Save Your Hands During Kettlebell Training

When I first began training for the level one RKC certification, I was doing a few things wrong. Not only was I performing with less than optimal technique with some of the movement's causing me to work more; I ended up ripping my hands during my snatch test training which forced me to take a few days off from my scheduled training. Well I have more experience now and I want to share my four tips to help you not rip your hands so you can keep kettlebell lifting day in and day out.

Use Minimal Chalk

Too much chalk dries out the hands and causes more friction between the kettlebell and the palm. Only use chalk for the exercises that warrant it. Ten reps of swings or even clean and press will probably not need chalk at all. Long snatch sets will most likely require some but only use as much chalk as needed, and usually it's not much.

Pamper Your Hands

Doing some high rep kettlebell work will require some extra hand maintenance on occasion. You actually want to keep the palm calls from becoming too tough and raised or else they are great candidate for being ejected during your training. After a warm shower shave them down and then file with a pumice stone or get a special filing tool. I occasionally used a tip from Master RKC, Brett Jones, who touts using cornhuskers lotion to “toughen and condition the skin.” I bought both my filing tool and cornhuskers lotion at my local Rite Aid.

When It's Not Looking Good; Use Protection

If your hands start getting raw while training and you can not afford to take multiple days off of training from firing your hands you may cover the palms for protection. In an article by Master RKC, Mark Reifkind, he explains how his wife Tracy cut the necks of some athletic socks (2-3 inches) and placed them around the base of the fingers to protect the hands and calluses. I actually had to use them used them on the last day of the level one RKC weekend (not during the snatch test) and I found that a cut thin sock worked well. If you take care of your hands you should not need to use the sock sleeve, but just in case, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Focus on the Technical Details

It is advantageous to consistently tweak and refine your technique. Two tips that I picked up from John Wild Buckley of the Orange Kettlebell Club saved my hands during long kettlebell sets. First of all you want to grab the kettlebell and have the handle in the fingers above the base of the fingers, this will minimize pinching of the calls during the swings and other movements. Another tip during the long cycle and snatches is to learn to cast the kettlebell forward during the appropriate moment of the backswing, approximately when the kettlebell is parallel to the ground. This casting motion moves the handle from the palm to the fingers bypassing the base of the fingers where the calluses are. This takes a lot of practice and refinement and it's suggested to start with a light kettlebell and progress appropriately.

There you have four tips to help save your hands and keep you off the guidelines so you can keep training.

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Shaping Shoes or Squats?

Very often I am asked what my thoughts are on $ 100 shoes that claim to “tone” your legs and butt. My reply is always, “squats are free!”

I attempted to do some research on HOW these shoes actually do what they claim to do: burn calories and “tone.” All I found is the soles are softer to simulate walking on sand and that the bottoms are curved which helps burn calories. I'm assuming that the extra calorie burn is very minimal (if it happens at all.) I understand the sand concept, though, so let's go with that.

Close your eyes and envision yourself in the warm sun on the coast of your favorite beach. Nice, is not it? Now let's take a walk and soak in the beautiful day. Your heel first sinks into the sand. You roll onto the ball of your foot which normally allows you to propel yourself forward but given that your body weight has sunk through your heel into the sand, the shift is not nearly as easy. That extra effort to roll your foot makes it much more difficult to walk, so, burning extra calories and forcing the muscles in your legs to work a little harder. Great workout!

The only way I see to really simulate this experience is to manufacture shoes with sand bags on the bottom – and that would look weird would not it? No matter how soft you make the sole of a shoe, it's still a flat, even uneven surface unlike sand. Also, these special shoes have the curved bottoms eliminating that extra effort to roll onto the ball of your foot. So, how are they like walking on sand again?

When a client shows up with these shoes on, I ask them to never wear them to exercise again. I am afraid to watch someone sprain an ankle because they're constantly wobbling all over the place. The only benefit I see to these shoes is building stabilizer muscles in your legs. But then, why would not you just squat?

Three sets of ten squats every other day will take you about SIX MINUTES PER WEEK and deliver far more results than walking around with these shoes every day for months or possibly years. Squats build muscle which in turn shape your legs and boost your metabolism. Squats strengthen your stabilizers making you less likely to get injured during your daily activities. And the best part of all: squats are free!

Note: Please ask a fitness professional for proper instruction on how to squat.

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Training Schedule for Half Marathon – Tips for Beginners

Before you initiate a training schedule for a half marathon run, it's important to give some thought to some fundamental factors.

Pay close attention to the following tips to help improve your training and race preparation and drastically improve your chances of success.

In the past few years, participation in half marathons and other long distance races has increased dramatically, but for every person who competes in these races, there are undecidedly 2 or 3 that never even complete their training schedule.

