Even though I’m in the midst of my winter break, I feel like I’m not even close to being on vacation; I’ve had something to do ever single day! Sure, I’m not going to school every day, but between working at the gym, teaching drum lessons, and this new training split, I’m not resting a bit. I have four quick tidbits of information for you today; let’s get into it:
On Tuesday, my brand-spankin’-new trap bar made her debut. I have to say, it was nothing short of awesomefabutastic. I know enough to not throw a new exercise into my training without working on technique for a little while, but I wanted to use the trap bar somehow. Luckily, someone was using the gym’s only power rack, so we used the trap bar as a ‘warm up’ before some TRX RFESS. (Fun fact: If you Google search TRX RFESS, the first four hits are for my blog. Win!) So the initial use of the trap bar was some quick deadlifts. The second use of the trap bar was a farmers walk. I’m not sure how many people actually do trap bar farmers walks, but my buddy Julian is obsessed with the idea, so Bryan and I did 10 each with 225. Lots of fun for the forearms. And such, my pretty chrome trap bar was introduced to her rusty iron friends. Let us wish for a happy, healthy relationship for years to come.
I’m always suprised by how many people don’t understand basic nutrition strategies. No, whole wheat bagels aren’t ‘good’ carbs because they’re whole wheat. No, eating an egg for breakfast doesn’t mean you eat lots of protein. It means you ate 7 grams of protein. Your organic made-with-love cereal isn’t much better then the kids stuff, which is almost universally garbage. I digress.
Most people are pretty confused about peri-workout nutrition: What should you eat before and after your workout? It varies a huge deal depending on what your workout consisted of, but let’s say you performed a full body workout using compound exercises, because you read what I write about and you know I’m judging you for wearing Reebok Easy-Tones in your Zumba class. (I just killed two birds with one stone!) So after you’re done with your last set of a Goblet Split Squat/Inchworm finisher, you grab some water, stretch and/or foam roll, and head on home. Whadaya-gonna-eat?! Well start with some protein, silly! Recommendations range from .8 grams per kilogram of body weight to 2 grams per pound. Great, that’s vague, and not much help. Well, the recommendation of .8gms/kg is pretty low, and the 2 grams can be high, depending on your goals. For the most part, I like between 15 and 20 grams right after you workout. It’s enough to help you kick start the recovery process, but it’s not too much that you’ll be full before you eat again, 1-3 hours later. In general, I like to drink a shake made of whey and milk after I workout, then a while later I’ll eat some ‘real’ food. If you’re scared of the protein powders, then check out this list of high(er) protein foods. Protein from animals sources is going to give you more bang for your buck, but I know some people forget that dead animal flesh tastes delicious, so I left in the vegetarian options.
|Large Egg||7 grams/egg|
|Cheese (eg. Cheddar)||7 grams/ounce|
|Cereal||4 grams/1/2 cup|
|Vegetables||2 grams/ 1/2 cup|
|Soybeans (dry)||10 grams/ounce|
|Lentils (dry)||6.5 grams/ounce|
|Red beans||6 grams/ounce|
|Baked potato||9 grams/8 ounces|
If you’re serious about the intelligent pursuit of muscle, you know that Testosterone Nation is one of the best websites you can visit. They have new articles on a daily basis, and the coaches who write for them are some of the best in the business. Recently I came across a whole series of videos from French-Canadian strength coach Christian Thibaudeau, about Neural Charge Training. According to Thibs, Neural Charge Training can:
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Stimulates the release of anabolic hormones
- Loads more nutrients into the muscle cell
- Jumpstarts recovery
- Enhances work capacity
- Stimulates further growth
- Prepares the body for the next workout
Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, if you clicked through to the link and watched the video (which you should go back and do…no, seriously, go do it), you saw that the exercises used are unloaded, ballistic, and low-rep. The basic idea is to energize your central nervous system, and give it a boost in recovery of for your next workout. I like the idea of using these exercises as a prep for an upcoming workout, say a few hours later, and as part of a warm-up for a regular workout. Not many people warm-up, and they’re compromising their results! Take the time to iron out soft-tissue limitations (pun intended, but don’t actually use an iron), go through a dynamic mobility series, and perform some potentiating exercises like those recommended from Coach Thibs. Go ahead and click through to find out about Neural Charge Jumps, Push-Ups, and Barbell exercises. Very few people selectively train the central nervous system, and will see huge improvements when they start to do so.
Lastly, I leave you with a new music video from Keri Hilson. I keep hearing her latest single, Pretty Girl Rock, on television and the radio, and it’s really catchy. Who cares about catchy though, it’s what she’s saying that’s important. The lyrics are easy to learn, and you’ll want to sing along immediately. I’ve only recently seen the video, and the number of costume changes is ridiculous. You’ll certainly recognize some of them, because Keri is paying homage to those who inspired her. If you’re a girl or a guy who likes singing songs for girls, go ahead and check it out; I guarantee it’ll make you feel awesome.