ATHLETIC CONSULTING TRAINING REPORT -
INSIDE THIS ISSUE...
- "Setting Goals:
The Key to your Success!"
- "The Power of Muscle & Your Metabolic
- "Cutting Edge Information for Athletic Performance"
- REVERSE GOAL SETTING
Any day is a great day
for setting goals or making a healthy lifestyle change,
but there is something special about New Year's Day that
brings out the most sincere efforts in everyone. So whether
you are aiming for a reduction in body fat, an increase
in muscle mass, more energy to keep up with everyday life,
or a goal specific to your elite athletic pursuits, start
setting your goals ASAP so that you can get on the road
Goal setting is not a
behavior limited to fitness and working out. It is something
that should be incorporated into almost every aspect of
life, from financial planning to fitness, to networking
and building social contacts. Your fitness goals can be
as simple as promising to learn a new exercise or as specific
as setting out to lose 18 pounds of fat and to gain 6 pounds
Just like when you set
financial goals, you may also want to consider sitting down
with a professional trainer or strength coach to outline
strategies and behaviors that are directly in line with
meeting your fitness and performance goals. A smart trainer
will give you simple and effective solutions to prevent
that awkward stray from your workout program, such as the
importance of keeping a training and nutrition log book.
Also, because people are so often overwhelmed by a vast
number of commitments in life, workouts are often the first
thing to be dropped from their day. Fortunately, there is
another simple solution to this problem, and that is simply
to book your workouts as you would book your daily business
Goal setting is also much
more than a tool to keep you consistent with your training.
It's much more than that. It can be both a rigid plan that
ensures success and a highly motivating technique that offers
continuous rewards as you meet your smaller goals on the
road to your larger primary goal. So how does one goal set
Fortunately, there is a process
called "Reverse Goal Setting" that meets all of the above
descriptions and can help bring your goals to fruition.
Reverse goal setting is stricter and more accurate than
simply setting a long-term goal and hoping that nature takes
its course. One should expect reverse goal setting to lead
to much better results and a more enjoyable process, although
it may mean dealing with a little more pressure.
So how does it work? Well,
first you set your long-term end goal, whether it is fitness-related
or financial. For example, let's say that you want to lose
20 lbs. of fat by the summer. Your first step would be to
identify the exact date that you want to have met that goal
(let's say the holiday weekend in May). Now, instead of
setting goals to work up to that date, you will actually
set a series of smaller goals by working back from the original
date. This way there is no going easy at the start, a trap
that many people often fall into by setting one vague goal
after the other. With this method, you can't afford to delay
because you have rigid deadlines to meet!
Step 2 is to arrange for a
test to determine your level of success in reaching this
goal. In this case, simply arrange for a body composition
test with an experienced professional at the final date
in May. Now comes the more difficult part, and that is setting
smaller goals from May back to January. Given that it is
very manageable to lose one pound of fat per week, your
next-to-last goal will be to have lost ~17 pounds of fat
by the first of May. You should also understand that those
last 3 pounds may be the most difficult to lose, so additional
goals for May could also be to train more consistently than
ever before and to follow a well-devised nutritional plan
as strictly as possible.
Stepping back another month,
you will need to have lost at least 13 pounds of fat by
the first of April. If you don't meet that goal, then you
will seriously have to adjust your training program for
the remainder of the month. Since research has shown that
interval training can result in greater fat loss than continuous
traditional aerobic training, now is the time to become
fully committed to interval fat loss training! Preparing
workout plans far in advance of the training period make
also makes for a very smooth and successful program, so
be sure to plan the final two months at this time.
Now to March, and the end
of a long winter for many, when the opportunity to train
outside will tease you with brief stints of warm weather,
but the days will still be too short to enjoy. You know
from your timeline that 10 pounds of fat should have been
lost since the first of January. And since March is a long
month, you should probably have many different workout plans
available to help overcome any staleness or a lack of motivation
for training. If you haven't already set a mid-program body
composition test or progress check, do so now so that you
will see just how far you have advanced!
