Posts Tagged fitness
Ever been to the gym and seen someone doing something that you’ve had drilled into your head as being just plain wrong? You’ve got your coach or trainer from way-back-when shouting in your head telling you what not to do. You might even have the urge to correct someone, which seems noble but doesn’t always end well.
Before you make sure other people are doing their exercises correctly, you might want to assure that you’re not making any mistakes of your own. This could avoid a potentially embarrassing situation.
For the next handful of posts, we’re going to go through a short blog series of the most common mistakes seen in the gym.
Are these things that you already know? Are you effectively putting them into good practice? Let’s find out…
#1 Skipping Warm Up
I don’t have a lot of time to work out. Why not skip the warm up and just get started?
Maybe you’re the type that has been really looking forward to exercising all day, so once you finally get to the gym you go straight for the weights and start pumping. While that’s a show of good enthusiasm, it’s misplaced enthusiasm.
The point of warming up is to alert the body to an increase in physical activity. It takes a little time for the body to adjust, and trying to push it through this adjustment can reduce the effectiveness of your workout and even result in an exercise related injury. Consider this, an injury could mean you won’t be working out that muscle group again for quite a while. Is all that time really worth skipping a five minute warm up session?
An effective warm up will…
- Increase the heart rate and breathing to increase the amount of oxygen and essential nutrients to muscle tissue.
- Remove waste products from muscle tissue to improve muscular flexibility.
- Alert the nervous system to improve reaction time and coordination.
Preparing your muscles to be more pliable, have better reaction time and be more effectively fueled is an enormous advantage when you have a limited amount of time to work out. In general, it can give you the edge you need to see yourself reaching long term goals faster than you otherwise would.
But there’s more to this gym faux pas than meets the eye. It may be a common mistake for people to shrug off the warm up altogether, but it’s almost just as common for people to work out the wrong muscle groups.
For example, have you ever seen someone jump on the treadmill for five minutes right before obliterating their pectorals on the bench press?
Yes the treadmill is going to increase your heart rate and breathing, which is a good thing. But running will misinform the legs that they need to get ready to work out, without ever telling your chest that it’s about to be pulverized. If this is going to be an important chest day for you, you need to let your chest know about that ahead of time.
In terms of how to warm up your chest, all you need to do is put light intensity stress on that muscle group. This could be in the form of just lifting some small dumbbells over a long period of time. Or you could go for a light intensity inclined push up. Just make sure not to even approach the point of exhaustion. Keep the intensity light, and you should be fine. This same principle applies to any muscle group when warming up for your work out.
Oh, and don’t forget about stretching.
Many people are inspired to get in shape by pictures of magazine models or celebrities and their super physiques, but sometimes inspiration comes from something more personal and serious. This was the case for one of EP Fitness’s inspiring members, Elisa Holguin.
In 2010, native El Pasoan, Elisa found herself in the ER and the diagnosis was grim. Never thinking anything can hurt her, Elisa was diagnosed with Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and was told she would have to begin medication. Not wanting to be insulin dependent at the age of 40, Elisa made a decision that day. A week after her birthday, she decided to change her lifestyle beginning with her diet.
Elisa immediately began monitoring her nutritional intake, she cut fats, processed foods and carbohydrates. Right off the bat she began to see a change, she lost 15 lbs on nutritional changes alone. Elisa then sought out support of places like the El Paso Diabetes Association and researched books on on the subject. Elisa found that there are so many healthy replacements for the foods she used to love like flour tortillas. It has been a little easier to make nutritional sacrifices and finds solace in new favorite snacks like popcorn and flavored water drinks that have no sugars/calories. While the substitutes for breads, pasta and cakes are a little more pricey, in her eyes they are definitely worth it. Again, Elisa stresses that it is all about just making the conscious decision of what you are eating.
After a few months and with her nutrition in check, she decided to begin exercising and joined EP Fitness. Elisa said that she chose EP fitness because of its convenient location and the corporate discount she received through her company. She felt that EP Fitness was a more friendly environment for everyday people interested in health and working out rather than a type of gym where people go to show off and hang out, which was important to her.
Elisa started off slowly with 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weights, then steadily increasing the intensity, speed and time as she progressed. Elisa admitted it was hard at first and was very tired but staying consistent and working out 4 days a week helped her from being sore.
Now Elisa feels that she is comfortable enough with her endurance level that she is now branching out and joining some group fitness classes at EP Fitness. “I am very competitive” she says, and feels that working alongside other members in a class setting will help motivate her workouts. She recently joined the EP Fitness Interstate’s Boot Camp group fitness class and it has definitely increased the intensity. Despite having knee problems she says that staying consistent with working out keeps them from becoming sore.
Elisa is now free of medication and has dropped four dress sizes. Finding her new lease on life, she is able to enjoy the activities like zip-lining and repelling that the weight had prevented her from attempting. Additionally, she had always enjoyed hiking and now looks forward to doing more of that as well. She added that one day when she is older she may need medications but she is determined to do all that she can to prevent it now and enjoy her health as long as she can.
Now Elisa feels very strongly about getting in shape and controlling her diet because of all the benefits she has experienced. In addition to being medication free and all her vitals in check, she felt a change in mood and outlook on life, a new vitality. She really wanted to make sure that other people see this story and find the same happier and healthier lifestyle she is now enjoying.
Elisa recommends to anyone finding themselves in her position two years ago, “just start off slow and make conscious [food] decisions, just put your mind to it” and a healthy diet “controls so much overall.”
Just in time for the start of the shopping season, here are some holiday gift ideas for that fitness buff in your family. With all these great workout gadgets and gear who knows, you may just find a little something for yourself too!
It is much easier to focus on your workout if you come in with a plan. Sure there are apps of all kinds that can help you do this, but here is one technique that is tried and true. Good old fashion pen and paper, you can print this pdf and fill it out for those of us who feel more comfortable with a low-tech method.
Your workout can be planned for the week, you can list your goals and increase little by little each week to track your progress.
We have all the basics covered. In the chart you have warm up and strength sections including areas for arms, core and legs. Then you have a cardio section and a cool down to finish.
Pdf Here EP Fitness Workout Chart
DO START OFF MODERATELY
Work your way into a routine. Going overboard after a long break from exercise may result in injury, or at least disappointment. Your workout shouldn’t do either, so build up from a moderate beginning. Read the rest of this entry »