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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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Starting Your Weightlifting Efforts Off Correctly

Starting Your Weightlifting Efforts Off Correctly, workout, training, fitness

People all around the world, no matter their race, gender, or reasonable age, are finding the distinct benefits present from a weightlifting lifestyle. Weightlifting, particularly lifting in a compound fashion with the use of free-weight barbells, is perhaps one of the most restorative training plans one can embark on. In fact, there’s a solid difference between training and exercise. While exercise is something committed to in order to stay in shape, training through a functional sport such as this aims at a result, either growth, functional strength, or a combination between the two.

Much has been written about weightlifting, and many people have their own foundational knowledge of it. But unfortunately, sometimes the myths surrounding weightlifting can lead people in the wrong direction, and prevent them from starting their weightlifting efforts off correctly. Thankfully, if you are reading this, you have made the correct search in order to ensure you do things right. That means you have an innate drive to perform well, and that will see you through in the best manner possible.

In order to respect that ambition, we would like to volunteer the following advice, and hope it truly helps you in your weightlifting journey:

Your Tools

While many will often try to sell you on the longform purchases you need to make in order to get started weightlifting, you actually need very little from an equipment perspective. First, you need access to information. The Starting Strength manual is quite cheap for a digestible piece of exercise literature, and the Stronglifts 5×5 program and exploration can be found for free online. Reading this from cover to cover and once more for good measure should help you understand the vital necessity of weightlifting, and the fundamental methods of building strength in the best manner.

From there, all you need is a clean, comfortable set of t-shirts, shorts or stretching tracksuit bottoms. The main purchase you will be best off making is that of weightlifting shoes, which have solid and sturdy soles to help you create a stable formed base when completing a compound movement such as a deadlift. This helps your ergonomic lifting efforts, thus contributing to your overall safety and the form you can achieve. A simple bag of chalk can and should also be used to help you grip a barbell appropriately. Ask your gym if you can use this on the barbells, provided you clean up afterwards. If they say yes, fantastic. If not, it’s best to change gyms.

Excellent Diet & Supplements

You will need to pay attention to your diet heavily when on any weightlifting program. They often say that strength is 20% built in the gym, and 80% built in the kitchen. The two measures of weightlifting, ‘bulking’ and ‘cutting,’ denote two forms of dietary intake. When in the ‘bulking stage,’ high protein is considered essential, as is eating at least 500 calories over your daily caloric maintenance. This will help you grow well, and for your muscles to form correctly. There is no such thing as ‘toning’ or ‘converting fat into muscle,’ so you will put on fat during this process. This is where the ‘cutting stage’ comes in, where you try to cut the fat from your body through high protein and another 500 caloric deficit. If achieved while lifting, your muscle mass should stay maintained. This can help you gain and lose weight in the most healthy, sustainable, and measured manner.

But it’s also essential to consider what supplements you’ll be using. For example, 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is often a good metric, and sometimes you may wish to increase that to 1.5grams per pound. It can be hard to get that through your diet, and so purchasing super supplements such as whey protein, or Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s, the building blocks of muscle development,) can help you gain the most positive results, and to build both strength and muscle sustainably and in the healthiest, most cost-effective manner possible. If you wish to indulge in the helpers, you might also utilize a pre-workout to keep you active and interested each day, particularly if you work out hard early in the morning.

Sleep

Sleep is essential. It’s often important to get eight hours as a minimum if conducting a heavy training pattern such as this, but this is hardly the end of the story. Sometimes, weightlifters need more, in order to ensure their muscles are well-taken care of and the overall scope of their ability is heightened. Sometimes opting for nine hours can help, but be sure to listen to what your body needs, experiment, and see which has the best impact on performance as you continue.

With these tips, you’ll start your weightlifting program off correctly.

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Top fitness tips to succeed this year.

Top fitness tips to succeed this year

It’s the second week of the new year and I think it’s time to offer some of the best fitness tips to succeed this year. According to statistics some have already abandoned. Do not throw in the towel so soon because this is a long distance race.

