Cardio or Weight Training – Which is Better for Fat Loss?

When people want to lose fat, what is the first thing they think of doing? Cardio. Right? Most people don’t think of weight training to combat fat loss. But surprisingly, weight training is going to give you more bang for your buck and do more for you when losing fat is your goal.

I like to use this metaphor when I describe cardio in comparison to weight training. Cardio is like coffee. It gives you a temporary boost. It’ll spike your heart rate, quicken your metabolism, even give you a caloric after burn. But after that, it wears off. Even though it has wonderful benefits, it still falls second to weight training for fat loss.

Weight training however, burns fat longer than cardio. In fact, you could lose fat with weight training alone. No cardio needed. The reason why it trumps cardio is because it keeps burning calories LONG after you finished. It takes longer and more energy for your body to repair and build muscle than your short burst of caffeine from your cardio does. The metabolism is boosted for about 36 hours after training and can burn an extra 10 calories an hour. That doesn’t seem like much but you times that by 36 hours, you got yourself a lot of extra burned calories. Cardio on the other hand, you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderately paced, 60 minute workout. Additionally, the more muscle you have the more efficient your body becomes in burning fat. Finally, if you want your body to have shape, you need to lift some weights. Your shoulders aren’t going to round and your butt won’t lift until you lift some weights.

If I had to give you my best answer to which is best, you want to weight train 3-5 times a week supplementing with cardio and high intensity interval training. This combination will be your best defense when trying to lose fat.

Want to start losing fat today?  Sign up for our 2 week free training by clicking here!

I have pain going down my leg

Pain down your leg could present in many forms.  This could be a pain just go into your butt, this can be a pain that goes all the way down the back of your leg, back of your knee and even into your toes. Some of it might be numbness and tingling, some of it might be just some pain.

This is going to discuss why and how to resolve that pain that’s going down your leg.

The first thing to understand what is numbness and tingling is and understanding why you’re having numbness and tingling. Numbness and tingling means there’s a nerve that is involved.  When your leg falls asleep because you’ve been sitting on it too long, that’s a completely different story that is usually a circulation issue but any other time you have a numbness and tingling it means nerve involvement.

Nerves come out of the back and they’re going to go through the disc.  If the disc begins to bulge or herniate, the nerves will become affected.  You can picture a bulging disc as a jelly doughnut, when the inside begins to squirt out the hole, this is like a disc bulging or herniating.

The nerve can also be affected as muscles get tight.   As the muscles get tight they get shorter and as they get shorter they can start to compress that nerve.   As those muscles get tight they start to bother that nerve and can cause numbness and tingling going down the butt and into the legs and feet.

Just because you have a herniated disc doesn’t mean you’re going to have numbness and tingling and just because you have herniated disc and you have numbness and tingling that numbness and tingling may not be coming from the disc, it maybe coming from muscles that are actually tight.

If you’re experiencing numbness and tingling there has to be a nerve involved.  Numbness and tingling is a warning sign that you let things go on for too long it can eventually lead to loss of muscles strength and function.

Many times numbness and tingling starts off as intermittent numbness and tingling.  You can be sitting at work and you will get numbness and tingling into your feet, you stand up it goes away.  This can and will progress to numbness and tingling into the back of the knee and into the leg.  The numbness will also become more consistent and not just intermittent.  It will reach the point where a position change does not resolve the numbness and tingling.

Numbness and tingling can be caused by stenosis, muscle compensation or a herniated/bulging disc or a bulging disc. Muscle compensation is one of the greatest things that people ignore when they have herniated disc.  If there’s pain associated with the numbness and tingling, there’s something outside the nerve involvement.  This is what most commonly seen, a combination of a disc herniation and muscle compensation.  There’s numbness and tingling down the leg but there’s also back pain and leg pain and this pain is the muscle compensation not the herniated disc.  Many times once we relieve the muscle involvement, the numbness and tingling is completely resolved as is the pain.

