cool down

3 Things That Make or Break My Workouts

Bob Garon OCR Training 2There are 3 things that I most always do and when I do I feel the benefits from them in my workout performance and recovery. If I alter even one of these 3 I almost immediately begin to feel the effects of that variable change.

2014-05-19 11.54.33 1) The first is after every single workout I always have a green smoothie. Green smoothies are essentially a dark leafy green with 1-3 fruits on top of that. The fruit masks the flavor of the dark leafy green and you receive all the nutritional benefits from the greens and fruit to begin working in your body to increase recovery. Just by that green smoothie inflammation is reduced in the body, energy climbs, hormones balance (cortisol & estrogen lower, testosterone spikes), and muscle heals.

One of my favorite recipes is simple and so nutritiously good! Big handful of spinach or kale Cup of blueberries 2-3 ripe bananas 1-2 apricots Blend and enjoy!

My friend Sergei Boutenko recently conducted a study on the effects green smoothies have on our bodies, mainly on athlete bodies. He studied runners and Crossfit athletes. What he found in the results of his 6 week study were pretty amazing. All the athletes did was add in one green smoothie every day into their diet. In fact, he didn't want them to alter anything else so they can clearly study the results from the introduction of the green smoothie. Check out his documentary called: Powered By Green Smoothies.

wpid-wp-1400705674759.jpeg 2) The second thing I do is always ensure I very thoroughly warmup and cool down. Without scheduling and spending the time to warmup and cool down I feel my body take longer to get into the workout and perform at the level I intend for it. Often times, during my strength training workouts, I spend more time warming up and cooling down than I do with my exercises for the workout. That's how important this part is. I also have been injured in the past, actually not too long ago and I posted about it too, and so I know how important it is for me to ensure I not only do this, but lead my Kettlebell and running students to do the same.

Here is the exact warmup and cooldown mobility drills and stretches that I practice before and after every single workout. I call them "Synergy Dynamics".

2014-03-11 17.31.153) The third thing is every day I make sure I get the right amount of sleep. This is probably THE MOST important one of the three. This can sometimes be a challenge as I get wrapped up in work or watching a Netflix tv show marathon, but sleep is rivaling its importance with good nutrition. Often times I feel the sleep I get is even more important than the food I put into my body. I eat for performance, for overall health & longevity, and also for recovery from workouts. No matter how I eat, if I don't get enough sleep my body will never fully heal itself and because of that, my performance and health will then suffer.

During sleep our tissues repair themselves and hormones balance. In studies, it is found that when we don't get enough sleep our stress hormones are spiked and this also jeopardizes our immunity on top of that. One way to help us get our 7-8 hours of sleep a night is to turn off or dim the lights around us. This includes our TVs, computers, phones, tablets, etc. The ambient light stimulates our brains to want to stay awake by not producing the melatonin hormone which helps us initiate our Circadian Rhythm.

I hope these 3 things help you and by practicing them every day I know you will experience increased health, strength, body leanness (aka fat loss), and longevity. Overall you will be happier with yourself and how your body works. Well either do the above 3 for that to happen or we could just add my favorite bonus #4 which is to eat dark chocolate. That alone can accomplish everything!

From Your Coach: Before Every Workout

image The other day I broke one of my own cardinal rules. I was coming off of a stressful night with my son and then woke up early. Long story short, I was tired and unmotivated. So the last thing I truly wanted to do was workout, but I knew I needed to and knew I had to stick to my schedule or I would get out of habit.

Not only that, but I was pressed for time. So what did I do? I jumped right into my workout without first warming up. And I ended up straining a muscle in my shoulder. No bueno!

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My cardinal rule has always been before I ever pick up a Kettlebell, run any steps, perform a single pushup, or do even 1 situp that I made it a priority to always warmup first. Well I didn't follow my own rules and I paid the price.

When we practice a good warmup our joints will release toxins, lubricate with synovial fluid, and the muscles will get lengthened so they're ready for full range of movement. This is important for every type of exercise training, strength and cardio alike.

Personally no matter what I'm doing I always perform our Synergy Dynamics before every workout. Years ago I developed it to take all our joints and muscles, from the top of our head to the bottom of our toes, through all movement ranges. Your mind will be ready and your body will feel ready to train as soon as you're done.

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Warmup:THIS PREPARES YOU FOR TODAY’S WORKOUT!” This is our Synergy Dynamics.

Cool Down:THIS PREPARES YOU FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT!” This is our Synergy Dynamics Floor Sequence & Foam Roll.

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Always make it a priority to be at your workouts early enough for a proper warm up and never just rush out to go home immediately after. The cooldown is just as important, possibly even more important even, than the warm up is. Make those to your priority and you will experience even greater results.

So you can become proficient and practice this on your own every time you without, watch the videos I put together that overview both our Synergy Dynamics Warmup & Cool Down Sequences: http://www.bobgarontraining.com/kettlebell-technique-video/

More results in your workout (HERE'S HOW!)

