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Can Collagen Help With Weight Training?

Can collagen help with weight training? If you don’t know much about collagen, you may just think it’s some product that helps with your beauty. (Even if this is true, then why aren’t you taking it? I kid.) Before going into that, we need to go over what is collagen and what it does for the body.

What is Collagen?

Collagen happens to be one of the richest proteins in our body. It alone makes up 10% of the muscle tissue in your body (1).  It is mainly found in connective tissues. This includes tissues like your bones, tendons, cartilage, skin, and ligaments.  It can also be found in internal organs as well.  You can think of collagen as the protein that holds these items together in your body. There are actually multiple different types of collagen too, but the main focus is getting types I, II, and III. 

Collagen Type I

Type I is mainly found in your skin, tendons, bones, hair, organs, ligaments, teeth, and more. You can say type I has more of the ‘beauty’ portion of it since it accounts for a lot of your outside features. 

Collagen Type II

Type II is one of the main factors in the cartilage that exists in your body.  This can help with your joints specifically.

Collagen Type III

Type III is found in your connective tissues and helps with the structure of organs and muscles. Type III helps with the elastic portions of these tissues. 

Knowing the main 3 types of collagen, you can easily see how it plays an important role in your body. 

Can Collagen Help With Weight Training?

Ah, the question we’ve been wondering. Can collagen help with weight training? I mean it supports so much like your cartilage and joints. Things that can take a beating with long periods of heavy lifting. So before we simply answer this question, we need to understand how would collagen be processed in our body to help with your joints and other connective tissue. 

Your body goes through something called Collagen Synthesis to help maintain and strengthen connective tissues. When you’re lifting heavy weights your body needs to go through an increase of collagen synthesis to help maintain the strength in your connective tissues. 

So with that being said, the logistical thinking would be that taking a collagen supplement (Which should increase collagen synthesis) before or even after a workout may help with the maintenance and strength of your connective tissue? 

Well here is what’s interesting. In a study published in 2019, they did an experiment giving hydrolyzed collagen or gelatin to people an hour before working out. (Group of people was broken up with some getting a placebo and others getting the supplementation) Blood work was done before giving the collagen/gelatin supplement and blood work was done 4 hours afterward. After the experiment was done, there was an increase but it wasn’t anything significant.   This mainly may be due though to a Vitamin C issue they had, something that’s an important role in collagen synthesis. (4

However, another experiment was done in that study giving collagen/gelatin supplement immediately after the blood work was done and checking again an hour later (no exercise this time) to find that it did increase collagen synthesis. 

Another study though showed that after a 24 week period supplementing 10g of hydrolyzed collagen, it found to help with athletes who’ve been experiencing joint pain. (3)

Should I Be Taking Collagen to Help With Weight Training?

There isn’t too much data on this subject, to be frank. The data that is out there says it can help. The other study I mentioned previously had its own issues involved which is why they may have not seen a significant difference. (Mainly due to a Vitamin C issue that is critical for collagen and it’s amino acids to function properly. This is something I’ve mentioned before why supplementing may not always be the best choice.) If you’re having joint pain from weight lifting, it won’t hurt to try taking a collagen supplement. Having that joint pain may be limiting your capability to continue training so improving those areas can help with your weight training. 

Natural Sources of Collagen

If you’re looking for some natural sources of collagen, you have many options to choose from. Here is a quick list of items you can try:

  • Bone Broth – packed with plenty of other minerals and vitamins. High in protein
  • Chicken – high in protein. Lean meat
  • Fish – High in Protein and Omega-3s. Can also help with joint pain
  • Fruits – packed with vitamins (Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis)
  • Eggs – high in protein and other minerals and vitamins

Collagen Supplements for Weight Training

I’m an advocate for eating whole foods all the time, but sometimes you may need to supplement to get the things you need, and that’s okay. As long as you’re pairing items correctly.

One of my favorite collagen supplements is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder.

What makes the supplement so great is that it’s also packed with Vitamin C which is essential for collagen synthesis. I personally use the unflavored version but all their collage products are great and I highly recommend them. It’s also packed with protein! 

Note: The above link is an affiliated link from Amazon.

