Research Says This Percent 1-RM is Best for Strength Gain

Do you know what percentage of your 1-RM (one repetition maximum) is optimal to increase strength? It is often thought to improve muscular strength, you lift a lower number of repetitions (typically 5–8) at 66–90 percent of your 1-RM. Jefit looked into this question and this is what the research showed.

What is 1-RM Anyway?

The term 1-RM signifies the maximum amount of weight someone can lift for one repetition of a given exercise. When you lift any repetition maximum type of weight, you should not be able to complete additional repetitions. If you can, it’s not a true max set for that exercise. The idea is you give everything you have in that first repetition – as the name implies.

Is 1-RM an Effective Way to Test?

Numerous studies have assessed the reliability of the 1-RM test. A 2012 study by Dongguk University, Korea, examined the reliability of the 1-RM test based on muscle group and gender. The researchers reported that 1-RM testing is a reliable measurement to assess muscle strength changes regardless of muscle group location or gender. 

In 2009, a study by Victoria University, published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, looked at the reliability of the 1-RM strength test for untrained subjects. Both men and women, aged 18-35 years, participated in the study. They concluded, 1-RM was a reliable method of evaluating the maximal strength in that age group.

As with anything else, it’s important to make sure your body is properly warm-up prior to executing any max set. This is accomplished by using multiple lighter sets as you “build up” to your 1-RM, final set. Once you have determined a 1-RM in a squat or bench press, for example, you’re then able to work at different intensity levels over time using a specific percent of your 1-RM score. The percentage you work at ultimately depends on what your training goals are.

Examples Using Percentage of 1-RM

The following are a few examples of how an exercise using percent 1-RM can be expressed:

  • 3 x 8 @ 75% – Three sets of 8 repetitions at 75% of the 1-RM
  • 8/80%, 6/85%, 6/85%, 4/90% – Eight repetitions at 80%, 2 sets of six repetitions at 85%, and four repetitions at 90% of the 1-RM

Research on 1-RM Percentage Use

A small 2012 study by McMaster University, Canada, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, compared training effects of light weights to heavy weights. Over a 10-week period, researchers tested the effects of performing leg extensions with either heavy (80 percent of 1-RM) or light (30 percent of 1-RM) weights. The researchers found that both heavy and light loads increased muscle mass equally. But for building strength, the 80 percent load produced superior results.

In a study out of Brazil, researchers looked at the influence of percentage of 1-RM strength test on repetition performance during resistance exercise. The study involved a small group of healthy, male subjects who had been strength training for at least one year. The leg press, Scott arm, and knee flexion were used in this study due to its common use in exercise programs.

The study conclude that in 80 percent and 90 percent of 1-RM, the number of repetitions is higher in exercises involving lower limbs compared with upper limb exercises. While in 70 percent of the cases no differences were found. It seems that single-joint exercises perform less repetitions than multi-joint (e.g leg extension vs. leg press) while upper limbs showed more number of repetitions and total load in 70 percent of 1-RM.

Additional Research

A 2020 review published in Sports Medicine looked at two popular ways to prescribe load for developing maximal strength. The review involved 22 studies comprising a total of 761 participants (585 males and 176 females). The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of percentage 1-RM and repetition maximum targets as load prescription methods for the development of maximal strength.

The results showed percent 1-RM elicited greater improvements in maximal strength (4.6%) in comparison with RM targets. More research, however, is needed to fully investigate the efficacy of both these methods, specifically direct comparisons between the two methods. 

Finally, Jenkins and colleagues, saw greater increases in muscle activation performing leg extension, to failure, using 80 percent of 1-RM compared to other percent 1-RM over a 6-week period. Maximal muscle activation is important because it’s warranted when trying to increase strength.

Final Thoughts

There are many training variables that need to be managed when trying to increase strength. When it comes to choosing the best percentage of 1-RM to ensure strength gains, the best answer according to the research is probably a range. It will depend also on the training experience of the individual. If someone is a novice and just starting out, research has previously shown as little as 66 percent of 1-RM can do the trick. As a person becomes stronger and more experienced, though, that number increases to about 75 percent. Finally, as the person develops the necessary strength and mobility to handle heavy loads, the percentage can increase once more to 80-90 percent of 1-RM.

Here is a great training load chart from the NSCA that can help.

Use The Jefit App For All Your 1-RM Needs

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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5 Squat Variations to Improve Your Training

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Squats should be a staple in every gym goer’s training plan. They are an ideal lower body exercise that can also work your core and other parts of your body if performed correctly. There are many squat variations that you can try, that each has their own benefits. Whether you are a beginner squatter or seasoned veteran, here are some of the squat variations to add to your routine.

5 Beginner to Advanced Squat Variations

1. Prisoner Squat

The prisoner squat is one of the simplest squat variations because it just uses your bodyweight. It is a great staple exercise for anyone to add to their regime, especially for beginners starting out. It is a lower body workout that not only strengthens your legs and glutes but can also work your core and shoulders.

Prisoner squats can also be done anywhere as you are only using your bodyweight! So you can fit them in during an ad break, or even at work.

To prisoner squat, make sure that your feet are planted firmly on the ground, hip-width apart. Your weight should be distributed evenly between them. Engage your core as you pull your shoulder blades slightly together.

Bend at the knees and lower yourself to the ground as if you are sitting on a chair. Remember to keep your torso upright. Keep lowering yourself until you are parallel to the ground, and if you can, go beyond that parallel line. Make sure that your knees do not drop inward as you do so; keep your knees rotated out.

Stand up again by straightening your legs. And repeat.

To make the standard prisoner squat more challenging, try holding the lower squat position and pulsing. Now you can really feel that burn!

2. Goblet Squat

Another great squat variation is the goblet squat. This is similar to the prisoner squat but with added weight. You can use a dumbbell or kettlebell.

Hold the dumbbell or kettlebell up close to your chest as you squat. If you are starting out, start with a lighter weight, just to get used to the movement. Then keep increasing your weight as you progress.

This squat will not only work that lower body but it can really work that core strength. It can also help prepare you for the front squat, which we will talk about soon!