Warming up before workout program is a vital component for the big picture program. Without a warm up it's like jumping into your car on a frigid winter day, starting it up, and just driving away. Sure it would run, but it would not run very well and be a few miles down the road before it was coming along well enough. Your body operates in a similar manner. What we want to do is take it from a state of low level moving, which is just what we do on a regular basis around our house, our jobs, and of course riding in the car coming to the gym. So what we need to take it through some range of motions so that each joint fully warms up. By "warming up" what that means is, performing full range of motion and controlled dynamic stretching, so each joint will release synovial fluid to lubricate itself. The only way that happens is if we probably warm up with mobility drills. So always arrive at least 15 minutes early to your workout sessions to get in your complete warmup.

What I have done at Synergy Kettlebell Training is developed a warmup system that takes your body from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes and fully warms you up. Similarly I have also developed a cool down system that open up your hips and creates good spine mobility after your workout, before you leaving go home. The cool down is as vital as your warmup because after putting great stress upon your body with resistance training your muscles become inflamed and can be tight.

So in essence, to get the most of your workout, warming up is vitally important to prepare your body and your mind for the work you will be performing during your training. This keeps your body safer from injury. After your workout your cool down is vitally important so that you get the most of your post training recovery time and recovery is what makes your body decide if its going to give you good results or great results. Think of it like this: Your warmup prepares you for today's workout and your cool down prepares you for tomorrow's. 

In our group classes we lead you through the full warmup and cool down system which involves body weight mobility movements and full body compound resistance movements that change with our workout themes every 2 weeks so that they best compliment what we are going to be doing for that day. If you would like to get a head start in practicing the full body mobility movement portion I have video recorded them for you. By memorizing and practicing these mobility movements your big picture workout will be much more efficient and effective.

Synergy Dynamics Warmup Sequence Synergy Dynamics Cool Down Sequence

Have an awesome day and awesome kettlebell workouts! :)

Correcting Our Bodies & Making Them Better

Pictured are my 4 tools that go hand in hand to provide me with ongoing Kettlebell Sport skinny strong fun. My 2 in the background, clock n bells, are just as important as the 2 in the foreground, Risto Sports lifting shoes & foam roll. Most people think exercise alone is all that needs to be done. They're so set on getting in and getting out of the gym that they forget one of the most important aspects of overall big picture fitness well-being.

We want our bodies to work well for our entire lives. Some want their bodies to work at very high levels. No matter your goal it is imperative to do such things as mobility drills, static postures as in yoga & stretching, and finally regular massage and/or foam rolling, regular application of magnesium oil and/or Epsom salt baths.

Focusing on mobility drills and static postures while warming up and cooling down are extremely significant elements in Synergy Kettlebell Training programming. But what is usually pushed aside, because it's rather painful and tedious, is the foam rolling. This one action is something that removes a lot of toxins from the muscles as well as aids in bringing specific inflammation at bay within trigger points and achy areas. Compare it to mini-massages whenever you want them.

I remember when I first began rolling my illial tabial or IT Band along the side of my legs stretching from the hip down to the knees. WOW was that painful for a few weeks, and still is in a couple places, but I continued on to the point where my back problems have actually cleared up and never have any knee pain whatsoever. I rarely have to go to my chiropractor too. If anything springs up- which is usually an isolated case- I get right on the roller and 10-15 minutes on it typically resolves my issues. Chronic cases of neglect can often times take weeks and months of daily foam roll practice to finally resolve. Then once you get your body there simply maintain it with brief daily rolls and at the very least before and after your workouts. The IT Band is the first thing I look at when someone complains that their knees or back is hurting them. Correcting the IT Band often times corrects the other issues as well.

So what I recommend for you is to begin slowly and do it for only a 3-4 minutes before and after every one of your workouts. Then on your "off" days do it for about 5 minutes. Take breaks when you need to and build yourself up to about 10-15 minutes of post workout rolling as well as about 10 minutes a day for maintenance. Do it while right after every one of your workouts and at night before you go to bed while you're watching tv.

If you make mobility drills, static postures, and foam rolling part of your weekly, and maybe you have a necessity for daily, practice you will definitely notice the difference pretty quickly. Knock on wood I have been injury free for a long time and I have those 3 variables as direct reasons to acknowledge.

Synergy Dynamics Cool Down Sequence Overview

The worst thing you can do after a workout of any kind, but of course a good intense Kettlebell Training workout is go sit in a car and drive home without cooling down. What happens is your body begins to tighten up and pool your blood in your lower limbs rather than circulate it through to expedite recovery. When that happens flexibility diminishes and you will never get as strong as you can as when you are very flexible. Additionally injuries greatly decrease when you practice a regular cool down sequence.

This is our cooldown mobility sequence that we practice after every one of our Synergy Kettlebell group workouts and our Team Synergy Kettlebell Sport practices. This cooldown sequence is great for opening up the hips, legs, and increasing spine mobility after a good intense kettlebell workout.

As a Kettlebell Coach I highly recommend including a cool down as well as a warmup as part the entire big picture of your workout every day. You can even practice both the Synergy Dynamics warmup and cool down sequences on your "off" training days as a good mobility dynamic yoga workout all in itself.