Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mr. Universe - Perfect Practice

This morning I was able to exercise with my coach, Ron Williams.  His advise was so amazing!  I didn't want to forget any of the little details and so I got out my iPhone and started taking notes on 'proper technique'.

Here is what I wrote...

Ron Williams Technique

Lower Body Exercises

Squats: Smith Machine - lean back, bar on back (not on neck), elbows forward so bar is rotated back. Squat. Engage glutes, butt back, squeeze glutes, don't lock knees ever, like a piston, go down and up, do not lock knees ever or ever squeeze glutes while pushing forward with knees locked.

(I had a hard time grasping the concept of "butt back".  I thought I was doing it right as I thought of all of my TRX training, but each time I was corrected, I realized I was trying to bend (plie') like I do in ballet with core engaged and bending without knee over the toes.  Finally I was able to 'get it' and wow - what a difference that tiny adjustment made to the burn I felt! Butt BACK!)

Squats: Leg Press Machine - Feet high and wide. Breathe out like pushing baby out.  Engage glutes and hamstrings to create balance.

(Ron had me feel what it felt like when he was engaging his hamstrings. I hadn't understood when he was telling me what to do, but once I felt what he was talking about, I was able to really engage my glutes and hamstring to lift.  Prior to the adjustments, I struggled to lift the weight Ron was having me lift.  After the few adjustments, it was amazing to me how much easier the lifting was.  Ron had me turn to look at how much weight I was lifting.  Without my realizing it, he had increased the amount of weight I was lifting.  He knew if I was lifting correctly, I would be able to handle heavier weight. With the prior weight I had struggled for several seconds to even move at all - with the incorrect technique.  With correct technique, and letting breath out (vs. holding breath and possibly causing swelling to my brain - which Ron explained would possibly happen if I didn't breathe properly),  I could lift more.)

Leg Curl: Isolate hamstrings, knees off (the edge of the) machine. (I was face down) Squeeze glutes and squeeze knees together (pressure without moving).

(When I made that SLIGHT adjustment to squeeze knees together and to squeeze glutes, it was crazy how much the back of my legs BURNED. When my calves reached the top, my hips actually raised off of the bench due to how much I was squeezing my glutes and hamstrings.  I had to vocalize my pain as I breathed out heavily trying to do what moments earlier seemed super easy to do.  It was amazing to again see how little, insignificant changes turned out to be really significant.

Ron talked about how hard it is for him to come to the gym and watch people coaching others.  The little changes above are going to protect me from knee and back injury.  Every time he demonstrated a move and then I would do it, he repeatedly showed me how incorrect my former way of doing things was and how with each, very minute detail performed incorrectly, I was adding weight and strain to my knees and lower back.  I told him how those are the areas that I feel the most pain when I am working out.  Now I know why.)

He continued with the teaching...

Stiff Leg Dead Lifts: (Purpose is to sculpt butt so it sits higher and is rounder) I shouldn't sit back like squats but stretch up to ceiling, squeeze and contract gluts and hamstrings. The key is squeezing pulling legs together without moving.  Back is slightly arched (so rectors contract) and shoulders are lifted and back.  Soft knees.  Legs straight but never locks out.

(Ron showed me the video of him doing his Mr. Universe routine.  You can watch it here.  (Note: Video is of Ron in his competition 'uniform'.  Viewer discretion is advised for young viewers) Mr. Universe Routine Wow.  It was incredible seeing how much control Ron had over every single muscle in his body.  I could easily see why he was chosen as Mr. Universe 7 times (along with his other 250 titles)!  I am not going to be sculpted to be a body builder, but we have something else in mind.  Ron says that I remind him of an Olympic Athlete he trained.  I am not preparing for the Olympics, but maybe when I get a little more confidence in myself I will tell you what we are working towards.  The cool thing is that he said I was going to be able to know how to sculpt every single muscle in my body like he knows how to do, and then I will be able to teach that to others also.)


The demo/workout continued...

Leg Extensions: Pull from hip flexor rotation. Glutes back. Chest goes up. Slight arch.  (Ron put his hand over my knee and I lifted up my knees into his hand.  I was told to keep that same feel throughout movement.) Don't flex feet to lift knees but keep knee lifted and hip flexor engaged the whole time to elongate quad not just by the knee but entire front thigh.

(When I first moved my ankles and calves forward and up, the burn was only felt in my quads by my knees.  When I made the simple adjustment to pull from my hip flexor rotation and glutes, it made an enormous difference!  I felt the burn all the way up my quads!)

Abdominal work with Ron resistance: Knees up. Resist. Crunch. Engage butt and LAY BACK without touching the floor.  Elongate and then go up from elongated spine.  (I could hardly move but laughed and said "I am thinking about it, but my body is not responding".)

(Ron went on to explain that when people do crunches they have to contract in order to still see their abs - even when they are standing.  By my doing the curls with a straight back and lifting heavenward, I was going to sculp abs that people would be able to see with me just standing tall. Oh the wisdom of this man!  I am so grateful/humbled/excited to be working with such a master trainer!)

End of training notes.  Fast forward to later that day...

While I was making dinner for my family, I thought of the tiny little adjustments that Ron taught me. I was eating some fermented saurkraut that I  had made days prior.  My thoughts drifted back to when I realized eating unprocessed food wasn't enough to have superior health. I thought about the tiny little changes I have made to my diet that have made an enormous difference.

1- I started soaking my seeds and nuts and sprouting them.
2- I increased fermented vegetables and probiotic drinks into my diet.
3- I began to understand the importance of buying locally and eating seasonally.
4- I learned how primitive cultures prized the organ meats over the muscle meats - we began buying organ meats more regularly.
5- I really began to understand how important FATS (healthy fats) are for our overall health.

When I first read the book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Dr. Weston A. Price (that I mention frequently in this blog), I immediately got to work implementing the "no processed food concept", however, I didn't pay attention to the other things he talked about that native cultures did to stay healthy. Organ meats were very important.  Fermented foods were crucial. Soaking and sprouting grains was crucial!  Cultured and aged dairy products...  I could go on and on.  The difference is in the little tiny details.

I'm so grateful to the amazing men and women who have come into my life to teach me truths about health and wellness and for those whose lives have passed on but whose books I treasure!

Here is a picture of one of my girls cutting up some beef heart (pictured below). My kids kept saying how much it tasted like steak.

Below is a picture of some homemade sauerkraut that I made.  The original batch of sauerkraut had a little bit of shredded carrots, a sprinkle of coriander seed (I LOVE the taste of it) and some juniper berries thrown in the mix.  

When I was eating the sauerkraut and the meat, I thought of Ron's advise to always eat carbohydrates last and eat the fats and proteins first.  I added some olive oil to the sauerkraut as well as a dash of cayenne pepper.  It was delicious!  Then I got the idea to add some pecans and a little dab of raw honey.  Three servings later and I realized that I had created something special.  I'm not sure how many people think to add raw honey, pecans, cayenne pepper and olive oil to their sauerkraut, but this was incredibly delicious.  I wouldn't recommend anyone try this using store bought sauerkraut.  Homemade kraut tastes a LOT different.  

In ending our workout, Ron said "Perfect Practice makes Perfect Performance".

The difference IS in the little details - with everything in life. 

Here's to health and happiness! 

With much love, 


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