What do you think of when you hear the words Group Exercise? Do you picture a class of all women, steps in front of them, bubble gum pop music, leotards and leg warmers? If you think that is what Group Exercise (or as I like to call it Group Fitness) is, I want to help you see that it has changed.
Group Fitness has evolved through the years, and is no longer the stereotypical class with image of ladies in leg warmers and leotards. Men and women now are participating and harnessing the power of group fitness as an alternative way to help them maintain or achieve their fitness goals in a fun way, while still getting a great workout.
Since so many things in today’s world make our lives more singular, group fitness offers that experience of camaraderie, and support to help keep you motivated and moving toward your goals.
Here are five great reasons you should take part in group fitness, or small group training sessions.
- Support of the Group - If you are new to exercise, or not sure about being at the gym then group fitness is something you should consider trying. Not only do you get the support and motivation from the instructor, other participants in the class help you along the way too. Many group exercise participants have been through the same fitness and/or weight loss and maintenance struggles as you.
- Accountability - Most people participate in group fitness classes with friends, coworkers or others they know, therefore you have to turn up! If you don't, you know the next at the next class they are going to be asking why you were not at class. The instructor will also take notice. Class will help you action your goals and face the consequences!
- Helps to Stick to Your Routine – People are 80-85% more likely to stick to an exercise routine and achieve your goals if they work out in a group environment. Now that is a statistic you want to be a part of. Participate in a group fitness class and get your results.
- Social Fun - Group fitness allows you to meet people with the same interests as you. It is a great social occasion, and a great way to meet new friends. The bonds that are built through group fitness carry outside the class setting.
- It's Fun – Classes make the exercise fun while still being challenging. Sweating and working out with other people is a lot more FUN than running a treadmill staring into a mirror! Fine the class for you and watch yourself achieve your goals.
If you are looking for a class to join, try out AMP Personal Fitness’ Body Revolution Fitness Camp held on Mondays at 10:30 am and Thursdays at 1:30 pm in Sunny Springs Park, Las Vegas NV. Class is $15 for drop-in, or 8 classes for $80. For more information on this class visit www.amppersonalfitness.com and go to the special programs tab.
Complete the following Crunch Cycle:
- Regular Crunch: 10 reps - Just lift shoulder blades off the floor
- Reverse Crunch: 10 reps - Lift hips off the floor
- Double Crunch: 10 reps - Lift BOTH hips / shoulders off the floor simultaneously
- Left/Right Crunches: 10 reps per knee - Take right elbow to the left knee, and left elbow to right knee
- Bicycle Crunches: 10 reps - Take right/left elbow to left/right knee by bicycling the legs
- Plank pose: 30 seconds
Complete the following Jumping Jack / Pushup Cycle:
- 10 jumping jacks / 10 pushups and repeat the non-stop cycle 5-10 times depending on your fitness level. This takes 3-5 minutes if you push all 10 sets.
Complete the following Jumping Jack / Squat Cycle:
- 10 jumping jacks / 10 squats and repeat the non-stop cycle 5-10 times depending on your fitness level.
Complete Multi-Joint Dumbbells Exercises
With a set of dumbbells mix in a few exercises into one movement:
- Bicep curl, military press, triceps extensions: 10 reps
- Squats, bicep curl, military press, triceps extension: 10 reps
- Squat thrust, pushup x 5, stand up, bicep curl military press, triceps extension: 10 reps
Additional Cardio Option
Add 15-20 minutes of running, biking, walking, elliptical, or other cardio exercise.
Getting back into shape, and becoming healthier is the most chosen New Year’s Resolution. More than half of Americans make New Year resolutions year after year. Of that half, 75% give up within by March, and of the remaining 25% only a quarter of them truly maintain their resolution and turn it into a healthy lifestyle.
Reading those statistics makes it seem a little grim. The kicker is it doesn’t have to be grim. The statistics are what they are because people try to accomplish the task of making changes in their life without the proper knowledge and tools.
