Category Archives for "Exercise & Training"

Functional Movement Screen: Rescreens

Functional Movement Rescreens are upon us!

I want to take this opportunity to encourage you as it is just about that time in the quarter where we take everyone through a new Functional Movement Screen (FMS). With these rescreens around the corner I wanted to take a moment to talk about why we do them, what we are looking for and how it benefits you..

The purpose of the FMS is so that we can train you safely and personalize your training in a group setting . Our mission is to keep you training forever and minimize risk. This is a giant injury prevention tool. It is a little scary to us that we are one of the only training facilities in New Hampshire to take everyone through this screen before they ever step foot on our training floor. Rest assured- this is screen is because we care, not because we don’t want you to do certain exercises .

We are looking for several things when taking our students through the FMS. We are checking out range of motion, asymmetries, tightness, pain, mobility, flexibility and more! This 7 sequence screen doesn’t solve all of the problems in the world, but it gives us a ton of useful information.

The FMS benefits our students, because they know we are doing everything in our power to keep them training safe in a group setting. It benefits our students, because they know and we know what exercises are appropriate for them based on a wrist band color. The FMS is also a measuring tool. Since we do rescreens quarterly it is a great way to see where are getting better! It feels good to screen out of a wrist band! This is feedback that our body is changing. On the flip side it also shows us where we may need to focus for a little while so that we don’t get hurt. It is totally normal to screen in and out of wrist bands forever.

Keep in mind as we approach FMS rescreens that this screen is not a character judgement, but a tool to keep you training smarter and training safe. Wear your wrist bands. It helps us, help you! Be coachable. Our purpose is help you be the very best version of yourself.

Coach Meagan

Think Two Steps Ahead.

In life we are not always able to plan and control outcomes.  As many of you may know even the best-laid plans are not always something that will work.  You have your whole day planned out, you have your food prepared based on your current information.  What happens if it changes? What happens if you plan to have your lunch at 12, and you’ll be home in time for dinner so you’re good.  Now what happens when you get stuck at work longer than expected, you’re super hungry and you decide to make a unsupportive decision with what you eat.  Planning is great but the true secret lies in developing the skill to think two steps ahead.  

What do I mean by that?  I mean working through the different possible outcomes in your head so that you are prepared if any of them happen.  This takes time, practice, and experience to do.  You can’t always predict what may happen until you have seen a bunch of different possible outcomes. Lets take the example above, you plan it out, but what is one step further?  One step further is “well what is my plan going to be if that doesn’t work out”?  What is your plan “B”, what if you are wrong and you will be stuck at work?  Do you have another meal with you just in case? Is there a place you know you can find healthy food near your work?  If you know there isn’t a place near you that you can find something healthy, do you know that and did you use that information to prepare yourself?  Start working on trying to think two steps ahead, it takes time but it can be a valuable tool to add to your toolbox. 

-Coach Adam

Discover How To Recover

Next Scheduled Recovery Week: March 26-April 1, 2018

Yeah, that really happened. It's been a long time since I've seen that much snow, so quickly. I don't know about you, but I am just about done with winter. Spring starts next week, so all the snow will be gone by then, right?

Yeah. Right.

But there are signs that spring is on the way. The days are longer, I have heard some birds chirps, and if you can believe it, there was even a mosquito flying around in my office a few minutes ago!

This is going to be an exciting spring season!

We have some exciting things in the works in the next few months, including our annual "Sizzlin' Summer Slimdown", an April trip to the rock climbing gym, and much, much, more.

Another harbinger of the arrival of spring is our annual March recovery week. (How's that for some segue magic?)  🙂

It bears repeating - recovery weeks are not haphazard or just vacation times for your coaches. They are a purposefully planned part of the training cycle, and critical for long term development and injury prevention.

You may have noticed that as we get closer to recovery week the daily and weekly training intensity has increased.

That is purposeful.

Because we are working toward a week of MacroRecovery, we are intentionally working at a higher level.

Then we will take a scheduled, purposeful rest.​

Because whether you think so or not, you cannot and should not train really hard, all the time.

In fact one of our training program design principles is what is referred to as MED.

