a new era for fresh superstars like Logan Paul, Damien Priest (the new WWE World Champion) and LA Knight. Now, however, with WWE set to make a big move to Netflix next year, one wonders if those memorable moments and gigantic numbers will be smashed sooner rather than later.

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Embodying the Paradigm of Health with Dr. Ivan Rusilko of Lifestyle Medicine: If Your Doctor isn’t Your Hero, Find a New One Tue, 09 Apr 2024 14:52:27 +0000 In recent years, the conversation around health and wellness has taken a pivotal turn, emphasizing a more integrative approach that places exercise, nutrition, and functional medicine at its core. This all encompassing view counters the traditional healthcare model, which often prioritizes symptom management over preventive measures and lifestyle adjustments.

This enduring problem highlights a significant gap in the traditional approach to healthcare and its absence in exercise and nutrition when it comes to patient care. Unfortunately, many doctors do not adhere to basic exercise and nutrition principles, nor follow their own health advice, exemplifying the irony in a healthcare worker not being healthy. However, emerging trends in fitness and nutrition, new research, innovative treatments, along with common sense are garnering attention for enhancing patient outcomes and overall quality of life.

Within the fray of critiques and calls for reform, figures like Dr. Ivan Rusilko, have been championing radically different approaches in how they care for their patients. Specifically, Dr. Ivan Rusilko has emerged as a thought leader in the space not just because of his hyper-customizable approach to functional medicine as the Founder of Lifestyle Medicine, but because of his commitment to embodying the paradigm of health to inspire his patients to pursue their dreams by practicing what he preaches.

From the Ice Rink to Medical School to Champion Bodybuilder to Mr. USA?

Dr. Rusilko’s initial foray into the limelight wasn’t in the medical field but on the ice rink, where his hockey talent got him recruited professionally as a teenager. Opting instead for a more stable and impactful future in medicine, he pursued his medical education at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine where he was accepted out of highschool as the first student in an accelerated undergrad/medical school program. It was here where he found a new arena for his competitive spirit and physical prowess: bodybuilding. As a microcosm of his personality and a testament to his dedication, discipline, and unwavering commitment to physical excellence, the young Dr. Rusilko won the prestigious Mr. USA title not once but twice — in 2008 and 2010 taking him around the world to events like the Oscars, Formula 1 and fashion weeks.

Dr. Ivan Rusilko

These experiences not only honed his understanding of the body’s capabilities and the importance of nutrition on fitness but also propelled him onto an international stage faster than any medical achievement could have. It was during this time he developed the initial plans for what Lifestyle Medicine was soon to become, a form of medicine that focused on experiential health.

“I believe that doctors should be required to practice what they preach, which I have done since highschool and now as a forty year old I feel like I’m in better shape physically, mentally, and emotionally now than when I was traveling the world as Mr. USA. You cannot and should not take weight loss advice from a fat doctor.”

Embracing Medical Entrepreneurship

After medical school, Dr. Rusilko embarked on an entrepreneurial journey, starting his initial practice within the luxurious confines of Miami’s Four Seasons Hotel at the Miami Institute where he built their sexual health, medical fitness, and IV programs. After a year, Dr. Rusilko left and founded Club Essentia in the penthouse of the Delano where he continued to perfect the art of customized medicine. These ventures marked the beginning stages of his quest to integrate lifestyle and medicine in a manner that was both innovative, accessible and never before been done. His practice quickly evolved, gaining early traction for its specialized IV protocols, peptides, sexual health solutions, and hormone optimization. This success laid the foundation for Lifestyle Medicine, a practice that would come to embody Dr. Rusilko’s holistic philosophy on health and wellness.

“Traditional medicine is and will always be about the prolongation of death whereas Lifestyle Medicine is about the augmentation of life.”

Pioneering Lifestyle Medicine

Now, Dr. Rusilko is the CEO and Founder of Lifestyle Medicine, a disruptive practice that stands at the intersection of functional medicine and personalized lifestyle enhancements. Here, the philosophy is clear and transformative: optimal health is not merely about preventing illness but instead empowering individuals to live their dreams to the fullest, with a focus that spans the physical, emotional, and mental facets of well-being.

Lifestyle Medicine offers a gamut of services, from advanced nutritional counseling and fitness plans to innovative treatments like mercury detoxification, peptides, and hormone optimization with the addition of advanced modalities like hyperbaric oxygen, ketamine infusions and cellular therapy. Each treatment plan is as unique as the individuals who walk through their doors, tailored meticulously to align with personal health goals and the dreams they dare to pursue.

“Healthcare should be unique to each individual because it’s our individuality that makes us human. It’s not a one size fits all approach like traditional medicine, that’s just bullshit.”

Living by Example: A Paradigm of Health

“I use the form of medicine I created to live the fullest life possible. A version of health focuses on experiential living that enables me to do the crazy things I do at such a high pace. Everyone deserves this.”

Dr. Rusilko’s personal and professional life is a testament to the holistic philosophy of Lifestyle Medicine. He strongly believes that healthcare providers should not only offer advice but also exemplify it. Dr. Rusilko takes this belief one step further by showing how his medicine translates into the real world embodied in his adventurous pursuits. From swimming with tiger sharks to racing formula cars, his hobbies are made possible through the medicine he lives by and reflect his commitment to leveraging optimal health to enjoy life to its fullest. Dr. Rusilko hopes to inspire his patients to envision and pursue their deepest desires and “best life” which looks different for everyone and is why customized healthcare is critical to care for one’s health.

