Friday, May 19, 2017

Warming up for fitness success

The dynamic warm up is a key ingredient for training success.  In my opinion, the warm up is the most important aspect of the workout.  If you skip the dynamic warm up, you will increase your chances of injury and have lack luster training sessions.  Here a few strategies to think about regarding the dynamic warm up:

·      Don’t ever skip.  Even if your time is limited, take just a few minutes to perform a few dynamic movements to get the workout started. 
·      The warm up should prepare you for the upcoming training session.  A runner preparing to run 400 yard repeats on the track should have a different warm up than the weight lifter who is about to bench press heavy.  If your workout is prescribing high intensity intervals, your warm up should build you into a similar work capacity.  If you plan to hit legs, performing hip mobility and glute activation will give you more success during your lifts.  This specificity will decrease your chances of injury and improve your performance during the workout.
·      Know your body.  If you are stiff and immobile, you need movement and mobility drills in the warm up.  If you are hypermobile and lack stability, you need dynamic stability drills added into your warm up.  If you do not know, hire a qualified movement specialist to evaluate your movement and prescribe specific corrective drills. 
·      Prepare the nervous system.  In simple terms, the nervous system controls and communicates to the entire body.  When starting a workout, the nervous system needs to be “turned up” and responsive to the work you are about to do.  You are preparing the nerves to be responsive to the movements you are about to perform.  This equates to more awareness in the workout, higher degree of intensity and increased performance.
·      The warm up is connected to the workout.  Do not think the workout starts on your first main exercise.  The workout starts with the warm up.  That’s why I am such an advocate of warming up properly because this is the catalyst to the rest of the workout.  Start with slower, less dynamic movements and as you slowly warm up, move to higher intensity warm up drills (see below). 
·      Simple dynamic warm up drills: knee raise pulls, straight leg kicks, quad pulls, lunging variations, mini-band walks, hip lifts, side lying thoracic spine rotations, wall slides, Y’s/T’s for shoulder mobility/stability, skipping variations, lateral shuffles, running high knees, running butt kicks, agility ladder drills and quick feet drills.  A simple YouTube search will show variations of all of the above.  

See below for a couple full body warm up variations....

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Friday, May 12, 2017

The training I am currently doing...

My training has been very intuitive as of late.  Purely on feeling.  Here are a few questions I ask myself in the morning before I train...

  • What did I do yesterday? (strength, conditioning, low intensity, high intensity, etc) This question ABSOLUTELY matters in terms of setting up the day's training.  
  • How do I feel?  (lethargic, tired, stressed, excited, fresh, strong, etc) Be honest with yourself.  Know the difference of mental and physical fatigue versus being a "wussy".  
  • How much time do I have?  Usually I give myself 90 minutes to workout.  That is plenty of time to not rush any aspect of the training session.  But let's face it, sometimes I may only get 45 minutes.  It's a different type of program set up, going from 90 minutes to 45 minutes.  The content will change.  
  • What do I feel like doing?  Right now this is huge for me.  I am enjoying the phase that I am in.  Undulating, intuitive, functional, strength based and fun!  Can't beat that programming.   Those first 3 questions must be answered still, then, your actual program becomes hyper specific to your body, the responses it has to exercise stimulus and adjustment on  the fly to make this specificity happen.  

Back to my training...

Here are a few sessions I did in the previous 8 days...

Sunday, May 7th: Upper Body (basic goal was to go in and crush every body part up top.  I did everything from heavy dumbbell bench presses to curl variations to drop sets.  I love these days because I can zone the "F" out and meditate.  That's what exercise is for me.  Meditation.  I stay in the present and focus on the movement and how it should be done, my breathing and my posture positioning.  These things keep me focused in a workout. 

Tuesday, May 9th: LOTS of crawling (240 yards worth to be exact), gymnastics strength training and airdyne medium intensity intervals.  I was in an aggressive mood at the start of this workout.  After the second lap of crawling, I put on a backpack with 25 pounds in it and did the remainder 20 minutes of crawling with this load.  I basically did a 15 yard bear crawl every 60-80 seconds for 25 minutes.  Great start to the workout.  Next, I went to the rings and worked on my gymnastic strength.  I have been working on improving in this modality for over two years.  Two words... VERY HUMBLING.  Give it a try but MASTER the basics, which could take over two years.  I finished this workout on the Airdyne bike, 30 seconds medium intensity (around 405 watts) x 12. 

Friday, May 11th: 1st workout was 50 minutes of cardio.  Treadmill run/hill walk workout.  First 30 minutes was 6.5 mph/2% incline, staying at a conversation pace throughout.  Next 10 minutes was 1 minute run/1 minute walk at 10%/6.2 mph.  Last 10 minutes was a hike up 12-15% incline building throughout. About one hour later, I did a strength and conditioning routine that looked like this:

10 minutes on spin bike to start (w/6x30 on/30 off to elevate heart rate)
Dynamic warm up
Strength circuit:
1a) Inverted Rows x 10
1b) Goblet Squat x 10
1c) Push ups x 10
*I did 10 rounds of this

Conditioning Circuit:
1a) Rope waves x 40
1b) Airdyne Bike x 30 seconds
1c) 15 yard turf run x 3 laps
*As many rounds in 10 minutes

That gives you a taste of some of the work I have been putting in.  Along with these type of sessions, I also add in tissue work (foam roll/tennis ball/massage), yoga, cold showers and meditation for physical and mental recovery. 

Please do not adhere to these exact workouts.  These are specific to me and my fitness and performance goals.  If you need help devising a program specifically for you, shoot me an email ( and I will help you out. 

I also have a private Facebook coaching page that is FREE for you to join and ask questions about your fitness and nutrition program. 

I appreciate you for reading.  Peace

Past writings