Archive | August, 2012

Fitness and Stretching For The Dancer – Part 1 of 2

31 Aug

Nearly all Dancers are flexible and like to show it off.  I’m here to tell you it’s counterproductive.  Big Time!

Not only does over stretching with your weight resistance workout plan (at the gym) put you at serious risk of injury but it also plateau’s you from obtaining any serious physique changes that you are so aggressively trying to do.

 Because with all weight/resistance training we need a proper stretch and a contraction.  When you over stretch the muscle before your weight lifting your muscles can not get a proper contraction. It’s like an over stretched elastic band, it looses the ability to contract.  The dancers body can not properly stretch and tear the necessary fibers to physically change the shape of the muscle if the muscle is over stretched prior to exercising.

Dancers – Save the stretching for after your workout.
Ever notice that when you are done stretching your muscles (especially hamstrings)  it’s difficult to run or do cardio properly?  we put our bodies at a greater risk of injury if we over stretch before cardio.  Our muscles cannot achieve a proper contraction to execute cardio properly.  We need these muscles to respond quickly (fast twitch muscle fibers).
Dancers are used to hiding their breath. Performing onstage we do not want to be caught out of breath.  When at the gym be aware of this and make sure to leave a 1/4 inch space between your lips.  allowing oxygen in to feed your muscles.  Denying proper breathing will lead to a lowered ability to execute cardio and weight training to intensity.  relax the back of the neck, this will release the jaw and allow oxygen in.
Feed your body oxygen.
When a dancer either is not working as often as he/she is used to, and or is retired, their bodies have become so accustom to the excessive cardio demands of dancing onstage that they need to do much more cardio than the average.  Dancers bodies usually respond well to aggressive interval cardio for an extended period of time,  30-40mins.
Range of movement.  Because dancers stereotypically have flexible muscles, the dancer cannot follow a trainers advice of “full range of movement”.  The dancer must think of 80 percent of his/her range of movement.  This will hopefully eliminate the possibility of hyper extention.  The dancer must also concentrate on keeping the wrist properly aligned.  Good punching wrists.  see my book for further alignment issues.

Brandon’s Fabulous Beauty Tips

31 Aug


Men, women with cropped cuts and people with frizz listen up, this tip is really cool and washes out of your hair ( unlike some )!

You will need an empty jar with a lid( I like to recycle my old pomade jars),  1 cup of beeswax ( you can find this at many health food stores, soap stores, candle stores or on Amazon), 1/2 cup of jojoba oil ( I buy mine at Whole Foods) and 8-10 drops of pure essential oil. In a medium saucepan put 2 cups of water and the cup of beeswax in and bring to a boil until it is liquid and mixed thoroughly with the water. Turn heat down to medium and add the 1/2 cup jojoba oil ( you can substitute with olive oil or coconut oil) and your 8-10 drops of essential oils ( remember that these oils also have healing effects so choose the one that is going to help you have the hair you’re looking for). For example Lavender soothes and aids in moisture. Now remove the pot from the stove and let it cool. When it has cooled pour into your cute ( recycled) jar and let set. The beeswax is for hold/anti- humectant, the jojoba oil aids in shine/moisture and the essential oil gives a great fragrance and healing property to your way cool wax!

Brandon’s Fabulous Beauty Tips

30 Aug


Want a healthier for you face and body bronzer?

I have just the brew to leave you looking mochalicious. This DIY tanner is easy and is actually good for your skin. You will need 1 clear bottle (so you can see how dark your roast is)  , a cup of very strong coffee ( or 2 shots of espresso) , a dash of pure cocoa powder and your favorite lotion.  When brewing the cup of coffee make sure you fill the filter all the way  to the top with coffee grounds for only about 1 cup of water. After it brews let it cool and mix in a dash of pure cocoa powder. Pour coffee/cocoa mix into your clear bottle then add lotion. The darker the lotion the more intense the effect!

The caffeine in the coffee is excellent for your skin. It helps block the enzyme DHT which can cause break outs, and reduces puffiness by restricting blood vessels making it a popular ingredient in many expensive skin products ( Halle Berry uses coffee on her skin to keep her looking youthful). Remember this is a natural creation so you will see noticeable effects the longer you use it. So go ahead and give it a “shot”,  make that embarrassing streaking a distant tangerine dream.


