Taylor’s Blog

Does the size of your balls matter?

Posted By Taylor
Feb 21st, 2012

Well? Does it matter?

Obviously you know that I am talking about stability balls, or exercise balls. You know those huge balloon like pieces of rubber rolling around the gym.

I find this topic to be fascinating and a great representation of how non-information gets passed off within the fitness industry. How big should your ball be?

You will hear a plethora of opinions on this. They should be as high as your waist when standing, when you sit on the ball your knees should be bent at 90 degrees, or they should be a certain size based on your height. Which is the right way? How can you ensure that you will be safe and not hurt yourself when choosing an appropriate ball size?

Choose one that you can’t fall off. That would be a good place to start.

Although, the very nature of the ball makes this difficult to accomplish as it is round. Manufacturers attempt to get around this by placing their balls into some kind of holder or frame, which is pretty illogical if we accept that the purpose of the ball is to create instability. Doesn’t placing you ball in a holder or stand defeat that entire purpose?

Alas, I digress.

How do you choose the size of your ball when there are so many differing opinions? Especially as those opinions all purport to be based on scientific fact. The answer?

I have no idea.

Nope. Over ten years training, a master’s degree in human movement and sport conditioning, trainer of athletes and weekend warriors and I have no idea how big your balls should be. How can that be?

Well, it’s simple really. There aren’t any perfectly sized balls out there. Different ball sizes are appropriate for different situations and can vary according to skill level. The truth is that there is no research or evidence that points to a specific size of exercise ball for a specific individual.

There are people reading this who might think I am way of my rocker (fallen off my ball?) and they have a system. I used to think this as well. I abided by the rule that your knees should be flexed at 90 degrees when you are sitting on the ball.

Then one day I started to ask why? (People who know me will recognize that I do this a lot – a lot). Somehow at my studio we have ended up with all one size of balls, 55cm. And they look a little small to be 55cm. What have we found? No increase in injuries from everyone using the same balls. No change to performance or strength. Definitely some people find different sizes more or less comfortable, but even that is more dependent on positioning or form on the ball.

According to all of my fellow fitness trainers ideologies I should be seeing all sorts of issues. Yet these haven’t materialized. This is what got me thinking, why does the size of your balls matter?

I don’t really think it does. At all.

And those who don’t agree and start citing all sorts of anecdotal beliefs I can use the rules of exercise and physics to present a case for ball size too.

If we assume that we use exercise balls to decrease stability in order to increase muscle activation through the core and challenge the body by forcing it to balance then technically the smaller the ball the better. The smaller the ball, the less surface contact between the ball and the ground, the smaller the surface contact point the less stability the ball has (the more it can roll around) and thus it will require more balance and more muscle activation through the core to stabilize the movement.

Based on this completely sound science you should always use the smallest ball possible that you can safely perform the exercise on. Regardless of your height, weight, or biomechanical design.

This doesn’t make sense. What about your 6’6” 250lbs athlete? Or your 5’0” 250lbs obese exercise newbie? He needs more of a challenge (so less contact with the ground smaller ball) and she would need less challenge (more ground contact largest ball). Neither of these individuals would feel comfortable in either situation. Albeit the science is perceivably sound.

What am I getting at?

The stability ball is a tool used within workouts. There is no science as to what size it should be. You should use whatever one feels comfortable and allows you to safely perform the intended exercise. That is all there is too it. Period.

The point of all this?

1. That it is about comfort not rules.

2. So called ‘rules’ that you may have heard in the fitness world don’t necessarily exist. Question everything, ask for evidence, and look for precedence.

The conclusion? It doesn’t matter what size your balls are as long as you are comfortable using them.

-Strength Coach Taylor

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Only Train 2x a Week!

Posted By Taylor
Dec 14th, 2011

Here is an interesting belief that seems to have become ingrained in the fitness industry: you should only workout 2 or 3 times a week.

