Some may not see it, but there is a big difference between body building and performance training. One difference is that body building is primarily done for aesthetic purposes, whereas performance training is done to improve certain physical skills. Another difference is that the muscles that are focused on. The body builder, in most cases, wants to build that muscle mass focusing heavily on the slow twitch muscles that help with raw strength and appearance. In the realm of performance training, you want to focus on the fast twitch muscles and the tendons. Performance training sometimes requires quick direction changes and explosive movements. For the aesthetic purpose, the body builder will also focus on keeping the body fat low to look more defined, whereas body fat only becomes an issue in performance training if weight class or poor performance become an issue. Now, I’m not saying that you won’t be aesthetically attractive doing performance training, but it is more of a side effect or after thought not a focus. Also, you do work strength into performance training, but it is more for the purpose of performing a certain physical activity. In the end they both have benefits, and it really comes down to what do you want in the end.
I know many people don’t have the ability to meet for training either because of scheduling or distance, so I will be offering “at home programs” for all fitness levels. All of the workouts will be done with minimal equipment so you can do it at home or even at the park. Each level will include instructional videos to show you how to perform each exercise with modifications, if needed. I will also include basic nutrition information. Again, this isn’t a substitute for personal training, but it is a step in the right direction.
We all know with the holidays, time runs short really easily. So, let’s look at how to keep health and fitness in your crazy holiday schedule.
First, and best advice, is to focus on quality over quantity. You don’t have to spend an hour on your workout when you could bust out a hard core workout in just 30 minutes. Try knocking out 2 or more muscle groups back to back while reducing rest time. For your cardio, try doing intervals or tabata training. This will keep the challenge high and reduce the time required for the workout.
Another idea is workout at home and focus on the basics! Push-ups, pull ups and squats. You do not need a gym for a great workout if you focus on these basics.
The healthy eating is the biggest holiday challenge. Junk food is everywhere!! But don’t get down on yourself if you have a few slip ups. We are all human. Just focus on portion control, then the little indulgences won’t add up as much.
The best answer is, there isn’t a best way. I will say that everyone’s body will react differently to diet and exercise programs. The best first step is to find an exercise that you enjoy doing because weight loss can be a long, but rewarding, journey.
Whatever exercise activities you do choose, try to make sure they incorporate multiple muscle groups. The more muscle groups you work the more calories you will be burning. So, doing a squat to over head press would be more beneficial than just doing a chest press because more muscles are activating. Also, consider activities like HIIT or Tabata training over just running. You will work a lot more muscles in a shorter amount of time. If motivation to exercise is an issue, then try group classes like boot camps. You will work at your own pace but with your peers there to help motivate you.
Now onto diet. First off, get rid of the term diet, look at it as a lifestyle change. Want to feel good? Then eat good. No, this does not mean you will have to give up all the foods you love. You just have to take it all in moderation. I suggest to stay away from fad diet programs. In most cases (not all) they are a very very short term solution. As your body changes so too will the meal plans. This is important! You may start off with high protein and lower carb and fat, but as you become more physically fit you may need more fuel like carbs. Remember protein is not an energy source, it does help repair muscle, but carbs and fats are what give you energy. I would highly suggest talking to a nutritionist for a meal plan to fit your needs or if you just need the basic such as “What amount of protein, carbs, and fats do I need?” talk to a trainer or check out apps like My Fitness Pal. Also, don’t worry if you slip up from time to time, no one is perfect. Even I have a little cheat meal from time to time.
Most important, remember to do this for you and no one else. Life will happen and it will create obstacles. Use those obstacles to make you stronger. This is the first step to a newer fitter you!
So my original doctor a few years ago told me I would have to take medicine for my cholesterol because of how crazy high it was. Matter of fact it was so bad he said I would be lucky to make it to 35 without a heart attack. Well with focusing on diet and exercise I got it to normal levels with no medicine. Take that pharmaceuticals!The moral of it all… Don’t let someone tell you what you can and can’t do with your own health and fitness.
One of the most misunderstood and underrated parts of most people’s fitness programs is cardio-respiratory training.
Most people fail to understand why cardio training is so important in their fitness routines. Once you have set your overall goals, it is important to understand how to perform cardio training in the most effective way to reach those goals. Some of the most common goals for cardio training are: improve health by reducing cardio risk factors such as unhealthy body composition, poor blood lipid profiles, high blood pressure, weight management, improve performance, and reduce mental anxiety. There is much more to cardio training than just working the aerobic energy system.
In order to meet the goals, you have set the aerobic energy system and anaerobic energy system must both be trained. This is true especially for people who consistently switch between their aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, maximizing performance and minimizing fatigue. This type of conditioning is referred to as “interval training“, and is actually one of my favorite types of training. One thing I would suggest before you start an intense cardio program is to actually meet with a fitness professional just to help determine your current VO2 max. Your VO2 max, is the highest rate of oxygen transport and utilization achieved at maximal physical exertion. It will also be very helpful to find your maximum heart rate. The formula for this is rather simple your maximum heart rate is equal to 220 – Age.