How to (re)start a workout routine

Good morning,

Have you ever taken so much time away from the gym that when you come back for your first workout, you are so sore that you can’t move for days? As a result, you really contemplate if it was worth it to go back in the first place. This happened to me back around Memorial Day when I took some time off from working out regularly (switched it with Jiu Jitsu), I ended up getting rhabdomyolysis and I had to take another 4 weeks away from the gym.  If you don’t know what that is, rhabdomyolysis is a condition where the muscles get worked so hard that they start to break down which causes muscle swelling, weakness, and pain. If not managed correctly it could be a medical emergency. No need to worry though, it can happen if we push our bodies way beyond our abilities.

But for those who haven’t gotten rhabdomyolysis but were extremely sore after your first workout, there are ways for you to overcome the soreness after taking time off.  The causes for muscle soreness are multifactorial, but mostly related to training volume (number of reps) and the body’s ability to adapt. When you take time off of working out, the body will not be able to handle as many reps as before. Your mind might be able to handle that work, but the reality is that the body will most likely lose its conditioning and strength abilities within 3 days of not working out.

So in order for you to get back to training with minimal pain and soreness (there will be some), these action steps will help you get back on the horse.

  1. For every month you are away from the gym, subtract 10% of the preprogrammed repetitions and weight. This is something that I prescribe to my injured athletes to help them make the necessary adaptations to their workouts. This is used to limit soreness and also prevent flare-ups of previous pain.

  2. Stay hydrated. Hydration is key to overall body function, so if you are thirsty, grab a quick chug that ice cold water. In fact, colder water ingested by chugging can be absorbed much faster than sipping room temperature water.

  3. Keep moving. Muscle soreness is mostly caused by micro-tears in the muscles that cause some swelling and pain. Movement will help pump those muscles to move fluids around and result in you feeling less stiff. This will then result in better overall movement and a faster recovery.

  4. Eat lean proteins and veggies at every meal. Consider fueling your body with high quality foods that will help facilitate energy replenishment as well as minimize overall inflammation (more processed foods lead to inflammation and won’t help the cause)

  5. Foam rolling can be helpful with the reduction of general soreness. The great thing is that you don’t have to have a fancy roller. In fact, if you have a rolling pin, they will do just fine. There are many resources online on how and where to rollout.

Being sore is not fun. However, it is going to temporary and the more you workout, the stronger and healthier you will feel; not to mention, your bouts of intense soreness will be fewer and far between. So next time you take time off away from the gym, consider the action steps above to help you recover faster and get back into your routine.

Have a great day,

Ashley

Are you thriving?

Good morning,

This message is for those who are just “hanging in there”. Today I wanted to tell you that you don’t have to just survive.

You deserve to thrive.  

I encourage you to take control over the situation today.  How can you make that happen?

The first step is to identify your basic needs. When looking at Maslow’s hierarchy, we must first meet the basic requirements (physiological and safety) of life. This includes nutrition, exercise, rest, and stress management. Next are psychological needs which include belongingness, relationships, and sense of accomplishment. The last requirement you would fulfill would be self actualization, this is where you are able to reach your full potential.

If you don’t meet the needs of the foundation, you won’t be able to fulfill the needs of the higher tiers.  This model helps you identify the areas that must improve before you thrive. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I can’t guarantee that it will be easy but there is a way for you to accomplish it.

Here are 5 action items to help yourself thrive and flourish today. If you can’t do all five, then start off with item #1 and do that on a daily basis. Once you are able to do that by habit, then move to the next item.

  1. Eat veggies and lean protein at every meal. This doesn’t mean that you have to only eat meat and veggies, but it is a great start to ensuring that you’re getting sufficient nutrients to meet your physiology.

  2. Get your heart rate up for 20 minutes or more. If you are a busy parent, this can include walking a little faster to work or taking the stairs. There are many ways that we can implement activity into our day.

  3. Tell someone close to you how you feel. Expressing your feelings, frustrations and wins will help you establish a deeper relationship with whom you interact.

  4. Celebrate one small win at the end of each day and write it down. The practice of gratitude is helpful to identifying the big picture and to show you that you are in fact winning at life.

  5. Work on something that challenges your creativity. Build or make something. It can be as simple as working on a coloring book, making music, or anything that allows you to create. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

You deserve to be thriving. It will take some work but you aren’t alone in this. You have a support system all around you. If you need help getting yourself out of that “survival mode”, reach out to them or to us. We are here for you.

You deserve the best.

