Importance of a Professional Personal Trainer

A personal trainer plays an important role in helping the trainee to set goals. The trainer also plays the role of providing feedback as well as accounting until all the fitness goals are met. Setting goals is critical because the goals must be challenging, realistic and attainable. On the other hand, accountability is important because many of the people get into the habit of procrastinating and finding excuses for getting off track. When you have a professional trainer for your work out, you will feel obliged to remain committed to your training instead of sitting back. The right trainer will push you beyond your comfort zone while keeping you safe. They seek to assess the periodic fitness of their clients, including their strength and weaknesses – making any necessary adjustments to the program. The se personal trainers:

· Hold you accountable

One of the greatest motivations personal trainers can provide is accountability. It is often difficult to skip your planned exercise session as long as you know there is someone waiting for you at the gym. This form of accountability often translates into financial benefits in the sense that all your money paid for the gym is well spent. You will ensure the money invested in your workout is not wasted by skipping a workout.

· Recommend interesting workouts

Many people unexpectedly fail to engage in their exercise program because of a fading sense of excitation. The idea of ​​doing the same monotonous ad cycling workout everyday makes even a committed fitness trainee to lose enthusiasm. Therefore, a trainer comes handy in providing various types of training to keep the workout new and interesting. Furthermore, a professional trainer has the ability to determine and recommend a program that matches the likes and preferences of their clients. Therefore, for those who prefer exercising outdoors, the trainer can recommend boot camp workouts as opposed to strapping their clients to indoor weight training circuits or a treadmill.

· Help their clients achieve results

Getting results is the purpose of any training program. As long as people fail to observe the results, they often lose enthusiasm for their workouts. A good trainer will play an important role in crafting a fitness program that will help their clients observe results. They will also equip their clients with tools that will help their clients achieve their desired goals. They perform body fat testing, progress pictures and monitor the progress, which is a great way of helping the trainees to remain motivated and committed.

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Self Defence Tips From an MMA Fighter and Personal Trainer

I've been in quite a few street fights. More than one who calls himself a martial artist should do, but nonetheless I have learned a great deal about the difference between a sanctioned match up with weight divisions and a throwdown in the local boozer. In this article I'll try to explain some of those differences and help to clear the air regarding style vs. style and what actually works.

At the risk of having the Brazilian mafia come for me and choke me out, I will say that using the art of Jiu Jitsu is a great way to get yourself hurt in a streetfight. Let me clarify though that Jiu Jitsu techniques have saved my skin from serious beatingings in the past but at the same time the chunk of flesh removed from my hamstring is testament to the fact that men are animals and will do what they must avoid an armbar , even resorting to biting a steak out of you.

No, if you end up on the ground in a streetfight (which is often where streetfights end up) it is wise to use the principles of BJJ to move ones hips around until it becomes possible to stand up again.

I say this for a few reasons. People in street fights usually have friends that are more than happy to perform LMFAO's shuffle on your head while you hold an awesome side control. Not everyone knows to tap out, they just want to punch your skull in and they will not stop until they satisfied your skull is adequately punched in or are incapacitated.

Last of all is the fact that you just may find yourself under attack from the thing and his 150kg frame crushing down on you is nullifying your rubber guard. I have also made the mistake of trying to head kick a guy in a street fight. This drunken primate was walking toward me pretty hard and although my kick landed and clearly rattled him I was off balance and the ensuing right cross he thread at me hit like a freight train on steroids. I was down on my back and thankfully some hip movement and a trip or two managed to give me a moment to get back up and away to lick my wounds.

Basically the best moves in a street fight are the least complicated ones. I like martial arts that have been made into sport because the sole purpose of sport is to win and this has made these arts the most efficient and well trained. Basic boxing, basic Thai clinicing, basic wrestling and jiu jitsu are your safest bet. Try to stay standing and keep yourself balanced and your opponent off balanced, do not try anything fancy and stay calm. If the opportunity presents itself to incapacitate your attacker do it but make it quick. Do not give them a chance to escape your choke hold or a moment to gather their thoughts after a good punch.

A final word on self defense: A study of women who had escaped sexual attacks found that very few had any defence training at all and of those who did it was minimal training anyway. The common link in almost all of them is that before any threat had presented itself they had made a conscious decision to fight off their attacker. This highlights how many attacks are motivated by the desire for power and dominance and how by taking that away from an attacker one can walk away shaken but not stirred. To find out more go to .

