The Night of my Heart Attack

I remember lying in the bed at the hospital after having a heart attack and wondering how this could have happened to me.  I was in good shape, ate the right things, trained like a beast and took all the right supplements.

I was baffled and broken.  It was definitely the low point of my life - along with my older brother dying in my arms when I was a kid.

My outlook on life was shattered.  

I was beatdown, but not defeated for I believe that for every setback there is a chance to come back and rise.

After the heart attack, I dug miles deep into research about heart disease, heart attacks, cholesterol, carbohydrates, protein and fats.  What I learned was eye-opening and life saving.

I shared my findings in the posts here.

THE BIG MISTAKE I MADE

The one critical error I made that led to my heart attack was stripping all fats from my diet.  Long ago, I gave up butter for non-fat margarine, whole fat dairy products for non-fat, olive oil for lemon juice as salad dressing.  You wouldn't catch me eating nuts, bacon, avocados or egg yolks.  

This vital error caused my good cholesterol to drop dangerously low and was one of the main reasons I had my heart attack.

GOOD FATS ARE ESSENTIAL TO YOUR HEALTH

We need good fats. The experts had it wrong.  Fat doesn't make you fat.  Sugar and carbs make you fat. Good fats are essential to our health.

Below are some of the benefits of eating a "good high fat diet."

* Improves cholesterol levels
* Prevents heart disease
* Increases metabolism
* Promotes burning of body fat
* Reduces inflammation
* Boosts sports performance
* Reverts Type 2 Diabetes
* Enhances brain function
* Boosts immune system
* Helps effortlessly lose weight

MY BIG FAT DIET

Since I changed my eating habits and started my "big fat diet" my body fat has DROPPED from 17 percent to 10 percent. The pudge I've had around my waist since I was 35 has finally disappeared.  At 52, I'm getting RIPPED like I was when I was a teenager.

Amazingly - this all happened while eating MORE FAT than I ever have.  On top of that, my blood work has been stellar.

My LDL (bad cholesterol) dropped from 120 to 50.
My HDL (good cholesterol) rose from 24 to 50.
My triglycerides went from 150 to under 50.  

I'm ASTONISHED at the results because it goes against everything I've learned over the past 25 years as a professional athlete and fitness expert.

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but after more than a year of eating a "big fat diet" and reading a boatload of recent scientific literature and studies - I'm convinced a "big fat fat" diet is the optimal way to eat for health, fitness and weight loss.

WARNING!

To get the benefit out of a "big fat diet" you MUST cut back on sugar and carbs.  Ideally, limit yourself to under 150 grams of carbs a day from mostly greens vegetables and low glycemic load fruits.  For fat loss, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests less than 50 grams a of carbs a day.
   
If you continue to plow down the carbs and eat a lot of refined sugar - adding good fats to your diet will only continue to make you fatter.

THE GOOD FATS

I eat most of them every day!

Almonds
Macadamia nuts
Meat (preferably grassfed)
Chicken
Turkey
Fish (preferably wild not farm raised)
Whole Eggs
Avocado
Olive oil
Coconut Oil (I'm a huge fan)
Butter (Kerry Gold brand grassfed)
Ghee (clarified butter without the milk byproducts)
Cheese + Cottage cheese + Yogurt + Cream (Always whole fat)
Bacon (Few times a week. I'm too lazy to cook it or I'd eat it every day)

THE WORST FAT

TRANS FATS are horrible for you.  Do not eat these!  These are mostly manmade foods. Think: crackers, cookies, cakes, chips, microwave popcorn, Crisco, coffee creamer (sorry), Pam spray, fake butter, and of course fast food.

Trans fats are so bad that in 2013 the FDA took trans fat off the list of foods that are "generally recognized as safe" to eat.  

THE OTHER BADDIES

I try to stay away from vegetable fats, such as peanut, corn, canola, safflower and sunflower oil that have been refined.  These tend to be high in Omega 6 fats.


WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT?

Your starting point should be to eat real, whole, fresh unadulterated, unmodified foods that ideally, are organic like:

* An "unlimited" amount of non-starchy veggies - think the green crunchy kind + cauliflower.

* Beef, Bison, Lamb - grassfed whenever possible.

* Organic Poultry

* Fish (Wild better than farm raised, but be mindful of mercury levels)

* Plenty of good fats including avocados, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil.

* All nuts and seeds including hemp, chia and flax seeds.

* Butter from grassfed cows + ghee butter

* Moderate amount of low-glycemic load fruit like: blueberries, apples, apricots, grapefruit, strawberries, pears, watermelon, oranges, lemons.

* Whole Dairy products, if tolerated.

* Small quantity of beans, if tolerated.

* Small quantity of gluten free grains, if tolerated.  Quinoa, buckwheat, millet, brown rice.

* Sweet potatoes or yams. (limit to one a day)

THE BIG SECRET

When you eat a lot of healthy fats - they fill you up and satiate you.  They will help fight against the cravings and hunger pangs, get off the carb rollercoaster and regain control of your appetite!

AVOID SUGARY DRINKS AND JUICES

Almost 20 percent of our daily calories comes from sugar sweetened drinks like soda, teas, sweetened coffees, sports drinks and juices.  These liquid calories are FAR WORSE than solid sugars because they go straight into fat production and storage.  

AVOID these like the plague - including fruit juices.  Fruit juices are high in sugar without the valuable fiber of whole fruit.  If you are going to juice - stick with the green juices!


MY DAILY "BIG FAT DIET"

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is have a glass of water.  We lose a lot of water when we sleep - it's important to HYDRATE first.  Drinking water will also help to curb your appetite.

Shortly after, I'll make a cup of coffee or green matcha tea and add a heaping tablespoon of Nutiva Virgin coconut oil along with a teaspoon of Kerrygold butter.  The MCT's in coconut oil and butter fill me up, cuts hunger pangs and provides high octane fuel for my brain without raising my insulin level so I can:

"STAY IN FAT BURNING MODE"

The minute we add carbs or sugar our body it kicks off a fat storage cycle.  The GOAL is to stay in the "fat burning zone" for as long as possible.

10:30 am
I'll suck down a shake with SunWarrior chocolate protein powder with a half or full avocado, a scoop of Amazing Greens wheat grass powder, a tablespoon of glutamine and a teaspoon of creatine.  I put all this in a blender with water and a cup of ice.  

On some days, I'll substitute the wheat grass with a cup of fresh organic spinach. Delicious!

12PM or Lunch Time
I'll have a meal with a fish, meat or egg protein along with a non-starchy vegetable. My favorite lately is cauliflower mash with a teaspoon of melted Kerrygold butter.  I'm also a big fan of sweet potatoes and yams - but limit to one a day.

I'll eat as much as I want of the approved foods but find that if I eat a lot of good fats and protein - I get full more quickly and stay fuller throughout the day.  I'm so full that sometimes I have to literally force myself to eat.

THEM GREENS
I love me a good old fashioned Salad.  I'm digging spinach as the green du jour. I'll throw a bag of Trader Joe's Organic spinach leaves into a big bowl, douse it with olive oil and lemon juice.  Then, I'll add in a generous portion of feta cheese, and sprinkle in some pine nuts, maybe some green olives and toss.

