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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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Make it happen

make it happen, challenge, fitness, chape

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

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

Thinking about taking back control in 2019?

Getting healthy and fit on of your new years resolutions?

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

Sign up NOW for an upcoming new challenge!

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

Starting January 1 until January 27:

11 days of Workouts + 11 days of Coaching Tips

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

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

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 12

CONGRATULATIONS!! Ready to finish with a bang? Also, you should weight and measure your body perimeters to check your progress!!

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, thighs, lats, triceps, and biceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Mountain Climbers – 40 seconds
  2. Lateral Plank (Left) – 40 seconds
  3. Lateral Plank (Right) – 40 seconds
  4. REST – 20 seconds
  5. Wall Squat – 40 seconds
  6. Resistance Band Squat – 40 seconds
  7. REST – 20 seconds
  8. Resistance Band Deadlift – 40 seconds
  9. Bent Over Back Row – 40 seconds
  10. REST – 20 seconds
  11. Triceps Extensions inverted grip – 40 seconds
  12. Resistance Bands Seated Preacher Curls – 40 seconds
  13. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Cat-Cow – 40 seconds
  2. Child pose – 40 seconds
  3. Lying Quad Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  4. Lying Quad Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  5. Hurdler Hamstring stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  6. Hurdler Hamstring stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Triceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  8. Standing Triceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Biceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  10. Standing Biceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Avocado. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youKidney beans. Read my blog about the kidney beans health benefits.

Trainer Tips: #Gym Instructors, Personal Trainers, and Online Training

What exactly do gym instructors do in comparison to personal trainers?

A Gym Instructor is usually employed by the gym and is mainly there to ensure that members are using the equipment properly and safely. The most important responsibility they have is to check that gym members are using the correct technique when performing any exercises. If the wrong technique is used, injuries can occur easily so it is best to have an instructor there to avoid it. Almost exclusively based at a gym, an instructor is there for everyone, often volunteering to spot gym members who are performing slightly more difficult exercises such as lifting heavier weights.

A Personal Trainer is there to help their clients. However, they have a more personal approach, as the name would suggest. Their primary focus is their client reaching their fitness goals. Being a qualified Personal Trainer means that they have the knowledge and tools to work with a client on a specific pathway. This will differ client to client but will usually be based around working out their current level of fitness through fitness testing, developing long term and short term goals for the client and then developing a plan to assist the client to achieve these goals.

They also assess the progress and adjust the goals accordingly to help maintain the motivation of the client. If the client wants to lose x amount of weight, the PT will work on developing a workout that will turn that into a reality. A Personal Trainer also has studied nutrition and as a result will be able to amend clients eating habits not only to help them to achieve the goals that the clients have set for them but in order to assist them to become a healthier individual in general.

A Personal Trainer is also there to provide motivation, to ensure the client doesn’t give up. Developing this long-standing relationship is one of the key differences between that of a PT and a gym instructor. While the gym instructor will help you, their services are utilized on a more ad hoc basis.

Personal Training and Online Training: People tend to think there is an obvious difference between face-to-face training and distance training as if they were two separate realities. But the truth is that today, there is no such difference. There is quality personal training, which involves caring for the client and making sure that they achieve their goals. Quality training is related to the service received by the client. It is not about face-to-face or online. It is about paying attention.

The statistics offer a revealing fact: clients perform less than five face-to-face sessions per month on average. This means that clients work with their personal trainer an average one day per week. The reasons? Cancellations due to schedule problems, trips, meetings, unscheduled issues… whatever. The truth is that clients training face-to-face, work with their coach less than five times per month. This can make achieving significant changes very difficult.

The purpose of online training is providing a new service to the client, based on specific objectives. It is about always being in touch, and monitoring all of your client’s progress on the go, no matter where they are. It is necessary to be there for the clients every day throughout the training plan. Technology makes this possible, effective and bi-directional. Client and coach can be in touch despite physical distance, adjusting online sessions to the needs and personal circumstances of the client each day, giving an astonishing added value.

Thanks for joining and completing the challenge! I hope you´ve enjoyed it and, most important, got the results you´re expecting.

