Exercise

Endurance Training Class is back!

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I don't know about you, but I plan on being around for awhile and I plan on being active for the rest of my life. So the older I get, the more I value endurance.

When you hear the word endurance, what do you think of? Running is my guess. That is part of the equation, but not the whole thing. It is about your heart, lungs, and muscles all being able to do what you want them to do for as long as you want to do it.

That is why we are bringing back our Endurance Training class! It will be a 6-week series on Saturday mornings 7:30-8:30am from August 5 to September 9, 2017.

This class will help you:

-Complete 5ks, 10ks, mud runs, and beyond

-Improve your breathing

-Get stronger and fitter

-Get leaner

-Have more energy

-Feel better overall

How awesome would it feel to get up a flight a stairs and not feel completely winded? Wouldn’t you love to be able to go hiking, biking, swimming or just being physically active with your family and not be held back by your current fitness level?

This class was a ton of fun and people saw excellent results last time, so I can’t wait to offer it again. There is a bit of bad news.

There are only 15 spots available and they are on a first come, first serve basis. You can reserve your spot below:

Endurance Training

PS-There are two payment options after the registration. The shirt option is $89 and includes a tech shirt with our popular Run HSV logo on it. If you just want to do the training, the 6-week series is only $75.

 

Two Any Time Anywhere Workouts

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On Monday I challenged you to get in 90 workouts in the time remaining in 2017. But we all know there are times where you get in a pinch and can’t get the workout in you want.

 

I wanted to give you 2 workouts you could use for those emergencies. These will all be 20 minutes or less, require no fancy equipment, and can be done in smaller spaces.

 

 

The 90 Workout Challenge

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Happy Half A New Year! Can you believe we are halfway through 2017? I have to be honest, I’m a little bummed I’m not typing this from my flying car that steers itself.

 

But the beauty of today is that it can be the start of something great. Look back to what your goals were at the beginning of this year. How are you progressing on them? Are you halfway there?

 

If so, awesome! If not, it’s not too late!

 

Just think of this as your reset button. This will be a way to either stay motivated or to get you back on track.

 

Your goal is to get in at least 90 workouts in the time we have left this year. That is a little more than 3 workouts per week, so it is completely doable. You have to be intentional about it though.

 

We all know that there will be stretches where you won’t be as active as other times. School starting back, football season, holidays, fall break, etc... That is all coming up on the horizon, so you need to have a plan in place ahead of time.

 

If you have an exercise class, group, or partner that you already meet with, that is ideal. The added accountability will come in handy. But what about on those days when your car breaks down, the kids are sick, you are working overtime, you go on a work trip, or any other scenario that is trying to mess your groove up?

 

I got your back my friend! On Wednesday I will send you a few options that you can do any time and any where. These will not require fancy equipment, a gym membership, or tons of space.

 

Hope you have an awesome 4th of July!

 

PS- If you want to get a jump start on those 90 workouts, Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp is hosting a charity boot camp to benefit Operation Stand Down. They support local, homeless veterans. Check out their needs list, bring a donation, and let's have some fun!

Men, women, and children of all ages and fitness levels are invited to attend. It will be from 8-9am on July 4th at Weatherly Elementary School at 1307 Cannstatt in Huntsville.

The Importance of Challenge Workouts

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Something we do in our boot camp classes are personal challenge workouts. In the first week, we will see how many repetitions we can do in one minute. Then in the last week, we will test again to see how much we have improved.

 

Last camp we did pushups, squats with weights, and shoulder presses. I was amazed at how far people came in just a few short weeks! Many people doubled what they could do in that first week.

 

I encourage you to do some sort of challenge workout. You can do this with the exercises I mentioned above, see how fast you can do a mile, how much weight you can lift, or any number of things that go along with whatever goals you are working on now.

 

There are three main reasons challenge workouts are an important part of any program.

 

1. You will see how far you have come

 

Sometimes we can get caught up in the workout grind and forget just how far we have come. You need that reminder, especially if you feel like you have not made any changes. It isn’t getting easier, you are just getting better.

 

2. Gives you a goal to work for

 

One of the best ways to stay motivated in your training is to have a performance goal in mind. Most of us have aesthetic goals (lose weight, drop dress size, etc...) but do you have a performance goal? If you don’t have one, get one!

 

3. Gets you out of your comfort zone

 

You don’t realize how much you are capable of. Part of getting results is moving the bar of what you think your threshold is. When you think your body can’t go any further is when you need to push a little bit longer. This helps your body redefine your stopping point. It is not comfortable, but it is worth it.

 

What will your challenge workout be?

Your stupid boot camp made me gain weight!

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Picture this scene if you will. You just started an exercise program. You made it every day the first week, you are working really hard, and you decide to see how much weight you have lost.

 

You step on the scale and you have to rub your eyes a few times to make sure. You gained weight! How is that even possible???

 

There are typically two main reasons I see for this initial weight gain. The first is nothing to worry about, while the second needs to be addressed.

