Pylometrics Workout

Exercise – we all know how it goes, “eat less and move more”. Well that might not be true. Yes exercise has benefits for our health and wellbeing, but it shouldn’t be approached with an expectation that you should be training as hard as a professional athlete.

In fact, short bursts of intense exercises provide better outcomes (in terms of progress, heart health and aesthetics) than long workouts. And, in case you needed more evidence to cut those long workouts, interval training and circuits (like the one below) will save you some precious time.

The pylometric circuit below is centred around 5 exercises that will be completed for one minute each, before moving straight on to the next. Once the 5 minutes of exercises has been completed, a 2-3 minute break is recommended.

However, if you are just starting out, we suggest to only do one round of the circuit (that is, finish after the 5 minutes). If you feel you can do more rounds, be our guest…just make sure you don’t push yourself too much that you can’t sit on the toilet the next day!

PylometricsCircuit

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Meditation and Autoimmune Diseases

Meditation – if you have ever tried it you know it is damn hard to do! In our world today we, and our minds, are constantly on the go, jumping from one thought to another at a rapid pace. But meditation, just like any other habit, gets easier with practice.

As you know, healing our bodies is not a straightforward process. The path to health is filled with both peaks and troughs. There are no miracle pills or silver bullets. Our bodies are extremely complex and problems are more often than not, interconnected, meaning trying to address each layer of an illness can be very complicated and tricky. Because of this, and the long lists of benefits, I incorporate mediation into my wellness plan.

Meditation is beneficial for everyone – not just us suffering from chronic diseases. When we meditate, the information processing activity of our brains changes.

As the pathways in our brains change through meditation, we experience numerous health benefits. These include:

  1. Less Anxiety

As we meditate, the neural pathways in our Morning_Meditation1medial prefrontal cortex (the section related to information about ourselves and our experiences) weaken and those in our assessment centre (the area we rely on for rational thinking) strengthen. Therefore, when we are faced with an experience that would usually trigger a strong reaction, we are able to look at this situation in a more rational way and react in a more appropriate matter.

  1. Better Memory

Meditation can help with improving our rapid memory recall. Through meditation, our brain waves adjust to help blank out distractions, allowing us to focus more on the activity we are doing and rapidly incorporate and remember the experience.

  1. Less Stress

As stress and inflammation go hand in hand, anything that can reduce stress is helpful for anyone suffering from autoimmune diseases. When we meditate the levels of the stress hormone cortisol are reduced, meaning we are not in a constant ‘fight or flight’ mode. This leads to a decrease in our stress levels.

  1. More Grey Matter

Without getting too technical, meditation can lead to larger volumes of grey matter in our hippocampus. I bet you’re thinking ‘wow, grey matter…why should I care about that?’. Well grey matter plays a significant role in our central nervous system. By increasing the volume of this, we can protect our positive neural pathways and prevent the decline of our cognitive abilities.

Guided Meditation

As I mentioned, meditation is difficult, during the day I find it very hard to calm my mind. Because of this, I have been using guided meditation for 2 years to help ease my thoughts.

Guided meditation helps to reduce the noise in my mind and focus on only the recording. The advantage of starting with guided meditation is that you can pop in your headphones and press play where ever you are – I especially like the bus commute as an opportunity to calm my mind and block out the talk of other commuters.

Post Workout Nutrition

So you’ve just completed a really tough workout, now what… It’s time to get your PROTES in!

Post workout nutrition is incredibly important in building muscle. Whilst current literature suggests a post workout meal should consist of fast acting carbs, such as pure glucose/dextrose, concentrated protein and minimal fats, I have actually managed to build muscle with low carb, high protein and moderate fat post workout meals, plus I suffer from Addisonian Sarcopenia (decreased muscle mass as a result of Addison’s disease); so if I can do it, so can you!

postworkoutprotes

But it really just depends on how you feel with carbs as to whether you include them in your post workout meal, and if you feel fine on them, I would recommend sweet potato, yam or berries as your main sources. In terms of protein, I would recommend at least 30g of protein (that’s protein, not food) with a special emphasis on eggs and whey protein isolate which are the most bioavailable sources of BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids trigger important biochemical reactions within the body which assist in protein synthesis (aka they make your muscles get bigger) more than other amino acids.

