Planning for the New Year

Dec 28, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What is your exercise plan for the New Year? Do you have one? Is it even on the radar? Well this is a great time of year to start planning or revising your exercise goals for the coming year.

Maybe this will be the year you start exercising, maybe this will be the year you set higher goals, or possibly start a new sport or exercise pursuit.

I personally will be continuing to strengthen my right knee/leg (just recently got a partial knee replacement). I will also be focusing on improving my kicks as well. I got a new set of kicking targets that I am having fun with.

I plan to keep with my lifting routine of three times a week, cardio at least two times a week, long stretch routines twice a week and martial arts training whenever I can, weather permitting (my school is still closed due to Covid-19). In a perfect world I do martial arts training two to three times a week.

I also plan to start using the Lose It app again to better track my input vs. output.

Other than that I will just keep keeping on…because that is how to get it done, consistency and persistence are always the way.

Let me know what your plan is, I’m curious to know.

The Iron Neck

Dec 21, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So here I am checking in again about the Iron Neck. First and foremost, training your neck is a tricky business and I would seek a professional’s advice.

 I recently purchased the Iron Neck starter, and found that it didn’t provide the resistance I needed, but I realized immediately that this product had merit. I promptly returned the starter model and purchased the Iron Neck pro.

I am happy to say that this model/product is pretty amazing. You can train your neck with a series of exercises without any flexion or extension for those with neck injuries, or anyone wanting to strengthen their neck it is innovatively incredible. 

I am a big fan of the Hammer Strength four way neck, and still use it whenever possible, unfortunately my current gym doesn’t have one. I use 45lb. plate for extension exercises as a poor substitute but at least it’s something. My point is that at least for me I use Iron Neck in addition to exercise where I can actually go through a full range of motion with negative resistance. I like using a harness for lateral flexion and extension, however some folks might advise against weighted extension exercises for the neck (tread carefully). Just yet another reason why the iron neck is such a great option for those trying to train their necks with minimal risk.

So on the whole I love this product and use it regularly.  It is not my sole means of training my neck but is a great addition to my tool box of exercises.

Thank you Iron Neck and keep up the good work!!

JETT

Training The Neck?!

Nov 30, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Do any of you train your neck??

I actually apparently have “broken” my neck at some point during my life. I suffered a compression fracture at C3 in what I have narrowed down to two possible incidents, the details of which are not relevant. Irrespective my neck does give me issues on occasion and in the past ten years I have had 3 “episodes” that required physical therapy.

What I have found that is that is that if I keep my neck strong I am much less likely to need physical therapy. On a quick FYI  note, if you’re in the same boat I wouldn’t recommend doing 20 plus front flips at jump zone (the cause of last episode and physical therapy bout.

That being said here is what works for me. My favorite neck piece is the Hammer Strength 4 way neck. I usually would throw it in on my leg days, 4 sets in each direction. 

The more low tech options I use on occasion are a neck harnesses, and a wrap around weighted neck strengthener. Both of these are great options for home use and I relied heavily on both during the lockdown.

My lastest foray into neck training is the Iron Neck, I just bought the Iron Neck starter and am actually in the process of returning it. The starter model just doesn’t provide enough resistance. I have the pro model on the way (unfortunately for about $300 more) and will be testing ASAP.

I let you know how it goes…

So I’m curious, what do you do for you neck? Let me know…

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

-JETT

What are your must haves for your exercise routines?!

Oct 22, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Everyone has their kit, gym bag, equipment etc. that they need and use regularly. Personally if don’t have just what I need or am used to using I am ornery.

If I’m lifting I will always have my belt, straps, elbow compression sleeves, knee wraps, bar clips and flat soled shoes. I may not use all of them for every workout but they are just must haves.

If I’m practicing martial arts I like wearing wrestling shoes and knee braces. If I am practicing sticking and kicking, I of course need one or more heavy bags. By far my favorite heavy bags are the long Century Wave bags.

When doing cardio, which after all my knee surgeries is mainly the elliptical or the bike, I need my iWatch, iPad, iPhone, and AirPods or some combination of them.

I am also usually always listening to music, AirPods make it possible to not have your iPhone close to your person (I’m sure there are Android options as well – I just happen to be all in with Apple products). 

And maybe most important items (especially these days), my water bottle and a mask if at the gym. I like the hidrate spark 3 water bottle and I am currently using the Under Armour mask.

I’m curious what does your kit look like?

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

JETT

What is enough?

Sep 17, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

How much exercise do we need? You hear it all the time one hour of cardio day, make sure to lift weights, stretch, and so on.