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Negative Ions: Russian Study Shows Huge Human Performance Increase

Over the last 50 years, there have been many studies done regarding negative ions and their reaction within the human body. But specifically, studies have also been done to show how human performance improvements when the body is exposed to these ions.

In a 1993 study done by Canadian molecular scientist Guy Cramer, he observed that Russian hockey players who negatively charged ions within their practice facilities and locker rooms, were much more capable and rather unphased during their training than their Canadian opponents. They then reviewed and found conclusive evidence relating ionic exposure and increased recovery times.

Science has since proven that these ions help improve alertness, concentration, and overall body function; all essential hits in the sports performance arena. Positive ions have shown to have detrimental effects on the human body by causing headaches, fatigue, depression, and anxiety, just to name a few. Popular and noted organizations such as Oxford University and Mercedez Benz have also backed this information by doing their own research. In fact, the US Navy uses negative ion generators within their ships to help keep its shipmates on point when on watch.

With these findings comes a bit of controversy as well. The US discovered this Russian ion study in 1960. It's been theorized that the US actually used this knowledge of ionization in the Olympics against the Russians during the 1980 Lake Placid, NY Olympics. The rumor is the US team filled the Russian locker room with positive ions. It was never proven, but the symptoms the Russian hockey team experienced were eerily familiar to those of being exposed to excessive amounts of positive ions. The US team went on to beat the Russians and win the Gold Medal which is now remembered as one of the largest moments in Olympic sports history.

Some of the finds of the Russian Ion-Athletics Study:

Fact: In static endurance the gymnast control group had reduced endurance after 25 days while the ionic group showed a 46% improvement. The track and field control group's static endurance improved 40% after 25 days while the ionized track and field group improved by 192%.

Fact: In dynamic endurance the gymnasts had no control group but the negative ion gymnast showed improvements of 87% over 25 days. In track and field the control group had a 24% improvement after 25 days while the negative ion group had a 240% improvement .

Fact: In reaction time the gymnast control group managed to shorten their response time by 11 milliseconds, while the gymnast negative ion group shortened their minds by 22 milliseconds. The track and field control reaction time shorted by 4.5% at the end of 25 days, while the track and field negative ion groups shortened by 16%.

Fact: The equilibrium results were 80-82% improvement after 25 days for the track and field control group, while the negative ion group improved by 145-333%.

Fact: One of the pertinent observations made after these studies was that the negative ion groups cheerfulness and vitality increased notably, along with improvements in sleep and appetite. Studies showed that the negative ion groups also utilized vitamins B and C more effectively.

Fact: Studies done with male swimmers and boxers also showed no increase in muscle strength but negative ions dramatically improved improved endurance and quickness.

Controversy aside, the research does not lie. Negative ions help with endurance, sleep, alertness, and many other factors important to sports performance.

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Boxing Lessons – Get Training Tips From a Pro Fighter and Personal Trainer

In my work as a personal trainer and boxing coach I get asked a lot of questions. One I get asked a lot is “How do I throw a punch properly?”

Most people who ask me this question have never thrown a punch in their life, which is fair enough. I then proceed to teach them how to stand, one foot back, heel up, hands up, throw straight, do not overthrow, etc. They always make a few mistakes and I have never expected otherwise.

I then correct them. “It's all so much to remember!” they cry. It is. It is worth it though. But alas, many give up before they can throw a punch, simply because it's mentally hard to go through the repetitive drilling for hours and hours. You can do something wrong ten thousand times and get it right only once, most of the time it's when the instructor is not looking. But this is the process that makes great fighters. If you want to throw a punch right you need to throw a thousand punches. Drill them till you hate them then throw more.

The same goes for any skill you want to learn, drill it until you can do it right. As Bruce Lee once said: “I do not fear the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks.

When you get to your class, find the guy who is willing to talk less and work more. I hate training with people who want to talk to me about YouTube videos, if I wanted that I'd join a sewing circle and not a fight gym. I find that usually it's good to train with somebody who can not speak English, no common language means we communicate by training and we get more done. And I still do it wrong! But that's why I have a coach, he tells me what I'm doing wrong and keeps my technique honest and that's why I can say that I can do it. I have done it over and over again and I will do it some more.

