Use it or Lose it

Post by Adam Sayers

We all know that if you use your muscles, they grow stronger and if you don’t use them then they get weaker. More importantly, we should all know why. It is because your nervous system reacts the exact some way, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
This process is called Neuroplasticity, which refers to changes in neural activities like pathways and synapses in response to your environment, behaviors, neural processes and bodily activities. What this means is that the nervous system is not static as previously thought but actually, an adaptive organ. And so, much like your muscles, it needs to be exercised.

A child is born with the same amount of neurons as an adult but what happens as they develop their sensory and motor skills is the connections (synapses) between the neurons grow at a rate of roughly 500 000 per day in the first year. That means the connections to other neurons grow from about 2 500 per neuron to 15 000 per neuron at two or three years old. Why does such a tremendous rate of growth occur? It’s pretty simple, everything that child encounters for the first few years is completely new! So the brain has to create a pathway in order to process it and create a memory of it.

The down side of this is that as we mature, we actually lose connections between those neurons because we tend to have set patterns in our lifestyles. So our brains only need certain pathways in order to cope and thus it trims the pathways it is not using. This starts to affect our nervous systems ability to cope or adapt to extra things that might happen in our lives and steadily become unable to cope with as much information or stress as previously. And seeing as your nervous system is what tells the rest of your body what to do, I would imagine you would want that to be as strong as possible.

So, how can you exercise your brain to be stronger. There are very simple things you can do that will not require massive changes on your part. Read more, take more time to rest, experience new things like tastes, smells, touch and sounds. You can change where and how you sit, eat something highly nutritious even if it tastes horrible, change the route you drive to work or maybe make an effort to meet new people. The key thing to take into account is variety, stop with the patterns! Exercise is huge for this, vary your exercise routines as much as physically or creatively possible. Vary your weights, exercises and intensity consistently. People who do this not only notice that they get stronger but they also feel sharper, have better concentration and are healthier overall. Purely because it creates new pathways, stimulating your brain in different ways and ,don’t forget, your brain manages every single function in your body! To unleash the full potential of your nervous system (and your body), exercise it with variety!

Dr Adam Sayers is a Chiropractor at both the Greenside Clinic and Pure Health Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa where he has been practicing for 5 years. He has special interests in family wellness and pediatrics and his passion for improved general health and the empowerment of people to make the right health and lifestyle choices. You can follow him on Twitter or contact him direct by mail

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InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com

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Unlock your body

You will have seen a few posts from me on Trigger point therapy. Why? Because I use it and it works. SIMPLE!

I see so many people with bodies all bent out of shape and this is a product that is proven to “unlock” them.

Come and see for yourself….these two hour workshops are FREE. We will show you how it all works and why you need it.

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The “Smash Life” Seminar

InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com

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“Smash Life”, Dubai, January 11th 2013

Did you miss the Smash Life seminar in November? Here is your chance to experience it and kick off 2013 in style!

This is a perfect Christmas gift for someone that you care about to ensure they get the most out of 2013 and beyond.

For full details on the seminar and further explanation of the modules check out this post!

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The “Smash Life” Seminar

InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com

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Podcast #37 – Nightline radio show

Your questions answered from fat loss to fitness levels, heart rate to heart attack we cover them all.

Podcast #37 Play | Listen in iTunes

Highlights from this weeks show:

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The “Smash Life” Seminar

InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com

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This thing called crossfit!

In June of this year I wrote 2 posts on a training method called CrossFit. In the first one I talked about the history of CrossFit and in the second one I shared a video highlighting some of the concerns around CrossFit. Since then there has been increased exposure of this “latest fitness trend” which is being marketed as “the sport of fitness”. I get questions everyday about CrossFit so in this post I am going to answer some of them:

