A lot of times, we wonder how can we monitor what we eat, numerically, and maintain that number each day to meet our fitness/nutritional goals. That’s where tracking calories and macros comes
into play. (How to track macros - a chapter in Garbear's Guide to Proper Nutrition. Available under “Products” tab).
Be it writing them down daily or simply entering them into an app, this can become very tedious. And you may end up losing interest all together on recording this data.
How to stay on top of it AND not feel like you’re doing the same boring task each day? Select a few hours of the day (i.e 9 am, 12 pm, 4pm etc) and use these selected hours to plug in all the
foods you ate. That way you don’t have to continuously stop what you’re doing to enter things in. Just be sure to remember what you are eating in the hours in between!
Tip # 2 - Don’t Forget Cardio
Cardio can be such a neglected part of many people’s programs, especially when the goal is to put on muscle. I’ll always stress this, cardio should be a must! Whether it’s a 5-10 minute warm up
outside or a 1 hour circuit program. Your muscles have a limited amount of oxygen they can utilize. We call this VO-2 max (volume of oxygen uptake). The better your cardio system is the more
oxygen your muscles can hold and use while at work.
Not only this, but you also release endorphins during exercises like running. Which are great for your mood!
All in all, spending time to get blood circulating through your joints and muscles is an extremely important factor in everyday life, as we were never meant to be sedentary beings.
Tip #3 - Knowing when to Push Yourself
As the saying goes, “Your worst enemy is Yourself”. This is understanding that our own internal conflicts are what hold us back from getting over the hard climb of that mountain. Simply put, if
you want to grow, get stronger etc., you need to leave your comfort zone.
Your body only adapts to as much stress as you will it, so once your body reaches the current threshold you’re training at, you will either maintain where you’re training level is, or need to go
Remember, if you’re unsure or scared to go up, you don’t have to do extreme jumps. Try 5-10 pound increases. Track your progress, listen to your body, and don’t let other people get into your
head too much. Happy liftings!
Tip #4 - Training in Different Planes
Moving linearly (front, back left and right) are standard motions were all taught to do, especially when we begin working out. But one thing that many people forget to do when they begin is move
in different directions. Whether it’s sideways crab walks with a resistance band, bear crawls or sideways lunges, the body was originally meant to stay moving. It also keeps your joints in tip
top shape and you’ll have less “my muscles are too tight” problems down the road.
Tip #5 - Strength Rep Range Vs. Hypertrophy Rep Range
The battle between high reps vs low reps wages on even until this day. But today, we will debunk the pros and cons to both.
Both have their place in your training systems. Training between 1-6 reps are usually categorized as “strength”. And training 8-12 reps are usually “hypertrophy”. Anything above twelve would
usually inquire endurance training and an increase in the recruiting of longer muscle fibers aka a leaner look to a physique.
I would not recommend one over the other unless competing for a specific sport. Allowing your muscles to develop in growth (hypertrophy) requires you to be able to lift heavier weights for
extended reps -or periods of time. The only way to increase your weight is to strength train.
I do recommend ending your last 1-2 sets of a compound exercise with a strength rep range set, or even throw in a few throughout your weeks. Keep track of your progress!
Tip #6 - Rest Periods Between Sets
This goes hand-in-hand with the notes above. Deciding how long you choose to rest in between your sets will either benefit you or keep you from maximizing the time under tension. One thing I have
to go into explaining is what time under tension means. Time under tension is in reference to how long your muscles are at work. The longer the time under tension the more muscle fibers you will
be recruiting but to an extended period of time (12 to 15 reps for example) you’ll be training endurance fibers. Generally the higher your repetition in your sets are The shorter your rest
periods are in between your sets. When you are training heavier and lower reps you will have a longer rest. Due to the fact that you need to push out all of the lactic acid buildup and restore
some of your energy storage's is to be able to complete the next sets and reps.
High reps (12-15)= 30 seconds between sets
Middle reps (8-12) = 1 minute to 1:15 between sets
Low reps (1-6) = 1:30 to 2 minutes MAXIMUM
Tip #7 - Using Quarantine to Recover and Grow
As most of us around the world know, we are in a global lock down. Some of us are training at home and some of us are not doing anything. This is a prime time to utilize your days to stretch,
change your diet, up your calories, or even focus on body weight exercises. HIIT workouts are great outdoors.