In previous articles I discussed a few exercises I consider to be most important to a full body work out: push ups, squats, and inverted rows. I have another which I feel warrants coverage and should be added to this list. Let me share the variations, benefits and importance of Dips. A Dip is a compound push exercise which means that it engages multiple muscles within one movement. Compound exercises are more beneficial to your full body work out than isolated muscle exercises. Dips are also a closed kinetic chain exercise, meaning they consist of moving your body while keeping your hands still. Isolation exercises have their well deserved place but for full body strength training Dips are on top.
Dips primarily work your triceps but also uses your biceps, shoulders, chest, lower back, and forearms. These muscle groups are engaged from the moment you position yourself in a dip, as the muscles are needed to help stabilize and balance yourself. As you lower and raise your body, the muscles provide resistance to the natural gravitational pull on your body. The lack of momentum during the dip movement keeps the muscles contracted throughout, making it one of the most effective triceps exercises. Men, are you looking for a tapered V-shape? Ladies, can I help you with those chicken wings? (Otherwise known as tata arms, mampy arms, and flarms according to the urban dictionary) Well then, it is time to do some Dips. Doing bench presses and other chest-specific exercises don't necessarily help elongate your muscles. Dips, however, encourage the growth of the chest by slightly stretching the pectoral muscles as you lower yourself. Wide grip dips especially help build some of the muscles that contribute to a wide upper-body frame and physique. Women who do dips will notice that stronger pecs contribute to perkier breasts, and that the development in their upper arms and shoulders will make their waist appear more slender.
I do not introduce dips day one into a workout program. There are chances for injury so I do make sure that I work on upper body strength through push ups and presses prior to performing dip exercises. As I see the strength improving, I incorporate dips into the program. This is just one of the many benefits of working with a personal trainer. Through a series of checks, quality personal trainers safely step up your workouts and add in more moves to benefit your development. No one should be performing exercises they do not understand. I have seen new people at gyms walk up to dip bars and begin with wide grip dips not realizing the injury they can cause to their shoulders due to their lack of chest strength. Not on my watch
There are two primary ways to perform dips. First is with dip bars. To do a dip, position yourself on dip bars with arms locked. Intertwine your legs and bend at the knees. To begin try to avoid leaning forward with your upper body. Begin by slowly lowering yourself while inhaling, until your arms form a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your triceps and shoulders to propel yourself upwards and back to the starting position while exhaling. At the top of the movement, contract your arm, shoulder and chest muscles as hard as you can, hold for one count, then repeat. As your strength improves, you can attach a weighted belt for more resistance. Dip bars are often adjustable or start at one end closer that the other. When performing dips at the narrow width, you will be working your triceps more, with the wider width you will be working your chest more. Once your strength increases, you can lean your body differently. Forward you hit more of the chest, straight you hit more of the tricep. This is more for advanced training.
If you do not have dip bars or access to a dip machine a variation can be performed using a very stable chair or bench. Bench dips are also a great way to gain the benefits of performing dips as a first step if you do not have the strength to use dip bars.
To properly perform a bench dip keep in mind you should be looking straight ahead, chin up and shoulders down. You will need to place a bench behind your back. With the bench perpendicular to your body, and while looking away from it, hold on to the bench on its edge with the hands fully extended, separated at shoulder width. The legs will be extended forward, bent at the waist and perpendicular to your body. This will be your starting position. Slowly lower your body by bending at the elbows until you lower yourself far enough to where there is an angle slightly smaller than 90 degrees between the upper arm and the forearm. Keep the elbows as close as possible throughout the movement. Forearms should always be pointing down. Using your triceps to bring your body back to the starting position. As your strength increases, you can increase resistance by placing a weight on your lap as you perform your bench dip. You can also raise your legs up on a second bench for added difficulty.
Never perform dips or any exercise without proper training from a qualified certified personal trainer. Form makes all the difference.
