On Mobility and Definition

Posted by on Sep 28, 2014 in Anthony Roberts | 0 comments

On Mobility.

functionalgonewrongMobility, if we look at the suffix, is going to be a word that describes a state or condition of the root word. In this case, mobile. To be mobile is to be capable of moving easily… therefore mobility is (the state of) being capable of easy movement. These are standard dictionary definitions. Note that there is a qualitative degree explicit in the definition (easily), and a physical degree (movement), but I believe the implication for the world of exercise, is that these properties must coexist along with capability – and that last word is where much of the confusion about mobility’s definition comes into play.

Capability (“capere = grasp/take + ability”) is best defined as the “practical ability” to do something – the you don’t just possess the ability, you have the tool-in-hand to do it. This is where it differs from ability (although they are virtually synonymous); ability is normally the skill or means to do something, but stops slightly short of capability. However, as long as we recognize the power to do something is inherent in our definition (be it from the use of the word capability or ability). The condition of being mobile (aka mobility,after we add the -ity suffix), must therefore have as part of its definition, everything intrinsic to that condition (as this is not a partial condition of being mobile, and no qualifiers have been added). The condition of being mobile, i.e. mobility, is that condition (or state of being if you prefer) under which movement is easy, and every quality and quantity necessary for same.

The preceeding definitions are standard English usage of these words and should hardly merit much debate. Whatever various bars we may set for this definition can be arbitrary or ad hoc, as long as they don’t alter the practical meaning of the definition itself.

Now when we define mobility as capable of moving easily, we see that much of the mobility we see in fitness does not fit the definition. So, under our own power, our ability to move physically, with relative ease, is what I say it means (or ought to mean) to be mobile. A mobile football player would be one that moves about the field with these descriptors applying, and face no sound argument otherwise. Conversely, if my arm is paralyzed, though able to be externally moved into all sorts of bizarre positions, we’d think it a bad use of the word “mobile” to say “I can not move my arm, but it is extremely mobile” (here we don’t want to conflate mobile with loose or malleable or able to be moved by an external force). This is because it’s not just enough to have the potential to move, one must also be capable of moving.

Explicit in the definition of mobile is the relative ease of that physical movement. For this reason stretching, and range of motion, although they often play a role in the overall mobility of a particular limb, are not essential qualitative or quantitative effects, despite their ability to either enhance or limit mobility. An extremely mobile quarterback is not overly dependent on their range of motion or flexibility, although they need a minimal level. We can certainly think of linemen who aren’t very flexible, but show the extreme mobility needed to chase a quarterback out of the pocket.

Range of motion, above a certain point, produces a diminishing return on one’s capability to move easily (and sometimes negatively affects it). The same can be said for flexibility. If I could willingly contort myself into all sorts of positions, but could not walk (or run) faster than a toddler, again, we would find it odd to call me “mobile”. A base (non-detrimental) level is necessary for these two qualities, but neither warrant specific inclusion in the definition of mobility, because we are not including things that need exist in a bubble not far above sickness/injury (or we would be listing all sorts of pathology that make us less mobile, like having a clubfoot or a painful Urinary Tract Infection). These things that can make us less mobile or even immobile, are covered under “capability” as their removal below a certain level would be sufficient to abrogate any of the three necessary qualities of mobility.

Our three necessary qualities are not sufficient, however – the lack of various conditions that may encroach on their respective status is also necessary. Therefore, saying that flexibility is part of mobility, is more appropriately listing an attribute that can affect one of three essential properties of mobility.  Yes, if a thing itself is essential to another essential thing, to produce a state of being, then it too becomes essential – but in this case we define it as a dependent necessity -a thing that is only necessary because it affects another. Hence, we are not concerned with every possible thing that can affect one of our three essential qualities of mobility, we are only concerned that if we should come up with something with an effect, we can point to one of those three things and say “aha, having a sprained ankle limits ankle flexibility and range of motion, which makes us less mobile, because it limits the ease and power with which we can move, ” and therefore conclude that spraining an ankle will make us less mobile.

And clearly if the physical expression of my movement through space weren’t (relatively) easy, again, we’d find it odd to say I am “mobile” (as locomotion itself is difficult). Think about that in practice “I am very mobile and physical movement is not easy for me.” Again, this is nonsensical.

The best working definition of exercise based mobility is that which carries the three essential characteristics listed in the opening paragraph, but makes use of the standard parlance from which these words are derived, and perhaps eschews what they’ve grown to mean within the confines of the fitness industry (something to do with a bands or a foam roller or whatever).

Mobility is being capable of easy movement. There may be a near infinite list of issues that reduce mobility, and we may rightly say that by addressing any of them, we are “working on our mobility,” because to the extent that they limit our ability to move easily, working on them is working on our mobility. However, if flexibility is a limiting factor in my own mobility, though not yours, we could both be stretching and I can say I’m working on my mobility, but you can’t, even though we are performing the same stretch. If you require myofacial release to improve your range of motion, but I don’t, then the foam rolling we do together is you working on your mobility, and me practicing to roll a three foot long joint without using my hands.

