Marsing

People are going to live on Mars. Elon Musk gave this talk recently about living abroad. It inspired me to think about life on Mars. I can see that humans will find a way to travel to and live in other parts of the galaxy. To see space as a real frontier makes Earth appear as just one of many possible homes.

I believe all elements of the universe are connected. Everything, everywhere, follows the same laws of nature. Attraction, orbit, and energy pervade throughout. We just look at it differently depending on the context. What’s the difference between a thrown ball landing on the ground and the 12 or so planets orbiting the sun? Nothing. Both situations follow the same rules, and they in fact are part of the same system. So naturally, I think it may be possible to live on Mars if it is possible for us to live on Earth.

Obviously, there are a lot of problems to address. The temperature, the gases, the chemical makeup of the planet, the length of the days and years, and the distance from Earth. But I liken the venture to a familiar one that many people can attest to: living in the wild. If you ask the average person whether they would be able to survive in the wild if they were forced to, most would say yes with varying qualifications. The idea is that no, they haven’t done it before, but they are pretty sure they can.

The problems with living on Mars are numerous, and I think there are many problems with living on Earth we haven’t yet solved. There are still diseases that evade our medical treatments. Autoimmune conditions are still being investigated. Cures and recoveries are sparse and not fairly discussed in the medical community. Solutions to much of what we suffer as a species are band-aids rather than the stitches that are needed. And so people work to discover more.

One of my main concerns about my life on Earth is my connection to the ground energy of this planet.

“Earthing” is known as making skin contact with the bare ground on Earth. In the context of our own planet, the EMF and the charge that is produced in Earth is well known. This energy that surges through us as we ground ourselves is measurable and the benefits to the human body has been documented. Free and mobile electrons from Earth’s surface provide antioxidant action that reduces inflammation.

Regular contact with this energy is necessary for a thriving life. It’s something people and animals and plants have been connected to since “the beginning”. Recently, things have changed for humans, our pets, our plants, and zoo animals. Isolation from the earth’s surface leaves a living being with unnecessary, low levels of inflammation. This is dangerous for people prone to autoimmune disease, and limiting for everyone else. The solution, of course, is to be barefooted on bare earth regularly. Earthing.

“Marsing”, or earthing on Mars, is a concept that popped in my mind as I thought about the general mission to populate Mars. What is not known is the effect of “Marsing”. What happens when a person makes skin contact with bare ground on Mars? Provided the outside temperature permits, is there a surface energy capable of maintaining antioxidant needs for humans and other earthlings? And when the temperature is unbearable for a person to be barefooted, whether too cold or too hot, is there a possibility of “Marsing” through grounding pads plugged into an energy source? Is the composition of Mars soil healthy, harmless, or poisonous to a human?

It’s encouraging to see the progress of SpaceX and other organizations to make people interplanetary. There are already many astronauts who have lived extensively in space, away from the surface of the Earth. Even chimps! So it is possible to measure the effect of isolation from grounding in space and on other planets like Mars. It just hasn’t been done yet.

How does Mars compare to Earth in this respect? Earth’s surface has a charge of -1 nC per square meter. According to this Drexel University physics course calculation, the surface charge of Mars is -2.21 nC per square meter. This would put the Mars charge at more than double Earth. It is on the order of a nano-Coulomb, which is tiny, and would seem to be harmless upon skin contact. This will need to be tested.

The system of earthing seems to be an electrical one. But like all other natural things that are broken down to specific parts to isolate the benefits, the result may not be the same. Let’s say this charge on Mars, in the long term, is not healthy for humans.

A generator could produce a similar charge, in theory, as that found on the Earth’s surface. It wouldn’t need to be much. People could hook themselves up to grounding mats, like the one I use daily, to access an artificial ground charge from a generator. It seems doable. But is it the same as touching bare ground?

There are clearly benefits to using earthing mats for recovery from inflammation. In this study I highlighted previously, subjects attached to grounding pads were found to recover faster from pain and tissue damage.

Human life on Mars will need a lot of technological aide. There’s lots of talk about terraforming, heating, and accessing water on the Red Planet. But what about the electromagnetic field?

Thinking through the hurdles of Mars life is a good practice for thinking about Earth life. I think the problems of Mars life point directly back to life on Earth today. Do we breathe clean enough air? Is our energy source really endless? Can we sustain civilization with solar power? What is the impact of isolation from the planet’s surface energy?

