Rest and Recovery Between Workouts: The Missing Piece to your Program



Recovery after a workout is an extremely important and often overlooked part of a complete exercise program. The workout session is when the physical work happens, but it is the rest and recovery period after the workout that determines how the body will adapt to the work. Training too hard and too often without the proper recovery can actually give your body the reverse effect of your goal such as weight gain, immune deficiencies and sleeplessness. Let’s examine the science, several important factors and guidelines for optimal recovery.


The Science

Performing any kind of exercise requires energy. The body maintains a continuous supply of energy by converting chemical energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. There are three energy systems which are responsible for the production energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the ultimate source of energy for muscle contraction).


  • Phosphagen or short term energy system
  • Glycolytic or anaerobic energy system
  • Mitochondrial respiration, aerobic, or long term energy system


Depending on the intensity and duration of the exercise will depend on which combination of these systems are used. Optimal recovery entails restoring the capacity for each energy system to function once again at maximal levels.


How does your body recover?


In order for the body to recover, it must normalize and restore its physiological functions. Once a workout is over your body’s metabolism can continue to burn more calories. This physiological effect is called excess post- exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC is the amount of oxygen required to restore your body to its normal, resting level of metabolic function called homeostasis.  A few things happen at the end of your workout for rest and recovery to begin.


  1. Immediately following the end of the workout, the body returns to a normal breathing and heart rate.
  2. Circulatory hormones come back to normal and core body temperature decreases.
  3. Energy stores need to be replenished.


What factors influences recovery?


The goal of the program has a large influence with how you should handle recovery.  The opportunity for muscle growth starts the moment you finish your workout and that growth can’t happen without the proper recovery protocol. A few key factors are:


  1. Stress of the workout – based on the workload of your program (sets x reps x weight)
  2. Overall muscle recruitment – based on the desired adaptation (strength, power, hypertropy (muscle building) or endurance)
  3. Potential for muscle damage and soreness – potential is a result of the previous two factors as well as exercise selection


What do these factors means actually?  Well for example, during resistance training, small microscopic tears occur in the muscle tissue (totally normal). During recovery, your muscles are repairing and increasing the size of these fibers allowing to build muscle over the course of time. The micro-tears are the cause of soreness post workout and the larger the tear, the longer you may feel sore . Your focus shouldn’t be on how fast the recovery is but instead how productive it is. The goal is to push yourself so that you feel challenged during each workout. You may try to do a little more each time, work a little bit longer or increase the heaviness in weights. However you don’t want to do too much that you are damaging the muscle rather than building it.


What can you do to positively effect your recovery?

  1. Dynamic Warmup - Also called movement prep, these exercises will help with strength, mobility, stability and balance.
  2. Cool down and Stretch – After your workout, it is important to . This allows the body to bring it back to its normal state.
  3. Foam rolling –  Can help increase circulation to the muscles and work through any small knots in the tissue.
  4. Post –workout Nutrition – After exercise the body needs to replenish energy with carbohydrates and repair tissue with protein. Having a post-workout snack or drink with both carbohydrates and protein can help meet both needs. The carbohydrates will refuel energy needs as well as increase insulin levels, which helps to promote the post-exercise utilization of protein for muscle repair.
  5. Hydrate – Guidelines include drinking 17-20 ounces of water two to three hours before the start of exercise, drinking 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercise or during warm-up and drinking 7-10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise. Additionally it is important to drink 8 ounces of fluid 30 minutes after exercising.
  6. Rest – Rest days give your muscles a break. Doing some light cardio such as a bike ride or a walk in the park on these rest days is known as active recovery. This can promote blood flow and improved circulation to the muscles.
  7. Sleep – It’s a necessary down time for your body to repair itself. During sleep, the body produces the hormones responsible for stimulating muscle protein synthesis, which is critical for repairing muscle tissue. Try to get at least 7 hours of rest per night.
  8. Periodize your exercise plan – This long term exercise program offers the variety needed to ensure that the body is continuously challenged permitting both progress and adequate recovery.


