Physical fitness

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New TrainRite Logbook feature: Pre-planning Workout Guide!

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Hi all! I wanted to bring your attention to an exciting new feature that will ship with every TrainRite Logbook order!

The TrainRite Workout Guide  allows you to pre-plan a rotating 2 week fitness routine. This is a great addition to the logbook in the sense that you'll fill out the chart well in advance, so when you show up to the gym you've already done the hard work and know exactly what you're working that session.

I do this myself, and has been a critical step in creating well rounded workouts and meeting my goals. I've received an overwhelming request for this feature from current TrainRite users that I've shown my chart to. I rarely repeat exercises over my 2 week rotation, so my pre-planned routine can actually outlast my 90 day TrainRite Logbook.

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Top 3 reasons to pre-plan your routine with the TrainRite Workout Guide?

1. Saves you time. By spending the time and doing the  hard work upfront, you're never scrambling to dream up your workout while on the way to the gym.

2. Forces you to take a step back and get a birds-eye view of how effective your workouts are. You'll see which muscle groups you're overlooking, or overworking, and help you gear your workout routines to meet your goal

3. Expands your horizons. You'll take more time researching new exercises and training techniques while you fill out your guide. The more variations of exercises and techniques you use, the less "routine" it will actually be!

How do I use it?

1. Choose up to 6 days per week, and fill out the top row of the chart for each week. I workout Monday through Saturday, with Sunday's off for rest - so I'd fill out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so on to Saturday.

2. Then under each day, choose the musclegroup(s) you're going to target. A few examples from my own guide are Fridays I workout Legs/Shoulders and Saturdays I hit my Back/Core.

3. Now just fill out the exercises you're going to complete and the SETSxREPS of each. Over the two week rotation you can use the same days for similar muscle groups, but try to choose different variations of exercises to work those groups. This will help you build muscle and prevent you from getting bored with your workouts. The more variations, the longer you can keep using this same routine. And don't forget to choose additional rest days!

4. Peel off the backing and stick it to the inside the plastic backing of your TrainRite Logbook.

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Where do I get one?

When you order any TrainRite Logbook, you'll automatically be shipped one.  http://trainrite.ca/products/

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Meal Planning

Breakfast showdown: Cottage Cheese vs Plain Yogurt

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Most mornings when I’m short on time I reach for cottage cheese for breaky. Low in sugar and carbs, high in protein – it keeps me full throughout the day. Slice up some fresh fruit, or go the savory route with chopped onion, red pepper, celery and black pepper – it’s extremely versatile and takes me about a minute to prep. But this morning I was out. Being far too lazy and short on time for a grocery run, I found some plain yogurt and went for it. It was delicious! Better than my usual cottage cheese and fruit breakfast I’ve been eating for years. So I thought to myself, what really is the difference between the two?

Here’s a comparison of Nordica 2% Cottage Cheese and Astro Original 2% Plain Yogurt per half cup.

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I didn’t choose these brands for any particular reason, but most plain versions tend have similar nutritional values anyways.

Calories Yogurt is slight lower in calories than the cottage cheese (40kcal less, 36% lower). So if you’re strictly counting calories, yogurt can be your friend.

Protein Cottage cheese wins this one, and by a long shot (9g more, almost 300%). A few years ago I opted for a low carbohydrate focused breakfast to a high protein one. That’s why I started eating cottage cheese in the first place. I always found I was starving at work within a few hour of eating cereal, toast etc. Most mornings I work out before eating breakfast so that blast of protein afterwards is great. Plus I still replenish carbs with the fresh fruit I add.

Fat They’re both the same. You chose them at 2%. :P

Carbohydrates Surprisingly they’re both the same. I’ve seen some versions of plain yogurt that have significantly more carbs via sugars, but the Astro brand seems to be a good choice.

Taste I really liked the yogurt better. This may be because I’ve been eating cottage cheese for years straight, and the change up is nice. Both have very different textures, and different flavor. I’m leaning towards the yogurt!

Conclusion: I was honestly expecting to heavily favour the cottage cheese. I assumed the two would vary quite a bit and always thought yogurt was higher in sugars and carbs, so this is a pleasant surprise. I’ll definitely keep both in my morning routine. Keep in mind this is PLAIN yogurt, once you get into the Vanilla and other flavors expect lots of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. If you add chopped fruits, you really shouldn’t need the flavored version anyway.

There are obviously other factors involved in making the right choice for you – some yogurts have higher calcium, lower sodium and Greek yogurt will have more protein. Yogurt also has bacterial cultures with proven benefits for your immune system and so on. For me, I’m more worried about excess sugars, and getting that higher protein content. I’m not afraid of fat either, and it can be your friend - although calorie dense. So unless you’re concerned about higher calories, go the yogurt route. If protein is what you’re looking for, go for cottage cheese. Otherwise – either are a great addition to your morning.

Which of the two do you favor? Or am I the only one who thinks this much about breaky?

Thanks for reading, Matt for TrainRite

 

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

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Exercise

New Chest Variation: Neck Press

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I just added this bench press variation into my workout routine: the Neck Press If you're like me who constantly has a tight chest, you will FEEL this exercise - and feel it quickly. This is not an ego boosting, heavy-as-you-can-go movement: GO LIGHT to start. Trust me, you'll feel it. I use this exercise before I do my regular sets of bench presses.

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Take your basic bench press, but slide you body down low on the flat bench to allow you to lower the bar over your neck, rather than your chest. Bring the bar down slow, just until it touches your neck, pause, and bring the bar back up to your starting position.

Try this chest routine:

3x12 Neck Press superset with Pushups to exhaustion (no rest between) 3x12 Bench Press (superset with another muscle group) 3x12 Smith Press (superset with another muscle group) 3x12 Flat Bench Cable Flyes (superset with another muscle group) **I always try to superset with another muscle group to maximize a workout

Now tell me you don't feel that? You won't be able to lift the same weight after the Neck Press x Pushups, but still try to safely lift heavy sets to finish the workout. Keep your rest times short as you can.

Happy lifting

Matt for TrainRite

 

Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

What I DID Wednesday

So a friend of mine so politely suggested that maybe I should post more often. I like hearing suggestions from fellow readers and anyone really, so I figured I could start today. I’ve been asked this question fairly often, and this was actually her suggestion to me: What does your typical day look like as far as exercise and meals go? Well my dinner tonight isn’t really typical - I’m expecting to eat as many wings and drink as much beer as I can handle on a “school night”- but the rest really is. On a typical weeknight for dinner I’ll more than likely have some sort of meat (lean steak, chicken breast/thigh, salmon etc.) with salad, steam veg or similar.

Portion control isn’t really my strong suit, so I try to eat before 6:30pm so I don’t feel so full for the early morning workouts.

5:30am Workout: Glutes, Chest, Core (all superset)

Barbell Step-ups – 110lbs x   20, 17, 16 (these are the worst) Pec Fly Machine – 190lbs x 12, 12 ,12

Glute Kickback Machine – 170lbs x 12, 12, 12 each leg Incline Dumbbell Press – 2x70lbs x 10, 10, 9

Barbell Hip Thrust - 185lbs x 12, 12, 12 (looks so suggestive…) Cable Press - 110lbs x 12, 12, 12

Leg Raise with Dumbbell - 25lbs x 12, 12, 12 Torso Twist Machine - 190lbs x 15, 15, 15 each side

Horizontal Sit-up - 45lbs x 12, 12, 12 Sitting Oblique Twist (with Plate) - 25lbs x 25, 25, 25

Finished it off with a 5K run! Now I’m ready for Wing Night!

FOOD:

Before Workout (5:15am) – 5g BCAA, 1 scoop protein powder

Post Workout (7:00am) ­– 5g BCAA, 1 scoop protein powder

Breakfast (7:30am) – Overnight Oats

Snack (10am) – Broccoli & cauliflower

Lunch (12:30pm) – Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps (I made tons - I'm eating this all week)

Snack (2pm) – Hardboiled egg & Tandoori Masala Roasted Chickpeas

Dinner (6pm) – Wing night…. So wings and beer! (lots)

Exercise, Meal Planning

A note on being “Healthy”

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I found this great article written by Michelle Armstrong of The Oakville Nutritionist describing how it’s in our nature to make excuses for things we consider to be hard today in modern life. Take a look – it’s definitely a worthwhile read. Excuses are something I've always struggled with; the whole “I’ll just start tomorrow” excuse kept me smoking for much longer than I should have.

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When it comes to your own health and fitness, being “healthy” isn’t really that much work. Why do people think you have to be fanatic and eat only the most tiny, bland meals to be “healthy”? We all know we can’t just sit on our asses all day, that’s unhealthy. Our bodies are designed to be active, not sit in a chair all day (as I am currently doing). We’re not designed for a five-dolla-footlong for the majority of our meals either, much to the chagrin of my office cohorts.

I know everyone is sick of hearing about health and fitness fads and diets, I know I am. I’ve also been on the receiving end of many eye-rolls when I’ve spoken about my fitness regimen to friends and family too, haha. But really, if we all know it’s a necessary part of life, why the hell do we make it seem so complicated?

My basic rules:

-          Get moving. You don’t have to be a gym rat. Just get your heart rate up each and everyday

-          Make your own and eat a variety of foods. Leave the boxed processed foods for rare occasions and of course keep portions in check.

