Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"The Essentials" of Fitness Success (part II) ...


... Last year I wrote about a horrific experience I had. 

I described it like a bad movie playing over and over in my head.  

I shared my experience of going to a fitness center to run on their track (It was 98 degrees outside and I had to get my 7 mile run in, preferably without heat exhaustion.  :)

I spent an hour on their track, circling above the workout area below, watching WELL MEANING people do HIGHLY ineffective exercise.  

The thing that was upsetting to me was this ... there were gym trainers all around, and at least 2 gym managers (that I could see) that didn't seem to care that THEIR customers were exercising in a manner that produced results or not.

Members were doing a seated exercise, then resting, doing it again, resting again ... and that very dated protocol simply doesn't deliver a leaner, toner, healthier, highly functioning body. 

The truth is that working all day (professionally) in a seated position results in short/tight hip flexors, short/tight pectoral muscles, and short/tight biceps, due to the posture adopted while seated.   Which is the NUMBER 1 reason why Americans suffer from so much neck and back pain.

And our gym workouts often magnify the problem with so many seated machines that isolate a SINGLE MUSCLE around a single joint (very ineffective exercise). 

And even IF we had the right workout program, if that program hasn't been changed SIGNIFICANTLY in the past 4 weeks, the body is NO LONGER improving.  

Effective workouts should be done in 60 minutes or less.  They should be metabolic in nature (meaning using A LOT of calories and working A LOT of muscles).

They should combine multiple complex movements that use as many of your muscles as possible, while cranking up your heart rate AT THE SAME TIME.  

The take-home message?  We've got to continually mix up our workouts in order to get results. 
Metabolic circuits beat out the machines hands down, it's not even a close competition.

And that goes for the treadmill and elliptical machines too!

There's nothing wrong with treadmill running, especially if you're training for a race and the weather outside is bad.  And an elliptical is GREAT if you're having knee, hip or low back issues and need to reduced the impact of training. 

But all things considered, you burn WAY more calories and you develop SUBSTANTIALY leaner, firmer, toner, and better looking muscles with metabolic circuits.  

So remember, you've got to challenge your body in a fresh NEW way each time you workout.  

And you've got find something (even something small) to ENJOY about your workouts so that you can STICK to a routine that delivers the changes you're looking for.

I hope that makes sense ... if you need more information on any of this, just hit reply and I'll follow up with you.
Here's a workout from a few years back that you can do to mix things up a bit: http://www.cincinnatifitness.com/sample-workout.html

Have an AWESOME day!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins 
NSCA-CPT, ACE 
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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227 |513-407-4665, x-105 | www.CincinnatiFitness.com

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