Understanding and following the appropriate recovery post workout will get you back to it feeling stronger, rested and ready to be challenged. If you need help with a rest and recovery plan, contact us.

Ask the Experts CTA



1. “Know your Recovery Strategies”. Accessed 17, March 2015. The American Counsel on Exercise.

2. “Training Recovery” The Most important Component to your Clients’ Exercise Program. Accessed 17, March 2015. The American Counsel on Exercise.

3. “ Recovery in Training: The Essential Ingredient”. Accessed 17, March 2015. The University of New Mexico.

4. “ Healthy Hydration”. Accessed 18, March 2015. The American Counsel on Exercise.

5. “Resistance Training and EPOC”. Accessed 18, March 2015. The University of New Mexico.


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Brand New Personal Trainer, Brand New Offerings


Body By Brent has added another new face to our Certified Personal Training team. Jaclyn Dight will be working out of our personal training studio, B3 Personal Training, located in Doylestown, Central Bucks County.


Jaclyn Dight, BS, CPT

IMG_1889Certified Personal Trainer


Jaclyn will have the primary responsibility of providing individualized exercise programs for the pregnant and postpartum client.  She has over six years of personal training experience, starting her training career at Equinox in New York City and then at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.


Jaclyn received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Rhode Island and is certified through the National Personal Training Institute, logging over 500 hours of comprehensive classroom training and hands on gym instruction. Additionally, she has over 100 hours of continuing education through the Equinox Fitness Training Institute and a specialty certification in Training the Pregnant and Postpartum Client.


The specialty certification in Training Pregnant and Postpartum Client was under the direction of Annette Lange, a renowned fitness leader on training for pregnancy and postpartum clients.

Feel free to stop in and say hello!

Pregnant CTA1


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Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day!


Today, Wednesday, March 11th is “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day”.  The purpose of this day is to recognize the professional expertise and accomplishments of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).




RDNs are licensed, with degrees and have extensive clinical experience that enables them to help a wide variety of people.  When you truly have questions about what to eat, how to lose weight or have been recently diagnosed, let true professionals help you.


Body By Brent works closely with Jennifer Lynn-Pullman, of Nourished Simply, a local Registered Dietitian located in the Doylestown area.




Jennifer specializes in the following:


  • Weight Loss
  • Bariatric (Weight Loss Surgery) Nutrition Pre and Post Surgery
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease (Hypertension, High Cholesterol etc)
  • Gastrointestinal issues (reflux, IBS, Diverticulitis)
  • Cancer Recovery
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Prenatal Nutrition
  • Nutrition During Pregnancy
  • Nutrition for Lactation


Help us wish Jennifer, Nourished Simply and all RDNs a Happy Registered Dietitian Day!

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What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Disease



Heart disease is the number one killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer. Many women are either unaware of their symptoms or they are thought to be something else. For instance, pain in your back or jaw may not just be work related stress. By not recognizing the symptoms or understanding the risk, heart disease is much more common than it needs to be. 90% of women have 1 or more risk factors for developing heart disease. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of heart disease and how you can prevent it.


Heart disease affects the blood vessels and the cardiovascular system. Atherosclerosis, the condition that develops when plaque builds up in the arteries, narrows the arteries making it harder for blood to flow through. This can lead to serious problems including a heart attack or stroke.


High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking are 3 risk factors for heart disease and about half of all Americans have one of these risk factors. Several other conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk including diabetes, being overweight, having a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.


To reduce your risk of heart disease, it is important to get checked by your healthcare provider. Know your blood pressure, talk to your doctor about your cholesterol and find out if you should be tested for diabetes.


Make healthy food choices. Eating low saturated fat, low cholesterol foods can help manage your blood cholesterol levels.


Stay active. Spend at least 150 minutes per week doing moderate intensity level aerobic exercise-maybe walking or swimming- and more than 2 days per week of strength training.


Lower your stress level. Find healthy ways to cope with stress such as taking some time to relax. Get adequate sleep. Work out!


Studies have shown that making these healthy lifestyle changes have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day.


If you would like to have a health and fitness professional help you figure out your risks and develop a plan to decrease them get in touch with us!


Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease Now!

1. “About Heart Disease In Women.” Accessed on 25 February 2015. American Heart Association
2. “Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet.” Accessed on 25 February 2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Division for Heart Disease and Stroke
3. “What is Atherosclerosis? “ Accessed on 25 February 2015. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
4. Image courtesy of tigger11th at


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10 Risk Factors for Heart Disease




Have you ever had a heart attack?  Do you know anyone that has?  Chances are that you do. 2,200 Americans die from heart disease every day.  That is absurd and disturbing! February is American Heart Health Month, aimed to raise awareness for the nation’s #1 cause of death.


There are ten heart disease risk factors.  Knowing your risk for heart disease will help you modify your lifestyle and take control of your health.  When we’re done you’ll know what the risk factors are and what you can do take control.  Ready?


Heart Disease Risk Factors

The majority of heart disease risk factors can be controlled, treated or modified.  However, there are three that you cannot control.  Here they are:


  1. Family History – A family history of heart disease would be described as first degree relatives, male (<55 years old) or female (<65 years old) who have had a heart attack or stroke.

  3. Age – Many people wish that they could make themselves younger.  Some people even celebrate their 29th birthday forever!  Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that as the body ages so does the heart, even in the absence of heart disease.  The heart must do more work which becomes more complicated in the presence of heart disease.

  5. Gender – A man’s risk of developing heart disease is greater than pre-menopausal women.  Once women go through menopause the risk is equal. Women are not immune to heart disease.  1 out of every 3 women will have a heart related event.

Here are the seven risk factors that you can change:


  1. High Cholesterol – The technical term is Dyslipidemia. It’s classified as LDL (aka bad) cholesterol greater then 130 and/or HDL (aka good) cholesterol below 40.  For those that need a review on cholesterol!

  3. High Blood Pressure – Also known as Hypertension. It’s classified as greater then 140/99 mm/Hg and must be confirmed on two separate occasions.

  5. Diabetes – The technical term is Impaired Fasting Glucose. It’s classified as higher then 100 mg/dl on two separate occasions.

  7. Physical Activity – Are you sedentary? Are you active in your occupation, in your free time and with structured exercise? If you’re not even close to meeting the minimum recommended guidelines for exercise, put a check mark next to this one too.

  9. Obesity/Overweight - This can be classified with a few different methods.  There’s Body Mass Index (BMI; greater then 30 kg/m), waist girth/circumference (40+ inches for men and 35+ inches for women) or waist to hip ratio (greater then 0.95 for men and 0.86 for women).  With the short comings of BMI, the more accurate methods would be circumference measurements or waist to hip ratio.

  11. Cigarette Smoking – If you currently smoke or have quit within the last 6 months then you would qualify.  Smoking doesn’t do anything good for your arteries.  It’s estimated that 10% of all heart disease deaths are caused by smoking.  Quitting smoking for 15 years returns your risk of heart disease to that of a non smoker.

  13. Unhealthy Diet – Diets high in salt, saturated fats, trans fats, processed foods and sugars and low in fruits and veggies have a negative impact to overall heart health. Sound familiar?  Like the average American’s diet.

What’s the next step?

Now that you’ve had all of the risk factors laid out in front of you, you should make sure you know all of YOUR information.  If you are unaware of your numbers then you need to call the doctor’s office or make an appointment to find out.


High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, physical activity/sedentary lifestyle and impaired fasting glucose may all be impacted positively by changes in your physical activity.


If you would like to have a health and fitness professional help you figure out your risks and develop a plan to decrease them then click here.


CVD Risk Assess CTA


  1. Whaley, M.H. et al. “ACSM’s Guidelines For Exercise Testing and Prescription.” 7th Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, pp. 19-28.
  2. “Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors.” Accessed on 6, February 2015.
  3. “About Heart Disease in Women.” Accessed on 6, February 2015.
  4. Image courtesy of jscreationzs at


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Clear and Unbiased Facts about Weight Loss




Healthy Weight Awareness Week 2015 is coming to an end.  Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a very urgent public health issue.  More then 66% of adults in the United States are classified as overweight or obese.  Body Mass Index (BMI) is commonly used to classify people as overweight or obese.  I understand that the classifications for overweight (25.0-29.9 BMI) and obese (30.0+ BMI) have their limitations but 66% is very high!


