A Lil About Me!

My photo
ACE Certified Personal Trainer; NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist; CSEP Certified Personal Fitness & Lifestyle Advisor; MaddDogg Spinning Instructor; NCCP SwimCoach; NLSC Aquafit Instructor; Wellness & Weight-Loss Consultant.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Some tips for Lifts

A few quick tips for effective strength training

  1. Warm up - doing some easy dynamic movements, or a short (5-10min) cardio session will raise the heart rate slowly giving the muscles time to warm and be ready for the load to be implied. A light stretch prior to lifting is fine, but do it AFTER your brief warm up.
  2. Maintain a neutral spine during all strength-training and use your core for stability. Pull the tail bone into a neutral position, and thinking of drawing the belly button back & upward into the spine.
  3. Lift with CONTROL. Don't Yank and drop. Keep a smooth track of movement through the range of motion.
  4. Start with a light weight. This helps with #3. Focus on proper form, and then increase the difficulty with additional load.
  5. Do not hold your breath. Inhale between repetitions, exhale during the concentric phase (active/hard part) of the lift. *For extremely heavy lifts, you can perform the Valsalva manoeuver BUT again, this involves controlled breathing release, through core tightening for stability, not Breath HOLDING.
  6. Do not lift a joint beyond it's maximum range of motion. This is different for everyone. Flexibility is important, and comes from challenging the ROM, but if it hurt's, stop. Period.
  7. Train from Biggest to Smallest. Larger Muscles/muscles take more energy to work. Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Pecs, Lats should but first and move into smaller groups like Biceps, Triceps, Delts.
  8. Save the Abs/ Core training for the end of your workout. They are used in the stability of most of your other exercises, so you need them fresh if you plan to go heavy.
  9. Rest between hitting the same muscle groups again. 24-48hours is typically recommended.
  10. Lift with focus & purpose. Why go heavy if it doesn't suit your goals? Why lift at all, if you refuse to challenge yourself? Set goals & WORK to achieve them! #TrainDilligently #WorkPurposefully
  11. Eat Intelligently! Load up on lean protein along with your healthy fats & quality, fibrous, complex carbohydrates. If you're under-eating, your body will feed off muscle tissue first.
Use these guidelines, and make AMAZING happen!


ANT problems?

Confused, right?

Let me clarify :: I'm talking about a classification of reactive responses.

ANTs = Automatic Negative Responses
Very appropriate, oui? Ants (the insects) are invasive, near-stealthy, get into everything, take over and leave you feeling overwhelmed that such little things can persist and bother you, causing your skin to crawl.
Just like these stealthy pests, negative thought can seemingly *appear* and be everywhere!  Some people, when faced with stressful situations IMMEDIATELY go to a Negative mindstate. They are faced with a challenge and their reflex is a feeling of distress, negativity, tension & in extreme instances Despair.  These ANTs trigger anxiety and flood the body with Cortisol (the stress-response hormone), which is bad for your mind, and as mentioned in my Abs Post can lead to belly-pouching!

Now, HoldOnPlaya, the next time you are faced with a "crisis", take a BREATH, count to ten and instead of DIVING head-first into that abyss of darkness, try to think of a PAT (positive alternative thought) to moderate the obvious negatives.

*Overtly Sarcastic Example > House Burning Down.
ANT= "OMG! we've lost EVERYTHING"
PAT= "Well, at least we're all safe; and I HATED that living room carpet, anyway"

Clearly, you would have cause to be stressed, but there's no use dwelling on the obvious problems, when you should be trying to create constructive positive solutions, to minimize the time of recovery.

Or, if a PAT doesn't come immediately to mind, don't DWELL on the ANT. Write it down and "put it away". By writing it down and taking it out of your active mind, you can review it later with a more logical/clear head. Remove the emotional knee-jerk reaction of negativity, and handle it at a less-stressful time.

Both of these help to reduce that negative reaction time, as you learn to do this without the physical writing. You look at alternative perspective, you can compartmentalize and assess the true severity of the situation and you more readily find solutions, instead of seeing problems.

Try it!
Let me know how it works out.

Mia xo

Midnight Snacks...

...posted at midnight !!

Let me start by saying :: the "don't eat past _____pm" myth, is just that. A MYTH.
For those who work 9-5 sitting down all day: You more likely have a slower metabolism; or may have issues with bingeing post-dinner. In these specific conditions, this plan may be a good way to break bad habits.
However, for the other, who have varied schedules: This is CRAZY!  If you work 3-11p How are you going to keep awake if you don't eat after 6p? Where is your caloric intake? And if you sleep through the day before your shift, when do you eat?
Or for my fitness posse: Imagine coming out the gym at 9/10p post late cardio, or heading to the gym at 8p to lift & you weren't "allowed" to eat since 6pm... FOH!!!

If you're laid up in bed, or messing about on the internet, and you get the "cravings", FIRST drink 8-12oz of cool water. 60% of the time you feel "hungry" (outside of your normal schedule) it's your body trying to trick you into hydrating. If you're still hungry 3-4minutes after drinking, then by all means grab a snack!

Here are some of my fave "go-to's" if I simply MUST eat, later at night:
1/2c plain (greek / fat free) yogurt and 1/2c chopped fruit - I like pineapple, berries, peach
1 small fruit + 1TBsp almond/peanut butter - keep the nut butters to ONE TBsp (*thats 100cals!)
1/2 sweet potato + plain yogurt & cayenne - spicy, cool, starchy & a little sweet; full of fibre/vitamins
1/2c pumpkin seeds - try my spicy pumpkin seed recipe!
1/4c unsalted nuts - I like to buy raw (or in-shell) and dry-pan toast them
1/2c Oats + 1TBsp nut butter
1 egg - hard boiled, or scrambled (*I use coconut oil in a spray bottle to minimize oils/fat)
1/4c low-sodium tuna + 1tsp dijon mustard, in lettuce leaves
2 pcs Turkey / Ostrich / Low-sodium Beef jerky

These snacks range from 100-250cals, and more importantly, they're clean. In general, stick to whole foods, that are naturally lower in fat/sugars, or have omega3,6 rich fats, and try to avoid animal-based fats.

However, if you haven't eaten in over 3hours (*e.g. since work) & you will be staying up longer than 2 hours, by all means YOU CAN EAT "REAL FOOD". I have had a FULL DINNER (no dessert) at 10pm but I had just come in from 90mins cardio & I had to be awake until 3am!

Hope this helps!