It’s always essential to ensure good hydration – even more so when you are regularly working out. It’s unlikely that anyone working out in the gym or classes should need anything more than water to re-hydrate, but read on to find out a little more about how much we really need to drink. Adequate hydration is crucial for good health, and critical to mental and physical performance. The human body is over two-thirds water weight, and whilst 2% dehydration will begin to affect our mental performance, 4% dehydration can affect aerobic performance by up to 25%. Water is involved in almost every metabolic reaction in the human body. It lubricates the eyes and joints, facilitates digestion, keeps the skin healthy and flushes out waste and toxins through the kidneys and sweat. Surveys have reported that less than 1% of people meet fluid intake recommendations, and 20% of GP visits are with symptoms such as tiredness and headaches, which can be caused by dehydration.
The NHS estimates daily caloric requirements to be 2000kcals for women and 2500kcals for men, although more accurate figures are based upon height, weight, age and gender. This is made up of our basal metabolic rate (BMR), the energy we require to function at rest, plus the energy required for digestion, dietary-induced thermogenesis - we use 5 - 10% of the calories we consume in the digestive process. Regular exercisers also need additional calories to fuel activity, so a Physical Activity Level (PAL) is applied to caloric requirements to calculate the additional energy required - for moderate exercise you should multiply your BMR by 1.6 (females) or 1.7 (men). However, these energy calculations illustrate what is required to maintain your current weight. If you wish to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit. This means taking in less energy than you are using up. A daily deficit of 500kcals would create a weekly deficit of 3500kcals, which is approximately equivalent to the energy in one pound of stored adipose tissue (fat). The big question is, how to create this deficit?
Why the deadlift? - The benefits.
The deadlift is one of the most fundamental movements that can be implemented into a training programme, whether that be for the beginner or advanced lifter, athletes and younger or older generations. The deadlift is a multi-joint, compound movement meaning it recruits a huge amount of muscle fibres from a range of different muscles. Most activation is from the prime movers in the deadlift, which are the gluteal muscles, back muscles (mainly spinal erectors, latissimus dorsi, thoracic erectors and the entire trapezius region) and also hamstrings; these muscles make up the posterior chain which is the biggest group of muscles of the body and also some of the most important due to their influence on strength, posture and movement.
I have always hit the gym 5-10 times a week and I have always had a semi-clean diet, but I always persisted that I would never do a competition because I wouldn't be able to achieve the level of dedication required. Part way through my 12 month working holiday in Australia in 2016, I moved to Darwin and started working for a company on a 3 month contract. One of the women in the office was competing in a competition the week I arrived, and we discussed it at length. She mentioned that there was a competition in Darwin in 13 weeks time. It dawned on me that this was the perfect time for me and that if she could do it, so could I. Typical comp prep is 12 weeks; I was living in a tropical climate where it's much easier to get out of bed and do cardio at 6am and the warm weather encourages you to eat lighter and healthier foods. I knew if didn't do it now, I never would. From the second I decided to enter, my whole mindset changed. Before, if I was cutting and I was offered some bad food, I had no real reason to say no. Now, every time I considered eating or drinking something that wasn't in my plan, I knew it could be the difference between first and second place when I stepped on stage. When I struggled for motivation, I would appeal to my competitive nature by reminding myself that somewhere in the same town there were another 5 guys all working harder than me to try and beat me. With these psychological drivers, I rarely found comp prep to be a struggle.