- OVER ANALYZING: One of the most common mistakes newcomers make is overanalyzing fitness. For a small percentage of the world, changing lifelong habits may be easy, but for most of us, it doesn’t happen overnight. We all know how to be healthy and get in shape: work out and eat healthy, nutritious foods. Almost every new client has hundreds of questions but the main point is that as a beginner, it’s a mistake to make fitness (and overall well-being) too complicated for yourself. If you eat good, nutritious food, drink lots of water, and challenge yourself in your workouts, your body will improve – don’t make it rocket science! Easing into a new lifestyle habit should be done gradually and jumping on fad diets that promise you results in 30 days is just setting you up for failure. Slowly decreasing amounts of bad foods and increasing good foods and movement is the best way to not only kick start being healthy, it is the most realistic way to make it a lifestyle.
- IMPATIENT: If getting a perfectly healthy body was a fast, easy process, wouldn’t everyone be in shape? Many newcomers to fitness expect instant results and if they don’t see a change in the first month (or even 2 weeks), they get bored and give up. If you begin a fitness journey plan on doing it for life, not just 30 days. Even if you did see great results in a month if you stop eating right, went back to old habits and quit going to the gym, it wouldn’t be long before you’re back to your old body. If you aren’t seeing the results you thought you would at first, don’t be discouraged – one month, three months, or however long it may take is still a short time compared to a lifetime of living a healthy lifestyle. Diets and quick fixes do not work – consistency over time is what gets long-lasting results.
- REPETITION: Many people see great results at first and then one day they hit a plateau and haven’t seen changes in weeks. The problem here is getting overly repetitive. We workout to get stronger and more fit and that is exactly what happens every time you go the gym. Eventually, things become easy. The treadmill is a great example – if you run 2 miles every day of the week, every time you run those 2 miles, you’re getting a little stronger, a little faster, and eventually it is easier on your body. So before you know it, your body isn’t having to work as hard, so you don’t burn the same amount of calories in those 2 miles as you did before – hence, lower or no progression or a “plateau”. In terms of weights, if you’re lifting weights to get stronger and haven’t seen a difference you should be consistently adding more weight to keep up the challenge, along with adding more sets and exercise variations. Keeping your body guessing and challenged is the key to getting stronger and seeing consistency in your results until you’ve reached your goal and beyond.
- OVERLIFTING: Challenging yourself is one thing, there is no shame in wanting to lift as much weight as possible but it won’t do you much good if you get hurt. Being attached to the numbers is more of a workout for your ego than anything else. Instead of busting out all that poundage, ease up and focus on the quality of the movement instead. Keep in mind that gains happen during the eccentric (stretch) portion of the lift—plus you’ll be less likely to injure yourself. Use a two-second up (concentric) and five-second down/stretch (eccentric) focus so you control the weight the entire way—and use a weight that works within this range for you.
- HIGH REP ONLY: Unlike your bank account, higher numbers aren’t necessarily better. When it comes to reps, using too much weight, cranking out 100 pushups or crunches is more for the sake of your ego and bragging rights than anything else. High reps prominently uses Type I muscle fibers, which works aerobic and muscle endurance, but have limited effect on hypertrophy (muscle growth) or strength. Again it’s quality over quantity – focus on using perfect form and keep reps in line with your goals. For strength gains the National Strength and Conditioning Assoc. recommends using weight you can lift for 6 good reps; use 6 – 12 reps for muscle growth and more than 12 reps for muscle endurance. Training for power requires the heaviest weights and only 1 – 5 reps per set.
- SKIPPING THE WARM UP: Without a proper warmup, you’re asking your body to work before the oxygen and blood flow reach the muscles. Not only are you increasing the risk for injury (and with cardiovascular exercise, you raise the heart rate too fast) but also hurt your overall performance. When the muscles are not warmed up they are not as pliable therefore you won’t be able to lift as much weight and are susceptible to torn muscles. Get your blood flowing by spending a few minutes on the treadmill, walking in place, elliptical or exercise bike.
