So today's workout was not lifting in my gym, or running on the treadmill. Nope, it was simply working on some landscaping and working on some parking for my clients. You see, I have an extra parking spot, but wanted to raise it up so that is was more level.
I have been cutting back soil, putting in the landscaping timbers, and moving gravel to get the job done. So why no added workout? Well this IS a workout!
One of the things I have always stressed is that simply getting people to move is half the battle. This IS the work that we simulate in the gym. Try not to over think things. Get to a gym, get to a hiking trail, get outside, but what ever you do, get MOVING!
So a few events recently have got me thinking about integrity when it comes to hiring a personal trainer. When doing so, it is imperative to find a trainer that truly has YOUR interest at heart. Now this would seem like it is a given, but it is not necessarily so.
For instance, I know someone that hired a trainer once a month. The person hiring simply went there, trained, paid her $60 dollars and made absolutely no progress. The trainer never pushed her to do more on her own. Additionally, she never told the client that what she was doing was a waste of money. No...she simply collected her pay and waited for next months paycheck.
This really bothered me. I mean isn't the goal of a trainer to HELP people. I always thought it was!
So here I am recently with a different set of circumstances. I have a young man that is going through the police academy and needs help getting through the physical. We have been training several months and he can now pass the push up and sit up portions but while making progress on the run he has yet to pass. I have been fine tuning his diet and training to achieve that goal.
First we built a lot of muscle to ramp up his metabolism. He is actually looking great. Still we have not been burning the fat I had hoped, so I looked at his diet. I have now UPPED his caloric intake which has now sparked new fat loss. Since he is doing a lot of exercise at the academy, I have suggested he cut back from 3 days a week with me to simply one and a weight training day on his own. My reasoning is that he now has plenty of muscle to get through the test. With one hard day with me he can maintain his muscle mass and start to burn more fat with increased cardio.
From a business view, I have just cut my own paycheck. I mean I could have simply said keep coming. I choose not to, however, because he came to me with a goal. To get through the course. HIS goals ARE my business.
When you are searching for a trainer, ask around. Does the trainer ACTUALLY have YOUR best interest at heart, or are you simply a paycheck?
Some may say my business model is backward, but the people I train always recommend me to someone else. That in itself makes me feel good!
If you hire a trainer, make sure they are looking out for you as a client and not just their paycheck!
So truth be told, I have been struggling! I twisted my knee about a month ago and it set me back. I mean I have not been consistent with my training for that amount of time.
This is hard, as I LOVE being in the gym. I have been personally training over 30 years and I have been training others for over 20! This has seriously been a struggle that I had not faced until recently! Yes, I AM getting older, but that is natural. My issue was motivation.
What I accomplished during this time was sputtering through my workouts! They were FAR from perfect! Still, what I did accomplish was not totally giving up! It was hard to stay motivated but I did my best, and finally I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I am doing more cardio and strength training, and am finally feeling "normal."
All I can say, is do what you can! Even if it's sporadic, it's better that nothing! And THAT can lead to great things!
When designing your training program, I suggest sitting back and analyzing WHY you are training? This is important as it should dictate HOW you train. The obvious example is for someone training for a marathon. The way that person trains will be radically different than someone training to compete in the dead lift.
While this makes sense, we must look at other hobbies are sports we are involved in and train for THAT purpose. While a powerlifter will do near max weights and minimal reps, the golfer should train using less weights but work on speed. Speed that will be needed to generate more power in sending the ball down the fairway.
I bring this up as I am currently working with a client that may soon become a professional BMX bike rider. The tricks he pulls on the bike require a specific training program to help him compete better!
For instance, while I normally do not work forearms for my beginners, as I feel they get enough work just gripping the various bars, this client is different. Forearm strength is a MUST since he is holding onto the handlebars as he preforms stunts. This is sport specific!
I suggest anyone that is designing their program to sit back and analyze WHY they are training. Once you figure out the answer, THEN go about designing a proper program. This simple step will lead to much better gains and better overall performance!
I came upon an interesting report which tested two theories on when it was best to consume protein. On each test, the group ate three meals a day. The first time, the group ate mostly carbs in the morning, some protein in the afternoon, but a majority (60%) of the protein at dinner. During the second test, the group ate roughly equal amounts of protein on all three meals.
What was found was that protein synthesis was 25% higher when it was spaced out over the three meals than when there was one high protein meal. Now, most of us who train, eat more than just three meals a day, but I think this study showed the importance of getting protein throughout the day.
One time I often see people lack protein is in the morning. To me, this is a VERY important time to get protein. Remember, you have not eaten all night, and those muscle you worked yesterday are recovering! They NEED more protein to repair and get stronger an bigger.
Spacing five or six meals out over the course of the day is a must for better gains, but make sure to include roughly equal amounts of protein with each meal. Your body will thank you for it!
So I often talk about change, but primarily about ways to change strength training. The same, however, should also be done with cardio.
The body simply gets used to what we do. Just as changing strength routines is important, we should continually change our cardio routines if functional fitness is the desired goal. Training for specific things like a marathon requires a complete plan that builds upon itself so don't confuse the two issues.
For the rest of us that like to be healthy, strong and look good I suggest keeping the body guessing. To do this, we may do treadmill one day, bike another and so on, but times and distances should also be changed. Increase the incline or resistance. Additionally, doing some steady state exercise and then breaking into interval style (such as boxing) can another alternative.
Think outside the box! Get the heart pumping! Add some slam ball work in between other forms of cardio or add plyo moves inside of your strength circuit!
The body and our mind needs to be challenged to progress. Keep it guessing to keep it growing!
So as I have recently posted, I have been sticking to a three day a week full body workout with cardio days mixed in. Still, as I am such a big proponent of mixing workout up, today's and tomorrows workout have been changed. I am doing a semi-split circuit.
One of the best forms of cardio I have personally found is boxing. Today's workout was an upper body semi-split as follows.
I first did a round versus the reflex bag, but as it ended I immediately did a set of plate circles. After ward, again with no rest I did a ste of presses. It was only then that I took a 1 minute rest. I then went into a round vs. the heavy bag and repeated the weight half of the circuit.
After another minute, I again did my round against the reflex bag and then did a set of curls, immediately followed buy press downs. One more minute and I went against the heavy bag, and repeated the strength sets.
I will do legs and back in similar fashion tomorrow as I didn't feel my legs were recovered from a previous workout. Still using this pattern. This is a fairly quick workout, but is simply brutal if you push yourself.
Dropping some of the weights on your strength phases may also be good idea as the combination of cardio and weights really taxes the system.
While this is a sample of part of my routine, I hope it shows a great way you can add variety to your training. After these two days, I will get back on track with my full body workouts.
Again, nothing says you have to do the same workout all the time, in fact doing so stalls progress. Perhaps adding this technique into your routine may be something to consider!
So I was shopping tonight and saw a young lady that apparently works out. For the most part, she looked very fit, except one thing I noticed. Balance! Now I am not talking about her ability to stand on one leg, but instead talking about the difference from the front of her body to the back!
Balance is something many, especially beginners, forget! I suppose vanity and our mirrors are to blame. People, please don't forget to train the back side of your body!
Sure, we want to train biceps, quads and chest as everyone, including ourselves can see them. That however, leaves 50% of your body unnoticed. At least for the person training, but not for everyone looking!
You see this young lady had large, well defined quads, but was totally lacking in her hamstrings. I mean the difference was night and day!
Now what I am talking talking about here is purely aesthetic, there is plenty of physiological reasons behind maintaining balance, For instance, allowing the quads to overpower that hamstrings can cause both knee and lower back problems. The same can be said about the chest and back, or other antagonistic muscle groups!
I suppose my tip here is to simply look behind you! Train what you cannot see as well as what you can. In the end, you will be more pleasing to the eye, and healthier over all!
So I recently shared I had added some new supplements into my routine to re-energize my workouts. Truth be told, I have been working out for over thirty years now, and it can sometimes be hard to stay focused. Thus, the supplements.
NOW, one thing I always preach to my clients is changing up the routine. That is what gets results. Now I too am always changing my routines, but recently I took a more radical approach. I went backwards!
Now, I don't mean I over trained and lost the hard work I have done for years, but I decided to go back to a basic full body workout 3 days a week. This is something I have not done in YEARS! Still, I see my new clients progressing so I thought, "why not!"
My days of being a cop are over so I no longer have to be quit as big as I am. I am not worried about competing as I really have no desire and am still fairly strong. Therefore I am stepping back in time.
Since I have been doing the workout I am having fun again! It is also allowing to do a lot more cardio on my off days, something I need since I am getting older. Change IS the key to growth, but maybe sometimes going backwards is the new way forward!
The body is an amazing thing. It is designed to take care of itself. Now, we all here that fiber is good for lowering cholesterol. True, but how? I thought I would share a simplified answer so you simply don't have to take this fact without some clarification.
Fiber is essentially the indissoluble part of plant. When in our intestines, it is hard for the body to pass it through. Think about some old oatmeal sitting in a bowl. It gets thick and VERY hard to clean. It's like this in our intestines. So, the body will use something to help it pass in the form of bile.
Bile is made in the liver and stored in our gallbladder. Think of bile as a lube to help the body pass the fiber through our system. Kind of like oil! It kind of coats the mass, helps to break it down and slide through more easily.
The amazing think is bile is made from cholesterol! The cholesterol is pulled form our bloodstream and turned into bile, and passed to the gallbladder where it waits until needed.
As you can see then, adding fiber into the diet will help lower you cholesterol as it is pulled from the bloodstream. Now, this is obviously and over simplification, but should give you an idea of WHY the doctor says eat more fiber!
Eat your fiber!