Category Archives for "Training Theory"

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

Bittersweet Recovery Week

Next Scheduled Recovery Week: Sept 4 - Sept 9, 2017

I have to admit, this is my least favorite recovery week. Maybe it shouldn't be that way, as I absolutely love autumn, but still, is summer almost really over? 

Truth be told this may be our most important recovery week of the year. The next one is not until the end of December, which means this training block is the longest of the year. My body needs that focused recovery week, physically and emotionally.​

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!

Coach Dean

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.

Celebrate Recovery Week

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.

Especially you.​

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.

Decreased Performance

Your training loads have stagnated or even decreased.​

Mood Swings

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.​

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. Visit somewhere I haven't before (this week is normally our "Spring Break")

​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!

Coach Dean

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!

Recovery – 3 Reasons You Gotta Do It!

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.
Coach Meagan

Blogs By Request: Safely Returning to Training After an Injury

The request was: "I'd like to learn more about how to transition safely back to training after injuries. After going through this several times I find it challenging both mentally and physically. It's hard for me to know when I'm overdoing vs training carefully."

Who has ever felt this way? Most of us deal with aches and pains, but injuries can be really frustrating and confusing. So, how do we know when it is safe to train a movement pattern that was once painful?

1. Nobody knows your body better than you do. Each training day your coach will check in with you. When we ask you how you are doing we want to know everything. Your day, your mood, your aches and pains…all of it! We want to know on a scale of 1-10 what your pain is today. There is a fancy chart hanging on the wall to help guide you. If we don’t know we can’t help you. We even want to know if you have a slight headache or heartburn! All of it!

2. Let’s pretend like you felt a tweak in your back while you were cleaning the garage over the weekend. It’s not bothering you now, but it happened….we need to know. Even if you think it is nothing, we need to be cautious to prevent injury.

3. Be mindful of your progress. What is your pain today compared to when you first injured? What is your pain today compared to last week? What is your pain today after training yesterday?

4. Are you aware of this injury while you’re not in training? What bothers you at home? Are you noticing it more or less with day to day activities?

These are questions to pay attention to and ask yourself. When we ask you these questions this is how we can help determine when we should progress. If you are consistently having no pain, then we can start to ease up on modifications. It is NEVER okay to go from modified to full load! Allow me to be specific.

If we have been modifying (for example) squat patterns, then we will start by introducing assisted squats. If those are pain free consistently then we can lose the assistance and see how bodyweight squats feel. If that is consistently pain free then depending on FMS results, we can progress from there. It is important to pay attention to how.

Injuries take more than just a physical toll on your body. They are mentally exhausting too. Why train if you’re always in pain anyways, right? What is the point of coming in if you have to modify all the time and are not able to do what everyone else is doing? I don’t have any magic advice to give you that makes all of the frustrations go away, but I do know this...without training you are giving up your independence. Do you want to be able to get up and down off of the floor in 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now or do you want to call the fire department for a lift assist? Do you want to rely on others to come with you to your appointments so they can help you in and out of the car or do you want to drive yourself and even take the stairs? Training isn’t all about toning up and looking good naked- that’s just a sweet side effect. Training is for life. Try and remember that you are going to be one strong gnarly senior citizen someday!

-Coach Meagan

Top 5 Things To Do During Recovery Week

Next Scheduled Recovery Week: March 27 - April 2, 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.

Especially you.​

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.

Decreased Performance

Your training loads have stagnated or even decreased.​

Mood Swings

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.​

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. Visit somewhere I haven't before (this week is normally our "Spring Break")

​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!

Coach Dean

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!

Training to Age More Gracefully

Raise your hand if you train to age more gracefully.

That should be all of us.

To some of us, maturing may be a touchy subject or it may seem lightyears away. We cannot control getting older, but we can control how well we move and take care of the body we have.

Mobility work is important. This is the 10-15 minutes we spend moving through and breathing through a range of motion. This right here is what saves you from getting hurt and keeps you in the game. If you think foam rolling is a waste of time, then you are terribly mistaken. It is important to get the blood flowing in our muscles before we start tearing into them. Don’t come in late and miss this stuff. It is just as crucial to your life goals as training is

Flexibility work is important. This is the time we spend after training when our muscles are warm. Now we want to lengthen our muscles back out. What is the benefit of flexibility work? Well, for starters it can definitely alleviate sore muscles and it keeps us moving free and avoiding tight muscles. Do you know what tight muscles lead to? A recipe for disaster, that’s what! Back pain, knee pain, hip pain, shoulder pain….so don’t scoot out early! Take the extra few minutes to stretch your muscles back out. This too is just as important to life goals as training and mobility work.

What are your life goals? What do YOU want to be doing when you are 85?

Me? Here are a few things on my list:

  • Getting up and down off the floor without a real challenge
  • Stairs
  • Lift boxes on my own
  • Drive (but probably actually wear my glasses!)

These are everyday activities that we take advantage of. Those of you with aging parents know these are real struggles. You have control. Are you willing to put the time in now to have your independence later?

Coach Meagan

Take A Week Off From Training? Are You Nuts?

Yes, but what does that have to do with anything? 🙂

Why recovery weeks? Ready for some edumacation? Here we go!

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.

Recovery Week

June 27th - July 3rd

4th of July Training

8:00am

Get Fit NH Concord

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!

Give Yourself a Bigger Margin For Error

How many of you out there are perfect? **One or two people jokingly raise their hand**.

How many of you slip up from time to time? How many of you may not think about how you bend over to tie your shoe or pick up that piece of paper every time? No one who answered honestly can say they do everything correctly every time. No one expects perfection. We don’t, and you shouldn’t. The idea is to give yourself the biggest margin for error possible.

Now, are we telling you it’s okay to pick things up incorrectly compromising your back or knees? Of course not. Are we telling you it’s okay to have the ice cream, cake, and bread? No. However, you need to realize that no one is perfect. We realize that, and we don’t expect perfection from you. Giving yourself the biggest margin for error simply means doing everything you can so that those couple times that you do slip up, it doesn’t cause a huge negative outcome. I’m going to give two practical examples, one from a nutrition side, and one from a functional movement side.
90_10
First, the nutrition side. We talk about 90/10, right? Eating correctly 90% of the time and 10% being things you normally shouldn’t be eating. Just as a practical example, think about eating 21 meals a week (3 meals a day). That means that two to three of those meals (about 10%) may include things that you normally wouldn’t eat. The idea is that if you eat correctly the majority of the time, those small little slip ups won’t really cause a problem. Again, you’re setting yourself up for a greater margin of error. If you eat fantastic for a week, then you go to a barbeque somewhere and eat a couple things you shouldn’t have, it’s okay because you gave yourself a large margin of error by eating so well the rest of the week. That one meal isn’t going to haunt you too much. Let’s say in that same week, you had 2 or 3 slip-ups already and you get to that barbeque on Sunday… your margin for error is much, much smaller because you already had those slip ups earlier in the week. Essentially, the food that you eat at the barbeque in the second scenario is more likely to cause you to gain fat because it is combined with the other 2 or 3 slip-ups.

1377050803Now to the functional movement side of it. Do you have tightness in different places? Back, hips, shoulders? Some of you are saying “check, check, check”. Is overall flexibility a problem for some also? Yes. How does that feed into our everyday life? If you have tightness in certain muscle groups, it only takes that one time when you bend at the waist to pick something up and boom, there goes your back. Or in training it only takes doing that swing wrong one time out of a thousand and boom, back pain. The more flexible and mobile those muscles and joints are, the more margin for error you have to move incorrectly and not have it result in major injury. How can you get that bigger margin for error and significantly decrease the possibility of injury? Get here on time, and take the warmups and the cool downs seriously. I see way too many people are just going through the motions on the warmups or blowing parts of them off entirely. You don’t want to get hurt and spend your time and money dealing with back issues, right? That’s where the warm ups and cool downs come into play. They help you maintain flexibility and mobility to give yourself the biggest margin for error for that one time you don’t do something correctly.

Give yourself the biggest margin for error possible. Eat well as much as you can so those couple slip ups every once in a while don’t hurt you. Take the warm-ups and cool downs seriously and don’t blow them off. The rest will come easy breezy.

Make it Happen!
-Coach Adam

Pick Up Something Heavy!

kettlebell-300x225.jpgA while ago I read a book called, “The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess”. This book was written by some of the finest coaches in the industry – Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, and Alwyn Cosgrove. There is a quote in the book that I think of often when I am coaching:

“Your body’s goal is to reach stasis so it can stop making adaptations to the stresses you impose on it.  Your goal is to keep imposing new stresses so your body keeps making adaptations.”

Now despite the name of the book, this quote applies to anyone looking to get strong, get lean, burn fat and build muscle. We talk about weight selection often. A lot of times you’ll hear your coaches remind you to pick up something heavy! Let me explain to you why we stress this so much.

I will start by telling you some of the things we take into consideration when writing a training program for you to get effective results:
•    Safety
•    Efficient and effective exercise selection
•    Purposeful exercise selection
•    Purposeful timing sequences
•    Mastery
•    Exercise progressions for all fitness levels

If you have been training with us for some time, then you probably know that we have specific strength days and specific metabolic day. Allow me explain what is happening in your body on those days.

Strength Days:
I won’t get too scientific on you. I just want to educate you. The more you know about what’s going on inside your body, the more educated you’ll be when selecting your heavy weights.

These days are designed to tear into your muscles fibers and allow them the opportunity to grow and get stronger upon recovery. Let me give you a personal example:
Dumbbell Bench Press- If these are programmed into my upper body day, then I am going to start by selecting 5 pounds more than what I KNOW I can lift. You see, if in my mind I already know I can press those 35 pound dumbbells, then my body definitely knows I can already do that. If I want to see a change in my body and my performance (which I do) then I need to try something more. My muscles already know I can do that. My body has adapted to that stress already. I need to create a new stress. I need to tear into those muscle fibers and allow them the opportunity to tear, recover/rebuild and grow.

Recovery:
I know you’ve heard us explain the importance of recovery- but let me explain based on the example above. Let’s say on Monday I just did my dumbbell bench press. I need to give myself at least Tuesday and Wednesday to allow those specific muscle fibers to rebuild and recover. In your training program, we are conscience about tearing into the same muscle fibers two days in a row. You may have heard us explain how your body does its best work when you’re recovering and here is why. Those exercises require more energy to perform and consume a lot more energy as your body recovers from them. Which means after you kill it on the training floor you will continue to burn calories as your body tries to recover and rebuild those muscle fibers. Which means you’re still burning on Tuesday from your training session on Monday!

BUT- if you select a weight that your body already KNOWS it can perform, then you’re not doing yourself any favors.

Quick side note for the Ladies- Believe me, picking up heavy load WILL NOT make you bulky. That is a whole other blog in itself- but just know you do not have the testosterone in your body to create such results. Leaner, faster, stronger, healthier means kill it on your strength days- pick up something heavy!

The fitness industry is always improving. You can rest assured knowing that you’ve hired professional coaches who are consistently continuing their education to keep up with the improvements. We will continue to learn how we can help YOU get the safest results- that is a guarantee.

Until then, keep making it happen!
Coach Meagan