Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wheelchair Base Jumping and other adaptive activities

"Jumping off an 876-foot-tall bridge takes skill and experience for just an average person. But in a wheelchair, it takes even more, including mental preparedness, to land on rocks with only a few scratches."

876ft.....I wouldn't even do 100ft. That's an amazing task for someone to do, but the fact that it was done by a man in a wheelchair is even more AWESOME!.

I love reading and hearing about individuals that take on all challenges.

Check out the full story here:

"Wanna see me do something?....Tell me I can't do it!"

I believe this positive attitude is the driving force behind maximum gains and outcomes in rehab and beyond following a disabling injury or illness.

There are countless examples of exactly what I am describing, here is just a few of some that you may not have heard of:

-Wheelchair rugby or "Quad Rugby"

What a fun sport!, I was lucky enough to work with DC's team the "Capital Punisher's" when they were in their infancy.

This is a no joke, hard hitting sport, and really exciting to watch.

What is quad rugby? click here:

-Adaptive Skiing

learn more about Adaptive Skiing here:

-Adaptive rock climbing for people with disabilities

Check out this e-how video for adaptive rock climbing:

-Adaptive mountain biking
 learn more about adaptive mountain biking here:

-Adaptive Fitness/Adaptive Boxing

what a great workout! the beauty of adaptive boxing is that it can really be adjusted to any level. Seniors, paraplegics, quadriplegics, even those with visual impairments.

As an instructor I have witnessed many people turn up their nose at the thought of boxing for fitness, but once they tried it they were all hooked!

Not focusing on the disability but on the ability of what one can do.

Be it jumping off of a 876ft bridge in a wheelchair or working out to improve your strength for improved independence, don't let any obstacle get in your way.

Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!


Friday, October 26, 2012

A promise between friends ends in a murder-suicide

The following story is a very sad and tragic event that took place recently.

I was very fortunate to have met and worked with Mesfin following his SCI while he was in Rehab. He worked very hard in therapy!

He was an amazing person!, funny, smart, extremely outgoing, and just a real pleasure to know and work with!

RIP Mesfin...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wheelchair Bodybuilding

Last week I wrote about the benefits of Adaptive Fitness for those living with a disability to decrease secondary medical complications and maintain a healthy and independent self.

In that post, I mentioned a wheelchair bodybuilder by the name of Nick Scott. Not too long after that post I received an article written by Men's Fitness on wheelchair bodybuilding highlighting Nick "The beast" Scott and other wheelchair bodybuilders.

The post is accompanied with links to pictures from a wheelchair bodybuilding event and a video with several wheelchair bodybuilders all of different levels.

You can view the Men's Fitness article here:

Look at the wheelchair bodybuilding pics here:

or watch the wheelchair bodybuilding video here:,32068,1900749087001_2126974,00.html

What I love about the videos, pictures and articles is that they all demonstrate what I have said to my patients, clients, colleagues, friends, and family time and time again.....Never Give Up!

Don't let anything be an excuse for your reason as to why you are not where you want to be, if you want something go get it. If you don't know how to start, do some research, there are plenty of informative sites and resources to help point you in the right direction. Last weeks post alone included a great resource guide provided by the Miami project to cure paralysis.

The only real limitation is you, push yourself past your limits.

Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!


PS. here is a great link to a wheelchair bodybuilding site:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adaptive Fitness to decrease secondary complications in Spinal Cord Injury population

I recently found a great resource for those with Spinal Cord Injuries or those who are family or friends with a person living with a SCI.

Not sure if many out there know about the Miami Project to cure paralysis, it is basically one of the leading research facilities dedicated to finding a cure for those living with a spinal cord injury. I receive updates from their research department on their latest developments, and have in the past attended a conference where some of their researchers spoke. Fascinating information, you can learn more about them here:

What I found was a great resource guide created for those living with SCI on the benefits of exercise and listing multiple references for equipment, adaptive activities, or community accessible gyms. you can see it here:

Again, a great resource. Sadly many of the great exercise programs and facilities are in other countries or are limited in the U.S. There is such a need for more Adaptive Fitness trainers to work with those recovering from serious injury or living with a SCI and there is a lot of research coming out to prove the benefits of exercise to decrease secondary complications for those living with SCI.

Check this out: a quote from this article  "This population has been characterised as extremely sedentary with an increased incidence of secondary complications including diabetes mellitus, hypertension and atherogenic lipid profiles."

