Workout Motivation Could Come From Just a Few Small Adjustments

If you can't find the motivation to workout, or if you go through periods of loving it, and then periods of being totally unmotivated, your answer could lie in just a few small adjustments. Here are some unconventional ways to motivate yourself again. 

Music Matters: Music really is a motivator. You don't think that when you aren't listening to it, but if you're at work and debating on working out, put on a motivational or meaningful song and force yourself to listen to it and let your mind wander to (hopefully) ambitious thoughts. 

Buy new workout clothes. Materialistic? Maybe. But, it might work for you. Whenever I get a new pair of shoes, I always get really excited to run. Buying new technology could also help you get back in the swing. Subconsciously, I think it holds you accountable. And it makes you guilty if you don't use it. 

Fill your social media feeds with workout motivation. Visuals specifically. Seeing and hearing motivation can wake up your senses and in turn, fire up your motivation. Most of us are on these mediums all day, so why not do ourselves a favor and try it? 

Signing up for a race or a goal. Pay money. No one enjoys wasting money, and then you feel twice as guilty about not working out when you waste it on NOT WORKING OUT. Sign up for an event, or even just a class. Hold yourself accountable. 

What a Week of Working Out Should Consist of

When it comes to your workouts, you should keep it constantly varied. There are 5 key components to every workout program: 

The Big 4: The Back Squat (quads, hamstrings, gluten and hips), Bench Press (Chest, triceps and shoulders), Deadlifts (Glutes, hips, hamstrings and lower back), Overhead press (Back, shoulders, triceps) ALSO, a great perk of these is that they all work core. 

Cardio: If you don't have a ton of time to do long, steady pace cardio on your own, training HIIT style is a great way to still operate at a threshold pace and still receive the metabolic elements of cardio. Also, HIIT style workouts have a greater post-calorie burn. 

Flexibility and Range of Motion: This is CRITICAL! Just as important as working out. Improving your flexibility. Our friends at Hyperice offer a variety of recovery tools that use pressure and vibration to improve the body's overall performance. 

Body Weight Work: Calisthenics! While it's important to strength train with weights, its also important to do body weight training to help build lean muscle and to help maintain cognitive function. 

Muscle Activation Techniques: This total body process is designed to improve the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system. This sort of activation technique helps to identify muscle dysfunction that causes pain in body and finding the source of pain is always beneficial to overall body composition and overall health. 

How to Avoid Side Stitches When Running

1) What exactly are side stitches when you run? 2) What is the cause of them?

There isn't really any way to accurately identify exactly what a side stitch is, however, it can be caused by the pressure from the pumping of your legs pressing up on your diaphragm and the pressure from your rapid breathing in your lungs pressing down on your diaphragm. This causes uncomfortable pain in your abdomen because the pressure is squeezing your frame tighter and therefore cutting off blood and oxygen flow. 

Also, eating right before a run can cause side stitches too. 

3) Are certain people more likely to get them than others?

Yes, those who have improper breathing technique, poor posture, or a weak core. These people are more susceptible. I coach about this a lot during my runs, and I encourage my trainees to take huge deep "belly breathing" breathes even when you don't feel like you need to, every 3 minutes or so in a run. The more oxygen you can get to your body, the more efficiently you will run. Those who have shallow chest breathing are more likely to be affected by side stitches. 

4) If you're prone to them, can you do anything to minimize them?

Core exercises, practice proper breathing technique and improve V02 max (lung capacity) through speed work and hill repeats.  (i.e. do hill repeats, speed work, and metabolic conditioning with strength movements that incorporate your core and hip extension.)

5) Are there certain exercises you can do to minimize their frequency or pain?

Doing a few core exercises before your run can help with this- and like I said before, improving overall lung capacity through speed work and hill repeats will also help. 

6) Does food play a role in causing side stitches/ab cramps?

Yes, running on a full stomach will not be pleasant. All the pressure in your diaphragm from the pounding in your legs and rapid breathing in your lungs will smash your stomach and inevitably cause cramps from the body's lack of oxygen/blood flow. 

7) What do you recommend for battling side stitches mid-run or race?

Stop. And every 10 seconds take a huge deep breath (DEEP belly breathing). Fill lungs up to full capacity and exhale.  Do this for 60 seconds and progress back into race pace, starting at a light jog

The Treadmill Don'ts

By: @meg_Takacs - Remorca Fitness Trainer & Running Coach 

Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been hitting the gym for years, approaching an unfamiliar piece of equipment is intimidating. That’s why we’re tackling “The Don’t List”—things you should never do while using certain pieces of gym equipment. We’re starting with the treadmill.

Treadmill workouts might seem simple on the surface—you hop on, crank up the speed, maybe try an incline—but appearances are deceiving. There’s a right way and a wrong way to get your treadmill workout in. 

Treadmill Workout Don’ts

1. Don’t hold the treadmill when you incline walk

Holding on while you walk on a treadmill defeats the purpose of using your own body weight to burn fat. The action of what is essentially pulling your body weight up a hill is essential to getting the most out of your treadmill workout.

