My blog has moved!

January 12, 2010

Hi everyone!

I have my moved my blog over to http://www.jillbrownfitness.com/site/blog/.

Come visit me over there!

Jill

Advertisements

10 Kick in the Pants Resolution Tips for 2010

January 8, 2010

See my latest post on the Huffington Post.  How to stick to your resolutions this year … and always!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jill-s-brown/10-kick-in-the-pants-fitn_b_415340.html

Shoes that shape you up? My experience with Shape Ups.

October 26, 2009

“Get in shape without going to the gym,” that’s what the Skechers Shape Ups shoes say they can do for you. But can you really get in shape without setting foot in a gym? That’s an interesting question for someone who’s a trainer and a gym rat like me.

Of course you can get in shape without going to the gym, who can deny that? Joggers, swimmers, hikers, cyclists, rowers, surfers, cross country skiers, the list goes on and on for activities that get you in shape without stepping foot inside a gym. However, you CANNOT get into good shape (read: physically fit) without being active. Also, the activities of choice need to be done most days of the week and performed at least at moderate intense for a sustained period of time (30 minutes minimum). This is simply what the body requires for any physical fitness improvement.

The Shape Ups are a class of shoe referred to as “rocker bottoms.” They were designed to recruit more muscles in the legs than are typically used while walking and their “Kinetic Wedge” soles are meant to simulate the conditions of walking on sand. Basically this means the shoes require more energy to use.

Which brings us nicely back to the subject at hand. Can Shape Ups shape you up? The answer is a “yes, if….” They can If you walk in them vigorously enough to where you’re getting your heart rate high enough to be in a cardiovascular training zone (at least 60% – 65 % of your max heart rate). This is where you’re feeling breathy and breaking a bit of sweat (and it’s not because of the temperature outside). The other contingency factor is your current fitness level. The more out of shape a person is, the faster they’ll see and feel results. A very fit person may not see major changes in their bodies, but will probably feel the difference between this type of shoe and a regular walking shoe.

As for me, exercise is basically what I do for a living. I workout pretty intensely most, if not all days of the week, and for what most would consider a pretty substantial amount of time. What possible benefit can the Shape Ups have for me? I started wearing my Shape Ups over the summer and I love them. Since I’m already very fit, I don’t expect to see a whole lot of change in my body by wearing them, but I really enjoy that bit of extra work I feel in the backs of my legs when walking in them…. particularly uphill. I also get a great stretch in the backs of my legs and calves, so I love using them as a workout recovery. Why not burn a few extra calories while recovering, and get some extra stretching in while doing my errands?

Another benefit of wearing Shape Ups is how they make you continually adjust your balance because the soles rock. This is good for improving balance and pelvic stability (which is a component of core strength) and that’s something most people can use!

Lastly, truth be told, the Shape Ups also add another 3” to my height, and that’s a benefit I can’t get from any of my other athletic shoes!

It’s Endurance Time

October 10, 2009

The term “endurance” may mean different things to different people. But for fitness fanatics, enthusiasts and gym rats, endurance has a great deal of significance, both in a physical and a psychological sense.

Strength and endurance, when it comes to physical activity, do not mean the same thing – but there is some crossover. Think of the difference as a sprinter vs. a marathoner. Endurance is not all about speed as you probably know. No sprinter could run at their fastest pace for anywhere near a marathon distance. And, a long distance marathon runner would probably get smoked racing against someone who trains for sprinting.

If you take my Spinning or Revving classes you know that Fall is the season where we focus on Endurance Training. We don’t do too many sprints and the ones we do are short (be sure to show up for some Fartlek training – don’t worry, you’ll like it….I’ll explain more about that later). If you are training with me this season, we are focusing on keeping our pace steady and our heart rate consistent. Good idea for you to break out those heart rate monitors and try to keep your heart rate in the range of 75 – 85% of your max heart rate.

The basic formula is 220 minus your age multiplied by .75 and .85. The range in between is a good goal. For women, take 226 minus your age and continue with the equation.

If you know your resting heart rate (RHR), you can do the Karvonen formula (which is a bit more precise): Take 220 minus your age, minus your RHR, multiply by .75 and .85 then add your RHR back in.
Being able to keep our heart rates at the higher end of the spectrum without going totally anaerobic, the more we improve our Cardiovascular Endurance.
“Muscular Endurance” is our ability to cope with fatigue and tolerate high levels of lactic acid. As our muscular endurance improves, the longer we can maintain proper form and pedal at higher speeds with more resistance!

