Pre and Post Workout Strategies for Kettlebell Training

Pre and post workout nutrition strategies for kettlebell training

The right nutrition plan and timings of your food or supplements before and after your workouts are some very important components to think about when kettlebell training. This article will shed some light on these key factors and it will discuss some nutrition guidelines, so that you hit the ground running when are performing your kettlebell workout. Plus it will enable you to recover effectively. A key point to consider is that an excellent workout is always planned in the kitchen even before you even step foot into the gym.

If you don’t have the right nutritional strategy for your kettlebell regime; then you are doing yourself an injustice when it comes to you achieving your goals. If you are working out when you are in a starved state, you will not have enough energy for you to maximise your fitness gains. If you are exercising for a long duration without eating, you are limiting your body’s ability to burn calories and to sustain the intensity of the kettlebell workout. In addition, if you don’t feed your muscles and restock your energy stores after exercise, you will not have the essential recovery tools in your armoury.

What should you eat before your session?

As mentioned previously the main aim of the pre workout nutrition plan is to start the kettlebell session in a fed state and to ensure that all of the foods that you have eaten have been digested and absorbed properly. The last thing that you want to do is eat a meal that is very high in slow acting proteins and fats, because they take longer to digest and they can make you feel sluggish and zap you of your energy. When you eat, the blood is redirected to the digestive system to help with the breakdown of foods. This essentially takes away the blood from the skeletal muscles; thus reduces the oxygen supply and waste removal when exercising. So the kettlebell session will be much harder work when you have eaten a meal which is high in fats and proteins. More often than not stomach ache is attached to this scenario when training.

To ensure that you are full of energy when you perform you kettlebell session, eat a meal that is roughly 300-500 calories, high in fast acting carbs and proteins, 2 hours before you begin the session. Try consuming a small bowl of porridge, whole meal cereal or even a small yam or sweet potato as these are a good example of some fast acting carbs. If you have to eat 5-10 minutes before you workout then consume half a banana or a small spoonful of peanut butter along with a small handful of almonds.

Staying hydrated is essential for kettlebell athletes because without proper hydration your body will find it harder to deliver the nutrients to the muscles, along with oxygen and water to the cells. This will decrease your energy levels and it will make the session a lot harder. Try to drink at least 2 litres of water per day but don’t over do it before your workout because you will feel bloated and sluggish. A good strategy is for you to drink your water intake gradually and continuously before you begin your workout!

In terms of supplements you can drink a whey protein shake that is high in branched chain amino acids 1 hour before you train, as this will ensure the following:

· They are a catalyst for muscle protein synthesis and then it binds together the muscle amino acids to create a stronger muscle infra-structure

· They boost insulin levels to facilitate an anabolic environment during protein synthesis. This mechanism enables the right balance of nutrition, hormones and metabolic actions that are essential for you to create muscle and burning fat

· They enhance human growth hormone levels and decrease the stress hormone’s (cortisol) levels. Cortisol is a hormone that breaks down muscle tissue to be used as body fuel. This is very bad news for muscle building and weight loss.

A post workout nutrition strategy

The supplement intake post exercise is very important for aiding recovery along with growth and repair. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAS) are again an excellent choice to consume post exercise; the question is why?

Well, BCAAs are broken down quickly and used in the working muscle effectively because they by-pass the liver. It is this process within the body that stops muscle soreness after you exercise because it blocks muscle damage and increases muscle growth and repair. Plus, it increases insulin levels post exercise and this induces an anabolic environment which is a primary factor in muscle growth and repair.

They should be consumed within 45 minutes of stopping your session and this is a very important timeframe as enzymes and hormones are actively repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, as well as restocking your glycogen stores. This makes your muscle tissues very susceptible to the nutrients and building muscle hormones. You should be using a simple carb such as maltodexrin because it raises your insulin levels and this will drives the amino acids into the muscle tissue. This will also increase your glycogen stores and add a banana or an orange to boost your lost electrolyte levels, as this will further your recovery.

The latest studies in 2014 state that BCAA’s cannot be absorbed without the assistance of Whey Protein. Previously we have been consuming BCAAs throughout the day to further enhance recovery. This could be doing more damage than good. Find a good Whey Protein with BCAAs.

How to Start and Maintain a Weight Training Program

You should begin your weight training program with both short and long-term goals. Identifying goals is an important means of maintaining interest and enthusiasm for weight training. A key point is to establish realistic short-term goals that can be reached in the first several weeks of training. Reaching these goals provides the motivation needed to continue training.

Developing an Individualized Exercise Prescription

The exercise prescription for strength training has three stages: the starter phase, the slow progression phase, and the maintenance phase.

Starter Phase

The primary objective of the starter phase is to build strength gradually without developing undue muscular soreness or injury. This can be accomplished by starting your weight training program slowly beginning with light weights, a high number of repetitions, and only 2 sets per exercise. The recommended frequency of training during this phase is twice per week. The duration of this phase varies from 1 to 3 weeks, depending on your initial strength fitness level. A sedentary person might spend 3 weeks in the starter phase, whereas a relatively well-trained person may only spend 1 to 2 weeks.

Slow Progression Phase

This phase may last 4 to 20 weeks depending on your initial strength level and your long-term strength goal. The transit ion from the starter phase to the slow progression phase involves three changes in the exercise prescription: increasing the frequency of training from 2 to 3 days per week; an increase in the amount of weight lifted and a decrease in the number of repetitions; and an increase in the number of sets performed from 2 to 3 sets.

The objective of the slow progression phase is to gradually increase muscular strength until you reach your desired level. After reaching your strength goal, your long-term objective becomes to maintain this level of strength by entering the maintenance phase of the strength training exercise prescription.

Maintenance Phase

After reaching your strength goals, the problem now becomes, how do I maintain this strength level? The bad news is that maintaining strength will require a lifelong weight training effort. Strength is lost if you do not continue to exercise. The good news is that the effort required to maintain muscular strength is less than the initial effort needed to gain strength. Research has shown that as little as one workout per week is required to maintain strength.