Tag Archives: resistance training

Exercise? I don’t wanna!

Excellent post on getting your butt in gear, and getting healthy. Enjoy!

You’ll Never “Feel” Like It

I was waiting for an appointment yesterday and the woman noticed I was wearing a Mohr Results Boot Camp jacket.  She asked about it and said “wow, that sounds fun … we did a Biggest Loser program here at work, but IT didn’t work.”

I came back and asked what didn’t work about it.

She said — OK, well I guess I didn’t try.  I really didn’t feel like working to change.

Now I didn’t quite say this, but in my head I thought…

“You’re NEVER going to feel like it!”

While she was talking about losing weight, this is really in reference to anything in life … any change you want to make.

Yes In “our” world, that’s losing weight.  Improving your diet.  Exercising daily.

I recently made a confession how I had been slacking with my daily routine.

Although I’ve since been back at it in full force, mixing some variety into my workouts with more TRX, kettlebells, hill sprints (and loving the unseasonably warm weather in Louisville so I’m not out there in 20 degrees), etc … I too finally said in my head that “NOW is the time because I would never feel like it.”

In fact we also heard a recent interview with author and radio personality Mel Robbins where she quotes some research saying it takes just 5 seconds for a thought to leave you.  In other words, if you’re sitting on the couch and thinking “I should get up and go exercise,” within 5 seconds if you don’t act, it’s gone.

Interesting.

So here’s how you need to take this to the next level.

First, decide WHY you want to make change.  The outcome you’re after.

Getting healthy is NOT a good reason.

‘Health’ is like a moving target without a solid definition because it’s different for everyone.

So scratch “I want to get healthy” off the list.  Of course that’s an outcome that will result from changing behaviors.

What’s the REAL reason?

It might be 100% focused on your appearance.  That’s fine.

It may very well seem selfish.  Even better.

Why?

Because when YOU personally want to make change, it needs to be about YOU and what’s in it for you.  Not your spouse, kids, girlfriend, boyfriend or whoever else.

Now here’s step #2.  You’ve figure out your REAL why.

Make it very specific.

Fit better in your clothes isn’t specific enough.

Do you want to drop a pants size?  Two pants sizes?

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Finally and most importantly, what behaviors are necessary to achieve this outcome?

A goal that’s focused on the behaviors to achieve the desired outcome is the one that will get you the results you want.

Focus on the behaviors, not the outcome, if you want to achieve permanent success.

And this all goes back to the line from the interview we listened to the other day “You’re never going to feel like it.”

You’re never going to feel like taking the necessary steps to make change permanent, but as soon as you do have that previously fleeting thought that you want to make change, TAKE ACTION.

Your action may not be perfect, but taking action is exactly what’s needed to get the ball rolling!

Source: http://blogs.menshealth.com/bellyoff-nutritionist/youll-never-feel-like-it/2012/02/29/?cm_mmc=Twitter-_-MensHealth-_-Content-Blogs-_-HowToChange


Personalize Your Workout

Looking for the right workout for your personality? This great little article from fitness magazine offers up some great alternatives that might fit your personality!

The Best Workout for You

Create an exercise plan you won’t ditch before the month is out by matching your routine to your personality.

You are: Social

You know this because: Few things bring you more joy than a booked calendar. As long as you’re dashing off to a dinner here and an outing there, you’re a happy camper.

Try: Exercise Classes. You can belly dance, kickbox, cycle. The name of the game is togetherness. Even if you don’t belong to a gym, most towns have a community center that offers adult-ed programs.

You are: Competitive

You know this because: You really (really) want to win. You probably played sports growing up, and now you get a bit anxious if you see someone running at a faster pace on the next treadmill.

Try: Joining a League. From lacrosse to field hockey, there are adult teams battling it out every Saturday morning or Tuesday night. Not into the group thing? Sign up for a 5k race or a triathlon.

You are: Inquisitive

You know this because: You’re the one at the museum asking all the questions about architects during the Ming dynasty. If there’s something to learn, you’re there.

