What Rep Range is Best for Me?

What Rep Range is Best for Me?

With so much information out there, it is understandable to ask, “What rep range is best for me?” Like many other topics I have discussed, this one has a  broad answer, it depends on what you want to accomplish. Below I have broken down the most common goals with rep ranges that are associated with it:

  • Strength- 1-6 reps
  • Muscle Hypertrophy (size)- 6-12 reps
  • Muscular Endurance- 12+ reps

It is also important to remember that these rep ranges are not exclusive in that only that one thing can be accomplished in that rep range. For example, if you are doing a program where you are doing 4-6 reps to gain strength, does not mean that you won’t experience muscle hypertrophy. Likewise, just because you are doing a muscle hypertrophy focused program does not mean that you will not be able to increase your endurance or strength. These are broad categories but let me break it down a little more for you.

Strength

When you talk about strength gains in this context, you can think more like Powerlifting, Olympic lifting or Strongman training. When you are training to increase your strength, the most common movements that produce the best results are your Deadlifts, Squats, Cleans, Snatches, Bench Press, etc. If you train in this rep range are likely training for a competition of some sort and can usually put up some serious weight.

What you will also notice is that these Powerlifters or Olympic lifters come in all shapes and sizes. That is because big muscles do not always reflect strength! That may seem odd but it’s true. You will see 300 pound bodybuilders that may squat 500 pounds but it is not unusual to see a 170 pound powerlifter squat that and even more. Why is that? Strength is actually more of a neurological adaption as opposed to a muscular adaptation. Yes, in general, the more muscle a person has the stronger they will likely be, but depending on how they train and eat, strength will vary.

Muscle Hypertrophy

Muscle hypertrophy is the most common goal amongst people when they start working out. When you have muscular hypertrophy, you will see an increase in muscle size as well as some strength gains. The muscle hypertrophy range is what most bodybuilders and fitness models do to increase their muscle size. I personally have seen great results in muscle gains in this category with my clients and myself and is the “base” rep range for most people.

Muscular Endurance

The muscular endurance rep range starts at 12 reps and higher. This rep range is where I start most of my clients who are just starting out to build up their muscular endurance. You may put on some muscle mass in this stage but it won’t be much because you are engaging your slow-twitch, type 1 muscle fibers that have limited hypertrophy ability. Nonetheless, I have found that this rep range can really accelerate muscle gains when someone transitions to a muscular hypertrophy program because their muscular endurance is high. People who are most likely to train in this rep range are endurance athletes such as runners, rowers, etc. This is also a great rep range for aging adults as well who may not have the strength to lift much weight.

What To Take Away From This

After reading all this information, you may be asking, what is the big takeaway from this? You need to match your training regimen with your fitness goals so that you have the best chance to succeed. People can often become frustrated with their results, or lack thereof, when improper training methods are used.

Ready to get started on your fitness journey? Contact Us and let’s setup a time to talk!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Weight Loss

The Do’s and Don’ts of Weight Loss

Weight loss journeys are hard no matter where you start or how far you have come. At some point, you have tried to lose weight and quit due to plateauing or receiving improper guidance. There are seemingly endless weight loss gimmicks out there that advertise to be the only thing you need for weight loss which is simply not true. NO 1 THING WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT. It is a combination of puzzle pieces that must all fit together to complete your weight loss puzzle. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of Weight Loss that you need to know while on your weight loss journey:

Don’t do only cardio

While cardio should be a part of your program, it should not be the ONLY thing in your program. Yes, cardio is great for burning calories and obviously needed for good heart health but when it comes to weight loss, cardio is only a small piece of the puzzle. Now I’m not saying to skip cardio because, it does need to be done, but it is not the biggest point of emphasis in a good weight loss program. You will still want to work up to about 5 days of cardiovascular activity per week for best results.

Do lift weights at least 3 times per week

Lifting weights and strength training is an absolute necessity when it comes to weight loss as it facilitates building muscle. Why is that important? When you build muscle, your metabolism increases and allows you to burn more calories. Building muscle is also great for bone health as your bones become stronger as your musculature increases. For beginners, 2-3 days of weight lifting per week is sufficient but eventually you will want to get to 3-5 days/week depending on your program.

Don’t go too fast

Trying to do too much too fast is just as detrimental to your adherence to a fitness program as not doing enough. Too often, people try to do too much starting off end up burning out after 2-3 weeks and reverting back to old habits. The typical 4 week weight loss guru on Instagram touts a 20 pound weight loss program that’s easy to follow. Truth be told, those programs are not maintainable and don’t encourage long lasting healthy habits. Do not get caught up in these “inspirational” 4 week transformations because most of the time those people end up putting back on that weight and then some in a couple of weeks. Go for the slow and steady approach, you are much more likely to succeed!