There are many parallels in wellness issues on Earth to those we’ll face on a strange planet. Perhaps thinking in the context of Mars life can help us improve Earth life.

Go out and touch the ground we so freely have. And forward this to anyone you know who is working on preparations for a life on Mars.

Live powerfully,

Steve


Image Credit: By Moyan Brenn from Anzio, Italy (Mars) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Mars_%2813026811355%29.jpg Edits: cropped to 600 pixel width and removed name.

Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?

Universal Mat Kit

Amazon Affiliate Links
Note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
I link to tools that I have used, found meaningful, and that I believe could benefit my brilliant readers.

What I’m Sitting On Right Now

Hey guys,

Hope you’re having a great weekend. Here’s something that’s been changing my life for the last five years.

I’m sitting on a mat that’s plugged into the grounding plug of a wall outlet. It’s transferring earth’s free electrons to my body. As long as my skin is in contact with it, I’m at a near earthing voltage.

Connecting to the ground is known as earthing.

Free electrons act as antioxidants without the metabolic side effects of food-derived or body-produced sources. Antioxidants are involved in diffusing oxidizing agents that cause damage, both intended and unintended, at the molecular level. Free electrons travel through to body and affect everything from muscle training recovery, infection response, and DNA transcription.

Most of us sleep on beds in rooms isolated from the earth. There’s no electron flow to our bodies during the night, a crucial recovery time. During sleep we go into healing mode and rebuild damaged tissues, fight infection, and process new experiences from the day. It’s important that we have free mobile electrons flowing to our tissues, cells, and DNA during this process.

I’ve been sleeping with this earthing mat at the foot of my bed for the past five years, consistently. When I’m not outside, this is my access to the earth. It’s comfortable, with the hard-to-find conductive cover included in the link below. When I’m at home reading or writing inside, I bring the mat with me.

The subjective results for me are clear. My sleep is deeper, I feel more relaxed, healed, and richer in mind when I wake. I feel less inflammation. For these benefits, I even traveled with it for the past four months. I earthed in my sleep through Indonesia, Thailand, and Korea!

Once in a while, I’m not able to use it at night. This is usually due to a faulty wall outlet. The kit comes with a tester plug to tell you if the outlet is grounded. An ungrounded outlet is devastating! When I don’t sleep with my mat, I’m more tired because sleep is more shallow. If I have a really tough day, physically or emotionally, and don’t have my earthing mat, I get symptoms like allergic coughing, achy joints, and fuzzy-headedness. I try to make up for the lost time earthing by getting barefoot outside for as long as possible.

The difference from earthing is huge. It’s strange that this simple mat can make such a change. It doesn’t heat up, create crazy vibrations, or do anything but transfer free electrons from the ground to your skin. Even if it’s just a placebo effect, I would still use it for the rest of my life. But I am convinced from my five years of using it that this is not a placebo.

No doubt, being outside barefoot is the absolute best, most direct way to ground yourself. But we haven’t found a comfortable way to sleep on the bare ground yet (just wait). So night time leaves a big earthing void. In my experience, the earthing mat is the next best thing.

Check it out, look through my posts here to learn more, and take the leap!

How earthing balances the immune response – collection of research on earthing

Earthing on the road – earthing in southeast Asia
Explore barefoot – earthing in Arizona and Utah
Earthing, rain or shine – on grounding, lightning, and earthing in Los Angeles

Take barefoot walks to relieve stress – how I dissolved residual work anxiety

Live powerfully,

Steve

Earthing Universal Mat with Cover Kit

Amazon Affiliate Links

Note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

I link to tools that I have used, found meaningful, and that I believe could benefit my brilliant readers.

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

The Semi Conductive Body

It is the year 2016.

I stand barefoot on the ground and listen.

A four hundred thousand kilogram vessel of shining metal soars through the air above me. It’s so far up I barely make out the glint of light and whisper it makes as it passes. The jumbo jet glides ten kilometers above ground at 900 km/hr.

My mind travels further up, past the stratosphere, where another four hundred thousand kilogram structure swings past the plane. The International Space Station zooms 400 kilometers above ground at 27,000 km/hr. It’s been circling this planet since 1998.

My kind, Homo sapiens, have forged technologies that allow us to roam the skies and beyond like no other creature can. Michael Faraday made the electric motor in 1821. The term “electricus” was coined in 1600 by William Gilbert upon studying static electricity. The ancient Egyptians wrote of Thunderers of the Nile, electric fish that held the power to shock. Earliest record dates to 2750 BCE.

