Categorized as: cross training

Rest and Recovery for the Fitness Addict

STOP WORKING OUT!! Yes you! You over-caffeinated, push-yourself-to-the-limit, closet A-type personality, fitness disaster-in-waiting. Stop it!

Is this a weird thing for a personal trainer to say? Not really, and here’s why…

We all love to push ourselves to the limit, in life, in fitness and in the gym. But we seem to forget about the body maintenance that goes along with the thrill of pushing it to the edge and chasing fitness goals.  Pushing your exercise limit every day without upkeep is going to lead to injury. Period. Maybe not tomorrow, the next day, or even a year from now… but that major, or nagging, injury will come to haunt you. Unless you are one of those freak individuals (you’re not) who never seems to get injured, you can be left with a nagging injury.

The best ways avoid injury (and keep progressing) when it comes to your fitness: 

  • Have a solid fitness plan with rest periods
  • Yoga or stretch 2-4 days a week
  • Massage
  • Foam Rolling
  • Cross Training
  • Sleep and recovery

Let’s break down all these points below…

Periodized Training (Have a plan and chart your plan)

  1. Progress things harder every week… gradually.  Whether you are a cardio sweat master or a weight lifting fiend, progression is the key!
  2. Have on ‘off week’ every four-five weeks. This off week is goal dependent, of course, and does not mean you do nothing. It just means you dial it back a notch. After this down week is over you progress through another 4 hard weeks again — just slightly more intense this time.
  3. Have recovery days as well as hard training days put into your plan every week. I have put some suggestions below (yoga, massage and foam rolling) in regards to what I mean by a recovery day.  These are days where the heart rate stays low!
  4. Getting personal training is a great way to have a strict plan with hard weeks and easier weeks… it is their job to know your limits and have a plan in place for you! (If you are in Vancouver stop by Rep1 Fitness, we can take care of this for you!)

Yoga (stretch): Plan these days as part of your periodization. Can yoga be a training day? Why not?? If you are so OCD that you can’t take a rest day, then go to a yoga class. This will not only force you to stretch, but you might actually breathe and slow down for an hour.

Massage:  Let your local RMT find those trigger points or dig into those large muscles.  There is nothing quite like being wrung out by a professional after several weeks of hard training… so go get one! I give you permission. You need it and deserve it!  OR…

Foam Rolling: The poor man’s massage. Buy a foam roller and read this Foam Rolling article to know what to do with. Use it pre-workout or post. It’ll hurt but you’ll love it after! (note to you A-types… you have to relax into it and be gentle applying pressure)

Cross-training:  Cycle,cycle, cycle; run, run, run; and lift, lift, lift. We do what we like and we keep doing what we like. Your body needs change. Not only to keep from over-training (a very nasty word, this one) but to shock the body and progress. It also gives those overused, beat-down muscle groups a chance to rally because you are using them in a different way. After several months of doing your favorite sport/training, switch to something new for a short period. Cycling season is over and you still have the cardio itch? Go hit the Grouse Grind… that’ll scratch that itch for you!

Sleep and recover: There is a reason that major sports teams chart all their players’ sleep patterns: the studies on recovery and performance have been backed up a million times. So you’ve done three awesome workouts this week but you are getting less than six hours sleep a night? Well, we all know that isn’t enough. Your results will not progress and quite possibly will regress if you don’t sleep. Your ride time up Cypress isn’t improving but you’re training hills like a mountain goat? Check your recovery and sleep times.  Also, if you want to really dive into the affect sleep has on performance and on athletes (everyone is an athlete!), there is a great article by Fatigue Science:

5 areas sleep has the greatest impact on athletic performance

At the end of day it comes down to balancing the fine line of fitness and living the rest of your life without injury. If you choose to be the manic fitness person and just ignore the preservation of your body it will catch up with you. Honestly, this is the hardest advice to follow. It seems tough to do but personally I stretch at least 4 days a week and I get a massage at least once a month.  Schedule the time and stick to it… your body will thank you with results.

A Bigger Shadow

A bigger shadow of my former self went up Cypress mountain yesterday.  My legs have been in a funk for over a year and every time I road on them they just hurt.  Period.  Yesterday was the first time in a long time where they haven’t ‘hurt’!!!  But man am I slow… I think the legs are recovered but now the long road to peak physical condition begins again!  My goal is to get back to being someone to look out for at the front of the peloton… not someone falling off the back.  A structured plan is the only way to do this.  Finish the summer building up some power for the track season… race track and do some seriously long rides this winter.  Yes, embarrassing as it is… I’m training for next year!! Ha!!  See you on the road!

