23

Oct

What I learnt from taking time off from training due to injury.

There are always two sides to an injury…

Until June this year, life was going well and work was busy. I was on a roll with my training (Strength and Conditioning 3x/week, Yoga 3 – 4 x/week, Martial Arts training 5 – 6 x/week) and I was looking forward to making my debut in a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu competition.

In a single moment everything changed due to fracturing my right hand. I wish I had a cool story to explain the injury; in fact I’ve kept the story private from most people. I could, however, be encouraged to discuss this further in another blog post…

As a personal trainer, training is pretty much my life. I train myself, my clients and I am constantly participating in courses to learn new methods to implement into my own and my clients training. I don’t do the job because of money; I do the job because I am passionate about health and exercise and the benefits that it can bring to someones life. I enjoy being healthy, feeling good and moving my body to its full potential. Everything that I implement into my own training, I then pass on to my clients and enjoy seeing them make the same progress and results. I actually get more pleasure from seeing my client’s results than my own!

My world fell apart when the doctor told me that I was unable to use my right, and dominate, hand for 6 weeks. Worse, I was told to not put body weight on it for 10 weeks and absolutely no contact sports for 12 weeks. The x-ray showed that my hand was broken, but it felt like my soul was broken too.

Previous to the injury, I had been training so hard. I was getting results with my lifts in the gym and I was nearly ready to compete in my first BJJ (Brazilian Jui Jitsu) competition. I’ve had time out from training before, due to other injuries and things like overseas holidays and I know the drill. When you start up training again, it can make you feel a little depressed. Being unable to complete as many reps, or lift as much weight as you once could, feels like a huge step backwards. Not being able to push your body to its full potential makes training feel wasteful or at least all of the work you had put in previously a waste. So when training is your life and it’s something that you’re passionate about, not being able to reach a goal fast enough can be extremely demotivating.

Even though I couldn’t train how I used to, mainly focussing on my upper body, I knew that there were other things that I could do. I aimed to focus on training my legs and my core. I believed that I was going to be able to train the same just without the use of my right hand. Although I tried to remain positive, I found myself in a depressing rut.

Simple everyday tasks had become a huge challenge – like showering, making my bed, putting on clothes, food prep, cleaning the house and many more. At first, I was frustrated and angry but I knew that a negative attitude would not get me anywhere. I knew that if I wanted to be happy and get through the next 12 weeks without going insane, I was going to have to see the bright side of the injury. So I began to think – we have two hands, why do we limit ourselves to one? I viewed my injury as a blessing in disguise. Rather than seeking help with my small everyday tasks, I persisted to practice with my left hand and after a couple of days I began to see improvements. It wasn’t long before I was writing with my left hand, and even though it looked like a child’s writing, I was proud to say that I had done it!

While my left hand was becoming stronger, my right hand was learning how to move my fingers again. I was attending my hand therapy appointments and practicing what the therapist suggested religiously. As a qualified electrician and personal trainer, I knew that regaining full control and mobility over my right hand was critical. I made my recovery non-negotiable and was extremely motivated to regain strength in my right hand.

Every hour I would do my finger movements and after each appointment with my specialist I would be introduced to new rehabilitative exercises. These were the most simple exercises and essential to my recovery. I cannot stress enough as to how important it is to the recovery process! Whatever the doctor said, I did! If he told me to rest and not do anything, I did! If he said move your fingers this way 10 times every hour, I made sure that I did! I set an alarm and an appointment with myself to ensure success.

Even though I was making progress, I was still not training how I used to. I am a big believer that movement is medicine and I was having withdrawals due to not getting the same dose as I was prior to my injury! Like most people when they miss training, or be absent from something that they are passionate about, it tends to drive them a little crazy. It can make them feel anxious or depressed. In times like this, we need to rely on someone to help us get back onto our feet. We need someone to keep us accountable and motivated. At the end of the day, life goes on and the universe continues to move, we need to choose to get up and keep moving otherwise we can get left behind and not feel any better than before.