From the gargantuan, we humans have developed down to the miniscule. There is a microrobot in development to insert into and operate on a diseased human eye. Others can crawl through a blood vessel to visualize and treat exact deficiencies.

I turn my attention to ground level, to the oldest and most sophisticated technology available to us. Within the cells of my body, and even closer, to the proteins that form these cells. When wet, these proteins allow electrons to flow. The entire structure of my physicality consists of proteins that are interconnected and surrounded by water.

The earth’s electrons are pulled through the protein complex that makes up my skin, muscles, bone, and even cells and DNA at the tiniest level. Every bit is connected by semi-conductivity. The protein complexes allow electrons to flow because of the water that surrounds them.

There’s an electron reservoir within my body. My tissues can hold a “full charge” of electrons that are used when there is oxidation. If I don’t step outside, I’m depleted of my electron source. I must then draw on other sources. Antioxidants from my diet and body synthesis can only go so far to fight damage. When these are depleted, especially with a life of stress, my immune system weakens.

So I bring my body, this formulation of ancient technology, out to connect with the earth. I renew my supply daily. I have had to engineer a life that allows me to step outside, barefoot, every day. I’ve rediscovered the way to more fully harness this technology. There’s more, I’m sure of it. So much more to discover. Yet, I’m quite certain it’s already been known, by someone, somewhere, some time in the past.

I bring my attention back out to the world, and I take pride in the amazing accomplishments we humans have made, zipping by, humming deep below, and silently providing comfort in every way.

Live powerfully,

Steve

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

How Earthing Balances Immune Response

I love earthing. It calms me down and helps me recover from exercise, infection, and anxiety. Here’s a scientific stance on earthing as it relates to inflammation. Read this great research paper for the nitty gritty.

Our bodies respond to exercise, infection, or injury damage by immune response. The immune response sends oxidative bursts that clear damaged tissue at the site of injury. This makes room for building healthy tissue. Think muscles getting bigger after training. Or you feeling amazing after all the coughing, sneezing, green yellow snot, and fevers from an infection. There’s a breakdown, then a buildup. Same response, different concentrations.

It’s called “oxidative burst” because agents are produced that have reactive oxygen molecules. The molecules have open-ended electrons that react with other molecules that make up the cells in our bodies. A common one made by our immune systems is superoxide. Contact with these molecules is called oxidation, and it leads to cell death. That’s why you don’t want to eat “oxidized fats”. They’re damaged by oxygen in the air, UV, and overcooking. The damaged fat’s free radicals will react with your body if you eat them.

The problem with the oxidative burst cell clearing process is that it affects surrounding healthy tissue. Oxidative bursts are not sniper shots. They are more like shotgun sprays in the general area. So what should have been protection for a tiny cut can become a whole swollen limb, if your immune system is not held in check. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.

Now for the experiment from the research paper. A group of people were subjected to soreness from calf raises. They were divided into earthed and non-earthed groups for the recovery period. Half of the subjects were given earthing mats and patches on their calves, and the other half were given placebo treatment. According to this research, swelling and muscle pain lasted longer for those who were not grounded. The subjects who were grounded experienced quicker resolution of swelling and pain. They also saw quicker white blood cell clearing from the repair areas. The ungrounded subjects had white blood cells lingering much longer.

So what’s the connection? Grounded means Earthed. Earthed means connected by bare skin to the surface of the Earth. The studies conducted regarding tissue inflammation and Earthing used grounding mats (example). These are semi conductive mats or patches that are attached to a person’s skin and plugged into the ground. The electrical connection to the ground brings the person to about the same voltage as the Earth.

That’s because they are connected to the earth’s electron supply. And electrons are antioxidants. Antioxidants diffuse oxidation within tissue. Remember that an oxidized molecule has a free electron, or free radical that makes it harmful. So a free electron from the earth or a donated one from vitamin C can stabilize the oxidant and stop the killing process.

So when you’re hurt, your body sends the immune response. White blood cells go there, and start clearing out dead tissue or killing off pathogens with free radicals like superoxide. The oxidative products from this cause inflammation at and around the injury. If you’re earthed, the balance comes from free electrons from the earth. They quickly subdue the killing, swelling, and pain. It’s nature’s balance.