And on to February, where
you will have already seen the benefits of the dietary and
exercise changes you made in January. You should have noticed
a large loss of body weight by now, but this month should
be dedicated to ensuring that the weight loss was entirely
fat and that all of your muscle is maintained to help burn
calories. A great way to do so is to make February's goal
to incorporate more resistance training into your weekly
routine. Simple exercises such as squats, deadlifts, rows,
and presses should give you more benefits than any combination
of curls and extensions. Slick and sleek as they may be,
few isolation exercises even come close to the benefits
of these multi-joint exercises. Dedicate 3 to 4 days of
the week to weight training (followed by interval training
or traditional continuous exercise) to help you achieve
a better body composition.
Finally, you come to January,
and your chance to set the first goals that will kick-off
your program. Before you do anything else, take a "before"
picture. No matter what program or nutritional advice you
follow, and no matter what the final result, you can always
take great pride in your transformation. To accompany your
photo, schedule a body composition test with a professional,
or simply take a few measurements at home to satisfy your
You will now begin your program
planning, identifying immediate nutritional and exercise
goals, such as decreasing your sugar and soda intake, and
increasing your energy expenditure. You also know to decrease
your intake of hydrogenated and saturated fats, while increasing
your intake of fats from fish. All of this is outlined in
ISSUE #73. Finally, replace your soda
intake with Green Tea, and greatly increase your intake
of fruits and vegetables. It's a very simple dietary turnaround
that is the first major step to help you reach your goal.
And now that you've set a
deadline, you need to implement a fitness plan. Consult
a professional or a magazine that will lead you down the
right path. For men, check out the experts at Men's Health
For ladies, the experts at Oxygen magazine will fit the
bill. Another great resource is the GET LEAN program (www.cbathletics.com/whatsnew_getlean.htm)
because it maps out your training for several months and
your daily nutrition. Make one of your original goals to
be consistency! Follow your training and nutritional outline
and your goals will be reached faster than ever!
But once you set that big
goal, you must be 100% committed to reaching it! Setting
down smaller concrete steps will outline your path to success
in such a detailed manner that there will be no room for
failure. By knowing where you have to be at each specific
date, you can make the necessary nutritional and training
changes to the program.
For athletes, let goal
setting take the place of informal questions. Don't just
dream of being somewhere in 4 years! Put the steps down
on paper and the deadlines as well (i.e. if you want to
be a pro in 4 years, what level will you need to play at
in 3 years from now? 2 years from now?). Determine the long-term
goals first and then move down to the specific skill or
physical attribute that you need to improve this year and
next. Goal setting is your road map to reaching your dreams.
- THE POWER OF MUSCLE & YOUR METABOLIC RATE!
Q: "How much energy does
fat burn? My trainer says that lean tissue burns more calories,
and therefore I should weight train to help me lose weight.
I thought that would just make me gain weight. Please help!"
trainer makes a great argument. First off, fat does not
burn a lot of calories, but muscle does, so you want to
increase your muscle mass. According to Mike Zappetelli,
CSCS, a great trainer, massage therapist, and ART specialist
down in Niagara Falls, Ontario, "Lean muscle tissue is our
working engine, therefore, the more you have the more calories
you burn. If you have a lot of fat and very little lean
mass, then you won't burn a lot of extra calories at rest."
Mike uses the analogy of the
car (check out his other great "body fat analogy" at (ISSUE
#49). "When you weight train, you increase your lean
mass...like taking a four cylinder engine and dropping a
V8 under the hood. The former burns little fuel, while the
latter guzzles it...just the same as calories burned in
the human body."
But what is the science
behind it? First off, fat cells are practically metabolically
inert. If you look at a fat cell, it is nothing more than
a cell membrane and a huge fat drop. That's it. In contrast,
a muscle cell is highly metabolic because it has a large
amount of protein and energy turnover.
Furthermore, take a look at
a breakdown of your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). According
to class notes collected from Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, 25%
of your BMR (the calories that you burn every day at rest)
is controlled by lean tissue mass. Thus, muscle is a large
factor in your metabolic rate and is largest factor under
our control. Therefore, if you increase your muscle mass
then you increase your metabolism.
Q: "How do I determine
my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) that trainers and fat loss
articles consistently are referring to?"
