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Vuori Clothing Blog

Functional Training: Beginner's Guide

Functional Training: Beginner’s Guide

No matter how strange and unfamiliar functional training may sound at first, it’s quite easy to understand. It consists of a series of simple body movements that mimic your everyday gestures and turn your familiar actions into a strength workout. If someone told you that you could lose lots of weight and build muscles just by walking, jumping, crouching, stretching and doing everything you’re already doing day after day, you might not believe them. But, that’s the innovation of functional training and its biggest benefit – it turns a simple motion into a complex action and grants great results. If you’re thinking about trying functional training, here are a few things you might want to know.

How Strong Can You Get?

Once they decide to get strong, ripped and buffed, most people instantly join the gym. Being surrounded with dumbbells and weights motivates them to push their limits and try their best every single time, which ultimately brings visible results – a leaner body, toned muscles, less weight and a happier life. However, spending time in the gym isn’t the only way to get stronger, nor the most effective one.

While working out with weights makes you focused on isolated muscle groups, functional training will make you exercise using your entire body. It involves more complex and intricate motions and turns this entire process into something natural and enjoyable. You’ll learn how to move and work out with every part of your body, thus targeting several muscle groups simultaneously and managing to lose a substantial amount of weight in the process.

Theory and Practice

In addition to getting stronger and leaner, functional training also includes another useful benefit not many people see at first – it helps you outside the gym too. And the reason behind this is quite simple. While strength workout pumps your muscles, it doesn’t make you move elegantly, gracefully and naturally, but quite the opposite. Gyms around the world are full of ripped people who walk like robots because their huge muscles prevent them from moving around with ease.

With functional training, however, you’ll build strength that can be helpful in everyday activities and used daily while walking, running, standing and working. Similarly to yoga, which does amazing things for your entire body, functional training makes you tackle life more adequately and get better results.

Help Your Own Body

What else can functional training do for your body? First, this type of training is great for everyone, from bodybuilders to humble gym enthusiasts, and even people with no previous gym experience. Even professional athletes are starting to get into this idea and just love its numerous benefits. However, all of them still need to equally pay attention to glucosamine and joint care while exercising, but the good thing is that functional training does wonders for your joints.

Moreover, getting acquainted with this type of workout might also help you with some serious health issues, too. Namely, functional training has been proven quite effective for stroke patients who need rehabilitating. By focusing on muscles, joints and extremities, it helps them build stamina and endurance. That way their recovery becomes more effective and functional, so these patients can work on their eye-hand coordination better than before and ultimately regain control of their body once again.

Other Considerations

Besides making your workouts more purposeful and helping you lose more weight, functional training is also useful for elevating work capacity. By doing simple things repeatedly, your muscle memory increases and you can exercise more and more. Additionally, this training is ideal for achieving gradual progress, as it doesn’t promise instant success overnight, but shapes your body one session at a time. Nonetheless, in just a few weeks, you’ll start noticing changes and seeing that you can endure more, run faster, push harder and stretch further than ever before. Most importantly, you’ll feel much better and more satisfied, noticing that functional training brings a new kind of happiness into your life.

Peter is a health and fitness at My Empowered World and The Beard Mag magazine, living between Europe and Australia. Beside writing he is a total yoga devotee. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

North West Wonder

Kara Donovan's travel photography has been hanging out at our Flagship in Encinitas.
 
Here's how it all came together: 
 
"It all started with a desire to explore Canada, which turned into a full blown 5-week road trip all the way up! After taking months to prepare, figuring out rest stops, people to meet, and hikes to go on, I was on my way!  I was able to explore the whole west coast of the United States and stopped at places like Big Sur, the Redwoods, Pacific City, Portland, Olympic National Park, and Banff.

Here is an exert from the book that I made that has a little explanation of the trip!

'It was pretty fun to see people's expressions when I explained that I was taking a month long trip from San Diego all the way to Banff, Canada. Most were shocked, wide-eyed and usually responded with "that's crazy!" And part of me agreed, this is crazy! But excitement and adrenaline quickly replaced that when I remembered all the places and adventures I had planned. Someone once told me that it's not an adventure until something goes wrong. Yes, there were a handful of things that did go wrong, but what surprised me was everything that went right! Hikes, camping, weather, directions, meals, people, conversations, and scenery, it all came together in this beautifully orchestrated rhythm.'"