Dr. Rusilko’s life is a powerful demonstration of the joy and fulfillment that come from prioritizing health to better pursue personal goals and real life adventures.

Conclusion: Inspiring Patients to Pursue Dreams

Dr. Ivan Rusilko

Dr. Ivan Rusilko’s remarkable transition from a champion bodybuilder to the founder of Lifestyle Medicine showcases a dynamic blend of discipline, innovation, and a deep commitment to holistic health. His journey, marked by athletic achievements and pioneering contributions to personalized healthcare, underscores the power of living by the principles of fitness and wellness he preaches. By embodying the ideal of health in both his personal exploits and professional endeavors, Dr. Rusilko not only inspires those around him to strive for their best lives but also demonstrates the profound impact of integrating physical prowess with medical expertise. His story is a compelling example for anyone aiming to merge their passion for fitness with a purpose-driven approach to health and well-being.

“Your doctor should be your hero as you come to them in your time of need. If your doctor doesn’t exemplify health… find a new doctor.”

M&F and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.

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Why Documenting Your Goals Will Increase the Chances of Completing Them Mon, 08 Apr 2024 20:51:43 +0000 Many of us started out documenting our fitness transformation journey with a little notebook detailing every set, rep, and weight achieved during each gym session, but as the novelty wore off, we felt like we had a pretty good idea of how to proceed and ditched our written logs in favor of a rough mental idea of what we should be lifting or eating from workout to workout. Scores of peoples enter the gym with no clear plan at all, and wander aimlessly from machine to machine failing to make the most out of the limited time that they have invested in being there. But what if we got serious about the details and stats that are available to us? It turns out that winging it is only flying us towards failure, so I made a decision to look at the detail, and here’s your reminder to do the same.

Personally, I started out with the best of intentions as relates to writing things down, but after 25 years plus of training three time per week, I had evolved into one of those ‘rough mental plan’ guys. Despite my time and sweat, I was gaining weight and failing to add muscle mass. I wondered what the point of training was at all. Maybe I didn’t have the right genetics? Maybe other gym goers responded better to supplements than me? Then, I discovered the answer: Those who achieve their goals are the ones that document their aims, write down their efforts, and then take an honest look at the stats. After several weeks of doing the same, I was convinced: documenting our fitness progress is the sure-fire way to break out of a plateau, but  don’t take my word for it  this concept is backed by science.

WeStudio / Shutterstock

Those who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them

Work carried out back in 2007 by Dr Gail Matthews, as psychology professor at the Dominican University of California,  found that we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals simply by writing them down. It’s not a new concept, and yet only a minority of us adopt the idea. Think about an Olympic athlete for a moment. They already have specific goals. They don’t just want to run faster, they want to reach a set distance in a certain timeframe in order to win a Gold medal. The aim is clear for them, but are your aims just as tangible? Are you telling yourself that you want to lose weight without ever having a number of dropped poundage in mind? If so, now’s the time set some serious parameters if you want to reach the finish line. Logging your goals, and your workouts, will help with motivation levels. As you see your fat go down and the barbell weights go up, you’ll be fired up about making PR’s and less likely to skip a gym session or over endulge on treats.

Track Your Own Journey Instead Of Comparing To Social Media

Our fitness journeys were difficult enough when we were only comparing ourselves with all the other physiques in our local gym, but now we can’t swipe our phones without someone on social media showing us how easy it is to become the “best version” of ourselves. The problem with Instagram Reels and TikTok videos is that they are usually edited to ignore the discomfort and sacrifice that making positive changes makes, and the idea of becoming a “best version” is nice enough, but what does that actually mean? Don’t get sucked in by other people’s supposed progress on social media. Instead, download one of an array of fitness trackers. I user Under Armour’s “MyFitnessPal.”  They haven’t paid me to share that, and you can choose an app that’s right for you, but downloading an app will give you some numbers to work with, and will make sure that your path to success is clearer, eliminating vague plans and guesswork. You can enter your ideal weight goal, your preferred style of training, and the algorithm will spit out the stats on how many calories you should be eating per day, broken down to the macro nutrient level. If you only do one thing to document your goals, I recommend tracking your calories. You’ll be surprised at how much more fuel you are eating than you may have accounted for. And, welcomely, studies have found evidence that those who count calories as part of a weight loss program may lose up to 3 kilograms more than those who don’t bother to track them. The number of calories that works for you is something that can be tweaked by documenting your intake and being honest about the results after a weigh-in. Sure, an influencer on social media may tell you that they are staying lean by eating more than 5,000+ calories, but there might be other factors at play, and how do you even know if the figures they give are actually true? Trust your own numbers.

BlurryMe / Shutterstock

The Devil is in the Detail When it Comes to Crushing Your Goals

As I became honest about the excess calories that I was consuming, I was able to see some fat drop off by sticking with my individual plan, and while we talk a lot about sacrifice as relates to becoming lean or strong, there’s an added advantage of logging your activities that allows for a little balance. I track my workout sessions on an Amazfit waterproof fitness watch. Again, I’m not paid to tell you that, and there are plenty of other similar watches out there, but it means that after I’ve completed a light 40-minute swim, I’ll get a reading that I’ve burned around 350 calories. Those 350 calories become a bonus, since I can add those to my daily intake and still be in an overall calorie deficit if I keep to my daily target. Tracking your calories will also prevent some of those other errors that we make when having a rough mental plan. Here’s an example: When I first started my 40-minute swims, I was less cardio vascularly fit, and after my first few swims the software told me that I was burning close to 700 calories. If I had stopped tracking at that point, I’d be in the pool forever and a day thinking that I had a bonus of 700 calories when it has in fact lowered to 350 calories over time. That might be a hard pill to swallow, but it is essential information that keeps me on track, and also demonstrates solid proof that I am becoming fitter thanks to my physical efforts.

Taking Accountability to the Next Level

Dr Gail Matthews followed up on her essential studies on the subject of documenting goals by attempting to find out how successful people would be if they didn’t just write their aims down for themselves, but also shared those targets with others. Matthews recruited 267 people from a wide variety of business and social groups and found that more than 70% percent of the participants who sent weekly progress updates to a friend were more likely to complete their goals. Finding an accountability partner could be the missing detail in your strategy for success, but it may seem a little scary or advanced for those that are still scrabbling around to find their old notebook. As for me, I’m still a work in progress, but I wouldn’t be hitting the PR’s that I’m making now if I was still relying on a rough mental plan.


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Neurological Conditions Found To Be The Most Common Disease Mon, 08 Apr 2024 20:48:37 +0000 A report recently published in The Lancet, using vast data from 1990 to 2021, has found that heart disease is now trailing behind neurological conditions in terms of commonality, but it remains our biggest killer.

According to the statistical analysis more than 3.4 billion people, that’s 43 percent of the global population, suffered with a neurological condition in 2021, a number far more than experts had previously feared. The study was overseen by researchers at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, Washington, and illustrates that nervous system disorders have overtaken heart disease as the number one cause of ill health. Neurological conditions (diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems) such as strokes and dementia, in addition to migraines and other mental health diseases has now topped the list in terms of commonality.

Male with his head buried in his head from being stressed and depressed due to mental health from failing his fitness resolution / Shutterstock

How are Neurological Conditions Impacting Global Populations?

Researchers looked at 37 different neurological conditions to determine just how they influenced illness, disabilities, and premature deaths in more than 204 territories across the world and found that an 18% decrease in life years had been experienced collectively due to those disorders. More than 11 million people had sadly died from neurological conditions in 2021 concluded the report.

While adjustments for the population’s age and overall growth could refute the findings in terms of the decrease in terms of life years, stroke still comes out as the most serious neurological ailment. Other neurological conditions follow, such as encephalopathy (a type of brain damage) and Alzheimer’s disease. Nerve damage suffered as a result of diabetes is also significantly hampering the population.

What is the Biggest Cause of Death?

One reason for neurological conditions overtaking heart disease in terms of prevalence can be attributed to a recent World Health Organisation classification edit, since the WHO has recently moved stroke into the neurological grouping. But, while we’ve established that stroke has emerged as the most serious cognitive ailment faced today, the biggest overall killer is still cardiovascular disease.

According to the IHME, heart disease accounted for 19.8 million worldwide deaths in 2022. It is no doubt sobering to read that both heart and cognitive diseases are still very much at war with the human race, but it’s somewhat it’s reassuring to know that exercise is one of the best methods we have for improving both mental and physical health. The ultimate reason to renew that gym membership!

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Terry Crews: Defying Age, Conquering Fear & Prioritizing Rest Fri, 05 Apr 2024 13:27:37 +0000 In terms of this thing called life, Terry Crews is on cruise control.

Just 25 years ago, the host of America’s Got Talent was sweeping floors for $8 an hour before landing the audition that sparked his rise to stardom. He has done everything from being the lead man in the iconic Old Spice commercials to starring in both big-screen and award-winning TV series, and lending his voice to video games and animated films.

Crews’s success has not only stemmed from pure talent and hustle; it’s also due to creating and establishing habits that have set the table for success. He spoke with M&F about some of the keys he’s learned throughout his career, why he no longer believes in competing, and just how important a good night’s sleep has proven to be.

Terry Crews Stopped Competing and Comparing Himself To Others When It Came To Training and Found Peace

At 55, Crews is in better shape than many guys half his age, and he takes his wellness just as seriously as any acting role he has had, or his responsibilities as the host of AGT. During his football career, his focus was on being the strongest and fastest he could be. While that helped propel Crews to the NFL, he realized how damaging that mindset is as the league gets younger every year. No awards are being handed out for outdoing what the next guy is doing in the gym. Training now is all about peace.

“It’s my spa time,” says Crews. “I don’t look at it like I’m trying to get this specific bench press, or I’m trying to look better and be better than someone else for that matter. It has nothing to do with anyone else. The best thing I could do for the entire world is to make the most of myself.”

By removing the need to compete and compare himself to others, Crews believes he has saved himself from many injuries. His wakeup call came in 2010 when he suffered a torn bicep from overdoing things in the gym. On days when he wants to go heavy, there’s no need to push beyond four reps before moving to the next set. He also runs four miles each day to help keep everything fine-tuned.

