What is the right kind of exercise for you?

  • Exercise that is Doable - We are going to take on something that you will actually do consistently because we are making small changes.

  • Exercise that is Building rather than Depleting - Pushing your body to it's limit requires hours and hours of extra sleep and recovery that most of us just don't have.  We want to build, nourish, progress, and strengthen. 

  • Exercise that is Fun! or is something that you enjoy doing.  You are much more likely to stick with this. 

 

You are probably going to be in a significantly different place than the next reader when it comes to exercise.  You may have completely different goals, and I'm going to address them in different sections.  

There are however a few rules that I would like for you to stick with. You can view and  download the PDF here.

 

This program utilizes my 2 Minute Reset, which is a series of stretching and short bursts of exercise throughout the day.  When you do a 2 Minute Reset, you are going to follow this sequence

1.  Warm - gently warms the muscles and gets blood flowing with dynamic (moving) stretching

2.  Work - increases blood flow to muscles and builds strength

3.  Stretch - stretches out fascia that is now nicely warmed (fascia doesn't stretch until warm, which is why cold stretching doesn't really do much). 

What do I love about 2 Minute Resets

First they keep you moving all day long.  If you have periods of time that you commonly just sit, doing these every hour will give your metabolism a boost (so calorie burning all day). 

Second, they keep your body stretched out and helps you to avoid injury.

Third, they help your muscles build strength without the maxout, So you don't have to wait 36 hours to recover from it.  

Forth, it helps your body to recover from the previous workout by promoting movement.  

So click below on the one that matches your program goal.  

Starting from Scratch: Weight Loss/ Muscle Tone Goal

Moderate to High Fitness Level: Weight Loss/ Muscle Tone Goal

Any Fitness Level:  Improve Health Goal

High Fitness level:  Fatigued and Gaining Weight

Starting From Scratch: Weight Loss/ Muscle Tone Goal

You haven't been exercising at all, and the amount of activity you participate in involves maybe walking from your house to your car a few times a day.  Maybe a little more than this, maybe less.  The great news is that you will have the advantage of seeing progress more quickly than others.  These changes can make a significant difference in your health, and in your body composition.  

Here are 3 things that you will focus on with your exercise program.

 Anything is better than nothing.  Because exercise is not something that has been part of your life lately, we are going to take baby steps to introduce physical activity.  Getting started might be the biggest struggle for you. The best thing that I've found is that you shouldn't worry about doing exercise in your workout clothes.  You can do many of the RESETS that are part of your program in what you are wearing now.  PJs, jeans, yoga pants, whatever.  When you know all you have to do is fit them in without a gym membership or a whole fitness plan, they seem a lot more doable.

 

Also, if your goal is weight loss, then we are going to focus more on reducing calories more than adding hours of exercise because that is usually the easier one of the two to adjust.  Intense exercise will definitely boost your metabolism, but you will also find yourself hungrier as a bonus.  This hunger can lead to people overeating crappy food to satiate that hunger.  We want to understand what your caloric intake is (in the next section) and where you can make some changes before adding a vigorous exercise program.  We are not exercising to burn off the crappy food that we eat.  We are going to learn moderation in food and learn to use it for fuel first.

This workout program has HUGE benefits for your health.  Walking is a great cardio workout, and you will gain strength from the RESETS that you do without over-stressing your body.  Add in the RESET stretching you have yourself a complete exercise program that builds and nourishes your body.

Focus on 2 minute resets first.  Anyone can do a couple of these a couple of times a day right?  When you don't even have to put your workout clothes on, and can just take a couple of minutes to do them, you are way more likely to do them.  So commit to waking up, and going right into it. Do it before breakfast so you can burn some calories while in ketosis (fat burning).  Find one time during the day to sneak one in.  Do it in the evening while watching tv.  Get your family/roommates/partner involved.  

 If You feel too tired to exercise.   This type of exercise shouldn't wipe you out (and if it does you may have some chronic fatigue going on which can be addressed in a different schedule, so just contact me).

