My workout routine| June 2019

Recently i have been getting quite alot of questions regarding my workout routine and also people wanting different workout schedules/programs.

And well, instead of answering everyone seperatly, i thought i might as well do an update of my workout routine on here.

Regarding workout schedules and programs, i don’t personally do them… even if i have taken courses regarding exercise and planning exercise routines, i am more focused on nutrition and feel more comfortable with health coaching and nutrition plans. So for workout schedules, there are plenty of amazing people out there who have more knowledge in creating workout programs!

So how is my workout plan at the moment? Well …. my workouts go in phases.

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Sometimes i have lots of time to workout, sometimes i have little time to workout.

Sometimes i have lots of motivation to workout, othertimes i have barely any motivation to workout.

Sometimes all i want to do is lift heavy weights and other times i just want to run.

And other times all i want to do is go for walks.

After a phase of just wanting to run and go for walks, i am now back into my strength training phase and just wanting to lift weights.

It is kind of nice to vary and to be able to do different forms of exercise. Just going to the gym and lifting weights X times a week for 10 years straight doesn’t appeal to me. I need some sort of variation in my workouts so that i don’t just do the same thing over and over as that gets rather boring.

Recently i haven’t actually had that much time to workout, so i have gone to the gym around 3 times a week and other days just gone for walks. But typically i try to go to the gym every second day, so around 4 days a week works well for me in my life right now. And the days i don’t lift weights at the gym i go for walks – usually, unless i have a long 8 hour work shift then i am often too tired, as i am on my feet working for 7 of the 8 hours.

So what do i do when i lift weights/strength train? Well, i still do the typical “body builder” type of training where i workout muscle groups. I do personally think that workouts life crossfit or functional training is the most optimal… where you work your whole body and do both strength and cardio in the same workout or movements. Those exercises and workouts are more beneficial for health and function…. training biceps and triceps isn’t exactly what you need in everyday life unless you have a job where you need alot of arm strength. But typically a “Body builder” workout does build strength and muscle but is also about aesthetics.

However my goal is neither to get stronger, i.e i don’t always press myself to max to get stronger. And my goal is neither to have visible abs and boulder shoulders…. i mostly just workout for health and because i enjoy it.

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So my workouts are very much based on what i want to workout that day… i don’t have any set program i follow. Typically though in a week i would do 1 back session, 1 leg session, 1 upperbody session (i.e shoulders, biceps and triceps) and 1 cardio and abs session. And do a warm up/run/cardio when i feel like it. The schedule and exercises i do vary.. but if i just workout at the gym 2 times in a week then i would do an upperbody and lowerbody session as i like to workout all my muscle groups in one week anyway.

So that is pretty much my schedule at the moment. During summer this will change as i may be out in the sun more doing runs or walks, or if i have long work shifts i may not workout at all due to time/energy levels. I don’t usually plan my workouts beforehand either… i plan my workout when i get to the gym.

However i do usually try to plan what times/what days i can workout at the start of each week. Somedays it is early sessions before school and other days it is late sessions after dinner, all depends on what i am doing in the day. And somedays i plan to workout after lunch/after school but have things to do or am too tired and then i head home instead. And somedays i sleep past my alarm and miss my planned morning workout… that’s just life.

I make sure that my workouts are based on enjoyment and because i want to do them and never force myself to workout, however i do make sure to get some fresh air and move my body each day (as long as i am not super sick or injured). But i don’t have any minimum time i have to workout, sometimes a 20 minute walk is enough.

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So there you see my workout routine as of May/June 2019 🙂

I do want to get into more functional/crossfit style workouts again, because as i mentioned i do think they are the most beneficial, especially for health. Not to mention super fun. And in the future i would like to run some OCR/obstacle couse races such as tough mudder. And also to begin running more often/regularly and not just have it as a phase thing.

