Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 2)

how much

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here 

Several workouts later

several workout

Now that you know your starting weight, you can do the « progressive overload » method.

« Progressive overload » method involves gradually increasing the stress in your body during training.

For beginners, this means increasing the weight at each workout session. You know after each workout, your body is healed. And if you do things well by having good nutrition and good sleep, your body becomes stronger than before.

When your body gets used to your workout, it’s bad sign. When your body used to do 5 sets of 5 reps, it will become more effective so your body will burn fewer calories and use fewer processes to achieve movement.

To know when you need to add weight, you need to look at the difficulty you had in your last set. That’s why it’s important to track your workout to analyze your performance. You can use a paper notebook, Evernote  or a fitness app like Jefit . Document how much you lift, how many sets you do, how many reps you do, the degradation of your technique arrived at what set and what reps and quality of your latest set.

If you couldn’t do all reps of the last set with a good technique, take the same weight at your next session to improve your technique.

Doing this guarantee you that you don’t stagnate because every rep you do is more solid et better than the last time. To improve, it’s not necessary to increase weights at each workout. You can rest less between your set, improve movement control or do more reps. All these variations mean that you become stronger.

On the other hand if you can do all sets with an excellent technique without the barbell’s speed, it’s time to add weight. It doesn’t matter than you add 9 kg (20 lbs) or 1.1 kg(2.5 lbs), you progress.

All professional athletes will tell you it’s better to add weights slowly and progress constantly rather than to progress quickly and hit a plateau. In this way, you build your strength, your confidence and your momentum.

That’s why I recommend you to start too lightly for you progress constantly.

In life, there are ups and downs so there are days when you can’t add more weight because there is a lot of stress at school/work or you haven’t sleep enough and so on. It’s important to listen to your body rather than absolutely lift the weight you want.

Find your ta 1 rep max

1 rep max

It’s really fun to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a rep from time to time.

However for a beginner who has just started, it’s better to make the movement with a proper technique and add weight slowly to try to find. I advise you to follow a workout’s program for at least 6 weeks before to try to find your 1 rep max.

Why

Even if your technique is good for a beginner, you’ll have a better results by learning to make ajustements and corrections as you go. When you start, your body isn’t prepared to do this performance so if after 2 weeks you try to find your 1 rep max, it will not be your true 1 rep max.

In addition, when you train, you train everything in your body. Things like muscles and bones will become stronger while others like the nervous system will become more effective. The more often you do something and the better you do. When you’re a beginner you get better quickly.

And as you are a beginner, you haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not safe to try your 1 rep max when you learn the movement. Even if you have a good technique with a light weight, you’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t have the experience yet.

When your technique begins to deteriorate, you need to have experience to complete or stop the movement safely.

If you look at weightlifting or powerlifting competition, sometimes the way to lift does’t have the best technique you’ve seen. However, the lifters have enough experience to handle this and know how to stop the movement if something goes wrong. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know how to do it.

The respectable quantity to be lift

bench press fail

In fact, I think you already know the answer : it’s the weight that suits you. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your workouts because your’re competing with the « You » of the last week. It’s like racing your ghost in Mario Kart.

You’re like me, you want to have a strength better than average strength but it’s more complex that what you think because it depends on your body’s type, your background as an athlete, your genetics and other factors.

If there was a formula or a calculation, we would all have a superhero’s body but this is not the case.

This is why you have to concentrate on lifting the weight that is right for you today. At your next training, you’ll try to lift heavier and if you can’t do it, you will do more repetitions or decrease you rest time between your sets.

In this adventure to have an athletic body for life, forget people around you. The person who is next to you do squat at 226.7 kg (500 lbs) and you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) ? Forget it ! If you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) and it’s a challenge, it means that it’s the right weight you should lift.

Never modify your workout to impress the personne who is next to you. No one is judged by the weight he lifts and if people do that, they’re not future winner/champion. It’s the losers who seek shortcuts.

Remember :

  • Winners warm up with the empty barbell.

  • Winners focus on their reps and aren’t ashamed to lift less than the person next to them.

  • Winner take the time to do things right, even if it means lifting less than what they know can do.

  • Winners started with a beginner workout program like you

Remains cautious, begins slowly, adds weight slowly.

