Fitness

Recovery: what you need to know

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If exercise is important (and it is), than recovery is just as, if not more important. Truth is we don't build muscles at the gym, we build them when we recover. And the higher intensity we workout at, the more we need to plan for recovery. Especially as we age. 

In this article, I will explore basic recovery as well as share some things I do to help myself get the most out of my workouts and recovery time. Just to benchmark, I have a very heavy workout schedule with at least 5 days per week of physical activity averaging about 12 hours between weights, Muay Thai, and running, sometimes working out twice a day. You can get by with less and indeed if you are new to exercising, 3 days a week is more than adequate, aiming for 3-6 hours total workout time, which for those of you who love math, would work out to 3.6% of your total time per week at the high end. And take a day off from exercise every other day. 

There are two types of recovery, passsive and active. They both do different things, and Ideally you should consider both in your recovery protocol.

Passive

Passive recovery is just plain resting, sleeping, eating and giving your muscles a chance to recover. Lay by the pool or the beach. Just chill.  Essential here is a good sleep ritual to ensure you get a good 8 hours (plus or minus) and good nutrition with plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals. I love naps, and they can be super beneficial too.

Active

Active recovery refers to actually doing low intensity movement, like walking, stretching, massage, foam rolling, swimming, etc. The idea here is you want slow muscle contractions to slightly elevate your heart rate and help your body deliver nutrients to your recovering muscles. Active recovery should NEVER be too strenuous. As well, stretching, massage and foam rolling help with keeping your muscles nice and limber and ready for the next session.

Top things I do to promote recovery:

Nutrition

I am a big nutrition nut, in fact I am a certified nutrition coach, and I know for a fact that good exercise and recovery starts in the kitchen. Your post workout meal, ideally eaten with 30 minutes to 2 hours of your workout should be your largest of the day, and include plenty of lean protein, and lots of colourful vegetables with some complex carbs added. Post workout your muscles are hungry, as you just depleted your energy stores, so your body will actively replace the lost glycogen (carbs). The protein will help rebuild and repair the damage cause to your muscles, and the vitamins and minerals will aid the whole process. More on that in the future.

Sleep

Getting a good night sleep is paramount to good recovery. Most of your good hormones (such as IGF and HGH) are released at night when you are hugging your pillow, so almost all of your muscle rebuilding happens at this time. If you are not getting around 8 hours a night, your body won't recover. The best way to accomplish this is set yourself a regular bedtime, and make sure to relax and prepare to sleep about 30 minutes to one hour before. One great idea is NO electronic devices during this time, TV, mobile phone, tablet, etc. Also good is to avoid emails and anything that makes you think too much. It's time to relax and there is always tomorrow. I also think a hot shower or some camomile tea can help a lot. If you have a lot of trouble you may consider supplement such as ZMA or Melatonin.

Foam rolling

Getting and using a foam roller for 10-15 minutes on your off days (from workouts) can really help. Foam rolling promotes myofascial release, where the layers of your muscles tend to get stiff and adhere to one another. It's like a self administered deep tissue massage.  I try for about 3 sessions a week just to keep my muscles released. I focus on my tightest areas like hamstrings, upper back, glutes, and hips. I will produce an article with more details at future date. Keep an eye out for that.

Go for a walk

I'm big on this one. A short 20 minute walk on most nights will keep you feeling loose and ready to go the next day. Just a decent pace will do, no need to speed walk. just elevate your heart rate a bit and relax. It also helps promote sleep. At least for me. 

Take a day off

If you are like me (ie super motivated) this is tougher than you think it is. I take one complete day off (usually about 36 hours) from any high intensity activity, but will still do some active recovery. From a nutritional standpoint, I would also tend to eat slightly less carbs on this day but lots of protein and vegetables. Or I take a free day and have some of my favourite dishes. Carbs, fat and macronutrient breakdowns be damned,  Plenty of veggies though and still exercise portion control. After all, what's the point if you don't kickback, relax and enjoy every now and again. You need balance.

Always remember your body needs to recover, or you will overtrain, resulting in possible injuries. So enjoy your time out of the gym just as much as you do in it. 

Need help with your Nutrition or Exercise? I am a certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. Get a FREE consultation and take the next step to a new you.