Why? It could actually be due to one of many factors, including poor nutrition, injury or even lack of motivation. The truth is that training for one of these mini marathons is extremely difficult and there are many potential pitfalls that can hamper your success. Below we have listed some of these likely obstacles with a few tips for managing each of them.

  • Motivation . Why do you want to run a half marathon in the first place? This is a very important question, and unless you have a concrete answer you may not be quite ready to initiate your training. If you do have a reason (sense of accomplishment, weight loss, competitiveness) make sure you remind yourself of that reason daily to help keep you motivated and consistent with your training.
  • Nutrition . Training for a half marathon is asking a lot of your body, so you need to make sure you are giving it all the nutrients it needs to be successful. This means eating a balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats, and avoiding foods such as fast food, junk food, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Shoes . Many beginning runners make the mistake of wearing the wrong type of shoes while they train. If you too make this mistake, it can quickly cause problems with your feet and stall your training. Before you even begin your training schedule for half marathon, visit a specialist running shoe store and purchase shoes specifically designed to fit your foot type.
  • Rest and Recovery . Regardless of how “fired up” and “gung ho” you are about your training, keep in mind that you are still a beginner and your body will need time to rest and recover between workouts. Instead of initially running every single day, try running every other day instead to give your body time to heal.
  • Water . As a runner, water and other fluids should be your best friend and constant companion. Try to consume at least 6-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes during your training runs, and continue to keep yourself hydrated both after and between workout sessions.

Setting up a training schedule for a half marathon requires that you keep these potential obstacles in mind and have a solid plan for managing each of them. If you do, your training should go very smoothly and you should have no problem making it to, and finishing the race.

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Running Techniques For Beginners

Tips for Running and Keeping your Motivation

There's a bug about running that you catch. It could have the exhilaration of propelling your body through space, or the pounding on the ground that sends sensation up your bones all the way to the pleasure centers in your brain, or it could simply be the sheer satisfaction of having done something good for yourself . Whatever it is, running can be addictive. If you've done a lot of walking, but you've never run before, you might feel a bit intimidated to get out there and start running. Before you get started with running, get familiar with these running tips. Make things interesting. Doing the same workout, day after day, is not a lot of fun.

Sure, I enjoy running as much as the next person, but changing things up is good. Too much repetition is hard on the mind. Go faster and stronger. Throwing a little speed into your workouts can make you a better runner. If you have the same 5K time every time, it may be that you need some faster workouts. Run longer. If you ever want to do a longer race, such as a 20K, half marathon or marathon, you need to switch from medium speed to slow … in order to work on your endurance. Slowing your speed down (lowering intensity) allows you to run longer. And if you slowly lengthened the distance of your longest run, you can slowly build up endurance.

Pushing a baby in a jogging stroller give your more resistance and will help build up your endurance. Your body adapts. After a month or so of doing one type of workout, you body will adapt and you'll no longer be getting the same kind of benefits from that workout. You need to change things up every 3-4 weeks … and if you do, you'll most likely see continued improvements. Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated when you begin running or even working out for that matter. However, you need to understand that you will not see instant results after a day or two of running. It takes some time for your body to start to adapt to the stresses you are placing on your body. After a few weeks of running you will start to feel a difference in your ability to complete your runs.

One of the best things to do to stay motivated is to find a partner to run with. When you are having a bad day they can push you and help you get out and run. A partner holds you accountable for getting your run in. Another thing to consider is to try different types of runs. We have compiled a list of some great ideas to mix up your running regime.

Tips for Running and Keeping your Motivation

The long run. Basically, it's just extending how long you can run by a little. For marathons, a long run is usually considered 16 or more miles, but for people training for shooter races, shorter runs can still be considered long runs. To add long runs to your program, just schedule one workout a week where you try to add 10% to your longest run. Every 4 weeks, cut back on your long run to give your body a chance to rest – it can not continue to build endurance without a break. Hills. Once you've built up a little endurance, hills are a perfect way to add strength to your training. You're fighting gravity to lift your body weight with your legs, in a running motion. To do hill workouts, you could do hill repeats -run up a hill, then coast back down it, and repeat.

But I recommend finding a hilly course so that your hill workout has a little variety. Run strong up the hills and coast down them. If you've never done hill workouts before, take it easy in the beginning. Just run slow up the hills and slow down them, until you get used to it. Tempo run. This is a staple of many intermediate and advanced runner's training plans, and if you do not know this run yet, you should get to know it. Basically, it's a sustained run at a hard, controlled pace (usually for no more than 40 minutes). Beginners should start with a tempo run of about 5 minutes and work up to about 20. Always start and end a tempo run with 5-10 minutes of warm-up and then cool down. The tempo run improves your running pace and performance and makes your running more efficient. HIIT.

