Working Out Wednesday: Efficiency Workouts

I know I've been promising a "my favorite stretches" post for 3 weeks now-- but I really want to do it a certain way, and I have not had the time to do it that way, so hopefully I can get some time to do it this weekend so I stop looking like such a flake.

In the meantime, lets talk about efficiency.

{AS always, I will start this post by mentioning that I am not a CPT or Doctor, this is just stuff that I have learned over the years and recently that have worked for me and others I know.. SO, if something doesn't feel right or you are in poor health-- make sure you check with a healthcare professional or CPT. Know your body.}

Efficiency has been recurring theme for me lately-- and in the recent months, I have become a lot more efficient with just about everything-- Cleaning, cooking, writing and, of course work outs.

Something I see a lot on the interwebs are folks who have a hard time "finding time" to work out.

NOW, if Dr. Rey can find time to work out, then so can everyone else.

(I've been watching too much DR 90210 on netflix)

For the sake of experimentation, I gave up my p90x program for about 2 weeks to try "efficient workouts" and so far so good. I personally prefer to work out for about 90 minutes, but when I "don't have time" to work out-- this has been a great alternative to my regular program.

First things first-- Every good workout starts with eating well.

To work out efficiently, you must first eat effectively.
Your body needs 4 things to workout efficiently: Water, protein, carbs and rest.

Ladies you should be drinking about 8-10 cups of water every day and gents you should be drinking about 11-13. The more you weigh, the more water your body needs. If you drink anything else during the day, you might as well be filling your body with sewage water-- sodas, juices and artificial drinks are filled with a bunch of shit crap.

Remember it takes your body a few hours to absorb water, so drink it all day.

If you want to drink something like cocoanut water, make sure you check out the sodium levels. Actually, this is the case for any "natural" juices. We found that buying oranges by the bag is actually cheaper than buying orange juice (unless the carton juices are 2-4-1) and it only takes us about 15 seconds longer to make our own freshly squeezed OJ. (With NO additives!)

Before workouts you need a healthy mix of carbs and protein. I drink an ABA shake.

ABA Pre-Workout shake:
-1/2 Avocado
-1/2 Banana
-1c Almond Milk
-1/8c Almonds or Oatmeal (optional)
-I scoop of Whey/Soy protein (optional)

I drink this about 60-90 mins before I workout.

and guess what.... after your workout you need some protein too! SO after you stretch, try and consume at least 10g of protein (A hard boiled egg or two usually does the trick for me!) Your body needs protein to recover and rebuild your muscles!

SO, if you are a busy person and you still want to squeeze in good workouts, you need to give your body the fuel it needs. This is different for everyone-- but a good balance of carbs and protein with lots of hydration is pretty universal.

..and last but not least, rest. If you give your body what it needs your will have more energy, and sleep better. SO get some rest if you need it, eat the right foods and get your workouts in.

Now onto the workout.

You can get a great workout in less than 40 mins.

I actually prefer longer workouts, but I don't always have the time so on those days I do a quick 30-40 min workout, that is absolutely exhausting.

Warm up- 5 mins
You should always warm up first so you don't hurt yourself!

Weights- 15 mins
Slow lift heavy weights until you lose your form.

Okay, so for quickies I skip sets when lifting, and instead I do ONE long set at the highest weight I can safely lift with good form, until I can't keep good form anymore. For example, when I get on the leg press machine, I know I can do about 40 reps at 120 lbs keeping good form and by rep 50 my legs are wobbling-- so once I can't do it anymore, I stop. Go until you fail the form, not until your hurt yourself.

SLOW LIFTING heavy weights is the key here-- when you lift slowly in BOTH directions (I lift to a 5 count) you are maximizing each move in both directions (so its almost like you did twice the work!).

For short workouts I usually focus on my MAJOR muscle groups first: like legs, chest or back because those groups burn the most calories and if I have time, I will work on  smaller group like biceps or triceps. Occasionally I do compound strength workouts.

Compound exercises are things like squats, pushups, pullups, lunges, burpees-- exercises that work multiple groups at a time. ie. Pushups workout the chest, back, arms and core.

Remember if you are starting out, it is much better to have GOOD FORM than high weights. If you are doing it wrong, you will never see results or worse, you might hurt yourself. So if you aren't sure how to do something, look it up or ask an associate at the gym.

..and ladies.. Don't let heavy weights freak you out. Unless you are taking hormones or have a freak level of testosterone in your body you won't bulk up unless you are TRYING to. I was worried about this because I am an athletic build by nature, but I have been told by at least 10 different professionals that I will only "bulk" up (even with an athletic build) if I spend hours a day at the weight machines and supplement with something like creatine. (which I would never do)

Intervals- 15 mins

Cardio is one of my least favorite exercises so I like to get it done with the quickness-- but I also want to burn calories and have excellent cardiovascular health-- so I do about 15-20 mins of interval training, and since I have bad knees I usually use the elliptical machine so I don't hurt myself.

I am sure this wont be the last time I stress this... It is essential that you know your body, know your limitations, and know how to modify your workouts according to your limitations.. 

If I let my knees, bad foot and screwy wrist run the show I'd never work out & I would always be hurting myself.

Intervals are essentially doing something at your maximum rate for about 60 seconds, and then resting for about 60 seconds. I usually do high intensity as my base-- for me that is about level 14 @5 mph, and every 2 minutes I raise the intensity even more by going as fast as I can at that level for 60 seconds-- I try and keep the pace above 6mph when I am in my "sprints." (remember my intensity level is at a 14, so it is like climbing a hill)

I usually burn about 450 calories in about 20 minutes this way.

When I don't have a gym available, I use the hood. I sprint as fast as I can for 45-60 seconds, and jog/walk for 60 seconds. I sprint/jog off and on in 60 second intervals for about 20 mins. Since I don't have hills to increase the intensity, I add in more intervals which is why I do it a little different when not at them gym.

Cool down/Stretch
After intervals you should definitely cool down-- my cool down usually consists of a light low intensity jog/walk

It is really important to stretch the muscles you used the most during your workout-- I usually stretch for about 20 mins a day, but if you only have 5 mins make sure you are mindful of the muscles that were used the most and drink lots of h20. Some stretching is better than none! If you need a refresher on stretching, here ya go.

To recap:
-fuel your body with the proper carb, protein, water and rest ratio.
-Start with weigh training to boost long term calorie burning. (Strength training burns calories for HOURS after the workout.)
-Use interval training to boost cardiovascular health, burn calories, and increase efficiency.
-Cool down and stretch!

SO there ya have it! Another working out Wednesday!

..and I can't help but notice this fine "hump day" is also a leap day.. wooowhoo!

Happy workouts!

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