October 1, 2020

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.



Weight Training Works!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Weight Training Works!

You lift weights every week in the form of groceries, your children, your dining room chair, the bag of dog food, various items in and out of your car. Want to make your daily tasks easier? Start a weight training program. Lifting and carrying are required daily actions that can be completed with less effort by logging a strength workout as little as 2 days each week. Consult a Fitness Professional to outline a program specifically for you, as well as learn proper form and technique. Here are few other benefits of a weight training program you may not have thought of:

Shape your muscles. Muscles give your body shape and contour. You’ll look fit.

Builds independence and confidence. You’ll easily be able to lift and carry what you need, when you need without having to wait for assistance.

Decrease stress. If you’ve had a long stressful day, you’ll leave the muscle and mind tension in every repetitions and set. The result is a relaxed and total-body tension free you.

Improves body awareness. General awareness of posture and alignment will improve, especially if you’re working with free-weights, as you have to stabilize your body on every set.


*Consult your 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.


Why weight training could change how you workout forever! By Kaitlin Cofer

In years past, weight training has been viewed as a bodybuilder’s activity, a thing that “meat heads” do. But, thanks to the growing popularity of weight lifting and circuit training, iron isn’t just something you consume anymore.

You may be asking, how can weight training change how you workout forever? Here are 3 key reasons that weight training is effective and will keep you interested in working out for years to come. Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.


1. Involving weights in your workout causes your muscles to work harder which in return increases your metabolism and burns more calories as well as increases bone health. 


Example: Add in some dumbbell work to your normal circuit and you will feel your muscles burning faster than if you did the exercise with body weight alone.


2. There are countless exercises that involve weights! Back squats with a straight bar, squats with dumbbells, squats with plated weights…the number of exercises that you can do with weights and the exercises that can be changed up by adding different types of weights is countless.


Example workout using Dumbbells: 


5 Rounds of 50 seconds work and 10 seconds rest: (Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.)


1. Dumbbell push press: hold dumbbells with palms facing out and slightly dip your body down with a slight knee bend and use that momentum to drive the dumbbells up to the sky and back down, repeat this movement for 50 seconds.


2. Renegade rows with dumbbells: place dumbbells on the ground and get into a push up position while holding the dumbbells. Push up and bring up one dumbbell at a time, repeat for 50 seconds. *modification=push ups from knees.


3. Single arm row with dumbbells: stand up with one dumbbell in hand. Stagger your legs into a lunge like position. Place the hand without the dumbbell on your thigh and keep your core engaged and back straight. Row the dumbbell back with your elbow bent and jabbing the air behind you. Repeat on opposite side.


All four of these workouts incorporate weights, causing each move to be a total body exercise.


3. Three words: Strong is SEXY!

A male or female with muscles is sexy. There is nothing more attractive than a person who looks and feels strong. A healthy body is a healthy mind.


No matter if you belong to a large gym, a circuit training center or you have your own set of weights at home, it is easy, fun, and effective to add weights to your routine! Start light and work your way up!


Kaitlin earned a B.S. Nutrition from Cal Poly SLO and is a CPT. Kaitlin’s extremely passionate about inspiring people to find/fuel their inner athlete.

*Disclaimer: Result may vary from person to person.


Add-On the Fun by Tera Busker

This is an Add-On Workout. Add on the fun by adding one exercise at a time! Super efficient and super fun.

(Consult your physician before beginning exercise.)

Begin doing #1, then #2, then #1. Then do #3, #2, #1. Repeat until you’ve completed #7- #1.


1.    10 Plank Up Downs
2.    15 Squats
3.    10 Jump Lunges
4.    10 Tricep Dips
5.    10 Pushups
6.    30 Mountain Climbers
7.    10 Burpees

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI. www.fitnesstogo.net

No Excuses! By Tera Busker

The Holidays are fast approaching and no matter how much you plan, organize and think ahead, this time of year is always hectic. Family get-together’s, your kid’s activities, work parties and shopping all throw a wrench in your every day schedule. Everything gets chaotic and usually your workout is the first thing pushed aside – BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!