  1. What is CrossFit?: CrossFit define it as “Constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement.” Pretty broad you may say! Well yes you are right. What CrossFit has smartly done is taken a number of different sports and physical disciplines and put them together into “CrossFit” which they are now marketing as the sport of fitness. Still a bit confused?Don’t worry you are not alone. So anything can be CrossFit? Yep you got it and that’s the funniest thing these days. If I do a burpee and then row after it, apparently it’s CrossFit, even though I may have been doing that for years. Take Litvinovs training for example which he was doing in the 80’s. Squat then run….well that’s CrossFit isn’t it! Hardly surprising that CrossFit define what CrossFit is so broadly. It’s anything really…
  2. Is is good for me?: Well, well, well. Is it good for you to get involved in moving more, challenging your body and mind, enduring a certain extent of physical suffering all with the aim of increased performance in life?Yeah sure that is totally awesome and if CrossFit is ticking those boxes for you then brilliant, desired result achieved. However as always there is another side of the coin here. A huge issue that I see with CrossFit is that they “prescribe” weights for their workouts. Now sure it’s down to the instructor to make sure the clients safety is not compromised but often they fall short. The amount of injuries I have seen through CrossFit and its users striving to complete the workout at the prescribed weight is frightening. This is the caution. You may have heard about CrossFit, you may have seen guys and girls on TV or You Tube compete at it but please understand that these people have trained and been exposed to these exercises in the CrossFit or similar environment for some time, so jump in but jump in gently. Done without compromising the clients safety yeah sure it’s awesome for you.
  3. Is InnerFight CrossFit?: Ref point 1 above. The InnerFight program addresses the strength of people, delivers workouts that combine a number of different exercises and elements and is a whole load of fun. Could it therefore be classed as CrossFit? Yeah sure it could. However do I personally agree with all the CrossFit principles and as a franchisee does incorporate these in the InnerFight programs? No of course not. I program the InnerFight workouts based on research, experiences, a variety of different training methods, the clients goals, fun and most importantly results. I understand that everyone is different and has different goals. I have endurance athletes that need to get stronger, so we put them on strength programs. I have clients that want to get physically fitter to perform better in life on the whole so we make them stronger and give them an awesome level of conditioning and of course I have people that come to me with specific goals such as to compete in CrossFit (as I have done) so we prepare them for that. Everyone is different, has different goals and so I help them to smash those goals through the InnerFight programs
  4. Does CrossFit have an eating program?: This is perhaps one of the things I find funniest about the whole scene. Yes CrossFit suggests an eating plan (not one they have developed but again one they have taken and put on their “recommended” list) in fact they kind of fluctuate between two eating plans. In their certification they examine people on The Zone Diet written by Barry Sears but most “CrossFitters” seem to be following a Paleo diet which a guy Robb Wolf is at the forefront of but Rob is a guy who fell out with CrossFit some years back and has done very nicely for himself being the “Lone Wolf”. The bottom line here is that there are huge advantages to both diets and I have seen some awesome results from people being on both. I used the Zone diet for a short time but found it overly complicated. Paleo is somewhat more straight forward. The funniest thing these days is that it seems mandatory that if you do CrossFit from a CrossFit “Box” then you also eat Paleo and you talk about Paleo all the time and you post pictures on all social media telling people that you eat Paleo and do CrossFit. I have no issue with telling people what you are up to nor posting pictures on social media about what you eat (you can check mine out on Twitter Facebook Flickr or Instagram) But what really makes me laugh is that these people are rocking around with their pictures from their Paleo and CrossFit lifestyle and are in terrible shape. Seems then didn’t have to work for those badges.

To wrap it up, as I wrote in my first two articles on CrossFit. It is the bringing together or a number of great sporting disciplines and physical training methods under one banner. Do it properly and safely and you will get good at it and have an improved life. But also understand that the same applies for a number of physical training systems. No InnerFight is not CrossFit and no just because you post on social media that you eat Paleo and do CrossFit it doesn’t mean that you are killing it.

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The “Smash Life” Seminar

InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com

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This weeks InnerFight training 25-11-2012

Day 1: 911

Day 2: Paperclip

Day 3: Shoulder Smash

Day 4: Super Trooper

Day 5: Octoberfest

“You have one life….SMASH IT

Download the free InnerFight Podcast

The “Smash Life” Seminar

InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com

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Your questions answered

I receive a number of health and fitness related questions daily from people looking to improve their performance on various levels and get the best out of life. I always try to get back to people within a 24 hours with a concise and useful answer and information. As I am sure you can understand this is often highly time consuming, however the brand vision of InnerFight is to help as many people around the world perform at their best so helping people out with their questions is part of this and is something I will continue to do.


The approach to this however is going to change. Some of you may be listeners to my weekly radio show on Nightline where I field a number of questions. Others download the podcast in the proceeding days. I have also done a number of interviews with people ranging from some of the worlds leading fitness professionals to conquering athletes and what others consider “normal” people. The older of these audio files are stored on mixcloud but more recently I have started making all the content available through the InnerFight Podcast in itunes. This way the content can easily be downloaded and taken with you anywhere you go.

In December I will launch a fortnightly InnerFight podcast where I will answer any of the mails and queries I receive during the period between podcasts. This show will be all encompassing with the objective being to share as much information as possible with as many people as possible. Of course someones question today could be your question tomorrow so being able to share this information through a podcast will be valuable for all.

I will still be carrying out one on one interviews with some of the worlds leading fitness gurus as well as a number of different people. If you have something that you want to share that you think would make a great podcast and are willing to be interviewed about it then be sure to get in touch.

I invite you to send in any questions that you have either by mail  winning@innerfight.com or tweet them @innerfight or post them on the InnerFight Facebook page.

The “Smash Life” Seminar

InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com

Connect with InnerFight:

Like InnerFight on Facebook

Follow InnerFight on Twitter

Subscribe to InnerFight on YouTube