Grouse Grind

Last weekend, Krista and I (as well as her fiance and two friends) drove out to North Vancouver to do the Grouse Grind. I had only done it twice before and never timed myself so this trip was all about setting a baseline time for completion! Krista’s goal for the trip was a bit different: she wanted to enjoy the hike and finish.

I was wearing my heart rate monitor so my goal was to set a pace that kept my heart rate within my target range and Krista’s goal was to not lose me! Half way up the mountain, my heart rate reached a number that is usually very hard for me to get to, and it stayed in that zone for quite some time. At this point, I looked back to see where the other two were and saw Krista right on my heels, so my new strategy was to keep up with her pace! Little did I know that her strategy was to stay right behind me.
As a result of both of our competitive nature, and our ability to push past the inappropriately-dressed tourists, we finished the grind in 43 minutes.

Workout Music

Do you need motivation to get yourself to the gym or to continue your workout when fatigue starts to set in?

A new study was recently released describing the best motivational music and it all has to do with the number of beats per minute in the song! Apparently a song with 125-140 beats per minute boots your stamina and helps you conserve energy to keep going. The study suggested the following songs:
– “Single Ladies” by Beyonce
– “Thrift Shop” by Mackle Moore…you can ask some of my regular spin attendees, they all LOVE this song!
– “Birthday” by The Beatles
– “Take It Easy” by The Eagles
Try adding these songs to your playlist and hopefully they help!

May 19th, 2011

Before this session with Jonathan starts I am told that Steve wants to start running in the trail with Jon and he really is not that interested in doing that but I am going to get him to do some running in our session today and I am not going to explain why and what his dad wants to do.

During our session I had him on the treadmill and he actually did a pretty good job with it, he may not like it but I really think it’s because he thinks it too hard. We did lots of boxing combinations today with various super sets of push-ups, cardio on the step etc.We also integrated some skipping today he did not like it to much because it is hard. Skipping is not an easy exercise because you are using a lot of different muscle groups, coordination, and cardio conditioning as well as foot speed and hand eye coordination. I think it is something that we will keep working on during our session.

Jamie is here and as usual she rode he bike her, I will say she is really making changes in her body and I am seeing it every session. Today I really want to light her up so I am really going to push her we start out on the treadmill and I asked her about the wedding and Jamie tells me that she has to do some cake tasting this weekend and she is worried about it. I did say to her that not so stress you do not have to have a full piece of cake just take little bits and don’t eat a whole piece. I think I might have eased her mind a bit; she is excited about her wedding.

So time for the session to begin, we did lots of walking lunges, cardio bursts on the step, I had Jamie run lines from hurdle to hurdle, we did medicine ball tosses and abs, tubing bicep and chest work, I really could go on but I will say that we went nonstop for the hour and she was amazing.

After her session I asked her about goals and how she was feeling with all the changes that she was seeing,Jamie also opened up about her mom and that they were not always supportive of her but I mentioned to her that they are going to be really surprised with her this time because she is really making a difference.

Kris and Jordy are here for their workout, I really have not seen them that much the past couple weeks because Jordy’s grandmother was really sick and she passed away last week and they had the funeral on the weekend. I just wanted to check in with him to see how he was doing. Jordy tells me he is doing really well and that he will miss his grandma but she is in a better place. I also checked in with him to see how his pop addiction was going, he has pretty much stopped drinking pop, that’s exciting.

The training session was tough today we did lots of crazy things and we were half way through and Kris was really starting to struggle. It was the first time I noticed that she struggled; I will say that Jordy was keeping up and doing really well, he has made some changes with this whole process as well. It is really nice to see that the ones that decided to take on this challenge and go with it are doing really well;there are some that are still struggling.

Back to the session, Kris rallied back to finish the session strong, there were some High 5’s all around.Kris still does not understand why she struggled today. I just tried to explain to her that some days are sometimes harder than others and don’t get discouraged her next session will be better.

mikeveinot

April 21st, 2011

Today is my first “Boot Camp “session with town of Taylor, I thought that the best place to have it in the empty field by Lone Wolf Golf Club. We had 30 – 40 people show up, which is not a bad turn out for the first class… I will say that for the participants that showed up there is a huge difference in fitness levels everything from someone having a mild stroke 2 weeks earlier to former athletes in high school. So this is going to be a bit of a challenge.