- NO COOL DOWN: At the end of your workout, don’t come to sudden stop. If you don’t take the time cool down, you risk muscle injury and unnecessary soreness because you haven’t flushed the lactic acid out of your system. It only takes about 5 minutes at a slower pace to let your heart rate come down.
- EXERCISING ON AN EMPTY STOMACH: A few years back, the idea of running on empty (exercising on an empty stomach) was all the rage in weight loss training. Scientific data now shows that this strategy will ultimately backfire. If you perform cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning before you’ve eaten, insulin levels are at their lowest, while another hormone, glucagon, is at its peak. This encourages your body to draw on its fat reserves for fuel. This sounds like a great thing however, since fat metabolism is dependent on the availability of carbohydrate, when carb stores are low, fat metabolism is compromised. This makes exercise feel much harder, so you may tire sooner or slack off and end up burning fewer calories and less body fat overall. Even worse, you could end up losing hard-earned muscle as you start burning protein (muscle) instead of fat for fuel. So always make sure you’ve eaten something before you exercise!
- LACK OF FLEXIBILITY TRAINING: To achieve true fitness you really need to be able to move freely in all directions without any limitations to your range of motion (ROM). This is where flexibility training comes in, as it helps keeps your tendons and ligaments elastic and your muscles relaxed. Yoga and Pilates work well for this, but you’ll want to avoid static stretching (in which you hold a stretch for 60 seconds or more). New research is showing that prolonged static stretching actually decreases the blood flow within your tissue creating restriction in blood supply and lactic acid buildup. This can potentially cause irritation or injury of local muscular, tendonitis, lymphatic, as well as neural tissues. A better option is dynamic or active stretching which has been shown to help improve power, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility, and strength performance when used as a warm-up.
- OVER DOING IT: Whether on a treadmill at home or working out at a gym, people tend to do too much too soon. They put themselves at risk for an orthopedic injury. When you first start out exercising, you may fall in to the trap of assuming that the more often you do it, the faster you’ll see results. But overdoing it at the start is a key cause of injury and burnout. Not only is it important to start slow and build your intensity gradually, but it’s also important to give your body adequate time for recovery. An equation to keep in mind is that as intensity increases, frequency can be diminished. Once your strength and endurance improves, each exercise session is placing an increasingly greater amount of stress on your body (as long as you keep pushing yourself to the max). At that point, it’s actually wise to give your body enough time to recover in between. In fact, you need to allow your body to fully recuperate in between sessions in order for the exercise to remain productive. If you’re not sure if you’re exercising too intensely and/or too frequently check out our blog from last week (August 20th) on “ARE YOU OVERTRAINING?”
- WORKING OUT ON YOUR OWN: If you’re not sure how to best exercise to reach your fitness goals (whether they be to lose weight, build strength, improve performance, or otherwise), a qualified fitness trainer can be invaluable. He or she can guide you in a fitness program that will be the appropriate intensity and duration to help you meet your goals while avoiding injury. A trainer can also teach you proper technique for exercises like squats or free weights. Even one session with a trainer can give you valuable insights into proper form when you work out. If you would like a free consultation and/or introductory workout, contact us at 678-417-0880 ext. 8301 / email@example.com www.bodyrichfitness.com
You take your workouts seriously – whether it is at the gym, hitting the streets/trails running, Zumba classes, Crossfit, etc. but have you ever found yourself placing unreasonable demands on your body to the point of overtraining? If your commitment to workout time is in the neighborhood of about 5 – 7 hours per week, chances are you’re not at risk of overtraining. However, if it’s greater than 7 hours per week and training is becoming a borderline addiction (even at the expense of possibly doing harm) it’s probably time to reassess your goals. If you’re in this position, hopefully you have the knowledge and experience of a personal trainer or coach who can quickly adjust your training and get you back on track. Regardless, it’s crucial that you listen to your body and know the signs of overtraining. Some of the most common signs that you may be over training are:
- Do you frequently have an unquenchable thirst? Does it feel that no matter how much you drink, you still crave more? If this happens to be coinciding with a period of increased physical activity, there’s an excellent chance that you’re overtraining.
