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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                          January 15, 2008 
  • Lower Body Strength Improves Daily Performance
  • Stay Focused on Your Food
  • Don't Waste Your Money on Health Club Memberships
  • Help Your Heart and Raise Some Money for The Jeanie Schmidt
    Free Clinic in Herndon


Lower Body Strength Improves Daily Performance


Lower Body Power
Watch the World's Strongest Man contest if you want to see an awesome display of lower body power. Lifting 250 pound stones would be impossible without a strong and integrated lower body. Muscles of the legs, hips and core are responsible for a majority of the power generated in any lifting activity. All great athletes have what is called "big wheels," a slang term for large and powerful legs. Strong legs, hips and back are the essential foundation for upper body strength and the ability to do strenuous work.
Try chopping wood, pushing a heavy wheelbarrow full of dirt or cleaning out the garage with a weak lower body. The only thing you end-up with is lower back strain and a trip to the chiropractor. So what is the best way to build a solid foundation that will generate unlimited muscular power when you need it?


The Best Leg Building Exercises
The best four exercises for creating strong and powerful legs are squats, lunges, box jumps and vertical leap. If the legs are going to be able to generate useful work, there must be adequate Core Strength (the back and abdominal region muscles) to push against. These four exercises in combination create a powerful lower body as well as a strong and stable Core that can be used for both work and play. The key to generating exceptional leg power is to make sure all leg exercises are conducted with closed chain movements and are integrative and not isolated. Closed chain refers to the feet contacting the ground during a majority of the exercise. Integrative exercises recruit muscles in the their natural sequences to train the muscles and the brain to work in harmony.  

Lower Repetitions and Higher Weights
With any leg workout, you want to increase the weight and lower the number of repetitions. Lower repetitions work better for the lower body's larger muscles groups because these muscles are designed to provide both strength and support. Using heavier weights stimulates these larger muscles faster while simulating real world loads on the lower body. When doing the box jumps, make sure to use a weight you can control with the upper body. There will be a significant amount of momentum generated by the jumping motion that must be controlled with the upper body.  

Integration vs. Isolation
Many body builders choose to use the Seated Leg Press Machines or the Smith Machine for their leg workouts. Unfortunately, neither of these machines can substitute for the integrated strength provided by squats, lunges, box jumps and vertical leap. Seated Leg Press creates an unnatural pressing position for your legs, one that is rarely reproduced in actual lifting or work. The Smith Machine forces the body into an unnatural squatting motion placing abnormal forces on the knees and hips creating eventual long-term joint problems. When called upon to do heavy or repeated work, integration of muscular movement is critical to performance and injury prevention. Stick with the functional exercises to enhance both leg strength and size and you too can have Big Wheels.


In 2008, make Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle your number one goal. Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to 



Stay Focused on Your Food

Avoid Unhealthy Food Habits

After recently stepping on the scale, you may have wondered "where did all of those extra pounds come from?" More often than not, your extra pounds can be attributed to overeating due to "unconscious or distracted eating." If you have trouble maintaining a healthy weight, you probably practice this unhealthy eating behavior and don't even realize it. Distracted eating is when food is going into your mouth but you are not consciously engaged in the eating process. Instead, you are distracted by something else like work, television or a discussion with friends and not really concentrating on your meal.
Distracted eating not only leads to overeating but it also affects your digestion and fat storage. With a little work, unconscious eating is simple to correct. Here are a few of the more common unhealthy eating habits that lead to overeating and excess weight gain.  


Eating on the Run or in a Hurry

The best time to eat is when you are fully relaxed and not rushing. Eating in a hurry changes your body chemistry as it releases the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline promotes storing the calories you have just eaten as fat rather than burning them for energy.
Healthy digestion is also disrupted and the chances for heart burn or other digestive
troubles are more common. Constantly eating under these conditions promotes fat production rather than calorie burn; slowly adding extra pounds. "Just grabbing a quick bite" promotes less satiation and more frequent hunger from your meals. Eating on the run also discourages full food enjoyment and thus promotes overeating.