3. High Bar Back Squat

This is the classic squat that people tend to gravitate towards. It is a comfortable place for people to hold the bar.This squat variation uses a barbell that is placed across your back on the trapezius muscles on top of the shoulders.

During the high bar back squat, make sure that the bar remains aligned with your midfoot. Your torso needs to remain as upright as possible to keep the weight from shifting forward.

The high bar back squat is a squat variation that places emphasis on the quadriceps (front thigh muscles) and glutes. There is less reliance on the hamstrings. However, compared to other squat variations, such as the low bar squat, you won’t be able to squat as heavy.

If you want to make it harder, then try pausing for a couple of seconds at the bottom of the squat before coming up. The high bar squat is also great to help those who do weightlifting (the snatch and clean & jerk).

4. Low Bar Back Squat

Another squat variation is the low bar back squat. This squat places the barbell on lower on the upper back than the high bar back squat position—on the posterior deltoid. It is only a slight shift in position of the bar but it does result in different body parts being used in the movement.

In this position, your torso should lean forward even more. This offloads some of the weight on your back and to help keep you balanced. It also means that you will be able to squat heavier than the high bar squat. You have less range of motion because your torso will be more horizontal.

Your feet should be wider than that of a high bar squat, as well as your hands. To help lean your chest forward, your hips will also be pushed back.

This version of the squat works the hamstrings and glutes. It also places more emphasis on the posterior chain. If you have knee problems, then the low bar is a good option as there is less stress on the knees.

5. Front Squat

The front squat works the anterior aspect of your body, emphasizing the quads and core. It uses the barbell but instead of placing it on your back, it is placed in front of you, resting on your front deltoids and collarbone. Your arms can be in two different positions:

Classic Grip: Place your right-hand fingertips under the bar on your right side, and do the same for the left. The number of fingertips you use to hold the bar depends on your preference. Keep your elbows up so your upper arms are parallel to the ground. This position can be difficult for those with limited wrist mobility.
Cross Grip: Your right hand can hold the bar on your left shoulder and vice versa. Your arms will be in a cross position, touching opposite hands to shoulders. If you have limited wrist mobility, you may prefer this grip.

As you squat, try to keep your elbows in and up and your knees out.

The squat is a really great move to include in your training. With these squat variations ranging from beginner to advanced, you can pick and choose which ones suit your fitness goal and level so you are not missing out on these great benefits.

Track Your Squats With Jefit

Jefit is a workout log app that has an extensive library. With the ability to mix and match your training, including different kinds of squats, you can really maximize your gym workouts and make the most of them. These are just 5 of the many kinds of squats you can do—check out Jefit’s squat library here to find more!

Have you tried any of these different kinds of squats? Which ones do you like? Let us know in the comments, we would love to know!

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3 Ways To Immediately Speed-Up Your Metabolism

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Metabolism refers to the process of how your body converts what you eat and drink into chemical energy. It is basically the number of calories you burn each day. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and drink are combined with oxygen to release energy your body needs to function. The number of calories that your body uses to carry out these basic functions is your basal metabolic rate. Human metabolism can either increase or decrease depending on a variety of factors. Such as the intensity of an exercise session, nutrition and among other things the aging process.

“Metabolism is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to yield the energy your body needs to maintain itself. The rate of your metabolism depends on the interaction between the number of calories you consume, the number of calories you burn while eating and exercising, and the calories you burn based on your individual genetic makeup.”

Web MD

The majority of Americans have had both their normal, everyday life and workout routines upended because of the pandemic. Here are three ways you can speed up your metabolism and in turn help your body burn more calories each day, helping you get back your pre-pandemic life.

1. Water Thermogenesis

There are countless research studies that demonstrate drinking water increases metabolism. One research study showed drinking 500 ml of water (17 oz.) increased metabolism by 30 percent within 10 minutes of drinking and had a maximum effect at 40 minutes. Try drinking a 17 oz. glass when you first wake up and again before each meal (Journal Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2003) 88(12):6015-9).

2. Thermic Effect of Food

It takes energy in the form of calories to break down the food you eat. The thermic effect of food accounts for about 10 percent of your total energy expenditure. Calories are needed for chewing, processing and metabolizing the food you consume each day. In terms of the percentage of calories needed to break down specific foods, fats use only 5 percent, carbohydrates 10-13 percent and protein requires 30 percent. This means if you eat a 100 calories of protein, your body uses 30 calories right off the top to metabolize it, leaving a net of 70 calories. Try to eat 20-30 grams of protein with each meal. (Metabolism. (1985) 34(3):285-93).

3. Thermic Effect of Activity

This is the area where you can really make an impact in terms of increasing the total calories expended on a daily basis. Look to increase your metabolism and burn more calories with everyday activities like standing, walking and stair-climbing. Do more of this and less sitting throughout the day. This is also called NEAT, non-exercise activity thermogenesis, the additional calories expended outside of exercise.

In addition, you also have thermic effect of exercise. This number is typically 25 percent of your daily total energy expenditure but be aware that it can range from 10-50 percent. Inactive individuals may expend only a few hundred calories from activity while endurance athletes can expend thousands of calories. It comes down to one word: intensity. When you exercise at a high intensity you will expend more total calories and a higher percentage of those calories will come from stored fat calories. With high intensity exercise (like HIIT and Tabata type workouts) you could potentially expend hundreds of additional calories post workout, known as after-burn or EPOC (excess-post oxygen consumption). Try adding 1-2 high intensity interval sessions to your weekly workout schedule. Remember to build up slowly. (Med Sci Sports Exerc. (1989) 21(5):515-25).

Use Jefit to Record & Track Your Activity

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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5 Benefits Your Body Gets from Boxing Workouts

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Boxing is a great sport that is not just meant for professional boxers. The benefits from boxing workouts offer numerous health and mental benefits that everyone can enjoy. After all, taking part in boxing training doesn’t mean that you have to step in the ring and participate in competitive boxing. But if you want to learn how to defend yourself and keep fit, boxing is one of the best options for you.