-          Manage your stress. Spend time doing things that make you feel good! I like building things J

Here are my reasons for leading an active life-style:

There’s just one – It just makes me feel good. You’ll never see me smile as wide as when I’m playing hockey, in a good groove running or at the gym, mountain biking, and so on. It’s a sort of therapy for me; it must be all of the endorphins. That’s why I do it. So why is that a bad thing? It also really makes me appreciate those nights when I do go out for wings with the boys, or have a day where I just lay around. See – the reasons aren’t complete vanity, haha.

 PS - don't smoke

Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

2 MONTH SHRED CHALLENGE: WEEK 1 COMPLETE

Just a quick update (full results here): Well, after one week I don't expect to see much of a change, so here's a quick summary.

I followed my workout plan down to a tee, and did 3x5Km runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Friday, you’ll notice, is also leg day for me… causing the run to be a little on the slow side (poor hammys!).

At mealtime I did fairly well too – adjusted to the side-plate portion size and tried to avoid just piling high instead. This needs work haha. Luckily much of my meals have been veg and chicken so I don't feel so bad. Here's another example: shallot, mushroom, and herb scrambled eggs with tomato and avocado. So good.

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Saturday Cheats: glass of Red, and mom’s Rhubarb pie. Def worth it!

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Adjustments: I don’t think I felt anything need fine tuning quite yet. I may not run on Friday’s and shift the days to Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday… it’s really awkward to run right after a leg workout!

Results: I’m not expecting any real results photos-wise, but my weight did drop. This is NOT a typical drop, likely due to me cramming as much dirty food in my face as I could right before I embarked on this journey!

Starting Weight: 176.2lbs

Week end: 171.8lbs

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Meal Planning

Meal planning for tomorrow: savoury cottage cheese

Meal planning for tomorrow: savoury cottage cheese I have cottage cheese for breakfast most mornings after the gym. It's quick to prepare, I personally love the taste and it's a great protein. It'll easily keep me full until lunch. My standby combo is cottage cheese and fruit... and I was really surprised to find out that most people eat it as a savoury dish, and even cringe when I mention anything sweet with it! Anyways, I had to try the savoury version and I've kept this extremely quick version in my rotation about once a week. Anyone else have an old standby for cottage cheese?

As always I'll post the recipe under my "food!" section, but this one's so short I'll also post it below:

*single serving

Ingredients

1/2 cup cottage cheese 1 tablespoons yellow onion, chopped 1/4 cup chopped red and yellow peppers 1/4 cup grape tomatoes, quartered salt and pepper

Directions

mix all ingredients together dash of salt and pepper to taste

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

Your Workout "Routine"

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We've all heard that in order to get the most out of your workouts, they should be anything but 'routine'. Varying your workouts by trying  new exercises, varying sets and reps, increasing and decreasing rest periods and intensity are all great was to do this. So what if you're like me? Lack of time to research, plan and tweak new workout sessions used to be my largest hurdle for making new strides in personal fitness. So I wanted to share exactly how I do accomplish this, and I think it's worth a look for anyone who feels like they're own workouts are getting stagnant. Yeah, you know who you are... doing the same routines daily for months isn't working. I did that for almost two years with no results or reward.  I want to state up front that there are a myriad of ways to effectively train your body and create an effective workout. This is just one way I've found to be effective for myself.

First things first, I'm at the gym by 6am to get my training in before work. I'm in no shape to be dreaming up new routines. So yes, in order to follow what I'm going to tell you here you will need to put in some hours on a Sunday or a slow day to plan ahead. What I do is I plan workouts on a two week rotation. I go to the gym usually 6 days a week. So basically up front you'll plan 12 days of workouts (6 days x 2 weeks). Now if you go to the gym 3 or 4 days a week you only have to plan 6-8 days worth. The key is to I rotate through this routine for up to three months - and probably even longer. If you do a great job of researching new exercises and don't repeat any, you'll only really be doing the same exercise twice a month! Sounds like it's worth a day or two or up front planning right?

The picture I posted is my current workout routine - and due to an injury I haven't really been able complete it a month straight - but I'll post any updates in how effect it is over the next few months. I should note as well that I do some outdoor runs around 3 times a week on top of this (hence the early morning workout sessions). I choose 2 muscle groups per session, 5 exercises each. The sets and reps vary.

I know I'm shorting you on some of the details - if you want to know more about my regimen, please comment below!

Self promotion alert: This workout will perfectly align itself with a TrainRite logbook. Get one, try it out. I can't stress enough how taking the time to plan out your fitness activities has been the key to my own results.

Get your logbooks here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TrainRite

www.trainrite.ca

admin@trainrite.ca

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