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How to calculate your weight training intensity

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When starting off a weight lifting program, often the hardest part is to determine how much weight you should lift, how many sets and how many repetitions per set. This is rather complicated so I will break it down into the necessary steps to accurately predict your required weight for lifts.  To do this we must, as accurately as possible, figure out your maximum lift for one repetition: in workout lingo we call this your 1 RM. This is recommended to do as it will not only allow you to achieve your goals, but will also add a good safety margin to your workouts.  The first step will depend largely on your goals. 

What are your goals?

Answer this question first, as the training protocols are different based on your goal for the training. There are 4 main goals, strength, hypertrophy (building muscle mass),endurance and power. As power training is significantly different from the other three, I will leave it to a future article. They all require a different application of stress so I want to focus on intensity.

Strength Training

Since  goal here is to maximise your strength, the intensity must be high. 80-95 % of your 1 RM. You are aiming for 4-8 reps per set.

Hypertrophy

The goal here is to maximise muscle growth so you must have increased time under tension (TUT). This means lowering your intensity to between 70-85% and increasing reps to 8-12 repetitions per set.

Endurance

The goal is to increase the anaerobic efficiency of the muscle, meaning it can work more effectively for longer. To do this we have to increase the reps to 12-25 and lower the intensity to 50-70% 1 RM.

How to figure out your 1 RM

I know this is the question you are all asking by now. The best (and safest) way to do this is use a sub-maximal test, predictive equations, and then tweak from there based on RPE (perceived effort) and actual set/rep completion. Say what you say? Let me put this in plain english. 

  1. Select a weight you think you can lift at least 3 times
  2. Perform the lift using proper technique to failure (meaning you can't do one more rep)
  3. Plug the numbers into the formula

This is the formula you would use:

1 RM = resistance used x {1 + (0.03 x repetitions performed)}

Note: There is a considerable amount of research behind this, it is accurate but not exact. The best predictability is when you do a lower number of reps (say 4-6), as the formula does not factor in stability requirements.

Let's use an example. Lets say you want to set your weight for bench press. You would then pick a reasonable weight. For me I would say 70kg. I set it up and successfully do 5 reps to failure. Now I plug into the formula:

1 RM = 70kg x {1 + (0.03 x 5)}

1 RM = 70kg x 1.15

1RM = 80.5 kg

Easy right? 

Setting your resistance

To set your resistance based on number of reps and according to your goals (see below for intensity versus reps), you simply reverse the formula:

appropriate resistance (AR) - 1RM  ÷ {1 + (0.03 x desired number of repetitions)}

Continuing with the example above, lets say my goal is hypertrophy so I want to have 12 reps of my bench press to maximise TUT. I just plug this in to the formula above:

AR = 80.5 ÷ {1 + (0.03 x 12)}

AR = 80.5 ÷1.36

AR = 59.2 but round up to 60kg

This would mean that if there is 60kg on the bar, I should be able to do 12 reps. Next step is to test this and adjust as needed. You can use the list below to help you determine if your intensity/rep range fit into your desired goal.

Repetition to Percentage of 1 RM Predictions

  • 2 reps = 95%
  • 3 reps = 92.5%
  • 4 reps = 90%
  • 5 reps = 87.5%
  • 6 reps = 85%
  • 7 reps = 82.5%
  • 8 reps = 80%
  • 9 reps = 77.5%
  • 10 reps = 75%
  • 12 reps = 70 %

Why would you bother to do this? The answer is simple. When you go to the gym, you want to maximise your results. For weight training, your goals should dictate your intensity. This is science baby. 

Did you like this article? Want to get in touch with me? I am a certified personal trainer and looking for clients like you. Drop me a line for a FREE consultation.

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How to keep to a workout routine when you travel (a lot)

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Great! You have established a workout routine! Maybe it looks something like this: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays you go to the gym and do resistance training, ie lift weights. You are quite religious about your gym days and are feeling great about it. Then bam! An obstacle. You need to travel for work. This will disrupt your whole routine. What now?

If you are like me and travel a lot for work this can indeed be a bit of a problem, but not really. The problem is how you think about the problem. I see this as a chance to adapt and overcome. These few points will help you keep to your routine (actually change it up a bit, which is a good thing) and even make your fitness better.

