Supersets and why you should do them

What is a superset? And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use…

Supersets and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

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What is a superset?

And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use different muscle groups or movement patterns, though not always. Here’s why you should incorporate this method in your workout routine.

Benefits of supersets

  1. Short on time? The idea is that you’re doing exercises on different muscle groups during the time you’d normally be resting. So you get the same amount of exercises done in half the time.
  2. Build muscle! Supersets are a good protocol for hypertrophy as they help create the biological and hormonal environment necessary for muscle growth. By using your rest periods to do more work, the exercises in effect serve as active recovery for each other.
  3. Increase intensity! Shortening the rest period between sets will increase intensity by performing more work in less time. This is especially true if you are used to long periods of rest between sets.

How to build good supersets

supersetsAlternating upper body with lower body is a great way to get a total body workout done quickly. Put together three or four supersets using multi-joint exercises and do each for 8 to 12 reps and two to three times through. This is a solid resistance workout that’ll take 30 minutes or less. Other ideas include a push/pull upper body workout, utilizing antagonistic muscles. A sample superset workout is below:

2 Sets, 12 Reps

  • Squats
  • Lateral lunges (12 each leg)
  • 1 min rest
  • Barbell row
  • Push ups
  • 1 min rest
  • Shoulder press
  • Dumbbell chest press
  • 1 min rest

Do you use supersets as a part of your fitness regime?

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Supersets and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

Why everyone needs a personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where…

Why everyone needs a personal trainer was originally published on Self Evolve

personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where they were able to reach their goals and have the body they wanted. If they’ve never had a personal trainer, I always ask if they have ever considered getting one. I ask this because I feel like most of us, at one time or another, have thought of hiring a personal trainer to help us achieve our goals. But we may have hesitated, likely over the cost of a trainer. Today I’m going to go over why I feel like everyone needs a personal trainer, at some point(s) in their life.

Why you need a personal trainer

  • Workout planning. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin had it right. If you go to the gym without a workout plan, you will just be winging it every time. And with that comes a lot of guessing and free-styling it, but also you’ll likely just do the same routine every time they’re at the gym. This isn’t ideal as our bodies get used to the same exercise and you will stop seeing results.
  • Tracking your progress. Most people only track their progress by weighing themselves, but this can be very discouraging. Especially since muscle is more dense than fat, the number on the scale may not change as much as your measurements and body fat. A personal trainer will take your measurements at least once every month or two to verify you’re seeing results.
  • Proper form and technique. Without any prior training or education in relation to exercise, it’s hard to know the proper form and technique for all exercises. Also, it’s hard to know what type of exercises will help you get to your specific goals. That’s where a certified trainer can help immensely.
  • Health advice. In addition to fitness and exercise advice, personal trainers can also help provide overall guidelines in regards to health. While we aren’t nutritionists or dietitians, we can give our clients a general idea of what they should be focusing on when it comes to their diet.
  • Avoid injury. This is huge. The amount of injuries that occur at the gym is substantial. Without proper form and technique, it is easy to hurt yourself. Having a personal trainer to demonstrate and verify that you’re performing exercises correctly mitigates the risk of injury.
  • Accountability & motivation. Having a trainer keeps you accountable. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t pay for a trainer and then not show up to my sessions. Money is a great motivator, and once you start seeing results the motivation will just start pouring in!

Exercise is complex

Exercise isn’t just science, it’s also an art form. The key to exercise is variety, and to know not only the right type of exercise but also the different variations is needed to reach your goals. Without proper knowledge and education, it’s hard to walk into a gym without feeling intimated. Big weights and barbells can scare off anyone. That’s where a trainer comes in.

Have you ever had a trainer? Or do you currently have a trainer?

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Heart-rate: Where your heart’s at matters

Do you track your heart-rate? If you’re running on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike, there are usually heart-rate sensors on the handlebars. And when doing cardio, it’s normal to keep track of your heart rate. The general rule of thumb is to keep your heart rate between 60 to 70% max to burn…

Heart-rate: Where your heart’s at matters was originally published on Self Evolve

Do you track your heart-rate?

If you’re running on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike, there are usually heart-rate sensors on the handlebars. And when doing cardio, it’s normal to keep track of your heart rate. The general rule of thumb is to keep your heart rate between 60 to 70% max to burn fat, or 70 to 85% to be in the maximum cardio benefit zone. Your max heart rate is based on your age; it’s the equation of 220 minus your age. For me, my max heart rate is 189. But most people don’t know that they should also track their heart-rate when doing strength training.

