Tips To Be More Productive

productivity, growth, increase, income

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I heard Olivier Roland’s tips and I learned some good stuff.

You know, sometimes I worked all day like crazy and at the end of the day, I felt like I haven’t progressed. Maybe you have already experienced this? That’s why I’m always learning new things to be as productive as possible. There are 2 books that help improve productivity and time management, it’s “Getting Things Done” and “Cut To The Chase” .

Here are tips from these 2 books to improve all this.

If a task can be done in less than 2 minutes, do it right away

Immediately make a task that requires less than 2 minutes has several benefits:

  1. Adding a task on your To-do list requires less than 2 minutes, it’s the same number of minutes as for a task that can be done right away.
  2. It’s more efficient to add the task that require more than 2 minutes on the To-do list, otherwise this list will be endless and unmanageable.
  3. Don’t make a task that requires less than 2 minutes right away can have disproportionate consequences in relation to the time needed to achieve it (like sending a confirmation or cancellation message).

So remember, if this task takes less than 2 minutes, do it now.

Warning

Sometimes you have to plan moments to focus only on a task or an important project. These specific moments shouldn’t be interrupted, even by a task than requires less than 2 minutes.

Try it so you don’t have any insomnia

Insomnia reduce productivity. Often the source of insomnia is malaise, bad mood, stress, poor sleep hygiene, etc. Insomnia can have serious consequences in the relation with others and can also cause road accidents, drowsiness, memory loss, absenteeism and the list goes on.

For chronic insomnia, it’s advisable to see a doctor for treatment. For transient insomnia (up to 3 months), there is an tip to free your spirit of thoughts that obsesses you.

Put a paper and a pen next to your bed. When you have a thought that obsesses you, you write it on the paper and beside you write the action you have to do to erase this thought.

Here is 2 example:

  • If the thought is: “I have to send a quote to this client”. You note on the paper: “Client quote => Look for supplier prices”.
  • If the thought is: “I have to lose weight”, you note “Lose weight => Look for a personal trainer”.

As you write down your thoughts and the action you should take, you should feel more peaceful.

Have an attitude “Let’s go see”

Sometimes, going on the field can help you learn more than analyze data on your computer. So the next time there is a problem, go see for yourself on the field. This may allow you to have ideas for finding a solution more quickly.

Don’t use a foul language in the workplace

foul, language,

It may sound like grandparent’s advice but it’s common sense. When you use a foul language, you can offend a person without knowing it. A person who doesn’t feel offended in the workplace is a serene and productive person. An offended person doesn’t want to work and wants to find another job. Many entrepreneurs have lost talented people because of their foul language without knowing it.

Not using foul language avoids conflict and difficult situations to manage.

When you do something, ask yourself why you do it

Often we do things out of habit, without wondering if it’s worth doing. This can waste time and energy and it would be better to stop doing this task or delegate it.

So regularly, ask yourself this question: “What happens if I delete this task?”. If the answer is nothing, stop doing this task. If the answer is something else, look if you can delegate this task.

Do it

No matter what dream you have, do it realize in your life. Here is a quote from Goethe: “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”.

Close the loop

has anyone ever told you, “Well call you back if there’s a problem”. And 2 week later you have no news and you wonder if everything works well. I know there is this quote: “No news is good news” but it’s frustrating t be in uncertainty. When a person doesn’t close the loop, it leaves others waiting and this can complicate relations. Don’t be like these people, stay in touch to avoid complicated situations.

Don’t let your smartphone become your master

With new technologies, we can stay in touch 24h/24h. But that’s not a reason for every smartphone notifications to be a priority. Sometimes I see people, every time there is a notification, they take their smartphone as if it was the end of the world. No matter where they’re and no matter what they do.

Define time slots and limits for the use of new technologies. Turn them off when you need to be focused for a task or meeting. Let others know that you no longer look at your emails and messages after a certain hour or weekends.

With that, you create a clear border between the moment you work and your private moments. It allows you to destress.

Personally, I turned off the sound for notifications from my smartphone. It’s really cool to do that, I’m more serene.

Save your computer file regularly

There are 2 types of users:

  • Who often back up
  • Who don’t back up until the day they lose important data

Losing files on a job you’ve been working on for months is very annoying. So backup often and take advantage to make copies at different locations (such as an external hard drive). With Cloud, you also have access to Google Drive and Dropbox which are very effective. Better to save than not enough.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Nutrition

nutrition, food, energy, diet, metabolism, nutrient, calorie,

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read a Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book « Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding » and I learned some good stuff.

