Archive for the ‘Suspension Training’ Category

The Difference between toning and bulking up

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

“The Harder the struggle the more Glorious the triumph”

Toning up VS. Bulking up

Some individuals think they can not lift weights or heavier weights in fear they will bulk up.  But what does “toned” really mean? And is it different from “bulking” up?

What Is Toning?

When most people say that they want to “tone up,” what they usually mean is that they want to become leaner. Basically, they want to lose fat, and add a little muscle definition—but not so much muscle mass that they look like a bodybuilder.
In the fitness world, there is no real definition for toning that is greatly recognized. Rather, toning is a term used to describe the end goal, which usually results from a combination of basic weight-lifting and fat-burning.

What about Bulking Up? 
Typically, men want to “bulk up” and women usually wish to avoid building big, bulky muscles. Although there is no strict definition, “bulking up” means adding a lot of muscle mass to the body and possibly (although not always) reducing one’s body fat, too. Bulking up hearkens images of bodybuilders and big football players—usually male and usually beefy!

Here are some myths about toning and bulking up.

dumbbells

 

Myth #1: Lifting light weights will tone your body and lifting heavy weights will bulk you up.

The Truth: I’m not sure who first pioneered this idea that heavy weights will bulk you up, but it has stuck over the years and erroneously makes many people—both men and women—afraid of lifting heavy weights. While there is some truth to the idea that lifting lighter weights for more reps does a better job of increasing the muscular endurance, lighter weights will not help you “tone” better than heavy weights. In fact, because heavier weights build the strength of your muscles (and the size to a small degree—no Hulk action here), thereby helping to increase your metabolism and burn fat, lifting heavier weights with fewer reps (8 to 12 on average) and working until you’re fatigued is more effective at helping you reach your toning goals than lifting lighter weights. Not to mention that it’s more time efficient, too!

Myth #2: Building muscle and bulking up are one in the same.

The Truth: If you’ve been avoiding weights because you think that building muscle means that you’ll bulk up, think again. When you lift weights that are challenging, you actually create micro-tears in the muscle fibers. These tears are then repaired by the body (this is where soreness comes from!) and in that process the muscle becomes stronger and a little bit bigger. However, because muscle tissue is more dense than fat, adding a little bit more muscle to your body and decreasing your fat actually makes you look leaner—not bigger. To really bulk up, you have to really work with that goal in mind. Bodybuilders spend hours and hours in the gym lifting extremely heavy weights, along with eating a very strict diet that promotes muscle gain. The average person’s workout and diet—especially a calorie-controlled diet—doesn’t’ result in the same effects.

Myth #3: Lifting light weights won’t help you get stronger.

The Truth: When it comes to lifting weights, the secret to really getting stronger isn’t about how much weight you’re lifting. Instead, it’s all about working your muscle to fatigue where you literally cannot lift the weight for another repetition. The August 2010 study from McMaster University that proved this found that even when subjects lifted lighter weights, they added as much muscle as those lifting heavy weights. However, the time it takes to reach fatigue with light weights is much longer than the time it takes to reach fatigue with heavier weights. So, if you’re like most people and extra time is a luxury, it makes more sense to go heavy and then go home!

Myth #4: Certain forms of exercise build long, lean muscles.

The Truth: Many forms of exercise claim to lengthen the muscles or develop “lean” muscles, not bulky ones. But here’s a truth that may be shocking to some: To put it another way, no form of exercise makes muscles “longer” because your muscles do not—and will not—respond to exercise by getting longer. It’s just not how they work. Muscles are a certain length because they attach to your bones. A wide variety of movements and exercises can help you strengthen your muscles without necessarily making them bigger. In fact, you can develop a lot of muscular strength without your muscles ever increasing in size (girth).

That said, exercises such as yoga, Pilates, dance and barre classes can help to increase your flexibility (improving your range of motion at certain joints) and your posture, which can give you the illusion of feeling and looking longer or taller. But lengthening? Not possible. Claims like these are just trying to appeal to people who fear bulking up.

So with that being said, get to lifting and use those muscles. Get to know your strength!!

From Sparkpeople.com!!

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For Fitness, Push Yourself

Monday, July 7th, 2014

For Fitness, Push Yourself

 

 

Intense exercise changes the body and muscles at a molecular level in ways that milder physical activity doesn’t match, according to an enlightening new study. Though the study was conducted in mice, the findings add to growing scientific evidence that to realize the greatest benefits from workouts, we probably need to push ourselves.

