3 Random Fitness Thoughts #3
1. Should I train while I’m sick?
Maybe. It really depends on how you’re feeling. If you just have light cold, and a runny nose – maybe you’re ok to do some light training, or even just movement and mobility work. If you have flu like symptoms and are running a fever, it’s probably best to stay at home.
What about sweating out the cold?
Probably not going to happen. When you train hard and lift heavy weights and make yourself gasp for air, you are putting stress on your body. This stress from training combined with the stress of a beat up immune system is too much for the body to handle. Going for a walk or an easy bike ride may help if you aren’t too sick. But, if you are really feeling under the weather – skip the gym, your body will thank you.
2. The body is one piece.
What exactly do I mean by that? I mean people get way too caught up training different “body parts.” This makes no sense when you view the body as one piece. A big mistake a lot of trainees make is to split up their workout routine by focusing on different body parts each session. This is severely outdated and limits the body.
First, you cannot just focus on one body part at a time. If you are doing a push up to work on your chest muscles, more than just your pectoralis major and minor are working. You triceps help extend the elbow as you come off the ground, you glutes should be on to maintain a good spinal position, your anterior core is on to keep the hips from sagging down. All of the smaller shoulder muscles will be on to help stabilize the shoulder joint, and so on.
What to do instead.
Think about movements and not muscles. Your body wants to function as one unit. Compound multi-joint exercises are best to explore your capacity as a human and to train functionally. I like to break up workout programs into different movements instead of focusing on which muscles do the work of a specific exercise. The movement classifications I use are – hip hinge, knee dominant, push, pull and anti extension/rotation/lateral flexion core. Hit one of those movements each workout and not only will it help you build more muscle, it will help you lean out and get a greater metabolic effect from training.
3. Winter workouts.
Everyone is more active in the summer. I get it, the weather is nicer, the sun is out and if you’re a member of Gain, the beach is probably only 10-15 minutes away from your house.
After the blizzard we got yesterday, it reminded me of some ways to get a good outdoor workout in during the winter. There is definitely something about training outdoors that makes you feel great.
Snowshoeing is a fantastic way to get a good cardio workout in. It is tough on your body, much tougher than you think if you’ve never had the pleasure of trying. Cross-country skiing is another great way to get outside in the winter. There’s a reason that some of the highest tested VO2 maxes are from cross-country skiers – it’s hard. Winter chores also make for a good workout. Shoveling is an annoying task for most, but turn it into a workout by shoveling for time. How fast can you (safely) clean off your driveway? Are you moving through it as fast as you can or are you just going through the motions? Same goes for splitting wood. It’s a great way to build explosive power, work on having a stable trunk and mobilizing into an overhead position.
So the next time you’re snowed in and think you have to miss a training session, try something out in the snow. Worried about dressing appropriately for the weather? Check out this post by Patrick Merrill on dressing for work outdoors in the cold: