REST DAYS

PROGRESS


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Truth be told

If you do not workout more than 4 times per week this post probably isn’t for you.

The goal for most avid gym dwellers, gym rats, serious lifters, and amateur physique competitor’s, (at least the majority that I know) is muscle growth and development.

It’s called hypertrophy.

  • hypertrophy  the growth and increase in size of skeletal muscle through a growth in size of it’s components cells. 

Sound like a lot? Meh, itjust means your muscle are getting bigger through doing activities like weightlifting. Without getting too scientific, there is something called progressive overload. Increasing weight means increasing strength. Increasing strength in turn, increases muscle mass.

Intensity

Starting out, many of us ferociously hit the weights with a determination like few. We hit it hard and for many, results come quickly.

Quite often, especially in our youth, we take for granted our youth, and our bodies ability to adapt. We can go longer and harder and with more intensity. Our bodies respond and handle these self-induced beastmodes well. But youthfulness aside, everyone hits a plateau, slows their roll, or simply gets fatigued .

Enter the “rest day”.

Lot’s of Rest = Superior Workouts

Break it down

While we are curling, benching, shrugging, and squating we are make tiny tears in our muscle fibers. “Micro tears”. Shredding them really, utilizing Type I and Type II fibers. The workout or activity dictates which ones are being activated. If you’ve ever had a really good workout, (I mean truly beastmode) with your trainer, workout partner, or on your own, and your sore 2 days later this would be a prime example of that shredding.

The body then instinctively rushes in to repair those muscles, with the help of us replenishing needed protein, vitamins, and minerals, and the muscles grow. How does taking time off from working out play a part? Well, in layman’s terms, if you are constantly tearing down the muscles but not giving them time to repair and grow, at some point you’ll reach a plataeu and you’ll stop seeing dem gainz kid.


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Central Nervous System

Forget about all that pre-workout and caffeine, overtime the exertion required to “go big” takes its toll on the brain. Let’s say you’ve got one of those jobs that you absolutely dread showing up to, and when you do all you think about is “lifting”:

a. props for making the gym a part of your life.

b. think about finding another work place environment.

The human body doesn’t compartmentalize between physical and mental stress. It all builds up and manifests itself with the tell-tale signs:

  • Moodiness/irritability
  • Constant soreness
  • Lagging performance levels
  • Injuries
  • Headaches

Quick Takeaway

How much rest a person needs is absolutely dependent on how intense, frequent, and what volume a person’s training schedule has. In weightlifting for example, conventional wisdom has dictated allowing 24 – 48 hours rest in between working the same muscle group. (Scratching head) Then next month someone promotes 72 hours minimum. The fitness is an ever changing industry and there are “new discoveries” all the time. I am a strong proponent of the “Push/Pull” method. A typically schedule may look something like this:

  • Monday – Chest/Triceps
  • Tuesday – Back/Biceps
  • Wednesday – Legs/Abs
  • Thursday – OFF 
  • Friday – OFF

This is one of many splits, however I chose this one because the two (2) rest days in a row are after three (3) consecutive days of heavy lifting. High volume and heavy weight.

If exercise is a mainstay in your life, seriously, you get double props from me. ✊If you are experiencing any symptoms mentioned above though, or lagging in the gains department, think about your rest days. When you place them. How many you take.

 

MORE ON STATIC STRETCHING

Flexibility


If you’ve ever noticed the fitness world is an ever changing world, and seemingly monthly there is a new break through.

Some things though, remain as rock solid as the iron your pressing and curling.

Stretching


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First, think of your muscles like a rubber band. Now tie a knot in the middle of it. See what I mean?

Basics

There are two (2) basic types of stretching.

  • Dynamic
  • Static

We know that a good warmup period pre-work out is important. Post workout is another story and often times we abruptly stop, shower, (hopefully) and go about our business. Static stretching involves holding specific stretches for a longer period of time, (Typically 30 – 40 seconds) for optimum benefits. Over the years studies show that static stretching tends to be best suited for the end of a workout. Why?

According to Acefitness.org

“No pain, no gain is simply not true. Stretching shouldn’t hurt. Stretch to the point of mild discomfort. Try to find a balance of ease and effort in every stretch.”

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Take Away

Often we sit at desks for long periods of time, or for some, stand for long periods of time. Flexibility is crucial to our success.

  • Reduced pain and stiffness
  • Improved Blood flow and circulation
  • Enhanced performance

So, the next time you knock that #beastmode workout out of the park, or come home for the day stiff as a tree, budget the time to streeeetch it out.

 

MORE GYM HISTORY

ORIGINS


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The ancient Greeks were a fascinating society. Among numerous reasons, their appreciation of the human form was, and to some, (myself included) still unparrelled.

Part I of my eBook series Inventing Fitness,  Amazon.com begins with the origins of physical fitness universally credited with the ancient Greeks.

“Within the ancient Greek society a fit body represented a fit mind. Exercise was no fad, but Civic duty and gymnasiums institutions of higher learning”


Gym life

No need to get your wallets out, these public buildings were funded by the state, and overseen by Gymnasiarchs. Today we call them General Managers, however, in antiquity they were much more and served in these positions with great honor. As a young boy progressed in age so did his level of training and education. Discipline was essential in the formauon of a future citizen, a soldier, a future leader.

Gym talk

In our 21st century clubs we tend to follow an unwritten rule of avoiding certain topics and conversations, and go about our routines keeping to ourselves. 2500 years ago after generations of legends, young men began to focus on logic, morals, and ethics. They came to discuss important matters and what was on their minds.

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Around the world

  • Basque – Gymnasion
  • Danish – Gym
  • Dutch – Sportschool
  • French – Gym
  • German – Fitnessstudio
  • Italian – Palestra
  • Lithuanian – Sports sale
  • Portugese – Academia
  • Turkish – Jimnastik
  • Swahili – Mazoezi

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WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS…

Make Spa Water

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One of natures bounty that just keeps on a givin’, the lemon is a hybrid of the Citron and the Mandarin, and although it can be traced back to before Ancient Rome, the lemon is believed to have first been cultivated in Genoa, Italy during the middle part of the 15th century. As well, some research suggests rather, that it was Central India.

Benefits


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Lemons have long been thought medicinal. The 1st Century Roman naturalist and philosopher, Pliny the Elder refers to them in his work, “Natural History” as malum medicum, or “medicinal fruit.” They are extremely high in vitamin C, important to the immune system, digestive system, and skin. The website OrganicFacts.net  lists 15 benefits ranging from helping treat kidney stones to respitory infections.

Flava Flav


Lemons contain flavonoids.

  • Flavonoid – a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables.

What does this mean for you? It means that these are good for you. Some fruits and vegetables have more than others, but adding more can only help.

Plus, on a sweltering summer day, a zesty finish to your meal  and some spa water tastes oh, so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT pt I

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Exercise alone isn’t enough to shed fat and build muscle. There is an unofficial official rule (yes, another rule to follow in the world) throughout the fitness industry called, “the 80/20 rule.”

But more on that in a bit.

The foods we eat say a lot about who we are. Our cultures, lifestyles, tastes and habits. Food is a basic necessity of life. Here, in the United States we have influences from all around the world. We’re lucky like that.

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food” – George Bernard Shaw

COUNTING MACROS


What is a macronutrient?

mac • ro • nu • tri • ent

  • a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, in particular.
  • a type of food (i.e. fat, protein, carbohydrates) required in large amounts in the human diet.

PROTEIN


Protein is considered the main building block for muscle, bones, skin, tissue and most everything in the body. After consuming it, the body breaks it down into amino acids which fuel all the aforementioned, as well the immune system. The more you put in the more the body has to work with.

HOW MUCH


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That depends on your size and your goals. In the definition above it states, “in large amounts.” However, to simply things, the general rule accepted is to aim for one (1) gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Sound like a lot? It is. Can it be done? You bet.

Highlighted below are bonafide protein sources garanteed to boost your efforts….twofold. Some are tried and true, some are on the “say what” side of the list. “Abs are made in the kitchen” they say, so get your whisks and your measuring spoons out. It’s time to protein up.

The Skinny

Eggs – Why? Eggs are considered the perfect protein source. One medium to large egg contains 4 – 6 high quality grams. Harb boiled, scrambled, or over easy, they are budget friendly and extremely versatile.

– The french eat have a penchant for eating omlettes at dinner with a little fines herbes. Tres chic! 

Turkey – Gobble Gobble. Lean, lean, and ever so lean, turkey continues to be near the top of the list.

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Fuggedabout the Thanksgiving trimmings you normally have with it, (like green bean casserole) turkey is lower in fat than the other meats and, as of this writing, remains relatively inexpensive.

Chicken – Boneless/skinless or a beautifully roasted breast, chicken can be prepared so many different ways how could anyone get bored with it. Like the jingle says, “We’re having chicken tonight, yes chicken tonight.” 

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One large chicken breast has close to 22 grams of protein.

Peanut Butter – Creamy or chunky, PB is an excellent source and couldn’t be easier to consume for those who don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen. You just stick the spoon in and voila!

– A St. Louis businessman named George Bayle first sold peanut butter as a snack in 1894. 

Chocolate Milk – Yup. But go for low-fat. Chocolate milk helps to replenish glycogen stores directly after a hard workout. It has been said it especially good for the ladies. There you go.

Cottage Cheese – A bodybuilders staple, cottage cheese is full of casein, a slow digesting protein, which makes it good to eat before a fasted period like sleeping. With high amounts in a typical serving, cottage cheese is affordable and goes well with a ton of stuff. (Like fruit)

The Takeaway

Slamming stacks and pumping iron is the first step. However, if you want to make all those sessions really pay off and pack on the muscles, pack the shopping cart with the fuel your body needs.

