Quality over Quantity

Movement.

In my opinion, the quality of your movement can dictate the quality of your life. Even with exercise, if we have poor posture, mobility, flexibility, and strength then surely we will live life with more joint issues, back pain, neck pain and all round discomfort.

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the art of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which it is capable of” – Socrates 469-399BC

 

Reasons for exercising and training vary but as Socrates says, We should all strive to be the best version of ourselves and our foundation should be built upon more efficient, quality movement.

Improve our quality of movement, Improve our health and wellness.

One problem we see a lot is people trying to go faster or heavier in training than needed and their form breaking down unnecessarily. This not only increases the risk of injury but will also have a detrimental effect on the training stimulus.

As we become more Efficient, by building the capacity for good movement through conscious practice, we can ramp up the intensity making sure we still strive for movement quality at faster speeds and heavier loads.

Making things faster or heavier at the detriment of movement isn’t necessary when training, however, we can expect some loss of quality when we test. This so that we know the limits of our abilities.

Coach Glassman – founder of CrossFit said two very pertinent things

“Master the basics of gymnastics”

“Be impressed by intensity not volume”

By focusing on mastery of the basic movement principles, progress in training is made quicker. How many of you think the Air squat won’t help you lift a heavier back squat? Wrong!! Focus and control with the points of performance for the air squat will directly carry over to the back squat and increase your strength potential. The more efficient our air squat the less wall balls will suck!! If you’re someone that suffers from back pain when performing wall balls, maybe we should reassess the quality of your movement and focus on the basic principles.

Ultimately we are looking for improvements throughout the health and fitness spectrum. To do this we must focus on our movement efficiency, taking this into account we can increase our fitness with less risk of injury whilst always improving the quality of our lives.

3 Ways to crush your recovery this weekend

Sleep – Go to bed earlier and sleep longer! sleep is one of the best organic ways to help the body recover from the stressors we apply to it, be it physical, mental or emotional.

Why you need more sleep? Researchers have also shown that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.

Eat – If you haven’t been tracking your food intake as we discussed in the last post, then shame on you!

Regardless of that, if you’re finding it hard to recover from workouts or you just feel sore and tired then you probably aren’t eating enough food. Go to brunch and stuff your face! Try not to eat too many sugary, sweet treats and unfortunately, liquid brunch won’t help with you!! it will mess with step 1 and 2 even more.

Breathe – Take a deep breath or 20! – Diaphragmatic or Belly breathing has shown to improve mood, decrease feelings of anxiety.For athletes, breathing helps to excite us before working out, improve mobility and posture and increases our rate of recovery.  Believe it not on average we breathe 25,000 times a day! And if we are not breathing correctly, that is 25,000 ways to mess us up more than necessary.

Believe it not on average we breathe 25,000 times a day! And if we are not breathing correctly, that is 25,000 ways to mess us up more than necessary. Sore neck? stop breathing into your chest! learn to belly breathe.

Try this – make the room quiet, and have something soft to lie on. Now lie down flat on your back with knees bent at 90 degrees, head on the floor. Place your hands on your belly and closes your eyes. now as you inhale through your nose your going to inflate your belly and keep your chest down, as you exhale through pursed lips your squeezing your belly button to the spine. inhale 7-10 seconds and exhale for 7-10 secs, keep your eyes closed and focus only on the breathing so this for 20-30 breaths and I guarantee you’ll feel better!

After a  long week dealing with different stressors don’t stress yourself out by doing more, Do less this weekend -Recharge – Reload – Relax

 

5 Steps to better Nutrition

 

  1. Consider your goal.  Weight loss,  Fat loss,  Maintenance or  Muscle gain 

Simply put, “What do you want to achieve?” or “How do you want to look?” The key is to make a choice and stick with it. Keep one thing in mind even though these things should and will take time! The biggest problem we face in achieving our goals is crash or fad diets. Don’t believe the hype! Put it this way if you gained 20 kilos over 5 years do you really think it’s safe or feasible that you could lose that weight in 5 weeks?

  1. Weigh yourself and track your daily food intake

At the beginning and end of the week weigh yourself – if the scale stays the same then you are at a balance with your intake. If the scale indicates less then you are in a deficit and will continue to lose weight as long as you stay in a deficit. If you weigh more then you have a calorie surplus and will continue to gain weight.

Now here comes the “Sciencey” part! With your food intake that you documented, we can assess your actually daily average caloric intake. 1lb is equal to 3500 calories. For example, if you’ve lost 2 pounds in 7 day that is a 7000 calorie deficit over 7 days.

7000 divided by 7 = 1000 calorie deficit per day. This is an extreme example and we would say that most people do better with a 500 calorie deficit per day for healthy weight loss. The same is true if you weigh more, do the same calculations to give you your daily average surplus.

Now that we have your goal and your numbers, we can make a plan.

  1. Plan and Make the necessary adjustments

Now that we have the numbers we can make adjustments accordingly. If you don’t want to lose weight then we have to increase the amount of food. If you want to lose weight then we have to decrease the amount of food. The adjustments don’t have to be drastic, 250-500 calories per day is enough for anyone to see changes.

 

  1. Macros and micros

Hitting the macro prescription can be difficult. An easier way to get what you need is to make sure you have protein, carbs and fat at each meal.

Easy eyeball guide to quantity – Palm size of protein (chicken, beef, fish) fist size portion of carbs (rice, sweet pot) and a thumb sized portion of fat (avocado, nuts, oils)

The other thing to help keep your body in check is your micros – vitamins, and minerals. Make sure to have a hand full of veggies with each meal to ensure adequate intake of micros.

 

  1. Meal prep

Preparing meals in advance will stop you from binge eating on sugary snacks, or making bad decisions on your lunch break. It’s easier than you think.

–          Make yourself a menu of 5 meals you like to eat,

–          Shop for just those ingredients (make sure to buy enough for three of each meal)

–          Cook three days worth of food and store in the fridge. Ready for you to take to work and eat when you get in after the gym.

 

  1. Bonus tip

Get a coach! Nutritional assessment, guidance, planning and support.  For more info on nutrition coaching then contact Matt.Bolton@fitnessqatar.com

 

Exercising Vs Training

Do you think that you have to be out of breathe dying on the floor drenched in sweat every time you go to the gym?
If you’ve answered yes, then well done you’re an exerciser!!! And whilst there is nothing wrong with that, there is everything wrong with it if you want to see progress.

A good training program should include both strength and conditioning; so if you’re running your 5km or hitting your circuit classes and each session feels relatively similar and you reward yourself because you feel it was a “Hard” workout then you may not be getting the results you want.

This is a reasonable way to stay in shape and to make yourself feel better, other that that it is extremely limited.

This routine gets very comfortable (to your body – if not by perception) very quickly and holds you back from reaching your true potential.
With limited progress, personal growth becomes near impossible, Its usually in this realization that you become convinced that you need “the new fitness buzz” or Quit altogether. Even trying out new classes or gyms, you never really find the right fit and 6 months later you’re back to square one – looking for that magic formula again.

What’s the difference between training and exercising?
Exercising is just one piece of a much larger puzzle, and for exercise to become training and truly have an impact on your life it needs to be programmed thoughtfully. Your program must address your weaknesses whilst allowing you to enjoy your strengths, it must be purposeful and goal oriented. Ever wonder why we have certain elements on certain days? or why we have patterns to the program? It is because we utilise a training methodology to our group program, not just random workouts in a flawed attempt to make people fitter.

Training is a catalyst for personal growth, it’s a lifelong commitment, not just a new year’s resolution.

You need a Coach who can assess your movement and teach you to move better. Do you like the group training? great – we keep our classes small so that you get coached every step of the way! However, you may want to supplement that with regular one to one training, so that you can measure progress on a personal level. Not seeing the progress you want on the scales or in the mirror even though you push yourself in your training? You need someone that will guide you to the body you want with better nutrition. You need some one to hold you accountable, who understands your goals, when to push and when to back off. You need a coach that understands not every training session is about making you want to puke. A coach that can guide you to where you want to be with out putting more pressure or adding more stress to your life. If you really want to make progress then find yourself a coach, and make the commitment to yourself. And once you do, you won’t be just exercising anymore.

You’ll be training!.

To find out more about personal assessments, one on one training or nutritional guidance email pt@strongboxqatar.com or matt.bolton@fitnessqatar.com