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

Testing out some new neck training equipment

What do you do to help get you through your workouts?

Oct 5, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Having been an exercise enthusiast all my life there are times when it can be a bit of a grind. So what’s to be done to help with boredom or need for motivation?

My first go to is of course music…if it drives I listen. Have a play list ready, and work on updating it every so often to keep it fresh.

On occasion I might try a new supplement or revisit an old one. I’m actually about to try Animal Paks again.

New fitness gear and clothing are great go to as well. New outfits, especially new t-shirts are top for me. Then of course any new fitness gear is epic, I am now trying out some new neck training equipment.

I also like to use fitness trackers, and diet apps they are great ways to track progress and viewing the results of your efforts. One of my favorites is LoseIt.

And last but not least I like doing research – getting books on exercise theories and techniques and checking out YouTube.

What do you like to do to keep yourself motivated I’m curious let me know.

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!! 

Just Keep Moving!!

Sep 19, 2019 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So here we are two weeks from my meniscus repair and all seem to be going well. Two days ago I had my first leg work out – five sets leg press topped out at 5 plates. I haven’t had to use crutches and will hopefully be back up to speed in time for the left knee surgery in mid-October.

What I’m getting at here is always keep moving. My work before and after the surgery is just as important as the surgery itself. Good pre-op health and fitness levels are key. This prep work can take on many forms and of course certain populations will have limitations. But do something!! 

Lose weight if you need to, strengthen the area affected (if possible), and the rest of your body while you’re at it. I know that’s a little general but I think you get the idea and if anyone reading this wants advice please feel free to contact me directly. And as always check with your Doctor first.

Then of course once you’re post-op do whatever you can as well, go to PT, swim, walk, lift, Tai -Chi or whatever you are able to do (of course under the guidance of your Doctor/Physical Therapist).

If you have a plan your recovery will be much faster!!

I hope this helps and I’ll let you know what happens with the other knee soon.

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

Tune Up Time

Aug 28, 2019 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Well it has certainly been an age since my last blog post and I apologize for that. New business ventures and life seem to have gotten the better of me.

So lets jump right in…
All is well in JETT world but Mr. JETT needs a tune up. If you have ever ready and of my prior ramblings you’ll know that my knees are known to give me issues on occasion. Well that occasion is nigh and it seems that it’s time to get both of them scoped.

Anterior, medial osteoarthritis is the diagnosis. The main contributing factors are – I am mildly bow legged and have flipped the odometer a few times (yes wear and tear is one of the aging theories). Eventually I think it will lead to partial knee replacements. That technology has come a long ways and it pretty cool it’s worth checking out this link (http://bit.ly/2NASUCr). These two upcoming surgeries will be mainly clean-up and quick trims of the meniscus that is fraying in both knees.

Well of course when it rains it pours, I have had elbow issues over the past year as well. Right elbow was tennis elbow, I seem to have to have taken care of it through diligent stretching and rehab exercises. However the left elbow has some calcification and damage to one of the tendons. It was recommended that I try platelet-rich plasma treatment (PRP). Really the jury is still out but I trust my Doctor and am going to get my left elbow worked on while I am forced into some downtime for the knee. Check out this link for better description (https://www.regenmd.com/services/prp-therapy).

And of last but not least as I am ramping up for this this knee surgery, my neck is giving me trouble as well. 90 minutes at jump zone with the kids two weeks ago; I don’t think I’ve ever done as many flips in my life. Anyway getting a little chiropractic work to address the issue. I am currently on vacation and trying to lay low and let my body heal.

This seems to happen every two to three years for me, I have to take time and go into a tune up mode. I guess I should look at the bright side. I have started blogging again.

I’ll keep you posted as to progress…

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!!

Second Update On the Knees…

Feb 14, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So here we are a week and a day later after my synvisc one injections in each knee (http://www.synviscone.com). I have gone from barely being able to walk to light leg training yesterday. The first couple of days I really had trouble walking, my knees felt tight and inflexible and I could not kneel.

By the weekend it was starting to get better and again yesterday I trained light legs – front squats, leg extensions and leg curls.

I will start back to my martial arts training this Friday and that will be the true test.

The ultimate benefit may yet to be revealed, but as long as I’m not having surgery I’m happy!!

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

Oh Those Knees!!

Feb 7, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Quick update on my knees, I just had two injections in each knee of Synviscone http://www.synviscone.com, it is an attempt to prolong the life of my knees. It basically cushions and lubricants the knee(s).

The injections aren’t the most pleasant of experiences but it was tolerable. I had the injections done yesterday (Tuesday – 2/06/18) and I admit I had trouble walking out of the Doctor’s office, but I am feeling much better today. I have been icing and they prescribed a steroidal anti-inflammatory.