I'll sprinkle sea salt and pepper and I'm good to go.  Delicious.  This is my go to salad.  I could eat some variation of it every day.

SNACKS
My favorite snack of late is macadamia nuts.  Love the flavor.  I have to watch myself so I don't eat the whole damn bag.  I also munch on veggie sticks, hummus and almonds.

I have a weakness for Quest Bars but try to keep them to a minimum because of the sugar alcohols and carbs.  I'll also eat a low glycemic load fruit from the list above but do it sparingly.  Cottage cheese and yogurt are another favorite snack.

But again, if extreme weight loss is what you are after - you'll be best minimizing the carbs until you get to your ideal weight.  The good fats will keep you full and satiated.

I EAT WHEN I'M HUNGRY
I'll eat a variation of my lunch time meal every 3-4 hours.  I'll change the protein and veggie, but I make sure all my meals have either olive oil, ghee or Kerrygold butter in them.  It's the key to keeping satiated.

When we cut the carbs and sugar -- but don't add the healthy fats -- we get depleted, cranky and hungry.  Don't make that mistake.

If I'm working out hard,  I'll add a little more complex carbs to the mix to keep my performance up.  It's either sweet potatoes or a gluten free grain or a little brown rice.   My bud makes these great buckwheat paleo pancakes that I enjoy as well.

MY GUILTY PLEASURE
I scream, you scream - we all scream for ice cream.

When I was first starting "my big fat diet," I kept away from the frozen gobs of goodness because of the high sugar content.  But since I got to down 10 percent body fat and have stabilized, I've found I can eat ice cream 2-3 days a week without putting on any extra weight or body fat.  Hell yah!

SPECIAL NOTE

My "big fat diet" works for me.  The results have been remarkable.  I confident it will work for you.  It's worked like a charm for all the people I've advised.  I believe it's the optimal way to eat for health and fitness and longevity.  

But please note: I'm 210 pounds with a lean body mass of 192 pounds.  I need roughly 4000 calories a day.  To SUCCEED you will need to adjust your caloric intake to best fit your size and basal metabolic rate.  

I also find that women don't seem to be able to tolerate as much fat as men.  So for the female gladiators out there - cut the amount of fat a little to find what works best for you.

Right now my macros are roughly: 50-60 percent fat, 25-30 percent protein, 20-30 percent carbs.

For you gladiator girls, you might want to start with: 35-40 percent fat, 35 percent carbs, 25 percent protein.  Keep adjusting until you find what works for you!

I hope this helps and you'll at least give it a spin.  My hope is you'll get the same amazing results I have and will be on your way to a happier, healthier, more fit life!

Please share your findings or make comments below.   And forward to a friend if you think any of the tips could help them.

Have a great weekend and Stay INSPIRED!
 
Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  Remember you can't out train or out run a bad diet!

P.S.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark

(Part 2) This tip on FAT could save your life - "Nitro's Friday Favorite 5"

Dan "Nitro" Clark creator of the Gladiator Rock'n Run here. Nitro's Friday 5 - is a list of short tips on diet, peak performance, motivation and inspiration.

Last week we talked about the biggest mistake I'd made in my diet -- which I believe was the main cause for my heart attack --  in December of 2013.  The critical error I made for years was eliminating all fats from my diet.  I believed eating fat made you fat and caused heart disease.  I avoided all flats like the plague.

After the heart attack - I dug deep into miles of research about heart disease, heart attacks and the effects of a high-carb low fat diets versus high-fat low carb diets.  What I learned was eye-opening and life saving.

Last week we talked about how not eating good fats lowers your HDL (good cholesterol) and how this was the main culprit that led to my heart attack. Well... the story goes a little deeper than just the ratio of HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol).

Stripping good fats from your diet also INCREASES the number of LDL (bad cholesterol) particles in your bloodstream.

WHY IS THAT BAD FOR ME?

I'll try to explain in it a way that doesn't make your eyes glaze over.

Healthy LDL cholesterol are larger and fluffy.  Think little snow flakes happily and healthily floating along in your arteries.  When we are unhealthy these little LDL snow flakes oxidize and break down into smaller pieces.  Think particles of sand.  Now, because the sand particles are smaller, they are much more likely to be able to penetrate the walls of your arteries -- and borough themselves in -- and start to create a plaque build up that over time clogs your arteries.

You can see the little yellow bastards breaching the walls of your arteries in in the diagram below.  This is the beginning of plaque build up.  NOT GOOD!

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CHANGE THIS?

Small LDL particles are wonderfully responsive to changes in your diet.  Changes in your food choices and supplements can have large effects in reducing small LDL particles as well as increasing the numbers of HDL.

Sugar and refined carbs are the NEW FAT.   Reducing carbs and sugar along with increasing good fats will have a dramatic effect on your LDL and HDL -- along with your overall health and waistline.  

I was BLOWN AWAY at the results of making the dietary switch from a high carb diet to a high "good fat" diet.  In the beginning -- it was so hard because the idea that "fat made you fat and was unhealthy" had be pounded into my brain for years.

But once I saw the RESULTS in my own blood work I was convinced that we've been doing it all wrong.

The big change didn't happen right away because after the heart attack they were stuffing my full of statins and I still wasn't eating enough good fats.  The statins helped balance the cholesterol a bit but they didn't help with the numbers of dangerous small LDL particles.

It wasn't until I started eating a substantial amount of good fats - did my number of small particles decline and my good HDL soar.  So much so, that I cut the statins down to half the minimum amount of the smallest recommended dose.

My cardiologist kept urging me to take a higher dose of statins - but the side effects were terrible.  I made a deal with him.  If I could keep my blood work numbers -- to what he considered AMAZING -- by changes in my diet alone -- then he would be okay with me taking a miniscule amount of statins.

With the increased amount of good fats and the reduction of sugar and carbs, the results of my blood work were AMAZING.  

LDL - 50.  HDL - 50.  
Triglycerides under 50.
LDL particle count went from an alarmingly high 2000 particles to 700.

Not only that, but my body fat DROPPED from 17 percent to 11 percent at 51 years old eating more fat than I ever have!

My cardiologist was ASTONISHED.  

HOW DID I DO IT?

I know, I know, I know... last week I said that I'd breakdown the different types of fat and the amount you need to eat to promote health, but I felt there was more information that I needed to share before I got down to the specifics.

Next week -- I'll breakdown the different types of fat and highlight the ones you should be eating that promote health, prevent heart disease and cancer, improve your mood and brain function, help you effortlessly lose weight, and hopefully keep you from making the same mistake I made.  Promise!

P.S.  Thanks everyone for sharing your stories and successes.  I look forward to hearing more!

Please share your story or make comments below.  And forward to a friend if you think any of the tips could help them.

Have a great weekend. Stay INSPIRED!
 
Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark.  

This tip on FAT could save your life - "Nitro's Friday Favorite 5"

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  Nitro's Friday 5 - is a list of short tips on diet, peak performance, motivation and inspiration.

The biggest change I've made in my life since my heart attack in December of 2013 was the way I ate.  I'd always been lean and thought I was healthy, but I made one critical mistake and it almost killed me.   