 

Travel Is The Best Education We Can Give Our Kids.

Many people say that life is basically over once you have kids. Well, that doesn't sound like fun (and we’re all about having fun) so we were determined not to let our lives drastically change once we had kids. I mean, don’t get me wrong. There are definitely things that will change. For example – getting poo on your hands without being phased by it. But we weren’t about to let our love for the outdoors, camping, and traveling be hindered by our little ones, and in fact, we’ve done our very best to instill this same love in them. 
 
Our most recent trip to the UK certainly wasn’t a piece of cake (there were tantrums, jet lag, and a 10-hour flight from hell), but it was one of the most incredible trips we’ve ever been on. We booked a seaside cottage through Airbnb in a remote part of the Scottish highlands and spent our days exploring the coastline, castles, waterfalls, and some of the most incredible landscapes I’ve ever seen. Beyond the natural wonders, we were able to experience the customs and culture of the Scottish people and let our kids experience a different way of living. 
 
I really believe that travel is the best education that we can give our kids. It expands our horizons, preserves our sense of wonder, closes cultural gaps, and proves that there are good and kind people in every part of the world. And couldn’t we all use a little more of that in our lives? 
 
WRITTEN & EXPERIENCED BY RYAN COPE. FOUNDER OF THE BEST PACK ON THE PLANET: WANDRD.

Everyday You Wait Is A Day You Won’T Get Back.

hey there, i’m kenT and i’m an artist.  but not the tortured kind, i’m also a crossfit’r. but i try not to tell everyone i meet.
 
i create one-of-a kind-paintings. you may have seen my work in cb2, on sale sites such as gilt.com, or popping up in celebrity home photos in people magazine. 
 
i am wile e coyote, dynamite ready and excited to introduce a new series of paintings based on crossfit work out movements.  i have canvas’s showing double under’s, burpees, slam balls, push ups, kettle bell swings, box jumps and dead lifts.  maybe even a few you will need to look at twice to figure out.
 
it is all a sort of mix between crossfit + canvas. these caffeine laden, high intensity movements are a  jarring collision between the still and blank space of a fresh canvas + the rapid repetitive motion of athletic strength.  it is an unforeseen impact between the pre wod countdown and the fine line between wanting to quit and pushing through to finish the work out.
 
each original piece is a unique, one of a kind creation ready for hanging in your box, your office, your home or even in your secret lair.  to some it will be an abstract work or art.  to others it will be a reminder that after completing twenty one, fifteen and nine nothing can stand in your way. there are also hand pulled screen prints available for smaller spaces or to be hung as a featured gallery wall.  each is numbered as a limited edition of 25 and signed.
 
oh, and vuori clothing made jumping around, splashing in paint and lifting heavy stuff super easy to do.  i love the way the kore shorts moved while diving up and down during long video shoots of endless burpees + the banks help up just the same while dead lifting into puddles of paint. i liked them so much i have my local box carrying the collection.
 
i’m actually pretty quiet – most of the time. yet i’m capable of volcanic eruptions of energy and frenzied moments of accomplishment.  its just that i’m better with a brush than i am with words.  and in this case, i’m better at pushing, pulling and lifting than i am with expressing myself through voice.  in many ways it can be hard for me to talk about my work – that’s why i paint – i’m trying to show you how i feel.
 
i’m constantly putting my work in front of others which can give be crawl in a ball + hide under a desk anxiety. work’n out - whether it is crossfit, soccer, going for a run or a yoga session boosts my confidence and calms my nerves.  
 
more than anything - that is why i sweat.
 
i need that.  every day.
 
i also need to be told to wake up.  get off the couch.  show up on time.  work your backside off and surprise someone.
 
being an artist is not all pretty pictures and brightly hued sunsets.  
 
i didn’t  start with a business plan, a studio, fancy business cards or an art blog.
 
i don’t really know when i started.  but it was slow.  family is priority number one so i couldn’t  just jump ship and announce i was an artist.  i looked for clients and projects during the day, took phone orders for pleated khaki’s in the evening and if i could stay awake would paint a little after that – then do it all over again the next day.  honestly – not the peek of my artistic career – but i was part of the journey.
 