So, what will we be doing in our Spinning and Revving classes to improve our endurance? We won’t be using extremely high resistance because will make us so fatigued that we’ll need to recover (lowering or taking off resistance and reducing our heart rate). The better our endurance, the less we’ll need to recover obviously! Fatigue, incidentally, is not something we just feel in our muscles… it’s also psychological… “how much longer will this last? I don’t know if I can go on! I can’t hold on much longer!” Does this sound familiar in your head?

Here are some benefits of improved cardiovascular and muscular endurance: the body becomes better able to produce ATP (the energy your muscles need to contract) via aerobic metabolism. The body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles improves and the body’s ability to use that oxygen improves. You may have heard the term VO2Max? That is a key factor to your fitness level. The more energy your body can produce aerobically vs. anaerobically, the easier it is for your body to access fat as fuel and lessens the amount of lactic acid disturbance you feel when working out (that’s muscle burn folks!).

Back to VO2 Max for a second. VO2 max is basically your aerobic capacity and is considered the best measure of a person’s cardiovascular fitness and maximal aerobic power. Spoiler alert ladies: VO2max values are typically 40-60% higher in men than in women.

Elite endurance athletes typically have a high VO2 max and for the most part it seems to be genetically determined. However, with proper training, VO2 max can be improved by as much as 20%!

The goal of any endurance training program is to help the athlete reach their genetic upper limit for aerobic power

As you may have guessed, endurance training is important for many sports – not just the pure distance events like running, swimming and cycling for example. Even some traditional strength and power based activities are helped by having a solid aerobic base.
Happy Endurance Season everybody!

Technique Tidbit:
You’ve heard me talk about “efficiency” and “exercise economy” by now. Here’s what I mean, two athletes may have the same VO2 max and the same lactate threshold (the point during exercise where the body is accumulating blood lactate faster than it can be cleared out). Yet what is far more important is the speed or workload at which the person is exercising when they reach these points. Someone with a higher exercise economy will use expend less energy (consume less oxygen) at any given intensity. Therefore researchers believe economy of exercise – be it stride length, swimming technique or body position on a bicycle – is an important contributor to endurance performance!

The final word on BURN

July 29, 2009

Ever wonder why you feel more sore 2 days after a hard workout than you did right after the workout itself?

This pain is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

DOMS is mainly caused by the “eccentric contraction” of an exercise movement. Think of your basic biceps curl. As you curl the weight up, you are doing a “concentric contraction” also know as the “positive” phase of the contraction. As you lower the weight, SLOOOOWLY and in a controlled manner, you are doing the eccentric contraction or, as you may have guessed the “negative” phase… funny to call it that since that is the phase that makes you the most sore! Coincidence?

Anyway, by definition, the eccentric contraction is when the muscle is contracting at the same time it is lengthening.

If someone tells you that your soreness the next day or 2 days after your workout is from lactic acid, they’re wrong, wrong, wrong. The burn you feel WHILE you are exercising is lactic acid, but that gets removed by the muscle cells pretty quickly. Doing a good cool down by exercising at a very slow pace right after your workout is one of the best ways to flush out the lactic acid. Stretching helps too, but neither stretching nor a long cool down will prevent muscle soreness from happening since post-exercise soreness is from the actual cells being torn. They need time, rest and nutrients in order to rebuild themselves.

The real soreness you experience after a hard workout should take at 8 hours or more to manifest and it’s caused by micro tears in the muscle. This is GOOD! This is how the muscle gets stronger. In response to the tears, your body repairs and rebuilds the muscle cells bigger, stronger and more capable of doing whatever the workout was that made you sore in the first place. So, each time you do it, it gets easier.

To help avoid some post exercise soreness try these things:
. Stretch all the muscles groups used thoroughly after each workout.
. Drink plenty of water, around 2 liters of water during the 24-hour period following the workout.
. Use NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories drugs like Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen sodium/naprosyn) or aspirin. **Remember there are risk involved with these, so check with your health care provider on dosage and frequency!**
. Icing the affected areas for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 hours can give relief.
. Some research suggests that vitamins C and E may help. Research on the effectiveness of C and E is not conclusive but has been promising.

If you are still sore by the time you’re ready for your next workout, tone it down. Working out on sore muscles can lead to potential injury. If the soreness lasts more than three days, it is a sign that you have caused more extensive damage so you may need an extra rest day.

Now, if you’re getting sore after every workout, assuming you’re doing the same or similar workout again, this could be due to poor biomechanics, lack of rest or it could be due to dietary deficiencies.

