You woke up this morning, eye wide looking at the clock... 6am. Comfy in bed. Not wanting to move from your warm position.... Get up! Let's go and get the blood flowing!
These are days we all have had, it's okay! Let's explore some ways to master each workout.
Things to do the day before:
1. Eat plenty of calories. When you're building muscle AND burning fat in the beginning, you still need sufficient amount of fuel to do both. Eating enough is also fuel for a great workout session. Don't skip the kcals!
2. Drink plenty of water. Clients LOVE to come in dehydrated! Wooooweee! Let me just say, this is worse than coming in with only a protein shake in your stomach. The body is highly depleted upon waking. It's needs to be replenished before you conduct any intense and rigorous activity.
3. Catch plenty of zzz's. I know this is a tough one for many of us, however, over the years of being a trainer I find this can improve with small routine tweaks in the evening. Leaving you with better and deeper sleep. You can see some of those changes here in a previous post I did talking about sleep.
4. DON'T SKIP THE WARM UP. This is so important to me being an injury prevention specialist. If you are jumping right into the workout as soon as you enter the gym, you are putting your body at risk for injury. Many times a client will walk in without first truly waking up. What do I mean by this? I wake up at least 1 hour before my day begins, this is to ensure that my mindset is right, I have prepped meals and myself for the day, and my body is also awake and has had time to move and replenish with nutrients before I begin any kind of physical activity to work my body. Warming up severely lessens the risk for injury and increases your gaining power.
5. Workout with purpose and intent. This is a big one. I see many individuals, not just clients, who come into the gym and don't know what they are doing or why they are doing it. They just want to be stronger, faster, look great naked, etc. However, this is not a true intention. This is a societal standard. I train with purpose to keep my body healthy and strong for my career and daily tasks. I train with the intent to strengthen joints, the immune system, and then for aesthetics. (I will always train for aesthetics for as long as I am competing.) At one point I trained to heal from injuries. So make sure that you have a purpose and good intentions with you workout.
6. Finally, plan out your workout. Going into the gym and aimlessly wandering not only makes people stare because they are curious about what you are doing and why do you look like a lost puppy. It also gives you direction and will save you time. Write it down in your phone, on your hand, whatever you need to do to remember it. Do not rely on your memory for this, you could miss an important movement you may need to be working on.
Alright Warrior, now you have some great tips and tricks to help you have a much more successful workout session for yourself. If you are still unsure of what to do, INVEST IN YOURSELF WITH A TRAINER. There is no shame and yes you can afford to invest in your health for at least one month. Find a knowledgable trainer who will teach and educate you on movements you need, movements you want, and how to take care of yourself. Let's face it, none of us have been properly taught how to do self-care. This is a great beginning point for creating a self-care routine.
Stomach bloat is no joke and pretty common. It can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. So how do we eliminate it altogether? There are some pretty simple ways that we can do this.
1. Eat less processed foods, including dairy. I said it, dairy is a culprit here as well as the McDonald's you had for breakfast, the bag of chips you had for "lunch" and the take out you ordered in for dinner because work left you too lethargic to cook. Processed foods also harm our gut microbiome. This is how we digest well. When I lessened the amount of processed foods and take out foods I was consuming, I noticed a lot more than bloat disappear from my body. I also noticed inflammation lessen, aches and pains lessened, and my brain fog even lessened. Now that isn't to say I never do, I just moderate. In the beginning, I eliminated to heal my body. Allowing detox to take over, this can take years to fully detox from processed foods. One last point about processed foods, the chemicals, emulsifiers and preservatives used in them block the neuroreceptors to the gut liner that communicate with the brain. They tell the brain that you are full and satiated and to stop consuming whatever you are consuming. When we ingest processed and chemical-filled foods we block this step and tend to overeat. Left wonder why we are feeling bloated, hurting and still hungry.
2. Moderate that dairy or eliminate it. Why? It's just as processed as the other foods. Filled with emulsifiers and fortified with vitamins because they were stripped from it during processing. Unless you are consuming RAW cheese and milk, or goat or sheep milk, it's best to steer clear. Milk in the use tends to turn straight into sugar as well and mess with our glucose levels. You can also end up ingesting and absorbing whatever hormones went into that cow during their raising, this will mess with your body's own homeostasis levels. And lastly about dairy here, I found this highly fascinating and they are still researching more into this. Antibiotic resistance. When a cow gets sick it is given antibiotics, just like a human would be given. This going right into the milk you consume, making it impossible for the antibiotics to work when you are given them during your own time of illness.
3. Exercise and get movement in daily. This seems to be the toughest one for us all. We go to to work, usually sit at a desk many of us. Then we arrive home and sit more telling ourselves this is "relaxing". While it can be relaxing to sit in front of the TV and veg out while you shut your brain off for the day, movement is medicine. Movement and exercise keeps our bodies healthy and strong, with even stronger immune systems. Exercise balances hormones, forces the body to use the fuel it was given for movement and recovery of muscles. It also helps with digestion! When you exercise you are moving your blood around a lot more, the flow increases and particularly to the peristalsis of your gut. This causes it to move around and digest food more and more efficiently by massaging your food. This in turn breaks down your food and is absorbed by the gut liner and dispersed throughout the body.
4. Drink more water. Water is such a powerful force, not only in nature but within the human body as well. As we are made up of mostly water, we need it to maintain our complexion, transport nutrients and other important elements around the body and for proper digestion and bowl movements. Without water we also, die. Water helps break food down and move it through the body in they way that it was meant to be moved. Drinking water after a meal helps to do this and keep you satiated and full, preventing over-indulging moments.
