Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feel The Burn!


The burning sensation you feel in your muscles during a workout is necessary if you want results. The more you are able to tolerate this pain the better your body will be at responding to your exercise. The burn is an indicator that you have actually reached your anaerobic threshold and it will be heightened in recovery due to adaptation. The anaerobic energy pathway is a way your body turns chemical energy, from the food that you eat, and converts it to useable energy to perform movement.

Your anaerobic threshold is reached when your body cannot restore energy at the rate you are expending energy. Think of your anaerobic threshold as the point at which your body cannot tolerate stress caused by applying a constant force against resistance. Everybody has a different anaerobic threshold. People who are trained and train hard have a higher anaerobic threshold than people who do not train or just go through the motions. 
During intense training or training for the first time your muscles accumulate lactate. Lactate is a byproduct your muscles produce during a sustained contraction at a high intensity. When you have reached your anaerobic threshold, lactate accumulation will limit your contraction. Lactate build up also results in the burning sensation you feel which makes you want to stop the exercise or slow down. Lactate is a natural defense mechanism your body produces to prevent further damage to your muscle tissue while also restoring energy.
To prolong lactate accumulation during exercise you must train to failure consistently. Training to failure will allow you to always exceed you anaerobic threshold causing your body to adapt and gain efficiency in replenishing and restoring energy. More stored energy and faster recovery will also lead to high amounts of available energy for force production and more work that is able to be done pre-exhaustion. Training to failure also means that you have to “feel the burn!” If you are not feeling this burning sensation or micro-trauma that you are causing to your muscle fibers, then you are just going throught the motions. Every workout must be an overload. Your body adapts fast to the stresses you place on it. 

Within a well structured periodized program there must be progression whether in complexity and dynamics, intensity or volume. Continual progression through challenging your muscles and “feeling the burn” will prove to you that exercise does have a medicinal purpose. The constant stress and pain you cause to your body through resistance training, with proper prescription, will lead to a honorable addiction to exercise medicine.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Consistency, Efficiency, And Variation!

We all want to get what and where we want in the fastest amount of time. Any route that seems long or neverending is most often avoided. This habit is good for technology and the economy but does not do our bodies any good when it comes to health and fitness. The thought of a long term fitness plan that has an end is pointless. Exercise is something that should be done on a daily basis for the rest of your life. The key to exercising the right way, for the rest of your life, is to do it the safest way possible. Getting continuous results from your health and fitness routine without injuring ourselves depends on consistency, efficiency and variation.

Consistency can be achieved by always putting time for exercise on your schedule and never missing a workout. The more consistent you are the more results you will get. Consistency will also result in your body adapting to the conditions that you put it through on a regular basis. If you exercised one day a week for 1 hour, you would be a lot fitter than you would be 5 years from now without exercise. To be consistent we must pay attention to the other two factors that keep you getting what you want out of your fitness routine.

With variation in your routine you are able to do intense training for a long period of time. Variation allows for you not to place high demands repeatedly on the same joints all the time. It is important to do things in moderation and avoid doing the same thing every time you come to the gym. Venture into the unknown every time you plan your workouts. For your workouts to stay exciting and shocking to your muscles you must be willing to change. Changing up your workouts will help you become skillful in multiple areas, keeping you from just going through the motions. Overtime you will see better results while enhancing other skills like functional strength, explosiveness, and stability. The goals is ultimately to make fitness a lifestyle and consistency and variation will lead you in that direction, but not without the last key factor; Efficiency!
Once you have a pretty solid workout schedule and you are able to maintain it consistently while adding variation, it is important that you are doing things the right way. Efficiency adds more value to every workout while making your workouts safe and accurate.  Accurate meaning that you are focusing on the right areas while in the midst of training.  Being efficient with your routine also allows you to get the results that you are working for.  For example, to be efficient with your cardio routine you must be in a certain heart rate zone to increase your metabolism while you are not working out.  To get the result you aim for, you must eat the right amount of food which have the proper nutrient balance your activity level requires. Being efficient allows you to learn more dynamic movements and increase the amount of weight you are lifting without causing an injury.  Following a balanced nutritional plan while doing your cardio and resistance training consistently is the baseline for being efficient.  Once you have these three methods of fitness down, that is half the battle.  To be more efficient you must structure each method to best get your results in the fastest time possible.

