Each year an average of 8.6 million sports and recreation related injuries are reported, this is according to the CDC’s National Health Statistics Report. Furthermore, the report indicates that men and persons under 24 years old accounted for more than one half of injury episodes. Training too hard or too fast is a common cause of sports-related injuries. We caught up with Tobias Oyeyinka, an Online Fitness Coach and a Celebrity Trainer who shed some crucial insight on effective training. Tobias Oyeyinka was born in Lagos, grew up in California and is now based in Sydney Australia. He is a qualified fitness coach and a nutritional coach.
Magic Number – Reps
“There is no magic number for – working set, people work on different sets, and different programming. But what I’ve realised, and what I found to be effective, is having the right working set and reps that stresses the muscle,” Tobias details. He explains that there is a common misconception that people believe they need to do various types of exercises in one session to build muscle and strength. “But in actual fact, it’s actually ineffective to train like that. An effective way is choosing three to four different exercises that you want to do for that day and apply the right working sets and reps to stress the targeted muscle group.”
“So for example, I want to train my back. I’m going to choose three to four different back workouts: dumbbell rows, pull ups, lat pulldown, and seated rows. Of those four I’m going to do four sets of those exercises. And then out of those four sets, I’m going to do 12 to 15 reps. So my first exercise, my first set, I’ll do 15 reps, and then I’ll drop from 15 reps to 12 reps. And then from there, you move up your weight, and then you do 12 reps. And then if 12 reps is comfortable, move up weights, do 12 reps again. If 12 reps is still too comfortable, move up again, until it becomes challenging to complete the exercise. You don’t want to get to that point where you cannot complete the exercise, but you do want to be in a position where you find it challenging to complete. Not impossible to complete but challenging. ” Tobias explained by way of example.
Living healthy is not as complicated as some fitness practitioners would have you believe. “When you eat healthy and you are reasonably active , you’re living a healthy lifestyle,” Tobias explians. He continues: “So the thing about food is it’s very simple. Find foods that you enjoy first then make it as clean as possible. If you enjoy eating burgers, limit it to twice a week (remember the saying everything in moderation). And what you want to do is to change the buns, make it a whole grain or five grain bun. For the patty, instead of buying processed meat, try to find a healthier meat. You can check your local Deli store for heart smart meat or even plant based meat, they are surprisingly delicious. Instead of buying fast food fries, buy frozen fries from the supermarket. They are lower in cholesterol and oil. Then put them in an airfryer. They come out looking soo good”
Research suggests that nutrition plays an important part in weight loss and maintenance. This is because the body burns most of its calories through its basal metabolic rate. The basal metabolic rate refers to all the processes that sustain life (such as digesting food and breathing). Pointing out the importance of nutrition, Tobias warned against the pitfalls of crash dieting. “I believe one of the biggest reasons why most people don’t achieve their fitness goals is because they want a quick fix, so they significantly restrict their food. They do what is called a crash diet. It is when you restrict your diet, and you can lose up to four kilos in a week, but mind you, you’re not really losing four kilos of fat. You’re losing three kilos of water. Your muscles are made up of 75% water, so while you are doing that crazy crash diet, you can become fatigued and sick.”
Several studies have suggested that weight cycling resulting from crash dieting may change the individual’s body composition by reducing lean muscle mass and increasing total body fat. Furthermore, trainer Tobias points out that crash dieting is not good for the digestive system, body and mental health. “So always just find what you like to eat, make it as healthy as you possibly can. If you cook from home, you control everything that goes in it…but also make sure that you add vegetables in your meal. Having vegetables two times a week is better than having none.”
Don’t Neglect the Stretch
DOMS, or delayed-onset muscle soreness, is discomfort or pain that occurs 12 to 72 hours after doing strenuous exercises. “It’s a normal process of muscle growth, some people get it others don’t,” Tobias points out. “And to help aid your recovery, you would want to eat a good amount of protein and carbohydrates, you can use a protein shake, within 30 minutes after training. It helps aid your recovery quicker.” The celebrity trainer also recommends getting a massage once a month or heading to the sauna. Acupuncture and ice baths are also useful to combat muscle pain. Having a soak in the tub with Epsom salts can also help to relieve muscle tension and help to prevent spasms. You can also consider using magnesium if you are having spasms.
“But most importantly, you want to stretch. Stretching is important, so you don’t end up hurting yourself… A lot of people don’t stretch enough. They don’t see it as an important part of their training session.” Tobias continues to explain that one of the biggest stretching mistakes people make has to do with not holding the stretch long enough. “Anything below 30 seconds, you’re not stretching properly. You want to hold a stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds when you are doing a static stretch.