Recovery

Nurturing Wellness | Habits for a Healthy Body and Mind

Nurturing Wellness | Habits for a Healthy Body and Mind

When it comes to practicing daily health habits, pretty much the easiest thing to turn into a routine is the basics. Of course, life is not always cooperative, but ask yourself how consistent you are with self-care. Do you shower daily? Are you staying hydrated throughout the day? How much walking do you do weekly? Being healthy doesn't have to take up a lot of time. Instead, look what you can do to make adjustments to your lifestyle. Add fruit and veggies to your diet. Make a conscious effort to head to bed earlier. Switch off from tech in the evening. Reduce your caffeine intake. Avoid sitting for long periods. These may seem like small things, but they are not trivial to your well-being. Over time, they build up to have a meaningful impact on your health, from head-to-toe.

Stay Ahead of the Game and Away from Pain

Stay Ahead of the Game and Away from Pain

You jump in Feet first with out hesitation doing Burpees, Jumping Jacks, Sprints, and dozens of other movements to get you moving towards your goal. Then 10 days into the process all of sudden your start to get this pain in you lower back, your knees start to hurt around you kneecaps, along with several other painful issues that you may have experienced before. So you decide to fight you way through the pain and discomfort only to have the pain intensify until one morning you can’t even walk because of the pain in your joints. So you decide to rest your body for a week, then that week turns into two -three four weeks. Then life happens you get out of rhythm and you don’t return wasting your time money(which some gym count on) and then you are back to square one

Dying a death of 1000 Breaths

Dying a death of 1000 Breaths

There are several techniques that can be used to train your lungs and diaphragm to work more effectively, by increasing the lungs capacity which will help increase the amount of oxygen that is drawn into the lungs and strengthen the diaphragm. As an athlete, I would do a self-audit once a year always trying to see what I could do to improve my performance from year to year. I realized that my breathing was the one thing that was an issue and seemed to not improve as I played until later in the season and my endurance was below average. So I thought about what sport was dependent on developing endurance, so I started researching distance runners and I found that there was breathing exercise that some of the top runners would do to improve their lung capacity.

Finding The Function in Disfunction: The Foundation of Functional Training

Finding The Function in Disfunction: The Foundation of Functional Training

The assessment that I use to evaluate the movement of my clients is inspired by the FMS and there are elements of the FMS in my 4 point movement assessment. What I am looking for with my basic knowledge of human movement and kinesiology is making sure that the athlete has good, ankle, hip, and shoulder. I also assess Thoracic mobility and stability which affects everything from your breathing to your shoulder and lower back health. I started producing a series of videos showing exercises that I use to improve the strength and the mobility of these three key areas, here is one of them......

What is the AP HIIT Class.....

What is the AP HIIT Class.....

The concept was developed from a boot camp and a small group training sessions that I ran at the second gym I worked at when I first started. Most boot camps use just body weight for resistance and are really heavy cardio training (at least from the ones that I have attended and or seen) I wanted to include resistance training exercises within the session along with heavy to medium cardio, and core training. One of the main areas that I wanted to focus on was limiting injury but maintaining a medium-high heart rate and allowing the individual to focus on the movement first and not have to focus on counting reps. Here is an example of a training session……….

Body Composition: Good weight loss vs. Bad Weight loss

Body Composition: Good weight loss vs. Bad Weight loss

Regardless of what method you chose to use for your body composition measurement, it is best to use one testing and analysis method to insure accurate and consistent results to limit conflict and false information. Take a few minutes to research and find the best method for you and measure your progress beyond the scale.  No matter what your health and fitness goals body composition testing and analysis will be a game changer for you and give you the information you need to truly transform your body.    

Energy System Development Series: How to Increase Muscular Strength and Size

As I discussed before in the previous blogs in this series about Energy System Development (EDS) training you can create a training program that is specific to your training goals by training specific energy systems. In this final series, I am going to talk about training within the ATP-CP and glycolytic energy systems with resistance exercises that are programmed using a couple of different training methods.   