Finding what works best to get the results you want may take a while.  Understanding your body and how it responds to exercise and nutrients is difficult and is learned on a trial and error basis.  Focusing on being consistent, having variation, and being efficient is the best advice given if you plan to succeed.  Eventually, in due time, you will see your results.  It is always key to aim for perfection while following your fitness routine.  You may not reach perfection but to get close you can never stop trying.  Stopping will only set you back and is pointless.  Instead focus on the key points that make a workout last a long time.   

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bodybuilding vs. Weightlifting

Many people believe that bodybuilding and weightlifting are similar hobbies.  Both are hobbies done using some sort of dead weight, machine, or other type of resistance training equipment.  The true practice of a bodybuilder is much more different and beneficial than a weightlifter.  Essentially a bodybuilder and a weightlifter have similar goals, which are to promote muscle growth and increase force production through their muscles.  A bodybuilder focuses on reaching their goals in a safe and efficient way that provides better results and longevity.  A weight lifter's focus is to basically lift weights.  Weightlifters do not focus on performing proper contractions of muscles.  They only are concerned about increasing the amount of weight they are lifting for progression. 

Most bodybuilders were weightlifters at one point, until they were taught the benefits of being in control of their muscle through full range of motion while handling resistance.  A bodybuilder practices constantly to have total control of every muscle.  A bodybuilder is aware of each separate muscle and is able to contract or flex all his or her muscles well.  Bodybuilding is more highly efficient than weightlifting because you are not challenging your joints to lift weights.  A bodybuilder focuses on allowing the targeted muscle to perform an exercise which limits the assistance or overload of other muscles or joints.  This allows for maximum stimulation of the muscles and faster, safer progression.  A weightlifter may be stronger than a bodybuilder at lifting weight.  A bodybuilder is not focused on the amount of weight he or she can lift.  Bodybuilders only want to get the most out of every contraction so that his or her muscle will be fully maintained or increase in size. 
It is recommended that, if you are currently a weightlifter, you should learn how to complete proper contractions through full range of motion.  Let your ego down and do not worry about what others think about the amount of weight you are lifting.  Eventually if you train your muscles consistently you will be able to have more control of the heavier weight you lift.  This control will represent a more defined strength.  A better focus on properly contracting your muscles will lead to faster results, a better look, and longevity in training with resistance.  Bodybuilding is more than just lifting weights and should not be compared to weightlifting.  Bodybuilding is maximizing your strength and physique the most healthy and efficient way possible.  If your goal is to look good, keep your joints healthy, and get stronger; seek the knowledge of a bodybuilder and it will change your life forever.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Get Fitness Coaching for Success

To get guaranteed results from a health and fitness routine, the best advice comes from a fitness coach.  A fitness coach can customize a program specifically for your needs and overall abilities.  Knowing what you must do to get where you want to be is easy to figure out.  Doing what you need to do to get there, step by step, can be difficult.  The speed at which you implement yourself into a personalized program will determine if you are successful at reaching your goals.  Taking action without self limited thinking is the best way to reach success when you are determined to reach your fitness goals.  Whether you have to change up your entire routine or make a larger commitment than you have been making, any professional advice or coaching is worth the modification.  If what you have been doing has not been working, then it is probably time for a change. 

Following a well developed fitness program requires a lot of coaching and external feedback.  Learning how to control variables to keep your body confused as well a developing efficiency during exercises and with nutrition requires coaching.  An individual who has been coached through an all new obstacle will always have an advantage over someone who has to learn the best way through on their own.  Always remember to not limit yourself and seek knowledge.  The speed that you experience a fitness lifestyle in a way that will give you the best advantage will determine your success.  Time is very valuable these days.  The more you procrastinate or let fear, doubt, and uncertainty control your life will lead to regret and a lack of success.  If you are looking for the best and fastest way to reach your goals let a fitness coach guide you through the fundamentals of an efficient program.  Once you acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities taught by the coach you will be ready to reach success on your own. 

