Walk in to any fitness center, and you’ll see lots of machines taking up space – from treadmills, bikes and ellipticals to weight machines that seem to be medieval torture devices, seemingly working every muscle in the body. What do all of them do? Do you need all of those machines? If walking into a gym with lots of machines is intimidating enough,walking into a gym without any machines is even more so! What do you do with all that stuff? All you see are free weights, and maybe some bars, ropes, boxes, and other, different looking, torture devices. Is one better than the other? Will machines get you better results? Or will free weights? As with everything related to your health, the answer is, “It depends”. It depends on where you are in your fitness journey: your physical abilities and what you know about exercising. Pros & Cons of Read More . . .
“Youth is Wasted on the Young” – George Bernard Shaw When I was in my 30’s, I was strong. I would work out with heavy weight, my strength training schedule was carefully planned and followed, and about every 12 weeks, I would dutifully take a week off from training, to give my body a break, and ensure that I wasn’t over-training. After the self-imposed week off from training, I would pick right back up where I left off, and move on with the rest of my training schedule. Then, something ‘magical’ happened: I turned 40. Everything changed. After I turned 40, if I took a week off for a vacation, or just because my body needed a break, Oh. My. GOD! The Soreness! For Days! See, beginner exercisers wonder when the soreness is going to get easier. And the answer to that is: if you’re consistent, your body should get Read More . . .
We all have exercises that we like, and therefore do a lot; and there are exercises that we dislike, and don’t do, unless we’re forced. I have them too. We tend to gravitate towards those bodyparts that we enjoy training, and steer clear from those that we don’t. The problem with doing the same exercises over and over again (and not doing others ever) is that you risk injury. When one group of muscles is significantly stronger than another group, you will move differently than if your muscles are balanced in strength. Strong muscles pull on other muscles in the body, and weaker muscles stretch out. An example of that might be if you have weak lower back, the stronger muscles in the glutes and hamstrings will pull on your lower back muscles. That could pull your pelvis out of alignment, and cause pain not only in your lower back, but also Read More . . .
There are hundreds upon hundreds of personal trainers in your city – let alone the US or the world. Have you ever had one? How did you pick him/her? What do you look for when you hire a personal trainer? Certification? Years of experience? Did you stalk her, watch her train other clients to see how she interacted with them? Or did you select her because of her body? Choosing a trainer based on looks is a bad idea. Deciding on a trainer based solely on appearance is as bad of an idea as picking a life partner out of a magazine. I don’t need to explain that. Do I? Most people have a disconnect about what a trainer can do for them. They hire a trainer with the idea that they’re going to lose weight and look toned, and so they hire a trainer who has the body style that they, themselves, desire. There Read More . . .
When clients come to me saying that they want to lose weight, I understand what they mean. If I were to be snarky, I could say, ‘oh, you want to lose 10 lbs? Let’s just chop off your right arm. Would that make you happy?’ …but that probably wouldn’t make a good first impression now, would it? When folks say that they want to lose weight, what they mean is that they want to lose body fat. We want to look ‘toned’ – like our muscles are flexing even when we’re sitting on the couch. The degree of muscularity desired, however is different depending on the individual, and what they perceive to be an ideal physique. What’s counter-intuitive, though is we say that we want to lose weight, even though we want to lose fat, but we’re measuring that success with a tool that only measures our gravitational pull to the earth – the scale. Read More . . .
Although I realize that January is the beginning of the calendar year, and folks like to make health resolutions at that time of the year, but I think it’s a terrible idea. It’s no wonder that by Superbowl weekend, most resolutions are broken and forgotten. There are many reasons why resolutions go by the wayside: often times they’re vague (I’m going to get healthy!), or overambitious (I’m going to start running every day – even though I haven’t run a mile in 5 years), or there’s just no real planning behind the resolution (HOW are you going to get healthy? What steps are you going to take to accomplish that?). When looking at people’s behaviors and what factors make them change their habits, researchers discovered that many folks changed their habits after a major life event. They didn’t even realize that they were doing it. But when their life changed due to Read More . . .
Set Up: Stand with your feet about hip width apart. Feet should be parallel or toes just slightly pointed out. Either hold the ends of one dumbell in each hand, or hold one dumbell in each hand. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Lunge one foot back, and return to standing. Review the Lunge for demonstration on the lunge movement. As you rise from the Lunge position, perform a Lateral Raise. Review the Lateral Raise for demonstration on the movement. Lunge the other foot back, and return to standing. After you rise from the Lunge position, bend over and perform a Rear Raise. Review the Rear Raise for demonstration on the movement. Specific Cues: Do not look at the ground. Use weight appropriate for the Lateral Raise or the Rear Raise. Related Exercises Lunges Lateral Raise Rear Raise
Set Up: Stand with your feet about hip width apart. Feet should be parallel or toes just slightly pointed out. Either hold the ends of one dumbbell in each hand, or hold one dumbbell in each hand. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Lunge one foot back at a time, and return to standing. Review the Lunge for demonstration on the lunge movement. Squat with your weights on either side of your legs – or if you’re not using weights, hands can be at your hips or by your sides. Review the Goblet Squat for demonstration on the squat movement. Squat Jump. Specific Cues: Do not look at the ground. Review cueing for the Squat movement, the Lunge movement, and the Jump Squat When finishing the jump Squat, Do NOT land on straight legs. Doing so will put a lot of stress on the knees. So, although it will hurt, from the Read More . . .
Major Muscles Worked: Shoulders Set Up: Stand with your feet closer than hip width apart. Feet should be parallel to each other. Hold one dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: With your palms facing each other, slightly bend your elbows. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Keeping the bend in your arms the same, arc your elbows out and up so that you’re lifting the weights towards the ceiling. Keep your torso stationary. At the top of the motion, slightly rotate your hands down so that your pinky fingers are closer to the ceiling than your thumbs. Reverse the motion, and lower the weights with control. Specific Cues: If your torso is moving a lot, you may need lighter weights. Think about the movement as coming from your elbows – versus lifting the weights. The movement is similar to you pouring water from a Read More . . .
Set Up: Stand with your feet hip width apart or closer at the top of your mat. Hold one dumbbell in each hand. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Start by bending over, and placing the dumbbells on the floor. Kick your feet back so that you are in a high plank position. Perform a push-up Perform the Renegade Row movement Jump your feet up towards your hands. Stand, taking the weights with you. Notes: This is a freakin’ HARD exercise! If the video seems a bit choppy, it’s becasue I edited out the valuable seconds that you didn’t want to watch me catching my breath! You can alternate the rowing motion (as I did in most of the sets) or you can do one side at a time (like I did in the 3rd set). As you tire, you could put your knees down in the push-up Read More . . .