For some time, scientists and exercise experts have debated the merits of intensity in exercise. Everyone agrees, of course, that any exercise is more healthful than none. But beyond that baseline, is strenuous exercise somehow better, from a physiological standpoint, than a relative stroll?

There have been hints that it may be. Epidemiological studies of walkers, for instance, have found that those whose usual pace is brisk tend to live longer than those who move at a more leisurely rate, even if their overall energy expenditure is similar.

But how intense exercise might uniquely affect the body, especially below the surface at the cellular level, had remained unclear. That’s where scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida stepped in.

Already, these scientists had been studying the biochemistry of sympathetic nervous system reactions in mice. The sympathetic nervous system is that portion of the autonomic, or involuntary, nervous system that ignites the fight or flight response in animals, including people, when they are faced with peril or stress. In such a situation, the sympathetic nervous system prompts the release of catecholamines, biochemicals such as adrenaline and norepinephrine that set the heart racing, increase alertness and prime the muscles for getaway or battle.

At Scripps, the scientists had been focusing on catecholamines and their relationship with a protein found in both mice and people that is genetically activated during stress, called CRTC2. This protein, they discovered, affects the body’s use of blood sugar and fatty acids during moments of stress and seems to have an impact on health issues such as insulin resistance.

The researchers also began to wonder about the role of CRTC2 during exercise.

Scientists long have known that the sympathetic nervous system plays a part in exercise, particularly if the activity is intense. Strenuous exercise, the thinking went, acts as a kind of stress, prompting the fight or flight response and the release of catecholamines, which goose the cardiovascular system into high gear. And while these catecholamines were important in helping you to instantly fight or flee, it was generally thought they did not play an important role in the body’s longer-term response to exercise, including changes in muscle size and endurance. Intense exercise, in that case, would have no special or unique effects on the body beyond those that can be attained by easy exercise.

But the Scripps researchers were unconvinced. “It just didn’t make sense” that the catecholamines served so little purpose in the body’s overall response to exercise, said Michael Conkright, an assistant professor at Scripps, who, with his colleague Dr. Nelson Bruno and other collaborators, conducted the new research. So, for astudy published last month in The EMBO Journal, he and his collaborators decided to look deeper inside the bodies of exercising mice and, in particular, into what was going on with their CRTC2 proteins.

To do so, they first bred mice that were genetically programmed to produce far more of the CRTC2 protein than other mice. When these mice began a program of frequent, strenuous treadmill running, their endurance soared by 103 percent after two weeks, compared to an increase of only 8.5 percent in normal mice following the same exercise routine. The genetically modified animals also developed tighter, larger muscles than the other animals, and their bodies became far more efficient at releasing fat from muscles for use as fuel.

These differences all were the result of a sequence of events set off by catecholamines, the scientists found in closely examining mouse cells. When the CRTC2 protein received and read certain signals from the catecholamines, it would turn around and send a chemical message to genes in muscle cells that would set in motion processes resulting in larger, stronger muscles.

In other words, the catecholamines were involved in improving fitness after all.

What this finding means, Dr. Conkright said, is that “there is some truth to that idea of ‘no pain, no gain.’” Catecholamines are released only during exercise that the body perceives as stressful, he said, so without some physical strain, there are no catecholamines, no messages from them to the CRTC2 protein, and no signals from CRTC2 to the muscles. You will still see muscular adaptations, he added, if your exercise is light and induces no catecholamine release, but those changes may not be as pronounced or complete as they otherwise could have been.

The study also underscores the importance of periodically reassessing the intensity of your workouts, Dr. Conkright said, if you wish to continually improve your fitness. Once a routine is familiar, your sympathetic nervous system grows blasé, he said, holds back adrenaline and doesn’t alert the CRTC2 proteins, and few additional adaptations occur.

The good news is that “intensity is a completely relative concept,” Dr. Conkright said. If you are out of shape, an intense workout could be a brisk walk around the block. For a marathon runner, it would involve more sweat.

“But the point is to get out of your body’s comfort zone,” Dr. Conkright, “because it does look like there are unique consequences when you do.”

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

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Put Some Spring into your Fitness Routine!

