Some Tips for Extending the Life of Car Parts

An important part of making your car last longer , is to make the parts that can contribute to your car’s longevity last longer as well.

Car maintenance is a necessary factor for extending the life of your vehicle. However, if rotation of tires, changing the oil, and replacing the battery aren’t being performed, you could end up damaging more than expected, resulting in more trips to the shop. While it can be tempting to avoid replacing certain key parts in order to save money, records have shown that spending a little more money to keep your car in good shape could end up saving you from buying another car entirely. This infographic, accessed through the link below explains some of the precautions you should take to ensure that the lifespan of your vehicle reaches its maximum potential.

Click the link below to access the full infographic:

https://www.chevynationparts.net/how-to-extend-the-lifespan-of-key-car-parts

 

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Overload Principle: Training with Purpose

How do you know you’ve hit a plateau?

Have you trained for countless hours with sparse results? Strict dieting with little to show for it? Strength training without the ability to increase weight? When was the last time you hit a PR, anyway?

Plateauing happens to athletes at all levels. It’s good for training regimens to become a way of life, but doing those sessions over and over again can become like mindlessly checking a box. Inputs remain the same–which can be detrimental to increasing performance outputs.

Incorporating overload principle into training may be one of the steps you need to get off that plateau.

A runner sitting on a plateau overlooking a vista

Building Muscle–How it Actually Works

Overload principle states that in order for muscle to increase in size, strength and endurance, it must be regularly challenged to produce an output that is as near as possible to maximum capacity. The technique pushes the body past its limits, further breaking it down to force adaptations that lead to performance gains.

Skeletal muscle is composed of fibers that contract when our muscles are put to work. During high intensity, challenging exercise, muscle fibers are broken down. These small breakdowns are called “microtrauma,” and cause the muscle to rebuild stronger, overcompensating to protect itself from other breakdowns with new muscle-building protein.

The rebuilt fibers increase in thickness and number, resulting in muscle growth. To support this, we need enough dietary protein to ensure the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown; this is how our muscles grow.

The same process happens in all of the muscles of our body. The heart muscle also gets bigger with training, enabling more oxygen to be used by other muscles. An exercise-induced release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates the formation of blood vessels, leading to the capillarization of the muscle, allowing increased blood flow, oxygen, and nutrient delivery (which is a critical factor in muscle growth).1 More enzymes are also produced that are utilized in energy production.

A woman squatting in the weight room using overload training, which says that muscle fibers and broken down during exercise, then muscle growth is a result of the fibers increasing in thickness and number

Interestingly, when it comes to muscular hypertrophy (the building of muscle), the exact mechanisms aren’t totally understood; there are likely many factors at play. Current hypotheses include some combination of mechanical tension, metabolic fatigue and muscular damage.

But with training adaptations like overload principle, there can be results like slower utilization of muscle glycogen, greater reliance on fat oxidation, less lactate production during exercise, and adaptations to skeletal muscle.2 To produce muscle growth, athletes must apply a load of stress greater than what those muscles have previously adapted to.3

The idea of overload principle is rooted in how muscles grow–and it begins immediately after exercise, but can take weeks or months to actually manifest.

Practice Before Overloading

Before introducing heavier weight or adding more miles to an exercise program, it’s essential to have the correct technique for those exercises cemented. Muscle memory and the repetition of techniques with proper form are crucial for executing an exercise flawlessly.

Normally, these skills are best learned when fatigue doesn’t impact an athlete’s ability to perform the movements correctly.

But once introduced on top of a good skill base, overload principle can be a powerful tool to reducing the overall risk of injury.

Implementing Overload Principle

Without overload principle, fitness level is less likely to increase; training programs might not yield strength gains because the body adapts to static repetition.

There are two basic components of overload principle: the overloading, and the progression. Overloading is what we’ve discussed above, the adding of stress, weight, etc. to achieve greater fitness.

Progression is the way in which the overloading should be added to training. This can be achieved through an increase in frequency, intensity, time of exercise, or a combination of these.

There’s lots of misinformation online about the best ways to exercise. We’re setting the record straight by analyzing the latest scientific studies–so you don’t have to.

Are You FITT?

The FITT principle is a way to approach overload training strategically and safely, by overloading these different aspects of exercise.

Frequency: How often physical activity is performed, which is normally about three to five times per week.

