Guest Post: Training Tips from Olympic Athlete Steven Benedict
We all know that exercise is important, but what we don’t know is how important other aspects of working out are, such as stretching, recovery, and what to eat before and after. Our muscles need to be treated right for us to build them up and maintain it. These important tips are also helpful to prevent injury. Steven Benedict is a professional track athlete currently training for the 2020 Olympic games. His knowledge in exercise, fitness and health is wide spread, but he has provided some incredibly helpful and easy tips for the everyday person trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Stretching Static vs. Dynamic
“Static stretching is holding a particular stretch for an extended period. Usually the stretch is held in the range of 30-45 seconds or longer. Dynamic stretching is fluidly moving in and out of a stretch with short holds no longer than 5-10 seconds long. The arguments surrounding which one is better or more beneficial. As an athlete, I can tell you that when preparing to perform, you want to prime the muscles to get the most power out of them. Therefore, dynamic stretching is the way to go for the best results before activity. Post-performance is where you would take 15-20 minutes to static stretch. This releases any tightness or acid build-up in the system during the performance time.”
Icing vs. Heat Recovery
“Icing down and moist heat compresses are the most widely used methods for recovery post training and/or injury. The key is knowing which method is for what, and why.”
“Icing tends to involve direct area compresses or ice baths. There is also ‘spot icing’ which is used to focus on a specific area, usually for an injured muscle (i.e. strain, tear, contusion). An ice bath is for a heavy work load day and recovery. The pros of an ice bath are that swelling is brought down and it helps to re-oxygenize the blood and muscles. However, ice baths usually take your body an extra 24 hours to recalibrate due to such a drop in temperature internally. Some tightness may occur as well.”
“Heat compresses and baths, such as moist heating pads, are for spotting areas to loosen up tension in those muscles. On the other hand, Epsom salt baths, which are full body soaks like ice baths, can help tremendously with lactic acid flushing and weight management for performance. This helps keep the body flexible and loose. A con for heat compresses and baths is that dehydration can occur if not used properly which can also lead to cramping.”
Nutrition Pre-Workout and Post Workout
“When planning your day regarding nutrition, my coaches and most high-performance athletes have one thing in common: most of their nutrition intake is done primarily around their most active time of their days. Samples of some good choices for pre and post workout include: oatmeal, granola, fruit, waffles, pancakes, turkey bacon, natural peanut butter, almond butter, eggs, turkey sausage, protein shakes, ground turkey and ground beef.”
“Post training, you want to have two stages. The first is immediately after training and it needs to be fast absorbing. My go-to is some type of high protein shake that includes a waxy maze which is a fast acting carb derived from corn starch. 45 minutes later, have a solid meal consisting of high protein. I usually have chicken or fish but at least 6-8 ounces for men and 4-5 ounces for women. If you are short on time, I highly recommend considering a meal prep company. They are portioned out for you and cater to your specific needs.”
“In conclusion when you are most active that is when you need the fuel the most and you can taper off the other parts of your day by smaller meals to keep your metabolism burning. Which is what we want most, keeping it burning at the highest rate for the longest period.”
About Steven Benedict
Professional Track Athlete & Olympic Qualifier, Motivational Speaker, Published Fitness Personality
In today’s ever evolving industry an athlete must not only be athletically inclined but be the epitome of all brands. Enter Steven Benedict, as a two time Olympic qualifier he now sets the bar even higher for himself by establishing his dual citizenship for the Italian national team to break a 37year old 200m record. He carries the torch of hope with his latest company Empowering Movement impacting all walks of life especially adopted, abused and children fighting disease through the platform that has saved him. Sports.
He lends his athletic prowess and impact-full expertise to global brands all while training as a world class athlete.
Off the track Steven continues to spread his reach in the fitness world being published in over 30 magazines writing, interviews and features on him and inside looks at his training, mindset and pure love for what he does.
Non-profits and brands seek him out to speak and host events for his motivational words bringing hope to the masses through his overcoming life experiences. His passion thrives not only as an athlete but also an ambassador of living to the fullest and bringing others to their max potential.
You’ve seen him in national athlete commercials, print ads and now films to come.
His knowledge, passion and elite talent make him the ideal face for taking your brand to the next level. He excels at major media opportunities, conferences, trade shows and customer engagement. He quotes “It’s not to only have exceptional gifts but to use them exceptionally.”