- It’s very normal to have muscle soreness for a day or two following a workout or run, however, if you’re still sore past the 72-hour mark, be sure to schedule a break and rest. This type of extended soreness is a sign your muscles aren’t recovering and negatively impacts on your muscle-building and performance efforts.
- Are you having difficulty sleeping? Your body grows and heals while resting, not training. For example, during rest, the body tends to recover and remain in an anabolic state (rebuilding state). When the body does not properly rest for long periods of time, as in prolonged vigorous exercise, muscle tissue will continue to break down. Without sleep and a good rest, the natural process of tissue growth and repair will not take place which can cause muscles to stay sore, weak and cause possible injuries. Studies show that the hours between 10 pm to 2 am are the most crucial for sleep because this is the part of your sleeping pattern where the most physical restoration occurs.
- Halted progress – has your body seized in performance or in spite of your best efforts you are not seeing results? If so, you may be overtraining. When you’re overtraining your body is kind of going in the opposite direction of growth because your muscles are torn and all you’re doing is re-tearing them again. Remember muscles need a chance to repair and that’s only possible when your body is given the proper time to rest and recover before being forced into more exercise.
- Getting injured more often? In particular, are you re-aggravating old injuries? If so, you may be overtraining. When you over train, your body doesn’t get enough time to recuperate between workouts meaning that at some point you begin training in a weakened state. If you do this too often you increase your chance of injuries. To prevent yourself from overtraining, force rest periods into your routine. Just like you write down on your schedule workout days, write down (and force) rest days as well.
- It’s not unusual to occasionally want to skip a workout or run but, if you generally live, breathe, and sleep an active lifestyle and then suddenly become disinterested, constantly dreading it or having to drag yourself out of the house, you’re probably overexerting yourself. Instead of working out and possibly risking injury by going through the motions and improperly performing an exercise, give yourself some time off to refresh.
- Feeling ill is not part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, sometimes it’s your body’s way of telling you that your immune system is suffering from overtraining. The process of overtraining means your body is in a continual catabolic state (the breaking down state) which lowers immunity and increases chances of becoming ill. If you find yourself being constantly sick, you may be overtraining and need a rest.
Finally, if you can relate to any of these signs of overtraining, do yourself a favor and adjust your schedule immediately – eat a lot of clean food, take a week (or even two) off of training and give your body a chance to rest and restore. Your overall health and performance will benefit from it in the long run.
Bodyrich Fitness Company
Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutritionist
678-417-0880 ext. 8301 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer is coming to an end, the kids are back in school, what better time to start thinking about spending some time on you. Whether you are a dedicated fitness enthusiast and just looking to shake up your fitness routine, have never worked out but always wanted to or you just need to shed a few pounds from the summer treat cheats, we can help by designing a plan that is based on your goals, time and needs.
We are offering our “Back to School Special” that will help jumpstart or intensify your fitness, give you proper form & instruction, a workout plan that you can take with you, as well as a personalized nutritional guideline. $95.00 – This special includes the following:
- 3 – 30 minute one-on-one sessions with one of our certified personal trainers at our Personal Training Studio
- A personalized Nutritional Guideline (designed by our Certified Fitness Nutritionist)
- A take home workout plan for you to carry on your fitness routine on your own
At the first session we will find out what your fitness goals and/or concerns are, start the first workout, instruct and teach proper form and burn a few calories too. The second session will be a workout and Q&A time; then on the last session, we will send you home with knowledge and safety, a workout plan to continue a fitness routine at home, as well as a nutritional guideline to help continue fitness growth. If you want to continue your fitness plan with us, we have packages available to meet your continued fitness needs as well.
For information on this special, if you are interested in a complimentary consultation & introductory workout or any basic questions please feel free to contact us at 678-417-0880 ext. 8301 / email@example.com. Also check out our website at http://www.bodyrichfitness.com/
Certified Personal Trainer / Fitness Nutritionist
Bodyrich Fitness Company
Summer is coming to an end, it’s that time of year again – getting the kids out of bed early, packing lunches and rushing off to school. With this new hectic schedule it can be very easy to get caught up in the grab-and-go type lunch foods that are convenient but not always necessarily the most healthy.