A specific example of this is called piriformis syndrome and what people feel is a pain in my butt literally.  Many times after sitting for a long time people will feel a pain in the butt and they can put their finger right on it.  This pain will then lead to numbness and tingling down the leg.  Once we resolve the muscle tightness of the piriformis, the numbness and tingling and the pain will resolve.

It’s a snowball effect, and usually the snowball is a herniated disc and muscle compensation that goes hand and hand.  The numbness and the tingling will get worse and worse and the spasm will get worse, more frequent, more intense.  The main thing to understand with numbness and tingling is that if there’s muscle involvement it is treatable.  The better outcomes happens when people address it when it first starts to happen and not years later.

Muscle involvement and disc herniation can be completely resolved without medication, injections or surgery.

Most of the the time surgery, injections and medications fail because they do not address the problem.  They address the symptoms, just not the causes.  I see a lot of surgeries that fail and the person has the exact same pain before the surgery as they do after the surgery and the person gets frustrated and hopeless.  They can’t live a quality of life anymore.   The problem is before you have surgery you need to make sure that you address all the muscle involvement.

FYI 70% of all people have a herniated/bulging disc that shows up on an MRI.  Even people who have no back pain can have a bulging disc that shows up on an MRI.  So the fact that there is a disc herniation (or bulging disc, the words can be used interchangeably) does not necessarily mean that the pain is because of the disc.

Anti-inflammatories do not fix muscle compensation or herniated or bulging discs and only hides the compensation and pain and makes it worse.   If you’re popping an advil to help with the pain you did not solve anything.  Each time you take one you pack more and more onto the snowball making it harder and harder to actually heal from.  You are actually making your problem that much worse and eventually it’s going to catch up to you.  New studies have shown that conservative management like physical therapy is better results than any medication.

If you have spasms in your back, get pain when you’re sitting at your desk,  or if you get stiff while you drive, or you wake up and your back is sore you’re already started on the road to chronic pain.

So what you supposed to do?

First of all you’ve got to find out the correct diagnosis.  You need to make sure that you find out everything that is going on so that all the issues are addressed.  If we just take one piece (like just treating the disc for example) and ignore the others it’s not going to work.

One thing you can begin immediately is posture correction.  

Posture correction with low back pain is imperative.  If you want the magic pill like everybody does, making sure you have correct posture in sitting and standing is it and will get you on the road to correcting your back pain.  You have to do it over and over again so it becomes part of your everyday life.

Foam rolling is another way to treat back pain.  And it can also be another way to figure out the problems in the muscles.  If you hop on a foam roller for 5-10 minutes a day you get some pain, that is indicating that there is some muscle involvement.  You want to foam roll every day to try to reduce the muscle involvement by reducing the pain that you get with foam rolling.

Sleep is another posture habit that needs to be examined.  If  you do not sleep in the correct position you run the risk of having damage to your muscles or nerves.  Sleeping on your back or side is the best position to sleep in, stomach sleepers if you sleep on your stomach you are at a significant risk for herniating a disc and causing yourself neck pain.

If you want to find out more sign up for on of our FREE back pain and sciatica workshops by clicking here which will take place in either our North Wales or Hatfield, Pennsylvania locations.

Treat Your Knee Pain At Home

If you have knee pain, you’ve probably wondered what exactly is causing you to have this pain that is interfering with your everyday life.  You may have even wandered the Internet attempting to self diagnose in the hopes that you can treat on your own.  During your search you come across many, many potential causes.

You will see conditions like

  • tendinitis (Patellar, IT Band, and so on)
  • arthritis
  • Mensicus Tear
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Crepidus
  • Dislocation
  • Bursitis

There’s so many, how do you know why your knee hurts?  And what should you do to treat it?

Understanding and treating your knee when you first begin to feel pain can prevent surgery and costly medical treatments.

It is important to understand why your knee hurts the minute it starts to hurt.   Now your knee pain is nothing to worry about if any of these apply to you:

  1. This is the first time you ever felt pain in your knee.  You just happen to take a step down this morning and had pain.  The very first day, the very first time.  This could just be a weird pain that will probably go away tomorrow.
  2. You had surgery on your knee in the last 2 weeks.  Pain from surgery can last weeks and even months after the surgery so if you recently had surgery on your knee, you may still have pain when reaching overhead.  You will want to let your doctor know if this pain persists.
  3. You had a hard workout within the last 48 hours where you did a lot of leg exercises.  Muscle soreness can last 2 days after working out so if you recently did an leg workout, within the last 48 hours, then it can be perfectly normal to have difficulty lifting overhead.  If this workout was done over a week ago and you still have pain then you need to be concerned.

If you cannot exclude yourself with one of these three things then your knee pain IS something to be worried about!

The first thing you need to do is find the exact cause of your knee pain.  Finding the source and the cause of your shoulder pain will help you be able to treat it and prevent further damage to it.  What could the problem actually be?

  1. Tendinitis 
    1. Tendinitis is an inflammation of the knee muscles.  There are several muscles of the knee that could be inflamed.  It is important to find out which muscle of the knee are inflamed.  Tendinitis at the knee is also due to over use for weaker muscles.  This is why there are several sites where the knee can have tendinitis, depending on which muscle kicks in and works the hardest.  Ignoring this will ONLY make it worse, it will NOT go away on its own.  While you may feel the pain reduce it just means that you compensated and are making it much, much worse.
    2. Common signs and symptoms:  Pain with going down the step, pain with running or exercise, pain with sitting for awhile, pain going up and down curbs.
  2. Arthritis
    1. With arthritis you must realize is that everyone over the age of 18 arthritis will show up on an x-ray but most of the time it is not the cause of your pain.
    2. Common signs and symptoms:  Constant pain that is not made better or worse with activity.  Pain that is the same upon waking and pain that is the same going to bed.
  3. Meniscus tear
    1. This is very common to find on any MRI as we get older.  It does not mean that it is the source of your pain.  It could be one of many sources of your pain.
    2. Common signs and symptoms:  Clicking in the knee, Pain that is felt when the foot is planted and you try to turn.
  4. Jumper’s Knee
    1. Jumper’s Knee is just a name for patellar tendinitis.  It used to be more common in athletes that jump which is where it got the name but in my career I have seen jumper’s knee in just as many non athletes as athletes.  This is an indication that there is overuse and muscle imbalances that are going on in the knee.
    2. Common signs and symptoms:  Pain with going up and down steps.  Pain with going up and down curbs.  Pain with running and jumping or any pounding activity.
  5. Crepidus
    1. This is the feeling of creaking and clicking that you can get at the knee cap.  This is common as we age.
    2. Common signs and symptoms:  This can be painful when you kneel.  It also can be felt when you go down into a squat position, you will hear some ‘rice krispies’ – crackle and popping.  It can be painful at times.
  6. Dislocation
    1. This is a traumatic event unless you are someone who can do this very easily.  Anyone who can do this very easily, knows how to deal with it.
    2. If you feel that you have sustained a traumatic knee injury that has caused it to come out of its socket then you need to seek medical attention asap.
  7. Bursitis
    1. There are several bursae, or fluid filled sacs around the knee.  When these become inflamed and have more fluid in them, you develop bursitis.  Bursitis is usually caused by tight muscles or a muscle imbalance.

If you want to see specific tests you can do at home to determine the cause of your knee pain, click here to have a few short videos sent to you for you to be able to find the cause of your pain.

Wow, I cannot say thank you enough, to each and every one of you! My journey to regain my ability to walk (limp free!) again after a RA diagnosis has literally been one step at a time, and the team here at TPPT has been great-teaching me the appropriate strength and flexibility exercises, massaging out the knots along the way and encouraging me so that I know I am to do this. Again, thank you for helping me reclaim my life.  -Judi Whitmire

What do I do once I figure out what the cause of my knee pain is?  