The best way to make sure you still get your workout into the schedule, is to have one that can be done quickly and can be done anywhere! A workout that is fast and only requires your body eliminates 100% of the excuses. And that workout is called Interval Training. 20 seconds all out work, 10 seconds rest, 8 times through for a total of 4 MINUTES!!!! And one of the best things about Interval workouts is that, if done correctly, can burn calories for hours after you finish your workout.


(Always consult a physician before beginning exercise. Perform at your own risk.)

During an Interval Workout you can use any exercise you like, but the following is a list of body weight only exercises. Pick 1, 2, 4, or 8 of these to create your own workout. Mix and match to create 8 rounds. Just make sure to do them as intensely as you are able, always with good form.

Squats (regular, side to side, jump)

Lunges (regular, static, forward, backward, side to side, jump)



Mountain Climbers (regular, cross body, spiderman)

Frog Jumps (Forward/Backwards Jumps while staying low)

Jumping Jacks (regular, low or plyo)

Plank Jacks

Skater Lunges

Pushups (regular, tricep, spiderman)

Up Down Planks

Now put your exercises together to create your own circuit for a fast and efficient workout! The workout can consist of 1-5 intervals depending on how much time you have. Make sure to warm up with 5 minutes of low intensity activity beforehand to get the body ready for the intense work. Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.


Tera’s Intervals (full body and works the body in all ranges of motion)

20 seconds jump squat

10 seconds rest

20 seconds burpee

10 seconds rest

20 seconds skater lunges

10 seconds rest

20 seconds mountain climber

10 seconds rest

20 seconds plank jack

10 seconds rest

20 seconds frog jumps

10 seconds rest

20 seconds crossbody mountain climber

10 seconds rest

20 seconds plank up down

10 seconds rest

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI. www.fitnesstogo.net

Have a Ball by Nicole Bryan

Tired of the same old routine at the gym? Make your fitness fun! Get on the stability ball and mix up your workout. Exercising on the ball improves balance, posture, body awareness and coordination. Performing exercises on an unstable surface (the ball) recruits more muscles in the core to keep the torso steady (stabilization).

Make sure the ball is the appropriate size for you. When sitting on the ball your thighs should be parallel or slightly below the hips. The following exercises are for intermediate exercisers and for those without muscle/joint concerns. Perform exercises at your own risk. Always consult your physician before performing exercises. Pull your belly button in towards your spine during each exercise.

Standing Wall Squat- (strengthens the lower body). Place the ball against the wall positioned in your lower back area. Walk your feet slightly forward, keeping them about hip width apart. Perform a squat by bending your knees and allowing your hips to shift backward.  Bend your knees until you feel tension in the front of your thighs, then return to a standing position. Do not let your knees travel in front of your toes.  Repeat 12-15 times.

Seated Row with Tubing- (strengthens your upper back). Sit on the ball. Pull your belly button in towards your spine and sit up tall. Extend your legs out in front of you, so only your heels are touching the floor. Wrap the tube around your feet and hold on to the handles.  Pull your elbows into your body. Extend your arms to return to your starting position.  Repeat 12-15 times.

Incline Ab Curl- (strengthens the core).  Sit on the ball, walk your body toward the floor until the ball is under your low back.  Curl your trunk pulling your ribs down toward your hips.  The ball should not move.   Repeat 12-15 times.

Enlist the help of a Fitness Professional to build a workout routine on the stability ball for you.

Getting Started by Brett Klika C.S.C.S.

Getting Started With 3 Simple Strength Exercises

Strength training helps increase the amount of lean, mean muscle you have.  Muscle burns fuel like an engine, so the more you have, the more fuel you burn. Aside from the ability to burn more calories and fat, muscle adds shape and definition to your physique. Strength training is the practice of improving your own level of strength, whatever that may be!

