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Author: Emily Trinh

Sleep Deprivation Causes and Effects in the Gym

sleep deprivation causes and effects

One factor that contributes to how well we perform at the gym is sleep. Sleep quality plays such a vital role in maintaining a healthy and active life. This is why when we lose sleep on a consistent basis, it can really impact on our gym performance and in our day-to-day lives in general. This post is going to cover sleep deprivation causes and effects in the gym so you can learn just how much sleep impacts on our performance and what we can do about it.

Sleep Deprivation Causes and Effects in the Gym

Lifestyle Sleep Deprivation Causes

While there may be many possible underlying causes of why people are sleep deprived, most of the time, it is our bad sleeping habits that are affecting our shut-eye.

In this on-the-go lifestyle that we lead, we tend to stay up later, finishing work, watching television or staying connected to others via our social media.

It may not seem like it but this can really affect our sleep quality, which may be one of the many reasons why you are unable to get a good night’s sleep.

Maybe you have a demanding job so you find yourself working quite late all the time, checking emails. Maybe you have lots of things to do around the house that keeps you up. Whatever there is, there are many sleep deprivation causes that are based on our lifestyle choices.

The Many Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Just as there are many possible causes, there are also many effects of lack of sleep.

You Feel Lazy

Hands up if you have ever had a bad sleep and felt like skipping your gym workout because of it?

I know I have.

Feeling lazy because you have missed out on hours of sleep can cause you to skip your workout, meaning you will fall behind in your training. This lack of motivation can cause you to be unwilling to move or be active all day, and we all know how important it is to move daily.

You’re Moodier

Not only will you be feeling lazier and less motivated but you will also moodier.

This is not a great situation for you or the people around you.

You may find that you will be moodier, more irritable and grumpier because you will have less serotonin in the body.

And if you skip your training session because you are feeling lazy (i.e. see point above), you will not be active which can actually help improve your mood by releasing endorphins.

You Can’t Concentrate

Just say that you do somehow manage to make it to the gym. Is your workout as efficient as it could be? Are you able to make it through your regime like you typically can or are you finding it harder to concentrate?

Another one of the sleep deprivation causes and effects in the gym include trouble focusing. You will find yourself becoming more easily distracted which means that while you managed to make it to the gym, the quality of your training will be compromised.

Your Energy Levels are Low

Not only will you have decreased concentration but you will also have less energy. This may make your usual workout seem a lot harder than it usually is.

You may find that you will be unable to hit the same weights, sets or reps as last time – all because you are feeling drained from lack of sleep.

Your Body Can’t Recover Properly

Sleep is such an important factor in your body’s rest and recovery. Without proper sleep, your muscles and bones cannot grow or repair themselves. This can perpetuate DOMS, make it harder for you to feel 100% again and back to normal. This is especially bad if you do weight training or strength training.

If you are deprived of sleep, you are depriving your body of the time that it needs to relieve muscle tension and soreness. And you will definitely feel it the next day.

Your Metabolism Slows Down

Lack of sleep slows down your metabolism and decreasing leptin – the hormone that helps keep you feeling full. In turn, this causes, your appetite to increase so you feel much hungrier than usual.

If you are trying to keep a healthy diet, then this can definitely derail your good intentions and you may find yourself reaching for an unhealthy snack.

While you should treat yourself every once in a while without feeling guilty, you may find that you feel the sleep deprivation causes and effects all day. This means that you may find that the unhealthy snack has turned into an unhealthy day.

Without consuming the adequate nutrition your body needs, especially to help your workouts, then you may see your gym performance fall.

5 Tips on How to Get Better Quality Sleep

Here are some easy steps that you can take to get longer and better sleep:

  1. Choose a time that will give you adequate hours of sleep for you to wake up feeling refreshed the next day. Make sure that you consistently go to bed at this hour. This may take some time getting used to but eventually, your body will learn your earlier bedtime. To help get you started, try going to bed half an hour/an hour earlier each night until you reach your desired time.
  2. Set an alarm an hour before that time to begin the winding down process for sleep. This includes turning off all electronics so that the blue light it emits doesn’t disrupt the body clock. This also means stop doing work and checking emails.
  3. Keep your bedroom quiet and dark.
  4. Try meditating for better sleep. Meditation can help you unclutter your mind and prepare your head and body for sleep.
  5. Exercising daily is also a great way to help get better sleep. Just make sure you don’t engage in vigorous exercise too close to your bedtime. Otherwise, you will be too worked up to sleep.

