Everyone knows that weightlifting makes you look good, but what’s more important is how it makes you feel. Weightlifting is crucial to the health and wellness of the human body, especially when used in combination with proper nutrition. How exactly does lifting weights make such an immense impact?
Muscle Fights Fat
Muscles built through weight training improve whole-body metabolism. So, not only are you increasing your muscle mass, but you are also actively decreasing your body fat percentage as well.
Prevent Back Pain
The majority of people spend their days in jobs where they sit for prolonged periods of time, which then leads to back stiffness and eventually pain. Weightlifting will help to strengthen both your core and back muscles, in turn minimizing and eliminating any preexisting back issues.
Control Blood Sugar Levels
Whether you have diabetes, are at risk, or simply want to keep your blood sugar levels in check, weightlifting can help to regulate your blood glucose. Weight training encourages the growth of white muscle which uses glucose for energy, thus lowering blood glucose levels.
With aging comes the natural loss of muscle and bone mass. However, if no preventative steps are taken to slow this process, bones can become extremely weak and lead to Osteoporosis. By consistently lifting weights, you are helping your bones to adapt and remain strong.
Move With Ease
When weight training, it is extremely important to have or develop body awareness to move effectively, efficiently, and safely. Learning how to recruit muscle groups properly while exercising helps to make everyday life tasks easier too.
How’s the schedule holding up? Listen, I get it. Kids, job, bank accounts, social life (or more like our kid’s social life), to do lists…. Makes it feel like fitness just doesn’t have a place, right? Plus, 900 different opinions on what’s the best approach to getting healthy doesn’t help. But, let me ask you a question. Do all those spinning plates up in the air cause ultimate paralysis? So, not only are you ignoring your health factor but work and family, etc. end up suffering as well.
I KNOW it’s scary to get back out there and find your fitness (or even more scary to find it for the first time), but let me ask you another question…..what’s the alternative?!! Weight gain, muscle loss, joint decrepitation, osteoarthritis, depression, doctor visits, MORE bills, LESS time with family….
I see it every day. Heck, I see it in myself sometimes. Trust me, I’m not perfect either and I can find myself at times heading toward the abyss of an overwhelming number of hats and roles to fill in a 24 hr time period. It’s a conscious effort not to fall in.
BUT, here is what I’ve found (and it’s like magic) – take all those spinning plates and find the one that can have the biggest impact and devote just a few hours a week to it. Yes, I’m talking about your health plate. Put it on the front burner. What’s the worst that could happen?!!??
And, I think I can help. I wanna be your coach.
Let’s do a 28-day experiment. Give me 2-3 hours of your undivided attention every week for 1 month. See what happens. Let me take some of the burden for you. All I need you to do for these 3 months is walk through my door, I’ll take care of the rest – seriously! I’m that confident in myself.
I care because I’ve been there and I KNOW I can help. Whatever your goal I’ve got you covered. BUT, I need your commitment in exchange for mine. 90 days. One on one. Let’s do it.
So, whether you’re sitting at your work desk, on your lunch break, taking care of cranky kids, grocery shopping or waiting in line for Starbucks, click the I’M IN . 4 letters and you’re on your way. I’m here, waiting to hear from you.
Dumbbells, barbells, and weight racks are in the gym for a good reason, but it’s also possible to achieve a total body workout without the aid of machines or free weights. For those looking to workout without equipment, we put together this awesome guide to build a better you via sweat and perseverance:
Short Circuit Workouts
You can quickly ramp up your gym routine via the use of short circuit workouts. By doing exercises in a circuit with brief rest periods between each set, you can build cardio and muscle growth in your workout without equipment.
Between each circuit, our experts recommend a quick rest period of about two minutes. That may sound intense, but don’t be intimidated! If you find yourself unable to hit the desired number of reps in a particular set, you can rest-pause until you hit the target. In a rest-pause, you can take about 10-20 seconds to catch your breath until you have the energy to keep going and finish out.
Exercises for a Full Body Workout
So, what should you do during your short circuit? There are countless options for your circuit and you can mix things up based on your skill level, experience, and targeted areas. In keeping with the CrossFit tradition, these exercises will give you a total body workout, even if you choose to avoid the typical equipment.
Pushups and jumping jacks probably felt silly back in your Phys. Ed days, but they can be an integral part of your short circuit plan. Beginners – and even CrossFit veterans – often look to kickstart their circuit with 10-15 push-ups followed by jumping jacks until they hit the one minute mark.
These simple no-equipment exercises are a great way to get the blood moving for the rest of the workout. More advanced athletes may choose to dial up the number of push-ups or modify them into incline push-ups, but be sure to leave enough in the tank for the rest of the rigorous workout.
After that, you can incorporate spider lunges, walking lunges, hip thrusts, and crunches into your circuit. The number of reps in each set is up to you and you can fill out each minute with jumping jacks or similar exercises if you choose. Remember, once you’re done, it’s time to start back from square one after a quick two minute break.
Get The Best Workout Without Equipment From The Pros At Sweat Factory Crossfit!
It can be hard to stay motivated when working out at home or in the gym without the guidance of a personal trainer. Personal trainers at traditional gyms wind up being incredibly expensive, but sessions with the experts at Sweat Factory Crossfit will cost you a whole lot less per session.
To get the ultimate workout without equipment (and total body workouts with equipment), sign up for your free trial at Sweat Factory CrossFit today!
Both seasoned athletes and gym neophytes know that the cocktail of choice when working out is a protein shake. Lots of these powders are designed to serve different purposes, which means there are so many to choose from it can make your head swim, Phelps style. If you feel overwhelmed when shopping for a protein supplement, don’t fear, there are answers to all of your questions. Nutrition School is in session and your first class, Protein 101 will teach you all you need to know.
Why should you choose protein powder? Whether you are a gym rat or a couch potato you need protein. Protein is composed of amino acids, which are the fundamental building blocks of muscle proteins and enzymes, making it a crucial part of a daily diet. According to Men’s Health, protein also prevents blood sugar spikes and boosts the hormones that tell your body you’re full and should put the fork down. We believe that the biochemical mechanism responsible for preventing sugar spikes is gluconeogenesis. Basically, when a protein is broken down to amino acids, these amino acids can be used to make proteins such as muscle proteins or biochemically changed to sugars. This transformation is called gluconeogenesis. What is interesting is that gluconeogenesis is a way to slowly adding sugar to your energy system without spiking sugar or insulin.
Protein powder can be a great way to up the health quotient to your favorite recipes. Bodybuilding states that whey protein is a good addition to your menu if you are looking to build muscle and lose fat. When you combine whey with a health regimen like a workout routine, this protein supplement can help pump you up with lean muscle and increase your strength, as well as help you maintain the hard body you already have. A study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism stated that 35 grams of protein per meal is a target amount for a healthy diet.
You should always read the Supplement Facts information on labels When choosing a protein powder, checking out the fine print is a smart idea. Finding a high-quality protein will not only taste better but offer you more benefits and a healthier shake. When weighing which kind to buy, whey comes out on top as far as nutritional value. The ‘biological value’, or the proportion of absorbed protein you get from your food, is generally higher with whey products. The other types of protein powders: casein, egg white, soy, hemp, and others are lower biological value. Furthermore, in the case of soy protein, there is the chance that you are getting protein derived from a GMO source. Be on the lookout for powders with a limited amount of added sugar and carbohydrates as well as little in the way of additives. Beware of the blends, suggests Oxygen magazine, powders that have “concentrates” or “solids” which can be hard on the digestive system and might cause problems like bloating or gas.
If you are using shakes to shed pounds, according to the Cleveland Clinic, choosing a powder with no added sugars or sweeteners is key.
When is the best time to throw back a protein packed shake? Some people use their shakes as a meal replacement, having one at the beginning of the day or as their lunch when they don’t have time for a mid-day meal. That said, protein powders shouldn’t replace real food, as a rule. Many bodybuilders and fitness fanatics like to imbibe before or after a workout. Some sip during their sweat session too. According to a study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, there is a small window of time when a shake is optimal for your body. About thirty minutes after a gym session, these amino acids will have the most impact on your muscles, bringing you a bit of extra strength and muscle gain. It also helps to repair muscles and recover after exercise. For weight management, the Cleveland Clinic suggests a steady supply of protein at meals to keep you constantly satiated.
In the SFH supplement world, some powders are created to take before a workout. Fuel is a great option if you aren’t going home after the gym or you need something to get your get-up-and-go going before your exercise routine. FUEL contains coconut milk, which is a natural source of coconut fat. This is considered an energy fat burns quickly, providing a burst of energy rather than being stored as fat. FUEL is a fantastic way to get your energy revved without having a heavy meal sit in the pit of your stomach and weigh you down.
How can you mainline your protein powder in the most delicious way? Shakes are the most popular way of getting your powder boost. There are many recipes, from simply adding water or milk and shaking, to combining a variety of fruits, vegetables, nut butters, and ice and blending into a creamy, frothy frappe. Depending on your favorite foods, you can mimic the taste with different shake recipes. If you’re a fan of chocolate covered strawberries, try making a protein smoothie with chocolate protein powder and blended strawberries. If you like pina coladas, you can go for a run in the rain with your smoothie made from coconut and pineapple blended with vanilla whey protein powder.
