Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't make this mistake after taking time off

Grrrrr..... You! ... I'm watching you!! >:( I've seen this time and time again. If you've been on a "break" from working out for more than a few weeks, please don't just return to your workout with a vengeance.

Don't hit the workout hard and heavy on the first day, picking up exactly where you left off without giving your body a chance to transition from your "off" state back to your "on" state. You will injure yourself whether you know it or not!

The adrenaline rush may make you feel good in the moment and may even make you feel strong for the next few days, but that does not mean you did the right thing for your body in the long term.

If you're lucky enough not to feel the injuries right away, just know in some small or big way, your performance has somehow compromised the integrity of your body. Sooner or later you might be wondering why your shoulders hurt, or your knees don't work the same way, or your back is feeling fragile.

Too many times I've seen and heard about people feeling so guilty for taking a long vacation or break from their workout routine that they think they can just get back to it and go hard instead of slowly and steadily spending a week or so to ease back into the routine. With this, the shock you cause to your body (muscles, joints, fascia, heart, lungs, etc.) will in some way negatively affect the functionality of your body in the long term, if not the short. 

Remember...injuries don't always happen immediately. So don't think you "got away with it" just because you didn't feel pain in the short term. Therefore, if you want to stay strong not just for the next few years, but for all of your life, be smart, take it easy and build back up to your routine. Then, you can take it to the next level from there.

Monday, September 1, 2014

How to challenge your upper body strength while tightening and toning all over

Some of my favorite workouts involve the chest, back, shoulders and core area (abs and back, lower and upper). This is one reason why I always make up new programs to challenge these muscle groups, keep things exciting, and keep my posture standing tall and feeling strong!

Here's a workout that involves those muscle groups all in one shot! It's super challenging as it recruits many muscles all at once for proper execution. So needless to say, it's a major calorie burner, as well as, total body strength and conditioning workout. :-)

- Start in a high plank position while executing (alternating) one arm lateral raise. 20 reps.
- Immediately transition into Renegade row. 20 reps.
- And finish with push-ups. 20 reps.

Execute 5 sets. First set, 20 reps for each exercise. (Each row or raise is considered a rep). Second set, drop to 16 reps per exercise, third set at 14 reps, fourth set at 12 reps, and fifth set at 10 reps.  

Be sure to choose a weight challenging enough that in each set you can only properly execute the number of reps prescribed here. Keep rest time between sets to a minimal.