I would love to know HOW do YOU workout? What’s your workout routine? 🙂

Sports nutrition: eating for performance

It’s been a little over a week since i finished my course in sports nutrition and i thought that i would sit down and try to share some of the things i learned in that course.

The course was super interesting and also very beneficial to me and it will be useful for me in my future career! Also the teacher was really good, which makes a huge difference- If the teacher is not good at teaching (even if they may know their topic super well), it can demotivate me to go to the lectures as i feel like i can just read the information from course litterature and teach myself. So not only was the course interesting, it was also a teacher who could teach well!!

Our class has also asked if they could maybe make a part two of this course or a more advanced sports nutrition course where you also learn more on cell level and do different tests and such. Hopefully that will happen in the future, as i would love to learn more about this area of nutrition!!

Note that the course was about elite athletes and nutrition for performance. I.e how to optimize nutrition for performance and recovery, so the recommendations for an elite isn’t exactly the same as for a normal, average person who just works out a few times a week.

If you are someone who is triggered by numbers, or just doesn’t want so detailed about nutrition, then maybe this post isn’t for you. Also remember that if you are just working out as a hobby or to be healthy, then you don’t need to think so much about macros or eating optimally, instead just focus on eating from all the food groups and getting enough energy – that is the most important!! Also if you do want to gain muscle and strength, then increasing your protein intake a little (Nothing crazy) is recommended, maybe around 1.2-1.5g/kg body weight. (Note, most people who eat an omnivore diet actually eat that much protein already – as long as they are eating at a calorie balance)

Some of the most common questions when it comes to sports nutrition is… how much protein do you really need? Do you need supplements? What about protein and carb timing?

I thought i would try to answer those questions as best i can with the knowledge i have right now.

Let’s start off with protein and carb timing! This was one of the questions i wanted answered during the course, and here is the answer i got:

For best results, it is good to consume some protein 20-120 minutes after your workout for optimal protein synthesization. That doesn’t mean you need to drink a protein shake in the changing rooms right after your workout. Instead, just try to eat either a snack or main meal relatively close to your finished workout.

For carb timing… the most important thing is to eat enough carbs in total. Also, eat carbs 2-3 hours before your workout can insure that you have enough energy and filled up your glycogen stores to perform during your workout! If you are working out two times a day, then it is more important to think about your carb intake and to fuel up with plenty of carbs as well as protein after your first workout, so that you have enough fuel for your second workout.

For an average person, protein and carb intake isn’t a make or break thing, just focus on eating before and after your workout and eating at a calorie balance (or surplus if you want to gain muscle).

So how much protein/carbs/fat do you really need?

Protein 0,8-1,2g normal people. Protein 1,2-2g for elite (or if you are trying to lose fat while maintaing muscle). Ex, if you weigh 60kg then you would need around 48-72g protein per day for a normal intake. or around 72-120g protein per day. [The more you weigh, the more protein you need to consume].

(Note, the more you eat the more protein you also consume).

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Carbs, varies alot, but can be around 50-70% of your total calorie intake, or around 5-10g/kg per day, i.e if you weigh 60kg then you can eat around 300-500g carbs per day, depending on how much you train. I.e if you train two sessions per day, you would need the higher amount.

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Fat, well that should just be the remainder of your calorie requirement, after you have made sure to eat enough carbs and protein. But also, fat is important to get enough essential fatty acids and absorb the fat soluble vitamins in your food. It is also not recommended to eat less than 20E% (i.e less than 20% of your total calorie intake) of fat per day, because there is a risk that you won’t get enough essential fatty acids then. Also, fat is important for your hormones not to mention your brain and skin! Ex: If you have a calorie requirement of 2800kcal, you would need around 62g (minimum) – 124g fat (if you consume 20E%-40E% fat).

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How much fiber you need depends on how much your stomach can handle. Also eating alot of fiber too close to a workout may affect your workout negatively if you get stomach discomfort.

What about supplements?

