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May 21, 2013
Fascia, the fibrous connective tissue that binds soft tissues in the body, can be damaged by chronic mechanisms such as overuse or muscular imbalances, or by acute mechanisms such as trauma. Damage to the fascia can lead to soft-tissue dysfunction leading to chronic pain in joints or muscles. This occurs because damaged fascia leads to the development of inelastic fibrous tissue between the myofascial system’s layers impeding normal muscle mechanics (Curran, Fiore, & Crisco 2008) (Healey et al, 2011).
Self myofascial release (SMR), is a technique one can use to treat myofascial restrictions caused by the development of inelastic fibrous tissue in the fascia. In other words, it’s a form of self-massage (Healey et al, 2011).
As a member of the MAC or East Hills, you have access to several great tools designed specifically for self myofascial release techniques. The most common, as well as one of the simplest, methods of SMR is to use the foam roller. A simple routine of ~15 minutes of SMR with the foam roller 3-4 times a week can significantly improve flexibility and muscle mechanics as well as reduce chronic muscle and joint pain.
How to use a foam roller: Example: Right IT Band
A Tight IT Band can lead to knee and/or hip pain. To help break up the myofascial adhesions in the IT Band, lie on your right side with the foam roller under your right hip. Post up supporting your body weight with your right forearm. Bring your left foot in front of you placing it flat on the floor. Next, roll up and down on the side of your right leg between your hip and your thigh pausing on tender areas for 15-45 seconds on each tight or tender spot you find.
Common problem areas that the foam roller is great for are the IT band and adductors, quadriceps and hamstrings, and the lattisimus dorsi. For smaller areas such as between your shoulder blades, lacrosse balls work well. For those of you with hand or wrist problems, SMR on your forearms using a wine cork or small ball may help alleviate some of those issues. Regardless of the tool being used, the process is the same. Apply pressure searching for tender or tight areas, pause 15-45seconds at each tender spot.
Curran, P. F., Fiore, R. D., & Crisco, J. J. (2008). A comparison of the pressure exerted on soft tissue by 2 myofascial rollers.Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 17, 432-442.
Healey, K., Dorfman, L., Riebe, D., Blanpied, P., & Hatfield, D. (2011, March). The effects of foam rolling on myofascial release and performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 25, S30A.
May 14, 2013
How many of you have actually tried any of the little toys you see in the corner of the gyms, or leaning up against one of the walls, or tucked away in one of the group exercise rooms? You know..the BOSU balls, wobble boards, balance wedges, pillow discs and rocker boards! In case you didn’t know, these fitness tools are specially designed to help people improve their balance. You may think that the elderly are the only one’s who should be concerned about balance, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Most people don't spend any time thinking about their balance until it's too late—when they actually fall or injure themselves. But balance isn't just a concern for the elderly who are more prone to falls (and the serious complications those falls can cause). Balance training is important for everyone, from athletes to casual exercisers.
Ever hear of proprioception? It’s the body’s ability to interpret and use information about your position in space. Through a complex system of environmental feedback, cues from the bottom of your feet, the relation of your inner ear to gravity and what you see, your body senses muscles to activate or deactivate to maintain your desired position. It does this when you stand, get up from a chair, or walk on the sidewalk. It also uses these cues when you are riding a bike, skiing, strength training, and standing on your tiptoes to grab something from a high shelf. When the information received is too complex to translate, the system gets overwhelmed and you lose your balance. But with practice and balance training you can master what once seemed impossible – just like you did when you first removed your training wheels or made it to the bottom of the bunny hill.
By achieving greater balance, you will recognize improvements in coordination, athletic skill, and posture. This in turn will result in fewer injuries and greater stability as you age, which can help prevent falls and keep you strong and independent longer.
If you haven’t thought much about maintaining or enhancing your balance, now is as good a time as any to start. Simple things like standing on one leg, closing your eyes, or narrowing your base of support are good ways to get started. Once your balance starts to improve, you can integrate balance and stability training exercises with other pieces of equipment, such as doing a squat on a balance board and then maybe adding some dumbbells as you get better.
Balance training is good for people of every age, so get the family involved. Everyone from your preschooler to grandparents can benefit and, because it ‘s fun, they may not even recognize they are exercising! The best news is that you can start right now—and see improvements quickly!
Remember to start slowly with simple things like closing your eyes, walking in a straight line, and standing on one foot. Once you feel more comfortable, try some of the toys you see in the corner of the gyms, leaning up against the walls or tucked away in a group exercise room!
If you have any questions on balance training or would like some help getting started, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 7, 2013
“What exercise should I do to get back to what I weighed 10 years ago?” This is the million dollar question everyone asks. Every fitness expert has their own answer so it can get confusing. It really depends on genetics and how each individual metabolizes fat. I like to keep my answer short and simple: The best form of exercise is the one you enjoy!
This can be a very confusing topic because of the media's attention on fitness and weight loss. Every fitness magazine, TV program and book all say they claim to have found the perfect exercise routine. Whether it may be a new running routine, cardio program on elliptical or stair master, or weights, what it comes down to is your body type and knowing what you need and how your body responds to certain forms of exercise.
Not everyone enjoys running, biking, using the elliptical, weight lifting or swimming. Pick which one you will look forward to doing and find different ways to challenge yourself within the work out. For example, if you really enjoy biking outside in the summer find different paths that challenge you. By adding a hill on one of your paths will allow you to add intervals into your workout routine. Cardio intervals are very important in a cardio workout, intervals are when you increase your speed, resistance or elevation for 20-40seconds and then recover at a slower pace for 30-60seconds, and you will want to do this consistently for 5-10min in one exercise session.
Summer is on its way, pick an exercise you will enjoy and have FUN!
April 30, 2013
Once a month I review my notes from the courses and seminars I attend annually to improve myself. I have found that by following a variety of simple steps I have been able to improve the overall quality of my life.
1. To help lose body fat rapidly eat unlimited quantities of non-green vegetables such as water chestnuts, palm hearts, mushrooms, onions, garlic, eggplant, colored peppers and cauliflower.
2. Eating pecans can help delay age related muscle nerve degeneration. According to Thomas Shea of The Center for Cellular Neurobiology, pecans protect the nervous system because they contain a high amount of natural antioxidants.
3. Manage high blood pressure through supplementation. The best supplements to reduce blood pressure include:
-omega 3's with a 6:1 ratio of EPA to DHA to reduce inflammation and restore vascular health.
-carnitine because it restores vascular elasticity.
-magnesium, you can find thousands of studies on pub med proving the powerful effects magnesium has on lowering BP.
-use vitamin E with gamma tocopherol.
4. Invest in a good water filter and refill your own stainless steel water bottles. This will make it easier to lean out your hamstring’s site, which has been linked to environmental estrogens. Drinking out of plastic water bottles will increase your xeno-estrogen exposure, which should be avoided.
5. Prepare strategies to deal with carb cravings. When a carb craving occurs:
-mix 2-10 grams of glutamine in 2 ounces of heavy whipping cream.
-use the supplement Gymnema Sylvestre. This ingredient lowers the ability to taste sweetness.
-taking Inositol also helps with carb cravings, especially if they are premenstrual.
-sautéing nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or cashews in butter also does wonders to curb carb cravings.
6. Avoid using to many cardio workouts for weight loss. Lots of cardio creates an unsuitable hormonal environment, which causes more of a loss in muscle tissue than a loss in fat, which will lower our resting metabolic rate. Plan your cardio sessions smart, short and sweet.
7. Sleep in a bat cave type environment. Strive to sleep in complete darkness. Even the tiniest bit of light can disrupt your circadian rhythm and interfere with the production of melatonin and serotonin.
8. Do not carry your cell phone on your hip because it has been shown to lower androgen levels in men by 31 percent.
9. I got this one from a book written by Jonny Bowden. Use cinnamon water to sensitize your body to insulin. It also promotes healthy gut bacteria.
10. Do not train for more than an hour after warming up. Workouts exceeding 60 minutes are associated with a decrease in androgen levels, which upsets the testosterone to cortisol ratio.
April 23, 2013
The fact is that most of us spend much of our day sitting for any number of things such as working, driving, eating, relaxing after a long days work, even exercise such as biking.
The image above demonstrates how flexion addiction can lead to poor posture, in this case sitting at a computer, which in turn can cause a number of problems such as:
A- Headaches B- Dowager’s Hump C- Rib Pain D- Low Back Pain E- Hip Pain
F- Knee Pain G- Faulty Breathing H- Rotator Cuff Tears I- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
All of the above mentioned “flexion addiction” problems happen with repetitive, day-after-day shortening of the hip flexors and hip joint capsules and they tighten as gravity pulls the body into a big “C” curve. The body, over time re-programs this distorted posture as normal, and over time, the forward head and rounded shoulders can work up and down the spinal chain to where any of the above mentioned flexion addiction problems can be a disturbing yet normal happening in your body.
The good thing is that the body lives to move, so regularly taking breaks from sitting by doing something simple and active, is KEY.
So try this, standing next to your desk, or chair, stand on one leg and extending the other leg behind you (kick the leg back behind you), hold the leg behind for up to 20 seconds making sure to pull your 1- heel away from your 2- glute creating as much distance as possible between those two points (keep the back leg straight as you pull away and up from the glute). You should do it hard enough to feel your glute cramp to know that you are working it and TURNING the GLUTE ON!
Repeat other side, perform 1-3 sets with 10- 20 seconds hold each.
The glutes are a main stabilizer of your core and your spine to help keep you Up Right.
The glute cramper should be done with a tall, proud chest (lifted sternum).
April 16, 2013
In a recent article I talked about the idea of balance training and the benefits implementing it to your workout regiment, now I am going to talk about balance training, mentally and physically, to improve your life overall!
Every moment of every day, we have the ability to create for ourselves new beginnings and new challenges that will help us reach our full potential, and that all things are possible.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed by negative thoughts, people, and circumstances, but we can take steps to understand what it means to live a balanced life. Vital health and peace of mind go hand in hand. You can't be in great shape physically without being mentally fit as well. More and more people today are interested in becoming truly healthy. Not just physically but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally as well.
10 tips to keep yourself in balance:
1. Exercise. (Obviously!)
A well-rounded fitness routine includes strength training, aerobic conditioning, and flexibility. Critical to your success in staying balanced is to make exercise a TOP PRIORITY in your life and staying committed to it. Being fit helps you to enjoy life. It increases mental sharpness and physical endurance. A body that has energy helps gives you a positive outlook on life, plus you look great, feel great, and reduce your risk of disease and other conditions.
2. Hydrate Yourself.
Water helps transport vital nutrients, regulates body temperature, eases digestion, keeps joints supple, cleans out your body, keeps skin healthy and young. Not drinking enough leads to dehydration, resulting in headaches, fatigue, dizziness, constipation, and loss of memory.
Not drinking enough water can lead to excess water weight, because our bodies will store water outside our cells. That's where you feel bloated and heavy. Water helps the liver do its job more efficiently, namely in metabolizing fat. If you're not consuming enough water, your liver has to work overtime with its other primary function; detoxifying the body.
Water helps maximizes the liver's efficiency, so you keep your insides clean, your weight healthy, and get rid of unessential fat.
3. Life is GREAT, even if you don't think it is.
God deals you a hand every day. What you get is what you get. Your job is to do the best you can with the hand you're dealt. What can you do better to make your life MORE perfect? Know that you can create your dreams, no matter how difficult life can be at times.
4. Fear is normal. Face it.
We all have this shield of armor that protects us from some aspect of life. This shield is your comfort zone. And that comfort zone is a haven for disintegration. When you take off this armor, the only thing you're risking is GROWTH, a wonderful life, high energy, and a leaner body.
5. Be a daily visionary.
Visualize your goals and your dreams… every day. Take a five-minute break from your computer, stop off on the side of the road in between sales meetings, and create a motion picture on the screen of your mind of your goals, your dreams, of how you'd like your life to be.
6. Feed your body well.
Your diet can help prevent illness and disease. Some 300,000 deaths per year are a result of poor lifestyle choices, and nutrition habits are one of those poor choices. Balance is the key in your diet.
7. Live in the present.
Yesterday's gone. Tomorrow never comes. Be fully present each moment and free yourself from yesterday and what is happening tomorrow. Everything is always in the present moment, so live it fully.
8. Live with integrity.
Be who you really are and appear to be. How you live your life is reflected in your commitments, your values, your beliefs, your sense of right and wrong. When you live in what you believe in, you have peace and happiness flowing into your life.
9. Develop high self-esteem.
You already know how you benefit from high self-esteem. People who you care about benefit, too. Let go of your emotional baggage, and treat yourself with respect. Your attitude with how you think and feel should mirror what you act and display.
10. Live respectfully.
You are NOT at the mercy of your circumstances. Are YOU letting your present results and circumstances control YOU? Are YOU making things happen? Never let yourself get caught in the moment if the moment doesn’t serve you well, let it go. You always have the ability to change the present moment.
To learn more about ways you can balance your lifestyle and exercise contact Joe Kik at 956-8003 ext. 317.
Information retrieved from: http://www.global-fitness.com/articles/article_balancedlife.html
April 9, 2013
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of the arteries as it flows throughout the body. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted on the artery walls when the heart contracts. Diastolic blood pressure is the measured pressure when the heart relaxes. Hypertension can damage parts of your body (i.e. heart, blood vessels, kidneys, etc.) and is associated with a high risk for future cardiovascular disease. Measuring blood pressure is important because it determines the potential risk for cardiovascular disease.
Get your blood pressure checked and monitor it!
Unfortunately, you cannot tell if you have high blood pressure because it does not present any symptoms you can feel. Therefore, it is important to get it checked regularly. It is recommended that everyone over the age of three has their blood pressure checked once a year. You can get it checked at your doctor appointments and/or at the clubs on Wednesdays (for free).
< 120 mm Hg
< 80 mm Hg
120-139 mm Hg
80-89 mm Hg
Hypertension – Stage 1
140-159 mm Hg
90-99 mm Hg
Hypertension – Stage 2
> 160 mm Hg
> 100 mm Hg
How to lower your blood pressure:
If you’re prehypertensive or hypertensive, lifestyle changes and/or medications can help regulate your blood pressure. Here are some lifestyle changes that can aid in lowering your blood pressure:
1. Decrease body weight
2. Consume more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole-grains, and low-fat dairy products while keeping total fat and saturated fat low
3. Reduce sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day
4. Exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week)
5. Limit alcohol consumption to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women
6. Cease tobacco use
7. Manage stress
April 2, 2013
In my experience as a trainer, I’ve observed that the majority of people have very poor flexibility. How many of you stretch on a regular basis? How many of you have injuries or aches that you can’t seem to find the cause of? How many of you have knee pains or even low back pains that bother you every day? These are all issues that can be improved or prevented with a regular stretching routine! Quite often poor flexibility or tight muscles can mimic injuries and cause unnecessary pain.
So with this being said STRETCH! Take 20 or 30 minutes out of your day 3 days a week and 10-15 minutes before and after your workout and just focus on stretching. The number one reason to stretch, especially if you’re an athlete, is to reduce injuries! I’ve worked with a lot of athletes, especially tennis players that have very tight hip flexors, which can lead to improper squat form, increasing their chance of injury. This also limits their ability to move on court. Many of these athletes also have tight shoulders and chest muscles that cause them not to have full range of motion on their swings, which causes decreased velocity. However, this isn’t the only reason to stretch. Stretching will help to improve posture and balance. It helps to reduce muscle tension and soreness after workouts. It also helps with relaxation and is a way to remove stress and anxiety.
There are many different forms of stretching. The three that I use the most are dynamic stretching, static stretching, and myofascial release. Dynamic stretching requires the use of continuous movement patterns that mimic the exercise or sport to be performed. This can be used before workouts to improve flexibility and get the blood flowing for a given sport or activity. Examples of this are high knees, butt kicks, leg swings or hip rotations. Static stretching is the most commonly used form of stretching and is performed by extending the targeted muscle group to its maximal point and holding it for 20-30 seconds. This is good to do after your workouts when muscles are warmed-up to help improve flexibility and range of motion. The most common type of myofascial release is foam rolling. It relieves tension and improves flexibility of the fascia. To be most effective, roll the foam roll on tender areas for 30-60 seconds.
If you have any questions about training or need help developing a flexibility training routine suitable for you email me at email@example.com and I’d be more than happy to work with you!
March 26, 2013
MYTH #3: What muscle you work determines where you lose fat (spot reduction)
FACT: Genetics determine where you lose fat
Let’s get right to the point: a muscle has no control over the fat between it and your skin. At some point everyone has tried to spot reduce. Plié squats for the inner thigh? Every ab device ever invented? Butt and gut classes? Fitness professionals are often asked questions such as:
a) What is the best way to tone your legs, stomach and back?
It’s the word “tone” that confuses people. What does it mean? People think it means something like “create muscle definition”, but what they really want is less fat, and what is often overlooked is the fact that muscles become more visible by reducing the layer of fat that conceals them. No specific exercise will create muscle definition by removing fat from an area. So what’s the solution? Lose body fat, and your muscles that are as hard and toned as any bodybuilder’s (however smaller) will be revealed. In other words, simply consume fewer calories than you burn until your fat levels are reduced to your satisfaction. All that said, weight training can add muscle so that when you lose fat your body has more pronounced lines or muscle definition. Larger muscles may help accentuate the body’s natural contours.
b) How can I get rid of the excess fat around my thighs specifically?
You can’t. Consider this: your thighs generally move more than any other body part but the fat still ends up there. As you maintain a calorie deficit (eat less than you burn), body fat will leave from whatever area your body was genetically programmed to draw it from at that point in time. As a rule of thumb, the last place on is the first place off, but this can change as you age. And again, if you consistently consume fewer calories than you burn, that stuff on your thighs will go, it just might be the last to do so.
A word of caution--many exercisers, in an attempt to accelerate the loss of fat from a trouble area, will launch an all out exercise attack on that area. Performing a high volume of resistance training for an area that is viewed as fat or bigger than one likes may have the undesired affect of increasing muscle size (called hypertrophy) in that area. If caloric intake is sufficient (and it often is), and body fat is not being lost systemically, then the area of focus can increase, pushing the fat over it farther out.
March 19, 2013
You may be thinking it is time to shape up for spring-break. We all start thinking about digging out those summer clothes and swimsuits. Let’s get started with some ways to rev up your calorie burn during your workout and trim down on those portion sizes at meal times to drop a dress size or two.
1. Resistance Training is a key component to maintaining a strong and healthy body. We begin loosing lean muscle at age 40. You have heard it before that muscle burns more calories than fat. If you haven’t lifted weights before I suggest making an appointment with one of our personal trainers to teach you the proper form and set up a simple plan for you. If you are a “gym regular” than I suggest checking out our group fitness schedule for a sculpting class or adding some 30 second cardio blasts to your current weight routine. Add things like step-ups, jumping jacks, or burpees. Remember to rev up that calorie burn and do some type of circuit training 2-3 times a week.
2. Sweat and Slim. That’s right we need to include cardiovascular exercise as well to shed those winter pounds. I suggest adding 90 minutes of weekly cardio to hit your goal of a slimmer you this spring. Shoot for three 30-minute-or-more sessions of walking or jogging depending on your fitness level. To help accelerate and melt fat away try adding alternate 30-second speed burst with a 90-second recovery pace after your warm up. I suggest 3-4 sets of these calorie bursts for a good 30 minute session of cardio. To help motivate and inspire you to keep going strong; bring along your earbuds and favorite music!
3. Portion control. Do you have a lot on your plate lately? Paring down your portions is the easiest secret to staying slim. Research done by the University of North Carolina found that since the late 70s, we have added 570 calories a day to our diets. This is attributed to larger portion sizes at meal times. Some examples of the right-size portions of foods are an 8 oz. smoothie, 1 cup of pasta, 3 oz. of lean meat, and a ½ cup of ice cream. When you go out to dinner try ordering a half size or spilt the meal and take the rest home. Once you know what right-size portions look like, selecting them will become second nature.
March 12, 2013
I have a challenge for you. Walk into a room full of people and say the word “posture”, nothing else, just “posture”. You may get a few weird stares, but I can guarantee you will see a shift around the room. People will sit up straighter, squeeze their shoulder blades together and pull in their abdomen.
One issue that I see regularly when training clients is a weak back. This usually comes from sitting and standing with poor posture and gets compounded as people train with round-backed postures. Reversing this problem can take a lot of patience and consistency. My favorite exercise to correct this issue is the back extension (or hyperextension as it used to be called). These can be done on a back extension machine, on a stability ball or even on the floor.
It is an excellent exercise to feel proper back extension and flexion due to its positioning and it is an easy way to build a large volume of repetition without killing yourself. Remember we are talking back extension NOT hip extension. You literally want to flex and extend your spine. Adding hip flexion and extension into the movement is an option but first you need to learn to control your low back then add on.
Back extensions can be done at a high rep range or weight can be held to add resistance. When adding weight it is important to hold it high enough that you get a consistent resistance. Start with body weight only and as you want to increase your challenge level slowly add weight. You can do this by adding a light weight held at chest level; don’t let the weight drop down by your hips. You also want to be in control of the movement at all times, NO SWINGING! A good way to control your speed is add an isometric hold at the top. Squeeze and hold before you release out of the top position. You can start with a 2 second hold at the top and on your last set attempt to go for a near max hold time at the top of the movement.
Good posture and form is always important. Don’t be lazy about your form while you are strength training. Aim for a weight that is challenging but you are in control of. Doesn’t matter if you are rowing, pressing or curling you should be mindful of your back and core. In addition; it is beneficial to always be aware of your posture. While exercising or in everyday life while you are standing, sitting or picking something up keep those shoulders tucked down and your abdominals engaged. This consistency will pay off over time.
March 5, 2013
Here are the 5 things I focus on for optimal health. If you want a cheat sheet for improving your life, here are the Cliff Notes.
1. Get enough sleep.
This goes beyond common sense, but it’s often the first habit we screw up. If you mess with your sleep, chances are you’re gonna get sick or will end up over-trained, so remember these things.
-Try to keep a regular bedtime routine.
-Keep your room as dark as possible.
-Stay away from electronics 30 minutes prior to going to bed.
2. Eat Paleo (as much as possible).
With as many social events as we have, food may be be a challenge. Protein is often the missing component at most parties. Consider these tips to keep on track:
-If you’re asked to bring something to a party, bring some meat! Paleo meatballs, shrimp cocktail, mussels, etc.
-Eat before you go. I will often eat a protein before heading out.
-Enjoy stuff you wouldn’t normally have, with some limits. If you have 5 parties in the next 3 weeks, you can’t cheat at every one without paying the piper.
3. Lift some weights.
If you have limited time to exercise, spend it in the weight room. You’ll end up in the long run with a leaner, more muscular body. If you’re going to have less time than usual during the holidays, keep in mind the following:
-Do whole body routines, especially if you won’t be in the weight room more than 3 times in a week.
-Keep your rest intervals short.
-Focus on multi-joint movements (squats, deadlifts, chinups, dips, etc.)
4. Lower the stress level.
This isn’t the time to let things get to you. Focus on the stuff that really matters and manage the rest. This a great time for simple meal planning (check back through the newsletter archives for ideas). It’s also a great time to focus on stress-relieving habits.
-Get a weekly stretch or massage.
-Keep a grateful log at night (list 10 things your grateful for).
-Say no to stuff that’s not really that important.
5. Drink tea or coffee.
This is one of the best health habits that takes little effort. Teas can be a great way to calm down in the evening and both coffee and tea can help if you didn’t follow habit number 1.
-Drink organic coffee tea.
-Drink a variety of teas.
-Drink both beverages out of ceramic, glass, or stainless steel. Leave the plastic at the store.
February 26, 2013
How many of you know how much water you’re suppose to drink per day? How many of you actually drink that much water? It’s important that we take in a healthy amount of water and an easy rule to follow is to aim for about half your body weight in ounces. Not getting the adequate amount of water can lead to dehydration which will cause a multitude of problems if not dealt with. Dehydration can lead to migraines, constipation, cramping, irregular blood pressure, dry skin, sore joints, kidney issues and possibly death if it’s severe.
You can see if you’re dehydrated by checking the color of your urine. If your urine is a dark yellow or orange color, it is a good indicator of dehydration. Water does so much for you and your body. Other ways that your body may warn you that you need water is if you’re fatigued, thirsty or hungry, or have dry skin.
Being properly hydrated helps you lose excess weight by flushing by-products of fat breakdown from your body and reducing appetite. It also helps relieve headaches, gives you healthy skin, helps you concentrate, gives your muscles fuel for exercise, helps the digestion process, relieves cramping and fatigue, and reduces your risk of cancer. It also aids in oxygen and nutrient transport, protects your organs, regulates body temperature, and protects your joints. Need any more reasons?!
I know a lot of you reading this probably don’t take in the proper amount of water you need for your body to remain healthy. Make the change, you’ll feel and see the difference. It impacts our life in ways most don’t know about, so drink up and be healthy.
February 19, 2013
Do you find you are finally making it back to the gym or just joining for the first time? Here are some tips for helping you to maintain that first huge step.
“X” Your Calendar
Marking your calendar with a big colorful X will help you keep track of how long it’s been since your last visit to the gym. Having a large amount of big X’s on your calendar is a great way to keep you motivated.
Make It Fun
It is difficult to keep coming back to a gym if you don’t find something you enjoy. First figure out what your goals are and then you can determine multiple ways you can give yourself the opportunity to reach that goal. Try a new group fitness class once a week or once a month. Try a new sport! Then you can make it a goal to make yourself stronger for that sport. There is something fun for everyone in the world of exercise, but do yourself a favor and find out what yours is.
Make New Gym Friends
Making friends with people who are there a lot and are very motivating can be very helpful when finding reasons to go to the gym. You don’t want to let your new friend down, let alone yourself.
Become aware that staying 2 hours every time you come to the gym is not necessary. Try coming everyday for a minimum of 30 minutes for one month and stay longer when you feel like it. It’s good to develop a “habit” of coming to the gym. Staying fit should be considered a priority in your life. If it doesn’t seem possible because of your current life style or schedule, I can personally promise that it is at least worth striving for!
Measure Your Fitness Not Your Weight
It is easy to get discouraged when you sometimes do not notice a lower body weight.
If you are doing any kind of resistance exercises, chances are your body fat percentage is decreasing as well as your increase in muscle mass which can offset decreases in body weight. So check your fitness levels. You should be feeling better if you are exercising enough and that is great motivation for maintaining your gym attendance. Start our your regimen with figuring out how many sit-up, push-up, pull-ups, squats, etc, you can do which will help you see that the work you are doing is making you stronger and that seems like a pretty great reason to me.
STICK WITH IT!
February 12, 2013
With the warmer weather of Spring & Summer in the not too distant future, many recreational runners will begin training for various road races from 5ks to Marathons and more. Miles and miles of pounding the pavement can lead to injuries both minor and serious, compound the harsh surfaces of roads and sidewalks with poor running form and you have a recipe for back, knee, and hip problems among others!
Here are some helpful tips to prevent injury and keep you doing what you love.
• Avoid Heel Striking
With each heel strike a shock wave of force is sent up through your ankle and knee to your spine all the way to your head. Repetitive heel striking may lead to chronic pains in ones knees, hips, or back (Charrette, 2008), and can also lead to External Compartment Syndrome which is characterized by pain, swelling and possibly disability in the affected muscles. (Diebel et al, 2012)
Instead of contacting each stride heel-to-toe, try landing mid- or forefoot to reduce the force of impact. Shortening your stride will help with this. Each stride should land directly beneath you, not out in front of you. Lastly, stay light and bouncy with your strides landing almost silently with each one.
• Change Your Scenery
Asphalt, cement, and treadmills are the most common surfaces runners train on. In addition to changing your running gait, varying your training locations to incorporate lower impact surfaces such as sand, grass, or dirt trails. Additionally, uphill running also reduces the force of impact with each foot contact, so if you are limited to harder surfaces try to find hills, and if you’re on the treadmill try running at a 1-3% incline.
• Cross Training
One of the best ways to improve performance and reduce injuries caused by repetitive motions such as running is to cross train. Cross training could include swimming and/or biking as a substitute for running, but should also include weight training.
If you need help working with your running technique or figuring out what kind of weight training program is right for you I’d love to help my fellow enthusiasts and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Run long and Prosper”
Diebal, A., Gregory, R., Alitz, C., & Gerber, P. (2012, May). Forefoot Running Improves Pain and Disability Associated With Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(5), 1060-1067.
Mark Charrette. (2008, March). Gait cycle evaluation as a component of chiropractic care. Dynamic Chiropractic. 26(6), 36.
February 5, 2013
Independence – Yet another reason it’s important to stay active! We’ve all thought about approaching that time in our lives and what that might be like. Will I be a burden to my children? Will I be able to perform basic daily functions on my own, like getting dressed, brushing my teeth, or bathing? Who will I rely on if I get to a point that I can no longer live on my own? These are all very scary thoughts, but also very real concerns. It’s encouraging that researchers are determining that there is a direct link between staying active, keeping your memory intact, and remaining independent.
Improve your memory – One of the things people fear most is losing cognitive abilities. That along with physical disabilities, are the leading causes as to why people can no longer live independently. Physical activity increases oxygen to the brain, reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and heart disease. Activity increases the levels of grey matter in your brain. Grey matter is a grouping of cells, each it’s own little factory that helps the brain tell your body what to do. The more grey matter you have, the healthier your brain is and the more memory you have! There is new research indicating that walking 6-9 miles a week can reduce brain shrinkage and memory loss. Older adults who walked 6-9 miles per week had more grey matter in their brains 9 years after the start of the study. Researchers say that those who walked the most cut their risk of developing memory loss in half.
