Building upon the first post and related link, the article below digs a little deeper into what you can include in your post workout shake! This is a question that I get asked quite a bit as most people see me chugging my post workout shake down in the locker room as soon as my workout session is over. I’ll touch more on what exactly is in my shake during my blog post this week, but my views are very similar to the author below in terms of the combination of nutrients included in the shake. Examine this one a little closer and see if you can implement some of the suggestions the author makes and if you do utilize a post workout shake, let me know how yours is different or similar to what is suggested!———–>R’s
As most of us are well aware, working out and exercising your body depletes your muscles and requires us to feed our bodies after our workouts to replenish what we’ve burned. Many people who exercise on a regular basis are unaware of the importance and potential gains lost if you don’t replenish your body with some form of nutritious food within that 1 hour window after your workout. The article below touches on what they refer to as the “golden hour” and some different options we can take advantage of when choosing what we replenish our muscles with after workouts. Look it over and let me know what you think!——> R’s
Before strength training, after strength training, during, between, and so on and so forth! There are so many opinions on when to perform your cardiorespiratory training it’s easy to get confused on what is the BEST option! I think that if we asked 10 Personal Trainers this question you could quite possibly get 10 totally different answers! A bodybuilder may tell you to perform your strength training in the morning and your cardio in the evening while a runner would espouse performing treadmill work at the beginning of every exercise session. Regardless of where the information is being obtained it’s important to evaluate the opinions and apply it to your workouts the way it benefits you the most individually!
The trend that I have found to be optimal for me is to perform my cardio at the beginning of every session. Performing my cardio training at the beginning, whether it’s a steady state session, HIIT training, or a program on the Step Mill, is what supercharges my workouts and sets a “ceiling” for my heart rate to continually climb to when strength training afterwards! Through hours of long workouts and being my own personal guinea pig I’ve been able to see how I get the biggest boost from my cardio and by utilizing my heart rate monitor I can easily evaluate my average heart rate and total calorie burn at the end.
On average I am able to burn 300-500 calories more when performing my cardio at the beginning of my workouts versus leaving it until after my strength training is complete. I am able to get my Heart Rate close to 90% max or even higher in some cases which allows my heart to continually climb back in the 75%-90% range when strength training afterwards. My average heart rate also is much higher overall at the conclusion of my session when compared to a session where cardio is performed after my weight training. Because I utilize a jump rope as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) between weight sets I am able to spike my heart rate easier and consequently higher when I’ve performed my cardio at the beginning of the workout.
During the occasions when I save my cardio training until the end of the workout I often have considerable trouble getting my heart rate to rise during strength training and when I can get it spike during repetitions it falls very quickly back to 50-60% of my maximum heart rate. This in turn limits my overall calorie burn and although it helps to spare glycogen for lifts during my strength training portion, I don’t notice as much of an overall fatigue when compared to the opposing cardio routine alternative.
Being that I’m not currently training for a bodybuilding competition or working towards maximum muscle growth, performing my cardiorespitory training at the beginning of my workouts helps to push me into a higher heart rate range and substantially increases the overall calorie burn expended during my workouts. Because my training goals are to be as efficient as possible and get as much bang for my buck when in the gym I prefer to do the cardio at the beginning of workouts versus the end and take advantage of the raised EPOC levels after I’m finished! Take control of your workouts and really examine what option works best for YOU!……The giant in the “Flex” magazine or the underwear model in “Men’s Health” may have a workout that is fantastic for them, but evaluating your goals and finding the program that fits them is the best way to get extreme results and ultimately help you make the changes you desire!———> R-Squared
With our cardio theme of the week I’m attaching a great article from Fox News (no I’m not advocating Fox News!) about the most popular myths out there about Cardiorespitory Training and why or why not they are true. This article is quick and easy to read while doing a good job on explaining a few myths and debunking them with solid information that is easy to digest and understand. Take a good look at the information and try to apply it to your program to determine if you are letting your workouts be affected by these myths!——à R’s
One of the most frequently asked questions in the Health and Fitness industry has always been “when should I perform my cardio?”. The debate rages on as people with different fitness goals often argue over the most efficient times to perform your cardiorespitory training. The article below touches on the best time to perform your cardio and how it can potentially be different for every individual. Give it a read and tell me what you guys think—–à R’s
For those of us who utilize Self Myofascial release on a daily basis, we know how important it is in maintaining muscle health while also being absolutely excruciating! Self Myofascial Release is a very important stretching technique that focuses on the neural system and fascial system in the body. By applying gentle force to an adhesion or “knot”, the elastic muscle fibers are altered from a bundled position into a straighter alignment with the direction of the muscle or fascia. This process works through autogenic inhibition, decreasing muscle spindle excitation and releasing the hyper tonicity of the underlying musculature. Whew, that took a lot to describe and I’m sure made absolutely no sense! In lamens terms the foam roller puts pressure on the adhesion in a muscle and “resets” the mechanisms of the soft tissue to their original form.