It will probably feel energizing, and you will feel yourself getting stronger and stronger week by week.  The one comment I hear quite often is, "I didn't realize how crappy I felt before"  or "I  forgot what it felt like to feel good in my body".  Those are the things we are shooting for.  

Moderate Fitness Level: Weight Loss/ Muscle Tone Goal

 

 

You have been exercising when you can but not consistently.  You do have a decent fitness base and are not starting from scratch.   You want to find something that you can stick with and that will give you the results you want.  Not everything in the past has worked, and the things that did work aren't really doing it anymore or just aren't appealing.  You might be trying to lose weight, might be struggling with motivation or direction, or you might just want to to feel healthier in your body.   The methods that you once used may not be working because your body has changed and you may or may not know why.

(If you have been consistently exercising and gaining weight in fat (not muscle mass), see the following section on overtraining.)  

As we grow older or go through stressful events, a few things happen that cause us to hold on to weight that was easier to shed when we were a little younger.

1. Your hormones change- Sex hormones slow down, and metabolism (or fat burning) decreases.  Less testosterone = less muscle mass = less calories burned in a day.

2. Women have babies and it messes everything up.  We do not realize how much pregnancy does to our bodies, and how our societal demands on new moms prevents many of us from recovering properly.  We feel this expectation to quickly bounce back with our weight and jobs, and it is harmful.  

 

Also our society structure is different than it used to be.  We used to near our parents and  grandparents and would get help recovering from birth - Now we commonly live apart and most often tackle everything on our own.   Again this affects our hormones, especially our stress hormone cortisol.  When our cortisol is higher, our body holds on to fat because it is in emergency mode.   That's why people that are overtraining have a hard time losing any weight and even gain weight. 

Pregnancy also drains the mommy of essential nutrients and she can become vitamin and mineral deficient.  This alone can block weight loss.  Add in lack of sleep, and it can take years to recover from one pregnancy.  It can cause your body to produce much fewer digestive enzymes that are needed to break down food.  The food isn't broken down well, nutrients aren't absorbed, and the problem becomes becomes compounded.  

If you are a new mom, your focus should highly be on eating enough food to restore your energy and nutrient loss, and not on losing weight.  Not restoring vitamins and minerals will be much more harmful on your body when it comes to long term weight loss.  

New dads can suffer here too.  The lack of sleep and increase in stress can definitely hit both parties. 

3.  We try too hard - In an effort to lose weight faster, we exercise 2x a day, or we starve our bodies -eating only enough to survive, we cut out carbs or fat completely and put our bodies through extreme diets for long periods of time.  We push our bodies into stress mode again and again, which is not conducive to weight loss or optimal health.  

There is a sweet spot in all of this, and we are going to find that for you.  By addressing all of the stresses in previous chapters, we are going to position you to be in the exact right place. 

Your exercise program can greatly vary, but the important thing to remember is that you absolutely cannot do too much intensity if you want to lose weight or live the healthy life you want.  Remember the Biggest Loser? If you have never watched this show, this group of people are made to go from no daily exercise to several hours (6-8 hours) of exercise a day!  This is complete insanity and extreme stress on their bodies.  Do you know what happens to these people after the cameras stop rolling.  90% of these people gain their weight back.  The same thing happens to you when your body is overstressed with exercise. 

If you participate in intense exercise several days a week, 2-a-day workouts, or feel like you are always running on empty, you should read the section at the bottom about overtraining to see if you have some of these side effects.  I must stress that this can ABSOLUTELY affect your results, so make sure you do some self evaluation.  It can affect all aspects of your health, lead to injuries, and leave you feeling overly tired most of the time.   If you are not sure, you can always send me an email or talk about it on the facebook group.   