When I decided I wanted to create a boot camp program I had to do my research. How do I transition from one on one personal training to groups? How do I keep people interested? What additional equipment do I need? How do I advertise? How do I determine my payment structure? How far and fast can I push my participants? How do I keep them coming back? How do I make sure everyone has a good time?
As I have said before. I am sort of a nerd. I love reading and of course I had to read and research everything I could about Boot Camps. I read quite a few articles by Cat Smiley (owner and operator of Canada's first Boot Camp and voted Canada's top trainer by the International Sports Science Association). I found one of her statements was impactful.
“You’ve got to attack the task with dedication, commitment, passion, integrity and respect for the road ahead and the people who are part of it.”
I decided I could accept no less for myself and my clients. I use this as my inspiration for Boot Camp.
There are many trainers out there. I am not going to fool myself and think I am the most fit or try to be something I am not. I am not a young, perky, cute blond (no offense) who wears coordinating fitness outfits but I am educated and have passion for what I do. I love training. I love being a motivator, seeing body transformation and love being a contributing factor of the change. I try to make it as affordable as possible for anyone to participate and try to be as flexible as possible to people's schedules so more can take part in becoming a healthier version of themselves.
With this in mind I created a community based Boot Camp Program and I must say I had many sleepless nights. To make it cost effective for everyone I had to advertise inexpensively, work out legal issues, re-arrange times with my individual clients, buy quality equipment at best prices, and most important get my community interested. I delivered fliers door to door to keep postage prices down. I took advantage of Groupons and sales for my printing needs, used face book to spread word of mouth. Even this blog was created to help share the message of the importance of health and fitness. I scoured craig's list to build up my supply of dumbbells and equipment and thank you Amazon and eBay for fair prices as well. One client, who I now consider a friend..good people, is dropping off a 25lb kettle bell for me. I am not above donations and they are greatly appreciated.
Boot camp is now three weeks in. Unfortunately due to horrific weather conditions many of the sessions had to be canceled Safety comes first. I am not looking for anyone to sprain ankles or get sick trying to exercise in sleet and rain. I was not going for “rugged maniac” but a fun community program. Finally the sun has come out and the flooding seems to be over. I couldn't be more thrilled with the people who are participating and I must say. I do believe everyone is having a good time.
I run three to five Boot sessions per day in addition to my personal clients. Outdoor boot camp is morning and evening. I did find it surprising most prefer evenings. Maybe a 7 and 8am start was too late for people to exercise before work. I wanted to begin earlier since I am awake by 5am every day but sunrise just isn't helping to make that happen. I do have a few who attend early and they just get more specialized attention. I decided early on...I didn't care if one person shows or twenty. I will hold session. As the weeks have progressed more are attending. I have many who signed up but aren't attending until school lets out at the end of this month. Some slots have only two and some have ten. I just want bodies moving and getting healthy so all are making me happy.
I have a wide range of athletes in attendance. Do I say they are all Lebron or Kobe..haha,no. An athlete by definition is “person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.” Boot camp brings out the athlete within each of us and also brings out a lot of emotion. There have already been quite a few highs and lows during these beginning weeks.
Many of the attendees have not exercised in a while. Some come off of winter inactivity and others are coming off of years of inactivity. Many have desk jobs, family, and other obligations which puts exercise and time for themselves on the back burner. That is an excuse that many use which most often I say “bullshit”. Many of you are their rock. I fully get that and respect it but without a healthy you...what do they really have?
I am thrilled with the men and women who have joined. Day one, two and three have been tough on them physically and mentally. Physically because they cannot complete a minute run without feeling winded, others cannot do ten sit-ups, some couldn't sit down on a toilet for days due to the soreness of their legs. One commented that her husband had to wash her hair because she couldn't life her arms. That made my day...she said not only did he wash her hair and massage her arms but it felt so good they both got “lucky”. Just another unexpected bonus to boot camp
A wide range of emotions have been experienced. I had one young woman crying at the end of her first day. I though she was hurt but it wasn't physical. She was angry with herself. She told us she couldn't believe she let herself go in such a few number of years. She used to be on two sports teams and now couldn't perform five push ups on her knees. We did a drill which she used to do ten times when she was in shape and now couldn't accomplish one without having to gasp for air. She felt that the pace of class was very fair for all fitness levels yet she just got more and more upset because she was so challenged. Another woman looked at her and said “I planned on going home and crying for the same reason. I'll come back next class if you come back. ” I am so happy to say they have both been back and getting better with each session. They didn't know each other so it seems Boot Camp is also fostering new friendships.