The first culprit in this initial weight gain is water retention. This what happens to a lot of people when they start a strength training program. What you are doing when you are lifting weights is actually tearing the muscles down while you exercise.

The process of your body building the muscles while you are at rest is when the magic actually happens. That is why you don't want to lift weights using the same muscles on back to back days. You have to give the body time to repair itself.

This tearing down process makes the muscles inflamed. With this inflammation comes increased water retention. With this water retention comes "This stupid (insert your workout here) is terrible, it is causing me to gain weight rather than losing it!" freak out. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, it can be very frightening for a fitness coach.

The second reason the scale can go up when people first start working out is increased caloric intake. This especially occurs with resistance training because it really gets your metabolism revving, which increases your appetite. Think about how hard it is to burn 800 calories in an hour. Now think about how quick you can put that back in. 10 minutes maybe? You cannot out exercise a bad diet.

That is why I recommend keeping a food journal, so you can see in black and white what you have been eating. The rule with the food journal is, "If you bite it, you write it. You hog it, you log it." Feel free to come up with your own rhymes.

Everything that has calories that you ingest has to be recorded. Liquid calories can add up very quick if you are not wary of them. It is a very eye opening experience to a lot of people who have never kept track before.

You can use apps, write it down, or whatever method you will do consistently.  If nothing else, try it for a week and see if you can identify patterns that need to be corrected. Use your food journal as a road map to figure out if it is the nutrition that needs to be assessed or something else.

The main lesson as always is: The scale is a fickle mistress, don't trust it. It is just part of a big picture of your progress, not the one thing that determines your happiness. The scale can go up or down 5-10 pounds in one day!

A much more accurate way to see how you are progressing is to see how many inches you have lost, how your clothes are fitting, your increased energy levels, or body fat percentage lost.

Lessons from Joe Rogan and Skydiving

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I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast yesterday and he started talking about the importance of doing things you are not good at. He said it was crucial to become a beginner at something again.

That seems like a rough way to treat yourself, but I completely agree. It is good for you brain and your body to try things that are out of your comfort zone.

Never was this more alive to me than when I went sky diving for the first time last weekend. Check out that picture! Here is another one:

The most nerve racking part, when your toes are hanging off and you are 14,000 feet up.

It was definitely out of my comfort zone, considering I don’t like heights or flying. But when your wife surprises you with the opportunity on your 40th birthday, you jump at the chance. No pun intended.

And it was amazing! That first picture is from the free fall, where you are flying through the air like Superman. An unreal feeling that I wish everyone could experience.

Was it comfortable? No. Was I nervous? My palms still sweat thinking about it. But I am so glad I did it. My life was literally in someone else’s hands and that someone was a stranger!

Stretching and growing isn’t easy, but it is worth it to get better. I had a speaking engagement a few days later and my wife asked me if I was nervous and I said, “I just jumped out of an airplane, this does not worry me now.”

What are you afraid to do because it is not in your comfort zone? Are you afraid to try something because you are afraid to fail? Don’t be! Look at it as a win, win. If you succeed, awesome! If you don’t, you learn from it.

Your homework for the weekend is take some time and figure out what you need to do to stretch and grow. Lift heavier weights? Try your first 5k? Learn how to swim as an adult? Take up kayaking?

Find something you are a beginner at, stick to it, and continue to challenge yourself! The hardest part is the beginning when you are not good at something. Persevere and you will so glad that you did.

4 Ways Shawty Got Low. Tips for better squats

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Let's talk about low squats. It was once thought to be bad for your knees, but research has shown that deep squats are not bad for you and have several benefits. A deeper squat will make you stronger, burn more calories, and make your booty look better. It's science.

 

The problems come when people drop it like it's hot while lowering themselves into the squat, bounce at the bottom, and then stand up. That bounce puts a lot of strain on your knees. If you are squatting fast, make sure you are under control and you only go as far as your mobility allows.

 

If you are having trouble getting into a lower squat, here are  4 things you can start doing today.

 

1. What are they doing?

 

I've been on a couple of mission trips to Nicaragua and I noticed some of the locals taking rest breaks in what looked an awful way to rest. They dropped all the way into a squat where their butt was about an inch off the ground. It was very comfortable to them because they had been doing it their whole life.

 

They are basically holding the bottom part of a perfect squat. Your mission is to get to where you can hold that position comfortably for one minute. Start working on squatting down as low as you can and holding it without your heels popping up off the ground (more on that below) and without falling over. Feel free to hold onto something when you first start out.

 

2. Arms forward

 

Extend your arms out in front of you before you start your squat. Studies have proven that you can squat lower by adding this simple twist to your normal squat.

 

Tight ankles or apple bottom jeans too tight?

 

3. Loosen up your ankles

 

Do your heels come up off the ground when you try to squat low? You need to loosen those ankles up. In our boot camp classes we do ankle circles as part of our warm-up to get the ankles loose.