Minimum Effective Dose.

In other words, what is the MINIMUM stimulus we need to get better - stronger, leaner, better conditioned, etc.?

What? The minimum you say? That is NOT my style. Go hard or go home!

That WILL work, at least for a short time. Until your training overwhelms your ability to recover, and you start breaking down.

How can you tell that is happening? That you're not recovering fast enough from your training? Here's a few warning signs:

Altered Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

You are having a hard time getting your heart rate up, or it's beating like a racehorse when you feel like you aren't really doing much.​

Poor Sleep Patterns

​An increasing pattern of the inability to sleep restfully.

Decreased Performance

Your training loads have stagnated or even decreased.​

Mood Swings

Mr. Crank-Pants, anyone?

Eating Habits Disrupted or Compromised

It's not just a matter of will power. Overreaching and overtraining can cause physical cravings if our bodies are missing crucial nutrients because of too much physiological or psychological stress.​

Decreased Immunity

If you are getting sick frequently (eg. more than one cold a year) your immune system is probably compromised.​

Increase In Injury

This could be not recovering from the normal microtrauma caused by training, for example you are sore for 2 or 3 days after training, or you are getting strains, sprains, aches and pains that you normally do not.​

Lack of Progress (Plateau)

This could be either in body composition (not losing bodyfat/gaining muscle) or not making gains in the gym.​

Enter Recovery Weeks

Recovery weeks are designed to give you rest; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

You see stress is not just a "mental" thing. Do you realize when you train you are stressing yourself out, on purpose? That gets added on top of all the other stress in your life, whether it be work, home, or the jerk who cut you off in traffic. Your central nervous system doesn't care, it just knows when you have too much of it, and it doesn't like it!

​And while you can't stop the knucklehead from driving like an idiot, there are things you can do to avoid excess systemic stress, and taking recovery weeks is one of them.

Here's My Top 5 Things To Do On Recovery Week

  1. Catch up on my reading
  2. Get some extra sleep
  3. Spend more time with my family
  4. Eat at a more leisurely pace
  5. Figure out more things to torture you with. (Just seeing if you are paying attention)

​What about you?

You see you don't have to "not move" for a week. There is nothing wrong with getting outdoors, taking a walk, hitting the rock climbing gym, spending some time on the foam roller and stretching, getting a massage, and/or taking some long showers or baths.

Those things will aid your recovery and help you relax; running 2 or 3 or 5 miles every day (or every other day), or going to spin class, will not

I train hard, but more importantly I train and recover appropriately. 

I am in it for the long game. When I am sick, or excessively tired, or injured I cannot train.

THAT is what sets me back.

Recovery is what drives me forward. On a daily, weekly, and quarterly basis.

​You ready to get better with me?

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

PS. Below is the "Science Stuff" I promised - Enjoy!


All About Recovery Weeks

Our recovery weeks are what I would call Macro-Recovery. In other words we take a planned week off every training phase in order to let the body rest up from hard training and get ready for the next phase.

But did you know you can do even better than that? We have a number of athletes in the Get Fit NH family who participate in our Bioforce HRV monitoring program, which measures your systemic stress load on a daily basis, which allows us to fine-tune the recovery process on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You can catch up on that by clicking here

Read on why properly planned and adequate recovery is important for you!

The Recovery Curve

I saw the recovery curve for the first time during my time with Australian physical preparation coach Ian King. His principles laid the foundation for the way we program, train and especially recover here at Get Fit NH. The principles that work with professional athletes apply to us too!

The following illustrates a “good” recovery curve:

The green line represents what we are all looking for – continual, never ending progress over time. We are getting stronger, faster, thinner, better looking (ok at least that’s what I wish for).

Reality Check – ain’t gonna happen. The process of changing your body is not linear, in fact what we are looking at in an optimal training environment is more of a “One step back brings me Two steps forward”.

A closer look at the chart will help explain what I mean.

The red line represents Equilibrium. This is where your body wants to stay, no matter if your goal is losing fat, gaining lean, or both. As you have no doubt found out, forcing your body to change is hard work – really hard work. When you walk into Get Fit NH, our training is designed to elicit that change. But it’s not as simple as “working out” day after day after day. In fact as I am about to illustrate, training without proper recovery is actually hurting you, not making you better.