Short for High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT is all the rage in many exercise circles because of studies showing that it's good for fat-burning and you can get a good workout in less time. Basically it's a series of near-maximum intensity sprints with less-intense recovery intervals (after a warm up of course) and usually lasts between 10-20 minutes (not counting warm up and cool down). HIIT, because of the intensity of the interviews, can be very tough. I recommend building up to it with medium-distance track intervals 200 to 800 meter repeats. Keep in mind that you can find many other running ideas that can help you mix it up. These are just a few of our favorites that we have found work well.

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Personal Trainer Cost Guidelines

When an individual is choosing a personal trainer, it can be a very tiring experience. Most people have an allocated budget set that will help a person select a person who falls within a certain price range. It is imperative to note that the personal trainer cost should not be the only guideline to look for when hiring a such an individual. We will explore some of the guidelines that should be selected when searching for the right candidate. We will also discuss the personal trainer cost related with certain guidelines that is important when hiring the right individual to help you get into the best shape of your life. The first guideline when searching for a trainer is to ensure that the trainer is legally certified. When it comes to trainer certificates there are a number of options available, although one of the most widely known personal trainer certificates is the American Council on Exercise Personal Training Certification. More commonly known as the ACE certification, this ensures that the individual you hire is legally educated and well versed in not only training your body, but is also educated in first aid health. The cost for those individuals that are ACE certified might be a little higher, but you will have the comfort of knowing that the person you have selected is educated in their field. This will ensure that you are properly allocating your budget to the right trainer and that the personal training cost is justified.

As explained above the personal training cost can be adjusted depending on the specifications and guidelines you select for the person that is going to be training you. Another important guideline that is often overlooked is to determine how many years of experience your candidate has. Most people who have been training for a lengthier amount of time will typically charge a higher rate for their training services. The personal trainer cost will definitely increase with an individual who is more experienced in the sports training field. It is also wise to remember that if you are searching for a more affordable rate, recently certified trainers can provide you with better rates and still help you achieve your personal training fitness goals. Although certain people may lack the years of training experience that you are searching for, recently certified trainers have been known to have the latest knowledge and technologies associated with the sports training world. The personal trainer cost for recent certified trainers will be significantly lower and will still give you the chance to achieve your goals. It is also possible to negotiate a payment plan that will favor the recipient of the training, this has become a fad in recent years as the demand for personal trainers has dropped. Lastly we will explore the guideline of a personal trainer who has their own gym. Usually those people who have their own studio will normally charge a higher rate for their training services. This is a direct impact of the overhead costs related to owning their own gym and the personal trainer cost will be significantly higher for those individuals.

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Half Marathon Training Schedule for Beginners: How to Avoid Overtraining

When compiling a half marathon training schedule for beginners there are several factors that need to be addressed, one of which is overtraining.

Research shows that overtraining before a race can not only cause serious complications on race day, but may even prevent you from getting to the race altogether. The following tips will help you steer clear of this and ensure that you get the maximum benefit from your half marathon training schedule.

Half Marathon Training Schedule for Beginners: 3 Tips to Avoid Overtraining

One of the biggest mistakes made by beginning runners is that they over train. Sure, they have good intentions, but by pushing themselves too hard and too soon, they are actually hurting their chances of success rather than bolstering them. Fortunately, this can be avoided by following a few basic tips:

  • Stick to Your Half Marathon Training Schedule . Runners who are new to marathons and half marathons should carefully research a training schedule before they even think about initiating their training. These schedules can typically be found in either books about running or online, and are generally written by expert runners with extensive training experience. Once you choose a schedule that sees to suit you the best, stick to that schedule religiously. Running more than what's indicated on your schedule for a given day can seriously hamper your training and expose you to injury.
  • Take Care of Your Body . Sadly, many beginning runners will fail to allow their bodies time to recover between workouts. This, according to experts, is a huge mistake – one that can open them up to a whole host of problems later on. While it's true that Elite runners can train up to 2-3 times a day with little difficulty, runners just starting out need to allow at least 24-48 hours between workouts. This time frame is essential for preventing the body to fully recover.
  • The “Talk” Rule . The “talk” rule is used by many experienced marathon trainers to measure whether or not their runners may be training too fast. For example, if you were in the mid of a 6-mile run you should be able to talk comfortably with another person through that run without gasping for air. If you find yourself breathing hard and fighting for air at the 3 mile mark, you are probably overtraining.

