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Reader Question: Train Abs every day?

My question is about training the abdominal muscles. I train in a gym and I know that between sports I have to take a day off. But does that also apply to your abdominal muscles? Or can you train it every day?
-Damian

 

Mark Chen, physiotherapist

A certain rule applies to muscles: after a considerable training load, they need 24 to 72 (!) Hours to fully recover. This applies, in contrast to what some sources mention, for the abdominal muscles as well. When you wake up after a heavy workout with strong muscle pain, you’ll often feel and know that you need a day of rest!

The intensity of the training is the decisive factor here. You can load your abdominal muscles every day if you do not fully exhaust them, but the question is whether it is the most efficient way of training. In addition, there are numerous ways to train your abdominal muscles. I see many people doing sit ups almost exclusively, whereas in my opinion this is one of the least valuable exercises for a strong core.

The abdominal muscles are power suppliers for movements of the trunk, but they are also important stabilizers. This means that when they work well together with the back muscles, they ensure a good and strong support of the spine. So if you are working on exercises in which your whole body has to work together, like a squat or a dead lift, the abdominal muscles are also fully active. That way you can train your whole body including your abdominal muscles, without having to do sit ups! Ideal right?

 

Hope that helps,

 

Need any help on your training goals?

Contact me
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Must Watch: Anti – Hangover Remedy and much more (What I’ve Learned)

Credit goes to What I’ve learned 

His Youtube Channel is FULL of easy to understand, well animated and impact-full information regarding health and exercise.

Subscribing is highly recommended!

 

 

If you need some help on improving your health through nutrition and training, you’re always one click away

Contact me
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Mindset : Embrace the Pain

 

You should feel that little feeling in your chest
When you’re breaking out of your comfort zone
Or dealing with success barriers
You should be seeking out those moments
And that’s what causes progress

If I don’t feel that, I feel dead inside
Because guess what, that’s what changes you
The stuff that emotionally traumatizes you
That’s what changes you internally

You can either view it in a negative , traumatic way
And you can experience it in a positive, euphoric way
That’s also when you feel the most alive
The choice is there.

Credit: Julien Himself (RSD)

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Kettlebell workout: Tabatha I (Difficulty 3/10)

Warmup:

1K Run
10 prison squats
10 backstep lunges
10 Yoga Pushups
3 sets

Workout:

Tabatha 1: KB Deadlift  paired with Plank

Tabatha 2: KB Swing  paired with Pushup

Tabatha 3: Clean and Press paired with KB Row

Tabatha 4: Alternate between normal plank/ side plank

Workout duration : 30-45 minutes

Kettlebell :16/20kg  (Dumbbell optional , change clean and press to Thrusters)

 

 

 

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30 Second Posture test

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Motivation – Hard Times

When you’re going through something bad,

how do you know it’s bad for you?
That question is huge.
And then reflect on how little you know
Because, what is a life crisis?
It’s when things don’t go according to your plan.
stop judging it, because what do you know?
And then reflect on all the things you thought were wrong and how,
maybe in the long run they weren’t 
You don’t know what’s good for you and not
Stop judging.
You can either keep going against it or just go with the flow.
Source & Credit : Julien Blanc (RSD)
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BJJ: What I’ve learned

Mark Chen
Physiotherapist, Personal trainer, Sports Nutritionist.

 

 

I’ve only been into BJJ for a short time and consider myself an absolute newbie. However, even in the short amount of hours I’ve spent on the mat, there are some interested things I’ve learned from it.

 

 

1. Let go of your ego

I’ve always been pretty good at sports. There’s upsides to this (obviously) which is that I tend to pick up quite fast whenever I undertake some kind of new activity. There’s a downside to it as well ; I expect myself to be good at it.
Now here’s a tricky part because I consider myself above average strong, healthy, flexible and reasonably smart, And that’s the mindset I had when I went into my first training sessions.
Ready to go and more importantly, show these other people how strong I am.
How wrong I was.

-It wasn’t just the fact that I ended up losing my consciousness wanting to be to tough to tap-

No, the most surprising factor to me was how little my strength and fitness could do for me on the mat. No matter what I tried, I ended up getting tied up, strangled and gassed quicker, the harder I went in.
A couple of sessions later I let go of my desire to be better than others and decided instead, to take any session as an opportunity to learn. And you know what?
This change in mindset allows me to relax more (I don’t care about “winning” or “losing” during training) and creates space in my head to actually pick up and learn rather than losing energy on trying to prove myself.

2. People that do BJJ are cool

I’ve experienced before that people practicing martial arts in general are very cool and easy going people. This was the case in Teakwondo, Thaiboxing and Krav Maga. I believe it has something to do with them being centered, at ease with their self, and being able to channel their emotions and energy in a very efficient way. At least, that’s how it works for me. But the athletes I’ve been rolling with since I started are all a level beyond this. They’re not just nice to train with, but friendly people that seem sincerely interested in helping you become better as well. It’s nice to feel welcome and at home at a place where you train.

