Posted on 14 Comments

Free consultation

free consultation, fitness, bodybuilding, weightlifting, weightloss, sport, training, workout, diet

Until the end of the month I am offering a free consultation. A 15-minute video call where I will answer all your questions about your workouts and diets.

I´m working on a new service and I think this would be a  good first step to get to know how best to implement the apps I´m going to use in this new service: Calendly and GoToMeeting. So I think this is a win-win situation.

Do you have doubts about which training method is best for you? What are the most effective exercises you could do in the comfort of your home? What kind of diet would best suit your pace of life? What foods are sabotaging your results? I will solve any question you have. Do not hesitate and book your free 15-minute consultation.

I think these apps are really easy to use, but I´d really appreciate your feedback.

On the other hand, my fellow bloggers and friends, if you have no questions but want to talk to me and listen to my sweet voice, it will be my pleasure to chat about whatever you want, after 4 years of blogging. I would like to try this in as many countries and with as many people as possible.

I hope you like this initiative and encourage you to participate. Also, feel free to share with any friend of yours that could benefit from this free consultation.

Thank you so much!

Posted on 28 Comments

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
Posted on 12 Comments

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)

Posted on 17 Comments

Muscle Fiber Types

Muscle fibers
Are you a better distance runner or sprinter? Have you ever wondered why is that so?
 
The answer is simple: muscle fibers.
 
Skeletal muscle is composed of different muscle fibers and these are composed of functional units called sarcomeres. Within each sarcomere are the myofibrillar proteins myosin (the thick filament) and actin (the thin filament). The interaction of these 2 myofibrillar proteins allows muscles to contract.. Each myocyte contains many myofibrils, which are strands of proteins (actin and myosin) that can grab on to each other and pull. 
Muscle fibers

Muscle Fiber Types

There are three types of skeletal muscle cells:
Fiber Type
Contraction Speed
Time To Peak Power
Fatigue
Color
Type I (slow twitch)
Slow
100 milliseconds
Slowly
Red
Type IIA (fast twitch oxidative fibres)
Fast
50 milliseconds
Fast
Red
Type IIB (fast twitch glycolytic fibres)
Very Fast
25 milliseconds
Fast
White
  1. Type I fibers are characterized by low force/power/speed production and high endurance, The slow twitch muscle fibers are more efficient at using oxygen to generate more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) fuel for continuous, extended muscle contractions over a long time. They fire more slowly than fast twitch fibers and can go for a long time before they fatigue. Therefore, slow twitch fibers are great at helping athletes run marathons and bicycle for hours.
  2. Type IIB fibers are characterized by high force/power/speed production and low endurance. These fast twitch fibers use anaerobic metabolism to create energy and are the “classic” fast twitch muscle fibers that excel at producing quick, powerful bursts of speed. This muscle fiber has the highest rate of contraction (rapid firing) of all the muscle fiber types, but it also has a faster rate of fatigue and can’t last as long before it needs rest.
  3. Type IIA fall in between the two. These fast twitch muscle fibers are also known as intermediate fast-twitch fibers. They can use both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism almost equally to create energy. In this way, they are a combination of type I and type IIB muscle fibers.
This range of muscle fiber types allows for the wide variety of capabilities that human muscles display. On average, people have about 50 percent slow twitch and 50 percent fast twitch fibers in most of the muscles used for movement.

Motor Units

Muscle fibers are organized into motor units grouped within each muscle. A motor unit is simply a bundle or grouping of muscle fibers. When you want to move, the brain nearly instantaneously sends a signal or impulse through the spinal cord that reaches the motor unit. The impulse then tells that particular motor unit to contract it’s fibers. 
 
The body recruits the lower threshold motor units first (slow-twitch), followed by the higher threshold motor units (fast-twitch) and continues to recruit and fire motor units until you’ve applied enough force to do whatever it is you’re trying to do regarding movement. When you are lifting something extremely heavy or applying a lot of force your body will contract practically all the available motor units for that particular muscle.
Type I muscle motor units contract less forcefully and a little slower then type II motor units and they reach peak power slower. This is why you can sit and eat all day or play Playstation all day and never get tired!
 
The type II motor units are capable of greater levels of absolute force than type I and also fatigue a lot quicker. Type IIA and IIB are capable of roughly the same amount of peak force, but the IIA fibers take longer to reach their peak power in comparison to type IIB.
 
