In 2014 I am going to lead a fitness oriented lifestyle”
This ageless New Year ‘s resolution remains at the top of the list YEAR AFTER YEAR.
My purpose today is to help reduce the statistic that one in every four resolutions ever make it to the spring season. It saddens me to see many people get through the hardest parts-acknowledging, committing and making the effort to get to the GYM. They already know that to maximize results they need to combine good nutrition, cardiovascular exercises and weight training, but they often end up discouraged and burnt out from getting little or no results, and sometimes, even worse, injuries. With so little ME time in our busy schedules, it is not hard to understand why people deduct gym time from their schedules if they do not see or feel any positive results.
I have been approached many times by my clients with the same question “…what comes first the cardiovascular exercises or the weight lifting?” And it is that very answer that can make or break your New Year’s resolution. Sticking to a fitness routine that allows you to utilize your time at the gym most efficiently can maximize your results and even minimize injuries and discouragements.
Although a fitness plan is tailored on an individual level, below is a break down of the four basic options you can choose from to design the appropriate fitness routine for you based on your lifestyle and fitness goals.
1.In a perfect world, you should work out twice a day two to three times a week (allowing days off in between for your body to rest and recuperate). Do cardio early in the morning when your metabolism is in its highest level and then weight lifting in the afternoon or in the evening.
2. If you are limited in time due your busy schedule, and must do both the weight training and cardiovascular exercises at each session, maximize your workout each time you finally do make it to the gym. Here too, it is best to go a few days a week with resting days in between workouts. Make sure to come to the gym with a tank full of glucose (stored Carbohydrates). The recommended and most productive way is to start with weight lifting and end with cardiovascular exercise
The reason for that is simple:
If you do your cardio first, you will spend b/w 15 to 20 minutes burning your glucose reserves (and even more if you’re not fit). Your body is now ready to burn fat for energy but, by the time you get to the weight lifting you might feel too fatigued due to a lack of glucose and end up burning less fat. Therefore, starting with weight lifting enables your body to use the reserve glucose first, you will feel much stronger and lift more and by the time you get to the cardio part of your workout your body will be ready to burn fat for energy.
3. Another approach if you are limited with time, is to do cardio on one day and weight lifting on the other. This routine has its advantages and disadvantages. Spending your full workout on either one or the other allows you more time to explore and devote to each but does not allow enough time for your body to recuperate between workouts possibly leading to over training.
4. For those of you that are training for endurance or performance skills like biking, hiking, marathons etc. my suggestion would be to start with cardio and do weight lifting in your spare time. Here too, be careful not to over train and cause injury to your body.
Happy New Year and don’t forget to stay Fit in 2014
*Please always consult your physician before engaging in any kind of weight training or cardiovascular activity
Personal Trainer’s Key to Exercising Right
Many people approach me about what they are supposed to do with the weights & circuit machines now that they have made the commitment to go down to the gym and have been shown how to use the equipment.
There are also those that do not ask, but either lift too much weight (dangerously thinking they have to push themselves to a max in order to get results) or they rest so much in between sets that their results are minimized and they end up getting frustrated with lack of results.
One of the most confusing elements of weight training is figuring out the relationship between your workout goals, like endurance, strength and power and the correct execution of it; amount of weight, sets, repetitions and rest time.
The following table‐‐which is core knowledge in personal training‐‐is an extremely useful chart to reference to when designing your own weight lifting program. It answers questions like “how many reps am I suppose to do if I want to build muscle?”, “how much weight should I use if I want to focus more on endurance and less on size?” “How long should I rest for?” and many others.
1. Calculating your Workload: Unless you are an advanced trainee don’t ever try to perform a 1 rep maximum set, it is way too dangerous and may lead to some serious injuries.
You can easily estimate your 1 rep maximum by using a weight where you can maximum perform 10 repetitions in good form. This amount of weight roughly represents 75% of your 1 rep maximum. (E.g. suppose you bench press 100 Lb for 10 reps, your 1 rep max would be 130lb)
2. A General Exercise is a multi joint exercise where the prime mover (targeted muscle) is being helped by other small muscles [E.g. Bench Press: Prime mover – Pectoralis Major (chest), Assisting muscles: Anterior Deltoid (shoulder), Triceps]. A Specific Exercise is better known as an isolation exercise where the prime mover has minimal assistance from other muscles and is usually activated at one joint (E.g. Leg Extension).
3. Exercise per body part: general guidelines for a beginner are 1 General exercise of Strength/Endurance. An Intermediate – 1 General Exercise of Size/Strength and 1 Specific Exercise of Strength/Endurance.
4. Endurance Exercises and Power Exercises are optional and may be used discretionary as part of your specific goal routines.
5. Although Rest Days for Endurance Exercises are 1‐2 days they are irrelevant because you would still need a minimum of 2‐3 rest days to recuperate from your Strength/Endurance and Size/Strength exercises. Any performance of Power Exercises would require 3‐5 rest days between body parts.