New runners tend to push past their bodies' limits too soon, and that can be disastrous to their race preparation. Because of this, any half marathon training schedule for beginners should take into account the possibility for overtraining. To avoid this, try to consistently follow the three tips listed above which will help maximize your body's energy and prevent you from incurring a training-related injury.

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Realizing Your Fitness Goal With a Personal Fitness Trainer

Realizing your fitness goal with a trainer is a great idea that is fast gaining popularity nowdays. What with the busy schedule and the natural laziness to go to the gym, we need all the help that we can get in order to be fit and healthy. A trainer not only helps you get going with the exercises and the workouts but also helps you with the nutrition side of things.

Personal trainer devices a fitness program that is suited to your body only. Each workout routine and nutrition plan is made with the specific needs of the client which is you. These are only the top two benefits of having a personal fitness trainer. To help you realize your fitness goal, you need all the help that your personal fitness trainer can and will give you. Upon your first meeting, you trainer should conduct numerous physical tests so that he can determine how far he can push you to do the planned workouts as well as your body's system like your blood composition, blood pressure, heart condition and other body functions. Your personal fitness trainer will pinpoint each part of your body that has to go through strength training and parts that needs toning up.

Workouts with your trainer can be done anywhere you want it, be it at the gym, at home or even at the park. This is because a well-rounded and well-planned fitness workout program involves different sets of routines for specific parts of the body and can be done with the aid of things that does not need to belong to the gym. Having your own trainer to workout with you will make you more inspired to work out and follow the health and fitness period that is mapped out specifically for you. You will have someone to push you to do more and to encourage you in case laziness strikes.

The only downside in having your own trainer is the cost. A personal fitness trainer is mostly paid by sessions while some charge a fee for a set number of workouts and others will just charge for individual sessions. Al tough many people assume that having a trainer is expensive, you can actually save money because trainers have all the equipments you need so you do not have to buy any equipments. Your trainer will come to the location of your choice with all the materials needed for your workout. If you want to purchase your own equipments, you personal fitness trainer can help you select the best pieces for you. He can also point you to a good sporting goods store.

Having a personal fitness trainer to help you realize your fitness goal will not only make you stick to your fitness plan but will go a long way towards having a healthy body inside and out.

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Why Women Are Ditching the Gym and Making Their Way To Fitness Boot Camps

Gym rats are old news. Hitting the gym several times a week can get boring, and hiring a personal fitness trainer can be quite expensive. Furthermore, doing the same workouts at the gym time and time again might even result in the possibility that you are not being challenged enough or even worse, you hit a plateau in your training goals.

So what are women doing to combat this boring, same old routine? They are taking advantage of fitness boot camps. If you are thinking about ditching the gym and finding a new way to get in shape and keep it that way, here is what you can expect by choosing a fitness boot camp.

1. More Than an Exercise Class: A good fitness camp will offer more than just a hard and awesome workout. You should be able to get the nutritional information you need and the motivational support you are looking for to accomplish any fitness goal. By getting an all around holistic fitness approach, you can succeed whether you are trying to lose weight, stay in shape, or simply get healthier. Many classes provide support through email, newsletters, and support groups as well as incentives such as contests and friendly competitions.

2. Flexibility: Many camps have ongoing enrollment so you can start very soon when you are ready. Also, many have multiple times in the early morning of 5:30 AM, after dropping kids off from school, and after work. This should help you to find a session that works for you and your schedule. You should also be able to attend as many or as few of these sessions each month without penalty or feeling like you're being left behind.

3. Guaranteed to Work: You want to seek out a boot camp that is headed by a well qualified instructor who will provide you with a guarantee that if you work the program the way you are shown how to, you will see results. The instructors that truly believe in the power of their program will be more than willing to stand behind it. This does not mean that you will not have to put the work in, but it does mean that you can count on the support, education, and butt kicking that you need. Few offerings will do a guarantee like this.

4. Fun Exciting Way to Get Fit: An effective offering will afford you the opportunity to have the most results-oriented and exciting experience while providing you with a sense of adventure and fun during each and every session. The activities should be challenging and interesting at the same time, without making you so sore that you do not want to show up for the next session. There is a lot to learn and accomplish from taking part in a fitness boot camp and it can actually change your entitlement life. In fact, you might even get a little addedicted to it!

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Next Levels Formula For Speed

Maximizing speed potential can make a mediocre player good, and a good player great. This is one of the most highly watched after athletic qualities and for good reason. Speed ​​is one of the most devastating weapons an athlete can posses on the field, court, or ice. We have had tremendous success developing speed in our athletes by implementing the following formula.

1. Develop relative body strength to a high level
2. Mastering the basics of proper running mechanics
3. Improving the body's Rate of Force development
4. Attaining appropriate body composition levels.
5. Structure your speed sessions appropriately

Now let's take a closer look at each variable of our speed formula.

