Building muscle takes time (often a LOT of time) and having a good strategy for your training efforts will help you be more efficient with your time and start to see results much faster.Read More
Whether you're a fitness beginner, weekend warrior or beast in the gym, how you start your training session matters.
For the average gym-goer, warming up involves touching your toes a few times, swinging your arms like a helicopter and jogging on a treadmill. Well, that's if it's done at all.
And while we believe something is better than nothing, we we've figured some things out over the years that we'd like to share.Read More
There are many smart training principles that will help you become strong AND minimize injury. Some of those include practicing the fundamentals, staying focused while you train, developing strength, getting a little better ever day, and learning how to control your body's tension.
Today we cover tension, comrades!Read More
Running is, in fact, a fundamental human movement pattern and comes in handy in case of a zombie apocalypse. And if you LOVE running and it's your thing I'm not going to yuck on your yum here as it does provide some good fitness, like, if you want to run better. But years of research show that it's a terrible option for long-term fat loss for most people.
Find out why I believe running isn't the best option for fat loss and what to do if that is your goal...Read More
I’m sure you've heard of it. When it comes to nutrition, everyone talks about it.
But even with all this chatter…do you REALLY understand protein?
We're going to share a brief introduction to this builder of lean tissue. Why? Well, because, let’s be honest, you don’t need to know EVERYTHING but a super basic understanding will help you nail your nutrition and health goals on your epic journey.
WHAT IS PROTEIN?
Protein is one of the three main groupings of food that we need to survive and thrive. This grouping is called a macronutrient (protein/fat/carbs). Protein = 1 of your macronutrients
WHY DO OUR BODIES NEED IT?
Our bodies like protein because it is made up of amino acids. These are used in just about every bodily function and are part of the structures of our muscles, tendons and bones. The human body needs amino acids hence the body needs protein.
Our body makes some types of amino acids, but not all types. There are certain types of amino acids that only come from food. If we don’t provide an adequate supply of amino acids, our body will take it from other structures (muscles, bones) in our body.
It also makes up structures such as hair, nails, nerves, organs. If you think about it, you ARE protein!
WHAT DOES PROTEIN DO FOR US?
- It helps to build AND rebuild muscles.
- It helps in the production of hormones and the transportation of chemicals within the body.
- It is higher on the Satiety Index which means it helps you to feel FULL for LONGER.
- It is low on the Glycemic Index which means it won’t SPIKE your blood sugar that way carbs will.
Very simply, it helps you build muscle, get toned, consume less calories, regulate hormones, and feel AWESOME! Do those sound like some of your goals?
HOW MUCH SHOULD I HAVE EVERYDAY?
It will depend on your weight, activity level and your goals, but we recommend that, on average, you should consume between .36g – .74g of protein per pound of body weight. Roughly 1/3 to 2/3 of your bodyweight in grams.
This amount may seem like a large amount, but keep in mind that most people don't consume an adequate about of protein and that the .36g per pound of bodyweight is the MINIUM for healthy body function.
CAN I EAT TOO MUCH?
The short answer is yes… but as long as you aim to have balanced diet of vegetable, protein, fats and carbs you will most likely get full before you over eat on protein. For most people the chances of going overboard are HIGHLY unlikely.
WHAT ARE SOME LEAN PROTEIN OPTIONS TO ADD TO MY DIET?
Ground Turkey or chicken or lean ground beef**
Plain Yogurts – plain because it is low in sugar but you can add fruit to spice it up
PB2 – peanut putter alternative
Beef Jerky – careful with choosing lower sodium options
**Food items with the largest amount of protein
HOW MUCH PROTEIN FOR FAT LOSS?
Protein is a solid choice for fat loss for all of the reasons I mentioned above. But how much do you ACTUALLY need?
First, you MUST understand that when it comes to fat loss the MOST IMPORTANT factor is burning more calories than you consume. This will ALWAYS be the #1 Rule for fat loss!
That said, protein is going to be your secret weapon. It will
- Help you maintain and build muscle
- Increase your metabolic rate
- Keep you satiated
- Help you look toned when you get leaner
Once you nail your caloric deficit, we recommend aiming for somewhere between 1/3 and 2/3 of your bodyweight in grams of protein. For example, if you weigh 150lbs anywhere between 50 grams and 100 grams is a good minimum target. If you're able to nail your deficit and you're training pretty hard and trying to burn those last layers of fat we recommend getting in as much as your bodyweight in grams of protein!