I am hoping to start my martial arts training this Friday and will be squatting again next Tuesday., basically back to full activity by next week. Ironically I hit a 315lb. squat the day I had my injections.

That being said, why did I get the injections if I was able to squat 315lb.? I have had meniscus repairs in each knee and my right meniscus is currently frayed/fraying. I really don’t want to deal with another surgery so I am taking a preemptive strike.

I’ll let you know how the lube job went ASAP…

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

Do you always need to have surgery?

Jan 12, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

First and foremost, here is my disclaimer – I am not a Doctor and this is purely anecdotal.

I have had multiple surgeries for various sports/aggro life style issues over the years. Meniscus repairs on both of my knees and nerves removed from my both of my feet due to Morton’s neuromas. All of these surgeries have gone very well and were most certainly needed.

Here are the surgeries I have not had:

I have a 10mm tear in my supraspinatus in my right shoulder that my Doctor insisted I needed surgery on and told me after I mentioned a second opinion that all I would hear was I would need the surgery. I even went so far as to schedule a rotator cuff repair surgery and at the last second I cancelled.

I went on to rehab my shoulder on my own, I recommend if you are in this situation that you get the help of a good Physical Therapist (I can make recommendations). I won’t get into the particulars of my rehab but again get help from a PT, not everyone has twenty years in the health and fitness industry and I started my fitness career as a Physical Therapy aide and still to this day rely heavily upon my knowledge gained from that work experience.

That being said, I eventually went on to benching 255lb., I would also not recommend the bench press to anyone with shoulder issues, but thats just me being stubborn. Either way my point is that I didn’t get the surgery and I seem to be doing pretty well.

Another issue I am dealing with currently is another meniscus tear in my right knee. Often times a popliteal cyst develops with this condition. Extra synovial fluid in the knee generated due to the irritation in the knee becomes encapsulated by a coating that comes off the tendons and forms a cyst in the back of the knee. When that cyst gets big enough it starts to become uncomfortable. I went to see my Doctor about the issue and of course he recommended if it continued to have a meniscal repair.

I decided to hold off. I got a cortisone shot, I had the cyst drained by another Doctor, modified my workouts, rehabbed the knee on my own (again go to a Physical Therapist for your rehab), and the issue has calmed down. I will also be getting Synvisc One shots in both knees in the very near future as preemptive strike (http://bit.ly/2DlEpLH). I am back to my martial arts training and hope to be squatting 315lb. by Spring.

Is my path the right way or the wrong way, it’s neither it’s just my path. All I am suggesting in this anecdote is that you seek second opinions when facing surgery, not just from an Othopedic Doctor but a good Physical Therapist as well.

When all you have is a hammer, everything look like a nail. In my experience I didn’t always go with the hammer.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask me questions about my experience and also feel free to ignore everything I have said as well.

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

The Current Status (Hope for the Injured)

Nov 15, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

It’s been a while since I have blogged, so I thought I’d give you a quick update.This will hopefully give some hope to those recovering from injuries.

So if you follow my ramblings you’ll know that I recently had a couple of foot surgeries, two in each foot in November 2016 and January 2017. The feet are doing well all things considered and I have entered into my first race since the “incident” The Turkey chase http://turkeychase.com on November the 23rd (come and run with me!!).

This is the first running I’ve done since the surgeries and the comeback has been a little trying but I’m confident that I’ll be ready for the event. It may not be my fastest 10k, but surely I will cross he finish line.

I have also started back at martial arts training and have also started teaching again. I will teaching the kids class on Fridays at 5PM which I love!! Bring your kids www.taiyimkungfu.com !!

With this uptick in my movement based training (I have been lifting weights steadily after stopping everything when I had the surgeries since March) my right knee has been a little unhappy. I have had meniscus repairs in each knee and in both knees developed popliteal cysts (very common with meniscus tears). My surgeon removed the cyst in the left knee but not in the right knee, and at times the cyst in my right knee will fill again, causing a tightness, general discomfort some pain.

It’s a simple fix, all that is needed is to drain the cyst. Recently I started training a very gifted orthopedic doctor – Dr. Gobind Sahi http://advancedorthopc.com/specialists/dr-sahi.php , (go see him if you have any orthopedic issues, he is amazing!!). I let him know about my issue and he was able to see me and take care of my cyst issue with great care and speed. I was in and out of his office in less than a half hour.

I need to rest for two days and will be back to full speed by this Friday, thank you Dr. Sahi!!

If there is a will, there is a way, don’t let injuries stop you from moving forward. With the right doctors, the right care, and the willingness it can be done.

I hope if you are injured that you get back up to speed ASAP. If you are having trouble navigating these waters please contact me. I specialize in post-rehab, and for what I can’t do for you, I will refer you to the experts I have met and made relationships with over the years.

Stay in the fight, good luck and Godspeed