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Training when sick

training when sick

We all know that when you are under the weather, have a fever and generally feel sick/lack energy its best to take a rest from training. But how can you keep active whilst carrying the flu?

Here are my top 4 tips!

1. Stay away from the gym – touching weights, adjusting the speed on the treadmill and talking to other gym rats can spread the flu and more importantly if nothing has been wiped down (which more than likely it hasn’t), you won’t get better. Solution – train indoors at home where its warm, you can wear a few more layers and be a dag in your pjs relaxing to some yoga.

2. Drop the intensity – as an ammeter boxer, training intensity is never anything short of BLOODY HARD. Over the past 2 weeks I have dropped my weights by 50%, completing fewer reps and taking longer rest time between intervals. I have also dropped my cardio days as my lungs were unable to cope with the pressure/intensity thrown at them. Have I stopped? Not 100% I have taken it slower, but…read next point.

3. TAKE REST DAYS (YES there is a plural for a reason) – one of the reasons I got so sick was I trained for 6 days without a rest. This was not intentional, but after having sat down with my diary in front of me, I realised that with netball, touch, boxing, running and weights I hadn’t actually had a proper rest. Following this, I took a solid 3 days of rest, focused on my nutrition and slept like a baby…much deserved.

4. Listen to what your body is saying – I may cop some flack from this point, but if your program is high intensity, like mine you MAY simply need a break from all the stress placed on the body e.g. trying some yoga, meditation or thai chi. You MAY not need full days of rest. On the other hand, if your ill in bed and coughing up a storm, best to curl up with a cup of tea and continue the marathon of Orange is the New Black which you started a few days ago.

Take care of yourselves and listen – your health is your MOST important asset

Laura x

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HIIT – possibly the best workout…EVER!!!

Find it hard to fit in a session at the gym?
Want to improve your aerobic fitness?
Find it a challenge to lose stubborn fat?
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REMEMBER THIS ACRONYM: HITT (High Intensity Interval Training)

What is it?
Basically, it is short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with a rest period of lesser value e.g. 2:1 ratio where work is 30 seconds and rest is 15 seconds. A well known type of HIIT is tabata – 20:10 ratio with 8 rounds leading to a total of 4 minutes.

Who can do it?
Absolutely anyone! There are always modifications to exercises and starting at the very basic will not only reduce risk of injury but enable a client to work on their technique (100% necessary)

Why should you try it?
I could rant on here about the various reasons why I love HIIT training but what it does to your body will literally change your life.

  • improves aerobic capacity – even these short sessions are scientifically proven to improve the capacity of an endurance athlete
  • improves glucose metabolism and fat burning
  • improves energy and neural drive
  • only takes a few minutes to complete (good for those who are time poor)
  • doesn’t need to be done in a gym – always use body weight when starting out (improves technique and eases you into activity especially if you are only starting)
  • never boring – you can vary your work out every time and always experience something different

The science:

Studies have shown that 2.5 hours of HIIT produce similar biochemical muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training. What’s even more interesting is that the endurance performance benefits are on par. Even though the duration lasts between 4-30 minutes, what studies are starting to show is that the RMR (resting metabolic rate) or someone who has conducted HIIT increases 24 hours post exercise. Moreover, for those athletes who are interested in increasing their VO2 max, HIIT also does wonders for that too and more effectively than traditional aerobic workouts or circuit training.

It is a known fact that when doing long bouts of aerobic exercise (more than 30 minutes), we use our glycogen stores (carbohydrate), then fat followed by protein for energy. What HIIT training has discovered is that our fat stores are being utilised and this will help increase our RMR. Not only great for fat loss, but helps to improve insulin resistance and helps with muscle retention. It is said that HIIT uses up to 80% of our muscles whilst running or traditional aerobic exercises use less than half of that!

Example exercises:

  1. Burpies
  2. Squats – sumo, pike, below parallel etc…
  3. Push-ups
  4. Boxing – try to avoid hooks, puts too much pressure on the spine and form gets lost with increased pace
  5. Jumping lunges
  6. MUCH MUCH MORE…

I’m not going to lie, it is brutal. It does hurt. It will leave you with DOMs. BUT…it is 100% worth it and to this day I have never met someone who doesn’t secretly love it!

If anyone has any further questions or wants to know more please shoot me an email: laura_majewski@hotmail.com

Yours in health and training,

Laura (LJM Health and Fitness)

https://www.facebook.com/LauraMajewskiSportScientist