Now that you have four simple steps to relieve your body of the bloat, you're ready for the next steps. To take them.
Many of us are continuing to workout at home since COVID hit us all square in the face. This is great! Staying active is a great step in preventing yourself from any kind of illness or disease. Some of us may be wanting to begin an at-home regimen however aren't sure where to begin. I just want to take a few moments and cover some basics, some do's and well not don'ts necessarily. More like some guidelines to keep you on track with your goals.
1. Make time. This is the toughest thing for everyone to do, nobody has the time, we have to make the time. While this is tough for us in the beginning, after staying consistent for at least 90 days it begins to become routine and habit. A good habit! A helpful habit that will keep you going day in and day out.
2. Healthy has no pause button. I know, I know, you're tired of me saying this. However, it's very true! Healthy doesn't care that we have children, a career and house to maintain. We have a modeling gig coming up or we are traveling for a year just to connect with ourselves. If you do not maintain the vessel, these things can become difficult to continue to do. This is not a scare tactic, but some plain hard truth. I love to hike, if I did not continue to lift and do cardio my body would start to deteriorate and the muscle becomes stiff and immovable. That hike just became a lot tougher, especially on the hips. So I stay healthy, limber, and strong so my body can handle whatever I throw it into!
3. You don't have to workout three hours a day to obtain your goals. There is a stigma behind bodybuilder aesthetics, while many of them will spend many hours in the gym studies are finding and have found now is that an intense short, 45-90 minute workout burns and builds more than a long drawn out 3 hour workout. If you're working out at home, start small and go for only 20 minutes. Work your way up to doing an hour of movements.
4. Not every workout needs to be "Go big or go home". A short quick workout is going to offer just as much benefit, if not more, as a longer and more intense workout session. Also, you don't have to lift heavy to go hard. Intensity is based on the pace in which you perform your movements.
5. Plan ahead. It is easier to conduct your workout and want to do the workout to begin with if you already have planned out what you are going to do. Find a good app, a program to follow, a trainer, or a YouTube video you have wanted to try. Whatever you do, plan it out and make it happen!
6. There will be days you don't want to move, do it. Not every day is going to feel amazing and like you want to be there, trust me I have had my fair share of downer-days. If you're already in front of it, just begin to move. Don't let yourself talk yourself out of a workout that could better your day. Happy bodies produce happy hormones. Happy people have more energy as well and focus better throughout the day. Don't skip the workout.
7. Days off aren't going to make you lose gains. This is a big no-no. We often times begin a regimen and sometimes we become obsessed with seeing results and want to go hard everyday. The body needs time to rest in order to recover. That recovery is going to fuel your next workout, your next recovery session, gain you more muscle and burn more fat than if you go 7 days a week/365 per year. So relax! Kick back and enjoy some yoga or just the stairs for the day. Nobody said you had to be a potato on the couch. Active rest days are a great way to let your body recover and still move.
8. Support is crucial! I am emphasizing this one because without the right support we fail. If you're family or roommate or partner doesn't agree with you working out in the house, find somewhere else to do it! Ask them to join you. Offer to teach them something new. Share the progress you've made. Share how it has changed ___________ in you. Without loving, compassion and encouragement from those around us, gaining a healthy routine can be tough or even non-existent.
9. Lastly, you don't need a full gym to begin! You just need a body and having a couple of mini bands, handled bands or even some free weights does not hurt in the strive for progress!
There you have it! The do's and guidelines for starting your at-home program! Still need some inspiration for you next workout? Check out our programs on Trainerize! Follow along with videos, get progress updates and even access in-app coaching communication.
Recently I was contacted by a company called Emerging Green. They were sweet and sent me an at home kit! This kit was really great for the most part. Providing equipment for a full body workout or being able to split it up into sections. It was great to provide a kit that was easily portable as well. Traveling after COVID? Take this with you and keep up on your fitness.
Let's begin with the bad. The band, not a good band. This was the only disappointing piece of this kit. The band moved around too much and did not provide enough tension. It was difficult to do many exercises that could have been done with a mini band much easier. Mini bands are flatter and less likely to roll up the legs or arms. This band also felt flimsy and as though it may snap at any moment.
Push-up grips. These are a great tool for beginners to advanced gym-goers. They can be used for a variety of push-ups, core work and more.
I haven't jumped rope in years, when I say years I mean since I was a kid. Not a teen, a child. So after decades of not jumping rope I had some fun doing it again. This rope was perfect for me, I am nearly 5' 11 and it can be difficult to find a good and long jump rope. This was perfect, the thickness of the rope is also great. The smaller the rope, the more it hurts if you mess up. (Don't mess up and wack yourself, that sting stays for about five minutes! Yikes!) Jump ropes are a great way to add fun and cardio to the mix of your workouts as well.
Finally, the best piece in here (IMO), the ab wheel! I was more excited about this due to the structure of it. The larger wheel give s a much more stable base, especially for those who are new to using an ab wheel. This piece comes with a little foam mat to put under your knees. Protection of the patella is vital. This pieces is also very sturdy, my partner uses it nearly every workout. He is 5' 7" and 230 of nearly solid muscle. This is also a great piece to take with you on road trips. Having a nice active, strong core is great for posture and long car rides or plane rides.
With all other excuses out the door this kit is the bees knees! Never miss a workout again with this great kit. My only suggestion would be to add a different band or two to this kit as the band that comes with it is not suitable for any movement.
You can find their kit on their site or through Amazon! Stay healthy Warriors!
Note from the Team.
The blog about everything from mindful eating to healthy fat loss, drugs, natural supplementation and more!