Knee Sleeves Tips & Tricks

How to put on knee sleeves.

The struggle is real, for most.

The typical way to put on a knee sleeve is just go over your foot and pull the sleeve up over the knee cap with it centered on the patella. The basic way of pulling on a knee sleeve will work in most instances but there are a few where you may need to employ a bit of ingenuity. Whether you have hairy legs or you are trying to go a size or two smaller for a competition putting on knee sleeves can be a pain in the butt. Here are a few tips and tricks to getting them on without ripping out hairs or straining some other muscle just trying to pull with pure force.

The inside out method

Turn the knee sleeve inside out. Grab the bottom (smaller diameter part) with your finger tips and pull it up your leg to the proper height, usually just above the middle of the calf. Now grab the large end and roll it up over the knee putting it into place. This method will save you on pain and leg hair. It works much better than just trying to grab the top of the sleeve and dragging it up your leg.

Sleeve slippers

You can find these online, they are very similar to suit slippers for powerlifting suits. A slipper is a piece of soft material usually polyester or rayon with a silk like finish that let other materials slide over it easily. If you don’t have or want to buy a sleeve slipper then you can use a garbage bag or grocery store plastic bag. Cut the bag down to a piece that is roughly as long as your lower leg from foot to knee cap. Slide the bag over your lower leg then pull the knee sleeve on the standard way over top of it. Once the knee sleeve is in place pull the bag out from the bottom. Wallah. The slipper method works better for downsized knee sleeves. Typically in competitions people will go up to 2 sizes smaller to try to get rebound out of the knee sleeve. It is almost impossible to get a sleeve that size on your leg without a slipper or almost a 20 minute workout.

Maintaining a Healthy Digestive System

prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes explained

It has happened to everyone, perhaps you went to try out that new restaurant all your friends were recommending and before you know it your stomachs bubbling and you have an uncomfortable case of the runs. It’s a very crappy situation, pardon the pun, but the diarrhea and digestive disturbance for most will last a day or two then things are back to normal. While not a comforting scenario it is much better than what many who have Celiac disease, Crohns disease, IBS(Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD(Irritable Bowel Disease) or a strong gluten intolerance have to endure day after day for their entire lives. These conditions while characterized by symptoms of diarrhea, intestinal cramping and incontinence all have one common factor; the inability to properly process the food you’re consuming. The digestive system for most people, even performance minded people is mostly an afterthought, it only enters our minds when something goes wrong, when in fact it is a primary factor in health and performance and should be treated as such.

Obviously every person was not made to process every type of food, so if you are ingesting something that does not agree with you the best thing to do is just stop eating it, but often the solution nowadays is not that simple. We live in a period of mass food production, extreme processing, GMOs, horrible chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Animals are pumped with antibiotics and steroids and fed unhealthy grains to fatten them up all in the name of profits. It seems no matter how careful you are with your eating habits; organic, grass fed and gluten free isn’t necessarily going to save you due to confusing labeling laws that allow them to obfuscate the truth and put you at risk. Definitely make the best, cleanest, least processed choices you can but consider that you may need to include ‘special’ foods or even supplements to balance things out.  Also consider that at some point everyone is going to have cake at a wedding or cut loose with junk food while on vacation or have a few beers with some buddies while watching the game. All of these behaviors can kill beneficial bacteria and contribute to an imbalance in the digestive system, don’t beat yourself up about it but be aware when you may need to be a bit more aggressive with digestive prep.

The parts of the digestive system with which we are primarily concerned are the stomach, small intestine and large intestine or colon. When you eat food the initial step of breaking it down is chewing and the food being covered by a small amount of digestive enzymes contained in saliva. From there it enters the stomach and is broken down by hydrochloric acid and more enzymes before entering the small intestine, where it is further processed by a large amount of beneficial bacteria. This is where the bulk of nutrient absorption takes place. From there it enters the large intestine as mostly waste. The final steps are taken before it is passed to the rectum. Right after the skin, the intestines are the largest organ system in your body. If you were to stretch out the small and large intestine at length it would measure over sixty feet. Sixty percent of your immune system is contained inside your digestive system, so we are talking about the foundation of your constitution. When the digestive system does not function properly quality of life suffers right along with performance and recovery. Simply put, if you cannot process the food you are taking in optimally then you won’t be able to live optimally either.

Adequate fiber intake is the first step to keeping things moving smoothly. Fiber is technically a  indigestible carbohydrate, it has no actual nutritional  value, it acts as roughage, there are two types of fiber soluble and non-soluble. The rule of thumb for fiber is to consume 1 gram for every 10 grams of protein. Fiber has been shown to help maintain a healthy balance in the gut and GI tract and help escort toxins out of the body. Fiber also helps to prevent constipation and bloating. The best food sources for fiber are vegetables of all types, fruits of varying types and whole grains. Most people have at least a cursory knowledge of fiber so now let’s get to the beef of this burger.