Try: DVDS- Lot’s of ’em. Most come with explicit instructions, so you can become an expert on all kinds of workouts, including what muscles they use and why they’re good for you, without leaving your living room.

You are: Meditative

You know this because: You look inward, preferring to take the time to reflect and think before you speak.

Try: Yoga- It’s a no brainer. To get your heart rate up while centering your split, do repetitive-motion sports like swimming, jogging, cycling, kayaking or rowing. The movements can put your brain into a Zen-like state.

You are: Outdoorsy

You know this because: You’d rather run in the pouring rain than get on the treadmill. You like nothing better than exploring a mountain, lake, beach or trail.

Try: Hooking up with a hiking, cycling, walking or running club. An active group of kindred spirits will introduce you to new places and gear while providing a community for swapping adventure stories.

You are: Romantic

You know this because: You like journaling, scrapbooking, decoupaging and antiquing. You care about how your body looks, but you’re not all that interested in traditional exercise.

Try: Dancing. There’s nothing more romantic, be it flamenco, salsa, ballroom, African or line dancing. You get to dress up, maybe even pretend you’re someone else, and move to your favourite music.

You are: Type A

You know this because: You want results- and you want them preferably in 20 minutes or less. You really don’t care why your workout works, just that it does.

Try: Interval training. It’s the perfect way to boost your heart rate and burn fat fast. Just don’t do it every day- three times a week is plenty to give your body time to get stronger.

Source: Fitness Magazine February 2008


You’ve Lost the Weight- Now What?

I found an excellent article I had stashed away since 2008! This article, written by Camille Noe Pagan and published in Fitness Magazine,  is all about keeping your goal weight, once you’ve finally hit it. There are a lot of great mental health tips in here as well- if you have lost weight and are feeling bad habits creep back in, or if you’ve just begun your journey to a healthy body, you must read this article. Enjoy!

Life After Weight Loss (the truth no one tells you)

You finally lost the extra pounds; good for you! You’ve achieved what more than half of all Americans are still struggling to do. But here’s something few trainers, dieticians or magazine will tell you; After you reach your goal, you’re not done. Complete your success story using these 7 easy steps.

When Heather Radi traded fast food for a high-protein diet and regular exercise last year, she earned a slimmer figure, more energy and lower blood pressure in return. She also wound up with a “stomach that looked like a deflated balloon”, says the 27-year-old publicist from Miami. “Don’t get me wrong, my life is much better now that I’m 80 pounds lighter. But I wish I’d known that losing it wasn’t the final step.”

The truth is, weight loss is a journey that continues well past the day your goal number registers on the scale. “Whether you lose 30 pounds or 200, you need to be mentally prepared for what happens next,” says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the Weight Management Center at the university of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “The more ready you are, thebetter you’ll be able to cope and keep the pounds off.” Find out what really happens after you shed the pounds- and what steps you can take to get the figure and mind-set you want, for good.

Step One: Learn to love the limelight

“After I lost 120 pounds, I struggled with the comments I received,” says Pamela Monfredo, 32, a teacher in Melville, New York. “Guys who had never glanced my way were flirting with me; people held doors open; strangers complimented me. After years of feeling invisible, I was overwhelmed.”

Being heavy- with the social pressures and the self-blame tat can go along with it- can do a number on a person’s self-esteem, explains Martin Binks, Ph.D., director of behavioral health at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina. And that doesn’t magically disappear when the weight is gone. The result: “Newly thin people may feel unworthy of the fuss others make over their success,” says Binks. The best way to coax yourself into feeling worthy? Say thank you the next time you get a compliment, even if you’re dying to tell the person she’s wrong. “If you give credibility to the negative voice inside, then you’ll never fully accept your achievement,” he says.

Consider seeing a cognitive-behavioral therapist, who can help you shift your feelings and behaviors with an action plan, if you’re still struggling after several months. Monfredo did: “My therapist helped me stop worrying about how to respond to compliments. If I reacted awkwardly, it was a learning experience; I’d try to be more graceful next time. It was a bumpy road, but today I’m finally comfortable.”

