First Responders and Tactical Athletes don't have a problem losing weight. Every January, thousands of first responders start dieting.
The majority are successful at shedding a few pounds through February/March! But.. by April many of them are starting to struggle with their weight-loss and begin adding the weight they all worked so hard to get off at the start of the year.
They get frustrated and blame themselves for a lack of "discipline" or blame their "bad genetics" for their inability to reach their goals.
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As a first responder/tactical athlete, shift work is part of the job. Throughout your career, you will have both night and day shifts. Often, you may have be alternating back and forth between the two. A massive challenge you will experience is structuring your nutrition plan to help you to achieve your health and fitness goals.
When you finish reading this article, you will understand why eating is so hard during shift work as well as develop an action plan to get you on track towards your performance goals.
In the US, up to 18% of the US work force alternate shift schedules. Recent studies have shown that when compared to non-shift workers, shift worked had a 17% increased risk of all cardiovascular events and close to a 20% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Another study shows that shift workers had a 9% greater risk for diabetes when compared to non-shift workers.
Contrary to popular belief, bodyweight training can be a great stimulus to build muscle.
The key to building muscle is that you need to train close to fatigue/failure. While research still argues the exact recommendation of how many reps shy of failure should be performed, a general recommendation would be to be within 5 reps shy of failure.
The reason why going close to failure/fatigue is important is that as you approach failure you will recruit more muscle units. As the muscles fatigue, more motor units will be needed to complete the same task. Therefore, more muscle fibers are active close to fatigue.
The issue with bodyweight training, is that often the intensity is not challenging enough to get "close to fatigue".
Have you ever seen someone go to fatigue on air squats?
Probably not.. If so it would have taken them a long time to get there (assuming they are healthy and already workout regularly).
Ideally, we can get "close to fatigue" while...
Regardless if you are sick or not. Make sure you stay hydrated, eat good food and GET SLEEP! Don’t overeat. We know people like to snack to pass the time however avoid overeating. If you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of other people.
"Muscle Confusion" is the concept of changing exercises regularly to "SHOCK" the body/muscles to send them a signal to grow and improve their strength.
Is this concept a good plan for optimal growth and strength development? What are the pros and cons of this strategy? This article will cover just that.
To make progress in any movement pattern these 3 principles are the most important to consider. They are in order of most importance.
1. Consistency - Are you working out regularly enough to make a change? Typically 2-5 days a week is needed to make a change.
2. Specificity - Exercises that we select should mimic the activities we want to improve. To get bigger legs you should squat.. Not do bicep curls!
3. Overload- We need to do MORE each workout to send a signal for the body to improve strength and build muscle. If you lift the same amount of weight day in and day out, your muscles...
Every training program should start with a goal. Where do you want to be in 12-16 weeks? Do you want to be stronger? Faster? Leaner? More muscular? More endurance?
If you want to improve your deadlift, it is going to take you weeks of training the deadlift at least 1x a week to improve your deadlift. If you are deadlifting once every 2-4 weeks, you are missing multiple opportunities to send more signals to your body to improve your strength.
If you are training off how you feel that day, you are wasting so much potential. Training programs are often designed to have athletes overreach at the end of the cycle. This is a period of time where you push harder than normal by doing higher volume and/or intensity for strength and hypertrophy adaptations. During this time...
For many of us, the bench press was the first exercise that we did when we started lifting weights. The bench press has become the king of upper body exercises. Monday is National Bench day.. Because we all want to start the week off with something we enjoy doing!
This article will go over ways to break through your bench press plateau.
Believe it or not, the bench press is a very technical movement. There is much more to the bench press than just lower the barbell to your chest and push it up..
If you have ever been to a powerlifting competition, you will notice the setups are very elaborate. They can take upwards of 30-60 seconds to generate tension and get in the right position before unracking the barbell.
The two biggest technique flaws that we tend to see is the lack of shoulder blade retraction and depression (pinning your shoulder blades back and down into the bench) as...
Recreational lifters often use external support/equipment for multiple purposes. Some use it for injuries, some use it for performance benefits, and others use it because they were taught they need to wear them at all times.
This article will go over how and when to use the equipment to maximize your health and performance.
When you walk into a gym, you can get a pretty good idea of who is dealing with an injury/pain based on the equipment they are wearing.
Are you wearing knee sleeves with light activity? Hmm..
Are you wearing wrist wraps for every upper body exercise? Hmm..
Are you wearing a belt with squats and deadlifts under 85%? Hmm..
The same goes for ankle braces, elbow support, etc.
Let's set this straight... We should NOT be relying on this equipment to exercise!! Our body is meant to be strong and stable without the use of external support! PERIOD.
With all that being said, wearing external support can provide healthy...
Something that drives me NUTS is seeing everyone prescribe 3 sets of 10 reps for EVERY exercise. It is NOT a magic number and does not help you achieve your fitness or physique goals better than other sets and reps. Let's cover how many sets and reps WILL help you achieve your goals.
Here are some simple guidelines to follow based off your goals.
Goal: Muscle Growth
Frequency: At least 2x per week per body part
Training a movement pattern at least twice a week has been shown to be better than once per week.
This more than likely has to do with being unable to achieve the targeted amount of sets needed for muscle growth is easier to be done in multiple sessions than it would be in just one session. If you had to do 16 sets of chest in one session, your last few sets would be pretty rough.. You wouldn't be able to give your best effort and lift the same amount of weight as if you had 2 sessions consisting of 8 sets each.
Police Officers and First Responders have duties that the rest of the population does not have. We have to be ready at any moment to run, jump, carry, climb, lift, etc. The job requires us to be quick on your feet and be ready for ANYTHING. When emergencies happen, we have no choice but to be ready.
What we have found is that in the time of emergency, we don't have time to think about HOW we will pick up objects up. We don't have time to think about HOW we will get the task done OR if we will be able to complete the task safely. We just REACT.
We are no good to the situation if we are not fit and capable to do our job.
What if I told you, that it is possible to train in the gym to be prepared for...