YOU GAIN STRENGTH, COURAGE, AND CONFIDENCE BY EVERY EXPERIENCE, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU STOP TO LOOK FEAR IN THE FACE. YOU MUST DO THE THING YOU THINK YOU CANNOT DO.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Your A-Z Plan

All my life I have lived for the challenge. The challenge of competing and being the best I could be. I like to often think about things I used to do to prepare for a basketball game, a swimming meet, or a dance competition. My rituals, things that helped and made me want to push harder, my superstitions...

I believe that it is important that you incorporate a set of rituals and things to keep you striving at a intense fitness level. As a trainer, I often see clients fight and fight to reach their goals in the initial stages of their fitness plan. Then I see a completely different person. 

They fought so hard to get to that point but then stop because they accomplished their initial goal. Instead, they should continue to set goals to now maintain the accomplishments they made. I believe one of the hardest parts in training/fitness is maintaining the level that you have been able to get to. You must find ways to keep yourself motivated, must eat right so you have the energy to perform, must change your outlook on exercise...it now becomes your lifestyle.

Here are a a couple of ideas to try and live by...hopefully they will keep you motivated and pushing through tough limits. Believe in what you can do and where you can go. This is your life...make the most of it.

A...AMP IT UP! Odds are, you're using less weight than you need to reshape your body. Researchers at Grand Valley State University asked frequent exercises to pick a weight to lift, all of them chose ones that were lighter than what they could really handle. Challenge yourself people...pick a weight that fully fatigues your target muscles. You will be happy that you did. Your body is most likely to respond with this intense work you are putting on your muscles. If you don't have good form or feeling other muscles compesate for the target muscle, then drop your weight. The bottom line is push yourself. Challenge your muscles. Make it burn!

B...BREATHE FIRST! I am finding that many of my clients are having difficulty breathing during their exercises. It is important that you have a breathing pattern that works for you. Think about exhaling on the motion being performed. Also, before doing your first repetition of any strength exercise, "set" your core muscles by exhaling as you lightly tighten your abs. This contracts your transverse abdominus (the deep core muscle that stabilizes your spine) and improves your posture. But at the same time, you are being able to breathe through each repetition to help your body control movements and increase endurance.

C...CLOSE YOUR EYES! Shutting your eyes as you lift and lower weights can help you tune in to which muscles are working while eliminating distractions. Make sure that you only perform this technique when you are doing sitting exercises suchas lat pull-downs or hamstring curls.

D...DIVIDE AND CONQUER! If possible, try to split up your workout in two. Doing cardio in the morning on an empty stomach and your weights in the afternoon. You will burn more calories when splitting your workouts and by dividing your routine, you won't hit that 'energy lull' that many people get midway through their workout." More energy means you'll be able to work harder.

E...EAT AFTER EXERCISE! I can not stress this enough. What you eat after a workout can make a big difference to your long-term success. Just eating something period has a huge effect on your results. Researchers at the University of North Texas found that subjects who had a snack that included carbohydrates and protein immediately after exercise were able to work out 55 percent longer in their next session, compared with those who only ate carbs. Also, by eating something you are restoring and replinishing your body. Helping your body to recover from the intense workout that you did. Also, preserving your muscle has a huge effect on your post-workout meal. Choose a post-workout meal that contains about 200 calories, such as fruit, and low-fat yogurt or whole-wheat pita or protein smoothie.

F...FILL YOUR FISTS! Hold a tennis ball in each hand when doing crunches and place your fists by your ears. As you crunch, squeeze the balls to contract the muscles in your arms-which, in turn, also contracts your abs. Believe it or not, you'll be less likely to use momentum to help you.

G...GRIN AS YOU RUN! A grueling workout like a hard run can leave you clenching your jaw, causing your neck muscles to tighten and your shoulders to lift, which compromises your workout. Try putting on a serene grin when you are working out, this makes it difficult to tighten your jaw. Plus, you will get an instant psychological boost-which will help you put a spring into your step.

