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5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

Exercising is one of the most important habits that a person can develop. Regular workouts help the body to build strength and muscle, fight off diseases and remain healthier overall. While working out is an integral part of losing weight and staying healthy, there are other things that can be done to help facilitate this process. Here are five things you should be doing before and after an intense workout. 

1. Sleep 

When trying to lose weight or gain muscle, people tend to forget the importance of sleep. Even the most dedicated people will focus all of their attention on diet and exercise. While these are two critical components of a great routine, sleep cannot be forgotten. During this time, the body is able to repair worn-down muscles and other cells within the body. Sleep is also a time when the brain can reset to ensure all bodily functions are running smoothly and properly. This recovery opportunity becomes even more important when undergoing intense workouts. The body needs more sleep and rest when more energy is being used. Experts recommend around 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults. 

2. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! 

Preparing a healthy diet is a critical component of maintaining a good physique and making the most of an intense workout routine. However, many people make the mistake of stopping there and paying no attention to proper hydration. While calories are critical, it can be argued that hydration is even more important. After all, the body can survive for twice as long without food as it can without water. As the primary energy source for the human body, the importance of proper hydration should be clear. It is recommendable to be consuming water before, during and after an intense workout routine. 

3. Stretching 

Exercising doesn’t have to start and end in the gym. There are still exercises and movements that can be performed before and after the primary routine. Those who workout and forgo stretching are on a collision course for trouble. When people exercise, their muscles are being stressed, pulled and flexed. While this stress can promote growth and an increase in strength, there are some other components involved. Before and after a routine, it is important to stretch the body parts and muscles that are involved in that day’s exercises. Refusing to stretch can lead to pulls, tears or other potential issues. Stretching only requires a few minutes of time and can lead to a world of benefits. 

4. Tracking 

It is helpful to imagine a workout routine like a plan of attack. The exercises used during the routine can be likened to specific chess moves. Each movement is a small step towards an overall goal for the workout. Whether the goal is to lose weight or build muscle, each exercise in the workout routine should be working towards that goal. A great way to achieve this plan of action is by tracking your progress. These logs have been proven to increase the chances of people achieving their goals. Planning can be done before a workout by outlining the routine for the day. After the workout, it is important to write down whether the performance lived up to expectations or fell short. This tracking helps individuals to track their progress and make adjustments when needed. Without this overview, people are essentially working in the dark without a clear direction. 

5. Supplementation 

With proper hydration, an intense workout routine and a clean diet, most people would assume their fitness goals are maximized. In reality, there is still more that can be done to help those goals become a reality. Supplements help the human body to receive vitamins, minerals and other components that are hard to get through a normal diet. There is a massive supplement industry that provides these types of products specifically for those undergoing intense workouts. Creatine is one such supplement that can be taken before a workout. Creatine helps to produce more ATP, which is an energy source within the cells. Protein powder is another excellent supplement that can be taken before and after a workout routine. 

Creating a great physique and staying in shape doesn’t have to be complicated. It is important to remember that an intense workout routine isn’t enough. These five habits can be performed before and after a workout help maximize the effects of an intense routine.

Brittany Waddell

Brittany Waddell

Brittany Waddell is a contributing writer and media specialist for RightFit Personal Training. She often produces content for a variety of fitness blogs.

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Pull Up Mate Review

Pull Up Mate Review

I was very happy when the PullUpMate guys asked me for a review of their product. I looked at their website and I found their products very interesting for those who love calisthenics and bodyweight exercises in general.

I was looking forward to trying out my Pull Up Mate freestanding pull up bar and dip station. Now, the truth is that I am so delighted that I’m not only going to do this review, but to teach you how to do a lot of exercises using this wonderful tool in future posts. I think this will give you an idea of how much I like it and how much I would recommend it for your home gyms.

But first things first. I think a good review begins with the unpacking. Everyone loves to see a new product come out of its box, right?

My package includes the Pull Up Mate, the Close-Grip Dip Kit and a storage bag. The box contains:

  • 1 Top frame
  • 4 Vertical tubes
  • 2 Base feet
  • 2 Brace
Pull Up Mate Content
  • 10 Locking pins
Pull Up Mate Locking Pins
  • 2 Close Grip Dip Bars
  • 1 Storage bag
Pull Up Mate Storage Bag
  • 1 User manual
Pull Up Mate User Manual

The Pull Up Mate has been designed to be assembled and dismantled easily. You can simply store it in its bag when not in use and brought out only when required. I have put myself to the test, and it only takes 2 minutes and 30 seconds to assemble the whole thing. With some more practice, I´m sure I will do it faster.

You can also take it outside. Unfortunately, it´s rainy season here in Galicia and I will have to wait until summer to take my Pull Up Mate to the backyard.  