Final Thoughts

If your weight training journey is being halted by joint pain or consistent reoccurring injuries, you may be best of intaking more collagen. Even though there isn’t a great amount of data on the subject, it’s something that can help assist in your weight training by preventing or helping with joint pain/injuries you may currently have. It does have many benefits and it’s something plenty of people kind of disregard in terms of their diet. Besides joint pain related injuries, I’ve noticed differences in my skin mainly. I do highly recommend it and suggest trying it!

Photos

Photo by Leon Martinez from Pexels

References

  1. Gillies AR, Lieber RL. Structure and function of the skeletal muscle extracellular matrix. Muscle Nerve. 2011;44(3):318-331. doi:10.1002/mus.22094
  2. Lis DM, Baar K. Effects of Different Vitamin C-Enriched Collagen Derivatives on Collagen Synthesis. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2019 Sep 1;29(5):526-531. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2018-0385. PMID: 30859848.
  3. Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL, Deitch JR, Sherbondy PS, Albert A. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96. doi: 10.1185/030079908×291967. Epub 2008 Apr 15. PMID: 18416885.
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/collagen-synthesis#:~:text=Vitamin%20C%20is%20absolutely%20essential,structural%20strength%20cross%2Dlinking).

 

Tips to Creating a Sustainable Diet

A sustainable diet is one of the keys to having major success with your diet and overall health. If you’ve read my other articles on How to Sustain Weight Loss and  Principles to Create the Perfect Diet For You then you know I always preach about it and why it’s important. If you haven’t read those articles, I would suggest it as they both go into detail on why having a sustainable diet is so important. I go into some information on creating a sustainable diet, but not too much detail. This post will go into more detail about creating one and common issues people have with creating one.  

When your diet is sustainable, it means it is consistent and it’s also easy for you to follow. Many people fail to stay consistent with their diet because it isn’t easy. Why is that though? It’s easy to say that you’ve missed a couple of days of “eating right” and then now it’s hard to get back on. However, the point I want to make though is that your sustainable diet should be your day to day diet that’s not hard to get back on. 

It should be something that you just jump back on the next day instead of having to force yourself to get back on track. So how do you create a diet like this? Let’s go over some ways you can do so.

Calculate Your Calories and Macros

If you don’t know your calorie or macro intake, I would suggest you find that out. Depending on your goals, knowing your macros and calories can play a very important factor in achieving them.  Whether it be losing, gaining, or sustaining weight. Once you figure that out, you will easily find your baseline and can go from there. For example, you may want to lose weight, but for you to lose weight you need to eat 2000 calories a day.

You may not know it, but you may be eating well over that. So knowing your caloric range and keeping track of it for a period of time is important. I say a period of time because you don’t always need to track your calories and macros. It definitely plays an important part in the beginning but once you’re on a sustainable diet, you will easily be able to know if you’re overeating or undereating. I digress though, you need to find out your calorie and macro range to have a baseline to go off of.

Flexible Dieting, Extreme Diet, or Something in Between?

A sustainable diet is unique to you. Even though it is unique to you, you may be still following a base diet. Maybe you’re doing keto? Maybe you’re doing Paleo or flexible dieting? If you haven’t done though, you’re probably wondering what is best for you.

I’m a person that believes there is a dichotomy in everything. I believe that when it comes to dieting too.  You go on any extreme diet, you will most likely be lacking in something. Now that doesn’t mean you always will be. You can be a vegan and supplement properly and you’re good to go. I go into more detail about this in my article Supplements vs Whole Foods, Does it Make a Difference? 

However, I always think having a good balance of a diet is best. What does that mean though? A balanced diet, in my opinion, is something that properly distributes macros and calories over the whole day. As well, is packed with foods that have great sources of vitamins and minerals. Even though that’s my personal philosophy, a diet like that may not be sustainable for you.  You may find it easier to do intermediate fasting. You may find something like keto easier for you, which brings me to my next point.

Use Fad Diets to Create a Sustainable Diet

If you’ve had trouble sustaining your diet, I think the best thing for you to do is to do experiments. You most likely wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have a sustainable diet. 

