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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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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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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.

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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)

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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.