You don’t just work on a car or the electrical of your house because it needs to be done, do you? Of course not! If you want to work on those things yourself, you seek out a professional to educate you on the topic and the tools needed to truly complete the job. The same things go for establishing a healthy lifestyle. Without the proper knowledge or tools to stay on a progressive track, you will become one of the statistics.
If you have an idea of wanting to get started on becoming a healthier and happier you in 2013, then these tips will help you improve your odds. They will help you get started on being more successful.
- Visualize Your End Result: Create a strong image in your mind of what you want to look and feel like when you reach your goals.
- Get a Fitness Assessment: It's critical to know your starting point and learn your strengths and weaknesses.
- Create Goals: Set long term and short term achievable goals. Goals that build momentum with mini successes throughout your journey will help you keep your eye on the prize.
- Create a Plan: Goals without plans are only wishes. Stop wishing you were in great shape and start mapping out a concrete plan to get there.
- Create a Schedule: Scheduling reinforces consistency. Just as you go to other events or meetings on your schedule, you need to make your appointment with yourself just as important.
- Have Logged or Written Accountability: Use a logging app or keep a journal of your exercise, daily general activity, and all nutritional consumption, on a daily basis to be present with the day-to-day process. .
- Reflect On and Troubleshoot Your Excuses: Write your current excuses down. Write down why you think you make those excuses. Write down how you feel about your excuses. Write down how your friends and family members would respond to those excuses. You will be surprised at how impactful it can be to see your excuses written out!
- Hire a Personal Trainer: Hiring a trainer is the best way to move in the right direction. A trainer will educate you on what is needed to progress and stay on track. They will provide you the tools to be able to have positive results that will truly make your health and fitness a way of life. When searching for a personal trainer, make sure they have experience; education, certifications, and can are willing to provide references of past or current clients.
- Change It Up: Changing your routine every 4-6 weeks helps provide greater results by not allowing your muscles to adapt. If you have a trainer they will provide this through your program.
- Tell All of Your Friends Your Goals: Prior to telling your friends about your goals it is important to surround yourself around friends that will truly support you and your journey. Many people come to find that they have some friends that may want to sabotage their success. Surrounding yourself with friends who support you and your journey will provide you with a support system as well as accountability that will make you less likely to back out on working out, or make bad choices with your nutrition.
- Be Patient with Seeing Results: The average person will only lose 4-6 pounds per month based on the time that they truly have to put toward exercise. So be patient. We all see the shows on television that show extreme weight loss each week. The thing to remember is those people only have one thing to do each day, exercise. Therefore, they put in 6-8 hours a day exercising. Most people just don’t have that time. Therefore, 4-6 pounds is where it is at. With that said, you also must realize that sometimes it takes the body a little effort to get moving in the right direction. Having a personal trainer can really help when things are slow going. They will provide the needed support and other knowledge that can keep things moving in the right direction. Most of be patient and stick to it!
As a trainer, I encourage my clients to include some jogging/running in his or her exercise program. Here are a few reasons why I do encourage my clients to jog/run.
- Jogging/Running works different muscles than walking, even at the same speeds.
- Jogging/Running gives a heavier body a reason to start becoming lean.
- Jogging/Running will make you more efficient at walking.
- Jogging/Running may help contribute to bone density.
Now if you are currently not a runner, I know that you are thinking “Yeah, Right”. Well, the human body is actually built for running. How else could we have survived as a species? Deep in our DNA, we are runners. We as a species have just allowed our bodies to adapt to another way of life. You can change this, even if you have a lot of weight to lose, or even if a simple trot wipes you out in just a few minutes.
As you begin just remind yourself that no matter how awkward and tiring it may be your body was meant to run. You do not have to be thin or medium-weight to jog or run. Overweight people can become joggers and runners. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you go watch a 5k, 10k, Half-Marathon, or Marathon. There are people of all shapes and sizes participating in those events.
