3 Benefits of Working With a Personal Trainer

If you're anything like a majority of other people in the world, then at times, getting motivated to get yourself fit and lose weight can become quite difficult. Perhaps you've been looking to lose weight, but have hit a weight loss plateau and are not sure how you could have it? The truth is that getting fit and healthy is far, far more difficult than people seem to think. Some people seem to think that it's just a case of going to the gym, watching what you eat, and then sitting back and relaxing. In actual fact, getting yourself in shape and losing weight is an extremely lengthy, tiring, frustrating, testing, but extremely rewarding experience indeed, providing of course, you have all the necessary tools and equipment at your disposal. One especially effective and beneficial thing you could do, is to hire a personal trainer. Personal trainers are there to get their clients into shape, and to help them reach and reach their goals, whatever they may be. If you're looking to get in shape and lose weight, then hiring a personal trainer could prove to be the best decision you could ever make. Here are just 3 benefits associated with working with a personal trainer.

They can personalize a workout around your every need – Do you happen to enjoy one form of exercise but absolutely loathe another? If so, then by letting your personal trainer know, they can then personalize a workout and program around the things that you enjoy the most, that you're the best at doing. They will assess your strength and fitness levels, make recommendations of exercises and routines, and then talk it through with you. If you do not like something, you can let them know, and they can come up with an alternative that suits you better. A personalized workout helps you reach your specific goals. Say you want to build muscle for example, rather than focusing on fat burning cardio, the program will instead focus on exercises designed to help you build muscle.

They're there to keep you motivated – Be honest now, how many of you knew you should be going to the gym, but due to a lack of motivation, simply blew it off and convinced yourself that you'd go the next day instead ? When you work with a personal trainer, they're there to keep you motivated. They'll shout words of encouragement, they'll help you squeeze out extra reps, they'll tell you not to give up, and they'll let you know how great a job you're doing.

They offer you the correct instructions – Many people walk into gyms without a real idea about how to perform certain exercises. You'll be able to spot a newcomer to a gym a mile off, because they'll be the ones doing nothing but bicep curls while rocking their backs to and fro as they do each rep. Exercises have to be performed in a certain way, with the correct form, for you to not only get the right benefits from each exercise, but to reduce the likelihood of you injuring yourself. Your personal trainer will show you how to perform every single exercise, the way it should be performed, they'll tell you which muscles to contract, where you should be sitting, how'll you even tell when you should breathe. Doing exercises the way they should be done, ensures you make the progress that you should be making, as you get the full benefits from each exercise. These few hours that you spend with your personal trainer, will they help you for the rest of your life as you'll learn how to correctly workout, and you can even share your knowledge with other newbies in the future.

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10 Tips For Using Fitness Games In Your Bootcamp

Fun plays a big role in keeping your bootcampers motivated and enthusiastic.

But before we jump right in, here are several tips to consider when implementing bootcamp fitness games into your workouts.

1) One of the most important ingredients to running a successful “general” fitness bootcamp is to keep an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable with their own current level of fitness and ability. Nothing wrong with friendly competition just try to keep it fun and fair.

2) Take safety precautions to prevent injuries and accidents. I heard a loud “pop” once during a routine warm up in my own bootcamp. Next I saw a lady writhing in pain on the ground as she had popped something in her ankle. As an instructor or coach, it's important to have a “broken record” and tell people over and over to start off slow – even during warm ups.

3) Establish a regular routine. Warm up, dynamic activity, game, workout, cool down is my routine. I try to steadily build intensity, raise heart rates and then slowly bring them down again during the cool down. Mixing it up is important, but this is my basic workout formula.

4) Keep directions simple. Use cues and keywords in your verbal descriptions.

5) Provide visual demonstrations as a lot of people are visual learners – particularly in the early morning hours when your clients may still be waking up.

6) Make sure everyone is participating. There's no benefit to just standing around watching. Have them do jumping jacks, squats, planks or wall sets while they are waiting their turn.

7) Avoid activities that are too advanced or complicated. If your bootcamper feels confident about its abilities, it's more likely to keep actively participating in your program.

8) Balance your fitness game activities. Switch up partners, teams, running, strength, and length of time regularly.

9) Offer praise and reward for teamwork, positive attitudes, good sportsmanship and effort. Winning is cool, but it's not the main focus.

10) Bootcamp training should be a positive experience for your bootcampers, the bootcamp instructor should be enthusiastic about what they are doing. This is a great opportunity for your bootcampers to fall in love with fitness and get them on the path to lifelong exercise!

Do not be afraid to play very basic games with your clients as a lot of them are de-conditioned, have less than average hand-eye coordination, space awareness, body coordination, balance, listening skills, and participation skills. Bootcamp fitness games do not always have to be of the highest intensity. Have fun with the basic games as well.

For more ways to have fun in your bootcamp, check out http://www.bootcampfitnessgames.com

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How to Improve Client Retention As a Personal Trainer?