If you’re making contact with the ground, an unlimited supply of free electrons from the earth are passing into your body. They are stored throughout your tissue and can eventually be used at the site of an injury, to resolve an inflammatory immune response.

If you’re not grounded, you don’t get that influx of electrons. Sure, there are antioxidants from foods and chemicals like bilirubin and vitamin C. But these are limited supplies, especially if we are not feeding ourselves with antioxidant-rich foods. Not only are we not eating enough nutritious foods, we are also eating oxidized fats and keeping the balance tipped toward inflammation.

When earthing, think electrically. Anything that doesn’t conduct electricity between you and the ground blocks that flow of free electrons. Rubber, wood, plastic, floor finish, glass, you name it. Dirt, grass, water, wet sand, and even concrete, with water molecules throughout it’s structure, are conductors and semiconductors that will allow earth’s electrons to flow into you. You don’t need much. Our bodies are hyper sensitive to electricity. The minuscule flow of electrons from the ground is enough to help us.

Without free and mobile electrons from the earth, inflammation lasts longer than it needs to. Swelling gets bigger than necessary. And sometimes, even if the initial hurt subsides, the inflammation never really goes away. Not only are we experiencing inflammation from injury, exercise, and infection, we are also getting it from environmental toxins and the food we eat.

The key is to keep the balance tipped in favor of quick healing and minimal inflammation. Earthing will keep your supply of electrons full and push you toward thriving.

Live powerfully,

Steve

Evolution of a Barefoot Walker

You walk out into the warm evening breeze. The urban air reaches your nose, scents of frying food, smog, and asphalt dancing with your senses. You examine the concrete savannah that is home, and take a few steps along the pale, neatly sectioned squares of sidewalk. Rubber sandal meets ground and you slowly stride forward. You’ve been wearing shoes your whole life. It’s just an extension of your postmodern body.

Suddenly, you have a desire to know what it’s like to shed the secondary skins of your feet. You slip your feet out of your sandals, bend to pick them up, and proceed to walk. The gritty texture of cement sparks millions of tingling sensations through your foot to your brain. Your ankles satisfyingly stretch. The back of your head tickles with the burst of sensation washing over your mind. And with the first few steps you realize that there are a few things to figure out.

First of all, what to do about your heels? Suddenly there’s so much stimulation and impact. The way you walk with shoes is to stomp on them, because that big cushion lets you. Bare, your heels don’t want that stomping. Neither does your ringing skull or jarred knees.

Okay, so you start to go lighter on the heels. Then you start to feel your insoles uncomfortably contacting the ground, which makes your feet turn inwards. That in turn causes your knees to buckle slightly, which just doesn’t seem right. Now you consciously put effort into keeping the contact outwards toward the blades of your feet. Oh, that’s a lot of foot mechanics right there.

And now that your steps are starting to roll on the outward edges of your feet, the ball and toes get the ground in a specific order. The side of your pinky toe gets a very small, but significant, head start on the ground ahead of your big toe side. How interesting. Who would’ve thought that toes touch the ground at different times?

Are your feet pointing forward now? If they aren’t, if they’re splayed out to the sides, it gets difficult to walk efficiently barefoot. Because your feet want to roll the ground out to the edges, and angled outward your insoles keep rolling down instead. Eventually, you figure it’s easier to point the toes forward.

And when your big toes touch down, the biggest surprise of all. There’s an irresistible reflex to grip down on the floor with that end of your foot, give a good push, and propel yourself forward. You get so into this natural feeling of springiness, locomotion, the ground, that you go further than you planned. And suddenly your feet start to get sore. You realize you now have to go back the same distance you came. And that’s going to hurt.

You’ve come to realize your current physical limit of walking. But you’re smart, and you brought your sandals along just in case. It’s gonna take a couple of days to recover from the soreness, but there’s no turning back. Barefoot, you are something else.

Live powerfully,

Steve

Things to read:

We stomp a lot harder in shoes than we would barefoot.

The forces on our joints is altered and magnified with shoes.

The heel and toe designs of dress shoes and heels completely disfigured our feet and posture.

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

From the Feet Up

My feet continue to get better. Huarache sandals made by Earthrunners have helped for the past couple of years. A flat surface is all my feet needed to develop their structure on their own. However, nothing has been more effective than simply walking around barefoot.