Brandon’s Fabulous Beauty Tips

29 Aug


One of the biggest signs of aging is teeth discoloration, you will literally look years younger to others just by whitening your teeth. I am told all of the time how white and bright my smile is and yours can be too just by this simple home made remedy. I avoid puting traditional harsh chemicals in my mouth that are used for teeth bleaching. We all know about baking soda and salt, or baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixtures for whitening, but this one works just as great. Orange Peels and Bay Leaves! That’s it! Make sure you dry the orange peels out ( vitamin c can be harsh on your teeth), and the bay leaves should be dried and crushed finely. Put the bay leaves on the white part of the orange rind and gently rub against your chops. The combo of these will leave your smile sparkling. Caution- too much teeth brightening, even if it’s home made, can be harmful to your enamel.

Listen to Craig on AM800 cklw The Morning Drive

29 Aug

I am back home in Canada and appeared this morning on The Morning Drive with Mike and Lisa.

LISTEN HERE:  Craig Ramsay on AM800 The Morning Drive

Brandon’s Fabulous Beauty Tips

28 Aug


I am asked all the time how much you should be tipping your barber, hairstylist, hair artist, or colorist and the correct answer, despite many different opinions, is 15-20%!

If you are thinking, “But my cut AND color are so expensive.  Am I supposed to tip 20% of the TOTAL?” The answer is  Yes. That total reflects the work performed for you, and is the amount from which the tip should be calculated. Oh yeah, another “myth”, don’t tip the hairdresser when they own the salon. Not true. Do so unless they have clearly stated otherwise.

There is one more person you should be tipping…  the shampooer ( if it is someone other than your stylist). They should receive $2 ( Not much considering we usually tip about that for our latte’s and this person DID just shampoo your hair!). So the long of the short of it is, when deciding if the cost of your services fit in your price range,  don’t make it work by “trimming” the tip. Find a stylist that fits in your budget tip and all!

Tips for Weight Lifting from Coach Craig Ramsay

28 Aug

Powerlifters tend to use aided equipment, such as lifting belts and lifting wrist straps, to reduce the chance of bodily injury. They are lifting heavier than normal weight.  In fact, the use of a weight belt can actually weaken the core muscles.

Use of a weight belt and wrist straps should be done with care, and with the understanding that it is used to aid in heavy lifting. Wrist straps aid your grip allowing you to hold onto heavier weight without it slipping out of your hands.

Wrist wraps and knee wraps are usually wore by individuals that have suffered an injury. They are in need of the added support these wraps will give them. Consult a doctor for any such recommendations.

Gym Etiquette

27 Aug

Don’t rush around in the gym. There is so much equipment that can injure you.  Move slowly and with purpose at the gym.

If you have questions, ask them! Leave your ego at the door.  Gym equipment can be very dangerous! Protect yourself with the knowledge of how to correctly execute gym equipment.  Ask a staff representative for proper equipment use.

Take advantage of personal trainers.  They can inform you about the gym and what type of program and equipment you need to be focusing on to get closer to your goals.

Avoid blocking the mirrors, or standing in front of the dumbbell rack.  Share equipment and weights. Don’t sit on a machine in between sets.  “Work in” with other gym members.  Remove weight plates when you finish.  Put weights back where you found them.

Wipe off equipment when you are finished.  Meaning, don’t sweat out your neighbor.  Utilize a locker.  Most gyms have a policy that gym bags cannot be carried around the gym. Gym bags and other such material can be potential tripping hazards.
Time manage your workout.  most gyms have time policies with their Cardio equipment, but use common sense here, if the gym is busy limit your time on a specific cardio machine to 20 mins, clean the machine then move onto another one.  Be mindful of others.
And lastly, always carry around my muscle building phone apps so I am with you every step of the way.  Get them today!

Brandon’s Fabulous Beauty Tips

27 Aug


Making your own body friendly, aluminum-free, deodorant is easy and fun. You will need  1/3 cup coconut oil (solid state), 1/4 cup baking soda (aluminum-free), 1/4 cup arrowroot powder ( you can find this in the baking section of any grocery or health food store) , and of course my favorite…essential oils (optional). Mix the baking soda and arrowroot powder in a glass bowl.

Add the solid coconut oil (do not warm or melt it) and use a fork to thoroughly blend it into the dry ingredients. Add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oils and blend completely. Deodorfab!

PCOS Tips from Coach Craig!

24 Aug

Coffee and other stimulants cause increases in insulin Production which have been proven to have a negative impact on women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).  If you are serious about controlling your insulin levels, you really need to consider giving up that cup of coffee.


Whether dealing with weight issues or having difficult conceiving, PCOS can take a toll on your emotional well-being, so take care of yourself with a relaxing bubble bath, watch your favorite movie, or get out a deck of cards and slow down your life!  It can make the biggest difference in how you feel on the inside.