The blue line represents the “recovery curve”. Starting at the left hand of the chart all the lines intersect. For this illustration that point is where your first training occurred – you “worked out”.

But what’s going on?

Instead of performance going up, that line is actually heading down – this is what is called Depletion. If you think about it makes sense – you have worked hard, you are fatigued, your body is depleted of nutrients – you are spent!

Don’t worry, your body will get over it, if you treat it right! This is what we call Adaptation. Your body wants to be able to handle the increased demand that was placed on it, and starts the process of getting better.

You are in charge of if and how fast that happens. A few of the factors that influence this adaptation include recovery nutrition, stress levels, sleep habits, supportive nutrition, age, and training history.

The recovery curve continues with Supercompensation. Here is how Coach King describes this process:

“It is only when recovery is allowed that we see the super-compensation effect, the unique phenomenon where the bodies physical capacity is elevated in response to training, in anticipation of another exposure to the same stimulus.” – King, I, 1999/2000, Foundations of Physical Preparation

In other words your body has gotten better in response to your training, a new Equilibrium is established and this state is when we will ideally train again. Our programming at Get Fit NH is carefully designed to give this the best chance of occurring, but as I hope you are discovering, you have a lot to do with this with how you treat your recovery!

As you can see, when things are clicking, this process when repeated over and over means you are getting better and better, the blue line is headed up – pretty cool!

The flip side to all this is what happens when the recovery process isn’t working so well.

This chart represents recovery gone “bad”:

When we continue to train in a state of “Depletion”, regardless of the reason, the adaptation to super-compensation effect doesn’t occur, and instead of getting better, we find ourselves in a downward cycle. This can happen when we train the same muscle groups too soon, when we haven’t taken the steps described above to recover optimally (sleep and nutrition for instance) regardless of time between training, when we train too hard coming off an illness, etc. The last thing we want to happen is new equilibrium to be established in a downward pattern – not good.

The long and short of it is your body absolutely needs to recover from hard training. Consistently training in a fatigued state results in injury and illness. Your body is an amazing machine designed to put up with a lot, but it was also designed to need rest.

Which leads us to:

Recovery Weeks!

Face it – you can get beat up anywhere. Our responsibility at Get Fit NH is to help you get better!

That includes recovery weeks. We have found that somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks of training is just about right to take a full week off and let your body recover.

That doesn’t mean that you spend your training time on the couch eating bon-bons, but if you insist on going down to PF and hitting the weights or running 10 miles every morning, your body will suffer in the long run, and perhaps even in the short term.

If you find yourself fighting this concept, ask yourself this – Is your unwillingness to take a week off a well reasoned decision based on what you know to be true, or is it that your attachment to training is so strong emotionally that makes it so hard? You will not lose all you have gained by taking the week off, I assure you! Again to quote Coach King, “…if you don’t (take time off)…most of you are going to lose it anyway!”

So now that we have established you are ready, willing and able to embrace recovery week, what do you do?

Glad you asked!

Three Steps for Successful Recovery

1.) Physical Rest and Regeneration

– Our bodies must rest and recover to prevent over-training (or under-recovering) issues so that we can come back 100% healthy and energized for the next phase of the program

– Focus on maintaining and/or increasing flexibility and tissue health by stretching and foam rolling daily. 15-30 minutes is fantastic!

– Daily restorative walks are beneficial during this week. 30-60 minutes briskly walking (not jogging/running) will keep your body refreshed and active, without negating the purpose of this week. Don’t overdo it!

2.) Physiological and Psychological Rest and Regeneration

– We must normalize key anabolic hormones, refill muscle glycogen, increase caloric intake, and prevent any diet induced catabolism (losses of lean body mass) so that we can enjoy greater fat loss for the next phase of the program

– We have taken the road less traveled by being flexible eaters with a long-term approach to success and thus we will take a break from our aggressive fat loss nutrition plans. This is not a free for all, so stay away from your “trigger foods” (junk foods and sweets) that open the door to excessive calorie intake.