Intensity: How hard a person exercises during physical activity, which can be measured in different ways and is different for everyone. Heart rate is one way to monitor intensity during endurance, while weight can illustrate intensity of strength training; however, neither of these measures something like flexibility.

Time: The length of physical activity. Again, time varies depending on the person and fitness goal. Stretch-training for flexibility may take 15 minutes, but the minimum for aerobic activity is about 20 minutes of continuous exercise.

Type: The specific physical exercise one is training to improve. Someone trying to improve strength might overload weight and reps; a runner looking to improve endurance might overload distance and time.

By using the FITT principle to understand overloading, this may also help with burnout. Often, we seek performance gains, increasing intensity wildly in the hopes of achieving our goals. This can lead to overly fatigued muscle and even injury.

Compartmentalizing overload training, and already knowing the movements on which you’ll overload, can help reduce some of the dangers of pushing your body past its limits.

How to Overload

You probably already have a training plan. It has days with long runs and short runs, rest days and strength training days.

But do those workouts all look the same, week after week? If so, you may be treading in workout water. It’s time to budget overload training into your workout plan.

A note: if you’re serious, it may be worth getting help from a coach. You can’t keep overloading the same thing over and over–that defeats the purpose of overload training in the first place. Always increasing the same element, like volume, may lead to another plateau. It’s important to mix it up, looking at your training plan like a journey: there will be peaks and troughs to keep the body guessing.

A runner using overload principle, which stats that runners should increase distance, increase intensity and increase speed

When Running

Running with overload principle in mind applies the same techniques as strength and resistance training: increase difficulty (in some way) systematically.

Adding intensity to your workouts is a good place to start. Speed workouts and hill training can help improve muscle strength, overall speed and eventually, race day performance. These intense workouts should come twice per week, incorporating things like interval training, tempo runs, hill workouts or lactate threshold training (which could serve a dual purpose as being both a difficult workout and help you improve your lactate threshold).

Adding duration to runs is also an essential way to overload. One long run per week should be added to a training plan. Many runners prefer to conduct these long runs on weekends (specifically Sunday), because Monday is a popular rest day. You can even add mileage to this run over the course of several weeks.

There are also tools that can help overload training. A weight vest can be added while running or walking to increase lower-body strength and endurance. And running with a training mask on can make your respiratory muscles work harder, which increases respiratory compensation threshold (RCT) and can improve endurance performance.5

Ample recovery time is also important; muscles need time to recover. Work in a rest day after a day of overload training. Since you’ve just pushed yourself further than you’re used to going, recovery will help encourage those gains. If resting isn’t an option, try alternating hard training days with easy training days.

When Weight Training

You probably already strength train or cross-train between regular workouts–these strengthen muscles and joints, decreasing the risk of injury.

The type of strength training varies by athlete depending on their goals. Many employ circuit training, weightlifting or plyometrics training. In general, overloading would include increasing the number of sets or increasing weight used in this training.

The safest way to overload is first to increase reps or sets, getting as comfortable as possible with the exercise, then increase weight.

For example: let’s say you’re doing three sets of eight reps of bicep curls with 10 lb dumbbells. When overloading the following week, jumping to 15 lb dumbbells would be a 50% jump in weight–which is too much to overload. Instead, overload by increasing the number of reps or sets. Try for three sets of ten reps or four sets of eight reps before increasing weight.

On the flip side, someone pushing 100 lbs on a bench press would likely be able to increase weight to 105 lbs–that’s only a 5% jump in weight. For exercises with larger muscles, the overload increment can also be larger. Still, it’s best to focus on increased reps or sets before jumping up in weight.

To approach overloading systematically, make sure you keep a training log to track each increase in weight for all your exercises.

A woman lifting a barbell using overload training, which states that lifters should first increase the number of sets and reps, then increase the weight when the movement has been mastered

Overloading Outside of Exercise

Even though overloading happens in the gym, building muscle happens outside of it. All that overloading might be for naught if you don’t recover properly.

We’ve outlined the best supplements for runners to take, but here’s a high-level look at what can help increase muscle and improve recovery.