Strength training and your heart

heart-rateIt isn’t enough to just lift heavy weights. You have to maintain an elevated heart-rate while lifting as well. If you rest for too long, your heart rate will drop and you won’t get as many benefits from your workout. Rest between sets is important, but you don’t want to go below 50% of max heart rate during your workout. If needed, do some squats, jumping jacks, or high knees between sets to keep your heart-rate going.

Beginners to strength training should aim to keep their heart-rate between 50 to 60% max. As you become more advanced, you can up this to 70 to 80% max. Most importantly, you should listen to your body to determine the overall intensity of your workout. Keep in mind, our bodies adapt and get used to exercises, so be sure to push yourself and increase the intensity over time.

Do you track your heart rate while lifting?

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Heart-rate: Where your heart’s at matters was originally published on Self Evolve

Swimsuit: Winter 2018 Edition

Now’s the time to buy that swimsuit! You may have been counting the calories since the New Year rolled in, but did you know that you should be trying on and buying that swimsuit for summer 2018 right now? Winter is the best time to purchase a swimsuit since they are all on sale. Put…

Swimsuit: Winter 2018 Edition was originally published on Self Evolve

Now’s the time to buy that swimsuit!

You may have been counting the calories since the New Year rolled in, but did you know that you should be trying on and buying that swimsuit for summer 2018 right now? Winter is the best time to purchase a swimsuit since they are all on sale. Put your calorie counter down, and run on over to the store or go online to get the cutest suit before they’re all gone.

Trending swimsuits for 2018

swimsuitNow’s the time when bathing suit trends start. This time of the year is when the Resort collections drop and supermodels and stars jet-set off to extravagant beach locales, showing us what to wear for the new year. These swimsuits will be the trend through the entire year, from now until December 2018. It’s safe to wear these when on vacation in March or September. PopSugar did the research for us, feel free to read up on every design or go straight to the one you’ve been eyeing.

Prepare for that killer swimsuit

Do this workout to get ready for the beach this summer!

Complete the following circuit four times, resting 1 minute after jumping rope in each round.

Mountain Climbers

Reps: 45

Pushups

Reps: 20-30

Front Plank

Duration: 1 min.

Jump Rope:

Duration: 1 min.

 What’s your favorite swimsuit for 2018?

 

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Peloton bikes: changing the way we workout

Have you heard of the Peloton bikes? You know, those bikes that you can live-stream spin classes from the comfort of your own home? With a small payment of $1995 plus the monthly subscription service ($39/mo), you can have unlimited spin classes in your living room! With 0% financing, all of this can be an…

Peloton bikes: changing the way we workout was originally published on Self Evolve

Have you heard of the Peloton bikes?

You know, those bikes that you can live-stream spin classes from the comfort of your own home? With a small payment of $1995 plus the monthly subscription service ($39/mo), you can have unlimited spin classes in your living room! With 0% financing, all of this can be an easy payment of around $120/month for 39 months. In addition to the catchy commercial (thanks to Sia), these Peloton bikes pack a big punch. Mostly popular in urban environments, these bikes are taking over condos and apartments everywhere.

Benefits of in home training

peloton bikes

First of all, you don’t have to go anywhere. In cities such as Chicago, New York, and Boston there are many winter days where the temperature is low or the snow is high and the last thing you want to do is go outside. Thankfully, with the Peloton bike, you can avoid ever having to go outside again. No excuses for getting a great cardio workout in!

Also, you may feel intimidated at the gym or a spin class studio, so training in the comfort of your own home is ideal. You can sweat and make as many weird noises as you want. No one can judge you for farting, either.

You save time. Think about how long it takes you to get to the gym. On average, people spend at least ten to twenty minutes travelling to their local gym. Instead of wasting time driving or taking the train, you can spend that extra time in any way you’d like after you get your spin on. The Peloton bikes open up a whole new world of opportunity.

You save money. The average spin class in Chicago or New York city costs $20 to $30 each. With the Peloton bike, you only spend $39 a month for unlimited classes.