Training stimulate muscle growth. To have an effective training, it’s necessary that your body has the sufficient amount of energy and enough raw materials. The role of nutrition is to carry this energy and these raw materials.

The function of nutrition is to learn how to stay lean, mean and muscular. With nutrition we learn how much food to eat in order to have the best results possible. This allows you to study the basic nutrients and calculate the amount you need. This also includes studying protein, vitamin, mineral and other supplements.

Learning nutrition allows you to be more muscular. It improves your health and improves your immune system to be able to do all your training sessions without being sick (cold for example). Good nutrition has other advantages, such as improving our recovery after training with very heavyweights, having a beautiful healthy skin, having excellent internal organs and the list is long.

Precious

precious, value, priceless, worth, rare,

For a bodybuilder, the basic of nutrition are as precious as the basic principles of training. Exercices requires energy and the amount of nutrients you eat is essential to having the body you want.

During the Arnold Classic, athletes are interviewed after their appearance on stage. At the question « What do you feel was the most important factor that helped you get in such tremendous shape for this contest ? », athletes don’t respond that it’s thanks to bench press, squat or muscle isolation. In the majortiy of cases, they explain that they improve their nutrition or their supplement to gain muscle, lose fat and be able to train with maximum energy until the competition’s day.

It’s important to say that advance in nutrition and supplements are the main reason why we’re seeing athletes with this excellent level today. Attention, progress has improved the training with the years but training has not been revolutionized as nutrition. Training and nutrition are complementary because it’s impossible to create a champion only with good nutrition. It’s essential that athletes have an intensive training, a good mental attitude and a good knowledge of nutrition.

In the past, bodybuilders approached nutrition on instinct, seat-of-the-pants basis. In a first phase, they were building muscle and getting big, but not really ripped. In a second phase, they were getting thinner (like Harnold Poole or Vince Gironda) but they were getting small. They hadn’t found the trick yet to stay big and getting ripped at the same time.

Nutrition’s fundamental are quite simple. In fact, I can’t say that it’s simple because each body is unique. It’s important to study these basic principles to apply them to your training, to understand the needs of your body and to see how your body reacts to different diets to gain or lose weight. There is always this instinctive aspect but with this nutritive knowledge, it’s easier to adjust the quantity to have the body that you want.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Manage Your Carbohydrate

carbohydrate source food

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

If you want to learn how to manage your protein, click here and for amino acids, click here.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. It’s true that we can have energy with proteins and lipids but they provide less quantity of energy.

To put it simply, when you eat carbohyrates, they turn into glucose and then into glycogen. To better understand, I’ll take the example of a gasoline tank. Imagine that the tank is a muscle and that the gasoline is glycogen. Gasoline in the tank helps move the car and glycogen in the muscle helps move your body.

This glycogen is shared in many places in your body : 80% in your muscles, 14% in your liver and 6% in your blood.

Carbohydrate type

 

Most people know 2 types of carbohydrates, slow carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. There is a 3rd type, it’s fibrous carbohydrate and unfortunately many people neglect them.

Slow carbohydrates :

  • Whole wheat bread / white bread (refined carbohydrate)

  • Whole wheat rice / white rice (refined carbohydrate)

  • Oatmeal

  • Cereals (muelsi is excellent because there are often lipids and carbohydrates that are added like nuts, raisins, etc. ).

  • Sweet potato / potato

  • Whole wheat pasta / white pasta (refined carbohydrate)

  • Kinoa

  • Couscous

Simple carbohydrates :

  • Fruit (fructose)

  • Honey

  • Dextrose

  • Maltodextrin

  • Lactose (it’s sugar in the milk)

  • Cluster dextrin (it’s perfect during your training session because it has a low glycemic index).

Fibrous carbohydrates (vitamin, fiber et minerals) :

  • Vegetables (aspargus, carrot, cauliflower, salad, etc)

Carbohydrate, insulin and insulin spike

insulin spike blood sugar

There is a special relationship between carbohydrates and insulin. When you eat carbohydrates, they turn into glucose, which is a type of sugar, and then glucose is turned into glycogen. Glucose is managed by insulin. Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas. The insulin’s role is to manage the sugar’s level in the blood. This avoids having too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia) or not enough sugar in the blood (hypoglycemia).

The problem is that the majority of people eat any type of carbohydrate anyway and they may quickly get a lot of fat. It’s important to understand that each carbohydrate has a different gylcemic index and this glycemic index will cause different insulin spikes.