I’m not here to tell you that you need to look like you could walk in front of a camera and be the next model for a magazine.  However, being overweight or obese comes with an increased risk of just about every disease and co-morbidity there is.  I’ve presented an alternative idea of what a healthy weight is and according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) healthy improvements in chronic disease risk factors (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) with as little as 2-3% reduction in excess body weight.


How do you reduce your body weight by 2-3%?

The recommendations are as follows:


  • 150-250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity provides only modest weight loss.
  • Greater amounts (ie. >250 minutes) provide clinically significant weight loss.


Moderate-intensity physical activity means what?


The simplest way to to check if your at moderate-intensity is to do the “Talk Test”.  While exercising you should be able to talk with mild difficulty.  That means you can complete a full sentence but should not be able to string along more then one sentence at a time.


If your a percentages person, that means 50-75% of your max.  The easiest way to gauge intensity using percentages is to use Age Predicted Max Heart Rate (APMHR).


220 - (your age) * Percent intensity


Anything else?


Energy/diet/nutrition reductions combined with physical activity & exercise will increase weight loss as compared to diet alone.


For weight maintenance after weight loss and to prevent weight gain 150-250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with prevention of weight gain.


If you want to reduce your risk of chronic disease risk factors, lose 2-3% of your body weight and feel great doing it then sign up for your free phone consultation!


Weight Loss 1



1) “Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  Vol. 41, No. 2, pages 459-471.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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Brent Hartman Nominated for Bucks County’s Best Personal Trainer


Calling all clients, current and past, family and friend!  Please vote for me, Brent Hartman, as Bucks County’s Best Personal Trainer.


bucks-happening-badge 2015


Every year the online publication Bucks Happening runs an online competition that allows people to vote on who is the best in a number of categories.  I’m proud to announce that myself, Brent Hartman of Body By Brent, has been nominated again for the third year in a row.


In 2011 I started my own personal training business.  I’ve been blessed to be able to have a career in an industry that I’ve always dreamed of.  There is nothing that brings me more happiness then when a client reaches a new goal, personal record and success.


I would be grateful to all of those who will cast their vote for me.  Thank you in advance!




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Could a Simple Exercise Save Your Life? – Experts Say Yes


Now that it’s 2015 many women will be hitting the gym to start the journey of reaching their fitness and health related goals.  How many of you are saying in your head the following:


  • “I don’t want to get big and bulky.”
  • “I just want toned muscles.”
  • “I don’t want to lift ‘heavy’ weights.”

In a previous two part post series by Brent Hartman, he touched on three important reasons females should weight train and helped further expel the myth that when women lift weights they will become “big and bulky” like their male counterparts.  If you would like to catch up on the conversation you can read Part 1 and Part 2.
In this third edition of “Women and Resistance Training“, I would like to add another viewpoint to this discussion – from the viewpoint of rehabilitation.

Women and Resistance Training: Part 3


Having worked in both outpatient and long-term care rehab centers, I have seen firsthand the results of what a lack of weight bearing exercises can do to the female body.


What are you at a higher risk of?


Females, (especially those who are post-menopausal) are at a high risk for developing Osteoporosis – a disease that weakens bones over time as a result of progressive loss of bone density (Think of an osteoporotic bone looking like Swiss cheese versus a healthy bone which looks like American cheese).  This weakening of bones increases the susceptibility of fractures and decrements in posture.

Common injuries include:


  • Stress fractures
  • Compression fractures
  • Hip fractures
  • Wrist fractures


Why should you care about Osteoporosis?


You SHOULD care because fractures in the fifth, sixth, seventh decade and later in life can have a significant negative impact on quality of life.

One understated but hugely important benefit of resistance training for females is an increase in bone mineral density (BMD) and reduced risk for a life-altering fracture.


How does this happen?