As I mentioned above, jogging gives the body a reason to slim down. If you are a walker and have found that you have been stuck at the same weight, try introducing jogging/running. This will increase your chances for your body to reinstate a fat-burning process. The reason that this will reinstate that fat-burning process is that a lean body is more efficient at swift movement than is a heavy body. So adding jogging/running to your exercise plan, will "force" your body into wanting to shed the extra weight so it can adapt to the new training stimulus.
Now you might be thinking, “How the heck do I get this started?” You can get started on a treadmill (keep hands off!), indoor track, or outdoors on any terrain. If you choose outdoors, I would suggest a smooth outdoor surface to start out on, as it will help prevent injury until you become stronger. The best way to get started in your transition is to apply the principle of interval training. Interval Training is simply alternating jogging with walking. The jogs may be for only one minute, while the walking may be for a little longer. For unconditioned people, I recommend a one to two-minute jog at a slow to moderate pace, switching back and forth with a two-minute walk. Go for 30 minutes. For those walkers who are more conditioned, you can use the same interval times, but choose a jogging/running speed that pushes you harder, or you increased jogging/running intervals.
I would suggest doing this short jog interval sequence for the first few weeks. Once you find that this sequence is becoming easier to complete, attempt to do the first 5 minutes as a jog/run and then finish with the intervals. At this point you will begin to add on five minutes of jogging/running with every session until you are running the full 30 minutes. From this point you add 5 minutes to your total length, and now you have transitioned into jogging/running. Down the road, your next step for training once you can complete specified times that you want to complete, is to start working on improving times.
Here are a few tips for those who are significantly out-of-shape and/or overweight. If you fall into this category do the intervals but strive to increase the jogging/running minutes after you have been doing the intervals for the first few weeks. Slowly increasing the interval times will eventually get you to the full 30 minute jogging/running time frame while decreasing your chances of injury due to your fitness and weight level.
Just a few other things to keep in mind when starting your transition is;
- Always warm-up your muscles and joints before you begin jogging/running training program by walking for the first five minutes.
- It is important to do intervals for the first few weeks because even a fit walker can get blisters, inner-thigh burn from skin rubbing, ankle soreness, or shin soreness if he or she jogs for too long at the beginning.
Many people that are on a weight loss regimen fear the holiday season. Many athletes have some fear in the holiday season as well. No one wants to gain unwanted weight during the holiday season, but you also don't want to feel left out of the festivities or should I say "Feast-tivities". Yes it is those feasts that we fear so much. We love the food, but if not proactive prior to attending those feasts all heck can break loose on the waist line.
We all know we want to stick to our goals, but sometimes the goal has to be maintain from November 30th through January 2nd and it's a win. Utilize these tips, they may help you continue on your goals or maintain through the holidays.
1. Drink Plenty of Water - Water has no calories and can make you feel full. It also helps aid the digestion, which will help rid your body of processed foods at a much greater pace.
2. Use Health Oils and Less Oil When You Cook - Reducing the oils or fats will not make your food taste bad. Choosing healthier oils like olive, canola, walnut, and seasame will bring great flavor and healthy fatty acids.
3. Go for Walks - Walk 30 minutes prior to your gathering, and make sure you walk for 45-60 minutes after your holiday feast or party. Make it a new tradition. It is a nice way to talk to family members and friends.
4. Plan Outdoor Activities - Plan activities like shooting hoops, tossing a football, or frisbee around prior and/or after eating your meal. This gets other family members involved and keeps you active. You can even make it a game where maybe a winner gets a small extra gift.
5. Eat a Healthy Snack - Eating a healthy snack prior to going to a family gathering or party will help you from getting hungry prior to the meal. This will keep you from snacking or over snacking prior to the meal.
6. Take Extra Small Portions and Chew Well - If you take a extra small portions you can try and enjoy everything that is served and still stay close to your caloric needs. On top of small portions, chew your food extra well. This will allow more time for your brain to make the connection to your digestive system to indicate it is satisfied.