Vegetarians, pay attention here. If you are deficient in protein, iron or certain vitamins and minerals, you could be experiencing chronic soreness from your workouts.

You’re probably okay if you’re eating eggs and drinking milk since that means you’re hopefully getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with musculoskeletal pain in studies. Take a vitamin D supplement if your levels are low. If you’re not getting enough protein there’s definitely going to be a problem.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that endurance and strength training athletes consume higher levels of daily protein than the standard recommended daily allowance (i.e. 1.2-1.7 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight, versus 0.8 grams per kilogram per day). Iron deficiency is also a culprit in causing muscle soreness. Since vegetarians are at risk for iron deficiency, make sure you eat plenty of vitamin C rich foods since vitamin C improves iron absorption. If you suspect your soreness is due to diet or you just want to be sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, ask your doctor to do a blood test.

So remember, muscles should feel sore on some days after you exercise, especially when you’re doing a new workout or amping up your intensity. That means you’re getting stronger. However, if you’re feeling chronically sore, then there is most likely a problem.

Afterburn? Now just another fitness myth! New study shows exercise has little impact on fat metabolism once your workout is over.

June 17, 2009

You’ve probably already heard it from me, if not you’ve heard some other fitness authority tell you that the “fat burning” zone is a myth…. It was just a catch phrase that people glommed onto, but the real truth is it was just a euphemistic term for low intensity cardio exercise.

Now another myth is being busted thanks to a new study published in “Exercise & Sports Medicine” this past April.

This not only caught me by surprise, it even surprised the lead researcher, an exercise physiologist from the University of Colorado. The article says that moderate duration exercise (of less than 1 hour) has little impact on burning fat after the workout is done. It also says that, “despite decades of research on exercise and fat metabolism, there is still no clear understanding of how exercise helps to regulate fat mass.” Yep, this is bad news for those of us who tout exercise as a way to rev up your metabolism and turn ourselves into fat burning machines. However, my world has not been completely turned upside down just yet. Some things still remain true. For example, exercise still improves the muscles’ ability to oxidize (“burn”) fat, at least while you’re in the act of exercising. The myth that has been busted is that you can still be burning fat long after your workout is done. Gone is the theory that our bodies can still be burning fat 24 hours after our last workout. Is there any such thing as “afterburn” now? According to an associate professor at the Ottowa School of Human Kinetics, unless you consider 15 – 35 minutes to be a long time, your metabolism pretty much goes back to where it was by the time you’ve finished your post-workout shower!

For the study published this past April, Edward Melanson who wrote the article, used 65 people of varying fitness levels, from highly conditioned to sedentary and various body types, from lean to obese. He had them cycle at various intensities until they each burned 400 calories. Then he monitored them closely for 24 hours afterwards. None of the subjects showed enhanced fat burning during or after their workouts. Needless to say, this was not the result most fitness experts expected to hear!
Bear in mind, this is not a license to hang up your running shoes. Regular exercise is still a key factor in improving and maintaining your health. Plus, you still burn many more calories exercising than watching TV and, your body still looks a heck of a lot better with muscle tone than flab.
The other rule that hasn’t changed is that the number of calories you burn during exercise is still under your control. You can work out longer, or more often, or at higher intensity to increase your caloric expenditure. Doing intervals while you jog, cycle or swim will up the numbers of calories you expend. You can also try learning a new physical activity. You always work harder when you’re less efficient at something. Whichever method you chose, you just have to hit the grand total of 3,500 burned calories. Whether it’s a fat, protein or carbohydrate calorie, torching 3,500 of those babies will lead to a pound off of you. Will it be a pound of fat? Unfortunately when we lose weight, it is usually a combination of fat and muscle (we don’t count water weight). So, be sure you’re eating enough protein.
The take home message here is the oldest equation in the book. Weight loss is a simple mathematical equation of calories in vs. calories out. If you burn more calories (of any type) than you consume, you will lose weight. The more calories you burn, the faster that will happen. This should not be a news flash to anyone.
On a final note, your body’s basal metabolic rate in general is a very powerful weight loss tool. Think of it this way, a typical 120 lb. woman burns about 1200 a day doing nothing more than breathing. (A good rule of thumb to guesstimate your BMR is to take your body weight and multiply by 10). Now, add a good hour or so of moderately hard to hard exercise a day to burn off an extra 400 – 700 calories, and you’ll be dropping the LB’s in no time!
*Please refer back to previous blogs to learn more about figuring out your basal metabolic rate and interval training.