if i had only known then…
 
actually – i did.  and so do you. you know it now + you can feel it – so do it.  do what you love – now.  do it at night.  wake up two hours early.  make it your second job.  replace your television schedule with a making stuff schedule.  whatever you have to do.  do it.  now.
 
don’t figure it out – because you won’t.  i still haven’t, no one has.  don’t wait for clients, don’t wait to be debt free, don’t wait for the right situation, for things to settle down, for your kids to go to school, leave the house or get out of diapers.  don’t wait for less hours at work, don’t wait for summer, don’t wait for winter, don’t wait to settle down – don’t wait.
 
i’ll never get back the days i waffled between i should do it and i could do it.  it was not until i took action, even though i really didn’t know the direction that things began to fall into place.
 
everyday you wait is a day you won’t get back.
 
the world is full of people and corporations who claim to be authentic, creative, game-changing, innovative, inspiring and paradigm-shifting.  sounds great – but that’s not good enough… i want to be with/ work with/ collect the work of someone who shows fall down, crazy stupid love for their work and want to be surrounded by people who are alluring, beguiling, blazing, bursting, epic, frenzied, ravenous and volcanic. i want passion to erupt.
 
 
to find out more about the unique pieces of art created using kettle bells, slam balls, jump ropes + plates and bars, visit http://experience.kentyoungstrom.com/crossfit-and-canvas/

The Kore Short: Where The Journey Began

 

We started Vuori because we were looking for comfortable and versatile clothing that performed exceptionally well, but with a west coast style that would transition effortlessly to life outside the gym or studio. The Kore Short was one of the first in the lineup and it's still one of our favorites to date.  More colors and prints coming soon.  As we like to say "One Short. Every sport."

The Rewild(Her)'S Journey By Marissa Quinn

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Two years ago I was standing in a stuffy cement room, with hot spotlights pointing on my nervous face, a microphone in front of me, andan art gallery packed with hundreds of people who had gathered there for one reason- me. This was the opening night of my MFA Thesis show (which stands for Master of Fine Art), a night that I had been working toward for three long years…and I was about to open my mouth and speak about my work and my thesis paper. Terrified, with heat patches forming on my neck, I began a speech that launched me into an art career that has lead me down a crazy road of research, adventure, and drawing for the past two years.

In a nutshell, the thesis speech, paper, and show from that night had to do with a little thing in the world of conservation biology called "rewilding". I decided to push this theory of rewilding further into ecological conservation by incorporating community building and art-making into its stepping stones....Now I won't bore you with the details, but in a nutshell, rewilding is basically large-scale restoring, and protecting wilderness areas and natural processes while reintroducing apex predators and keystone species back into ecosystems in hopes of recreating natural environmental balance. On a human level, rewilding is a holistic way of life, calling us back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors' understanding of the connectivity of nature, the balance of life on Earth. It is the undoing of domestication, placing equal value on all creatures and releasing human control over nature. It is also an individual call to return to a more natural or wild state.

So this lead to a crazy idea…why not take myself on a journey of “rewilding”?

The idea percolated in my mind for about a year and half, and during that time I wrestled constantly with fear, doubt, and telling myself that this was an irresponsible and completely stupid idea. A tiny blonde, 27 year old lady, solo traveling, not working a full-time job, and not knowing where this idea would end up? Just go?

Like a little neighbor knocking on the door of my mind, the idea kept coming over, asking for teaspoons of sugar so that it could be baked into something real. 

One day last year, after dealing with a draining job, a draining relationship, and a draining living situation, (not to mention and drained bank account), I found myself at a point that I think I know now as “my wit’s end”. I was over it. Over the way my life was going, over being stuck, over everything that society was implying that I should be as a white female from San Diego, over the way I was consuming things as a member of a Capitalist society, over my spiritual confusion, and over the personal darkness that my life had been for so long. So I decided to give in, and give my idea a teaspoon of sugar.

And I released myself to dream.

This journey would be my experiment in actually living out the ideas in my thesis paper by enacting rewilding on a personal level, bringing about communal awareness of changing environments and action through art and lifestyle. It would be a leap into the unknown and a documentation of my own transformation into a natural and holistic lifestyle…which made me laugh having just remembered that the last time I had pitched a tent or built a fire was during my Girl Scout days!