All these fads diet out there are just tools for you to use. Bruce Lee has a quote that says, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own”. I believe this is especially true when it comes to diets. You should look into fad diets and note what is sustainable for you and implement it. 

Using myself as an example, my main issue with my diet was actually not eating enough or not getting enough protein. I also had a problem getting certain micronutrients.  So I borrowed some elements of a Paleo diet into my own. I stopped taking so many multi-vitamins and tried to get more micronutrients from food. This also led to me getting more protein and eating more. It’s also the food I enjoy which is a huge plus. 

I want you to look a some of the most common fad diets:

  • Keto – Low carbs, high fat, and protein (Protein should be at an amount that benefits you. Use the Macro Calculator to find your correct protein intake.
  • Intermediate Fasting – Eating only in the morning and evening
  • Paleo – Eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods, grains, dairy products, etc. 
  • Flexible Dieting – Eating what you want as long as you consistently hit your macros.

Look into all these diets and see what you like out of each one. 

Maybe you like the idea of flexible dieting, but have trouble controlling how much you eat throughout the day. So doing something like intermediate fasting + Flexible Dieting is best.

You may want to implement some of the principles of a Paleo diet while also doing Keto at the same time. 

It’s up to you.

Look at the pros of each one and what’s easiest for you to follow on a day to day basis and implement it. If you must, implement it gradually. 

Note: You may have noticed I’m not naming things like a vegan diet or carnivore diet. The reason being is because I don’t believe those are healthy diets and I wouldn’t recommend them to people. I don’t have references for it as of now and will write more about it in the future. Nonetheless, it’s not something I would recommend unless you’re absolutely supplementing correctly.

I may be missing other diets, but they all follow fairly similar guidelines to the ones I mentioned above except for some minor changes.

Write Down What Makes You Feel Good

This is a big one for me.  Dieting is more sustainable if it makes you feel good and energetic. When you’re eating foods, I want you to write down how it makes you feel afterward.

Do you feel satisfied and a good full after you ate that piece of Salmon? Awesome, write it down. Maybe that donut made you feel bloated and lethargic, probably not best to keep incorporating them. 

This is kind of like an elimination diet but you’re mainly doing it for how it makes you feel on a day to day basis. With any new food I eat, I will always be mindful of how it makes me feel within the next hour. If I’m feeling tired or low on energy, it’s probably not something I’ll continue to eat. However, if I feel great and even have energy afterward, then I’ll incorporate it more. 

Write down what you eat for a couple of weeks. Even take note of how your body is digesting it. If all is good, keep it in your diet. If it makes you feel bad or your body can’t process it well, maybe it’s best to scrap it.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve followed some of the tips above, you should be able to create a sustainable diet for yourself.

If you’ve found your caloric and macro range. You’ve also found foods that you like to eat within that range and you’re eliminating foods that don’t make you feel great overall. 

Following those steps will allow you to have a sustainable diet overall and be consistent. You’ll notice that it won’t be hard for you to fall back on your diet after a crazy party you may have had on the weekend. 

Finding a balance is key to a sustainable diet. Note, anything to any extreme end may be more difficult to follow. 

 

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What Is Progressive Overload and Why Is It Important?

If you’ve been into weight training a bit, you may have heard the term progressive overload. It’s a term that gets used a lot when talking about training specifically for strength and hypertrophy. If you’ve never heard of the term before, that’s fine! We’re going to go through what the terms mean, break it down on why it’s important, and how you can incorporate it into your training to start seeing benefits. 

What is Progressive Overload?

If you wanted to get stronger and gain muscle, do you think would continuously just lift the same weight for the same reps and sets forever? Probably not. You would have to gradually increase the resistance or reps over time. This is what progressive overloading is.  Progressive Overload is continuously adding more demands (whether it be weight/resistance, reps, volume, frequency, etc.) to exercises over a period of time. The ability to do this within a training program will help to build muscle mass and strength. 