  1. Take Advil/Aleve/Anti-Inflammtories to reduce the pain, take the edge off just to be able to function.  
    1. If you have taken Advil for more than 2 weeks, you are at risk for serious stomach complications.  And yes we all know someone who has taken Advil and Aleve for months (and it may even be you) and has had no problems.  If you continue to take Advil to ‘take the edge off’ you are putting yourself in danger of serious complications and not just with your knee, it is with your stomach and the damage that happens cannot be reversed.
    2. You’re taking Advil because you don’t have time or money or both to go to the doctor or physical therapist.  You think that by taking the Advil to reduce the pain, hoping it will go away, you are saving time and money.  If you are lucky enough not to get stomach complications, the longer you take Advil/Aleve the longer the problem will take to go away and no, it won’t go away on its own.  After 2 weeks, it won’t go away on its own.  So the months or years you were dodging a bullet with just popping a pill will eventually catch up to you and you will spend countless hours and lots of money trying to fix a problem that you may go broke on time and money before the problem gets fixed.  Where as if you just to go to the physical therapist to treat your knee pain, you can do this after work, before work or on your lunch hour, and if you do it before you ignore it for months and years, you will actually find that you will be able to fixx it rather inexpensively and without investing a ton of time.
    3. If you have been taking Advil or any anti inflamatories for more than 2 weeks consecutively, you are putting yourself at severe risk of stomach damage.  In reality by taking Advil for more than 2 weeks, it will cost you tens of thousands of dollars more in hospital bills to be able to treat the stomach issues and that won’t even address the knee pain.  And it will cost you weeks away from work as you recover from your trip to the hospital.
  2. Ignore it.  It will go away.
    1.  While we can’t go to the doctor for every ache and pain as we get older otherwise we would never leave.  Waking up with aches and pains is part of every day life when you get older.  No doubt.  But living in pain is not.
    2. 2 weeks is the rule.  2 weeks is what you give the same pain that shows up day after day where you can be convinced that no home remedy will fix it.  You can no longer ignore it.
    3. Ignoring pain that goes on for more that 2 weeks is like ignoring a leak in the roof.  At first it starts off like a drip and can be ignored or dealt with with a bucket placed underneath drip.  And it may be able to go on for a few days or weeks or month with no real increase in the drip but now you have had exposure to water for a month.  So other problems start to develop, like mold.  While you could have called a roofer to deal with the drip right then and there it would save you time and money.  But you ignored it and waited a few months.  Now you have a larger problem, costing more time and money.  The same is true for your shoulder.  If you ignore it, the longer you ignore it, the more time and money it is going to cost in the long run.  And just like a roof, a problem that started out as something that could have been simple to fix, the longer you ignore, the more chance it becomes of you needing a new knee.
    4. Ignoring a knee problem can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and while dealing with it right away may have cost some initial investment it would have been resolved with no surgery adn no time away from any activities.
  3. Handle it
    1. Taking time when your knee starts hurting will allow you to save time and money.  If you deal with the knee pain when it comes on, it prevents any compensation issues that would come up that would need to be dealt with.  It would be a limited amount of time and money.
    2. If you deal with knee pain as it comes up, you can schedule appointments as it makes sense for you, before work, after work or during lunch.  The time that it will take to heal will be far less than if your knee pain leads to surgery and will require no time off of work.


What happens if the pain doesn’t go away with the at home treatment?

  • You need to see a physical therapist.
    • And not just one that gives exercises.  Exercises alone will not heal this.  This needs hands on treatment.
    •  Let’s talk about how physical therapy can be used to address the issue.
      • Going to the doctor early when you notice the pain start will result in better outcomes then waiting for weeks, months and even years.  
      •  It is necessary to avoid knee movements that aggravate your shoulder pain.
      • It is important to correct the muscle imbalances that are contributing to the pain.
      • Strengthening of the muscles that surround the knee is vital to correcting knee pain
      • Addressing the muscle trigger points through hands on physical therapy is imperative.  Determining the number of muscles that are involved and addressing the knots is essential in recovering from knee pain and returning you to activities.
      • A physical therapist understands that stability and control of motion are just as vital if not more so than strength.
      • Physical therapists can recognize any compensatory movements you may be using that are contributing to the pain as well as introduce exercises that will increase knee stability.