The Pull Up Mate can be used in different ways and positions:

Fully extended

Pull Up Mate Review

Mid-height

Pull Up Mate Mid Height

Low-height

Pull Up Mate Low Height

flipped over…

Pull Up Mate Flipped

This multiplies the number of exercises you can perform with this versatile piece of equipment.

The maximum weight of the user (as it is advised in the user manual) should be no more than 110 kg (242lbs). I weight 68 kgs, I am a lightweight, I know. For my weight, I find the Pull Up Mate very stable, I don´t know for a person of 100 kgs. But how many of you weigh 100 kgs?

More specifications:

  • Full Extended Height     2.0m
  • Base Dimensions             117cm x 113cm
  • Standard Inner bar dimensions (gap between bars)        60cm
  • Gap between bars with Close Grip Dip Adapter 53cm

Who would I recommend this product for?

Calisthenics practitioners, of course.

People who like to workout at home. The Pull Up Mate allows you to do a huge range of exercises.

Fitness beginners, as this product allows you to perform a large number of exercise variations with your bodyweight safely, as you improve your strength, endurance, flexibility, and technique.

Expert fitness practitioners because, from time to time, it’s good to forget how much weight you lift in the bench press and let your imagination fly, trying new exercises you´re not used to and avoid boredom.

Who is not this product for?

People near 110 kgs. Better safe than sorry!

People who do not mind doing the exercises with a bad technique, meaning: people who only care about how much weight they lift, no matter what. You´re not going to enjoy just doing bodyweight exercises and the risk of injury due to a bad technique will still be there.

How much does the Pull Up Mate, Dip Kit & storage bag cost?

$219.95 /149,95€ (Free shipping)

I think it´s a fair price for a great product that will bring you hours of fun and sweat.

Get yours now:

Pull Up Mate USA

Pull Up Mate UK

Pull Up Mate Germany

Pull Up Mate Spain

Pull Up Mate Portugal

Pull Up Mate Italy

Pull Up Mate Poland

Pull Up Mate UAE

And now, a few exercises:

Pull Ups

  1. Grab the Pull Up Mate Top Frame with the palms facing forward. Your hands at a distance wider than your shoulder width.
  2. Extend both arms as you inhale. This is your starting position.
  3. Exhale, contract your lats, and pull your torso up by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. The forearms should do not work.
  4. Inhale and slowly back to the starting position when your arms are extended and your lats stretched.
  5. Repeat.

Rear Delt Row

  1. Set the Pull Up Mate at a medium height.
  2. Grab the top frame with the palms facing forward. Your hands at a distance wider than your shoulder width and your body in an angle to the ground. You should be almost parallel to the top frame with your arms fully extended. This is your starting position. Inhale.
  3. Exhale, pull your torso towards the bar, squeezing the rear delts and flaring the elbows out and away from your body. Tip: Your torso and your arms should resemble the letter T. Do not your biceps to do the work. Focus on targeting the rear delts; the arms should only act as hooks.
  4. Slowly go back to the initial position as you inhale.
  5. Repeat

Triceps dips

  1. Adjust the Pull Up Mate at the lower height.
  2. Grab the top frame with the palms facing backward. Your hands at your shoulder width and your arms fully extended.
  3. Inhale and slowly lower yourself downward until there is a 90 degree angle formed between the upper arm and forearm. Tip: Your elbows should stay close to your body. This helps to better focus on triceps involvement.
  4. Exhale and push up using your triceps to bring your body back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat.

As I said, I will explain how to do more exercises in future posts.

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The common causes of muscle pain and how to avoid them in your exercise regimee

A couple of weeks ago, the guys at Bodytonic clinic contacted me because they wanted to expand their health and fitness related blog content. 

Specialist Osteopathy, Pilates, Massage, Health, Beauty and Fitness clinics based in the heart of London, Canada Water SE16, Wapping E1W & Stratford E15 (E20, Zone 2).

They are very nice guys and great professionals, if you have the opportunity because you live near or you travel to London, I recommend that you pay them a visit and enjoy their facilities and services.

For this occasion, they’ve put together an infographic about the common causes of muscle aches and pains in your fitness regime, specifically those which come about as a result of a poorly planned fitness regime.

Obviously, this wouldn´t happen if you´d hire a personal trainer to plan your fitness journey and help you all the way.

The common causes of muscle pain and how to avoid them in your exercise regimee

These guys could help you in so many ways:

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Recoup Cold Massage Roller

Recoup Cold Massage Roller

The Recoup Cold Roller provides all the benefits of a traditional Self Myofacial Release (foam rolling) in combination with Cryotherapy (Ice Massage). These two forms of muscle therapy help to decrease inflammation, aid in post workout recovery, and allow specific treatment for areas in need.

