Daily Recovery Routine

Weekend Warrior Workout…

Better workouts and better results come through better recovery.

While this weeks “Weekend Warrior Workout” isn’t a workout, it will help you get stronger, feel better, and have less stiffness and muscle soreness.

It’s not always what we do in the workouts that makes the biggest difference, it’s what we do outside of our time in the gym that really counts.

While nutrition and proper sleep are important for recovery, just as you cannot workout hard every day and get the best results.

The following is a five minute recovery routine that we have found works great when done before going to bed each night.

Here is what you need:

  • A Foam Roller
  • A Tennis Ball
  • 5 Minutes

Here is how you do it:

  • Start with the Tennis ball and roll out the bottoms of your feet.
  • Next move to the foam roller and start at your calves and work your way up the body doing 10 rolls for each area.
  • Finish up with the two stretches for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Now, go to bed.

Enjoy!

Is A Lack Of Sleep Affecting Your Fitness?

Is it possible that a lack of sleep, or poor quality sleep, could be negatively affecting your weight loss goals? Or even making you fat?

According to recent research this seems to be exactly the case.

At the University of Chicago’s General Clinical Resource Center researchers followed 10 overweight, but healthy participants aged 35-49 who according to body mass index were considered overweight. The participants were given an individualized balanced diet that reduced their calories by 10% of what was needed to maintain their weight without exercise (roughly 1,450 calories per day).

Each participant was studied twice: the first time studied participants slept on average 7.5 hours over a fourteen day period, the second time for only 5.5 hours over a fourteen day period.

The researchers found that when sleeping less it reduced the participants fat loss by 55%. It was also found, that when participants got adequate sleep their ghrelin levels were lower. (High ghrelin levels reduce energy expenditure, increase hunger and promote fat retention.)

In conjunction with Stanford University the University of Chicago went a step further by looking at the leptin (leptin sends a signal to your brain to tell you when you are full) and ghrelin levels in 12 healthy men after being subjected to two days of adequate sleep and two days of sleep deprivation. They found that when sleep was restricted leptin levels went down and ghrelin levels went up. Thus, resulting in increased appetites and an inability to get full. They also found that the participants had an increased craving for high carbohydrate, calorie dense food.

Finally, Standard and the University of Wisconsin then took this even a step farther. They had 1,000 volunteers report the number of hours they slept each night. Then measured their leptin and ghrelin levels and charted their weight. Not surprisingly they found that those who slept less had lower leptin levels, higher ghrelin levels, weighed more, and had a higher level of body fat.

If you’ve been dieting and exercising, but having trouble losing weight, check your sleep. We each need between 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Even if you sleep less and don’t think you need it you probably do.  Many of us have become accustomed to functioning with sleep deprivation that we no longer remember what it feels like to be fully rested. Sometimes we just don’t know how bad we felt until we feel good again.

Ask yourself, “When was the last time you got a solid eight hours? When was the last time that happened regularly?”

During the hours spent asleep is when all the good stuff happens in your body. Cells repair and regenerate. Hormones function better and regulare. Aches and pains lessen with adequate sleep. And changes in the body’s appearance happen easier.

This is not to say that sleep is the entire answer, but it could be a missing link and the reason you are not getting the results you are looking for.
Not everyone has an easy time sleeping or staying asleep. But there some things you can do to help improve the quality of the sleep you get.

#1. Allow yourself the opportunity to get a full 8 hours and go to bed and wake up at the same time each night.
#2. The hours spent asleep before midnight seem to make a bigger difference than the hours spent asleep after midnight.
#3. Put down the iPad, iPhone, and shut off the TV at least a half hour before you go to bed. The light from these devices stimulates the brain and triggers a wake up response. If you need something to do to relax before bed, read a book, write in a gratitude journal, or take a hot bath.
#4. Do not eat and then immediately go to bed.
#5. Keep your bedroom cool. 68 degrees seems to be the sweet spot.
#6. Keep your room quiet and dark, free of artificial light.
#7. Avoid alcohol before going to bed.
#8. Cut back on caffeine.
#9. There is no research on this, but numerous people seem to sleep better when they take their daily fish oil before going to bed.

#10. Take five minutes to foam roll and stretch before going to bed.
Everyone can run on less sleep for a while, but it will catch up to you eventually and take a toll on your physical health.

