Sample Week of Training

Here is what a week of workouts look like for me. I’m only in the gym for about an hour. I’m focusing on building up my glutes, so I train them three times a week. My “cardio” comes in the form of 1-2 finishers a week after my workouts, usually Farmer’s walks or sled pushes.

Upper Body + Glutes
1)Clean and jerk + push presses: 3-5×3-5
2a)Dumbbell chest press: 3-5 x 6-8
2b)Weighted pullups: 5×5
3a)Face pulls or pull-aparts: 3×12
3b)Hanging leg raises: 3×8-10

Glute circuit:(changes week to week)
Weighted back extensions x10
Pull-throughs x10
Band walks
3-4 rounds minimal rest

Lower Body
1)Box jump: 3×5
2) Front Squat: 3-5×3-5
3) Deadlift: 3-5×3-5
4a) GHR: 4×6-8
4b)Ab wheel or TRX pikes: 3×12
5a)Calf raises: 4×10-20
5b)Band clams: 3×20

Upper Body

1)Bench press: 3-4×3-6
2a)Single arm dumbbell press: 3×8-10
2b)Cable rows: 3×8-10
3a)Face pulls or TRX reverse flyes: 3×15-20
3b)Bicep curls: 2×15
4)Lateral raise: 2×15
 
Lower Body
1)BB hip thrust: 3×8-10
2)Back squats: 3×8-10
3)RDLs: 3×8-10
4)Bulgairan split squats: 3×8-10
5)Cable or seated abductions: 3×12-15
Finisher-Prowler sprints or sled drags

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3 Benefits of Protein Shakes

 

I often get asked about protein supplements, mostly regarding whether they should be drinking protein shakes, and if so, what kind and when is the best time to have them?

First of all I have to say, you don’t HAVE to supplement your diet with protein powder. Protein shakes are just to be used as a supplement to a healthy diet that consists mostly of of real, whole foods. Chicken, turkey, eggs, dairy, and fish should be your main sources of protein.

With that being said, I am a big fan of protein shakes. I usually have 2 (and even sometimes three) shakes a day. Here are just a few reasons why I think it can be beneficial to include protein shakes into your diet:

*Help meet your daily Protein Requirements
Whether your goal is to build muscle or lose fat, protein is key. I try to get my clients to make all of their meals revolve around a protein source. The thing is, some people just have a hard time eating the amount of meat it requires to reach their daily protein goal, and that’s where protein shakes come in.

I usually suggest having 2-3 real food meals that include 20-30 grams of protein, and then having 1-2 protein shakes between meals. For me personally, I really enjoy and look forward to having a scoop of protein in my oats in the morning, or as a pudding at night, when meat or eggs just doesn’t appeal to me. However, that is in addition to the two to three “real food” meals I have that consist of chicken, turkey, beef, and eggs/egg whites.

*Convenience
When you need a quick meal or snack on the go, protein powder is a great option. All you need is a shaker cup and water, and you’re good to go. I often bring a shaker cup with a scoop of protein powder in it with me when I’m travelling, then I just add water and shake when I need a quick snack. They’re also a great choice for breakfast when you’re in a rush-just blend up a shake and grab a fruit or some nuts, and you have a fast, healthy breakfast.

*Satisfy your sweet tooth
There are some really yummy things you can create with protein powder for when a sweet craving hits. You can bake with it and use it in place of flour to make things like muffins, brownies, and pancakes. You can also make things like mug cakes and protein pudding(my fave!), as well as yummy fruit smoothies and peanut butter milkshakes. 😉

Check out my article here for some of my favorite protein shake recipes:
http://www.muscletech.com/nutrition/7-protein-shake-recipes/

So, that leaves us with the question of what to look for in a protein powder. Whey protein, either concentrate or isolate, is usually the best option for post people, with the exception of those who are lactose intolerant. In that case, there are protein powders made from other sources, such as egg whites, beef, and rice. Unless you are looking for something as a meal replacement or to aid in gaining weight, most people would benefit from choosing a protein powder that is low in carbs and fat(under 5 grams).

