Muscle Clock Exercise
Jay Sullivan

Failing is always an option for trainer Rich Power. It’s how the former boxer and MMA fighter gauges progress for both him- self and his clients with his unique array of exercises created to both condition pro athletes and also challenge the average joe.

One of our favorite moves of Power’s is the medicine ball muscle clock—kind of a plank on steroids. This move was born out of the San Diego-based trainer’s need for a strong and stable core, following a freak ring accident in which two of Power’s vertebrae were crushed, and muscle damage was done to the back of his head.

“I was the blooper reel on sports shows,” Power jokes.


With the muscle clock, you’re pushing yourself from one medicine ball to the next. The plank position conditions the core, and the explosive “clock” movement stretches and strengthens it.

”You’re not just conditioning your core to be strong,” says Power, “but you’re also testing your body in a way that it’s not used to. Seeing clients work their way to mastering the move is what helps make training fulfilling.”

The object is simple; the execution, not so much. Line up about five to six medicine balls like the numbers on a clock. With your feet together, either walk your hands or push off explosively from one medicine ball to the next. Then reverse direction when you reach the final ball. Power says you can up the intensity by swapping out med balls for stacked yoga blocks.

“Push up as if you’re leaning back in a Cadillac,” Power says. “It’ll keep your body up. Then kind of twist, as if you’re turning a car.”

How to Do a Muscle Clock

  1. Space five to six med balls about six inches from one another in a clock formation.
  2. Line up your shoulders and wrists with hands on the medicine ball. With your feet together, push off the first ball onto the next ball, never touching the ground.
  3. Continue until you reach the end, then reverse.

Form Check: Squeeze your abs, and keep them squeezed, for the duration of the move. This will ensure that you stay stable throughout.

Check out more of Power’s moves on Instagram: @Pow3erfoward


Powered by WPeMatico

Dear_Mark_Inline_PhotoFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. You guys had more questions about folate. Since it’s such an important vitamin, I answer those first. Then I discuss the study mentioned in last week’s Dear Mark in which removing polyphenol-rich fruits and vegetables from the diet improved oxidative stress markers instead of worsening them. I got my hands on the full study, so I have more to say on the subject.

Let’s go:

First, Tiffany asked:

What about the folate in sunflower seeds and leafy greens? How much does cooking affect those?

“Cooked” sunflower seeds are roasted sunflower seeds. According to USDA nutritional data, both roasted and raw sunflower seeds have the same amount of folate. You’re probably safe there.

For greens, how much folate you retain depends on how you cook them.

Boiling spinach or broccoli causes about 50% folate loss. Steamed spinach or broccoli lose almost zero folate. For what it’s worth, potato folate is impervious to boiling.

Another study found similar results: Cooking in water causes leafy green folate loss.

Overall, folate loss from vegetables is primarily due to leaching (into cooking water) rather than degradation by heat.

Even though you didn’t mention them, legumes is where it gets interesting.

In one study, cooking beans without soaking retained 60% of folate. A quick pre-soak (boiled for 2 minutes, covered for an hour, then drained) followed by 20 minutes of cooking retained 18% folate; followed by 90 minutes of cooking, 31%. A long soak (16 hours in water overnight) followed by 20 minutes of cooking retained 35% folate; followed by 90 minutes of cooking, 42%. Oddly, how you soaked the beans didn’t matter when you cooked the beans for 150 minutes. A quick soak retained 41%, a long soak 44%. I suspect the longer cooking times give the folate more time to be re-absorbed.

Another study found that pressure cooking was better for folate retention than boiling, and that chickpea folate was more resilient than field pea folate.

Steph Windmill asked:

For some years now I’ve been whizzing Ox Liver up in the blender and then adding it to vats of chilli or bolognaise. It gives an additional meaty taste, but I’ve been mostly (and smugly!) doing it for the nutrition. Based on the idea that pan-frying depletes folate, is the 2+ hours of cooking time I’m giving this dish going to make adding the liver completely redundant on the nutrition front?!

Wet cooking will deplete folate, but as in the case of beans, it ends up in the cooking water. Since you’re consuming the cooking liquid, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Still, if you want to be really sure, I have a solution. Classic bolognese sauce recipes call for chopped or pureed liver to be added in the last ten minutes of cooking, not right away. Try that instead of dropping it in at the beginning. Liver cooks really quickly, so ten minutes is plenty of time.

Time Traveler swooped in with assistance:

Hey Mark, here’s the link to the full smokers study, if you wish analyze thoroughly. It took me 2 seconds to find (-:

Great, thanks.

Very interesting. The full paper clears up a lot of questions I had.

