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.