Water helps regulate body temperature, blood pressure and helps facilitate the movement and transportation of essential energy nutrients.
Dehydration increases body temperature
Staying hydrated supports body temperature regulation. If we are dehydrated during a workout, our core temperature rises which results in undue stress and interferes with the homeostasis of our body. Instead of focusing on producing energy and effectively communicating with our muscles during a workout, our body is wasting some of that energy in trying to reduce elevated body temperature. This results in decreased performance and recovery.
Dehydration increases blood pressure
An increase in blood pressure usually results in an increase in heart rate and both together add stress to the body during training and recovery stages. The excessive stress caused internally results in inflammation which once again negatively effects performance and recovery.
Dehydration decreases transport of essential energy nutrients
We produce more metabolic waste during a workout. It’s a result of our body using essential macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fats and supporting nutrients at a faster rate due to increased energy demands. Transportation of these essential energy nutrients is via body fluid. A decrease in water intake results in decreased body fluid levels. This means decreased replenishment and removal of essential energy nutrients. You know lactic acid that causes soreness and pain? That will stick around longer if you are dehydrated!
TIP #1: Always carry around a water bottle, everywhere you go, including the gym!
Sleep is when our muscles grow and our brain recharges.
Why does muscle grow during sleep?
What does the brain have to do with a killer workout?
Should be pretty obvious! Our brain is what controls whether we go to the gym in the first place and how hard we push ourselves in the gym. In other words, a more recharged brain is a more motivated and focused brain.
TIP #2: Make a sleep schedule. Eg. Have to sleep by 10 pm and wake up at 6 am every day at all costs!
We all have heard this before and it's definitely not a myth. Our muscles are made in the kitchen!
Why what we eat is so important?
Two main stages of muscle growth (also known as hypertrophy): First, we damage and alter the shape of muscle by adding stress during a workout. Next, our body adapts by making it a little stronger and larger. So, our muscles are broken down during a workout and what if we mess up the adapting and recovering part? Wouldn’t that mean we are just breaking down our muscles and not really rebuilding it and making it stronger and larger? Absolutely!
Catabolic and Anabolic Stages
Your muscles are in the catabolic stage (breaking down) during a workout and need enough anabolic support (building up) outside the gym. With the right nutrition and adequate protein intake, we can ensure optimal muscle growth and recovery.
TIP #3: Count calories and monitor protein intake. This will ensure you are hitting your calorie and protein goals which in turn will aid during the anabolic stage and in muscle recovery.
This is another obvious one but one we usually overlook. When we try to push beyond the pain or choose to lift heavy over technique and form, we usually begin to notice chronic injuries.
Most common ones being shoulder, lower back and knees. It is important to remember that if you lift at 90% with proper form, you will be able to lift more consistently because you will avoid chronic injuries and have fewer days off.
Consistency trumps a couple good workouts!
Consistency over a long period of time always trumps sprouts of high intensity and this principle applies to all areas of life.
|TIP #4: If your muscles feel sore, that's good! But if you feel sharp pain, give your body some time off, go for a massage, see a physiotherapist, chiropractor or your doctor. No pain no gain should not be taken to extremes!|
Whatever body part you are training on a particular day, that is where your mind should be 100% focused on.
Feel your muscles contract
You have to feel the contractions and aim to mentally squeeze your muscles as hard as possible during each rep. That is why isolation exercises are so popular. By focusing your mind on a target body part you want to grow, you have a greater chance of activating close to 100% of the motor units of the target muscle. More activation means more growth.
Eliminate weak links
One of the main reasons why we fail to fully activate a target muscle is the existence of weak links. Example: When you are doing a back exercise and your biceps consistently give out before your back muscles. In this scenario, your biceps are the weak link resulting in your back never getting enough activation.
Don't let grip be your weak link
The most common weak link is our grip. That is why it is important to find ways to increase your grip. A similar thing applies to pain and calluses. When we experience pain and calluses, our focus is lost on trying to develop a mind-muscle connection.
TIP #5: Train your weaknesses first and your strengths last. Focusing on your strengths will create a larger imbalance and lead to a slow-down in results.
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