March 23, 2019

SLOW DOWN your strength training!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

SLOW DOWN your strength training!

To get the most out of your strength training workout, slow down your pace! Complete the exercise at a pace where you’re able to stop the exercise at any point. Controlling the weight is key to overloading your muscles. A slow pace extends the time your muscle is under tension. Try lifting the weight for 2 seconds and lowering the weight for 4 seconds for starters.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning workout.

 

 

Plank for a strong core!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Plank!

Strengthen the many layers of your core musculature by adding Planks into your fitness routine.

From a prone position, place your forearms on the floor with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and lift your body up off of the floor so your body is parallel to the floor. Pull your shoulders down into your body. Pull your belly button up. Tuck your chin into your chest to maintain spinal alignment.

From the basic plank position, many options exist for progressions:

Alternate lifting your right foot, then your left foot up of the floor.

Lift and hold one leg up off the floor.

Perform a plank with your hands on the floor instead of your forearms.

 

*Always consult a physician before beginning exercise.

Are you lifting too heavy?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Effective exercise is more important than load of exercise.

How heavy is too heavy? Regardless of the number of reps you’re logging or particular move you’re attempting, sometimes the weight is simply not safe or appropriate for you.

Are you lifting too heavy? Here’s how to know:

Unable to load and unload the weight properly. You should be able to lift the weights off the rack and move, with proper mechanics, into your starting position. The same applies to racking the weight after your set is complete.

Unable to maintain proper form. You should be able to stabilize your body against the weight throughout the entire range of motion.

Unable to control the speed of the exercise. You should be able to stop the move at any time during your range of motion. Controlling the weight, rather than using momentum, is key.

 

Expand your Fitness Horizons

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Try new exercises on a regular basis!

Our body (and our mind) likes unaccustomed exercise! Expand your fitness horizons by trying new exercises every 4-6 weeks. Here are 3 ideas to get you started:

Ask your friends what physical activities they enjoy. Tag along!

Revisit your childhood activities. Did you love a particular sport or physical fitness activity growing up? Try it again.

Research. Google search sports and fitness for your home town and see what activities pop up.

 

 

 

 

Short on Time?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Break it down!

If you’re short on time, find a way to adjust or modify your schedule to keep your fitness on track. Here are a few ideas to keep you going:

 

Double up. If time is tight on your scheduled workout day, double up on your cardio the following day if possible.

Impromptu physical activity. Add in fitness everywhere and anywhere. Take the stairs, walk the errands.

Body weight exercise. Revisit the old days of gym class, and perform a circuit of Push-Ups, Planks and Squats to overload your muscles.

Back to basics. Seated stretching and range of motion are exercises that may be performed anywhere without equipment, and both have health benefits.


 

Get in the Moment…of your Workout!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Get in the Moment!

Are you in the moment of your workout? Or are you preoccupied about what you have to accomplish later, worried about this and that, distracted by to-do lists? Stay present in the moment of your workout for better mental focus, and better physical results.

Here’s how to get in the moment of your workout:

Set workout mini-goals. Each workout should serve a purpose, and therefore have a goal. Every exercise you perform should be chosen for its desired outcome.

Stay present. Consider your workout as the time during your day where you don’t have to think about work, schedules or other commitments. Stay present in your workout by focusing only on the current rep, the current set.

Breathe through each rep. Every lift and every lowering phase of your rep, should include an inhale or an exhale. Focused and mindful breathing is an effective method to clear your mind of distractions.

Eliminate self-talk. Regardless of what your body is doing, often your mind is full of internal dialogue, conversations and opinions. Reduce the self-talk by counting out your pace for each rep.

 

Need a Rest Day?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Respect your rest!

Rest days are essential to all fitness programs. In fact, rest/recovery days should be programmed IN to your workout schedule to allow for muscle recovery and mental rejuvenation.

Here’s why you should respect your rest day:

Makes workouts sustainable. Sufficient rest means you’ll have renewed energy to log the next hard workout.

