Hands, Feet, & Mind: The Tools of the Warrior

On Mondays & Thursdays at 8:15 the Wellness Center offers a kickboxing class that is unlike a traditional kickboxing class. If you attend with the intent of a Tae Bo style class, you are mistaken. This class focuses on fitness first, defense second and great community third.
Each class is different focusing on different skills, partner work, and more. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll be tested physically and mentally though the 45 minute class, but the experience you receive is like none other.
Modeled after traditional Muay Thai (Thai boxing) training, with each striking part of the body utilized. The arms, legs, knees, and elbows are all moving during class to receive a workout unrivaled by any other. Additionally, pairing with a partner allows for your mind to become a tool to be honed and improved upon.
No class is identical. Each experience is unique. The skills you gain are not only for fitness, but for having the ability to defend yourself also. You come in not knowing what you are capable of, and leave feeling empowered.
Join the community of fighters who see an improvement in their lives both physically and mentally. Join us on Mondays & Thursdays at 8:15.

By, Martin Hubner MS, Pn1

The Myth Behind Youth Weight Training

For years weight training has been a topic of discussion for today’s adolescent. This is due to the most common myth that early resistance training will stunt their growth due to damage of the growth plates that control the lengths and shapes of their bones. The issue with this is that weightlifting itself does not cause the damage, the damage to the growth plates come from improper form which causes undue stress to the growing areas. Take a barbell squat for example; the lift needs to be done correctly to assure the growth plates at the knees are protected. If the lift is done incorrectly there is a greater amount of stress directed towards the growth plates, which ultimately causes the damage.  As long as the weightlifting movements are done correctly direct injury can be avoided. (more…)

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Skip the Stretch

Yes, cardio exercise and building muscle are important. But it’s also important not to skimp on the third element of overall health: flexibility. As we age we tend to lose flexibility. Keeping yourself active can help maintain your flexibility.

Why does flexibility matter?

 

When you focus on stretching and flexibility, you will:

  • Move more freely
  • Have better posture
  • Be more relaxed and serene
  • Reduce muscle tension and soreness
  • Reduce the risk of injury

 

Dos and don’ts of stretching

 

DO:

  • Warm up your muscles BEFORE stretching. Failure to warm up may increase your risk of injury. Do a light walk on the treadmill or an easy ride on the bike to get your blood flowing.
  • Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds at a time. Do this 2-4 times alternating left and right sides.
  • Ask for help. The Wellness Center personal trainers can give you tips and creative stretches.

 

DON’T

  • Do not overstretch the muscle. In other words, if it hurts, then do not stretch that far.
  • Don’t bounce. You could strain a muscle or even worse, injure it.
  • Don’t hold your breath! Breathing is important to carry oxygen to your muscles as they stretch.

 

To learn how to incorporate stretching into your workouts, visit the front desk or Contact us online to ask about fitness instruction.

Post Workout Nutrition

Post workout nutrition is a very important and often overlooked step.  It has been proven to provide numerous benefits including improved recovery, glycogen replenishment, and decreased muscle soreness.  Before diving into what post workout nutrition is, let’s break down each step one at time.  I’ll do my best to keep things simple.

What is glycogen?

Our working muscles require energy to perform at their best which is provided from glycogen.  Glycogen is made from dietary carbohydrates that have been broken down and linked together to form chains in the muscle tissue.  When muscles are utilized during workouts those chains are broken down to provide energy.  The more that a muscle is utilized the more glycogen is depleted until those stores are eventually completed exhausted. The feeling of hitting a wall is typically felt when that happens.  Muscles are only capable of storing around 250-400 grams of glycogen.  These amounts can vary depending on training status and dietary intake. In general that is around 1000-1400 calories from carbohydrates. So if you are not staring at the back of your eyelids by now, let’s move onto the more exciting stuff.

Why am I so sore after exercising?

Ever had that feeling especially after a tough leg workout that if you dropped something on the floor, the pain of having to bend down to pick it up just isn’t worth it?  I know I have been there and it can be rather amusing to watch from the sidelines, especially if you attempt to pick it up.   Muscle soreness is caused from muscles being damaged while working out.  When those muscles are repaired they become stronger and depending on type of training, bigger.  So until they are repaired muscle soreness could continue for days and days.  I don’t know about you but I would prefer not being sore that long.  I wish there was a way to decrease that soreness…

Alright so what in the world is post workout nutrition?

