I want to start this out by saying, that in no way is exercise ever pointless or a waste of time. Something is always better than nothing and any amount of exercise should be celebrated.
That being said, there are a lot of “classic” exercises people stick to that really aren’t doing much for your fitness- either because there is a more effective way to work the same muscles, or the exercise you think is hitting certain areas really isn’t hitting anything at all.
People get a little prickly when you tell them their tried and true favorite anything isn’t working for them- but especially when it comes to messing with someone’s health routine. In fact, in the American Council on Exercise personal training certification manual it flat out tells you if someone isn’t going to hurt themselves, either with exercise or nutritionally, like in the case of supplements and vitamins, let ’em be. It’s better to not turn anyone off of diet and exercise than try to be right if it really isn’t life and death.
just for fun, let’s take a look at some exercises that people waste a lot of time on, and how it could be better spent in the pursuit of fitness.
The reason anyone starts a fitness program is to see results, and the only way to know how far you’ve come is by knowing where you started.
P90X, the popular extreme home fitness program, understands the importance of tracking all indicators of fitness.
Instead of just tracking weight or measurements, P90X has an intensive Fitness Assessment that tracks your weight, measurements, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular capacity every step of the way.
The P90X program is split into three phases, 30 days each, and at the end of each phase, you will retest to see how much your health has improved. The first test is done before the first P90X workout so you know your baseline of fitness.
Body weight exercises are an effective and inexpensive way of working out. By using only the resistance of your own body, you can gain strength, endurance and inner peace. Body weight exercises are great because you can get an effective workout anytime, any place, with no equipment. Walking, swimming, dancing and yoga are all considered body weight exercises. While I encourage you to explore those, here are a couple specific body weight exercises to try out:
The Superman Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs outstretched, with a neutral spine so your elbows are by ears. Contracting your lower back, gently lift your arms and legs off the ground, hold for a few breaths, and slowly release them back to the floor. Repeat. This exercise works your lower back and core. (more…)
I am a big fan of mixing it up when I exercise. I am easily bored, almost certainly A.D.D., and need to have a different routine in order to keep myself engaged and present. I try to work out three mornings a week with a Crossfit instructor. Recently, my instructor introduced me to the concept of Tabata.
The Tabata Protocol has been said to be simply the best supra-aerobic cardio workout ever created. Izumi Tabata researched the concept of a quicker more intense workout vs. a traditional 60 minute aerobic workout. The 4 minute exercise group had to bike at 90 RPMs at 170% of VO2max. That’s a very high speed and level of intensity. At the end of the 6 week study, the 4 minute exercise group had improved both their aerobic and anaerobic markers of fitness. The 60 minute group improved their aerobic fitness (not as much as the 4 minute group) and saw no change in their anaerobic fitness. (more…)
Weight lifting may seem pretty simple and straight forward (I mean, just lift the weight, right?), but there are many different types of weight lifting techniques that can give you different results. Here are some common terms you may have heard of and how they can help you get the results you are after.
Super Sets – Super sets are a great way to improve both muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance to cut down on your workout time and burn fat while gaining muscle. Super sets usually consist of two to three exercises performed back to back with little to no rest in between, and then repeated. Example: 10 weighted lunges, 10 push ups, and 10 pull ups, then repeat. (more…)
Sometimes, you make plans to work out. You might do all of the prep work: you pack your gym clothes the night before, make sure you have your water bottle and a healthy snack, you clear your schedule, and then, boom! Something happens and your carefully constructed plans vanish in smoke. What’s an intrepid gym rat to do? Don’t worry, there are many things you can do at home that will give you a great workout, even if you don’t have access to free weights or a treadmill! Here are some great options:
- The Power of 50 – 50 squats, 50 push ups, 50 sit ups and 50 lunges. It’s guaranteed to get your blood moving! (more…)
So, I was out and about last week and ran into Mike Tyson at one of the local Hollywood hangouts. I got to visit with him for a bit and did a little research as well. Below is an example of what Mike’s day typically looks like. He is very dedicated, loves to work hard, and enjoys living life as well.
The Mike Tyson Workout
- 5 AM: 3 mile jog
- 6 AM: Shower and back to bed
- 10AM: Wake up and eat breakfast (oatmeal)
- 12 PM: Ring work (10 rounds of sparring) (more…)
Today, we are focusing on using correct posture throughout your workout. This is a huge topic and I feel that it can make a difference in your workouts. Correct technique and maintaining good posture keeps your body in-line, over-compensation free, and decreases your risk of injury. You might have to decrease your weights in order to do so, but it will be worth it in the long run. I have a few demonstrations below to help you picture a few exercises.
Push-Up: Notice how his body is in-line from his neck to is feet. Try not to drop your head while performing this exercise.
Crunch: Keep it simple, do a crunch not a sit-up; better on the spine. Also notice how he is not pulling on his neck. Try to keep your head back and in-line with upper spine.
Standing Tricep Extension: Notice how her feet are shoulder width apart, head is up and in-line with spine, and her back is not hunched over. You will notice one of these three struggle if you are trying to lift too much weight.