Author: Lauren Travers
So you’ve just finished your SpeedFit session, you probably feel pretty proud, quite exhausted and VERY ready to get those electrodes off!
But, what next? How do we truly MAXIMISE the benefits that we receive from our SpeedFit training, and what can we do to further accelerate our results.
Before your session – Preparation
The key to gaining the most from your SpeedFit strength sessions begins around 2-hrs prior to stepping inside our studio.
Hydration is one of the key factors involved in ensuring that your session runs to it’s maximum capacity, and this is due to several reasons.
- Conductivity! You will have heard us throw this term around time and time again, particularly at our induction. The tight fitting garments, no underwear, the wet jackets, the corset-like tightness of the electrodes…all of the ‘uncomfortable’ aspects of suiting up are for the grand cause of maximum conductivity! Now, all of this may be in vain IF you are not sufficiently hydrated. If the skin surface is dry or lacking in adequate levels of hydration, the intensities will not conduct as effectively through your skin to the nerves, meaning you will be reducing the engagement of your muscles and reducing the overall impact of the EMS.
- Muscle Gains. The whole purpose of undergoing strength training is to build, grow and maintain muscle density. Several studies have shown that dehydration can significantly impact not only your endurance in the number of repetitions performed, but also inhibit the process of growth and recovery post training. “When you aren’t sufficiently hydrated and you undergo strength training, you push water out of the muscle, rather than into the muscle. When muscle cells lose water, it can slow down the rate at which they synthesize new muscle proteins.”1
- Joint Safety. Don’t forget that your joints need hydration as well. Adequate water intake helps keep your joints hydrated so that movement is smoother and the risk of injury is lower.
- Motivation! Being even mildly dehydrated can have a significant effect on your mood and make you feel unmotivated. If you have a bad attitude toward training on a given day or you feel unusually tired, question whether you’re drinking enough water.
To ensure you are adequately hydrated, consume at least 500ml of water in the 2 hours prior to your session. Make sure you have a glass of fresh-up with water immediately prior to training to further boost hydration, and follow your session with another 300ml of water.
Due to the intense nature of SpeedFit strength sessions, you will burn through a LOT of energy during the 20 minutes training. In order to maximise our muscular output and prevent atrophy during training, it is important that we are sufficiently fueled beforehand. Either:
- Consume 20-30g of fast acting carbs within the hour prior to training. Try:
- half a banana (also loaded with potassium and magnesium for muscle synthesis) with 1 tsp peanut butter
- an apple and a few nuts
- 100gm of greek yoghurt with ¼ cup berries
- 1 piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter or Avocado
- Consume a meal containing complex carbs 2-3hrs prior to training
- ¾ cup rice with 1 x tin tuna and greens
- A corn tortilla with grilled chicken and salad
- Baked sweet potato with grilled chicken and greens
- 1 piece of toast with avocado and 2 poached eggs
Fresh-up consumed before your workout will provide your body with Amino Acids which can be converted into energy if you have not fuelled correctly before training.
During your Session
Whilst our fantastic trainers will attentively conduct you through most aspects of your individual session, there are several additional factors you can concentrate on in order to maximise the outcomes of your effort.
- Breathing – We know that we need to do it, however the urge to hold your breath when the intensity turns on is quite a common reaction. Not only will holding your breath actually make the effort feel more difficult, but it can also be detrimental to your health. Proper breathing during SpeedFit is vital, not only for your performance, but also for your health. Breathing ensures that the blood circulating to your working muscles is oxygenated and that waste products are removed. Holding your breath during the effort phases of SpeedFit can lead to dangerous increases in blood pressure, which can lead to injury. Try to always:
- Exhale during the ‘effort’ phase of a movement. For example, exhale as you squeeze your chest, exhale as you crunch down, exhale as you curl your biceps.
- Inhale during the ‘passive’ phase of a movement. For example, inhale as you release out of your chest squeeze, inhale as your open up out of your crunch, inhale as you release your bicep curl.
If you are struggling to master when to inhale and exhale, don’t stress too much on this point, just ensure that you ARE breathing. Choose one phase of the movement for inhalation, and one for exhalation. Get in to a rhythm, and avoid the urge to hold your breath.
- Mind Muscle Connection – Whilst EMS does engage your muscles in an ‘all or nothing response’, meaning approximately 90% of the muscle fibres will engage, you can increase the degree to which your muscles are worked by ‘mentally’ engaging them during each exercise. Thinking about engaging the correct muscles during an exercise is an excellent path to better form, which does lead to better results. “Actively focusing on the muscles you’re trying to engage as you move through an exercise can be the difference between a “meh” rep and a killer one,” says exercise physiologist Dean Somerset, C.S.C.S. Take squats, for example. “If you don’t feel the glutes flexing whatsoever but you just keep pumping out reps, you might be working your quads and hamstrings, but you’re not getting the benefit that you’re actually looking for,” he says. “If you’re working on decent technique, it’s going to be a much more effective exercise.”
