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Heart rate variability for maximum strength gains

heart rate

When you think about heart rate, you might be thinking about someone doing cardio – treadmills and beeps.

In reality, there’s a lot to heart rate that you might have missed. There are important overlaps between heart rate and performance in strength training that mean a better rate can improve strength.

Read on, because today we’ll be taking you through the two biggest ways that heart rate and heart rate variability impact strength training!

Heart Rate and Variability: Why it Matters

What do you already know about heart rate?

You probably know that an elevated heart rate is a risk for heart attack, stroke, and other common causes of death. You might even be working on your endurance exercise to keep your heart healthy and make sure that everything from sexual health to mental health are up to scratch.

Lowering your resting heart rate decreases the strain you’re putting on the love muscle, helping you to live a longer and healthier life.

How Strength Training Helps Your Heart

Strength training isn’t often discussed for the benefits to the heart, or the other way around – how the heart can benefit strength.

It’s a two-way system. Resistance-trained people are healthier and have a better tolerance for blood pressure without the negative effects.

The heart undergoes some serious stress during strength training but its only short-term. Additionally, your arteries become more flexible and reduce your risk of clogs, clots, and other serious conditions.

HRV: Benefits for Strength and Muscle Gains

The key benefit we’re going to discuss today is how the variability of your heart rate – the range it can go through – is key to strength training.

You’ll mainly notice this between sets. The ability to get back to resting heart rate between sets is key to improving your recovery – a key factor in keeping your performance up over long workouts.

This is the kind of recovery and performance that many people ignore, since it doesn’t increase your maximum performance right now. However, it helps you accumulate more volume over time which is a direct cause of building strength and muscle mass.

Heart Rate and Psychological Factors

You’ll also want to control your heart rate through psychological methods too.

This is one of the ways that your choice of music when training can make a big difference.

Psychological arousal is all about how hyped up you are – controlling this is a key way to adjust how heavy weights feel and help push yourself.

However, for the recovery we mentioned above its equally important to bring psychological arousal – and your heart rate – down after intense training.

Again, music can be a great choice here, and the music that you use to hype-up between sets isn’t appropriate continuously. Too much psychological arousal, or a chronically elevated heart rate, are bad for both training and health.

That’s why it’s good to find the right tempo playlist for pre and post workout and of course for the workout itself.

Learning to switch on and off when you need to is a great way to develop yourself as an athlete and bring about the best results with the most sustainable, healthy methods.

Post-Training Recovery: How the Heart Supports Muscles

Heart rate and arousability aren’t just about when you’re in the gym, however.

What you’ll find is that intense exercise will keep you in an elevated state of anxiety for a while after finishing. This keeps your heart rate up and places additional stress on your heart if you don’t balance it out.

This is clear from the relation we see between other forms of stress and the risk of heart problems. Any chronic increase in anxiety and heart rate can negatively effect your health, so it’s a significant matter.

Balancing your stress levels out after a training session is one of the ways you can reduce the chronic loading of your heart. This also helps with your exercise recovery and the development of strength.

Improving your return to a resting, restorative heart rate and psychological state can improve your session-to-session progress. Heart rate and relaxation methods – from low-BPM music to meditation to yoga – can all aid in this balancing act.

The Big Lesson

The benefits of proper heart rate and anxiety management for training is a huge deal.

If you’re planning on pushing yourself to new personal bests – and recovering so that you can keep doing it – you need to consider the physical and psychological impacts.

Fortunately, you can manage these changes in both the short and long-term. Developing good habits and being aware of how and handling the stress levels is easy with practice and the right tools.

How to Implement and Improve HRV for Strength Training

How do you improve your heart rate – and variability – without losing all your strength?

This is a question we hear a lot, since a lot of strength enthusiasts see endurance and strength as exact opposites.

Obviously, if you’re doing ultra-marathons you’ll struggle to keep the meat on your body – it’s easy to lose muscle. However, endurance and cardio training don’t have to be long-haul, and you can use them to improve your strength performance.