Do set realistic short and long term goals

To compliment the above, setting realistic goals provides for steadier results. Aiming for 0.5-1 pound of weight loss per week is a very realistic and possible goal for pretty much anyone. If you aim for an average of 2-4 pounds of weight loss per month over the course of a year, that’s 24-48 pounds lost in a year! Not to mention, you will have established long-lasting, healthy habits that you can carry on with you for the rest of your life.

Don’t take fat burning supplements

These are usually a waste of money packaged with fancy advertising and less than true claims on how they work. Most “fat burning” supplements do not actually burn fat! If they do anything, they help you burn more calories by increasing your metabolic rate. At the end of the day, if you do not burn more calories than you consume, then you will not lose weight.

Also, some supplements will claim that they can “target belly fat” which is absurd. There are no supplements that target fat in specific parts of your body, that’s not how your body works. You are better off spending your time and money on focusing on your nutritional plan and making sure you are burning more calories than you consume.

Do spend most of your time and effort on your meal plan

As I mentioned above, you will only lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume. With diet being about 70-80% of your results, you should spend the most time on this aspect of your fitness program. Meal prepping takes less time than you think and will make your entire week much easier. Meal prepping takes out any guess work for what meal should you eat next because your meals are already prepared and ready for you to heat up and eat.

Don’t drink liquid calories

Liquid calories are sure to derail your weight loss journey for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it contains extra calories (often sugary) that don’t help you feel satiated. Now, having protein shakes is still acceptable as long as it is only whey protein without the extra added sugar. The extra protein will help you recover for the next workout. The liquid calories you need to avoid are sugary drinks (juices, Gatorade, soda, etc… ) and alcohol.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram compared to carbohydrates and proteins which are 4 calories per gram and also have addition carbohydrates attached to them. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep cycle and getting your beauty rest is a critical piece of recovery. What about wine? While some is good for heart health, it still contains those extra calories that you most likely do not need.

Do drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water

The majority of your body is made up of water so be sure to drink up! A good rule of thumb for how much water you should be drinking in a day is half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces of water per day.

Don’t focus on the scale

This may seem counterintuitive but hear me out. It is a great feeling to see the numbers get smaller each week on that scale and can give you a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. When you start to plateau and the numbers on the scale aren’t changing as frequently, it can be easy to get discouraged. It is important to remember that the scale only tells part of the story when it comes to results. A more important measurement to also keep an eye on is your body fat percentage.

When used in conjunction with the scale, your body fat percentage will be able to help you determine how much of your body is fat mass and how much is fat free mass. It is not uncommon for the scale not to change very much but the body fat percentage does. If you maintain the same weight and your body fat percentage decreases, then you are a rockstar! This means that you were able to decrease your fat mass and increase your lean body mass! Circumference measurements and progress pictures are also more helpful in determining progress than the scale.

Do focus on improving your overall fitness

Sometimes it is just best to shift your focus to different, but related goals in order to kick start your results. Instead of weighing yourself weekly, try tracking and improving upon your fitness levels such as improving your run time on a 3 mile run or instead of running 3 miles, try to go 4 or 5. For strength, focus on trying to lift heavier weights and improving your overall strength levels. You can also try different programs to improve how many push ups or pull ups you can do. The main point is to get your focus off the scale and to work on your strength, flexibility or cardiovascular fitness.

If you’re ready to start your fitness journey, be sure that you are ready to change your entire lifestyle. If you don’t feel like you’re ready to do that, then ask yourself why? What is holding you back from changing your life to improve your health? If you’re having trouble answering these questions then let me know and let’s get your started on your path to a healthier life! Contact Us to get started!

The Benefits of an Online Personal Trainer

The Benefits of an Online Personal Trainer

Is your schedule pretty tight nowadays? Is your availability sporadic? Are things unpredictable at work?

Are you finding it difficult to make time for the commute from work, to home, to the gym and then back home? Not to mention family obligations and kids

 

Well then… YOU are in luck.

BEHOLD the modern arrival of the “online personal trainer” (offered by Fit Body Toddy Fitness).

 

 

Benefits

Here are a few of the unique benefits that come along with working with an online personal trainer. Work out on your own time! In addition to constant education, contact and availability from your trainer, many online exercises include lots of body weight exercises, which can be completed at home. You are now in charge of your fitness!

