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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weighted Stretches

Stretching is vital for your health.  This is true whether you are an athlete or not- if you start to lose flexibility and strength in your back and shoulders, you will also lose mobility, and be cursed with pain!


This is your body scolding you for not taking care of it.  If you feel pain, you are either doing too much physically, like overtraining or training with too heavily, or else you are doing too little.  No matter which side you come down on, I know how you can fix it- by stretching.  But not just with static stretching, where you stretch and hold for time, although that is good as well.  You need weighted stretching. 


And, it need not be time consuming, since I am talking about only two simple weighted stretches to “bullet proof” your body, and strengthen and stretch at the same time the two most commonly pain riddled sites of the human body- your back, and your shoulders.


So here goes- for the back, and I mean the entire back musculature that surrounds and supports the spine itself, you need the Jefferson Lift.  It is simple, and effective, but must be done carefully, meaning starting with extremely light weights!   To start, just use an empty barbell- that will be plenty.  You will never go heavy with this, ever!


You can stand on a platform, or box, or just a stack of weight plates so that when you bend all the way over with straight arms holding the barbell at arms length straight down, nothing touches the ground.  I work out in my basement, and can just stand on the bottom step of the stairs leading upstairs, but then this won’t work for most. 


However you do it, just slowly bend down at the waist, and feel the backbone slowly extend, vertebrae by vertebrae.  At the bottom, hold for a complete stretch momentarily, and then come back up, the same slow, deliberate way.  10 reps is ample, and just one set will do it.  That one exercise will do more for your back than anything else I can think of, both for useful, protective strength, and flexibility at the same time.  Useful flexibility, since you will have strength building in every range of motion in your spine- static stretching does not have the strength component.


Then, for the shoulders, do the scapular dislocation exercise.  It sounds painful, but it’s not!  Take either a long dowel, rod, or exercise band or rope- hold it at both ends, wider than shoulder width at first, in front of your body.  Slowly lift upwards, at arms length, straight up and over the head towards the back, and then down as low as your arms can go behind your back.  At the bottom of the motion, your scapula will slowly “dislocate”.  Then, go back the other way, until arms are back in front- the scapula will relocate when you are half way up your back. 


Kind of hard to describe, but I will put videos of both lifts at  Easy to understand when viewed visually! 


To slowly progress on both lifts, just gradually add weight- light weights!  On the shoulder dislocate, don’t add weight for a long time, just work on mobility.  When you can, gradually move the hands in closer to shoulder width.  Eventually, after long practice, you can use a dowel with a very small weight on it, but this is very advanced.  This scapular control is what gymnasts use for straight arm strength, which is very different from the pushing and pulling strength in most forms of training.  And it is a very protective form of strength that most people do not have, and they pay the price in injury and pain. 


But, now, you will not be one of them!

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

No Heavy Lifting for Arnold!

When you talk about exercise in the usual paleo circles, ala crossfit etc., the mantra is to “lift heavy things!” The idea that you must lift heavy, meaning heavy weights on barbell back squats, deadlifts, and presses is a given.

Well, I am here to say that it is not necessary, and never has been. It is not the weight lifted that is important, it is the muscular contraction intensity that counts! This can be achieved very well with isometrics, for example, without moving a muscle at all under weight, and so perfectly safely.

For no matter what someone else tells you- lifting weights under heavy loads is extremely dangerous, and actually inevitably damaging to the joints, tendons and ligaments. For a testament from an expert, what does the now aged Arnold Schwarzenegger have to say about heavy back squats?

“ I always have done each body part three times a week, with the idea being to train six days a week. But when you average it out it ends up being five days a week. You know, there are weeks when you’re sick, or weeks when you travel.

Are there core exercises that you still do today?

Well, my favorite exercises I’m not able to do today, because of joint problems. For instance, the basic squat. I would love to be able to squat again, but in order to protect my knees I do mostly the Lifecycle and bicycling and the elliptical, but no more squats. The knees are like a tire. When the tires last up to 30,000 miles, you have to decide how you want to use them. Do you want to use them up in one year, or do you want to use them over a period of 10 years? It’s the same thing with joints. So, I decided 10 years ago, when I started to feel the wear and tear and was feeling pain in my joints, that now I should adjust my training and do more high reps with less resistance. Therefore I stay away from the squat, and I stay away from heavy bent over rows, but I do the heavier rowing on a Cybex machine and do the lighter exercises with free weights.”

So, that tells you right there: Arnold has damaged his body with heavy weights! And, he is one who knows how to do it right, and still- damage! Here is what he has to say about the heavy clean and press exercise:

What about for shoulders? You’ve had rotator cuff surgery.

“I used to love doing the clean and press, because you get the traps, the front deltoids, and the side. It’s really a fantastic exercise that I recommend to anyone who starts out weight training. I also liked to do the dumbbell press, but I can’t do either anymore. So now I just do my presses on a Smith machine, which is safer on my shoulders because it’s on a track. But I have to say, it’s so fantastic to see the development of all of these machines. It allows you to train around your injuries— you don’t have to stop training because of injuries anymore. These machines allow you to isolate your muscles without the risk of hurting yourself.”

Rotator cuff surgery?? This stuff is not paleo, folks! No One should be training in a manner that actually makes injury inevitable, even when doing the exercise perfectly.
Now, Arnold has had a wonderful career, and can be excused for giving his early heavy weight lifting background part of the credit. And luckily, he woke up in time (10 years ago), as he underwent surgeries and his body cried out in pain. (I’m sure it still does. Ronnie Coleman, an 8 times Mr. Olympia winner is now in a wheelchair (he is 52 year of age). Arnold won the title 6 times before retiring.


The point is that, either man could have built amazing physiques, cut and defined, with plenty of mass, perfectly safely and keeping their health intact, using Perfectly Paleo Exercise techniques. They might not have had quite the sheer bulk, but the bulk achieved with steroids and heavy weights has nothing to do with health, and actually has nothing to do with usable strength or aesthetics.

Using virtual resistance, creating the resistance by the power of the flex in self-resisting an exercise, coupled with blood-infusing pushups and situps, coupled with things like pull-ups and bodyweight squats, is more than enough for a perfect build and usable strength- without damage to your precious body.

So train naturally. Train for health, wellness, and a pleasing physique, not a bloated mass of bulk surrounding a bunch of injuries.






Check out this episode!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Recovering From Injuries

Injury is inevitable, unfortunately. It is part of the human condition. If you train properly, using body weight, perfectly paleo types of exercise, you won’t become injured from that. UNLESS you overdo it, which can always happen.

Overuse is the number one cause of injuries- just look at me! A few weeks back I posted about being injured from an overuse injury, painting a barn of a garage for just too many hours, and inflaming the bursa in my shoulder. I also did other jobs that overworked that same joint, and the result has been a few weeks of rehab. I used the occasion to research what worked and what didn’t, so here we go my paleo friends!

First of all, remember that it is not the end of the world. If you work out each and every day as I do, (and as I recommend for all creatures that exist on this earth), it is really irksome to have one part of your body that just…hurts. But, you just work around it- you exercise other parts of your body, and only work the hurting part through a limited range of motion (if you can) that doesn’t hurt! Of course, sometimes you can’t work, say, one arm at all for awhile. Don’t sweat it- just rest it.

But, there are some other things that will help dramatically as well. Putting a cold pack on the injured part (in my case this time- my right shoulder) is great. To alternate that with a warm, moist pack is ideal- this promotes blood flow. I would alternate cold with hot- in the shower is one great place to easily do this. But what about later, as you relax in your easy chair?

A bag of frozen vegetables is great to rest on your shoulder for awhile, but you can also get a re-freezable cold pack inexpensively, some even have straps to attach them to your body part. But how to alternate with hot? I have the perfect, although somewhat embarrassing answer-

Get a disposable diaper! That’s right, you can get about 30 for a few dollars. (Luckily, I have a new grandson who could use the rest!) I just took off the cold pack, and moistened the diaper from the faucet. Then, I microwaved it for a minute… hot and moist- perfect! And it attaches easily to any part of your body!!

Just don’t forget, and answer the door with a diaper attached to your shoulder- very embarrassing.

But the best solution of all, besides gently stretching and alternating heat and cold?? DMSO, or Dimethyl sulfoxide, is almost a miracle. Anti-inflammatory, it penetrated the skin and goes right into the tissues beneath, immediately relieving pain. It’s not really a drug, it is a solvent byproduct of the paper industry that has been known of since the 1950’s. The fact that it cannot be patented pinpoints why the pharmaceutical companies are uninterested.
It can’t be patented. There is no big money to be made here! Sad but true…

It is also a potent source of sulphur, which is a substance that is wonderful for any musculoskeletal ache or pain. Think of sulphur-rich hot baths, that people go to to rejuvenate their bodies. DMSO is a hot springs bath on steroids, that you just rub onto your body!

Anyway, for arthritis, bursitis, and any ache, strain, or pain- it is a miracle! Cheap, too- it is one of the veterinarians’ main tools for treating animals, mainly race horses that have been injured. Remember: even though the FDA might say that the effects from DMSO are a “placebo”- well, placebos don’t work on horses, do they?

So, get yourself some DMSO- 70% concentration is best, I like it in a cream form for easy application. Under $20 for a miracle drug! Just like white willow bark, this is something you should always have in your medicine cabinet!


Check out this episode!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fasting for Fat Control- and Health

One rather simple and easy method for both controlling your weight and also vastly increasing your health simultaneously is with fasting! Simply by limiting your eating window to a set amount of hours per day- say 6 am to 6 pm, you will eat less, without really consciously trying. If you then eliminate snacks, & go to just three meals in that allotted time span, that is another step forward! From there, you can gradually “up the ante” by further compressing that eating window. You can either eat from 8 am to 6 pm, for a 10 hr window, or skip breakfast, & only eat from 11am to 6pm, with a 7 hour window. You can do this gradually, & it seems very natural- not a hardship at all really. What really seems like a hardship to me is the conventional thought, which recommends 6 meals per day (constant grazing) with endless snacks- talk about unnatural! For the vast majority of our evolutionary past, being without food was the norm. It is what our bodies expect as a general rule, and it is what we thrive on. Cancer cells , for instance, thrive on food- particularly Bad Food like processed carbs ((which break down into sugar), and and any form of sugar itself. Sugar feeds cancer- it is what cancer thrives on. Protein does not feed cancer, unless you eat way too much, & then the body stores the excess as carbohydrates. And FAT is useless to cancer cells, but quite good for you, if it's real fat from coconut, pastured dairy or wild caught seafood, or grass fed meat and eggs. In addition, as you eat less often, and stick to these satiating 1
paleo types of foods, not only will you not be constantly hungry as you are on a diet of carbs and sugars, you will be freed of the constant urge to “feed”! That is very liberating indeed. One last thing- did you know that now in California and in Europe, cancer has superseded heart disease as the #1 killer? This bad diet is presumably to blame, as is too frequent eating. The wonderful side effect of fasting or intermittent fasting as this is more properly termed, is autophagy, which can only occur in a fasted state. When freed of having to constantly digest food,the body is freed to “clean house”- scavenging to consume damaged and precancerous cells. This alone, along with a slimmer waistline, is worth fasting for. And later, if you want to lose more weight- just compress your eating window more and more. It is even fine to skip a whole day of eating- it won't hurt you, and can only help you. 2

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

pqtd Guns are Paleo

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Another rather inflammatory podcast from PaleoJay! Guns are Paleo?! Yes, they are; let me explain.

With all the national rhetoric about outlawing guns and the 2nd amendment, I have to violently disagree. Every time that guns are taken away, crime goes up dramatically. Look at Chicago, and actually any major city in the U.S.- they all have strict gun laws, and at the same time have out of control crime! So, the logic seems to be to make the gun laws even stricter, and then we will have even more out of control crime.

If I was a criminal, it would be my fondest hope to disarm everyone who I might victimize. Easy pickings, what could be better? I would also want everyone to be physically very weak, and unable to defend themselves in any way. I’d want them all to be sickly, and so easy to rob or kill that I would hardly have to try.

Let’s take the analogy further: if I was the federal government, and I wanted a compliant populace that just obeyed every dictate I made in my big, top-down, micromanaging state, I would also want everyone disarmed. Then, I would want them paying the very maximum in taxes, so they could not determine their own lives, but would be directed totally by us, the federal government bureaucrats.

