6 Warning Signs That You Need A Break From Weightlifting

Sooner or later it’s going to happen.

It’s probably happening right now and you’re just too dedicated to notice.

You have heard the old clichés such as:

Winners never quit.

You have to work hard to get hard.

It’s not exercise unless you feel pain!

Or whatever other macho term is thrown out there.

No matter how excited you are for your diet and exercise plan, you’re not going to be able to keep that energy up forever.

There’s going to come a point in which you will experience some setbacks. I would like to help you see these warnings before you completely crash and fall off your fitness wagon completely.

Here are 6 Warning Signs that you may need a break from working out:

Stalled Lifts

Our workout goal is to always get better with each following exercise session. Getting better can be defined as:

  • Adding more weight
  • Running a couple seconds longer
  • Doing more reps.

Your health and body improves, as you get better at exercise. If you haven’t been doing that, you’re just spinning your wheels at the gym.

When a person continues to work out for weeks and months, eventually they’ll encounter a phenomenon called overtraining (aka burnout). Overtraining is easy to misdiagnose.

When you first start exercising you quickly experience fatigue and soreness due to your body getting adapted to new stressors and exercise. That initial training week can falsely be interpreted as overtraining.

True burnout happens anywhere from 6 weeks to four months of non-stop continuous effort. We’re talking giving it your all for each workout session. When working so hard for so long, your body will naturally start to break down.

Lifting weights that use to be easy a few weeks ago, now become increasingly difficult even when the weight is lowered. Yes, It’s true that your lifts are not always expected to increase every single week.

But when you find yourself stuck lifting the same weights for the same reps for several weeks, that’s a sign that you need to take a break because your body could be experiencing burnout.

No Passion

If you are dragging yourself to the gym with no purpose, you’re lacking focus. Lacking focus makes you forget why you’re truly going to the gym in the first place. If you have no passion for lifting weights and exercising, you’re not going to try as hard.

Keep that passion!

It’s critical to have passion so you can get past sticking points and continue to grow.

Gym Attitude Impacts Diet Attitude

If you don’t care about exercising, why should you care about your diet? When we fail to do one, we typically start abusing the other. To have a good relationship, you have to treat both with respect. If you neglect one, the other is going to start suffering.

If you stop exercising, then the great results you get by eating healthy will not seem as important as before. When you’re kind to your gym time, you’ll find it’s easier to be kind to your diet.

Don’t underestimate this complicated relationship!

Think About Dieting 24/7

Being obsessed with your diet is never a good thing. Your body is already stressed from lifting weights and exercising. Adding more stress such as worrying sets you up for self-sabotage.

A diet should not define your life. Your life can still carry on despite what you eat. When we make our lives all about our diets, we give the diet all the power.

Our days start to become much more miserable. We start obsessing over the things we can’t eat vs. the things we can. Like a fiend, we start paying more attention to the scale. If that scale doesn’t say what we want it to say, we’ll second-guess our diets and curse at ourselves.

Those who understand diet is just a means to the end and don’t obsess over it will have a much relaxed journey than those who obsess.

Normally the longer you’re on your plan, the more you’re going to be on a diet which means you start to wonder if it’s even worth it. Once you become obsessed with it, that’s a great sign that you need to chill out.

cat yawningNot Sleeping Enough

If you’re under sleeping and going to the gym frequently, you’re hurting your body. I know it seems like there are never enough hours in the day, but you have to dedicate 7+ hours towards sleep.

Getting sleep is what allows your body to repair itself. Sleep aids in muscle growth and fat loss.

If you’ve been suffering from lack of sleep for so long, maybe it is a great time to take that break and focus on just sleeping more instead of going to the gym for a few days.

Injuries

When you workout nonstop for weeks, the chances of you getting injured increase. As the workout sessions increase, it becomes easier to develop sloppy exercise techniques. All it takes is one bad second to equate to months of back, shoulder, knee, and etc. pain!

Don’t let the injury put you on the sidelines. If you find yourself having lots of minor injuries, take that break BEFORE those small injuries become major.

What Should You Do

If you are suffering from any of the above warning signs, all you need to do is take one week off from training. This off week is simply called a deload week.

During a deload week you can still go to the gym, but instead of your normal weight percentage, just decrease the weight by 50% and do 8-12 reps of your normal exercises.

That weight is light enough where you’re going through the exercise movements but still giving your body a break by reducing the workout intensity.

If all you’ve been doing is lifting weights for the past weeks, maybe take this week to do some much needed stretching. If you’ve been neglecting stretching, start incorporating it! Stretching helps with avoiding injuries. Learn a few stretches or take some yoga classes.