3. Importance of breathing

More and more I look into breathing, the more I’m seeing the overlooked importance of it. But BJJ kind of “forced” me to address it. Simply put, my first training sessions were borderline panic when it came to sparring.
I felt as if I could do nothing. 

No sense of control, no use of my power, no way out.

And you know what is the absolute worst thing to do in a situation like this?

To stop breathing

Thing is, you need to be made aware of this. So something as simple as my training partner telling me to start breathing and relax instead of struggling around like I was about to be killed, makes a gigantic difference when applied,

  • The stress levels go down significantly
  • Energy management is suddenly an option
  • There is space to think and learn

It’s such an easy thing to forget about but it made a world of difference to me.

This video gives an amazing explanation of why good breathing is such a helpful tool.

4. There is so much more to learn

As I mentioned in the start of this article, I’m a complete newbie to the sport. I feel like I’m presented with an enormous encyclopedia of which I get to read just one page at the time, and need to re-read it time and time again to actually understand it.

But I like that.   I have a feeling this sport will become more and more interesting as I put more time into it and that it what I’ll try to do.

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5 Questions about Cupping

  1. What is Cupping?

    Cupping involves the usages of glass/wood/silicone cups that are used to create a vacuum on the body. Depending on the chosen method, these will either stay in place for 5-15 minutes (traditional cupping)
    or moved around the area (Gliding). There is also a less well-known version called “Wet Cupping”, with which small cuts are made before the cups are applied. During this version, the cups will be filled with blood from the client. Needless to say proper hygiene and qualification of the therapist are of extra concern with this method.

  2. What are the benefits of Cupping?

    There are multiple benefits from cupping. The most well known reasons to use cupping is to speed up muscle recovery after workouts. This was very commonly seen in the last year’s Olympics, where multiple athletes were seen walking around with the typical marks from a cupping treatment. Because cupping is very non-invasive and doesn’t cause much side effects, it’s a very common choice for athletes after competition or training.Aside from the physical effects, Cupping is very well known for it’s soothing effects on the central nervous system. For this reason, the treatment is often chosen as a pain reliever or to fight stress in general.

  3. How does Cupping feel?

    A lot of my clients describe it as a “reverse massage”. This makes sense since instead of being compressed, the skin and connective tissue is being pulled up and decompressed. Traditional cupping, depending on the amount of vacuum and duration of the treatment can be a bit uncomfortable, whereas gliding is typically experienced as very relaxing. Your therapist is supposed to monitor how you feel during the session and adjust when necessary.

  4. What do the colors mean?

    The skin can show different reactions to Cupping, and each has a meaning as you can see below in the picture. Sometimes Cupping is used as an “assessment”, to get an idea of what’s going on in the area underneath the skin. If area’s display moderate or sever stagnation, these points are often focused on more during follow up treatments. Usually we see these markings become less and less noticeable as the client starts to react to treatment.

  5. Where can I experience Cupping?

    In Asia, Cupping is a very common treatment method and is used to support the body while fighting disease and therefore is very easy to find. When choosing this option, make sure the hygiene standard is good enough since dirty cups can cause infection.
    Also, in most of these establishments there is no underlying physiological knowledge. If you want to get cupping done for specific problems or body parts, it is best to find a Physiotherapist that is also educated in Cupping.

 

Of course, feel free to contact me if you’d like to experience a session!

 

 

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Occurs as ergocalciferol (D2) in vegetable nutrition and as cholecalciferol in animal based foods. The latter form is more absorb-able. Upon exposure to sunlight, the body creates previtamine D, and then converts that into it’s active form.
Vitamin D helps in the recovery of the muscles and aids the immune system. It also strengthens and maintains the bones and interacts with a lot of hormones and other nutrients like calcium, vitamin K and magnesium.

Works together with: Calcium (without D, only 10-15% of the amount of calcium we ingest will be absorbed)

RDI for vitamin D is 10mcg

Found in:

– Fatty fish
– (Grass-fed)butter
– Meat
– Full dairy and cheese

Deficiency can lead to:

– reduction of bone strength
– Reduction of power
– decrease function of immune system
– Fatigue

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HITT workouts for at home

Most if you reading this are on the 12- week strength building program and are now ready to focus more on all-round conditioning, body composition and flexibility.

The workout below is from the well known “Fitness Blender”, which is a Youtube channel with hundreds of awesome workouts. (check them out and subscribe to their channel!)

Follow this workout into your program instead of a day of heavy lifting. The following week, see if you can do two of these. It’s your choice if you want to keep lifting on the side, or just focus on High intensity training primarily!

 

enjoy 😉

Mark