Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Starting Smart

I had a very raw beginner yesterday for her first session and I thought I would throw some important reminders to those starting a new program.
  1. Warm-up first- get your blood flowing and heart rate elevated, but don't kill yourself.
  2. Focus on proper technique- use minimal weight and have a certified trainer observe and cue you through a couple sessions.
  3. Openly communicate- if something hurts, tell your trainer. As their client, they should want to take care of you and you might call their attention to something they might not have noticed.
  4. EAT- I had a client about pass out and she is not in terrible shape. When I asked her what she ate that day she listed off about 500 calories worth of food and it was 6pm!!! You have to have fuel in your body for it to go.
  5. Drink plenty of water- Be adequately hydrated with WATER. Save the energy drinks for later once you have got accustomed to working out regularly.
  6. Properly cool down- Know how to end a session, never just abruptly end activity. Lower the intensity (how hard you are working and/or the weight you are using on a particular exercise) and/or jog a lap around a track then stretch. stretch your major muscle groups- latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest and shoulders.

I am ready to help some new clients reach their goals safely, and educate them on how to properly continue an active lifestyle.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Training to Look Better

I have gotten several emails & facebook messages from people wanting exercise programs. I have no problem helping someone out and getting them to their goals. One of my few pet peeves is when they add "I don't want to get huge" or "I put on muscle really fast" to their request.

It actually makes me watch to punch the computer screen.

For the men: Even with the best physiologic gift of testosterone that flows through our bodies, any one that has put some serious time in the gym knows that consistency and long-term goals are almost always the focus. I have gone through phases of just adding 10lbs to my max raw bench in a year and I was thrilled about it. I actually had an employee tell me that he was only doing sets of 20 reps on everything because he puts on muscle too fast...

what a joke. If you are such a physical specimen, train for a month and then go dominate a bodybuilding or powerlifting competition. Let me know how that goes for you.

For the women: Some of you have probably said it before... "My legs get HUGE after one week of doing squats." There are a couple underlying issues here. I feel that most women are more self-conscious about the way they look and about weight training. I know one female that is a really gifted athlete and works her tail off in the gym, yet she parties with Iota Tappa Kegga and eats sweets throughout the day.

The real issues to address here are pushing yourself through consistent, intense workouts and what you are putting into your body as fuel.

When women say their legs get bulky rather quickly, it is more than likely because they actually have worked hard in the gym and have added some cross-sectional area to their quadriceps and hamstrings. However, the garbage that they are putting into their body is in the incorrect quantities for dropping fat from their legs, therefore, they successfully add muscle to their legs, but do not decrease their body fat percentage.

So instead of continuing to use resistance training as a method of attaining their goals and cleaning up their diet, they drop weight training altogether and run like somebody is chasing them.

Every one can see some amazing results if they were just as dedicated at the dinner table as they are in the gym.

Cardiovascular training has a place in heart health and burning some calories, but the real shock to kick your metabolic drive into high gear are frequent weight training sessions. This goes for men and women. Guys, you aren't going to get huge overnight and, possibly, ever. If you are genetically a smaller framed guy with an ectomorphic body type they chances aren't great that you will be gracing a bodybuilding stage, unless you make a couple trips to Mexico for some real supplements. Ladies, continue to kick butt in the gym, but a lot of it boils down to eating better.

You do not have to get on a competition diet by any means... it's simple really:

  • ALWAYS eat breakfast. Think about it, you haven't eaten since some time the night before so you need to kick-start your metabolism in the morning AND give your body some energy for work, class, or the morning workout.
  • Find meats that you like and research ways to prepare them. Very few people will stick to a meal plan that they think tastes terrible.
  • The same applies to veggies. Steam them, mix them in with brown rice or quinoa, eat them raw, whatever. You need your greens!
  • LIMIT sweets. We are in a culture that is blessed to be able to turn almost any corner and indulge in manufactured crap that more than likely we will regret later.
  • Limit liquid calories. Do you know how many calories are in your Moca-Frappa-Chocolate Latte?
  • Limit carbohydrates after 6pm-ish. Think of carbohydrates as your body's main source of fuel. For the later part of the day you have no need to fuel up just to go to sleep. Our body does not let the carb-fuel just sit in a tank for use in the morning, it turns excess unused carbs into fat and over time the pounds will add up.

Monday, October 4, 2010

GYM Etiquette

With all the newbies in the gym lately, I felt like it was a good time for a refresher course in gym etiquette:
1. RERACK EVERYTHING YOU USE: It doesn’t make sense, you come into a gym to tear your body apart, get a good sweat going, and morph yourself into what you want to become… yet you can’t put away the 45 pound plates you used on leg press.

You can go balls to the wall on squat, but you can’t strip the bar?

You chase the elusive 400 plus pound raw bench press, yet you can’t put any weights back where they go.

QUIT BEING LAZY!!!!!!!!!!!! Rerack your weights, slide your dumbbells back under the sissy dumbbells, and don’t hide small plates in with bigger ones. There are multiple pegs on a bench rack, weight tree, and squat rack for a reason… use them.

2. When refilling your water bottle, ALWAYS let people go in front of you that just need a drink. No one needs to wait on you to fill up your 44 ounce shaker bottle while they just need a drink.

3. If you know how to spot, lend a hand to the little guy with too much weight on the bar.

4. Chalk has its uses… dips are not one of them.

5. If you need advice or help, ask for it. If you have advice, keep it to yourself until asked. I have figured out that you will save yourself a lot of wasted time if you keep your thoughts to yourself (unless someone is going to be injured). When I first got to UK I tried to fix every one’s form on everything, most people don’t listen to you if they don’t know your experience level and a lot of those people aren’t teachable. Those few "sponges" that want to learn and better themselves will find you.
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