I have personally had a PT for about a year and have achieved great results through training with him but dealing with an injury saw my results go downhill fast. I wanted to try and get some strength back before him and I started training again so I took it upon myself by doing some basic bodyweight exercises. Once again, I found myself having bad days, motivation was low and training sessions were missed.

I knew that starting back with my trainer was going to be tough – especially the first couple of sessions due to DOMS. I knew that by booking in a PT session, I would keep the appointment and get results faster, rather than taking it upon myself which had been previously unsuccessful.

The first few sessions were hard and I was extremely sore afterwards! I continued to push through, even when I didn’t want to, and it wasn’t long before I started to notice positive strength results in my legs. My PT sessions meant that I wasn’t skipping anything and it kept me motivated to train. After a few sessions I began to train my upper body, I also noticed that there wasn’t a massive drop in my performance, that I was actually stronger than I initially thought. I was focussed and persisted with my training and it wasn’t too long before I was nearly back to the same strength levels prior to my injury.

Everything was slowly starting to get back to normal with my training and recovery process, I could now see the light and the end of what was a very dark tunnel.

I am now back into my pre-injury intense training routine and registered to compete in my first BJJ competition on the 27th of October – Pan Pacific IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship, the Biggest comp in Australia and what I’ve been told is a great one to make your debut in!

Everything that my injury has taught me, I have applied into every aspect of my life, I still enjoy using my left hand for basic tasks!

There is always two sides to everything in life and if you want to get through the tough times, you need to try and find the bright side. It is always there, even though you may not see it at first! Sometimes though, you need help to see it – that’s when you can rely on a trainer, friends and family. When you’re struggling with an issue, physically or mentally, please don’t hesitate to seek help because there is always someone out there to help you through the ups and downs of life.

4

Apr

The top 5 point for optimising your recovery from training.

You’ve started strong and are crushing your training but. How should you recover from exercise?

Have you ever woken up feeling really sore from your previous training session? Or maybe you have been sore for a whole week? We are going to look at some of the reasons why your body might not be recovering as well as it should and then look at ways to improve this.  Before we look at improving your recovery rate we need to understand why you are getting sore in the first place.

Why am I sore after a workout?

The technical term for post soreness is referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), this soreness will often affect your ability to backup intense exercise sessions. This is often felt a day or two after a heavy bout of exercise. Simply put, DOMS occurs when you work your muscles harder than what they are used too. However that doesn’t mean that if you don’t pull up sore the next day that it has not been a good session, it’s all about the quality of a workout and the intention.

Research is inconclusive as to the exact mechanism of why DOMS occurs, however most studies show it appears to be the product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue. So is this good or bad? In short, feeling sore and increasing muscle mass don’t necessarily go hand in hand. A little muscle damage is good and necessary for growth; however when DOMS causes a decrease in force production or negatively affects your motivation to work out, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.

Effective recovery modalities can prevent DOMS from negatively affecting your training. There are a number of factors, including sleep, hydration, nutrition and sleep which affect your rate of recovery. So let’s look into these factors in further detail:

  1. What happens while I sleep?

Sleep normalises hormone levels required for recovery, with growth hormone and the sex hormones optimised – aiding in muscle repair. So rest is critical to the recovery process because while you’re resting, your body is building muscle. Sleep also plays a role in ‘resetting’ insulin resistance, aids the immune system and reduces inflammation. Without enough quality sleep, your body cannot fully recover from exercise and you will not allow your body to adapt to training (i.e reduce performance).

Should I train or rest?

High intensity training and lack of sleep skyrocket your cortisol levels, leading to overtraining and possible adrenal fatigue. In order words you cannot burn the candle at both ends – training hard and lack of sleep will not end well. So if you’re already sleep deprived and struggling to know whether to trade sleep for exercise, prioritise sleep and aim for just three workouts each week. Once you’re on a regular sleep schedule, you can increase the number and intensity of your workouts.

How much sleep do I need?

Everyone needs a different amount of sleep, so it’s important to get to know your body and figure out how much works for you.There are plenty of free apps which can help you track the length and quality of your sleep to get a better understanding of how much you really need. One that I like to use is sleep cycle. Tracking your sleep will help set a good routine of going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day. With enough sleep, you can be more productive, feel better all day long and put more intensity into your workouts.

