Category: great workouts

SO YOU DON’T WANT TO EXERCISE TODAY….

SO YOU DON’T WANT TO EXERCISE TODAY….

Think about the after effects:
This is how I convince myself to not go back to bed when the alarm goes off at 4:14 a.m. I do this every single day. I never think about the actual act of exercising. I think about the after effects. I keep in mind how great I will feel after I’m done working out. On the flip side, I think about how disappointed and angry I will be with myself later in the morning for not exercising. I also think about my post-exercise routine, which is taking a nice shower and having a great cup of coffee while in my pajamas after the kids go to school.

Get dressed:
I work out in the morning, but many people exercise after work. When you get home, change into your “gym” clothes. This way, there’s one less obstacle standing in your way of exercising. When we’re tasked with something we don’t want to do or think we are unable to do, we count and dread each step required. By changing into your workout clothes as soon as you get home, you’re ready to jump onto the treadmill without any contemplation.

Change it up:
You may not have the urge to exercise today because you’re tired or burntout. One of the best ways to rejuvenate your exercise routine is to switch itup. I do the elliptical almost every day, and some days it is dreadful. On those days when I feel like I might not do cardio, I let myself off the hook from doing the elliptical and I do something different or new. I take a cardio kick boxing class or alternate the rowing machine and stair climber instead. Some days I will go swimming. Do something that you haven’t done before and add that to your exercise mix.

Do anything:
If nothing works motivating you to exercise, at the very least do something.Walk for 5 or 10 minutes, ride a bike down the street, anything. This keepsyour routine of working out everyday going, gets your blood flowing faster,elevates your heart rate, and is just overall good for you. You also may end up doing more than you think you can once you get moving.

3 Words to Maximize Fitness Results – Short. Intense. Change.

3 Words to Maximize Fitness Results – Short. Intense. Change.

I love weight training. I have been doing it for over 19 years, and I am always learning new ways to maximize my workouts and my results. Just walk into a bookstore or browse online and you’ll find all sorts of information on how to get the benefits of weight training, but there are a few steps you should follow no matter what your goals.

Step # 1: Make your workouts short. Weight training routines should never last more than one hour. Remember, you’re placing stress on the muscles as you lift weights. An hour is the maximum time to exercise without causing stress and possible injuries. Also, from a mental perspective, who wants to workout for more than an hour? If I knew I would be at the gym for more than an hour, I would start making excuses not to go.

Step # 2: Make your workout intense. During weight training sessions one of your goals should be to challenge your body, so it adapts by building new muscle cells and burning body fat. If you are going to take the time to lift weights, really make it worth your while. If you are lifting 2 pound dumbells and doing 20 reps and not feeling fatigued or tired, you are not working hard enough.

Step #3: Consistently change your weight training routines. Regardless of whether you are trying to burn fat, improve sports performance, boost your metabolism, get more tone, or become a body builder, change is a must. To reach your goals most effectively and work smarter, you must constantly challenge your body. Your body can adapt quickly to repetitive routines week after week. Adding more weight, changing the routine and changing the number of repetitions are all excellent ways to keep change in your weight training workouts. Not sure how to change it up? Check out this link for some cool ideas on acefitness.org.

The Lingo

The Lingo

For many new gym goers, the gym can be an intimidating place trying to learn how all the machines work and then there are all these terms that you start hearing. The following are some of the most common terms you might hear when weight training. It may also give you some ideas of how to mix up your routine.

Superset: A superset is when an individual does one lifting movement and then immediately does another movement for a different body part. Example: Push ups then right into squats.

Compound Sets: This is when one does two movements in a row for the same body part. Example: Leg curls right into stiff leg deadlifts.

Giant Sets: Giant sets are performed when an individual completes more than two movements in a row without rest. Example: Wide grip pulldowns, crunches, then squat jumps.

Concentric: This is the “positive” movement of the exercise. Example: the curling up when completing a dumbbell curl or the pressing down when completing and tricep pushdown.

Eccentric: This is the “negative” portion of the exercise. Example: straightening the arms after curling them in a bicep curl.

Isometric: There is no movement during and isometric exercise. Example: a plank or a wall sit.

1RM: This is an individual’s one rep max. This is the maximum amount of weight one can lift in a single repetition for a given exercise.

Drop sets: This is when an individual will take the amount of weight they are lifting and lower it by a percentage in order to complete more reps. Example: Bench press 100lbs for 10 reps then drop the weight 20% for 10 more reps.

Forced Reps: These are reps that require a spotter-someone to help watch your form and lift the weight for you if you can not. A forced rep would require the spotter to help the individual lift the weight once he/she feels they have reached failure in order to get more reps.

Plyometrics “plyos”: a type of exercise training that recruits the fast twitch muscle fibers the body uses for explosiveness and heavy lifting. Often times one thinks of jumping when it comes to plyos. Plyometrics can also be done for the upper body. Push ups, barbell curls, pull ups, push press and various other upper body movements can be done with the plyometric style.

The Flex Belt – Friend or Foe?

The Flex Belt – Friend or Foe?

I have never been aCAM00244c big fan of fitness equipment fads. I go with the tried and true free weights and running through my neighborhood. With that said, when I was contacted by The Flex Belt representative to try out the company’s product, how could I resist. I get a free Flex Belt to try, and then I just have to write an honest review.