7. Keep Alcohol to a Minimum - Make a deal with yourself prior to the event that you will only consume 1-2 drinks. Drink water for the first hour you are at the gathering have a drink, then wait a hour or two depending on how long you will be at the event to drink your other drink or have it with your meal. Finish the night with water. This will keep you feeling good, while keeping the empty calories down.
You can enjoy the holidays, the feasts, the parties, and your friends and family without weight gain or not reaching your goals. Just make sure you stay active, and follow a few simple tips to help you to stay on your track.
In life we will always benefit from the expertise of others. We hire a mechanic so they can discover what's wrong with our car and fix it. The expertise of a pastry chef is needed to create a cake for you that no box or recipe can possibly offer. A barber or hair stylist is needed to properly care for your hair. So why not seek the expertise of a certified personal trainer?
The buff guy benching 400 pounds at the gym, or the girl who just completed her fifth marathon with a new personal record may seem like the people to ask for fitness advice, but the issue here is; unless they happen to have an education and experience that proves otherwise, they don't know how to train YOU.
Yes, there are some knowledgeable hard-bodies, and athletes at your health club, work place, or school, but their trial and error over the years helped them figure out how to train them, and chances are that despite their results, they made plenty of mistakes and took more time figuring it out. A good personal trainer will not simply design a challenging workout for you. They are an expert, and will be able to guide you through the twisting maze of fitness and nutrition, while also understanding how to take into consideration your limitations. The person next to you at the gym is not going to be able to give proper education on what to do if you have just coming off knee surgery, have back issues, are on blood pressure medication, or have never picked up a weight before.
Being successful about fitness and nutrition goes beyond simply doing “3 sets of 10”. Progression, intensity, volume, frequency, time, and mode are just a few of the areas that need to be considered when designing a fitness program. Should you train for hypertrophy, endurance, strength, or power? How do you improve your aerobic base versus anaerobic threshold? How often should you perform a specific type of training? Why should one exercise be chosen over another? What order should you perform your exercises in? This overwhelming body of information is the likely culprit behind why many people avoid the gym they belong to, shirk free weights, and order workout DVDs that collect dust on a shelf.
You won’t need a personal trainer for life, just as you don't need to see your dentist every day. Hiring a personal trainer is what is needed to get you started, change your path, or break through that slump. Hiring a personal trainer is definitely a smart call. Certified personal trainers at your gym can easily answer your questions, but only by hiring one of them can you finally make sense of all the information.
When you speak with a personal trainer, make sure you are hiring one with experience. Just as you want the best doctor to take care of you, you want the best possible personal trainer to educate you and guide you. Ask to about their credentials, to see past client testimonials, and their overall experience. Hiring a trainer is one of the best investments you can make for you and your health.
Start today, and see what a difference an expert can make!
How many times have you thought about starting, or have started a new fitness program? If you are like 80% of society, I would guess the answer is every year. Each New Year that rolls around people continue to tell themselves that this will be the year they truly get healthy. Most of the time it becomes a regimen that I like to call “The Two monther”. This is a program, resolution, or new regimen that a person starts with good intentions, but only lasts for a short period of time. Usually this short period of time never lasts longer than two months, and most times not even that long. That is why I call it “The Two Monther”.
So why do people only last the two months or less when starting out on a new health and fitness program or regimen. You may think the answer is quite complex, but honestly it is quite simple. They start the program without truly being prepared. As with anything that you do, you need to be prepared. Would you go on a camping trip without the proper equipment or with no knowledge of how to camp? Would you cook a seven course meal for 20 without knowing how to cook or with no recipes? If you answered no to either of these questions, I will assume you understand the importance of having knowledge and a plan.
You have now answered the question of why people only last a short period of time on a new fitness program or regimen.
Starting a health and fitness program may be one of the best things you could ever do for your health and well being. Physical activity can reduce your risk of 90% of the chronic diseases, improve your balance and coordination, help you maintain or lose weight, improve flexibility, improve sleep habits and patterns, and improve your self-esteem.