The next question is, when is the best time to drink a protein shake? Really, anytime! As I said above, they are a great choice as a snack between meals(definitely better than grabbing a candy bar or chips!), after a workout to help in replenishing the muscles, or as a bedtime snack. Just remember, if your goal is fat loss, keeping your protein high but staying in a calorie deficit is really the most important thing. As long as you are within your calorie goal for the day, simply have a protein shake whenever it is most convenient for you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you ADD in a couple of protein shakes a day in addition to what you’re currently eating, you will be increasing calories, which could result in weight gain. If that is not what you’re going for, just make sure to make some adjustments somewhere else in your diet to account for the extra calories coming from the protein powder. On the flip side, if your goal is to gain weight(muscle mass), adding in a couple of protein shakes a day in addition to what you’re currently eating is an easy, convenient way to add in some calories.

Time Efficient Workouts

Many people use the “no time” excuse as the reason why they don’t exercise. Most people assume that they need at least an hour in the gym to get anything out of it and that anything less than that is pointless.

Well, the thing is you DON’T really need an hour in the gym. If you are choosing the right exercises and using the right techniques, you can get in a workout in 30-45 minutes. In fact, my client’s workouts are only 30 minutes. If  you are extremely short on time, you can even get in a decent workout in just 15 minutes!

For example, here’s what you could do in 15 minutes: 3-5 minute warmup of jumping jacks, squats, lunges, mountain climbers.  Then just pick 3 exercises to do in a circuit that would work your entire body, such as squats, dumbbell rows and overhead shoulder presses. Go through a warmup set of each one, then 2-3 working sets of 8-10 reps.  You could also throw some type of cardio in there, like jump rope or burpees to really keep your heart rate going. So there ya go. 10-15 minutes, and you have a full body workout!

Here are some ways to make your workouts in the gym more time efficient:

-Focus on compound lifts that work your biggest muscle groups(such as squats, deadlifts, presses, pushups and rows) over isolation exercises.

Trisets: Pick 3 exercises for non-opposing muscle groups and perform them back to back. For example, you could choose squats, rows and overhead presses for the first triset, and then lunges, pushups and a plank hold for the second triset.

Supersets: I really like to use these in my workouts. For an upper body superset you would choose two exercises for opposite muscle groups, such as the dumbbell bench press and some type of a row or pullup. Perform the two exercises back to back, resting between each superset if needed.

-Trying incorporating cardio into your weight training, rather than doing them separately on the days you are short on time. For example, add in jump squats, mountain climbers or jumping rope in between sets.

-Instead of doing your normal 30 minutes of steady-state cardio, do a bodyweight cardio circuit for just 10 minutes after the weights. Choose 3-5 exercises such as pushups, squats or squat jumps, lunges, mountain climbers, burpees, high knees or jumping jacks, and do each one for 20-30 seconds, 3-5 rounds.

Hopefully incorporating some of these tips will help you get in and out of the gym in a shorter amount of time. Don’t ever think you can’t get in a great workout in under 30 minutes. Sometimes the shortest workouts are the most intense!

Another tip: on the days when you just don’t feel like working out, tell yourself you’ll just go to the gym for TEN minutes. You can at least do something for TEN minutes. When you get there, you’ll probably end up staying longer, but even if you don’t, just do what you can for those 10 minutes.

When Discouragement Sets In…

I have days when I feel small and puny.
I have days when I think that my legs will never grow.
I have days when I think that I’ve gained all the muscle I’ll ever gain.
I have days when I feel skinny fat.
I have days when I feel weak.
I have days when my mind is filled with self doubt and negativity.

So what do I do when discouragement sets in?

I remind myself how far I’ve come-how my shoulders are rounder, my back is thicker, my abs are leaner, and my legs are fuller than they were 2 years ago. I think about how strong I am- how I can bust out pullups and throw my bodyweight up over my head.
I think about how awesome it makes me feel to train hard-seeing what my body is capable of, pushing myself to the limit, feeling my heart racing, my muscles burning, the sweat dripping from my face.
I dismiss all negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. I visualize myself where I want to be. I make myself go in and put in the work day after day, knowing that it HAS and will continue to pay off.
I focus on my performance and setting goals, always striving to be better. I remind myself why I  train-for my health, my quality of life, to be strong, and to feel good. I remind myself to have fun and enjoy the journey.

So moral of the story is, you can either let discouragement bring you down, wallow in your misery, give up, quit, and let the negativity win. OR you can let discouragement fuel you to keep going, to to keep working hard, to focus on the positive and to believe in yourself.