 

Cost

And now you may be asking yourself, “Is this route cost-effective?” Well then, I am pleased to inform you that while these fitness programs are JUST as personalized as any in-person programs, most personal fitness trainers charge much less for online training programs.

In some cases, you may actually find that an entire month of online training is actually cheaper and more beneficial than your typical, standard hour of one-on-one personal fitness training (keep in mind, this too is a one-on-one program specific to your fitness goals).

 

Availability

Online personal trainers are almost always available for questions and advice pertaining to your fitness regimen and nutrition plan. These programs are purposefully designed to fit your schedule and availability.

Typically, you can message your trainer at any time. Fit Body Toddy Fitness offers this open line of communication through an app called “Trainerize”… although other trainers may use Skype or something similar.

 

Accountability

An important idea to consider if you are leaning toward the online training route is self-motivation. While your trainer is only a click away, some find it is easier to lack in certain areas due to the simple fact that your personal trainer is NOT physically present…

However, assuming your online trainer is attentive, they are likely to be messaging you each week to check in on your development. There absolutely are no excuses anymore!

 

 

Oh! One more thing… should you decide to work with FBTF, not only will your trainer have flexible availability for questions and concerns regarding your fitness regimen, your trainer will also be able to answer any nutrition-related questions on the fly.

This could be prove to be extremely useful when grocery shopping or deciding where to eat.

Setting Fitness Goals and Achieving Them

Setting Fitness Goals and Achieving Them

If you’re reading this article, you are geared up and ready to embark on your fitness journey! Setting fitness goals is the first step in the process to ensure you are setup for success.

So What is the first step in setting fitness goals?

Now, the questions you should be asking yourself are: “Why?” “…What are my goals? What am I capable of?” …and most importantly… “What do I want for myself?” Setting goals can be tough. There is a lot of room to overthink things and get caught up in the ‘instant gratification’ side of things. This can be discouraging!

First and foremost, you must let this go… Nothing worth working for will happen overnight, and no one can just bestow upon you the ‘physique of your dreams’. Physical fitness is something that you must work at, but I can promise you that it will be worth it in the end.

Now, your journey begins when you do… so you should start small to avoid overwhelming yourself. “One of the biggest mistakes is that people try to do too much at one time,” Kellen Scantlebury, D.P.T.

What do you want for yourself? Gain mass? Build strength? Lose weight? Increase activity-specific performance.?
The choice is yours. However, if you have no direction (or too many directions) to move toward, you are likely to remain stagnant or to progress very little.

Once you have identified what you would like to work toward, you can then focus your ambitions on a specific set of smaller goals. It is important that you make sure these smaller goals are measurable and specific… and most importantly, you must give yourself a deadline for each bite-size milestone.
In the business world, they call this ‘eating the elephant’. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Ready to start on your fitness journey? Contact Us and let’s talk!

Exercising When Sick

Exercising When Sick

Is your exercise program compromising your immune system? Or is exercising when sick sabotaging workouts?

Let’s face it: the gym is a great tool and exercise can significantly boost energy. However, if you are ill, is exercise when sick the best course of action?

Aspects of our immune system react adversely following a significant exercise, like the skin, higher tract, respiratory organs and muscle tissue. Many immunologists feel during intense exercise viruses and bacteria could potentially gain an edge. This increases the risk of catching an infection may include going to a public gym.

So does that mean I should avoid exercising when sick?

Mild to moderate physical activity is safe even with the presence of a cold or seasonal illness. If there is no fever resulting from the pathogen, then returning to your program at decreased intensity is acceptable. Exercise could even potentially relieve delicate congestion within nasal passages.

If a client’s symptoms are present above the neck most physicians will suggest light to moderate exercise. However, once symptoms occur below the neck, such as wheezing or coughing, you may consider skipping the gym. Reducing the intensity of an exercise can also prove useful, as long as the exercise doesn’t require you to overexert themselves in any way.

It is tempting for trainers to encourage clients to “work through” their seasonal symptoms in an attempt to keep up with scheduled training. However, it is proven that taking one to three days off will not make a significant impact when maintaining progress. Strength as well as the appearance of one’s physique will likely remain unchanged. However, a client/gym participant DOES risk the possibility of going out there and become significantly worse-off than before.

All in all, we should shift our gears to understanding when the best option is to counsel rest for an active gym participant. Clients should also be empowered to gauge their overall health and decide when exercising when sick is appropriate. Remember, the goal is to become healthy and advance in the area of health and fitness. We should be doing this without compounding any problems when a seasonal illness has been contracted.

Ready to get started on your fitness goals? Contact Us and let’s setup a time to discuss your goals!