6. Power Exercises relate only to your Thighs, Lower Back and Chest.
If you have any questions using this chart or need more information please contact me.
As always, please consult with your physician before engaging in any physical activity.
Enjoy your workout and always remember that safety comes first.
What Pace Should I Use On The Treadmill?
The treadmill is one of the most popular exercising machines in the GYM. We use it for walking, jogging or running. But at what pace should we train? To answer that we need to get familiar with two terms: Training Zone and Target Heart Rate.
Training Zone is simply our training goal.
There are 5 main Training Zones:
1. Warm Up - 50% -60% of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
2. Energy Efficient (Recovery Zone) – 60%-70% of MHR
3. Aerobic – Cardiovascular (Endurance Zone) - 70% -80% of MHR
4. Anaerobic – Lactic Acid (High Performance Zone) - 80% -90% of MHR
5. Red Line (Maximum Effort Zone) - 90% -100% of MHR
Target Heart Rate, THR, is a derivative of our Maximum Heart Rate, MHR, and is used in conjunction to the type of training zone.
To calculate our THR we will use the Karvonen Formula. This formula takes into account our personal Resting Heart Rate, RHR, which increases its accuracy and validity. The THR illustrated on our treadmills is based solely on MHR and thus less accurate than the Karvonen formula.
TargetHR(Karvonen) = (MaximumHR – RestingHR) X Training Zone% +RestingHR
MHR = 220 – Age
RHR = resting heart rate as measured at wakeup for 60 seconds
A 30 year old who’s Resting Heart Rate (RHR) is 60 and trains for Endurance will keep his heart rate between 151 and 164.
MHR →220 -30 = 190
THR → (190 - 60) X 70% + 60 = 151
→ (190 -60) X 80% + 60 = 164
The THR will guide you at what pace to train. As long as your THR remains within the limits of the training zone you are training at the right pace. If it goes over than you should slow down and if it falls below you should speed up. I recommend purchasing a heart rate monitor, POLAR brand in particular, not only this company produces some of the finest heart rate monitors but they are also compatible with our Galaxy treadmills so you can track your THR on their front display.
Exercising right goes way beyond the physical act of working out. In order to achieve a beneficial fitness program, you must train your mind along with your body. Remembering that working out is a mind-body experience enables you to not only increase your fitness results but to also lead a balanced life. A positive mental attitude (PMA) is important when it comes to working out whether you are stretching, doing cardio, weightlifting, or practicing any sport. Below I will focus on the basic ingredients for a positive mental attitude in the gym.
In order to achieve your fitness goals self control and determination are necessary. For many of us, a strong will power develops from incentives like summer season, wedding, New Year’s Resolution, pregnancy, high cholesterol, just to name a few. Although will power usually evolves out of a true love for working out, you can also develop it in other ways. Since we tend to like things we are more familiar with, becoming knowledgeable in fitness training can actually enhance our will power. You should surround yourself with information, read fitness magazines & books, participate in sports events, speak with athletes & increase your network to include people that also work out.
Having will power goes hand in hand with motivation and it is very important to be motivated before your workout and before each set. There are different ways to get motivated. Working out in couples, ‘the buddy system’, or with a personal trainer is not only more effective and fun, but a great motivational booster. The right energetic music is an excellent way to boost your motivation level. Watching your TV shows while on the treadmill/bike can be a motivational guide to get you off of the couch and into the gym.
Visualization and concentration also play important roles for a positive mental approach in fitness training. Before going to the gym think about your fitness routine for the day and psyche yourself to have the best workout ever. Visualizing each exercise before executing will condition your mind to train most effectively. Mind-to-muscle connection is the ability to visualize a muscle and to feel it working through a complete range of motion. Rather than thinking about “where do I feel a muscular stimulus?” it requires you think about where you are supposed to feel the stimulus. Until you are able to develop a mental connection with your muscles the effectiveness of your training efforts will be limited.
Don’t think of the entire set all at once make sure you are executing each rep to its maximum potential. Concentrate on each rep, one at a time. Thinking about how many reps you still have to complete often leads to frustration and failure.
Keep your workouts short but effective. A good workout should not last more than one hour including warm up and stretching. Many people tend to turn a workout in the gym into a social meeting. By avoiding it, you are less likely to get tired of the gym, will be able to concentrate on each set better, and thus get better results.
Besides the obvious physical health and physique benefits, there are many great mental and psychological benefits to working out with a positive mental attitude. We have all felt that energetic rush after a bike ride, that stress relieving set at the bench press or that tension releasing stretch after a long day. PMA leads to a better fitness program and ultimately to a better quality of life.
Use your gym time wisely. Concentrate, listen to your body, breathe correctly, relieve stress, visualize, get educated, get motivated, enjoy, and exercise right!
For more information write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917.533.2661
Great, we are going to the gym and have a fitness routine that is keeping us healthy, fit, happy & in-shape. What happens when we are physically taken out of our familiar routine territory and are called on a business trip or planning a family vacation? When you detrain, whether for a break because of an injury, vacation, other, a lot of the progress diminishes unfortunately faster than the time & energy you spent getting there. When we stop the fitness momentum our bodies get used to not working out. Once we finally get our will power and motivation back, we notice that we are lifting less weight and breathing harder to run the same miles we breezed through just one or two weeks prior. This can be frustrating especially since it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks to get back to the fitness level we left off.
Many of my clients ask me what they should do on a vacation or business trip with only 20-30 minutes to spare for themselves so that they maintain their fitness level. In this article, I am speaking to those of us that already know how to work out. You have already seen your physician, have gotten instruction on proper workout formation, and have some sort of fitness routine. That said, I will be providing some basic tips as to ‘what’ exercises (& what variations of) to do on your vacation. I am assuming you already know ‘how’ to do these the correct way at the gym. If you are not familiar with any of the exercises I discuss, please do not use this article as a guide to doing the exercises for the first time. Email me at email@example.com or call 917.533.2661--I will be more than happy to explain to you further.
I recommend as a first step to purchase the Abs Wheel—a small, light, fitness tool that can easily fit into your travel bag. It is a general, multi-joint exercise tool that works major muscles in the body simultaneously. You can purchase the Abs Wheel at any Champs, Modell’s or Sports Authority type stores (for under $10). Although there are many out there, the basic ones work very well and consist simply of two wheels with one handle on each side.
The best way to squeeze in a workout on you trip is early in the AM, at the end of your day, or before a shower. You should try to time yourself so that you do not eat 1hour prior to your workout. If you have a fitness center in the hotel, obviously that will be the best place for you to workout but there are other options. I will address a routine that can be done in the hotel room as well as the gym they provide. If you are to work out in your room, set up the mood. Place the do not disturb sign on your door, turn on MTV or the radio and get uplifted.
For starters stretch before and after your workout and make sure you have access to plenty of water. A quick & simple warm up is to walk/jog in place for 5 minutes engaging both arms and legs.
If you have the time for cardiovascular exercises, there are a few options. If provided, you can use the cardio machines in the hotel gyms, which typically consist of treadmills, bikes, or stair climbers. If there is no gym available and weather permits ask the concierge where there is a route (preferable scenic of course) for you to safely jog. One of my personal favorites is stair climbing. It is time efficient; every 15 minutes of walking up the stairs equals around 30-45 minutes of jogging. You can also get a great workout no matter what the weather is or where you are. Please keep in mind this is a tougher cardio routine and requires good health, fitness, heart and knee conditions.
For the resistance-training portion of your workout follow this basic routine beginning with squats. Squats work major muscle groups including the quadriceps, buttocks, hamstrings, and front thighs. You will use the same formation as in the gym; the only difference is you will not use weights. Instead, when you squat down (at a moderate pace) raise your arms straight and forward to shoulder level & on the way back up lower arms back to waist level. Repeat 20 reps for 3 sets.
You are now ready for the Abs Wheel. As I mentioned earlier, this multi-joint fitness tool works many major muscles including your abs, back, arms and shoulders. For starting position, get on your hands and knees facing the ground. Grip the Abs Wheel on both sides with your hands, keeping your arms fully extended and the wheel located right below your chest. Take a look at your position. At all times in this exercise, make sure the three points of contact with the floor are your knees, feet, and Abs Wheel. Keep your buttocks erect to relieve the lower back, and keep your abs tight. Begin to roll forward (away from your body) by extending your hips and flexing your shoulders until you reach your ‘Sticking Point’ (that point where it feels difficult to roll back). It is important to note here that this point varies from person to person and for each person as we develop strength. At that sticking point you stop and roll back to start position. Rep it to maximum or 25 reps (whichever comes first) for 3 sets resting 1 – 1½ minutes between each set.
Classic push-ups can be done anywhere and are good for working out your chest, shoulders and arms. For those that cannot do regular pushups with only feet and hands touching the floor, you can simplify the set by crossing your legs and keeping your knees on the floor. Either way, perform 3 sets of 10-15 reps using different widths each time for variation. For the first set, place your hands on the floor at shoulder width. For the second set place your hands 2-3 inches wider than shoulder width and the third set 2-3 inches closer than shoulder width.
For many of us business trips and (hopefully many) vacations are part of everyday life. Since we have already successfully incorporated fitness into our daily routines there is no reason to have to choose one over the other. Working out is a way of life and should be handled when planning a trip like packing a toothbrush, finding an Internet connection or making dinner reservations. Following this basic routine will not necessarily enhance your strength but will maintain your fitness momentum. It will be easier for you to bounce back into your routine when returning home and travel right
CARDIO or WEIGHTS
SETS and REPS
TARGET HEART RATE