Even world champs work on technique, keeping it sharp and correcting mistakes in form. There is no secret training that your instructor hides from you, advanced technique is just basic technique done well. So if you want to learn how to throw a punch or knit a jumper, you had better start drilling. Consistency is the key to success.

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Awaken Your Inner Athlete

I came across an article that said 78% of the people who buy fitness books never open them. That's a really sad figure. Why do not they bother? What happens to them when they get home, or rip open the package from Amazon?

One idea is that the idea of ​​getting in shape is awesome and exciting at the start – however, the reality of it requiring effort – not so much so.

And of course, there's also the excuses:

1. “I do not have time today, but I'll get to it tomorrow.”

2. “The program starts on a Monday, and this is Thursday. I do not want to mess up the days, so I'll wait till Monday.”

Number two actually sounds like a legitimate excuse! I've been there myself. There's something about starting on an off day that just does not work for me. Then again, by the time Monday rolls around, I've lost that initial enthusiasm that got me psyched to begin with. It's one of the reasons I do not like fitness programs that are set by days. I understand why they do it, but it also promotes procrastination.

So, how do you keep that motivation running and do that fitness plan you invested in? Having a goal. I know, “Oh crap, I've heard that line before.” But it's not a line. When a goal is connected to something outside of yourself, you can do about anything.

Here's a great example. I've been watching some people on Facebook recently who are out of shape and overweight, but because they saw a cause that they wanted to contribute to – they began running.

Their original goal was not to get in shape. The goal was to compete in order raise money for a specific charity. Without they got out and ran – they could not contribute. It was not just any charity that motivated them, it was one they were passionate about. So, the thought of not getting out and running, not being about to compete and contribute, was unacceptable. It was not something they could live with.

In other words, the idea of ​​not helping the charity was more painful than the thought of heading out the door in the morning when it's raining, or they simply do not feel like it, and training.

In time, that passion to help raise money for charity woke up their inner athlete! It's no longer just about raising money for charity, although that's still a major factor. Now it's competitive against themselves. Wanting to have a faster time in that next race. Wanting to do longer distances. No more fun runs, it's time to do 5k's, 10k's, and that half-marathon is on the horizon.

That original goal, which was also their motivation, is turning them into fit athletes. But what was the goal and motivation? When they could not do it for themselves – they found they could do it for others. Not others within their own family, we've all seen that fail repeatedly. But the goal in helping those who have been stuck by tragedy, or are less fortunate, that's what got them out the door.

What are you passionate about? What Touches your heart, and I mean deeply? There are all kinds of races out there. Check out Active . Enter your State and you'll find races everywhere.

If the idea of ​​competing in races does not appeal to you, why not try something like Pounds for Peace , where you contribute whatever amount you like for each pound you lose. Some folks even get sponsors, like friends and family to also pitch in.

Whiche route you choose, the idea is to look for events that you're passionate about, and use them to spur you on to be in the 22% who take action and get in shape.

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Strength Is Never a Weakness

When most people hear the word “strong,” chances are they think of a big muscle bound gym rat. Muscle size does not immediately mean strength. Most importantly, strength is important to everyone, not just football players or competitive strength athletes.

The benefits of strength can be even more meaningful for people above 50, and particularly for women. In fact, in the list of health goals, building stronger muscles is near the very top. Why? Here are just a few reasons:

Strong muscles help you lose weight. Muscle mass is a fat burning furnace. Muscle tissue burns as much as 15 times more calories per day than does fat tissue – even when at rest! Nothing stokes your metabolism better than muscle. Strength training will allow you to build more muscle and get the fat burning furnace lit.

Healthy for your heart. That's because they can perform better with less oxygen, meaning the heart does not have to pump hard when you are active. By extension, building bigger and stronger muscles are good for your blood pressure.

Connective Tissue Protection. More muscle power means you put less strain on joints and connective tissue when lifting or exerting. And that's awfully important both for treating and preventing arthritis. Stronger muscles that are more developed will end up taking stress off of your tissues that are not as strong.

Mental boost. You feel more energized, and you feel great about yourself. Everyone loves to feel confident and strong. You feel especially great when you reach strength goals you never thought possible.

