April 11, 2015

Tips, Mobility, Nutrition

4 Ways to Improve your Rest and Recovery.

I’m sure most of you know by now that I treat things you do outside the gym just as important to what you do inside on the gym floor.Rest and Recovery is something that should be part of your training program,along with Mobility,Strength and smart Conditioning work. I’ve seen some pretty damn shocking “conditioning” work out there but that’s for another day.All of these principles come together and enhance your goals whether they are performance to fat-loss.

Personally as a trainer I treat performance first then fat-loss.In my opinion fat-loss is something that will soon come to the client when performance improves.Most people I work with are quite active in their day to day life.I work with people from High level athletes to weekend warriors to house wives. Majority of these people are training 8+ hours a week.When I refer to training i don’t always mean on the gym floor smashing out KB swings.It can be anything from simple exercise like walking your dog,to cycling to work,training with their team or going to the local yoga class.Now when you tally all this exercise up it can be quite a lot and now you might start to wonder why your feeling beat up even before the gym workout?

Perhaps its time to look at some rest and recovery methods that can only make you that bit better.

What i mean by Rest and Recovery.

Rest : sleep and time spent not training

Recovery : techniques and actions taken to maximize your body’s repair

A balanced combination of rest and recovery along with proper diet and exercise should be a part of any fitness regimen.The 80/20 rule is something that needs to be implemented here.Eighty percent of your time can be spent focusing on diet and exercise, while twenty percent should be left for enjoying life. In other words, don’t let yourself get too wrapped up in perfection. Believe it or not i have seen some pretty scary stuff over the years when some people have gone after it too much.And for some of you guys that are chasing down high level performance you have to realise “When Performance starts Health ends”.But for most of you all this will never come into play.

1. Sleep

Sleep is the most important piece of recovery.Adequate levels of sleep help to provide mental health, hormonal balance,sex drive and muscular recovery.And guess what,All of these are the foundation to health that was covered at the Max El Haag seminar i attended.

How much Sleep?

  • 8-10 hours of good sleep is what is needed every night.
  • 1 hour away from all LED light prior to sleep
  • Dimmed lights
  • Hydrated sleep and filtered water at arms length of bed
  • Well cooled and aired bedroom

2. Hydration

Everyone knows that water is good for them and may understand the basic importance of water and what it does for you. The unfortunate side is that most people do not value it like they should which could possibly be because they truly don’t know many of the other important benefits that come with it.

Water helps all our functions. A few examples are more efficient nutrient uptake, lower levels of stress on the heart, improved skin tone, and better hair quality.

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements.So get replacing it.

How much Water ?

  • Men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters)  a day.
  • Women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) a day.

3. Nutrition

Barry Sears said “There are three things in life which are very visceral; religionpolitics, andnutrition 

First of all I highly recommend his material go look at it here.

Everything you eat has the ability to help heal your body, or to poison it.We now live in a world where food choice is highly variable.There is extremely healthy choices to extremely killer choices,From organic to processed foods to water to alcohol.Lets be honest we all know what is good and what is bad.But remember what works for me or you doesn’t necessary work for him or her.I do not like to recommend a specific diet, but eating clean and balanced meals in moderation is proven to be effective to remain healthy and increase performance.I guess “The Paleo Diet” is something i like to live by.What works best for me is  simple basic real food from meat/veg some fruits little starch and no sugar.I tend to stay away from wheat and dairy as much as possible as personally it doesn’t agree with me.Treats like chocolate,coffee,alcohol and so on all have a place too but within moderation.I also go down the road of supplementation.First of all a well balanced day of correct amount of nutrients is key then you look towards supplementation such as Whey protein,fish oils,probiotics, creatine etc.First of all get your nutrition correct first then go down these areas.A common question i get asked a lot is What protein should i buy?Want to know then go read this article now.

And then click this 

4. Mobility/Stretching/Self-Myofascial Release

These areas are so crucial.

Before every single session with clients I spend at least 15-20 mins working on these areas.Most of us spend a lot of time in the seated position.Some people go from seating down 8 hours a day at a desk then straight to the gym skipping mobility work and into their workout session.Then they wonder why they aren’t progressing or even worse  struggling with a niggly injury.

Want to know why?

Because your too tight and sticky in all your joints.From tight ankles,hip flexors to in-active glutes and so on.

Here is a basic template some of my clients will work off when they come see me.

Foam roll/Lacrosse ball work @5mins

PVC Pass thrus

Banded shoulder overhead distraction

Inch worms

Hamstring banded work

Couch stretch

Pigeon stretch

Glute bridge

X-band walks

Again this is just a quick example.Mobility work is personal and different people will have different areas to work on.Ill be honest most of my clients dislike doing x-band walks at 6am in the morning before a session but you know what,2 months down the line they know why they do it. I’ve never really understood gyms and trainers that put their clients through a “Mini warm up workout” consisting of running,squats,swings,burpees,pull -ups prior to a another workout.Sure its fine to get the heart rate up somehow but If your doing that and your forgetting the above exercises then your on the road to injury.

Or here is a excellent video of a good warm up protocol .

I hope some of these factors above can help you out and you can find time to work on them outside of the gym.To be honest i have not mentioned them all,There are other areas such as Meditation (which i feel is getting bigger and bigger all the time) Yoga/Pilates,Simple stretching,using your fitness in other areas like Z1 training,long walks or even some other  recovery methods such as Epsom salts baths to ice baths to compression recovery methods like Voodoo floss bands.These are all areas i will focus on again.Hope you enjoyed this post and if you need any more help with your training please get in touch with me any time.

Thanks for reading,

DavidLastFitness.

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