Category: Training

Recovery and Restoration

The road to improved performance and health is best illustrated by how you take care of your body. Not only with how you approach nutrition and your training regimen, but also in how you rest and recover. This should be an integral part to your strategy. 

Rest and recovery allow the body (joints to tissue) proper time to recoup from the workout so that your body is able to perform optimally the next time it is challenged whether in the gym, competition or life.  Research shows that most individuals spend very little time or attention on helping the body effectively recover. Your body needs your assistance in returning the vitals (heart rate, blood pressure, etc) to normal levels, and your tissue (muscles/fascia) to a pre-workout state.  Just because you think it does not mean the body gets any benefit. 

Effective recovery starts with the cool down process after your workout and should include components that will not only stretch muscles/fascia, but will also help you down regulate the nervous system. Down regulation helps your muscles relax, brings your vitals back to normal and improves your overall stress level. 

When muscles and fascia are properly stretched not only does it feel great, but also there is improved hydration and circulation at the cellular level. This is where the recovery really starts and where you can optimize the process.  This is why professional athletes spend an enormous amount of attention in how they approach recovery. Stretching and caring for the fascia and joints is an integral part to their performance.

One type of manual therapy that most pros now use is Fascial Stretch TherapyTM, which helps their fascia remain healthy, and speeds up their recovery. 

Benefits to FSTTM Stretching:

Improve Range of Motion and Mobility  

Improved Performance –  (healthy fascia handles force transmission; better mobility)

Increase Rate of Recovery (better hydration/circulation at cellular level, improves rate of recovery)

Decrease Risk of Injury 

Improve Joint Health (decompresses joints)

Improve Circulation (blood flow improved throughout tissue/body)

Improved Hydration (better circulation delivers fluids)

Decrease Stress (physical and emotional state)

Improve Sleep (more relaxed state; sleep more deeply)

So if the pro athletes find stretching and tissue care important so should we.  Instead of waiting until your feel bad or injured, get in front of it and stretch, relax and recover. It might be the missing piece to the puzzle on reaching your fitness or health goals.  

Camp Hoffa Throws June 20-22, 2018

 

Join Reese Hoffa and his staff of coaches at the Hoffa Throws Academy Summer Throws Camp. Stay for 1, 2, or all 3 days of throws instruction.

We will focus on making you a better Shot and Discus thrower!

Click Here to Register

When: June 20 – 22th

Where: 1260 Greensboro Hwy, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Time: 9 AM – 3PM

Other: Lunch provide each day

Cost:
1 Day …………$100
2 Days …………$200
3 Days …………$300

Start the process to become a spinning athlete in the Shot and Discus

Improve glide technique

No matter your skill level, you can improve

Questions? Contact Reese at 706-254-3333 or email hoffathrows@coreblendtraining.com

Click Here to Register

 

4 Simple Tips for Better Weight Management

Weight loss can be an ongoing challenge and determining where to start and sifting through all the information available online can be tedious and more often than not you will leave yourself feeling even more confused as to where to begin and what to do. In terms of where to begin let’s start with some fundamentally important concepts of what you can start working on that will yield great long term results.

1. Eat More Protein.

A goal you should focus on to begin is eating good quality lean proteins with every single meal throughout the day. Aim to shoot for about 1-2 palm size servings every single meal. Protein has a high TEF (Thermic effect of food) meaning it requires more energy to simply breakdown and process the protein being consumed. Essentially, your body burns more calories to utilize this nutrient. Protein is also the least likely macro nutrient that can get stored as body fat when compared to fats and carbohydrates, it is still possible to store of course if you are overeating total calories, however much less likely. While you are in a fat burning state, your body goes catabolic. This means that you are breaking down tissues to use for energy, hence fat burning. When your body is in a catabolic state it will not only burn fat but can also utilize muscle tissues for energy if needed. Increasing protein intake while cutting unwanted body fat will help preserve your hard earned muscle. The more muscle you have on your frame equals more calories burned throughout the day. Win win.