During the following weeks, I continued to give myself space to dream and I watched a plan begin to blossom. The plan flowered into deciding to solo travel from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada and back, living out of my van and camping at State/National Parks…and also WWOOFing (World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers)… which is pretty sweet because farmers will let you stay on their property for free in exchange for 4-6 hours of work a day! 

All of this was getting pretty exciting! I decided that along the route, I would illustrate the coastline and watch its changing patterns, flora, and fauna from border to border, and then I would compile these sketches into a book!

This book idea then lead to the creation of a Kickstarter campaign called “The Rewild(her)’s Journey”, where I pitched the idea of the journey and the book.

The week before launching the Kickstarter, I found myself in the familiar darkness of fear and doubt talking to me from every angle in my mind. This whole thing would fail. Every professional artist out there is going to watch you fail and then galleries won’t want to work with you. Nobody is going to give you money for this, why should they? This is a terrible idea. 

For some reason though, when something brings on this much fear and doubt, I tend to leap forward into warrior mode, stubbornly working through fear and fighting for the dream. After going with my gut, coaxing fear into the back of my mind, and realizing I had nothing to lose, I threw myself into the campaign. It took a lot of hard work and vulnerability; actually, it took several meltdowns of streaming tears over my computer believing that all had failed. It also took the support and faith of hundreds of friends, strangers, and brands that I previously did not know! 

A month later, I found myself sitting on the floor of my van on a cliff overlooking the Cardiff tides. I had a coffee in my hand and a map spread out on the floor, planning. I was over-funded and ready to hit the road.

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I wish I had the time and space to tell you all about the journey from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada and back, the meltdowns, struggles, low-points, enlightenment, adventure, bravery, and beauty of the it all, but I guess it would all lead to the same point…if there is something in your life that you are afraid to do, you should probably just quit your b.s. and do it! You have the power to change your life right here, and right now. 

Furthermore, this journey has left me convinced of the truth I spoke into the microphone to hundreds of people the night of my MFA thesis show. The truth is that world-wide environmental change will only occur with the bravery of individuals learning how to handle fear, through rewilding journeys, through forming communities, and embracing creativity once again.  I found this truth in T. S. Eliot’s famous quote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” I think he was speaking to the heart of what my whole thesis was about.

And I’ll leave you with this- please get away and lose yourself in nature once in a while. She will embrace your lost self and return it to you new and radiant, because she it the heart of the Divine. 

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For more of Marissa Quinn's art and the full story behind the Rewild(her) Journey, check out marissaquinn-art.com

Struggle, Perseverance, And Perspective

While I was participating in Yoga Teacher Training in 2012, I was invited to be a volunteer/researcher on a trip to Kenya with a nonprofit organized of faculty and staff from DePaul University. At the time, I was wrapping up my first year of graduate school at DePaul and I was absolutely in love with yoga.

I became passionate about international, nonprofit organizations after studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010. In Cape Town, I volunteered through a U.S. nonprofit at an orphanage in the township of Khayelitsha. My experience in Cape Town left me with many unanswered questions about U.S. nonprofit operating internationally and I was excited to have an opportunity to personally seek some answers in Kenya.

 Upon arrival to Kenya, the culture shock I experienced stunned me. In preparation for our trip, I focused all of my energy on my research instead of preparing for the journey itself, which was equally as important because of my dual role as a researcher and a volunteer in a third world country. I naively thought I would be “okay” with volunteering in Kenya since I had spent time in South Africa, I did not consider how the people and the environment would impact me emotionally. Once we arrived, my overwhelming emotion turned to panic. At one of our sites, there was extreme, abject poverty. The community lacked all basic resources: food, water, sanitation, and proper education.

 I will never forget that deep sensation of fear, how uncomfortable I felt the moment we arrived to Athi River. There was an animal carcass, dripping in blood, swarmed by flies, hanging in the front window of our hotel; they butchered the meat there. My room was tucked in the far back corner of the building. There were dried, dead mosquitos on my wall and a net covering my bed. As I stood mortified in my hotel-room, I was most pained by the fact that I knew my accommodations were significantly better than the majority of peoples’ living arrangements in the local community.

 I felt guilty for being so uncomfortable in our Kenyan home. At night, it got worse. My room was directly underneath the area the staff stayed. At all hours, indecipherable sounds flooded my room. While I was there, I was miserable. In addition to being scared, hungry, tired, and sick from my malaria medication, I experienced intense sadness and guilt. 

With that said, there were many moments of smiles and laughter, but I still cried every night. The women and men I met were positive, hardworking, and happy. In spite of my perception of what I thought they “lacked”, they lived meaningful, purpose-filled lives. The gentleman responsible for our stay at the hotel was so kind and sincere, yet I still felt so vulnerable and afraid. It was hard for me to accept their reality, I couldn’t get over it — I could not get over how I “struggled” with things in my life back home, where I had absolutely everything I needed and more, while these people were happily living with next to nothing.

 To come full-circle, I am grateful I pressed pause on teaching yoga to instead volunteer and research in Kenya. Traveling to Kenya made me the teacher I am today. Through the process of experiencing fierce, visceral emotions, I learned how to truly sit with discomfort and fear. In the moment, I was petrified. In hindsight, it is one of my most powerful, cherished memories.

Through this experience, I learned the value of intense, personal struggle and of perseverance. When I arrived, I wanted to book an immediate ticket home, but instead I stayed. Staying gave me empathy for those who are scared and want to quit. Staying taught me that we are all more the same than we are different. It humbled me. And, it reminded to stay open and vulnerable because growth and evolution always happen outside of my comfort-zone. When I extend myself, I elevate to a higher perspective.

 Stay connected to Julia’s journey at JuliaSparkman.com, she regularly teaches yoga and workshops and writes stories about her experiences living in Southern California and traveling abroad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy + Healthy Summertime Eats

healthy salmon to be grilled or broiled. The perfect summertime dinner essential.
healthy and easy mango salsa

Our friends over at BasilHealth shared this delicious and healthy recipe with us. ENJOY!

Broiled (or BBQ) Salmon with Mango Salsa

Summertime means hotter days that are perfect for getting out the grill and eating a bit lighter using in-season fruits and veggies, and healthy proteins. To us, salmon is the perfect choice for a hot summer day. Salmon’s high omega-3 content helps improve control of the body’s inflammatory processes, decreases the risk of heart problems, and leads to better cell and brain function (among other things). The fish also contains tons of B vitamins, which support energy production, and vitamin D, which is important for bone health and blood sugar control.

What we like best with this nutrient-rich fish is a tangy salsa made of mango and kumquats. For this recipe, we chose to broil the salmon because it cooks so quickly and perfectly in the boiler. Since the fish cooks in just about 10 minutes, the kitchen won’t be too warm for too long. Plus, preparing it with a bit of oil and some dry rub makes for quick prep and clean up, without all the mess of marinating and basting.

You can also grill the fish on the barbeque with the exact same prep and ingredients--just wrap it up in tinfoil before throwing it on. We like this salmon equally served hot or cold.

Broiled Salmon + Mango Kumquat Salsa

Yields: 2 servings

Salmon Ingredients:

  • 16 oz raw wild caught or sustainably farmed salmon

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon pepper

  • 1/2 Tbsp powdered ginger

  • 1/2 Tbsp dried herbs or spices of choice

  • Sea salt + pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to broil setting.

  2. On a cookie sheet, prep the salmon. Keep the skin on, with that skin side facing down. (Line the cookie sheet with tin foil if desired to make cleanup easier.)

  3. Evenly pour olive oil over the entire fish, so it pours over the sides.

  4. Next, sprinkle/shake all your herbs and rubs onto the top of the fish and olive oil, including salt and pepper. (See photo)

  5. Broil fish until insides aren’t pink anymore but rather a light peach color. This should only take about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it and set a timer.

Mango Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1 large really ripe mango, peeled and chopped

  • 5 or 6 kumquats, seeds removed, chopped

  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped (or less for less heat)

  • 1 Tbls orange juice, bottled or fresh squeezed

  • 1 whole avocado, skin + seed removed, sliced

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 Tbsp chopped red onion (or any onion on hand)

  • salt + pepper, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.

Serve the salmon with about a half cup of salsa. There will be some salsa left over--it’s delicious with corn, plantain or just about any other kind of chip.

Enjoy!

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