I love to travel and so do many of my clients. In fact, to ensure proper balance in one’s life I strongly encourage it! However, if done frequently or for extended periods of time it can significantly push back the timeline you had originally set to accomplish your fitness goals. Here are my 3 suggestions on how to transition back into workout mode as smoothly as possible when returning from a vacation...
Getting to the gym is half the battle, but once you’ve arrived just how long should your workout last? Unfortunately there is no simple, one size fits all, quantitative answer to this question. To figure out the most optimal duration for a workout, we need to look at several things, but first and foremost you need to define what kind of a workout you PLAN on doing at the gym. Feel free to re-read that last sentence, because I did in fact just say you need to have a plan before you stroll through the doors of your local fitness center. Decide whether your workout for the day will be strength training based, targeting the major muscle groups or cardiovascular based, testing the endurance of your heart and lungs. Since a lot of my readers despise cardio, let’s save that topic for another day and assume your workout will be centered on weight training. Here are some things to consider.
A good friend of mine started a roundtable discussion on Facebook centering around the phenomena of overtraining and I figured my response would make a good topic for my weekly blog post. I suppose first I should preface that for this article we’re concerned with the physical aspects of overtraining since there are behavioral and emotional conditions that can accompany it. For those that may be unfamiliar with it, overtraining is the end result of a person exceeding their body’s ability to recover by incorporating too much volume and intensity into their exercise program. I use the term exercise program loosely as it can affect all sorts of athletes such as weight lifters, runners, swimmers, and even golfers. The individual stops making progress, and CAN even begin to backslide in terms of their performance in their respective sport.
Lean muscle mass. It just sounds like such a wonderful thing to have. Wouldn't it be nice if you could take a magic pill and have a plentiful amount of lean muscle on your frame. It definitely doesn't work that way but the good news is that one particular form of exercise is especiallay good at building muscle. Strength training, weight lifting, and resistance training all mean the same thing and are the best way to add muscle to your frame. Sorry, cardio and yoga are not going to do it for you! You are actually going to have to take the time to do specific exercises and concentrate on the workout itself. Physiologically, strength training causes an increase in muscle size, improved muscle tone, increased muscular strength and an increase in tendon, bone and ligamental strength. The purpose of this article is to raise your awareness on exactly why it is so important to maintain the lean muscle on your frame and how adding lean muscle will help you look and feel the way you want.
There is nothing worse than going to the gym and dredding the workout you're about to experience. I'm not saying that you have to be like a kid in a candy store when it comes to your workouts, but at least have some sense of optimism going into your workout. Each individual will vary, but typically, the human body will adapt to a given exercise program within 6-12 weeks. Before I sound too critical, I want to commend anyone who exercises. You are the minority in this country. However, as you and I both know, most people do the same workout for months on end and continue to look and feel the same. As I eluded to earlier, this is due to the adaptive response our bodies have when a certain stimulus is placed upon it. Our bodies tend to gravitate towards homeostasis, a stable, constant condition of properties and unless a different stimulus is placed upon the body, it will continue to do it's usual thing. So just how does one go about placing a new stress on the body? The simplest answer is to do something different, but more specifically, here are 5 ways you can change up your current exercise program.
Everybody goes through a phase where they don't exercise. For some it is planned, and others it happens unexpectedly. For instance, bodybuilders typically take a week, sometimes two, off after they've dieted down 10-12 weeks for a contest to try and give their bodies a chance to rebound. Another unfortunate scenario that I can relate to is experiencing a major injury (Bicep tendon rupture). Injuries requiring surgery will take some time to bounce back from but based on conversations I've had with a few orthopaedic surgeons, the sooner you become mobile, the better! The last reason for a layoff is: life happens! And you can insert any life event or excuse here. The reality is that exercise is one of the first things to be removed in our lives when things get hectic. Which doesn't really make much sense if you think about it. Studies have shown that exercise gives you more energy, improves mental clarity, relieves stress, boosts self confidence, and the list goes on...so why do we neglect it? Well, each situation is unique in it's own sense, but in most cases it's just pure laziness. With that said, if you're trying to make a comeback, here are 5 tips to help you hit the ground running.
A training partner can be a great addition to your workouts, but there are some criteria that must be met before allowing that person to come on board.
1.) Similar Goals: If the person you are working out with does not have the same goals as you, the workouts are not going to be beneficial for both parties. For instance, if you are trying to add muscle and your partner it trying to drop fat, the workouts will not be congruent. It is your fitness goal that should influence the design of your workout.
About the Author
Gym Owner and Personal Trainer, Keith Diedrich has a B.A. in Exercise Science and has been professionally involved in health and fitness in various capacities since 2005.
"My initial thought about Keith was that he seemed very casual and not as frenetic as other professionals. I quickly learned that he was gauging my stamina, movements, and technique. He wasn't after a fast burnout, but he wanted to exhaust every muscle every time. He said we were working on a "mind to body connection." With this connection I'd be able to gauge whether a set was 15 reps or 20 reps regardless of the initial "goal of 15!" I believe much of my gains came from Keith always seeing my potential even when I couldn't." ~ Saul "Mr. Biceps"