Can CBD Oil help Arthritic pain?

CBD oil has been all the rage of late. It has been used to help insomnia, pain, anxiety, among others. But what exactly is it, and does it really work? Let’s unpack a few of the reoccurring questions concerning CBD, which are:

-          The difference between CBD oil extracted from hemp and the use of marijuana

-          Research that is relevant for the use of CBD for particular issues/ailments

-          What brand CBD should I look into?

Cannabinoids are the active ingredients specific to the cannabis plant, and they are the compounds primarily responsible for the healing effects. The two most effective and studied cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Our bodies contain endocannabinoids in numerous organs, including multiple brain regions. The endocannabinoid system is involved in maintaining bodily homeostasis, especially with regard to the following functions:





Immune system responses (i.e. inflammation)

Exercise is known to also stimulate the endocannabinoid system. Supplementation with CBD is thought to improve numerous conditions by helping to restore balance to the body and brain.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another compound found in marijuana and some hemp strains, CBD is not psychoactive and therefore does not give users a “high.”  Research has focused on CBD for its wide ranging positive health effects.

There have been 70 cannabinoids identified to date, and there are several others currently being studied, such as cannabigerol (CBG) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).

It is worth noting that THC and CBD also only convert to an effective pain-relieving agent under heat, which is why smoking, vaporizing, or baking it is important.

What CBD research points toward:

-          Reducing the presence of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body and brain

It may do this by repairing oxidative stress in a similar manner as antioxidants, potentially removing a major roadblock for the production of feel-good brain chemicals.

-          Restores natural endocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids (and even the number of endocannabinoid receptors) have been found to be severely depleted and even extinguished entirely by bad lifestyle issues (diet, drinking, etc)

-          Helps relieve pain

Clinical trials have proven links to suppressing pain receptors from some of the chemical reactions caused by CBD.

Arthritis: Pain Relief Evidence

Over 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis. Arthritis, which literally means inflammation of the joints, is another condition that CBD oil may be very effective for.

There are two common categories:

·         Osteoarthritis (OA): A degenerative disease that affects joint cartilage and bones, causing pain and stiffness. It often affects the hip, knee, and thumb joints.

·         Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): An autoimmune disease in which a person's immune system attacks their joints, causing inflammation. RA commonly affects the hands and feet and leads to painful, swollen, and stiff joints.

Research published below has found a dramatic reduction in inflammation and signs of pain, without adverse side effects in rats with arthritis after the animals were given CBD:





A 2017 report concluded that there was substantial evidence that CBD cannabis-based products are effective for treating chronic pain. Another, separate study published in 2012 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that CBD use can lessen both pain and inflammation.

This human study found Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray, helped to relieve arthritis pain. However, the cannabis plant extracts that the company use to make the spray contain both CBD and THC.

2008 review of research into CBD and its possible mechanism of action suggested that CBD could play a role in chronic pain management.

Cannabidiol Oil and use as a Medical Supplement

CBD supplements can be found in the following forms; capsule, spray, or oils. The oils can be used to smoke or consumed orally.

How do I know what brand to get? Make sure the product is all natural CBD oil, and not synthetic. It should be labeled appropriately. Pure CBD oil, will contain all the proper hemp based beneficial components.

My go to brand is CBDPure, which makes CBD oil from organic hemp that contains zero THC. A friend started using this company and referred me. It was much better tasting (they can taste very earthy/grassy), quicker shipping, cheaper, and worked better than the previous companies I had tried. Additionally, they had a 90-day refund policy and a 15% off coupon (attached below).

CBDPure offers three different versions of CBD oil: 100mg, 300mg, and 600mg.

My recommendation would be to start with just 1/2 a dropper, which contains 1 gram of “full spectrum” hemp oil (no synthetics, all the benefits from the hemp plant)

Although the calming effects take to some people instantly, the anti-inflammatory responses will take longer.

*Make sure to contact your doctor before using CBD*

Additional Pro’s to going with CBDPure

-          Hemp harvested in Denmark (high quality)

-          Their process of C02 extraction > Butane/Ethanol (most US companies use the latter)

-          High potency

-          Lighter taste

-          Organic (full spectrum)

-          Free Shipping

-          Third party tested

-          Discrete shipping

-          90 day money back guarantee

<Click here to visit the CBDPure website>

5 Mistakes During HIIT Workouts

5 Mistakes During HIIT Workouts


HIIT exercise or High Intensity Interval Training is simply repetitions of high-intensity exercise for a specific number or duration broken up with low to medium intensity recovery periods. HIIT workouts are all the rage these days, and many gyms have started to do HIIT specific classes. Whether you are planning to start your first go at a HIIT class, or you’ve been doing them for a while on your own, below are some tips to make sure you are doing things in the correct manner.