Fast twitch fibers don’t like high volumes or long durations of work. They don’t even like a high frequency of work. If we go back to our ancestral roots, fast twitch IIB fibers were used only in times of stress situations. These would include running away from a predator, fighting, chasing food, or other brief explosive muscle action. They were only active for a few minutes per day at most. Since they weren’t used often the body had no real need to sacrifice them for a more efficient fiber. Sedentary people are the same way and have more fast twitch IIB muscle than athletes as the use of their fibers is limited and there is no need for their bodies to make more efficient adaptations.

Changing size or fiber type composition

Muscle fibers can adapt to changing demands by changing size or fiber type composition. This plasticity serves as the physiologic basis for numerous physical therapy interventions designed to increase a patient’s force development or endurance. There is evidence that muscle fibers not only change in size in response to demands, but they can also convert from one type to another. This plasticity in contractile and metabolic properties in response to training and rehabilitation allows for adaptation to different functional demands.
 
Fiber conversions between type IIB and type IIA are the most common, but type I to type II conversions are possible in cases of severe deconditioning or spinal cord injury.
 
Less evidence exists for the conversion of type II to type I fibers with training or rehabilitation, because only studies that use denervated muscle that is chronically activated with electrical stimulation have consistently demonstrated that such a conversion is possible.
 
Changes in the muscle fiber types are also responsible for some of the loss of function associated with deconditioning.
Some of the loss of muscle performance (decreased force production) due to aging does not appear to be only due to the conversion of muscle fibers from one type to another, but largely due to a selective atrophy of certain populations of muscle fiber types. With aging, there is a progressive loss of muscle mass and maximal oxygen uptake, leading to a reduction in muscle performance and presumably some of the loss of function (decreased ability to perform activities of daily living) seen in elderly people. Age-related loss of muscle mass results primarily from a decrease in the total number of both type I and type II fibers and, secondarily, from a preferential atrophy of type II fibers. Atrophy of type II fibers leads to a larger proportion of slow type muscle mass in aged muscle, as evidenced by slower contraction and relaxation times in older muscle.
 
Fortunately, physical therapy interventions can affect muscle fiber types leading to improvements in muscle performance. Physical therapy interventions can be broadly divided into those designed to increase the patient’s resistance to fatigue and those designed to increase the patient’s force production.
 
Evidence is lacking to demonstrate that type II fibers convert to type I with endurance training, although there does appear to be an increase in the mixed type I and IIA fiber populations. Researchers have found that type I fibers become faster with endurance exercise and slower with deconditioning.
 
High-intensity resistance training (high-load–low-repetition training) results in changes in fiber type similar to those seen with endurance training, although muscle hypertrophy also plays an essential role in producing strength gains. Initial increases in force production with high-intensity resistance training programs are largely mediated by neural factors, rather than visible hypertrophy of muscle fibers, in adults with no pathology or impairments. Even so, changes in muscle proteins, do begin after a few workouts, but visible hypertrophy of muscle fibers is not evident until training is conducted over a longer period of time (>8 weeks).
 
Although the trends in fiber type conversions are similar for endurance training and resistance training, differences in physiological changes that occur with each type of exercise are also important. Endurance training increases the oxidative capacity of muscle, whereas training to increase force production of sufficient intensity and duration promotes hypertrophy of muscle fibers by increasing the volume of contractile proteins in the fibers.
Posted on 2 Comments

The Priority Training Principle

The Priority Training Principle

Priority training is a Weider´s training principle, used when a muscle (or muscle group) is not developing at the same rate as the rest of the body. The difference between a good physique and a great physique is proportion, balance and symmetry.

The ideal physique is symmetrical, the upper and lower body are in proportion, and there are no muscles which stand out to the eye as over or under-developed in relation to the others. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t always develop evenly.  After a few months of starting a regular training program, most people have already noticed that some muscles grow faster than others. 