Perk Up! The scoop on coffee.

June 1, 2009

Three good reasons to “Perk Up!”

I didn’t become a regular coffee drinker until my 20’s. I was working in film production at the time and could not figure out how people on the crew could even stand erect much at 5AM. I could barely handle the drive to the set, much less hold a coherent conversation and function. I remember it being pitch black outside and someone said to me, “why not have some coffee?” I said, “OK” and poured myself a cup. Within minutes, it was as if I was having a divine experience. I suddenly felt ready to conquer the day. I looked at my little Styrofoam cup with the brown magic inside and said, “where have you been all my life?”

Caffeine has been researched so much that it actually may be more confusing than clarifying. There are enough studies for any lawyer to make a case either in it’s defense or it’s demise.

I’m a staunch believer in its many benefits, and as more and more research comes out, I feel even more validated. However, I don’t deny there are many caveats and for some, the cons can easily out weigh pros.

First, let’s discuss my number one reason for loving those lattes, and why so many other fitness nuts and athletes are in my corner. There are several studies showing that caffeine enhances physical performance and endurance if it isn’t overused. Caffeine improves athletic performance, increases energy and delays fatigue. Two recent studies showed that caffeine taken one hour before exercise had a large effect on reducing muscle pain during exercise. The caveat is the effects weren’t as noticeable on the individuals who were already heavy caffeine users.

My next favorite reason for drinking caffeine is that it improves fat burning by increasing fat metabolism. Caffeine has been showed to spare muscle glycogen (those are the carbohydrates stored in your muscles that you burn when exercising), which enhances body fat loss. Caffeine can help the body break down fat about 30% more efficiently if consumed prior to exercise. Remember, you must be exercising for this to happen! Also, if you’re the type of person who likes to work out early in the morning and don’t feel the need for breakfast, that may be because caffeine can keep blood sugar levels elevated, leaving you less hungry during and just after exercise.

Spoiler alert: A new study suggests that drinking coffee just before a workout can be a bad idea for some. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports that the amount of caffeine in just two cups of coffee limits the body’s ability to increase blood flow to the heart during exercise. That’s a big problem since the body demands more oxygen and nutrients during exercise. It’s the heart’s job to pump the necessary amount of blood (which carries oxygen and nutrients) to the muscles needing it. For people who exercise at altitude, the reduction in blood flow is greatly magnified. So for people who have high blood pressure or other heart conditions, you may want to think twice about caffeine before exercise.

Spoiler alert #2: Caffeine can increase the body’s levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone”, which can have several negative affects on health from weight gain and moodiness to heart disease and diabetes. Many experts believe that increased levels of cortisol create stronger cravings for fat and carbohydrates, (i.e. comfort foods) and, that cortisol causes the body to store fat around the belly. Abdominal fat has more health risks than other types of fat.

Back to the good news, the third reason I vote for Joe is that caffeine stimulates the brain, increasing awareness and concentration. Basically, it helps you focus. I’ve got a lot of clutter in my brain, personally, so this is bit benefit in my book!

Coffee factoids:
– Coffee can contain anywhere from 72 to 130 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving, depending on the bean source and the brewing methods.
– Coffee can be a surprisingly good source of antioxidants.
– Caffeine is a diuretic. Be sure to drink plenty of water the more caffeine you drink.
– Caffeine used to be on the IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) banned substance list.

According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate doses of caffeine of about two to four cups of brewed coffee a day (200 to 300 mg), aren’t harmful for most people. Negative health affects typcially come with heavy daily consumption of more than 500 to 600 mg/day (about four to seven cups of coffee).

Sorry if you tea-totalers feel neglected. But you probably already know there’s plenty of good news for you. The health benefits of tea are well known thanks to the antioxidant flavinoids. Tea contains less caffeine than coffee so you can drink more of it without worrying. Green tea can contain anywhere from 9 to 50 milligrams per 8-ounce serving. Black tea typically contains between 42 to 72 milligrams per cup.

Bottoms up!

Are you making yourself Skinny-Fat?

May 20, 2009

Since starting my blog, I have written about tangible, physical topics like nutrition and exercise.  But in light of a recent study and article that came out last week, I feel it’s time to write about a more ethereal, but equally important health topic… and that’s body image.