But in order to start addressing your knee pain and figuring out what is the cause of your knee pain, click here to begin to figure out what is going on with your knee pain from the comfort of your own home, NO COST, NO RISK.

January 2017 Total Performance Featured Member


Meet Glenn!

January 2017


How long have you been training at Total Performance?

Glenn has been training for 2 months at Total Performance.

Have you seen improvements with your training at Total Performance?

Glenn is seeing improvements with his training. Dr. Lindsey Fisher gave him attention to his physical therapy, to help him recover from plantar fasciitis. Now Colleen is providing careful oversight of his strength and fitness training, to prepare him for his running comeback!

How often do you come in for training?

Glenn tries to schedule three times each week, but doesn’t always make it. Eventually he would like to increase it to four times a week.

What do you do for fun when you are not training at Total Performance?

Glenn likes to repair things around the house and play with his family. He also likes to hike, fish and camp.

What are you have any goals for the new year?

Glenn will be returning to the running community, THE Run Club (find us on facebook), and take first in his bracket in a 5k again!

Click the link below to see if training at Total Performance Physical Therapy is for you!

Click here to try training at Total Performance

Click here to like Total Performance’s Facebook

Beat Tension Headaches Without Pills

 The #1 exercise to eliminate tension headaches and have them never return


If you are someone that finds themselves having frequent headaches and you have said to yourself, “If I could just get rid of this headache”: then this might be the most important blog you read all year and here’s why…




Have you ever said any of these things…

  • I wish I could get rid of this headache
  • I’m sorry I can’t right now, I have a headache
  • I must leave, I have a headache
  • Why do I have a headache everyday
  • Where’s the headache medicine?

Imagine you could wave a magic wand and have your headaches be gone.  Be able to stay at work, participate in your kid’s activities, not have to lay down because of a headache.

What if I told you there was one thing that you should be doing to help eliminate your tension headaches?

Why you should listen to me?

I suffered from daily headaches.  Not good when you are interacting with people all day long.  By 3:00 every day my head would be throbbing and it hurt to listen to people talk, not good when you are a physical therapist.  My eyes and ears would hurt by the end of the day the headache got so bad.  It interfered with everything.  I couldn’t participate in anything when I got home from work, I didn’t want to go out with friends, I just wanted to lay down in bed until the next day when I knew the headache would be gone.  But that wasn’t an answer, I had to find an answer.  I had to put the advice into place that I give to everyone on a daily basis that I solve tension headaches for.

What are you going to discover by reading this blog?

  1. Why people get tension headaches
  2. How to fix tension headaches
  3. How to prevent them from coming back

Each of these are equally important if you want to eliminate headaches so you can experience life without having to STOP or slow down or take medicine because of a headache.  But we are going to cover each of these points in order.

Why people get tension headaches

This is important for you to know because unless you know the why you can’t fix the how.  Unless you understand what is causing your pain you can’t fix it.

I had a patient who was a younger girl started off just getting headaches every once in a while, in her temples after she came home from school.  Within 6 months it had progressed to daily headaches and nausea and blurry vision.  She went to every specialist to try to figure out what it was.  No one could find the cause.  Her mom happened to email me and ask if I worked with headaches.  I brought her in, we found the cause and within a week she had seen a significant reduction in the frequency and the intensity of the headaches.

So, here’s what you need to do so you can figure out why you get tension headaches.  Look at your posture.  Look at your posture in the places you find yourself the most, whether it is in the car, at your desk but observe how you look.

In order to have good posture you must roll your shoulders up, back and drop them down.  Do not pin them back and stand in attention but let them drop and then bring your elbows bent to 90 degrees.  See how your car, your workstation, where ever you are measures up.  If everything is not immediately at the level where you can keep your head, shoulders and arms in that position, then your headaches are being caused by poor posture but you can’t fix them just by telling yourself to sit up straight.

How to fix tension headaches

Okay, now you have the first step to solving tension headaches.  So, let’s move to how you fix tension headaches.  So why you do you need to know how to fix tension headaches.  So, you do not have to leave work early or your kids practice.  So, you don’t come home in a bad mood and yelling at everyone because you have a headache.