– Instead plan (key word) and enjoy 2 or 3 controlled free meals to reward yourself for all of your hard work, but do not overdo it!

– Caveat: If your nutrition habits have been less than optimal, more than likely none of this applies to you. Instead now is the time to plan and prepare to make the changes necessary to see the results you want. Spend some time with a coach and your Jumpstart Nutrition Guide if you need help.

3.) Celebrate the Fruits of Your Labor

– Take some time to reflect on how far you have come since you joined Get Fit NH in terms of improving your overall health, body composition, and performance

– Enjoy your results!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

We would just like to take the time to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your hard work and dedication to improving your health and fitness… keep Making It Happen!

​Coach Dean

P.S. If you are serious about maximizing your training/recovery cycle, you owe it to yourself to invest in this! Look further into our Bioforce HRV monitoring program, which measures your systemic stress load on a daily basis, which allows us to fine-tune the recovery process on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You can catch up on that by clicking here.

Relative And Absolute.

Push ups, pull ups and fat loss, oh my!

I think we can all agree that push ups and pull ups are hard…..really hard. A common goal I hear when students begin training with us is, “I want to be able to do a chin up” or “I want to be able to do a push up.”

I have been lucky to see hundreds of students meet these goals over the past 5 years. It is one of the coolest things to see as a coach!

So let’s talk about each of these and come up with 3 ways you can get better at them this year

Push ups

  1. If you are a fat loss student then step one to being able to do a push up is to lose the fat. How do I lose fat, you ask? Food, it’s all about the food. We can help you get a better relationship with food so you                                                                     can lose the fat so you are able to push your                                                    bodyweight up and down. We offer a ton of nutrition coaching- talk to us!

  2. Learn to keep your body TIGHT. When we coach you to bring your toes and knees together and squeeze your cheeks it is not because we are knit picky. It is because to be able to push yourself from the floor and get your body to talk to each other from the head down to the toes you need to keep your whole body tight. If you can teach yourself to keep your body that tight during all of your training- squats, deadlifts, swing, planks, etc then it will become a more natural feeling

  3. Working on your trunk stability. Let us teach you about rolling patterns (or see it for yourself on our website!) Practice perfect reps. Be PATIENT Be CONSISTENT and STOP telling yourself you’ll never be able to do it.

Pull ups

  1. Same as the push ups. If you are a fat loss student then you need to lose the fat before you can get your chin over the bar. I’ll address relative strength in a moment

  2. Hollow body holds. We’ve been working on them in training. Do them regularly. Do them right. We talked above about keeping your body tight. This is the same thing for a pull up.

  3. Hang on the bar. In order to get your chin over the bar you have to first be able to hang on the bar. If you keep your body tight and just hang on the bar I can STILL help you get strong. If you lose the fat and you are strong, you will pull your chin over the bar

Here is a little education for you…

Relative strength-  is the amount of strength to body size, or how strong you are for your size. This reflects a person's ability to control or move their body with no more weight than their own. Think push ups and pull ups for repetition.

Absolute strength-  is the maximum amount of force exerted, regardless of muscle or body size. Think heavy deadlifts and heavy squats. If I am 140 pounds and I can lift 225 pounds off of the ground then I am stronger than someone who is 215 pounds and can lift 300 pounds off of the ground because I am able to lift 1.5 times my body weight but the other person can only lift 1.3 time their body weight.

There are many ways to prove you are strong, but relative strength proves you are strong AND lean.

Coach Meagan

Building Skills, The Fitranx Timeline.

This blog is written for a couple reasons, one to announce that for those eligible to take on level 4, we are going to be pushing it off until March 17th. The movements required for Level 4 require more practice than those of the previous 3 levels. They are both more metabolically taxing and require the time to get the skill down. As many of you know Fitranx is a nationally administered program, and the goal is to put everyone in the best position to blow the test out of the water. Many of you have expressed interest in the Fitranx program, and many of you have already participated.

