Tag Archives: strength

Wonder why you are not seeing results from your workout? Here are some insider tips!

When it comes to fitness and nutrition, what works for one person may not work for someone else. While one person may be able to run a half marathon another person- due to injury or body structure- may never be able to run a half marathon. I am not saying that you should sell yourself short or give up on your goals. What I am saying is that you should be able to find some type of workout that you enjoy and that works for your body type.

There is one rule that applies to absolutely everyone. If you are not seeing results, you are not doing the right workout or eating the right diet for you. Some people run, bike, go on the elliptical/ walk on the treadmill for an hour several days a week. It is very likely that they are bored of doing the same workout and that their bodies are also bored of doing the same workout day in and day out. What I would recommend to everyone is workout variety. Try some new things in the gym or outside and rotate them into your workout routine. Runners might need some yoga in their routine. Yogis probably need some strength training in their routine.

In addition to workout variety, you can add in some interval training. With this type of training you should start at your regular pace for a set amount of time and then increase the intensity for the same amount of time. I will use the treadmill as an example. You can start at your regular pace, lets say level 5, for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes are up you will switch to level 7 for 2 minutes then return back to level 5 and repeat. Some variations to increasing intensity include changing your speed and/or incline. You can get creative with interval training by doing a “pyramid” time challenge. This is how it works:

1 minute baseline, 1 minute challenge

2 minutes baseline, 2 minutes challenge

Continue all the way up to 5 minutes then work back down the pyramid

4 minutes baseline, 4 minutes challenge

3 minutes baseline, 3 minutes challenge

Until you get to 1 minute

Recently, due to an irritated SI Joint in my lower back, I have not be able to run longer distances. I personally feel like a hamster doing 30-40 minutes on the treadmill or the elliptical plus I get really bored.  Another component that was missing is that I was not seeing results. So, what is the point in even working out if I am not enjoying it and not seeing results? Thus, I have turned to rapid cardio/strength circuit workouts. I love these because they have a lot of variety involved. I also love them because I am seeing awesome results and I feel really strong.

Rapid cardio/ strength circuits involve a type of cardio that is called anaerobic exercise. Whereas running running long distances or walking on the treadmill would be considered aerobic exercise. Both of these type of exercises serve their own purpose. I have been finding that short-duration and high intensity exercises, namely anaerobic exercises, are what my body is responding to best at this point in time. Here are some examples of exercises that you can include in your rapid cardio/ strength circuits:

– Rowing machine: 300 meter or 400 meter row

– 1-2 minutes jump roping

– 10-20 burpees

– 30-50 jumping jacks

– Jump- switch lunges

– 30-40 mountain climbers (downward dog position with arms and running motion with legs)

– 20-30 yd. sprints

Those are just a few examples of some anaerobic exercises. I usually choose 3 exercises and rotate through them 4 times. I do the 3 exercises, take a 30 second break then repeat the circuit. By the time you are done, you have done around 20 minutes of intense cardio. You should be sweating and almost out of breath.

I will be posting some specific workouts in the near future. Hang tight! For now, please leave comments if you have any questions!

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A Fresh Approach To Your Gym Workout

My favorite workouts include running, hiking, spinning, walking, and yoga. I have understood the importance of lifting weights since beginning of high school when I took my first Strength and Conditioning class however, my passion for gym workouts has been a roller coster.  I have gone through phases where my passion for working out in the gym has been strong and others where I have been completely unmotivated to go to the gym. Here is the load down on how to get the most out of a workout, regardless of how motivated or unmotivated you may be. Once you have made it to the gym this is what I suggest you do:

Plug in your headphones and turn up the volume. I download a lot of my workout mixes from music blogs such as drop beat not bombs or chemical jump. Having a long mix or playlist is much better than having to flip through tracks. Also, an iPod nano or iPod shuffle serves as an excellent workout buddy because they are tiny and never get in the way. (best investment ever!) The less hassle involved during your workout, the better.

Engage your coreDo a few front planks and side planks to get your core engaged for your workout. Once your core muscles have been “awakened” you will be more likely to engage them and you will be more likely to think about using them to support your body movements.

Next step is your warm up. The goal is to get your blood flowing through your body and to increase your heart rate. At the end of your warm up you should be close to breaking a sweat. Here are a few warm up options:

– Hop on the bike for 7-10 minutes (gradually increasing resistance to increase heart rate)

– Use the rowing machine: 1 500 meter row or 2-3 200 meter rows

– Jog or run on treadmill for 7-10 minutes

– Inclined walk for 7-10 minutes

Now that you are warmed up, you can do a few stretches that directly relate to the workout that you have planned. You should be moving around while stretching, not just standing still. Once you have raised your heart rate during the warm up, you want to keep it at the rate or higher.

Your workout results will be drastically different if you choose not to warm up before. You can burn more calories and have a lot more range of motion if you warm up.

Now for the main attraction..

I like to split my workout up into 3 sections. The first two sections contain 3 exercises each and the last section is a rotation of abdominal exercises. Here is an example:

Section 1:

a. Bicep curl with step up

b. Squat with row

c. Tricep dips

Section 2:

a. Burpies (push up followed by vertical jump)

b. Forward Lunge with chest press (using cables or dumbbells)

c. Step-up with overhead press

Perform exercises a, b & c from section 1 in rotation 3 times through. Then move on to section 2 and perform exercises in rotation 3 times through.

The rotation is important because you give your muscles just enough time to rest before you work them again. Your choice of weight, set # and rep # will depend on the goal of your workout.

Section 3: abs

Rotate through 3 ab exercises 3 times performing at least 25 repetitions of each exercise. Here are some of my favorites:

– knee tuck with stability ball

– ball roll out

– Pilates double leg stretch (lying on back, both arms and legs are extended at the same time)

Now all thats left is a nice relaxing stretching session. I like to do a 10 minute full-body stretch but if you are in a rush or pressed for time you should focus on the specific muscles groups that you used during your workout.

I like this workout structure because it keeps you moving from one exercise to the next without too much down-time. It helps the workout feel like it goes by quickly because it is split up into sections. This full workout should take you 1 hour. Remember to always focus on your form/ alignment so that you do not injure yourself. Also, do not always do the same exercises! There are hundreds of exercises to choose from, get creative or look online. The more varied your workouts, the better results you will get. Planning ahead can help you be more focused in the gym. I get a much better quality workout if I go in knowing which exercises I am going to do. I find it helpful to set up all three exercises before I start the workout section so that I can quickly move from one to the next.

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