Boxing can help you exercise your entire body without even having to step in the ring. Remember, boxing training is more than just hitting the punching bags or sparring with your trainer. Boxing workouts include numerous routines that will give your heart a run for its money. So if you are still on the fence or a professional boxer and want to learn more about what boxing workout does to your body, please read on.

The Benefits from Boxing Workouts for Your Body

1.   Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

Boxing workout routines are great for your cardiovascular system. And that is because most of the training routines will have your muscles moving fast and heart and lungs working extra hard to keep up. The simple act of throwing some punches when sparring will force several muscles in your body to contract and relax at once, and the faster and harder your punches are, the faster your muscles contract and relax. And this will force your heart to pump more blood and oxygen to these muscles, thus giving it quite a workout.

Boxing is a fun activity that requires you to move very fast while staying light on your feet. Therefore, your lungs and heart will have to work extra hard to supply the needed oxygen to your body. Boxing workouts demand a lot of cardiovascular fitness, so professional boxers do numerous things like running on treadmills, cycling, jumping rope, and even circuit training. These workouts will improve your stamina while giving you fantastic cardiovascular exercise. 

Training your lungs and heart to work harder is perfect for your performance and fitness. After all, excellent cardiovascular health is crucial when it comes to controlling your blood pressure and preventing heart illnesses. Even though you won’t ever have to step in the ring and spar with anyone, wearing the wrong gloves when training can be pretty dangerous. And if you’re looking for the best boxing gloves, you should look for advice from the professional MMA fighters and trainers in MMA today. I am sure you can find it on MMA today, after all, your safety should come first when sparring or training.

2.   Strong Joints and Bones

Boxing is a great workout that can improve the strength of your bones and joints. After all, denser and stronger bones are great for your health, especially as you age. When hitting the punching bag, the forces that go through your hands stimulate your bones to strengthen and mineralize. And this can reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis or osteopenia, and in some cases, it can reverse these conditions. Resistance training can help mitigate the effects of skeletal mineral loss. The mechanical tension triggered by the external forces on the bones can be an excellent stimulus for encouraging bone-mineral density adaptation. Therefore, boxing can be a great workout for the elderly.

People are always bouncing while sparring or training in the gym, and this puts some extra weight on your knees and legs. Every time you punch, your shoulders, arms, and elbows act as an external weight on your bones, forcing your bones to strengthen. After all, our bones function the same way as our muscles. The more weight you apply to your bones, the more the osteoblasts produce bone mass. And this helps thicken and enlarge them, making them stronger.

3.   Bigger Muscles and Weight Loss

Another considerable advantage of boxing workouts is that they help your muscle grow bigger while burning some extra fat. Boxing is about being quick and strong enough to defeat your opponent. So the quick movements done by your hands when punching does more than strengthen your shoulders and arms. These quick movements also help your muscle expand.

Professional boxers go through a great deal of training, including resistant training, weight lifting, and bodyweight exercise like pushups, among others. These workouts strengthen your muscles and make them more powerful, thus giving you taut and toned muscles.

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4.   Better Endurance and Stamina

Other than giving you huge muscles and improving your cardiovascular health, boxing can also improve your stamina. Better cardiovascular health means that your heart and lungs can supply the needed blood and oxygen to the muscles as you work out. And this will leave you working harder and spending more time in the gym without getting tired.

Remember, the fast movements while sparring can take a toll on you if you don’t have stamina. Some of the workouts that can improve your stamina and endurance include hitting the punching bags, running, punching a speed bag, and jumping ropes. With improved stamina, you can throw some punches and duck even when you’re tired.

5.   Improve Your Hand-Eye Coordination

When throwing punches in the ring, you need to understand that your eyes and fists are working together. And one wrong move can result in you getting knocked out. Therefore, boxing training can help improve your coordination, and this will help you hit the bag at a right angle.

Hand-eye coordination can be quite helpful in a lot of things. It can improve your motor skills that are valuable when doing numerous day-to-day activities like holding your pen and buttoning your clothes. Improved motor skills can come in handy as you grow older; therefore, boxing workouts are ideal for people as they age. 

Final Thoughts on the Benefits from Boxing Workouts

If you have never tried boxing or the workouts that come with it, then you might want to try it. Sparring, punching heavy bags, and all the other routines that come with this sport can have your body feeling great in no time. Plus, it’s a great way to relieve some stress. In fact, the benefits of boxing workouts outweigh the negative parts of this sport. And if you won’t be entering the ring to fight or spar with an opponent, then you will be safe. Just make sure you’re working with an experienced trainer who will teach you how to hit the punching bags correctly.

Use Jefit App to Record All Activities Like Boxing

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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5 Tips to Be More Consistent with Exercise

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When it comes to exercise, it’s safe to say that it’s not always easy to stay consistent with your exercise routine. Sometimes, when you first get started, you can be incredibly passionate about your journey. You’ll enjoy the process and be really keen to keep things up. But before long, you’ll find that work, life, or relationships tend to throw you off track. Some days, you just won’t feel up to it and so you slack off. And you know that when you fall down once, it’s always a slippery slope from there. But when it comes to working out, if you want to see results, you have to be consistent with what you’re doing. Yet it’s not always that easy to do. So let’s take a look at five things that can help you to stay consistent.

GOALS

First up, you’re going to want to think about setting a few goals for yourself. Because when you’re just working out with no real intentions or plan, it can be so much harder to stay motivated and consistent. But when you know that you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or feel in shape for your vacation, you’ll find that your mind stays motivated and you can keep up with your schedule. So think about what your fitness goals are, set yourself a deadline, and stay on track. Write them down and post it so you see it…remember, you don’t own it until you write it down.

GET A WORKOUT PARTNER

Maybe you’re the kind of person that just can’t stay motivated on their own? When that’s the case, you might like to think about getting yourself a workout partner. Lots of people work better in a pair or a team. So if you know a friend, family member, or even your other half, wants to workout, why not do it together? You can be each other’s support systems and keep each other on track. You will probably become more consistent with your exercise routine at the gym or home too.

