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Plan your workouts like a pro

How to plan your workouts, fitness, cardio, strenght, sport, health
Today I´m going to explain how to plan your workouts like a pro. Planning your training sessions is key to succeed. I bet you´ve heard the famous quote “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. When it comes to fitness plans, “failing” means not meeting your goals and expectations. You have to plan ahead to meet your goals because it takes much more than motivation and goodwill to get there.
 
The technical term for this kind of planning is “periodization”. It is the process of dividing an annual training plan into specific time blocks. Each block has a particular goal. This allows us to create hard training periods and easier periods, to facilitate recovery. Periodization also helps us develop different physiological abilities during various phases of training.
 
Let´s say you have found a workout routine that works well for you. That´s great but, lately, no matter how hard or how often you work out, you just can’t seem to progress any further. You’re stuck on a plateau. This is because your body has adapted to the exercise you’ve been doing. You need to “shock” or “surprise” your body, give it a new challenge periodically if you’re going to continue to make progress. Instead of doing the same routine month after month, you change your training program at regular intervals, “periods”, or “cycles” to keep your body working harder, while still giving it adequate rest. That goes for both strength and cardiovascular training.
How to plan your workouts like a pro, training, workout, progress, success, sport, fitness, weightlifting, bodybuilding, health
The goal with periodization is to maximize your progress while also reducing your risk of injury. It also addresses peak performance for competition or meets. Periodization, if appropriately arranged, can peak the athlete multiple times over a competitive season (Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, track and field) or optimize an athlete’s performance over an entire competitive season like with soccer or basketball.
 

Periodization cycles are classified by amounts of time: 

 
The macrocycle is the longest, and includes all four stages of a periodized training program: endurance, intensity, competition and recoveryAll 52 weeks of your annual plan. For example, if you want to peak for an event one year from now, you can mark that date on your calendar and work backward to create a program that allows you to peak at that time. You can use the same process to identify several major events throughout the year and develop a plan that facilitates multiple fitness peaks.
 
The mesocycle represents a specific block of training that is designed to accomplish a particular goal.  Mesocycles are typically four or six weeks in length. For instance, during the endurance phase, you might develop a mesocycle designed to enhance your muscular endurance for six weeks.
 
A microcycle is the shortest training cycle, typically lasting a week with the goal of facilitating a focused block of training. Generally speaking, four or six microcycles are tied together to form a mesocycle.  
 
You can get the most out of your training by having a good understanding of each of the three cycles of periodization and then using these cycles to create a plan that allows you to peak for your most important events throughout the year.
For example, you can alter your strength-training program by adjusting the following variables:
  • The number of repetitions per set, or the number of sets of each exercise
  • The amount of resistance used
  • The rest period between sets, exercises or training sessions
  • The order of the exercises, or the types of exercises
  • The speed at which you complete each exercise

There are many different types of periodized strength-training programs, and many are geared to the strength, power and demands of specific sports.

You should also periodize your cardiovascular training for the same reasons: challenge your body while still allowing for adequate recovery time.
 
For example, you’re a recreational runner, running for fitness, fun and the occasional short race, you’ll want to allow for flat, easy runs, as well as some that incorporate hills and others that focus on speed and strength.
What you don’t want to do is complete the same run every time. If you run too easily, and don’t push yourself, you won’t progress. And chances are you’ll get bored. Conversely, too much speed or high-intensity training will lead to injury or burnout, and most likely, disappointing race results.
 
If you want to improve your time in a 10K or completing a half marathon or even a full marathon, you’ll need a periodized program geared to each type of race.
 
Specially designed periodized training programs are also available for cycling and many other sports.
 
Periodized training will ensure that you continue to make measurable progress, which will keep you energized and interested in reaching your goals.
 

Proven benefits of periodization:

  • Management of fatigue, reducing risk of over-training by managing factors such as load, intensity, and recovery
  • The cyclic structure maximizes both general preparation and specific preparation for sport.
  • Ability to optimize performance over a specific period of time
  • Accounting for the individual, including time constraints, training age and status, and environmental factors.

Plan your workouts according to your goals.

There are different types of periodization: 
 

Linear periodization

is the most commonly used style of training. This form of periodization gradually increases volume, intensity, and work by mesocycles in an annual training plan. Progressive overload is a major key to the success of this training style. This style is characterized by longer training periods, less reliance on super compensation, and a focus of more general training over specific.

This programming style is useful for building a strong foundation, progressing in one variable, and working towards a peaking point. Recommended for those who are newer to training, it’s definitely the easiest periodization style to understand.
 

Non-linear/undulated periodization

rely on constant change throughout training cycles. As opposed to a linear periodization that focuses on gradual increase of one variable, this style manipulates multiple variables like exercises, volume, intensity, and training adaptation on a frequent basis (daily, weekly, or even bi-weekly). Non-linear periodization is more advanced than linear and incorporates multiple types of stimuli into a training program.
This programming style is an excellent way of individually training one variable and secondarily training others at the same time. It’s often used for those with advanced training backgrounds and longer sport seasons. For example, think about a program that has you train strength one day, then power two days later – this is non-linear.
 

Block periodization

focuses on breaking down specific training periods into 2-4 week periods. It consists of a two-block design, accumulation and restitution.
In the accumulation blocks, the focus is directed toward supporting motor abilities while simultaneously developing certain strength qualities necessary for the athlete with a limited volume load.
The restitution block is essentially the opposite. They support strength qualities in the athlete, while addressing the development of specific, technical motor qualities with a limited volume load. These training loads must target different abilities (max-strength, explosive strength, max anaerobic power, etc.). 
The goal behind these smaller, specific blocks is to allow an athlete to stay at their peak level longer, since most sports call for multiple peaks. Within the training season, athletes will only focus on adaptations they need specifically for their sport, if an athlete doesn’t need endurance, they won’t train for it.
When trying to maintain a high level of athleticism for competition over an extended amount of time, block periodization can be a great tool. By frequently training specific training adaptations you work towards progressing in your sport with the variable you need, and avoid burning out.
 
Periodization has stood the test of time for the simple fact that there are so many progressions and ways to structure your training so that you can be at your best when it matters most. Failing to utilize any form of periodization for your training could lead to overtraining, failure to recover appropriately for progression, and the inability to see the progress you deserve from the time you put into training.

Help for beginners

To start planning your workouts, here is a linear periodization template, for free.

I know that planning workouts for the first time can be complicated, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me and I will help you.

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Weight-Loss Mistakes That Could Make You Pile On The Pounds

weight-loss, mistakes, weight-loss mistakes, diet, food

Losing weight is easy, right? You just need to start increasing the number of workouts you do each day and start eating a bit less. That’s it, isn’t it? Well, in actual fact, it might not be as simple as that. There are a lot of mistakes that some people make without even realizing it, and these mistakes could lead to them actually adding on a few extra pounds. Depending on the mistake, that extra weight gain could even occur if you have increased your workouts and decreased your food intake.

Thankfully, it can be very easy to spot these mistakes and make the necessary changes to your lifestyle that are needed to get in better shape. Here are some of the most common mistakes when trying to lose weight – make sure you don’t make them yourself!

Image credit: Pexels

Doing Too Much Cardio

There are lots of people out there who believe that doing a lot of cardio workouts is the key to losing weight. True, the more you sweat and get out of breath, then the more calories you will be burning. However, just sticking to cardio isn’t good enough, as your body will become used to it, and it won’t be quite as effective as you would have hoped. So, it’s important to know how much cardio to lose weight is necessary. Generally speaking, two to three sessions should be enough. However, you need to make sure that you are also doing at least two strength sessions each week as well. Strength training is another effective way for your body to burn calories, and can also turn all that fat into muscle.