Set your goals

Many people skip this part and unfortunately, it is key. First of all, reflect on what you want to accomplish and why you want to do it. Paint a clear picture of your objectives and of what drives you. Write out three or four sentences with what your goals are for the year. Keep the language simple and avoid words like “hope,” “maybe,” and “try.” Instead, use words like “will” and “must.”
Read out loud these two sentences and feel the difference:
A: “I hope to lose 30 pounds and maybe workout 4 times per week.”
B: “I will lose 30 pounds and I must train 4 times per week.”
The second statement is much more assertive and is a more powerful message. 
Your goals should be realistic but it doesn´t mean you shouldn´t be ambitious. W. Clement Stone wisely said:
Top fitness tips to succeed this year

And Bruce Lee reminds us:

Best fitness tips
Consider shifting your mindset from goal orientation to path orientation. You are on a journey to get fit. You set your goals but you still have to walk the path. Enjoy your journey and refer to your objectives often to remind why you started in the first place.

Log your workouts

There are a number of reasons why logging your workouts could be beneficial.
Progression. This is the number one reason to keep a training log. Two huge and common mistakes I see in the gym are those who increase their training volume in huge jumps, likely resulting in injury or burnout, and those who stay stagnant at the exact same weights/sets/repetitions for months and months, and wonder why they aren’t seeing any progress. The principle of progression, one of the seven main principles of exercise, states that overload of exercise should occur in gradual progression rather than in major bursts. Keeping track of your workouts will allow you to analyze your progression, as well as ensure that consistent, yet gradual gains are being made.

Motivation. Similar to keeping a food journal, logging your workouts will help motivate you to continue with your training plan. Knowing that must put in a workout before you can record reps or instead leave the page blank, can be enough incentive. Further, physically seeing the weight add up on paper is motivation to continue making progress with your training.

Keep you accountable. Training logs distinguish wishful thinking from reality. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you had a great (or horrible) workout, but by writing down what you did, how you feltgoals achieved, etc. this will tell the real story. Training logs keep you accountable for what you’re doing on a daily basis.

Build confidence. Athletes often take a critical view of themselves, always looking for areas that need improvement. Keeping a log of daily success forces you to recognize your progress and success, and this leads to and builds confidence.

Trial and error. After a particularly successful training cycle in the gym where you made gains, or perhaps a training cycle you struggled through. Having access to particular statistics and notes on your training will aid in building future training plans. Keeping a detailed training log enables you to better find the factors in a good or poor performance. For exampleyou may find your performance flattens when you get less than six hours of sleep, or that after a stressful day at work you struggle with your motivation. You can scrutinize what you have done to look for trends or patterns, so you can make any needed changes.

Training diary

The training log is your own personal history of your training and performances. It can, and should, be used to see what works and what doesn’t for you in training to meet specific performance goals. Most athletes and individuals use training logs to keep track of the basics such as the number of repetitions and weight lifted. Limiting your training log to this basic information is only scratching the surface of the potential of what a training log can really provide.
While each athlete should structure a training log to meet their needs, a good training log might include:

  • The facts of the workout such as the number of reps, weight, miles laps, weather, the time of the workout, etc.
  • Goals for the workout and the extent to which each goal was achieved.
  • How you felt, physically.
  • How you felt, mentally.
  • Hours of sleep the night before.
  • The diet the day before, especially the last meal before the workout.
  • What you need to work on in the future based on today’s results.
  • success from the training session, i.e. what you did well or accomplished.
  • These lessons learned or reminders that can be applied to competition.

There is no single training log template that will meet the needs of all athletes. There are e-versions, pre-populated version, the good old notebook. The point, no matter what type of journal/log you useyou need to take the time to develop a training log in a format that you’ll use and will work for you. Your journal should be unique to you. Your thoughts, your workouts, your ideas are going into there. It should fit YOU.

