Training Tips to get the most from your workout…
It is the start of a new year and this is the perfect time to have an overview of the way you train. Below are some m2mfitness helpful hints, tips and general tit-bits of wisdom to help you get the most from your training.
- You set your alarm extra early this morning to start the day with an early-bird workout, but don’t have time for a proper breakfast, so what do you do? A lot of people would probably reach for the fruit bowel and grab a banana. Not a full breakie but better than nothing eh?! Well apparently not! Bananas increase the production of serotonin in your brain (the ‘happy’ chemical). Serotonin makes you relaxed, which is great for going to sleep, but is not what you want if you want a good workout. Bananas are a brilliant food, but just not for priming your body for exercise.
- I know I go on about eggs a lot (I can’t help it, I have six pet chickens and am a big egg fan!), but the egg has had some bad press over the years claiming that they are full of bad cholesterol and that we should only be eating egg whites – what a waste!!! However, now that more is know about the different types of cholesterol i.e. good and bad, experts now know that eggs are packed with good cholesterol and help to keep your heart healthy. So never again commit the sin of throwing away those egg yolks!
- If you are a fan of the Smith Machine in the gym because it is safer, think again. This machine forces your body to move in a single plane of movement – up and down – which your body would never otherwise do. If you were to do a squat on the Smith Machine, undue pressure is placed on the patellar tendon in the knee – not good news for the wellbeing of your knees!
- You would think that standing up to do your bicep curl would be a more effective method of doing the exercise in terms of maximum gain for your muscles, wouldn’t you? However, there is more muscular recruitment in the biceps when you do the curls sitting down because you are not wasting energy standing upright or creating momentum through swinging the weights. If you want to make your bicep curls easier, fair enough, but you should always be looking for ways to make your training more challenging.
- Being a member of a gym, going to class workouts or training outside with a friend is undoubtedly great from a social point of view. But, you are not there to chat, you are there to train! Focus on what you are there to do and you can have your chat after!
- It is very important to give your body the nutrition it needs after a workout. If you are already lean (body fat less than 10%) then have a snack or meal containing 4g of carbs for every gram of protein. If your body fat is higher, then have a little protein and zero carbs
- One of the best nutritional tips I can give you is this – if it hasn’t been grown in the ground, run in a field, flown in the air or swum in the sea – DON’T EAT IT! It’s that simple, some people call it the ‘caveman’ diet, but it really is just common sense. Eating fresh, natural food is the only way to ensure that you are not eating any foods that have been altered in any way and you know exactly what is in it. After all, there is no such thing as a cream-cake or pizza tree!
Eat yourself fit…
Making sure your nutrition is complimenting your training is vital if you want to achieve your fitness goals. If you are not putting the correct amount and type of fuel into your body, you will not be training to your full potential.
See below for some useful tips for making sure your nutritional needs are being met to enhance your training:
- Drink more water! It’s that simple, hydration is critically important, whatever type of sport or training you are doing. You should be rehydrating halfway through even quite short training sessions. If, for example, you trained for an hour and you didn’t replenish your fluids, your performance will suffer as a consequence.
- Don’t get worried about putting on weight before a race or big event. Correct carb-loading will make you put on a little bit of weight because your body will store two or three grams of water per gram of glycogen stored.
- Don’t underestimate your carbohydrate needs. You should be getting around 60 per cent of your daily calories from carbohydrates, 20 per cent from protein and also 20 per cent from fat (but try and stay away from saturated fat and go for poly and mono unsaturated instead). That should work out to be between 6 and 10 grams of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight per day (or more if you are carb-loading for an event) But you need to make sure that you are consuming your carbohydrates from a good source such as wholegrain pasta, brown rice and quinoa to name a few.
- Be mindful of the sort of groceries you buy and think about where it came from. For example, grass-fed beef is much better for you than standard beef, so much so that they are almost entirely different foods! Similarly, wild salmon is far more nutrient-rich than farmed salmon. You shouldn’t just buy the cheapest thing on the shelf, think about where the food came from and how it has been produced, generally where food is concerned you should go for quality over quantity!
- Reward yourself for you efforts! If you are going to treat yourself, the best time to do it is after a training session when your body will want to replace your glycogen stores as quickly as possible. This is the perfect time to have something that you wouldn’t normally eat. Great, pass the biscuit tin!!!