It’s better to train in safety early rather than hurt yourself and be frustrated before you’ve progressed like my friends hurt in the shoulder. My physique has progressed a lot while their bodies stagnate because of their shoulder injury.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

From Beginner To Become Your Own Personal Trainer (Part 2)

become your own personal trainer

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1 , click here 

Mastering the movement

mastering the movement

If you want to have lasting results, there is no shortcut, you need to learn the basic movements. It’s like at school, learning and progressing.

The best way to start a strength training is to do a bodyweight workout at home (I started like that). If you want to do a barbell movement in your workout, you can use a broom stick or a PVC pipe. If you want to do a dumbbell movement, you can use 2 sections of PVC or 2 bottles of water.

The technique is very important for movement like squat, deadlift, pull ups, bench press. That’s why using light weight will allow you to learn to make the right movements. It’s going to be a bit long but you’re going to avoid having injuries and months of frustration.

Use your smartphone to make videos of your exercices to compare them with tutorial videos that you can find on Youtube or others.

It’s possible that you feel uncomfortable with an exercice even if you have videos to improve. In this case, I advise you to see gyms in your area to hire a coach for 1-2 sessions. It’s only to improve your techniques, it’s not to hire a coach for several months. This coach will teach you what you need to know to train at home safely.

It’s not always obvious to understand tutorial videos on Youtube or others. The reason is that the person who explains how to do the technique knows very well how to make the movement but forgot to explain mistakes he/she made when he/she was a beginner.

If you have difficulties with a part of the movement, don’t get upset or be frustrated. It’s just something you can improve and by tracking your workouts, you’ll see that.

What to take

what to take

Clothes

To start, takes comfortable clothes. Don’t buy special fitness clothes. The gym isn’t a fashion show, forget what people think about you. There is no ego in a gym. I like to wear simple clothes, no known brand because I always tear my clothes by dint of using them. Maybe I dress like a tramp but everyone is silent when they see my performances.

Note : If you go to workout after school/work, take your gym outfits with you to go to the gym directly.

Shoes

For shoes, takes shoes minimizes with a flat and hard sole. For example Classic Chuck Taylor , Vibram or Powerlifter shoes .

I use for my strength training Classic Chuck Taylor and for my cardio Puma.

Drink

Take a bottle of water. It’s handy to have a bottle of water next to you to drink between 2 sets rather than go to the toilettes.

Notebook

Takes a notebook to track your workout during your workout. Often after our workout we don’t remember the workout’s details as having done 1 more rep or 1 more set. If you use a smartphone, you can use Evernote  as a notebook or a fitness app like Jetfit .

Shower gel

We sweat during our workout and it’s always nice to take a shower after an effort. If you’re going to train before going to school/work, shower gel is essential.

Your music

Takes an MP3 player or smartphone with a great playlist to « get in the zone » and make you feel like a superhero. Often music in gyms are special. In my gym often we can hear bachata or it’s nightclub ambiance.

My playlist it’s 50 Cent, G-Unit, 2 Eminem’s song and soundtrack of japanese cartoon « Hajime No Ippo » (boxe) and « Hokuto No Ken » (martial art) and soundtrack of « Rocky ».

I’ve been using my smartphone for a few years to listen to my music and keep track of workout (Jefit) and it’s really cool.

The basic rules

basic rules

There are basic rules for gyms. By following these rules, you’ll be comfortable in any gym :

  • Put weights in the right place when you finished using them.

  • If a person is using a equipment you want to use, it’s OK to kindly ask this person how many sets he/sh has left to do.

  • If another person wants to use the same equipment as you, you can offer him/her to work together. You do a set while the other rest and vice versa. You may not be comfortable with that and you can say no. Say something like « no but I still have 2 sets and after it’s for you ».

  • If a person asks you to spot and you have never done that, tell that person you never did that and ask him/her what you’d like you to do. This person will explain everything to you.

  • If a person offer to spot you on an exercice (bench press), don’t worry. Usually it’s always an experienced person who does this to help you. It’s motivating and it’s a good opportunity to exceed your limits.

  • Cleans the sweat that has on the equipment you want to use. In gyms, there is always a station with liquid cleanser and tissues.

  • With benches, leaves a space between you and the others so that everyone can keep their personal space.

