Through the Eyes of a Beginner Athlete
by Madi M.
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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But What is Working Out, Though?
Just a few questions I had when I started working out:
Why, just why, is everyone in this gym shaking up these weird looking bottles?
Why is there a giant tub of vanilla-flavored protein powder on everyone's fridges?
Oh my god, WHY am I ALWAYS starving?
Seriously, why am I still hungry?
Does a "good-tasting" protein bar actually exist?
How many leaves of spinach do I need to eat to not feel woozy?
Why did I decide to do this?
I had no idea the benefits behind supplemental protein and just how much it could turn my workout around. I thought pain was part of the process, that I was just going to creak my way through the gym and hope nobody pulled out the WD-40.
Spoiler alert: There’s a reason people tote their protein shakes around the gym, making room in their gym bags and lockers for their shakers and giant tubs of protein powder.
Just Tell me What to Do
When I started joining workout classes, it was simple to just turn my brain off and listen to my coach tell me what we had to do that day. Even though I had no idea what I was doing in my CrossFit routine, my coach explained every single exercise.
Not only this, but they made sure that my lifting technique was correct, because otherwise, my muscles would end up suffering from poor form, counteracting the energy I just spent in that last hour.
What they couldn't help with was my diet before and after the gym.
With Age Comes Great Worry About What I Eat
I remember in high school and college, I could down French fries and Red Bulls after my rugby games and feel completely fine. I’d recover from the hard hits and aggressive tackles and I’d be ready to compete again the day after.
If I did the same thing today, I’d be out of commission for a whole month. My muscles would never forgive me — I’d feel dehydrated, fatigued, and just overall drained until I slept for 48 hours.
Even with that sleep, I’d likely lose all of that cardio and strength that I worked for during a match or practice. All because I didn’t properly recover after my workout, allowing my body no replenishment nor protein to jump back in the game.
I never used to care about the nutrition that went into my body. I knew that my stamina and young muscles could handle it, even in the most dire of athletic competitions. Today, that philosophy does not hold up. My knees start aching before every storm, my back hurts if I sit in the same place too long, and I can’t cross my legs for more than five minutes at a time. If I was going to get back into sports and exercise, I knew that I needed to eat and recover properly. You can’t jump into a powerlifting workout in your late 20s with the same gusto as your high school self.
Your body will break down, unable to find that elasticity from daily morning workouts that started before first period.
After my own bout with creaky joints, sore muscles, and overall fatigue, I decided to see what all the hubbub is about with protein shakes, powders, and bars.
Thank You, IdealShape
IdealShape joins you on every step of your process as you begin your fitness journey. As someone trying to get back into the rhythm of exercise, but with no prior experience in CrossFit or those crazy HIIT workouts, I was quick to see that I was completely ill-equipped to deal with protein intake.
I’d start feeling dizzy on my cool down or I’d start getting headaches as soon as I was done with my workout. Sure, this was also due to not drinking enough water (seriously, who drinks enough water?), but nutrition played a huge part in it.
I couldn’t just eat nothing throughout the day, workout, then pretend like my body would just deal with it. My body was telling me that I needed recovery and I needed pre-workout, otherwise it just wasn’t going to function fully.
And even if I did make it through a day without these things, I wasn’t going to want to work out again. Consistency and getting back into the gym has been crucial in my first days back in a workout routine, and without protein, I was making it harder on myself to step in those doors.
Different Treats to Keep You in the Game
I can’t stand eating the same thing day after day after day to try and replenish my body. Sure, you can eat a chocolate bar after every workout for the first day, but once your new workout week starts, it’s hard to get back in the routine. In fact, you start dreading your weekly schedule, making it even more difficult to move around.
With IdealShape, I was able to experience protein supplements in so many different forms. I never got tired of the flavors because of the full rotation they had to offer.
From their IdealBoost add-ons in your water to their coconut-flavored protein bars, I wasn’t skipping a beat when it came to my recovery. Any time I needed a boost, I had the choice between drinks, chips, protein bars, and shakes.
With all these options, I didn’t have to think about what kind of meal I was going to cook up, which ingredients to add in, or how high to heat the skillet. In the few precious moments after your workout, I needed to get that protein intake, and with IdealShape, I could easily through the powder into a shaker and have my protein to-go.
As a vegetarian athlete just getting into a workout routine, I can’t just carry around a freeze-dried steak ready to be devoured in the locker room. I had to visualize an easier means of protein, and that comes in the shape of IdealShape.