 

4.  We sit too much throughout the day.  Part of the program will involve more movement.  This does NOT mean adding in more for those of you currently doing too much. But lean and healthy people are typically active people, meaning, they don't sit for long periods of time.  If this is something that you have a hard time with, the 2 minute resets that I will be giving you will be easy enough that you don't have to set aside a large portion of time.  It isn't an all or nothing, and you can do it in your regular clothes for the most part at work, home, or wherever. 

2 minute resets are going to keep your metabolism revved up as well as lower stress, and keep blood flowing to the rest of your body for muscle recovery.   They are not intense enough to need to recover from them, so you can do more of them in a day.   

 

We could also include that we don't do enough moderate exercise everyday, which is exercise that we don't do because we don't consider it exercise.  Walking, gardening, yard care, and cleaning are all great forms of exercise too that also get stuff done! 

 

5. We are constantly injured and it constantly sets us back.  If you are dealing with a chronic injury, the following things need to happen.  1.  You need to find a good massage therapist or physical therapist that can actually help.  2.  You need to be doing the 2 minute reset that applies to your injury, and being vigilant with the self care in the fascia chapter.  3.  Recognize that stress can causes you to hold on to your injury, and be good about reducing it in your life with all the methods that we talk about   4.  Recognize that the body gets injured when the load is too much on the body and it might be good to read the section on overexercise at the bottom.  

****Things to remember - Anytime you are not sitting, you are moving in the right direction. Staying active during the day is amazing for our health, and doesn't have to involve hours of exercise.  If you are tired of feeling like crap, your exercise plan is going to involve a couple of days of short strength training, and a couple of days of cardio (which can be walking).  The biggest thing is you need to implement is the 2 minute resets throughout the day.  

2 minute resets for you are going to keep your blood flowing to the rest of your body, lower stress, move metabolic waste out of your system, and help with digestion and liver and kidney function.  They are also going to help stretch out the fascia which is vital for good health.

We are exercising to feel better, not to be completely wrecked and unable to participate in life.  

Your plan involves the following

2 x    Interval style workouts a week

2-3 x easy to moderate exercise days

1 x    total rest day

Ideally you get up and move around for 10-20 minutes in a fasting state (Before you consume any calories outside of water).  Humans have the most energy to workout at around 4-5 pm but obviously you are going to workout when you can.

Improve Health Goal

 

 

 

When your ultimate goal is better health, your exercise plan is going to look much different.  Why?  Because we need to change what we think exercise needs to look like.  Coming back from severe Chronic Fatigue taught me that.  Things that I never dreamed would feel like exercise suddenly became unbelievably exhausting.  Cleaning, walking, and playing with my kids soon became my exercise for the day.  Working in the garden, shopping, and even getting ready for vacation could wipe me out.  This showed me that anything can be exercise and can be good for you.  

All the exercise for you in this program is going to be building, nourishing, and energizing.  We want to avoid long periods or multiple days  of stressful/ intense exercise.  For most people, training for marathons and doing daily Crossfit can make them feel stronger and faster for a while, but eventually the strain of it eventually catches up to its participants in the form of unhealthy fascia, adrenal fatigue, hormone problems, and nervous system overload.  These programs are not necessarily prescriptions for good health and can compound programs that are happening in an already stressed out body.  

For you,  self-care work such as Foam Rolling, Gua sha, Fascia Blaster, or whatever Fascial care method you choose, is going to be vital - You can learn more about these in the Fascia Section.  It is soooo important to keep our fascia healthy, and releasing fascial adhesions can improve many health conditions.  That includes fatigue, arthritis, stomach problems, Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, allergies, chronic injuries, depression, anxiety and so much more.  I

 

If you have problems such as Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, here is an alternate program you can follow.  Daily activity may be too exhausting for you so adjust accordingly. I also have an entire program that is designed for someone with these conditions and you can check them out on the website.  

Here are some general guidelines to follow as you are viewing the program.

 

Anything is better than nothing.  Don't worry about getting into exercise clothes to do your RESETS.  You can do many of them in what you are wearing now.  PJs, jeans, yoga pants, whatever.  When you know all you have to do is fit them in without a gym membership or a whole fitness plan, they seem a lot more doable.

