Meet my newborn son, Julian. He’s 6 days old and he can already teach you three very important things about improving your fitness.
I must say, I’m impressed! He really knows his stuff. Unfortunately he can’t speak, but he wanted me to relay these tips to you guys so you can maximize your gym progress starting today!
Recovery Is Key
Recovery, more specifically sleep, is one of the most unappreciated and underutilized methods of improving your fitness. Sleep is essential for recovery and optimizing your body for making progress towards your goals.
Poor sleep can negatively affect your fat cells, causing “metabolic grogginess,” according to the University of Chicago. Their research shows that after just four days of sleep deprivation, metabolic grogginess can drop your insulin sensitivity by over 30 percent. Eventually that will cause your body to hang on to extra insulin and store it as fat, which will be backtracking in the worst way.
Poor sleep can also cause you to crave foods, miss gym time and actually decrease your mobility in day-to-day activities.
Maybe you can’t sleep 20 hours a day like Julian does, but you can definitely prioritize sleep and aim for 8+ hours a night. Turn off the lights and TV, set your phone off to the side, get comfy and sleep your way to new fitness success.
Eat Frequent Meals
Julian currently eats every 2-3 hours. Sound familiar? At 1 & Only Fitness, we encourage our clients to adapt this style of nutritional intake. Instead of eating 2-3 large meals a day, break your meals up into 5-6 smaller portioned meals, evenly spread out through the day.
Everyone has a different opinion on this subject – some people dislike frequent meal dieting, others swear by it. I’m just telling you guys what Julian tells me. He says to eat every few hours so you can increase muscle mass, increase metabolism and keep a good mood all day.
Personally, I adhere to this style of eating. My typical day looks like this:
- 4am: Breakfast
- 3 whole Eggs, 5 Egg Whites, 2 cups Spinach, Salsa
- 7am: Snack #1
- Apple and/or 1 oz. Almonds
- 9am: Post-Workout Meal/Shake
- Plant-Based Protein Shake from 1 & Only Fitness
- 12pm: Lunch #1
- 5 oz. Chicken Breast, 7 oz. Sweet Potato, 10 oz. Asparagus
- 3pm: Lunch #2
- 5 oz. Salmon, 2 cups Broccoli, 2 cups Cauliflower
- 5pm: Snack #2
- 1 oz Almonds (sometimes I skip this)
- 7pm: Dinner
- 5 oz. Chicken Breast, 2 cups Spinach, Salsa
Ask for Help
This is huge advice for you guys to take. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. When Julian needs something, he cries. He doesn’t care what Catherine and I are doing at the moment, all he knows is he needs help. So he cries…
I do not want you guys to cry, but I do want you to know that you don’t have to hold back any questions about fitness. Whether it’s help with exercise form, how to lose weight, how to gain weight, how to eat, etc. we have a staff full of pros who can help you out!
Reach out to our staff, or even other gym members, who helpful tips on how you achieve your fitness goals!
From the beginning days of internship and shadowing opportunities with Personal Trainers, Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapists, I have come to the conscious decision that an individual’s physical foundation begins at the hips. It is where a human’s center of gravity is located, and therefore where a majority of weight bearing demand is met by various muscles.
Many of you that come into the gym have either seen or been through my hip circuit that I will put ALL of my clients through before their designated workout. Though some are harder than others, I apply various versions of the hip circuit to those of different development levels. If it’s your first time coming into a gym setting for the first time in a year, you’ll be on the mat doing straight leg raises before you know it. As you progress, more usage of resistance bands and other tools will be implemented to further develop those muscles. I use this circuit as a dual mode of warming up your body for the upcoming workout, as well as, hip development.
Through my experience I have discovered how under-developed the hip area is, and for everyone it may be different due to their past and present lifestyle. Over a long span of time injuries and sedentary lifestyles can contribute to the pain and nagging aches you may feel in your hips, knees, and even your back. Many have the problem with a muscle, involuntary or voluntary, that is having trouble firing or contracting because it may have been at rest for so long that the muscle’s weakness has developed a habit of not contributing.
Without even knowing it you may be walking down the sidewalk and not notice that you are stepping out farther with your left leg than your right, contracting that left glute and hamstring to push your body forward and anticipating your right leg’s hip flexor’s to pull your other leg forward.
Unfortunately, your hip flexor muscles are under-developed in that right leg and you begin a habit I like to call “The Peg Leg effect” which is where your hip flexor muscles are causing you to short step or your hip extenders and glute muscles are failing to fire for a strong push to propel you through your step. This lack of symmetry and muscle balance between legs can cause overwork towards one side or the other that later on develops chronic pain and strain not only within the hip joint but the knee as well.
This brings you to the famous quote made by Chubs, in Happy Gilmore, where he states, “It’s all in the hips.” With a simple routine done 3-4 times a week, or more, you will have the opportunity to develop better core stability, improve posture, and increase your confidence for any leg exercise you have pushed aside through the past. Not to mention, getting rid of that figurative Peg Leg! Though there are many techniques and routines that are out there to contribute to your overall hip health, below are the ones that I would recommend.
Beginner (12-15 each leg, increase when needed)
-Lying Straight Leg raise
-Side Lying straight leg Abduction
-Side Lying traight leg Adduction
Intermediate (Implement ankle weights to the exercises above, increasing weight every 2-3 weeks)
Expert (Resistance Band needed, 12-15 reps)
-Side shuffle steps
-Zig Zag Shuffle Steps (2 forward, 2 backward)
If you have any further questions about hip development, need further descriptions of the exercises above, or have an interest to just learn more about the importance of hip development you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org