As you can see, the sleep deprivation causes and effects in the gym are plentiful. Sleep really does make such a big impact – good and bad – in your training and health in general. To get the best out of your workout each day, have better and longer sleep.

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community.

How have you found your sleep affects your training? What sleep deprivation causes and effects have you seen on your fitness journey? Let us know in the comments below!

sleep deprivation causes and effects

Health and Fitness Industry Trends: Predictions for 2018

Health and Fitness Industry Trends

Trends often come and go with time, and now that we are nearing the end of 2017, it is time to take a look at the health and fitness industry trends for 2018. Some may have become big in 2017, predicted to still remain big in the new year while others are new.

Take a look at some of the 2018 health and fitness industry trends to see what is up and coming.

Health and Fitness Industry Trends: Training

Strength Training

There has been a movement towards strength training, especially targeted towards females. More women are including strength training into their gym routine now that the message that “weight doesn’t make you bulky”, is finally hitting home.

This is a great shift in mentality and one that hopefully continues to grow.

Health and Fitness Industry Trends: Technology

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is nothing new and this is a trend that is not going away anytime soon. Thanks to devices such as the FitBit, Garmin and Apple Watch, people have been adopting these devices to help them with their health and fitness. Also onboard are heart rate monitors that help to measure your heart rate during a session. This way, you will know whether you are working hard enough or slacking off just a little bit.

Mobile Apps

As we always carry our smartphones with us everywhere, it is no surprise that one of the 2018 health and fitness industry trends have to do with mobile apps.

Mobile apps help to make logging your training easier, which is what makes them so popular. These apps, like Jefit, take the hard work out of tracking your session so you can spend all your time and energy actually working out.

While each app differs in what they offer, Jefit, for example, provides users with an extensive exercise library, ability to record sets and reps, and access to a supportive online community.

Health and Fitness Industry Trends: Recovery

Cryotherapy

More and more emphasis is being placed on recovery. This is really great because the harder you train, the more time you need to spend on rest and recovery.

Cryotherapy is becoming more popular as the benefits are being heard throughout the health and fitness industry.

This non-invasive treatment works by enveloping your entire body in fine nitrogen mist at low temperatures – sub-zero – in a chamber. It could be anywhere between -100°C or -200°C. You spend approximately 3 minutes in there.

This will increase the blood flow around your body to your internal organs, boost metabolism, aid in muscle repair, and relieve inflammation and joint pain.

The multiple benefits show why Cryotherapy is one of the up and coming health and fitness industry trends for 2018.

Infrared Sauna

If the thought of spending time in a freezing cold chamber isn’t for you, then another trend that you may consider is the infrared sauna. Compared to traditional saunas in which the air around you is heated up, which in turn, heats your body, the infrared sauna uses infrared to directly warm your body.

The appeal of the sauna, infrared and traditional, is that it gets your heart pumping, your body sweating and relieves muscle pain and soreness. It also stimulates blood flow around the body, and this increased circulation means that you will recover faster after an intense workout.

Health and Fitness Industry Trends: Diet

The other half of being healthy is what you eat. As the old saying goes, “you can’t out train a bad diet”, so more people are focusing on not only what they do but what they consume.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting was one of the biggest trends this year, and its popularity will still continue to rise in 2018. It refers to a cycle of fasting and non-fasting periods.

While there are different types of intermittent fasting, some more extreme than others, the advantages of this eating pattern is said to help with weight loss and gain muscle.

Here are two of the popular intermittent fasting methods:

Leangains

This is where people fast for 14-16 hours a day and have an eating window of 8-10 hours. It doesn’t matter when you eat, as long as you stick to the fasting and non-fasting rule.

The common non-fasting times are between noon and 8 pm. People tend to find it easier to fast throughout the night and morning. During the fasting times, you cannot consume any calories. Some exceptions include black coffee or tea and sugar free gum.

The Warrior Diet

A more extreme version involves a fasting window of 20 hours and an eating period of 4 hours. This eating pattern sees people usually only eating one huge meal a day.

