I apologize again for taking so long to get a new post up, things have been very busy leading up to the holidays.  I hope everyone is having a great holiday season.  I am still following a 5-way split routine done at an every 5 day interval.  I feel that I have “recharged” my recovery pretty well and may likely make adjustments soon.  Initially, I may keep the same split but narrow the frequency to every 4 days.  After that, I may go to a 3 way split or the RenEx A, B, and C routine at an every 7th day frequency.  I find that this sort of “wave” variation over the long haul works pretty well.  Tuesday evening I did my “chest and neck flexion” portion of the 5-way split.  It was done at Fike gym because UE is just booked solid during the week (thanks to Ed, Sherry and Joe).

Dumbbell flat bench press

Chest Fly machine

Dumbbell incline bench press

Chest Fly macine

Manual neck flexion

My comments this time are directed mostly towards those who are trainers or who run facilities, but this also applies to anyone who has friends or family who might be considering starting an exercise program.  As a facility owner I have always found the New Year to be a time where we get the greatest surge of new clients.  The New Year’s resolution tradition really plays favorably for those who offer personal training services.  Even the veterans on this sight probably feel a surge of enthusiasm and renewed commitment at the turn of a New Year.  So if you are a trainer, own a facility or want to inspire your friends and family to pursue improvement….now is the time.

This New Year is even more special and unique, and offers an even more powerful reason to pay attention to one’s fitness and health.  On January 1, 2014 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into full effect (although the King…er, President might decide to further override acts of Congress and the law of the land until the next election).  Now, I do not want the comment thread to turn into a big political debate or rant; I just want to point out that you have a massive selling point for getting into proper shape and optimizing health.  As an emergency physician I have an on-the-scene view of how things are going and I’m here to tell you, it’s a train wreck.  It has been a gradual wreck for years, sort of like a plane losing its engines, but we are at the point where we are moments away from hitting the ground.  Already, people that had pre-existing coverage are seeing their premiums go up several hundred dollars a month, while others have had their policies cancelled only to find the replacement policy cost-prohibitive.  Those that already elected not to purchase insurance because it was too expensive are now being forced by law to purchase coverage that is more expensive than that which they already could not afford, or face a tax penalty if they fail to comply (these people are largely avoiding healthcare altogether for fear of being “counseled”-reported to the exchanges).  Those that did have, or do get, coverage find that it is geographically restricted, such that if you need specialized care outside your coverage area that it may be cost-prohibitive.  On the provider side, the pressure to ration care is enormous.  This is done by a byzantine system of regulations that stipulate what “qualifies” for payment of treatment administered.  Three years ago hospitals were completely full with admitted patients housed in the ER.  Now the ER is still overrun with sick patients but the inpatient census in many hospitals is at 30-50%.  This isn’t because the patients are less sick folks.  Even doctors and hospitals respond the the carrot and the stick (in this case almost completely stick).

In the end, if the exchanges all work out so that everyone in the U.S. gets insurance coverage you need to keep in mind that coverage does not equal care.  Insurance coverage will not give you the right to see a doctor of your choosing…it will give you the right to get in the queue for whatever “provider” your coverage stipulates.  So now is the time to get in shape and optimize your health.  It is very important to not need health care at this point in time, and going forward.  It is the best time to eat a clean and healthy diet and exercise in a way that expands your physiologic headroom.  And here is another selling point.  How someone chooses to exercise is important in this healthcare environment.  You will not do yourself any favors by getting into shape if you tear a rotator cuff doing kipping pull-ups, tear a labrum swinging a sledge hammer on a tractor tire, or blow out your ACL doing box jumps.  You don’t want to thrust yourself into the belly of the healthcare beast in your attempts to get healthy.  So if we can combine this message with people’s natural tendency to seek improvement in the New Year, we can truly effect “change we can believe in”.

Now is the Time…to post your WOW’s and your thoughts.