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Friday, May 24, 2013

Todd Wants to Know....Do You Give 100%?

My name is Todd Walbert and I have been here at PROMATx Health Club for almost 7 years.  I previously trained at a couple other facilities while getting my kinesiology degree from the University of Kentucky but have worked at a gym doing a little of everything for almost 10 years.  I am 34 years old now and have been a physically active person since my youth where I played sports up through high school.  For the first couple of years after high school I was lazy but it didn't last long.  I had to get a degree in something!  My earlier aspirations in the fields of biology and forestry didn't seem to be as joyous as I had hoped.  The kinesiology program at UK was everywhere at that time so I chose to specialize in "exercise science".

After training for a few years, I chose to start my own LLC (limited liability company) and named it "All Encompassed Personal Training".  Why that name?  I felt that rather than specialize in one aspect of training, I wanted to be familiar with all forms of exercise...from bodybuilding to power lifting to power building to running.  In general I enjoy all types of physical exertion as I have competed in many sports and events as well as through my training career.

A common problem I see for exercisers is stepping out too early.  Too many people try to achieve a "number" or "time" rather than a "feeling" in the trained area. Understanding what utter failure feels like is necessary in changing the shape of your physique or your performance level.  Most of the time, if you aren't burning it, you aren't working it.  This premature quitting is evident in all forms of exercises.  Weight lifters quit a set of repetitions anywhere from 1-2 or 7-8 reps shy of what is needed to achieve results.  Too often, aspiring runners start to walk 1, 2 or 3 minutes shy of a point where they MAY realize they might have to stop and walk.  Even a "cross-fitter" or triathlete may not always push the envelope, if you will, hard enough to positively affect their mind, body, and training regimen.

A physiological response is needed to get better at anything.  Obviously you will not always be able to top what you did the day before or the week before but 100% is 100% and that is all we can do.  I like the 100% rule.  Always work at your potential and you know you are getting better at that task.  Training always contains so many outliers, from sleep to nutrition to mental state.  The probability at the body being able to do the same thing over and over is highly unlikely but you can ensure your adaptation to that stimulus is getting better if you always give 100%.  Finding that line and knowing where to stop safely is the constant challenge in any physical endeavor.

So....do you give 100%??

Stay tuned for more great insight from trainer, Todd Walbert as he continues as our guest blogger the next few weeks.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 7 Challenge - 7-Days of Push-Ups

So here we are in the last 2 weeks of your 8-week challenge.  You still hanging in there?  I sure hope so!  I've heard from some of you over the past few weeks and it sounds like things are progressing along.  The next two weeks will be challenging in a physical way.  Hopefully as these weeks have progressed, you have learned a little more about how you exercise and eat.  You should be well on your way to losing inches and maybe a few pounds so far if you have been following your daily activity levels and making sure you are getting enough water into your body.

Ready for this week's challenge?  I hereby challenge you to "7 days of push-ups".  No I'm not crazy, I really want you to try this challenge.  Since everyone has differing upper body strength, I am going to give you 3 different options.  First, let's talk a little about the push-up.  This is a great exercise to build strength in the upper body (chest, arms, shoulders) and is a great core workout.  Whether you perform a full push-up (on your toes) or a modified push-up (on your knees), you will hold the body in a "plank" position throughout each push-up.  This will strengthen your abdominal and low back muscles.  Remember, I don't call the modified version a "girl" push-up and neither should you!!  Click HERE for my blog on the difference between the two types of push-ups.

OK, so here's the plan.  I challenge you to perform a certain number of push-ups four times a day for the next 7 days.  Here are your options as these are based on your current upper body strength/abilities (click on each link to view push-up instructions):

Option 1:  Perform 20 wall push-ups 4x/day for 7 days

Option 2:  Perform 15 table/desk push-ups 4x/day for 7 days

Option 3:  Perform 10 floor push-ups 4x/day for 7 days

Here's how it all breaks down.  When performing push-ups in option 1, you will be lifting a smaller percentage of your body weight therefore I am asking you to perform more repetitions than in the other options.  This option is good for beginners or for someone who has shoulder issues.  In option 2, your body will be more angled towards the floor thus lifting more body weight than in option 1 but not as much as in option 3.  This option is good for those who aren't new to push-ups but still are working on building strength in upper body.  Finally, option 3 will allow you to lift the most body weight.  Whether you perform a full or modified push-up in option 3, you still will be requiring more upper body strength than in the other two options. All-in-all, you will either complete 560 wall push-ups (option 1), 420 table/desk push-ups (option 2), or 280 push-ups (option 3) by the end of the week.  

