Tag Archives: beginners guide to fitness

Workout Splits are Key to Creating the Physique You Really Want

workout splits

If you’re new to the gym this spring you’re quickly figuring out that fitness has a language all its own. You have the bootcamp class going for AMRAP while the guy at the squat rack is bragging about his one rep max. As you rest before attempting the next set of dips, another woman asks to “work in” on the assisted dip machine. She asks you, “Is it chest and tri day for you, too?”.

You stare at her thinking, “Are my triceps supposed to have a special day?”.

Workout splits, or how often you work a particular muscle group, can be one of the most confusing parts of a new strength training regimen. With the emphasis on high intensity programs in gyms and online training programs most people are training every muscle, every workout. The idea of a workout dedicated to just upper body or a specific muscle group seems foreign, even outdated, but making sure a muscle has adequate rest and attention is key to creating the physique you really want. Whether you’re new to the weight room or thinking about your first figure competition, there is a split that is right for you! (more…)

A Beginner’s Guide to HIIT Training

If you didn’t already know, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The simplest way to explain HIIT is that it’s an organized cardiovascular training method. It’s comprised of high intensity exercise intervals of short durations mixed with low intensity intervals for recovery. It requires high effort (on an intensity scale of 1-10, at least a 7) of sprints lasting from thirty seconds to two minutes, followed with a different low intensity exercise lasting 1-2 minutes. The low intensity part of the workout is designed to be a break in order for your body to recover from the sprints and prepare itself to begin sprinting again.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

Why would someone choose HIIT over a standard, lengthier cardio session? The difference between the two is the amount of calories burned after the workout is complete. After finishing a long distance jog, your body stops burning calories as soon as you stop jogging. After HIIT training, you’re body continues to burn calories even after you’re done sprinting. That means you can spend less time on your cardio workout and still burn at least the same amount of calories, if not more. More benefits include: (more…)

A Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet has become one of the most popular diets in the U.S. in recent years. According to Experian Marketing Services it was the most searched for diet on the Internet the first week of 2013. As a result it now sits on the top 10 list of most popular diets.

So who is going Paleo these days? According to researchers, roughly 58 percent of the recent surge in Internet searches have come from females. Among those, 33 percent listed an annual household income of $30,000-60,000. It’s apparent that middle class women are the primary demographic growing curious about this popular diet for their health and weight loss goals.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman Diet, permits only foods that were consumed during the Paleolithic era, roughly 10,000 years ago. Since agriculture had not yet been invented, the diet prohibits many foods that are consumed in today’s society on a regular basis, such as grains, sugar and dairy. The general idea, however, is to only consume foods from nature – not foods that have been man made. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: A Beginner’s Workout for Your New Year’s Resolution

It’s January, and you know what that means. It’s diet season and everyone’s out to be successful with their New Year’s Resolutions. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle or to just simply become healthier, it’s easier said than done. For a lot people, getting started is the hardest part. Knowing what to start with may be even more difficult.

For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill, we’ve put together a simple beginners workout that can be done anywhere at any time by using nothing but your own body weight. This is a total body workout that will really get your heart beating, the blood flowing and the muscles working. But don’t worry, it’s definitely bearable. The last thing we want to do is discourage you on the first workout!

This workout is divided into four sections. You’ll start with a type of cardiovascular exercise to get your heart rate up and follow it (without rest) with a strength training exercise. Between each section, rest for one to two minutes. Practice this every day for your first week and see if you can work your way up to doing the workout multiple times in a row.

View A Beginners Workout for Your New Years Resolution Slideshow

Also Read:

Beginners Guide to Resistance Training

Saturday Morning Drills: Post-Workout Stressing 

Absolute Beginners Fitness: 3 in 1 Kettlebell

A Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit

One of the most popular fitness trends of 2012 was the CrossFit phenomenon. Dedicated gyms gave followers a place to perfect their WOD (workout of the day) while finding motivation from like-minded men and women. CrossFit is not going out with the old but will be very much a part of this new year. If you’ve thought about joining the craze, let us be your guide.

What is CrossFit?

In the year 2000, Greg Glassman created a workout program that has become known as CrossFit. This program is a short workout that involves high intensity functional movements for the entire body. The idea is to push one’s self as hard as possible for a short amount of time, sometimes even less than 20 minutes.

