Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Think I'm Going to be Sore Tomorrow

Today I went to the gym and did an upper body workout.  I started with bench press.  I warmed up with 135 lbs and then did 10 reps each at 155 and 165.  It wasn't the most I've ever lifted but I am just starting to work out consistantly after not weight training for a while. 

After doing bench press I moved to inclined bench press with 35 lb dumbells.  I did 3 sets of 10 with those and then moved to working out my shoulders. I did front raises and shoulder presses and finished off with doing some work on a machine that works out the rear deltoid muscle.

I also did some work on tricep pull downs using a rope.

I then did some cardio work on the treadmill.  I started off slow and then did a small HIIT workout.  What is HIIT?  That is an acronym for High Intensity Iterval Training.  One of the best ways to burn fat and get your cardiovacular system in shape is interval training.  HIIT is the principle that the popular workout systems Insanity and P90X use and it is quite effective.  It is hard and if you're not in shape it won't take long to figure that out.

After 15 minutes of cardio work I then moved downstairs to the basketball court and practiced some shots.  Even though I was only shooting baskets and not playing an actual game I still could feel it in my legs when I jumped around and a little bit in the shoulders when actually shooting the ball.

I will probably be sore tomorrow but that will be a good thing.  I will do a lot of stretching to prevent injuries and keep flexibility so the muscles don't tighten up too much.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reasons to Weight Train Before Cardio

Time to get a little bit scientific. It's important to understand what happens to your body when you exercise and how it relates to working out. When working out it is a good idea to mix cardiovascular work with lifting weights.  This is because you build muscle and lose fat at one time. It is important to do weights before cardio work for a few reasons:

If you’re goal is to lose weight then doing cardio after your weight training is especially important. The simple reason is that weight training depletes glycogen is muscles. What is Glycogen? Glycogen is a primary a fuel source for cardiovascular exercise. When the glycogen depletes in your body it is more likely release fat from cells to be used as energy. When you do cardio without weight training before, it takes around 20-25 mins for glycogen levels to fall and fat cells to potentially be released. Here is a link discussing the role of carbs and glycogen for use in exercise.

You should save your maximum amount of energy for the weights. Lifting weights takes a lot of energy and it is important to use proper form to prevent injuries.  If your body is already tired from running there is an increased risk that you won't use proper form. This also limits your potential for muscle building  as you won’t be able to do as many reps that you otherwise could.

Here is a video I found on YouTube that talks about why you should weight train before doing cardio workouts

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some Healthy Decisions That Helps in Fat Loss

When you exercise consistently one thing you'll need to also look at is your diet and what you are eating. The key to successful weight loss is developing healthy diet and exercise habits.  If you have a high protein and low calorie diet you will lose weight as your body burns carbohydrates first and then goes to burning fat.  According to the Mayo Clinic, "Weight loss comes down to burning more calories that you take in. You can do that by reducing extra calories from food and beverages and increasing calories burned through physical activity."

I include quite a bit of chicken and tuna in my diet because those foods are good sources of protein.  Tuna fish is easy to make because it is in a can and all you have to do is add a little bit of light mayo to it and you can make a good sandwich or salad. Here is a list of possible recipes with tuna so that you don't have to make just sandwiches.

People also should drink an adequate amount of water.  Eight glasses of water is recognized by most people as the required amount of water a body needs in a day.  This seems like a lot and can be difficult but if you keep a bottle of water by you during the day and take occasional sips it may become easier.  For more information on the importance of drinking enough water and how it relates to losing weight and becoming healthier here's a good explanation. You should also try to stay away from sodas and other drinks that have a lot of sugars in them because the sugars can be converted into fat. One can of soda contains 160 calories that have no other nutritional value.  There are better ways to get hydrated than drinking sodas so you should try to stay away from them if you want to lose weight and live healthier.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Stretching is Important

Before working out it is important to properly stretch so you do not sustain an injury while working out or playing a sport. The benefits of stretching include reduced muscle soreness after running and even better athletic performance. When playing a sport like tennis, soccer, football or any other sport where there are sudden bursts of speed and sudden stopping it is very important that you stretch before and after exercise so that you don't pull any muscles or experience other injuries. When stretching make sure you stretch the muscle slowly and don't bounce because bouncing can cause injuries. Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds.

If you have just started working out or playing a sport you haven't played in a while it's important to realize that it takes time for your muscles to have the same flexibility that they may have had and that you remember having. This occurred to me when I played soccer for the first time in a few years and I ended up pulling a groin muscle. I knew how to make the moves but because I hadn't stretched properly my body wasn't able to do what I wanted it to do. I stopped quickly and cut back to the side and that is when it happened. Luckily it wasn't a bad pull but it still made it uncomfortable running for a few weeks.

Also, prior to beginning a workout you need to warm up your muscles with a few minutes of jogging or light running so that you warm your body up in preparation of the real workout.

Below is a really good video I found on how to stretch before working out.

Here is a guide from the Mayo Clinic concerning stretching properly.

Remember to stretch properly before and after workouts in order prevent injuries and to increase performance and athletic abilities.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Gym

I went to the gym yesterday for the first time in a while. I did a weigh-in to see where my starting point is in my goal of getting down to about 180lbs with less body fat and  more lean muscle mass. I weighed in at 208 which was less than I thought I was but still has me losing 20-25 lbs.  I brought my daughter with me because the gym offers free baby sitting so you can bring your kid and go work out and the kid can play in a supervised environment. That is a big selling point to the gym along with other things like the pool, group exercise classes, the basketball court, they offer personal training and they have many machines so if it gets busy the odds are that there will always be an available machine.

My gym has lots of treadmills on both the first and second floors. I've found that the treadmills get very busy on Sunday evening and Monday evenings. That is because people start thinking about how much they ate over the weekend or the planned exercise time that was missed for one reason or the other. People are creatures of habit and it consistently happens that on Sunday and Monday evenings it may be difficult finding a treadmill that's open.

What do you look for in a gym?  Do you prefer joining a gym or staying in shape other ways?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Starting over again

Well it's been a while sinse I last updated this web page.  I'm back now though and am back working out.  The hard part of getting back into shape is that you have to find the time to actually go workout and keep up with it. Here's a video from a guy I subscribe to on YouTube that explains what is needed to get back on track.

It takes consistancy for things to become a habit.  Usually about 2 weeks worth of doing things consistantly will make it a habit.  When applying this to working out it means consistantly making time for working out, eating right so you have the energy to go work out and not letting other reasons get in the way of your goal of making exercise.

I will post more updates on how my exercise goals are coming along on a consistent basis and will keep giving more information on articles and videos that I find related to exercise and health.  Till next time.....