Personal training can be a tough game. When the glitzy ads on TV tell you to ditch your dead end job and become a personal trainer all they talk about is the flexible hours, the glamorous work conditions and the great pay. While these can be a part of a successful PT career, the reality of it is that it's a lot of hard work. It's split-shift hours, early mornings, late nights. You have to be a master of time management, a small business owner, a life coach, a motivator – a jack of all trades. And through all this you have to manage your clients' satisfaction levels. If you're new to the game it can be quite stressful. So, with all this going on, how do you improve client retention and extremely grow your business?

The answer is: get-your-clients-results. While this answer may sound painfully obvious, achieving those results can be difficult.

Most personal training agents assume that exercise is the be-all-end-all to losing weight or achieving their fitness goals. They think that by going to the gym regularly the results will naturally follow. But the truth is, exercise counts for roughly 10% of body transformation, the rest is diet.

So the question is, how do you monitor client diets? You could try meal journals written in notebooks but clients often forget to fill them in or do not bring them to the work-out. The best method is an online meal journal. It's best to look for one that can be accessed by both the client, and you the PT. That way you can always see if they've been filling it in and assess what they've been eating. There are a few options on the market but a lot of them leave it up to the client to do all the work and it's not possible for the PT to gain access and leave feedback. But there are some great ones out there; PT Plus Performance Nutrition Program for example has great features. But shop around, see what works for you.

Remember, that if you keep your borrowers accountable for what they're eating it's almost certain that they'll achieve their fitness goals. Clients that are consistently hiring their goals are more than likely going to stick around and keep using your services, plus they'll probably recommend you to their friends as well.

So, if you keep your clients' work-outs demanding and closely monitor their diets it's inevitable your business grow bigger and bigger.

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Free and Affordable Personal Training and Trainer Prices or Cost

7 Ways to save money on Personal Training

1. Workout with a friend or two. Most trainers will charge a slightly higher fee, lets say $ 90 for two people ($ 45 each) instead of $ 75 for 1 person. You will not get one-on-one attention but it will save you quite a bit of money. (Semi-private sessions could be up to 3 clients. Remember, anytime I mention numbers it would be good to keep in mind that each trainer may have different definitions for semi-private and group training, so be sure to ask)

2. Train in a group. Can be 4 or more people and even up to 50 people in one boot camp. You will have to ask the rates because they vary so much, but generally speaking it will cost about $ 10-20 a session for group training. The Idea of ​​these first two ways to save money is that the more people in the session then the cheaper it is.

3. If you drive to them at their studio or gym then you usually save at least $ 10 right there. It takes the trainer time to get to your place. So lets say that you want them to come to you at 5:30 pm and you live in LA. Because of the time of day there will be lots of traffic so maybe the trainer would have to leave his place at 5pm just to get to you by 5:30 pm. That may be 30 minutes to you and 20 minutes back. The trainer will put whatever value he thinks on this 50 minutes and charge you for it and include it in the price when they quote you. So if you go to them then it will save you whatever drive time they were going to charge you.

4. Find a trainer close to you. When having a trainer come to you then it's usually best to find one closest to you so that they do not charge you so much for drive time. This is why they will almost always ask you where you live. They need to figure out how long it would take to get to you. So it may be best to find a trainer closest to you. If one traveling far charges $ 90 but someone close to you may go as low as $ 60. And if you are going 3x a week then you will save $ 360 a month !!

5. Ask if you could get a better rate if you worked out at a different time. Some trainers offer discounts for times of the day when they are not busy or if you come to them right after or before they have a client because it would make the trainer's day flow better. The may be looking for a morning or afternoon client at a specific time that would work just perfect for them. So see if you could get a deal if you worked with their schedule.

6. Purchase more sessions up front. It usually does not save a lot but if you buy more sessions at once then you may get a deal. Like paying for 20 sessions up front versa 10 sessions. So ask the trainer if they will give you a deal if you buy more sessions. You could even buy 40 or more sessions if you both agree.

7. Get rid of all the extra stuff. If you do not need diet help or measurements, extensive evaluations, text reminders to eat right and workout then do not pay for it. So ask if you could get a better rate if alls they do is train you. Usually the extra's are very beneficial but if you just do not have the money then you may not have a choice. So get rid of anything extra that they may be charging you for that you do not need or can not afford right now.

3 Ways to get Free Personal Training

1. Write reviews on line for them. Many trainers are listed on all sorts of different websites that you could write a review for them on. Maybe you could get a session or two for free if you were so kind as to write some reviews.

2. Participate in a before and after program. If you are fully dedicated and I mean fully dedicated, no excuses and listen to everything the trainer tells you to do in regards to eating and working out then you could get a deal because it would be great publicity for them.

3. Refer them business. Most in home personal trainers and independent trainers in gyms will give you a session or two for free when you refer a friend that purchases training. Unfortunately not all franchise gyms that have personal training will do this, so you have to ask.