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Put Some Spring in your Fitness Routine
Lori Withrow, B.S. Exercise Science

Spring has sprung! It’s time to throw back the curtains, open the windows, clear the
house of winter clutter, and pack away the sweatshirts in exchange for short sleeves.
It’s also a great time to clean up your fitness routine. After months of stale gym air and
temperatures to cold for outdoor exercise, our bodies and mental health are begging for
some spring! Here are few tips to get you started.!

spring running

 
1. Consider throwing away worn-out workout clothes and replacing them with
breathable, wick fabrics. If you’ve been hitting the gym all winter, chances are you’re
also due for a new pair of shoes. Not only will you look great in your new gear, but you’ll
feel great too.
2. Try breaking up your routine with outdoor exercises like tennis, golf, hiking or kicking
the soccer ball around the yard with your kids. Remember, all activity counts! Plus,
varying your workouts can help improve performance and reduce risk of overuse
injuries. By doing a variety of different activities, such as running, weight training, hiking,
bootcamp classes or biking, you limit the stress on one specific muscle group because
different activities use muscles in slightly different ways.

IslBG
3. Add jumping rope to your workout and you can burn around 208 calories in just 20
minutes. Include other exercises like walking lunges, sprints, and jumping jacks, and
you’ve got yourself a circuit program you can do right in your backyard. You can also
include wrist and ankle weights to your daily routine. The resistance will help strengthen
and tone up arm and leg muscles.

4. By drinking about two liters of water a day, and 17 ounces about two hours before
activity, you can avoid muscle cramping and fatigue. If you’re headed outdoors for
activity, take water with you. Keep in mind, the more you sweat, the more fluids you
need to replace!!

5. Add positive goals to your fitness routine such as a 5k, or mini triathlon. It will make
you feel better and also give a purpose to your training other than just reaching a certain
weight or size. Another fun option is to enlist a group of friends to join your quest. Try
researching some of your local fun runs and obstacle courses (such as the warrior
dash, color run and the foam fest)that are becoming so popular these days. Having a
group of people to train with is way more fun and encouraging then going stag.

6. Remember, slow but steady wins the race. Try to get some activity at least 3-4 times
per week, but adjust your intensity based on activity you’ve had over the winter. If you
haven’t done much, it will take a few weeks to establish a good fitness base. If you’re
taking your exercise from indoor to outdoor, remember a 2 mile run on the treadmill is
going to feel different then a 2 mile run outside. Start small, and work up.

7. Keep in mind, spring training is a time for refreshing, light-hearted exercise. So relax
and enjoy your activity. Consider a sports massage to pamper yourself, while alleviating
toxins and speeding up muscle recovery. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!!

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Heart Smart!!

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Pop quiz: Can you name the most important muscle in your body? Nope, it’s not your abs, hamstrings or triceps. It’s your heart!
healthy-heart

 

The human heart is an amazing muscle, capable of pumping about five quarts of blood throughout the body every minute—that’s approximately 2,000 gallons of blood each day! In fact, the average heart beats about 100,000 times each day, too, which is why it’s so important to have a strong and healthy heart.


And just like you can exercise to build strength in your skeletal muscles, you can—and should—also train your heart to become stronger, healthier and more efficient at doing its job. The right workout plan is like strength-training for your heart, which helps it pump more blood with less effort.

The Facts
According to the American Heart Association (AHA) nearly 70% of Americans don’t get enough exercise, yet inactivity is a major risk factor for developing coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is caused by deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the inner lining of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. This build-up makes the arteries narrowed or blocked, and when oxygen-rich blood can’t reach the heart, the result is chest pain or a heart attack. Over time, CAD can weaken the heart muscle and lead to heart failure.

While CAD is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, the good news is that lifestyle changes—like exercise!—can help prevent or treat CAD in most people.

How to Exercise for a Healthy Heart
Fortunately, it doesn’t take hours in the gym to reap the heart-healthy benefits of exercise. As little as 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking, most days of the week can substantially reduce your risk of heart disease, enhance your mental well-being, help you manage your weight, and improve your blood pressure and blood lipid (cholesterol) profiles.

While previous recommendations have focused mainly on cardio (aerobic) conditioning for heart health, new guidelines developed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the AHA also take into account higher levels of intensity and the benefits that strength training offers your heart, too. These recommendations are for healthy adults under the age of 65 who want to improve heart health, prevent heart disease, and increase overall well-being.

