This is a somewhat different spotlight I am sending your way this time. After the Rock’n Race this year, Adam Rosenthal came up to me and told me about how he had used his Myzone to make sure he was exercising safely in the Rock’n Race. I asked for permission and was given the okay to share the follow up email he sent about it.
This is more a spotlight on Adam for having the wherewithal to not only use the information provided to him, but also apply it for his own health. Also it's a great reference for anyone else who needs some other ideas how they can also apply the information! Read below!
“I just wanted to thank all of the coaches at GFNH for the wisdom you have en parted on me via the MyZone training sessions. At Mile 2 last night on the slight incline coming out of the State of NH complex I looked down at my heart rate and saw it had reached 155 BPM which is my Max. 97 degree temperatures and fast walking my usual 5K race pace had pushed me to my max and it was time to back my pace down to 135 BPM and finish the last 1.1 miles which I did. My time was 2.5 minutes slower than my usual 5K times but under the weather circumstances of record high temperatures I accept that and am looking forward to my next 5K race. As Bob Moses stated after the race it was a PW (Personal Worst). I have lived to race another day! I wanted to thank everyone at GFNH for giving me the knowledge and wisdom to make such a crucial decision to back off my race pace because of the heat. Without the MyZone training program this might not have happened resulting in more serious complications. Thank You!”
Thank you for reaching out to us, Adam. Great job using the tools available to you and making the quick decision to keep from setting yourself back. You can continue to make it happen!
Fitranx is an exercise leveling system composed of 8 levels. The best way to think of it is like belts in martial arts - as you become more proficient in more difficult exercises, you have the ability to test into the next level during Fitranx testing days at Get Fit. As you progress from Level 1 all the way up to Level 8, the exercises will become more challenging. This will be sure to give you something to consistently strive for to make yourself better.
The thing that makes this different than other things we have done in the past, like the Get Fit games for example, are a couple big factors. First, these tests are standardized and are being performed all over the country. You know that if someone on the west coast is a Level 5, and you just passed the Level 5 test, you both had to complete the same number of exercises, the same selection of exercises, and the same weights from those exercises. Also, these level tests are categorized by age: Bracket 1 is ages 16-35, Bracket 2 is ages 36-55, and Bracket 3 is ages 56+.
Now, for a little information about the testing days. First and foremost, every participant must level their way up, so everyone, regardless of current conditioning, must start at Level 1 and work their way up. Our next testing day will be July 15th (it’s a Saturday) where the Level 1 and Level 2 testing will take place. Subsequent testing days will follow once it has been fully kicked off. Each tests consists of two parts - a strength portion and a conditioning portion - so you must be up to the task in both in order to complete the test. More information to come! be on the lookout!
Summer is here! With summer comes beautiful, gorgeous days! With those beautiful, gorgeous days comes the desire to soak up the sun for every minute possible, which means some of our colder month habits get brushed off…
Yes, I am talking about training. Here are three things you need to know and DO this summer so that you stay in the game!
1. Don’t let weather dictate your attendance. Easy for me to say, right? This is my job. But this is YOUR LIFE we are talking about. We only get 2-4 hours of your whole entire week to keep you moving toward your goals. Training is ongoing. You want results? You gotta be consistent!
2. Make training an appointment. You know how you put a dentist appointment or a doctor’s appointment on your calendar? You can’t miss it, right? It is planned. So is training. Make training a “non-negotiable.”
3. Understand that while biking, walking, running, hiking are all forms of exercise, it is far different than strength training. Strength training is the magic that keeps you aging gracefully. We need to be STRONG to keep our bones healthy and we need to be STRONG to continue to get up and down off of the floor. Being STRONG is what keeps you independent and you can’t be STRONG if you are inconsistent!
Be consistent. Be strong. Be accountable. Get results. Be better than you were yesterday!
Next Scheduled Recovery Week: July 3 - July 9, 2017
If you are new to the concept of recovery weeks, please read on.
If you have been training with us for awhile and you have ignored recovery weeks, read on.
Recovery weeks serve a critical function within the training cycle (more on that below for those of you who want to see the science).
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.