Some signs of sleep deprivation are:
#1. Waking up tired.
#2. Increased irritability.
#3. Having trouble concentrating.
#4. Forgetfulness.
#5. Decline in job performance.
#6. Sleeping through your alarm.
#7. Making poor decisions.
#8. Lack of motivation.
#9. Stiff and achey joints.
#10. Frequently sick or not feeling well.
#11. You are not recovering as quickly from your workouts.
#12. Your strength is decreasing.
#13. Your gaining fat and losing muscle.

Get your sleep! It will make a difference in the person you are.

5 Fitness Hacks

At some point in time we will all struggle with our fitness and seeing the results we are looking for. And other times everything will be going well just as planned, but we still want to optimize our efforts.

Focusing on clean eating and getting in three workouts is a big part to being successful with fitness and weight loss, but sometimes is the little things that make big differences.

The following five “Fitness Hacks” can not only help you break out of a plateau, they can also take your game to the next level when everything is going well.

#1. Sleep.

Without 7-8 hours of sleep each night it is impossible for your body to function at it’s highest level. It is during this time asleep that your body’s hormones regulate and the bodies tissues can repair and regenerate themselves.

When you are sleep deprived you body will have increased cravings for sugar and simple carbs. The reason for this is because your body is low on energy and the sugar will provide a quick boost. The downside is that this boost doesn’t last long and you will need another hit of sugar to keep going.

Many times those who claim to have a “sweet tooth” will find that this sweet tooth decreases if they get adequate sleep.

Additionally, spending most days sleep deprived is a stressor on your body that causes increases in cortisol levels. When this happens your body does not process fat properly and tends to store more fat on the body.

So here is how to get good nights sleep.

  • Aim for 7-8 hours every night. You cannot make up lost sleep over the weekends.
  • Avoid alcohol within 3-4 hours of going to bed.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day or within a half hour difference.
  • Avoid electronics (iPhone, iPad, Computer, and TV) within one hour of going to bed. The light from these devices is similar to the waking am sunshine and triggers your body to want to wake up, which makes it hard to fall asleep.
  • Keep your bedroom cold and dark, which means around 68 degrees and no night lights.

#2. Practice Good Recovery Techniques

You cannot push your body day in and day out without it breaking down.

This means you only need three to four good workouts per week. More than this and your body breaks down over time. Sure you may feel fine for a few weeks or a few months of working out everyday, but eventually the body will break. It may start just as an occasionally achy joint or back, or you may find that you are feeling slightly less energetic, or begin to see a decrease in strength. These are all the beginnings of physical breakdown.

The good news is this can all be avoided with a few simple techniques.

  • Limit workouts to no more than 4 per week.
  • Take daily low intensity walks.
  • Foam roll and stretch daily. This is best right before bed. Take 5 minutes and roll out your entire body, followed by a few light stretches for your tight areas.

#3. Fuel Your Results

Freakin’ eat already.

Why is everyone afraid of food?

Only in America where we have an abundance of everything would practicing starvation and having doctor’s recommending starvation to lose weight. If starvation is not good for third world countries or people living on the streets in America, why is it good for those living well off?

Starvation is categorized as a daily caloric intake below 1,200 calories per day and is considered dangerously low once below 800 calories per day. While this will produce quick results, it also slows the metabolism to a halt in order for your body to survive. Being that all of our metabolisms slow as we age, actively slowly it is not the solution. Sure you can take pills to “boost” the metabolism, but your body will learn to lean on these instead of itself to keep the metabolism going. In the end when you begin eating normally again all of the weight will come back and in many cases body fat percentages will increase due to the loss in muscle tissue. This all leads to a less efficient metabolism.

So what is the answer?

Eat clean, real food and stop eating processed garbage and drinking yourself into oblivion on the weekends.

Clean food with proper portion sizes never fails.

#4. Eat 80/20

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 Rule.

In fact many of us may claim to even practice it. But do we really?

Here is how to check. Add up all of your weekly calories in two columns “good” and “bad”.

Does the “good” make up 80% of the total calories?

If not, you’re not practicing 80/20. Your practicing something else, maybe 60/40 or whatever number you got.

The reason this happens so easily is because we can eat clean all weekend and then blow it on the weekend by going over 20% with a few drinks and other treats due to the high calorie content of these foods.