While intermittent fasting may not work for everyone, the results so far have seen it become one of the health and industry trends for 2018.

IIFYM

Another way to help with the food part of being healthy is IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). While it is similar to calorie counting, it refers specifically to three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Everyone has their own individual macro count, depending on factors such as how much they exercise, the intensity level of their exercise, and how sedentary or active they are throughout the day.

The popularity of this eating lifestyle is that it gives people flexibility. People are able to eat all the junk that they want, as long as it fits their macros. It is, of course, recommended that you still stick to mostly healthy, unprocessed food. What the flexibility does, is it takes away the guilt that some people may experience by having a sneaky chocolate bar here and there. If it fits your macros, then it is good to go.

These are the health and fitness industry trends that you may see growing in 2018. Some emerged onto the scene previously and are still rising in popularity. Others are just starting to gain momentum now. Do you think that we predicted right?

What predictions do you have for the health and fitness industry trends 2017? Leave us a comment below, we would love to know!

Health and Fitness Industry Trends

The Secret to Better Training? Improve Grip Strength

improve grip strength

One of the most overlooked areas of strength in training is grip strength. However, your grip strength can really make a huge difference in your workout and everyday life. It may seem like a small thing but it is these little details that can really enhance your training.

Why Should You Improve Grip Strength?

Grip strength is said to be a good indicator of overall body strength, muscular endurance as well as heart health. The stronger your grip strength, the lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Not only that but working on improving this area can also prevent further injuries to your wrist and elbow. This is especially important to those who play sports that involve a lot of hand movements such as climbing, tennis (tennis elbow) or golf (golfers elbow).

Does your grip tend to give out first?

Weak grip strength can also become a limiting factor in training, especially strength training. If you have a weak grip, then you may find that your grip fails during an exercise even if you are capable of doing more. For example, while you have the arm strength to do another pull-up, your grip strength may prevent you from doing this, or if you can do another deadlift, your hands may fatigue before your legs/back first.

Three Grip Types and Exercises to Improve Grip Strength

There are three grip types: crush grip, pinch grip and support grip. To improve grip strength and have a well-rounded grip, it is important to practice exercises that involve all three.

Crush Grip

This is what people usually think of when they hear the word “grip”. It involves the area between your palm and fingers – think of a handshake.

Exercises to improve crush grip strength:

Use hand strengthening devices – There is an array of hand strengthening devices on the market that you can use that are relatively cheap as well.

You can use hand grippers or even a stress ball. Squeeze and hold for a few seconds before releasing. This is an easy and simple exercise that you can do while at your desk or even watching TV.

Pinch Grip

This grip refers to the hold between your fingers and thumb. It typically does not involve the palm.

Exercises to improve pinch grip strength:

Plate Pinch – Rest two weighted plates together on the floor between your finger and thumb. Pick it up while you stand up, with your elbows slightly bent. Hold the plates for as long as you can before putting it gently back on the ground.

Plate Orbit – Hold two weighted plates together in the pinch grip. Pass the plate to your other hand in front of your body and then vice versa, this time behind your body in a clockwise direction, then change directions. You can gradually increase the weight or number of plates as your grip strength improves.

Sandbag Deadlifts – Use a commercial sandbag or make your own by filling a duffle bag with sand. Then try to pick it up like you are doing a deadlift. The key here is to not use the handles; pinch the material instead.

Support Grip

The support grip is the form your hand takes when you are holding something like a grocery bag.

Exercises to improve support grip strength:

Farmer’s Carry – This involves picking up and holding on weights with both hands (one on each side) and walking from point A to point B. This may sound easy but if you lift heavy weights, you will definitely feel it. You can use different equipment such as dumbbells or kettlebells.

Dead Hang – Hold onto a pull-up bar and hang until your grip fails. Make sure that your arms are straight.

Varied pull-ups – Doing pull-ups can really help improve grip strength, especially as you are using your entire body for this exercise, naturally adding weight. Try changing your grips so you can exercise different parts of your hand. You can also try thumbless pull-ups, add a weighted belt or hold a dumbbell between your legs.

Our wrists and forearms become weaker when the object we are holding has a larger width, so you should try to use a thicker bar for these exercises. If there is only a thin bar available, then try wrapping your towel around it.