A great example to demonstrate progressive overload, and one of the most used stories to discuss progressive overload and is to discuss the story of Milo

The Story of Milo

To go through the story fairly quickly, Milo began lifting a young calf every day. The calf would grow every day and this would result in Milo getting stronger as well. Eventually, Milo would be able to carry until it was fully grown. To break down that story, that means Milo’s resistance (the calf) would grow every day and he would continue to grow to make him stronger. That’s a progressive overload in a nutshell.

progressive-overload-calf

Is It That Simple?

To be fair, progressive overload the concept is fairly simple to understand. However, the problem with this is that gaining strength isn’t linear. You’re bound to hit plateaus in your training career. That doesn’t mean though that progressive overload doesn’t work though. It just means it’s not as straightforward as just keep adding weight and you’ll grow. That’s why you have different training regimens like periodization training. (Something that I will discuss more on in the future). 

Note: If you’re hitting plateaus in your training, you may want to look into taking a deload week.

progressive-overload

Why is Progressive Overload Important?

So even though I mentioned progressive overload isn’t as simple as adding weight and gaining strength, it’s still the sole concept of most training programs over an extended period of time

Regardless, most training programs, overtime will have you go up in either weight/resistance, volume, or reps. Which are all forms of progressive overload.  A good tailored program will usually have you take deload weeks in between and/or have correctly structure cycles into your program that overtime you will make significant gains. 

Progressive overload though is more simple when you’re a beginner vs when you’re an intermediate/advanced trainer. If you’re a beginner you may be able to apply some form of progressive overload workout to workout. However, for any more advanced it becomes more difficult and maybe week to week or month to month even. Sometimes even longer. 

Simply, if you want to gain strength or muscle mass, you need to apply a form of progressive overload into your training. 

How Can I Incorporate Progressive Overload in my Training Program?

Incorporating progressive overload isn’t that difficult when you’re a beginner. To be frank it’s fairly easy. However, the more you progress the more complicated it becomes to properly incorporate and you will need a proper training program tailored for you. If you do want a training program or coaching, feel free to contact me.

If you don’t have a training program or have never done one, I would say you’re most likely still at the beginner stage. If so you can do the following.

Assuming you’re doing compound movements like Squats, Bench, and Deadlift, you can easily do a Starting Strength Novice program that I highly recommend for anyone just beginning.

To incorporate it though, (at a novice level) you can easily add 5lbs to each lift per workout. For example, if Monday you lifted 3 x 5 for squats at 135lbs, the next squat session you can attempt doing 3 x 5 at 140lbs. The squat session after that would be 3 x 5 145lb etc. You will keep doing this until you can’t make significant progress. You will eventually need to do 2.5lb increments and from there you may need to get on an intermediate program. I will write more in the future about intermediate and advanced programs and how to program them for yourself.  

Final Thoughts

Progressive overload should be the main factor in your training over an extended period of time. Even though, the concept may be simple it’s not as easy to incorporate unless you’re a beginner. If you haven’t done a training program before, you most likely are at a novice level and should follow a novice program like the Starting Strength Novice program. You will notice gains in strength and hypertrophy when following a good program with structured progressive overload. If you’re looking for a training program, feel free to contact me

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How to Wake Up Early in the Morning

If you wondered how to wake up early in the morning, then most likely you’ve attempted this difficult task before and may have succumbed to the alarm clock.  That alarm clock goes off and it’s so easy to hit that snooze button. You sleep another 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes turn into 20 minutes and so on. We’ve all been there. If you read my article on reasons you should be working out early, you’ll know that working out early is can be a huge benefit to you. You may want to do, but you’re just having trouble not hitting that snooze button. Let’s explain how to wake up early in the morning. 

How To Wake Up Early in the Morning? You Need a Good Night’s Sleep

Okay, so this point can be a bit obvious. It’s surprising though how many people don’t get a good quality sleep though. Oddly enough, one of the reasons you should be working out early is because it helps with your quality of sleep. However, you need to get into that cycle. Here are some ways to get a better night’s sleep.

Magnesium at Night

Magnesium has been shown to help sleep and sleep quality(1). About 75% of people don’t get the suggested/recommended intake of it either (2). Taking a supplement for it is not a bad idea. However, if you decide to take one, I would recommend taking magnesium glycinate or malate. Other forms of magnesium may not get absorbed as well and may cause laxative effects. 

