There are many benefits of training and health, the feel good factor you get from training regularly is priceless, but there are a lot of other major benefits you get from exercise, and this blog is for the people who are considering starting, who are on the fringes of just making that extra effort to start up and begin their fitness journey.
The normal hard working person who has a 9-5 job and very rarely gets time for other activities can sometimes become sedentary with their repetitive lifestyle. Factors can begin to creep in to your life with this way of living such as stress, sleep deprivation, low self esteem, lack of confidence and a general feeling of poor health. Well I am going to name a few of the main benefits that exercise and training gives you, with training regularly the body releases endorphins that stem from the neurotransmitters produced from the brain and spinal cord, these endorphins diminish the perception of pain within the body.
Some of the main factors of regular exercise –
– boosts self esteem
– reduces stress
– wards of anxiety and depression
– improves sleep
– lowers blood pressure
– strengthens the heart
– increased energy levels
– improves posture
These are just a few of the many benefits of exercise, the hardest part is always the start when the pain and aching in your muscles will be at its worst, but once over that first hurdle it becomes an addictive factor in many people’s lives. Training and exercise has the unique ability to change peoples lives who choose to get involved in it, one workout can literally turn you from being in a terrible mood or place in your life to walking out and feeling great about yourself and generally putting you in a much better mood. It takes hard work and dedication and don’t forget it starts with you making the move first, but if you allow yourself to make that commitment and stay consistent with it, it can literally change your life forever.
To make that change today get in touch and we can start our journey together…
The body as a whole must be of a certain proportion and shape, understanding the right training regimes and methods is of paramount importance. For example in a muscle building capacity such as bodybuilding style training, a training split is very important to understand, in everyday gym body parts must be trained accordingly and also given a sufficient amount of rest in between days to recover.. Unless you like to train that muscle group specifically or maybe feel you are lagging in that area.
Over developing a muscle group is ok but, you have to keep the same amount of muscle on the rest of the body especially a muscle group which is cohesive to the muscles you have over devolve. What I mean by this for example if someone over develops their chest muscles but does not train their back muscles to the same extent you could end up with a slightly Kyphotic spine or hunched over look.
Speaking from my own experiences when I was younger at around the age of sixteen and first started properly getting into weight training, I believed the common stigma in the gym, in which pretty much consisted of having a big chest and big arms. The problem I later discovered is that my back was so under developed in comparison to my chest that it could of possible caused damage later on in life. So I rectified the situation and rounded out my upper body and trained my back a lot more and built it up to then having a much better overall physique.
There is nothing wrong with training a muscle group more than another but as long as you do it in the right way. My ownweek at the present moment as it changes from time to time is a 6 day programme is –
Monday – legs
Tuesday – chest / biceps
Wednesday – back
Thursday – shoulders / triceps
Friday – legs
Saturday – arms
Sunday – rest
This is a split I have been doing recently and will stick with for a while, the reason I do legs twice a week is they are the biggest muscle group in the body, so I’m trying to promote muscle growth and definition through out the entire body, plus build the most amount of testosterone. I keep back days in between the two leg days due to the lower back and core fatigue which is produced when training legs and back especially. Splitting chest and shoulders up in between days to keep the front areas of the body a day to recover and split the back and front up in the right way, and then arms after the whole body has been trained throughly in the right way. I also want to keep my arms working and slightly isolated on other muscle group days so I finish my chest sessions off with usually 100 reps of bicep work and shoulder days with 100 reps of tricep work.
My core is always being work in a very effective way, I don’t necessarily isolate abs and core because with my compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench press, military press you are always engaging your core. An important thing to note is my two leg days are different, the Monday is predominantly a heavy day with a lot of different squatting techniques, stiff leg deadlifts and machine work, Friday is more of a lighter weight day but the weight is still fairly heavy but the exercises are different which include lunging, kb thrusters. The biggest change throughout the body is occurred when the legs are trained due to the sheer size of the muscles the whole body is working.
This training regiment works for me and my body and always train to the highest of my ability and give consistent effort, the training is intense but can be split into a more easier option such as a 4 day for example.
Monday – chest and back
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – legs
Thursday – rest
Friday – shoulders and arms
Saturday – legs
Sunday – rest
A much easier way for people who want to simplify it over a lesser amount of days that they feel comfortable with and easier to maintain throughout their general lifestyle. You can alternate the days as well if you feel this better suits you but as I have laid this training split up you never have more than one day of rest, this the only way you will grow and ultimately get closer to achieving your goals. There is no substitute for hard work.
A very common thing in the fitness industry especially amongst people who do more strength building techniques for example lifting heavy weights, common also with younger people is after a session no stretching is done. It is vital after a strong weight lifting session especially to stretch the muscles out, why is this important?
This is highly important due to the fact as when you train you are contracting or shortening those muscles. Pumping a lot of blood into the working muscles, this in turn will cause the contracting or shortening effect which most weight lifters know as a good ‘pump’. It feels great yes, you are working and growing those muscles to full effect during exercise. It is then afterwards where most people go wrong.
The benefits the body will have from a good stretch after a workout will be fantastic for your muscles, after a workout you need to lengthen those damaged muscles out. A foam roller is one way to do this, it is pretty much like a rolling pin, your rolling and flattening the muscles out. The damaged muscles are in a way being replenished for your next workout, not stretching can lead to inflexibility and cramp, having longer muscles will make you stronger, being more flexible will increase your strength and huge amount.
Done everyday especially hitting the muscles that you have trained is vital, but with a foam roller it is good to roll out the whole body to really keep your body in a good strong state. Muscles can be compared to elastic bands, the longer they can be stretch the more efficient they are. You’ll find that not even your strength will improve but your overall form and technique will massively improve, especially on the most important compound lifts such as the dead lift, squat, bench press and overhead press.
Posture is also a key factor in stretching and efficiently looking after the muscles, the postural alignment of somebody who trains very hard is an interesting to look at. A reason being is that you will be able to see if any muscles are being overworked or underworked also if any are not being stretched in the right way. It is common place in younger more inexperienced people who train, if you are to train one muscle the other muscle should be trained exactly the same way.
One example I have seen a lot in the weight training side is young guys who only train chest biceps, triceps and shoulders. Most youngsters want that big chest and big arms look e.g. Looking good on the beach. Only training these muscles and hardly working the back, legs and core is horrendous for your physique and posture. I know this because I used to be one of those young kids. My back and legs were so weak compared to my chest and arms it created this hunched over effect in my body. My posture was all over the place with no core strength what so ever.
What I learnt is that if you work the largest muscles in your body, you will get the best results, so beginning to train your back, legs and working the core will completely change your physique, training larger muscles releases more hormones throughout the body stimulating muscle growth and strength throughout your core, this will in turn create much better posture and flexibility with in the body. Plus all the muscles we love to train like chest, shoulders and arms, the strength in those areas will be increased dramatically.
If your goal is to put on serious amounts of muscle, well just go and look at how flexible and bodybuilder is, that’s the common stigma in the fitness industry that strength athletes and bodybuilders are big stiff meat heads, this is totally wrong. The flexibility in their bodies allows them to achieve incredible amounts of power and strength with especially compound lifts, also their form is near enough perfect, this is all due to the flexibility and elasticity in their muscles, so the moral of this story is, do not judge a book by its cover, stretching is vitally important as I said especially for that sort of strength training, the damage your putting onto your muscles is massive so they need to be looked after and kept in the best condition possible because if you don’t rehab your physique properly.. You will feel the next day and the days after that.
A lack of sleep might not just be leaving you tired, it’s almost certain that it’ll be lowering your auto-immune response and, therefore, making you more susceptible to illness but could it also be making you fat too!
It’s a 24-hr society these days, plenty of us work shifts or are brought out of bed to tend to children or, simply, everyday stressors can keep us lying wide-awake; it might even be self-inflicted from just watching too much TV?
If this is you then, believe it or not, the latest thought as to what’s causing ‘around 60% of British adults [to be] overweight or obese’ (figure cited from the Daily Mail) is a lack of sleep.
A series of studies conducted at the Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, have looked at what happens to our weight and metabolism with varying amounts of sleep and concluded that: ‘people sleeping for significantly less than 7hrs per night often end up obese’. Further still, those grabbing 4hrs or less are 73% more likely to gain weight – it is considered that limited sleep leaves the relative insomniac with cravings that can account for up to 900 calories-a-day (almost half the average daily amount again).
In those sleeping only for around 4hrs-a-night, laboratory tests have shown that brain function is affected, along with a lowering of metabolism and and increase in food cravings; type-2 diabetes and obesity have been shown to be more prevalent in those with little sleep.
Ironically enough, much of our lack of sleep is blamed on a snoring partner and a snoring partner is much more likely to be overweight than a thinner one, especially a fitter one.
Though the snorer could be from either sex, it is estimated that 45% of men snore in comparison to 30% of women. Snoring can be caused by a variety of reasons; as I’m sure most of us are aware, drinking heavily can be a cause (even in the fitter person!); poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue can lead to them collapsing back and partially blocking the airway, I don’t know any specific strengthening exercises for that I’m afraid; but, most significantly, being overweight can cause the extra weight of the neck to fall back and block the airway.
Snoring not only disturbs our own and our partners sleep but due to the drop of blood oxygen levels due to the restricted airway it can force our blood pressure to rise and, over time, this can make us more susceptible to heart-attack – bizarre but true.
However, there are few studies suggesting missing out on an hour a night will predispose you to weight-gain or diabetes but night-after-night of missed sleep will increase your fatigue and your training will undoubtedly suffer. Focus will be less and the body’s ability to cope with the usual demands of a workout will be too; this could cause poor judgements and result in strains or injury. At best you won’t be getting the full benefits of a training session; or of recovery.
So its time to sort out those sleep patterns and really get the most form your training and get the results you really want! Good luck gtting in those all important ZZZZ’s!