Top 5 Articles of 2015

Ok, so its January 2nd and I’m a little late to the “Best of 2015” list.  But this was my first full year writing for Watchfit.com.  So I figured I’d take a look back and see what the top 5 articles were in terms of shares, and likes.

Go check ’em out,

1. 3 Ways to Structure your Powerlifting Workouts–  This was a fun one to write as we have a great powerlifting program being run out of AMP by one of our coaches.  Have you ever thought about competing in powerlifting?  Or just curious as to what its all about?  You should stop in and talk to our coach.

2. Good Posture Exercises– We tend to put our bodies in poor postural positions several times a day, whether its reading from a computer or the phone.  Go through some of these exercises on a daily basis to alleviate your postural issues.

3. How to Alleviate Shin Splints– If you’ve been an athlete, especially a runner, chances are you’ve run into shin splints.  The important thing to do is get ahead of it and treat it correctly. And remember to take it slow when coming back to exercise.

4. Benefits of Squats– Squats are awesome.  If you’re not doing squats, you are sorely missing out.  Read this article on why you should squat, and then get to it.  And squatting can come in many forms and can use different loads.

T5.  Pull-ups vs Chin-ups– Both are pretty similar and require a great deal of upper body strength.  But there are a few key differences in what makes each awesome.

T5. An Athletic Diet– Athletes eat and train. They don’t diet and exercise.


Your Holiday Guide to Keep You Sane

First off Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, even Happy ___ to whatever the Pastafarians celebrate.  Now what comes with the holidays is a time of indulging in some not so healthy foods like cookies and cakes, and pies etc.  But here’s the biggest message that I’m going to give to you right now.   It doesn’t freakin matter.  Because that isn’t what the holidays are about, right?  The holiday time is full of parties with friends and family, and THAT is what is most important.  Spending time with the people you love.  Not stressing over what you’re eating.

Now here’s the caveat that can prevent you from going off the deep end and going out of control.

GET YOUR WORKOUTS IN!

Because if you do have a tendency to eat a lot (btw I love cookies and cakes and pie) making sure you maintain your workouts is a good way to maintain your fitness level. It also assures you that you don’t GAIN fat during this time.  Look at this time as giving yourself a break from all the hard work you’ve been doing.  If nothing, look at this as a maintenance phase of your progress.

What’s important is that you don’t get lazy during this time of year and say “screw it, ill start on January 1st.”  That’s not how this works.  By then, its too late both physically and mentally.  What happens if you indulge and don’t maintain your workout regiment?  You’re likely to pack on a few lbs of fat, you know those lbs you worked so hard to shed from January till now.

 

Look, we’re all human and we all love food.  You cant escape it.  Its everywhere.  So avoid skip on your grandmothers meatballs or your moms cookies because that’s not the message I’m trying to convey.  Eat, drink, be merry, and above all else DO NOT SKIP YOUR WORKOUTS!

 


Do You Even Meal Prep?

We’ve talked about the importance of being in control, being prepared. A key aspect to taking control of your health and being prepared is literally preparing your meals. For many people making sure they are able to sit down and make themselves a meal seems impossible due to our busy lives and massive schedules.
However, what if I told you that in anywhere between 1-2 hours you could have all of your meals taken care of for the week. That’s right, the entire week! Here are some examples from your own AMP family of their meal preps. The first two are prepared for the next two days.

If you find that you are very short on time, preparing your meals could be as simple as making extra when you cook for the family and saving your leftovers for the next day. As seen in the photos above these two are preparing two days at a time. This is a great time saver and helps you to add plenty of variety to your meals.
These next two are prepared for the entire week:


While this takes longer, you don’t have to think about what you are eating for the entire week. This has a tendency to include less variety due to preparing the meals in bulk. However the stress of thinking about and individually preparing every, single, meal, is taken off the table completely.
   If you are serious about your goals, you will become serious about what you are eating. Weekly meal preparation is the easiest way to secure your healthy lifestyle for another week. So try it out for yourself, feel free to ask your AMP trainer any questions you may have. You may have seen us all with out meal prep containers here and there. Eat healthy, be active and you’ll love the results!

