Get Good Sleep to Build Those Muscles

One major way that strength training leaves cardio lagging behind is the fact that you can keep burning fat and building muscles long after your workout. As you finish a cardio workout your body will also stop burning off the calories.

In fact when we are slogging through our workouts we are not building up muscles we are actually tearing them, yep that’s right a tear. Then it’s during rest and sleep that our bodies heal these small tears all over our muscles and they are bigger once healed.

This is why it’s not good to do a strength training workout everyday (working the same muscle groups) as you don’t give your body the time it needs to heal. From my digging around I have found that most experienced people (bodybuilders and fitness instructors) would suggest 8 hours sleep a night or some have said that they take an afternoon nap.

Overtraining sounds so strange to me, before I would have said “the more, the better!”, but this is not the case. If you don’t have sufficient sleep and/or not enough of a gap in between your workouts then it can actually cause you to not be able to sleep at night.

I remember (in the year 2000) slogging it away strength training from Monday to Friday at a gym (when I lived in Ireland) and eating next to nothing and my body changed very little and I couldn’t sleep at night. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, and the fitness instructors knew me and never said a thing, strange….. mmmmm that’s probably because they gave me the workout program! ::grrr::

So here is a summary that I came up with from my digging on successful strength training;

  • Regular strength training three times per week (with a day between each workout)
  • A healthy eating program (high in protein and varied so you can enjoy it and don’t get bored)
  • And plenty rest (8 hours sleep per night or an afternoon nap)
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Workout Review: 1st Time Doing Workout Two

That was tough to say the least. But my muscles were burning and sweat was lashing off me from everywhere (ugly thought, huh?). I’ll go through each exercise and give you the details;

Raised-Feet Crunch (Upper Abs) 12x = A little more tension on the abdominal area and that lovely burn came back.
Raised Knee-in (Lower Abs) 6x = My right hip was playing up during this exercise. There was a nipping feeling in my hip joint. Maybe just have to get my hips use to getting into this position.
Corkscrew (Obliques) 8x = One word for this DISASTER! I could hold my legs up, but pushing my big bulky frame up and then twisting it. I couldn’t keep any form for this exercise. I’ll keep trying it until the end of the week and then review myself again.
Swim (Lower Back) 10x = This went well, I felt more across my belt line than usual.
Squats with Dumbbells (Glutes) 12x = Yeah the going up part is a lot harder now than before. But all is good and glutes are burning.
Pile Squat with Dumbbells (Hamstrings) 12x = Just like the squats with dumbbells this is more effective and I can feel the extra tension.
Fly (Chest) 12x = Going good with the fly, this time I am doing my fly slower and I am feeling it burn!
Bench Press (Chest) 12x = Again just like the fly I am slowing down on this one and letting my chest muscles burn and it feels good.
Bent-Arm Dumbbell Row (Back) 12x = I really enjoyed this and I can really feel it in my shoulder blades. Awesome!
Side Raises (Shoulders) 12x = I need to work on this one. I am having difficulty pushing the weights up to shoulder hight, but I am going to keep pushing until I can.
Hammer Bicep Curl (Biceps) 12x = Excellent, not only am I feeling this in my biceps but I am now feeling it in my forearms.
Tricep Press Up (Triceps) 12x = Another tough one, but I managed to push this one through with good form and I can feel my muscles noticing the extra work on this one.

NOTES:

I managed to do this circuit twice this morning. I had to really push myself with this, not only because it was a new workout but also because I didn’t get a good sleep (my son is teething 🙂 so fun all round!).

I haven’t added any weights to my dumbbells; one dumbbell has two 2.5kg (5.5lbs) plates and then the bar is 1.5kg (3.3lbs).

So 1 dumbbell is a total = 6.5kg (14.3lbs).

I am lifting a total of 13kg (28.6lbs)

Home Abs Workout

Here is a cool abs workout that I found on the you know what tube that I’d like to share with you all. He’s a big bulky guy ::git!::

Workout Upgrade – Start Burnin’

So next week I am going to be stepping up my strength training workout. My muscles have already gotten use to my current workout so it’s time to start them burnin’ again!

Check out my workout upgrade;

Mon, Wed & Fri – Strength Training

  • Raised-Feet Crunch (Upper Abs) 12x
  • Raised Knee-in (Lower Abs) 6x
  • Corkscrew (Obliques) 8x
  • Swim (Lower Back) 10x
  • Squats with Dumbbells (Glutes) 12x
  • Pile Squat with Dumbbells (Hamstrings) 12x
  • Fly (Chest) 12x
  • Bench Press (Chest) 12x
  • Bent-Arm Dumbbell Row (Back) 12x
  • Side Raises (Shoulders) 12x
  • Hammer Bicep Curl (Biceps) 12x
  • Tricep Press Up (Triceps) 12x

Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday – Cardio Interval Training

  • 20 minutes on an exercise bike; starting with a 2 minute average pace and then a 2 minute fast pace (this is one set); doing 5 sets.