bruce_lee_be_like_waterThroughout your life you try lots of things out to avoid making a total commitment.  After many trials you realize the more you put into something the more you get out of it.  If you really want something, invest in it.  Being totally committed will bring results over and over.  Once you become the student again you will realize, all that is unknown is what has limited you from reaching your goals.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Lifestyle of Fitness That Has No End

The best way to workout and get continual results is with a low risk of injury. An injury while working out could have you take an extended break from reaching your goals. A serious injury could also lead to you never working out ever again. When exercising you must make sure that you have proper posture, technique and use proper movement patterns. Having the right posture and performing proper movement patterns is important outside of exercise also. Practicing bad posture will lead to you placing improper forces on improper parts of your body. Overtime your bad posture could lead to chronic pain or damage to nerves, muscles, or joints.

Practicing proper posture starts when you first get out of bed in the morning, but can be enhanced when you exercise consistently. Consistently exercising your muscles with the proper range of motion will train your nerves, muscles, and joints, to inter-coordinate movements efficiently. The use of proper posture and form while exercising allows for proper force production. Progressing in strength and power training programs will be safer and more efficient. You will be able to make maximal strength and power gains without any risk of injury. Your skeletal system is like your foundation or base of support. Having correct joint alignment before and throughout the range of motion of an exercise makes your exertion potential almost limitless. In sports or other activities that require maximum force production, it is important to train progressively with good form and posture. If not, exerting force continuously at a high rate could lead to injury.

Exercising, with resistance especially, allows for continuous amounts of forces to be placed on muscles and joints, even when using proper technique and posture. Exercise with resistance must be applied in moderation and with variation. “Small stones will eventually build a mountain!” When you look at each stone that make a mountain, they are all different. The more concentration on gradual progression with constant variation will yield realistic gains. With this said, in order for you to reach your goals you must progress accordingly. Any big jump in resistance or progressing too fast could put you at a greater risk of injury. The human body is designed to adapt to tension applied to it overtime. Too much tension to fast, or constantly overloading an area puts you at risk of injury. To minimize tension applied to the same area it is important to change the rate or amount of force that is applied to a specific parts of a muscle. It is also important to incorporate combined muscle movements to balance force production through a broader area.   A fitness plan that has constantly changing variables has a lower risk of injury and can be easily maintained.

Rest and recovery, a proper nutritional plan, as well as the efficiency of your workout regimen will determine how fast you make progress. You must always remember “efficiency” not “duration”. The longer your workouts last, the greater risk of injury especially if you are isolating muscle groups.   A speedy recovery will promote consistency. Without the right amounts of energy and a lack of rest puts you at a greater risk of injury.

Constant exercise is the key contributor to life long health and wellness. In order to do so you must practice proper technique, posture and recover with proper nutrients and rest. Changing up variables in your workout like frequency, intensity, duration, tempo, and exercise selection will allow for maximum gains with the least risk of injury. Your internal feedback is not always right. To build proper movement patterns while exercising it is important that you receive instruction from an exercise professional. An exercise professional can teach you how to get the most value out of each exercise in the least amount of time with no risk of injury. Through verbal ques and guided practice you can build the right internal feedback that will benefit you and your progress towards reaching your goals.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Got Skills?

For whatever you are trying to accomplish in the near future, you need to develop the right skills to be successful. Skills are needed in competitive sports and to reach your physical fitness goals. Learning new skills or enhancing your skills takes continuous repetition within proper guidelines and bio-mechanics. The quote, “practice makes perfect”, identifies how skills can be learned and applied almost subconsciously. To have skills to be the best at whatever physical task you do, you must focus on the technique and coordination to perform the task. Whether you want to dunk a basketball, run a marathon, or increase the maximum amount of weight you lift; you must begin with practicing fundamentals. This practice will lead to enhancements in simple components of the overall task. Practice must be consistent and repetitive. Practicing to obtain skills should be to the point that it is not fun. This type of practice will lead to you training your nerves, muscles,and joints to inter-coordinate and perform the task more efficiently.

With practice there needs to be progression. In progressing through a program to learn or improve skills, more components to the skill can be added. Progression is determined on an individual basis. There is no need to speed up the progress until your body learns and registers all skill levels of the task more instinctively. A program should be structured specifically for improving the task you will perform. The program should also, at times, consist of greater challenges than the actual task within the same specificity. This allows for more external focus rather than internal focus when your skills are tested. When using learned skills to perform physical tasks you want to have less internal awareness and more external awareness. Controlling what is going on internally should not be a challenge when performing a physical task at a high level. If this is the case, you are not prepared and more skills must be practiced to perform that task.

The more you practice on all skill levels, the more skills will become normal movement patterns. A competition involving an obstacle course will require you to focus less on falling and you will be able to focus more on gaining the lead. With this external focus, in competition or performing a physical task, you are more likely to be successful. The one who practices will be the closest to perfection because they will have trained their bodies to perform movements without thought. This is how skills are obtained.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Your Nutritional Plan Must Compliment Your Activity

When your goal is to lose body fat, tone existing lean mass, or increase lean mass; commitment and dedication in the gym will determine how fast you reach your goals.  For some people, working out becomes simply a new hobby.  While enjoying the commitment to a workout regiment you begin to realize you are not getting the results you want.  Working harder is not the answer.  You must also remember not to over train by extending your training duration. 

So what will get you results?  Consider how many calories you are consuming a day compared to the calories you are burning.  The fact that your body needs energy to support your activity is very important in increasing the rate at which your body burns calories. Without the proper levels of macro- and micro nutrients your body cannot assist you in reaching your goals.  Working out too long or on no energy will only work against you.  You must remember that your body has daily requirements for energy during moderate and even no activity levels.  On days that you workout, you must consume ample amounts of energy to support whatever goals you want to achieve. 

No one wants to hear someone tell them that they are not eating enough, but in most cases this is true.  The idea that your fitness plan must also entail a restriction of your total calorie intake will only mislead you.  More activity and calories burned means more calories needed.  Your body needs you to replace energy lost.  The fact that consistent activity over time will increase the rate at which your body processes energy mean that you need more frequent meals.  If you do not support your lean mass needs then your body will go into survival mode.  Your body will begin to burn away muscle for energy and also store more fat tissue to support a lack of energy supply.  To avoid this, you must enjoy eating as much as you enjoy working out.  They compliment each other! 

You should focus on the quality of food you are eating rather than the quantity.  Minimizing saturated fat in your diet and eating more natural foods would be a great compliment to making progress towards your fitness goals.  Protein is important in rebuilding lean mass and building more muscle.  No matter what type of body you want, your nutritional plan must compliment your activity level.  Once your fuel intake begins to support your exertion levels, your body will have what it needs to maintain a high metabolism and support your lean mass.  A nutritional plan based on your performance, with respect of the goals you are trying to maintain, will only lead to increased fat burning and muscle maintenance.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Right before you begin your work out the word “endure” must be on your mind.  To endure means to suffer or tolerate something difficult or painful, patiently.  Think, the endurance that will go on for the next hour or so must make you feel good inside.  You have to see this endurance as a medicine that is needed once a day.  To endure pain and to cause stress to your muscles through fitness training, will benefit you in the long run.  Working out is painful but when endured overtime, consistently it can yield a remedy that no medicine or elixir can compare to. 

The time you spend exercising should be efficient.  Every minute is valuable and must be put towards making gains.  To get what you want out of this workout regimen you have to do more than you did the last time.  You cannot always endure the same pains.  You must change exercises to tolerate new pains to your body.  This is the road less traveled and must be taken if you want anything positive to come out of working out.   This endurance will become pleasing once you build consistency.  You want to build immunity to the pain.  By increasing the frequency and duration you will gain strength.  As long as you are working out correctly this endurance cannot lead to injury.  A gradual progression of endurance will present to you that your potential is limitless and anything is possible.

To endure is to take control.  To move forward no matter what weight or distance is in front of you.  Sometimes climbing one more step or lifting one more repetition can show you that persistence and hard work does pay off.  The effort given to endure more each day is what keeps you growing and getting results.  Those of us who have endured have become attached and made fitness a part of our lives.  We need it to get by each day.  It is what keeps us alive.  To endure for 30 minutes each day can add another day to your life.  The next time you are prepared to workout, get in the zone and focus on enduring as much as you can.  To endure is to make everything in your life better one day.