Fitness Quote of The Week- Consistency

(Short read) the importance of consistency

“ I train to be the best in the world on my worst day “- Ronda Rousey

This quote from a former UFC champion is about consistency. You may not be training to be a world class athlete but you’re probably training to reach a fitness goal. If it’s a worthwhile goal, it’ll be one that challenges you.

On your mission to achieve the goal, you’ll have some days that you don’t feel like training. You’ll feel tired, stressed, or something else. Unless you’re sick or severely exhausted, you should do something. Something as little as mobility work or extra stretching will help in the long run. One of my personal workout principles is to always show up.

When you show up, you may not be going 100 miles per hour but you’ll be doing something. Even if you lower the intensity of an exercise significantly, you’ll still be working on those same movement patterns. This can make you more efficient the next time you do the exercise.

If you’re trying to lose fat and you normally run 2 miles a day, running half a mile will help you more than sitting on the couch and doing nothing. Personally, I prefer sprints over jogging.

Just show up. That small amount of progress gets you closer to your goal than the day before. The added benefit of always showing up is it always gives you an opportunity to learn.

How To Stay Healthy At Work

This post is about the things you can do at work to improve your health and fitness

To me fitness is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Even at work, there are things you can do to support your health and fitness goals like using a standing desk or simply having some self control at office parties. Below are some things that have helped me stay healthy at my office job.

Bathroom Squats

One healthy habit you can have at work is to do bodyweight squats every time you go to the bathroom.Every time I go to the bathroom, I do 10 body weight squats. I drink a good amount of water so that’s a lot of squats! Since they’re spread throughout my day, I avoid fatigue. If you already a lot of leg work in your training, you can reduce the frequency of squats. You don’t want to burn out.

By doing all those squats, I’m improving my efficiency in the squat movement pattern so when it’s time to do them with weights, I’m comfortable. I also make sure no one is in the bathroom when I do them. I prefer to avoid awkward bathroom encounters at work.

After Lunch Walks

Another healthy work habit is going for walks after lunch.This is something that has helped me a lot. I usually do this 30 minutes after my lunch break. I walk around for 5-10 minutes. By doing this after lunch, I speed up digestion of the food I ate. I also reduce the risk of fat gain since I’m using the food ate to fuel my walk.

5-10 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot but over a 5 day work week, I’m adding an extra 25-50 minutes of exercise to my schedule.To the critics that say I’m spending more time away from work. I actually find myself more productive when I return from my walks. Walking is good for the mind and the body.

Wellness Room

If your job has a wellness room, take advantage. The purpose of a wellness room is to give employees a place to take a mental break. I’ve used the wellness room to do different stretches, especially those that target the hips and glutes. Sitting all day is terrible for your hips and glutes. The wellness room is private so you can use it for any health related activity you’d like.

Some other things you can do to boost your health at work include using a standing desk if available and having stress ball with you. Too much stress is bad for your health so keeping it under control is important.

If you want to boost your health and be more productive at work, make time for healthy activities.

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Take It Outside

This post is about the benefits of adding outdoor workouts to your fitness routine.

As much as I love being in the gym and pushing myself with weights, I can’t forget about the outdoors. I’ve always felt a different type of energy when training outdoors. There’s something liberating about being out in open space and moving freely.

The gym is great but there are rules. When you’re outdoors, you make your own rules as long as it’s not illegal. You don’t want to get arrested for the sake of working out. When you’re outdoors, you can move freely. You can do whatever you want

My Outdoor Workout:

Since the weather got nice, I’ve been going on walks from time to time. I think it’s time to pick up the intensity. Time to do sprints! I’ll still go to the gym a couple times a week cause I love lifting. I’m just ready to add some sprints to my routine.

For anyone that hasn’t ran sprints in a while or ever, the best way to get in the groove is by doing hill sprints. You’re less likely to get hurt with hill sprints since your body won’t be able to move as fast as it would during regular sprints . Once you can run hills, you can run anywhere. I used to run hills as a conditioning tool but I plan on using it for strength and power. Rather than doing high reps, low sets for conditioning, I’ll do low reps, high sets for power. When you train outside, you find creative ways to exercise.

From my experience, I’ve gotten the best results when I incorporated outdoor workouts.

Adding outdoor workouts will spice up your routine. Sometimes being in the gym all the time can get stagnant. I find myself more enthusiastic about my lifting routines when I’m mixing in outdoor workouts to my routine.

Training outside just makes you happier. Have you ever seen the joy kids have when they run outside for recess? Humans are meant to be outside. It’s in our nature. When you train outside, you reconnect with who your true self. You connect with nature. When you train outside, you’ll become a better athlete. You most likely won’t have any weights with you. It’s just you and your body.