Bodyweight, dumbells, kettlebells, machines, resistance bands, and a number of other forms of resistance all work to provide a challenge to the body, making it stronger.  In order to continue to get stronger, you just have to find new ways to challenge your body.

Here are 3 exercises to get you started. (As always, consult your physician before performing exercises.)

1.  Lunge (Click to view YouTube video demonstration)
The lunge is a great starter exercise for strength, flexibility, and shaping of the lower body.
1. Start by standing with your feet together.
2. Step forward as far as you can with your left leg.
3. Once your left foot contacts the ground bend both your left and right knee until your right knee is as close to the ground as possible.
4.  Keep your torso upright, your left heel on the ground, and don’t allow your left knee to pass the toes on your left foot.
5. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side!

Try 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.

2.  Slow push-ups (Click to view YouTube video demonstration)
Most people have at least attempted to do a push-up sometime in their exercise life.  This intense upper body exercise, however, can prove to be a little difficult for first timers.  Here’s a way to start a little slower to build success!

1. Start in the “all 4’s” position with shoulders aligned over the hands.
2. Keeping the shoulders over the hands, bring the knees off the ground so the spine and hips are parallel to the ground.
3.  Squeezing your ab, glute, and quad muscles while attempting to “grab” the ground and slowly lower yourself to the ground, keeping your spine and hips parallel to the ground.
4.  Your chest, belly, and knees should all touch the ground at about the same time.
5.  Once you reach the ground, use your knees to get back up to the “all 4’s” starting position and repeat.

Try 2 sets of 6 repetitions.

3.  Supermans (Click to see YouTube video demonstration)
Strength training can do a lot more than improve your physique.  It can improve your posture and help get you out of chronic pain.  The superman exercise is a great movement to improve posture and strength of the upper back and shoulders.

1. Lie on your stomach with both arms straight out in front of you, thumbs up towards the ceiling.
2.  Pretend that you have a tennis ball tucked under your chin.
3.  Keeping the feet on the ground, arms straight, and chin tucked, lift the chest, arms, and head off of the ground.
4.  Hold for 2 seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat.

Try 2 sets of 10 repetitions

Here’s a quick whole-body beginner workout you can do at home without even changing your clothes!

Enjoy getting stronger, happier, and healthier!

Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids (www.spiderfitkids.com) is an award winning personal trainer, author, and international motivational speaker inspiring men, women, and children around the world to create a culture of wellness in their home and live the best version of their life.  To contact Brett with questions or comments at brett@spiderfitkids.com.

Weight Training: Why You Should Start NOW! By Angelena Riggs

If you’ve never ventured to the weights section of your gym, then you are missing out! Weight training is the fastest way to speed up your metabolism and give you a tight tone look. Weight training isn’t only good for your appearance either it is so great for your overall health.

Here are the top 5 benefits when it comes to weight training:

1. Lose or maintain your weight. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, strength training can help you lose body fat or maintain the weight you worked hard to reach. When you add lean muscle your metabolism is revved up and helps to burn more body fat even when you are not working out.

2. You will look lean even if the scale doesn’t change. Muscle weights more than fat, but takes up less space. For example a woman who works out with weights may weight 150, and her friend who doesn’t also weighs 150, the woman who strength trains will look leaner and fit.

3. It maintains or improves your bone density and muscle mass. Studies have shown that weight bearing exercise is the best way to increase or maintain your bone density and muscle mass as you age. Both of these tend to decrease with age, the best way to slow this loss, you guessed it lifting weights! This will improve your quality of life as you age.

4. It is important for your mental and emotional well being. When you work out you are releasing endorphins which improve your mood. The more consistent you are with your workouts the more benefits you will see. Exercise is also a great anti-depressant and helps to improve your quality of sleep. Have you ever finished a workout and felt like you can take on the world?

5. It reduces your risk of injury and illness. Strength training helps to increase the strength of your connective tissue, muscle and tendons which improves your range of motion in every day life, thus leading to less injury. Regular strength training also helps to strengthen your immune system. Who doesn’t want fewer sick days?