I have one woman who cracks me up. Whenever she tries a new exercise she laughs....a really great, infectious, deep laugh. She just keeps laughing and says “she makes it look so easy”. She is awesome because even though she is laughing, she is determined to do the moves and she does. OK, maybe she changes direction on the ground because the slight slope could make the exercise a little easier. She is also a “grass gripper”. Its my new term which seems to apply to many attendees. They grip the grass to try to help them stay steady or complete a move. I love catching that cheat maneuver. Maybe she isn't up to a full count of twenty five for all moves and maybe she doesn't always last a full 30 seconds on an interval but she tries her hardest and doesn't give up. She gets better with each class and encourages others.
We all laugh with each other. It makes my day when people are comfortable enough with each other that they grunt. I laugh a lot and they say “yeah, we know, you are not laughing at us but with us”. Even that is said with laughter. I love watching their bodies tremble when they are fighting to hold a position. I am told I am “evil” and “a person who has no love for humanity”. They have all come back to Boot Camp. I received a great message yesterday from a male participant. He said “Thanks for kicking my ass this morning. I needed that.” Seriously, what more reward could a trainer ask for?
All attendees and private session clients know my rule. “use of the word can't will result in a ten burpee penalty”. Seven people so far have broken this rule. I love to point out not only do they immediately do the ten burpees but they somehow have the strength to then complete the move they claimed they “can't”. They then say they hate me and we proceed on to the next task.
I do have a few disappointments. I have quite a few people who tell me they are afraid to start. They even tell me that they watch the class from their windows and others check out the field to see how many came. They say they want to participate but it has been so long they are afraid they won't be able to keep up. They don't want to be embarrassed. That is just plain stupid. What is embarrassing is the fact that you are watching and won't participate with others who are as challenged as yourself.
Grow...step out of your comfort zone and stop complaining about the extra roll around your stomach or how your arms sag and do something about it while being outside in beautiful weather. There is no keeping up. There is only beating yourself each day. Each day you attend you will get better than you were the day before. The longer you wait, the longer you choose to be mentally broken. I help to modify every move for fitness level. Most is done on time counts, walking vs running, variety of weights are used based on each individuals capabilities. I can and do encourage but it is up to you to decide you will no longer hold yourself back and stop coming up with excuses.
Am I meeting the goals I set for myself with boot camp? I am in the right direction but in no way can I say complete. I look forward to see what each day continues to bring and to see more proud faces when they accomplish a task they couldn't do weeks before. I'll keep you posted.
Tomorrow is my birthday. 44. As I told one of my best friends yesterday..My life is more than half over. I am half dead. On our birthdays we all tend to reflect back on the year and decide if it was a good or bad year then think about what to changes to make for the year ahead. This week was filled with emotion for me which made me analyze the year even more deeply.
I have two daughters, one turning twenty in two weeks, the other is sixteen. I am not quite sure how they turned into people behind my back. This week was important for my youngest. She passed her road test and is now a driver. (Her truck has been been named “Bitchin' Brenda” because apparently all kids name their vehicles.) She went on a job interview and looked so professional in her black pants and blazer. She attended her first prom this weekend. She looked absolutely amazing...her date looked quite sharp too. Her older sister came home to see her off on her date and walked in and cried upon seeing her in her gown. My oldest daughter then came to dinner with me and my girlfriends and we discussed college, her goals, and of course her parties, I also found great prices for her ticket to Spain for her exchange studies so when I save money I am always even happier.