A:This calculation was presented
in ISSUE #77, but is reviewed again
here to eliminate any confusion. From the class notes of
Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky comes this gender specific recommendation:
* Male BMR = 1.0 kcal/kg/hour
* Female BMR = 0.9 kcal/kg/hour
Using the example of a 70kg
BMR = 1.0 x 70 (kg) x 24 (hours)
BMR = 1680 kcal
In contrast, females have
a lower calorie requirement (BMR) because they generally
have less muscle. As mentioned in the answer above, muscle
accounts for ~25% of your BMR. Therefore, for a 70kg woman:
BMR = 0.9 x 70 x 24
BMR = 1512 kcal per day.
Let's compare the above
estimation to another simple formula that estimates BMR.
Note however that this equation is not gender specific and
thus may overestimate calorie needs for females:
* Body weight x 11
Using a 70kg individual:
BMR = 154 (lbs) x 11
BMR = 1694 kcal per day
This is very similar to
the 1680 kcal as estimated by Dr. Tarnopolsky's equation
(for males). There is one very important consideration to
take into account with respect to gender differences in
BMR estimations. Dr. Tarnopolsky has noted that both females
and obese individuals are more resistant to energy deficits.
That is, they will lose less weight than males when the
same caloric restriction is imposed. Based on that observation,
the use of Dr. Tarnopolsky's gender specific estimation
will be more helpful for females seeking to lose body fat.
- RESOURCES FOR FITNESS PROFESSIONALS
Angus, S., et al. Massage
therapy for sprinters and runners. Clin. Poditr. Med. Surg.
18: 329, 2001.
According to the abstract,
this paper describes massage therapy as a powerful tool
to help athletes reduce recovery time after a track meet,
minimize injury, and improve body movement fluidity. Although
there was no opportunity to review the paper, it may be
worthwhile for massage therapists. If any interested reader
has access to this paper, a review would be very welcome!
Ross, A., and M. Leveritt.
Long-Term Metabolic and Skeletal Muscle Adaptations to Short-Sprint
Training: Implications for Sprint Training and Tapering.
Sports Med. 31: 1063-1082,
According to this abstract,
sprint training causes both metabolic and morphological
changes. Enzymes of all three energy systems adapt to sprint
training and begin a return to initial levels when the athlete
stops training for extended periods. Elite sprinters have
a greater ability to rapidly breakdown phosphocreatine (PCr)
than sprinters of lower caliber. This means that they can
regenerate ATP (the energy source for muscle contraction)
at a faster rate.
Glycolytic enzyme activity
has been shown to increase after sprint training but these
benefits will be completely lost within 2 to 6 months of
detraining. Long sprints or a short recovery between sprints
will lead to increases in mitochondrial enzyme activity.
This adaptation will also help produce ATP at a faster rate.
to sprint training include changes in muscle fiber type,
sarcoplasmic reticulum, and fiber cross-sectional area.
As with most forms of training, sprinting leads to an increase
in type IIa muscle fibers. In addition, sprinting can increase
muscle cross-sectional area (similar to resistance training)
and can increase the sarcoplasmic reticulum volume to help
release more Ca++ for the complex process of muscle contraction.
However, it must be noted
that an excessive training volume and/or frequency will
cause the undesirable effect of slower muscle contractile
characteristics. In contrast, detraining appears to shift
the contractile characteristics towards type IIb (IIx),
although muscle atrophy is also likely to occur. This shift
of muscle towards a faster contractile form when training
stops has often been a point of confusion with muscle researchers.
In fact, some researchers have given this fiber type the
dubious title of the "couch potato fiber".
The researchers also suggest
that muscle conduction velocity appears to be a potential
non-invasive method of monitoring contractile changes in
response to sprint training and detraining. The faster muscle
is signaled to contract, the faster the athlete may be.
Thus, the adaptations to sprinting
depend on the duration of the sprint and the recovery bout,
as well as the total volume and frequency of sprints and
training sessions. Unfortunately, because the interactions
of all of these factors are highly complex, it is very difficult
to prescribe an optimal training protocol based on laboratory
knowledge. With anything else, individual response to training
is a very important variable that often gets lost in laboratory
analysis. This paper does provide some interesting insight
into sprint training and the related field of improving
a team sport athlete's speed.
Well, the mainstream media
is finally catching on to the safety and efficacy of creatine.
Check out this link for a recent press
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