I had to give everyone a brief outline as to what we are going to do today and one of my 1st rule is that there is no driving to the field. The Taylor Gym is just across the street so made it clear that everyone is to park there and either walk/jog over to the field. Let the fun begin…

The session itself was pretty good and it went better then I thought it might. We did lots of different exercises and it was tough for some. I even had Jamie throw up and then get back to the work out just like nothing ever happened. She is a trooper. Jen and Sara had a tough time with it but they managed to finish it.

I am looking forward to seeing what the town is going to be able to do with themselves. I am going to do whatever I can do to help the town reach their goal in losing weight. I am not going to make this easy on them and I am not sure if the town is going to like it all that much, we have the majority of the town sitting on there ass most of the year because of the long days so Garfield and I will do what we canto help..

Jonathan is waiting for me at his house for a training session; I think I am going to take him to the park for our session. There is a park just a couple blocks from his house. I start our session with Jon doing some bike sprints down the block. He really likes to ride his bike so I might as well include it in our warm up. I am not sure how much he liked it because it was pretty tough, not sure if he really is used to be working that hard.

After his warm up we made our way to the park, there is a jungle gym there so there is lots for us to do. We had a little conversation about him being bullied in school and I wanted to  share with him that it had happened to me as well and that he is not the only one to be picked on in school. I also mentioned to him that if he gets in better shape he will start feeling better about him and confidence with improve as well.

Our session did not last very long because Jon started to feel dizzy and short of breath. Steve was there aswell and he thought he might be faking a bit. But I did not want to risk it soI stopped the workout and I told him to grab some juice it will increase hisblood sugar. I told him not to worry about it today because we will make up forit during our next session

I am off to Rick Kolter’s house to assess his fitness levels and also to see what types of medications he is on. The reason I am doing this is so that I can make the decision as to weather I am going to train him in the gym. I have had a discussion with Dr.Ali Zetner about Rick and she did give me the detail on him in medical terms and she did give me some advice as to what I can and cant to with him. I am also looking to talk to his actual doctor to see what their thoughts are as well.

I did get to Ricks house and I know that he ride motorbikes, luckily I have a Harley as well so we do have some common ground to start with. Rick starts to tell me about his bikes and his kids as well because they love to go riding as well. Rick has a couple dirt bike that he lets the kids use at the track, something he loves to do is spend time with his kids. I am thinking that if his health is so bad and he does not turn his life around he will not be there for his kids much longer.

I wanted to know more about Rick so I asked to see what medications he is taking and find out a little more about him. To be honest I am BLOWN away by all the medications that he had to take, I am not sure if I have ever in my life seen that may pills that 1 person has to take every day. WOW! I also found out from him that he is this exmilitary guy that used to run 10 miles per day as well as workout in the gym for 3hrs a day as well, so for me to see this guy who is so badly out of shape it is quite the contrast. I can’t imagine going from super fit to not!! That has to be tough, but you just never know when your body is going to say enough is enough.

Rick also mentioned to me that he did the first endurance challenge and it had taken a lot more out of him then he thought it would, he has been home in bed for the past couple days because his body actually rejected the workout that he did. In my mind I am thinking that this is going to be a real challenge not just for Rick but for myself as well. I mentioned to Rick that I really want to help him out but before I can do that I need to get clearance from his Doctor and I wanted to get clearance from Dr Ali.

As we were leaving I told Rick that I will do what I can even if it is walking around the block with him, at least it will be a step in helping him to a better and healthier life.

Jamie is coming to the gym today for her session and she is great at bringing her bike so I wanted to do a couple bike sprints outside with her as a warm up. I will say that Jamie is not that excited about the idea, she thinks that she will fall off or it was going to be too tough BLA BLA BLA!!! I really didn’t want to her excuses, so as we walk out to the road I explain to her what I want from her and you can tell she is nervous only because it is something out of the norm for her. She starts the first one and as she finishes it she gives me a smile, she says it’s tough but she can do it.

Jamie’s workout is tough we did lots of cardio drills in the gym, such as running, walking, lunging to pylons, push-ups on a bench on the floor etc. Pretty much you name it we did it and Jamie had a few moments where I was not sure if she was going to make it but she finished and she mentioned that she had burned 500 calories and that excites her because she realizes she is burning fat.

I have only been training Jamie for a couple weeks but you can already tell that she is feeling betterabout herself and it is starting to show…

mikeveinot