As an athlete you don’t *need* supplements or extra vitamins. However, if you have a deficiency, then you may need supplements. Typically though, if you are an elite you will most likely eat alot more calories than the average person and therefore also consume alot more vitamins and minerals.

However, for female athletes they may need iron supplements as there can be an excess loss of iron if you workout alot. (Note, if you do lose your menstruation while working out alot, it is recommended that you try to eat more and/Or workout less until your menstruation comes back.)

For some, calcium and magnesium may also be required, but it is best to talk to a doctor and get blood tests done.

What about other supplements?

No, you don’t need protein supplements. BCAA alone won’t help you grow muscle or get stronger. Protein sources with all the essential amino acids – as well as a calorie balance or surplus is what is needed. It is better to eat “real” food than supplements. However, protein powder may be a good/cheap alternative if you maybe find it hard to eat after a workout or if you need an on the go snack. So ex. a protein shake and banana after your workout and then eat 1-2 hours when you have your appetite back or can eat a real meal.

Also for vegans, they may be at risk of not getting enough leucin in their diet (if they don’t eat alot of legumes, soya products or other protein sources with all the essential amino acids). So then EAA or BCAA can help compliment and increase the amount of amino acids in your meal. Though of course, eating actual food is recommended first.

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And with other supplements, the supplements that are proven to work are caffeine, creatin, beta-alanin and bicarbonate. I don’t plan to get into the scientifics or doses.

If you an endurance athlete, such as out running or cycling for several hours, then it can be beneficial to consume some energy gels or bars, or some sport drink when you are out exercising. This is because your stored glycogen runs out after around 2 hours, and if you don’t fuel up with glucose then you will most likely have to lower your intensity because your energy sources (i.e fat) can’t fuel the high intensity.

There is alot of hype around protein and working out, but the fact is many neglect the improtant of carbohydrates. Carbs are your main source of fuel and energy… if you want to perform whether it is strength or endurance, you need fuel so that you can perform, and that means eating enough carbs. Filling up your glycogen stores and if oyu are doing long workouts (i.e several hours) then actually eating something carb rich will help reenergize you.

Yes, protein is important but if you eat enough, then protein won’t be a problem. Of course, if you are also trying to lose weight while exercising alot and eating at a calorie deficiency, then you do need a higher protein intake… which in turn will affect how much carbs and fat you can eat, and you will most likely notice that you can’t perform at the same intensity as before because you are eating less calories and less carbs.

As i mentioned in the beginning… this information is mostly towards elite or those who workout alot or maybe just want to try to optimize their performance. Of course, there is still alot more information i could add such as water intake, salt intake, antioxidants, carb intake for different sports, carb loading etc but i thought i would just try to make this post simple and not give away all my information for free hahah.

I share this information because i love learning and want to share my information with others… but don’t forget that i am taking a loan for university and can’t give away all my information for free.

For normal people who just want to try to optimize their nutrition in regards to exercise…. try to eat several meals a day, drink enough water, don’t cut down on carbs. No you don’t need supplements. 

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If you like these types of nutrition posts i would love to know 🙂 And if you have any other nutrition related posts you want me to write about! (Though you can check out all my previous nutrition posts HERE and HERE)

Learning about exercise with a past of exercise addiction?

In the past i have made posts answering the question of, studying nutrition when you have a past with an eating disorder, which you can read more about HERE.

But this term i am learning alot more about exercise, infact this whole term is primarily focused on exercise. Which of course is super fun to learn about, and to get a better understanding of exercise and different training programs and what happens in the body etc

However, there has also been a sort of internal conflict of learning about exercise – where we of course learn about the importance of exercising – and also having a personal history and background with exercise addiction.

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In the course we are reminded of how important it is to be active, but also to get in your daily steps as well as to limit the amount of time being sedentary and still. Of course i already know all of this, and also the rational part of my mind reminds me that it is ok to rest, sit, relax and be still. The recommendations are mostly aimed at those who are extremely sedentary and barely get in a any steps – then it can be recommended for them to think about standing, getting up to move and to really try to get in some daily activity.