I’m glad you asked that question!  After working out your muscles are primed and ready to accept nutrients needed for repair, energy replenishment, muscle strength, and growth.  Just think of them as a sponge ready to soak up anything they receive.  There is also a “window” that those nutrients need to be consumed by and it opens immediately after working out till around 2 hours after.  After that “window” passes that sponge will not soak up those nutrients as well and be used for other things.  Hello post workout nutrition!  Now as a side note, post workout nutrition can vary according to exercise type/intensities, training status and body composition goals.  So rather than bore you with the details of all the math and science calculations, let’s keep to that simple plan.

What should my post nutrition meal look like?

The best post workout nutrition meal should contain a combination of both protein for muscle repair and carbohydrates for glycogen (energy) replenishment.

A few meal ideas:

  • Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables.
  • Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast.
  • Salmon with sweet potato.
  • Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread.
  • Oatmeal, yogurt, banana and almonds.
  • Cottage cheese and fruits.

So to wrap things up

If you want to decrease muscle soreness and continue to have energy while working out, post workout nutrition is your answer.  It doesn’t have to be complicated just remember to eat a meal containing protein and carbohydrates immediately and up to 2 hours after exercising.  You will be amazed at how much more you are able to accomplish, including picking up things you dropped on the floor.

Until next time workout safe, smart and as often as you can!

Eric Tucker

Research Links Physical Inactivity To Earlier Death

With the holidays approaching and daily schedules becoming more and more busy, many people may discontinue their usual exercise routines. But before you give up on this important healthy habit, consider the fact that physical activity is actually linked with a longer life. Did you know that research has shown that the more time a person spends being inactive, the higher their risk is for premature death? That’s right- inactivity is linked with an earlier death! Many chronic diseases that Americans experience including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even some cancers, may be alleviated or prevented by regular physical activity. An inverse correlation exists between amount of aerobic activity and risk of premature death such that the more time a person spends in aerobic activity, the lower his or her risk is for premature death. Alternatively, the more time a person spends sitting or being inactive, the higher his or her risk is for chronic diseases, mental health problems, and premature death.

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Sets and Reps: Where to Begin

Strength training has tremendous benefits for people of all ages. However, most people that enter a gym for the first time do not know how many sets or repetitions to complete in order to achieve the maximal results. The benefits associated with strength training are: 1) increase in lean body mass; 2) increase in metabolic rate; 3) increase in bone density; 4) decrease risk of injury; and 5) building back lost muscle tissue that commonly occurs with aging.

The two most common results people look to achieve from working out are gaining size and strength.

Gaining Size

Training to gain size is associated with high reps consisting of shorter rest periods between each exercise. The number of reps should be kept around 8-15 with rest periods no longer than 30 seconds to two minutes. Complete three to five different exercises per muscle group, with three to six sets of each exercise. This type of training is referred to as hypertrophy training. Muscle hypertrophy is a term for the growth and increase of the size of muscle cells.  These muscle fibers are broken down throughout the course of your workout. Repair begins, which causes the muscle to grow back larger.

Gaining Strength

Increasing muscular strength involves training at a higher intensity. With the higher intensity, not as many exercises are n

eeded. Two to three different exercises per muscle group will suffice. The number of sets can be backed off to three to five per exercise. The number of reps should be kept to a min

 

imal, around 4-8 reps per set while increasing the amount of rest time to 2-5 minutes. Training at a higher intensity requires a different energy system than working for endurance with higher rep training. This system requires more time to recover in order to replenish the energy stores, typically around 3 minutes.

Now you may ask; what if I am looking to gain both size and strength? Cycle periods of low-rep training and high-rep training into your overall program, while progressively trying to increase your strength and perfect your exercise form every time you lift. Learn to incorporate both types of training into your program in order to maximize your gains. Begin with lower reps for your major lifts, such as squats and bench press. Follow up the low reps with higher re

p training on your minor lifts. Following this protocol will allow you to see an enormous gain in the amount of weight you are able to lift when starting a new workout program.

Unless you’re training for a specific sport or lift, don’t get in the rut of solely sticking with either type of training style. Strength training is about confusing your muscles so they do not become adapted to the same weight and exercise. You will not see results if you stick with the usual three sets of ten protocol. Find what works best for you so you do not fatigue out too quickly. Try new things that take you out of your comfort zone while still giving you a nice workout. The most important aspect in strength training is finding something you enjoy doing so you do not get discouraged and give up on yourself!

By Keaton Allen

DeFranco, Joe. (2015, July 03). Why All Muscle Was Not Created Equal. Retrieved from https://www.defrancostraining.com/why-all-muscle-was-not-created-equal/

Hitchcock, H. (2017, September 11). Mass Vs. Strength. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/436092-mass-vs-strength/

Thomas, M. H., & Burns, S. P. (2016, April 01). Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836564/

Wendler, J. (2018, May 21). 10 Strength-Building Strategies That Will Never Die. Retrieved from https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/10-strength-building-strategies/