Lifting heavy weights to become stronger is one of the most popular reasons to lift weights. But the combination of using various weightlifting principles and program variations to improve muscular Hypertrophy (increase in muscular tone and size) is even more effective and fun. Lifting to increase muscular size helps individuals improve not only their physical appearance but also their physical performance. One of the factors that are important is the use of set and rep manipulation. Which means programming different sequences sets and reps to increase the stress applied to the muscles that are being trained and. In theory, the number of sets should be about 2-4 sets and the reps should be 8-12 reps using 65%-85% of the maximum weight you can lift for 1 rep for that exercise to achieve hypertrophy. One other important factor is limiting your rest in between sets to less than 1 minute. This limit in the recovery time will increase the stress on your muscles which increases the growth response your muscles have during the recovery process. THE MAGIC HAPPENS IN THE RECOVERY!   

For example, John 1 rep maximum for the Squat is 305 lb, for John to lift for muscular Hypertrophy his squat workout could be programmed in a linear progression either in a progressive overload fashion or in a regressive load fashion or a Drop set.

Linear Progressive Overload

1st set - 65% 198 lbs for 10-12 reps

rest 30-45 sec 

2nd set - 70% 214 lb for 10-12 reps 

rest 30-45 sec

3rd set - 75% 229 lb for 10 - 8 reps 

rest 30-45 sec

4th set - 80% 244 for an AMRAP or 10-8 reps 

Linear Regressive Loading (Drop Sets)

1st set - 80% 244 for 10-8 reps

rest 30-45 sec

2nd set - 75% 229 lb for 10 - 8 reps 

rest 30-45 sec

3rd set - 70% 214 lb  for 10+ reps 

rest 30-45 sec

4th set -  65% 198 lbs for AMRAP

These are just a couple of examples of the type of set/rep manipulation that can be applied to your training program, but there other ways that are used to achieve the same result depending on your training schedule and or training goals. I primarily use the Tier system and a combination of Undulating Periodization for the majority of my clients.    

There are numerous ways to create a training program the fits your training schedule and access to training equipments the fits your specific training needs. But the most important ingredient is CONSISTENCY. Over the last several years as a health and performance coach I have been apart of some amazing transformations and some disappointing results, and the common tread that all of my successful clients have in common was consistent effort and discipline with their nutrition and rest habits. The common thread in the disappointments and misses was inconsistency, excuses, and looking for a magical drink or pill that would get them out of the working hard and changing their behavior in order to get the results they want to achieve. Everything costs and your time is the most important commodity you have to give, there are no shortcuts that will help you sustain the results your want long term, it will just lead to disappointment in the long term.  

Energy System Development Series

energy-systems-pyramid.png

ESD/Energy Systems Development Training

By Coach E. Allen Founder Atlas Pro Training LLC 

This Blog series is an expansion of an article of mine that was published in the November 2016 edition of the Nonahood News. All reputable trainer try to tap into one of more of these energy systems to help their clients reach their specific training goals. Educate yourself and make sure you know the fundamentals of your training program. Enjoy the process and -TRAIN WITH A PURPOSE-

Whether you are high school athlete looking to gain an edge on the competition in your offseason/preseason training program or a weekend warrior training in your spare time for an obstacle race, marathon, or an adult athletic league, or trying to lose that last 10-15 lbs of holiday weight, the old way of improving your physical performance and condition has changed. Enter the phrase Energy System development (ESD) training. ESD training should be the foundation of any training plan to improve your performance; it could be the difference between competing at a high level, or coming up short in a game. In order for muscles to contract and produce movement ATP (adenosine triphosphate) must be present. The body’s energy system is responsible for converting ATP to usable form of energy called ADP (adenosine diphosphate). ADP can be produced using three energy system:

·        ATP-CP Phosphagen energy System- used during short term, high intensity activities Ex. Throwing a Shot Put, Sprinting, Olympic lifts of 2-4 reps: Last 1-30 sec   

·        Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System- used during medium/high intensity activities, Ex. Strength/endurance: lasts 30sec-3mins

·        Aerobic energy System- used during long durations of exercise lasting longer than 30 min to 1 hour.