If your goal is fat loss, the rest of your calories should be made up of good decisions. And don't forget the deficit!
WRAPPING IT UP
Protein is absolutely essential for not only life to exist but for you to stay strong, lean and toned to be able to stay active and live your best life! It is a great tool for both building muscle AND burning fat which always makes it an important component in each meal.
And although it's important for fat loss, it's not as important as staying in that caloric deficit!
If you enjoyed this short and sweet explanation of protein then keep an eye out for your other two macronutrient highlights!
If you have more questions and are looking for nutritional support REACH OUT and see what we can do to help!
Strength training is f#$%ing hard. Period. It takes copious amounts of time, effort, and a burning desire to keep getting better (at picking things up and putting them down). You must continuously challenge yourself and as you raise the bar you must continue to evolve. Some days are better than others and once you move past the beginner stages of strength you will quickly find that it gets more difficult to continue making progress and hitting PRs (personal records) aka 'making dem gainz'. Progress is not linear and that can be frustrating. I get it, trust me.
But despite the difficulty there's something utterly satisfying about lifting just a little more than you've ever done before. Whether you increase from an 8kg to a 12kg kettlebell press or just deadlift 5 more pounds than you did last week...that accomplishment is yours, you've earned it. Enjoy that shit!
To help you on your journey, here are 3 pro tips on how to keep smashing strength PRs...
As epic strength coach and philosopher Dan John always says, "The goal is to keep the goal, the goal." All to often I find that people focus on too many goals at once. They combine the goals of fat loss, movement, being strong AF, marathoning, and being America's next Ninja Warrior all at the same time. As a result they hit a plateau in all areas.
The fix: Avoid having goal ADD and do everything in your power to get it done! If your goal is to get stronger overall or at any one particular lift your focus should be just that. Prioritize the lift you want to get stronger at earlier in your training program when you are fresh. Also, focus on being mindful of how you are performing the lift. Be present.
2 - EAT
If you want you get stronger you must EAT! There is no ifs, ands or buts about this one. If you're not consuming adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats your body will not be recovering from each training session or building adequate strength and muscle. I can't stress enough how important nutrition is to getting stronger just as much as it is to burning fat and maintaining a healthy body weight. You can't out train a poor diet works in this instance as well!
- Consume 40-80 grams of carbs circa your training sessions to aid in recovery. My go-to is white rice and occasionally the tasty treat (insert tasty treat here). You don't need to go overboard on carbs every day but it is important when you crush your workouts.
- Consume 20-40 grams of protein circa your training session to aid in building muscle. Any good protein source is okay here depending on your dietary preferences. Personally, I'm a huge proponent of whey protein. It's super easy to prepare, digests easily, and is more bioavailable to your body. Basically, that means a greater percentage of what is digested gets used.
- Get adequate calories. A good litmus test is if you find you're not recovering well or making progress you may be eating too few calories. This is where you get to experiment to see what works for you!
3 - Be Patient
Good things come to those who wait and all that jazz. Nothing happens overnight and for strength training this is especially true when you have a whole plethora of other things going on in your life that drain you. Stress from work, relationships, other workouts, alcohol, kids, and general 'life stuff' are all cumulative.
The fix: Consistency is king and if you stick with your strength training long enough and are patient, I promise you will be handsomely rewarded with mountains of PRs. Nothing works better than patience and consistency. You will enter the PR city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.
In conclusion, showing up is the easy part but you have to put in the work if you want to experience glorious gains in your strength and fitness. If your goal is to get stronger you want to make it a priority to learn how to, well, get stronger and focus there. What you eat matters so don't neglect what you're doing outside of the gym as well.
Now go hit some PRs and let us know how you're doing!
I'm fairly certain that spending 5 minutes foam rolling before you train and/or on a regular basis is quite possibly the best return on investment you can spend at the gym. Most of our clients are coming to us straight from sitting at a desk or right from commuting in the early morning so we use foam rolling as part of the warm up to bridge the gap between being sedentary and moving like a ninja and training like a beast! In our video series, Foam Rolling 101, we're going explain how and why we foam roll and then show you some of the basic techniques we take all of our clients through at AMP Fitness. Get ready to be edutained! That's educated and entertained...because we like to make up words!