Additionally, use a deload week to remind yourself about your goal. If you didn’t have a fitness goal before, take the time to come up with a six-week goal.

Let the six weeks be another marker for yourself to check in on your progress. Possible take a deload week on your next cycle’s week six and repeat as you keep pursuing your fitness goals.


Taking a break is one of the most helpful ways you can accomplish your overall goal while still keeping your drive!

Try it for yourself!

Should A Traveling Fitness Coach Become A Certified Personal Trainer?

I don’t know about you but for the longest time I thought personal trainers were worthless.  How many times have you went to the gym only to see trainer’s teach their clients bad technique?

Shouldn’t they be helping their clients?

While it’s true that there are TONS of bad personal trainers, I can’t deny that there are several good ones out there. 

After doing some research, I found out there’s more to being a personal trainer than I originally thought.   

Watch to video to hear more.

Some video highlights:

  • How I use to skip the scientific explanations of weight lifting
  • My frustrations with people’s egos while at the gym.
  • How come people can’t do squats!
  • Am I the only one that see the mistakes people make while at the gym?  ESPECIALLY the guys!!!
  • Should you NOW listen to me just because i’m certified?

How To Survive Summer BBQs

Summer is all about pools, ice cream, skimpy clothes and…BBQ!! There’s nothing better than walking through a neighborhood and smelling the sweet aroma of grilled meat in the air. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel extremely patriotic!

The only downer is when you get invited to a BBQ party after weeks of working on your summer beach body. Instead of being thrilled, you begin to panic. Do you know what to do when faced with eating someone else’s barbecue?

You don’t want to be rude to your hosts but at the same time you don’t want to destroy all your progress. The typical BBQ party gang will be there in full force:

  • BBQ ribs
  • Burgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Potato salad
  • Baked beans
  • Corn on the cob
  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Cookies
  • Popsicles

With such a list of foods, who cares about the last couple of workouts!

You EARNED the chance to let loose! You desire to Release The Beast on that BBQ party’s delicious foods!

Slow down amigo!

There’s no need to go to that extreme. You can still achieve your body goals and have a good time as well at the BBQ. Let me show you the way.

Here’s MicVinny’s guide on surviving summer barbecues:

Reduce Calories Before The BBQ

Most likely the BBQ will be during the late afternoon/evening hours. That means you will be having a late lunch or early dinner. Given that you don’t know the exact calorie count of what’s at the bar-b-que, leave some extra room for those excess calories by eating less for breakfast.

I personally perform intermittent fasting on a daily basis. It’s the art of fasting for 14-20 everyday before eating your first meal. Some folks jokingly call it “Skipping Breakfast”.

Intermittent fasting allows me to eat bigger sized meals 2-3 times a day instead of a bunch of smaller ones. By reducing (or skipping) breakfast, it will allow you to eat more calories while at the BBQ.

Eat Green Veggies

The first food you should stack onto your disposable plate is vegetables. Seek green vegetables first. If there is no green vegetable, reach for any other vegetable that is not drenched in oil or butter.

You can never eat too many green healthy vegetables. If all you see is salad, go for it. Just make sure it’s more vegetable than cheese, dressing or other. We want to get our vitamins in, and veggies are how we do it!

Note:  Corn should be treated like a starch source on this day (as well it should be on other days if you’re not already doing so).

Eat That Grilled Protein

There’s nothing quite like the smell of grilled meat fresh off the fire. Just the thought of it makes me want to jump around and yell like captain caveman!

Speaking of cavemen, this is a day in which I would go with my Paleo practitioners and try to emphasize eating some meat!

The best tasting barbecue foods are composed of fatty cuts of meats. If all you see is ribs, steaks chops, brisket, burgers, dark meat chicken, wings; then embrace this as a high protein, higher fat meal.

If you see grilled chicken breast, white fish, or turkey then you can possibly make this BBQ into a high protein, high carb meal. Either way it won’t be perfect.

If it’s a higher fat day that just means all your other carb sources will need to go down for this day. If you’re eating leaner meats, that means you can empathize carbs as your energy source and avoid adding fats to your meals.

Oh yeah, please make sure you eat meat that looks like it’s from a real animal. You should try not to eat processed meats like hot dogs, sausages and brats. Those foods are mostly fat with barely any protein value so those are not your top dog choices for this day.

Heck, even a dachshund “hot dog” has more protein in their tiny bodies…but let’s not get any crazy ideas while at our friend’s house ok?

dachshund in hot dog costume
Where’s Sparky mommy?

Go Easy on That BBQ Sauce

Hopefully the grillmaster is skilled in their craft and knows how to season their protein properly. Well-seasoned protein sources equates to you needing less barbecue sauce. The majority of barbecue sauces on the market contain lots of high fructose corn syrup.

