Hope everyone had a great week. I thought I'd drop some random
city adventure tips as well as some school/career tips. When I was
going/got to school, I sought out people that gave great
perspectives and fun tips from the locals. Thought I would pass
them on. :)
Museums in Chicago
Do you have a Bank of America card? Did you know you can get
into any museum in Chicago for FREE the first weekend of every
month! Holy Toledo! The Shedd Aquarium and Museum of Science
and Industry are my FAVORITES. I was raised right by the
ocean and I love all things related to water, so Shedd was
extremely cool. This past weekend I ventured to the science and
industry museum. It's south of the city a couple miles and it's
loaded with visually intriguing displays and mind bending
Me in a mini tornado at the Museum of Science and
Fun tip: There is a parking lot not associated with the museum
right off Lake Shore Drive that is $5 instead of $20 that the
museum lot brings in. Winning.
Lastly, the Lincoln Park Zoo is fantastic and its FREEEE.
You can park there for 20 bucks or you can somehow get there
another way (cab, El, bike, it's too far to walk from the Metra). I
went there with my sister in August and the animals were great and
the views of the city were profile pic worthy!
Willis (Sears) Tower vs. Hancock Tower
So you want to see the big city views? The Willis (Sears)
Tower is $16 to go to the sky deck, which I've heard is pretty
awesome. An alternative you ask? The Hancock Tower.
Go to the 96th floor and there is an epic view that you can enjoy
almost equal to the Willis (Sears) Tower. All you have to do is
order a drink or appetizer and sit at a nice little table with
amazing views of the city. The cocktails are steep ($11-$15) but
just go for one drink and enjoy a unique experience in Chi
Adjusting at National
Just in case you didn't realize...you're going to be a
chiropractor. Chiropractic means "done with HANDS." Please, please,
PRACTICE adjusting and palpating. I am constantly surprised at how
many people let this critical piece of their education go. The ONLY
bad thing about National is you can get through the program without
being an exceptional adjustor. I understand they can't hold people
back and that students need to take it upon themselves to refine
and improve, but hey, let's get better with our hands, okay? Just
think about what the public expects of you: ADJUSTMENTS. At NUHS we
obviously learn A LOT more, but our basic toolset is the art of
Tip: Find upper classmen that can adjust everything and everyone
(you'll know who they are) and constantly pick their brains on how
they set up, thrust, practice, etc. Even consider asking them to
tutor you weekly. If you're going to spend money on tutoring for
all these academic classes why not pay someone to teach you how to
adjust? Which do you think will have a bigger payoff for your
Tip: Don't feel bad if it doesn't come naturally. It's hard. But
it's learnable! Also, do NOT let your ego prevent you from setting
up and adjusting people for fear they think you'll stink. Do it
anyway; it's better to mess up now with students than on your
Tip: Go to CLUBS. Go to Clubs. Go to Clubs. AK, Motion Palp, Sports
Rehab. Your face should be in there. Period.
Here's a shocker - LEARN IT. Across all the docs I've spoken
with, the overwhelming biggest thing they did to build a practice
was learn to effectively communicate and speak to people. You think
you'll just throw a sign of "chiropractor" up and they'll pour into
your office knowing everything you're capable of? Negative. Get out
there and constantly get used to being uncomfortable. How do you
know you're making progress? When you are terrified! That means
your pushing the envelope and expanding your bubble. How you do you
when you are moving forward? When you are less and less nervous
speaking in situations that used to scare you to death. Do it. Get
Tip: Toastmasters is a great organization to check out for local
public speaking practice around the country.
Tip: Always offer to present whatever class project you're
involved with. Little wins. Big leverage.
Wow! What an AWESOME weekend! I am so exhausted writing this in
class today (don't tell Dr. H lol). My sister, Eliza, came to visit
Friday morning and stayed until Monday morning. We made an epic
Bucket List and went on adventures galore! Details below:
Eliza and I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo! In case you've never
been there, it is FREE! We drove into the city (fun on its own!)
and basically parking is the only fee ($20 for 3 hours). There were
a lot of animals and I was impressed for a park that is free to the
public! My favorite animal, if you can guess, is the LION! But he
was sleeping on the rocks and wasn't too animated to see me (how
dare he!) The most animated animals? A tie between the camels and
the monkeys. The gorillas were pretty awesome as well. Right on the
edge of the zoo there is an EPIC view of the city skyscrapers (see
picture), a nice bonus!
Later on that day was the Frat Party. We inducted the newbies,
gave them some ridiculous "bro names" and had a grand time. The
party took a turn for the legendary when the slip 'n slide got set
up! We added baby oil and dish detergent for extra 'slip-a-bility'
(real word?) that resulted in NUHS' first ever slip 'n slide bash!
Many people thought this would be a bad idea until they saw how fun
it was. I myself still have some scrapes on my stomach but it
was...WORTH IT! Let's be honest, I'm a kid at heart!