Sprains, Strains & Automobiles

So you’ve pull/strained/sprained/torn a muscle. You took the appropriate steps to allows the afflicted area to heal. The pain has significantly decreased, but you still feel tension or loss of range of motion. Why? Seen below is an example of what happens to muscle fibers when trauma or injury has occurred to the site. There are multiple grades of straining a muscle.
Grade 1: Stretching. While stretching a muscle you notice and increase in length of the muscle or muscle group; why? This is because you are literally causing small tears in the muscle spindles and the surrounding collagen. Once these adhesions are broken up or torn, the muscles ability to lengthen increases.
Grade 2: Mild or Micro-tears. As seen above the muscle is still intact although certain sections of different fibers have torn apart, thus causing pain and inflammation on the site. Micro-tears occur from working out, have you ever felt sore for days, this is what your muscle is going through. At AMP are constantly installing that a healthy nutritious diet and the appropriate amount of recovery to match your workouts is integral to any program. Micro-tears will occur less often and heal faster than those who are spotty about their recovery and nutrition. These tears are more serious than a grade one but not a complete tear of the muscle.
Grade 3: Complete tear of muscle fiber or a ruptured ligament. As seen in example one, this type of strain is serious and impact a great deal of the muscle. These can feel like a broken bone, presenting with an inability to load the affected joint. There may even in fact be swelling and bruising on site. These are serious and need to be looked at by a doctor or medical professional.
In the third example we see the most common of scar tissue build up. In society today, people either travel, commute or sit at a computer for work. It’s inevitable that we will come across over stretched tissue, more than not it occurs in the upper back. Look at your posture right now. Rounded forward over the phone, tablet or screen. With the tissue overstretched it cannot contract organically and thus is shut off from oxygen. This causes cell damage just as any trauma would.
What happens after the tear is amazing. Our bodies are instantly aware of the trauma and begin laying down fibers to fill the gaps, these fibers are dense and layered haphazardly in order to quickly repair the damage. Unfortunately, these fibers need to be trained to align and work with the rest of the fibers so the muscle can restore not only normal range of motion but strength as well. See that yellow area? Unless the fibers align with the rest, they are unable to contract with the rest, they sit there like a small block of concrete doing nothing. When scar tissue is rehabilitated through specific massage techniques the fibers align and contract. CONTRACTION=STRENGTH.
If you’re dealing with such an issue. Get down to AMP in Massapequa Park and come let our Sports and Medical Massage therapist fix you up. Don’t live weak and in pain! Do something about it!

 

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Do You Have Your Accountabilibuddy?

Your accountabilibuddy is you! Are you holding yourself accountable?

Your immediate answer may be “Of course I do.” However, is that true? Today we are going to take a hard look in the mirror and see if you truly are holding yourself accountable. By now you are familiar with the basic principles of how to eat properly and are on top of your training. So what is holding you back? Perhaps you have stored this information away, although you can recall it, you haven’t quite implemented these facts into your life wholeheartedly. These principles come into play every so often when you motivate yourself to start fresh, but why did you stop to begin with?

A teacher holds their students accountable for applying and proving that they have learned the information at hand, now is the time to hold yourself accountable. Yes, your trainer may check in every so often to see how your diet is going, however, that is out of concern and their willing spirit to help. Once you leave the gym, you are accountable for every choice and every option you make. That one glass of wine, that one cookie; it will make a difference. So from right now and moving forward: No more lying to yourself, no more compromising, you owe your body the best of care. You deserve to fuel your body properly and see the benefits that this course will have for you.

The same holds true when you come in to train or attend a class. If you are not giving 100% of what you have that day, you are not holding yourself accountable. You are cheating on your work out. No more shorting the reps,no more taking the ‘easy’ way out, if you can do more, DO IT! You will only see progress from the hard work you invest in yourself.

Ask yourself:

  • Aren’t my goals worth the effort?
  • Am I being completely honest with myself?
  • Why am I cheating myself?

When it comes to anything in life, whether it is your diet, your training, or your goals, YOU are the only one who can hold yourself accountable. YOU are the only who can make a difference in your life. YOU are the one who can make the changes needed to improve your life and get you closer to your goals. START TODAY!