Drafting and Sleep

Race Drafting picture

Drafting and Sleep

Coach Larry Jackson, AT-C, LMT

DEFINITION: Drafting or slipstreaming is a technique where two vehicles or other moving objects are caused to align in a close group reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead object’s slipstream. Especially when high speeds are involved, as in motor racing and cycling, drafting can significantly reduce the paceline‘s average energy expenditure required to maintain a certain speed and can also slightly reduce the energy expenditure of the lead vehicle or object.

After a month of learning how to clip in and clip out of a buddy’s bike; getting past the fear of falling (on my first ride); and becoming comfortable with not being the lead; I set out for yet another ride with a group. We’d cover 25 miles that day, in doing so; we would also travel at a faster speed than my previous “initiation rides” (come to think of it I’m still being initiated!) The joy which I experienced drafting happened for only a short minute during the ride but it inspired me to address wellness seekers who have submitted themselves to the leadership of a coach!

Keep working hard! There is a method to the madness!


This month I am participating in my own “sleep study.” The goal is to work on getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night and experience increased performance in workouts, activities of daily living, and maintaining physical results.  Of course in all the challenges created at LIFT FITNESS and WELLNESS, the hope is for members to participate in the challenges as well!  So join me!

 When we limit our sleep at night, it has similar effects as drinking alcohol which impacts our workout capabilities.  It’s pretty much going to create some of the same responses in the body, which from a big picture standpoint slows down your metabolism and invites fat cells to keep the party going in your body!

 Here are a few things some research studies are saying about lack of sleep:

 1.     Increase in cortisol

  • Cortisol is the hormone admitted in your body when you are under stress. One of the benefits of exercise is that you decrease this hormone; which is why people leave workouts feeling better. But from a performance standpoint you’d like to have as little of this prior to your workout so your body can manage other aspects of your health.

 2.     Decrease in growth hormone

  • Growth hormone does just what it says, aids in growth response from training. So you work against yourself when you have limited GH prior to workouts because you lessen your ability to recover and get the most bang for your buck out of your workout.

 3.     Decrease in testosterone

  • Testosterone isn’t just a male thing,  although it’s necessary for men from a reproductive standpoint. It too aids in helping muscle recover and grow.

 4.     Increase in appetite (cravings)

  • Some of us have found ourselves at Good fellas for pizza or Indy’s for chicken (fried) after having a few drinks. Lack of sleep does the same thing causing us to crave things and think we are hungry.

Here it is in formula form:

 Lack of sleep = Increase in cortisol (stress hormone) + Decrease in Growth Hormone + Decrease in testosterone +  Increase in appetite



Prohibition is Over or Is It?

Larry Jackson ATC, LMT,  PES

It’s been an incredibly interesting month for us at LIFT Fitness and Wellness as we observed “Prohibition” where some of us have rejected the consumption of alcohol. Let’s review a few positive benefits:

1. Increase/maintenance of protein synthesis of our “fat burning engine”

2. Decrease in cortisol (a nasty hormone that makes us not want to work out and gain weight)

3. Aids REM (rapid eye movement) cycle (which helps us get to a deep enough sleep to facilitate our body’s ability to recover)

So what do we do with this going forward?  I say our focus should be going towards 3 things:

 1. Reflecting

 2. Resting

 3. Recovery

It’s a good exercise to reflect about some of the positive benefits of how you felt with no alcohol use.  Did you notice any improvements in workout or mood?  Was work more productive? Did it lead you into possibly trying another month?

 As we look ahead lets dedicate ourselves to the 3 Rs while thinking about this formula:

Work + Rest = Success

To continue to get to the top of your game I suggest you look at your program and dedicate time to both variables. When you feel yourself getting into a rut reduce or refrain from alcohol (not your workout) and reject excuses like small aches and pain and embrace planned rest like massage or our classes like Regen or Recover, and embrace learning about healthy alternatives with nutrition!

Keep moving! Keep working!


Commitment to Resolutions: Move-Look-Feel-Think

Larry Jackson ATC, LMT PES- Coach

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been interested in mechanics and how to get the most out of every movement. My senior year in high school I competed in state as a pole vaulter. (Shout out to North Hardin who’s girls and guys recently won 2013 state championship! ) Nonetheless, in our recent LIFT class I saw something that I wanted to confess to our family and blog readers. I was on our slide-board doing a lateral slide for a 60 second interval. It was my fourth or fifth station and I was on the last set where, for 1 rep, I mentally checked out and tried to push as minimally as possible to change directions when I almost fell and busted my butt! Of course in the moment, I looked around to see if anyone saw it as I laughed to myself.

One of our nutrition challenges at LIFT one month was NO WHEAT. This is when we first noticed morale take a nose dive during this challenge. It was one of the first times that I saw even some of my most competitive clients say verbally, “I’m just not going to try”.

As Coaches, we strive to keep the daily or monthly rhythm we’ve been trying to create for our clients. Admit it, at times some of us want to do as little as possible and expect to receive benefits. You just can’t wear the shirt MOVE, LOOK, FEEL, THINK (LIFT’s t-shirt),  if you don’t even put the effort in.

Here are the benefits we as a team will continue to dedicate our energies towards


One goal we have whether before, during, or the end of class is to teach good movement. You may notice a decrease in pain, some have even achieved personal records on 5 and 10 K runs, games, or tournaments.


Some lose inches before eventually dropping pounds, but as you dedicate your life to habitually submitting to the expertise of trainers-coaches your body will appear to be leaner! (everyone’s favorite)


A number of people not only lost weight from the Prohibition month, but said they “felt” better, became more productive, and had more energy. Part of the benefits during the “wheat-free” month of trying a gluten free diet had a lot to do with monitoring how you feel at least a month and a half or 2 months into making a life-style change.     


On the road to wellness a core value that deserves much embracing is that of self-awareness. Starting to see how many products that have wheat in them was not a license to give up but to ask your coaches for alternatives. When you become aware of challenges (and we all have them) seek help in the form of alternatives.

The Irony of Pain

Larry Jackson ATC, PES, LMT

I’ve spent my career (granted only 10 years) working around two things:
1. Highly competitive athletes/people and
2. Injuries.  
Picture a 5 foot 7 (if that) guy in the face of a 6’8” defensive lineman telling them they can’t do the very thing they were created to do: compete. It’s a tough conversation, the subject of pain but a necessary one. We experience it, especially if the goal is to push towards growth. And yes, we have all heard the adage, “no pain, no gain” it has its place, right? 

We all would be hard pressed to say when we are working out hard at a class like LIFT or PUNCH or maybe the first time you roll over a trigger point with a foam roller that causes pain that you are enjoying yourself!  The irony of pain, however friends, is it does a few things for us as it is a friend to humanity as well as the human body. Three things I want you to remember as you continue to sign up for our classes or you join in with the most competitive wellness seekers and most competitive wellness company in Lexington (just saying): 

Pain has a category
The feeling of physical pain can vary greatly — mild, sharp, severe, and dull. Learn the symptoms for different types of pain, so you can describe them to a health care or in this case allied health professional. 
Pain has a cause
Often time’s people treat the symptoms of pain but not the cause of pain. Finding out the specific source of pain can help you down the road become more competitive and get more out of your workouts, your sport, and your life.

Pain has a cure 
I love formulas here’s one I need you to take down:

Stagnation can be the cause of all types of disease so keep moving! Instead of popping pills, pop into LIFT and take some classes guaranteed to get you moving and feeling better and the more you attend, the more you will enjoy your wellness with others!


80 20 Rule

YOUR Results are what YOU eat or don’t eat!
 –Larry Jackson ATC, LMT, PES 

Our learning curve is improving here at Lift Fitness and Wellness as we have to not only push our bodies to the limit, but push our minds to think right about not only what and why we do things to our bodies, but also what, why, and when we put things into our bodies.
Lexington, Kentucky, is rich with engineers. The thing I’ve always loved about training them is the type of questions they ask. Much like everyone else, humanity at times wonders how much of something one can get away with as it relates to choices. 
One of my most memorable questions by an engineer forced me to extract the particulars of the 80/20 rule as it relates to nutrition. While stretching one day and talking about something that she ate that wasn’t the healthiest, I reminded her that her compliance to a great diet should be  followed 80% of the time and 20% of her time during the week she should know that it’s okay to enjoy herself to which she replied, “Well, how many meals is that?” I stopped for a second and said, “I’ll  figure that out and text you.” 
Here are some guidelines:
35 total meals/week
 o    2 snacks a day to help regulate blood sugar and metabolism
 o    3 traditional meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
28 planned healthy meals (80%)
 o   Should mimic things we’ve practiced the past few months (limiting alcohol, fried food,  and  
       products with sugar) 

7 “unplanned” meals (20%)
 o   Things that you crave but you know aren’t necessarily good for you (diet soft drinks, 
       snacks high in fat/salt, eating out where you can’t measure the contents of your meals
       or portions, etc.) 

That’s all we want from everyone as it relates to nutrition – to THINK about what you are doing with your food choices.
Traveling the road of wellness means that we must commit to a lifestyle of great choices, but we have to be human enough to admit to our frailty to perfection and implement changes that your coach (whether nutritionist or certified specialist) suggest. Ultimately, you are the one responsible for your behavior. 

Think well!


So A LOT more names were crossed off our NO FRIED FOOD and NO SODA POP March board this month (mine included) as we gave another attempt at modifying behaviors by rejecting soft drinks (soda) and fried food for the month of March. 

What knocked a lot of people off were small mistakes in a momentary lapse of memory. A lot of the mistakes had to do with  “outsiders.” Outside factors should also be included with our wellness goals.  

One member said that she was at the mall in a hurry and ate one of her son’s nuggets from Chick-fil-A, another person said  that it was his son’s french fries, and one on was on a date with an “unplanned”  appetizer. Nonetheless, after not making the cut some still decided to continue to participate in the challenge and they noticed a few things.

Modifying your behavior helps you:
1.  …become more aware of calories and where they are coming from;
2. …become aware of how to incorporate others with healthy alternatives
3. …become more aware of healthy alternatives to put in your own personal tool box for months to come;

4. …become more aware of the power to practice self-control to better our health.

As a trainer/coach, a huge win is hearing that the someone’s cupboards in their home now had baked chips for her children instead of regular fried chips. 

Ultimately we become increasingly aware of alternatives around us as we in turn help
others “reverse taste buds” from sugary substances to healthy living!

Larry Jackson ATC, LMT, PES

Get a LIFT by being REGENerated!

By Larry Jackson ATC, PES, LMT
I spent 2 and half weeks in Ghana a few years ago. While riding along the countryside there our tour guide talked to us about the land and its health.
The land was constantly being worked by the farmers and because the farmers did not take times to let the land rest it literally had been worked to death and didn’t  yield much fruit or vegetation. 

High intensity workouts are very beneficial because we know  that our heart rate being ramped up helps stimulate our metabolism. What we forget sometimes is to plan 3 things to continue the process of regeneration or optimal metabolism:

1. Active Recovery– Active recovery are days we don’t quite get our heart rate as high as we do while taking classes like “LIFT” where our heart rates our literally jumping out of our chest.

2.  Passive Recovery-Days we invest in something where we “veg out” think about yourself  in a hot tub relaxing or on a massage table sleep while being rejuvenated by a  professional therapist.

3.  Post-Workout Nutrition– No need to let the muscle being broken down if we aren’t willing to fill it with the building block to help fat burners (muscles) grow.
Workouts like “Punch” can be used on recovery  days, it should just be accompanied with pre and post mobility work like our  classes “Regen” or “Recover.” For best results soft tissue work on foam roller  should be done prior to and/or after a high intensity class like LIFT.

Get a  LIFT by treating your body well!


Larry is a soft-tissue specialist/coach that has worked as a performance specialist for 9 years. Larry’s most  accomplished work within athletics was his internships with the New England  Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and later clients who played for Cincinnati  Bengals. Currently Larry does flexibility and mobility work with  University of Kentucky Football.