Saturday we ventured into the city and knocked out the Navy
Pier, Millennium Park, The Bean, the new Batman movie (my new
favorite movie ever), and fireworks! We almost made a comedy show,
but time and a misunderstood public transportation schedule were
the true culprits.
Sunday was one of the greatest days ever. Kendall let us borrow
his bikes and Eliza and I took them onto the train and then biked
around the city. This is something I've wanted to do since I got to
NUHS two years ago. This was a BLAST to ride on the bike trails
right along the water overviewing the tall city buildings! We biked
over to a dock and walked to the end and had lunch (cool find), and
then biked over to the beach and did flips into the water from the
side docks. Then we biked up to the end of the beaches just north
of the city and had some really unbelievable views of Chicago.
Next, was the most EPIC thing I've done this summer. We rented JET
SKI'S for an HOUR! It was AWESOME! 55 mph, big waves, splashes
galore, city views in Lake Michigan…pretty remarkable. My sacrum
needs an adjustment for the beating we took trying to jump the
waves! We finished with some Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and the
Olympics at a nice location downtown.
All in all--an unbelievable weekend.
I'll leave you with this. NUHS has an edge over many other DC
schools because of its location. Does Logan have a little bit newer
facilities? Sure. Does Palmer draw you enough to be in bum-stunk
Iowa for years? I hope not. Chicago is where it is at. It's an
excuse to live in a part of the country I would never get a chance
to live in ever again and experience the local fun in a way I'd
never do as a tourist. Love the workload or hate it (mostly hate
it), the weekends you have to take a breather and I recommend my
new favorite city in the world--Chicago. If you're on the fence,
choose NUHS (and they don't even pay me to say this!...well sorta
This past Memorial Day weekend my best friends and college
roommates came to visit me in Chicago! They got in on Friday and we
rounded up an epic weekend bucket list of items we wanted to cross
off before they left on Monday. They've never been to Chicago and
may never have a chance to come back so we wanted to do a fun mix
of touristy and shenanigan-filled adventures.
Our List Looked Something Like this:
WHEW! We were EXHAUSTED come Monday morning… So much traveling
(we don't believe in cabs)... So much walking... So much FUN! My
stomach hurt from laughing so much. It was a great weekend and
definitely filled my "JMU friends" tank as I hadn't seen these
characters in 13 months and they are like my brothers after living
together all 4 years of college. Fun Fact: Luke was my random
assigned roommate freshman year and Faraaz was our suitemate. Total
Chance. I'm very thankful for meeting great people and having them
as friends years later.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER TAKE TYLENOL AFTER DRINKING. NEVER. The
liver needs to use the same enzymes to break down both the alcohol
and the drug and it can cause the liver cells to lyse (think: blow
up/die) and that is BAD! Tens of THOUSANDS of people are
hospitalized because of Tylenol toxicity yearly and this can be
PREVENTED with a little education. So, I'm doing my part. If you
really need to relieve that hangover headache take IBUPROFEN, it's
easier on the liver. NEVER TYLENOL. Unless, in Dr. McRae's words,
"You want your liver to look like chocolate pudding at autopsy."
Yeah, how's that for a visual! HA HA.
Peace out Lions,
Christian the Lion
It was Friday afternoon when I picked up my two JMU buddies
(Astin & Shawn) from O'Hare airport. They immediately jumped in
and made a viral YouTube video joke. The laughter didn't stop until
Monday afternoon when I dropped them off for their flight back to
Washington D.C. What a weekend!
We started the shenanigans by going out to watch the Bruins game
7 of the Eastern Conference Finals with about 10 other NUHS
students. They, of course, had to try the deep dish pizza and the
coined phrase, "When in Chicago..." was used frequently those 4
days. Thank God the Bruins won! We are going to the STANLEY CUP
Our Saturday was easily the most ridiculous day I've ever been a
part of. For reasons different than this blog's policy, I will
merely give you a small recap. Astin and Shawn are huge baseball
fans so one of the bucket-listed items on their Chicago trip was
Wrigley Field, of course. We crossed that off Saturday. I've never
been to Wrigley and I must say it rivals Fenway Park (my hometown's
historic ballpark) in its uncanny ability to make you feel a part
of its storied history. Another small perk was that the tickets
were a heck of a lot cheaper than Fenway tickets because the Cubs
are abysmal. They lost 10 to nada at the hands of the
just-better-than-awful Pitt Pirates. Somehow in the midst of it we
witnessed the Cubs get held to a complete game - 3 hit shutout by a
mediocre Pirates pitcher.
After the game we met up with National students in Wrigleyville
(who also had friends visiting) for some post-game festivities.
There's plenty more to the story but we'll leave that out for
All in all, the weekend was extremely fun and recharging (well,
kind of) for me. I got to see a few faces I haven't seen in over a
year, witnessed my first Wrigley game, saw the Bruins advance to
the Stanley Cup for the first time in 21 years, got fried like a
lobster at the pool, finalized a deal with Ori Hofmekler (more on
this in later posts), got some good PubMed research for my new case
study experiment, and am ready to start ramping up studying for
Did I mention the shoulder seminar is next week in St. Louis? So
pumped. We'll talk seminar next week.