Terry Crews Learned to Redefine Fear

Crews has starred alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood and has managed to steal many a scene, whether he was playing a badass or in a comedic role. Even with a quarter-century of experience in front of the camera, there are still nerves. He believes that if there are no nerves, then you don’t care. Instead of succumbing to those emotions with each take, Crews has taken control of them.

“What I learned over the years was not to call it nerves,” he said. “What I do is say I’m excited. If you call it nerves, it’s fear-based. Fear brings more fear, which causes things to descend. Have you ever seen somebody choke at a sporting event? That comes from fear. It comes from thinking, what if I miss? All of a sudden, you miss, and then it goes down from there. When I say I’m excited, that’s more like, give me the ball when it’s time to go.”

Crews’s start in Hollywood came from that same drive. After retiring from the NFL in 1997, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a new career. He made ends meet by sweeping floors and doing security before getting his first big break on the extreme sports show Battle Dome, where he played T-Money. It was the first role he auditioned for, and he told himself he wouldn’t go back to sweeping floors. Twenty-five years later, ‘T-Money’ has a new ring to it.

Terry Crews Is All About Discipline

Crews has been practicing intermittent fasting for over a decade. His workouts are already determined before he starts. He has a morning, afternoon, and nighttime vitamin routine and likes to rise and sleep around the same time each night. He’s able to work out with 20 and 30-year-olds and not feel out of place, and he doesn’t take this for granted as many former football players he competed with and against are no longer here.

“I’m 55, and a lot of the players that I played with have passed away, which is crazy,” Crews said. “If as many people passed away at Apple as have passed away in the NFL, people would say, wait a minute, we need to check out why our people are dying like this.”

Sleep Doesn’t Make You Weak

Crews would land his big-screen debut in 2000 with The 6th Day, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. From there, it was all gas and no brakes. From TV shows, movies, and commercials, he took every offer that he felt was right for him. Who would have time to sleep when you’re living your dreams? Things were great until one day, Crews developed a migraine headache that he couldn’t shake. His body began to ache, and he experienced difficulty breathing. Rightfully, he scheduled a visit with his doctor.

The diagnosis was exhaustion. “I’m like, what?” Crews said. “I heard people say, they’re exhausted. I would think they’re just lazy. That was my mindset.”

The prescription was rest. For three days: no phone calls, no meetings, and no disturbances. He also incorporated melatonin into his nighttime vitamin routine before bed. “It changed my life,” Crews said. He also learned that by outworking everyone, he wasn’t always doing what was best. “Every time I woke up, I was more impactful, more efficient, and I was doing things so well that it made people notice.”

He also learned that by outworking everyone, he was overworking himself. With a new focus on being selective and not overextending himself, Crews says you’ll notice the true growth in the second half of his career compared to where he was in the first half. Each night, bedtime is 8:30 p.m. He starts his wind-down by shutting his phone off and then lowering the temperature in the bedroom. He then closes the blackout curtains and takes a Natrol brand melatonin gummy before he brushes his teeth. He rises a little before five the next morning.

Given the health scare that forced him to prioritize his rest, Crews advises everyone to start doing the same. “I can honestly say sleep saved my life,” Crews said. “You can’t live your dreams without sleep.”

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The Rock is Jeered For Telling Fans Why He Kept Them Waiting Nearly 2 Hours Fri, 05 Apr 2024 13:15:37 +0000 Since Dwayne Johnson returned to pro wrestling in January, he has been everywhere to promote his big match at WrestleMania XL, but when ‘The People’s Champion’ turned up incredibly late to a fan appearance on Thursday, April 4, The Rock decided to skip an apology, instead taunting the crowd with his reason for being tardy.

Johnson, one of Hollywood’s biggest box office draws, and one of the most successful WWE superstars of all time, was scheduled to appear at the WWE World fan expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 4pm, but the thousands of fans gathered around the stage to see “The Great One” began to boo as 4pm soon became 5pm. In fact, it was around 5.45pm before the Moana star appeared, so after waiting for an hour and forty-five minutes, none of those who’d waited in the crowd said; “You’re welcome.” Rather than apologize however, The Rock leaned on his current on-screen ‘bad guy’ persona and poked fun of his audience instead.

“Are you booing because The Rock was supposed to be here at 4-0’clock, is that why you are booing?” asked Johnson. “You’re booing because The Rock was a little late, is that why you are booing?” he asked again as the crowd shouted back in the affirmative. “… He was watching YouTube, watching Jalen Hurts lose in the playoffs again!” mocked the movie star. Jalen Hurts, of course, plays for the home team, The Philadelphia Eagles, and unfortunately DJ couldn’t resist slinging a jibe at his negative crowd after the Eagle’s less than stellar 2023 season.

The wait was shocking, but The Rock can still electrify an audience

In truth, Johnson’s lateness to his own party was more than likely due to the insane promotional schedule that he is on. The Rock has appeared everywhere from the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and even squatted Drew Barrymore on The Drew Barrymore Show all in the last few weeks, in the run up to what promises to be the biggest WrestleMania of all-time. But, while he tried to redeem himself by wishing one young fan a happy birthday, the Q&A section of The Rock’s WWE World appearance served to turn the joke right back around on him when a young girl asked why he’d tried to interject himself into the WrestleMania XL main event even though he hadn’t been in or won the Royal Rumble. Eager to save face, Johnson referred to himself as ’The Final Boss,’ meaning that he can do whatever he wants. Of course, Johnson’s bravado is largely due to the heel character that he is currently playing in his latest WWE run. His cocky attitude and throwback Versace shirts have been a big hit, and the 51-year-old former ten-time WWE champion has a spring in his step as he looks forward to tagging with his cousin Roman Reigns to face Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins.