The challenge is I'm an expert in the field of health, fitness and nutrition and I still got it wrong.  I grew up in an era where we equated a low-fat diet with health and fitness.  We were brainwashed into believing that when you eat fat, you get fat, and even worse it caused heart disease and clogged your arteries.

The truth is the "experts" had it WRONG.  They told us to cut the fat in our diets and advised us to eat 7-11 servings of bread a day.  They told us to eat nonfat and low fat foods.  We obliged and filled our refrigerators with non-fat milk, yogurt, cheese,  ice cream, salad dressing.  

Low-fat foods became the dietary goal as we stuffed our faces with muffins the size of softballs, cereal, oversized bagels and plates of pasta and avoided fats like the plague.

 I went along for the ride too.  I drank tuna and grapefruit shakes to get a lean protein with zero fat.  I drank non-fat milk, avoided egg yokes, nuts and avocados. I limited the amount of meat I ate - especially bacon.  I used lemons for salad dressing instead of oil and I wouldn't go near cheese or butter.  

I believed that fats made us fat and caused heart disease.

BOY, WAS I WRONG

When I had my heart attack in December of 2013 the main culprit was low HDL - that's the good cholesterol.  Since I avoided fats - I didn't have enough good cholesterol in my system and it nearly cost me my life.

People get stuck on having low cholesterol and don't take into consideration the more important factors like: the ratio of "good cholesterol to bad cholesterol" and "particle size of bad cholesterol" and "inflammation markers" in the body.  These are much better indicators for heart disease and heart attack risk - along with family history.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

Here is the BIG PROBLEM.  

When they stripped the fats (the good stuff) out of foods they added sugar and flour (refined carbs) and chemicals.  We now consume 152 pounds of sugar a year per person.  Our consumption of flour, which raises blood sugar more than table sugar does, is about 145 pounds a year. That's a combined average of 1 pound of flour and sugar for every person in America every day!

Your morning low-fat yogurt has more sugar than a can of soda and -- your low fat muffins, granola bars and fat-free dressing -- have more sugar than a Twinkie.  

Almost 20 percent of our daily calories come from sugary drinks like sweetened teas, juices, soda, sports kinds.  These drinks are even worse than solid sugar or other carb calories because they go straight into fat storage and production.

SUGAR AND REFIND CARBS ARE THE NEW FAT

New research show that sugars and carbs are the true cause of obesity and heart disease - not fats.  Sugar and carbs cause an insulin spike that turns on a metabolic switch that causes our body to store fat.  Eating good fats, does not make you fat.

I know it's all hard to comprehend because for so long we've been told the exact opposite. But the statistics don't lie.  As a country we changed our diets to low-fat foods and fat-free foods yet we are the FATTEST we've ever been with a whopping 68% of the population being overweight or obese.

Heart disease now kills more people each year than all cancers combined while cases of diabetes have exploded to affect 30 million Americans and cost 250 billion dollars a year to treat.  

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

The first thing you need to do is cut out the refined carbs and sugar and replace them with good fats in your diet.  Not only will good-fats keep you satiated, but studies show those who ate high-fat foods had a much faster metabolism than those who ate low-fat high carb diets.  

Next week -- I'll breakdown the different types of fat and highlight the ones you should be eating that promote health, prevent heart disease and cancer, improve your mood and brain function, help you effortlessly lose weight, and hopefully keep you from making the same mistake I made.

I wish you the BEST!

Please share your story or make comments below.  And forward to a friend if you think any of the tips could help them.

 Have a great weekend and Stay INSPIRED!
 
Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark.

Hacks for Peak Performance, Motivation, Inspiration - "Nitro's Friday Favorite 5"

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  Nitro's Friday 5- is a list of short tips on peak performance, motivation and inspiration that I'm digging, loving and using in my life.

Give a shout out and comment blow.  And please forward to a friend if you think any of the tips could help them.

* Song I'm jamming to this week.

 "Wild Thing" by the Troggs. Back in the day on the American Gladiator Tour "Wild Thing" was my entrance theme song.  I haven't heard it in a while, but as soon as it played it stoked up the Nitro flames - and made me want to get all kinds of crazy.  Play this song and get your Wild Thing on during your workout!

* Favorite supplement of the week:

I absolutely love this Creatine Coffee ($35.96). It combines two of my favorite things: Coffee and Creatine into one smooth, tasty brew.  Great for traveling because it's instant! Just put a scoop into hot water and let the party begin.  Benefits: improved strength, endurance, mental sharpness, focus, memory and concentration all with a great taste.

* Favorite Supplement of the week # 2

I'm always looking for ways during the hot summer days to Refuel, Refresh and Refocus my body and mind.  I'm loving Core Blueberry All natural drink from Proven Nutrition ($53.90 one month supply).  It's tasty and refreshing and drinkable all day long for sustained energy.  I mix it with ice in a protein-shaker cup and sip on it all day long.  SAVE 10% with Code: NITRO

* My favorite new recovery roller - Gurilla roller ($50").

I met these guys at the Gladiator Rock'n Run in San Diego.  I plopped down on the Gurilla roller once and was sold.  It's even better than the rumble roller I had touted in the past. The secret is the "rope coiling" that makes it the stiffest and most durable roller on the market. WARNING: this is for people who like it deep - not for rookies!  Will work on knots that wear other rollers out.

* My favorite Facebook post of the week.  

I was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Toledo Mud Hens in front of 8000 fans.  Minor league baseball is huge in Toledo.  I was nervous because I hadn't thrown a ball in years.  My one buddy reminded me "rotator cuff pain is temporary but youtube glory is forever."  So here yah go with the video!

Have a great weekend and Stay INSPIRED!
 
Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark.  

My 12 Favorite Purchases in 12 Months (Nitro's Friday 5)

Dan "Nitro" Clark here from Gladiator Rock'n Run. I love testing products and new gadgets. I'm obsessed with what works best and getting the best price.

Amazon Prime + Nitro = Happiness.

Why do I do it?  I love to find cool stuff that works and then sharing it. I'll try out hundreds of things and only share the handful that really get the job done.

Below are some recent purchases - that I use and continue to use - that bring my joy and really work.

Nubs and WODies

My secret hand and thumb savers. I wear one of these two products every time I lift or do pull ups. They've saved me hundreds of dollars in tape and keeps my hands from tearing so I can continue to train. I usually get two pairs of the Nubs at a time because I lose them faster than they wear out.

Rumble Roller

I've tried every roller imaginable, but this is my favorite for digging deep into my back and shoulders to get rid of the knots the size of Everest. WARNING: this goes 10x deeper than normal rollers. Only use if you have knots that need a whooping.

LionHeart Refuel

My favorite recovery drink.  I slurp this down right after working out.  It seems to have the right blend of BCAA's, Glutamine, Creatine and a splash of caffeine with NO additives that does it for me.

