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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.
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Best Black Friday Deals for Fitness Gear

We’re only a few days out from the biggest shopping day of the year. That’s right, Black Friday is just two days away. Have you made your shopping list?

You probably never thought about the calories you burn during your Black Friday extravaganzas, but you should because it can actually be a beneficial workout to help burn off your Thanksgiving indulgences. A 140-pound person can burn up to 226 calories just by standing for three hours, and some of those door-buster lines will no doubt last that long. That same person can burn up to about 982 calories when shopping for five hours (this includes the average estimated standing time as well). Needless to say, going out on Black Friday could be a way to help burn off the estimated 3,000 calories we consume on Thanksgiving Day.

To reduce your chances of holiday weight gain even further, we combed through the Black Friday ads and found impressive deals on fitness gear, kitchen appliances, and more that will help you stay on track with you health and fitness goals.

Aspire Yoga Products: 25% off at Sports Authority. We’re giving away a yoga prize pack valued at $240!

Wieder 3-Piece Kettlebell Kit
: Found at Sears for only $29, which saves you $20.

BodyFit Medicine Balls: BodyFit will be 50% off at Sports Authority

Sodastream Geness Soda Maker
: With the purchase of this item at Target you will receive a $20 gift card. The flavors, which are sold individually, are also on sale for buy two flavors get one free.
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Saturday Morning Drills: Kettlebell Strength Training

For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re diving into something a bit different. We’re switching things up and confusing those muscles by incorporating a kettlebell.

Kettlebells are a handle-style weight typically made of cast-iron that ranges in weight between 5-105 pounds. They can be found at most major retailers for a reasonably low price, usually between $10-$15. In addition to being affordable and easy to store, they’re also the perfect tool for strength, flexibility and ballistic training, and can also incorporated into cardiovascular activity as well.

Among its many benefits, kettlebell training can aid with core stability, balance, coordination, blood circulation, muscle tone and fat loss, and can also help increase energy levels, improve sleep and boost self esteem. Sign us up!

It’s pretty common for females to be intimidated by weight training, but kettlebells are a great option for performing exercises comfortably in your very own home. They’re also great for switching things up and confusing your muscles. Your body can easily get used to a particular exercise if you perform it on a consistent basis. When this happens your workout isn’t as beneficial as it was the first few times you performed it, leaving you with less-than-desirable results.

NOTE: Please be sure to carefully follow the instructions for this routine. Performing a kettlebell exercise incorrectly can cause injury. If you’re unsure about how to perform an exercise correctly, do not attempt it before asking a personal trainer at your local gym in order to avoid risk of injury.

 

 



7 Non-Traditional Workouts That Make Exercise Anything but Typical

Working out can really bite sometimes. Am I right? It’s repetitive, boring, and takes forever, or at least it feels like it does. However, tight jeans and a climbing scale bite, too. Is there a remedy? Is there a happy place where working out doesn’t irritate AND you aren’t resigned to a life in your “fat jeans?” It’s possible, if you’re willing to go off the grid a bit and find some activities that might not look like exercise at first. There are plenty of non-traditional fitness routines that might just be where your happy place resides.

View Non-Traditional Workouts Slideshow

Pole dancing, roller derby, and Capoeira are really just the tip of the alternative workout iceberg. There are lots of ways to stay fit without having to just run on a machine that goes nowhere. Active living can be rewritten; it no longer has to stay in the gym. Find your happy place, do something you love, enjoy your workout, and get in those skinny jeans!



Fit in 5: Top 5 Fat Burning Exercises

By Pamela Hernandez

When we say weight loss what we really mean is fat loss. We want to workout and eat, in most cases, to get lean and carve lovely muscular curves. Many try to slog it out on the treadmill or elliptical trainer for hours on end to burn fat. I believe there are much more efficient, and entertaining, ways to burn calories and create a lean physique.

Ready to break out of your cardio machine routine? Try one of my favorite (and highly effective) fat burning workouts.

Squats: Weight training will always top my list of fat burners. Your resting metabolism can stay elevated for up to 48 hours after strength training, meaning more calories burned while you sleep or sit at your desk. Squats are at the top of my list because they use all of the big muscles of the legs and there are endless variations to keep you from getting bored. My favorite is the overhead squat, engaging muscles from top to bottom.

Boxing: I have no desire to hit someone but when I want to work up a sweat I love hitting the bag or putting on my Tae-Bo video. Your core and legs (remember big muscles burn more calories) provide power to your punches while increasing your heart rate more quickly than the treadmill. If you really want to sculpt tank top ready shoulders and arms, trying shadow boxing with weighted gloves or light dumbbells in hand.
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