Summer can be a tough time for fitness enthusiasts – I’ve had a busy summer with destination weddings, weekend trips, and the stress of owning my own business. I’m grateful for all of these things but having a busy schedule and going away always makes it more difficult to stick to a program and keep your focus in the gym (and in the kitchen). That’s why this was actually the best time for me to partner up with Gatorade Canada for the Summer of Sweat! It reminds me that I need to set goals and stay focused.
I recently stepped on the scale – which I don’t do often and it isn’t necessarily the best way for everyone to track their progress, but when I did, I gotta admit – I was a bit shocked and disappointed! I was 230 lbs – the photo below is shortly after and I can see some progress already, down to just over 227 lbs currently. The thing with weighing yourself is that you always have to keep it lighthearted and don’t let the number on the scale get you down. My goal weight is to be 220 lbs. My weight is just a small goal so that I can track my progress – yes, some of that is for aesthetic reasons, but more for my health and athleticism. I want to increase my ice speed – it’s about athleticism as much as it’s about aesthetics.
Since my weight is one of my focuses right now, nutrition is a big part of reaching my goals alongside my fitness routine. (I’ll tell you more about my routine in a bit!) My approach to nutrition is based on an 80/20 rule – eating nutrient dense energy sources most of the time but having the flexibility to enjoy some of my favourite treats. Long term, it’s more realistic for me than “clean eating” and truthfully allows me to have a social life and more flexibility with my eating. Even now with fitness goals set and a plan in place, I still want to enjoy life and have the occasional bowl of pasta at dinner with friends or Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the morning (or… whenever). (I buy Cinnamon Toast Crunch in bulk – it’s my favourite cheat.) Most mornings when I’m fuelling myself for a busy day with a work out ahead, I stick to an omelet (1 full egg, six egg whites) with veggies, sundried tomatoes and lean turkey sausage.
Pre and post workout routines are important and ensure that your workouts are effective. Your body needs the proper fuel to burn during your workout, then needs the proper nutrients to recover and repair afterwards. I always try to eat a balanced meal a couple of hours before training, along side a Gatorade Protein Shake an hour before. Eating and drinking carbohydrates ensures your tank is full to help you perform at your best. Gatorade Protein Shakes are great for muscle recovery immediately after exercising as well! Carbohydrates refuel muscles and replenish your stores. You can learn more about Gatorade Protein Shakes and their benefits at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) website here: http://www.gssiweb.org/en
Post workout isn’t very different – another Summer of Sweat goal of mine is to set aside the time to do more stretching immediately after training. Another Gatorade Protein Shake right away preceding my training, followed by a balanced meal a bit later (one – two hours following the work out).
My training right now consists of more cardio than other times of the year because hockey season is coming up – once hockey starts I do less cardio in the gym. I also need to get ready for the upcoming season so I’m not exhausted on the ice! Naturally, living in Vancouver, I replace some of my cardio in the gym with hikes or outdoor runs. For my weight training, I alternate heavy weeks with lighter, higher rep weeks. I track all of my weights and reps as part of my exercise plan, so it’s easy to set mini weekly goals – it gets me excited to get stronger or faster!
When I’m playing hockey, I drink Gatorade after the game to replace the electrolytes lost when sweating on the ice and stay hydrated. Hydrating, like fueling, is important before, during and after exercise. Being dehydrated is not good for your game.
Below is an example of what two weeks of my program looks like during hockey season – right now like I said, I replace it with cardio in the gym and a lot of Plyometrics like box jumps, lateral jumps and lunge jumps.
|Week 1 – Heavy weight, 6-8 reps|
|Weights:||Chest – Calf – forearm||Back||Legs – Abs||Shoulders -Tri||Bi – Calf – forearm||Off||Off|
|Week 2 – 10 reps (high rep – 15)|
|Weights:||Chest – Bi||Back – Tri – forearm||Legs – calves – Shoulders||Chest – Tri||Back – Bi – Shoulders||Off||Off|
At the end of the day, we put in all this hard work so we can better enjoy life. Feeling strong on the ice, being able to play an entire game without too much soreness if any at all, being able to hike the North Shore Mountains with friends, feeling healthy. Those are the bigger picture goals – to live a healthier and balanced life. Weight loss, increasing reps and weights in the gym or getting faster are the small attainable goals that keep me focused on a daily and weekly basis and get me excited to keep going and keep sweating!