Stronger Faster Healthier Fish Oil

It's super hard to narrow down my favorites for this post but I had to include my favorite, best-tasting fish oil.  It's the most concentrated, purest fish oil I've found on the market.  Best of all, it tastes great and is "burp-free."  To save 10% off your entire order use code: APL

Voodoo Floss Bands

These bands are Voodoo because they work crazy magic to help restore joint mechanics, improve range of motion, and unglue matted down previously injured tissue.  Floss bands one of the single most effective things you aren't using.  Dr. Kelly Starret and Mobility Wod will show you how to use them correctly to help rehab almost any injury.  

Skullcandy Ink'd 2 Earbuds

I had to highlight this one. The best bang for the buck in earbuds.  I go through these like crazy.  I need something that blocks out sound, has a microphone and long cord for the gym.  Hurry, they have been discontinued and are only
$12.99 on Amazon. Grab 2 pairs. You'll be happy.

Ultimate Body Parallettes

I'm obsessed with gymnastics and bodyweight exercises. Nothing is better for the core. I use parallettes mainly for L-sits, planche progression and pushups. If you want a homemade version that's dirt cheap here is another option.

Inzer Knee Sleeves XT

When I'm squatting I like to have a extra protection for my knees.  I want something I can slip on and loosen and tighten quickly without having to rewrap my entire knee.  Inzer knee wraps you can leave on the entire workout. They aren't cheap ($55) but by my pair has lasted me over a year with plenty still to go.

Organic Japanese Matcha Tea Powder

I love coffee but sadly had to give up drinking it on a regular basis because it tore my stomach up (probably too much eating off food trucks in Tijuana when I was young).  I was miserable until I found Matcha tea.  I now prefer it to coffee.  It's loaded with antioxidants and I love the smooth buzz that doesn't leave me jittery. Matcha is the best bang for the buck.

Gaiam Meditation Cushion

Every morning I sit for 20-30 minutes in mediation. Meditating is probably the single best thing I've done for myself.  It's exercise for the soul.  But sitting on the ground with these old bones - just doesn't fly. This meditation mat provides ample size and comfort that relieves pressure on my knees and ankles so I can focus on getting all Zen. WARNING. Don't get the black.  It gets dirty too quickly.

Marc Pro Plus

This is only for athletes who are SERIOUS about recovery and conditioning. Most people don't care enough to invest in themselves and their performance. The key to performing is recovering.  Marc Pro Plus is a game changer. Yep, it's expensive, but I felt like I was worth it. The payment plan helped. Use Code: GLADIATOR and it'll save $40 plus they'll donate $100 to the Wounded Warrior foundation.

Let me know if there are other products you love or how my favorites work for you by leaving a COMMENT BELOW.
 
Stay inspired!

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram@DanNitroClark.  

#1 Simple Tip to Eliminate Muscle Soreness - Nitro's Friday 5

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  I have to be honest with you.  I told you a lie.  I can't help you "completely" eliminate muscle soreness.  

But... 

What if I told you I had a way to help you be 60 percent LESS SORE after a grueling workout or run?  Would that be something you'd be interested in? 

WHY AM I SO SORE?  

I believe in a constantly varied exercise regimen.   Meaning - I don't do the same thing 2 days in a row ever.  I believe in shocking our system to continue to get gains.  But when we continually shock our system - we become good friends with crippling, muscle soreness.   

T here have been countless days of walking funny after unexpected sprints up a mountain -- or a friend saying something like let's do 100 squats at 225.

I can't tell yo u how many times I've grimaced and groaned over the next few days - always feeling like the soreness was some type of badge of honor for hard work.

ELIMINATE MUSCLE SORENESS BY 60%!

A s cool as taking on all of these challenges and pushing my body to the limit was - I HATED being so damn sore all the time.   I started doing this O NE SIMPLE thing -- and it had a HUGE IMPACT on my level of soreness.  

At first I thought it was TOO GOOD to be true.  That perhaps it was a combination of factors so I stopped doing the simple thing - 
and BAM - the debilitating muscle soreness returned.

I started using this "top secret" remedy agin -- and was AMAZED at how much less sore I was.  I've started and stopped a few times just to make sure my findings were accurate.  Each time, I was significantly less sore. 

WHAT'S THE SECRET?

I know we're attracted to headlines like "Revolutionary New Product Discovered," but the secret behind the elimination of a shit-ton of MUSCLE SORENESS is a simple product that's inexpensive and been around for years:

GLUTAMINE

Glutamine helps prevent catabolism of muscle tissue, boosts growth hormone levels, enhances glycogen storage and even helps fortify your immune system.   It's the most abundant amino acid in the blood and makes up to 50-60% of free amino acids in the muscles. 

What does this all mean?

For me, it meant being remarkably less sore, having more sustained muscle stamina during workouts and being able to bounce back quicker after a grueling exercise session. 

WILL IT HELP YOU?

If you train hard, get sore and want to: Recover more quickly, increase your muscle stamina and help build your immune system - Glutamine might just be the secret weapon you've been missing. 

Best thing? 

Glutamine is SUPER AFFORDABLE!

HOW TO TAKE IT?

I take 5 grams in the morning with my smoothie.  5-10 grams after exercise.  And 5 grams before going to sleep.  

I buy it on Amazon ($19.95 - 3 months supply).  I keep this in my cupboard. 

I KEEP THIS Smaller container in my gym bag for after workouts.

You deserve the best and to succeed!

I'm dedicated to helping you live a healthier, happier, more fit life. Hopefully this simple, inexpensive tip can help fuel your success.  

Give it a try and let me know!

Give a shout out and comment below.  And please forward to a friend if you think they might find it useful!

AND YEP, I PHOTOBOMB!

Stay inspired!

Dan "Nitro" Clark 

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark.  

The Foolproof way to Fuel Your Body For Optimum Performance

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  A funny thing happened on the way to Gladiator Arena.  The arena, on this day, was the 5-week-long Crossfit open.   I was sure I was going to crush this competition.  

For 6 months, I trained like a beast, slung iron, smashed the MetCons, jumped and climbed ropes, did body weight exercises -- worked on any and all my weaknesses in preparation for the competition.

My training was meticulous except one thing.

MY DIET.  

You can't out train a bad diet. 

A bad diet doesn't always mean eating bad or too much food.  It can also mean not fueling your body correctly for optimal performance. 

My Big Mistake?

I wasn't eating enough.  How do I know?  I tested my body fat at the beginning of the 5 week period and then again at the end of the period.  I didn't lose a single pound of weight,  but I lost a staggering 5 POUNDS of MUSCLE.

When the body doesn't have enough food to fuel your performance it starts to cannibalize muscle tissue for fuel.   This is the same muscle you've worked months, possibly years to put on.  And it's GONE  in 5 weeks. 

How many calories do I need for optimum performance?

This is where the science comes in.  Firstly,  you need to know your BMR (basal metabolic rate).  This is how many calories your body burns throughout a 24 hour period while at rest.   

To get the most accurate BMR you'll need to get your body fat tested.  I prefer the Dexascan method.

Once you know your BMR use the simple Sterling-Passmore equation to figure out how many calories you need a day to either FUEL YOUR PERFORMANCE to LOSE or GAIN WEIGHT. 

Yes, the kind of calories you eat is SUPER important too.  I go for 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat (good fats). 

How can this help you?

Fueling your body correctly can make the difference between standing on the podium at an event or bonking out and disappointing yourself after a lot of hard training. 

It can make the difference between feeling energized and great or feeling tired, drained and weak.   

My recommendation for success?

Spend 15 minutes to figure out your BMR and how many calories you need to eat a day based upon your goals:  Race prep, lose weight, maintain weight, gain weight, etc.

Get the My Fitness Pal app to record your calories.  It's FREE and super easy to use!

Then FUEL your way to SUCCESS

You deserve the best and to succeed!

Hopefully these tools will help you.  After going through these steps I increased my calories by over 1000 a day (the joy), and it helped me crush my next competition.  I felt strong and energized.  I felt like a Gladiator again.  So much so, the SPANDEX made an appearance!

Give a shout out and comment BELOW.  

Look for the next Nitro 5: WHY SPANDEX RULES!

Stay inspired!

Dan "Nitro" Clark 

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark. 

Part Two - The Most Important Training You'll Ever Do!

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  This week's "Nitro's Friday 5" follows up on the most important training you'll ever do - RESISTANCE TRAINING. 

Last week we defined and brought the beast of resistance to life.  To review last week's post and see how resistance rears it's ugly head click here

RESISTANCE is fear, procrastination, distraction, self-loathing, self-doubt, shame, perfectionism - anything that keeps you from being your brave, magnificent, wonderful, BEST SELF!  

REMEMBER -  Resistance is always lying and full of shit. 

RULE OF THUMB: The more important a call of action is to your soul's evolution, the more Resistance you'll feel toward pursuing it. 

The FIRST STEP in CRUSHING resistance is to RECOGNIZE its existence.  This recognition is hugely powerful.  You have now seen your opponent.  You now realize - this thing called resistance is keeping you from your calling.  It's keeping you from a better life.  

The SECOND STEP in crushing resistance is to know the ENEMY is inside you, but it is NOT YOU.  You have resistance the same way you "have" a heart beat. 

The THIRD STEP in crushing resistance is to know the REAL YOU must battle the RESISTANCE YOU.  You are the GLADIATOR.  Resistance is the DRAGON.   The only RECOURSE possible between the gladiator and dragon is BATTLE.

This battle is life-and-death.  Your dream, hopes and ambitions   are at stake.  The dragon of resistance will fight to its final breath to keep you small -- to keep you from living the life of deserve. 

The FOURTH STEP in crushing resistance is knowing that with resistance comes ASSISTANCE.  Look for guides, help and mentors. They will appear.   

The FIFTH STEP in crushing resistance is to have a KILLER INSTINCT.  Fight the feeling in the pit of your stomach - that keeps you small, hiding and in the box.  The feeling that wells up in your gut when you want to try something new or our brave.  Slay it. Kill it. Crush it.  And set your dreams free. 

Remember - this battle against resistance must be fought every day.  Everything you want is on the other side of this battle.

The LAST STEP in crushing resistance is to know that if you slay the dragon once, he will never have power of your again. Yes-yes-yes, he'll still be there.  You'll still have to fight him every damn day just as hard.

But you will have kicked his ass one, and you'll know you can kick his ass again.  This a GAME CHANGER that will transform your life and help you bring home the gold.  

I hope this help... and remember PROCRASTINATION is the most common form of resistance because it's the easiest to rationalize.  We don't tell ourselves - we aren't going to do something.  We tell ourselves we'll do it later.  Then later turns to NEVER. 

Start something today.  A diet, new workout program, a new project, a new hobby, etc.  Whatever it is -- BEGIN NOW -- and fight like hell until it's finished.

I'll be here cheering you on - and fighting the same battle. 

Give a shout out and comment below.  And please forward to a friend if you think they need to hear this!
 
Stay inspired!

Dan "Nitro" Clark 

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram  @DanNitroClark.   

The Most Important Training You'll Ever Do - "Nitro's Friday 5"

Dan "Nitro" Clark here. This weeks "Nitro's Friday 5" deep-dives into "Resistance Training."  I know you're thinking I'm talking about weight training.  I am not.

The type of RESISTANCE training we are going to cover will be the the MOST IMPORTANT training you'll ever do.

RESISTANCE is: fear, procrastination, distraction, self-loathing, self-doubt, shame, perfectionism - anything that keeps you from being your brave, magnificent, wonderful, best self.

RESISTANCE rears it's ugly head when you:
* Pursue any calling in writing, painting, music, creative arts.  
* When you want to launch any entrepreneurial venture.  
* When you start any diet or workout regime.
* When you begin any course to overcome addiction or negative behavior. * When you dare step out of the box and be seen.

RESISTANCE is Invisible.  It cannot be seen, heard, touched or tasted. But it can be FELT.  It's job is to shove us away, distract us and prevent us from being our best self.

RESISTANCE is a Bastard.  It will tell you anything to keep you from shining.   It will tell you: you aren't good enough, no one cares, you can't do this, you're too tired, you're not worthy,  it's too hard.   It will deceive, fabricate, bully, seduce, cajole and demean you.

Resistance is always lying and full of shit.

RESISTANCE aims to kill.  It's target is our wonderful uniqueness, our genius, our soul, our priceless gift that we were put on this earth to share.
 
RESISTANCE never Sleeps.  Great musicians, who are at the top of their careers, still puke before performances.  The fear doesn't go away.  It's IMPORTANT to know the battle against resistance must be fought ANEW every day.   You're health,  happiness, and life's work depends on it.

RULE OF THUMB: The more important a call of action is to your soul's evolution, the more Resistance you'll feel toward pursuing it.

The FIRST STEP in CRUSHING resistance is to RECOGNIZE its existence.  This recognition is hugely powerful.  You have now seen your foe.  You now realize - this thing called resistance is keeping you from your calling.

You are the GLADIATOR.   Resistance is the DRAGON.   The only RECOURSE possible between the GLADIATOR and DRAGON is battle.

NEXT WEEK - we'll go over how to kick RESISTANCE ass so you can revel in your glory and stride proudly toward being your best self.

Until then... have a GREAT WEEKEND and let these concepts sink in.  If you're anything like me, you'll be fired up and ready to come out swinging!

Give a shout out and comment below.  And please forward to a friend if you think they'd like it!
 
Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark.  

Life Hacks for Peak Performance, Motivation, Inspiration - "Nitro's Friday Favorite 5"

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  Nitro's Friday 5- A list of quick tips on peak performance, motivation and inspiration that I'm digging, loving and using in my life.

Give a shout out and comment below.  And please forward to a friend if you think any of the tips could help them.

* Song I'm jamming to this week - "I've Got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas.  This song always picks me up and gets me rocking.  I use it in the morning when I'm feeling sluggish or generally anytime I need a little pick up.

* Supplement I'm loving- I've been experimenting with taking ACTIVATED CHARCOAL  ($6 Amazon) after hard workouts to speed up recovery.  The results have been pretty AMAZING.  When we crush a training session it helps push lymph fluids carrying a host of waste products back to our blood where our body works hard to transform the toxins and excrete them.  The charcoal binds to the toxins helping eliminate them more quickly and thoroughly - thus helping us recover faster.   I've found I'm not nearly as sore when I pop a few activated charcoal caps after a workout.  Give it a shot!