  • Even if you see a person making a move that you have never seen, let it happen. You don’t want someone to come and tell you that what you do is wrong. It’s the same for others.

  • Avoid speaking in your smartphone and call the person after your workout. You’re in a gym to train, only to train.

  • Don’t sit on equipment forever. Do your sets and go to the next exercice. Don’t sit on equipment for 2 hours.

Start your strength training as soon as possible. It’s by doing exercices several times that you’ll improve your technique. Don’t be afraid to do wrong because the majority of people in a gym have no idea what they’re doing. I have been practicing for several years and I’m always improving each one of my exercices, I say each of my exercices.

What keeps you from starting a strength training ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Have Ideas To Create Content

idea

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

The most important thing : Write your ideas

When you have an idea, you write this idea right away in your notebook or in your smartphone (I advise you Evernote ).

Look at how it was when I didn’t take notes for my ideas. Boom, I have a great ideas. I tell myself : « Don’t worry Stephane, this idea is amazing, I’ll never forget it ! ». The next day, I wake up and I know I had a great idea but I forgot what it was. Do you know that, right ? This is why writing your ideas is very imporant.

Learn about your passion

passion

What I do to have several ideas a day, it’s first to create content about a passion. Talk about a topic you’re passionate about automatically gives you ideas. Read a lot and watch a lot of videos about a topic you’re passionate about. Having discussions with people who share the same passion as you and participate in training to develop your passion.

Others places to work

different environment

Travel or go to different places in your city (university, park, library, railway station, airport). Being in an other landscape or an other environment (calm/dynamic) is inspiring, it opens the mind.

To ask questions

ask question

Ask questions to others. By exemple you can ask this question to one of your friends : «  Imagine that I can write an article on anything. What would you want ? ». The answer will give you several ideas.

With these tips, you’ll have more ideas in your notebook that time to write article or create content. This is so cool.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Supermarket Mission

supermarket

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

In a supermarket, the Matrix put a lot of traps to buy some junk foods. Here some tricks to avoid the Matrix’s traps.

The plan

You need a plan to succeed, it’s the basis. Create a list ! I use Evernote  to do my supermarket’s list but you can use a piece of paper or something else.

My list :

  • Rice

  • Pasta

  • Olive oil

  • Chicken

  • Tuna

  • Alaska pollock

  • Vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Green tea

  • Eggs

  • Legumes

  • Vitamines pills

May be it can help you to do your own list.

Don’t go to the supermarket with your stomack empty. It’s the best way to fall into all the Matrix’s traps to buy junk foods. Supermarkets put chemical odors intentionally to make you buy and with a full stomack, you avoid this trap like a champion.

Nutrition Label

nutrition label etiquette ingredients nutrition label

Now we learn ingredients, we need to have a good judgment about nutrition lable. Luckily the most of healthy foods don’t have nutrition label like meat, fruits and vegetables.

If you buy something in bags and boxes, take 30 seconds to read the nutrition label. It’s crazy what you can find in foods today.

Here somethings you need to know about nutrition label :

  • Don’t be scammed by the food’s name – « healthy food », « natural » shouldn’t blind you. Be sure it’s not a scam like Nestle’s Fitness or Kellogg’s Special K.

  • Scan ingredients list – The first ingredient in the list make up the most of the product. Usually, the fewer ingredients, the better. Don’t be scammed by ingredients name with the mention « all natural ».

  • This is not because it’s not written sugar that there aren’t inside – You know these cereals bars named « healthy » like Nestle Fitness cereal bars or Kellogg’s Special K cereals bars.

  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup – Take whole grain bread and in some whole grain bread you will see in the first five ingredients « high frutose corn syrup ». Shit.

Your body is the only one you have, so take care about the foods you put inside.

Vegetables and fruits

A challenge ? Everytimes you go to the supermarket buy a new vegetable or fruit and learn to prepare it. If you don’t know the vegetable or you don’t know how to prepare it, use Google or DuckDuckGo  or you can ask to an employee. There is a lot of choice of vegetables and fruits in the world and we should take advantage of it.

Fish and meat

chicken meat fish

Don’t be afraid about meat’s fatty curs to save money. The enemy isn’t fat.

