As we touched on the food the previous post, few more remarks are worth mentioning. So, basically you realize you do not need to eat 5 times a day or every 3-4 hours to stay progressive and be more productive (you decide how much time you got for eating but do not undereat). Since, you have been getting nutrients right, got totally surprised that, you could really train heavy-intense on empty stomach, early morning and even be progressive like other top athletes who do so.
Food stays pretty much the same. You have no longer any other option left than eating right when on fasting but make it also more fun (decrease the nuts intake add some other nutrients rich foods). You can also add up on extra carbs when building strength and be more active but choose wisely (whole grains my favorite choice or superfoods e.g. sweet potatoes, goji berries). On your plate should always be diary products (brie in salad or feta), grains (preferably whole grains), protein (nuts), vegetable and veggies for the right balance (Nancy Clark, 2014).
In the beginning, when the training was solely for the purpose of being fit and effective, the carbs intake was below 100g and slightly over it after training to store new glycogen in muscles. However, more strenuous workouts (lifting up to 300% of bodyweight unlike 200% in the past) and more active (over 12K steps everyday), now the carbs amount to 200g.
Not a big deal, you know that green veggies and nuts is the key you build on just like the big 5 exercises at gym, so you reduce the quantity of nuts (my case, from 400g to 200g) and spice it up with other quality nutrients you can profit from. Although, I would never compromise on quantities of green veggies (400g a day). There are also days when I keep to old school routine.
We also touched on faster absorption in relation to fasting, well have you tried apple vinegar? It is testosterone boosting machine that also helps you digest the food (usually, during a day to speed up metabolism, not after gym or other physical activity, the metabolism is already sped up on its own).
It is also advised to use vitamin C for optimal absorption of iron, especially when not eating meat or eating nuts (my case, meat 2-3 times a week, small portions preferably home-made to avoid antibiotics). Eat that nuts with banana, raspberries or orange or even goji berries (testosterone boosters) – also tasty combination. You need 8 mg of iron for the right muscle function – “the energy. ”
This is huge, because 200g of beef meets this requirement but only 40% get absorbed which is 4 times more than with veggies and nuts so use C vitamin rich fruits. Women got the same requirement but when on their period, needs 18 mg and when training and getting more active you lose some of it in sweat. So, if someone asks me which supplements are must then, it is good multivitamins and quality fish oil just to make sure you got it all covered up.
The other great argument for switching to more carb rich food is built muscle mass that handles sugars way better. You should also consider supplements or natural herbs to stay in anabolic state to recover faster and perform harder (that for later post). Food is no longer any problem (progress is motivating factor and it is a lifestyle) and also a lot enjoyable so what about the rest?
It has been 7 years of training now, you cannot fake it nor think or act the same. As Shawn Ray once said, “there is no way you can properly recover by training hard and then going out partying all night. ” You make your surrounding revolves around you, otherwise there is no other way – your task is simple get the job done with progress – and it takes more energy and preparation from you.
Luckily, got started with Sport & Health studies, so there is room for constant improvement and more physical activities. As mentioned before, training twice a week and be progressive for years is not a simple task. To do so, you need to move more. Not so intense of course nor long, just so you warm up to improve the blood flow and accelerate the regeneration process – this is also great if you plan it or spend it well (it could be fun or prepare you for the training or competition). When you not move, you not warm your body hurts so rather stay active.
It is also a recommendation from WHO (world health organization) to have at least 10,000 steps everyday – try free app “runtastic” for its confidentiality if you want or need to monitor it.
If you stay more active, you will sleep better and fall asleep faster more often than just on training day which is 2 days in a week. Speaking of active, it would be shame not to stretch when already warm. Stretching does not need to take long. In the beginning we promoted 10 minutes of stretch which could stay so just more often when active. The goal is to work on flexibility, thus prolong the range of motion and increase your maximal strength and avoid any pain in lack of motions.
Now, it got my attention for you need to invest in areas of improvements so you see the link between acquiring more strength and safer more solid progress, especially when expanded to calisthenics which got some gymnastics patterns. You can list through the free ebooks in attachments to set up your stretch plan for your specific purpose or apply the stretching method in the video below. This stretch got me solid results and prevented me from the injuries. It is also very effective for engaging whole body and you do it all in one stretch.
I would also advise some lower back stretch with hang for its efficiency. The lower back suffers a lot of tension during stimulating control in deadlifts, squats and planks that been proven very effective exercises. On top of that, would not forget foam roller that been used for 3 years at least, use it , especially after training session.
If you got some extra bucks (100 USD) or just feel like investing in your health, there is inversion bank that I started to use (mornings, evenings and whenever feel like it) and am really happy about this purchase for I used to hang upside down on high bars this is more comfortable, handy and safer. The one I got is from bionwell you can take a look or check amazon.
The main advantage of inversion banks is release of tension after long day of sitting or walking. Hanging is the best way to fix your spine after any strain or wrong habits that get carried out. Most importantly, it makes you relax for a while which is extremely anabolic. And there is more to it of course.
What needs to be further researched, is the choice of new stretching exercises or methods to increase the flexibility to its maximum so that, more progress in other disciplines but also gym and safer gains could be achieved.
It is going to take time but eventually will get done and next post will be the last on “final stage” where we mention the exercises we perform in effective fitness and its variations, complementary exercises, techniques and other ways for improvement that could be applied. I feel really fired up because what got accomplished is 2x a week training to get you fit, now working towards a complete athlete.
WHO (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity on health. Printed in Switzerland, Geneva.
Dr. Frank-Holger Acker (2018). Ernährung für (Kraft-Sportler). Printed in Germany by Amazon Distribution GmbH, Leipzig
Nancy Clarkova (2014). Sports nutrition guidebook. Human Kinetics, Champaign.