 * Books I am reading -  my little sister got me reading this book.  After she read it - she took control of her destiny and opened an awesome COFFEE HOUSE.  If you need a reminder that "YOU ARE A BADASS" and want to start living an awesome life - this book is a great read.

* My Instagram / Facebook follow of the week -  We all need to laugh and smile more.  It makes you STRONGER and FASTER.  Thanks Rodrigo for the laughs! Follow Funning on Facebook and FunningTV on Instagram.

*Quote - I'm pondering this week.  Success is on the other side of frustration. Keep at it. Keep dreaming. Keep working.  Keep believing.

Have a great weekend and Stay INSPIRED!
 
Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram@DanNitroClark.  

"Nitro's Friday 5" - Motivation Hacks & Jedi Mind Tricks

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  You know the benefits or working out, right?  But how come you probably skip more workouts than you should?  How do you build that iron will determination to keep consistent with your workout program so you can reach your health and fitness goals?

 I've been working out since I got my first bench press set in 1977 when I was 13 years old.  It was a gray and silver plastic set of weights from the department store totaling 110 pounds.  

Fast forward to 38 years later and I'm still slinging the iron and trying to crush WOD's at the box.

Over the years I've had a lot of people say to me, "It's easy for you, you love working out!"  The truth is, a good portion of the time, I loathe the idea of going to the gym and training.  My saving grace is - I know how good I'll feel after I train.  

A good, hard workout where I give everything is SOUL CLEANSING.  It's my sanity.  It wipes the slate clean and let's me begin again anew.

How have I been able to be consistent in my training for almost 40 years?

Here are my top MOTIVATION HACKS!

1.  Get through the door.  I know no matter what, If I can just get myself through the gym door I'll be okay and things will workout. When I'm feeling super unmotivated I change my goal from working out - to just getting through the gym door.  I don't think about the workout - I focus on just getting myself through the door.   Once I'm there - and start moving something takes over and it all seems to workout.  If you're having a particularly low motivation day - change your goal from working out to just getting through the gym door.  Once you get there - you're going to be just fine.

2.  Imagine how great you're going to feel after the workout.  This is a Jedi Mind Trick that I've been using for years.  When I don't feel like working out and dreading the thought of it - I simply take a few deep breaths and imagine how frickin awesome I'll feel AFTER I workout.  The myriad of feelings are: frickin awesome, proud, accomplished, healthy, good about myself, strong, confident, etc.  I take a few moments and really let these feelings sink in.  By focusing on the positive instead of the dread of working out - I'm creating new neural pathways associating exercising to positive - kick ass feelings.  

3.  Ignore that voice that says go back to sleep or skip the gym. We've all got the nagging voice in our head that keeps us from going to the gym. It says thing like, "I'm tired, I don't want to workout, I'll do it later, not today, it's too early, it's too late, it's too cold, I don't have time, etc."   I ignore that bastard and tell him to shut up and sit down - I've got a workout to crush.  Try it!  Next time you hear that voice in you head say...

4. Tell a friend you'll meet them at the gym.  I use this one a lot right now. On days where I'm not looking forward to working out - I hit a buddy up and tell him/her I'll meet him / her at the gym.  Now, if I don't go... I'm not only letting myself down, but a friend down.  This is usually enough to make me keep the commitment.  

5. Don't be a Hans Solo.  Find an exercise community where you enjoy the people.  It'll give you something to look forward to besides the workout.  I love being surrounded, motivated and inspired by people with similar goals.  CROSSFIT has a great community - and one of the main reasons I do it.  There are a lot of great running groups out there too: Weeple Army, SISU, Lone Star Spartans.   If you're running low on motivation, don't go at it solo.  Join a community.

6.  Sign up for a competition or race.  Training without a goal, race or competition is like earning college credits without aiming to get your diploma. When I'm feeling unfocused in my training and workouts start to seem pointless and my motivation has evaporated - I'll sign up for a competition or race.   Nothing focuses me more than whenI know I have a competition or race coming up.  If you're feeling lost and a drift and need a reason to train - sign up for a competition and watch the motivation come pouring in like a...

Give a shout out and comment BELOW.  Is anyone else looking forward to "Star Wars" just a little bit?

Have a great weekend and hope these motivation hacks help keep you CRUSHING IT.

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram   @DanNitroClark.  

"Nitro's Friday Favorite 5" - HAPPINESS HACKS

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  This week's "Nitro's Friday 5" shares my happiness hacks.  Let's start with the premise that happiness is not a constant state but a state we create.  The happier people in life simply create the happy state more often than others.

They cultivate their happiness.

Your happiness is in your hands.  I know sometimes it feels like you're at the mercy of all these external factors.  I feel the same way a lot. When I do, I use these hacks to create a state of happiness.

The happiness doesn't always last.  Occasionally, it only works for a brief moment.  But I'll take any and all the happiness I can get.  

My Happiness Hacks

1. EXERCISE - This is my go-to hack.  There's nothing better than being baptized by the fire and adrenaline that crushing a workout can bring.  Leave it all out there.  Hold nothing back and watch the endorphins come rushing in.

2.  SPEND MONEY ON EXPERIENCES, NOT THINGS - Studies show that people got MORE HAPPINESS when they had a cool experience opposed to when they purchased something.  Take the money you were going spend on an object and spend it on a cool experience.  Here is me practicing what I preach climbing Mount Rainier in Washington.

3.  MAKE SOCIAL TIME - one of the top regrets of dying people is not spending enough time or staying in touch with friends and family.  Reach out to someone close you and let them know you care.  Better yet do something together!

4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE - Start a Gratitude Journal.  Each morning write 3 things you are grateful for in your life.  Gratitude makes us happier.

5. LISTEN TO YOUR FAVORITE JAM - right now my go-to song is Pharrell's HAPPY.  Many mornings I put this song on "repeat" and let it fill the air while I make breakfast and drink my coffee.  Yep, big, bad Gladiator Nitro is a Minion fan.  

6. LAUGH.  I'm not talking about giggling.  I'm talking about throwing your head back and laughing from deep in your gut.  A good, hearty laugh relives physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed.  Laughter is the best medicine.

Give a shout out and comment below.  Support and comments are the applause for a life well lived.  

Have a great weekend.  Create HAPPINESS!

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark.

"Nitro's Friday Favorite 5" - #INSPIRATION

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  This week's "Nitro's Friday 5" takes a different slant.  It's about INSPIRATION, COURAGE, and LOVE.  

Meet Chris Reeder.  He's not a man of a lot of words but his actions speak volumes.   He is a modern day Gladiator.  A warrior poet.  

Chris's life changed forever on July 14th, 2014 when learned his father, Chris senior, had stage 4 Liver Cancer.  His dad, a Gladiator in his own right, contracted Hepatitis C from doing CPR on a guy that was drowning at Silverwood Lake in 1993.  With a very heathy lifestyle he was able to keep the disease at bay.

It's was in July when Chris senior collapsed and found out he had severe cirrhosis of the liver and was bleeding internally.  It was then, they discovered he had multiple masses and his liver and was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 Liver cancer.