Active living. You can not get strong muscles from a pill, a meal, or an herb. The mere fact that you have strong muscles means you are being active, and as we have been saying, nothing drags your health down like sedentary living.

Free radicals. Research shows that when regular folks lift weights regularly, they have less damage to their body than free radicals than those who are sedentary.

The consensus is growing: Strong muscles are good for everyone. In fact, the American Heart Association now recommends that all adults strength train their major muscle groups at least twice a week. Time for you to get on board.

Past all of this, muscle tone makes you look better and who does not love to look and feel good.

Finally, when is the last time you have heard of ANY athlete discussing the issue of being too strong. Additional strength can always be utilized.

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Essential Tips for Muay Thai Beginners

Muay Thai has certainly evolved from an ancient Thai martial art to a broadly popular fitness craze all over the world. It is a great way to get fit and lose weight quickly that is why it has gained considerable interest among martial arts enthusiasts and fitness buffs. Today, more and more people are trying this ancient combat sport because of the many benefits that it offers. If you are thinking of trying Muay Thai, it is very important to get armed with some basic knowledge especially if you have not tried any kind of martial art before.

1. Take it easy. If there's one mistake that most of us commit when trying up a new sport, that would probably be pushing ourselves too hard. In Muay Thai, it is essential to learn all the basic moves and the rules first before doing hard training. This will give you a solid foundation and will also reduce your risk of injuring yourself. Do not push yourself beyond your limits and take it one day at a time. Training at a level where you feel comfortable will make learning process much faster.

2. Expect body pain. Muay Thai is a highly physical activity so expect some soreness and body pain especially if you have not done anything strenuous for a while. Your muscles will definitely get sore and it will be much harder to walk and climb up and down the stairs for a couple of days. Your body will eventually get used to the soreness and pain with regular training. Also, do not freak out if you see large bruises on your legs. Leg bruises are very common in Muay Thai and it's totally normal.

3. Do not be a know it all. Do not be afraid to ask questions if there are some moves and techniques that you do not understand. Your trainer will definitely appreciate if you ask these things because it shows that you are eager to learn and improve. Asking questions will speed up your progress so do not be shy and do not hesitate to ask. But also, make sure that you pay attention when your instructor is teaching you.

4. Try to enjoy. If you enjoy something that you do, then chances are you'll do it regularly. Staying fit should be fun!

Taking up Muay Thai can be quite daunting especially if you have not tried any kind of martial art, or any sport before. But the reality is, every Muay Thai practitioner out there was once a newcomer like you. With effort and dedication, you'll be as great as them too.

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Using an iPhone App to Make Your Run More Stimulating

Everyone knows that regular exercise plays a very important part in our well being and general fitness, yet most of us will find it easier to just make an excuse or do not do anything at all. We always seem to have so much to do and so many places to be rather than dedicating our precious time and effort to running. Even when we do decide to make an effort and start exercising, we can not be sure of just how much we're actually doing. This scenario holds a ring of truth, especially for the runners who do not keep track of how far they have actually run or get bored covering the same path time and time again and needs to change things up a bit. Yet again another iPhone app rides to our rescue to change our world and make our lives a little easier and more enjoyable.

So how can you possibly use an iPhone app to make your run more stimulating? You may ask. Well, all you have to do is download and use the Log Your Run iPhone app and you will never run the same way again. This application is a great running buddy, easy to setup and works with a built-in GPS system that's designed to get you going as quickly as possible. The app will ask permission to use GPS to plot your path for you. You can plug in your destinies, press the start button and let the fun begin as you set out on a new path each and every day. The Log Your Run iPhone app also acts as an accelerator which works in the background to measure your distance for you. In addition the app also integrates with the Log Your Run website, which means, you can save your activity data then access from any device that can connect to the internet.

You will also have access to the over 300,000 routes from all over the world that people have shared on the website and multiple training programs for various skill levels and goals, anything from starting to run to training for improving your time for a full marathon. Some of the other great features of this app includes: full control of the iPhone music player from within the app, voice feedback at specific time or distance intervals, on the go tweeting with Tweet My Distance integration, heart rate devices from Wahoo, Run analyzer and 60 beat custom heart rate zones with time in zones and voice feedback.

