A Sitdown With A Personal Trainer
It’s hard to believe but we’ve arrived at the final installment of Working Out Smarter. Truly, I’m amazed by how much I learned in a short one-hour sitdown with Bryan Twichell, certified personal trainer, nutrition buff, former pro soccer player, dad and all around good guy.
And thanks to his willingness to impart wisdom by the bushelful (something I would imagine he typically prefers to share with clients who provide a recurring revenue stream), I have no doubt that I am working out smarter now. I have changed the way I approach ‘Diercise’ (see Working Out Smarter, Parts One and Two), proving the theory that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
So here is Bryan’s post-workout wisdom.
1. The most important thing you can do after your workout is respect the 60 Minute Window. By working out (either cardio or weights), you’ve broken down your muscles. The gaps in the fibers of your muscles start to close within about an hour of your workout. By consuming 20-30 grams of lean protein along with 20-40 grams of fast-digesting carbohydrates like fruits and veggies within an hour of your workout, you are replenishing what your body needs to recover most efficiently. For many, eating does not sound good after working out, so a protein shake may be your best bet. I have absolutely no problem eating afterward, and usually have two eggs, beans, salsa and avocado as my post-workout meal.
Much like Pavlov’s dog, I’ve started to crave it the moment I’m done working out. (No drooling though, I promise.)
2. Stretching does the body good. Nope, it’s not news, but it is part of the recovery process. It loosens your muscles and helps get fresh, oxygenated blood there to aid in recovery. Bryan points out that you can accomplish a solid full body stretch in under ten minutes, and recommends holding each stretch for 10-20 seconds. Stretching is definitely not my strong suit, as again, minutes matter. I am trying to get out of the gym in an hour, so I often skip stretching or do just the bare minimum. (Please forgive me Bryan!)
Time Saving Tips
And now, drum roll please. Here are a couple of real time-saving tips to help increase time efficiency while being effective in your workouts.
1. Super sets and circuit training allow you to pull double duty: cardio and resistance training all at once. Pretty smart, which is the point of this whole three-part blog exercise.
Super sets are two exercises back to back without resting, working either the same body part or two different parts. Circuit training is the same concept but with three or more exercises. If you’re short on time (and who isn’t?), I highly recommend these. Bryan uses super sets often with his clients so they can get the most out of their time with him.
2. You don’t stop burning calories and fat the minute you walk out the gym door. This isn’t as much of a behavioral change as it is a mindset, but it’s important to remember that the fat/calorie burning takes place for a few hours post-workout. I had asked Bryan about efficiencies gained or lost by splitting up the workout for busy people who may not be able to carve 60-90 consecutive minutes to work out all at once. I was surprised by his answer. I was fully expecting it to be better to keep the heart pumping for longer periods of time. In fact, it may be beneficial to split up your workout, as then you’ll have two two-hour post-workout fat/calorie burning periods a day. Mind blown. Once again, I’m having to rethink my thinking. Bryan, you’re exhausting me and I haven’t even officially worked out under your watch.
In all seriousness though, I am very thankful to superstar Bryan Twichell for helping me— and hopefully you—work out smarter. I feel like it was an hour very, very well spent, and it will surely have the desired domino effect. Now, off to do some low intensity, vitamin D-rich cardio.