The cancer was so advanced the only hope Chris senior had at surviving was to get a liver donor. The wait for a live donor was long - longer than Chris senior had to live.

Chris COURAGEOUSLY stood up for his dad and gave him the gift his father gave him 32 years ago when he was born.  The GIFT OF LIFE.

Chris bravely donated 70 percent of his liver to his father.  

The surgery was tense, dangerous and life threatening to both parties.

But by some miracle they both not only survived - they THRIVED.  Six months after the surgery - father and son celebrated LIFE by CRUSHNG the Gladiator Rock'n Run at the Rose Bowl.

Chris, I salute you and thank you for sharing your story with us. We are also happy to report Chris senior is CANCER FREE!

Give a shout out and comment below.   Support and comments are the applause for a life well lived.  

Have a great weekend and Stay INSPIRED - LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH!

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram @DanNitroClark.  

"Nitro's Friday Favorite 5" - Tips on Peak Performance, Motivation, Inspiration

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  Nitro's Friday 5- A list of quick tips on peak performance, motivation and inspiration that I'm digging, loving and using in my life.

Give a shout out and comment below.  Love hearing from you!

* Article - I'm greatly intrigued by the concept ofcreating an insulin spike post workouttoincrease protein synthesis for maximum recovery.  I have experimented with going protein only post workout and with protein and carbs.  For high intensity training - I found I recover more quickly with protein and carbs.  What about you?

* Cool Purchase of the week - Everyone wants to lose fat.  But until now there hasn't been a simple, accurate way to measure your body fat.  The scales and calipers or grossly inconsistent and inaccurate.  The problem is solved with the SKUPT AIM.  This cool little
handheld device accurately measures your body fat in different areas of your body. 

* Books I am reading -  been frustrated by a few things in my life.  Been struggling over some major decisions.  There are two books I found extremely helpful during this rough period.  The first book: The Dip - A Little Book that Teaches you When to Quit and When to Stick.

The second book: "Small Giants - Companies that to be Great Instead of Big" was INSTRUMENTAL about the fate of 2016 Gladiator Rock'n Run.  I'm happy and committed to being small and great.

* My instagram / Facebookfollow of the weekMisty Diaz.  Her indomitable spirit is unbreakable.  Her smile lights up any event.  I'm a huge fan of this girl.  Follow here on facebook atMisty Diaz or on Instagram @lilmistydiaz

Have a great weekend!
 
Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark
or on Instagram@DanNitroClark.

Nitro's Friday Favorite 5 - Tips to Hack Your Morning Routine

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  This weeks "Nitro's Friday 5" is about the 5 things I do every morning to start the day off right - to "win" the morning.  And, as the saying goes, "If you win the morning, you win the day."

5 Things I do every Morning

"How we start our day is how we start our lives."

1. Make my bed.  Making my bed is something I normally do.  But after getting advice from the head of the Navy SEALS - I make sure to always make my bed.  Navel Adm. William McRaven said,

"If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day.  It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another."
"By the end of the day, the one task completed will have turned into may many tasks completed.  Making your bed will also reinforce that little things matter."

2. Drink / Eat protein.  30-35 grams seem to be the magic number.  Eating protein in the morning stops the hunger hormones, controls you appetite, aids in muscle recovery, improves glycemic control and stabilizes blood sugar.  

In a hurry?  Try my 15 second protein shake.

3. Take SupplementsStronger Faster Healthier Fish Oil,  Magnesium, Zinc, 3-5 grams of Vitamin C, CoQ10, Glucosamine, Glutamine (inside shake), Amazing Grass (inside shake).

4. Meditate / Visualize - After I wake up I find 10-15 minutes minimum of some form of meditative practice.  I've been doing this since I was a teenager - and no single thing has CHANGED MY LIFE more.  I don't know a highly successful person who doesn't do this in some form.  It can be a gratitude journal, guided visualization, prayer, transcendental mediation.  

5. Crush the Beast -  Success is about doing the right thing, not everything right.  I try and find the "One Thing" that will really propel me forward.  The one thing I can do, that by doing it, everything else will be easier of unnecessary.  Once, I identify the Beast, I block out time and work on crushing it.  

A good way to identify the Beast is ask yourself this question, "If this was the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?"  If you're answer is yes, you've found your beast.

Steve Jobs's morning routine?

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every and asked myself: If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am doing today?
And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

~ Steve Jobs.

Have a great weekend!

Please give a shout out or comment below!
 
Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark or on Instagram
@DanNitroClark.  

"Nitro's Friday Favorite 5" - Tips on Peak Performance, Motivation, Inspiration

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  Please enjoy this short list of tips that I'm digging, loving and using in my life for peak performance, motivation and inspiration.

Let me know what you liked, want more of, or just shout out or comment below.

Article - 7 Reasons YOU should be Doing Obstacle Course Races.  The title says it all. Please note it's mostly aimed at Crossfit athletes but applies to everyone.

* Book I am reading -  Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto is a fascinating, eye opening read about the industrialization of food, and how to eat.  His simple recommendation is: "Eat foods, not too much, most plants." Is this the most sensible food plan ever?  Read the book and find out.

* Recovery - "Ice, Ice Baby.  Yo VIP, stop and listen." Yep, that just happened.  I threw out a Vanilla Ice reference.  In the past I've shared a lot of fancy recovery techniques, but one of my favorite recovery tools is the simple reusable ice pack (Amazon $23).  I go with the XL pack and pop it on whatever body part is sore for 15-20 minutes to reduce inflammation (puppy not included)!

* My Facebook follow of the week -  Weeple Army.  I love this running group.  Everyone is welcome from beginners to Ultra hardcore athletes.  They are almost 4000 strong and will do any and all type of races.  They are always the first to volunteer and help out. I am a proud member.  Kudos to Dave Huckle for starting this awesome running group.

I'm Inspired by this quote: When asked why he was the greatest - Living legend Muhammed Ali replied, "Because I get up."  We all are hit with set backs.  But I believe with every set back there is a chance to comeback and rise.  The first step is to simply GET UP.  Second step - fight f'n back.  Now go get it!

Have a great weekend!

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark or on Instagram
@DanNitroClark.  

"Nitro's Friday Favorite 5" - Tips on Peak Performance, Motivation, Inspiration

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  Time for another dose of "Nitro's Friday 5!"  A short list of tips that I'm digging, loving and using in my life for peak performance, motivation and inspiration.

Let me know what you liked, want more of, or just shout out or comment below.

Please SHARE this with your friends. There might be a tip that can help them!

* Recovery - Get rid of the dreaded "round shoulder" syndrome that's caused by working hunched over at desk and by doing too many pressing movements.  It's crucial you fix your posture!  Check out this Round Shoulder Fix video.

* Supplement -  A lot of people have asked me how to get rid of the "loose skin" after weight loss.  This week I caught up on Tim Ferriss's Podcast show and listened to Charles Poliquin.  During this episode, Poliquin mentions Gota Kola (Centella Asiatica) and how it can restore loose skin.  Results take 6 months. Give it a shot and let me know your results.