The foundation of a healthy digestive system is what we like to call beneficial bacteria or probiotics, the good flora and fauna of or our intestines that are responsible along with digestive enzymes for the more complicated process of absorbing the nutrients from the food we consume.  So maintaining a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria and digestive enzymes is paramount in our quest for optimal performance. Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down macronutrients into their constituent parts for absorption. Proteases and peptidases split proteins into small peptides and amino acids. Lipases split fat into three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule.  Amylases split carbohydrates such as starch and sugars into simple sugars such as glucose. These are the classes of digestive enzymes we are primarily concerned with. Probiotics need an environment conducive to their growth and this is where prebiotics can be useful. A prebiotic is a type of fiber, usually a saccharide, that does not emphasize a particular bacterial group but provides a healthy environment for the probiotic to flourish in. Probiotics are classed into two main bacterial strains: lactobacillus, the most common coming from yogurt and other fermented products and bifidobacterium, found in certain dairy products. A proper balance of these 3 nutrients is paramount to keeping your digestive system running at peak performance.

First we should look at our food, as we can get both prebiotics and probiotics from food sources. The best food sources for prebiotics are: Arabic gum, raw (dry) chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, garlic, leek and onion. The best food sources for probiotics are: Greek yogurt, pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, buttermilk, kombucha (fermented tea), sauerkraut and soy sauce. It is a good idea not to ingest sugar with probiotics because the bacterium may feed off the sugar rendering it inactive before it has time to pass into the intestines. It is also recommended that you take probiotics on an empty stomach so as not to release digestive enzymes that attack the bacterium before it passes out of the stomach.  Most probiotics should be kept refrigerated or in a cool dry place, if it gets too hot the bacterium will die and become useless. You also want to be careful consuming food at temperature extremes, too hot or too cold can slow digestion as well as kill of beneficial bacteria that may already be in your digestive system. Luke warm is the best way to consume just about anything as the bodies internal temperature is 98.6, the closer to that temperature your food and liquid is, the more easily processed and absorbed.

Supplementation has become such a big growth industry in part because of what unhealthy food has forced our bodies to endure, and while supplementation is still a small part of the puzzle, supplementing with prebiotics and probiotics may be the best option for people that don’t have either availability of all the proper foods, or need extra help to keep a healthy balance of gut flora. A prebiotic supplement with which I have found useful is called Inulin, it is a soluble fiber a type of fructooligosaccharide which not only has the ability to create the correct environment but also has shown the ability to bind to bad bacteria and exit the body as waste. There are also many probiotic supplements that use a combination of the two bacterial classifications in the billions of cells in order to help repopulate the intestines and keep the delicate balance which allows us to get the most from our food. One of the most interesting probiotics is Saccharomyces Boulardii, it has been shown to survive the stomach acids much better than many of the other probiotics. Athletes consume and use more protein that the average sedentary person, and for that reason supplementing with some type of proteases and peptidases digestive enzymes makes sense on a somewhat regular basis as the body may not make enough to break down the added protein. Here at supplementcentral we sell a wide variety of cheap and effective probiotics and digestive enzymes  that can help you get the most out of every morsel of food that crosses your lips. My personal favorite is the NOW Foods Probiotic-10 this supplies effective doses of both main classifications of bacterium.

Build a Solid Foundation in Movement Patterns with Positions First

Building a Solid Foundation with Patterns and Positions - Pistol Position

Everyone has heard the cliche, “ya have to learn to walk before ya learn to run.” Admittedly, as quickly as it was in one ear it was probably even quicker out the other.  Let’s be honest, in the  world of training and weights everybody wants to go heaviest, fastest and biggest NOW!  In a world of instant gratification the fundamentals in position that allow for big lifts , fast sprints and massive jumps are often overlooked. Highly transferable skills that teach total body awareness, tension and positioning are necessary in laying the foundation for further progression.

Building a Solid Foundation with Patterns and Positions - Plank Position

Skills such as planking and variations there of teach the foundations of bracing and maintaining a neutral, organized spine position regardless of orientation.  Although planks aren’t as sexy as a PR snatch and you may not be running to Instagram to show the world how clever your mastery over hashtags are they are a necessary first step that builds into more complex movements. Beyond planking, skills such as hollow body rocks and superman rocks teach global flexion and global extension around the spine respectively.

These spine positions coupled with low squat and pistol position (single leg low squat) as well as push ups and pull-ups start to challenge your bodies ability to stay organized while engaging the hips and shoulders.  Essentially, every movement skill you could possibly learn is just a new way to challenge your current ability to maintain organization.

Building a Solid Foundation with Patterns and Positions - Squat Hold

Acquiring new movement skills become easier when you have a very solid foundation in the basics because the important inter and intra muscular connections have already been laid albeit slightly altered.  Movement guru and gymnastics expert Carl Paoli of San Francisco CrossFit has said in reference to these highly transferable movement skills “learn to read so you can read to learn.” Simple, elegant and TRUE!  Don’t skip steps and keep checking back for the Fast and Jacked Project at Supplementcentral.com to keep progressing your own movement skills.  Until then, stay motivated and stay juiced!