Are you ready?!  Before you start, here are a few key points to remember.  Warm up first by circling the arms forward and backwards and across your body.  Maintain good form no matter which option you choose.  Breathe normally throughout each repetition.  If you need a breather during one of your daily sets, take it but then jump right back in to complete your challenge numbers.  If you feel pain, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!  This challenge is not worth hurting yourself over so go by how your body feels.  At the end of each day, be sure to stretch your chest and arms.

As always, share your progress with me on Facebook or at the end of this blog.  I am here to help you, guide you, and cheer you on so don't be a stranger!!  Good luck.  Until next time.............

Friday, May 10, 2013

Is It a Game or Is It Exercise?

Here are trainer, Shawn Massey's final thoughts as he closes out his time as guest blogger.
 
A recent article posted on www.yahoo.com highlighted a new celebrity fitness craze using weighted hula-hooping.  When was the last time you tried to insert a game or activity you enjoy into your workout?  Sure traditional exercise is great, but lets face it...it can get old.  Why not invoke your "inner child" during your next workout?  If you liked to jump rope, grab one.  If you played a sport, run some drills that mimic the movements/object of that sport.  Hula-hooping may not be your thing, but something was at one time.  So use it in your next workout and I guarantee you will workout harder, longer, and have more fun than your other workouts.
 
Have fun and burn some calories!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Post-Pregnancy Exercise

Continuing from last month's guest blogging...trainer (and brand new dad) Shawn Massey writes about "Post-Pregnancy Exercise".  Here's what he has to say.....
 
As most of you know, my wife had our first little girl a month ago.  Getting back into an exercise program can be difficult after pregnancy.  My wife has said that she feels like she is in a different body.  Her balance is different, joints feel different, gait has changed, and taking time off has affected what she is able to do in her workouts.  But like most moms, she is ready to get back into the swing of things, so for all the new moms, and soon to be new moms, here are some guidelines for re-entering the exercise world postpartum.
 
Generally it is safe to start exercising (other than going for walks) 4-6 weeks after you deliver, but if you have had a c-section or other complications, check with your doctor before starting back up.  Your body has gone through a lot so start out slowly and be patient with yourself.  Shoot for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week including strength training and cardiovascular work.  Be sure to take the time to warm-up and cool-down (5-10 minutes each), start slowly and gradually increase your intensity as you feel comfortable.  Don't overdo it!  Drink plenty of fluids, and stop exercising if you feel pain or if something isn't quite right.  
 
It can be challenging to start back up as you experience hormonal changes, fatigue, and a tough schedule, but it will promote weight loss, restore strength, boost your energy, improve your mood, relieve stress, and help prevent postpartum depression.  Try these exercises to get you going:
  • Kegels
  • Hip bridge
  • Crunches with knees elevated (calves parallel to the floor)
  • Plank
  • Burpee (or modified burpee- step out instead of jump)
  • Pushup or modified pushup
  • Stiff leg deadlift
  • Dips
Good luck!!  Remember, you can always  seek the advice of a fitness professional at PROMATx Health Club.  We have plenty of "new-parent" trainers and "current-parent" trainers to guide you along and help you reach your goals.  Be patient but be vigilant and you will be back in action in no time!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week 5 Challenge - Start a "Liquid" Journal

Here we are on week 5 of my 8-Week Challenge.  I hope that you are keeping up with all of your daily challenges.  Have you noticed any changes yet?  Do you feel like these "challenges" are starting to become "habits"?  Hopefully, things are getting easier with each week.  After this week, the challenges will be come much more difficult.  I want' to make sure you are ready to go out on your own!