By applying the pressure with the cold roller the muscle will release metabolic waste products and toxins which become build up in the muscle after exercising. In addition, Self Myofacial Release impacts the Golgi Tendon Organs and allows the muscle to relax. Once the muscle is relaxed the cold aspect of product allows for a decrease in inflammation.

Product Specs

  • Cold therapy + massage recovery
  • 2 hours in the freezer = 6 hours cold
  • Unscrew blue handle to use ball outside of handle
  • Use anywhere on the body
  • 3.4 oz cooling gel for safe travel
  • Handle free rolling
  • Ball 3.15 in. in diameter (a little larger than a baseball)

Injuries this Treats

  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tight IT bands, quads, hamstrings
  • Neck pain
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Back pain

Benefits

  • Takes down inflamation
  • Faster muscle recovery
  • Lowers cell metabolism, saving energy
  • Helps to prevent tissue death
  • Stops pain
  • After muscles warm increasein blood flow
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Improve tissue recovery
  • Impruve neuromuscular efficiency
  • Regulate production of cytokines
  • Flush out lactic acid
  • Decrease muscle soreness

Regular price is 39.99$ 

If you want to get it just for 32.79$ send me an email to info@chape.fitness and I´ll get you the discount. As easy as that!

(US shipping only)

These guys could help you in so many ways:

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Healing a rotator cuff injury – Paul´s testimonial

A few months ago Paul contacted me, worried about his rotator injury. Not everyone hires me to lose weight. Today we can say that he is fully recovered. He is not a blogger, but I have asked him to describe his experience to share it with you. Here it is.

“To share my experience is not a compromise, it is a pleasure.

I started young playing sports. Being an athlete is a lifestyle and a philosophy. It´s taking your day as a challenge, seeking to overcome.  My dictionary doesn´t contain the word “surrender”.

After a nasty blow dragged by a wave, I felt some discomfort in my shoulder. At first, I thought it would be temporary. But I was wrong. Months of rest, ice, pills… nothing worked.

After reading Google´s answer, two years without physical exercise, I decided to contact Chape.

To sow hope in the heart of a demoralized is not so easy, so…

I will never forget the first thing Chape told me: You have not an injury, you only have a weak point and you need to strengthen it.

That phrase sums up his philosophy: He does not accept defeat. He knows he is able to accomplish anything with determination and effort.

I followed his routines. First and most difficult, trust him and myself. Once done, I got up from the couch and went to the gym. Tailored exercises allowed me to have fun with the advantage that I was recovering my injury.

After three months, I started to get better. 7 months later my shoulder was stronger than ever. When I’m hanging in a harness, I do not remember which is the injured shoulder. I will never forget the lesson: with effort and faith in ourselves no injury will last forever”.

I want to thank Paul publicly for these nice words about me and tell everyone that, if you need help to recover from an injury, here I am!

These guys could help you in so many ways:

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TRX Squat

Squats will exercise all major muscle groups with an emphasis on quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, calves, abdomen and lower back.

TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, meaning it allows you to use your body as the resistance. TRX straps help you intensify squats without adding additional load from dumbbells, barbells, or machines.

Start by grabbing the handles of the TRX, facing towards it. Distance yourself just far enough from the TRX.

Stand straight up but with a slight backward lean so that there is tension on the straps. Open your feet to make a wide base (wider than shoulder-width apart), and point your toes slightly outward.

Keeping your arms straight and keeping tension on the straps, inhale and squat down until you form a 90-degree bend with your knees. Your back should stay straight and your chin up. The pressure of your body weight is on your heels rather than your toes.

Exhale as you come back to the standing position.

Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.
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Dumbbell Chest Fly

Talking about isolation exercises, the dumbbell chest fly on a flat bench is key to developing your pectoral muscles. It works mainly the pectoralis minor.

Sit on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.

Using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing each other.

Lie on your back with your feet placed firmly on the floor or the bench itself so that you can keep your spine in a neutral position. Pull your shoulder blades down and back so that they make firm contact with the bench. Your head, shoulders, and butt should make contact with the bench throughout the exercise.

Raise the dumbbells up like you’re pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out.

Inhale and with a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest.

Exhale and return your arms up you squeeze your chest muscles. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.

Hold for a moment at the contracted position and repeat the movement until you complete the set.