The theory perpetuated around gyms, training studios, doctor’s offices, and just about anywhere else, is that you have to have at least 48-72 hours rest between weight lifting sessions and/or gym workouts. In between these workouts you are supposed to get as much rest as possible to allow the muscles to fully recover.

Failure to abide by these rules will result in terrible injury, rhabdomyolosis, decimated bodies, and many other horrors too atrocious to even mention here.

Don’t do it. Go home. Rest. Keep your workout intensity low. Make sure to not overtax your poor, fragile body.

Lol. Yes, I am being a little dramatic about it. But it’s only because everyone seems so overdramatic about the whole don’t exercise too hard thing.

Where did this come from? Who started it? How and why did it become so ingrained in gym culture? Is t accurate?

Research, which is sporadic at best about this subject, has to be interpreted with a sceptical mind. This is because no one has really ever researched this matter in healthy adults in a gym setting. When you see recovery times for muscles you are seeing full recovery times of specific muscles after isolation training.

Essentially, researchers isolated a specific muscle (let’s say biceps), used an isolation exercise (such as bicep curls) to fatigue that muscle and then measured how long it took that muscle to fully recover. Issues with this? Yes. What is fully recovered? How do you measure recovery? What if the muscle isn’t working in isolation? Does it harm a muscle to train before this so called ‘full recovery’?

I could list on a huge list of questions calling into question any research on this idea of specific recovery times. Suffice it to say – we don’t really know from a research perspective what is necessary or even ideal.

The other source of this myth is a misinterpretation of the bodybuilding world. If you are not already aware, the majority of the fitness industry is based on bodybuilding from the mid 70’s to early 80’s. Yeah, that’s right, you don’t want to look like a bodybuilder but you all want to train like them. What does that mean? Check a big box gym – machines, ‘cardio’ sections, and huge mirrors. This is bodybuilding.

Bodybuilders split their body into different muscle groups, say arms, back, chest, legs, and then train just that particular muscle group on any given day. They then ‘rest’ those muscles and focus on other muscle groups. The theory is the muscles needed to recover to grow as big as possible.

What the take away for the rest of the gym population was that you need to take rest between training days. It seems to have been ignored that bodybuilders train 6-7 days a week, often more than one workout a day. The reason they split their body parts up is because of how often they do train. Because, yes, if you train the same muscle day after day with no breaks, then you will eventually break it down and prevent it from recovering.

What’s the truth then?

The truth is that I believe this myth is perpetually fuelled by lazy fat people attempting to justify their sloth like habits and make themselves feel better about their lack of ability to commit to a fitness program.

For some reason you should only go to the gym 2 or 3 days a week and then make sure to rest on the days in between.

Rest? Isn’t that what we all do all the time? Driving in cars, watching TV at home, sitting at work etc.. Our whole lives are rest. We don’t even cut up our own vegetables anymore. We don’t carry our luggage, hockey bags, or briefcases. All we do is rest!

And did anyone think maybe we better tell athletes that they need to be training only 2 or 3 times a week? I mean, we had better get on that before all their bodies fall apart!

Wait…athletes train like this all the time. Sometimes 2 or three workouts a day! Do they over-train? Sometimes, yes. But in general, no, they don’t.

What do I hear all the time? I want to look like an athlete. I want to perform like an athlete. Ok – then you need to train like one.

Think about the people whose bodies you like the best, your friends, family, and colleagues who are fit and active. Check their fitness habits. I will bet you they exercise more than 2x a week.

THE TRUTH – you should be active every single day. Your body was built for it. It was designed for it. The whole reason you have the body you do is to perform manual labour. That is the reason it exists.

If you can’t be active most of the day most days – then you need a fitness program that can push you hard enough to make up for the time you are forced to rest. Recovery is only important if you are training hard enough to need recovery!

Train daily with a variety of activities. You won’t be fine. You will be awesome!

-Taylor

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Chocolate is Good for You!

Posted By Taylor
Nov 28th, 2011

(My note: the second half of this is the best!)