Plan your hotel based on the gym

This is my first step. I have begun to choose hotels based on the quality and access hours of their fitness facilities. Not all hotels, even the international ones, have equal fitness facilities. Choose wisely. I like to go online and search for the hotel to view the facilities, noting time of operation and anything else such as free yoga classes (some hotels do this and yoga might be a viable option) However, because most are fairly decent, you should be able to adapt your routine to suit the circumstances. Most hotel gyms these days have a selection of resistance machines and free weights such as dumbbells, so you should be covered. One advantage is that by doing different exercises while overseas, you add different stresses to your muscles.

Here's an example. I like to do heavy barbell squats as part of my weekly routine. However most hotel gyms don't have either barbells or a squat rack so it is mostly impossible. So I might use machines for leg press + leg extensions + leg curl and/or add in some dumbbell lunges. Whatever it takes to get my legs burning and keep inline with my normal exercise. If the gym has only dumbbells and a bench you can still get a good workout.

Pack a workout kit

In a worst case scenario, I may not have access to gym or time to go due to hectic schedules, so I pack a small workout kit that I can use in my room in conjunction with bodyweight exercise. This kind of workout can take as little as 30 minutes, and definitely can give you a good session if you do it right. I pack resistance loops (one big one and a couple of little ones), a skipping rope, and maybe an ab roller. This kind of setup takes up very little room in your suitcase and ensures you have an instant workout when you need it. Added bonus? You can do this in your underwear.

Go for a run

If you are like me, you know you need to do more cardio, so going for a run in the morning for 30 -45 minutes is a great idea. You only need to pack running shoes. Forgo the treadmill, and get outside for a run. After all, when travelling to a different city, it's nice to get out and see what's around. Speak to the concierge as he may know where the best place is to go as a lot of guests will have asked him the same question. Don't forget to ask for a hotel card with the address in local language. You are never more than a taxi ride away from getting yourself un-lost.  Bring a small bag for essentials (like a fanny pack) and go!

Go for a swim

If running isn't your thing then make sure you pack a bathing suit and goggles. Most hotels have a swimming pool although they can be quite small. Again it is always best to check in advance and choose accordingly. A morning swim can be very refreshing and give you a great start to your day.

Whatever you do pack some workout clothes

This is so basic I didn't think I needed to put this in, But make sure you pack workout clothes. Nothing stops you from exercising faster than not having the correct outfit. For example most hotel gyms require proper attire and footwear before you can use the facilities. 

The key here is to plan ahead. Once you know your hotel, it's easy to keep up with your workout routine, Set aside some time to go workout even if it means waking up a bit earlier, 30 minutes of sleep isn't going to make or break you. As an added bonus, you will get to workout in a different way, providing some unique stresses to your muscles which will have its own benefits.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Hit me up if you need any advice or have a question. I am thinking to put together some videos to help you. 

Estimation of calorie burn of physical activity levels

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This post is to help you figure out your calories burned by your physical activity levels. In the previous post I talked mainly about how to figure out your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). With your RMR in hand you next need to estimate, as accurately as possible, your Physical Activity or your Voluntary Metabolism (VM).

Your VM is divided into 2 parts, both equally difficult to quantify exactly, but worth the effort if you want to actually lose weight. The 2 parts I define as:

  • Passive: This is your Daily Activity Levels (DAL); This includes walking, climbing stairs, going shopping, doing housework and yes even at your computer typing a blog entry. This is hard to estimate but there is data on this.
  • Active: This is when you choose to exercise, regardless activity. You could go for a run, lift weights or take an aerobics class. Whatever it is, it is possible to estimate how much you can burn. I will tell you it is easier to calculate cardio than weights.

Now just because this is difficult to do, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. We all know that what gets measured gets done. It is better to base your planning on inaccurate data than no data at all. Throwing things against a wall and hoping something sticks is a horrible way to plan your weight loss. With weekly tracking of your weight and activities, you can tweak the numbers you until you get results. Three major factors that influence calories burned are your weight, gender and the intensity level of the activity. The more you weigh the more calories you burn during exercise, which is good news if you are overweight. The intensity level is the biggest variable with higher intensity activities burning more calories. Do note there is also a difference by gender. So any calculation or online calculator you use should include these variables. Let's break this down.

Estimating your Passive VM

Now while there are databases on calorie burn for common activities,(I've been playing around with this one at CalorieLabs) For this method to work, you essentially have to keep a journal logging all your activities and time spent and then figure out how many calories based on that. This is extremely tedious and time consuming, so I don't recommend this if you don't want to spend an hour a day doing this. (I only did it for one day and it sucked). Enter the hack.