WrestleMania takes place on April 6 and 7 from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, with more than 60,000 fans expected each night. Limited tickets remain @TICKETMASTER and the show will stream live on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network internationally.

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Vitamin C Really Does Reduce the Severity of a Cold, Says Science Fri, 05 Apr 2024 13:15:01 +0000 Finding time to exercise is difficult enough for most of us in today’s hectic world, so any supplement that we can take to avoid missing too many sessions due to illness has got to be seen as a huge plus. Fortunately, a recent study has highlighted the importance of vitamin C as relates to the common cold, but don’t wait until it’s too late. Here’s what you need to know.

Sneezing, scratching, and runny noses derailed the training plans of millions of us last year. In fact, it is estimated that we contract 2 to 4 colds every year, totaling 1 billion colds among us all. Not only do colds force us to forego the gym, but they play havoc with our working life and make us miserable for 1 to 2 weeks per episode, often making us unable to leave the house during that time. It stands to reason then, that anything we can take now, to reduce any future anguish and get us back out of the front door must be worth a serious look.

Fortunately, the answer to our problems may not lie in an expensive modern supplement, but rather in the humble vitamin C tablet. According to a meta-analysis published by; “proactively supplementing with vitamin C reduced the severity of a common cold episode.” And, it works best when taken well in advance of contracting one. So, with colds becoming most prevalent in the western world towards the end of the summer and beginning of fall, now is the time to get with the program.

skynesher / Getty

How Does Vitamin C Effect the Common Cold?

Data from adults and children aged 8 to 44 without any other known health conditions made up the baseline for randomized controlled trials. Compared to placebo, studies showed that vitamin C reduced the number of days that subjects were confined to the house by 15% and was also thought to reduce the severity of symptoms by up to a massive 66%.

Vitamin C (ascorbic water) has long been hailed for its benefit on the immune system, and this recent data will make sure that it is a firm favorite for generations to come. Still, it is important to note that vitamin C did not appear to reduce the overall duration of the cold, but rather its ability to improve symptoms and make participants more active in some cases. Still, the encouraging data from those studies within the meta-analysis will be seen as a strong sign that vitamin C is crucial for fighting colds and getting back in action sooner.

As noted, the best approach is to take vitamin C proactively, and that means having it in your system before the onset of a cold to give the best chance of helping you to fight it once contracted. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and will strengthen the immune system over time, so it should be part of your daily nutrition goals all year round. In addition to buying vitamin C in pill or soluble form, it is also readily available in citrus fruits like oranges, strawberries, and grapefruit. In the meta-analysis, subjects had taken a minimum of 1g to see positive results.


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UFC Legend Mark Coleman Provides Strong Updates After House Fire Fri, 05 Apr 2024 12:31:26 +0000 Retired UFC icon Mark Coleman was airlifted to hospital in life-threatening condition on March 12, 2024, after rescuing himself and his parents from a blazing house fire that sadly claimed the life of his dog, Hammer. Smoke inhalation had put Coleman straight into intensive care, but as his recent Instagram updates show, the master of the “ground and pound” is coming back strong. Still, some fans are concerned that the former champ is doing too much, too soon.

Despite giving fans and loved ones a serious scare, Coleman made a return to Instagram a few days after the tragic fire, through his daughter Kenzie, in a touching message on March 15. In it, the UFC star thanked everyone for their support and encouraged followers to cherish each precious moment. “Tomorrow is not promised,” he said. The fighter also paid tribute to his loving dog, Hammer for raising the initial alarm by barking and alerting his owner that there was a fire. Coleman was allowed home to Columbus a few days later but unfortunately was rushed back to hospital within a couple of hours as it turned out he’d developed pneumonia. Thankfully, on March 17, the star was once again out of hospital and thanking his supporters, while giving his admiration and respect to the firefighters and medical staff that helped to save his life. “I like to act like a tough guy, but I’ve never been so scared in my life,” he admits.

Coleman believes that his lungs held up, in large part, thanks to the “16-hour marathon days” that he had been doing for the past year. “I’m glad I’m still here with you all, he continued, we have things to do.” Incredibly, Coleman meant what he said, as he was back in the cage on March 18, albeit just lending his support in training. By March 24, the 59-year-old was showing Instagram followers that he was now trying to get back into some form of routine, making small walks for exercise. “My throat is pretty sore still, my eyes are burning, but life is still good,” he enthused. Coleman said that he was “feeling a little stronger every day,” and was excited for another of his unspecified “marathon” days. Then, incredibly, on March 27 he was seen gloved up, doing light sparring with a young student. “There are no days off starting to turn it up feeling stronger every day,” he wrote.

Mark Coleman Instagram

Mark Coleman Says Health is Wealth But Fans are Concerned

On March 30, Coleman moved his training up yet another notch with an intense kettlebell workout that included him lifting the weights by a piece of material clasped inside his jaw. “Life is what you make it. Make it great,” he exclaimed in the video. For some, this was a step too far. “Hey boss, take a rest and cold bath,” wrote one Instagram follower. “Bro you trynna get hurt,” commented another. Still, there were also many messages of support. “Mark you are killing it,” said one fan. “Keep it up champ,” encouraged another. Undeterred, Coleman was back in the gym pounding the punchbag again on April 1. “I’ve been turning it up a lot lately good to be back in the gym. It has always been my peace,” he wrote. ( )

While some are concerned for Coleman’s quick return to intense training, others are happy to see him back doing what he loves. In an earlier post, he said “Life can be rough, but you’ve got to get through the rough times and make the best of it.” The UFC legend has also now announced that he will make an appearance at UFC 300 (Periera vs Hill) on April 14. We wish you a speedy but safe recovery, Sir!

Follow Mark Coleman on Instagram



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Lt. Col. Bryant Webber Teaches and Encourages Others to be Fit to Serve Fri, 05 Apr 2024 12:29:49 +0000 Bryant Webber was a young man with a plan growing up. Unlike most high school kids, he had a pretty solid idea of what he wanted to do with his adult life.

“I knew I wanted to be a physician in the military if it was possible,” he recalled. After initially wanting to apply for the Air Force Academy, he would go on to choose the ROTC route. Today, Lt. Col. Webber is the Preventive Medicine Chief for the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

“That’s actually ironic.”

Webber is a second-generation member of the Armed Forces. His father served in the California National Guard. His brother also briefly served in the United States Army. However, he is the first in his family to make a full career out of service. His position calls for him to be able to help a lot of people.

“Our job is to ensure that our 4,000-plus cadets are healthy and ready as 2nd Lieutenants to get after the Air Force mission.”

While Webber is responsible for helping prevent or take on potential outbreaks, his personal passion has been physical activity. That dates back to his childhood. He recalled always being interested in fitness and being active. He played baseball and basketball as well as other sports in his younger years. That connection stayed with him.

“My academic interest began during my residency in preventive medicine and public health around 13 years ago.”

Thankfully, he is able to maintain a connection to that passion today. As someone on active duty, he maintains a high level of fitness in a variety of ways.

“I used to do just running, but I like to mix in other aerobic activities like hiking and muscle strengthening exercises and stretching. I try to do a wide spectrum of exercises.”

Outside of training himself, he also remains involved with fitness professionally thanks to another endeavor he is a part of.

“I have a foot in the physical activity world thanks to serving on the Military Settings Sector of the National Physical Activity Plan.”

The National Physical Activity Plan is described on its website as “a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives designed to increase physical activity in all segments of the U.S. population.” In his pursuit of learning more about fitness and activity, he found that inactivity is a massive problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

“Physical inactivity was associated with so many common diseases,” he said. He also shared an opinion that many people may not have considered but should take seriously.

“Physical inactivity may be the smoking of our era. Like smoking, it’s a behavior that has many long-term consequences.”

Webber emphasized that this is not only a single-person issue. Being physically inactive can negatively impact others around them. Like many members of the military, he wants to be assured that future generations will have people healthy and able enough to protect freedom.

“Inactivity also places an extra burden on the healthcare system.”

Lt. Col. Bryant Webber trail running outdoors
Bryant Webber

Webber hasn’t only been increasing awareness of these issues. He’s been active in doing something to make a difference for quite some time. In 2021, he started a two-year fellowship program in the Physical Activity and Health Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Air Force supported that effort, and he was able to work on several studies. It was during that time he and others made several significant observations about young people.

“Only two in five young adults (17-24) are both weight eligible and adequately physically active enough to enlist in the military,” he shared. “Those data were actually shared at a Congressional hearing and used to update the CDC’s infographic titled Unfit to Serve.”

To some people reading this, that will not be a surprise because there have been several reports of the Army having trouble with recruitment. This is in part because of low physical preparedness. Webber expressed that this should be considered much more than a military issue. We all should be concerned and willing to do more to help.

“We have a societal obligation to increase physical activity opportunities during childhood and adolescence, including activities before, during, and after the school day.”

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Most people may see that number and feel they can’t commit one hour a day to being active with their kids. However, that time could be broken up into segments throughout the day. The education system can play a positive role as well.

“Parents and teachers can help do their part to reach that threshold,” Webber advised. “During the school year, it would obviously happen during the school day. Recess and PE are very important. There is evidence that physical activity is directly related to academic performance. Recess and PE can actually be for their academic benefit.”

Of course, nutrition is another major component of health and wellness because calories fuel that activity. Webber wouldn’t call himself an authority on that subject, but he agrees there are issues that need addressed such as food deserts where healthy food may not be as available. Of course, the other end of the issue should be discussed.

“We also see a problem with an abundance of unhealthy calories, so we need to be careful about overeating.”

He feels simple is better when it comes to eating for health. Webber advises his patients on eating a variety of healthy foods while minimizing processed foods and sugars. It doesn’t have to be bland and without flavor, though.

“We should be able to enjoy our foods. Nutritious and filling food that we enjoy would be more sustainable.”

Sleep is also crucial, and many Americans aren’t getting enough. Most guidelines suggest eight hours a night and more for kids and teenagers.

“Quantity and quality sleep is very important.”