There seems no end to the spell binding features of the constantly updated apps being churned out by the apps store for the iPhone and now you can even make this awesome device work for you on your runs. If you're a runner or would like to take up running but just need a little boost or sometimes some help with a desired destination then this iPhone app can help by taking the work out of it all for you. If you're looking for your own personal trainer to automatically plot your course while logging and measuring your distance then the Log Your Run app is designed to be just that and a whole lot more.

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Get Prepared: Preparing for a Max Effort Lift

The one rep max has been a benchmark measure of raw strength testing for a long time.

In powerlifting athletes typically have at least one day per week where we attempt a NEW max in one of our temporary lifts and one day every 10 weeks where they attempt to set new maxes on all three powerlifts lifts (bench, squat and deadlift).

Like any other event, athletes must prepare for “Max Days”. Ultimately, your performance will be determined by the work you do in your daily training sessions, but there are a few things you can do beforehand to maximize your lifts.

How to Prepare for a One Rep Max Strength Test

Day Before – Rest and Stretch

Focus on active recovery. The strength test is soon, and you will need to ensure that your body is fully rested leading up to it. The best way to make the most of this day is to perform some light exercise to stimulate recovery. A full body joint mobility session is the ideal way to prepare on a no intensity day. Focus on spending quality time on each joint to eliminate any “kinks” in your movement and remove lactic acid. You want to restore full range of motion and help your body relax and remain able to move freely. Going for a light walk or rolling on a foam roller are other ways to spend this day.

Stay laser-focused on your nutrition intake, hydration levels, and quality of sleep. Get as much sleep as you can, 8 hours or more is ideal. You will also want to ensure you get a balance of healthy food, with a good share of protein and fats. Prior to a strength test, you do not want to exclude any of these macronutrients, even if you are on a diet. If you can, eliminate all refined sugars from your pre-strength test diet as well. Do not eat sugar or processed foods. That means no:

  • soda (diet or regular)
  • energy drinks (you should stop drinking that garbage anyways)
  • candy
  • white bread and pastas made with refined white flour
  • packaged snack foods, like chips and cheese snacks
  • packaged cookies and cakes
  • sugary breakfast cereals
  • processed meats

The foods you should be eating prior to your strength test include: lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and legumes. You will want to stay fully hydrated as well. Drink only water a lot of it!

“D-Day” – One Rep Max Strength Test (High Intensity)

Prior to beginning the strength test, perform a full body joint mobility routine to decompress your joints and prime the body for movement under extreme stress. Once finished, begin your warmup sets – first with a bodyweight only set to groove the movement. You want to awaken the tissues, and feed them bloodflow, not stress them out.

This is a recommended rep flow after body weight movements:

1) Add empty barbell for a set.

2) Add enough weight to allow 5-10 comfortable repetitions.

3) Estimate a warmup load that will allow 3-5 repetitions, without coming close to maximum failure.

4) The next set will be 2-3 repetitions with a weight that you can lift 3-4 times.

5) Make a 5-10% load increase for upper body exercises, or a 10-20% load increase for lower body exercises and try for your one rep max. If you succeed, increase the weight again slowly and retry after 2-4 minutes of rest. If you fail, decrease the load by 5-10% and retry after 2-4 minutes. Once you get to step 5, you get five tries for the 1RM test, in which you can adjust the load up or down.

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Goal Setting: Key To Success

One of the biggest resolutions people make at the start of a new year is to get in shape, lose weight, and to live healthier. And while it's easy to say “you are going to do these things, achieving your goals is another story.

Creating a workout and diet plan is a great start to achieving your fitness goals. Tracking your progress is the real key to success. I'm sure many of you have started a food log or a workout chart only keep it for a couple of weeks or even days and then lose focus. This can be frustrating and make your fitness goals seem hopeless. Below are a few easy steps that can help you stay on track to achieve personal accomplishment. Good Luck!

Realistic Goals:

Realistic goal setting is a very important part of successful goal tracking. If you've never worked out before creating astronomical goals you will lead you straight to disaster and frustration. Saying you will run ten miles a week when you're not sure you can even run one a day is a bad idea. You are more likely to avoid tracking a failure rather than reporting a success. Set goals that can be achieved and progressively work up to harder workouts as your personal wellness increases. Start small and work your way from there. Remember: if you can only walk 1/2 a mile at the start, you're still doing better than sitting on the couch eating comfort food!