I like to use my fitness  tracker, and use the number for daily steps. If you remember I did give you some advice to acquire one and use it. Alternatively you can use your smart phone, either Apple Health or Google Fit, which uses your phone accelerometer to measure steps. Do note you have to keep your phone in your pocket at all times for more accuracy, which can be a pain. So get a fitness tracker already. 

For me I have a 10,000 steps per day goal, which I achieve 95% of the time. From my research, I have pegged this at about 400 calories per day based on moderate activity levels. 

Estimating your Active VM

There is a lot more data on exercise so all you really need to do is keep track of your workout sessions and estimate accordingly. This is best to do on a weekly basis, broken down by day. Then calculate it back based on your actual Active VM for any given day, in case you skip a workout (try not to) or you chose to add some more exercise. This will ensure that your VM calculation is accurate for that day and allow you to plan your calorie intake accordingly.

Cardio

The easiest to calculate is Cardio as there are many tools to help you. I personally use MyFitnessPal as I also use it to calculate my food intake. You simply choose what exercise you did at the estimated intensity (or actual intensity if you are using a running tracker or something) and It will add it for you. Here are some common activities and their approximate calories burned. Its based on a 75kg male for 30 minutes duration.

  • Walking: 150 calories
  • Jogging: 263 calories
  • skipping: 263
  • Cycling: 225 calories
  • Swimming: 263 calories
  • Aerobics: 263 calories

It is important that any calorie expended calculation takes into account your own personal weight, sex, and intensity. These are just averages. The number of calories burned is mostly affected by intensity, so if you go all out you should expect to burn more calories in any given session.

Weight training

To estimate the calorie burn from resistance (weight) training is a bit harder and in exact. The principle of intensity and your lean muscle mass are the two biggest factors. So the harder you workout and the bigger your muscles the more calories expended.

You can use this formula to estimate your expenditure. Unfortunately I can only give it to you in pounds (american), so 1kg equals to 2.2 pounds. I usually just convert my weight to pounds to use this.

Weight Training Burn = (your weight in pounds x duration in minutes) x Intensity Level

For the intensity level you would use these values:

  1. Bodybuilding  = 0.055
  2. Circuit training with weights = 0.042
  3. Strength training = 0.039
  4. Light lifting with moderate effort = 0.028

For the duration you include rest time between sets not just time under tension.

I'll show you how this works for me for a 30 minute session of strength training:

My weight = 75kg x 2.2 = 165 pounds

Weight Training Burn = (165 x 30) x 0.039

Weight Training Burn = 193 calories burned

Now that we can figure out our calories burned we can then move on to figuring out our week and specifics.

So how does this look like for me?

I do 3 main activities per week on 6 different days, and calculate burn based on intensity. Some of these are pure estimates based on research so I assume there is around a 20% margin of error. I would break my week down as follows: 

Monday: 2 hour Muay Thai training: 

  • 15 minutes stretching = 50 calories
  • 25 minutes skipping = 250 calories
  • 1.5 hours bag and pad work = 540 calories
  • Total = 840 calories

Tuesday: 1.5 hours Strength and Conditioning 

  • 20 minute warmup (1 km run, circuit callisthenics) = 150 calories
  • 30 minutes heavy compound lifts = 193 calories
  • 30 minutes power and functional training = 208 calories
  • 10 minute cool down - not included
  • Total = 551 calories

Wednesday: 2 Hour Muay Thai training = 840 calories

Thursday: Strength and Conditioning = 551 calories

Friday: Road work

  • 30 minute steady state jogging = 409
  • 10 minutes stair sprint intervals = 186
  • Total = 595 calories

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Road work  = 595 calories

Total Weekly Calorie Burn from VM = 3972 calories

 

Putting it all together

So now lets say I want to calculate my total calories expended for a Monday:

Calories out = RMR + Passive VM + Active VM

Calories out = 1715 + 400 + 840

Calories out = 2955 calories

 

So you see I can now know with a reasonable degree of certainty that I will expend 2955 calories on a typical Monday. Armed with this knowledge, I can then begin to plan out my diet t0 figure out my personal Energy Balance Equation. That is the next step and the subject of the next post.

Got a question? Got a comment? Let me know, I am happy to answer. Hit me up.

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Getting started with cardio

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It's time for me to wake up. I seem to remember writing that I don't like doing cardio. While that is still true, I now see the need to do it. My motivation here is twofold.  Number one is my lack of endurance is affecting my Muay Thai training as I keep sucking wind during intense pad sessions, and two just to burn some more calories to get rid of that stubborn fat around my middle. What I don't want is too lose my hard earned strength gains. I hate hitting a wall.. And maybe you do too. So In order to get started I thought I would begin by researching the topic and share with you. Lets see how this works. 

As you probably already know is that your heart pumps blood around your body, carrying oxygen and nutrients to your various muscles and organs and also bringing waste products back. Your heart has two main trainable components, strength and efficiency. The stronger your heart, the more blood it pumps per beat maximising the flow of oxygen known as stroke volume. To train this you simply increase your heart rate and hold it there over a period of time. This is the basis of all cardiovascular fitness, so that's where I'll start.. For other types of cardio, I will deal with them in future articles.

There are several relevant terms you need to know as it relates to cardio training effectiveness. After all I am not going to waste time, so I will base this in science.

1. Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

 Your heart rate at complete rest measured in beats per minute (bpm). The best time to take this is in the morning before (or just after) you get out of bed, This will go down as your cardio fitness levels increase. My current resting heart rate is 65 bpm.

2. Max Heart Rate (MHR)

Theoretically your maximum your heart rate, (also measured in bpm) is the fastest your heart can beat based on your age. There are several methods to do this, but the easiest (if not the most accurate) is to subtract your age from 220.

MHR = 220 - (your age)

For me, this would equal 176. 

Why do you need this? To be able to figure out the intensity of your workout as expressed as a percentage of your MHR, Which is also referred to as the Training Zone. Different intensities will train different aspects of your cardiovascular system.

3. Heart Rate Training Zones

There are 2 major ways to figure this out. 

The first way is the Max HR where you simply set an intensity as a percentage

Training HR = MHR x Training Intensity Percentage

 So for me it if I wanted to have a 60 - 70% intensity:

Training HR = 176 times 60% or 176 x 0.6 = 105

Training HR2 = 176 x 0.7 =123

So you would say that your training zone at 60-70% intensity is between 105  and 123 bpm, Note you always need to bracket the number because it is impossible to keep an exact heart rate, and the law of averages will always kick in. 

The more complicated method (and more accurate) is to use what is called the Heart Rate Reserve Method.

Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) = MHR - RHR or for me HRR = 176-65 = 111

For intensity the formula looks like this:

Training HR = (HRR x Training Intensity Percentage) + RHR

For me this looks like:

Training HR = (111 x 0,6) + 65 = 131 

Training HR2 = (111 x .07) + 65 = 142

So at 60% intensity I would target between 131 - 142 bpm for the same reasons as listed above.

Note: In order to extract the maximum benefits from your cardio, you are going to need a heart monitor, It will make it easier and more effective to track your training. 

Now before we hit the road,  that we need to talk about some other issues. If you are just starting out, as in haven't done cardio for years, you should start out at 50-60% of your Heart Rate Reserve. If you are already healthy and quite fit, feel free to up that to 60-80%. (I'm personally aiming for 70%). According to research, the bare minimum for any cardiovascular adaptations is 40% Intensity.

Duration and Frequency

Now when it comes to what is called steady state cardio training, which focuses on stroke volume, ie. how much blood your heart pumps per beat, the recommendation is simple. Your heart is like any other muscle, so increasing the work performed will cause positive adaptations in strength and endurance. 

At the beginning aim for 30 minutes of uninterrupted steady state cardio training at your desired intensity. Lower than 30 minutes will not cause enough overload to cause any adaptation. If you cannot do 30 minutes you can lower the intensity to 40%, which should be attainable for most people. Once you build up your endurance you can up the intensity.

For frequency, as in training times per week, the minimum recommendation is 3 times. If you are severely out of shape than 2 times may help you get accustomed to the training, but bump it up to 3 as soon as you can. Do note that as you get stronger you need to up the intensity.

Now to progressively overload your training (up the intensity) you have two basic options, either increase the time duration or increase the HR target training zone percentage. Out of the 2, the better option is to increase the time duration due to the fact you will only be training your stroke volume. If you up the HR training zone, you will begin to train other aspects such as max power, so it is best to focus on steady state. So to increase your duration you simply add 5 minutes of HR zone training to your session. The max time here is about 90 minutes, but I think 60 is quite enough, after all I am not training for a marathon. Muay Thai requires explosive busts of energy. 

