Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Declining progress means need for Change.

So you're working out for 6 weeks. You've eaten well, exercised with intense regularity, and suddenly, you begin feeling tired. You're not getting as much out of your workouts, and this can sometimes spell a decline in your fitness results. You get fatigued and you begin to feel discouraged, so you sit a few sessions out. Essentially, this is not the right thing to do.
Instead, it's time to reassess your program. Before you change anything about your healthy eating or fitness plan, you need to assess your physical state of being. Keep in mind that you have fascia wrapping your muscle bundles together. These layers of superficial fascia have memory and pliability. If you are physically testing your limits, at a certain point your body will protest. The fascia will tighten and restrict the muscle fibers from properly responding to the other words, the muscle misfires and you lose a rep, or even an entire set of exercises, because the muscle has done everything it can. Since weight training is about time under tension, the more tension you can apply to the muscle, the better it can build. When something happens to decrease the muscle's ability to grow, such as need for stretching, increase in proteins or more rest time, the workouts begin to suffer.
Self myofascial release is a technique applied to the soft tissues to relax contracted muscles, increase circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage. It improves flexibility, function, performance, and reduces the incidence of injury. The kinetic chain is a kinesiological system of movement in which a variety of elements are involved: when one of these elements is off, the kinetic chain decreases in optimization. This can throw the body into a cycle called the cumulative injury cycle.

So next time your body's ability to perform is reduced, pay attention to it!!! ....That is all. For now.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The little bits that change your workout.

We focus quite a bit on the practice of getting to the gym and fighting for results. Though weight lifting, interval training and cardio exercise can be each rather important, it is paramount to understand that exercise and nutrition are based on one's own personal bio-individuality. I believe that this principle applies in exercise as well as nutrition, for the different types of benefits each diet and each workout genre espouse. Now the question is usually, "which one is right for me?" You'd want the answer from a professional standpoint, and a professional will surely give thorough, educated, profound guidance. Thing is though, the truest answer will come from within your being.

Getting the right balance of these pieces in are going to be a top priority. For the strength gains I've made, and the variety of challenging exercises I use, I've built a lot of muscle that I'm very proud of. I just have one problem: when people lift for strength, they get strong. Now I need to lift to get lean, and that's not always as fun, and sometimes feels like it's cutting into my strength training. Sure, they could all be done on different days, and actually, that would probably help a lot. Or one could train in phases: an endurance phase, strength phase, power, and integration, then start over. I do all of this with a kettlebell or two. For now, long and slow cardio, 45 min to an hour, 2 hours minimum per week. This will definitely change.

Now I haven't even gotten to the meat of why I referred to the little bits in the title. This is because the little bits are the parts that get lost in a workout schedule, the bits that ultimately provide far more benefit at times than the actual fitness routine itself. They are: foam rolling, rubber ball rolling, proprioceptive training, glute activation, holistic chiropractic care, and inversion. I think I'll start a new page and begin with the ice cream of the dessert world: foam rolling. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

To Cardio or not to Cardio?

At present, I must admit that I am fully vested in a life of swinging kettles. But even though this burns a ton of fat, I am at present, in a bit of a quandary. Am I doing enough cardio? I come from cardio queendom, and so as a woman who now fully enjoying her deep strength and ability to push for incredible strength gains I had never seen in myself before, I am officially nervous about going back to a life of too much cardio. Also, since I have changed my intake, working out has taken on a new meaning. To blow my opportunities for building muscle on cardio, is at present, where my head is, though I'm not sure I'm thinking about this the right way.

I've always encouraged my clients to take a balanced perspective when it came to getting everything in, both exercise and nutrient wise. Both have really increased my enjoyment of the discipline. I also taught a million classes and was told by my acupuncturist to lay off the cardio, told by my running coach to not run more than 6 miles, and then by my cardiologist, that I had brachycardia, and drinking coffee to keep my heart rate up, none of which sounded too healthy.

With all of these physical cues, I decided to completely cut back and dedicate myself to kettlebell training. However, I need to cut weight. I know that I'll figure it out, but what is in me to do? I feel I have about 15 pounds of fat to lose. Everything is getting an adjustment, but firstly, my mindset, attitude and intentions, need to deeply shift. Thank goodness for me, I am very flexible and compassionate with myself, and will give myself some space and time to figure this puzzle piece out. It's becoming more and more important, considering my success directly impacts my clients, though they love me just the way I am, for which I am so grateful.