Looking for more information on this topic? Tune in to The Fast and Jacked Podcast live every Thursday!

– Mike Whiteman
Host of the Fast and Jacked Podcast Instagram @get_juiced77 Twitter @get_JUICED77 

Sweet Potato & Banana Protein Pancakes powered by Cellucor Cor-Performance Whey

Sweet Potato Banana Protein Pancakes - Sossie Rose - SupplementCentral.com

SP&B Protein Pancakes

I am huge fan of sweet potatoes and they make up a huge part of my diet when I am getting ready for a contest. Also, I love bananas because they are naturally sweet and loaded with potassium. Here is a recipe I created that is delicious and packed with protein. The protein powder I used for this recipe is Cellucor’s Cor-Performance Whey flavored in Peanut Butter Marshmallow.  Peanut butter + sweet potatoes + bananas = HEAVEN! (cue the angelic choir)

SP & Banana Protein Pancakes Ingredients - SupplementCentral.com

Here is what you will need:

Directions:– 2 egg whites
– 3 oz sweet potato
– 3 oz banana
– 1 scoop Cellucor Protein Powder
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/8 cup brown rice flour

SP & Banana Step One - SupplementCentral.com

 

 

Step 1

In one bowl, mash together your sweet potato and bananas.

 

 

 

SP & Banana Pancakes Step Two - SupplementCentral.com

 

 

Step 2

In a separate bowl; beat your egg whites until fluffy with peaks and fold into your SP&B mixture.

 

 

 

SP & Banana Pancakes Step 3 - SupplementCentral.com

 

 

Step 3

Mix Cellucor Protein Powder, baking soda, and brown rice flour

 


SP & Banana Pancake Step Four - SupplementCentral.com

 

Step 4

Combine both wet and dry mixtures but do not over mix.

 

 

 

Step 5– Pour the pancake mixture on a non-stick pan and fry them up!

 

 

Step 6- top it off with some bananas, peanut butter, and Walden Farms calorie free syrup.

Cooked Sweet Potato & Banana Protein Pancakes - SupplementCentral.com

Macros (per serving) 17.5p/ 27c/ 1f = 187 calories
Macros (whole batter) 35p / 54c / 2f = 369 calories

ENJOY!!

– Sossie Rose
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
#teamSC #suppcentral

 

Another addition to the SC Team, welcome Rachel Calhoun

Rachel Calhoun - Intro/Bio - SupplementCentral.com

The writing team is growing and the education, knowledge and creativity is flowing like the three rivers. Rachel had been referred to us as being an enthusiastic, and creative individual that would be add value to our team. We’ll just let you read about Rachel in her brief bio below.

My name is Rachel, and I am a fitness fanatic. I’ve loved being active since I was young. I played volleyball, basketball, softball, and lacrosse in high school. Once I got to college, I knew I wasn’t good enough to play Division I sports. This is when I dove into group fitness.

I earned my Zumba certification sophomore year at Robert Morris University, and my second Zumba certification my junior year. I enjoyed teaching three days a week, but my hips thought otherwise. I needed more stretching in my life, and I knew the only way I would stretch my muscles on a consistent basis was by teaching Yoga. During my Yoga training, my “Gumby” classmates would touch their toes with ease, while I would just be lucky to grab my shins. Luckily, I made it through, received my certification and started teaching. Unlike most Yoga classes, I play relaxing acoustics of John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, etc. while strengthening and stretching the muscles. Some of the places I teach my fitness classes include Dick’s Sporting Good’s headquarters, NOVA Chemicals, Robert Morris University, and Boom Fitness. I love teaching group fitness because it gives me the most satisfying feeling knowing that I am helping others better themselves.

The summer of my senior year in college, I found an interest in power lifting. I enjoyed the feeling of “that set was easy, put more weight on the bar.” I took every day as a challenge to beat my weights from previous weeks. I’ve been lifting over two years now, and I enjoy every minute of it. Once I understood all of the strength training terminology and how the muscles worked, I decided to get my ACE Personal Training Certification. I wanted to help other people prepare for the test, as well, so I started an ACE Personal Training Prep course at Robert Morris University that meets once a week.

Food is another top priority with fitness for me. I have a blast coming up with new recipes and fun creations out of different healthy foods and supplements. I like to think of myself as a food scientist. In order to stay healthy but still enjoy food, I had to figure out how to create my favorite foods in a healthier, more nutritious way. Some of my favorite foods are pizza, ice cream, pancakes, cookies, brownies, and anything with peanut butter.

My goal is to help others positively change themselves from the inside out, whether that comes to food, fitness, or mental well-being.

Let’s have a warm welcome to Rachel to the SC Team!