Your body is a car
You may not be an Olympic athlete but having a well-balanced diet will help improve your overall health and fitness levels. Think of your body as an engine that runs on synthetic oil. Of course the engine can take regular oil (processed foods) but it does not perform the same. It becomes slower and burns gas faster. It’s the same with our bodies. If you aren’t properly fueling your body, you can’t train hard and you always feel tired.
Make sure to fill your diet with a variety of whole foods and be sure to get enough protein, healthy fats, and vitamins. Eat clean and train dirty!
Take care of your body with modalities
Take care of your body with modalities (hot and cold treatment) Modality-the use of therapeutic care to treat a physical disorder
The use of a cold pack or ice bath causes vasoconstriction meaning it makes the blood vessels narrow and reduces the flow of warm blood to that area. Cold modalities can help reduce swelling, inflammation and muscle spasms. Next time you experience sharp pain after working out use a cold pack it will numb the pain and reduce the swelling.
The use of a hot pack or warm shower causes vasodilation meaning it widening the blood vessels to allow more warm blood flow to and through that area. Hot modalities can help increase local/full body circulation, relax muscles , relief pain and muscle spasms. Next time you are feeling extra tight or stiff warm that area up with heat. Then preform your warm up stretches.
The "Big Four"
Not sure where to begin your strength training workout? Here is quick and versatile routine that you can add into your workout repertoire.
First, warm up. Next, start your workout routine by using one of the “big four” lifts (bench press, deadlift, squat, overhead press) with a barbell. These main lifts are your bread and butter exercises, work your way down to low reps and higher weight.
After completing one of the “big four” do your complimentary lifts. This includes lifts that involve dumbbells, machines and bodyweight for high reps.
Some example routines may include:
- Bench press is your main lift followed by dumbbell bent over row, face pulls, and abdominal strengthening as your complimentary lifts.
- Overhead press is your main lift followed by dumbbell/cable upright rows, weighted/non weighted dips, and pullovers as your complimentary lifts.
- Squats is your main lift followed by weighted/non weighted walking lunges, knee hikes with band, and leg curls as your complimentary lifts.
- Deadlift is your main lift followed by kettle bell/barbell hip thrusters, farmer walks, and hyperextension as your complimentary lifts.
Way too busy? Try HIIT!
Are you crunched on time and still want to burn fat and build lean muscle?
Try HIIT which stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. HIIT can be performed during cardio or weight lifting. Cardio HIIT is done by going "all out" for X amount of seconds (10-30s) and then walking at a moderate pace for 1-2 minutes. This method is to be repeated for the duration of your cardio session. (Be sure to stretch first)
HIIT performed during weight training is similar to cardio HIIT. The difference is in the recovery time and how the exercise is performed. Instead of taking a 1-2 minute rest between sets, it will be 10 seconds. The workout will be performed in a circuit format with 3-4 exercise.
Dynamic Warm Up
Never lift cold. It’s tempting to, when you are in a hurry, to skip the warm-up and jump straight into a lifting work-out. However, the use of a dynamic warm-up is a safeguard against musculoskeletal injuries. This is due to an increase of blood flow to the skeletal muscles that are being used, which increases their temperature. With the increase in muscle temperature, the body is now ready to perform. Dynamic warm-ups are continues movements that prepares the muscles and joints for a specific activity by increasing body temperature, activating the nervous system, increasing range of motion.
Some movements for a dynamic warm-up may include:
- jumping jacks,
- lunges with a twist,
- high kicks,
- jump squats,
- skipping with low knees
The warm-up session should take anywhere from 5-20 minutes. The time varies depending on activity level, age, and objective. Arm yourself against musculoskeletal injuries.