BCAAs: These branched-chain amino acids provide the body with building blocks to maintain lean muscle mass.6 The body breaks down protein into these amino acids, which then are sent throughout the body to be used again in protein building–and thus, muscle-building. One study even showcased they alleviated skeletal muscle damage.7

HVMN Ketone: Can be used before, during and after workouts. HVMN Ketone has been shown to increase the efficiency of working muscle by 28%,8 and in testing, athletes went ~2% further in a 30-minute time trial.9 For recovery, HVMN Ketone decreases the breakdown of intramuscular glycogen and protein when compared to carbs alone,9 while also expediting the resynthesis of glycogen by 60% and protein by 2x.10,11

Protein: Whey, casein and soy protein are the most popular choices here, and all should be taken post-workout. Whey is a great source of BCAA, and is absorbed the fastest by the body. It’s largely considered the most effective protein for building muscle.12 Casein protein is slower to absorb, so it can be taken before bed. One study showcased consuming it before bed led to a 34% reduction in whole body protein breakdown.13

Overloading to Measurable Gains

Overloading may be the best way to break the body out of its routine and spur the growth you’ve been looking for. By pushing the body past its limits, even for a set or an extra mile, your body will adapt to be able to handle that stress during the next training session.

It’s important not to over-overload. This can lead to injury and be detrimental for your overall training goals by putting you on the sidelines for a few weeks. Measured overloading is the best approach, tracking the increases to understand how they’re helping work toward your goals.

Take it one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be off that plateau and on your way to climbing a whole new mountain.

How do you get off the plateau? Share in the comments below.

Marginal gains?

You train, you work hard, you put in the hours–you should be seeing results. We’re developing more resources to help you get the most out of your workout.

Authored by Nate Martins •
September 25, 2018

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Jack-of-all-Trades

When you’ve been working for yourself for a little while, you soon come to realise that doing your job is just half the battle. Since setting up on your own you’ve become an accountant, marketing guru, sales representative and errand do-er. What you might also find yourself having to face, is the prospect of carrying out HR duties on top of all that.

How to automate Adwords optimizations was one thing, when it came to becoming a Ninja-like marketing expert, taking on the hiring and firing of staff seems like an altogether greater challenge. And yet, it can be done, and you can be the one to learn to do it. We take a look at some of the skills, tips and tricks you’ll need to take your business to the next level when it comes to taking on, training and getting the most out of staff.

Hiring

When it comes to interviewing and hiring staff the real secret is simply being organised and doing enough research into your job role and person specification that you know exactly who’s going to be a great fit. With those two elements firmly in your mind and clearly communicated in your job advertisement you’ll have your pick of dream candidates queueing up at your door. Be open-minded and look for personalities that give a little added value to your position.

Managing

No one said you’d make a natural manager but if you’ve had a boss in the past, chances are you have a good working idea of what works and what doesn’t.

There’s a difference between a good manager and a great manager and that difference is the desire to see your staff grow and exceed even above their own expectations in the role you’ve placed them in. When you realise that your staff are indeed your greatest asset, you’ll find better and more relevant ways of investing in them, whether through external training courses or in-house schemes.

A great manager has good communication at the heart of everything they do whether that’s issuing clear and precise instruction or explaining the corporate goals of the organisation, your communication skills will act as a gateway for two-way conversation and set a great example.

Managing people is as much about your qualities as a leader as it is about their ability to do the job. A great leader will make time to listen to employees and take on board any suggestions without it damaging their ego or pride when a great suggestion is put forward. Instead a great leader will recognise an employee’s achievements and adequately reward them for it.

Image courtesy of Pexels

Firing

There are times, of course, when you will need to let staff go and that can be tough. Before you go to the ultimate act of terminating their employment there are several steps you’ll need to take first before you can fire them. You will need to have a frank and honest talk with your employee about their performance and flag up your concerns. Then you’ll need to get some kind of performance improvement plan in place with clear goals and a timeline that sets out what kind of changes they’ll need to make to their working practice and by when.

Only after you’ve given them every chance to show a marked improvement and they’ve failed to live up to their side of the agreement can you go down the dismissal route.

While it’s tough for an employee there are times when it’s necessary and as a manager you’ll need to spend some time figuring out what went wrong and ask yourself if you made a bad hire or if there were external reasons for the decline in performance. Learning lessons is a vital part of the process and will help you avoid making the same mistakes in future.

Like marketing, PR and selling, your HR skills can be learnt, honed and polished with a mixture of research, practice and experience. No one said setting up on your own would be easy and you might not have expected that you’d be taking on so many more skills, but you have and what an achievement.

Read around your favourite business and lifestyle bloggers to get the best advice and ideas on how to be an effective leader. With just a little practice, you’ll soon see your business grow from strength to strength with a great team behind you who share your vision and business goals and who flourish under your great leadership.

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