To start a health and fitness regimen and make it a lifestyle can happen for you if you start off on the right track. The right track consists of five simple steps. These steps will help you gain knowledge, help you develop a plan, but most importantly it will help you get a starting point and learn how to build on that starting point. You cannot build a house without a foundation. Well, you cannot build a healthy lifestyle without taking the proper steps either.
The first and most important step is to have your fitness levels tested and your body analyzed. If you don’t know where your current fitness and body levels are at, how can you properly develop a plan to become healthier? The answer is you would not be able to develop a plan, and you would fall into that “Two Monther” category.
The best way to have your fitness level and body analysis tested is to contact a local personal trainer. They will have the tools and test modalities to properly put you through the tests and provide the most accurate results. The fitness assessment should include a muscular strength and endurance test, a flexibility test, and a cardiovascular test. The body analysis should include girth measurements, and body composition testing. Many trainers will also test your blood pressure and resting heart rate.
The second step to developing and staying on track with your lifestyle program is the design of your program. Personal trainers can design programs that will help you stay on track and continue to implement practices of a healthy lifestyle that will keep you moving toward your goals. If a personal trainer is not something that fits into your budget, here are a few things you need to consider when developing your plan. Consider your goals by developing a long term goal, and then short term goals that will keep you moving in the direction of the long term goal. Create a balanced routine. Most adults need to strength train 2-3 days per week, and spend 150 minutes doing moderate cardiovascular exercise and 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise per week. Build physical activity into your daily routine. If it cannot be completed in one session, make it two or even three sessions throughout your day. Schedule it as you schedule other appointments. It should be as important as any other appointment you may have. It is your health after all. Your plan should include different activities. This keeps you from getting bored, but also keeps your body from adapting. This helps keep your body from hitting a plateau. Allow time for recovery. If you can’t put in 45 minutes of cardio in one stretch, go as long as you can and then build from there. Make sure the exercises and days you do certain parts of your regimen are spaced out correctly to keep you from injury and help the joints and muscle recover. The last thing that is important for developing a plan is put it on paper. Develop it on paper and log what you actually do on paper.
The third aspect that will help you with your healthy lifestyle is equipment. I don’t just mean dumbbells and treadmills. I mean everything from your clothes to the treadmill. Having the right shoes and clothes for the activities are just as important as knowing what equipment you will use for each workout. Write everything down. Plan, Plan, Plan!
The forth step is getting started. There is a progression that needs to take place to help prevent injury, keep you motivated, and keep you from being so sore you cannot participate the next day, and so on. Start out slowly and build up gradually. This is important for each workout, and the entire program. For the program, work your way up to longer times, heavier weights, more reps, greater intensity. As things become easier for you, increase those things previously listed. Each workout should also program, starting with a warm up, and then the exercises themselves and finishing with a cool down. Break things up. If you want to put in the full time but cannot in one shot because your body just cannot handle it, split the session up. Be creative with your routine. The greater variety of activities you do throughout the week, the less sore you will be, you decrease your chance of injury, and you will have more fun. Listen to your body. Let me say that again, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Now with that said do give into something just because it is difficult, but listen to it. Your body will let you know when a break is really needed if you feel nausea, dizziness, extreme shortened breath, or actual pain. This means take a break. If you can start again, go for it. If not, oh well tomorrow is another day. Be flexible. If you are truly not feeling good, give yourself a break and take a day off. Of course just because you are a little sore does not constitute a day off. You will actually feel better in this instance if you do workout. It makes the soreness decrease.
The last piece or step to creating a regimen that you can have become a part of your daily life is to monitor your progress. Every 6-8 weeks have your fitness levels and body analysis done. This will show you the results you are obtaining from your work, but also can be a great indicator that you may need to increase certain things about your program to continue to move forward. Monitoring yourself can also help you to continue to create and recreate as you start losing motivation. Other ways to continue to have motivation is hiring a personal trainer, working out with a friend who will push you, taking fitness classes, or registering for an event.
