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Monday, January 18, 2016

Awaken The Athlete Benchmarking

Welcome to Week 3 of my blog series and welcome back to those who have been reading along ;)))

This week we move into the benchmarking stage. You can keep it basic or detailed, it's up to you. Whatever will motivate you and keep you interested but not deter you.

I use numbers for markers to tell me about progress, not to judge where I am nor get negative feelings over it. So only use the statistics that you feel good about.

Numbers like calories, macros and nutrition labels, measurements, weight, bodyfat, strength/flexibility/posture/cardio tests are all there and you can do it all or work with a few that fit best with your end goals. Things get more specific to certain details if your goals are specific, such as health issues that need attention, weak areas that need conditioning or athletic improvements.

Some type of stats and assessment is needed. If you want to push past plateaus you want to have these benchmarks to help you learn what is working, what needs changing and keep you motivated as those stats improve. These are informational tools not something to obsess over. If you are going to get nuts over numbers then keep the stats general, basic and minimal. I have clients that will not use the scale or weight and although it is very helpful to me as trainer for a tool, I can work without it if it's going to throw my client off. Ironically I personally do not get thrown by weight or body fat too much even so those who have had eating disorders usually are encouraged not to use the scale. Recovery in clinical settings are usually not weighed. I get thrown off more if I don't have info to work with and like to have those benchmarks. Another point made about everyone does not fall under set standards. Lack of clarity for me is worse than any stats. Know yourself going in (referring to week 1 and 2 of this blog series).

We threw around ideas for the foundation of a workout and eating plan and this week we gather the last bits of info to get the program detailed. Refining the goals happens this week as we get your stats together, some summary of an assessment and finalize the first draft of our plan. It’s a draft because the chances are good you will make small adjustments as you test it out the first week.

I will use measurements although most times I use the mirror to see those changes, when I am pre contest it can be harder to see changes without them and because I am looking for specific increases in specific areas I am going to keep up my norm with tape measured areas, body fat and weight. I am starting underweight when normally its leaning I work on so I am not sure what to expect and going up in weight vs down in body fat is something I had not done repeatedly over the years. I played a bit in the gym the past 2 weeks to see where my body is at with strength, energy, flexibility. Stretched and did splits to see where they are at since I need to be very limber for Fitness routine work. I did squats, testing my pullups and a few tricks. This told me about my strength level and tolerance, especially today with the post workout soreness lol!

Most times you will find if you do this, you're not so much weak to lift but more so need to let the joints and connective tissue ease in. You may feel weak or muscle fatigue faster and easier if you’re a restarter or beginner, that goes away. Take a day or 2 off in between or just do stretch/yoga work or some mild cardio to help get that lactic acid out. The water intake will help and added minerals like magnesium are amazing to kill the post workout soreness. Another I suggest is glutamine to help with muscle repairs which come normally with training. Back to back workouts come quick, you won't need drastic days off in between training days once a week or so goes by. Even the areas you know will bark, due to arthritic conditions for example, will get less bitchy as you are training on the regular.

On a personal note it's great to feel the muscles again, the quads, the training soreness, although I may need to install a bar near the toilet to get up! Just the little bit of play this week, especially the squats showed me my knee really wants this. I was feeling the inner side of my knee, meniscus and lateral collateral when I did a bit of spin or stayed on my feet for long terms but doing the squats eliminated that completely just in a few sets, telling me my knee is going to respond happily to the training I am going to impose the coming weeks. I never did rehab it properly after my second repair in 2014 although it's never too late.

Tomorrow we will do the measurements to get you started off and then Wed we will look at some types of assessments to help you round out your data. Thursday I will show you my detailed program and hoping you will have drawn up something of your own to follow. I will supply some forms that you can follow, print out and use for tracking to guide you.

Friday will give us a summary by using the last bits of info we gather this week, solidifying our goals, commitment and the realistic plan toward achieving them. I suggest that some of you journal or blog your journey if you are the type that thrives from writing and enjoys data. It's also a great way to stay accountable, once you start writing or posting it helps drive the consistency. Nutrition will be more focused through the weeks to come. For now just get more water in you, eat every 2-3 hours making sure there's protein in each meal and that is already an amazing start. It will be easier to get the training going first then we can nitpick at the food part.

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