Move-Meant: the importance of recovery and meaningful movement

Happy Monday Morning!!!!!!

In my neck of the woods, we woke up to much cooler temperatures….which meant a much stiffer hip during rehab this morning :) But it was completed none the less.

quads on fire

Anyways…..

Today marks the first post in a short series about recovery. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do NOT get recovery right every single time…but I DO know the importance of recovery and how many body systems are involved in true recovery. So, let’s dive right in.

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Let’s get the layout and ground rules for recovery set up first:

  1. RECOVERY refers to recovering from a certain aspect of your lifestyle, preferably an active one. In other words, if you’re still on the couch about working out, skip to a different post :)
  2. You can utilize many things in RECOVERY, including foam rollers, bands, balls, yoga (the right kind) and even diet (oh yes!).
  3. RECOVERY involves more than just lazing about….I know, I am as shocked as you on this one. Most of my “recovery days” have always involved Netlfix binges…who knew????

The act of recovery is utilizing meaningful movement to de-stress and decompress the joints and soft tissue of the body. That’s a pretty broad explanation of true recovery. I like to take it a step further and implement mindful movement AND anti-inflammatory diet practices to rid the body, mind, and gut of the excess stress that can keep us feeling tight and pent up in our own bodies. Today, I’ll be listing some great forms of recovery, giving a comprehensive recovery schedule, and making sure you leave with some good resources.

TYPES OF RECOVERY:

  • Foam Rolling. When done correctly, foam rolling helps to manipulate soft tissue (aka, muscles and fascia) and alleviate pain, plus it’s cheaper than a massage. If you’re new to the roll, I suggest purchasing a soft roller and working your way up to the big boys. Here are videos for foam rolling the Upper Body, Lower Body, and an all over foam roll for active individuals. Consider foam rolling before and after activities OR in the evening when you are watching your favorite show.
  • Stretching. Stretching can help to elongate the soft tissues, tendons and ligaments surrounding the joints. The key is to not overstretch. So, pay attention to your body and go for a stretch in the belly of the muscle. I have an easy full body stretch here.
  • Yoga. Yoga is more than stretching and is requires ZERO flexibility to get started. Yoga puts your joint through their full range of motion and helps the skeletal system to realign for more efficient movement. If you have NEVER done yoga, I recommend seeking a qualified teacher/class to get you started. If you have a little knowledge, Morgan Day Cecil is my fave yoga girl of the moment.
  • Massage Therapy. Manual manipulation of soft tissues helps to decrease tension AND helps to force stress induced toxin build up out of the body. In order to keep massage more budget friendly, I suggest seeking a massage school close to you. New therapist need  hours and are often very attentive to your needs.
  • Ice baths and Epsom salt baths. Both of these help ease soreness. If joints or inflammation are your main concern, go for an ice bath (exactly what it sounds like). If soreness is your gig, a 20 minute soak in some warm (not too hot) water with about 1/4 cup Epsom salts should do the trick.
  • Diet. If you suffer from chronic soreness or inflammation, I would suggest checking your diet. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, feel free to contact me in the form below and get started with a diet profile review. Often times, many issues in the soft tissue and joints can be a reflection of what if going on in the gut (more on this in week 3).
  • Active Rest. respect active rest days by scheduling out actual active rest. You can take a walk, go for a light swim, enjoy some time at the beach, attend a yoga class, etc. Even if you’re sore, move with a mindfulness and the soreness will dissipate over time. The human body CRAVES motion.

I know it can be a lot to soak in, but recovery can be the missing link to fast tracking your results ;)

Weekly Recovery Schedules:

  1. Foam roll 1-2x per day, around workout.
  2. Stretch post workout for 5- 10 minutes, more in the evening if you are sore.
  3. Schedule a massage once a month.
  4. Use Epsom salt and ice baths as needed.
  5. Implement an anti-inflammatory diet for at least 3 weeks.
  6. Schedule at least 1 active rest day into each week.

Happy Recovery Trails!!!! And keep me posted on how you do these next 3 weeks.

Oh, that fluffy feeling……

I have issues…….I think you know that if you’ve read my stuff :) If this is your first visit, well then, I’m human and have issues. Welcome.