  1. What and when should I be eating?

Ensure you are having a meal or snack within 30 mins post session that has a combination of protein and carbohydrates. The protein will assist with rebuilding the muscle and the carbohydrate component will replace glycogen levels stored in the muscle. Recovery snacks include, protein shakes, fruit and nuts, hard boiled eggs etc.

If you’re training in the morning… have a small snack 30 mins prior e.g fruit, museli bar, protein shake. If you are working out on an empty stomach you will not have any ‘fuel’ in the tank to push yourself hard.

If you’re training in the evening… ensure your nutrition is balanced throughout the day by eating a meal or snack every 3-4 hours that contains a combination of carbohydrates, fat and protein.

  1.  Should I exercise while I’m stressed?

Exercising after work can be a great way to unwind, however if it’s been a particularly stressful day your brain will be tired which will lead to physical fatigue, thus compromising your workout!  Exercising after the occasional harrowing day is unavoidable, but if you are chronically stressed, you could be affecting your fitness goals. A new study in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that mental burnout significantly affected physical performance.  Another problem with exercising under stress is increasing your risk of injury. Research has shown that a high degree of major life stresses (moving, divorce, death of a family member, etc.) or a high amount of daily hassles (getting a flat tire or a speeding ticket etc.) can increase your risk for exercise injury. This is thought to result from attentional deficits and increased muscle tension.

  1.      How much water should I be drinking?

Water is the most vital component of your body and every single cell depends on it. We need water to help eliminate wastes and toxins, carry nutrients and oxygen to cells, help act as a cushion for your nervous system, keep joints lubricated, regulate our body temperature and, most importantly, keep body cells hydrated. Dehydration is a major predictor of fatigue during sustained high intensity exercise. Inadequate water intake results in thermal stress, low plasma volume, premature fatigue and other major markers of impaired recovery.

So how much should you be drinking to keep hydrated?

A common recommendation for adults is to drink 2.1-2.6 litres (8-10 cups) daily, but most experts agree it’s not possible to specify a quantity that is suitable for everyone.

Why? How much water you need depends on how quickly you are losing it from your body, and this is influenced by many factors including your health status, climate, how active you are, your age and what food and beverages you consume.

In normal environmental conditions, the turnover of water (via breathing, sweating, bowel and urine movements) in most adults is approximately 4 per cent of total body weight. This is equivalent to 2.5 — 3 litres a day in a 70kg adult. The food we consume contributes approximately 20 per cent (about 700-800 ml) of total water intake. So if you drink 2 litres of water each day, along with your normal diet, you typically replace the lost fluid. If you are bored of drinking plain old H20 try adding fruit or vegetables to your drink bottle. My favourite is cucumber water!

  1.      Rest days/deload weeks

How much should I be resting?

In order to maximise your performance it is imperative to have rest days, so this means complete REST to allow your body to recover.  In conjunction with rest days it is also important to have deload weeks, here at Revo PT we deload our classes every 8 weeks where the volume still remains high however the intensity is decreased. This not only allows the muscles to recover but also the nervous system. What happens in your body during recovery is vital for keeping yourself in the best possible health. If you want to make sure that your body is strong and you can perform at the highest level possible when you engage in physical activity, do what you can to facilitate recovery in your body.

When you are first starting out it is important that you give more body more rest as initially you will pull up quite sore due to DOMS (explained above). So perhaps starting off with 3 high intensity classes per week (and keep active during off days) and build from there. This is where you need to listen to your body and what is going to work best for you. If you are constantly sore then your body needs a rest day (or 2). Then you will find you come back fresh and ready to push yourself even harder! As your body adapts to high intensity loads you will be able to handle consecutive classes both physically and mentally.

Above all, listen to your body. When you feel good, go with it and when you need a rest, don’t feel bad for missing a day of training. You’ll come back stronger and get more out of your sessions if you find the right balance.

So train hard but do the right thing by your body by eating and hydrating regularly, consistent sleep patterns and minimal stress.

30

Mar

Long awaited Online Programming and Coaching now available

We are taking registrations of interest for our first initial intake for our online programming and coaching program.