Angelena is a mom, healthy living blogger at On Fire Fitness Healthy Living (www.OnFireFitnesspt.com), a NASM Certified Personal trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Her goal is to inspire others to take the steps to living a healthy lifestyle. Visit Angelena on Facebook and on Twitter.

4 Common Workout Mistakes by Julie Mulcahy

Congratulations on your New Years Resolution to exercise and get fit! Following some simple guidelines in the gym will maximize your fitness gains and reduce risk of injury.

Here are 4 common workout mistakes new exercisers make at the gym:

Overtraining: The gym is always full of new exercisers in January. They are wearing all their bright and shiny fitness gear, ready to tackle their New Years Resolutions. They hit the ground running, literally! These can be sedentary people just starting out, or seasoned exercisers who don’t listen to the messages their bodies are sending. These folks push themselves so hard to try to make fast gains, the next day they can hardly walk down stairs or get out of a chair without muscle soreness and then they hit the gym again.  Starting a program too intense and never letting your body rest can lead to numerous injuries. Muscle soreness can result from high volumes of stress to the muscle. Stressing the muscle further in this state can slow the process of growth. The remedy for this is to listen to your body! If you work hard on squats and lunges,  work your upper body the next day. After a long hard run, try yoga or swimming the following day. This allows the muscle fibers the rest and growth they need to perform better. Although consistency is important, most proper, safe training plans allow for rest days. These are well deserved breaks to help grow muscle. Listen to your body!

Same routines: One huge mistake I have observed in the gym is doing the same routine day after day. I often see runners on the treadmill logging miles while they never venture into the free weight area. I see the muscle bound weight lifters pumping iron and never leaving the weight room. Your body gets accustomed to the same exercise routine and will become more efficient. This efficiency can lead to plateaus in weight loss and slow your fitness gains and can lead to repetitive use injuries. Change up your program! Try a new activity that will recruit different muscle fibers and build strength and endurance in new and different ways. Consult a trainer to teach you how to use other pieces of equipment you may not be familiar with. Make sure your fitness program has a strength, endurance and stretching component that is varied regularly.

Poor Form and Posture: Form and Posture are critical for proper performance. I frequently see gym goers lifting weights with rounded backs and protracted shoulders and moving so quickly that accessory muscles kick in  causing improper muscle substitutions. Many injuries can result from this technique including back pain and shoulder tendinitis. This is not unique to the weight room,  I have observed people in a forward bent posture leaning over the elliptical and resting on treadmill handles as if they will slide off the end if they let go. Proper pelvic neutral posture is the solution for all these scenarios. Gently cue your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in toward your spine. Keep shoulders aligned with ear lobes, do not let shoulders roll forward. Try all new activities slowly, with light weights and progress the weight when you have correct form.  Check your posture frequently in the mirrors. The mirrors are actually there for that reason. Your posture on your last repetition should be as good as your first.

Machines, machines, machines: Most often weight machines isolate specific muscle groups . Muscles in our bodies rarely work in isolation. Most weight machines do not simulate real life and often put the exerciser in a non functional seated position that does not fully engage the core. Our bodies benefit more from functional training. This means training in positions that occur in daily activities such as pushing, pulling, squatting and lifting with core activation. For example, standing in a pelvic neutral position while performing a free weight bicep curl also works your core. To singe even more calories, do the same bicep curl standing on the bosu ball, which challenges balance and gets leg muscles activated. Doing standing squats and lunges with medicine balls or free weights works many muscle groups of the upper, lower body and core simultaneously.  Incorporating weighted pulley systems, physioballs, and medicine balls challenge core and balance, while strengthening multiple muscle groups which torches many more calories than isolated weight machine moves.

Julie Mulcahy M.P.T is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 19 years experience in sports medicine and orthopedics. Julie is also busy mom of 4 children and a marathon runner. She may be reached by email, jam82296@hotmail.com or via Twitter @PTrunningmomof4