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Why aren't my muscles growing?

This week, I want to talk about overtraining, undertraining, and how you can have both simultaneously. All three of these cases will frustrate you and can be a big reason you’re training consistently but you’re not seeing muscle growth.

We tend to believe that if some is good, more is better. And that’s just not true when it comes to most things, including exercise. 

I know I’m a broken record with this, but I think it sometimes needs to be said in many different ways for you to understand and let it sink in fully. 

There is a dose-response relationship with exercise. A certain dose will yield positive results, but too little or too much will either do nothing or yield negative results. 

Exercise is medicine, yes. And any medicine can be overdosed and see adverse side effects, or underdosed and see no changes. Exercise is no exception. 

Let’s talk about the signs and symptoms of overtraining, undertraining, and undertraining...

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The Hormone that is holding you back at the Gym

Hormones are incredibly complex, and it's difficult to talk about one hormone without talking about other cascading hormones. Today, I want to break down what cortisol is, what can happen if you have too much of it and how to tell, and my recommendations on how to keep it in check. 

Before we begin, remember that this is not medical advice, and to seek advice from your doctor or functional medicine practitioner if you are having severe issues. This post is for informational purposes only. 

If you feel like you're doing everything right - putting in work at the gym, you're trying to eat less, and still not seeing results - it could be because of cortisol imbalance. Often, too much exercise and too little eating can have the reverse effects that you're hoping for because they can mess with your cortisol and hormonal balance. 

One of my goals, which I hope is evident by my content, is to encourage people to get away from the damaging "grind yourself into the ground if...

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Steady state cardio vs. HIIT: how much of it do you do?

Now that we've covered both HIIT and steady-state cardio, let's go over the main differences between the two.

The difference between steady-state and HIIT is that a HIIT workout is where the individual exerts their max effort , which can't be sustained for a long time. Whereas steady-state cardio is a low-to-moderate effort that can be maintained for a longer period of time.

During HIIT, your heart rate is close to its max, maybe around 160 bpm, depending on who you are, and sustained for a brief amount of time, maybe 15-30 seconds. 

After that brief, intense bout, you recover for a short period of time and repeat. HIIT is pretty brutal, but the good part is, it's brief and time-effective. It has benefits, as I talked about in the last podcast. But it's not for everyone. If you are new to exercise, have cranky joints, hormone imbalances, etc., HIIT might not be your exercise of choice until you get those things under control. 

Additionally, if you HATE that type of...

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Biomechanics: what, why, and how to apply it to your exercise routine

I emphasize the importance of biomechanics all the time, but I've never taken the time to define what it means, why it's important, and how to apply it to your exercise. 

Check out my video I created here that teaches biomechanics for fitness instructors.

What is biomechanics?

 

According to dictionary.com, biomechanics means "the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms." 

 

Let's break that down a little, because there are a few key terms within that definition. 

 

Mechanical laws mean the laws of physics (remember Newton's laws from third grade?) that play into movement under different conditions. Each time you lift a weight, certain laws dictate how heavy it feels and how much "stress" will be applied to your system. This is important because it helps to provide a "framework" using mathematics to determine optimal exercise.

 

A second important term from that definition is the "structure...

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Ending the "No Pain, No Gain" Mindset

Let's End The "No Pain, No Gain" Mentality

 

I'm inspired to write this post because I've worked with many fitness-minded clients who ultimately want to be fit and healthy, but have absorbed a "no pain, no gain" mentality due to messaging from the fitness industry and end up hurting themselves. This is due to "norms" that have been deemed socially acceptable to believe. And I'd like to challenge them. 

 

I want to reiterate that I, too, have been guilty of falling into all of these beliefs, which is why I want to shed light on them. I don't think it's productive to "shame" people or organizations who do believe these things, but I want to share what I have learned throughout my fitness and physical therapy experiences.

 

So let's get to it and shed some light on these seven harmful beliefs the exercise industry has sold us on:

 

#1: You have to do cardio to be thin or lose fat 

 

This derives from the message that you need to torch hundreds of...

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How to Keep Your Joints Healthy During Quarantine

COVID-19 has caused us to hit the pause button on life, and it has become important to create a new idea of “normal.” This standstill has slowed down a once never-ending flow of activities and has dramatically shifted routines. It's essential to take care of your body in safe ways at this time.

The majority of daily activities are performed forward and backward (sagittal plane) without moving your joints in each direction they were designed to move. These repetitive movement patterns can cause overuse injuries, compensation, muscle imbalances, and even structural changes (ex. poor posture can develop from constantly being hunched over). Smart and intentional movement is crucial during this time. 

The most powerful tool I recommend to my clients is “Motion is Lotion.” However, not all motion is created equal. Check out my 10-minute mobility video that will guide you through safe movement.

  1. Move Your Body During Breaks and...
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