To start with, you actually need to track your heart rate.

You can’t set and achieve goals if you can’t measure the changes. This is why you probably want a heart rate monitor – so you can see if you’re getting better!

You won’t need to use this for all your sets and we recommend avoiding it for top-sets. Use it for warm ups and some of the lighter weights to see how you respond. Make a quick note of them and compare from session to session.

A weekly average is probably your best bet, since everything from sleep to stress can change your heart rate.

How Should You Train Your Heart for Strength Training?

HIIT is the best way to do this.

There are a lot of myths around HIIT – like the idea that it’s “better” than normal cardio, or that it burns more calories – but neither of those matter.

The important part is that HIIT allows you to focus on high-power, intense exercise. This assists with your heart rate variability while also helping you focus on explosive strength.

This is also specific to the kind of heart rate improvements you need: the ability to produce huge efforts and then recover quickly.

How to Build a Great HIIT Session for Strength

The kind of HIIT we’re talking about here comes in many forms. HIIT isn’t a single type of exercise, just a way of structuring different types of training. You’ll find there are some great choices for building other athletic characteristics (such as power, coordination, and speed):

  • Sprint intervals
  • Med ball/wall ball throws
  • Lunges and single-leg work
  • Jumps, hops, etc.
  • Core exercises
  • Rotational and single-leg work

If you combine these types of exercises into high-intensity circuits (using things like Tabata), you can make big differences in a way that helps your strength training, rather than harming it.

This is also great since it helps you cover muscle groups you might not focus on in training and can help prevent injury.

Effort Equals Results: Give Your Cardio Some Love

As with the rest of your training, you should be putting some thought into how you improve your heart rate for strength training.

Too much work in long-haul endurance can lead to slow-twitch adaptation. This can be a problem for strength, so you should aim to implement these lessons in your own training.

Heart rate isn’t the most glamorous way to improve in strength training – it’s not a good as a big bench press or huge squat – but you’ll be setting yourself up for those changes with a healthier, stronger heart.

Closing Remarks and Final Thoughts

Cardiovascular health and training don’t have to compete with your strength training.

Aside from the health benefits, these kinds of changes to your heart rate and efficiency can support better recovery and handling more volume.

Controlling and improving your heart rate are the two factors you need to consider and work on. Controlling your heart rate comes with psychological methods – from music to active relaxation – while improving it for the long-term is all about training smart.

Use these tips to add some high-quality, explosive HIIT to your training. You’ll find that your strength goes up, you cover some of the most under-rated areas of training, and you have the best chance for overall progress!

Joe Bailey

Joe Bailey

Joe Bailey is the Wizard of Lightbulb Moments at GetSongBpm. He’s recently developed a heart rate calculator to help people find their target heart rate simply by tapping their screen. When he’s not behind his own screen he’s in front of the crowds in the UK running 5km and 10km events and cross-training regularly.

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How effective is basketball at burning fat?

How effective is basketball at burning fat

Playing Hoops is a Super Way to Burn Fat, so Get Out on the Basketball Court

Burning calories is how you burn fat. The rate you burn these fat producing calories is directly proportional to how intense the activity is. You have to get your body furnace hot before you begin to burn calories, and therefore fat.

Walking and jogging are the simplest ways to burn fat. Vigorous exercise turns up the flame even more. The key is to increase your heart rate, which in turn burns calories in your body.

One enjoyable and effective way to burn fat is by playing various sports. Basketball is one of the most vigorously active sports you can participate, so it’s consequently a super way to burn away unwanted pounds.

The intensity of the competition will dictate how effective of a fat burner basketball is. Here’s how it works, plus some different levels of intensity that make basketball an increasingly effective way to burn fat.

Why Basketball Burns Fat

The physiological reasons behind why basketball is such an effective fat burning sport are directly related to exercise. Basketball is a game where you have to move around from one spot to another.

