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How One Injury Changed My Life Forever

Bicep4

What my bicep looked like when it started to show bruising from the tear.

When I tore my bicep it was surreal. I suffered major injuries in the past (spinal damage, torn groin, hips, knees…), but this one was different. This one made an impact. It got my attention.

 

My whole life was based around winning. Beating my previous best. It was like that in school when I failed to get a 4.0 in undergrad, but then climbed up the flag pole to snag the 4.0 in grad school.

Or when, after being told for years that my legs were too small (the judges always told me I needed “Better quad thickness and better quad separation.”) and then, five years later hearing the same judges yell at me saying, “Stop working your legs! They got too big!”

“Yeeessss!” I thought, “I did it!” What I had done was turn my greatest weakness into my greatest asset.

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There was always success. Even when I failed I would work harder and hardewr until that failure finally became a success. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t do if I didn’t apply myself and outwork everyone else.

But, when I suffered that bicep injury, I realized that I was missing an important lesson. The lesson was so obvious and so glaring that I wondered how I never saw it before.

Here’s that story:

My bicep had just been ripped off. I felt it tear in half like a carpet being torn from its mesh backing. I could almost hear the rapid fire of muscle fibers breaking away as my bicep was ripped from its tendon.

I was in disbelief. I couldn’t accept it.

“I just tore my bicep,” I thought, “No. Yes. No. Yes. No! Yes!”

The answer turned out to be Yes. It was a complete proximal tear of the long head of the bicep tendon at the musculotendon junction. Um, Tony, what’s that mean? Here’s what it means: My arm muscle tore from the tendon near the shoulder. This is unusual because typically the tendon tears off the bone, not tearing from the muscle itself. It’s probably the worst kind of tear because there very little tendon still connected to it to the muscle. This makes it almost impossible to reconnect it.

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Image courtesy of Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

It’s like this: if you look at a piece of steak, there is that really hard, tough fiberous white material on the outside. You know, the hard stuff that you cut away with your knife because it’s impossible to chew. That’s like your tendon. It’s strong. If you were to sew that with a needle and thread to another piece of steak, then you’d get a really good connection that would hold. Buuuut, if you were to cut away that protective hard fiber and then sew the loose steak to another piece of loose steak, then it would likely just fall apart. It would be like sewing together lumps of chopped meat. It just isn’t going to work.

I went in to the surgery knowing that there might not be enough tendon to hold on to and we might have to close it up and leave it as unrepaired. But, I was fortunate that there was juuuust enough good tendon left on the muscle and we were able to reattach the bicep muscle. Only, it wasn’t where it used to be. Instead of attaching to the shoulder like it used to be, we had to reattach it to the upper arm bone (the humerus. And no, it isn’t funny). This was done by pulling the bicep muscle up as high as high as we could, sewing a “tack” to the end of it, drilling a hole through the upper arm bone (humerus) and looping it through the hole. OUCH!

I was told there was maybe a 30% chance that the repair would hold. I was in a sling for 6 weeks. Day and night. Even when I slept. I wasn’t even allowed to wiggle my fingers lest the bicep muscle engage and get reinjured. I had to learn to do everything one-handed. With my non-dominant hand! Man, o man. That was a challenge. But I actually liked the challenge. I learned to button my shirts, tie my shoes, put on my belt … all left-handed. I really had to use my brain differently and I swear it made me smarter!

After surgery and months of rehab, the bicep actually held.

I was humbled. And I was… grateful. Yep, that’s right. Grateful. Crazy, huh?

But that’s a story for another day… find out the secret to overcoming this injury and how it literally changed my life.

Chug on over to our YouTube channel, subscribe to my blog and link up with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the real info and … quite a bit of fun! Glad to have you walk this journey with me.

About Tony and Out Run Your Fork:

I’ve been involved in healthy living almost my entire life. It’s not just about personal training or nutrition. It’s not just about getting ripped or 6 pack abs. It’s not just about weight loss programs or diets. It’s about YOU.

At Out Run Your Fork we make fitness fun! Our Personal Training and Nutritional Programming are designed with YOU in mind. We cater to each individual and custom tailor every program to fit your specific needs. Whether it’s overcoming an injury, lowering your cholesterol or looking for a kick-butt workout we’ve got you covered!