Chocolate is Good for You!!!

I know, right?! How awesome is that!!!!

Now, the more intelligent of you out there will be thinking, ‘wait, this is a busting fitness myths blog’ and will be realizing that my comment above is facetious in nature. Many others, however, will be bought right into and and be thinking, ‘awesome! I can eat chocolate and achieve all my health and fitness goals!’

Yeah, you should read some more of my blogs if you thought that.

But I don’t have to seek it out, no, sometimes these people come right to me! Which makes it much more fun.

First I am going to chat about whether or not chocolate is healthy. Then the second half of this blog will be a recap of my new friends at Xocai chocolate!  Yes, the healthy chocolate company tried to get Taylored Training to sign up!

We had an awesome chat! Check below!

Is Chocolate Good for You?

The unfortunate part is that there are way too many people out there that still are sucked into misconstrued information. And most of the time it is making a nice retirement fund for some unscrupulous people.

Take chocolate for instance. Actually, I have blogged about this before.

CHOCOLATE IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU! CHOCOLATE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH!

Get it? Good.

What about the research you say? There is research that proves this.

Kind of. Cocoa, an ingredient in chocolate IS good for you. Filled with polyphenols, minerals, and other good stuff, cocoa has been associated with numerous health benefits. Cocoa.

Not chocolate.

Chocolate is butter and sugar. Saturated fat and sugar. Anyway you slice it, those are the facts. And to mix those ingredients you have to heat the sugar and fat, and heating decreases the health properties of cocoa.

So any product claiming to be healthy and chocolate at the same time is simply not possible. But hey, that’s just science.

To also note, there are no standardized amounts of things like polyphenols and antioxidants established for humans. So products that play into your desire to increase the amounts of these things in your diet really have no legs to stand on. If they say, ‘contains 4000 units of polyphenols’ but your body can only use 50 units (numbers fabiricated to assist with proving my point) then who cares if the chocolate slab you are about to ingest has 4000 units? Or if it has 3000 more units than another product? You only need 50 units and the rest is all a waste.

Add cocoa to a protein shake or morning oatmeal if you want the healthy stuff.

My Conversation with a Healthy Chocolate Company

(I think this is much for fun to read on Facebook btw)

Here we go!!!!

Some of you may remember a few years ago I had a run-in with another multi-level marketing company. This is like, round two – new company same old story.

Here is a recent chat with a sales rep hoping to make a buck. Read the whole thing on our Facebook Fanpage wall!!!! Or here…

Donna Johnston

I have a product that would be beneficial to you before , during and after your workout , I think you will be surprised when you hear what it is. Everyone loves it.

Top of Form

Like ·  · November 22 at 3:31pm ·

Taylor Simon I would love to hear about this product!

Taylor Simon Well – I guess this product isn’t as awesome as we thought

Taylor Simon Donna, check my post on our fanpage about your amazing product

November 23 at 11:16am · Like

Donna Johnston Sorry you feel that way, someday I will stop in and see you and then I think youwill understand where I’m comming from about this product. I’m not looking for you to sign up into some type of pyramid . For some reason people jump to this conclusion without hearing the whole story.

Taylor Simon Probably because of the video on the main page of the website that explains how the pyramid works and how making money is one of the primary elements

3 main links on the page – history of chocolate, car allowance, and compensation plan

No links anywhere on the scientific evidence that these products benefit health in anyway

November 23 at 2:01pm · Like

Taylor Simon It’s a pyramid scheme the same as Isagenix, Amway, and Advocare

November 23 at 2:03pm · Like

Taylor Simon We will leave this post up so that our members and fans can be made aware of and stay away from the latest marketing scam that espouses benefits with no evidence and misrepresents current scientific knowledge in order to sell product

November 23 at 2:04pm · Like ·  1

Donna Johnston everyone should look athttp://myxocai.com/55366

Expand Preview

November 23 at 4:17pm · Like ·

Taylor Simon That is a good video to look at. It is a classic representation of poorly reported science. Please note that cacao is the ingredient that is being studied and shown to have small effects on some aspects of human health.