If you have never had the opportunity to perform SMR with a foam roller I need to warn you of the discomfort involved with this stretching technique! Be ready for pain in certain areas but be assured that by utilizing this technique many people can see a real difference and improvement in flexibility and muscle imbalances that are causing discomfort and improper alignment in your body. This technique is one that is spreading across the country rapidly while more and more personal trainers and gym goers alike experience the benefits involved with this continuum. In terms of sheer bang for your buck, a $10 foam roller can have an extreme effect on improving your muscle structures while most people can begin to feel results within a week to 10 days!
With the nature of our current lifestyles the need for SMR is increasing rapidly. Our lives are much more sedentary than they were 50 years ago and many Americans are stuck behind a desk for 40-60 hours a week and struggle from the muscle imbalances our sedentary lifestyles are contributing to. By incorporating 5-10 minutes a day of SMR into your daily lives, we can begin to see advances in posture and the relationships between our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Step up today and take our challenge to purchase a foam roller and begin to play with the different positions while you watch television in the evening and wind down from a long day or to cool down at the end of an intense training session! The old adage “No Pain, No Gain” must have been referring to SMR!
Below I am providing another link to a fantastic article on Self Myofascial Release that shows a multitude of positions and variations on how to use the foam roller. The pictures in this article do a great job of illustrating the correct positioning when Foam Rolling and also re-emphasizes for us why SMR is an integral part of a program for anyone looking to improve their health, wellness, fitness, and overall muscle health!
How important is your Muscular System to you? As an avid weight lifter and fitness enthusiast, muscle health is paramount in allowing my body to function at optimal levels and allow me to push them past the point of fatigue and exhaustion! Therefore, taking care of my Muscular System after taxing it, day in and day out, is imperative! The article below introduces Self Myofascial Release and how it can help everyone keep their muscles healthy.
The common thread I read and hear is results don’t come fast enough, I am not reaching my goal. Have a tiny bit of perspective and read on, I hope this helps and you stick with your program.
“All acts performed in the world begin in the imagination”
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
If the Mayo Clinic can write a piece on staying healthy and goals then it must be something special. I really enjoy finding and reading the pieces written by these astute people, read on.
“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon”
It’s never too late, and the story of setting long term and short term goals-
As I started to consider this blog it dawned on me that people need to relate to others stories of climbing mountains and the desire to change. I believe that everyone has that diamond in their soul, that shining piece of life that wants to be polished and brought out to show to everyone, like a 5 carat engagement ring, flash it. Now this story relates to my personal mountain, I will keep it brief because I realize that 400 words come fast so here it goes.
I did not reach the physical condition I am in at this point in my life overnight, and for those who do not know me you can look at the body building show pictures on our website, that I competed in April of 2010, pictures, journal entries, training log, that condition did not just magically happen it took time. However it did not take that long; just a goal, a purpose, a reason to share success with others and perhaps hopefully motivate. GOALS
My story has a series of goals, at 40 I decided to go back to college and finish my long dormant unfinished Bachelors degree, an unfinished goal. At 49 I had not only finished my bachelors I had completed a Masters and it was on to the next goal, personal training and fitness. It was at that point the show became a reality, and through hard work, a couple of great people to train with and a plan, a goal the unachievable were achieved. Competing in that show was a key, but really just another goal, a sense of purpose, and when the dreaded January Midwest winter sets in having a goal to keep you occupied is needed. The point being GOALS!
