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Choose the Gym That’s Right for You: Big and Fancy, Mild-Mannered or Family-Friendly

If you’ve decided that working out on your old elliptical machine while re-watching Breaking Bad episodes on Netflix isn’t helping you achieve maximum weight loss results, maybe it’s time to get out of the basement and join a gym. While some fitness centers offer bare-bones equipment for an affordable price, others offer a wide variety of amenities, but you’ll definitely pay to play.

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Before you get out your wallet, decide what’s important to you in a fitness center and what you’re willing to pay for, then choose a gym accordingly. Below is a brief overview to help you make your decision. From Mild-Mannered to Big and Fancy, what do you need for your workout experience in 2014?

Mild Mannered $Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Curves, Blink

  • Low membership fees and no-hassle contracts mean you can get in shape without taking out a 2nd mortgage
  • Often cater to first-time gym members by discouraging intimidating behavior like grunting, growling and gun-showing in the weight room
  • Easy-to-use cardio and strength equipment, so you actually spend your time working out, not punching buttons and reading the user’s guide
  • No children allowed and no child care. Is that necessarily a bad thing, though? Time away from the kids is OK, especially if you’re getting healthy
  • No high-end amenities like juice bars, tanning beds, steam rooms, or  swimming pools
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The Hottest Fitness Trends of 2013—and a Preview of 2014

Exercise trends typically come and go but some fitness fads have real staying power. Here are some of the most popular fitness trends from 2013 and a look at what trends we expect to see more of in 2014:

Cross-fit

The Best of 2013
1.
CrossFit: There’s little doubt that CrossFit dominated the fitness scene in 2013. The number of CrossFit gyms continued to grow exponentially and the numbers of participants registering for that CrossFit Games more than doubled. I predict that CrossFit’s popularity will continue to rise in 2014, despite its (many) critics.


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Are Exercising Mortals Ready for CrossFit Domination in 2014?

High intensity workouts like CrossFit, Insanity and P90X were a phenomenon this past year and now, according to the American College of Medicine’s Sports Fitness Journal, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is expected to be the top calorie-burning trend of 2014. While the popularity has increased, so have subsequent injuries.

Danger of HIIT Exercises

The HIIT workout is one that centers around high intensity exercises immediately followed by a short period of rest or limited activity. For example: A one-minute sprint on the treadmill followed by a 90-second recovery period or jump rope for three minutes followed by a 45-second walking lunge with alternating hand-to-hand kettlebell exchange. Repeat!! Some HIIT workouts can be completed in as little as 20 minutes.

While the variety of exercises and short time commitment can be tempting to those seeking something besides the boring treadmill routine, these workouts aren’t for everyone.  We asked certified personal trainer, Jessica Smith, to give her thoughts on the CrossFit craze. “A good, safe fitness program should be scalable to meet the participants’ fitness levels,” she said. “I’ve seen some programs that do that, and others that really can’t adequately offer modifications that meet all participants needs.”


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Being a Rock Hard Papaw is a Mad Operation: Meet the Fittest Great Grandpa on the Internet

This is a story about a 64-year-old retired teamster from Louisville, Kentucky who has the body of an Olympic weight lifter.

His name is Robert Durbin, but you can call him “Rock Hard Papaw.”

rock hard papaw

Why Robert is not a viral video star is beyond me, but the old man—who was once overweight after a series of ankle injuries and a heart aneurism—regularly publishes videos of himself pulling off feats of strength on his YouTube Channel.

Robert works out three hours every day, his regimen a combination of strength training, CrossFit, and yoga. “I do 150 pull ups a day and 400 push ups a day,” he said. “It’s a mad operation.”

Mad indeed, but the Rock Hard Papaw isn’t fading away in the twilight of his life. “I feel 45. I’ve never felt this way. I know I look old, but I don’t feel like it.”

Just five years ago, Robert needed canes and walkers to get around, and was fitted with metallic braces on his ankles to help mobility. “Then I had an extended aortic aneurism. My health was going downhill fast and I just wanted to be able to do stuff with my grandkids,” explained Robert.
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A Safer Way to CrossFit: 3 Ways to Prevent Injury for This Trending Workout

Before I actually became a member of a CrossFit gym, I heard all the cautionary tales of injury, over-training, and the crazy way of training “THEY do over there.”

Was I apprehensive? Of course, but I approached this NEW experience as I have done others in the past and that was to find out what it was really about by seeing it with my own eyes and experiencing it for myself.

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I’ve come away with three things that you can use for yourself and apply to ANY new (or old) fitness experience to keep yourself safe, too.

Know Your Body

You know your body better than anyone else, so if you are asking your body to do something it truly is incapable of, it will let you know. If you work your body into the ground over and over again, without giving it proper rest and nutrition, it will shut down. It doesn’t take a CrossFit class to do this; it can happen with Pilates, yoga, or even regular weight training.
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