Thursday, March 17, 2011

Keep an Exercise Journal

The best way to track your progress is to write every exercise, set, rep, type and duration of cardio, and the date. Your exercise journal can be anything from a notepad, to a piece of computer paper, to a chart you made on the computer.

The key here is to be consistent with writing down your workouts and making sure you aren't taking steps backwards. By keeping a journal you have something can go back in time and see exactly how you have been progressing over the past couple weeks, months, and even years.

Another great advantage of keeping an exercise journal is if and when you get to a sticking point you can look back in your journal and see what you did the last time to get you out of that plateau.

The people who don't keep a journal never know exactly how they are progressing because they have no way of measuring what they accomplished in the past. By writing everything down you can go back to the week before and make sure you aren't using a weight that is less than the week before or that you didn't cut yourself short on a piece of cardio equipment.

The time spent writing everything in the journal during your workouts (which takes no time at all since most people write things in the journal while resting between sets) is well worth the knowledge and progression you will see down the road.

Fact or Fiction
MYTH: You need to eat a lot of protein to gain muscle.

FACT: Your body can only metabolize about 25g of protein per meal/ snack so higher intakes do not offer any further benefit with regards to muscle strength gains and repair. Your best bet is to eat protein-rich foods and/or powders often (four to five times throughout the day) to ensure that you are maximizing your training efforts, supporting your immune system and aiding your body's fat-burning potential.

Question of the Week:

Q: When is the best time to exercise? I have heard that if you are overweight you
should exercise after you eat, and if you are at the weight you want, you should exercise before you eat. Does it matter? And, if it does, why and how?

A: Like many of the factors attendant to exercise, a
considerable amount of misinformation and
mythhology exists concerning the question "when is the best time to exercise"?

For example, for several years, a number of individuals
have erroneously believed that exercising in the morning subjects a person to a heightened risk of a coronary episode. Such a risk is purported to emanate from the fact that most fatal heart attacks occur between 6 a.m. and noon. This is because blood platelets, which are responsible for the formation of blood clots, are stickiest in the morning.

Exercise, however, doesn't make matters worse. In fact, individuals who exercise regularly have a reduced risk of heart attack at any time of the day.

With regard to the specific issue of the alleged relationship between the time of exercising and weight control efforts, no such relationship exists. If you exercise at a particular level of intensity, you'll "burn" the same number of calories regardless of when you exercise.

All factors considered, it may be somewhat more difficult for a person to exercise after a meal, because the amount of blood involved in the digestive process diminishes the level of oxygen-carrying blood servicing the exercise muscles.

The impact of such a factor would depend upon how much the person ate, how soon the individual exercised after eating, and how hard the person exercised.

In reality, the answer to the question of "when is the best time to exercise" is fairly straightforward - whatever works best for you is the best time.

Bryant, Cedric


"Success is about having, excellence is about being. Success is about having money and fame, but excellence is being the best you can be."

- Mike Ditka