2. Prioritize resistance training over just cardio.

Resistance training will stimulate the formation of new muscle tissues. As above, the more muscle mass you have the more calories and fat you will burn in the long term. You will also burn a higher amount of calories on days off from the gym because your body is recovering from its previous training session and in need of additional energy to grow and recover.

3. Limit processed carbohydrates.

Substitute white breads, enriched pastas, sugar filled drinks, most cereals, sweets, and white rice with more vegetables and fruits, preferably berries. Controlling blood sugar and insulin levels low is essential for fat to be mobilized and be used as fuel to burn.

4. Drink more water.

Shoot for minimum of 1-1.5 ounces of water per kilogram of bodyweight. Limit alcohol consumption, and focus on restful sleep.

Tools in the Trainer’s Belt: The Right Tool for the Job

Let me start this post off by saying that the metaphor of a tool belt may be a terrible choice for me to use. The work uniform I’ve worn 6 days a week for the last 5 years has consisted entirely of elastic banded shorts. I rarely wear shoes in the gym and when I do, they’re a pair of sliders. I’m positive I’ve never owned an actual tool belt. As a trainer though, I have a giant tool belt. Depending on the situation, I can pull out powerlifting routines, bodybuilding routines, group circuits, one man (or woman) circuits, group competitions, cooperative workouts, stretching, injury prevention, mobility, sport training and a variety of other workout methodologies depending on the situation. I think that any good trainer SHOULD have a lot of different areas to draw from so they’re ready to get good results with any client that walks through the door.

Be smart with your exercise selection and you’ll be happy with your workouts.

The issue then comes from using the wrong tool for the job. I see people trying to use a hammer to drive in a screw all the time in the fitness world. The fact is, some tools are just better suited to jobs than others are.  I think that for the majority of situations, dumbbells work better for hypertrophy work than barbells. Good lifters make subtle tweaks to exercises to allow themselves to “feel” the exercise to a greater degree. If I’m targeting growth in my biceps I’d much rather go with a DB Curl than a Barbell Curl. I think barbells work fine, but personally I’m going to select a better tool.

I think Olympic lifting is a poor tool for conditioning. I feel the same way about deadlifts. Can they be tiring? Absolutely, but I think that rowing, skiing, pedaling a bike, or pushing a sled is a much better option. I want to be able to encourage someone to push as hard as they can without fear that they’ll compromise form and hurt themselves. The rowers and skiers are also very low impact and give automatic feedback every single stroke so there is no opportunity to delude yourself. If you see a 2:01 pace, you’ve slowed down from the 1:55 you were pulling at. There is no way to deny that one. I love it. Can olympic lifting serve as conditioning? Absolutely. Can you dig out your swimming pool with a spoon? Absolutely. You’re just not going to catch me doing it.

A few simple rules for my thoughts on which tool is right for you.

  1. Trying to get stronger? Select a compound exercise where the limiting factor is your strength in the area you’re trying to bring up, i.e. don’t select a heavy overhead squat to make your legs stronger if your shoulders are going to be the limiting factor.
  2. Trying to get fitter? Pick exercises where you can focus primarily on pushing harder. Don’t select exercises that are overly complicated and will exhaust you mentally or are likely to get you injured if you move the wrong way.
  3. Trying to work on hypertrophy? Select an exercise that you can “feel”. Don’t feel the bench press in your pecs? Don’t use it to try to bring up that muscle group then.

All Roads Lead to Rome: Many Ways to Get Fit

In the heyday of the Roman Empire, it was said that all roads led to Rome. They built all the roads, so it made sense. I have a similar feeling about fitness. Maybe not ALL roads, because I think there are a few trends in fitness that are awful and terrible and a waste of time, but this is a more positive post. I think that with real dedication on your part: powerlifting, weightlifting, body building, CrossFit, bootcamp classes, and a bunch of other methodologies will work. Sure, some will leave holes in your fitness that need to be filled. Maybe in addition to your spin class, you need to add a little weightlifting so that you can take care of your muscles and your cardio. However, with a good instructor or plan and the right motivation, I think there are a lot of ways to get fit.