1. Do not stop completely during your recovery period...that is not HIIT.


You must continue a low to medium intensity movement in order for optimal caloric burn expenditure. By stopping completely you decrease the caloric burn potential, and also allow too much oxygen re-uptake which in turn allows your body to stay aerobic. Obviously, for the sake of safety if you feel exhausted, light-headed, dehydrated, you should stop immediately. However, overtime you should begin to understand both your high and low zones and keep track of your heart rate in order to not have the issue of over exertion.


2. The term "high intensity" is person specific so find your zones

The general rule of thumb however for heart rate in high intensity is 220 - Age X .80, .85. or .90. However, this varies among different level of athletes and different ages. 

The rest intervals should be somewhere around 220 - Age X .65. Again, this varies on your cardiovascular and fitness level. Whatever your zones are, find them out prior to jumping into a HIIT class and use a HR monitor (apple watch, etc) to track this in order to stay as close as possible. If you do not own an electronic that can keep your heart rate, you can learn overtime to assess your breathing and respiration as you get a better sense of your body’s limitations.

You can also take your own pulse. Just place two fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery, which is located on the thumb side of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by four to calculate your beats per minute.


3. Use compound movements as much as possible


Compound movement are simply exercises that use multiple muscle groups and/or sections of the body ( i.e. upper body, lower body, core) together in the same movement. This pushes your body to expend more energy, and subsequently gets your heart rate into the high intensity zones faster. Using isolated movements (i.e. a shoulder press) will not get you into a high heart rate zone as fast as using a compound movement (squat to shoulder press). 

Hopefully, your instructor is creative enough to give you these movements. If you are doing this on your own, think about combining any lower body movement with an upper body movement. For example:

(Using Dumbbells)

Lower Body: forward lunges, reverse lunges, narrow stance squats, sumo squats.

Upper Body: shoulder press, bicep curls, high pulls, lateral raises


Giving you 4 lower body and 4 upper body exercises gives you 16 unique compound movement exercises. That is just scratching the surface as there are endless combinations when integrating fitness tools and toys as a variable into that equation.


4. Change your movements or stations in your HIIT class routinely


Your body eventually adapts to the stress you put on it. You become efficient at the movements you do often, and although that is good for sports (i.e. swinging a golf club), efficiency has the less than desirable effect in fitness of using less energy to complete the movement. You have to challenge all muscles, and you have to continue to do so through muscle confusion in order to burn more. 


You will inevitably find movements you like more, or are better suited to do. However, you must challenge yourself by doing the movements that are more difficult for you. Also, if given option from your instructor choose the movements that are new over the movements that you’re comfortable with.


5. Don't compare how long your HIIT workout is to your other workouts


What people do not notice is the short intense workouts produce a high level of EPOC. EPOC is Excess Post-Exercise oxygen consumption - (Many refer to this as the "After Burn"). Typically, the more intense a workout is the higher the EPOC. This allows for people to work in short intermittent bursts yet feel the effects of caloric burn for hours after as the body recovers and tries to restore homeostasis. 

It is normal to assess the HIIT routine, and wonder how a potential 30 minute workout is better suited for caloric burn than 45-60 min on the elliptical. You have to trust the metabolic and physiologic science that backs this exercise medium as being effective. When it comes to caloric burn, it’s not all about the duration, it’s also about the intensity.

Which Personal Training Certification is the Best?

“If I don’t have any experience or certifications for Personal Training, how do I compete with others and where do I start?!“

You’ve already started. The fact that you are here is a step in finding the right path for you. However, I want to be clear and emphasize this;

Certifications/Education gets your foot in the door, they do not represent your actual skill set.

I have trained alongside people with who have their Masters in Exercise Physiology, and held a dozen top level certifications costing more than 5k collectively, who have had trouble booking 10 sessions a week. I have worked with Yoga instructors coming off of 2 years of specialized training who couldn’t fill a class of 8. I have worked with Registered Dietitians who averaged one appointment a day, because they could not connect with people on a psychological level.

You are stepping into an industry where people trust you with their bodies, and subsequently with their mental health also. Learning ways (which I go over extensively in my E-Book) and enjoying the process of building connections will be of much more value than endless certifications, most of which the paying clients won’t even be familiar with.

If you plan is to work as your own boss in your home or elsewhere, you may not need any specific certification. If you decide to work for someone, the business typically requires you have one. Which one? That depends on the specific business.

Do you own an I-phone or Android? After you answered that, you probably inferred that I was going to judge you on your choice. Why? Because people are tribal by nature and we instinctually pick teams.  Typically, the certification held by the highest level employee is the most respected for that specific business.