When you train outside, you’ll gain a new level of mental toughness. The more intense your outdoor workout is, the better. Bringing that mental toughness to the gym, will put you at another level. I’m speaking from experience when I say this.

By training outdoors when it’s nice, don’t be surprised if you end up doing outdoor workouts in the winter. You won’t care whether it’s cold, warm, or hot. You probably won’t train outside as often during the winter but there will be days that nothing can stop you.

Closing Thoughts

Reignite your passion for fitness by training outdoors. I’m not saying to ditch the gym because beautiful things happen when you step in that building. You should definitely add outdoor workouts to your routine. I feel like the best way to use your workouts to maximize health and fitness is to do both indoor and outdoor workouts.

You can run hills, use the monkey bars at a playground, or go for a hike. Just find something that supports your goals and see the tremendous benefits of training outdoors.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Do A Random Workout

Breaking out of your routine and doing a random workout can provide immense benefit to your training program.

Consistency and discipline are important in any training program but sometimes you can benefit from doing a random workout. It doesn’t have to be something scary. You’ll find great benefit in just going to the gym on a random day and doing something simple.

Last Thursday , I felt the itch to go to the gym even though I had an intense workout the day before. I felt good and just wanted to get something done. I felt great at the end of the workout and it made me think about the benefits of doing random workouts.

Benefits of Random Workouts

Greater Appreciation: You develop a greater appreciation for your workout routine. Sometimes I take my workouts for granted since I’m so used to the same routine. It becomes automatic. By doing a random workout, you actually have time to think about your workout routine.

Recovery: Doing a random workout will help you with muscle recovery. The fact that you’re moving your body means you’ll be promoting blood flow throughout your body.

Learning New Things: Random workouts can teach you a lot about your body and what it needs to progress. By doing a random workout, you’re getting out of your comfort zone and that’s when you’ll learn a lot about yourself. You can take what you learn use it to help you achieve your goals faster.

Happiness: If you’re someone who loves fitness, getting in any workout will bring you joy. Personally, I feel like a kid in a candy shop when I step in the gym. The endorphin boost you’ll get from the workout also helps with the happiness.

How To Select a Random Workout

When doing a random workout, I recommend choosing something that will contribute to your fitness goal. Even if the impact of the random workout isn’t as large as your normal workouts, at least you’ll move a step closer to your goals.

You can do an intense workout or a workout with moderate intensity. The best way to decide workout intensity depends on what day you’re doing the workout. If the random workout is at the start of your training week, go for higher intensity. If it’s in the middle or end of your training week, it’s best to go for moderate intensity workouts.

This goes hand in hand with my personal training philosophy. I always like doing my hardest workouts at the start of the week. This gives me momentum that I can carry into my following workouts. I’m also fresher at the start of my training weeks.

My Workout

The random workout I did followed the moderate intensity approach since it was near the end of my training week . During my random workout, I did a lot of movements I was familiar with but the format was completely different.

Deadlifts: I did  five sets of three at 225 pounds. These were regular deadlifts at a steady speed.  My rest periods were four minutes, which is pretty long for this level of training intensity. The purpose of this was to get in some extra reps. I learned from Strength Coach Pavel Tsatsouline that you can get stronger by increasing the amount of times you do an exercise. By getting in more quality reps of a movement, I’m making my nervous system more efficient at that movement that movement. A more efficient nervous system means greater strength potential.

Weighted Dead-Bugs: I did dead-bugs while holding two 12 pound dumbbells. The added weight forced my core muscles to work harder. I want my core to be as strong as possible so I can generate more power and be safe during my heavy lifts. I did 10 reps of these in between my deadlift sets.

Iso-Lunge: I did one minute isometric lunges on each leg. The purpose of this was to improve muscle endurance, strengthen my joints, and to work my glutes.

Bag Work: I finished the workout with bag work. I did three rounds of hitting the bag. Each round was two minutes long. It was a good way to get in some cardio.

Photo by <a href=”https://burst.shopify.com/@thenomadbrodie?utm_campaign=photo_credit&amp;utm_content=Free+Stock+Photo+of+Chin+Ups+%E2%80%94+HD+Images&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=credit”>Brodie Vissers</a> from <a href=”https://burst.shopify.com/fitness?utm_campaign=photo_credit&amp;utm_content=Free+Stock+Photo+of+Chin+Ups+%E2%80%94+HD+Images&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=credit”>Burst</a&gt;

Strong People Should Do Yoga

This post is about how yoga will help you in the weight room and in other areas of fitness

When it comes to building strength, yoga doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Yoga might not have the same effect that weightlifting has for strength building but it’ll indirectly make you stronger.Personally, I wouldn’t have made as much progress with my training if it wasn’t for yoga. From the outside yoga may look like glorified stretching but once you try it, you’ll experience a challenging workout.