There was a patient of mine who had 4 kids and worked full time.  By the time she got done with work she would have to go home and sit in a chair for a while.  She was yelling at her kids because she couldn’t stand the noise they were making when she walked in, she had to miss her kids’ events because the headaches were getting so much more intense.  After we taught her a few exercises to do in just two weeks she could come home and interact with her children and go to all their activities and begin to enjoy life more.

To make this happen so you can get rid of tension headaches, you need to drop your shoulders.  I know so easy.  But here’s the problem, you have trained your shoulders to be elevated so it is impossible for your shoulders to stay down without you thinking about it.  So, every minute of every day until you train your shoulders to stay down you must consciously tell yourself to push your shoulders down and 9 times out of 10 when you tell yourself to do that, you will see your shoulders drop significantly.

Now let’s move on to:

How to prevent tension headaches from coming back

This is important for you to know because once you get the headaches to go away, it is very easy to find yourself in positions and postures that will cause you to have your muscles working overtime and causing you headaches.

There was a patient who we had solved her neck pain, her headaches, her numbness and tingling, everything had gone away.  She was discharged and pain free.  A few years later she had changed jobs and moved to working from home.  She didn’t spend the time, effort or money to do a desk at home and just worked at her kitchen table and her counter, where ever she wanted.  Within 2 months of the new job, her headaches, the numbness and tingling and the pain had all returned because she didn’t make it easy for her body to stay in correct posture.

So, here’s what you need to do so you can prevent tension headaches from coming back.  You need to make sure that all your positions (driving, work, etc.) that you are going to be doing for more than 15 minutes straight are all set up to allow you to have perfect posture.

Your body will follow a path of least resistance.  For example, if you have a lap top, it is not realistic to think that you can just move your eyes down and type.  After a while your head will follow your eyes and you will begin to overwork muscles and cause headaches.

Do not work from areas that are convenient, like the kitchen counter or the table, make sure that if you are going to be doing 15 minutes or more of work that you configure your work space accordingly.

For times when you cannot configure your posture, like sitting on the bleachers at a kid’s soccer game, then make sure to get up every 15 minutes.  With no support to your back and poor support everywhere else your body will just let gravity go to work and you will wind up hunched over in a little ball.  Getting up and moving every 15 minutes is a big key to keep your muscles happy and healthy.

So now you know the 3 things for relieving a tension headache so you can experience life again without your head pounding and this is a good start.


If you’re looking for the best way to relieve your headaches I want to personally help you get the results you desire so I’ve put together a very special no cost, no obligation very limited time offer just for you.


I have put together a series of 3 videos that go through the following:

This is a no cost, no obligation, no risk option for you to learn more about your neck pain and headaches.  All you must do is enter your name and email below and we will get the course right out to you.  Do NOT hesitate, the longer you wait the worse your pain and headaches will become.  Click here to sign up to get your 3 FREE videos.

Now these videos are not for people who want to continue to take pills to reduce their headaches because this is what they feel is the easier answer.  This is not for people who want to find a permanent solution to their headaches and want to keep popping pills, hopping that the pills will not have any adverse effects and that they will be able to continue to take them for the rest of their lives.

As always going to your medical professional to obtain a diagnosis is the best course of treatment and this blog and these videos are not to replace that.  But one of the things I hear very often in my office is I wish I had just known what was causing my headaches.  This is offering you that and by clicking here for the 3 Free videos you are well on your way to discovering things you never new about your neck pain and headaches.

So, don’t delay and click here to watch the videos.  Every day, every minute, every headache, is sending you more and more on the wrong path.  Start living your life today and click here to find out more about how to beat tension headaches without pills.

P.S.  The headache that happens once a year is not a problem.  The headache that happens everyday can lead to difficulty writing and holding coffee cups.  Don’t wait until it gets to that stage before you start the journey to get answers.  Click here now to sign up for your 3 free videos about neck pain!

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