In my practice, I point out early on that proper exercise is essential - not only for health and vitality, but especially for weight loss or maintenance of optimal weight, body fat and muscle. After all, one pound of muscle added will burn an extra 1500 calories per month.
I am frequently asked by my clients how to maximize their exercise in order to optimize their fitness goals. Luckily, I have my Fitness Director, Kim, who addresses most of these issues. There are so many “theories” about how to exercise properly, so I thought that I would briefly address exercise and fitness.
So many of my clients think that they need to drink a protein shake immediately before or after working out. In fact, the total protein consumed during a day is more important than the timing. I usually recommend consuming 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
So, the average 130 pound woman will need about 100 gm of protein daily, and the average 180 pound man about 145 grams. To reach your goals, one organic egg, for example, will provide 13 gm of protein and one free range chicken breast 30-50 grams, depending upon the size.
It is not necessary to load with protein immediately before or after exercise, more important is hydration.
WEIGHTS AND MUSCLE GAIN
In order to grow muscle, it is not necessary to lift very heavy weights. Follow our plan of using “liftable” weights, and work 2-3 sets of each exercise to fatigue, no matter how many repetitions it takes. Muscle growth is based upon the amount of time a muscle, or group of muscles, is kept under stress or resistance. Also, “fool” your muscles-- whether by varying your workout with the number of repetitions or amount of weight.
When I was in my teens, I was taught to perform exercises by isolating individual muscles. It was very cool to show off those big biceps! However, it is more beneficial to exercise by utilizing as many muscles as possible. Any exercise can be converted in to daily, usable strength. For example, when lifting any weight, tense up your butt and abdominal muscles throughout the lifting, and get a full body workout. If you're interested in sample exercises, make sure to follow us on Facebook for virtual workouts with Kim.
For a while I was fascinated by genetic testing, and the impact genetics can have on disease and health. I now believe that only 3% of all medical conditions are hereditary.
Personally, I found out through many of my genetic tests that I was more suited to muscle building than to aerobic conditioning like running (made sense as I hated running!).
High Intensity Interval Training and the Genetic Connection
While it's helpful to know how our bodies are inclined due to genetics, we now know that any exercise can be converted to muscle plus cardio, by performing the exercise as high intensity interval training (HIIT), going up and down in intensity to stress muscles and the cardiovascular system.
HIIT is one of the techniques we teach to our clients at Elite. You've probably heard this acronym before and, we promise, it's not as scary as it sounds - but it IS extremely effective.
Along with this, we incorporate slow movements and rapid or explosive movements, in order to develop ALL muscle fibers, and to overcome any so-called genetic predispositions.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to exercise to the point of pain or soreness (although some of us embrace that soreness!).
Exercise appropriately, efficiently and regularly, under the guidance of an expert trainer, if possible.
Gauge your progress on the ability to increase the number of repetitions you can perform, or the increasing amount of weight you can lift, but NEVER push yourself to overwork muscles, to the point of injury.
Contrary to popular belief, if you “fall off the wagon” and have a bad cheat day as regards your food intake, you do NOT need to overwork the next day to make up for it. Be consistent, get back on your daily good habits, and if it makes you feel better, spend 5-10 minutes extra on exercise the following day, and add the HIIT training that day. HIIT training will burn extra calories for many hours after you finish your workout.
If you're interested in learning more about the wellness programs Elite Digestive and Integrative Healthcare offers, which include a fitness assessment with Kim, you can contact us at (732) 254 - 1003 or book your complementary 15-minute discovery call by clicking here.