Well I’ll just let you know I do, and it’s not necessarily what I recommend as everyone is different but here it anyway.

I like to lift three days a week, I usually will train a three day split routine that I vary every six weeks or so. 

I train martial arts two to three times a week, which is a challenge these days as our school is still not open unfortunately.

I will stretch on average two days a week, I could use more!!

Cardio will usually be two to three days a week, that has been a little less since I am still in physical therapy for my partial knee replacement but can do about twenty-five minutes on the elliptical so far.

Is this enough…I don’t know but its a routine I like and it makes me feel good and that is as important as anything else.

Let me know what you like to do?!

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

JETT

The New Knee

Aug 31, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

It seems that my favorite thing to blog about are my knees. So here’s the latest update. I just recently 7/27/20 had a Mako partial knee replace in my right knee (https://bit.ly/2YQGk76). 

Within the past year I had both of my knees scoped to repair the meniscus. I was down to fifty percent of my cartilage left in my right knee and the medial aspect was bone on bone. The pain that it causing just got to a point where I had to make a move.

It’s been a little over a month and my physical therapy is going well and I have no more joint pain. Of course I was in a lot of pain for the first week and physical does hurt but less and less every day.

I’m told that I should be able to get back all the range of motion I had with my real knee and am looking forward to getting back to my martial arts training and hopefully squatting again some day.

So far so good…I’ll keep you posted as I am more able.

Train Hard, Train Safe!! 

What are you doing at home?

Apr 30, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

First and foremost I hope that you and your family are well and safe.

What are you doing at home? Let me know!!

Here is my humble home program:

Monday and Friday

Knuckle push-ups 25 reps

TRX rows – 30 reps

Horse stance 1:30 sec

5 sets

Stretch for 35 min

Tuesday and Thursday

Kung Fun training 1 hour

Wednesday 

Kettlebell swings 200x each side

Saturday

Yard work

What are your stats?

Sep 25, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Dear All,

Sorry it’s been an age since I’ve blogged, but I thought I’d get some feedback from your guys.

Here are my stats currently:

Age: 47

Height 6 feet

Weight 176lb.

Bench: 225lb.

Squat 315lb.

Kung training: 2-3x a week

Stretching: 2-3x a week

Cardio: When I can get it, admittedly lacking in that department currently

So not it’s your turn…

What are your stats and what are you up to physically?

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

JETT

How is your Stamina?

Apr 5, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What type of exercise do you engage in? Weights, Yoga, Pilates, running, elliptical and the list goes on. Is one better than the other?! Tough question, with no easy answer. The answer may be in another question – How is your stamina? Whatever type of exercise program you follow does it provide you the ability to sustain prolonged physical effort?

If you do lost of cardio you will have a well developed cardiovascular system but may not be able to lift heavy weights; if you only lift (body building/split routines) you can lift heavy weights but will have almost no stamina. The Yoga and Pilates genre is great for flexibility, some strength and slightly better when it comes to stamina but not great.

So what is the approach needed if you want true stamina beyond just being able to run/do cardio mile after mile?

Well from a class or group exercise standpoint it would have to be crossfit. It’s a perfect blend of strength and stamina work. However there is a steep learning curve and chance of injury. But the answer was aforementioned – you need a blend.

Good examples of athletes that have the “blend” are boxers and MMA fighters. They have a great combination of strength and stamina. Surprise, surprise I have been doing martial arts for 30 years.

My current program is 3-4 days of martial arts training, 2-3 days of cardio and 1-2 days of lifting but when I lift it is a non stop burn, sort of like a MetCon in crossfit but longer and I hope safer.

I’m not advising anyone to fight round after round, but do you have the stamina to do it? Strive for that type of stamina and I promise you, your level of fitness will be superior!!

The knees seem to be in good order…

Mar 6, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Here is quick update on my knees. I have started back with my martial arts training and all is going well, actually no aches and pains at all so far.

I recently changed my whole workout routine and will be avoiding heavy squats, with a much greater focus on functional movements and calisthenics. This type of training is surely still a test of my knee(s) integrity but more from a volume standpoint. That being said, I have been sore and tired after these workouts but again no issues with my knees.

I also just started my “kick/punch” training (12-15 rounds of heavy bag work, with both punches and kicks) and so far the knees feel good as well.

The only thing I haven’t tried is running, my cardio work has been all elliptical. Running in my last bout of knee issues was absolutely the main driving factor. Seeing as how this current regimen is working, I don’t feel like rocking the boat so l’ll stick with the current regimen.

Long story short it seems that the Synvisc One shots (http://bit.ly/2oz6x7P) are working.

Knees good, me good, all good!!