So let’s look at the ATP-CP Phosphagen energy System which is used to produce energy for high intensity, quick powerful bursts of movement. This energy system does not require oxygen to produce ADP from ATP.  Creatine phosphate (which is stored in the skeletal muscles) is used to produce form ADP from ATP. This process is instant and the energy created is used and depleted almost just as fast, causing the athlete to fatigue faster. The goal when training this energy system is to use short bouts of exercise at a minimum volume (number of repetitions) to insure full recovery. As the athlete progresses through the training program the training load is increased not the volume (number of repetitions). This form of training (called Plyometric and or ballistic training) is used to increase the explosiveness of athlete, which increases the force that is produced during movement. Example of these forms of training are Box jumps, Medicine ball throws, and in Olympic lifting. This stress is beneficial to an athlete’s performance because by increasing the force that is produced during movement the athlete can run faster (by producing more force against the ground i.e. Box Jumps), which is referred to as improving the ground force reaction of the foot against the surface, which is essential to improving athletic performance. This energy system should be stressed in a conservative manor because the recovery time is longer than the duration of the energy systems use, and should be performed on a firm yet energy absorbent surface like rubber flooring.  The quality of the explosive movement is more important than quantity of repetitions of the movement.

The second energy system we are going to look at is the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System, which uses glycogen stores from the muscle and blood glucose to produce energy. This is considered by many trainers (including myself) as the predominate energy system, which is used to produce energy to sustain movements that last 30 sec to 3 minutes. It does not require oxygen but produces lactate acid which causes muscles to fatigue and shut down. The goal when training this energy system is to improve the lactate threshold (which is the time that it take for the muscle to experience limitations due to the accumulation of lactic acid) the athlete. This is an important aspect of improving the muscular endurance of the athlete, which is the goal to decrease the chance of injury and increase their work capacity during competition. Strength training with a focus on limiting the recovery times 30sec to 1min between sets and exercises; also tempo runs (running at 70-80% effort for short distances less than a mile for repetition).

The third energy system we are going to look at is the Aerobic energy system, which uses oxygen to produce APD from body stored fat and skeletal muscle, making it the most complex of the three and the most labor intensive energy system. The Aerobic energy system is used during activities that last for relatively long durations, like 30 min to 1-2+hours. The goal of training this energy system is to improve the cardiovascular efficiency of the athlete. This form of training improves the work capacity of the athlete allowing them to train for longer periods reducing debilitating cardiovascular fatigue. This could be considered the foundation of improving the performance of the athlete. Steady state cardiovascular training such as distance runs between 1-3 miles (depending on the sport the athlete is training) can be used to train this energy system, and some forms of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with recovery times that are limited to less than 1 minute between exercises.  

The goal of any training program should be to develop these energy systems and “train” them to produce the energy in an efficient manor during practice and competition so that energy is readily available to the muscles during physical activity.   All of three energy systems are interdependent of each other, but in most sports one energy system or a combination of two of the three are required to make things happen. This goes into the concept of sport specific training and how to create training programs that are designed specifically to produce the improvements in muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and improvements in speed and power of the athlete. As your youth athlete enters the offseason training program’s make sure that EDS training is the foundation of their training program. 

Over the next few blog post I will be exploring how a training specific energy system can:                  

  • Improve Performance
  • Increase Weight Loss
  • Increase Muscular size and Strength

Your Comments are welcomed below! 

                 

 

The Right Formula: Supplementation for Health and Performance

Supplement Pix 5.jpg

Finding the right supplement to give you that edge to reach your health and performance goals can be overwhelming. With all of the choices available it can seem nearly impossible to chose the most complete supplement to include in your nutrition plan . There are hundreds of companies that develop and sell supplements world wide, and in the United States did you know that there is no regulated testing method, or system of evaluation that reassures the consumer that the supplements that they are buying contain the ingredients listed on the packaging. Shocking right! Its like a game of russian roulette with a powder scoop.  You need to know if there are any potentially harmful ingredients that may cause injury or banned substances that my lead to suspension and loss of playing time. Since the supplement industry is not regulated by a government agency like the FDA, anyone can create a supplement and sell it on the open market.  