Put your toe on the ground, heel up in the air. Start circling your foot around, like you are mashing out a cigarette. Do 10 circles for each direction on both feet.

Ankle rockers can help as well. Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Rock back forward as far as you can with the right heel on the ground. Then you will rock side to side as far as you can. Get in 10 times each direction and then switch legs.

 

4. Defeat the desk job

 

Many of us sit way too much during our day. At work, in the car, watching TV or on the computer at home.

 

Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch.

 

Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.

 

Start putting these to work and you will be looking good in your apple bottom jeans/boots with the fur in no time.

Netflix and Chill

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Last night I participated in one of my favorite past times. I love to get on Netflix, look around for something to watch for 30 minutes, and end up watching nothing. Anybody else do that?

There is so much to watch and so many possibilities, but I just can’t commit. This is precious TV time here! I gotta make the perfect choice, so I overanalyze things and nothing happens in the end.

That can be very frustrating but it happens a lot because I go in there with no game plan. I don’t watch TV very often so when I do I need to be on top of my game.

The same holds true with a lot of people when they workout. They go to the gym, do a little bit of this machine, little bit of that machine, and end up doing a lot of wandering around and wasting time.

They have no plan! And much like Netflix, there are so many options out there to choose from with exercise. It can be very overwhelming and discouraging if you don’t know what you are going to do that day.

I recommend writing down what you plan to do before you do your workout. One great benefit is that you will not waste time. Another great benefit is that you will not slack off. When you don’t have a set workout plan you have a tendency to quit the workout when something gets tough. Don’t let that happen to you!

Don’t go into your workout blind. Do your research, know what types of workouts support the goals you are going after, and stick to the plan!

If you are not sure what you should be doing, feel free to reach out for help. Of course, I would love for you to come to Adventure Boot Camp but I now that is not an option for everybody.

Enough of that, let’s get serious now. What should I be watching on Netflix? I need some suggestions.

The Cardio Fountain of Youth

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In a recent study published in Cell Metabolism researchers may have found the key to slowing down the aging process. It is not a pill, potion, or surgical procedure. The key is good old exercise.

 

In particular the key is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The study reported that the subjects who were in the 65-80 years old group increased their mitochondrial capacity by 69% through HIIT biking. What this fancy talk means is that this type of exercise stopped the aging process at the cellular level.

 

Pretty cool stuff, but how does that effect you? If you go to our boot camp, you are already doing this type of training! If you are not, I wanted to give you a few tips to add HIIT into your training regimen.

 

Let’s go ahead and start with the bad news first. HIIT is hard. Always gotta add those disclaimers.

 

HIIT is simply alternating high intensity exercise with low intensity exercise or short rest breaks. Where you take it from there will vary based on personal preference and your fitness level.

 

In the study they used biking, but you can do walking, running, swimming, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, weights, bands, and just about any exercise method you can think of. When you are first starting out, I would recommend short bursts of the high intensity part and longer rest breaks or low intensity portions.

 

A famous (and famously hard to do) training protocol is the Tabata method. This is 20 seconds of all out effort (think running as fast as you can) and resting for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. It is pretty rough, but if you are pressed for time it is a great option.

 

That is just one way, but there are tons of ways to work this into your program. Give it a try and have a great weekend!

Cut The Bull Sit!

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Are you sitting down? I have some news for you. Stand up!

A recent study of older women (average age of 79) published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who are sedentary have shorter life spans and are more likely to have high blood pressure, a history of chronic disease, lower physical performance scores, and are more likely to have experienced a fall in the past 12 months. The researchers found that the most sedentary women were biologically 8 years older than their actual age.

Another study in the same journal studied dementia risk in sedentary people. They studied people who were carriers of dementia markers and those who were not. The subjects with the markers for dementia developed dementia more often, but being sedentary greatly increased the risk of getting dementia for those who did not have the markers.

On a non-scientific note, I was talking to a physical therapist about the types of patients he sees. He said that 90% of what he sees is posture related ailments, the majority of them from sitting.

This is scary stuff! But it also means we can take control of our health by addressing the problem.

The first step is obvious- avoid sitting all day long! If you have a desk job this can be a challenge, but make it a priority to get up and stretch, walk around, etc… at least once an hour but the more often the better.

The second option is to address your desk area. There are stand up desks, adjustable desks that go from standing to sitting, sitting on and exercise ball, practicing good office ergonomics, etc…

The third thing to do is to address your posture. This might mean being more aware of your body position or doing more stretches and foam rolling to problem areas.

The fourth thing to look at is your leisure time activities. If you are sitting all day at work, then coming home and sitting on the couch or in front of a computer the remainder of the day that will catch up to you one day.

If you need more in depth instruction on some of these things or you would like someone to come speak at your office and address these topics, I highly recommend Dr. Nancy Harden from Flexibility For Life. I call her the Muscle Whisperer, she does pretty amazing work.

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