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.
These guys could help you in so many ways:
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.
These guys could help you in so many ways:
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.
These guys could help you in so many ways:
I´m thrilled to tell you that I´ve been invited to a Q&A post at Go Allied Athletes. Margaret and Evan are two amazing bloggers and athletes that I strongly recommend you to follow. Go Allied Athletes is a forum where athletes share their experiences, and I feel honored with this opportunity to contribute to the community.
Do you want to know how´s my typical client and how do I motivate clients? Read it at Go Allied Athletes!
I work all day, running around on errands. What are the simple ways to make sure I am moving enough for the day?
I am honored to have been invited along with other experts to answer this question at The Diabetes Council.
Are you looking for tips that fit your busy schedule? This article is specifically for you.
This week Sarah-Beth is visiting us proposing 5 unique workouts! She is the awesome blogger behind The art of fit and nerd, and she shares the refreshing workouts she´s doing. Enjoy the reading and try one of these workouts!
Need something to spice up your workout routine? Or just looking for a class that makes you excited to show up to? Me too! Nowadays, there is no shortage of options for getting fit and working out. From traditional to unconventional, I love finding new workouts and giving them a try. As a personal trainer, I love learning from practical experience and being as hands on as I can be. About a year ago, I decided to start writing about my experience about trying new workouts because I want to inspire others to find some sort of workout that they really love and wouldn’t dread going too. I hate hearing that someone doesn’t like being physically active, so I want to present as many options as possible to everyone so they can find their exercise sole mate! (Okay, maybe not sole mate, but at least something they find fun!)
After a year of trying different workouts, I’ve definitely found a few great ones! So thanks to Chape, I get to share my favourite with you all! So if you are looking for something new, novel, and unique, here are 5 different styles of workouts I highly recommend trying!
- Konga by The Jungle Body
This is one cardio session that feels more like a dance party than a workout. Playing remixes to all your favourite songs, Konga combines simple moves (typically 4 per song) into high-intensity dance sequences that get your heart pumping. And with classes running from 45-60 mins, you are sure to work up a sweat in one fun, supportive, cardio class.
Want to bounce off the wall? Or pretend you’re a ninja? Parkour could be your thing! It takes a little bit of fearlessness and a dash of trust, but it feels absolutely amazing when you nail a move! (Even the simple ones!) There is usually a steep learning curve with moves, and it does help to have strength, but a lot of it is practice and learning where your body is in space. From a personal note: be prepared for a few bumps, bruises and scrapes along the way.
- Yin Yoga
Looking for something a bit slower paced with a chance to really reconnect with your body? Yin Yoga is worth a try. Unlike the fast pace of Vinyasa, Yin puts you in a pose (many supported by props) and really lets you explore it deeper. Many poses are held for two plus minutes, giving you time to focus on stretching further or as my teacher said: “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. Be prepared to feel “worked” in a completely new way!
- EMS (Electro Muscular Stimulation)
Want to really work on that mind muscle connection? If you’ve ever had EMS on during rehab exercises, then you know just how much it helps to remind you exactly where each muscle you need to work is. Strapped into a full EMS suit, hitting all the major muscles groups, these quick 20-30 minute long workouts are the perfect solution to those that are time poor but want a solid workout or just those looking to understand muscle activation better. If you can get over the weird tingling feeling and focus on the workout, you’ll not only be sweating within minutes but burning heaps of calories in a very short amount of time. This is my favourite unique workout I’ve tried so far because it is so different from anything else and I really enjoyed how sore I felt post workout!
- Pole Dancing
For those that want to feel graceful as they are getting strong, then I highly recommend pole dancing. Not only is it tons of fun just to spin around on the poles, but it’s a great way to work your upper body and grip strength in a very functional way. (It’s up to you to hoist yourself onto that pole!) Most studios offer beginners courses that set up all the basics for you and allow you to build a solid foundation before you get to flipping around on the pole. So start there and build from it!
Nothing on the list strike your fancy? Try looking for free events on either your local area fitness page on Facebook, ask at your local lululemon athletica store (lululemon is known for hosting a lot of fitness events and not just yoga!), google gyms in your area and see if they offer a free/discounted first class/week, or check out wellness weeks at your local shopping center. All these are ways I find new classes to try while staying budget friendly!
Thank you so much Chape for letting me guest post!
If there is a unique workout I should try, leave it the comments down below!
Happy working out!
Bio: Sarah-Beth or SB is the personal trainer behind the blog The Art of Fit and Nerd. Originally from Canada, she is now based in Perth, Australia and loves living by the beach. She is constantly looking for unique workouts to try or gyms to go too. When not working out or training clients, she’s a bit of a nerd and can be found creating cosplays, gaming, or watching anime.
This week I´m pleased to introduce you a good friend and a great blogger, Brooke Smitham. Her blog is fully charged with positive vibes, make sure you follow her for your daily dose of positivity. She here to talk about one of the toughest topics, success. Hope you enjoy the reading as much as I did.
Hello everyone, I have to express to you all, what an honor and pleasure I have in writing this post for my colleague David, who I have now followed for a long time and enjoy his blog each day, thank you for this opportunity, David.
This is a topic I and many other blogger’s write about, but at times the clear message does not seem to be getting through, are we convinced of our own control over our lives? What we always have is total control of the reaction we have in situations that appear in our everyday being, yes it is only you that makes that decision, and we have all made mistakes at times, nobody escapes that, but if we give it some thought and change are thinking a little, if we allow ourselves to open our minds somewhat, we could make more positive decisions, it is also important that we believe in the help that we always have with us, the universe always works with us, guiding us along our life journey, it is the divine power which we store inside of us which we can lean on at anytime we need that support, many people hold this belief and name it God, that choice is yours.When we speak to this power, we are answered, but we have to listen, you may be told many times, and sadly at times we just do not listen and we do not take the advice given, your intuition talks to you, do you listen? When we don’t, things will come tumbling down around us, but don’t panic, nobody likes this but it is an opportunity for us to start again, with this experience now well within us, to guide us on, and we learn to listen, this power will never abandon you, we just need to learn to listen in a better way.
You, as an individual are here for a reason, it is important that you understand that you are creating on a daily basis with the help of the great creator, what better partner can you wish for in life, the Universe/God it is no accident that you are you, just stop and think what set of sequences had to be in motion in action for you to be here, it is no accident believe me……….
Do you know your purpose, are you working towards your purpose in life, achieving your dreams and goals? If you are not aware of your purpose I urge you to find this out as soon as possible, without knowing your purpose, it is like driving in the fog with no map, no gps, you could be swimming around a fish bowl looking for a corner to get out, there is no way out, so knowing and finding your purpose is extremely important, the sooner you know the sooner you can act and the sooner the universe can connect with you . You are a citizen of the universe, a very important part, you form part of the universal energy and it becomes part of you, your confidence will flourish when you understand there is something much bigger than you, far greater than you, you cannot do it alone. Everything happens for a reason, when you do not live your life as your true self, you are unable to obtain your personal intent, you are here, you are you, in your uniqueness and that is what matters, you are here and part of all this wonderfulness, when things go wrong and not the way you were expecting, it is experience you need, it is not a failure it is part of a preparation of what is to come, you are always preparing yourself with the help of the universe for what is to come.
Every thought you have, every thought you put out there into the universal energy flow and you put into action, is going to come back to you, when you believe and trust your partner, you will start to feel the flow, you will be in the flow of life, you will no longer be against it, you will be part of it, you will be connected to your inner power you will be aligned with the world that you want.
When you achieve the things you want in your life, you have to give back, your intention rules your life and determines the outcome, never worry about your competition, they will always be there, we all have competition in life, but the time and energy you give this, may give them the opening and opportunity they have been waiting for, you can only control yourself you cannot control others, for everything you put into motion the universal law states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.
Brooke Smithan is a fully qualified Psychologist,Life Coach,Performance Consultant & LOA Practitioner. Since 2013 she blogs at The Utopia Universe, helping lots of people.
Today I´m pleased to introduce you a new blogger and friend, Justina Triasovaite. She is a certified female personal trainer and also runs justinatraining.com, a site with useful information for those who are interested in general fitness and body transformation. A committed health and fitness fanatic, Justina is very passionate about helping people transform their lives.
London based, she´s offering first class free with each package! If you live in London, you shouldn´t miss this opportunity.
Without further delay, I let you read her refreshing tips. Enjoy!
This article will reveal what it takes to build up strength in your upper body, including your shoulders, arms, chest, back, and core.