In terms of a timeline and goal, it means I should be running 60 minutes at 70% intensity within 2 months. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Ready to commit to a program? Got a comment? Hit me up below.

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Getting started at the gym: basic strength training

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So you decided to join a gym. Good for you. But now what? What should you do? What kind of program should you implement? What are your goals? Your probably have more questions than answers. The purpose of this article is to help you sort through this and give you a suggestion as to what I think is the best way to get started at the gym.

If you are like me, when I first started back It had been a few years. (ahem) My first body composition test revealed I was over weight and worse still,  I had no idea what to do. There are a bewildering array of cardio machines, free weights, and resistance machines. SO where to start? Most gyms will provide a free personal training consultation, but do be aware that this often results in a sales pitch for their services. If you are really stuck and have zero idea what types of exercise to do and can afford it, then I would recommend a few personal training sessions. Fortunately for you I am going to give you the best advice I can for free. And it really works. You need to start off thinking about 3 things: Strength Training, Flexibility and Cardio. If you can only think about one thing at at a time then focus on strength training. Lets break this down so its more easily digestible.  

1. Start off with scheduling your gym sessions

There is no bigger truth in exercise than "consistency counts." If you want to see results you need to commit to going to the gym and then work the rest of your life around it. Good intentions does not build muscle or help you lose weight. You should aim for 3 times per week. I accomplish this (in my rather hectic life) by working out my weekly schedule in advance. I put my workout sessions in my calendar and plan everything else around them. You need to fully commit.

2. Focus on compound movements

When you start at the gym you should only do 5 exercises. That's right 5. They are all barbell exercises and the entire workout can easily be accomplished in about an hour. The 5 are:

  1. back squat
  2. bench press
  3. bent over row
  4. overhead press
  5. deadlift

Now it is beyond the scope of this article to train you in proper technique, but these 5 exercises will cover every major muscle group in your body. And you only do 3 at any given workout. It would look like:

Workout A                     Workout B

back squat                     back squat

bench press                   overhead press

bent over row                deadlift

You simply alternate workouts every time you go to the gym. So one week will be A, B, A and the next will be B, A B. Sounds simple right? It is. Notice you will squat on every workout, and that's because squatting uses your entire body. More on this another time.

3. Start with light weight

The biggest mistake I ever made was to start out with weight that is too heavy. The first thing my macho mind said to me when I went to the gym is "how much can you lift?" Big mistake. I could barely get out of bed the next morning. My body was sore for like 5 days, making it difficult to walk, much less go to the gym. Don't do this. Start with an empty bar with no weight on it. (yes you read that right but it still weighs 20kg) You will have to swallow your ego a bit but don't worry we will get to adding weight soon enough. The idea here is that you use light weight to help your body get used to the movements (called proprioception). In effect you are training your body to train. This is where you learn proper technique so you don't injure yourself. Take your time here. After you are comfortable with the movements, then you begin adding weight. This is called loading. Every workout you add more weight to the bar. This is called progressive loading. It increases the demands on your body so it begins to adapt, aka show results. You should aim for 2.5 to 5 kg increments. This will get heavy fast, The biggest advantage here is you will not have excessive DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).

4. Don't forget to add a warmup and cool down

The second biggest mistake I made when going back to the gym was to not warm up and cool down properly. At the beginning you can do a general warm up of say a 10 minute jog on a treadmill, just to get your heart rate up, increase blood flow to your muscles and prepare for exercise. You should also do specific warmups on any weighted exercise (same movement with an empty bar) just to get ready for the stress of weight. For a cool down, have a 5 minute walk on the treadmill, followed by 10-15 minutes of stretching. Both warming up and cooling down help to alleviate muscle soreness. I also like to take a very hot shower after.

 

This is the training program I followed for the first 2 months and I lost 8 kg or about 1kg per week. For a full breakdown of what has been happening, visit my results so far. The best news is I gained a ton of strength, confidence at the gym and really started to build the gym habit. And you can too. Remember, the only balance to a hedonistic lifestyle is working out by balancing the good with the bad. The ying and the yang. Remember the Pareto rule? This is your 20%.

Like what you read? Have a few questions? Let me know!

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