The fruit and vegetable-free diet was decent, as lab diets go, drawn from standard Danish foods:

  • Cheese
  • Fermented milk
  • Rye bread (traditionally fermented in Denmark)
  • Cheese sauce
  • Brown sauce (Danish brown sauce is butter, broth, flour, vinegar, sherry)
  • Broth/stock
  • Butter
  • Tuna salad
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Ham
  • Meat patties (with or without green tea added)
  • Pasta
  • Rice

Is it Primal? Not exactly, but you could definitely cobble together a nice Primal diet by removing some foods. And everything is “real,” not processed or overly refined.

They do point to other studies in which removal of fruits and vegetables had the effect of increasing oxidative stress, so the effect is equivocal.

The 16 subjects of the study were young, lean, and—besides half of them smoking—quite healthy males. If you’ve ever fit that category, it’s a good time to be alive. You don’t worry about much. You’re focused on the day at hand. You have very low stress levels. You’re living for the moment. Old enough to reap the benefits of adulthood, young enough to avoid the consequences.

I’ve always maintained that polyphenols and other phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables are most critical for people undergoing significant oxidative stress. These include the obese and overweight, the diabetic, the old and sedentary, the chronically stressed. The overworked athlete who needs an edge for recovery.

And one big reason I emphasize produce and even sell a powerful antioxidant/mineral/vitamin supplement is that most people come to this site to improve their health. Many of us got into Primal because we were trying to fix something broken in us. We were starting from a health deficit. We needed (and still need) extra help.

The subjects in this study weren’t really the target audience for phytonutrients. What really throws me for a loop is that their oxidative stress markers were worse on the habitual diet with more polyphenols. It wasn’t that removing polyphenols had no effect. It actually improved their oxidative status.

Here’s a thought that could explain it: Denmark isn’t known for its natural bounty of high-polyphenol plant foods. We know from previous posts that our genetic ancestry can partially determine our nutrient requirements and how we respond to foods. If these were ethnic Danes (as of 2017, 86% of the country is ethnically Danish; the study was in 2002, so Denmark was probably even more homogeneous), and ethnic Danes have a genetic adaptation to the historically lower levels of dietary phytonutrients available in the area, this could explain the results.

Interesting study to hypothesize about. Maybe I should pursue this ancestry angle further—thoughts?

That’s it for me, folks. Thanks for reading, thanks for writing in, and be sure to keep it going down below!


The post Dear Mark: Folate Retention in Beans, Seeds, and Greens, Blended Liver Folate, No Vegetable/Fruit Full Study appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Powered by WPeMatico

Dad Bod Destroyer Robbie Strauss
muscle_and_fitness / Instagram

Robbie Strauss, pro wrestler and star of the Muscle & Fitness “Dad Bod Destroyer” video series, has gotten creative with his workouts since his 15-month-old twin boys, Cash and Carter, were born. 

The 34-year old New Jersey native goes by Robbie E in the ring, but his role as a dad is his main priority, and that’s where the idea for his #DadBodDestroyer workouts comes from. In lieu of spending time away from his sons to hit the gym or skipping workouts to spend more time with them, Strauss started using his 20-pound sons as weights.

“Their excuse is, ‘Well, I have kids, so if I have any free time, I want to spend it with my kids,’” he told Fox News. “But you really only need 20 minutes a day to sweat or get a pump in, so at least you’re doing something.”

Strauss recommended three exercises to the news outlet: squat and shoulder press, triceps extension, and abs and oblique twist. Check out his video interview and workout demo here, and find more of Strauss’ Dad Bod Destroyer moves weekly on our Instagram at @muscle_and_fitness.


Powered by WPeMatico

Windshield Wiper

Per Bernal

As originally designed for CrossFitters, the classic Filthy Fifty workout calls for 50 reps each of 10 different exercises, completed in as little time as possible. The traditional Filthy Fifty is a nice assortment of painful, functional movements, but it’s not quite in our muscle-building wheelhouse.

Helping to beef up Filthy Fifty is Craig Hysell, CF-L2, owner and head coach of Conviction Training Facility ( in Hilton Head, SC. His rendition of the WOD (at right) introduces some great physique-building movements—flyes, curls, lat pulldowns—while keeping it sufficiently functional, painful, and, yes, filthy.

“This workout is meant to illicit hypertrophy and aid in joint health and recovery,” Hysell says. “It should be done with light to medium-light weights, depending on your training age, and preferably before a rest day. The goal is to keep tension on the muscle throughout the movement to optimize muscle growth.”

Powered by WPeMatico

When I attended my first yoga class, I made the same mistakes many newbies make — I compared myself to others, and judged myself for not being able to get into or hold poses that other people (who appeared to be less fit than I) seemed to do easily. I pushed, I forced, I … well, I felt really totally demoralized, and when the instructor came by with a strap and a couple of blocks, I took it as an insult. Fast forward 20 years or so and … yeah, I’m well aware that this is not how yoga is …

The post Let’s Give Props to Yoga Props appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

Powered by WPeMatico