Physical fitness is so much more than losing pounds on the scale or making gluteal muscles firmer for bikini season.  Intellectually we all know that health is more important than what size we are, but it seems that most of us are really more concerned with being “skinny” than being physically fit.  A recent Associated Press-iVillage poll shows a big disconnect between body image and physical health.  For example, do you avoid eating certain fruits and veggies because you think they’re “fattening” even if they’re loaded with nutrients? 

A psychiatrist at a New York hospital says too many women in our culture place too much importance on weight and appearance than on physical fitness.  That logic is simply backwards.  She believes that female athletes are much better role models than fashion models.  

I’ve said this many a time in my classes – particularly cycling classes – where we are surrounded by mirrors, “close  your eyes, feel how your body is working…. If you’re just focusing on the mirror, you’re only focusing on 10 percent of who you really are.  How fit you really are can’t be seen in the mirror.”   I remind people of this because it is so relevant and true.  You can’t see your RHR (resting heart rate) getting lower, or your aerobic capacity, blood pressure and cholesterol levels improving.  Being considerably overweight is unhealthy, period.  It places more strain on joints, and raises risk for heart attacks and diabetes not to mention other health issues like sleep apnea.  But being “skinny” doesn’t mean being fit either.  (I’d love to pluck a few corpse-like models off a runway and drop them onto a treadmill to see how long they last.  To be fair, I’d pull the cigarettes out of their mouths and replace their Minolo’s for Adidas first).  This may surprise you, but it is possible to be “fat” and wear a size 1!  How?  Compare a wafer thin model whose only exercise is walking a few yards down a runway and barely ever eats a full meal, to a woman who’s a size 6 or 8 and works out a lot.  It is possible that the athletic woman will have a lower percentage of body fat and a higher percentage of lean tissue (like bone and muscle) than the model who eats poorly and doesn’t work out.  As a matter of fact, the human body in survival mode – when faced with starvation – will do whatever it can to save body fat, including burning off muscle instead.  So if you’re starving yourself to look like a model, you’re really just asking your body to store fat. 

Given the bombardment of beauty ideals we see in the media, it’s not really surprising that we have body image issues.  Hopefully one day the media will change it’s mind and favor fit and healthy bodies rather than just skinny bodies.  But in the meantime, we have to take it upon ourselves to adjust our attitudes and how we see ourselves.

Learning to feel good about the skin you’re in will make your self-esteem soar.  How many people do you know who work hard on having the ideal body and are truly happy and satisfied with their lives?  

Here’s a few tips on how we can adjust our attitudes about our attributes:

-A great way to boost self-esteem is to participate in activities that are good for you mentally and emotionally as well as helpful to getting you to your physical goal. 

-Always remember that your physical goal has to be good for YOU and not what others think is good for you!  Your goals have to be realistic considering your capabilities and your DNA.

-Take a good, hard look at your goals and what is truly important to improving your life.  Having unrealistic goals can leave you dissatisfied and unhappy with yourself.  Remember, getting healthy and fit is about the joy of the journey and not just the destination.

-Make sure your actions don’t betray your goals.  Going on a crash, fad or unhealthy diet to get to a “healthy” weight is basically hypocrisy… and is not “good for you!”

-Nip it in the bud if you have kids.  Our culture’s obsession with being super thin is affecting kids at younger and younger ages.  An Australian study of more than 500 school-age kids reveals that even a first grader may think, “thinner is better.”  This can trigger eating disorders or at least unhealthy eating behaviors.  Did you know that nearly one in three 10- to 14-year-old girls restricts her food intake according to a Canadian study?  Talk to your kids  often about what they see on TV, magazines, movies, video games, etc.  Help them understand what is realistic and what isn’t.

Perhaps the best thing you can do is lead by example!

-Finally, feeling good about yourself comes from treating yourself with the same respect you’d give to someone else you admire.

Does exercise boost your immunity? Intensity matters!

May 6, 2009

BLOG:
Flu-phobia is spreading faster than the virus itself lately. Personally, I’ve used more hand sanitizer this week alone than I’ve used in my entire life! But even if you make it thru the H1N1 outbreak this season, you’re still likely to get bit by at least one bug this year. Actually, the average adult catches two to three upper respiratory infections each year. Not too bad, considering we’re constantly being exposed to viruses day in and day out. But some people are more susceptible than others to catching whatever is going around.

Here’s a few things that increase your chances of catching colds or flus:
-Poor nutiition
-fatigue
-stress
-lack of sleep
-over training
-smoking

So what can you do to give your immune system and extra boost? Research has been showing a connection between moderate, regular exercise and a strong immune system. Exercising at a moderate intensity level (approximately 70 – 75% of your VO2 Max), has been shown to have a positive response on the immune system and temporarily increases the production of cells that attack bacteria. Researchers believe that consistent exercise can have big immunity benefits over time. This makes sense because when you’re exercising at a moderate intensity, immune cells circulate thru your body faster so they’re able to kill more bacteria and viruses. The more often you exercise, the more benefit you may get over the long run. The effect seems to be cumulative according to at least one researcher.

However, there is a point where you cross the line. Too much intense exercise can lower your immunity! Research shows that exercising at a high intensity for over 90 minutes can make you more susceptible to getting sick for up to 3 days after your workout – yikes! During high intensity bouts, the body produces stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) which raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels while weakening your immune system. That’s why it’s important to get proper rest and recovery time after endurance events and long, hard-core workouts. Over training will surely weaken your immune system. The symptoms of over training are increased resting heart rate, a slower recovery heart rate, fatigue, irritability and a feeling of heaviness or lethargy.

If you’ve already come down with a virus or infection, it’s okay to exercise at a light or moderate intensity because it will boost your immune system and will likely make you feel better. But intense activity will make it worse and probably even extend your illness. When you’re sick, your body is working hard to fight whatever you caught – stressing it more is like adding insult to injury!

When and what should you eat before working out? And, does it matter what your eat after?

April 16, 2009

Since there are days when I teach early in the morning (6 and 7 am) or early evenings, what to eat and when is a topic that comes up a lot when chatting with my students and clients.

Fortunately there is plenty of solid research on the topic of exercise and nutrition, and, how to best build and maintain muscle using certain principles of nutrition. Research shows that the type, the amount and the timing of your protein intake are pretty important to your muscle building strategy.

The first thing you need to do is make sure your nutritional needs for the day are met with healthy fats (20 – 25% daily calories), carbohydrates (55% – 65%) and protein (10 – 15%). Too little fat or too little calories overall, can sabotage your efforts in obtaining that lean or muscular body you’re aiming for. And since protein is the primary building block for muscle growth, you’ve got to make sure you’re at least getting your RDA’s worth of protein. How much protein is that? You need approximately 1 gram per every kilogram of body weight, or about .4 grams per pound. Most hard-core exercisers prefer a little more. My trick is just to divide my body weight (in pounds) in half, and that’s the minimum amount of protein grams I like to get a day. It’s usually not dangerous to get 150 percent of the RDA of protein, unless you have liver or kidney disease. Of course, if you’re not doing a lot of weight training, there’s probably no point.

For those of us who are type-A-exercisers, always looking to improve our fitness levels, the missing component is often proper nutrition. I know it is for me. Many people I know at the gym don’t simply take one group exercise class or do one cardio machine for an hour and go home. If, for example, you do a Spinning class then lift weights for 30 – 45 minutes (a 75+ minute workout) nutrition become much more important.

There have been several studies that measured the effects of both protein and carbohydrate before or after weight training. Giving your body protein 30 minutes before weight training is the most effective strategy according to researchers. But, you can still consume your protein and carbohydrates afterwards. Researchers found if you consume a carbohydrate and protein mixture immediately after a strength-training workout, or even as much as 3 hours after, the effects were similar in stimulating protein synthesis. The protein component is of course the most important part of the equation, but the carbohydrates are necessary to replace the depleted glycogen stores in the muscle. However, the dynamic duo of protein and carbohydrate together will stimulate insulin which enhances the protein building effect!

If you did a double duty workout of weight-training and cardio, be sure to get carbohydrates into your system after your session ends. Carbohydrate consumed alone after weight training helps replenish muscle glycogen stores, but as I mentioned before, when consumed with protein, it helps the protein synthesis process.

Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow for improving your sports nutrition regimen.
Pre-workout: have 20 – 30 grams of high quality protein within 30 minutes of starting your weight training routine. Most protein shakes fit this bill as does real food like a chicken breast or egg whites. If you’re going to do an intense or a long cardio workout, have some sort of carbohydrate preferably with some protein, like a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt with fruit and/or granola, or even easier, a carbohydrate gel like GU or a Powerbar. (I am not endorsing a particular brand here – these are just examples).

Post-workout:
But be sure to consume carbohydrates pretty soon after you train,
especially if you do a cardio workout along with a weight-training session. The carbohydrates will replace the muscle glycogen stores used up during an intense workout, however, when you eat a mix of carbohydrates and protein, the hormone insulin is stimulated which allows the protein to further enhance protein building.