Select meats based on your goals. Beef’s fatty cuts is excellent to try to increase calorie levels to gain weight,. chicken breast’s boneless and skinless cuts is excellent to try to keep calories down to be lean.

You can buy bacon.

Tricks

  • Frozen vegetables are excellent – If you hesitat between fresh vegetables and frozen vegetables, select frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are good because they’re not bad, they’re easy to prepare and they’re cheap.
  • Check weekly coupons – You can save some money on foods you usually buy because you can have a discount with another brand. It’s a exemple.
  • Don’t be scammed by the sale price – Even if it’s « 10 for 10.- » usually you don’t need to buy 10 so don’t be scammed by the Matrix. Often, you can bu 3 and have access to the sale price.
  • Have supermarket’s member card – It’s free and you can have huge discounts.
  • Go to the supermarket next to your house – Vegetables and fruits can spoil quickly if you do a big trip so go to the supermarket next to your house.
  • Buy in bulk – Very convenient to have a stock of fruits, vegetables, legumes, tuna can or peanut butter. All these things can be keep longtime, it’s cool.

 

Do you have some questions about supermarket ?

-Steph

P.S : Do you want a free training program ? Click here 

Ecosystem Your Blog

wordpress ifttt buffer

It’s with a The Family’s video  I learned how to use my blog with my social networks. At first I did a copy / paste of the article’s URL on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. But now I automated a part with IFTTT . With this website, you conncect your apps for « if an app does this, then it will happen that ».

This website works with Evernote, Facebook, Philips Hue, Pocket, Twitter and 347 services. You see how this is useful and it’s easy to use.

You create your account and you land on the homepage with recommended actions :

ifttt screenshot

What interests us is the condition « IF ». You can click on the « IF » tab to see the recipes but as there are 347 services, I suggest you do a search to save time :

ifttt screenshot

What I do is that when I post a new article on my blog, IFTTT sends a message with the article’s URL to my social networks. For example the connection WordPress-Twitter :

ifttt screenshot

Or WordPress-Facebook:

ifttt screenshot

For all this work, you will have to communicate your login / passwords of your blog and your social networks to IFTTT. To see the connections that you have configured, click on « My Recipes ». I connected my blog to Buffer (turn off), Reddit, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter.

It is really convenient this website. But why Buffer is disabled ?

Buffer  is another website that I use to send a message with the article’s URL to my social networks but at specific times. What I mean is that I can plan the distribution of my messages throughout the day.

You create you an account and you land on the homepage (I’ve already planned messages) :

buffer screenshot

As you can see, I connected Buffer with Twitter, LindedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram. Instagram is new in Buffer and I just begin to publish content per day on Instragram. I’m really a beginner with Instagram (Snapchat too). You can send 10 free messages per day, if you want to send more messages, take the Premium version.

To connect Buffer with your social networks, click on the icon « Connect More » :

buffer screenshot

For all this work, you will have to communicate your login / password of your social networks to Buffer.

To schedule hours to send messsage, click on the « Schedule » tab :

buffer screenshot

You have to plan the hours for each of the social networks you use. In Buffer you have to write the message and the blog’s URL (copy / paste), it isn’t automate as IFTTT.

This must be 6 months I use IFTTT and Buffer and everything is well. It’s really cool to be able to automate these tasks to save time.

With time, I will learn how to use better these tools and I’ll tell you what I discovered.

And you ? Do you have other tools to manage your ecosystem ?

-Steph

Ecosystème Ton Blog

wordpress ifttt buffer

C’est avec une vidéo de The Family  que j’ai appris comment utiliser mon blog avec mes réseaux sociaux. Au début je faisais un copier/coller de l’url de mon article sur Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. Mais maintenant j’ai automatisé une partie. C’est avec IFTTT . Avec ce site internet, tu connectes tes apps pour que « si une app fait ceci, alors il se passera ça ».

Ce site internet fonctionne avec Evernote, Facebook, Philips Hue, Pocket, Twitter et 347 services. Tu vois comme c’est utile et c’est facile à utiliser.