Don’t Wear Gloves

Another thing that you should know is that if you want to improve grip strength, you should not wear gloves. Yes, you will get callouses on your hands and your skin will go hard but it is the best way to enhance strength in your hands and toughen your skin.

Grip strength is such an integral component in training even though gym goers tend to overlook it. But now that you know how important it is and how to improve grip strength, you may be able to see changes in your training for the better!

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community. With Jefit on your phone, you will be able to share your grip training progress with your fellow gym goers!

Have you used these exercises to improve grip strength? How has increasing your grip strength enhanced your training? Leave us a comment below, we would love to know!

improve grip strength

Gym Rules and Regulations: How to Follow Proper Gym Etiquette

gym rules and regulations

The gym is a great place to meet like-minded people who are there for the same reasons you are – to work out and feel good. However, like most places, there are gym rules and regulations that should be followed. If you are new to the gym or need a reminder, here is a list of things that you should adhere to, for the benefit of all gym goers.

Proper Gym Etiquette: Learn the Gym Rules and Regulations

1. Use a Towel and Wipe Down Equipment

One of the best things about going to the gym is having a sweaty workout that leaves you feeling good. What feels less good, is if other members have to use a machine after you to find that it is covered in sweat.

While sweating can’t be avoided, there are some things that you can do to minimize the damage. Use a towel and lay it on the machine. This way, the towel can absorb most of the residue.

Also do a quick wipe down of the equipment afterwards as well. Most gyms will also have paper towels and spray hanging around the gym so put them to good use.

This will definitely keep all gym goers happy and keep the hygiene levels up.

2. Don’t Hog the Machines

A gym can only have so many machines. If the gym is empty or no one is waiting for you to finish your set, then go ahead and spend as much time on it as you want. However, sometimes, you may want to use a machine at the same time as another member and vice versa.

One of the unspoken gym rules and regulations, in this case, is to not be a machine hog.

There usually won’t be a set time limit for each machine that you have to adhere to but be mindful that other people may be waiting.

While I am not suggesting that you cut your sets or workout short, a recommendation to work around this, especially during busy peak times, is to have somebody “work in” with you. Let someone else use the machine during your rest time. Then swap.

This way, neither of you are waiting for the equipment or feel rushed to finish your sets because someone else is waiting.

It is time efficient, not to mention great gym etiquette to help your fellow gym goers out.

3. Put Away Your Equipment

A common gym rule that people should follow, and unfortunately do not, is to put away all the equipment that you use.

It is just courtesy to help contribute and keep the gym neat and tidy and put things back where they belong. Not only that, when other members want to use something, they know exactly where it is and won’t have to search for it because you’ve left it out.

When it comes to putting away your equipment, also make sure that it is in the right order. For example, if you are using dumbbells, put the 20kg where it should be, and not where the 5kg dumbbells are.

4. Use Deodorant

Speaking of hygiene, it is best to come prepared with the gym and use deodorant. This point is pretty self-explanatory, but it is well worth mentioning on this list and will be beneficial to both you and your fellow gym goers.

5. Keep Your Gym Bag Off the Floor

Most gyms have lockers or space for you to store your gym bag and other items. For the sake of other gym members, use them.

This way, you are not leaving your personal belongings out on the floor, taking up room. It is really annoying when you want to use the bench but someone has their things all over it, or if you have to step around people’s things like a landmine.

Putting your things away in the designated means that also eliminates the chance of someone stepping on or tripping over your stuff.

To make it easier, try not to bring too many things and only the necessities.

6. Don’t Criticize Others

The gym should be a safe place where people are able to train without judgement from others. Everyone is on their own level with their own fitness goals so leave the criticism at home.

In addition, try not to give advice if it was not asked for. While you may have good intentions, some people like to train differently. Hence, it can be quite annoying to give your opinion when it was not necessary. An exception to this is if you see someone doing something that it potentially dangerous or could result in injury.

These are just some of the common gym rules and regulations that help keep the gym a fun and friendly place, so be sure to follow them!

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community. With Jefit on your phone, you will be hitting your fitness goals in no time at all.

