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It’s important to understand the WHY of everything we do when it comes to health and fitness.

Written by Mike




Why do we do cardio?

  • The results you get from cardio are directly related to the heart rate during the session.

  • Determine your max HR and use this chart to adjust your heart rate to meet your goals.


  • Find your max HR -- The easy up-to-date equation is 220 - (0.7 x age) ; The unconventional way is to push yourself to 100% capacity. Usually I like to do this by using the treadmill on incline.

  • We do cardio to accomplish a specific goal, but any kind of cardiovascular training will improve your heart health, burn some calories, and increase your overall well-being.


Why do we train?

  • We all have different goals around the training, but the common theme is to achieve a better body composition and a better health. So let’s talk about what training actually does.

  • Resistance training is more effective than cardiovascular training. Simply because it has great metabolic benefits.

  • People tend to look at their apple watch or Fitbit to see how much they burned during a workout, but they don’t think about the 1-2 hours after resistance training when the body is still burning at an accelerated rate.

  • More muscle = more demand for calories = higher maintenance calories = improved metabolism

  • Strength, performance, and body composition are the three main goals that people pursue when they incorporate resistance training. Weight training increases your bone density, prevents injury, improves overall health and well-being, and reduces body fat (if all other variables stay the same).


Why do we stretch after a workout?

  • The muscle spindle and the Golgi tendon are the two receptors that work together to regular muscle stiffness. They respond to the central nervous system to prevent over-stretching and over-contracting.

  • The muscle fiber contracts over and over during resistance training. This causes the muscle fibers to shorten. Even after the workout, when the lactic acid and blood flow has left the muscle, the fiber is still shortened.

  • Stretching lengthens the muscle fiber, stimulates the antagonist receptors (Golgi tendons), and improves the range of motion for that muscle. If you neglect stretching, you will ultimately be compromising your ability to maintain optimal training levels.


Why do we have to change our eating habits?

  • Abs are made in the kitchen. Most people have heard a ratio of what controls body composition. 70% Nutrition, 30% Training, or 80% Nutrition, 20% Training… The percentage is vague and doesn’t really matter. We know that nutrition plays a bigger role in health and aesthetics.

  • You are what you eat. Odds are... if you eat like shit, you look like shit and you feel like shit. This is the blunt way to put it. Hiring a trainer or coach may give you an improved level of accountability and guidance, but they do not do the work for you. If what you’ve done up to this point is not working for you, then you need to change it.

  • Heart health, hormones, cholesterol… they are all impacted by food. Whole food is always going to trump processed food. Calories need to be in a deficit to lose weight, and in a surplus to gain weight. If you combine the proper calorie amount with the high food quality, you have the perfect diet.


Psychology

“The mind is a fertile garden – it will grow anything you wish to plant – beautiful flowers or weeds. And it is with successful, healthy thoughts or negative ones that will, like weeds, strangle and crowd the others. Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind, for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”

Bruce Lee


Why do we have to change our mindset?

  • If you’re going to follow old behaviors, you’re likely to remain the same person in your fitness journey.

  • Learn to create positive associations with things that you may have had negative associations with before.

  • Remind yourself that this is what you chose. Don’t forget there are quadriplegics who can’t walk, and there are starving people who can’t meal prep. Not only do we get the privilege of training, we have nearly an unlimited variety of food to choose from. It is bizarre to think we are complaining about not wanting to do cardio and eat clean food while others are just trying to get enough food to survive.

Our mindset has everything to do with reaching our goal. If we give up easily in life, we will give up when we are too hungry. If you stop your set every time you feel a burn, you won’t build muscle. Adapting is something that’s prevalent in life, in the gym, and in the kitchen.

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Great article, Mike!

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