In two months from now, the first day of summer will officially be here, and we are ready for some long, warm, sunny days! Over the last decade, we have had the pleasure of seeing our approach to programming pay off for a lot of members when it comes to performance, health, and body aesthetics. With summer on the horizon, we are sharing some of our best tips for questions frequently asked this time of year.
TIPS FOR LIVING YOUR MOST ACTIVE, HEALTHY, AND CONFIDENT SUMMER EVER
We have broken this into two main categories: Prepping your system (heart and body) for increased physical activity as well as improving body composition and confidence!
Running, mountain biking, hiking, wakeboarding, golfing, slow pitch softball, and everything in between... the list goes on for activities people find themselves doing as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer. Those first few times back at it can feel like you are starting from square one, whether it's your heart starting to pound and those legs getting heavy half way up the hill or a fussy back after a round of 18 holes.
WHAT CAN YOU DO STARTING RIGHT NOW TO BETTER PREPARE YOURSELF FOR INCREASED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
For any activities requiring a healthy heart, we suggest high intensity interval training with all out effort bursts using a format of 1:3/4/5 ratio of work to rest, which means if you are sprinting all out for 10 seconds, allow yourself around 30-50 seconds of rest and then go as hard as you possibly can again. Our favorite methods? Assault bike, hill sprints, and Assault/curved manual treadmills.
We love pairing eccentric and isometric lower body strength with body weight plyometrics. We have found this creates similar sensations and necessary adaptations when it comes to most activities needing both a strong lower body and stamina. A suggested method? Weighted squats followed right away with squat jumps.
If you plan to find yourself on the golf course or softball/baseball field, right now is a great time to start working on your mobility, especially through the hips, shoulders, and thoracic rotation. Movements we love?
- Controlled articulated rotations (CARS)
- Runners lunge with a thoracic rotation (opening up the arm on the same side of the forward leg toward the sky)
- Couch stretch (kneeling on one knee with the shin backed up against a box/couch/wall, and the opposite leg in a 90 degree bend with the foot flat on the floor) stretching out through the quads and hip flexors
- Any form of a pigeon/elevated pigeon/figure four style of stretch through the glutes/IT band while keeping the spine long and neutral
CONFIDENCE AND BODY COMPOSITION
It's not wrong to want to feel your best, most confident self this summer. Whether it's shorts, tank tops, dresses, or swimsuits, we want you to have some tools to leave insecurities behind.
Confidence Starts with Mental Health
These are a couple of our top suggestions for helping maintain good headspace:
- Daily movement, even on what you consider training rest days, movement (especially outdoors) is incredibly critical every single day to help with keeping our minds functioning in our favor. Daily movement is something as simple as stepping outside for a 20 minute walk.
- Focusing on what you already have that is good, no matter how big or small. Could be the people in your life, abilities you have, opportunity/hope, etc.
- Taking responsibility for what is within your control and being okay with letting go of everything else that's outside of that space. Taking responsibility can be tough to do at first as it requires a bit of self-awareness, vulnerability, and more than anything discipline. Working hard and being consistently disciplined feels good. Letting go of things outside of our control is essentially setting boundaries for yourself on what to focus your energy on to best serve your present and future, almost as if you were viewing your own life from the lens of an outsider's perspective perhaps the perspective of a good friend who cares.
Body composition describes the amount of fat, bone, water, and muscle in the body, and as we are sure you already know, nutrition plays a big role in body composition. We will add some notes below in regard to nutrition, but we highly suggest checking out our Nutrition Framework if you need some direction with making better choices more consistently.
When it comes to strengthening muscles (one of the keys to improving body composition), resistance training is critical. There are various types of resistance training and many ways of going about building strength. Having muscular strength and looking strong can be quite different. If you are looking to see a change in how your muscles look aesthetically, using more hypertrophy based protocols maybe beneficial.
- Nutrition for repairing/building muscle post-workout will require that around 20-35% of your daily overall food intake to come from protein.
With body fat, it is important to talk about this from a health perspective first. Excessive amounts of body fat, particularly around the midsection, has a high correlation rate with disease and illness and THAT is mainly why we care about body fat. However, it is common for people to look toward gyms as a resource that can help them reduce body fat and we aim to be a messenger of education that provides effective and sustainable approaches to health and fitness. With body fat, a lot of it will come down to nutrition and stress, and quite frankly, most people cannot out exercise those two things. However, there are definitely still methods of training that can improve body fat accompanied with quality nutrition and stress management. Alongside resistance training, high intensity interval training in a similar format as mentioned above and some low intensity steady state cardio within the mix can be helpful in reducing body fat. We love all out sprints, especially when done on a hill or incline, as they are also great for glute development and building cardiovascular health.
Looking for a Gym That Provides Results?
Whether you are wanting to hike up mountains faster or just looking for a way to get healthy and maintain it for the long haul, check out our classes in Buckley. We offer strength, advanced conditioning, endurance, and yoga classes throughout the week that are geared toward performance, overall health, and aesthetic.