Yes, there were some negatives to the week. Rain, rain, and more rain washed out many of my Boot Camp sessions. I am also having an issue with my Boot Camp and the HOA as I talked about in detail in my last entry. Just to update...there is no update. I have now been waiting 3 days for a return phone call since my explosion on the management company. I have carried my phone in hopes I don't miss the important call for the important meeting the Board wishes to have with me this week. I had assumed six month of notice for my plans and management approval would have been enough time but here I go again with the waiting game. I am also a little aggravated at myself because I do not remember all of my mathematical formulas for cutting my angles for jack and hip rafters for my gazebo. I should have built a perfect square. It would have been much easier.
So I sit here and reflect on the year I traveled, went to school, worked my ass of to expand my business and can't even believe I get to do something I love so much. I love walking into my gym every day, love my equipment, love watching the changes in my clients. I am so proud of them. I love that my body is sore from working with clients six days a week and still go into my gym on Sundays. My friends and family have been supportive. I am surrounded by people I can trust and respect and have eliminated those who do not have a positive influence on my life as well as those who do not show respect and value what is around them. I feel I can look at myself and know I have been supportive to others and tried to help those I love be the best they are capable of being. I respect those who deserve respect and tell them so any chance I get.
Financially times are tough. I am luckier than most so I am not complaining. My husband and I have been able to completely cover all college cost and my children will graduate from college debt free. It took a lot of planning. I was sweating it this year when the exchange program opportunity arose. Its not like I just have a spare 5k hanging out but we were able to accomplish this as well. My college student is living on ramen noodles but its good for her. I do believe a little struggle builds character. Its a simple lesson for appreciating what we have and makes you want success that much more. There is no free ride. We had a few car troubles this year and expanding my business has definitely caused a strain on the wallet. Add in a few weddings, graduations, and birthdays and the money just flies out. Good thing I use coupons and am so thankful for points rewards programs. They have paid for my vacations many times over.
Yes, I look in the mirror and see my face sagging...say goodbye to elasticity of the skin. I can no longer pull out they gray hair so I just keep chucking in a variety of colors so it will blend better. My dark hair against gray makes me look like a skunk. The dark circles are under my eyes and will only deepen..thanks genealogy. My bra needs more support no matter how I build up my chest muscles. I always wanted bigger boobs but I guess for this next half of my life I'll be thankful weren't. I noticed the other day my knees sag and my husband and I were laughing because he no longer had eyelids. They are sort of being smushed down by his forehead. I have no plans for botox, implants, lifts, or tucks.
All that being said...I feel great. Better than I did ten years ago. I am in better shape. I am half dead and can still wear a bikini from Venus. My family is thriving and I have great friends. What an amazing year. It is definitely a very happy birthday to me!
Today I stray off my usual topics and will share some frustration of my day. I do not usually complain but I have been more aggravated today than I have been in a long time. It started with a letter in my mailbox from my homeowners association. I received notice that I had seven days to remove my shed. My shed matches my home, has windows, skylights, and is only 8x7. It is completely landscaped with plants and flowers. Apparently, the covenants changed and we are not allowed to have sheds any longer. So I look out into my neighborhood and I see larger sheds all around but mine has to be removed. I also see mismatched fences and play sets two stories high erected but for some reason they can all remain but mine must come down. I had some errands to do so I left the house and got more upset as I see the entrance to my community not taken care of and lawns that are covered in weeds and super high...oh...some of those belong to the foreclosed homes who aren't paying any association fees. Hmm, why aren't these being cared for? Oh, because they are apparently busy driving around seeing if I have a shed.