 

This workout program has HUGE benefits for your health.  Walking is a great cardio workout, and you will gain strength from the RESETS that you do without over-stressing your body.  Add in the RESET stretching and you have yourself a complete exercise program that builds and nourishes your body.

Focus on 2 minute resets first.  Anyone can do a couple of these a couple of times a day right?  When you don't even have to put your workout clothes on, and can just take a couple of minutes to do them, you are way more likely to do them.  So commit to waking up, and going right into it. Do it before breakfast so you can burn some calories while in ketosis (fat burning).  Find one time during the day sneak one in.  Do it in the evening while watching tv.  Get your family/roommates/partner involved.  

If You feel too tired to exercise.   This type of exercise shouldn't wipe you out (and if it does you may have some chronic fatigue going on which can be addressed in a different schedule, so just contact me).

It will probably feel energizing, and you will feel yourself getting stronger and stronger week by week.  The one comment I hear quite often is, "I didn't realize how crappy I felt before"  or "I  forgot what it felt like to feel good in my body".  Those are the things we are shooting for. 

Is this you?

  • Weight Gain even through hours of exercise

  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy.

  • Mild leg soreness, general aches, and pains.

  • Pain in muscles and joints.

  • Sudden drop in performance.

  • Insomnia

  • Headaches.

  • Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, sore throats, and infections)

  • Depression, Lack of Motivation

  • Muscle Weakness

  • Decrease in Hunger

  • Day Fatigue/ Chronic Fatigue

You are strong, fast, and can do some pretty amazing things physically.  Exercise is the only time, however, that you feel very good (and even that is starting to feel like crap).  You often think, "If I could just train a little more and eat better, I would feel and look better".  You blame it on your motivation or your genetics.

The majority of people that are overtraining do not realize that they are overtraining.  It occurs with 

1.  Not enough recovery between workouts.

2.  Not enough calories consumed.  

3.  Intense exercise combined with life stress

Pushing too hard with exercise on top of life stress was part of how I got myself in my own overtraining mess, and now that I'm on the other side and have researched it more, I can see it happening to others.  So many of us receive misinformation on what our body should be able to handle, and what type of exercise we should be doing daily. 

 

The biggest thing to remember is this.  For the average person who has an average amount of stress that their body is handling in an ok way, their body can recover from a strenuous workout in 36 hours.  If you are here, your body is probably not one of these average people.  Most people in developed countries cannot handle the 36 hours.  Most people should participate in strenuous exercise no more than 2 times a week, with moderate exercise for 2 days, and easy for 2 days.   

What constitutes strenuous exercise?  You can measure this in 2 ways.

1. Your perceived exertion = How you feel

It is strenuous if you are breathing heavily, sweating quickly into the workout, and you can't say more than a few words before feeling out of breath.

2.  Heart Rate 

Measuring your Heart Rate is a great indicator of exertion and can help you to keep it all in the correct range. 

If you have a heart rate monitor, here is how to determine your range from the Mayoclinic.

To use this method, you first have to figure out your maximum heart rate — the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activity.

The basic way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. For example, if you're 45 years old, subtract 45 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 175. This is the maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute during exercise.

Once you know your maximum heart rate, you can calculate your desired target heart rate zone — the level at which your heart is being exercised and conditioned but not overworked.

The American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a general target heart rate of:

  • Moderate exercise intensity: 50 to about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate

  • Vigorous exercise intensity: 70 to about 85 percent of your maximum heart rate

 

How this affects someone in overtraining

 

What I see in overtrained individuals is that every workout pushes them into that high heart rate zone, or they go ahead and participate in vigorous exercise even when they don't feel recovered from or are sore from previous workouts.  Over time this absolutely puts a strain on every system in the body (especially the nervous system), and that individual eventually goes from high function to a multitude of physical ailments. 