Not Eating Enough Calories

If you ask anyone about what you need to do to lose any excess weight, I’m sure that they will tell you that it’s necessary to reduce the number of calories you eat every day. This is true to some extent, but you shouldn’t follow a too restrictive diet, or else you could actually find that your body stops burning off any fat. That’s because not eating enough calories will drastically slow down the metabolism and will also lead to muscle loss.

food, cooking, diet

Image credit: Pexels

Opting For Diet Foods

These days there are a lot of “diet foods” that say they have zero calories or fat in them. These may look very tempting when you are doing your grocery shopping in the supermarket as you will still be able to eat some of your favorite treats and not feel guilty about it. However, these foods are often highly processed, which isn’t good for the body. As well as that, all the highly calorific sugars are often replaced with chemicals and additives that are harmful for the body in various ways. Ideally, it’s best to stay away from these foods and stick to natural unprocessed foods that have the complete range of nutrients that your body needs.

Overestimating How Many Calories You Burn

When you come away from a very productive workout session, you will no doubt feel very out of breath and sweaty. They’re both signs that you worked super hard! And that means that you will have burned off a whole bunch of calories, right? Well, unfortunately, it can be very easy to overestimate just how many calories exercising actually does burn off. As a result, lots of people end up thinking that they burned off more than they did, and they don’t alter their diet accordingly. Generally speaking, most hard thirty-minute workout sessions will burn off between 200-300 calories. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that you burned off 800 and go away to treat yourself to a big meal!

weight-loss, mistakes, weight-loss mistakes, diet, food

Image credit: Pexels

Forgetting To Eat Enough Fiber

People know that it’s important to eat a good mix of both whole-grain carbohydrates and protein so that their body has all the necessary nutrients for energy and to aid recovery. However, you also need plenty of fiber in your diet as well, and this is something that many people often forget about. A diet rich in soluble fiber can actually help you feel a lot less hungry through the day as it reduces the appetite. So, you will find that you are less likely to overeat. Not only that, though, but lots of fiber in the diet can actually reduce the amount of calories that are absorbed by the body. So that means that you won’t be taking in as many calories, even if you are following a calorific diet!

Hopefully, you no longer make these weight-loss mistakes!

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Training senior adults. My methods surpass new studies.

Training senior adults

Last week I came across a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University. I had to read it twice to actually believe it, and a couple of times again before writing this post.

I´ve highlighted the “shocking” results so we can go straight to the point:

This is what Glenda achieved in 12 weeks, not 18 months! If you permit me, I think the training period time is the first achievement. Who wants to wait 18 months to see results? I´d love to know you if that´s so!

Glenda lost 11 pounds in 12 weeks, compared to 17 pounds in 18 months achieved by the study participants. 

Also, she gained 8,4 pounds of lean muscle, compared to 20% muscle mass loss in the study.

Side note, the weekly comments Glenda were doing each week in the measurement table were priceless.

These are the data that I can present to you, the conclusions are yours.

These guys could help you in so many ways:

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Why Should Kettlebells be A Part Of Your Daily Workout Routine? – by Kettlebell Kings

Today I am delighted to have the Kettlebell Kings as a guest blogger to tell us why kettlebells should be part of your daily exercise routine. Here we go:

Starting a new workout regimen is always exciting and energizing. The learning curve provides a mental adventure that sparks interest and determination in accomplishing new health and wellness goals. Incorporating strength-building tools will help you get better results and feel more confident about the time you put in at the gym. The resurgent popularity of kettlebells has driven many people to incorporate them into their routines to spark their strength and cardio workouts.

Let’s first define what a kettlebell is and its most common uses for fitness. A kettlebell is a cast steel or iron weight with a grip handle that is used for a variety of exercises and movements, including a combination of strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular training. Kettlebells are designed to fit your grip and balance the weight you are working with, using gravity to build muscle strength and increase endurance. The weight is off-center, unlike traditional weights found in the gym, allowing the user to target multiple muscle groups and areas of the body within a single exercise.

The benefits of using a kettlebell during your workout are countless. You will find after consistent use in just a few sessions that your balance, endurance, strength, and coordination are improved.

Kettlebellkings2

Unlike most traditional exercise machines, kettlebells do not isolate particular muscles but rather require whole-body movements that will give you a much more productive workout. By incorporating these useful tools in your workout, you will build strength in your tendons and ligaments, which can prevent injury.

So, you are interested in incorporating kettlebells into your workout regimen. Let’s talk about how you should go about choosing a kettlebell based on your fitness and comfort level. First, note that it is always important to consult a trainer if you are unsure of proper technique to avoid being injured during your routine.