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Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

 

 

 

FADS’, TRENDS’, & BROSCIENCE

FITNESS & EXERCISE


“It is what it is”

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I’ll make this easy so you don’t have to scroll too much. Fads’, Trends’ and Broscience are exactly that…..Fads’, Trends’, and Broscience. I once read a comment from a bro that basically made fun of people who always use definition’s.

Whatever.

I was under the impression, (and have been for some time,) we all needed a little more textbook fact these days.

But I digress.

  • Broscience is the predominant brand of reasoning in bodybuilding circles where the anecdotal reports of jacked dudes are considered more credible than scientific research.
  • Fad an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something. Especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the objects qualities; a craze.
  • Trend a general direction in which something is developing or changing.

Oh snap. Yes I did go there. You see, there are two very important words in that first definition which are, “….scientific research”. 

The Takeway

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Every last one of our bodies and metabolisms are different. We are unique in that sense. Our genetics play a part. Our ages. Our lifestyles. All of it plays a part. What one person responds to is quite different than the other. But confusing tried-and-true methods and research, or avoiding them all together, with the latest fad’s, trends’, and broscience, only leads to unnecessary frustration, anxiety and confusion. Just because your workout partner responded to something doesn’t mean you will too. And vice versa. That’s not to say you shouldn’t stray outside of the proverbial box every now and then. You should. Throw in an extra set and some reps. Make a variation on something. Take it to the next level.

Achieving results takes due diligence, dedication, and sweat. Establishing long term goals, researching and then committing to them requires work.

Are you ready to put in the work?

jwilliamstrains@gmail.com

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10 ESSENTIAL DO’S AND DON’TS FOR YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY

STAYING FOCUSED


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Most of us were taught basic, fundemental rules as kids to help us in life. Hopefully. No elbows on the table while eating, and don’t interupt someone while they are speaking, are a few that come to mind.


Here are 10 do’s and dont’s to help keep you on point in (and out) of the gym

1.  DOimg_20161230_111531


Community. No man (or woman) is an island. Find people who have common goals. Accountibilty, motivation, who knows, they could end up being your next BFF. (Or more.) Hashtag fitfam.

2. DON’T 

Don’t compare yourself with others. It’s one thing to see someone and think, “I’ll get defined abs like that.” However, we all have different genetic makeup. You may not have a perfect 8 pack exactly l like that one genetically gifted individual. Take what you’ve got and build on it. They, your abs, can still become extremely well defined.

3. DO

Have a definete plan of action. Set specific goals. “In six weeks will have lost…..” “Increase deadlift by…”Avoid aimlessly walking through your time in the gym without a purpose.

4. DON’T

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Please don’t scroll through your news feed the whole time. It can all wait, really. In fact, put the phone away. Wait until your done with your workout to post that ironic selfie pic. 


“Exercise is king, nutrition is queen. Together you have a kingdom” 

Jack Lalanne the “Godfather of Fitness”


5. DO

Have some patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know. Results do not happen over night, but with dedication, over time, they will.

6. DON’T 

Do NOT be a weight dropper and stack slammer. Don’t think for a New York minute your a beast because you dropped a heavy dumbbell after 3 reps. This is probably the most annoying habit in the history of gyms. People will look at you and think…pure amateur. (They will) 

7. DO 

Be sure to focus on proper form. Results will come faster. Target each muscle group the correct way. Slow and steady, with good form. Feel the burn.

8. DON’T 

Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water. One symptom of dehydration? Fatigue. Sleepiness.

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9. DO 

Have a good time. Exercise should not be a “task”. What is a task? Getting up at 5:45am to go sit in a meeting all morning with a boss you can’t even stand to look at, let alone speak too. Like anything in life, fitness is what you make it. 👍

10. DON’T

Whatever you do, don’t give up. You’ll thank yourself later. Really.

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ONLY IN SPARTA

HISTORY


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SPARTA

From the eBook series INVENTING FITNESS PART I available on Amazon.com

Spartan

adjective

  •  Marked by strict self discipline or self denial
  • Simplicity, frugality

Boot camp

Today, a new recruit arrives to basic training pretty much having no idea what is in store. A Spartan boy however, would have had a few years preparation and by age 7, sent to the agoge.

Unlike the upscale gyms of Athens, the agoge was the original bootcamp. And still it got worse. Overseen by paidonomous, or “boy hearders,” a basic education was taught. No reciting of Homer. No poetry. Young men were not taught to challenge their minds like Athenians. Here, barefoot and with one set of clothes a young boy was introduced to life.

Today there are many races and workouts all themed with Sparta; however nothing compares to them or their techniques of strength building.


 

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