If I am a Director of a Fitness Facility and I hold an ACE certification for Personal Training, I know what ACE teaches, understand their concepts, and trust them. Therefore, I am more likely to hire someone with the same certification. That is why it is important to dig into the businesses website of your preferred studio/facility or call them to find out what certifications their managers or top level instructors hold.

I have a list of certifications in the Personal Training Industry at the very bottom, in an easy to read table ranking 6 different certs by their; Prestige, Price, and Difficulty (concerning passing their tests) and other useful info. Feel free to skip straight there. However, I also go into depth about the accreditation, continuing education (to keep your certification active), and general information about each if you are up for more details.


This shouldn’t be too much of a concern for most people, but I do want to explain the process behind this in order for confusion to be lessened here. The market of certifications for Personal Training is more or less decentralized. It can look like the Wild West from the outside, but there are some program steps and protocols that are set by what is considered an accrediting body. If the accrediting body feels the entity (i.e. NASM) has met certain standards of program development, professionalism, governing, and continued customer/membership responsibilities, they can be rewarded and hold this accreditation. On top of the initial accrediting, there are typically regular evaluations to ensure these entities are upholding the standards.

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredits ACSM, ACE, NASM, and NSCA.

There are other accrediting agencies, but ironically in my opinion none in which have any merit to actually accredit. Furthermore, the legitimacy of the afformentioned certifications above typically hold more weight and clout with Fitness Directors/Managers hiring for positions.


NASM – (National Academy of Sports Medicine) The study options are endless for this certification which I deem the best overall. Starting with the NASM CPT text book, video guide, and online printable text. On top of practice quizzes (10 questions) after each chapter there is a comprehensive 100 question test prep exam. There are also online flash cards, interactive discussion questions, and 1-day live workshops. NASM provides top level customer service, and offers 6 months upon purchasing the program to pass their test. The test is proctored and taken at a local testing location.  

ACE – (American Council on Exercise) ACE is equal to NASM in its professionalism and dedication to members. It has a various resources that you can use to help you study. They also offer several online programs that will help you prepare for the test, including an exam review and practice tests. They have a competent resource center with Study Counselors to help you review particular questions you may have. It is recognized industry wide as one of the top certifications.

ACSM -  (American College of Sports Medicine) This non-profit has three resources here you can get through the established and well respected program. ACSM’s Resources for Personal Trainers, ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, and ACSM’s Certification Review. They also offer an adaptive quiz platform for studying, and charge a bit less than the previously covered certifications.

ISSA – (International Sports Sciences Association) ISSA will send you a hardcopy along with an online copy of the main course text, a study guide and workbook, practice exams, a reference DVD, web support and social opportunities, and an animated online exercise lab that will give you the key information on 250 exercises. A marketing and business guide is also given which is unlike many of the other certs

NSCA -  (National Strength and Conditioning) NSCA-Certified Personal Training certification course really help trainers design safe and effective exercise programs. The have great study materials, including NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training, workbooks, practice exams, multimedia CDs, and audio CDs. The safety guidelines are top notch and they go into depth concerning essentials such as modifications and assessments, training special populations, and even exercises programs to use.

IFTA – (Interactive Fitness Trainers of America) This is a lesser known certification, but one worth looking into. They are not nearly as established as the other certifications. However, they do a fantastic job with their CPT on-site one day certification. You are sent a hard-copy book in advance to study. The day of you meet at a location to go over test prep questions. After review and the subsequent taking of the exam, you do a small practical in the fitness facility. They demonstrate a true hands on feel and mimic day to day personal training. It is by far the least expensive also. If you plan to work out of your own home, or just part time this isn’t a bad certification to start with.


Personal Training Certifications Ranked

 * Information accurate as of 9/18/18

* Information accurate as of 9/18/18

Becoming a Fitness Instructor: 5 Important Factors

Becoming a Fitness Instructor: 5 Important Factors

1.       Just Get Started – The process is going to take time, I am here to help expedite it, and skip some of the “mistake phase”. However, there is no use or advantage in putting off taking the first plunge. Well Steve, what is that first step? You’re already doing it!

Research. We will talk about timelines in the course, but doing your research in order to map out your timeline is vital.

Find out; what fitness medium drives you, similar businesses/people who are doing it, community activities/businesses that overlap, certifications/qualifications that are needed. From there, we can map out our timelines, and look forward to the next steps.

2.       Shadow/Network – Even if you do not have a specific qualification, you can always shadow. Fitness professionals are a very inviting community by nature, as we all joined this profession to help others.

Find local gyms, studios, coaches, etc, and tell them your story, and your interest in jumping into the industry. You will find that people are excited to take you under their wing and teach you. Even a few hours a week will really give great insight into developing your next steps.