Have a great day,

Ashley

The optimal way to fat loss... (and it's free)

Many people come up to me and ask about the best diets for fat loss. When I get presented with this question, I often ask one question first:

How many hours of sleep do you get? 

If you are logging in less than 6 hours per night then you are making things way harder for yourself.  A research study showed a 55% decrease in fat loss and an increase in lean muscle mass loss by 60% with sleep reduction (less than 6 hours), even with caloric restriction (most commonly studied method of weight loss). What does that mean?

If you sleep less than 6 hours per night on a regular basis, you are more likely to lose more muscle than fat.  You might see a slight dip on the scale, but muscle loss will often present itself as reduced toning and you feeling below average. When your goal is to lose weight, improve your health or just feel better, sleep is going to be crucial to your success. Without it, you are just fighting an uphill battle no matter what diet or workout plan you do.

Being that the week just started, I wanted to share with you the top 5 action steps to improving your sleep quality so that you can capitalize on the most available and free resource to your fat loss.

  1. Avoid looking at screens 2 hours before bed. Can’t do that? Buy blue light blocking glasses to help normalize your circadian rhythm (normal sleep cycle)

  2. Switch to decaf coffee/teas at 2pm. It takes about 8-10 hours for caffeine to be fully metabolized, so move into the night on the right foot.

  3. Read a book before bed. I used to prefer reading non fiction but realized that it took too much headspace. Shoot for fiction and get lost in the magical world of literature

  4. Spend time with family. My wife and I spend about 20-30 minutes doing pillow talk. This is when we get to wind down, we even listen to chill music before we fall asleep.

  5. Never go to bed angry or frustrated. It will lead to poor sleep quality and frustration. Something bothering you? Tell someone or write it down, let it go and see if it affects you the next morning. I promise you, things will get better.

Try these out over the next few nights. Not only will you feel better, but you will also notice a change in your body composition by changing up this one factor in your life.

If you are already logging in more than 6 hours of sleep, amazing! If you are looking for the next step in making positive changes, book a no sweat intro with us so that we can sit down and talk about how we can help you.

Have a great day,

Ashley

Are you prepared?

Good morning,

I wanted to share with you the most important action step to having an amazing week. This action isn’t meal prep or Sunday Funday. In fact, the most impactful step you can take to having a successful week is setting the intention for what is to be done. What do you want to be accomplished over the next few days? From there, you will have a much better idea on what to do in order to meet it.

If you haven’t been to a yoga class, the instructors have you set your intention for the one hour class. The reason is that without a purpose, you will not receive the full benefit from the yoga class itself. Yes, you might have gotten a little sweaty and maybe a little more flexible, but next time you take a class, see what else you gain from being able to set the expectation for class.

You can apply this principle to your life on a weekly basis, as it does set the tone on how you take action throughout the work week.  Do you want to get a project done in a few days? Write it down on a sheet of paper, or a notebook. The act of writing this down and making it known to yourself (better yet make it public on facebook or instagram) and you will be more likely to fulfill your intentions.  

So try it out today. If you want to make some forward progress towards any of your goals, here is what I recommend.  

  1. Look at your yearly goals and choose 1 to breakdown into smaller steps (quarterly->monthly->weekly). If you need help with this let me know

  2. Take the weekly intent/objective and write it down.

  3. Share it with someone. If you don’t want to post it publicly no worries, you can just share it with me by replying to this email.

  4. Set a reminder a week from now to let others know how your week went, and whether or not setting the intention helped you.  

  5. Let me know how the week went.

Are you ready?

Talk soon,

Ashley


What's your job?

Happy Saturday!

This morning, my wife and I are sitting on our couches getting ready to watch the Wimbledon Women’s Final Match.  This got me thinking about the journey to compete at this level. Every single day of training, recovery, and decision off the tennis courts have led them to the championship.

Being a professional tennis player is their job. That means every single decision and action leads to the successful completion of their job duties (winning matches). This includes training on a regular basis, eating the right foods to support performance, quality time with loved ones, and stress management.  Even with the best training programs, if these players have a bad night of sleep or are stressed out, they will experience a decline in their performance.

What is your job? Or better yet, who are you? Does every decision you make get you closer to winning your “championship”? Have you taken the necessary actions to help you win?  Even though you may not be a professional tennis player, there are parallels to both of your lives ensure success. Regular exercise, nutrition for performance/health, stress management, and quality with loved ones are crucial to helping you be your best.

So before you go about the rest of your day, ask yourself this question: Are you taking the actions so that you can win today? What are those actions?

If you don’t know, let us know how we can help.

Ashley