For those of you who have already completed levels 1, 2, and 3, just keep in mind one thing, all of the movements on those tests were ones many of you have been doing for years.  Level 4 requires that you gain new skills that we have never worked on in this environment previously.  So while you may have been able to go through the first three levels with the tools you already had in your toolbox, the next levels will require you to have some new ones, and that takes coaching and practice.   In the image below you will see the basic timeline for about how long it could take to be prepared for each test.  Its not a matter of weeks, it’s a matter of months, see below;

                             

Just remember that is between tests, not total, so for example on average, those who pass level 3 will take about 4-5 months of training to pass level 4.  Does that mean its not possible you may be ready sooner? Of course not, everyone is different, but the skills required for each successive test take time to develop.  Remember, the last thing we as coaches want is to hold you back, but if we aren’t preparing you correctly then what’s the point of testing?  

If we as coaches think you need to work on your metabolic conditioning or technique, what good does it do you if we: A.) Just invite you anyways and you aren’t able to pass, or B.) You don’t have the technique down and we pass you when you should be passed, how does either do you any good?  If we pass you when you didn’t actually pass the test, then why even test in the first place?  We as coaches want you to accomplish great things, but just think can you really accomplish something if you just change the rules so you can?  

-Coach Adam

Get Fit NH CLOSED this Afternoon January 4, 2018

Good afternoon ladies and gents,

I am just getting in from one of the scariest drives I have had in a while. The snow is coming down fast and the visibility is terrible. We strongly dislike closing for a good ole' New England snow storm, but we have to keep YOU and our coaching team safe and sound!  We appreciate you understanding!

As of now morning training is still on for tomorrow! We will post on our blog and Facebook and send out an email by 4 AM so be on the look out for that! If you don't see anything then we will be there!

Be safe and happy shoveling! Share your MYZONE reports or send pictures from your snow clean up! Or stay inside and do some training with Coach Dean and Coach Nancy!

 Click here to train with your coaches from home

Be safe! 

Coach Meagan

Recovery Week Homework!

I am posing this challenge to all of you!  Spend some time this recovery week working on strengthening your joints.   We are taking some time for a recovery week from training, but if you can give me 10 minutes a day over recovery week I promise you will come back looser and stronger!  

Below is a video with some recovery week homework.  Now I know what you’re thinking “homework? Seriously dude?” this is obviously optional but it could make a huge difference when you come back to training the Monday following recovery week.  

This 10 minute or so sequence involves 4 exercises that are meant to strengthen the smaller stabilizer muscles in your joints.  What does that mean?  It means that you will be able to squat more, lift more, press more.  It is a little more complex of what exactly is going on but I wont get into that here, however if you are interested in learning please feel free to ask me.  It also means that you will be at a lower risk for injury overall! Can’t beat that right?  

For those of you that have some pain doing certain movements, like pushing movements, these can help you strengthen the shoulder so that you don’t get that pain.  For those of you that were here this past Tuesday and went through those 4 exercises in class, you can fast forward in the video to the 9:50 mark and I will walk you through the exercises in real time.  For those of you who were not able to join us, the ten minutes or so before that will explain the set-up and the movement which you should only need to watch the first time but you can refer back to if you need to.  10 minutes a day over the week of recovery that’s all I ask! Bet money that if you stick to it you notice a difference! 

-Coach Adam

The “Compound” Approach

The first question to ask yourself is, does the body work as a bunch of individual systems working coincidentally at the same time? Or does it consist of a continuous bunch of interconnected systems that feed off each other?  It is definitely the second option of the two.  Why do I bring this up?  This helps us understand how small changes can team up to create major ones.  

My favorite example of this is Tom Brady, its just such a great example to use.  I know I know, none of us are NFL players and Tom’s jawline rivals even mine!  The way I am using this is the obsessive level that he takes care of his body.  Could we all be like Tom if we had millions of dollars and our own team of cooks, shoppers, and nutritionists? Maybe I suppose, but those are just parts to the overall puzzle.  When you break it down what has Tom really done to become the first quarterback to start in the league over the age of 40?  Forget about the ability to read the defense and all that, I just mean on simply a health and fitness level.  Here are the secrets…ready for this? He puts NOTHING in his body that has been show to cause inflammation, he hydrates, and he exercises…BOOM!