Step Two: Tone and tighten

“Based on the number of women who seek surgery to correct loose skin after weight loss [about 66,000 in 2006], it’s a prevalent issue,” says Richard D’Amico, M.D., president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Although sagginess is more common in women 30 years old and up (elasticity decreases with age) and in those who lose 70 pounds or more, younger women who drop as little as 20 pounds may be left with extra skin, says Dr. D’Amico.

The safest (and cheapest) way to tighten your skin is through strength training, says Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore. “Building muscles in virtually nay area of the body can ‘fill out’ the skin and give you a firmer appearance.”

“If you work your major muscle groups three of four times a week for 60-90 minutes, you’ll likely see an improvement within two months,” says Nicole Glor, a certified personal trainer in New York City. To help women reach their goals, she makes sure her clients lift the right weights. An Ohio State University study found that nearly everyone without a trainer or experience underestimates the amount of weight they should be lifting, usually by 50 percent. Glor suggests gradually increasing the heft of the dumbbells: Started with 8 pounds? Move to 10, then 15 after about a month.

If you remain unsatisfied with the firmness of your skin after about nine months of regular, targeted strength training at your goal weight, and you lost 100 pounds or more, you may want to mull over body-contouring surgery, which removes and tightens excess skin. The latest numbers show that 63 percent of thigh and upper-arm body-contouring surgeries in 2006 were performed on patients following drastic weight loss; that’s an increase of about 30 percent in three years according to the American Soceity of Plastic Surgeons. A recent survey from the National Women’s Health Resource Center found that weight loss is one of the leading reasons women choose to have breast lifts, reductions and/or implants. After breast surgery, abdominoplasty (aka a tummy tuck) is most popular, followed by body lifts, which tighten skin all over the body.

The downside: Surgery is a risk, it can take weeks to recover, and some scarring is inevitable. Plus, it’s pricey.  The average cost of a tummy tuck, for instance, is $5,000- and insurance most likely won’t cover the cost.

Step Three: Put the sizzle back in sex

People who lost an average of 13 percent body fat over the course of two years felt more attractive and enjoyed sex more post-slim-sown, according to a report from the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. But while your libido may be sky-high after weight loss, if you lose more than 40 pounds, estrogen levels may plummet, lowering lubrication and making intercourse uncomfortable. If it happens, don’t panic. “It’s usually temporary, especially if you’re not in menopause,” says Rosemarie Schulman, R.N., coauthor of Tipping the Scales. Use an over-the-counter lube until your natural lubrication returns after three to six months.

Step Four: Strengthen your bonds

“The vast majority of women emerge from weight loss with at least one altered relationship,” says Binks. “Some friends may fear you’ll become different after losing weight; others may feel threatened by your success or upset that you no longer want to do unhealthy things, like skip the gym to hang out.”

LEslie Engel, 39, a marketing manager from Chicago, learned that firsthand. “When I decided to lose weight five years ago, one of my closest friends was clearly threatened,” she says. “She criticized my diet plan and tried to upstage me when people complimented my figure. It really hurt, and eventually I let the relationship fade away. I realized she just wanted me to be her fat friend.”

If this happens to you, “say something like, ‘I know my weight loss is a big change, but I need your support. Do you think that’s possible?’,” says Brinks. If her attitude persists, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship. “As we grow and change, people fall in and out of our lives- and after weight loss is no exception. That doesn’t mean you didn’t have a good friendship. It just means that its time has passed.”

Step Five: Rev your metabolism

Your metabolism will temporarily slow after you lose weight. “Your body is used to running on more calories,” explains Cheskin. “So when you’re eating less for weight loss, your body begins to act as is it’s being short-changed. Your metabolism slows in an attempt to conserve fuel.” Offset the lull by eating healthy snacks, like an apple with peanut butter, or mini-meals every three or four hours. “You’ll ward off hunger, an becasue your body burns calories when digesting food, your metabolism will be more consistently revved,” Cheskin says. Son’t leave exercise out of the equation; it’s key for burning more calories.