Don´t miss a workout:

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 11

Hello! We´re almost there. Just two workouts to go!

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, delts, traps, lats, pecs, triceps, and biceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Bird-Dog and Crunch (Left) – 40 seconds
  2. Bird-Dog and Crunch (Right) – 40 seconds
  3. Resistance Band Accordion Crunches – 40 seconds
  4. REST – 20 seconds
  5. Rear Shoulder High Row – 40 seconds
  6. Resistance Band Shrugs – 40 seconds
  7. REST – 20 seconds
  8. Resistance Band Push Up – 40 seconds
  9. Lying Lat Pull – 40 seconds
  10. REST – 20 seconds
  11. Standing Overhead Triceps Extension – 40 seconds
  12. Hammer Curl – 40 seconds
  13. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Cat-Cow – 40 seconds
  2. Child pose – 40 seconds
  3. Standing Wall Chest Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  4. Standing Wall Chest Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  5. Standing Shoulder Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  6. Standing Shoulder Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Triceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  8. Standing Triceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Biceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  10. Standing Biceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Cod. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youAvocado. Read my blog about the avocado health benefits.

Trainer Tips: #Weight-Loss Maintenance

When your goal is to lose weight, being tunnel-vision focused on dropping those pounds isn’t totally a bad thing. The more you focus, the more likely you are to stick to your plan, even when you hit roadblocks. And that will help you reach your goal faster. But while thinking short-term can help you lose weight, it can also make it hard to keep the weight off, which is the bigger challenge.

Here’s why keeping weight off is harder than losing weight:

  1. YOUR METABOLISM SLOWS: Our metabolism becomes more efficient when we lose weight. As your metabolism becomes more efficient, you burn fewer calories, leading to regain weight.
  2. YOUR HORMONES CHANGE: Studies found that after losing weight, levels of leptin, which decreases appetite, decrease, while levels of ghrelin, which increases appetite, increase. Because of this change, you are more likely to be hungry and less likely to feel full on foods that used to make you feel full.
  3. EATING IS MORE REWARDING: On top of being more appetizing, food gives you a bigger high when you do eat. When you have food, your brain releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter that’s produced when your brain expects a reward. So that makes food more pleasurable, makes you want it more, makes it harder to resist it and makes you crave it more.

Yes, most of these changes are beyond your control, but that doesn’t mean you are doomed to yo-yo diet. The key to keeping weight off is to think long-term from the beginning. Strive for consistency. Researchers found that following an unwavering schedule of exercising and eating healthy can help you manage your weight long term. It’s about making it a lifestyle that stands the test of time.

See you on Friday!

Don´t miss a workout:

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 10

Hello, do you realize you´re facing the last week? I knew you could do it!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, 
As children do. 
We were born to make manifest 
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; 
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, 
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we’re liberated from our own fear, 
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, thighs, delts, lats, pecs, triceps, and biceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Plank – 40 seconds
  2. Plank Twist – 40 seconds
  3. Glute Bridge – 40 seconds
  4. REST – 20 seconds
  5. Resistance Band Squat and press – 40 seconds
  6. Resistance Band Lateral Raise – 40 seconds
  7. REST – 20 seconds
  8. Bent Over Back Row – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Chest Press – 40 seconds
  10. REST – 20 seconds
  11. Triceps Pulldown – 40 seconds
  12. Resistance Band Standing Biceps Curl – 40 seconds
  13. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Child pose – 40 seconds
  2. Lying Quad Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  3. Lying Quad Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  4. Figure 4 (left) – 40 seconds
  5. Figure 4 (right) – 40 seconds
  6. Standing Chest Stretch – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Triceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  8. Standing Triceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Biceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  10. Standing Biceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Eggs. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youCod. Read my blog about the cod health benefits.

Trainer Tips: #Fats

Are you afraid of fat? Don’t be. In addition to making food taste good, fat plays an important role in a healthy, balanced diet. Fat is crucial for life — so much so that our bodies figured out a way to make fat even if we eat almost no fat at all. Excess carbs and protein can both be converted into fat and stored as energy. Fat also helps our bodies function correctly in several ways.