HIRE A TRAINER TO GET MORE CONSISTENT WITH EXERCISE

If you think that you need some direction, then a trainer or coach might be just what the doctor ordered. Whether it’s a full-service personal trainer and nutritionist from your gym, or a coach or trainer that you use virtually, this can often be the trick to keeping you consistent. Because when you have structure and someone there guiding you, you have no choice but to stay consistent. There is something known as the Hawthorne Effect that can also help you. It basically states that people will do better with an activity when they know they are being observed rather than trying it on their own.

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FIND THE PASSION

From here, you’re also going to want to check in with yourself and be real. Because if you’re trying to force yourself to workout when you really don’t want to, it’s always going to be hard for you to stay consistent. You need to be passionate about your goals, the results that you’re looking to achieve, and the kind of workout that you’re doing. When you can truly fall in love with the process, consistency will come easily to you.

PROGRESS PHOTOS

Finally, you’ll want to think about documenting your progress. The Jefit app allows you to upload before and after photos of yourself. Doing this can often be the motivation needed to stay consistent with what you’re doing in the gym or at home.

USE JEFIT APP TO BECOME MORE CONSISTENT WITH EXERCISE

Download the Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Get Out of Your Weight Loss & Muscle Growth Plateau with These 5 Tips

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Has your fitness progress suddenly stalled? This is what happens when you hit a fitness plateau. You could hit a muscle growth plateau or a weight loss one, and it can be quite demotivating. However, it is not the end of the world. Here are some great tips to help get you back on track to your fitness goals.

Use These 5 Tips to Break Out of Your Weight Loss & Muscle Growth Plateau

1. Change Your Workout

A new workout will most likely be challenging and hard at first. After a while, it will start to become easier. This is your body becoming accustomed to the workout that you are doing. While it means that you are improving, it also means that your results may not be as significant as they were previously. In some cases, you may not see an effect at all anymore.

If you have reached this weight loss or muscle growth plateau, then you may need to change your workout and give your body something new and challenging to work through.

If you are unsure of what new exercises to incorporate into your training regime, then try using a gym workout app that has an extensive exercise library where you can pick and choose what workouts are best suited to your goals. Then, you can add this to your routine to give yourself something different to try.

After a few weeks, the same thing may happen again so just go back to the exercise library and take advantage of your customizable gym workout planner to reverse the effects.

Another way to get a new training plan is to find ready-made proven training programs. Some gym workout apps may have some available, so you can pick the one best for you.

Not only will this help you get out of your fitness plateau, but it will keep your training from becoming too static and boring.

2. Get a Trainer or Coach

If you have been working out by yourself and have started to stall, maybe it’s time to enlist the help of a qualified trainer or coach.

A trainer or coach will be able to see everything that you are doing (and not doing) and recommend a new training plan to stimulate your progress again.

By having someone with expertise and an objective view, you can gain fresh ideas into your training routine. However, some trainers can be quite pricey, especially if you have regular sessions. While they can be a worthwhile investment, an alternative is to just get one or two sessions so that they can teach you new exercises and strategies to try, and then you can set off on your own again. Another option is to get involved in small group training to reduce the session cost.

3. Change Gyms

Maybe a change of scenery can help you out. After going to the same gym day after day, year after year, you might be bored of seeing the same environment. Changing gyms and seeing new facilities, being in a new environment with a different vibe to your previous one may be what you need to break out of your weight loss or muscle growth plateau.

4. Work on Your Weaknesses

It is easy to spend a lot of time on the areas that are your strengths. If you are good at the bench, then you may tend to focus on the bench a lot. If you love cardio, then you may avoid the weight area.

Doing so can contribute to your fitness plateau.

In order to truly progress, you cannot avoid your weaknesses. In fact, addressing them and spending more time on them can really assist in boosting your fitness progress again.

So next time you are at the gym, look at an exercise library filled with different workouts. This way, you can see which ones you need to improve on. It can be challenging, but it really can do wonders for your overall fitness.

5. Train Less, Rest More

One way to experience a plateau is from training too much and not resting enough. It sounds ironic but the training more doesn’t necessarily mean you will progress faster, especially if you are looking to build muscle.

It is actually when you are not training and recovering that your muscles begin to repair themselves so if you are not giving yourself adequate recovery time, you are actually adding to your muscle growth plateau.

Make sure that you schedule in days where your body can properly recover. You may find that it can make a big difference to your progress.

Experiencing a fitness plateau can be frustrating but it is only a small bump in your progress. Try some of these tips to help break out of that stall so you can continue making steps towards your fitness goals.

Take advantage of a gym workout app that can help you move on from a weight loss or muscle growth plateau like Jefit. Armed with an extensive exercise library, customizable gym workout planner and a supportive community filled with similar-minded people, you can really break through your fitness plateau in no time at all.

Have you ever experienced a fitness plateau? What tips have you tried to break out of it? Let us know in the comments, we would love to know!

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6 Reasons Your Hip Flexors Get Tight

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Your primary hip flexors – the iliopsoas muscles – are each composed of two muscles that together connect your upper half to your lower half, provide stability for your entire lower body, and are chronically under appreciated.

You may not have spent much time thinking about your deeper core muscles: you can’t see or easily touch them, so they stay out of sight and out of mind.

If these deeper hip flexor muscles are tight or imbalanced, it affects your entire body. Just because you can’t see them in the mirror doesn’t mean they aren’t playing a major role in your mobility, your strength, and your aches and pains.

To keep your body strong and healthy, so you can stay on track with achieving your fitness goals, you’ll need healthy hip flexors.

Why Do I Have Tight Hip Flexors?

1. Inactivity

Your workout makes up a small fraction of your day. Many of us probably still spend close to 50 percent of the day in a seated position (i.e. working, commuting, eating, relaxing). If you sleep an average of 8 hours each night, then that equates to about 20 hours of being inactive.

Sitting puts the hip flexors into a shortened position relative to their natural length. When stuck in this flexed position for extended periods of time, the likelihood of developing tight hip flexors increases, especially as you repeat this pattern day after day. Sleeping in the fetal position can have a similar, compounding effect.

2. Stress

Stressful situations activate the body’s sympathetic nervous system response where the body enters a “fight or flight” mode, causing you to tense up and clench your hip flexor muscles (as well as others). Coupled with more shallow breathing, the body doesn’t get enough oxygen to truly relax and the muscles continue to hold tension.

3. Overuse & Lack of Recovery

The hip flexors can become overused by performing repetitive actions that require hip flexion, like running, cycling, kicking, or squatting. As these motions are performed day after day and used for extended periods of time, it can fatigue the muscles. Without giving the hip flexors a chance to adequately recover, the body may respond by holding tension in this area.

4. Muscle Weakness

Just like any other muscle in your body, your hip flexors need to have enough strength to perform the tasks you ask of them each day. They support your body in a good upright posture, provide stability for your lumbo-pelvic hip complex as you attempt a new 1RM on your squat or deadlift, and help you move one leg in front of the other as you run your next race.

Weak muscles can soon become tight muscles, as the brain senses weakness in the body and sends signals to a particular area to tighten up in order to create stability around a joint and provide protection.

5. Injury & Imbalance Can Result in Tight Hip Flexors

An injury, whether past or present, can play a role in developing tight hip flexors because of the way the body compensates around that injury. Let’s take an ankle injury, for example. At first, moving around is difficult and you rely more on the non-injured side of the body. This may occur for days, weeks, or even months depending on the severity of the ankle injury, where muscle imbalances begin to develop around your hips as a result of these compensations.

After the injury has “healed,” it is important to restore the full range of motion in the ankle joint and address any muscle imbalances that developed during that recovery process. If left unaddressed, the body remains unbalanced and will continue to compensate for the effects of the past injury. The hip flexors will tighten up and try to create stability, with one side potentially becoming tighter than the other.

6. Having Too Much Range of Motion

Working into too much range of motion goes beyond what your muscles and joints were designed to do, creating instability. This is commonly seen in people who are hypermobile and also in those who force themselves too deep in their yoga poses or other stretches.

Because the brain feels unsafe in these over-extended positions, it sends signals to the muscles to tighten up and create stability, acting as a protection mechanism. With the hips being involved in many of these movements, the hip flexors are among the muscles that will hold tension in an effort to keep the body safe.

How to Release Tight Hip Flexors

Chances are that you’re reading this article because you have tight hip flexors and they are limiting you, or causing pain in your low back, groin, hips, knees, or feet (yes, they even directly affect your feet!). Maybe you’ve tried stretching your hip flexors, but aren’t getting results and are wondering what to do next.

You’re likely familiar with many kinds of muscle release tools, such as lacrosse balls, foam rollers, and massage guns. But to release your hip flexor muscles (like your psoas and iliacus) that lay deeper within your core, you need to apply direct, prolonged (30-90 second) pressure.

A great tool that I recently tried is called the Hip Hook. It was designed by Christine Koth, MPT, a physical therapist, and it’s the only tool designed to release both the psoas and iliacus muscles by applying precise angled pressure, using a pivot to access these hard-to-reach muscles from the right angle. In addition, I read Ms. Koth’s book recently that you may also find interesting, Tight Hip, Twisted Core – The Key to Unresolved Pain.

Try the Jefit App

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data, audio cue tips, and a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit.

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5 Strength Training Disciplines That Will Build Muscle

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The words “strength training” have been thrown around the fitness industry for many decades now. It has been gaining a lot of traction, especially among females. There are different types of strength training disciplines that you can focus on and follow with your Jefit strength training tracker, depending on your fitness goals.

5 Strength Training Disciplines that Build Muscle

1. Bodyweight

Bodyweight refers to training that uses only your bodyweight exercises. There is no need for extra weights or machines. This is why bodyweight training is often overlooked by people when it comes to building strength and muscle. However, you only have to look at the world’s top gymnasts to know that this is a big mistake. Gymnasts, who are big on bodyweight exercises, are some of the strongest athletes in the world.

Pros

Workout anywhere: If you can’t make it to the gym, you can easily have an effective workout at home or when traveling. Just do bodyweight exercises!

Great for beginners: For those who want to ease into strength training, using your bodyweight is a great way to start. It can really make a difference in building your strength and confidence. After you get started with bodyweight exercises, you can move onto other strength disciplines such as gym weightlifting or powerlifting. Bodyweight exercises are also ideal for Tabata and circuit-type workouts because of the easy transition between exercises.

Cons

Hard to see your progress: With other training disciplines such as powerlifting, you can easily observe your improvements. This is when you are able to lift or squat a heavier load than your previous PR.

With bodyweight exercises, you don’t have the weights to tell you how far you have come. A great way to solve this is by using a strength training tracker to note and log your workouts so you can track your progress.

2. Gym Weightlifting

This is the most common type of strength training. It refers to the use of weight machines and free weights, such as dumbbells, as the primary method to build muscle.

Pros

Not as intimidating: This is great, especially for beginner gym goers, as dumbbells are easy and simple to use. Even machines have easy-to-follow instructions labelled on them. They’ll also have images that highlight the parts of the body in use so you know where you are supposed to be feeling the burn.

Versatile: You will have plenty of options with gym weightlifting. There are machines that have multiple uses in one so you can train more than one part of the body. Dumbbells can also be used in different ways. For example, you can use dumbbells for bicep curls and then an overhead press. You can mix and match exercises depending on what your fitness goals are, which means you will not be limited.

Good for beginners and seasoned gym goers:  Gym weightlifting is perfect for everyone. The equipment comes in a range of weights so whether you need 1kg or 40kg and more, you can find them. The same goes for the machines. You can adjust the load according to your personal preference.

Cons

Long wait: As gym weightlifting is so popular, during peak times, you may find that you have to wait to use the equipment. A way to get around this is by alternating turns with someone. For example, during your buddy’s rest time, you can complete your set and vice versa. Don’t forget to record your set with your strength training tracker so that you can keep a record of your progress.

3. Powerlifting

Powerlifting focuses on brute strength and consists of three primary movements:

  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Deadlift

The aim of powerlifting is to hit your maximum strength for one repetition for each of these exercises.

Pros

Builds strength: Powerlifting is one of the best ways to build up your strength as it is the main goal of powerlifters. Unlike other disciplines such as bodybuilding, powerlifting targets your strength ability as opposed to concentrating solely on aesthetics.

With powerlifting, you really will progress towards your strength and muscle goals, particularly in the legs, back and upper body. To help record your progress though, make sure you use a strength training tracker to log your workouts so you can see just how well powerlifting has improved your training.

Good technique: One of the most important aspects of fitness is making sure that you have the correct technique. If you don’t, you dramatically increase the risk of injury which is very dangerous.

Powerlifting has a big focus on technique. With only 3 primary movements, people can spend more time learning the right forms and techniques without rushing.

Cons

Narrow focus: Powerlifters can potentially disregarding other important exercises to only focus on the big 3, or only view them as “accessory” training.

Unless you are a competitive powerlifter, it is good to incorporate other movements into your training program as well so you can get a well-rounded workout.

No cardio: With an emphasis on absolute strength, powerlifters tend to neglect other aspects of fitness such as cardio. It is good to include some exercises that elevate your heart rate so that you can get in shape and stay in shape.

4. Olympic Lifting

In comparison, Olympic lifting, also known as weight lifting, has two main movements: the clean and jerk, and snatch. These moves are explosive, meaning that there isn’t just a focus on strength but also velocity. The aim is to move the bar as quickly as possible in these overhead vertical movements. To do so requires more than strength; flexibility, agility and mobility play a big part in weightlifting as well.

Pros

Uses all the muscles in the body: If you want to work out all your muscles at once, then Olympic weightlifting is the way to go. This is particularly helpful for those who want a more time-efficient way of training and have limited time at the gym. You’ll still get optimal results.

Works on speed: As I mentioned before, weightlifting is more than just a measurement of strength but speed as well. Weightlifters simultaneously perform high-velocity movements with heavy loads so you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Fun: Olympic lifting is also fun. Due to the movement’s dynamic and ballistic nature, it isn’t as easy or simple as bicep curls or other typical workouts.

Cons

High injury risk: While all workouts do have an injury risk, Olympic weightlifting has the worst reputation for being more prone to injury. To minimize these chances, it is important that you learn the correct form and technique to be able to properly and safely execute these moves. Bear in mind the slow and steady is the key in progressing your strength training. Do not rush and load up on heavy weights as this is actually detrimental to your performance and health.

Keep in mind, slow and steady is the key in progressing your strength training. Do not rush and load up on heavy weights as this is actually detrimental to your performance and health. A common progression in terms of load is a 5 percent increase in upper and 10 increase in lower body exercises.

Use a strength training tracker to follow your progress so you can steadily improve while still being safe and smart about it.

5. Strongman

Strongman focuses on strength endurance as opposed to just brute strength. It consists of functional strength movements such as moving heavy weights over long distances. It takes us back to our primal instincts and movements such as pushing, pulling, walking, lifting, carrying, and bending with heavy loads.

Pros

Functional strength: One of the biggest benefits of strongman training is that you can use the strength you have built in the real world. As it replicates primal, human movements, you are able to use the skills that you develop with strongman training in your everyday life.

Variety of exercises: It is easy to never get bored with Strongman as there is a wide range of movements to try.

Cons

Hard to find equipment: It can be difficult trying to find a gym that caters to this discipline. Strongman uses equipment such as large (really large) tires and yoke for motion-based exercises. You will have to find a specialized gym.

High risk of injury: Because you are not only lifting heavy loads but carrying and moving them around, there is a high risk of injury involved. You need to really be careful with these motion-based workouts. Make sure that while you push yourself, you are still smart about it.

As you can see, there are many types of strength training that you can try. While each has their own advantages and disadvantages, find the one (or even two) that you enjoy the most and is more suited for your fitness goals. And remember, to really know whether it is working for you, make sure you use a strength training tracker that will help to log your progress and results.

Jefit is a gym workout app that also functions as a strength training tracker. You can easily maximize your training by using the workout log to track your strength training, share your progress and results with others, and be part of a supportive community.

Which strength training discipline do you enjoy the most or want to try? Leave us a comment below, we would love to know!

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How to Calculate Your Fat & Muscle Mass

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The amount of bodyweight someone carries does not distinguish between muscle and fat weight. Overall bodyweight does not paint a true picture of how well someone is doing regarding their diet and exercise. For example, when I step onto the scale, it tell me I weight 227 pounds, great. I’m more interested, though, in the ratio of that bodyweight number. Meaning, how muscle and fat do I currently have? What is the ratio of my lean muscle and body fat? This, in my opinion, is the more important question that we should ask ourselves every few months. As an example, my goal is 85 percent lean muscle and 15 percent body fat. If you are female gym-goer maybe that ratio looks like 75/25.

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Muscle, water, connective tissue, organ weight and more are included as part of lean body mass.

Jefit Body Composition Metrics

The Jefit website offers the ability to record and track the five key health metrics seen below. There is also the ability to input and track bodyweight, girth measurements and percent body fat via Jefit iOS and Android platforms. What is great about the website, however, is the option to see your breakdown of lean muscle mass and fat mass. Check it out!

  • Current Weight
  • Percent Body Fat
  • Lean Body Mass
  • Body Fat Mass
  • BMI (Body Mass Index)

How to Calculate Fat & Muscle Mass

First, you need your bodyweight and percent body fat numbers. Once you have these, you can then figure out the ratio of muscle and fat mass that comprises bodyweight. A few items to keep in mind. Men have about 3 percent essential fat while women have about 13 percent essential fat. This is the minimal amount of body fat that someone needs to maintain for overall health.

The average college-age male, who is a non-athlete, has about 15 percent body fat, while a female of the same age will have about 23-25 percent. A college athlete will have considerably less body fat. Here are two examples that demonstrate how fat and muscle mass are calculated.

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Let’s look at the case study from above from a Jefit user. This is from a 227 pound male who is carrying about 17 percent body fat.

