Over time our bodies adapt to whatever stress we may put on it. Whether it is running, biking and, yes, lifting. When our bodies adapt, some may think that that’s where progress stops. Linear progression is the increase of weight being used over time. What does this do for our bodies you may ask? It puts stress on the muscles forcing them to work harder and adapt.
When linear progression is implemented into a strength training routine, it will result in strength and muscle growth. You don’t have to switch things up every week to notice results. By keeping things simple and slowly increase weight week by week, you’ll be able to push past that plateau you may think you’re in.
Getting your heart rate up while strength training
Getting your heart rate up doesn’t just require cardiovascular exercises. When strength training there are ways that you can increase your heart rate and intensity without stepping on any cardio equipment.
Adding in supersets (two strength training exercises back to back) is a great way to get the hear rate up. When performing supersets, there is no rest between exercise, but after the set is over. By incorporating supersets into your workouts you can get a bigger bang for your buck in the gym.
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!
Carbohydrates Around Strength Training
Food fuels our days and our workouts. When we aren’t consuming enough food, we pay for it with low energy, lack of motivation and loss of glycogen stores. Glycogen is the main storage form for glucose (starches and sugars) in the body. So, what do carbohydrates have to do with strength training? Well to keep it short and sweet, carbohydrates are the primary energy source for strength training!
Our bodies store glycogen within the muscles. Glycogen is made up of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates take much longer to digest and store in the body. Things like oatmeal, potatoes, brown rice and whole-grains are all complex carbs. It is ideal to eat these 2-3 hours before strength training. Eating complex carbohydrates 2-3 hours before training gives your body enough time to digest the nutrients and store them, giving your muscles the energy needed for strength training.
Glucose is the fast-acting carbohydrate. Foods like fruit, honey, white rice, and pretzels are all considered to be simple carbohydrates. These foods take very little energy to digest in the body and are considered quick energy sources. The best way to utilize these carbohydrates is to consume them 30 minutes to an hour before strength training. Simple carbohydrates are great for the days you didn’t have time to get complex carbohydrates 2-3 hours prior to strength training.
By timing majority of your carbohydrates around your strength training, you are able to utilize more of the food you eat before and after. Our bodies not only use protein to aid in muscle recovery, but it also uses carbohydrates! Everyone’s bodies and metabolisms are different, so it is important to learn about your body and metabolism to find what ratios work best for you!
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.