Develop relative body strength to a high level

Being strong relative to your body weight is the foundation for almost every athletic quality. This will improve every aspect of your game, especially your first step and 10-15 yd acceleration. The more force you are capable of putting into the ground the faster you are going to move. A good starting point for lower body relative strength is a squat or dead lift between 1.5 to 2.0 x body weight for males, and 1.25 to 1.5 x body weight for females. More often than not, we see a steady improvement on speed tests as our athletes approach these numbers.

Mastering the basics of proper running mechanics

Weight training alone will not be enough for most athletes. Being proficient in proper running mechanics will enable the athlete to apply their strength in the most efficient manner as they put force into the ground. The more proficient you become the more power transfers to the field. That being said, most team sport athletes do not have to have a mirror image of Usain Bolt to maximize their speed potential. I have never seen Usain change directions, contact a competitor, or have a stick or ball in his hand. Put the majority of your focus on mastering the basics and you will be surprised how far it will take you.

Improving the body's Rate of Force development

Once a foundation of relative strength and proper running mechanics has been established, it is important to train the body to wake up its sprinting muscles by recruiting the appropriate motor units quickly. The faster you can recruit a group of muscles the faster you will accelerate, jump, and change directions. This can be accomplished with a variety of exercises and drills including: Olympic lifts, box jumps, position specific plyometrics, and exercises done in the “power range.”

Attaining appropriate body composition levels.

To be blunt, fat people are not fast people. By attaining the appropriate body fat percentage you will not waste the force you are putting into the ground by dragging around any extra baggage. It would be the same concept as a NASCAR team going to great lengths to put together the best car in the world, then lining up at the starting line with a Uhaul trailer attached to it. Just be sure to attain your body composition goals through appropriate nutritional strategies and energy system work. One of the worst things an athlete can do to improve speed is to drop body fat by doing excessive, slow paced, cardio.

Structure your speed sessions appropriately

One of the most common mistakes athletes make is confusing speed work with conditioning work. When developing speed you are trying to teach your body to run at 100% of its capability. This is not possible if the athlete is not completely recovered between sprints. At Next Level we generally stick to a 1:12 to 1:30 work to rest ratio during speed workouts. So if your sprint takes 5 seconds to complete, be sure to rest 60 to 150 seconds.

Hopefully these tips will help you maximize your speed development. By implementing the formula above, Next Level athletes routinely drop.02 seconds off their 40 time in one off-season. (more for females!) How much better would your game be if you improved from a 4.8 second 40 to a 4.6? If you are a local athlete who is interested in participating in one of our speed development programs, contact us at 303-237-3390.

Best of luck in your training endeavors.

– Brian Powers

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Benefits of In-House Personal Training

In-house personal training has gained a good following nowdays because more and more people are becoming health and fitness conscious. Fitness training is necessary for everyone to lead a healthy life and in-house training is one of the easiest ways to attain your health and fitness goals.

In-house training involves everything a gym facility without the hassle of actually going to the gym, dealing with other gym users and sometimes unsanitary gym conditions. The traditional use of gym machines for fitness training is giving way to more convenient and practical equipments which you can bring anywhere you want. Some examples of these equipments are dumbbells, kettle bells, stability ball, Bosu ball, balance disks and medicine balls. In-house personal training applies simple rules that you can easily follow even without your personal trainer. These simple exercise techniques that are used in in-house personal training can produce great results provided they are done correctly with proper form and technique. In-house training uses a balance of cardiovascular training, weight training and healthy diet.

In-house training offers the following services: general exercise and fitness, strength training and conditioning, abdominal and core conditioning training, aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, balance and flexibility training, muscle building and weight loss management, kick box cardio, Thai box cardio, consistent motivation, E-mail and phone coaching and nutrition counseling and weight management. One of the big advantages of in-house training is that you will have someone who will be with you every step of the way. You will have someone who will push you hard and hold your hands when the going gets tougher and tougher.

Another thing that in-house training offers is the latest methods of doing exercise, losing weight and dieting. Your personal trainer will also make a diet chart for you to follow so that you can regulate and maintain your diet. Personal training also offers personalized training in the sense that the workouts, exercises and the diet plan are all made according to your body's needs and fitness goals. In-house personal training session will not only shed out that extra weight, but will also tone up your body to your satisfaction. In this type of weight loss sessions, personalized attention enables you to converse well with your trainer about the regular diet and things to be done. In-house personal training also includes taking care of back injury prevention, body toning and sculpting and traditional strength training. It is the fitness programs that help to avert all sorts of ailments. In-house training also enables you to cut down on the heavy fees that gym instructors charge.

The idea of ​​in-house training is catching up with more and more people because it is the best way to get back into shape without the added pressure of going to the gym. The best thing about in house personal training is that you are your own boss and the only person that can pressure you is yourself.

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Fittest Celebrities

In this article I will outline what I consider to be the most fit male celebrities and explain what they are popular for. Every person on the list is fit in a different way, yet every one remains aesthetically pleasing at the same time. The fittest celebrations I will be focusing on are male.

Hugh Jackman is a very popular Hollywood actor most commonly known for his roles in the X-Men series. He plays the Wolverine character, which is known for his retractable claws and regeneration abilities. Jackman's body is worth mentioning as the role required him to be in a very good shape. His body is distinguished by the mature masculinity. He is one of the fittest celebrations evident by his natural and rugged just like the character is supposed to look. It icons raw power and physical capacity, therefore the body fat percentage is slightly higher than that you see in typical male underwear models. His physique certainly helped in the role, since he was eager to do all the stunts himself and learned the basic martial arts from early Mike Tyson fights. Hugh Jackman admitted that he likes the animalistic rage in Mike's fighting style and wanted the fighting scenes to be portrayed similarly in the film.

Mario Lopez has been around for quite a while. You may remember him from the popular 90's American television sitcom Saved by the Bell, playing the role of AC Slater. With age, his looks have only improved. He has developed a dashing, fit body to compliment his charming smile and has even created a fitness program that you can purchase on Amazon. You might also see him appear on some fitness related ads and as an underwear model. Mario shows us that great body can be achieved at any age.

George St. Pierre is often referred to as GSP. He is a mixed martial artist from Canada and holds the current title of UFC Welterweight Champion. As a successful athlete and martial artist he has developed a very functional, limber and powerful body. Bear in mind that GSP's body is designed to maximally aid him in the ring, yet it looks really good. He despite is not a celebrity quite yet he certainly should be noted as one of the fittest celebrations.

Mark Wahlberg is an actor, producer and a former rapper. His is not famous for his physique but all through his career he has managed to maintain a beautiful and well proportioned body. It all begins with his music career when he started recording as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. In their music video “Good Vibrations” he showed off both his lyrics and his body. This has also aided him in becoming a model for Calvin Klein underwear campaign and land interviews in several fitness magazines. Mark's acting career started in 1993 with the TV movie The Substitute. His first big screen title was Renaissance Man featuring Danny DeVito. From there on Mark has starred in several popular movies such as The Italian Job, Four Brothers, Invincible and more.

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Personal Trainer Cost Overview

The choice to seek a personal trainer is a very important decision that can dramatically change a person's life in a very positive way. However, that decision comes with options that need to be carefully evaluated when selecting a trainer. One of the most important criteria is the actual cost that is associated with hiring such an individual. The personal trainer cost can be a huge attribute or road block in taking the next steps to achieving a healthier lifestyle. Although it can be a daunting task as well as an exhausting search to find the perfect trainer along with a cost that is most affordable. This article will try to help make that search easier for you and determine what will work for each person. It is also very important to note that the trainer cost can vary dramatically from each individual trainer. Reality television has enabled this particular profession to take advantage of the popularity of hiring a personal trainer, thus enabling a very high cost of hiring a trainer. Before we start looking at specific currency volumes, we must also evaluate the different options available to an individual. Many people today are purchasing at home workout routines that have been widely successful for many different types of individuals. At home workout routines are significantly cheaper than hiring a trainer and can sometimes be just as effective. Another option is to get a gym membership and learn which exercises are the most effective for your body type. It is also important to note that studies have shown that a personal trainer is often the most effective way to reach your health and exercise goals.

When evaluating the personal trainer cost, there are many attributes that are considered into the pricing mechanism. The most important criteria that one needs to make sure their trainer has, is the personal trainer certification. This certification ensures that the person has gone through the training and proper education to pass all of the tests that are required to be a professional personal trainer. This ensures that just not anyone is training you and you have hired someone who is very well versed and knowledgeable in the personal training field. Although the cost may be higher for those that are certified, it is something that needs to be considered before selecting your trainer. Another factor is whether they train at their own gym or they provide training at a public gym. Usually those who train at their own studios will charge a higher rate because their overhead costs are significantly higher. It is also a fact that those trainers who own their own gym usually have a more productive training session because it is a private area with less distractions and equipment is not shared among other people. The trainer cost can also vary also based on the geographic location of training, if the location is in a higher income neighborhood, then the personal trainer cost will be much higher. One can expect to pay anywhere from 50 to 100 dollars per session for a certified personal trainer. The cost will also dramatically rise if the trainer has their own gym or if they are in a higher income location. If the trainer is also popular, expect to pay between 150 to 300 dollars per session or more. It is imperative to do as much research as possible before selecting a trainer, the actual cost is not the only factor that one should look for if they want to be successful in their sports fitness goals.

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The 5-Minute Workout

Can you get a good workout in 5 minutes? Yes!

It may take all of 10 minutes to get the physique you need to land the cover of a bodybuilding magazine, but you can get a good quick, intestinal workout in 5 minutes or less.

The name of the game is to pick an exercise or two that targets several muscle groups at once. Some of the best exercises to choose from are push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and cleans with overhead presses.

The goal is to do as many repetitions of that one or two exercises in 3-5 minutes.
If you are doing push-ups – do as many as you can in 5 minutes. If its pull-ups, squats or presses … the goal is to do as many as you can in 5 minutes.

I doubt you can do push-ups continuously for 5 minutes, so you are going to have to break it down into multiple sets. Whether you perform 5 or 9 sets in that time frame is dependent on you and your current fitness level.

The key is the rest break in-between sets. You can rest for 10, 15 or 20 seconds … it depends on your level of fitness, but try and keep the rest period the same. Do not forget you only have 5 minutes, so you can not rest for a whole minute, the goal is to do as many reps as possible in those 5 minutes.

Do it one of two ways
One way is to do a progress of sets … the first set you might do 12 reps … the next set … 9 then 6 reps and so on. You keep dropping the number of reps for each set you do. Believe me this is a good little workout when done properly. You're trying to get as many reps out in that short time frame, which means you want to keep your rest time to a minimum, but keep the rest period the same.

The other option is to pick a target number of reps for each set.
You can perform sets of 5, 7 or 15 repetitions per set, it does not matter you pick it based on your level of fitness. The key is to do the same number of reps each time. Again you want to keep the rest period constant (10, 15 or 20 seconds is fine). If you are doing 7 repetitions per set, the first set may seem easy, especially if you're able to pop out 15 push-ups or pull-ups at any given time. But by the time you get to the 4th or 5th set you may find seven repetitions quite difficult.

FYI … the way you start or change the density of your muscles is by stressing them. If it's easy … the muscles do not have to CHANGE (become stronger or firmer) if they can already do the task you are asking them to do. When you stress the muscle it must adapt and become stronger or firmer in order to meet the task it is being forced to take on.

This is a simple and quick workout that is great for variety, lack of time (mom's with kids and jobs … this is a great quick workout) and probably most often helpful for those who train at home.

You can do this workout, in a gym. You might do a 5 minute workout on a squat rack … then spend another 5 minutes on pull-ups, lat pull-downs or imprisoned rowing exercises. Followed by a 5 minute workout of bench press or push-ups, then finish off by doing some clean and overhead presses.

Grabbing a kettle ball and do one or two exercises for 5 minutes is another way of incorporating the 5 minute workout.

A great game to motivate yourself is to always try and do at least one more rep than you did the workout before. It gives you something to shot for.

Do not forget to make sure you train your body equally. If you are doing push-ups, you need to also do pull-ups otherwise you are creating muscle imbalance and making your body more vulnerable to upper back and neck pain. Therefore, Do Not only do push-ups which only target half your upper body.

Push-ups target your chest, shoulders and triceps … half your upper body!

Pull-ups target your back, biceps and forearms … the other half of your upper body.

You do not want to train only half your upper body because you can not do pull-ups.

My favorite way to workout at home is to do as many push-ups and pull-ups in those five minutes. If you can not do pull-ups you should incorporate modified pull-ups to your workout, but the goal should be to get a complete and balanced workout.

If you have not tried this workout, give it a try. You'll be surprised how good of shape you can get into less than 10 minutes a day! Remember in the military … all they do to get is shape are push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and a lot of running.

Also, it's not how long you workout, but rather how intense is your workout? The more intense the workout – the greater surge of testosterone. Simply walking may release some testosterone and growth hormones, but the more intense the workout the more growth hormones and testosterone are released. This is important because it's that testosterone that helps us add lean muscle to our body for both men and women. It also helps raise our libido.

Do not forget, exercise does not guarantee good health. If you are struggling with various health conditions (hypoglycemia, thyroid difficulties, hormonal imbalances, adrenal fatigue, etc …) your workout routine needs to take those conditions into consideration. Otherwise all your time, energy and effort may not be giving you the results you are hiring for. If that's the case, you may want a second opinion to make sure you are getting the most from all your hard work.

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Outsourcing Your Gym Services Could Benefit Members

Your average gym is often an all-in-one health facility consisting of workout equipment, fitness classes, personal training, physical therapy, massages, and even snack bars along with retail. The gym owner must also handle membership sales, publicity and marketing, billing and collections, and maintenance on top of these other service offerings. It is no wonder, then, that many gym managers and owners are looking to outsource various components of their gym operations to reliable third party vendors, including membership billing software, PT experts, and restaurant managers.

How Many Hats Do You Wear?

The initial idea of ​​selling off portions of your business's revenue streams may cause some owners to balk at bringing in outside vendors. You have put a lot of time, energy, and money into your facility. You found the perfect location. You acquire the latest state-of-the art equipment and staffed your gym with accredited professionals. You promoted your new gym through the community and made many sales calls to bring in new memberships.

You can most likely identify a few areas where your efforts and skill sets are lacking. You would like to add a PT service room; however, you do not have the advanced degree. You would like to streamline your membership billing; however, you do not have the time to devote to the process. You would like to add a snack and juice bar; however, you do not have the experience or time to get one up and running. Do you see how the list can go on and on?

Vendors can take over services that you may be too busy to handle. They can even assist in adding new ones you have not had time to get off the ground. You also raise the profile of your facility by having experts on staff, which enhance the membership experience.

Make Billing Easy with Membership Billing Software

A common department that facility managers and owners outsource is their billing and collections. Fitness facilities can have a lot of complicated billing to deal with on a daily basis. Whether it is new memberships, guest passes, personal training fees, or Pilates sessions, billing can cause headaches for gym owners, managers, and staff. New membership billing software allows you to outsource your office staff and collections to handle the complicated numbers and percentages associated with gym billing. You need to be cautious when selecting this third party vendor because they will be interacting with your members on a more personal matter – money. Membership billing software will deal with the numbers; however, you will still need to deal with your members.

You need to consider the short- and long-term effects of outsourcing various services at your gym. Talk with your managers, staff, and members to get feedback. Your members can identify services that are lacking or new benefits that they like to see added. Your staff can inform you about problem areas in the daily operations of the gym.

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Marathon Training for Beginners: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Are you looking to run your very first marathon in the near future? Have you considered everything that rigorous marathon training will entail? Marathon training for beginners is no “walk in the park,” and without you carefully plan out your marathon training schedule, and plan for every possible eventuality, you may find that you're doomed before the race even starts.

By understanding the most common mistakes made by beginners, you'll have a much greater chance of crossing that finish line in top form.

Marathon Training for Beginners: A Quick Note about Training

The beginner marathon training schedule can be quite intimidating at first glance, especially if you have no prior running experience. To succeed, it takes time, consistency and a daily commitment not commonly found in other sports training schedules.

Underestimating the sheer difficulty involved in this type of training can be a huge mistake, and is, despite, why many of those who start the training process fail to follow through with it. We say this not to discourage you from taking on this fulfilling task, but rather to prepare you for what lies ahead in the coming weeks.

Five of the Most Common Mistakes

Recently, a number of now veteran marathon runners were asked to provide some of the most common mistakes in marathon training for beginners. To help you avoid these in your own training, we have listed the top five based on their responses.

  • Never Underestimate Stretching . Regardless of your age, fitness level or body type, a proper stretching routine before every training session is an absolute must. According to the experts, most marathon and training related injuries are caused by a lack of stretching – injuries that could have likely been avoided if a proper stretching ritual was observed.
  • Take It Slow . One of the biggest mistakes made by those training for their first marathon is that they try to do too much too quickly. Even those with years of running experience openly admit that a proper marathon training schedule should span at least 18 weeks, beginning first with runs no longer than 6 miles and culminating with one of 20 miles about two weeks before race day.
  • Hydration . Failing to hydrate your body during every phase of your marathon training will not only hinder your performance, it can also be quite dangerous to your overall health. Whether you're running a 3 mile course on the treadmill or a long distance road course, always drink plenty of fresh water to keep yourself continuously hydrated.
  • Injuries . Another problem usually associated with quickly accelerating your marathon training is injury, and while you may be tempted to “play through the pain” so to speak, experts say this is a mistake. If you become injured at any point during your marathon training schedule, follow your doctor's orders and allow yourself time to heal.
  • Support . One of the factors that attracts many people to marathons – and running in general – is that running is an individual sport. It's just you against the clock. But that does not mean you will not need support. As you begin your training, keep in mind that the next several months are going to be very taxing and the more people you have in your corner to support and encourage you, the better your chances will be for completing this rigorous training successfully.

Marathon training for beginners is not easy, but thousands upon thousands of people compete in marathons each year so you know it's not impossible either. Just remember to avoid some of the common mistakes listed above, and come race day, you're sure to find that you'll be better prepared, both physically and mentally, to meet this difficult, yet rewarding challenge head-on.

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