Throughout his career, Webber has been active in observing the issues surrounding fitness because of the initial connection he felt during his childhood. He has also been active in addressing those issues and turning the tide. He hopes others will join him by doing their own part in encouraging young people from toddlers to teenagers to be more active by doing a combination of aerobic activity and muscle strengthening exercises. Webber said this is something that goes far beyond one’s own health and wellness. It is also something that could make a difference for the military and country as a whole.

“We need them for our national security.“

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans can be found here. More information on the National Physical Activity Plan can be found on the Physical Activity Alliance website.

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WrestleMania Week Kicks Off With Heartwarming Make-A-Wish Surprise Fri, 05 Apr 2024 12:19:58 +0000 As WrestleMania XL week kicked off in Philadelphia, PA, WWE Superstars Rey Mysterio and Charlotte Flair surprised 19 Make-A-Wish kids who were fulfilling the ultimate dream of making their very own superstar ring entrances. M&F was there with admiration for these young boys and girls and talked with the pro wrestlers to soak up the power of positivity.

WWE has long been a champion of fulfilling wishes for the inspirational and longstanding non-profit organization, granting ‘money can’t buy’ experiences to children diagnosed with a terminal illness. In fact, John Cena holds the record for the person who has granted the most wishes; a total that currently stands at more than 650. In all, Make-A-Wish grants hundreds of dream experiences each week, allowing kids to meet their favorite singer, movie star, or in this case, grappler.

Sports fan merchandise company Fanatics became the “official sports partner” of Make-A-Wish in October 2023, starting off the effort with a $10 million contribution to the foundation while opening more than 900 sports partnerships and exclusive contracts with thousands of athletes to the nonprofit dedicated to creating life-changing experiences for children with critical illnesses.

After each child made their exciting ring entrance, M&F joined the celebrations with the honorary WWE Superstars, members of Make-A-Wish, Fanatics and of course the pro wrestling icons themselves.

1109 Top WWE Superstars Rey Mysterio
Courtesy of WWE

Rey Mysterio and Charlotte Flair Make-A-Wish Come True

As the brave children were able to forget about their ailments for a once in a lifetime moment, an even bigger surprise was in store because although the kids knew that they would be able to experience life as a WWE superstar and make their own ring entrances; complete with music, lighting, and graphics, they were blown away to find out that they would also be introduced by two of pro wrestling’s biggest icons; Rey Mysterio and Charlotte Flair. Laughter and tears soon followed as the invited crowd looked on in awe of the attitudes that these kids brought.

After each child made their exciting ring entrance, M&F joined the celebrations with the honorary WWE Superstars, members of Make-A-Wish, and of course the pro wrestling icons themselves. “This means the world,” said Rey Mysterio, who was entered into the WWE Hall of Fame last year. “To be able to connect with our fans the way we do. They only get a glimpse every time they watch us perform, and it’s from far away, maybe ringside, but to be able to interact and talk about things, hear what they have to say about what we do for them, that makes them happy, is unbelievable. You know, this is a connection that means the most to us.”

The power of positivity is reciprocal. While the kids are inspired by meeting their heroes, the WWE superstars are powered-up by making personal connections with such brave young people. “And not necessarily having to be in character,” added the 14-time world champion, Charlotte Flair, who finds joy in these personal connections. “Like, letting them feel that they know you, I think that makes it more special as well.”

This event was put together in partnership with WWE World, official sponsor; Fanatics, and Make-A-Wish. In addition to these surprise superstar meet-and-greets, Fanatics is providing each of the 19 kids with $250 to shop for their favorite gear at the WWE World Superstore. Fanatics also created custom Mitchell & Ness bomber jackets, designed after each kids’ WWE persona, along with custom title belts and is providing VIP tickets to WrestleMania XL. For more info on how you can support Make-A-Wish click here!

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Kendall Milton Has Been ‘Tuning Up’ In Order to Move Up in the NFL Draft Thu, 04 Apr 2024 15:19:57 +0000 Shortly after collecting the Most Outstanding Player award in Georgia’s 63-3 Orange Bowl victory over Florida State, Kendall Milton was on a plane to Frisco, TX, to begin preparation for the NFL Draft Combine. The Clovis, CA, native had rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns before sitting out the second half to put the final stamp on his collegiate career, but he was already looking ahead to his future.

Despite two national titles in his four years as a Bulldog, Milton faced various injuries during his time in Athens and a majority of the questions around his potential have more to do with the time he missed on the field than how he produced when he stepped on it. In his last season, he finished with 686 rushing yards in 112 carries, averaging 6.1 yards per carry to go along with 12 touchdowns as the No. 2 running back.

Criticism comes with sports and even more so at the professional level. None of it is new to Milton and he’s had fun so far during this draft process and his focus is only on controling what he can. Shortly after the combine, he spoke with Muscle & Fitness on the process of living out a childhood dream, the preparation leading into the combine, and just how his time at Georgia has prepared him for both life with and after football.

Kendall Milton on the football field with his family
Kendall Milton

How Kendall Milton Is Separating Himself From the Herd

Most draft boards have Kendall Milton being taken somewhere in the middle of the draft. Given the uncertainty of where he’ll be calling home in a few weeks, he says the process so far has been fun. He’s enjoyed competing against some of the top prospects in the draft at The Sports Academy at The Star and considers that the best part of training. Given the grind mentality that is instilled at UGA, that’s no surprise.