First, multiply bodyweight by percent body fat. The number you get is fat weight mass. In this case, it’s 227 x 16.8 percent = 38.13 pounds, which is the fat mass.

Next, subtract fat weight (38.13) from bodyweight (227), this equates to lean mass (not pure muscle mass) which in this case is about 189 pounds. About 44 percent of this number is pure muscle mass, which in this case, is about 83 pounds. The weight of your bones (skeletal system) comprises 15 percent of your bodyweight.

What the Math Looks Like

227 x 17 percent = 38 pounds of fat weight, therefore, 227 – 38 = 189 pounds of lean mass. It’s important to understand that this number, 189 is comprised of: muscle, bone, connective tissue, fluid, skin, organ weight, etc. Otherwise known as all the good stuff. The 38 pounds is fat or adipose tissue. The ratio for this male individual would be 83/17. Or, 83 percent lean mass and 17 percent fat mass.

Men carry more muscle than women. An average male (18-39 years old) has about 44 percent of their bodyweight made up of muscle mass. About 34 percent of a female’s bodyweight is made up of muscle mass.

Use Jefit to Record & Track your Body Composition Metrics

To ensure an exercise and nutrition program is truly working, record a few baseline numbers mentioned above. Over a period of time, you should experience a slight increase in lean mass, a decrease in fat mass and your ratio should also change. Recording and tracking body composition (and strength) metrics should help keep you motivated. An assessment can be beneficial because it keeps you consistent, with both training and your nutritional intake, because you know at a future date, your metrics will be looked at again for comparison.

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Common Mistakes When Trying to Build Muscle

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It can be frustrating when you put in hours each week at the gym or with your home workout, yet you see minimal or no gain. Here are some of the more common mistakes that could be preventing you from building muscle and what you can try instead.

Don’t Skip Leg Day

Let’s start with the most common mistake. Focusing wholly on your upper body may cause you to end up out of proportion, but more likely than not, this won’t be the case – you won’t be able to build the upper body muscle to begin with. Having strong legs allows you to support a bulkier upper body, making it easier to build muscle. Many compound leg exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, are also better at increasing testosterone, which helps when developing muscles elsewhere.

A study by the University of Texas found that “performing squats synthesizes more testosterone and growth hormone than a similar session on the leg press.” Although the test subjects lifted more weight on the leg press, their exhaustion was 42 percent higher after doing squats.

Avoid Sugar Spiking

Consuming too many sugary energy drinks, chocolate milkshakes or even some protein bars, could be taking away your ability to gain muscle. While they may give you the energy and protein necessary to build muscle mass, the excess sugar, in turn, could be inhibiting your ability to take in muscle-building amino acids. Look out for low-sugar drinks and snacks that will still give you the protein and energy. Keep in mind, men should consume no more than 38 grams a day and women 25 grams a day of added sugar.

Consuming the Wrong Kind of Calories

When trying to build muscle, you do need to consume additional calories. However, it’s important to eat the right kind of calories. Fast food, ice cream and pizza will more likely cause you to pile on fat. Increase your calories in more healthy ways by eating more fish, chicken, rice, potatoes and vegetables.

Mis-using Supplements

Some people can go overboard on supplements like creatine and fish oil, using these instead of taking up a healthy diet or taking too many causing nutritional problems. There are then those who take the wrong kind of supplements (i.e. performance enhancing drugs like steroids). Steroids are notoriously common amongst some gym-goers but as most know, they can run all kinds of other health risks. You’ll bulk up faster, sure, but you also damage your body in the process, causing severe long-term health problems.

Avoid Too Much Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise, is very beneficial, but, should be reserved to a minimum when trying to bulk up. This is because it steals the calories needed for repairing muscle tissue, converting the calories instead into fuel for aerobic exercise. Try limiting your cardio to twenty minutes, three times a week and see if this has any impact. A few short, HIIT sessions could also work well.

Ignore Weight Training Technique

There are specific techniques to follow for each strength training exercise. For example, proper deadlift form, requires keeping your legs about hip-width apart, not arching (flexing) your back, tucking your chin etc. These will all help build muscle more effectively in addition to protecting your spine and hips in the process. Make sure that you’re using the right technique with each exercise, otherwise you could be preventing yourself from building muscle.

Reference

Shaner, A.A., Vingren, J.L., Hatfield, D.L. et al. The acute hormonal response to free weight and machine weight resistance exercise. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 2014, 28, 4, 1032–1040.

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What Are the Best Options for Managing Chronic Pain?

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More than 20 percent of the U.S. adult population, or 50 million people, are trying to manage chronic pain. More than 20 million of them have what is known as “high-impact pain” where the pain is so severe, it can limit everything from activities of daily living to exercise to going to work. These estimates are from the Centers of Disease Control and the National Interview Survey that looked at the health of more than 30,000 adults.

Let’s begin by first taking a look at the differences between acute and chronic pain. According to Medicinenet.com

“Acute pain is of sudden onset and is usually the result of a clearly defined cause such as an injury. Acute pain resolves with the healing of its underlying cause. Chronic pain persists for weeks or months and is usually associated with an underlying condition, such as arthritis. The severity of chronic pain can be mild, moderate, or severe.”

Medicine.net

It seems that everyone you talk with these days is dealing with some form of chronic pain. From those that I’ve spoken to, three areas of the body seem to be most prominent: the low back, knees and shoulder area. It also seems that each individual has their own way of trying to manage their chronic pain.

Case Study: Managing Chronic Pain

Over the past few months I’ve known a few people who were diagnosed with various stress injuries. Each resulting from either exercise or a repetitive movement. No one in this group had ever broken a bone or experienced any type stress fracture in their life…until now. As a result, their gait was thrown off and their body became severely de-conditioned over time. The body is an amazing organism. When we have an injury, the body tries to compensate in order to function. Each individual tried to maintain some type of basic exercise routine as best they could. For example, one friend tried to maintain her fitness level by biking outdoors for about 30-75 minutes 3-4 times a week. They had a stress fracture in one of their toes that they were dealing with.