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Lifestyle Adjustments To Optimize Your Training Program

Would not it be wonderful if all we had to do was exercise and everything would fall into place for us? Physically speaking that is. Unfortunately it does not work that way. We are complex organizations and being fit and healthy involves more than just a single component. I love to work out so that is easy for me. It's eating in a healthy and balanced way that I have trouble with (I also love chocolate).

Before you start an exercise program you'll want to have some other elements in place. In that way you turn a simple exercise program into an all-around, health first lifestyle.

The first element to take a look at is hydration. One mistake people make when looking at this element of their lifestyle is to assume that any liquid is good for hydration. This is not the case. Juices are not a good option for hydration. Unfortunately the process of turning fruit into juice takes out beneficial vitamins and fiber found in the fruit itself. Also the added sugar in juices makes them extremely high in empty calories. It is much wiser to eat whole fruits rather than drink fruit juices. Sports drinks are also high in sugars or worse, artificial sweeteners.

Really, the only viable drink when it comes to hydration is water. Do you drink enough water? Most people do not. A good rule of thumb to follow is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds you need to drink 80 ounces of water each day. With a good charcoal based filter on your kitchen faucet, you can get all the clean water you need for your day.

Next you will want to look at your sleep habits. If you have exercised before you have probably experienced what is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS is caused by micro-tears in the muscle fibers. As these tears heal the muscle becomes stronger and bigger. And muscles heal while we sleep. Another factor to consider when looking at sleep is the production of Human Growth Hormone. This hormone is produced while we sleep and aides in the healing process. So it is imperative that you get enough sleep. Eight to nine hours is what the average person needs in order to recovery from the day's exercise.

And finally there is diet. I'm not talking about being “on a diet”. Diets by their nature are all but impossible to live with over a long period of time. What I'm talking about is a way of eating that is healthy and sustainable for a lifetime. Our diets should consist of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

If you are implementing a workout program that includes resistance training (and there are many reasons you should be) then you need protein. Our muscles are made of protein. There are many factors to consider when deciding how much protein to consume but 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight is an average amount needed for someone who engages in strength training. So if you are that 160 pound person, 160 X.8 is 128 grams of protein. That seems like a lot but if you pay attention to protein amounts in your food you will see it adds up quickly.

If our bodies are made of protein, they run on carbohydrates. As with protein intake, there are many factors to consider when deciding how many carbohydrates your body needs. 100 to 150 grams per day is average. What's more important is where you get those carbohydrates. Fresh vegetables and fruits (careful with the fruits) are the best source. Preferably organic. These are also a wonderful source of fiber which is so important to our health.

Fats are important for healthy cell function as well as transporting vitamins throughout the body. These are just two of the many reasons fat is important to our bodies. Once again, there are many factors to determine how much fat your body needs but 50 to 60 grams is a place to start. Healthy fats are found in many whole foods. Nuts and seeds, avocados and fish. These are just a few good sources of healthy fats.

By far the most important thing to consider when looking at your diet is this: are you eating real food? By real food I mean whole fruits, vegetables and proteins. If it's in a can, box or package; it's less than optimum when it comes to health.

Looking at these three factors in your lifestyle and working to bring them into a healthy alignment will ensure that you get the most benefits when you are ready to start your exercise program.

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Healthy Diets That Will Keep Your Body Fit

It is many people's desire to be fit and be able to do things that they can not with their current body status. One of such things is the dress code. This case is more prevalent in the ladies as compared to gentlemen. There are other reasons though that make people desire good-looking bodies. To have a fine body, it takes more than just the occasional thought of walling in your imagination about the things you can do with a fit body. It is a personal choice and to achieve it. You must work for it at whatever cost. One of the ways of working towards getting a fit body, apart from adding personal training and fitness classes in your to-do list or resolutions, is changing the manner in which you handle your diet. Here are some guidelines to lend you a helpful hand:

· Right healthy foods

Breakfast is considered the most essential meal of the day. However, this does not mean you stuff your body with high carbohydrates food just because you are starting you day and your body craves fresh energy. Balance things out by chopping off some foods that have high content of fats and carbohydrates. Watch out on the kind of fruits you take as well as some of them lead to weight increase. Fruits such as bananas, strawberries, grapes and other starch fruits can be substituted by fruits such as papaya or mangoes. You can take fruits at intervals to keep your body running that is at breakfast, lunch or evening.

· Keep your body energized

The body needs energy to function. Even the process of digestion requires some bit of energy from your body. Digestion is an essential process in the body as it helps in breaking down food into components that are absorbable into the body. In that regard, you are not expected to skip your meals to cut down on your weight. You will only worsen it. The best way is to ensure that you constantly feed your body with foods that have the five vital nutrients for the body, which are carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, minerals, fats and oils in a balanced way.

· Trash junk

Trashing junk from your diet table is quite a task for many people as they are used to them. Although they require little preparation as most of them are more often than not ready-made, everyone who thinks has no time to make healthy meals because there is junk food easily available, will have to trash it from their diet plan or tables. They can replace it with foods with lower levels of fats and carbohydrates if they want a fit body.

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10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Personal Trainer

A good personal trainer can help you achieve your fitness and health goals, while exceeding your expectations along the way. A bad trainer can simply be a big waste of your time and money. The demand for personal trainers has steadily been on the rise over the past several years and with that so has supply.

With so many options available to you today it can be quite daunting to know which trainer is the best for you. Truth be told there are a lot of phony and incompetent trainers out there today who make a great living off of their clients' ignorance. But there is a way to protect yourself from these types of trainers and we have provided it for you today.

So before you ever hire a personal trainer make sure that you have all the answers to these 10 very important questions:

1) Are you physically and mentally ready to start an exercise program with a personal trainer?

It can be quite easy to forget about the most important factor when hiring a personal trainer-YOU. Are you willing and ready to dedicate and commit yourself to a trainer and their program? The trainer will fully expect complete dedication from your part.
Readiness for change is a critical part of the equation when determining whether or not you will absolutely be successful or not. A few simple questions to ask yourself before going forward should include:

• On a scale of 1-10 how much are you committed to change?
• Why do you feel you need a personal trainer?
• Why do you feel a personal trainer will help you be successful?

Remember in the end it will be your attitude and effort that makes all of the difference. No matter how good the trainer or their program is if you do not bring your best on regular basis the output will be less than what you had hoped for. Do not waste your time and money on something you are not ready for.

Take home point: Commit to change first, find out a trainer second.

2) Are your goals and expectations realistic?
We all want to transform our bodies into a better version of ourselves but you will frustrate yourself and the trainer alike if you expect to change overnight. Changing the body is a process which takes time and hard work. Whether your goal is to become stronger or to lose body fat your trainer should be able to outline a realistic timetable for you to reach your goals and expectations.

Be leery of trainers who make big promises, such as massive weight loss in a short period of time or super strength and speed gains in only a few weeks. If they truly understand the process of physical adaptation then they will be honest and open to you about what is realistic and obtainable.

Take home point: A good trainer will not tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear.

3) Does the personal trainer have a college degree in a related field (exercise science, sports science, and kinesiology) or are they certified by a highly reputable certifying agency?

Preferably the trainer has a college degree as it shows that they have a high level of knowledge in fitness and in human anatomy and physiology and how the body adapts to exercise.

If the trainer only has a certification it needs to be understood that not all certificates are created equal. There are certain certificates that can be obtained literally within a weekend of time while others take months of preparation before taking on the certification exam.

Trainers are a dime a dozen these days as anyone with a few bucks, half a brain and weekend could obtain the title certified personal trainer. The title does not ensure the ability. Do not give away your trust just because someone tells you they have a certification or even a degree. These should be minimum and mandatory, but the selection process should never end there. Just because they know something does not mean they can apply it. Ask them about their education and certificates? What are they? How long did it take them to obtain them?

Take home point: Stick with trainers who can actually give you the honest scientific facts not hype and hot air.

4) Does the trainer actually have real world experience working with people like you?

There are basically two types of bad trainers out there. The first has very little education and knowledge and haphazardly puts workouts together. While the second has a lot of knowledge but very little experience applying that knowledge. You need to look for a trainer that has both the smarts and the looks. Sorry, I mean the smarts and the experience. And when we say experience we mean with people like you. Every client and client population is different. They have different needs and goals and their exercise programs should reflect that.

We all know plenty of individuals who have years of real world experience but still sucked at what they do. So please ask the trainer about his clients' success. Ask for testimonials and anything else that would prove that his / her ability to work with individuals like yourself would be a success.

Take home point: Has the trainer been there done that before, if not what other reasons did they give you to trust them?

5) Does the trainer take a careful look at your health / training history and perform evaluative tests to assess your fitness prior to beginning training?

If you're not assessing you're guessing. Before you ever begin exercising with a trainer they should perform a health history and some sort of physical assessment on you to assess your current health and wellness. Understanding a client's abilities and limitations is an absolute critical factor when designing training programs that are most appropriate and useful for a client.

The golden rule for a personal trainer should always be to do no harm. Assessments decrease the risk of doing more harm than good. Ask the trainer beforehand if they perform evaluations on their clients before beginning an exercise program. If they do ask them what type of assessment they will be conducting. If they do not perform an assessment ask them why they do not think it is necessary?

Take home point: If you are not being assessed the trainer is guessing. Make sure this is a normal part of the process.

6) What is the trainer's training philosophy?

Make sure that you know for a fact that the trainer has a plan of action for you. This should include some type of organized approach to their training program and how they plan on progressing you from week to week and month to month. A trainer should never just shoot from the hip when designing workouts. An unprepared trainer means an unprepared athlete or unimpressed client.

• How do they track progress?
• How do they decide what is important to track?
• How do they organize their client's training programs?
• Are the programs individualized for every client?
• What are they all about, in other words what is their philosophy on training in general and specifically with you?

Take home point: You need to understand what the trainer's goals are for you and exactly how they plan on taking you there.

7) What does the trainer expect from their clients?

Before ever giving a trainer any of your money make certain you know what the trainer expects from you. Some trainers expect their clients just to show up while others expect them to be there 10 minutes early warmed up and ready to go.

• How many days per week does the trainer expect you to be able to work with them?
• Are the trainer's expectations of what you need to be eating on par with what you deem as realistic and reasonable?
• How hard does the trainer push their clients and is it the type of intensity you are looking for?

Take home point: Make certain the trainer's expectations are realistic and reasonable for you to meet.

8) Is the training atmosphere comfortable and stimulating?

A training facility should be like a second home; comfortable and inviting yet inspiring and stimulating. Not all fitness facilities are created equal. Sometimes there is little the trainer who can do this but it still can make a huge difference in what you are taking away from your training sessions. Make certain you ask where the majority of the workouts will be taking place and then see if it is the type of environment in which you feel you could thrive and be yourself.

For example, a power lifter probably would have been pretty upset if it turns out the gym he signified up to train in has no barbells and almost all machines and middle aged recreational mild mannered clients.

Take home point: Make sure you fit-in before you sign on the dotted line.

9) Does the trainer's personality and attitude feel right for you?
There are a lot of trainers out there. You have the right to work with one which you genuinely enjoy being around. It should not be an either / or type of thing when seeking out a trainer, where you are forced to pick between a trainer which you really do not like but is good as what they do to get along with but are not so good at what they do.

You are going to be spending a lot of time with your trainer. Personal time at that, they will regularly make you do things that might not be that fun, regularly telling you what to do and correcting you on a regular basis. It always seems to hold true we learn better from people we respect and get along with.

Take home point: A trainer should be a coach and a friend, make sure they are someone you can respect and actually stand to take orders from.

10) Does the trainer let you try before you buy?

How many people buy a car off of the lot without driving it first? Then why would a trainer expect you to buy hundreds of dollars worth of personal training before you ever get behind the wheel and got to experience what they were all about.

Ask the trainer if they have any free or low cost trials? They should have something in place which allows you to try their services for no or low cost before signing-on for a longer commitment.

Take home point: Ask for a free or low cost test drive before you buy, this should always be an option for you.

There you have it, 10 critical questions to help you make your decision when choosing a personal trainer or other fitness professional. Remember quality is king and if you want the best in your area, you need to do your homework first.

Jeff Weber, MS, CSCS, Pn1

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3 Tips for Choosing the Best Exercise Program

It's not always easy to figure out which exercise program is best for you. Part of the reason is because infomercials distort reality, and make us think we need more than we actually do. What I mean by that is: 3% body fat, solid muscle, 6 pack abs, butt of steel, etc., which can only be accomplished by practically killing yourself.

One of the things that makes them so successful at getting us to buy into their philosophy, is that we do not really think about what kind of shape we want to be in. We just think about getting IN shape. We do not honestly think about how we'd like to look, in a realistic fashion. So, we see these guys in the infomercial and naturally think this is what being healthy and in shape looks like.

The other reason they're successful is because we tend to be impulse buyers . We see a P90x infomercial and think to ourselves, “I've always wanted a body that looks like that!” Most likely, that's the body we wanted when we were a teenager.

Fact is, being healthy and in good shape has nothing to do with those infomercials . Being healthy is simply eating right, staying within the weight range of your height and age, and exercising 30 minutes a day. When I say “exercising,” I'm not talking about killing yourself, I'm talking about getting in two to three days of aerobics, and two to three days of resistance training. That's honestly all it takes.

So, here are 3 tips to help you decide which exercise program is best for you . Grab yourself a notebook and get ready to write it all down.

1. How do you want your body to look? The best way to decide is to stand naked in front of a mirror. Look at yourself from the front, the back, and from the side. Talk about motivation! What changes would you like to make, and be realistic. If you're big-boned, do not imagine yourself as a small boned woman. If you're a man, do not imagine having broad shoulders if you do not already have them.

2. Now that you know what you want, write down all the sports activities you've loved through the years . Do not leave out a thing. Did you play basketball, or just love to shoot hoops? Volleyball? Tennis? Bowling? Martial arts? Skateboarding? Skating?

What about non-sports stuff like walking, aerobic videos, jumping rope, hula hoops, dancing or trampoline?

Why are we doing this? Because, the key to finding the right program, is finding something you've always loved to do.

3. Pick out one or more of your favorites. Are they challenging enough to help you meet your fitness goals? Is it a mixture of aerobics and resistance training?

If it's something like volleyball, basketball, etc. you can check your local Community Center and find out if there are any leagues you can join.

Ask friends and see if they know of any leagues, or if they'd like to put something together with you. You could challenge each other's business, church or synagogue.

Whatever you decide, at least now you know what you want for your life , so the next time you see an infomercial tempting you to buy something that's more than you need to meet your goals – you'll be able to say no and save a lot of money in the process.

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Protect Your Hands When Training

Maybe you're not the type of person who wants to spend hours every week in the gym weight lifting and pumping iron. If you're a fan of bootcamp style workouts like circuit or high intensity training you unduly have come away from your workouts with tore up or even bloody hands. Why not protect your hands with the best workout gloves you can find?

First let's review some of the basics of these styles of workouts. While some may refer to them as functional training, that's only only accurate. Functional Training refer to exercises that condition the body for activities you might do in every day life. Chances are, kipping pull ups or kettlebell sumo deadlifts are not something you're doing your lunch break at work. These exercises target muscle groups and motions you may do on a daily basis however. It's not about the exercises, it's about the muscles that they target and the motors simulated.

We do not have to tell you why you'd want to protect your hands if you've ever done a #wod! Anytime you're relying on grip strength for a workout you run the risk of raising up your hands! Continuous workouts without hand protection will likely result in calls to build up. This is why a lot of crossfit or bootcamp fans end up with tears and sometimes bloody hands. The dry rough skin can break or tear. Not only is it painful but it may actual inhibit future workouts. Workout gloves are not for everyone. Your best bet is to do a little research, read reviews and try a couple different products out for yourself.

HIIT or high intensity interval training is often interchanged with crossfit training or tabata training, however they do have their slight differences. Generally speaking tabata training are shorter intervals which are done at 90-100% of your maximum heart rate whereas HIIT has slightly lower goals of about 75-90%. Tabata is shorter “bursts” or intervals than HIIT and is actually more intense than most HIIT workouts ironically. Some training focuses on various modalities and styles of workout and the actual #wod (workout of the day) may vary greatly depending on the program and instructor. Regardless of which workout you choose, any type of functional or sport specific training regime is going to help you reach your fitness goals if you stick with it and insure you're down time or non training time supports your workouts and recovery.

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Killer Back and Biceps Workout for Size

Let's get ready for the gun show! Who does not want to walk around with massive pythons ?! Try this killer back and biceps workout for size! Attention … should only be attempted by guys who are not afraid of the burn!

1. Pull ups – Yeah you read that correctly. Forget about trying to curl 50 pound dumbbells. Yeah that works well too … if you're more impressed with showing off at the gym versus making real gains. We write a lot about pull ups because it's one of the best body body weight exercises you can do. If you're familiar at all with the ninja style workouts you'll know how important a pull up is. If you can not kick ass on the pull up bar you would not survive one obstacle on that course! So back to the pull up. This is the thing … it's all about slow controlled motion. Save jerking, kipping pull ups for the crossfit workouts! When you're lowering yourself, try to focus on not locking out completely. You'll call your back muscles into action hardcore. You can hit your biceps a bit more by mixing it up and allowing even less extension in your arms … this keeps your biceps more engaged.

2. Now get your butt over to the dumbell rack. You're going to run the rack like you never have before. Running the rack basically means starting with a weight and without rest progressing to the next increment 4-5 times. After your set with the heaviest weight, without rest you run the rack back down to your starting weight.

Here's how it looks:

10 pound dumbell – 5 Reps

15 pound dumbell – 5 reps

20 pound dumbell – 5 reps

25 pound dumbell – 5 reps

30 pound dumbell – 5 reps

25 pound dumbell – 5 reps

20 pound dumbell – 5 reps

15 pound dumbell – 5 reps

10 pound dumbell – 5 reps

If you think that sounds easy … then you clearly have not run the rack or done a true killer back and biceps workout ! By the time you get back to your starting weight you're gonna look like the biggest weaking because you're going to be struggling to move the 10 pounds! Obviously your starting weight with running the rack depends on your personal level of fitness. Try running the rack 2-3 more times and then get back to the pull ups bar!

This set you're going to focus on the negative movement. So instead of pulling yourself up to the bar, you're going to focus on keeping yourself from “falling” from the bar. A jump start will do the trick. The goal is to hold the position as long as possible. When you're starting to hit fatigue, do not rest! Pull yourself back up. If you need to bounce or get a boost back to the top that's not a problem, because this set is about the negative movement.

I guarantee your lats and biceps will be screaming the next day from this killer back and biceps workout!

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Progressive Loading Weight Lifting

Whether you're a bonefide gym rat who spends hours each week pumping iron, or you're a fan of bootcamp or Crossfit style workouts – you've probably heard the term progressive loading weight lifting. There's about as many descriptions for exercises and muscle building theories as there are personal trainers and fitness “experts” themselves! Let's review the basics of Progressive Loading along with some examples.

Progressive Loading Weight Lifting reiter to the concept of systematically increasing or loading additional resistance with that particular exercise.

Why does it matter?

You already probably understand the concept that if you want to build muscle you have to constantly be challenging that muscle. Your body will naturally adapt to it's environment regardless of what you do or do not do. The same concept applies to weight lifting. Occasionally you will hit a plateau where you stop seeing improvements in muscle growth or muscle mass. There are numerous opinions about when this happens, why this happens, and how to combat it … but we're not discussing that here. Progressive Loading Weight Lifting reiter to the idea of ​​continuing to push your muscle to achieve maximum results. If you're a crossfit workout fan you're probably familiar with this terminology and if not you're probably doing it anyway and it's popular with circuit training as well.

Strength Training using Weights (ie weightlifting)

When working with free weights, progressive loading is fairly simple. As you see strength gain and begin to reach muscle failure later – it's time to up the weight! Grab a pair of the best crossfit gloves … and the next higher set of dumbbells or throw another plate on the bar.

Bodyweight Training

Strength training and gaining muscle mass can be achieved without weights as well. Bodyweight training involves using the weight of your body (and gravity) to add resistance to the exercise you're performing. Progressive loading with body weight exercises is a bit more complicated.

Let's use chest exercises as an example. If you're goal is to build chest, the often overlooked Push Up can help you bust through your plateau. Again if you're at your local crossfit box or gym the push up is no stranger to you!

1. First, make sure you master the basics. Proper form for push ups is key. If you're unable to complete a full set of push ups, begin with an incline push up.

2. Progressive loading means you want to increase the resistance on you body. The next step using our push ups example would be a decline pushup. Place your feet on a bench or ledge so that they are elevated above your butt / upper body.

3. Making the push up even more difficult, if you wanted to progressively load even more resilience, you could try the handstand push up. This will likely be the toughest variation, and I suggest you have a workout partner or spotter around to keep you steady.

Do not under estimate bodyweight exercises if your goal is to build muscle! Remember, progressive loading does not have to always mean slapping more iron on!

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Weight Lifting Supplement Reviews

If you're looking for weight lifting supplement reviews you already know the basics … or your personal trainer, friend, gym buddy or co worker suggested you try some out. Keep in mind there are a ton of products on the market that promise you'll lose more weight, build more muscle and have more energy – but when it comes down to it, nothing will take the place of puttin in the time at the gym !

Beginners Guide Weight Lifting Supplement Reviews:

1. Creatine

Creatine's probably one of the most studied supplements on the market. It's also one of the few that have viable and scientific proof of its effectiveness. Before you run out to stock up on mounds of Creatine do your homework and make sure it will support your fitness goals. Creatine will give you some bulk pretty quickly. For guys this is great cuz they want bigger (everything). For women who's goal it is to lean up might not be as fond of the extra gain initially. Do not get too excited or stressed however, because the initial “bulk” is do to the increase of water and or fluids being held inside the muscle cells rather than actual muscle growth. The long-term benefits of Creatine however can be an increase in muscle size / strength. It alone does not build muscle , but rather allows your body to workout harder and recover better – then fueling growth. Dosage should be defined by your personal trainer, but on average 1-5 grams before and after workouts should do the trick.

2. Whey Protein

Yeah for Whey! Whey Protein is the richest source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) of all the nutritional proteins. It is also one of the easily digested proteins. Within an hour to an hour and a half its muscle building amino acids are delivered through the bloodstream. Studies have shown that when participants consumed a combo of whey protein, creatine and glucose (or carb food source) immediately before and after training they gained up to an 80% increase of muscle mass over a 10 week period. If you're new to working out and are checking out weight lifting supplement supplements – whey should definitely be a staple!

3. BCAAs

BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids are naturally occurring in protein sources such as dairy, legumes, and meat. On a molecular level, 3 essential components (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) form a branched chain chemical structure. The true superstar though is leucine, and it's necessary for muscle growth. Leucine activates muscle-protein synthesis in the muscle cells which means the potential for muscle growth. These 3 BCAAs can be used by the body's muscles as an energy source as well, which is why you want to take them before or after your workouts – but as always you should ask a knowledgeable personal trainer's advice as well!

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Fitness Over 40 – The Best Part Of The Hill

For 39 years we probably are not giving much thought to that number that comes after DOB on our Driver's License. Come year 40 however that all changes! Suddenly there's this benchmark made for us and we're now on one side or the other. It's true that age is just a number, but to your body it's an important number. Fitness over 40 starts in your head – it's all about Focus. Understanding what your goals are and establishing a healthy mind / body connection. If you've read “Fitness Over 40 – It's a Psychological Game” then you're ready to explore what is actually happening to your body physically and what you can do to adjust your workout routine accordingly.

Fitness Over 40 – Muscles and Joints

As our bodies grow older the connective tissues lose their ability to efficiently rejuvenate. The connective tissues are the body's supportive framework and they're starting to lose their spring so to speak. Tendons, ligaments and cartilage has started to slow down in response to the stressors that are placed upon it from our daily lives and especially our workouts. Since it's these connective muscles that protect our joints, this in turn is what leads to a greater chance of injury and joint pain.

For example, someone who's stayed in shape all their life as a runner might be finding that such a high impact exercise may not be the best choice of cardio exercise anymore. An alternative would be a lower impact exercise like the elliptical trainer or indoor cycling. Addressing impact level of an exercise is only one small change to consider however. Fitness over 40 needs to focus on strength training more than ever!