Literature states it is best to avoid fats in a post workout meal as they slow the digestion of protein, however, fats also increase the bioavailability of protein. This means that although the protein doesn’t repair the muscles quite as quickly with fats present, the muscle actually gets more out of the protein, and therefore has the ability to repair (aka get bigger) more easily.

Additionally, it is equally important that this meal is consumed within 40 minutes of finishing your workout (the ‘anabolic window’) to get the best results from your workout and food.

I generally exercise first thing in the morning and have brekky as my post workout meal. I have listed some possible post workout options for you below:

  • Boiled, skinless chicken breast cooked to within an inch of its life (don’t even think about adding salt to it)

^^^ Jokes Jokes ^^^

Some real options include:

  • 1-2 scoops of whey protein isolate in water/coconut milk with 1Tbs of almond paste (30-40g protein)
  • 3-4 eggs cooked with 50g of ham and 100g of tomato (30-40g of protein)
  • 100-200g of any meat with 100g vegetables (25-50g of protein)
  • 2 eggs cooked with 1 scoop of whey protein isolate, vanilla essence and cinnamon topped with whipped coconut cream to make a sweet omelette (30-40g protein)
  • Vanilla Mug Cake: 2 eggs, 1 scoop of whey protein isolate, 1Tsp coconut flour, vanilla, cinnamon cooked in a low oven for 10 minutes or until puffy (32g protein).
  • 150g ham/turkey slices spread wrapped around slices of 1-2 boiled eggs (30-50g protein)

Exercise Basics

We’ve all been told that in order to lose weight we must eat less and exercise more; so if we want to eat a big piece of cake we can just run it off later and never have to worry about it again! Well that’s just 100% WRONG!!

Just as the food pyramid has lied to us about what we should be eating, exercise guidelines have also been telling us little fibs! Engage in cardio for at least 30-60 minutes per day, strength training should involve isolation exercises, stretching is imperative to good health, blah, blah blah.

Given the obesity and diabeetus (my way of spelling diabetes since I always pronounce it like that) epidemics, exercise has recently been used purely as a weight loss tool, which is not only highly ineffective, but can also create more problems that just make weight loss even harder. I’ve written this post in an attempt to expose why we should and shouldn’t exercise and what the best ways to exercise really are (and no, it’s not running)!

EBasics

If you have read my about me, you would know that I once thought running 3 times per day was a good way to keep healthy. I know, what was I thinking! Not only was I not losing weight (in fact I was gaining weight, particularly around my tummy), I was worsening pre-existing adrenal issues, losing muscle and generally exhausting my body.

After recovering from the acute phase of anorexia, I began to slowly decrease the amount of exercise I was doing, however it wasn’t until 6 months ago that I began to really understand what ‘good’ exercise was. ‘Good’ exercise, in my opinion, is something that you enjoy and engage in for reasons other than weight loss or maintenance. Unlike chocolate, more is not better when it comes to exercise, in fact, you could even say ‘less is more’! I have outlined some exercise essentials below that will hopefully change the way you currently exercise or get you on the right path to start!