This is a unique opportunity to work with our highly skilled and qualified coaches even if you don’t have the ability to head in to work with us here at the gym in South Melbourne.

This opportunity would be idea if you’re outside of Metropolitan Melbourne or if you’re someone who prefers training on your own rather than in a gym setting.

If you’re keen to be a part of our initial intake of only 10 individuals please get back to us immediately as this is an extremely limited first intake.

This limited intake will be able to take advantage of our unique Foundation membership 50% ongoing discount.

To take advantage of this foundation discount and lock in this ongoing rate head across to our online store via the links below and use the discount code: revoptonlinefoundationmember

Who will you be working with?

The coaches launching our online programming and coaching program are none other than Jaimie-Lee Brown and Nathan McCulloch.

Jaimie-Lee Brown: “Strength and happiness comes from finding balance.”

Before personal training, Jamie-Lee was a teacher for children with special needs.

While the classroom may seem worlds away from RevoPT, to Jamie-Lee they’re not so different.

In both roles, she helps people realise their best selves – something that takes patience, understanding, communication and trust.

She moved into training after using exercise as a personal stress-relief that offered mental and physical results. When people started asking her for advice, she knew she’d found a new career. With clients that range from their 20’s to their 70’s, Jamie-Lee doesn’t have a set training style. Her focus is on using your individual strengths and goals to create a tailored program that suits you.

You can read more about Jaimie Lee here: revo.pt/jaimieleebrown

Nathan McCulloch: “Change is the best thing you can do.”

Like most people who’ve completed the Overland Track, Nathan has a natural sense of adventure and it comes through in the way he trains.

He loves clients who don’t just enjoy a challenge, but provide them too.

Whether it’s requesting a new type of exercise or working around a physical limitation, Nathan believes that every session should be something you shape together. He’s flexible, relaxed and always open to new ways of working.

Nathan believes that change is the single best thing a person can do. It’s what saw him move from Tassie to Melbourne, complete a degree in Exercise and Sports Science, change his lifestyle and ultimately start a career in Personal Training.

You can read more about Jaimie Lee here: revo.pt/nathanmcculloch

Hear Jaimie and Nathan’s recent appearances on our podcast here:

  

 

 

 

Don’t forget that you can catch up with any of our post episodes of the podcast via:

The Apple Podcast App or

 

BASIC Membership Normally $30 Per Week

Our Foundation BASIC member special ONLY $15 per week ongoing. Offer ends April 30th 2017!

Our Basic coaching package is the ideal way to get started with your Coach

 

 

  • Customised goal setting
  • Daily custom programming
  • FitBot online account
  • Up to 7 emails weekly

Sign Up NOW here.

ADVANCED Normally $50 Per Week

Our Foundation ADVANCED member special ONLY $30 per week ongoing. Offer ends April 30th 2017!

Includes all of the services offered with our Basic Coaching Package PLUS:

  • 1 hour initial assessment
  • Regular phone contact
  • Regular email contact
  • Input from multiple coaches

Sign Up NOW here.

Take advantage of our Foundation member ongoing 50% off rate

To take advantage of this foundation discount and lock in this ongoing rate head across to our online store here via the links below and use the discount code: revoptonlinefoundationmember

29

Jul

Morning Rituals That Make A Difference

Just as no two people are alike, no two personal training schedules are the same and no two morning rituals will be identical either. However, there are some things that you can do in the morning that are universally beneficial, no matter who you are. Bupa Life Insurance recently featured us in their post on this topic, and we thought we’d expand on that here and share some more healthy ways to start your day. Read on for a few of our favourite tips for a healthy start to your day.

1.    Remember to Hydrate

During the time that you are sleeping, your body is still digesting and processing the fluids you took in from the day before. However, since you have no longer been bringing in any fresh liquids, your body’s stores are running low. Before you reach for that cup of coffee, make a point of replenishing the fluids your body needs with good old-fashioned water. Heat it up a bit and drop in a few slices of lemon, rather than drinking it plain and cold. The warmth will feel cosy and soothing, and the acidity in the lemon will help to perk up your digestive system in preparation for your breakfast. This was our top tip for the article by Bupa Life Insurance, ‘Lifestyle Experts Share Their Healthy Morning Habits‘.