CrossFit involves many dynamic exercises such as plyometric jumps, Olympic lifts, sprinting, rowing, jump rope, flipping tires, body weight exercises, weightlifting and even climbing a rope to the top of a ceiling. If you’ve been to a bootcamp, it looks very similar. In terms of weight lifting, we aren’t just talking about your average dumbbell, but other non-traditional weight lifting equipment. Some of these might include sand bags, kettlebells, water-filled containers, and suspension systems.

The goal during this very high intensity workout is to perform a certain number or repetitions in a certain amount of time. Some athletes who take CrossFit classes are even scored and ranked in order to encourage competition and to track progress. For those who are more advanced, some will even compete against one another in person and then post their results on the CrossFit website. (more…)

Beginner’s Guide to Juicing: How to Make Fresh Juice

If you’re thinking of starting a juice regimen, it’s important to make informed decisions about your new diet. If you’re planning on replacing your meals with juice, you should first check with a doctor or health care provider to ensure that your new regimen is safe for your body.

However, if you are thinking about adding juice to your existing diet to up your fruit and vegetable intake, we have some tips to help you get started.

Know the importance of buying organic. According to Cherie Calbom, MS, author of The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet and Juicing for Life, it’s very important to know what vegetables and fruit are the most heavily sprayed and which ones are the cleanest.  “Not everything has to be organic, but the most heavily sprayed produce should always be organic,” said Calbom. “Otherwise, it may not be safe to use. Familiarize yourself with the most heavily sprayed produce, known as the ‘dirty dozen’ and shop accordingly.”

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A Beginner’s Guide to Plyometrics

Plyometrics are a specific and intense type of exercise designed to produce fast and explosive movements usually to improve athletic performance for sports.

Plyometrics, or jump training, is a unique form of training because unlike traditional resistance training where reps are slow and methodical, the muscle is loaded, usually with your own body weight, and then contracted rapidly, to not only build muscle, but increase strength, elasticity and reaction time so you can jump higher and run faster.

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Beginner’s Guide to Metabolic Resistance Training

Metabolic resistance training is a variation of circuit training designed to ramp up your metabolism not only during the time you are working out, but for hours afterward to maximize calorie burn and results.

Resistance training coupled with few and shorter rest periods not only taxes the muscles of the body, but the cardiovascular system, giving you an all around, full body workout. “The routine usually consists of both functional movements and traditional movements, as well as any exercise that gets the job done in sequences or circuits to stimulate metabolism. It is designed to serve metabolism not destroy it. Therefore, the training actually enhances your long term health as well, instead of hindering it,” says Tana Gabrielle, a NASM CPT and Holistic Lifestyle and Nutrition Coach.

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Beginner’s Guide to Barefoot Running

There has been a ton of research done over the past few years on the benefits of running barefoot. Some studies have shown that running in shoes somehow weakens the small muscles of the feet as well as the tendons, ligaments, and natural arches of the feet. Several experts agree that running barefoot can improve your feet’s biomechanics and prevent the risk of injury.

If you do decide to run barefoot, start with short runs and slowly progress to longer runs over time. This will help strengthen the supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments as well as prevent overuse injuries. I recommend starting with a 10 – 15 minute walk for the first couple exercise sessions then progressing to longer runs, which will allow your feet to adapt to the current workload. Good luck! (more…)

Beginner’s Guide To Circuit Training

Circuit training is one of the most efficient styles of exercise. It is designed to keep your heart rate at an increased level while using a variety of different exercises or movements to target the desired muscle groups. Circuit training is a perfect way to maximize an intense workout in little time.

Circuit training can be performed with a set amount of time or set of repetitions. Either way is beneficial! Most circuit training sessions range from about 10 to 12 exercises (completed in 30 to 60 seconds) in sequence with a 30- to 60-second rest period. However, it is also a good idea to pick a weight and perform as many repetitions as possible (keep track of weight and repetitions performed for progression purposes), then rest for 30 to 60 seconds, and move to the next exercise or station.

Set a goal and try to beat the previous day’s repetitions. This will keep you motivated and prevent you from falling off the wagon.

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