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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Eat Before Or After A Workout?

# Eating Before A Workout

Ideally, you should be eating 3 or 4 hours before you work out. This will give you time to digest your food and supply you with energy for your upcoming workout – if you eat a hefty meal an hour before you lift the weights, your food won’t be fully digested and you may feel sluggish. You should be eating complex carbohydrates, fast-acting protein, and veggies before your workout. Carbohydrates are needed because they are your body’s primary fuel source. When you work out, your glycogen levels are depleted, and having enough carbs will make sure they won’t be depleted fully. If you only have about 1 hour until you have to work out, it would be beneficial to drink at least a protein drink or eat some almonds and fruit. Working out on a completely empty stomach will most likely leave you not feeling your best, but eating too soon before a workout will make you feel sluggish. You also will want to have a source of protein before your workout, because the protein will increase your resting energy expenditure by an average of 6-6.5% and also blunt your cortisol throughout the day. Also, if you work through your carbohydrate reserve while working out, it will start to chip away at your protein reserve. If you have no protein, then it starts attacking your muscle – which is not good if you’re trying to grow them. Some bodybuilders also take creatine and beta alanine before a workout.

# Eating After A Workout

Contrary to what it usually believed, when you work out you aren’t growing your muscles. What you are actually doing is tearing them down. The healing process is where muscle growth comes from. When your muscle breaks down, it will always grow back stronger, but you need the proper nutrients for it to grow fully and healthily. You want to eat proteins, complex carbohydrates, and veggies after your workout. You’re also going to want to eat your meal within the hour of working out because your muscles begin the recovery process quite soon after working out. You are going to especially want protein because protein is needed for the repair and growth of tissues. Since your body is always breaking down proteins, your diet must provide enough protein. Protein after a workout is helpful to jump start muscle recovery, growth and repair. One reason whey protein is used very commonly is because it digests quicker than normal, it is abundant in BCAAs, it’s very bio-available, and has a perfect PDCAA score (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid). To take it to the next level, take both whey and casein protein after a workout for a great protein shake after your workout. You want at least 20-40grams of protein after a workout. Carbs are also important because after a workout, more than likely your blood sugar and glycogen levels will be low. Eating carbs will replenish both of them and help you to speed recovery. I personally believe eating a meal after a workout is most important because it gives your muscles the proper fuel to recover.

So, it’s good to eat both before and after a workout. Nutrition is just so important in the fitness world and should never be neglected. Remember, the key to building muscle and a healthy body is 75% diet and 25% exercise. You need to exercise to shape and grow your body stronger, but without the proper diet your muscles won’t be getting the nutrients they need to properly grow how you want them to. Even if you are working your butt off in the gym, if you aren’t eating properly at the right times, you’ll notice little muscle growth, joint problems, and even getting weaker in the gym! Make sure to supply yourself properly before you head into the gym and create your best self.

Why Everyone Should Add Strength Training?

add-strength-trainingMany people (especially women) tend to shy away from strength training. We all see it time and time again. That person who decides they want to get fit, they are going to commit to the gym. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to use a personal trainer so they think “I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to bulk up”. Then they go to the gym a few times a week and what do they do? Run and run and run. That’s it.

But the fact is strength training is not just for bodybuilding. Picking up a dumbbell is incredibly beneficial for everyone, in particular those looking to achieve weight loss goals. “Bulking up” from strength training is a huge misconception that too many people have, meaning they miss out on the plethora of benefits it has to offer, many of which are the key to overall health and fitness. So read on to find out exactly why everyone should add strength training into their workout.

# Manage Weight Effectively

If you are looking to workout to lose weight, one of the best places to start is with strength training. The more muscle you have, the more pounds you shred. Increasing lean muscle mass will assist you in burning calories more efficiently and not only in the gym. Weight training can also help you to burn more calories in general daily life.

# Preserve Muscle Mass

Without even thinking about increasing muscle mass from strength training, it is important to think about maintaining the current muscle you already have. Like a lot of things, muscle naturally diminishes as we get older. Therefore, strength training will help you preserve muscle mass.

# Improve Bone Health

Muscle is not the only thing we lose as we age. Both men and women lose bone density every year, however, due to hormonal changes this affects women most. This can lead to developing diseases such asosteoporosis. Regular strength training can aid the development of strong bones as well as help to slow bone deterioration.

# Disease Prevention

Numerous studies have shown the vast amount of wellness benefits associated with strength training. Research suggests that strength training can be as beneficial to arthritis pain as medication. As well as improving glucose control in sufferers of type 2 diabetes.