So, what do I have planned for week 5?  I want you to start thinking about (and tracking) your liquid calories.  I hear clients say "I eat healthy food", "I avoid eating sugar/sweets", "I do a pretty good job with my food intake".  But when I ask them about their "liquid calories", I get a blank stare.  Did you know that according to a research study in the journal Obesity, the average American consumes 50 gallons of soda and sweetened beverages per year?  Did you know that Americans consume about 250–300 more daily calories today than they did several decades ago, nearly half of this increase reflects greater consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages?  Did you know that a child’s risk for obesity increases an average of 60 percent with every additional daily serving of soda?  Did you know that the average soda sold in the United States has more than doubled in size since the 1950s, from 6.5oz to 16.2oz?  Startling, isn't it?  I could go on and on with statistics about sugary drinks but I think you get the picture.

A lot of people tend to "forget" about the calories they are drinking and only focus on the calories they eat.  So here is my challenge to you for the week.  I want you to start writing down what you drink, how much you drink, and when you drink it.  Keep it in your smart phone, write it on your desk calendar, or get a small notebook and jot it down.  At the end of the week I would like you to figure out how many calories you drank this week.  You should be able to look up calorie contents on-line if you purchase a "custom-made" drink from a store/restaurant.  Otherwise check the food label on the bottle/can.  Remember to look at serving sizes too.  If the bottle has 2.5 servings, then you need to multiply 2.5 times the total calorie content listed if you drink the whole thing.  Are you nervous?  Unfortunately some of you should be.

Report back to me at the end of the week and let me know how you did.  You might be surprised at the number of extra calories you drink throughout the day.  By the end of the week you should also be able to notice any patterns in your liquid calorie consumption.  For example, do you crave a soft drink in the afternoon?  Do you always stop at the coffee shop on the way to work and get a fancy, whipped cream topped drink?  Look for patterns and see if there is a way to change/break some of those unhealthy habits.

Remember, I am not saying you cannot have your sugary drink.  Keep in mind, I am a coffee drinker myself and I also enjoy a soft drink every now and then but I know how to do it in moderation.  I take into consideration the calories I drink and adjust my calorie intake and my calorie burn accordingly.  Don't worry....you'll get there.  Just take baby steps.  Don't change any drink habits just yet until you know what your downfall is. 

You can do it!!  Remember, post your comments/thoughts/struggles on our Facebook page or at the end of this post.  I will provide you with as much support as I can give you!! 

Good luck...until next time.........

Monday, May 6, 2013

Week 4 Challenge - Brown Baggin' It

OK folks, we are into week 4 of your "8-Week Challenge" from trainer April Crosby.  How are you doing?  Keeping up with that water intake?  You will find weight loss happens much easier when your body is properly hydrated.  I want to make you an efficient fat burning machine...if you are dehydrated that won't happen.  So keep up with your water intake!!

How's the daily activity coming along?  Are you getting 20-minutes of activity on most days of the week?  If you are, fantastic!!  Remember setbacks will happen so if something happened over the past few weeks, then refer back to week 3's challenge of "Life Happens".  Don't stress about it, just get back into your regular routine as quickly as you can.

Now, onto week 4 challenge.  As you saw from the title, this week's challenge is all about nutrition.  Don't worry, I'm not asking you to count calories, eat "rabbit-food", starve yourself, or do any other crazy nutrition thing.  What I am asking you is to start getting into the habit of taking your own lunch every day.  I challenge you to pack a lunch every day this week instead of going out to eat or, even worse, skipping lunch.  It only takes a few minutes each day to plan tomorrow's lunch.  It's easier to do the night before because if "life happens" when you get up in the morning, you are liable to make poor choices at lunch that day.  You don't need to get fancy when packing your lunch.  Make sure you have a well-rounded meal that includes a healthy, lean protein (chicken breast, fish, tofu, lentils, lean meat), lots of veggies (the more colors the better!!), some complex carbs (whole grains, beans, fruits), and healthy fats (monounsaturated fats like nuts, avocados, and peanut butter).  If you are limited on amenities at lunch time (i.e., microwave and/or refrigerator), it's still easy to pack a healthy lunch.  Use an "old-school" thermos where you fill it with hot water first to heat the thermos, then dump the water and add the food.  Ice packs are a great addition to keep foods cold (and at a safe/healthy temperature).

Try it...I dare you.  No wait, I double-dog dare you!!  Pack your lunch every day for your work week.  See how you feel at the end of the week.  Your wallet may be a little lighter and your belt may fit a little better.  You can do it and remember, I am here for you.  Bounce ideas off of me, tell me your favorite lunch items, tell me what you used to eat when going out for lunch. 

Brown bag it...until next time.......