The issue usually is not the amount of sleep as measured in time, but the quality of sleep that you have, and this goes back to your habits and rituals if you will tha your have established over your lifetime. There is usually no preparation for sleep time, and if you are over the age of 10 years old you have not had a ritual for sleep time that has worked to help you sleep in over 20-30 plus years, but even with that said we still fought the idea of going to sleep “early” before 9 pm. I remember when I was around 8-9 years old and it was the beginning of the school year and the time had not changed and it was still light at my bedtime( 6pm) and I literally had a temper tantrum in the bed kicking and crying because I could hear the other neighborhood kids playing outside and here I was being put to bed like a baby.
You are well on your way to hitting the 30 lb weight loss goal you set for yourself on January 1st 2019. You are 1 month and 15 days into your training and nutrition regimen, and you are 10 lbs down (that breaks down to about 1 lb -1.5 lb per week).
Here are the Atlas Pro Training’s top 3 options to help you lose that last 20 lb over the next 12 weeks so you can be ready for the summer by early May 2019!
1) Intermittent Fasting -
This is a basic form of calorie restriction. Although there are several different versions of intermittent fasting, they all have the same fundamental rule; No Food or drink with a caloric value are to be consumed during the fast.
One of the most popular versions is the 16/8 method where you fast for the first 16 hours of the day, then you eat during the last 8 hours of the day consuming 1-2 meals.
Reduces insulin resistance - which is key in helping manage certain metabolic issues
May improve Heart health
May improve brain function and health
May interfere with Mood (for the first few days or weeks)
May interfere with social eating
Digestive issues - Constipation due to limited fluid consumption
This is a true trial and error and behavioral modification method
2) Increase Workload/Intensity -
This is tried and true way to increasing your energy expenditure to 525-625cal of energy per day. This could possibly help you hit that 1 lb- 1.5 lb fat loss per week. However, the 1# rule to remember is that you can not train yourself out of a bad or inconsistent nutrition/diet routine. The key in any exercise plan is have some variety and different variations of physical activity that match your goals and your personality. For example, some people like to lift weights and hate cardio (that’s me :-)) and vice versa. For example, you could increase your workload, ie., distance of running, increasing the weight that you lift, increasing the amount of reps, etc. You can also add or increase a different type of physical activity to your training program, ie., add more running/ walking/ sprinting to your training program, reduce your rest times between sets to less than 30 sec. (This adds a “cardio” element to your weight lifting session , which can help you increase your energy expenditure leading to more fat loss). You can incorporate a weightlifting circuit in your daily training program. Doing so will improve strength level and allows you to gain more lean muscle. This action will increase your metabolic rate and your increased energy expenditure will lead to fat loss.
This method increases your physical activity
Adds variety to your training routine
Can help create balance within your training program
Adds time to your training session
This training method works best when it is combined with a diet and or nutrition plan
Requires additional effort to track results
3) Track & Count Macros along with Body composition Testing analysis
This is a more holistic way of planning out your weightloss program, and in my opinion, this should be the first method you should try to lose unwanted fat.
Tracking and counting your macronutrients (i.e. Fats(9 calories per gram), Protein(4 calories per gram), Carbohydrates(4 calories per gram), can take the guesswork out of planning your meals in regards to calculating an accurate caloric balance that fits your lifestyle and or training program.
Body Composition testing and analysis - This is an essential element to reach your fat loss goals. When combined with tracking your macros, these tools can help you create a nutrition program that fits your lifestyle, health, and fitness goals. Body Composition testing gives you hard, accurate numbers that will allow the necessary adjustments to your health and fitness plan. This helps you see your total fat loss not just your weight loss
This method is accurate
With the assistance of a Professional you can help hold you accountable to your goals
This method can be applied to everyone
This a labor intensive method and requires your full attention
You have to obtain access to credible body composition testing equipment
Counting Calories - Need I say more
As I continue my journey as a father, coach/trainer, (ex-husband lol) and entrepreneur/business owner, sometimes I can have in a bit of a negative disposition, if I allow these short-term situations within the surrounding environment around me control my attitude and my approach towards my daily activities that negative environment will influence my behavior to a certain extent and if I don’t recognize this negative influence my environment will create my reality, which will influence my behavior and when that happens my environment is creating who I am..... Unless I make a conscious effort to maintain a positive environment.