Reduce risk of injury. Rest days allow your body time to rebuild and recover.

Refresh mental focus. Rest days give your mind time to process your workout and the mental focus required.

Maintains interest. Taking a day off from your key activity decreases risk of burnout.

 

 

 

 

Change Up Your Exercise Routine

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Change up your exercises!

If you’ve been doing the same workout for months and months, your body (and your mind) will benefit from unaccustomed exercise. Unaccustomed exercise simply means changing up your exercise routine! Doing so every 4-6 weeks means your body has to adapt to a new stimulus (or load), and this means your body will continue to get stronger. Changing up your exercise routine is also a great method to keep motivation high!

What are different variables in your workout to change?

Change out a specific exercise. For example, trade out a squat on the squat rack to holding two dumbbells.

Change the order of your exercises.

Add in a different workout component entirely. For example, add in a yoga class to your week.

Change up your rest time in between sets.

Change the format of your exercise routine. For example, try circuit training or super-sets.

 

 

 

 

 

Logging your Workout: Worthwhile or Waste of Time?

Get Fit Quick Tip:


Log it!


Logging workouts is a great way to stay motivated. Whether via an app, through notes on your phone, laptop or with good ole pen and paper, tracking your workouts gives each workout a focus and purpose. Keeping a detailed workout log:

Offers Feedback. Simply put, are you ON-pace or OFF-pace of your goal? Whether you track workouts based on number of days, minutes or workouts, feedback is clear.

Provides Reinforcement. In other words, workout +workout +workout, builds momentum and motivation to keep it up! Looking at your workout notes reinforces your efforts and in turn your results, or lack thereof. You are getting stronger. You are losing inches. You are making progress.

Reveals Patterns. Through a written log, both positive and negative patterns are obvious. For example, do you tend to skip workouts on Wednesdays? Set yourself up for success and move your rest day to Wednesday. Do most of your high intensity workouts happen on Saturday? Schedule those workouts intentionally, knowing you’re rested from being able to sleep in on the weekend.

Finding what works for you is the key to consistency. Consistency is key to results. Logging is essential to finding what works best for your body, your schedule and your fitness goals, all with no time wasted.

Considering an Exercise Class? By Jennifer Austin

Thinking of joining a class at the gym? Here are a few tips to get you started safely.

Know the class description. Most gyms offer a class schedule (either online or via hard copy) along with a brief description. Still unsure, ask a staff member for more information or do a little google search for more information. Walking into a class that you don’t know about is simply careless.

Be realistic in your fitness ability. Know your capability, what you want to accomplish and know your strengths and weaknesses in the exercise world. We don’t gain our goal fitness in a single workout or single day. If upon reading the class schedule, something interests you, but seems like a stretch in your fitness consider adding it to your three or six month fitness goal list.

Know the fitness that is required. In the schedule, you’ll find a degree of difficulty, beginner, intermediate or advanced. There is a reason for the listing!

Get proper guidance, instruction or set-up. If you’re joining a class that includes equipment or gear, make sure you know how to properly use the equipment. For example, if you’re trying a spin class for the first time, ask the instructor for a set-up. If you’re joining a boot camp class for the first time, ask the instructor for guidance how to perform the exercises.

Be prepared. Knowing what the class entails, also means showing up prepared. In most cases, being prepared means being hydrated prior to the class, having eaten prior to the exercise if that is what you usually do, wearing proper clothing (breathable, clothes you can move in), wearing proper footwear for the activity, bringing a water bottle, bringing a towel, turning your cell phone off during the class,

Pace yourself. Your goal during the first class is to be an active observer. Do the moves if they feel comfortable, but mostly observe to get an idea of the flow and intensity of the class.

Give it a few chances. If the first class doesn’t go as well as you expected, try again! If the second class doesn’t go as well as expected, but you find you do enjoy the style of workout, try a different instructor. Every instructor has a different teaching style, personality and instruction back-ground. It would be a shame to not pursue an interest, on account of not enjoying the instructor’s style.