This does not have to be, there are many exercises that a person with a SCI can perform. Following a fitness assessment and testing including consultation with your Doctor or Physical Therapist, an Adaptive Fitness trainer can design and implement a challenging fitness program to improve bone density, cardiac output, strength, flexibility and function.

An aggressive rehab program following your injury does not have to be it!, take control and begin pushing yourself and your body to the limit.

Take a look at Nick Scott and his story here:

(Pretty Impressive!!!!)

Dedication, commitment to yourself and your goals, and consistency through it all can achieve your goals.
Earlier in this post I referenced some exercise facilities over seas and in the U.S.
you don't NEED to go to one of these facilities (it would be awesome, but not everyone can afford the expense), a great Adaptive Fitness program can be had right in your own home and with the right guidance.
Don't let obstacles set you back!, utilize the resources out there (and provided at the top of the page), contact trainers and find one specializing in Adaptive Fitness talk to everyone you know about what you want to achieve and find a way to start pushing yourself to be stronger, more independent, and healthier than ever.
Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How can I get rid of my stomach?

One of the most common questions that I get being a personal trainer is "how can I get rid of my stomach", I get it from both women and men. Everyone who asks me always assures me that they "don't eat alot" or that they "exercise daily" but, just can't seem to get rid of the fat.

In my early days I would go on and on to explain the importance of diet and exercise, and sometimes would even email programs and healthy eating options to friends or colleagues (taking a considerable amount of my time) to provide the education and information so that it could be applied and put to good use.

I've learned much since then, I now know that when I am asked this question, the person asking is looking for me to give them the "secret", they want the information that they didn't know about, they want the magic formula that is going to take years of bad eating habits or years of inactivity and turn it around in 4-6 weeks to lose the stubborn belly fat.

It's the way our society has become, the "quick fix syndrome" what can I do to get where I want to be as fast and easy as possible?.... It's the reason why those infomercials do so well. You know the ones....Zumba, Tae-bo, P90-X, Insanity. These programs promise amazing results within 60-90 days. They market their products so well, and stress the fact that your results will be obtained in the time frame allotted. People eat this up, I get psyched watching those infomercials myself and want to go hit the gym even if I have already been, It's encouraging and motivating.

These programs are excellent programs, I don't have anything to say against any of them. I feel strongly that if someone is consistent in any program, they will see results.

This is where the problem begins, I have talked to many people who have some type of DVD fitness program. These individuals have told me that they are doing a specific program and following the exercises to a tee, but when asked if they are following the nutrition portion the answer 9 times out of 10 is no. Then after awhile, that person gets burned out on the exercise because they aren't seeing the results they wanted and quit the program all together.

This is the reason why now when I am presented with the question "How can I get rid of my stomach?" I recommend a training session with a trainer for education.

You wouldn't fly a plane if you weren't a pilot, or perform an emergency appendectomy if you weren't a doctor, so why would you apply your non-personal training skills to your own training and nutrition?

A great recent example:

I received a call from a potential client who is a young male in his late 20's weighing in around 320lbs. He was calling me to train him so that he could reach his 1st goal of losing 50lbs in 6 months en route to his ultimate goal of 100lbs in a year. We continued to discuss his goals and plans and when I came to the subject of nutrition his response was "I feel pretty comfortable with my eating, I just need a solid exercise routine and a trainer to push me".

Red Flag Alert!!!!! No amount of exercise can undo poor eating habits and effectively burn fat especially if you continue to eat poorly. You cannot out exercise bad eating habits. If you consume more calories than your body burns you will continue to gain weight or store fat.

I encouraged this young man to focus on his diet and nutrition before even looking into an exercise program, we discussed the benefits of whole grain foods, the importance of eating lean protein at every meal, water consumption, and the many benefits of fruits and vegetables.

"Wow! I guess I didn't know as much as I thought I did" is what he said to me before we got off the phone.

This call took place around the beginning of the summer, I recently heard back that he had put all the advise to use and has dropped 30lbs. 30lbs on just healthy eating habits! He may not be at his goal of 50lbs, but he See's the benefits of healthy eating and is going to stick with it.

How can I get rid of my stomach?.....

Couple healthy eating habits with regular exercise and sprinkle some consistency on top, that's how. Stick to it! Challenge yourself! I guarantee that when you and everyone starts noticing the changes it won't be as hard to continue. The hardest parts are starting, maintaining, and waiting for the results, but like I said. Consistency will get you there.

Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!


ps. Happy National Physical Therapy Month!!!