Ask Eric Part 1: Improve Strength and Athleticism, Hydration, and Endurance Training
March 26, 2014
Alas, spring is here. Interestingly enough the last day of winter was 65 degrees and sunny and the first day of spring was 35 and snowy.
How does that work? Either way I’m not complaining, I’m just excited to get my clients outside during training session and bring a “fun” collection of stair sprints, throwing things, and backyard sports into the mix. Training’s always more fun when workouts improve strength and athleticism outdoors.
But back to business—I’ve been conducting short Q-A sessions on Twitter and receiving tons of great questions.
10 minutes for a twitter chat. What #lifting and #fitness questions can I help you with? #fitfamnation
— Eric Bach (@Eric_Bach) March 20, 2014
With this in mind I’m moving forward with a new post answering the best training, nutrition, and lifestyle questions I get each week. So please, jump into the mix and ask anything that comes to mind whether it’s through Facebook, twitter, or through the Bach Performance Contact page.
Question: Which lifts should I focus on for improving strength and athleticism? –Travis from Utah
Answer: Your best bet for improving strength is and will always the basic, multi-joint exercises. If your form is sufficient the Olympic lifts like snatches and cleans incorporate explosiveness, power, rhyme, and timing for improving strength and athleticism. Squats, deadlifts, lunges are also big money exercises. BUT, if you really want to improve athleticism you need to move your body through space. Change of direction, sprints, throws, and jumps better be a focus. Shocking I know, but your body adapts to the style of training you put it through. If the only focus is building strength your gains will be limited once you attain a good base of strength.
Organize Training like This:
-Movement (sprint work, sports specific work)
– Jumps or Throws
– Explosive Lift: Cleans 3×3
– Compound Strength Lift: Front Squat 4×5
Question: I’ve increased my training a lot over the last few weeks and have felt dehydrated, how much water should I drink each day?
— Jane from Wisconsin
Answer:Hydration is highly variable based upon intensity of exercise, sweat rate, and body mass. In active individuals I’d advise drinking between .75-1 1oz per 1lb bodyweight each day—over a gallon in most individuals. Yes, other liquids count, but emphasize water.
The human body is made up of as much as 75% water and even even a 1-2% decrease of baseline hydration status impairs performance by:
- Decrease in blood volume
- Decrease skin blood flow
- Decrease heat dissipation
- Increase core temperature
- Decreased sweat rate
These affects of dehydration decrease performance through decreased cardiac output and increased fatigue.
Hydration is involved in numerous physiological processes such as that are important for general health and health during exercise:
- Transportation of chemicals to and from cells
- Cell hydration
- Maintenance of body temperature
- Elimination of toxins
- Aids in metabolic and digestive processes
- Moisturizes and protects joints
Tips to stay hydrated:
- Avoid alcohol and/or keep it at a minimum, especially while physically active
- Drink 20 oz of water immediately upon waking up
- Drink 20 oz of water 1 hour before exercise
- Continuously refuel with water and or/sports drinks if an endurance athlete during physical activity. The carbohydrates and salts will help water transportation into cells.
- Keep water at your desk or wherever you spend the majority of your day.
- Eat foods with a high water content such as fruits and vegetables; these go a long way in maintaining hydration!
- Drink water before you are thirsty, the thirst mechanism doesn’t kick in until a low-moderate stay of dehydration. Stay ahead of the game!
An appropriate hydration strategy will maximize workout performance while reducing health risks and maximizing recovery.
Lean Gains and Strength Training for Endurance Athletes
Oh yeah. Here are two brand-spankin’ new articles that were published this week. One is how to implement Carb Cycling For Lean Muscle Gains while the other is Strength Training for Endurance Athletes.
Carb Cycling For Lean Gains: Struggling to Build muscle without gaining fat? This is your solution. Click HERE to see how my clients build muscle and athleticism without fat gain.
**This is a two-part series I did with Mike Samuels of Healthy Living, Heavy Lifting. Stay tuned for part-two.
Relative Strength Vs. Absolute Strength for Runners: I’m not personally a runner, but many runners are missing the boat when it comes to strength training. Absolute strength is imperative to build relative strength. Prevent injury, run faster, and easier? If you run and train endurance athletes you need to check out this one. Click HERE to continue.
These articles both tons of shares and likes, so I hope you enjoy them.
Have a great week,