It’s a new year and everyone you come across these day are talking about getting fitter or healthier in other words everyone wants to slim down for a special event, or the holidays, I can you from now that exercise needs to be part of the weight-loss equation. Exercise will help you preserve muscle mass, which is healthier for your body and better for your appearance.
Plus, maintaining muscle will make your weight loss easier to sustain for the long haul. While a leisurely bike ride outside isn’t likely to help you shave off pounds, indoor cycling can definitely do the trick, if you are a member of a gym I would suggest you try one of their spin class, believe when I say it will rock your world, even if you are a gym junkie, you will still feel the heat when you try spin classes.
To get the most out of an indoor cycling routine, you’ll want to heed some basic rules of nutrition and training, here is six steps you should follow when getting started with cycling.
Eat before you ride. Contrary to what you may have heard about the benefits of exercising on an empty stomach, it’s smart to provide your body with the energy it needs to ride hard and get maximal benefits from the workout. Even if you take an early morning class, eat something small 30 minutes before you ride. This could be a small banana, a slice of toast with jam, or a handful of whole-grain cereal. Do the same an hour or two before afternoon or evening cycling sessions by having a combination of protein and carbs (perhaps a small apple with a tablespoon of almond butter or a few tablespoons of trail mix). Besides helping you fuel up for the workout, eating beforehand can help you burn extra calories, thanks to the thermic effect of food. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after the ride; your body needs a sufficient water intake to keep your metabolism humming and burning calories efficiently.
Vary the pace and difficulty. With most forms of exercise, interval training can pump up your metabolism more than exercising at a steady-state—and the same is true of indoor cycling. Think of it as a way of tricking your body into burning calories faster. By alternating bursts of harder pedalling (meaning, a faster cadence against heavier resistance) with a more comfortable pace, you’ll burn more calories during the workout than you would have at a steady, moderate pace. This will also trigger greater exercise post oxygen consumption (the after-burn effect), causing you to continue to burn more calories for a few hours after cycling
Split your workouts. If you don’t have time for a 45-minute cycling class, do two 25-minute solo sessions and you’ll burn just as many calories between the two as you would with one longer class. You might even push yourself harder during a shorter session, torching more calories. Either way, you’ll reap the after-burn effect twice in a day instead of once, allowing you to burn more calories in 24 hours
Do resistance training. The leaner muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate (RMR) will be and the more calories you’ll burn 24/7. To build muscle outside the cycling studio, perform at least one set of strength-training exercises for each major muscle group two or three times per week, advises Wayne Westcott, Ph.D, director of exercise science at Quincy College in Quincy, Massachusetts, and author of "Get Stronger, Feel Younger." This way, you’ll add muscle mass and crank up your RMR in the process. Whether you use weight machines or free weights, resistance bands or kettlebells are up to you.
Replenish your muscles properly. Within an hour after your workout, consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein (such as 12 ounces of plant-based milk or a small handful of walnuts with a pear) to replenish your muscle glycogen stores and provide amino acids for muscle repair and building. This will keep your muscles and your metabolism operating smoothly and prepare your body for your next workout.
Keep moving. If you’re exhausted after a hardcore cycling session, don’t give yourself permission to become a sofa spud for the rest of the day. Do this and you’ll end up compromising the calorie-burning effects of your cycling workout and your progress toward your weight-loss goal. A better approach is to move more to lose more.
Plyometric exercises are powerful aerobic exercises used to increase your speed, endurance, and strength. They require you to exert your muscles to their maximum potential in short periods of time.
Also known as jump training, plyometric exercises are usually geared toward highly trained athletes or people in peak physical condition. However, they can also be used by people wishing to improve their fitness.
Plyometric exercises can cause stress to the tendons, ligaments, and lower-extremity joints, especially the knees and ankles. It’s important that you have the strength and fitness level necessary to do these exercises safely and effectively.
If you’re adding plyometric exercises to your workout routine, work up to them gradually. Slowly increase the duration, difficulty, and intensity of the exercises.
There are many benefits to doing plyometric exercises. Since they require little to no equipment, they can be done anytime, anywhere. Plyometric training increases muscle strength, which allows you to run faster, jump higher, and change direction quickly. They improve performance in any sport that involves running, jumping, or kicking.
In what’s known as the stretch-shortening cycle, concentric contractions (shortening the muscles) are followed by eccentric contractions (stretching the muscles). This provides excellent results in strengthening muscles while improving agility, stability, and balance. These combined benefits allow your muscles to work more quickly and efficiently.
Plyometrics tone the entire body, burn calories, and improve cardiovascular health. They also boost your stamina and metabolism.
In addition, plyometric exercises rapidly stretch your muscles, allowing you to move more efficiently. While this is good for increasing force, you must use caution since it can increase stress and injury.
1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips.
2. Lower your body to squat down.
3. Press up through your feet, engage your abdominal, and jump up explosively.
4. Lift your arms overhead as you jump.
5. Upon landing, lower yourself back down to the squatting position.
6. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Reverse lunge knee-ups
1. Start in a standing lunge with your left foot forward.
2. Place your right hand on the floor next to your front foot and extend your left arm straight back.
3. Explosively jump up to bring your right knee up as high as you can, lifting your left arm and dropping your right arm back and down.
4. Upon landing, move back into the starting lunge position.
5. Continue for 30 seconds.
6. Then do the opposite side.
For this exercise, you’ll need a box or something to jump on that’s 12 to 36 inches high. To increase the intensity, you can do the exercise using one leg.
1. From standing, squat down to jump onto the box with both feet.
2. Lift your arms up as you jump to gain momentum.
3. Jump up and backward off the box, gently landing with bent knees.
4. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Plyometric exercises can help improve athletic performance in athletes and develop physical fitness in nonathletes. Plyometrics increase speed, power, and quickness.
The exercises use a lot of force and require a lot of strength, mobility, and flexibility. This requires you to be relatively physically fit before beginning them.
Often times when one is working hard towards a specific fitness goal, it can be easy to get wrapped up in what goes on at the gym and forget that a lot of the progress happens outside of that.
Giving your body a break is just as important as putting it through its paces in the weight section, maybe even more so if you want to avoid serious injuries. Rest days have a rightful place in everyone’s training routine.
Making sure you’re drinking enough is important every day, however it’s especially key to training recovery so maybe make an extra effort to refill your water bottle on rest days.
Research has shown that restoring fluids after exercise is vital for restoring electrolytes that you lose through sweat, and many experts recommend including sodium and potassium in rehydration drinks.
It’s common sense that the fuel you put into your body has a direct effect on how well your body can perform. Not only do you need plenty of protein to supply your muscles with exactly what they need to grow and repair after a tough session, but it’s important that you add some good carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and buck wheat are good additions.
Carbohydrates are key for recovery as they help to restore muscle glycogen stores that are depleted during exercise, helping to restore normal muscle function. 1,3
Many studies have shown that the most effective post recoveries boosted by having a health and balance diet,
Staying topped up on your essential vitamins and minerals can also be helpful to keep you feeling your best from session to session, as vitamin C for example helps to support the immune system especially after intense exercise. Plus, nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, and potassium all play an important role in normal muscle function. Ensure you stock up on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, a good multi vitamin supplement would also be a good addition.
Sometimes the best thing for your progress in the gym is to give yourself a complete break and yes, that absolutely includes not moving from the sofa.
Switching off and taking a step back from all the reps and sets will help to give you mind a rest too, which is arguably just as important as giving your body a break. If you find your routine is becoming stale and repetitive, or that you’re finding it harder and harder to motivate yourself to go to the gym in the first place, then time away may be just the thing to hit refresh.
Allow yourself the room to unwind and remember that training is something that should be enjoyed rather than just another chore to get through. Once you return after some time off, I can guarantee you that you will roaring to go and and get the best out of your workout.
The winter is slowly but surely making its way on us which means for most people within the fitness industry its bulking season. That means upping your calorie intake to make it to that all-important calorie surplus. Having to eat a load more food sounds great in theory, but for a lot of people that means things can get pricey.
I want to share with you 3 simple shake recipe that is, budget-friendly bulking shakes that won’t only provide a delicious boost of calories alongside high-quality protein and carbs but won’t break the bank, in fact they can help you save money and stimulate muscle growth at the same time.
These recipes are quick and simple and great to have on the go.
Peanut Butter Banana:
Place all ingredients in the blenders and blitz
Chocolate and Coconut Kick
Place all ingredients in the blenders and blitz
Hemp and Berry Blast
This blog is updated by Tranquillity 360 fitness personal trainers, as well as other guest bloggers.