Training at Santasport – My first VLOG!

Hi there! I’m pretty excited about my first video blog that I’ve created. I spent 4 days in Rovaniemi to focus on training, eating and sleeping. My goal for the trip definitely worked, I got an energy boost and my recovery is on the right path. I could definitely feel these sessions in my body later though, so I took many days off to give myself some rest. Hopefully I can return to a normal training schedule within a month! That would mean that I’d also be able to plan my next competition.

Check the video for more thoughts, for training and some talk with the awesome olympian Anni Vuohijoki.

 

x Steffi

Videohaastattelu @ Alfaland

Moikka! Ajattelin jakaa tännekin videohaastattelun, jonka Arttu teki Alfaland-sivustolle ja Alona julkaisi Poseland -sivulla. Kiitos ensinnäkin mukavasta haastattelusta (ja otsikosta :D)! Video kertoo kaiken, joten suosittelen vaikka hyppäämään sisäpyörän selkään ja polkemaan rauhallisen 70min mittaisen treenin samalla kun kuuntelette tämän. Toivon mukaan saatte vähän suuntaa omiin harjoituksiin ja ehkä uusia ideoita miten tehdä, kun asiat eivät tunnu hyvältä. Vaikeuksista puhuminen on nimittäin melko isossa roolissa!

Haastiksessa puhutaan bloggamisesta, kehonkuvasta, ruoasta, kilpailemisesta, treeneistä, haasteista, virheistä, palautumisesta ja paljon muusta! 🙂

 

x Steffi

 

MY TRAINING NOW – FROM STRUGGLE TO SOLUTIONS + THE BEAUTY OF BASIC CONDITIONING

Hello there! I hope you’ve all had a good start for the year 2018. I’ve definitely had, since the period before that was pretty rough in many ways.

I’m gonna write about basic conditioning in this post – why I’ve done it, how I’ve done it and why it’s good for everyone and especially those who exercizes more than 3 times a week. I first have to write an introduction about why I sort of ran into a wall of having no choice but to take a break from hard training.

For half a year now my training has mostly consisted of low intensity workouts, “basic conditioning” workouts as many of you know them. I have not lifted heavy weights, done intensive workouts or any explosive movements for this time apart from a few rare sessions while attending certain seminars. This is because my nervous system has been overloaded.

There are several reasons for that. The biggest reasons are the following.

As I have not had a coach during the years of my most intensive training years, the past 2 years, it has been both good and bad. It has been good in many ways because I’ve had to study as much as possible and take full responsibility of my training and everything that goes to it. So I have become smarter in theory.

It has been bad when training overall has felt overwhelming, when it has felt that if my own decision making might not be the best. When I was not able to put the theory I learned into practice. That’s when I would’ve needed guidance. It can’t only be guidance from anyone, though. It has to be from a coach that knows you well, knows your ability and knows how you in general handle difficulties in life. It is not easy to find one. The coach has to put on a brake when you might think that you should hit the gas pedal AND the other way around. It all came to a breaking point when I lost a person very close to me after a long difficult and stressful time, of interestingly, about 2 years. I understood that during this time of stress and struggle, had it at some point become too hard to work as my own coach and therefor the connection with my body and mind was lost. The balance went off and that’s when wrong decisions were made when it comes to training, simply put as when to rest and when to train.

The symptoms I’ve experienced to name a few have been a poor appetite, stomach issues, overwhelming tiredness, no feeling of powerfulness, mentally feeling down and so on. It could’ve been worse – I could have been seriously overtrained while not being able to train for a year or something similar, but for now I’m mostly just grateful that everything is starting to work again and I have successfull training sessions during the week. But I’m still in a state of recovery. Luckily, I’ve only had to take half a year “off” and nothing irreversible has happened. All my blood tests has been good, no signs of crazy cortisol levels or hormone imbalances.

The help I’ve seeked and found that has turned everything around has been working with my coach, who half a year ago pretty much saw that I needed to put on a huge brake pedal. I have been in contact with my coach now for every single day for a half a year. A sports doctor called Pippa Laukka had same thoughts as the coach and helped me understand that it’s time to take it easy right now, taking in consideration my current situation. We ran through some more tests to exclude possible illness. I’ve also talked to a nutritionist. In addition to this I’ve worked in my own ways when dealing with loss. This all has been very beneficial, but of course also extremely frustrating and difficult.