As you move past 25 and 35 and on your way “up the hill” your body is slowly starting to lose muscle mass and again there is a decline in your metabolic rate. The end result? A little more cushion for the pushin 'so to speak. Using our runner as an example again – even if you're still physically active and committed to your cardio workouts – without somehow preventing muscle loss you're likely to gain a bit of body fat. We'll get into the hormonal changes and effects of low testosterone on fitness over 40 – a bit later.

Strength training / resistance training has been shown to help with joint mobility, elasticity and bone density. Muscle burns fat, fat does not. Less muscle on your body equals less fuel to feed the fire that is your metabolism – it's really as simple as that!

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Fitness Over 40 – It’s a Psychological Game

You do not have a choice in the matter, the cold hard truth is that sooner or later we're all going to hit it … the big 40! Something magically happens with the infamous birthday – but it's not a massive biological or physical change – it's a psychological game really. Fitness over 40 is not all that much different than “fitness under 40” to be honest. Listening to your body and understanding how it responds to exercise and lifestyle decisions is something you should be practicing at any age. A cohesive mind / body connection is a crucible component to have with any workout routine.

Do not use your age as an excuse for any reason! At 23 your body may still be a fat burning machine. You may think you can eat what you want, workout if you want, and sleep when you want and you'll still wake up feeling great and jumpin into those skinny jeans with ease. If you do not change your unhealthy lifestyle habits you'll be faced with a new reality when you hit 33, 43, 53 or any age. The fact of the matter is that the body is constantly changing and evolving. As time goes on, the body does indeed lose it's efficiency in repairing itself. It's an unfortunate fact of life. There is no rule book for fitness and age or fitness and ability for that matter. You should not be comparing yourself to other people – you should be comparing yourself to YOU.

Fitness Over 40 – Focus

When we're 20 something, it's all about working out to look good at the beach or club. We're hard wired as humans to attract a mate and the 20's are prime time! Your focus is likely about physical appearance. As we get older however, we're more concerned about health issues and as our focus changes, so too should our workouts. Regardless of what your motivation is, listening to you body is key. My personal trainer friend likes to say “if it hurts do not do it.” This is kinda silly really because you need to know why it hurts and what makes it hurt. You need to know your body and make educated decisions! Whether you're a 20 year old young buck or a 40 year old stud is not the point – what you're doing with what ya got is! It's all about keeping goals and maintaining your focus. So what's exactly happening to your body that Fitness Over 40 is something you're interested in reading about? Read on my friend … Fitness Over 40!

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All Crossfit Gloves Are Not Created Equal

What does a Crossfit circuit, callused hands, and you have in common? The answer should be “nothing!” Working out does not have to mean living with rough, dry hands. Keep in mind however that not all Crossfit Gloves are created equal!

Is there a difference between weight lifting gloves and Crossfit gloves?

The simple answer is no. Whatever you're using your gloves for … is what they are called! Let's review some of the most popular choices used as Crossfit Gloves or crossfit hand protection.

Athletic Taping – Crossfit Hand Taping

Every guy has tried to grow a beard at some point in his life, and every crossfit fan has tried taping their hands at some point too. It does not work for everyone. Athletic tape is used similar to how a lifting strap or gymnastic strap may be used. The main point is to prevent calluses or hand teething, which is just overly washed skin that has callused and torn open.

1. Advantages – It's a cheap solution to prevent calls on the “meaty” part of your hand.

2. Disadvantages – It does not provide any relief against the “pressure” on the hand. (think of a kipping pull up). For the inexperienced it can be tough to wrap the hand properly.

Bodybuilding Gloves for Crossfit

Bodybuilding Gloves are the available in most sporting goods stores. They're usually made of leather and cover the entire hand with the exception of exposed fingers. They're been around almost as long as a 20 pound dumbbell has weighed 20 pounds.

1. Advantages – They definitely protect your hands! Leather is the most favored and popular material for bodybuilding gloves as they are the most durable.

2. Disadvantages – They're just too bulky! When's the last time you did a pull up with the back of your hand? What's the point of all that excess heavy material to get in the way of your workout? Because they cover the entire hand, air does not circulate properly and they tend to absorb sweat and smell funky.

Weight Lifting Gloves for Crossfit

Weight lifting gloves and Bodybuilding gloves are really synonymous. As the old school bodybuilding glove has evolved over the years it's been upgraded with lighter materials like Neoprene or Nylon mesh. While they are lighter, they still restrict movement because they cover the entire hand.

Weightlifting Chalk

Weight lifting chalk for Crossfit is the same stuff you see the hardcore gym rats slapping on their hands in the weight room. Weight lifting chalk is made from a magnesium carbonate formula. The idea is that it is supposed to wick away sweat and add a tackiness to your grip. This is pretty much a waste of time for the average crossfitter. It's messy and does not address the main problem of preventing calluses or tears.

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