At 9 calories per gram, fat is the most calorie-dense of the macronutrients (carbs and protein each have 4 grams). This makes sense since one of the biggest roles of fat is energy storage. For day-to-day activities — from sitting in front of your computer to walking the dog — fat is the main fuel our bodies burn for energy. Generally, during an activity where your heart rate is less than 70% of its maximal rate, fat serves as your body’s primary source of fuel.

Fat is found in a wide variety of foods — either naturally occurring or added fat during processing and cooking. Naturally occurring fats tend to be found in dairy, meat and fish, nuts and seeds, oil and fatty fruits (Think: olive oil and avocado). Added fats tend to be found in processed and packaged goods. Not all fats are created equal when it comes to health.

Saturated fat mostly comes from animal sources like meat, particularly red meat, and dairy. Certain plants and their oil are high in saturated fat, such as coconut and palm. Virtually all major health organizations advise us to eat less saturated fat since it raises LDL cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.

Trans fat is synthetically made by taking liquid unsaturated fat and blasting it with hydrogen so it resembles solid saturated fat. This makes foods more shelf stable, easier to cook with and allows manufacturers to replace saturated fat in their products. However, evidence has revealed trans fats are one of the worst things for your heart. Not only do trans fat increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, but they also decrease HDL (good) cholesterol.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat is what we think of when we say “healthy” fats because they don’t carry the same risk for heart disease as saturated and trans fat. Generally, found in high-fat, plant-based foods such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olives and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel.

Omega-3 and Omega-6: While they’re technically polyunsaturated fats, the omegas deserve a separate call-out since our bodies cannot produce them and we must get these from the foods we eat. Both omega-6 and omega-3 fats play important roles in regulating our immune systems. Omega-3 fat plays an essential role in developing our vision and nervous systems.

Till Wednesday! Have fun!

Did you just find this challenge? Start from the beginning:

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 9

Hi! Last workout this week.

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, thighs, pecs, delts, and triceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Alternating Shoulder Tap Plank – 40 seconds
  2. Mountain Climbers – 40 seconds
  3. REST – 20 seconds
  4. Resistance Band Squat – 40 seconds
  5. Bodyweight Backward Lunges – 40 seconds
  6. REST – 20 seconds
  7. Hand Release Push Ups – 40 seconds
  8. Resistance Band Shoulder Press – 40 seconds
  9. REST – 20 seconds
  10. Standing 1 arm Triceps Extension (Left) – 40 seconds
  11. Standing 1 arm Triceps Extension (Right) – 40 seconds
  12. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Lying Quad Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  2. Lying Quad Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  3. Hurdler Hamstring stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  4. Hurdler Hamstring stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  5. Standing Chest Stretch – 40 seconds
  6. Standing Triceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Triceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Quinoa. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youEggs. Read my blog about the Eggs health benefits.

Trainer Tip: #4 Drinks That Can Help You Lose Weight

Is what you drink affecting your ability to lose weight? The short answer is yes. Liquid calories play a huge part in our health, and the amount you consume is directly related to your ability to control the number on that scale. Beverages go down quicker and easier than food. But that’s also the definition of “mindless” consumption: not paying attention while we’re doing other things.

Sodas, as most of you know, are liquid sugar. But that’s also true of many other beverages, including energy drinks, iced lattes, bottled green teas, smoothies, sports drinks, alcoholic beverages, sweetened teas and, yes, even those fresh-pressed organic juices from your local juice bar. Most of these contain a lot of sugar and very little fiber to help keep you full. A few hundred calories per day can add up quickly, as many people fail to factor liquid calories into their daily intake.

Most sodas, bottled teas, energy drinks and sports drinks have sugar and calories listed on the container. Always read labels, and choose beverages with little- to no-added sugar and calories.