It is nothing to do with Chocolate itself that has the benefits. If you look at chocolate products you will see that they are filled with large amount of sugar and saturated fats. Your products actually contain 75% saturated fat and equivalent amounts of sugar to most other chocolate products on the market.

November 23 at 4:33pm · Like

Taylor Simon It is fat and sugar that harm health.

We highly recommend eating cacao or cocoa – our members put it in their protein shakes, oatmeal, and a variety of other healthy food options.

Simply filling a video of people saying how much weight they have lost and a few paid doctors talking about a non peer reviewed study that they have no data to demonstrate is not proof whatsoever of anything.

We advocate healthy diet and intense exercise.

It isn’t your product that sucks. It’s your companies multi-level marketing scheme and profiteering off of non-provable and unsubstantiated claims and statements that truly sucks.

November 23 at 4:36pm · Like

Taylor Simon I would be more than happy to explore some of the supposed science behind what you and your company are claiming. Interestingly, I was unable to find any actual journal citations or specific health information from a reputable source on your page or the companies website.

If you could provide some peer reviewed and medically accepted evidence that your products do what they say and are better than other products on the market, please, do post those.

Otherwise you are just another huckster out to make a buck off playing into peoples desire to lose weight. And our members and fans are way too smart to fall prey to that sham.

November 23 at 4:40pm · Like

Taylor Simon Alright then - Donna Johnston, lets understand better – you claim this product is beneficial before, during, and after exercise – could you please elaborate on those statements?

What are the benefits? How do the products affect energy metabolism, glycogen storage, muscle protein synthesis at these intervals during an exercise session? Do the products have the same effect on different types of exercise – ie aerobic, glycoliytic centered, anaerobic, or high intensity?

November 23 at 4:45pm · Like

Donna Johnston what I sent is not just a video , click on product, science and there are several drop down menus . This product is the raw coaco bean, acai berry and blue berrie xovita blend belgium chocolate cold pressed the highest food in antioxidants and the only product on the market with polyphenols. There is no sugar , sweetened with raw cane juice and fruits, no waxes or perservatives. It is the Flavinoid clss of antioxidants and the polyphenols that pocess the potent free radical fighting abilities that helps reduce inflammation, improves and relaxes blood vessels to give us more energy, and recovery.We are medical journals and backed by Health Canada and tested by Brunswick Labs, In Dr white pages.

November 23 at 4:59pm · Like

Taylor Simon Raw cane juice and and fruit are sugar – just and FYI – glucose and fructose.

November 23 at 8:41pm · Like

Taylor Simon Those free radicals are present in all cocoa containing products

November 23 at 8:42pm · Like

Taylor Simon Not sure what ‘we are medical journals’ means, you may want to check your grammar there

November 23 at 8:43pm · Like

Taylor Simon Your company is NOT backed by health Canada

November 23 at 8:43pm · Like

Taylor Simon I am not refuting the efficacy of the product – I am slamming the fact that you are a multi-level marketing scheme

November 23 at 8:44pm · Like

Taylor Simon And – you still have not provided peer reviewed research citations concerning the efficacy of your product

November 23 at 8:45pm · Like

Taylor Simon And you are not the only product on the market containing polyphenols – might want to check your facts there – not sure if you have heard of berries, vegetables, red wine, fruit, or grains – but all of those foods contain polyphenols -

November 23 at 8:49pm · Like ·  3

Donna Johnston You are absolutly correct they do have polyphenols separatley however not in at the levels as our product you would have to eat 6.5 lbs of tomatoes, or 1.6 lbs of spinach and …… a day. Do you know what an ORAC score is? Medical Journals example the Dr white pages, the Amerian Journal of Bariatric Medicine etc, I could keep going on however I don’t think you are really interested in hearing about the health benefits of this product , and discussing on Facebook is not the place to dicuss, and yes on the back of our products Health Canada have allowed us to print all of our findings which not be allowed withour their backing. If you would like to discuss further book an appt with us.

