Archive for March, 2010

Fitting Fitness into a Busy Day

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

By: Amber Tebeau, Manager of CoachMeFit West Bloomfield.

Nearly every week I have a client tell me that they did not have time to do their at home workouts.  We all lead busy lives, however, being healthy and fit needs to remain a daily priority.  Remember that breaking up a 60 minute workout into smaller increments throughout the day is statistically as effective as doing a straight hour of exercise.  Amidst a busy day there are several things you can do to fit fitness into your everyday tasks and responsibilities.

  • When you go to the store, park in the farthest parking spot and walk or jog to the door at a brisk pace.
  • When walking your dog, do not walk at a slow pace and allow your dog to sniff every pole.  Walk briskly, getting your heart rate up, to give you and your dog a better workout.
  • While brushing your teeth, do squats.  Doing squats while brushing your teeth in the morning and in the evening will help create toned thighs and glutes.  You can do around 50 squats in one teeth brushing session.
  • When watching TV, exercise during the commercials.  You can do sit-ups, push-ups, squats, run in place, etc.  This is a great way to fit exercise into your relaxing evening at home.
  • Walk or ride your bike to your destination instead of driving.  As Americans, we have become far too dependant on our cars, and we would all benefit greatly from keeping our cars parked and walking to where we need to go.
  • Instead of going out to lunch or coffee with your friends, do an activity together.  Spending time exercising with a friend will increase exercise enjoyment, and also strengthen friendships.  Great activities to do with friends would be walking, running, or playing a sport.
  • Instead of sending your kids outside to play, go with your kids outside to play.  Playing with your kids is a great way to get exercise, but also lets your kids know that spending time with them is important.
  • While at work many people sit behind a desk for 8 or more hours.  During a long day at work it is beneficial to get up out of your desk and to stretch or do exercises.  Aim for 5 minutes per hour.  Walk to the farthest bathroom or copy room, take the stairs whenever available, stretch in your seat, do squats or pushups at your desk.  It is also a great stress reliever to take a walk during your lunch break instead of eating at a restaurant or sitting in the break room for an hour.

There are dozens of ways to fit exercise into your day.   Experiment with the ideas listed above or think of your own methods and find what works best for you.


Shock Your Muscles With A New Routine!

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Are you bored doing the same lifting routine of 12-15 repititions per exercise?  Mix it up!  There are numerous ways of doing this and you may just be surprised at the results.

There are so many ways to train with weights you should never get bored in the gym. Trying out something new won’t only help keep your workouts interesting but it’s actually crucial if you want to continue seeing and feeling gains whether you’re toning or building muscle. Here are a few techniques to try:

Super setting: (A superset is when two exercises are performed in a row without stopping) Super sets are very popular and an effective way to squeeze a lot into a short period of time. Try super setting at the end or in the middle of your workout but avoid it for your first set as you may want to pump out as much weight as possible for your first exercise. You can super set the same muscle or group or super set opposing muscle groups.

Tri setting: Tri sets are a useful way to overload the muscle in a similar way to super setting but instead of rotating between two exercises you incorporate three in a row. I recommend this if you’re extremely tight on time constraints or if you really want to tear up your muscles. Try this technique first on small muscle groups like biceps and triceps.

Drop sets: Drop sets shouldn’t be done everyday for every exercise but they’re great for the last set of your workout just to shock your body into producing new results every now and again. How it works is you hit a heavy set on any chosen exercise then immediately strip off some of the weight and pump out some more reps. Then, if you are really feeling it, you drop the weight again and bust out some more reps to failure.

For example: Side Lateral Delt Raises.  Try starting out with 8-10 reps with 15-pound dumbbells and when you can no longer lift them, drop down to 10-pound dumbbells and repeat until failure. Finally, if you can, pick up the 5-pound dumbbells and go until you can no longer lift them to shoulder level. This creates a wonderful burn in the muscles and fantastic results.

Pyramiding: This is probably the most popular weight training method of all. After a short warm up, begin with a weight that will allow you to pump out 12-15 reps and then proceed to the next set and increase the weight so that you fail at about 8-10 reps then on the last set pick a weight that will allow you to do about 6 reps. This overloads the muscle gradually and works very well. This technique is perfect for beginners because it’s easy yet effective.  However, if you’ve been lifting for years it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t incorporate pyramid training in your routine. It works wonders for everyone, just be sure you’re lifting to your maximum potential.

Reverse Pyramid Training: This is exactly the opposite of pyramid training. Instead of starting with the lightest weight and doing 12-15 repetitions for the first set, you’ll reverse the order and begin your first set with the heaviest weight you can handle for roughly 6 reps. This style is best for those looking to build muscle and increase strength. For each set you will decrease the weight (pyramid down in weight, hence, the name “reverse” pyramid) and increase the reps. This technique is extremely energy efficient and will help you increase muscle mass if that’s your goal.

HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a style that incorporates alternating low to moderate intensity intervals with high intensity intervals. HIIT is often used by runners or with exercises such as squats. HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is so high and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat. Research has proven it to be up to 50 percent more effective when it comes to fat burning. It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

German Volume Training (GVT): The goal of the GVT method is to complete ten sets of ten reps with the same weight for each exercise. One way to gauge the proper weight is to begin with a weight you could lift for 20 reps to failure if you had to. For most people, that would be 60 percent of their 1 Rep Max (RM) load.

For example, if you can squat 120 pounds for 1 rep, you would use 72 pounds for this exercise. The result? The body adapts to the unusual stress by hypertrophying the muscles involved. This is a wonderful way to add muscle fast but is not to be used year round. Cycle it in and out of your regular program every couple of months.

A few other techniques with a Google search are: giant sets, pre-exhaustion, Isotension, partial reps, negative resistance training, staggered sets, Weider’s Perfect 10, fast and slow reps and partner assisted stressed reps.

Article written by, Alicia Rewega- Oxygen Magazine

If you’ve never tried one of these routines, you should!  I would love to hear feedback! 

-Kelly Kalbfleisch

Ann Arbor CMF, Manager