4 Tips to Improve Your Training Sessions

Forge Rx and Crossfit Winder have officially been opened for almost 2 months. Hopefully by this time you have developed a new routine, something that is going to be a life changer for you. At Forge Rx, we have been thrilled with the progress we have seen with our members, and after speaking with the Crossfit coaches they have been very happy with the hard work people are putting in there as well. With training on a regular basis and pushing our bodies to new limits we need to think about how to take care of our bodies as well, so we can get the best out of those long training sessions and reach our goals. Here are 4 things to think about every single day.Nutrition-Blog-Picture-w-logo

1.) Nutrition: Everyone preaches it, but how many people actually understand it. The first thing I tell people about their eating habits is to think about their cars. Odd I know! But think about it, when we take long trips what is the one thing our car must have? Fuel, because without this we will be sitting still. Our bodies are no different. If we are training for 1 hour a day, or 6 hours a week, we need to refuel our body. Many people struggle with this idea, because after all many us of are here to lose weight. I get it, by working out and eating less we will lose weight, and that is the thought process of many. Will this work? Yeah, of course it will. But my question for you is how long? How long can your body run on minimal fuel and still reach its desired destination. If we do not refuel the body it will not recover, and our training sessions will be counterproductive. How much should I consume? First let’s determine your weight in Kilograms. To do this, take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2.

For example:

If I weigh 200lbs, I would take 200/2.2=90.9. For most of us I would recommend consuming anywhere from 1.5-2.2 g/kg. For the 200lb example above this would be 135g-198g. But my friend told me not to eat carbs when I am trying to lose weight. Righhhttt (Dr. Evil Voice). Carbs are the best source of energy our bodies can use, and they are actually the easiest for our bodies to use. Translation, our bodies synthesize or “burn” carbs faster than other macronutrients (proteins & fats). One recommendation I would make with carbs is to try and consume a good portion of them in the morning, and the other portion before and after our workouts. By doing this we will give our bodies the best chance of using the carbs we have consumed.

How much protein? For most of us average gym goers I recommend consuming anywhere from .8-1.5 g/kg. Going back to the 200lb person, this would range from 72g/kg-135g/kg. Remember, no matter what, the guy who is drinking his 10th protein shake of the day and doing his 50th set of curls is telling you, there is a such thing as too much protein. Protein is the hardest of the 3 macronutrients for our bodies to synthesize, and the hardest on our kidneys if it’s used for a source of energy. Protein’s main goal is to help repair muscles, not to be used for a source of energy. Finally, Fats! I think more than the previous 2 macronutrients; fats probably get the worst rap.  The easiest way to think about fats is to make them about 20-30% of your daily intake. Now when I say fats, I don’t mean a Big Mac or Whopper. Healthy fats, meaning peanuts, avocado, healthy oils, milk. Remember fats are another great source of energy that can help aid our quick explosive movements.

2.) Sleep: This should be a no brainer, but many of us lack sufficient sleep to help get us through the next day. Sleep, and the recovery stimulus it provides our body is probably the most over looked part of a person’s training regimen. We all work harder, eat more, and continue to train every day, but we don’t let our body rest. Yes, I understand we all have busy lives, early morning jobs, and kids that wake up at the crack of dawn, but if you are serious about training and serious about changing your body sleep is one of the single most important things you can do. Anywhere from 8-10 hours is the recommendation, some people can function off less, but I would recommend no less than 7 hours a night. Remember that car example? Nothing changes, and just like the car, we must shut off our engines and let everything rest up. If you are hitting a stalemate in your training, re-visiting your sleeping patterns is something I would highly encourage. Remember sleep deprivation has been used as torture, and while you are not being forced to stay awake for 3 to 4 days straight you see my point.

3.) Be Smart with Training: One thing I see in many people when they first start training is not knowing when to say “stop”. I admire your effort, and I know the courage it takes to leave your house and step out of your comfort zone. I am not saying to lose that enthusiasm because I love seeing that in people. What I am saying is to be smart about it. You do not have to kill yourself every time you set foot in a gym. Is it good to push your limits? Absolutely, and I would never discourage hard work. But we have all seen those trainers who think every time they work with a client, they have to get the most out of them, and if that person isn’t limping out of the gym they didn’t do their job. Let’s train hard but train smart. Its ok to take a light day or a de-load week. Remember we can’t continue to just add things to our training sessions, if we add one thing we may need to take away from something else. If you do a Crossfit work that has on you on all fours trying to catch your breath, maybe the next day should be light recovery day (foam rolling, stretching).

4.) Hydrate: I won’t spend too much time on this subject as its pretty simple, but make sure you are drinking enough water. If you aren’t hydrated your body, simply will not recover. For every pound of water weight, you lose during a workout you need to consume 16 ounces of water after that workout. So if you lose 2 pounds during a workout, drink 32 ounces of water. For most of us I would recommend drinking at least 8 cups of water a day or 64 ounces, but if you are training, consume that plus what you lose during your workout.

Summary:

1.) Nutrition: Eat enough to fuel your workout and repair your body. Everyone is different and we all need different amounts of food

2.) Sleep: Rest up, keep your body feeling fresh, recovery and rest is just as important as your workout

3.) Be Smart Training: Don’t over train, you do not have to kill yourself every single training session to see gains.

4.) Hydrate: Our bodies our mostly made up of H2O, so don’t deny your body that key ingredient, water is a must!

-Brett Cummins, Trainer at Forge-Rx
Fitness and Nutrition is Our Prescription™