November 24 at 9:31am · Like

Taylor Simon You opened the discussion on OUR business wall, hence the onus is on you to substantiate your claims.

Would love to see some of the nutrient breakdowns of which products contain these levels of polyphenols. If you could post the nutrient label we could take a look at these to compare. I am very aware of ORAC scores, yes.

November 24 at 1:43pm · Like

Taylor Simon What you need to try and understand, and I think you are missing the point, is that I am not debating the health benefits of cocoa. That is well researched.

You DO NOT need to eat CHOCOLATE in order to experience these benefits. Chocolate is simply a delivery system for the cocoa. Your products carry cocoa, which is good for you, they also contain high levels of fat and sugar, which are not.

November 24 at 1:46pm · Like

Taylor Simon Facebook is a fantastic place to discuss these things. A fully public and open forum. If you can’t handle discussing the details of your product in an open place you shouldn’t be trying to hawk those products in an open place.

Be prepared to defend the claims you have made.

At this point you have not done this at all. You claimed your products contain no sugar – yet they do. How do you explain the discrepancy between your claim and the facts?

November 24 at 1:49pm · Like

Taylor Simon If you carefully read the cited research on your website, which I have, you will note a few things.

Cocoa is healthy. I fully agree with this. It is a great product.

Chocolate has not been shown to benefit or aid in weight loss. Cocoa has been in some studies, but not chocolate. You must recognize that you are discussing two different things here.

Your company has no peer reviewed scientific findings. You cite a few studies as reference, however they are not your studies. So you may be allowed to print the results of those, which would be approved.

November 24 at 1:54pm · Like

Taylor Simon Now, you claim your products are Health Canada approved. This is another example of how seedy companies like yours misconstrue data in order to scam people.

If you take a quick internet stroll over to the Health Canada website and check for your product as an approved NHP (Natural Health Product) you will find that no Xocai products are actually approved by health Canada.

Here is the link if you would like to check for yourself: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php

Natural Health Products – Drugs and Health Products – Main Page – Health Canada

www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Health Canada definitions of natural health products and provides access to regu…See More

November 24 at 2:06pm · Like ·

Taylor Simon To further this, if you visit the MXI Corp website, which is the parent company for Xocai products you will find the following quote – “Are the Xoçai™ products and MXI Corp™ approved by health Canada?
MXI Corp™ products are currently pending review by health Canada, and are not health Canada approved.”

Again, if you would like to check this for yourself,http://www.mxicorp.com/support/compliance.php

Official Customer Support Page for Xoçai™, the Healthy Chocolate

www.mxicorp.com

• Loaded With Antioxidants That Fight Free Radicals*• Helps Provide Natural Ener…See More

November 24 at 2:09pm · Like ·

Taylor Simon So now you have made numerous statements about your product, each of which I have refuted with evidence from the scientific community, your own business websites, and government websites.

Are there any other claims you would like to make?

The FACTS are this: your product is simply a chocolate bar, like any other. They contain cocoa which is good for you, however, it isn’t your products, it is the cocoa.

In the future I would recommend doing a little background research before believing wholeheartedly the propaganda created by a MLM company.

November 24 at 2:13pm · Like ·  1

Mike Sweeney Preach on, Taylor!

November 24 at 2:15pm · Unlike ·  1

Taylor Simon As I originally mentioned, until you began making claims, nothing I said was concerning the health efficacy of cocoa. I simply think that multi-level marketing companies prey on individuals who just don’t know better. They make a lot of claims that sound magnificent which are stretched of scientific evidence and moral ethics.

Once the pool of prospects dry up they move on to the next company, make some more dollars on the backs of the unsuspecting all over again.

November 24 at 2:17pm · Like ·  1

Taylor Simon Now, if you want to have even more fun that will also add some credence to my argument, let’s take a look at the founders of your company.