Glycemic index

A glycemic index indicates how quickly carbohydrates become glucose in the blood. It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to eat carbohydrate with a low glycemic index rather than those with a high glycemic index.

Carbohydrates with low glycemic index  :

  • Sweet potato

  • Oatmeal

  • Kinoa

  • Sugar free fruit juice

  • Whole wheat rice

  • Whole wheat bread

  • Whole wheat pasta

  • Fruits (apple, orange, cherry, pear, apricot)

  • Cluster dextrin (for your training session)

 

Carbohydrate with high glycemic index :

  • Potato

  • Couscous

  • Table sugar

  • White rice

  • White bread

  • White pasta

  • Cereal (Kellog, Nestle, etc.)

  • Dextrose

  • Sweet drink (soda)

  • Fruit (melon, watermelon)

Here is an exemple of low glycemic index carbohydrates to eat. For high glycemic carbohydrates, it’s recommended to eat them in moderation because if you eat them in large quantities, after several years, you have the risk to becoming diabetic or having other health problems.

Consumption

Always take into consideration your bodyweight and your training’s intensity. There 2 bad situations :

  1. Have a not very intense training and eat too much carbohydrates, which results in having too much fat in the body.

  2. Have intense training and eat a little carbohydrate, which results in being weak.

Take for example :

  • A man who weighs 85kg and is a beginner. In this case, it’s recommended to start with 3.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 3.5 x 85 = 297.5gr of carbohydrates to eat a day.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who is advanced or pro. In this case, it’s 5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 5 x 85 = 425gr of carbohydrates to eat a day. As an advanced person, the training sessions are really intense, that’s why you need this amount of energy.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who wants to be shredded. Let things be clear, it’s being shredded and not losing weight. In this case is between 1.2 ans 2.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so it’s between 102 and 212.5gr of carbohydrates to eat per day.

The carbohydrates amount to eat is to be divided into 4-5 meals a day for ease of digestion. Each meal is balanced in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

To be shredded

shredded lean lose weight vs versus

Let things be clear, be shredded isn’t a weight loss. In this situation, leptin must be taken into consideration. Leptin is a hormone that regulates your appetite. When you start to lower your glucides, leptin will aslo decrease and you’ll be hungry. These feelings of hunger are created because of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone called « hormone hunger » because it stimulates the appetite. Ghrelin also affects your insulin and testosterone.

This means that people who too quicly decrease their carbohydrates will fail because the lack of energy will be too brutal. The feeing of hunger will be too intense because the body has not had time to get used to the new diet. This is where nutrition is out of control.

Never reduce carbohydrate to 0. The people who do that, make a diet ketogenic and you have to master this type of diet. The professional bodybuilder is doing this diet for 4 weeks, but they can do that because of chemical aid (steroids) and they have a dietician. The problem is that those who aren’t professional athletes and who are on a ketogenic diet do that because someone told them it was good. That’s why in the gyms there are people who lose consciousness because they don’t have enough energy. You need 50 to 130 grams of carbohydrates, just for your brain, it’s not a simple diet to lose weight.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Acromioclavicular Joint Injury

acromioclavicular joint injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Acromioclavicular joint is a joint between the clavicle and the scapula. Acromion is a continuation of the scapular spine and hooks over anteriorly. It articulate with the clavicle (collar bone ) to form the acromioclavicular joint.

Problems types

The most common problems are arthritis, fracture and separation. Arthritis is characterized by a loss of joint’s cartilage. Arthritis of acromioclavicular joint is common with weight lifter, especially with bench press and a little less with shoulder press. When there is a problem with the rotator cuff, it’s possible that there is also acromioclavicular joint’s arthritis.

Acromioclavicular separation

acromioclavicular joint injury type grade

When there is an acromioclavicular joint separation, it means that the ligament that connects the acromion and clavicle is damaged and that the 2 structures don’t align properly. Separation’s state can be weak or severe, that is why there is a system of « grade » according to which ligament is torn and the severity of the tear.

Grade I Injury – This is the weakest damage and the acromioclavicular joint is still aligned.

Grade II Injury – This is an average damage. Ligaments are only stretched but not fully torn. In case of stress (physical effort), the acromioclavicular joint becomes painful and unstable.

Grade III Inury – This is a serious damage. Ligaments are completely torn and the collar bone is no longer attached to the scapula, which creates a visible deformity.

Treatment of acromioclavicular joint arthritis

If the rest, ice, medications and change of the training program (changing the exercises) don’t work, the next step is a shot of cortisone. A shot of cortisone in the joint may have calmed the pain and may be permanently swollen. As each individual is unique, the effects may vary and it’s possible that it doesn’t swell permanently.

If non-surgical methods fail, it’s possible to perform a surgical operation. The pain is localized at the bones end that make contact with each other and the goal of the operation is to remove some of the end of the clavicle. This ambulatory surgery can be done with a small incision of 1 inch (2.5 cm) long or with the arthroscopy technique with 2-3 incisions. The results and recovery of these 2 surgical techniques are about the same. Most patients have a full movement by 6 weeks and can return to do sport by 12 weeks.

Treatment for acromioclavicular separation

Separation can create very painful injuries, so the first thing to do is to decrease the pain. Hold the arm in a sling, put ice and pack the shoulder for 20-30 minutes every 2 hours as needed. Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can also help calm the pain.

When the pain begins to subside, it’s important to move the fingers, wrists and elbow (and eventually the shoulders) in order to avoid having stiff or « frozen » shoulder. The length of time needed to regain complete movement and function depends on the severity or injury’s grade.

Recovery from Grade I acromioclavicular separation usually takes 10-14 days while Grade III takes 6-8 weeks.

When surgery

Grade I and II separations require very rarely surgery. With a Grade III injury, after surgery, it’s possible to have full body physical activity with some restrictions.

Statistics

  • More males than females suffer acromioclavicular joint injuries

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-Steph

Break For Injuries

sport injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE and today I didn’t train. I will tell you why, because I feel pain to my left shoulder and my 2 knees. 6 day ago, it was my leg day and you know, I hurt my right knee during a martial art session. So I used lightweight to train my leg.

Since around 6 months, I felt pain to my shoulder (shoulder impingement) because of the dumbbell overhead shoulder press and dumbbell bench press. Since 1 months, I hurt my right knee in a martial art sparring, because I wanted to avoid a punch and my leg (my knee) was in a bad position. I had 2 injuries . I searched an alternative exercise for the dumbbell overhead shoulder press and dumbbell bench press to decrease the pain and I found out. I wrote 2 articles about it. Click here and there .

Too much injuries

sport injury

As it was a leg day, I decided to do front squat with lightweight to not hurt to much my right knee. After my front squat session, I did leg press with one leg. After my warm-up set, I felt a pain in my left knee, it was like if someone hit my left knee with a knife, I stopped my rep immediately. It was the first time I felt this pain and I didn’t like it. I tried to do an another rep to see the gravity of the pain and I stopped my leg day here.

I did the half of my leg day’s program and I thought it was a good idea to test the new way to do dumbbell bench press without pain. When I was walking with the dumbbell in my hands, I felt the pain in my left knee. I did this dumbbell bench press variant and I validate it.

Usually after my workout, I eat my meal (my post workout is solid food). While I was eating my meal, I thought it was the time to make a break. 3 injuries is too much for me and I decided quickly to make a break of 1 month to really recover, because since 2015 I train regularly 6-7 days per weeks and the longest break I make was 10 days. Yeah, 10 days. When I realized it, I thank God of Light for his gratitude. And you know what ? When I slept, I felt I a little pain in the middle of my back. It means to do my front squat, my body compensated the weakness of my right knee with others parts of my body to be able to execute the movement.

Special recovery

Now, it’s the 6th days and I continue to write article for my blog and I learned what kind of injuries I have and I want to learn deeper about sport injuries because I scare to become like Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie Coleman is the best bodybuilder for me, it’s because of him I started seriously to train like a bodybuilder when I was on the streets. And now, see this living legend who can’t walk without a crutch, it’s too sad.

I want to have the best athletic body I can until I die, I’m more focus about sport injuries. More I know about it and more I can avoid it. Every day I do my stretching session and I do 2 special movements to help my left shoulder to decrease the pain. I will see on 15th July, if my recovery session is effective.

It’s important not to take lightly the pain of your body. I know a lot of people who had pains a few years ago and they had to do some surgery. Now, they can’t use their capacity at 100%.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Ankle Sprain

ankle sprain inversion lateral

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

A sprain is a stretch injury of the ligament that supports the ankle. This sprain often happens to the ligament outside the ankle when the foot is twisted inward (inverted). It’s a « lateral » ankle sprain that localized to the ligaments in the outer/lower part of the ankle.