Do you want to watch more exercise videos? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

These guys could help you in so many ways:

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Plazah

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Viraltag

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Automatically save your activities in Evernote

There are many apps and activity trackers: Nike +, Strava, Fitbit, etc.
ifttt fitness services
Even when every app saves your activities, I have a couple of reasons you should save them in Evernote too.
My clients use different apps and if I want to check their progress, I have to try any app they use, to know better how each one works, I have to ask them to share their activities with me, and that´s a mess.
Even if you are not a trainer, you should try a few apps for a few weeks before deciding which one best suits your needs. After this process, why are you going to lose the data of the apps that you are not going to use anymore? you don´t have to, and the answer is really simple: Evernote. Save all your workouts and activities in Evernote so you have all of them in one place, which will save you a lot of time. Plus, you can edit these notes and add any additional info you want, tags, etc.
Maybe the best part is you don´t need to save your workouts manually. Integration apps like IFTTT or Zapier do it for you, connecting your favorite apps and saving you a valuable time.
As an example, today we´re going to connect Strava to Evernote and Strava and save any new activity.
First, go to ifttt.com and get started.
You may sign with Google or Facebook.
ifttt 2
This is the dashboard.
ifttt 3
Search for Strava. Authorize IFTTT if needed.
ifttt 4
Click on My Applets -> New Applet
ifttt 5
A New Applet looks like this.
Click on +this
ifttt 6
Choose a service, Strava.
ifttt 7
Choose a trigger,  New activity by you
ifttt 8
Which activity? Any.
Then click “Create Trigger”. We´re almost there.
ifttt 9
ifttt 10
Choose action service, Evernote.
Authorize if needed.
ifttt 11
Choose action: Create a note
ifttt 12
You can customize your future notes, title, info included in the note, notebook, and tags.
IFTTT call all these “ingredients”.
ifttt 13
Click on Create action.
Click Finish and it´s done.
ifttt 14
Every new activity will be saved in the selected notebook.
Do you need help to achieve your fitness goals? I still have some available spots.
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Fitness advice: Propioception, your first fitness goal

Once you start exercising, your first goal should be to improve your

Proprioception

From Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual”, and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of one’s own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. Proprioception, simply put, means “sense of self”. Proprioception is the capacity of the body to determine where all of its parts are positioned at any given time, and it plays an important role in the world of sports.
The International Association for Dance Medicine defines proprioception metaphorically as the sixth sense, extending the classical five senses to include the body. This body sense is more than just a feeling of movement. It is intimately tied to our feeling of muscle tone, perception of effort and, most importantly, our perception of balance.
A professional athlete has a high degree of proprioception awareness, just watch this:

While one’s proprioception may not mirror a professional athlete’s, working on your proprioceptive skills will make a difference in your day-to-day activities. There are a number of exercises to train your proprioception.

Balancing Exercises

Good exercises for proprioception development would be activities that challenge balance and equilibrium. Balance exercises help your body and brain to control the position. You can improve proprioception using a balance board, a Swiss ball, a Bosu or/and a medicine ball.

Strengthening Exercises

As you build strength in the muscles, the brain begins to understand the request of this strength more and more. As strength builds, it helps improve proprioception awareness with the mind and body and also allows you to continue/hold a movement or action longer in proper form.

Exercises While Closing the Eyes

You can gain the ability to inform and trust your muscles to perform different exercises with the eyes closed. This enhances the communication between the brain and the muscles so that you are able to perform activities properly without watching the movement take place.

Plyometric Movements and Drills

Exercise involving coordination and movement patterns enhance the kinesthetic awareness. Vertical jumps, running figure-eight patterns, change of direction drills and crossover walking help to establish the connection between muscles and nerves. As you are asking the body to perform certain movements, it trains the brain to respond to these movements.
It is always important to seek expert training support whenever possible. Work with a fitness professional or physical therapist with these types of exercises as they will be able to individualize a program for your specific needs, whether elderly wanting to gain a better sense of balance and basic day-to-day functions or an athlete wanting to enhance performance and prevent injuries.
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Study finds: Strength and hypertrophy adaptations between low- vs. high-load resistance training

Schoenfeld, BJ, Grgic, J, Ogborn, D, and Krieger, J, have reviewed the current body of literature and a meta-analysis to compare changes in strength and hypertrophy between low- vs. high-load resistance training protocols. A total of 21 studies were ultimately included for analysis that met the following criteria:

  1. an experimental trial involving both low-load training [≤60% 1 repetition maximum (1RM)] and high-load training (>60% 1RM);
  2. with all sets of the training protocols being performed to momentary muscular failure;
  3. at least one method of estimating changes in muscle mass or dynamic, isometric, or isokinetic strength was used;
  4. the training protocol lasted for a minimum of 6 weeks;
  5. the study involved participants with no known medical conditions or injuries impairing training capacity.

Gains in 1RM strength were significantly greater in favor of high-load vs. low-load training, whereas no significant differences were found for isometric strength between conditions.

Changes in measures of muscle hypertrophy were similar between conditions.
The findings indicate that maximal strength benefits are obtained from the use of heavy loads while muscle hypertrophy can be equally achieved across a spectrum of loading ranges.

You can find the full article (PDF) here.

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