Better sleep – It is a known fact that exercise improves sleep quality. It also gives you more energy during the day when you need it! Because of that energy, you are able to be more active during the day and your brain is able to work more effectively. Therefore, your body will be more tired at night and be able to provide you with a more sound sleep. Staying active will allow you to fall asleep more quickly, awaken less often during the night and possibly sleep longer!
Prevent chronic diseases – Why is it that it gets so much harder to keep weight off as we get older? Your body needs less and less calories per day each year as you age, but we are so used to eating the same things or the same amount calories that we just put weight on without realizing it. Strength training increases metabolic rate, meaning the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. This makes it easier to maintain weight loss and overcome obesity issues which can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. The increased energy will also help diminish signs of depression and fatigue.
Reduce knee pain, and symptoms of arthritis – Walking can reduce knee pain in individuals with arthritis. Staying sedentary worsens arthritis and stiffens the muscles even more. Strength training has many benefits as well. For one, it increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures. Secondly, strength training can be as effective as medication in treating arthritis as well as depression. There is a 30% decline in muscle strength between the ages of 30 and 70. Physical activity works our muscles in ways that prepare our body to be able to handle the requirements of daily movements. For example: performing squats as part of a fitness routine helps strengthen the muscles we use to lift ourselves out of a chair. By participating in activities that work our muscles harder than normal, we improve our strength, balance, and endurance, which help prevent falls. Staying active also helps to improve mood and reduce the amount of cognitive decline as we age. Bottom line, if done correctly, strength training and physical activity in general can only improve our quality of life…in every aspect.
Before getting started with any fitness routine, always consult with your doctor. What’s right for one person, may not be for another. No one is ever too old to begin exercising. It’s important to get active and stay active, especially if our goal is to remain independent for as long as we can. Let me know if I can help. You can contact me at 956-8003 ext. 318. I’d be happy to help you get started on a program that is right for you. Thank You!
January 29, 2013
Secret #1: Self-traction back bend
Secret #2: Maintain your good posture
Secret #3: Avoid bending forward and stop slouching!
It can be reflexive to bend or slouch forward following an extremely tough set or workout, and as harmless as that may seem, the fact is that the ligaments and surrounding tissues of the back are being overstretched triggering most back pain. If you can’t maintain your posture during or following an exercise, you’re doing something wrong and may be over-doing it.
Robin McKenzie, renowned physical therapist explains, “After activity, the joints of the spine undergo a loosening process. If, after exercise, we place the back in an unsupported position for long periods, distortion within the joint readily occurs. This is true whether we sit in a slouched position or whether we stand, bending forward with our hands on our knees.”
Don’t assume that it’s the given activity that’s the problem if you experience pain in your back immediately following that activity. Things are not always as they appear to be and pain is most likely due to the slouch, poor posture and loss of lower back arch.
To help relieve back discomfort, avoid slouching and do five self-traction back bends immediately before and after lifting or given activity. Perform a self-traction back bend with fingers pointing down and the heels of your hands on the ledge of your pelvis at the base of the spine (you can also use your fists), press in and down as you bend back keeping your legs straight. Slowly bend back using your hands or fists as a fulcrum, pause for a second or two, and return to the upright position. With each successive rep try to bend back further.
As McKenzie explains, “by standing upright and bending back before lifting you ensure that, as you begin the lift, there is no distortion already present in the joints of the lower back.”
Perform five self-traction back bends immediately before a lift or vigorous exercise, five self-traction back bends in between sets if needed and five self-traction back bends immediately following any given activity.
Here’s to your lower back health!
January 22, 2013
Counting calories and being on a low calorie diet may be detrimental to your health. Long term this approach will cause weight gain, lower immunity and decrease life expectancy. All calories are not equivalent because of the impact they have on our hormones. Weight loss, for example, is not about how many calories you consume on a daily basis. Instead, it is how macronutrients produce different hormonal responses, which directly influence our metabolic rate and whether the body is in fat storing or burning mode. Also, the thermic effect of food varies greatly. For example, our bodies use more calories when digesting a meal of animal protein and green vegetables than it does with processed foods.
A low calorie diet will eventually cause weight gain because our bodies need something to burn for energy. When we deprive our bodies of nutrients, it will burn muscle and use it for energy. This will cause havoc on our health and overall well-being. Research has pointed out that muscle mass dictates our immunity, life expectancy, and our resting metabolic rate. Most people under eat to lose weight, but the reality is you should never be hungry in any weight loss nutrition plan. Do not starve yourself!
When you eat carbohydrates you are constantly driving up insulin in the body, which may lead to insulin resistance. Chronically elevated insulin levels make the cells resistant to insulin, which drive up levels of the stress hormone cortisol, causing cellular aging. The combination produces fat gain and diabetes. Strive to eat proteins and smart fats such as coconut milk, nuts, ghee, olives, avocados, and olive based oils. The protein will be used to restore tissue and build lean mass, while the fats will be used to strengthen cellular lipid layers to improve insulin sensitivity, restore brain health, and build hormones such as testosterone.
For optimal body composition, keep in mind the following:
-A protein calorie is not the same as a carbohydrate calorie.
-The thermic effect of different macronutrients varies just as the thermic effect of processed foods is much less than whole foods.
-Macronutrient ratios will determine hormone response.
-Save your carbohydrates for later in the day or post workout. Try and stick to low glycemic foods such as thin skinned fruit. Check out mendosa.com/gillists.htm for a glycemic index list of foods.
-The key to weight loss is controlling insulin and managing cortisol.
-Spot reduction works because fat deposits are related to our hormonal makeup. The hormone receptor sites are located in different spots on your body. This is the primary principle of the Biosignature Modulation.
By eating whole foods, not processed, you will notice a big difference in the way you feel and are able to train. Take some time and make a personal plan for how you’re going to get and stay healthy for life, not just the New Year.
January 15, 2013
There are tons of different training techniques that can be used for a variety of different reason in order for someone to achieve fitness results but I am going to talk to you about balance training.
The definition of balance training is a type of exercise that applies the scientific principles of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation or PNF. Medical research of PNF training methods dates back to the 1940’s. Over the past 6 decades the scientific research has confirmed time and time again that Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation is effective at increasing strength, injury prevention, fast reflex muscle contraction, balance, and overall improved performance.
Your probably thinking what is proprioception? Proprioception is a function of the nervous system that tells the brain where a joint is in space and time. In a more practical example, proprioception is what allows us to walk without falling on our faces. As we sway side to side with each step, or lean forward or backwards, it’s proprioception that tells the brain what position the joints are in and gives it the information it needs to make the necessary corrections with the small and large muscle groups. So how does PNF or balance training benefit the members at our clubs?
Increased Integration of the Nervous System: Our nervous system is a complex network of information exchanging between systems, coordinated in a central location. We have the ability to reinforce those network connections that make optimal performance possible. As you add PNF based balance training to your workout, you’ll begin to get the most out of your training as these essential network connections between the nervous system and the muscles we rely on to perform are reinforced.
Injury Prevention: As we reinforce the body’s ability to activate fast reflex muscle contraction during movement, we significantly decrease the likelihood of injuries to the ankle, knee and spine. Balance training also has a significant role in developing and strengthening our core musculature which works to stabilize much of what we do. This is also good to keep in mind with the winter weather causing so many slips and falls.
Injury Rehabilitation: Most of the scientific research that has been produced during the past 60 years on balance training and PNF techniques has come from the physical medicine/rehabilitation communities. The simple reason for this is because of the effectiveness of PNF based exercises, like balance training. If injuries are prevented then setbacks in workout regiments will also be prevented.
Increased Hand-Eye Coordination: Hand eye coordination applies to everyone, regardless of athletic ability or current fitness levels. Improved hand-eye coordination is something everyone can benefit from, not just athletes or fitness minded individuals.
Improved Balance: Most of you think that improved balance will benefit athletes but it’s actually our parents and grandparents that may benefit the most from incorporating some degree of balance training into their lives by preventing falls that sometimes can be fatal.
Increased Muscle Activation and Recruitment: Performing PNF or balance exercises, more muscles and muscle groups are commonly activated in response to the specific exercise or challenge which can lead to an increase in all categories of training benefits.
Improved Performance: Performance is measured in a number of different ways and is unique to every individual’s goals and needs. However, as a rule, increased physical performance levels are typically associated with increased strength, increased endurance, improved balance, improved hand-eye coordination, performing at high intensity levels without the occurrence of an injury and even the ability to recover faster when an injury does occur. PNF based balance training provides an opportunity to improve in all of these areas regardless of what your specific goals.
So after reading just this basic information on how PNF or balance training can help with your workout, lifestyle, or your goals it is undoubted that everyone can benefit from it. To learn more about how you can incorporate this into your training regiment contact Joe Kik at 956-0944 ext. 317 or at email@example.com
Read more: http://military-fitness.military.com/2012/08/balance-training-a-secret-of-elite-athletes-and-trainers.html#ixzz2HRgsyjhT
January 8, 2013
During the winter it can be difficult to find motivation to keep active outside. Staying active will help reduce seasonal affective disorder (seasonal depression) and keep the weight off. Seasonal affective disorder is common in people who tend to stay indoors and out of the sunlight for a long period of time in the winter. To prevent this I recommend picking up a winter activity, you burn calories, get out of the house and catch up on family, friends or much needed “me” time.
Season affective disorder usually effects people in winter months and can last until early to late spring. Depression not only affects the individual but their support systems around them. It is important to stay active whether it is going to the gym to workout with friends or getting active outside. Grand Rapids is a great area to participate it winter recreational sports. Rosa parks circle is a popular place to go ice skating, which is great family bonding! Canonsburg is also a great place to take advantage of the snow for down hill skiing and snowboarding. The most convenient place would have to be right at your own house; at home you can shovel snow, go sledding and build a snowman!
Here are some activities to keep you motivated and challenged throughout the winter.
|Activity||15 min (calories burned)
||1 hour (calories burned)|
|Down Hill Skiing||85||340|
| Cross Country Skiing
January 1, 2013
First of all, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! This is such a great time of year to be with family and friends! Enjoy it!!
For my first trainer tip, I would like to say that I’m honored to be a part of this great training staff as well as working for such a great gym. For those of you that I have not yet met, I look forward to meeting you soon!
There are many ways to train for certain sports such as tennis, but in my experience the most effective way is to perform movements that represent movements on the court or field. For a tennis player it is very important to have strong legs and a strong core. But how do we get these? Do we use machines or do we use a functional training style?
To answer this question ask yourself this “how many sports are played sitting down?” The only sport I can think of is rowing. Therefore training muscles in a seated position is not functional for most sports. It is said that using a machine-based training program for athlete’s especially young athletes is safer. But in all actuality it could be detrimental leading to more injuries during competition. This is due to the athlete not developing key stabilization muscles needed for the particular sport as well as not working on sport specific movements. The stability in sports is provided by the athlete not by some outside source like a machine. The number one goal when developing a training program for athletes is reducing the risk of injury! So try thinking of movements performed in your sport and incorporate them into your training.
A very good exercise for athletes that need to use their torso such as golf, hockey and especially tennis is the medicine ball side throws. In this exercise the athlete should emphasize on throwing with the hips and initiating the action from the back foot. A good throw for a tennis player would mimic a forehand or a backhand depending on the direction you are facing. Try doing 10 repetitions on each side using a fairly light medicine ball.
Another very good exercise for athletes, especially tennis players is the step-up. To perform a step-up find a box that is about knee level to start. Place one foot on the box, using that foot push through the heel and mid-foot, driving the opposite foot up toward the box. Control the movement on the way back to the floor and then repeat. Try doing 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.
Try these two exercises and then come see me, I would love to help take your training to the next level! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions at all!
December 18, 2012
Here a few small fixes that can help lower the number on the scale.
Don't eat in front of the TV. Having meals and snacks in front of the TV usually turns into mindless calorie consumption -- eating not because you're hungry but simply because the food is there. You'll find it easier to lose weight and keep it off if you eat while sitting at the kitchen table.
Buy smaller plates. People feel the need to fill their plates. If you get smaller plates, you'll eat less. Wynne recommends plates that are 8.5 to 10 inches in diameter instead of the larger dinner plates that run 12 inches in diameter and up.
Put down your fork after every third bite. If you eat too fast, you may be full without realizing it. Eat more slowly, and you'll likely find yourself eating less. Wynne suggests putting your fork down for a moment after every third bite to give yourself a chance to realize when you're full.
Increase activity outside of exercise. Boosting your heart rate and burning off calories does not have to be limited to official workouts. You can use up a few extra calories here and there by adding small amounts of physical activity to your everyday activities, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving when possible or taking your cart for a few extra laps around the grocery store when shopping.
HAPPY HEALTHY HOLIDAYS!!
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/424905-10-habits-that-make-you-fat/#ixzz2EejcefFb
December 11, 2012
As we age we may find ourselves slowing down on the treadmill. There are many reason older adults are seeing less results with their aerobic exercise program. As we age we develop arthritis or joint pain which can slow us down more. You can probably think of several other reasons why your own cardio program is not as effective as years past. Let’s take a quick look at how you can make some simple changes to your aerobic training and get better results.
One simple change you can make to your program is to add short bouts of higher intensity exercise to your program. This is called Stage training or Interval training. Start by warming up on a bike or treadmill for 5-10 minutes. After you are warmed up try increasing your speed or intensity for 1 minute. The key is to get your heart rate up to approximately 80% of your MHR. A simple way to tell if your HR is going up is to use a scale of 1 -10. You want to feel like you are working at about a 7 during your 1 minute interval training. After the one minute is up, return to your normal pace of walking or biking, etc. for 3 minutes. Repeat this cycle several times until you have exercised at least 30 minutes. See the graph below from the National Academy Sports Medicine as a good example of Stage II training.
A second change you can make to your cardiorespiratory program is to try a different piece of equipment. How many years have you been using that favorite treadmill or bike? It may do you some good to try the new Octane Fitness or a new Air dyne bike for an extra 10 minutes of aerobic activity. By just trying a different piece of aerobic equipment for an extra 10 minutes can help make a difference on the scale at home.
Remember cardiorespiratory exercise has many benefits for older adults including lower resting heart rate, decreases blood pressure, improves mental alertness, and increases metabolic rate. It is also a great idea to ask one of our Fitness staff for help with using equipment or just asking some simple questions.
December 4, 2012
The Step Up is a functional, unilateral, multi-joint movement that has many carry-over benefits in daily living and in sports, not to mention, it is one of my favorite exercises. There are several different varieties of the Step-Up and can be used for everything from knee rehabilitation to gaining size and strength in the lower extremity. The most important aspect of a proper Step-Up is to use the correct height or platform to perform your exercise. The key is to choose a height that is challenging enough, yet allows for proper form to be executed. Keep your hips level throughout the movement and push up with all 4 corners of the "step" of your foot, ideally, the "ground" foot should not assist at all in the exercise. The trunk, or torso, remains as vertical as possible, and knee should track over middle toes. To find the right starting point for you, raise the height of your step until you lose this proper form, then drop it down one level and begin your exercises. (For exact details, please consult me and I would be happy to help!) Step Ups should be done beginning with your weaker leg and in a repetition range of about 12-15 repetitions (remain on the same leg until you have completed your repetitions and then alternate). As leg strength increases, the step height can be raised slightly, or weight can be added.
There are many variations of the Step Up, here are a few that should be in everyone's repertoire:
Dumbbell forward Step-Up
Dumbbell side Step-Up
Barbell front Step- Up
The Step Up is a versatile movement that is beneficial for all people, all ages, and all fitness levels. If you are interested in increasing your core and leg strength then it is time to “Step it up”.
November 27, 2012
When's the last time you started eating zucchini and just couldn't stop? I have yet to hear that from any client, nor have I personally found a vegetable that I can eat until I'm sick. I eat plenty of vegetables, but rarely until I'll implode like the fat man from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. However, if you put a chocolate cake in front of me, it's going to be hard not to cringe when my inner fat kid eats until he's sick.
It's very natural that we would have foods that we crave or feel compelled to eat as much as we can. Not that long ago, it would have been rare that you would find a food that is both plentiful and sweet, or salty. Even less likely that you'd find a food with sweet, salty, and fatty, like most processed foods. Yet fruit, which is by its nature sweet, triggers the response to keep eating. But unlike our foods today, fruit was mostly found in the wild and would be limited both in quantity and availability.
We have some very powerful mechanisms to control our appetite. Hormones such as ghrelin stimulate our appetites by increasing when we haven't eaten for a while and decreasing when we have. The hormone leptin (think of it like ghrelin's cousin) increases after we've eaten and gives us a sense of satiety. This is where we have some control, since the types of foods we eat affect these hormones. High glycemic carbs like fruit, or foods high in natural sweeteners, bypass these natural appetite balancing hormones and leave us wanting more. On the other hand, protein lowers ghrelin and therefore appetite, and increases leptin output (increasing our sense of satiety). This is especially true when protein makes up a larger percentage of calories in a meal. I haven't seen any research, but anecdotal evidence shows that if you eat your protein first in a meal (steak before veggies) it seems to have an even greater effect on appetite.
There are many other factors that go into our desire to eat more. Things like portion size, packaging, and memories associated with food. (The best book I've read on the subject is Mindless Eating if you want more details.) However, most of these other factors are irrelevant if you eat real food. Most unprocessed natural foods keep our appetites in check and help us distinguish between a vacuum and a mouth.
Commercial food producers know very well how to bypass our normal checks and balances and turn our appetite into a black hole of gluttony. A food producer has only two options to make money: charge more for their product or get you to eat more. When you have a choice of ingredients as a manufacturer to make your product taste like strawberries and say option A is good but option B is good but stimulates a neurotransmitter like dopamine and makes you want more, my guess is that option B wins.
If you find yourself tearing the house apart to satisfy a craving, the solution isn't to just be strong. Nor is it simply a matter of willpower. Look at the foods you've been eating and the ones you are craving. Many cravings are a feed forward mechanism driven by the processed food you've just eaten. The easiest solution to avoid this scenario is to eat real food--unprocessed fresh meats, nuts, vegetables, and the occasional fruit. Eat your protein first, then your vegetables, then your sweet stuff like berries. Stay away from processed foods. There is really no reason besides convenience to eat them. When you do eat foods that may not be ideal, do it intentionally after you've eaten a healthy meal. There are times you should plan on "cheating" but set limits and then enjoy it.
November 20, 2012
The mind is a very unique thing. It can get us through the toughest of times or stress us out severely over little things that don’t really matter. Our minds like to set us up for failure when we really can do something. This doesn’t just happen at home or at school, it happens in the gym as well. You should stay focused through your workout. Our interactions in the gym can cause us to lose focus. Talking with a friend, checking out the attractive person next to you and all the things you have to do after you leave the gym. These things distract us from the task at hand; building a better, healthier body.
There are plenty of ways to stay focused as we work out. Listening to music is great as it drowns out all the background noise. Find something that pumps you up and excites you for your workout. Let the music motivate you and your task at hand. Focus on your technique, hopefully the correct technique. This will help limit distractions because you’re keeping the focus on you and your body, not on the girl doing good mornings or the guy doing pull ups. Make keeping your body healthy a priority.
Knowing what you’re doing when you get to the gym is also a good way to stay focused. Have in mind the exercise program that you’re going to do. Not doing so can lead to confusion about which exercise you’re going to do next. This can stress you out a little bit and cause you to lose focus. Your mind will make you start doubting your decision and you won’t be able to perform as well as you could if you knew what you were going to do ahead of time. Preparation can lead to great success.
The next time you’re in the gym, remember to stay focused. You’re here to exercise and get healthy, not spend 2 hours talking and riding a bike for 10 minutes and calling it a good day at the gym. Talking to people is fine but it shouldn’t be your primary reason for coming to the gym, that’s what Starbuck’s is for.
November 13, 2012
If you are like most people in the world, whether you are active or not, you are likely to have back issues sometime in your life. About 80% of people in America have or have had an injury or just a nagging back pain at least once in their lives. If this is you, or if you want to prevent this from happening, I suggest you strengthen that back of yours.
Weak back muscles are not the only thing that can cause back problems. If you have weak hamstrings or an imbalance in your hamstrings, or a weak core, they can cause the back to work harder than it needs to.
The back extension exercise is one of my favorites for strengthening the lower back and has even helped me in the past when I was one of those 80%. Whenever you exercise, take some time at the end of your workout to do some abdominal exercises to help your abs relieve some of that stress on your lower back.
There are quite a few exercises and stretches that can be done to give you that strong back so that nagging pain will finally go away! Much of my research as an undergrad at GVSU involved looking at the problems of lower back pain as it continues to be an issue for so many people. Come see me as I would enjoy helping you get on your way to better days!
November 6, 2012
Spending long periods of time sat at a desk, hunched over a computer or driving can result in pulled forward or protracted shoulders and a rounded upper back. In addition, a badly designed exercise program that involves too many pushing exercises and too few pulling exercises can also cause the same problem. Correcting protracted shoulders requires a two-pronged approach, involving stretching and strengthening exercises
Stretch Tight Chest Muscles
Stand in an open doorway. Bend and place your arms on the vertical door frame. Your elbows should be level with your shoulders and your palms facing forward.
Walk at your desk Tired of sitting all day? Sit Stand or Walk with a TreadDesk treaddesk.com
Adopt a staggered stance, then lean your chest forward and between your arms. Inhale deeply, then exhale and lean further into the stretch. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds or until you feel your chest muscles relax.
Forcefully push your elbows against the door frame for five seconds. although muscular tension is being created, there should be no movement. Relax, inhale and then exhale. Move into a more deeply stretched position.
Repeat the contract-relax sequence two or three more times. Finish by holding the final stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
Strengthen Weak Upper Back Muscles
Hold your exercise band in both hands and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your chest and raise your arms in front of you to chest height.
Keep your elbows straight, inhale and spread your arms until the band is stretched across your chest.
Exhale, slowly return to the starting position and then repeat. Continue this exercise until you feel your upper back and rear shoulder muscles begin to fatigue.
For more exercise ideas please contact email@example.com
October 30, 2012
Tendonitis is a common injury amongst individuals who participate in regular physical activity. The most common areas affected by tendonitis include Achilles (heel/calf), patella (knee), biceps (elbow/shoulder), triceps (elbow), and the iliotibial band (knee). Symptoms of tendonitis may include inflammation, pain, hematoma, and/or cellular necrosis.
Classification of tendonitis is determined by the duration of symptoms. Acute Tendonitis is defined by symptoms lasting two weeks or less, Subacute Tendonitis by symptoms lasting 4-6 weeks, and Chronic Tendonitis is characterized by symptoms lasting longer than 6 weeks. Tendonitis is a chronic tendon injury and research has shown multiple causal factors contributing to the development of chronic tendon injuries. From weight lifting and running to recreational sports such as tennis or basketball, repetitive motions and stress on musculature are often a cause of tendonitis. Additionally, factors such as repetitive training routines, hard surfaces, inappropriate footwear, and prolonged intensity and duration in training have also been shown to cause tendonitis.
There are many actions one can take to help prevent tendonitis. As poor program design is a leading factor contributing to the development of chronic tendon injuries, a well thought out, periodized training program is the best way to help prevent overuse injuries such as tendonitis. Along with a properly designed training program, appropriate footwear and flexibility training will also help to prevent these injuries.
Almekinders, L. C., & Temple, J. D. (1998, August). Etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of tendonitis: an analysis of the literature. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 30(8), 1183-1190.
Griffin, J. R., & Stanish, W. D. (1993, August). Overuse Tendonitis and Rehabilitation. Canadian Famiy Physician, 39, 1762-1769.
October 23, 2012
If you've made it through the rough road of cancer diagnosis and treatment, you're probably thinking about what you can do to stay healthy. But just what is the best way to get fit, and maximize your long-term health?
There is abundant evidence that exercise and eating right can help prevent cancer. The latest information shows that exercise for cancer patients can also keep cancer from recurring. In studies of several different cancers, being overweight after completing treatment was associated with shorter survival times and higher risk of cancer recurrence. Clearly any cancer survivor wants to do all they can to prevent cancer recurrence, and some of the goals for healthy living should be around weight control and exercise, just as it is for the general population.
The benefits of exercise for the general population are well-publicized. But what if you're a cancer patient?
Exercise has many of the same benefits for cancer survivors as it does for the general population. Some of these benefits include an increased level of fitness, greater muscle strength, leaner body mass, and less weight gain. Basically, exercise for cancer patients can make you fitter, stronger, and thinner – like anyone who exercises. It can also improve your mood, boost self confidence, and reduce fatigue.
When should you start exercising after cancer diagnosis and treatment?
As soon as possible!! Studies show that after a cancer diagnosis, people slow down. Stress, depression, and feeling sick or fatigued from cancer and it’s treatments all tend to make people less active. Most people tend to stay sedentary after treatment. Taking it easy and avoiding activity is not a good solution. It’s important for cancer survivors to get back to exercising to help their recovery.
What should you do?
Every person’s situation is different. Before starting and exercise program , you should consult with your doctor. The following types of exercises can help cancer patients – and everyone else – get back in shape:
Flexibility (stretching) – very important to keep moving and maintain mobility. If you are not yet ready for more vigorous exercise, you should at least stay flexible.
Aerobic exercise – such as brisk walking, jogging, and swimming. This kind of exercise burns calories and helps you lose weight and lowers risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
Strength Training – which builds muscle. Many people lose muscle but gain fat during cancer treatment.
Ideally, a mixture of these 3 types of exercise is great for cancer survivors. They are critical to the overall health and well-being of cancer survivors.
How much and how hard?
What holds true for the general population, is also beneficial for cancer patients. At least 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days a week. Unless you are already active, though, you shouldn’t expect yourself to achieve this right away. As with anything else, the key is to set small, achievable goals and build on your successes. If you are already active, keep it up! If you haven’t been active, start slowly, but start something
Are there any downsides to exercise for cancer patients?
The risks for cancer patients aren’t too different from anyone else. Musculoskeletal injuries – soreness, strains or sprains – are the most common. Exercise for cancer patients may cause a slightly higher risk for heart problems, so it’s always a good idea to have a complete physical exam and get approval from your oncologist before starting a program.
You didn’t make it through chemo just to end up on the couch! Let us help you. Our Cancer Wellfit program is the perfect way to get started with an exercise routine suitable for you. For more information, feel free to call or e-mail me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 956-8003 ext. 318.
October 16, 2012
Its easy as 1-2-3!
1) Make fresh homemade meals
2) Freeze the extra
3) Heat the meals up on the go
One of my favorite childhood memories occurred every Sunday when my sisters and I would help my parents prepare family dinners for the week. We would cook food in large quantities and freeze them for quick and easy meals throughout the week. I looked forward to Sunday afternoons because it was one of the few times we were all together, good family bonding time.
I went ahead and did the math for a week an average family may spend on food:
A family of four can average around $270 per week on groceries!
-This amount would be enough to feed them for EVERY meal during the week.
A family of four can average around $65 (includes tip) per meal at Applebees.
A family of four can average around $35 per meal at McDonalds.
Lets pretend you eat out at a sit down restaurant twice a week and a fast food establishment twice a week your food bill would be close to $200 and that is only for FOUR meals, the recommended amount of meals a week is 21. There is now 17 meals unaccounted for and the food budget is almost eaten up, $70 left for 17 meals…
Create family bonding times by setting aside a day during the week the family can get together and cook! My families favorite was chili, we would make a large batch and divide it into smaller containers to place in the freezer. It was very easy for us kids to pull a container out of the freezer and heat it up, this made it nice with our hectic schedules. We might not have all been around to have family dinner every night but my mom knew we all had a healthy home cooked meal!
By shopping right and planning your meals out ahead of time you can take control of your health and your bank account! Please let me know if you have any questions about preparing meals or need ideas for meals to cook. You can reach me at email@example.com.
October 9, 2012
Coffee has numerous health benefits and should actually be considered a healthy beverage. New research indicates coffee lessens the risk of diabetes, protects from aerobic induced oxidative stress, causes less chronic inflammation, elevates mood, prevents cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. It is very high in antioxidants that are useful to the pancreas and will help with insulin sensitivity. Epidemiological studies have shown that coffee drinkers live an average of 5 years longer than non-coffee drinkers.
To reap all the benefits coffee has to offer, it should be drunk black only before training without any added sugar or cream. I repeat, only drink coffee before training. It’s a big mistake to consume coffee after training because coffee increases cortisol. Organic heavy whipping cream is ok to add, which has shown to increase fat burning activity. Coffee beans are among one of the world’s heaviest pesticide sprayed crops, therefore, organic coffee really is better for your health.
One of the keys to success is properly controlling cortisol and insulin levels. Cortisol levels should be high before training and low after training. Drinking coffee 45 minutes before training has been shown to increase strength and the speed at which muscles contract, enhances mood and concentration, and will spare glycogen forcing our bodies to burn more fat during exercise. On the other hand, we want insulin low pre-workout and high post-workout. This may be achieved by drinking a high quality whey protein shake post workout and by eating some type of thin-skinned fruit. Spiking insulin post workout speeds up recovery by putting us in an anabolic, muscle building state. By paying attention to what you drink pre and post workout you’ll begin to see better results.
October 2, 2012
One final Tuesday Trainer Tip…seems surreal. As many of you know by now, I will be moving to San Diego on October 7th with a friend of mine. We are going to attempt to make a life on the West Coast, which is somewhere I've wanted to live for years! I am very excited for this adventure and the possibilities it holds for the future.
I’ve spent the last couple of years talking to many East Hills and MAC members through these tips, trying my best to encourage change and progression in your personal workouts in order to help you become the best “YOU” you can be. Thank you for your time.