  • Firstly, you must find a reason to exercise other than weight loss/maintenance or calorie burning, whether it be to gain mental clarity, get stronger so you can perform everyday tasks with ease or to get some quality ‘you’ time where you can just be with yourself.
  • Exercise for weight loss is highly ineffective as it just stimulates your appetite, leaving you tired and wanting more food. If your goal is to lose weight, you are much better off addressing your diet than exercising more.
  • Exercise should ideally be done first thing in the morning and preferably outside. The exposure to natural light first thing in the morning is best for your circadian rhythm and helps you to wake up without the need for caffeine.
  • Exercise NEEDS to be something you enjoy. If you don’t like running, try a leisurely bike ride or a walk with some happy songs on your Ipod. In summer, try swimming laps at the local pool or yoga as the sun rises.
  • Incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT) into your regime. Throughout the week, I like to do 4 high intensity workouts and 2 leisurely ones. Incorporating HIIT into your exercise could be as simple as doing one of my workouts I have posted here or just doing 10 x 100m sprints.
  • HIIT MUST be limited to 30 minutes in duration, preferably less than 20 minutes. Any more than this stresses the body for too long, contributes to adrenal fatigue, raises cortisol and can even lead to reverse T3 when continued for an extended period of time.
  • Leisurely exercise can be longer than 30 minutes but only if it very low intensity. For example, when I go for a bike ride I am riding so slowly that I can breathe through my nose the whole way (any slower and I’m sure I would topple over)! Another way to ensure you are not pushing yourself too much is to make sure you are able to hold a good conversation with someone without having to stop and puff.
  • It is important to change up your exercise every so often (perhaps every 3-4 weeks) to ensure you are constantly challenging your body. Just like going to work each day to do the same job gets boring, your body gets bored of doing the same exercise day in, day out.
  • I don’t believe in isolation exercises (ie bicep curls) and much prefer compound exercises (exercises that target multiple muscles) such as burpees and deadlifts, hence you will see a lot of these in my workouts.
  • It is important to rest muscle groups for 24-48 hours before using them again, ie I wouldn’t perform a legs workout today and then do it again tomorrow as it just doesn’t leave enough time for the muscle to recover and repair.
  • Exercise doesn’t always have to be structured. If you are struggling with time, you can just try and get in 10,000 steps of walking whilst running errands.
  • Listen to your body! If you don’t feel like exercising, don’t! Our bodies are very good at telling us what they want, and if they want to rest, let them!
  • Keep it mindful. Make sure that whilst you’re exercising you’re thinking about the muscles being used and focusing on good form, rather than swinging like a wild person and thinking about what you’re having for dinner!
  • Post workout nutrition is important. Within 40 minutes of strength training you should consume at least 30g of protein to help your muscles recover.

I hope these tips have helped you to understand what sort of exercise you should be doing. For further assistance, I have listed below an example of what I do most weeks for my exercise. If you require further assistance regarding your exercise or would like a personal plan developed specifically for your goals, email me at healedbybacon@gmail.com and hopefully I will be able to help you out 🙂

Full Body Blast

This workout targets every part of the body through the following compound exercises. The aim of this workout is to perform each of the exercises for 1 minute consecutively. Following the completion of the exercise sequence, a 2-3 minute break is recommended before repeating the next sequence of exercises. This workout requires you to keep an eye on your watch to identify when 1 minute has elapsed and the best gains occur when no breaks are taken during the minute. As with the other workouts, a light 5-10 minute warm up is recommended beforehand.

         Perform each of the exercises for 1 minute in the following orderBurpee

– Burpees

– Push Ups

– Dumbbell Shoulder Press

– Mountain Climbers

– Tricep Dips

– Bicep Curls

– Plank Jacks

– Russian Twists

– Jump Squats

                                            2 – 3 Minute Break

                                                     Repeat

Triceps, Biceps and Abs

Similar to the chest, shoulders and legs plan, this workout is based on the AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible) principle where the main objective is to complete the sequence of exercises as many times as possible until the timer sounds for 12 minutes. A 5-10 minute warm up of light jogging, cycling or walking is recommended prior to starting. To get the best results from these workouts it is best not to stop until the 12 minutes has finished although a quick break may be necessary. A 2-3 minute break is recommended between the first and second 12 minute rounds. Given the sequential structure of the exercises, these workouts should be counted as cardio.

Workout 2: Triceps, Biceps and Abs

TrisBis

Abs

 

Chest, Legs and Shoulders

This workout is based on the AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible) principle where the main objective is to complete the sequence of exercises as many times as possible until the timer sounds for 12 minutes. A 5-10 minute warm up of light jogging, cycling or walking is recommended prior to starting. To get the best results from these workouts it is best not to stop until the 12 minutes has finished although a quick break may be necessary. A 2-3 minute break is recommended between the first and second 12 minute rounds. Given the sequential structure of the exercises, these workouts should be counted as cardio.

Enjoy!

Workout 1: Chest, Shoulders and Legs

CandS Legs1