You should not need more than one tablespoon of barbecue sauce. Try to eat pieces with as little as possible so you can control the sauce.

Go Easy On Other Condiments As Well

Your lowest calorie choices are mustard, salsa, hot sauce, & vinegar. When faced with other condiment choices, try to eat less than a tablespoon.

The problem is that you don’t know what’s in most of those condiments. Too many contain lots of sugars & additives. We don’t need all that garbage in our system!

Avoid Processed Carbs

Due to the high fat content of your grilled main dish, there’s no need to go crazy with your carbs. If there’s baked potatoes, plain white or brown rice available, go for it.

The processed carbohydrates we see at barbecues are just wasted calories that add no nutritional value. We’ve been brainwashed to think that we have to have these cheap goodies with our main meals at BBQs.

You don’t need them!

Whether it’s a pastry, cracker, chips or bread, they’re not worth the cheap temporary thrill they will give you. You’ll be happy the moment they touch your taste buds, but in the land of sorrow and regret by the time you swallow.

Jubilee-cake

Avoid Sugary Drinks

The weather is hot so you should be getting some fluids in your body. Drink water and not sugary drinks. You already will be getting sugar from the BBQ sauce. Embrace water and unsweetened tea.

If you are just a sugar monster, then bring your own sugar free liquid drink mix to the party. Add to your cup as many times as you please during the BBQ. Just make sure that once the party is over, you write down that you’re still a recovering sugar addict and today was a win!

Eat Fruit for dessert

If you still crave sugar, reach for some fresh fruit! Feel free to devour watermelon, peaches, pineapple or whatever fresh fruit is served. Fruit is always a better option then engulfing half a pie.

Fruit is nature’s candy right?

Socialize

Trying to be Mr. and Mrs. Perfect can be stressful and time consuming. If you’re stressing about every detail on this list then you’re missing the grand picture. You should be living your life to it’s fullest.

If all you do is dwell on the foods you can’t eat, you’re going to make life miserable for yourself. The food selection process becomes much easier if you arrive at the BBQ with the mindset that you will talk with your friends and family. You’re just changing your eating not your entire social status.

Laugh and have fun!

What you eat is only a minor part of this human experience!

 


How do you handle summer BBQs? Leave a comment below.

Why You Need To Show Up And Work Hard Like An Olympic Champion

Do you realize what you have should have in common with an Olympic athlete? I do!

The 2016 Summer Olympics are here! Are you excited?

Even if you don’t like sports you can learn a lot about yourself by watching these athletes compete. Watch this video to find out why you have to keep pushing yourself even when no one is looking.

Nothing happens overnight! You have to keep going even when no one is looking to get the results you want! Those are the moments that make you a champion!

Go down summer olympic memory lane with me as I recall past summer olympics of my youth and how it relates to achieving your fitness goals.

Feel free to share your past olympic experiences in the comments section below.

14 Incredible Tips For Surviving Long Flights In Economy

“Sir, would you like champagne, orange juice or water?”

Such a tough choice I thought to myself. Acting as if I was a professional sommelier, I told the stewardess I’d be partaking in the champagne. I took a sip and glanced out my window with anxiety.

“Care for a magazine, newspaper, NY Times, US Today, Sports Illustrated?

Ummm, what?

You mean they’re giving these to me for free?

“Sir, did you select your first out of 4 in-flight meals?”

You mean I will be getting 4 meals on this flight?

Is that normal?

What is this bizarre place?


That was the first ten minutes of me attempting to fly business class for the first time. I say attempt because I was actually in first class instead of business class. I don’t know how, but the Singapore Airline gods bumped me up to first class for my first international flight.

I knew that my trip was expected to consist of over 18 hours of flight time. This trip would have been the longest flight I had ever been on. I had no idea how I would kill the time. Given that I was in first class, I didn’t even notice the length of the flight.

I was more focused on finishing all of my delicious food!

What about those times when you don’t have a company paying for your business class ticket? What about when we travel like a normal person in economy class? How do you handle going from flying like a king, to living like a peasant?

This article is all about what I’ve learned over my years of flying long economy flights. Use these 14 tips to survive your next long haul flight!

Pack Your In-Flight Essentials

Whenever you fly, you should always have the following in your carry on
1. Headphones
2. Smart Phone
3. Smart Phone charger
4. Dedicated e-reader
5. Healthy Snack(s)
6. Water bottle

Take the Aisle Seat

The worst place to normally seat on a plane is right in the middle. If you’re a person that has to go to the bathroom, you’re always going to be at the mercy of your seatmates. If they are deep sleepers or constant eaters, you will always be inconveniencing them.