Practice patience and celebrate small successes

Take your workouts week by week or even day by day. Look at Day 1 and focus only on what you have to do that day. Tomorrow you should only be focusing on Day 2. Keep your mind from wandering and letting the overwhelming future lead you astray. So focus on today.
Many people give up on their resolutions within the first seven days because they don’t see the results they want and grow discouraged. 
I think it’s because they don´t notice the small signs of success, the small wins. If you’ve never trained before and followed through for two weeks, that should be recognized. Also, huge results take time. It’s about keeping track of small wins. You may not lose those 10 pounds quickly, but if you lost 2 pounds, then you’re 20 percent closer than you were before, and you are on the right path. That’s great! 
Appreciate the small improvements you’re making, because without them, the big improvements won’t happen. As long as you look forward, figure out how to overcome the obstacles and commit to being the best you can possibly be. Each day you finish, you get one step closer. 
Fitness tips

Get yourself help

What Kris Gethin, The Rock and J-Lo have in common? They all have trainers (actually, Gethin has three.) 
Recently, the Rock posted a photo of himself in “movie-shoot-ready” shape, explaining that it took 18 weeks of extremely disciplined diet and exercise (he travels a lot so will often be found working out at 2:30 AM somewhere).
Also notice in his caption: He has an entire TEAM of people devoted to supporting him.
It’s the Rock’s FULL TIME JOB to be in shape. People pay him money (a lot of money) to be jacked, and then an army of other professionals is along for the ride to make sure he does it.
Regular people often think that:
 
  • this is a realistic outcome for an average person.
  • that they could a pro fit level eating and exercising into a normal life.
  • that they need to do everything themselves, and
  • that there’s something wrong with them if they can’t do everything themselves.
It doesn´t work that way. This is not a normal life or outcome.
No knock on the Rock, but do you think he (or anyone else) would stay on such a strict diet and training schedule if he wasn´t getting paid to be jacked? If he didn’t have a team helping him?
He has kids and a wife. What if he was just a regular dude with a commute and and high-stress job with long hours, and had to mow his own lawn?
 
Don’t know where to start? Just want someone to tell you what to do? There will be plenty of moments with self-doubt, and having the right people in your corner can mean the difference between success and another year of looking back, wishing that you’d achieved your goals. You don´t have to do this alone. Having a trainer will help you stay motivated, hold you accountable, and give your best day in and day out.

Follow these simple tips and make this year your best EVER!

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5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

5 Things You Should Be Doing Before and After an Intense Workout

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. 

1. Sleep 

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. 

3. Stretching 

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. 

4. Tracking 

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. 

5. Supplementation 

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.

Brittany Waddell

Brittany Waddell

Brittany Waddell is a contributing writer and media specialist for RightFit Personal Training. She often produces content for a variety of fitness blogs.

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Introducing Evernote templates

Introducing Evernote templates, Evernote, Evernote for fitness, fitness, personal training, chape

What´s the scariest part of getting started? Getting STARTED. That´s why we´re introducing Evernote templates. A new and easier way to get you started.

Now, when you create a note, try starting with one of 30+ templates available. From class notes to blog post worksheets or meeting agendas, Evernote templates will help you work better, and get things done faster.

Video courtesy of Evernote

Next month, as Evernote Community Leader, which mainly uses Evernote for fitness, I will update old posts to include new training templates so that it is easier for you all to log your workouts and activities from the first moment.

these are the categories available at the moment:

Better notes are just a click away. Save time and effort with easy-to-install note templates to fit every need. They’re fully customizable and endlessly reusable. Don´t miss this opportunity to become more productive, enjoy more free time and achieve your personal and professional goals. Create your Evernote account HERE.

 
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The definitive tool for online training

The definitive tool for online training, Evernote, Evernote for fitness, workout, diet, online training

The definitive tool for online training

Technology is the tool that has made possible changes, in different areas, throughout history. Today, the personal training industry is experiencing a new change thanks to Internet, the most important technological advance in decades.

Since 2014, when many of my face-to-face clients were forced to emigrate from Spain to other countries, I asked myself if I would be able to train them online while maintaining the quality and efficiency of the service.

the definitive online training tool, Evernote, Evernote for fitness, training, workout, course

After trying several (many) applications, I found Evernote. Evernote is used by more than 225 million users worldwide. Evernote is an app designed to help anyone achieve their goals, whatever they may be, increases their productivity and allows to collaborate with other members in real time.

As a personal trainer, I understand that each client has a specific “project”, improve their physical appearance or their health, for example. My idea was to offer my clients training plans and online diets without losing quality in the service or personalized attention.