Cardio (aerobic) exercise guidelines: Perform moderately-intense cardio exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If weight-loss is your goal as well, bump this number up to 60 to 90 minutes at a moderate intensity. Moderate intensity is defined by ACSM as a target heart rate range of 55%-59% of your maximum heart rate—about at the pace where you break a sweat but are still able to carry a conversation.

—OR—

Perform vigorously cardio for 20 minutes a day, three days a week. According to ACSM, a vigorous intensity is at 70%-89% of your maximum heart rate, which is an aggressive pace where you can only get a few words out at a time.

Strength training guidelines: Do 8-10 strength-training exercises with 8-12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

No matter how much you work out now, you can improve your heart health with a combination of cardio and strength exercises. The important thing is to just get moving!

This article has been reviewed and approved by SparkPeople fitness experts and certified personal trainers, Jen Mueller and Nicole Nichols.

Sources:
American College of Sports Medicine. “Physical Activity and Public Health Guidelines,” accessed March 2011. www.acsm.org.

American Heart Association. “Physical Activity: AHA Scientific Position,” accessed March 2011. www.americanheart.org.

 

 

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Fit for the Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

“Today I will do my best!!  Today, I will try my best to make choices that are healthy and make me feel good. Today, I will work on my goal!!”

 

Rachel Canen

Manager, CoachMeFit- Ann Arbor

A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer

holiday pic

 

The holidays can be a time of year where you get overwhelmed with getting gifts for others, having the family over or going over to your families. The importance of getting a workout in can be on the bottom of the list. If a hidden camera were placed in your refrigerator, pantry, or cupboard during the holiday season, you’d notice a significant growth in the amounts of foods that are low in nutrients but high in calories, such as meats with heavy sauces, candies and chocolates, or gift baskets with processed, packaged foods that are coated in oils. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these foods, but out-of-sight is out-of-mind and in-sight is, well, you get the idea!

Here’s a little secret: your body can be relatively bulletproof to forming fat from food if you exercise before you eat.  The key is to keep moving, be active throughout the day!!Having a solid plan in place, even if you veer off track a little, is a great strategy to stay healthy through the season. Moving your body first thing in the morning sets the day right and helps your body stay stress-free during this busy season.

 Remember this time of year is all about enjoying yourself with friends and family.  Definitely don’t deprive yourself of the things you love most about the season. Just be sure to stay on track during the days before and after the party. When you stick to a healthy lifestyle and stay consistent, you have wiggle room for a little indulgence here and there.

So don’t get discouraged just thinking about making time to workout during the holidays! Think about how great you will feel after the holidays because you carried on your normal fitness routine. Make a goal for yourself that you can reach. With the right attitude and hard work, you will accomplish your goal!!

happy-holidays-wallpaper

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It can be Tricky to NOT Treat yourself!!!

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Rachel Canen, A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

halloween-candy

 

 

“Eating crappy food isn’t a reward — it’s a punishment.”

It can be very tempting to eat just one or two Snicker bars after the kids come back from Trick-Or-Treating. The problem with that is one or two at a time turn into 10 to 20 in an hour. Most people are unaware with how many calories are in a “fun size” candy bar or a tiny pack of M&Ms.  Here is an idea of how many calories are in certain pieces of candy:

M&Ms, plain, Fun size (18 g) – 88 calories and 12 g carb

M&Ms, peanut, Fun size (18 g) – 93 calories and 11 g carb

Miniature Bars (Milky Way, Snickers, Twix, 3 Muskateers) – average 38 calories and 5 g carb each bar

Tootsie Rolls

  • Small bar – 50 calories and 10 g carb
  • Midgee – 23 calories and 7 g carb
  • Mini-Midgees – 11 calories and 2 g carbs

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

  • Miniature (about 9 grams each) – 44 calories and 5 g carb per cup
  • Snack size (17 g) – 88 calories and 10 g carb
  • Snack size (21 g) – 100 calories and 12 g carb
  • White, Snack size (21 g) – 100 calories and 11 g carb

Kit Kat, Fun size (14 g) – 73 calories and 9 g carb

Snickers Bars, Fun size (17 g) – 80 calories and 10 g carb

Twix, Snack size (10 g) – 50 calories and 7 g carb

Milk Duds Snack size (12 g) – 54 calories and 9 g carb

Smarties Candy, Roll – 25 calories and 6 g carb

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/

halloween 13

 

We have to get the idea we can workout in order to indulge in junk food or candy out of our heads. We work out to lower our chances of having health issues, control our weight gain, build strength and to overall feel better.