It’s much easier to get up and go to the bathroom or walk around when you are in an aisle seat. Aisle seats are great for taller individuals because you can get more legroom by stretching into the aisle.

If you really want to find the best seats on any flight and/or plane, check out Seat Guru. Great tool!

Stretch & Walk Around

The longer the flight, the more tense your muscles will become due to being in a cramped position. It’s crucial that you get some blood circulating in your body. Here’s some simple exercises from PopSugar and Lavinia Magliocco you can do while on the plane.

Read

Knowledge is power! Take advantage of this time to develop a great habit. If you find yourself always watching TV or engrossed in social media, take a break and just read for pure enjoyment.

This is where having a dedicated e-reader comes into play. Sure you can use an app on your phone or laptop. But having a dedicated e-reader makes reading more enjoyable and efficient.

For years, I use to pack a book and/or magazine only to see them destroyed by the time my trip was over. With an e-reader, you can have thousands of books in one small device. One of the best tools to use while stuck on a long flight!

I personally prefer the black & white e-readers because it’s easier on your eyes. Test some out and go with what you like.

Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble’s Nook

Listen to Books/Podcasts

Since you have packed your headphones (see tip#1), you can just close your eyes and listen to books as well. The same information is going into your mind whether you’re reading the book or listening to the book.

Podcasts have taken the place of radio. There’s a podcast for everything! Use a music app such as iTunes to find a variety of podcasts that peaks your interest.

Have as many diverse categorizes as possible. Personal development, comedy, history, cooking…. whatever you’re into, you’ll find a podcast for it!

Pack A Healthy Snack

You can’t always be sure what food substances will be provided during long economy flights. You never want to be at the mercy of airplane food. You have no idea how long those sandwiches have been sitting around.

The majority of airplane food is filled with preservatives and other additives. Uncover better options by looking at TSA regulations to see what you can/can’t pack in your carry on.

Square bowl of kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries

Eat Wisely

When you forget to pack your lunch, you’re at the mercy of your traveling environment. When stuck on a plane, you need to make sure that the food options available will agree with your stomach.

If blessed with a decent in-flight meal, be cautious! Always think about how your stomach will feel after eating nuts, eggs, cheese, wine, beer, yogurt or sugary drinks for hours.

Take it from someone with experience. You’re on that plane for a long period of time so you don’t want to be known as Mr. Flush Flush!

Listen to Music

While not reading a good book, relax and listen to your favorite tunes. Make sure they are all preloaded in your smart phone or IPod like digital music device

Drink Water To Stay Hydrated

Free soda and juice sounds awesome when flying economy class. Free wine, beer and spirits are even better when flying business and first class. But remember you should be about your health too!

Don’t forget to drink your water! The more you drink, the better.

(No need to bother a seatmate with going to the bathroom because you should be in an aisle seat remember?)

Get Some Sleep

Remember when we took naps in our pre-school/kindergarten years. There’s nothing wrong with getting some shuteye on long flights. Pop your earplugs or headphones in and get some Z’sss.

Play A Game

For convenience, you can have games on your smart phone. You just want to make sure you have access to an electrical outlet because you will be draining your battery pretty quickly. Also remember, you can pack a puzzle book, cards or whatever as well. Not all games have to be electronic!

Pen writing on a notebook paper padCreate and Work on Your Procrastination List

 

If you always wanted to do something but constantly find yourself with nothing to do, being stuck on a long flight is the perfect time to do it! If you claimed to be too busy to even put together a list, flying is the time to do it!

Just put together a list of EVERYTHING you would like to do to de-clutter and improve your life. Then while on that plane you can start working on bits and pieces of that list.

Save Old Business Class Gifts

If you have had the privilege of flying business class, you know that you will be given a free amenity kit. Inside the kit you will find items like, walk around socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, eye covers, lotions, Chap Stick, earplugs, comb, pens, etc.

When having multiple stops there’s a great chance you will be exposed to several of this gift bags on each flight. Instead of just tossing them to the side, keep them. Reuse the contents inside for your future trips when you will be stuck in the back of the plane. These items will help you accomplish some of the tips in this article.

Watch TV/Movies

I put this last on the list because this is what most Americans spend their time doing when they are home. You should try to read and make your mind muscle grow before going the easy route and drowning in visual stimulation. Flights over 3 hours long most likely will have some in-flight entertainment options. If not, you could always save some on your laptop and/or tablet device for easy viewing during the flight if no streaming is available.


Did I miss anything? What’s some of your favorite ways to survive long flights? Leave a comment below.