Considering the good results that my clients obtained with this new online “method”, I decided to create my online business and offer my services all over the world. Without a doubt, it was a wise decision that has given me many joys, professionally and personally.

the definitive tool for online training, Evernote, Evernote for fitness, training, workout, diet, goals, health

Is it possible to go from 10 face-to-face clients to 100 online clients?

It’s possible. Technology has made it possible. The Internet has affected all industries. Netflix or Spotify are good examples of how certain sectors have adapted to the new people´s needs and demands. Personal training must also find new ways in this new digital reality.

Will face-to-face personal training disappear? Surely not. Cinemas or vinyl records have not disappeared either. However, now the client may decide to go to the movies or watch a movie at home, at a time that suits him or her.

There are many areas where, unfortunately, there is no personal trainer nearby, or their prices are prohibitive. There will be clients who never do an online training session, because they neither like nor attract them. But millions of them will demand that service: online training with the quality of a face-to-face session. Or combine both types of training, alternating face-to-face classes and specific online programs to achieve a specific goal. According to a recent study conducted by Mindbody, 96% of clients believe that they are not training with the right coach to achieve their goals.

the definitive tool for online training, Evernote, Evernote for fitness, course, fitness, trainer

Here at chape.fitness, thanks to Evernote we put the client in the center of personal training, making the communication client-coach constant and effective and enabling the personal trainer to attend online with the same quality as if he did it in face-to-face sessions.

I have been serving clients online for years, is the public willing to move to the next level in online training? I’m sure. Are coaches willing to accept this new reality? It looks like it is. Right now I´m launching a course on how to use Evernote as the definitive tool for online training and the answer could not be more promising. Maybe, in a few years, customers from all over the world will be able to find the right coach for them thanks to this new digital reality.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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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Blog Anniversary

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It´s my Blog´s Anniversary!

Hurrah!!! Hahaha! Let’s make it memorable, or at least special.

I would like this to serve as an encouragement to all the new bloggers out there and to send them a clear message: dreams come true with hard work and determination. Things don’t happen overnight, they take time, sweat, tears, and a little bit of luck.

As WordPress consider an anniversary as an achievement, which it true itself, I’ve accomplished a few things over these four past years. Let´s recap, just to encourage you to follow your dreams and beyond because I never expected to reach any of the milestones when I started this blog.

 

List of impossible dreams come true:

2014: Stanza/Nike partner. After a long interview with the founders, they invited me to join their calendar and collaborate in the Nike Training app. This was mind-blowing, but only the beginning of a long and amazing journey.

2015: Fitfluential.com accepted me as Ambassador. Becoming part of a community of coaches and fitness influencers with so many followers, was not easy. It was a rush!

2016: I joined the Jordan Breakfast Club. I´m a die-hard basketball fan, and I grew up watching MJ and the Chicago Bulls. An exhaustive interview with the Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing was an unforgettable experience for me. That they also consult my opinion before launching each new online challenge, is something that fills me with pride and satisfaction.

2017: Evernote Community Leader. This is what I was looking for! Because I use Evernote to help people over the world reach their fitness goals, this was the kind of recognition I needed to take my game to the next level.

2018: Top 100 Fitness Blogs on the planet. Last time I checked it on Google, there were 113 million fitness blogs. #73 is not bad, isn´t it? This caused a small local/national revolution and I got interviewed on TV, radio, and newspapers.

For what I had come:

Since I stumbled upon Evernote, I realized that it was a wonderful tool for personal trainers. And I put all my effort into developing the perfect environment for online training. I must respect the privacy and wishes of my clients, but some have been so kind to let me share with you all their experiences and achievements.

Nothing compares to the feeling when a client achieves his/her goals. It’s happiness, pride, satisfaction… all stirred up like a cocktail! 

What comes now:

You may have noticed that this summer I have written less than usual. I have been working on new articles that I hope you like, thinking about new services to offer and, above all, writing a course on how to use Evernote for fitness, which will be aimed at fitness professionals, studios, and gyms. I can tell you that the guys at Evernote are very excited about this and the course will see the light next month. This course will be a game-changer!

THANKS!

To my family for their unconditional love and support all these years.

To you, for your friendship and support, also unconditional during all this time.

To my wonderful clients, for following my advice, reaching their goals and recommending me to their friends.

