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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the best ways to look great in a swimsuit is to slip into one for your workout. Swimming is by far one of the optimal types of exercise. Not only does it provide you with resistance you can work against to build more muscle and burn more fat, but it is low-impact, so any one of any age and any fitness level can do it.
Of course, you’re not going to lose much weight just dog paddling around the pool. If you want to lose serious fat, you need to slip into your best sports swim suit and ignite your fat burning engines. To do this, you need to tap into your anabolic system: that system that fuels your body without the presence of oxygen. Instead, you draw on your glucose and glycogen to fuel your movement. The result? You use existing energy stores instead of O2, and you burn more fat.
So, the question remains, how do you get an anaerobic swimming workout?
Read on to find out!
Interval training uses short, intense bursts of energy followed by a short period of active recovery (minimal intensity) to maximize your workout, and increase your fat burning gains. When you’re pushing yourself through those intense bursts, you’re working in your anaerobic zone, and you need to be pushing yourself to your limit. Remember: you won’t be doing it for long! You continue to cycle back and forth between your working sets and your active recovery sets until your time’s up.
When is your time up?
That’s the other good news: when you interval train, you don’t have to workout for long. As little as 20 minutes can give you better long-term metabolic health than an hour on the treadmill.
Sounds great, right?
Of course it does. So suit up! Here’s your fat-blasting swimming workout.
You’re going to do this workout in a circuit. Start with exercise #1 and then move to #5. Cycle through the circuit 3-5 times, depending on your current fitness level, and then call it a day.
- Exercise 1: Front Crawl at maximum intensity — 1 minute. Treadwater or jog on spot in pool for 20 seconds.
- Exercise 2: Butterfly at maximum intensity — 1 minute. Treadwater or jog on spot in pool for 20 seconds.
- Exercise 3: Back crawl at maximum intensity — 1 minute. Treadwater or jog on spot in pool for 20 seconds.
- Exercise 4: Flutter kick at maximum intensity — 1 minute. Treadwater or jog on spot in pool for 20 seconds.
- Exercise 5: Reverse flutter kick at maximum intensity — 1 minute. Treadwater or jog on spot in pool for 20 seconds.
A note on maximum intensity…
For this short and sweet workout to burn the fat and build the muscle that will keep your fat burning engines revved, you need to work hard. Super hard. On a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being lying on the couch doing nothing and 10 being working so hard you’re ready to vomit, you need to be working at a 9. This is the only way you’re going to see the results you’re working toward.
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.
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.
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.