Your training loads have stagnated or even decreased.
One of my big ones (no secret I know - sorry).
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.
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
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!
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:
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!
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!
In order to build on my last piece about coordination, the next step is putting those into action. Reflexes and reaction can be greatly influenced at this age. You may see it in your kids now as this is normally when we start to see growth spurts and physical changes to some degree. You may see your child was one of the fastest, then he grew 4 inches and all of the sudden they are slower and look like they can’t control their body.
When that growth occurs, the body has to learn to adapt to the new changes - that’s where coordination, reflexes and reaction come into play. It's about teaching the body to move in space. I have seen it myself in doing things with kids within the last year or two. Think back to when you were in school playing tag, or capture the flag (or steal the bacon, whichever name you used). Now with that knowledge, go get a group of kids together and try to play the same game. You see kids running into each other, major collisions, one child runs with the flag, sees two other children and has plenty of time (in your mind) to react and change directions but they don’t and end up running straight into them.
Why? Why does it look so chaotic? So unbalanced? Why does your child, who used to be the fastest in their class, seem slower and more uncoordinated? Without the proper movements, these traits don’t develop. That’s why the next step in our 9-12 year old program is working on reflexes and reaction.
It isn’t so much to teach a child how to be the fastest or to cut to avoid a defender, although that may be a positive side effect. It is teaching the brain how to communicate more effective with the legs that are now longer and the muscle, which is now larger and more developed.
The inline lunge, which is performed on the Functional Movement board can seem like a balancing act to many. In this movement pattern, balance is not the only thing that we are looking for! During this exercise, your coach is able to gather valuable information in regards to your current:
When there is a loss of balance, inability to complete the full movement pattern, or pain while performing, it will be important to be cautious while moving through lunges.
What does this mean when it comes to exercise?
If a blue wristband is something that you are currently sporting, our main focus will be to obtain full range of motion during this movement prior to adding an external load.
Examples of exercises not performed with a blue band:
How can I work to get out of my band? I want to do some of those exercises!!
1. 1/2 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Purpose: Improve length of hip flexors and teach your body about hip extension rather than lumbar extension
How to perform it:
Repeat: 1 minute on each side
2. 1/2 Kneeling Ankle Mobes
Purpose: Improve ankle mobility - dorsiflexion
How to perform it:
Repeat: 1 minute on each side
Let's conquer this band together,
Imagine you're in gym class playing dodgeball and someone on the other team isn't looking. Now is your chance, wide-open target 10 feet away. You go to throw the ball, release; the ball goes 5 feet before hitting the ground and slowly rolls to their feet. What happened? Why is it that nowadays we see less and less ability of kids to be able to do something like throw a ball? It stems from a lack of coordination. Yes, all kids struggle with coordination to some degree, but why do we see it in such a sweeping percentage? Lack of play and lack of movement are normally to blame.
Many of us as kids grew up playing outdoors, climbing trees, jumping fences, walking on logs (or in my case stone walls with loose rocks). We don't think about how much those simple skills translate into our coordination as we get older. Climbing trees and fences teaches your body how to coordinate a foot and a hand at the same time in some cases. It all revolves around learning how to move more than one body part at the same time. Things that kids seldom experience anymore until they are old enough to join organized sports, that is assuming that they want to do so.
This is an important skill that has been lost often due to the modern practices. That is why such a big emphasis will be put on such movements in this summer's Athlete Academy for ages 9-12, to help teach them the movements necessary to increase their coordination.
I have recently been reminded that we need to do a better job educating on recovery. There are a number of factors that play into recovery and they are often over looked. We are stuck in this mindset where more is better and that is so far from the truth! More is NOT better. Better is better. When you came to us you not only hired a personal coach, but a training program that is purposeful and effective. Here are three areas that play into your recovery…
1. Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday. Did you notice those are not training days? 🙂 That is purposeful! It is not because we take those days off to eat bon bons and sun tan! It was interesting a couple of weeks ago we had the Rock N Race, so my afternoon friends had training Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I can’t even tell you how many of you came up to me and asked why you are so sore or so tired that week. The answer? Because your body needs to recover. We are not machines and we are not designed to run ourselves into the ground day in and day out. It is not sustainable. Professional athletes don’t do it and you don’t need to either.
2. Eat supportively. If you’re training hard, you must eat to support that. If you are constantly sore, you are not recovering. We are happy to help you figure out what you can do nutritionally to help beat some of that soreness. You should not be sore every single day if you have been training consistently. You need to be fueled to train hard and if you wanna be a fat burner you can’t be fueling with sugar! Lucky for you, if this stuff confuses you we have THE BEST nutrition coaches on hand.
3. Sleep. Sometimes I get emails from you guys that say, “I slept right through my alarm this morning. I am SO mad I missed training!” When I get these emails it tells me that you NEEDED that rest. That you needed a little extra recovery so you could build up and come back stronger. There is a lot more than just dreaming going on when you are sleeping. Your body is still working and making magic happen so when you wake up you are refreshed.
Oh and a little hidden secret to strength training (notice I said STRENGTH training- not cardio- STRENGTH!), even when you are NOT in the gym - yes, when you are sitting there on the couch watching The Voice - you are STILL burning. It takes energy (burns calories) to rebuild muscle. When you are here challenge your strength and work hard. When you are not here (the other 165 hours a week) RECOVER! This is how I train (27 years old) and this is how our clients in their 70s and 80s train. It works, but you gotta follow the plan.
Be consistent. Recover. Be strong.
If you have a red band, you are not alone. This is a common band among athletes at Get Fit and a tough one to overcome! The trunk stability push up corresponds with this band and can be any extremely difficult exercise to perform. During this exercise we are looking to see if the core can stabilize while performing a series of events.
What is this test assessing?
What does this mean when it comes to exercise?
If you are one of many to receive a red band, we want to be cautious when performing challenging core stabilization exercises, as too much stress can be put on the lower back, therefore leading to back pain over time. Ouch!!!
Examples of exercises not performed with a red band:
Well, how can I work to get out of this band? I want to do some of those exercises!!
We are looking to safely help strengthen your central pillar to allow yourself to complete more challenging exercises when appropriate. No sulking allowed, rather let’s try and focus on doing these two personalized exercises daily!
1. Lower Body Rolling
Purpose: Improve core strength and timing while moving through rotary stability patterns
How to perform:
Repeat: Roll back and alternate sides for 1 minute
2. Slow Pledge Pushup
Purpose: To improve torso stability
How to perform it:
Repeat: 10 total repetitions; 1 tap to each shoulder is one rep
Cheers to some rolling and pledging today,
The one and only Kristine Girard! The day we gained Kristine was a bright day at Get Fit NH. This woman brings me so many smiles and so much joy. She works her butt off, she loves a good challenge and to top it all off she is s-a-s-s-y and I love it! Since Kristine has joined the family she has seen some serious results. She did fantastic in the 2016 Sizzlin' Summer Slimdown contest and dropped about 20 pounds and has kept it off!
Recently she has had to take a time out to have surgery and she sent me such a special note. I had to ask her if I could share it, because her note struck a topic that we don't hear about. Everyone talks about the fat loss, the inches lost, the strength gained...no body really talks about how training has a dramatic impact on your insides, your blood flow, your recovery, etc. So here is what she sent me less than a week after her surgery!
I wanted to let you know my surgeon attributed the success to my high risk surgery to the good shape I'm in. I have Get Fit NH to thank for that.
In specific, there was a very low level of bleeding during the recovery. This enabled my surgeon to see the operating area better. Robotics was used. It was crucial she had a clear view! She attributed that to my good vascular condition from working out.
Who knew?! 🙂
As we get older the possibility of having to have surgery increases, this we all know. The best message Get Fit can send is working out will up the success rate of any upcoming surgeries! But.. you coaches already knew that!! 🙂
Just wanted to say THANKS! Joining Get Fit was the best choice I made a couple (coming up on 2 yrs) of years ago!!"
Thank you for the note, Kristine! I am so glad you chose to join the family (almost) 2 years ago. We are lucky to have you. Happy recovery! Can't wait to have you back!