Hey there guys! I want to thank you for stopping by and checking out our first blog post. Our goal is to keep these going every Monday morning so that you have something entertaining and informative to read while pretending to get stuff done for those first few hours back to work.
Here's a list of 3 things we've noticed from our time in the commercial gym world that most people are missing from their workouts.
Walk into any commercial gym across the country and you'll see rows upon rows of treadmills and ellipticals full of well intentioned gym goers going along at a leisurely pace. We're proud of all of them if it is their Day 1 and they've made the first positive step to get moving. However, even the most novice trainee can start with some form of sprinting to reap the benefits of a higher intensity of exercise. When we consider "sprinting" at Aspire Fitness we aren't ONLY talking about the form of running. We use all sorts of tools to get your body moving in short bursts at higher intensities.
Bad knees? Try using Battling Ropes for 30sec of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. You can get a full body metabolic response without having to put stress on your knees.
Bored of being on the treadmill? Try doing 150 meter intervals on a Concept 2 Rower. Complete the 150m as fast as you can and keep track of that time. Perform as many intervals as possible at that pace and finish when you cant keep within a few seconds of your original pace. Keep track! The more intervals you can complete at that intensity over time is a great measure of your improved fitness.
Finally one of the most efficient fat burning tools is doing "sprints" with the Prowler. At Aspire Fitness we like to do 20yd sprints with 60sec of rest in between. The great thing about the prowler is the ease of use, line up and push it hard as you can! Getting 10 rounds with half of your bodyfat is a great challenge.
2. Loaded Carries
One of the easiest movements you can add into your training is the loaded carry. It is a fantastic measure of overall strength, stamina, and a great challenge to the core. While there are several other the two biggest bang for your buck variations are The Farmers Walk and Suitcase Carry.
The Farmer's Walk requires you to carry either two heavy dumbbells or Kettlebells over a certain distance. We used 40 yards as a general standard. Grab the two heaviest weight you can stand up tall and see how far you can travel. A good goal for a beginner would be to be 1/2 your body-weight in each hand for 40-50yds.
The Suitcase Carry is exactly the same as the Farmer's Walk but with a weight only on one side. This challenges the core even more as you create a need to stabilize from the opposite side. If you are looking to train your core this is a fantastic choice and is supported by the research as one of the best ways to do it!
Make sure you are using enough weight. If your purse or suitcase is already 20lbs don't expect to make progress using a 20lb dumbbell in the gym!
3. Keeping score...
Lastly I believe everyone should be keeping some sort of training log. You don't need to keep track of every single weight of every single exercise you do, BUT you should be keeping yourself honest to see if you are making progress and challenging yourself. The ability of the human body to adapt to stress is remarkable and for that reason you must constantly be trying to do a little better each time. If you are still using the same 15lb dumbbells after 6 months it's time to go up! So keep track of you main exercises; squats;presses; deadlifts; chinsup etc.. and go by the rule of 2.
When we give our clients a rep range we tell them to always keep in mind the rule of 2. Let's say we prescribe 8 reps. We tell our clients that if they are only getting 6 reps then the weight is too heavy and if they are consistently getting 10 reps it's time to go up. So start keeping track and if your program calls for 12 reps make sure you are keeping in the +/- 2 rule. Under by two reps or more, too heavy. Over by 2 reps or more, too light!
Try incorporating these few tips the next time you are in the gym and let me know what you think! Any and all comments / suggestions are appreciated. Until next time..
Keep moving forward !