For those who already are active, i.e walk, have some form of extra activity as a hobby, and are somewhat active, they may not have to think as much about trying to fit in even more exercise. However, it is recommended for everyone to try to get up and move/stretch after atleast 2-3 hours of sitting and being still – not just for your brain and better concentration, but for your whole body – muscles, heart, blood, oxygen flow.

Unfortunately our society is also built on helping people be lazy and inactive. It’s easier to take the elevator than the stairs. It is easier to take the bus than to cycle or walk. Meetings, school, lectures… everything includes sitting. For the majority of people it’s not easy to do their work while being active – you need to sit infront of a computer or sit and study or sit and take notes in a lecture. It is weird if you stand up.

The biggest problem in our society is that far too many people are inactive. Far too many people don’t reach the recommended 150min/exercise per week. Far too many people are sedentary their whole day.

However, there is also a small amount of people  who exercise far too much than is healthy. People who abuse exercise and overexercise. This is also a problem.

And one of the big problems is that the exercise recommendations and guidelines – the fear of being inactive and the negative health consequences of not exercising – is only being taken in by those who are already active. Whereas those who need to follow the recommendations don’t actually listen to the recommendations.

I can personally say – and this is why i am writing this post – is that it is hard to not want to begin exercising alot more than i am already doing. To begin doing 2 workouts a day. To try to walk more than 10 000 steps a day. To stand and be more active. Slight feelings and thoughts of “not doing enough, not being active enough”. And it doesn’t help that i have already cut down alot on my exercise recently due to lack of time and lack of motivation, so i am already feeling like what i am doing is inadequate and so little compared to what i used to once do. And then to be reminded of that more exercise i better (to a certain extent.)

Also the reminder of how bad being sedentary and being still is, is something that is really getting to me. During my type of exercise addiction, i was so incredibly scared to sit down and would stand (or be active) pretty much all the hours that i was awake. And i would even limit my sleep so that i wasn’t still while sleeping (not to mention i thought i wasn’t burning enough calories while sleeping) – that’s how bad it got for me. So to be reminded that being still – and sedentary isn’t good – is slightly bothering me.

Of course, the rational part of my brain reminds me that daily activity and going to the gym/running a few times a week is ENOUGH for health. And the recommended is 150min a week, i.e c.a 30 minutes moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week (as well as daily movement such as walking, taking stairs etc).

Why am i writing this post… well to be honest and to share my thoughts. I do find it slightly triggering in some sense – not triggering enough to affect me negatively, but it does get me thinking and feeling slightly inadequate with my exercise. And i am writing this, so that maybe if YOU are in a sensitive place or have/do struggle with exercise addiction, then maybe learning about exercise or training to be a PT or something isn’t the best thing to do. Not until you are in a better place mentally anyway.

I know personally that if i had started studying nutrition while still sick in my eating disorder – it would have been done for the wrong reasons. As well as been incredibly triggering, whereas now i am not triggered by learning about nutrition or how food is digested and absorbed. And neither am i triggered by testing different diets, counting calories or making meal plans for others.

I do also want to mention that in my course i am currently tracking my steps for 2 weeks, and i don’t find this triggering. But that is because i already have a step counter on my phone so i already know my average step count – but i do think it could be very triggering for someone who has had a past with exercise addiction/obsession with exercise.

Learning about exercise and exercise physiology and nutrition is very interesting, and a great compliment to all the nutrition knowledge i have. Because exercise and nutrition usually go hand in hand. And i am going to remind myself that i am doing enough exercise to be healthy and don’t need to do more or stress myself to do more when i already have so much else going on in my life.

I would love to know what others think about this, or if you have been in the same experience/situation 🙂

(Also, please don’t interpret this as i am sick/falling into old behaviours – it is just me sharing my thoughts and maybe able to help others!)