Limit Caffeine, Alcohol, and Large Meals Before Bed to Wake Up Early

All of these compounds can lead to you losing out on good sleep quality. Caffeine in general will keep you up. Alcohol, even though most people claim it puts them to sleep, can actually cause a worse quality of sleep. Larger meals also tend to possibly cause acid reflux or heartburn and can cause issues with your sleep. 

Wake Up Early in the Morning by Placing Your Alarm Clock Far Away From You

Most likely, you’re using some type of an alarm to get up. If this is the case, place your alarm clock across the room from you. The idea behind this is to force you to get up and turn it off. Usually, by then you’re already up so you won’t be going back to bed. However, if you tend to still fall asleep right afterward then move onto my next point…

Multiple Alarms on Your Alarm Clock

Placing multiple alarms on your alarm clock can be annoying! That’s the point though, it will get you up. No one wants to sit through 2 or 3 alarms. It’s torture! I’ve seen some people even have 10 alarms set. If that’s what get’s you up though, so be it.

Set an Alarm at a Time You’re Most Likely to Be Awake

Personally, I like to get up at 4:30 am. It’s a time I’m in my lightest sleep phase and tend to wake up easier. I can tell you that I use to try waking up at 5:00 am and it was 10x more difficult. That 30 minutes truly makes a difference. If you have an Apple iPhone, there is an app called Sleep Cycle that does exactly this.

Take a Multivitamin at Night

BRO-SCIENCE ALERT: I’ll be honest, this one I’m making up. I take a multivitamin at night and it usually tends to get me to wake up early and I feel energized. There are no studies proving this is real. It’s just something that I’ve done and I noticed a correlation between the two. Give it a try though and see if it helps you in any way. 

how-to-wake-up-early

Final Thoughts

Waking up early can be very difficult. I’ve struggled and the options I’ve listed above are some of the ways that helped me start to get up earlier. Good quality sleep can make all of the difference though when it comes to getting up early. Even if you’re getting good quality sleep, sometimes it’s just the fact of actually getting up is a long grueling process. If that’s the case, I hope some of the techniques I mentioned above can help you. 

References:

  1. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9. PMID: 23853635; PMCID: PMC3703169.
  2. Guerrera MP, Volpe SL, Mao JJ. Therapeutic uses of magnesium. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Jul 15;80(2):157-62. PMID: 19621856.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Working Out Early

If you know me, you know that I love working out early in the morning. Many people are put off by having to get up early and I get it. I love my beauty sleep like everyone else. However, the pros you should workout early, highly outweigh the cons of doing it. Let’s go over why.

Reason 1: Working Out Early keeps you Disciplined

Discipline in relation to fitness is one of the key components of it. Without a disciplined lifestyle, you won’t get the results you want and you won’t be able to sustain nutrition or training habits. 

I’m sure you heard people say when you first wake up, you should make your bed. The main reason being is to keep you disciplined. I’m all for that. In addition, why not take care of the task of working out too? Working out early will keep you disciplined and keep you in check. As well, you’ll start to notice that a disciplined lifestyle carries over into other aspects of your life.

Reason 2: Working Out Early has No Distractions

If you go to the gym at night or afternoon, you may notice it’s usually pretty packed. It’s hard to get equipment and if you have a social circle in the gym, you’re bound to socialize a bit more. Even if you have a home gym and workout at night, you’ll probably get distracted by your family or other aspects of life like work or friends.

Working out in the morning has no distractions. Most likely, unless your job is very demanding no one from work is bothering you early in the morning with issues. Your family will most likely be asleep. Most of the world is asleep for that matter which means gyms will be emptier. You have the time to focus on yourself and nothing else but your training, and let me tell you, that’s therapeutic in and of itself. 

Reason 3: Working Out Early lessens your Burden throughout the day

Do you know how good it feels knowing that one of the biggest tasks you have has been completed? It’s always an amazing feeling.

Now, something I personally believe is that health and fitness should be my main priority. So working out is one of the things I want to check off ASAP.

Once that workout is complete, guess what? You’re done! That task has been completed and if it’s one of your more prioritized tasks, you no longer have to worry about it. The rest of your tasks throughout the day become less stressful and you don’t have to plan everything around your workout. 