Begin the new you by stretching your imagination; life is way too short to let a tendency to take the easy way suck the life out of you. Think of it that way, it’s a personal choice, you can polish your diamond, the one that is located inside your soul, or let it lay on the couch wishing that someone would notice it. Don’t wait, let’s get moving, let us at GRT Fitness and Wellness be your motivation and inspiration. We are real people like you who have been there, and we want to help, so read our blogs, watch our videos, and contact us for questions and or motivation.
Thanks for reading, I appreciate your time and look forward to helping,
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
This article from the Mayo Clinic explains in excellent detail many of the benefits of stretching and flexibility. I hope you find it helpful in your quest for better health and fitness.
“Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions”
I believe in information and part of the reason for our website is to cut through the clutter of too much, and just plain garbage information. In regard to this topic stretching and flexibility definitions are a simple and quick way to understand the topic-
To stretch or not to stretch, that is the question. Sounds like that line has been used before, let’s talk about the topic. Stretching your muscles is one of the most underutilized of all exercises, and I admit I have been guilty of not stretching myself, however as I have reached the middle aged years and been reborn through fitness, thankfully it has been reintroduced into my personal routine on a regular basis. Let’s get right to the heart of it, stretching is THE MOST important of all of our routines as far as fitness, the problem is with our instantaneous society and the mindset of I want it yesterday, stretching ranks right up there with cleaning the cat litter or scooping dog poop in the backyard, frankly not high on the priority list. The topic of flexibility is an extremely deep issue and one that will take many discussions, please let me call this piece the beginning and this topic will be revisited in following articles in more detail.
In a nutshell flexibility is defined as the normal extensibility of all soft tissues that allow the full range of motion of a joint. Stretching that soft tissue, (muscles and connective tissues), allows for what is known as full range of motion, or dynamic range of motion. It really boils down to the communication of your brain and nervous system to your muscles and bones to produce efficient movement. When the communication between those parts of your body break down you can lose efficiency and run the risk of improper movement patterns, postural problems, which eventually can lead to an injury.
One of the major issues that we are dealing with in the 21st century is a sedentary lifestyle, work environments where sitting is common due in part to technological advancements. This type of environment opens the door to muscle imbalances, tightness which can be the precursor to aches and pains. It is only through stretching that we can overcome these issues, and leads us to corrective measures, and improved flexibility.
There are and is much more to discuss in regard to this topic, and as I stated earlier we will revisit this topic in much deeper detail and specifics in following articles. If you have specific questions please post to the site and we can open the forum and discuss in detail, remember the purpose of GRT Fitness and Wellness and our website is sharing information so we all can lead happy and healthier lives, everyone’s questions and opinions are important, and there are never bad questions.
Thanks for reading,
“One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts–once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness–simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self denial to a point, love of work and above all, a clear conscience.”
Here is a great link to an awesome site full of good information, not that I try to send people away from our site, the point is sharing helping and getting into better condition together.
 Alter MJ. Science of Flexibility, 2nd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1996
Upon first mention you may be thinking that Thermodynamics is some Physics property that you slept through in 10th grade, but let me be the first to tell you that this Law may be the one that changes your life when it comes to fitness and wellness. Too often information is presented in a way that just doesn’t mesh with the method at which we learn or absorb knowledge and apply it. Essentially, this law states that body fat reduction can only occur when there is more energy being burned than consumed on a daily basis. So before you crucify me for stating the obvious, let’s examine this law a little closer and see if we can apply it to our lives from day to day.
By doing the math we figure that if your Basal Metabolic Rate burns 2,000 calories a day and you consume 2,000 calories daily then your weight will remain the same. Add in an exercise session of 1,000 calories burned and you have a total number of 3,000 calories burned in a day. Therefore, we could theoretically consume those 3,000 calories and keep our body weight constant. Weight loss clients could begin lowering caloric intake to 2,500 calories and create a deficit of 500 calories which in turn contributes to a loss of body fat. While this may seem very simple, we as Americans need to take a hard look at the amount of calories we consume on a daily basis but MOST IMPORTANTLY, the type of calories we are consuming.
