Tag: increase power

Overcoming Exercise Plateaus

Are you one of those people who keep doing the same exact workout that you have always done and wonder why you’re not seeing the results you want to see? Well, you’re not alone. I find that most people will stay with the same workout week after week, month after month and even year after year. It’s great that they have such a commitment to their workouts, and they are staying healthier than if they didn’t workout at all, but they could be reaching much better results if they integrated change to their workouts.

To find better results, you need to first ask yourself “what are my goals?” If you don’t have any workout goals you will be lost in the gym – idling at your current level of fitness. Keep your goals simple and SMART. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed. Example: “I want to lose 15 lbs. in 3 months.” The example fits all of the SMART criteria.

Now that you have a goal, write it down and keep it somewhere you’ll see everyday or set a daily reminder on your computer or phone. This way you’ll be reminded of your goal each day and not lose site of where you are heading. From this point, the burden of making your goal a reality is upon your shoulders. If you really want to reach a goal then don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way. Be accountable for your goals.

Second, you need to ask yourself “am I working hard enough to reach my goals or am I just doing what I need to do to get 30 minutes done on the treadmill?” I find most people are doing the latter. If you only put in the same amount of effort every time you workout, you will only find the results to be mediocre at best. If you’re trying to lose 15 lbs. in 3 months, the same mediocre workout isn’t going to work for you. You need to change it up and get serious about elevating your fitness level.

Instead of getting on the EFX at a resistance of 6 and zoning out for the next 20-30 minutes try the rower, or consider the track and the stairs or an interval workout on the EFX. Whatever you choose, the workout should be challenging and out of your comfort zone; but it shouldn’t kill you either – so be aware of the level of intensity you are aiming for. The change is just what your body needs when you have hit a plateau. When you first start working out it’s tough on your body, but in a short time you start to feel better and you start to see results from your hard work. The workout is something new to your body and it’s reacting well. But after a few weeks of the same routine your body is used to the workout and isn’t challenged anymore and the gains you saw earlier are dwindling (except that you are still in good health). Now you need to increase the amount of work you do during your workout – change it up. You can increase the amount of time you spend on the treadmill and/or increase the resistance or speed of the machine you use. It’s time to put a little more effort into your workout.

Interval training is great for getting you outside of your comfort zone. Basically, you have a work interval (30 sec. – 5 min.) followed by a rest interval. The rest interval can be 1-2 minute break to get some water and to catch your breath before you do your next work interval (passive recovery) or just slowing the treadmill down to a walk or slow jog for a 1 – 5 (active recovery). This will be exactly the change your body needs.

The same thing goes in the weight room. Try different lifts (especially if you haven’t done anything new in years), change the number of sets you do, change the number of repetitions you do and/or increase the amount of weight you lift. Your muscles won’t get any stronger if you don’t overload the muscle and challenge them. I know a lot of you are nervous about “getting too big.” Being stronger has nothing to do with getting bigger and it takes a lot of hard work and a high calorie diet for one to really “get big” from weight lifting. Rule of thumb: muscle hypertrophy = 3-8 reps, strength/power = 8-12 reps, and muscular endurance = >12 reps.

Third, if you need some assistance with changing up your workout, try a session with a personal fitness trainer at the club. If you need your car worked on you take it to a mechanic. The same should pattern applies to working on your fitness; trainers have the knowledge and the skills to put you on the right track to reach your goals. Having a trainer set up a workout will make your time in the gym time well spent and get you results quicker and safer.

Again, the changes to your workout will help your body get past your exercise plateau. In order to get stronger and become fit your body needs to be challenged and keep your muscles guessing. If you start to change up your workouts every 4 – 8 weeks you should never reach a plateau and you will reach your goals.

Now that you have the tools you need to overcome your exercise plateau, go out there and get it done. Set your goals. Change up your workout. Put in some hard work and have fun! If you have any question please don’t hesitate to contact me, or any of the other personal fitness trainers, at the club.

TRX Suspension Training: Overhead Lunge

Personal Fitness Trainer Katrina Yniguez demonstrates the TRX Burpie. The TRX Suspension trainer is a great tool that provides you with a total body workout using your own body weight.

If you are looking to join the movement and begin training with the TRX Suspension trainer today, contact Katrina Yniguez for more information on how to get started.

Heave and Ho – What are Sandbags Doing in the Gym?

Sandbags, what and why is this in the gym and not at a construction site? Sandbags (which are literally just bags filled with sand) are an old school tool that are getting a lot of new publicity as of lately. You see them being used by NFL players, by UFC fighters, by that guy at the park. Why are these bags so utilized by highly powerful athletes and those looking to gain that explosive edge?

Here are just a few reasons to use a sandbag instead of a conventional dumbbell or barbell:

  1. Because the bags are filled with sand the weight is constantly varied and no rep will feel the same. As the weight moves around in the bag you’ll have to balance it out as you move explosively through exercises.
  2. Balance, ripping a 45lb bag filled with loose sand off the floor to your chest will require much more full body balance and coordination than a unified barbell would.
  3. Real world training. It’s cool to bicep curl 50lbs but if you are looking to gain an athletic advantage on the soccer field (increasing your take off speed, jumping, quick turns, etc) or looking to be able to work in the yard without throwing out your back every other weekend, you’ll find that sandbags are as real as it gets.
  4. Unique exercises, sandbags are diverse and will challenge you with full body power movements as well as with stretching and core work. The possibilities are endless with this tool.
  5. Fun! The bags are diverse, challenging, and can be used just about anywhere. You can build an intense workout with 4 basic exercises, sounds more fun than sitting on benches doesn’t it?!

Sandbags will push you to find new ways to use your legs and arms as one powerful unit and help you build full body strength. Give it a try, pick up a bag and see how unique it is. This is one time you won’t get in trouble for throwing sand around!

To learn more about sandbag training contact Personal Fitness Trainer, Adriana Brown by phone at 443-1111 ext. 273.