As a result of an injury, it’s easy to start popping medications in order to alleviate the pain. Chronic pain can take its toll not only physically but mentally as well. It’s also easy to try different alternative therapies because you’re trying to be proactive. Different therapies, like massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and even regular exercise and yoga may help. The issue, however, is they don’t address the root cause of the pain. Why did the injury happen in the first place? What is the mechanism hiding behind the injury? Different specialist will give you varying reasons why this has happened to you. Some will not even offer you that much insight, just try to treat it. They treat the symptom(s), again, not the root cause.

Myofascial Therapy Can Help Manage Chronic Pain

A few friends found that myofascial therapy worked really well. This is typically performed by someone like a physical therapist who has had additional training working with fascia. They are trained to address the issues not with various modalities but manually (i.e. using their hands) helping to release tight fascia (connective tissue) around the injured area.

One person found that the Egoscue Method worked really well. This method was founded by anatomical physiologist, Pete Egoscue, decades ago. He built a great reputation helping famous golfers get out of pain. It involves a full digital assessment followed up with specific bodyweight only exercises to address the issue and realign the spine and body. He has a great book, which I’ve read and recommend often, called Pain Free on Amazon.

This was one of the first therapies that offered me, when I was previously injured, an idea of why my injury occurred in the first place. For me it was all about finding that mechanism that caused the injury in the first place. I was then able to address it, and begin to work on specific exercises to – in my case, realign the spine and hips – eventually getting me back to a healthy (posture) baseline. My job is to now work on those specific, daily, movements (i.e. prehab) in order to prevent this from happening again.

Additional Modalities for Managing Chronic Pain

Massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, cryotherapy, flotation tank, chiropractic, yoga, foam rolling and even exercise can all help. Each modality is beneficial and has a place at the table in managing chronic pain. I have personally tried each of them and, to some extent, they all work albeit temporarily. When trying to relieve chronic pain, it’s best to have a trained therapist observe your standing posture, and how you move. Remember, if you have movement competency issues – and most of us do – you need to work on addressing those issues first. Otherwise, you may end up spending a great deal of money and investing a lot of your time without ever eliminating the pain and finding the answer to why it ever happened in the first place.

Hopefully the advice in this article is something you can use if or when needed. Don’t get comfortable taking medication or trying different therapies just because that’s what you’ve done in the past or someone recommended you give it a try. Question everything, think out of the box, be your own advocate and first and foremost, determine the root cause of the pain.

Jefit Elite Can Record & Track Your Injury History

Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit.

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4 Things to Watch with Your Body Post Workout

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When you’re working out, you can push yourself, at times, well beyond your comfort zone. After all, who ever got fit by feeling a little bit of discomfort, and then throwing in the towel, right? There are a few things, however, your body may be trying to tell either during or after a work out. It is important to always pay attention to how you feel during and after a given workout. If you don’t, you may not catch the early warning signs of a potential injury. If you want to know what your body may be telling you post workout, read on!

Persistent Pain

A common misconception about working out is that pain is just a sign that you’re overloading your muscles. You may be thinking you’re pushing your body adequately in order to make it stronger. Most people don’t believe that there is anything wrong with this. Some think the “no pain, no gain” adage is the correct mentality. Meaning, an overwhelming sense of pain in your body, will ultimately produce gains in strength and size.

The issue, though, could be you’re doing harm to your body, and you should never ignore these signs. A bit of aching and muscle fatigue is pretty normal after exercise. A stabbing pain, however, is certainly not, so don’t underestimate how important this may be. Even if the pain passes after a while, it is a good idea to get it checked out by your physician before it becomes persistent.

This is also important if you have any underlying health issues, such as heart problems. If you start to experience pain in your chest, don’t just keep it to yourself, and know what the heart attack symptoms in men and women are. You’ll be glad that you educated yourself on what could go wrong, in case anything ever actually arise post workout.

You Feel Dizzy When Working Out

Another warning sign of a potential issue when you are working out is dizziness. If you’re feeling light-headed and dazed when you’re exercising, this may not a good sign. There are many things that could be causing your dizziness, such as hypoglycemia, but it’s also important to know when you actually need to take the plunge, and go and see a doctor.

Sometimes, you may be dizzy just because you’ve been moving around a lot, and it has thrown you off balance a bit. You’ll know if this is the case, because this will usually pass pretty quickly. It can also be caused by holding your breath for prolonged periods of time, as the lack of oxygen to your brain can also throw you off a little.

However, you can experience light-headedness and dizziness because you’re pushing yourself too hard in a workout, and your body just can’t cope with it. Your brain may not be able to get oxygen fast enough, and whilst this isn’t a health issue in small doses, it can present some risks. Know when to stop, and don’t ignore dizziness especially during or post workout.

You’re Not Sleeping Well

While this is not something that may not present itself as an issue when you’re actually working out, you may want to ask yourself whether your sleeping patterns have changed since you started hitting the gym. Insomnia is one of your body’s ways of telling you that something is up, so don’t ignore it if it’s happens.

Your insomnia could be caused by an increase in cortisol, which is a direct result of exercising. While the hormone cortisol can be a good thing, it’s also associated with other issues, too. When cortisol levels start to rise at night, they can increase the chances of you waking up more, or not sleeping at all.

One way to avoid these issues is to ensure that you don’t work out too late at night, but the main thing to avoid is workouts where you’re doing too much, for too long. If you’re exercising at a level that is simply too intense, your sleeping may be affected. Know when to stop, for the sake of catching those important zzz’s.

Nervous System on Overload

This is worth reading into if you’re a science lover, but basically, too much intense exercise, and/or stress, can negatively effect your sympathetic nervous system, which is the part of your body that controls the ‘fight or flight’ response. Keeping this in balance is key, so don’t push yourself harder than you need to, and always keep an eye on your mental and physical health.

If you’re unsure about anything that your body is telling you post workout, go and see a healthcare professional, sooner rather than later, and you’ll be glad you did this, if for nothing else, it will put your mind at rest!

Use Jefit to Monitor Your Body & Workouts

Jefit app, named best app for 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit.

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