“It’s about having that mental differentiator to be able to separate yourself from who is competing against you,” he said.

Along with the training and competing aspect, the mobility work, massage, and physical therapy ensure Milton’s body is feeling its best. Regardless of how prepared you train yourself to be, with this process comes a level of stress. To combat this, Milton has turned to music and prayer to refocus back on what the mission is. “I just pray to God and ask Him to take away those nerves and allow me to show Him through me,” he said.

Kendall Milton throwing oranges on the football field
Kendall Milton

Kendall Milton Tips The Nutritional Scale Toward Georgia

Given the temporary relocation to Texas, Milton says the last couple of months leading to the Combine felt similar to his time at Georgia. From studying to making his scheduled workouts and meals. If there was one aspect his new routine hasn’t come close to, it would be the cuisine.

“I would say the cooking probably went down for me in a sense just based off of how Georgia spoiled us when it came to our nutrition and things like that,” Milton said. “Anything we recommended or wanted, they did what they could to make it happen. In terms of quality of the food, I would say Georgia has the upper hand.”

That’s no dig at the current nutrition program Kendall Milton is on, which is structured to make sure he’s taking on the necessary nutrients for his physical goals. Georgia just did it on a different scale.

Be Who You Are

When it comes to all the wisdom gained and lessons learned throughout this draft process, Milton says the simple advice from former UGA running backs coach and new Georgia State head coach Dell McGee has stuck with him the most.

“Be who you are,” said Milton of McGee’s guidance. “Don’t try to do too much and don’t be hesitant. Be who you are, have confidence in your ability and confidence in what God gave you.”

It’s the advice he used when it came to performing at the NFL Combine a couple of weeks ago. Milton says he truly didn’t feel any nerves until he stepped to the podium to field questions from the media. After that, stepped onto the field at Lucas Oil Stadium and placed his headphones on to go through his warmup. Looking around at all the NFL signage, cameras, and people in attendance, a relaxing feeling came over him as he came to the realization that this was indeed real.

“I can remember being a little kid and watching the top guys and seeing guys run these 40s and the drills,” Milton said. “To be in that moment was surreal. It was a humbling experience because not a lot of people get that opportunity and I really wanted to make the most of it.”

Kendall Milton Intends To Sell You a Car and Give it a Tuneup

With the current focus of collegiate athletics being mostly on NIL deals and the transfer portal, not enough attention is given to the student-athletes who do graduate. Milton graduated last December with a degree in consumer economics. It was a goal he set for himself when he made the decision to attend Georgia and he knew how much it would mean to his mom. He already has plans on how he will put that degree to use.

“I have a big passion for the car industry and I  want to own car dealerships,” Milton said. “I learned about the market and learned different ways to take advantage of it, in a sense. At the same time, I also want to own body shops. The degree was about putting myself in a position to learn how to navigate and grow a business based on the country’s economics.”

Once a Bulldog, Always a Bulldog

The memories collected at UGA for Kendall Milton are many. He can remember coming in as a freshman as if he stepped foot on campus last week. He remembers competing against a Bulldogs’ defense that was one of the best in the country and included several first and second rounders. Of course, he will have to adjust at the next level, but competing against some of the best defensive players in the country during his time at Georgia will help make the adjustment a little easier.

There wasn’t much time for Milton to savor the Orange Bowl victory. He remembers the thousands of fans that gathered at Athens airport when the team arrived back after defeating Alabama for the program’s first national championship since 1980. Milton also remembers that every seat in Sanford Stadium was packed as they held a ceremony to celebrate that title and he truly saw how big football meant in the South. From those memories to the bonds and friendships that will follow him throughout his life, he gained so much more from his time as a Bulldog than what he accomplished as an athlete.

“The things that Georgia has done for me is truly a blessing and I’m very thankful for the experiences, lessons, and the navigation that I was provided,” Milton said. “I believe that those things will continue to carry me throughout life and even outside of football.

Follow Kendall Milton on Instagram @therealkmilt

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Steroid Lawyer Rick Collins Explains the Legality of Steroids, Peptides, SARMs, and Prohormones Thu, 04 Apr 2024 14:20:37 +0000 In the United States, the legal landscape of performance-enhancing substances is complex and evolving. In the clip below, New York’s famed steroid lawyer, Rick Collins, delves into how the law views these specific substances.

A Quick TLDR About the Substances Discussed By The Steroid Lawyer

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are classified as Schedule III controlled substances in the United States. This classification means that they have some medical uses but also carry a potential for abuse and may lead to physical and psychological dependence. As such, their possession, use, and sale are tightly regulated and restricted under federal law enforced by the DEA.

SARMs, Peptides, and Prohormones

Substances such as SARMs, peptides, and many prohormones are not classified as controlled substances. However, it is crucial to note that they are not FDA-approved for human use. This means that their sale is subject to strict restrictions, particularly concerning marketing and labeling. Despite not being classified as controlled substances, these substances may carry significant health risks, and their sale and use are a cause for legal and regulatory concern.

Follow and connect with Rick Collins “The Steroid Lawyer” on Instagram here!

### Report on the Legal Landscape of Performance-Enhancing Substances in the United States

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