While calorie consumption is crucial in identifying the amounts we consume daily, it is equally important to examine the type of calories we are consuming and our macronutrient breakdown. Macronutrients are defined as Fats, Carbohydrates, and Proteins with the caloric breakdown of 9, 4, and 4 grams respectively. Let me be the first to tell you that 2,000 calories of French Fries and Pizza are not going to produce the effects of 2,000 calories of lean meats, yams, asparagus, whole grains, and steel cut oats! The saying “you are what you eat” has never been more effective at portraying the difference in body composition of the individual who consumes 2,000 calories of whole foods versus the person consuming their calories from junk food. When consuming these whole foods that are rich in anti-oxidants, nutrients, and quality calories the human being can see a plethora of changes when accompanied with exercise and restful sleep.
Ultimately, I believe that the Law of Thermodynamics is a portion of a successful nutrition program designed for an individual utilizing an exercise program along with it. By providing our bodies with the correct nutrition we begin to allow it to function at its peak, working in synergy with whole foods to achieve our exercise and fitness goals along with propelling our spirits to a wellness revolution! So get out there, start moving, and BURN, BURN, BURN!!!
In reference to our topic this week of Thermodynamics, I’m providing a link to a Scientific Research article on Calorie restriction and its effect on a human being’s life expectancy. This article could be viewed as controversial, but it is my opinion that viewing all angles of a theory can help us find knowledge that can be applied to our lives individually from one person to the next. Take the time to read this article and examine what it means to you while comparing it to other theories you have heard that may contradict this application!——> R’s
The Laws of Thermodynamics have been discussed and reviewed by brilliant scholars and professionals from all over the world. This topic has been debated endlessly but the article below does a decent job of explaining some of its intricacies and how it can be applied to weight loss. Give it a read and decide how it applies to you!——-> R’s
In a day and age where “super size it”, “I’ll have fries with that”, and “do you have these pants in a size 44 Waist” are common phrases we often have trouble finding the motivation to invest in our Health and Wellness! As Americans we are currently facing tighter deadlines, pay cuts, reductions in force, and a heavier workload professionally and personally with our families. Stress is overwhelming our lives yet we don’t look in the mirror and question what we can do to fight these Assassins that are taking our health, vitality, and mental clarity from us on a daily basis.
That’s where exercise, nutrition, and wellness come in as the savior’s to our vicious circle. As a former college athlete I know the importance of an active lifestyle but still struggled with translating that knowledge into health and happiness as I moved into another chapter of my life. At the age of 25 I was newly married and the heaviest weight I’ve ever been. One morning after stepping on the scale the number I saw sent me into a quest for finding my healthy alter-ego! I was determined to leave the habits that were hurting my life behind me and begin adopting new strategies that would help me fight those Assassins that were attempting to rob me of my happiness.
Through exercise, proper nutrition, quality rest and relaxation, hard work, and dedication to following through I have been able to make lifelong changes that last and could be adopted long term rather than following the newest “crash diet” or useless diet pill. Working with GRT Fitness and Wellness is a vehicle that can help me reach out to people who may be struggling with the same issues I faced and allow me to work with those individuals to find their healthy alter-ego as well! I look forward to learning and growing with everyone I meet along the way and truly believe that proper exercise, healthy nutrition with whole foods, and a passion for hard work are the tools that help us complete our Health and Wellness Toolbox! Join us on the road to Health and Wellness, it’s the superhighway to your Happiness!
In reference to the first post of the week, 10 ways exercise can change your life, this article gives a fantastic description of reason number one!…..The importance of exercising your heart and promoting overall heart health. As we are all well aware, heart attacks are the biggest killer of men and women in the United States which drives home the emphasis of exercising our most important muscle!——-> R’s
Although we as Human Beings are well aware of how important exercise is to your overall wellness I wanted to provide a link to an article that does an adequate job of explaining some of the most important reasons exercise can not only improve your physical state but your psychological health!–> R’s