What eventually happens is - the nervous and adrenal systems spend time trying to warn you that they need more recovery time, and they put your body in a state of panic.  For a short period during this time, you may feel like you have sooo much energy and might hit some Personal Bests in your fitness.  Your body is pumping out cortisol like there's no tomorrow because you are demanding it, and so you have a temporary boost of energy and recovery.  However this is very short lived.  Eventually your body starts to give up trying to alert you, so it starts to downgrade those systems we talked about.  You feel fatigued constantly, you are frequently injured, you develop anxiety, your hormones are low, your thyroid has problems, you feel irritable and depressed, you gain weight, you get sick and have infections frequently, your hair falls out, your body starts to shake, you can't sleep, and more.  This is a common problem for  people who race Marathons and Ironmans frequently, people that do high intensity cardio everyday, and those who participate in high intensity programs like CrossFit.  

Crap, that is me

 

So you have overdone it - Now what?  Well it really depends at which stage you decided to jump ship.  If you are currently fatigued and are still pushing everyday, I'll let you figure out what you should do at this point. 

But the short answer is, you need to slow it down for at least a month - maybe longer.    You are going to have to let your nervous system reset by doing an exercise that is different than the one that got you there.  When I was consulting with national trainer Ben Greenfield when as was at my lowest, he had me ditch running for at least a month.  

(I had to leave it longer, but this is important).  

In general, keep the heart rate in the moderate to low stage

Avoid long cardio sessions (usually over 20-30 min)

Shoot for 1-2 slow strength sessions a week (if your body can handle this)

Incorporate stretching/ Yoga/ Walking

This general rule would be for the average overtrained individual.  For more severe cases like mine, look below for a training guide to follow.

When you start to ramp up again, the more intense sessions should be once a week, and should be something comparable to running 10x 100 m intervals with walking/rest in between.  It's important not to add on too fast, and to pay attention to how you are feeling.   You have to gradually teach your body to accept this type of movement again. 

 

You may not be able to exercise at the intensity you once did, but you have to decide if it's worth the strain on your body again.  Many times after we've kind of overfilled our cup, our bodies won't ever be able to be how they were before.  They will always be more sensitive and really susceptible to overtraining.  Your weight may increase anytime you try to push your body too hard.  It also may overreact when pushed anaerobically by exhausting you for days.  You might feel like you ran a marathon and take weeks to recover. I'm not saying coming back to high end training can't be done - It can.  But I have yet to see a client not retain that sensitivity at the top end. They come back 90%, but have to maintain their bodies in such a way to prevent overtraining again that it can really overtake your life.    You have to decide if that's how you want to live your life.  Constantly exhausted is no way to live.   If you are not a Pro Athlete training for the Olympics, it might be time to decide to focus on a different goal rather than performance that involves pushing it.  You can still be in amazing physical shape and exercise, but maybe step back from the competitive ring. 

This type of programming can be a little complex.  If you want a step by step 1st month exercise calendar to recover from  from overtraining, you can find one here. 

 

I would recommend signing up for personal coaching if you need further help.  

Get started and go tell about your progress on the facebook group!

Wherever you are starting, I promise I have been there.

I've been at the top of my game as a Pro Athlete, exercising for 3-4 hours a day. 

I've spent years as an cardio junkie, only participating in things that made my heart rate high.

I've participated in intense formats like Cross-Fit, and lifted heavy crap.

I've also spent years with Chronic Fatigue, and couldn't clean my house for 10 minutes without feeling exhausted.  I couldn't exercise at all.

I've spent years avoiding any long activity like hiking because it would take me out for days.

I've been so busy with my kids activities that I forget to make time for myself and exercise.

I've spent years dealing with my own constant injuries and got frustrated with training in general.

I have gotten bored with my exercise routines, and have had to redefine what I call exercise.

You can do this!!!

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-intensity/art-20046887

The Right Kind of Exercise

High Fitness Level - Fatigued and Gaining Weight