Just workout! Mix it up!

I love how I hear how crazy my class is with all the different exercises mixed together.  Nothing special about the workouts (ok, there is a little planning).  Usually pretty simple exercises if you look at them individually.  Mix several of them together and suddenly you have a whole body strength and cardio workout that you can knock out in about 20-30 minutes.   The look of ‘Oh My God that was a hard workout’ afterwards.  But it is simple just like when you played when you were a kid.  Did you ever  decide to run 3 miles as a kid or did you run somewhere quickly and then throw something, tackle someone or hit a baseball.  Well I know how i played as a kid, but those are ancient days it seems.  The jump rope and the baseball have been replaced by the Xbox and the PS3.  

Keep in mind folks, this generation of children are the first ones not predicted to outlive the lifespan of their parents.  There are teens having heart attacks from obesity.  Take the 30 minutes a day to detach from you world and encourage (or better-participate) in getting your kids to exercise.

Impromptu workouts at home

Impromptu workouts at home

My favorite thing to hear is ‘I don’t have time to workout.’ or ‘I can’t make it to the gym, i just don’t have the time.’.

So to take 30 minutes to an hour a day to live longer and enjoy yourself more is not worth re-arranging your schedule a bit? Is that skipping exercise to sit at home with your kids and not being able to play with them because you can’t keep up really worth it? Could you spend 20 minutes at home a day doing exercises? Probably could. Although the gym is a good environment to workout it is not a necessity. Motivation and tenacity is on the other hand.

Is that 20 minutes a day worth an additional 10 years of life? 20 years?  The chance to see your Grand kids befoer you are gone?  It is to me.

Bench pressing and the chicken wing

I often see lifters doing the bench press with their elbows out, under the bar.  So there arms are parallel to the bar and at a 90 degree angle to  their body.  OK, is this how you would push your car when it is out of gas?  Or is this how a football player pushes another on the line.  No, your elbows are down, about 45 degrees to the body.   I know, I know, it makes the bench feel easier, but it is training the body to do things in an unnatural motion.  This works against your motor skills when strength is needed.

Maximum Heart Rate while exercising. Myth?? well……

We have all heard the old ‘220-(age)=Max HR’ during exercise. Ever wonder where this came from? Some mathematical magic by studying High intensity athletes at their peak? Or maybe monitoring a powerlifter hitting Max weight? Nope. Not even close. The equation was created by studying people with Heart disease and COPD.

I can remember this chart in every gym I have ever been in. So we are working out to our potential aren’t we? Well if you are listening to a HRM then…….. I had someone tell me that had to stop exercising because they were above there Max HR. Hmmmmm. You had enough wind to tell me you were above the max HR?? Sounds like you weren’t then.

The second problem with the concept of Max HR is over time during exercise the max heart rate (the real rate) goes down with fatigue. So if your Max was 200 every 15 minutes of solid exercise it may be 180. I am just blurting numbers here. No studies of warrant.

Sounds like another myth from the bodybuilding times……

To breakfast or not to breakfast. Ask the Sumo if he has breakfast

Remember the old saying ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.’  Well, your mom was right.  Breakfast sets the tempo for your metabolism and fat storage for the day.  Sumo wrestlers purposely skip breakfast to tell their body to go into fasting mode and store fat.   If you feed in the morning it tells your body food is available so we do not need to store fat.   That does not defeat the engorging of calories engaging the storage mechanism so you still need to keep track of what you eat.

Eyes on the prize! well kinda….. ;-)

I hear of ‘the prize’ often when working out at the gym. The bigger chest, stronger squat, or the ‘get lean’ prize just out of reach. Like MMA training, or becoming a great runner or a crazy strong power lifter there are a few things necessary to reach ‘The Prize’.

1. Dedication. And once you think you are dedicated realize you are probably still treating it like a hobby. Ok some things you can’t push, like power-lifting. You do need to recover, but few rarely push themselves to the point of exhaustion and require extended recovery. The human body is more resilient than you think.

2. Dedication. Yes, a bit redundant but, if you want to get lean and spend 30 minutes a day in the gym, 8 hours sleeping (that would be nice.). that leaves roughly 15 hours and 30 minutes to completely destroy any chance of losing that 1 pound by eating McDonald’s or that candy bar.

3. Dedication. Yeah, I know… But, how can you gain that last 5 pounds on the squat or lose that 1 pound if you do not keep track of what you lift, or how you eat. Simple logs can save you huge amounts of grief. Their are so many apps for smartphones or a simple comp-book to keep track.

4. Perseverance. Hey, at least it was not dedication. Don’t let minor set backs derail you. 90% of people that quit, quit because of a minor failure or impatience. Changes to your health and appearance do not happen quickly without drastic measures which usually are not good for you either.

5. Have a plan. Going to the gym without a workout planned is usually a fruitless effort. You will fall into the same groove and do the same thing which rarely improves your performance. Not planning your food will cause you to improvise, and unfortunately most people improvise with food that is represented by a Clown or a chihuahua. Not a good choice.

Working out while sick.

Well, of course I am writing this since I am sick with an infection caused by allergies.  First, light aerobic exercise is fairly safe as long as you are not running a fever.

Avoid heavy weightlifting, this causes a decrease in the Killer T cells in the blood for a few hours after the workout.  These cells help fight infection and sickness. 

Experts like to cite a rule of thumb known as the "neck rule." If your symptoms are all located above your neck (stuffy nose, scratchy throat, headache), you almost certainly have a head cold and can hit the road or treadmill safely. If, on the other hand, you have a fever, congestion in your chest and lungs, or feel achy, it is probably a sign of flu, bronchitis, or another more serious ailment, and you should rest up.

First functional strength class was awesome!

Thanks everyone for coming to my first class and bearing with my disorganization.

the new class blog can be viewed here