Tu te créer un compte, tu te connecte et tu arrives sur la page d’accueil avec les actions recommandées :

ifttt screenshot

Ce qui nous intéresse, c’est la condition « SI ». Tu peux cliquer sur l’onglet « IF » pour voir les recettes mais comme il y a 347 services, je te conseille de faire une recherche pour gagner du temps :

ifttt screenshot

Ce que j’ai fais c’est que dès qu’il y a un nouvel article sur mon blog, IFTTT envoie un message avec l’url de l’article à mes réseaux sociaux. Par exemple la connection WordPress-Twitter :

ifttt screenshot

ou WordPress-Facebook :

ifttt screenshot

Pour que tout cela fonctionne, il faudra que tu communique tes identifiants/mots de passe de ton blog et de tes réseaux sociaux à IFTTT. Pour voir les connections que tu as configuré, clique sur « My Recipes ». J’ai connecté mon blog à Buffer (désactivé), Reddit, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter.

Il est vraiment pratique ce site internet. Mais pourquoi Buffer est désactivé ?

Buffer (https://buffer.com/) est un autre site internet que j’utilise pour envoyer un message avec l’url de mon article à mes réseaux sociaux mais à des heures précises. Ce que je veux dire c’est que je peux planifie la diffusion de mes messages tout au long de la journée.

Tu te crée un compte, tu te connecte et tu arrives sur la page d’accueil (j’ai déjà planifié des message) :

buffer screenshot

Comme tu peux le voir, j’ai connecté Buffer avec Twitter, LindedIn, Google+, Facebook et Instagram. Instagram, c’est nouveau avec Buffer et je commence juste à publier un contenu par jour sur Instragram. Je suis vraiment un débutant avec Instagram (Snapchat aussi). Tu peux envoyer 10 messages gratuitement par jour, si tu veux envoyer plus de messages, il faut prendre la version Premium.

Pour connecter Buffer à tes réseaux sociaux, clique sur l’icône « Connect More » :

buffer screenshot

Pour que tout cela fonctionne, il faudra que tu communique tes identifiants/mots de passe de tes réseaux sociaux à Buffer.

Pour planifier les heures d’envoie de messsage, clique sur l’onglet « Schedule »:

buffer screenshot

Tu dois planifier les heures pour chacun des réseaux sociaux que tu utilises. Dans Buffer tu dois écrire le message et l’url de ton blog (copier/coller), ce n’est pas automatiser comme IFTTT.

Cela doit faire 6 mois que j’utilise IFTTT et Buffer et tout va bien. C’est vraiment cool de pouvoir automatiser ces tâches pour gagner du temps.

Avec le temps, je vais apprendre à mieux utiliser ces outils et je te ferais savoir ce que j’ai découvert.

Et toi ? Tu as d’autres outils pour gérer ton écosystème ?

-Steph

Old School Better Than The New School

old school vs new school

« New training designed to target your abs and obliques ! »

« A revolutionary supplement that will increase your fat loss ! »

« This recent discovery on performance optimization that scientists don’t want you to know ! »

These things make me laugh ! With scientific discoveries, there are daily new training programs and new equipment for better shape never experienced before.

These products and systems aren’t created for you to be in better health, they are created to increase your insecurity about your body and to earn more money to companies. It’s like trying to catch a cloud.

I will share with you the truth about modern mainstream fitness and encourage you to see through this crap and start thinking old school.

It’s time to think like Makunouchi Ippo

hajime no ippo Makunouchi Ippo

« With scientific discoveries, human performance are in a record levels and technology improved our lives ».

Yes, yes I agree with that.

The technologies have facilitated our lives with apps like Zombie Run! to run faster, Evernote or JeFit to track our training programs and Fitbit to track your steps throughout the day.

On the other side, we must understand the importance of real life without technological breakthroughs and be successful before you start looking for a technology to assist your performance.

Do you think the new hi-tech sports clothes help you to increase your performance ? Your T-shirt helps you lift heavier ?

Examples of Old School that better than New School :

  • The Ewoks with their old school fighting techniques beats the Empire on the moon of Endor
  • Old fashion ice cream against new ice cream “low fat” (which contains much more sugar)
  • Grass fed beef against grain fed beef
  • The original movies of Ninja Turtles against Michael Bay’s crap
  • The Old School Break Dance rather than Twerk

It’s time to return to Old School and when problems arise, ask you what your favorite hero would do ?

What kind of old school solutions you want to add in this battle against non-sense new school ?

-Steph