H...HARDEST-DAY RULE! Set aside some time to exercise for YOURSELF. Go hard and push your limits. Challenge yourself! But most importantly, set aside some time for yourself to workout and feel good.

I...IPOD YOUR WORKOUTS! Listening to your tunes during exercising can actually help you burn more calories. Researchers found that subjects who listened to music while walking went an average of 24 percent farther.

J...JUMP FROM MACHINE TO MACHINE! To maximize fat burning, rotate between various types of cardio machines (stationary bike, treadmill, stairclimber) every 10 minutes. Spend the first 2 minutes on each minute warming up at a moderate effort level, then increase your intensity for the next 7 minutes before going all for the final minute. By changing modes, you're able to maintain intensity longer or even increase it while also engaging different muscle groups.

K...KEEP IT FRESH! Training with someone who shares similar interests. You can share different concepts/techniques with each other and you can help your body from reaching a plateau. Plus, when your train with someone, it helps you be accountable for each workout.

L...Loosen Your Grip! Tightly holding weights can fatigue the small muscles of your hands and forearms so target muscles like your biceps or shoulders won't get a full workout. Grip the weight firmly but not so tightly that your knuckles turn white.

M...MINI GOALS! Focus on small goals, like pushing for 5 more minutes on the treadmill, and you'll eventually reach big ones such as losing 20 pounds.

N...NO SITTING! Change it up sometimes and do some of your seated moves like shoulder presses standing up and you'll be able to lift at least 20 percent more weight. Standing also forces your body to use more secondary muscles for stability, which can burn up to 50 percent more calories.

O...ONE LEG AT A TIME! Do lower-body exercises such as leg extensions with one leg at a time. Believe it or not, each leg will work harder when you do it one at a time, plus you'll keep your heart rate elevated longer. And you won't be able to cheat by favoring your less dominant side, reducing your risk of injury.

P...PLANK POSE WITH BALLS! Sculpt those sexy abs- and improve your overall performance- by none other than strengthening your core. Try this unique move after you have mastered a plank on your forearms on the floor. Lie facedown with your chest on one swiss (stability) ball and your knees and shins on another (keep feet 12 to 15 inches apart). Place your fingers on the floor and hold for 60 seconds.

Q...QUARTER REPS! Do a few mini reps at the end of each weight set by lowering or lifting a quarter of the way from the bottom or top. You will work harder because your muscles are already fatigued, but you will still be able to squeeze in a few extra reps.

R...READ LATER! Reading on the elliptical machine may help pass the time, but IT CAN HAMPER RESULTS. Tilting your head down to look at reading material diminshes your air flow. PLUS, your intensity level is probably lower than it would be if you didn't have to steady your eyes to read. Instead, focus on your form by gazing straight ahead.

S...SHAVE SECONDS! If you rest between exercises, try to take that time you normally rest and use it to work a different muscle group. Exercising opposing muscle groups (example, biceps and triceps or quads and hamstrings) or alternating between upper and lower body moves without rest burn up to 25 percent more calories.

T...THINK IN THREES! More strength moves can be done at least three ways- with free weights, a machine, or resistance bands. Another important tip is that changing the way you approach even the same exercise can suprise your muscles and produce better results.

U...UNLOCK YOUR JOINTS! Don't hyperextend or lock out your knees or elbows during any exercise. This forces you to work harder by keeping your muscles slightly contracted.

V...VARY YOUR ROUTINE! I am a big believer in this philosophy. Variety is key to long-term success and to sticking to any workout routine. Prevent boredom by doing at least one new exercise every week. You will make your workout feel different without disrupting your routine. Every first week of the month, add a new move for your upper body; every second week, try a new lower-body move; every third week, add an ab move; every fourth week, switch to a different type of cardio.

