Motivation – Using the left or right brain

Motivation never comes easy, especially when it comes to exercise. Busy lifestyles, schedules and the need to train on a high level will all butt heads at some point. Let’s face it, if you want to be good at a sport, then you are going to need to train when you’re tired, stressed, and pinched for time. So, what motivates you? Are you motivated by the sights and feel of a workout or by the numbers? Determining this will help you figure out which side of the brain you like to use most, which will then help you dig deep for motivation when you need it.

Most athletes will train on a daily basis but never think about what motivates them. As a coach, I try to figure out what motivates people, but as a self-coached athlete, you need to do this on your own and it’s important to do. You need to determine whether you are a left or right brained dominant person and use this to your advantage. So let’s take a look at the differences between left and right brain characteristics.

Left or Right Brained

Continue reading

Adaptation to Training – How Strength Gains Happen

To make gains in fitness, daily consistent hard work to build training stress (and fatigue) is necessary in order to create the need for the body to adapt. How you adapt to the fatigue will solely depend on how you train, and what systems you targeted. Adapting, the part of training most commonly overlooked, all depends on how well you recover from the training fatigue you have accumulated. Individual responses to training stress may differ, depending on genetics and fitness levels; however, there will always be an individual limit to the level of fatigue that can be handled before you lose the ability to adapt to any amount of training stress.

The General Adaptation Syndrome, a three phase response to physiological stress, was introduced by Canadian biologist Hans Selye in 1936. John Garhammer, Ph.D., a specialist in biomechanics and physiology, later took Hans Seley’s work and applied it to resistance training and exercise conditioning. The work of Selye and Garhammer established the groundwork for learning how the human body reacts to training stress, and more importantly, how it adapts.

Let’s discuss and apply the three phases of the General Adaptation Syndrome (the alarm, resistance and exhaustion phase) to endurance training.

Capture

Photo by – stress management for peak performance Continue reading

Heat Acclimation

Dealing with the heat, at least initially, is always an issue. I think it is fair to say that most if not all endurance athletes have experienced some degree of cramps at one time or another, and most likely while racing or training on a hot humid day. Even those who live in hot climates need to acclimate somewhat to the hotter conditions of the mid-summer months of June, July and August, especially if you plan to race during that time.

When it is hot, especially when temps are in the 90-100F (36-40C) range, your body needs to work harder to keep your core temperatures in a safe range to allow the organs to function normally.

Jason Betz

One of the ways your body keeps cool is by circulating blood to the skin. This allows the internal heat building inside to be transferred to the environment. Core temperatures of 104F (40C) have been observed with marathon athletes. So, transferring heat to the outside plays an important role in helping your core keep cool. Continue reading