There are basically two types of kettlebell movements: ballistic and grinds. Ballistic movements are quick movements like lifts, swings, and tosses. Grinds refer more to slow movements like overhead presses, bent presses, squats, and deadlifts. Each type of movement has different results, so depending on your goals, you may select a different type of kettlebell based your needs. Of course, one can combine both types of movements to create a hybrid workout as well, in which case having a variety of kettlebells with fluctuating weights is the most beneficial setup.

Ballistic movements and lifts require heavier kettlebells because there is not quite as much control necessary as with slower movements. Exercises like windmills, get-ups, and overhead presses demand slow-paced, controlled movement in order to get the best results so one would use a more lightweight kettlebell for these types of routines. It is advisable to start off with two kettlebells, one lightweight, and one heavyweight. These weights will vary based on your size, physique, fitness, and comfort levels; however, having a slight variety will give you some options to shake up your routine.

For the man who is just starting out using weights or who is at maximum able to bench press 200 pounds, it is advisable to begin with a 35-pound kettlebell. If you are able to bench press more than 200 pounds, then you could start with a 44-pound kettlebell. After a few months of training with this size kettlebell, you should be able to move to a heavier weight as you build strength. A 53-pound kettlebell is in your future!

Typically, women who are new to training with kettlebells are advised to start with an 18-pound kettlebell. With regular reps and consistent workouts, you will be able to increase the amount of weight you use in the gym or at home. Now, if you’re a seasoned gym user who has used weights in the past, then you could start off with a 26-pound kettlebell. After just a few short months, you will notice your strength increasing substantially and will be able to grow with the size of your kettlebells to begin including heavier weights and denser workouts.

In any case, purchasing a full set of kettlebells will give you a wide variety of weights that will fit your needs from start to finish, no matter your workout routine. You can then match your growing strength with a new weight that will keep you progressing in your fitness goals. Having options to choose from will give you the resources you need to design whatever workout matches your current goals.

The best parts about kettlebells are their small size, mobility, and physical benefits. Some of us need the gym to keep us on track, and others can make their own living room into their workout zone. With these useful fitness tools, you can easily transport them to any space you wish to squeeze in a solid workout. Just like with any fitness routine, with consistency, determination, and practice, it won’t be long before you start seeing results. In a world where we are constantly busy with work and other demands, having a simple-to-use and transportable fitness tool gives us a big advantage when it comes to staying fit.

Kettlebell Kings

Kettlebell Kings

If you are interested in incorporating kettlebells into your workouts, then turn to the kettlebell experts at Kettlebell Kings. Our high-quality kettlebells are guaranteed for a lifetime, and we have the right weight for you, whether you are a veteran or top-level competitor, or are looking to incorporate kettlebells into your workout for the first time. Check out our selection at www.kettlebellkings.com, or call us at 855-7KETTLE today.

These guys could help you in so many ways:

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Plank Jacks

The plank is good for your core, but adding a jumping jack motion with your feet pushes this move to a whole new level. The plank jack is a great cardio move; it raises your heart rate while working your lower and upper body.

Start in a standard plank position, with your shoulders over your wrists, your body in one straight line, and your feet together.

Like the motion of a jumping jack, jump your legs wide and then back together. Keep your pelvis steady and don’t let your butt rise toward the ceiling.


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Multipurpose pool

A swimming pool is not only for swimming. We can perform several exercises into the water with great benefits. But it is not as simple as pay the ticket and swim. According to our injuries or goals, some exercises are recommended while others are forbidden.

Water offers more resistance than air. At the same time, compress our joints and push up our body, feeling lighter (we don´t lose weight, but it feels like it for our joints).

Walking in the swimming pool is a great exercise to lose weight. Do your joints hurt when walking or running, but you need to lose weight? Try to walk in the swimming pool, instead your “dry” walkings and let me know :)

I found this video where a friendly chiropractic explains some exercises targeting our low back. The best thing we can do if we have an injury is approach and explain it to the monitor/trainer/coach. Ask! Usually, we don´t bite :)