Week of June 5, 2011

Benchmarks Broken

Wow, Lynn Finn ate her Wheaties last week.  You know what? I don’t think she had surgery, I think she wanted us to feel bad for her, then when she was ready, she was coming out guns a-blazing and she did last week!!  Great effort.

Class is being held this Monday and Thursday at the typical 6:30 pm time slot. If it’s raining, we’ll enter through the high school. You’ll need your weights on Monday.

We welcomed Rebecca, Vicky and their daughters. It warms my heart (yes, I do have a heart!) to see families playing hard, and working for fun!

Benchmarking Results from April and June:

100 Club: Can you do at least 100 air squats in 2 mins?
dropping below 90 degree mark—Congrats Everyone!
Amanda 109
Amy 101
Beth 100
Betty 100
Chelsea 110
Gigi 110
Kailey 100
Lynn 109
Samantha 107

Sit-Ups Push-Ups
18-Apr 2-Jun 18-Apr 2-Jun
Amanda 25 26 35 39
Amy 21 10R/20M
Andrea 19 10R
Beth 19 18 25R 25R
Betty 24 32R
Chelsea 17 19 35M 30R
Cherly 20 10R/35M
Dan 31 32R
Dana 23 20 40M 20R/20M
Dawn 25 13R
Deb 23 21M
Donna A. 23 22 44M 45M
Donna L. 18 17 34M 52M
Doreen 22 30R
Emily 14 11 20M 28M
Emily 14 11M
Gigi 30 45M
Hannah 17 20M
Janice 19 40M
Jen 15 17 19M 21M
Jill 27 40R
Kailey 19 30M
Kate 10 25M
Kath 17 21M
Kathy 21 24M
Kevin 23 19R
Laura 16 30M
Lisa 23 43M 30R
Lisamarie 37 24R
Lynn IR 30 26M 15R
Nikki 26 25R
Paula 30R/20M
Randie 15 30M
Rebecca 6 7M
Robert 20 27R
Samantha 24 20R/13M
Vicky 12 10M

Minimalist, Barefoot, Orthodics

Some of you have may have heard of a growing trend toward minimal support during exercise, even barefoot. Are your orthodics necessary? What are the risks and rewards of the minimalist/barefoot movement? Personally, for myself, I wanted to try a minimalist sneaker and they’re incredibly comfortable, like slipper. I’ve only wore them a handful of times and they were great in boot camp. They were okay for a short run, but when I ran just over 3.5 miles, my feet were throbbing. However, I probably shouldn’t have run that far my second time they were on my feet. I’m looking at a trail running minimalist shoe next. The best feature . . . they are light as a feather and they’re perfect for our type of workouts.

I wanted to look for some research to share both sides of the minimalist thought process.  Here’s some excerpts below from “The rise of barefoot running” by Roger Collier from the Canadian Medical Journal . . . it’s a good read.

Kate Kift took up running two years ago to improve her health,but things didn’t quite work out that way at first. Withina few months, she developed stress fractures in her heels. Herdoctor recommended that she stop running. But Kift, who is 37years of age, didn’t stop. Instead, she ditched her runningshoes, joining the growing community of people who believe runningbarefoot is better for the body than running in supportive footwear.

“It became quite evident that, when I was in shoes, I was strikingseverely on my heels,” says Kift.

People who run barefoot tend to have shorter strides and landon the front or middle of their feet instead of their heels.Advocates of barefoot running say this style of running decreasesthe severity of impact with the ground and reduces injuries.But not everyone agrees.

Critics of barefoot running, including many podiatrists, notethat there is no scientific evidence that indicates runningbarefoot is better than running in shoes, and say that evenif running barefoot reduces some types of injuries it may causeother types of harm, such as puncture wounds on the soles andstress fractures in the metatarsals.

Dr. Michael Nirenberg, a podiatrist who practises in Crown Point,Indiana, is not among those critics. Nirenberg has been a runneroff and on throughout his life, and has suffered from plantarfasciitis, a painful inflammation of the main ligament in thefoot’s arch. This led him to conduct research on waysto strengthen the muscles in feet, which in turn led him tobecome a fan of going barefoot.

“I started reading about our feet and shoes and supportive shoes.I became intrigued with the idea that once you support the archof the foot, you don’t use your foot muscles as much,”says Nirenberg, who writes about barefoot running and othertopics on his blog (www.americaspodiatrist.com). “If you startdoing barefoot activity, be it running or walking, you startto build up the muscles in your feet.”

His views aren’t common in his profession, which tendsto focus on using orthotics to correct foot problems. Orthoticsdo relieve pain quicker, Nirenberg acknowledges, but he recommendsthat people with foot problems transition over time to less-supportivefootwear, and eventually incorporate some barefoot activityinto their lives. As for barefoot running, Nirenberg agreeswith the critics that there is no proof of its benefits at least,not yet.

“Right now, there is no proof that running barefoot is betterfor you, but there is a lot of research that is leaning in thatdirection,” he says.

“There is not a shred of research that indicates running barefootor running in minimalist shoes reduces injuries,” says Dr. KevinKirby, an adjunct associate professor at the California Schoolof Podiatric Medicine in Oakland. “There is also no researchthat indicates running shoes reduce injuries. It’s a washas far as research is concerned.”

As for beginners shedding their shoes because of running-inducedinjuries, Kirby is skeptical. Often, a person picks up runningafter a few years of sedentary existence and trains too hard,pounding the pavement with reckless zeal while carrying 10 ormore kilograms of excess body weight. Injuries often ensue,and running shoes make a convenient scapegoat.

“People are jumping to conclusions on both sides of the debate,but we must rely on evidence,” says Dan Lieberman, one of thepaper’s authors and a professor of human evolutionarybiology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Themedia is distorting the science or just leaving it out. Thekey thing is not being barefoot, but using a barefoot style,and not colliding into the ground with your heels.”

Source: http://ecmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/183/1/E37

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