3.       Find your niche – Now that you’ve done your research, and started networking/shadowing, you can begin to assess the good and the bad teaching styles and fitness approaches.

Start to develop a mental picture of how you would run your ideal business, and the styles in which you would use.

This will help guide you on your path to differentiating yourself. I enjoyed helping clients break through the psychological boundaries in order to meet their physical goals. So, teaching large classes was not for me as I needed 1 v. 1 training to build stronger connections. It took shadowing and observing business models to come to grips with that.

4.       Fundamentals – Always understand the base fundamentals in your fitness realm. You will continue to grow and learn as you come into contact with various clients and other fitness professionals, but you need to show a mastery of the basics in order to convey your professionalism.

Safety, physiological basics, and theories/concepts. If your goal is to be a Yoga instructor and you don’t know 8 key poses, and the muscles working/stretching in those poses you are still in-between step 1 and 2.

5.       Focus on clients – The money will come. You have to first focus on helping people. The positive and altruistic energy you put out will in turn get you clients, which will lead to the $.

Too many times, people turn down small group classes or training sessions that don’t pay what they expect, not knowing what they’ve really lost was the experiences and opportunity to procure client(s) for life.

We will discuss the 80/20 theory in the course, but most of your money will come from a small percentage of your overall clientele. You have to be of the mindset, that each person/class could be the one in the future that provides most of your earnings.

Cut The Cheese

Weighing the positives and negatives before making a decision is hardwired into the human consciousness ...except when it comes to food. Our ancestors did not have the luxury of and endless supply of food and our bodies/minds have not yet adapted to our times. We need to re-wire our brains circuitry when evaluating foods and their benefits or lack thereof before consuming them.

Limiting something in your diet is rarely a bad thing. The only way to start good nutritional habits is to stop coaxing yourself into "one slice of cheese won't matter" and show some self-restraint. These small restrictions should snowball into your continued day to day diet and help you lead a more balanced lifestyle. 

I cut the cheese...out

We add it to our burgers, broccoli, spaghetti, eggs, cold cuts, potatoes, and fries. We eat it on its own. We even fry it and eat it. Cheese, has and always will be a staple addition to American foods. My beef with cheese (forgive the food pun) is with not only in its high caloric count, but it's lack of nutritional content. 

The paleo's disregard dairy all together. I can see the cheeseheads now rolling their eyes and imagining not being able to pair merlot with their 3 year old gouda. Spare me. I will never suggest cutting cheese out of your diet, but rather limiting and/or substituting it from time to time. Cheese of course has some nutritional value; Vitamin A, D3, K2, etc. These are important fat soluble vitamins. However, I highly doubt people are adding extra cheese to their pizza with the emphasis on getting their daily allotment of K2 in. 

It is not the he only way to lose weight, but without going down the weight loss argument rabit hole (right now) expending more calories than you take in (Law of Thermodynamics) is typically the process of losing weight. The average cheese is somewhere in the ball park of 80 cals per ounce...ounce! Well Steve, what about low fat cheese?

The problem with low fat cheese is that now that the fats (and proteins) are missing, you will be less satiated and tempted to eat more or something else. Casein, is the main protein component in dairy/cheese. This protein, comparatively speaking, is absorbed more slowly and therefore keeps you satiated longer.  Most low fat cheeses, are also lower in protein.

We haven't even hit on the sodium or cholesterol yet. Let me preface this first nutrition related study by conveying that it's not difficult to find contrasting scientific studies on any topic. So, be skeptical of all studies and stay neutral until all the facts are in.

I came upon a study that found that men who ate 10 daily 1-ounce servings of full-fat cheese for 3 weeks showed no effect on their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. However, it took 30 seconds of googling to find 2 contradictory studies. My focus for this piece is not on cholesterol, but I can’t remind you enough that nutritional arguments are presented, accepted, and then falsified over and over. Always be ready to change with the science.

Calorically speaking, swapping most condiments for cheese will really help. Listed below are condiments and their corresponding cals. This should give you some idea of the calorie differences in condiment substitutes normally swapped for cheese: 


Apple sauce    15ml (1 tbsp)    10
French dressing (vinaigrette)    15ml (1 tbsp)    69
Mayonnaise    15ml (1 tbsp)    104
Mayonnaise (light)    15ml (1 tbsp)    43
Pesto    15ml (1 tbsp)    78
Soy sauce    15ml (1 tbsp)    10
Tomato ketchup    15ml (1 tbsp)    17
Tomato sauce (Italian, jar)    15ml (1 tbsp)    7
Worcestershire sauce    15ml (1 tbsp)    10
Coconut (creamed, block)    25g    167
Coconut milk (canned)    100ml    22
Vinegar    1 tbsp    3