Whether it’s long walks outside, or a gym training session, having my feet on the ground makes the most pronounced difference in arch and toe alignment. There’s something about direct tactile interaction that stimulates my feet to the point of change. There are landmark improvements in my foot structure, and these are times when I’ve been barefoot. No amount of walking or running in sandals has compared yet.

It’s been a few years since I started looking into barefoot walking as a solution to my flattened arches. I’ve had flat feet most of my life. Neither of my parents had very high arches, and lots of running in typical tennis shoes caused problems. The favorable setting for developing or maintaining good foot structure and function are a free standing arch, room for toe splay in all directions, and the heel being level with the rest of the foot. Most shoes allow for none of these, but it is possible to obtain this with flat sandals or barefoot time.

I’ve been athletic my entire life and most of my steps were pounded out through the deforming tennis shoe. When I worked a day job I wore even more constrictive “dress shoes” all day. So I’m grateful to be able to walk barefoot or in flat sandals and to see marked improvement in my feet. The change in footwear and foot structure has affected the rest of my body as well. Knees, hips, back, shoulders, and head are relieved of pain with a strong foundation.

If you haven’t tried walking around barefoot for an extended period of time, meaning at least half an hour, try it. Sidewalks are much safer than you’d think. The effect of letting your feet do what they want, freely, can be startling. I exaggerate not. Also, to touch down on the concrete or grass or dirt will neutralize positive charge in your body. Both of these things can be life changing. Barefoot walking and earthing.

Live powerfully,

Steve

Earthing, Rain or Shine

Ground yourself.

The sky emitted that pure atmospheric blue earlier this week that only comes after intense rain. The wholesome downpour in Los Angeles had finally subsided.

So naturally I joined the radiant sun and walked barefoot to the park. I made it a point to wear shorts and sandals to maximize my connection to the grass and the sunlight.

And sitting on the grass, I let flow the Earth’s energy to my body.

Literally!

Between 1,000 to 2,000 thunderstorms raged elsewhere in the world at the same time as the one here in Los Angeles. Lightning struck the ground 5,000 times per minute around the globe, as it does all day, every day. These flashes transfer electrons from the sky to the ground.

I took full advantage of those electrons.

It’s called grounding, in physics terms. Buildings are grounded to minimize the buildup of static charge inside. This reduces risk of fires from sparks. When we ground ourselves outside, we call it Earthing. By making skin contact with the ground, I am taking the voltage difference between the Earth and me down to zero. I equalize my surface charge with that of the Earth.

Why am I not already at a neutral, zero surface charge? Because as I walk around, sit down, and go about my daily domesticated life, electrons rub off of me onto the non-conductive floors and objects I touch. Wood, carpet, and linoleum are barriers to electrical conductivity from the ground. So I don’t get the replenishing electron flow from the Earth.

Think about the last time you made skin contact with the Earth for at least ten minutes. Say, at the beach or the park? Was it more than a few hours ago? Days? Weeks? Months? Years??

You’ve probably done science experiments in grade school or middle school where you rubbed a glass rod with a furry cloth and it attracted hair and feathers. This happened because the glass lost electrons to the fabric rubbing it. This positively charged the rod, thus pulling other objects with electrons, like hair, feathers, or dust, to it.

We learned how to undo the stickiness of the glass rod. Replenish its supply of electrons to balance out the surface charge. Namely, touch it with your hand. The electrons from your body neutralized the rod’s charge.

After many months of rubbing off electrons, we humans build up and maintain a positive charge on our bodies.

Build up of positive charge on the body is related to inflammation. People with carpal tunnel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, poor circulation, chronic sinusitis, and intense joint pain, conditions stemming from chronic inflammation, found relief from grounding in multiple experiments. Even if you are not dealing with severe symptoms, grounding yourself regularly can lead to positive results.

We can neutralize ourselves simply by walking around barefoot outside and spending time on the grass, dirt, or sidewalks. Concrete happens to be a gentle conductor of electricity. Since most sidewalks are in contact with the Earth below it, you can ground yourself just by walking on it barefoot.

I like getting my feet dirty and feeling the immensely stimulating ground texture under my heels and toes. You might not share that excitement with me. And I realize this is an activity usually associated with hippies or the homeless.

But you don’t have to start by shopping around downtown barefoot. If anything, walking in and of itself brings great benefits for me as stress relief. Take a walk at the end of your day, and if you feel inclined, take off your shoes for a few pioneering steps and see what it’s like.