Whether it is your child’s lunch for school; your lunch for the office or a lunch for the mom (or dad) on-the-go, here are some tips for making sure everyone can prepare, pack and enjoy a healthy lunch that will not only make you feel more energetic and healthy but also save money as well.
Lunch for school: When it comes to your child’s lunch, the biggest advantage you have is get them involved. Brainstorm with them and come up with a grocery list of healthy items that they will actually eat. When possible, take them with you to the store and have them be involved in picking out items that will go in their lunch, this way you know you won’t have a hungry child at school or wasted food thrown away. Make their lunches fun by varying what is in them and for younger children add shapes, color and “mini” items that are fun sized and appealing to the eye. Teach them to make their own lunch each day – this helps show them independence and also frees up some time in your busy schedule as well.
Lunch for work: There are so many new smartphone apps that help you check grocery specials, find recipes and even make your grocery list. The big motivations for this trend are spending less time, money and eating healthier. By taking advantage of some of these apps, you can begin preparing and packing your own healthy lunches for work. With just a little planning on the weekend, you can prepare recipes to put in single-serving containers to take with you during the week. If planning, preparing and packing sounds like a hassle, focus on how much healthier you will be for doing it and also the money you will save. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Planning: invest in small reseal-able or disposable containers to pack lunches, sauces, etc.; schedule time to prepare food including slicing, chopping, and cooking; purchase larger portions of food and divide into small portions and/or freeze.
- Know the following about your meals: Are their cold items that need to be refrigerated? Do I have a way to keep them cold? Do I need to heat anything? Do I have a way to heat them up? If not, you can use a thermos to keep things hot or to keep things cold you can purchase a small cooler with ice packs; use frozen fruit to keep things cold (and then eat the fruit later); ice cubes in a small plastic zipper bag will also keep things cool or freeze a single water bottle and drink it later.
- Few fun lunch ideas: Brown bag lunches can get boring if you limit yourself to a plain PB&J every day. Vary your lunches by including leftovers from dinner. Make wraps with grilled chicken breast or veggies; take whole wheat cereal and yogurt for lunch instead of eating them for breakfast; try grilled & chopped salmon on a salad or whole grain pasta; grab a can of tuna and add some apple slices, salad greens and a light red-wine vinaigrette dressing; brown rice and black beans with salsa; sweet potato and add some pineapple
- Modify some of your favorite brown bag lunches from childhood to make them healthier: transform a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into a healthy sandwich by substituting whole wheat bread, use apple slices or other fresh fruit instead of sugar laden jelly; try making a pizza roll by taking a whole grain wrap and fill it with tomatoes, basil leaves and low fat mozzarella cheese.
- Energizing snacks to keep you going all day long: When you are at work 8+ hours or know that you have a busy on-the-go day, try to pack some of the following snacks for a mid-day boost and lasting energy: blueberries, orange slices, pita chips & bean dip, veggies & hummus, peanut butter on whole wheat crackers, strawberries, cantaloupe, mango, tomatoes, avocados, peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, nuts, oatmeal, whole grains, low fat dairy
- Also, many times when you feel zapped in the afternoon it is because you are possibly dehydrated. Even just being slightly dehydrated can cause you to feel tired. Your body is made up of 60% water and it needs that water for digestion and energy. Keep a water bottle or big cup with you at work (or in the car) to remind you to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Lunch for the on-the-go mom (or dad): For the most part, the same rules apply as the “Lunch for Work” but since many of your time is spent in the car or at the ball park, you would definitely want to invest in some type of cooler to keep your lunch/snacks in. You can plan picnics with a play group, take your own lunch and snacks into the food court at the mall, make a pit-stop at a welcome center or family safe park, or take it into the bleachers at your child’s event.
This may seem too inconvenient at first but once you take time to plan and prepare your healthy meals and snacks, it will soon become a habit and just part of your weekly routine. With all that extra energy and money you save you could even reward yourself and your family with a splurge meal out once a month or save for several months and go on a special vacation trip. Get the family involved, get creative and get healthy.
Bodyrich Fitness Company
Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Fitness Nutritionist
Contact us at 678-417-0880 ext. 8301 / firstname.lastname@example.org