weight lifting

Foods For Competition

At Full Throttle we have our members competition coming up so this post is extremely relevant to all of our members. During competition, it is extremely important to make sure that you are properly fuelling yourself and timing your food to perform to the best of your abilities. Here are some tips and tricks for competition day:

1) Eating Habits: Just because it is competition day doesn’t mean you should be putting foreign foods into your body. This may cause you to feel differently or worse, upset your stomach. Try to eat the same foods you normally do just in different portions and timing as described below.

2) Timing: Listen to your body when it tells you to eat. Before the competition, eat roughly 1-1.5 hours in advance depending on how fast you can digest. If you are hungry during or on breaks, eat something small so you can curb the hunger but not slow you down. On longer breaks, have a reduced version of your typical meal. On short breaks, eat 1-2 small snacks listed below.

You want to think about just eating enough to get you through competing. When you are done, then you can stuff your face if you want!

3) Snacks: Some ideas for easily digestible snacks include fruit, baby food, granola bars, loose cereal or granola, shakes, gatorade. These are all easily digestible and can hold your hunger over until competition is over.

Foods-For-Competition.jpg

Why Everyone Should Compete

I truly believe that everyone should in some shape or form compete in a fitness related activity. There are a number of reasons that I will list below. When I say compete, it can be in whatever sport or activity ou enjoy the most. Whether it is a Tough Mudder, obstacle course racing, bodybuilding competition, powerlifting competition or any other sport, competition is healthy. Here are the reasons below:

1) Gives Training Purpose: Do you ever feel like you are working out just to work out? When you compete, you are training for something specific and can work towards that goal instead of just aimlessly seeking improvement.

2) Social Experience: During most of these competitions, even though you are competing against other people, you talk and get to know each other. You can create friendships, find new training partners or just bounce ideas off each other.

3) Learning Experience: By competing, it will highlight your weaknesses and give you a better idea of what areas you need to improve on. You can see other methods, techniques and strategies others use.

Why-everyone-should-compete.jpg

Adding Variety to Your Fitness

Do you find yourself getting bored with your current workout routine? If so, then this is the blog post for you! While training, things can get stale if you are doing the same program multiple weeks or months in a row. So here are some great ways to add some variety to your exercise to make it exciting and enjoyable. That doesn’t mean you can’t go back to your previous program/routine, but changing it up can help you rediscover your interests/motivation.

1) Add an outdoor program - Whether it is running, hiking, mountain biking, or any activity, being outdoors while exercising is great. Especially now that it is summer, take advantage of the weather. On a beautiful sunny day, you don’t have to get stuck in a air conditioned gym to get a great workout. There are a ton of bodyweight or low equipment workouts that can be done to not only train but embrace the outdoors.

2) Swimming - Most people don’t have swimming in their programming but it is a great way to change up your workouts. It is great for almost every body part. Learning to breathe and pace yourself underwater is a challenge in itself.

3) Switch Modality of Training - There are so many different programs out there now with free programs available that you have so many options! Powerlifting, bodybuilding, olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, calisthenics, strongman, gymnastics, etc. Choose one or multiple to mix it up!

4) Workout Buddy - Train with someone else and just copy everything they do! They may have a different flow of working out or a completely different program. Follow their instruction and just enjoy not thinking about what’s next!

Adding-Variety-to-your-fitness.jpg

Listen To Your Body For Better Results

Just listen to your body. Sounds easy right? It may sound easy but I can assure you it isn’t! As a coach, I have found a great way to see where athletes are at. Difficulty of an exercise, intensity of a workout, how much weight to add to the bar, etc. But athletes should learn to also listen to their body because the coach can’t be around 24/7! So here are my few tips on how to listen to your body and what areas you should look out for.

How To Listen To Your Body

First, you should do this sitting. You can have your eyes closed or open. Then, do a mental scan from the top of your head all the way to your feet. Focus on each individual part of your body one at a time. This will highlight any areas that feel off or need specific attention.

Another method to do this is to stop periodically throughout the day and take a mental note of your body. Clear your mind completely and just let whatever emotions/internal issues arise. We can get caught up being so busy that we don’t bring any attention to how we are feeling internally.

Key Areas to Listen

Here are some areas that you should look for and identify right away.

1) Fatigue: Both mental and physical fatigue are very important. Don’t try to push your max weights if you are either mentally or physically burnt out.

2) Hunger: In terms of eating, your body will always tell you what it wants. If it wants more, you will feel it in your stomach. A lot of times, habitual and overeating are very mental. I have found that listening to your body is a great tool for moderating how much food you actually need to eat. This includes junk food!

3) Aches and Pains: If you are feeling tightness (more than usual), it may be a good idea to take it easier on that specific area. The mental scan would be really good to highlight any of these areas.

Listen-To-Your-Body-For-Better-Results.jpg

The Importance of Percentage Work

What is percentage work?

First let’s talk about what percentage lifting or work is. This is lifting weights that are lower than your 1 repetition max. So if you are doing 5 repetitions, you will most likely be using weight that is 70-80% of that 1 repetition max. So the weights are not the maximum, can be completed with good form but is still challenging. Now you may think I should push myself, so why shouldn’t I try to do the maximum weight every time? I’ll explain below.

Testing vs. Gaining Strength

When you are always trying to perform your 1 rep max, you are testing your strength. But when you decide to do lighter manageable weights (also called percentage work), you are building that strength. Disclaimer, I am not saying to never push your max. I am advocating for training with manageable weights, performed with good technique and strategically working up to the maximum weight. If you take the time to gain strength and then test it, you will be further ahead than just testing it every single week.

Engraining Good Technique

Using slightly lower weight than your max is essential because it will help you work on technique. Doing complex movements like the clean and snatch require a lot of technique. Using lower weights (percentage work) can help you build muscle memory of good technique. When you lift maximum weight, it is much easier for the body to break down. You want your body to remember the good technique, not the bad form.

Fatigue

As you continually train, your body will gradually get fatigued. I’m not talking about getting tired after doing 5 reps, I’m talking about training fatigue. This type of fatigue can occur after training consistently hard for multiple weeks. This can range anywhere from 2 weeks and up, depending on your level./ So during this times, it is even more important to stick to the percentage work. As you accumulate fatigue, it will be harder to push those maximum weights. Working with the lower weights will help still build strength and help you continue training for a long time, which is the name of the game!

The-Importance-of-Percentage-Work.jpg