Warm-up Training

There was a recent online article nominating the “… most damaging types of training…”. Interestingly enough we were hoping to write something similar but definitely not the same.

Rather, we were hoping to hone in on what should be done prior to undertaking training, whatever type/style/genre of training you elect to partake.

So, what are the biggest things you should focus on?

1. Pre-hydration
2. Nutrition
3. Stretching/Warming up

Now we’re all aware that numbers 1 and 2 are more of a day-to-day thing… beyond our control at the precise time of training. Number 3 on the other hand is a at-any-point-in-time-prior-to-training thing.

Having sufficient time to warm up and stretch properly plays an integral role in what might happen during training.
It’s recommended that you always warm up completely, and focus on warming up those key muscles/groups you plan on using in your training session further, to ensure maximum gain and minimize the possibility of injury.

Easy said (and written) but ‘sometimes when we’re short on time, a quick workout is all we can achieve…’, we suggest you think of the time lost if you got injured vs time spent warming up…

Now to get thinking about the cool-down post-training…

Follow up carbs tips

Here are some easy carb notes c/o the Bodybuilding website:

* Immediately after workouts, shoot for about 40 grams of protein from a mix of whey and casein, to maximize muscle protein synthesis.

* Consider adding 5-10 grams of BCAAs post-workout to ensure maximal protein synthesis and further boost the insulin spike. This is especially important if you are in a carb-free post-workout phase of your diet.

* When consuming carbs, go with 20-60 grams of high-glycemic carbs after your workouts depending on your weight, goals, and the intensity and duration of the workout.

If you find that a big dose of high-glycemic carbs leaves you feeling lethargic, then have a smaller dose of high-glycemic carbs (15-30 grams) and follow it with a small dose of low-glycemic carbs (15-30 grams) such as fruit, oatmeal, or a sweet potato.
During phases of your diet where you are slashing all carbs and need to skip post-workout carbs, have 40 grams of a protein shake and 5-10 grams of BCAAs. This will keep you anabolic, despite being low carb.

The only time you should cut carbs from your post-workout is when you’ve cut all carbs from your diet, and that should only be done when fat loss is your primary focus.

Carbs and … did you know!?

As most would already know, an individual’s optimal carb intake depends on age, gender, body composition, activity levels, personal preference, food culture and current metabolic health.

There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a “low carb diet” as what is “low” for one person may not be “low” for the next, however studies have shown that low-carb diets reduced appetite and makes you eat less calories and lose weight as long as you manage to keep the carbs ‘low’.

What you need to remember is that there are good carbs and bad carbs. It is very important to choose healthy, fiber-rich carb sources. There is room for plenty of vegetables, even at the lowest end of the carb range.

The most interesting thing (after some research) is that the best way to replenish muscle glycogen stores after workouts is to consume high-glycemic (fast-digesting) carbs as soon as possible post-workout.

Many people worry that fast carbs after workouts will make them fat. However, the post-workout period is the one time when you’re almost guaranteed that those carbs will not be converted into body fat.

What are your thoughts/experience?

Training for pregnant women

A few days ago we wrote a bit about HIIT training, this type of training has had great success across the board and in many genres.

For those of us who may be an expectant mother, HIIT might be just a bit too much… thus TABATA was born.

“Tabata,” a high intensity interval workout style but for much shorter stints of time.

Our Tabata example can be broken down into the following:
1. Firstly, choose 8-10 different types of exercises, this could be a brisk walk, ride on a stationary bike or the like. Write them down or make note so you don’t forget.

2. Now to begin:
Do the first exercise listed as hard as you can for 20 seconds then follow it up by 10 seconds of rest.
Do another exercise for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest.
Cycle through each of the 8-10 exercises for a 4-5 minute round.
Start with one or two rounds and progress as you get stronger.

Each cycle is a 4-5 minute Tabata round. You’ll be feeling happier and fitter in no time!

As always, please ensure you get the go-ahead from your GP prior to starting anything new. And don’t forget to stop immediately if anything feels ‘off’.

Healthy pick-me-up

For those days/nights when you’re feeling just a little bit ‘bleh’… like you might be coming down with something… mix this concoction up (with your own dosage of each ingredient depending on how much you’re willing to try) and you will feel better!

Word on the wise: the ingredients are not for the faint-hearted.

“Hot Health Remedy” v.3.2

A wonderful immunity-boosting drink.  Extremely delicious (dosage-of-ingredients-used dependant) and very soothing.   

Key ingredients:

Lemon: cleansing, high in vitamin C, soothing.

Garlic: Naturally antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial.

Ginger: use with caution.

Cinnamon: known for it’s warming effect and assists digestion.

As always: please consult with your health care practitioner prior to trying ‘new things’.

Training – HIIT

A.K.A. High Intensity Interval Training

We’ve all heard of it, but how (to us as  regular Jill’s and Jack’s) does it work?

HIIT workouts are short workouts (think half an hour or less!) that include surges of very high intensity, inevitably this results in a fitness boost  and can potentially shrink the waistline.

As an example, I’ll use an exercise I personally detest: exercise cycling.

A mere 2.5 minutes of giving it your all on an exercise bike can burn up to 220 calories!!
Divide those 2.5 minutes into five 30-second intervals, each followed by a few-minute period of light pedaling:
Warmup 3 minutes 20-30%
30 seconds 100%
3 minutes 40-50%
30 seconds 100%
3 minutes 40-50%
30 seconds 100%
3 minutes 40-50%
30 seconds 100%
3 minutes 40-50%
30 seconds 100%
3 minutes 20-30% cooldown

After all is done (less than 21 minutes later) you will have burnt more calories than if you did a full 30 minutes of moderate cycling.
Hint: use your workout playlist to gauge timing.

When it comes to busting ‘fat’ with exercise, HIIT is the best way to lose stubborn belly fat. This is because interval training actually burns more calories per unit of time than a steady pace workout.

Although HIIT involves extremely difficult pushes of 100% effort, these types of workouts tend to be perceived as easier since they’re shorter and come with built-in breaks.

Try throwing in some HIIT sprints on the tread or weight sets to try it out.

N.B. please seek physician advice prior to starting any training regime.

Get Lean – 3. Review

If you haven’t leaned up at all after the first four weeks, it may be time to troubleshoot. You can try by applying the below at your own discretion:

1. Increase your cardio.
Instead of one cardio session per day, try 3/4 hour of cardio in the morning, on an empty stomach. Then add a second 1/2 hour session later on in the day – a minimum of 2 hours after eating and  an hour prior to eating again.

2. Cut carbs further. 
Drop to 60-80 grams per day and alternate two days on, one day off (max 150 grams).

3. Change your training routine

Note: always consult with your physician