This is the part that’s important to consider, is it one specific part of his diet that leads to 100% of his health?  No of course not, each little step builds on the others.  For example, is the fact that he doesn’t eat nightshades alone going to lead to incredible performance? Not its not, but you combine that with no sugar, no dairy, perfect hydration, and what do you get? Amazing health.  That’s why its important to look at health as a full picture made up of a lot of parts.  If you take a multivitamin is it going to help you? Yes some, but will it help you to the same degree as if you take a multi, fish oil, and eat supportively? No it won’t.  This is the reason why many of us have been told “take vitamin B for energy”, and then we take it and feel not different.  While its true vitamin B helps with energy production, it isn’t effective if you aren’t eating the foods to support it.  Remember the body works in unison, to give yourself the best chance at a fully healthy life find things that work together to get you there.

-Coach Adam

Recovery Week is Approaching..

Next Scheduled Recovery Week: December 25, 2017 - December 29, 2017

On Monday January 1, 2018 we will ring in the New Year with our annual New Years at Noon event in Concord! We will resume regular schedule Tuesday January 2, 2018!

Congratulations! You successfully made it through the LONGEST training phase of the year. Your body needs a rest!

It bears repeating - recovery weeks are not haphazard or just vacation times for your coaches. They are a purposefully planned part of the training cycle, and critical for long term development and injury prevention.

You may have noticed that as we get closer to recovery week the daily and weekly training intensity has increased.

That is purposeful.

Because we are working toward a week of MacroRecovery, we are intentionally working at a higher level.

Then we will take a scheduled, purposeful rest.​

Because whether you think so or not, you cannot and should not train really hard, all the time.

In fact one of our training program design principles is what is referred to as MED.

Minimum Effective Dose.

In other words, what is the MINIMUM stimulus we need to get better - stronger, leaner, better conditioned, etc.?

What? The minimum you say? That is NOT my style. Go hard or go home!

That WILL work, at least for a short time. Until your training overwhelms your ability to recover, and you start breaking down.

How can you tell that is happening? That you're not recovering fast enough from your training? Here's a few warning signs:

Altered Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

You are having a hard time getting your heart rate up, or it's beating like a racehorse when you feel like you aren't really doing much.​

Poor Sleep Patterns

​An increasing pattern of the inability to sleep restfully.

Decreased Performance

Your training loads have stagnated or even decreased.​

Mood Swings

Mr. Crank-Pants, anyone?

Eating Habits Disrupted or Compromised

It's not just a matter of will power. Overreaching and overtraining can cause physical cravings if our bodies are missing crucial nutrients because of too much physiological or psychological stress.​

Decreased Immunity

If you are getting sick frequently (eg. more than one cold a year) your immune system is probably compromised.​

Increase In Injury

This could be not recovering from the normal microtrauma caused by training, for example you are sore for 2 or 3 days after training, or you are getting strains, sprains, aches and pains that you normally do not.​

Lack of Progress (Plateau)

This could be either in body composition (not losing bodyfat/gaining muscle) or not making gains in the gym.​

Enter Recovery Weeks

Recovery weeks are designed to give you rest; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

You see stress is not just a "mental" thing. Do you realize when you train you are stressing yourself out, on purpose? That gets added on top of all the other stress in your life, whether it be work, home, or the jerk who cut you off in traffic. Your central nervous system doesn't care, it just knows when you have too much of it, and it doesn't like it!

​And while you can't stop the knucklehead from driving like an idiot, there are things you can do to avoid excess systemic stress, and taking recovery weeks is one of them.

Here's My Top 5 Things To Do On Recovery Week

  1. Catch up on my reading
  2. Get some extra sleep
  3. Spend more time with my family
  4. Eat at a more leisurely pace
  5. Figure out more things to torture you with. (Just seeing if you are paying attention)

​What about you?

You see you don't have to "not move" for a week. There is nothing wrong with getting outdoors, taking a walk, hitting the rock climbing gym, spending some time on the foam roller and stretching, getting a massage, and/or taking some long showers or baths.

Those things will aid your recovery and help you relax; running 2 or 3 or 5 miles every day (or every other day), or going to spin class, will not

I train hard, but more importantly I train and recover appropriately. 