Step Six: Revamp your medicine cabinet

When you lose weight, you may also ease or reverse conditions like Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. If you used to take medication for them, you may not need to now, says Cheskin. (To know for sure, consult your physician throughout your weight-loss progress.) And because you weigh less, you likely need lower doses for other drugs, too. For example, a woman who weighs 200 pounds may take two extra-strength Motrin to cope with knee pain- but once she drops to 130 pounds, just one regular-strength pill may do the trick. “While overdosing is rare, you still want to be careful,” says Cheskin, “particularly if you take meds that can affect the liver, heart or other organs, such as diabetes or cholesterol drugs.”

Step Seven: Embrace imperfection

“I always assumed the world would roll out the red carpet for me if only I were thin. So when I finally shed those 40 extra pounds I’d been carrying, I was truly surprised that my problems didn’t disappear,” says Nicole Corey, 29, an office manager in Chandler, Arizona. “Most people who are overweight think being thin will drastically improve their lives,” says Ed Abramson, Ph.D., author of Body Intelligence. “And it does in many ways as far as better health and less social stigma.” But it’s important to be realistic about what weight loss can’t do- like fix a bad marriage or bolster a less-than-exciting career. “If your reality and your expectations don’t mesh, it’s easy to feel disillusioned and return to bad habits, like overeating, to make yourself feel better,” Abramson says.

To avoid that setback, give yourself regular reminders- verbally or in a journal- that you have the ability to change aspects of your life that you dislike, no matter what you weigh. “If there’s something you’re not happy about, such as your job, start putting the effort in to fixing it,” Abramson says. “Taking concrete action will boost your self-worth.” It’s also a good idea to take stock of why you decided to lose weight in the first place, like Corey did: “After a few months of stewing, it finally occurred to me that I slimmed down for my health, not to get a better job or more friends. Life may not be perfect now, but I’ve never felt better.”


Have you said these things?

No article today, just a very funny video on things female clients say to their personal trainers!


Avoid Free-Weight Injuries

Many women avoid free-weights; or when they do use weights, they injure themselves. Here is a great article, written by Michelle Hamilton on strength training.

No Pain, All Gain!

Strength training tones muscle and burns fat- when you do it right. Reap the benefits while warding off injuries with these tips.

Women are hitting the weight room in record numbers, and a new study found that weight-training injuries among women have jumped a whopping 63 percent. Here are the most common slipups and how to fix them, so you leave the gym strutting- not limping.

The Mistake

Skipping Your Warm-Up

You wouldn’t launch into an all-out sprint the second you stepped onto a treadmill, so you shouldn’t jump right into deadlifts the instant you hit the weight room. “Working cold, stiff muscles can lead to sprains and tears,” says Morey Kolber, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. “Warming up increases circulation and improves range of motion, which preps your muscles and joints for action.”

The fix: “While opinions about static stretching may differ, a dynamic warm-up can decrease your risk for injury,” says exercise physiologist Marco Borges, author of Power Moves. After five to ten minutes of walking or jogging, do 10 to 12 lunges and pushups (the bent-knee version is fine) before starting your routine.

 

The Mistake

Using Sloppy Form

Experts agree that proper form is the single most important factor in injury prevention yet many women don’t give it a lot of thought- especially when they’re in a rush. And women, thanks to their naturally wider hips, are more at risk for form-related injuries than men are: One study found that women had nearly twice as many leg and foot injuries as guys did.

The fix: Before you begin any exercise, think S.E.A.K., says trainer Robbi Shveyd, owner of Advanced Wellness in San Francisco: Stand straight (head over shoulders; shoulders over hips; hips over feet), eyes on the horizon (looking down encourages your shoulders to round and your chest to lean forward), abs tight (as if you were about to be punched in the gut, but without holding your breath; this helps stabilize your pelvis), and knees over your second toe (women’s knees have a tendency to turn in because of the angle created by wider hips, says Joan Pagano, author of Strength Training for Women).