 

Posts about exercise addiction:

The importance of rest and my exercise addiction

Recent thoughts : Eating enough/energy dips, exercise planning &nutrition

After four hectic days of school and work – and with 2 days of trying to rest and be productive, i felt it was time to update my blog!

All these posts i have been meaning to write, but there just isn’t the time for it with everything else going on in my life and in my mind right now!

But that brings me to my first thought/topic i wanted to share. I did write a little about this on my IG one day, and that was “eating enough while working” (or studying/just living life!). The thing to remember is that food = fuel, and if you aren’t eating enough, no amount of caffeine is going to give you that energy you need.

While i was working one day i began to have this real energy dip. The tiredness hit me hard, i still had half of my workshift left and i just felt like saying “no,no,no, i want to go home.” But then after a few more minutes of work i realised that i just needed to take a break, i had been moving and up on my feet for 5 hours already and all i needed was to sit down. So i took my break, sat down and ate an early lunch and after 30 minutes my energy was back on top. Back to motivated and a hardworker and no problem with the remaining hours of my workshift.

 

^^I was so tired in the left picture, haha (Before and after food, hahah)^^

And it is not just work, but when studying as well. After a few hours of studying my brain power and focus begins to decline and i feel like i will never get the work done or everything just feels “too much” and i feel tired. But then i take a pause, get some fresh air, eat a snack, drink some water and after a while i am back to focused and productive again!

Food is fuel and is key if you want to be productive!! Don’t skip food – even if you are super busy, have a quick on the go snack with you. Even just a banana or a handful of trail mix will help you when you energy is declining. And whether you have a busy/active job or if you have a desk job or just sitting studying, you still need to fuel yourself! Your brain uses alot of energy when studying, so even if you aren’t active your body still needs fuel! I can say from personal experience, both working when not eating enough/not having time for breaks & food/studying and not eating enough – and it makes such a difference to fuel yourself properly!

Of course i should note that somedays no amount of food is going to increase your energy levels and all you really need is rest and a break. Forcing yourself to study or work when exhausted is not a good idea and then the best thing is to take a break, rest and sleep if possible!

 

And then onto my second thought i have wanted to share!

So at the moment i am studying two courses, and one of them is about exercise/exercise planning. (And at the end of the term i will study more about exercise nutrition and stress etc). In this course we do talk a bit about exercise nutrition – but more about the physiology behind it. I have already studied fysiology, biochemistry etc so learning about the metabolism and energy systems isn’t new to me. But when you connect it with the physiology behind training – all different types of training – it is so interested to learn more about how the body uses different fuel and energy sources and why. Such as which energy source is used for HIIT, long distance, strength training, running etc

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I am loving learning more about exercise planning as well. I may workout, but i really don’t know much about exercise or exercise planning. Or well i do. I have read and heard about different exercise plans and how you structure up an exercise routine to reach results, but i have never personally tested one myself. I am the type of person who goes to the gym and does what i feel like at the moment and never really pushes myself 100% (unless it is running.). That is of course why i never really reach any results haha – i don’t have the motivation to push myself as hard as it requires. Instead i workout and enjoy it and that is enough for me.

But i do find it inspirational to learn more – and to put the information to use. The course is rather targeted at people who want to be exercise coaches or people who want to work with elite athletes – so for a normal exerciser, some of the training plans aren’t relevant or needed. Of course the plans and structure still work, just in lower doses!

What i love is that the teacher is really pressing on the topic that rest and the right fuel is key for athletes who want to succeed. So many athletes push themselves far too hard and never really recover, instead they just keep working hard and don’t take the time to rest physically and mentally. It is infact when you rest that your body and mind reenergizes and you come back stronger – and at times, even more motivated.

But also that eating right is key to success. Those that don’t eat the right energy and nutrients aren’t giving themselves the best conditions to succeed, and infact it can hinder their recovery time and even how hard/often they can workout if they don’t eat enough (and especially carbohydrates!).

Of course, for a normal exerciser who just works out 2-3 times a week – like a regular person, they will get the rest they need and eat enough fuel. But for people who are working out hard 6-7+ times a week, then they should really prioritize a period of rest and make sure to get enough sleep and food each day to recover properly!

By the end of this term i am hoping to be alot more knowledgable within exercise and exercise nutrition. Even if i don’t plan on writing exercise plans or being a sports coach, i hope that i can use the information and implement it with my health coaching or when working with others. It is good to finally have better information and understanding of exercise and not just “i have tried this and this worked and that didn’t work”!

A very long post… but i know that many like reading about what i learn in school! And when i haven’t blogged in days it all comes spilling out at once!

 

 

Working out in the morning fasted or in the evening fueled up?

I know I have touched on this subject before, but I wanted to write about it again. Working out… when is the optimal time?

Working out in the morning fasted or later on in the evening after eating several meals?

To start off, I am the type of person who likes to work out in the morning and most often fasted i.e before breakfast. This is something I have done for several years so I am used to it as well as it suits my lifestyle. I.e I wake up, drink some coffee, do some online work and then go to the gym, workout and start my day. And then I’ll be in school studying or in lectures until 3-5pm and then home to meal prep and by then I am so tired so I just wna tot lie in bed….. so working out in the morning suits my lifestyle. But recently I have instead been working out in the evening… for numerous reasons. Either I have had 8am lectures which I have needed to go to, or I have felt too stressed with school work so have just wanted to start at once so haven’t prioritized the gym in the morning or I just didn’t have the energy or motivation to workout in the morning… then instead later in the day I will feel energetic and motivated and want to go to the gym. And I must say… it is a huge difference working out in the evening after having eaten 2-3 meals before hand. I feel more energetic and like I can keep working out…. I do admit, the sun and warmth makes a difference as well. During the winter when it is dark and grey the last thing I want to do is leave the house in the afternoon and feel far less energetic.

The one problem with working out in the evening is that it doesn’t always happen… i.e I know that if I workout in the morning I 1) am filled with energy for the day/morning& feel more focused, 2) My workout is done for the day and I know that I can do whatever for the rest of the day i.e if I decide to go out with friends or do other things I don’t have to prioritize the gym, 3) Stomach ache won’t prvent me from going to the gym…. You know sometimes after eating several meals the bloat kicks in or I eat something that gives me a stomach ache and then I can’t workout, so working out in the morning also means that it is done and if anything comes up throughout the day such as stomach pain or extra school work it won’t affect my workout.

So… when is the best time to workout? When you can fit it into your lifestyle. Whether it is 30 minutes on your lunch break or 45 minutes while watching tv in the evening or in the morning before you begin work or school.

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The best is to eat something before hand so that you have energy for your workout. Or if you workout fasted in the morning then make sure to eat a big meal the night before so that that energy will fuel you during your workout the following morning.

And no, fasted cardio is not better or better for fatloss than non fasted cardio. You still burn the same amount of energy and even if your body uses more “fat” when doing fasted cardio, it will not make fatloss higher the rest of the day or over a longer period of time, because once you eat carbohydrates you body will use that glucose for energy i.e burn glucose.

It is like when people say “eat fat to burn fat”… basically if you eat a lot of fat, your body will use that fat you ate for energy… so it is not your fat stores, but it is the fat you eat that you burn making you technically burn more fat, but just the fat from the food. If this makes sense.  I.e eat a lot of carbs and your body will use a lot of glucose, eat a lot of fat and your body will mostly use the fatty acids for energy.

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What about which workout form to do? Well the best form is the exercise you enjoy. However I would recommend everyone to do some form of resistance training or strength training because having strong muscles is so important, especially the older you get. Not only will it make you stronger it can also help with posture and if you fall when you are older you are less likely to injure yourself because you have muscles that can support you. So even if you can only do body weight exercises that is still great and a way to work your muscles and build strength!

If you have any more questions about this topic, don’t be scared to ask 🙂