2.    Enjoy Some Fresh Air

When you first wake up, open a window or step out into your backyard. Breathe deeply to get the oxygen flowing throughout your body, signalling to your brain and your muscles that it is time to start your day. If you have enough time, try to squeeze in a workout before you head to work. This way, you won’t be able to make excuses about being too busy or too tired later in the day. Getting the blood and the oxygen pumping will help to wake you up and give you more energy to power through your work day. If you’re short on time in the mornings, even just a quick walk around the block can do the trick.

3.    Eat Breakfast with Your Opposite Hand

While this may sound a bit strange, eating with your opposite hand forces you to use the other side of your brain and requires you to think differently. Not only does this forced concentration help you to wake up in the morning, it is also great for keeping your brain and your hand-eye coordination sharp. Once you’ve tackled this somewhat complicated task first thing in the morning, your brain will be primed for all of the challenges that will come later in the day. As an extra bonus, it will slow down your eating for better digestion and allows your brain enough time to process when you’re full, helping to minimise over eating.

These are just a few of the ways you can get yourself going in the morning. Feel free to try several methods until you find the combination that works best for you. As we said previously, no two people are alike, so take the time to experiment until you find your perfect morning ritual.

For your social media (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter):

A healthy start to your day encourages you to have a healthy rest of the day. Just as no two people are alike, no two personal training schedules are the same and no two morning rituals will be identical either.

Check out the latest post by Bupa Life Insurance, featuring some tips from us on our favourite morning rituals: http://www.bupa.com.au/life-insurance/lifestyle-experts-share-healthy-habits/

15

Jul

Why you need to be lifting weights if you’re an endurance athlete.

Endurance athletes have typically shied away from performing heavy resistance training exercises or weight training.  This is often due to time restraints associated with the high volume and time associated with their training schedules, or due to the belief that there are no associated performance benefits from this method of training.

Maximal strength training with weights (resistance training) typically uses high loads (+80% of an athlete’s 1 Repetition Maximum value, or the maximum amount of weight that can be lifted in one repetition) with a low (1-6) number of repetitions are performed per set (3-5 or even greater), as there is an obvious inverse relationship with how much weight you can lift and how many times you can lift it.  For the purpose of this article, strength training shall be used when describing high intensity/load resistance training.

Hence the question of can high load strength training aid in improved performance for endurance events, specifically long distance running.

The answer is YES!

Strength training programs have demonstrated improvements in running speed and economy (Taiple et al., 2010; Storen et al., 2008) in trained and untrained adults in the absence of improvements in maximal oxygen consumption (Grieco et al, 2012). Running economy can be described as the energy cost to maintain a sub-maximal running velocity (Roschel, 2015). However results within the scientific literature are equivocal (Tanaka & Swensen, 1998).

A 2013 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by Piacentini and colleagues reported a statistically significant performance improvement in running economy and 1RM strength following a maximal strength training program in experienced marathon runners.  This was in comparison to a traditional resistance training program and a control group (who performed no resistance training).  The reasoning for the improved running economy was attributed to the potential muscular rate of force development increases or power within the maximal strength training group.  There were also no changes in body composition, specifically body weight, which is advantageous for a long distance runner.

An earlier study in 2010 investigated the effects of concurrent strength and endurance events in recreational marathon runners.  Ferrauti et al., found that there was actually no significant improvements in VO2max treadmill testing data when comparing a concurrent strength and endurance training program and an endurance training program only.   This is despite an improvement in isometric leg strength in the strength training group.  A potential limitation of this studies protocol was the duration of the training protocol was 8 weeks only.

Another study found that running economy did in fact improve (Johnson et al, 1997) in female distance runners when comparing a concurrent strength training with endurance training program to an endurance training program only.  The concurrent training method did not negatively affect body composition or VO2max levels.

