Veggies for Muscle!

If you exercise regularly, it’s important to know that what you eat can have an effect on your exercise performance and results. Eating a wide variety of foods—especially fruits and vegetables—will positively affect your endurance and stamina when exercising and during your everyday activities.

One of the major benefits of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is found in the number of micronutrients they provide. The micronutrient content of fruits and vegetables plays an important role in maintaining health and optimizing exercise performance, energy production and tissue recovery during cardiovascular and strength-training exercises. Certain nutrients can’t be produced by the body, so it’s essential to consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to deliver these nutrients, which in turn support your regular physical activity.

If you’re not taking in enough fruits and vegetables, muscle damage, decreased muscle strength, impaired immune function and symptoms of fatigue have been shown to develop—all of which can be detrimental to your training, recovery and overall fitness.

Physical activity and eating a balanced diet go hand-in-hand for a healthy lifestyle. Research has shown regular physical activity helps you lose weight and keep it off. Not only does regular physical activity burn calories, it also regulates your appetite, boosts your metabolism and reduces stress. Eating multiple servings of fruits and vegetables each day will help improve your performance and help you feel and look better.

Powerlifting

Powerlifting as defined by Wikipedia …

“Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.

In competition, lifts may be performed equipped or un-equipped (typically referred to as ‘raw’ lifting. Equipment in the “equipped” category refers to a supportive bench shirt or squat/deadlift suit or briefs. In some federations, knee wraps are permitted in the equipped but not un-equipped division; in others, they may be used in both equipped and un-equipped lifting. Weight belts, knee sleeves, wrist wraps and special footwear may also be used, but are not considered when distinguishing equipped from un-equipped lifting.”

So what the hell does all that mean?  Powerlifting is a test of physically and moreover, mental strength which at the end of a competitive day equals a total of weights lifted to determine a winner.  There is a Barbell class here at PHF which is focused on that physical and mental strength it is full of some of the toughest minds at our studio.

While our place is known for its Nutrition and Weight-Loss accolades, there is a small corner of our membership who are some of the strongest in the state and a few of them have recently decided to prove it.  In mid-December, a small group of PHF Barbell and the MooreMuscle Barbell Club are headed to Annapolis to compete in a Powerlifting Meet. As described above they will have three attempts at each of the bench press, squat and deadlift.  Each lift is immediately evaluated by three judges who determine if the proper form was used and if the lift was executed successfully.  Even though most of the group will be competing for the first time, all have potential for top five finishes and even some at overall Maryland State Records.

We are SO excited to be able to offer and coach such different aspects of fitness and help each member aspire to reach their own, individual goals.  So as you’re walking through PHF over the next couple of months and you see one of your fellow PHF Family strapping in for a heavy lift, give them some support and excitement as you pass by!  Whether your goal is confidence building, fat-loss, muscle building or strength, we are all members of this amazing family and the best part is the way we support each other!

Meal Prep Recipes!

Lemon & Thyme Chicken

Ingredients

 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
 Zest from ½ lemon
 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
 1 tsp. fresh thyme, diced
 ½- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
 ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
 1 small garlic clove, minced

 

Instructions

 Mix lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, oil, salt, pepper and garlic together in a small bowl. Pour over chicken cubes and toss until coated.
 Bake on baking sheet for about 20 minutes at 400ºF.

 

 

Cajun Rub Chicken

 

Ingredients

 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
 ½ tsp. paprika
 ½ tsp. garlic powder
 ½ tsp. onion powder
 ½ tsp. Mexican oregano
 ¼ tsp. cayenne, or more if desired
 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
 ⅛ tsp. red pepper flakes, or more if desired
 drizzle coconut or olive oil

 

Instructions

1. Mix paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper flakes together.
2. Sprinkle on raw chicken cubes, drizzle with coconut or olive oil and toss.
3. Bake on baking sheet for about 20 minutes at 400ºF.

 

Southwestern Chicken

Ingredients

 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
 1 small clove garlic, minced
 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
 ¼ tsp. ground cumin
 ¼ tsp. salt
 ¼ tsp. pepper
 ¼ tsp. Mexican oregano
 1 Tbsp. diced fresh cilantro
 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
 ¼ tsp. chili powder

 

Instructions

1. Combine garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, cilantro, olive oil and chili powder in a small bowl. Toss with chicken cubes.
2. Bake on baking sheet for about 20 minutes at 400ºF.

 

Post workout Nutrition!

It’s super important to eat after your workout!

The goal of your post-workout meal is to supply your body with the proper nutrients for adequate recovery and to maximize the benefits of your workout.

Doing this helps your body:

 Decrease muscle protein breakdown.
 Increase muscle protein synthesis (growth).
 Restore glycogen stores.
 Enhance recovery.

Eat your post-workout meal ideally 30 minutes after your workout. Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption.

Carbs Help with Recovery:

Your body’s glycogen stores are used as fuel during exercise, and consuming carbs after your workout helps replenish them.

 Sweet potatoes
 Quinoa
 Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
 Rice cakes
 Rice
 Oatmeal
 Potatoes
 Pasta
 Dark, leafy green vegetables

Protein Helps Repair and Build Muscle:

Consuming an adequate amount of protein after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. It also gives you the building blocks required to build new muscle tissue.

 MooreMuscle Protein
 Eggs
 Greek yogurt
 Cottage cheese
 Salmon
 Chicken
 Protein bar
 Tuna

Fats Are Not Bad:

 Avocado
 Nuts
 Nut butters
 Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)

Bottom line: Consuming a post-workout meal is essential. It will stimulate muscle protein synthesis, improve recovery and enhance performance during your next workout.