This has been an off week for me. It’s actually quite beautiful here in Southeast Texas, but I have been fighting with wicked allergies. I haven’t struggled with allergies like these since my childhood days! The severity of my cough which stemmed from a head full of snot (not the exact term the doc used), resulted in two allergy meds and an asthma med….with little relief as of yet. I was also told to rest…whatever that is ;) . I am perpetually not a rester. I like to DO things. Unless we’re watching a movie, then I just sit there like a stump on a log. Moving on…rest to me is yoga, Piyo (great program!), low impact circuits, etc. You know, rest :)

This forced rest and fuzzy head could be a great time to work on the devotional book I am writing, but I have been utilizing it to allow my head to enter into a dark space instead. My competition was a little over a month ago and I have put on about 7 pounds since then (give or take a pound). My coach is trying to reverse diet me to a lean, mean, lifting machine……I find myself in a panic. These days I feel much more mean than lean. I call it “fluffy.” You cannot feel fat. Well, you can if you stick your hand into a tub of Crisco, but that would be gross. Fat is a nutrient that we need, fluffy is when you just don’t feel as lean as a certain part of your brain thinks you should be.

During the competition itself I was excited for this time…..then I realized that this time is summer time and includes swimsuits (see previous post for a good laugh on that one). This past Sunday we spend time at my brother in laws pool for Father’s Day (thanks MIKE!) and I realized from the reflection in the window that my mind isn’t always right. Even at 7 pounds heavier, things are still healthy looking. I’m not sporting a six-pack (I’m also not a teenage boy….so there), but everything looks in shape. Body fat is there, but not nearly as noticeable as the muscle and I seem to be in good proportion. I promise I wasn’t standing in front of the mirror for hours checking myself out, this was just in passing.

Musclemania 2015 Front Side Pose First contest pic on the blog! Thanks to Alfonso Aguire :)

OK, so the above pic is not a realistic version of where my body can stay. That’s why we get pictures at competitions! Duh….. So, the logical part of my brain knows this, but the junior high girl who was made fun of for her weight (and yes, I remember all the comments and all the names…..issues) wants to stay there for special occasions. This part of post-comp is hardly ever talked about though.

So, why am I talking about it? Well, for the .01% of you who may compete, I like keeping it real. For the rest of you, there is something you keep comparing yourself to that holds you back from progress. Let that sink in.

See, my goal right now is NOT to look like I did during my comp (well, I wouldn’t mind that when I hang at the pool…). My goal right now is to add muscle, increase strength AND set aside quality time with my family. That means I can’t spend all day in the gym. Holding on to a past version of myself hinders any progress because my mind is not taking in the present and looking towards the future. I am allowing what was once a small thought to fester and become overwhelming.

Don’t get me started on the old videos and pics before I started to put on muscle.

This can happen to all of us. We get fixated on what we used to look like or what we think we should look like. I cannot tell you how many clients have said, “You should have seen me when…” Well, what’s so bad about now?

I don’t know about you, but right now I do not have any bikini photo shoots in the next 6 weeks. I do have a family vacation, but if your family can’t love you then who can? Most of the time we are harder on ourselves than anybody else. This drives us to a sort of obsession and can literally keep us from reaching our goals!

What can we do?

You know I love it when you ask that! I have a few action steps to get us ALL on the right track:

  1. Get real about your goals. For me personally, I had to realize that I could not want to add muscle and want the body of a svelte supermodel at the same time. That did not lead to consistency of any kind. Muscle is good for me cause let’s face it, I really like to eat.
  2. Enlist some help you trust. Pay for a coach (mine has been so helpful post comp) or join a challenge group. Having this accountability and knowledge is super helpful.
  3. Consistency above ALL. I have said it time and time again: consistency is king (small king, big King is God just to clarify). You must stay consistent to reach any goal you set. If your brain is all over the map, so will your goals follow.
  4. Get a power song! I have a lot of them and my playlist is full of NF, Lacrae, Andy Mineo, and even some AC/DC  :) I’ll share my song of the moment with you though.

There you have it. Four simple steps to a better you! Don’t let the world tell you who you should be or how you should look and don’t let past events dictate it either. Strive for a better you to give back each day and things will start to happen :)

mc-7159 I wanted to use this one for a while :) Photo by Kendra Harwell Photography (in the Baytown/Houston area)

NOW, let’s hear it! Leave your tips and suggestions for reaching goals and not heading into a negative mind space in the comments below :)

 

Hello Baytown! Local training news AND an online Summer Challenge

mc--4 WM Thanks to Kendra Harwell Photography for these awesome pics :)

For those in the BAYTOWN area, I have some exciting news. I have decided to team up with the local YMCA to revamp their entire personal training program. I am taking the position of Personal Training Lead and will be in charge of building a top notch team of personal trainers from the ground up. I will also be providing education for trainers AND group X instructors so members receive the best in nutrition and exercise science. After all, what good is knowledge if you aren’t sharing it right? :)

What does this mean for YOU?