Everything has felt better but it’s weird since it’s almost like I didn’t know that training and recovery can feel this effective and good. But actually I just didn’t remember. The overload happened so slowly that even I didn’t understand something was wrong. There is no exact moment when things changed, it all happened gradually. During these 2 years I’ve also had great progress and performed well in competitions, which has been awesome but might’ve also worked as a confusion at times. If I don’t feel great, but I perform numerically great, it can be very hard to trust my true and correct intuition.

I guess you see more of the positive side of my training in my instagram and find a bit deeper side when reading these posts! So be it.

But now finally back to the subject which you guys might actually get something out of – the basic conditioning!

Since training hard was not an option, the only training I could do was low intensity training. In a way that was totally fine – I really needed it! To be honest that’s also the only kind of training I felt like doing, in addition to yoga. I’ve also focused on my mobility and done some meditation.

The science behind basic conditioning is the following. It means you are training with a low heart rate, a heart rate that is individual but usually between 115-135 beats per minute (if you do this, find out your personal BPM to get the most out of it). The training feels very light, almost like you are doing no work. The recovery from those sessions also don’t usually take very long, because the training is not a big stress to the body.

The idea with basic conditioning is to work on a certain physical feature. When the “base” is good, will you be able to do better in intermediate and hard workouts, because you’ve raised the ceiling of opportunity. Your recovery from hard sessions, which CrossFit very much consists of, is more effective. It also has a positive effect on stress, fat burn and your respiratory muscles.

Since CrossFit is my sport, I’ve seen a lot of super intense sessions being hit even 6 times a week but no low intensity work being done. This is also what some (mostly) endurance athletes and/or coaches love to criticize in CrossFit… and they are not completely wrong. If you train a few times a week, I don’t see that it’s an absolute necessity – you will probably recover from the hard sessions pretty well. If it’s difficult to motivate yourself to move, I suggest you just do whatever you feel like instead of going into details like this. But if your training has been taken to the next level, and you want to make it a bit more varied, or you train like an athlete, then at least one low intensity session once a week is a good idea. If you move around a lot in your daily life – bike or walk to work, have a job that is physical and so on, you might be actually working on the low heart rate zone are without you even knowing it. So that’s really good!

Is it difficult? Not physically, but this type of training requires a lot of time, patience and trust that it’s beneficial. Sitting on a rower for over an hour might require some mental toughness, since it’s numbing and often boring, but the work needs to be done.

If you live a very stressful life, I do suggest some type of low intensity work to ease the stress. It can be low HR workouts, yoga or whatever calmes the mind. I’m very proud that my home gym, CrossFit Basement, where I coach at (or right now mosty only train at) add a low HR session quite often, sometimes even weekly, to the programming. In this particular box, and in most boxes I’ve visited, the clients are some of the most dedicated you can find. They train like athletes and focus on their recovery outside the box. I think therefor it’s very good to educate these types of enthusiastic people of the importance of basic conditioning.

The workouts I’ve done have been some of the following. They always last 45min-2h.

  • Rowing
  • Biking
  • Skiing on the ski-erg
  • Swimming
  • Walking or very slow jogging
  • Doing a mix of different movements in a slow pace such as; 1k rowing, 30 push-ups (in sets of 3-5), 30 air squats, 30 lunges for 5 rounds. I always came up with movements and a rep scheme of what I felt was needed and what felt good AND of course kept my HR low enough. Many movements such as almost all hanging movements spiked my HR too high, so I had to change them.

I did as much as I had energy for. During the most difficult weeks, even one session a week was a success but during a good week, I could do up to 10h a week.

Right now I’m at a state where I’ve tested to add in a strenght session, an endurance session with a higher HR and even a metcon. Luckily, I’ve felt very good in many of these, so slowly I will be able to handle harder training and hopefully soon back to full speed training for competitons!

One thing is for sure – this time has been extremely diffcult, so I will absolutely take up some valuable lessons and NOT repeat them! I have to give almost all credit to my coach for my new training mentality and understanding, this is really all thanks to his support and help. Can’t wait to keep fulfilling my dreams and goals in working as hard (but smart!) as possible to become the best that I can possibly be! 🙂

 

I hope you guys stay healthy, fit and happy in 2018! 🙂

 

x Steffi

 

Pictures: Sandra Hagelstam, Stina Sundelin, Petri Mast

HERO POWER – NETTIVALMENNUKSENI HEROTREENILLÄ

This post will exceptionally be in Finnish, since I will be discussing an online program that I will provide for the HEROTREENI-concept. The online program is in Finnish.

Mistä on kyse?

Olen rakentanut HerotreeniIlle oman HERO POWER -nettitreeniohjelman! Tämä on ensimmäinen kerta, kun lähden tekemään netin kautta valmennusta.

Lyhyesti minusta valmentajana:

Olen kouluttautunut liikunnnaohjaaja (Arcada, AMK), työskennellyt Personal Trainerinä kuntosalilla ja valmentanut CrossFitiä ryhmille yhteensä yli 4 vuotta. Olen myös valmentanut yksityisasiakkaita tänä aikana. Teen nyt ensimmäistä kertaa nettitreeniohjelmaa. Kyseinen ohjelma soveltuu henkilöille, joilla on jonkun verran salikokemusta ja salimahdollisuus. Tämä ohjelmointi toimii myös asiakkaille, joilla on mielikuvitus hetkellisesti loppunut salilla ja toivossa on uudenlaista ärsykettä.

Olen suunnitellut kaikki treenit itse. Videoin kaikki liikkeet asiakkaille, jotta tekniikka on kohdallaan. Nanna Karalahti on suunnitellut ruokavalion, joka sopii kyseiseen ohjelmaan. Suljetussa FB-ryhmässä minä ja Nanna vastataan mahdollisiin kysymyksiin ja autetaan jos eteen tulee kompastuskiviä.

Mistä koko yhteistyö alkoi?

Kun Nanna otti mun yhteyttä koskien nettivalmennusta, tein ensiksi hieman taustatyötä koko konseptista. Mikä se on? Kuka sitä tekee? Mikä on kyseisen konseptin idea ja viesti? Miten minä sopisin konseptiin mukaan? Ketkä muut ovat mukana? Mitä asiakkaat ovat sanoneet ohjelmoinnista?

Minulle tärkeimpiä juttuja ovat, että asiakkaille voidaan opettaa pitkäjänteisyytta. Koen myös hyvin tärkeänä, ettei ruokavaliota vedetä minimikaloreihin, koska silloin treenin laatu kärsii ja mieliala huononee. Olen aina ollut vahvasti kovia dieettejä vastaan, ja olen edelleenkin. Ne kun vaan eivät ole pysyviä.

En kirjoittaisi nyt tätä postausta, jos Nanna ei olisi ollut samoilla linjoilla kanssani koskien ylläolevia juttuja. Ilahduin kun huomasin että niin moni asia jonka eteen Nanna haluaa tehdä töitä, kuulostivat kuin ne olisivat voineet tulla minun suustani.

Säännöllinen, kovatehoinen ja monipuolinen harjoittelu. Puhdas ja riittävä ruokavalio. Tärkeä vertaistuki. Siinä on asioita, joita HERO POWER -ohjelmalta voi odottaa.

Kun vielä näin että kovia nimiä kuten Oona Kivelä ja Lotta Harala ovat myös tehneet omat ohjelmansa Herolle, tiesin että tulen olemaan hyvässä seuraassa. Aloin jopa harkitsemaan jos ensi kesänä tekisin itsekin Lotan juoksu-ohjelman. Näiden ohjelmien lisäksi Herotreenillä löytyy mm. tuoreille äidille suunnattuja ohjelmia, jooga-ohjelmia, koti-ohjelmia ja paljon muuta.

Kenelle HERO POWER on?

Lue allaolevasta kuvakaappauksesta kenelle ohjelma on suunnattu ja mitä ohjelmaan lähteminen vaatii.

Ohjelma alkaa siis yhteisstartilla 8.1. Yhteisstartti tarkoittaa sitä, että sinä päivänä tarvittava info tulee asiakkaille ja me etenemme yhdessä, samaan tahtiin. Tällä tavalla pysymme kaikki koko ajan samalla viivalla. Vaikeuksien tullessa pistätte suoraan ryhmään viestiä ja minä, Nanna tai mahdollisesti muut ryhmän jäsenet auttavat sinua! Vaikeudet voivat olla, ettette ehdi tehdä jotain treeniä, ette ymmärrä jotain harjoitusta tai ette motivoidu syömään oikein. Ryhmän avulla tulemme onnistumaan entistä varmemmin.

Valmistaudu neljään treeniin/viikko. Kolme treeniä tehdään salilla, yksi treeni voidaan tehdä kevyen lenkin muodossa tai vaikkapa uima-altaassa (matalatehoinen kestävyysharjoitus). Näiden lisäksi ohjelmoinnissa on video-ohjattuja liikkuvuusharjoituksia.

Millaista? Olen luonnollisesti ottanut vaikutteita omista lajeistani CrossFitistä ja painonnostosta. Olen kuitenkin yksinkertaistanut asoita. En tule sisällyttämään ohjelmaan teknisesti vaikeita tai raskaita liikkeitä, kuten tempausta tai rengas muscle-uppeja. Nämä ovat erinomaisia liikkeitä, mutta niihin suosittelen henkilökohtaista valmennusta. Koen, että monipuolinen treeni-ohjelma on kehittävin ja motivoivin, siksi ohjelmoinnissa on painoja, yksinkertaisia taito-harjoitteita, kestävyysharjoituksia ja liikkuvuusharjoituksia. Kun nämä kaikki ominaisuudet yhdistetään, saadaan mielestäni paras mahdollinen kunto, joka pysyy. Kaikkiin liikkeisiin tulee skaalaukset, eli jos et saa esim. leukoja, niin siihen on olemassa helpotettu versio.

Tästä klikkaamalla löydätte vielä lisäinfoa kaikista ohjelmoinneista!

Tervetuloa mukaan!

x Steffi

Kuvat: Henrik Koivisto/Herotreeni

ARE YOU AN INTUITIVE OR A TASK-SPECIFIC GOAL SETTER?

Roughly speaking, there are two ways to go about when you’re working on your fitness goals. The first way is being intuitive, going “by feel”, in everything you do. That means deciding on the go what you are going to train that day, what you feel like eating and so on. This style requires good self-knowledge and trust in oneself.

The other way is being task-specific. Relying on someone else’s expertise. Possibly using a sleeping app to make sure the quality is on point. Counting macros. Following a clear training program and so on. This one requires a systematic, possibly monotone way of living. It requires a will to push through days when you’re just not feeling it and a trust in the systems you have decided to follow.

Picture: Tomi Salakari

Both of these methods can be great when wisely utilized. Some people love having everything planned out, for others a certain freedom is a must.

The most common way of practice is a mix of these two. For example, you go by feel with your nutrition, but you like to have a specific training program that someone else programs for you.

On the other side, both of these styles could also be hindering your progress. If you go only by feel, there might be a risk that you are skipping some necessary details. If you go by a strict schedule, there might be a bigger chance that you burn out if you don’t learn to listen to your body.

Let’s dig into these two a little bit more.

Which one are you?

It’s really important to get to know yourself on a deeper level if you want to find out how to achieve your goals. Your goals are usually something that gets you excited. To become happier, to get fit, to quit a bad habit, to compete in a sport, to do well in school or to get a certain job or promotion. Whatever gets you excited, it is up to you to break that main goal into many different pieces in order to find out what steps you need to take to get closer to it.

I am personally more of the task-specific type. I love dialing in on a lot of things like sleep, nutrition and my overall schedule. But there have been situations when it has turned against me and therefor hindered my progress. In the past, I have followed training programs a bit blindly and not listened to certain warning signs my body was trying to tell me. On the other side, I have also used my intuitive style a bit wrong, for example when it comes to nutrition, by kind of just eating when I want and what I want. That resulted in low quality of nutrients and eating too little, which then caused low energy levels and bad mood.

If you have not achieved your goals yet you need to STUDY to get there. By studying I mean studying yourself, becoming your own best buddy. You are most likely just lacking the information. Studying is here meant as a broad subject. Reading is a great way to gain knowledge but there also are many other ways; talking to experts and non-experts, spending time with different people, spending time alone, travelling to a new place, stepping out of your daily routines, reading books and listening to podcasts, writing down your thoughts, being open to new ideas and learning to LISTEN to others. Reaching out for professional help in whatever area you know you need help in. It’s important to be ready to move out of your comfort zone in the possibility to learn new. The skill to wipe out your own expectations and prejudice thoughts is a great way to start.

Picture: Sandra Hagelstam

Intuitive?

Are you the happiest when you “go by feel” with the things you do? Would you eat what you want and when you want by listening to your body and needs for that exact moment? Would you go to sleep when you’re tired, no matter if it would be early or after midnight and wake up without an alarm clock? Would you workout when you feel like it and choose the tempo and movement on the go? Do you like to keep your calendar quite empty since you don’t know how you will feel in two days?

Can you separate what you really need from what you’re just tempted to need? There is a fine line between these two and no one can really say for sure when the mental aspect has a bigger benefit in comparison to the physical benefits.

Do you need this kind of freedom in order to be mentally balanced and therefor assured that you are staying true to yourself?

Being the intuititive type shouldn’t mean that if you have a surpirising sweet tooth every day at 15.00, you eat chocholate bars, because in the long run it’s not healthy. But if you feel like having a beer here and there, you have it because it makes you feel good.

Task-specific?

Do you want an exact schedule of your food intake, count the calories/macros and track that you drink enough water during the day? Do you want to be every night in bed by 22.00 and wake up to the alarm no later than 7.30? Do you want to do cardio on Monday’s, weight training on Wednesday and Yoga on Sunday’s? Do you like to schedule even the days when you don’t do anything in your calendar? Is this a way that make you feel excited and stronger towards your goals?

Is this the way that you feel the most powerful and dedicated, sort of in control of your destiny?

It is nowadays possible to monitor and optimize almost everything. Sometimes that can become a bit draining, though, and you might feel more like a robot than a human being.

Picture: Tuomas Hinkkanen

Well…

You don’t have to (an probably won’t be able to) decide that you are exactly either one but the goal is to figure out in which areas you are more of the task-specific type and in which areas you’re more of the intuitive type. The main thing here is to find an efficient system to achieve your goals. The whole process can become a struggle if you don’t have the right tools for you.

Obviously these both types work. When I went to Ben Bergerons seminar in London, I understood that his way leans more towards the task-oriented -style. When I went to Tia-Clair Toomey’s seminar in Madrid a week after that, I understood that an intuitive style has worked really well for them. Both styles make champions, that’s why the whole idea is to find out who you are.

Anyone can hold onto a tight schedule for a few weeks, but a few weeks wont make you a champion. Anyone can also live by intuition, but they might have a hard time getting the work done if they live too freely.

Picture: Sandra Hagelstam

What now?

Now put these thoughts into work by testing them in real life. If one way makes you miserable then don’t do it, find another way. A certain level of discipline is needed when you’re inheriting a new habit but if it doesn’t become something enjoyable and somewhat automatic after several weeks, then you might wanna change your way of doing it.

In some situations you might love being very task-oriented and precise but in other you might love your freedom.

I’ve personally shifted my intuitive way if living within nutrition towards a more task-oriented style, by making sure I get enough energy in a day, and I feel much better. In training though, I’ve changed my task-oriented style towards a more intuitive style, by learning to listen to the signs of my body and doing the kind of training that I really need. That has required some patience for a few months, but I’m now starting to see the benefits and oh man are they good!

One last word!

It’s important to always remember to skip the box thinking, since we change all the time! What worked for you last year, might be different from what works for you now. If someone has told you that you are a certain type, don’t be too quick to let that define you today.

You create your own reality!

Picture: Sandra Hagelstam

x Steffi