Find your power: get explosive by adding plyometrics

Get plyometric! Jumping isn’t only for basketball players. The right explosive exercises can help make your next run feel lighter and faster than ever. Most runners think about speed work, hills, and strength training to improve their run times, but often overlook adding power. Adding plyometrics- explosive, energy-honing exercises- to your training can make your…

Find your power: get explosive by adding plyometrics was originally published on Self Evolve

Advertisements

Get plyometric!

Jumping isn’t only for basketball players. The right explosive exercises can help make your next run feel lighter and faster than ever. Most runners think about speed work, hills, and strength training to improve their run times, but often overlook adding power. Adding plyometrics- explosive, energy-honing exercises- to your training can make your usual miles feel like you’ve switched to warp-speed mode. Plyometrics help convert strength into speed and explosive power.

What is it?

“Plyometrics involve a fast, high-intensity, involuntary eccentric contraction of the muscles and tendons, followed by an immediate, powerful concentric contraction,” Adam Rosante, strength and performance coach and founder of the Montauk Barbell Club. There are a lot of exercises that may look plyometric (i.e. box jumps, squat jumps, jumping lunges) but don’t fit the true definition. In order for it to be considered plyo, it has to be executed in less than two-tenths of a second. This is the amount of time in which your body can experience the shock that elicits the involuntary stretch, and use the accumulated energy for the returned action. The key to doing this well is a small number of good reps.

Slash seconds off your time

Studies show that just a month of performing traditional, resistance, or assisted plyo programs two to three times a week cuts seconds off sprint and agility times. They also show an increase in running economy and performance. But the right exercises are needed in order for this to be effective. When incorporating plyometrics into your workout routine, be sure to do them at the beginning of a strength-training day, before a run, or on it’s own for a quick power session. Then give yourself a 2 to 3 days break from plyos. Try this routine (do 3 sets of each exercise):

  • Depth jumps. Stand on a raised platform, such as a box or bench, toes on the edge. Step out and drop straight down (don’t jump). When you land, immediately jump straight up. Land softly. Do 6 to 8 reps.
  • Hurdle hops. Set up four to six 10 to 12 inch hurdles in a straight line, one in front of the other. Leave about 3 feet of space between each. Lower into a quarter-squat and explosively jump over each hurdle, making minimal contact with the ground and moving as fast as possible. Do 4 to 6 reps. To increase difficulty, move the hurdles either closer together or further apart. Change is up by not putting them in a straight line and incorporating lateral hops as well.
  • Depth jump into med-ball throw. Stand at the edge of a raised platform, holding a medicine ball with an underhand grip. Step off the platform and drop straight down. As soon as your feet hit the floor, jump up and throw the ball as high and far behind you as possible. Do 6 to 8 reps. Try not to throw the ball at anyone nearby.
  • Ankle jumps. Stand tall with both feet together. Bend knees slightly and jump straight up. While in the air, pull your toes toward your shins, emphasizing flexion at the ankle joint. You won’t jump very high, due to limited knee involvement. Do 6 to 8 reps.
  • Running leaps. From standing, take a few approach steps, keeping your body as low as possible, then leap off your left leg. Land on right leg and immediately push off again as quickly as possible (it should look like an exaggerated running form). That’s 1 rep. Do 6 to 8 reps.

Do you incorporate plyometrics in your workouts?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “plyometrics”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “5717135fa8463818355cdea45245d180”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Find your power: get explosive by adding plyometrics was originally published on Self Evolve

Pizza and Beer: You can’t out-train a bad diet

I’m guilty as charged There are days where I just say “F it” and eat whatever I want. While these days are few and far between, I used to have these days all the time. There was at least a solid year when I was working out 3-5 times a week all while going home…

Pizza and Beer: You can’t out-train a bad diet was originally published on Self Evolve

I’m guilty as charged

bad dietThere are days where I just say “F it” and eat whatever I want. While these days are few and far between, I used to have these days all the time. There was at least a solid year when I was working out 3-5 times a week all while going home and pigging out on pizza 3-5 times a week. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it wasn’t good. My diet was crap, and you know what else was crap? How I felt. After suffering through the side effects of a year of this bad diet, I decided to completely change what and how I ate. And while now-a-days my diet isn’t as strict, I’ve found a happy middle ground between extreme dieting and eating whatever I want.

Even the world’s best trainer can’t out-train a bad diet

You could train 5 to 6 days a week with the best trainer in the world (i.e. me) but even then you couldn’t go home and pig out on pizza and beer everyday. I’m not saying you can never have these things, but to eat and drink them everyday is just too hard to combat via exercise. Also, a high carb diet will only help you so much. Without proper protein and the right fats, it will be very hard for your muscles to repair and grow stronger after a strength training session or a hard run

Many runners have an attitude that they will burn off whatever they eat. This may seem to be the case because you run and don’t gain weight despite eating whatever you want. But just because the number on the scale seems healthy, doesn’t mean your diet isn’t doing damage on the inside. Overindulgence in simple sugars is the single most common dietary transgression among any endurance athletes, especially runners. I.e. white bread, white pasta, white rice and refined sugars. Large portions of these will turn into bad molecules, bad types of fat, and bad oxidative sugar species- things that do damage to the heart vessels. 

Still, runners often hear mixed messages about how exercise can erase the ills of a junk food habit. Especially high-intensity sessions. While this may be the case over a few weeks, if you continue to have a bad diet for years there will be long-term effects. No matter how much you run or workout, you can’t outrun a bad diet.

Always hungry

But I’m always hungry! That’s because all you eat is carbs! Up the proteins and fats and you’ll feel full for longer. Carbs are important, but if they are the main source of your calories you’ll likely be eating an entire bag of chips rather than just a few. 

Do you try to out-run a bad diet?

 

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “training and diet”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “5717135fa8463818355cdea45245d180”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Pizza and Beer: You can’t out-train a bad diet was originally published on Self Evolve

Aunt Flow: Do you workout on your period?

We’ve all been there.. Your week is going great, you’re getting in your cardio and strength training like a boss. Then Aunt Flow comes to town. And if you’re anything like me, you never know when she will be visiting but when she comes, it’s very apparent. Heavy flow, terrible cramps, and the cravings for…

Aunt Flow: Do you workout on your period? was originally published on Self Evolve

We’ve all been there..

workout on your periodYour week is going great, you’re getting in your cardio and strength training like a boss. Then Aunt Flow comes to town. And if you’re anything like me, you never know when she will be visiting but when she comes, it’s very apparent. Heavy flow, terrible cramps, and the cravings for all of the donuts. But you have a decision to make: to workout on your period or not.

Does working out help or hinder?

All women are NOT created equal. For some, periods along can be hindering. I know some women who become bedridden for days every time Aunt Flow is in town. In these cases, exercise is the last thing on their minds. But if your period is manageable, it is best to continue your workout routine. Obviously, listen to your body and don’t push yourself if you’re not feeling well. Working out during your period is a good thing. Exercise helps relieve period-related annoying symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, and headaches. But there’s one exercise you should avoid.

Don’t do that handstand!

In general, yoga is fine to practice during your period as long as you’re not inverted. For example, shoulder stands, headstands, and the plough pose should be avoided. These are a no-go due to a scientific theory called vascular congestion in the uterus, which results in excessive menstrual flow. What does this mean? More cramps. And no one has time for more cramps. All other yoga poses are fine as long as you keep your head off that mat!

Other than inverted yoga poses, almost any other exercise is fair game. So lace up and get those workouts in, girl! You’ll be able to get those emotions out as well (i.e. that anger over your boyfriend forgetting your anniversary).

Do you workout on your period?

 

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “period workout”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “5717135fa8463818355cdea45245d180”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Aunt Flow: Do you workout on your period? was originally published on Self Evolve

Why everyone needs a personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where…

Why everyone needs a personal trainer was originally published on Self Evolve

personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where they were able to reach their goals and have the body they wanted. If they’ve never had a personal trainer, I always ask if they have ever considered getting one. I ask this because I feel like most of us, at one time or another, have thought of hiring a personal trainer to help us achieve our goals. But we may have hesitated, likely over the cost of a trainer. Today I’m going to go over why I feel like everyone needs a personal trainer, at some point(s) in their life.

Why you need a personal trainer

  • Workout planning. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin had it right. If you go to the gym without a workout plan, you will just be winging it every time. And with that comes a lot of guessing and free-styling it, but also you’ll likely just do the same routine every time they’re at the gym. This isn’t ideal as our bodies get used to the same exercise and you will stop seeing results.
  • Tracking your progress. Most people only track their progress by weighing themselves, but this can be very discouraging. Especially since muscle is more dense than fat, the number on the scale may not change as much as your measurements and body fat. A personal trainer will take your measurements at least once every month or two to verify you’re seeing results.
  • Proper form and technique. Without any prior training or education in relation to exercise, it’s hard to know the proper form and technique for all exercises. Also, it’s hard to know what type of exercises will help you get to your specific goals. That’s where a certified trainer can help immensely.
  • Health advice. In addition to fitness and exercise advice, personal trainers can also help provide overall guidelines in regards to health. While we aren’t nutritionists or dietitians, we can give our clients a general idea of what they should be focusing on when it comes to their diet.
  • Avoid injury. This is huge. The amount of injuries that occur at the gym is substantial. Without proper form and technique, it is easy to hurt yourself. Having a personal trainer to demonstrate and verify that you’re performing exercises correctly mitigates the risk of injury.
  • Accountability & motivation. Having a trainer keeps you accountable. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t pay for a trainer and then not show up to my sessions. Money is a great motivator, and once you start seeing results the motivation will just start pouring in!

Exercise is complex

Exercise isn’t just science, it’s also an art form. The key to exercise is variety, and to know not only the right type of exercise but also the different variations is needed to reach your goals. Without proper knowledge and education, it’s hard to walk into a gym without feeling intimated. Big weights and barbells can scare off anyone. That’s where a trainer comes in.

Have you ever had a trainer? Or do you currently have a trainer?

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”;
amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “tanoshii6603-20”;
amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = “bottom”;
amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “search”;
amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”;
amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”;
amzn_assoc_region = “US”;
amzn_assoc_title = “Shop Related Products”;
amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = “personal trainer”;
amzn_assoc_default_category = “All”;
amzn_assoc_linkid = “bd434e5b14f7bbb758aab09b3960e292”;

//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US

Why everyone needs a personal trainer was originally published on Self Evolve

Embracing nature

To organic or to not organic? That is the question. What do you do? Do you go out of your way to buy organic, or do you just grab whichever is more convenient? This can go multiple ways, but today we’re going to try to focus on two product types: deodorant and sunscreen. Two essentials…

Embracing nature was originally published on Self Evolve

To organic or to not organic? That is the question. What do you do? Do you go out of your way to buy organic, or do you just grab whichever is more convenient? This can go multiple ways, but today we’re going to try to focus on two product types: deodorant and sunscreen. Two essentials while working out, especially while working out outside (i.e. running or attending my weekly strength and conditioning class).

For natural deodorant, what does that look like? Ideally, at the very least, deodorant without aluminum. Why not aluminum? While aluminum is used for things like cans of soda, it is not ideal on our skin. First of all, you may have an allergy to aluminum. A good amount of people break out in a rash when using antiperspirants. Also, aluminum may cause other issues outside of just a rash, i.e. it can interfere with your hormones. Aluminum isn’t the only thing to avoid, triclosan could be a stronger endocrine disruptor than propylene glycol, so try to avoid it as well.

The tricky part about going natural is finding a deodorant that stands up to sweat sessions, i.e. that super humid run or when you’re doing planks at the gym. The deodorant that I use and find effective is Arrow Protect Natural Deodorant by Birchbox. It smells good and stands up to my tough workouts. Which one do you use?

As for sunscreen, it’s important to read the ingredients on the bottle as well. Many sunscreens claim to be natural, but are they? Ingredients to avoid for SPF include chemicals such as oxybenzone, octinoxate  and homosalate. There are other chemicals to watch out for. Ideally, you want to reach for the organic option that uses mineral filters rather than chemical filters.

Mineral sunscreens are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, usually in the form of nanoparticles. There is good evidence that little if any zinc or titanium particles penetrate the skin to reach living tissues. Thus, mineral sunscreens tend to rate better than chemical sunscreens. What sunscreen do you use? Do you read the ingredients before buying sunscreen or just grab the most convenient sunscreen at the store? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

Embracing nature was originally published on Self Evolve