A « high » ankle sprain (or syndesmosis injury) is a ligament stretch injury that holds the tibia and fibula together in the lower leg. This type of sprain happens when the ankle is twisted outward, it’s an eversion injury.

ankle sprain inversion eversion syndesmatic lateral medial high

When there is a sprain, the ankle is tender and swollen on the outside, above and at the front of the ankle bone, but the pain doesn’t come from the ankle bone. A sprain can create moderate or severe pain that can prevent the foot from supporting the body weight.

ankle sprain stretch injury grade

Treatment of sprained ankle

ankle sprain rice rest ice compression elevation

The basic treatment is what we call RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation). During a severe sprain, it’s advisable to use a walking boot to help support the ankle.

Recovery time for a « lateral » sprain is usually 1-3 weeks and for a « high » sprain is usually 3-6 weeks.

Rehabilitation can begin a few days after the sprain when swelling decreases. The rheabilitation has 3 goals :

  1. Restore movement and flexibility

  2. Restore strength

  3. Restore balance

How to avoid a ankle sprain

It’s possible to use a brace to help prevent sprains. There are several types of neoprene or elastic materials. Here are some models on Amazon, click here .

Statistics

  • Ankle sprains are more common in all sport that involve cutting and pivoting

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

anterior cruciate ligament injury tear

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Knee is the largest and most complex joint of the body. There are 4 primary ligaments (with their muscles and tendons) and secondary ligaments for the knee to function properly. Here are the ligaments of the knee : there are 2 ligaments on the side the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and two crossed ligaments in the center of the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

Anterior cruciate ligament connects the front top part of the shine bone to the back bottom part of the thigh bone and keeps the shin bone from sliding forward.

anterior cruciate ligament

Injury

anterior cruciate ligament injury tear

There are several ways to have an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament :

  • The injury can be done because of a direct hit on the knee, which often happens in team sport.

  • The injury can be done without contact with an object in a situation where the knee forced to be in a abnormal position, which causes a tear in one or more ligaments of the knee. Or when an athlete in the race change direction. Or when an athlete make a hyperextend of the knee when landing a jump, which often happends in agility sports.

Diagnostic

In the majority of cases, the doctor is able to identify what is the injured ligament. But the knee can also be injured at the joint on the surface and in this situation, it’s more difficult to diagnose because of knee swelling. To make an accurate diagnosis, it will be necessary to use a MRI scan or arthroscopy.

Prevent

There are several fast, powerful movements that lengthen (eccentric phase) and shorten (concentric phase) a muscle. These prevention programs are for injuries without contact. These exercises are to improve the nerves/muscle control of the knee. These prevention programs use plymetrics, balance and strength/stability exercises.

Plymetrics

It’s a fast, powerful movement that lengthens (eccentric phase) and shortens (concentric phase) a muscle. The concentric phase increases the muscle power. Here is an example, an athlete who jumps from a box and immediately jumps into the air after touching the floor.

Balance

Balance exercices are done with the wobble or balance board. It’s also possible to perfom exercices by throwing a ball with a partner while balancing on one leg.

Strength/stability

To improve single-leg core strength and stability, there are excellent exercices such as jumping and landing on one leg with the knee flexed and momentarily maintaining this position.

Surgical treatment

In the past, there was a technique that consisted of stitching the ligament together but it was rarely successful. Currently, the technique involves reconstructing the anterior cruciate ligament by building a new ligament from tissue taken from one of the other tendons around the knee or from on organ donation. This tissue passed through drill holes in the thigh bone and the shin bone, and then ancored in place to create a new anterior cruciate ligament. Over time, this transplant becomes mature and becomes a new living ligament in your knee.

Recovery

recovery

Rheabilitation of the knee after the reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament requires time and work. To have a complete function, this can last between 6 weeks and 6 months depending on the severity and level of activity. Rehabilitation rate may take time depending on the specific requirements of the sport/physical activity of the individual.

The overall success rate of the anterior cruciate ligament surgery is very good. A lot of study show that more than 90% of patients are able to return to sport without symptoms of knee instability. It’s true that some patients complain of stiffness and pain after surgery, that is why it’s necessary to make an aggressive rehabilitation until the new surgical technique to reduce these problems.

Statistics

  • One of the most commonly injured ligament in the knee

  • Female athletes participating in basketball and soccer are 2-8 times more likely to suffer anterior cruciate ligament injury.

  • Athlete who suffer anterior cruciate ligament injury at increased risk of arthritis development later in life.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph