Tag Archives: training

CrossFit Athletes Prefer a Stiffer Stick

14 Aug


On May 30th, 2010 in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada (my home town) I attended the National CrossFit Championships.  For those of you who don’t know what CrossFit is – “The editors of PureHealthMD writing for Discovery Health Channel found CrossFit “equals better fitness and stronger muscles in a more reasonable amount of time” compared to trying to “build muscle and get in shape by spending 60 minutes or more in the gym several days a week…” Their conclusion was that the program “is a different type of exercise routine …a well-rounded and very efficient way to achieve a higher level of fitness …that does not need a whole lot of fancy equipment, but does offer a nice variety to keep the interest level up and provide the challenge needed to keep the exercise fun.”  For more information on what CrossFit is you can go here.  I was super impressed with the competition as a whole.  The weekend long event culminated with a tire flipping, power lifts and lapping a hockey arena display of power, speed and endurance.  This picture shows just a glimpse of the ladies finals.

I had a small booth spreading the good word about The Stick.  I spoke with athletes about their training, recovery, nutrition and soft – tissue manipulation.  Most of the athletes I spoke with knew how important it was to perform at the highest level they could.  Of course, they were…..they were competing at the National Finals!!

What most people don’t know about these competitions or CrossFit in general is that these athletes work their bodies to exhaustion all the time.  The top athletes  actually training like Olympic Athletes and Professional Athletes.  The training routines are extremely rigorous and often very hard to even finish.  Athletes were actually waiting for me to get there as I arrived a little late from supporting my wife running her 9th half marathon in Calgary, Alberta.  Many of the athletes came over and said how much they loved “The Stick”.  The loved how The Stick helped them with their sore muscles, trigger points and recovery.

These CrossFit athletes were unique in that they were after a Stick that would penetrate deep into their muscles.  Most of the athletes had very thick and well-developed muscles.  As a result, I distributed more Stiff Sticks and Sprinter Sticks than I have at any other event.  I can safely say that Crossfit athletes love The Stick!  In fact, I sold out of all the Stiff Sticks that I had on hand.

The difference between a Stiff Stick and a Sprinter Stick is that the Stiff Stick is longer and more Stiff than the Sprinter Stick.  The Stiff Stick would suite people who are taller who want to get at their back and shoulders as well as their legs and arms.  It is for thick, heavy muscles.  The Sprinter Stick is the stiffest Stick in the short models of Sticks.

For more information about the types of Sticks, you can visit our website. We have a video and a table that explains which Stick is correct for a given body type.


Muscle Sport Magazine Likes The Stick

13 Oct

I found the below article written by Joe Pietaro for Muscle Sport Magazine: (Click Here to go to the original article)

We have all hit that proverbial wall or sticking point in our training. No pun intended on the latter, but get past that with The Stick, which is a device “used to segmentally compress and stretch muscle.” Treat your muscle pains and trigger points comfortably and safely with this product made of space-age plastic.

By using The Stick, you can self-administer therapeutic procedures such as unassisted rolling, stretching, twisting and compressing of the muscle. After just a few strokes, you will begin to feel the release of the build up from your strenuous training routine.

The Stick provides the following benefits:

*Prevent and predict muscle injuries

*Dramatically improve strength, flexibility and endurance

*Rapidly prepare muscles for physical activity

*Disperse the effects of lactic acid following activity

*Accelerate muscle recovery

You know you’re doing something right when the United States Olympic Training Centers in four states (Colorado, New York, Michigan and California) are using The Stick as a training tool.

The Stick comes in a variety of sizes (long, medium, short) and prices range from $53.95 (30-inch Big Stick) to $27.50 (17-inch Travel Stick). For more information and to order your own, please visit www.thestick.com.

Of course, if you are in Alberta,Canada, you can find ordering information through me @ www.thestick.ca.

Nutritional Biomechanics and The Stick

21 Jan

Have you ever heard of this term “Nutritional Biomechanics”.  I know I didn’t until I got involved in researching about The Stick.  I have posted a description of this interesting subject below.

By the way, I am a firm believer that nutrition and sleep are the top variables that a person can monitor and directly control.  Most of us a born with some combination of  speed, endurance, flexibility and power.  Some people can increase their abilities in one area, but not others, no matter how hard they try.  Some level of improvement will be seen with training.  However, advanced levels of achievement come with years of training and hard work.  Sleep and nutrition are directly controlled on how we take care of our bodies.   Imagine how much harder or how fast a person can recover with proper rest and nutrition?  

Nutritional Biomechanics:

The Stick helps to strengthen your muscles by employing Nutritional Biomechanics.

Here’s a short definition:
“In principle, Nutritional Biomechanics exploits the unique biomechanical relationship between muscle and its nutrient delivery system. Patient care for fibromyalgia syndrome, trigger point pain, muscle strain and delayed muscle soreness is especially magnified by supplementing the patient with a balanced nutritional drink 20-30 minutes prior to therapeutic stretching and massage. Such a protocol will insure that the blood entering the newly relaxed muscle is nutrient-dense. A full complement of nutrients will provide the raw materials needed for healing.”
– Dr. Andrew S. Bonci
Copyright 1992, All Rights Reserved Dr. Andrew S. Bonci Sport Biomechanics Laboratory

As you can see, The Stick can really make a difference in how nutrition is used in the body.  Basically, ingest some nutrient rich substance 20-30 minutes before you use The Stick, then roll out your muscles to increase circulation and blood flow.


Understanding the Science Behind Exercise?

17 Jan

To truly reap the benefits of exercise, training and recovery, I think it so important to have background knowledge in the basics of Exercise Science.

There has been countless text books, articles and studies completed on this subject.  In fact, the topic of Exercise Science is the basis of University grants and study programs.  Many Universities have Human Performance labs.  There are also countless training facilities that study human exercise at the highest level imaginable.  Not to mention the labs in the animal world as well.  Studying the effects of exercise is big business!!  How do you think the Elite Athletes of the world and their coaches get their information and training tips?

How is your knowledge?  Where do you go for advice?  What is your background in exercise?  Even though I have a Physical Education Degree, teach Sports Medicine, manage an Athletic Department and have numerous coaching and sports medicine related certifications and courses under my belt, I am always updating my knowledge and understanding of Exercise Science. 

I have provided a link to a great (short) article I found that briefly speaks of “The Science Behind Your Workout”.  Basically, the article gives the basic information of these topics:


  1. The Principle Of Individual Differences
  2. The Principle of Overload
  3. The Principle of Progression
  4. The Principle of Adaptation
  5. The Principle of Use/Disuse
  6. The Principle of Specificity

It is so important to understand what is happening to your body when you are breaking down muscle tissue and building it back up.  The Stick can help!

The Sprinter Stick

The Sprinter Stick

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and The Stick

7 Jan

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS is the fancy name to why your muscles hurt so much after a workout or training session.  There have been many suggestions to why this happens.  Some theories include:

  • The muscle itself has been damaged and therefore is sore.  Microscopic tears and lesions form throughout the muscle.
  • Muscle soreness is the natural occurrence after a particular bout of exercise that has a high intensity or duration.
  • Muscles need to be broken down and recover in order to get bigger and stronger.
  • Muscle soreness and stiffness after exercise is most common when an exercise/training program has been implemented or altered.

Needless to say, I think anyone who has experienced a tough training session can expect some soreness over the next 24 -48 hours.  The key question is how to alleviate that muscle pain!!  The Stick can help.  I know this because new research out of Australia has suggested that simply stretching out the next day is not very effective at all.  Here are some ideas from Elizabeth Quinn who is a sports medicine expert: (I Have placed “The Stick”beside the tips that apply to using this great massage tool.)

Here are some tips for dealing with soreness after exercise:

  • Try an Ice Bath or Contrast Water Bath. Although no clear evidence proves they are effective, many pro athletes use them and claim they work to reduce soreness.
  • Use active recovery techniques. This strategy does have some support in the research. Perform some easy low-impact aerobic exercise to increase blood flow “The Stick”. This may help diminish muscle soreness.
  • Use the RICE method of treating injuries. Rest,Ice,Compression,Elevation
  • Although research doesn’t find gentle stretching reduces soreness, some people find it simply feels good.
  • Gently massage the affected muscles. Some research has found that massage was effective in alleviating DOMS by approximately 30% and reducing swelling, but it had no effects on muscle function. “The Stick”
  • Try using a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin or ibuprofen) to reduce the soreness temporarily, though they won’t actually speed healing.
  • There is some evidence that performing Yoga may reduce DOMS.
  • Avoid any vigorous activity that increases pain. “The Stick”
  • Allow the soreness to subside thoroughly before performing any vigorous exercise.
  • Don’t forget to warm up completely before your next exercise session. There is some research that supports that a warm-up performed immediately prior to unaccustomed eccentric exercise produces small reductions in delayed-onset muscle soreness (but cool-down performed after exercise does not). “The Stick”
  • If your pain persists longer than about 7 days or increases despite these measures, consult your physician.
  • Learn something from the experience! Use prevention first. 

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – Prevention
While DOMS is common and annoying, it is not a necessary part of exercise. There are many things you can do to prevent, avoid and shorten the duration of DOMS:

  • Warm up thoroughly before activity and cool down completely afterward. “The Stick”
  • Cool Down with gentle stretching after exercise. “The Stick”
  • Follow the Ten Percent Rule. When beginning a new activity start gradually and build up your time and intensity no more than ten percent per week.
  • Start a new weight lifting routine with light weights and high reps (10-12) and gradually increase the amount you lift over several weeks.
  • Avoid making sudden major changes in the type of exercise you do.
  • Avoid making sudden major changes in the amount of time that you exercise.

As you can see “The Stick” can be instrumental in reducing muscle soreness.

To read the full article from Elizabeth Quinn click here.

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