Sometimes these movements are at a slow to moderate pace, strategic types of moves to position yourself for a shot or to defend one. However, the largest percentage of the movements you’ll make playing basketball involve running, often at full speed.

Because basketball involves so much running and jumping, it requires exertion that raises your heart rate, even when played at a moderate pace. A full court competitive basketball game is one of the most effective fat burning sports you can play.

Practice

You can even burn calories shooting simple foul shots, even if you shoot alone. Practicing free throws with a partner does limit the fat burning effectiveness, but it’s still a moderate way to burn a little fat.

Shooting by yourself, however, means you have to chase down errant shots and that will help increase your intensity. Layups begin to add the element of running to your basketball workout.

The more intense your layup drills, the hotter you’ll make your internal fat burning machine. Full court layups raise this level even higher, making this practice drill extremely effective as a fat burner.

There are other drills designed to improve your skills as a basketball player, and they will raise your heart rate as well. However, the best way to burn fat while playing basketball is to play any of three different levels of game situations.

basketball for burning fat

Game Situations

There are three types of game situations in basketball that are extremely effective burning fat. All are competitive, but they don’t necessarily require a great deal of actual basketball skill to enjoy.

Of course, the better you play, the more enjoyment and the more productive a player you’ll be. However, to burn fat all you need to do is play the best you can. Here are the three levels of game play you can use to employ basketball as an effective fat burning workout.

· One-on-One

This is a way to get out on the basketball court, even if you only have another partner to play with you. One-on-one basketball is not only a great way to develop isolated offensive skills, but a super way to improve your man-on-man defense.

While you do not benefit from the exertion required to run full court, one-on-one is a game-like situation that requires a lot of physical effort. It is one type of basketball game that is an excellent way to burn fat.

· Half-Court Team Games

There are a lot of situations, especially for older basketball players, where the pounding of running full-court isn’t healthy. In these types of circumstances, you can enjoy the intensity of playing basketball, but only use half the court.

There are half-court leagues, plus this is one way to produce a game-like situation if all you have is a single basket. Driveway and playground courts are perfect intense half-court basketball games.

· Full Court Team

This is the way most basketball games are played. There are a number of sports experts who feel the athletes who play organized and professional basketball to be some of the most gifted and best trained athletes in the world.

Full court basketball is both challenging and physically exhausting. Watching a game on live or on television will make this point clear. There are coordinated substitutions throughout a game to help keep players fresh.

Of course, the level of intensity that you experience playing a full court game will be related to game strategy. Fast breaks in basketball require players to immediately sprint from one end of the court to the other.

Even a slower paced, more deliberate style of full court game, will have transitions after shots, and when the ball is stolen. Each time the ball changes hands in a full court game, all players must run to the other end.

Participating in recreational leagues or playing competitive basketball are both tremendous ways to burn calories. Even shooting baskets for fun is a low-impact type of activity that will burn fat.

When you take part in basketball games, you increase your heart rate and gain aerobic benefits for your fitness pursuits. The bottom line is, basketball is one of the most effective sports to help you burn away fat.

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Superfoods List – Boost Your Inner health and Outer Beauty

superfoods list

Whether you are looking for ways to keep your skin glowing or you want to maintain your health, eating the right food is the best option you can take. The food that you eat determines your overall health. If you are healthy and your whole system is functioning well, it will be reflected through the condition of your skin. This is why you have to choose the foods that are beneficial to your body.

To help you start a healthy diet, here is a list of superfoods you should have in your table:

Avocado

An avocado is tagged as a superfood because of the different benefits that it can provide to the body. It contains vitamins A, B complex and vitamin E. Aside from that, you will also get fibre, magnesium, lecithin, potassium and sterolin from this food. With its amazing taste and its anti-inflammatory features, you will certainly get a well nourished skin. And not only that, avocado also contains omega 3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. So hurry up and add avocado to your meal now.