In this second installment of the Atlas Pro Training train like a F.R.E.A.K. blog series were are going to talk about Recovery, where all the "MAGIC" happens! If you have trained or been coached by me you have heard this over and over again, and it has paid off for you. Sometimes its human nature to want to train until you are drained, which is referred to as "overreaching" by most professional strength and conditioning coaches and trainers. This is essential to achieving the maximum physical and mental benefit from your training program, preparing your mind, body, and spirit for competition. BUT there would be no gains without a proper recovery plan that includes three main elements Sleep, Active recovery/dynamic stretching, and massage.
The key to any effective recovery plan is to consistently implement all three of these suggested habits into your lifestyle as an athlete. This may seem simple to just get some sleep right? But in most cases, it is not always easy to find the time to get the recommend 6-8 hours of quality sleep that is required for the body to repair and recharge. It is possible though if your recovery is a priority to you and you want to be the best at what you do, here are a few suggestions that may help you get the sleep you have been missing.
- Schedule your bedtime and stick to it!
- Try chamomile/sleepy time tea
- Read a book in a quiet space
- Remove all distractions from your sleeping area; phone, tablets, television,
- Listen to music with no words like Jazz, Classical music, etc.
These are suggested strategies have helped me (a chronic light sleeper) to this day develop quality sleeping habits, understand that sometimes the quality of the sleep you get is better than the quantity. I have found that the way I prepare to sleep has helped me develop a routine that has changed my behavior beyond just changing my habit.
Next, we are going to look at active recovery and what is actually is. Active recovery is participating is light physical activity, in efforts of maintaining a mobility and flexibility. The low levels of intensity will allow the body to rid itself of lactic acid and other harmful substances by "flushing" the muscles using movement. There are several examples of active recovery that I have suggested my clients do that are light low-intensity forms of movement, here are a few:
- Beginners Yoga
- Dynamic Stretching
- Light Jog
- A pickup game of your favorite sport
- Yard work
The use of massage has been the chose from or rest and recovery for most people for decades. But most people consider massage a luxury, which in some case may be true, but massage is essential to helping the musculature and the tough outer covering called Fascia. During heavy bouts of exercise, there are small micro-tears that occur in the muscle tissue and the fascia and musculature become misaligned and pulled out of place causing knots and kicks that may cause some pain and discomfort. Massage therapy can be applied to everyone recovery plan and should be considered essential to improving your health and performance. Here are a few examples of massage therapy:
- Deep Tissue Therapeutic Massage
- Foam Rolling/Myofascial Release
- Cupping Therapy
- Body Tempering
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF Stretching)
Your recovery plan should be simple yet complete and include all the elements that I mentioned earlier, this could be the difference between gaining the edge you are training for to compete and perform at a high level, or losing that last 10 pounds that have been stuck to you after several months of training sessions. Your recovery plan sets the tone for your training program. To train and perform at a high level you need to recovery like a F.R.E.A.K.
Nothing is more problematic than trying to keep your fitness program alive and well while you have to travel. Hotels may not often have the gym equipment that you utilize. Finding the time between your busy schedules is almost nonexistent. There's a couple of quick "in room" programs that you can perform quickly and efficiently and still maintain all of your hard work.
- Forward Lunge
- Reverse with reach Lunge
- Lateral Lunge
- Alternating Reach
- Hand Walks
Exercises- Perform 3 sets for each exercise
1) Overhead Squats w/ travel bag or body weight - 10 reps
- 30 sec rest between set
2)Incline Pushups (performed on the edge of the bed or desk) - 10 reps
- Jumping Jacks for interval - 1 min work 15 sec rest 2 sets
3) Split Squats w/ travel bag on shoulder - 8 reps each leg
- 30 sec rest between sets
4) Dips performed on edge of bed or small table - 15 reps
- Jump Rope 1 min work 15 sec rest for 2 sets
Core Work- 2 sets
- Reverse Crunch- 30 sec work 10 sec rest
- Hip Crossovers- 30 sec work 10 sec rest
- Planks- 10 sec rest between
- Forward - 25 sec
- Right side - 25 sec
- Left side - 25 sec
Remember in the end, you're trying to maintain your standard fitness regiment that you have on your home turf. Proper form is critical, take extra care knowing that you are not in a facility designed for fitness. And if you find the time you can do this whole program over to get a real workout!
- TRAIN WITH A PURPOSE -