Being efficient with our workouts is something you will hear us at GRT Fitness and Wellness, preach on an everyday basis! The article below examines body weight exercises in general and how they can not only strengthen the body but accompany our love for the outdoors and being able to enjoy our environment. Give it a read and let us know what you think.———->R’s
I ran across this article today and wanted to post it up for our readers. It has a few links to check out as well and there is quite a bit of information involved. This article does a great job refuting some of the claims by Consumer Reports and even gives some basis on why they think that the research behind Consumer Reports claims is totally biased and based on opinion rather than facts. Read this article and it’s accompanied links and let us know whose side your on? As I’ve said before, debate is fantastic for getting the facts out in the forefront for us to make a determination individually.———-> R’s
From your toes to your hairline, the foundation of your body is its center. The center of our body in the physical sense is our core which consists of the 29 muscles of the Lumbo-Pelvic Hip Complex. These muscles are essential in providing us with the balance and stabilization that we need to stand up, sit down, bend over, turn around, and perform hundreds of other functions that we take for granted every day. Through exercise and proper functional movement training we can strengthen these muscles and help us become more efficient when exercising and also help to alleviate low back pain that plagues many Americans day in and day out.
Trying to sift through the plethora of good and bad information on core training can be daunting and potentially causes anxiety in novice exercisers who just do not know how to filter the information properly and apply it to their individual goals. Exercises such as planks, Turkish get-ups, bosu ball variations, and explosive movements with a medicine ball can all strengthen the core and if used properly help to progress exercises from an unconditioned state in terms of the core musculature.
When beginning an exercise program it is always imperative to begin with a stabilization stage to provide a proprioceptively rich environment that prepares the body to begin a strength training program. In this stage we can begin to work with equipment like a swiss ball that provides some support and also trains the muscles to stabilize the body while performing more challenging movements in the future. Planks can also be very efficient at different levels by using variations and elevations to make the planks more or less challenging based on our individual needs. Essentially, the key component to beginning a core training program is to take the progression of exercises slowly and only performing the movements that your body can execute properly without deviating from the proper form and techniques recommended by your fitness training professional.
When evaluating the importance of training our core to become more efficient in our everyday lives we must first look objectively at the things we need to improve upon. Finding some fundamental exercises to begin your program is important to providing a foundation to build your core musculature. By taking the proper time needed to gradually strengthen the core, we provide the body with the strength it needs to progress along a fitness continuum without developing muscle imbalances and overuse injuries that eventually derail our workout program and frustrate us to a point of no return! Let’s do ourselves a favor and build our foundation like a contractor constructs his perfect home, slowly and efficiently while taking the time to use the correct tools and materials! Until next time……….build away!————-> R’s
The Core and Abdominal region of our body is a very diverse muscle group that a good majority of gym goers are very naive about. Becoming aware of all the muscles of not just the Abs but Lumbo Pelvic Hip Complex as a whole can really help us pick efficient exercises that maximize our time in the gym and provide the best movements for strengthening and engaging the Core. Read through the article below, look over the diagram, and watch the instructional video to determine how you can take advantage of planks in your workout and be on your way to the six pack we all dream about!–> R’s
The importance of Core Training in a balanced strength training program is essential to building a strong foundation for your body to perform at a high level. There are very important fundamentals to beginning a core strengthening program and the article I’m attaching below examines some of those key fundamentals. Read it and let me know what you think!——> R’s
Do you feed the beast? No, I’m not referring to your dog Fido, or some alter-ego you may have coined for yourself when those Oreo cookie cravings wake you up at night! I’m talking about providing your muscles with quality whole food nutrition after completing your daily workout sessions. There is page upon page of research out there guiding people on what to consume after you finish your exercise routine and like most other Health and Wellness topics the debates rages on! I’d like to give you some examples of what works for me and provide a few tips that can make it easier for you to take advantage of the gains that a post workout nutrition program can provide to your body.
