Friday, August 15, 2014

Making A "Mind-Muscle" Connection

Thinking about your muscle contractions while you are lifting will help you maximize your workouts.
When working out it is always important to think about the targeted muscle group that you are working on. For example, when doing a bicep curl, think and focus on the movement of the bicep as you are curling the dumbbell up. By concentrating on the specific muscle group that you are working, you will be able to isolate and develop that muscle group faster.You can practice this without weights by moving your arm in a curl or kickback by flexing your muscle as you move your arm in a concentric or eccentric movement.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fitness is like Fashion

Fitness is much like fashion in the sense that it is always changing and evolving. Often times it repeats itself but always comes back to the tried and true classic techniques. As in fashion, there are always new fads in fitness, some work most don't. The fitness industry is always introducing new exercise programs, a majority of these programs take you over your targeted heart rate, using your muscle for your energy supply as opposed to burning fat. Other classes have you doing exercises that stress your connective tissues and joints leaving you injured.
When embarking on a new Fitness regime, make sure that the program is one that executes good form and proper technique, working with your body type and physical limitations. The workouts should be something that is safe for you and is effective in showing you the results that you want to achieve.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Work Weeks Worth of Healthy Breakfasts

Here are some examples of what my first meal of the day looks like:

Every morning, I always start off with a large glass of filtered water with fresh lemon squeezed in it and a cup of organic coffee with organic cream or a teaspoon of grass-fed unsalted butter in it.

Two organic hard boiled eggs with 2 slices of sprouted grain toast with coconut oil or grass fed butter.
I also like to have it with some sliced tomato and avocado.

A bowl of organic oatmeal with cinnamon, organic blueberries and a tablespoon of coconut oil.

Two slices of sprouted grain bread with almond butter and sliced banana on top.

Four scrambled organic eggs with 2 yolks(I feed the other two to my dogs) with sliced avocado, salsa and some black beans.

A bowl of organic yogurt with organic strawberries and chopped raw almonds or organic granola.





Thursday, November 1, 2012

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT TRAINER

Finding a good fitness trainer can be a difficult task, especially if you are not knowledged in how to go about finding one. Usually people will hire a trainer from the health club that they are a member or thru word of mouth. Just because a friend or family member likes their trainer does not make that trainer a right fit for you. Health clubs sometimes give a free consultation or workout with a trainer when you join. Ask if you can observe some of the trainers, to get a feel for their training approach. Beware of trainers (whom I like to call pin changers) who take you from machine to machine doing the same workout session after session. Initially, this type of workout program may work, but if the workout is not changed up you will hit a plateau quickly. Often times, clients in larger health clubs become a file, and the personal relationship and individual goals of the client often become compromised. There are key things to look for as well as questions to ask the trainer in your initial meeting. First and foremost ask them how long have they been involved in the fitness industry, you want someone who has had experience working with a broad spectrum of clientele. Having a degree in kinasthesiology or holding a current fitness certification from a nationally accredited fitness certification is imperative. ACSM, NASM, ACE, ISSA are some good examples of nationally accredited certification courses. Make sure that they are current on their certifications. Trainers will often get certified once and not renew their certifications. Every national certification requires trainers to have continuing education for credits to renew their certification every two to three years as well as being current on their CPR and AED certifications The fitness professional should be passionate about his or her profession. Watch to see if the instructor is a good listener and you feel that you are both on the same page with your fitness plans and goals. In the initial appointment, the fitness professional should ask you extensively about your health background, occupation and physical limitations. Some of the questions that should be asked are: what activities you like to do? what are some of your hobbies? what goals are you trying to achieve with working out? and what has prevented you from setting out to achieve these goals in the past? Health and fitness professionals should look and act the part. You want a fitness professional to be friendly, motivating and empathetic. Remember, embarking on a workout program with a fitness professional is a group effort and you must make sure to do your part as well, to achieve your goals! Hiring a personal trainer is by far one of the best investments that you can make. By hiring an experienced, well rounded trainer you will have the knowledge on how to live a healthier better life!

PERFORMING THE PERFECT SQUAT

Squats are one of the single best exercises that you can do for you entire body. But be aware that doing squats incorrectly can be one of the worst exercises for your body, causing injury to your spine and lower back and putting undue stress on your knees. Squats are a compound exercise that primarily work your hips, buttocks ,thighs and hamstrings as well as your core. The average person who works out usually steers away from what they perceive to be such a difficult exercise. They usually opt. to do leg extensions, hamstring curls or the leg press machine. Even worse, they attempt to do a squat on a smith machine which puts your body in poor alignment. Make sure that you have proper postural alignment, which will allow for optimum neuromuscular efficiency, basically meaning that you want all muscle groups to work together in perfect order, much like an orchestra. The first step in doing a squat correctly is making sure that you are wearing the proper shoe, a perfect example would be a running shoe which provides a strong heal support. Stand slightly wider than hips width distance with toes pointing straight ahead, the ankle and foot should be in a neutral position. Now sit back as if you were going to sit on a chair that is positioned behind you, pulling your belly button in, working your transverse abs. As you begin to sit back, pull your hips back simultaneously as you are bending at the knee. Squat down to the height of a chair and return to the starting position pushing back up thru your heals and not coming up on the ball of your foot. Coming up on the ball of your foot puts stress on your knees. Keep your chest up, making sure not to bend at your waist. Repetitions should be slow and controlled in both executions of the exercise. Repeat this movement 10-15 times. There are many variations to performing a squat, here are some examples that I like using with my clients: Body weight squat- performed with no weight, using your own body weight. Great for warming up or beginners. Back squat- bar is held across your neck on the back of your body Front squat-bar is held across the front of your body across deltoids (shoulders) and clavicles,usually with much lighter weight than on a back squat. Plie squat or sumo squat- This variation also incorporates your inner thigh. Hold a dumbbell between your legs standing in a slightly wider than shoulder width stance, keeping your knees and feet in alignment pointing outward. Bend the knees and lower into a squat keeping knees in line with toes. Split squat-an assisted one-legged squat where the non-lifting leg is rested on the ground a few steps behind the lifter, as if it were a static lunge. making sure when you descend both knees bend and making sure that back knee does not touch the ground. Push up from the heal of your front foot and ball of your toe on the back foot. Squats increase overall strength for your whole body as well as releasing natural growth hormones. If performed correctly, I advocate squats as one of the best overall exercises that you can do. Jimmy Johnson

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TAKING YOUR WORKOUTS OUTSIDE OF THE GYM

Take your workouts outside of the gym for a change of pace. There are many effective training environments outside of the gym. Parks, beaches, hotel rooms, garages, stairs and playgrounds are excellent examples of places to get a great workout. By taking your workouts outside the gym, it lets you be creative and use your imagination. You can change up your workouts and turn it into a new adventure which will keep you motivated and less likely to grow tired of the same old workout routine. Working out outside is free and does not require a gym membership. You can alleviate a trip to and from the gym which will save you time and the excuse of not having enough time to get to the gym to workout. Exercising outside is perfect for people who find gym environments intimidating and overwhelming. Working out should be fun and by bringing the workouts outdoors, you are bringing an element of playfulness into the workout, reminiscent of when we were kids playing outside. Doing pull-ups on monkey bars, jumping rope in a garage, running up and down stairs, doing pushups in a hotel room or running on a beach are great examples of some of the workouts you can do outside of the gym.