Reason 4: Working Out Early Gives you Freedom

Kind of piggybacking off the last statement I made, not having to plan your workout around everything is amazing. There was a point I use to work out in the afternoons for my lunch break. I would have to go at a time of work where things weren’t crazy, rush to the gym, and rush my workout to get back to work. To put it lightly it wasn’t convenient.  

I tried working out at night, and I had more time at the gym but I was burnt out. Having to commute home to still make dinner was a pain. If there was something going on at night with friends, I couldn’t do it either.

Working out early eliminates all of those problems though. Your normal day today will be normal day to day without the stress of still needing to workout. It will free up time throughout your day to do more and probably maintain your social life a bit better. 

Reason 5: Working Out Early can Provide Better Quality of Sleep

Studies have shown that working out early may help with your quality of sleep (1). I know plenty of people who suffer from not sleeping well, and I think working out, in general, helps with that.

However, working out early can help even more. From personal experience, when I workout early, I know by the time I’m going to bed I’m exhausted and can’t wait to get sleep. It’s imperative though that this isn’t unhealthy exhaustion that when I wake up and feel like I needed to sleep more though. 

5-reasons-why-you-should-be-wroking-out-early-info-1

Final Thoughts

Working out early has so many benefits. I believe I can go on and on about why it’s so good and how it can benefit you. 

If you haven’t tried working out early though, give it a try for 2 weeks. I personally try working out at 5 am, so I’ll be up at 4:30 am to get myself ready. For you, this may be getting up at 6:30 am and working out at 7 am, and that’s fine. The pleasure you get out of it and the benefits of having your workout done and not having to think about it throughout the day will make you want to continue working out early permanently. 

If you’re having trouble getting up early, check this article out.

References:

  1. Fairbrother K, Cartner B, Alley JR, et al. Effects of exercise timing on sleep architecture and nocturnal blood pressure in prehypertensives. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2014;10:691-698. Published 2014 Dec 12. doi:10.2147/VHRM.S73688

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5 BFR Training Benefits

BFR Training can have a long-range of benefits to it. Most people tend to back off of the training due to its name (Blood Flow Restriction) or Occlusion Training. Fair enough, it sounds dangerous and many people think they would get injured with it, but this isn’t the case. (1) could be if you do it incorrectly which is why you should check out my article on how to utilize BFR training.

However, when done correctly, it can provide a wide range of benefits that can have an exceptional impact on your training and how you tailor your routine. I include it into my routine all the time and I always highly recommend others to use. If you wish to find out exactly what is BFR training, click here.

So let’s not waste too much time and get right into it!

BFR Training Benefits You if You’re Overcoming and Injury

Injury is almost unavoidable if you’re an advent lifter.  I’ve had many injuries over my years of weight lifting and I’ve seen others get injured plenty of times.

Not only is the physical aspect of it daunting, but the mental aspect as well especially when you’re trying to regain your strength. You’re bound to lose strength with an injury and to regain strength can take time and patience.

It would be great if you preserve your strength as much as possible, right? Yup! That’s one of the best benefits of BFR training. Now obviously, if you tore a muscle of some sort, you probably won’t be jumping back to lifting anytime soon. However, for other injuries like joint injuries, BFR can be great.

Why is it Better for Injury?

If you’re coming back from injury, you’re usually doing low-load training in general, meaning 20-30% 1RM. One of the benefits of BFR Training though is that low-load BFR training in comparison to normal low-load training is that BFR Training is better for strength. The thing is, if you’re doing BFR training, you’re going to fatigue your muscles a lot faster than you would without it, and you’ll have less muscular damage(1). With an injury, you don’t want to keep performing more and more reps that lead to more stress on the joints.

BFR Training Benefits - Helps with  Injury

BFR Training Can Help You Gain Muscle

BFR Training can be a great tool to use if you’re trying to gain muscle as well. It’s something I’ve personally incorporated into my training regimen and have seen great results with it. The reason why it’s so much better (As mentioned above) you can reach a higher muscular fatigue level with the same amount of reps you would normally do. You can incorporate BFR training consistently within your training days for a specific exercise. You can also take a specific week to do BFR Training as well. This specific study showed that were was growth in slow-twitch muscles in a group of powerlifters when 1 group performed BFR Training and the other didn’t(2). 