There are other ways to get your amino acids in powder form. You can use protein powder like flour and make protein-rich pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, muffins and more, making those treats and sweets a little more nutritious. Maybe add some powder to your coffee for a protein-infused latte. Make a batch of quick overnight oats with added protein powder for a complete meal, which will hold you over until lunchtime. Using unflavored powder can also enhance your cooking. Adding a scoop to your appetizers, like hummus or guac, could mean you will fill up faster and dip fewer chips. Or perhaps sprinkle the powder in a soup or sauce you are making for extra oomph. The powder will be undetectable to the taste buds, but the addition of protein in your diet will be duly noted by the rest of your body.
Becoming healthy, getting into shape, and building strength are delicately woven together and serve as a journey. No amount of progress or change will be visible overnight; results take time and most importantly only come with dedication, determination, motivation, and knowledge.
It’s difficult to achieve the results you desire if you are not properly educated on what is needed to get there. All too often people will plateau their results or fall off completely simply because they are not aware of the bad habits that are preventing them from moving forward.
What habits will halt your progress and keep you from feeling and looking your best?
Inconsistent in the number of days you work out per week
While it’s important to take rest days so that our bodies can recover and refuel, taking too many can actually derail our progress. All too often, people take a day off from exercise whenever they feel sore, thinking that’s what their bodies need. However, it’s in those moments that what your body really needs is to keep moving! Aim to commit yourself to 3-5 consistent training days per week.
Never changing your routine
Routine is the enemy when it comes to seeing progress and results. When we continuously engage in the same exercises, the same number of sets, and the same number of reps, our bodies become used to the workouts and therefore begin to put in less effort. When our bodies put in less effort, our muscles don’t put in the work needed to progress and build strength.
This also applies to those who “pick” which workouts to show up to. Not only do you lose out on improving in other areas by doing this, but you are also putting your body at risk. How? Variance provides balance. If you always skip a squat day but never miss a deadlift or pulling day, your backside becomes dominant and you create a recipe for body imbalances.
Not eating enough
Healthy food is your friend! Eating less isn’t going to help you lose weight, it will cause you to lose muscle and might even cause you to gain or store weight you don’t want to. Our bodies need food to refuel, especially before and after working out. Without eating enough, our bodies begin to feed off our muscle tissue and lead to us feeling sluggish and fatigued. Eating more of the right foods will not lead to weight gain, but will lead to the body you want and better recovery from workouts.
Focusing solely on cardiovascular exercises
While cardiovascular exercises are very important and necessary, focusing the majority of your time on cardio isn’t going to get you the results or body you want. You will actually begin to lose muscle tissue becomes weaker. Strength training, however, is extremely effective when it comes to burning fat and building muscle mass.
Performing functional exercises and compound exercises like the squat, press and deadlift deliver the most profound results. Now combining your cardio and weightlifting? That’s the recipe for fitness and improving your capability to do more work in less time!
Working out to the point of exhaustion every time
Of course, it’s good to push ourselves to the extreme every once in a while, but doing so every single time you train is a recipe for failure. Your body will become too exhausted, drain your central nervous system, and won’t have the means to recuperate, leading to an increased risk of injury.
Mixing up your training stimulus is an extremely important piece of the puzzle. At Crossfit Daytona, we do this every day. Some days we go short and fast, some days we go long and sustained, some days we mix in intervals, some days we pace, and some days we go at max effort. Some days we will just lift, some days we will lift after a workout, and others we will lift within a workout.
It’s not random, it’s deliberate. Life is unpredictable and will demand different things of you (variance). To achieve the best results for body and performance think about it like this: 20% of time should be spent practicing, 70% of time should be spent “training,” and 10% should be what we call “compete” or go for it.
Practice: Very low heart rate and not on the clock. Loads are extremely light and there is a deliberate focus on improving, whether that be in positions or technique. No stress.
Training: Implementing the aspects of “practice” typically under a duress setting. (You’ve practiced your kettlebell swing a dozen times, now let’s incorporate them within a workout while still focusing on the quality of movement, but moving with a purpose as well).
3 rounds for time:
400m run (or row)
25 air squats
25 kettlebell swings
Spend most of your time here. Not only does training deliver the highest value for results, but combined with a healthy diet, it gets you the body that you want too!
Compete: Go as fast as you can and push up towards your highest output possible.
Those who don’t train CrossFit typically will hear the buzz words “high intensity” and immediately think we “compete” every day. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s debunk this myth here:
- No matter how in shape you are before CrossFit, it is more than likely that even a practice session will whoop your butt. Yeah, it’s that good.
- New athletes to the program will spend the first 90 days focusing on consistency (showing up 3-5x a week) and mechanics (learning the movements and moving well).
Simply put, new athletes are blending practice and training within their first 90 day period.
- High intensity is relative. Each athlete works at their own intensity. 68-year-old Fred’s intensity is different than 32-year-old Abby’s to 20-year-old Elena’s.
We respect all of that. Intensity isn’t a one size fits all for everyone and understanding intensity is a major key to success and moving the needle in the right direction.