Fitness Mistakes You’re Making Right Now

1. Neglecting to train compound movements first thing when you get to the gym:

  • Compound movements are exercises that activate more than one muscle group as opposed to isolation exercises that only work one muscle group.
  • Some examples of compound exercises include squats, bench and deadlift and these should be trained right when you get to the gym as they will require more attention and energy. You do not want to be exhausted from isolation exercises and not be able to perform optimally on your squats or deadlift because you’re too tired.

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2. Upping the weight on any exercise before you have perfect form down:

  • Treat the light weights as heavy and the heavy weights as light.
  • Every lift should look the same no matter what the weight you’re lifting is.
  • Consistency is key when avoiding injury and progressing linearly on your lifts. (This point was brought up by my USAPL coach Dylan Smith)

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3. Not taking enough rest days if any at all:

  • It is so important to have rest days to let your muscles your muscles, bones and nerves rebuild and repair. It allows your body time to rebuild body tissue insuring it grows back even stronger.
  • Resting can prevent injury and over use. That is especially important for me to remember as I get into powerlifting which consist of heavy weight and low repetition compound movement training.

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4. Not getting enough sleep:

  • Often times if you’re overtraining it can be more difficult to get a good night’s sleep as your body can become on high alert mode.
  • When your body is asleep your muscles go through recovery allowing them to repair and rebuild which is necessary for optimal progress.
  • Your body needs generally 7-9 hours of sleep to be well rested.

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5. Neglecting to stretch:

  • Stretching is often the most neglected practice among fitness enthusiasts. I am often guilty of this. I am now making a point to stretch more often.
  • Stretching lengthens your muscles, allows for more flexibility of movement, prevents injury and is considered an anti-ageing investment.
  • Dynamic stretching should be used before a workout and static stretching after your workouts and on rest days.

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Resources:

Anderson, Sally. “Stretching Is Most Neglected Component of Fitness.” The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times, 08 Jan. 2012. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

By Diana Rini. “Compound Exercises Bring Compounded Results: Get More In Less Time!” Bodybuilding.com. Bodybuilding.com, 08 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

KARNAZES, DEAN. “Designer.” Fitbit Blog. Fitbit, 26 Feb. 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

Schletter, Michael. “The Fit Five: Sleep Your Way to More Muscle.” Men’s Fitness. Men’s Fitness, 12 Feb. 2016. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

Sneak Micronutrients into your Diet

It is important to maintain a steady intake of micronutrients in your diet regardless of if you are eating in a deficit, surplus or at maintenance. Macronutrients consist of fat, carbs and proteins while micronutrients are only necessary in tiny amounts. Micronutrients are critical for your body to function properly. They can be taken in capsules but yield significant benefits when eaten in their raw form as fruits and vegetables. Below are easy ways to sneak micronutrients into your diet everyday!

1. Add roasted sweet potatoes as a side to your morning eggs

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2. Roast massive amounts of veggies ahead of time and eat them throughout the week
3. Roast your veggies with something mild like lemon pepper so that you can easily add them to any dish

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4. Mix up your veggies weekly so you don’t get bored & try some of my favorite combinations

  • a. Brussels sprouts, cut up butternut squash and cranberries is a delicious fall combo
  • b. Roasted asparagus or roasted green beans are a go to because they go with basically anything
  • c. Roasted butternut squash baked with Truvia brown sugar, spray butter and cinnamon is a dieters dream “dessert”

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5. Always add fresh or frozen fruit on top of protein pancakes, waffles or French toast to add exciting texture, flavor and fiber!

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6. Bag portions of washed berries ahead of time so you can easily add them as a topping for yogurt, cereal and more

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7. Add a nutrient blast to your smoothie by adding some spinach (for longer shelf life you can freeze fresh spinach in an ice cube tray for perfectly portioned spinach)

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8. Make spaghetti squash at the beginning of the week so you can throw some sauce and protein on it and voila virtually carb free spaghetti!

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9. Substitute raw vegetables like carrots or pepper slices for crackers when you can and serve with hummus, guacamole or homemade yogurt dip

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10. Always have frozen vegetables on hand to use when you are in a pinch

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11. Pack a small salad to eat before your lunch this can include around 50g of meat of your choice or some sort of vegetable protein

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12. Make “nana icecream” just add frozen bananas to the food processor and whatever your heart desires

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What is your favorite way to add micronutrients into your diet? How do you sneak fruits and veggies into a picky eaters pallet? Comment to let me know!

In good health,

Lauren xo

Do Something You Hate Everyday

Which exercise do you absolutely dread?

My challenge to you this upcoming week is to really think about the answer to that question. Which exercises really challenge you? Is it running? Is it decline push-ups? Start seeing that weakness as an opportunity to challenge yourself rather than shy away from it.

For me those difficult exercises are pull ups, push-ups, dips and even burpees. Commit to performing a certain amount of your problem exercises every time you work out and they will eventually become a hell of a lot easier and I guarantee you’ll feel stronger.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with improving my push-up stamina. The way I’ve been doing this can seem a little crazy. When I feel like pushing myself a little extra I will perform a week of 100 push-ups a day. Usually I complete them in sets of 10-15. It is easier to meet my push-up quota on days where I work out because I simply add in the sets here in there to my normal supersets.

Overall my push up challenge wasn’t extremely difficult to complete, it definitely made me stronger, gave me a great pump and the satisfaction of overcoming my weakness. Since then I have completed it three separate times. It is important to note that you should have weeks off from this program to recover and grow the target muscles. During the push -up challenge be aware that you are working your chest and deltoids into overtime so make sure you are listening to your body when chest and delt day come around.

You can also perform any other problem exercise in place of pushups but depending on which exercise you select increase or decrease daily reps accordingly (Ex. Pull ups I would shoot for 3 sets of 6 reps daily, trying to get as many unbroken as possible…etc.) Please join me in this weekly challenge starting next Monday and let me know how it goes!!

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(When I had to get those push-ups in but was mid-hike)