Supplement Pix 1.jpg

Here are several resources to help guide you and give you feedback on the supplements you chose.  

If you have questions about any supplements here are three third party dietary supplementation certification organizations that you can go to their website and consult: 

·       The Gold Standard In Dietary Supplement Certification(link)

·        ConsumerLab.com(link)

·        NSF International(link)

The F.R.E.A.K. in you needs to "R"ecover

In this second installment of the Atlas Pro Training train like a F.R.E.A.K. blog series were are going to talk about Recovery, where all the "MAGIC" happens! If you have trained or been coached by me you have heard this over and over again, and it has paid off for you. Sometimes its human nature to want to train until you are drained, which is referred to as "overreaching" by most professional strength and conditioning coaches and trainers. This is essential to achieving the maximum physical and mental benefit from your training program, preparing your mind, body, and spirit for competition. BUT there would be no gains without a proper recovery plan that includes three main elements  Sleep, Active recovery/dynamic stretching, and massage

SLEEP

The key to any effective recovery plan is to consistently implement all three of these suggested habits into your lifestyle as an athlete. This may seem simple to just get some sleep right? But in most cases, it is not always easy to find the time to get the recommend 6-8 hours of quality sleep that is required for the body to repair and recharge. It is possible though if your recovery is a priority to you and you want to be the best at what you do, here are a few suggestions that may help you get the sleep you have been missing.

  1. Schedule your bedtime and stick to it!
  2. Try chamomile/sleepy time tea  
  3. Read a book in a quiet space
  4. Meditate
  5. Remove all distractions from your sleeping area; phone, tablets, television,   
  6. Listen to music with no words like Jazz, Classical music, etc.

These are suggested strategies have helped me (a chronic light sleeper) to this day develop quality sleeping habits, understand that sometimes the quality of the sleep you get is better than the quantity. I have found that the way I prepare to sleep has helped me develop a routine that has changed my behavior beyond just changing my habit.

ACTIVE RECOVERY  

Next, we are going to look at active recovery and what is actually is. Active recovery is participating is light physical activity, in efforts of maintaining a mobility and flexibility. The low levels of intensity will allow the body to rid itself of lactic acid and other harmful substances by "flushing" the muscles using movement. There are several examples of active recovery that I have suggested my clients do that are light low-intensity forms of movement, here are a few:

  • Beginners Yoga
  • Dynamic Stretching
  • Light Jog
  • A pickup game of your favorite sport
  • Yard work
  • Walking

MASSAGE THERAPY

The use of massage has been the chose from or rest and recovery for most people for decades.  But most people consider massage a luxury, which in some case may be true, but massage is essential to helping the musculature and the tough outer covering called Fascia. During heavy bouts of exercise, there are small micro-tears that occur in the muscle tissue and the fascia and musculature become misaligned and pulled out of place causing knots and kicks that may cause some pain and discomfort. Massage therapy can be applied to everyone recovery plan and should be considered essential to improving your health and performance. Here are a few examples of massage therapy:

  • Deep Tissue Therapeutic Massage
  • Foam Rolling/Myofascial Release 
  • Cupping Therapy  
  • Body Tempering
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF Stretching)
                                                   Body Tempering

                                                   Body Tempering

        Tempering Rollers

       Tempering Rollers

                           PNF Stretching

                          PNF Stretching

                             PNF Stretching

                            PNF Stretching

 

Your recovery plan should be simple yet complete and include all the elements that I mentioned earlier, this could be the difference between gaining the edge you are training for to compete and perform at a high level, or losing that last 10 pounds that have been stuck to you after several months of training sessions. Your recovery plan sets the tone for your training program. To train and perform at a high level you need to recovery like a F.R.E.A.K.