NOTES:My blood pressure a lot better now, so that’s another reason to step things up (especially with my cardio). My goal with this new workout is to do three circuits each session. I am also wanting to push and get on top of my cardio workout as I only followed the cardio workout once since I have started this year. Sunday is my day off.

If anyone has any tips/suggestions for my workout please give me a comment, thanks!

Why It Will Work This Time

After many failed attempts to lose weight why am I so confident that it will work this time?  Let me show you what I have tried so far;

Starving Myself – This had an effect for such a short time.  This is what I didn’t know at the time; starving your self causes your body to eat away at your muscles for energy first before it even thinks about invading your fat store.  End results; I got so hungry that I had a food binge for a few days and put on more weight.

Slim-Fast – While on this I got results and started to loose the weight, but I was always hungry.  Following this kind of diet is not normal eating behavior and the way that you can succeed on this kind of diet is to follow it for the rest of your life. Once you step outside the program for a ‘little treat’, you are going to be rewarded in more than one way; maybe the hips, gut, etc.  This kind of diet will also normally end up causing you to binge as you are so hungry and your body is deprived of healthy food groups and proper nutrients.

The Juice Diet – On this diet you just drink juice (I forget what flavor I tried) all day long. This is (and I was) crazy! You will get hungry and end up binging and stacking on a load more weight.

Appetite Suppressant Pills – Now you can call me stupid for even trying these pills because I actually don’t have a big appetite, I just failed at eating the correct foods.  So these did nothing for me.

The Atkins Diet – fried sausages, fried eggs, fried bacon, fried ham, fired mushrooms, ……[into the future] ……..fairly big heart attack!  I am sorry if I offend anyone currently on the Atkins diet but this is the diet for real dummies (remember I tried it too, but that was then and this is now so you are the only dummy :P). You are setting yourself up for high cholesterol and heart problems.  Most likely you will not be able to stick this diet and you will come off it and once you touch carbohydrates you will balloon again!

And now, I am not on a diet.

I have educated myself about my body; our bodies are all different.  You need to find out about your body and how it reacts to food.  I found out about myself (after a few tests) that my body stores about 99% of my carbohydrate intake and that my metabolism is almost lifeless. (The most famous quote by obese people.)

With this I found out that if I build up my muscles this will resurrect my metabolism.  The carbohydrates issue, ok there are good & bad carbohydrates, you still need carbohydrates. Cutting them out completely will not help you in the long run.

This sent me on a quest that led me to the Abs Diet, which is really not a diet it is a healthy eating and workout plan. This program will teach you about food combinations that fuel muscle growth and burning fat.

This is how I know that I am going to succeed this time round.  I am constantly educating my self then I am initiating what I have learned and I am also evaluating my progress.

Educate + Initiate + Evaluate = Success!

Don’t try diets, what you should be trying to do have a complete lifestyle change; eating healthy and exercise.

Saturday 19th – Here’s What I Chewed Today

Breakfast – Oatmeal, whey, peanut butter and hot milk

Snack 1 – raw carrot

Lunch – Two wholemeal slices of bread, 1 breast of chicken, mayo & a thin-cut slice of cheese

Snack 2 – star fruit x2

Dinner – Two chicken breasts pan fried in olive oil (i’m aloud one fancy meal a week 😛 yummy!) and Kangkung (a green leaf vegetable from Indonesia)

Snack 3 – half a watermelon.

The Night Before the Weigh-in, Burning Fat & Oatmeal

Tomorrow’s my first weigh-in after the initial weigh-in, I am looking forward to it and a bit apprehensive about it too.

It’s going to be ok, I have stuck well to my eating plan and I have been master of my strength training. I feel like I am getting addicted to the strength training, on my day’s off (for muscle recovery) I find myself missing pushing and burning through my workout.

What I am trying to achieve is weight loss, but my workouts (strength training) are not focused on burning fat they are focused on building up muscle. Lean muscle burns calories to keep going, the more muscles you have the more calories you’ll burn. Strength training is also powerful as you will keep on burning calories after you have finished training. Unlike cardio when you stop the calories stop burning too.

I can’t believe I was only finding this out, before I was tearing around on a bike and could not loose anything.

One of the other things that I have learnt since my quest for a healthy life is that there is a little powerful friend that we can have help us; enters Mr. Oatmeal.

Oatmeal is has so many benefits. Not only will it lower your cholesterol but a whole truck load of other goodies including keeping your blood sugar levels longer (so you won’t get hungry quickly again).

I love it, my mornings don’t feel complete without it. This is how I prepare it; I will boil some low-fat milk and then add my oatmeal to my bowl and then mix it with some whey. When the milk has boiled I just pour it over the top and mix it up good. And finally I add a table spoonful of peanut butter. Yummy!

Well its 8:30pm here now in Indonesia and I am going to spend some time with my wife and son before I go to bed (Getting good sleep is also very important, as your body needs time between workouts to recover and rebuild).

Well until tomorrow’s weigh in, goodnight!