Easy Tracking

These days there are plenty of apps out there to help track your workouts and log your food. And they are great for long-term tracking so you can see your results throughout the year. But life is busy and sometimes it's tedious to spend time logging into an app and entering your food or finding the exact exercise you've completed. It can get frustrating and lead you to ever give up logging the information you need to. For this, I suggest keeping a good old fashioned notepad close to jot down your daily meals and exercise then later log them in electronically.

Reward Yourself

Just because you're the one challenging yourself, does not mean you can not reward yourself from time to time for achieving your goals. And no, I do not mean with a hot fudge sundae or a bucket of fried chicken. Rewarding yourself for a job well done can help to positively reinforce all of the work you've been doing. And this can be absolutely personal. For example, if you're a busy mom, take a few hours to spend alone time getting a pedicure or seeing a movie that does not have animated characters. When you reward yourself it gives you a mental break of your hard work and reminds you of what you're working toward.

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Seven Habits of Highly Effective Athletes

This research was compiled after speaking to many top athletes at the top of their sports. Even though their athletic and training demands were different they all had similar advice for novice athletes.

1. Never take food for granted : You are what you eat. Make sure you eat to perform as hard as you train to perform. There are many different types of diets with different potential outputs. The key is to focus on an eating strategy constantly and stay away from garbage like fast food and sweets.

2. Keep your Word : If you say going to train, go and train, no matter how you feel. The day can always be scaled but you will be mentally tougher and physically better for putting work in. Excuses kill potential gains.

3. Leave Everything in the Gym : When you leave the gym you should be able to look in the mirror and answer YES to the question “Did I leave it all in the gym today”. Great athletes push themselves in everything they do. Train to break records and become better than your last workout.

4. Excuses Pave the Road to Nowhere : When you make excuses you are giving yourself permission to lose and feel OK about it. Be brutally honest with yourself and your successes. Learn to take responsibility for all of your decisions.

5. When things go wrong, keep fighting: Athletes hit walls, setbacks, obstacles, injuries but that does not mean the game is over. No matter what the current circumstance, you can find ways to train until you are 100% healed. One arm is broken? Do one arm work with the other arm for the time being. Overcoming is a mindset, find that mindset.

6. Beat the guy next to you … every time: When you train, train to compete. Push yourself to be the best in the room … this will make everyone else rise to your level on intensity. Go above and beyond the job description in everything you do.

7. Do not be afraid to fail: Set big goals and make every set, every rep go towards that big goal. Great athletes do not train to become stronger in the short term they are training to become stronger on all fronts. Make sure each workout pushes you out of your comfort zone. Do not be afraid to set goals and fail, as long as you are working towards goals you are a winner.

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Shut Up and Squat for Maximal Health and Performance Benefits

“Do not do full squats” is one of the oldest and most false pieces of workout advice out there. Naysayers claim its an exercise that will ruin your knees and you will be walking around like a cripple by the time you're 45.

Current research disagrees. In fact, there is research that dates back to 1989 done by Auburn University that not only exonerates squats from this claim, it actually proves that regular squatting improvements knee stability, strengthened connective tissue, and made connective tissue tighter and stronger than those who don ' t squat. Recently, physiologists at the Mayo Clinic have found that squats actually place less stress on your knees than leg extensions – an exercise often prescribed as a 'knee-saving' alternative to squats. Now that we know squats are safe, what are the benefits:

1. Squats throw your body into an Anabolic Environment through testosterone and human growth hormone production: Yes, you are reading this correctly, no other exercise on the planet (with the possible exception of the deadlift) does more to promote overall muscle growth. This means, not only will the squat build muscles directly related to the exercise itself – like your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves – it also indirectly promotes muscle growth across the rest of your body, in places like your biceps, chest, and back ( for examples).

Through the process of squatting and the intestinal muscle recruitment needed the human body naturally releases additional testosterone and human growth hormone to aid the activity. These hormones do not just aid your squat, they help your entire body get stronger. Squatting is a natural and safe way to increase the fundamental muscle building hormones.

“You get greater overall muscle and strength gains from the squat than any other exercise … Squats create an overall anabolic environment in the body that maximizes gains from other exercises” says Jeff Volek, Ph.D., RD, CSCS, an exercise researcher at the University of Connecticut.

2. Increase and maintain mobility. Squatting will naturally increase your range of motion as you strive for a full range squat. A full range squat is classified as hip crease below knee in the bottom portion. As you continue to get through this full range of motion your mobility will increase.

In addition, researchers at Ball State University say that leg strength is critical for maintaining mobility as we age. There's no better exercise at maintain and increasing leg strength than the squat.

3. Increase Functional Strength. Very few exercises are as natural as the squat. Since the very beginning of time, man has been squatting down to pick berries, gather food, light fires, and even cook. It makes sense than that the squat builds pure, functional strength. Not only do they build huge amounts of muscle, the squat also forces your body's nerve networks to work your muscles more efficiently.

4. Increase Athletic Performance. Squat training done by athletes has been proven to increase your vertical jump by about 30 percent in a period as little as 8 weeks.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a study in 2002 that stated squatting allowed participants in the study to increase their sprint times by a significant degree. The correlation between speed and strength is thought to play a big role in this.

In addition, as we age, nerve endings and connective tissue degenerate naturally. Squats have been proven to improve the communication between your brain and body's major muscle groups, and improve muscle memory. This carries into your later years and goes a long way in preventing falls and broken hips.

Nearly 90% of athletic injuries involve the weaker stabilizer muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue. By using a free standing compound exercise that requires good balance (aka, the squat), you'll do a lot to reduce the risk of injury.

So … you want to run faster, jump higher and become more mobile and agile … add squatting to your training regiment.

5. Entire Body Workout: There is arguably no other exercise that works more muscles than the squat. If you were only to do one exercise for the rest of your life, the squat would make an excellent choice.

6. Excellent Core Builder. Squats are not just leg muscle builders. They require a tremendous amount of core stability to execute. Heavy squatting can build your core faster than core specific training. Looking to build a great six pack? Squatting may be the answer!

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The Numerous Benefits of Taking Up Muay Thai Classes

Muay Thai is without doubt one of the most popular forms of martial arts practiced all over the world today. It is a very popular ring sport similar to that of boxing. The only difference is that unlike boxing, Muay Thai fighters are allowed to use any part of their legs as well as their arms to strike their opponent. Being a highly physical sport, you may be surprised to know that even women are into this highly combative sport. Well, it's really not that surprising because Muay Thai offers a lot of benefits to both the mind and the body. This combative sport provides a holistic development of oneself and many more that's why more and more people are practicing the sport. So if you're thinking of trying it out, let me share to you some of the numerous ways on how you can benefit from learning and practicing Muay Thai.

1. Increased physical fitness and weight loss.

A lot of people learn and practice this ancient martial art because of the physical benefits that it offers. Being a highly physical sport, constant practice can help one lose weight, strengthen muscles and tone the body.

2. Enhancements flexibility, strength and agility.

Regular practice can help condition your body and put it in good shape. As you get used to the routines on a regular basis, all that repetitive movements on your arms and legs, all that kicking and punching will make them gain more strength and power. Your body will eventually adapt to this kind of conditioning and in effect you'll get stronger and more resilient over time.

3. It instills discipline and focus.

It will teach you various strategies so that you can become more aware of attacks. This will make your mind much sharper and focused. This kind of discipline will prevent you from giving in to impulsive decisions and actions.

4. It makes you emotionally stable.

If you're having a hard time controlling your temper and emotional outbursts, then this sport is definitely for you. Muay Thai can help you be more patient and confident so when certain situations try to test your temper then you can deal such situations with a clear mind and calm disposition.

Always remember that physical intensive activities such as Muay Thai are not gender exclusive. Whether you are young or old, male or female, you can greatly benefit from taking up this ancient art. It is definitely a great way to stay in shape while improving your whole being at the same time.

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What’s In a Step? Health, Happiness, Stress Release, Disease Prevention – Enough?

Once again – let's learn from our 4 legged furry friends – our dogs.

I am always in awe when I watch people walk their dogs – I think “wow, others love their dogs as much as I love mine”. I love watching dogs on their walk – the pride, the way they strut their stuff, “everybody look at me” … – its their moment to shine! We walk our dogs to look after their health because there is absolutely no better way to show love for another than by contributing to their health. And yes – our beloved dogs our loving us when they reach into our souls asking for that walk – they are caring for our health – physical, psychological & emotional.

Walking is the most undervalued, underutilized form of physical activity. Let's talk the science geek first: Fitness level irrelevant – there is a walking protocol for everyone.

Walking can be modified to provide either high impact or low impact weight bearing exercise – absolutely critical to bone health.

Increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness

Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke improving blood lipid profiles & blood pressure

Building Muscle mass one of the best way to prevent / manage diabetes

More and more studies keep emerging touting the marvels of walking on cancer recovery & risk.

Increased muscle strength and endurance – BFF to anti aging efforts
Vital to Proprioception & kinesthetic awareness
Reduces excess adiposity

Walking requires 70% of the body's muscles, while thinking requires 10% of brain capacity …
Want to increase that 70% to over 90%? Try pole walking! Most major cities have pole walking clubs. The cardio respiratory demands of pole walking, aka Nordic walking, rival hiking or running – and builds muscular endurance at the same time.

A few tips for getting more out of walking:

Suck in the gut: I'm sorry – engage the core to build the abdominals for strength & stability
Twist the torso: engage the obliques
Breathe deep! every organ needs you to do this!
Pump your arms overhead: Interval training is key to building cardio respiratory endurance – raise and lower your heart rate by forcing the heart to pump against gravity – after the heart has to pump against gravity for blood flow to the brain. Easy on this with high blood pressure.

Outdoor walking offers a few more potential benefits to treadmill walking – however with Canadian winters – treadmills should be classified as providing the necessities of life. The unfortunate fact is the # 1 use of the home treadmill is hanging laundry. And Fido loses out big time with treadmills – the only dog ​​I have ever known to do treadmills was “Rastro” Jetson.

So learn from the dog, hold your head up high, strut your stuff and make it a commitment to your health. And remember … the very best way to show love for another is by contributing to their health – more romance in a walk than we ever thought!

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Why It’s More Important To Fit Into A Slimmer Pair of Jeans As Opposed to Weighing In

Why is it more important to fit into your jeans than the number on your scale? Something I hear a lot about, especially from those who are not educated in fat loss is “My diet worked for the first few weeks, I lost 8 pounds! But then I started to gain weight / stopped losing weight. Its so frustrating, I do not get it! ”

I'm going to discuss why you need to stop overusing the scale, and start using your skinny jeans to reflect your progress. Clothing fitting comfortably is what it really comes down to right? I always say, “If you look amazing and weigh 400lbs would you care?” A big reason I want to reflect my thoughts and educate those who do not know much about fitness is because everyday I see women get discouraged by the scale. One of my clients stepped on the scale the other day and tears came to her eyes. She was so caught up with that inconsequential number on the scale that she immediately devalued all of her progress.

I always tell my clients, if you do not see your progress no matter how minuscule or immense it may be, then you will just bounce back to what you were. Striving for progress and not perfection is key here.

Something not may people put into consideration is water is very heavy (8.35 pounds per gallon). This is a big contributing reason as to why the scale can be inaccurate. Water retention is very common in all of us and will cause you to see a big drop in the scale the first week after “clean eating.” After the immense drop of weight, you will see an average of 1-2 pounds per week.

Scale weight is not that important, especially if you do not have much to lose. A mistake beginners make is they live and die by this number on the scale. Weight is just a small piece of data that should be recorded as you evaluate your progress.

What most women lack is knowledge about how to get the desired body they crave. I see women all the time on the cardio machine for hours, never supplementing their weight loss program with resistance training. For each pound of muscle you put on, you are burning 50 calories a day. For each pound of fat you are burning 1 to 3 calories per day. Research has shown that regular resistance training can increase your Basal Metabolic Rate by up to 15%.

Muscle weighs more per square inch then fat. So, while the scale may be going up, your jean size will be going down! After the age of 30 there is a big loss of 3-5% of muscle mass per 10 years, making everyday activities more difficult to perform and slowing down the metabolism – increasing weight gain. Women can not nor should worry about getting big or bulky, it is physically impossible. Research shows women have one tenth the amount of testosterone than that of men. In order to drastically increase a women's size she would need a great deal of testosterone supplementation through steroids.

Not using the scale can help a great deal. Put together a fitness program or find a local gym and start a 6-8 week program without using the scale. Only judge your progress by using your clothing and enjoy reaping the results stress free!

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