Posted on 16 Comments

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.

Posted on 2 Comments

How can Sports Therapy help you with your fitness goals?

Today I´m delighted to introduce you Anna Pluck, Sports Therapist and owner of Relax Therapies who is going to explain us how sports therapy can help you with your fitness goals.

Are you training regularly with a Personal Trainer?  Or are you just starting an exercise plan?  No matter what your level of fitness an injury could stop you exercising and be very painful.  It could even force you to take time off work! 

Sports Therapy might be just what you need to stay injury free or to rehabilitate an existing injury.

What is Sports Therapy?

Sports therapy takes a holistic approach to treat and prevent musculoskeletal injuries.  It differs from Sports massage because although Sports Therapists use Sports Massage as a technique Sports Therapists are more qualified and trained in treatment of injuries and use other treatments in addition to massage.

In a consultation the Sports therapist will gather lots of information to find out what’s going on in your body.  They might:

  • ask you about your pain
  • look at your posture and gait
  • ask what your current exercise regime is and what your goals are
  • feel for areas of tightness or tension in your muscles
  • measure your joint’s range of movement (ROM) using a special piece of equipment called a goniometer

Using this information they can work out which muscles are damaged or imbalanced and use a range of techniques to help you get better.

One of the main techniques is Sports Massage.  Sports massage uses specialised targeted massage strokes which:

  • Stretch tight muscles and connective tissue
  • Break down scar tissue
  • Increase blood supply to the tissues
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve Range of movement
  • Help speed up healing

Sports therapists can also advise on home treatment for your injury such as using heat or ice packs and some stretching or strengthening exercises to do.  They might also suggest you work with a good personal trainer to ensure you are doing the right workout to reach your goals.

When should you see a sports therapist?

Although most people think of going for treatment only when they are in pain there are many ways sports therapy and massage can benefit you even if you don’t have pain or injuries.  For example:

  • You could go for a tune up before training for an event or increasing your mileage or intensity. This might pick up an issue, for example, tight hamstrings.  If you address this you might be able to prevent a serious injury further down the line. 
  • Regular sessions while training. There are no set rules for this but if you are exercising very hard for a period of time, e.g. training for a marathon you might find it helpful to have frequent sports massages to keep supple
  • After a major event or race. We all know the aching and soreness and day or two after a really heavy gym session or an event.  This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness  (DOMS).  A sports massage can help speed up healing and reduce the pain.
  • You have a job or hobby that stresses your body. Many people are at risk of Repetitive Strain injury (RSI) or other injuries from their work.  Having a sports massage can relieve pain and help improve posture to reduce the risk of injury. 
  • Some people choose to have a sports massage every month as it helps them feel good and recover faster
Anna Pluck

Anna Pluck

Anna is a Sports Therapist, Massage Therapist and founder of Relax Therapies in Wirral, England. She provides Sports Therapy and massage from her clinic in Birkenhead. She works with a wide range of people from marathon runners to desk workers with back or neck pain.

You can find out more on her website www.relaxtherapieswirral.com