#5. Make Time To Decompress

You need to time to just sit quietly each day and reflect. This helps you body relax and lowers stress. It doesn’t have to be long maybe only 10-15 minutes each day, but you need some time with no kids, no spouse, maybe the dog, and no devices. Just you.

If you can do this outside even better, this can be done with a walk or sitting on the patio. It can be down with a hot bath or shower, or through meditation. It doesn’t matter how you get it, your body just needs a little time each day for quiet reflection and stillness.

Give some of these or all of these a try and see how they impact your body in a positive way.

Strength Cardio Workout

You can be strong, but get gassed when you have to do something for a long period of time.

You can also have great cardio endurance, but lose steam quickly when a strength component is added.

That is where Work Capacity comes in.

This workout not only focused on building strength, but also challenges your cardiovascular endurance.

Workouts like this just might be the missing link in your fitness.

Here is how to do it:

  • Start with a foam rolling and 5-10 minutes of a Dynamic Warm-Up.
  • Move on to 3 sets of 60 seconds of the Front Plank, resting 60 seconds in between sets.
  • Starting with Circuit #1 you will do 10 Front Squats and then immediately Row for 2 minutes. Then rest for 2 minutes. Complete 3 sets.
  • Next move on to Circuit #2. You will do 10 TRX Rows and then immediately Row for 2 minutes. Then rest for 2 minutes. Complete 3 sets.

Enjoy!

Weekend Warrior Workout – 9/1/17

Time is not an excuse with this weeks “Weekend Warrior Workout” and even though the gym may be closed on Monday for Labor Day, this workout takes away that excuse.

All you need is 10 minutes and your bodyweight.

Here is how to do it:

Perform 2 Push-Ups, follow by 2 Squats, followed by 1 Reverse Lunge on each leg. Repeat for 10 reps.

That is 1 set, complete 5.

Enjoy!

PNF No Excuses Workout #2

No time to make it to the gym?

Give this 15-minute bodyweight workout a try. It will give you a heart-pounding, total-body workout and best of all you can do it anywhere.

Here is how it works:

  • 10 Bodyweight Squats
  • 10 Each Alternating Lunges
  • 10 Dots
  • 10 Leg Lowering
  • 10 Dolphin Planks
  • 10 Push Ups
  • Rest 1-2 Minutes, Repeat 3-5 times

There are no excuses for not getting in a workout.

Enjoy!

10-Minute Fat Torcher

Give this “10-Minute Fat Torcher” Workout a try.

Here is how you do it:

  • 60 seconds of TRX Rows
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • 60 seconds of Med Ball Slams
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • 60 seconds of TRX Squat Jumps
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • 60 seconds of Front Plank
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • 60 seconds of Burpees

That’s it…10-minutes and you are done!

Enjoy!

PNF No-Excuses Workout #1

No time to make it to the gym?

Give this 15-minute bodyweight workout a try. It will give you a heart-pounding, total-body workout and best of all you can do it anywhere.

Enjoy!

TRX Upper Body Countdown Workout

Weekend Warrior Workout

Blast your upper body with this TRX Countdown Workout.

Here is how you do it:

10 Reps of Rows, followed by 10 Reps of Push-ups, then 9 & 9, 8 & 8, and so on down to 1.

Want a bigger challenge?

Once you take the reps down, immediately take them back up.

Enjoy!

55/55/500 Workout

Weekend Warrior Complex…

Heavy Carries are great for building total-body strength and work capacity, add a couple exercises to them and you have one awesome workout.

This week we bring you our “55/55/500 Farmer’s Carry Circuit”.

 

Here is how it works:

25 Yard Farmers Carry (1/4 body weight in each hand)

10 Push Ups

25 Yard Farmers Carry (1/4 body weight in each hand)

10 Bodyweight Squats

Repeat by decreasing the push-ups and squats by 1 reps each time until you get down to 1.

 

By the end of this workout you will have done 55 Push-Ups, 55 Squats, and 500 Yards of Farmer’s Carries. As and added you will also have down 20 deadlifts every time you pick the kettlebells up to start your carry.

 

Enjoy!

 

For more “Weekend Warrior Workouts” visit: http://pittsburghnorthfitness.com/category/fitness/workout-plan/