I am in it for the long game. When I am sick, or excessively tired, or injured I cannot train.

THAT is what sets me back.

Recovery is what drives me forward. On a daily, weekly, and quarterly basis.

​You ready to get better with me?

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

PS. Below is the "Science Stuff" I promised - Enjoy!


All About Recovery Weeks

Our recovery weeks are what I would call Macro-Recovery. In other words we take a planned week off every training phase in order to let the body rest up from hard training and get ready for the next phase.

But did you know you can do even better than that? We have a number of athletes in the Get Fit NH family who participate in our Bioforce HRV monitoring program, which measures your systemic stress load on a daily basis, which allows us to fine-tune the recovery process on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You can catch up on that by clicking here

Read on why properly planned and adequate recovery is important for you!

The Recovery Curve

I saw the recovery curve for the first time during my time with Australian physical preparation coach Ian King. His principles laid the foundation for the way we program, train and especially recover here at Get Fit NH. The principles that work with professional athletes apply to us too!

The following illustrates a “good” recovery curve:

The green line represents what we are all looking for – continual, never ending progress over time. We are getting stronger, faster, thinner, better looking (ok at least that’s what I wish for).

Reality Check – ain’t gonna happen. The process of changing your body is not linear, in fact what we are looking at in an optimal training environment is more of a “One step back brings me Two steps forward”.

A closer look at the chart will help explain what I mean.

The red line represents Equilibrium. This is where your body wants to stay, no matter if your goal is losing fat, gaining lean, or both. As you have no doubt found out, forcing your body to change is hard work – really hard work. When you walk into Get Fit NH, our training is designed to elicit that change. But it’s not as simple as “working out” day after day after day. In fact as I am about to illustrate, training without proper recovery is actually hurting you, not making you better.

The blue line represents the “recovery curve”. Starting at the left hand of the chart all the lines intersect. For this illustration that point is where your first training occurred – you “worked out”.

But what’s going on?

Instead of performance going up, that line is actually heading down – this is what is called Depletion. If you think about it makes sense – you have worked hard, you are fatigued, your body is depleted of nutrients – you are spent!

Don’t worry, your body will get over it, if you treat it right! This is what we call Adaptation. Your body wants to be able to handle the increased demand that was placed on it, and starts the process of getting better.

You are in charge of if and how fast that happens. A few of the factors that influence this adaptation include recovery nutrition, stress levels, sleep habits, supportive nutrition, age, and training history.

The recovery curve continues with Supercompensation. Here is how Coach King describes this process:

“It is only when recovery is allowed that we see the super-compensation effect, the unique phenomenon where the bodies physical capacity is elevated in response to training, in anticipation of another exposure to the same stimulus.” – King, I, 1999/2000, Foundations of Physical Preparation

In other words your body has gotten better in response to your training, a new Equilibrium is established and this state is when we will ideally train again. Our programming at Get Fit NH is carefully designed to give this the best chance of occurring, but as I hope you are discovering, you have a lot to do with this with how you treat your recovery!

As you can see, when things are clicking, this process when repeated over and over means you are getting better and better, the blue line is headed up – pretty cool!

The flip side to all this is what happens when the recovery process isn’t working so well.

This chart represents recovery gone “bad”:

When we continue to train in a state of “Depletion”, regardless of the reason, the adaptation to super-compensation effect doesn’t occur, and instead of getting better, we find ourselves in a downward cycle. This can happen when we train the same muscle groups too soon, when we haven’t taken the steps described above to recover optimally (sleep and nutrition for instance) regardless of time between training, when we train too hard coming off an illness, etc. The last thing we want to happen is new equilibrium to be established in a downward pattern – not good.

The long and short of it is your body absolutely needs to recover from hard training. Consistently training in a fatigued state results in injury and illness. Your body is an amazing machine designed to put up with a lot, but it was also designed to need rest.

Which leads us to:

Recovery Weeks!

Face it – you can get beat up anywhere. Our responsibility at Get Fit NH is to help you get better!

That includes recovery weeks. We have found that somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks of training is just about right to take a full week off and let your body recover.