Personally, I have worked with some amazing clients in the last 4 years and I have seen some amazing successes. I’ve worked with people who have lost 20-40 lbs, people who have bulked up 10-15 lbs in a matter of weeks, and some young athletes who even managed to teach me a thing or two during our training sessions. I cherish every session I had with my clients and know they all have given me a wonderful gift of growth and have made me the trainer I am today. Thank you for your hard work and friendships.
I have taught multiple free classes, small group training sessions, and Ski Conditioning and have had some awesome participants. Abs class (Dave Ripper X) was full of consistent participants who I got to know very well and loved pushing to the point of flopping on their backs and groaning. Circuit City has some of the most dedicated participants I’ve ever met. Week after week they are wanting to learn and push themselves beyond their limits. They were the ones who urged me to move them well beyond the Strive machines for variety, and allowed me to run with it and include everything from cable machines to medicine balls. My “Ski guys”, as I call them, have been with me since the beginning. I have had other great participants in Ski class as well that loved to be pushed to be ready for the slopes, but Rich and Perry were there the whole way, working hard and enjoying the benefits through the winter. Thank you for your dedication and friendships.
I could not be the trainer i am today without the trainers around me. Shadowing them, learning from and with them, and working alongside Kristi, Chris, Adam, Terri, Andrea, Kim, Kris, Bill, Angie, Tim, Cory, and my trainer, Bryan has almost literally been my life for the last 4 years. The nickname "Amazing Dave" actually stems from the ridiculous amount of time I've spent at the clubs from internship to employment, so there is no doubt that i will be missing a huge chunk of my life through these friends. Thank you for EVERYTHING!
Since this is a trainer tip, I will give you one final piece of advice. "The grass isn't always greener on the other side, it's greener where you water it." Make. It. Happen. No matter what IT is, if it's something you really want, go for it. What are you waiting for? When it comes to health and fitness, use your resources. You have some great trainers at your disposal and they are excited to help you achieve your goals...that's why we do this job, we literally love what we do!!
Thank you all again, best of luck with all your wellness, and as I always say, "Have fun!"
September 25, 2012
It’s amazing how one season flips into the next season so fast that it could make your head spin wondering where the time has gone. Summer has turned over to Fall and with it a new (yet the same) agenda falls into place with kid sports, football games, fall leaves, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas events etched onto the calendar, not to mention your daily routines including exercise. Your life is planned out, but what happens if something should change immediately and drastically in your life like an accident, and illness, the death of someone that you love dearly…what then?
Well, perhaps then you would consider your life in a whole new way. Hopefully nothing drastic happens in your life to force you into making a change, but rather, you consider the possibility for drastic change as a way to reconsider life in a way that you engage your actions in the things that are most important and enjoyable to you.
So my tip for you today is to do something that you really enjoy and love to do. Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that give the most pleasure. Go take a walk and breathe in deeply the cool, fresh, Fall weather. Feel the sunshine or breeze on your face and skin and feel thankful for how good it feels.
Working out too much or too hard produces more stress hormones, so skip your workout it you must, yes, it’s ok, I’ll give you an “it’s ok pass” to give to your trainer . Or workout, if that’s what makes you feel good. Spend some time with someone your love, someone that makes you laugh. Go out and enjoy that glass of wine ( I didn’t say overindulge), laugh and feel happy. Happy feelings create good hormones in your body and that’s what’s most important.
You can have your life planned out from here to eternity, so to speak, but truthfully, the only moment we know is NOW. Take the time to be present. There’s a saying that goes something like this, “The past is gone, the future is not yet here and the Present is Now”.
Love and Live your life to its fullest…
September 18, 2012
As people start to get older, the body does change. People tend to carry their head forward, shoulders rounded, humped back, posterior pelvic tilt, and the list goes on. As time goes on it is no lie that the body will change and eventually change for the worst. Also as we age doesn’t it seem like the body start to move slower and the movement along with flexibility we had before has diminished? It seems that as you get older the body starts to become more “fragile” as you could put it. You often hear people saying, “Oh I feel old today…” as they rest their hand on their lower back. What if I told you that your body only ages as much as you stop moving?
What I am referring to is the mobility of the joints in the body to be able to move freely and soundly without restriction. When you think of the human body, we are only as old as we move. If we move slowly and rigid, we look slow and aged, and as a result of that we put weight on and the body starts to become more susceptible to injury. Looking at the body and its ability to move, there needs to be mobility in the muscles and particularly in the joints. When joints are mobile and the human skeleton is in line, the body moves at its optimal potential. For example, when we break down the science of the muscle and its max potential, the muscle is the strongest at its mid-point. Next time you are with a friend ask them to do a bicep curl at three different ranges of motion. First, try pushing their arm down when he has it flexed all the way up. Then have him partially flex it, and finish with it with about a 90 degree angle or in the middle. I can guarantee that when you do this you will find that you are able to maintain maximum strength with the muscle at its mid point. This theory holds true as well for the human body at its maximum strength. For example, if the hips are rotated or tilted in a direction that is not normal to your structure you have now compromised the strength of the muscle. If there is an elongation of one muscle then there must be a shortening of the other. It’s simple, the body works like a teeter-totter . As soon as the body is compromised with a position change then the potential of the muscle has now decreased and this is where we lose our max potential. Max potential can be looked at in the sense that the joint is not moving like it should and compensation occurs, mobility decreases, flexibility decreases, and caloric expenditure is lessened. Along with the loss of all of these there comes that diminishing feeling of youthfulness and that look of that forward head, rounded shoulders, and hump back. When the body moves freely, the body is able to maximize it potential for weight loss, strength gain, prevent injury and look youthful.
If you continue to think that there is nothing we can do to stop the body from feeling aged, you’re wrong. Body alignment is critical for max weight loss, max strength gain, and great posture. If you would like to learn more about how you can maximize your youthful body and improve your alignment contact Joe Kik at 956-8003 ext. 317 at the MAC or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 11, 2012
What does a dysfunctional deep abdominal wall look like? It may be the reason that you have a “pouch” instead of a flat abdomen. The more advanced condition is called viceroptosis, a particularly common problem among women. Why does this happen? It is due to transversus abdominis (TVA) dysfunction and inactivity.
As the TVA weakens the abdominal wall is unable to support the internal organs such as the colon, liver and the stomach. As these organs begin to droop abnormal pressure is placed on the rest of the digestive tract, underlying uterus and bladder. This can cause increased menstrual pain, incontinence, prostate-related problems, constipation, flatulence and back pain.
If any of the above conditions are serious consult with your physician and a trained physical therapist. One on one consultation with an experienced pilates instructor may be beneficial.
A simple exercise that begins to reeducate the TVA is called, “The 4 point Tummy Vacuum”
• Take a position on your hands and knees. Hips should be aligned over your knees and shoulders over your hands. With your spine long and in neutral alignment take a deep breath in and allow your belly to drop to the floor.
• Exhale and draw your navel toward your spine bringing the spine to neutral only. Try not to let the back round.
• Hold as long as you are able comfortably.
• When you need to breathe in relax. Repeat the above sequence starting with about 10 repetitions.
September 4, 2012
It is that time of year again, fall is in the air and the kids are headed back to school. We want to keep our children healthy and there is one thing for sure that we can do to help, pack healthy lunches! The school day is long so it’s important to fill those hungry appetites and minds with foods that are filling and nutritious. One important thing to do is to “power up on protein”, foods rich in protein can help you feel full longer and drive away hunger. Stay healthy and energized by eating vegetables and plant-based proteins throughout the day.
Many of us get into the same old rut and it becomes a challenge to think of some new and different ideas for our kids’ lunches as well as our own. Here a few ideas to keep in mind:
-Choose multi-grain and whole wheat wraps or pita breads instead of your typical loaf of white bread.
-Replace chips and candy with whole almonds, trail mix, string cheese, freshly cut fruits and veggies, edamame, or whole grain granola bars.
-My kids favorite? – skewers with cubed cheeses, grapes, and strawberries. They even like to assemble them for me.
Happy ‘Back to School’ and enjoy these quick and easy tips with your scholars!
August 28, 2012
Flexibility training is often a component of exercise that many of us overlook in our training program. We have many excuses for skipping out on stretching those tight hamstrings or stiff back muscles. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of flexibility training and some simple stretches we can add to our exercise program.
Poor flexibility can lead to the development of relative flexibility. This is where our body seeks the path of least resistance during movement patterns. An example of this is when you see a person squat with their feet externally rotated out because their ankle is unable to bend to achieve necessary ankle dorsiflexion. Over time poor flexibility can develop a higher risk of injury to our joints and muscles and that could mean spending more time and money at the doctor’s office.
There are a variety of flexibility techniques to help a person increase the elasticity of connective tissue. These techniques include Self Myofascial Release (SMR), Static stretching and Dynamic stretching. By using these techniques you can increase joint range of motion and improve muscle imbalances. To get you started on your own flexibility program try these simple corrective stretches to help you develop better joint range of motion. Don’t forget to ask one of our fitness staff to help you find the right stretch for your tight muscle.
1. Self Myofascial release for the TFL. SMR is helpful in releasing soft tissue. Start by finding a tender spot and maintain pressure for 30 or more seconds.
2. Static Stretch for the Upper Trapezius. Bend your ear toward your shoulder using your hand to help hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds.
3. Dynamic Stretch for the Core includes Medicine Ball Rotation. Try 1 set of 10 repetitions. Dynamic stretching can be done as a warm-up exercise after SMR and Static stretching.
August 21, 2012
As a personal trainer I love to help people become stronger, while the weight room is a certainly a place to work on gaining strength – as squats, dead lifts, bench press, and pull-ups are all maximal strength movements – a cross conditioning style class such as Strongman is, perhaps, even more advantageous than the weight room in its ability to provide a true and functional conditioning workout. In addition to the strength gained in a Strongman style class, individuals will also realize the ability to execute other athletic and nonathletic movements. A Strongman class builds useable strength, which is why every man – and woman – can benefit from participation.
As Strongman-style training gains popularity, the definition of what is and is not Strongman training has also grown. For the purpose of this piece, I will plan to discuss three of my preferred Strongman implements as follows: the tire, the farmer’s walk, and my personal favorite, sled work.
1. The Tire. Tires are wonderful tools for two, main reasons. First, a tire is easy to acquire, and secondly, a tire is enormously heavy and easy to use in a Strongman format (with an understanding of proper form). Tire flipping works the entire posterior chain, and it is a remarkable tool for energy system training. Tire flipping trains the body to be explosive in a specific movement pattern. Additionally, depending on your program design, tire flipping can also be used for endurance exercise.
2. The Farmer’s Walk. The farmer’s walk is a unilateral movement that can be loaded either equally or unequally upon each side, making it a wonderful tool for addressing muscular imbalances in both the trunk and legs. It is also a stellar movement for strengthening specific weak spots in the legs; for example, the VastusMedialis for the knee joint, or any weakness in the ankles. Moving with the farmer’s walk requires full-body stabilization, ultimately providing an excellent core workout as well.
3. Sled Work. Sled work is my favorite Strongman exercise. If I was told that I could use only one tool in all of my training from this moment on, I would absolutely choose the sled, or more specifically, The Prowler. Rather than list the areas that are worked through sled use, I will keep this short and to the point by stating that there is no body part that cannot be worked with a sled. Increase sled weight and push, pull, lunge, side drag, row, and more; the list is a long one. I first learned of the Prowler through Charles Poliquin (who gives credit to Louie Simmons). Whoever brought this incredible apparatus to the fitness forefront deserves some serious credit. A sled is not only highly versatile for strength moves, but it is also unbeatable with regard to anaerobic training.
The above movements, along with other modified Strongman actions, must be executed with proper form in order to be safe and productive, ultimately producing desired results. Proper form in exercise – especially Strongman classes – is extremely important. Before hauling a tire into your backyard I highly recommend finding someone with a credible history in terms of appropriate exercise progression, and work together through the first Strongman experience. Once well-versed in form and technique, the boundaries are limitless! Strongman training is not only strength training, it is smart training.
August 7, 2012
Two weeks after attending the Fat Loss Boot Camp with Nick, I headed for Montreal for a semi-private Biosignature internship with Coach Poliquin. Eleven coaches from around the world were in attendance, and we had four days to gain knowledge on whatever topics we wished. We covered four main topics, addressing the difficult issues of getting rid of fat around the upper thigh (caused by excess estrogens), dietary manipulations when fat loss stalls, hormonal shifts as people age, and adrenal fatigue.
Lucky for us, the class was held at the Atlantis Gym which has some of the best equipment in any commercial gym I've ever been in. We trained every day based on different biosignatures in order to understand how to maximize fat loss in different clients.
In the afternoons were Coach Poliquin's lectures, though they felt more like a small group discussion, which led to some great insights. Here are a few of the nuggets I picked up:
1. You can't get leaner legs until you detox correctly. The number of chemicals we are exposed to are so overwhelming that this is now the number one issue practitioners from around the world deal with. There are a number of protocols available, including infrared sauna, slow liver detox's, 5-7 quicker detoxes, and nutritional cleanses, just to name a few. Even if leaning out the legs isn't an issue, helping the body get rid of xenoestrogens is healthy.
2, Most people don't get results quickly because they don't train enough. (I said quickly, not period.) You need to start with at least four days a week of weight training. It's very difficult to get lean without putting more time into training. Since my return from the class, I've moved a few people to six days a week of training, and I've seen some faster results. Keep in mind that training more means you must pay closer attention to supplementing to meet recovery needs.
3. You won't get anywhere with someone who is adrenally fatigued until you address the body's need for more stress support. Diet and training take a back seat to fixing the adrenals. While everyone has some stress, not everyone's body is able to recover from the stress they face because they have overwhelmed their systems. When this happens, you need to pay special attention to keeping training volume low and recovery high. This includes extra vitamin C and pantethine to help the body with adrenal hormone production.
4. Many hormones work in rhythms, and if someone is on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) they will do better to match the body's natural cycles. A good doctor who prescribes HRT will be able to help a client figure out dosage timing.
5. It takes constant study to stay ahead of the industry. The four days I spent at this seminar were like taking my first Biosignature class four years ago. I had that same overwhelming feeling that I have barely scratched the surface of what I need to know. These courses are neither cheap nor convenient, but Charles Poliquin is the best in the industry and a week with him is like a masters level course. A week like this rekindles the passion I have for what I do. Thank you to all my clients for your continued business and support so taking a week off like this is possible.
July 31, 2012
This has been one of the hottest summers that I can remember. From what the news stations tell me it has not been like this since 1987! I personally am a HUGE fan of all of the hot weather and I love to be outdoors swimming, running, or playing any sport that I can (except golf~ no one is safe then!). However, with this extreme heat we need to take special precautions and really focus on staying hydrated, especially when being active.
The reason why hydration is so important is because “even a small amount of dehydration can increase cardiovascular strain and increases the probability for impairing exercise performance and developing heat injury” (American College of Sports Medicine). This means that if you are thirsty at all you are more than likely already dehydrated which will increase the likelihood of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Heat stroke is the body essentially shuts down its mechanisms for heat release, including sweating. While heat exhaustion is basically severe dehydration that affects the cardiovascular system, fluid is lost from all body compartments, including the blood, forcing the heart to work harder to maintain output. Some signs of heat illness that one should be on the lookout for are thirst, irritability, headache, dizziness, muscle cramping, unusual fatigue, nausea, vomiting, hyperventilation, and confusion or problems walking. If any of these are occurring call 911 and get the person out of the heat as soon as possible. Then try to slowly bring down their core temperature. Do not make them cold too quickly as that will shock their system.
So, there are some guidelines to follow according to American College of Sports Medicine that will help to prevent the chances of heat illness. Calculate your body’s sweat rate (by adding weight lost in one hour of exercise plus amount of fluid consumed during the hour of exercise). You should aim to replace all fluid lost during exercise, and rely on sweat loss, rather than just thirst, to monitor fluid needs.
Drink fluids before exercise and periodically during exercise, instead of practicing rapid fluid replacement in the middle of exercise. Drinking at intervals will provide more adequate hydration and urine production.
Avoid extreme excessive water consumption, which can lead to hyponatremia (over-hydration that may dangerously reduce sodium concentrations in the body), in rare cases.
July 24, 2012
In my time working with golfers I have yet to meet anyone that says they hit the ball too far. Players are always looking to get more distance on their drives or iron shots but few golfers take the correct approach in the gym to achieve this goal.
Generating more power in your golf swing happens when you swing the club as efficiently as possible, not as hard as possible. Our movement patterns determine how we swing a golf club and what physical limitations restrict those movements.
The most important movement that all golfers should address if they want to try and add some distance to their game is their ability to separate. The inability to separate is the leading reason that golfers do not maximize the potential of their golf swing.
Separation in the golf swing is the ability to move the lower body independent of the upper body and the ability to move the upper body independent of the lower body. This is also known as the x-factor, or the amount of shoulder rotation relative to the rotation of the hips. The larger the x-factor the more potential energy can be stored in the golf swing.
In the gym most golfers should be working on improving their ability to separate if they want to hit the ball farther. If the focus in the gym is on lifting large amounts of weight in order to get stronger the end result will be a golf swing that might be faster but one that is still as inefficient as it was before the workouts.
To improve separation golfers should work on core stability, flexibility and mobility. The core needs to be strong so that the body can rotate around itself without placing added stress on the lower back increasing the risk of injury. Proper flexibility promotes a fluid backswing and transition through the ball without physical limitations. Finally proper mobility allows us to make the necessary movements correctly without compensations, this is the key to an efficient and repeatable golf swing.
Want to check your ability to separate? Do the following test:
Stand in your setup position in proper golf posture with your arms crossed over your chest. Keeping your hips completely still try and rotate ONLY your upper body back and forth. If possible perform this in front of a mirror so that you can see the quality of movement. Do your hips stay still? Do your shoulders rotate smoothly? Can you stay in your golf posture while you rotate? Now check your lower body. In the same starting position try and rotate ONLY your hips while keeping your upper body still. Do your hips rotate or do you see more of a lateral motion?
If you notice problems with your separation you aren’t hitting the ball as far as you could be. Work on improving your separation and the result will be greater distance on the golf course. Please feel free to contact me, I am happy to help you reach your goals.
July 17, 2012
Let me spring a big word on you here: proprioception. It’s the body’s ability to interpret and use information about your position in space. Using cues from the bottom of your feet, the relation of your inner ear to gravity, and what you see, your body senses which muscles to activate or deactivate to maintain your desired position. It does this while you stand or get up from a chair. Proprioception also uses all of these cues when you’re riding a bike, skiing, strength training at the gym, and standing on your tip toes to grab something from a high shelf. When the information is too complex to translate, the system gets overwhelmed and you lose your balance. But with practice and experience (balance training) you can master what once seemed like impossible tasks – just like you did when you first removed the training wheels from your childhood bike or made it to the bottom of the bunny hill the first time without falling.
By training to develop greater balance, you will recognize improvements in coordination, fitness level and posture. This in turn will result in fewer injuries and greater stability as you age, which can help prevent falls and keep you both strong and independent longer. These are the benefits that have led many coaches, trainers, and athletes to incorporate balance training into their workouts.
Quick Balance Test
Here is a good test to evaluate your own balance. Stand up and imagine you’re going to walk forward on a straight line, placing one foot directly in front of the other so that the heel of your foot touches the toes of your back foot. Keep both feet flat on the floor. Hold that position and close your eyes. If you can maintain your balance for 30 seconds, you are doing pretty well. If you are wobbling just about as soon as you close your eyes–or before-you need some work!
It doesn’t take much to include balance exercises in your work out routine. Simply stand on one foot while doing bicep curls, or sit on a stability ball while doing shoulder presses. As you progress, you can integrate balance and stability training exercises with other pieces of equipment. For example, you can perform squats on a balance board in the beginning, and as you get better, add some weight. For a greater challenge, combine multiple exercises, such as squatting on a BOSU ball with an overhead press. The possibilities are endless!
Balance training is good for people of any age, so get the family involved. Everyone from your preschooler to grandparents can benefit and, because it’s fun, they may not even realize they are exercising! The best news is that you can start right now, and see improvements quickly.
If you have any questions regarding balance exercises/training, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at 956-8003 ext. 318 or email@example.com
July 10, 2012
As creatures of habit we find routines that work well for us and week in and week out perform those routines to a ‘T’. These routines can be as simple as where we get our coffee in the morning and do you order the same thing off the menu every time? How about going to class or sitting in a meeting, do you sit in the same seat every time? And when someone sits in our usual seat we get taken back, the whole world seems to stop, and the thought runs through your head “where the heck am I going to sit now? I can’t believe they took “my” seat”. We start to take ownership of our routines.
In some cases routines need to be changed every once in awhile. The one I want to talk about is exercise. What happens when we get to the gym? Does this scenario sound familiar?
“It’s a typical day in the gym for Becca. After she leaves the locker room she jumps on her favorite treadmill, same one she has been using everyday for the past 10 years. It’s the best East Hills and The MAC has, it's positioned right in front of her favorite T.V. She does a warm up/run for about 20 minutes and it's time to hit the weights. Like the last time she was in the gym she grabs 15lb dumbbells. This is the perfect weight because she can do every exercise with it. She starts by doing bicep curls. After 3 sets in a row it's time to move into 3 sets of tricep extensions. For her last set with the same weight she performs 3 sets of dumbbell bench press. Time for a break, she takes a quick 15 min. drink break at the water cooler while she chats with her closest gym buddies who she saw yesterday at the gym. Becca is now 45 min. into her workout and she finishes up with some lunges and pushups which she learned from her high school gym teacher. Becca can do this routine in her sleep as nothing has changed in the last 10 years! This whole routine takes her about 60 min., the same amount of time the US Government recommends we workout. If she were to do this same workout every time she is at the gym, she would be set for life, right?”
I am not here to say this is a bad routine I am here to say, CHANGE IT UP! No, it’s not good to have the same routine for 10 years; I would recommend having 3 or 4 different routines to change it up during the month. After you get some workout routines under your belt you can start to recycle them. Hopefully by the time you get back to a workout you did 6 months ago you will be stronger and need to increase the weight slightly.
Two new routines to add:
A1 One arm Dumbbell rows 3sets of 10 repetitions
A2 Dumbbell bench press, neutral grip, 60 degree incline 3sets of 10 repetitions
B1 Bent over rows with weighted straight bar 3sets of 10 repetitions
B2 lying down dumbbell chest fly’s 3sets of 10 repetitions
Finish with some interval training:
Air dyne bike for 10min; with 3min warm-up; 20 second sprint intervals; rest for 30seconds= total of 4min finish with a 3 min cool down
A1 Forward lunges with dumbbells 3sets of 10 repetitions
A2 Hack squats and or leg press 3sets of 10 repetitions
B1 Hamstring curls 3sets of 10 repetitions
B2 Sumo squats with dumbbell 3sets of 10 repetitions
Finish with cardio intervals:
Rower for 10 min; warm up for 3 min; sprint intervals for 20 seconds; rest for 30 seconds; and cool down for 3 min.
I would be happy to discuss any of these workouts with you and the many reasons for switching up your workout!
July 3, 2012
Think back on when you were young or even watch your children when they play. Just like our cavemen ancestors, children engage most in short bursts of high, intense, activity. When’s the last time you saw a six year old going out for a 3 mile run? Instinctively, intervals are the most tolerable and effective means of physical activity.
Research also proves the same to be true: Intervals are superior in terms of inducing fat loss, maintaining muscle mass, increasing antioxidant levels, improving insulin action, and training both your ability to maintain short bursts at higher intensities as well as overall cardiovascular endurance. I personally tested this theory by introducing intervals into my weekly workouts roughly 3 times a week and after 2 months I had dropped about 4% in body fat. INTERVALS WORK!
So why are there still so many people that perform steady state cardio for an hour at the gym? To reap the benefits of intervals you have to be willing to push yourself each and every trip to the gym. You can’t fall victim to workout routines getting easier and doing nothing differently. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Give yourself goals to aim for to help keep you motivated. Switch up the mode of exercise in which you do intervals. Instead of running sprints, push the prowler weighted sled, bike, row, even the elliptical can be used.
Interval training often even takes less time because of the higher intensity at which you are working. Start off with 30 sec of high intensity with about 2 minutes of recovery that allows your heart rate to decrease. The 2 ½ minutes will be deemed one cycle. Aim for about 4-5 cycles to begin. As you progress, decrease your recovery time first and then extend the duration of the burst of high intensity. Whether you want to do 30 seconds of all out biking or sprinting with a longer rest period or a slightly lower but still difficult intensity with a shorter rest period is up to you. Experiment with different variations.
Always make sure you are in good health by seeing a physician before beginning a high intensity interval program. Intervals will be difficult, but they will no doubt produce great improvements in body composition.
June 26, 2012
If there’s one thing I can promise you, it’s that this is not a sales pitch! I would struggle to talk you into buying air if you were drowning, so I am in no way a salesman. The title of this article is simply something to make you think and, if you were to follow the advice, to help you realize your higher potential.
Have you ever wondered what your workout routine would look like with a personal trainer guiding you? Gym goers are very habitual. We want stability and normalcy in our workouts. We don’t like change. But change is exactly the variable our workouts need to force change to occur with our bodies. Nobody works out “just because.” We are all looking to accomplish something through our pain, sweat, and effort and some people tend to forget that goal and fall into a routine that accomplishes progressively less and less the more often it is done. I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve had tell me “Well, I’ve been doing this for over 10 years!” That’s not something to brag about!! Especially if their form is wrong…which it usually is.
As I mentioned, it is far from my goal to talk you into anything you don’t want today. All I wish to do is make East Hill and MAC members aware of personal trainers. If, at some point, you feel that personal training is a road you’d like to walk down (or do intervals down, if your trainer has anything to do with it!) I want you to CHOOSE your trainer. By this I mean, look for certain things in a trainer that are going to best benefit you and your goal. Here are a few things to consider:
- Education – This is #1! Find out different trainers’ backgrounds, where they went to school, what they went to school for, what certifications they have, any extra lectures, conferences, specialty training, etc. they have. One of my biggest pet peeves about the fitness industry is that there are now a lot of “Certified Personal Trainer” certifications out there that require very little knowledge and sometimes NO schooling, even some that are complete courses online.
- “Trainer Training” – Where a personal trainer begins training can have a huge impact on their training style because, as fitness interns straight out of college the trainers we begin our career with will teach us their tricks of the trade. Find out where they’ve done most of their training, where their training began, and any other career history.
- Specificity – A personal trainer’s main job is to get your personal information from you and create an exercise program or programs that are specifically for you and your goals based on that info. At times we will get clients that are very similar with very similar goals, and we are able to use the same workout if we deem it as the most beneficial, but there are so many times I see or hear of very different people doing the same exact workouts. There is literally no way a 60 year old woman, a 300 lb man, and tall, lanky teenagers have the same goal. They should not be doing the same workout.
- Training Style – Drill sergeant. Thanks to The Biggest Loser this is what most people think personal trainers are. But actually there are a lot of different styles of trainers, and, depending on their clients, some trainers can wear multiple hats. I do have some clients that like to be pushed like the people on that show. Other clients deal better with controlled, steady workouts. Watch trainers work with different clients and gauge their style and ability to vary with their clientele.
Personal training is an exponentially growing profession as people continue to get more and unhealthier with their lifestyles. Because of this, you will run into a lot of under-qualified “trainers” who are positive that you are going to be their next dramatic success story. All I ask is that you be picky when it comes to choosing a personal trainer. When someone comes to me for a suggestion of who they should work with, I usually suggest that they try a few different trainers to see who works best with them. As I said, I am not a salesman. I am a personal trainer, and I’d love to talk with you anytime about what you’re about to accomplish.
June 19, 2012
I am a strong believer in learning on a daily basis. I learned at an early age that knowledge is power and if you want to earn more, learn more. I take a trip every year with the same goal in mind. I want to learn new techniques and strive to be better than I was the year before. This year I went on a two-week trip to the Poliquin Institute in Rhode Island. I partook in 2 courses and a weekend seminar. I started with my Biosignature recertification that lasted 5 days. I went on to the Eleiko 2 day weekend seminar, and ended with a 5 day Fat Loss Boot Camp with Charles Poliquin.
Charles Poliquin requires all his students to recertify in the Biosignature Modulation once a year. I always pick up new protocols and get a better understanding of the Biosignature every year. The Biosignature is a cutting-edge, non-invasive fat loss and wellness program developed by world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin. The method is based on the correlation between body fat storage and possible hormonal imbalances. Hormonal imbalances are often the culprit of stubborn body fat storage and other health concerns including poor sleep, low energy, impaired cognitive function, and more. My clients that choose to do the biosignature along with training on a weekly basis see the quickest results. I picked up a lot of gems, which will help me produce quicker gains.
The Eleiko seminar consisted of 6 famous strength coaches. Al Vermeil (only coach to have world championship rings from BOTH the NFL and NBA), Preston Greene (Florida Gators strength and conditioning coach), Charles Poliquin (one of the most successful strength coaches in the world), Tamas Feher (the current national strength coach for Great Britain), John Brohns (coach of some of the best weightlifters in the world), and Maxim Agapitov (1997 world weightlifting champion, he snatched 175 kilos!). Al Vermeil spoke on the art of coaching. Preston Greene spoke on ten tips on producing more strength and conditioning results. Charles Poliquin spoke on how to implement variations of velocity and movement patterns to elicit faster maximal gains. Tamas Feher spoke on strength development in weightlifting. John Broz explained on how to get stronger with high volume training and Olympic weightlifting techniques. Finally, Maxim Agapitov spoke on practical weightlifting-the perfect clean and jerk. All 6 had excellent presentations, which helped me pick up new ideas in program design, motivation, nutrition, and much more.