I am not a fan of people dogmatically defending their ONE TRUE way to fitness and throwing out the merits of others. With that being said, as a trainer, I have a road that I know better. It’s the one I’ve driven most. I know the rest stops, I know which roads you can speed on and which roads you better slow down for. I know where to stop, which restaurants to eat at, and what to order. I know my road like the back of my hand. I’m aware that there are other ways to get to your fitness destination, but I’m most confident in my way. It’s the way that I’ve trained hundreds of people with a wide variety of goals and histories to get into the best shape of their life.

So what is my way? What is this road I know so well? I like big lifts. I think they make people more capable of performing tasks in their day to day life, while simultaneously building the most muscle across their entire body. Most of my training sessions start with something like a deadlift, bench press, squat, overhead press, or a clean. I also think that bodybuilding is a fantastic tool for zeroing in on certain areas that need additional attention, so I usually follow up the big lift with more focused accessory work. Bodybuilding is great for isolating one area to focus on. Bodybuilding is great for muscular hypertrophy, something most people are looking for even if they don’t realize it. Finally, and arguably most importantly, bodybuilding can be a lot of fun. I think that circuits are a fantastic way to get in cardio while also keeping sessions enjoyable and interesting. I’ll get into how I construct circuits later, but in general I want simple exercises that have a VERY low risk of injury and make the heart and lungs work hard. I want to be able to encourage effort without fearing that as they fatigue that they’ll get more likely to hurt themselves. That means my circuits mostly involve the rowing machine, the ski machine, the bike, and the sled and never involve doing olympic lifts or deadlifts for time.

That my route, that’s my formula. Are there other ways to get fit? Absolutely, but if you come into my gym, that’s likely what I’ll have you do. It’s worked for me. It has worked for my wife. It has worked for busy moms, teens that are trying to get stronger, and retirees that are getting back into fitness after neglecting it for years. I used a modified version of it to train Reese Hoffa for his third Olympic games. It is what I know best and feel most confident using on others. If I’m giving you advice on a rowing machine, you can trust that I’m basing it on a lot of time rowing. If I give a new cue to you on the deadlift, you can have faith that its been tested on hundreds of clients over thousands of hours. Like I said, there are a lot of other things that work, but that’s what I like to do and it’s why I’m so confident that if YOU come into my gym I’ll get you results.

New Year Resolutions

It seems popular on the internet these days to mock people setting New Year Resolutions. “If you really wanted it, you would have started in December” has a grain of truth to it, but I’m an optimist. I think that this could be your year, even if you entered 2016 with big plans and they didn’t go your way, I’m not ready to give up on you. I have owned Core Blend Training since 2012 and worked as a trainer before that and have seen a lot of people that were really successful with their new goals and a few that weren’t, so I’d like to share a few commonalities amongst people that made goals and hit them.

  1. They set specific, realistic goals. Don’t just say that you’re going to get into shape. Define it. Are you going to lose ten pounds? Add 10 pounds to your squat? Take a minute off your 5K time? If you’re going to be able to hold yourself accountable you’re going to need to have a standard. Further, it needs to be something that is attainable. Have you slowly gained 25 pounds over the last 3 years? Don’t expect it to come off in a month, and don’t get disappointed when it doesn’t. If every day you are closer to your goals than you were before, then you’re moving in the right direction.
  2. Have a plan. This is where it’s time for me to plug my gym’s services. If you want to get stronger, get fitter, lose weight, gain weight, we can help. We have great trainers, a fantastic supportive environment, the best possible training equipment, and a variety of ways to help you reach your goals. Obviously the personal training is personalized, but even within our classes, we have plans that focus on gaining strength, losing weight, doing a little bit of both, etc.. To be successful you’ll need to have a plan that is designed to actually reach your goals. You’d be amazed at the number of people that I’ve seen over the years get frustrated with results from working really hard at a plan that wasn’t designed to help their specific goal. A cookie cutter program only works if that’s how you want your cookie cut!
  3. Stick to the plan. Stick to the plan longer than you think you need to stick to it. Decide that you are not going to deviate from your plan for at least two months. Give your body time to really adjust to this new routine and see what happens. One week, two weeks, isn’t long enough to see if it’s going to help or not. Give yourself some time. You deserve it.
  4. Remind yourself of why it REALLY matters. I’ve read the stat that 92% of resolutions fail. I think that as things get hard, it gets easier to come up with excuses. Come up with a compelling reason for you to reach your goal that will be stronger than your desire to quit. I’ve heard people explain to me that they want to live longer than their parents did. I’ve heard people say that they want to be able to play with their young children. I’ve heard people say that they want their spouse to be shocked by how they look at the pool. I can’t tell you what your reason should be, but I can tell you that you’re going to need one. After all, if it was easy, you would have already done it.

