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So, What Exactly is Z Health | Tacoma Group Fitness & Personal Training

Did you know that no system in the body works in isolation? When you get injured all sorts of things happen in order for you to compensate for that injury. If left un-remediated, those compensations can lead to long-term physical changes and possibly chronic pain.

Taiso Fitness' Jennifer Nerio practicing Z Health

Understanding Z Health

Since 2010, Taiso Fitness has implemented a training protocol called Z Health. Z Health views the body through a neurological lens. Z Health puts you and your nervous system at the center of the training.

Just to simply walk across the room, this requires your eyes, balance, and movement systems all working together to provide information to the brain. As a result, the brain then processes all that information about your body, the environment, and even things like your past experiences and decides what to do next. So you could say, “our brains all work the same … but different.”

Sometimes those past experiences, such as an injury, might lead to changes in the way we move the rest of our lives. Z Health looks for sub-optimal performance and ways to correct it by asking how it relates to the nervous system and how can we improve that.

“Wait, does that mean if I injure body part A, it can effect body part B, and I feel pain in body part C?”

Yep. That is why coaches trained in Z Health pay attention to the whole body, rather than one part at a time.  Z Health has proven to produce staggering advances in performance, and […]

By | 2017-11-07T14:09:22+00:00 November 7th, 2017|Blog, News|Comments Off on So, What Exactly is Z Health | Tacoma Group Fitness & Personal Training

Practical Self Defense Workshop November 11th

Self Defense Workshop at Taiso

We developed our self defense workshop with two things in mind:

(1) This may be the only opportunity you get to practice these skills. So they need to be simple, effective, and easy to learn.

(2) We want you to be able to do everything you possible can to prevent, avoid, de-escalate, or escape a physical encounter.

The workshop is divided into three phases taught over four hours. The self-defense class can be taught at our studio in the Proctor district in Tacoma, privately to individuals or families, or onsite at your location.

In the first phase the emphasis is on detection and deterrence. We go way beyond the basic skills of good awareness. We cover the difference between intellect, instinct, and intuition and how all three provide valuable information. We discuss the cultural suppression of intuition and how to trust it. We cover specific strategies of predators. We put an emphasis on predator psychology, what they want, what they want to avoid, and how they choose their victims. We then discuss strategies for avoidance and escape.

The second phase deals with defusing and de-escalation. Emphasis here is placed on understanding the interviewing phase of predators. How to develop appropriate posture, eye contact, verbal boundary setting, verbal engagement, and verbal de-escalation. Understanding victim psychology, the difference between being “threatened” and being “challenged”, and fear management. We cover personal motivations, giving yourself permission to act, and the use of indignation. Physical boundary setting, positioning, and use of obstacles are explored.

The focus of the third phase is the physical defense encounter. We cover the physiology of the fight or flight response, and how to convert and use those reflexes. Emphasis is on […]

By | 2017-10-30T10:35:21+00:00 October 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Practical Self Defense Workshop November 11th

Associate Induction Hypothesis

The Associate Induction Hypothesis offers a different way to understand cell structure, energetics, and health.

Over the last few years I have realized TWO things about nutrition and cellular biology. First, I don’t know as much as I thought I did. And second, neither does anyone else.

I say this because the generally accepted “theory” of cellular energetics is just that – “theory.” Well, if it is just a theory I wanted to know what some of the other theories might be.

More importantly if our understanding of the most basic human function, the creation of energy at the cell, is incomplete or inaccurate then how does this effect our overall understanding of health, and metabolism.

I wanted to comment on this interview because it lays the foundation for several ideas you will hear in later interviews. Many of the later interviews offer an approach and explanation to many health and metabolism issues I have seen or experienced.

Based on those explanations and the results I have seen, I am willing to consider the further implications of this approach.

In this interview, Danny and Phil discuss the Associate Induction Hypothesis.

Here are some of the main points I got out of the interview.

5:20 Phil describes the dominate view of the Membrane Pump and idea of cell receptors  that only interact with certain chemicals.  This is the mainstream model of the cell based on a phospholipid bi-layer around the cells and the use of mechanical pumps.

It can be a little difficult to follow without some visuals. Here is a series of videos to help from the Kahn Academy. At 11:20 in this video they present the mechanical pump theory.

10:15 Phil introduces the Living Protoplasm perspective. The idea that the cell is […]

By | 2017-09-06T15:55:21+00:00 January 26th, 2016|Blog, Weight Loss & Metabolism|Comments Off on Associate Induction Hypothesis

Big Changes for the New Year

We have moved to Proctor for the New Year.  

We are starting our New Year  at a new address We are now at 3819 North 27th Street, Tacoma Washington 98407, between Foxfire and the Post Office. A temporary banner sign is up now, until the permanent signs are installed.

In the new space we were able to add 140 square foot of additional green tatami style flooring, but the shape of the space makes it seem even bigger.

Parking for the new space are the spaces 3-10 marked “RESERVED” right in front of our door. Our entrance is at the bottom of the ramp.

Personal Programs AND Group Classes.

In addition to the Defying Gravity Classes on Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:30, keep an eye on the schedule for the traditional Taiso Group Classes to return.

There will be one class on the schedule each night. During that time you will be able to register for either the group class, or your Individual Program.

Weight Loss and Goal Setting.

The old Jeans Challenge weight-loss program and the RESOLUTE Online program have been combined. Now Monday nights at 7pm we will have a “Mind Gym” to help you focus on goals, habits, change and weight loss.

New Years Resolution Support!

To help you get started with your New Years fitness goals we want to help you reinforce the habit of working out. To do this we are offering a 60 day unlimited attendance upgrade to the basic membership. For $60 you get to come in six days a week. Its a great way to combine your personal program and the new group classes!

Eight Week Trial Membership.

If you are new to Taiso we want to give you time to get to know us and figure out if […]

By | 2017-09-06T15:55:24+00:00 January 3rd, 2016|Blog|Comments Off on Big Changes for the New Year

Beginning Crow

Ready to begin crow? At Taiso Fitness we integrate many forms of training from yoga, gymnastics, and martial arts to TRX, kettlebell, and barbell. The Defying Gravity program is a dynamic body weight based fitness program that progresses like a martial art. As you gain mastery over various yoga, gymnastics, and martial arts inspired movement you earn colored wrist bands similar to martial arts belts. Each band level unlocks a new series of skills.

Crow is a great introduction to hand-balancing. It is a great low-threat way to develop not just the balance for more difficult movements, but also the core strength, shoulder stabilization, and wrist flexibility.

One of the many core strengthening exercises appropriate for this is the TRX tuck. This version has been slightly modified to bring the knees near the elbows to more closely mimic the requirements of crow.

Using down dog and variations including the down dog pushup are good ways to improve shoulder strength and stabilization. In this version we are using the the down dog push up with the feet on a box. This is normally the third variation introduced and may not be appropriate if you are just getting started.

Finally, here is a simple, low-impact wrist flexibility drill. In the video I am working on flexing the wrist. But I am also pressing into the wall to create active resistance which is more beneficial than only doing passive flexibility training.

Taiso Fitness and Nutrition

If you are looking for a shared personal training experience try Taiso Fitness and Nutrition. We are Tacoma’s fitness and nutrition gym for people who want to get out of pain or improve performance, who need immediate, measurable results, and want to make educated decisions to take control of their […]

By | 2017-09-06T15:55:25+00:00 December 7th, 2015|Blog, Defying Gravity|Comments Off on Beginning Crow

Homo Urbanus 30 Minute Squat

Life in the urban jungle is full of opportunities to rest. We have furniture to sit on in our homes, where we work, in our transportation, and most places we visit. The urban jungle in Western society has so many places to sit that culturally we have forgotten the squat as a resting position.

Look at small children playing and it doesn’t take long to find one in a perfect squat. No one had to coach the child on what the squat was supposed to look like. No one has to tell the child to keep its weight on its heels, where its feet go, or how to protect its knees. Why? Because they have not yet spent years in chairs altering its habits and deconditioning its muscles.

Our lifetime of sitting takes its toll. Most of the clients we meet have some sort of pelvis issues that contribute to knee and low back pain. Lack of squatting isn’t the only culprit here, but it is a significant contributor. We find everyone moves better when they are able to do a deep squat and hold it comfortably.

But if you are like most people we meet, you first have to be able to get into a squat before you can work on holding the squat for any length of time.

When we say a “full range-of-motion squat” we mean being able to squat as deep as a baby with no pain. A nerve glide you can perform to help with this may be practiced by laying on the back, raising the leg as high as possible without bending the knee, moving the leg across your body until the knee is at or past the […]

By | 2017-09-06T15:55:26+00:00 November 12th, 2015|homo urbanus|Comments Off on Homo Urbanus 30 Minute Squat

Homo Urbanus Out of Breath

Breath for Fitness in the City

Throughout our blog we already have several resources for the importance of better breathing, as well as ways to achieve it.

So, here I will organize some of that material so you can go more in depth if you have not already read those articles.

To perform a good self-analysis for your breathing start with this article, Respiration Weight Loss and Metabolism. It is an excerpt from our RESOLUTE Weight Loss and Metabolism course. In it we touch on what is proper breathing, common issues we see daily, and how to resolve those issues.

Earlier this year we did a 30 Day Breathing Challenge. The challenge was composed of four videos with three exercises each. The purpose of the exercises was to improve posture, diaphragm control, and to help reduce the number of breaths we take each minute.

One of the ways we measured progress was with the length of our controlled pause. This was how long we could go between needing to take a breath.

Here are the links to the series:

30 Day Breathing Challenge Week One

30 Day Breathing Challenge Week Two

30 Day Breathing Challenge Week Three

30 Day Breathing Challenge Week Four

In our studio we ran the challenge for thirty days and it was so successful that we continued to indefinitely as part of our warmups before our workouts. Many participants saw at least a 50 to 100 percent increase in their controlled pause. This reflected their increased respiratory efficiency.

If you are just getting started with the Homo Urbanus article series we encourage you to start from the beginning and keep you eye out for the rest of the series.

Homo Urbanus is on the Hunt

Homo Urbanus Just […]

By | 2017-09-06T15:55:27+00:00 October 5th, 2015|Blog, breathing, homo urbanus|Comments Off on Homo Urbanus Out of Breath

Rituals, Weight Loss and Metabolism

We build rituals around everything we do. When we want to create change in our lives we need to consciously craft those rituals so the result we want is simply the default reaction, not something we have to expend creative energy to reach.

In Essentialism, Greg McKeown narrates the race ritual of Micheal Phelps, the most decorated American Olympian of all time winning 22 Olympic medals. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing China we set a record for most first place finishes by any athlete in a single Olympics, eight gold medals.

Two hours before a race Michael Phelps would conduct the exact same warmup swim every time, in the exact same order.

After the swim he dry off, put on his headphones and sit on the massage table. Always sitting, never lying down.

From this point forward he would not speak to his coach or anyone else until after the race was over.

At 45 minutes before the race, he would get dressed for the race. At 30 minutes he would go to the warmup pool for a 600 meter swim.

At 10 minutes before the race we would walk to the ready room and find a place where he could sit alone. He would place his goggles on one side and his towel on the other.

When his race was called, he would walk to the blocks. He always approached the blocks from the left side. He would dry the block every time, and perform the same two stretches, in the exact same order, always with the left leg first. Then he would remove the right earbud.

When his name was called he would remove the left earbud.

Phelps also had a routine for what to think about every night before […]

By | 2017-09-06T15:55:28+00:00 September 20th, 2015|Weight Loss & Metabolism|Comments Off on Rituals, Weight Loss and Metabolism

Spiritual Energy, Weight Loss and Metabolism

For the purpose of this program, when we talk about spiritual energy renewal we are talking about our actions being consistent with our values.

When we do things we feel good about, that are in line with our values they become a source of spiritual energy which can extend our physical and emotional energy.

But when we do things that are in conflict with our values, they become a drain on our physical and emotional resources.

In the movie Promised Land, actor Matt Damon portrays a character who purchases land for gas exploration. He sometimes misleads people to get them to sell, but he has great conviction in his work and is spiritually driven because he believes he is right. He had grown up in a small town and seen first-hand the devastation that occurs when the jobs leave and the last hold outs are left with nothing.

Once his character has a change of heart about the company he works for, he can no longer lie to get people to sell. Once his actions were inconsistent with his values they became an overwhelming drain on his energy.

In this story we can see how our values can have a great impact on our energy and motivation. They can either provide support and longevity to our physical energy or they can drain us and drag us down.

But in order to make use of our spiritual energy we have to be clear about what provides our spiritual energy to begin with.

Asking the question, “how does healing our metabolism and finding health line up with our values?” This question will help you organize your motivations and keep yourself focused through the changing process.

What are your personal values? Values are action based, […]

By | 2017-09-06T15:55:29+00:00 September 20th, 2015|Weight Loss & Metabolism|Comments Off on Spiritual Energy, Weight Loss and Metabolism

Mental Energy, Weight Loss and Metabolism

Mental energy is our ability to focus on a task, undistracted for a period of time. It is our willpower. And it functions like a muscle. For our minds to best direct mental energy, it needs to be driven hard for short bursts and then given sufficient time to recover.

Imagine a sprinter on a track. The sprinter gives it his all for a short period of time then takes an equal or often longer, period of time to recover. When the sprinter is ready for their next performance the results are directly tied to how well sprinter was able to recover.

Our best mental performance comes when we are able to fully engage in a task for a short period of time, then take a break that allows our brains time to recover.

Now consider that our brains make up just two percent of our bodies weight, yet consume an astounding twenty-five percent of our calories. This is critical to understand because it underlines our immense needs for physical energy. If the physical energy needs are not being met we have the additional deficient in our mental energy.

Additionally, physical movement directly stimulates our mental energy. In “A Few Good Men” Tom Cruises’ character was in trying to solve a problem and said he needed his bat. He said he thought better with it. After taking a few swings and walking around the answer came to him.

Many of us get our best ideas taking a walk or in the shower when we are moving around.  This is because the brain is fed from bottom to top and back to front. About 800,000 signals per second enter our sensory cortex, they are consolidated and only about 200,000 are […]

By | 2017-09-06T15:55:29+00:00 September 20th, 2015|Weight Loss & Metabolism|Comments Off on Mental Energy, Weight Loss and Metabolism