Here are just a few benefits to working out:

SLOWS THE AGING PROCESS & REDUCES THE RISK OF PREMATURE DEATH

Most people lose 10% of their aerobic capacity each year after the age of 30. However, regular exercise can actually make you more aerobically fit as you get older. Working out also improves skin and muscle tone, increases flexibility and reduces the risk of many age-related diseases, such as osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke.

BUILDS AND MAINTAINS HEALTHY MUSCLES, BONES & JOINTS

As you get older, your bones lose density (mass), your joints become stiffer and less flexible, and your lean body mass decreases. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to slow or prevent muscle, joint and bone problems. A moderate to vigorous workout program can help you maintain strength and flexibility into your golden years.

IMPROVES MENTAL ACUITY

Many studies have proven that people who work out on a regular basis have better memory, reaction time and concentration than their sedentary counterparts. And it doesn’t take much: walking for 45 minutes three times a week is enough to improve your degree of mental sharpness. Aerobic activity stimulates the middle-frontal and superior parietal regions of the brain, which are associated with attention and keeping goals in mind.

REDUCES STRESS, DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

Exercising reduces stress and anxiety by diminishing electrical activity in tense muscles as soon as you finish your workout, which makes you less hyperactive and jittery. In addition, your body releases more endorphins for an hour and a half to two hours after your workout, which boosts your mood and promotes relaxation. Another benefit of physical activity is that it provides you with the motivation to improve your diet, and proper nutrition reduces stress. There is even evidence that regular exercise can aid in treating clinical depression.

REDUCES THE RISK OF MANY DISEASES.

The best reason of all to work out regularly is that it reduces your risk of many serious and potentially deadly diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, colon cancer, breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, and arthritis.

http://www.askmen.com

Really focus on working out for the right reasons and be sure to not let your temptations set you back. Ask yourself, is it really worth it to eat a candy bar or two??

 

CLIENTS….NOW THROUGH 12/31/2013 YOU WILL RECEIVE 2 FREE SESSIONS IF YOU REFER SOMEONE AND HAVE THEM SIGN UP FOR A PACKAGE OF 20!!!! Help a friend or family member get on the right track for a happier, healthier life!!

 

 

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The TRX, An Essential Part of Your Workout

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
TRX Suspension Training

TRX Suspension Training

By: Amber Tebeau, NASM CPT, Manager and Trainer CoachMeFit West Bloomfield

The TRX, Total Resistance Exercise, is the latest and greatest piece of fitness equipment on the market.  The TRX is a form of suspension training that utilizes body weight to increase total body strength, balance, flexibility, core stability, and performance, which will also increase calorie burn and weight loss.

The TRX was created by Randy Hetrick, the founder of Fitness Anywhere, the company behind the TRX.  Randy created the TRX while he was on the battle field serving as a Navy SEAL.  Randy recognized the importance of having a piece of exercise equipment that was light, easily portable, and functional.  The TRX is now used by all of the branches of the Armed Forces, the NCAA, Hollywood stars, and professional athletes.

The TRX is a valuable piece of fitness equipment because it is appropriate for all ages and all fitness levels.  Virtually any exercise can performed on the TRX and the best part is that any exercise can be made to be more difficult or easier just by simply taking a step or two. The TRX weighs less than 2 pounds and it can be set up anywhere, including a gym, a park, a hotel room or at home.

CoachMeFit  started working with the TRX in the spring of 2010, and I went to an official TRX training course in July of 2010.  Our studios are very excited about getting on board with TRX suspension training.   We have found the TRX to be very challenging and very practical for our clients to use.   Our clients were very excited when we started using the TRX and their excitement has continued the more they have worked with it.  I have several clients who regularly ask to use the TRX during their sessions.

The TRX is one of best and most versatile pieces of equipment that we have at CoachMeFit.  Every exercise on the TRX engages the entire core, for an incredible total body workout.  If you have goals that include toning muscle, core and totally body strength, increased athletic performance or increased flexibility, then the TRX should become an essential part of your workout routine.

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