# Reduces Risk of Injury

When you participate in strength training you not only build strong muscles but also improve the health of ligaments and tendons. This supports your joints and aids balance and coordination.

—- How To Start

If you want to start strength training of course you can find everything you need at the gym. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to own a Smith machine to be able to effectively achieve strength training at home. There are many exercises you can perform simply using your own bodyweight for resistance which you can easily perform in your living room.

# At Home Exercises That Provide Strength Training Without Equipment :

  • Push Ups
  • Pull Ups
  • Tricep Dips
  • Jump Squats
  • Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Ab Crunches

# At The Gym :

  • Dumbbells
  • Barbells
  • Weigh Bars
  • Resistance Machines

Resistance machines are great to use in the gym for those who are new to strength training. Most gyms will have a clear set of instructions for each machine as well as highlighting which muscle groups are isolated by the equipment. Start with a low weight and high reps (10-12) on each exercise, this helps to build lean muscle.

Also, if you’re new to strength training, don’t over do it! You don’t need to use every machine each time you hit the gym! Try spreading your training across the week and either choose one exercise for upper and lower body each time or concentrate on your upper body one day and lower body another. Working all of your muscles to the max when starting a new program will be the quickest way to give yourself delayed onset of muscular soreness (DOMS). This means, after a couple of days all of your muscles will seize up and you won’t be able to continue training until it calms down, losing gym time.

So start slow and build up your program and remember even without the help of a personal trainer, there are gym staff who will be able to give you advice on the equipment they have including how to use it safely.

Knowing How Many Days A Week You Should Work Out

When individuals start working out, they can get motivated. They can get REALLY motivated. So motivated that you see them beast-mode in the gym, day after day. But do you know what they are doing to their body? They are overloading it and doing it more harm than they are good. Sometimes in working out less is more, and more is less. You don’t need to be spending 3-4 hours in the gym everyday, killing all your muscles every time. In fact, that could actually cause some bad damage to your muscles. Getting ripped, strong, and lean can be easier than you think, or harder, depending on where you are at mentally.

The optimal amount to work out with weights is three days a week for an hour to an hour and fifteen minute session. When you have gotten a good workout routine, you may even bump this up to four, but the reason for staying at three we will discuss a little bit later in this article. Some train these three days in rotating workout like upper body, lower body, upper body, lower body and on and on. I personally do a full body workout on each of these three days, and when you do compound workouts on these days as well, you will see your body get shredded so fast! You do not need to be in the gym for hours and hours, chipping away at time. If you are going to be a professional body builder and do this as a career, then maybe you will be putting in a few more hours than a normal person, but even then it’s doubtful. Here is a saying regarding muscles to live by: “Stimulate don’t annihilate.”

Now, I told you to only lift weights for three days a week. Does that mean you’re off and free to be a couch potato for the other four days? No way! When you are really building and sculpting your body, I doubt you will even want to do that. You’re going to be motivated to go out and get the best results in the shortest amount of time. That is why for another three days you are going to be doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is like extreme cardio, and it will do wonders to get you lean and muscular. HIIT is basically cardio, but it’s at intervals of giving your absolute 100%. Think of jogging and sprinting. Jogging would be normal cardio, and sprinting would be HIIT. HIIT is giving your absolute 100% of cardio for intervals. Say you can only sprint as hard as you can for 15 seconds – that’s good! That’s one set of HIIT Training. Set a timer and do this for at least 25-30 minutes on your cardio conditioning days. I would recommend setting it up so you lift weights one day, HIIT, light weights, HIIT, lift weights, HIIT.

But wait, that’s 6 days – there are 7 days in the week. Thought I forgot about that? On the 7th day, this is what you have to do – are you prepared? On the 7th day I want you to do… absolutely nothing. Yup, that’s right, having one complete rest day a week will give your body and muscles the proper time they need to fully recover for the next week of training. Having this rest day will actually build you more muscle than if you were to just train that day. That is because rest is so so important to the growth of your muscles. Remember, stimulate, don’t annihilate. I have even more good news – on this 7th day of rest, I recommend that you have a cheat day – that is, a day where you completely forget any diet rules, any fitness rules, and just eat whenever and whatever you want until your hearts content. This will help bring your body out of starvation mode and help you build up on glucose for next weeks workout.

So there you have it, a full 7-day routine right there. Do you want to get ripped and shredded? Stop just thinking about it and take action. There’s many programs out there and much you can learn, but the best thing you can do for yourself is take action and start.