If you aren’t local, go ahead and hop down the post for an exciting opportunity to train with me virtually. If you ARE local, here is what you can expect:

  1. ALL of my in-person, one-on-one and group training (including MMA) sessions will now go through the local YMCA. It’s not the end of the Slaughter House, it’s just moving to a larger venue.
  2. Those already in session with me will get first pick over days/times.
  3. My schedule will now be able to accommodate MORE training sessions.
  4. Morning, lunchtime and daytime sessions are now more readily available.
  5. You will need a membership to train with me (or my staff), but this will also rid you of the excuse that you really have no place/motivation/plan to workout away from your trainer :) It’s a win for you and your whole family.

In order to get on the wait-list (those follow me wherever I go it seems!) for my training or nutrition services, contact the local Y at 281-427-1797 and get started.

My personal specialties are Bodybuilding, Competition Prep, MMA conditioning (carving a fighters body and some mad fighting skills), endurance training and corrective exercise. I’ll be seeking to hire and train a diverse staff with specialties ranging from weight loss to adventure races and power lifting as well as senior fitness. The goal is to make this TRAINING personalized to YOUR goals and not your trainer’s goals like so many other programs.

ONLINE #SLIMMERSUMMER CHALLENGE

If you’re traveling a lot this Summer OR you don’t live anywhere near me, I’m starting an online challenge that will help you get slimmer this Summer while still enjoying life. It is my firm belief that with a few tweaks and some nutritional guidance you can still look and feel your best ALL Summer long. There’s no need to upheave your way of life or skip out on Bar-B-Q’s and pool parties…..especially when you have science on your side. More info about the #SLIMMERSUMMER challenge will be up this week, but if you want to secure a spot on the wait list simply email me at michelle@michellecfitness.com

Have a healthy and blessed day, and I hope to see you soon!

Michelle

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Welcome 2014

 

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Hello Fit PEEPS! Welcome to 2014!

This is it right? This is the year that it will happen. What adventures have you planned? And are you ready for them? I’m going to take you on my very own adventure once a week. Each week you’ll be able to follow my journey to the big stage in Figure Competition and I’ll be giving you an unfiltered view of the prep work. So, let’s get started :)

Last night I met with my Figure Coach, the gorgeous Brandi from Metroflex in Houston (I recommend them if you’re in Houston or Plano!). Before I move on, I know the question of “Um, you’re a trainer why did you hire somebody?” might be on your mind. The answer is pretty simple: I wanted somebody with this particular specialty AND hiring somebody with the industry know-how to make some changes in my body. Sometimes, even the smallest of changes in your training and nutrition will yield BIG results.

OK, so I was thrilled to discover that my body type will work well for Figure :) with a few adjustments. I have about 18 weeks before my show in May and we laid out the game plan. I ordered my meal plan since we all know by now that the food is EVERYTHING! I’ll be eating 6-7 meals per day and ingesting 2 gallons of water as well. My meal plan will actually be tailored to my blood type (research shows this to be a great way to lean out safely), and it will be gluten-free. Why gluten-free? Again, it boils down to research. Gluten can promote inflammation and since I struggle with that already and I am a woman, it will be beneficial for me to give it up. I also plan to drop ALL sugar, even the healthy alternatives of Stevia and Xylitol. Why? RESEARCH! Do you see a trend here? By dropping all sugar my body will eventually stop craving it which will make prep a little easier.

Training wise I will be focusing on building my shoulders and back while conditioning the rest of my body (especially legs). This means my workout split will change as I will have 2 heavy shoulder days per week and 1 heavy back day (these can change as we progress) along with fasted cardio and conditioning for the whole body. May sound like a lot, BUT I am in a position to take the slow and steady route and make sure I stay safe and injury free :) .

So, prep has already begun! I woke up this morning and did some fasted cardio + conditioning in the form of kickboxing (MY FAVE: Turbo 55), have refueled and am planning a great family day. My journal is already inked with supplements, workout, and food intake. I plan on earning every step and coming home with some bling to display :) My first NPC seminar is THIS weekend in Plano, TX. We’re picking up a new dog, so it all works out. AND my Musclemania seminar is the 25th of this month at Metroflex (seriously, check them out!).

Wish me luck and stay healthy in 2014 y’all! Train hard!

Michelle