Better Recovery

Like mentioned before, BFR training can cause muscle fatigue fairly fast. What’s great about BFR training is that even though you’re fatiguing your muscle quicker than you would with non-BFR Training, you won’t experience the same amount of muscular damage(3). That means your recovery would be better and if anything might even help with preventing injuries in the future. 

Can be used During Deload Week

If you want to know if deload weeks are necessary, you should check out this article. If you do take deload weeks, using BFR Training can be something that will have a great impact on you. With the ability to have the ability to fatigue your muscles and not do muscular damage and perform this with low-load training, this makes this a game-changer for deload weeks! If you want to really up your deload weeks, incorporating can help you reap plenty of benefits. 

The Best Pump of Your Life

Okay granted this is more of a bro-tip, but BFR Training will give you a great pump. If you’re doing a bodybuilding competition or maybe about to go out for the night, BFR training might be great for you considering how great your pump will be. Granted, you can build muscle without always getting a pump, but getting a pump always feels great and will probably up your confidence a bit more too, so it doesn’t hurt.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been incorporating BFR Training in my regimen for years now. The training might put some people off due to the name, but don’t be afraid of it. Check out my guide on how to use BFR Training and you will learn how to utilize BFR Training and not get injured. If you’ve been contemplating doing BFR Training, I hope these benefits put you in the direction of using them. I haven’t seen any negative effects of it and I’ve got plenty of clients on it before with great benefits. These are the BFR Bands I currently use.

Note: The link above is an affiliated link.

References:

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19826283/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30188363/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23446173/

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How to Sustain Your Weight Loss

The ability to sustain your weight loss is probably one of the most important things when it comes to weight management. The principles of losing weight isn’t something that’s too difficult to grasp, However, the problem most people face is that they go down in weight and jump back up in weight. Usually, this is accompanied by extreme diets. Sometimes it’s not though. Let’s go over how to sustain your weight loss and why it’s the key to success.

Why Sustain Your Weight Loss and Why it’s the Hardest Aspect

Many people at some point came to a realization that they’re overweight and they go on a diet and drop the weight and they look great! Maybe holidays come around or something happens when you kind of lose control a bit. That then bleeds over in time and months past by and then you’re back to where you started. Now you need to diet again. That alone is a pretty daunting task in and of itself, especially for people who drop 30+ pounds. This is also known as ‘yo-yo’ dieting.

The problem is, eventually if you keep going back and forth with losing weight and gaining and so on, you eventually may get burned out and discouraged and just say “I’m done with this!”

To be honest, it’s understandable. Even if the principles of losing weight can be easy, the process still takes patience, time, and discipline.  

Now, imagine if you dropped the weight and you were able to sustain it? You would be happy with yourself overall. Maybe you’ll do mini bulks or drop weight here and there sometimes, but it’s much better than having to try dropping a huge amount of weight gain. Keeping at a steady weight and maintaining it will make you healthier and happier. It will also make you feel in control of your diet and yourself.

So you want to sustain your weight loss, how do we go about that?

Identifying Why You’re Yo-Yo Dieting

Like all issues, you need to discover and identify why it’s happening.

There may be so many reasons for yo-yo dieting. Maybe you’re stressed at work. The holidays could be coming up and with all the family gatherings, you just don’t have time to train or eat correctly. It could be many things, but you need to identify what’s causing it. 

Once you identified the issue, you can now tackle it head-on.

Sustain Your Weight Loss by Changing Your Mindset on Your Health

Depending on what your issues are and why you’re yo-yo dieting, it’s most likely that your health is taking a back seat for a bit.

Let me ask you though, where would you be without your health? Whether it be physical or mental health, you don’t get too far without either of those things. 

I believe 85% of the week should be dedicated to doing at least something to keep yourself in shape or better your overall health. Whether this is eating at a caloric range that helps maintain weight or just to keep training normally. You should always make it a goal. I set this goal for myself and I do believe this is a reason why I never had an issue sustaining weight. 

