(from Level One Training and Fitness, January 2013)

What and when to drink your post-workout drink

Thanks to Chad P. of La Mesa, CA for posing this question. It’s important to remember that as you progress through your workout, your body is in a catabolic state. Catabolism is quite simply “destructive metabolism” or the breakdown of molecules within your body: sugars, proteins, fats, etc. to produce energy to power you through your workout. The opposite of catabolism is anabolism or “constructive metabolism.”

It’s important to note (mostly for those who are trying to pack on some size and muscle), you’ve got to get nutrients into your body immediately post-workout. While it may seem counterintuitive, carbs are at the top of this nutrient list. Remember, your body has been in a catabolic state for the duration of your workout; your body is literally feeding on itself in order to sustain itself. For bodybuilders especially, this is not usually the goal; the goal is to try to be in an anabolic state as much as possible.

So what do you feed your body? It’s pretty much up to you… you can premix a protein shake with a banana or berries in it or even have some chocolate milk, but definitely get some carbs in there! AND, the sooner you can reverse this catabolic state, the better – try within 5 minutes of finishing a workout sooner! Remember, if you’re done pumping the iron, running the miles, or just plain walking, feed your body so you return it to an anabolic state rather than have it remain in a catabolic state. If you can’t swing 5 minutes, do it within 30 minutes. If for some reason that’s outside the realm of possibility, one hour is your maximum!

Time to get in shape, but not because it’s a new year

Thanks to Aaron S. of Sierra Vista, AZ for posing this question. So you’ve been away from the gym for awhile, enjoying life, the holidays, and everything that comes with it, good eats, good drinks, and more good eats, and more good drinks. Suddenly, the phone rings and you’ve been offered your dream job in law enforcement. *PANIC* Actually, don’t do that! Instead, start putting your game plan together by thinking about the fitness goals associated with the job: you’ll do a fair amount of sitting, you may do a bit of chasing after bad guys, you may have to expend a great deal of power apprehending the aforementioned bad guys, and you may have to put yourself in interesting positions or situations as you rescue kids, animals, (or even your partner) from some minor emergencies. How the heck do you prep yourself for a job like that?!

Remember everything you do, you’ll do well IF you’ve got a good, strong core. If you’ve spent time strengthening your core, you’ll set yourself up for success. Planks, side planks, crunches, reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, supermans, situps, and leg raises are great exercises. Okay, so you’ve got your core in order, what next? If you’ll be sitting a lot, make sure you get some good stretching in. Nothing’s worse than getting ready to do something strenuous and your body is cold and not up to the task. If you’re going to be doing some running around on occasion, make sure you’ve got a date with some cardio. Be sure to change it up though, slow and steady cardio with high intensity interval training thrown in every other day. This will not only increase your endurance level, but it will also help you with those sporadic, but intense bursts of energy you may be required to put out on occasion.

So now your core, flexibility, and cardio have been handled. Power is next on the list. Get in there and pump some iron and by pumping iron, I don’t mean sitting your butt down on 15 different machines, I mean PUMP SOME IRON. Get in with those dumbells and free weights. Make friends with that Olympic bar and plates. Get used to compound, functional movements as opposed to isolation exercises. Remember, the goal is to be able to handle the physical demands of the job. While concentration curls will make your biceps look good, I doubt you’ll be called upon to demonstrate this specific skill as you go about your business. Remember to train in three dimensions: sagittal, frontal, and transverse or more simply, forward/backward, side-to-side, and rotational. This will ensure that your body is ready and able to handle what your job is going to throw at you.

More questions? Contact us and we’ll be sure to address it in the next post!

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