Deadlift workout for today was between 7 and 8am and what does that mean for you? If you are already a seasoned weight lifter, then please add your comments on how we, beginners at weight lifting can get better. If you are a beginner like myself, then this is one of the most effective workout strategies that I have implemented, do your workout earlier in the day when possible, even in the early am like 5, 6 or 7am.
The benefit of doing your workout early in the morning is twofold and possibly more; first you will make sure that you did your workout in the first place. How many times have you made up your mind to start working out only to see the day go by and you never got to the gym or did your workout at home? Once you do your deadlifting workout or any workout early in the morning, then you are done for the day. You will not miss a workout later on because of unexpected business or family obligations that come up later on.
The second benefit of doing your workout early in the morning is that you can workout on an empty stomach. The theory is that if you workout before eating, your body is already in a fasted state overnight (assuming you are not awake all evening noshing on blueberry muffins) and will have to dip into your fat stores for energy as you should not have much glucose floating around in your system after 12 hours of no food. This will help you burn more fat during a workout than if you had worked out after a meal when there is plenty of energy available.
So, today was a lower body workout day. I know that there are different possible workout configurations, some say to workout your entire body three times a week and rest or do cardio on the other three days and some say to workout lower body on one day and upper body workout the next and some say to do opposing muscle groups, like pushups or bench press ( I would always opt for pushups because I think that they are harder than bench press and more functional) and then do the opposing muscle group like pullups or barbell rows.
In the meantime, I have found doing lower body workout three days a week and upper body workout three days a week to be the most sustainable at this point in time. I would not rule out trying one of the other methods. The most important point is to stay consistent. The consistent less than perfect workout schedule trumps the inconsistent greatest workout plan ever devised.
What this means for you is to choose a time and a schedule and stick to it. Your deadlift and squat workouts will be most effective in building a stronger mind to lift your mood and a leaner body to fit into your suits when they are consistent. No, this is not rocket science but how many of us fail to do what is the most obvious benefit for our health? How many of us go to sleep late, wake up tired, start the day with coffee and donut, scarf down pizza at lunch, another candy bar in the afternoon and come home and snack the evening away? If you are fat, then you are one of them, if you are not, then you probably know people who do.
I am sure that you have met a person (who might be yourself) who is continually amazed as to why they are overweight. I have yet to meet one who is overweight and possibly fat and depressed who does not have poor eating habits along with poor lifestyle and attitude habits. Yes, that is me. I grew up on processed food and if you asked me which I love more, a cucumber or a knish, I am going to vote for the knish, but of course if I eat knish every day, I am going to get fat and if I ate cucumber ever day then I will become lean.
So the actionable ideas from this post to get fitter in mind and body are:
1. Workout early in the morning on an empty stomach.
2. Be consistent.
3. Eat real food, which means to focus on vegetables as the base of your food pyramid.
4. Deadlifts and squats are safe when performed properly. Use light weight until you are sure that you can increase your weight. I am sticking at deadlifts of 160lbs which is just 5 lbs more than last week and squats of 105lbs which is also 5lbs more than last week because I want to go up in deadlift and squat weight gradually.
5. One more new tip that I have been doing with my deadlifts and squats and actually all of my strength training is to breathe in and hold that breath with a tight core especially when lowering into the squat and starting to lift the weight in the deadlift. Several weeks ago I strained my back when standing up out of a squat, and I believe it was because I was using 130lbs and I had completely left my core vulnerable to the heavier weight by not having a full breath of air which would have given my back more stability. Any seasoned deadlifters and squatters out there who can speak to this?