Unlocking the power of your genetics we use real science to identify the traits that cause you to gain weight. Your program is then designed according to your busy lifestyle, individual food preferences, and unique genetic profile. It’s the perfect combination to help catapult you toward becoming the best you that you can be!

So give us a call to set up your free, no-obligation Personal Training or Nutrition session today. We guarantee you’ll change the way you feel about working out!

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How To Kill Your Weight Loss Goals

File Feb 07, 9 14 38 AMNot too long ago I was sitting with my good friend, Charlie, and I asked him,
“Hey Charlie, what’s the easiest way to get rid of belly fat?”

“C’mon, Tony, you know the answer to that question.” I was pretty sure I did, but I wanted to see if he knew something I didn’t. Charlie continued, “The secret to losing belly fat and keeping it off is simply a matter of controlling your levels of insulin!”

Watch This Quick Video To Learn How To Manage Your Insulin

Now, although I have been in the fitness business for three decades I’m always in the process of keeping up on any new developments. This was nothing new to me so I said,

“Seriously, Charlie,” I laughed, “there’s got to be some new trick or scientific development that targets belly fat.”

“I’ll tell you what, Tony,” Charlie said, “if I find a new trick or tip you’ll be the first person I call.” Charlie stopped and thought for a moment. Then his lips parted and his eyes flashed as he turned to me and said, “You know,” Charlie smiled, “someone should teach this at a very fundamental level.”

And there it was. My “Aha” moment.

It came to me in a rush like a movie sequence. I quickly scanned my memory for every video, book and article that I had ever seen regarding weight loss, health and wellness. Within seconds I realized that there really were no good resources that taught these topics in a simple, yet comprehensive way.  They were either too scientific or too broad. Most even teased us us with the dream of having a flatter belly and then enticed us into buying their “groundbreaking” pill or cream that would magically shrink your belly in only 10 days. But, they were all complete bullshit or, at the very least, extraordinarily inaccurate.

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It was then that I made a commitment to bringing the world the most accurate information in a fun, interactive format. If we make fitness fun, then why can’t we teach with the same level of entertainment? The answer: We Can!

Welcome to the first ever, no baloney, fun and entertaining fitness show on earth (thanks P.T. Barnum).

Chug on over to our YouTube channel, subscribe to my blog and link up with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the real info and … quite a bit of fun! Glad to have you walk this journey with me.

About Tony and Out Run Your Fork:

I’ve been involved in healthy living almost my entire life. It’s not just about personal training or nutrition. It’s not just about getting ripped or 6 pack abs. It’s not just about weight loss programs or diets. It’s about YOU.

At Out Run Your Fork we make fitness fun! Our Personal Training and Nutritional Programming are designed with YOU in mind. We cater to each individual and custom tailor every program to fit your specific needs. Whether it’s overcoming an injury, lowering your cholesterol or looking for a kick-butt workout we’ve got you covered!

Unlocking the power of your genetics we use real science to identify the traits that cause you to gain weight. Your program is then designed according to your busy lifestyle, individual food preferences, and unique genetic profile. It’s the perfect combination to help catapult you toward becoming the best you that you can be!

So give us a call to set up your free, no-obligation Personal Training or Nutrition session today. We guarantee you’ll change the way you feel about working out!

5 Reasons To Fear The Whole30 Diet

“This will change your life” is the claim from the Whole30 website. Really?

“… testimonials from thousands of Whole30 participants document the improvement or “cure” of any number of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions (and) we’ve. read some stories that can only be described as miracles”

The website claims “cures” from

high blood pressure • high cholesterol • type 1 diabetes • type 2 diabetes • asthma • allergies • sinus infections • hives • skin conditions • endometriosis • PCOS • infertility • migraines • depression • bipolar disorder • heartburn • GERD • arthritis • joint pain • ADD • thyroid dysfunction • Lyme disease • fibromyalgia • chronic fatigue • lupus • leaky gut syndrome • Crohn’s • IBS • Celiac disease • diverticulitis • ulcerative colitis

Ok, sorry, but I just gotta say it: Are you frickin’ kidding me? The ONLY WAY people are having success from this diet is if they have a horrible diet to begin with or if they have some allergen or intolerance to certain foods and this is the exception and not the rule.