Two main factors cause this unbalanced muscle development:
  1. Genetics: meaning that even if you’re diligent about training every muscle equally with the same amount of intensity and consistency, you’ll probably see some muscles fall behind others. That’s simply your body following its natural genetic pattern.
  2. There’s also a natural (unconscious) behavior. Most people give certain muscles special treatment, while other muscles are neglected. The body parts you don’t focus on, your least favorite body parts, or the exercises you find most difficult or unpleasant often get left to last and trained as an afterthought, or blown off completely. If you recognize errors like these and correct them, you can develop outstanding proportion, balance and symmetry.
Balanced body
The good news is, even the most stubborn muscles can be improved by working hard and using the right training strategies. It’s all about making weaker muscle groups your top priorityAmateurs focus too much on their strengths. Priority training is a principle used to improve muscles that lag behind the others. 
 
Here is where priority training begins: with honest assessment. Your first assessment is right in the mirror and you can do that immediately. Next come photos, videos and the opinions of fellow athletes, trusted friends and expert coaches.
Once you’ve identified body parts to prioritize, you’re ready to start making changes to your workout schedule and using priority training techniques. In some cases, this means training completely the opposite of the way you’re used to. That will take an open mind and willingness to change your training habits.
 
Priority training is not a single tactic, but a group of them, designed with one purpose: to put more attention, energy and effort into training the lagging body parts until they come into balance with the rest of your physique. 
 
Here, you’ll find the best priority training techniques that I’ve used and which I’ve taught to my clients over the years. These are classic techniques, dating back to the Weider era, so they’ve been tested and proven for years. Some people start by choosing the one strategy that seems most logical or appropriate based on their situation. But keep in mind, to get better results, you can attack your weak areas using multiple strategies.

1. Change the order of your exercises (train your weak body parts first)

Whatever you train first in your workout usually gets trained the hardest simply because you have more energy and strength at the start of the workout. Whatever you do last in the workout is usually trained with the least effort.
 
Change the order of the exercises in your workout so that the body part that needs the most work is done first, when you are mentally and physically the freshest. Never train your weak body parts last.

2. Change exercises to emphasize specific parts of a muscle.

A muscle has different sides, angles or facets. Some muscles are more complex than others, with fibers that fan out in multiple angles or which have separate heads with different tendon attachment points.
 
For example, the deltoids are well known for being multi-angular with distinct movement patterns for the front, side and rear portion of the muscle.
 
How much you can isolate individual heads of each muscle is controversial, but we know it’s possible to place some added emphasis on different portions of a muscle by choosing the exercises that best activate those portions. 
If you carefully choose the exercises to work the part of the muscle that needs the most work, that one simple change, combined with persistence, can bring everything into balance and create an impressive muscle from any angle.

3. Use a body part split routine with dedicated days for your high priority muscles

Full body workouts are popular, effective and ideal for beginners, for anyone with strength goals or limited days per week to train. There’s nothing wrong with full body training in those cases.
 
However, body part split training is ideal in the case of priority training to bring up a weak muscle, it’s one of the best strategies. You simply choose or create a custom split routine that gives you an entire day dedicated to your prioritized muscle group.

4. Increase your training intensity for your prioritized body parts

This simply means putting more physical and mental effort into every set and every rep. The whole idea of priority training is that you don’t push harder for every exercise or body part; you conserve your energy and put the extra effort only into your prioritized body parts.

5. Increase the volume (more exercises, more sets)

Usually, when you think of progressive overload, you think of increasing how much weight you lift. But another way to increase overload is simply do more sets (increase the volume). That could be more sets of the same exercise, or additional exercises.
 
For priority training, simply do more sets for the lagging body part. More is not always better, but as long as you have the time to do more sets and to recover from the added volume, this is a simple and effective way to increase growth.

6. Train overdeveloped body parts with less volume, intensity or frequency

Although most of these strategies revolve around working harder on the body parts you want to improve, it is entirely possible that to balance your physique to the proportions and symmetry you want, you may also need to back off training your most well-developed muscle groups.
 
It’s ok to train some muscle groups harder, and at the same time train others lighter, if they are already highly developed.

7. Mentally train yourself to focus on improving your priority body part

Mental training is a vital part of achieving your muscle-building or fat loss goals. In the case of priority training, it’s important because many people develop negative belief systems about their “weak” body parts (often blaming them too much on genetics).
 
The mental training starts with believing it’s possible to grow and change your body. You must visualize it and mentally see yourself training hard and growing into exactly what you want to look like. 
 
Change everything to the positive. What you used to call a weak or lagging body part, you can start calling it a priority body part. Stop thinking about it as weak.