W...WALK OFF WEIGHT! A low impact activity, done daily, may be just as effective as tougher routines at taking off excess body fat. One study found that subjects who participated in "lifestyle activities" like walking at least 30 minutes a day lost as much weight and made greater gains in fitness than those who did higher-intensity aerobic exercise four days a week for 40 minutes a session.

X...X-TREME TRAINING! Try to include one extreme workout per week. These high-intensity workouts will burn calories faster and help you get the results you want faster. Go hard or stay home!

Y...YAWN LESS! Getting enough sleep may keep you from sabotaging your exercise efforts. A study from the University of Chicago Medical Center found that subjects who got little sleep increased their appetite for calorie-dense, high-carb foods like candy, cake, and cookies by 24 percent.

Z...ZEN EXERCISE! Choose stress-busting activities such as Yoga or Pilates to help your long-term weight-loss goals. Stress elevates cortisol levels, which may cause your body to deposit deep abdominal fat. Exercise that reduce stress may lower cortisol levels, so your body stores less fat.

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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the HEART. -Helen Keller

Be Unique. Represent....YOU!

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Abdominal Challenge #1

  • NO REST Between Exercises/Keep hands on your head at ALL TIMES when you perform each Sit-up/Keep your legs bent on all Sit-ups/Watch your form and make sure you engage your belly button AT ALL TIMES/Control your motion and DO NOT USE MOMENTUM!
  • Unassisted Sit-ups- 10x/Hold #10 at the Halfway Mark for 20sec
  • Core Plank- 30 seconds
  • Unassisted Sit-ups- 15x/Hold #15 at the Halfway Mark for 20sec
  • Core Plank- 1 minute
  • Unassisted Sit-ups- 20x/Hold #20 at the Halfway Mark for 20sec
  • Core Plank- 1 minute 30 sec
  • Unassisted Sit-ups- 25x/Hold #25 at the Halfway Mark for 20sec
  • Core Plank- 2 minutes

Abdominal Challenge #2

  • DO NOT REST BETWEEN EXERCISES UNLESS IT IS STATED/USE THE SAME RULES FOR ABDOMINAL CHALLENGE #1/Substitute One Crunch + One Sit-up Twist/Twist for Plate Stand-ups if needed/Substitute Roman Chair Leg Raises for Hanging Leg Raises if needed
  • Medicine Ball Sit-ups (Unassisted)- 25 times/Explosive on the UP- 10 second count on the DOWN/Keep M.B. on your chest AT ALL TIMES
  • Hanging Bent Leg Raises- 3x15/Rest 10 seconds between sets/DO NOT SWING
  • Plate Standups/25 times/DO NOT MOVE YOUR FEET/Tempo- Moderate Pace/The lighter the plate the harder the exercise...CHALLENGE/PUSH!
  • Side Core Plank- Hold 30 seconds/25 Ups and Downs/Do one side at a time
  • Hanging Straight Leg Raises- 3x15/Rest 10 seconds between sets/DO NOT SWING
  • Plate Stand-ups + Sit-ups/(2=1) 35 times/DO NOT MOVE YOUR FEET/Tempo- Moderate Pace/The lighter the plate the harder the exercise...CHALLENGE YOURSELF
  • Side Core Plank- Hold 1 minute/35 Ups and Downs/Do one side at a time

CONDITIONING DRILL #1

  • PERFORM 5 SETS/NO REST BETWEEN EXERCISES/REST 30 SECONDS BETWEEN EACH CIRCUIT
  • Burpees x 30 seconds
  • Mountain Climbers x 30 seconds
  • Split Squat Jumps x 30 seconds
  • Mountain Climbers x 30 seconds
  • Split Squat Jumps x 30 seconds
  • Burpees x 30 seconds

CONDITIONING DRILL #2

  • PERFORM 5 SETS/NO REST BETWEEN EXERCISES/REST 3O SECONDS BETWEEN EACH CIRCUIT
  • Wall Sit with Medicine Ball Between Knees x 30 sec
  • DB Split Squat Jumps x 30 seconds
  • Mountain Climbers On Forearms x 30 seconds
  • DB Burpees x 30 seconds
  • Diamond Shape Push-ups On Medicine Ball x 30 seconds
  • Medicine Ball Squat Jump Toss x 30 seconds