So here’s my list of 5 reasons you should be wary of the Whole30 plan:

  1. It’s Claims Are Unfounded. Let’s be clear: I’m the fun guy. I’m the one that gets creative with peoples’ exercise and food plans so that you can live a happy, healthy life with long-term results. But I’m also grounded in science. Our bodies are all the same both chemically and biomecanically. From this I extrapolate predictable outcomes from a set of scientific assumptions and marry those with your psychological and social patterns. But where are the scientific claims? They could have at least tried to pull some research that could support their claims. But none is to be found.
  2. It’s Not A Weight Loss Plan. While some people can lose weight from the Whole30 diet, it is not necessarily from the foods being eliminated. It’s likely the new habit of creating better eating patterns. It’s no surprise that you’ll start eating better if you start paying better attention to what you put into your mouth. Meal prepping and logging food are both simple ways to make you more mindful of your eating. But, with the exception of eliminating sugar and alcohol, there’s no weight loss benefit to the program. Oh, and eliminating sugar and alcohol is NOT a guarantee of weight loss.
  3. It’s Random. Any study that changes too many variables is inherently flawed. If you eliminate dairy, legumes, sugar, alcohol and more from your diet, then how can you know which is a potential irritant? Answer: You can’t! Where’s the value in that?
  4. It’s Unsustainable. Most people will not stick to a restrictive diet for any length of time. There comes a point when we all want to have a treat that’s not on our diet. Maybe it’s a glass of wine or a simple Christmas cookie. The problem with restrictive diets is they don’t allow for human nature. While we are creatures of habit we are also creatures of curiosity. We like to explore. To venture out. More often than not, when we drift from a restrictive diet the results are often cataclysmic. We think “screw it” and go all out having not just one cookie, but many! Or it leads us adrift and makes us realize that we enjoy treats that are not on the menu of our dusty old diet plan. We then meander off over time and fall back into no diet plan at all.
  5.  It’s A Cult, No Wait, It’s A Business. Have you noticed the folks at Whole30 are encouraging people to become Whole30 certified “coaches?” Who’s certifying them? Oh, right, the folks at Whole30. What are their credentials for certifying anyone worth their salt? I hate that word in today’s vernacular, by the way. Everyone claims to be a coach with one hack certification or another. Truth is there are only a few worthy certifications or licensing for legitimate coaches in categories from health and wellness to career coaching. It’s akin to interviewing a surgeon who graduated top of their class from NYU vs someone who watched all seven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. No offense to Ellen Pompeo.

    You’re also forced to build a social media community so you do all their advertising, marketing and community building. Dieters are coerced into purchasing all of the Whole30 materials ranging from books and recipes to cookware and food.

    I will admit that from a business perspective it’s brilliant. They’ve certainly put their time and money onto the program and it’s a pretty comprehensive ecosystem. BUT, that still doesn’t make it a good diet. Just a good money making machine for the owners.

So, if you’re the person who likes to try new diets just they’re fun and part of discovery, then you’ll probably give Whole30 a shot. But, if you’re someone looking for a “miracle” then you better look elsewhere.

About Tony and Out Run Your Fork:

I’ve been involved in healthy living almost my entire life. It’s not just about personal training or nutrition. It’s not just about getting ripped or 6 pack abs. It’s not just about weight loss programs or diets. It’s about YOU.

At Out Run Your Fork we make fitness fun! Our Personal Training and Nutritional Programming are designed with YOU in mind. We cater to each individual and custom tailor every program to fit your specific needs. Whether it’s overcoming an injury, lowering your cholesterol or looking for a kick-butt workout we’ve got you covered!

Unlocking the power of your genetics we use real science to identify the traits that cause you to gain weight. Your program is then designed according to your busy lifestyle, individual food preferences, and unique genetic profile. It’s the perfect combination to help catapult you toward becoming the best you that you can be!

So give us a call to set up your free, no-obligation Personal Training or Nutrition session today. We guarantee you’ll change the way you feel about working out!