Or try Earth Runners sandals. They are a new take on old world Mexican sandals embedded with copper plugs that connect you to the ground through silver threading in the laces. Earthing without being barefoot.

I use an Earthing mat at home to ground myself when it’s pouring rain outside. For those of you in colder climates, this is a tremendous life hack.

Marcus Aurelius once advised, “Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul”.

NL 21 Marcus Aurelius The Brilliant Beast Blog.JPG

Consider that we humans came into existence covered by the electromagnetic shield of the Earth, and that maintaining that connection is key to good health. How wonderful that we can absorb the same energy as all other living beings around the globe!

Perhaps Earthing is not just about taking in charge from the ground. Maybe we are also giving our own energy to the world, to someone Earthing just on the other side of the planet.

Go, walk the earth. Let your foot grip the ground, as it was meant to, and welcome in the energy of the universe!

To powerful living!

Steve

Read TheBrilliantBeastBlog via email

 

Continue reading “Earthing, Rain or Shine”

The Secret to Effective Running is Torque

Brilliant Friends,
I totally rediscovered the joy of sprinting, thanks to an old buddy of mine.
My friend had asked me the other day if I could still run at a sprint. We had been talking about mobility the past couple days so it wasn’t as random a question as it might seem.
I said, “Yeah”, but with a little hesitation. It had been a long time since I did a full on sprint, and I don’t jog at all. Jogging doesn’t help with my performance in any way except for when jogging, in my experience. So I don’t do it, even though it does give a great “high”. Sprinting, on the other hand, has always proven to be beneficial.
So I went for a testing session two days ago to see if I really could still run at a sprint. I went out with my Earthrunner sandals and gave a couple tries on the sidewalk and street. Sure enough, it felt awkward and I got some stabbing knee pain. I knew I wasn’t doing something right.
I went on a stretch of grass and took my sandals off. I took a few easy strides back and forth, feeling out my alignment between my feet, ankles, knees, hips, head, and shoulders.
Eventually I got the sweet spots and graduated to several very good sprints back and forth. No joint pain at all, just fast, quiet, agile running.
Key Elements of Effective Sprint Running
The core of the running motion is that it is a continuous series of twisting. We propel ourselves forward by cranking up the torque in our abdomen and torso, swinging our elbows in opposition to our legs.
  1. Arms are rotating torso counterclockwise, legs are rotating hips clockwise. These opposing forces create torque in the abdomen. Running Secret Torque 1
  2. Torque in abdomen is released through the left leg into the ground and propels a brilliant beast forward. Rotation begins in the opposite direction for both torso and hips.Running Secret Torque 2
  3. Arms and shoulders rotate torso clockwise, and legs rotate the hips counterclockwise. Torque is again created in the abdomen, this time in reverse. Running Secret Torque 3
  4. Full twist acting on the abs. The right foot is about to touch ground and translate force into the ground again, continuing forward locomotion of a brilliant beast. Running Secret Torque 4
It’s an ingenious product of evolution that we two-footed creatures have mastered. Here is the breakdown:
  1. Absorb and release twisting power from your abs. Run with your abs, not your legs. Running is powered by the twisting mechanism of your shoulders and arms in opposition to your legs and hips. The center of that twisting torsion is your abs. Your midsection builds up torque from that twist, then releases it into the ground when your foot touches down. The mechanism then repeats in the opposite direction.
  2. Pillar Torso. If you follow my powerlifting newsletter, yes, this is the same concept as with squatting and deadlifting. A solid, quiet torso locked down by tight abs. I found this to increase the amount of torque in my abs. The more torque, the more power you can put out with each stride.
    • Flex the lats
    • Keep your shoulder blades down and back
    • Pull back your pectorals taut, and keep your ribcage down.
  3. Fists. Keep hands gripped tight into fists. This generates radiating power up to the shoulders and into the tension of your abs. Principle of kettle bell godfather Pavel Tsastouline applied to the sprint!
  4. Minimal movement of the elbows. No wild swinging. Just enough backward pumping to generate torque through the shoulders into the torso down to the hips.
  5. Knees forward. Pull your knees forward so that you are touching the ground with your feet directly under your center of mass on every step.
  6. Springy feet. Your forefoot should touch the ground first, not your heels. If your heels touch down afterwards, usually during slower pace running, then so be it, but the initial ground contact should be with your forefoot (the balls of your feet).
  7. Head in line. Notice when your head bends down too far to look at the ground, or tilts up when you are tired. Keep it in line with your spine, straight so that you can see ahead and slightly down when you need to track the path in front.
  8. Landing foot places directly beneath your center of mass. This is the tricky one. In the third frame below, you can see my foot actually lands just in front of my center. This is something I’m going to try to improve.