So where’s that other 15%? Usually, this will probably be a day off of some sort. I’ll be honest, my Sunday’s (Especially during Football season) doesn’t consist of much except cooking and watching and screaming at my TV.  We all need a break here and there, so I think this ratio is personally good. 

Let me ask you though, have you done something today that has a positive impact on your physical or mental health? If not, will you be aiming for tomorrow? 

Setup something for tomorrow and make it a priority to do at least one positive thing to improve your health. If it helps, even mark it down in your calendar. Set it all day if you must. As long as it keeps you in check. 

If you’re stuck and just don’t even know where to start, start as simple as going for a quick run or even running in place or doing some jumping jacks. It ain’t much, but it’ll be something that benefits you. Sometimes starting off slow may be best to get into a rhythm.

Check out these articles if you’re looking more into changing your mindset on food or changing your mindset on training.

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Consistent Training and Programming Leads to Sustaining Your Weight Loss

Okay, so you identified why you’re yo-yo dieting. You’ve made a conscious decision to change your mindset on your health as well and that it should take priority. Now what?

Now we need to get into the training.

The definition of training is: is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any skills and knowledge or fitness that relate to specific useful competencies.

Now I just want to point out, I’m saying training and not exercising. The reason being is because training has a goal you’re working towards. You can be training for a marathon. Maybe you’re training to reach a specific deadlift weight. The point being is you should start training and not exercising.

Training will keep you goal-oriented and focused. You’re more likely to keep up with a training regimen than to just exercise and call it a day. 

If you don’t know what you want to train for, take a look at what you think would be fun for you. For me, weight lifting and powerlifting are fun. For you maybe running is fun and something you can do consistently. Whatever works for you, look into a training regimen for it. Most importantly, look into a training regime that is sustainable and will make you consistent.

If you want, contact me and we can talk about creating a training program for you. 

Consistent Dieting and Finding out Your Calorie and Macro Intake 

I did an Instagram poll recently about what people have trouble with the most. Most people voted on dieting/nutrition vs training. Now dieting is a bit more difficult to be consistent with and it makes sense that this is probably why people struggle to sustain your weight loss. Especially if you’re doing something that you’re unhappy with. 

I believe a reason there is a struggle to sustain your weight loss is that the diet you’re following is not sustainable. A diet should be easy for you to follow and sustainable. I don’t like extreme diets for the main reason that it’s very restricting in what you eat and will tend to lead to you most likely falling off the bandwagon.

Now, this isn’t always the case. I also know plenty of people who do keto or vegan diets and they can easily sustain it and achieve their goals. In cases like this, the more restricting it is for some people, the better.

You need to choose a diet for you that makes you happy and you can follow easily. If you don’t know what diet that is, explore your options. Experiment and see what works for you.

I do want to mention though, with nutrition regardless of your diet, what it comes down to losing weight is calories in and out. If you intake more calories than your burn, you’ll most likely gain weight. Simply, if you’re intaking fewer calories than you’re burning you’ll lose weight.

If you’re a bit lost about calorie control I would recommend checking out this article. You should also look into macronutrients too to learn more about intaking the correct proportions of foods to optimize muscle gain and healthy habits.  

You can also check out the free calorie calculator to find out your caloric intake. 

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Final Thoughts

To sustain your weight loss is a difficult task. What happens is a lot of people succumb to yo-yo dieting. However, identifying what causes you to yo-yo diet is one of the main factors of stopping it. Once you identify the issue, you need to identify how to solve it. In most cases, things like work get too busy or you may have just too many stressors going on. Now, sometimes other things take all of our time in life and I get that.

A change of your mindset on your health might need to be made and realize that without your health, things will probably go downhill in the long run. 

Once you identified these issues and made a mindset shift, you can now go on finding a training regimen to stick with and figuring out your calorie/macro intake that works for you. If you feel like an extreme diet is best for you to sustain, more power to you.

Sustainability should be what is easy for you to follow and makes you happy. Whether it’s an extreme diet or something flexible, do something that makes you happy and is easy to follow. 

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