Local Adventures

peloton bikes

After visiting my local Peloton store (Oak Brook Center), I had the pleasure of speaking with Nick Rife (chicago@onepeloton.com), a sales pro. He showed me the many features of the Peloton bike and all that it offers. They record every live class, and you can find a class you love out of the thousands of classes they have by filtering based on: class length, instructor, music type, and level of expertise. There are also scenic rides where you can just pedal for fun and not focus so much on the higher intensity stats. In addition to spinning, there are many off-bike exercise classes. You can cast the video to your TV to be able to have more space to workout.

Have you considered investing in a Peloton bike?

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Peloton bikes: changing the way we workout was originally published on Self Evolve

Slowing Parkinson’s: Pedaling for Parkinson’s

In a recent study done on patients with Parkinson’s disease, a huge discovery was found. Patients who partook in exercise three times a week for 45 minutes at a time at 80 to 85% maximum heart rate saw their symptoms slow down. Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, rigid muscles and problems with movement. While early treatment…

Slowing Parkinson’s: Pedaling for Parkinson’s was originally published on Self Evolve

In a recent study done on patients with Parkinson’s disease, a huge discovery was found. Patients who partook in exercise three times a week for 45 minutes at a time at 80 to 85% maximum heart rate saw their symptoms slow down. Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, rigid muscles and problems with movement. While early treatment can delay the worst symptoms, people almost always get worse. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year and about a million Americans have Parkinson’s currently.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s

Unfortunately, there’s no medical cure for Parkinson’s. Exercise has always been regarded as a way to help you feel better, but it wasn’t seen as true therapy until recently. It’s not a treatment, but it’s a way to manage the symptoms and help patients feel closer to normal.

In the study, they worked with 128 patients with early stage Parkinson’s. They randomly assigned them to either moderate exercise four days a week, intense exercise four days a week, or no additional exercise. The results showed that for the intense exercise group, their disease wasn’t getting worse. The symptoms remained the same over the 6 months of the study. For the moderate exercise group, their disease worsened slightly. For the non-exercisers, their disease worsened to the point that was noticeable.

Slowing the progression is huge

With only 2 and a half hours a week of high intensity exercise, Parkinson’s patients can slow their disease. It may not cure it, but it’s significant to even slow down the symptoms and to have them feeling better.

parkinson's

About 60 YMCA’s offer a Pedaling for Parkinson’s class to help those with Parkinson’s out by offering spin classes with the proper intensity needed. Check out your local YMCA today!

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Slowing Parkinson’s: Pedaling for Parkinson’s was originally published on Self Evolve

Forearm workout: The forgotten body part

What are you working on today? When talking to my gym members, I often hear them list off the muscle groups they work on. Biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, back, and legs. Many never mention their forearms, and I notice that most people don’t focus on this smaller, more forgotten about muscle group. Working on your…

Forearm workout: The forgotten body part was originally published on Self Evolve

forearm workout

What are you working on today?

When talking to my gym members, I often hear them list off the muscle groups they work on. Biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, back, and legs. Many never mention their forearms, and I notice that most people don’t focus on this smaller, more forgotten about muscle group. Working on your forearms will increase your strength capacity in exercises such as the dead-lift. Failing to work on your forearms leads to weak grip strength and skinny-looking arms. I’m here to give you a great forearm workout so that you strengthen your muscle groups evenly and allow your upper body to function symmetrically.

Avoid “skinny arms”

Do the following exercises when focusing on forearms.

  1. Reverse curl. Grasp the bar overhand at whatever width is comfortable. Keeping your upper arms at your sides, curl the bar.
  2. Wide grip curl. Grasp the bar with hands wider than shoulder-width and perform curls.
  3. Hammer cheat curl. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and cheat the weights, as if doing a clean, to the top position of a curl. Slowly lower the weights back down for five counts.
  4. Wrist curl. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a bench, box, or chair. Rest your forearms on your thighs and allow your wrists to bend back over your knees so the weights hang down. Curl the dumbbells up by flexing your wrists.
  5. Reverse wrist curl. Perform the opposite motion of the wrist curl. Palms face down and extend your wrists to raise the back of your hands closer to your forearms.
  6. Chin-up. Grasp the bar with both hands shoulder width and palms facing you. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. If this is too hard, perform negative chin-ups.
  7. Crab walk. Sit on the ground and bridge up with your hips so you look like a tabletop. Walk forward on your hands and feet as fast as you can.

What forearm workout do you do?

Share your forearm workout exercises below. And let me know which exercise you think is the most effective!

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Forearm workout: The forgotten body part was originally published on Self Evolve