CONDITIONING DRILL #3

  • PERFORM 4 SETS/NO REST BETWEEN EXERCISES/REST 30-45 SECONDS BETWEEN EACH CIRCUIT
  • Traveling Forward Burpee- 10x
  • Traveling Forward Burp + Burpee- (2=1)- 10 x
  • Traveling Backward Burpee- 10x
  • Traveling Backward Burp + Burpee- (2=1)- 10x

CONDITIONING DRILL #4

In order to MASTER this conditioning drill, each exercise must be performed with perfect form and without STOPPING!

**Be sure that the BURPEES are ALL EXPLOSIVE...JUMP AS HIGH AS YOU CAN AT THE START/LAND IN A LOW PUSH-UP POSITION/EXPLODE BACK UP, LEADING WITH YOUR LEGS

**Make sure that the SQUAT HOLDS ARE LOW (THINK OF AN L-SHAPE/DO NOT LET YOUR BUTT FALL TOO CLOSE TO THE FLOOR)...SIT BACK ON YOUR HEELS AND ALWAYS KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT

1) BURPEES- 15 TIMES
2)LOW SQUAT HOLD (15TH BURPEE)- 10 SECONDS
3) BURPEES- 12 TIMES
4) LOW SQUAT HOLD (12TH BURPEE)- 10 SECONDS
5) BURPEES- 10 TIMES
6) LOW SQUAT HOLD (10TH BURPEE)- 15 SECONDS
7) BURPEES- 8 TIMES
8) LOW SQUAT HOLD (8TH BURPEE)- 15 SECONDS
9) BURPEES- 6 TIMES
10) LOW SQUAT HOLD (6TH BURPEE)- 20 SECONDS
11) BURPEES- 4 TIMES
12) LOW SQUAT HOLD (4TH BURPEE)- 20 SECONDS
13) BURPEE- 2 TIMES
14) LOW SQUAT HOLD (2ND BURPEE)- 20 SECONDS