* Book I am giving my good friends -  This Wall Street Journal, New York and Amazon Bestseller is extraordinary.  I find myself going back to it again and again.  Give The ONE Thing a read if you want amazing results.  It'll help you focus on the most important thing and inspire you at the same time.  I love this book.    

   
* My instagram and facebook follow of the week
-  Jen Widerstrom.  I love this girl. Not only is she a good friend, but she's the awesome coach on The Biggest Loser.   Give her a follow on instagram JenWiderstrom or on Facebook JenWiderstromOfficialPage.

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I'm Inspired by this quote:

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
~ Aristotle

Thanks for taking the time to read.  Share, comment and spread ideas you think can help be in service of others.

Have a great weekend!

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark or on Instagram
@DanNitroClark.
  

"Nitro's Friday Favorite 5" - Tips on Peak Performance and other gems!

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  Time for another dose of "Nitro's Friday 5!"  A short list of tips that I'm digging, loving and using in my life for peak performance, motivation and inspiration.

Let me know what you liked, want more of, or just shout out or comment below.

* Recovery - Plantar fasciitis - it's the bane of my existence right now and I don't even run long distances.  Every step I take, it feels like I'm stepping on a nail.  Been researching how to deal with this.  Loved this article.  Another favorite is the rolling out of the arch on a frozen water bottle.

* Supplement -  A strong argument of why Goat whey protein is more effective for you than cow whey.  Goat milk packs about 65% protein, but contains less of the little crampy, digestive offender alpha s1-casein protein, an allergic found in cow milk.  It's a gut-friendlier alternative to it's cow predecessors.  Try Garden of Life ($37.04 Amazon)

I'm Inspired by - Norina Bentzel.   She's an unbelievable41 year-old 5-foot 3 elementary school principal who took down a 6 foot former soldier wielding a razor sharp machete. She suffered wounds, lost fingers but saved the lives of her students.  Read this if you are needing a dose of courage to take on the day.

* Purchase I'm excited about.   I'm loving the Healthcare foot rocker ($11.38 amazon). My buddy Ben Ceccarelli from Piketoon turned me on this gem for achilles and plantar issues. If you run - you need one of these.

* Someone I like following on InstagramAndrea Ager.  She's a workout phenom with great tips -- and seems to be in perpetual joy that rubs off on me and her followers.

Thanks for taking the time to read.  Share, comment and spread ideas you think can help be in service of others.

Have a great weekend!

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark or on Instagram
@DanNitroClark.  

Nitro's Friday Favorite 5

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  Time for another dose of "Nitro's Friday 5!"  A short list of tips that I'm digging, loving and using in my life for peak performance, motivation and inspiration.

I hope you'll find something useful here too!

* Recovery - There is a crucial difference between "rest" and "active recovery."  Rest is generally referred to as sleep and time spent not exercising.  Recovery, on the other hand, refers to techniques and actions taken to help the body repair.  Here is a good, short article on the subject.
 
* Book I'm reading - I'm greatly intrigued by the book Unbreakable Runner by Brian Mackenzie.  The book examines long-held beliefs about how to train to run.  It tears down those traditions to reveal new principles to CRUSH every race from a 5k to an Ultra.

* Supplement -  I'm loving SunWarrior Protein.  It's the best vegan protein on the market. It's gluten free, raw, with an exceptional amino acid profile with all the good stuff you need.  I love the chocolate and use Sunwarrior for 6 week periods to give my gut a rest from digesting whey.  Promo Code: SW15 will save 15% off your order.

* Video I'm Loving - I found this TED TALK video by Amy Cuddy fascinating.  If you haven't heard or watched Ted Talks - it's time you start.  Ted Talks are ideas that are based upon saving the world and making your life better.  Amy's video about PERSONAL POWER has over 6 million views.  It's heartwarming, touching, and has real-life applicable information that will HELP YOU.

* This weekend - I focus a lot on self improvement, and an important part of living a happy and fulfilled life is being in service of others.  To be useful.  To be honorable.  To make a difference.  I had the great pleasure last weekend of participating in a Corn Hole Tournament fundraiser for Crush Cancer with these animals at Dogtown Crossfit in Los Angeles.  Be inspired.  Do something for others!

On Saturday, Oct 10th at Dogtown Crossfit there is a CRUSH CANCER event that benefits Stand up to Cancer.  Join me there in for an awesome event and workout!

Donate and sign up and Crowdwise:
https://www.crowdrise.com/CrushCancer2015

Let me know what you liked this week by leaving a comment below.  

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark or on Instagram
@DanNitroClark.  

Nitro's Friday Favorite 5 - Tips on Peak Performance + Recovery Special Edition

Dan "Nitro" Clark here.  This weeks "Nitro's Friday 5" is all about recovery.  We smash, bash, crash and abuse our bodies - now it's time for a few quick tips on recovery.  

* Secret recovery weapon - I don't know a single person who gets enough sleep.  And sleep is the number one recovery tool.  But if you can't get a solid 8 hours the next best thing is to take NAP. It increases alertness, boosts creativity, stamina, motor skills, reduces stress, enhances your sex life, aids in weight loss and keeps you looking younger. Check out the cool book Take a Nap! Change Your Life to unleash the power of the mid-day snooze.
 
* Lacrosse Balls - These little inexpensive buggers are an essential deep tissue, trigger point recovery tool.  I keep one in my office, house, car and in my luggage.  Here is a simple video of how to use lacrosse balls for your lower back from Caroline Jordan.  Special thanks for San Antonio based Physical therapist Steve Horney for sending over 2 dozen engraved Horney balls from his Trinity Health sciences practice.

* Coldest place on earth - I'm loving cryotherapy.  I've used ice baths for years to help reduce inflammation, muscle soreness and pain.  But now, I pretty much exclusively use Cryotherapy.  World famous athletes like Lebron James & Dwayne Wade use it too.  At Cryotherapy you enter a chamber that is cooled with liquid nitrogen to a temperature of - 220 degrees for a 3 minutes to get awesome "full body" recovery benefits.  If you're in the So Cal area - try Cryotherapy here. Tell them I sent you for a FREE introductory session!    

* Ice baths - when I can't get to cryotherapy, I go with the "old school" ice bath.  It took me a while to find the best 100-gallon tub that was durable and could fit all 220 pounds of me comfortably.  I fill the tub half full with water, drop 80lbs of ice in, then hop in for 10 minutes.  I repeat this cycle depending on the how banged up I am.  It's another excellent way to reduce inflammation and joint pain.  

* The Rolls Royce of Recovery Tools -  If you don't like ice and want something portable you'll the Marc Pro Plus. I find it to be one of BEST recovery and pain management tool on the market.  I use it EVERY day on my knees and lower back, in addition to my quads if I've had a rough week of training.  It's not cheap.  But what would you pay to make the pain go away and to recover more quickly.  Use Code: "GLADIATOR" and it'll save you a few bucks plus they'll donate $100 to Wounded Warrior Project for every unit sold.   

Let me know if your favorite recovery tools are missing by leaving a comment below. Or share any tips that have helped you.

Have an awesome weekend. Stay inspired!

Dan "Nitro" Clark

P.S.  You can always send me me a message on Facebook @DanNitroClark or on Instagram
@DanNitroClark.