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Liz Gaspari’s fake Instagram Followers

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Anthony Roberts | 0 comments

About a month ago, Liz Gaspari’s Instagram account had a thousand followers, maybe. Pretty much like her first account:



Now, she’s got a new account which claims (somewhat unspecifically) that she is the CEO of a sports supplement brand…and it’s got almost 60k followers.



Or something. Because they’re mostly all fake accounts with nobody behind them…just like her Twitter followers – bought and paid for, to look important). Here’s a photo she recently posted:


As you can see, this photo has 336 likes. But the likes are mostly from people like this:


And most of those people have between 0-3 followers and/or are not following anyone, and have never posted any pictures….which is exactly what we find if we look into most of her alleged ~60k followers…they’re almost entirely fake and look something like this:


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Thirty Six Tons of Counterfeit Bodybuilding Supplements Seized!

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014 in Anthony Roberts, Featured | 0 comments

10370905_909569225723459_1187894262075503877_nMost people living in the United States will be unaware of the bootleg supplement market. But overseas, they’re a way of life. I generally seperate bootlegged supplements into one of two categories:

Grey Guy – the Grey Guy is the dude who circumvents a brand’s contracts and imports supplements from a distributor behind their back. So let’s say in South Africa, Company X (a United states brand) has given a contract to Company Y (a South African distributor) the sold rights to sell their products in the country. Company X then requires that their US based distributors don’t sell to anyone in South Africa except this guy. That guy is then responsible for advertising the product in-country and all of the associated  costs of supporting the brand. The Grey Guy will then go around the brand and their distribotor and buy from someone in the USA, and resell it, without the added expense of supporting the brand through advertising or contest sponsorships, or whatever…This obviously hurts the brand, the licensed distributor, and everyone else from the bodybuilding mags (like Muscle Evolution) who lose advertising revenue, to the local bodybuilding scene, who lose out on the sponsorship dollars (err…Rand). This is grey market supplement sales. And who sells these products to unlicensed distributors, after telling the brand they won’t? Let’s just say “even (especially) the biggest US-based distributors” have been guilty of this, and leave it at that.

Counterfeit – counterfeits are products not made by the brand on the label. They’re produced by someone else, somewhere else, and the brand makes no money off their sale. Obviously there is no oversight and counterfeiters are able to put anything they want in the product, and never get in trouble, because there is no way to track them (if they do it right). Generally speaking, counterfeiters will deal product to grey guys, and the grey guys will distribute throughout the country.

Which brings us to India, and the market for cheap bodybuilding supplements. India’s economy has been exploding for the past decade, and training has become more popular than ever. Counterfeiters have taken notice and flooded the market with cheap impostors of well-known brands. The problem has gotten so out of control that 36 tons of counterfeit supplements were recently seized. It looks like there’s a bunch of Universal stuff in there, Optimum Nutrition, and I think I can see VPX in the dark blue jug.

As always, where there is money to be made, some people will take advantage of the market.

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Glanbia buys Isopure for $153MM

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Featured | 0 comments

KILKENNY-based food firm Glanbia has acquired US sports nutrition specialist Isopure for $153m (€118m).


The business focuses on specialist sports powders and ready to drink formulas with sales mainly online and through direct distribution channels.

“As a premium brand, the Business is an excellent addition to our portfolio of market leading performance nutrition brands and provides an opportunity to leverage our infrastructure and capabilities to drive future growth,” said Siobhan Talbot, chief executive at Glanbia.

“The transaction, which is firmly aligned with the Group’s strategy, supports our growth ambitions and will be value enhancing for our shareholders.”

Isopure generated net revenues of $74.6m for the 12-month period to the end of July.

Davy Stockbrokers said: “This represents a CAGR of 20pc for the period from end December 2011 to end July 2014.

“The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive from 2015 and will be funded from the group’s existing debt facilities.”

– from: http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/glanbia-acquires-sports-nutrition-specialist-isopure-for-153m-30581680.html#sthash.f4qGI7qr.dpuf

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Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in Studies | 0 comments

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014 Aug 15. pii: AEM.01422-14. [Epub ahead of print]


Callewaert C1, De Maeseneire E1, Kerckhof FM1, Verliefde A2, de Wiele TV1, Boon N3.

Author information


Clothing textiles protect our human body against external factors. These textiles are not sterile and can harbor high bacterial counts as sweat and bacteria are transmitted from the skin. We investigated the microbial growth and odor development in cotton and synthetic clothing fabrics. T-shirts were collected from 26 healthy individuals after an intensive bicycle spinning session and incubated for 28h before analysis. A trained odor panel determined significant differences between polyester versus cotton fabrics for the hedonic value, the intensity and five qualitative odor characteristics. The polyester T-shirts smelled significantly less pleasant and more intense, as compared to the cotton T-shirts. A dissimilar bacterial growth was found in cotton versus synthetic clothing textiles. Micrococci were isolated in almost all synthetic shirts and were detected almost solely on synthetic shirts by means of DGGE fingerprinting. A selective enrichment of micrococci in an in vitro growth experiment confirmed the presence of these species on polyester. Staphylococci were abundant on both cotton and synthetic fabrics. Corynebacteria were not enriched on any textile type. This research found that the composition of clothing fibers promotes differential growth of textile microbes and, as such, determines possible malodor generation.


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