In addition, I’d want everyone to be pretty sick, so I would make up lies about how whole grains are the best thing to eat, and fat and red meat are the worst. I’d even subsidize grain farmers with your tax money so that they could produce more and more of that poor food, at the expense of vegetable farmers. Then, grain would be so cheap that farmers could feed it to cattle, which would make the cattle sick and fat, just like the citizenry. And, when they ate this unnatural meat, they would get even sicker and fatter! Win Win for the government!

And just think of all the medical procedures and pharmaceutical drugs that would be needed with such a populace! All the new government, controlling programs we could set up under the guise of funding all of this unnatural, unneeded medicine. It would be unneeded, if only people ate and lived a paleo type of lifestyle.

Big Government is diametrically opposed to paleo! Paleo is small scale, locally and tribally based. Take care of yourself, and those in your “tribe” of family and friends. If you are weak, and without weapons, you are a liability to your tribe- a burden. If you are strong, hard working and vital, you can not only help yourself, but also those others who you decide are worthy of help. Not those the government decides needs your help via taxation!

So, choose the side of strength and self-determination. Don’t ask an MD how you should live and eat, and don’t ask the government for God’s sake! Do your own research, look into the common sense paleolithic lifestyle that has stood humankind well for all of time. Eat real foods, exercise naturally, avoid processed crap, grains and sugar. Sleep 8 hours each night, and do real physical work, not just shuffle papers or stare at a computer screen by day, and a television screen by night. Walk barefoot in nature daily, and create things, whether music, or writing, or painting, or woodworking- we are creative beings, and are really only fulfilled and happy when we are making new things.

And, to protect and serve both your own family and others in your tribe, get yourself a gun or two. Weapons are paleo. GUNS are paleo. To go without a gun, you are setting yourself up for evolutionary extinction. It is wrongheaded, and irresponsible.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Train Around Injuries

We all know what it’s like when all is going great- morning workout, great breakfast with a green paleo smoothie and coffee with coconut oil and cinnamon, cloves and chocolate powder- and then off to a productive day! Life can be wonderful…

But, it can also be quite stressful, as we all know. I know personally, because I got injured! While not the end of the world, injuries can be very stressful, both mentally and physically. Just know that injuries are, periodically, a real part of leading an authentic, athletic life. Just sequestering yourself and perpetually “being careful” about your body is a fast track to the nursing home- our bodies expect, and need to be stressed, and to do hard things at the very edge of our abilities!

In my case, I just overworked. This is the same as overtraining, which I have seen time and again- someone gets good results with strength training, and thinks “Hey- if I just do even more I’ll be awesome!” Well, then they wind up with black and blue bruises on their triceps, or wherever, and become weaker, not stronger than before- and also injured in many cases, which is even worse.

I know the dangers of overtraining- in fact, my podcast and blog are kind of a mantra against such overtraining- forget the heavy weights, do bodyweight training, train your tendons and ligaments before your muscles exclusively- be cautious yet train very hard! I know this so well, in my training…

But, when I get caught up in physical work, well, I get too caught up and forget. I just want to get the job completed! And so, when I painted my barn of a garage, I just kept going, and going, and going! Then, I wanted to construct a playhouse for my grandson, and kept working on it, in very confined spaces, with a big power drill that contorted my body (and shoulders) into uncomfortable angles. These two activities took up 4 whole days, on which of course I did my workouts before starting work!

And then, my mower deck needed repair- I crawled underneath, and spent most of another day, doing that…

My right shoulder was fried! Dark bruises formed around the perimeter, and I could not really lift my right arm above my head. Me! PaleoJay, exercise nut and functional fitness espouser- victim of my own cautionary tales. Ah, such is humility.

It happens. We are all only all too human, and afterwards we need to get up and start to repair the damage. And, it is a learning experience: I learned about DMSO, which is Dimethyl sulfoxide. You can get it in a cream form, or liquid, and I have been rubbing the cream on my shoulder a couple of times per day. It is anti-inflammatory, and enhances circulation dramatically- in addition, it relieves pain really quickly as well. DMSO has been used by veterinarians and horse race trainers for decades, along with some enlightened medical practitioners.

I plan to continue to use it, and explore its possibilities. Of course, the FDA disapproves, as they disapprove of anything that can’t be patented by drug companies for huge profit potential. DMSO has been known of for so long, that no one can claim the patent.

