Conventional wisdom about how people should eat, exercise, and look is often negative, self-defeating, and downright degrading and may I add disgusting. Magazines and over-hyped media encourage people to eat less and offer numerous "secrets" about how lose weight. Because, as you know with the rapid rise of social media and reality TV people happiness is inexorably tied to the number on the scale.
Most Fitness professional and dietitians are often given quick fixes, crash diets, cleanses, and other absurd fitness advice. I have seen other fitness professional telling people, just do more time on the step mill and make more kale salads, eating so much.
It's no wonder so many people are miserable, overly exhausted from marathon workouts, and starving from constantly trying to eat fewer and fewer calories. Sad to say, but people are frustrated, confused, and tired of constantly looking for a simpler solution.
Most of the common fitness "advice" for people these days are revolves around following a strict diet and rigid gym schedule, and meticulously counting every gram of carbs, fats, and protein that crosses our lips. Unfortunately, most people can't practice such an inflexible regimen for the long term without some negative consequences, and the fact is that it’s not one size fit all.
I know this because I have ventured over to the dark side and tried several "diets" with the hope of building a better-looking body when I just started out in fitness many years ago. Once I finally came to my senses and got back to sane and simple nutrition principles, I had to correct obsessive-eating habits. After a bit of time, patience, and consistency, I found my way back, to good health and a better physical performance.
I can tell you than once you replaced your worries and doubt about what you see or hear over the internet, you began to follow positive, motivating, empowering fitness principles.
Here are three basic steps to get you going:
Embrace the Truth That You are Awesome Right Now
Even if you're overweight, have just started working out, or still have a long road ahead of you, you can still choose to be happy with where you are right this moment. Forget about planning to be happy once you reach your main goal in the distant future. Having a great body means living every day to the fullest and making healthy decisions because you love yourself as you are this very moment.
Eat Real Food
Eat filling, delicious meals that make you feel great. Don't apologize for eating, and don't force yourself to eat foods you don't like just because they're supposedly good for you. There are tons of delicious, all-natural, healthy foods available, so eat the ones you like.
Despite what some "diet" principles would have you believe, eating whole food is quite simple. All you need to do is apply some common sense and resist the temptation to dwell over the minutiae.
Build your diet around lean protein, good carbs, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, herbs and spices, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds.
If you keep your nutrition guidelines simple and stress-free, you'll be much better off and much more likely to stick to them throughout your life.
You'll get more out of your workouts. Muscle, after all, needs to be fed to grow stronger. Delicious and filling real-food meals are not complicated, especially if you follow some well written recipes, and if you have doubt get some help from a good dietitian, a good dietitian would always encourage you to eat.
Focus on Performance
Instead of working out with the sole purpose of changing how your body looks, focus exclusively on what your body can do and work toward constantly improving your performance in the gym. We all want to look as great as we feel, and that's one of the huge perks of training for performance: building a great-looking body is a tremendous side-effect.
To get to your ideal body, trained for function, practicing some lifting, some boxercise and one of my favourites, sign for a run weather its 5k or 10k and train towards it. Follow this lead and focus on performance-based goals.
Most people want a pair of arms, firm legs and tight core that look great, but instead of doing military presses, biceps curls, and triceps extensions, squats ect. to get them, try working toward performing a few bodyweight chin-ups and 10 or more push-ups with perfect form. These exercises build your arm muscles, as well as the muscles in your back and chest, building true functional strength.
By the time you achieve those goals, your arms will look incredible and you'll have developed some real upper-body muscle strength in the process.
One of the other awesome things about training for performance is that you have tons of variability in your workouts. Use the whole gym. For instance, you can train primarily with bodyweight workouts, you can use a combination of barbells and dumbbells, you can use kettlebells, and you can use strongman lifts. Ultimately, the possibilities are endless!
Remember, always try to build the strongest, most awesome version of yourself. When you focus on that goal, the bonuses will include a leaner, shapelier, better-looking body. You also should have a lower resting heart rate, stronger bones, and more athletic skills.
If you are after a great all-over work out that tones muscles and improves cardiovascular fitness, then you can do no better than Boxercise.
For those who are new to the idea, boxercise is effectively, boxing without the pain of being punched. It is based on the training concepts used by boxers to keep fit and let’s face it, the toned abs, wiry torso and rock-hard biceps are the envy of any fitness fanatic or most people who are looking to lose fat, Boxercise can be used by anyone regard less of fitness level.
What is Boxercise
Boxercise is an exercise class based on the training concepts boxers use to keep fit. Classes can take a variety of formats but a typical one may involve shadow-boxing, skipping, hitting pads, kicking punchbags, press-ups, shuttle-runs and sit-ups. Most boxercise classes are aimed at men and women of all ages and fitness standards. As no class involves the physical hitting of an opponent, it is a fun, challenging and safe workout.
Who can do boxercise
Whatever your size, shape or sex. Remember, every boxer will have started from ground level, so anyone and everyone can work their way up to a good level of fitness: Doing boxercise as little as twice weekly can get you fit in three months; twice a week. Boxercise can be done either in a gym, outdoor boot champ or even in your own home. The steady rise of online personal trainer, it’s so much easier for most people now get a boxercise program they can use at home, with step by step guide.
Benefits of Boxercise:
Increases mental agility: Sports behavioural studies have shown that the training techniques adopted by boxers using punchbags and sparring lead to superior decision-making skills
Improves hand- eye coordination:... on both the left and right side of the body. Unlike asymmetrical sports such as tennis and golf, your body improves evenly on both sides, reducing postural misalignment
Increases stamina: Research from the Indian Journal of Medicine has estimated that boxing is 70%-80% anaerobic (high-intensity) and 20%-30% aerobic; training increases stamina in heart and lungs
Raises core strength: To take a punch and hold your balance, your abdominals need to be strong and toned - this strong core stability can reduce the risk of back pain and improve posture
Strengthens muscles: Boxing improves muscle strength used in everyday activities, as well as the 'fast twitch' muscle fibres required for shorter, more explosive movements
What to wear:
Quick Home Boxercise Program by Tranquillity 360 Fitness Personal Trainer Malachi
Moves for your boxercise
Jab: A quick punch using your forward hand (left for righties, right for southpaws)
Cross: A punch across your body from the back hand (right for righties, left for southpaws)
Hook: A sweeping strike from across the body using either hand (not demonstrated above, but used in the other workouts below)
Uppercut: A punch upward using power from your hips to strike with either hand.
Start shadowboxing by stringing together punch combos for 30 seconds to one minute. For an extra challenge, hold 2.5 lb. or 5 lb. weights for the drill. Strike for 3 to 5 rounds, resting for a minute between each one.
The Warm UP
Arm circles: Draw large circles with your arms, first in a forward motion, then backward.
Crossovers: Swing both arms out to your sides and then cross them in front of your chest.
Shoulder slumps: Tuck your chin toward your chest, drop your shoulders, and bring your chest slightly forward. Next, pull your shoulders back, raise your chin, and lift your chest while arching your back slightly.
Hip circles: With your hands on your hips, spread your feet beyond shoulder-width apart. Move your hips clockwise in a circle, then counter clockwise. Repeat with your arms extended out to your sides.
Hit on beat Play five songs that have strong rhythms and last 3 to 4 minutes each. On every fourth beat (count out loud to keep yourself on track), unleash one of the punch combinations below, and then bring your hands back to your starting stance before the next beat. The shifting tempo of some tracks may require you to punch continuously until the song slows.
Combos for each song:
Hamstring stretch – hold for 10 to 15 secondsInner thigh stretch – hold for 10 to 15 secondsCalf stretch – hold for 10 to 15 secondsThigh stretch – hold for 10 to 15 secondsButtock stretch – hold for 10 to 15 seconds
We all know by now that all exercise is good, based on the proven facts that It can lower cholesterol level, significantly decrease the risk of blood clots, and sometimes reverse heart disease.
Cardiologists are now recommending a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three times a week. The best way to get this kind of activity in without get bored running on the treadmill or even outside, is to do high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. A good HIIT workout, according to recent research, builds heart strength by increasing your ticker’s pumping capacity.
In order to increase the strength of any muscle, one must stress it. A HIIT workout is better than most exercise routines because the rest periods make it possible to complete short workouts at higher intensities. Tranquillity 360 fitness personal trainer Malachi, who is specialises in weight loss and endurance training, have being using HIIT programmes with great success.
Malachi stated, that it is already clear that for HIIT to work to reach its full protentional, one must give it everything, during the high intensity periods of your HIIT workout. Giving it everything you got means that you should be hitting 90-95% percent of your MHR (maximum heart rate).
Here is a basic HIIT workout design by Tranquillity 360 Fitness Trainer Malachi
Basic beginners Treadmill HIIT Workout
· Basic warm-up starting with a brisk walk and work your way up to a light jog – 10 minutes
· Run at 10 mph for 30 seconds to 1 minute
· Walk at 3.5-4 mph for 2 minutes
· Repeat this cycle 7 more times (8 cycles total)
· If the work interval isn’t enough of a challenge, add a slight incline to the treadmill
· Perform a cool-down walk for 5 minutes before stretching and drinking plenty of water
Note: Ask your doctor to evaluate your heart health before starting an exercise program if you’re not used to vigorous activity. Always asked a trained professional to assist you in designing a HIIT workout program that fits in with you, as no two same persons are the same.
If you’ve never done a 5K or 10K, you probably think one of two things: either you can phone it in, and your gym fitness will carry you through; or it's an impossible, masochistic goal. True, competitive running can put you through the wringer if you're not careful, but anyone can do it if they approach it methodically. You'll end up stronger and fitter, with a new respect for men or women in split shorts. I mean personally only just get into running 8 months, where I start to do 5 and 10ks to raise money different charities, my plan is to do 12 runs as minimum this year which is 1 per month, I have come a far way since my first run in January 2019. In this blog through research and personal experience, I am going to break down for you how you can transform yourself in a good 5k or perhaps 10k runner.
1. Know the Basics
Before you sign up, know what you're getting into. Five kilometres equals 3.1 miles. If you can run 30 minutes on the treadmill, it's likely that you can run a 5K with little preparation. On the other hand, if half an hour of treadmill jogging sounds like a death march, you have some work to do.
2. Know the Basics? Then Sign Up!
Race sign-ups are everywhere. Find events through your gym or local YMCA, plus these days they are all over the internet, or stop into a running store and ask the employees what's coming up. Pick a race that gives you enough time to train: 8-10 weeks if you're starting from scratch. Find out what the course is like—flat or hilly, pavement or trail—so you'll know how to prepare.
If you choose a flat, paved course, your main task is making sure you're acclimated to the distance and the impact of pavement, which is harder on your body than treadmills or trails. A trail race will give you a softer surface that's easier on your joints, but if it includes hills, you'll need to start running on an incline, so you don't wreck your calves or hyperventilate during the race.
Once you find your race, fork over the money and put it on your calendar so you don't punk out. In fact, do more than put it on your calendar. Post the date on your refrigerator. Write it on your bathroom mirror. Program it into your phone. If you do the work, it'll be a breeze. If you blow off a bunch of runs, you'll suffer.
3. Wear the Right Shoes
Lifting involves a lot of equipment: weights, kettlebells, bands, and racks. Running requires only one thing: a good pair of shoes. That one thing is crucial. Your shoes affect how you stand, stride, and land. Running in bad shoes is like lifting with bad form. To prevent injury, wear a good pair.
Go to a legit running specialty store to get fitted. The salesperson should ask you questions, watch you run, and find the right kind of support for your individual biomechanics. If they don't seem like they know what they're talking about, go somewhere else.
Factors such as what part of your foot you land on, how injury-prone you are, and how heavy you are can influence the type of shoe you need. And remember, one pair doesn't last forever, especially if you're logging the miles. Replace your shoes about every 500 miles max, or when they start to feel flat or hurt your feet.
If you do purchase new shoes, give yourself enough time to break them in and become used to them before the race. Running a 5K in brand-new, untested shoes is a sure-fire recipe for pain or injury.
4. Create A Plan
Running is strong medicine, so ease in. Would you advise your friend who's never lifted anything other than a pint glass to walk into the gym and start throwing plates on the bar? Didn't think so.
With running, you've got to build a base, just as you do with lifting. Find a training plan geared toward your level of running fitness. A typical program length for a 5K is around 8 weeks, so count back from race day to see when you need to start training. You can find all kinds of training plans online, but one of the best for total newbs is a free mobile app called Couch to 5K (C25K), which you can get for both iPhone and Android.
C25K is a smart, gradual program that will get you race-ready in nine weeks. It takes the guesswork out of training, so you can't progress too fast and hurt yourself, which is surprisingly easy to do without a plan.
If you already run occasionally on the treadmill, slowly work up to running 30 minutes three times a week. Start doing at least one session on a route that mimics the surface and terrain of your race to avoid surprises.
5. Get Loose
Warm up before every run. This can be flexible—a handful of lunges, a few minutes of walking, or even your weight-training session. Just don't jump out of bed and sprint down the street. Maybe Rocky can wake up, slam a bunch of raw eggs, and run out his front door, but that doesn't mean you should.
Also, don't let miles logged replace your weight training. Weight training is important for runners.
At the most basic level, nutrition is important when preparing for a race, because it provides a source of energy required to perform the activity. The food we eat impacts on our strength, training, performance and recovery. Not only is the type of food important for sports nutrition but the times we eat throughout the day also has an impact on our performance levels and our bodies ability to recover after exercising.
Meals eaten before and after exercise are the most important in sports nutrition, but you should really be careful with everything that you put into your body. As a rule of thumb athletes or runners should eat about two hours before exercising and this meal should be high in carbohydrates, low in fat and low to moderate in protein. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy that powers your exercise regime and protein is required to aid muscle growth and repair. After exercising you need to replace the carbohydrates you have lost, and you need to ensure proper muscle recovery by including protein in your post training meal.
The proportions of protein and carbohydrates that you require will vary depending on both the intensity and type of sport so to get your individual balance right you should contact a qualified dietitian for professional help with your sports nutrition. Our expert dietitians can help all level athletes to achieve optimal sports nutrition in order to meet their performance goals.
7. Get Motivated
Running sucks. It's uncomfortable, hard, and boring. Weather is unpredictable and can make running even harder than it already is. No matter the excuse, one thing's for sure: If you don't find a way to love it, you're not going to stick with the plan.
Get the right gear so you don't hate life as soon as you step outside. Your gym clothes are fine if it's warm outside, but lightweight jacket and fleece-lined tights (it's OK to wear shorts over them) are key in cold climates. Wear pieces that are made for being active, with technical fabrics that wick sweat, regulate temperature, repel precipitation, and keep you smelling as fresh as a spring daisy.
8. Don't Overthink It
Forget about setting a finishing-time goal. You won't have a baseline for what your fastest is, and your body isn't adequately adapted to the stresses of running to withstand gruelling speed workouts.
Plus, just because you managed an 8-minute mile on the treadmill doesn't guarantee you'll be able to repeat that performance during the race, you can either go faster or slower, it’s all down to what happens, on the day. Variables like terrain, weather, running earlier than you're used to, or what the other racers are doing around you can all affect your performance. EG. I recently ran a 10km run, for cancer research I was aiming for mid-forties, but on the race the terrain was rough with grass I end up doing 52 minutes even though in the gym on the treadmill I was his 45 to 46 minutes.
Creating an arbitrary goal just sets you up for disappointment, when you should be proud that you're accomplishing something new. Focus on completing the race. Most people can run a 5K in about 30 minutes, give or take a few. When you train, ignore distance and pace, and just work on being able to run for that long.
Other things you don't need: A hydration belt. Energy gels. A GPS watches. Your phone. You can live without it for half an hour, I promise. These things may be needed during a long training run or on an unfamiliar trail, but a half-hour run isn't long enough to require refuelling before you finish. The stats that a fancy watch provides can be fun, but at this level it's unnecessary. Bring your phone if you use it to follow a training app, but also consider memorizing the workout and leaving it at home. You'll love how light and free you feel.
Once you have your race date, your training plan, your shoes, and your tunes, there really isn't much to think about. You can turn your brain off, turn the music on, and go for it. In a few weeks, you'll be queued up at the starting line like you totally know what you're doing. And you'll crush it.
This blog is updated by Tranquillity 360 fitness personal trainers, as well as other guest bloggers.