 

The Mistake

Stressing Out Your Shoulders

As crazy as it sounds, women who lift weights tend to have less-stable shoulder joints than women who don’t lift at all, found a recent study. The reason: Doing too many exercises in which your elbows are pulled behind your body (think chest flies and rows) can overstretch the connective tissue in the front of the joints. If the backs of your shoulders are tight, you’re even more likely to overstretch the front, increasing the imbalance at the joint, says Kolber.

The fix: Modify your moves. First, don’t allow your elbows to extend more than two inches behind your body. In the lowering phase of a bench press, for example, stop when your elbows are just behind you. Second, avoid positioning a bar behind you. Bring the lat-pulldown bar in front of your shoulders, and when you’re doing an overhead press, use dumbbells instead of a bar and keep the weights in your line of vision (meaning just slightly in front of your head).

 

The Mistake

Neglecting  Opposite Muscle Groups

“Many women have strength imbalances, which can make them more prone to injury,” says Shveyd. Sometimes they’re the result of your lifestyle (hovering over a desk all day, for example, tightens and weakens your hip flexors while your glutes become overstretched and inactive). Other times they’re caused by not working both sides of the both equally (say, focusing on moves that rely on your quads but not your hamstrings).

The fix: For every exercise that works the front of the body (chest, biceps, quads), be sure to do an exercise that targets the rear (back, triceps, hamstrings). For instance, pair stability-ball chest presses with dumbbell rows, or step-ups with deadlifts.

 

The Mistake

Doing Too Much Too Soon

A lot of people think that more is better- more reps, more sets, more weight. But if you increase any of these things too quickly, your body may not be able to handle the extra workload. “Gradual conditioning prevents injuries such as torn ligaments and tendonitis, because your muscles and connective tissues have time to adapt,” says Pagano.

The fix: Practice a three-step progression. First, learn to do a move using only your body weight. “When you can do 15 reps with proper form, add weight,” says Pagano. Second, stick to one set with light weights for two weeks or until you feel comfortable with the move. And finally, when you can complete nearly all of your reps with proper form, add another set or more weight (increase weight by roughly 10 percent each time).


Healthy Weight Loss

A short article from Health.com on Dieting for weight loss.

Healthy Eating for Weight Loss

By Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

 

With two-thirds of Americans either overweight or obese, weight is a concern for many people. Carrying excess body weight comes with increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea. Losing weight is not just a cosmetic change, but also it leads to serious improvements in health.

Be Realistic

Even dropping five to 15 percent of your body weight may help prevent disease and improve quality of life. If reaching the ideal weight for your height from a chart is unattainable or overwhelming, start smaller with more realistic goals. A safe weight loss should be one to two pounds per week for most people. The heavier you are, the faster the weight may come off in the beginning.

Simple Math

In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you are eating. This seems like simple math on paper, but actually doing it is more difficult. On paper, a pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. In order to lose one pound of fat in a week, you need a deficit of 500 calories per day (3,500 ÷ 7 days = 500 per day). It is best if you exercise to burn some of these calories and decrease your caloric intake to make up the rest of the deficit.

Calories In

Determining exactly how many calories you are eating is not easy. Even the most careful tracker can be off by more than a few hundred calories. Weighing and measuring food is the most precise way but most people don’t have the time or energy to do that, and there are still no guarantees.

Calories Out

Knowing exactly how many calories you are burning is also an inexact science. It depends on your metabolism and daily activity. The more you move, the higher your calories out will be.

Portion Control

Even if they are making smarter food choices, for most people the biggest problem is still eating portions that are too large. Use smaller plates and take smaller portions to start. Eat slowly and pay attention to what it feels like to be satisfied, and stop eating before you’re stuffed.

Calorie Count

Just because something is low-fat does not mean that it is low-calorie. Read labels carefully, and remember that every calorie counts. Choose foods that will fill you up such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lean meats. Foods high in refined grains and sugars may taste good but they are not filling and will leave you wanting more.

Eat Light and Often

Instead of one or two big meals each day, spread your calories among small meals with snacks in between to bridge your hunger and metabolism.

Controlling weight is not easy, but with careful portion and meal planning and exercise you can reach your desired goal without depriving yourself.

 


Virtual Training?

Personal training has evolved with technology and now offers something we never could before- Virtual Training. What is it, and how does it work? Virtual training takes advantage of our ‘wired’ society and allows personal trainers to make private lesson plans for clients without ever training them in person. Using tools such as YouTube, Kinect or other video-gaming systems, or a Webcam, a trainer can create a workout routine for a client, email or post it onto the internet and the client can follow the routine at home in privacy and on their own time. This is particularly helpful for clients who are unavailable during normal business hours, or for those who live far away from their trainer of choice. As a trainer, I personally offer this service and find mixed results-  it is not my preferred means of working with a client, but it is not a waste of a client’s time and it most certainly can benefit someone dedicated to working out and improving their health.

So does virtual training work? Well, as I briefly mentioned, there are pros and cons to this type of training. On the cons list; as a client, you lose the ability to ask on-the-spot questions and minor (or major!) form corrections cannot be fixed- meaning there is more chance for you to hurt yourself. For the trainer; it may become very difficult to find the proper way to motivate a client with whom you can not interact. But, new studies are showing the pros seem to be outweighing the cons.

This article from the National Counsel on Strength and Fitness had this to say about Virtual Training:

Virtual Training Partner Motivation

 The increasing presence of technology in our lives is driving more and more virtual interactions. These virtual relationships can range from social networking to education to business management to…exercise? Virtual exercise does not suggest simulation, but rather interaction with virtual trainers and engaging video activities. A recent article published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (2011) by researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) reveals that working out with a virtual partner can effectively improve motivation. This might be a potential ‘fix’ for individuals who cannot find a viable exercise partner. The study, led by Deborah Feltz, chairperson of MSU’s Department of Kinesiology, specifically investigated the Kohler effect on motivation in exercise-themed video games. The Kohler effect is essentially a description of the phenomenon seen where inferior team members in a group setting will perform better when surrounded by superior team members than they would if engaging in a given endeavor by themselves. “Our results suggest working out with virtually present, superior partners can improve motivation on exercise game tasks,” said Feltz. She explains that the incorporation of design features based on the Kohler effect could increase the ability of health video games to motivate participants to vigorous-level exercise. This would be a very beneficial development as one of the key hurdles people specify related to training attrition is a lack of motivation. Previous research has clearly and repeatedly illustrated that a workout partner increases motivation – and with a virtual partner, social anxiety and other potential issues related to traditional exercise can be averted.

As a component of the study, Feltz and her research team utilized the Eye Toy camera and PlayStation2 to measure if a virtual partner could motivate participants to exercise at greater intensities, for longer durations, or at a greater frequency over a given time period. A series of plank exercises were used and observed for nearly all 200 participants. The participants first performed a series of five plank exercises, holding each position for as long as they could without any external motivation. After a rest period, they were informed that they would have a same-sex virtual partner for the remaining trials. The virtual partner’s performance was manipulated to always be superior to the participant’s. Results showed that task persistence was significantly greater when performing the plank exercises with a more-capable virtual partner (time to failure being 24% longer on average) than when performing the same activities alone. “The fact that this effect was found with a virtual partner overcomes some of the practical obstacles of finding an optimally-matched partner to exercise with at a particular time and location,” states Feltz. It is also interesting to note that researchers have found live exercise partners to sometimes be less beneficial for enhancing motivation than one may quickly presume. Basically, individuals can become discouraged if they perceive that they are slowing their training partner down, while on the other hand, superior partners can become bored from a lack of competition/motivational-related challenge. (Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2011)


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