Alcohol is where things can get tricky, as calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates aren’t required to be listed on labels. With 7 calories per gram of alcohol, it’s the second most concentrated source of calories, more than both carbohydrates and fat. It’s also absorbed directly into the bloodstream, meaning your body doesn’t burn extra calories in order to process and break it down. Many of today’s trending craft beers have as much as 200–250 calories per pint, and that’s just for one. Wine has around 120 calories per 5-ounce pour if you can limit it to just a glass. Cocktails mixed with sodas, simple syrups, and tonic waters add up quickly, too. Limiting alcoholic beverages is one of the first steps you can take for successful weight loss.

But wait: The good news is there are a few things (other than water) that you can start sipping that may aid your efforts to shed some pounds. Drinking to promote better hydration, sleep and digestion can also help with weight-loss efforts.

1. Green Tea: Drinking green tea regularly may not only boost your fat-fighting metabolism but may also play a key role in weight maintenance and hunger suppression. Green tea is also brimming with antioxidants and flavonoids that are good for overall health. Drink freshly brewed tea with no added sugar or cream. Bottled store-bought varieties have fewer antioxidants (the concentration decreases the longer tea sits after brewing) and are often pumped full of honey or sugar.

2. Coffee: A 2015 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that participants could do almost 20% more leg presses and 12% more bench presses when they drank 2–3 cups of coffee before their workout. A similar 2011 study found an increase in energy expenditure both before and after exercise in the group that drank coffee before exercise. In addition, coffee positively affects the hormones that help improve blood-sugar regulation. Maintaining stable blood sugar is essential to your well-being, overall fitness, regulating your hormones and plays a role in how much fat your body is able to store and burn. But before you get too excited, I recommend you skip the sugar and heavy cream, the benefits noted above are singular to black coffee, not the mostly sugar and milk-based lattes, frappes, and mochas from Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts, which sell drinks that may contain more than 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar!

3. Kombucha: This fizzy, pleasantly puckery fermented beverage is made by adding a probiotic-rich bacteria to lightly sweetened tea. More and more research is looking into gut health and how it relates to obesity and weight, finding that the millions of bacteria that live in our guts may play a large role by altering the way we store fat, how we balance blood sugar and how we respond to the hormones that make us feel hungry and full. Fueling our gut with beverages and foods that stimulate good bacteria may make losing weight easier than we ever thought possible. Kombucha is readily available in most supermarkets and comes loaded with probiotics, just be sure to look for brands with less than 5 grams sugar per serving.

4. Turmeric Milk Tea: I’ve said it here before: Sleep is essential for more efficient weight loss. Drinking turmeric-steeped warm milk before bed may help you catch more sleep. The brain uses calcium and tryptophan (both of which are found in dairy products) to make sleep-inducing melatonin. Turmeric contains a component called curcumin, which may shrink the size of adipose cells and limit fat accumulation. Curcumin also stimulates antioxidant effects, reduces inflammation and may help relieve anxiety. Research on turmeric is still young, but it certainly can’t hurt to add this warming spice to your nightly routine.

Wish you a great weekend!

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Built to last – Fitness Challenge – Day 8

Hello! Are you ready? Let´s go!

Pre-workout Talk:

  1. Perform each exercise for the prescribed amount of time, doing as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Watch the technique, a poor technique leads to injuries and we do not want that.
  3. Once you have completed one exercise, go to the next one.
  4. Complete this circuit three times.
  5. If you have questions, reach me at the Facebook group.

RECOMMENDATION: Use Evernote to track your workout. Here is the note corresponding to this workout.

Here is a playlist to help you maintain a high training pace.

Today we´re going to work our core, thighs, lats, traps, delts, and biceps. This is the exercise list:

  1. Lateral Plank (Left) – 40 seconds
  2. Lateral Plank (Right) – 40 seconds
  3. Bear Crawl – 40 seconds
  4. REST – 20 seconds
  5. Resistance Band Squat – 40 seconds
  6. Bodyweight Lateral Lunge – 40 seconds
  7. REST – 20 seconds
  8. Lying Lat Pull – 40 seconds
  9. Upright Row – 40 seconds
  10. REST – 20 seconds
  11. Resistance Band Lateral Raise – 40 seconds
  12. Standing Biceps Curl Reverse Grip – 40 seconds
  13. REST – 20 seconds

Once you have finished the third round:

COOL-DOWN/STRETCHING

  1. Cat-Cow – 40 seconds
  2. Child pose – 40 seconds
  3. Lying Quad Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  4. Lying Quad Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  5. Figure 4 (left) – 40 seconds
  6. Figure 4 (right) – 40 seconds
  7. Standing Shoulder Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  8. Standing Shoulder Stretch (right) – 40 seconds
  9. Standing Biceps Stretch (left) – 40 seconds
  10. Standing Biceps Stretch (right) – 40 seconds

Eating to succeed

The suggested food for today was Salmon. What recipe have you prepared today? Take a picture of your plate and share it with us in the Facebook group.

For the next day, I suggest youQuinoa. Read my blog about the quinoa health benefits.

Trainer Tips: #Carbs

Carbohydrates are controversial among people trying to lose weight. Because individual carbohydrate needs aren’t one-size-fits-all. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrates is 130 grams per day. This is the minimum amount required to fuel an adult’s brain, red blood cells and central nervous system optimally. Without enough carbohydrates to maintain your blood sugar in a happy range, the body starts breaking down protein — lean muscle tissue — into glucose to bring blood sugar back to normal. The RDA of 130 grams carbohydrates per day is a minimum for adult bodies to function properly. Most people need more. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, carbohydrates should make up 45–65% of total calories in our diet.

As you´re exercising regularly, I recommend that carbohydrates represent 60% of your diet. It is very easy to calculate, simply multiply by 2 the amount of protein we have calculated on Monday.

A traditional “low-carb” diet has 40% or fewer calories coming from carbohydrates. There’s no denying that many have lost weight and kept it off successfully with this lifestyle. It’s popular for a reason, but it certainly is not the only way to lose weight — and it may not be for everyone. Eating a low-carb diet (especially a restrictive one) affects your blood sugar levels, which can cause unfavorable side-effects in some people, including being mildly to downright uncomfortable, shakiness, nervousness or anxiety, chills, irritability, lightheadedness, headaches, hunger, nausea, fatigue, blurred vision, lack of coordination and more. These effects and the restriction required can make a low-carb diet difficult to stick with.

Carbohydrates are found in almost all foods and provide 4 calories per gram. Carbohydrate-containing foods generally have a combination of two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.

Simple carbs are also known as “sugar.” It’s made of up to two sugar building blocks connected in a chain. The building blocks can be glucose, fructose and galactose. Because the chains are short, they’re easy to break down, which is why they taste sweet when they hit your tongue. They are also digested and absorbed into the bloodstream quickly.

Foods high in simple carbohydrates include sweeteners (table sugar, syrup, honey), candy, jellies and jams and refined flour. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and dairy contain simple carbs, too, but they come with vitamins and minerals, plus fiber and/or protein, so they’re still healthy choices.

Complex carbs can be either “starch” or “fiber.” This carbohydrate is made of three or more sugars connected in a chain; they also contain fiber and tend to come in foods that also contain protein and/or healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals. They use the same sugar building blocks as simple carbs, but the chains are longer and take more time to break down, which is why they don’t taste as sweet. The longer chains also slow digestion and thus absorption of the monosaccharides all carbs are broken down into, resulting in a more gradual insulin response, as well as increased satiety.

Foods high in complex carbohydrates include bread, rice, pasta, beans, whole grains, and vegetables.

When it comes to choosing carbohydrates to eat or drink, here are three rules to help you choose well:

  1. EAT MORE COMPLEX CARBS FROM WHOLE-FOOD SOURCES: Vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, 100% whole-grain bread, pasta, and brown rice should also be included in this rule. These foods are a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
  2. EAT FEWER COMPLEX CARBS FROM REFINED SOURCES: Foods like white rice, white bread, and traditional pasta are more processed.
  3. EAT SIMPLE CARBS IN MODERATION: Most sources of simple carbohydrates are considered “empty calories” because they’re high in calories but contain little to no micronutrients. They’re a likely culprit when it comes to spiking blood sugar. Fruit and milk are exceptions to this rule because they contain beneficial vitamins and minerals.

See you on Friday!

Don´t miss a workout: