You Need the D: How Vitamin D can Maximize Your Training

You work out, drink protein, and take supplements. You seem to be on top of it but you may be missing something crucial. With the cuddle weather keeping you inside, I have to ask you one thing: Have you taken the D lately? Vitamin D3 that is. Most people overlook how vitamin deficiencies can affect their training; however, research has shown time and time again that vitamin D3 can affect aspects of your performance.

While your body naturally absorbs vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, ask yourself how often you take the time to be outside. Most people work and train indoors, therefore making you increasingly susceptible to vitamin D3 deficiency beyond just the winter months.

Being deficient in this vitamin can affect the quality and results of your workouts as vitamin D3 has been seen to have an effect on:

  • Muscle protein synthesis (1)
  • Minimizing pain and inflammation (2)
  • Strength (2)
  • Reducing illness (2)
  • Trainability of muscles (3)
  • Size and number of specific types of muscle fibers (4)

If you are feeling increasingly lethargic in the winter or just want to boost your training abilities, then maybe it is time to look into adding a new supplement into your diet. The following are links to some of the top Vitamin D3 supplements out right now on Amazon. Treat your body right and take the D3!      

  1. Birge, S. J., & Haddad, J. G. (1975). 25-hydroxycholecalciferol stimulation of muscle metabolism. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 56(5), 1100-1107. Retrieved March 8, 2016.

  2. Shuler, F., Wingate, M., Moore, H., & Giangarra, C. (2012). Sports health benefits of vitamin D. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 4(6), 496-501. Retrieved March 8, 2016.

  3. Hettinger, T., & Muller, E. A. (1956). Seasonal course of trainability of musculature. Int Z Angew Physiol, 16(2). Retrieved March 8, 2016.

  4. Cannell, J. J., Hollis, B. W., Sorenson, M. B., Taft, T. N., & Anderson, J. J. (2009). Athletic Performance and Vitamin D. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 41(5), 1102-1110. Retrieved March 8, 2016.

The Truth about Trainers: How to Know if You're in Good Hands

It has come to my attention that many people think I’m a trainer. While the fact that people even value my opinion as much as a professional is incredibly flattering, just because I lift heavy weight does not give me a certification, it simply means I have a fabulous coach behind me. Their statement only shows that people think all trainers and even a “fit” layperson have the same degree of knowledge, which brings me to share a kind of shocking truth: the system of training is actually quite flawed.

There is no governing body for trainers. For example, lawyers have the American Bar Association, which ensures that every lawyer meets the exact same requirements of knowledge. While lawyers meet your legal needs, trainers meet your bodily needs. Therefore, the lack of consistency between trainers’ knowledge and who you trust to improve your health in a safe manner should be alarming. Just like you are picky with choosing other health professionals, you should also maintain that same attitude when choosing a trainer.

While continuing education is required as part of certification renewals, most places and people do not ask if they are up to date. I have seen this first hand while working in both corporate and boutique gyms. Trainers are not asked to show proof of continued education, which is an important part of training. While a certification gives you the basic knowledge, advanced expertise is what sets someone apart. Considering how new the field of research on the subject is, there is new information constantly being discovered about how to maximize performance. Wouldn’t you want your trainer to maintain a level of knowledge both through reading and experience?

No trainer is exactly alike. Someone can spend years working out and be confident about being healthy but that does not mean they are giving you the correct information or techniques that will work for you. Find a trainer that is passionate about what they do, that will take the extra step to be knowledgeable and help you in your quest to become a better and healthier you.