It is important to note that within every research study that there are responders and non-responders to exercise protocols, and varied results will consistently present between studies.  Variations between training methodologies and the training history of participants also vary greatly hence caution is needed when reading research summaries.  But in summary, it has been shown that strength training can consistently improve running economy and performance for endurance athletes.

Strength training can also assist to prevent tendon over use type injuries such as Achilles tendinopathy and patella tendinopathy etc.  Heavy strength training is a method used to combat tendinopathy ailments due the tendons positive responsive to high constant loads (Gaida & Cook, 2011; Rodriguez, 2013).

So should all endurance athletes perform strength training?  I personally believe yes, provided they have the time in their life schedules to practically perform the required training load.  This is the obvious negative of strength training for endurance athletes. The increased training volume may result in a greater overall level of fatigue.  This in itself may be physically impractical to the athlete, depending on life/work commitments of the individual.  It does then come down to the individual needs of the endurance athlete. If an athlete is prone to tendon overuse type injuries, or if hill surges or kicks during race events are a weakness then the supplementation of strength training could be advantageous.

In summary the benefits of strength training for endurance athletes include;

  • Improved tendon health, as tendons respond to ‘load’ and the reduce likely-hood of overuse tendon injuries.
  • Maintenance of bodyweight, specifically lean muscle mass which is advantageous for endurance athletes.
  • Improved movement economy, or working at a lesser percentage of maximum contraction effort during a submaximal exercise effort, resulting in improved performance.
  • Maintenance of positive anabolic hormone profiles, such as the testosterone/cortisol ratio that could reduce the likelihood of illness, fatigue and over-training symptoms.

So keep running, but start lifting!

Lucky for you Revolution Personal Training runs cardiovascular and strength group exercise classes. Our pure strength and strong man classes look to develop your maximal strength levels, improve body composition, and also improve your endurance performance for running events. Team RevoPT is participating in the RUN Melbourne and Melbourne Marathon events as well as the Eureka Stair climb event. These events can provide you with training goals to work towards within a team environment. Enquire at Revolution Personal Training today!

References

Ferrauti, A, Bergermann, M, and Fernandez-Fernandez, J. Effects of a concurrent strength and endurance training on running performance and running economy in recreational marathon runners. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 24(10): 2770-2778, 2010

Grieco, CR, Cortes, N, Greska, EK, Lucci, S, and Onate, JA. Effects of a combined resistance-plyometric training program on muscular strength, running economy, and VO2peak in division I female soccer players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 26(9): 2570–2576, 2012

Johnson, Ronald E, Quinn, Timothy J, Kertzer, Robert. Strength Training in Female Distance Runners: Impact on Running Economy. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 11(4):224-229, 1997

Piacentini, MF, De Ioannon, G, Comotto, S, Spedicato, A, Vernillo, G, and La Torre, A. Concurrent strength and endurance training effects on running economy in master endurance runners. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 27(8): 2295–2303, 2013

Roschel, Hamilton, Barroso, Renato, Tricoli, Valmor, Batista, Mauro Alexandre Benites, Acquesta, Fernanda Michelone; Serrão, Júlio Cerca, Ugrinowitsch, Carlos.  Effects of strength training associated with whole body vibration training on running economy and vertical stiffness. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research., Post Acceptance: January 26, 2015

Dr Hirofumi Tanaka, Thomas Swensen. Impact of Resistance Training on Endurance Performance. Sports Medicine. 25(3),191-200, 1998,

Gaida J.E, and Cook J. Treatment options for patellar tendinopathy: critical review. Curr Sports Med Rep. 10(5):255-70, 2011
Rodriguez, M. The treatment of patellar tendinopathy. Journal of Orthopedic Traumatology. 14(2), 77-81. 2013

25

Jun

Want to win a ‪‎66fit‬ prize pack?

Check out RevoPT‬ trainer Larissa working on her recovery post leg session with our handy new ‪mobility‬ and ‪‎recovery‬ toys thanks to 66fit Australia.

Would you like to win a ‪66fit‬ prize pack valued at $350.00?

If so just comment below and tell us what these fantastic 66fit products would help you recover from.

Entries close on June 30 so get in quick!
Good luck and ‪get 66 fit!‬ 👌