Berries

If you are looking for the best source of anti-oxidants, go for berries. Blueberries, in particular, are rich in anthocyanin, flavonoids and resveratrol. Aside from its anti-aging properties, it also have regenerative properties that is good for the whole body. If you are looking for the best natural food, you can consume a handful of berries and you will certainly feel satisfied with what you have eaten.

superfoods list

Broccoli

Broccoli is a green superfood  that is rich in vitamins C and K. It is also an excellent source of folic acid and potassium. It is known as one of the best superfood because of its properties that can help build collagen and is very helpful in forming the bones and the body tissue. One of the best things that broccoli can do to your body is to protect it from the damaging effects of free radicals that cannot be avoided at times.

Beetroot

The best thing about beetroot is its properties that can help bring and recover oxygen to your muscles. It is also a great natural food for the elimination of toxins from the liver and blood. So, if you are looking for the best way to detoxify, you can just consider making beetroot juice. Aside from those that were already mentioned, beetroot helps boost strength, strengthen digestion and it also lowers blood pressure. This is great for people who want to lose weight.

Dark Chocolate

 Eating a small portion of dark chocolate daily can be beneficial to you. This is a fact that is backed up by scientific evidences. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidant and it can help you improve blood flow. Aside from that, it can also protect you from the risk of heart disease. So, instead of eating junk food and stuffing yourself with unhealthy food during your snack time, why don’t you just get some dark chocolates.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is low in cholesterol and trans fat. It is high in fiber and it is healthy for the heart. With its high potassium and vitamin C content, you can be sure that you will get the best benefits for your body, heart and skin.

Fish (the oily variety)

Fish is known as one of the healthiest food because of the different nutrients that it contains. With its protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D content, you will surely get incredible benefits for your body and brain.

Green Tea

Instead of having unhealthy beverages, you should go for green tea. This is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that have incredible benefits to your system. Aside from enhancing your brain function, it can also help in lowering the risk of cancer. Most importantly, it is a great beverage for people who want to lose weight.

Nuts and Seeds

Peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios and walnuts are just few of the nuts and seeds that are powerful enough to provide the needed vitamins and minerals for the body. Walnuts are known to be effective in reducing the risk of heart related diseases.

Oats

This is one of the incredibly nutritious foods that you can eat with fruits. It contains soluble fiber and antioxidants. It helps in controlling blood sugar and it is recommended for people who want to lose weight.

Quinoa

If you are the type of person who is gluten intolerant, quinoa is a great food for you. Aside from its high protein property, you can also be sure to get the amount of amino acids you need. Quinoa is higher in fiber compared to other grains.

Spinach and kale

Kale contains nutrients that can help you deal with different health problems. Its fiber, calcium and antioxidant content can help improve your body. Spinach on the other hand is one of the most nutritious green that you should add to your regular diet.

If you want to achieve holistic health, you should consider looking at the benefits of the food that you are eating.

Josh

Josh

Josh is a writer who loves to write articles on health & fitness. He is always involved in fitness. He believes health is wealth and to stay healthy, and for that, we need to have green superfoods along with detox drinks!

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Make it happen

make it happen, challenge, fitness, chape

Do you look forward to the holiday season as much as we do?

However, worried about gaining weight after all those upcoming festive gatherings?

Thinking about taking back control in 2019?

Getting healthy and fit on of your new years resolutions?

I am delighted to collaborate with  Patty Wolters (Master Coach), in this next challenge that I am sure you will love. 

Sign up NOW for an upcoming new challenge!

You will be supported to start the new year on the right foot, stay motivated and accomplish your goal(s).

Starting January 1 until January 27:

11 days of Workouts + 11 days of Coaching Tips

MARK the date January 1, 2019* in your calendar and sign up NOW:

* Don’t worry… we will start with general information about the challenge, so you will be able to relax the first day of the new year!
You can do the workouts one day later if this works better for you. For instance, you´d workout on Tuesdays,
Thursdays, and Saturdays. You would rest on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.