So, we all have those things that we hold to be true, and two of my biggies (when it comes to fitness) are that 6 pack abs are made in the kitchen more so than the gym. Of course it’s important to work out your abdominals to build those muscles, but unless you have a healthy diet and lose some of your abdominal fat, all that ab work will never show itself. Secondly, I don’t feel like I have had a great workout unless I am sore the next day. This second one may or may not be scientifically true, but in my mind it’s true for me.

So here are the pros and cons –

PRO:

1. It’s easy to use once all the pads are in place. Don’t get intimidated by the pads… they are a bit sticky. Be sure to read the directions.

2. There are so many intensity levels of muscle contraction, it seems unlikely to get maxed out or outgrow the belt’s scope for a strong ab workout. The belt has longevity of usefulness.

3. MY ABS ARE SORE THE NEXT DAY… YAY!

4. I can wear it around the house while playing with the kids, cooking dinner, chores, or whatever.

5. It comes with a convenient carry case.

6. I don’t have to take time at the gym to work abs, and it works all abdominal muscles, so there is no need to do three different exercises to get this result. .. which translates to a shorter work out or more time for other muscles groups.


 

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CON:

1. It’s a bit pricey.

2. The directions indicate that if you have a belly button ring, you must take it out. This may or may not be an issue for ring wearers.

3. The belt is set up for only one individual to wear… can’t be shared with other family members.

4. I haven’t had to replace them yet, but additional gel pads must be ordered – (the belt includes the first set)

 

So, The Flex Belt claims that it will stimulate all your major stomach muscles at the same time providing you with the perfect abdominal contraction – that means your upper abs, the lower abs and even your obliques are going to get worked from The Flex Belt… and it does all the work for you. From what I have experienced this claim holds true. Will it give you a six pack abs? It may, but you won’t see that six pack reveal itself unless (or until) you also have a diet that contributes to shedding belly fat. Will I continue to use my Flex Belt… YES!

For additional information on The Flex Belt, check out this link! http://www.theflexbelt.com/?mcp=12389

INTENSITY and RECOVERY

INTENSITY and RECOVERY

Intensity and Recovery! From FITPOINT

FITPOINT Topic of the Week: We all workout at different intensities and vary in how often. How hard do you work-out? Do you ever fatigue yourself or do you workout just enough to get a little burn? If you do go all out, how do you deal with this or recover? What is your routine after your workout?

This is a great topic, and I have given it a lot of thought. Intensity and Recovery actually give me a lot of anxiety, as I am never sure I am doing the right thing.

First is intensity. Over the past six months, I have been trying other people’s workouts that I have gotten online – mostly from Bodybuilding.com. I have done drop set type work outs, rest pause type work outs, 15 rep work outs, and I am now finishing up a four week program of 7 sets workout. I was missing having a trainer, so by printing out a structured workout and following it to the “T” each time, I felt like I had a kind of “trainer”. I also chose workouts that I had never heard of before that offered a new way of thinking about muscle building. I figured that I was sure to do something “right” if I tried a whole bunch of different techniques.

After a lot of sole searching and analyzing of these workouts, I have come to realize that my intensity has suffered. I think because the workout routines were so specific, I felt like I had “pass” if I did not work as hard. Except for maybe the rest pause, all the workouts have not been as intense as what I would have done on my own. I am glad I gave each workout a try, but I am also disappointed and thinking that I wasted six months of training.

Today was legs and the last day of my 7 sets workout. I followed the workout as I have been for the past four weeks, but I also added several supersets to ramp up the intensity. I realized how much I have been missing that intensity.

I am looking forward to next week to get back to my old way of doing things, and I am sure I will incorporate a few tricks that I have learned along the way.

Next is recovery. What to eat, when to eat, how much protein, how many carbs… it makes my head spin. Everyone has a different opinion on the best way to recover. I almost always have a protein shake after a workout. Sometimes I add a banana in the shake and make a smoothie.

I used to add a teaspoon of raw honey to get a surge of sugar. When I first read about adding the honey, it made sense, but as I thought more about it, it seemed kind of crazy. I want my body to use up stored fat I already have, not give it honey to burn.

It is hard finding the balance between building muscle in the most efficient and effective way possible and maintaining a low weight. That is where my anxiety comes into play and why I stopped with the raw honey. I used to have a sweet potato about an hour after my protein shake. I need to start doing that again.

Click on the Fit Point Box to check out what other Bloggers
have to say about Intensity and Recovery.
Workout Reviews

Workout Reviews

I always try to mix up my workout, but I have realized that I actually mix up my workouts very little. I change the exercises or the sets and reps, but that is really it. I recently came across an article that described a workout that I have never heard of and concepts that I had never even considered. I printed it out and committed to it for six weeks.

First, I really liked having a workout that specified exactly what to do. I usually go to the gym and make up my routine as I go. Sometimes it will even change depending on what machines are open. Having it written down was almost like having a trainer. There was no guess work or thought about what to do next…. it was all right there for me to follow.

After six weeks, I was in search of another new workout to follow. I am trying to choose routines that are completely different than anything I have been doing, and I will review each routine based on the following criteria:

Desired result – did I make improvements?
Ease of use – was it easy to follow?
Timeframe – how long did it take each day, was the time realistic to commit to each day?
Intensity – did I feel like I had a really great (hard) workout?
Dread factor – did I dread it or look forward to it?
Repeat – will I do this routine again in the future?

***One thing to note: Women, please remember that building muscle or developing muscle does not mean getting bulky or manly. It refers to building muscle tissue which helps burn more calories and makes you look tone and fit.

Check out my “Check This Out” section on the right to get reviews for the exercise routines I am trying.

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