DEFINITION OF EXERCISES/LANGUAGE IN EXERCISE

1) Straight-legged to Heels-to-Butt Sit-ups- lie flat on the ground with your legs straight and your hands on your head. As you start to do a sit-up bring your heels in to your butt and tap the floor (*the closer the heels come to the butt the harder). As you come out of your sit-up and begin to roll-down straighten out your legs and make sure the heels touch the floor. It should be a smooth, contolled one motion.
2) Burpee In Place-start by jumping straight in the air and then landing in a squat position with hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into the downward position of a push-up. Thrust the feet up and push up with the arms simultaneously.
3) Traveling Forward Burpee- the same concept as the Burpee In Place the only difference is jump forward instead of straight up.
4) Traveling Backward Burpee- the same concept as the Burpee In Place the only difference is jump backward instead of jumping straight up.
5) Burp- also known as a stripped down burpee. Start low and tucked toward the floor. Kick feet out to the bottom portion of a pushup. Then, push with your hands, while thrusting the feet back to the beginnning position (which is low and tucked toward the floor). It is only a half way motion minus without the jump in the air.
6) M.B. or Plate Stand-Ups- lie flat on the ground with your feet planted on the ground. Beginners should use two dumbbells and place on feet. Hold a m.b. or plate over your head (*the heavier the db/plate the easier...the lighter the db/plate or no weight the harder). Quickly move your arms forward and start to sit up. It is very important that you use your arms for momentum and engage your abdominals. Once your arms pass your knees, quickly push forward with your legs, moving into a standing position.
7) Mountain Climbers- start with your body in a push-up plank position. With the hands stationary, alternate the feet back and forth. One leg should be tucked with the knee coming close to your chest and the opposite leg extended. Make sure to place your weight on the balls of the feet.
8) Grasshoppers- your body will begin in the same position you used for mountain climbers. The movement starts by bringing your left foot underneath the body until it touches your right hand. After touching your hand, return the left foot to the starting position and repeat the movement by bringing your right foot across the body to your left hand. You will be on the balls of your feet but when you bring your foot toward your hand you will land on the side of your foot.
9) Wall Sit- place yourself up against a wall and squat down until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Think about forming an L with the bottom portion of your body. Your back is supported against the wall. Hold this position for time. Do not place your hands on your thighs because this takes off the pressure in your legs. Absolutely no movement with this exercise.
10) Bridge- a great exercise that will develop strength and flexibility. It is a static hold that helps improve lower back strength. Start by lying down on the floor with your knees bent and your hands on the floor close to your ears. Lift yourself up with your abdomen pointing upward and with only the hands and the feet on the floor. Your body should create an arched position and you will maintain the upright position for time.
11) Aerobic exercise- means with oxygen. An activity in which demands of muscle for oxygen are met by circulation of oxygen in blood. Distance running, cross-country, skiing, distance cycling are all examples of aerobic activities.
12) Anaerobic Exercise- means without oxygen. Activity in which oxygen demands of muscles are so high that they rely upon an internal metabolic process for oxygen. Short burts of "all-out" activities such as sprinting or weightlifting are examples of anerobic exercises.
13) Burn- also known as "going for the burn." For instance, in endurance exercise, working muscles until lactic acid buildup causes a burning sensation.
14) Concentric- when muscles contract or shorten.
15) Delts- an abbreviation for deltoids, the large triangular muscles of the shoulder which raise the arm away from the body and perform other functions.
16) Eccentric- when muscles lengthen while maintaining tension.
17) Fast-Twitch- refers to muscle cells that fire quickly and are utilized in anaerobic activites like sprinting and powerlifting.
18) Glycogen- can be referred to as a full tank full of stored carbohydrates. Some of it is stored in the liver and some of it is stored in the muscles themselves.
19) Hybrid Lift- is two or more exercise done in one single movement. It is the inverse of a combo lift. For istance, performing a bicep curl while lunging.
20) Interval Training- is a short, high-intensity cardio exercise alternated with longer periods of lower-intensity cardio. It allows you to burn more calories, increase your speed, improve your power, and much more. It is more effective at burning fat while maintaining muscle mass. Combine this type of training with intensity will also increase your metabolic rate to amazing levels. This is because the work you do utilizes a greater percent of the body's muscles.



If You Want To Be Tough, You Are The Only One That Can Get You There!

If You Want To Be Tough, You Are The Only One That Can Get You There!

POWER THOUGHT OF THE DAY

TRADE AFFIRMATION FOR ACCOMPLISHMENT: Accolades fade quickly, but your accomplishments have the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

TRADE IMMEDIATE PLEASURE FOR PERSONAL GROWTH: It takes an oak tree decades to grow, but it takes a squash only weeks. Which do you want to be?

TRADE EXPLORATION FOR FOCUS:  The younger you are, the more experimenting you should do. But once you have found what you were created to do, STICK WITH IT!

TRADE QUANTITY OF LIFE FOR QUALITY OF LIFE: Your life is not a dress rehearsal. Give it your best because you won't get another chance.

POWER THOUGHT OF THE DAY

NEVER GIVE UP IN WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.

POWER THOUGHT OF THE DAY

"I CHOOSE TO LOVE MY LIFE

Find a balance between your creativity and your responsibility to the world. Share your innovative ideas and inspire others.

POWER THOUGHT OF THE DAY

"When change seems frightening, remember that it's the mother of new life, the one story line that we can count on to bring us home to our essential nature and our interconnectedness with the wholeness of life."

Borysenko, J. Saying Yes to Change. Pg. 173.

DOFITNESS TRAINING STATION

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