Tony Bianchino Wants You to ‘Out Run Your Fork,’ and He’s Working with Other Westfield Businesses to Make that Happen

TonySpeakWESTFIELD, NJ — Tony Bianchino, owner of Westfield-based personal training and nutrition center Out Run Your Fork, has a lofty goal of educating Westfield about what it takes to be healthy,…

Source: Tony Bianchino Wants You to ‘Out Run Your Fork,’ and He’s Working with Other Westfield Businesses to Make that Happen

Avoiding Injury With Mobility Work

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 4.42.33 PMOk,  imagine this: You’re in the pool playing volleyball with the kids in the pool club. You’re having a great time, the sun is out, the sky is clear blue and everyone is having a good time. It’s super hot outside, but you don’t feel it because the pool water is the perfect temperature. Ahhh, heaven!

You get to take the next serve set after winning the previous point. You’re winning and feeling a little more than confident. You smile as the ball comes at you again, but it starts falling a little shorter than you anticipated. You thrust off your back foot to lunge for it and *pop!* … You feel a pain in your groin. It gets worse but you keep playing. You finish your gamed think it just needs a little rest so you lounge out the rest of the day. The day passes and as the sun begins to go down the pool starts getting ready to close up. You get up to gather all your loose belongings and *ouch!* … your groin hurts. Really bad. Holy chips. What’s going on? This is more serious that you thought…

Injuries happen to all of us and if left untreated can hang around for a looooong time. But what if there were a way to help prevent these types of injuries? Well, the good news is: There is! Mobility training combines stretching and functional movements to keep muscles loose and to identify fix deficiencies. See this example of mobility training using a sledgehammer.which is kind of fun.

Why Mobility Training? When we are born we have full mobility: flexible joints, full range of motion, no impingement or tightness. But as we age we slowly lose our pliability. Now, I’m not talking about aging as a 40, 50, 60-year-old person and up. I’m talking about 5 years old, 10 years, 15 years and further.

So many things happen over time that cause us to lose mobility. Small injuries and mis-steps cause up scar tissue to build up and may have caused you to walk differently or move differently, favoring one side over the injured side. The effect is we never we train ourselves to move quite the same again. Our bodies are amazing mechanisms that constantly compensate for various deficiencies.

But trauma isn’t the only way to lose mobility. Repetitive movements can cause elongation in one muscle and tightness in the opposing muscle. The two most prominent examples for all of us are:

Repetitive strain injuries of the wrist, fingers and hands as a result of typing, texting, and similar repetitive movements. Typing type of motions use the “flexors” of the fingers, hand, and wrist.  More than 95% of us don’t take the time to work the “extensor” muscles. These are the muscles that open the fingers, hands, and draw the wrist backward. Overtime the extensor muscles get weaker and the flexor muscles get stronger. This causes constant tightness in the forearms, elbow, hands, fingers and wrists.

In order to “fix “this in balance it is recommended for different types of massage, rolling, and strengthening of the extensor muscles. A quick and easy way to exercise the extensors is to wrap a rubber band around The fingers and Open your hand and spread out your fingers as far as you can. Do this repeatedly and I guarantee you will feel the burn. Those little guys really good worked and they’ll be protesting at first.

A second example is the computer and electronics usage syndrome. Slight rounding of the shoulders forward slight pitching forward of the head. The chest muscles and shoulder muscles get very tight from the slouching we do over our electronic devices and computer keyboards. At the same time The upper back and neck muscles get very weak from not holding your posture correctly.

So how do we fix these issues? In part, mobility training.  Here a few example of what you can do to increase flexibility and mobility in your hips. The movements below are mainly for hip mobility. They can be held for 10-30 seconds or you can slowly work through the range of motion for 10-30 reps.

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Now, a word of caution: if you’re already suffering from an injury you should NOT engage in any physical activity program without consulting your doctor. You might make it worse by further injuring the body part or you might be further weakening a deficient part of your body that might seem unrelated… but it is really the root cause of the problem.

I’ll explain more in my next article and include pics and videos to demonstrate various mobility training movements.

Leave a comment below to let me know which body parts you’d like to see me address first.

Until Next time…