About an hour goes by and I get an email. Another letter from the management company stating that there are now issues with Boot Camp and the board now has concerns. Lets just say I went apeshit! Let me back up...October 2012. I contacted the management company and stated my interest in doing the community boot camp. It is a community based program, affordable, adds value to the community and helps our own residents get healthy. I submitted a formal request in writing November with a full outline of my plan. I did not receive an answer so I contacted again and again and then again. Finally in January I was able to speak with someone and discussed my submitted plan. I had discussed insurance as well as liability forms for all participant stating they are aware they will be participating at their own risk and in no way was Bay Creek responsible for any form of injury. I spoke with my own and the homeowner's insurance company. Not that it really mattered. We pay to use our common ground. We pay for its maintenance. It is in our fees. This was all brought back to the board and, after more calls on my part, I was approved by the management company. At that point I proceeded with all advertising, purchasing more equipment, upped my insurance, and shuffling around my clients so I could have this program for the neighborhood. I am not getting rich off of this. Let me be clear. It was created to only cover my costs and it definitely does not match the rates of my one on one clients. I did it for a healthier community.
Hmm, seems kind of ironic that now my shed is an issue. Apparently someone is not happy with the positive changes I am making in the community so I am now considering my shed issue a personal attack. Not to sound snotty but my property is one of the most well maintained residences in this community. My neighbors laugh at me when they find a weed because they know it drives me crazy. A lawn company was coming around to get new customers and said to me..”it is obvious you don't need my help, may I ask what you use”. I am not stating this to sound like I am better, just trying to give you a feel for the pride I have in my property.
Back to present day...I contact the management company and asked what the concerns are. He agreed he did approve me and that the board had no issue but now it seems some on the board do. The issues stated to me were:
We took took many parking spots in the parking lot...FYI-only three people have driven to boot camp so far. All others walked or rode their bicycle. The attendees are homeowners so they have every right to park in the lot any time they choose. Am I missing something? I didn't realize the board can choose what is a good reason for homeowners to use the common ground parking lot.
Parents are afraid for their children's safety. WOW! I was stunned. I didn't know exercise was scary to see or that a group of homeowners would be so scary to those who live as their neighbors. Maybe it was all the pink and blue mats people were sitting on. Maybe the parents are afraid of cones.
Parking again...There will not be enough parking for people who want to go use the pool. Lets see, boot camp begins at 8am until 10am. And then again in later evening. Today at 8am it was 36 degrees. I didn't see any swimmers lined up. I must have missed the polar bear club sign up sheet. I wonder what happens to those who go to the pool and there aren't enough chairs. I wonder if the management company is called or do they just realize they need to come a little earlier to get a seat.
I was told that homeowners did not receive notice of the Boot Camp. I find that even funnier. I hand delivered each flier door to door and had two girlfriends do it with me. Even better......we didn't deliver once, we delivered twice. Once in January and once in March. I guess the 32 families who are participating in Boot Camp must have found out by reading my mind.
I guess playing football or basketball may start to be out of the question. Too many people playing may cause too much stress on the grass. Better not have groups congregate. I must be a little slow but I am unsure what reason there is for common grass grounds and courts if we can't come as a group and use them. What am I missing?
Maybe I need to tell the wife of one of the board members she has to stop coming to boot camp. Yes, you read correctly. A board member's wife attends boot camp. She loves it and has come multiple times. This makes me wonder...is it the entire board or just one bitch? I guess I will wait for the phone call from the board so we can meet and discuss but honestly, not quite sure what needs to be said that I didn't already make quite clear.
Boot camp will continue. My shed will remain. Any questions?
I often tell people they need to do what they enjoy. I live by this which is why I no longer work in an office lined with cubbys. I will no longer make people work holidays or watch how many extra seconds they took wrapping up their call. I sold my house, quit my job, and moved to the Midwest for a change. I wanted to have more free time for my family and I wanted to have a career doing something I liked.
I considered working outdoors in a nursery or as a landscaper but my ridiculous fear of wasps, hornets, and spiders kind of scared me away from having that as my full time profession. Spiders here are so big you can see their facial expressions. Hideous eyebrows I may add. I am messing with their habitat so I understand why they may get a little angry. I will save that profession for those who are not reduced to a screaming idiot at first site of a nest. Instead I handle my own property and keep it as my hobby.
I love to cook, eat, absolutely love ice cream and Italian ice so a food shop was another option. I am still open to the Italian ice option but for now one thing at a time. I went with what I love more which was working out and helping others do the same. I have said it before but I love seeing when a client makes progress, when they can accomplish an exercise they couldn't do before, when they grunt for the first time, and even when they say they despise me for the first time. It all just motivates me more.
This week was big for me. I began a boot camp program in my community. We live in a beautiful community yet everyone pulls into their garages and barely steps foot on the outdoor grounds. I had no idea if there was any interest, I had no idea if I would show up and have any participants. My goal was to make it as affordable as possible for anyone local and get our community physically moving. I do not require long term commitments although I do hope they love it so much they wish to commit the time to themselves and their own health. I also let them know they may be mentioned in this blog so they could be famous one day
Day one was wonderful! I have participants well into the double digits. I did find it surprising that more people prefer to work out in the evening compared to morning. I am an early riser and I really thought more people would want to get their work out over with at the beginning of their day. My morning groups got luckier than those in the afternoon. The sun was as coming up, the sky looked amazing and we were happy were outside
I took day one quite slow. I do not want to make it so difficult people will not come back but I still want everyone to feel the burn. Boot Camp can be done in a variety of ways. I am not looking to push people so they are throwing up or feeling sick. I want them challenged safely. I believe in interval and strength in combination so we use weights, cones, ladders, picnic benches, run, floor drills, etc. Every move is modifiable and we did just that.
One of my evening classes had a great mixture of men and women. This definitely brings on more laughter. My goal is for this program to be fun not torture...OK, just a little torture. “I don't know why but my legs just want to keep opening.” had to have been one of the remarks by a participant that caused the loudest laughter of the group.
Often men feel if a class is run by a woman they will not be challenged. I did have one man who attended class who had been teasing me about boot camp for a while. I was thrilled to see he actually showed up for class but I am not sure how thrilled he was. He had issues after the first cone and ladder drill. The drill took place fifteen minutes into class and lasted two minutes. He had difficulty catching his breath and had to sit for the next fifteen minutes. We spoke after, it was a wake up and he knows now how important it is that he continues. He was surprised at how out of shape he was and paid in advance for additional classes.
I had another male who wanted to use heavier weights than I advised. I guess some men don't feel manly if they use smaller weights. It was funny when half way into class the man asked if any ladies in the front row wanted to switch weights with him. This man happened to be my husband. More laughter came from the group but no one switched weights with him. My class was not filled with fools. The next day I woke early and was out of bed making something to eat. I heard “Kaaaaaaaa” then again “Kaaaaaaa” I went back into the bedroom and he looked at me from bed and said “I hate you” . Every bone in his body hurt. I was cracking up! He said he will be back to Thursday's class but he may be doing a rain dance until then.
Weather has been an issue for this first week. Living at the edge of tornado alley makes for some wicked spring thunder storms. All classes had to be canceled Tuesday. I was able to complete morning sessions today under beautiful skies but the forecast is horrific for this coming evening. Terrible storms are again expected. The wind is already howling so while I am hopeful, I am having a feeling class will be canceled again.
I was just trying to continue building my gazebo but the wind almost knocked me off my ladder. I decided to put away the lumber and call it a day before I end up with a concussion. I am a little bruised from a 2x4 dropping on my shoulder and arm from 12 ft rise. It has hurt during my boot camp classes this week but I don't feel I hurt any more than those taking the class for the first time so I will continue to suck it up.
I have a few individual clients this afternoon and I will keep my fingers crossed that outdoor boot will be on for tonight. I look forward to meeting more new attendees and to continue updating my blog with their progress.
Seeing a ripped body is quite sexy. Deny it and i would call you a liar. Everyone has that famous body they wish to emulate and I am sure most of you have another who you wouldn't mind having in bed for a day. I don't know any women who hasn't complained that her arms and ass are sagging or that she wants a tighter stomach. In the same breath, the women usually say “I don't want to be all muscle. I just want to get toned.”
Toning or toning exercises by definition are “physical exercises that are used with the aim of developing a physique with a large emphasis on musculature. The term toned implies leanness in the body (low levels of body fat), noticeable muscle definition and shape, but not significant muscle size ("bulk").”