Jeanette Brooks is one of two founders. She started with her first MLM company way back in 1982 after completing her school in speech pathology and spending years as a teacher. Since 1982 she has run 5 MLM companies and gone bankrupt more than once.

Here is her official bio: http://www.mxicorp.com/jeanette/

Official United States MXI Corp Site

www.mxicorp.com

Jeanette earned her degree in Speech Pathology at Brigham Young University. She …See More

November 24 at 2:20pm · Like ·

Taylor Simon Now – here is her real bio:http://mlmnightmares.com/

MLM Nightmares

www.mlmnightmares.com

Jeanette earned her degree in Speech Pathology at Brigham Young University; she …See More

November 24 at 2:20pm · Like ·

Taylor Simon The other founder, http://www.mxicorp.com/andrew/

doesn’t have the same scam artist background as Jeanette, however, I am unsure how his Business Administration degree and Spanish degree in any way make him an expert in health and health products.

How to run an MLM business, however, might be right up his alley….

Official United States MXI Corp Site

www.mxicorp.com

Andrew earned two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Business Administration and another…See More

November 24 at 2:25pm · Like ·

Donna Johnston again, our product has the Backing of Health Canada proven by the information that we are allowed to put on our boxes. I think your issue is that you disapprove of MLM which is unfortunate , personally I’m only here for the Health benefits and I don’t care to have a discussion with you any more . I don’t appreciate you referring to this as a scam or what you have said about Jeanette Brooks. MLM is the place to be today , we have the product and the Market and THE COMPANY.

November 24 at 4:12pm · Like

Taylor Simon I didn’t say anything about the founder – just posted her track record.

November 24 at 5:07pm · Like

Taylor Simon I am open to learning about health Canada backing your products – please, could you send me that information!

November 24 at 5:08pm · Like

Taylor Simon No, I don’t like MLM – place to be today? It isn’t anything new – they have been around for 30 years

November 24 at 5:09pm · Like

Taylor Simon If you would like to send some actual information instead of simple propaganda, please feel free.

November 24 at 5:10pm · Like

Drew Bechtel Donna, I think the part that your missing is that your products claims and the nutritional structure of it don’t add up to making it a healthy product. I personally went to the products site and looked up the nutritional information for the chocolate and then compared it to a chocolate bar you would get at a convenience store. For 3 of your “nuggets” you get 9 grams of sugar, 5 grams of saturated fat and very little (2 grams) protein. Keep in mind that’s for 1 serving, which could be miniscule in size. If people love your product so much, for all we know they could be eating 3 servings worth or more, turning your product into a glorified candy bar. Protein bars often have less than these amounts of bad fats and around the same sugar content, and a heck of a lot more protein to support muscle recovery and growth, however people have jumped on board to thinking that they can often be unhealthy for you. It doesn’t matter if your product contains acai or blueberry powder, that doesn’t eliminate the fact your products have high amounts of saturated fats and sugar and are probably very likely to be over indulged in. Anti oxidants aren’t a life preserver that will come save you from the other effects of your chocolates. You say your only there for the health benefits. I can give you a much better heath benefit. It’s called learning more about nutritional labels and what your putting in your body. Example: The video that you posted was for a protein shake, yet your advertising your chocolates as if they have the same nutritional benefits. They don’t. One is a protein shake and the other is chocolate. The other thing about the video is that they tell you to make the other meals healthy. If people were making their meals healthy already and having any sort of protein shake they would most likely not need your shake in the first place. Also your products only focus on weight.. Weight and BMI are not always accurate descriptions of health. It look like non of the participants have gained muscle like Taylored training’s clients have, which btw has also been prove to burn fat. The saddest thing about this Donna, is that you seem to know much more about business than you do about health and fitness. And I can guarantee you care much more about trying to score a 3 week cruise than you do about the potential health of the people you are advertising your chocolate and other products to.

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