My last 5 days consisted of the fat loss boot camp. It consisted of 3 training sessions a day with lunch and lecture in between. I learned a vast amount of information and met some brilliant people. Overall, I was happy with this year's training and am looking forward to next year's trip. I would be more than happy to speak with you regarding more specifics.
June 12, 2012
It is very easy to beat ourselves up while working out. We want to feel like we are working. I have been guilty of saying things along the lines of, “I like being sore it means I worked hard.” When meeting with a client for the first time and going over exercise history we cover 3 training aspects: cardio, strength and flexibility. Can you guess which one I gives me the blankest stares?
Flexibility training or to simplify, stretching. Most people do not take the time to stretch properly. It is a shame because flexibility is a key component to physical health.
5 basic principle of flexibility training
1. Synchronize your breathing to your movement
Tension can be dissipated or created through breath. We are not static creatures. Pushing into a stretch and holding still is not beneficial. Be fluid in your movements and use your breath to facilitate the best response from your time stretching.
2. Follow a logical anatomical order
This sounds very complex and scientific (and it can be). However, the most basic version of what it is saying is, “Don’t just stretch what feels tight.” If you have tight hip flexors, you need to address those. But, it is just as important to stretch the hip extensors. Address agonist, antagonist and assistor muscles.
3. Make gains without pain
The theory: No pain. No gain. does not belong in stretching. Use breathing and movement to address discomfort.
4. Use multiple planes of movement to target the entire joint
Stretching is not just addressing muscles. Our bodies have muscles, joint capsules, fascia tissue, ligaments and tendons. Everything is connected. There is a reason that tightness in your foot leads to pain in your shoulder. We are three dimensional beings and should stretch as such. Stretch at different angles and work at joint mobility.
5. Adjust your stretching to match your goal
I recommend rolling before weight training and stretching after a lifting or cardio session.
A stretching program, just like any other fitness program, should be built with consideration given to three components: frequency, duration and intensity. (How often you will stretch each muscle. How long you will hold each stretch. How deep you will stretch. ) All three need to be taken into consideration and modified depending you your personal fitness goals.
If this all seems a bit complicated and becomes overwhelming, reread principle 1. Breathe, and then give me a call, I would be happy to help you through it.
June 5, 2012
When I start working with a client, I always ask them how they sleep. It's rare to meet someone who gets consistently good sleep--the kind where you put your head down and wake up 8 hours later feeling refreshed. I can hear the "pshaw" from many of you. "Sleep like that doesn't happen!" you say. But I am a reformed insomniac and can tell you that my sleep is so much better today than it was for the majority of my life.
If you think it's not important, just wistfully nice, to have a great night sleep, think again. If you have multiple wake ups or get less than 7 hours of sleep even a couple of nights a week, your health can suffer. You are more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and overall increased morbidity. Not only that, if you are trying to get leaner and stronger, then optimal sleep is a must!
Here are a few simple questions I ask to determine if you need to improve your sleep:
1. Does it take you more than 10 minutes to fall asleep?
2. Do you wake up at night, more than twice a week?
3. Is your energy great when you wake up, or do you still feel tired (and maybe hit the snooze button!)?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to take a closer look at getting better sleep.
Getting consistently good sleep is not as hard as you might think. Contrary to popular medical practice, trouble sleeping is not a sign of a drug deficiency.The first place to start is with your bedroom. Your room should be a cave; by that I mean as dark and spartan as possible. That means when the light is off you can't see anything, not even the red dot from your TV being plugged in. Keep all electronics out of the room, no laptops or computers standing by, no cell phones (unless on airplane mode), no wireless devices near the bed. Your Wi-Fi should be set to turn off at night, which is very easy to set up in your router's software (if this seems daunting to you, pay the neighborhood nerd 10 bucks to do it for you).
Have a relaxing bedtime routine you go through every night. Stop using any electronic media 30 minutes before you get ready for bed. Watching a TV show while in bed is too stimulating for most people. Reading is one of the best ways to relax while in bed. Keeping a grateful log is Coach Poliquin's favorite tip. This is a simple journal you write in before going to sleep where you list 10 things you are thankful for that day.
If you've done all this and you still answer yes to any of the questions above, then we look at fixing nutritional deficiencies that might be the cause. The first nutrient I look at is magnesium. People who are low in magnesium will have a hard time falling asleep. My favorite supplement for addressing sleep issues is Uber Mag Plus.
Give these tips a try. If you're still wishing for a good night's sleep, consider making an appointment with me to take a more in-depth look at all the sleep factors.
May 29, 2012
Life is a crazy complex series of events that, whether we like it or not, we have little control over. Some things may go the way that we have planned and others do not, but it is how we handle these events that determines our mental stability. I am sure that at some point in time we have all felt like things are beyond our control and have slipped into a version of depression.
Depression has multiple potential causes. Some of these include:
• Abuse. Past physical, or emotional abuse can cause depression later in life.
• Certain medications. For example, some drugs used to treat high blood pressure, such as beta-blockers.
• Conflict. Depression may result from personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends.
• Death or a loss. Sadness or grief from the death or loss of a loved one, though natural, can also increase the risk of depression.
• Genetics. A family history of depression may increase the risk. It's thought that depression is passed genetically from one generation to the next. The exact way this happens, though, is not known.
• Major events. Even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting married can lead to depression. So can moving, losing a job or income, getting divorced, or retiring.
• Other personal problems. Problems such as social isolation due to other mental illnesses or being cast out of a family or social group can lead to depression.
• Serious illnesses. Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or is a reaction to the illness.
• Substance abuse. Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major or clinical depression.
However, there is one thing that has been proven to help when we hit these low points in our lives. I know that you all know where I am going with this. That is right it is exercise.
Exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which may include:
• Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters and endorphins)
• Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
• Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects
Exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits too. It can help you:
• Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
• Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
• Get more social interaction. Exercise may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
• Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.
So, if you are every feeling blue and not like yourself go for a walk, head to the gym, or play a game. It will help in more ways than just burning off those pesky extra calories!
May 22, 2012
I am excited and truly blown away by the dramatically improved changes in flexibility (elastic movement quality), movement glide and gait springiness since performing Fascial Fitness (FF) exercises with the minimum required frequency in a 3 month period of time as experienced personally and as expressed by my clients. FF can be performed without a great deal of strain and consistent, regular training pays off by improving the strength and elasticity of the global fascial net. For a refresher or greater understanding of what “Fascia” is, and for Fascial Release exercises, please refer to Fascial Fitness – Part 1 (January 10, 2012).
The following Fascial Stretches are to be performed a minimum of 2-3 times per week with slow, dynamic movement to help rehydrate strained, stressed tissue so they begin to function more optimally as their elasticity and springy resilience is regained. Two of the four fascial stretches are described below.
a. Place foot on a stable chair, you should feel stable on your weight bearing leg with knee slightly bent. Bend your body over the “up” leg by pressing back into your hips. You should feel a gently, elongating stretch in the back of the thigh. Keep this “pre-tension” throughout the exercise. To stretch the posterior fascial chain (back side), start slowly rotating the raised leg in & out while keeping shoulder blades pulled back & down and chest bone lifted & open.
b. Apply a different tensional force to this posterior fascial network by rotating the torso slightly inward of the raised leg while still rotating the raised leg in & out.
c. Apply yet a different tensional force by rotating the torso slightly outward to the raised leg while still rotating the raised leg in & out. Think about creating length in the fascial chain from head to toe.
Warrior Stretch (shown in a modified ½ kneeling position but most often done in a standing, lunge position)
a. Take a ½ kneeling position on the floor maintaining a hip width a part position between your front heel and back knee. Tighten or compress you abdominal muscles for enhanced stability. If you are using a stick (dowel) as shown in photo, press the stick down hard into the floor to feel your abdominals engage, also tighten up your glutes especially on the back leg so that you get a more focused stretch on the hip flexor on the front side of that back leg.
b. Hold the stick in a wider than shoulder width a part position, keep your shoulder blades pulled down as you raise your arms over head feeling the fascial web running from the abdominals, through the arms to the hands without lifting the shoulder blades. Keep the trunk stable by support from the abdominal muscles by finding the internal tensional connection from the bottom of the knee (or foot if doing this in a standing position), along the leg to the upper body spreading to the hands.
c. Now play with lengthening along the facial lines by 1- twisting and turning your torso in spirals and curves, 2-move into a large upper body stretch through circular movements. Keep body wide tension, be creative and work through spacious lengthening with slow, dynamic movement.
Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise
Exercise is very important when managing type 2 diabetes. Combining diet, exercise, and medication will help control your weight and blood sugar level.
Exercise can help control type 2 diabetes by improving body’s use of insulin, burning excess fat, helping to decrease and control weight (decreased body fat results in improved insulin sensitivity), improving muscle strength, increasing bone density and strength, and lowering blood pressure. It also helps protect against heart disease by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol), and increases energy levels and enhances work capacity.
How Does Exercise Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
Normally insulin is released from the pancreas when the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood increases, such as after eating. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscles to take in excess glucose. This results in a lowering of the blood sugar level.
When exercising, the body needs extra energy or fuel (in the form of glucose) for the exercising muscles. For short bursts of exercise, such as a quick sprint to catch the bus, the muscles and the liver can release stores of glucose for fuel. With continued moderate exercising, however, your muscles take up glucose at almost 20 times the normal rate. This lowers blood sugar levels.
Intense exercise can have the opposite effect and actually increase your blood glucose levels. This is especially true for people with diabetes. The body recognizes intense exercise as a stress and releases stress hormones that tell your body to increase available blood sugar to fuel your muscles. If this happens to you, you may need a little bit of insulin after intense workouts.
Is Blood Sugar Ever Too High?
Yes. In some cases, you should hold off on exercising if your blood sugar is very high.
~Do not exercise if your blood sugar is >250 and your ketones are positive. This indicates that you may have a lack of insulin and exercise will just cause a greater rise in your blood sugar. Hydrate yourself and adjust your insulin as necessary.
~Use caution when exercising if your blood sugar is >300 without evidence of ketones. Again, hydrate well before and after exercise and keep track of your sugars and ketones.
Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise Tips
~To reduce the risk of hypoglycemia, follow a regular routine of exercising, eating your meals, and taking medications at the same time each day.
~Prolonged or strenuous exercise can cause your body to produce adrenaline and other hormones that can counteract the effects of insulin and cause your blood sugar to rise. If you are participating in prolonged or strenuous exercise, your medication may need to be changed. Talk to your health care provider about how to adjust your medicine.
~Be careful exercising when your medicine is reaching it’s peak effect.
~ Exercise with someone who knows you have diabetes and knows what to do if you have a low blood sugar reaction.
~Wear a medical id tag, (for example, MedicAlert) or carry an identification card that states you have diabetes.
~Have carbohydrate-based foods available for exercise and for the period following exercise. Add carbs to your meals if you plan on exercising, and adjust your insulin dose appropriately in anticipation of exercise.
If you have any questions on getting started with an exercise program or what exercises may appropriate for you, I’d love to help. Please call me at 616-956-8003 ext. 318. In conjunction with St. Mary’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, our clubs offer a comprehensive diabetes management class focusing on medication control, nutrition and exercise. Please call me for more details!
May 8, 2012
One of the first questions I ask a client is, “What are your goals?” This may seem like a very simple question, but it is really the most important question when starting a workout. Goal setting is the best way to measure success. Without goals, your workouts can start to lose focus and three months may go by without seeing any results. To prevent this frustration, you need to set short-term realistic goals. These are goals that you will see results within the first couple of weeks.
An equally important question to ask is “When would you like to accomplish this goal?” Break the goals in to three months, six months or one-year time frames. Setting goals keeps you motivated. They can get you excited for your workout and also help you feel confident throughout the day.
How to set goals and what to think about:
I always tell my newer clients not to think of their FIRST goal to be weight loss. I want them to think of a realistic goal for example: going to the gym 3 days a week. This doesn’t have to be exercising every time you come to the gym, finding time in a day to just make it here could be BIG step for someone. Some examples of making it to the gym to now workout would be treating your self to a spa day, we have dry saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs at EHAC and The MAC. Another example would be to come in and stretch, stretching is very important to maintaining and improving range of motion!
Use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. when setting goals.
Specific- The more specific the goal is, the greater the chance you will accomplish it. In the example listed below, I use the number 2. I now know that if I can only do one in 3 weeks, I need to keep working hard to reach my goal number of two.
Ex: I want to be able to do 2 unassisted pull ups in 6 weeks.
Measurable- You will need a number or a way to measure progress. In this example, going down a pant size is what you are measuring if you are at size 16 now and you want to be at size 12 you can measure your progress.
Ex: I want to reduce my pant size from 16 to 12 in 8 weeks
Attainable- Find something you love or what gets you motivated. If you deeply care about your goal, you will find the drive to accomplish it. If you are a cyclist, you may set a goal such as: I want to decrease my average mile time by 10 seconds in 6 weeks. Your goal now has something you love and wouldn’t mind working hard while accomplishing your goals. Time flies when you are having fun!
Realistic- Setting a goal that is realistic takes some thinking, you want to set a goal that is high enough to be challenging but not too high because you do not want to lose motivation. My example for this goal would be great for someone who may only be able to do 5 or 6 pushups without stopping, they might still be able to do 15 but may have to take breaks. This would challenge them enough to not lose motivation.
Ex: I will complete 15 pushups in a row without stopping in six weeks.
Timely- Without a time frame there is no urgency to achieve your goal. This step should always be factored into a goal. Ex: 6 weeks, 3 months, 1 year.
Using this method will guide you to setting and achieving goals quickly. Please contact me if you have any questions on ways to accomplish your successes!
May 1, 2012
Need something different to stimulate some muscle growth while getting a great workout? The pre-exhaustion method is the perfect answer. This method is not new, but often overlooked. You simply begin your first exercise by fatiguing a muscle with a single-joint exercise, then further tax it with a multi-joint exercise. While it may sound simple on paper, this can be a very challenging method that easily proves its value with quick gains. I often find that the first time an individual tries this workout, they may find it too difficult to finish the entire workout.
Here are a few examples for you to try:
Lying Leg Curls - 6 to 8 reps with no rest
Semi Stiff Leg Deadlifts - 10 to 12 reps
3 minute rest
Leg Press - 10 to 12 reps with no rest
Squats - 10 to 12 reps
3 minute rest
Dumbbell Chest Fly - 10 to 12 reps with no rest
Dumbbell Chest Press - 10 to 12 reps
2 minute rest
Pulley Straight Arm Pulldown - 8 to 10 reps with no rest
Seated Row - 8 to 10 reps
2 minute rest
Seated Dumbbell Curls - 6 to 8 reps no rest
Narrow Grip Pulldowns - 6 to 8 reps
2 minute rest
Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extensions - 10 to 12 reps no rest
Close Grip Barbell Presses - 10 to 12 reps
2 minute rest
There are many more combos that will really add to your current routine. Give one of these a try today.
April 24, 2012
In my last trainer tip I talked about getting started with your new action star lifestyle through Survival Training. I bet those intervals helped you outrun at least a few zombies! The next step is making sure you’re stable and strong enough to handle anything that’s thrown at you in the apocalyptic world. Building stability is one of the best things you can do for your future goals, whether that includes running races, building strength, or performance in sports. Stability also can be a very frustrating thing to work on, as it takes a lot of repetition and constant attention on balance and getting the right muscle activation. Try some of these tips:
- Do your normal free weight lifts on one foot, a BOSU Ball, Stability Ball, or a Dyna Disc
- Work small motions that focus on muscles surrounding joints (Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, etc.) This includes Step-ups, step downs, various lunges, rotational shoulder exercises, wrist curls/grip strength, and more.
- Advance your current routine from machines and stable motions to more unstable exercises with free weights and cables
- Once you begin to feel like your stability is getting better with certain motions and exercises, CHANGE THEM!! That means your body is beginning to adapt, and you must force it to do new, different things!
The next step is strength. To put it nicely, you will NOT get stronger unless you push the muscle continuously harder!! You MUST be progressive in your workouts in order to get stronger. Do you think Tom Cruise can climb cliffs because he did BodyPump twice a week for 3 months? He was doing multiple phases of strength programs and a ton of functional climbing work to prepare himself. The first step is to look at your goals. What EXACTLY would you like to accomplish. It may not be climbing cliffs, but odds are it’s more important, because it’s yours! In my opinion, it’s good to have a certain goal, but also work on achieving full body strength. Choose exercises and activities that are going to help you reach your goal, then build the remainder of your program around them to strengthen the rest of the body. Here are some of your best choices for multi-joint strength moves:
- Chest Press/Bench Press (Chest, Triceps)
- Squats/Leg Press (Quads, Calves, Core)
- Pull-ups/Pull-downs (Back, Lats, Biceps)
- Rows (Back, Biceps)
- Military Press/Shoulder Press (Shoulders, Triceps)
- Tricep Dips (Triceps, Chest)
- Hamstring Curls (Hamstrings, Glutes)
Though there are many more that focus on different muscle groups, you’ll definitely notice improvements by including these. The next piece to the puzzle is rep ranges. Pushing your reps lower pushes the muscles in an extremely anaerobic way that helps increase strength. Begin with a warmup of 10 reps, move to a heavier set of 10 reps, then begin your strength sets, 4-6 reps, 4-6 reps, and finally 1-3 reps (remember to maintain form!) The other most important thing is to allow A LOT of rest, 3.5-4 minutes between each strength set. Not allowing the muscles to get adequate time to clear lactic acid between sets can cause a very large drop in that muscle’s strength. Work hard and HAVE FUN!!
April 17, 2012
There are many seniors who could be at risk of being under- or malnourished without knowing it. You might be surprised that your mother or grandmother who seems to look healthy could actually be malnourished. I want to look at how to detect and prevent older adults from the risk of malnutrition.
The cause of malnutrition may seem simple to many people, but it is often triggered by a mixture of physical, social, and psychological concerns. Some of the physical signs to watch for include: a decreased appetite and weight loss, muscle atrophy, digestive problems, dry, brittle hair, sunken or hollow cheeks, loss of grip strength, and edema. Malnutrition can stem from other things such as Depression or loneliness, limited income or affording groceries, and or alcoholism. All these problems can interfere with receiving the adequate nutrition for seniors.
Watching for malnutrition in older adults is as simple as visiting during meal times and staying alert to any weight changes or medication changes. Also it is important to consult their physician when making any changes to their diet and exercise routine. If you are aware of the causes of malnutrition in older adults, you can take an active role in reducing and preventing the risk. Below are some recommendations for preventing malnutrition:
• Make sure your loved one eats a varied diet that includes fruits and vegetables, protein-rich foods, and high-fiber breads and cereals. Also, try planning in-between meal snacks like a fruit smoothie or other fruit.
• Make meals more interesting and appealing by using spices to replace salt, and add herbs, or lemon juice to foods. Try new recipes and experiment with different foods.
• Encourage regular physical activity. Daily exercise like before-meal walks can help to stimulate appetite. Belonging to a health club can also be a good idea to staying fit and help with making new friends and combating loneliness.
• Inquire outside help. Consult a dietician for meal planning. Hire a home health aide to do the grocery shopping. Another idea is looking into Meals on Wheels or other community services.
April 10, 2012
What is the goal you are trying to achieve? It may be to put on muscle, preparing for an upcoming event, lose weight, or simply improve quality of life. Whatever it may be every objective will benefit from adding a few pounds of lean muscle mass. Even you women out there looking to tip the scale in the positive direction, should strive for muscle gain. The more muscle you acquire the higher your metabolic rate will be throughout the day. In this article I will go over a few habits to avoid as well as a few habits to incorporate to build muscle.
1. Sleep. The better you sleep the quicker you will recover, the quicker you recover the more you can train, the more you can train the quicker you will reach your goal.
2. Not enough protein. You need adequate protein to build muscle. For women strive to get body weight multiplied by .6-1 grams/day. For men strive for body weight multiplied by 1.5-2 grams/day. Figure out how much you need and divide by how many meals you will be having (should be 5-7 feedings/day).
3. Stay hydrated and avoid drinking stimulating drinks. Try to achieve 2-3L of water/day.
4. Program design. Avoid to many isolation/machine exercises and select movements using multiple joints (squats are better than leg extensions). Also avoid keeping reps low to often and working the same time under tension for to long. Workouts are only as good as it takes for the body to adapt. Try and rotate routines every 6 sessions. Alternating phases from 10-15 reps to 4-8 reps seem to work the best.
5. Burning to many calories outside the gym. Being too active outside of the training plan can prevent formation of lean body mass. Do your required routines and intervals and get adequate rest. You do not make gains from the workouts, but instead recovering from your workouts.
6. Failing to take a post workout shake. Post workout nutrition is of the upmost importance. You want to spike your insulin post workout and you need your nutrients quick, so liquid is superior to a solid meal.
7. Supplement using branch chain amino acids during workouts. Weight lifting is catabolic in nature. Supplementing with BCAA’s during workouts will keep you in a more anabolic state and will speed up recovery. It also counts as a feeding and will help with achieving your protein goal.
“When you focus on the obstacle you lose site of the goal” Happy Training.
April 3, 2012
During my first seminar with Charles Poliquin, I made the mistake of asking a question about caloric intake. This got me the infamous Poliquin buzzer and a short lecture on how one shouldn’t count calories.
Until that point I don’t know if I’d ever questioned the conventional wisdom that says too many calories makes you fat. Since then, I’ve learned to question a lot of conventional wisdom and I think I’m a better trainer because of it.
I will concede that calories are a factor in getting leaner, but if I have to make my list of things to worry about, calories are pretty far down on the list. So what should your priorities be?
Here are my top 5;
1. Get enough protein. You need enough protein in your diet to achieve optimal body composition. For the ladies, shoot for 1 gram per pound of body weight and for guys 2 grams per pound. You can use this as a quick resource for how much protein is in a serving.
2. Know what you eat, ate! If possible you should shoot to eat wild meats, or grass fed/free range animals. These foods have higher levels of the fatty acids that will help turn on the fat burning genes.
3. Eat vegetables at every meal. Salads work fine with most meals. I like making curries which can have just about any vegetable thrown in. At breakfast I tend to fall back on carrots or spinach, but I will often use a powdered greens drink to supplement if I don’t have veggies ready.
4. Eat your protein first in the meal. This helps with some of the signaling which tells our body that we are full and don’t need more. Also, it will help ensure you are getting in the protein you need.
5. Eat more fat. I am constantly amazed that we still hear the message from “experts” that fat will make you fat. Worry about what kind of fats you’re getting and you’ll be much better off. Cook with saturated fats like Kerry Gold Irish butter or coconut oil. Use the liquid oils, like olive oil, and macadamia nut for salads. If you find yourself hungry after you’ve eaten your meat and veggies, have a handful of nuts. Healthy fats will help with thyroid function, improve hormone production, and turn on gene signaling to burn fat.
March 27, 2012
Do you like the way you look? Do you wonder what others think when they see you? How do you feel about your body? Body Image is much more about your self-esteem than you may realize.
You may be surprised how many people are unhappy with their bodies. Do you find yourself not eating food, or never really enjoying a meal? Do you get down on yourself for not working out? What about all of the crazy diets and supplements that never really work, have you fallen victim to them?
Here are a few tips that may help improve your body image.
1. Don’t beat yourself up about a few flaws in your body, chances are you’re the only one that can see them, and remember, nobody is perfect.
2. Be true to yourself. Don’t forget that the magazines and infomercials with people that look flawless are professional models and actors. The photos are enhanced by using photo-shop, favorable camera angles and professional makeup artists.
3. Don’t starve yourself…I repeat do not STARVE yourself. It is the worst thing you can do to your body. Eat well and remember “everything in moderation”.
4. Exercise regularly. The more you exercise the better you will feel about yourself. Try to find an exercise partner. If you can’t find anyone…contact me and I will exercise with you, for a nominal fee, of course. : )
5. And, last but not least…LOVE yourself and remember its called SELF esteem not SOMEONE else esteem.
March 20, 2012
We all want to wake up each morning and see our stomachs
flatter and more defined, but how do we get there? Here are some easy
tips for getting started.
1. Posture is key
By just standing up and drawing in you lower abdomen you can look slimmer and engage your core muscles. While you stand taller, breathe out and bring your belly button into your spine. This will teach you to keep your abs activated throughout the day.
2. Clean up your diet
Keep a food log for 3-5 days and look for some areas that need improvement. Maybe you are consuming too many Coke’s each day or eating too many salting snacks. These added calories can back on belly fat fast. By saying no to 1or 2 food craving can save you calories and time on the Elliptical
3. Add variety and change the intensity
We are all guilty of hurrying through are workout and then finishing with a bunch of crunches on the floor or machine. In order to make any progress to a flatter tummy you need to change it up. Add a twist or isometric hold, change the speed, or add some weight- something to make it different.
4. Train the lower abs first
The reason you train the lower abs first is because they are a smaller and weaker muscle compared to upper abdominals. They are also less developed or toned and most likely need our attention. Add 3-5 sets of 10-20 second holds in a plank or hover position to firm up your lower abs. Remember if you do all your crunches first you are tiring out your lower abs and they will perform or develop as well.
Workout Instructions for getting started:
Plank: Start on your hands and knees and come up into a push-up plank position, balancing on hands (or elbows) and toes (or knees). Align wrists under shoulders; keep your back straight and the abs and glutes tight (to keep the back from sagging). Hold the position and breathe out for 10 seconds, exhaling to tighten the abs and draw the navel to the spine.
Leg Lowers: Lying supine with your abs engaged and with your hands at your sides or placed on your lower abs. Lift the legs up with knees bent at 90 degrees, knees over hips, ankles level with knees. Keeping the hips down, slowly lower the legs toward the floor without changing the bend in the knees, then lift them back up.
Seated Rotations: Sitting up, bend knees and legs together and place arms across the chest or in front of you. Tuck the tailbone and roll back slightly as you alternate rotating the spine right and left.
February 28, 2011
As personal trainers, we often utilize our knowledge of training specificity to help our clients achieve their fitness goals. Specificity refers to the method through which an individual is trained in a specific manner to produce a specific adaptation. In other words, not all fitness is transferable. For example, a runner might perform better than a sedentary individual when cycling but will be no match for an experienced cyclist. To see the greatest beneficial adaptations you must train in the exercise mode in which you intend to perform. For runners this would obviously necessitate running as your primary training mode.
Even though the principle of specificity is absolutely essential to training, too much of the same mode of training can be debilitating and counterproductive to your goal. For this reason cross-training is a vital part of any training program for runners. Cross training can incorporate different modes of cardiovascular exercise including swimming, biking, or rowing. Even more helpful though is the incorporation of weight training into your cross training days. Circuit training that includes short bursts of cardio, low-intensity plyometrics, strength training, and endurance training allows runners to be more completely efficient when running. The main benefits of cross training include:
#1) Injury Prevention- Overuse injuries are a common issue with runners who log long hours on sometimes unforgiving surfaces. Injuries often occur as a result of:1) too little recovery between runs, 2) biomechanical issues such as irregularities in the way a runner’s foot strikes the pavement, and 3) muscular imbalances such as tight hamstrings or weak quadriceps. Cross training, like the circuit training program described above, can help as a form of active recovery between runs that prevents overuse injuries while still increasing fitness level. Cross training can also even out muscular imbalances and relax ligaments and tendons to improve biomechanical issues.
#2 Improved Running Efficiency- With incorporation of strength training, runners can increase speed and the ability of oxygen to actively be transported to working muscles. With endurance weight training, runners can increase the amount of time that can be spent running without fatigue or injury. Runners also benefit from increasing muscular power with low intensity plyometrics that spare their joints but increase their explosive ability to propel themselves forward with each foot strike.
#3 Decreased Monotony and Increased Motivation- Training in the same was repeatedly not only fatigues a runner’s body, but also fatigues them mentally. Many consider mental fatigue even more debilitating than physical fatigue. Cross training will allow a break from the mental monotony of long running hours and will challenge you in a new and exciting way.
If you are convinced that cross training through circuit training is the right option for your training consider the new River Bank Runners
Group cross training sessions offered 4 times per week
MAC – Tuesdays 12-1pm and Thursdays 5-6 pm
EH – Tuesdays 6-7am and Thursdays 10-11am
Outside runs will begin closer to the end of your training when weather permits on Saturday mornings
- Sign-up at the front desk of your primary club and also be sure to register online for the race.
-Only $45 for members, $40 for super members and $5 off for I Lost It participants, including access to all training sessions and a t-shirt specific to your club.
Registration begins NOW and will run throughout the program. Training sessions will run from March 6th until May 5th.
February 21, 2012
How do I love the Prowler?
Let me count the ways
I love it on my very best
And worst of training days.
The entire cardio or no cardio debate makes me squirm- I am torn- I see truth in both sides of the argument. If you want to increase strength and gain lean muscle, strength training is optimal. However there is something about that runner’s high that you just can’t get in the weight room. It is my torn love for both that makes me fall so in love with the Prowler. It gives you the very best of both worlds.
I just love the Prowler and here are a few reasons why:
~It is great for busy people. I like to multi-task and spending a short period of time with the Prowler allows me to work virtually every muscle in my body and build my anaerobic capacity.
~It is functional. Where in our everyday life are most moves done in the weight room really applicable? How often do you have a weight evenly spread across both shoulders that you have to lift at a steady rate or when are you lying in a supported position and have to extend your legs with weight evenly being displaced as you flex and extend? Not many. With the Prowler you’re doing functional training: pushing, pulling, and dragging. Real life movements.
~It helps runners run better. Properly done anaerobic training not only increases VO2 max, it also allows you to maintain cardiovascular endurance while only participating in endurance training every 14 days. This means I can still be a long distance runner without constantly undergoing the beating my body takes while running.
~It is fun. Seriously fun. You get to push and pull, hop and row, you can drag really heavy stuff or race your friends. The options are never ending.
It may look innocent but don’t be deceived. There are many ways you can easily hurt yourself if using the Prowler without any experience. If you are interested in learning how to incorporate this lovely apparatus into your workout routine please let me know, I would be happy to help you out.
February 14, 2012
First off, let me take some time to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day! Now I have a confession to make to all of you. I have a horrible sweet tooth, which seems to only be magnified on a day like today (and the day after because that is when all of the candy is on sale!). However, there is some hope for people like me. Dark Chocolate. It helps to satisfy my sweet tooth and it does have some health benefits.
1. Prevent heart disease: Dark Chocolate contains flavonoids, which act like antioxidants. These flavonoids protect against free radicals that can cause cell damage that leads to heart disease. So, the more flavonoids you take in the chances of heart disease decreases.
2. Improve your mood: It produces endorphins, which are the chemicals in the brain that bring on the feeling of pleasure. It also contains serotonin. This chemical acts as an anti-depressant, making you feel happy!
3. Helps control blood sugar: The importance of flavonoids is back again! Flavonoids reduce insulin resistance by helping the cells to act normally and to regain the ability that your body has to use insulin efficiently. As stated earlier this sweet treat contains flavonoids therefore helping your body to regulate its blood sugar. Dark chocolate is also low on the glycemic index and therefore does not spike your blood sugar as much as other sweets.
4. High in multiple vitamins and minerals: It contains potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron. Potassium and copper protect against stroke and other cardiovascular aliments. Iron helps to prevent against anemia and magnesium helps to prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
So, as you can see it is okay to have a little something sweet from time to time, but I do have to leave you with a word of warning. Dark chocolate is still very high in fat, so make sure that you have it in moderation. This is one of those foods that a little goes a long way! Also, make sure that it isn’t dark chocolate and caramel or some other type of filling. That would only take away from all of the benefits dark chocolate has naturally. Oh and one more thing, just like your coffee, the darker it is the better it is for you.
I hope that all of you have a wonderful day and are able to share it with the ones that you love whether it is a significant other or friends and family.
February 7, 2012
This tip isn't just for women so men listen up too! I am reading a book called "the new rules of weightlifting for women" by Luo Schuler. My favorite line in the book is: "you can't "sculpt" muscles you haven't yet built." Most individuals who exercise have a common goal that is to stay healthy and hopefully get back to the body we had in our youth. I am here to say yes you can! BUT you need to do it the right way and in some cases the only way. Here is how:
Training intensity, realistic goal setting and nutrition are the three simplest ways to achieve a Goddess like body. Today I am going to talk about training intensity. This means lifting weights and doing it at least 3 times a week. It is extremely hard to build too much muscle, so lifting 3 days a week will not leave you looking like The Terminator. When you finish your last repetition during your last set it should feel pretty difficult. This will get your heart rate up for a high intensity workout that will melt the fat off your muscles. A good repetition range I like to base my programs around is between 8-15 repetitions per set. I would also pair it with 3-4 sets, and rotating it with 2-3 exercises. One of my workouts would look like this:
SET 1: Exercise A1 10 reps
Exercise A2 10 reps
Exercise A3 10 reps
SET 2:Exercise A1 10 reps
Exercise A2 10 reps
Exercise A3 10 reps
SET 3:Exercise A1 10 reps
Exercise A2 10 reps
Exercise A3 10 reps
I would also include a “B” workout and it would be the same pattern 3 sets, 10 reps with 3 different exercises. This is a very general weight lifting routine if you are new to weights it would be a great program to get started with. If you are a veteran weight lifter I would recommend re-evaluating your goals and tweak this routine to satisfy those goals. Creating intensity and a new program can be very challenging if you would like some advice please contact me at East Hills 224-5400 ext 402 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best part about weight lifting is that it speeds up your metabolism!
So put down the Barbie bells and kick it into high gear to get your beach body you have always wanted!
January 31, 2012
One of the most important messages I can give to all cancer patients and cancer survivors is: AVOID INACTIVITY!
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), has recently developed guidelines on exercise and physical activity in patients who are undergoing active treatment for cancer or who have completed treatment. More and more studies have proven that exercise is essential to recovery of cancer treatment, and improvement in quality of life.
During the past 6 years, I have worked with many people who have had cancer, were either going through treatment at the time, or have just finished up treatment, and are trying to get back the strength they had before diagnosis. It’s been a real eye-opener for me! I have always loved being active, played a lot of sports growing up, and have been lucky enough to maintain good health along the way. Being around this demographic has taught me that we can’t take anything for granted, and that no matter what life throws at you, you must stay strong both mentally and physically.
Part of these new ACSM guidelines suggest that patients should return to normal daily activity as soon as possible after surgery during adjuvent cancer treatments. Normal daily activities simply means just that....what you did day to day before your diagnosis to maintain normal function. It’s not always easy, but taking it a little bit at a time is better than the mentality that you must stay in bed and recover after surgery/treatment.
Exercise is safe both during and after treatment including intensive life-threatening treatments such as a bone marrow transplant. Resistance and flexibility exercises are recommended for cancer patients, with careful consideration for those who may be at risk for lymphedema or bone fractures. Certain types of chemotherapy and radiation cause certain risks for patients and certain side effects. Particular exercise prescriptions can be made for patients whose risks are higher for these types of side effects. Even though there is a lot of fatigue associated with treatment, it’s always better to do something rather than nothing at all. There are so many things cancer patients/survivors can do to stay active and gain back their pre-diagnosis strength.
Some of you may know this, but The MAC and East Hills offer the only cancer exercise program in the area! We are very careful to take in to account all the aspects of different treatments and the effects they may have on each individual. We are trained to help people feel stronger physically as well as improve quality of life. One of the best things about our 10 week exercise program is that we encourage all participants to bring a support person along with them, someone who could also benefit from the class even if they may already be healthy! Here are a few of the details:
10 week sessions that meet twice a week for an hour each time
Full membership to the club where the class is being held for both participant and support person.
Taught by certified instructors with special training in cancer treatments
Pre-registration through Lacks Cancer Center, St. Mary’s Health Care - 685-5222
Please call or email me if you or anyone you know could benefit from the Cancer Wellfit program or a personal training program. I’d be happy to give you more information! 956-8003 ext. 318. email@example.com
January 24, 2012
The Japanese word Kaizen means "constant and never-ending improvement". While this word can apply to all aspects of your life, today we are going to look at your training progress. Each time you enter the gym to exercise you should expect to make progress. You should be faster and stronger than the last time you enter the gym. There gets to be a point though, in which your rate of returns begin to diminish. While an untrained individual can make huge progress each workout, the average trainee should expect at least 2% improvement each workout. This often means you should be able to add either a couple of extra pounds, or even an extra rep or two.
I learned of this principle in high school. I read "Poliquin Principles" and started to follow that advice in each of my workouts. Once I applied that simple principle to my workouts, I started making great gains each month. I soon could bench 200% of my bodyweight in high school, and helped me to qualify for 8 national championships and eventually All- American honors as a sprinter at Aquinas College.
One tool that I started to use in college and now even more today are the Plate Mate magnets. They add either 1 1/4 or 2 1/2lbs to any dumbbell or barbell that you use. Another trick is using the safety clips to add small increments to the barbell. Each clip is 1/2 lb so each pair will add 1 lb to the bar. While 1 lb doesn't even sound worth it, think of it this way. If you add 1 lb to the bar and you perform 10 reps, then you just pushed 10 more total pounds than in your last workout. If you perform 3 sets, then that is 30 extra pounds that you pushed in this workout. Now if you perform 8 different exercises in your workout, each with 1 more pound than your last workout, then you just pushed an extra 240 pounds in your workout. As you see, this begins to add up fast.
Use this principle and you will walk in to each workout knowing that you are making progress every time you walk in. Now that is something to look forward to, especially as you enter the new year.
January 17, 2012
It’s the time of the year when people finally realize that they have lost sight of their summer goals and have found yet another excuse to avoid going to the gym. Most people this time of year are trying to lose the unwanted pounds that were put on by eating too many burgers and drinking a few too many margaritas. Also, for those people who have been coming to the gym during the summer are getting burned out on the workout they have been repeating for the last three months. This is where we find ourselves asking before each workout “What is the purpose of my workout?” The real problem is that goal setting shouldn’t be a once-a-year-thing, as a matter of fact, each workout should have a purpose or a goal!
Last year around this time, I wrote an article emphasizing the importance of setting realistic goals. Some of the examples I gave were simple, such as: “getting your workout clothes ready the night before” and “setting a specific time that you’re going to work out”. To take things a step further, I am asking you to consider the following questions. “Why am I working out?” and “What is the purpose of my workout?” Many people don’t really have an answer to these questions and will admit that they are just trying to “stay in shape”. However, what it really boils down to is that we should all have a specific goal in mind when we head to the gym. For example, if your goal is weight loss, then set a weekly weight loss goal, such as “I will lose 2 lbs in the next seven days.” If you are training for a race in the spring-time, set a goal to complete a specific distance or time for each of your runs. If you are looking to gain strength or add muscle mass, set your goal to increase your number of repetitions or to add “10% more weight“ this week. Every person has a different reason for losing weight, increasing strength or wanting to cross the finish line. Once you discover the ‘purpose’ of your workout, set your goals accordingly.
Here are some general guidelines you can follow for your training specificity:
Losing fat is probably the most common goal and, at its simplest concept, involves burning more calories than you eat. If you burn an extra 500 calories per day, you would lose about a pound a week. What people need to understand though is that if one consumes 2000 calories of junk food the outcome is different than if one consumes the same amount of calories of vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins (not just meats). You need to understand that the body will metabolize all different nutrients depending on the quality of the food that is consumed. So, make sure you make healthier choices when eating, it can often be as simple as cutting out soda which will make a tremendous difference in your diet. Take your diet in stride if this is a major change for you, it won’t happen overnight.
While weight loss is a common goal, there are plenty of people who have trouble keeping the weight on. In this case, your goal might be gaining muscle which, believe it or not, can be just as difficult as losing weight. Gaining muscle, like losing weight, requires careful attention to your workout and your diet with a focus on eating more calories than you're burning and lifting heavy weights. If you lift weights, you can build muscle but if you want to put on some serious size, that requires serious work, extra calories and commitment. You also need to understand that diet requires a lot of attention as well. Fill your diet with food high in protein, branch chain amino acids, and health fats. You also need carbohydrates as well, yes, carbohydrates. People need to understand that fat will burn in the fuel of carbohydrates and when your carb. stores are diminished you no longer produce a bi-product that will stimulate fat loss. This also goes hand in hand with weight loss as well; you need healthy carbohydrates in your diet!
Training for a race or a sport requires a different approach than if your goal is weight loss or muscle gain. Your main focus should be on the event for which you are training. If you want to run a marathon, the bulk of your training will involve running. If you want to be a better basketball player, your training will lean towards high intensity jumps, lateral movement and, of course, playing basketball. Whatever you're training for, you'll usually want to include cross-training as well. For example, you might lift weights to keep your body strong for running or cross-train with other activities to use your body in a different way and avoid injury. All sports require different muscles to be activated as well as at a different rate, you should train specifically for what your sport requires to get the maximal performance results.
Overall, you want each day you train to have a purpose! Don’t ever go to the gym with the mentality that you are just there to stay in shape, or just to do something. MAKE EACH WORKOUT COUNT! If you need any help in setting these goals or a plan to achieve them feel free to contact me at 956-8003 ext. 317. Good luck with your goals and have a happy new goal setting year!
January 10, 2012
In order to train fascial fitness, we must first understand what it is, so, what is fascia?
Fascia is strong fibrous connective tissue found integrated throughout the body but most prominently recognized in the foot (plantar fascia), the iliotibial or IT band (fascia lata), low back and neck. This strong connective tissue is usually grouped together with other connective tissue structures such as ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, muscle envelopes, etc. Instead of seeing these structures as separate (old paradigm), current fascial research sees them as local adaptations of a body-wide interconnected tensional network (fascial stocking) that adjusts its fiber arrangements to specific daily movement demands. It plays a significant role in muscle force transmission and strongly influences posture and resting tension. Fascia is primarily composed of collagen which is considered a protein and mostly found in fibrous connective tissue (fascia). In a healthy body one third of collagen fiber is renewed in six months; in one year, half of our collagen fibers are replaced with new ones. The intention of Fascial Fitness is to influence our collagen replacement with specific training activities that result in an unbreakable body suit that is highly elastic, glides smoothly and is strong at exactly those places where more strength and resilience are needed.
Fascial Fitness includes: Fascial Release, Fascial Stretch, Rebound Elasticity and Fluid Refinement.
This lesson focuses on Fascial Release. Fascial Release is to be performed 2-3 times per week. Repeat each exercise 2-3 times or as needed. Include it as a part of your weekly activities, perhaps on your “off days”. The benefits are initially subtle but, with consistency, improvements are lasting with cumulative effects.
1. Big Foot –Roll a tennis ball from ball of foot to the heel with slow, gradual movement allowing tissues to melt into the pressure of the ball.
2. Fascial Lata Roller – Side lying roll on foam roller starting from the outside of the hip down to the knee then back up. Imagine it being a sponge squeezing out from top to bottom. Hold tender, painful areas for up to 30 seconds, breathe deeply into your hips. Support your torso by placing your elbow directly under your shoulder joint and press forearm firmly into the floor. If this is very difficult and painful, you can roll the fascia by using “The Stick”.
3. Upper Spine Roller – Lie on the foam roller just below the shoulder blades keeping your knees bent. Support your head with your hands while keeping your elbows up towards the ceiling. Press firmly into your heels to lif your hips off the floor and with slow-gradual movement roll over the shoulder blade area; hold tender, painful area for up to 30 seconds breathing deeply into your hips. You can do a side bend to each side for added stretch to the fascial fabric.
If you want to know more or have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 3, 2012
The first question one needs to ask when designing a workout program is "What is my priority?" This refers to one's main objective or ultimate goal. Whatever your goal may be; weight loss, strength gain, or muscular endurance, it is important to have your workouts designed accordingly.
If your priority is to become leaner and drop weight, you should focus on a combination of proper nutrition, German body composition-type workouts, and highly intense interval sessions. Additionally, it is beneficial to keep your time under tension (TUT) for each set between 40-60 seconds. For example, if you are lowering the weight for 3 seconds and raising the weight for 1 second, you are accumulating a total of 4 seconds per repetition. This means you will need to complete at least 10 repetitions (reps) to achieve the desired 40 seconds of TUT. If you fall short of this, you will then begin to focus on training your nervous system versus training for body composition / weight loss.
If your priority is to gain strength and train your nervous system, the best training method is a wave-like training program, a cluster training program, or an advanced German Volume training type regimen. Your TUT should not exceed 20 seconds per set, otherwise you will begin to train for body composition.
If, however, you are looking for a little bit of both body composition and increased strength, a functional training program with 20-40 seconds of TUT is your best option. This program will give you both a strength gain as well as a body composition response. It is important to be smart when designing a workout program, otherwise you may get an undesirable training response. If you are looking for direction, I am happy to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
December 27, 2011
Every single one of you has seen some survival-driven action movie that follows a lead character. Now, I’d like you think about the physical attributes that the character possesses. These guys/girls are, to keep it short, INCREDIBLE, with the exception of any Kevin James or Jack Black movie which tends to poke fun at their weight anyway! They’re incredibly fit, incredibly strong and incredibly determined. You get the picture: when someone wants to see a movie following a character that battles with aliens, zombies, nature, or even other equally as incredible humans, I would like to think that the camera could follow any person, but guess who it chooses? Not a 250 lb Kirstie Alley, but rather the camera chooses to follow someone who actually has a shot at survival in a life-threatening situation. Would you have a shot?
What I am talking about is Functional Strength, an overall strength and power that makes daily life tasks and situations easier, hence the “functional” part. A 6-pack is not necessarily “functional”, it will not make you a survival machine (though it may get you the lead role as one of these characters). Functional Strength can be attained in many ways including Crossfit™ Workouts, kettlebells, sport/function specific workouts, or strongman training. The first step in surviving an impending apocalypse is to build strong bases in stability and cardiovascular endurance. Once these two systems are built up strong enough, there can be further advancements in Strength and Power building, as well as continuing to develop cardiovascular and cardio respiratory functions. Though this may sound intimidating, it is something that can be adjusted for every fitness level. Whether you’re running from zombies or just trying to keep more stable and balanced in everyday life, stability is a great idea for older populations as well as the younger workout enthusiasts.
Doing long distance cardio day after day, on the same machine, at the same speed, for the same amount of time, is insanity (remember, chubby hamster on the wheel?). There absolutely HAS to be some variance to any cardio workout to see improvement. Try this:
Week 1 – Two Day Rotation (2-6 days)
Day 1 – Moderate Intensity Day: 20-40mins, 60-70% intensity (should be considered work)
Day 2 – Moderate Intensity Intervals: 3mins at 75-80% intensity, 3mins at 60% (slow recovery) rotated for 20-30mins total.
Weeks 2 and 3 are the same except for Week 2, Day 2 you’re at 3mins higher intensity and only 2 mins slow recovery. Week 3, Day 2 is 4mins higher intensity, 1min slow recovery. This pushes the body to recover faster and do more higher intensity work throughout the workout, thus increasing cardio respiratory and cardiovascular function.
Weeks 3-5 – Three Day Rotation (3-6 days)
Day 1 – Moderate Intensity Day: 20-40mins, 60-70% intensity (should be considered work)
Day 2 – Moderate Intensity Intervals: 4mins at 75-80% intensity, 1min at 60% (slow recovery) for 20-30mins total.
Day 3 – High Intensity Intervals: 30 seconds at 90% or higher intensity, 2mins slow recovery (below 50%) repeated for 15-20mins.
This is only your cardio portion of the workout, not the whole thing. Resistance exercise has many more benefits than cardio, so as I’ve said before, cardio should NEVER become the staple of your workout. This is just something to get you started towards improving cardiovascular endurance and ability. Next time I’ll go into some Stability work that will really get you ready to survive the apocalypse!!
A participant with arthritis once said, “I may not be able to do this on land but I can do it in the water.” This translates to muscles can be utilized and remain vital. Exercised bodies release what I call, “happy hormones.” One of the reasons why you feel so much better after exercise is because of these “happy hormones.”
In the water Bernoulli’s Principle of Turbulence enhances the body’s activity because it creates resistance around the body. When the body moves through water pressure builds up in the front and a negative pressure (turbulence) is created behind the body dragging it backwards. Just the simple act of walking in the pool begins to strengthen the muscles of stabilization. These are the muscles used in balance and the muscles that support our bodies.
Turbulence can be enhanced by moving faster, changing the depth, and using longer limb movements such as running verses a cross country ski.
Weakened bodies can be gently strengthened. The athlete can offer their body a change of pace. Water can be a medium for increasing strength and speed without the impact as well as a place to rehabilitate.
December 6, 2011
Osteoporosis, which means "porous bones," causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. In many cases, bones weaken when you have low levels of calcium and other minerals in your bones.
A common result of osteoporosis is fractures — most of them occur in the spine, hip or wrist. Although it's often thought of as a women's disease, osteoporosis affects men too. And aside from people who have osteoporosis, many others have low bone density, putting them at risk of developing osteoporosis.
It's never too late — or too early — to do something about osteoporosis. You can take steps to keep bones strong and healthy throughout life.
Risk factors you can change
• Low calcium intake. A lifelong lack of calcium plays a major role in the development of osteoporosis. Low calcium intake contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
• Tobacco use. The exact role tobacco plays in osteoporosis isn't clearly understood, but researchers do know that tobacco use contributes to weak bones.
• Eating disorders. Women and men with anorexia nervosa or bulimia are at higher risk of lower bone density.
• Sedentary lifestyle. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of osteoporosis than their more-active counterparts. Any weight-bearing exercise is beneficial for your bones, but walking, running, jumping, dancing and weightlifting seem particularly helpful for creating healthy bones.
• Excessive alcohol consumption. Regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases your risk of osteoporosis, possibly because alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium.
Risk factors you can't change
• Being a woman. Fractures from osteoporosis are almost twice as common in women as they are in men.
• Getting older. The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
• Race. You're at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you're white or of Asian descent.
• Family history. Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk, especially if you also have a family history of fractures.
• Frame size. Men and women who are exceptionally thin (with a body mass index of 19 or less) or have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age.
**Please join us January 7th 10am-1pm at the MAC’S 10th Annual Health & Wellness Fair where you can get your bone density tested.
For more information visit: www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoporosis
November 29, 2011
Are you still doing the same exercise program you did a year ago, maybe 2 years ago or longer? This is easy to do. People like to stick to their familiar routine at work, at school, at home and in the gym. We feel successful and a sense of accomplishment when the work is done. While routine may be a good thing when it comes to your daily responsibilities, is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to your workout. If you feel like you have hit a workout wall and know you need to try something different in your exercise program, then try adding one of these exercise tips to your existing program.
1. Add resistance exercises to your program. Strength training increases your lean muscle and raises your metabolic rate so you burn more calories throughout the day. I suggest adding 4-5 weight resistant exercises such as pushups, lunges, wall sits, and bicep curls. Try doing 2-3sets of 10-12 repetitions of each exercise.
2. Add short cardiovascular circuits to your strength training routine. You can burn more calories and increase your heart rate by adding just 30-60 seconds of higher intensity exercise to your routine. Before you go to that next weight machine try going up and down the stairs 1-3 times first or doing 10-20 frog jumps.
3. Add more time to your fitness program. If your idea of a workout is moving at a leisurely pace for 20 minutes on a stationary bike, you might want to seriously reconsider your approach. After someone has been exercising for 15 or 20 minutes, their bodies begin to use a higher percentage of fat for fuel to get them through the workout. Try adding 5-10 minutes more of walking or biking to burn more calories.
November 22, 2011
This is by far my favorite time of the year. You get to wear jeans and a sweatshirt and watch football all weekend. How could anyone dislike this time of year? Fall also brings my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving! You get to eat amazing food, and spend time with family and friends without the pressure of trying to find the “perfect” gift.
However, if you are anything like me, you are so excited to eat that I inhale my food and go back for more. Before I know it I am stuffed to the point of physical pain. So here are 5 tips to help and hopefully avoid overeating during the holidays.
1) Eat through out the day. It may seem like a good idea to save all of your calories for one meal, but when you do this you tend to eat a lot faster and will eat a lot more food in general because you are so hungry.
2) Portion Control. Try to only take a small amount of the dishes that you want and skip over the foods that you could live without. Also, it is always a good idea to include vegetables. These will fill you up without all of the calories.
3) Eat Slowly. The body takes time to react to feeling full. So if you slow down your body will have time realize you are full and you will avoid feeling “sick” later.
4) Low Calorie Dessert. Who can pass up dessert on Thanksgiving? If you are going to have dessert go for a traditionally lower calories dish. This is the classic pumpkin pie. Naturally it is one of the lower calorie dishes as long as you do not add on all of the toppings. And then try to avoid other sweets over the rest of the night.
5) Exercise. With the day off of work you have more time to exercise than you would on a regular day. So, go for a walk with loved ones. Exercise will lower appetite and increase metabolism.
The MOST important thing to remember is to enjoy your day and the time you have with your loved ones. Everyone has been placed in our lives for a reason and Thursday is a day to appreciate the relationships we have and be thankful for them. Have a great start to the holiday season!
November 15, 2011
Some of you know I traveled to Toronto in October. It was time to renew my certification in BioSignature Modulation. The five-day course covered everything from sleep, supplements, detox protocols, diet, and training.
For those of you who don't know what BioSig is, think of your body as a crime scene and the BioSignature as a forensic analyst. When I take body fat measurements from 12 sites, the BioSig tells me how one measurement relates to the others and which bad guy (i.e., hormone that’s out of balance) caused the crime (excessive body fat!). For instance, if you have love handles, the BioSig tells me that your body is producing too much insulin because you're taking on too many carbs for your body to handle.
Once I review your readings, I then know what issue needs to be tackled first. For example, if you have a high measurement in your calf and knee areas, I know from the BioSig that your sleep is off-kilter and that will be our main priority to jump-start fat loss. The point of it all is to get someone healthy, not just "I'm not sick" but "I feel better than I have in years" healthy. One of the nice side effects of getting healthier is that you get leaner, too.
Since taking my first course over two years ago, I've been able to get fat loss results with clients four times faster than I used to. Almost everyone gets an initial body fat measurement from me when we start working together, but the full BioSignature program is 12 weeks of 30-minute appointments where we address sleep, stress, diet, digestion, and more. It is a very detailed program, specific to your body’s needs, and will set you on the path to a lifestyle that optimizes health.
November 8, 2011
Diabetes can feel overwhelming because of the unending demands of self management. Understanding how to control your blood sugar levels, what the latest medications are, and how to alter your diet, can feel so overbearing and therefore most people do not manage diabetes very well.
The good news is that diabetes distress can be managed and reduced if a few important things are kept in mind. Below are a few tips that include some facts about physical activity and how to incorporate it in to your daily routine. Not every tip will work for every person, because people with diabetes have different styles and preferences, but the ideas underlying these tips are applicable to most people with diabetes.
• Consult your health care provider. Even though Dr.’s visits are so short in time, it is important to bring up feelings of distress so that the physician can offer other options and coping mechanisms. One might be to incorporate physical activity into your life. Ask what types of activity would be safe for you as you get started. You want your diabetes management program to work and your Dr. plays a big role in making that happen.
• Try to do some physical activity each day. If you can’t, aim for 3-4 times a week, 30-60 minutes a day. If you need to work up to this time, that is perfectly fine. Even starting with 10 minutes a day is better than doing nothing. Find something you enjoy doing. That will be important in motivating you to keep going.
• Watch your step. Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. Make sure your shoes fit well and are right for your exercise. Also, wearing athletic socks will help you avoid blisters and calluses that could lead to infection.
• Check your blood sugar level before and after you exercise. Do not work out if your level is too high or too low.
• Talk to family members, friends, and others with diabetes. Seek out others who are understanding about diabetes and are willing to listen and are maybe going through a similar situation. Find an exercise buddy that will support your efforts in physical activity. If your friend/spouse has diabetes as well, providing encouragement to each other helps you both stick to a new routine.
• Do things one at a time. When distressed, people with diabetes attempt to tackle all issues head-on without much long term success. Sharply reducing calories, doubling physical activity, or purchasing a fancy blood glucose meter in hopes that your diabetes will be under control usually backfires, and causes even more distress. Set realistic goals and reward yourself for all accomplishments.
• Take responsibility for your diabetes. Acceptance is the first step. You may never be able to entirely get rid of the disease altogether, but it is perfectly manageable and you can live a long healthy life with diabetes. You can still eat the same foods, and engage in the dame activities as anybody else. Lifestyle changes may need to be made, but with guidance, support and self control, management of diabetes is a real achievable goal.
If you or someone you know has diabetes and needs help with starting a plan for physical activity, please contact me. I would be happy to help! 616-956-8003 ext. 318.
November 1, 2011
Have you reached a plateau with your weight training routine? Would you like to be stronger and lift heavier weight? Have you been doing the same strength training routine for the last six months without being able to add even 5lbs of additional weight?
Two words: Grip Strength.
Grip Strength is commonly over looked and under developed. Most athletes and weight lifters are not able to lift to their full potential because they simply do not have enough strength to grip the bar with weight on it. Try adding simple grip strengthening lifts to your routine and you will be noticing weight improvements in no time.
I recommend using “Fat Gripz” Fat Gripz can be added to dumbbells by just covering the silver grip of any weight you choose. By creating a bigger grip it forces you to engage more muscles in your fingers and forearm. They also help balance neurological stimulus in the muscles for both arms. Developing these muscles are vital for lifting to your maximum potential. Both fitness centers at the MAC and East Hills has Fat Gripz available for use, but please consult one of our certified fitness professionals before adding these to your current routine.
A great routine to utilize the Fat Gripz is to cover the dumbbell grip with the Fat Gripz, place your forearm on the bench with your wrist hanging over and simply curl your wrist towards your body. Try adding 3 sets of 10 reps twice a week to your workout routine.
After a couple of weeks of using the grips during your routine, you will be amazed at what something so basic and over looked can do to help achieve success. For more information about strength conditioning programs for athletes and non-athletes, contact Kellie McPherson to get started on your own individual program!
October 25, 2010
As an athlete and a strength coach, I have always known about the benefits of protein and muscle mass. In order to increase lean muscle tissue, one has to eat foods that contain high levels of protein. Protein not only helps to build muscle, but also helps to keep you lean and energetic throughout the day. Often times when a person is not making progress in their training, it can be linked to not enough protein in the diet. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Today I am going to focus on leucine, isoleucine and valine, otherwise known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Many athletes have learned that taking BCAAs during their workouts increases their performance during a training session. Usually found in dairy and red meat, they prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue (catabolic), and even speed up recovery times. Numerous studies have proven just how effective these amino acids can be. According to a study from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil "BCAA supplementation increases resistance to fatigue and enhances lipid oxidation during exercise in glycogen-depleted subjects". In other words, those who took BCAAs not only had more energy, but they also had a larger work capacity during their workouts. Studies on BCAAs are becoming abundant as more and more benefits are being discovered. To learn more, visit www.charlespoliquin.com and type BCAAs in the search engine. You will soon find out why this supplement is popular for those who are serious about their results.
October 18, 2011
You will never reach your full potential without structural balance. After a good assessment, a well-trained personal trainer can pinpoint your weaknesses and fix the problem in 6-12 weeks. Structural balance is of the utmost importance for any age group, ranging from the 16-year old athlete to the 70-year-old senior citizen. If your body is out of balance bad posture develops, overhead range of motion is limited, knee issues occur, tennis elbow is more prevalent, etc. A good way to relieve or prevent these symptoms from occurring is to commit to training your remedial lifts 1-2 times per week. A remedial workout is not hard and can be tedious, but the time invested to these workouts will dramatically improve quality of life and or athletic performance. In order to make a remedial (structural balance) workout effective, proper execution must happen. PICP trainers are drilled on these exercises because of all the success Charles Poliquin has had using these workouts with his athletes and clients. You can find a certified PICP trainer if you go to Charles’ website, www.charlespoliquin.com. Hit the find a trainer tab and search your area. If the exercises are executed improperly, you will not reap the benefits. For example taking the incorrect angle in the trap 3 exercises will recruit the wrong muscle group. Here is an example of a remedial workout that will be good to execute for 6 workouts before needing to progress to a harder one. A workout routine is only as good as the time the body takes to adapt to it. I would be delighted to take you through a routine similar to the one listed below.
A1. Peterson Step Up: 12-15 reps, 45s rest, 2010 tempo, 3 sets
A2. Trap 3 DB Supported On Incline Bench: 8-10reps, 45s rest, 4010 tempo, 3 sets
B1. Poliquin Step Up: 15-20 reps, 45s rest, 2010 tempo, 3 sets
B2. External Rotator Supported Scott Bench: 8-10 reps, 45s rest, 4010 tempo, 3 sets
C1. Scapular Retraction High Pulley_8-10 reps, 45s rest, 1013 tempo, 3 sets
C2. Powell Raise DB Flat Bench: 8-10 reps, 45s rest, 4010 tempo, 3 sets
October 11, 2011
Ok, I see it everywhere, people walking with forward posture, lots of sitting, people sitting while exercising and compounding it by doing poorly executed crunches, slumpy, slouchy, forward flexed spines and flexed hips everywhere…we are a culture addicted to forward flexion and that is messing with our spinal and core stability.
If you have not had a major injury or accident and you experience low back, knee or ankle pain, it is very probable that it stemming from the hips being either too tight, misaligned or both.
In order to help keep your body in a more neutral, aligned position, doing exercises for hip extension is key, And even before doing stability or strength exercises it is crucial to first do mobility exercises in order to change the “tight” pattern. In our example of tight or immobile hips, it is usually the front hip flexors that are tight and acting as a parking break for hip extension, so no matter how hard you try to strengthen your posterior side (your glutes), you will be limited in using full contraction of your glutes by how tight you are on the front side.
Here are two mobility exercises you can perform daily to help your quadriceps and hip flexors regain their length and so, take the parking break off to fully engage hip extension and optimally strengthen your glutes.
Mobility Exercise #1: ½ Kneeling Hip Extension, with one knee on the floor and the other leg in a lunge position, tuck your pelvis, I mean REALLY tuck your pelvis then move/glide your hips forward to the point of slight muscle irritation, hold for 2 seconds. Inhale as you come back to the start position (torso completely vertical). Be sure to tuck your hips/pelvis again then exhale as you glide your hips forward to the point of slight muscle irritation and hold for 2 seconds, inhale on the return. Repeat 10 times or more if needed. You can assist hip opening by using a fascia release stick or a foam roller on the front of the leg prior to doing the ½ kneeling hip extension.
Mobility Exercise #2: Standing Back Extension, standing tall, place your hands on your hips with your thumbs on your sacrum or lowest part of the spine, tuck your hips fully before you shift your hips forward placing you into a slight back extension. Protect your back by engaging the hip tuck, (this helps engage your glute muscles) before going into full back extension. Inhale on the return and exhale going into the back extension. Repeat 10x or as often as needed, especially good after sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Grease the groove, practice daily in order to train mobility back into your hips.
October 4, 2011
How long have you been doing your current cardio routine? If you say anything more than 4 weeks, you have just contributed to the bad wrap that cardio as a whole is getting. You most likely lost some weight in the first week, maybe two, and are now at the same exact weight as when you started…or even heavier. Cardio now looks bad, and it says “Thanks” with much sarcasm.
Truth is, cardio does have many benefits. You just have to be willing to try something new and different. Change it up everyday, every week, and you can avoid becoming the chubby hamster on a wheel staring blankly into the Fox News TV. Push yourself a little harder some days knowing that other days will be easier, or they could be lifting days with no cardio at all. The biggest point, and one of the best pieces of advice I’ve read from another personal trainer, is two words, “BE THERE”. Do you even know if you accomplished anything during your workout? That you even worked out? Or is the only thing you got out of your “workout” that you now know that Chaz Bono’s going to be on Dancing with the Stars, the Bachelorette is insecure, and celebrities pick their noses just like us?
You have to “Be there!” Pay attention to what you’re doing, how hard you’re working, where you’re heart rate’s at, or where it could be. All these things play a huge part in getting a GOOD cardio workout! Of course there are days when I just set the treadmill to 7mph and run as long as I can (usually only about 15-20 mins before I’m ready to jump off and run my head into the mirror), but these days are sparse. If you’re going to do cardio, why not do something that is going to push you a little, and you know will give you great results!? Try an interval workout, do 10-15 mins of Kettlebell swing variations, try a weight complex, maybe some Prowler sprints, or even just switch up machines from day to day or partway through your workout!! This change keeps the body guessing, and it is never able to adapt to your routine, like it has if you’re one of the people who answered my question earlier with more than 4 weeks. Those people’s bodies have actually become MORE efficient at burning LESS calories!! Crazy, right!?
If you’re trying to lose weight, you HAVE to do more than cardio.
#1. You HAVE to change your diet. Focus on lean proteins, veggies and natural carbohydrates.
#2. Include weight training, but only if you want to burn calories when you’re not doing anything at all!! Talk to a personal trainer about the amazing benefits that resistance weight training can do for you, that cardio alone just can’t match!
#3. Do at least 1-2 days of High Intensity Interval Training per week. (Use the Airdyne bikes, ellipticals, pool, the Prowler, Stair Climber, or run outside.)
#4. Add in other cardio to help change it up and burn up a few extra calories here and there, but DO NOT let regular Low-to-Mid Range Intensity cardio become the staple of your workout.
#5. Don’t forget…BE THERE!!!! Be there when you eat. Be there when you work out. Be there when you finally begin to see the results you’ve been trying to achieve for so long! I am always available to talk about your program and would love to get your questions and comments!
September 27, 2011
Today it is very common to hear the term “muscle confusion” which P90X has made millions of dollars on with a concept that has been around since the science of exercise has been around. Often when we hear this though we think as long as we change our workouts on a consistent basis we will see max results. This truly isn’t the case when you really break it down, but let us look at one major reason why as trainers we change our workouts so often, SYSTEM TRAINING.
This concept is very scientific and complex if you break it down to a science but I will try to help you understand it as best as possible while speaking in laymen’s terms.
Different exercises use different fuels via different pathways, depending on the intensity and duration of the activity and the fitness level of the athlete. The goal of effective training is to make the appropriate system most efficient when the activity is performed. There are two primary systems of the body that have to become fit for activity — the energy system and the muscular system.
Personal trainers and strength coaches must understand the energy system capabilities and limitations to design sequenced training programs. In teaching athletes to listen to their bodies during training sessions, adjustments can be furnished in the sequenced workout with careful understanding of the energy system. Remember that all energy systems turn on at basically the same time; intensive tempo running makes high demands on both the aerobic and anaerobic and, thus, is a sharing system, but it’s knowing the dominate system that is the key.
Aerobic System (with oxygen)
Aerobic training is good for the development of the cardiovascular system. It enables athletes to recover from tough workouts and helps develop the capacity increase repetitions.
Very efficient, does not produce fatigue-producing waste products
Lower intensity exercises
Important in the recovery process for all exercises
Heart and lungs are critical
Takes longer to overload than the anaerobic systems
Most often requires a minimum 20 minutes duration training period
Workload can be continuous or broken up into interval training
Examples of aerobic activities include jogging, running, walking
Anaerobic Lactic System (without oxygen)
Less efficient, produces lactic acid, hastening muscle fatigue
High intensity level
Body must burn carbohydrates stored in muscle
Lactic acid must be removed — can take up to one hour
Carbohydrates must be replaced for further activity to occur
First ten minutes of active recovery produces greatest reduction in lactic acid
Provide majority of energy requiring high bursts of speed or resistance lasting up to 10 seconds
Built by alternating periods of work and rest
Several easy indications of anaerobic effort are difficulty with breathing, or difficulty with sustaining effort
Builds on the aerobic base, and challenges the athlete at the upper level of aerobic capacity
Examples of anaerobic activities include weight training, sprints, starts, jumping, interval training, training at various speeds or training at a defined pace
Just as with the energy system, the muscular system must be developed for efficiency of action. The muscular system can be trained for endurance, strength, power and speed.
Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to perform repetitive contractions over a long period of time. The number of repetitions needed is dependent on the particular activity. Repetition also trains the athlete to perform the activity correctly before any additional load is added.
Muscular strength is the development of maximal force in a muscle or group of muscles. Once muscular endurance has been developed, the activity can switch to development of more force in specific muscles. Again, the number of sets and repetitions must be designed with the activity in mind. Usually with strength your goal is 5-6 reps and sets depends on the activity and program design.
Muscle power is the ability to quickly exert force (strength) over a distance in relation to time. Power cannot be developed until the athlete has first developed strength. This is a common error in training that can lead to injury. Training for power combines force and speed in a sport-specific activity. This is normally done by lifting max loads for low reps. Another example of power activities is plyometrics, or explosive activities, that build the strength necessary for jumping or bounding events.
Training for speed takes athletes outside of the energy system requirements preset in the sprint. For example, a 200m athlete training for speed endurance needs to run very fast, at a very high percentage of maximum effort. Therefore, the athlete cannot train for speed endurance at less than 90 percent or he/she will be locked into a slower muscular recruitment, thereby getting a slower muscular response — and no speed. Want to run fast? Train fast.
When looking at both the energy systems and muscular system it is clear to see that training workouts and programs can be designed in hundreds of ways, focusing on all different areas. One thing you really need to ask yourself is, “What am I really training for?” When you train, train with a purpose whether it is for a race or just for overall fitness. System training is one way that you can see maximum results and work towards goals. For any more information or to get started on working towards those fall goals, contact Joe Kik at the MAC at ext. 317 and everyone keep up the great work in the gym!
September 20, 2011
Water is an incredible medium to exercise in. Besides being about 800 times heavier than air, there are 4 principles of physics that govern its hydrostatic and hydrodynamic properties. This one is my favorite:
Bernoulli's Principle of Turbulence
In simple terms turbulence increases the magnitude of a workout by creating a buildup of resistance around an object. As our bodies move forward through the water a pressure (positive) acts on the front simultaneously pressure (negative) acts on the back side of our bodies.
These dual pressures have multiple benefits in strengthening our bodies but a stand out is the body becomes stronger just by simple movement. The faster the body moves the more difficult the workout. The opposite also is true, less motion less difficult. This versatility can create a more individualized program benefiting newbies to the most athletic.
More principles to follow.
September 13, 2011
Having a hard time getting up in the morning? Struggling with this new fall schedule with the kids starting school? Do you look forward to catching up on sleep over the weekend? A variety of things interfere with a good night's sleep but there are things you can do to get yourself into a better routine and get rid of those bad habits.
Do you exercise regularly? Exercise can help you sleep better and deeper just as long as you do not do it right before bedtime.
Do you eat or drink right before going to bed? Heavy meals, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages before bed can make for a
restless night. Avoid consuming heavy, late night dinners. Also avoid caffeine at least six hours and alcohol for two hours before
Do you smoke? Cigarettes are stimulants, so a smoker can go through withdrawal at night, making for a sleepless night. So better yet,
kick the habit.
Do you have a comfortable sleep environment? If you wake up feeling stiff and not rested, you may need a new mattress. Make sure your room is at a comfortable temperature and try using ear plugs and curtains to block out noise and light.
Do you have a regular sleep schedule? After a summer of sleeping in with the kids and going to bed late, this was an important habit we
needed to break. Going to sleep and getting up at a regular time are important for restful sleep.
September 6, 2011
We have all skipped meals at one time or another as a little trick to help lose weight. I know for myself it is not always possible to sit down and eat a meal. Why have people used this “skipping meal strategy” to help lose weight? Does this type of dieting really work?
I did some research and found that this type of dieting is exactly what the Sumo Wrestler does to train for his sport. I found that the Sumo wrestler eats 1-2 meals a day and then immediately goes to sleep. What I learned is that by eating a big meal it causes your body to have a huge insulin spike in order to metabolize the large intake of calories. What this means is that your body becomes a fat storing machine.
Our bodies do two things to protect itself from skipped meals. The first thing our body does is it releases an enzyme called Lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme is released to protect the body from starvation. Lipoprotein lipase becomes more sensitive to storing calories when a person skips a meal. The second thing our bodies do is after eating our blood glucose rises causing a release in the hormone insulin. The hormone insulin opens cells to nutrients. After the cells are fed, the body stores the rest of the excess nutrients as fat. Let’s learn something from the Sumo wrestler by not waiting until the end of the day to eat the majority of our calories.
So next time you want to skip breakfast think about what you are telling your body. You are telling your body to go into starvation mode. That is why so many people are scratching their head why they cannot lose weight by skipping a meal. I suggest eating smaller meals throughout the day and reading a book on better eating habits.
If you would like to learn more about how, what and when to eat you can contact me by called 956-8003, ext. 310.
August 30, 2011
When it comes to working out I love a good challenge. The harder and more intense it is the more I tend to like it. That isn’t saying that I can always do it, but I will at least give it a shot and then I have something else to work towards. I have not always been this way. I was content holding up a wall and staying completely in my comfort zone not pushing myself and not seeing any results. It was on September 11th 2001, when one of the worst attacks to ever happen on American soil took place that I learned my valuable life lesson that I would like to pass on to all of you.
I learned this lesson from one of the most amazing men to have ever walked this earth, my hero, Francis Riccardelli. He was the hardest working individual I have ever met. He used to always get his work done right away so that way he could get home to his wife and their five small children. He would say why put off something until tomorrow when you can just do it today. My Uncle Francis never took any day for granted and always had a fun “adventure” planned. Those are attributes that have been missed for the last ten years. My uncle was one of the nearly 3,000 people that were killed on 9/11.
What lesson did I learn? Well it is to never put off something that you could do today because you never know if you will get that chance again. Now, I am not suggesting that you have to go out and do something drastic like to go skydiving, unless that is on your list of things to do, but a good place to start is your health. Why not do what you can so you are able to be around the people you love longer. This can be something as small as giving up pop for good or try that new class that you may have been a little nervous about trying. So, what are you waiting for? Do what you have been putting off for tomorrow, get out of your comfort zone. Why not add some intensity to your workout, try doing an interval workout instead of taking your usual long cardio session. You may be surprised how it affects every aspect of your life. What is stopping you from achieving your goals and results?
At this time of year please remember all of the men, women, and children who were killed 10 years ago and all of the brave men and women who are overseas defending this country.
“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing”. ~Eva Young
August 23, 2011
Let me start with the obvious -- cardio is boring! Doing the same thing over and over for 45 minutes every day will put you to sleep, not get you in better shape. I would also argue that cardio is a made-up modern invention. Think about it: There is nothing in our daily lives that mimics or requires us to repeat a motion ad nauseum, except cardio. On the other hand, most of us find ourselves out of shape and gasping for breath when we are challenged anaerobically--like chasing your child down the street or moving the old freezer out of the basement. These are the times where your cardio training doesn’t help. In fact, it might even be harmful and keep you from achieving your fitness goals. Here are my top 4 reasons for not doing cardio:
1. It doesn’t help you lose body fat. Unless you’re very fat and unconditioned, doing steady state cardio won’t help much. In fact I’ve had clients get fatter when they started training for their 10Ks and triathlons.
2. It decreases power output and coordination. A basketball player who uses running for conditioning will decrease his ability to jump higher, and his ability to shoot accurately, if he does too much cardio. This is why I get very frustrated when athletes come to me and explain that their coach assigned them 3 days a week of running 3 miles for conditioning.
3. It increases oxidative stress. If the body gets too much oxidative stress, free radicals form, which damage the body and cause premature aging. In fact, studies have shown that elite level athletes that did the highest volume of endurance training had the highest incidence of cognitive disorders in later life.
4. You don’t need to do cardio to get more aerobically fit. If you train your anaerobic system correctly, you get better at sprinting and also improve your cardiovascular system (measured in VO2 max). It’s like a 2-for-1 sale!
So what to do if you can’t have your treadmill? Strongman training is my favorite mode. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. Essentially we use ropes and sleds and heavy objects to condition people anaerobically, which improves strength, coordination, power, and your cardiovascular system (shocking, I know). Lucky for you we offer classes Mondays and Fridays.
Classes are by no means the only option. As an alternative, I often take clients outside to the track to do sprints. The longest distance we go is 400 yards, which doesn’t seem that far, but one of my best clients, an avid triathlete, was looking for his spleen after our first track workout this year.
The reason most people will never do this type of training is because it’s insanely hard. That’s why we’re so impressed when we see someone with a great set of abs. We know they worked hard for them. But keep in mind that anaerobic exercise is only part of the equation. You also have to clean up your eating habits, because you can’t outsprint a crappy diet.
August 16, 2011
Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. Chances are good you’ve heard the myth that it’s something you can’t change. But in reality, you DO have the ability to boost your metabolism, no matter what your age or gender. Below are some of the factors that affect your metabolism and some tips for speeding it up.
• Muscle Your amount of muscle tissue has the biggest impact on metabolism because muscle burns calories at a high rate, even when you are resting. When you are inactive, you lose muscle and your metabolism changes.
• Eating The longer you go between meals, the slower your metabolism will work in order to conserve energy. Your body will also break down muscle tissue for energy when you skip meals or do any kind of extreme dieting.
• Hydration Inadequate water causes all of your body systems to slow down.
• Activity The more active you are, the higher your metabolism. But you must increase quality food intake to match the calories you burn.
• Nutrition Low-fat diets tend to result in poor hormone production, which leads to a slower metabolism.
• Stress Because of its effects on the nervous system, stress can slow your metabolism down. And most people tend to overeat when stressed.
• Hormones Your body’s sex hormone production decreases as you age. This directly slows metabolism and causes muscle loss and fat storage. Also, in very rare cases, your thyroid gland affects your metabolism.
• Do some strength training. This is an excellent way to increase lean muscle mass and elevate key hormone levels.
• Adjust your lifestyle. Making subtle changes to your daily life, such as parking at the back of the parking lot, taking the stairs instead of elevator, can really add up
• Eat more fiber. Good sources are whole grains and fibrous/leafy vegetables. Eating these healthy carbohydrates is like putting more wood on the fire, while eating processed/refined carbohydrates is like dousing the fire with water.
• Eat more protein. Increasing protein can speed up your metabolism, but be sure to slightly decrease your carbohydrate intake so you don’t eat too many calories. Protein is used by muscles for repair and recovery. Good sources are fish, poultry, beans and nuts.
• Eat a pre-exercise snack. Eat a small balanced snack 30 minutes before exercising. A recent study from the National Strength and Conditioning Association found that metabolism will increase pre-, during, and post-workout if a small snack is consumed prior to exercise. Exercising on an empty stomach is not recommended.
• Practice high intensity cardio. The more intense your cardio session, the more calories you’ll burn.
• Eat frequent, small meals. Eat 5 to 6 evenly spaced, small meals each day. It may sound hard to do, but this just means you’re eating about every 3 hours. Also, eating food rich in lean meats, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and whole grains will send your metabolism sky rocketing.
• Drink more water. For the general population, a half gallon of water a day is a good place to start. For athletes, it’s not uncommon to drink 1 to 2 gallons a day. Water helps keep your body flushed and hydrated.
Adding to the frustration is the fact that not all metabolisms perform equally! Where one person can just look at food and gain weight, another can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound? Some people just have to put a little more effort to get their metabolism to work for them, rather than against them. Hope these tips will help you!
August 9, 2011
The biggest obstacle I hear from people is that they “DON’T HAVE TIME TO EXERCISE”. While I will agree that many people are living a fast-paced, over-worked, stressed-out life, I would argue that you “Don’t have the luxury to NOT exercise”. Exercising your brain and your muscles is the best way to combat all of the stress and anxiety that plagues us today. Here are three exercises that can be done anytime ~ anywhere. The key is that you have to stop what you are doing and actually do them! Give these a try today and let me know what you think. Can you find 10 minutes in your day to complete these three exercises for a total body workout?
Walking Lunge ~ works quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings
Push up ~ works chest, triceps and abdominals
Dips ~ works triceps, anterior shoulder
No excuses! Just do it!
August 2, 2011
Despite the fact that Tennis is a game of tremendous speed and agility, most individuals training techniques train them right out of their sport. Instead of focusing on speed, they focus on endurance, and most fail to take advantage of the benefits the weight room has on improving one’s game. Worse yet, they also increase their ability to get injured in play. Here are some ways to avoid common mistakes.
Mistake #1 – Too much endurance.
A game of tennis is a game of fast, explosive bursts followed by short rest periods. Any training for tennis should reflect this. It takes strength and anaerobic power to be a great tennis player. The problem is the reverse relationship aerobic endurance has on anaerobic power. As one improves, the other diminishes. Has there ever been an individual who could run less than 3 hours in a marathon and bench 500lbs at the same time? Both individually have been achieved but it can never happen at the same time due to the fact they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Solution – Intervals or Strongman Training
You need to teach your body to recover fast, not run a long time at a moderate pace. High outputs of energy with rest will train the body more specifically to demands of being on the court.
Mistake #2 – Too Many Plyometrics
Plyometrics can have many benefits, but too often coaches and athletes focus too much on these drills. Too much can wear down the body very fast increasing the rate of injuries. Plyometrics certainly have their place in training, but not year round. The progress made by plyometrics too early will be gone before you can actually reap the benefits during a game.
Solution – Limit Plyometics and Balance with Weight Training
Without strength there can be no power. A good strength training program will result in better gains made by plyometrics. Plyometrics should not be done year round and only twice a week at most. The volume varies greatly from person to person but generally you will have a day of moderate to high volume with a day of low to moderate volume with plenty of days of rest in between.
Mistake #3 – Not Enough Strength
Tennis requires tremendous overall speed, change of direction and serve speed. This can be best accomplished using weights to improve. Andre Agassi’s strength coach Gil Reyes knew this and worked hard on adding meat to Agassi’s body, to the tune of a 350lb bench press on a 164lb frame. On top of this Agassi’s lifting routine was 70% lower body and only 30% upper body. Strength is the foundation of speed. Most world class sprinters who run faster than 10seconds in the 100m dash bench press over 400lbs and full squat over 500lbs. If you want to be fast, you must also be strong.
Solution – Hit the weights
The bench is often a marker of strength but not necessarily the solution. Here are some suggestions that will take your game a long way.
||External Rotators||Serve Speed||
Dumbbell or Pulley
||Acceleration and Change of Direction||Split Squats are one of the best ways of correcting lower body imbalances|
|Eccentic Leg Work||Stopping||Stopping The glute/ham raise is one of the best exercises for the glutes, hamstrings and low back|
|Grip Strength||Injury prevention, Serve Speed||Should be trained with a lot of frequency and variety for best results
Individualized attention to athletes has always served as the best solution to improving performance. Understanding how to perform and interpret upper and lower body structural balance is the key to getting the most out of an individual athlete. Maximum performance output requires elimination the weak links in the chain.
To learn more, contact Adam Jauregui at 956-8003 extension 316.
July 26, 2011
Here is a great arm routine that was taught to me in one of my PICP training certifications. It’s designed for someone who is pressed for time and it uses limited equipment. It will take about 15 minutes to complete. For it to be truly effective proper form, tempo and rest must be executed correctly.
A quick crash course in tempo prescription: The first number indicates the lowering of the weight or the eccentric movement. The second number indicates the pause in the stretch position. The third number is the raising of the weight or concentric movement. The last number is the pause at the top before the eccentric movement begins again.
For best results, select a weight where you can barely achieve the repetition bracket. Dropping weight slightly before set 2 may be needed due to fatigue.
Feel free to contact me with any questions, enjoy…
A1. Incline Supinated-Grip DB Curls
2 sets: 6-8 reps
Rest: 45 seconds
A2. Low Incline DB Triceps Extensions
2 sets: 6-8 reps
Rest: 45 seconds
A3. Seated Zottmann DB Curls
2 sets: 8-10 reps
Rest: 45 seconds
A4. Flat DB Triceps Extensions
2 sets: 10-12 reps
Rest: 45 seconds
A5. Incline Hammer-Grip DB Curls
2 sets: 6-8 reps
Rest: 45 seconds
A6. Decline DB Triceps Extensions
2 sets: 6-8 reps
Rest: 45 seconds
A7. Seated Hammer DB Curls
2 sets: 8-10 reps
Rest: 45 seconds
A8. High Incline DB Triceps Extensions
2 sets: 10-12 reps
Rest: 2 minutes
July 19, 2011
Everyone has something that they enjoy, that makes them feel good. When it comes to food, usually those indulgences are not great in the way of our health. Mine? Pepsi. It reminds me of summers back home when my brother and I used to work outside, run around the woods, swim in the pond, and ride bikes till our bare feet bled! It reminds me of up north camping trips, birthday parties with family, watching the Tigers at the old Tigers Stadium, going to the movies, and so much more. Ok, I’m pushing the sentimentality of my relationship with pop a little bit, but I enjoy it! At the same time, I don’t remember the last time I had pop. And the last time I did, it was from a 2-Liter that lasted me about 3 weeks before it went flat and I poured out almost half of it anyways.
As Americans we enjoy our luxuries…wait. Scratch that. We will literally climb buildings and battle airplanes if we don’t get our Double Venti Mochiattoccino with 2 sugars and a dollop of whipped cream every morning!!! This is exactly the problem. These coffees, pops, sugar drinks, and other luxuries in life are meant to be enjoyed from time to time, not daily! About 80-90% of the people I talk to about losing weight will say some version of “I’m watching what I eat to cut down my calories.” This is great because most of us eat too much anyways! I then ask that person if they’d like to double their weight loss efforts. Of course!! Who wouldn’t!? My answer…drink water. WAIT, don’t stop reading just yet! Replace even 75% of your other drinks with water and you cannot imagine the changes you will see!
Let’s do an example. Let’s say you like Starbucks coffees, Vitamin Water, Diet Coke and Oberon. Your week looks like this: 3 Starbucks coffees with a couple sugars and a cream each, 5 Diet Cokes, 3 Vitamin Waters, and an Oberon 6 pack.
#1: Calories = 2070
#2: Sugar = 165 g
Yes, the calories are bad (and I rounded down on everything), considering that 3500 calories equals 1lb. With this example, you’re going to “enjoy” your way to an extra 2.5 lbs a month, or 28 lbs in a year ONLY through what you are drinking. My guess is it will actually be higher than that since you are consuming about 23 g of “real” sugar per day and even more in fake sugars. And no, your Calorie-free, Sugar-free Diet Coke is not your saving grace. These artificial sugars and syrups may actually be worse for your body, but are definitely worse for your weight loss efforts! One final straw for the camel, all these drinks have dehydrating abilities! So at the same time you’re downing all that sugar, you’re also causing your body to use up what little water it has for organ and muscle function, digestion, temp regulation, and so much more!! So while you look at the plate in front of you for weight loss help, keep an eye on that glass next to it. Get your 64 oz (at least!!) of water per day and use other drinks as a few and far between luxury! I’d love to talk to you more about your weight loss efforts! email@example.com, MAC ext 311, EH ext 406. Be well!!
Pop drinkers check out this article: “What happens to your body within 1 hour of drinking pop.”
July 12, 2011
Most people stretch passively, unfortunately it’s inefficient and has limited effect. Active stretching is efficient and maximizes results. Here’s how it’s done. You need to contract the muscle that is on the opposite side of where you feel the tightness, contract and pull that limb to the point of light irritation and gently stretch for 2 seconds providing less than one pound of external assistance (like with a stretch strap) to help increase range of motion. Release the pressure and return to the starting position. Here is an example, if you are tight on the front side of your thigh, contract the muscles directly opposite (glutes/hamstrings), the contraction will pull your leg behind your body allowing the front thigh muscles to relax into a stretch. Repeat 10 times. If you are exceptionally tight, you can do a second set of 10 repetitions. Breathing is important, exhale during the stretching work phase as it encourages muscle relaxation and inhale as you return the body part back to the starting position. That’s 2 seconds of gentle stretch repeated 10 times.
This type of stretching is called Active Isolated Stretching (AIS). The technique stretches muscles, tendons, vertebrae, ligaments, joints, superficial and deep connective tissue (fascia that can get glued and locked together) and so, helps to increase the glide between isolated muscles and neighboring muscles. We know that short, stiff, tense muscles are revitalized by proper nutrition, rest and exercise, so a daily stretching exercise program is vital to help restore full joint movement, decrease soreness and fatigue, increase tissue pliability and improve posture.
So how do you know what muscles to stretch, besides the obvious, usual tight ones? Well, that’s where it gets a little more complex and where the help of a professional comes into play. By investing your time with a professional, each joint and muscle can be tested for range of motion and the appropriate stretches can be applied. For example, if you have pain and tightness in your back, you will benefit from a hip and back stretching protocol which can involve multiple, sequential stretches and that can easily be learned.
Can you get better results if you do stretches in a specific order? Yes. If you follow a sequential order it will methodically help unlock muscles and joints, however, since this is supposed to be a quick tip, doing your usual stretches in this new active, isolated way, will help. There are numerous books on the subject and stretching certifications that teach appropriate and most effective stretching, so it does get more extensive and more complex, but if you want to learn more, authors like Aaron L Mattes and Ann & Chris Frederick can take it to the next level for you. I will be teaching AIS in the fall, so if you want to learn more and take it into your own hands, please look it up in our programming events. Personal, assisted stretching is available with me, Kim and other personal trainers Mitch and Nick who do assisted stretching using the Stretch to Win technique.
July 5, 2011
OK, lets get back to the basics, it’s as simple as this. Yes, strength training will add definition to your muscles and give you that fit and toned body you are looking for. But working out with weights has so many advantages that people tend to forget.
1. Strength training protects bone health and muscle mass.
After puberty, whether you are a man or a woman, you begin to lose about 1 percent of your bone and muscle strength every year. "One of the best ways to stop, prevent, and even reverse bone and muscle loss is to add strength training to your workouts," advises Troy Tuttle, MS, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston."
2. Strength training makes you stronger and fitter.
Strength training is also called resistance training because it involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. There are two types of resistance training:
Isometric resistance involves contracting your muscles against a non-moving object, such as against the floor in a push-up.
Isotonic strength training involves contracting your muscles through a range of motion as in weight lifting.
Both make you stronger and can get you into better shape. Remember that with strength training your muscles need time to recover, so it should only be done on alternate days. Always take some time to warm up and cool down after strength training.
3. Strength training helps you develop better body mechanics.
Strength training has benefits that go well beyond the appearance of nicely toned muscles. Your balance and coordination will improve, as will your posture. More importantly, if you have poor flexibility and balance, strength training can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent, a significant benefit, especially as you get older.
4. Strength training plays a role in disease prevention.
Studies have documented the many wellness benefits of strength training. If you have arthritis, strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain. Strength training can help post-menopausal women increase their bone density and reduce the risk of bone fractures. Also for the 14 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, strength training along with other healthy lifestyle changes can help improve glucose control.
5. Strength training boosts energy levels and improves your mood.
Strength training will elevate your level of endorphins (natural opiates produced by the brain), which will make you feel great. As if that isn’t enough to convince you, strength training has also been shown to be a great antidepressant, to help you sleep better, and to improve your overall quality of life.
6. Strength training translates to more calories burned.
You burn calories during strength training, and your body continues to burn calories after strength training, a process called "after burn.” More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat, and in fact strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent, I think just that right there is a great fact that should want you to get started pumping those weights.
Again, lifting weights isn’t just for men or women who are trying to put on muscles mass or bulk up which is a common thought. Weightlifting has so many benefits beyond just putting on lean muscle that will help you live that long and healthy life that we all strive for. For more information or any help getting started towards those goals, contact Joe Kik at The MAC or EHAC.
June 28, 2011
Thanks to a friend this one particular client chose me to be her personal trainer. A relationship I will treasure forever.
On JoJo’s (not her real name)initial visit it was very apparent that strength and balance were the #1 priorities. Years later JoJo would comment how much she hated the “stick”. One of the tests for balance was to stand on one foot holding a dowel(stick). This was very difficult for her. Later on I would learn that she was devastated and embarrassed because she had so much difficulty doing what appeared to be a relatively easy task. I also did not realize how intimidated she was by all the equipment, people, and exercises.
As our relationship grew JoJo admitted her fears about what other people might be thinking of her,” Did she appear silly and inept?” Of course I was completely oblivious to all this because I was on my personal trainer mission. JoJo taught me what was important to her by sharing her daily adventures. Now she could carry her groceries up the stairs and she was no longer afraid she would spill her ice tea at her friend’s home as she stepped down into her living room. Friends commented on how vibrant she looked and how well she moved. When I listened to her I learned what was important!
JoJo’s health and confidence improved so much she started to travel by herself and make the necessary arrangements . One trip in particular was a big turning point. JoJo was no longer intimidated by the people, equipment or exercises. JoJo began to come to the club on her own and exercise!
Thank you, JoJo for being you and teaching me what is important. I will forever be grateful.
June 21, 2011
Many nutritionists said that the food pyramid had become too complicated for most people to understand easily. The government has put into place a more visual icon...one that we can relate to to make better food choices.
The icon called MyPlate is an image of a plate and glass divided into 5 food groups - fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. This has replaced the pyramid.
MyPlate will be displayed on food packaging and used in nutrition education in the United States.
7 key messages from the dietary guidelines:
-enjoy food but eat less
-avoid over-sized portions
-make half your plate fruits and vegetables
-drink water instead of sugary drinks
-switch to fat-free or low-fat milk
-compare sodium in foods
-make at least half your grains whole grains
MyPlate is the current nutrition guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture.
June 14, 2011
Resistance tubing, also called resistance bands or exercise bands, are an easy and effective way to add strength training to your workout routine. They are lightweight, flexible tubes that stretch much like a rubber band, but are more durable. They are available in different resistance levels, which provide a person to tailor their workout for their fitness level. Resistance tubing are a great way to mildly stress your bones to help increase their density and they offer a great workout to strengthen and build muscle. Resistance tubing is easy to use and you can take them with you when you travel. During the summer we can become too busy to travel to the gym every day, so if you are looking for a quick but effective workout you can do anywhere then try toning up using these resistance tubing exercises.
Try doing each exercise 2 times of 12 repetitions.
1. Squats. Stand with both feet on top of tubing slightly wider than hip distance apart (keep feet parallel). Hold a handle in each hand and pull ends up to your shoulders (elbows will point down next to your sides so that arms form a “W”). Keeping hands in this position, slowly press hips down and back into a squat while keeping chest up and looking straight ahead. Pause at the bottom, and then stand all the way back up; repeat.
2. Reverse lunges. Stand with your left foot on the center of the tube and hold hands in the position described for the squat exercise. Take a big step back with your right foot and lower into a lunge, bending right knee to about 90 degrees, push back up and tap right foot briefly behind left foot before going immediately back into a lunge on the same leg. Perform all reps with right leg, and then repeat on other side.
3. Standing rows. Wrap the band around a bar or a railing at chest height. Step back far enough until there is tension of the band. Soften your knees and engage your abs. Pull tubing toward you in a rowing motion and squeeze the back muscles. Try keeping your elbows close to your sides. Return to starting position and repeat.
4. Chest press. Wrap the band around a bar or railing near chest height and stand facing out with a handle in each hand, elbows raised to either side at shoulder height and wrists directly in front of elbows. Lean forward slightly to create tension and press both arms forward in front of shoulders; slowly bring elbows back to start position (should feel chest stretching) and repeat.
5. Lateral shoulder raises. Step on tubing with one foot near the center of the tube and hold one handle in your right hand at your side (increase or decrease slack to vary resistance). Standing up straight, raise your right arm straight out to the side until it reaches shoulder height; slowly lower to start position. Perform all reps on one side; then switch sides and repeat with left arm.
6. Triceps kickbacks. Wrap the band around a bar or railing at chest height. Facing toward the band step back until there is a slight tension on band. Hold handles and bend over at hips, keeping the back straight. Pull your elbows up near your ribs and glue them to your sides; this is your start position. Slowly press backwards and extend arms straight behind you without moving elbows away from your body, then lower back 90 degrees to start position and repeat.
7. Bicep Curls. Step on tubing with one foot near the center of the tube. Hold handles and stand up straight keeping your elbow in line with your ribs. Keeping your core engaged curl wrists up toward your shoulders for one repetition and repeat.
8. Torso twists. Wrap one end of tube around a bar or railing and pull handle through the opposite handle so that you’re left holding one end. Keeping the band taut, stand a few feet away, facing sideways, with the handle in both hands and arms straight in front of chest. Slowly rotate your spine and pull the weight horizontally, using abs and not arms, as far as you can without turning hips. Twist back the other direction, controlling the movement on the return motion. Perform all reps; then turn around and repeat on other side.
June 7, 2011
I was talking to one of my friends the other day and he asked, “What can you do with those large, inflatable, ball things?” While that is one name for them, they also go by many other names, Exercise Balls, Swiss Balls and Stability Balls just to name a few and they have so many different functions. Doing some of your core or resistance training on a Swiss Ball could be just the change you are looking for in your routine.
There are multiple benefits when you include the Swiss ball in your workout. One of the main reasons for using this piece of equipment is to increase muscle activation. Since the Swiss Ball is an unstable surface it forces your body to activate many different, smaller, muscles that normally would not be used if performing the specific activity on a bench or the ground.
Another benefit of training with the Stability Ball is that anyone can use it. Low back pain is not an excuse here! Thanks to the shape of the ball it fits nicely in the natural curve of your back therefore supporting your low back throughout the entire movement. This differs greatly from doing a crunch on the ground. While lying on the ground, if your abdominals are weak, there is a very high likelihood of your low back arching and coming off the ground. This is taken away when the movement is moved from the ground to the ball. That not only is great to decrease low back pain but it also allows you to strengthen your abdominals at the same time.
Here are a few ideas for exercises to begin to include in your exercise routine:
Abdominal Crunches: Try doing a very small range of motion. Put the ball in the arch of your low back allowing your shoulders to hang off the ball. Then engage your abs by bringing your upper body parallel to the ground. Then do a small movement, lifting your chin and shoulders toward the ceiling. Do not sit all the way up with this particular exercise, this allows your abdominals to be activated throughout the entire movement.
Dumbbell Bench Press: This is the exact same movement that would be done on a bench. You should place your shoulders and upper back on the ball and have your feet out in front of you. Make sure that your press your hips toward the ceiling so that your body is in a straight line. When doing this movement, start with a lighter weight than then you would use on a bench. This is because this particular movement requires more balance and it will be more difficult to stay on the ball if using a weight that is too heavy.
Back Extension: I recommend using a wall or having someone hold your feet for this exercise. You will be face down on the Stability Ball with the ball positioned under your hips. When your feet are secured you will place your hands behind your head and lower yourself over the ball. Then raise your upper body until you are in a straight line. Always remember to work your back when you work your abdominals.
It is amazing how this one piece of equipment can help with so many things from balance to strength to flexibility. Give the Swiss Ball a try and see how you feel!
May 31, 2011
Recently my three-year-old daughter said to me, “We eat butter ‘cause it's healthy, right?" And my reply was a resounding “yes.”
It's amazing the amount of bad nutritional information still out there--and I love the look on my clients’ faces when I tell them to put butter on everything. You see, butter is a great source of butyric acid, which is a short chain fatty acid that our body uses for all sorts of things. When you put butter on your veggies, the butyric acid helps you absorb the minerals from them better. Butyric acid also fosters the growth of healthy gut flora, which bolsters your immune system, and it can reduce inflammation and heart disease. Eating butter can even help with your weight loss goals, since people whose diets are high in butyric acid consume fewer calories without even noticing it.
So my three-year-old is right, butter is healthy! You should, however, make sure that the butter you eat is organic and preferably from cows fed on tall grass. My favorite brands are Kerry Gold Irish butter, and the grass fed butter from www.uswellnessmeats.com.
May 24, 2011
Let me start with a few statistics:
• About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
• Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. More than 1 in 4 cancers in women (about 28%) are breast cancer.
• About 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. More than 2 million men in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.
• Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.
Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Gals, if you think about 8 of your closest friends, statistics are showing that one of them will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. While we can’t always control everything that happens to us, there are things we can do to aid in the prevention of cancer diagnoses and recurrences. Doing regular exercise will cut down on your risk of developing the disease as well as preventing its return, if you are a survivor.
How Much Exercise is Effective?
One hour of walking at a 2 to 3 mph pace lowers your risk a little. Three to five hours weekly of brisk walking gives you the most protection from cancer. You could vary that by switching activities – try jogging, hiking, swimming, cycling, or other activities that get you moving. For the prevention of cancer recurrence, the American Cancer Society recommends that you exercise for 30-40 minutes at least 5 days a week.
Here’s How Exercise Reduces Your Risk
Regular exercise and a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables lowers your levels of certain types of estrogen and testosterone. Although women need estrogen to mature and to create strong bones, overexposure to estrogen can lead to breast cancer. Eighty percent of all breast cancers are fueled by estrogen. Exercise is a natural way to reduce your estrogen levels, as well as reducing other hormones and growth factors that can cause breast cells to turn into cancer. Likewise, because there is a known link between high levels of testosterone and increased risk of prostate cancer, physical activity decreases testosterone and promotes weight loss which decreases prostate cancer risks.
Being Sedentary Increases Your Risk
Physical inactivity may contribute to the rise in several types of cancer – colon, postmenopausal breast cancer, endometrial, kidney and cancer of the esophagus. Women who are overweight produce and store more estrogen in their bodies than women who have a healthy lower BMI. Increased exposure to estrogen and risk of breast cancer are linked, since the estrogen-receptor positive kind is the most common type of breast cancer. Obese women have a greater amount of breast tissue, and it is more difficult to detect breast tumors in obese women. This can lead to detection at a more advanced stage of cancer, when it’s harder to treat.
Other Benefits Of Exercise
Since you are a member of our clubs, I’m sure you know the many benefits exercise has on your health. The same benefits apply to healthy people as to cancer survivors. Let’s review:
Improves: mood, body image (raises self esteem), improves muscle tone, strength and endurance. Exercise protects you by lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes. It can help you lower your weight, which in turn, reduces risk of breast and prostate cancer due to obesity.
Whether you are trying to prevent breast cancer or prostate cancer or recover from treatment, exercise extends your survival. Regular exercise and a healthy diet improve your overall health and boast psychological benefits as well. Find an exercise activity or program you can stick with. May I suggest our own Cancer Wellfit program…a 10 week class that meets twice a week and helps to promote strength and endurance of cancer survivors in a non-threatening atmosphere. This class is taught by certified cancer exercise trainers that work with individuals on gaining back the strength they need to live their lives and do the things they need to do on a daily basis.
For more information on our Cancer Wellfit program or if you just have questions on cancer and fitness, feel free to give me a call at 956-8003 ext. 318. Or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 17, 2011
A large number of acid producing foods can cause several physical
problems after digestion. Today a vast amount of people suffer from
these problems caused by the stress of acidosis due to their lifestyle
and food consumption that promote acidification in your body.
Many people today eat large amounts of acid forming foods such as proteins, cereals, and sugars, where as alkaline foods like vegetables are consumed in smaller amounts. Tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol, stress and the lack of physical activity can also cause acidification.
60% percent of our food we intake should be alkaline like fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables to balance our necessary protein intake and maintain a balanced diet. Try to stay away from manufactured foods that are mostly acid producing that can raise blood sugar levels and tend to be nutrient lacking as well as toxic.
Your body wants to stay balanced, and it does so by homeostasis(equilibrium), which is regulated through your ph levels in the blood. An imbalanced diet high in acidic foods such as animal protein, sugar, caffeine, and manufactured foods put a lot of pressure on the body’s regulating system to maintain ph levels. This can cause a depletion of alkaline mineral like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals are taken from vital organs and bones to neutralize the acid and remove them from the body. Ph levels affect everything. Acidic ph levels will decrease your body’s ability absorb mineral and vitamins.
Remember to drink plenty of water. You can calculate how much water you should intake by taking your body weight and dividing it in half, that number you get will be the amount of ounces of water you should drink daily.
May 10, 2011
Strong man training is a fun, exciting and tiring approach to get amazing results in a shorter period of time.
What kind of results? Well...
• Promotes rapid changes to body fat
• Transferable Strength
• Increase Lean Muscle Tissue
• Can correct structural imbalances
• Improves Mental Toughness
Using Sleds, Tires, Ropes, and all other
sorts of different implements, strongman training keeps training
interesting and can be easily suited to all levels. It is fun and can
promote team building.
So I know that all you see is the rapid changes to body fat, well, why would it be so fast? Have you ever watched the 400 meter dash at a track meet? Noticed at around 300 meters it looks like someone jumped on their back? At that point, blood lactate is being produced faster than the body can handle and that is when the magic happens. A hormone that is great for fat regulation, known as growth hormone, begins to get produced like a sprinkler system. This sprinkler system causes your body to burn much more fat as fuel due to the rapid increase in hormones.
What types of exercises are the most effective at using this system? The following activities are ranked by their effectiveness.
1. Strong Man Training
2. Cross-country skiing
The more muscles that get involved, the more effective that it will be at helping you to lose weight.
If you are curious about this type of training, you are in luck. Watch for us training in the parking lot at the MAC this summer. Monday's and Friday's at 10am will be the most rewarding training that you will ever experience. Come and enjoy.
May 3, 2011
It’s been shown that we adapt to a given exercise in 6 workouts or less. We need to always try and introduce a new type of stimulus on the body, or ultimately gains fail and at best you are just maintaining. There are many ways to extend a good routine. Such as, play with different tempos and maybe add a pause in the stretched position or the contracted position. You could also shorten your rest intervals, which would give you more of a growth hormone response. A good approach to take is to alternate hypertrophy training with functional and relative strength training. This would prevent adaptation from occurring.
Lets talk about some training principles regarding relative strength training. Relative strength is the maximum force a person can generate per unit of body weight. It’s ideal for the people who are looking for increased strength, but want to limit body composition. It’s also good for gymnasts, or for those involved in sports with weight classes, such as wrestling, boxing, and judo.
Training relative strength and the nervous system requires optimal rest. A good approach would be to select a pair of agonist/antagonist exercises (ex. Chest/back). It has been shown that the nervous system needs 3-5 minutes between sets to fully recover. For example, you could hit the bench press and rest 2 minutes and than proceed to a pull up and rest another 2 minutes. When you return to the bench press you would have received adequate time for the nervous system to be at its strongest for another grueling set. Its also a good idea to keep your time under tension under 20 seconds during a relative strength phase. If you exceed and go beyond this you will begin to train your musculature and ultimately put on muscle. So, if it takes you 3 seconds to lower the bar and 1 second to raise the bar that is 4 seconds a rep. Try selecting a weight heavy enough so you cannot perform more than 5 repetitions (5 X 4 = 20s).
Be smart when choosing your workout routine, or many times all you are doing to spinning your wheels and increasing unneeded cortisol. A weight-training workout should never exceed an hour, for it would be causing more harm to the body than good.
“A exercise is only as good as the time it takes for the body to adapt to it.“
Please feel free contact me at email@example.com for help with achieving your goals.
April 19, 2011
Such an easy question to answer, right? “I want to lose weight.” “I want to build muscle.” “I want to get rid of these man-boobs!” Yes, that was a real goal that someone expressed to me!
The harder question is, “How do you get what you want?” Most of us know the non-specific answer to weight loss, muscle gain, man-boobs elimination and most other goals is through variance and increase of our exercise and improvement of our diet. So what’s the problem? There are many obstacles we run into in daily life that hold us back from our goals, but sometimes there is no barrier larger than simple social stigma.
Social Stigma - a severe social disapproval of personal characteristics or beliefs that are perceived to be against cultural norms.
Everyone has encountered that friend. You know, the disgustingly in-shape friend who doesn’t work out much and can literally eat whatever they want without feeling the need to down a bottle of Ex-Lax to get back to normal. We’ve also had that other friend. You know, the one who sits on the other side of the table with endless complaints about how they can’t lose weight no matter what they do…then they order a plate-sized burrito, deluxe style of course. Odds are they probably gave you a hard time about ordering the chicken sandwich with no bun and a side of veggies. There’s more stigma at your table than lawsuits at the Lohan family reunion!! So what do YOU order? To answer that, let’s go back to the original question. “What do YOU want?” And I don’t mean off the menu, I mean what do you want as far as your personal goals. Is it weight loss? Order something healthy, protein and vegetables, and gluten free if possible. Is it muscle gain? Order the full rack of ribs with a potato, and don’t be afraid of those carbs after workouts!
I’ve read countless articles of weight loss stories and bodybuilding stories where the people had to shut their friends out when it came to food and physical activity. One bodybuilder went through two phases: muscle gain, then fat loss (shredding). During his muscle gain, he went to a restaurant with friends and ordered several thousand calories worth of protein focused food. His friends all gave him a hard time and said things like, “I wish I could eat that much and get away with it.” Later, in his shredding phase, he went out with the same friends and ordered 2 chicken breasts with asparagus. Guess who was right there to give him a hard time again for how boring his food was and to say, “I wish I could be that dedicated.” Basically, there will always be someone to criticize you no matter what you do, so do what you want and what gets you to your goal quicker. Here’s my quotation addition to the world:
“Since when did showing strong interest in something become a bad thing...the people who have interest in something different or, sadly, no interest in anything at all always find a way to bring you down for yours. Don't let them, and don't be one of them!”
April 26, 2011
What is a kettlebell, you may ask? Visualize a cannonball or a bowling ball with a suitcase handle on it and you have a good idea of what it looks like. It’s a big hunk of metal that comes in several sizes ranging from 8 lbs up to 105 lbs. In the big picture of fitness, kettlebells are another form of weight training such as the barbells and dumbbells.
As an individual tool, the kettlebell provides a great new stimulus. Some benefits include increased strength, fat loss, improved flexibility and conditioning levels. The off centered weight of the kettlebell will force you to use more stabilizer muscles and work the target muscles through a longer range of motion. The kettlebells’ unique value comes from ballistic (fast exercise) work such as swings, snatches, clean and jerks. While these exercises may sound scary or not possible, with personal instruction these exercises can be learned and correctly applied to help avoid injury and to maximize the benefits of the kettlebell. For a change of pace you can use the kettlebell in replacement of the dumbbell. Notice how you have to adjust your core or other muscles differently to lift and move the kettlebell throughout the range of motion
In the short time that I have used kettlebells for my personal workouts (since the arrival of our kettlebells in the fitness centers), I initially noticed immediate core, glute and hamstring activation and strength, and the longer I train with the kettlebell, the better my shoulder stability & strength. It has also challenged and improved my cardiorespiratory fitness and decreased body fat.
What I really like about the kettlebell workout is how it challenges my core at whole new plyometric level, and the best part is that it is a very time efficient way to get a complete, challenging, rewarding workout. The kettlebell is an efficient way to train and enhance whatever program you are on.
If you’ve hit a plateau in your workout or if you want to try something new, introductory kettlebell classes will be offered starting in June. Please watch for postings of day and time offerings.
April 12, 2011
OK, so it’s that time of year again. The weather is changing day by day and continuing to get warmer out and although all you have been thinking about is how you need to get your butt in the gym to get bathing suit ready, it still hasn’t happened. In working in the fitness field for five years now, you hear so many different goals from all different clients and gym members. Having a goal though is one thing but achieving it is another. Along with this idea of a goal for a lot of people comes the lack of drive and discipline to achieve it. So often too, clients want to point the finger at someone else around them who is holding them back from reaching their goals. There is nobody holding you back from achieving your goal except yourself. It’s the truth!
As a trainer, I am the instructor and teacher to my clients. One of my first steps is to get across to my clients the understanding of the self-discipline and dedication that it will take to fully achieve the results that he/she desires.
Clients from the beginning will be asking questions such as, "What kind of results can I expect to get out of this program"? Or “What do I need to do to lose weight/gain muscle”? This is where I will explain about setting goals and objectives. I often must first work with your client to understand what they desire to achieve. Without knowing a client's short and long term goals, you cannot begin to answer the question of expected results and benefits. When your client pops the questions asked above, there is one point that I must get across to him/her--As with most things in life, you will only get back out what you put in. Simply put, to receive 100% of the possible results that you seek, you must put in 100% effort. A fitness program that is completed with only 50% effort will only provide results of that.
The idea that it takes minimum effort and dedication to transfigure or change the body is a completely false belief. I know there a more than a few of you that have recently watched a TV infomercial or read an ad that told you that you could spend 15 minutes a day doing some new exercise and look like the person on the commercial. I mean let’s get serious here, you think that person on in add really worked out 15 minutes three/week and ate whatever they wanted to look that great? I don’t think so. Often many of my clients have tried other programs in the past; they gave them only 50% effort and never found the results they sought out. This is because when you give half the effort, you will get half or even less than the results that you are looking for. This one important point of self-discipline and 100% dedication almost always slips away and is a potential reason for failure or lack of success! Don’t let it be! Stick to your goals; give 100% effort and all the time, and don’t make excuses. If you are interested in working towards your goals and putting that 100% effort in, contact me at 956-0944 ext. 317.
April 5, 2011
Water! It was the water that introduced me to the world of exercise. I dabbled a little here and there with classes and walking but nothing ever stuck. Then I did my first Aqua Fit class and I became hooked.
The Aqua Fit class challenged my muscles, my core and my stamina. The water protected me from bone jarring moves and I didn’t have to be coordinated. It supported my body in way that I had never felt on land plus it was fun!
Two physical properties that one can only experience in the water is buoyancy and hydro- static pressure of water.
Buoyancy creates the lightness. This property decreases the impact of body weight. It is an excellent environment for rehabilitating the knees, back, hips as well as bone fractures. It is a wonderful place to exercise for the overweight person, and /or those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or the unconditioned. Also it allows a land exerciser to maintain their stamina and give their skeletal system a much needed rest.
The hydrostatic pressure of the water against the body encourages deeper breathing which in turn improves one’s ability to breathe more effectively. This pressure also enhances the cardiovascular system by placing pressure against the heart and blood vessels. Cardiac muscle becomes stronger, blood vessels constrict more profoundly, improving circulation. Water provides natural cooling therefore the circulation of the blood is not diverted to the surface to cool but can reach vital organs improving their health.
East Hills and The MAC have a variety of water exercise classes, terrific swim instructors or maybe just work out on your own.
If you need guidance or ideas on what to do I’d be very happy to help. It has been 15 years since that first water class and I still love water and all that it has to offer.
March 29, 2011
We all crave a fresh start at one time or another in various areas of
our life. That of which is new at one point eventually becomes old and a
new way of thinking or approaching is in order to create change.
Cross training in physical fitness is a way we can apply this fresh start concept. Every exercise we’ve ever practiced becomes old news to a body that’s been moving in that same way over a period of time. Physiological adaptations are made within 3-6 weeks at the onset of a new and unfamiliar exercise. Our body takes its certain amount of time to become accustomed to an exercise and then we need to come in at a new angle to create a fresh start. Fresh starts are usually uncomfortable, at first. Doing something unfamiliar (such as entering balance work into our normal routine) can throw our body into a state of imbalance, instability and disequilibrium, which is the perfect grounds for growth and higher level of fitness. New beginnings and change are hard work, but always worth the effort.
Our body and mind will automatically choose the path of least resistance. We’re hardwired that way, so in a sense, it’s natural. However, if we always chose that path, positive changes would never occur, we would just stay the same. Make an assessment. How do you want and need to be? What is your bottom line? What will it take?
How will you indulge in a fresh start today? Which area of your life could use a new way?
Keep in mind that every single day IS A FRESH START… a new beginning!
Begin with the end in mind. What is your goal? What will the result of your efforts be?
Victory over our lower nature (succumbing to pleasure, for example: over drinking and over sleeping…instead of working out) is now or never! What will you choose?
Your conscious choice for real change in the present moment automatically cancels the need for a better you in a better future. All will be better for you NOW, which is the only time it really matters! It’s only what you DO right now that is the seed of change.
March 15, 2011
Why should people train their balance?
First and foremost, people should train their balance to help reduce their risk of falling. Each year, 1 in 3 people over the age of 60 experience a fall, and these falls can result in broken bones, hospital bills, and even a loss of independence. Secondly, having better balance improves your overall quality of life because it allows you to be more confident on your feet during your daily activities.
How exactly does one do a balance exercise?
For safety, you always stand next to something sturdy to hold on to. Then you place your feet in various positions that will challenge your sense of balance. Once positioned, you leave go of your support if possible and start balancing. Your hand is always close to your support in case you need it. Then, if you feel that it is too easy, there are simple progressions that you can use to make the exercises harder. Your goal is to find a degree of difficulty that challenges your balance while still feeling safe.
Who should train their balance?
Most people don’t even think about training their balance until after they’ve had a fall. Everyone should be doing balance exercises on a regular basis to counteract the effects that aging has on their sense of balance and help prevent falls before they happen. It’s easy to do, and it can make a huge impact on a person’s quality of life.
What muscles are used during the balance exercises?
There are no muscles in particular that are just used for balancing. The brain will activate whatever muscles it needs to help keep you stable. It is often many muscles at the same time. The exercises are teaching the brain to coordinate all those muscles better and faster.
I am 88 years old. Am I too old to increase leg strength?
The amazing thing about the human body is that strength can be improved at any age. The key is finding exercises that will strengthen your muscles without causing pain in the joints or elsewhere.
March 8, 2011
Good balance begins with having your center of mass aligned directly over your base of support. Your center of mass is
located approximately two inches below your navel. Your feet are your base of support. Your center of mass should be
directly over your feet. It is good to check your center of mass in a mirror. Things that can impede balance are a
forward head, hunched shoulders, an arched back, or hyper-extended knees. Finding a wall can help you stand up taller
and may help you correct these misalignments which can change the position of your center of mass.
While correct alignment will enhance balance, deep core activation is also crucial. There are 6 muscles that make up
the deep core musculature, but the muscle responsible for increasing spinal stabilization is the transverse abdominals
or TVA. You can activate the transverse abdominal muscle is activated by exhaling. A simple way to remember is
when you laugh or cough those muscles will naturally contract. A good way to train the TVA is to draw in your
abdominals and hold them tight for 10 seconds, 10 times a day.
Balance training should be progressive over time. Before trying to stand on a Bosu or foam roller, begin with
standing on 1-leg. Try standing on one leg for 10-30 seconds and switch to the other side. Another easy balance
exercise is standing on 1-leg with your eyes closed for 10-15 seconds. Once you master these simple standing
poses you can progress to other balance exercises or devices. There are a number of products that are used for
balance training. These include wobble boards, stability balls, Bosu’s, foam rollers and dyna-discs.
Balance exercises only take a few minutes, so it is easy to work them into your fitness routine. Make it fun
and you can always ask one of our Fitness Staff for help or ideas.
February 22, 2011
Toxins. You hear about them all the time. Your masseuse hands you a bottle of water after the massage to help you flush out the toxins they released during the massage. You can get Jillian Michaels detox in a box at WalMart to jumpstart your “biggest loser” diet. So last year I decided that I wanted to learn more about toxins. I was ready to find out it was a nothing to be concerned with. Turns out I was wrong.
It’s much worse than I ever thought. On average we are exposed to over 500 chemicals a day, and many stay in our bodies and wreak all kinds of havoc. The average adult has between 150-170 man-made chemicals in his or her body at any given time, and many of these chemicals weren’t around even 20 years ago. It might not be so bad if these were harmless, but many of them turn out to be very damaging. Let’s just focus on a few of these and how they may hinder our fat loss.
Phthalates: Phthalates are a class of plastics that many of you should be familiar with. Manufacturers use these to make things smell good or to make plastics soft and pliable. They’re in Glade PlugIns, those beautiful scented candles we love, perfume, deodorant -- if it smells good, chances are it contains a phthalate, and as soon as you smell it, it’s going in you. These little guys suppress testosterone, mimic estrogen, and have links to many cancers. What’s more, the changes these phthalates make in your hormonal profile can make it harder for you to gain or maintain muscle.
BPA: BPA is another chemical that mimics estrogens and also drops testosterone making it harder to make that fat burning muscle. While we’ve made some headway getting them out of baby bottles and your water bottle, they’re still everywhere. In fact, the latest Evironmental Working Group cord blood study, which is where they look at toxins in babies, found that 9 out of 10 babies have BPA in their bodies at birth. Where do we get them you ask? They’re in that little can of diet soda or your canned foods (especially any tomato products), and the latest reports show that a large amount of BPA comes from the receipts you get from almost any retail store.
Heavy metals: These are everywhere and not always where you’d think. Unfiltered water can be a source, toys imported from China, and even cheap supplements (including well-known supplements like Muscle Milk, which can contain mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic). Also, if you run on the roads near traffic, you dramatically increase your levels of heavy metals. These metals can play roles in many functions in the body, from disrupting thyroid function to blocking metabolic pathways, making it harder to lose weight.
So what to do then? Well, if your sink was plugged and the water was running, you would first turn off the faucet. In the same way, you should start by trying to turn off the flow of toxins. Begin with getting rid of those air fresheners, and check your topical products out at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com for phthalates and other chemicals. Try to use glass or ceramic containers for eating and drinking, especially when microwaving food. Get a filter for your water-- even a cheap one will help. Choose supplements from quality producers and companies who test for heavy metals and solvents. And if you can take that run through the woods or on a bike trail instead of near a busy road, that’s fantastic.
After you’ve turned off the sink, unplug the drain. Our bodies use many things to get rid of toxins, mostly amino acids and trace minerals. These are some of the first things to deplete when our bodies deal with everyday chemicals. A diet rich in a wide variety of vegetables and high quality animal proteins (preferably wild or grass-fed) is where you should start to restore healthy levels of toxin-fighting nutrients. Adding a quality multivitamin/mineral is another good step.
You won’t be able to avoid toxins completely, but you can certainly minimize the exposure. Your goal is to become a sieve for these chemicals, rather than a holding tank. This is just one step towards a healthier body and achieving your weight loss goals. If you want to read more on this topic, I would suggest the following books:
Clean, Green, and Lean: Get Rid of the Toxins That Make You Fat by Walter Crinnon
Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World by Mark Schauss
Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie
February 15, 2011
To most people who do not golf, the notion does not inspire thoughts of rigid training. You hit the ball, you chase the ball, you drink some beer and lie about your score. However, to the serious duffer, hours are spent refining skills, yet even to them the topic of physical fitness and golf rarely get mention in the same conversation. If the average golfer spent 25% of the time they spend practicing and choosing equipment on getting in shape, it would most certainly result in lower scores on the links. Somehow, most golfers are so enamored with the distance or the perfect swing that their improvement through physical fitness gets lost.
A good place to start is the legs and glutes. Put your walking shoes on and start with a mile a day, and then escalate the difficulty to either a longer distance or some hilly terrain. Incorporating some flexibility exercises will also help. Make sure you are stretching your calves and hamstrings regularly. A common complaint you hear from golfers is back or hip pain. Many things can cause that including poor form and excess abdominal fat. Stomach fat puts a strain on back muscles and reduces flexibility. Make certain to incorporate core strengthening exercises into your routine. Using the stability ball is one way to be sure that you are targeting your transversus and rectus abdominals, obliques, and lower back. Without a good base, the most perfect golf swing in the world has no efficiency in driving or directing the ball.
Don’t forget your arms and shoulders either. The ability to control the club cannot be overestimated in importance. A light weight lifting routine in these areas can give you the added strength necessary to improve your game. Too much weight lifting can reduce your overall flexibility and cause problems with your swing. By improving your range of motion and joint dexterity, you will not only improve your game but reduce the chance of injury.
Again, FORE things to remember are:
Legs and Butt
Arms and Shoulders
While it may seem like a chore in February, you will definitely reap the benefits in May!
February 8, 2011
Did you know that the average person consumes 156 lbs of sugar per year? That they drink 50 gallons of soda and eat 24lbs of candy every year? The average person workouts... well the average person doesn't, but of those that do, they train two times per week for about a half hour each time. The average man weighs 27 lbs more now than men in the 1960's. Women, well they are up 29lbs in that same time period.
Living average means lowering the bar on our health. The average person today will not live as long as their parents. This is the first time in history that this has occurred. I meet with people every day that focus on being the best parent or the best worker, but then they are at best only average at their health. Really when you think about it, if your average at your health, how can you be at your best at anything else? With 50 gallons of soda and 156 lbs of sugar in your gut, your energy is less than perfect and your focus is well... ummm...oh yeah, compromised. This average path will lead you to less than average health later in life that will affect both your work and family whether you like it or not.
Really this average thing has gone too far. Whatever happened to our larger than life super heroes? Arnold and Sly have been replaced by Robert Downey and Tobey Maguire? Seth Rogen is even in a superhero movie! Given this fact, I mean who will play wonderwoman if they decide to make a movie about her. Wait, don't answer that, I just don't want to know.
When you walk into the gym this week, do something above average. Show up an extra day this week. Do another set, another rep, just do above average things that those next to you are not doing. Eat above average, exercise above average, and you will feel and perform above average. All of this will lead to above average health, increasing your energy and focus. All of this will lead to greater (and above average) performances at work and at home.
If you are interested in being above average, you can contact Adam Jauregui at 956-8003 ext 316.
February 1, 2011
Every person has the opportunity to choose his or her path to travel in life. The choices we make ultimately guide us to the path we end up taking. Lets take a moment to reflect on the choices our country has been making with regards to the epidemic on obesity. These choices are leading many of us down a path of early heart disease, diabetes and increased medical expenses.
It’s time to take action by beginning to make better choices. Staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle requires knowing what you want and having the attitude to go after it. In order for this to happen you need to make a hierarchy of what is important to you in life. My hierarchy goes God, family, and than my own personal well being. Knowing this motivates me to spend the extra money to shop smart and continue my education, which I consider very good investments. A few habits that can help you get started and stay on track.
1. Make a list of goals and put a deadline on achieving them. Reviewing these goals periodically will keep you focused, on course, and less likely to give up.
2. Make a plan every Sunday night setting up your weekly schedule. When you know which days you intend on working out, cleaning, cooking, or whatever it may be. You are much more likely to hold yourself accountable.
3. Stay positive and remove phrases like “I cant” from you vocabulary, which only reflect failure. Lets view the glass as being half way full not empty.
4. Ask for help from someone who deals with fitness on a daily basis like a Personal trainer??
Sometimes we forget that the mind is the strongest muscle in the body. It is designed to solve any problem and reach any goal that you give it. As soon as you tell it I cannot, the body is going to follow suite. Lets use our brains, as our strongest ally not our enemy.
Remember, exercise is the best form of medicine.
“What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” - John Ruskin.
Please feel free contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for help with your journey.
God Bless, Nick Klein
January 25, 2011
At the end of each workday, you can look back over the last 8 hours and list out the things you accomplished that day. Emails answered, spreadsheets done, customers pleased, and social interaction fulfilled! Productive day! Why would you expect any less of your workouts?
There are many things that can be accomplished with a workout, and what you aim for should depend on your personal goals.
Ex. Goal = Muscle Gain
Workout Focus = Muscle breakdown, low calorie burn, replenish carbs and proteins afterwards
It’s important, first, to know your goals, and, secondly, to know how to accomplish them. Figure out the one thing you want to achieve the most and stick to it until your goals change (sorry, it’s near impossible for the average person to gain muscle and loose fat at the same time, so accomplish one, then work on the other!) If your workouts accomplish something productive EVERY time you are guaranteed to see results. Even a rest day accomplishes something by letting the muscles and body recover properly between hard workouts. Lastly, make sure your diet is on track with your workout goals. I always suggest natural foods (Lean meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts), but for weight loss, watch your heavy carb consumption and keep the calories in check, and for muscle gain, increase protein and carb-after-workout consumption and don’t be afraid to increase the calories greatly! Here are some examples of common workouts and their effectiveness on your goals.
Long distance cardio (more than 15 mins)
Calorie burn during workout
Resistance training (lower weight, mid reps)
Muscle activation for endurance and sustained calorie burn
Resistance training (high weight, low reps)
Muscle activation for strength
Muscle activation for calorie burn, increase HR and metabolism
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Calorie burn during and for up to 24 hours after, great cardiovascular improvements
**As a side note: If you’ve been doing the same workout routine for more than 3 weeks, your accomplishment results are DRASTICALLY reduced, so CHANGE IT UP!!!!
January 18, 2011
During this time of the year many people are starting a workout or are committed to getting back on a routine that they have neglected for the last 4 months. Starting a workout can be very challenging. There are things like making the time to exercise, creating a routine, and setting those goals we all want to achieve. Often though when we get into the workout we hit road blocks, and one of those is muscle soreness! This effect from exercise is one thing that can cause difficulties when sticking to a routine.
One thing that new exercisers need to remember is that everyone gets DOMS, aka delayed onset muscle soreness. This soreness is perfectly normal. It occurs gradually between 24-48 hours after exercising. Muscle soreness comes from is the strain on the muscles that creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers. The damage and tears in the muscle coupled with inflammation is what really causes the pain.
What people need to understand is that everyone gets DOMS. Whether you are a person who works out one day a week or if you work out seven days a week, you will still experience it to some extent. For those who are new to exercise, understand that starting a new class or lifting weights for the first time is going to shock and damage the muscles, and you will be sore. Don’t let this stop you from coming back to the gym. Here are few things that you can do to ease those sore muscles:
- Stretching and flexibility training- this will help the muscles from going from soreness to muscles spasms
- Cool down after working out- this will allow the muscles to recover and clear any lactic acid
- Take longer rest periods between workouts when beginning- Your muscles will be sore so take a longer time between workouts until you adapt
-Use Heat- The use of heat will bring fresh blood to the muscles allowing for more oxygen and nutrients for muscles recovery.
Those are just a few things that you can do to help with muscles soreness for those who are just starting to workout. Just remember, exercise and getting into a regular routine all starts with the commitment to improving your health. Know that there are going to be road blocks along the way but know that all that hard work and soreness will eventually pay off in the end!
January 11, 2011
If you have popping with opening and closing of your jaw, uneven wearing of your shoes, tightness or unbalance in any joint of your body, these are indications of having an out-of-aligned skeleton. This is part of the aging process that we know can help be alleviated through the daily practice of the Corrective Exercise routine as mentioned in previous article on Poor Posture and Hip Alignment.
Strengthening the muscles that are out of balance is the next step. This will help one to maintain and go beyond so that corrective exercises don’t have to be done on a daily basis.
The straightening of the frame involves the alignment of the skeleton (Corrective Exercises). The evening and balancing of the muscles’ contractile strength throughout their range of motion is the focus of today’s tip.
Altered length/tension (muscle/tendon/ligament fascia) imbalance patterns develop from
age, experience, miles placed, injuries, lack of appropriate strength training, poor posture and effects of gravity placed on the body over time.
In so saying, individuals are all different in how imbalance patterns have developed over time, so an individual, measured assessment is necessary to determine specific exercises to help restore balance.
The number of repetitions, sets and load will also vary depending on individual requirements for strength and neuromuscular control, but to keep this as simple and basic as possible, the following exercises are for the most popularly weak muscles and strengthening them will help to improve posture and build overall strength:
Back: rows (seated, standing, bent-over), pull-down, pull-up
Rotator Cuff: shoulder external rotation (cable or bench)
Abdominals: Planks (front/side), plank on ball (stir the pot), horizontal pull-up
Glutes/Hip Extensors: bridges, box step ups, squats, dead lift variations
Hamstrings: leg curls with various toe positions (sitting, lying)
Knee Stability: VMO step up (reverse step up, toes at downward angle),
VMO = vastus medialis oblique, inside of the knee
For an individual assessment, or for further questions, please contact Kim Garcia-Odykirk at: email@example.com
January 4, 2011
Even if you are a novice, you can reap the benefits of a weight-lifting regimen. Weight training will increase your strength and lean body mass, as well as help protect your joints. However, to maximize the effectiveness of your weight training, and to prevent injuries, you must learn proper technique. Don't rely on your friends at the gym to provide sound advice. Seek the guidance of a certified professional.
All weight-lifting exercises target specific muscle groups, and attempting to lift too much weight causes you to incorporate the use of non-targeted muscles. Attempting to use non-targeted muscles makes your training less efficient and hampers your results. Also, attempting to use non-targeted muscles causes you to lose form, and it may lead to muscle strains and injuries. With proper guidance, you will learn to keep proper form as much as possible until the muscle reaches failure. Warming up with a light weight is important for preventing injuries as well. A proper warm-up begins the process of lubricating the joints and warming the muscle, which helps to prevent strains and tears.
Proper technique is important while lifting free weights; however, it is equally important when using exercise machines. You must be sure that the machine "fits" your body properly. You must be able to execute each repetition through a complete contraction, and range of movement. A partial range of motion limits the efficiency of your lifting. Also, there is a tendency to move the weights too quickly using weight machines. This occurs because you don't have to balance the weight and incorporate several muscle groups. For maximum effectiveness, your repetitions should be performed in a smooth, controlled fashion. Proper technique is more important than the type of equipment you use.
Proper weight-lifting technique involves utilizing fundamentals. For example, when you are lifting free weights, it is important to keep the spine in a neutral position. Never swing dumbbells, always move them in a slow, controlled fashion. This enables you to concentrate on training the correct muscles.
When you are lifting free weights, always use a spotter. A spotter can assist you in performing difficult repetitions, without losing form. Also, they can assist you if you lose balance and control.
Using proper weight lifting technique can improve the results you get from your training. Young athletes can develop physically without damaging bones, ligaments and joints, which are in the process of growth.
December 28, 2010
Let’s JUMP on this great opportunity for better fitness!
It’s time to shake up your routine a bit if you’ve been doing the same thing for a while. You may be ready for some new workout ideas just to add variety, as well. Athletes use Plyometric training specifically designed for their particular sport. Most of us don’t need exercises of that difficulty level, but to add more intensity and challenge to the routine you have already established, it could be just what you need to increase your fitness level!
Examples: Step Leaps, Plyo-Lunges, Side-to-side Jumps.
Benefits of adding some moves into your regular routine:
• Lose Body Fat
• Boosts metabolism
• Burns calories
• Increases endurance
Safety First! When adding plyometric exercises into your routine, start with 10 second intervals with a full 1-2 minutes of recovery. Listen to your body. Perhaps begin by adding them at the end of your usual workouts or sprinkle them throughout your workout.
Don’t forget to JUMP START your New Year with Personal Training Sessions. Come in and get started!
First session entails discussion of your Goals, Limitations (if any), and a set up for success with a lesson about Proper Posture and Core stability. Follow up (accountability) provided!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
December 21, 2011
The other day my BFF and I were catching up over a glass of wine. She told me about a radio personality that encourages his audience to fake happiness and in the process they will find it. Each of us reflected back on events which have had life altering effects. Both of us were so thankful to be a part of the East Hills community because the people and the exercise afforded us an avenue to work out our difficulties. Each day challenged us to put on our happy faces though inside we didn’t feel that way. In faking to be happy we really began to feel better. Increasing our own personal exercise decreased the amount of stress in our lives. The energy to dwell over events that couldn’t be changed was expended in exercise instead of worry. Talking with our members (I consider friends), listening, laughing, sharing workouts is so cathartic! More and more I was able to let go of the negative and build the positive. The reality of our lives has not changed but how we choose to respond to it has. So many influential people have been strengthened through adversity. One person I read about had been imprisoned for many years, this incredible man ran everyday in his cell his name Nelson Mandela.
Trying to stay healthy can be a struggle. During the challenging times just fake it. Tell yourself how much you enjoy exercising. Make an appointment with yourself to exercise. This invest keeps on giving and the government can’t take it away from you.
Remember to be kind to your body and nourish it with fruits and veggies minimize the snacks. Keeping a cleaner diet keeps a clearer mind and a body that likes to move!
Thank you members (friends) of East Hills you have been a life saver! To all of you good health, happiness and abundance of love! Theresa
December 14, 2010
“I am too busy to workout over the holidays. I just have too much going on”. Does that sound like anything you might be saying to yourself right now? Well you are in luck, there happens to be a way to exercise and still be able to get your last minute shopping and party planning done.
Interval training is when you alternate between rest or lower intensity and high intensity activity for a controlled period of time. The lower intensity activity allows for the heart rate to drop back down into more of a normal zone while the high intensity is done at just below the maximal exertion. This type of workout only needs to be done 3 days a week for about 20 minutes and at an 80-91% of your maximal heart rate according to the ACSM guidelines. An example of an easy interval workout is to use our Concept Rower. You will go all out for 40 seconds and then decrease your intensity for 20 seconds. You will repeat this process for 20 minutes. Then your workout is done for the day!
Another way to get in some form of physical activity throughout the day is to break up your bouts of exercise into 10-minute segments. If you can find time to do some type of activity before breakfast, lunch, and dinner for ten minutes at a time, then at the end of the day you have accumulated 30 minutes of activity.
It is important to understand that only doing interval training or high intensity training is not the only type of training that a person needs. One should also try to include moderate activity at least two more days a week. Then you would be physically active for at least five days a week, which is going to be most beneficial to you in the long run.
December 7, 2011
We know that Holiday time can be joyful, exciting, busy, and peaceful. Yet, there can also be overwhelming times where life can feel a little unmanageable. Being aware of how we are through this busy time before we burn out, and making a management plan to fall back on, can make all the difference.
BEING IN TOUCH by asking yourself daily, “How am I doing? Feeling fine? Exhausted? Like I need an energy boost? Do I need to carve out some ‘me’ time?” Finding out how you are before external stimulus happens can be absolutely what keeps you on track. Know yourself.
DE-STRESSING…Fix what is bothering you. Make it right. Little things make the biggest difference! Practice a “just do it” for those small tasks that seem insignificant. The truth is they are energy zappers and once you eliminate the little things that are bothering you…you’ll have much more energy to push you forward on your path to healthy living. Keep your scheduled exercise routine with your trainer or workout out friend. Accountability will bring positive feelings of being in control of your well being.
STAYING PRODUCTIVE through the holiday season can help, if it’s timely. Knowing when to push is the key. What kind of busy do we need? Is it a good time to get something started, or finished? Do you need a distraction? Or are you better just to ride for a bit and do the “must do’s”? The given highs and lows are the challenge we face during this charged time of emotions, expectations and performance. It’s our responsibility to create or find that happy medium; an even keeled position that we can count on to remain neutral so we can make good decisions.
November 23, 2011
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, maybe not for losing or maintaining our body weight! Everyone has common sense enough to know that it’s o.k. to splurge in moderation, right? It’s not a good idea to set ourselves up for failure by saying that we will not participate in holiday eating extravaganzas! It’s just too tempting! So, my suggestion is to just set yourself a goal of maintaining the weight you are at right now until January 1st. That is very realistic and attainable. Make a few simple changes, and you’ll maintain-or even lose- weight in the coming weeks. No one expects you to count calories every day, but having a game plan going into the holiday season really makes sense.
Cut corners where you can. Here is a list of holiday favorites and suggestions on ways to cut calories by choosing other options.
Holiday Meal Choose Calories saved
1 mixed drink 4 oz. red wine 130
1 cup eggnog 4 oz. sparkling grape juice 220
½ cup mashed potatoes/gravy 1 baked potato w/ sour cream 200
½ cup green bean casserole ½ cup sautéed green beans 175
1 cup stuffing 3 cups salad w/ FF dressing 260
1 piece pecan pie 1 piece of pumpkin pie 300
Remember also that you should “earn” your over indulging days my making sure you keep up with your physical activity! On days when you are not celebrating, stick to lean meats, whole grains, fruits and extra veggies. An extra 20 minutes of exercise will help too…..and YES, you do have time for it! Sneak it in by bringing your stability ball out into the open where you can see it! Make extra trips up and down the stairs, and walk around the mall a few times before you start holiday shopping! Make your New Year’s resolutions easier on yourself…start now and it won’t seem so hard January 1!!
November 16, 2010
This is my favorite saying associated with structural balance. Think of the cannon as your chest muscles, and the canoe as weak shoulder stabilizers. Guess what happens to the boat when you fire your cannon?
Achieving structural balance is about reducing injury while increasing your chance of reaching your highest potential at the same time. Take the knee for example. The vastus medialis, which is the teardrop-shaped muscle that crosses the knee, is essential for helping the kneecap to track properly. Weakness of the vastus medialis is the main reason that 20,000 high school girls in the U.S. suffer serious knee injuries, mostly in the form of ACL tears. Even if their ACL's don't tear, the weak vastus medialis will greatly affect their sprinting and jumping performance.
Structural balance was developed nearly two decades ago by Charles Poliquin. The idea is that for optimal performance, you have to address specific ratios of strength imbalances in development. This has been the core of Poliquins advanced PICP certifications.
It is very common that a person will stall out on the bench press not because of weak chest or deltoid muscles, but because of weakness in the rotator cuff or even your lats. If you bench press 250lbs, then your rotator cuff should be able to handle a 25lb dumbbell for 8 reps on each arm.
For the lower body, Poliquin looks at ratios in lifts such as front squat to back squat. In addition, I have also learned about other special tests, such as the Klatt test, which was developed by Lois Klatt PhD. Charles has expanded the test to not only identify weaknesses in the knee, but also determine weaknesses in the knee, hip, pelvis and lower back.
Exercises to Correct:
External Rotation on the Knee
• The teres minor and infraspinatus are the two primary muscles responsible for externally rotating the arm.
Bent Over Trap 3 Raises
• Strengthening the lower traps and rhomboids can help to correct a rounded shoulder posture.
• People with weaknesses in the VMO's should avoid any running until the problem is corrected
Lying Leg Curl with various foot positions
• Hamstrings have a makeup of fast twitch fibers, making them capable of producing a great amount of power.
November 9, 2010
Nutrition and more specifically weight loss has been a topic that I have been intrigued with for a long time. I tried to gather as much knowledge on the subject as possible for my own benefit. I enjoy the sport of boxing and have always struggled with making weight. I typically walk around at 180 LB. and I compete at 165 LB. In my early years I achieved my weight goal from starving myself along with eating lean cuisine meals. I was on such a low calorie diet I noticed that I was weaker and fatigued much quicker during competition. I also noticed how quickly I gained weight back after I began to eat like a normal person.
Essentially I was making things much harder than they had to be. One of the biggest mistakes with weight loss is under eating. By starving myself I was forcing my body to burn muscle, which caused my metabolic rate to crash. This can be a viscous cycle and is the culprit of many high protein/carb fad diets. Our Metabolism is the key to successful weight loss and weight maintenance. The more muscle we have the higher our metabolic rate will be.
The quickest way I have found to drop a pant size is through a well-designed weight-training program that is designed to target the major muscle groups. Along with interval cardio workouts, which will elevate our resting metabolism into the next day. This should be our goal; we want to be burning more calories at rest the next day. Personally I have had the best success losing weight when performing a weight-training program 3 days per week. The workout takes about 45 minutes and I will do a quick high intense interval at the end of the workout, which turns the body into a so-called metabolic machine the following day.
Weight is not lost over night, 1-2 pounds a week is great progress. If you are patient and consistent with a properly designed training program you can achieve your desired weight. If you like to feel your best and look your best…..eat smart and train hard, and if you have any questions regarding specific training techniques or personalized programs, please contact me. I am ready to help you reach your goals.
November 2, 2010
When the term “grazing” comes up, you may think of fat cows in a pasture, or your obese college roommate who seemed to live in the cafeteria more than with you, but there are many other grazers that seem to go unnoticed. A few examples are gazelles, giraffes, horses, and most other grass eating mammals that have body frames that are substantially leaner, not to mention many people’s favorite celebrities and athletes with their million dollar 6-packs!!
Most people have heard by now that it’s best to eat 6-7 small meals per day in order to keep the metabolism high and the calories burning. To do this, there has to be snacking involved, but not the old fashioned form of snacking (bags of chips, candy, pretzels, and other items in the “Snack Aisle” at the store). Now that it’s becoming common knowledge to eat smaller meals more often, it’s time to begin ingraining knowledge about what types of foods we should be eating more often. As I tell my clients, focusing your snacks around proteins will ensure they are a more natural food, which will be digested more properly and used more as energy instead of being stored as fat. Options such as:
• Hard boiled eggs (1 yolk, the rest whites for less fat and cholesterol)
• Lean meats (Chicken, Turkey, and Fish)
• Raw veggies
• Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews and other nuts
• Homemade Snack Mix (Oatmeal granola with dried fruit, nuts and dark chocolate chips)
• Whole Wheat/Gluten Free crackers and Hummus
• Jerky (especially wild game)
• Greek Yogurt (Plain, but add your own fruit!!)
Aim to eat a meal or small snack every 2-3 hours for weight loss and also for weight maintenance and increased energy. Snacks do not need to be very large at all, especially when looking for weight loss benefits. 80-100 calories is just enough to boost that metabolism for the next couple of hours, and as I mentioned, the more natural the food, the better it is processed by the body, so eat well, and eat often!!
October 26, 2011
Part 1 will demonstrate how having a hip imbalance can eventually lead to poor posture, and provide you with direct access to corrective exercises that can help fix the hip imbalance.
Part 2 (look for in the near future) will highlight 4 main muscles that help to contribute to structural imbalance and poor posture. Addressing these four muscles on a structurally aligned pelvis (hip alignment) will positively enhance the effects of strength training.
Poor posture can lead to premature aging. Poor posture is an effect of limited functioning of a joint or of an injury in one joint that often leads to compensation which triggers a domino effect that travels, pooling in areas such as the neck, shoulder, elbow, back, hips, knees or feet. Left to its own device, is like planting the seeds and watering the weeds of premature aging by causing postural energy drains that accelerate forward posture, sore/painful muscles and joints and lack of energy.
Many of these imbalances can stem out from the hips. If the hips are out of alignment, then over the course of time, the body will create a domino effect going up form the hips (upper body imbalances) or a domino effect going down from the hips (lower body imbalances). The hips are our foundation, and having them out of alignment can ultimately contribute to overall structural imbalance.
A saving tip, if you need to work on your posture or are experiencing some of the dysfunctional pains described so far, you want to get started right away with your hip correction. The best thing I have done for myself in correcting my structural hip imbalances is a series of Corrective Exercises developed by Don Tigny at http://thelowback.com/fix.htm, How To Fix It, section.
Don Tigny has devised these exercises based upon 38 years clinical practice, 8000 cases of sacroiliac joint dysfunction and 40 years of research. My clients have also had tremendous success in the daily 10 minute practice of these corrective exercises.
If you try them but need further guidance, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 19, 2010
Getting out of bed each day can sometimes be a task in itself, but getting to the gym and working out can be even more difficult, but why? Why is it that so often we go home, kick our shoes off and relax when we know, and want, to be getting some type of exercise in for the day? What can we do to motivate ourselves? This is a challenge that I as a trainer face with clients on a daily bases as well as myself sometimes. Getting to the gym and meeting personal goals doesn’t need to be such a challenge. Each person often is motivated by a goal or feet that they are pursuing. Often though we look to far ahead and don’t put things in a completely realistic perspective. Instead of looking at the long term goal we should break things down into smaller achievements. Often we can break an achievement plan down into cycles or week but how about looking at it as a daily goal. Each day we should set our goals for that day and just that day. We should do things that reminder us of what our goals are for the day. This can be anything as well like having a good day at work, nailing your presentation, and the one we tend to skip, EXERCISING. Some helpful things to remind us and achieve our goals for the day:
1. Make a list, write it down and put it someplace that you will be reminded
2. Plan ahead! Preparing for day will make your day go smooth. Pack your gym bag the night before and throw it in your car so it’ there to remind you
3. Keep on task. Make sure when you find yourself off task that you remind yourself of the goals of the day.
4. Arrange things so they are most convenient to you. If you’re not a morning person, work out later in the afternoon, and vice versa.
5. Don’t forget, EXERCISE! The benefits of exercising on a daily bases are rewarding and beneficial for a long healthy lifestyle.
When exercise and motivation are combined, we can achieve a lot. If you take exercising and daily goal setting part of your lifestyle, before you know it you will accomplish that long term goal!