Please be forewarned, my shake has quite the spectrum of ingredients, but after tinkering and playing with a couple ingredients I’ve been able to find a shake that has very high quality nutrition that provides me with the replenishment I need and also tastes great to my palette! My shake consists of 8oz. Chocolate Almond Milk, 8oz. Organic Skim Milk, 2 tbsp. Organic steel cut oats, 2 tbsp. Organic Hemp Protein, 2 tbsp. Chocolate 100% Whey Protein, 3 tbsp. pasteurized Egg Whites, and 1 tsp. L-Glutamine. Now you might be saying, “Holy Cow, that’s a lot of stuff, how do I keep it straight?”, but after fine-tuning through practice I’ve been able to find the right amounts that exactly fit my needs. The skim milk provides flavor I like along with the slower metabolizing Casein Protein while the Almond Milk enhances the carbohydrate and healthy fat ratio along with the carbs from the steel cut oats. The oats are one of my favorite parts of this shake as they are incorporated uncooked, but after being in the shake while refrigerated overnight begins to soften and soak up the milk! Hemp Protein is a plant based protein and comes from the portion of the plant not containing any THC. This is a very high quality protein and is slower absorbing than Whey while providing a high ratio of Fiber and very Healthy Fats! Whey Protein is a fast acting protein as described in our article links this week and L-Glutamine is an amino acid that helps strengthen the immune system and aids in recovery of muscles which helps in alleviating and mitigating muscle soreness.
I’m sure some of you may be turning up your noses at the sound of this mix, but personally I love the taste and feel that the ingredients are very high in quality versus the other over the counter post workout shakes like Muscle Milk which can be loaded with sugar and excess ingredients that aid in enhancing flavor. We all understand the importance of working out and the benefits that it can provide to our body, but don’t make the mistake of ignoring the potential gains that can be achieved by incorporating the Post Workout Shake to your nutrition program. The point here is to find something that works for you and is not only pleasing to consume but MOST importantly has a mixture of nutrients that provide whole food nutrition to your body at a time when it needs it the most! So go to your kitchen and start cooking up your post workout nutrition regimen! Your BEAST will thank you later when you see him in the mirror staring back at you!——–> R’s
Building upon the first post and related link, the article below digs a little deeper into what you can include in your post workout shake! This is a question that I get asked quite a bit as most people see me chugging my post workout shake down in the locker room as soon as my workout session is over. I’ll touch more on what exactly is in my shake during my blog post this week, but my views are very similar to the author below in terms of the combination of nutrients included in the shake. Examine this one a little closer and see if you can implement some of the suggestions the author makes and if you do utilize a post workout shake, let me know how yours is different or similar to what is suggested!———–>R’s
As most of us are well aware, working out and exercising your body depletes your muscles and requires us to feed our bodies after our workouts to replenish what we’ve burned. Many people who exercise on a regular basis are unaware of the importance and potential gains lost if you don’t replenish your body with some form of nutritious food within that 1 hour window after your workout. The article below touches on what they refer to as the “golden hour” and some different options we can take advantage of when choosing what we replenish our muscles with after workouts. Look it over and let me know what you think!——> R’s
Before strength training, after strength training, during, between, and so on and so forth! There are so many opinions on when to perform your cardiorespiratory training it’s easy to get confused on what is the BEST option! I think that if we asked 10 Personal Trainers this question you could quite possibly get 10 totally different answers! A bodybuilder may tell you to perform your strength training in the morning and your cardio in the evening while a runner would espouse performing treadmill work at the beginning of every exercise session. Regardless of where the information is being obtained it’s important to evaluate the opinions and apply it to your workouts the way it benefits you the most individually!
The trend that I have found to be optimal for me is to perform my cardio at the beginning of every session. Performing my cardio training at the beginning, whether it’s a steady state session, HIIT training, or a program on the Step Mill, is what supercharges my workouts and sets a “ceiling” for my heart rate to continually climb to when strength training afterwards! Through hours of long workouts and being my own personal guinea pig I’ve been able to see how I get the biggest boost from my cardio and by utilizing my heart rate monitor I can easily evaluate my average heart rate and total calorie burn at the end.
On average I am able to burn 300-500 calories more when performing my cardio at the beginning of my workouts versus leaving it until after my strength training is complete. I am able to get my Heart Rate close to 90% max or even higher in some cases which allows my heart to continually climb back in the 75%-90% range when strength training afterwards. My average heart rate also is much higher overall at the conclusion of my session when compared to a session where cardio is performed after my weight training. Because I utilize a jump rope as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) between weight sets I am able to spike my heart rate easier and consequently higher when I’ve performed my cardio at the beginning of the workout.
During the occasions when I save my cardio training until the end of the workout I often have considerable trouble getting my heart rate to rise during strength training and when I can get it spike during repetitions it falls very quickly back to 50-60% of my maximum heart rate. This in turn limits my overall calorie burn and although it helps to spare glycogen for lifts during my strength training portion, I don’t notice as much of an overall fatigue when compared to the opposing cardio routine alternative.
Being that I’m not currently training for a bodybuilding competition or working towards maximum muscle growth, performing my cardiorespitory training at the beginning of my workouts helps to push me into a higher heart rate range and substantially increases the overall calorie burn expended during my workouts. Because my training goals are to be as efficient as possible and get as much bang for my buck when in the gym I prefer to do the cardio at the beginning of workouts versus the end and take advantage of the raised EPOC levels after I’m finished! Take control of your workouts and really examine what option works best for YOU!……The giant in the “Flex” magazine or the underwear model in “Men’s Health” may have a workout that is fantastic for them, but evaluating your goals and finding the program that fits them is the best way to get extreme results and ultimately help you make the changes you desire!———> R-Squared
With our cardio theme of the week I’m attaching a great article from Fox News (no I’m not advocating Fox News!) about the most popular myths out there about Cardiorespitory Training and why or why not they are true. This article is quick and easy to read while doing a good job on explaining a few myths and debunking them with solid information that is easy to digest and understand. Take a good look at the information and try to apply it to your program to determine if you are letting your workouts be affected by these myths!——à R’s
One of the most frequently asked questions in the Health and Fitness industry has always been “when should I perform my cardio?”. The debate rages on as people with different fitness goals often argue over the most efficient times to perform your cardiorespitory training. The article below touches on the best time to perform your cardio and how it can potentially be different for every individual. Give it a read and tell me what you guys think—–à R’s
For those of us who utilize Self Myofascial release on a daily basis, we know how important it is in maintaining muscle health while also being absolutely excruciating! Self Myofascial Release is a very important stretching technique that focuses on the neural system and fascial system in the body. By applying gentle force to an adhesion or “knot”, the elastic muscle fibers are altered from a bundled position into a straighter alignment with the direction of the muscle or fascia. This process works through autogenic inhibition, decreasing muscle spindle excitation and releasing the hyper tonicity of the underlying musculature. Whew, that took a lot to describe and I’m sure made absolutely no sense! In lamens terms the foam roller puts pressure on the adhesion in a muscle and “resets” the mechanisms of the soft tissue to their original form.
If you have never had the opportunity to perform SMR with a foam roller I need to warn you of the discomfort involved with this stretching technique! Be ready for pain in certain areas but be assured that by utilizing this technique many people can see a real difference and improvement in flexibility and muscle imbalances that are causing discomfort and improper alignment in your body. This technique is one that is spreading across the country rapidly while more and more personal trainers and gym goers alike experience the benefits involved with this continuum. In terms of sheer bang for your buck, a $10 foam roller can have an extreme effect on improving your muscle structures while most people can begin to feel results within a week to 10 days!
With the nature of our current lifestyles the need for SMR is increasing rapidly. Our lives are much more sedentary than they were 50 years ago and many Americans are stuck behind a desk for 40-60 hours a week and struggle from the muscle imbalances our sedentary lifestyles are contributing to. By incorporating 5-10 minutes a day of SMR into your daily lives, we can begin to see advances in posture and the relationships between our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Step up today and take our challenge to purchase a foam roller and begin to play with the different positions while you watch television in the evening and wind down from a long day or to cool down at the end of an intense training session! The old adage “No Pain, No Gain” must have been referring to SMR!
Below I am providing another link to a fantastic article on Self Myofascial Release that shows a multitude of positions and variations on how to use the foam roller. The pictures in this article do a great job of illustrating the correct positioning when Foam Rolling and also re-emphasizes for us why SMR is an integral part of a program for anyone looking to improve their health, wellness, fitness, and overall muscle health!
How important is your Muscular System to you? As an avid weight lifter and fitness enthusiast, muscle health is paramount in allowing my body to function at optimal levels and allow me to push them past the point of fatigue and exhaustion! Therefore, taking care of my Muscular System after taxing it, day in and day out, is imperative! The article below introduces Self Myofascial Release and how it can help everyone keep their muscles healthy.
Upon first mention you may be thinking that Thermodynamics is some Physics property that you slept through in 10th grade, but let me be the first to tell you that this Law may be the one that changes your life when it comes to fitness and wellness. Too often information is presented in a way that just doesn’t mesh with the method at which we learn or absorb knowledge and apply it. Essentially, this law states that body fat reduction can only occur when there is more energy being burned than consumed on a daily basis. So before you crucify me for stating the obvious, let’s examine this law a little closer and see if we can apply it to our lives from day to day.
By doing the math we figure that if your Basal Metabolic Rate burns 2,000 calories a day and you consume 2,000 calories daily then your weight will remain the same. Add in an exercise session of 1,000 calories burned and you have a total number of 3,000 calories burned in a day. Therefore, we could theoretically consume those 3,000 calories and keep our body weight constant. Weight loss clients could begin lowering caloric intake to 2,500 calories and create a deficit of 500 calories which in turn contributes to a loss of body fat. While this may seem very simple, we as Americans need to take a hard look at the amount of calories we consume on a daily basis but MOST IMPORTANTLY, the type of calories we are consuming.
While calorie consumption is crucial in identifying the amounts we consume daily, it is equally important to examine the type of calories we are consuming and our macronutrient breakdown. Macronutrients are defined as Fats, Carbohydrates, and Proteins with the caloric breakdown of 9, 4, and 4 grams respectively. Let me be the first to tell you that 2,000 calories of French Fries and Pizza are not going to produce the effects of 2,000 calories of lean meats, yams, asparagus, whole grains, and steel cut oats! The saying “you are what you eat” has never been more effective at portraying the difference in body composition of the individual who consumes 2,000 calories of whole foods versus the person consuming their calories from junk food. When consuming these whole foods that are rich in anti-oxidants, nutrients, and quality calories the human being can see a plethora of changes when accompanied with exercise and restful sleep.
Ultimately, I believe that the Law of Thermodynamics is a portion of a successful nutrition program designed for an individual utilizing an exercise program along with it. By providing our bodies with the correct nutrition we begin to allow it to function at its peak, working in synergy with whole foods to achieve our exercise and fitness goals along with propelling our spirits to a wellness revolution! So get out there, start moving, and BURN, BURN, BURN!!!
In reference to our topic this week of Thermodynamics, I’m providing a link to a Scientific Research article on Calorie restriction and its effect on a human being’s life expectancy. This article could be viewed as controversial, but it is my opinion that viewing all angles of a theory can help us find knowledge that can be applied to our lives individually from one person to the next. Take the time to read this article and examine what it means to you while comparing it to other theories you have heard that may contradict this application!——> R’s
The Laws of Thermodynamics have been discussed and reviewed by brilliant scholars and professionals from all over the world. This topic has been debated endlessly but the article below does a decent job of explaining some of its intricacies and how it can be applied to weight loss. Give it a read and decide how it applies to you!——-> R’s
In a day and age where “super size it”, “I’ll have fries with that”, and “do you have these pants in a size 44 Waist” are common phrases we often have trouble finding the motivation to invest in our Health and Wellness! As Americans we are currently facing tighter deadlines, pay cuts, reductions in force, and a heavier workload professionally and personally with our families. Stress is overwhelming our lives yet we don’t look in the mirror and question what we can do to fight these Assassins that are taking our health, vitality, and mental clarity from us on a daily basis.
That’s where exercise, nutrition, and wellness come in as the savior’s to our vicious circle. As a former college athlete I know the importance of an active lifestyle but still struggled with translating that knowledge into health and happiness as I moved into another chapter of my life. At the age of 25 I was newly married and the heaviest weight I’ve ever been. One morning after stepping on the scale the number I saw sent me into a quest for finding my healthy alter-ego! I was determined to leave the habits that were hurting my life behind me and begin adopting new strategies that would help me fight those Assassins that were attempting to rob me of my happiness.
Through exercise, proper nutrition, quality rest and relaxation, hard work, and dedication to following through I have been able to make lifelong changes that last and could be adopted long term rather than following the newest “crash diet” or useless diet pill. Working with GRT Fitness and Wellness is a vehicle that can help me reach out to people who may be struggling with the same issues I faced and allow me to work with those individuals to find their healthy alter-ego as well! I look forward to learning and growing with everyone I meet along the way and truly believe that proper exercise, healthy nutrition with whole foods, and a passion for hard work are the tools that help us complete our Health and Wellness Toolbox! Join us on the road to Health and Wellness, it’s the superhighway to your Happiness!
In reference to the first post of the week, 10 ways exercise can change your life, this article gives a fantastic description of reason number one!…..The importance of exercising your heart and promoting overall heart health. As we are all well aware, heart attacks are the biggest killer of men and women in the United States which drives home the emphasis of exercising our most important muscle!——-> R’s
Although we as Human Beings are well aware of how important exercise is to your overall wellness I wanted to provide a link to an article that does an adequate job of explaining some of the most important reasons exercise can not only improve your physical state but your psychological health!–> R’s