That doesn’t mean that you spend your training time on the couch eating bon-bons, but if you insist on going down to PF and hitting the weights or running 10 miles every morning, your body will suffer in the long run, and perhaps even in the short term.

If you find yourself fighting this concept, ask yourself this – Is your unwillingness to take a week off a well reasoned decision based on what you know to be true, or is it that your attachment to training is so strong emotionally that makes it so hard? You will not lose all you have gained by taking the week off, I assure you! Again to quote Coach King, “…if you don’t (take time off)…most of you are going to lose it anyway!”

So now that we have established you are ready, willing and able to embrace recovery week, what do you do?

Glad you asked!

Three Steps for Successful Recovery

1.) Physical Rest and Regeneration

– Our bodies must rest and recover to prevent over-training (or under-recovering) issues so that we can come back 100% healthy and energized for the next phase of the program

– Focus on maintaining and/or increasing flexibility and tissue health by stretching and foam rolling daily. 15-30 minutes is fantastic!

– Daily restorative walks are beneficial during this week. 30-60 minutes briskly walking (not jogging/running) will keep your body refreshed and active, without negating the purpose of this week. Don’t overdo it!

2.) Physiological and Psychological Rest and Regeneration

– We must normalize key anabolic hormones, refill muscle glycogen, increase caloric intake, and prevent any diet induced catabolism (losses of lean body mass) so that we can enjoy greater fat loss for the next phase of the program

– We have taken the road less traveled by being flexible eaters with a long-term approach to success and thus we will take a break from our aggressive fat loss nutrition plans. This is not a free for all, so stay away from your “trigger foods” (junk foods and sweets) that open the door to excessive calorie intake.

– Instead plan (key word) and enjoy 2 or 3 controlled free meals to reward yourself for all of your hard work, but do not overdo it!

– Caveat: If your nutrition habits have been less than optimal, more than likely none of this applies to you. Instead now is the time to plan and prepare to make the changes necessary to see the results you want. Spend some time with a coach and your Jumpstart Nutrition Guide if you need help.

3.) Celebrate the Fruits of Your Labor

– Take some time to reflect on how far you have come since you joined Get Fit NH in terms of improving your overall health, body composition, and performance

– Enjoy your results!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

We would just like to take the time to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your hard work and dedication to improving your health and fitness… keep Making It Happen!

​Coach Dean

P.S. If you are serious about maximizing your training/recovery cycle, you owe it to yourself to invest in this! Look further into our Bioforce HRV monitoring program, which measures your systemic stress load on a daily basis, which allows us to fine-tune the recovery process on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You can catch up on that by clicking here.

Get Back Ups – They Can Save Your Life!

Not too long ago we did a new warm up in the gym. It was a series of getting up and down off of the floor. I think it is really important to remind you and dive deeper into the “why” behind those drills. It is a drill that we just cannot take for granted. This is a life skill that we CANNOT lose as we mature. Many of you know someone who took a digger and watched their life change dramatically.

You want to know a scary statistic? 28,000 deaths occur each year due to falls or fall related injury. 28,000! That is a huge number. You know what I bet is an even bigger number? How many people do you think ended up in a nursing home because of a fall related injury? I know of several.  Training ourselves how to fall and how to get back up might be the most important skill of them all.

These drills may feel silly while you are doing them, but to tell you the truth, they can save your life. Maybe you are wondering what the point of having our left hand on our left knee was or our right hand on our right knee…let me explain that better…aside from a few laughs there is a genuine purpose there.

Picture this…You have a stroke, you are alone, the whole left side of your body is limp, but you still need to call for help. Can you pick yourself up off of the floor and get the help that you need? Maybe that is a morbid image, but it is a possible scenario.

Do not take for granted your ability to get up and down off of the floor and don’t let that skill get away from you. We have to practice it. If nothing else then maybe it will motivate you to be able to get up and down off of the floor to play with your grand-kids!

I don’t believe in too old, because I see people training in here, lifting heavy weights and totally beasting it in their 80’s. You’re not too old and neither are they!  Keep training hard, because these are the skills that will help you age with grace and keep your independence!

Make it Happen,

Coach Meagan

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