Chris and Tracie Vlaun Featured for the second time in the WSJ

Miami Beach’s V art of Wellness founders features for the second time in the What’s Your Workout Section of the Wall Street Journal.

Check it out:

2nd Feature in the WSJ

2nd Feature in the WSJ

Dr. Stuart McGill on CrossFit

Below you will find a valued opinions on the risks an benefits of CrossFit.

CrossFit benefits and risks – Dr. Stuart McGill weighs in on the controversial fitness trend

on SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

CrossFit continues to gain popularity in the fitness industry – there are approximately 7,000 CrossFit-affiliated gyms around the world. The Globe and Mail covered how CrossFit came to be and sat down with some experts to ask them if the benefits of this controversial fitness trend outweighs the risks.

Dr. Stuart McGill had a mixed opinion. He says that the risk of some CrossFit moves outweigh the potential benefit. “That’s a great disc herniator,” he says, watching a video of a hip-back extension exercise on the CrossFit website. “A lot of lifts and jumps are demonstrated by people with wonderful form. But the average person could open themselves up to the risk of injury.” CrossFit’s extensive online component makes it easier to dive right in without proper guidance.

Still, Dr. McGill sees a lot of good in CrossFit, particularly in its emphasis on everyday strength and agility. “Our training culture is polluted by body building,” Dr. McGill said. “It could be a very, very good thing to shift the North American training philosophy to a much more functional one.”

Get the full story from The Globe and Mail’s CrossFit article, ‘No puke, no pain – no gain’. Do you think the consulted experts are right about CrossFit?

Take advantage of the rare opportunity to discuss controversial topics such as these with Dr. Stuart McGill by registering for Dr. Stu McGill – Building the Ultimate Back: From rehabilitation to performance (November 22nd and 23rd in Chicago, IL). Don’t miss out! Our early bird registration rate ends September 5th

Seven Tips To Ensure Optimal Recovery From Intense Training and Competition

By Poliquin Group™ Editorial Staff

A simple way to perform better is to make sure you’re recovering optimally from intense training or competition. If you don’t take advantage of the recovery period, subsequent performance may be negatively affected, and you stand to lose a lot in terms of muscle and strength development.

The recovery period is when your body repairs damaged muscle and connective tissue to make you stronger. At the same time, research shows that intense training, and particularly sports training that is typified by collisions such as rugby, judo, lacrosse, or football will cause an inflammatory hormone response with higher cortisol, lower testosterone, and reduced neuromuscular function.

The skewed testosterone-to-cortisol ratio and decreased power and strength can last for as long as 60 hours after a competition or training, during which, you need to actively pursue recovery.

For example, a recent study tested hormone response and neuromuscular strength in elite male rugby players after a competition. Results showed that cortisol increased from baseline by 56 percent and by 59 percent at 12 and 36 hours, respectively. Cortisol was still elevated by 34 percent at 60 hours. Testosterone declined by 26 percent and by 15 percent at 12 and 36 hours, respectively, and was still down 8 percent lower at 60 hours.

Researchers suggest this poor anabolic environment is caused by the combination of large metabolic stress, muscle damage, negative energy balance, and depleted glycogen reserves from an intense competition.

Naturally, a very intense weight training program could cause similar physiological stress, making this study relevant to serious recreational trainees as well.

In addition, power output was reduced by 7 percent for 36 hours and returned to baseline at 60 hours post-match. The players reported increased mood disturbance at 12 hours post-match, but this had dissipated by 36 hours. Low mood is related to the stress hormone response and possibly to a high degree of muscle damage and soreness.

Take away the following points from this study so that you maximize recovery:

1) Whether you are simply training at a high intensity/volume or are competing, allow for at least 60 hours of recovery between intense workouts. Be aware that the study showed recovery is somewhat individualized: At 60 hours 7 of the players’ peak power output had not fully recovered, and 9 players still had a decreased T/C ratio.

2) Competing in a sport that is combative or has repeated collisions likely requires longer recovery than non-combative sports.

3) Ensure adequate glycogen stores and protein consumption pre-competition to decrease muscle damage and optimize energy stores. Also, eat a high-protein, healthy fat meal a few hours before competing or training.

4) Maximize protein synthesis and tissue repair by using 20 grams whey or another supplemental protein during training. When glycogen stores are depleted a high-quality carb supplement can help to support recovery. Research shows that supplementing with protein and carbs can lead to a lower cortisol response and speed the replenishment of glycogen stores.

5) Avoid alcohol and NSAID pain killers post-competition because both will significantly delay recovery and inhibit tissue healing in the long run.

6) Get extra antioxidants in the form of berries and green vegetables. Research shows blueberries can decrease muscle soreness after intense eccentric exercise. In addition, the amino acids taurine and glutamine may be beneficial, as will vitamin C, which can help clear cortisol.

7) Take a few grams of fish oil after competition because it has also been found to reduce muscle soreness after intense training.

References – West, D., et al. The Neuromuscular Function, Hormonal, and Mood Responses to a Professional Rugby Union Match. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013. Published Ahead of Print.


I love to have a vast variety of workouts no matter where I am or how I feel without depending on a gym. Choosing an outdoor  environment only enhances the experience. Here is one of my recent workouts that I wanted to share with you. Enjoy!