Yoga Benefits

Flexibility: Yoga will help boost your overall flexibility. This is useful when trying to lift a weight with a full range of motion. As someone that does yoga, I never have an issue squatting to depth.

Stability: Yoga builds muscle and joint stability. In order to do those standing lunges and single leg poses, your stabilizer muscles will need to be used. The stronger your stabilizers are, the more power you get generate in your movements. Why don’t those people who squat on bosu balls lifting heavy weights? It’s because you can’t generate as much power on an unstable surface.

Core Strength: Several yoga poses will force you to engage your core muscles. A strong core will help you generate more power in any movement you perform. A strong core will also reduce your risk of injuries. Core strength is very important

Muscle recovery: Yoga helps with muscle recovery because it promotes blood flow. It’s probably because of those long poses and the deep breathing done in yoga workouts. I know my sore muscles always feel better after a yoga session.

Balance: Yoga provides the perfect balance to weight lifting. Some lifts like the squat compress your spine while yoga decompresses it. Proper weight lifting requires varying levels of intensity. Yoga can be challenging but it relaxes you. Yoga will also increase your energy so you have more in the tank when you hit the gym.

My Favorite Yoga Poses

Downward Facing Dog: The Downward Facing Dog is good for us lifters that really hit squats and deadlifts. This pose will give you a stretch throughout your backside from your lower back all the way to your calves. Runners and sprinters would benefit from this pose as well. The image on the thumbnail is a good demonstration of the Downward Facing Dog.

High Lunge: The high lunge is one of my favorite poses. The name says it all. In this pose your front leg will be in a lunge position and your back leg will be straight. You’ll also raise your arms to the sky. This pose gives you a groin and hip stretch but my favorite thing about is the increase in single leg stability. This pose will also build muscle endurance so you can perform any physical activity longer. Increased muscle endurance helps with injury prevention.

yoga-crescent-lunge_925x

 

Upward Facing Dog: This move is great for stretching your hip flexors. Tight hip flexors limit glute activation which will hold back your ability to perform big lifts and athletic movements.

upward-facing-dog-yoga_925x

Pigeon Pose: This is a great pose to loosen tight hips. I especially love doing this the day after a hard squat or deadlift workout. I don’t want to butcher the explanation for this pose so I’m putting a link below to help you get a good idea of how the pose is done.

https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-one-legged-king-pigeon-pose-in-yoga

My Yoga Reccomendations:

As someone who likes to do high intensity training like lifting heavy weights and sprinting, I like to do Vinyasa Yoga. I like this type of yoga because it’s not as intense as other forms of yoga. I mainly use yoga as a recovery method on my non-lifting days. I also recommend easing into poses in order to avoid injuries. Yoga should help you feel better, not worse. I’m currently using an app called Down Dog that provides a wide variety of yoga workouts.

Closing Thoughts: I’m so grateful for what yoga has done for me in my fitness journey. It’s helped my body recover from the impacts of intense workouts as well as battle life’s stresses. AS you add yoga to your fitness routine, don’t be surprised if other areas of your life improve as well.

 

The images on this post were taken by the same photographer. I put a link of his instagram below.

https://www.instagram.com/matt_henry_photo/

 

For better yoga tutorials :  https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/

The Beauty of Fitness Part 2.

Fitness has a therapeutic  power. When I’m working out the world stops. Nothing else matters. There’s no boss, teacher, kids, wife, bills, etc. All that matters is the workout I’m doing. You have the choice of what you want to do. You can lift weights or do some sprints if you want to release some pent up energy. You can do some yoga if you need to cool down and de-stress. Working out is a form of self-expression just like singing and painting. As a form of self-expression, fitness gives you the extra strength necessary to get through your daily routine. I once heard the phrase “expression is the opposite of depression”. How can you be depressed when you’re doing something you love and have an outlet to express your emotions? Fitness is life saving.

Fitness has  a transformative power as well. The confidence you gain from overcoming physical challenges can be transferred to other aspects of your life. When you can move past your comfort zone in a workout and do something you never thought you could do, it opens your eyes to the great things you can do in other aspects of your life. Whether you suffer an injury or fail on a lift, you have to continue your fitness journey if it’s something that means a lot to you. This is a metaphor for when you face adversity in life. A lot of lessons that you learn in your fitness journey apply to life as well. Regardless of how you do it, working out will help you be a better version of yourself in all aspects of life.

” Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart ” – Gene Tunney