Eating and Working at Your Desk
This is a common unhealthy eating habit practiced by many people who think they are doing something good by being time efficient. Unfortunately, this unhealthy eating strategy is becoming more and more prevalent as people let their work take over their lives. Eating and working at the same time distracts you from the amount and the enjoyment of the food you just ate. Again, your brain wants to be engaged in the food you are eating to maximize satiation, healthy digestion and efficient calorie burn rather than fat storage. Putting a stop to this type of eating will improve your food satisfaction, reduce distracted eating and promote healthy digestion and calorie burning. 

Eating While Watching the Television
Here is a similarly unhealthy eating habit to the one above but now you are distracted by recreational pursuits. The same distracted eating principles apply here. Let's take the example of grazing during a football game or sitting with the bag of potato chips in hand while watching your favorite reality show. In both examples, you really don't have any good idea of how much food you just consumed because your concentration is on going to be on the big game or show. You can see how overeating could be a big possibility.


Putting a Stop to Distracted Eating
Set a specific meal time and stick to it. When you eat, find a quiet place to sit for a few moments before your meal. You may have some relaxing music playing in the background but no dialogue that requires your attention. If you must eat at a Super Bowl party or other event, find a small plate and put all the food you're going to allow yourself on it; no refills. Before eating, visually survey your food looking at the colors and shapes. Take a moment to give thanks for the nice meal you are about to eat. Remove as many distractions (no reading books or magazines) as possible before eating. Eat slowly and really focus on the tastes and smells. When you have finished, sit quietly for s minute or two and enjoy the feeling a good meal offers your senses.   

In 2008, commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free
Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to     


The Truth About Health Club Memberships


The truth be told, health clubs really don't want you to use your membership. They are quite happy taking your money and never seeing you again. That is their business model and if all the members showed-up on the same day, you couldn't fit inside the door.

The average consumer spends about $600 per year on a health club membership and only uses it two months out of the year. What do you get for your money? A room full of equipment and that's about it. This is the time of year when people (maybe you) make the mad dash to the health club to buy a membership that is never used. You may have done this before yourself. Do you know why you and others stop going even with the best of intentions? No, it's not because of your lack of discipline or motivation. It's because health clubs are boring and they don't provide the three basic components necessary to keep you interested and engaged in activity. These are:

  • Goal Setting to help you stay on track all year long
  • Fun Activity with an instructor who knows how to Educate and Motivate
  • Exercise Guidance so you get the most benefits from exercising properly

The Better Alternative. This year we are offering a more sensible solution that will keep you coming all year long. Our once a week, small group fitness program (4 people maximum) will only cost you $20 a session or $55 a month. For your money you get your own personal trainer, Suzanne Riley, with convenient times offered on evenings and weekends. These are beginner, lower intensity classes designed to help "couch potatoes" get moving. Forget the membership craze this year and put your hard earned money to better use.
To find out more please call Suzanne at 703-464-5171 or email Twice a week packages are available as well.

A Great Cardio Activity and Fundraiser for the Jeanie Schmidt
Free Clinic in Herndon

January Whack-it League and Tournament 

Join us in January for some FUN cardio, social time and fundraising for a good cause.
We are partnering with Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon sponsoring our first ever Whack-it league and tournament. Play times will be held on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. First, second and third place team prizes will be awarded. Come play for a good cause. Proceeds are being donated to the Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon.  

The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon
was founded in 2002 by Jeanie Schmidt
who identified a critical need for health screenings for children seeking entrance to Fairfax County Schools.  In 2005, an adult clinic was added to serve the needs of patients with chronic health concerns.  In March of 2007, they moved to a dedicated facility at 500 Grove Street in Herndon.  


For more information on The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon, go to 

For more information on how to sign-up, volunteer or donate to the tournament, please contact Suzanne Riley at 703-464-5171 or email to   


Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon, VA 20170  

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. 

Copyright (c) 2006-2008 by Sequoia Health and Fitnes
s, Inc.

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