Starting a health and fitness regiment is an important decision, but it does not have to be overwhelming. Through careful planning, preparation, education, and pacing yourself, you can begin a program that you can establish and have them be healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Everyone will feel aches and pains after a tough workout. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can make you feel the burn while your muscles recover and rebuild. DOMS can be less if you take the right steps after your workout. Here are a few things you can do to help less the DOMS effect.
Post-workout Stretching: Stretching is the most important thing you can do after every workout. Training causes the muscles to contract, and get shorter. Stretching and lengthening them will promote mobility, and will help provide a more thorough recovery. Another benefit is that post-workout stretching helps increase your overall flexibility.
Nutrition for Recovery: It has been found that a post workout drink with between a 3:1 to 5:1 carb-to-protein ratio helps reduce muscle damage and decreases the time it takes for the muscles to recover. A tough workout depletes blood sugar, as well as the glycogen stored in your muscles. A recovery drink with some sugar helps get the protein to the muscles faster to help speed up the recovery process and replenish the muscle.
Ice: Icing after a workout can help keep inflammation at lower levels. This is why professional athletes will take a quick ice bath right after their workouts.
Changes to Your Daily Nutrition: If consistent muscle soreness and inflammation is a problem after workouts, a change in your daily nutrition may be needed. To help reduce inflammation, add foods that are rich in omega-3s—such as salmon, free-range meat, flax, avocado, and walnuts. These foods can help relieve some of the soreness after overexertion. Amino acid supplements can also be added to help reduce muscle soreness.
Massage: Massage can be a big help in aiding in muscle recovery. Myofascial Release, which targets the connective tissue covering the muscles, has become a popular method for recovery. If you cannot get this done by a massage therapist, you can hit these areas by using a foam roller—put the roller on the floor, use your body weight to apply pressure, and roll back and forth over the sore areas for about 60 seconds. Of course you don’t want to foam roll or get the massage until you have brought your heart rate back down and have properly rehydrated.
Heat: While ice is wonderful immediately after a workout, heat can help once your muscles have returned to their resting temperature. Heat can help increases circulation. This is wonderful once you have completely cooled down and your heart rate is close to resting. Hot Tubs are great to get deep into the joints.
Movement: Not exercising until the aches and pains subside it not the answer. Circulation promotes healing. Raising your heart rate and getting your next session of exercise in aids in recovery. The key is to keep the intensity a little lower during the next workouts. The suggested recovery workout is to keep the heart rate around 50% of your max effort, and keep your heart rate below 140 bpm or so.
Take a Painkiller: If you find it absolutely necessary, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen can help relieve pain. If properly using the above methods for recovery, this should be rarely used.
Sitting at a computer and desk most of the day can cause a lot of pain in the Trapezius muscle. This is the muscle that sits on top of the shoulders at the neck region. You can relieve this tension and pain throughout the day with 15-20 reps of the following exercises every hour. Plus you get the benefit of burning a few more calories throughout the day.
Sitting with an upright posture, perform 15–20 reps of the following exercises.
1. Scapular Pinches. Roll the shoulders back, and pinch the shoulder blades together.
2. Shoulder Shrugs. Raise the shoulders up toward the ears, then lower them back down.
3. Neck Side-Bending. Tilt one ear toward the shoulder, and hold briefly. Repeat on the opposite side.
4. Neck Rotation. Look over one shoulder, and pause briefly. Repeat on the opposite side.
If you feel tight or sore in the upper trapezius after the above movement-oriented exercises, perform 1–3 reps of the following static stretch, holding each rep for 30 seconds.
5. Neck Side-Bending/Rotation Stretch.
- In a standing or seated position, place the right hand on top of the head and let the left arm rest at the side.
- Gently pull the head toward the right shoulder with the right hand.
- Rotate the head down and look at the right hip. (The stretch should be felt on the left side of the neck/shoulder area.)
- Repeat on the opposite side.
Just adding these exercises to your daily routine can truly help decrease the tension.
The provide link is an article about a HERO that I have had the opportunity to work with. He is a daily inspiration for me, and I know he is for others as well.