Happy St. Patty's Day!
Depending upon when you're reading this article, I'd like to
wish you happy Irish Appreciation Day lol. My friends and I
ventured into Chi Town for an epic day of fun this past Saturday.
We all agreed to take the 9am train in so we could have as full a
day as possible. We ventured all over the city and to be honest a
few of the places were a little cloudy to recall The best
part was we rolled to each new bar with like 15 of our friends, so
it didn't matter where we went you know we had a good time and
plenty of laughs.
I don't live with too many regrets but the one I had was I
didn't get a picture of the green-dyed Chicago River. Our early
city travels put us at the river at 10am and apparently they
started dying it at 11am. By the time we got back to another place
where the river was visible it was dark and you couldn't tell the
contrasting green. Oh well! All in all I have to say my friends, a
new city adventure, and Irish beverages made Saturday one of the
best I've had.
Muscle Myth Exposed
The extent of most people's 'gym IQ,' as I call it, is a
culmination of this rudimentary (and made up) equation: Experience
+ Untested Water Cooler Myths + Science = Gym IQ.
The problem is that most people don't ever take the time to
track what changes produced the best results. And why should they?
They get good enough results not to question the protocol but
almost never poor enough to inflict enough self-doubt and confusion
to switch up their routines. They keep trying the same things over
and over and expecting better results. Einstein's definition of
I'll illustrate with own my college gym experience. Two years
ago in my junior year in college, my roommate Faraaz and I decided
to hit the gym hard for five-six months. I started at 180lb max on
the bench press and finished six months later at my all-time best
205lb max! I was euphoric! That was the definition of good enough
not to complain but not poor enough to complain and change
routines. Does that make sense?
From observations, most people lump in their three sets of eight
reps for a few exercises and go home and slug a protein shake and
think that this is the proven formula. Here's the tricky part: IT
WORKS! It definitely works and actually if you look at the
literature the 'science' supports post-exercise intake of protein
up regulates muscle protein synthesis and increases muscle
strength. On top of that our bodies are soo stinking good at
adapting to stimuli that if you lift practically anything your body
will get stronger and your muscles will grow!
The other piece of knowledge that EVERYONE seems to agree with
is: Water Cooler Muscle MYTH: To increase the strength of a
muscle group you have to work it through the full range of motion.
Here's the tricky part: IT'S SO LOGICAL. I mean anybody in their
right mind would look at that statement and agree. I do for the
most part, but I decided to test it and put that water cooler myth
to the test.
The BENCH PRESS MAX Experiment
My test baseline was the full rep max on bench press. When I
started my lifting experiment eight weeks ago, I maxed out at
180lbs (I hadn't seriously lifted in eight months), which is by gym
standards unimpressive. I've always had shoulder problems so the
idea of lowering heavy amounts of weight into my shoulder's weakest
range of motion and instability wasn't my idea of a good time. So I
decided to complete Isometric Static Contractions developed by Pete
Sisco where you set the weights up in a cage with stoppers and do
as much weight as you can hold in the strongest range of motion for
that muscle (for bench its two-three inches below elbow
To give you an example of how much more weight you can do, I
STARTED with 350lbs for seven seconds of hold time to failure.
After just four weeks, I completed a 585lb hold at six seconds to
failure. So my total range of motion was three inches. Following
the isometric hold to failure, I completed one set of six-seven
reps to failure through the end half range of motion. So basically
I lowered the stoppers down to what I deemed a 'half press' or
about half of the range of motion below lockout. Again, total range
of motion about 12 inches. I started at 165 and finished at 215
four weeks later. The following month I had to stop because we were
trying to figure out the blood tests and I was limited to lift four
times. I did the same one set of 7 '1/2reps' to failure on decline
bench starting at 225. After my fourth workout at the end of four
weeks, I did 275 to failure. Again range of motion: Half a rep at
The truly interesting part comes with the final test. What most
trainers and PTs will tell you is that you will only increase
strength in the particular degree and range of motion and your full
reps won't improve that much. So how did I do? I just crushed 235
lbs on a full rep max on bench press! My spotter and buddy, Nick,
was shocked that I was able to do that after only eight weeks and
just 12 total workouts without a single full range rep. The weird
part? It made NO sense! How is that possible? You do full range of
motion lifts for six months and gain 25 lbs on your max and then
you do just eight weeks of lifting two years later and gain 55 lbs?
That's 120% better performance in 33% of the time frame? The cool
part is that I think that water cooler myth is officially BUSTED
(in my best Jamie from Mythbusters voice)!
Moral of the story: You don't have to necessarily do full range
exercises to stimulate muscle growth or strength. My advice? Eat
like a horse and rest more than you think. If you aren't increasing
your lifts every week you aren't eating enough quality food or you
aren't giving yourself enough recovery time between
Enjoy the rest of the week!
• MPI Gait Seminar
• Trimester Wind Down
• Chiro Games
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