2. Don’t put a towel over the numbers

You need to be mindful of pace and time when you run. There should never be a running workout wherein you are completely oblivious to your statistics. When you go into cruise control mode, it’s easy to lose sight of whether or not you’re improving week to week. Running is all about being mindful and aware.

3. Don’t let the treadmill pull you, you pull the treadmill

During any treadmill workout your mindset matters. Imagine pulling the treadmill with the balls of your feet and propelling yourself instead of the treadmill propelling you. Stay light on your feet and don’t strike the machine with your heels.

4. Don’t let the numbers you see intimidate you

When you increase the speed, immediately look up and allow your body to acclimate naturally. Let your physical body take over without mentally agonizing about the speed number you’ve chosen. Settle into the pace without freaking out.

5. Only use the treadmill for intervals and shorter workouts

Avoid the treadmill for long runs. This may seem counterintuitive (especially in the winter) but many treadmills are hard so it’s basically like you’re running on concrete.

6. Avoid watching TV during all workouts

You have the time you spend on the treadmill to unplug from life. Be mindful when you run and think about your body, the motion, and breathing. Watching TV isn’t going to give you any of that. Run because you want a mental release. It’s also all too easy to zone out to the TV and lose your footing.

Bodyweight Quick HIITS

Don’t have a whole lot of time to workout? Or maybe you don’t have access to weights because you are traveling? That doesn’t mean that you can’t get your heart rate up and get a quick calorie crusher in! #NOEXCUSES Here are some Quick HITTERS: 

AMRAP= As Many Rounds as Possible (You do as many rounds of the given circuit as you possibly can in the time given. This is a great way to train your metabolic threshold and spike your metabolism. 

EMOM= Every Minute on the Minute - you do an exercise every minute on the minute and when you are done, the time remaining is your rest time until you go onto the next minute

15 minute AMRAP: 

15 butterfly sit ups, 20 squat walks (get into an air squat and walk to the side 10 steps and back 10 steps holding the squat position at the same level the whole time), 12 curtsey lunges, 12 pulse lunges each leg (get into lunge stance and pulse up and down- back leg comes straight and front leg stays a bit bent- both feet stay in place 

12 minute EMOM:

Min 1: 20 second split lunges each side (jump into lunge stance then back to the center) 

Min 2: 40 second side A skips 

Min 3: 25 second air squats & 5 burpees

20 minute AMRAP: 

400 meter run, 20 walking lunges, and 10 push ups

21 minute AB EMOM: 

Min 1: 20 second flutter kicks/20 second crunches with feet up 

Min 2: 45 second plank 

Min 3: 10 hollow rocks and 6 butterfly sit ups

25 minute AMRAP: 

10 bear crawls to a push up, 1 minute run, 20 alternating back lunges, and 12 jump squats 

30 minute EMOM: 

Min 1:  30 shoulder taps - in plank position on palms of hands and bring one hand up to opposite shoulder (alternate sides for 30 reps) 

Min 2: 10 high knee reps and 2 burpees (repeat X3) 

Min 3: 25 air squats 

Min 4: 20 alternating back lunges 

Min 5: 15 push ups

12 AMRAP: 

60 second plank, 45 second flutter kicks, and 50 crunches

30 minute AMRAP: 

400 meter run, 12 push ups, 20 shoulder taps, and 7 burpees

What is the Best Time of Day to Run?

By Meg: 

Can't figure out when the best time to run is? Try all three of these times to understand why each could be beneficial, and figure out which one is best for you. Having a good run makes you run again.  

In the Morning: Body temperature is at its lowest. Some people take well to this, and are able to perform more efficiently and more comfortably in the early hours of the morning. Some people also say they perform better in the morning because they have a "clear head. " In my opinion, I would rather wake my body up (see above) and back it with the science. Early morning runs are actually the worst for your body from a scientific standpoint because your bodily functions are not awake, so you'll spend half the run doing that. 

Mid-morning/afternoon: My absolute favorite time to run! Your physical functions have woken up and you've only had to deal with the good kind of stress in the morning: that morning productivity high.  In the morning we all work well. We're riding the wake up high, and loving life. I ride off the momentum of accomplishing things in the morning on my runs. So mid-day is best for me physically and mentally. Also, your lung performance and body temperature are both at an optimal level of efficiency. If you have a good high-protein breakfast, your body will also have had time to get it's energy levels up. There are virtually no negatives associated with running in the afternoon. 

In the Evening/Night: A lot of runners run better in the evening because of the psychology behind it. Think about it; in the morning, we're all feeling like "wow, this is awful."  So, in my opinion it can be better to run later in the day, because you have had time to gather yourself, and perhaps even discover a reason to run. It's better to wake up your body and brain, after you wake up, to give yourself a mental and physical warmup. 

You also run better during the latter part of the day, because you have already had hours of fluctuation in the performance of your body's functions. By fluctuation in body functions, I mean the rhythmic patterns of brain sending signals to your body to do things like eat, walk and think. Now, since your body has had hours of carrying these functions out, you are more geared up and primed to run. In other works, you are ready to neurologically and physically operate more efficiently.