Running Form Landing Foot 1 Running Form Landing Foot 2 Running Form Landing Foot 3 Running Form Landing Foot 4

Depending on how f’d your running form is, start super slow. Barefoot in good flat grass is ideal. You will be amazed at how quickly your body picks it up from there. And if anything hurts, stop, study, adjust, and retest. Don’t keep hurting yourself.
You may need to do some mobility work to straighten your torso out, get your shoulders functioning, and hips and knees loose. I recommend using techniques laid out by Kelly Starrett in his book Becoming a Supple Leopard. Test out very slow running first and then put some work in where needed.
Do you run? How? When? How often? What does it do for you? Let me know, because I’m trying to build this into my life now that I’ve rediscovered it.
Thanks Eliot for the inspiration.
To powerful living,
Steve

Barefoot Powerlifting

Brilliant Friends,

I had a great session of strength training this past weekend and I did it all barefoot. Try it! Some things to note when powerlifting barefoot:

  • Have fun! That’s what it’s all about.
  • It’s building the arches back into my flat feet. Don’t let the fact that you have flat feet keep you from trying this, if you have the same problem I do. I have noticed an improvement from just three sessions of barefoot squats.
  • You will realize that your feet are like specialized hands to stabilize you. Use them to grip the ground.
  • If it’s not a barefoot-friendly gym, try gathering the big weights close to your squat rack before taking off your shoes. Don’t want to be wandering the gym without shoes.
  • Minimize the number of steps back you take when unracking the bar for a squat. Doing it barefoot will make you realize how important it is to plan the position of your feet. You don’t want to overdo the backwards steps with all that weight on you. I was able to take just one step back for each foot, without hitting the rack during the squats.
  • Start light. Like any major change in your strength training routine, you want to build up to it, not crash into it. I have been practicing barefoot walking outside for the past six months, and have been very careful with my form when lifting barefoot. I do my mobility and warmups barefoot as well, to get my feet accustomed. So far, so good!

Have you tried this? What differences do you find, if any, between lifting barefoot and lifting with shoes. And, what shoes do you wear for lifting?

To powerful living,

Steve

Flatfeet Arches 1

Take Barefoot Walks to Relieve Stress

Why Barefoot?

I love walking barefoot.

I do this often, outside on the sidewalks in my neighborhood, and I get a lot of energy from it. I started doing it to ground, or earth, myself. Earthing means to reconnect to the earth’s electromagnetic field charge and to restore electrical balance to my body.

There have been a lot of studies about this, and the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! shows scans of people’s electrical charge changing after grounding themselves.

Concrete is actually a slight conductor of electricity, and as long as it is connected to the earth underneath it will allow for earthing when touching skin to it. Walking barefoot on the sidewalk calms me down inside, and I feel like my stress drains out through my feet.

Of course, walking itself contributes to relaxation. Moving, just bringing myself through space, exerting physical motion at the end of my day, or in the middle of it, releases tension from stressful situations. I do not deal with frequent physical dangers, which is true for most of us today. I go through emotional ups and downs, and I fight to resolve issues, and I use a ton of energy in the form of creative thinking and processing, and my body just doesn’t get to be big part in any of it.

I can feel myself tense up physically during the day, and sometimes I don’t even notice it until I get away from it all. We as humans, just like any other living being, are physically geared to deal with problems that we encounter or perceive in our minds.

Think about this: You are walking alone outside at night, to get to your car, and you see a tall, broad-shouldered person walking quickly in your direction. Does your heart rate increase? Do your palms get sweaty? Do you tense up, ready for an attack coming your way?

Even if it’s just a friendly neighbor going about their business, I can’t help but keep track of where they are, if they are looking at me, or just looking as if they are going to pass by without trouble. My eyes are darting, my breath gets shallow and quiet, and my belly tightens.

These sympathetic responses are designed to carry out whatever quick, effective, and powerful task our minds determine is needed for defense. Thus, when I’m encountering disagreements with coworkers, approaching deadlines, or facing immense workloads, my body is also preparing to resolve these problems.

So I walk at the end of a long day to unravel my body’s fortifications.

To powerful living,

Steve

Learn more about Earthing