In addition to that? Train cautiously. For a few days, all I did was to stretch out in the mornings. Also, I did do isometric full body holds for multiple reps, with my arms at my sides… Then, I added in straight legged setups and hindu squats for multiple sets, since they did not aggravate my upper body. My shoulder mobility improved dramatically, and this morning, about a week later, I did some pushups and other exercises using my gymnastic rings in the basement! Hallelujah!! If you do not yet have rings in your house or garage, consider getting them- the most useful apparatus for training ever.

I was doing pushups in the almost standing position, and flies as well- no strain. Went back and lower, still fine- I just made sure to not go into the “pain zone”. I could do pistol squats as well, no problem, and even chins on the rings, with leg support.

The one thing I can’t do yet is isometrics with arm-against-arm resistance. But it will come, and soon- you just need to listen to your body, and not give up!

Being careful about training is not the same as being careful by doing nothing!

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

pqtd 136 White willow bark

Yes, my friend, White Willow Bark is really the only drug that I can wholeheartedly recommend! It has really no side effects, is very effective, and can be used without reservation. It works for headache, muscle or joint pain- almost anything really, that most folks have been resorting to aspirin, ibuprofen, and tylenol for. (Along with more potent drugs with more damaging side effects!)

The good news is this: white willow bark is very, very effective, has virtually no side effects, and is inexpensive. Let us compare white willow bark to Tylenol, the supposedly safe aspirin substitute: “acetaminophen [Tylenol] poisoning now accounts for at least 42% of U.S. acute liver failure cases seen at tertiary-care centers [large hospitals] and one third of the deaths.”

Isn’t that awful? How about the old standby, aspirin? “No conventionally used prophylactic Aspirin™ regimen seems free of the risk of peptic ulcer complications,” said the British Medical Journal.

Aspirin always made me sick to my stomach! Rightfully so, since it degrades the stomach lining! So, let’s just go to ALL of the NSAID’s- the Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs, and consider them all:

Over-the-counter pain relievers. Nonprescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve, others) can damage your liver, especially if taken frequently or combined with alcohol. Prescription medications.Jun 1, 2013

And, as I stressed earlier, not just the liver! So, since Hippocrates himself recommended white willow bark, why oh why does not current Western medicine, (of which he is the founder) not do so as well??

So far as as I can tell, it’s just because there is no money to be made- no patent- nothing!! It’s free to all, a natural substance, from the white willow itself! In fact, you can even purchase the willow bark to chew, which is fine, but tablets are also readily available.

“So, Jay- why is white willow bark so great?”

Great question, grasshopper, and it is simple to answer. As a natural substance, white willow bark is not isolated, or refined into a prescription drug type of deal. It is totally a natural substance, which means it contains all the substances of the original plant, not just a tiny subset that has been concentrated unnaturally. There is more than just salicin, which is the only active ingredient in aspirin.

As the University of Maryland medical center puts it:

The bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). In combination with the herb's powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds (called flavonoids), salicin is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the herb. In fact, in the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin. White willow appears to bring pain relief more slowly than aspirin, but its effects may last longer.

Medicinal Uses and Indications

Willow bark is used to ease pain and reduce inflammation. Researchers believe that the chemical salicin, found in willow bark, is responsible for these effects. However, studies show several other components of willow bark, including plant chemicals called polyphenols and flavonoids, have antioxidant, fever-reducing, antiseptic, and immune-boosting properties. Some studies show willow is as effective as aspirin for reducing pain and inflammation (but not fever), and at a much lower dose. Scientists think that may be due to other compounds in the herb

And that is the bottom line- there are other plant chemicals, that make everything more effective, and much safer.

So get yourself some white willow bark! Get it now, since you don’t want to be like me, who gave all of mine away (I rarely need it), and then tried to buy it locally. Trust me: when you go to Walmart of Walgreens (the two Wally’s), and ask for “white willow bark”, it is as if you asked for “eye of newt”… They won’t have it, although their websites do.

Just get a good variety, like NOW foods or Nature’s Way. Keep it on hand, or give it away, knowing you will only help. As Hippocrates said it: “First, do no harm!”

NSAIDs do harm. Modern medicine has lost their way…



Check out this episode!