Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Stay injury free so you can keep training

Just remember, more is not better. In fact, more can lead you to injury, and guess what happens when you are injured, training will suffer. Yes, you do need a training stimulus to get results, but too much stress and the body will breakdown, which can lead to injury and disrupted training. This is a tricky concept to grasp as an athlete. Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Do the little stuff: tissue work, mobility, flexibility, daily mini band walks/hip work. This work I consider "hygiene" and needs daily attention.
2. If you are training more than 5 sessions in a week, you should not make all of those sessions massively hard. Again, this could lead to breakdown and injury. Just like I said in yesterday's post, build and plan your training schedule to be successful.
3. Sleep is key to recovery and regeneration. Pretty simple here, try your best to get at least 6 hours of sleep every night. This is where your body fully recovers. Take a 20 minute nap if needed during the day.
4. Listen to your body. Your body will tell you when its mentally and physically fatigued, but you must listen and pay attention. Do a light training session or take the day (or 2 or 3 days) off. Your body will thank you, and you will keep moving in a positive direction. 
5. Nutrition and hydration matters.  Yes, what and how you eat is a critical component to staying injury free and assisting the body recover from hard bouts of training.  Keep to a minimum: processed foods, sugar dense foods, high amounts of alcohol, white flower products.  Add to your plan: All vegetables and fruits especially dark greens, broccoli, blueberries, cherries and bananas, lean proteins (chicken, turkey, lean red meat, eggs), healthy fats (fish, nut butters, avocados, healthy oils) and slow releasing carbohydrates (oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain breads).  Your water intake should be approximately half your weight in ounces of water.  Make this a habit.    
6. Active recovery weeks. I add these in my training every 4-8 weeks. I basically take a full week and do lighter, lower volume workouts. I keep some intensity in these weeks to stay sharp but instead of an hour workout, I may just do 30-45 minutes. Or instead of 5 rounds of strength work, I may just do 3. These are the weeks where your body responds and adapts to all of your hard work and comes back stronger and better!

Results ultimately happen to the individuals who stay injury free and who can keep training in a smart and effective manner.

**If you have specific questions, please let me know. 

Join my FREE Facebook coaching group.... looking for positive people who want to take their fitness to the next level... https://www.facebook.com/groups/1575159726117233/

Monday, January 9, 2017

Smart Planning will lead you to your fitness goals

Getting results in your fitness program (or with anything for that matter) does not just happen. The individuals who are dedicated to a lifestyle change will reap the long-term benefits. It’s not just about the workouts and eating healthy. As these two components are needed to achieve the goal, creating a smart overall plan and lifestyle will set you up to be successful. Take the time to go through the steps discussed below to improve the efficiency of your day-to-day life.

  • Get out your calendar: In this calendar, write in all of your appointments, family gatherings, social events, workouts and work related activities. Don’t forget your workouts! If it’s important to you and if you are looking for a result, you must schedule them in your week. Schedule all of your priorities (fitness should be one). Stick to your schedule every week. On Sunday night, look at the week ahead and repeat the process of scheduling in your priorities. Make this a habit! 

  • Schedule rest and recovery days: Life consumes us. We are constantly on the go and without attention to rest and recovery, we end up burnt out, injured and/or lacking motivation. So, as you schedule your workouts and other important activities, schedule in at least one complete day off where you can allow the body (and mind) to recoup and regenerate. This sets you up to have more energy to push the rest of the week. 

  • Train with a plan: Some people perform workouts. Some people follow a training system. Performing random workouts will build general fitness and give you more energy. But following a training system will lead you to a specific goal and your training will be progressive and more efficient. You will get better results by following a training system. Find a training program that supports your goal. Then simply be consistent and make it happen! 

  • Sunday night food preparation. Eating healthy takes planning. Without planning you end up making poor choices. Every Sunday, head to the grocery store to pick up healthy foods for the week. Also, take the time to cook up some food in bulk. Examples: chicken breasts, hardboiled eggs, chop up your vegetables, steam up brown rice, etc. This will save time during the week and give you a better chance at following through on your healthy plan. 

  • Time management: This is a component that tends to be forgotten about. Time is valuable and if you spend time wasting it but complain about not having any, you need to change around your strategies. How do you spend your time during the week? TV? Reading? Working out? Sleep? Social events? Work? For 1-week log how you spend your time. Clean up areas where you might be wasting time so you can add more time for the important things in your life.

  • Limit non-important activities: Once you are aware of your time managing, you need to limit the non-important activities. These are the things that will redirect your efforts of achieving your goals. Ask yourself a simple question, “Is what I am doing getting me closer or farther away from my goals?” If you set your mind to achieve a specific goal, do not let non-important activities derail your journey. 

If you need individual guidance, consider joining my personal coaching program where I will help you build your ideal lifestyle.  Email me at justinlevine03@hotmail.com.  

Peace, Justin 


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

5 Questions to ask in regards to your fitness program

  1. Do I focus on movement quality and exercise technique? Fluid and proper movement will set you up for improved performance, reduced injury and a stronger overall body. You can run through an exercise routine with poor form and still burn calories and still lose some weight but in the end you create a dysfunctional body. Own the movement. Decrease the repetitions and master every movement you do in the gym. In the end, your body will thank you because you will have less pain, more mobility and increased athleticism.
  2. Am I pushing myself too much or not enough? To get results you must produce a training stimulus on the body. Progressively adding stress to the body is needed for constant growth and improvement. If you do the same thing every week, eventually that training stimulus will taper off and your body will no longer produce the results you are looking for. Finding the necessary training loads needed for continued strength is critical. Too much work and you end up in an overtraining state. Too little and your body doesn’t get better. This is an important question to ask yourself periodically to make sure you are pushing yourself with adequate loads to get your desired results. 
  3. Does my food intake support my goals? Are you looking for weight loss? Muscle gain? Improved performance? If you are looking for weight loss or fat loss, are you eating low glycemic foods, limiting processed foods and sticking to more whole and fresh foods? If you are looking for muscle gain, are eating enough calories to support the goal? You may get very frustrated because you are working out consistently and pushing in the gym and not getting the desired results. Something may be off with your nutrition plan. Take a detailed look at what you are eating and assess if it supports your specific goals. 
  4. Am I recovering properly? Recovery and regeneration are critical components to an overall fitness program. As completing workouts is needed, if you are never allowing the body to fully recover, you risk injury and burnout. When you get hurt, you cannot train. When you cannot train, you cannot get better. Sleep is the single most important strategy in regards to recovery. You must make sure that you are consistently sleeping 6-8 hours every night. How and what you eat will also help you recover properly outside of your workouts. Sticking to anti-inflammatory foods like dark green vegetables, fruits like blueberries and cherries and healthy fats like fish, avocado and walnuts will assist in this recovery process outside of training. Lastly, recovery protocols like soft tissue work, active movement drills and light aerobic work will assist in keeping the body tuned up and keep you consistently training at high levels. 
  5. Is this becoming part of my life? This to me is a big one! Sustainability and consistency matters. You must create realistic healthy habits that will fit into your individual lifestyle. Every”body” is different. Find the habits that will mold into your life and that you can consistently accomplish all the time. Extreme quick fix diets might work in the short term but you will end up frustrated because they are not sustainable. Living a healthy lifestyle gives you flexibility and does not put restrictions on the plan. The idea is to consistently workout, eat healthy foods and learn to make these strategies part of your life.

If I can answer any questions for you, please PM me on Facebook.  


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