No matter where you choose to train – at the gym, in the park or in your own home, there are a lot of useful tips provided in this article that can be beneficial for building your upper body strength.
Ok, let’s get started!
Home and/or Park: A Great Start!
Have you ever thought of improving your upper body strength right in your own home, right in your terrace or garden, for example? There are different ways of getting stronger and it doesn’t necessarily require you to go out to the gym – just get started right at home or in any suitable park. In my opinion, the best place to train during spring-summer months would be outside – in a park or in your own home, maybe in the garden area. Fewer excuses and more exercise!
1) Best Exercises for Getting Stronger Upper Body at Home or Park
- PRESS UPS
Press ups involve the majority of upper body muscles, which is great if you are trying to strengthen your upper body. What is more, these exercises improve your posture, enhance your cardiovascular system and help to prevent lower back injuries. Press ups do not require any additional equipment so you can do it right in the middle of your living room or terrace.
Dips are isolation exercises that work miracles for strengthening your arms and gaining powerful and defined triceps. They can be performed at the gym on a special machine or simply at home using a chair or a bed frame. Although I think it is much more fun to do your dips outside – just find the right spot (e.g. a bench). Try this out today!
- PULL UPS
Pull up exercises are compound movements which add strength to the whole back and arms. Nobody says they’re easy, but what you gain is most definitely worth it: by doing pull ups, several large muscle groups (back, arms and shoulders) work simultaneously. What I love about these exercises the most is that they don’t require expensive equipment – you can order a pull-up bar online and hang it above your door frame. Time to get thinking about this.
- RESISTANCE BANDS
Resistance bands are amazing tools for working out at home with your own body weight with a goal of strengthening various muscle groups in your body, including your upper body. Most of these bands come with a special hook which allows using them on your door without damaging it. It should also come with thorough instruction regarding all of the exercises you can perform using these bands. Easy and fun!
2. Best Exercises for Getting Stronger Upper Body at the Gym
Say hello to the rowing machine as soon as you enter the gym, as this is the best exercise you can do to strengthen your upper body and build a great back. It doesn’t really matter which kind of rowing machine you choose – seated, standing, assisted, or single arm rowing – the benefits of these type of exercise for building a strong upper body are simply undeniable.
Another great exercise I highly recommend trying out is a shoulder press – machine, free weights, barbell or dumbbells – everything goes when we are talking about those beautiful and strong shoulders.
Don’t forget that a strong chest is the key to a strong upper body, so the chest press should become one of your favorite exercises as well. Choose a bench or a machine, dumbbells or bar – everything is suitable for your goal as long as you perform the exercises correctly.
And last, but definitely not least, a must exercise for everyone – pull down or pull ups. Pull down is a great machine for beginners if they want to build up their back strength and move on to pull-ups. Pull ups and chin ups work miraculously in building the so-called “triangle back”, which is often part of my clients’ wish list!
3) General Tips for Upper Body Strength
- Carry the shopping bags yourself. This simple activity can highly influence the strength of your upper body. Forget shopping online: carrying your purchases daily will be a great exercise for your upper body and will also help you improve in the exercising field.
- Get involved! Play outdoor games which put resistance onto your upper body – basketball, netball, tennis, badminton. This is a fun and easy way to build strength in your upper body.
- Include Isometric Contractions (also called isometric exercises or isometrics). These are the type of exercises, in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. These exercises are well known for making your upper body muscles stronger. One tip – try holding a pillow right in front of you while keeping your arms straight… Not so easy, right? ☺ Try it for a couple of days and increase your holding time gradually – you will see how much stronger you will feel in a relatively short period of time.
- Don’t forget the core! The strength of your upper body highly depends on the strength of your core, so don’t forget to include a variety of exercises that help to strengthen the muscles of your core. My favorite core exercises are various variations of the plank as well as leg raises – these work best for strengthening core muscles. Tip: always add one or two exercises that help to strengthen the core at the end of your training sessions.
Continuous Hard Work Pays Off!
To sum up, continuous hard work and the right choice of exercises definitely pays off, leading to a well-trained upper body, built up strength and an improved physique.
There is no need to invest in expensive machines or training equipment: there are plenty of exercises available that require only your own body strength. Easy!
Even your everyday activities, such as carrying the shopping bags, can strengthen your upper body, so definitely no excuses!