When a muscle moves against resistance, particularly in a weight-bearing fashion, it causes stress on the tendon which stresses the bone that tendon is attached to. Bones respond to mechanical loading (resistance) and stress from tendons (muscle contraction) by increasing their calcium content and density or by slowing the rate at which they are being broken down. In other words, your bones get stronger too!


How much is enough?


Ideally, a resistance program should be performed 3-4 times per week for about 30 to upwards of 60 minutes.


What kinds of exercises are best?


Earlier I mentioned “weight-bearing” exercise – this is any type of exercise where your weight is being borne through your extremities, think squatting, lunging, pushing up, lifting overhead, etc. Additionally, working the major muscle groups of the body using a variety of resistances (weights, bands, body weight, etc.) will prove beneficial.


What intensity or what amount of resistance is best?


This is where I’ll refer you to the experts. An exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer or physical therapist can help you best formulate a resistance program that is both appropriate in kinds of exercises and using an optimal amount of resistance to provide increases in strength but without being too burdensome that exercise technique would be compromised.  Especially for those that have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, meeting with a certified or licensed health/exercise professional will ensure that you’re doing the right program to get the desired results in a safe, effective manner.


Now, all of you ladies have yet another reason to lift weights.  Exercise does not take the place of prescribed treatments, however it is the most cost effective form of osteoporosis prevention, when done safely under medical supervision.  Remember that the most effective exercise program is one that combines resistance training with cardiovascular training.

Osteoporosis CTA

Pescatello, Linda S. ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health, 2014. Print.

“Exercising for Bone Health.” American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. (2008): Web. 19 Oct. 2014.


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Black Friday Personal Training Sale 2014




Buy any personal training package and receive 1 personal training session of equal value for FREE plus receive a FREE Body By Brent t-shirt. (Coupon Code : BLACKFRIDAY) Add the 1 hour personal training session to the cart and use the code to make it FREE!






Purchase a gift certificate for a friend or family member and receive a gift certificate for yourself!  (Coupon Code: HOLIDAYGIFT)


Purchase one $35.00 Receive one $5.00

Purchase one $60.00 Receive one $10.00

Purchase one $275.00 Receive one $45.00

Purchase one $410.00 Receive one $70.00

Purchase one $465.00 Receive one $100.00


Gift certificates will be available for pickup the week of December 7th.




**Online only.  No limit to package purchase.  Prior purchases do not apply. Cannot be combined with other offers.


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Your Thanksgiving Dinner Game Plan

I would like to share some tips of a friend of mine, Jennifer Lynn-Pullman. Many of you know her as the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that works clients of B3. This time of year she is especially busy helping people develop a “game plan” for the holidays.  Here are her tips developing your game plan for every phase of Thanksgiving day and dinner!

 Turkey Day Strategizing


Image courtesy of vectorolie at


Another Holiday season is approaching quickly.  For many people trying to lose weight or maintain their weight loss holidays can be really scary.  Why would holiday’s be scary?


Studies have shown that the average person gains 5-10 pounds during the holiday season.  The holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is about a month.  Add in New Year’s and you are looking at about 5-6 weeks.  This is a very short time in which to gain 5-10 pounds.


When you have worked so hard to lose weight and get in the best shape you can, 5-10 pounds can really set you back.  This Thanksgiving you can survive by following these simple tips.


Maintain your normal routine


  • Do not skip meals – eat breakfast and lunch – don’t try to “save up” calories.  You will end up so hungry that you will definitely over do it and eat more than you need.
  • Do not skip your exercise routine. – holidays are not vacations for exercise.  Exercise is also not an excuse to eat more!


Watch your portions



  • Fill half your plate with vegetables, 1/4 starches, 1/4 protein
  • Say no to seconds


Limit calorie containing beverages



  • Enjoy wine and cocktails in moderation – liquid calories do not fill you up, but they add up.


Be smart about dessert


  • Only eat the dessert you enjoy the most.  If you can not narrow down your choice to just one, have just a taste of the desserts you like.


What’s your game plan?

What tips or techniques do you use during the holidays for healthy eating? Please take the time to share them with us by commenting below!

Have a healthy and fit Thanksgiving!

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