After your session – Recovery
After finishing your SpeedFit session, it is vital that we replenish our body sufficiently to ensure effective recovery. You will continue to burn additional calories for around 4hrs after finishing your training, so it is important that we re-fuel the body adequately with nutrition during this time. Try to implement the following post session nutrition:
- Immediately after training – you have a 20-40 min window to get fast acting protein into the bloodstream for maximum muscular recovery. This is why it’s so important to enjoy your SpeedFit WPC post workout shake immediately following your session. The water contained in your shake is also vital hydration.
- 1-2 hrs post training – Now it’s time to replenish your glycogen stores in the muscles, as well as replace any minerals lost during training. Eat a balanced meal containing 1 serve of complex carbohydrates (rice, sweet potato, wholegrains, fruit) coupled with some lean protein (chicken breast, eggs, cottage cheese) AND an abundance of leafy greens and colourful vegetables. The carbs will replenish Glycogen stores providing energy for recovery, the protein will assist in muscle recovery, growth and development, and the myriad of vitamins and minerals in your vegetables will support the recovery process and enhance your energy production.
- For the rest of the day – Increase your water consumption throughout the day following your speedfit session to rehydrate the body correctly. This will assist in muscular recovery, prevent you from suffering an energy ‘slump’ , and ensure that your elimination of waste products is sufficient.
Stretching and Movement
Active recovery is a great way to enhance the benefits of your SpeedFit session, whilst alleviating some of the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that is often experienced in the 48hrs following training. Try to implement the following mobility and active recovery tactics after your next session and see what difference it makes.
- Stretching – take a few minutes to stretch out the major muscles, holding each pose and breathing deeply for 30 seconds
- Walking – getting out in nature for a gentle walk is a great way to oxygenate your body which will assist in muscle recovery, as well as stretching out and boosting circulation to your leg muscles.
- Foam rolling – no pain no gain! Whilst foam rolling could be considered a mild form of torture, its myriad of benefits cannot be denied. Foam rolling offers many of the same benefits as a sports massage, including reduced inflammation, scar tissue and joint stress, as well as improved circulation and improved flexibility.
What should I do in conjunction with my SpeedFit sessions?
20 minutes once per week IS all you need from a strength building and overall health perspective. However, if you are wanting to increase cardiovascular fitness, improve mobility and accelerate your weight loss, there are a few things that we suggest work very well in conjunction with your sessions.
As SpeedFit strength sessions work predominantly on toning, shaping and building new muscle, the best things that you can do in conjunction are cardio and mobility based training. There is no need to do additional strength training as your 20 minute session is well and truly sufficient, and you may cause overtraining if you undertake these activities.
The best activities that we recommend are:
- Pilates – great for strengthening the core, increasing flexibility and improving posture. The increased ‘body awareness’ created in Pilates sessions can work to significantly improve your form during SpeedFit sessions, and help you to create a stronger mind-muscle connection.
- Yoga – one of the greatest benefits of Yoga is the mindful connection between movements and breath. This will not only assist you in breathing correctly during your SpeedFit sessions, but also promotes a calm state of mind, relieving stress and tension built through our busy lifestyles. Another benefit is the stretching and lengthening nature of the poses, which helps to ease out any stiffness created through strength based exercises.
- Walking/Swimming/Cycling – when it comes to additional cardio, find something that you LOVE! Combine outdoor activities with your friends or family, go for a walking catch up with a friend, take your kids down to a new park and wander through, or plan a day-trip in a surrounding Perth area with a group of friends. Benefit not only from the health improvements, but also from the enjoyment of doing something fun with people you love. I recommend an activity that involves getting out in nature. Breathe the fresh air, allow your mind to drift, and switch off from the hectic routine of daily life. You mind will thank you for it!
With all the incredible effort that you put into your sessions, we want you to gain the maximum benefit. Happy training SpeedFit fam! We look forward to hearing how these tips and tricks will take you to the next level on your journey towards a stronger, happier and healthier YOU!
About The Author
Lauren is a qualified nutritionist with a passion for holistic living and mindfulness. She believes that health starts from what‘s on your plate, and the way that we ’think’ about food. “Our state of mind is the biggest enemy when it comes to changing our bodies” says Lauren. “There is no quick fix. We need to look at the body as a whole, and try to regulate any imbalances whilst targeting negative thought patterns.”
Lauren’s passionate about educating clients on how to nourish their bodies back to health and create a balanced relationship with food. She specialises in women’s health, weight loss, sports nutrition, and food intolerances.