Women have often been told that they should do high repetitions with low weight to tone. I have seen women walking 60 minutes and high reps on exercises and see no real changes to their bodies. There is no challenge and your body will eventually not be impacted by the “steady Eddie”. There is no muscle confusion. Women are encouraged to run to lose body fat. I am not saying this is incorrect but cardiovascular fitness in combination with strength training will produce better results in a shorter amount of time.
First lets clarify something about women and bulk muscles. Women's bodies do not have the same level of testosterone as men therefore they will not bulk the same way men do. When you see a muscular woman please give respect because she had to work twice as hard as a male to get the same type of physical results. That being said, the solution to getting the tighter body is to lift heavier weights in conjunction with a cardio program. You need to bring your body to the “burn” during workouts.
Mitochondria, cells that live in your muscle fibers, convert stored energy into usable energy. The more you flex these muscles, the more the mitochondria are activated and expend energy. In turn, the more calories you will burn, even when the body is at rest, and the more toned your body will become. Having muscle tone means you can see the outlines of the muscles under your skin. If you have a high percentage of body fat, you will not see this definition. What burns the most amount of calories? Lifting weights and high intensity interval training. Generally speaking, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35-50 more calories each day. If you are already lean but wish to tone, what will work? Lifting weights and interval training. I think you see where I am going with this.
Let me add in a few other reasons why women should lift weights as outlined by St Vincent health:
Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 1 percent in six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be your best defense against osteoporosis.
Weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. Adult onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in just four months.
Weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. You maximize these benefits when you add cardiovascular exercise to the mix.
Studies have shown that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program. These are all important factors in fighting depression.
Don't be afraid of weight lifting. Its all about learning proper technique and using your body efficiently. Working with a skilled trainer can make this easier and safe. Don't stop when you feel the "burn". Challenge yourself and uncover the body that is hidden within your belly fat.
References: St Vincent Health.com
This weekend was wonderful! I celebrated the holidays with family, had a delicious brunch and BBQ, worked on a garden bed and my husband and I put together a shed which led to many neighbors stopping by checking out our progress. Nothing like people grunting around an outdoor building project at the beginning of spring weather. Everyone is in a great mood and loves to help. Next thing I knew I was hosting 20 friends and relatives late into the night. During these many hours a variety of conversations took place and I was asked a few personal training questions. I was also asked for more details about my Boot Camp community program beginning in a couple of weeks. This led to some time in my gym and a few health conversations. One friend stated she was going to need to get some protein supplements to keep up. I knew protein supplements needed to be my next blog topic.
Before I started typing this article I pulled up one of the most popular nutrition stores for the general public. Their tabs include Vitamins and Supplements, Sports Nutrition, Protein, Diet, Cleansing and Digestion, Energy and Endurance, and more. Within each category are at least ten subcategories. Within Protein is whey protein, casein protein, mass gainers, soy protein, egg protein,other protein, ready to drink protein, bars, and replacement. In my opinion, the general public should not be walking into these stores or ordering protein supplements without extensive education on nutrition. Many do not know how to shop in a regular supermarket for food so how can they possibly understand if the supplements they are looking at contain complete proteins and the essential amino acids needed for body absorption.
The journal Nutrition surveyed more than 1,000 adults at 50 ordinary commercial gyms and found that nearly half the men were taking dietary supplements, largely protein powders, with no supervision.
A study by Martin Fréchette from University of Montreal probed the diets of elite athletes, part of the Canadian Sport Center Dietary Study. More than 90 percent of these athletes were taking dietary supplements on recommendation of trainers or friends; only 25 percent could explain why they were taking it; and of those using protein supplements, more than 80 percent already had sufficient dietary protein intake.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research documented how protein supplements are common among high school athletes, who take the stuff largely on recommendation from coaches and friends under the misconception that protein equals strength.
Protein is needed when you exercise, especially during resistance/weight training. During a strength work out we break down muscle fibers and then rebuild these muscles and this process requires protein but unless you are a competitive bodybuilder, involved in very intense work outs, or vegetarian you can and should get all of your protein needs from the food you eat. You are wasting your money taking protein supplements for general work outs.
I am not saying protein is unimportant so please be clear on my beliefs. Protein is vital to a healthy body and very important for post resistance exercise. Protein and carb intake after exercise takes advantage of the short window when your body is most accepting of absorption. Recovery is important but so is education. “ There is no scientific evidence that you cannot meet all of your protein needs for muscle growth through food. As long as you east every three hours and you eat a complete protein such as eggs, lean meats, or dairy products with every meal, it is not necessary to consume any protein supplements to get outstanding results” -ISSA
Which would you rather consume for your protein intake?
Do you know the BV level of the supplements you are taking? Do you know what BV is? Do you know how to calculate your protein requirements based on the recommended 0.8g – 1.0g of protein per kilogram of body mass per day? Do you know how much protein is too much and the effects of too much protein intake? Do you know the recommended daily allowance for protein is only 15% of calories consumed for a standard healthy diet? For extreme bodybuilders it could go to as much as 30-35% but there are many factors to doing this which need to be considered.
I understand the reasons for some supplements and of course there are times and places where they could be helpful. I am not against everything nor against everyone taking them. Whey powder for example is a way to get high protein quality without the fat. There are also other possible benefits such as enhanced immunity, increased antioxidant activity and quick absorption. Supplements, at times and for certain situations may be helpful but unless you have a complete understanding of what you are consuming (and why) you should stay away. Talk to a licensed health care professional, speak to your doctor or a nutritionist. Don't ask the guy behind the counter who is going to make a commission off of you.
Not quite sure how to get some complete protein into the body after a workout? Here are some ideas:
My favorite after a work out happens to be a delicious glass of chocolate milk. I prefer powder Nesquick, not Hershey syrup and that choice may be debated more than the protein topic of article.
In past articles I discussed the exercise I consider most important for every work out program: The push up. Another day I reviewed the inverted row which is second on my list of requirements. Now for my opinion on number three: The Squat. If you are not performing squats, you are not having a complete workout. The squat is a powerhouse compound exercise which targets the quadriceps along with the Glutes, hips, hamstring and core. You do not have to be squatting hundreds of pounds to gain benefits of this exercise. Light dumbbells, a broom stick, or an empty barbell may be your starting point. The key is all in the form. Once you have the correct form, you weights will steadily increase.
With that being said, this is one exercise that is most often performed incorrectly so I want to point out a few errors to be aware of and ways to correct.
The most common error when going down into the squat is when knees extend beyond toes as seen in the first image. Notice also how her heels are almost lifting off the ground. You do not want to sit straight down when you squat. You want to break at the hips first, push your butt back. This will enable your knees not to go over your feet. If you feel your squatting causes knee issues, then you are most likely not squatting correctly. Your weight should be supported on your heels, not shifting to your toes. If you do, then you are knee squatting, not body squatting. In actuality, the squat can decrease knee injury (NSCA) and increase leg power ( Adams, 1992) when implemented into a sound strength and conditioning program.
All moves in a gym are bio-mechanical. In other words, all moves follow basic laws of mechanics and physics. We use resistance, motion, and momentum. If you perform an exercise incorrectly, you are disrupting the mechanical benefits and causing your body stress.
Often people may have lower back pain when squatting. Again, this should not be happening. This is avoided by keeping your stomach tight, think tall and thin so your tail will not tuck inward and your back will not round as depicted in the second image in the photo.
Another culprit of back pain is the improper location of the bar across the back. Make sure you are not resting the bar on your neck. The bar should be set just above the should blades. Another option is the high bar position but as you can see neither rests on the neck.
When performing a squat keep the following in mind:
A squat takes time to learn proper technique. the worst thing you can do is pile on excessive weight with incorrect form. I highly recommend seeking out a professional personal trainer for assistance when performing any new exercises.