And there you go! Once again, I’m optimistic for your 2017. I’ve seen too many people succeed to think that you have to fail. There are people that stick to their resolutions and you can be one of them.

New Classes: The Evolution of Group Programming at CBT

Core Blend Training has always strived to provide the best possible group classes for its clients. The classes have evolved from group workouts with everyone doing the same thing, to differentiating exercise selection for different people, offering different programs based on the number of days people were attending, to now offering bias programs. It is not something I’ve ever seen done in a group class, but it’s a natural evolution of what we’ve been trying to do. We want to provide a one on one experience in a group class setting. Different programs have already been designed for 2,3,4, or 5 day a week participants, but now we’ll offer 3 different plans for each class schedule.

Core Blend Jacked is most similar to what people have been doing in classes already (and that Corey has used for years). It is built for people that care equally about strength, aesthetics, and cardiovascular performance. In short, if you want to be a “jack of all trades” Jacked is for you. If you want to lift heavy AND look like you lift, Jacked is your program.

Core Blend Defined is built for people that have the goal of improving muscle definition through a combination of strength moves, bodybuilding, and cardio. Taking full advantage of all of our cardio equipment, bodybuilding machines, and advanced intensity techniques the Defined program is perfect for someone trying to feel their best.

Core Blend Fortified is a program that takes full advantage of our extensive powerlifting equipment and pushes people to get as strong as they can be. The focus is on building a body that is ready to move powerfully in any direction and handle any physical task thrown at it.

These are bias programs. Someone with excess weight would be expected to lose weight on Core Blend Fortified even though that isn’t the primary goal. We would expect someone to get stronger on Core Blend Defined. Pick the program that will be most enjoyable to you and helps you reach the goals you value most. You can change programs and switch at any time (ideally at the end of the program, but it’s up to you).

Although people will spread out during the beginning of the class, the final 20 minutes of the class will be doing cardio together. Like before, this will be a combination of group, partner, solo, long, and short bouts of work. You will have 40 minutes for warm up and your goal specific workout before the trainer brings the group back together for the cardiovascular finisher.

A Week of In-Season Training with World Champion Shot Putter Reese Hoffa

In my previous article, I outlined a couple of mistakes I see throwers making with their training. You can check that article out by clicking here. I really appreciate the feedback I got from the Kabuki Strength community, and one of the most common questions was how those considerations actually entered into program design.

reese-duffalo-300x300I thought the most productive way to answer that question was to just open up my old training log and show a sample training week from my final season as a pro. This is my actual in season workout schedule assuming a meet on Saturday.

Read my workout schedule in the rest of this article at Kabuki Strength.

 

 

Training Elite Throwing Athletes: The Number One Consideration From 2-Time World Champion Shot Putter Reese Hoffa

I built the Hoffa Throws Academy from the ground up to be able to train throwers the way that I feel like they should train. We have an indoor shot ring, two outdoor shot rings, a discus ring, and three extra rings to throw into nets. This is all housed within Core Blend Training, a gym I helped start up in 2012, filled with everything I think throwers need. I knew that to be the best thrower I could be, every part of my training needed to be built towards producing long throws and that’s exactly what I did.

To read more about the number one mistake throwers and coaches make in their training, read the rest of my piece for Kabuki Strength.