None of this would have been possible without all of you!

These guys could help you in so many ways:

Evernote

Best Note Taking App. Focus on what matters most

Plazah

Fitness Marketplace. Quality Products from Top Brands

Viraltag

Schedule posts, pins at optimal times and keep your audience engaged.
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Training pace calculator

This training pace calculator will automatically show how fast you should run the different components of a training week to ensure you’re training to your full potential.

How to use the training pace calculator?

It’s very simple, just tap in a recent race time, choose metric or imperial, and press ‘calculate’.

Recent race distance (you can use a decimal point, eg. 21.1):
My time (hrs:mins:secs): : :
Show my training paces in:
 
Your easy run training pace:
Your tempo run training pace:
Your VO2-max training pace:
Your speed form training pace:
Your long run training pace:
Your Yasso 800s training pace:

Easy runs

Easy runs build your aerobic fitness, and your muscular and skeletal strength. They also help you burn more calories and recover for harder workouts. 

Top coaches and exercise physiologists believe that most runners should do 80 to 90% of their weekly training at the easy run pace.

Tempo runs

Tempo runs help you improve your running economy and your running form. They are sometimes described as ‘threshold‘ or ‘hard but controlled‘ runs.

Tempo sessions generally fall into one of two categories: steady runs of 2 to 6 miles; or long intervals with short recoveries.

You should do tempo runs once a week, and these runs should make up no more than 10 to 15% of your total training.

VO2-max runs

VO2-max training helps you improve your running economy and your racing sharpness. These sessions are most useful when you are preparing for a race of 5K to half-marathon.

Example of a good VO2-max workout: 6 x 800 metres at VO2-max pace with 4 to 6 minutes of recovery jogging between efforts.

You should do VO2-max workouts once a week, and these workouts should make up no more than 6 to 10% of your total training.

When you run these workouts, you are running at or near 100% of your maximum oxygen capacity, which scientists call VO2-max.

Speed-form runs

Speed-form workouts help you improve your running economy, form and leg speed. These are interval sessions that will help you prepare for races of 800 metres to 5K.

Here’s an example: 8 x 400 metres at speed-form pace with 3 to 4 minutes of recovery jogging between efforts.

You should do speed-form sessions once a week, and these sessions should make up no more than 4 to 8% of your total training.

Yasso 800s

Yasso 800s are an invention of Runner’s World US writer Bart Yasso, who has run more than 50 marathons and ultramarathons.

If you want to run a marathon in 2:44, 3:28 or 4:11, you should train to the point where you can run 10 repetitions of 800 metres in the same time: 2:44, 3:28 or 4:11. The only difference is that your marathon time is hours:minutes and your 800 time is minutes:seconds.

Bart suggests doing Yasso 800s once a week as part of your marathon training. Start with 4 x 800 and build up to 10 x 800. Between the 800s, take a recovery jog that lasts as long as your 800s. 

Long runs

Long runs form the foundation of all marathon training programs – they build everything from your confidence to your discipline to your fat-burning. So, even when you’re not training for a specific marathon, it’s a good idea to do at least one semi-long run a week.

Because long runs are done at a relaxed pace, there’s great latitude in how fast you actually run. Let your long runs be your slow runs, and save your legs for other days of the week when you might do tempo runs or maximum-oxygen runs.

But there are a thousand theories about how to do long runs, none of which have yet been proven superior to the others. The important thing is building up the distance and training your body to keep going for 3, 4, 5 or however many hours it’s going to take you.

To get a general idea of what you should be running each week, follow these basic rules: 

How often should I do ‘hard days’? 

I recommend that most beginner and intermediate runners do just two hard days a week. More advanced runners can do three hard days if they’re careful.

Each of the following is a hard-day workout: tempo runs, VO2-max sessions, speed-form workouts, Yasso 800s, long runs.

What should I do on ‘easy days’?

A hard session should usually be followed by one or (even better) two easy day sessions. Easy days can include rest days.

How many ‘rest days’ should I have per week? 

I recommend one or two rest days, when you do no training at all (or just take a relaxed 30-minute walk).

Most beginner and intermediate runners should run no more than 4 to 6 days a week.