I’m an old fat man, so I have to put in a lot of extra to work to get myself ready for class. I’m the teacher, so I need to set the best example I can for my students. I can’t be better than them at everything, but I need to show them the value of what they are doing by being an example of the result. Add in that I constantly experiment with new exercises to add to our mix, and the hit on the body over time can become serious. I can’t afford to give in to aches and pains, and I need to look to my long-term performance. So the warm-up is the most important part of my regime.
My warm-up begins in the morning. Usually with my coffee, which gets a 5g scoop of creatine, which is the same amount you would get from eating about 2lbs or so of meat. Creatine has a lot of benefits, most of which are still being researched. It’s pretty solidly agreed that it increases weight, and that weight is probably muscle. It’s also been shown to have some cognitive benefits, which is something to pay attention to as you get older.
After the first cup of coffee it’s breakfast, which is usually steel-cut oats with a cup of frozen berries and a scoop of whey isolate protein powder. I use the isolate because plain whey upsets my stomach. The isolate does as well, but as long as I stick to a single scoop, it’s not bad. I avoid soy due to the hormonal effects it can have. I’m having the extra protein because I’ve just woken up, and my body has likely spent the night doing heavy protein re-synthesis within my muscles, and has drained my blood pool of proteins. I want to replenish that pool so that there is a ready supply of protein floating around in my blood for the day. Re-synthesis will be on-going due to my workout schedule, and I don’t want my body having to scavenge other sources for protein.
I also take 4g’s of fish oil with my oatmeal. 4g’s is my maintenance dose, down from the 11g’s I was taking when I started. I take the fish oil because I’ve learned it’s the most necessary supplement in my life. I know it helps a lot with inflammation issues and other things, but for me it’s mandatory for mood. It keeps me on an even keel. It’s really changed my life. It may be helping with my noticeable lessening of joint pain in the last few years, but that could also be due to the increase in resistance work. It would be much healthier for me to eat fish, but I can’t stand the taste at all.
Before I do anything else with my day, I do some gymnastics static strength work and maybe some meditation. This gets me prepped for my work day and keeps my mood up, so that I am not having to recover from a bad day when it’s finally time to teach.
After work, the warm up begins in earnest with prep for class. A one litre shaker bottle of water, with 15g’s of BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) supplementation added. I will drink 1/3 before class, sip 1/3 during class, and finish it off as soon as class ends. BCAA’s just have a ton of benefits, but the immediate one is that the right timing on intake can seriously decrease fatigue while training. I used to take about 300 Kcal of protein/carb mix during our class midpoint break to keep me energized for the last hour, but I no longer need that with the BCAA’s. If it’s going to be a Heavy Phase workout, I will add a scoop of whey isolate-based powder that includes carbs.
I will usually drink a small bit of coffee in the minutes before class starts, depending on how my day has gone.
Prior to commencing movement and resistance exercises, we start what most people would consider the warm up. The primary goal of the warm up is to raise the body temperature. The secondary goal is to kick-start the secondary and tertiary energy systems of the body. We use a variety of sprinting exercises, paced to hit the energy systems. The exercises are designed to heat the body by getting the major muscle groups working, and include enough smaller motions to heat the minor groups as well. Once we are though this phase we are ready to safely begin resistance training for the day.
And no. No stretching. Stretching is risky and best done on it’s own. Minor stretching as a cool down is fine, serious work should be done on a separate day. Mobility training is intensive enough that it should fit into it’s own training cycle.