Do you have more gym rules and regulations you want to add? Or have you seen other things that annoy you at the gym? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to know!

gym rules and regulations

The Three Different Body Types and How They Affect Your Training

The Three Different Body Types and How They Affect Your Training

One of the reasons why people need a customizable workout planer for their fitness goals is because everyone’s bodies are different. In fact, there are three different body types that people seem to have, and it is your body type that dictates how well you respond to certain types of training and food intake.

What are the Three Different Body Types?

The three different body types are: ectomorph, endomorph, mesomorph. Each has their own typical characteristics that can help you determine which body type you have. Then you will be able to adjust your training and eating habits accordingly to reach your fitness goals.

1. Ectomorph Body Type

Typical Characteristics:

  • Long and lean
  • Delicate frame
  • “Hardgainer” – Finds it difficult to build muscle and fat
  • Body similar to a marathon runner
  • Fast metabolism

Training:

If you have the ectomorph body type, then you will find that it is difficult for you to gain muscle as well as fat. To help with this, try focusing on compound movements as opposed to isolated movements. This is because you will use more muscle groups in the one exercise.

For example, the bench press works out muscles in your chest, shoulders and triceps using your shoulders and elbow. In contrast, the bicep curl is an isolated movement that only uses the bicep.

While you shouldn’t completely shun isolation movements from your training, your main focus should be on the big compound exercises. Then use isolation movements as accessories or to finish a workout.

Nutrition:

Those with the ectomorph body type are able to get away with eating more carbs than endomorphs and mesomorphs. However, this doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want and not have it affect your body.

That being said, it is best to stick to complex carbs that can leave you feeling fuller for longer. It will also help to push protein to your muscles to help them to grow. This includes brown rice and brown bread.

Notes:

As ectomorphs can find it quite challenging to pack on size, it may be beneficial to use additional supplements in conjunction with a healthy and well-rounded diet. Supplements such as BCAAs or protein shakes could give you that extra boost.

2. Endomorph Body Type

Typical Characteristics:

  • Stocky build
  • Wider body
  • Stores fuel (both muscle and fat) in the lower half of their bodies
  • Has more muscle as well but usually, this comes with more fat
  • Has the best strength advantage out of the three different body types but may find it difficult to stay lean
  • Slow metabolism

Training:

To help shock the body into losing fat, it is best for endomorphs to up their intense aerobic exercise by focusing on interval training such as HIIT (high-intensity interval training) over LISS (low-intensity steady state cardio).

They should train their overall body to see results and not just focus on one area.

To further enhance their metabolism, endomorphs should include both hypertrophy (muscle building – heavy weight, fewer reps) with conditioning. This way, your metabolism will be fired up, even hours after your training is done.

Nutrition:

Endomorphs do need to have a stricter eating plan than the others. Unlike ectomorphs, those with the endomorph body type should eat fewer carbs and increase their higher protein intake. They should avoid simple carbs like white bread and eat more complex ones.

Notes:

Stress levels can cause endomorphs to keep fat around their midsection. To help with this, you should avoid overtraining so that your body can properly recover. Also, get your beauty sleep.

Mesomorph Body Type

Typical Characteristics:

  • Middle of the body types
  • Can be lean and muscular simultaneously
  • Natural athletics build with well-defined muscles

Training:

In between ectomorph and endomorph is the mesomorph body type. Mesomorphs find it easier to build muscle and lose fat than the ectomorphs and endomorphs respectively.

This is why the mesomorph body type means that you do not have to go insanely heavy on the weights to get results. You can lift moderately and still progress.

However, it is also best to include some aerobic exercise as well, because while they can lose fat easier than mesomorphs, it doesn’t mean that they are completely immune. Aerobic exercise with help get your heart rate up and your blood pumping.

Nutrition:

If you have a mesomorph body type, your eating plan should include equal amounts of protein and fat, with a moderate amount of carbs making up the rest. Like I mentioned with the ectomorph and endomorph body type, you should still focus on complex carbs to help give your body energy and keep full in a sustainable and healthy way.

Can You Be a Combination of Two Body Types?

When it comes to these three different body types, there is no one-size-fits-all. You can be a combination of two, sharing characteristics from both. Hopefully, this post has given you the information you can use to help identify your body type or see if you share traits from two. This way, you will be able to adjust your diet and training regime accordingly to optimize results.

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community. With Jefit on your phone, you will be hitting your fitness goals in no time at all.

The Three Different Body Types and How They Affect Your Training